Energy Update: Week of September 4


Hope you enjoyed your Labor Day Weekend.  It was a last bit of quiet before the final Congressional push and mid-term campaign season jumps into full swing.  While we return to action this week, a majority of the focus is on the SCOTUS nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.  While we are usually out of these issues, Kavanaugh has been active on the DC Circuit on environmental cases and expect some members (and enviro groups) to question him on environment and energy issues including standing, federal regulation and other issues.

On the budget/funding side, real negotiations on conference bills are expected to pick up now that the House is back. The “minibus” Energy-Water package should be ready fairly quickly with another four-bill spending package that includes the $35.8 billion Interior and Environment title underway as well.  And House and Senate Farm bill negotiators begin a push to bridge difference there starting tomorrow.  We have our eyes on things related to ethanol policy there.

I also know many of you (going through Pruitt withdrawals) will focus on today’s security IG report.  While that is fun, Chik-fil-a catnip, it is important to remember that Andrew Wheeler is running a very different operation at EPA.  We can continue to discuss the upcoming fuel economy hearings, the ACE rule, last week’s mercury decision and any other action at EPA.  Jeff and Scott are available.  Who knows, maybe there’ll be another Trump book today that will take away all the attention!!!

Not many events this week but on Thursday morning at AJAX DC, The Hill in collaboration with the Bipartisan Policy Center will convene policymakers, business leaders and advocacy groups to examine the issues that are motivating greater climate collaboration and consider the substance and politics behind these initiatives.

Finally, I hope you will take in the action at the US Open this upcoming weekend.  There is some great tennis being played.  NFL launches on Thursday.  Call with questions.  Best,


Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932



“Kigali gets us everything we want and everything we’ve been advocating for a long time—a unified, negotiated decision on phasedowns [of HFCs] instead of prohibitions.  U.S. ratification of the global deal offers the greatest level of certainty for the market writ large.”

Caroline Davidson-Hood, general counsel for the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute following EPA’s decision to not request that SCOTUS take an HFC case and its relation to the need for the Kigali Amendment to eliminate HFCs. 


“Some people wake-up each morning wondering if what they do makes a difference for their country.  No one at DOE does. We protect, innovate and continue to explore the boundaries of knowledge. It impresses me to no end what the people in this Department accomplish, and it’s a pleasure to salute you today for the outstanding work that you do.”

DOE Secretary Perry at the Honor Awards and Presidential Rank Awards ceremony at DOE Headquarters.



Bracewell Trade Export Talks NAFTA on Cap Crude Looks – The Platts Capitol Crude podcast focuses on trade and NAFTA today featuring my Bracewell colleague Josh Zive. The US/Mexico trade deal appears to include a provision the US oil and gas industry sees as critical to protecting investments in the newly opened Mexican upstream. Zive discusses the still-unfolding agreement, what it means in the context of the Mexican energy reforms, the striking absence of Canada, and the deal’s chances in the US Congress.


SAFE Head Addresses AV Opportunities in WSJ Response – Securing America’s Future Energy CEO Robbie Diamond said in a letter to the Wall Street Journal that passing the AV policy legislation and enabling a bipartisan federal self-driving framework would benefit the nearly 20 million disabled Americans, in addition to retirees, who experience daily barriers to transportation and the opportunities it provides. Diamond wrote: “Delaying the passage of critical self-driving legislation not only will derail these much-needed benefits, but prolong the status quo of rising death tolls on U.S. roads. In 2017, 40,100 people died from vehicle accidents, a 6% increase from 2015. As data show, 94% of crashes are due either wholly or in part to driver error; the lifesaving potential of self-driving cars is both obvious and significant.”


EPA Reconsiders Mercury Rule – Late last week, EPA told media outlets it will reconsider a rule that restricts mercury and toxic air emissions from power plants.  In 2015, the Supreme Court rejected the previous EPA’s cost-benefit analysis of its version the Mercury rule, contending EPA didn’t properly account for industry’s compliance costs. My colleague Jeff Holmstead served as EPA air office head from 2000-2005 said he is not surprised that EPA is reopening the Obama EPA’s finding that it was “appropriate and necessary” to regulate power plants under section 112 of the Act.  Holmstead says the Supreme Court already rejected the original Obama finding because EPA refused to consider the cost of those regulations, and several justices also expressed skepticism about the argument that the Obama EPA made to support its second finding, which the current EPA is now reviewing.  Holmstead: “Even if EPA does ultimately reverse the Obama “appropriate and necessary” finding, this doesn’t mean that the MATS rule will go away. EPA would have to go through another, separate rulemaking process to eliminate the MATS rule, and I don’t think that anyone is talking about doing that. It would serve no purpose because the power sector has already spent billions of dollars to bring all their plants into compliance.”

EPA Changes Mind on SCOTUS Cert for HFC Case – You may have seen that EPA reversed course on asking the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of a lower court decision that overturned a rule that regulated a global warming-inducing coolant.  EPA revisited the issue and asked SCOTUS to not grant cert on Honeywell v. Mexichem Fluor, saying yesterday that the D.C. Circuit was correct in June when it limited the government’s authority to use Section 612(c) of the Clean Air Act to regulate HFCs, which do not harm the ozone layer but do contribute to climate change.  Former EPA air office head Jeff Holmstead and longtime HVAC rep Scott Segal (and my Bracewell colleagues) recently filed a brief urging the SCOTUS to take the case.  On behalf of five major HVACR companies (Lennox, Carrier, Nortek, Rheem & Ingersoll Rand), Holmstead and Segal asked the Supreme Court to review the lower court decision that blocked EPA implementation of HFC reductions using its SNAP program, saying the decision creates a regulatory mess that EPA has been unable to fix almost a year after the decision was handed down. Unless the Supreme Court steps in, the result will be an extended period of regulatory uncertainty, almost certainly including years of litigation challenging the new rule that EPA ultimately develops to implement a confusing D.C. Circuit decision that was wrongly decided.  The companies filing the brief are the leading U.S. manufacturers of HVACR equipment.  Together with another manufacturer filing its own amicus brief, they account for well over 75% of the residential and commercial air conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment that is manufactured and sold in North America.

How Does that Relate to Montreal/Kigali – As It relates to the Montreal Protocol, it is important to note while a few conservative groups urged the President to block the effort, there is a wide swath of business and conservative groups that think the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol should sent to the Senate for ratification.  Here are a few things:

A legal fight over the EPA guidance raises concerns about avenues for regulations to change, even as the industry continues to advocate for U.S. participation in a 2016 global deal to phase down HFCs called the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.  If you questions, please feel to reach out.  I’m sure Holmstead, former White House advisor David Banks at ACCF and/or Steve Yurek at AHRI would be happy to discuss.

ECOS Chief to Head EPA Chemical Office – President Donald Trump has nominated Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, a longtime environmental attorney and current head of EPA’s New England office, to head the agency’s chemicals and pesticides office.  Of course, his previous pick – Michael Dourson – was withdraw after significant controversies.

Harder, Campbell, Kenderdine EPIC Fellows – The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) announced that veteran energy reporter Amy Harder will be its inaugural Visiting Fellow in Journalism for the 2018-2019 academic year. Harder, an energy reporter for Axios, will moderate a series of events and share her expertise with students and the broader campus community through workshops and public discussions. EPIC will also have McKie Campbell, former staff director of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Melanie Kenderdine, former director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis and Energy Counselor to the Secretary, as 2018-2019 Visiting Fellows in Policy Practice. Campbell and Kenderdine will share their perspectives and expertise in a series of events, workshops and public discussions, as well as serve as resources for students and the Institute.

Perry Honors DOE Employees – DOE held its annual Secretary’s Honor Awards and Presidential Rank Awards ceremony at DOE Headquarters. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry spoke at the event, recognizing the outstanding achievements of individuals and teams who have gone above and beyond in fulfilling DOE’s mission and serving the Nation.  In total, 775 employees across DOE and the federal government were recognized both individually and in teams for their hard work and dedication to public service. Some of the achievements include 2017 Hurricane season emergency response; standing up of NNSA’s Center for Excellence in Cyber Threat Intelligence to heighten cybersecurity efforts; strengthened nonproliferation efforts and revitalization of the domestic nuclear industry.  In addition, ten DOE Senior Executive Service members were recognized for receiving Presidential Rank Awards in 2017. Two executives received the highest honor, the Distinguished Rank Award, and eight executives received the Meritorious Rank Award.


DOE Hosts Grid Workshop – DOE’s Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI) is holding a peer review today through Friday at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel. During this event, a portfolio of grid modernization activities across 13 programs will be reviewed, including seven recently awarded Resilient Distribution Systems projects. The comprehensive review will look at the projects at a program level, provide lessons learned, and share best practices. A poster session will provide an opportunity for attendees to talk with the researchers and learn more about the over 80 projects in the portfolio. In addition, a dedicated session will discuss the 11 Pioneer Partnership Projects that ended earlier this year.

Farm Bill Conference Meeting Set – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. in the Kennedy Caucus Room – Room 325, the Senate Committee on Agriculture has announced a conference meeting on the Farm Bill.

Forum to Discuss Nuclear – The U.S. Nuclear Industry Council, with support from DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, is hosting a bipartisan, education presentation tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. featuring Members of Congress, Hill staff and industry regarding the US nuclear fleet, its jobs, exports, and clean energy leadership.  Speakers include Reps. Roger Marshall and Joe Wilson; Southern’s Mike Riith and many more. Lunch will be served, including “Atomic Wings.”

Report on Great Lakes Green Infrastructure Released – The Great Lakes Commission and Northeast Midwest Institute hold a briefing and report launch on tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. for “Great Lakes Regional Green Infrastructure Policy Analysis: Addressing Barriers to Implementation.”  Speakers will include GLC Program Director Victoria Pebbles, Gary Belan of American Rivers and Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative President John Dickert.

Conservative Clean Energy Conference Set – The Young Conservatives for Energy Reform & Christian Coalition is hosting its annual Conservative Clean Energy Summit at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill tomorrow through Friday.

