Holiday Energy Update

Friends,

So it finally is the week of the Christmas Holiday.  I suspect that means it will slow down a little.  (I hope, although it hasn’t yet as of Noon today…)  In the meantime, we await the last major cabinet announcement from President-Elect Trump: USDA Secretary.  The leading candidate in the rumor mill is North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who has been in line with Trump positions and very strong on energy and ag issues.  Remember, the NRECA should be one of your primary calls when the USDA announcement is made.

As well, we are starting to see significant discussion about the Republican tax overhaul plan that features a border adjustment plan.  A  pair of new studies over the weekend from PIRA and the Brattle Group say the border adjustment would amount to a $10-a-barrel tax on imported crude oil, raising costs for drivers buying gasoline by 25 to 30 cents a gallon.  Our man in tax Havana, Curt Beaulieu is all over the issue and can be a huge help on the impacts.  You can reach Curt at 202-828-5806 or curtis.beaulieu@bracewelllaw.com.

As we move through the holidays, we fully expect to hear rumbles from opponents of the energy and environmental cabinet nominees.  We are happy to be your story sounding board, addressing your questions, providing background and offering assistance to get the full picture on these issues.

As for the holidays, we will be around and available should you need a comment or want to just catch up.  Please feel free to call.

Important news on the offshore wind front: Late Friday, our friends at Statoil were declared the provisional winner of the U.S. government’s wind lease sale of 79,350 acres offshore New York.  I have more details below.

Secondly, we know Metallica will be touring in 2017 with their new “kick-a–“ album Hardwired to Self-Destruct. But you may not have heard last week that “Live,” the soulful 90s band from York, PA, has resolved its legal conflicts and will reunite for new music and a 2017 tour.  More as we hear on both.

Special birthday wishes to our friend John Walke of NRDC, an avid update reader and Twitter/Facebook commenter.  I want to say 49, but that’s what we all say when we get there…

And finally, congrats to long-time White House and congressional advisor Richard Russell who was named today by new Senate EPW Chair John Barrasso to be Republican staff director of the Committee.

As you know, every year, before Christmas, I do a Christmas Note filled with holiday cheer and some good quips…so , here we go:

 

It is the week of Christmas and all through DC; we’ll have a new President, Congress and direction come January.

New appointees for Energy, State, Interior, EPA; enviros using same talking points for each, every day.

The energy boom will return under this new group, as the Obama (Enviros) agenda and policies fly the coop.

Who really knows where a President Trump will go, but thanks to pollsters and predictors, no of us thought we need to know.

One thing is clear, we are heading a new way.  New people, new politics, new tweets each and every day.

Oh yes, the President will continue to use 3 AM twitter, his social media craziness is making us all very bitter.

So as we wrap another crazy political and energy year, I hope you will take a few minutes to share…

Some fun, peace and joy… and more holiday cheer, mostly because it really is the best time of year.

We’re always working hard to be there for you; interviews, sources, background – something is always new.

So as you settle in for the holidays during this week and next; The Winter Classic, some football, some well-deserved rest.

From Our Bracewell family to yours, have a great holiday season; Can’t wait to make next year even better for whatever reason.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We are excited to have submitted the most competitive bid in a highly attractive project, Statoil’s first offshore wind lease in the United States. We now look forward to working with New York’s state agencies and contributing to New York meeting its future energy needs by applying our offshore experience and engineering expertise.”

Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil´s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions, following Statoil being named the winner of Friday’s NY Offshore Wind Auction

 

IN THE NEWS

Statoil Wins NY Offshore Wind Auction – Statoil has been declared the provisional winner of the U.S. government’s wind lease sale of 79,350 acres offshore New York. Statoil will now have the opportunity to explore the potential development of an offshore wind farm to provide New York City and Long Island with a significant, long-term source of renewable electricity.  Statoil submitted a winning bid of $42,469,725 during the online offshore wind auction concluded today by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).  The lease comprises an area that could potentially accommodate more than 1 GW of offshore wind, with a phased development expected to start with 400-600 MW. The New York Wind Energy Area is located 14-30 miles (30-60 km) offshore, spans 79,350 acres (321 km2), and covers water depths between 65 and 131 feet (20-40 meters).  Statoil will next conduct studies to better understand the seabed conditions, the grid connection options and wind resources involved in the lease site.

U.S. Energy Security Continues Marked Improvement According Chamber Analysis – The Chamber’s Energy Institute said America’s energy security is at its strongest point in two decades.  The U.S. Chamber Institute for 21st Century Energy’s Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk employs 37 different energy security metrics in four major areas of risk: geopolitical, economic, reliability, and environmental. A lower Index score indicates a lower level of risk. The 7th annual edition of the Index covers 1970-2040 and incorporates the latest historical data and forecast models. In 2015—the most recent year available—risk dropped 3 points, to 78.0, the lowest level since 1996. The biggest improvements within the Index were in areas related to measures of oil and natural gas sector, such as imports, import expenditures, and oil prices, and to energy efficiency. Despite slumping prices, domestic crude oil output still increased by over 7%, though that increase is off the pace of previous years. Natural gas production achieved a record high, with a 5% increase in 2015.  However, despite the overall good news, there were still some warning signs. Crude oil price volatility rose significantly, driven by the desire of some large producing countries  to capture greater market share by driving prices down sharply. Rapid shifts in prices in either direction—volatility—can create unstable market conditions that increase energy security risks. In addition, electricity capacity margins—the amount of unused power capacity—have declined, increasing the vulnerability of America’s electric grid in the event of a disruption. The Index and its companion, the International Energy Security Risk Index, are available at www.energyxxi.org/energysecurity. The U.S. Index is once again available in an online, interactive web tool format, which makes it easy to see how various metrics change from year to year.

Study Says Republican Border Tax Proposal Will Increase Gas Prices – A new study on an obscure Republican tax proposal to impose a border-adjustment to limit eliminate companies’ incentives to move their headquarters overseas would have costly impact on refinery operations.  By eliminating the tax deductibility of imports, the border adjustment would raise costs for refiners that import oil. In turn, that could raise prices for consumers. The border adjustment would amount to a $10-a-barrel tax on imported crude oil, raising costs for drivers buying gasoline by up to 25 cents a gallon, the energy analyst group PIRA Energy Group warned this week. The report warned of a “potential huge impact across the petroleum industry,” even while noting that the tax reform plan faces many obstacles to passage.  As mentioned earlier, my colleague and former Senate Finance Tax Counsel Curt Beaulieu Ii all over the details.

AGs Call for Plan to Withdraw from CPP – West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey and Texas AG Ken Paxton led a 24-state coalition urging President-elect Donald Trump and congressional leaders to withdraw President Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan and take the necessary steps to ensure similar or more extreme proposals never again take shape.  The bipartisan letter – addressed Wednesday to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Senate President Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan – suggests a four-point strategy that begins with President-elect Trump rescinding his predecessor’s Climate Action Plan on day one.  The coalition suggests President-elect Trump follow with formal administrative action to withdraw the Power Plan and related matters in court. Such action will properly effectuate the rule’s withdrawal, while negotiating an end to pending litigation.  Finally, the coalition recommends Congress take longer-term legislative action. The proposed legislative fix aims to prevent any future U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from drafting similarly unlawful and/or more extreme rules. The coalition suggests the new White House work with Congress to adopt such legislation.

Deepwater Wind Projects Starts Operation – The nation’s first offshore wind farm has opened off the coast of Rhode Island, producing energy for the grid. Deepwater Wind built five turbines 3 miles off Block Island to power about 17,000 homes, a project costing about $300 million. Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski calls the opening a momentous occasion that unlocks the code of how to do offshore wind in the U.S. at a crucial time when states are trying to figure out how to replace aging power plants.

EIA Report Says Reserves Declined – EIA said last week that U.S. crude oil proved reserves declined 4.7 billion barrels (11.8%) from their year-end 2014 level to 35.2 billion barrels at year-end 2015, according to U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, Year-end 2015. U.S. natural gas proved reserves decreased 64.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), a 16.6% decline, reducing the U.S. total to 324.3 Tcf at year-end 2015.  The significant reduction in the average price of both oil and natural gas between 2014 and 2015 resulted in more challenging economic and operating conditions, an important factor in determining proved reserves. These price developments, reflected in a nearly 50% decline in average West Texas Intermediate crude oil spot prices (from $95 per barrel in 2014 to $50 per barrel in 2015) and a more than 40% decline in the natural gas spot price at the Louisiana Henry Hub (from $4.55 per million Btu in 2014 to $2.62 per million Btu in 2015) led to reduced drilling activity and downward revisions in proved reserves across a broad range of U.S. producers in 2015.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Electoral College Vote – December 19th

Brookings Panel Looks Climate, Energy Security with Japan – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Center for East Asia Policy Studies and the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate will host a distinguished panel of climate policy experts from the United States and Japan to address critical issues for the future of the climate agenda and U.S.-Japan relations. What does the nature of the Paris commitments mean for the task of implementation? What kind of domestic transformation is required in each country, e.g., what are the choices to be made in energy policy? And how can Japan and the United States collaborate on innovation efforts to move away from carbon dependent-economies?  Panelists will include our friend David Victor and other Japanese and US climate and energy security experts, as well as Atsuyuki Oike, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in the United States of America.

 

IN THE FUTURE

SAFE to Roll Out AV Policies at CES Las Vegas – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will roll out its autonomous vehicle report recommendations on January 5th in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronic Show.

State of Oil, Gas Event Slated – API will host its annual State of the Oil & Gas industry event in early January.  More on this as it becomes available.

Detroit Auto Show Rolls Out – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will roll out from January 8th to 22nd at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.  Official press conferences begin with Disney Pixar on Sunday  January 8th as the 2017 NAIAS Press Preview will host a series of events until Tuesday January 10.  With over 300 exhibitors all under one roof, ranging from global automakers to suppliers to tech startups, NAIAS will truly be the mobility epicenter and will showcase the full automotive ecosystem. NAIAS expects to have over 5,000 credentialed journalists from 60+ different countries attend Press Preview, keeping NAIAS strongly in the lead among domestic shows in terms of global media coverage.

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

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

INAUGURATION DAY – January 20

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

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

Energy Update: Week of December 12

Friends,

Starting today with news about the Golden GlobesNominations are out and after seeing Manchester-by-the-Sea, I have to say it has got to be a frontrunner.  It is not a feel-good movie but it was so well acted.  And last night, 60 Minutes ran a an outstanding piece on the story behind Lion.  The 74th annual Golden Globes Awards is hosted by Jimmy Fallon on January 8th.

While this year we did not go, it is always exciting to see one of our country’s most tremendous events: the Army-Navy Football game, this year in Baltimore. Army broke a 15-year losing streak to claim the game with a late touchdown and an overpowering rushing offense that Navy just couldn’t slow down.  I don’t doubt there was a little bit of fatigue from Navy playing Temple in the AAC East Final the week prior, but it is Army-Navy and that should be enough.  Whatever the outcome, there is nothing in sports like watching the post-game festivities where both alma maters get sung by the entire stadium.   Not to be overshadowed (but it was), the MLS Soccer Champ was crowned Saturday when Seattle beat Toronto in penalty kicks. (Ouch, just broke the Champ Kind rule about “No Soccer”!!)

Last week in Transition was a blur, with sources seemingly confirming OK AG Scott Pruitt for EPA, Washington Rep. McMorris-Rodgers for Interior and Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for State.  And today, we are starting to hear sources talking about former Texas Gov. Rick Perry for Energy.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer, a former DOE Senior Counsel can address many of your questions about Perry.  I have included a few statements below.  I fully expect the official announcement on all of these appointments sometime this week.

Oil has risen to an 18-month high after OPEC and non-OPEC countries have reached separate, but related agreements to jointly reduce output to try to tackle global oversupply and boost prices.  Our friend Robbie Diamond at SAFE and his experts can discuss the details.  In fact, they already spoke with Capitol Crude on the topic.  CC’s Brian Scheid and Meghan Gordon talked to Diamond on President-elect Trump’s plans to take on OPEC, the fate of fuel efficiency standards and what energy independence means in today’s global oil market.  And tomorrow, CSIS hosts OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo to discuss its 2016 World Oil Outlook.

Finally, special congrats to Melisa Klem, who will be the Society of Environmental Journalists’ new executive director.  Klem has spent more than 13 years working in development for conservation and human health nonprofits, and is the group’s second leader, replacing founding executive director Beth Parke who is stepping aside after nearly 24 years of leadership.

We are monitoring all transition activities and especially the cabinet du jour issues, so don’t hesitate to call on this and any other issues.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“As Governor of the State of Texas for 15 years, Rick Perry led a state that has, for decades, been critical to our domestic energy policy.  During his time in office, Perry embodied the type of “all of the above” approach to U.S. energy production that many have advocated on both sides of the aisle.  Rick Perry’s Texas was not only a world leader in oil and gas production; it was also a global leader in wind power and renewable energy investment.  This approach is a big reason why Texas experienced such enormous job growth during Perry’s tenure.  This track record will serve Perry well not only in leading DOE but also in becoming a significant part of the new Administration’s approach to issues like regulatory reform and infrastructure investment.  As Texas has shown, it is indeed possible to successfully balance appropriate environmental regulations with domestic energy production and use.”

Salo Zelermyer, former DOE Senior Counsel and partner at Bracewell’s PRG on Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is being considered to head the Department of Energy

 

IN THE NEWS

Pruitt Named for EPA – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is said to named head of EPA.  Pruitt has a long record of opposing EPA actions that he deems a legal over reach.  He Is not alone in some of the major challenges of the Clean Power Plan and Clean Water Plan which both have more than 30 states joining him and were both stayed by Courts.  My colleague Scott Segal, said he has watched Scott Pruitt develop over his six years as Oklahoma attorney general and called him “a measured and articulate student of environmental law and policy.”  The office he headed was present and accounted for in the battle to keep EPA faithful to its statutory authority and respectful of the role of the states in our system of cooperative federalism.  Segal says these skills will serve him well not only in leading EPA but also in participating meaningfully in the legislative and regulatory reform efforts promised by the next Administration.  Segal added some have suggested that Pruitt’s hands might be tied because he participated in litigation against the Agency, but “when you add up all the states that have participated in litigation on the Clean Power Plan alone it amounts to almost the entire United States.” Segal added Gina McCarthy herself sued the EPA as a state official only to eventually lead the Agency.  There is no conflict in faithfully representing your state on litigation dealing with rules of general applicability and then serving your nation as a federal administrative official.

