Energy Update: Week of April 23


Sorry friends we are a little late today but I’ve been running around Atlanta in meetings and am now headed to an event where SoCo CEO Tom Fanning with be named CEO Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Assn. Nice digs at the Georgia Aquarium by the way, you should check it Out if you are ever down here.

Well, it’s last week of April and I can’t say we’ve had enough April showers but it has been too darn cold, so I hope we’ll see some better weather soon. At least our friends in England have another Prince in the line of succession. Poor Prince Harry, slipping down the list further despite the big summer wedding plans.  So far the hockey playoffs have been pretty exciting and yesterday we put the Valero Texas Open in the books with Andrew Landry earning his first PGA win.

We have a CRAZY week in Congress, but nothing will bigger than Thursday’s Scott Pruitt show.  That’s when the House Energy and Commerce Committee and House Appropriations will both host EPA Administrator Pruitt on the agency’s budget request.  Good Luck with that topic which will probably be more security, first class flying and office decorations (Still don’t think a SCIF is an office decoration) rather than Superfund. Other hearings include a House Resources hearing on Wednesday looking at NEPA lawsuits and NRC Commissioner at House Approps on 2019 budget.  Finally, Sens. Michael Bennet and Susan Collins host Olympians as they brief Congress about impact of climate change on winter sports at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

More excitement just now on the committee vote for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with Rand Paul  surprisingly voting for Pompeo in committee, allowing him to clear the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Obviously, the nomination will roll forward as Sen. Heitkamp has said she already supports him.  I would expect a few others to like Connelly and Manchin to follow suit.  Anyway, important climate and HFC issues on the plate for the Secretary of State so stay tuned.  We may also soon see an economic study from supporters of addressing HFCs through the Kigali amendment.  We will keep you posted.

Thursday is also the deadline for comments on the withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan.  We are all over this with Jeff Holmstead, Scott Segal and other folks who are commenting.  I will try to send a summary of some comments later this week.

Watch out for additional traffic this week on the Hill and it is more than just Pruitt gawkers.  Tomorrow and Wednesday cement manufacturers and workers will be in DC pushing for Infrastructure opportunities and discussion of costs saving measures like life cycle cost analysis.  In fact last week, cement industry economists released research that shows incorporating a life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) provision into federal infrastructure legislation can save taxpayers $91 million for every $1 billion spent on projects, and today, Reps. Jason Lewis (R-MN) and Peter Aguilar (D-CA) introduced legislation that will increase the usage of LCCA for large federally funded infrastructure projects.

Also coming to town on Thursday, look for union refinery workers that want to continue to remind President Trump and Congress that the current structure of the RFS risks their jobs. This will be Interesting given many refiners big, small and integrated will report their first quarter earnings this week and next. Valero, Shell and ConocoPhillips report Thursday, while Chevron and ExxonMobil are Friday.  BP, Holley Frontier and PBF report next week and Andeavor on May 7.  Given the ongoing battle over the RFS, stay tuned.

This White House Correspondents Dinner is on Saturday.  I have gone a number of times and it is always fun to see everyone. Also, next week is Kentucky Derby week.  We will have the breakdown next week.  Call with questions.  Best,


Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932



“Americans are united in the belief that now is the time to invest in infrastructure – and those investments should be made wisely. Including LCCA in legislation would be a taxpayer victory, and provide a guardrail for delivering return on investment for the federal government and states funding infrastructure revitalization.”  

PCA President and CEO Michael Ireland discussing a new report from PCA incorporating a life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) provision into federal infrastructure legislation.



Bracewell Podcast Talking Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast returns this week and is live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  Josh and Liam discuss this week’s roll-out of “TariffsAreTaxes” coalition to fight steel and aluminum tariffs, the “generic ballot” and what it tells us about Midterms, and a special 4/20 topic: federal decriminalization of marijuana.

Book, McMonigle Featured on CapCrude – Platts Capitol Crude Podcast looks at geopolitical risks flaring up across the globe which raises the prospect of oil supply disruptions. Platts Meghan Gordon hits up veteran analysts Joe McMonigle of Hedge Risk Management and Kevin Book of ClearView Energy Partners to weigh in on four of the top risk areas: Venezuela’s collapsing economy, the Syrian war, the teetering Iran nuclear deal and China trade tensions.


Study: Life-Cycle Cost Analysis Can Save Taxpayers Billions on Infrastructure Projects A new report from the Portland Cement Association (PCA) Market Intelligence Group says incorporating a life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) provision into federal infrastructure legislation could save taxpayers $91 million for every $1 billion spent on projects.  Using research from the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub, the report says evaluating the full economic burden of a project over its lifetime is key to improving performance and lowering costs, 50 percent of which can relate to project maintenance.   PCA economists estimate that applying the roughly 9.1% savings rate to the Trump Administration’s infrastructure proposal could yield $90 billion in potential taxpayer savings.  If LCCA had been included in the FAST Act, which provided $226.3 billion to federal-aid highways beginning in FY 2016, there would have been a $2.4 billion taxpayer savings. This translates to roughly 1000 highway lane-miles, equivalent to paving a two-lane highway from Washington, D.C. to Boston.  LCCA is a widely supported, long-proven process that helps planners, engineers and policy makers understand the full cost of a project over its lifetime. Including LCCA in project design and planning leads to greater accuracy, better performance and lower costs.  To learn more, see PCA’s analysis. To learn more about the principles of life-cycle-cost analysis, visit the MIT CS Hub. To learn about organizations that support LCCA, visit

Reps. Introduce LCCA Legislation – Speaking of LCCA, Jason Lewis (R-MN) introduced legislation called “Preserving America’s Infrastructure Dollars (PAID) Act of 2018” which will increase the use of  Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) for large federally funded infrastructure projects.  Lewis said “Infrastructure is the backbone of America, and the roads, highways, and bridges built or repaired should be made to last. Under the bipartisan PAID Act, federally funded projects would need to undergo LCCA to factor in initial building costs and future costs such as maintenance, to evaluate the economic efficiency between various construction options and designs.”  Many states, including Minnesota and California, already perform LCCAs for construction projects. Lewis says the process encourages market competition and strong stewardship of taxpayer dollars, while allowing states to retain the flexibility to make the best decision for their communities.

Tax Group, Highway Users, Boilermakers Support – The legislation is supported by Americans for Tax Reform, The American Highway Users and International Brotherhood of Boilermakers all endorse the legislation.  The Boilermakers said when “the benefits of long-lasting and durable concrete are taken into account, we believe the market for this valuable material will only be enhanced.”    Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist said almost 50% of infrastructure costs are future costs such as maintenance, rehabilitation, and restoration, so requiring LCCAs will ensure that agencies are armed with information to make the most cost-effective said decisions when allocating infrastructure dollars.” The Highway Users said they support federal policy that encourages the States to keep federal taxpayers’ interests in mind by evaluating the short and long-term benefits of various, value-engineered construction and materials approaches.

Perry Announces $105 Million in New Funding to Advance Solar Technologies – DOE announced up to $105.5 million last week to support solar technology. Under its Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), DOE will fund about 70 projects to advance both solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) technologies, as well as facilitate the secure integration of those technologies into the nation’s electricity grid. Funding will also support efforts that prepare the workforce for the solar industry’s future needs.  The 2018 SETO announcement will combine all of SETO’s technology areas into one request. By creating a more streamlined and consolidated funding strategy, DOE seeks to accelerate the cycles of learning in solar research and reduce government overhead costs.  Sign up HERE to learn more about this funding opportunity at an upcoming webinar.

What Will DOE Cover – The funding program will focus on four main areas:

TOPIC 1: Advanced Solar Systems Integration Technologies (up to $46 million, ~14 projects)

  • These projects will advance research on technologies that enable the seamless integration of solar energy onto the nation’s electricity grid. By supporting advances in power electronics, solar plus storage, and PV-integrated sensor technologies, the work will help ensure a smooth transition to a secure, reliable, and resilient grid of the future.

TOPIC 2: Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Research and Development (up to $24 million, ~21 projects)

  • These projects pursue innovative CSP concepts and technology solutions that enable the solar industry to reach DOE’s 2030 levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) targets for CSP, including $0.05 per kilowatt-hour for systems with greater than 12 hours of onsite storage. Research in CSP will focus on advancing elements found in CSP subsystems, including collectors and thermal transport systems for advanced power cycles, while pursuing new methods for introducing innovation to CSP research.

TOPIC 3: Photovoltaics Research and Development (up to $27 million, ~28 projects)

  • These projects support early-stage research to increase performance, reduce materials and processing costs, and improve reliability of PV cells, modules, and systems. These projects support DOE’s efforts to lower LCOE to $0.03 per kilowatt hour from utility-scale systems by 2030, which is half the cost of utility-scale solar today.

TOPIC 4: Improving and Expanding the Solar Industry through Workforce Initiatives (up to $8.5 million, ~4 projects)

  • These projects will pursue innovative initiatives that prepare the solar industry for a digital future while also increasing the number of veterans and participants in the solar industry.

EEI, Utilities Promote Storage – The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and 32 energy companies/organizations sent a letter to leaders of the Energy Storage Association (ESA) last week to support its efforts in advancing energy storage and to highlight principles seen as critical to helping the nation achieve a cleaner, more reliable and affordable energy system. Seeking to ensure the long-term growth of the energy storage industry, the letter promoted the need for state and local regulatory authorities to evaluate and choose the business and ownership models that will best facilitate growth in their state. The letter also stated that energy storage deployed at scale could strengthen electric company operations and reliability, while modernizing the energy grid and lowering overall costs.

NAFTA Discussions Look to Wrap Up – Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo reaffirmed Friday that the United States, Canada and Mexico are still pushing for a “comprehensive” new NAFTA agreement, despite the intense focus in recent weeks on automotive rules of origin. However, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters separately that the discussion on the auto rules of origin language was still center stage.  Ministers will meet again on Tuesday.  An informal timetable for wrapping up the talks is also looming. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is pushing to wrap up talks in the next couple of weeks so that Congress can vote by mid-December.  My colleagues Josh Zive and Stoney Burke are following this issue closer than anyway and are happy to offer your Insights.  You can reach them at or

DTE NatGas Plants Approved – The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality approved a permit for DTE Energy to build two natural gas-fired turbines near Detroit despite local Opposition concerned about pollution concerns. MDEQ officials say they reviewed public comments and concluded that DTE’s request met all of the requirements for a permit.  DTE’s turbines will be part of the company’s new infrastructure in a facility that will power Ford Motor Co.’s Research and Engineering Center as it transforms into a green, high-tech campus. Other systems will include natural air flow ventilation and geothermal heating and cooling.



Fanning to Receive Leadership Award from Coaches – Southern CEO Tom Fanning will receive the CEO Coach of the Year award from the American Football Coaches Assn at a dinner tonight at the Georgia Aquarium.  The award is the highest honor bestowed by the organization, whose inaugural recipient in 2006 was Jeffrey R. Immelt, former CEO of General Electric. Other former winners include former Domino’s Pizza CEO David Brandon (2007), former MidAmerican Energy Holdings CEO David Sokol (2008), former HP CEO Mark Hurd (2009), FedEx CEO Fred Smith (2010); BP Capital CEO T. Boone Pickens (2011); NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (2012); former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson (2013), AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson (2014),  Berkshire Hathaway Energy head Greg Abel (2015) and former Honeywell Chairman and CEO David Cote (2016).

Refiners Security Conference Set – The annual AFPM Security Conference will be held today through Wednesday in New Orleans and presents current topics of vital importance to critical infrastructure, keeping security professionals up to date on security issues, policies, and future regulations. The event will relay the latest information on security regulations from DHS and the Coast Guard. This year’s conference will also go beyond just the regulations with sessions on hurricane response efforts, environmental NGO activism, cybersecurity and other emerging security and terror threats.

Axios to Host Gore, Sen. Sullivan – Mike Allen and Axios will host conversations on the news of the day with former VP Al Gore and Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska at AJAX tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. as part of it News Shapers Series.

Webinar to Look at Infrastructure on Hurricane – The Bipartisan Policy Center holds a webcast tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on whether America’s infrastructure can withstand the next natural disasters.  They will also discuss what lessons can be learned from previous disasters.”

Wilson to Hosts Climate Book Launch – Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a book launch discussion with author Barry Rabe on pricing carbon. Climate change, economists generally agree, is best addressed by putting a price on the carbon content of fossil fuels—by taxing carbon, by cap-and-trade systems, or other methods. But what about the politics of carbon pricing? Do political realities render carbon pricing impracticable?  In this book, Barry Rabe offers the first major political science analysis of the feasibility and sustainability of carbon pricing, drawing upon a series of real-world attempts to price carbon over the last two decades in North America, Europe, and Asia.

JHU Hosts Forum on Resilient Infrastructure – Johns Hopkins University’s Energy, Resources and Environment (ERE) Global Leaders Forum hosts a presentation tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. by the AECOM Practicum team looking at Cities as Innovation Centers.  The event will focus on investing in resilient Infrastructure,” followed by a panel discussion.  ERE’s Practicum students in partnership with the global engineering company AECOM are exploring the topic of climate risk and resilient infrastructure. This presentation and panel discussion will identify traditional barriers to investing in resilience and investigate best practices for implementing resilience.

Energy Happy Hour – The US Energy Economists in the National Capitol Area are co-hosting a Joint Happy Hour Event tomorrow evening at Dirty Martini with (OEP), which is a nonpartisan, nonprofit that has hosted more than 400 policy discussions over the past five years.

