Energy Update: Week of 10/2

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

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

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

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update: Week of February 13

Friends,

Hope you are ready for Valentine’s Day.   You should hurry up if you haven’t made plans yet…time is a-tickin’.

Last night’s Grammys went off without much of a hitch and Adele was the big winner.   James Corden was good, but he exposed perhaps my biggest takeaway:  How is it that these music stars (at least we know Neil Diamond knew) don’t know the words to Sweet Caroline.  I mean every person in Boston, my kids and millions of others know every word to this classic.  I, of course, thought the best part of the show was the Metallica-Lady GaGA’ duet on Moth Into Flame, even with the mic failure.  Speaking of Metallica, the US tour for Hardwired was announced today with Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat warming up.  It is a similar line up from the 2012 Orion Festival in Atlantic City — which we attended and was AWESOME!   I am looking at May 10 in Baltimore, May 19 in Boston and possibly July 12 in Detroit.

It is a busy week in the run up to President’s Day recess on Capitol Hill with Senate nomination votes expected on up to 8 candidates.  While it is not totally clear because the Majority Leader is holding it close, expected on the plate are Treasury Secretary Mnuchin tonight and Linda McMahon’s nomination to lead the Small Business Administration tomorrow.  Timing remains unclear after that but we are hearing that EPA nominee Scott Pruitt may be next, with the expected floor battle to be drawn out.  While not in jeopardy, the only real question that remains is how many Democrats facing tough re-elections in Red States will support Pruitt.  In addition, timing of the nominations of Rick Perry for Energy and Ryan Zinke at Interior remain in flux despite being relatively non-controversial.  Also look out for the reintroduction of Shaheen-Portman this week, expected Wednesday.  Also we expect some discussion of the Methane CRA this week in the Senate and more interior-related CRAs in the House.  Chamber Energy Institute experts are monitoring closely and can discuss should you need details.

On the hearing calendar this week the schedule cranks up with several interesting hearings.  Tomorrow, House Energy looks at self-driving car technology (our friends at SAFE can help).  On Wednesday, House Science looks at the DOE Loan Guarantee program, House Energy tackles energy infrastructure and Senate Environment looks at modernizing the Endangered Species Act and Thursday the House Energy Committee will focus on the Clean Air Act and potential reforms.

Off the Hill, NARUC meets in Washington at its Winter Meetings, ACCF hosts Kevin Brady to talk taxes, my colleague Jeff Holmstead headlines a panel at the Duke’s Nicholas School Wednesday, Heritage looks at Climate models on Thursday and Friday the USEA hosts the World Coal Assn.

Finally, tonight, college hockey’s most important bragging rights will be decided when Harvard takes on BU in the finals in Boston’s Beanpot tournament at TD Gah-Den.  Game on – despite a wicked 18 inches of snow yesterday (as reported live by Hannah from Wellesley).  Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The trend lines in the 2017 Factbook are clear: energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy are benefitting American consumers, American businesses and American manufacturers. And that adds up to one conclusion: clean energy wins for America.” 

Lisa Jacobson, head of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy at the release of the BNEF/BCSE 2017 Sustainable Energy FactBook.

 

IN THE NEWS

Energy Factbook Rolls Out – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released their 5th annual edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook last week providing valued insight into key U.S. energy statistics related to energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy and outlines key factors influencing America’s energy infrastructure, economy and environment. American consumers spent less than 4% of their total annual household spending on energy in 2016, the smallest share ever recorded by the U.S. government, a new study finds. Falling costs for electricity, gasoline and natural gas along with energy efficiency measures have contributed to a dramatic drop in consumer spending on energy. This finding, from the 2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, is supported by U.S. energy statistics highlighting improvements in energy efficiency, natural gas production and use and renewable energy deployment. The 2017 Factbook, compiled by research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), is the fifth edition of this annual resource. The Factbook outlines key trends influencing America’s investment and economics, energy supply and energy demand.

SAFE 4Q Fact Pack Hit OPEC, Looks at Oil Impacts – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released its Energy Security Fact Pack for the 4th quarter of 2016.  The Fact Pack gives readers a data-driven overview of the latest trends in energy security, including domestic and global oil production and consumption, oil market dynamics and prices, and up-to-date information on fuel efficiency and alternative fuel vehicles.  The Energy Security Fact Pack for 4Q 2016 examines the slow pace of the oil market’s rebalancing, continued price volatility, record electric vehicle sales, and more.

Chamber, Biz Groups Raise Reg Concerns – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter along with 616 groups to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanding action on the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) of 2017.  The letter says now is the time for Congress to reclaim its constitutional legislative authority by ensuring agencies implement congressional intent, not the intent of the agency. “With both the new presidential administration and the U.S. House of Representatives agreeing on the urgent need for regulatory reform, the Senate is presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass much-needed modernization of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), whose rulemaking provisions have remained virtually unchanged since it was enacted in 1946.  The Senate has a unique chance to bring real structural reform to the way agencies adopt the most costly rules that fundamentally change our nation.”  RAA would ensure that our regulatory environment is stabilized with a long term solution instead of a short term fix. By designing a process that achieves the maximum public benefit through the implementation of the most cost-effective rules, the executive branch would have a framework of accountability to pursue rules that actually make sense and avoid rules that one president’s administration may think is right and another may think is wrong. The legislative and executive branches have a unique opportunity to accomplish regulatory reform once and for all.  Here’s the full list of organizations who have signed on to the letter.

Former EPA Enforcement Official Looks at Trump EPA – The former head of EPA’s criminal investigation division Doug Parker, now President of Earth & Water Strategies, has a piece in this week’s BNA Daily Environment Report that offers perspective on the future of federal civil and criminal environmental enforcement in a Trump Administration.  Parker says the EPA administrator has minimal day-to-day impact on civil enforcement and no practical influence when it comes to what criminal cases to investigate and how to investigate them. He adds that innovation and market-based opportunities to advance environmental compliance will most likely find a receptive audience with both groups. You can read it here.

High-Profile Carbon Tax Plan Gets Focus – A group of prominent Republicans – including two former secretaries of state, James A. Baker III and George P. Shultz; two former chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers, Martin S. Feldstein and N. Gregory Mankiw; and former treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. – were talking carbon taxes last week and created quite a splash.

Report: Community Solar Driving Market – GTM Research has released it latest solar report saying the community solar segment is on the cusp of becoming a mainstream driver of U.S. solar market growth. Starting in 2017, community solar is expected to consistently drive 20% – 25% of the annual non-residential PV market and become a half-gigawatt annual market by 2019. The report explores the primary drivers, risks and markets shaping how community solar will achieve scale, both in the complex policy landscape for third party-led community solar and with the emergence of megawatt-scale utility-led programs. Developers, financiers, installers and suppliers should read this report to learn more about the nearly 3 GW of community solar in development across 29 states.

Lincoln Group Lands Former Valero DC Office Head Felner – Lincoln Policy Group Founder, Former U.S. Senator Blanche L. Lincoln announced today that veteran Republican lobbyist and former Valero DC office head Craig Felner will join the Lincoln Policy Group effective February 13th.   Felner will add significant value to the team according to Lincoln.  “Craig is well known and highly respected within House and Senate Republican circles and offers a unique understanding of corporate dynamics that will add tremendous value to our current and future clients,” said former U.S. Senator Blanche L. Lincoln.  Prior to joining LPG, Craig ran the Washington, DC office of Valero Energy Corporation, a Fortune-50 energy company based in San Antonio, TX. In that capacity, Craig oversaw all in-house staff and ran a robust team of outside consultants.  Felner arrived in Washington in 1995 as an intern for former Energy and Commerce Chair Joe Barton before moving across Capitol Hill to work for former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas as a Legislative Assistant for 6 years. Craig was later appointed by President George W. Bush to a high-ranking position in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

NARUC Conference Set – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners hosts its yearly Winter Committee Meetings in Washington, D.C. today through Wednesday at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  As usual, the groups has assembled an array of speakers and sessions that continue to advance the priorities and issues facing state utility regulators. Next Monday, PA PUC Commissioner Robert Powelson hosts a discussion on infrastructure with Exelon CEO Chris Crane, API’s Jack Gerard and others.  Other speakers include FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, Chamber Energy CEO Karen Harbert, Paul Cicio of the Industrial Consumers of America, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, former EPA GC Roger Martella and many others.

ACCF to Host Brady for Tax Discussion – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will host a discussion tomorrow with House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady.  This follows a recent panel on Border Tax issues slated for this Wednesday.

House Energy Looks at Committee Self-Driving Cars – The House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittees on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will convene a hearing tomorrow at 10:15 looking at self-driving cars and the road to deployment.  Witnesses will include GM’s Mike Abelson, Dr. Nidhi Kalra of the RAND Center for Decision Making Under Uncertainty, Volvo’s Anders Karrberg, Joseph Okpaku of Lyft and Gill Pratt, Executive Technical Advisor and CEO of the Toyota Research Institute.

Former FERC Chair Bay to Address Energy Storage Forum – On Wednesday, the 3rd Annual Energy Storage Policy Forum will be held at the National Press Club.   The new Administration and Congress bring with it a new focus and new opportunities. Impending transitions at FERC, DOE, and other agencies have significant ramifications for the continued growth of energy storage.  Speakers will include retired FERC Commissioner Norman Bay, Mass Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson and Cal PUC Commissioner Carla Peterman.

House Energy Looks at Energy, Electricity Infrastructure – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on modernizing energy and electricity delivery systems.  The hearing will focus on the challenges and opportunities to promote infrastructure improvement and expansion.  Witnesses will include IBEW’s Lonnie Stephenson, GE’s Ganesh Bell, EPRI’s Michael Howard, GridWise Alliance CEO Steve Hauser, LIUNA President Terry O’Sullivan, Rex Ferry on behalf of the National Electrical Contractors Association, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe councilman at large Chad Harrison and Joey Mahmoud of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

House Science to Look at Loan Guarantee Program – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking the DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program.  Witnesses will include Heritage’s Diane Katz, Cato’s Chris Edwards, Dan Reicher of the Stanford University Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance and Ryan Yonk of the Utah State University.

Senate Environment Launches ESA Discussion – The Senate Environment Committee will take a fresh look at reforming the Endangered Species Act in a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  While it is unclear how this will play out, the witnesses are a serious list of folks with great expertise.  Witnesses include former Wyoming Gov. David Freudenthal (D), former Clinton/Obama Interior official Jamie Rappaport Clark, now CEO of Defenders of Wildlife; Former Obama Fish & Wildlife Head Dan Ashe, now CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums; Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation president James Holte and Gordon Myers, executive director of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and president of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Brookings to Look at Global Risks – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Governance Studies at Brookings will host an event to discuss the management of global catastrophic risk. For decades, international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank have helped national, regional, and global leaders tackle these challenges. However, many believe that new approaches and fresh thinking are needed in the global governance arena. What are these different perspectives? Are the UN, IMF, World Bank, and other supranational organizations equipped to meet the new challenges of the modern era? Are there different organizations or institutions that are better suited for the problem-solving needed today?

Forum Look at Strategies for Power Sector Transition in US, Germany – The Atlantic Council hosts a conversation on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. with power sector experts from the United States and Germany to discuss the drivers of this transformation, to compare the challenges these innovative countries are facing, what approaches are being taken, and explore the emerging future of this critical part of our societies.

Holmstead, Others Address Southeast Power Challenges – Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, will hold an event on Wednesday at Noon focused on the energy and environmental policy challenges facing the Southeast power sector as the next administration takes office. The event will gather stakeholders from across the region in Washington, D.C., to discuss the state of the electricity sector and key issues facing state and federal policymakers, including how market factors and federal policy will affect electricity sector planning in 2017 and beyond. Invitees include representatives from electric utilities, environmental NGOs, energy companies, and state agencies.  Speakers include my colleague Jeff Holmstead, Clearpath’s Zack Baig, Georgia PSC Commissions Lauren McDonald, Entergy’s Rick Johnson, former Senate Staffer and Nicholas Institute expert Tim Profeta, among others.

Senate Commerce Panel Looks at Freight Rail Efficiency, Safety – The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation panel on Surface Transportation will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in Russell 253 looking at  how to increase the efficiency and safety of our nation’s multimodal transportation system.  Witnesses will include BNSF Railway Chair Matt Rose, Schneider National CEO Chris Lofgren, Dow Chemical’s Tom Gurd and Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman.

House Energy Panel Looks Clean Air Act – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment will start hearings Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on reforms to the Clean Air Act.  The panel is taking advantage of new authority to look at updating major environmental statutes, with an eye toward pruning any perceived barriers to economic growth. Among the witnesses will be NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, the Chamber’s Thomas Sullivan, Kevin Sunday of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and New Bedford, Mass Mayor Jon Mitchell.

CSIS Forum to Look at Oil Markets – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program holds a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. with President of RBN Energy Rusty Braziel, ESAI Energy’s Managing Principal of Petroleum & Alternative Fuels Sarah Emerson, and IHS Energy’s VP of Oil Markets (Midstream and Downstream) Kurt Barrow on where U.S. domestic and global oil and gas markets are heading in 2017. We enter the new year with higher oil prices, but also the continued questions around the implementation of and compliance with announced OPEC and non-OPEC supply cutbacks, resurgent U.S. production, enormous stocks, potential increases from Nigeria, Libya, and elsewhere, still-enormous stocks, and various forecasts of new demand growth.

Panel Looks at African Americans in Energy – On Thursday at 11:00 a.m. in 121 Cannon, Rep. Marc Veasey hosts a panel discussion in observation of Black History Month looking at African Americans leaders in energy.  The panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities for African Americans in the energy sector. Moreover, the discussion seeks to educate Members, staffers, stakeholders and students pursuing STEM degrees or jobs in the energy industry, examine current energy policy issues and offer an outlook for the 115th Congress.  Panelists Include FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable, Volt Energy CEO Gilbert Campbell, Ray Dempsey of BP America, American Association of Blacks in Energy President Paula Glover and Chevron’s Telisa Toliver.

Heritage Forum to Look at Science, Modeling – The Heritage Foundation will host a forum on Thursday at Noon on climate modeling, science, and economics behind climate change.  The event will feature Heritage’s Nick Loris and their in-house statistician Kevin Dayaratna, University of Guelph scientist Ross McKitrick and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger of Cato’s Center for the Study of Science.

RTOs Speak at Grid Forum – WIRES, the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. looking at 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. Speakers include Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), as well as Midcontinent ISO’s Clair Moeller, Southwest Power Pool’s Mike Ross and Craig Glazer of PJM Interconnection.

Forum to Look at Climate Threats – In the February USAID Adaptation meeting on Thursday at 4:00 p.m., Cardno principal Michael Bilney, MBA will discuss Cardno’s collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a risk-based method to screen hundreds of NOAA facilities and evaluate the most at-risk facilities’ vulnerability to potential climate change threats.  The approach combined qualitative risk assessment, and asset management facility condition and engineering assessments to identify site-specific vulnerabilities and related adaptation and resilience improvement actions. Bilney will summarize the phases of the analysis and provide key lessons learned, adaptation and resilience improvement measures and strategies developed during the recently completed project.  He will also summarize critical activities in the recommended process developed to guide future NOAA facility climate change vulnerability assessments.

RBN CEO to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will hold its February luncheon on Friday at Noon at Carmines featuring RBN CEO Rusty Braziel. Braziel is President and CEO of RBN Energy, a leading energy market analysis and advisory firm and is the author of The Domino Effect, bestseller book about understanding energy markets. Braziel will address the economics of new drilling and the recovery.

USEA to Host World Coal CEO – On Friday at 2:00 p.m., USEA hosts Benjamin Sporton, Chief Executive of the World Coal Association.  Sporton will look at how the global coal market is changing and what happens to the Paris Agreement under the new Trump administration.