McMorris-Rodgers for Interior – Washington Rep. Cathy  McMorris-Rodgers is reportedly being named to head the Department of the Interior Mc.  My colleague Eric Washburn (202-412-5211), a former Senate staffer and westerner who works on many lands, species and other Interior, said President-elect Trump is following the tradition of naming an elected or former elected official from the West.  This tradition exists because most federal lands are located in the West its elected officials are continually faced with balancing the need for natural resources conservation with economic development, which essentially describes the job of Interior Secretary.  Washburn: “McMorris-Rodgers has had to grapple with these challenges regularly and so knows the laws, regulations, and issues that will now cross her desk every day on the job.  While it is a tough and often controversial job, if you come from the West and love the wide open spaces, and the outdoor recreational opportunities afforded by the federal lands estate like hunting, fishing, hiking, off-roading and are not afraid to mix it up from time to time, then it can be one of the best jobs in Washington DC.  Her plate will be full from the minute she takes office.  OPEC just got agreement on a supply cut that will raise oil and gas prices and likely lead to more demand to drill on federal lands.  Renewable energy projects, transmission lines, and pipelines will continue to be sited and built there.  And all this will need to be balanced with the need to conserve mule deer, elk, pronghorn, greater sage grouse, trout and hundreds of other species that rely on those lands, and which sportsmen spend billions of dollars each year chasing after.  She certainly knows all these interests and hopefully will be able to chart a course for the agency that allows for conservation and development to proceed hand in hand.”

Something about CMR – McMorris-Rodgers is known as a competent and respected legislator.  She also has been a long-standing member of the House Republican Leadership.  She was one of Trump’s 13 co-chairs.  Given her district in eastern Washington, she has stressed collaboration on forest management issues.  This is what she said on the occasion of passage of Interior approps back in July:  “Eastern Washington is home to some of the greatest natural resources in the world,” said McMorris Rodgers. “Our local communities and their leaders know how to manage their own land and the resources around them better than federal bureaucrats. This legislation includes key provisions that will help keep our communities safe from wildfires, protect farmers from overzealous EPA regulations, and maintain our beautiful, abundant public land as a recreational outlet for all walks of life.”

Tillerson for Secretary of State – Our friend Steve Mufson is among those reporting President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name as his secretary of state Rex Tillerson, the chief executive of ExxonMobil.  Tillerson has worked extensively around the globe and built relationships with such leaders as Russian President Vladimir Putin and for years has worked in Russia and the Middle East on behalf of the multinational petroleum company.  Tillerson is a very sophisticated international player and has been a leader in global discussion and negotiations.  Our friend former NSC advisor Robert McNally of the Rapidan Group said, “The closest thing we have to a secretary of state outside government is the CEO of Exxon.”  Tillerson started at EOM in 1975 and has spent his entire career there, going from Oklahoma and Texas to Yemen and Russia.  As CEO, Mufson reports he has cultivated relationships, meeting regularly with world leaders such as Putin, the Saudi oil minister, and the emir of Qatar.

Non-OPEC Countries Agree to Cuts Too – Recently, OPEC countries agreed to “limit” their production (by 1.2 MM bbl/d starting in January 1, 2017) and which also referenced that non-OPEC countries would contribute an additional 0.6 MM bbl/d of supply reductions.  On Saturday during OPEC’s joint ministerial level meeting with non-OPEC countries in Vienna, Austria, agreed to reduce output by 558,000 bpd, short of the target of 600,000 bpd but still the largest contribution by non-OPEC ever..  The joint meetings were the first since 2002.  Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan and South Sudan all also agreed to reduce their combined production by 0.558 MM bbl/d. Similar to OPEC’s November 30th agreement, these reductions will commence January 1, 2017 and have a duration of six months, extendable for another six months.  My friends at SAFE can address your questions about the deal and how it relates to OPEC’s original Nov 30 deal.   Please feel to call me or email Leslie Hayward should you have any questions or want to speak with SAFE President Robbie Diamond.

Report: Global Coal Use to See Slight Drop, Remain Significant – IEA new coal report today that coal demand growth will stall in the years to 2021 as other fuels become more popular.  At the same time, it added that coal will remain a significant International player.  Lower demand in the U.S. and China, fast renewables growth and greater energy savings will reduce the share of coal in the global power generation mix to 36% by 2021, down just 5% from 2014.  Emerging economies mainly in Asia are expected to drive future use.  Asia has become coal’s key market as Europe and the U.S. cut its use, a geographic shift that will accelerate, the IEA said. By 2015, Asia accounted for almost three-quarters of coal demand. China will “continue to be the largest coal consumer by far” by 2021, even if consumption has likely peaked.

Chamber Blog Posts Hit Energy Issues – The Chamber Energy Institute released blog posts from energy experts Steve Eule and Dan Byers last week.   Eule unloads on an NRDC report that says the groups sees tankers expanding in the Mississippi River to move Canadian oil sands.  Eule asked has it occurred to NRDC that maybe, just maybe, its opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline was a bit, ah, shortsighted? It’s not like these new transportation arrangements weren’t anticipated. The Department of State gets it. Its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for the pipeline concludes that approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project would be unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the U.S.  Meanwhile, Byers tackles the narrative in the media about coal’s demise no matter the results of the election.  Byers: “There is no question that President-elect Trump’s commitment to scrap the CPP and end the War on Coal will save millions of tons of coal production, and in doing so, save the jobs of many miners (while helping to keep electricity  affordable).  He adds a multitude of other job-killing rules are likely to be repealed or reformed as well, thereby providing an additional boost to coal’s prospects. And while more of a wild-card, Trump’s commitment to prioritizing economic growth, if successful, could also provide significant relief. If infrastructure, tax, regulatory, and other initiatives can help the U.S. economy escape this seemingly endless period of sub-two percent growth, demand for electricity—and coal—will also see a boost.

SEJ Brings on New Executive Director – The Society of Environmental Journalists, one of the nation’s leading associations of professional reporters, has hired Melisa Klem as its new executive director, effective January 3, 2017.  Klem has spent more than 13 years working in development for conservation and human health nonprofits, and raising millions of dollars. The SEJ Board of Directors selected Klem to serve as the group’s second leader, replacing founding executive director Beth Parke who last summer announced her plans to step aside after nearly 24 years of leadership.  “I hope to encourage others to pursue this critical professional calling through shining a light on the best journalists who are covering the environment and all it encompasses,” Klem said. She also said the work of SEJ’s 1,200 members – reporters, writers, academics, filmmakers, authors, photographers, and students in every state and dozens of countries — will take on even greater importance as America heads into a Trump presidency.  Klem previously served as the development director at the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, the national director of development at the Izaak Walton League of America, and senior director of development at the Potomac Conservancy.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

AGU Meeting to Focus on Climate – The Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union will be held today through Thursday at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.  It is the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, attracting more than 24,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and other leaders. Fall Meeting brings together the entire Earth and space science community from across the globe for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The technical program includes presentations on new and cutting-edge science, much of which has not yet been published.

State Official to Address Climate Agenda – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing today at 2:00 p.m. discussing the outcomes of the recently concluded international climate change summit (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco. The summit drew representatives from more than 190 countries to discuss the implementation of the historic Paris Climate Agreement, making it a vital discussion that will impact everything from global commerce and foreign relations to electricity generation and agriculture.  The speaker for this forum is Christo Artusio, the State Department Director of the office of Global Change.

Forum to Look at Latin American Energy – The Institute of the Americas and the Inter-American Dialogue will host a panel discussion tomorrow at the National Press Club looking at the energy relationship and evolving energy collaboration in the hemisphere, timed to coincide with the political transition in the United States.  Natural gas exports from the United States to Mexico have tripled over the last five years, while the first ever liquefied natural gas exports from the US Gulf Coast shipped to Brazil. Many countries, including Venezuela, have increased imports of US refined oil products. Meanwhile, the United States has engaged in multiple technical cooperation agreements in renewable energy development. There is ample evidence that Latin American countries and the United States can benefit greatly from boosting commercial energy ties and expanding bilateral energy cooperation.

Forum Looks at Climate Technologies – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., Information Technology & Innovation Foundation is hosting a forum to release a new report that assesses the Obama administration’s efforts and considers how this record might be extended and improved upon in the next administration.  Achieving the ambitious goals set in the Paris climate negotiations will require large-scale private investment in technologies that to date have only been shown to be feasible technologically, not economically. That will require overcoming the second “valley of death”: the lack of confidence among potential investors in the affordability, reliability, and practicality of these innovations. Public-private technology demonstration projects are one important means by which the second valley of death might be crossed. But such projects have frequently been plagued by cost overruns, schedule delays, and outright failure. The Obama administration, like its predecessors, has pursued such projects with mixed results.

OPEC Minister to Address CSIS – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., CSIS’s Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum featuring His Excellency Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to discuss OPEC’s World Oil Outlook 2016.   The event will begin with opening remarks by H.E. Barkindo, followed by a presentation of the World Oil Outlook 2016 by Dr. Jorge Leon Arellano, Energy Demand Specialist of the OPEC Research Division. The report addresses  OPEC’s outlook for medium and long-term oil supply, demand, and downstream out to 2040, including their view on the challenges and opportunities for the oil industry. This World Oil Outlook sees opportunities presented by a growing global population, and economic growth in developing countries leading to an increase in energy demand, but also comes at a time of continued uncertainty in the oil market.

WCEE Forum to Look at Energy Communications – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum tomorrow featuring Loretta Prencipe, to discuss insights from the report, “How Americans Make Energy Decisions” – and what that means for energy communications in the changing energy and policy landscape.  An attorney and former journalist, Prencipe serves as Group Vice President in Makovsky Communication’s DC office and has more than 15 years’ experience in media relations, marketing, communications and public affairs in energy, manufacturing and sustainability issues. She manages project deployment, workforce and employee engagement programs, crisis communications, public affairs and corporate risk and reputation issues for publicly traded companies.

Forum Looks at EV Infrastructure Challenges – Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute will host a forum at the D.C. Bar Conference Center looking at infrastructure challenges for Electric Vehicles.  The rise in popularity of electric vehicles is creating a need for increased charging infrastructure. The development of this infrastructure brings significant challenges. Come hear our panel discuss the ways in which these challenges are being solved.  The panel will discuss the legal issues facing the development of infrastructure for electric vehicles and the potential impacts these vehicles may have on our environment and energy security. Speakers will include DOE’s Kavita Patel, GM’s Alex Keros and Sierra Club’s Joe Halso.

Moniz to Speak at Third Way Event – Third Way will host a town hall featuring U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. at the Glover Park Group.

Report to Look at Energy Security – On Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in B-369 Rayburn, the National Bureau of Asian Research will release its 12th annual Energy Security Report, “Asia’s Energy Security amid Global Market Change,” as well as recap findings from NBR’s seventh annual Pacific Energy Summit that NBR held in Singapore earlier this year.  This high-level event will examine how a range of factors – including market volatility, efforts to accelerate lower carbon transitions, regional geopolitics, and Paris Climate Accord commitments – will shape energy security outlooks in the Asia-Pacific. It will also feature timely discussion of the implications of the U.S. leadership transition for U.S.-Asia energy ties.

Forum to Look at Climate Opinion in US, Canada – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Canada Institute will host a panel on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the results from national-level surveys on public attitudes toward climate change in the United States and Canada. Expert panelists will highlight key findings from the 2016 comparative study, draw analyses from the differences and similarities between Canada and U.S. public views, and provide insight into how this could affect existing climate change policy and potential future policy approaches on both sides of the border.

Expert to Look at Electricity Industry Change – The US Association for Energy Economists in the National Capital Area, will host its monthly luncheon on Friday at Noon looking at change in the electric industry.  Through its 51st State Initiative, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) has been tackling these questions with utilities, trade associations, industry analysts, tech-start-up entrepreneurs and visionaries over the past two years.  Smart Electric Power Alliance CEO Julia Hamm will speak. Hamm has more than 15 years of experience advising and collaborating with utilities, manufacturers and government agencies on renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies and programs.

Energy Policy Lunch Set – Friday at Noon, the Ecologic Institute and ELEEP will host an Energy Policy Luncheon focused on the energy future ahead.  Questions will look at how the incoming new administration will impact the transformation of the US energy system; What – if any – impacts will we expect to see on electricity generation and grid, on transportation fuels, and on heating; and what future may lie ahead for coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewables.  Panelists include Julia De La Cruz of Bulletin Intelligence, R Street’s Catrina Rorke and ACORE’s Scott Clausen.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Electoral College Vote – December 19th

Brookings Panel Looks Climate, Energy Security with Japan – Next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., the Center for East Asia Policy Studies and the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate will host a distinguished panel of climate policy experts from the United States and Japan to address critical issues for the future of the climate agenda and U.S.-Japan relations. What does the nature of the Paris commitments mean for the task of implementation? What kind of domestic transformation is required in each country, e.g., what are the choices to be made in energy policy? And how can Japan and the United States collaborate on innovation efforts to move away from carbon dependent-economies?  Panelists will include our friend David Victor and other Japanese and US climate and energy security experts, as well as Atsuyuki Oike, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in the United States of America.

State of Oil, Gas Event Slated – API will host its annual State of the Oil & Gas industry event in early January.  More on this as it becomes available.