Hill, BPC Forum to Look at ResiliencyThe Hill in collaboration with the Bipartisan Policy Center will convene policymakers, business leaders and advocacy groups on Thursday morning at AJAX DC to examine the issues that are motivating greater climate collaboration and consider the substance and politics behind these initiatives.  The risks to resiliency posed by extreme weather are prompting U.S. cities, states, and businesses to take action, even as the issue continues to polarize many leaders in the nation’s capital.  Speakers include Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, IBEW’s Donnie Colston, API’s Kyle Isakower, Pepco’s Melissa Lavinson, Brian Pallasch of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Glenn Prickett of The Nature Conservancy.

AEI look s Paris Climate Agreement – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m. AEI, hosts a forum on the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change. Experts and representatives from international organizations and academia will provide their perspectives on whether carbon pricing can work, what sorts of carbon prices countries might need, trade-offs with other mitigation policies, and the current state of carbon pricing. Panelists will also discuss evidence on the health benefits from reducing fossil fuel use and how the overall architecture of the Paris agreement might be improved.  Speakers include Harvard’s Joe Aldy, RFF’s Maureen Cropper and Ian Parry of the International Monetary Fund.

Duke’s Nicholas Institute to Host State Carbon Trading Forum – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m. Duke in DC’s Nicholas Institute will host a forum on states and carbon trading.  The forum will look at the nuts and bolts of linking State Programs.  The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a cooperative effort of nine Northeast and MidAtlantic states to cap and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants through a market-based, emissions trading program.

Danish to Discuss ACE Rule – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the United States Energy Association holds a forum on the proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule.  ACE would replace the 2015 Clean Power Plan (CPP), which EPA is proposing to repeal (in a separate rulemaking) on the grounds that the CPP exceeded the agency’s authority under the CAA. Guest speaker Kyle Danish will discuss the implications of the rule.


WAPA, DTF Forum to Highlight Diesel Issues – Next Monday at 11:30 a.m. at Engine Co 12 in NW DC, the Washington Automotive Press Association and the Diesel Technology Forum host a lunch to look at the true ‘state of diesel’ in the U.S. automotive market.  Speakers include GM’s Global Diesel Executive Director, Pierpaolo Antonioli and GM’s Regional Chief, Engineer, Mike Siegrist.  You will also hear the very latest IHS Markit diesel vehicles-in-use data for the United States; and get details about new research on the benefits of new-technology diesel pickup trucks.

JHU to Feature Rockefeller Foundation President – The Johns Hopkins University SAIS and the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP) host a forum next Monday at 12:30 pm in its Kenney Herter Auditorium featuring Dean Vali Nasr and a conversation on affordable and clean energy with the President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Rajiv Shah.

Forum to Look at Southern Gas Corridor – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center hosts a conversation about the Southern Gas Corridor and European energy security next Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. In the wake of new developments in constructing and completing the Southern Gas Corridor, a key priority project for European energy security, our expert panel will discuss the progress already made, challenges still ahead, and opportunities for the future.

WCEE to Host Forum to Highlight Women in Energy Stories – Next Tuesday starting at 6:00 p.m., the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment’s (WCEE) Career Building Section hosts a reception and discussion at USEA about challenges and opportunities for women working in energy. Our friends Vicky Bailey and Sheila Slocum Hollis will share their expertise on overcoming obstacles, discuss skills required for convening stakeholders, and bring examples of leading towards practical solutions for the real world.

Climate Summit Set for SF – The Global Climate Action Summit will be held in San Francisco on Wednesday September 12th through Friday September 14th.  The forum will bring leaders and people together from around the world to support action on climate change.  It will also feature action by states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens with respect to climate action.  It will also be a launchpad for deeper worldwide commitments and accelerated action from countries—supported by all sectors of society—that can put the globe on track to prevent dangerous climate change and realize the historic Paris Agreement. States and regions, cities, businesses and investors are leading the charge on pushing down global emissions by 2020, setting the stage to reach net zero emissions by midcentury.​​  Speakers include Gov. Jerry Brown, UNFCCC head Patricia Espinosa, Michael Bloomberg and many more.

Electric Cars on Display on National MallNational Drive Electric Week launches in Washington on Sunday, September 16th with events from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on the National Mall near National Gallery of Art (7th Street, NW).  At the event, you will learn about electric vehicles and see the latest models on the National Mall.

Forum to Look at Carbon Tax – On Monday, September 17th at 1:30 p.m. in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, Plant Oil Powered Diesel, Inc. is hosting a panel discussion on the carbon tax, featuring industry, environmentalist and citizen views.  More on the panelists as we get closer next week.
CSIS Hosts Trade Reps – On Monday September 17th, the CSIS Scholl Chair in International Business is hosting a conversation with six former United States Trade Representatives, who will share wisdom from their own experience and discuss the current global trading system, its institutions, and the prospects for trade in these challenging times. Speakers include Bill Brock, Carla Hills, Micky Kantor, Charlene Barshefsky​, Susan Schwab and Ron Kirk.

CAFE Public Hearing Set for CA, MI, PA – NHTSA and EPA will hold three public hearings on the revisions to the fuels economy standard.  The hearing will occur on Sept 25th in Fresno, Sept 26th in Dearborn MI, and Sept 27th in Pittsburgh.

Border Energy Forum Set for San Antonio – The North American Development Bank (NADB) will host the XXIII Border Energy Forum in San Antonio on September 26th and 27th at the Hilton San Antonio. This forum brings together local and state officials, private sector developers, academics, large commercial users, and energy experts from the U.S. and Mexico. NADB’s unique position as the only U.S.-Mexico binational development bank, has provided the Bank the opportunity to be involved in some of the most relevant clean energy projects developed in the last five years in the region. NADB has financed close to $1.5 billion for 35 projects with total costs of $5.2 billion. Roughly, 2,548 MW of new generation capacity is being installed along the border. The forum will center the dialogue on energy prosperity, innovation, financing, the future of energy markets, and crossborder opportunities along the U.S.-Mexico border, and how to continue building partnerships to advance both countries energy goals that ultimately improve economic development and protect the environment.

SEJ in Flint – The Society of Environmental Journalism holds its annual conference on October 3-6th in Flint.  Of course, Bracewell hosts its annual event on Thursday October 4th.

Energy Update: Week of July 30


Starting today with sports since August is close and over the weekend, Geraint Thomas survived the Pyrenees to win his first Tour de France title, concluding his transformation from a support rider into a champion of cycling’s biggest race.  The Welsh rider with Team Sky won over Tom Dumoulin and teammate/defending champ Chris Froome.  Also, former Tiger greats Alan Trammell and Jack Morris were both inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown alongside Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vlad Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman.

But August really means that Fall Sports are right around the corner.  NFL training camps are underway with the Hall of Fame game Thursday and HoF induction (Saturday’s induction class includes Bobby Beathard, linebacker Robert Brazile, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, linebacker Ray Lewis, wide receiver Randy Moss, wide receiver Terrell Owens, and linebacker Brian Urlacher); NCAA College Football kickoffs Saturday August 25th; Hannah reports for Junior year at Wellesley (WOW, already) for field hockey on August 16th and my first college FH game is at Syracuse that weekend.  Here in DC, the Citi Open – DC’s long-standing professional tennis tour stop at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center – is underway and runs to Sunday.  Players include Andy Murray, world #3 Alexander Zverev, #5 Kevin Anderson (who just made a great Wimbledon run), #9 John Isner and many more.

Well, we have kind of made it to August recess.  With the House out until Labor Day, the big show is Wednesday in the Senate at the Environment Committee where Andy Wheeler heads to testify for the first time since being named Acting Administrator.  Before the Wheeler show, the Committee will vote on CEQ nominee Mary Neumayr (and others).  And most think – after some speculation last week – that the fuel economy Phase II standards will be announced sometime this week.  Our friends at the NYT detailed a draft of the plan on Friday.  As well, my friend Bridget Bartol ( at SAFE can also help you with the inside details.  And with the fuel economy debate seeing heightened importance, MIT experts have a new White Board Video that explains how texture, roughness, and structural properties of the road all play a role in vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions (it can be as high as 4%, which is pretty big when you think about how many drivers are out there).  17 State AGs also made a similar request.

The other interesting thing that happened Friday was the bipartisan group of 21 Senators that told EPA Administrator Andy Wheeler that they are strongly opposed any proposal to reallocate RFS compliance obligations from exempted small refineries to other refiners and importers.  The senators wrote that “regardless of one’s views on the merits of SRE decisions, there is little doubt that reallocating obligations would only compound the problems with the RFS and are illegal.”  Pretty clear.

Also Friday, Five major HVACR companies (Lennox, Carrier, Nortek, Rheem & Ingersoll Rand) are asking the Supreme Court to review the lower court decision that blocked EPA implementation of HFC reductions using its SNAP program, saying the decision creates a regulatory mess that EPA has been unable to fix almost a year after the decision was handed down. (More below or in link)

Finally, our Bracewell PRG podcastThe Lobby Shop – is now on social media.  It is a regular mix of politics, policy and fun.  Please follow it on Twitter at @TheLobbyShopPod and like it on Facebook at @lobbyshop to get all the details and regular updates.  It will be well worth the follow.

No updates over the next few weeks unless necessary. (Maybe updates on the Incubus or Godsmack shows we are attending). Call with questions…Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932



“I have worked in the HVAC&R industry for 15 years and have seen many changes to our industry. I support the Kigali Amendment and I stand with President Trump on holding China accountable and creating good paying jobs right here in the United States of America. Our country is currently in desperate need of skilled labor and the Kigali Amendment will help to grow those skilled labor needs right here in the United States.”

Jason Lacey, Executive Vice President, Local 4501, Communications Workers of America (CWA), Columbus, Ohio



Bracewell Podcasts Looks at Trade, New EPA Head – The latest episode of the Bracewell Podcast, The Lobby Shop is now live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This week, we’re joined by Scott Lincicome, trade attorney and adjunct professor at The Cato Institute and Duke Law. We cover Scott’s viral t-shirt design, the latest in retaliatory tariff news, and many other updates in the global Trade War.

GTM Energy Gang Podcast: A Conversation With Vox’s Roberts – On this week’s Energy Gang, our friend Stephen Lacey holds a wide-ranging conversation with Vox’s David Roberts.  Roberts is known for his deep explainers and strong opinions and they discuss some of the most pressing energy/environment topics, including carbon taxes, nuclear bail outs, renewables and politics.