 

IN THE FUTURE

RFA Ethanol Conference Set of San Diego – The Renewable Fuels Association hold its 2017 National Ethanol Conference on February 20-22 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The forum will address policy and market issues and what industry can do to develop both domestic and foreign markets, including expanding infrastructure, blends above E10, high octane fuels and exports.  At a key Panel on the first day, AFPM President Chet Thompson will join RFA CEO Bob Dinneen for a future of fuels policy discussion.  Our friend Rachel Gantz will also host a panel of journalists including WSJ’s Amy Harder to discuss media coverage of the policy issues.

Faison, Crane, Browner Headline Nuclear Summit – Third Way will host an Advanced Nuclear Summit on Tuesday, February 21st starting at 8:00 a.m. at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  The event will examine the massive opportunities that advanced nuclear offers the U.S., and the need for quick action in Washington to capture those opportunities. We’ll explore benefits like economic growth and competitiveness, job creation, and global leadership on issues like climate change, security, and poverty with a wide variety of leaders in this space.  Speakers will include ClearPath Foundation Jay Faison,  CEO Exelon CEO Chris Crane, NuScale CEO John Hopkins, Nobel-Prize winning physicist Burton Richter, the AFL-CIO’s Liz Shuler and former EPA Administrator and Obama climate advisor Carol Browner.

SAFE, CTA to Discuss AV Benefits – The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), in partnership with Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), will hold a lunchtime briefing on Wednesday February 22nd at 12:30 p.m. in 2167 Rayburn on the benefits self-driving vehicles will have on improving everyday life.  The panel discussion features CTA CEO Gary Shapiro, SAFE AV Safety Commission member and former GM exec Bob Lange and Toyota’s Hilary Cain.  SAFE CEO Robbie Diamond will moderate.

USEA Looks At Distributed Energy Valuation – On Wednesday February 22nd at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Association hosts a briefing the various dimensions of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) valuation (with a particular focus on locational value), current efforts to employ these valuation methodologies, and the implications for utilities and regulators. The speaker will be Vazken Kassakhian, Research Analyst at the Smart Electric Power Alliance.

Webinar Looks at Capacity Market Reforms – On Wednesday, February 22nd at 2:00 p.m., Power Markets Today hosts a timely and insightful webinar looking at new capacity reforms.  Speakers will include PJM Independent Market Monitor and Monitoring Analytics President Dr. Joseph Bowring, New England Power Generators Association President Dan Dolan, NEPOOL Representative and Energy Market Advisors Principal Brian Forshaw and Advanced Energy Management Alliance Representative and Achieving Equilibrium Founder Tom Rutigliano.  Our friend James Downing hosts.

Panel Looks at Trump Energy Policy – The Cato Institute will host a lively look at energy policy in the new administration on Wednesday, February 22nd at 4:00 p.m.  The event will feature IER Founder Robert L. Bradley, Institute for Energy Research; Adele Morris of Brookings and Catrina Rorke, of the R Street Institute.

WCEE to Look at Wholesale Capacity Markets – On Friday, February 24th, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) hosts a lunch discussion with Emma Nicholson, Ph.D., an economist at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, and a WCEE member. Nicholson will provide an overview of capacity markets in the FERC-jurisdictional RTOs/ISOs that have them (Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO)/Independent System Operators (ISO)). This overview will also explain the general concept of capacity as a product and explain recent changes to the design of FERC-jurisdictional capacity markets.  The event will be held at FERC.

WAPA, CR to Announce Top 2017 Picks – WAPA and Consumer Reports will holds its February luncheon at the National Press Club on February 28th at Noon to announce the organization’s 2017 Top Picks and Brand Reports Cards. The event is one of the highlights of the year for WAPA. Each spring, consumers and auto-industry insiders alike look to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue and website for its Top Picks in cars and trucks. From best and worst in fuel economy, reliability and safety to tips on how to get the best deal, CR provides consumers unbiased ratings, recommendations, and advice that help consumers make informed decisions with their next car purchase.

ARPA-E Forum Set – The annual ARPA-E Innovation Forum will be held on February 27th through March 1st at the Gaylord at National Harbor. Summit is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its eighth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market.  Among the speakers will be Duke’s Lynn Good (who will be interviewed by our friend Bill Loveless), Sen. Cory Gardner and Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs, as well as somebody from the new Trump Administration.

ACCF Panel Hosts former Commissioners to Look at FERC Challenges – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will moderate a discussion on Tuesday, February 28th at 12:30 p.m. in 485 Russell.  The event will feature former FERC Commissioners Philip Moeller and James Hoecker on a wide range of policy issues facing FERC.   The discussion comes at a particularly interesting time for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which entered the new year with a full plate of issues, including the challenge of ensuring electric reliability in the face of increasing environmental pressures from outside advocacy groups. And the Commission does so without its full complement of commissioners, having now just two of its five seats filled after the sudden resignation of Norman Bay.  Our friend Glen Boshart will moderate.

CERAWeek Set for Houston – The 36th CERAWeek by IHS Markit will be held on March 6th through 10th in Houston at the Hilton Americas.  CERAWeek is the premier annual international gathering of energy industry leaders, experts, government officials and policymakers, leaders from the technology, financial, and industrial communities – and energy technology innovators. Midst the turbulence and uncertainty in energy markets this year, CERAWeek 2017 will provide new insights and critically-important dialogue – and a very cost efficient way to engage on the most urgent questions with decision-makers from around the world.  A laundry list of other key energy speakers/CEOs will speak.  See the list here.

Southern NextEra Execs Address Transmission Summit – The 20th Transmission Summit will be held March 6-8th at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  The event brings together policy makers with transmission industry leaders to develop strategies that will take advantage of opportunities created by emerging policy, regulatory and technological changes.  Topics will include post-election policy shifts and potential new opportunities for transmission infrastructure investment, dealing with the impacts of revisions to FERC’s Order 1000 processes on regional planning and competitive projects, integrating and interconnecting ever more renewable energy assets and using non-transmission alternatives and storage to defer new builds and replace aging infrastructure.  Key speakers include former FERC Chair Joe Kelliher of NextEra, Southern’s Bruce Edelston, and Georgia PSC Commissioner Tim Echols, among others.

GEA to Host DC Meeting – On March 7th, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will hold its International Geothermal Forum in Washington, DC.

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona from March 27 – 29 at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  More on this in the future.

Energy Update: Week of October 17

Friends,

Hockey is finally underway with the NHL launching this past week and baseball is holding its collective breath to see if the Cubs can break a 108-year World Series jinx.

You know I have talked about Hannah’s success on the field hockey pitch at Wellesley (and she scored another OT game winner this weekend), but my son Adam scored a big victory last week, winning his first major X-C race by blasting away from the competition to take first in the STAB Invitational in Charlottesville.  And that’s not all for the Bracewell kids’ sports page.  In DC, Jeff Holmstead is not the only Holmstead burning up the pages of the Washington Post.  All fall, Jeff’s son Eli, a soccer star at Quince Orchard High School, is actually getting more press than his dad, including a great picture in the Post last Wednesday.  He also had a couple of good quotes in the accompanying article and clearly has a better sense of messaging than dad.

Back to the action. It was also a historic week in Kigali which culminated Saturday with the global agreement where negotiators from nearly 200 countries reached a legally-binding accord to cut the worldwide use of a powerful planet-warming chemical used in air-conditioners and refrigerators.  The success will likely have a far greater impact on efforts to slow climate change than anything to date (including Paris).  We Have a full summary below and our friend Coral Davenport has a great synopsis in the NYT from Kigali.  Chris Mooney in The Washington Post also has a good political story and The Wall Street Journal looks at impacts and opportunities facing industry.

With the election rounding out, it is still a slow week in Washington.  The action starts today when the Center for a New American Security releases a report that offers suggestions on Energy to the next President, with speakers like Kevin Book, Elgie Holstein, and Bob McNally.  Other events include a couple of very good RFF Seminars (one with Stanford on NatGas and one on Carbon pricing with IMF) and AGA releases its Winter Outlook on Wednesday.  Also, EIA’s Adam Sieminski addresses the NatGas Roundtable tomorrow.  Finally, the Senate Energy Committee Heads to Hawaii for a field hearing on Wednesday…tough assignment there. I think all of you covering Senate Energy should go for the hearing!

BTW, our friend Zach Colman, who many of you know has returned from the ivy halls of a Harvard/MIT reporting fellowship has written his first major byline/cover story in this week’s Christian Science Monitor weekly magazine. It’s on an innovative water deal that the feds think could prove a model for contentious struggles over shrinking supplies in the drought-stricken West.  The story is housed in the new energy/enviro/climate vertical that he and others are starting at CSM, called Inhabit.  You can sign up for weekly updates here.  I already have signed up and encourage you to do it as well.

Finally, our Bracewell PRG colleague Dee Martin was named a finalist for the Professional Women in Advocacy Conference’s “Excellence in Advocacy” Awards, one of the top awards in Washington.  Dee is in the “Women Serving Women” category.  Other finalists include Dana Singiser of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Lyric Thompson of the International Center for Research on Women.  Winner will be announced November 10th.

On duty…Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The agreement is just the first step in a multistep process. Our industry is hard at work doing the research on the HFC alternatives that will be used in the world’s air conditioners, heat pumps, and refrigeration equipment, and getting that right is certainly as important as reaching agreement.”

Steve Yurek, head of the Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute from the UN HFC negotiations in Kigali after 200 Nations agreed to limit Question from Missouri voter Ken Bone, the second to last question in the debate

 

“Alongside nearly every country on Earth, have taken another historic step in carrying out that mission by cutting down on the use of damaging hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs.”

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on the Kigali agreement

 

“The plan provides financing to countries in need, so that new air conditioning and refrigeration technology can be available for their citizens. It shows that we can take action to protect our planet in a way that helps all countries improve the lives and livelihoods of their citizens.”

President Obama in a White House Statement on the HFC agreement.

 

IN THE NEWS

Countries Finalize Limits for HFCs – Leaders from nearly 200 nations approved an agreement in Kigali, Rwanda by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MP) to include hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants in the treaty’s purview. Acknowledging the success of the MP in phasing out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).

HVAC Industry Praises Deal – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) applauded the agreement and has long supported including HFCs in a global phasedown plan under the treaty.

“While the freeze dates and step down levels are ambitious, the HVACR industry is confident we can meet them and continue to provide quality, innovative, energy efficient products and equipment for the benefit of the world’s citizens,” said AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek, who attended the Kigali meeting.

“The agreement is just the first step in a multi-step process,” Yurek said.  “Our industry is hard at work doing the research on the HFC alternatives that will be used in the world’s air conditioners, heat pumps, and refrigeration equipment, and getting that right is certainly as important as reaching agreement.  Also very important are the education and training initiatives that will have to occur to ensure safe, efficient installation of the equipment that will contain these new refrigerants.  Some of this is already being undertaken by AHRI in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Program and other global organizations,” he added.

Groups All Worked Together – AHRI, U.S. government agencies, and energy efficiency advocacy groups have all worked diligently for many years to ensure a phasedown of these chemicals. In 2011, AHRI initiated a global refrigerant research program, known as the Low-Global Warming Potential Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (Low-GWP AREP), to identify the most promising HFC alternatives. After two phases of research, the most promising alternatives are currently classified as mildly flammable or flammable, so additional field research is being undertaken to determine their suitability in different applications. That research is being sponsored by AHRI, ASHRAE, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the state of California.

Deadline, Timetables – Here is aa chart of the deadline and percentages in the agreement:

  A5 Group 1 A5 Group 2 A2
Baseline 2020-2022 2024-2026 2011-2013
Formula Average HFC consumption Average HFC consumption Average HFC consumption
HCFC 65% baseline 65% baseline 15% baseline*
Freeze 2024 2028
1st step 2029 – 10% 2032 – 10% 2019 – 10%
2nd step 2035 – 30% 2037 – 20% 2024 – 40%
3rd step 2040 – 50% 2042 – 30% 2029 – 70%
4th step     2034 – 80%
Plateau 2045 – 80% 2047 – 85% 2036 – 85%

* For Belarus, Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan 25% HCFC component of baseline and different initial two steps (1) 5% reduction in 2020 and (2) 35% reduction in 2025.

 

Notes:

  1. Group 1: Article 5 parties not part of Group 2
  2. Group 2: GCC, India, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan
  3. Technology review in 2022 and every 5 years
  4. Technology review 4-5 years before 2028 to consider the compliance deferral of 2 years from the freeze of 2028 of Article 5 Group 2 to address growth in relevant sectors above certain threshold.

President Obama Praises Nations for Coming Together – President Obama hailed the deal in a statement on Saturday.  “Through the Montreal Protocol, a proven forum for solving environmental challenges like protecting the ozone layer, the world community has agreed to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs and avoid up to 0.5°C of warming by the end of the century – making a significant contribution towards achieving the goals we set in Paris. The plan provides financing to countries in need, so that new air conditioning and refrigeration technology can be available for their citizens. It shows that we can take action to protect our planet in a way that helps all countries improve the lives and livelihoods of their citizens.”

White House Fact Sheet: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/10/15/fact-sheet-nearly-200-countries-reach-global-deal-phase-down-potent

EPA Hails Climate Victory – EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy headed the US delegation and said in a blog post protecting the air we breathe and slowing the effects of climate change are a core part of EPA’s mission. McCarthy: “Alongside nearly every country on Earth, have taken another historic step in carrying out that mission by cutting down on the use of damaging hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs.

Countries, including the United States, have long used HFCs to meet their refrigeration and air conditioning needs. These greenhouse gases can have warming impacts hundreds to thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide. World leaders took a giant leap forward by agreeing to a global phase-down of these harmful gases.

Moniz Praise Deal on Twitter – Energy Secretary Moniz took to Twitter to praise the success, tweeting out the statement from the White House and adding “Another win for climate! This Montreal Protocol agreement will cut heat-trapping HFCs equivalent to 80 billion metric tons of CO2 thru 2050.”

SoCo Kemper Plant Producing Electricity – Southern’s Kemper coal plant in Mississippi has produced electricity from synthetic gas, a significant step toward the plant becoming fully operational, set for November 30th.  Kemper has hit a series of milestones in the past several months. These include producing synthetic gas from lignite coal. Mississippi Power has been testing the plant’s ability to produce electricity on syngas, natural gas or a combination of both, which is what happened this week.

EIA Says Carbon Emissions Down in 2016 – The Energy Information Administration said carbon dioxide emissions from energy use in the U.S. for the first half of 2016 were the lowest for that period since 1991.  The agency said three major factors contributed to the drop in emissions: Mild weather for the first six months of the year that drove down demand for heating fuels; a large decrease in coal use and a small decrease in natural gas use; and increased use of wind, solar and hydropower.

Coal Ash Recycling Topped 50% Last Year – The American Coal Ash Association released a new report that says more than 50% of all coal ash produced last year was recycled into concrete, roofing shingles and other products.  It marks the first time industry has recycled more than half of its output. According to ACAA’s “Production and Use Survey,” 61.1 million tons of coal combustion products were beneficially used in 2015 out of 117.3 million tons that were produced. Although the rate of ash utilization increased from 48% to 52%, the total volume of material produced and utilized declined. Coal ash production volume declined 10% from 2014 levels as coal’s share of the electricity generation mix shrank in response to environmental regulations and competition from other energy sources.

ClearPath Endorses Upton – ClearPath Action Fund is endorsing Rep. Fred Upton, the veteran Michigan Republican who has chaired the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee for the past six years. The House last year approved the Upton-sponsored North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act, which would help clean energy sources such as hydropower by streamlining onerous permitting to enable critical investments in our environment and the nation’s energy security. It also requires the Department of Energy to lay the groundwork for the next generation of nuclear technologies by planning a critical testbed for advanced reactors here in the U.S. Upton has backed bills aimed at supporting carbon capture and storage technologies. Michigan is a leader in carbon-capture research, from Western Michigan University to the University of Michigan, and Upton has helped secure funding for their efforts.