WRI Hosts Enviro Prize Winners – The World Resources Institute hosts a forum on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. which features an intimate conversation with 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize winners  The Goldman Environmental Prize, one of the most prestigious environmental awards, honors grassroots champions from six continents. The names of this year’s recipients will be announced on April 23rd.  After sharing their incredible stories, the Prize winners will join a Q&A discussion with the audience on environmental activism in the energy space, and regional approaches on the transition to clean energy.

NRC Commissioners Head to Approps – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Energy & Water panel will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to review the Fiscal Year 2019 funding request and budget justification for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission  Commissioners Kristine Svinicki, Jeff Baran, and Stephen Burns.

Resources Looks at NEPA – The House Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on reform of  the National Environmental Policy Act. It will look at the “weaponization” of NEPA and the Implications of environmental lawfare.  Witnesses include SMU Law Professor James Coleman, Melissa Hamsher of Eclipse Energy Resource Corporation, Laura Alice Watt of Sonoma State University and former CEQ official Horst Greczmiel.

Forum to Look at Sustainable Investing – Bloomberg Government and the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce will host a series of in-depth conversations starting Wednesday April 25th at 3:30 p.m. on Investing in a Sustainable Energy Future driven by transformative technology innovations in renewable energy and a functioning trade system necessary to respond to the challenge of energy security and climate change.  Panelists will examine how government leaders and energy investors are putting policy and capital to work to transform the world’s energy sources and protect the environment.

Forum Set for Discussion of Oceans – The Carnegie Institution for Science lecture on the sustainable use of the ocean Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. Oregon State University’s Jane Lubchenco will draw on her four years as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the Administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), her two years as the first U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean, and her decades of research around the world to summarize the importance to people of sustainable use of the ocean, and approaches that are working.

Clean Power Plan Comment Deadline – THURSDAY

Pruitt Heads to House Energy, Approps Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Committee will host EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on the agency’s budget request.  Good Luck with staying on that topic.  Pruitt then visits the House Approps Environment subpanel at 2:00 p.m.

GMU Forum Looks at Energy-Water Nexus – The Center for Energy Science and Policy (CESP), a joint-initiative of the Schar School of Science and Policy and the College of Science at George Mason University, hosts the Mason Energy Symposium — “Energy-Water Nexus” on Thursday.  The event is the 2nd annual Mason Energy Symposium and is focused on the important nexus between energy and water. The event will advance understanding of the international and domestic aspects of the most basic and critical needs in the 21st century – abundant and reliable supply of water and energy. It will also explore the particular role of off-shore renewable (wind) energy and associated technologies.  The full-day event will feature three panels: Panel I on Offshore Renewable Energy; Panel II on the domestic and international aspects of the water and energy nexus; and Panel III on Mason Energy-Water research opportunities. The afternoon will provide Mason students and faculty opportunities to showcase their work relating to energy and water through presentations and posters.  The luncheon speaker will be Ambassador (ret) Mary Warlick, former Assistant Secretary in the Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources.

USEA Focus on Plain Project – The U.S. Energy Association hosts a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on the Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership, as part of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) Initiative run by DOE.  The project aims to foster the deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) across a large area in the central interior of the United States and Canada. Using an adaptive management approach (AMA) to the assessment of carbon dioxide (CO2) geologic storage, the PCOR Partnership has demonstrated that secure storage can be achieved in association with CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations.

Resources Panel to Look at Offshore Revenue – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. examining the critical importance of offshore energy revenue sharing for Gulf Producing States.  Witnesses will include Chett Chiasson, Executive Director of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission (Port Fourchon) and Reggie Dupre, the Executive Director of the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District.

Forum to Look at Gender Impacts of Climate – Women In International Security hosts a round table discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at gender dimensions of climate change. The Panel will examine how climate change impacts men and women, to what extent national and international policies have integrated these gender dimensions, and identify gaps. We will also discuss the state of research and how the Women, Peace and Security Agenda intersects with scholarship and programs addressing climate change.

Forum to Look at Danish Oil, Gas – The Atlantic Council Global Energy Center hosts a Thursday conversation at 11:30 a.m.  with Ørsted North America President Thomas Brostrøm as he discusses Ørsted’s transformation from an oil company to a clean energy company and lays out his perspective on the future of wind energy in the United States.  Ørsted, previously known as Danish Oil and Natural Gas, has undergone a profound transformation in recent years. In recognition of the challenge presented by climate change and the opportunities afforded by the global energy transition, the company divested its fossil fuel assets and made new investments that have seen it become one of the world’s fastest-growing and most active clean energy firms.

ITIF, MIT Report to Release Report on Energy Storage – On Thursday at 1:30 p.m., the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosts the release of a new report produced in collaboration with the MIT Energy Initiative on Grid-scale Energy Storage. The report’s authors, ITIF Senior Fellow David M. Hart and MIT Professor Bill Bonvillian, will present their findings and discuss policy options to spur grid-scale storage innovation with an expert panel.

Forum Report to Focus on Global Oil Impacts – The Center for a New American Security holds an event on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. how lower oil prices have reshaped geopolitical calculations for U.S. policymakers. This panel will include discussion of: (1) Russia’s response to lower oil prices and the challenges this presents to the United States; (2) the prospects for continued U.S. engagement in the Middle East given decreasing concerns about energy scarcity; (3) opportunities for U.S. collaboration with Asian partners given decreased competition over energy resources; and (4) the geopolitical ramifications of lower fossil fuel prices for renewable energy resources.  The event will coincide with the release of the new CNAS report “U.S. Geopolitical Challenges and Opportunities in the Era of Lower Oil Prices” by Dr. David Gordon, Divya Reddy, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Neil Bhatiya, and Edoardo Saravalle.

Forum to Host Iraq Ambassador – On Thursday at 5:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center hosts a wide-ranging discussion on the state of investment in Iraq as the country rebuilds, featuring Iraq’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Dr. Fareed Jasseen. On the heels of the Kuwait conference in February, and with an oil and gas bidding round and elections on the horizon, this wide-ranging conversation will focus on the state of investment in Iraq, including the role the energy sector can play in enabling recovery, and the challenges ahead in terms of rebuilding and recovery.

Water Symposium to Feature Perdue, Vilsack – Colorado State University hosts a “Water in the West” Symposium on Thursday and Friday featuring experts, policymakers, researchers, and investors.  The event features the latest around water challenges, collaborate with experts, and create a roadmap for water research, innovation, education, and policy.  The Symposium will take place at the Water Resources Center, the first building to be constructed at the future National Western Center, a 250-acre redevelopment in north Denver. More than 20 confirmed expert speakers to-date including Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and Tom Vilsack, Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

WCEE Hosts FERC Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) hosts a lunch discussion on Friday at FERC on the fundamental economics and basic mathematics behind wholesale electricity market pricing, known as Locational Marginal Prices. FERC staff Robin Broder Hytowitz will provide an overview of electricity pricing focusing on broad concepts that apply to all ISOs/RTOs. The overview will explain the concepts behind Locational Marginal Prices, uplift, and an extension used in some wholesale markets today.

WH Correspondents Dinner Set for April 28th – The White House Correspondents’ Association hosts its annual dinner on Saturday featuring comedian Michelle Wolf as the entertainer.  Wolf is the host of a newly announced show on Netflix, which comes on the heels of her highly reviewed HBO special. She is also known for her acclaimed work as a contributor on Comedy Central’s Daily Show With Trevor Noah.  President Trump has said he will not attend.


MI Innovation Council to Hold Meeting – Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council holds its 6th Annual conference on Monday, April 30 at the Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol. The full-day conference focuses on innovations in advanced energy, as well as get an overview on the latest policy developments. There will be several break-out panels throughout the day featuring dozens of expert panelists. The event brings together leaders in Michigan’s advanced energy industry, utility executives, policymakers, regulators, and others.

Forum to Look at Climate, Conservative Views – On Monday April 30th, the Columbia Center for Global Energy hosts an event on conservative prescriptions on climate change.  As part of its continuing series “Where Next on Climate?” the Center on Global Energy Policy will host a program focusing on conservative prescriptions to deal with climate change. Dr. Glenn Hubbard, Dean of the Columbia Business School and former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors under President George W. Bush, will offer opening remarks, then lead a panel discussion with our friend Rich Powell of ClearPath, John Diamond of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and Lynne Kiesling of Purdue University and R Street Institute.

NHA holds Washington Waterpower Week – The National Hydropower Assn holds Waterpower Week in Washington on April 30 to May 2nd.  Waterpower Week is comprised of three co-located conferences rolled into one: NHA’s Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference (IMREC), and Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS). This 3-day jam packed event provides you the opportunity to network, learn about legislative and regulatory initiatives, and discuss the issues impacting hydropower and marine energy industry.

Solar Summit Set for SD – GTM’s Solar Summit 2018 will be held in San Diego on May 1st and 2nd at the Hyatt La Jolla.  This conference will present deep dives by the top industry executives and thought leaders that will help you navigate the challenges in the market.  SEIA’s Abby Hopper and former Governator Cal EPA head Terry Tamminen are among the list of speakers.

CSIS to  Look at Carbon Pricing – Next Tuesday, the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host John Larsen (Rhodium Group; CSIS), Jerry Taylor (Niskanen Center), and Thomas Kerr (IFC) to discuss the state of play of carbon markets and pricing around the world. Carbon pricing and emissions trading systems (ETS) have been gaining momentum as tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet Paris Agreement targets. The majority of OECD countries have a carbon pricing mechanism in place.  Despite progress, carbon pricing and ETS only cover approximately 15% of global emissions. The United States is still without a nation-wide carbon price, a politically fraught issue. Ultimately, prices must be significantly higher, and these mechanisms more widely adopted, in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Whether pricing carbon and ETS will come to meet expectations remains an open question.

Forum to Look at PJM Region Energy Issues – On Wednesday May 2, the Great Plains Institute and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions hold an expert workshop for state officials and stakeholders exploring recent energy and environmental policy developments in the PJM region.  Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Robert F. Powelson will deliver a keynote address.  After Commissioner Powelson’s keynote, Adam Keech, Executive Director of PJM Market Operations will present on recent developments at the RTO. A panel of state leaders will then react to recent PJM proposals and decisions and present on state-level developments. An industry panel will explore trends in the electricity industry, including recent commitments by utilities to decarbonize their portfolios. A third panel will explore timely environmental issues, from the new tax credit for carbon capture and storage projects to EV charging infrastructure and Virginia’s move to link to RGGI.

Forum to Focus on Russian Energy – On Wednesday May 2 at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council holds a timely discussion on Russia’s energy strategy, the final event in a four-part series on Russia Today and Tomorrow: Internal Strengths and Weaknesses.  Russia remains one of the largest oil and natural gas producers in the world. Its economy largely depends on energy exports, with revenues accounting for about a half of the country’s federal budget. Dr. Tatiana Mitrova, director of the Energy Center at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, will be presenting a paper of Russia’s energy strategy. This will be followed by a panel discussion which will explore the current state of the energy industry in Russia, as well as its immediate and long-term strategy and the influence of the Russian government that includes our friend Elizabeth Rosenberg of the Center for a New American Security.

Forum  Looks at Oil in Iraq – The Middle East Institute (MEI) hosts a panel discussion on Thursday May 3rd at 2:00 p.m. examining options and priorities for improving governance in Iraq, featuring Erin Banco, investigative reporter for the Star-Ledger and; Alan Eyre (State Department), Omar Al-Nidawi (Gryphon Partners), and MEI Scholar Jean Francois Seznec. The panel will be moderated by MEI’s director for conflict resolution and Track II dialogues, Randa Slim.

WINDPOWER Set for Chicago – The American Wind Energy Assn (AWEA) will hold WINDPOWER 2018 in Chicago from May 7th to 10th.  The industry closed 2017 strong, delivering 7,017 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity. That new capacity represents $11 billion in new private investment. There are now 89,077 MW of wind power installed across 41 states, enough to power 26 million American homes.  The wind industry is expected to continue its growth into 2018. WINDPOWER is where the industry comes together to plan for the future and keep this success story growing.

BPC to Host Panel on Federal Science – The Bipartisan Policy Center will Host a Forum on Tuesday May 8th at 9:00 a.m.  looking at federal funding for Fiscal Year 2018 for research and development. Continually developing new scientific knowledge and technologies drives long-term economic growth and creates higher-skilled jobs. BPC will focus its conversation on federal investment in scientific research and innovation and how to maintain America’s economic and competitive edge.

OPIS Looks at West Coast Fuel Supply – OPIS holds a forum in Napa Valley at the Silverado Resort on May 9th and 10th looking at West Coast fuel supplies and transportation opportunities.  Industry experts will examine the impact of new players in the Western markets, opportunities that California assets can offer, carbon emissions regulations, renewable fuels, plus get an exclusive technical analysis of West Coast spot market prices.

Hydrogen, Fuel Cell Forum Set for DC – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association will be hosting a full-day forum and exposition on Tuesday, June 12 in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with leading executives, experts, and policymakers on fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The forum will bring together key federal and state policymakers, including the Department of Energy and White House, as well as the broader environmental, transportation, and energy communities to raise awareness of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. This event will precede the Department of Energy’s 2018 Annual Merit Review.

GTM to Host Grid Forum – Greentech Media host Grid Edge Innovation Summit on June 20th and 21st in San Francisco.  The event is an energy conference that will examine the energy customer of tomorrow and how new innovative business models are quickly emerging.  GTM brings together forward thinking and prominent members of the energy ecosystem and as our research team explores the future of the market. Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff will speak along with many others, including our friends Shayle Kann, Julia Pyper and Stephen Lacey.

