Energy Update: Week of July 24

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

Eli Lehrer, president of the R Street Institute.

 

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of January 9

Friends,

Not really a surprising Golden Globes shows.  LaLa Land won big (which surprised me because we really didn’t think it was that great) as did Casey Affleck (who was really great in Manchester By The Sea).  The dresses and outfits were a big story as were the political statements, headlined by Meryl Streep. Once again politics drifts into Hollywood, but it seems lectures like these may be part of the reason Trump won.

Big Game rematch tonight when #2 Clemson takes on #1 Alabama in Tampa.  While I hate the current system for determining the NCAA DI Football Champ, there is no doubt this game features the two best college teams.  And if it is anything like last year’s game, that would be special…  Also Congrats to James Madison (I know there are a lot of Dukes that read this update) for knocking off Youngstown State (where our friend Ohio Dem Rep. Tim Ryan was a star QB back in college before suffering an injury) in the FCS Championship game over the weekend.

About 10 days to the inauguration of the new President.  This should be a crazy week as confirmation hearings begin for the new cabinet.  Nine confirmation hearings this week start with Sen. Jeff Sessions tomorrow.  EOM chief Rex Tillerson is slated for Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. at Sen Foreign Relations.  Commerce nominee Wilbur Ross and Defense Secretary nominee James Mattis should have minor environmental/energy discussions at their hearing on Thursday morning.  Most expect EPA nominee Scott Pruitt to be next Wednesday but that is still not set.

We can address all yours questions and provide background.  Scott Segal (202-828-5845) and Jeff Holmstead (202-828-5852) are all over the EPA issues related to OK AG Scott Pruitt and are the following the Tillerson nomination.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer, (202-828-1718) a former DOE senior counsel, is following the Perry and DOE nomination.  And my colleagues Eric Washburn (202-412-5211) and Kevin Ewing (202-828-7638) can advise on Interior-related action.  Eric is closely tied to the many sportsman’s groups that have lead the charge for Zinke and Kevin can discuss any and all Interior regulatory issues including the last-minute offshore and methane rulemakings.

Speaking of Energy, DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz does his going-away newsmaker at the National Press Club on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. Prior to that, at 9:30 a.m. just across Lafayette Park, U.S. Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donohue delivers his annual “State of American Business” address.  Donohue will outline the top challenges and new opportunities facing the American business community and introduce the Chamber’s 2017 policy agenda.

The NAIAS “Detroit” Auto Show launched yesterday with a major focus on new technologies, but a lot of that was also previewed at the Consumer Electronics Show late last week.  It also featured a report from SAFE’s Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety that includes recommendations to address public policy and safety issues that have the potential to slow or halt deployment of autonomous vehicles (AVs). In light of the significant regulatory challenges facing this rapidly-evolving industry, the Commission presents a number of best-practice recommendations to foster increased collaboration between industry and regulators, and improve public confidence in AV technology.

Finally, big congrats to our friend Abby Hopper, former BOEM director, who will take over the head job at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) starting next Tuesday.

Last week, we highlighted a few key issues we expect to see for 2017.  As a lot of people were out, I’m resending the issues at the end of this update just in case you missed it.

As usual, call with questions…

 

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The novelty and complexity of autonomous vehicles has created gaps between regulators, industry, and the general public. With so much at stake, we urge AV developers to coalesce around common standards, metrics, and commitments to specific safety protocols in advance of widespread deployment and commercialization—as the technology is highly vulnerable in its current nascent state.”

SAFE AV Commission Chairman Mark Rosenker, former Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

 

IN THE NEWS

SAFE AV Commission Releases Recommendations for Industry-Led Regulatory Framework – SAFE’s Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety released a report late last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that includes recommendations to address public policy and safety issues that have the potential to slow or halt deployment of autonomous vehicles (AVs). In light of the significant regulatory challenges facing this rapidly-evolving industry, the Commission presents a number of best-practice recommendations to foster increased collaboration between industry and regulators, and improve public confidence in AV technology.  The Commission is a committed group of former public officials and safety experts who bring decades of expertise towards their collective goal of improving the safety of early AV deployment, thus expediting the widespread adoption of AV technology. The members of the Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety include former NTSB Chair Mark Rosenker, former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair, Alliance for Transportation Innovation CEO Paul Brubaker, former GM product safety exec Robert Lange and SAE Internat’l President Cuneyt Oge.

Their recommendations address the potential risks of public opposition and overregulation:

Recommendations Designed to Improve Public Confidence

  1. The Commission recommends that AV providers move to on road testing and deployment only once confident that the vehicle’s performance is as safe as the average human driver, accounting for backup drivers, speed restrictions, geofencing and other safety measures.
  2. The Commission encourages AV providers to create safety milestones for AV development. The Commission further encourages public disclosure of achieved milestones and accompanying validation.
  3. The Commission encourages developers to deploy redundant layers of technology to increase safety beyond any minimum required standard.
  4. The Commission encourages developers to clearly define and effectively communicate autonomous features, including their limitations.

Recommended Steps Toward an Industry-Driven Regulatory Framework

  1. The Commission encourages AV providers to formally collaborate through a technical data consortium to accelerate AV learning and safety through shared, anonymized information.
  2. The Commission recommends that industry formulate objective, practical, quantitative metrics for measuring AV safety.
  3. The Commission recommends that any future framework for regulating AVs rest on a modern foundation reflecting the advanced software-driven nature of vehicle automation.

DOE Releases QER Recommendations – The Department of Energy released its second Quadrennial Energy Review focusing on recommendations to harden the electricity grid from terrorist attacks.  Last year’s presidential election on Friday.  DOE said the power grid faces “imminent danger” from cyberattacks and called on Congress to empower federal regulators to impose new rules on the utility industry to help protect the nation’s energy network.  The proposals called for lawmakers to give FERC more authority over cyber defenses of the power grid and for a suite of programs to upgrade the network’s technology to make it more resilient against potential attacks.

Upton to Head Energy/Power – Former House Energy & Commerce Full Committee Chair Fred Upton will run the Energy and Commerce Committee’s newly renamed Subcommittee on Energy, while Rep. John Shimkus, who lost his bid to become full committee chairman to Rep. Greg Walden, will maintain his chairmanship of the environment panel. Upton was term limited from continuing as committee chair.

Report: New Transmission Can Help Wind Supply Third of U.S. Electricity – The Energy Department today released a report which confirms that adding even limited electricity transmission can significantly reduce the costs of expanding wind energy to supply 35% of U.S. electricity by 2050. The report, titled Reducing Wind Curtailment through Transmission Expansion in a Wind Vision Future and authored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), affirms the findings of the Energy Department’s 2015 Wind Vision, which showed that a future in which wind provides 20% of U.S. electricity in 2030 and 35% in 2050 is achievable and would provide significant economic, energy security, and health benefits to the nation.

ClearPath Taps Morehouse As Government Affairs Director – ClearPath has tapped veteran House GOP aide Jeff Morehouse as the organization’s director of government affairs. In that role, Morehouse will help lead ClearPath’s growing DC-based effort to work with the new Congress and President-elect Donald Trump’s administration on conservative clean energy policies.  He will be a key partner to ClearPath Managing Director-Government Affairs Zak Baig in working not just with House Republicans but also the Trump administration. Morehouse since 2010 has been chief of staff for Rep. Bill Flores, including managing the Texas Republican’s successful campaign to chair the conservative Republican Study Committee last Congress. Morehouse was also executive director of the House Conservatives Fund, overseeing the Republican leadership PAC for the 2014 election cycle. Morehouse was previously legislative director for Rep. John Culberson and served other roles for the Texas Republican beginning in 2003. Among his honors, Morehouse received the 2014 Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute Chief of Staff Appreciation Award.

German Emissions on Rise – German think tank Agora Energiewende released its annual energy assessment that says Germany’s emissions rose in 2016, largely driven by the industrial, heating and transport sectors.  Emissions from the country’s power sector, instead, continued the decline that started in 2014 as coal use falls.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Detroit Auto Show Rolls Out – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will rolled out yesterday at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.  Official press conferences began with Disney Pixar on Sunday.  The 2017 NAIAS Press Preview will include a host of events through tomorrow.  With over 300 exhibitors all under one roof, ranging from global automakers to suppliers to tech startups, NAIAS will truly be the mobility epicenter and will showcase the full automotive ecosystem. NAIAS expects to have over 5,000 credentialed journalists from 60+ different countries attend Press Preview, keeping NAIAS strongly in the lead among domestic shows in terms of global media coverage.  The show runs through January 22nd.

Transportation Research Board Hosts 96th Annual Meeting – Today through Thursday, the Transportation Research Board hosts its 96th annual meeting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in DC.  The information-packed program is expected to attract more than 12,000 transportation professionals from around the world.  The TRB Annual Meeting program covers all transportation modes, with more than 5,000 presentations in nearly 750 sessions and workshops addressing topics of interest to all attendees—policy makers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions.

Report Looks at Energy Storage Opportunities for Emerging Markets – IFC and ESMAP will presented a new report on Energy Storage this morning.  Energy storage is a crucial tool for enabling the effective integration of renewable energy and unlocking the benefits of solar and wind power for emerging markets.  The report outlines the principal uses, drivers, and challenges regarding the commercialization of energy storage technologies in low- and middle-income countries, providing a forecast of expected deployments by region and impacts on energy access, grid stability, and other key areas. Technical review was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Investment Center.  The presentation will feature the report’s findings, followed by insights on trends in energy storage technology and the financing landscape for this sector.

Stanford to Host Clean Energy Forum – Stanford University’s leading energy and environmental research institutes, the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, will convene a panel session tomorrow at noon at the National Press Club that highlights clean energy innovation as a crucial component of efforts to combat climate change and ask how the United States can lead global efforts to develop and deploy advanced energy technologies.  The panel will include Stanford’s Sally Benson, John Dabiri and Michael McGehee.

WRI to Detail Stories to Watch for 2017 – The World Resources Institute hosts its Stories to Watch for 2017 forum Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.  Stories to Watch is an annual go-to event for DC’s top policymakers, business executives, thought leaders, and media who want to get ahead on the coming year.  As we enter what looks like a dynamic, unpredictable year, WRI President & CEO Andrew Steer, will share insights on global trends and emerging issues related to climate, energy, economic development and sustainability. He will help to unpack the connections between rising populism and nationalism, and what this means for people and the planet.

Brookings Forum to Tackle Transportation Model – The Moving to Access initiative, a collaboration between Brookings’s Metropolitan Policy Program and Global Economy and Development program, is an extensive, multi-year effort that seeks to inform and promote an access-first approach to urban transportation policy, planning, investment, and services. They will hold a forum on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. to bring together experts across three major disciplines—transportation, urban planning, and finance—and will explore where these disciplines agree, where they diverge, and what policies could support a more accessible built environment. The event will feature a panel discussion with current metropolitan leaders and distinguished scholars and close with a keynote dialogue with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.

Moniz to Address Press Club Newsmaker – Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will speak at a National Press Club newsmaker and take questions on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. on the Club’s Ballroom.  In one of his final public speaking appearances in Washington, Moniz will discuss how an increased focus on science and research and development has informed better policymaking and technology solutions, and how to protect the independence and integrity of scientists at the Department of Energy and its 17 National Labs.  Moniz will also unveil a new report on the work of the laboratories and policies that will encourage and empower scientists to continue to innovate new energy solutions, make new scientific discoveries, support private industry, and deliver for the American people.

Donohue to Discuss State of Business – U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue will host his annual “State of American Business” address as well as the Chamber’s 2017 Open House on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.  Donohue outline the top challenges and new opportunities facing the American business community and introduce the Chamber’s 2017 policy agenda.

Forum to Look at Better R&D Methods – The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and Brookings will hold a forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss how the incoming administration and Congress can bolster technology transfer and commercialization policies to ensure that federal R&D investments yield stronger commercial results. ITIF and the Brookings Institution have recently proposed 50 innovative policy ideas to more quickly and effectively get technologies out of the laboratory and into the private sector.

Forum to Look at Korea/Japan/US Nuclear Cooperation – On Wednesday at 10:45 a.m. in 902 Hart SOB, the Global America Business Institute (GABI) will hold a forum on the prospects for nuclear energy following the recent U.S. presidential elections and the opportunities for trilateral civil nuclear cooperation among the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the United States.  Speakers will include Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, DOE’s Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy John Kotek and a panel of experts.

WRI to Host Urban Transpo Forum – The World Resources Institute will host a forum on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. at the National Press Club looking at urban transportation planning.  This event will highlight the Danish experience in shaping great cities for cycling and public space, and what other cities such as Washington, DC and beyond are and could be doing to make streets more livable and sustainable for all.

STEM Forum Set for Capitol Hill – On Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. in B-354 Rayburn, House Science leading Democrat Eddie Bernice Johnson will host energy executives along with senior federal and local government officials for a briefing about the prospects for bipartisan STEM-based energy legislation in the 115th Congress and the impact of those proposals on local job creation. Also invited are representatives from Universities and schools to share their views on partnerships with the energy sector to better prepare the energy workforce of the future.

World Bank Forum to Look at Mobility – The World Bank and the EMBARQ mobility initiative of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities will host Transforming Transportation 2017 on Thursday and Friday.  Physical and virtual connectivity is a critical factor of today’s competitiveness and economic growth. By facilitating the movement of people, goods and information, the World Bank’s Transport and ICT Global Practice enable economic and social development, and increase access to jobs, health, and education services. Transport is also at the heart of the climate change solution, as one of the largest energy users and emitters of greenhouse gases.

EPA to Hold Ozone Hearings – EPA will host a public meeting on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. on the implementation of the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone.  The hearing will focus on nonattainment area classifications and state implementation plan requirements.  It will be held at EPA HQ in Room 1117A.

GCs to Discuss Key Issues – On Thursday at 11:30 a.m., the Energy Committee of the D.C. Bar Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section and the Environmental Law Institute will host a forum moderated by Assistant Attorney General John Cruden.  Cruden will lead a discussion with the General Counsel of various federal agencies to discuss the future issues likely to arise for the new Administration.  Other speakers will include EPA’s Avi Garbow, USDA’s Jeffrey Prieto and several others.

Pew to Look at Military Power Issues – On Thursday at 3:30 a.m., Pew Charitable Trusts hosts representatives from each branch of the U.S. military to discuss steps they and the Department of Defense more broadly have taken to address the challenges and opportunities that energy presents to national security.  A presentation will follow on new research that shows how microgrids and clean energy technologies can improve energy efficiency and security at military installations.

Forum to Look at Climate Adaptation – The US AID’s Atlas Project will host a forum on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. discussing the role of decentralized governance for climate adaptation. Dr. Tim Finan and Dr. Mamadou Baro of the University of Arizona share the results of a research case study from rural Mali, where a system of decentralized governance was introduced almost three decades ago. The study draws upon evidence from villages, communes, and regions of south-central Mali to examine the effectiveness of local governance institutions in building community-level resilience to climate change stresses. This research was conducted for USAID’s ATLAS project.

DOE to Honor Schlesinger Medal Winners – The Energy Department will hold the Schlesinger Medal of Energy Security awards ceremony on Friday at 10:00 a.m.  In December, Secretary Moniz said Charles Curtis was the third recipient of the James R. Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security.  When the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) were established on October 1, 1977, Schlesinger and Curtis were appointed by President Carter as the first DOE Secretary and FERC Chairman, respectively.  Later, Curtis served as Under Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Acting Secretary of Energy during the Clinton Administration.  He was a founding partner of the law firm Van Ness, Curtis, Feldman and Sutcliffe and was instrumental in the launch of important non-governmental organizations as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the United Nations Foundation and as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).

Forum Looks at Enviro Crime – The Henry L. Stimson Center holds a discussion on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Army and Navy Club focusing on national and global security implications of environmental crime and resource theft.