NAM Reports Outlines Infrastructure Reforms – The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), released a new report “Building to Win,” an ambitious, new initiative to revitalize our nation’s failing infrastructure.  Both major party presidential candidates have indicated their desire to address our infrastructure needs in 2017. As plans move forward, the NAM will work collaboratively to encourage the next president and lawmakers to address our most pressing infrastructure priorities and to ensure that investments not only strengthen manufacturing in the United States but also deliver world-class infrastructure for the American people. “Building to Win” identifies many of the most serious infrastructure challenges in America, offers solutions to our problems and provides a menu of possible funding options to consider to pay for the more than $1 trillion investment that is needed.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Next Admin Energy Policy – The Center for a New American Security holds a discussion this morning on Energy and the Next U.S. Presidential Administration. The event will coincide with the release of a CNAS report entitled, “Increasing Prosperity, Resource Stewardship, and National Security: An Energy Policy Strategy for the Next President,” part of the CNAS Papers for the Next President series. The report co-authors, David Goldwyn, Chairman of the Atlantic Council’s Energy Advisory Group, Robert McNally, a nonresident Senior Fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, and Elizabeth Rosenberg, Senior Fellow and Director of the Energy, Economics, and Security program at CNAS, will provide a short briefing on the report’s main findings.  Speakers on the following panel will also include ClearView Energy’s Kevin Book and former DOE chief of staff Elgie Holstein. Here is the Livestream.

Atlantic Council Looks at Arctic Chairmanship – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion at Noon looking at the US Arctic Council Chairmanship focusing on the US’s achievements and remaining priorities.  Ambassador Mark Brzezinski, the Executive Director of the US Government Arctic Executive Steering Committee, and State’s Melanie Nakagawa will speak.

Rogers Headlines New Energy Summit – The 2016 New Energy Summit will be held in Washington at the House of Sweden today and tomorrow in Washington, DC. The 4th annual event will cover such topics as tax equity, community solar, net metering, and more. This year’s event will also feature a roster of pioneers, innovators and industry champions including Jigar Shah – Co-Founder of Generate Capital, Jim Rogers – Former CEO of Duke Energy, and Reed Hundt – Co-Founder of Coalition for Green Capital.

CSIS to Host Fukushima Governor – The CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program will host Governor Masao Uchibori today to discuss the present situation of Fukushima Prefecture 2047 days after the Great East Japan Earthquake, as well as his efforts aimed at revitalization.  Governor Uchibori was elected as Governor of Fukushima in October 2014 and assumed office as Governor in November 2014. Uchibori’s mission is to ‘take back the Fukushima known for beauty and calm’. In accomplishing this mission, Governor Uchibori has visited all over the Prefecture and listened to the voices of the people of Fukushima to develop his bottom-up approach.

AMS to Hold Resilience Workshop – The American Meteorological Society holds a workshop tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. on “Opportunities and Needs in Integrated Water Prediction, Risk Assessment, and Management for Coastal Resilience,” focusing on the West Coast and Gulf Coast.

CAP to Look at Dams – The Center for American Progress holds a discussion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on assessing the condition of America’s dams and rivers.  He event features a panel discussion to highlight the progress that has already been made and explore the future of policymaking that aims to modernize the management of dam infrastructure, remove unneeded dams, and restore the health of American rivers.  Interior’s Mike Connor heads the panel moderated by our friend Annie Snider of POLITICO.

Roundtable Hosts EIA Director – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Adam Sieminski, administrator at the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon tomorrow at Noon.  Sieminski has served as administrator of EIA since June 4, 2012.

RFF-Stanford Hold Second NatGas Seminar – Resources for the Future Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Stanford Natural Gas Initiative will host a Webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the shale gas and oil wastewater disposal cycle.  This is the Second seminar in the series and will look at managing earthquake and other environmental risks.  At this webinar, experts at RFF and Stanford University will address some of these questions. RFF’s Yusuke Kuwayama will review the risks associated with shale gas and oil wastewater storage, the unknowns regarding these risks, and policy and technology options for addressing the risks. RFF’s Alan Krupnick will describe a new framework that could be used for making decisions about water and wastewater management options and infrastructure investments, while considering environmental impacts. Finally, Stanford’s Mark Zoback will focus on wastewater disposal via underground injection, discussing the aspects of shale gas and oil development that cause earthquakes and explaining the science behind recent earthquakes in Oklahoma.

House Energy to Look at Hawaii Water Issues – The full House Energy and Commerce Committee holds a field hearing tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. on opportunities for federal and non-federal partnerships in integrated water management and efforts to improve water security in Hawaii.

Wilson Book Forum Looks at 70s Gas Panic – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s (WWC) History and Public Policy Program holds a book discussion tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. looking at “Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s.”   MIT & Princeton expert and author Meg Jacobs shows how a succession of crises beginning with the 1973 Arab oil embargo prompted American politicians to seek energy independence, and how their failure to do so shaped the world we live in.

CIBO Meeting Set – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO) will hold its annual meeting on tomorrow and Wednesday in Woodstock, Vermont.  The meeting will consider the energy and environmental questions corporate and institutional CEO’s and Government legislative and regulatory leaders will be asking in the upcoming year as well as discuss the broader energy and environmental issues that could be impacting overall corporate operations and planning in the near term.

AGA Look at Winter Outlook – The American Gas Association (AGA) will host a media briefing on Wednesday to present expectations for peak month natural gas supply and demand as we move into the 2016-17 winter heating season. Experts from AGA will discuss the winter outlook for the natural gas market including market stability, natural gas bills for consumers, U.S. natural gas imports and exports, the global LNG market as well as energy efficiency and the benefits of the direct use of natural gas. An open question and answer session will follow the presentation.

World Energy Forum Set for NYC – More than 2,000 world leaders, corporate executives and trade delegates are expected to attend the World Energy Forum 2016 in New York City on Wednesday at  multiple venues including the U.N. and the Harvard Club of New York. Heads of state, government ministers and ambassadors from more than 150 countries will join corporate leaders, associations, academics, and financiers to discuss the roles of business and government in providing universal energy access – part of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The event will bring the areas of policy, technology, and finance together to enhance the global economy, create a sustainable future, and deliver the hopes and aspirations of all nations and peoples.

RFF to Look at Carbon Pricing – Resources of the future and International Monetary Fund will hold a seminar on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. that will provide perspectives on how to move carbon pricing forward at both domestic and international levels.  Many experts believe that carbon pricing can play a critical role in meeting these commitments, for advanced and developing countries alike. To move forward, however, governments need country-specific information on appropriate emissions price trajectories as well as the environmental, fiscal, distributional, and other impacts of emissions pricing. They also need a strategy to overcome practical obstacles, such as burdens on vulnerable groups.

This panel will include experts and representatives from international organizations, including the IMF’s Vitor Gaspar, former EIA head and current RFF CEO Richard Newell and Andrew Steer of the World Resources Institute.

Atlantic Council Looks at Power in Developing Countries – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on Friday at 9:00 a.m. looking at a new report, “Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries.” To achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a fundamental transformation of the energy sector toward more efficient, more urgency and ambition to shift to lower-carbon systems is needed. Electricity is the fastest growing energy subsector and developing countries are expected to account for the majority of global electricity demand growth over the next twenty-five years.  AC’s Ichord will lead an effort to address the challenges to creating a conducive environment for augmenting investment in sustainable energy.  The event is the launch Ichord’s strategy and a discussion with leading experts and policy makers, including State’s Melanie Nakagawa and WCEE veteran Branko Terzic.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Engineers Conference Set for OK –The 34th USAEE/IAEE Conference will be held in Tulsa, OK on October 23-26. So the U.S. Presidential election will be only two weeks away and the election will be followed by many months of transition, with uncertainty as who will be in charge of what; how policies, spending, and contracting might change; and what expectations for those already working in government agencies will be.  Seasoned policy experts from both sides of the political aisle will offer their perspective on what lies ahead after election day.  The full program can be found online here.

IEA to Release Investment Report at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host the release of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) inaugural World Energy Investment 2016 report on Tuesday October 25th.  The report looks at the level of investment in the global energy system in 2015 and will feature Laszlo Varro, Chief Economist at the IEA.  Varro leads the newly-created Economics and Investments Office, which aims to provide sound and consistent energy economics and methodological support for the Agency’s work. Varro also served as IEA Head of Gas, Coal and Power Markets.

ELI Annual Dinner Honors Paulson – The Environmental Law Institute will hold its annual dinner on Tuesday October 25th  where they will honor former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson at the Omni Shoreham.  As usual, the event will launch in the afternoon at 1:30 p.m. with the Business of Water forum.  ELI and an expert panel of business leaders, legal minds, academics, and nongovernmental advocates for an in-depth discussion about the law, policies, and private initiatives that will play important roles in the future of water resource governance.

Solar Insight Conference Set – GTM will host the U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference on October 25th and 26th at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, CA.  The event will provide industry thought leaders and insights into the U.S. solar industry.  NARUC’s Travis Kavulla will speak along with a number of others.

GW to Host Electricity System Forum – On October 27th, George Washington University Law School will convene top policy-makers and industry leaders for a one-day conference on the interface of state and federal initiatives addressing the way in which electricity in the U.S. will be produced, delivered and used in the future. The learning sessions will examine the work occurring in Minnesota, California and the Southeast and at FERC, NERC and U.S. DOE. Additional learning sessions will include remarks from a leading consumer advocate and a newer market entrant, plus a lunchtime presentation on grid architecture for the future grid. The facilitated discussion session, in which all are encouraged to participate, will address how federal, state, and local efforts complement or conflict, and seek ideas from the discussion panel and the audience for additional means for coordination across jurisdictions and regions.

Conference to Focus on Consumers, Cities – On November 1st and 2nd, The Energy Times 2nd annual Empowering Customers and Cities conference will be held in Chicago.  The conference we will feature Jeremy Rifkin, bestselling author of 20 books on science, technology and the economy, society and the environment. Rifkin will kick off our conference and lay out his entire vision for the coming global transformation and how it will transform electric power production and consumption.  Anne Pramaggiore, President and CEO of ComEd, will discuss ComEd’s vision of what its customers will want and need in coming years, and the steps they are taking to provide those services. Thomas Birr, Chief Strategy Officer of RWE, Germany’s second largest utility, will discuss what RWE is doing to become the utility of the future and the steps they are taking to secure the most innovative and potent technologies to help build a 21st century energy enterprise.

COP 22 Marrakesh – November 7-21

TransForum East Set for Nov – GenerationHub’s TransForum East is scheduled for November 15-16 at the Capital Hilton in DC. TransForum East brings together electric transmission executives who operate, plan, build, regulate and invest in electric power transmission systems in Eastern North America.

This regional forum provides two days of interaction and collaboration on the business of power transmission. You’ll gain insight from case studies of successful business models, regional planning strategies, financing trends and practical lessons learned from new construction and upgraded transmission projects occurring in the United States and Canada.

Energy Update: Week of July 5

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update: Week of May 11

Friends,

 

I know it is not Memorial Day yet, but in line with the switch to summer fuels, I am breaking out the linen pants and summer shirts anyway given the turn of the weather to “humid”.  I’ll leave it up to the debate as to whether it is because of climate change, but it does really expand the available wardrobe for me which is exciting.

 

I definitely didn’t need anything other than “RED” at the Caps game last night.  Despite the loss, the game was awesome.  I know my Ranger-fan readers are excited to get to a Game 7 and feel they have the momentum.  Tampa and Montreal are also headed for an extended series after the Bolts early 3-0 lead, while the Western Conference is already set with Anaheim and Chicago.  At the same time the Washington Wizards are still playing in NBA playoffs, along with Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta, Memphis, Houston, the Golden State Warriors and the LAClippers.  In fact, Washington and Chicago remain the only team still changing arenas from Hockey to Hoops on alternating days at Washington’s Verizon Center and Chicago’s United Center.  (Ice last night, court tonight)  Here’s a very cool video of the Verizon transition.

 

Speaking of exciting, the first rounds of the NCAA men’s and women’s Lacrosse Championships gave us some great games over the weekend as well.  The most exciting play occurred in the UAlbany-Cornell game when junior goalkeeper Blaze Riorden scooped up the ball in his crease and rumbled his 215-pound frame all the way to the Cornell goal, splitting defenders and burying a shot with just a few seconds left in the 3rd period.  I’m sure my son Adam, a good, young goalie in his own right, will be trying this next weekend.

 

The House returns this week after a short, district work period, while the Senate continues to roll on. Senate Energy begins its focus on energy infrastructure with a hearing on Thursday to go through nearly two dozen bills to improve the electric grid as well as bills to speed up or slow the approval of natural gas infrastructure. They will revisit other topics on May 19 and June 4, while energy efficiency was addressed recently.   In the House,  Energy & Commerce continues its energy abundance effort Wednesday focused on hydropower and the siting and natural gas pipelines siting.  Also Wednesday, BLM’s Neil Kornze heads to the Senate Approps panel on Interior and Environment and House Resources looks at CEQ’s recently-revised draft guidance for GHG emissions.  Finally on Friday, a House E&C panel will revisit nuclear waste policy issues featuring SoCo Nuclear CEO Stephen Kucynski.

 

Among the events off the Hill include an energy infrastructure forum hosted by ANGA Thursday, and NEI’s Nuclear Energy  Assembly running tomorrow through Thursday.   The industry-wide forum will discuss the technology’s future, hear from members of Congress and administration officials, and engage in policy discussions on environment, trade, market and other issues.

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

NOAA Study Hammers Ethanol Plants on Emissions – A new research study led by Joost de Gouw of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has concluded that ethanol refineries emit up to 30 times more air pollutants than originally thought. The pollutants – referred to as volatile organic compounds or VOC – are the principle culprits when ozone forms at ground level.  VOCs are not the only issue. Strikingly, the NOAA researchers found that when a refinery produced one kilogram of ethanol, 170 times more ethanol escapes into the air than burning the same amount in a car. When ethanol escapes into the air, it leads to the formation of acetaldehyde, a probable carcinogen and strong contributor to ground level ozone. The study is slated for publication soon in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

 

PA Study Says Sev Tax Will be Expensive – A new study released today by University Of Wyoming Professor Tim Considine for the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania says Gov.Wolf’s proposed natural gas severance tax would cause a cumulative production loss of $11.2 billion over the next 10 years.  Wolf is Pushing a 5% severance tax to replace the current impact fee imposed in 2012. The new governor’s plan also includes a fixed fee of 4.7 cents for every thousand feet of gas produced, and uses a price floor that API-PA projected “will increase the burden of the severance tax when natural gas prices are low, which are times when the industry is least capable of absorbing a cost increase.”

 

Southern’s Georgia Power Adds EVs – Georgia Power added 32 new electric vehicles (EVs) to the company’s fleet last week.  The new, Georgia Power-branded Chevy Volts will be highly visible in local communities from Savannah to Columbus to Rome and will be driven daily by Georgia Power employees as they serve customers.  The EVs will be used primarily by the company’s energy efficiency experts as they travel to conduct energy audits at homes and businesses, a service provided to help Georgia Power customers save money and energy.   In 2014, Georgia Power launched a new electric transportation initiative to advance Georgia as an exceptionally EV-friendly state through its Get Current. Drive Electric.™ program. The program currently includes an ongoing public education campaign, EV charger rebates for business and residential customers and special rates and charging options for EV customers.

Cove Point Gets Final DOE Approval – DOE gave final approval for Dominion’s Cove Point facility to export liquefied natural gas to nations that don’t have free trade pacts with the U.S., bringing the $3.8 billion terminal closer to fruition.  Of course, the enviros sued…again. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, applauded DOE’s decision saying it is another positive step forward.   Murkowski: “Our rising production of natural gas allows us to satisfy our own energy needs here at home, while helping our friends and allies around the world. This is also a chance to play a constructive role in the global energy market as a leader, not just an importer and consumer.”