Energy Update: Week of February 22

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Forum to Look at Enviro Justice Issues in GHG Plan – Today at 3:00 p.m., the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is rescheduling its GHG briefing cancelled by the January snow storm.  The forum will be a webinar and discuss how environmental justice (EJ) is addressed through EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  The panel will explore how incorporating environmental justice concerns into the Clean Power Plan’s implementation can impact vulnerable communities.  Speakers for this forum include EPA Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Environmental Justice Mustafa Ali.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

Air Liquide CEO, Others Headline ARPA-E Event – On February 29th, Air Liquide CEO Mike Graff will launch the annual ARPA-E Innovation Summit with the featured “Fireside Chat.”  Graff will be interviewed by FORTUNE innovation writer Katie Fehrenbacher along with BASF CEO Wayne Smith.  Other speakers at the three-day event will include Sen Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, Energy Secretary Moniz and former VP Al Gore on Tuesday, March 1st.  EPA’s Gina McCarthy and Sen. Chris Coons will speak on Wednesday, March 2nd.

 

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

 

Canada Energy Future Highlighted – The CSIS Energy Program will feature a discussion on March 2nd of Canada’s 2016 energy future.  The event will feature members of the Canadian National Energy Board, including Abha Bhargava, Director of Energy Integration, as well as Energy Futures Project Managers Bryce Van Sluys and Matthew Hansen.

 

RFF Seminar to Look at Climate Trade Offs – Resources For the Future holds it March First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday March 2nd at 12:45 p.m. to look at trade-offs in climate policy options.  On the heels of the Paris climate negotiations, carbon pricing policies – either carbon taxes or cap-and-trade programs – are receiving renewed attention across the globe. In the meantime, US federal climate policy is being driven by regulatory authority, but with a strong focus on program flexibility via credit trading. Against this evolving background, the time is right to revisit the trade-offs among various carbon pricing and other climate policy options. At this RFF First Wednesday Seminar, Tom Lawler of the International Emissions Trading Association will highlight the benefits of emissions trading programs, and Jerry Taylor of the Niskanen Center will present the case for a carbon tax. Both will then participate in a broader panel discussion on the interplay between carbon pricing and regulatory measures.

 

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

 

Forum to Look at Local Clean Energy Issues – Leaders in Energy and the United Nations Association will host an interactive  panel discussion on Thursday March 3rd at 6;30 p.m. looking at acting on clean energy.  UNA-NCA, in partnership with Leaders in Energy, will host a discussion on the newly enacted 2015 Paris Climate Agreement  and the United Nations’ Global Goal 7, which is aimed at ensuring access to affordable clean energy.   The panel discussion will foster a dialogue with attendees and compile practical actions and next steps that local residents can take in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Northern Virginia.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of September 28

Friends,

 

Following last week’s  craziness with the Pope’s visit to D.C. and the autumnal equinox, we have officially made it to fall and there is Something in the Air. Not to mention, wasn’t last night’s super lunar eclipse, a rare celestial event that last occurred in 1982 and will next occur in 2033, exciting?

 

Fall means the baseball season is wrapping up this week, and I have to commend the Cubs for making the playoffs in hopes of ending the longest active championship drought in sports.   While they won’t win their division, they will play either the Cards or Pirates in the first round.  The Mets surprised everyone with great pitching and timely hitting to outdistance the disappointing Nationals (who appear to be fighting themselves).  One Dodger win this week against the Giants clinches the NL West.  In the AL, the Blue Jays and the Royals are locked while the Rangers are nearly clinched in the West.  The Yankees seem like a lock for one wildcard while the surprising Astros and the Angels are battling for the last spot.  By the way, the NHL season starts next Wednesday (more on that next week).

 

After last week’s papal slow down (literally and figuratively), the action picks back up in Washington this week.   Perhaps the most interesting event will be a BPC forum on Thursday featuring Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning, who will address energy innovation issues, new EPA rules and the AGL Merger. Other events include a Hill Newspaper Methane Forum and an EESI forum with state energy officials on the GHG rules, as well as the annual AWEA offshore wind conference in Baltimore taking place tomorrow and Wednesday. Wednesday also features a forum with the Lithuanian Minister of Energy and  Thursday has a POLITICO Energy forum featuring FERC’s Tony Clark, ANGA’s Marty Durbin, Senator John Hoeven and many more.

 

On the Hill, Senate Environment has a full plate with EPA’s Janet McCabe for an air hearing tomorrow morning and two Western governors and FWS Director Ashe in the afternoon to discuss ESA issues, as well as a Wednesday hearing on the EPA’s Waters rule with Army Corps.  Also Tuesday, Senate Commerce hits its second pipeline safety hearing featuring NTSB, AGA and INGAA. House Resources hosts four Western Governors on Wednesday regarding energy development and the sage grouse.   House Energy marks up its energy bill on Wednesday and Rules will get a look at crude exports legislation.  Finally, on Thursday, Senate Banking marks up the exports legislation while a House Energy panel tackles nuclear waste transportation issues.

 

It is also a big week at EPA where on Thursday, EPA is expected to unveil its final rule to set new limits on ground-level ozone to meet  the Court-set October 1st deadline.   NAM, API and the Chamber have been hammering the issues while enviro groups are demanding lower standards.  EPA also has two other court-ordered Wednesday deadlines to meet on emissions from the nation’s oil refineries and effluent discharges from power plants.   The first proposal would require refiners to cut back on emissions from storage tanks, flares and coking units, and requires air quality monitoring at facility fence lines to help protect nearby communities. The second proposal regarding effluent limitations guidelines (316B Rule for power plants) would require controls on all power plant emissions of wastewater.  Obviously, we have great resources to help on each of these.

 

Today, EPA is announcing revisions to its worker protection standard to protect the nation’s two million farm workers and their families from pesticide exposure. Each year, thousands of potentially preventable pesticide exposure incidents are reported that lead to sick days, lost wages, and medical bills. The changes being announced today can reduce the risk of injury or illness resulting from contact with pesticides on farms and in forests, nurseries and greenhouses.  Our friend Scott Faber of EWG can be helpful on the topic.

 

Finally, next week is the annual Society of Environmental Journalist (SEJ) conference, being held this year in Norman, Oklahoma.  It is a great event that has outstanding panels on environment and energy topics.  With Oklahoma as the locale, natural gas, wind, infrastructure and tornadoes/weather are central themes.  Bracewell’s PRG will also hold its signature annual reception for the conference on Thursday, where each year for the last 14 years, more than 400 conference attendees gather for food, drinks, and the opportunity to network. We still have sponsorship available if you want to be a part of this great opportunity.

 

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

China Makes Climate Pledges During State Visit – Rather than talk about trade or cyber piracy, Chinese leaders announced that they are launching a national cap-and-trade system by 2017, prioritizing renewable energy on its grid and making a “substantial” financial contribution to the fight against climate change.  My colleague Scott Segal said an undefined financial commitment and vague statements about a carbon market are no substitute for actual commitments to reduce carbon emissions.  To date, we haven’t seen that kind of commitment.

 

China Climate Background – Some additional items to keep in mind when considering China’s Commitments:

 

  • The previously discussed target for 2030 is misleading and simply amounts to no more than “business as usual.” It fails to move beyond current gains or to set an ambitious target and it does not address non-carbon greenhouse gas emissions. Put simply, China is not doing its “fair share” or substantively contributing to averting  ‘climate change’ beyond 2° C  See more on this (here).

 

  • Almost all of the actions China has proposed are already being implemented and the political will for future action appears almost non-existent.

 

  • The tepid climate numerical commitment simply results in free-riding, with China reaping the ‘benefits,’ yet avoiding the onerous costs imposed by a stronger commitment. China’s weak rules may cause U.S. businesses to shift overseas, diminishing the overall competitiveness and vitality of the U.S. economy. This shift also subjects these businesses to looser environmental regulations negating the supposed environmental benefits.

 

  • China’s statistical system does not reflect environmental and market realities warranting strong skepticism. In fact, the Chinese Statistical Bureau had to revise upwards China’s energy consumption upwards by a whopping 15%, resulting in an extra Gt of C02 emissions (see here).

 

  • Even if China’s intentions are noble, its actual pledge drastically underestimates many substantial logistical barriers. For example, the government in Beijing cannot compel Chinese localities to act. In fact, local officials often turn a blind eye to entities that shirk regulations, thereby diminishing the effectiveness of any central mandates. Other barrier abound, including: a gross overestimation of available non-coal natural resources, the substantial role that rapid urbanization and development will play in rising emissions, a failure to recognize transportation as a site of rising emissions, technological deficiencies coupled with poor R&D capabilities and a lack of will to implement regulations (here and here).

 

Countries Can’t Meet Targets…And It Still Won’t Be Enough – New analysis from the research firm Climate Interactive says global temperatures would increase by as much as 6.3° F, or 3.5° C , by the end of the century based on the domestic climate change pledges made by world leaders so far.   The estimate underscores the fact that the upcoming United Nations climate change talks in Paris are unlikely to be able to Bridge the gap between the political and economic realities of dealing with climate change.  And in fact, these are the claims that countries are making, which with history as Our guide will largely be overestimated.  For example, most experts have raised significant concerns as to whether any of the major emitting nations will meet suggested targets.

 

USPS Could Save $2B Replacing Aging Vehicle Fleet – SAFE released an Issue Brief in response to the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) plans to replace its fleet of Grumman Long Life Vehicles (LLVs) with up to 180,000 “Next Generation Delivery Vehicles” (NGDVs)— developed and manufactured exclusively for the USPS with a service life of 20 years—at a cost of up to $6.3 billion. SAFE’s analysis finds that an alternative approach, using modified, off-the-shelf mass-market vehicles and upgrading the fleet at least once in the next 20-25 years, is not only industry best practice but would save the Service as much as $1.9 billion over the life of the fleet while allowing it to adopt new safety and fuel-saving technologies along the way.  As the operator of one of the world’s largest civilian vehicle fleets, reducing USPS’s oil consumption through greater fuel efficiency would generate national and economic security benefits for the country as a whole, offering the Service insulation from the volatility inherent to the unpredictable global oil market. Making a one-time bulk purchase of NGDVs condemns USPS to a fleet that cannot incorporate new technologies over time, has little flexibility to adjust to changes in market dynamics over the next two decades and retains very little resale value.   SAFE commissioned economic policy research firm Keybridge LLC to conduct this analysis. Keybridge is headed by Dr. Robert Wescott, former Chief Economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisors. In the brief, Keybridge and SAFE find that the total cost of ownership of a fleet composed of a variety of off-the-shelf vehicles would be significantly less than one based around a single, custom-built vehicle manufactured exclusively for USPS.

 

Shell Won’t Drill in Arctic – Shell said today it would be suspending its plan to drill in the Alaskan Arctic “for the foreseeable future,” after not finding enough oil and gas in a test well it drilled over the summer.   They said the high drilling costs in the Chukchi Sea as well as the “challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.”   Funny how that works in the one area the President “caved” according to the enviro community.

 

Marshall Report Connects Climate National Security – The George C. Marshall Institute announced the publication a new study Connecting Climate and National Security.  This study examines the validity of the belief that a changing climate is intrinsically an issue of national security:  “The Obama Administration has proclaimed climate change to be a present and future threat to the security of the United States. Two different National Security Strategies articulate the case for environmental forces creating security challenges domestically in the U.S. and around the world and two successive Quadrennial Defense Reviews show that the U.S. military is shifting its strategic thinking as well as resource allocations to accommodate these new threats. Together, they demonstrate that the institutionalization of environmentally-induced conflict as a U.S. security concern is complete. Anthropogenic climate change, characterized by a rise in global temperature and projected effects thereof, is expected to lead to all sorts of calamities here and abroad.  “But is it true? These government documents and the bevy of think tank reports that echo this theme would leave one with the impression that the answer to this question is “yes.” And, by saying yes, one is left with little choice but to accept changes in strategies, programs, and budgets to respond or reflect those challenges as well as likely agreeing to policies that demand the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in order to respond to the principal root of the problem.”  The present study advances ideas and arguments made by the Marshall Institute in our 2012 report, Climate and National Security: Exploring the Connection, which concluded: “In summary, efforts to link climate change to the deterioration of U.S. national security rely on improbable scenarios, imprecise and speculative methods, and scant empirical support.”

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

UN General Assembly – TODAY

 

AU to Host Forum on Religion, Environment – American University will hold a forum this afternoon featuring panelists from The Washington Post, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and AU faculty to consider the journalistic and media treatment of the Pope’s recent encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, as a means to better understand the role of religion in public debate and activism on climate change.

 

Forum to Look at Offshore Wind – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing this afternoon in 406 Dirksen examining the role of offshore wind domestically and internationally. The first U.S. offshore wind project is expected to come online in summer 2016 at Block Island, 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. Deepwater Wind is leading the Block Island project, which will generate 50 megawatts (MW) of power, enough to run 17,000 homes. U.S. Wind is working on a much larger project off the coast of Maryland, where it plans to have 500 MW of offshore wind operating by 2020. Speakers for this forum are Sens. Tom Carper (DE) and Jack Reed (RI), AWEA’s Fatima Maria Ahmad, Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski, Paul Rich of U.S. Wind (Maryland), Dr. Georg Maue of the Embassy of Germany and Tom Simchak, Policy Advisor at the British Embassy.

 

AWEA to Host Annual Offshore Wind Conference in Baltimore – Speaking of offshore wind, AWEA holds its annual offshore wind event in Baltimore tomorrow and Wednesday.

 

The Hill to Host Methane ForumThe Hill will host a forum tomorrow morning at the Newseum to consider how policymakers and industry can come together to effectively regulate methane emissions. What steps can industry take to innovate and lead on adopting existing technologies and practices to reduce emissions? With methane leaks in the oil and gas system costing industry $1.8 billion per year in lost revenues, how can new regulations be implemented in a cost effective way that reduces both climate impacts and domestic energy waste? And what impact might implementing these regulations have on investors and the larger American economy?  Featured speakers include Brent Lammert of FLIR, Brian Rice of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, Martha Rudolph of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.  Our friends Tim Cama and Devin Henry will moderate.