 

IN THE FUTURE

CSIS to Host IEA Coal Market Report – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting a forum next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. that will feature Carlos Fernandez Alvarez, Senior Energy Analyst at the International Energy Agency, to present IEA’s Medium-Term Coal Market Report 2016. The report projects a decline of the share of coal in the power generation mix from over 41% in 2013 to approximately 36% in 2021 and highlights the continuation of a major geographic shift in the global coal market toward Asia. In addition, this year’s report has particular focus on Chinese dominance in global coal markets, productivity improvements and cost-cutting by producers, and the role of carbon capture and storage.

Senate Environment to Host Pruitt – While not locked in yet, the Senate Environment Committee is expected to hold a confirmation hearing for nominee Scott Pruitt on Wednesday January 18th.

CSIS Panel to Look at Power Africa NatGas Effort – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a panel on Wednesday January 18th at 10:00 a.m. looking at Power Africa’s Understanding Natural Gas & LNG Options handbook with Assistant DOE  Secretary for Fossil Fuels Chris Smith, CSIS’s Africa Program expert Jennifer Cooke, EIA’s Angelina LaRose and US AID Deputy Coordinator Sean Jones, who heads USAID’s Power Africa. The natural gas handbook, led by DOE and drafted by a diverse group of experts, aims to foster shared understanding between government officials and private companies on the factors influencing successful natural gas and LNG projects in Africa. The 250-page document covers risk factors of various models and addresses issues around partner alignment, regulatory complicity, finance, and marketing. Angelina LaRose will discuss the EIA’s Natural Gas and LNG Market Outlook, and Sean Jones will elaborate on the extensive work of Power Africa.

Forum to Look at Green Financing – Leaders in Energy will hold a Green Financing session on Thursday January 19th at 6:00 p.m.  The forum will examine current and anticipated sources for financing energy and sustainability projects under the Trump Administration, state, local, and international initiatives to see how they can be accessed by clean technology companies and entrepreneurs in the DC Metro region.

INAUGURATION DAY – January 20

POLITICO Sets Inauguration Hub – On January 20, POLITICO will transform the top floor of The W Hotel into its 2017 Inauguration Hub. With prime views of the Inauguration Parade route from our all-day networking lounge, the Inauguration Hub will be the premier destination for DC influencers to experience this historic moment. Live programming will include a full day of newsmaker interviews and discussions offering first-hand insights from new players in politics and policy, and an in-depth look at the changes ahead in the new Washington.   Full schedule of programming and speakers to be announced. Check out www.politico.com/inaugurationHub for updates.

Smart Cities Conference Set – The Smart Cities International Symposium, will be held on January 24-25 in Chicago.  The conference examines the latest technology advances and business models for the 21st Century connected city.

Energy Expert to Address NCAC Dinner – The National Capital Chapter of the US Energy Economists will hold its annual dinner on Wednesday evening, January 25th at Clyde’s Gallery Place.  The guest of honor and speaker is energy expert Amy Myers Jaffe.

AEI to Host Carbon Tax Discussion – AEI will host a panel discussion on carbon taxes on January 26th looking at whether the standard “efficiency” arguments offered by some conservatives in favor of a carbon tax make any sense at all given the various incentives of Congress and the bureaucracy.  More on this as we get closer.

Washington Auto Show Set – The Washington Auto Show will be held on January 27th to February 7th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  As the “Public Policy Show” on the auto show circuit, the 10-day public show is preceded by two Public Policy Preview Days of special events and announcements for officials in government, industry and the media on January 24th and 25th.  The events of the 25th will be on Capitol Hill in the Kennedy Caucus Room. Speakers will include Michigan Senator Gary Peters and Rep Debbie Dingell, Our friend Joe White of Reuters and GMU’s Adam Thierer and the Chamber’s Matt Duggan. The Washington Auto Show is also the largest public show in Washington, D.C. Over the course of its many years this beloved and historic D.C. tradition has attracted Washingtonians of all stripes – and political affiliations. Along with the engineering prowess on display among the more than 600 new models from over 35 manufacturers, the 2017 show will feature VIP tours led by award-winning automotive writers and a special exhibit area for live painting of “art” cars.

WM Host Annual Sustainability Forum – Waste Management will host leaders from global companies, representatives from municipalities across the country, experts, innovators and influencers, on Thursday, February 2nd at their 7th annual Executive Sustainability Forum at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz. The day-long event will feature renowned speakers and panel discussions on the e-commerce revolution and the conundrum of complex packaging and it launches a great week of golf with the WM Phoenix Open.  In addition, just one week after the presidential inauguration, keynote speakers Dana Perino, former Republican White House Press Secretary and now co-host of The Five on Fox News Channel, and Julie Roginsky, Democratic Party strategist and regular Fox News Channel contributor, will delve into anticipated changes in U.S. environmental policies and the possible implications for businesses and local governments.  An afternoon workshop tackling the emerging dialogue around Sustainable Materials Management and Lifecycle Thinking will facilitate a dynamic results-oriented session around changing goals to reflect broader environmental benefits.

Annual Sustainable Energy Factbook Set for Release – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance will release their annual Sustainable Energy Fact book Feb 6th.  More on this as we get closer.

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

 

TEN ISSUES FOR 2017

  1. Roll Back Vs Reform – We have already heard the enviro community talking rollbacks, but there is a serious question about what a roll back is and what is a much-needed, long-overdue reform.  This battle will be one of the key fights for the year, especially with the big tickets items headlining the list.  While the Clean Power Plan, WOTUS rule and other oil & gas rules will attract most of the attention, smaller rules like last week’s DOE EE rules and other low-profile, but costly rules will likely be on the hit list.  In the end, the fight will be less about the real policy substance and much more about messaging.
  2. Infrastructure = Projects = Pipelines = Jobs – We all know the role jobs played in the political campaign, which moves this to the very top of the new Administration’s agenda.  And don’t think the infrastructure bug will just hit projects that weren’t favored by the Obama team.  In fact, a rising tide lifts all boats so I expect clean energy projects will also see numerous opportunities.  But the most obvious translation to the energy issue is through infrastructure.  The last-minute, parting gifts handed to the environmental community over pipelines projects will likely fall away, but going forward, transmission lines, pipeline infrastructure, project development and road/mobility development will all be front and center priorities.
  3. Not So Much Confirmation, But Lots of Agency Reform – While Democrats are girding for battle on Trump Cabinet appointees, they are unlikely to stop any – especially the energy and environment picks – without an epic fail by a nominee at their confirmation hearing.  What is more significant is what they will do when they land at the agencies.  DOE’s Rick Perry, Interior’s Ryan Zinke and EPA’s Scott Pruitt will have significant structural reform on their plate and the question remains as to how that will go.  Pruitt will likely face the most significant plate of big issues from the RFS to the Clean Power Plan to the waters rule.   Perry and Zinke will face more lower-level structural reforms to their agencies.  Between the confirmation battles and the new approach for the agencies, look for this fights to take up a large part of year one.
  4. We’ll Always Have Paris, REPRISED – Last year, this was our first issue, and it re-emerges as major issue again, but this time for a different reason.  It is one of the most interesting questions of 2017 because of the new Administration’s unclear position.  While enviros say that we must continue pushing the Paris agreement to maintain environmental progress and our credibility in the international community, opponents of the Paris agreement are largely split on it going forward.  That disagreement centers on the fact that Paris doesn’t actually REQUIRE the U.S. to do anything.  Some want to send a message by pulling out, but that may be more trouble than it’s worth.  As with all issues now, it is becoming more of a message fight than an issue of substance and should reach a head in late 2017 at COP 23 in Bonn.
  5. Big or Small Ball on the RFS – The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) is always a policy fight magnet.  Don’t expect 2017 to be any different starting tomorrow when API does its “State of American Energy” event.  While the major fight over larger overall reform of the program has never been more live, there are smaller battles that played a major role last year that will likely resurface, especially with Carl Icahn leading the Administration’s Reg Reform effort.  Either way, the fight over this program continues both in the policy and political arena.
  6. Looking at the Power of Rural America – Rural America played a major role in electing Donald Trump, and while always powerful on Capitol Hill, look for the rural economic agenda to play a more prominent role in many policy fights.  Clean energy will also be an important piece of this effort as many rural communities see energy projects, efficiency programs and fuels policy as a form of rural economic development.  From Rural electricity to broadband to credit union policy changes, rural economic development will likely be closer to the front burner, especially since rural voters stepped up, know they are powerful and will want to be heard.
  7. Offshore Winds Finally Blowing? – As the nation’s first offshore wind farm finally opened off the coast of Rhode Island, it seems that the long freeze for offshore wind in the US is finally thawing.  The Deepwater Wind success was quickly following up by a major announcement by the Interior Department naming Statoil as the provisional winner of the U.S. government’s wind lease sale of 79,350 acres offshore New York. Statoil will now have the opportunity to explore the potential development of an offshore wind farm to provide New York City and Long Island with a significant, long-term source of renewable electricity.  Statoil submitted a winning bid of just under $42.5 billion.  While the anxious wait seems to be over, watch for key policy questions and potential roadblocks from a new Administration that hasn’t exactly been a supporter of offshore wind.
  8. Clean Energy Staying Strong But Smarter – Speaking of clean energy, as I mentioned a rising tide lifts all boats so we expect clean energy projects to also see numerous opportunities, especially if the expected infrastructure build-out takes hold.  But, expect the projects efforts to be less random.  Projects that improve reliability, create jobs, are economically feasible and promote environmental goals will likely be able to garner bipartisan support and move forward.  Projects that are a stretch and are reliant only on favorable tax policy or a constrained GHG mandate may struggle to get off the ground.  As well for 2017, new CCS projects will finally make it to commercial operation, another positive step forward.
  9. Innovation Agenda Essential for Technology, Climate Future – For the past century, the US has lead on virtually every energy technology, from solar panels to clean coal.  Common sense reforms that enable and inspire American ingenuity are essential to creating an energy future that will reduce emissions and advance the next generation of technologies that will continue to change the way we use energy.  Private-public partnership can also add new value. Exciting efforts like Southern Company’s Energy Innovation Center, which looks for better, more reliable and more efficient ways to increase value, can play an important role in the overall effort.  Southern is also a prime example of innovation leadership promoting several bold technologies like carbon capture, large-scale biomass, improved gas infrastructure, new wind and solar and new generation nuclear. We also saw technology innovation’s emergence on the global scene in the Breakthrough Coalition led by Bill Gates and the govt-to-govt “Mission Innovation” initiative, which were borne out of international discussions in Paris last December.  Only a bold private-public innovation/technology partnership process like this by world and business leaders can achieve success.
  10. New Nuclear is Hear and Now – Nuclear energy is an essential and reliable part of any modern electricity grid. It keeps the lights on regardless of the weather – and does so with zero air pollution. The current construction of new reactors at Plant Vogtle which will run through its final stages before operation starts in 2018, hopes to create a new age of nuclear energy. Vogtle is part of the next generation of reactors that are significantly upgraded from those built in the 1970s. And many companies are innovating further on advanced reactors that will be far more versatile than today’s technology.  In addition, new leadership at NEI will likely also make nuclear issue and more interesting read in 2017.   Georgia Power has an ongoing photo timeline of progress/activity at Plant Vogtle that you can see here.

Energy Update Week of July 28

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Annual Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 17th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum  will be held Thursday in the Cannon House Office building in cooperation with the House and Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses.

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

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call if you have questions

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update Week of July 7

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call if you have questions

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

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update Week of March 10

Friends,

I hope you all managed to get your clocks adjusted to “Spring Forward.”  While there are many theories about Daylight Savings Time’s origin from Ben Franklin to New Zealand,  the first approach to moving our clocks was mainly credited in 1905 to British inventor William Willett (FUN FACT: Willett was the great-great grandfather of Coldplay singer and Gwyneth Paltrow-husband Chris Martin).  Willett came up with the idea of moving the clocks forward in the summer to take advantage of the daylight in the mornings and the lighter evenings.   Willett’s plan caught the attention of Member of Parliament Robert Pearce who introduced the first legislation in Britain’s House of Commons in 1908. The modern-day changeover, started in 1974 to save energy following the 1973 oil embargo, used to occur later in the Spring and sooner in Fall from 1987 to 2007.  In 2007, it was altered by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, championed in the debate by now Chair Fred Upton and current Sen. Ed Markey claiming it would save “the equivalent of” 10,000 barrels of oil per day.  The Upton-Markey proposal, which were received with some skepticism (especially in Indiana where they never changed clocks until 2006), extended the period by about one month, moving DST to the second Sunday in March and ending on the first Sunday in November.  Now only Arizona and Hawaii do not change their clocks.

South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin hits high speed this week after launching this past weekend.  While originally known as a small, quirky music festival, it has grown into a music, movie, comedy, environmental, political, technology and business behemoth.   SXSW this week hosts a conversation with NSA leaker Edward Snowden today, a speech from HBO star and Saturday’s SNL host Lena Dunham and many panels on technology innovations.  The broad array of music acts, SXSW’s specialty, include Soundgarden (on the 20th anniversary of its breakout Superunknown album), G-Love, 50-Cent, Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Lady Gaga, Blondie, Willie Nelson, Green Day, The Whigs, Foster the People, punk  veterans “X” and many, many more.

Finally, get your hoops picks lined up because Next Monday in the update, we’ll be making some suggestions for your Final Four.  And after their Ivy League conference win over the weekend, maybe you’ll pick Harvard.  And don’t sleep on the Frozen Four which is slated for Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on April 11/12, with the tournament brackets being selected on March 23.

Congress gets back into action again this week before the Spring work period starts next week.  House Science addresses CCS technologies on Wednesday with our friends from Alstom and others testifying.  Senate Foreign Relations hosts former Administration official James Jones, activist James Hansen, Chamber Energy official Karen Harbert and Sierra’s Michael Brune at a hearing on Keystone pipeline Thursday and OMB Regulatory Czar Howard Shelanski heads to Senate Homeland Security to discuss reg reform tomorrow.  As well, with the President’s Budget finally submitted, the parade of officials headed to Capitol Hill will begin Friday with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Tonight, Senate Democrats interested in pushing more aggressive climate policy will hold an overnighter to address climate change and its importance.   While stunts and gimmicks, like this continue to gather some attention, they continue to fail to bridge key policy/political divides in the debate…most notably many of the Democrats that continue have significant concerns about stronger climate regulations.

As well, with many questions bouncing about over new tax proposals from House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp and a potential mark up from new Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, our excellent tax experts are following the issue closely and could be a helpful resource for those of you interested in it.

Finally, on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. our friends at Politico will host a POLITICO Pro Energy Happy Hour featuring specialty canned beers, appetizers and conversations about the energy policy news of the day.  The event is presented by AHRI, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute.

 

Call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Segal Highlights Polar Vortex, Power Plant Concerns in Video – Scott Segal, head of Bracewell & Giuliani’s DC-based Policy Resolution Group, and executive director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC) says the “Polar Vortex” of 2014 was almost a morality play about what happens when we have an unexpected, significant spike in energy demand. In a video interview, Segal discusses the impact of low-cost shale gas resources on energy supply and demand, the key role that coal-fired facilities played in electric generation during the severe cold spells this winter, and the lessons policymakers and industry should learn from the Polar Vortex of 2014.

NARUC Hits 125 Years – Congrats to our friends at NARUC, who last week hit its 125th anniversary as a trade groups representing utility commissioners.  In its original incarnation, NARUC was called the National Association of Railway Commissioners, reflecting its focus on the inter- and intrastate regulation of the freight railroad industry. Over time, as the railroad industry deregulated, the focus of the Association shifted to the essential utility systems of today.  For 125 years, NARUC has brought State regulators all across the country together to share best practices and learn from each other. The utility sector has undergone tremendous change since 1889. NARUC President Collette Honorable said “NARUC brings all of us together—federal and State policymakers, consumer advocates, industry stakeholders, academics, environmental groups, and the list goes on. We understand how decisions in one State impact its neighbors, just as we understand how federal laws, court decisions, and regulations affect our important work at home. But make no mistake—we are all on the same stage. We may have different roles to play, but we all have the public interest in our sights.”

