Energy Update: Week of July 11

Friends,

It has been a bizarre week and there are few words that I can connect to make sense of it.  I can’t say it any better than Dallas Police Chief David Brown did yesterday in a lengthy interview (here is link for Part II) with CNN’s Jake tapper.  I highly recommend you review it.  Not only were we impacted by the tragedy in Dallas, we in the DC policy community suffered our own tragic loss when RFF’s Molly Macauley was tragically lost to senseless violence late Friday.  We offer our sympathies to her family, our friends at RFF and all those who knew her as a colleague.  These times are difficult times.

Serena Williams and Andy Murray both rolled to straight set victories at Wimbledon and tomorrow, Major League Baseball hosts its 87th mid-summer All-Star Classic in San Diego.  Home Run Contest is tonight.

The Democratic Platform crossed another milestone over the weekend in Orlando.  Those following the energy-related aspects of the process featuring activist Bill McKibbon, Josh Fox and others over “keep it in the ground” and other climate-related issues should feel free to call. We have folks that can address the topic.  Democrats seemed have given in to the progressive wing on nearly all issues despite falling short of calling for a national moratorium on natgas drilling.

This week Congress continues to roll to its summer election-year recess.  It looks like we may see a vote to send energy legislation to a conference and finalize a few more environmental budget bills.   The Congressional Renewable Energy Expo will also start tomorrow and House Resources digs into Colorado shale tomorrow, renewable energy on public lands legislation on Wednesday and past renewable projects like Ivanpah on Thursday.

The main event this week is today and tomorrow’s EIA Annual Energy Conference, which will feature Tesoro CEO Greg Goff and several others.

One week until the GOP Convention in Cleveland…Two weeks to Democratic Convention Philadelphia. We will have teams at both events and are covering the action.  And only four weeks now until the launch of the Summer Olympics In Rio.   Finally, remember our PRG team will be covering elections closely and offering our analysis running up to and following the November vote.  So stay in touch on the topic.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We have produced by far the most progressive platform that this party has seen in multiple generations.”

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D), co-chairman of the Democratic platform committee.

 

IN THE NEWS

Cabot to Supply NatGas for New PA Power Plant – Cabot Oil & Gas will provide natural gas to a new gas-fired power plant in Pennsylvania under a 10-year agreement.   Cabot will supply Invenergy’s 1,500MW Lackawanna Energy Center power plant in Lackawanna county.  Billed as one of the most efficient power plants in the country, the Lackawanna Energy Center power plant will start full-scale operations by the end of 2018.  Dan Dinges, the company’s top executive, said the agreement is unique in that it will power a state-of-the-art facility from natural gas “directly in our backyard.”

Dems Finalization Uber Progressive Platform – The Washington Post reports from swelter Orlando that the Democratic Party shifted further to the left in one election than perhaps since 1972, embracing once-unthinkable stances on carbon pricing, police reform, abortion rights, the minimum wage and the war on drugs. It did so with very little ideological resistance and a lot of comity between the supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.  Dems approved language that while not outright banning natural gas drilling, it prioritized the building of solar and wind plants before natural-gas facilities. That change contradicted eight years of consensus that natural gas was a “bridge” to energy independence.

New Documents Show AGs Block Access – New responses from state Attorneys General offices (OAGs) obtained by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) and the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FME Law) confirm that the coalition of Democratic Attorneys General using racketeering laws to investigate universities, climate scientists, free market think tanks and energy companies are hiding behind a contract with each other — also apparently with outside activists helping the campaign — to avoid releasing public records relating to their pursuit of political opponents.  This confirms suggestions in prior emails, obtained under state open records laws, that the AGs had entered what they are calling a Common Interest Agreement (CIA), with green activists and other AGs, and are using this contract of nondisclosure among themselves to keep public records regarding their RICO push from the public.  CIAs are common instruments, but what the AGs and green groups have attempted is not; nor is keeping the pact itself from the public normal.  To be legitimate, parties to a common interest agreement must have imminent litigation, a clear scope and clearly shared interests.  Instead, documents obtained to date show that these AGs and their green-group colleagues with inherently disparate interests have entered not a legitimate CIA, but a pact of secrecy, covering broad topics, not specific matters, simply to avoid scrutiny of otherwise public records relating to their extraordinarily controversial abuse of political opponents’ First Amendment rights.

API: Oil Completions Drop in 2Q – The American Petroleum Institute (API) estimates in its 2016 Quarterly Well Completion Report that US oil well completions fell 69% in the second quarter compared with year-ago levels.  Estimated exploratory gas well completions in the second quarter decreased 84% year-over-year. So far this year, development well footage has declined 53% while exploratory well footage has declined 64%, the report indicates.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Tesoro, Kinder CEOs Headline EIA Conference – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will hold its 2016 Energy Conference today and tomorrow 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, Sen. 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 today and tomorrow. 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 this evening 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.

WFI Hosts Climate Film Screening – The Washington Film Institute invites you to a Special Screening Event hosted by Participant Media and Congressman Ted Lieu: “Merchants of Doubt.”  The movie takes audiences on a satirically comedic, yet illuminating ride into the heart of conjuring American spin on climate change and other public threats.   A panel discussion follows the movie with U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33), Dr. Naomi Oreskes, Bob Inglis – Executive Director of Republicen.org, Greg Dotson – VP of Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress, and remarks by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI).

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 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.

House Resources to Look at CO Shale – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow on the opportunities and challenges of developing Colorado’s Mancos Shale Resource.  Witnesses will include Gunnison Energy CEO Robert Downey, Carbondale, CO Rancher Bill Fales, USGS Energy Resource Director Walter Guidroz, Program Coordinator and Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese.

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 on Wednesday. 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.

Senate Energy to Look at Infrastructure Legislation – The Senate Energy Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing tomorrow to receive testimony on S. 3018, the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act, and to examine protections designed to guard against energy disruptions. Witnessed include DOE’s Patricia Hoffman,  NRECA Board Member and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation Duane Highley, EPRI’s Rob Manning and Brent Stacey of the Idaho National Laboratory.

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 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.

House Resources to Look Renewables on Public Lands – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a Legislative Hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on H.R. 2663 (Rep. Paul Gosar), to promote the development of renewable energy on public land, and for other purposes.”

Former Petrobras Exec Discusses Brazil Energy – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a forum with former Petrobras CEO Decio Oddone.  As Brazil continues down the path of political uncertainty, the promise of its energy sector has been thrown into question. With state-owned Petrobras still reeling from political scandal, is the country’s energy sector — once heralded as the key to its economic expansion — down for the count? Or, amid the downturn, does the oil and gas sector hold unprecedented opportunity? What does the interim Brazilian government need to achieve to ensure a light at the end of tunnel?

Shelk Headline Capacity Markets – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a forum on Thursday 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.

House Resources will Look at Ivanpah, Other BLM Projects – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will convene an oversight hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on the status of Ivanpah and other Federal Loan-Guaranteed Solar Energy Projects on BLM management lands.

USEA to Host Alberta Energy Official – On Thursday 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 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 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 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.
FUTURE EVENTS

Education, Energy Conference Set – The 2016 Energy Conference for Educators will be held Sunday, July 17 to Thursday, July 21st at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.  The event brings together educators that are passionate about bringing energy education to their classrooms. In five interactive days in Washington, D.C., the conference provides teachers with the most up-to-date information on all aspects of energy including the science of energy, sources of energy, transportation, electricity, efficiency and environmental and economic impacts.  Participants receive the training and materials to implement innovative hands-on energy units in their classrooms, multi-disciplinary teams, and after-school programs. They also receive the materials, training and support to conduct in-services in their areas to introduce the NEED program to others. NEED leaders at the conference help participants develop specialized units that meet state standards and can be utilized with students of all learning styles.

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.

Forum to Look at Bioenergy – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a forum on Tuesday July 19th at 1:30 p.m. in 1300 Longworth assessing the ability of the United States to sustainably produce 1 billion tons of renewable non-food biomass every year. This could potentially displace more than 30 percent of the country’s petroleum consumption. The briefing will focus on key findings from volume 1 of the 2016 Billion-Ton Update, which examines the technical feasibility of a billion-ton annual biomass supply chain by 2040. The 2016 report, to be released at the Bioenergy 2016 conference in mid-July, builds and expands on previous Billion-Ton studies, released in 2005 and 2011 by the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).  Speakers for this forum DOE’s Alison Goss Eng, USDA Bioenergy Chief Scientist Valerie Reed and USDA Energy Policy Director Harry Baumes.

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.

Webinar to explore financing climate resilience – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) hosts a webinar, Thursday, July 21st at Noon looking at financing climate resilience. Extreme weather events and disasters are already impacting our infrastructure. The need to update infrastructure provides an opportunity to build in climate resilience. This webinar will explore options for financing resilience and will feature an interactive discussion with experts in the field about opportunities and potential challenges. Speakers will include HUD’s Bruce Ciallella, expert Shalini Vajjhala, C2ES expert Katy Maher and Fatima Maria Ahmad.  You can register here.

USEA to Host Duke Energy Exec on Advanced Fossil Fuels – On Thursday July 21st at 2:00 p.m., USEA will host a forum on advanced fossil fuels.  Neil Kern of Duke Energy will review some of the factors impacting today’s utility business models and the resulting new demands being placed on central generation plants. As renewable energy deployment increases and movement towards lower carbon footprints continues, central station operating profiles are fundamentally changing. New technologies must be developed to maintain grid reliability and enable this transition. The presentation will discuss some of the advanced generation technologies, including supercritical CO2 and CCUS, being developed to address these new challenges while identifying their benefits, research gaps, and what  needs to be done to encourage adoption by industry.

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.

Annual Enviro Superconference Set for Austin – The 28th annual Texas Environmental Superconference is set for August 4th and 5th at the Four Seasons in Austin, TX.  This year’s theme is Yogi Berra quotes and the conference is fittingly entitled “It’s like déjà vu all over again”; each topic has an appropriate quote assigned to it.   The event is co-sponsored by the State Bar of Texas Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, the Air & Waste Management Association – Southwest Section, the Water Environment Association of Texas, the Texas Association of Environmental Professionals, The Auditing Roundtable, and the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. Bracewell will be hosting an event on Thursday, August 4th during the superconference with cocktails, small bites and a live performance by Quiet Company.  Speakers will include Gary Jonesi of EPA’s Enforcement office and Bryan Shaw of TCEQ.  See more on the event here.

Power-Gen Forum Set for Columbus – Regardless of the Democratic Platform challenge of natgas, Pennwell will host Mark McCullough, Executive Vice President, American Electric Power to discuss the growing role in natural gas in power generation at the upcoming GenForum scheduled August 22nd in Columbus, Ohio. The half-day event is connected with PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas.

 

Energy Update: Week of February 29

Friends,

Happy Leap Day…once every four years a leap day is observed because a complete revolution around the Sun takes slightly longer than 365 days. We compensate for this lag, realigning the calendar with the Earth’s position in the solar system with an extra day.  Happy Birthday to those who were born on this special day, even though they might get extra scrutiny from bartenders, bouncers, doctors and government agencies about the birthdates on their ID cards.

Leap Day also means Spring training is underway, NHL/NBA are hitting playoff stretch runs and NCAA March Madness is just around the corner.  It also means the Oscars — and even more importantly — the Congressional Hockey Challenge.

While the Oscars were somewhat shrouded in controversy (which I thought Chris Rock handled brilliantly), the Congressional Hockey Challenge is not.  The CHC is a charity game between teams of members of Congress/staff and Lobbyists that has raised over $560,000 for our featured charities since 2009. This year the game will feature Reps Erik Paulson, Tom Emmer, Pat Meehan, Larry Bucshon, John Katko and several Canadian members of Parliament .  It is preceded by a full day of events on Capitol Hill for Hockey Day on the Hill which features events with Lord Stanley’s Cup.  Game Time Wednesday Night at 7:00 p.m. at the Kettler IcePlex in Arlington.   Oh and I might be on the ice…as one of the referees in the game.

On Capitol Hill this week, there are a number of budget hearings leading the agenda.  Secretary Moniz has three hearings and Secretary Jewell will make a second appearance.  Also at House Resources on Wednesday, BSEE’s Brian Salerno and BOEM’s Abby Hopper will be testify on the budget impacts of the Administration’s offshore/onshore rules.  GEST’s Lori LeBlanc, after a meeting with OMB today and a series of Hill Meetings tomorrow.

Down the road at the Gaylord, ARPA-E launches its innovation summit.  Today, Air Liquide CEO Mike Graff and  BASF CEO Wayne Smith will sit with FORTUNE innovation writer Katie Fehrenbacher to discuss hydrogen vehicles and other new technologies.  Other speakers at the three-day event will include Sen Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, Energy Secretary Moniz and former VP Al Gore tomorrow, and EPA’s Gina McCarthy and Sen. Chris Coons on Wednesday.

Finally, Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group was recognized as the top performing lobbying/law firm in 2015 by Bloomberg Government in its annual review of the best advocacy firms in Washington, DC. The review ranks the top 15 firms based on performance, growth, customer satisfaction and profitability. The report noted that “Bracewell is the only firm to make Bloomberg Government’s top-performing lobbying/law firms list for the fourth time in a row. Earning the top spot on the 2015 rankings, Bracewell’s impressive year was reflected in its top five performances in four of the five criteria.” The ranking criteria include one-year client retention, three-year client retention, revenue growth, accretive growth and revenue per registered client.

Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Bracewell Named Top Performing Lobbying/Law Firm of 2015 by Bloomberg Government – Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group  (PRG) was recognized as the top performing lobbying/law firm in 2015 by Bloomberg Government in its annual review of the best advocacy firms in Washington, DC. The review ranks the top 15 firms based on performance, growth, customer satisfaction and profitability.  The report noted that “Bracewell is the only firm to make Bloomberg Government’s top-performing lobbying/law firms list for the fourth time in a row. Earning the top spot on the 2015 rankings, Bracewell’s impressive year was reflected in its top five performances in four of the five criteria.” The ranking criteria include one-year client retention, three-year client retention, revenue growth, accretive growth and revenue per registered client.   According to the report, the Bracewell PRG one-year client retention rate is 93% and its three-year client retention rate is 78%, placing it near the top of its class in each category.

SoCo to Acquire Distributed Generation Leader – Southern Company will acquire PowerSecure, a leading provider of utility and energy technologies to electric utilities, and their industrial, institutional and commercial customers. PowerSecure provides products and services in the areas of Interactive Distributed Generation ® (IDG®), solar energy, energy efficiency and utility infrastructure.  Southern believes that the advancement of distributed infrastructure technologies – the very technologies in which PowerSecure specializes through its unique business model – helps meet customers’ future energy needs as part of the full portfolio of energy resources. These technologies typically receive highest demand largely in markets outside of the Southeast, where distributed infrastructure investments tend to provide greater customer value. Through this natural evolution of the companies’ current business models, the combined company would be particularly suited to address reliability concerns and promote technology advances with a focus on the future.   As Southern Company and PowerSecure prepare for tomorrow, the combination of one of America’s leading energy companies with a successful, customer-focused provider of differentiated energy solutions and innovative energy infrastructure is designed to expand Southern Company’s opportunities to provide customized energy products to customers.

Bipartisan Group  Introduces CCS Incentive Bill – Speaking of SoCo and innovation, their Kemper Carbon Capture Plant is expected to open later this year.  Last week, Federal legislation was introduced to spur commercial deployment of technologies to capture carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and industrial facilities for use in enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) Rep. Mike Conaway and  18 bipartisan co-sponsors.  The legislation will make the existing federal carbon capture and storage incentive—known as the Section 45Q tax credit—permanent, thereby providing certainty that project developers need to obtain private sector financing of carbon capture projects. The current 45Q tax credit expires upon reaching its current cap of 75 million tons of CO2, meaning that investors in projects under development cannot count on the credit being available.  The bill would also gradually increase the credit value for CO2 storage through enhanced oil recovery or other types of geologic storage (from $10/ton and $20/ton, respectively) to $30 per ton by 2025.  For over 40 years, the U.S. independent oil and gas industry has led the world in using CO2 for oil production and geologic storage of carbon, and CO2-EOR currently provides around 4 percent of domestic oil production and utilizes roughly 65 million tons of CO2 annually.

Conservative Groups Oppose a Carbon Tax – The American Energy Alliance and over 20 free-market and conservative groups sent a letter to Majority Whip Steve Scalise in support of his resolution opposing a carbon tax. As the budget and appropriations process gets underway, Congress should reject efforts that would impose a carbon tax on American families, including President Obama’s recent proposal to levy a $10.25 per barrel carbon tax on oil. Below is an excerpt from the letter:  We write to collectively voice our support for House Concurrent Resolution 89, expressing the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy.  As organizations that support free markets as a fundamental pathway to American prosperity, we oppose government policies – such as a carbon tax–that punish some and reward others in accordance with the government’s prevailing viewpoint on market ideals. Such marketplace manipulation represents a recipe for unintended consequences and self-inflicted economic damage. Too often, poor and middle class families bear the burden.  Indeed, independent studies demonstrate that a carbon tax would impose considerable harm on Americans. Such a tax will lead directly to higher electricity and transportation fuel costs for American families and businesses. This, in turn, will inexorably lead to increased costs for consumer goods across the board. Furthermore, a carbon tax would be regressive, imposing disproportionately high costs on middle- and lower-income families and thereby harming most those who can afford it least.