 

Clean Power Conference Set – The Clean Power for All National Forum will be held tomorrow morning at the National Press Club and will bring together prominent figures from the business and political worlds. Attendees will hear from experts on how to advance the Clean Power Plan on a national level. Further focus is being placed on work, wealth and health opportunities possible through the implementation of the Clean Power Plan.

 

Senate Enviro to Host McCabe on Air Act, Ashe, Govs on ESA – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearings tomorrow on the economy-wide implications of President Obama’s air agenda and ESA policies. The hearing at 9:30 a.m. will feature EPA air administrator Janet McCabe., while The 2:00 p.m. afternoon Hearing will focus on ESA issues and have Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, Western Governors’ Association Chairman Matt Mead (R-Wyo.) and Western Governors’ Association Vice Chairman Steve Bullock (D-Mont.) testifying.

 

EU Enviro Commissioner to Address Energy Future – The World Resources Institute (WRI), EPA and the European Environment Agency (EEA) will host a forum tomorrow on sustainable energy future on the occasion of the first official visit to Washington of European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella.

 

Forum to Look at Nuclear Energy in China – The Atlantic Council is holding a panel discussion tomorrow on the future of nuclear energy in China. The panel includes nuclear energy experts from government, academia, and the private sector, who each bring unique perspectives on Chinese energy issues. Speakers will include DOE’s Jon Elkind, NuScale CEO John Hopkins, former Harvard Business School professor Joe Lassiter and Czech Ambassador Václav Bartuška.

 

Diesel Tech Forum Hosts Grid Readiness Webinar – As part of National Preparedness Month, the Diesel Technology Forum will host a free webinar tomorrow at Noon to provide an update on state plans to keep the lights on during severe weather events. Mobile and stationary diesel generators have long provided emergency backup power to critical facilities. Many states susceptible to severe weather are now requiring or encouraging retail fuel locations to install emergency backup power capabilities to keep motorists along evacuation routes and also allow first responders to refuel in the event of a widespread power outage.  Mike Jones, a senior administrator with the Maryland Energy Administration will speak about the state’s program to provide incentives for retail fuel locations to either install the necessary switchgear to accept a mobile generator or install a stationary generator through the Maryland Energy Resiliency Grant Program.  Results of the program and lessons learned in its implementation will be discussed as the state expanded eligibility to emergency shelters including firehouses.  In addition, Jeff Pillon of the National Association of State Energy Officials will also provide an overview on an array of state energy assurance strategies across the country, including incentives and other innovative approaches to help ensure public health and safety in times of natural disaster or loss of electrical grid power.

Forum to Look at China, Clean Cities – The Woodrow Wilson Center will host a forum tomorrow focused on China’s power sector and a move to cleaner cities.  At the US-China Climate Smart/Low Carbon City Summit held September last week in Los Angeles, 11 Chinese cities and 3 provinces committed to taking steps to reduce carbon emissions and reach “peak coal” earlier than China’s national 2030 target. Continued expansion of renewables, gas, nuclear power and energy efficient buildings in China’s cities will depend heavily on efforts to decarbonize the country’s power grid. Speakers at this meeting will discuss emerging reforms and clean energy investments (including nuclear power) investments at both national and municipal levels to decrease coal-fired electricity.

 

Forum to Look at Japan Plutonium Issues – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a forum tomorrow on Japan’s plans to start producing plutonium—intended for use in its nuclear energy reactors. However, in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in 2011, all but one of Japan’s reactors still remain offline, and the process to restart the others will be long, slow, and controversial. As a result, it is likely that plutonium production will soon exceed demand, causing a risky and potentially destabilizing plutonium build-up in Japan.  Carnegie’s James Acton will launch his new report, Wagging the Plutonium Dog, and explore why Japan finds itself in this predicament and what can be done.

 

EESI Forum to Look at States, GHG Regs – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing tomorrow in 334 Cannon  discussing how states are planning to comply with the Clean Power Plan, which limits carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants. Under the authority of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Power Plan represents the first time the United States has placed limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, currently the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution. Now that the final version has been released, what are the best compliance strategies for states to meet the emission reduction goals, and what kind of assistance will EPA be able to provide?  Speakers for this forum are EPA’s Joe Goffman, NACAA’s Bill Becker, NARUC’s Charles Gray and NASEO’s David Terry.

 

Senate Commerce to Look at Pipeline Safety – A Senate Commerce panel  is holding its second hearing on pipeline safety tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to look at issues related to pipeline safety.  The first field hearing was held in Billings, Montana featuring PHMSA head Marie Therese Dominguez earlier this month, where the focus was the summer oil spill in the Yellowstone River.  Witnesses with include GAO’s Susan Fleming, NTSB’s Chris Hart, INGAA’s Don Santa and WGL’s Terry McCallister on behalf of the American Gas Association.

 

Senate Panel Looks at WOTUS – The Senate Environment’s Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water will hold a hearing Wednesday delving into the corps’ “participation” in the process around the new Waters of the U.S. regulation.

 

Western Governors to Testify at House Resources – The House Natural Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday looking at state authority on energy issues.   Four Western governors — Steve Bullock (D) of Montana, Dennis Daugaard (R) of South Dakota, Gary Herbert (R) of Utah and Matt Mead (R) of Wyoming — are scheduled to testify.

 

WCEE Series Continues NatGas Drilling – On Wednesday, the Women’s Council on Energy & the Environment will continue its Lunch & Learn series to explore different perspectives of hydraulic fracturing. The dialogue on our energy future is tied to the state of hydraulic fracturing and the event is the second in that series.  The event will feature Energy in Depth’s Katie Brown and William Goodfellow of BCES.  Goodfellow is a Board-Certified Environmental Scientist with more than 35 years of experience in environmental toxicology and causal effect assessments.

 

Forum to Feature Lithuania Energy Minister – On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies will host the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania, Rokas Masiulis.  Masiulis will deliver remarks regarding Lithuania’s current efforts to help address energy security issues throughout Europe.

 

Forum to Look at Algae, Climate – On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., the Wilson Center will host a discussion of Algae and its impacts on climate change.  The event will feature Brian Walsh, who will discuss his new paper, New Feed Sources Key to Ambitious Climate Targets, which finds replacing microalgae as animal feed could free up significant land currently used for pasture and feed crops, while meeting 50 percent of our annual energy needs and potentially reducing global atmospheric carbon concentrations to preindustrial levels by the end of the century.  After a presentation by Walsh, a panel of experts will discuss the technical realities of the research, land-use and animal feed stock issues and whether algae can really impact global climate change.

 

JHU to Host Latin Energy Forum – The Johns Hopkins University will hold an LASP Samuel Z. Stone Seminar panel event on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. the energy shock in Latin America.  The event will feature Francisco Gonzalez, LASP Senior Associate Professor at JHU SAIS and Alejandro Werner, Director of the Western Hemisphere Department at the International Monetary Fund.

 

POLITICO Energy Event Set – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., POLITICO will host an America’s Energy Agenda event which will feature a conversation assessing the market aftermath of Obama’s sweeping climate change rules and energy policies. How does America keep the lights on and remain the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas while aspiring to lead the world in climate action? What is the future for energy infrastructure as pipelines become a target of the modern environmental movement?  Featured speakers include FERC’s Tony Clark, Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.), ANGA’s Marty Durbin, Keystone opponent Jane Kleeb, Sierra’s Lena Moffitt and former EPA official Bob Perciasepe, now at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

 

Fanning to Address Innovation at BPC Forum – On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Commission  will host a discussion on energy innovation with Tom Fanning, Southern Company Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.  Fanning will highlight Southern Company’s leadership in shaping America’s energy future by developing the full portfolio of energy resources: nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency.  He will also discuss Southern Company’s Energy Innovation Center, which develops new products and services to improve the lives of customers and communities, and its recent agreement to acquire natural gas company AGL Resources.

 

House Energy to Look at Nuclear Transportation – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing on Thursday on transporting nuclear materials, focusing on design, logistics, and shipment.  There are approximately three million shipments of nuclear material across the United States every year. For example, low-level radioactive waste is shipped to Texas and New Mexico for disposal, research reactor fuel is transported to universities across the country, and spent nuclear fuel from naval vessels is shipped to Idaho for storage. Members will examine current efforts to transport nuclear material, including regulatory requirements and weigh recommendations to the Department of Energy plan for shipment of high-level radioactive waste and commercial spent nuclear fuel.

 

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Clean Tech Leadership Forum Set – Next Monday at 9:30 a.m., the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will host national experts and local leaders to examine the state of the clean tech economy and the road ahead. Sessions will explore best practices in advancing market transformation with public policy and leveraging existing programs to enhance private investment and innovation. Work with peer communities to identify challenges and strategies for supporting your local clean tech economy.

 

AU Forum Looks at Climate Governance – The American University will hold a conference next Monday afternoon looking at climate change governance as Paris approaches.  The conference aims to highlight the role of subnational initiatives, such as the Quebec-California carbon market, in global climate change governance in anticipation of the upcoming UN negotiations in Paris.

 

TIDES Conference to Look at New Energy, Defense Techs – The 9th annual TIDES technology demonstration on October 6th through 9th at the National Defense University.  The TIDES Technology Field Demonstration features low-cost technology solutions across eight key infrastructure areas 1) Water, 2) Power, 3)Shelter, 4) Heating/Cooling, 5) Sanitation, 6) Lighting, 7) Integrated and Combustion Cooking and 8)Information Communication Technology.  This free demonstration is widely attended by the Department of Defense officials, government agencies active in domestic and international disaster response, and in post-conflict, post disaster, and impoverished situations – DHS, FEMA, State Department, Red Cross and National Defense University students from around the world.  A wide array of private, for-profit and non-profit organizations attend each year. The demonstration is outside (rain or shine), independent of the power grid, and communications will be live.  The theme of this year’s demo is “Building Resilience: Preparing for Natural and Man-Made Disasters.”

Sen Energy to Look at SPR – Next Tuesday, October 6th at 10:30 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to examine the potential modernization of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and related energy security issues.

 

RFF to Look at Arctic Energy/Climate Issues – Resources for The Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar on October 7th at 12:30 p.m. in collaboration with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment to focus on Arctic shipping and its impacts.   President Obama’s recent trip to Alaska and the State Department’s GLACIER conference put a spotlight on climate change issues in the Arctic. This RFF First Wednesday Seminar will focus on understanding the science behind increased shipping and the related impacts on marine life, ecosystems, and the communities that depend on them. Speakers will include RFF’s Alan Krupnick, Lawson Brigham of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Stanford’s Jeremy Goldbogen, Nome Mayor Denise Michels and Scott Smith of the US Coast Guard.

 

DOE’s Solar Decathlon Set – The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon—America’s premier collegiate competition that challenges students from around the world to design, build and operate highly energy-efficient, solar-powered houses—will open October 8 in Irvine, California.  Sixteen collegiate teams involving more than 2,000 students from 27 schools are deep into construction, assembling their innovative houses on or near their campuses. In less than three months, the students will transport and open those houses to the public in the Solar Decathlon village, where they’ll demonstrate just how affordable, attractive and comfortable these zero-energy homes—homes that are so efficient that a solar energy system can offset all or most of their energy consumption—have become.

 

Hydrogen Fuel Day Set for Oct 8 – In recognition of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen energy technology, industry advocates are celebrating National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day on October 8th to help raise awareness of a clean energy technology that is here now. October 8th was chosen as a reference to the of the atomic weight of Hydrogen, 1.008.

 

Holmstead, Others Experts to Discuss GHG Rule at DC Bar Event – On October 14th at 12:30 p.m., the D.C. Bar will hold a forum in its Conference Center looking the EPA’s GHG Rule.  The brown bag was rescheduled due to the Papal visit in September. It is sponsored by the Air Quality Committee of the D.C. Bar Environment and will feature a panel of experts will offer perspectives on the final rule, including state compliance options and the nature and timing of legal challenges.  The panelists will be: David Doniger, Director, Climate & Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, Lisa Heinzerling, Professor of Law at Georgetown University, and Jeff Holmstead, Partner, Bracewell & Giuliani. All three of our speakers have previously served in high-level posts at EPA and have spent most of their careers shaping carbon pollution policy.

 

Smart Grid Conference Set – On October 14th and 15th, the 2nd Annual National Summit on Smart Grid & Climate Change will bring together policymakers, utilities, technology companies, and a wide variety of environmental and energy stakeholders to address the role of smart grid technologies and practices in mitigating and adapting to climate change.  The Summit will establish an understanding as to how smart grid can be an essential part of any climate action planning, whether in response to government emission restrictions like EPA’s Clean Power Plan or efforts to increase resiliency to prepare for various climate change events and scenarios.  Speakers will include Energy Secretary Moniz, OMB’s Ali Zaidi, Arizona Public Service SVP Jeff Guldner and NREL’s Bryan Hannegan.

 

Newsmaker to Look at Automated Driving – The National Press Club will hold a Newsmaker on October 14th at 10:00 a.m. in the Bloomberg Room to present an analytical look at the reasons for developing an autonomous transportation economy—laying out the status of the technology today, the policies needed to develop autonomous transportation so that we achieve a safer, more convenient, more efficient, and a more affordable mobility system, and how transportation as we know it will be revolutionized over the coming decade.  Executives from Domino’s, GM and security experts are all expected to be part of the panel.

 

GP Bush, Fox to Headline Border Energy Forum – The Border Energy Forum will be held on October 14 – 16th in San Diego, California and will feature Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush as its Keynote Speaker.  For more than 20 years, the Border Energy Forum has worked to increase regional development of clean energy projects, promote cross-border energy trade, and advance technologies and innovative solutions for sustainable resource management. Other speakers will include former Mexican President Vicente Fox.

