Bracewell Named Top Performing Lobbying/Law Firm of 2015 by Bloomberg Government

WASHINGTON, DC (Feb. 29, 2016) – Bracewell LLP 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.  Bracewell’s government relations and strategic communications practices are housed in the firm’s Policy Resolution Group (PRG).

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.

“We are honored to be named the top performing lobbying/law firm by Bloomberg Government,” said Bracewell Partner Scott Segal, who also co-heads Bracewell’s PRG. “Bracewell’s PRG prides itself on the quality and consistency of its client service, and we are very proud of the fact that our top ranking is in part based on ‘customer satisfaction’ and client retention.”

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.

“Bracewell is well known for many of its specialty practices and one of our most high profile and successful practices is the firm’s Policy Resolution Group,” said Bracewell Managing Partner Mark C. Evans. “It’s all part of the comprehensive services we offer clients – from traditional legal services to government relations and strategic communications.”

“Bracewell’s unique comprehensive service model and the fact that my colleagues in PRG and throughout the firm – our lobbyists, lawyers and strategic communications professionals – are the best in the business set us apart from the competition,” said Segal.

Formed in 2011, The Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP helps clients around the world navigate our complex federal landscape, creating and implementing successful strategies to achieve our clients’ government relations objectives. The group provides counsel and services in Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Information Gathering and Political Analysis, Strategic Communications and Legal Representation.

 

About Bracewell LLP

Bracewell LLP is a leading law and government relations firm serving the oil and gas, power, financial services, technology and public finance industries throughout the world. Our industry focus enables us to maintain cutting-edge experience and in-depth knowledge of the commercial, legal and regulatory challenges faced by our clients so that we can provide the most effective legal solutions to facilitate transactions and resolve disputes. For more information, visit www.bracewelllaw.com.

 

Contact:
Paul Nathanson
T: +1.202.828.1714
E: paul.nathanson@bracewelllaw.com

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Energy Update: Week of February 22

Friends,

Well it’s official – spring training has begun.  If you’ve never been to Florida or Arizona for Grapefruit or Cactus League baseball, you need to make the trek at some point in your life.  While players have reported, games start officially on March 1st with Baltimore/Atlanta and Detroit/Pittsburgh in Florida and Cincy/Cleveland in AZ.  There is a great website that can help you plan the trip or stay  up to date here.  As always spring brings hope eternal for October World Series possibilities. Secondly, NCAA March Madness is just around the corner so make sure you are doing your bracketology research.

This week in Washington the nation’s governors are in town and meeting with President Obama today.  Certainly environmental/energy issues will be on the agenda.  Congress also returns from the President’s Day Week for action on renewable fuels, the Interior budget with Sally Jewell, the DOE science mission and a number of other key issues.

As well , tomorrow is the deadline for briefs for the Administration’s GHG plan at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  On the opponents side, 27 states and a slew of electric utilities, coal companies and business groups, have already or will file by tomorrow.  EPA files its reply on March 28, with the back and forth continuing through April 22. My colleague Jeff Holmstead can provide insights for you on the action, but POLITICO has an nice, handy schedule here while our friends at E&E News have a new feature tracking state action after the stay.

Outside Washington, the energy world heads to Houston for the annual CERA week.  Speakers include Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, Southern COO Kim Greene and US Chamber Energy Institute head Karen Harbert among many others.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for next Monday at the Gaylord when the annual ARPA-E Innovation Summit launches with Air Liquide CEO Mike Graff, BASF CEO Wayne Smith, Sen Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, Energy Secretary Moniz, EPA’s Gina McCarthy and former VP Al Gore.

Finally, for those interested in the Iran elections on Friday, our on-the-ground Iranian experts will offer a rundown of how the mechanics of the Iranian electoral process work, and provide an assessment of what’s really at stake on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the US office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (1747 Pennsylvania Avenue).   It is a crucial time in Iran and the Wednesday briefing can offer you great insight on the process and politics.  Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll forward the information.

Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Conservative Legal Group To File Brief Challenging GHG  Rule on Backroom Deals – The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) released a report today laying out for the first time a pattern of ex parte communications by EPA officials  gathered from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, piecing together emails obtained by E&E Legal, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a law student in his litigation with EPA, including many released for the first time.   The Energy & Environment Legal Institute entered the GHG case for this very reason.  On Friday, E&E Legal asked the D.C. Circuit for permission to file a brief, supplemental argument that the Clean Power Plan needs to be sent back to EPA for an honest restart, presenting FOIA’d emails reflecting what the WSJ called EPA’s Secret Staff, crediting E&E Legal’s dogged pursuit with uncovering these abuses.  In particular, Michael Goo, then EPA’s Associate Administrator for the Office of Policy, led the working group writing the initial memo on EPA’s options regarding regulating coal power plants. Using his private email, rather than his official EPA email, Mr. Goo secretly shared these draft options with lobbyists and high-level staffers at the Sierra Club and the Clean Air Task Force (CATF) who in turn, like Natural Resource Defense Council staff, told him how to alter the policy that was ultimately implemented in the Rule. Through the report’s highlighted communications, and by heavily incorporating their edits and input into EPA’s own deliberative drafts, Goo made CATF and these other groups effectively part of EPA’s work group developing the Clean Power Plan  In turn other emails obtained by CEI show EPA made a priority of including Goo, despite that while his outside lobbyist colleagues may have possessed relevant expertise, those same parties made clear to him that he did not.

 

NREL analysis finds tax credit extensions can impact renewable energy deployment – The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) today released new analysis exploring the potential impact of recently extended federal tax credits on the deployment of renewable generation technologies and related U.S. electric sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The report details the use of state-of-the-art scenario modeling to see how renewable energy deployment in the contiguous United States is impacted by recent federal tax credit extensions, as well as how emissions would be reduced.  The report examines the impacts of the tax credit extensions under two distinct natural gas price futures, as the price of natural gas has been a key factor influencing the economic competitiveness of new renewable energy development. The analysis finds that, in both natural gas price cases, tax credit extensions can spur renewable capacity investments at least through the early 2020s, and can help lower CO2 emissions from the U.S. electricity system.  The tax credit extensions are estimated to drive a net peak increase of 48-53 gigawatts in installed renewable generation capacity in the early 2020s. Longer-term impacts are less certain and can depend on natural gas prices. After the tax credits ramp down, greater renewable energy capacity is driven by a combination of assumed cost reductions in renewable generation, assumed rising fossil fuel prices, and existing clean energy policies. The tax credit extension-driven acceleration in renewable energy capacity development can reduce fossil fuel-based generation and lower electric sector CO2 emissions. Cumulative emissions reductions over a 15-year period (spanning 2016-2030) as a result of the tax credit extensions are estimated to range from 540 to 1,400 million metric tons CO2.

 

New Book Highlights Abuse of Equal Access Law – In a new book, Lowell Baier, one of America’s preeminent experts on environmental litigation, chronicles the century-long story of America’s natural resources management, focusing on litigation, citizen suit provisions, and attorneys’ fees.  Inside the Equal Access to Justice Act will be a valuable resource for the environmental legal community, environmentalists, practitioners at all levels of government, and all readers interested in environmental policy and the rise of the administrative state. Lowell is a very successful multimillionaire developer in Bethesda and a former chairman of the conservative Boone and Crockett Club. In the book, Baier argues that environmental litigation is gridlocking America’s public land management agencies. This litigation is incentivized by citizen suit provisions embedded in major environmental laws that reimburse plaintiffs’ legal fees when they sue the federal government, and provide a clear line where fee reimbursement subsidies should stop.

 

Former CO Utility Commissioner Details Plan Woes – The Independence Institute teamed up with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) to put on a lunch event at I.I.’s Freedom Embassy recently. Myron Ebell, Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment and former Colorado Utility Commissioner Ray Gifford – a leading an expert in public utilities law – provided in-depth analysis of what the Clean Power Plan means for Colorado and the efforts being made across the country to stop these onerous regulations.

 

E&E Details Where All 50 States Stand After Stay – E&E News has rolled out a feature – a chart/map of where all the states stand on planning/not planning since the Supreme Court stay.  Eighteen states challenging the legality of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan have halted planning discussions following the Supreme Court decision to stay the regulation, according to a review by E&E staff.  Of the 47 states affected by the rule, nine are weighing whether to stop preparing or perhaps slow down now that they may have an extra year and a half to work out plans. The other 20 states — mostly supporters of the climate action — will press on with discussions about how to meet the carbon emissions limits for power plants, even though EPA can no longer legally require them to do so.