Kerry Orders Ambassadors to Focus on Climate – In his first policy directive at State, John Kerry has ordered his fleet of Ambassadors and the agency’s 50,000 employees globally to make the climate issue a “top tier” diplomatic priority.  The document encourages the United States to “lead by example” by attacking climate change domestically; to work more closely with other countries both in bilateral and multilateral partnerships, and to help mobilize “billions of dollars” to enable low-carbon energy development worldwide.  Kerry has been heavily criticized by a number of foreign policy experts and politicos for his placement of climate change above more pressing issues like the Ukraine, Syria and security at our consulates based of the recent attacks in Benghazi.

Pentagon Focuses On Climate in QDR – Apparently, climate is not just news at State, the Pentagon has also called climate change is a “threat multiplier” and a critical component of future defense strategy in its Quadrennial Defense Review 2014.  The Pentagon is developing strategies to address climate threats through operational provisions, including expanded investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency to improve climate resilience. The report notes that climate change may undermine the ability of the military’s domestic installations to support training activities, as well as increase the frequency and difficulty of future missions.

House Moves Legislation to Limit GHG Rules – The House voted 229-183 to pass H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act, a bill which would prevent EPA from limiting carbon emissions from new coal-fired power plants. The bill also directs EPA to set an effective date for upcoming regulations on carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.  No word on when the Senate will move the bill, sponsored by WV Sen. Joe Manchin.  The White House has issued a veto threat against the bill.

EDF Study Shows Methane Emissions Could Be Lower – EDF and ICF International released a report saying the oil and gas industry could cut methane emissions by 40% below 2018 projections. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG), and emissions are expected to increase 4.5% between 2011 and 2018, primarily due to the venting of co-produced gas in favor of collecting the more valuable oil. A dozen emission reduction strategies are listed in the report, including using lower-emitting valves and improved leak detection repairs. The cheapest methods, according to the report, could save the industry over $164 million a year, and overall, would cost $0.66 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) of natural gas produced.

Article Focuses On Canada CCS Project – A good article in New Scientist focuses on Canada’s Boundary Dam power plant in Saskatchewan.  Later this year, it will be the first commercial plant first CCS project built on a commercial-scale power station. It is not a new process as several projects to capture and store carbon are already up and running in 12 industrial installations like fertilizer factories and natural gas processing plants. Also, for some time the oil and gas industry has been injecting flue gas into old oil and gas seams to push out the last drops of fuel. But power stations are yet to emerge and are the largest source of greenhouse gases.  In additional to Boundary Dam (Canada’s largest Coal plant), the Kemper County power station in Mississippi will become the second CCS power station. It is a coal gasification plant, testing the technology on a different energy source.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Climate Meetings Start in Bonn – In preparation for important Paris negotiations in November 2015, mid-year climate talks launch this week in Bonn to work on preparations for a major new climate change agreement. Negotiators are hoping to have most of a draft agreement ready to go for December’s UN meeting set for Peru.

McCarthy to Address Cities Conference – The National League of Cities holds its 2014 Congressional City Conference at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel today and tomorrow.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will address the crowd this afternoon.

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

Forum to Feature TVA Case Book on Snail Darter, Dam – American Rivers and the Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at Noon on a new book, The Snail Darter & the Dam, by TVA v. Hill plaintiff and law professor Zygmunt Plater.  Plater will offer a recounting of the history and characters behind the case and how environmental law was made.  The case is one of the seminal cases in federal environmental law.  The Supreme Court enjoined completion of the almost-finished Tellico Dam under the Endangered Species Act because of impacts to the snail darter, an endangered fish. The case brought national attention, caused the Endangered Species Act to be revised, resulted in the formation of the “God Squad” of cabinet-level officials to review similar cases, and ultimately resulted in President Carter yielding to pork-barrel pressure, signing an appropriations rider waiving the law and mandating completion of the dam.

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

NJ to Host Global Nuclear Security SummitNational Journal will hold a summit on Wednesday to look at the future of global nuclear security at the Newseum.  National Journal’s James Kitfield will moderate panels that will  Norwegian Ambassador Kåre Aas, Netherlands Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Renée Jones-Bos, Harvard University’s Matthew Bunn, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, former House member Jane Harman and former Sen. Sam Nunn.  White House Coordinator for Defense Policy, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Arms Control at the National Security Council Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall will keynote the summit.  The 2014 Summit is being held at a time of both progress and peril in the international effort to secure the materials that could be used to build a nuclear bomb. Since 2012, seven countries have removed all or most of these dangerous materials from their territories, bringing the number of countries now storing weapons-usable materials down to 25, according to a new report out by the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Despite this progress, there is much work to be done. Terrorist organizations continue to seek weapons of mass destruction, materials are still stored at hundreds of sites with varying levels of security, and the International Atomic Energy Agency each year receives reports of more than a hundred incidents of theft and other unauthorized active involving nuclear and radiological material.

Forum to Look at China Renewables – Wilson will also hold a forum on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. to discuss the rapid development of wind and solar energy in China.  While development of renewables has happened, it has occurred within the context of an even larger trend: China’s enormous build-out of new coal-fired power plants over the past decade. Current trends indicate that by 2030, roughly two-thirds of China’s power will still come from fossil fuels, mainly coal.  Significantly reducing China’s emissions of greenhouse gas and other pollutants will therefore require carbon capture at coal- and gas-fired power plants, in conjunction with the development of advanced nuclear and renewable generation. Speakers on this panel will discuss successful and emerging “biz-to-biz” and U.S.-China bilateral partnerships to develop cleaner energy technologies in China. The discussion will highlight some drivers and obstacles to clean energy innovation in China’s economy.

House Science to Look at CCS – The House Committee on Science and its Environment panel will hold a joint hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the science of capture and storage and its relation to understanding EPA’s carbon rules.  EPA’s Janet McCabe will testify as well as Bob Hilton of Alstom Power, EPRI’s Robert Trautz, Springfield Missouri City Utilities GM/CEO Scott Miller (on behalf of American Public Power Association) and NRDC’s David Hawkins.

Forum to Look at Brazil’s Nuclear Policy – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a lunch on Wednesday at Noon focused on understanding Brazil’s nuclear policy.  For a country whose importance in the global nuclear order is of potentially great significance, remarkably little is understood about the domestic drivers behind Brazil’s nuclear policy decision making. Brazil is moving toward industrializing a full nuclear fuel cycle. It operates nuclear power plants and plans to build more. It is the only non-nuclear-weapon state to work on a nuclear-powered submarine. And it does not shy away from being a confident voice on the matters of global nuclear politics.  Based on numerous conversations over two years with Brazilian policy experts, academics, former and current officials, and representatives of the nuclear industry, Togzhan Kassenova will reflect on how Brazilians think about and explain their country’s nuclear policy. The discussion will mark the release of Kassenova’s new report Brazil’s Nuclear Kaleidoscope: An Evolving Identity. Copies of the report will be available. George Perkovich will moderate.

House Approps Subpanel to Look at Installations, Environment Budget – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in 2359 Rayburn discussing the budget for the Department of Defense’s Installations, Environment, Energy and BRAC.  Witnesses will be Installations and Environment heads at the four branches: John Conger of DoD, Dennis McGinn at Navy, Katherine Hammack of Army and Kathleen Ferguson of the Air Force.

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

CRS Tax Expert to Discuss Renewables – ACORE, the Global America Business Institute, and the Korea Institute of Energy Research will hold a lunch discussion on Thursday featuring a presentation by Phillip Brown, Specialist in Energy Policy at the Congressional Research Service that will look at Federal renewable electricity deployment incentives.  In support of the U.S. Congress, Mr. Brown provides objective and fact-based research and analysis of existing and proposed federal energy policies. Mr. Brown’s current portfolio of work is focused on U.S. crude oil exports, clean energy policies, renewable electric power, and financial mechanisms that may be used to incentivize renewable electricity project development. Mr. Brown also actively monitors world energy markets in order to provide congressional clients with a global perspective on the effectiveness of various clean energy policy mechanisms.

EPA to Look at Green Power Procurement – The EPA’s Green Power Partnership will host a webinar on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. focused on long-term green power procurements from wind projects.  In today’s green power market, many forward-thinking organizations are looking to long-term procurements from wind power projects to meet their renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals. This webinar will examine various procurement options, the steps involved in making a long-term commitment, challenges, and other considerations. We’ll also hear from Renewable Choice Energy, a renewable energy provider, on what’s involved in making long-term procurements a reality.  Speakers will include EPA’s Blaine Collison, Sprint’s Amy Hargroves, Erin Decker of Salesforce.com and Quayle Hodek of Renewable Choice Energy.

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

Brookings to Discuss Japan Electricity Sector – On Thursday at 3:30 p.m., the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will host a discussion on the restructuring of the electricity sector in Japan and compare it to the experience of deregulation in the United States. Panelists will discuss how increasing oil and gas costs affect competition in various markets and the degree to which proposed reforms in Japan are contingent on domestic nuclear policy. The panelists will closely consider circumstances that are unique to Japan’s electricity sector in this discussion.   Senior Fellow and Director of ESI, Charles Ebinger, will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.  Panelists will include Yoshiharu Tachibana of the University of Tokyo, Michael Chesser of the Energy Security Initiative, CSIS’s Jane Nakano, and Harvard expert William Hogan.

Energy Forum Continues – On Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Embassy of Canada, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) and Young Professionals in Energy (YPE) will host its second event in the ongoing series “The Future of Energy.”  Please join us for an in-depth discussion of Canadian federal and provincial level energy and climate change policy and the U.S.-Canada relationship that underpins these vital issues.  Sheila Reirdon, Minister of Political Affairs at the Embassy, as well as a panel of provincial representatives from the provincial governments of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec will speak.

Finley to Present BP Outlook at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Mark Finley, General Manager for Global Energy Markets and U.S. Economics at BP, on Friday at 9:30 a.m. to present BP’s Energy Outlook 2035. The outlook, seeking to describe the ‘most likely’ trajectory of the world’s energy system, contributes to the wider debate on global energy issues by addressing key questions such as: What will the world’s energy mix look like in 2035? Where is the growth in demand and supply going to come from? How and at what pace will renewables continue to grow? What are the implications for transport? Mr. Finley will review and discuss the projections as well as examine some of the key assumptions behind the data. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

Vilsack to testify on Ag Budget – The US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will begin the annual Administration parade to Congress to testify Friday on the USDA budget in front of the House Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee.

Brookings to Discuss Japan Nuclear Policy – On Friday at 1:30 p.m., the Brookings Institution, the Stanley Foundation and the Center for Public Integrity will host a panel to discuss Japan’s nuclear policy issues. Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Einhorn, former special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will serve as moderator. Panelists include Douglas Birch, senior national security reporter for the Center for Public Integrity; R. Jeffrey Smith, managing editor for national security at the Center for Public Integrity; Matthew Bunn, a principal investigator at the Kennedy School’s Project on Managing the Atom, Harvard University; and Ambassador Nobuyasu Abe, director for the Center for the Promotion of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation and former U.N. undersecretary-general for disarmament affairs.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

Fuel Cell Forum to Look at Resiliency, Security – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, and the Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus will sponsor a forum next Monday, March 17th at Noon in Senate Visitor Center Room 200 on the resiliency and efficiency  of fuel cells and hydrogen and there impacts on energy security.  Speakers to include Ed Cohen of Honda, Daimler’s Gwen Bluemich, Katrina Fritz of ClearEdge Power and DoE Deputy Asst. Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar, among others.

Forum to Look at Renewables For Poverty Reduction – The Society for International Development – Washington will hold a forum on Tuesday, March 18th at 12:30 p.m. on the promise of solar-powered irrigation pumps for poverty reduction.  When people have access to water and energy, poverty is reduced and life chances are significantly improved.  In its focus on the water-energy nexus for UN World Water Day on March 22, 2014, the World Water Report examines how the water and energy sectors are working together to increase energy services that will lead to major improvements in sanitation, agriculture, and economic growth in developing countries.  Called a ‘game changer’ for agricultural economies since first introduced in the mid-2000s, solar-powered pumps for irrigation are an application at the water-energy nexus that is contributing to food security, empowerment of women farmers, and poverty reduction.  Solar-powered pumps are also at the nexus of the development community, with donors, NGOs, financial institutions, and the private sector committed to developing technologies, best practices, and business models to make them a success.  Speakers will include UNEP’s Carla Friedrich, Richard Colback of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), USAID’s Renewable Energy Advisor Dr. Jeff Haeni and Bikash Pandy of Winrock International

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

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

RFF to Feature Expert on Financial, Environmental Risk – Resources for the Future will host a seminar series conversation on Tuesday, March 18th at 12:45 p.m. looking at a financial approach to environmental risk featuring Robert Engle.  Engle, 2003 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, is an expert in analyzing the movements of financial market prices and interest rates. His insights and methodologies are well known as indispensable tools for researchers and financial analysts alike. In recognition of his pioneering work, in 2003, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on the concept of autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (ARCH). He developed this method for statistical modeling of time-varying volatility and demonstrated that these techniques accurately capture the properties of many time series. Professor Engle shared the prize with Clive W.J. Granger of the University of California, San Diego.  Many of these methods are now featured on the innovative public web site, V-LAB, where daily estimates of volatilities and correlations for more than a thousand assets are available to assist in evaluating portfolio risk, asset allocation, derivative pricing, and systemic risk measures now incorporated in the NYU Stern Systemic Risk Rankings. His research has produced such innovative statistical methods as co-integration, common features, autoregressive conditional duration (ACD), CAViaR, and DCC models.

Forum to Look at Fate of Arctic – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Wednesday, March 19th at 3:00 p.m. on the fate of the Arctic.  The Arctic is a sentinel of global warming where scientists predict and have observed the largest warming, melting and change, yet a region with planetary impact.   Join us for a discussion of the Arctic’s many changes and their implications: Environmental changes in the form of melting sea ice, greening of the Arctic tundra, migrations of species; Challenges facing indigenous people and how they are responding and coping with this changing world; and how feedbacks in the climate system may mean that the Arctic becomes more than an indicator of climate change and perhaps a source of even more greenhouse gasses.  Our panel will help sort out the science from the speculation, and guide effective decisions for the future.  The “Managing Our Planet” seminar series is developed jointly by George Mason University, the Brazil Institute and the Environmental Change and Security Program. It is based on the premise that the impacts of humanity on the environment (including natural resources) are at a planetary scale, requiring planetary-scale solutions.  Speakers will include Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk expert David Titley, National Museum of Natural History Arctic curator Igor Krupnik, USGS Research Geologist Miriam Jones and , , Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center U.S. Geological Survey and George Mason University Professor of Oceanography Paul Schopf.

WCEE to Honor GE, Deloitte Energy Leaders – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold its 33rd Annual Woman of the Year Reception and Dinner Gala on Wednesday, March 26th at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington DC. WCEE said that its members have voted to honor Deb Frodl, Global Executive Director at GE, ecomagination as WCEE’s 2014 Woman of the Year.  Frodl leads GE’s business strategy and commitment to “accelerate innovation and growth in a resource constrained world through efficient and resilient solutions.”  Committed to encouraging the success of women in her field, Frodl also serves as Executive Champion of the Minneapolis GE Women’s Network and is a member of the Executive Steering Committee for GE Commercial Women. WCEE is also honoring Greg Aliff, Vice Chairman and Senior Partner of Energy Resources at Deloitte LLP, is WCEE’s 2014 Champion.