 

BPC to Hold Little Rock GHG Workshop – The Bipartisan Policy Center and Great Plains Institute will hold another one-day workshop on October 19th in Little Rock Arkansas to discuss implementation options for EPA’s GHG rules for power plants in the Midcontinent region.  The workshop will feature a keynote address by Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Colette D. Honorable.  Other confirmed speakers include WPPI Energy’s Andy Kellen, Scott Weaver of American Electric Power, EDF’s Nicholas Bianco, PJM’s Paul Sotkiewicz, Roxanne Brown of the United Steelworkers and  Nathaniel Baer of the Iowa Environmental Council.   States and stakeholders in the region have been working to evaluate the policy options available to states for inclusion in state plans. In the Midcontinent region, state officials have been active in the Midcontinent States Environmental and Energy Regulators (MSEER) group, with support from experts at the Bipartisan Policy Center and Great Plains Institute. In addition, the Midwestern Power Sector Collaborative, convened by the Great Plains Institute, brings a subset of states and stakeholders together to explore and engage on these policy issues.  This workshop will gather states, stakeholders, and experts, including those participating in MSEER and the Power Sector Collaborative, to explore policy pathways for achieving compliance under the final Clean Power Plan as well as opportunities and challenges for multi-state collaboration.

 

Rogers, Goffman Headline New Energy Summit – The 2015 New Energy Summit will be held on October 19th and 20th looking at the growth of the renewable energy marketplace.  The agenda includes keynote guests, presentations and thought-provoking, informative discussions about the latest trends in deal origination and finance, risk evaluation, regulatory developments and common practices.  Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and EPA’s Joe Goffman.

 

Cato to Hold UN Climate Conference Forum – The Cato Institute will hold a day-long forum on October 30th in its Hayek Auditorium to hear distinguished climate scientists and legal experts assess the issues sure to drive the debate before, during, and after the Paris UN Climate meeting.  Speakers will include John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry and Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon on a panel about science.  MIT professor and prominent climate skeptic Richard Lindzen will be the luncheon speaker.  In the afternoon, there will be a legal panel featuring Peter Glaser and Andrew Grossman and a policy panel that will include Harlan Watson, Former Chief Climate Negotiator in the George W. Bush administration and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger, who is Assistant Director, Center for the Study of Science at Cato.

Energy Update: Week of September 21

Friends,

 

While it was a good night for Hollywood at the last night’s Emmys, the winners were really overshadowed by the moving visit of Tracy Morgan to the stage.   Today is also a great day for Bracewell’s Environmental legal team as they added four Texas enviro stars to the already widely-respected team.   The combined team offers Bracewell’s clients a bench of excellence across Texas and the nation, including deep experience in air, water, wetlands, and waste issues.

 

Hope you are prepping for the Papal visit to the US.  While there is a lot of buzz about the visit, the traffic and road closures both here in DC and in NYC (where the UN is also holding its General Assembly next week) are already causing consternation.  There are a bunch of events this week centered around the Pope’s visit including a White House event on Wednesday, a speech to Congress and a rally on Thursday, as well as forums starting as early as noon  today from groups discussing nearly every angle.  With the Pope’s policy focus, many groups on both sides are targeting his climate encyclical and focus on poverty.  One group, the E&E Legal Institute released a video saying his focus on climate policies will hurt the poor and middle class by driving up the price of needed energy.

 

While the Pope is getting most of the focus this week, leaders from China will also be in DC for a state visit starting Thursday.  Following last week’s meetings in LA, the visit will have a significant impacts on the discussions around climate action for Paris.  As well, the UN General Assembly is next Monday and prior to that meeting, ministers will be in NY discussing climate issues.

 

Given the papal visit and the Wednesday’s Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, there is not much else going on Capitol Hill.

 

Tomorrow, our friend Kevin Book addresses the NatGas Roundtable at the University Club and WCEE hosts FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable.  If you are looking for the D.C. Bar forum Thursday on the EPA’s GHG Rule featuring my colleague Jeff Holmstead, you won’t find it.  Due to the Pope’s visit, it has been rescheduled to October 14th.

 

Two other items:  First today, our friends at AGA are rolling out a new study this morning that says more homes and businesses use natural gas today than ever before and the numbers continue to increase.    Finally, in case you missed it Friday, SAFE’s Electrification Coalition, Enterprise and GM rolled out a new program in Orlando that will introduce Chevy Volts into their rental fleets.

 

Finally, I know you guys like updates on the College search so here goes: we had an exciting visit to Colby College in central Maine for Hannah’s first of three major athletic recruiting overnights.  While she was learning what it was like to be a Colby College Student-Athlete, we ran over to Bar Harbor and visited Acadia National Park.  What a beautiful place , especially watching the sunrise on top of Cadillac Mountain — definitely worth getting up early.  Next up Wellesley.

 

We’ll be around, although trying to dodge the crowds, so call if you need anything…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Bracewell Extends its Environmental Reach with TX Enviro Aces – Bracewell & Giuliani LLP announced this morning that four partners are joining its environment and natural resources practice. Sara M. Burgin, Kevin Collins, Matt Paulson, and Whit Swift will work primarily from Bracewell’s Austin office, joining the firm’s environmental team anchored in Austin, Houston and Washington, D.C.  The combined team offers Bracewell’s clients a bench of excellence across Texas, including deep experience in air, water, wetlands, and waste issues, as well as contested case proceedings, strategic permitting assistance, infrastructure development, government investigations, enforcement defense, and crisis response.   Bracewell & Giuliani’s environment and natural resources practice is an adviser to energy, power and industrial clients. Anchored in Texas and Washington, D.C., the practice provides advice, strategy and advocacy on air quality, climate change, water quality, wetlands, and waste and supports clients in contested case proceedings, project development, investigations, and enforcement. Bracewell has a unique platform of attorneys, public policy advocates and media specialists who collaborate with clients on challenges that intersect law, policy, and public opinion.

 

AGA Report Sees Fast Growth in NatGas Distribution Sector – A new study says more homes and businesses use natural gas today than ever before and the numbers continue to increase. The American Gas Association (AGA) has released a new report entitled Got Growth? that examines the growth of the natural gas distribution sector.  In an era when much of the discussion regarding future gas demand is focused on power generation and industrial uses, this analysis details eight areas of growth for local gas utilities during the past several decades. The report points to continuing expectations for future growth in customers and burner tips, infrastructure build out and geographic footprint, rate base value, investments in energy efficiency and other areas.

 

SAFE Group, GM, Enterprise Expand EV Rental Program in Orlando – In case you missed it Friday, SAFE’s Electrification Coalition, Enterprise and GM rolled out a new program in Orlando that will introduce Chevy Volts into their rental fleets.   Drive Electric Orlando (DEO),along with representatives from more than 50 Orlando partner companies and groups in the fields of travel, tourism and government—unveiled the addition of 14 Chevrolet Volts to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car fleet with the goal of making the city one of the largest EV rental fleets in the nation. The DEO initiative continues to expand and recently receiving funding from the U.S Department of Energy.  This first-of-its-kind EV rental car initiative is already accelerating broader consumer adoption of EVs.

 

Senate Letter Raises Concerns about Tech Transfer Issues – Sens. Blunt, McConnell, Inhofe, Gardner, Capito, Boozman, Barrasso sent a letter opposing the Obama Administration’s efforts to block the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and other multilateral institutions’ public financing of efficient and affordable coal-fueled power in emerging markets.  The Letter: “Access to affordable and reliable energy, particularly coal, is indispensable to economic growth and prosperity.  This statement is true for all countries, including the United States, but it has special meaning in the developing world, including emerging economies, which are working to provide electricity for the basic needs of their people, including clean water, sanitation, education, and healthcare.  We oppose any efforts within the OECD and other multilateral institutions to impose restrictions on public financing of high-efficiency power stations fueled by coal in the developing world, including emerging markets. The United States must be a global leader in providing the most efficient advanced coal technologies. We ask that you join us in promoting U.S. leadership in providing access to affordable and reliable energy to advance economic growth, energy security, and environmental quality.”

 

Groups Raises Concerns about Energy Poverty During Pope Visit – With the Pope’s visit to the US this week, the E&E Legal Institute is saying his crusade for green energy policies will hurt the poor and middle class by driving up the price of needed energy through the roof.   In a video, EELI explains how the impact Europe’s green energy policies have had making it incumbent on people to oppose their implementation in the United States.

 

SoCo Advances Innovative Energy Storage Project in GA – Reflecting a long-standing commitment to the research and development (R&D) of new technologies to better serve customers, Southern Company hosted industry leaders and local dignitaries at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and facility tour at the largest battery storage research project in its operating system. Located in Cedartown, Georgia, the new research project will test and evaluate a 1-megawatt (MW)/2- megawatt-hour (MWh) battery storage system using lithium-ion battery technology – similar to the battery chemistry in electric vehicles and many of today’s consumer electronics.   Southern Company is at the forefront of accelerating the development of energy storage systems that will offer many benefits and great promise to the electric utility industry. From greater reliability to increased use of renewable energy to reduced prices for customers, energy storage has the potential to further enable the “smart grid” and help utilities meet the needs of customers.  The Cedartown research demonstration was created by Southern Company in collaboration with EPRI, in order to develop a large, utility-scale lithium-ion battery system and evaluate how battery storage systems can create value for customers.

 

What Are the Cedartown Details – The Cedartown battery demonstration is located on the site of a 1-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) facility owned and operated by WGL Energy. The solar PV facility is part of Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power’s Advanced Solar Initiative (ASI). Georgia Power’s innovative ASI programs have allowed the company to add hundreds of megawatts of cost-effective solar generation in Georgia without putting upward pressure on customer rates. Batteries are provided by LG Chem, one of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturers.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

National Drive Electric Week –National Drive Electric Week started yesterday on the National Mall.  There will be EV owners available to answer questions while several models of plug-in cars will all be in one place, for easy comparison.  Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Tesla Model S and more.  Hear how people charge their cars daily, mostly at home.

 

Heritage to Look at Climate Poverty Issues – The Heritage Foundation is holding a forum today at Noon that will look at how climate policy impacts the poor.  The poorest and most vulnerable members of society will be disproportionately harmed by these impending spikes in energy prices.  Europe is already experiencing “energy poverty” where families and the elderly are being forced to choose between eating and heating.  Tens of thousands did in the United Kingdom in several recent winters because they are unable to pay their electricity bills and still buy enough food.  Will this happen in America next?  The world’s poorest – the 1.3 billion in developing countries who depend on wood and dried dung as primary cooking and heating fuels, smoke from which kills 4 million and temporarily debilitates hundreds of millions every year – will be condemned to more generations of poverty and its deadly consequences.  Instead, developing countries desperately need to replace such primitive and dirty fuels with electricity, the most affordable sources of which are fossil fuels.  Speakers will include Kathleen White of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Mario Lopez of the Hispanic Leadership Fund, National Black Chamber President Harry Alford, among others.

CAP Discussing Papal Visit – The Center for American Progress will also hold a forum today at 3:00 p.m. on the Pope’s Visit.  CAP is hosting a panel of faith-based advocates and experts for a conversation about the papal visit and its implications for politics, policies, advocacy, and action. Following the panel, Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) will give remarks on the opportunity that the pope’s teachings provide for conversations about the challenges of climate change and finding ways for everyone to cooperate in the care of creation.

 

Commerce to Hold Renewable Issues Meeting – The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (RE&EEAC) will hold a meeting tomorrow. The meeting is open to the public and interested parties are requested to contact the U.S. Department of Commerce in advance of the meeting.

 

Franco-American Group to Highlight Climate Talks – Building up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, the French Ameri-Can Climate TalkS (FACTS) conference series is back for a second edition with 12 events across Canada and the United States involving renowned scientists, civil society representatives, NGOs, political figures, journalists and entrepreneurs.  Tomorrow, the French AmeriCan Climate Talks will be traveling to Washington for a discussion focusing on the transition to a new economy with sustainable energy usage and natural resources management that will require a concerted and united effort to encourage innovation, North-South technology transfers, and climate change adaptation measures.

 

USEA to Host LNG Discussion – Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on the role of US LNG exports in global gas markets.  Christopher J. Goncalves, Managing Director and Co-Chair of BRG’s Energy and Natural Resources Practice will look at the implications for global LNG trade and pricing.

Book to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will hold its September Roundtable tomorrow featuring Kevin Book, Managing Director of ClearView Energy Partners.   Book heads the research team at ClearView, an independent research firm that serves institutional investors and corporate strategists. Mr. Book’s primary coverage areas include oil, natural gas, coal and refined products.

 

RFF Forum to Look at Carbon Impact on Low Income – Resources for the Future will Host a tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. looking at carbon pricing on low-income Households.  RFF’s Roberton Williams will present an analysis of the impact of carbon pricing policies across income groups. Chad Stone of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will share new research on how to design and implement policy options that protect the most vulnerable households. Aparna Mathur of the American Enterprise Institute and Adele Morris of The Brookings Institution will provide comments on the two presentations, and all speakers will participate in a panel discussion on how climate policies may impact low-income households more broadly.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Changes, Security – The Wilson Center will hold a global energy forum tomorrow looking at technology change and security.  The international energy system is going through revolutionary changes.  Oil and natural gas production is growing in the United States and elsewhere in response to new technologies. Geopolitics face several inflection points, from a turbulent Middle East to increased Russian pressure in Europe, and Chinese pressure in East Asia. Furthermore, new pathways must be developed to advance global energy security at a time of revolutionary change. The system must be more resilient, as energy trade is vulnerable to interruption, and as strategic petroleum reserves need to be modernized. Up to and beyond the next climate change conference (COP-21) in Paris, national security, energy and climate goals need to be better integrated in future policies.

 

Papal Visit Schedule Set – The official schedule is out for the Papal visit in the United States.  Pope Francis will arrive at Andrews AFB tomorrow meet with the White House and address a Joint Session of Congress before heading to the UN on Friday.  He then travels to Philadelphia before heading back to the Vatican on Sunday.