MIT Whiteboard Report: Pavement Can Impact Emissions – With the fuel economy debate seeing heightened importance, we highlight that road quality impacts vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. In a new White Board Video, MIT CSHub researcher Dr. Mehdi Akbarian explains how texture, roughness, and structural properties of the road all play a role.  See it here.

EIA: Energy Expenditures Lowest Since 1970 – EIA says U.S. energy expenditures declined for the 5th consecutive year, reaching $1.0 trillion in 2016, a 9% decrease in real terms from 2015. Adjusted for inflation, total energy expenditures in 2016 were the lowest since 2003. Expressed as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP), total energy expenditures were 5.6% in 2016, the lowest since at least 1970.  See more info and graphs here.


Major HVACR Companies Ask SCOTUS to Take HFC Case – Five major HVACR companies are asking the Supreme Court to review the lower court decision that blocked EPA implementation of HFC reductions using its SNAP program, saying the decision creates a regulatory mess that EPA has been unable to fix almost a year after the decision was handed down. Unless the Supreme Court steps in, the result will be an extended period of regulatory uncertainty, almost certainly including years of litigation challenging the new rule that EPA ultimately develops to implement a confusing D.C. Circuit decision that was wrongly decided.  The companies (Rheem, Lennox, Ingersoll Rand, Carrier and Nortek) are the leading U.S. manufacturers of HVACR equipment.  Together with another manufacturer filing its own amicus brief, they account for well over 75% of the residential and commercial air conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment that is manufactured and sold in North America.

21 Senators Weigh in Against Illegal Reallocation of Small Refiner Waiver – A bipartisan group of Senators told EPA Administrator Andy Wheeler that they are strongly opposed any proposal to reallocate the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) compliance obligations from exempted small refineries to other non-exempted transportation fuel refiners and importers.  The senator s wrote that “regardless of one’s views on the merits of SRE decisions, there is little doubt that reallocating obligations would only compound the problems with the RFS. Simply put, a retroactive reallocation of small refinery obligations onto non-exempt obligated parties is illegal and inconsistent with the objectives of sound energy policy.”  The 20 signers include Sens. Inhofe, Barrasso, Boozman, Capito, Cassidy, Cotton, Cruz, Daines, Enzi, Flake, Hatch, Hyde-Smith, Isakson, Kennedy, Lankford, Lee, Manchin, Perdue, Risch, Toomey and Wicker.  The Fueling American Jobs Coalition says “reallocating exemptions simply amounts to a penalty on U.S. refineries that may not qualify for a small refiner exemption, but otherwise comply with the RFS.  Reallocations would inject even greater uncertainty into the already volatile and opaque market for tradeable ethanol credits, threatening a return to surging prices for these credits that are would negatively impacting refineries across the U.S. and jeopardizing good-paying industrial jobs that sustain hard-working American communities.”

ClearPath Study: Aggressive Carbon Capture RD&D Can Spur Massive Economic Benefits – ClearPath Foundation and Carbon Utilization Research Council released a new study that says accelerating research, development and deployment of advanced power cycles and carbon capture technologies for use in fossil power generation would dramatically drive domestic oil production, jobs and provide a significant boost to GDP while trapping significant amounts of heat-trapping carbon emissions.  The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship, Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers; the International Brotherhood of Electrical, Workers and the United Mine Workers of America also contributed to the effort.  Under the scenarios evaluated, the study’s modeling provided by NERA Economic Consulting and Advanced Resources International forecasts market-driven deployment of up to 87 gigawatts with carbon capture technologies over the next two decades. Some of these include a 40% increase in domestic coal production for power from 2020 to 2040; 100 million to 923 million barrels of additional domestic oil produced annually by 2040; 270,000 to 780,000 new jobs and an increase of $70 billion to $190 billion in annual gross domestic product (GDP) associated with enhanced oil recovery field operations by 2040; Aggressive RD&D reduced the national retail cost of electricity 1.1% to 2.0% by 2040, which on its own is forecasted to increase annual GDP by an additional $30 billion to 55 billion and create 210,000 to 380,000 more jobs over a baseline RD&D case.

Chamber, NAM, Industry Groups Push for HFC Reduction – The Let America Lead coalition formed last week to work with conservative leaders at the local, state and national level, manufacturers and businesses, and working Americans across the country to demonstrate to President Trump why support for the Kigali Amendment is a win for American workers and urge him to send it to the U.S. Senate for ratification.  The announcement follows a recent series of public statements of support for Kigali amendment ratification. In May, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute and the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy released a new economic study conducted by Inforum and JBS Consulting. The study demonstrates the job creation and economic growth benefits of ratification, including the creation of 33,000 manufacturing jobs and 117,000 indirect jobs by 2027. It will also increase manufacturing exports by $5 billion while reducing imports by nearly $7 billion to improve the balance of trade. In June, 13 Republican Senators sent a joint letter of support to President Trump urging him to send the Amendment to the Senate for its advice and consent. They wrote: “The Kigali Amendment will protect American workers, grow our economy, and improve our trade balance all while encouraging further innovation to strengthen America’s leadership role.” Also in June, three leading conservative groups, Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks and the American Council for Capital Foundation stated their support for the amendment, writing to the president that, “This agreement has our support because it will ensure that U.S. manufacturers are able to thrive in the global economy and create more wealth and jobs in America.” Let America Lead is proud to announce that the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Chemistry Council and the American Council for Capital Formation are founding members of the coalition, and looks forward to announcing additional members.

Cooper Nominated to Energy GC – Former House Resources staff director and energy specialist Bill Cooper has been nominated to be General Counsel of the Department of Energy.

Solar Report: 42 States, DC Took Action on Solar Policy During Q2 – The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its Q2 2018 edition of The 50 States of Solar. The quarterly series provides insights on state regulatory and legislative discussions and actions on distributed solar policy, with a focus on net metering, distributed solar valuation, community solar, residential fixed charges, residential demand and solar charges, third-party ownership, and utility-led rooftop solar programs.  The report finds that 42 states and the District of Columbia took some type of distributed solar policy action during Q2 2018 (see figure below), with the greatest number of actions relating to residential fixed charge or minimum bill increases, net metering policies and community solar policies.  A total of 148 distributed solar policy actions were taken during Q2 2018, with the greatest number of actions taken in California, Arizona, New York, Virginia and Massachusetts.


August Congressional Recess – While the Senate will remain in session, the House will not return until after Labor Day.

Women in Nuclear Conference Starts — The U.S. Women in Nuclear National Conference is underway through Wednesday in Huntsville, Alabama.  The 2018 national conference is sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority and gathers individuals working in any aspect of nuclear energy, science and technology in the United States. The conference provides perspectives from national authorities on key issues and professional development opportunities to grow your career.

Conference to Look at Sustainability – The National Association for Environmental Management holds a sustainability management conference today through Wednesday at the Omni in Providence, Rhode Island.  The conference offers insights to improve company performance while more effectively managing sustainability data at both ends of the supply chain.

Conference Looks a Renewable, Storage – EUCI hosts a conference today and tomorrow in Philadelphia on the interconnection process for renewables and storage. The conference will discuss the process for interconnection utilized by different entities across the country, identify technical requirements from start to finish, evaluate potential regulatory and policy directions, and evaluate how best to update the interconnection process to accommodate the evolving electricity grid.

Perry, Pompeo to Address Chambr Indo-Pacific Business Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosts an Indo-Pacific Business Forum today.  The event will , feature Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and many more.

FERC to Hold Grid Reliability Conference – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold a day-long meeting tomorrow to discuss grid reliability policies and issues. Topics include regulatory priorities for the North American Electric Reliability Corporation; challenges arising in the Western Interconnection; an update on the cooperation agreement between NERC and Mexico; how grid resiliency can be tracked with data; and how industry and regulators need to respond to higher supplies of distributed generation and energy storage.

EESI Forum to Look at Energy Efficient Housing – The Energy Efficiency for All and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute host a breakfast briefing tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. on Federal programs for energy and housing, focusing on low-income families.  Speakers include Ellen Lurie Hoffman of the National Housing Trust, ACEEE’s Ariel Drehobl, Carmen Bingham of Virginia Poverty Law Center, Action Housing’s Sarah Ralich and former DOE Weatherization Assistance Program Director Dave Rinebolt.

Forum to Look at Natural Disasters, Climate – Results for Development (R4D) holds a forum tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. on climate change and natural disasters.  In this discussion, Vinod Thomas, former Director General of Independent Evaluation at the World Bank and at Asian Development Bank, will present findings from his recently published book on this subject. Masood Ahmed, President of the Center for Global Development and Annette Dixon, Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank Group, will respond with comments.

Forum to Look at Russian Energy Sanction Impacts – Tomorrow at noon, the Atlantic Council holds for a conversation about proposed Russia sanctions legislation. The ongoing discussions within the US Congress provide an opportunity to take stock of existing sanctions policy and the proposed legislation and assess the implications for oil markets, energy projects, and companies. The expert panel will discuss proposed legislation such as the DETER (Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines) and ESCAPE (Energy Security Cooperation with Allied Partners in Europe) Acts.  Speakers include former State official David Goldwyn and Other Council experts.

ELI to Host ESA Webinar – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute hosts a webinar on proposed USFWS Endangered Species Act regulations.  This panel will provide an advanced look into potential benefits and repercussions of utilizing the ESA under this regulatory proposal.  Each panelist will highlight his or her top areas of interest in the proposals and describe improvements that could be made in the process to finalize the regulations.

Senate Environment to Host Wheeler – The Senate Environment Committee will host new acting EPA head Andy Wheeler on Wednesday August 1st at 10:30 a.m. It will also hold a Business Meeting to vote on CEQ head Mary Neumayr and other nominations immediately prior at 9:45 a.m.

WCEE Monthly Happy Hour – The Women’s Council on Energy and Environment hosts its August Happy Hour on Wednesday, August 1st at 5:30 p.m. at MASA 14 (1825 14th Street, NW).

TX Enviro Superconference Set – The 30th Texas Environmental Superconference is being held on Thursday and Friday in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel.  This year’s conference will have speakers from across the spectrum including Andy Wheeler fresh off his Senate testimony, Air office head Bill Wehrum and a number of others from EPA leadership. Also on the agenda are TCEQ’s Brian Shaw, my Bracewell colleague Tim Wilkins and our friends Allison Wood of Hunton and Jon Cruden of Beveridge. The Superconference will cover an array of cutting-edge topics with timely presentations from federal, state and local governmental officials and leading private practitioners. A copy of the current draft program can be found here.