 

Chamber Energy Institute Launches New Website – The Institute for 21st Century Energy has launched new website. The new site has several new features that you can use as a resource for energy facts, infographics, blog posts, studies and all things social media.  Sections include “The Latest” where you’ll find current articles, the Chamber energy blog, infographics, tweets, Facebook posts.  An “In the States” section that includes an energy profile and rankings of all 50 states and several different energy metrics, all in in a pdf format which can be printed and used as handouts.   An “Action Center” that houses all the Institute’s requests for comments and grassroots advocacy on key issues facing the energy industry.  A “Policy Center” is where you can find the 9 planks of Energy Works for US, the Chamber’s energy policy platform.  And finally the “Resource Center” where you can view analysis and activities on current energy issues like the Keystone XL pipeline and EPA regulations.

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

US, China Renewable Energy Industry Forum Set – ACORE will host the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industry Forum this week, convening private and public sector leaders from the U.S. and Chinese renewable energy industries on project financing and cross-border investment.

 

Forum to Look at LNG, GHG, Climate – The Center for Liquefied Natural Gas hosts a panel discussion today at 2:00 p.m. in the Capitol Visitors Center  focused on the regulatory implications of the Council on Environmental Quality’s revised guidance for federal agencies on greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change. Room 200.

 

Forum Looks at NatGas, Low Prices – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion today  at 3:00 p.m. on how low oil prices have impacted fracking and the shale boom in the United States and the potential for fracking to spread across the globe and succeed in Europe and countries like Mexico, Argentina, and China.  Panelists include Subash Chandra, Managing Director and Senior Equity Analyst at Guggenheim Partners, Dr. Terry Engelder, Professor of Geosciences at Penn State University, known as the “Father of Fracking”, and Russell Gold, Senior Energy Reporter at the Wall Street Journal and author of The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World. Cynthia Quarterman, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, will moderate the discussion.

 

Energy Efficiency Forum Set – The Walter Washington Convention Center in DC will host EE Global’s 2015 Energy Efficiency Global Forum this week to convene hundreds of energy efficiency influencers for two-days of unparalleled discussion and networking aimed at driving actionable plans for the next generation of energy efficiency.  EE Global hand selects high caliber industry professionals, academics and policy makers looking to exchange the latest technology and information forge partnerships and develop “best practices” policies and strategies for global implementation of energy efficiency.

 

Nuclear Energy Industry Leaders Connect in DC – Last week it was Rural co-ops, this week nuclear energy industry leaders will convene tomorrow through Thursday in the nation’s capital to discuss the technology’s future, hear from members of Congress and administration officials, and engage in policy discussions on environment, trade, market and other issues at the Nuclear Energy Institute’s annual conference, the Nuclear Energy Assembly.  The conference convenes as significant progress is being made in the construction of five reactors in the Southeast and nearly 70 reactors worldwide. Twenty-seven of the reactors are being built in China and South Korea, and the U.S. government is reauthorizing nuclear energy trade agreements with each.  The conference also occurs as the federal government grapples anew with nuclear waste management policies. The Obama administration recently unveiled plans to pursue disposal of high-level radioactive waste from U.S. defense programs separately from commercial used nuclear fuel, and Congress is showing interest in enacting new nuclear waste management legislation that could include provisions advancing consolidated interim storage of used uranium fuel in a willing host state.

 

CSIS to Look at Central Asia Issues – The CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program is holding a discussion tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. on U.S. Policy interests and recommendations in Central Asia. The project includes a series of reports on Central Asia in a Reconnecting Eurasia. The decision to initiate these activities with Central Asia stemmed from a concern that the drawdown of U.S. and allied troops from Afghanistan would augur declining U.S. interest. For U.S. policymakers, turning away from Central Asia now would be a serious miscalculation. The five states of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) are located at the heart of the Eurasian landmass, in close proximity to four of Washington’s biggest foreign policy challenges: Afghanistan/Pakistan, Iran, Russia, and China. For that reason alone, the United States has a strong interest in developing economic and security ties with the states of Central Asia, and doing so in a way that is no longer driven by the exigencies of the war in Afghanistan, but is responsive to the needs and interests of the region itself, as well as enduring U.S. interests.

 

Forum to Look at Costs of Divesture – The US Energy Association will hold a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to focus on a new study on fossil divesture issues.  As opponents of oil and gas development continue to urge colleges and universities to divest their endowments of fossil-fuel related stocks, a new study suggests the costs associated with adopting such policies are real and enormous. Authored by Professor Daniel R. Fischel, president of Compass Lexecon and a professor emeritus of law and business at the University of Chicago Law School, this first-of-its-kind report compares two investment portfolios over a 50-year period: one that included energy-related stocks, and another that did not.  Based on those models, Prof. Fischel and his team found the costs of divestment will result in the displacement of billions annually from school endowments that could be otherwise used to improve services, enhance academic programs, and provide support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, all while having no discernible effect on the companies actually being targeted by these divestment policies.

 

House Energy to Look at Hydro, Gas Pipelines – On Wednesday, the House Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold a hearing to continue the committee’s work on its Architecture of Abundance energy legislation with a review of Discussion Drafts Addressing Hydropower Regulatory Modernization and FERC Process Coordination under the Natural Gas Act.  As a clean, renewable source of electricity, hydropower is an essential component of an all-of the-above energy strategy and an important source of jobs. The draft legislation to be considered at next Wednesday’s hearing seeks to modernize and improve the hydropower licensing and relicensing process to make it more efficient and transparent, while also preserving environmental protections. The draft text also facilitates new hydropower development at non-powered dams, which would create thousands of new jobs and thousands of megawatts of clean, affordable power. The draft builds upon the discussion draft previously released by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) – the Hydropower Regulatory Modernization Act of 2015.  The subcommittee will also discuss draft legislation designed to expedite consideration of much-needed natural gas pipelines by reforming and modernizing the siting and review process. The draft text reinforces the role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as the lead agency for siting interstate natural gas pipelines and instructs FERC to coordinate with all other agencies involved and set reasonable timelines for review. The legislation also increases transparency and accountability in the review process. This draft builds upon legislation that was previously introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and passed the House earlier this year. Maine Gov. Paul LePage and our friend Don Santa of INGAA lead the testimony.  Others include FERC’s Ann Miles, PG&E’s Randy Livingston, NYPA’s John Suloway, and John Collins, managing director of business development at Cube Hydro Partners.

 

House Resources to Look at CEQ Draft GHG Guidance – The House Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday looking at the CEQ’s recently-revised draft guidance for GHG emissions and the effects of Climate Change.  Witnesses will include CEQ’s director Christy Goldfuss, former EPA official Roger Martella, John Christy at National Space Science and Technology Center at the University of Alabama-Huntsville and Ray Clark of Rivercrossing Strategies.

 

House Science to Look at Nuclear Energy Innovation, National Labs – A House Science Committee panel will convene a hearing Wednesday on energy innovation and the National Labs.  Witnesses will include Argonne’s Mark Peters, Frank Batten of the Landmark Foundation, General Fusion CEO Nathan Gilliland and General Atomics executive John Parmentola.

 

Forum to Look at Transportation Infrastructure – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) will host an Infrastructure Week briefing Wednesday in B318 Rayburn about how transit investments affect the nation’s competitiveness. The world’s economies are increasingly based on knowledge and information. High-tech, knowledge-based innovation districts are increasingly shaping the U.S. economy.   Speakers for this forum are Linda Watson of the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Austin, Texas and Joanna Turner, Executive Director of the National Association of Regional Councils.

 

SEIA to Address Treasury Grant Litigation – On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., SEIA will hold a webinar that will provide an update on Section 1603 Treasury grants litigation.  Section 1603 Treasury Grants were made available to solar and other renewable energy projects in lieu of tax credits by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.  Hunton’s Tim Jacobs and David Lowman, chair of SEIA’s Tax Committee will speak.

 

ANGA to Look at Energy Infrastructure – On Thursday morning, ANGA will hold a forum on the energy infrastructure.  Our nation’s pipeline infrastructure must be expanded and modernized—to power growth and economic opportunity in industrial/manufacturing corridors and bring the many benefits of clean, affordable, domestic energy to communities across our country.

 

Senate Energy To Start Energy Legislation Process – The Senate Energy Committee will convene a hearing to receive testimony on energy infrastructure legislation Thursday. The agenda includes 22 bills introduced by members on both sides of the aisle.

 

House Foreign Affairs to Look at Energy Revolution – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will hold a hearing on the energy revolution in the Western Hemisphere.  The hearing will look at opportunities and challenges for the U.S.   Witnesses will include our friend Kevin Book of Clearview Energy Partners and James Knapp, of the University of South Carolina.

 

Czech Trade/Industry Minister to Address Atlantic Council – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host Jan Mládek, the Czech Republic’s Minister of Industry and Trade. Mládek will deliver remarks on the state of Czech energy and economic affairs, with a particular focus on the newly announced European Energy Union and the future of nuclear energy in the Czech Republic.  He will also discuss how the Czech Republic’s economy and energy security have been impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.  Minister Mládek’s address will also be followed by a moderated discussion with David Koranyi, Director of the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative at the Atlantic Council. The Hon. Richard L. Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will provide welcome remarks

 

FERC’s LaFleur to Address Energy Breakfast – On Friday, May 15th at 8:00 a.m. at the National Press Club, ICF International holds another Energy and Environment Breakfast that hosts former FERC Chair and current commissioner Cheryl LaFleur.  She will discuss FERC’s agenda—one of the key fulcrums of the energy universe today.

 

House Energy to Look at Nuclear Waste Policy – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing Friday at 9:00 a.m. to update on the current Status of nuclear waste management policy.  Our friend Stephen Kucynski, chairman and CEO of Southern Nuclear will be testifying.  Other include Andrew Fitz, senior counsel for the Office of the Attorney General in the state of Washington; Josephine Piccone, director of the Yucca Mountain Directorate at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and Greg White, chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission and chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues-Waste Disposal.

 

Chamber Hosts Innovation Day – The US Chamber of Commerce, 1776 and Free Enterprise will hold Innovation Economy Day on Friday at 10:00 a.m.   Innovation Economy Day brings together entrepreneurs, policymakers, corporate leaders, and industry experts from domestically and abroad to discuss major themes about innovation in highly entrenched industries and approaches and solutions that can be applied across sectors.  The Foundation, Free Enterprise and 1776 will also release a first-of-its-kind study on the state of civic innovation in eight leading American cities. The results provide a roadmap for how cities can catalyze entrepreneurial innovation in the civic sector. Over the last six months, representatives from 1776 and the U.S. Chamber traveled the country to hear firsthand what is working and what is not as cities build healthy and vibrant start-up communities in key civic sectors, such as education, energy & sustainability, health and cities. The report also evaluates how cities can empower startups to work with established corporations and government agencies to foster growth.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Production Issues – On Friday, May 15th at Noon, the Cato Institute will hold a forum on energy production and natgas. Since 2008, oil production has more than doubled and natural gas production is up about 24 percent, according to the Energy Information Agency. Advances in technology have driven this remarkable achievement. Three major techniques that have revolutionized both onshore and offshore oil and gas production are directional drilling, horizontal drilling, and hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” In addition, offshore drilling in a record 10,500 feet of water — and then through thousands of feet of sediment below the seafloor — has been made possible by radical new advances in offshore platform technology tied in with global positioning software. These advances in technology have required considerable capital investment that would have been less likely in a nation constrained by a cap-and-trade or carbon-tax system.  The forum will look at recent successes in energy production and their implications for public policy and features Ned Mamula, Petroleum Geologist, formerly with the U.S. Geological Survey, Minerals Management Service, and the Central Intelligence Agency.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Driving Energy Efficiency With IT – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a morning forum on Monday, May 18th that will brings together state, city and business leaders to explore implementing EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan through energy efficiency, and how information technologies can help, in the second of a three-part clean power series. Speakers include PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo; Jessica Burdette, Minnesota Department of Commerce Conservation Improvement Program Supervisor; Alyssa Caddle, Principle Program Manager of EMC’s Office of Sustainability; Rick Counihan, Nest Head of Energy Regulatory and Government Affairs; Katherine Gajewski, City of Philadelphia’s Director of Sustainability; Steve Harper, Intel Corporation Global Director of Environment and Energy Policy; and Nate Hurst, HP Global Director of Sustainability and Social Innovation.

 

Brookings to Highlight IMF Energy Subsidies Study – Next Monday morning, Brookings will host Vitor Gaspar, director of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, to present the key findings of a new IMF study that provides a comprehensive, updated picture of energy subsidies at the global and regional levels. First, energy subsidies are dramatically higher than previously estimated, and projected to remain high despite the sharp decline in international energy prices. Second, the vast majority of energy subsidies reflect domestic externalities, so countries should move ahead with energy subsidy reform unilaterally in their own interests. Third, the potential fiscal, environmental and welfare impacts of energy subsidy reform are substantial. A panel discussion will follow and include a question and answer session with the audience.

 

Forum to Look at Nuclear – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) will hold a Capitol Hill briefing next Monday at Noon in B-339 Rayburn on the role of nuclear power in  Energy  Reliability.  Speakers will include Exelon’s David Brown  and Andrew Paterson of the Environmental Business International.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Latin, Caribbean Energy Issues – Next Monday, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Brown Bag luncheon at Louis Berger focused on energy issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.  The Inter-American Development Bank experts Natacha Marzolf and Gerard Alleng will speak.  Marzoff will provide an overview of the current energy situation, policy challenges and country risks in Latin America and the Caribbean, while Alleng discusses the potential hazards threatening Trinidad & Tobago due to climate change and the economic costs and benefits of mitigation.

 

Senate Energy Continues Energy Hearings – On Tuesday, May 19th at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold another  hearing to receive testimony on energy supply legislation.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Caribbean, Latin Energy – Next Tuesday, May 19th at 11:30 a.m., the Wilson Center for Scholars will hold a forum on the importance of the energy sector in Latin America and the Caribbean.   The region contains some of the largest proven oil reserves in the world along with significant reserves of natural gas. Moreover, approximately half of U.S. energy imports flow from the Western Hemisphere. As the United States increases its own energy production simultaneously with engagement in the region, many countries continue to face infrastructure and governance deficits that hamper production.  Energy experts will explore the US role and impacts in the 7th event in the Wilson Center’s Regional and Global Energy Series.  Keynotes will be from former White House Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Chevron President for Africa and Latin America Ali Moshiri.  Other speakers will include former State Department official David Goldwyn and UT-Austin Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program Director Jorge R. Piñon.

 

Forum to Look at Oil Price Balance – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday May 20th to Look at recent oil market developments and what to expect going forward.  10 months into the oil price collapse and despite the recent price rebound, companies of all sizes continue to adjust to the new economic, financial, and geopolitical realities. In the United States, the largest source of incremental oil supply growth globally over the past several years, output has remained remarkably resilient. That said, evidence of a slowdown continues, though the impact is likely to be uneven.  Featured discussions will examine and interpret these developments, and discuss the implications for oil markets going forward.  Speakers will include Michelle Foss of the University of Texas’ Bureau of  Economic Geology’s Center for Energy Economics, Robert Kleinberg of the Schlumberger-Doll Research Center and former Vice Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange Albert Helmig, now CEO of Grey House.

 

USEA to Look at EIA Outlook – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Thursday, May 21st at 10:00 a.m. to look at the “Annual Energy Outlook 2015,” prepared by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, presents long-term annual projections of energy supply, demand, and prices through 2040. The projections, focused on U.S. energy markets, are based on results from EIA’s National Energy Modeling System. NEMS enables EIA to make projections under alternative, internally-consistent sets of assumptions, the results of which are presented as cases. The analysis in AEO2015 focuses on six cases: Reference case, Low and High Economic Growth cases, Low and High Oil Price cases, and High Oil and Gas Resource case.  EIA’s Paul Holtberg, Team Leader of EIA’s Analysis Integration Team, will speak.