 

WCEE to Host FERC Commissioner – On Wednesday evening, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a forum at the Capitol Hill Club featuring FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable.  She will share her insights and some of the “lessons learned” for women in the energy sector.

 

Papal Visit to Feature All-Night Vigil – On Wednesday during the Pope’s visit, the Franciscan Action Network will lead an all-night, multi-faith vigil at the Lincoln Memorial.

 

Moral March on DC – Climate Advocates will descend to Washington this week to talk about Climate.  There will be a series of events held across the country to call for the United States to honor its moral duty to act for climate justice.   On Wednesday, the Franciscan Action Network will lead an all-night, multi-faith vigil at the Lincoln Memorial.   On Thursday, September 24, the Pope will address a joint session of Congress, and there will be Jumbotrons set up at the Capitol and the National Mall for public viewing.  After the address, there will be a rally on the National Mall, between 4th St. NW and 7th St. NW, with performances and speakers.

 

UN Climate Talks Set – Climate sidebars will be held at the UN on Thursday and Friday.  President Obama is expected to attend.

 

DELAYED – Holmstead, Others Experts to Discuss GHG Rule at DC Bar Event – The Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at the D.C. Bar forum looking the EPA’s GHG Rule has been postponed to October 14th due to the Papel Visit.  The brown bag, sponsored by the Air Quality Committee of the D.C. Bar Environment, will feature a panel of experts will offer perspectives on the final rule, including state compliance options and the nature and timing of legal challenges.  The panelists will be: David Doniger, Director, Climate & Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, Lisa Heinzerling, Professor of Law at Georgetown University, and Jeff Holmstead, Partner, Bracewell & Giuliani. All three of our speakers have previously served in high-level posts at EPA and have spent most of their careers shaping carbon pollution policy.

 

CSIS to Look at Global NatGas Markets – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Dr. Fereidun Fesharaki, Chairman and Founder of FGE, on Friday at 10:00 a.m. for a discussion of the global natural gas markets. As the low price environment persists, the debate over the impacts on gas production in the United States and globally continues. Spot prices have entered a long term lull disconnected from contract prices; European prices may remain weak for some time; and in the United States, many sellers are still planning to proceed with export projects. The LNG market turmoil will likely hit new heights in 2016 with so much additional volume in the market. How can the markets rebalance? What is needed to bring sanity to the market? David Pumphrey, Senior Associate with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

 

Global Citizen Event Set for NYC – On Saturday in NYC’s Central Park, the Global Citizen movement will hold an event focused on taking action to address poverty, environmental and education issues.  The event will feature a concert with Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

UN General Assembly – September 28th

 

AU to Host Forum on Religion, Environment – Next Monday, American University will hold a forum featuring panelists from The Washington Post, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and AU faculty to consider the journalistic and media treatment of the Pope’s recent encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, as a means to better understand the role of religion in public debate and activism on climate change.

 

Forum to Look at Offshore Wind – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing next Monday in 406 Dirksen examining the role of offshore wind domestically and internationally. The first U.S. offshore wind project is expected to come online in summer 2016 at Block Island, 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. Deepwater Wind is leading the Block Island project, which will generate 50 megawatts (MW) of power, enough to run 17,000 homes. U.S. Wind is working on a much larger project off the coast of Maryland, where it plans to have 500 MW of offshore wind operating by 2020. Speakers for this forum are Sens. Tom Carper (DE) and Jack Reed (RI), AWEA’s Fatima Maria Ahmad, Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski, Paul Rich of U.S. Wind (Maryland), Dr. Georg Maue of the Embassy of Germany and Tom Simchak, Policy Advisor at the British Embassy.

 

AWEA to Host Annual Offshore Wind Conference in Baltimore – Speaking of offshore wind, AWEA holds its annual offshore wind event in Baltimore on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 29th and 30th.

 

The Hill to Host Methane Forum – Next Tuesday, The Hill will host a forum at the Newseum to consider how policymakers and industry can come together to effectively regulate methane emissions. What steps can industry take to innovate and lead on adopting existing technologies and practices to reduce emissions? With methane leaks in the oil and gas system costing industry $1.8 billion per year in lost revenues, how can new regulations be implemented in a cost effective way that reduces both climate impacts and domestic energy waste? And what impact might implementing these regulations have on investors and the larger American economy?  Featured speakers include Brent Lammert of FLIR, Brian Rice of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, Martha Rudolph of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.  Our friends Tim Cama and Devin Henry will moderate.

 

Forum to Look at China, Clean Cities – The Woodrow Wilson Center will host a forum next Tuesday focused on China’s power sector and a move to cleaner cities.  At the US-China Climate Smart/Low Carbon City Summit held September last week in Los Angeles, 11 Chinese cities and 3 provinces committed to taking steps to reduce carbon emissions and reach “peak coal” earlier than China’s national 2030 target. Continued expansion of renewables, gas, nuclear power and energy efficient buildings in China’s cities will depend heavily on efforts to decarbonize the country’s power grid. Speakers at this meeting will discuss emerging reforms and clean energy investments (including nuclear power) investments at both national and municipal levels to decrease coal-fired electricity.

 

Forum to Look at Japan Plutonium Issues – Next Tuesday, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a forum on Japan’s plans to start producing plutonium—intended for use in its nuclear energy reactors. However, in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in 2011, all but one of Japan’s reactors still remain offline, and the process to restart the others will be long, slow, and controversial. As a result, it is likely that plutonium production will soon exceed demand, causing a risky and potentially destabilizing plutonium build-up in Japan.  Carnegie’s James Acton will launch his new report, Wagging the Plutonium Dog, and explore why Japan finds itself in this predicament and what can be done.

 

EESI Forum to Look at States, GHG Regs – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing next Tuesday in 334 Cannon  discussing how states are planning to comply with the Clean Power Plan, which limits carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants. Under the authority of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Power Plan represents the first time the United States has placed limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, currently the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution. Now that the final version has been released, what are the best compliance strategies for states to meet the emission reduction goals, and what kind of assistance will EPA be able to provide?

 

Forum to Feature Lithuania Energy Minister – On Wednesday, September 30th at 1:00 p.m. the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies will host the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania, Rokas Masiulis.  Masiulis will deliver remarks regarding Lithuania’s current efforts to help address energy security issues throughout Europe.

 

DOE’s Solar Decathlon Set – The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon—America’s premier collegiate competition that challenges students from around the world to design, build and operate highly energy-efficient, solar-powered houses—will open October 8 in Irvine, California.  Sixteen collegiate teams involving more than 2,000 students from 27 schools are deep into construction, assembling their innovative houses on or near their campuses. In less than three months, the students will transport and open those houses to the public in the Solar Decathlon village, where they’ll demonstrate just how affordable, attractive and comfortable these zero-energy homes—homes that are so efficient that a solar energy system can offset all or most of their energy consumption—have become.

 

Hydrogen Fuel Day Set for Oct 8 – In recognition of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen energy technology, industry advocates are celebrating National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day on October 8th to help raise awareness of a clean energy technology that is here now. October 8th was chosen as a reference to the of the atomic weight of Hydrogen, 1.008.

 

Holmstead, Others Experts to Discuss GHG Rule at DC Bar Event – On October 14th at 12:30 p.m., the D.C. Bar will hold a forum in its Conference Center looking the EPA’s GHG Rule.  The brown bag was rescheduled due to the Papal visit in September. It is sponsored by the Air Quality Committee of the D.C. Bar Environment and will feature a panel of experts will offer perspectives on the final rule, including state compliance options and the nature and timing of legal challenges.  The panelists will be: David Doniger, Director, Climate & Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, Lisa Heinzerling, Professor of Law at Georgetown University, and Jeff Holmstead, Partner, Bracewell & Giuliani. All three of our speakers have previously served in high-level posts at EPA and have spent most of their careers shaping carbon pollution policy.

 

Smart Grid Conference Set – On October 14th and 15th, the 2nd Annual National Summit on Smart Grid & Climate Change will bring together policymakers, utilities, technology companies, and a wide variety of environmental and energy stakeholders to address the role of smart grid technologies and practices in mitigating and adapting to climate change.  The Summit will establish an understanding as to how smart grid can be an essential part of any climate action planning, whether in response to government emission restrictions like EPA’s Clean Power Plan or efforts to increase resiliency to prepare for various climate change events and scenarios.  Speakers will include Energy Secretary Moniz, OMB’s Ali Zaidi, Arizona Public Service SVP Jeff Guldner and NREL’s Bryan Hannegan.

 

GP Bush , Fox to Headline Border Energy Forum – The Border Energy Forum will be held on October 14 – 16th in San Diego, California and will feature Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush as its Keynote Speaker.  For more than 20 years, the Border Energy Forum has worked to increase regional development of clean energy projects, promote cross-border energy trade, and advance technologies and innovative solutions for sustainable resource management. Other speakers will include former Mexican President Vicente Fox.

 

Cato to Hold UN Climate Conference Forum – The Cato Institute will hold a day-long forum on October 30th in its Hayek Auditorium to hear distinguished climate scientists and legal experts assess the issues sure to drive the debate before, during, and after the Paris UN Climate meeting.  Speakers will include John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry and Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon on a panel about science.  MIT professor and prominent climate skeptic Richard Lindzen will be the luncheon speaker.  In the afternoon, there will be a legal panel featuring Peter Glaser and Andrew Grossman and a policy panel that will include Harlan Watson, Former Chief Climate Negotiator in the George W. Bush administration and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger, who is Assistant Director, Center for the Study of Science at Cato.

 

Energy Update: Columbus Day Edition

Friends,

 

Thanks goodness it is Columbus Day, the holiday to celebrate Italian-Americans, because those of us that end in a vowel really do need more celebrating. Italian-Americans are among the most loyal — most law-abiding — patriotic, hard-working American citizens in this land.  Because from the time of the great Christopher Columbus up through the time of Enrico Fermi right up to the present day — Italian-Americans have been pioneers in building and defending our great nation. They are the soil o’ the earth and one of the backbones of this country. Thank you, Senator Geary…

 

I don’t even know why I’m working today, because a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.  But I decided that I would take advantage of the light traffic…and besides, I already watched both Godfather movies last night, so I’m smart, not dumb like everybody thinks.  When I went to bed around 1:00 a.m. (it is a 6+ hour marathon), my wife told me, “sure ‘cause like you haven’t seen that before.”  Not the point though… You must always watch the Godfather or Godfather II, especially if it is the Columbus Day Holiday, because you never takes sides against the family and this is the business we have chosen.  I didn’t ask who gave the order.

 

Since business is business, let’s get back to it because we’re all part of the same hypocrisy.   Plus I have to get this out because the kids have no school today so they’re all at home (which could be a disaster).  I have as sentimental weakness for my children and I spoil them, as you can see. They talk when they should be listening.

 

There has been a lot of banter about the EPA’s GHG rule and states being ready for it.  Apparently, EPA is making them an offer they can’t refuse.   But their ability to comply with the rule will continue to cause debate and controversy, including at an event this week at Resources for the Future tomorrow at 12:45. Along these lines, check out the Southwest Power Pool’s (the SW Grid Operator) call to delay the rule for five years for reliability concerns.  And there are others like IER, who also have a new impact study  out below, that want the rule to sleep with the fishes.

 

The Senate races continue to heat up.  We are trying to get a final feel for those running, many of whom are no different than any other powerful man (or Woman)— who’s responsible for other people, like a senator or president.  Interesting races are shaping up in South Dakota and Kansas, while Michigan seems to be separating.  You know though, I never tell anybody outside the (friends’ list) family what I’m thinkingBut I’m a superstitious man, so next 22 days will show how this plays out.

 

Finally, It makes no difference to me what a man does for a living, understand, but on Saturday, the Consumer’s Energy Alliance is hosting Energy Day in Houston.  The event is the largest annual festival showcasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and will feature folks from across the Country.  Our friends at Cabot are sending a bunch of educators from Northeastern PA.

 

That’s it…Call with questions.  I guess I’m getting too old for my job. Too grouchy. Can’t stand the aggravation.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

SAFE Oil Index Out –Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released the latest quarterly installment of its Oil Security Index, a tool measuring the oil security of more than a dozen countries around the world based on key indicators, including their structural dependence on oil, their economic exposure to the global oil market, and their capacity to respond to oil supply disruptions.  This most recent update features a special focus on Japan, the Index’s most oil-secure country. Japan ranks highly in spite of its minimal domestic oil resources and high import levels, which are offset by several other indicators. Most notably, Japan’s high oil efficiency and its role as an international storage hub work in favor of the county’s long-term oil security.  The United States remains fifth in Index rankings, unchanged from last quarter.  The latest Index update also shines a light on India, where burgeoning demand has driven oil consumption up 75 percent since 2000. Amidst rising demand for gasoline and increasing incomes, India struggles with a heavy reliance on Middle East imports and low overall efficiency, leaving it suspended at 11 out of 13 in the Index rankings.

 

SW Grid Operator Urges 5 Year Delay for EPA GHG Rule – The Southwest Power Pool, the grid operator for all or part of nine states in the Great Plains said that will be more difficult maintain reliability with EPA’s new GHG rules for existing power plants.  SPP said the rule could lead to transmission overloads and even rolling power outages.  The SPP’s analysis said the proposed rule would lead to reliability issues in its footprint.  SPP wants more time so that the grid can manage the retirements the proposed rule will cause on its system. The RTO’s own report admitted that it did not have time to study any of the proposed building blocks to clean up the power system in EPA’s rule due to time constraints.   SPP Officials said the assessment’s findings make it very clear new generation and transmission expansion will be necessary from a reliability perspective.  They added their focus is first and foremost on reliability. SPP officials urged EPA to extend the proposed carbon plan compliance deadline by five years and called for more detailed study of the plan’s effect on reliability.