Tesla Book Discussion SetPolitics and Prose Bookstore hosts Author Richard Munson on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. to discuss and sign copies of “Tesla: Inventor of the Modern”.  Drawing on his new book, Richard Munson shines a light on the man behind the legend and how his unique way of doing things meant some of his most advanced ideas would go unrecognized for decades. Tesla felt inventing required the linking of science and the humanities. Unlike his better- known rival, Thomas Edison, he was not motivated by profit and preferred working in isolation.

Science-Policy Discussion Set – On Thursday, August 2nd, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment hosts a conversation at Honeywell at Noon featuring two scientists working to shape policy at the federal level. They will discuss the role of science in shaping public policy and offer solutions for a more collaborative relationship between the scientific and policy realms.



New Rule for New Power Plants Likely in August – EPA plans to send revised carbon dioxide emissions standards for new fossil fuel-fired electric generators to OMB in August. The budget/reg agency is already reviewing the new version of the Clean Power Plan.  The new source performance standards, established under the Obama administration in 2015, currently require the installation of prohibitively expensive carbon capture systems on new coal plants to meet the emissions limits, effectively banning the generators. The Trump administration has sought to roll back a number of environmental and energy rules in a bid to revive the nation’s ailing coal industry.

Forum to Look at Innovative CO2 Tech – Next Tuesday, August 7th at 1:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association hosts a discussion of Global Thermostat’s patented breakthrough technology removes CO2 from ambient air or other sources utilizing readily available, low-cost process heat. That CO2 is then used profitably in multiple industrial processes, meeting the needs of a > $1 Trillion annual market. With its great flexibility and scalable implementations, GT plants can be of any size, and can standalone, or be integrated with: legacy power plants; renewable energy plants; and manufacturing facilities. This briefing will highlight this revolutionary technology, with a discussion on viable CO2 markets as well as the status of the two existing plants in Silicon Valley, and a third commercial plant on the way at Huntsville, Alabama.

Forum to Look at Climate Adaption Policy – On Thursday, August 9th at 8:30 a.m. at the ASU Barrett & O’Connor Washington Center, the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes holds a forum to Look at how to best adapt to a warmer future. Bruce Guile, president and cofounder of the New Advisory Group, and Raj Pandya, the founding director of the Thriving Earth Exchange at the American Geophysical Union, will address exactly that question to mark the publication of the Summer 2018 Issues in Science and Technology. They will discuss “Adapting to Global Warming: Four National Priorities,” their clear-eyed assessment of the policy steps needed to use human ingenuity to confront climate change.

EPRI Hosts Electrification Conference – The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) hosts the inaugural Electrification 2018 International Conference and Exposition on August 20th to 23rd in Long Beach CA. Hosted by the and sponsored by more than 20 major utilities and organizations, this annual conference will bring together utility leaders, regulators, researchers, academia, vendors, economic development groups, and energy users from diverse manufacturing, transportation, industrial, and agriculture sectors around the globe.  SoCo CEO Tom Fanning is among the many speakers.

Oil/Gas Conference Set for Denver – EnerCom’s Oil & Gas Conference will be held on August 20-23 at The Westin Denver Downtown.  The conference offers investment professionals the opportunity to listen to the world’s key senior management teams present their growth plans.  Our friends at Wolfe Research will host a full day of management meetings with execs on Tuesday August 21st at the Palm Restaurant.


Energy Update: Week of June 19


I hope you all enjoyed your Father’s Day as much as I did.  I was completely out of control running a 10K with Adam in the morning (he smoked me in the last two miles: 39:00 to 41:50), officiated 6 lax games with Hannah, then went with all three (and sat in the prime seats with Olivia) to the Third Eye Blind/SilverSun PickUps concert at Pier 6 and finally a late visit to Ra! for sushi.  I even was able to take in a little of the exciting and amazing finish by Brooks Koepka as he ran through the final few holes en route to his US Open victory.

Back to the work week (which may actually seem like rest compared to the weekend). Last week’s budget questions were not as tough as some expected given Congressional appropriators have pretty much disregarded the “Mulvaney” budget…as some of his former House colleagues chided during hearings.  This week, the action hits its stride as Energy Secretary Perry returns to action off his recent trip to Asia.  Because of the trip, Perry is pulling a trifecta with testimony tomorrow at House Approps, Wednesday at Senate EPW Approps and Thursday at Senate Energy.  Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke also hits a triple starting tomorrow at Senate Energy, Wednesday afternoon at Senate Interior Approps and Thursday at House Resources.  In each case, they will continue the effort to explain the administration’s budget request.

This biggest event this week is the Chamber’s Energy Institute 10th Anniversary “Energy Strong” forum tomorrow morning focused on energy progress made over the past decade, as well as ways that continued energy innovation can drive future economic growth.  Speakers will include EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, among a number of others.

Also tomorrow, with the Trump Administration close to completing its Section 232 trade investigation of whether imported steel poses a “threat to U.S. national security,” steel folks will hold two events: At Noon the Washington Auto press hosts the Steel Market Development Institute at the Press Club while steel consumers in the US will hold a briefing at 2:00 p.m. in the Club’s Zenger Room to discuss the impacts of trade tariffs.

Then tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum on energy innovation featuring Sen. Lamar Alexander and a panel moderated by Axios’ Ben Geman that includes ClearPath’s Rich Powell, Air Liquide’s Mike Rosen and Southern’s Steve Wilson.  The event is a follow up on a recent letter from 14 CEOs including major corporations and Chamber CEO Tom Donahue that urges Congressional support funding for energy innovation programs. We also expect to see another letter this week on the same topic from a wide array of “strange-bedfellow” groups.  In addition, former Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz will discuss energy innovation projects at a National Press Club Newsmaker Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. hosted by me and moderated by our friend Rod Kuckro of E&E News.

Speaking of Moniz, later in the day he will join a forum at the Atlantic Council on the climate energy balance that includes former Defense secretary Chuck Hagel, former EPA head Christie Todd Whitman and Statoil Chief Economist Eirik Waerness.  Waerness also briefs at CSIS on Thursday on the US release of Statoil’s new 2017 Energy Perspectives report, which summarizes narratives about global energy demand and energy mix for the future decades.  CSIS also hosts the launch of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) New Energy Outlook 2017 on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

After delaying another week, we might see RVOs this week, but not really holding my breath given the history here…  There is a LOT of interesting news out there this morning.  If you have any questions about any of it that I can help you with, please don’t hesitate to call…  Wednesday at 4:24 p.m. is Summer Solstice, so enjoy the longest day of the year…



Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932



“These new estimates show the potential damage to the solar industry as a result of this petition.  Rather than help the industry, the trade action would kill many thousands of American jobs and put a stop to billions of dollars in private investment.”

SEIA President Abigail Ross Hopper on the impacts of the 201 trade case filed by Suniva now being reviewed by the US International Trade Commission.



SEIA Says Trade Action would Cost 88K Jobs – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) projects that 88,000 jobs would be lost, about one-third of the current American solar workforce, if Suniva gets trade protections proposed in its petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).  Among the states standing to lose the most jobs include California with an expected job loss of 15,800, another 7,000 jobs would be lost in South Carolina, and 6,300 in Texas, according to preliminary estimates by SEIA.  Despite Suniva’s claims that its move is meant to protect domestic manufacturing, SEIA found that U.S. solar manufacturing jobs will actually decline if the petition is granted.  The case comes after a record-breaking year of solar energy growth in 2016 when industry jobs grew by 25% year-over-year and electricity generating capacity nearly doubled.  SEIA forecasts that solar jobs would be lost in all segments of the market. The utility-scale market, which has paced the industry’s growth for years, would see jobs shrink by 60%, while residential and commercial employment would fall by 44% and 46%, respectively.

AHRI Group Offers Low-GWP Alternative Refrigerants Testing Results – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology Institute (AHRTI), the research arm of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), released the first research report as part of its ongoing testing of flammable refrigerants, many of which were identified as possible replacements to high global warming-potential (GWP) hydrofluorocarbons that will be phased down under the Montreal Protocol. The research and testing program is part of a $5.2 million commitment on the part of AHRI, ASHRAE, U.S. Department of Energy, and the California Air Resources Board to further test in real-world settings low-GWP, but mildly flammable or flammable, refrigerants. The report, Benchmarking Risk by Whole Room Scale Leaks and Ignitions Testing of A2L Refrigerants, was developed following testing at UL, which began in June 2016. The objective was to conduct refrigerant leak and ignition testing under real-world conditions to develop data and insight into the risk associated with the use of A2L refrigerants, which are mildly-flammable, but have a low-GWP. Room scale tests were performed for commercial and residential scenarios, including a packaged terminal air conditioner in a motel room, a rooftop unit in a commercial kitchen, a walk-in cooler, a reach-in refrigerator in a convenience store, a split HVAC unit in a utility closet and with servicing error, and a split HVAC unit with hermetic electrical pass-through terminal failure. Further testing is planned as part of this effort and results will be released when they are available.

EIA: Wind, solar Account for 10% of U.S. electricity generation for first time – The EIA said last week that for the first time, wind and solar power installations provided about 10% of total U.S. electricity generation in March and likely exceeded that level in April.  EIA added that the share will likely fall below those levels in the summer, largely because output fluctuates based on seasonal changes.  On an annual basis, wind and solar made up 7% of total U.S. electric generation in 2016. Texas accounted for the largest total amount of wind and solar electricity generation. Nearly all of this generation was from wind, as Texas generates more wind energy than any other state. As a share of the state’s total electricity generation, wind and solar output was highest in Iowa, where wind and solar made up 37% of electricity generation in 2016. In addition to Iowa, wind and solar provided at least 20% of 2016 electricity generation in six other states.  See the EIA charts here.

Wind Runs Adverting Campaign About Jobs – Speaking of wind, AWEA’s partner American Wind Action launched a multimillion-dollar digital, TV and radio advertising issue advocacy campaign in Washington that features workers at an Iowa wind turbine manufacturing facility who say the industry “powers American jobs.”