 

Demand Response Forum Set – The National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid will be held on May 26 through 28th in Washington, DC.  The event in the US focused on the business and policy aspects of demand response and its enabling technologies and applications. It is unique in that it devotes an entire day to roundtable discussions featuring experts in demand response and smart grid, who discuss with each other and with the audience the latest trends, issues, and business developments. The National Town Meeting also features panel discussions, case studies, and presentations of best practices. Another hallmark is attendee engagement, whether through Q&A sessions with top business leaders and policymakers, through formal electronic voting, or through the National Town Meeting’s reception and other networking sessions.

 

RFF to Host Seminar on Creative Conservation – Resources for the Future will Hold a seminar on May 27th at 12:45 p.m. for an expert discussion of creativity, innovation, technology, and natural resources. Ruth DeFries, the Denning Family Chair in Sustainable Development in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University and a 2007 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant” award, will discuss key themes in her new book, The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis. A panel of experts in geography, conservation science, and economics will consider the advantages and limits of innovation in using and conserving natural resources.

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 – 16th in Washington, DC.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.

 

Peter W. Davidson, the Executive Director of the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to give Special Luncheon Address at Infocast’s 6th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit, June 17-18th in New York. Leading offshore wind players will discuss the unique value of offshore wind, the latest financial innovations, public/private partnerships, and technological advances being developed to reduce development time and cost and maximize ROI of offshore wind power projects in North America.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

 

Energy Update Week of July 28

Friends,

It was great to catch the final early morning coverage of le Tour de France for this year’s race, won by Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali.  He dominated from stage 3 to win going away.  The completion of the most grueling event in sports will be minor though compared to the marathon of events focused on EPA’s new GHG rules this week.

It all started this morning with a press call with EPA Administrator McCarthy and continues over the next four days.  Industry, labor unions, environmental groups and activists will all be adding their 50-cents to the debate.  Again, I cannot wait to see the inflatables and stroller brigades…  If you want pomp and circumstance, tune into the enviro’s calls (do you really need to sit on an hour-long  press call to find out what NRDC thinks about the GHG plan, I mean they wrote it).  If you want to get to the heart of the matter, the substance of the policy, you know who to call…  We will be fully deployed with Segal in Atlanta, Josh Zive in Denver, Holmstead and I manning the streets of DC and ERCC researcher Chris Burk heading to Steel City.  The testimonies will be posted here.  I can also send if you prefer that.

In addition to the showcase of the public hearings, Congress will respond with several hearings of its own regarding the GHG plan for existing plants.  House Energy, Senate Environment, Senate Budget and House Science will all address the issue, with House Energy hearing from all five FERC Commissioners (or would-be Commissioner as Norman Bay has not yet been sworn in.)   Here is the testimony.  The hearing will shine a bright spotlight on a number of the Commissioners’ disparate views on crucial electricity reliability issues and the Administration’s Clean Power Plan and will likely be much more intriguing than the public parade down at EPA HQ.  Look for Commissioners, particularly Tony Clark and Phil Moeller, to focus on the lack of significant interagency coordination on reliability in the run-up to the proposal of the EPA rule.  Look also for them to cover in detail the challenges faces by state and federal energy regulators and by the RTO’s in implementing the rule without significant threats to reliability.  Our crack research team has been through the testimony and has some gems if you are interested.  You can reach Scott Segal at 202-828-5845

Speaking of EPA on other issues, following last week’s very public, White House-driven news cycle stories about the 2014 RFS numbers, we learned that the proposal is headed for interagency review soon, with release expected in either August or September.   Last week, a number of key Midwestern Democratic Senators were briefed by White House CoS John Podesta (why he was doing it and not EPA who knows??).  Regardless, one of the attendees, Sen. Al Franken was happy to talk about it with our friend Erica Martinson at POLITICO, who was fresh off a visit to Iowa.   There are obviously a lot of political impacts at play here and our men in the corn fields (Segal, Washburn, et. al) are ready to help with tips, background and resources.  Something to stay on top of during August for all of us.

With the VA compromise on the table, Congress is likely to wrap up the only other necessary work before the August recess: an agreement on the Highway Trust Fund.  Looks like a temporary deal will win the day over not having anything.  Highway funding is just too important.   Also, don’t forget the 17th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum on Thursday in the Cannon Building on Capitol Hill.

Finally, our friend Dina Cappiello of AP has a good piece on coal exports that is worth a read as it discusses the global flaws in dealing with emissions country-by-country among many other things…  Lots of action and lots of questions?  We can help.  Please feel free to call.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

RFS Coming Soon – White House advisor John Podesta met with a number of Midwestern Democratic Senators late last week to tell them EPA’s final rule outlining 2014 volumes for renewable fuels mandates will be announced soon.  Some might suggest that meeting might be helpful for key candidates running in the fall mid-term elections as they head back home for the August work period.  The final volume mandates were due last in November, but EPA has been unable to finalize the standards.  The draft caused a ruckus among the opponents/proponents of the heavily-debated, controversial provisions.   The initial proposed volumes dropped the amount of ethanol required to be blended into gasoline under the RFS for the first time.  Senators attending the meeting included Sens. Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Harkin, Patty Murray, Dick Durbin, Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp.  And one other interested party seems to be Iowa Sen Candidate Bruce Braley.  My colleagues Eric Washburn (202-412-5211)and Scott Segal (202-828-5845) can cut through the rhetoric.

Boiler Rules Must Move Forward – A Court ruling on Friday said EPA must begin a long-stalled process to set limits on emissions released by industrial boilers.  The ruling addressed a 2006 order which required the EPA to implement standards under the Clean Air Act to cover sources responsible for producing 90% of emissions of polychlorinated biphenyls, hexachlorobenzene and polycyclic organic matter.  The Council of Industrial Boiler Operators Bob Bessette or my colleague Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718) can help if you need additional information.

Industry Groups Urge Comment Period Extension, Restarting Rule – The Partnership for a Better Energy Future sent to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy a letter last week identifying five high-level concerns with the proposed carbon standards for existing power plants.   The areas include electricity prices/economic impacts, rule structure/scope, technological achievability, additional regulations and the process/timeline.  The letter says it is clear that the rule will be disruptive to and is fundamentally incompatible with numerous practical and technical aspects of America’s electricity system. It adds that it is based on a flawed interpretation of the Clean Air Act.  Finally, the letter urges additional hearings and an extension of the 120-day comment period.   I can send the letter If you haven’t seen it.

New Study Confirms Shale Emissions Profile – A new Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study says natural gas derived from shale has about half the greenhouse gas output of coal.  The study matches claims in the gas/coal debate and runs counter to work by anti-natgas academic Robert Howarth of Cornell, who has said shale is much worse for the climate than conventional gas.   The lead author is Garvin Heath of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Op-Ed: PA Health Sect Addresses Health Claims Regarding Shale – PA Health Secretary Michael Wolf took to the Harrisburg Patriot-News  recently to address Marcellus Shale-related health questions raised by some opponents of drilling.  Wolf says the state Health Department has protocols for all public health inquiries and concerns that employees must follow and praised the Department’s team for taking on the challenging task of providing information and a forum for discourse on public health issues related to shale development.   Wolf said they are carrying out related monitoring activities under Act 13 of 2012, working with other state resources and public health stakeholders across the state to better understand the potential effects of Marcellus Shale drilling.  He cited a Marcellus Shale health outcomes study from Geisinger Health System’s Research Institute, which is a large-scale, detailed look at health histories of hundreds of thousands of patients who live near natural gas wells and facilities, as well as work with schools of public health in Pennsylvania to further understand and study the potential health impacts of drilling.

NYT Looks at Carbon Capture, Storage – Not to be outdone by his colleagues Cliff Krauss, Coral Davenport and Mike Wines who in the last week have been covering lots on the environment , the NY Times’ Henry Fountain pours out a quality piece on carbon capture, its technical challenges and it role in the coal industry of the future.  The story feature both the large-scale Kemper County project expected to launch operations next year and the smaller Saskatchewan’s Boulder Dam project.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

EPA Public Meetings Set – EPA will hold public meetings in Atlanta, Denver, Washington and Pittsburgh.  The Atlanta, Denver and DC meetings will be tomorrow and Wednesday, running both days.  The Pittsburgh meeting will be Thursday and Friday.

Heritage Looks at EPA Rule – Late this morning, the Heritage Foundation held a forum on EPA and regulation, focusing on the climate realities and fallacies, the EPA’s war on coal, and efforts to stop the EPA’s unchecked climate change regulation. Leading off the discussion was an address by PA Rep. Mike Kelly and a panel discussion with CEI’s William Yeatman and Heritage’s David Kreutzer.

Chamber to Look at Transportation Sector, Data – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold a forum today at Noon 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 tomorrow 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.

Nuclear Status Report Released – The Heinrich Böll Foundation will hold a press briefing tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. on the new World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2014. There will also be a lunch open to all at Noon.  Plummeting natural gas prices, sovereign debt crisis, increasing costs and improved economic conditions for renewable energy sources have created a challenging global environment for nuclear power. Contrary to the widespread perception – that we are seeing a global renaissance in nuclear power – this industry is actually in decline. The report provides a vital reality check to the current situation of the global nuclear industry as well as identifying important global nuclear trends, in particular with its renewable energy competitors. This year’s report features an in-depth reassessment of the nuclear power sector in Japan post-Fukushima: all of the Japanese reactors are currently shut down, dramatically reducing the number of operating reactors in the world. Time to adjust world nuclear statistics to industrial reality. Mycle Schneider, lead author of the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report, is a member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM), based at Princeton University, and a laureate of the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”. He is the Coordinator of the Seoul International Energy Advisory Council (SIEAC). He has advised the French Environment Minister, the Belgian Minister for Energy and Sustainable Development as well as the German Environment Ministry, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and others. Mycle has given evidence or held briefings at parliaments in 14 countries and given lectures at twenty universities and engineering schools in ten countries. He is a frequent speaker at renowned international energy events.

FERC Commissioners to Testify on GHG Rule – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. featuring FERC Commissioners and their perspectives on questions about EPA’s proposed clean power plan and other grid reliability challenges.  All five FERC Commissioners will testify despite that new Commissioner Norman Bay has not been sworn in yet.

Senate Budget Looks at Climate Economic Impacts – The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on the economic and budget impacts of climate change.  Witnesses will include Mindy Lubber of Ceres, GAO’s Alfredo Gomez, CNA Military Advisory Board Executive Director and former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security) Sherri Goodman, NERA’s David Montgomery and climate gadfly Bjorn Lomborg.

Senate Commerce Panel to Look at Gulf Restoration – The Senate Committee on Commerce’s panel on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. on the progress and challenges in Gulf Restoration post-Deepwater Horizon. The hearing continues the Committee’s oversight of restoration efforts following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The hearing will seek to assess the ongoing implementation of the 2012 RESTORE Act, and will also touch upon implementation of the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, building upon the Committee’s June 2013 hearing, “Gulf Restoration: A Progress Report Three Years After the Deepwater Horizon Disaster.”  Witnesses from the Department of Commerce, Gulf states, and other stakeholders will testify on both the progress made and the challenges faced in Gulf Coast restoration over the last year.

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 tomorrow.   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 –Tomorrow 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.

Senate Enviro Panel to Look at Climate Threats – The Senate Environment panel on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. examining the threats posed by climate change.  Witnesses will include Carl Hedde of Munich Reinsurance, Broward Co Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, Bill Mook of the Mook Sea Farm, Bjorn Lomborg and Ray Keating of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Senate Energy to Look at Energy Development on Public Lands – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to examine breaking the logjam at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), focusing on ways to more efficiently process permits for energy production on Federal lands, and understanding the obstacles in permitting more energy projects on Federal lands, including S.279, the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act of 2013, to promote the development of renewable energy on public land, and S.2440, the BLM Permit Processing Improvement Act of 2014, to expand and extend the program to improve permit coordination by the Bureau of Land Management.

House Science to Look at GHG Rule – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. the House Science Committee will hold a hearing on the legal foundation for EPA’s carbon plan.  Witnesses will include Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead, former DOE fossil office head for President Obama Charles McConnell (now at Rice University) and Mass DEQ Commissioner David Cash.

EPA’s Perciasepe to Go to House Small Biz – On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., the House Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing on whether EPA is meeting its small business obligations.  The purpose of the hearing is to examine EPA’s  compliance with renewable fuels law in relation to the agency’s recent rule makings.  EPA’s Bob Perciasepe will testify.

Annual Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 17th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum  will be held Thursday 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.

FUTURE EVENTS

USEA to Look at Carbon Scrubbing – The United States Energy Association will hold a forum on Tuesday August 5th at 2:00 p.m. looking at technology options for scrubbing carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere.  The forum will feature a discussion of the technical and economic hurdles that need to be overcome,  Dr. Klaus Lackner will consider the policy implications of air capture in the current climate change debate. Capture of carbon dioxide from ambient air renders emissions from any source reversible and it defines the cost of unauthorized emissions.  Rather than dwelling on the possibility that air capture could motivate a delay in action, the presentation will focus on the ability of air capture to create negative emissions, which the recent IPCC report considers necessary.  Finally, Dr. Lackner will outline different pathways for development and implementation of air capture technologies.

DOE to Host Webinar on “National Energy Literacy” – Next Tuesday, August 5th at 3:00 p.m., the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy respectfully invites you to join a virtual town hall featuring ongoing national, local and new media efforts from across the country in utilizing the Department of Energy’s Energy Literacy Framework to address one of our nations’ biggest national challenges, “Energy Illiteracy. The purpose of the webinar is to share ongoing energy educational materials and literacy efforts from across the country and how to engage diverse learners in energy. The webinar will include rapid fire sessions to showcase energy literacy efforts and resources for teachers and STEM professionals.

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.

Giuliani, Segal Headline Shale Law Conference – The Institute for Energy Law and the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF) the 5th Law of Shale Plays Conference on September 4 – 5th in Pittsburgh at the Omni Hotel.  My colleagues Jason Hutt and Lowell Rothschild are among the speakers.  The event will also feature a keynote conversation with former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, hosted by PRG’s Scott Segal.  Other speakers include Cabot’s Kevin Cunningham, Baker Hughes’ Will Marsh and SW Energy’s Mark Boling.

Richardson, Perino, Ridge to Headline Shale Insight Conference – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold SHALE INSIGHT 2014 on September 23 – 25 in Pittsburgh focusing on shale development, featuring some of the most prominent industry and government leaders. The event will feature three days of pre-conference workshops, technical and public affairs insight sessions, major keynote addresses, and a dynamic exhibit hall featuring all the major shale players.  Speakers will include former Energy Secretary and NM Governor Bill Richardson, former PA Gov and first Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former White House Press Secretary and Fox News Personality Dana Perino, XTO President Randy Cleveland and many more.

Energy Update Week of July 7

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call if you have questions

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

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

NARUC Summer Meetings Set – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Summer Committee Meetings, one of three conferences NARUC holds each year, will take place at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas, from July 13-16. The meeting will feature discussions on the top regulatory challenges across all utility sectors—water, electricity, natural gas, and telecommunications. Panels will tackle the latest developments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark greenhouse gas-emissions proposals, Liquefied Natural Gas exports, Internet neutrality and the transition from traditional telephone service to IP-based networks.  Featured speakers include Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur, FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, Federal Communications Commission Member Mignon Clyburn, Environmental Protection Agency Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Janet McCabe, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Administrator Cynthia Quarterman, Duke Energy President, CEO Lynn Good, Luminant CEO Mark McFarland, and many more.