MD Get s Offshore Wind Application Process Rolling – The Maryland Public Service Commission received its first Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credit (OREC) Application, opening competition for the $1.9B OREC financing set in place by the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013.  There is a 180 day window for all other developers to apply.  In addition to the OREC, the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 established a number of provisions for a qualified offshore wind project, which is required to be located on the outer continental shelf, between 10 and 30 miles off the coast. Projects must satisfying several ratepayer impact protection measures, the offshore wind project must demonstrate positive net economic, environmental and health benefits to the State as a condition of approval.  The Maryland OREC application submission marks a milestone on the development timeline of the US offshore wind industry. The process will bring economic development and investment to Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic and North East regions and could reach down into the Gulf of Mexico.  The next step in the process is the approval of the OREC application, which is paramount to the growth of a pipeline of projects in the East Coast and realization of the full economic benefits associated with offshore wind.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Air Liquide CEO, Others Headline ARPA-E Event –This morning , Air Liquide CEO Mike Graff will launch the annual ARPA-E Innovation Summit with the featured “Fireside Chat.”  Graff will be interviewed by FORTUNE innovation writer Katie Fehrenbacher along with BASF CEO Wayne Smith.  Other speakers at the three-day event will include Sen Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, Energy Secretary Moniz and former VP Al Gore tomorrow, and EPA’s Gina McCarthy and Sen. Chris Coons on Wednesday.

BOEM Director Headlines Offshore Wind Conference – The 2016 U.S. Offshore Wind Leadership Conference is being held today through Wednesday at the InterContinental Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts.   Speakers include BOEM Director Abby Hopper, Sen Ed Markey, NWF CEO Colin O’Mara, Deepwater CEO Jeff Grybowski, Delaware Special Initiative on Offshore Wind director Stephanie McClellan, UD’s Willett Kempton, AWEA’s Nany Sopko, Liz Burdick of the Business Network for OSW and many more.

Brookings to Host Australian Energy Leader – Today at 1:30 p.m., the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings will host The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Australia’s Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia. Minister Frydenberg will address what Australia is doing to ensure it remains a world leader on energy and resources, the continued importance of the U.S. and growing importance of Asian markets for energy and resources markets, and what the Paris climate change agreement means for Australia’s energy sector. Following the remarks, Brookings Senior Fellow Joshua Meltzer will engage the Minister in a one-on-one discussion. After the program, the participants will take audience questions.

Revkin to Discuss Science, Climate Writing – Tonight, my friend and former NY Times science reporter Andy Revkin will be at the Marian Koshland Science Museum at 6:30 p.m. for a wide-ranging conversation about the challenges of writing about climate change and making an impact on readers through personal narrative. He will be joined by Lee Gutkind, founding editor of Creative Nonfiction, and Daniel Sarewitz, co-editor of Issues in Science and Technology; Andrew’s essay appears in the current issues of both magazines.

Energy Funding, Energy Panels Host Moniz, DOE on Budgets – The House and Senate Energy and Water Approps Subcommittee and the House Energy panel will all hear testimony from  Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz as they hold budget hearings on the Department of Energy.  House Approps hosts tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., House Energy Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., Senate Energy Thursday at 10:00 a.m.  As well, DOE Undersecretaries Franklin Orr (Science), Dave Danielson (EERE), John Kotek (Nuclear), Chris Smith (Fossil) and Pat Hoffman (Electricity Delivery/Reliability) will all testify before House Energy Water Approps on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

Jewell, Interior Returns to Hill – Starting tomorrow, Interior Secretary  Sally Jewell will return to Capitol to discuss 2017 budgets.  House Resources will host tomorrow wat 10 am, while Senate Interior Approps will Host on Wednesday at 10 a.m. and House Interior Approps on Wednesday afternoon.   Finally. BLM’s Neil Kornze heads to House Interior Approps on Thursday at 10am.

House Energy Panel to Unveil Pipeline Legislation – The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Energy will unveil draft reauthorization legislation for pipeline safety in a hearing tomorrow. The draft bill to be discussed tomorrow would also reauthorize PHMSA through 2019, but the bill would also include multiple new mandates to “increase transparency and accountability, complete overdue regulations, and improve safety,” according to a statement from the committee.  Good resources on this include AGA’s Jake Rubin and Don Santa of INGAA.  PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez Administrator will testify.

Canada Energy Future Highlighted – The CSIS Energy Program will feature a discussion on Wednesday of Canada’s 2016 energy future.  The event will feature members of the Canadian National Energy Board, including Abha Bhargava, Director of Energy Integration, as well as Energy Futures Project Managers Bryce Van Sluys and Matthew Hansen.

House Energy Panel Hosts Moniz on Budget – As mentioned above, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the FY2017 DOE Budget featuring Secretary Moniz.

Senate FR Looks at Oil Price Impacts – The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the geopolitical implications of low oil & gas prices.  Witnesses will include Institute of International Finance head Tim Adams, and Robert Kahn, a Fellow for International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Resources Panel to Look at Leasing Issues at Interior – The House Resource Committee’s panel on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on the President’s FY 2017 Budget on the energy and mineral leasing.  IT will also look at the production missions of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Bureau of Land Management.  Our friends, Abby Hopper and Brian Salerno will be among those testifying.

RFF Seminar to Look at Climate Trade Offs – Resources For the Future holds it March First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. to look at trade-offs in climate policy options.  On the heels of the Paris climate negotiations, carbon pricing policies – either carbon taxes or cap-and-trade programs – are receiving renewed attention across the globe. In the meantime, US federal climate policy is being driven by regulatory authority, but with a strong focus on program flexibility via credit trading. Against this evolving background, the time is right to revisit the trade-offs among various carbon pricing and other climate policy options. At this RFF First Wednesday Seminar, Tom Lawler of the International Emissions Trading Association will highlight the benefits of emissions trading programs, and Jerry Taylor of the Niskanen Center will present the case for a carbon tax. Both will then participate in a broader panel discussion on the interplay between carbon pricing and regulatory measures.

Groups to Offer Recommendation of Fish, Wildlife – On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., a group of energy, business and conservation leaders will release their recommendations on how to avert the growing fish and wildlife crisis in this country. The Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources was created in 2014 to develop policy options on the most sustainable and equitable model to fund conservation of fish and wildlife. The panel was co-chaired by former Wyoming governor, David Freudenthal, and John L. Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, and includes representatives from the outdoor recreation retail and manufacturing sector, the energy and automotive industries, private landowners, educational institutions, conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups and state fish and wildlife agencies.  Speakers will include New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife Director Dave Chanda, Freudenthal, Morris, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane and NWF head Collin O’Mara.

Senate Energy to Host Moniz – As mentioned above, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will convene a hearing Thursday to examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Energy.  Secretary Moniz will testify.

House Science to Look at Loan Guarantee Programs – House Science Committee subpanels will host DOE Lean program director Mike McCall Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the future of the program.   Joining McCall will be GAO’s Frank Rusco, program defender Greg Kats and Heritage Critic Nicolas Loris.

Pew Honors Clean Energy Leadership – Pew Charitable Trusts hosts a reception Thursday at 5:30 p.m. to highlight advances in clean energy. The reception will include remarks from Phyllis Cuttino, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Clean Energy Initiative and Dr. Ellen Williams, director of The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy.

Forum to Look at Local Clean Energy Issues – Leaders in Energy and the United Nations Association will host an interactive  panel discussion on Thursday at 6;30 p.m. looking at acting on clean energy.  UNA-NCA, in partnership with Leaders in Energy, will host a discussion on the newly enacted 2015 Paris Climate Agreement  and the United Nations’ Global Goal 7, which is aimed at ensuring access to affordable clean energy.   The panel discussion will foster a dialogue with attendees and compile practical actions and next steps that local residents can take in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Northern Virginia.

Atlantic Forum to Look at Energy in Developing World – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on Friday at 9:30 a.m. looking at a U.S. strategy for sustainable energy security.  The event will focus on the energy needs of the developing world.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

McCarthy to Headline Climate Conference – The 2016 Climate Leadership Conference will take place March 8th through 10 in Seattle.  The event convenes a global audience of climate, energy, and sustainability professionals to address climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. Now in its fifth year, the 2016 event will host the first U.S. climate conference post-Paris to further accelerate climate solutions and a low-carbon economy.  Speakers include EPA Head Gina McCarthy, former CNN and current GWU School of Media & PA head Frank Sesno, Microsoft’s Dan Reicher and former CO Governor Bill Ritter.

USEA Look at CCS Utilization – The US Energy Association hosts a forum next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. on utilization of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.  The “U” in CCUS, is a key component of essentially all major CO2 capture and storage projects such as Summit’s Texas Clean Energy Project, Petra Nova’s Parish project, Boundary Dam, and Kemper. This briefing will assess the market dynamics, issues and opportunities at play.  Speaker will be Michael Moore, Vice President of Energy Commodities and Advisory Services at FearnOil.

JHU Forum Looks at Renewables – Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS will hold a forum next Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. as part of the SAIS Research Seminar Series in Politics and Political Economy, 2015-2016 on how power sectors reforms are shaping renewable energy issues across the globe.  Johannes Urpelainen, the speaker for this seminar, is Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.

Groups Look at Ag Impacts on Climate – The Organic Consumers Association and Regeneration International will hold a workshop on Wednesday March 9th to discuss the science and management of the remarkable bio-chemical process called carbon sequestration.  Scientists will explain how it works and climate policy experts will describe initiatives to drive the rapid, large-scale, worldwide adoption of regenerative agriculture techniques that can sequester carbon, improve both quantity and quality of foods produced, and concurrently decrease atmospheric CO2.  Some of the speakers include Catherine Geslain-Laneelle, Kristine Nichols, David Johnson, and Richard Teague.

AGA Expert Feature In CHP/NatGas Webinar – The Alliance for Industrial Efficiency is cohosting a webinar with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy on Wednesday March 9th at Noon on the state of the market and implications for natgas & CHP.   Expert panelists will explore data from the 2016 BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook on the state of the market for natural gas and combined heat and power (CHP), and provide their perspectives on prospects for continued growth.   They will also will explore data from the 2016 BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook on the state of the market for natural gas and combined heat and power (CHP), and provide their perspectives on prospects for continued growth.  Among the speakers will be our friend Richard Meyer, Manager of Energy Analysis & Standards at the American Gas Association.

ARPA-E Director Talks Innovation, Grid – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a discussion on March 10th with Ellen Williams, Director of ARPA-E, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. Dr. Williams and  ARPA-e play a critical role in incubating new energy technologies.  One issue where real progress on both technology and market deployment continues to be needed is the electric grid.  Dr. Williams will discuss key areas of focus for ARPA-E in 2016, with a  special focus on grid management and grid storage as well as the new initiatives including Mission Innovation. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will provide a brief introduction and Frank O’Sullivan, Director of Research and Analysis with the MIT Energy Initiative and Senior Associate with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will moderate the discussion.

Forum to Look at Japan Priorities in Middle East – On March 10th, the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Global Energy Center will bring together Japanese scholars and practitioners alongside US analysts to discuss Japanese energy priorities and policies in the Middle East. These experts will discuss how the Middle Eastern landscape impacts Japan’s energy policies, and how Japanese policies in turn impact the region.

Poneman to Discuss Argentina, Energy – The Atlantic Council for a discussion on Friday, March 11th looking at Argentina’s energy outlook in the new administration of President Mauricio Macri era. The event will launch the Atlantic Council’s latest policy brief, The New Argentina: Time to Double Down on the Energy Sector?, authored by Argentine energy expert Cristian Folgar.  Among the speakers will be Dan Poneman, former Deputy Secretary of Energy.

AHRI Public Policy Forum Set – The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) hold its annual Public Policy Forum on March 15th and 16th.  The 2016 Public Policy Symposium is designed to bring AHRI members together with key public officials to discuss important issues facing the HVACR and water heating industry. The two-day event provides participants with the opportunity for face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and Congressional staff on Capitol Hill, and with key officials in federal agencies. Near-miss Virginia Senate Candidate and former political operative Ed Gillespie will keynote the forum.

Chamber Summit to Look at Competitiveness – The U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness holds the 10th Annual Capital Markets Summit looking at the foundation of economic growth on March 15th.  This year, the event will examine the current state of the capital markets, including how innovation is changing the landscape, and explore what changes are necessary to ensure these markets are modernized and well-regulated to ensure economic growth.

Forum to Focus on Geothermal – EESI and the Geothermal Energy Association is hosting a briefing on Wednesday March 16th at 2:00 p.m. in 212-10 in the Capitol Visitors Center highlighting the state of the geothermal energy industry and its near-term prospects in the United States and in more than 80 other countries working to expand its use. With demand for clean energy accelerating around the globe, geothermal energy has major potential as a renewable resource that can provide power around-the-clock, complementing intermittent renewable power technologies. Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Deputy Director-General Sakari Oksanen, U.S. Geothermal President  Doug Glaspey and several others.

GEA Sets Geo Energy Showcase – The Geothermal Energy Assn will be holding its 3rd U.S. and International Geothermal Energy Showcase in Washington, DC on Thursday, March 17th at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. This year’s Showcase will focus on the building blocks for successful geothermal projects and highlight key geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and the international markets. The program will showcase geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and around the world. Topics covered will include: the geothermal market today, projects under development in the U.S. and internationally, outlook for the future of the geothermal market, policies driving geothermal development, new technologies, and federal agency support at home and abroad.

Defense Renewables Summit Set – Infocast hosts the 6th Defense Renewables Summit on March 15-16th at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, VA, to bring DoD, Air Force, Army and Navy decision-makers together with renewable energy developers, utilities, system integrators, financiers, EPCs, cybersecurity, energy storage, smartgrid and telecom experts to meet the renewable energy goals and security needs of the DoD. The summit will explore how viable, financeable projects can be developed to the benefit of all. The summit will provide the latest on emerging guidelines and processes that merges the complexity of federal acquisitions with the risk allocation methods of project finance.

ACORE Policy Forum Set – The 2016 ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be on March 16th and 17th at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Senator Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will provide the Mid-Morning Keynote.  The event has a great line up including moderators Joe Desmond of Brightsource Energy, Greg Wetstone of ACORE and Dan Reicher, former DOE official and Google exec at Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center.

Chamber to Host Aviation Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are hosting the 15th annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 22nd at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2016 Summit will focus on innovation and emerging technologies.

Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 on April 19th at The Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the Uncertainties of Shale Resource Development Under Low Price Environment.

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

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

Friends,

And I Feel Fine.  With yesterday’s final, the World Cup is complete with Germany breaking Europe’s streak of bad luck on American (Latin/South/North) soil with a spectacular goal in the 113th minute of extra time from substitute player Mario Gӧtze.  The game ends a great tournament with lots of excitement and lots of emotion.  Next up for Brazil, the 2016 summer games.  The World Cup heads to Russia in 2018.

Today, our friends at NARUC launch their summer meetings in Dallas with a full slate of discussions about all topics related to utility regulators, including many on the new GHG rules from EPA.  There are many different opinions at NARUC on the topic.  To that end, this morning, the pro-EPA rule “Analysis” Group, headed by Sue Tierney released a study saying electricity customers would benefit from the new GHG rule for existing power plants.  Funny how they often come to that conclusion when it would benefit their favorite position.  Most real analysis shows even with a lot of flexibility for states, there will still be significant economic costs on consumers, businesses and states, especially regionally.  My colleagues Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead can offer thoughts on the “analysis” from the Analysis Group.  FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, Duke’s Lynn Good, American Waterworks Susan Story and many others will also speak.

Back in DC today, the EIA also kicks off its annual energy conference with a full slate of very good speakers tackling the financial and energy implications of the current state of energy play.  In addition to Sect. Moniz and Adam Sieminski, IHS’s Dan Yergin and analyst Paul Sankey will speak along with many others. Also, Wednesday the Heritage Foundation will host Canadian auto magnate Frank Stronach for a conversation about politics and business.

The Congressional schedule heats up tomorrow starting with full Senate votes on FERC nominees Cheryl LaFleur to a second term (starting as chair) and Norman Bay.  Still lots of questions and bad blood on that issue, but the compromise seems to be sticking.  House Resources hones in on implementation of the Helium Act passed last fall (my colleague Salo Zelermyer [202-828-1718] is expert) and House Transportation looks at waters issues including permits, streams and waters of the US (my colleague Lowell Rothschild [202-828-5817] knows best).  Tomorrow, House Approps launches on EPA spending (riders on GHGs etc in tow) and Wednesday, the House Science Committee investigates an NRC report about EPA’s IRIS and the longstanding concerns of enviro groups and industry.

And remember, next week, EPA launches its series of public hearings in Atlanta, Denver, DC and Pittsburgh on the GHG rule for existing power plants.

Finally, our friend Jay Newton-Small, a recovering energy reporter who now covers politics for Time, has a great piece today on the Colorado Senate/Governors’ races and the potential impacts from an anti-natgas (not fracking) ballot initiative in the state sponsored by natgas opponent and Congressman, Jared Polis.  Jay says the “friendly fire” could cost Democrats the Senate.

Call if you have questions

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

 

IN THE NEWS

GW, AU, Duke Energy Join on Solar Project – The George Washington University, GW Hospital and American University are joining with Duke Energy Renewables to develop a groundbreaking solar energy project that will comprise a 450-acre, 52 MW farm in North Carolina. GW’s new solar power buy is the largest of its kind, an innovative 243,000-panel installation at three sites that will offset 50% of GW’s electricity for the next 20 years.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

House Approps Marks EPA Spending — The House Appropriations Committee marks up its 2015 Interior-EPA spending bill tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.  A number of key provisions passed in the subcommittee mark up for the $30 billion legislation despite opposition from Democrats on the panel, limiting EPA ability to spend on climate and other activities.   Among the most controversial are efforts to block EPA’s proposed rules for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants and increasing the number of streams and wetlands that get automatic protection under the Clean Water Act. Additional action may come on coal ash issues and the EPA/Administration’s social cost of carbon.