 

Faison Launches Super PAC – The Wall St Journal reported North Carolina businessman Jay Faison has launched a super PAC pledging to spend at least $5 million to help congressional Republicans who have touted clean energy policies. The effort, dubbed ClearPath Action, is in addition to Faison’s $165 million campaign run through the 501(c)(3) non-profit ClearPath Foundation, a public education effort he announced in June to get Republicans more engaged in the climate and clean energy debates.

 

AGA Expands Safety Commitment – In an American Gas Association has updated its “Commitment to Enhancing Safety,” which outlines the industry’s continued commitment to improving pipeline safety through voluntary actions above and beyond federal regulations, to include promotion of the use of API Recommended Practices (RPs) 1170 and 1171. These RPs provide guidance to operators on how to design, operate, and ensure the integrity of underground storage for natural gas.  “Safety is a core value for AGA and its members, and the industry works continuously to ensure the safety and reliability of this domestic fuel,” said AGA president and CEO, Dave McCurdy.

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Annual CERAWeek Launches – The 35th annual IHS CERAWeek will launch in Houston today and run through Friday.  Each year, the energy world heads to Houston for the annual event.  Speakers include Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, Saudi Arabia’s petroleum minister Ali al-Naimi, Canadian natural resources minister Jim Carr, and U.S. officials Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer and FERC Chairman Norman Bay. EIA’s Adam Sieminski,  DOE’s Chris Smith and FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable will also speak.  Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski and Sen John Cornyn will make major addresses and CEOs Jeff Immeldt of GE, Exelon’s Chris Crane, ConocoPhillips’ Ryan Lance, AEP’s Nick Adkins and Royal Dutch Shell’s Ben van Beurden will be among industry member panelists.  Our friends Kim Greene (SoCo COO), Karen Harbert of the US Chamber’s Energy Institute, Elizabeth Rosenberg of the Center for a New American Security, Columbia’s Jason Bordoff and CFR’s Michael Levi will also be a featured panelist.

 

WCEE Tackles Solar – Today at Noon, WCEE will host a forum on the many opportunities and challenges for the solar industry in the coming year. This event is first in a series about solar power.  Speakers will include SEIA’s Katherine Gensler, SEPA CEO Julia Hamm and EEI’s Lola Infante, who directs EEI’s Generation Fuels and Market Analysis.

 

Forum Looks at Enviros, Nuclear – The New America Foundation and Future Tense will host a lunch and conversation today at Noon in Washington, D.C., to consider whether you can truly be an environmentalist without embracing nuclear energy.  Speakers will including for WSJ reporter and author Steve Levine, Aaron VanDevender of the Founders Fund, ASU’s Jennifer Richter and Argonne’s Nuclear R&D Technical Director Robert Hill.

 

Brookings to Look at GHG Rules, State Implementation – Today at 2:00 p.m., the Economic Studies group at Brookings will host an event to key issues related to state implementation of EPA’s GHG rules.  EPA has given states some flexibility in how they achieve their targets, and some states can continue work on implementation plans that balance the objectives of compliance, reliability, affordability, cross-state coordination, safety, and efficient long term low-carbon capital investment in the sector. States’ nearer term strategies could influence the evolution of the electricity sector for decades to come, well past the targeted 32 percent reduction in 2030 emissions from the sector relative to levels in 2005. Former Colorado Gov Bill Ritter will keynote, followed by a panel that includes former NJ Gov. and EPA head Christine Todd Whitman, NARUC Executive Director Greg White, Jonas Monast of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and RFF’s Josh Linn.

 

Forum to Look at Enviro Justice Issues in GHG Plan – Today at 3:00 p.m., the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is rescheduling its GHG briefing cancelled by the January snow storm.  The forum will be a webinar and discuss 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.

 

Forum to Look at BioEnergy – The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology and ELI is hosting a forum today at 3:30 p.m. on Bioenergy.  Bioenergy is being pursued globally to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and provide a reliable energy source. This seminar will present the findings of a new commentary showing that the risk of invasion can most effectively be prevented through a life-cycle approach that adopts appropriate scientific and policy tools at each step in the production process, from crop selection to field production, feedstock transport and storage, and decommissioning—thus avoiding the ‘kudzu effect.’ This paper provides a clear, comprehensive framework to guide regulatory agencies in the selection and permitting of biofuel feedstocks. Expert commenters will provide an independent review following a presentation by the authors of the commentary.