AHRI Pushes Back on Energy Efficiency Lawsuit – Eleven states, led by California and New York, have sued the Trump administration for failing to finalize energy-efficiency regulations for portable air conditioners, walk-in coolers and other products. AHRI’s Francis Dietz said while the HVACR industry is just as anxious as others to have some certainty about these delayed rules that affect its members’ products, it is not unusual for there to be a delay in getting rules out at the beginning of an administration.  “As much as they would like to see decisions made on these, the odds are, these rules will be out long before this suit sees the inside of a courtroom.”  He added it’s important to remember that these products are already available for anyone to buy, so the argument that this delay is somehow keeping consumers from saving money/energy is simply not true. Having said that, manufacturers thrive on certainty, and that has created uncertainty and the new legal actions only create more.

SAFE Weighs In On AV Hearing Discussions – Following last week’s Senate Commerce Committee’s hearing on autonomous vehicles (AVs), Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) head Robbie Diamond said he is encouraged by Congressional action to advance autonomous vehicle (AV) policy.  Diamond says the technology “will improve the lives of countless people, prevent deaths, and mitigate our nation’s oil dependence. Congress has an important role to play in expediting the safe deployment of these vehicles on public roads by judiciously establishing a single, national regulatory framework.”  He added that AVs are a national issue which requires a national policy, and while it is critical to avoid overregulation, not being clear about basic performance standards creates a situation in which developers do not have a clear understanding of safety standard to build towards, and a policy vacuum forms that invites states to continue to create a messy patchwork of regulations.  Diamond: “A unified national framework, that includes federal preemption of conflicting state standards, would address both of these growing challenges—and we urge lawmakers to continue moving forward swiftly.”  Until a unified national framework is in place, SAFE believes that states should refrain from imposing AV regulations that may create unnecessary delays in deployment of the technology. Federal preemption has the ability to provide the much-needed certainty to automotive and technology companies, and will spur increased AV development across the country.  In January, SAFE’s Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety, a panel of experts and former public officials committed to the safe and timely introduction of AVs, released its best-practice recommendations for AV deployment. These recommendations emphasized the need for a modern regulatory environment, as well as industry-government communication.

House Committee Approves Crucial Nuclear Incentive – Last Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved bipartisan energy legislation from Reps. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) modifying the 45J production tax credit to allow more time for the nation’s four new reactors under construction to receive the credit, and to allow transferability of the credit to other partners of the utilities. ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell said: “This effort is vital to any real hope of expanding our nuclear fleet.”  The legislation changes current law by removing the 2021 deadline for the new reactors to be placed in service. It may also affect facilities that would use other advanced nuclear technologies, such as small modular reactors being designed by NuScale Power. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has introduced a companion measure.

Congressional Baseball Game Raises $1M For Charity – Speaking of ClearPath, they were a proud sponsor of Thursday night’s Congressional Baseball Game, which brought both teams together in a bipartisan display of collegiality that raised more than $1 million for charity. The record number of tickets sold -nearly 25,000 – and other proceeds benefit the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, the Washington Literary Center and the Capitol Police Memorial Fund.



Ukraine Gas Leaders to Address Forum – Next Monday at 3:30 p.m., the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and Global Energy Center will hold a conversation on the future of Ukraine’s energy sector with Naftogaz leadership.  On May 31, Ukraine’s Naftogaz won a victory over Russia’s Gazprom in the international arbitration court in Stockholm. Naftogaz won on all three counts the court considered. On the heels of this extraordinary development, the Atlantic Council will bring together Naftogaz Chief Executive Officer and Chief Commercial Officer, Andriy Kobolyev and Yuriy Vitrenko, and fellow energy experts, to discuss Ukraine’s energy sector – Nord Stream 2, implications of the arbitration between Naftogaz and Gazprom in Stockholm, and energy reforms.

Chamber to Host Pruitt, Zinke – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy will celebrate its 10th Anniversary tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. with an “Energy Strong” forum that will examine the remarkable progress made over the past decade, and the ways that continued energy innovation can drive future economic growth.  Speakers will include Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy CEO Karen Harbert, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Sen. Dan Sullivan, former National Security Advisor General Jim Jones Jr. (Ret.), IHS Markit’s Dan Yergin, EEI President Tom Kuhn, NuScale Power CEO John Hopkins and several others.

Zinke to Talk Interior Budget at Senate Energy – The full Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will convene a hearing next Tuesday to examine the president’s budget request for the Department of the Interior for Fiscal Year 2018.  Secretary Ryan Zinke will appear.   Later in the day, The Committee’s panel on Public Lands, Forests and Mining’s will hold an oversight hearing on restoring watersheds and large landscapes.

Perry to Testify at House/Senate Approps Subpanels, Sen Energy – Energy Secretary Rick Perry is scheduled to testify next week before three committees on the budget.  Expect lots of funding questions but also a number of questions about the reliability study.  Tomorrow, Perry heads to the House Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Energy and Water.  On Wednesday, he hits the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water and Thursday, he moves over to the Senate Energy Committee.

Forum to Look at AVs – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and the Washington Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany will hold a forum next Tuesday, June 20th at 10:00 a.m. to discuss key policy and commercial issues and insights on how enterprises and policymakers from the U.S. and Germany are enabling the future of mobility.  Emerging digital technologies are enabling connected and autonomous vehicles (AVs). These technologies will reshape the future of mobility, reducing accidents and producing an estimated $1 trillion-a-year economic benefit in the United States alone. But to achieve that vision, policymakers will need to create a regulatory environment that encourages experimentation while ensuring high standards of road safety, as Germany has recently done by developing a policy framework for autonomous vehicle research and experimentation.  Speakers include Michael Bültmann of HERE Deutschland, ITIF’s Stephen Ezell and German Federal Ministry of Transportation’s Tobias Miethaner.

House Science Dems Hosts Climate Advocates – Democrats on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will host a roundtable discussion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to showcase the threats posed by man-made global warming.  Ranking Democrat Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson has invited heavy hitters in the climate world to the four-hour event, which will feature two expert panels on science and the UN Process.  Among the witnesses include climate scientist Ben Santer, former UN Environmental Chair Christiana Figueres and several others.

Forum to Look at OPA Reform – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday, June 20th at 12:00 p.m. looking at updating the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) in 1990.  OPA was passed following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, to strengthen the federal government’s ability to prevent and respond to oil spills, establish financial resources to aid response, and raise standards for contingency planning. The program will cover OPA issues raised by pipeline projects, and by the Trump Administration’s efforts to increase production from offshore and federal lands and to restrict the definition of waters of the United States in ways which may reduce the scope of contingency planning requirements for inland locations.  Speakers will also discuss key decisions from the past year involving the OPA and related federal statutes, including decisions about recoverable damages, citizen suits, and presentation of claims to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, as well as decisions in enforcement cases against vessels involving the use of “magic pipes” to deal with oily bilge water. The expert panel includes NOIA’s Randall Luthi, Cyn Sarthou of the Gulf Restoration Network and Richard Udell, who serves in DOJ’s Environmental Crimes Section.

WAPA to Host Steel Discussion – The Washington Automotive Press Assn is holding a forum at the National Press Club Tuesday June 20th at Noon featuring the Steel Market Development Institute. Dr. Jody Hall, vice president of the automotive market for the Steel Market Development Institute, will discuss advancements in steel grades and how their application in the vehicle structure helps protects occupants in the event of a crash and is easier to repair than vehicles made with alternative materials.

Steel Consumers to Address Tariff Issues – Steel consumers in the US will hold a briefing on Wednesday at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room at 2:00 p.m. to discuss the Impacts of trade tariffs. Speakers include American Institute for International Steel President Richard Chriss, Chief Commercial Officer of the Port of New Orleans Bobby Landry, trade law expert Lewis Leibowitz and Stuart Speyer of Tennsco, a family-owned manufacturer of quality storage products.  The event will feature U.S. steel supply chain, voices from ports to steel-using manufacturers, speak out about the potentially destructive impact of steel tariffs on their own economic viability. The U.S. steel industry directly employs 142,000 workers, compared to an estimated 6.5 million who are employed by steel-using manufacturers.

Senate to Look at Water Infrastructure – The Senate Environment Committee’s Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on innovative financing and funding to address America’s crumbling water infrastructure.

BPC Innovation Forum to Feature Sen Alexander, Southern ClearPath Experts – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Energy Innovation Commission tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in 430 Dirksen about the energy innovation process, with leading industry voices discussing whether smart, targeted approaches for limited federal resources can complement private sector investments in pursuit of advanced energy technologies. President Trump’s recent budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 has sparked a conversation about the appropriate federal role in supporting the nation’s innovators. As the congressional appropriations process begins in earnest, energy research programs within the Department of Energy are among those under scrutiny, despite a history of broad, bipartisan support.  Sen. Lamar Alexander will offer Keynote remarks, followed by a panel discussion with ClearPath’s Rich Powell, Air Liquide’s Mike Rosen and Southern’s Steve Wilson moderated by Axios’ Ben Geman.

WCEE to Host Litigation Roundtable – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment hold its Third Annual Litigation Roundtable Wednesday with the women Administrative Law Judges of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Judges will discuss their experience as Administrative Law Judges, interesting developments in their careers, who mentored them along the way and who they themselves mentored, and share the “Dos & Don’ts” regarding hearings and settlement conferences.

BGov to Look at Infrastructure IssuesBloomberg Government will convene a conversation on Wednesday morning looking at the latest innovations for America’s infrastructure and the public and private sector partners bringing these ideas to life. Federal, state and industry leaders discuss the nation’s infrastructure priorities – funding, connectivity and sustainability – and where the public sector should focus infrastructure efforts to have the greatest impact.

Moniz, Whitman, Others to Discuss Climate, Energy – The Atlantic Council will host a forum on Wednesday looking at the energy and climate balance.  The conference convenes 150 rising leaders from around the world to discuss one of the most pressing issues facing the next generation: finding a balance between mitigating and adapting to climate change while also providing secure and reliable energy to fuel our future. The bipartisan agenda includes a cross-generational lineup of senior speakers alongside future leaders and represents a range of views on energy and climate from both sides of the Atlantic. Confirmed speakers include Founder of Sun Edison and Generate Capital Jigar Shah, Campaign Director for Greenpeace USA Leila Dean,  President and Co-Founder of OPower Alex Laskey, former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, CEO and Founder of Merdiam Thierry Deau, Manager for Environment and Policy Planning for ExxonMobil Peter Trelenberg, former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, former EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman,  Chairman and CEO of the Libra Group George Logothetis, and Executive Vice President and Chief Economist of Statoil Eirik Waerness, among many others.