Transpo to Focus on EPA, Clean Water — The House Transportation Committee’s water panel holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on EPA’s permit veto authority under the Clean Water Act.  With several mine permit cases and the current waters of the US act as hot topics, the issue will be interesting.  My colleague Lowell Rothschild (202-828-5817) can answer many of your questions on the subject. Witnesses will include the US Chamber’s Bill Kovacs, NMA’s Hal Quinn, ARTBA’s Nick Ivanhoff, Leah Pilconis of the Associated General Contractors of America,  Richard Faulk of the George Mason University School of Law and Patrick Parenteau of the Vermont Law School.

House Resources to Look at Helium Act Implementation — The House Resources Committee’s mineral resources panel will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on implementing the 2013 Helium Stewardship Act. Witnesses will include Interior’s Linda Lance, who is deputy director of the Bureau of Land Management, and Anne-Marie Fennell, director of the Natural Resources and Environment Team of the U.S. Government Accountability Office.  Of course, my colleague Salo Zelermyer was instrumental in getting this passed and can give you many of the details, as well as connect you with key sources.

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

House Science to Look at EPA’s IRIS — The House Science Committee’s Environment and Oversight panels hold a hearing on reforms to EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System at  2:00 p.m.  The IRIS has long been under attack from both enviros and industry.  The report will focus on recent findings of a National Research Council report that evaluated changes made to EPA’s IRIS.  Witnesses will include NRC panel member David Dorman, EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment director Kenneth Olden, Maryland professor and enviro activist Rena Steinzor and Michael Walls, vice president of regulatory and technical affairs at the American Chemistry Council.

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

SAFE Event to Address Geo political Flashpoints, Energy Security  –  On Wednesday, the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) and Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will hold a luncheon briefing on Capitol Hill in 2203 Rayburn to discuss geopolitical flashpoints in oil producing countries and the implications for U.S. national and energy security.  Speakers will include Admiral Michael Mullen and John Hannah in a panel discussion moderated by our friend Steve Mufson of the Washington Post.  Rep. Cory Gardner will begin the panel with opening remarks.  Events across the globe offer stark reminders that energy security and national security are inextricably linked, and that the global oil market is subject to economically-damaging instability. Sustained high oil prices are fueling an increasingly assertive Russian foreign policy and emboldening dangerous actors like Iran. Meanwhile, a series of oil production outages in Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and elsewhere have tightened global supplies, elevating the risk of a serious price spike in 2014. Although the United States is producing more oil domestically than it has since the 1980s, further progress on American and allied energy security is urgently needed.

Senate Environment to Discuss Climate Bills The Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife will meet on Wednesday to consider a number of bills including S.1202, the SAFE Act, to establish an integrated Federal program to respond to ongoing and expected impacts of extreme weather and climate change by protecting, restoring, and conserving the natural resources of the United States, and to maximize government efficiency and reduce costs, in cooperation with state, local, and tribal governments and other entities.

Heritage to Host Discussion with Auto Parts, Magnate – The Heritage Foundation will host a discussion on Wednesday at noon with auto parts magnate Frank Stronach.  Stronach is a legendary, dynamic and outspoken business leader who holds strong views on business, leadership, and public policy, including manufacturing and tax policy issues. Stronach immigrated to Canada from Austria as a young man and built the largest auto supply company in the world out of his garage.  He also now owns horse racing and gaming operations across the country.  Last year, he funded a political campaign in his native Austria that garnered 12 victories in national political elections. Becky Dunlop Norton is hosting the event and Mark Tapscott Executive Editor, The Washington Examiner, will be interviewing Stronach.

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

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

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

Forum to Look at Midwest Climate Impacts – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday in 406 Dirksen examining the current and projected impacts of climate change in the Midwest, as well as strategies being developed to mitigate the associated risks. The Midwest (defined in the National Climate Assessment as Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio) has about 20 percent of the nation’s population, and produces 19 percent of the nation’s GDP.  According to the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA), climate change has wide-reaching impacts in the region, affecting the agricultural industry, the Great Lakes, northern forests, the energy system, and public health, generally in detrimental ways. In addition, the Midwest’s economy is highly energy-intensive, releasing 22 percent more greenhouse gas emissions per capita than the U.S. average. Briefing speakers will discuss how reducing emissions and taking action to improve the resilience and adaptation of Midwest communities, businesses, and farms can help mitigate climate change-exacerbated economic and social stresses.  Speakers for this forum are U of M National Climate Assessment author Rosina Bierbaum, Carmel Mayor James Brainard, Cincinnati City Environment Director Larry Falkin and Jeremy Emmi of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

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

CSIS to Look at Nuclear Training –  The CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program will hold a day-long workshop on Friday that will cover: the accomplishments of the three Centers of Excellence established by the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit. The COEs are aimed at training professionals in nuclear security and improving physical protection of nuclear materials.  With growing demand for nuclear energy in Asia, these COEs have an increased stake in improving national nuclear governance and potentially providing venues for regional collaboration in nuclear security. It will focus on the perspectives of officials in these countries on the progress and goals for their facilities, and discussion among government officials and experts on the future of cooperation in these areas.  This event is co-sponsored by CSIS, the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

Forum to Focus on Nuclear Overview  – The Foundation for Nuclear Studies will hold a luncheon briefing on Friday in 2322 Rayburn to discuss nuclear energy. In pursuit of its mission, the Foundation sponsors a highly regarded Congressional Briefing Series with forums on a broad spectrum of issues related to nuclear technology, ranging from medical isotopes to the transportation of nuclear materials. The events attract high-quality speakers and seek to provide a balanced presentation of differing perspectives.  Speakers will include Craig Piercy of the American Nuclear Society and IBEW’s Dan Gardner, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

FUTURE EVENTS

Press Club to Host Transpo Sect Foxx – The National Press Club will hold a luncheon next Monday featuring Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  Foxx will discuss several items including many of the important issues on rail safety and crude issues.

DOE Looking for R&D Insights – Next Tuesday morning, the Office of Fossil Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy is seeking industry’s involvement in developing a R&D agenda on subsurface technology and engineering.  They will hold a forum at USEA led by Mark Ackiewicz, Program Manager for the Division of CCS Research at the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, this briefing will aim to facilitate a dialogue with industry on what they perceive as the key challenges and opportunities regarding adaptive control of fractures and fluid flow.

ELI Forum to Focus on Energy Performance – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday, July 22 at noon to look at improving energy performance at industrial facilities.  In the last decade, the U.S. Department of Energy and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have raised the bar for energy performance in industrial facilities.  Speakers will include General Dynamics Stephen Cannizzaro, Robert Bruce Lung of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and DOE’s Paul Scheihing.

BPC Forum to Focus on Innovation – On Wednesday July 23rd, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) will gather experts, business leaders, academics and policymakers to assess the state of American energy innovation and new approaches to drive more resources into it.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will be the keynote speaker. Former Dow exec Chad Holliday, DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, DOE’s David Danielson, MIT Energy Initiative Director and many others will be among the other speakers.

WCEE to Hold Annual Legislative Roundtable – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold its Annual Legislative Roundtable next Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. at the American Gas Assn.  The event will highlight key issues facing the US Congress this fall.  The event will discuss highly contested legislative issues ranging from crude oil and LNG exports to renewable policies in the electricity and transportation sectors.   Senior congressional staff will share with us their predictions regarding the role these issues are playing in the midterm elections and how the outcome will likely impact the policies that shape the energy industry.  Speakers will include Senate Energy Committee directors Liz Craddock and Karen Billups, as well as reps from the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  Out friend Christi Tezak moderates.

WRI to Release Report – On Thursday morning at NPR, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Resources and Rights Initiative (RRI) unveil the report “Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change: How Strengthening Community Forest Rights Mitigates Climate Change.”  The analysis will offer the most comprehensive review to date linking legal recognition and government protection of community forest rights with healthier forests and reduced carbon pollution from deforestation. More than 11 percent of global emissions are due to deforestation and other land use, and this new analysis offers an exciting and largely untapped tool to help reduce global emissions.  As discussions head toward the next round of international climate negotiations in Lima, Peru and Paris in 2015, this report and discussion will offer a fresh perspective for how strengthening rights of local and indigenous communities can be an exceptionally powerful tool for climate action and forest protection. Armed with the report’s results, practitioners and policy makers should be convinced that safeguarding forest rights is as crucial of a climate solution as others like REDD+, renewable energy and low-carbon urban design.

USEA to Focus on China, CCS – On Thursday, July 24th at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum on coal issues in China. The presentation will review some of the most recent CCS developments in China, including an overview of the ongoing research, demonstration and deployment as well as an overview of recent policy actions taken.  Additionally, Jim Wood, Director for the US-China Clean Energy Research Center for Coal for West Virginia University,  will present on the US-China collaboration on CCS.

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

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

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

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

Energy Update Week of 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 June 9

Friends,

After gorgeous weekend of amusement parks (my final 5th-grade trip to Hershey Park) and lacrosse (Beach Lax in OC, MD), I start today with the disappointment in Elmont, NY where California Chrome fell short to Tonalist in the third leg of the Triple Crown.  It was sad to hear Chrome’s owner make comments following the race that made him seem like sore losers.  It really ruins what was a fairy tale story.  Good matches at the French Open as well where Maria Sharapova took the women’s title on Saturday and Rafa Nadal won his record 9th French title, outlasting Novak Djokovic in four sets. (Not quite the five-set classic in last year’s semi, but still great)  The win ties Nadal for second on the major wins list with Pete Sampras at 14, only three behind Roger Federer.

This week, we continue the NHL and NBA finals after the LA Kings won two come-from-behind victories over the Rangers and the Heat and Bracewell-client San Antonio Spurs split at one game apiece.  Hockey tonight and Wednesday from Broadway and hoops tomorrow and Thursday from South Beach.  As well, Thursday starts the 114th U.S. Open, golf’s second major.  Please get your GHG media questions in prior to Thursday mid-morning.  Finally, the FIFA World Cup starts Thursday as well in Brazil regardless of reports of traffic woes, unfinished stadiums and major concerns about costs.   The US is in Pool G or the “Pool of Death” with tough opponents Germany, Portugal and Ghana (who defeated the US in 2010) and starts play next Monday.

This week in DC will seem much slower after last week’s parade of issues led by Monday’s GHG roll out, the GM recall report and the CSB’s Macondo report both Thursday.  On the docket in Congress, there could be some focus this week on the FERC nominations of Cheryl LeFleur and Norman Bay.  While there have been many back and forth discussions, seems like Senate Leader Harry Reid is once again undercutting any potential progress (because those type of heavy handing tactics worked last time).  Tomorrow, Senate Environment look at Superfund and House Approps marks up energy/water funding.  On Wednesday, former HUD Sect and current OMB nominee Shaun Donovan heads to Senate HSGA and Budget Committees for his confirmation hearing, while House Transportation look at the new “waters of the US” rule. (Remember, my colleague Lowell Rothschild, 202-828-5817, is the best expert on the topic)

Two other good events this week include a Hill forum on offshore wind featuring Sen. Tom Carper on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. sponsored by the U of Delaware’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind and a GHG EPA forum on Wednesday featuring our friends Mike Ball and Elizabeth Roberts.   More below.

Finally, in case you missed it (and you probably did), the White House snuck out a report late Friday linking public health and climate change despite their endangerment finding which says there is no link.  More below.  As well, my colleague Jeff Holmstead visited with Platts Energy Week’s Chris Newkumet for Sunday’s show.  Call with questions.

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

IN THE NEWS

White House Releases Public Health, Climate Link – Late Friday, the White House said climate change “threatens the health and well-being of Americans.  The report says climate change will increase ground-level ozone and particle pollution, which could worsen respiratory illnesses like asthma. It also makes the case that climate change will contribute to more extreme heat, increase instances of infectious disease, lead to higher pollen counts and raise the frequency of rainfall and flooding.

Sounds Familiar – We mentioned this last week, but interestingly, it was the White House itself that undercut this claim in its Endangerment Finding, which the whole regulatory edifice is built upon.  “To be clear, ambient concentrations of carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases, whether at current levels or at projected ambient levels under scenarios of high emissions growth over time, do not cause direct adverse health effects such as respiratory or toxic effects. All public health risks and impacts described here as a result of elevated atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases occur via climate change.”  That is Washington DC Political irony at its best.

Segal: Public Health/Climate Link is Uncertain – Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC), said the report purporting to link global warming to health effects is another attempt to defend its expensive carbon regulations for existing power plants.  That warming has adverse consequences is hardly controversial anymore; that the new EPA carbon rules will do anything to address those consequences is highly controversial.  The fact is that the new proposal will not address climate change in any meaningful way, and raising energy prices as the new EPA rules represents a serious threat to public health.  Segal added “unilateral US regulations will not reduce the threat of global warming, which is an international phenomenon.”  US carbon emissions have been stable or declined over the last decade. By contrast, Chinese emissions have increased over 170% while India’s emissions have increased over 90%. There is little evidence that our trade competitors will “follow our lead” on carbon regulation when the competitive advantage of their industries hang in the balance. Indeed, as manufacturing moves overseas in search of more optimal regulatory conditions, even more carbon will be released as less efficient factories churn out goods that must then be transported thousands of miles back to US customers. Our trading partners with measurably worse environmental records may be the real winners when the US goes it alone with unilateral carbon regulations.  For more, see the answers to Questions 4 and 5 of the ERCC report, as well as the recent report from American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

House Doctors Letter Predicted this Effort, Raised Concerns – Earlier this year, 11 House doctors already predicted the White House would attempt to make this link.  They wrote to the EPA Administrator in March 2014 asking her to take this significant health effects into account as she formulated the carbon rule.  So far, the Agency failed to do so.  The letter says by increasing energy costs, the proposed rule could actually make public health worse 1) by increasing the cost of medical care and treatment; and 2) by imposing real threats on human health by suppressing economic growth and the improved health it brings.

State Oil-Rail Report Raises Concerns about Deaths – In case you missed it on Friday as well, the State Department published a 300-page list of corrections to the Keystone Environmental Impact Statement.  On page one, State has used an updated incident analysis method to significantly increase its estimate of the human health impacts of failing to build the pipeline.   In the original EIS, State had estimated that failing to build Keystone would result in increased crude-by-rail traffic causing 6 more deaths and 49 more injuries annually.   State says the revised data results in an estimate of 28 additional fatalities and 189 injuries.  This may have effects outside of the Keystone debate, given the estimates of significantly more injuries and deaths from crude-by-rail v. pipelines.  The updated numbers appear to strengthen the case for approving Keystone (as well as other pipelines) by reinforcing the notion that rail is not as safe as carrying oil by pipeline.

WSJ Reid Influence Causing Rift at FERC – Today, our friend Amy Harder at the Wall Street Journal highlights the role Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been playing in shaping FERC to benefit his home state of Nevada.  Unfortunately, the efforts have undercut not only the agency, but also the process of finding a new member and potential Chair.  Already, Reid was publicly called out by Democratic Commissioner John Norris during the previous failed Ron Binz nomination.  Now a rift with current acting chair and Democratic-appointed Cheryl LeFleur is openly discussed in Harder’s article.  With a number of ongoing discussions regarding the current nominations of LeFleur and Norman Bay, one wonders how this one gets resolved.

UBS Report Questions PJM Action Process – UBS Securities just issued a report focused on issues related to rigging supply in the recent PJM capacity auction.  UBS identifies at least four companies that deliberately withheld capacity from the auction to create tighter supply and raise prices for all of their plants that did clear the auction.  UBS lists Exelon, NRG and Dynegy. They key takeaway is that all the incumbent generators in PJM benefit from what these companies did.  From UBS report: “But who wins? Mostly EXC, NRG and DYN, but whole sector should benefit Despite the lower MWs committed through the use of portfolio bidding, all four companies are among the biggest beneficiaries of the auction results. We suspect the entire sector will continue to benefit from the trade, however, more Eastern-oriented MAAC names could still be more muted in upside given the substantial announcement of new and converted gas-fired capacity.”

Former NYT Reporter Calls out PJM Auctions – Speaking of the topic, law professor David Cay Johnson, offers additional details of how incumbent generators in PJM like Exelon rigged the recent PJM capacity auction to rake in lots of profit for itself, at the expense of ratepayers across the whole PJM footprint.   Johnson only points to Exelon in the article, using them as the example/case study. He also argues that consumers end up paying the price for higher rates.  Johnston, an investigative reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize while at The New York Times, teaches business, tax and property law of the ancient world at the Syracuse University College of Law. He is the best-selling author of “Perfectly Legal“, “Free Lunch” and “The Fine Print” and editor of the new anthology “Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality.”

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

EEI Hold Annual Meeting – The Edison Electric Institute holds its annual convention this week in Las Vegas at the Aria Resort.  Main speakers include CIA Director Mike Morrell, Warren Buffet, EPA’s Gina McCarthy and former Defense Sect Bob Gates.

McCarthy, Jewell Address Western Govs –  The Western Governors Association meets today through Wednesday at the Broadmoor in in Colorado Springs.  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell speaks today while EPA Head Gina McCarthy addresses the group tomorrow.  Of course the GHG rule, fire issues, natgas drilling, resource management and land use will all be on the agenda.  By the way, dress code for meeting is western casual for all events (jeans or slacks, no coats or ties required for men).  How about that?  I wonder if Gina will be there in boots, western shirt and hat.