 

Clean Power Plan Americus Briefs Are Due – Tuesday, February 23.

 

Senate Energy to Hear Jewel on Interior Budget – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to examine the Department of the Interior’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2017.  Secretary Jewell will testify.

 

ELI Looks at Circular Economy Issues – Environmental Law Institute holds an afternoon forum regulatory and commercial law implications of a “circular economy” tomorrow.  In response to the resource constraints, environmental pressures and economic barriers that characterize our “take and dispose” economy, many have put forward a vision for a “circular economy” that would not only conserve and recycle materials, but also contribute to new technological, financial and environmental innovations.  This session looks at the approach to supplant the way global production and energy systems operate. The purpose of this program is to explain the meaning of the “circular economy” and how it is being applied at the intersection of energy, environment and materials management and present some of the specific regulatory, procurement, financial structuring, and other legal initiatives that are emerging to help actualize its objectives globally.

 

Women in Solar Event Set – Women in Solar Energy (WISE) will hold its second annual NationWISE event tomorrow  at 6:00 p.m. The goal of NationWISE is to discuss stories of women in different areas of the solar industry to show their diverse career paths and experiences and to prompt open discussion about female-friendly work environments. WISE is hoping to use this discussion to baseline its “best practices” that solar companies can adopt for human resources guidelines, female recruitment, and opportunities for women to excel in the solar energy industry.  Speakers include SEPA CEO Julia Hamm, Solar Foundation Executive Director Andrea Luecke and DOE SunShot Initiative head Lidija Sekaric.

 

Forum  to Look at CPP – New America and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a forum on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. for a close look at the current gap between climate goals and climate action, and ways that gap can be filled.  John Larsen of the Rhodium Group will present a new analysis of progress toward meeting the U.S. climate target. Then an expert group, convened by C2ES President Bob Perciasepe and New America Senior Advisor Sharon Burke, will explore how technology innovation and stronger action by cities, states and the federal government can help reach the goal.  Speakers include Scott Fulton, President of the Environmental Law Institute, Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center, and Dr. Ellen Williams, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

Senate Environment to Tackle RFS – The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will convene an oversight hearing on Wednesday to examine the renewable fuel standard. The panels will include EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe, EIA Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht, Lucian Pugliaresi of the Energy Policy Research Foundation, former Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Environment Ron Minsk and Brooke Coleman of the Advanced Biofuels Business Association.

 

House Energy to Look at DOE Science, Enviro, Nat’l Security Mission – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will convene a hearing Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. looking at DOE science, environment and national security missions.  The subcommittee will hear testimony from the co-chairmen of two advisory panels, the Congressional Advisory Panel on the Governance of the Nuclear Security Enterprise, and the Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories.  The panel reports, requested by Congress, examine the effectiveness of the Department of Energy’s National Labs and its Nuclear Security Enterprise. Members will examine the panels’ findings and recommendations concerning the governance, management, and accountability necessary for DOE to perform its critical missions for the nation.

 

Consumer Reports Unveils 2016 Top Picks and Annual Auto Issue – Tomorrow at noon at the National Press Club, Consumers and auto industry insiders will look to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue–and Autos Spotlight online–for the organization’s Top Picks in cars and trucks. From best and worst in reliability, safety, fuel economy, and owner satisfaction, the report provides ratings, recommendations, and advice that will influence consumer purchases.  The Consumer Reports Annual Auto Spotlight also features the organization’s report card that ranks brands by taking an in-depth look at which carmakers consistently offer the most for consumers across their entire product line.  CR and the Washington Automotive Press Association will host CR Director of Auto Testing, Jake Fisher and Auto Editor Mark Rechtin where will announce Consumer Reports “Top Picks for 2016” and offer their insights into today’s most pressing automotive consumer and industry questions.

 

IEA Medium-Term Oil Report Released – On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Keisuke Sadamori, Director of the Office for Energy Markets and Security with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to present the IEA’s 2016 Medium-Term Oil Market Report (MTOMR). Our friend Kevin Book, Managing Director with ClearView Energy Partners LLC, and Senior Associate with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will moderate the discussion.

 

NEI to Discuss Fukushima – The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) holds a briefing on Fukushima Daiichi Recovery Efforts On Wednesday at the National Press Club focusing on “progress being made in Japan since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident.