Wilson Forum Look at Arctic Relations – The Wilson Center hold its Arctic Circle Forum on Wednesday and Thursday beginning each day at 8:30 am and looking at the U.S. and Russian roles in the Arctic.  The Arctic is a region of international dialogue and potential competition, of varied challenges and diverse opportunities. It is also a region that is gaining in both geopolitical significance and public awareness every day. The complex relationship between the United States and Russia, along with the approaches of the six other Arctic nations, will continue to shape the region’s social, economic, political and environmental issues far into the future.  The event will explore the crucial Arctic relationship and the implications for all Arctic nations, the communities that call the region home, and the countries and organizations that have a vested interest in a peaceful and sustainable Arctic.

House Resources to Look at Linking Helium, NatGas, Oil Leasing – The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a Wednesday 10:00 a.m. legislative hearing on discussion drafts of the Helium Extraction Act of 2017.  The legislation focuses on amending the Mineral Leasing Act to provide that extraction of helium from gas produced under a Federal mineral lease shall maintain the lease as if the helium were oil and gas.

House Science Looks at Advancing in Enviro Techs – The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. examining advances in environmental technologies. Witnesses will include Saildrone exec Sebastien De Halleux Dr. Neil Jacobs of Panasonic Avionics and Oregon State University Professor in Ocean Ecology and Biogeochemistry Burke Hales.

BNEF to Release Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting the launch of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) New Energy Outlook 2017 on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. The report is BNEF’s annual economic forecast for the world’s power mix to 2040. Built over nine months, it is the result of a major collaboration of more than 65 market and technical experts from BNEF’s 11 offices around the world.  Seb Henbest (NEO Lead Author and Head of Europe, Middle East, & Africa; BNEF) and Elena Giannakopoulou (Lead Energy Economist; BNEF) will present on the NEO 2017 findings, followed by Q&A and discussion.

Press Club to Host Former Energy Sect Moniz – The National Press Club will host a Newsmaker on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in the Club’s Lisagor Room featuring former Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz.  Moniz will propose ways to maintain the American leadership edge on energy innovation. Moniz also is expected to announce the formation of a new non-profit organization “The Energy Futures Initiative,” that aims to foster innovation in global energy systems. According to the creators, EFI will be a non-partisan, think tank and advisory firm working across all energy sources to provide evidence-based analysis on decarbonizing energy systems, creating high-paying energy jobs, and finding ways to make energy infrastructure and supplies more secure.

Forum to Look at Innovation, EU Climate Challenges – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Delegation of the European Union to the US will hold a discussion on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. addressing current trends in innovation and economically sound decarbonization efforts across key sectors. World Bank Group CEO Kristalina Georgieva will keynote.

CA Energy Forum Set – Advanced Energy Economy’s (AEE) annual California energy policy event, Pathway to 2050, will be held on Wednesday in Sacramento.  The event brings together an influential group of advanced energy business leaders and state policy-makers to discuss opportunities to accelerate California’s economy through the growth of advanced energy.  Speakers will include our friends Caroline Choi of SoCalEd, Dan Morain of the Sacramento Bee and Greentech’s Katie Fehrenbacher. Other speakers include SoCal Ed CEO Kevin Payne, GE’s Deb Frodl, Cal Assembly Speaker Kevin de Leon, CPUC President Michael Picker, Cal Energy Commissioner Janea Scott and Tom Steyer.

AHRI Hosts CA State Summit – The HVAC industry will also hold a California State Summit on Wednesday and Thursday looking at energy and efficiency issues relating to the industry at the Hyatt in Sacramento.  Speakers will include CARB member Dean Florez, House Assembly Republican Leader Chad Myers and Senate President Kevin de Leon.

Senate Energy to Hear from Perry on DOE Budget – The full Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will convene a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to examine the president’s budget request for the Department of Energy for Fiscal Year 2018.  Secretary Perry will testify.

State to Launch New Arctic Book – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at George Washington University, the State Department releases a book containing excerpts from the blog and book, Our Arctic Nation. The forum will feature a selection of Our Arctic Nation contributors discussing their experiences exploring their state’s Arctic connections and for discussion about national Arctic identity and the importance of the region to America’s future. Robert Orttung of GWU’s Elliott School of International Affairs and Representatives from the U.S. Department of State will speak.

WAPA to Host Ride/Drive of Ionig – WAPA also will host a lunch and drive on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at River Farm in Alexandria, VA featuring the all-new Hyundai Ioniq Electric and Hybrid line of vehicles.

CSIS to Host Statoil Energy Report – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum on at 1:00 p.m. featuring Eirik Wærness, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of Statoil, to present the company’s newly released Energy Perspectives 2017.  The Energy Perspectives report summarizes different narratives about global energy demand and energy mix for the future decades, scenarios, based on different assumptions about regional and global economic growth, conflict levels and implications, technological development and energy and climate policies. In the 2017 version, models have been adjusted with last year’s developments in the energy and climate policy area, technology costs and maturity, more thorough assessments of GDP forecasts, as well as included adjustments made to historic global CO2 emissions. The modelling runs to 2050 with 2014 as baseline year, and provides a forecast for global energy demand and energy mix, economic growth, CO2 emissions, and more.

Forum to Hear Energy Demand Expert – On Friday at Chinatown Garden, the National Capital Chapter of the US Energy Economists will host physicist, venture capitalist, author, government advisor, and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Mark Mills.  Mills will discuss energy demand disruptions and the aspirations versus the reality. Mills says we are nearing an era of ‘peak energy demand’ requires believing that innovation is over, and similarly that we’ve seen the end of normal economic and social behaviors.  Technology and demographic trends in fact suggest that the recent past is in an interregnum, not a ‘new normal’ when it comes to energy demand.



EIA Energy Conference Set – The 2017 EIA Energy Conference is scheduled for June 26-27 in Washington, DC.

Smart Cities Conference Headed for Austin – The 2017 Smart Cities Connect Conference will be in Austin, TX at the Convention Center on June 27th.  The event convenes more than 200 global city leaders to prospect and partner with innovative technology and service providers.

Global Security Forum Set – The Center for a New American security hosts its 2017 Annual Conference in partnership with The Washington Post on Wednesday, June 28th at The Mayflower Hotel. This year’s conference will bring together U.S. national security policymakers and experts to highlight major divides and identify potential bipartisan solutions. CNAS is an independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies.

CSIS to Host IEF Head on Energy Markets – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program on Wednesday June 28th at 10:30 a.m. will host Dr. Sun Xiansheng, Secretary General of the International Energy Forum (IEF), for a presentation and discussion on the forces impacting the security of global oil and gas supplies. Adam Sieminski will moderate the session that will focus on three key aspects of current markets: (1) why the volatile nature of the energy markets continues to pose many challenges for producers and consumers and (2) how, despite policy shifts in Washington, tightening greenhouse gas emission thresholds around the world could continue to shape many long-term decisions made by policy makers.  Dr. Sun has over 30 years of practical industry experience in oil & gas production, trading, and pipeline construction. He was elected Secretary General of the IEF in August 2016.

CSIS to Discuss Energy Efficiency Issues – On Thursday June 29th at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Philippe Benoit, former head of Energy Efficiency and Environment Division of the International Energy Agency, to discuss some of the benefits and pitfalls in shifting the focus of energy efficiency from savings to growth. Ariel Yépez, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), will discuss how the IDB is working to increase the appeal of energy efficiency as a development tool for its client countries by also emphasizing its potential to support expanded service delivery. Laura Van Wie McGrory, Alliance to Save Energy, will discuss how energy efficiency also brings important benefits other than just energy savings to the U.S. and other developed countries.

JULY 4th Recess – June 30th to July 11th

Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 20th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Tuesday, July 11th from at 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In Rayburn.

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

Energy Update: Week of February 29


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

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

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

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

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

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

Call with questions.



Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of January 19


As we prep for the “massive” snow headed toward the East Coast (hurry up and rush out to get your bread and milk) we should remember that it is winter.  Regardless, stay tuned and we’ll be ready to report to you next week regardless of the weather.

Keeping it short this week because I’m still on a birthday downer.  As I get older, I just see it as another day, but I feel really humbled and blessed by all the folks who took a minute out of their day to wish me well over the weekend.  Thanks for that.  Presents:  A great new USA Field Hockey pullover for umpiring and a new visor for my Hockey helmet.  Can’t ask for more than that…other than a few more grants to help pay for Hannah’s Wellesley tuition this summer.

We are two weeks away from Iowa votes and it is getting really busy including tomorrow’s annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit.  The Nation’s mayors are in DC this week for the 84th Winter Meeting so you can expect to hear about climate actions and other energy issues.

Meantime, the Senate returns this week while the House returns next .  A couple of good hearings in Senate Energy  this week with EIA’s Adam Sieminski and our friend Jim Lucier on Energy markets today and Thursday experts on auto innovations.  Tomorrow, the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee digs into Iran issues following the weekend’s moves on sanctions and swapping prisoners.  We can cover a lot of issues from human rights to Iran oil issues, so please let us know.

Off the Hill, FTC holds a panel this morning on emerging trends in the auto industry, such as car-sharing, connected cars, and autonomous vehicles, which will feature SAFE CEO Robbie Diamond following the DOT announcements last week for $4B self-driving car pilot projects over a 10-year span.

Kudos to Rep./Dr. Phil Sharp, RFF President and former U.S. Congressman from Indiana, who will receive the second Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security from Energy Secretary Moniz tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.  Cato holds a forum at 11:00 a.m. on GMOs and the future of the global food supply and medical innovations.  And the Washington Auto Show also launches it policy day on Capitol Hill that will explore how technology is making our nation’s roads and vehicles safer and infrastructure smarter and transforming the way we live, work and travel featuring Michigan Sen. Gary Peters and our friend Joe White of ThomsonReuters.   Media day will be Thursday.