 

EIA to Releases Studies on Crude Oil Exports – The Energy Information Administration is expected to release a comprehensive summary of the studies it is conducting about crude oil exports by the end of 2014 or early 2015. The agency will release a study on the exports’ financial impact on trade markets and crude prices this month and an analysis of crude processing costs and technology in December.

 

TX School Fund Larger than Harvard Endowment – The Texas educational fund that the State uses to buy instructional materials and cover some local school districts’ costs is now worth nearly $38 billion.  Started in 1854 with an initial investment of just $2 million, the fund  gets proceeds from the sale of state land and rental of mineral rights for oil and natural gas exploration, making it the nation’s largest educational endowment.  In a statement, Patterson and Education Commissioner Michael Williams said the fund had outpaced Harvard University’s endowment, which they said was worth $36.4 billion through June 30.  While other state education funding is embroiled in legal battles, Permanent School Fund has faced no such shortfalls with natural gas drilling and other state energy development helped generate a record $1.2 billion for the fund this year.

 

IER: EPA Rules Increase Power Plant Closures – The Institute for Energy Research updated its report listing the generating units at power plants that have already closed or will be shutting down because of EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Rule, the proposed Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), and the recently announced restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. Highlights from the report include: 72.7 gigawatts (GW) of electrical generating capacity have already, or are scheduled to retire. That’s enough to reliably power 44.7 million homes, or every home in every state west of the Mississippi River, excluding Texas; since IER’s original report in October 2011, an additional 44.4 GW of reliable coal-fired power have either closed or are now scheduled to close; there are now 37 states with projected power plant closures – up from 30 in 2011; the top 5 hardest hit states by generating capacity are: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, and Georgia.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Shale Water Expo Set – Tomorrow and Wednesday, Shale Water Expo 2014 will be held in Houston at the Stafford Convention Centre.  The event is focused on shale play water management is the only national fluids-specific event for the oil and gas industry.  It will present timely, in-depth insight from industry leaders sharing their expertise on water management, logistics, sourcing, recycling, market forecasting and industry trends.

 

Maryland Clean Energy Summit Set – Tomorrow and Wednesday, the State of Maryland will hold its Clean Energy Summit at the Marriott Inn & Conference Center near the University of Maryland.  The event will focus on ideas to transform customers from passive to engaged decision makers and participants in their energy future.  EPA’s Sarah Dunham will speak about the new EPA GHG rules while BGE CEO Calvin Butler will offer a keynote address.  Speakers and panel presenters will join in sessions that will cover energy literacy, efficiency, reliability, resiliency and affordability within the related technological, financial, policy, and regulatory framework.  Relevant data, best practice models and real life case studies will be examined to address the challenges and opportunities residential, small business & retail, commercial & industrial, and government & institutional customers are facing in their transformation as energy users.

 

JHU Forum to Feature Russian Oil Expert – Johns Hopkins University’s Reischauer Center for East Asia Studies will hold a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in its Rome Building featuring Tatiana Mitrova, head of the Oil and Gas Department at the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.  She will discuss “Russia and the New Energy Age.”

 

WCEE Book Club to Focus on Wind Book – Tomorrow at noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a book club event that will discuss “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” by William Kamkwamba. Kamkwamba is a Malawian inventor and author who gained fame in 2002 when he built a windmill to power a few electrical appliances in his family’s house in Masitala using blue gum trees, bicycle parts, and materials collected in a local scrapyard. Since then, he has built a solar-powered water pump that supplies the first drinking water in his village and two other windmills.

 

Cato Forum to Look at Self-Driving Cars – Tomorrow at 12:00 p.m., the Cato Institute will hold a forum looking at policy implications of self-driving cars. The event will feature Randal O’Toole, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; Marc Scribner, Research Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute; and Adam Thierer, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center. Experimental self-driving cars will be on the market by 2020 and will radically transform the 21st century.  This Forum will look at what Washington policymakers should know about the future of American mobility and how self-driving cars will affect the viability of urban transit and regional planning.  They will also hold a similar forum in 2226 Rayburn on Wednesday at Noon.

 

RFF to Focus on State Officials Concerns – Resources for the Future will hold a forum tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. focused on state goals and challenges under the new EPA clean GHG rule.  Since the release of EPA’s Clean Power Plan in early June, state policymakers have been assessing how the proposed rule will impact their unique state and regional circumstances. At this seminar, research experts and state regulators will explore several challenges to implementing the rule, including whether rate-based emissions targets should be converted to mass-based targets and, if so, how; whether credit can be or should be given for states that have already taken early action on low-carbon energy programs and how these challenges might differ by region, among others. Join Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) for a discussion of this issue.  Speakers include EPRI’s Vic Niemeyer, Michigan DEQ Air Quality Chief Vinson Hellwig, Mass DEP Commissioner David Cash.

 

SEIA to Discuss Low Carbon Grid Study – The Solar Energy Industry Assn will hold a webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. on a new California low carbon grid study.  The Low Carbon Grid Study, which examines the feasibility of halving California’s electric sector emissions by 2030, is currently underway. Results from the first of the study’s two phases show that this magnitude of emissions reductions is possible with approximately no impact to utility revenue requirement, using a combination of strategies: a diverse renewables fleet, energy efficiency, flexible load, robust regional cooperation, and efficient use of natural gas resources. This webinar will feature the lead project manager of the study, Jim Caldwell, who will review initial results, answer questions, and discuss plans for the second phase.  This study is supported by a diverse group of renewables companies, energy foundations, and trade associations, including SEIA and CalWEA. Modeling work is being done by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the second phase of the work will incorporate analysis from other groups and input from an independent technical review committee. For more information, see lowcarbongrid2030.org.

 

Brookings Forum to Focus on Ukraine – The Brookings Energy Security Initiative (ESI) and Center on United States and Europe (CUSE) at Brookings will hold a discussion tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the state of the European gas market. This event serves as the release of a new ESI policy brief on the European gas market in times of turmoil and increasing import dependence. Two of the report’s co-authors – ESI Fellow Tim Boersma and Tatiana Mitrova, head of the Oil and Gas Department at the Energy Research Institute in the Russian Academy of Sciences – will present their findings. Following their presentation, Robin Dunnigan, acting deputy assistant secretary for energy diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources, will provide additional comment. CUSE Senior Fellow Clifford Gaddy will moderate the discussion.

 

ANGA, Penn State to Host Gas Utilization Conference – Penn State University and ANGA will hold a forum tomorrow and Wednesday in Canonsburg, PA at the Hilton Garden Inn.  The conference aims to develop a better understanding of natural gas development issues across the nation and the impact shale plays have on the world energy market.  Top industry experts, government officials and academic researchers will address the major issues driving the natural gas revolution as America moves to expanding its use of natural gas for transportation, manufacturing and power generation.

 

Border Energy Forum Set – The 21st Border Energy Forum will be held on Wednesday through Friday in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico.  More than ever, the potential of clean energy like natural gas and renewables, combined with traditional oil production, in the ten border states is boundless.  The Border Energy Forum is a collaborative effort among the 10 border states along the US / Mexico border. The original idea for the Forum was to gather 50 people each from the United States and Mexico once a year to exchange information about the best ways to produce and consume energy in our fast-growing region, forge new partnerships and help each other work together on our twin goals of economic development and environmental protection.  The event will feature representatives from the federal governments of both Mexico and the United States, as well as state and local officials from both sides of the border. The Forum has met at least once in each of the 10 U.S. and Mexican border states.

 

Happer to Tackle Carbon – On Wednesday, the George Marshall Institute will hold a forum in 2325 Rayburn featuring Princeton climate expert Will Happer, on the myth of carbon pollution.   Happer says “Carbon pollution” is a propaganda slogan for the campaign against carbon dioxide (CO2), but not science.   Dr. Happer is Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics (emeritus) at Princeton University, a long-term member of the JASON advisory group, and former director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. In addition to being a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Alfred P. Sloan fellowship, the Alexander von Humboldt award, the Herbert P. Broida Prize and the Thomas Alva Edison patent award.

 

CIBO Meeting to Address New GHG Rules, EPA Challenges – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO) will hold its 36th annual meeting at the Hotel Santa Fe in New Mexico on Wednesday through Friday.  The theme for this year’s annual meeting is Energy 2014 and beyond focusing on the nexus of energy, air, water, fuel and energy.  It is impossible to make or do anything without energy.  And the cost of energy impacts everything we make or do.  For years, Climate Change (Manmade Global Warming) has been and continues to be the driver for the environmental community and their supporters in the Obama Administration including the President.  With the 2014 Clean Power Plan proposal, this administration could reshape the energy landscape for the foreseeable future raising the cost of energy to drive the need of energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and adversely impact the poor, less fortunate, retired people on fixed incomes and all those people and companies who cannot afford the capital cost to improve efficiency to keep their energy costs stable.

 

SoCo Exec to Address Coal Council Meeting – The National Coal Council’s will hold a Fall conference at the Gaylord National Resort on Thursday.  Speakers include Southern Company COO Kimberly Greene, UBS Securities analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith and Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy Energy Resource & Economics fellow Ken Medlock.

 

Brookings Lecture Series to Feature Stern, French Climate Official – On Thursday event, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings will host Laurence Tubiana, special representative of France for the Paris 2015 Climate Conference, for the 11th annual Raymond Aron Lecture. In her remarks, Tubiana will offer a multilevel governance perspective for building a more dynamic climate regime. She will reflect on economically and politically-feasible strategies for combating global climate disruption that enhance economic growth, employment opportunities and overall quality of life. Following Tubiana’s address, Todd Stern, the U.S. State Department’s special envoy for climate change, will offer remarks in response.  Tubiana is a world-renowned expert on climate issues and the founder of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations in Paris. She is a professor at Sciences Po Paris and Columbia University, serves as co-chair of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Leadership Council and is the board president of the French Development Agency.   Brookings Visiting Fellow Philippe Le Corre will provide introductory remarks, and Brookings Managing Director William Antholis will moderate the discussion. After the program, panelists will take audience questions. Brookings’ Raymond Aron lecture series, named after the renowned scholar of post-war France, annually features leading French and American scholars and statesmen speaking on current issues affecting the transatlantic relationship.

 

National Alt Fuels Vehicles Day Odyssey Set – Friday is 2014 National Alternative Fuel Vehicle day and events will be held on the National Mall.  AFV Day Odyssey is a biennial event dedicated to promoting cleaner choices in transportation, brought to you by the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) at West Virginia University.  Odyssey brings together many organizations, vehicle manufacturers and businesses to showcase alternative transportation technologies and their benefits.  The National Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Day Odyssey national kickoff event will be held on the National Mall in Washington DC. Hosted by the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition, the occasion will serve as the official kickoff for the more than 100 Odyssey events taking place across the country on that day.

 

Energy Day Set For Houston – The Consumer’s Energy Alliance is hosting Energy Day on Saturday at Sam Houston Park in Houston.  The event is the largest annual festival showcasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Energy Day has nearly 70 interactive demonstrations and exhibits teaching students and their families about the various forms of energy, science, technology, efficiency, conservation, and careers in the energy industry. The exciting exhibits and interactions with energy experts help spark students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  Attendees include students, educators, families and business leaders who see a range of exhibits highlighting energy sources and opportunities in the industry. Additionally, more than 75 students are awarded each year for their achievements in STEM-related competitions. Guests are also treated to music and numerous interactive games and displays.   Energy Day and its partners and sponsors are leading the way in reinforcing the importance of STEM education and the development of new energy technology. The stimulating exhibits and generous academic award opportunities help motivate thousands of future energy experts each year.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

GW Oil Event to Focus On Central Asia – Next Monday, the George Washington University will host a business forum on  hydrocarbons, governance and social accountability in Russia and Central Asia.  Speakers include Marc-Antoine Perouse de Montclos of the French Institute of Geopolitics, Sergei Gretsky of the Foreign Service Institute, Wesleyan University’s Peter Rutland, UConn’s Oksan Bayulgen, Kate Watters of Crude Accountability and Sebastien Peyrouse of the GW East West Center.

 

Forum to Discuss Russian Energy – The Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, the Energy Charter Secretariat, and the Brussels Energy Club, will hold an event next Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. featuring Ambassador Urban Rusnák, secretary-general of the Energy Charter Secretariat.  Russia, currently in an economic crisis, was ordered by international arbitration tribunals in July 2014 to pay fifty billion dollars to former shareholders of Yukos. Ambassador Rusnák will discuss how the ruling affects the current state of energy relations between Russia and the West, as well as the repercussions of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine on European energy security. The discussion will be introduced by Marat Terterov, executive director of the Brussels Energy Club and moderated by David Koranyi, deputy director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.

 

Oil Event to Look at China, Sudan Civil War – Next Monday evening, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies will host Luke Patey, senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies to discuss oil issues with China and Sudan/ South Sudan.  For over a decade, Sudan fuelled the international rise of China’s national oil companies. But the political turmoil surrounding the historic division of Africa’s largest country, with the birth of South Sudan, challenged China to chart a new course. The outbreak of conflict in South Sudan last December only deepened the instability and insecurity and sent Chinese diplomats scrambling to protect their interests and bring an end to the conflict.  The lecture will discuss the overseas investments of Chinese national oil companies, their close ties with their respective governments in Beijing, and experiences with political and security risks in Sudan and South Sudan. It draws from Luke Patey’s recent book The New Kings of Crude: China, India, and the Global Struggle for Oil in Sudan and South Sudan. Beyond examining the economic and political impact of Chinese and Indian engagement in Sudan and South Sudan, the book argues that the two Sudans are examples of how Africa is shaping the rise of China and India as world powers.

 

Christie to Address Chamber Legal Forum – The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform is hosting its 15th Annual Legal Reform Summit on Tuesday October 21st.  The Legal Reform Summit gathers business and industry leaders, government officials, as well as the media, to explore hot legal issues and discuss the current state of legal reform and its importance to the greater business community and national economy.   This year’s Summit will feature a keynote address from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, as well as remarks by Tom J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Panels will explore the increase in government overreach and serial enforcement, the outsourcing of public powers to private parties, and follow-on litigation.