Brookings Forum to Focus on Natural Resource Transparency – Today at 4:00 p.m., the Development Assistance and Governance Initiative at Brookings, Natural Resource Governance Institute (formerly the Revenue Watch Institute), and Global Witness will co-host a discussion on international developments in natural resource transparency. The discussion will consider how transparency of payments to governments can improve the governance of natural resource wealth and combat corruption, and the business case for consistent disclosure across jurisdictions. Senator Ben Cardin will deliver a keynote address. A panel discussion will follow, including Stephen Comstock, Director, Tax & Accounting Policy, American Petroleum Institute; Michelle Kosmidis, European Commission and EU Fellow at the Fletcher School; Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President, Sustainability Research and Policy, Calvert Investments, Inc.; Simon Taylor, Founding Director, Global Witness; and Nigerian anti-corruption campaigner Dotun Oloko. Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow and Natural Resource Governance Institute President Daniel Kaufmann will moderate the discussion.

Forbes Exec to Keynote Energy Capital Conference – The 7th annual Energy Capital Conference will be held today and tomorrow at the Omni Houston Hotel.  The event addresses effective strategies for oil and gas executives interested in expanding their knowledge of how to successfully access and deploy capital.  The keynote speaker will be entrepreneur-turned-publisher, columnist, television commentator, private investor and board director, Rich Karlgaard.  Karlgaard has a unique vantage point on the trends driving the business and investment climates. His insights help audiences see the global marketplace with new eyes.

House Approps Panel to Mark Up Funding Bill – Tomorrow morning, the House Appropriations Committee’s panel on Energy and Water Development will meet to mark up the FY 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.  The committee released its draft $34 billion this morning.  The bill is $50 million less than the fiscal 2014 enacted level but $327 million above the president’s fiscal 2015 request, according to our friends at POLITICO.

USEA to Look at Role of CCS, Offshore Storage – Following its previous event on the USGS’s assessment of carbon storage potential, the U.S. Energy Association will hold a second forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.  The presentation will provide a high-level perspective on the role of CCS in a variety of energy chains that are critical for future global energy markets. In addition to typical coal-fired electric utilities, topics covered include heavy oil refining, LNG, hydrogen, enhanced oil recovery, and (un)conventional gas. The second part of the presentation will cover subsurface storage and monitoring technologies, with an emphasis on the importance of developing offshore geologic storage for successful national and international deployment of CCS.  Tip Meckel, Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin will speak.

Forum to Look at Environment in 21st Century – Center for International Environmental Law will hold a forum tomorrow at Noon to Look at environmental issues in the 21st Century.  Dan Magraw will discuss how the Magna Carta, which turns 800 in 2015, has become an iconic symbol of liberty and rule of law even though it is essentially a myth.  He will also discuss contemporary issues in law and human rights as they relate to that myth, including the contradiction between Magna Carta’s promise that no one is above the law and current US sovereign immunity law that protects various levels of government from being sued. Finally, he will speak about Magna Carta’s lesser known offspring, the 1217 Carta de Foresta — the Charter of the Forest — one of the world’s first environmental laws.  Dan Magraw is a Professorial Lecturer and Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

Forum to Focus on Grid Resilience, Gas-Electric Coordination – WIRES and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in 210 Cannon about the key challenges and opportunities facing electric transmission infrastructure development. In light of Super Storm Sandy, the attack on the Metcalf Substation in California, and growing cyber threats to the grid, transmission owners, planners, and operators are devising new approaches to ensure high levels of reliability and grid security.  Second, the magnitude of the current need to ensure efficient power markets and access to diverse energy resources makes development of robust transmission infrastructure a national priority. The shale gas revolution provides an additional reason to strategically plan the expansion and modernization of the grid while addressing pipeline constraints and access to renewable resources.  Finally, these developments are being dealt with in a more competitive bulk power environment, including competition to own, build, and construct important new transmission facilities. New entities and joint ventures are emerging to augment the historical role of incumbent load-serving entities with respect to strengthening the grid regionally and inter-regionally.  Speakers will include NERC’s Charles Berardesco and FERC’s Director of the Office of Energy Infrastructure Security Joe McClelland, among others.

CSIS Crude Export Forum to Feature Yergin, Book – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)will hold a forum and release a new IHS report tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in the impacts of lifting the crude oil ban.  Over the last 5 years, the dramatic increase in U.S. oil production, especially light, tight oil from unconventional plays, has caused U.S. imports of foreign oil to plummet.  As domestic production continues to grow, however, there is a growing concern about a possible mismatch between the U.S. refining capability and the lighter quality characteristics of these unconventional plays. This has led to a revisiting of the U.S. policy which prohibits export of crude oil (with some exceptions). As the export debate sharpens, a number of studies have been commissioned to explore the implications of retaining, relaxing, or removing the existing barriers to crude oil exports. CSIS convened a session exploring the infrastructure and regulatory barriers to exports and an additional session on the crude oil export issue specifically.  The session will feature recent analysis completed by IHS Global, assessing the impact of the export ban and free trade on the U.S. economy.  Presenting the findings of the IHS analysis will be Dr. Daniel Yergin and Kurt Barrow. Following the presentation, Frank Verrastro and Kevin Book will provide commentary on the report and discuss the policy implications of the export decision. The session will conclude with a Q/A session. Guy Caruso will moderate the discussion.

Senate Committees to Hear OMB Nominee – The Senate Homeland Security Committee and Senate Budget Committee will hold hearings on Wednesday to discuss new Office of Management and Budget Nominee Shaun Donovan.  Donovan is replacing Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who was just sent over the Health and Human Services.  Senate HSGA at 10:00 a.m. and Senate Budget at 2:00 p.m.

House Transportation Panel to Look at “Waters” Rule – A House Transportation panel will hold a hearing  Wednesday on the new “waters of the US” rule, which is aimed at increasing the number of streams and wetlands that currently receive automatic protection under the Clean Water Act.  Witnesses will include  Deputy EPA administrator Bob Perciasepe, Assistant Secretary of the Army for civil works Jo-Ellen Darcy; Oklahoma Water Resources Board director J.D. Strong, Mark Pifher of Colorado Springs Water Utilities, ; Riverside County, CA Flood Control & Water Conservation District chief engineer Dusty Williams, Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman and National Association of Home Builders board chair Kevin Kelly.

House Foreign Affairs to Discuss Energy in Middle East, North Africa — The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. assessing energy priorities in the Middle East and North Africa.  Amos J. Hochstein, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy in State’s Bureau of Energy Resources will testify.

CSIS Panel to Discuss Energy with Past Administration Experts – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the evolution of the nation’s energy policy, particularly as it relates to the new energy reality and the reconciling of economic, energy security, foreign policy and environmental objectives.   The event will feature a great panel of experts – each with unique and insightful perspectives – as we put some of the key issues of the day in context, review where we’ve come from, and suggest constructive pathways forward. We have specifically designed this event as a participatory roundtable and look forward to an engaging and instructive conversation.  Panelists include former Senate Energy Committee Chair Bennett Johnston, former FERC Chair Charles Curtis, former Bush 41 Deputy Energy Secretary Linda Stuntz, former Bush 43 Energy official Kevin Kolevar, former Obama energy/climate Advisor Heather Zichal, for Obama NEC advisor Joe Aldy and former Senate Energy staffer and Romney Energy advisor Rebecca Rosen.

Argus Media Staff to Discuss GHG Rule – On Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., Argus will hold a webinar on EPA’s new GHG rule.  Discussion will look at prospects for increased emissions and REC trading, expected impacts on coal-fired power use, the likelihood of expanded renewable and energy efficiency standards in some states, which states will find it hardest to meet compliance and impacts on other industries.  Our friends Mike Ball and Elizabeth Fox will speak.

DOE to Address Solar Mapping – The Energy Department will present a live webinar on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. focused on solar resources and their technical potential.  As part of Solar Technical Assistance Team’s Do-It-Yourself Solar Market Analysis summer series, this webinar will explain how to make your own location-specific solar resource maps from information such as real-time irradiance and meteorological data. Attendees will also learn how to effectively determine the technical, economic, and market potential in your locality using tools such as MapSearch and RE Atlas.

RFF to Host Climate Book Launch – On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. , Resources for the Future will host an evening with Yoram Bauman, Author of “The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change.  The event will be the Washington, DC, book release of Yoram Bauman’s The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change, published by Island Press.  Using information from the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Yoram Bauman, “the world’s first and only stand-up economist,” will provide a unique and entertaining overview of climate science, predictions, and policy. He’ll cover everything from Milankovitch cycles to carbon taxes and will break down complex science and economics with accessible comparisons—-not to mention some good jokes—-to convey a practical understanding of climate change.

WAPA to Hold Chrysler Ride, Drive – The Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA)and Chrysler will host a ride and drive Thursday to drive the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 at River Farm. Simple elegance, an exhilarating driving experience, state-of-the-art technology and beautifully crafted, the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 charts a new course for mid-size sedan customers who have earned a little luxury in their life, but demand value for their money.  The Chrysler 200 team will share key information on the Chrysler 200 and answer questions.

UDel Offshore Wind Forum to Look at Europe Example – The University of Delaware’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind will host a briefing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at the Capitol Visitor Center SVC 215 on offshore wind looking specifically at lessons learned from Europe that reduce costs and create jobs.  Enough offshore wind capacity to power six million homes—6.5 gigawatts—has been installed in Europe. Most of that capacity has been installed over the past decade. The forum will look at what Europe has learned that is applicable to a U.S. effort to deploy offshore wind off its coasts. Specifically addressing cost reduction and job creation, this congressional briefing includes panelists who will share the primary lessons learned to date, and what those lessons mean for another country looking to develop offshore wind and build an industry. U.S. stakeholders will speak to what these lessons mean for the U.S.  Sen. Tom Carper will speak as well execs from Alstom Power, MD Energy Administration head Abby Hopper and several others.  Our friend Stephanie McClellan will moderate the panel.

Sens. to Address NatGas in Caucus Lunch – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Barrasso at the Natural Gas Roundtable and Senate Natural Gas Caucus Luncheon on Thursday at Noon in 902 Hart.  Sen Energy Chair Mary Landrieu and Saxby Chambliss will also speak.  They formed the bipartisan Senate Natural Gas Caucus in 2009 to better understand the role of natural gas in producing clean, affordable and secure American energy and to raise awareness of the benefits of natural gas.

USEA Hosts Annual EE Forum – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., USEA holds its 25th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum at the National Press Club.  Many observers believe energy efficiency is at a tipping point. Most states have energy efficiency standards and many utilities include energy efficiency and demand response in their integrated resource management plans. At the same time, the cost to deploy new renewable and distributed energy sources may soon reach parity with the cost to develop central station power plants. Utilities are facing reduced base load energy demand, intermittent supplies of renewable power, and difficulty recovering costs for an increasingly expensive modern grid. These challenges may trip up some traditional market players, and they raise serious questions about the future of our century-old electrical grid. Consumers, regulators, technology suppliers and utilities are all seeking ways to make a smooth transition to a more efficient, resilient and distributed electrical power system while assuring reliable power at competitive prices. Come hear about the issues from the movers and shakers as they debate the role of energy efficiency in future energy systems.

Brookings to Discuss Japanese Energy – On Thursday, the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will host an event looking at the future of Japanese energy policy. Toshikazu Okuya, director for the Energy Supply and Demand Policy Office at METI will present the Fourth Strategic Energy Plan of Japan. After his remarks, Mr. Okuya will join Scott Campbell, managing director at Baker Donelson and director of the Howard Baker Forum, which convenes the U.S.-Japan Roundtable; ESI Director Charles Ebinger; Isaac Edwards, senior counsel at the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; and Adam Sieminski, administrator for the U.S. Energy Information Administration, for a panel discussion on Japan’s energy outlook. Mireya Solis, senior fellow with the Center for East Asia Policy Studies and the Philip Knight chair in Japan studies, will moderate.

House Resource to Address American Energy Jobs – On Thursday, the House Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on “American energy jobs looking at opportunities for innovation. Witnesses will include Cary Ralston of Alliant Techsystems and Matthew Stepp, director of the Center for Clean Energy Innovation at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, among others.

RFF Panel in SF to Discuss Public Attitudes About Climate – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. in San Francisco at the Hyatt Regency at Embarcadero Center to discuss a survey of US public attitudes about climate change and clean energy.   Despite the fact that the nation’s leaders continue to debate the existence of global warming, the American public appears to be nearly united on the topic, and has been for quite some time. According to a survey conducted by RFF, Stanford University, and USA Today, 73% of Americans say that the world’s temperature has been going up over the past 100 years.   Survey co-author Jon Krosnick of Stanford will present additional results from the survey and provide an in-depth discussion on what they could mean for climate and clean energy policy in the United States with RFF President and former Congressman Phil Sharp.

FUTURE EVENTS

EIA Head to Keynote International Energy Conference in NYC – 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 in the big apple on June 16th.  The conference goes through June 18 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 – Next 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

Forum to Look at Renewable NatGas Use – Next Tuesday, June 17th, 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.

ELI Forum to Discuss US GHG Efforts, Paris Next Tuesday 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, June 18th 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.

ACORE to Look at Middle Market Renewables – ACORE will hold a teleconference on Wednesday, June 18th  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.

House Resources to Look at American Energy Jobs On Wednesday, June 18th  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.

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.

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.

Energy Update Week of May 19

Friends,

This week starts the run up to Memorial Day Weekend, the traditional start of summer (expanding the closet with summer wear and the annual weekend parade to local beaches).  In fact, many will argue that Delaware’s beaches become the de facto summer Capital.  The onset of summer in Memorial Day also means that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be alive with the annual 500-mile race to drink from the victory milk jug.  This year’s race will feature Ed Carpenter on the pole averaging about 231 MPH.  Other key starters include Kurt Busch, who will also run NASCAR’s Coke 600 on the same day.  The Indy 500 will start at 12:12 p.m. ET and typically is over in less than three hours. The Coke 600 will start around 6:15 p.m. in Charlotte.  Six plus hours in a car in a day: Sounds like about the typical Annapolis or Fredericksburg to DC commute.

Speaking of races, California Chrome has successfully checked the second box in Baltimore at the Preakness on Saturday. While there have only been 11 Triple Crown winners, there have plenty of Triple Crown near misses. 17 horses have won the Derby and Preakness, but failed to win the Belmont Stakes, 11 since the last TC winner Affirmed in 1978.  They include Spectacular Bid (’79), Pleasant Colony (’81),  Alysheba (’87), Sunday Silence (’89), Silver Charm (’97), Real Quiet (’98), Charismatic (’99) War Emblem (’02), Funny Cide (‘03), Smarty Jones (’04) and Big Brown (’08).  Silver Charm, Real Quiet and Smarty Jones all finished 2nd in New York.

And speaking of Charm City, focus moves from Pimlico to the NCAA Lax Final Fours this weekend featuring Maryland, Notre Dame, Duke and Denver on the men’s side, while Maryland, Syracuse, Northwestern and Virginia will be in the women’s games.  The Men’s DII game will feature LIU Post and Limestone, while Tufts will face Salisbury in the DIII game.  And great news in NCAA DIII Golf, Schreiner University of Texas, which has Bracewell tax expert Mike Pate as its Board of Trustees Chairman, won a 5-stroke victory to capture the Mountaineers’ third national golf title.

As we run up to Memorial Day weekend, House and Senate remain in action this week.  There will be several Appropriations hearings this week and House Resources will look at oil/gas on wildlife refuges, but the big hearing will be the FERC nomination hearing of Norman Bay and Cheryl LeFleur, tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  The Wall Street Journal, who opined aggressively against previous nominee Ron Binz, has already editorialized and you can expect some fireworks here.  Finally, after a great event at the Press Club on the manufacturing/energy education skills gap, both House Resources and the House Veterans Affairs, who will take a moment away from hammering the VA scandal, will hold hearings tomorrow that will focus on providing energy/ manufacturing jobs, especially for veterans.

We had a great visit on Friday to Northeast Pennsylvania to tour Cabot Oil & Gas drilling rigs, production platforms and water recycling facilities.  It all started with a visit to the Oil & Gas school at Lackawanna College.  The trip also featured Cabot CEO Dan Dinges, ANGA CEO Marty Durbin and the Cabot technical team, which detailed the processes all along the way.  Our only drawback was the monsoon that forced us under umbrellas nearly all day (of course until we were finished).  Thanks to all who were able to join and for those who could not, please let us know when we can get you up there.

Congrats to our friends at Southern Company’s Nuclear Development Communications team.  They won first place in the 2013 Impact Awards Strategic Communications Competition presented by the League of American Communications Professionals.   SoCo finished first in the Best Corporate Communications/PR Program category, winning out over 100 entries from six countries.  The highlight of the team’s effort was its 2014 1Q Timeline video.