Also on Thursday, US Energy Assn hosts its 12th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum in the National Press Club.  Senior leaders from the energy industry’s major trade associations will provide their outlook and overview of their priorities for 2016.

Finally, on Friday at 3:00 p.m., the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Wilson Center will hold its 4th annual “Year Ahead in Environment and Energy” event, where leading reporters and editors will discuss the critical issues that will shape 2016.

Call if you have questions and are not snowed in…


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



Industry, Advocates Reach Agreement on AC Efficiency Standard – Industry and efficiency advocates reached an agreement last week on a new energy efficiency rule for residential central air-conditioners and heat pumps. The deal will save around 2.8 quadrillion Btu over the 30-year life of the new standard (for reference, the U.S. consumed about 97 quads in 2011). The previous version was finalized in 2011 and the Energy Department is required to complete a new standard for the equipment by June 2017 or state that one isn’t economically justified given current technology. But in an effort to keep the rule on schedule, DOE organized a negotiated rulemaking process last year between industry and advocates. While the agreement is a big deal, other approvals are needed and DOE still has to turn the details into a proposed rule.

White House Proposes $4B for Self-Driving Cars – In an announcement at the Detroit Auto Show, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says the 2017 budget proposal will include $4B for self-driving car pilot projects over a 10-year span. Among other things, the funds would cover a program to test self-driving cars on technologically advanced roads.  To encourage tests, the DOT also plans to make up to 2,500 self-driving cars exempt from some proposed safety rules for up to two years, and to work with state governments to create state regulations for autonomous vehicles.  Remember, last year in October, there was a NPC Newsmaker on the topic that including Google advisor and former GM exec Larry Burns, Domino’s Pizza EVP Lynn Liddle and Robbie Diamond, President of SAFE, who respectively spoke to the implications of driverless cars for the business community and the opportunity to reduce America’s dependence on oil.  SAFE also formed an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force, a group of leading experts that are guiding action plans to facilitate the widespread deployment of this transformative technology.

SAFE CEO Says DOT Regs Good Start – In response to DOT Secretary Foxx’s announcement of pending regulations on driverless and connected cars, SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond said the United States is crossing the threshold into the largest transformation in transportation since the invention of the automobile. Diamond: “Driverless, connected cars will save lives, reducing road fatalities by 90 percent. They will also encourage the mass deployment of electric vehicles and lessen America’s dependence on oil through improved fuel efficiency, diversity and drastically different ownership models.   With the government setting aside $4 billion over 10 years for pilot programs to put the rubber to the road, it demonstrates the need to test and prove this technology immediately on public streets. This does not, however, need to be a large, expensive government program. Any future rules at the national or state level should be minimal until proven necessary to give businesses the space to continue their investment in transportation innovation. Accelerating driverless vehicle technology will reduce fatalities and injuries, drastically lower healthcare costs, offer more fuel choice, cut congestion, and give mobility to millions of people who currently have none due to age or disability.”  We can find you great resources on this topic, so please let me know if you are covering it.

Solar Jobs Expanding – The Solar Foundation released its highly anticipated jobs report, which found that the U.S. solar industry employed about 209,000 people last year.  SF’s National Solar Jobs Census 2015 is the 6th annual update of current employment, trends and projected growth in the U.S. solar industry. Census 2015 found that the industry continues to exceed growth expectations, adding workers at a rate nearly 12 times faster than the overall economy and accounting for 1.2% of all jobs created in the U.S. over the past year. Our long-term research shows that solar industry employment has grown by 123% in the past six years, resulting in nearly 115,000 domestic living-wage jobs.  The solar workforce is larger than the oil and gas extraction industry, which shed 13,800 jobs in 2015 and now employs 187,200 people. The oil and gas pipeline construction industry, which employs 129,500 workers, lost 9,500 jobs (U.S. BLS) during the same period. The solar industry is already three times larger than the coal-mining industry, which employs 67,929 people (JobsEQ 2015Q3). Solar employers surveyed expect to add more than 30,000 jobs over the next 12 months. The expected increase of 14.7% would bring the count of U.S. solar workers to 239,625 by the end of 2016.

Foundation Awards Scholarships to HVACR Students, Veterans – The Clifford H. “Ted” Rees, Jr., Scholarship Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), today announced $60,500 in scholarship funds to 35 students, including five veterans, studying to become technicians in the HVACR and water heating industry.  The awards are for qualified and dedicated students that are pursuing careers in the HVACR and water heating industry that can help close the employment and skills gaps, according to AHRI CEO Steve Yurek.   Since the Rees Scholarship Foundation was founded in 2003, it has awarded almost $440,000 in scholarships to more than 250 deserving students and instructors. For a list of past scholarship recipients, click here.   The Rees Scholarship Foundation was established to assist with the recruitment and competency of future HVACR and water heating technicians by awarding scholarships to qualified students enrolled in an institutionally accredited school. Eligible students must be preparing for a career in either residential or light commercial air conditioning, heating, or water heating, or commercial refrigeration.

Murkowski, Faison Set Marker for Republican Climate Energy – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and a conservative clean-energy advocate say there is vast untapped potential for hydropower across the country in a New York Times op-ed that ran last week. Murkowski and Jay Faison call on the president to back the energy bill for its hydropower provisions. Murkowski and Faison say they “believe climate change is a threat, and appreciate [Obama’s] offer to collaborate.” They argue that the president should back the energy bill because it clears away bureaucratic red tape that slows the growth of hydropower, a zero-emission power source that faces opposition from environmentalists and a costly relicensing process.

DOE Awards Southern to Grant to Lead Advanced Nuclear Tech Development – Southern Company was awarded up to $40 million from DOE to explore, develop and demonstrate advanced nuclear reactor technologies through subsidiary Southern Company Services.  The effort will be managed through a new public-private partnership with TerraPower, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Electric Power Research Institute and Vanderbilt University. Housed at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the research will bolster the development of molten chloride fast reactors (MCFR), an advanced concept for nuclear generation.  Researchers believe MCFRs could provide enhanced operational performance, safety, security and economic value, relative to other advanced reactor concepts. The MCFR project is one of two DOE cost-shared advanced reactor concept development projects awarded $6 million in 2016, with an opportunity for $40 million each in total funding over multiple years.  A long-standing proponent of nuclear power, Southern Company – through its subsidiaries – is the only electric utility in America today developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including being one of the first to build new nuclear units in more than 30 years. The company is building the two new nuclear units at subsidiary Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle, which are expected to provide enough emission-free generation to power 500,000 homes and businesses.


Detroit Auto Show Rolls On – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) continues this week in the Motor City.  The official press conference schedule for the 2016 NAIAS begins with Press Preview today and tomorrow. Last week was press week and to see a the full 2016 NAIAS Press Conference Schedule look under the main Press tab.  In its 28th 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.

Food, Energy, Water Conference Set –The Food-Energy-Water Nexus conference will be held today and tomorrow at the Hyatt at Reagan National Airport.  The conference will feature 1,200 other leaders in science, technology, government, business, civil society, and education to create strategies and initiatives that transform ideas into action.

EIA Head to Discuss Energy Markets at Senate Energy – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing this morning to examine the near-term outlook for energy and commodity markets.  EIA’s Adam Sieminski will testify along with several others including our friends Jim Lucier of Capital Alpha Partners and Ethan Zindler of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

SAFE CEO, Others to Join FTC Forum –The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a one-day workshop today to explore competition and related issues in the U.S. auto distribution system, including how consumers and businesses may be affected by state regulations and emerging trends in the industry. The event will take place in Washington, D.C. at the FTC’s Constitution Center Auditorium.  The January workshop will focus primarily on exploring the competition issues arising from state level regulation of auto distribution.  It also will explore emerging trends in the auto industry, such as car-sharing, connected cars, and autonomous vehicles, with a focus on how those trends will affect the current regulatory system that governs the auto industry.

Senate Energy to Look at Energy Markets – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing today to examine the near-term outlook for energy and commodity markets.

Heritage to Look at Western Lands – The Heritage Foundation holds a discussion today at Noon on rethinking Federal Management of Western Lands. Utah House Speaker Gregory H. Hughes will be the main speaker.

Forum to Look at GMOs – Cato will hold a forum tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. on GMOs and the future of the global food supply and medical innovations.  The event will feature Monsanto’s  Robert Fraley, North Carolina State’s  Jennifer Kuzma and Marian Tupy, Editor of   For thousands of years, farmers used selective breeding to produce more plentiful harvests and increase the usefulness of domesticated animals. Today, genetic engineering allows businesses to do the same—but more cheaply, precisely and speedily. Unbeknownst to most people, the use of genetically modified organisms is not limited to agriculture. GMO technology is all around us, helping to produce life-enhancing products, such as synthetic insulin, and life-saving medicines, such as cancer-fighting Avastin. Still, controversy surrounding GMOs persists. Join us to hear our two distinguished speakers discuss the risks and benefits associated with GMO science.

Energy to Hold Appliance Efficiency Meeting –  DOE and its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will hold a meeting of the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

Moniz to Present Schlesinger Energy Medal – On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., Energy Secretary Moniz will present the “Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security,”  at Forrestal.  The James R. Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security honors an individual’s distinguished contributions to advancing our understanding of the threats, opportunities and energy policy choices impacting the domestic and international energy security interests of the United States through analysis, policy or practice.   The first Medal was given to Daniel Yergin on October 1, 2014, the 37th anniversary of the Energy Department’s formal opening in 1977.  Wednesday, Dr. Phil Sharp, President of Resources for the Future and former U.S. Congressman from Indiana, will receive the second Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security .

Washington Auto Show Sets Policy Bar – The Washington Auto Show also launches it policy day on Capitol Hill that will explore how technology is making our nation’s roads and vehicles safer and infrastructure smarter and transforming the way we live, work and travel featuring Michigan Sen. Gary Peters and our friend Joe White of ThomsonReuters.   Media Day will be Thursday.

Forum to Look at Climate, Food Security – The American Meteorological Society the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America will hold a briefing on climate change and food security in Russell 485 at 3:00 p.m.

Senate Energy to Look at Auto Tech innovations – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday to examine the status of innovative technologies within the automotive industry. Witnesses for Thursday include DOE’s David Friedman, AAMA’s Mitch Bainwol, Electric Drive Transportation Association President Genevieve Cullen, NREL’s Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center Director Chris Gearhart and Xavier Mosquet of the Boston Consulting Group.