Group to Release Report on 2013-2014 State of the Future – On Thursday, March 20th at Noon, 17th State of the Future report produced by The Millennium Project – a global participatory think tank with over 50 Nodes and about 5,000 participants around the world will be released at the Wilson Center.  The Millennium Project CEO Jerome Glenn, NASA Langley Research Center Chief Scientist Dennis Bushnell and National Science Foundation Program Director Paul Werbos will explore global strategic prospects and strategies drawn from the 2013-14 State of the Future report and the online Global Futures Intelligence System.  2013-14 State of the Future’s executive summary gives an unparalleled overview of our current situation, prospects, and suggestions to build a better future, plus an annual World Report Card of where we are winning and losing, and the 2013 State of the Future Index. Chapter 1 on 15 Global Challenges provides a framework for understanding global change. Other chapters share international assessments of the causes of and solutions to the increasing problem of hidden hunger; vulnerable natural infrastructure in urban coastal zones; lone wolves and individuals making and deploying weapons of mass destruction; a presentation of the Global Futures Intelligence System, and some concluding thoughts.

Wharton Green Biz Roundtable to Highlight Army Energy Issues – The Wharton Green Business Forum will hold a lunch at the National Press Club on Friday, March 21st at 12:00 p.m.  featuring Richard Kidd.  Kidd, a graduate of the Yale School of Management, will summarize for the audience key aspects of the Army’s approach to energy and sustainability. He will do this first by highlighting the organization change techniques used to alter the way the Army values energy at the corporate, installation (stateside bases) and operational (combat) levels.  Also, he will provide a business operations overview of the Army’s Renewable Energy Task Force, which has created the largest renewable energy project pipeline in America by applying private sector approaches to a public sector entity. The Wharton DC Green Business Forum meets regularly with speakers in varied facets of the cleantech. energy and sustainability fields to learn about new developments and business opportunities. Sponsored by the Wharton School Club of DC, announcements of upcoming events reach over 3,000 Washington area alums of Wharton, Harvard, Columbia and other top business schools, entrepreneurs and executives. Attendance at the programs is open to anyone interested in business and the environment, with advance signup recommended.

McCarthy, Wellinghoff, Trade Assn Heads Headline ACORE Forum – The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Friday March 28th in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Building.  After an opening reception Thursday night at Union Station, the event will feature keynote remarks from EPA’s Gina McCarthy, discussions about policy innovations with Rep. Sander Levin and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and outlooks from trade association heads including our friends Michael McAdams of the Advance Biofuels Coalition, Ted Michaels of the Energy Recovery Council, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan and several others.   Finally, our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy will moderate the afternoon keynote session featuring former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff, Sen. Mazie Hirano and NV Energy CEO Michael Yackira.

Chamber Women in Business Summit to Look at Challenges, Leadership – The US Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Women in Business will hold its 3rd annual summit on March 27th at the Chamber to celebrate the successes of businesswomen around the country while also discussing their unique challenges.  The summit will address the importance of finding supportive and reliable networks necessary for success, as well the common roadblocks that women face in accessing and using capital—one of the most common reasons why women’s business dreams lag in comparison to men’s.   Speakers will include Schnitzer Steel CEO Tamara Lundgren, Barnard College President Debora Spar and Kat Cole of Cinnabon, among many others.

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

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

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.

Energy Update Week of February 3

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Maisano Media Seminar Postponed to February 25 – For those of you focused on media relations and policy communications, I was supposed to be conducting a webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. focused on creating a successful media strategies for the policy environment.  Fortunately or unfortunately, I have had events arise that will cause it to be postponed until Tuesday February 25th.  We will look at the nexus between policy communications and government affairs, as well as crisis management.  Finally, we will offer some of the tools of the trade.  We can also help you with a discount if you want to join in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update Week of December 9

Friends,

I don’t know if any of you enjoyed the snowy football games in Philly, Baltimore, DC, Cincy and several other places yesterday, but it made for some pretty entertaining TV.   It was almost as thrilling as Sunday’s penultimate episode of Homeland, which is getting really interesting right now with the season finale next Sunday (won’t mention anything for those of you DVR’ing).   The holiday season always brings our fair share of TV specials, many are gong shows.  (insert Carrie Underwood/ Sound of Music jokes here)  But I’m a fan of the classics.

So now I’m waiting for the Congressional version of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special which features John Boehner trying to find a Christmas tree that both Tea Partiers and Democrats will find interesting.  Or maybe Harry Reid in the land of Misfit Healthcare Toys trying to find some better options for his staff.    In any event, Congress continues its slow slide to the Christmas holiday with this being the last major week for real action.  That’s why on Friday, it is expected we will hear the outlines of a budget deal that will continue to operate the government.   As well, expect to hear more about China this week as EPA’s Gina McCarthy heads over to Beijing for a series of events.  Finally, don’t hold your breath on Keystone decisions.  Experts think that may appear sometime much slower.

The urgency means that several key Congressional hearings will be on the docket as well.  On Thursday, the House Resources Committee will explore a controversial agreement designed to streamline implementation of the Endangered Species.  As well Thursday, NRC Commissioners will be at House Energy on nuclear waste issues.  Senate EPW returns to the ethanol hearty perennial on Wednesday and the House Science Committee looks at the national labs, even as new news breaks about EPA Science Advisory Board raising questions about the new GHG rule.   Finally, the Senate Energy Committee has nominees on the plate this week with testimony and votes.

Over in the Courts, it is a key week with the Supreme Court taking up EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule tomorrow.  A split appeals court panel in 2012 struck down the rule, saying that the agency had overstepped the authority under the Clean Air Act.  As well tomorrow, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear two consolidated cases concerning EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants.   We can help with sources.  Along the same lines, CT Gov. Dannel Malloy, DE Gov. Jack Markell, NH Gov. Margaret Hassan and VT Gov. Peter Shumlin, as well as state environmental commissioners from the East said this morning that nine Midwestern and Southern states must clean up their air pollution.

Finally, tomorrow, the National Press Club will host a luncheon with Houston mayor Annise Parker tomorrow at Noon.  Parker will talk about the renaissance of American oil and gas energy industry, among other items.  While I will be at NYU with my friend Dan Fagin, my colleagues Scott Segal and Dee Martin will have a table for Mayor Parker’s speech if you are interested.

 

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Science Advisors Raise Concerns about EPA’s GHG Rule – EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations for new power plants are facing a new obstacle: the agency’s own science advisers. The Science Advisory Board — a group of academic and industry scientists who review the agency’s decisions — is raising serious concerns about whether EPA appropriately reviewed the issue before deciding that carbon capture and sequestration is commercially available for new coal-fired power plants. While EPA said the standards are not reliant on new science, the SAB disagreed, saying the action involves precedential and novel issues that rely on new technologies and science for carbon capture and storage (CCS).  “The Work Group finds that the scientific and technical basis for carbon storage provisions is new science and the rulemaking would benefit from additional review.”  Sounds like we might need some hearings…

Cabot Marcellus Production Numbers – Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation today reported results from the Company’s first 10-well pad in the Marcellus Shale. Additionally, they provided an update on its share repurchase program and announced the sale of legacy conventional Mid-Continent properties.  Cabot recently turned-in-line its first 10-well pad in the Marcellus, which included eight Lower Marcellus wells and two Upper Marcellus wells. The 10-well pad was completed with 170 fracture stimulation (frac) stages with a combined peak production rate of 201 million cubic feet (Mmcf) per day and a combined average 30-day production rate of 168 Mmcf per day. The production rates exceeded the Company typical performance, further reiterating the consistency of results across Cabot’s operations in the region.  “This represents the new standard for operational efficiencies and technological advancement in our Marcellus operations,” Cabot CEO Dan O. Dinges said.  “Our achievements on this pad showcase the innovation and ingenuity our team continues to demonstrate day-in and day-out.” See the full release here.

Oil/Gas Employment Continues to Rise – Speaking of production numbers, on Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the oil and gas industry employed  199,200 in November, up 4.8 percent from a year before and 0.3 percent from October.

More Jobs From Atlantic Drilling – A new API/NOIA report found that oil and natural gas development in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf would create 280,000 direct new jobs over 18 years and bring up to $23.5 billion per year to the U.S. economy.   The study, conducted by Quest Offshore, shows that offshore oil and natural gas development in the Atlantic OCS could spur an additional $195 billion in new private investment, generate $51 billion in new revenue for the government and add 1.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day to domestic energy production, between 2017 and 2035.  These jobs are in addition to any jobs and revenue generated by offshore wind or wave energy projects that might take place.

Mirtchev: Energy is Best Foreign Policy Tool – International energy expert Alexander Mirtchev had a recent column on the Web site RealClearEnergy that focused on energy as an effective foreign policy tool.  Mirtchev argues that to now, the extensive policy debate over production of non-traditional fossil fuels, such as shale gas, has not adequately focused on the geo-economic and foreign policy implications and advantages to the United States, its allies, and global economic security overall.  He adds the geopolitical opportunities presented by the shale revolution and the prospect of LNG exports cannot be underestimated and will prevent gas exporters from using natural gas supply as geopolitical leverage.

Book Details Bloomberg Focus on Climate, NYC – Our Friends at Inside Climate News have just released an ebook on Mayor Bloomberg tenure on in New York City and his intense focus on climate and environmental Issues.  The book, Bloomberg’s Hidden Legacy: Climate Change and the Future of New York City and details Bloomberg’s efforts to protect the city from climate change. It’s available through Amazon for Kindle readers. You can also get it at: http://insideclimatenews.org/

Tezak Talks Renewables, NSPS on E&E TV – Our friend Christi Tezak, managing director of research at ClearView Energy Partners, discussed the changing dynamics of the renewable energy tax policy debate and the impact master limited partnerships could have on clean energy projects on today’s E&E TV OnPoint.  Tezak also explains how U.S. EPA’s New Source Performance Standards for power plants could affect state renewable portfolio standards.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

DOE Loan Program to Headline USEA Program – U.S. Energy Association will host an event today at 2:00 p.m. providing an overview of the DOE Loan Program.  Deploying critical projects at utility scale, Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) is a financing force for the clean energy economy and is one of the largest project finance teams in the world managing the largest innovative energy and transportation portfolio in the world. Supporting more than 30 projects across the United States and representing more than $30 billion in loans and loan guarantees, LPO has accelerated clean energy deployment in the U.S., cut emissions, and enhanced American global competitiveness. With tens of billions of dollars in remaining loan authority and a draft Advanced Fossil Energy Solicitation, LPO continues to accept new applications for its existing programs covering renewable energy, advanced nuclear, fossil energy, and advanced vehicles.  Peter Davidson, Executive Director of the Loan Programs Office, will speak.

Forum to Look at Clean Energy – Young Professionals in Energy and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy will host a discussion at the French Embassy today at 6:30 p.m. on the transition to a renewable energy future.  French Embassy Energy Councilor Vincente Deporte will speak about the policies in France aimed at reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy independence.  German Embassy Climate and Energy Policy First Secretary Georg Maue will discuss the transformation of the German energy system through renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Panel to Discuss Energy Innovation, Labs – The House Technology Transfer Caucus, ITIF, Innovation Associates, and a panel of leading experts tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in 121 Cannon to discuss the role of national labs as part of a three-part series on innovation policy reform. Department of Energy’s National Laboratories are a key driver of energy innovation and represent over $14 billion in annual federally-funded research investment. Yet, as ITIF found in a nonpartisan study with the Heritage Foundation and the Center for American Progress, the links between the National Labs and industry are weak, technology transfer remains a low priority, commercialization programs are underfunded, and the Labs are disconnected from regional economic development. Reforms are critical to enhancing the long-term impact National Lab research can have on addressing key national challenges.

Houston Mayor to Address Press Club –The National Press Club will host a luncheon with Houston mayor Annise Parker tomorrow at Noon.  Parker, one of the first openly gay mayors in the U.S. and the head of the “energy capital of America” will talk about her political future and past, the renaissance of American oil and gas energy industry, Texas’s thriving economy and the challenges of managing city finances.

Arctic Energy Report to Be Released – Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars European Studies Program, the Canada Institute and the Kennan Institute will release the publication launch of “In Search of Arctic Energy” tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.  The program will discuss the findings of the new paper and delve into the implications that arctic energy exploration will have for the region and the globe’s energy economy.  Speakers will include Jim Slutz of the Canada Institute; Bill Scott, General Manager of the Chevron Arctic Center, RFF’s Joel Darmstadter and Alaska Director of State-Federal Relations Kip Knudson, among others.

EEI Exec to Address MIT DC Club – The MIT Club of Washington will host David Owens of EEI on modernizing the Grid tomorrow evening at the Kenwood Country Club.  This session presents a utility industry perspective on how emerging technologies and environmental or regulatory pressures might change the plans of this regulated industry. Issues to be faced include distributed solar/wind, efficient operations, state/federal legislative initiatives, and financing mechanisms.

CHP Conference Set – The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Association will hold its annual conference in Washington DC tomorrow and Wednesday. This year’s theme is “Making the Business Case for Combined Heat & Power”. The conference will bring together different leaders within the CHP industry to discuss access to financing, a major barrier to CHP deployment. The conference will also focus on demonstrating the business benefits of CHP for different sectors. Representatives from Coca Cola, Procter and Gamble, Schneider Electric, American Gas Association, Edison Electric Institute, Veolia Energy, General Electric, Caterpillar, Cargill, and many others working on the issue of combined heat and power will be on the agenda.  Topics will include financing, electric utilities finding value in CHP, environmental issues, debt financing for small to medium projects and natural gas among many other items.

SCOTUS to Hear Cross State Challenge – The Supreme Court takes up EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule tomorrow in case that industry has won in the lower courts.  A split appeals court panel in 2012 struck down the rule, saying that the agency had overstepped the authority under the Clean Air Act.

Court to Hear Mercury Cases in December – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has scheduled oral arguments tomorrow on two consolidated cases concerning EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants.  Both rules were finalized in 2012.  The Oral arguments for both White Stallion Energy Center LLC v. EPA and Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA will be held at 9:30 a.m. in DC before Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Circuit Judges Judith Rogers and Brett Kavanaugh.

Experts to Discuss Court Cases – Following the court arguments, the DC Bar’s Air and Water Quality Committee of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section and the Environmental Law Institute will host a discussion with the litigants of the major issues and possible outcomes in these seminal cases.  EPA’s attempts to regulate pollutants that cross state lines have been struck down twice by the D.C. Circuit. Now the Supreme Court will have its chance to opine on EPA’s authority under the “good neighbor” provisions of the Clean Air Act. On the same day, the D.C. Circuit will test the MATS rule, which EPA says is necessary to protect public health but which industry casts as burdensome and ineffective.

BG’s Holmstead Headlines D.C. Bar Event on SCOTUS Case – Another event that will follow the DC Circuit case takes place at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday when the Air and Water Quality Committee of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section, in co-sponsorship with the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Section and the Environmental Law Institute will hold a discussion on the Supreme Court will hear oral argument on challenges to the Cross State Air Pollution Rule.  My Colleague Jeff Holmstead, former EPA Air office head that works on the original CAIR rule will be among the discussants.  Others include EPA folks and Mike Myers of the New York State Attorney General’s office.

Workshop to Look Defense, Climate Issues – The Association of Climate Change Officers will hold its 3rd annual workshop at GWU’s Marvin Center Wednesday and Thursday and will focus upon the growing efforts of U.S. defense, intelligence and national security communities on assessing and responding to climate change. With the recent publication of Federal agency adaptation plans and the impacts of Hurricane Sandy, this year’s program will specifically address transportation, water and energy infrastructure, as well as critical risks in the supply chain. Hear insights from senior Federal officials in the Department of Defense, intelligence organizations and other Federal agencies on existing mandates, operational strategies and opportunities for collaboration.

Senate Environment to Tackle Ethanol, RFS Rule – Following last week’s EPA public Hearing on the topic, the Senate Environment Committee and its Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at domestic renewable fuels.  Witnesses will include EPA’s Chris Trundler and DOE’s Steven Chalk.  Others include Growth Energy Co-Chairman General Wesley K. Clark, Jim Collins of Dupont, refining assn AFPM head Charlie Drevna, farm operator Jon Holzfaster, EWG’s Scott Faber and Brooke Coleman of the Advanced Ethanol Council.