Young Professional Program for World Gas Forum Set – The Young Professionals Program (YPP) will hold a special forum during the World Gas Conference June 25-29 in Washington, DC.  YPP will provide a great opportunity for promising young professionals in the energy sector to learn from top leaders in the natural gas industry and network with their peers throughout the world.  More on this as we get closer.

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held on July 10th and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Energy Update: Week of February 12


The Winter Olympics are ON!!!!!!  Winners of the first medals of the games for the US were in the were in the Slopestyle Snowboarding race where 17-year-old Red Gerard took the Men’s race Saturday and Jamie Anderson won the Women’s race Sunday. And Women’s Hockey took down Finland.  Before we get going, I always like to mention our friend Scott Segal in the Bacchus parade (this year it’s the 50th year) at the Mardi Gras celebrations that run through Fat Tuesday tomorrow.  Valentine’s Day is Wednesday as is Ash Wednesday.

We start today’s update with analysis on both the just-released infrastructure principles and last week’s energy tax provisions finally approved as part of the Budget deal.  In the infrastructure space, the plan outlines $200 billion of Fed dollars, but leans heavily on states and local governments and private/public partnerships. It also carves out $50 billion for rural infrastructure projects and outlines a strategy to revamp federal project permitting.  We are looking at five major categories:

1) Infrastructure Permitting

2) Public Finance/Appropriations

3) Public/Private Partnerships

4) Innovation

5) Life Cycle Analysis 

There is more on each of these topic areas below, and in the coming days, we will provide a detailed assessment of each. If you are following the infrastructure debate, you’ll want to tune in to a March 1st Bracewell forum on Capitol Hill that we are hosting that will feature insights from policymakers and industry representatives involved in crafting the next key elements infrastructure policy.

On the budget, OMB released FY2019 Budget outlines this Administration’s key funding priorities.  While we always downplay the Admin’s budget, this one is more relevant as it accounts for the Bipartisan Budget Act (aka “the caps deal”) passed by Congress last week.  Look for slight increases in some places like DOE and Interior with some decreases in other places like EPA.  As usual, expect Congress to play a more significant budget role in right-sizing much of this funding.  Experts here can help, so please drop me a note.

The other big story this week is the Business Council for Sustainable Energy will release its annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook for 2018 on Thursday.  In its 6th year, the Factbook provides new industry information and trends for the U.S. energy economy, with an in-depth look at the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors as well as emerging areas. Also tomorrow afternoon at the Capitol Visitors Center, our friends at Johnson Controls will join a panel on battery sustainability and recycling led by Sen Portman, his Senate Auto Caucus colleagues and the Responsible Battery Coalition.  The Atlantic Council also holds an interesting forum on Iraq and Energy tomorrow.

NARUC Commissioners are in town for their annual Winter Meeting and will be hearing from Lisa Murkowski and many others.   And with ethanol policy in the news lately, the Renewable Fuels Assn’s National Ethanol Conference launches in San Antonio today.

Hearings this week include Wednesday afternoon’s House Energy panel hearing on New Source Review reform featuring our colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA Air Office head and NRDC friend John Walke (I don’t think they will be agreeing much!).  Meanwhile at the same time, a House Resources Committee panel will look at the state of the nation’s water and power infrastructure.

Finally tonight, tune in to the New England Sports Network for the finals of the 66th annual Beanpot college hockey tournament. The first two Monday nights of February in Boston are reserved for the Beanpot, an annual hockey tournament that features Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern.  In the Semis last week, nationally-ranked Northeastern blanked BC 3-0, while BU tripped Harvard 3-2 in double OT.  BC-Harvard starts at 4:30 p.m. while the finals go at 7:30 p.m., all at the Boston (TD) Garden.

And in case you missed it, college lacrosse started this past weekend and pitchers and catchers report in just two days with full teams next week for spring training.

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932


“After six years of rapid and steady growth, the solar industry faced headwinds that led to a dip in employment in 2017, including a slowdown in the pace of new solar installations. Uncertainty over the outcome of the trade case also had a likely impact on solar jobs growth. At the same time, the fact that jobs went up in 29 states is an encouraging sign that solar is taking hold across the country as a low-cost, sustainable, and reliable energy source.””

Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director at The Solar Foundation on the release of the National Solar Jobs Census 2017.


Today, the President announced more details regarding the new national infrastructure initiative that he referenced during his State of the Union address.  The details suggest the Administration is taking a new approach to infrastructure—coupling traditional infrastructure concepts with modern approaches to funding and permitting.  This new approach will have significant impacts on the energy industry, manufacturing, utilities, highways, railways, tech, and telecom.

The Role of Infrastructure Permitting – The environmental review and permitting process for energy infrastructure is often unpredictable and challenging.  The White House has suggested expansive reforms to the permitting process intended to improve it through increased coordination of federal agencies, defined timelines, and revisions to the process by which states participate in the permitting process.  These reforms, and in particular the role of states in the permitting process, are likely to generate significant discussions on states’ rights and cooperative federalism.

The Role of Public Finance, Appropriations – The looming question with this infrastructure package is how the government will pay for it, especially given the recently enacted two-year budget deal. The Administration’s stated goal is to leverage roughly $200 billion in direct federal outlays into $1.5 trillion in total infrastructure spending. Doing so will require creativity in identifying revenue sources and developing innovative financing tools that will entice state and local governments to invest alongside private industry. Achieving this ambitious target will require a mix of new loan instruments, federal grant money through the annual Congressional appropriations process, and an expansion of existing tools such as private activity bonds.

The Role of Public Private Partnerships (P3s) – The ability of private entities to engage with government to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure may be the linchpin of this proposal. The most obvious way for private companies to participate in projects that serve the broader civil interest is through public-private partnerships. But despite the rising prominence of P3s among the states and across the globe, the U.S. government’s ability to employ these tools is hampered by significant statutory and regulatory barriers. In order to harness the skills—and the funds—of the private sector on a trillion-dollar scale, the authority of the federal government to engage in P3s will have to be expanded and the process streamlined.

The Role of Innovation – In addition to conventional infrastructure like roads, bridges, and utilities, the Administration’s plan carves out a place for “transformative” projects that seek to make significant investments in emerging technologies.  The idea is for government to work with private industry to facilitate the next “moon shot” and encourage development of transformative infrastructure projects. From a national 5G network to the next generation of smart grid technologies, policymakers will be looking for innovative infrastructure projects to keep pace with the growing digital economy.

The Role of Life Cycle Analysis – Whether the cause is natural disasters to simple wear-and-tear, our nation’s infrastructure incurs billions of dollars of damage and degradation every year.  The use of life cycle analysis techniques allows planners to better calibrate the long-term economic and environmental impacts of choices made at the front end of a project involving design, materials, and a host of other factors—significantly allowing for more meaningful, long-term infrastructure investment decisions.


Another Shutdown…And a Deal – The budget deal is the big story looking back at late last week.  You may have missed the shutdown because it occurred from about Friday at midnight to Friday Morning when President Trump signed the deal.

Why the Delay? – There was the framework of a deal as far back as Tuesday, Senator Rand Paul slowed the Senate to a crawl Thursday evening objecting into the overall cost of the deal.

Four Corners – The deal is the biggest fiscal package passed by Congress in nearly a decade, which sets new limits on how much the government can spend in the next two years. The deal keeps the government operating on another temporary funding patch until March 23. But Congress must still pass another bill, known as an omnibus, with detailed spending levels for each government program for the rest of this fiscal year, which ends in September.  As part of the deal, military spending will rise to $700 billion for fiscal 2018, roughly 10% above current levels. Domestic spending will also get a boost to $591 billion.

The Energy Piece – The budget deal included tax extenders, which includes the 5-year phase-out tax credits for 48c and 25D (starting on page 209).  The other credits that were modified are the 45J production tax credit for nuclear that is imperative for the future of a nuclear plant in Georgia and the 45Q credit for carbon capture and sequestration. The nuclear production credit eliminates the 2020 placed-in-service deadline in the credit. That frees it up to be used not just to help complete Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle AP1000 reactor project but also the advanced technologies that represent the future of the nuclear sector, such as NuScale Power’s small modular reactor design.  The 45Q fix gives a boost to pioneering efforts such as NET Power that could capture and use all the carbon emitted from facilities powered by both coal and natural gas. The 45Q incentive has the potential to dramatically boost commercial carbon capture deployment in the U.S., which can also lead to significant increases in enhanced oil recovery and other economic benefits.

ClearPath Weighs in on Nuclear, CCS – The ClearPath Foundation said Congress delivered a potentially game-changing clean energy victory by fixing two critical carbon capture and advanced nuclear tax incentives as part of the broader budget deal.   “This is an awesome one-two punch for the future of U.S.-led clean and reliable energy,” ClearPath Action Executive Director Rich Powell said.  “This is not only a big win for two of our most important clean energy prospects but also a product of tremendous bipartisan teamwork,” ClearPath Action Founder Jay Faison said. “This can serve as a template both for the commercialization of technologies preventing an enormously consequential amount of CO2 from going into the atmosphere as well as future collaboration in Congress to continue to give the U.S. a much-needed innovation edge over China.”

CCS Credits Help Nat Gas Too – Speaking of the success on CCS, ClearPath’s Faison also explained in a blogpost last week prior to the vote that carbon capture is not just crucial to the future of coal but also a valuable insurance policy for our booming natural gas industry. Tax credits will allow us to affordably scale up carbon capture from natural gas at NET Power and elsewhere and protects our gas industry from whatever supercharged Clean Power Plan a future Democratic White House will inevitably throw at the power sector, Jay wrote. It could mean coal and gas can both have a future that’s clean and bright, no matter who wins the White House or what regulators in Europe and China decide on.

GEO Praises Inclusion of Orphan Tax Credits – The geothermal heat pump industry was relieved they have finally received the tax Credits they have been lacking since they were left out of the 2015 deal.   Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) executive Ryan Dougherty said the deal marks a significant step toward achieving our goal of tax parity.  “Geothermal heat pumps are 100% ‘Made in the USA’ with American-made components manufactured and installed by American workers. With the extension of federal tax credits being revived, the entire geothermal supply chain, including manufacturers, distributors, dealers, contractors, installers, drillers – plus all the families and small businesses that they support – will finally get the relief we have needed since being left on the sidelines in 2015. AHRI’s Joe Trauger said all of these credits and deductions “provide welcome incentives for American consumers and businesses to replace aging, less efficient equipment with that that is saves energy and helps the environment.”

BCSE Raises Concerns about Multi-Year Extension – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) President Lisa Jacobson praised the passage of the clean energy tax provisions as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act this week. But they also raised concerns about the lack of parity between clean energy tax measures continues to hinder investment and job creation in a number of sectors that contribute to a diverse, reliable and affordable energy system. BCSE had called for multi-year extensions of all the pending energy extenders and also sought to modify or expand tax measures to level the sustainable energy playing field for waste heat to power, energy storage, and commercial geothermal. BCSE is disappointed that the Bipartisan Budget Act did not adopt those proposed changes.

NEORI: Deal is Landmark Victory for CCS – The National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) said the 45Q credit will drive private investment in commercial deployment of technologies to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants and industrial facilities for enhanced oil recovery and other forms of geologic storage and for beneficial uses of CO2. The victory represents one of the most significant energy and environmental accomplishments by Congress in recent memory according to Brad Crabtree of the Great Plains Institute, which co-convenes NEORI with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. “Passage of this legislation highlights the potential for carbon capture to marshal support across the political spectrum for a policy that will boost American energy production, reduce carbon emissions, protect and create high-wage jobs, and increase federal and state revenue.” C2ES President Bob Perciasepe, said leaders from both parties have demonstrated a commitment to reducing carbon emissions while protecting and creating jobs and investing in new American industries.


EIA Releases Annual Energy Outlook – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018) last week providing modeled projections of domestic energy markets through 2050.  The report includes cases with different assumptions regarding macroeconomic growth, world oil prices, technological progress, and energy policies. Strong domestic production coupled with relatively flat energy demand allow the United States to become a net energy exporter over the projection period in most cases. In the Reference case, natural gas consumption grows the most on an absolute basis, and nonhydroelectric renewables grow the most on a percentage basis.  EIA said the US will become a net exporter of energy by 2022, four years earlier than it projected last year.  EIA’s forecast predicts that oil production will taper off around 2040 as the shale fields currently operating are tapped out, but not before increasing to about 12 million barrels a day.

Renewables Also Booming – The latest issue of FERC’s Energy Infrastructure Update (with data through December 31, 2017) says renewable sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) accounted for half (49.85%) of the 24,614 megawatts (MW) of new U.S. electrical generating capacity placed into service in 2017. New natural gas capacity accounted for 48.67%, with the balance coming from waste heat (0.89%), nuclear (0.41%), and oil (0.16%). There was no new coal capacity added during 2017.  Growth in new solar capacity has been most dramatic. By the end of 2017, installed generating capacity at utility-scale (i.e., 1-MW or larger) solar facilities totaled 30.30 GW – roughly eight times (7.77%) greater than that FERC reported five years ago in its December 2012 “Energy Infrastructure Update.” Solar is now 2.55% of total U.S. installed utility-scale generating capacity. Moreover, inasmuch as FERC data do not include distributed solar (e.g., rooftop PV), actual U.S. solar capacity is significantly higher – perhaps 30% or more. Combined, the generating capacity of non-hydro renewables is 73.89% greater than that reported five years ago.