EIA Energy Conference to Feature Upton – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will hold its 2014 EIA Energy Conference on July 14th and 15th.  The EIA Energy Conference has become a premier forum for addressing energy issues in the United States and around the world. This event will bring together thought leaders from industry, government, and academia to discuss current and future challenges facing domestic and international energy markets and policymakers. The conference will feature keynote speakers including House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton, IEA Director Maria van der Hoeven and IHS Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin, among many others.

EPA to Host Clif Bar, Steelcase to Discuss Supply Chain Sustainability – EPA’s Green Power Partnership (GPP) will host a webinar on July 15th  at 1:00 p.m. on supply chain sustainability and green power use.  The session will focus on supply chain sustainability efforts, including ways to engage suppliers to use green power. Carbon management within the supply chain is becoming essential to an organization’s overall carbon reduction strategy, and encouraging suppliers to use green power for their own operations can lead to impressive results. For companies and organizations looking to take the next step in their green power strategies, supply chain engagement can be an excellent way to achieve substantial environmental benefits.  This webinar will feature EPA Green Power Partners Clif Bar & Company and Steelcase.  Speakers include EPA’s Mollie Lemon, Clif Bar’s Elysa Hammond and Steelcase’s John DeAngelis.  You also may recall our friend Keely Wachs who formally worked with us at Brightsource Energy worked at Clif Bar.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil – The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center will host a discussion on Wednesday July 16th on Latin American energy and the future of Petrocaribe. The huge Venezuelan oil subsidy enters its 10th year, and continues to provide Caracas with political support from its closest neighbors – but at what cost to the region? Given Venezuela’s economic demise, will Petrocaribe continue delivering into the future?  Now is the moment to examine energy alternatives for the Caribbean and Central America.  This event will launch the Atlantic Council’s new report, “Uncertain Energy: The Caribbean’s Gamble with Venezuela,” authored by Arsht Center Senior Nonresident Energy Fellow David L. Goldwyn and his associate, Cory R. Gill.

WCEE To Discuss Electricity Market Status – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a Brown-bag Luncheon on Wednesday July 16th at Noon focused on electricity markets.  The brown bag discussion will highlight the different perspectives on the constantly evolving wholesale electricity markets and the challenges that face market participants when the perceptions of what is “right” and “wrong” behavior change.  The discussion will cover what market operators tend to expect from market participants related to compliance with the market’s rules, interacting with market monitors, transparency in FERC’s Enforcement philosophy and processes, the role of trading companies in the wholesale power markets and the impact of unclear market rules and enforcement procedures on infrastructure investment and market participation.  Speakers will be Vince Duane, Vice President and General Counsel of PJM Interconnection and Kevin Gates of the Powhatan Energy Fund.

McCabe to Address ICF Energy Breakfast – ICF hosts its July Energy Breakfast on Thursday July 17th at the National Press Club featuring EPA Air Administrator Janet McCabe.  McCabe will discuss EPA’s newly released Existing Source Performance Standards (ESPS) regulations for power plants.  The discussion will focus on how the regulations affect states, regions, companies and customers as well as are the benefits worth the costs.

Forum to Look at SCOTUS Decisions on Air Rules – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) and Air and Waste Management Assn (AWMA) will hold a forum on Thursday, July 17th to look at an industry view of recent Supreme Court Decisions on Air Rules.  The forum will look at the Supreme Court decisions on the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and the GHG PSD Rule.  CSAPR applies to air emissions from electric generation facilities that EPA determined has impact across state lines; the GHG PSD rule applies to all industry and if upheld, EPA can lower the trigger threshold to cover more facilities. EPA’s exercise of authority for both rules are likely to have broader implications for industry for other air pollution issues.   Roger Martella, former General Counsel of EPA and partner at Sidley Austin LLP, and Linda Kelly, Vice President and General Counsel for the National Association of Manufacturers, will share their views on the Supreme Court decisions and the implications for industry. Clara Maria Poffenberger will serve as moderator.

Group to Host Forum, Social – The Leaders in Energy and the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) will co-hosted professional networking Happy Hour on Thursday July 17th at 6:00 p.m. at the Bier Baron Tavern with a focus on new economic and energy paradigms.  The event will focus on steady state economics questioning how consumption and economic growth impact essential ecosystems and ecological limits and feature noted author and founder of CASSE, Dr. Brian Czech.  How sustainable are current economic policies which promote economic growth and consumption? Reports indicate that we currently consume the equivalent of 1.5 planets and, at current rates, this will increase to 2 planets by 2030.  The problem is…we only have one planet.   Some visionaries are calling for a new paradigm designated as  “Steady State Economics” that will promote policies and mechanisms for an economy that thrives within ecological bounds and is more equitable for all.  In his book, “Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution,” Dr. Brian Czech marries economics, biology, and political science in a brilliant account of why we need to rethink growth.

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update Week of June 23

Friends,

The Supreme Court ruled today on EPA’s tailoring rule. Our experts (Scott Segal, Jeff Holmstead and others) are digging into the details. They say that it is a mixed bag but clearly narrows the initial Mass v. EPA decision. Please call them directly for more. As well, Scott will be a guest on the Diane Rehm show tomorrow on this topic.

Well, I had a whole different beginning already thought out and half written to this introduction yesterday until that Ronaldo cross in the 94th minute.  OMG, I can’t even believe what happened and I don’t even really like watching soccer.  That game was crazy and its just too bad the US let it slip away.  In lacrosse, the kids have a saying for just dumping the ball all the way to the other end of the field: a “Gilman” clear.  In the 93rd and 94th minutes, we were just yelling “Gilman” at the TV…  Unfortunately, our voices didn’t make it all the way to the Rain Forest.  Oh well…only makes Thursday match with Germany that much more important.  The conspiracy theorists are already out saying the Germans will throw a bone to their former star player Jurgen Klinsmann.  I doubt it as there is too much pride at stake.  The US will have to earn anything they get.

Well in my world I was handling three lax tourneys for three kids while the wife was at the Firefly Festival for four days, sending audio clips, front-of-stage video and pics of the Foo Fighters, Third-Eye Blind, Weezer, Beck, Imagine Dragons and many more.  It looked to be an awesome show, although I could really tell because it is illegal to text and drive…(and I never slice).   This is a Call for any Jumpers or Graduates to tell me I’m a Loser because I don’t know Where it’s At.   You are My Hero.  Please Say it Ain’t So, but it seemed like my weekend was Everlong. I guess I should have told her How’s It Is Going to Be rather than let her just live her Semi-Charmed Life.  And you may have missed it, but Styx and Foreigner were at Jiffy Lube Live on Friday and rumor is that while looking old, they still had all their hair and rocked.

I’m in Pittsburgh today and tomorrow at the SEJ Shale reporting conference, an event for journalists that will cover the ins and outs of natgas drilling and production.  We do a facilities tour tomorrow in Washington County, PA with our friends at EQT.

On Capitol Hill, the second round of Climate discussions continues after last week’s hearings, while tomorrow, House Resources returns to its energy jobs agenda featuring Lackawanna College President Mark Volk and other educators talking about job training and programs to develop the next skilled energy workforce.

The week really started yesterday with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy selling the US Mayors on the GHG plan in Dallas.  There is word of a mixed reception to her approach despite some of the media coverage to the contrary.

Finally, it is hard to believe that we are running up to the week of July 4th, but it is next week… We likely won’t have an update as I will be on the go, chasing my daughter Hannah (who was named a Brine High School Lacrosse All-American and will playing in a 3-day national tournament) in Germantown.  It sounds really fun for her, but not so much for me who will have to run her back and forth between Germantown, DC, and Annapolis.   We will be working hard this week so call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

McCarthy, Scalise Move Up in House Leadership Ranks – After the fallout over Eric Cantor’s primary loss and leadership resignation, House Republicans voted on one ballot to make California Rep. Kevin McCarthy House Majority Leader and Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise the House’s chief vote counters as Majority Whip.  Our friends at Fuel Fix and Politico said winners over the elevation include Fred Upton, the GOP Energy agenda and refiners like Valero, Chevron and Shell.

GHG Rule Hits Fed Register – The EPA Rule on existing Power plants hit the Federal Register on Friday.  The comment period is up and running so send in those remarks.

Bloomberg News: Legal Questions On GHG Rule – Our friend Mark Drajem has a good story from Thursday that says within EPA’s rule is a second rule that may provide a crucial legal backstop to the plan in case the first rule for new power plants is struck down.  Many experts think the first rule for new power plants is in serious jeopardy because of the CCS provisions.  So, in case the rule is overturned, EPA’s proposed rule to cut the carbon from existing power plants was accompanied by a second, little-noticed rule that sets standards for power plants that are modified or reconstructed. While the standards for those plants can be met with little effort at coal or natural-gas units, the rule may provide a secondary legal girding for the more wide-reaching existing-plant plan.

Committee Hammer CSB – The House Oversight Committee unloaded on the Chemical Safety Board late last week, where new evidence of management failures within CBS was outlined by a Committee report.  Responsible for investigating accidents, the Board’s effectiveness has languished and its accident investigations, which are supposed to be completed within a timely manner, are behind schedule.  The Board has also been the target of an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity last year. While the board’s investigation into the 2010 Tesoro Corp. refinery fire in Anacortes, Wash., that killed seven workers was completed just last month, more than four years after the accident. Its Deepwater Horizon report, released June 5, also was four years in the making.  At the hearing, much of the backlog was blamed on poor leadership by Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso, appointed by President Obama in 2010, leading to both Chair Darrell Issa and ranking Democrat Gerry Connelly questioning whether he should consider resigning.   Former board member Beth Rosenberg resigned from her position last month, a little over a year into her five-year term. She cited the agency’s “level of dysfunction,” including what she described a widespread fear of disagreeing with management, creating a high amount of attrition.

Coal Ash Letter Ask for EPA Regs – A letter from some 85 Democrats to EPA has called for the Agency to act on a rule soon. The Democratic members called for a final coal ash rule with an enforceable federal backstop under RCRA.  It doesn’t say Subtitle C, but it describes the characteristics of such an approach.  It references both Kingston and Dan River, and is led by NC members Butterfield and Price.

House Members Target Carbon Emission Rules – Speaking of 80-something letters, roughly the same sent a letter to EPA asking for 111(d) to be rescinded in light of Congress’s previous rejection of cap/trade and the intrusiveness and cost of the rule.  Jeff Duncan led this effort and it features 84 total signers.  I can send both letters if you are interested.

PA Pushes on MTBE – Here is an oldie but goody…Pennsylvania has said it will sue oil companies over MTBE contamination. Defendants named in the MTBE lawsuit include MTBE manufacturers, gasoline refiners, marketers and distributors that together controlled virtually the entire MTBE market in Pennsylvania, the lawsuit said.  Pennsylvania is seeking to recover millions of state taxpayer dollars spent to clean up MTBE, as well as damages and penalties for marketing MTBE. The oil companies knew, or should have known, it was a potent threat to ground water.  Thought we were done with that.

Poneman Out at Energy, In at Harvard – Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Poneman, who served briefly as acting Energy secretary before Secretary Moniz took over, is leaving DOE after five years this fall. Poneman will head to Harvard University where he earned his bachelors and law degrees.

Thernstorm Pierce Hits Back on GHG Collaboration – Our friend Sam Thernstrom of the Energy Innovation Reform Project wrote for National Review on how a better, more innovation-friendly energy policy would also represent a better approach to climate policy. Sam was responding to Jonathan Chait’s June 17 piece. It is a good debate that is thoughtful.  So much better than listening to the babble for politicos on these issues.

PJM Makes Recommendation on NJ Transmission – The grid operator PJM’s staff has  recommended PSE&G’s proposal for additional transmission at the Artificial Island. This was PJM’s first competitive window after Order 1000, opening the door for incumbents and independent transmission developers to submit proposals, yet they ended up picking an incumbent’s proposal.  In doing so, the grid operator chose to ignore warnings from the States of Delaware and New Jersey over the “constructability” of PSE&G’s proposal because it’s an environmental, permitting and public opposition nightmare.  A blog post is critical of PJM’s selection of PSE&G’s proposal and very supportive of another proposal that would not have had the same constructability and NIMBY concerns because it would be buried underground and routed along road ROWs.  “Minimal sacrifice for host landowners, minimal public opposition, minimal risk, minimal time to complete.”

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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 today and tomorrow.  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 hear 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 today through Wednesday 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.

McCarthy Addresses US Mayors Conference – The US Conference of Mayors closes its 82nd annual Conference today in Dallas.  Yesterday, EPA’s Gina McCarthy addressed the mayors on the new GHG rule for existing Power plants. More than 200 U.S. mayors from cities large and small focused on the economic health of the nation’s cities, transportation, education, housing, assistance to returning veterans and the minimum wage.  In addition to McCarthy, guest speakers included Maria Shriver speaking on women living near poverty, a session on sports, race and politics in America will include retired NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sacramento Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive and several mayors including Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player and president of the conference.

Lovins to Address Wharton Green Forum – The Wharton DC Green Business Forum will host Amory Loving at two sessions today where he discuss topics at the intersection of business and our environment.  The first session will be at Bernstein Global Wealth Management at Noon and The City Club of Washington at 6:00 p.m.  Lovins, co-author of “Reinventing Fire,” Chief Scientist and Co-Founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute will outline how business, motivated by profit, supported by civil society, and sped by smart policy can get the U.S. completely off oil and coal by 2050, and later beyond natural gas as well in two events hosted by the Wharton Club of DC: at lunch and in the evening.  His presentation will draw upon and update ideas first described in “Reinventing Fire.” That book maps a robust path for integrating real, here-and-now, comprehensive energy solutions in four industries-transportation, buildings, electricity, and manufacturing-melding radically efficient energy use with reliable, secure, renewable energy supplies. Popular in tone and rooted in applied hope.

Forum to Look at Egypt Energy Challenges – The Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and the Energy and Environment Program will host a two-panel event tomorrow morning on Egypt’s looming energy crisis and short term responses for energy security. Through this workshop, the Atlantic Council seeks to engage in an open collegial nonpartisan dialogue to discuss the most urgent energy needs facing Egypt’s president, Abd Al-Fattah el-Sisi and how his government can mitigate the looming crisis.  For the past two years, Egyptians have faced electricity shortages resulting in rolling black outs across the country. While this has been hard on households, the power outages have also been detrimental to industry, which is operating at only 60 to 70% of capacity, constraining an already weakened economy. The issue is not supply—Egypt’s electricity consumption is only about half of what its megawatt capacity can produce—rather, obtaining sufficient inputs. Electricity is generated mostly by using oil and gas, and depleted foreign reserves mean that the country is struggling to pay for them.  The event will explore these issues and how al-Sisi and his government can mitigate the looming crisis. The first panel, “Why Egypt is Facing an Energy Crisis: Demand vs. Supply,” will address the roots of the crisis and its impact on economic performance. The second panel, “Energy Security and Political Stability,” will tackle how these problems can be mitigated, the role of external assistance, and the effect these pressures will have on political stability.

Forum to Look at Mexico Energy Issues – The Wilson Center will hold a forum tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. on Mexico’s Energy Reform. In December 2013, Mexico passed its historic energy reform but the hard work of debating and enacting secondary legislation remains. The Mexico Institute and the Inter-American Dialogue cordially invite you to a discussion of the prospects for the secondary legislation and the key elements that should be included in the process for implementing the reforms. A panel of leading energy experts will address the challenges and opportunities for the forthcoming debate in the Mexican congress. Speakers will include Duncan Wood of the Mexico Institute, PEMEX’s Fluvio Ruíz Alarcón, Jeffrey Eppink of Enegis and Marcelo Mereles of EnergeA.

Wilson Forum to Tackle Russian, Energy – At 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, the Wilson Center will also discuss Russian, pipelines and sovereignty at a forum featuring American University’s Lucy Seybert.  Seybert examines varied approaches by Lithuania, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and Belarus for reconciling energy needs with state sovereignty. Mapping the underlying dynamics to this tension between energy and security is important for our understanding of energy cooperation and conflict in Europe and beyond.