House Science to Look at Climate, Weather – Also on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Science, Space & Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing the relationship between climate and weather.

AEI to Look at Public-Private Roads – The American Enterprise Institute will hold a discussion on Wednesday at Noon on two new policy proposals that address the use of road pricing and public-private partnerships, as well as state efforts to enhance infrastructure and economic competitiveness. Panelists will also discuss how these proposals intersect with the federal transportation authorization bill, due to expire in less than a year.  America’s network of roads, bridges, and tunnels needs $1.7 trillion in investment by 2020, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. Traditional methods of funding these needs, such as fossil fuel taxes, fall short: Americans are driving fewer miles, and inflation is eroding fuel tax revenues. Meanwhile, congressional gridlock and fiscal constraints have prevented large federal investments.  Many policy analysts agree that road pricing – charging motorists a variable per-mile rate based on congestion levels – can address many of these concerns. Yet the concept faces local, state, and federal hurdles.  Speaker will include Jack Bass of Parsons Brinckerhoff, Richard Geddes of AEI and Cornell University, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials exec Joung Lee and Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation.

NAS Nuclear Panel to Hold First Meeting – A National Academy of Sciences Committee has scheduled its first public meeting for a pilot study on cancer risks around U.S. nuclear facilities on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in the National Academy of Sciences Building.  The planning this study will investigate just seven of many facilities licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but the results of this study will most likely affect all U.S. nuclear facilities.

Aspen Book Event to Feature Weisman – The Aspen Institute’s Global Health and Development program will hold a conversation on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. with journalist and author Alan Weisman, moderated by Jackie Judd.  In his latest book, Countdown: Our Last Best Hope for a Future on Earth, Alan Weisman considers the impact of adding another 3.6 billion people to the planet by the end of the century. He finds rivers running dry, coral reefs without fish, forests stripped of trees, and increasingly bizarre weather. But Weisman also offers hope. We are not doomed to grow beyond our planet’s carrying capacity. Weisman considers various means to slow population growth—including draconian measures, such as China’s one-child policy. He rejects those in favor of a solution that is simple, effective, ethical, and beneficial in its own right: empower women, through education and contraception, to make their own decisions about childbearing.

Forum to Look at Energy Infrastructure The Atlantic will hold an Energy and Infrastructure Super Summit on the morning of Thursday in Washington, D.C.  The event will include a select group of senior leaders from a diversity of sectors, this year’s summit will cover topics including innovative water conservation efforts, evolving green building standards, and the future of energy policy and infrastructure investment. We will feature one-on-one interviews and panel discussions exploring these topics from all angles and make time for audience engagement through Q&A.  Speakers will include Brendan FitzSimons of EDF, AT&T’s John Schultz and Lee McIntire of CH2M HILL.

CAP Forum Looks at Mayors, Local Climate Issues – The Center for American Progress will hold a forum on Thursday morning at the Newseum to discuss the Local perspective on climate change issues.  The battle over climate change, carbon pollution, and America’s energy future is not confined to Congress. In fact, considerable progress is happening at the state and local level with 31 states, and DC, setting targets for renewable energy and over 1,000 mayors signing on to the US Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement.  The panel will look at how this move will impact the national debate.

Senate Energy to Hold Nominations Meeting, Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee will convene a business meeting Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to consider the nominations of Steven Croley to be the General Counsel of the Department of Energy, Chris Smith to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy, Esther P. Kia’aina to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas.  Last month the committee held a confirmation hearing where each testified without much concern.  At the same time they will address new nominees, including MIT’s Franklin Orr to be Under Secretary for Science at DOE, Jonathan Elkind to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs, Rhea S. Suh to be Assistant Secretary of Fish and Wildlife and Parks at Interior and current BOEM head Tommy Beaudreau to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management and Budget.

NRC Commissioner at House Energy on Nuclear Waste – On Thursday at 10:15 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittees on Energy & Power and Environment & the Economy will hold an oversight hearing on NRC Management and the need for legislative reform.  Obviously, major focus will be on Yucca Mountain and waste issues.  Chair Allison Macfarlane and Commissioners George Apostolakis, Bill Magwood, Kristine Svinicki and William Ostendorff will testify.

EPA Webinar to Look at Green Power, Sports Teams – If you a looking for a good sports/environment crossover, EPA’s Green Power Partnership and the Stadium Managers Association will host a webinar on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. looking at Green Power use and opportunities for sports teams and venues. Sports stadiums and venues typically use a great deal of electricity, and thus can play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by using renewable energy. This webinar will examine how and why sports teams and venues use green power, including a review of available product options, benefits of and best practices for procuring renewable energy, and the positive role teams and venues can play in encouraging green power use by fans, peers and the public.  The Webinar will look at green power product and procurement options, and associated costs and benefits, how EPA’s Green Power Partnership can help teams and venue managers leverage their green power use to bring positive attention to an organization and Lessons learned from the Philadelphia Phillies on incorporating renewable energy use into their operations, and advice for organizations interested in doing the same.  Speakers include EPA’s Green Power Partnership Director Blaine Collison, Stadium Managers Association President and VP of Stadium Operations for the St. Louis Cardinals Joe Abernathy, Brian Mahoney of the Philadelphia Phillies and Bram Reynolds, General Manager of Facility Services at Citizens Bank Park

SEIA Webinar on Solar, EPA Repowering America’s Land Initiative – The Solar Energy Industry Assn will hold a webinar Thursday at 1:00 p.m. EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Lands initiative.  The program offers developers a very unique value proposition for installing solar energy.   The event will discuss leveraging existing infrastructure, improve project economics with reduced land costs and tax incentives, reduce project cycle times through streamlined permitting and zoning, and build a sustainable land development strategy by using contaminated lands.  Speakers will include EPA’s Adam Klinger and SEIA’s John Smirnow.

DOE Nuclear Experts to Discuss Industry at Atlantic Council Forum – The Atlantic Council will host a roundtable discussion on Thursday afternoon at 2:45 p.m. looking at key policy issues for ensuring a safe, secure, competitive US and Global nuclear industry.  This event, part of the Council’s Nuclear Energy Initiative, will convene senior thought leaders from government, academia, industry, and stakeholder groups to address the current US government policy course.  Speakers will include DOE’s Rose Gottemoeller and Dan Poneman, as well as CSIS expert Thomas Moore, Mary Beth Nikitin of the Congressional Research Service and several others.

CSIS to Look at Nuclear Issues – The Center for Strategic and International Studies with partners in India, South Korea, and China, explored the contours of responsible nuclear supply with key technical, official, and industry experts.  On Friday at 9:00 a.m., their experts will hold a forum that will discuss their findings, and the results of our workshops in Delhi, Seoul and Beijing.  Speakers will include Bloomberg New Energy Finance Head of Nuclear Research Chris Gadomski, MIT’s Alan Hanson and Gretchen Hund of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

JHU to Host EIA, 2040 Energy Outlook – Energy, Resources and Environment Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) will host EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski on Monday, December 16th at 9:30 a.m. in SAIS’s Kenney Auditorium.  EIA will present the reference case from Annual Energy Outlook 2014 Early Release Overview with projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices to 2040.

SEIA to Release 3Q Report – On Tuesday, December 17th at 1:00 p.m., the Solar Energy Industry Administration and GTM Research will hold a webinar to discuss the highlights of the soon-to-be-released “U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q3 2013.”  The U.S. solar market continued to show robust growth in Q3 2013, driven in part by a record level of residential installations and a strong quarter in the utility segment.  The webinar will highlight emerging deployment, system pricing and ownership structure trends and dive into detailed market forecasts for the fourth quarter and beyond.

Forum to Look at Iran, Oil Issues – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Wednesday, December 18th at 9:30 a.m. on Iran, oil and Changing the ‘Great Satan’ Narrative. With the signing of an interim accord providing limited sanctions relief in return for restraints on Iran’s nuclear program, attention has focused on whether Iran will be able to increase its currently depressed exports of oil and natural gas and whether multinational oil companies will again be willing to invest in Iran’s energy sector. The first panel will discuss the impact of these changes on Iran’s economy and on world oil supplies and prices. In the second panel, speakers will discuss how the United States and European can help weaken the anti-Western narrative of Iranian hardliners by challenging their core tenet: the West is inherently opposed to Iran’s technological advancement. They will launch a report proposing seven areas of scientific collaboration between Iran and the West that have no proliferation risk but can help strengthen and consolidate the positive-sum outlook of the Rouhani government.  AC’s Iran Task Force, co-chaired by Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, performs comprehensive analyses of Iran’s internal political landscape, its role in the region and the world, and any basis for an improved relationship with the West.  Panel one speakers include Sara Vakshouri of SVB Energy International, CSIS’s Guy Caruso and Bijan Khajehpour of Atieh International while Panel two features Trita Parsi and Reza Marashi of the National Iranian American Council.

Oil Trade Group to Discuss State of Energy – API will host its 2014 State of American Energy luncheon on Tuesday, January 7th at the Newseum.

Detroit Auto Show Rolls Again after New Year – Just like the sun rising, a New Year means important college football games and the roll out of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit launches January 13th through the 26th.  Now in its 26th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.

Policy Auto Show Locked In, Ford COO to Keynote – Following Detroit, the Washington Auto Show, the automotive industry’s annual public policy show and the largest public show held in Washington, D.C., will be held on January 22, 2014 through February 2nd.  This year, Mark Fields, chief operating officer of Ford Motor Company, will deliver the keynote address at the Newsmaker Breakfast on Wednesday to launch the event.  The Newsmaker Breakfast – co-sponsored by Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) and the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) – is part of the show’s Public Policy Days. The breakfast follows the Policy Days’ kickoff event on Capitol Hill. For more information about The Washington Auto Show, please visit www.washingtonautoshow.com

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

Energy Update Week of October 28

Friends,

Just a short note today as I am still tired from last night’s trek to the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore to catch the Pearl Jam show.  That was on top of close to 500 miles of driving, hauling kids around to the first of several fall lax tournaments and college recruit play days.

The show was terrific and included many of the classics (Corduroy, Daughter, Better Man, Elderly Woman…), a number of the new songs off Lightning Bolt and a few covers including The Who’s Love Reign O’er Me, Neil Young’s Rocking in the Free World and a few lines of English Beat’s Save it for Later during Better Man.   I always liked Pearl Jam but was more of a Soundgarden/Alice in Chains guy when listening to the Seattle sound.  But last night, I really respected Pearl Jam for their honoring of Lou Reed, who passed away yesterday.  Not only did they do a cover of the Velvet Underground classic I’m Waiting for the Man, they also sprinkled a “Walk on the Side” tag during Daughter.   Obviously a big influence on them and really classy…

On the Hill this week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will really turn to health care and the President’s struggle over ACA implementation when Kathleen Sibelius visits for what will be somewhat uncomfortable testimony.  Before that though, the focus on coal returns when the Committee’s Energy panel holds a hearing tomorrow on EPA rules affecting the coal industry, particularly a proposal to regulate GHGs for new power plants.  Also on this theme tomorrow, the House Science Committee looks at the technological feasibility of EPA’s proposal and one planned for upcoming proposals for existing units.  Expect a significant discussion of the Kemper project.  For background on Kemper, look here.  Both hearings coincide with coal rallies in Washington aimed at highlighting the potential harm to coal country, as well as an expected ministerial meeting on CCS technologies next week.  Finally tomorrow, also in House Energy, the Committee returns to bipartisan legislation aimed at speeding reviews for pipeline and transmission infrastructure.

Today, the National Academy of Sciences released a report today saying the Ocean Energy Safety Institute, a Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement program to identify best practices for offshore drilling needs to tap a wide variety of experts and have sustained funding in order to be effective.  As we work on these issues, we have resources, including Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition expert Jim Noe.  I also have a recent letter from the 6 trade associations that represent oil and gas producers who conduct essentially all of the OCS oil and gas exploration and production activities in the Gulf of Mexico that has thoughts on similar topics.  Can forward if you want to see.

Finally, congrats to our friend Andrew Light, a great climate/foreign affairs expert at CAP, who is heading over to help the climate negotiation team headed by Todd Stern at the State Department.  I don’t know, Warsaw in late November/December sounds a little chilly… (h/t POLITCOPro).

Spooks and Ghouls roll on Thursday.  We’re looking to set a volume and time record this year for our 500 home neighborhood (Halloween is an opportunity for a cardio workout in our house).   Next week I’ll give you my annual Pumpkin Seed flavor update.  I am busy digging in, flavoring and Cooking all this week.  (For those of you that don’t know, each Halloween, my kids and I dig through about 20 pumpkins and I make different flavored seeds.  It is almost as rich a tradition in my office as the update itself). Call with questions.

 

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Report Says Funding, Industry Expertise Needed for New Offshore Institute – A new report from the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council says BSEE will need to draw on expertise outside the government to help it improve efforts to identify and develop the “best available and safest technologies” for offshore oil and gas production.  The agency’s plans for forming an independent institute to enhance safe and responsible offshore operations across the oil and gas industry could be a “suitable vehicle” for evaluating and developing new technologies to meet the mandate, the report says, but the institute’s scope should be significantly expanded.  The report says  BSEE should enlist a multidisciplinary group of individuals with the necessary skills to perform critical technical assessments, economic analysis, and independent reviews when needed, the report says. The planned institute would greatly aid in tapping the additional talent BSEE needs, as long as OESI is properly organized, staffed, and supported.  However, the proposed funding level of up to $5 million over five years to launch OESI is likely to be insufficient for purposes other than planning and could limit BSEE’s ability to attract and retain key personnel. To strengthen in-house talent, BSEE should consider hiring a reputable chief engineer or chief scientist with expertise in offshore drilling and production activities to work within the bureau and serve as an interface with OESI.  The report also says BSEE could recruit industry retirees and develop a “cross-posting” system with technical staff rotating between government and industry, similar to the one used by the FAA.

EIA, EPA Data Show Drop in Carbon Emissions – EPA and EIA both reported last week that carbon emissions have dropped last year. Carbon emissions from energy use fell in 2012 to, EIA released its annual report saying emissions were down 3.8% from the previous year, to 5,290 million metric tons. It was the second consecutive year energy emissions declined and the lowest since 1994.  EIA said the decline to a 2.4% reduction in energy consumption, despite gross domestic product growth of about 2.8%.   The following day, EPA said domestic GHGs from the power sector fell for the second year in a row because of greater reliance on natural gas over coal.  The data was gathered through information submitted by 1,611 plants in the GHG Reporting Program, showing emissions declined 5.9% over the previous year.

Rural Utilities to Get Loan Guarantees – At the NRECA meeting in San Antonio, the USDA Rural Utilities Service says it will provide funding for rural electric utility system improvements that will benefit residential and business customers in 23 states. The projects include more than $14.3 million to implement smart grid technology and nearly $11 million to improve electric service for Native Americans.   The $960 million in USDA loan guarantees announced today will help build 3,587 miles of line, benefit approximately 17,000 rural residential and business customers, and make other system improvements. Including today’s announcement, the Obama Administration has invested $152 million in smart grid technologies nationwide during 2013.  View the list of recipients. USDA funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.

MSC Announces New Chief – After a two-month search process, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) said David Spigelmyer will serve as its president.  Spigelmyer, with a 30-year career in the energy industry, takes the position today.  Spigelmyer served as Vice President of Chesapeake Energy Corporation’s Appalachia division, where he was responsible for government relations, regulatory policy, stakeholder engagement and communications efforts. Prior to Chesapeake, he served in similar roles at EQT Corporation and Dominion Resources and held other energy industry-related positions in New York State as well as in Washington, DC. A Clearfield County native, Mr. Spigelmyer is a Penn State University graduate and an active outdoorsman.  Spigelmyer said safe shale development has been one of the most transformative turning points in PA’s history. “Led by Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry and a robust and diverse membership of the MSC, we can and will have energy security, job growth, and environmental protection – without a false choice among any of the three.”