Solar Foundation Report Raises 2018 Concerns – All the new on renewables is not totally good.   New solar tariffs risk solar jobs in 2018 according to a new report from the Solar Foundation.  The solar industry employment declined in 2017, while jobs increased in numerous states with emerging solar markets, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2017, the Foundation’s 8th annual report on solar employment.  The Solar Jobs Census found that 250,271 Americans work in solar as of 2017, representing a 3.8 percent decline, or about 9,800 fewer jobs, since 2016. This is the first year that jobs have decreased since the Solar Jobs Census was first released in 2010.  However, the long-term trend continues to show significant jobs growth. The solar workforce increased by 168% in the past seven years, from about 93,000 jobs in 2010 to over 250,000 jobs in 2017.

Interesting Solar Facts – Some key findings from the National Solar Jobs Census 2017 include:

  • Demand-side sectors (installation, sales & distribution, and project development) make up almost 78 percent of overall solar industry employment, while manufacturing makes up 15 percent. Demand-side sectors lost approximately 7,500 jobs in 2017, while manufacturing lost about 1,200 jobs.
  • The solar industry is more diverse than comparable industries, but more needs to be done to ensure it is representative of the greater U.S. population. Women made up 27% of the solar workforce in 2017, down 1% from 2016. Veterans made up 9% of solar workers, which is 2% more than the overall U.S. workforce.
  • Solar employs twice as many workers as the coal industry, almost five times as many as nuclear power, and nearly as many workers as the natural gas industry. (These comparisons with other industries are based on 2016 jobs numbers, the most recent data available for an apples-to-apples comparison.)

Canadians Suing; EU Worried about Solar Tariffs – Canadian solar manufacturers challenged the Trump administration’s imposition of tariffs in the International Court of Trade. Ontario-based Silfab Solar, Heliene and Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., along with U.S.-based distributor Canadian Solar, filed the challenge, claiming that an investigation last year by the International Trade Commission found Canadian products don’t significantly hurt U.S. manufacturers and don’t account for much of the overall imports of solar cells to the country. The complaint was filed now because Customs and Border Protection began collecting the tariff on Wednesday, creating the injury for the companies. Meanwhile, the European Union said it is seeking compensation through the World Trade Organization, citing Germany’s significant production of solar panels for the North American market.

RUS Appointee Praised by NRECA, UTC – Missouri Co-op head Kenneth Johnson has been nominated by President Trump to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service. Johnson is general manager and CEO of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative and president for Co-Mo Connect in Missouri NRECA head former Rep. Jim Matheson said they were “excited and thrilled” to hear the news. “The ongoing collaboration between RUS and electric co-ops remains essential to the success of rural communities across the nation as co-ops invest in infrastructure upgrades to modernize the grid and meet consumer expectations. Ken is exceptionally qualified to serve in this role.” Utilities Technology Council CEO Joy Ditto added Johnson is an outstanding person to lead the Rural Utilities Service. “His background is perfectly suited for this position, as he understands the needs of utilities in rural America. He led deployment of a fiber-to-the-home broadband network in rural Missouri that provides robust, affordable and reliable broadband services to 15,000 homes and businesses.


Murkowski, FERC Commissioners to Address NARUC – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners holds its annual Winter Policy Summit today through Wednesday.   The Summit will convene an array of speakers from federal agencies, industry, the media, advocacy organizations and more.  Keynote speakers Include Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn, FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, as well as FERC Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur and Rick Glick, Reps. Bill Johnson and Tom Reed and Montana PUC Chair Travis Kavula.  Other speakers include Southern’s Bruce Edelston, SEIA’s Sean Gallagher, IECA’s Paul Cicio, Business Council for Sustainable Energy’s Ruth McCormick, Kyle Rogers of AGA, Statoil’s Kevin Maule, ACCCE’s Paul Bailey and our friend Dave Shepardson of Reuters.

WRI Climate Head to Address Group – Paula Caballero, Global Director of the World Resources Institute’s Climate Program, will be featured at keynote speaker today at 3:00 p.m. at the National Press Club. She will be joined by a distinguished panel for lively debate featuring panelists GWU’s Kathleen Merrigan, Leonard Jordan of USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and RFF’s Ann Bartuska.

National Ethanol Conference Set – The Renewable Fuels Association holds its 23rd annual National Ethanol Conference today through Wednesday in San Antonio.  Former Presidential Advisor Mary Matalin and veteran Democratic Political Strategist Donna Brazile are scheduled to speak together at the event on Washington Politics.

Forum to Look at Transmission – WIRES and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a briefing tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. on the widespread, substantial, and long-lasting benefits of investment in electric transmission. The briefing will showcase two London Economics International studies – one study quantifies the future benefits of transmission investment based on two hypothetical projects, the second dispels many of the myths that deter and delay transmission investment.  This panel will discuss why transmission should be a major component of the infrastructure conversation and how the economic and societal benefits from a robust high-voltage grid are so important. Speakers study author Julia Frayer of London Economics International, ITC’s Nina Plaushin and former FERC Chair James Hoecker.

Forum to Look at Iraq, Energy – Tomorrow at Noon, the Atlantic Council will hold a conversation with a panel of experts to discuss Iraq’s energy potential, export opportunities, and the influence of political dynamics on reforming the energy sector.  Speakers will include Luay Al-Khatteeb of the Iraq Energy Institute, Harith Hasan Al-Qarawee of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Atlantic Council Global Energy Center director Ellen Scholl.

Holdren to Address UMd Forum – The University of Maryland at College Park hosts an interactive discussion tomorrow at Noon featuring Dr. John Holdren and the University of Maryland Global Sustainability Initiative.  Currently the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Holdren served as assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Obama Administration.

Forum to Look at Battery Sustainability – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center SVC-214, the U.S. Senate Auto Caucus, Sen. Rob Portman and the Responsible Battery Coalition will host a forum focused on vehicle battery sustainability and recycling.  Featured panelists will include Responsible Battery Coalition head Pat Hayes, Ramon Sanchez of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Johnson Controls’ sustainability expert Adam Muellerweiss, Jonathan Moser of Lafarge Canada, AutoZone’s Ray Pohlman and Micah Thompson, environmental affairs exec with Advance Auto Parts.

House Energy Look at NSR – The House Energy & Commerce panel on the Environment will holds a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to look at New Source Review permitting challenges for manufacturing and infrastructure.  The hearing with feature former PEA Air Office Head and Bracewell colleague Jeff Holmstead, former OMB official and AF&PA policy Head Paul Noe, NRDC’s John Walke, Arkansas DEQ  air director Stuart Spencer, PA Chamber official Kevin Sunday and GWU Law Professor Emily Hammond.

House Resources to Look at Water, Power Infrastructure – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.  looking at the state of the nation’s water and power infrastructure.

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability ReportBloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will release of the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook in Washington, DC, on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.  Speakers include BNEF’s Ethan Zindler and Rachel Luo, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson, SEIA’s Abby Hopper, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan, NHA’s Jeff Leahey, AGA’s Dave McCurdy and Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls.  The panel will look at the cost of energy for consumers and businesses, and how has this changed over time; U.S. ranking for energy prices and clean energy investment; clean energy contributions to American jobs and other items.  There will be a second stakeholder briefing at Noon.

FERC Meeting Set – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., FERC will hold open meeting.

Senate Foreign Relations to Hold Fannon Nom Hearing – The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will meet on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to consider several nominations including our friend Frank Fannon to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Energy Resources).

House Science to Look at STEM – The House Science Research and Technology Subcommittee holds a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on mentoring, training and apprenticeships for STEM education and careers.

House Resources to Look at Critical Minerals – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the House Resources Committee will hold a hearing on national strategic and critical minerals production.

Solar Tariff Proponents Discuss Case on Hill – Advocates for the tariffs on solar components will hold a staff briefing on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in 2253 Rayburn to discuss their Section 201 “global safeguard” case on solar imports and steps forward for Suniva and SolarWorld.  Tim Brightbill and Warren Payne will speak.


FEBRUARY 19 – President’s Day Holiday.

Forum to Look at FERC Decision on Grid NOPR – On Wednesday, February 21st at Noon, the Global America Business Institute will host a presentation on the FERC Response to grid resilience in RTOs and ISOs.  The speaker will be Judah Rose, Senior Vice President and Managing Director at ICF International.

EMA To Hold Roundtable – The Emissions Marketing Association will hold roundtable Thursday, February 22nd in Juno Beach, Florida at the offices of NextEra Energy.  The event will include presentations, Q&A, and networking opportunities to allow for dialogue among the attendees.

WEN HAPPY HOUR – The Women’s Energy Network holds its winter Happy Hour reception on Thursday February 22nd at 5:30 p.m. at Matchbox Bistro in Chinatown.

SEPA Head to Speak to Renewable Group – The Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy will hold a WRISE DC lunch and learn with Julia Hamm, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) on Friday February 23rd at Noon.  .Hamm will discuss her recent trips to and work with Puerto Rico, what SEPA is doing more broadly, as well as take-aways from her decades of work in renewable energy.

Climate, Security Forum Set – On Monday February 26th at 9:30 a.m., the Center for Climate and Security, in partnership with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, holds their 2018 Climate and National Security Forum: A Responsibility to Prepare. This year’s forum panels will focus on the risks that climate change presents to national security on an operational and strategic level, and the challenges and opportunities in preparing to counter and manage those risks.

BP Energy Outlook Set for Release – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host the U.S. launch of BP Energy Outlook 2018 on Monday February 26th at 9:30 a.m. Spencer Dale, chief economist of BP, will present the findings of the outlook followed by a moderated conversation with Sarah Ladislaw, director and senior fellow of the CSIS Energy & National Security Program.

BPC to Focus on Nuclear Energy Exports – The Bipartisan Policy Center hold a discussion next Monday at 10:00 a.m. with members of DOE, the U.S. nuclear energy industry, academia, and the Nuclear Innovation Alliance looking at the vital role that the export control regulations play in nuclear energy commerce and nonproliferation efforts. The conversation will focus on recommendations from a recent Nuclear Innovation Alliance report on how the regulations and their implementation can be improved.  Speakers will include NNSA’s Kate Strangis and Matt Bunn of the Harvard Kennedy School.

CSIS to Look at Short-Term Oil Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a conference Tuesday February 27th on the short-term outlook for U.S. tight oil production and its implications for global oil markets.  As we enter the new year with renewed commitment from the OPEC/non-OPEC partnership, Brent has continued to climb from $45 per barrel low in 2017 to $70 in January 2018. Global economic growth continues to look robust, oil stocks are clearly in decline, geopolitical challenges remain ever-present, and market sentiment looks bullish (for now). However, persistently higher prices have the potential to bring on additional supply from both OPEC and non-OPEC sources.  In this context, much attention is being directed to prospective U.S. supply growth. Based on assessments of resource strength, well productivity, hedging activity, cash flow, break even costs, and a sizeable backlog in drilled-but-uncompleted wells (DUCs), estimates of U.S. near-term output vary widely and challenges remain. Against this backdrop, the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a distinguished group of experts to discuss the outlook moving forward.  Our friend Paul Sankey will speak at the event.

ERCOT Market Forum Set – The ERCOT Market Summit will be held on February 27th though March 1st. The forum will look at perspectives on ERCOT Market Reform, end-use customers, Plant Retirements, Resource Adequacy and Reliability and dealing with the Impacts of Wholesale Price Volatility in ERCOT.

CERAWEEK Set for Houston CERAWEEK’s 2018 conference will be held in Houston from March 5-9th at the Hilton Americas.  Speakers this year include OPEC SG Mohammad Barkindo, GM’s Mary Berra, BP’s Bob Dudley, IAE’s Fatih Birol, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Energy Transfer’s Kelsey Warren, Paul Spencer of the Clean Energy Collective, Sunnova’s John Berger, and many, many more.

Third Way Forum to Look at Future Nukes – Third Way holds its third annual Advanced Nuclear Summit on March 6th in Washington, DC.  As the advanced nuclear sector gets closer to licensing and constructing new power plants, we will explore how nuclear leaders can engage with communities on the ground, how these technologies can help meet their needs, and how to address the challenges that concern them.  The forum is co-hosted by GAIN and the Idaho, Oak Ridge, and Argonne National Labs.

WINDPOWER Set for Chicago – The American Wind Energy Assn (AWEA) will hold WINDPOWER 2018 in Chicago from May 7th to 10th.  The industry closed 2017 strong, delivering 7,017 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity. That new capacity represents $11 billion in new private investment. There are now 89,077 MW of wind power installed across 41 states, enough to power 26 million American homes.  The wind industry is expected to continue its growth into 2018. WINDPOWER is where the industry comes together to plan for the future and keep this success story growing.

EESI, BSCE to Host Staff Brief on FactBook – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute hosts a lunch briefing on Friday March 9th In 2168 Rayburn focused on the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. A panel of executives from BCSE member companies and analysts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance will discuss.

BPC Infrastructure Hub Sets Innovation Forum – The BPC Infrastructure Lab hold its second event in a series on Infrastructure Ideas and Innovations on Tuesday March 13th at 10:00 a.m. The American economy is increasingly driven by a powerful network of billions of “smart” and connected devices, ranging from miniscule sensors to massive industrial machines. From autonomous vehicles to smart water meters, today’s innovations are transforming how we live and how our core industries do business.  These technological advancements also raise important policy questions: What infrastructure investments must be made to ensure that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), the infrastructure that underlies the innovation, has the powerful and reliable communications network needed to sustain it? How can we incorporate IIoT innovations, such as custom private networks that combine satellite-terrestrial technologies, to improve the quality and competitiveness of our infrastructure?

ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set for Cap Hill – The annual 2018 ACORE Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Capitol Hill on March 14th.  The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum is the only pan-technology renewable energy policy summit to address federal and state policy. This signature conference brings together industry leaders and policymakers to discuss energy and tax policy, debate pressing issues in the changing electricity marketplace, and identify priorities for Congress, the states, and relevant agencies.

Solar Operations Conference Set – On March 13-14th, Solar Asset Management North America will hold its 5th edition in San Francisco. The event is the leading conference focused on the operational phase of solar plants and portfolios. The recommendations on the Section 201 solar trade case as well as the new tax provisions will also affect the existing assets, budgets and O&M. The conference aims to fully assess and quantify the impact on the future of the solar industry.


Energy Update: Week of November 2



Hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween.  We have crossed another threshold at our house as Hannah handed out candy, Adam was at Boarding School and Olivia went out trick-or-treating with her friends and wanted nothing to do with us…  A little sad, but at least I didn’t have to walk around the entire neighborhood.


Now that was a World Series weekend with the Royals closing out the Mets with two consecutive come-from-behind victories.  With the Baseball season officially in the books, pitchers and catchers report in 108 days…  And if you are looking for an interesting early NHL season test, watch tomorrow night as the Washington Capitals travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the NY Rangers.  Both are off to a hot start and this may be a matchup we’ll see in May.  In case you were wondering, I wasn’t at the Halloween night Tool show in Arizona.  But I heard from some friends that roadtripped that it was pretty awesome.   Hoping this means a tour is on Tool’s docket soon.


With Thanksgiving and UN Climate talks less than a month away now, Congress and the policy advocacy world are all focused on key events running up to Paris.   Almost every day you can find an event focused on UN Climate talks and one group or another positioning itself.   An overlay to this Paris focus are the controversies surrounding the EPA GHG rules for power plants.  In fact, starting tomorrow the House Energy Committee will mark up the Congressional Disapproval Petition of the rules.  The Senate has already launched their effort as well with ND Dem Heidi Hietkamp leading the charge.


This week in Congress, we will also see amendments to the House highway bill that would lift the crude oil export ban.  Meanwhile, tomorrow the Senate is scheduled to begin floor debate on efforts to overturn the controversial (and now court stayed) Waters of the United States rule.  Finally, OMB has started its investigation of the RFS rule which is expected later this month.  Last year, EPA reached a settlement agreement with the petroleum industry to release the RFS by November 30th.  House Science panels take up the topic tomorrow.


Finally, tomorrow is election day (don’t forget to vote for our favorite Louden County Supervisor Matt Letourneau), where Kentucky is holding key Governor’s race.  It also marks the one-year point to the 2016 Presidential.  The next 365 promise to be very interesting.   Speaking of that, API, moderated by our friend Elana Schor, will host an election briefing tomorrow morning at the W Hotel..    Call with questions…Best,


Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932





Iranian Dissidents Attacked in Iraq – In case any of you are focused on Iran-related issues, last week Iranian dissidents were attacked by Shi’ite Muslim militia aligned with the Iranian government, killing 23 people and injuring several dozen more.   The attack was widely condemned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary of State John Kerry, Armed Services Chair John McCain, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Foreign Affairs leaders Ed Royce and Eliot Engel and many more.   If you or your Colleagues are covering this, please let me know as we have a bunch of excellent resources.


UGI Energy completes Auburn Pipeline Project – The Auburn Loop is the latest expansion of the Auburn gathering system and consists of a new nine-mile, 24-inch pipeline running from Susquehanna County to UGI Energy Services’ Manning Compressor Station in Wyoming County. The Auburn Loop parallels the existing 12-inch Auburn pipeline, and is scheduled to start delivering locally developed, natural gas on November 1, 2015. Installation of the Auburn Loop, alongside the November 2014 installation of three additional compressor units at the Manning Compressor Station, completes the third phase of the expansion of the Auburn Gathering System. The new pipeline expands UGI Energy Services’ existing Auburn Gathering System by approximately 150,000 dekatherms per day, bringing the total capacity of the system to 470,000 dekatherms per day.  The Auburn Loop will transport low-cost natural gas produced primarily by Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, one of the leading northeast Pennsylvania natural gas producers.


Cabot’s Stark Says Pipeline Will Help Communities – George Stark, director of external affairs at Cabot Oil & Gas said Cabot is excited to celebrate the addition of the Auburn Loop.  “As we head into winter and the heating season, we’re excited and proud to know we will have a hand in helping local families and businesses — our friends and neighbors — have greater access to an environmentally-friendly, affordable, reliable source of homegrown fuel.”


Ads Target RFS – API and its allies opposing the RFS, launched a new advertising campaign targeting the renewable fuel standard as EPA finalizes new standards for refiners for 2014, 2015 and 2016.  The ads highlight criticism of corn ethanol by anti-hunger and environmental groups and RFS opposition from newspaper editorials and lawmakers from both parties.  The Washington, D.C., campaign comprises television, radio and online ads and will run through the next month.  The ads focus on the negative consequences that higher ethanol mandates EPA is considering could have on consumers, including unexpected repair bills and potentially broad harm to our nation’s economy.  Right now, the majority of gasoline contains 10% ethanol by volume. But EPA’s initial proposal for 2016, if finalized, would increase ethanol volume requirements and breach the blend wall– the point at which the mandate exceeds the safe level of 10% ethanol in the fuel supply.


Tennessee Study Underscores RFS ineffectiveness –  A new University of Tennessee report finds that the RFS and its ethanol mandates fall short on a number of environmental fronts, and that without mandated ethanol use the corn ethanol industry couldn’t survive commercially.  The report: Looking back over the last 10 years, the RFS and its resulting promotion of corn ethanol as a leading oxygenate supplement to conventional transportation fuels did not meet intended environmental goals. Corn ethanol’s environmental record has failed to meet expectations across a number of metrics that include air pollutants, water contamination, and soil erosion. Corn ethanol has resulted in a number of less favorable environmental outcomes when compared to a scenario in which the traditional transportation fuel market had been left unchanged. The report says corn ethanol production and use is associated with a number of major pollutants – including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter, sulfur dioxide (SOx) and ammonia – and notes University of Minnesota research showing that corn ethanol increases lifecycle emissions of those pollutants relative to gasoline: From the inception of the original RFS mandate, ethanol has been lauded as an environmentally-friendly oxygenate. Oxygenates are added to gasoline mainly to reduce carbon monoxide (CO). While ethanol has been shown to reduce CO, other major pollutants actually increase over the ethanol lifecycle.


AGA Looks Back at Hurricane Sandy – Three years ago last week, high winds, tidal surges and flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy put natural gas utilities throughout the country to the test. They passed – working in the bitter cold to restore gas service to thousands of homes and businesses within days after the storm ended and ahead of the threat of a quickly approaching nor’easter.  More than 300 utility workers left the comforts of their homes in the south, mid-west and Canada to assist in recovery efforts. The American Gas Association (AGA) has released a video to mark the anniversary of this extraordinary effort.  The video tells the stories of teams from Alliant Energy in Iowa and Wisconsin that drove to the affected area and New Jersey Natural Gas which provides safe, reliable natural gas to half a million customers in parts of New Jersey that saw massive devastation from Hurricane Sandy.





Forum Looks at Global Energy Trends – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program held a discussion this morning looking at emerging market economic and energy trends and their implications for the near and longer term global energy outlook with Joyce Chang, Managing Director and Global Head of Research at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Catherine Wolfram, Faculty Director at the Energy Institute at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.


Energy Summit Set for Houston – The Energy Summit Series which will take place today and tomorrow at the JW Marriott Houston. The event will be co-located Transmission & Distribution and Distribution Technology & Innovation Summits.


Resch to Headline Solar Conference – The U.S. Solar Market Insight 2015 conference is today Thursday Wednesday in San Diego, CA.  Among the panels, Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President of GTM Research will sit down with Rhone Resch, the President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the national trade organization for America’s solar energy industry.  Rhone and Shayle will discuss the “Prospects and Probabilities of ITC Extension”.


Forum Looks Nat’l Labs, Argonne – The GWU Center for International Science and Technology Policy will hold a discussion today led by Dr. Keith S. Bradley. Dr. Bradley is the Director of National & Global Security Programs at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). He is also currently serving as the Director of the Global Security Sciences Division. Dr. Bradley has over 30 years of experience in national security and advanced nuclear energy research and development. Bradley works with scientists, engineers, and managers across the laboratory to formulate and execute a strategic future in national and global security programs. Most of Bradley’s career has focused on national nuclear security, with particular emphasis on nuclear capabilities and threats.  Previously he worked at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories, studying inertial confinement fusion, nuclear weapons physics and design, technology development for nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear counterterrorism and research to advance and protect civilian nuclear fuel cycles. Prior to his current responsibilities, Dr. Bradley served as the National Technical Director of the Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling & Simulation Program for the DOE office of Nuclear Energy.

Company to Demonstrate Green Thermal Tech –Today at 2:00 p.m. in Rayburn’s Gold Room Brillouin Energy Corp will hold a demonstration for policymakers of breakthrough thermal energy technology from.  Brillouin is a clean-technology company located in Berkeley, CA, which is developing, in collaboration with the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, CA, an ultra-clean, low-cost, renewable energy technology that is capable of producing commercially useful amounts of thermal energy.  The Brillouin technology is based on low energy nuclear reactions (LENR). The result is ultra-clean, low-cost, and sustainable renewable energy that doesn’t rely on any type of fossil fuel, chemical, or nuclear fuel. This process produces zero emissions and solid wastes which pollute the environment.


Forum to Feature Cardinal Discussing Pope Encyclical – Today at 4:00 p.m., Georgetown University Law Center will host the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life for a Public Dialogue on Pope Francis’ Environmental Encyclical: Protecting the Planet and the Poor, a conversation with Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez.  Cardinal Rodriguez is Chair of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals, the first Cardinal from Honduras, and leads the Church’s efforts to protect the planet and the poor. The conversation will be moderated by John Carr, Director of the Initiative. Faculty from Georgetown Law Center will respond including Edith Brown Weiss, Francis Cabell Brown Professor of International Law; and John Podesta, Distinguished Visitor from Practice and former Counselor to President Barack Obama on climate change and energy policy.


Forum to Address UN Conference – Tonight at 6:15 p.m., the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History will hold a forum regarding the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference. The discussion around climate change, will feature best-selling author and world-renowned scientist and environmentalist Tim Flannery.


UN Official to Speak at CSM Event – Tomorrow morning, the Christian Science Monitor is hosting a conversation with Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC , the official charged with bringing 195 nations together to agree on a global climate plan at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C.  The theme of the talk will be the state of global energy and climate heading into the Paris climate talks. Where do we stand with less than a month until diplomats meet in Paris to finalize an international climate agreement? Executive Secretary Figueres will provide an update on the negotiations and share her perspectives on what needs to happen during and after the summit in early December.


API to Hold Political Briefing – American Petroleum Institute (API) President & CEO Jack Gerard will hold an exclusive briefing tomorrow at the W Hotel – one year out from the election – examining the opinions of the nation’s electorate on energy issues.   In addition, a panel featuring some of Washington’s top political and public opinion analysts will discuss the issues driving voter opinions during the 2016 election cycle.   Panelists will include Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies, Rob Engstrom of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pollster Keith Frederick and Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report.  POLITICO’s Elana Schor will moderate.


House Science Panels to Tackle RFS – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittees on Oversight and on Environment will hold a joint hearing tomorrow on the history of the Renewable Fuel Standard.  Witnesses will include  CBO’s Terry Dinan, WEN-GAP CEO Ed Anderson, University of Michigan Energy Institute expert John DeCicco, Brooke Coleman of the Advanced Biofuels Business Council and former refinery trade assn head Charlie Drevna.


House Energy Panel to Mark Up Disapproval Resolution – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee Energy and Power will markup two Congressional Disapproval resolutions.

JHU Forum to Look at National Oil Companies – The Johns Hopkins University – SAIS Program will hold a forum tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. where Andrew Cheon, an Assistant Professor of International Political Economy at SAIS, will address questions on expansions at national oil companies.


Forum to Look at Customers, Cities – The Energy Times is hosting an Empowering Customers & Cities Forum on Wednesday in Chicago.  Energy customers are demanding more reliable service and sustainable solutions to deliver on their ever-increasing demand for power. At the same time, deregulation and legislative policy is forcing utilities and energy providers to rethink their business models. Now, more than ever, collaboration is required around the future of energy delivery and consumption.


Sen. Lee Headline Climate Preview Forum – On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., the Heritage Foundation will hold a forum on the upcoming Paris climate negotiations. Senator Mike Lee provides his views on the President’s plan followed by a panel of leading experts who will address what will happen in Paris later this year and what Congress can do about it. Other speakers include the US Chamber’s Steve Eule and conservative FOIA gadfly Chris Horner, and former State Department  official Harlan Watson.


Brazilian Ambassador to Discuss COP-21 Issues – The World Affairs Council will host Brazilian Ambassador to the US Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado at the Reagan Center at 6:00 p.m.  Ambassador Machado will be discussing sustainability, climate change and the upcoming COP-21 meeting.  Also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, the COP-21 will seek to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement to stabilizing the climate.


Fall Wind Symposium Set – AWEA is hosting its annual Fall Symposium in Albuquerque, NM on Thursday  at the Tamaya Resort.  The event will feature a community engagement seminar among the many other panels.