House Resources to Look at Education, Job Training in Energy – The House Resources Committee’s Energy panel will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at education opportunities in energy.  The discussion will center around the job creation issues and education training being provided today at colleges and schools around the country.  Speakers will include educators including Lackawanna College President Mark Volk, who spoke last month at a Newsmaker on a similar subject focused on addressing a growing skills gap in energy and manufacturing.  In 2009, Lackawanna College identified the technical human resource needs of the oil and natural gas industry – and began to position the school to take a leadership position in educating future workers according to those needs.  Now they are being considered a national model.  Other speakers include Seth Lyman of Utah State University, Marlene of McMichael of the Texas State Technical College System and Duane Hrncir of the SD School of Mines.

JEC to Look at NatGas Production – The Senate-House Joint Economic Committee will convene at a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to examine the economic impact of increased natural gas production.  Witnesses will include Dan Yergin, UPS’s Jim Bruce, Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, EDF’s Elgie Holstein and Anadarko’s Charles Meloy.

Former EPA Renewable Expert to Address RPS – The Green Business Roundtable will feature a presentation by former EPA official Blaine Collison tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. on increasing the U. S. renewable energy portfolio.  The discussion will look at lessons learned and trends to watch.  Collison currently is Managing Director – Network Services at Altenex.  Altenex helps commercial and institutional energy users source voluntary renewable energy. Blaine’s role includes managing new customer origination and identifying new services for Altenex. Blaine was previously the director for the EPA’s Green Power Partnership, a nationally recognized network of over 1500 non-utility energy buyers committed to renewable energy.

Fed Maritime Commissioner to Address NatGas Roundtable – Tomorrow at Noon at the University Club, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host William Doyle, Commissioner of the Federal Maritime Commission for a presentation on natural gas, LNG, liquids, exports, transportation and the Panama Canal.  Commissioner Doyle served over a decade as an officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine, serving aboard numerous classes of vessels. Combined, Commissioner Doyle has over 20 years of experience in the transportation industry, including both the maritime and energy sectors. Throughout his career, he has held several senior executive positions in the industry.

CHP Webinar to Talk GHG Compliance – The Alliance for Industrial Efficiency is hosting a webinar tomorrow at Noon on Combine Heat and Power (CHP) as a EPA GHG 111(d) Compliance Solution.  The call will feature presentations from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Center for Clean Air Policy on their recent analyses about potential CHP deployment under the Clean Power Rule.

DOE Webinar Focused on Hydrogen Vehicles – DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office will present a live webinar tomorrow at Noon on hydrogen fueling for current and anticipated fuel cell electric vehicles. The webinar will feature representatives from the California Energy Commission discussing their recently announced Notice of Proposed Award for 28 hydrogen fueling stations, the evaluation criteria, and the variety of competitions. In addition, representatives from Argonne National Laboratory will discuss a new tool for estimating the economic impacts of hydrogen infrastructure for early market fuel cell electric vehicles. The tool, titled JOBS and economic impacts of Hydrogen (JOBS H2), estimates the jobs, earnings, and economic output created by deploying hydrogen fueling stations.

Forum to Focus on International Negotiations – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will host a forum tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. focused on international climate negotiations.   The solution to climate change is often framed as a series of “silver bullets” – for the United States, comprehensive domestic legislation; for the rest of the world, a major international agreement led by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The unprecedented scale and complexity of the climate challenge, however, suggests the need for a more flexible solution – “silver buckshot.”  The unprecedented scale and complexity of the climate challenge, however, suggests the need for a more flexible solution – “silver buckshot.” Smaller-scale, bottom-up alternatives to the UNFCCC process could help kick-start real progress towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This panel will explore the potential for such an alternative approach, in the domestic and global settings.  Speakers will include CNA’s Sherri Goodman, ELI’s Ruth Greenspan Bell and Columbia U’s Elke Weber.

Summit to Target Crude By Rail Issues – American Business Conferences will hold a Crude By Rail summit tomorrow and Wednesday 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.

IEA Expert to Address CSIS Forum – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Didier Houssin, Director of the Directorate of Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology at the IEA, on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to present the IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives 2014 (ETP 2014).  Starting from the premise that electricity will be an increasingly important vector in energy systems of the future, ETP 2014 takes a deep dive into actions needed to support deployment of sustainable options for generation, distribution and end-use consumption. In addition to modelling the global outlook to 2050 under different scenarios for more than 500 technology options, ETP 2014 explores the possibility of ‘pushing the limits’ in six key areas: Solar Power, Natural Gas in Low-Carbon Electricity Systems, E-mobility, Electricity Storage, Attracting Finance for Low-Carbon Generation, and Power Generation in India. Guy Caruso, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

House Resources Panel to Look at Carbon Sequestration in Soil – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday  at 2:00 p.m. on increasing carbon soil sequestration on public lands.

Senate Energy to Look at Water Legislation – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water and Power will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to examine S.1971 (“Nexus of Energy and Water for Sustainability Act of 2014”), to establish an interagency coordination committee or subcommittee with the leadership of the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior, focused on the nexus between energy and water production, use, and efficiency.  Witnesses will include DOE’s Jonathan Pershing, Interior’s Tom Iseman, CRS’s Nicole Carter, EPRI’s Anda Ray and Mary Ann Dickenson of the Alliance for Water Efficiency.

Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery Featured in Hill Briefing – Experts from industry, labor and the environmental community join the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday in 385 Russell to discuss how using captured carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery can benefit U.S. energy production, the economy, and the environment. Speakers include former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, former Arkansas Sen. Tim Hutchinson, Arch Coal’s Tom Altmeyer, Hunter Johnston of Leucadia Energy, Brad Markell of the Industrial Union Council AFL-CIO,  NRDC’s John Steelman, Brad Crabtree of the Great Plains Institute and Patrick Falwell of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

RFF Forum to Look at Climate Economic Risks – Resources for the Future will hold forum on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. to look at the economic risks of climate change. The Risky Business initiative – a project of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Office of Hank Paulson, and Next Generation – works to answer that question. Using the best information available, the initiative outlines the range of climate futures that the United States might expect in major economic sectors and by geographic region. It also examines the likelihood of these futures and the potential economic consequences for American businesses and households. The initiative does not advocate any particular policy, industry, or personal response to climate change but instead seeks to provide government, finance, business, and household decision-makers with the information necessary to make their own risk management decisions.  At this RFF seminar, Trevor Houser, lead author of the independent risk assessment supporting the Risky Business initiative, and his colleagues will present an overview of the methods, data, original research, and key findings in the assessment.  A panel of experts will then offer additional perspectives.

AEI Forum Look at Europe, Russia Gas – The American Enterprise Institute will hold a forum on Thursday morning looking at Russia, gas and European energy security.  In the wake of Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, energy politics are back on the front page. Even more manifest is the fact that Russian pricing and supply policies with respect to the country’s exports of natural gas are heavily influenced by foreign policy and other noneconomic considerations.  But there is little agreement on the short- and longer-term responses that would serve the energy security and other interests of European consumers of Russian natural gas, and a US policy mix furthering both European energy security and US goals remains elusive. These difficulties stem in no small part from conflicting national energy, environmental, business, and foreign policy objectives, the difficult tradeoffs among which are exacerbated by competing interests and perceptions across governments.  AEI will host a group of scholars and discuss the political and policy dimensions of European energy security in the context of Russian gas exports, and US policy alternatives.

Small Biz to Look at Energy Firms – The Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade will hold a hearing on Thursday on the new domestic energy paradigm and the downstream challenges for small energy businesses. The purpose of the hearing is to examine the mismatch between the supplies of oil produced and the capacity of the refining sector to manufacture it into useful products. Witnesses will include Jared Blong of Midland, TX’s Octane Energy, Russell Smith Williston, ND’s Quantum Energy and our friend Kevin Book of ClearView Energy analysts.

Potential Energy DC (PEDC) and The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowship Big Data Affinity Group will host the 2014 DC Energy and Data Summit on Friday morning.  Summit participants will have the opportunity to interact with a diverse community of technologists, policy makers, investors, entrepreneurs, and leaders in data science.  We will discuss challenges the energy industry faces today and will explore how Big Data technologies and policies could address these challenges. Summit sessions will show how entrepreneurs can utilize data science to generate compelling solutions in the energy sector, highlighting the current energy landscape as well as “leading practices” and “lessons learned” at the nexus of government and public-private partnerships.

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.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum to Look at Energy Efficiency Financing – The Alliance to Save Energy for the first in a series of Energy 2030 Congressional briefings on Tuesday, July 1st at 12:00 p.m. in 2456 Rayburn looking at perspectives on energy efficiency financing.

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.

CSIS to Host IEA Mid-Term Gas Report – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Anne-Sophie Corbeau to present the IEA’s Medium-Term Gas Market Report on Tuesday July 8th at 10:00 a.m.. The annual report, which gives a detailed analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments, sees global demand rising by 2.2 percent per year by the end of the forecast period, compared with the 2.4 percent rate projected in last year’s outlook. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) will meet much of this demand, with new pipelines also playing a role. The Medium-Term Gas Market Report is part of a series of annual reports the IEA devotes to each of the main primary energy sources: oil, gas, coal, renewable energy and – as of last year – energy efficiency. Jane  Nakano, Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

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.

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

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

 

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 3

Friends,

The glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards went off last night with just about the same results as the Golden Globes earlier this year.  The wealth was spread among the many good movies we saw this year with Dallas Buyers’ Club holding a slight edge.  Given the terrific performances of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, its honors were well deserved.  As they were for Ellen’s performance as host…She was once again subtle, creative and hilarious.  I loved the pizza stunt.  It was a great way for my daughter to end her 16th birthday, staying up late with school cancelled the next day because of the snow, dinner at Ra, and starting it off by refereeing a game on the Verizon Center Ice prior to the Caps game.

Get your hoops on.  Conference tournaments start this week to set up the NCAA March Madness tourney will be determined in just two weeks.  Shocker that Wichita State made it through the regular season undefeated at 31-0. It is the best start since UNLV began 34-0 in 1991 (but lost in national title game to Duke) and another Missouri Valley team, the Larry Bird-led Indiana State sycamores, won its first 33 games  in 1979 (but lost to Magic Johnson and Michigan State in the title game).  It should be no surprise that WSU is that good though as their last loss came in last year’s Final Four to eventual champion, Louisville.  As well. keep your eye peeled for NHL trade this week with the trade deadline Wednesday.  Already, my Buffalo friends are weeping with the trade of Ryan Miller to St. Louis (and maybe Blackhawks fans as well.)

This week is also Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday. With Senator Landrieu taking the helm of the Senate Energy Committee, I am pleased to report that our colleague Scott Segal has been deployed strategically for the next few days to again assume his position riding “krewe” in one of the largest parades in New Orleans’ Mardi Gras.  With over 40 floats and 20 marching bands, there is no doubt he will be picking valuable intelligence.  It is alleged that New Orleans founders first reach the spot on the river upon which the city was founded on Fat Tuesday in 1699 – naming their camp Point du Mardi Gras, and the rest his history.  We expect a full report from Scott upon his return.  Or at least some beads…despite last week’s enviro groups reports that they are made from hazardous chemicals.

In case you missed it yesterday morning or were still hung over from the Eagles concert at Verizon on Saturday, Platts Energy Week focused a segment of its show on BrightSource Energy’s recently unveiled Ivanpah project.  My friend Joseph Desmond discussed the competitiveness of utility-scale solar energy.  Other segments featured AAR’s Ed Hamberger discussing the recent DOT rail safety agreement and Norway CCS experts.

This week is CERA week in Houston.  CERAWeek 2014, presented by IHS Energy, will focus on the accelerating pace of change in energy markets, technologies, and geopolitics—and the emerging competitive playing field. The competitive landscape is evolving rapidly, affecting countries, companies, sources of supply, fuels for end-use markets, investment, logistics, human capital, and technological innovation. Companies face considerable risk as they seek to invest to support long-term growth.  Again, CERAWeek has a crazy list of speakers including Valero CEO Bill Klesse, Duke CEO Lynn Good, EPA’s Gina McCarthy, Energy Sect Ernie Moniz, EIA’s Adam Sieminski, Sen Energy ranking member Lisa Murkowski, BHP Billiton CEO Andrew MacKenzie, Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler and many, many more.

In Washington, besides another spat of snow that closed the government, votes in the House on legislation aimed at streamlining environmental regulations on EPA rules for greenhouse gas emissions, environmental reviews under NEPA and permitting for coalmines, as well as legislation aimed at addressing severe propane shortages in the Midwest.  Also, there is a slate of hearings on Transportation issues this week including MAP-21 and shipping regs, as well as a redo of the postponed Senate Commerce hearing on regulatory questions on the transportation of crude oil, Thursday. And speaking of mining, natural gas and energy, BHP’s MacKenzie will also address CSIS on Thursday.

Finally, get your low flow toilets ready because humorist/author/columnist Dave Barry will be at the National Press Club on Thursday at 1:00 hawking his new book “You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About.” I worked closely with Dave on one of his signature issues, the battle over low-flow toilets when I was working for Michigan Rep. Joe Knollenberg in the mid-1990s.

Speaking of books and spring training, our friend and AP reporter Fred Frommer, who in his spare time is an expert baseball historian, will be signing copies of his newest book “You Gotta Have Heart” tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the MLK Library on 9th and G Streets, NW.  The book is a history of baseball in Washington from 1859 to 2012.

 

Call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Issues Tier 3 Fuel Rule – EPA released its final “Tier 3” rule setting new emission standards for sulfur in gasoline and vehicles. Refiners will have to cut sulfur in gasoline from 30 parts per million to 10 ppm in 2017, which will allow vehicle emission controls to work more efficiently.  EPA projects health-related benefits will be $6.7 billion to $19 billion annually by 2030, and the standards will provide $13 in benefits for every dollar spent meeting them.

On the Call – Along with EPA’s Gina McCarthy, the usual suspects joined her in praise of the rule.  The American Lung Assn President Harold Wimmer praised the rule, but also issued a warning they would not accept any more backsliding, especially on the implementation timeline.  NACAA Co-President Tad Aburn also praised the rule and states’ ability to implement it.  Finally, one interesting guest was GM’s Mike Robinson, who praised the rules saying EPA has harmonized state/federal emission requirements for new vehicles, a key cost efficiency.  He added that provisions for lower sulfur with help the auto industry meet lower emissions standards with the new technologies they are adding to new vehicles and well as allowing them to optimize these technologies through current in-use fuels.  Funny how the auto companies like rules where the bulk of the cost is on the fuel.

Refiners Respond – Refiners responded saying EPA’s decision to move forward on Tier 3 is yet the most recent example of the agency’s propensity for illogical and counterproductive rulemaking. AFPM’s Charlie Drevna said Tier 3 rules “not only lacks scientific justification, but in fact will lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions due to the greater energy-intense refining process required to reduce sulfur in gasoline.”  He said to date, refiners have achieved a 90% reduction in sulfur levels and the nation’s energy-related emissions are at their lowest level since 1994 according to EPA data.  Drevna: “Tier 3 will provide little, if any, benefit, while increasing fuel manufacturing costs on the backs of American consumers.  API’s Bob Greco echoed Drevnas’s comments and added they are also concerned about the timeline of EPA’s new rule. Greco: “The rushed timeframe leaves little opportunity for refiners to design, engineer, permit, construct, start up, and integrate the new machinery required. This accelerated implementation only adds costs and potentially limits our industry’s ability to supply gasoline to consumers.”

Enviros Praise Rule – Enviro groups universally praised the rule including NRDC, Sierra Club and several others.  My friend Frank O’Donnell, President of Clean Air Watch this is a great day for the breathing public.  “This could prove to be the signature clean-air accomplishment of the entire Obama second term,” he said.