Finally, as if we need to discuss this issue any more in a “rally” forum, on Wednesday afternoon at the Upper Senate Park (next to Russell), enviro groups and Congressional climate advocates will hold the “Time to Wake Up” rally for climate change action with the top Climate Champions in Congress.  Must be only two weeks to the June 2 EPA rule Roll out day.  While many start their prep for curtain-raisers, our friend and curtain-raising queen Eric Martinson curtain-raises the curtain-raisers.  (can’t believe I used some form of “curtain raiser” four times in a sentence…Grammatically shady, yet impressive)

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

IN THE NEWS

Georgia Power to Build Solar Project on Military Bases – Southern Company’s Georgia Power will build, own and operate three separate solar generation facilities on U.S. Army bases in Georgia. The generation facilities, each capable of producing approximately 30 megawatts (MW) AC of solar energy, will be located at Fort Stewart near Savannah, Fort Benning near Columbus and Fort Gordon near Augusta. Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016, the facilities are expected to be the largest solar generation facilities operating on U.S. military bases. The announcement was made as part of the company’s updated Renewable Resource Action Plan filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC).  Georgia Power is committed to developing economical renewable energy as part of a balanced generation portfolio including new nuclear, advanced coal and natural gas, as well as energy efficiency. By 2016, the company projects it will have a solar portfolio of nearly 900 MW – the largest voluntary solar portfolio in the nation. In addition to the new solar projects with the U.S. Army, the company anticipates more than 500 new solar projects will be brought online in the coming years through existing solar programs including the Large-Scale Solar initiative and Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative.

Kemper CCS Project Featured by WaPo; Highlights EPA Rule Issues – Speaking of Southern Project, the Washington Post reported on Sunday from Kemper County on the Mississippi Power clean coal project as part of a longer piece on the challenges and opportunities of building the first new coal plant with Carbon capture and storage (CCS).  The project, which has faced the expected (and unexpected) first-of-its-kind challenges, has also become a lightning rod for the policy fight over the EPA’s new rules for new power plants.

MD Gov Vetoes Bill to Delay Wind Project –Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s top energy advisor Abbe Hopper said the Governor vetoed a 13-month moratorium on building wind turbines within 56 miles of the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River, saying the bill is unnecessary and would send a chilling message to renewable energy developers.  The bill, strongly supported by Steny Hoyer, Sens Mikulski and Cardin, would have delayed construction on wind turbines to wait for a study on how they could affect radar use around the base. Supporters of the bill argued it was important to consider needs of the base, a big economic engine in southern Maryland. But opponents contended it sent a bad message to businesses and harms wind farm development in Maryland. Lawmakers would need a three-fifths vote in each chamber to override the veto. They would need to petition themselves back into session in order to do that before January. That’s because the Legislature can’t override a veto during the first year of a new legislative term, since the bill would have been passed by the previous Legislature.

EPA Rolls Out Refinery Rule – The EPA has proposed new regulations to limit air pollution from petroleum refineries.  EPA says the rule should cut benzene, toluene and xylene pollution by 5,600 tons a year, and volatile organic compound emissions by 52,000 tons per year.  It also is the first mandatory monitoring of air concentrations at the “fenceline” of refinery facilities. The proposed rule can be viewed in its entirety here and an EPA “Fact Sheet” on the rule is available here.

Bracewell Legal Experts Address Rule – If you are looking for more details about the 813-page rule, former EPA officials Rich Alonso and Grant MacIntyre who are now at Bracewell detailed the rule in a B&G Energy Legal Blog post late Friday.

Other Industry Reax – Refinery industry trade associations both said EPA’s proposed new rule comes at a high cost with questionable benefits.  API’s Howard Feldman:  “This rule is intended to evaluate what risk, if any, is posed to the public from refinery emissions. But EPA has already concluded the risks associated with refinery emissions are low and the public is protected with an ample margin of safety.  America’s refineries have been reducing emissions for decades and will continue reducing emissions under existing regulations while making the cleanest fuels and helping to improve air quality.”  Meanwhile, AFPM head Charlie Drevna said his group has evaluated the risks based on similar industry emissions data provided and the analysis shows the risk levels were not appreciably higher than they were the first time the rule was finalized in 2009.  (At that time EPA determined no further action was required.)  Drevna: “The risk concerns of this rule do not justify additional controls that EPA is proposing. The rule requires some unprecedented changes such as fenceline monitors that are not justified by the risk findings. EPA’s one-size-fits-all approach to this monitoring will require every facility in the United States, regardless of risk, to install monitoring equipment throughout the facility. “

FERC Says Cove Point Will Have No Impact – FERC released its environmental assessment of Cove Point’s LNG facility late last week saying the project for LNG exports in Maryland would not significantly impact the environment.  The report says that if Dominion follows its application as planned, the Cove Point project would “not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.”  FERC included 82 conditions for construction, including that Dominion must file a plan on how it will address several mitigation factors within 60 days before construction begins and that the company must get written authorization before using hazardous fluids in the facility.

UT Energy Center Named for KBH – The University of Texas at Austin is establishing the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law and Business, jointly with its School of Law and the McCombs School of Business.  The naming of the center was approved today by the University of Texas System Board of Regents.  The mission of the interdisciplinary center will be to provide the finest educational opportunities in the U.S. to students pursuing careers in energy. The center will also provide critical analyses of legal, business and policy questions related to energy and the energy industry, both domestic and international, including an emphasis on Latin America.  The center will combine three existing centers at the university: the School of Law’s Center for Global Energy, International Arbitrations, and Environmental Law; the McCombs School’s Energy Management and Innovation Center; and the School of Law’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Latin American Law, which the Board of Regents honorifically named for Hutchison last July. The Center for Latin American Law was formally established in 2013 but is not yet active. The new Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law and Business will unite the expertise and resources of these three centers.

Podcast Look at Energy Issues – Our friends at the Energy Gang are doing a fresh pod cast each week on Greentech Media that features three current stories on clean energy. Stephen Lacey, Jigar Shah and Katherine Hamilton engage in lively discussion of technologies, policies and market forces driving energy and environmental issues. The Gang often brings on guests who contribute to the conversation.  See: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheEnergyGang..  You can also find The Energy Gang on Greentech Media (http://www.greentechmedia.com).

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Building Week Set – This week is High Performance Building Week, an annual celebration of high performing buildings organized by the coalition of building industry stakeholders that support the HPB Congressional Caucus.  The High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition (HPBCCC) is a private sector coalition providing guidance and support to the High-Performance Buildings Caucus of the U.S. Congress.   The High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition will work with the Congressional Caucus to promote and showcase best practices in building design and focus on issues reflecting all aspects of high-performance buildings.  Tomorrow night at 5:30 p.m. in Congressional Meeting Room North of the Capitol Visitors Center, the HPB Congressional Caucus Coalition will hold a reception.

Smart Grid Town Hall Meeting Set – Today through Wednesday, the National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid will hold its 11th forum looking at of the demand response and smart grid community in Washington, DC.  It is unique in that it devotes an entire day to roundtable discussions featuring CEOs and heads of government agencies having discussions with each other, and with the audience, on the latest trends, issues, and business developments. The National Town Meeting also features two tracks of breakout sessions, with detailed presentations on case studies, the latest research and technology demonstrations. Approximately 400 attendees are expected this year. In 2014, 50 different utilities sent at least one representative to the National Town Meeting.

DOE Methane Meetings Continue – Tomorrow, DOE will hold another methane roundtable featuring academics, non-governmental organizations, and environmental groups.  Previous meetings included Labor and manufacturing groups.  There will also be one more meeting on June 11th with natural gas companies.

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

Distributed Solar Forum Set – Infocast will hold its Distributed Solar East Forum tomorrow through Thursday at the DoubleTree Crystal City.  Solar project developers and integrators, utilities, regulators, investors, lenders, panel suppliers, contractors, installers, EPCs and other industry players will gather at Distributed Solar East 2014 to explore how to move distributed solar forward. The Summit has developed into a major networking event for the entire distributed solar community— where people connect, build relationships and get valuable new insights into the distributed solar markets in the East and strategies for financing distributed solar projects.

Bay, LeFleur Hearing Set for FERC – The Senate Energy Committee will meet tomorrow to consider the pending nominations of Cheryl LaFleur and Norman Bay, to be Members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Should be Interesting…

SEIA to Hold Webinar on Upcoming EPA Carbon Regulations – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) will hold a webinar to learn how the EPA’s upcoming carbon regulations on existing power plants will affect the solar industry. Participants will learn how the significant benefits solar energy offers ties in to the EPA’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and how investments in solar may be allowed to count towards state compliance for reducing carbon emissions under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.  Speakers will include SEIA’s Carrie Cullen Hitt and attorney David Wooley of Fox & Wiedman LLP.

Forum to Look at Climate, Historic Landmarks – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) will hold a forum tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in 902 Hart highlighting the risks climate change poses to landmark historic sites around the United States. This briefing will unveil a new report from UCS which highlights climate threats to the nation’s iconic landmarks and historic sites, and details steps being taken to protect these national treasures. The report includes 30 at-risk sites, including places where the “first Americans” lived, the Spaniards ruled, English colonists landed, slavery rose and fell, and gold prospectors struck it rich. Some of the sites also commemorate more modern “firsts,” such as the race to put the first man on the moon.  Speakers for this forum are  NM Sen. Martin Heinrich, Alan Spears of the National Parks Conservation Association  and several more.

House Resources to Hold Hearing on Energy Jobs; Oil, Gas, Wildlife Refuge System – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on oil and gas activities within the US Wildlife Refuge System.  Prior to that, the Committee’s energy panel holds a hearing on U.S. energy jobs and manufacturing at 10:00 a.m..

House Veterans Panel to Look at Jobs, Energy for Veterans – The House Veterans Affairs Committee panel will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. exploring jobs for veterans in the energy sector.  Last week, Steve Nowlan, Executive Director of American Jobs for American Heroes, was featured at a press club newsmaker that addresses the skills gap in manufacturing and energy.  AJAH is a program that focuses on addressing the skills gap by connecting manufacturers with members of the military.

Forum to Look at Arctic 2014 – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s new Polar Initiative and Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, the Canada Institute, China Environment Forum, Kennan Institute, and Global Europe Program will hold a forum on Wednesday morning on the state of the Arctic in 2014 and why it matters,  Tensions over security, access, and environmental impacts in the Arctic are rising. While members of the Arctic Council (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, United States) assert their established rights under new circumstances, an increasing number of non-Arctic states (including China, Korea, Japan, and Singapore) seek an active role in the region. The discussion will focus on emerging challenges facing Arctic governance, analyze the goals and policies of key stakeholder nations, and evaluate means of promoting international cooperation in dealing with a rapidly changing environment.

Senate Approps to Tackle Energy Security & Research – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Department of Defense will convene a hearing on Wednesday to examine energy security and research.   Witnesses will include DoD’s Edward Thomas Morehouse, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Energy, Installations & Environment Dennis McGinn, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy OUSD (Policy)Dan Chiu and Brig Gen Kenneth Lewis, Director of Trans-Regional Policy and Partnership Strategy, Joint Staff (J5).

House Approps to Mark-Up of FY’15 Transportation Bill – On Wednesday, the full House Appropriations Committee will meet to mark up the FY 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill.

House Foreign Affairs Committee to Look at Central Asia Energy Resources – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats will hold a hearing on the development of energy resources in Central Asia.  Witnesses will include U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Chairman Dennis Shea, Charlie Santos of the Uzbekistan Investment Group and former NSC Director of Europe and Eurasia David Merkel.

DOE to Look at 2014 Farm Bill’s Renewable Energy for America Program – On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., DOE will present a live webinar looking at the 2014 Farm Bill’s Renewable Energy for America Program. The Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) provides grants and loan guarantees to farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses and electric cooperatives to install energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. During the webinar, Andy Olsen, a senior policy advocate for the Environmental Law and Policy Center, will describe the funding allocated to REAP in 2014, eligible recipients and technologies, application deadlines, and how to submit a complete application. In addition, Charles Newcomb, director of technology for Endurance Wind Power, will provide an industry perspective on the Farm Bill.

Forum to Look at Blue Carbon Issues – The Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a forum on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. looking at blue carbon.  Blue carbon is the carbon taken up and stored by coastal and marine ecosystems.  It represents a vast, previously unrecognized natural carbon sink. Coastal blue carbon habitats, including salt marshes, mangroves, and seagrasses, sequester carbon at rates 10 times higher than forested ecosystems and store carbon in their soil that is often hundreds or thousands of years old. As such, in addition to giving other important climate adaptation benefits to coastal communities like storm protection, nursery habitats for fish, and water purification, this coastal blue carbon reserve is a crucial part of natural climate mitigation.  A panel of leading experts will discuss the importance of blue carbon and the ramifications of its release.  Speakers include UN Foundation’s Thomas Lovejoy, NOAA’s Ariana Sutton-Grier, Diane Hoskins of Restore America’s Estuaries,  Conservation International Jennifer Howard and GMU Professor of Oceanography Paul Schopf.

Platts NYC to Discuss Future Of Electric Utility – On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in McGraw-Hill’s New York City office, Platts will hold a forum looking at the future of the electric utility.  Speakers will be Sergej Mahnovski,  director in the Utility of the Future team at Con Edison, and also is the former Director of the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability where he managed citywide energy policy and oversaw New York City’s comprehensive sustainability initiative, and Anthony Yuen, who leads global macro, gas and power strategy within Commodities Research at Citigroup. He is also a key contributor to studies on oil and coal and a reviewer of IEA’s World Energy Outlook.

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

Groups to Focus On GHG Target Setting – The WWF, World Resources Institute and CDP will hold a  one day workshop on Thursday to learn about and provide input on a new method to develop science-based corporate GHG reduction targets. This workshop is part of a larger public consultation process we are opening for companies to share useful insights for the improvement of this method.  Workshop objectives include creating an understanding of approaches to science-based corporate target setting and the need for increased ambition in achieving GHG emission reductions, getting input on a new sector-specific methodology to science-based target setting and getting input on proposed guidance for companies on how to implement science-based target setting.

Forum to Look at State & Federal Options For Carbon Pricing – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions will hold a forum on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Room SVC 202-203 on carbon pricing.  Carbon pricing is widely viewed as a cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage energy innovation.  Different forms of carbon pricing are employed in a growing number of jurisdictions around the world.  Experts join C2ES to explore options for expanding the use of carbon pricing in the United States — in particular, as a way for states to implement upcoming federal standards to reduce carbon emissions from power plants

Forum to Look at Managing Climate Risks in the Southeast – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in 428 Russell examining the current and projected impacts of climate change in the Southeast, and efforts to manage these risks. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the Southeast region has experienced more billion-dollar natural disasters than any other region in the United States, primarily from hurricanes, but also from tornadoes and winter storms. Climate change will increase the frequency and strength of such extreme weather events. Coastal areas in the Gulf already grapple with hurricane damages that cost an average $14 billion a year, and conservative estimates project that these costs could rise to $23 billion by 2030, with 50 percent of this increase attributable to climate change. Rising sea levels also have the potential to create widespread damage. The Third National Climate Assessment (NCA) projects between 1 to 4 feet of sea level rise by 2100, and many of the region’s major cities are in low-lying, coastal areas, as are critical highways, trade ports, and military installations.  Speakers for this forum are USGS chief scientist Virginia Burkett, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy Rear Admiral Jonathan White, the Navy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment Don Schregardus and Robert Kafalenos, Federal Highway Administration Environmental Protection Specialist.

Green BRT to Look at Business Model Innovation – The Green Business Roundtable will host JP Leous to discuss Business Model Innovation on the environment on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.  at Elizabeth’s on L.  The idea of business model innovation captivates business leaders and sustainability advocates alike. The inner workings of a business model—its products and processes, its interactions with stakeholders, what and how it measures, the transactions it requires—influence a company’s ability to thrive in the future, and shape its impacts on people and planet.   As global trends — environmental, social, political, technological — continue to shift the foundations of our current business models, incremental innovation will become less effective in enabling companies, industries and whole economies to adapt and succeed. There is an urgent need for fundamentally different approaches to value creation.  Innovative thinker, JP Leous (Senior Manager, SustainAbility), drives client-focused solutions on brand positioning and performance through innovative projects, corporate sustainability strategy, materiality and trends analysis, business case development and external stakeholder engagement.  Prior to joining SustainAbility JP worked on and off Capitol Hill with civil society organizations focused on a number of climate-related legislative campaigns. JP also serves as a Lecturer at The George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services.

Wharton DC Green Business Forum To Host Walmart Director of Sustainability – The DC Wharton Club’s Green Business Forum, will hold its upcoming meeting Friday at 11:45 a.m. where it discusses topics at the intersection of business and our environment. This forum will feature Katherine Neebe, Director of Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement, Walmart.  Environmental sustainability has become an essential ingredient to doing business responsibly and successfully. As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart understands that its actions have the potential to save customers money and help ensure a better world for generations to come. Neebe will share how Walmart is translating sustainability principles into day-to-day action, delivering value to its customers, and averting risk.

FUTURE EVENTS

Brooking Forum to Discuss Russian Gas Matrix – The Brookings Energy Security Initiative (ESI) and the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) at Brookings will host a discussion on Tuesday, May 27th at 10:00 a.m. to launch the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies’ (OIES) new book on The Russian Gas Matrix: How Markets are Driving Change. This study looks at the shifting relationship between supply and demand for Russian gas and Russia’s influence in the European and Asian energy sectors. James Henderson, co-editor of the study, will present OIES’s findings along with Jonathan Stern, one of the book’s contributors and chairman of the Natural Gas Research Program at OIES. After their remarks, Edward C. Chow, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, will serve as a discussant and Charles K. Ebinger, senior fellow and director of ESI, will moderate the discussion.

Forum to Look at Second Gen Biofuel Risks – The George Washington University Environmental Law Studies Program, the Society for Risk Analysis National Capital Area Chapter, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE); Risk, Policy and Law Specialty Group, Society for Risk Analysis (SRA RPLSG); and USDA Office of Risk Assessment and Cost Benefit Analysis (ORACBA) will host an event on Tuesday, May 27th at 6:00 p.m. at Burns Hall Room 505 on the risk regarding increasing demand for sustainable bioenergy feedstocks (other than corn) to meet U.S. renewable fuel mandates.   Practitioners will discuss the challenges of navigating the need for ecological protection while also fostering the development of renewable bio-based sources of energy and chemicals, and what role risk analysis can play in the process.