Summit to Focus on RPS – The Clean Energy States Alliance with funding support from The Energy Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy will host the 2015 National Summit on RPS on Thursday and Friday at the Westin Crystal City.


Solar Forum to Look at Distributed Energy Issues in Mid-Atlantic – On Thursday, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) will host a roundtable discussion regarding new developments in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and Delaware that are creating investment opportunities for renewable and distributed energy projects. Industry and governmental leaders will discuss these ongoing changes and emerging strategies for taking advantage of these opportunities.


Women, Money, Power Summit Set for Press Club – On Thursday, the Feminist Majority is hosting its annual Women, Money, Power Summit in DC at the National Press Club at noon.  Speakers will include Congresswomen Barbara Lee, Louise Slaughter and Donna Edwards, among others.


Forum to Look at Climate Issues – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion on Thursday looking at the immediate impacts of climate change on US economic and national security. As the COP21 talks in Paris approach, the attention of the international community is fixated more than ever on climate. Still, much of today’s climate discourse focuses on the long-term impacts rather than the immediate ramifications of climate change. This panel of climate experts seeks to highlight the urgency of these issues from the perspective of both the public and the private sector. Joining us for this session are Judge Alice Hill, Senior Director for Resilience Policy at the National Security Council, The Hon. Sherri Goodman, President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and Alex Kaplan, Vice President of Global Partnerships at Swiss Re.


REFF West to Focus on Key Renewable Financing Issues – The 8th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West (REFF-West) 2015 will be held at the Four Seasons in San Francisco, CA on Thursday and Friday.  With a focus on renewable energy development in the Western U.S., REFF-West will highlight financing trends in renewable power, energy storage, system integration, and transportation; review important developments in Western power market expansion and in the role of the emerging corporate customer market segment; and discuss renewable energy’s role in smarter resource use and response to the Western water crisis.


Congressional Security Forum with EU Leaders Set – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a Congressional Energy Security Roundtable.  Chairman Fred Upton has invited European members of the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue to engage with members of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power. The event will be co-chaired by Chairman Jerzy Buzek of the European Parliament.  The Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue (TLD) is the formal exchange between Congress and the European Parliament, with semi-annual meetings that began in 1972. Subcommittee members will host members of the European Parliament next week to discuss a broad range of energy issues that collectively impact the energy security of the United States and our European allies.  Earlier this year, bipartisan members of the committee traveled to key energy and policy hubs across Europe where they received an outpouring of appreciation from allies who were optimistic about a future where we can partner together. This forum seeks to build on the work and relationships formed during that trip and the committee’s work examining opportunities to strengthen energy security, lower energy prices, and improve economic competitiveness.


Forum to Look at Renewables – On Thursday, the Embassy of Italy, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and Enel Green Power North America for an evening discussion on the state of the renewable energy industry in the United States. As shared in the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, renewable energy  is a prominent part of many US states’ capacity mix, with 205GW installed across the country.  Among the speakers will be our friend Ethan Zindler of Bloomberg New Energy Finance and OK Secretary of Energy & Environment Michael Teague, among the others.


Cato Hill Forum to Focus on UN Climate Meeting – Following Last week’s forum, the Cato Institute will hold a Capitol Hill briefing on Friday at Noon in B354 Rayburn featuring Pat Michaels and Joseph Verruni. In this special event presented by Cato, they will answer questions as the world prepares for December’s 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which intends to create a legal framework for governments to regulate carbon emissions and create a $100 billion climate finance fund to redistribute wealth from developed states to least developed countries.




IPAA Hosts 86th Annual Meeting in New Orleans – On November 8-10th, the Independent Petroleum Association of America will host its 86th annual meeting at The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans, La. Speakers will include The Honorable Edward Djerejian, Alex Epstein, David Wasserman with The Cook Political Report, and John England, among others.


AEI to Host UK Foreign Secretary on Climate Innovation – The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host as the UK’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. to discuss conservative beliefs in innovation and free markets — and how they shape his approach to the risks and opportunities of a changing climate.

USEA to Host Forum On Crude Exports – Next Tuesday, November 10th at Noon, the U.S. Energy Association will host Brookings expert Charles Ebinger to speak on the potential for U.S. crude oil exports.  Ebinger will discuss the economic advantages of lifting the crude oil export ban as well as Keystone XL, falling oil prices, and drilling in Alaska.


Georgetown Forum Looks at Arctic, Climate – The Mortara Center for International Studies host the next meeting of the Energy and Climate Policy Research Seminar next Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. at Georgetown looking at the impacts and effects of climate change in the Arctic.  The energy and climate policy research seminar aims to enhance intellectual exchange among faculty and students by providing a forum to discuss research and policy topics related to the international and domestic dimensions of energy and climate change policy. Speakers will include members of the Georgetown community as well as invited faculty and practitioners from the Washington area and beyond.


AU Symposium to Look at UN Paris Meeting – The American University Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication will hold its annual symposium on Wednesday November 11th looking at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties in Paris taking place in December of this year. This conference will be of ultimate importance in determining how to move the world forward in addressing climate change. The 195 countries that are parties to the UNFCCC committed to create a new international climate agreement by the end of COP-21. The symposium will include panels featuring leading experts on climate change, domestic environmental law, and international environmental law who will discuss various issues surrounding the negotiations. The topics will include particular focus on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, economic implications of the negotiations, the 2- degree goal and whether it is feasible, and the means for reaching the goals and purposes of the UNFCCC.


JHU to Look at Climate in Caucuses – Next Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. in the Rome Building, the Johns Hopkins University will host a forum that will discuss climate change in the Caucasus.


Forum Looking at Energy Project Finance Set – The Women’s Council on Energy & the Environment (WCEE), AE2C and Johns Hopkins’ SAIS program will host a lunchtime seminar on next Thursday featuring Jenny Hou, a General Partner at SunEnergi Capital.  Hou will provide an overview of the energy project finance decision-making process and offers insight as to why some energy projects are successful while others are not.


Goodell to Address AU Forum – The Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, the Global Environmental Politics Program at American University’s School of International Service, American University, and Eco-Sense, American University’s student run environmental organization, is hosting a forum with Jeff Goodell on Thursday, November 12th.  Goodell will join Professor Paul Wapner to talk about his conversation with the President, the prospects for a climate agreement in Paris and what comes next, and his thoughts on the world’s options for avoiding catastrophic climate change.


NAS Social Carbon Cost Board to Meet – On Friday, November 13th at noon, the National Academies of Science’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education – Board on Environmental Change and Society is convening the third meeting of its Committee on Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon.  More on this next week.

CSIS Global Forum Set – CSIS’s International Security Program will hold its flagship annual Global Security Forum 2015 on Monday, November 16th.


Former EPA Official to Address Climate Issues – ICF will host an Energy Breakfast on November 19th at the National Press Club to look at the Paris Climate Meeting.  Starting in late November, the 21st  meeting of the Council of Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will gather in Paris to deliberate on how countries can individually and collectively mitigate global climate change.  Former EPA #2 Bob Perciasepe, a regular participant in these negotiations, as he handicaps the negotiations and informs us about what will be the “make or break” issues in Paris this time.


THANKSGIVING – November 26


PARIS UN COP 21 Meeting –  November 30th to December 11th


Transmission Forum Set – The 5th  annual TransForum East, will be held December 1st and 2nd in Washington, D.C. at the Westin Georgetown.  As in previous Forum events, our presenters and panelists have been hand selected by the TransmissionHub editorial team to address the most important issues facing stakeholders in the Eastern Interconnection. You can view the agenda and speaker lineup here.


Post-Election: Defense

By M. Justin Ackley

The Department of Defense and the Armed Services face uncertain times heading into 2013.  The decisions made during the debt limit fight of 2011 led to the Budget Control Act and the ill-fated “Super Committee.”  In November 2011, after the Super Committee failed to create a path forward with respect to the nation’s revenue and spending habits, the defense industry was introduced to the now infamous term: Sequestration.  Facing budget cuts of approximately $500 billion over the next 10 years, including $55 billion in FY2014, the world of defense must prepare for leaner times.

After more than a decade of expanding budgets, the Department of Defense (DOD) faces some tough decisions regarding procurement and end-strength.  Fortunately, the one item both parties can agree on is that sequestration would be a disaster for our national security priorities and the defense industrial base.  Unfortunately, the divergence of opinions begins shortly after that at how to address sequestration.

Executive Branch – The first term of the Obama Administration is credited with drafting a strong foreign policy based on successful withdrawals from Iraq, a 2014 exit from Afghanistan, and supporting the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi without committing U.S. troops.  Furthermore, Obama has expanded the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in Pakistan, Yemen, and the Horn of Africa.  The President has pledged to reduce the overall number of ground forces to pre-Bush Administration numbers while expanding the use of Special Forces and cooperation with other federal agencies.  The President has also focused on streamlining acquisitions and procurement as well as reducing the overall reliance of the Department of Defense on contractors.

Additionally, during the campaign, the Obama team emphasized reprogramming Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding for domestic initiatives such as infrastructure development.  All of this means that the defense industry faces leaner times in the future.  The major effort should focus on avoiding sequestration, aka the “fiscal cliff”, which would impose drastic cuts across the board to the Department of Defense.  Even if the Administration and congressional Republicans are able to work out a compromise, currently referred to as a “bridge,” the struggle for defense dollars will be a difficult one. However, it will not be unlike others seen in post-war drawdowns in the past and the military will scale back large outdated programs and put an emphasis on a leaner and more agile force.

Legislative Branch – The Republicans, as predicted, have held onto control of the House of Representatives but were unable to secure a majority in the Senate.  With a 44 Member majority, a strong national defense will remain a priority.  However, the defense industry will not maintain the sacred position it once held.  With a stream of retirement amongst the senior members of the Armed Services and Appropriations subcommittee, a plurality of Members, led by fiscally conservative members of the Tea Party,  have agreed that the continued expansion of the defense budget is unsustainable.  Additionally, Members of Congress, on both sides, agree that defense cuts should be made with a scalpel and not with the meat axe of sequestration.  A crucial aspect of the discussion will involve the interplay between budgetary cuts and constituent interests.

Outlook in the House – There has been significant turnover on the House Armed Services Committee, with Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) losing his seat to challenger John Delaney (D-MD).  Additionally, Todd Akin (R-MO) lost his Senate race and freshmen Bobby Schilling (R-IL) and Allen West (R-FL) lost their reelection bids.  In the minority, long-time defense stalwart Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) has left the House after losing the primary bid.  Additionally, Larry Kissell (D-NC), Mark Critz (D-PA), and Betty Sutton (D-OH) have also lost their reelection campaigns.  Martin Heinrich (D-NM) will now join the Senate after a successful run in New Mexico.  The Committee will be led by Buck McKeon (R-CA) while Adam Smith (D-WA) will serve as Ranking Member.

Republicans have referred to the Obama plan as a “hollowing” of the armed services and will push back against any downsizing.  The Committee should focus on an effort to minimize hardships related to Personnel budgets of the Army and Marine Corps. Operation and Maintenance budgets will also face scrutiny, specifically related to overhaul and refurbishment, and the equipment and fleet demands of the Army, the Marine Corps, and the Navy, respectively, should receive congressional support.

The one bright spot that exists seems to lay in UAV procurement.  The UAV-based economy has grown significantly and with an emphasis from the Administration on covert/drone driven action, we expect the UAV market to expand and receive exceptional support in Congress.

On the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense retirements have claimed some of the top spots on both sides of the aisle.  Representatives Jerry Lewis (R-CA) and Norm Dicks (D-WA) have stepped down as well as long-time defense advocate Maurice Hinchey (D-NY).  This opens the door for either Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) or Jack Kingston (R-GA) to take the helm.  On the minority side, Pete Visclosky (D-IN) is in line for the Ranking Member position.

The Appropriations Committee will play a large role in the effort to avert sequestration and avoid the significant cuts to defense spending.  Furthermore, there has been discussion surrounding the return of earmarks, so the Committee may return to its once sought-after status but this remains an unknown.

Outlook in the Senate – In the Senate, the Democratic Party maintained control by successfully expanding their majority to 55 seats.  On the Senate Armed Services Committee, retirements by Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Jim Webb (D-VA), and Ben Nelson (D-NE) have claimed four top spots. There is a lot of room on the Committee for newer members but this creates uncertainty about Committee priorities.  With Claire McCaskill (D-MO) defeating Todd Akin (R-MO), she will have her choice of Chairmanships with perhaps Airland being her preference.  Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) is expected to retain the Chair of the full committee, Jim Inhofe (R-OK) is in line for Ranking Member, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is term-limited.

The Committee will focus on sequestration and working with the Administration in an effort to head off deep cuts, but unlike the House, the Committee will work with the Administration to achieve various reductions.

On the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, the only movement in membership was the retirement of Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).  Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) is expected to retain the Chair of the full committee and the Defense Subcommittee.  However, Thad Cochran (R-MS) is expected to turn over the gavel to Richard Shelby (R-AL). Unfortunately, in 2012, not one of the Senate’s Appropriations bills made it to the Senate floor.  This track record does not bode well for the defense industry.

Additionally, without Overseas Contingency Operations, supplemental spending, and the impending sequestration, the fight for defense dollars requires the Appropriations Committee to work more efficiently.

Overall, the Subcommittee’s priorities will fall subject to the larger budget issues that rule the day.