 

Senate Approps to Hear from NRC Commissioners – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development (Lamar Alexander, Chairman) will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2;30 p.m. to review the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request and funding justification for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  The hearing will feature all four NRC Commissioners.

House Resources to Look at Enviro Mitigation – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Oversight will hold a hearing on Wednesday on new environmental mitigation regulations.  Witnesses include Christy Goldfuss, managing director, White House Council on Environmental Quality; Michael Bean, Department of the Interior principal deputy assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks; and Brian Ferebee, U.S. Forest Service associate deputy chief for the National Forest System.

 

Distributed Wind Assn Hits Capitol – The Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) holds its annual Capitol Hill Reception in S-115, The Capitol on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.

 

Georgetown Hosts Forum on Enviro Challenges – The Georgetown University Law Center holds its spring 2016 symposium on legal innovation on solving new environmental challenges.

 

Forum to Look at Japan Enviro, Energy – The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science will host a panel on Thursday to examine environmental and energy policies and their associated problems in Japan, China, and Southeast Asia, with a particular emphasis on policy frameworks appropriate to addressing energy and environmental concerns. The first focus will be the changing nature of Japanese environmental policies in recent decades, particularly how those policies have evolved in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. The second focus will be China’s energy policies and the issues of pollution control and environmental protection. The third focus will be the current energy and environmental issues in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia. As part of these discussions, the panel will explore the future development of both energy and environmental policies and their potential effect on Japan, China, and East Asia as a whole.

Cleaning Institute Webinars Launch – The first of an American Cleaning Institute-sponsored webinar series on “Advancing the Science on Chemical-Induced Asthma” kicks off Wednesday to help provide researchers with greater insights on an often mischaracterized topic.  ACI (www.cleaninginstitute.org), which represents the cleaning product supply chain, is hosting the five-part webinar series in collaboration with the Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA) Center at the University of Cincinnati.   You can register for the first webinar at www.aciscience.org/asthma.  The initial webinar takes place Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and will feature Dr. Jon Bernstein, Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and Director of Clinical Research for the Division of Immunology. His presentation – Current Clinical Perspectives in Evaluating Chemical Induced Asthma, or “What Caused My Asthma?” – will provide a review of the clinical tests used to evaluate asthma. Other topics to be explored in the bi-monthly series include 1) the role of toxicology in asthma hazard assessment (April 2016); 2) Environmental contributions to asthma prevalence: assessing the link between exposure and disease (June 2016); 3) Asthma risk assessment: A regulatory perspective (August 2016) and 4) Asthma-specific hazard characterization approaches: A novel approach to a complex problem (October 2016).

 

Wharton DC Forum to Feature Siemens Speaker – The Wharton DC Green Business Forum hosts Siemens on Thursday at 11:45 a.m. Siemens has long been a provider of large-scale renewable energy solutions and has committed to achieving net zero emissions as a company. But its experience of the shifting policy and commercial environment over recent years has led to a decision to focus on building technologies, smart city infrastructure technology and the electrification chain.  Alison Taylor, Siemens’ VP of Sustainability & City Strategy, will discuss Siemens’ own sustainability choices, its decision to expand their oil and gas business, and a smart city case study that saved the city money.

 

NatGas Roundtable Feature Berkeley Research Expert – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host its February lunch on Thursday featuring James Koehler, Associate Director of Berkeley Research Group. Koehler is an energy finance, markets, and policy expert in Berkeley Research Group’s international Energy and Natural Resources practice, based in Washington, D.C.

 

Norway O&G Minister to Address Atlantic Forum – On Thursday at 12:30 p.m., the Atlantic Council will hold a conversation with  Norway’s Minister of Petroleum Tord Lien.  Norway could potentially supply Europe with gas for decades to come, which would help diversify the energy market, and strengthen European’s energy security. Additionally, gas has the benefit of offering cost efficient CO2-emission reductions. Lien will elaborate on this and more, such as the benefits of gas in a lower carbon future, how well-functioning energy markets in Europe are crucial for the transition to a cleaner energy system with robust security of supply, and prospects for Norwegian gas.