RFF Seminar to Look at Ecology – Resources for the Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar on May 28th at 12:45 p.m. focused on natural resources, ecology and public policy. Demographers emphasize that the population growth rate has steadily declined over the last four decades and is expected to continue declining at a rapid rate. What does this demographic phenomenon signify for demands on natural resources and ecological systems? What other factors may concurrently come into play? This moderated panel discussion will draw on the emerging insight that humankind may be in the era of the “Anthropocene,” prompting us to reconsider interrelationships among people, resources, ecology, and the way public policies shape these linkages. Jack Bobo will discuss some of the key demographic trends. Erle Ellis, who has developed the still more recent concept of the “anthrome,” will discuss implications for ecological systems, including whether the potential to conserve biodiversity may, paradoxically, be increased by rapid urbanization and more intensive use of agricultural land. Roger Sedjo and Joel Darmstadter will emphasize the joint influence of markets and policy intervention, particularly in the cases of forests, agriculture, and energy.

Forum to Look at Financing the Green Economy – The Johns Hopkins University will host a forum on Wednesday, May 28th at 4:00 p.m. with Nick Robins, director of the Climate Change Centre of Excellence at HSBC, and Simon Zadek, visiting scholar at Tsinghua School of Economics and Management and a senior fellow at the Global Green Growth Institute.  Both will discuss financing the green economy and changing the rules of the game.

NOIA’s Luthi, Others Featured on Oil Pollution Act Update Panel – On Thursday, May 29th at 12:00 p.m., a panel of experts will the Oil Pollution Act and attempts to update it given recent spill activity.  In 1990, following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, President George H.W. Bush signed the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) into law to strengthen the federal government’s ability to prevent and respond to oil spills, establish financial resources to aid response, and raise standards for contingency planning.  In 2010, in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order to establish the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. This bipartisan presidential commission “tasked with providing recommendations on how the United States can prevent and mitigate the impact of any future spills that result from offshore drilling.” Three years after the Commission’s 2011 report, much has happened in the area of oil pollution law, though only one aspect of OPA has been amended.  An expert panel will discuss developments in oil pollution law, including discussions on developments in the Houston Ship Channel oil spill, the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the pending civil penalty action, the oil transport disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment, and the status of claims made under the BP compensation Fund.  Panelists will include DOJ’s Assistant Chief of Environmental Enforcement William Brighton, NOIA’s Randy Luthi and Cynthia Sarthou of the Gulf Restoration Network.

FERC to Hold Cove Point LNG Public Meeting – FERC will hold a public meeting on the Dominion LNG project on May 31st at Patuxent High School in Lusby, Md.  Last week FERC approved the project saying it would have virtually no impact on the environment.  A contingent of environmental activists oppose the project and will likely organize in full force for the public meeting.

GHG Existing Power Plants Rule Roll Out – June 2

Forbes Exec to Keynote Energy Capital Conference – The 7th annual Energy Capital Conference will be held June 9-10th at the Omni Houston Hotel.  The event addresses effective strategies for oil and gas executives interested in expanding their knowledge of how to successfully access and deploy capital.  The keynote speaker will be entrepreneur-turned-publisher, columnist, television commentator, private investor and board director, Rich Karlgaard.  Karlgaard has a unique vantage point on the trends driving the business and investment climates. His insights help audiences see the global marketplace with new eyes.

EIA Head to Keynote International Energy Conference in NYC – 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 in the big apple on June 16th.  The conference goes through June 18 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.

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.

Energy Update Week of May 5

Friends,

Happy Cinco de Mayo, which is NOT Mexican Independence Day, but a celebration of the 1862 battle victory in the Mexican State of Puebla, where an undermanned Mexican Army defeated the French, who were attempting to meddle in the US Civil War with the hope of aiding the South and eventually weakening the U.S.  Today, the day is one that celebrates Mexican heritage and pride with a few cervezas and some guac.

The weekend sports schedule was packed with California Chrome running away with the Derby on Saturday.  It looked like a perfectly executed race plan to bring home the roses.  I always love the hats and Mint Julip stories.  And as a former Hal Rogers staffer, I also love singing “My Old Kentucky Home.”  In fact, I think I can still hear our B&G Colleague and former Louisville Congresswoman Anne Northup still singing in the next office.  Great hockey playoffs continue as well as three NBA Game 7s.  Of course in Washington, the biggest NBA news is the potential conflict between the Washington Wizards-Indiana Pacers Game 6 and the Lady Gaga concert – both slated for the same night next week.   We’ll have to see how that that plays out if necessary, but I think Lady Ga-Gahhh (as Marty Huggins calls her) will have the edge.  NCAA Lax playoffs brackets are set with Duke getting the top seed on the Men’s side and Maryland getting top seed on the Women’s side.   Both championships will be Memorial Day weekend just two weeks from now in Baltimore.

Good to see many of you on Saturday at the 100th White House Correspondents Dinner.  For those I missed, there is always next time.  As for this year, Joel McHale and President Obama:  not very funny.  McHale looked like he was just reading jokes (although the Boehner “Orange” Joke was funny, as well as the shots at Fox, MSNBC and CNN).  The President is a cool character, but I just don’t think it translates to being funny.   The video wasn’t working great and the Sibelius role was forced.   He did have a funny “shoe” clip/joke on Biden and Hillary and the Richard Sherman stuff was good (see #5).  The Seattle Seahawks  star was at The Huffington Post table.

As DC recovers from the annual “nerd prom”, Senate action on energy efficiency legislation (Shaheen-Portman) seems more likely this week as the Senate takes up the bill tomorrow.  Look for more mischief on Keystone XL (I expect a separate vote), LNG (Udall is trying to protect himself from attacks by his CO Sen opponent Cory Gardner), GHG issues from WV Sen. Joe Manchin and the healthcare legislation (Vitter keeps threatening).   Hearings this week will host NRC Commissioners (Yucca Mtn discussions) and Ag Sect Tom Vilsack (Ethanol mandate, Farm Bill).  Finally, House Oversight digs into the EPA inspector general and whether EPA is really cooperating with his investigations on Wednesday.

Tomorrow, there are two additional significant events to follow:  1) a National Press Club Newsmaker (hosted by yours truly) focused on education skills gaps issues in manufacturing and energy.  It is a looming problem as workers retire and vocational schools struggle.  We will have manufacturing CEOs and Lackawanna College (Scranton, PA) President to discuss (remember LC started an Oil/gas degree program in 2009 which has had huge success).  2) Speaking of gas and Pennsylvania, the second event is the “PA Jobs PA Energy” Rally being held in Harrisburg on City Island with speakers from labor, business and industry.

Out of town this week, AWEA is holding is widely-attended giant WINDPOWER conference in Las Vegas while the 2014 Offshore Technology Conference in rolling in Houston and the 2014 International Oil Spill Conference features expert Daniel Yergin in Savannah, GA.

Finally, the national climate assessment will be released tomorrow.  I’m sure many of my friends in the environmental community will go crazy.  We are happy to help with the discussion about what policy options are available both politically and realistically on climate issues.  To that end, the comment period for the new GHG power plant rule will end Friday, so look for our and others comments, which should start to pour in later this week.

Please come to the Newsmaker tomorrow as we are trying to get a nice crowd, as well as discuss a rally important topics that has many facets and impacts the entire energy and manufacturing sectors.  Press Club, 2 p.m.  And remember late next week, Cabot CEO Dan Dinges and ANGA head Marty Durbin will be leading a tour of natgas drilling operations in NE PA.  Please let me know if you are interested in attending as it will cover all aspects of the drilling process and have lots of time for questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Delayed Rule to Get out of 2014 Election Cycle – Senate Republicans are saying that the EPA may have intentionally delayed issuing a regulation limiting carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants so the rule would not be finalized until after the midterm elections.  After inquiring with the leadership of the Federal Register, Sen. Jim Inhofe has raised serious questions about whether EPA intentionally delayed submitting the rule to avoid a messy political vote.  Inhofe cited a Politico story by our friend Erica Martinson that highlighted the unusually long lag time between the release of the rule and its submission for publishing in the Federal Register.  Interestingly, while it took 66 days to get the rule printed in the Federal Register because of the typical administrative process, it only took FedReg officials only 6 days to response to Inhofe’s inquiry  and completely undermines EPA’s claims.  If you haven’t seen the exchange between Inhofe and the Federal Register, it is quite entertaining and I can forward it.

AGA Utilities Provided $3.7B in Low Income Assistance in 2012 – A new report compiled by the American Gas Association (AGA) says utilities contributed nearly $3.7 billion in assistance to low income customers in 2012. The assistance came in the form of discounted rates, arrearage forgiveness, weatherization and efficiency programs and support provided to charitable organizations that provide resources for customers in need. This utility funding was roughly equal to the $3.47 billion provided by the federal government through the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in the same year.  Hardship funds, discounted rates, and arrearage forgiveness accounted for nearly $3 billion in 2012. Natural gas and electric utilities also spent almost $695 million on conservation programs that deliver weatherization services and equipment repair or replacement—often at little or no cost. Finally, utilities play a major role in fundraising and providing administrative assistance to private charities that raised $20 million from utility employees, shareholders and the public in 2012. This follows a March report were AGA said that efficiency programs administered by utilities in the United States saved customers $117 on their annual natural gas bills in 2012.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

WINDPOWER Set for Vegas – AWEA will hold its annual WINDPOWER conference in Las Vegas today through Thursday at the Mandalay Bay.   Keynoter will be Seth Goldman of HonesTea.

OTC Set for Houston – Offshore Technology Conference 2014 will be held at Reliant Park in Houston starting today.  OTC is the world’s foremost event for the development of offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection. OTC is sponsored by 13 industry organizations and societies, who work cooperatively to develop the technical program. OTC also has endorsing and supporting organizations.

Yergin to Headline Spill Conference – The International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) 2014 will be held in Savannah, GA today through Thursday.  The event provides a vital forum for professionals from the international response community, private sector, government, and non-governmental organizations to come together to tackle the greatest challenges with sound science, practical innovation, social engineering and imagination. The Keynote Speaker will be Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and energy expert.

Murkowski to Address Water, Energy, Ag Forum – The Atlantic Council and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center are hosting a series of roundtables regarding the Energy, Water, and Agriculture starting next Monday at 3:00 p.m.   The forum will focus on the risks and opportunities for the private sector. The roundtables will pinpoint the nexus risks to businesses and why leadership from the private sector, in collaboration with key stakeholders, is critical to successfully manage the inter-linkages and tradeoffs between water, food, and energy for the benefit of society, business, and the environment.  The roundtable will define the three nexus issues; delve into the ways that energy, water, and food interact; explore the risks to business; and shine a spotlight on national security implications.  The following morning, Senate Energy top Republican Lisa Murkowski will release a white paper and deliver a speech on the fundamental interdependencies between energy and water production and use.

Forum to Look at China, Clean Tech – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a book event on next Monday with Kelly Sims Gallagher on the globalization of clean energy technology and lessons from China.  Using case studies from China’s solar photovoltaic, gas turbine, advanced battery, and coal gasification industries to examine both barriers and incentives in clean energy technology transfer, Kelly Sims Gallagher demonstrates that clean energy technologies already cross borders through foreign direct investment, licensing, joint R& D and other channels. She finds that the barriers are not as daunting as many assume, IP infringement is not as widespread as business leaders fear, and that while financing does present an obstacle, the biggest single barrier is a lack of policy incentives.  Gallagher is Director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy and Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School.

PA Rally Supports Shale – Shale advocates in Pennsylvania will hold the Pennsylvania Jobs- Pennsylvania Energy Rally tomorrow in Harrisburg.  The rally is the start of the advocates’ effort to highlight the economic opportunities from shale gas.  Already, thee have created United Shale Advocates (USA),  an online neighborhood for committed advocates of shale gas and those who want to learn more about the industry.   Rally speakers PA Chamber of Business & Industry head Gene Barr, MSC Chairman Scott Roy of Range, union leader Jim Kunz, Western PA Junior Achievement CEO Dennis Gilfoyle and American Association of Blacks in Energy President Paula Jackson, as well as local officials and

Education Leaders to Discuss Energy, Manufacturing Skills Gap – The Newsmakers Committee of the National Press Club will host a Newsmaker forum tomorrow  at 2:00 p.m.  to discuss the “skills gap” challenge facing the U.S. energy and manufacturing sectors today.  U.S. manufacturing employs more than 11,000,000 U.S. workers  directly and creates almost 7,000,000 more jobs in related industries.  There are an estimated 600,000 skilled manufacturing jobs that are currently unfilled and 2.7  million manufacturing employees are expected to retire in the next decade. In a recent survey of its members,  the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) and the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) stated that 74% reported they currently have skilled job openings. Further underscoring the problem, 90% of respondents said they are having severe or moderate challenges recruiting qualified employees.  Manufacturing technology continues to advance as does the need for highly skilled workers. With many manufacturing technology  programs at secondary and post-secondary schools having closed in  recent years, there are not enough skilled people to fill these essential  roles.  Speakers will include Lackawanna College President Mark Volk, who hosted President Obama last year to talk about jobs and the economy.  Volk has launched a curriculum in the study of petroleum and natural gas in 2009 at the two-year college situated in the heart of Pennsylvania’s bountiful Marcellus Shale.  PMA President William Gaskin and NTMA President Dave Tilstone or CEOs from two of their member manufacturing companies will discuss their training initiatives and other programs to attract young workers to manufacturing, as well as ways in which the federal government and U.S. Congress can help close the skills gap in manufacturing. Finally,  Brig Gen. (retired) Marianne Watson of American Jobs for American Heroes (AJAH), which focuses on connecting manufacturers with members of the military, will also be on the panel.

Climate Advisory Committee to Meeting – The National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee will meet via conference call tomorrow.  The administration will release the final NAC report which details the science of climate change and its effects on the U.S.  At 5:00 p.m. the Union of Concerned Scientists will team up with The White House and lead NCA authors to provide an overview of this important climate change report on the day of the release.

StatOil CEO to Address CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host StatOil CEO Helge Lund tomorrow to discuss developments in the energy landscape. As one of the world’s leading energy companies, Statoil has built a global oil and gas production portfolio and a reputation for responsible and technology-driven resource development in challenging environments. The company is active in exciting energy resource areas of North America with a focus on deep-water exploration and production, shale and tight rock hydrocarbons and heavy oil. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate. John J. Hamre, President, CEO, and the Pritzker Chair at CSIS, will provide introductory remarks.

Brookings Forum to Discuss Ukraine – Tomorrow at 5:30 p.m., Brookings Project on International Order and Strategy (IOS) will host a Statesman’s Forum with Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard, who will offer a European perspective on how the Ukraine crisis demonstrates the need for a coherent European energy policy – one in which strategic investments in renewable energy and green technology  must play a central role. All of this is particularly timely given the emergence of 2014 as a defining year in Europe’s future climate and energy policy.  Lidegaard has been the foreign minister of Denmark since February 2014. Previously, he was the minister for climate, energy and buildings from 2011-2014 and prior to that he founded and directed the Danish climate think tank CONCITO. He has an extensive background in environmental policy and is a leading proponent of renewable energy.  Brookings Managing Director William Antholis will introduce the foreign minister. A question and answer session moderated by IOS Director and Brookings Senior Fellow Bruce Jones will follow Lidegaard’s remarks.

Chamber to Host Economists on 1Q GDP – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will hold an Economic Roundtable and Briefing on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. with Chamber economist Martin Regalia.  Regalia will deliver a keynote address based on GDP data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce from the first quarter, before leading a panel of economists and experts representing crucial sectors of the economy. These briefings will offer the business community better insight into the impact of policies on their industries as well as to offer solutions to potentially negative effects.   Other confirmed speakers include Standard & Poor’s Ratings U.S. Chief Economist Beth Ann Bovino, and Freddie Mac’s Frank Nothaft.

NRC Commissioner To Testify at House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 10;00 a.m. on the NRC FY 2015 budget and policy issues.   The hearing will review the NRC’s budget request and the range of issues confronting the agency. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Allison Macfarlane will testify alongside NRC Commissioners Kristine Svinicki, George Apostolakis, William Magwood, and William Ostendorff.

House Resources to Look at Fire Risks, Electricity – The House Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday looking at electricity and reducing catastrophic forest fire risk by proper management of electricity rights of way on Federal lands.  The hearing will examine existing challenges to proactive forest management needed to ensure reliable electricity supply, low cost energy for homes and businesses, and public safety by reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

Forum to Discuss Crude Rail Transport – The Environmental Law Institute will host a forum on Wednesday at Noon to discuss the relative risks and merits of different methods of shipping crude oil long distances.   As America’s oil and natural gas boom spreads across the country, producers are finding it difficult to get oil from the wells to market. Pipeline capacity is limited, and shipping crude by rail has raised concerns in the media.  A panel of experts will discuss and includes Michaela Noble who is chief of the Environmental Law Division in the Office of Maritime and International Law at the Coast Guard), Connie S. Roseberry of Union Pacific Railroad and NRDC’s Anthony Swift.

CSIS Forum on Uranium, Security in the Front-End of the Fuel Cycle – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. for a discussion with Dr. Cindy Vestergaard, director of the Governing Uranium project and senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, on the results of the ‘Governing Uranium’ project thus far.  Sharon Squassoni, senior fellow and director of the Proliferation Prevention Program at CSIS, will moderate the discussion. CSIS has partnered with the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) and other international think-tanks in the on-going “Governing Uranium” project to explore the dimensions of security of natural uranium in a changing global market.