USEA Hosts State of Energy Forum – The US Energy Assn will host its 12th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum on Thursday at Noon in the National Press Club.  Senior leaders from the energy industry’s major trade associations will provide their outlook and overview of their priorities for 2016.  Speakers will include NEI’s Marvin Fertel, API’s Jack Gerard, APPA’s Susan Kelly, EEI’s Tom Kuhn, AGA’s Dave McCurdy, NMA’s Hal Quinn, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, AFPM’s Chet Thompson and INGAA’s Don Santa among others.

Brookings Expert to Look at Climate Economics – Brookings Institution Climate and Energy Economics Project Director Adele Morris delivers remarks at a National Economists Club luncheon on Thursday at Noon in Chinatown Garden Restaurant.  Morris will focus on climate change economics and policy.

Forum to Look at African Energy Finance – On Thursday afternoon, the US Africa Chamber of Commerce will hold a forum on the future of energy investment in Africa. The event will explore a variety of deep-dive topics related to energy investment and development in Africa, and will host attendance from both major players in various energy markets on the continent, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) currently operating within the energy sector in Africa and the U.S. See below for the panel schedule.

Green Car Journal to Announce Winner at Auto ShowGreen Car Journal has announced finalists for the 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ and 2016 Connected Green Car of the Year™ awards that will be presented at the 2016 Washington Auto Show on Thursday . Focused on aspirational vehicles with exceptional green credentials, nominees for 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ include the BMW X5 xDrive40e, Lexus RX 450h, Mercedes-Benz C350e, Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, and Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV. Vying for the all-new 2016 Connected Green Car of the Year™ award are the Audi A3 e-tron, BMW 330e, Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Toyota Prius, and Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV.  Finalists previously announced for the 2016 Green SUV of the Year™ award that will also be presented at The Washington Auto Show® are the BMW X1 xDrive 28i, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-3 and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.  The 2016 Green Car Awards recognize vehicles that exhibit laudable environmental achievement. Along with improved environmental performance, traditional buyer touchstones like functionality, safety, quality, value, and performance are also considered. Affordability and availability are important to ensure honored models are accessible to a wide range of buyers. Honoring continual environmental improvement places emphasis on new vehicles and those in the very early stages of their model lifecycle. The Connected Green Car of the Year™ award considers these elements plus the integration of connected technologies that enhance efficiency, safety, and the driving experience.

Forum to Look at Energy, Russia Relations – The Wilson Center will hold a forum on Friday at 10:00 a.m. on how energy/environment issues impact prospects for U.S.-Russia Relations.

EPRI’s Tyrant to Address Grid Issues – On Friday at Noon at Carmines, the US Assn of Energy Economists will host Barbara Tyran of EPRI at its monthly lunch to discuss grid interconnect issues.  Tyran is the principal liaison between EPRI executive management, and Congress, the Administration, the national trade associations, the national leadership of the state public utility commissions, state legislators/regulators, and the Washington energy community.

SEJ, Wilson to Look at 2016 Enviro Issues – On Friday at 3:00 p.m., the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Environmental Change and Security Program at Wilson will hold its fourth annual “Year Ahead in Environment and Energy” event, where leading reporters and editors will discuss the critical issues that will shape 2016. Jessica Coomes, deputy news director at Bloomberg BNA, will present Bloomberg BNA’s Environment Outlook 2016, followed by a panel discussion featuring leading journalists from National Geographic, Huffington Post, Bloomberg BNA, Environment & Energy Daily, and more to be confirmed.  Speakers will Include our friends Meaghan Parker, Jeff  Burnside and Doug Fischer.



Forum to Look at Enviro Justice Issues in GHG Plan – Next Monday at 11:00 a.m., the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing discussing how environmental justice (EJ) is addressed through EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  The panel will explore how incorporating environmental justice concerns into the Clean Power Plan’s implementation can impact vulnerable communities.  Speakers for this forum include EPA Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Environmental Justice Mustafa Ali.

GU Group to Look at Paris Results – Georgetown’s Mortara Center for International Studies will hold a forum on next Tuesday to assess COP 21’s results.  The panel will feature GU Prof Featuring Joanna Lewis, Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center and students Norah Berk, SFS ’15 and Alexandra Donovan, SFS ’17.

Forum to Look at Paris Event – The United Nations Environment Program and the George Washington University Sustainability Collaborative will host an event on Wednesday January 27th that will highlight key achievements of 2015: the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the outcomes of the recent Paris climate conference.  The event will provide an overview of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and what they mean for the public and private sectors with a particular focus on implementation of the environmental dimension. It will also highlight the SDGs regarding sustainable cities, sustainable consumption and production, and climate change and their relevance for North America.

Nuclear Summit Set for Newseum – Third Way and the Idaho National Laboratory are partnering with Argonne National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to host a first-of-its-kind Advanced Nuclear Summit and Showcase in Washington, Dc on Wednesday January 27th at the Newseum.  In North America, 48 companies, backed by more than $1.6 billion in private capital, are developing plans for advanced nuclear reactors. The influx of ideas and investment into the advanced nuclear industry has made it a burgeoning part of the clean energy sector. The Advanced Nuclear Summit and Showcase builds upon the conversations sparked by the White House Summit on Nuclear Energy and the Nuclear Innovation Workshops sponsored by the Idaho National Laboratory.   Along with national policymakers and influencers, the Summit will establish that there is a robust advanced nuclear sector being developed by private companies and research institutions, and that government has a vital role to play in bringing the promise of the sector to reality.

CSIS to Look at GHG plan – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a discussion on the future of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) in 2016. The expert panel will provide an overview of the state, federal and court level activity and planning that is likely to take place throughout the upcoming year.  John Larsen, Director with the Rhodium Group and Senior Associate with the Energy and National Security Program at CSIS, will highlight recent analysis from the CSIS-Rhodium Group study regarding emissions impacts and preview forthcoming work on energy sector impacts of the rule. Kathryn Zyla, Deputy Director with the Georgetown Climate Center, will give an overview of the approaches being considered by various states and the issues that matter most to their decision making. Kyle Danish, Partner with VanNess Feldman LLP, will discuss legal challenges to the CPP and the likely timeframe and pathways for resolving those challenges. Emily Holden, ClimateWire Reporter with E&E Publishing, will provide additional perspective on the various state, regional, and congressional issues that are important to watch this year.

ELI Book Forum to Tackle Coal Grandfather Issue – On Wednesday, January 27th at Noon, the Environmental Law Institute will host a book forum to anti-coal lawyer Richard Revesz.  In their forthcoming book, “Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the ‘War on Coal’”, Revesz and Jack Lienke detail the history of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the political compromises that led to exempting existing power plants, many of which are coal-fired, from significant portions of the CAA’s regulatory authority. ELI will feature an expert panel with Revesz, Lienke,, Bill Bumpers, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, and former EPA Air Administrator Bill Rosenberg as they discuss the environmental implications of the Clean Power Plan and the ramifications of grandfathering. Hear Professor Revesz and other experts in the field discuss to what degree the Clean Power Plan really reduces pollution, and the interaction between grandfathering and pollution reduction

RFF to Look at FIP, Trading on GHG Plan – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Wednesday, January 27th at 12:30 p.m. on the federal implementation plan and model trading rules. The comments, due January 21, 2016, give stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback on the challenges and opportunities for state implementation of the carbon dioxide emissions guidelines for power plants.  RFF will be joined by EPRI for a special seminar focusing on a diverse set of stakeholder comments on how the federal implementation plan and model trading rules might impact the electric power sector.  This is the first event in the RFF/EPRI 2016 Clean Power Plan Seminar Series. The next event, on February 11, will highlight modeling results of how the Clean Power Plan impacts various states and regions. Speakers will include NRDC’s Ben Longstreth, EPRI’s Vic Niemeyer, RFF’s Karen Palmer and AEP’s Resource Planning Managing Director Scott Weaver.

CSIS to Host Infrastructure Discussion – On Wednesday, January 27th, CSIS will hold an expert panel discussion on meeting infrastructure demands around the world. According to the World Bank’s Global Infrastructure Facility, the unmet demand for infrastructure around the world is estimated to be above $1 trillion per year. Meeting the financing need for bankable and sustainable projects must be a priority, for both governments and the private sector, in the coming decades. In addition to financing needs, donors and the private sector must work together to build capacity and provide technical assistance that will ensure continued success long after the individual projects have been completed. Panelists will discuss ways in which infrastructure can become a driver of development and stability, and how targeted investments in smart projects and capacity building can produce measurable results to pave the way for sustainable economic growth in low and middle-income countries.

Senate Energy to Explore Innovative Nuclear Technologies – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday January 28th to examine the status of innovative technologies within the nuclear industry.

Greenest Show on Grass: Waste Management Phoenix Open – February 1st through 7th, Waste Management will host its annual PGA tour event at the Phoenix Open in Arizona.  Waste Management has been a partner of the Phoenix Open for 15 years, and is dedicated to making the Open the greenest tournament on the PGA TOUR. The tournament has also become a major platform for Waste Management Think Green solutions, including the Four Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle and recover.  As a regular part of the event, WM is hosting its 6th annual Executive Sustainability Forum which provides a platform to discuss how and why the circular economy is fractured.  The event will identify collective challenges, and approaches to overcoming these challenges through collaboration along the value chain.  Speakers will include WM CEO David Steiner, our friend Dana Perino, NYT’s John Tierney  and Bloomberg View’s Adam Minter, among many others.

Sustainability Forum Set at GMU – Leaders in Energy, Association of Energy Engineers – National Capital Chapter, and George Mason University will hold an Energy and Sustainability Extravaganza on its GMU Arlington campus on February 5th.

Wind Summit to Look at Finance, Investment – Infocast is holding its annual Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit February 9-11 at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego.   Now that the PTC question has been settled, the Summit will focus on the critical issues and opportunities for the wind industry, including the impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan on Wind, long-term outlook for natural gas prices, the outlook for tax equity and debt and many other topics.

Nuclear Innovation Conference Set – The Energy Innovation Reform Project and Oak Ridge will hold a nuclear innovation conference on February 10 and 11th in Oak ridge, TN.