 

Paper Details NatGas, Propane In PA – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to look at natural gas and propane and their increasing foothold as alternative fuel sources for Pennsylvania’s transportation sector. Across the state, transit agencies and other large fleets are converting from gasoline to natural gas or propane because of cost and environmental benefits. However, use of natural gas or propane is not limited to large fleets. Opportunities exist for small fleets or individual vehicles such as mid-size delivery vans and trucks, taxis, and high-mileage commercial vehicles. Opportunities also exist to become a station owner.  This paper was written as an educational tool for Pennsylvanians on the options for fuel conversions, refueling options, and a summary of what is available in the market. This paper covers a broad range of topics concerning natural gas and propane opportunities within the Commonwealth.

USEA to Look at Australia, US Competition Issues – On Friday at 10:30 a.m., the US Energy Association will hold a briefing to discuss similarities and differences between the US and Australian energy industries and other competition issues.

ASE to Host Congressional Briefing – The Alliance to Save Energy will hold a Congressional Briefing next Friday on the Role of Benchmarking, Transparency and Codes in Driving a More Efficient Built Environment. The purpose of the briefing is to educate and engage congressional staff and energy efficiency professionals on the work and progress being done in this area, while also discussing solutions and best practices that can help further advance energy efficiency in the built environment.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Brookings to Host Australian Energy Leader – Next Monday 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.

 

Air Liquide CEO, Others Headline ARPA-E Event – On February 29th, 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 on Tuesday, March 1st.  EPA’s Gina McCarthy and Sen. Chris Coons will speak on Wednesday, March 2nd.

 

Revkin to Discuss Science, Climate Writing – Next Monday evening, 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.

 

Canada Energy Future Highlighted – The CSIS Energy Program will feature a discussion on March 2nd 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.

 

RFF Seminar to Look at Climate Trade Offs – Resources For the Future holds it March First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday March 2nd 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.

 

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

 

Forum to Look at Local Clean Energy Issues – Leaders in Energy and the United Nations Association will host an interactive  panel discussion on Thursday March 3rd 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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

PRG’s Scott Segal Interviewed by Bloomberg Government

Scott Segal points to a photo of his "first political moment": meeting Lyndon B. Johnson in Texas in 1971.
Scott Segal points to a photo of his “first political moment”: meeting Lyndon B. Johnson in Texas in 1971.

PRG Founding Partner Scott Segal was featured this week in a Bloomberg Government interview and profile piece. The interview explores the top policy issues of 2016, strategies for good negotiation, and “why lobbying might be the most patriotic of all Washington careers.”

Here is Segal’s answer to the question, The word ‘lobbying’ is often used as a pejorative – do you think lobbyists deserve better?:

“Lobbying is the only exercise that’s protected three different times by the U.S. Constitution – and if you do communications work, four times.

“I think the Founding Fathers would be very surprised to learn that lobbying is something that is looked down upon. They would have thought that lobbying is foreseeable as the government grew in size and complexity. The Library of Congress was established on the notion that it would provide Congress with all the information it needed to make decisions. And it must have been obsolete in six months, because information is not static, it rolls based on innovation in the marketplace.

“The lobbyist is almost like the honeybee of the Washington community. We pick up the information and distribute it from location to location until everybody has it and can make decisions accordingly. I don’t find it a distasteful occupation; I find it an absolutely essential one for the operation of the government. Information needs are too complex, and need to be satisfied too quickly, to expect that it will all just happen by chance.”

To read the rest of Bloomberg Government’s interview with Scott Segal, click here.

PRG’s Segal and Holmstead Weigh in on SCOTUS CPP Order

Today, PRG’s Scott Segal and Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead weighed in on yesterday’s order by the Supreme Court to stay the Clean Power Plan, part of the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate emissions in order to combat global warming.

Here is a quote from the article, published in USA Today:

“Doubtlessly weighing on the minds of the Court was a 2015 Supreme Court casedealing with another Clean Air Act rule. In that case, known as Michigan v. EPA, the Court found the rule to be illegal, but the decision came after power plants had already been forced to spend tens of billions of dollars to comply with the rule and was too late to save dozens of coal-fired power plants that shut down because they couldn’t afford the cost. Then, after the Court ruled against EPA, a lower court allowed the rule to remain in effect — in part because so much compliance investment had already been made. Maybe this a case of ‘fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.'”

Click here to read the complete column.