EIA Rolls out New Gas Shale Data – EIA began publication of a new monthly Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) to provide region-specific insights into rig efficiency, new well productivity, decline rates at previously existing wells, and overall production trends. The DPR information, which initially will cover six regions, will also inform EIA’s own short-term production outlook. In 2011-12, these six regions accounted for 90% of domestic oil production growth and virtually all domestic natural gas production growth.  The DPR synthesizes several different types of information to shed light on the current rate of growth or decline in production based on indicators including the active rig count, drilling efficiency and the productivity of new wells, and production and depletion trends for previously producing wells. The DPR metrics are intended to be more informative than traditional indicators such as simple counts of oil-directed and gas-directed drilling rigs in use.   Future TIE articles will discuss the individual metrics included in the DPR and explain their relationship to traditional measures. Additional articles will periodically report on significant changes in DPR data and estimates as warranted.

Racing Legend/Philanthropist Hendrick to Be Honor at DC Auto Show in 2014 – Philanthropist, creator of an automotive empire and the most successful NASCAR owner of the modern era, Rick Hendrick has been named the 2014 recipient of the Keith Crain/Automotive News Lifetime Achievement Award, presented at The Washington Auto Show early next year.  Hendrick is the founder and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group, the nation’s second-largest privately held automotive dealership group and the sixth-largest automotive dealership group overall and Hendrick Motorsports, winners of 13 NASCAR owner’s championships and more than 200 victories in the elite Sprint cup Series.  Hendrick Automotive Group operates 87 dealerships representing 28 nameplates, 121 franchises and 24 collision centers and three accessories distributor installers in 13 states. The company employs more than 9,000 people. Hendrick Motorsports currently fields four teams that are in embroiled in NASCAR’s playoffs, The Chase for the Sprint Cup, with drivers Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne.  Hendrick also established the Hendrick Marrow Program in 1997 after he was diagnosed with leukemia. Even though he did not need a marrow transplant himself, he wanted to help other patients waiting to find a marrow match and a second chance at life.  The Hendrick Marrow Program works with Be The Match Foundation to support the work of the National Marrow Donor Program®. Specifically it raises money to add more potential marrow donors to the Be The Match Registry, increasing the chances that more patients can find their match. It also helps patients with uninsured transplant costs, which are often a barrier to treatment.  Since inception, the Hendrick Marrow Program has raised more than $12 million, added more than 100,000 marrow donors to the Be The Match Registry, and eased the financial burden of over 8,000 patients with grants from the Hendrick Family Fund for Patient Assistance.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

AAAS Panel on Sustainability Continues – Following this week’s Sustainability Challenge event sponsored by Georgetown University’s Science in the Public Interest,  the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society, NPR’s David Kestenbaum will host next today at 5:00 p.m.  The event will feature Bill Hooke of the American Meteorological Society,  Texas State Climatologist John NielsenGammon and Donald Preston of Swiss Re.

Shelanski to Headline Cost-Benefit Forum – The NYU School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity will hold a forum today in NYU’s Vanderbilt Hall to discuss cost-benefit analysis.  The event will feature leading practitioners, government officials, and academics for NYU’s 5th annual practitioners’ workshop on the federal regulatory process.  The workshop will be an introduction to economic analysis and its role in the regulatory process, as well as a nuanced look at how the technique is used by federal administrative agencies. This year’s workshop will also mark the 20th anniversary of Executive Order 12,866. Howard Shelanski, Administrator of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will keynote.

Argus Carbon Summit Set for Cali – Argus will hold its California Carbon Summit today through Wednesday at the Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California. The event will feature informative sessions that will address the business and transactional aspects of the Cap-and-Trade program including the dynamics of procuring carbon allowances at auction and in the secondary market, offset procurement and strategies, managing regulatory and market changes, among many other relevant topics.  Speakers will include our Argus friends Caroline Gentry, Kim Moore and Bill Peters, as well as Cal EPA’s Mark Wenzel, BP’s Ralph Moran, Tanya Peacock of the Southern California Gas Company and Belinda Morris of the American Carbon Registry, among others.

OPIS Event to Look at Oil Market Dynamics – The 15th annual OPIS National Supply Summit will be held in Las Vegas today through Wednesday at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental.  Speakers will include PBF Energy Executive Chairman Thomas O’Malley, Tesoro Corporation Operations VP Dan Romasko, and expert Phil Verleger, among many others.  Topics will include “re-wiring” of the North American distribution system, the architectural shifts in North American and world crude oil prices, and the inter-market and intra-market refined products price volatility.

Forum to Look at Innovation in Grid – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will hold a forum tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on building the next-gen electric grid through innovation.  To gauge how innovation is shaping the electric grid of the future, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the Digital Energy and Sustainability Solutions Campaign, and the Energy Future Coalition have convened a diverse group of experts to discuss what innovative technologies are advancing the smart grid and how can policy accelerate the transition.  Presenters will include Schneider Electric’s Phil Davis, John Jimison of the Energy Future Coalition, NARUC’s Miles Keogh and David Malkin of GE Digital Energy.

House Energy to Discuss Coal Issues, Pipelines – The House Energy & Commerce panel on Energy will hold  two hearing tomorrow.  In the morning at 10:00 a.m., they will take up bipartisan legislation to expedite federal reviews of border-crossing pipelines and electric transmission lines.  Witnesses include FERC’s Jeff Wright, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner David Mears, Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute, Canadian Electricity Association President Jim Burpee, Plains All American Pipeline exec John Kyles for AOPL, former EIA official Mary Hutzler and Blackcreek Environmental regulatory expert Paul Blackburn.  In the afternoon, the panel will focus on EPA rules affecting the coal industry, particularly a proposal to regulate GHGs for new power plants. Witnesses include Bell County KY Judge Executive Albey Brock, Raymond Ventrone of Boilermakers Local 154 in Pittsburgh, Roger Horton of Citizens for Coal, Pennsylvania Coal Alliance CEO John Pippy, former Delta County, CO commissioner Olen Lund and Braddock, PA Mayor John Fetterman.

House Science to Tackle CCS, GHG Tech Issues –  Also tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m., two subpanels of the House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow focused on the technological feasibility of EPA’s proposal and one planned for upcoming proposals for existing units.  Obviously, expect a significant discussion of Mississippi Power’s Kemper project.  Witnesses include Rice University’s Charles McConnell, National Research Center for Coal and Energy Director Richard Bajura of West Virginia University, Kurt Waltzer of the Clean Air Task Force and former EPA General Counsel Roger Martella.   On Wednesday, the Committee’s panel on Energy will convene a hearing at 9:30 a.m. on funding basic energy research.  Witnesses will include DOE Deputy Director for Science Programs Pat Dehmer, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Deputy Director Horst Simon and Dr. John Hemminger, Chairman of the DOE’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee.

House Resources to Look at Hydro, Storage – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water and Power will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on increasing water and hydropower supplies and the : the need for new or expanded multi-purpose surface storage facilities.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Energy Policy – Nuclear Policy Talks and the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management will hold a forum tomorrow at the George Washington University to look at US nuclear energy policy.  The US nuclear industry faces challenges domestically, with low natural gas prices, a post-Fukushima regulatory environment and tight capital. Internationally, the US is no longer the only supplier of nuclear technology and faces competition from State-backed suppliers. Joyce Connery, Director, Nuclear Energy Policy, Office of International Economics, National Security Council will discuss the role of the US Government in supporting the US nuclear industry and how maintaining a strong nuclear industry enhances US national interests to include nonproliferation, security, safety, commerce and prosperity.

Chamber to Look at Trade Supply Chain – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is proud to host the Chief Executive Officer of Brambles, Tom Gorman, as a part of the CEO Leadership Series. At the luncheon event, Mr. Gorman will speak to the importance of global supply chains and trade facilitation and the critical link to the competitiveness of business.  He will also cover the opportunities Brambles sees with the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to producing a robust global economy.

JHU to Host Keystone Debate – Johns Hopkins University will host a debate in its Kenney Auditorium of its Nitze Building tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.  Charles Doran, director of the SAIS Canadian Studies Program, will take the pro side, Daniel Weiss, senior fellow and director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress, will take the con side, and Debbie Bleviss, acting director of the SAIS Energy, Resources and Environment Program, will moderate.

MD LCV to Host Annual Dinner – Tomorrow night at the US Navy Stadium, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters holds its annual Kabler Dinner, starting at 6:00 p.m.  This year, the group honors Dru Schmidt Perkins, Del. Maggie McIntosh and Gov. O’Malley.

EPA GHG Listening Sessions – EPA continues its 11 public listening sessions across the country in Denver Wednesday to solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants.  Other meetings include, Monday November 4th in Lexana, KS and Boston, Tuesday November 5th in San Francisco, Thursday November 7th in DC, Dallas and Seattle and finally, Chicago and Philadelphia on Friday November 8th.  For more information on these sessions and to register online, go to EPA’s Site.

NRDC Expert to Promote Social Cost of Carbon Change – The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences will host an inaugural webinar on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. looking at the social costs of carbon and President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.  The event will be an enviro groups focus a new study of metrics for quantifying the social costs of carbon and the implications for policymaking.  NRDC’s Laurie Johnson will discuss her new article in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, “The social cost of carbon: implications for modernizing our electricity system,” covering the results in the paper and how they relate to the President’s Climate Action Plan.

EPRI to Discuss Vampire Loads On Halloween – Our friends at the Electric Power Research Institute will host a special Halloween-inspired discussion about energy efficiency focused on Vampire Loads on Thursday at 12:00 p.m.  Vampire loads refer to the electric power consumed by electronic appliances while they are switched off.  Join us for a special Halloween-inspired brown bag event to find out what you can do to face up to this “scary” power situation.  We will discuss the occurrence and prevalence of vampire loads as well as learn about insights for dealing with them.   Speakers will include EPA’s Kristinn Leonhart – ENERGY STAR Brand Manager, ecoCoach’s Cindy Olson and EPRI’s Barbara Bauman Tyran.

Forum to Look at Cross Border Energy Issues – The University of Colorado Law School’s Silicon Flatirons Center will hold a forum Thursday at 2:00 p.m. on trends, challenges, and opportunities in North America cross-border energy transactions.  The conference will explore key aspects of the growing business of cross-border energy transactions across North America and the prospects for continued integration of North American energy markets.  Academics, industry leaders, and practicing attorneys will come together to discuss the current state of energy transactions and share their thoughts on the future during a time of dramatic changes in the global energy industry. Panelists and speakers will address the recent growth in unconventional oil and gas development and its implications for cross-border transactions, changing regulatory contexts for cross-border energy investments and project development, and the policy and regulatory changes necessary to spur additional integration of North American energy markets.

Ex-Officials, Hofmeister to Address Energy Conference – The NATO Energy Security Center of Excellence and the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) will host the Target Energy 2013 Conference on Thursday and Friday at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference will address the latest issues facing energy operations and security across NATO Member and Partner nations.   Target Energy 2013 will address energy issues ranging from how best to protect on-and-offshore infrastructure to preventing the increasingly frequent millisecond cyber-attacks against network systems and infrastructure.   The objectives are to actively stimulate civil-military co-operation and exchange on shared energy concerns, further public outreach between NATO bodies and private industry technology and solutions’ providers.  Speakers will include former EU Ambassador Boyden Gray, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former NSA head Robert McFarlane and former Shell CEO John Hofmeister, among many others.

NATO Conference Focuses on Supply Chain Threats – The NATO Energy Security Center of Excellence and the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security are holding the Target Energy 2013 Conference on Thursday and Friday at the Omni Shorham Hotel. The event features international government officials, policymakers, defense planners, logisticians, energy industry executives, security solution providers and IT experts from NATO member and partner countries. The conference mission is to secure a 21st century energy supply chain against emerging threats.

NASEO Reschedule Winter Fuels Outlook – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the National Association of State Energy Officials will host the rescheduled 2013–2014 Winter Fuels Outlook Conference on Friday at the National Press Club.   The conference will address global oil supply uncertainty, and the effects of projected winter weather on the demand for heating and key transportation fuels.  A range of market factors that may impact the supply, distribution and prices of petroleum, natural gas and electricity this winter will be discussed in great detail by some the nation’s leading energy data and forecasting experts.

Atomic Energy Chief To Speak at Wilson Forum – On Friday at Noon, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano speaks at the Wilson Center about the essential role of the IAEA in promoting the peaceful use of atomic energy worldwide, helping to promote nuclear safety and monitoring national nuclear programs. It is expected that the discussion will also touch on safeguard activities of the Agency, including developments with regard to Iran.  In addition to Amano, speakers include former Rep. Jane Harman and former Correspondent in Vienna for Agence France-Presse News Agency Michael Adler.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

World Energy Ministers to Meet on Carbon Capture, Storage – Energy ministers from 22 nations and the European Commission are expected to attend the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum’s (CSLF) Fifth Ministerial Meeting in Washington, D.C., November 4-7th.  This 5th Ministerial Conference, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the founding of the CSLF,  will reaffirm that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a critically important low-carbon technology with application beyond coal power generation, and will call upon CSLF Ministers to support more coordinated near-term global actions to further develop and deploy CCS.  The Ministerial Meeting provides an opportunity for decision-makers from industry and governments to discuss the key challenges facing CCS and to agree on a strategy and action plan for closer collaboration on the commercialization of CCS technology.  The Ministerial meeting on November 7 will include keynote addresses from the International Energy Agency on future energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and the state of the CCS industry by the Global CCS Institute.  The highlight will be a CEO roundtable, where industrial participants in major CCS projects around the world will discuss their experiences. U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will attend and be conferring with energy ministers from the other CSLF member countries.

JHU to host NRDC Expert on Social Cost of Carbon Change – JHU will also host NRDC’s Laurie Johnson for a forum next Tuesday at Noon looking at the social costs of carbon and President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.  The event will be an enviro groups focus a new study of metrics for quantifying the social costs of carbon and the implications for policymaking.  Johnson will discuss her new article in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, “The social cost of carbon: implications for modernizing our electricity system,” covering the results in the paper and how they relate to the President’s Climate Action Plan.

CSIS to Hold Global Security Forum – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a Global Security Forum 2013 on Tuesday, November 5th at 1:15 p.m. looking at energy and geopolitics.  Speakers will Include Ivan Sandrea of Ernst and Young London, ARC Financial Corp Chief Energy Economist & Managing Director Peter Tertzakian and J. Robinson West of IHS-Energy Insight.

WCEE to Host Canadian Minister – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will continue it Brown-Bag Luncheon Series will a forum on Tuesday, Nov 5th at Noon featuring Sheila Riordan, Minister Political from the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC. Ms. Riordan will provide an overview of Canada’s current energy agenda and also discuss opportunities and challenges for US-Canada energy coordination.   Prior to her assignment at the Canadian Embassy, she served as Director General of Canada’s Energy, Climate and Circumpolar Affairs Bureau and was also Canada’s Senior Arctic Official in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. She has also held positions with Canada’s Departments of Finance, Natural Resources, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.  The event will be at Exelon at 101 Constitution Ave.

Webinar to Look at Solar Integration – DOE will host a Webinar on Thursday, November 7th at 1:00 p.m. on a new initiative on grid integration for solar power.  Grid integration is fast becoming one of the most critical areas of focus for the continued development of the U.S. solar market.  The industry, including SEIA, has been active in overcoming barriers to grid integration for years, but the issues are becoming increasingly complex as additional capacity is added to the grid at the utility scale, wholesale distributed generation, rooftop, commercial, and utility scales. This webinar will focus on the policy and technical issues that present both challenges and opportunities for solar as it plays an increasingly important role for utilities and distributed solar users alike. Kevin Lynn, who heads the new crosscutting DOE energy systems integration effort of the U.S. Department of Energy to identify and address these issues, how the government plans to work with industry and the public on resolving them, and what the path forward looks like.  SEIA’s Tom Kimbis also participates as well.