Energy Update Week of October 15


So, I can’t even think straight after that disastrous NLDS Game 5 in which the Washington Nationals managed to somehow lose to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 9th inning, giving up 4 runs.  I think the Red Bull space jumper must either be a Orioles or Nats fan.  Speaking of that, how much Red Bull do you think Felix Baumgartner was hopped up on when he opened the door and fell 24 miles from Space?  It feels like I do that every weekend only horizontally rather than vertically.  I only wish I could get around at 833 miles/hour in between field hockey, lacrosse, football, wrestling, ice hockey refereeing or even work (I live about 24 miles away and a 9 minute commute sounds great).

Speaking of this weekend, between the games and practices, we also managed our first “Homecoming” dance extravaganza.  Oh boy…I just can’t be getting that old.  Follow me on Twitter or Friend me on Facebook and check out a highlight from Saturday prior to the event.

Well, it’s SEJ week in glorious Lubbock, Texas at the Texas Tech University.  While it may not be Miami for the social scene, believe it or not, there is a lot of good policy discussions on tap in the heart of energy country.  Our friends Don Hopey and Abrahm Lustgartin are leading a tour of natural gas drilling issues, Kate Galbraith and Bill Kovarik are leading a tour of wind turbine technologies and there will be lots of discussions of politics.  I will be joining Wisconsin Public Radio’s Chuck Quirmbach for a panel on Money in Politics being the new green…or actually: the old Green.  The old green is the new green.  And, of  course, Bracewell will host its annual Thursday night reception blowout featuring another giant slab of Texas beef and an open bar – enough reason alone to make the trip to Red Raider Nation.  If the BG reception is not enough, our friend and clean energy author Clint Wilder will be signing his new book Clean Tech Nation: How the U.S. Can Lead in the New Global Economy on Thursday night from 7 to 8 p.m. as well.   So you can get a book signed and then get some au jus on it.

Despite the expected approaching drop, California gas prices continue to get the attention of local politicians. Now, our friend Ben Geman of The Hill says they are getting some traction in close races out there.  This is the Californication of the fight we often have in Spring.  Our friend Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service (and one of the best experts on this topic) said he expects a significant drop Going to California soon.  Of course, last week I suggested this worry was California Dreamin.  They are really their own worst enemy because of their dumb fuels policy that makes the state the place where you can check out anytime you like but can never leave.   For background and sources on the situation, we can help.

As well, energy exports have been in the news a lot lately with the China tariff issues, the CFIUS battle with Ralls and oil/gas export issues.  We, at Bracewell, have quite a broad expertise in that arena starting with my colleague trade/CFIUS expert Josh Zive and our former DOE Senior Counsel Salo Zelermyer.   Please feel free to call should you be looking for more information or resources on the topic.

Super congrats to our friend Rosemarie Calabro Tully who joined the Bipartisan Policy Center’s team as Energy Press Secretary last week.  Of course, Rosemarie kept all of us in line as press secretary of the Senate Energy Committee, training under the wing of energy PR kingmaker, Bill Wicker.   Way to go Rosemarie…Just wait until you have to go to your first Senate Energy hearing.  It’s a little weird, but David Marks can help.

Finally, with 22 days until election day, the Presidential race continues to stay close, especially after the first debate performance by the President.  We know he is prepping more for tomorrow’s  Presidential Foreign Policy debate which is in the “Town Hall” format (which I happen to think is the WORST format ever).  It also happens to be the 50th anniversary of the day the Cuban Missile Crisis began, so don’t be surprised if there is a link made between that and the growing controversy over Libya.  Double drinks any time there is a mention of that.  This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, which became law on October 18, 1972, after Congress overrode a veto from President Richard Nixon. Speaking of birthdays, Wednesday is that special day for one of our favorite energy Democrats: Gene Green who turns 65 (he also happens to share his birthday with Evil Knievel and Norm from Cheers, George Wendt).   Energy, beer and jumping motor cycles…  Now that sounds like a good topic for the town hall debate….

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


New IHS Study Shows Offshore Wind Industry Could Create 170K Jobs for Mid-Atlantic – A new study prepared by IHS says large-scale development of offshore wind off the Mid-Atlantic will create jobs and boost the region’s economy. It was released as state, federal and local political leaders, regulators, industry leaders, environmental activists and clean energy advocates gather at the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) annual OFFSHORE WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.  The study for the Atlantic Wind Connection says 7,000 megawatts of offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic linked by the Atlantic Wind Connection will create over 170,000 jobs in the Mid-Atlantic region from New York to Virginia, measured in FTE job-years. It will also increase GDP by $19 billion and increase Federal, state and local revenues by $4.6 billion. 7,000 megawatts (or 7 gigawatts) is enough to power more than 2 million homes in the Mid-Atlantic region with clean, renewable energy.  The IHS study demonstrates how offshore wind and the AWC will drive new jobs in manufacturing, construction, and operations and maintenance, create jobs within the supply chain for offshore wind, and strengthen local economies through increased economic activity.  In the Mid-Atlantic region, more than 70,000 direct jobs will be created in the manufacturing sector to meet the demand for wind turbine foundations, hubs, blades and other parts. More than 40,000 jobs will be created by businesses that serve the supply chain for wind turbines. An additional 50,000 jobs will be created by the effect of added economic activity in the region. All of IHS’s job numbers are measured in job-years referred to as Full-Time-Equivalent-Years, or FTE-Years. One full-time worker working for one year equals one FTE-Year.  The IHS study also showed the combined economic impact for the states in the Mid-Atlantic region increased by $19 billion, while federal, state and local government revenues increase by $4.6 billion region-wide.  The study further found that U.S. manufacturers are poised to play a substantial role in the supply chain. Already two-thirds of the components of U.S. land-based wind farms are manufactured domestically. Regional and local suppliers are likely to see much of this new business, since many turbine components are very large, making transportation expensive and difficult.

IHS Author Highlights Opportunities – IHS Author Shane Norton, Director of Economic Impact Analysis Group of IHS said the study shows that with the right development and policies, offshore wind can create a significant number of new jobs and economic opportunities for the Mid-Atlantic: “When we were analyzing this information, we discovered that not only will the region have the ability to develop an emerging industry within their state, they also have the ability to dramatically shift the way people live and do business using their state’s most abundant natural resource.”

Offshore Wind Industry Offers Insights on Opportunity – Bob Mitchell, CEO of Atlantic Wind Connection said the findings highlight the unique opportunity our nation has for stimulating a brand new industry by developing this limitless, yet untapped, resource.  Mitchell: “A viable offshore wind industry and the AWC backbone transmission line will provide the long-term energy solution to the region that not only delivers offshore wind energy efficiently, but will reduce the grid congestion that increases consumer electricity prices every year.  Mitchell also said the  reveal just the tip of the iceberg, noting that a University of Delaware study estimated the wind resource in the area from Cape Cod, Mass., to Cape Hatteras, N.C., to be sufficient to generate an average of 330 gigawatts of electricity, substantially exceeding the region’s current energy use. Offshore Wind Development Coalition President Jim Lanard said this study confirms the great job creation and economic benefits that will come from the offshore wind industry.  Lanard: “The opportunities are great.  Now we must match the right state and federal policies that can turn this study into reality.”

Chamber Energy Group Rolls out 2012 Energy Risk Index –The U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy rolled out its International Index of Energy Security Risk this morning with a briefing and report.  The index assesses risk in the global energy market. Mexico tops the list which ranks the most energy secure nations. The United States ranks seventh on the list “due in large part to growing shale oil and gas production,” while the United Kingdom, Norway, New Zealand and Denmark round out the top five. The Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy used 28 factors to rank countries’ energy security, including fossil fuel imports and greenhouse gas emissions.

Solar Energy Zones Approved by Interior – The Department of Interior has approved the establishment of “solar energy zones” on large swaths of public land in six Western states, despite lingering concerns from environmental groups and others.  The Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for solar energy development provides a blueprint for utility-scale solar energy permitting in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah by establishing solar energy zones with access to existing or planned transmission, incentives for development within those zones, and a process through which to consider additional zones and solar projects.  The Solar PEIS establishes an initial set of 17 Solar Energy Zones (SEZs), totaling about 285,000 acres of public lands, that will serve as priority areas for commercial-scale solar development, with the potential for additional zones through ongoing and future regional planning processes. If fully built out, projects in the designated areas could produce as much as 23,700 megawatts of solar energy, enough to power approximately 7 million American homes. The program also keeps the door open, on a case-by-case basis, for the possibility of carefully sited solar projects outside SEZs on about 19 million acres in “variance” areas. The program also includes a framework for regional mitigation plans, and to protect key natural and cultural resources the program excludes a little under 79 million acres that would be inappropriate for solar development based on currently available information.

Commerce Clamps Down on China, Solar –  In another politically convenient move, the Administration is following through on its clamp down on China solar imports.  Late last week, the Commerce Department’s finalized tariffs for crystalline silicon photovoltaic imports from China increased the countervailing duties from preliminary levels while keeping anti-dumping duties near unchanged to revising them slightly lower, according to group domestic manufacturers that brought the trade complaint. The original countervailing duties — an anti-subsidy tariff — ranged between 2.9 and 4.73 percent. Commerce’s new figures range from 14.78 percent to 15.97 percent, depending on the company.  My trade expert colleague Josh Zive (202-828-5838), who many of you talked about CFIUS and China issues about recently, can also address this export issues as well.

Fracking Rock’n Roll-ing Stones – You know we like to talk about rock ‘n roll here at the update, so it won’t surprise you that we have heard the new Rolling Stones’ song, “Doom and Gloom” — their first new single in six years.  It was released last week and thanks to the DJs at POLITICO, we find out that around minute 2:25, there are lyrics on hydraulic fracturing: “Fracking deep for oil, but there’s nothing in the sump/There’s kids all picking at the garbage dump/I’m running out of water so I better prime the pump/I am trying to stay sober but I end up drunk …” The song is getting mixed reviews mostly because the Stones are 900 years old.  In fact, they may have been released their first record when Marcellus was formed.  Hear the song here.


NRC Begins Hearing on Indian Point License Renewal – The three judges of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLBP) will conduct an evidentiary hearing starting today, addressing 10 technical and environmental challenges to the pending Indian Point nuclear power plant license renewal application. The application was submitted by Entergy Nuclear Operations Inc., the owner and operator of the plant, which is located in Buchanan, N.Y.  The issues to be considered have been raised by the State of New York and two public interest organizations, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and Riverkeeper.  In addition to these intervenors, several governmental bodies have been granted status as participants in the proceeding.  The ASLBP, the independent judicial arm of the NRC, will hold the hearing over the course of several weeks: this week and next, as well as December 10-14. Today’s session will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown, N.Y. The three judges assigned to conduct this proceeding will hear testimony from expert witnesses and then issue a ruling at a later date. This proceeding will be different from a typical court proceeding in that the parties have pre-filed their direct testimony and exhibits. Therefore, the evidentiary hearing will be a forum in which the judges will ask questions of the parties’ witnesses in order to clarify the testimony and exhibits they have already reviewed.  This will be a formal adjudicative proceeding and therefore courtroom decorum will be observed throughout the hearing. The judges will ask questions of the witnesses who have been presented by the parties and solicit arguments on legal issues from the attorneys representing the hearing participants.

Utility, Fuel, Renewables to Address RETECH Forum – RETECH 2012 is set for Washington DC tomorrow through Thursday at the Omni Shoreham.  RETECH is the premier business, policy and technology conference and exhibition for the entire renewable energy industry and will host renewable energy leaders from government, utility, finance and technology.   RETECH 2012 is the only event dedicated to delivering coverage on EVERY discipline of renewable energy technology.  RETECH’s conference sessions will focus on current trends, the newest technologies and important up-to-date information on the changing legislative and regulatory landscapes.  Among the speakers will be EIA’s Adam Siemanski, as well as our friends Yvonne McIntyre of Calpine Corporation, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, former DOE energy advisor Larisa Dobriansky, Drive NatGas Executive Director Kathryn Clay, DTF’s Allen Schaeffer and EPRI’s Bryan Hannegan.

Author to Discuss ExxonMobil Book – The Women’s National Democratic Club will host Washington Post writer and author Steve Coll tomorrow for a luncheon event that discuss his recent book, Private Empire: Exxon Mobil and American Power. Coll is President of New America Foundation, and a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine. Previously he spent 20 years as a foreign correspondent and senior editor at The Washington Post, serving as the paper’s managing editor from 1998 to 2004.

CSIS Forum to Host Fukushima Commission Chair – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)will host Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Commission Chairman Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. for a conversation on the striking findings of the independent commission and implications for the future.  18 months after the earthquake, tsunami, and Daiichi nuclear accident struck Japan – the Japanese legislature took the unprecedented step of creating an investigative commission to look into the root causes of the nuclear incident. The commission, chaired by Dr. Kurokawa, renowned scientist and public health expert, concluded that the Fukushima nuclear accident was a “profoundly man-made disaster” rooted in government negligence and conformist Japanese culture.

Presidential Debate #2 – Tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. at Hofstra College in New York

Forum to Discuss Nuclear Technologies – George Washington University, the Nuclear Policy Talks series and the Institute for Nuclear Studies will host a forum on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss advancing the nuclear fuel cycle through technology innovations.  The speaker will be Robert Schleicher of General Atomics.   In order to achieve long-term energy security in an environmentally acceptable manner, fission technology needs to make further advances in the areas of lower financial risk, better resource utilization, and reduced volumes of high-level waste. Without such progress, these concerns may be limiting factors in the exploitation of this vital resource.  “Convert & burn” fast reactors offer the potential for advances in each of these areas without the specter of increased proliferation risk that accompanies breeder reactor concepts. An example is the Energy Multiplier Module (EM^2), a helium-cooled compact fast reactor that augments its fissile fuel load with either depleted uranium or used nuclear fuel. A novel physics design results in a convert and burn in-situ operating mode results in a core predicted to last 30 years without the need to add or shuffle fuel. The reactor design has been carefully optimized to achieve a safe, economically affordable and proliferation-resistant energy source.