PRG’s Curt Beaulieu Writes Piece on New Audit Rules for Tax Notes

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Curt Beaulieu, senior counsel with the Policy Resolution Group, wrote an article for Tax Notes titled New Audit Rules for Partnerships: Heartburn for MLPs on November 9.

In this article, Beaulieu analyzes the new audit rules for large partnerships and discusses how they will affect master limited partnerships.

To read the full article, click here.

PRG’s Maisano Lauded in Morning Consult Feature

On September 8, Morning Consult published a feature on PRG founding partner Frank Maisano titled Frank Maisano Earns His Media.

In addition to praising Maisano’s media relations expertise, the article highlights PRG’s unique strategic communications and policy approach, which “fuses policy wonkery with PR savvy.”

For the full article, click here.

PRG’s Scott Segal Featured in Coverage of EPA’s Clean Power Plan

This weekend, PRG founding partner Scott Segal was featured prominently in news coverage of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which was formally adopted during a ceremony today with President Obama.

Here are some highlights of Segal’s contributions:

“‘The EPA still has created an untested foundation for the rule,’ said Scott Segal […] ‘It has tread upon established constitutional principles and undermined the sense of federalism that is essential to the Clean Air Act.'” – The Washington Post

“Twenty to 30 states were poised to join the energy industry in suing over the rule as soon as it’s formally published, said Scott Segal, a lobbyist with the firm Bracewell and Giuliani who represents utilities. The Obama administration has a mixed track record in fending off legal challenges to its climate rules. GOP leaders in Congress were also weighing various legislative maneuvers to try to block the rule.” – Associated Press

“‘State leaders are angry that EPA has finalized an unprecedented interference into state authority over energy regulation and markets, clearly inconsistent with statutory and Constitutional principles,’ Scott Segal, a lawyer at Bracewell & Giuliani in Washington, said in a research note Friday.” – Bloomberg

“Scott Segal, a lobbyist for utility companies that may be involved in litigation, said the revised rules could threaten the nation’s power system. ‘While the additional time to prepare plans and begin compliance are welcome — and a tacit acknowledgment of how unreasonable the original timelines were — the resulting federal mandate is dangerous,’ said Segal, who works with the firm Bracewell and Giuliani. ‘It still presents significant intrusions into state affairs, endangering consumers, manufacturers, hospitals, schools, and the very reliability of the system.'” – USA Today

“Scott Segal, an industry lobbyist with law firm Bracewell & Giuliani, said, ‘While the final rule reflects some concession from EPA on this point, it should be noted that the final rule remains a very difficult task over a very compressed time period.'” – EnergyWire

“Scott Segal […] said the new plan got worse during the drafting process. ‘They have made a proposed plan which strains the power system even more restrictive, calling for reliable and cost effective energy sources to be replaced by intermittent, costly sources largely incapable of meeting base load power needs in the U.S.,’ Segal said in a statement.” – The Washington Post

“Scott Segal, a partner at the Policy Resolution Group at the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani, which represents a number of clients in the coal and utility industry, criticized the new rules for being more stringent than the previous version. And while he welcomed the extensions for state compliance, he argued that the EPA deadlines are still ‘unrealistic’ and that the agency had not ‘addressed the fundamental legal flaws in its proposal.’ He said that a number of states and industry groups would likely challenge the rule in court ‘shortly after it is final.'” – Huffington Post

PRG’s Maisano in Morning Consult: “A Nuclear Renaissance”

PRG founding partner Frank Maisano has written an energy opinion piece for the Morning Consult newsletter, a daily online circulation that updates subscribers on the latest in finance, business, policy, and politics. Maisano’s article discusses the annual Nuclear Energy Assembly hosted by the Nuclear Energy Institute as well as the rapid development of the nuclear sector.

“Hundreds of nuclear energy industry leaders convened in the nation’s capital earlier this month for the Nuclear Energy Institute’s annual conference, the Nuclear Energy Assembly,” Maisano writes. “NEI came to discuss the technology’s future, packing the agenda with policy discussions on environment, trade, market and other issues with members of Congress and administration officials. It is an important time for the revitalization of the nuclear energy industry. Despite setbacks in Japan and Germany, significant progress is being made in the construction of five reactors in the southeast U.S. and nearly 70 reactors worldwide. Twenty-seven of the reactors are being built in China and South Korea, and the U.S. government is reauthorizing nuclear energy trade agreements with each.”

To read more, click here.