DOE’s Kenderdine to Keynote New CSIS Series on Electricity – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a new series on the changes underway on the U.S. electricity sector. The series will explore the challenges facing actors in the sector—from merchant generators to vertically-integrated utilities to public utilities to state and federal regulators—and what the options are for public policymakers at the state and federal level.  At the inaugural event on Thursday, Melanie Kenderdine, Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at the Department of Energy, will present on the Administration’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) and how it will tackle these challenges. A panel discussion will follow, providing an overview of the sector’s challenges and competing priorities, from decarbonization to reliability to affordability.

Senate Energy to Look at Energy Boom – Continuing its new series on North American energy issues, the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday to examine the North American energy boom, focusing on realizing the opportunities and the challenges.

Forum to Look at China Oil Future – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a forum on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. on China’s oil future.  China’s energy future will be shaped by its major oil ambitions, including the opportunity to exploit newly accessible domestic resources. As the second-largest consumer of oil and—by the end of 2014 – the world’s largest net oil importer, China’s growing demand comes at a time when the petroleum industry is experiencing the most significant paradigm shift since the oil crisis of 1973. High crude prices combined with technological advances are unlocking a new class of previously unattainable oils in North America, China, and around the globe. With Beijing’s new leadership seeking to ensure China’s economic growth charts a more sustainable path, Mikkal Herberg, Wang Tao, and Anthony Yuen will address the nation’s future oil opportunities and challenges. Carnegie’s Deborah Gordon will moderate.

C2ES Water-Energy Webinar Set – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is hosting a webinar on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. on water and energy issues for utilities. Craig Zamuda from the Department of Energy will present key findings from DOE’s recently released water/energy nexus report.  Kristen Averyt, Director of the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado, will present her research regarding water-energy challenges now and in the future.

Forum to Look at Climate Assessment – EESI will host a briefing on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in 485 Russell looking at the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA), which will be released tomorrow. Required by the Global Change Act of 1990, this report examines the current state of the climate in the United States, as well as its historic trends and potential future changes.   The Third National Climate Assessment covers regional impacts in the Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, Great Plains, Alaska and the Arctic, as well as Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. The report’s authors examined climate impacts to human health, water, energy, transportation, agriculture, forests, ecosystems, coastal areas, oceans and marine resources. Thirteen federal agencies collaborated to produce the report under the auspices of the Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). More than 240 scientists from academia, state, local and federal government, the private sector, and the nonprofit sector volunteered their time as authors.   In this briefing, NCA authors will explore the risks inherent in the changes occurring in the United States, the latest findings highlighted in the report, and the science and scientific process informing the NCA’s conclusions.  Speakers for this forum are Gary Yohe, Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University and Don Wuebbles, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois. Yohe and Wuebbles both hold leadership positions as part of the NCA and Development Advisory Committee, and have long been involved in climate science and impact assessments.

FUTURE EVENTS

ACEEE to Host Energy Efficiency Forum – The 8th annual 2014 ACEEE Energy Efficiency Finance Forum will take place on Sunday through Tuesday, May 11-13th at Capital Hilton Hotels designed specifically for investors, financiers, utilities, and policymakers, the Energy Efficiency Finance Forum will explore the latest opportunities in financing and investing in energy efficiency. Over the past seven years, the conference has grown to become one of the premier venues for discussions of energy efficiency financing policies, and an important networking opportunity.

GU event to Look at Arab Energy Issues – Next Monday, Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies will hold its annual MAAS lecture “Energy and America’s Long War in the Middle East” featuring Toby Jones, Associate Professor, Department of History, Rutgers University.  Oil and war have a deeply entangled history. Nowhere has this been more true than in the oil rich Persian Gulf, where oil producing states and outside powers, especially the United States, have struggled sometimes violently to secure their primacy over what has become a global energy regime. While it is commonly posited that wars in the region can or should be understood as struggles for control over oil, “Energy and America’s Long War in the Middle East” encourages a new way of seeing the relationships between oil, energy, war, and global capitalism. In particular, by examining the technopolitical and militarized relations that came into being around oil and its distribution in the 1980s, I argue that the distinction between energy and war were erased, collapsed in a new material order of militarized-energy networks with its epicenter in the Persian Gulf.   Jones is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University. He has lived and worked extensively in the Middle East, including several years in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Forum to Discuss LNG Exports, Impacts – The U.S. Energy Association will host a forum next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the LNG exports and the impact on the world gas market.  Nexant’s proprietary World Gas Model  will be used to analyze the impact on the world gas market of LNG exports from North America.  How much will be exported, which markets will it go to and what are the implications for gas pricing in different markets, especially Europe and Asia Pacific.  The impact of differing levels of LNG exports on the North American.

Deloitte Energy Conference to Look at Local Impacts, Global Issues – The 2014 Deloitte Energy Conference will be held in Washington, DC on May 13-14th.  For two days, energy executives, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, and regulators from around the globe will join Deloitte’s energy professionals for an in-depth analysis of key developments and challenges facing today’s global and domestic energy markets. Speakers represent a cross-section of the world’s energy industry, and the conference topics are of keen interest to energy company management, boards of directors, investors, and all other industry professionals.  The first day of this conference features plenary sessions focusing on macro industry issues, such as the global and domestic energy outlook, the globalization of gas markets, the future of coal, the energy investment environment, and responding to water scarcity. The second day offers a mix of plenary and elective sessions which bring together specialists from across disciplines to share knowledge, experiences, and perspectives about the latest trends in the energy industry. Join industry colleagues and Deloitte’s energy specialists for two days of sharing points of view in an interactive setting.

POLITICO to Host Energy Forum – The POLITICO Pro Energy team will host a for a dynamic conversation at the Mayflower Hotel on next Tuesday at Noon focused on the role of energy issues in the 2014 midterm elections and future policy implications.  More next week.

RFF Forum to Host Exelon CEO – Resources for the Future will host an RFF Policy Leadership Forum on Tuesday May 13th featuring a conversation with Exelon CEO Christopher Crane.  Crane, will be featured in a one-on-one conversation with RFF President Phil Sharp about the massive shifts affecting the energy industry and how they will shape the economy in years to come. From the changing generation mix to new consumer behaviors to emerging technologies, Crane will share his thoughts on the future of energy.

Forum to Look at Internet of Things – The Center for Data Innovation, Microsoft, ITIC and DESSC will host a breakfast and a panel discussion to learn how public and private partnerships are building 21st century campuses and cities by connecting systems to the Internet of Things (IoT). Cities face a number of challenges from providing adequate transportation to improving energy efficiency to conserving water. From the smart grid to smart parking, the emergence of the IoT-smart, Internet-connected devices-has created new opportunities for cities to leverage technology to offer new services to their citizens, optimize the efficiency of existing services, and improve the overall sustainability of their communities.

Forum to Look at Climate, Africa – On Wednesday, May 14th at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will host a discussion with leading researchers to identify the critical questions and gaps in understanding what needs to be addressed, and how a population perspective can contribute to the development of effective adaptation strategies in Africa.  A strong call for action has been issued with the newly released 5th IPCC report, which illustrates the high environmental and security risks imposed by climate change. This call for action extends to the role of demographers in anticipating how climate change will interact with demographic factors such as population growth, women’s empowerment, age-structure, migration, and urbanization. At the same time, it’s important to address the population, environment, and security implications of extreme weather events and climate variability.

EIA’s Gruenspecht to Discuss Outlook at ICF Forum – On Thursday, May 15th, ICF International will host EIA’s Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht at the National Press Club to discuss EIA’s latest forecasts and the sensitivity of that outlook to key changes. With nearly every facet of energy markets in considerable flux, the EIA’s authoritative take explains how the pieces fit together and the kinds of transitions we will soon undergo.  Every year, EIA issues an Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) that serves as the touchstone for those trying to look over the horizon and improve their perspective on what future energy markets hold. With its impressive set of experts and analytics capabilities, EIA pulls together trends in fuel dynamics (e.g., shale gas and oil), electricity markets, environmental regulations, international developments, the economy, and much more.

Hurricane Forum To Discuss Forecasting – On May 15th at the Stafford Centre in Stafford, Texas (South Houston), the 25th Annual Hurricane Symposium will be held looking at the latest forecasting technologies, incident management tactics and risk mitigation programs.  Speakers will include National Hurricane Center former Director Bill Read, KPRC Local 2 Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley, Port of Houston’s Captain Marcus Woodring, Hospital Corporation of America Executive Director of Emergency Services Allen Johnson, our friend and Houston Chronicle SciGuy Blogger Eric Berger, University of Miami’s Dr. Sharan Majumdar, Houston Airport System Safety and Emergency Management Manager Steve Runge and Spectra Energy’s Thomas McNulty.

CNA Military Board to Update Climate, Security Report – On Thursday, May 15th, the Wilson Center and CNA Corporation will the launch of an update to the seminal 2007 report, National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, from CNA’s Military Advisory Board.  The nature and pace of climate changes being observed today and the consequences projected by  consensus scientific opinion are serious and pose severe risks for our national security. The CNA Military Advisory Board (MAB), a group of more than a dozen admirals and generals from all four branches of the U.S. military, first published a report on these threats in 2007. After nearly a decade of advances in scientific understanding and slow, or in many cases non-existent, reactions to projected changes, the MAB felt compelled to provide an update.  A panel of MAB members and report authors will hold a discussion on what has changed and why the national security implications of climate change are still important. During their decades of experience in the U.S. military, the members of the MAB have addressed many national security challenges, from containment and deterrence of the Soviet nuclear threat during the Cold War to terrorism and extremism in recent years. The national security risks of the changing climate, they contend, are as serious as any of these.

CSIS Forum to Look at US Energy Role – On Friday, May 16th at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Fereidun Fesharaki, Chairman of FACTS Global Energy, to discuss the changing U.S. role in the energy landscape and the implications for global markets and Asia, the Middle East, Russia, and Europe. The emergence of the U.S. as a growing oil and gas producer has surprised the energy world.  The backdrop of changes in supply from other regions, persistent supply disruptions, growing demand for natural gas and oil, raises the question of the future role of the U.S. in global markets  and the implications for other major producers and consumers.  Fesharaki, a leading expert on global oil and gas markets, will discuss these dynamics as well as other oil and gas  market developments. David Pumphrey, Senior Adviser in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

Forum to Discuss Hydrogen Fuel Cells – On Friday, May 16th at Noon in the Senate Visitor Center Room 208, the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, in cooperation with the Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus will host a presentation looking at resiliency and efficiency with hydrogen fuel cells.  Speakers will include DOE’s Deputy Asst. Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar, Scott Gerke of Honda, Gwen Bluemich of Daimler, Frank Wolak of FuelCell Energy and Proton’s Steve Szymanski.

DOE Methane Meetings Continue – On May 20th, DOE will hold another methane roundtable featuring academics, non-governmental organizations, and environmental groups.  Previous meetings included Labor and manufacturing groups.  There will also be one more meeting on June 11th with natural gas companies.

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

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

RFF Seminar to Look at Ecology – Resources for the Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar on May 28th at 12:45 p.m. focused on natural resources, ecology and public policy. Demographers emphasize that the population growth rate has steadily declined over the last four decades and is expected to continue declining at a rapid rate. What does this demographic phenomenon signify for demands on natural resources and ecological systems? What other factors may concurrently come into play? This moderated panel discussion will draw on the emerging insight that humankind may be in the era of the “Anthropocene,” prompting us to reconsider interrelationships among people, resources, ecology, and the way public policies shape these linkages. Jack Bobo will discuss some of the key demographic trends. Erle Ellis, who has developed the still more recent concept of the “anthrome,” will discuss implications for ecological systems, including whether the potential to conserve biodiversity may, paradoxically, be increased by rapid urbanization and more intensive use of agricultural land. Roger Sedjo and Joel Darmstadter will emphasize the joint influence of markets and policy intervention, particularly in the cases of forests, agriculture, and energy.

Forbes Exec to Keynote Energy Capital Conference – The 7th annual Energy Capital Conference will be held June 9-10th at the Omni Houston Hotel.  The event addresses effective strategies for oil and gas executives interested in expanding their knowledge of how to successfully access and deploy capital.  The keynote speaker will be entrepreneur-turned-publisher, columnist, television commentator, private investor and board director, Rich Karlgaard.  Karlgaard has a unique vantage point on the trends driving the business and investment climates. His insights help audiences see the global marketplace with new eyes.

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.

Energy Update Week of March 31

Friends,

Exciting times in the sports world with the Final Fours and Opening Day.  All my Michigan teams let trips to the Four slip away.  Michigan fell to Kentucky on a clutch last-second shot.  Michigan State made some very un-Izzo-like mistakes/turnovers losing to UConn.  Finally, Ferris State, despite dominating the game, was ousted 2-1 in a 2OT thriller by perennial hockey power house North Dakota in the Frozen Four.  Congrats to our friends at Wisconsin who won perhaps the best game of the tourney to date, beating top-seeded Arizona in OT in the West Final.  Arizona’s loss, couple with the Florida shattering Dayton glass slipper, prevented the Miller brothers (Sean and Archie) from making it to Dallas.  Ceremonies begin next week for hoops in Texas Stadium and the following week for Frozen Four in Philadelphia.

Pay attention tonight and tomorrow as the NCAA Women play for a trip to the Four in Nashville.  Tonight, women hoops powers Baylor and Notre Dame start at 7:30 while top-seeded and multi-year champ Connecticut takes on Texas A&M.  Tomorrow, the Maryland Lady Terps (after bouncing top regional seed Tennessee) take on Louisville (featuring Native American sisters Shoni and Jude Schimmel), while Stanford and North Carolina battle for the final spot.

Home openers today for the Orioles in Baltimore, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Texas and Detroit (with Miguel Cabrera’s new MEGA contract).  The Washington Nationals open up in NY at the Mets today and return to open in DC on Friday.  The Cubs, who are still tied for first, open in Pittsburgh today.  Hopefully they won’t be out of it by time they return home to take on the Phillies Friday.  Finally, since it is Opening Day, a new day for Spring after our long winter, a new season for our hopes for summer, I thought it was a great time to highlight FOOD.  Yes, our friends at USA Today released its Top 10 Ballpark foods for your dining pleasure.  While I agree with many including the Yankees’ Meatball Parm and The Nat’s Ben’s Chili Bowl, one they miss is AT&T Park’s Gilroy Garlic Fries.

On to the issues… The UN issued another report today prepping the climate negotiating table for a new treaty round in Paris in 2015.  If you read the report or even just listen to the new coverage, you might think you were watching the movie Noah.  Fortunately, this specific report has continually been somewhat alarmist in an effort to spur much more difficult political action among nations.  So while you hear that food prices will be higher, temperatures will rise 9 degrees and many things, I would remind that much of this is highly-suspect.  One interesting sidebar though that won’t please the ethanol industry:  the report warns that growing crops to make ‘green’ biofuel harms the environment.

What is not suspect is the impacts of the recent EPA announcement of what water fall under US jurisdiction.  This rule will have wide and broad impacts on all forms of development literally redefining the landscape of federal water pollution regulation and impacting laws governing wetlands fill, water discharge permits, oil spill liability, spill contingency planning, hazardous substance spill response, and more.  For those of you following last week’s announcement, my colleagues with expertise in the area have started a series of blog posts regarding the impacts and issues with the proposed rule.  If you have questions or need background info, please contact my colleague Lowell Rothschild at 202-828-5817.  Lowell and the team will continue to address this issue going forward, so don’t hesitate to check in with them.

Lots of action in Congress this week, especially on budget issues with Energy’s Moniz and EPA’s McCarthy both up Wednesday morning and Moniz and Jewell up Thursday.  Also our friends at the Wall Street Journal are hosting their ECO:nomics Green Business Forum on Wednesday to Friday in Santa Barbara.  Speakers will include AEP‘s Nick Adkins, Edison International’s Ted Craver, Statoil’s Helge Lunde, DOE Loan Guarantee expert Peter Davidson and many more.

Finally, remember tomorrow is April Fools’ Day, so don’t be surprised to hear some crazy stuff.   You may recall last year, I got quite a few of you when I announced that I was ending The Update will a final report like M.A.S.H., Friends or Lost.  Each of those titles are pretty appropriate for our report, but as you know, I could never really give up this fun, weekly task.  So stay alert for the pranksters and call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Methane Emissions Approach Announced – The White House released strategy to cut methane emissions on Friday when Energy Secretary Moniz rolled it out at a DOE advisory board meeting.  The new strategy will take steps to reduce methane emissions from four sources of methane emissions: landfills, coal mines, agriculture, and oil and gas operations. The strategy directs EPA to propose updated standards for methane emissions from landfills and assess emissions from the oil and gas sector, in order to determine whether further regulations are needed.  EPA would also work with the DOE to voluntarily reduce methane emissions, through the Natural Gas STAR program. The strategy also directs Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to gather input on the potential use of captured methane from coal mines, as well as propose updated standards to reduce flaring and venting from oil and gas production on public lands.

NARUC Praises Safety First NARUC President Colette Honorable of Arkansas said NARUC appreciates the White House’s acknowledgement of the ongoing efforts at the State level to improve the safe and efficient operation of our nation’s pipeline infrastructure. For NARUC members, safety is and remains Job No. 1, and as this report demonstrates, States have been true leaders. On a personal note, I would like to thank the Administration for their outreach and leadership in initiating roundtable discussions on these issues as they prepared this report. A safe system is a clean and efficient one, and we look forward to working with the White House and all other stakeholders going forward.