SEJ Ready for Lubbock – SEJ Kicks off at Texas Tech in Lubbock on Wednesday.  Bracewell will of course be sponsoring its Thursday night event, so we hope to see you there.

Solar Forum Set at U of MD – The Washington DC, Northern VA Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society is sponsoring a plenary session on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at the University of Maryland with the theme of: “Everything you wanted to know about solar energy, but were afraid to ask.” Or more specifically, “Forefront Developments in the Technology, Policy, and Economics of Solar Power”.   Seminar highlights include a discussion of Thin Film Photovoltaic Devices from NIST’s Daniel Josell and solar energy trends, business and growth perspectives from Bianca Barth of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA).

JHU Forum to Look at Rio Summit, Future – Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS Foreign Policy Institute will hold a forum on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in its Nitze Building‘s Kenney Auditorium to discuss the Rio summit 20 years later.  Lalinath de Silva, director of the Access Initiative at the World Resources Center; Charles Di Leva, chief counsel of the Environmental and International Law Unit at the World Bank; Amy Fraenkel, regional director of the Regional Office for North America at the United Nations Environmental Program; Lawrence Gumbiner, deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State; and Andrea Martinez, fellow at the Center for International Environmental Law, will discuss the summit and the future path forward.

Forum to Look at Energy Storage – ICF International’s October Energy and Environment Breakfast will be held on Thursday and feature energy experts discuss the future of energy storage in the United States. ICF welcomes energy experts Dr. Imre Gyuk, an energy storage program manager in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, and Chris Shelton, president of AES Energy Storage.

Forum to Look at Negatives of Green Jobs – The Heritage Foundation will be holding a forum on Thursday at Noon  on green job policies and the their impact on the economy featuring Manhattan Institute fellow Diana Furchtgott-Roth.  I suppose it will be a somewhat unfavorable view given Heritage’s event write up and the regular pounding MI fellows have given the Green Jobs case.   Plenty of good information on the other view is also available.

Forum to Look at Sino-Russian Oil Gas, Issues – Johns Hopkins University’s Japan Studies Program and Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies will host a forum on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in its Rome Building to look at the reality and implications of Sino-Russian oil and gas cooperation.  Keun-Wook Paik, research fellow at the Oxford University Energy Research Center, will discuss his recent book, “Sino-Russian Oil and Gas Cooperation: The Reality and Implications.”

Panel to Discuss Climate Communications Challenges – DC Net Impact and Weber Shandwick Social Impact will hold a discussion on the challenges surrounding communicating on and advocating for climate change-related issues on Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m.   In the face of difficult economic circumstances, political polarization and the challenge of keeping energy affordable, communicating the potential impacts of climate change can be difficult. Come hear a variety of perspectives from the political, corporate and nonprofit sectors on what strategies they’ve used to translate this complex issue into understandable and persuasive terms, and what strategies have been successful in their pursuit to bring stakeholders into the cause.  Panelists will include Mark Grundy of the Carbon War Room, Alex Bozmoski of the Energy & Enterprise Initiative and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions’ Tim Juliani.

Huntsman to Speak to BPC Leadership Series – On Friday, at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will continue its 2012 “On Leadership” Speaker Series featuring Jon Huntsman, former presidential candidate, governor of Utah and ambassador to both China and Singapore. Huntsman will discuss his experiences on the campaign trail, reflect on his achievements as governor and describe his commitment to bipartisanship across four different administrations.  Our friend Jason Grumet will introduce Huntsman.

Report, Forum to Look at regional Energy Solutions – The Center for American Progress will release a new study and hold a forum on Friday at 10:00 a.m. to look at regional energy solutions.  A new report by the Center for American Progress and The Center for the Next Generation, called Regional Energy, National Solutions: A Real Energy Vision for America, examines non-fossil-fuel-based economic development strategies in six major regions of the country. These solutions highlight the current success and future potential of the clean energy economy, especially when these strategies are tailored to the specific needs and strengths of each region. America deserves better than the “one size fits all, drill everywhere and now” strategy, put forth by the American Petroleum Institute, that is designed to pad the pockets of the industries of yesterday. Our vision shows the way.  Keynote speaker is Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, as well as John Arensmeyer of the Small Business Majority and Anne Kelly of the Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy.


Book, Maisano Headline OPIS Fuels Conference in Vegas (Yeah!!!) – The Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) will hold its 14th annual National Supply Summit on October 22nd  to 24th at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas’ City Center.  Just a few weeks before the election, Kevin Book and I will host a panel on elections, the next Congress and fuels which will definitely be the highlight of the event.  Other speakers will include Delta’s Jon Ruggles, ConocoPhillips’ Greg Garland and Chad Martin of Eco-Energy.

IEA Experts to Look at World, Iraq Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Dr. Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Administration on Monday, October 22nd at 9:30 a.m. to present highlights from the IEA’s recent World Energy Outlook Special Report, the Iraq Energy Outlook. Guy Caruso, Senior Adviser for the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate this session.  Iraq is already the world’s third-largest oil exporter and has both the resources and intention to increase its oil and gas production. Will Iraq’s ambitions be realized? And what are the implications for Iraq’s economy and for world oil markets? The obstacles are formidable: political, logistical, legal, regulatory, and financial challenges as well as ongoing security concerns will require steady and continued progress. IEA has studied these issues with the support and close co-operation of the government of Iraq and many other leading officials, commentators, industry representatives and international experts.  The report examines the role of the energy sector in the Iraqi economy today and in the future, assesses oil and gas revenues and investment needs, provides a detailed analysis of oil, gas and electricity supply through to 2035, highlighting the challenges of infrastructure development and water availability, and spells out the associated opportunities and risks, both for world oil markets and for Iraq’s economy and energy sector.

Briefing to Discuss Energy Storage – The Electricity Storage Association, working with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, hosts a lunch briefing on Tuesday, October 23rd at Noon in 2322 Rayburn where a panel of experts will discuss energy storage technologies, their applications, and projects already in operation. Participants will learn how these US technology innovations make our grid more reliable, more efficient, and cleaner. Discussion will focus on how energy storage maximizes all resources on the grid, including traditional generators and renewable energy alike. Speakers include private sector energy storage companies.

Giuliani to Headline Chamber Legal Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold its 13th Annual Legal Reform Summit on Wednesday, October 24th in Washington, DC featuring Keynote speaker NYC Mayor and B&G partner Rudy Giuliani.  The summit, which is recognized as the nation’s paramount comprehensive legal reform symposium, will feature a keynote address by former Giuliani and remarks by Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Additionally, the Summit agenda will feature a variety of timely panel discussions on developments and trends in litigation impacting securities and mergers & acquisitions, the political landscape and the 2012 elections and many other topics.  Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Scott Rasmussen, Founder and President of Rasmussen Reports will also speak.

Forum to Look at Exporting Green – ExportDC and the DC Chamber of Commerce will hold a presentation on Wednesday, October 24th at 9:00 a.m. on the growing international demand and marketability of the green economy. Designed for current exporters and new-to-export businesses, this information seminar will give an overview of the growing green economy sector, highlight country specific opportunities and inform businesses how to successfully pursue international markets. This event is an opportunity for DC businesses to better understand the value of their sustainable product or service in the global marketplace. This seminar will provide exporters with an overview of the growing international green economy, opportunities in specific export markets, guidance on how to successfully access foreign markets and experiences from currently exporting businesses.

MD to Hold Water Technologies Conference – The Maryland Department of the Environment will hold its Second Annual Clean Water Innovations Trade Show on Wednesday, October 24th in Annapolis.  Professionals and stakeholders from around the State will display innovative stormwater management and water quality management techniques, exchange information and promote the protection of Maryland’s resources. The event is free and refreshments will be provided.  Government agencies, consultants, developers, environmental advocates and the building industry can learn more about the latest best management practices in stormwater management, wetland creation and restoration and other green technologies.  Additionally, during the event, MDE will recognize the winners of the 2012 Smart, Green & Growing Award for Infrastructure and Innovations in Stormwater Management.  The trade show promises to be informative for both those with ideas and products to offer and those faced with the challenge of improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Climate Negotiations  Discussed at JHU Forum – Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, MS in Energy Policy and Climate; and American University School of International Service Global Environmental Politics will host a presentation on Thursday, October 25th at Noon in the JHU DC Center by Paul Joffe, Senior Foreign Policy Counsel with the World Resources Institute.  Joffe will discuss the challenges and possibilities in consideration of common but differentiated responsibilities and equity in the climate negotiations heading toward 2015, including consideration of a legally binding agreement and the alternatives.  Joffe is Senior Foreign Policy Counsel at the World Resources Institute, working on international climate and energy law and policy issues, including the multilateral climate negotiations and bilateral engagement with China and other countries.

Nuclear Exports, Jobs Highlighted – The Foundation for Nuclear Studies and the Global America Business Institute will hold a luncheon briefing on Thursday, October 25th at Noon in 2325 Rayburn to look at the impact on jobs and the economy of U.S. nuclear exports and 123 agreements.  Speakers will include our friend Craig Piercy, of the American Nuclear Society and NEI’s Dan Lipman.

EESI, German Embassy Hosts Clean Energy Forum – The Embassy of Germany and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing on Thursday, October 25th at 2:00 p.m. in the Cannon Caucus Room in coordination with the Congressional Study Group of Germany to examine how we can fully unleash the clean energy sector to reap powerful economic growth and job creation benefits. The speakers will compare investment policies in the United States and Germany, to see what is working and what isn’t. What type of regulatory framework is necessary to give clean energy companies a stable investment climate? What works best, loan guarantees, tax credits, feed-in tariffs, quotas?  Speakers are Dr. Georg Maue of the German Embassy, InsideClimate News writer and Author Osha Gray Davidson, Sabine Miltner of Deutsche Bank and our friend Ethan Zindler of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

KY Coal Assn Meeting Set – The Kentucky Coal Association will hold an event on October 26th in Lexington to look at challenges facing the United States in meeting its energy needs and energy policy goals in the midst of the 2012 elections.  US Chamber Energy Institute exec Karen Harbert will speak.

Krancer to Headline PA NatGas Water Conference – Michael Krancer, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, will be one of the keynote speakers at Infocast’s 3rd Water Management for Shale Plays meeting, slated for October 29-31 in Pittsburgh, PA.   Secretary Krancer will kick off the Briefing, Assessing Specific Shale Plays, on Monday, October 29th providing Pennsylvania DEP’s perspective on Water Management in the Marcellus and Utica.  Topics on the agenda include the economics of good water management systems, integrating treatments and new technologies and determining what’s required in terms of the necessary supporting water infrastructure for the current drilling boom.

Gasification Technologies Conference to Look at Progress, Challenges – The 2012 Gasification Technologies Council conference will be held on October 28-31 at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC. The GTC Conference is the largest gasification event in the world, attracting speakers and participants from the Americas, Europe, and Asia.  Speakers will address all aspects of the gasification industry, including energy policy, gasification projects/technology updates, biomass and waste gasification, CO2 management and enhanced oil recovery, global gasification markets, underground coal gasification and gasification-related technology advancements and improvements.  Keynote speakers will include energy journalist and author Robert Bryce and Charles McConnell, DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy.  Other speakers include folks developing Southern Company’s Kemper IGCC project, Ben Yamagata of the Coal Utilization Research Council and Karen Harbert of the US Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.

Forum to Focus on Unconventional Oil, Gas – To help us better understand both the opportunities and challenges of these new technological advances, NDN is hosting a panel on Wednesday, October 31st at Noon to spotlight the broad implications of hydraulic fracturing and the potential of natural gas and oil shale.  In recent years new advances in technology have changed our understanding of our nation’s energy future.  “Hydraulic Fracturing” is a perfect example and offers America tremendous opportunity to have greater control of our own energy destiny.  The potential is huge, but of course, like any new advance, there are risks.   The panel will include Stanford’s Mark Zorback (who served on the DOE NatGas panel) Greg Staple of the American Clean Skies Foundation and Melanie Kenderdine of the MIT Energy Initiative. This panel on the technological implications of hydraulic fracturing will be the 14th in NDN’s “Clean Energy Solution Series” which showcases the leaders, companies, ideas and policies who are hastening our transition to a cleaner, safer and more distributed energy paradigm of the 21st Century.

November 6th – Election Day

Energy Service Companies to Look at Election Impacts at Conference – The National Association of Energy Service Companies will hold its annual conference at The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans on November 7th through 9th to discuss the new 113th Congress and Administration may have in store for energy markets.  Speakers include Alison Asplin of Bloomberg NewEnergy Finance and Christopher Guith of the Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, as well as several DOE program speakers.

Washington Ideas Forum Set – The Atlantic, the Aspen Institute, and the Newseum, with support from the Harvard Institute of Politics, will host the 4th annual Washington Ideas Forum on November 14th and 15th, DC’s premier gathering of journalists and newsmakers for two days of idea-sharing and creative thinking on the biggest issues facing the country – and the world.  Confirmed speakers include Bill Gates, Nancy Pelosi, Mylan Labs’ Heather Bresch, Margaret Carlson, FDA Commissioner Peggy Hamburg, Jon Huntsman, David Leonhardt, Michele Norris, Norah O’Donnell, and David Rubenstein.

COP 18 in Doha, Qatar – December 1st through 8th.