RFF Paper to Discuss Shale Revolution –Resources for The Future (RFF) will hold its November First Wednesday Seminar on November 13th at 3:45 p.m. to discuss shale gas.  The Shale revolution in the United States has dropped the price of natural gas significantly. Combined with new fuel and vehicle technologies, an opportunity exists to expand the use of natural gas throughout the economy, including in the light-duty fleet of cars and trucks. This expansion could involve the direct combustion of the gas in the form of compressed natural gas or liquid petroleum gas or, alternatively, the use of natural gas–based liquid fuels such as ethanol or methanol. In a new paper, “Cheaper Fuels for the Light Duty Fleet: Opportunities and Barriers,” RFF researchers Arthur Fraas, Winston Harrington, and Richard Morgenstern examine the potential economic, environmental, and national security gains from replacing a portion of the gasoline used in the domestic light-duty fleet with these various natural gas–based fuels. They also look at the regulatory barriers to the expanded use of the fuels.  At the event, the research team shares key findings, including how using these fuels could yield fuel cost savings relative to conventional gasoline—along with gains to national security and, possibly, some environmental benefits. Panelists will also comment on the costs and benefits of these fuels, as well as regulatory and political challenges to their broader adoption.

NARUC Set for Orlando – The 125th annual NARUC meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida at the Hilton Bonnet Creek, November 17th through 20th.  Speakers include NIST Director Patrick Gallagher, FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn and AWEA Tom Kiernan, among many others.

BPC, NARUC to Hold 2nd Clean Air Act Workshop – On December 6th, BPC’s Energy Project – along with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) – will host the second workshop on section 111(d), which will focus on the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts of GHG power plant regulation.  Stay tuned for more details in the coming days on our the BPC/NARUC websites.

Court to Hear Mercury Cases in December – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has scheduled oral arguments on December 10th on two consolidated cases concerning EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants.  Both rules were finalized in 2012.  The Oral arguments for both White Stallion Energy Center LLC v. EPA and Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA will be held at 9:30 a.m. in DC before Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Circuit Judges Judith Rogers and Brett Kavanaugh.

Energy Update Week of November 26

Friends,

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  I was in Cancun, Mexico looking for the UN Climate Meetings, but they are in Doha this year (Oh, thanks, right…)  Anyway, it was a great way to spend Thanksgiving week even though we didn’t get to discuss the climate and eat a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner (probably saved some pounds).

We did return in time for my 9-year-old Olivia’s lacrosse tournament Sunday where they pounded a bunch of Virginia teams in the Woodson Fall Brawl.  Liv scored 7 goals in the four games, including two the “champions” game as she called it.  Also, for those of you missing hockey, north of the border it’s going to really get slow now as last night the Toronto Argonauts beat the Calgary Stampeders 35-22 to win the 100th Grey Cup (the CFL’s Super Bowl).   Toronto is coached by former Maryland QB Scott Milanovich, who took the Argos to the Cup in his first season as head coach. 

So, I also have my Soundgarden tickets for the kick off show of the 2013 “King Animal” tour in DC on January 18th.  Looking forward to that return after nearly 15 years.  It’s also the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones kick off and they have stared a tour with three shows at London’s 02 Arena.  After seeing The Who before Thanksgiving and getting most of the way through Pete Townshend’s Who I Am book (which I highly recommend and features lots of back stories about the Stones, Clapton , Jimi Hendrix, others), I wonder if they will be as good.  We’ll see in NYC with three upcoming shows in December. 

As Time Goes By, it is also the 70th anniversary of the American film classic Casablanca.  It is one of my all-time favorites and for those of you who don’t like it, you may be “trying to convince yourself of something you don’t believe in your heart.”  I can talk about more, but “Play it, Sam, Play it.” 

Of course, while running a saloon was Rick Blaine’s business, you’ll excuse me, gentlemen to return to our business of politics.  To that end, Congress returns this week for at least two weeks of wrangling over the Fiscal Cliff, which is actually great because it gives all of us (my reporter friends, politicians/their staffs and us on the lobby/PR side) something to do for the next few weeks until the Holiday parties begin.  Don’t expect much this week, but the key will be to watch movement among House Republicans, not Senators like Lindsay Graham and Bob Corker.

The UN Climate meetings also begin this week in Doha so I suspect we’ll round up the usual suspects and get the bunch of stories about how important climate change is and how the UN process can fix it.  Again, nothing ever happened until the second week anyway, but again keys to watch will be China (which has already said they’re rejecting emissions limits and are demanding that developed countries do more).  Perhaps they missed the EIA report that says our emissions are approaching 1990 levels because of our sputtering economy and conversation to low-cost natural gas.  Anyway, more on this next week. 

As for events, there are three MUST ATTENDS for you over the next week or so.  Tomorrow, BPC will hold an energy event tomorrow giving us an early look at recommendation for a 2013 report for the President.  On Wednesday, RFF will hold an event to discuss the next decade of US energy policy featuring experts including my colleague Jeff Holmstead. 

Finally and most importantly, next Monday, our friends at Securing Americas Future Energy (SAFE) will release a portfolio of policy recommendations intended to reduce U.S. dependence on oil, which the Council says is a paramount threat to the national, economic and fiscal security of America.  Speakers at the SAFE event at the Newseum will include Sen.  Lamar Alexander,  FedEx CEO Fred Smith, former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis C. Blair and Waste Management CEO David Steiner, among others. 

All great stuff…and there will be a few others as well which are detailed below.  As for Congress, we are tracking closely and will be available to address your questions, provide background about the session or next year’s agenda so don’t hesitate to call. 

Frank Maisano
(202) 8282-5864
c. (202) 997-5932

IN THE NEWS 

LA Times Assault on CA Wind Projects Continues – The Los Angeles Times has continued it assault on the solar projects of California with another story that raises questions about economic impacts on Host counties.  The Times reports that an economic consultant hired by Inyo County, who is hosting the $2.7 billion Hidden Hills solar project, almost absurdly found that property tax revenue would be a fraction of the customary amount because portions of the plant qualify for a solar tax exclusion. Fewer than 10 local workers would land permanent positions — and just 5% of the construction jobs would be filled by county residents. And, shockingly, construction workers are likely to spend their money across the nearby state line, in Nevada.  

California Energy Commission Has Different Facts – The facts in the Inyo projects situation are quite different that the Times has portrayed.  Our friends at BrightSource Energy, the project developer, point to an independent California Energy Commission study on the socioeconomic impacts which shows significantly higher economic benefits than that claimed by Cart and Inyo County’s consultant.   The CEC report says the economic impacts from the project occur in two phases and show reasonably foreseeable scenario for increased employment, earnings and output, or product and services sold, within Inyo County.  It shows County earnings rising by $12.1 million for the Construction period and by $25 million over the life of the project.  

Blogger Hammers LAT’s Cart for Unfair Coverage – It seems Clean Energy bloggers have had enough as well.  After the last story, Grist’s David Roberts hammered solar opponents .  This time, Clean energy blogger RL Miller unloads on Cart and The Times in a DailyKos piece (it will be up on Climate Progress too) calling her out for an anti-solar bias.  Miller says the Times is effectively the national paper of record for the California desert.  Miller also reviewed its site for all 170 stories written by Cart (many on unrelated topics) and reviewed them all, saying all of her solar stories portray the solar industry in a bad light. As only one example, today’s story could – but doesn’t – note the negative impacts of climate change on Riverside and Inyo counties, the health burdens of relying on other older energy sources or  whether Inyo County’s worries about the impact of Big Solar on its roads is overblown.

Capito to Take on Rockefeller – An interesting campaign development for the 2014 Senate races already with impacts in the “war on coal” arguments.  Popular WV Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito will announce today she plans to run for Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s seat in 2014.  Rocky has been considered vulnerable given the state’s make up and his less-than-stellar support for the coal industry.   Should be interesting. 

EPA Mercury Rule Rolled Out – Over the holiday week, the EPA rolled out its Mercury Air Toxics rule.  The new proposal is a reconsideration of part of the agency’s rule that applies to new sources.  After the agency finalized the full rule last December, it received several petitions asking the agency to take another look at the standards. EPA agreed to reformulate the regulations for new power plants.  The proposal slightly lowers the legal limits on several harmful pollutants for new coal- and oil-fired plants, including mercury and acid gases. However, EPA insisted that the overall health benefits will not be reduced because new plants will still need to install the same pollution control technologies in order to meet the new standards as they did with the original regulations.  EPA said it would finalize the MATS changes by next March. My colleague Jeffrey Holmstead, a former EPA air administrator who led the challenge to the rules, said new plants can’t go forward without knowing whether they can meet EPA mercury standards.  He said the agency had no choice but to agree to the changes, which he called largely technical corrections, That’s the same terminology EPA used to describe the proposal.  “The earlier standard would have prevented any new coal plants from being built.” 

THIS WEEK’S GOINGS ON  

BPC to Discuss Energy Future – The Bipartisan Policy will hold an event tomorrow in the National Press Club’s Holeman Lounge with Former Senator Byron L. Dorgan, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, retired General James L. Jones, and former EPA Administrator William K. Reilly.  They group will address bipartisan recommendations for executive branch organization in energy policy-making developed as part of a comprehensive report to be released in early 2013.  The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Energy Project co-chairs will discuss their experiences in the executive and legislative branches, reflect on the experiences that led to the development of these recommendations and describe the changing state of the American energy landscape and the opportunities it presents for the country.  Margot Anderson, executive director of BPC’s Energy Project, will open the event and Jason Grumet, president of BPC, will lead a question and answer session with the audience after the co-chairs’ remarks. 

Company to Announce New Investor for Transmission Project – Clean Line Energy holds a news conference tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in the National Press Club’s Lisagor Room to announce a new investor, part of a multimillion-dollar equity investment that will help “build more than 2,800 miles of HVDC (high voltage direct current) transmission lines to bring wing energy to market.  CLE President Mike Skelly will lead the effort. 

Panel to Look at PTC Denial – The Heritage Foundation will hold a forum in its Lehrman Auditorium tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. discussing the production tax credit.  For 20 years now the wind industry has received an annual subsidy worth billions of dollars in the form of a production tax credit. Set to expire this year, PTC supporters are fighting to extend it and politicians on both sides of the aisle are joining their fight.   A panel of opponents will discuss including Exelon’s David Brown, Jonathan Lesser of Continental Economics and Heritage’s David Kreutzer.  

IEA Expert to Look at World Energy Outlook – Johns Hopkins University’s Energy, Resources and Environment Program Global Leaders Forum will host a briefing on 2012 World Energy Outlook at its Bernstein-Offit Building – Room 500 tomorrow at 4:00 p.m.   The event will feature Maria Van Der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, who will discuss the findings of the recently released International Energy Agency’s 2012 World Energy Outlook report. 

Solar Forum Features Woolsey – The MD-DC-VA Solar Energy Industries Association will host the 6th annual Solar Energy Focus conference at the Marriott at Metro Center, tomorrow and Wednesday.   Solar Energy Focus 2012 is the leading business-to-business solar event on the East Coast. This year’s post-election conference promises to the most expansive event to date, and features a packed schedule filled with notable speakers including founder of the U.S. Energy Security Council R. James Woolsey, Solar Energy Industries Association President & CEO Rhone Resch, Senior DOE Advisor to the Energy Secretary Richard Kauffman, and solar visionary and champion Jigar Shah. The conference will have a variety of breakout discussion sessions and opportunities for high-level networking with hundreds of key professionals and decision makers in the renewable energy sector. Seating at the conference is limited, register today to ensure your attendance at one of 2012’s most important solar industry gatherings  Solar Energy Focus gets underway on the 27th with a VIP Dinner, Silent Auction and keynote address from Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey. Wednesday the 28th will be a packed day of plenaries, breakout sessions, and high-level networking with hundreds of industry professionals, key renewable energy decision makers, and other stakeholders. 

RFF to Look at Future Energy Issues, Holmstead to Speak – Resources for the Future will hold an RFF First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. to discuss the next decade of US energy policy.  This seminar will highlight the future of five key fuels—oil, coal, natural gas, renewables, and nuclear—over the next decade, while also considering the future of energy efficiency. In the past few years, several factors—including the shale gas and tight oil revolutions, US Environmental Protection Agency regulatory activities on carbon dioxide and conventional pollutants, and the Deepwater Horizon and Fukushima disasters—have combined to create a highly uncertain picture of future US energy supply and use. This uncertainty, in turn, leads to a challenging environment for both policy and investment decisions.  The session will begin with a brief overview of the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) projection for each fuel, setting the stage for remarks by panelists on what market and policy drivers may influence or change those projections. This 90-minute event will offer insight into the future of energy use in the United States, including what additional research is needed to best understand the US energy outlook in 2020.  Speakers will include opening remarks from RFF President Phil Sharp and EIA projections from EIA’s Michael Schaal.   Other panelists will include former NRC Commissioner Richard Meserve of the Carnegie Institution for Science (Nuclear), Frank Verrastro of CSIS (Oil), RFF’s Alan Krupnick (NatGas), NREL’s Doug Arent (Renewables) and RFF’s Karen Palmer (Energy Efficiency).  The will also have a coal Speaker as well. 

KKR Speaker to Highlight Green Portfolio – November’s meeting of the Wharton Club of DC’s Green Business Roundtable will be held Wednesday at Noon at Oppenheimer’s offices (in the B&G building at 2000 K) and will feature speaker Elizabeth Seeger, Principal at KKR.  Seeger will discuss responsible investment in private equity and KKR’s Green Portfolio Program.  Elizabeth Seeger joined Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) in 2009 to help oversee the management of environmental and social responsibility issues and opportunities across KKR’s portfolio, including through KKR’s Green Portfolio Program. Elizabeth was previously a Project Manager in the Corporate Partnerships Program of Environmental Defense Fund. Prior to EDF, Elizabeth was a consultant with the Corporate Executive Board, where she advised companies across a broad range of industries in Europe and the United States. Elizabeth was also an Associate at the Environmental Law Institute, a non-profit organization focused on environmental law and policy research and education. 

PRG Among Those Named FT InnovatorsThe Financial Times will roll out its annual innovative companies, Lawyers etc for 2012.  This year Bracewell Giuliani’s Policy Resolution Group will be among those honored.  PRG’s innovative work  has been ranked in the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers report 2012.  There over 300 submissions from 60 of the top US law firms in the Am Law 100. These are all thoroughly validated by client and expert interviews by The FT and RSG Consulting.  The report will be launched on Wednesday night in NYC at the Bryant Park Grill. The event is for the law firm and corporate counsel innovators who have been ranked in the 2012 report. It will be hosted by Martin Dickson, the FT’s Managing Editor. Advance copies of the report will be released on the evening and will be available on www.ft.com.  Past winners include those with the Atlantic Wind Connection, the innovative offshore wind transmission project that was honored in 2011.  

Whitfield Continues CAA Forums – Rep. Ed Whitfield, Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power, has scheduled a third, bipartisan Clean Air Act forum for Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn.   The third forum continues the theme of the first two events: “State, Local, and Federal Cooperation in the Clean Air Act.”  The forum series is intended to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to hear a broad range of perspectives from experts about their experiences in implementing the Clean Air Act.  Speakers will include Montana DEQ’s David Klemp, Seyed Sadredin of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Tennessee DEC Commissioner Robert Martineau, Jr., Arturo Blanco of the Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Martha Rudolph of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, PA DEP head Michael Krancer and Gila River Indian Lieutenant Governor Stephen Roe Lewis.