AGA Also Focused on Infrastructure – American Gas Association head Dave McCurdy also praised the effort saying industry shares the goal of a safe, resilient, clean energy infrastructure and natural gas utilities are working with state regulators and key stakeholders to do their part.  McCurdy: “We will achieve this goal in our sector through investments to modernize and expand the grid and by delivering natural gas safely to growing numbers of homes and businesses. Smart, cost effective investments in system modernization can continue, and accelerate, the trend in decreasing natural gas emissions.”  Five AGA distribution company senior executives participated in a recent methane emissions reduction strategy roundtable held by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, part of an ongoing dialogue between the Secretary and AGA leadership about areas of joint coordination.

Bracewell Experts Focused on New EPA Water Rule – For those of you following last week’s announcement from EPA about a new proposed waters of the US rule, my colleagues with expertise in the area are starting a series of blog posts regarding the impacts and issues with the proposed rule.   The rule will literally redefine the landscape of federal water pollution regulation, impacting laws governing wetlands fill, water discharge permits, oil spill liability, spill contingency planning, hazardous substance spill response, and more. It will impact municipalities, states, and industry of every type, from natural resource extraction like energy and mining, to construction and development and beyond.   The first few will identify the breadth of the rule and examine if there is indeed anything new (or if the rule is just a recitation of the existing law).  Next week, we’ll follow up with some more posts addressing the rule’s impacts and policy implications.  The first post went up Friday.  The three more have been posted since.  If you have questions or need background info, please contact my colleague Lowell Rothschild at 202-828-5817.  Lowell and the team will continue to address this issue going forward, so don’t hesitate to check in with them.

Forbes Praises Cabot as #5 on Most Trustworthy Companies – Last week, I mention that our friends at Cabot Oil & Gas were named the 5th Most Trustworthy Company in America.  I mention it again because often, Cabot is attacked by anti-natgas activists who have been less than honest about the company, Dimock and natgas drilling in general.  Forbes released its list and it is in the current issue out this week.  The list was developed James Kaplan, director of proprietary ratings for investment adviser GMI Ratings, after the failure of corporate superpowers Enron and WorldCom.   Each year, GMI Ratings provides Forbes with a list of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America. To develop the ranking, GMI reviews the accounting and governance behaviors of more than 8,000 publicly-traded companies in North America. In assessing each company, GMI considers factors including high risk events, revenue and expense recognition methods, SEC actions, and bankruptcy risk as indicators of a company’s credibility.  Cabot scored #5 just one point behind UnderArmour.  Tops on the list was oil and gas equipment developer Oceaneering International.  Other familiar names include Accenture, Wynn resorts, Tyson Foods and Nordstrom.

Energy Legend Schlesinger Passes – The nation’s first Energy Secretary James Schlesinger passed away late last week at 85 from pneumonia.  Before taking over the Energy Department under President Jimmy Carter upon its creation in 1977, Schlesinger, a Republican, had served as chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, one DOE’s predecessor agencies.  Schlesinger also served as President Richard Nixon’s CIA director in 1973 and as secretary of defense from 1973 to 1975.  Despite failing physical health, Schlesinger showed he maintained his sharp intellect and wit at a conference sponsored by SAFE focused on the 40th anniversary of the Arab oil embargo.  At the event, Schlesinger wowed the audience of experts and business leaders with his discussion of the 1973 embargo and how it reshaped U.S. energy policies.

UN Report Condemns Green Biofuels – The United Nations will officially warn that growing crops to make ‘green’ biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices according to a leaked draft of a report that went to our friends at Britain’s The Telegraph.  The report condemns the widespread use of biofuels made from crops as a replacement for petrol and diesel. It says that biofuels, rather than combating the effects of global warming, could make them worse. The draft report represents a dramatic about-turn for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Its previous assessment on climate change, in 2007, was widely condemned by environmentalists for giving the green light to large-scale biofuel production. The latest report instead puts pressure on world leaders to scrap policies promoting the use of biofuel for transport. The summary for policymakers states: ‘Increasing bioenergy crop cultivation poses risks to ecosystems and biodiversity.’

Marshall Study Examines Defense, Security Claims of Warming – Speaking of UN reports, the George C. Marshall Institute released The Climate of Insecurity todayIn this new Policy Outlook, Institute President Jeff Kueter considers claims that climate change will result in conflict.  Recently the State and Defense Departments have reiterated their belief that environmental factors can precipitate armed conflict and the IPCC 5th Assessment Report endorses this view.  Drawing on his 2012 study of the issue, Kueter evaluates the claims and concludes again that the linkage between climate and conflict is overstated.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Appropriations/Budget:

Wednesday

  • House Approps Panel on Energy budget.  Moniz Testifies.  10:00 a.m.
  • House Energy Committee Energy Panel on EPA budget. EPA’s McCarthy testifies. 10:00 a.m.

Thursday

  • House Resources on Interior budge.  Interior Sect Jewell testifies. 10 a.m.
  • House Energy Committee Energy Panel on Energy budget.  Moniz Testifies.  10:00 a.m.

Refiners International Meeting to Hear from Rice – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) will hold its annual International petrochemical conference in San Antonio today and tomorrow. The International Petrochemical Conference is the world’s largest and most prestigious conference representing the petrochemical industry.  The meeting consists of sessions covering key political, economic, and environmental issues affecting the petrochemical industry.  The sessions emphasize global competitiveness in the petrochemical business and are presented by recognized experts in the areas of petrochemical markets, economics and politics. Speakers will include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, among many others.

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

Building Summit to Look at Efficiency – The 2014 Building Energy Summit will be held tomorrow at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center.  Building owners, energy experts, and technology pioneers will converge to address the challenges and opportunities surrounding the need for more energy efficient buildings. Join us for the 2014 Building Energy Summit and be a part of the revolution that is permanently changing the way we manage and operate buildings. The 2014 Summit brings together leaders from both the public and private sector to debate and discuss energy efficient technologies and solutions, energy policy, funding and incentives, alternative sources of energy, and more.   The Summit will combine keynote presentations by industry leaders and energy experts, educational breakout sessions for hands-on learning, case study presentations demonstrating real projects and real results, and networking opportunities for collaborating with colleagues and solution providers. Speakers will present case studies of some of the most efficient buildings in the country. Learn what major corporations, building owners, tenants, governments and governmental agencies are doing to support energy efficient operations and significantly reduce energy costs.

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

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

UVa Expert to Discuss Russian, Energy – The Center on Global Interests will hold a forum tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. on how the Kremlin’s energy dependence undermines foreign policy decisions.  In the last 15 years, Russia has become increasingly reliant on oil and gas wealth to sustain its economy. As a result, the major players in Russia’s resource industries have acquired a disproportionate influence over Russian politics. This has undermined the authority of Russia’s foreign policy institutions by allowing a small group of decision-makers, who rarely consult with Russia’s professional foreign policy bureaucracy, to set the domestic and foreign policy agenda.  How should Western officials respond to Russia’s insular policy-making, and how might Western sanctions—including energy sanctions—influence key decision-makers in Russia? Using the Second Chechen War and the 2008 Georgian War as case studies, Emma Ashford will examine the extent to which Russian foreign policy institutions function in an informational vacuum and provide recommendations for how U.S. policymakers can mitigate this problem, particularly with regard to the Ukraine crisis.

Chalk to Discuss DOE EERE Budget – DOE will hold a webinar tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. offer an in-depth review of EERE’s FY15 renewable power budget request, including SunShot.  Deputy Assistant Secretary Steve Chalk and the Directors of the Solar, Wind/Water, and Geothermal Offices will discuss the details of EERE’s FY15 Budget request.

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

German Energy Issues Discussed – The National Academy of Engineering and the German Research Foundation (DFG) will host a Leibniz Lecture on global energy challenges, looking at Germany’s “Energiewende” and Beyond, tomorrow at 6:00 p.m.  Prof. Dr. Ferdi Schueth, Vice President, German Research Foundation (DFG) and Director, Max-Planck-Institute for Carbon Research will speak.

House Foreign Affairs Panel to Look at Oil Export Ban – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. looking at oil and evaluating U.S. energy trade policy.  Shale plays in North Dakota and Texas, has grown crude production by 50% since 2008.  While domestic refiners are not configured to handle this type of crude, the US is also banned from exporting it to willing buyers abroad.  This hearing will bring together industry parties and experts from both sides in order examine any needed changes to our crude energy policy.  Sen. Lisa Murkowski will testify, as will Michael Jennings of the HollyFrontier Corporation, API’s Erik Milito, Ken Medlock of the Center for Energy Studies at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy and Deborah Gordon of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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

Forum to EESI Climate Risks in SW – EESI will hold a briefing on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. examining the current and projected impacts of climate change in the Southwest and regional efforts to manage these risks. The Southwest is already the driest and hottest region in the United States, and California is in the midst of a historic drought. The draft Third National Climate Assessment (NCA) – the final version is expected soon – projects that the region’s climate may become even more severe. These changes are having substantial adverse effects on the regional economy and quality of life, forcing local leaders to develop creative solutions to combat drought and other extreme conditions. How can the Southwest best address current impacts while also building climate resiliency to manage risk and foster long-term prosperity?   Speakers for this forum are Eleanor Bastian, Legislative Director for Rep. Diana DeGette; Patrick Gonzalez of the U.S. National Park Service; Chris Treese of the Colorado River District; Margaret Bowman of the Walton Family Foundation and Louis Blumberg of The Nature Conservancy.

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

Purdue Biofuel Expert to Address JHU Forum – The Johns Hopkins University’s Energy, Resources and Environment program will host a forum on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. in the Bernstein-Offit Building on first and second generation biofuels – economic and policy issues.  The event will feature our friend Wally Tyner from Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural Economics.

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

Senate Finance to Mark-Up “Tax Extenders – The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on renewing all of the tax credits for another year until more sweeping tax reform can be passed.  My colleague Mike Pate (202-828-5841) is following closely and can help with your questions.

WRI Head to Address JHU Forum – The Johns Hopkins University’s International Development program will host World Resources Institute CEO Andrew Steer on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.  Steer will discuss climate change with economic growth, and what to watch in 2014.

WRI to Release World Bank Assessment Report – Following that event at 3:30 p.m., the Sustainable Finance Center at WRI will launch a report assessing sustainable development and effective governance principles in the World Bank’s 2012-2013 portfolio of projects.  The authors, World Bank management, civil society, and academia will discuss the findings in the context of a new World Bank strategy and pressing global challenges. Please register early to confirm participation.  In advance of the 2014 World Bank / IMF Spring Meetings and as the World Bank embarks on major structural reforms, this event will present new analysis that explores how well the World Bank is designing projects to meet future sustainability and governance challenges.  For this report, the World Resources Institute examined the extent to which the World Bank is integrating elements of sustainable development and effective governance considerations into the design of a sample set of 60 projects approved between 2012 and 2013. The report presents ten recommendations for the World Bank based on the findings, which will also have relevance for national governments, other development finance institutions, and civil society organizations.

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

Book Event to Look at Future Energy Shortage, Demand – The Institute of World Politics will hold a book lecture with author David Archibald for his book Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century will be Nasty, Brutish, and Short on Thursday at 4:00 p.m.   Baby boomers enjoyed the most benign period in human history: fifty years of relative peace, cheap energy, plentiful grain supply, and a warming climate due to the highest solar activity for 8,000 years. The party is over-prepare for the twilight of abundance.

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

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

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

FUTURE EVENTS

NIST to Host Disaster Resilience Workshop – Next Monday, April 7th, The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host a workshop at its Gaithersburg Main Campus to look at a community-centered approach to disaster resilience.  Annual losses from natural and other types of disasters in the United States averages $57 billion, with losses from large single events, such as Hurricane Katrina, exceeding $100 billion.  The workshops will explore the role that buildings and infrastructure systems play in enabling communities to protect people and property and recover more rapidly from natural and man-made hazards.

Utility Summit to Feature Moniz, Whitman – Bloomberg New Finance will hold a summit in New York on April 7th through 9thfocused on Changing utility business models.   Speakers include DOE Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz, former NJ Gov. and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, UK Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change Greg Barker, Exelon CEO Christopher Crane, GE CEO Jeff  Immelt, former Duke Energy Jim Rogers and many more.

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

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

House Resources To Look at Women in Energy Jobs – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing on Tuesday, April 8th at 2:00 p.m. looking at energy job opportunities for women and minorities.  Women and minorities are already a key part of America’s energy renaissance and their role and importance will only continue to grow. It is estimated that their employment in the energy sector will rise to one-third by 2030 – up from one-fourth in 2010. This hearing will examine opportunities in this sector, what is driving this increase, and identify ways to ensure continued job growth.

Energy, Oil Debate Set – On Tuesday, April 8th at 7:00 p.m. at American University, the French-American Global Forum / French-American Institute for Global Affaires and The School for International Services at American University -Washington, DC. in Cooperation with Le Monde Diplomatique present the fourth and final debate of the Le Monde diplomatique Debates Series – Washington, D.C. on oil and energy and what the future will hold.

Forum to Look at Advanced Transportation – The Information Technology Industry Council will hold an expert panel discussion on Wednesday, April 9th at 2:00 p.m. about the future of mobility, the new technologies and business models that are likely to emerge, and the policies that can help spur even greater innovation. The event will also include a demonstration of Toyota’s new front-drive, zero emission, concept vehicle: the i-Road. Transportation is undergoing a technological transformation. Even as companies compete to introduce new and more efficient fuel technologies, increasing consumer demand for connectivity is turning the vehicle into the next mobile platform. Speakers will include Mary Brown of Cisco Systems, Toyota’s Andrew Coetzee and IBM’s Riz Khaliq.

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

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

RFF to Discuss Shale Gas Development – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Thursday, April 10th at 12:30 p.m. to discuss shale gas development.  RFF will host three distinguished scholars researching the benefits and costs of shale gas development as experienced by local communities. Hunt Allcott (New York University) will present his work on boom-and-bust cycles related to oil and gas development; James McElfish (Environmental Law Institute) will examine how impact fees collected in five Pennsylvania counties are being used in the local economy; and Lucija Muehlenbachs (University of Calgary and RFF) will present recent analyses on the impacts of shale gas development on property values and truck traffic and accidents in Pennsylvania.

WCEE to Look at Honey “Bee” Issues – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a brown bag lunch on Tuesday, April 15th at Noon at Cassidy & Associates for a look at what threatens and nurtures bee colonies .  Dr. Mary Purcell-Miramontes, National Program Leader for USDA-NIFA will provide an overview of colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive suddenly disappear.  She will discuss how the disappearance is threatening many commercial fruit crops in the US and what is known about the causes of the disorder.  Also joining us will be Larry Marling, a local beekeeper and provider of home and office beehives. He will discuss considerations with home beekeeping and the enjoyment you may get from having your own backyard hive.

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

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

GEA Event Set – The Geothermal Energy Association holds its International Geothermal Showcase on April 22nd at the Ronald Reagan Building. The Showcase will bring together the key government and industry leaders who will be making decisions about building thousands of new megawatts of geothermal power around the world.  has currently confirmed attendance from government and industry leaders representing 20 countries.  It will serve as an opportunity to explore and learn from each other about the best policies and approaches to expand the use of geothermal power domestically and abroad.  In addition, GEA will be releasing its “2014 U.S. & Global Geothermal Power Production” report at the International Geothermal Showcase.

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

FERC’s Clark, Congressional Members Address Hydro Conference – The National Hydropower Association will hold its annual conference in Washington, DC on April 28th through 30th at the Capital Hilton.  The event provides a forum for industry, legislative and regulatory agency staff to exchange knowledge and expertise pertinent to the hydroelectric industry.  FERC Commissioner Tony Clark will be a keynote speaker.  Others will include Reps. Diana DeGette, Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Ron Wyden.

WCEE Lunch to Focus on Energy Dependency in Ukraine, Others – The WCEE Brown-bag Luncheon Series will hold a forum on Friday, May 2nd at Noon on the politics of energy dependency, with specific focus on Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania.  The event will feature Margarita M. Balmaceda, Professor of diplomacy and international relations at Seton Hall.  Recent events in Ukraine again bring up the question of countries’ energy policy choices and the role of powerful domestic groups in relation to Russia and the EU. The event looks at these issues from the perspective of post-independence energy politics in three post-Soviet states: Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. It compared these three states’ reactions to the serious external shock of their sudden transformation from constituents of a single energy-rich state to separate energy-poor entities heavily dependence on Russia, as well as politically independent transit states.  Using extensive field research and until now untapped local sources in Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian, and Lithuanian, the book analyzes how these states’ unique location, powerful domestic economic actors often making a profit of their situation of energy dependency (“oligarchs”), and Russian power, has affected Russia’s ability to use energy as a foreign policy took in the region – and these states’ own political development.

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

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

Hurricane Forum To Discuss Forecasting – On May 15th at the Stafford Centre in Stafford, Texas (South Houston), the 25th Annual Hurricane Symposium will be held looking at the latest forecasting technologies, incident management tactics and risk mitigation programs.  Speakers will include National Hurricane Center former Director Bill Read, KPRC Local 2 Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley, Port of Houston’s Captain Marcus Woodring, Hospital Corporation of America Executive Director of Emergency Services Allen Johnson, our friend and Houston Chronicle SciGuy Blogger Eric Berger, University of Miami’s Dr. Sharan Majumdar, Houston Airport System Safety and Emergency Management Manager Steve Runge and Spectra Energy’s Thomas McNulty.