Klesse to Retire at Valero, Gorder to Take CEO Spot – Speaking of refiners, Valero said CEO Bill Klesse will step down effective May 1. Klesse will remain a Valero director and Chairman of the Board.  Joe Gorder, 56, who was named Valero’s President and Chief Operating Officer in 2012, was elected to the role of CEO effective May 1 and has also been elected a director by the Board of Directors. Gorder will join Valero’s Board of Directors immediately.  Klesse became CEO in 2005 and was named Chairman of the Board in 2007. He has spent his entire 45-year career with Valero and its predecessor companies.  In addition to his current position, Gorder previously held positions at Valero including Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer and President of Valero Europe; Executive Vice President-Marketing and Supply; and Senior Vice President for Corporate Development and Strategic Planning. Joe has been with Valero and its predecessors for 27 years.

NuStar Asphalt Becomes Axeon – Axeon Specialty Products LLC launched last week as a new petroleum products company serving the entire East Coast.  Formerly known as NuStar Asphalt LLC, the San Antonio-based company has a proven track record of making high-performance, cost-effective modified asphalts and warm mix products.  Axeon SP provides an array of petroleum-related specialty products through its refineries and network of company-owned and leased terminals, along with robust and comprehensive technical support services.  Axeon SP intends to make new, substantial investments in the future of its operations in Paulsboro, NJ, where the company provides more than 100 high-skilled, quality jobs.  The Paulsboro facility consists of two petroleum refining units, a liquid storage terminal for petroleum and chemical products, three marine docks, rail offloading capacity, a polymer modified asphalt (PMA) production facility and a testing laboratory.  The storage facility has a capacity of 4.1 million barrels.   Axeon SP also owns and operates a terminal facility in Savannah, GA, which currently provides an additional 24 jobs and has rail offloading capacity and a 1.2 million barrel storage capacity.  Additionally, the Savannah facility houses a fully functional refinery.  Axeon SP is wholly owned by New York-based private investment firm, Lindsay Goldberg, which previously owned a 50 percent stake in the company with NuStar Energy LP.  Originally part of the CITGO Asphalt Refining Company, Axeon SP has a proud industry lineage.

UD Rolls Out New Offshore Wind Center – The University of Delaware will steer the way toward making offshore wind turbines a reality in the United States through a new initiative it announced last week at a major offshore wind industry conference. The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind, housed at the University’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, will serve as an independent catalyst for offshore wind development and add momentum to a promising industry that is at a critical juncture.  The independent, objective and non-commercial offshore wind program, supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is designed to advance the U.S. offshore wind industry, drawing together critical information on cutting-edge technologies, financing and collaboration opportunities. The University of Delaware is uniquely positioned to take on such as role given its long history of advancing offshore wind through policy analysis, research, public testimony and industrial partnerships.  For example, in 2010 UD and Gamesa Technology Corporation joined forces to install a utilityscale 2-megawatt coastal wind turbine at the University’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del., allowing the company to test the turbine in a coastal environment and students to conduct training and research on an industrial-scale turbine.  The Initiative will connect states with international experts, especially in Europe where more than 2,000 wind turbines are now installed and grid connected in eleven countries. The resource will provide technological, financial and strategic advice to all states exploring offshore wind and help advance customized policy models.  The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind received seed funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which has been a significant proponent of offshore wind efforts. The program will work with national and international experts in offshore wind, industry participants, NGOs and state and federal policy-makers. While housed at the University of Delaware, the Initiative is national in scope and already is playing a key role in major projects to harness the vast East Coast and Great Lakes wind resources.

EIA launches Coal Data Browser – The EIA launched an interactive, online Coal Data Browser  that brings together in a single tool comprehensive government information, statistics, and visualizations about the U.S. coal sector.  The Coal Data Browser gives users easy access to a vast array of coal information from EIA’s electricity and coal surveys. The browser also allows users to dig through data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration and through coal trade information from the U.S. Census Bureau.

EESI Selected as Non-Profit Partner by Juice Co – Congrats to our friends at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) which was selected by Suja Juice Co. as one of the 12 nonprofit partners featured in the Suja Elements Cause Collective™ program. The Elements Cause Collective program seeks to raise $1 million annually for nonprofit organizations whose goals strongly appeal to Suja’s core values. The funds will be raised through the sale of Suja Juice’s ‘Elements’ line of juices and smoothies, with each of the designated nonprofits paired to a particular flavor. Among the 11 other nonprofits benefiting from the program are Healthy Child Healthy World, International Rescue Committee, and Oceana.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Shale Gas in Azerbaijan – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host tomorrow featuring Vitaliy Baylarbayov, Deputy Vice-President for Investment and Marketing of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), to discuss the development of the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea. Stage 2 of the development, agreed upon by the project consortium in December 2013, forms the foundation for plans to develop and expand pipeline capacity through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and Italy, establishing what many are calling a new Southern Gas Corridor in Europe. Dr. Baylarbayov, who played an integral role in concluding the final investment decision on the next stage of development and the pipeline discussions, will discuss the future of Azerbaijani gas and the significance of the Southern Gas Corridor. Elizabeth Urbanas, Director of the Office of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy, and Robin West, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will provide comments. Edward Chow, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

House Tranpo Panel to Look at Shipping Fleet Emissions – A panel of the House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to look at the impact that recent environmental regulatory actions may have on the country’s shipping fleets.  Witnesses will include Rear Adm. Joseph Servidio, assistant commandant for prevention policy for the U.S. Coast Guard; Michael Shapiro, principal deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Water at EPA; Chris Grundler, director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality in the Office of Air and Radiation at EPA; Thomas Allegretti, president of the American Waterways Operators; Kathy Metcalf, director of maritime affairs for the Chamber of Shipping of America; James Roussos, vice president of boat operations for LaMonica Fine Food LLC; Rod Jones, CEO of the CSL Group and Bill Terry, CEO of Eagle Rock Aggregates.

Solar Webinar to Address DOE Facilities – The Solar Energy Industries Association and DOE will hold a webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. using DOE’s newest facilities. This webinar will examine six new facilities that specialize in photovoltaic validation, testing and monitoring. Energy Department participants include Steve Chalk, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy, and Lidija Sekaric, Program Manager for the SunShot Initiative.

DOE Solar Seminar to Look at Installations – At 3:00 p.m. the same day, the DOE will present a live webinar titled “Adding Solar to Your Building Portfolio.”  Several Better Buildings Challenge partners are incorporating solar power into their portfolio energy strategy as the technology becomes more efficient and affordable. The Dysart Unified School District in Arizona is nearing its goal of powering its buildings entirely by solar energy. MGM Resorts International is installing solar at the famous Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The Denver Housing Authority is adding solar to multifamily housing such as apartments and condominiums.  Join these partners as they share lessons learned and best practices on going solar.

Symposium Looks at Global Implications of Enhanced Oil Recovery – On Wednesday, Mississippi will welcome state and national leaders to discuss enhanced oil recovery through carbon capture and utilization.  Hosts include the Institute for 21st Century Energy, Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, Southern States Energy Board, North American Carbon Capture & Storage Association and the Mississippi Energy Institute.  The Symposium will be at the Jackson Marriott Hotel.  Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant will provide welcoming remarks to be followed by several guest speakers and panelists throughout the day.

Forum to Look at Future Electric Power Systems – The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), in collaboration with the Energy Future Coalition and the Enel Group, will be holding a panel discussion on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. looking at the future of electric power systems. Electricity systems in the United States and Europe are facing unprecedented challenges. Flattening demand for electricity, rapid adoption of energy efficiency measures, and significant expansions of renewable energy generation are fundamentally altering traditional dynamics. Consumers are beginning to demand new relationships with their utilities, and technological advances are empowering smarter energy use. Simultaneously, utilities are set to become the largest consumers of information technology services.  On both sides of the Atlantic, these trends are already sparking considerable innovation. Europe is quickly becoming a hotbed for renewable energy support policies and collaborative regional approaches to new network investments. In the United States, there has been particular success in developing regional markets for reserve capacity and ancillary services in which demand-side management could also actively participate. While significant advancements are being made, further collaborative engagement amongst utilities, regulators, policymakers, investors, and consumers will be necessary for maintaining reliability, security, and affordability during this transition.

House Transpo Panel to Start MAP-21 Review – A House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee panel will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking at the role public-private partnerships can play in transportation projects. Witnesses will include CBO’s Joseph Kile, Texas DOT head James Bass, Phillip Washington of the Regional Transportation District and Fluor’s Richard Fierce on behalf of the Associated General Contractors of America.

House Energy to Continue Hearing Series on Energy – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m. the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold part two of the hearing series started last week on energy issues and improving fuel supple and infrastructure.  Witnesses will include Association of American Railroads President Edward Hamberger; National Propane Gas Association President Richard Roldan; Interstate Natural Gas Association of America President Donald Santa; Energy Information Administration chief Adam Sieminski; Association of Oil Pipe Lines President Andrew Black; Shorty Whittington, representing the American Trucking Associations and the National Tank Truck Carriers; Andrew Logan, director of oil and gas at CERES; and World Resources Institute Senior Associate Michael Obeiter.

BHP CEO to Discuss Future Energy Needs – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a conversation on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. with Andrew Mackenzie, CEO of BHP Billiton, to discuss how the world can meet the demand for resources as 1.7 billion people gain access to electricity over the next 20 years and energy demand grows by 30%. With a portfolio spanning steel making materials, metals, energy and fertilizer BHP Billiton is the world’s largest diversified resources company and the only firm to produce oil, gas, coal and uranium as well as the metals used in renewables like copper. Headquartered in Australia, the company has operations in 26 countries and a workforce of approximately 128,000 people.  Andrew Mackenzie was appointed Chief Executive Officer of BHP Billiton in May 2013. He has had over 30 years’ experience in oil and gas, petrochemicals and minerals and has held a number of senior roles at BP and Rio Tinto.

Senate Banking to Hear from Transpo Unions – The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Thursday will take up transportation reauthorization on Thursday. The hearing will focus on public transportation and hear from union and transit leaders. Witnesses will include Utah House Majority Whip Gregory Hughes, Michael Melaniphy of the American Public Transportation Association, Community Transportation Association of America Board President Barbara Cline and Larry Hanley, international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

Senate Panel to Look at Crude Transport – A Senate Commerce subpanel will hold a hearing Thursday on regulatory questions surrounding the successful transportation of both people and crude oil.  The hearing in the surface transport subpanel was postponed from its original date by previous snowy weather in the capital.  The hearing will include will include representatives from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Association of America Railroads, as well as the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

Dave Barry to Speak at Press Club – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., my friend and Pulitzer Prize winner/New York Times–bestselling author Dave Barry will be at the National Press Club to discuss his new book “You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About.” A book signing will follow the discussion.  In uproarious, brand-new pieces, Barry tackles everything from family trips, bat mitzvah parties and dating (he’s serious about that title: “When my daughter can legally commence dating—February 24, 2040—I intend to monitor her closely, even if I am deceased”) to funeral instructions (“I would like my eulogy to be given by William Shatner”), the differences between male and female friendships, the deeper meaning of Fifty Shades of Grey, and a father’s ultimate sacrifice: accompanying his daughter to a Justin Bieber concert (“It turns out that the noise teenaged girls make to express happiness is the same noise they would make if their feet were being gnawed off by badgers”).   I worked closely with Dave on one of his signature issues, the battle over low-flow toilets.

Enviro Attorneys to Discuss GHG Case – EESI will hold a briefing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in SVC 209 looking at last week’s Supreme Court case, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is considering whether the EPA’s authority to regulate the greenhouse gas emissions of new motor vehicles also extends to stationary sources, such as existing power plants. The case is the result of six separate challenges to EPA authority from industry groups and 12 states. On February 24, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the consolidated case.  This briefing will examine the arguments brought forth on February 24 and what can be derived from the line of questioning by the Justices. What is and is not at stake in this case, and what are the potential outcomes of the Court’s decision? What does the relatively narrow focus of the case, despite a much broader challenge, mean for future judicial challenges to EPA’s regulatory authority concerning greenhouse gases?  Speakers for this forum are Michael B. Gerrard of the Columbia Law School’s Center for Climate Change Law and former NRDC attorney Amanda Leiter of American University’s Washington College of Law.

DOT Rail Meeting Expected to Touch New Agreement – The Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC) will hold its semi- annual public meeting on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Established by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) of the Department of Transportation in 2007, RETAC serves as a forum for government, industry and others to discuss emerging issues in the transportation by rail of biofuels, conventional hydrocarbons and coal. Its 25 voting members span across large and small railroads, coal producers, electric utilities, the biofuels industry, the petroleum industry and the private railcar industry.  Following last week announcement by AAR and DOT, there will likely be more interest in this meeting.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

RFF to Look at Stanford Public Climate Polling – On Tuesday, March 11th at 10:30 a.m., RFF and Stanford will present additional results from the survey and provide an in-depth discussion on what this could mean for climate policy in the United States. This event will not only offer information on American’s views as a whole but, equally important, it will also explain how these issues are viewed on a state-by-state basis. Read more about the poll here.  A recent poll by Resources for the Future (RFF), Stanford University, and USA Today reveals American’s attitudes on climate change and issues such as clean energy, power plant emissions, and energy subsidies, to name a few. Some of the survey results were previously released by USA Today regarding climate change and the Keystone pipeline. Jon Krosnick, RFF University Fellow and Frederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences at Stanford University will join RFF President Phil Sharp to discuss the study.

Forum to Look at Population, Climate Adaption – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a discussion on Tuesday, March 11th at 12:00 p.m. with Monica Das Gupta and Kathleen Mogelgaard as they explore these co-benefits and strategies to integrate them into climate change responses.  Often lacking from high-level discussions on climate change adaptation and mitigation is the inevitable role that rapid population growth plays in exacerbating vulnerability in developing countries. As Monica Das Gupta noted in her recent report, Population, Poverty, and Climate Change, “it is estimated that the effect of a 40 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per capita in developed countries between 2000 and 2050 would be entirely offset by the increase in emissions attributable to expected population growth in poorer countries over this period.” As communities grapple with the effects of climate change, there is a growing movement pointing to the multiple co-benefits that could emerge from policy interventions targeted at reducing fertility through voluntary access to family planning.

WAPA to Host Gala – The Washington Automotive Press Assn will hold its annual gala on March 13th at the National Press Club.

SoCo Expert to Speak at Forum on Transmission in SE Region – The Energy Future Coalition will be hosting a webinar for its Americans for a Clean Energy Grid initiative, on Thursday, March 13th at 3:00 p.m. The webinar topic will be Transmission in the Southeast. The event will feature John Lucas, GM of Transmission Policy and Services, Southern Company; and Frank Rambo, Senior Attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. The driver behind the webinars is to follow-up/update to our in-person Regional Transmission Summits that we’ve been hosting around the country for the last few years, and the content of them will be discussion of hot-button transmission issues in the region, whether that be landowner compensation, siting, cost allocation, planning, or many other ones.

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.

AWEA Announces Siting Seminar – Following a weather postponement, the AWEA Project Siting Seminar has been rescheduled for March 19 and 20th in New Orleans at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.  The program will be a dedicated siting program that hones in on the latest strategies and information to effectively minimize siting and permitting risks while maximizing energy output.  Keynote Speaker will be USFWS Director Dan Ashe.

MD PSC Head to Address Energy Breakfast – ICF International will hold its March Morning Energy Breakfast on March 20th at the National Press Club , featuring Maryland Public Service Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman.  Backman will address the multiplicity of challenges confronting state regulators—and Maryland in particular—in the face of a changing utility sector. Discussion topics also include today’s critical issues affecting the electricity and gas industry that state regulators need to approve before key changes can take place.

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, March 26th 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 March 27th 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.

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.

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.