Hawaii Gas President to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Jeffrey Kissel, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Gas Company (Hawaii Gas) as the guest speaker at its next luncheon on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at the University Club.  Kissel became president and chief executive officer of The Gas Company in December 2007. He came to the company from the energy and engineering industries with experience in oil trading, commodity risk management, and large scale construction in the US and abroad. Prior to joining the Gas Company he worked with companies in North America, Europe and Asia in global finance, operations and growth strategy.    

Forum Looks at Challenges of the Changing Climate for Russian Perspective – George Washington University’s IERES will host a forum Thursday at 4:00 p.m. in its Voesar Conference Room featuring Oleg Anisimov, Professor of Physical Geography, Hydrological Institute (Russia).  Oleg will lay out the climate changes that have occurred in Russia so far. It will define the critical climate thresholds beyond which the environmental impacts require adaptation and examine what they mean for Russia in socio-economic terms. In this regard, the speaker will talk about the interplay of potential climate-related benefits and threats for Russia. The talk will conclude with the geopolitical implications of the climate impacts, particularly associated with the changes in the Arctic, including the fight for the Arctic shelf, remilitarization of the Arctic and other issues. 

Canadian Officials Look at Energy, Arctic – George Washington University’s Latin America and Hemispheric Studies Program and the Embassy of Canada will host a panel on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. looking at Canadian Perspectives on Hemispheric Issues related to the environment, energy and the Arctic.  Speakers will include Canadian Embassy officials Catherine Godin and Sebastian Tirado. 

Platts Global Awards Set for NYC – The 2012 Platts Global Energy Awards will be held on Thursday at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.  Over the past 13 years, the Global Energy Awards have honored and recognized those who have transcended the status quo in the name of excellence in leadership, innovation and performance in the energy industry.  See the Finalists here.  They include Southern’s Tom Fanning, PJM’s Terry Boston for top exec, Chesapeake and Southern for Industry Leadership, Opower for Company Rising Star, Tony Clifford of Standard Solar for Individual Rising Star, BrightSource, Chesapeake, NRG, Exelon and Peabody for Strategic Deal.  There are also a bunch of other awards for projects, commodities and leading technologies. 

Forum Looks at Data Center Efficiency – Congresswoman Anna Eshoo will host an informative briefing on Friday at 9:00 a.m. on innovative approaches to promoting energy efficiency at data centers. Data centers are a critical part of our national infrastructure, found in nearly every sector of the economy from banking and financial services, to media, manufacturing, education, healthcare and government.  The increased use of electronic information has increased the use of data centers and the power needed to run them. Supporting appropriate data center energy efficiency measures will not only save energy, it will save money.  A diverse group of speakers representing the leading edge of the effort will discuss policy proposals, emerging technologies and practices, and potential benefits and challenges for improving data center energy efficiency. The briefing will include Opening Remarks by Eshoo and panelists including John Tuccillo of Schneider Electric, Ebay’s Dean Nelson, NRDC’s Pierre Delforge and EMC’s Kathleen Winkler. 

House Science to Look at Energy R&D – The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Energy and Environment panel will hold a hearing on Friday at 9:30 a.m. exploring tapping America’s energy potential through research and development. 

AMS Panel to Look at Fire Causes, Aftermath – The American Meteorological Society as part of its Climate series will host a briefing on Friday at 11:00 a.m. in 328A Dirksen on Capitol Hill to look at the causes and aftermath of the 2012 forest fires.   Speakers will include University of Montana Nobel Laureate Dr. Steven Running and Us Forest Service Fire and Aviation Asst Director Dr. Elizabeth Reinhardt.

ELI Forum to Highlight Green Business Issues – The Environmental Law Institute will host a forum on Friday at Noon to look at defining, encouraging and supporting green business.   This seminar will address whether green business is green and, if so, how policymakers should encourage it. Speakers will review the empirical literature on voluntary green business practices, assessing whether corporate initiatives truly benefit the environment or whether they are more properly characterized as green washing. The discussion will identify ways that law and policy can promote green business, assess the regulatory strategies proposed thus far—as well as some that have not yet been considered—and examine which will best encourage companies to go green in a meaningful, verifiable way. The seminar will provide cutting-edge thinking on the relationships among green business, law, and policy and will offer ideas for how policymakers can best move forward in this important area.  Speakers include Dennis Hirsch of the Capital University Law School, Jennifer Nash of Harvard, BP’s Karen St. John and UConn Law School’s Kurt Strasser. 

Speakers to Look at Energy, Water Challenge – Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, Asian Development Bank, The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service all will host a forum on Friday at 12:30 p.m. looking at water and energy.  The event at JHU’s Rome Building, will feature Tanvi Nagpal, professorial lecturer in the SAIS International Development Program, and Amy Leung, chair of the Water Community of Practice at the Asian Development Bank.  

FUTURE EVENTS 

SAFE Report to Highlight Plan to Oil Independence –  On Monday, December 3rd, members of Securing America’s Future Energy’s (SAFE) Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) will release a portfolio of policy recommendations intended to reduce U.S. dependence on oil, which the Council says is a paramount threat to the national, economic and fiscal security of America.  The Council will unveil its report, “National Strategy for Energy Security: Harnessing American Resources and Innovation,” at the Newseum in Washington, DC.   The Council’s recommendations will focus on three major goals:  Increasing domestic production by taking full advantage of American oil and natural gas resources; Reducing domestic oil consumption through innovation and the adoption of new technologies; Invigorating initiatives in both production and consumption by reforming and streamlining the regulatory process.  The report will also discuss more internationally-focused developments on the horizon which could significantly impact America’s energy security outlook.  Speakers will include FedEx CEO Fred Smith, Sen.  Lamar Alexander,  former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis C. Blair, Waste Management CEO David Steiner, former USMC Commandant General James Conway and former Goldman Sachs Asset Management Co-CEO Eric Schwartz. 

New NARUC President Hosts Media Briefing – New National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Philip Jones of Washington will be hosting a Media Briefing on Monday, December 3rd at NARUC’s Washington headquarters.  The event will start at 12 noon and run for approximately one hour. A light lunch will be provided on a first come, first serve basis.  This event will focus on energy issues.  Please RSVP to NARUC Director of Communications Rob Thormeyer by Friday, if you plan on attending so they can have an accurate headcount for lunch. 

Sachs to Address Sustainability GWU – George Washington University’s Institute for International Economic Policy will host Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs in its City View Room, 7th Floor, on Monday, December 3rd at 4:00 p.m.   Sustainable Development is emerging as the defining challenge of our generation, and it will critically require a new kind of interaction between policy and research. The Sustainable Development Forum is a series of talks by leaders in academia and in policy which will attempt to set the research agenda for sustainable development following the Rio +20 conference. What will sustainable development entail? What are the most crucial questions we need to be asking? How should academia go about searching for answers that will actually inform real action and policy changes? 

Forum to Look at GrowthThe Atlantic’s Forum on Conservation, Efficiency, and Growth, taking place Tuesday, December 4th  at The W Hotel in Washington, DC.  The forum will feature expert discussions on corporate sustainability initiatives, and convene panels to explore how sustainable business practices influence our economy, our workforce, and America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace.

Forum to Look at 20 Years of Energy Policy Act of ’92 – The Compete Coalition will host a policy forum on Wednesday, December 5th at 8:30 a.m. at the  Phoenix Park Hotel on the Energy Policy Act of 1992, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of a landmark statute.  Key architects of the legislation and today’s electricity industry leaders will look back (and look ahead) at the ongoing impact of EPAct ’92 on competitive electricity markets and the benefits those markets are delivering for our nation’s electricity consumers.  Speakers will include former Senators Bennett Johnston and Don Nickles, former FERC Chair and Deputy Secretary of Energy Betsy Moler, former FERC Commissioner Bill Massey, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Federico Peña and former Deputy Secretary of Energy Linda Stuntz, among others. 

McAuliffe to Headline 2012 VA Renewable Meeting – Potential VA Governor candidate Terry McAuliffe will be joining the Virginia Renewable Energy Assn for its annual meeting in Richmond on December 5th.  McAuliffe has been a leading voice and entrepreneur in the Renewable Energy Industry and has recently announced his intentions to run for Governor of Virginia in 2013.  

WAPA , Buick to Hold Ride, Drive – The Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA) and Buick will hold a Holiday Buick Encore ride-and-drive and happy hour on Wednesday, December 5 at Indigo Landing in Alexandria, VA.  Buick is on pace for its best retail sales year since 2006, thanks to a product line-up that features the style, performance and technology luxury buyers expect and demand.  For the 2013 model year, along with a redesigned Enclave and a new high-performing, turbo-charged model for Verano, the all-new Buick Encore luxury crossover will begin arriving in dealerships soon and we’d like you to be among the first to drive it.  In addition to the ride-and-drive, Buick marketing and engineering executives including Roger McCormack, Director Buick Global Marketing will be on-hand to provide perspective on the Encore.  Buick Encore is the second of four new or significantly revised Buick vehicles to be introduced in the next 12 months, and is a beautiful, quiet, comfortable 5-passenger crossover with the right balance of performance and purposeful technology.  Encore also continues to expand the Buick portfolio by appealing to a whole new audience of luxury buyers as we expect the segment to grow more than a half million units by 2015.

RFF Panel to Look at Markets, Enviro Regs – Resources for the Future will hold its December First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday December 5th at 12:45 p.m. looking at markets for environmental regulations.  Over the past 60 years, environmental economists have pioneered the idea of market-based approaches to solving environmental problems. Regulators have implemented market-based programs for air pollution, water pollution, land management, and other environmental policy problems at local, state, federal, and—in the case of greenhouse gas regulation—international levels. Some applications hew more closely than others to ideal market-based policy design, as defined by economic theory, and programs have met with varying degrees of success. As part of RFF’s Resources 2020 lecture series—our 60th anniversary exploration of how economic inquiry can address future environmental challenges—panelists at this seminar will discuss what we can learn from successful and unsuccessful applications of market-based policy and its desirability, feasibility, and design in the future. The panel includes RFF experts on environmental markets for air, water, and land, as well as leaders in the policy community with diverse experience on these issues, including former Clinton OMB Director Sally Katzen, NRDC’s David Doniger, former Bush 41 White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray and RFF experts Dallas Burtraw, Art Fraas, Margaret Walls and Leonard Shabman. 

German Chamber Sets Wind Energy Conference – For the 5th time since 2007, the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest is bringing a delegation of German wind energy companies to Chicago for the German American Wind Energy Business Conference.  This conference on December 5th will provide attendees with the chance to learn about the wind technology innovations and supply chain and service practices that German manufacturers use to stay competitive. Current wind energy opportunities and programs in Illinois will also be addressed.  Attending the conference provides an excellent opportunity to connect with the German wind energy delegation companies to discuss business and partnership opportunities. 

Forum to Look at Iranian Oil – The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center will host a discussion on Wednesday, December 5th at 2:00 p.m. entitled “Can the World Live Without Iranian Oil,” with Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International; and Denise Natali, Minerva Chair, Institute of National Strategic Studies, National Defense University.  Over the past year, Iranian oil production and exports have declined drastically to levels last seen at the end of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Yet the price of oil has remained relatively constant at around $100 per barrel or lower. Increasing oil production in neighboring Iraq and new discoveries in the United States and elsewhere, coupled with sluggish demand, raise the question of whether the world can live without Iranian oil and what that means for Iran’s ability to pursue a provocative nuclear program.  The Iran Task Force, co-chaired by Atlantic Council Chairman Senator Chuck Hagel and Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, seeks to perform a comprehensive analysis of Iran’s internal political landscape, its role in the region and globally, and any basis for an improved relationship with the West. 

Transmission Conference to Look at New Year, Agenda – Energy Central and TransmissionHub will host a symposium on December 5th in Washington, DC to Look at Transmission policy in the new year.  TransForum East is the second of three regional gatherings of key industry decision makers that Energy Central kicked off in April 2012 with TransForum Texas.  It is an event focused just on the Eastern Interconnection.  I will speak on the “Implications of the 2012 Presidential Election on Electric Power Policy,” at 2:00 p.m.    Other speakers include Trans-Elect/AWC CEO Bob Mitchell, Michael Skelly of Clean Line Energy and many others.  

Houston Conference to Look at Regional Wind Issues – AWEA holds its Southwest Regional Wind Energy Summit on December 5th and 6th in Houston at the Hyatt Regency.  The conference will provide a comprehensive view of all critical aspects of wind energy in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) regions of the United States, and delve deep into the most important present and forecasted issues facing wind energy development in these regions.  Former Bush Administration official Jimmy Glotfelty will chair the event and speakers include former FERC Chair Pat Wood, SPP’s Carl Monroe and EDF Renewables CEO Gabriel Alonso. 

Commerce to Host Webinar on Exporting Renewable Technology – The Department of Commerce/Commercial Service is holding a webinar on Thursday December 6th looking at export finance for Renewable Energy Technologies.  This webinar will feature an update of USG export finance programs (Ex-Im, OPIC,TDA) for renewable energy technologies as well as export finance best practices from a private-sector perspective.  Speakers include Craig O’Connor of the , Ex-Im Bank of the United States, Brian O’Hanlon of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Andrea Lupo of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and Ed Sappin of the Willowbrook Company. 

Panel to Look at Carbon Tax, Fiscal Cliff – Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies will hold a Panel on Thursday, December 6th at 5:00 p.m. in its Rome Auditorium, #806 looking at Carbon prices and the fiscal cliff.  With the looming threat of the ‘fiscal cliff,’ and effects of super-storm Sandy, there is renewed talk in policy circles of the benefits of putting a price on carbon, as a means of dealing with the federal deficit while tackling climate change.  Leading experts about the viability of carbon market mechanisms throughout North America, like the Western Climate Initiative involving Québec and California will discuss the realities of a federal clean energy standard and the application of a national carbon tax in the context of simultaneously addressing emissions reductions and fiscal constraints.  Panelists include Brookings Adele Morris, Richard Caperton of the Center for American Progress and Manik Roy of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.  This event will be held in collaboration with the Québec Government Office in Washington, the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Québec in Montréal (Chair Raoul-Dandurand).

Panel to Look at National Security, Election Coverage – The National Security and New Media Journalism Project will present its National Security and New Media Conference panel and  Mightier Pen Award Luncheon on Tuesday, December 11th at the Union League Club in New York.  The Project was established to provide professional development for the next generation of national security journalists in an objective environment informed by the burgeoning opportunities of the new Media.  It will honor Monica Crowley of FOX News.  Panels prior to lunch will discuss new media, national security and the election.  Panelists will include Rich Miniter of Forbes Magazine, former Washington Times security expert Bill Gertz and NRO Columnists Andrew McCarthy, among others. 

Annual POWER-GEN Conference Tackles Key Issues – The annual POWER-GEN Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida on December 11-13 at the Orange County Convention Center. Nearly 200 industry experts will present new solutions and innovations for the future in 36 conference sessions broken up in 12 tracks. Click here to download the Conference-at-a-Glance PDF.  The conference sessions are organized into multiple concurrent session tracks including industry trends / competitive power generation, environmental issues, emissions control, fossil technologies, gas turbine technologies, on-site power and plant performance.  There will also be separate Tracks on Nuclear, Renewable and Geothermal power. 

RFF to Host Geoengineering Lecture – Resources for the Future will continue its 60th anniversary Resources 2020 Nobel Laureate lecture series on Thursday, December 13th featuring Thomas Schelling, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, who will discuss Geoengineering and some gentle experimentation.  

Chamber to Host Farm Innovation Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation will co-host a program on Wednesday, December 19th highlighting the innovations and emerging opportunities that today’s agriculture industry are presenting. This program will identify many of the latest innovations and advances in agriculture and show how America’s agriculture community continues to feed an ever growing global population while at the same time supporting American job creation and competitiveness.  Speakers include USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Secretary, Chamber President Tom Donohue, former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings (current President of the National Chamber Foundation), Peter Klein  of the University of Missouri, AEI’s Nick Schulz, John Deere FarmSight Director Jerry Roell and Blake Hurst of the Missouri Farm Bureau.