 

ELI Annual Forum Set – The Environmental Law Institute will hold its annual forum on Tuesday, October 21st when they will honor Mary Nichols and the state of California with award presentation by retiring Rep. Henry Waxman at The Omni Shoreham Hotel.  Alongside the dinner, ELI will hold its annual Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum just before.  The event will focus on state leadership in environmental protection, examining the inherent tension underlying state-federal partnerships and inconsistencies in state approaches to cooperative federalism.  During this year’s timely Keare Forum, participants will hear from expert panelists representing a range of corporate, non-profit, and government perspectives on state challenges for the new EPA GHG rule. All of our panelists have held key leadership roles in the environmental field, and they bring a wealth of insight to this discussion. The panel will discuss the new EPA rule through the lens of state leadership, and it will opine on how the state-federal partnership will likely evolve in the future.  Panelists will feature former NJ DEP head Brad Campbell, former EPA chief Linda Fisher of DuPont, former NY enviro official and NRDC executive director Peter Lehner, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau, EPA Region 1 head Curt Spalding and Montana Department of Environmental Quality Director Tracy Stone-Manning,

 

Mid-Atlantic Energy Summit to Look at PJM Issues – The National Energy Marketers Association (NEM) hosts its Inaugural Mid-Atlantic Energy Policy Summit with Federal, State and PJM Officials on October 22-23 in Baltimore’s Center Club.  A diverse cross-section of industry stakeholders that participate and oversee the PJM wholesale and retail markets are confirmed and have been invited to attend, including Federal and State regulators, PJM officials, Attorneys General, Consumer Counsels, Municipalities, and Utilities as well as NEM’s Executive Committee and Policy Leadership.

 

Forum to Look at Mexico Energy – On Wednesday October 22nd, the Atlantic Council will hold a conference focused on reform in the Mexican energy industry.  It is set for transformation after President Enrique Peña Nieto signed into law the reform’s secondary legislation in August. Join us for the first major policy address in the United States by one of the top Mexican officials leading this reform.   This event follows two publications in step with the reform process and written by the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s nonresident senior energy fellow, David Goldwyn, Mexico’s Energy Reform: Ready to Launch (August 2014) and Mexico Rising: Comprehensive Energy Reform at Last? (December 2013).  Keynote Speakers will include María de Lourdes Melgar Palacios, Undersecretary of Hydrocarbons at the Secretariat of Energy of Mexico and former State Department official David Goldwyn.

 

Clean Energy Forum Set – The 3rd annual Southeast Innovation Summit will be held on Wednesday and Thursday,  October 22-23 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Old Town Alexandria.  The Southeast Innovation Summit showcases the region’s cleantech innovation and convenes key stakeholders from investors, entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 managers, policy makers, and academia.  Innovation is catalyzed when market participants from different geographies and focus areas have regular dialogue and establish working relationships.  The Summit provides an annual platform for these connections to be fostered.

 

Nichols to Address EMA Forum – The Emissions Marketing Assn’s 18th Annual Meeting will be held on October 22-24th at the Double Tree Suites in Santa Monica.  Discussions will include AB 32, the EPA GHG rules and renewable energy credits.  Speakers will include CARB’s Mary Nichols, our friend Bill Peters of Argus and Joel Bluestein of ICF, among many others.

 

Marcacci to Speak at EnviroRun Social Event – Our friend Silvio Marcacci will speak following the EnviroRun on Wednesday evening October 22 at Bar Louie.  The EnviroRun is a group that goes on a four-mile run then holds a social event after.

 

ICF Breakfast to Look at Energy Efficiency – On Thursday morning, October 23rd, ICF International Energy and Environment Breakfast at National Press Club featuring energy experts that will discuss the substantial increase in energy use efficiency due to a variety of utility, state, and federal programs. As a result of these programs, there is more economic output for every dollar of energy expenditure.  Speakers will include ICF’s Gene Rodrigues and Kateri Callahan of the Alliance to Save Energy.

 

World Green Forum to Discuss New Innovations – On Thursday October 23rd, the World Green Energy Symposium Council will host the DC World Green Energy Symposium Executive Forum in the Washington Post Conference Center.  This is the world stage for latest launches, policies, unveiling of procurement opportunities and showcase of sustainable technologies and innovations in new energy.  The World Green Energy Symposium (WGES) proudly returns to Washington DC and is bringing top experts featuring economic programs, sustainable products & technologies in new energy. The WGES program is known for its focus on green/renewable energy technology and innovations in existing technologies as the vantage point in the new economy creating and maintaining jobs, contract and exporting opportunities, and new policies leading to economic vitality and a healthier planet.  The WGES attracts the best minds and top decision makers through a carefully planned strategic process which has developed into the foundation leading to an outstanding premier technical educational program providing a world stage for a platform of education and information exchange on new and existing advances in sustainable energy.

 

Ocean Renewable Energy Event to Feature BOEM Officials – On Thursday evening  October 23rd, Leaders in Energy will be co-hosting its professional networking Happy Hour on the topic of ocean energy issues at the Arlington Garden Hilton Inn .  Speakers will address the science and misperceptions regarding the impacts of seismic surveys and noise on marine life associated with offshore energy resource mapping as well as ocean renewable energy systems including ocean thermal energy conversion, tidal, etc.  Featured Speakers include Jill Lewandowski, who currently serves as the Chief, Environmental Consultation Branch in the Headquarters Office of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Stan Labak is a Physical Scientist (Marine Acoustician) in BOEM’s Division of Environmental Sciences and Sean O’Neill, Executive Director of the Foundation for Ocean Renewables, dedicated to promoting ocean renewable energy.

 

Bracewell to Host Webinar on Global Business Issues – Bracewell & Giuliani will host a webinar on Thursday, October 23rd at 10:30 a.m. on the challenges of global business operations.  Doing business on a global basis presents many challenges, some more obvious than others. Join us as we decipher and demystify some of the thorny issues facing both U. S. companies conducting business abroad and foreign companies doing business in the U. S., including the broad scope and penalties of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), enhanced privacy and data restriction and immigration options.

 

Urban Planning Forum Set to Discuss Climate – On Friday, October 24th at 2:30 p.m., the Sustainable Urban Planning Program is hosting its 5th biannual Research Symposium at GWU’s Jack Morton Auditorium. This year’s symposium focuses on the question: Do cities hold the solution to climate change?  Speakers will include UCLA Professor Matthew Kahn, Marianne Fay of the World Bank Group, David Archer of the University of Chicago, Global Inheritance executive director Eric Ritz and Virginia Tech Urban Planning professor Yang Zhang,

 

Holmstead to Address EPA Rules at FL Conference – The Florida Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association will hold a forum at its annual conference in Jacksonville on October 29-30th on the proposed Section 111(d) guidelines for CO2 emissions from existing utility units.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead will address the panel as will out friend Mike Kennedy of Duke Energy.

 

Atlantic, Aspen to Host Washington Ideas Forum – The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute are holding their 6th annual Washington Ideas Forum on October 29-30th in Washington, D.C. to discuss vital issues of our time from politics and the economy to technology and the fabric of our culture. Speakers will include former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, edX CEO Anant Agarwal, Revolution Founder Steve Case, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, genomic research scientist Craig Venter, and House of Cards Screenwriter Beau Willimon.  Southern CEO Tom Fanning, Boone Pickens and NRG CEO David Crane will also speak. Among those moderating the Forum will be Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson, The Atlantic’s Editor-in-Chief James Bennet, Washington Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons, Editor Scott Stossel, and National Correspondents Ta-Nehisi Coates and James Fallows.

 

November 4th – ELECTION DAY

 

RFF to Highlight Conservation – On Wednesday, November 5th, Resources for the Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar on global resource trends, innovation, and implications for conservation.

Evidence abounds of humanity’s creative ability to produce more goods and services using fewer resources. In many cases, our use of natural resources is declining, particularly when measured in terms of GDP consumption per capita or per dollar. In fact, consumption of some natural resources (certain croplands, fuels, metals, and water) has plummeted, even as we produce more and more from these resources. The panel at this RFF First Wednesday Seminar will discuss this evidence and highlight the ingenuity enabling reduced natural resource use. Can we credibly envision a “peak environmental footprint?”  Panelists will also discuss the Breakthrough Institute’s Nature Unbound, a new report to be released November 5.   They include Rockefeller University’s Iddo Wernick and Jesse Ausubel, and the Breakthrough Institute’s Linus Blomqvist, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger.

 

Concert for Valor Set – On Veterans’ Day, HBO and Starbucks will hold the Concert for Valor live on the Mall in Washington, D.C.  Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Carrie Underwood, Dave Grohl, Eminem and Rihanna are among the artists who will play.

 

Bingaman, Moeller Headline NARUC Meeting – The 126th Annual NARUC Meeting will be held November 16th – 19th at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco.  In addition to the usual topics, the event will look at topics like distributed generation,  emergency phone calls, alternative-fuel vehicles and ride-sharing services.   The meeting agenda is nearly final, though new speakers and panels will be announced over the several weeks. Panel discussions will be held on the proposed Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, the rise of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, Next Generation 911 services, workforce development, methane emissions, and much more.  A complete agenda is available online.   In addition, NARUC members will elect a new slate of officers for 2014-2015. Current NARUC President Colette D. Honorable of Arkansas’s term will conclude, with new officers being voted in during the meeting.   Confirmed speakers will include former Senate Energy Chair Jeff Bingaman, FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller, EPA Air counsel Joe Goffman, National Cable & Telecommunications Association CEO Michael Powell and Uber General Counsel Salle Yoo.

 

Energy Update: Week of September 15

Friends,

 

Saturday night while sitting in Baltimore Harbor celebrating the bicentennial of the penning of the Star Spangled Banner on a good friend’s boat, I was inspired to start today’s update by the “rockets’ red glare” and “the bombs bursting in air” from the massive fireworks display. On Sept. 14, 1814, a 35-year-old Washington lawyer Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that eventually became our national anthem.   As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, Key was negotiating the release of his friend, Dr. William Beanes.  While he was able to secure the good doctor’s release, he unfortunately was aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant while the Brits were drawing up the battle plans to take Baltimore, at that time a hugely important international port.  Because of that bad timing, Beanes and Key were held on the Tonnant until the battle was completed.  For 25 hours, a fleet of British ship shelled Fort McHenry, yet the resilient Americans held on.

 

The Flag

The focus on the flag comes from US Maj. George Armistead, who commanded Fort McHenry and wanted a flag so large that the approaching Brits would be able to see it.  A year earlier, he commissioned second-generation, Baltimore flag seamstress Mary Young Pickersgill to make two flags, “one American ensign, 30 X 42 feet, first quality bunting” and another flag 17 by 25 feet.  Using a local Malt House’s floor because of its massive size, Pickersgill led a team of seamstresses to produce Armistead’s flags.  According to historian Marc Leepson’s Flag: An American Biography, the Fort McHenry flag contained over 400 yards of fabric.  Each of the 15 stripes was two feet wide while each of the 15 stars measured 24 inches across from tip to tip.  You can still see Pickersgill’s “Flag House” if you ever head to Little Italy in Baltimore.  It is right next to the “Old Bay” Garage off Pratt Street.  Of course, you can still visit Fort McHenry on Whetstone Point where Baltimore Harbor meets the Chesapeake Bay. (Been there for a couple of school field trips, as well as the Maryland Offshore wind lease announcement.  It is really worth the trip.)

 

Messages, Politics, Polls

Congress should wrap its action this week and head back for campaign season, with most of the voting, especially on energy issues, being symbolic, message voting.  The races are very tight in many areas (especially a number of key Senate seats).  Next week as Congress rolls out, we’ll give you an election preview with a number of places to watch over the next six weeks.  And thanks to our friends at POLITICO, who released a new poll of voters in battleground states that found just two percent of those surveyed identified the environment as the issue that concerns them most, one of the lowest-ranked issues.

 

Congress Is Busy Wednesday

Meantime, Wednesday seems to be the busiest day in Congress with the Senate Finance Committee starting a longer discussion on energy tax issues that should extend into the next session.  With our friends Ethan Zindler of Bloomberg New Finance and David Kreutzer of Heritage testifying, expect a spirited discussion of the PTC for sure.  Also on Wednesday, House Science has John Holdren and EPA’s Janet McCabe to discuss the White House Climate plan.  A House Energy panel looks at energy workforce issues with API’s Jack Gerard and Black Chamber President Harry Alford among the witnesses.  Finally, the Senate HELP Committee is expected to approve legislation that will speed approval of new sunscreen ingredients.  The “Sunscreen Innovation Act” has the support of dozens of bipartisan co-sponsors who have signed on to both the Senate version, S. 2141, and a companion House version, H.R. 4250.  It is something we have been working on all year and my colleague Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718) is the sunscreen expert and can help you with sources and background.

 

Sources for New NatGas Report

Just in case you’re watching, there has been a recent flurry of activity/discussion/studies on natural gas drilling, including today’s new NAS report that finds that neither drilling nor hydraulic fracturing is to blame for water contamination.  Our BG experts, as well as several others we know, can be hugely helpful at addressing these reports and providing some context.  Please let me know what you need.

 

Next Week is Jammed Too

Several important events to put on your agenda for next week.  1) President Obama leads a UN meeting on Tuesday in New York on climate issues with no China and India, but thousands of activists protesting on Monday (check out my thoughts in Morning Consult), 2) GW’s Solar Institute holds its 6th annual Solar Forum Tuesday focused on utility solar integration, 3) Shale Insight starts in Pittsburgh on Wednesday and Thursday and will feature a discussion with my college Scott Segal and Fox News personality and former WH press sect Dana Perino and 4) Thursday, RFF host EPA Administrator  Gina McCarthy for a discussion on EPA’s Carbon rule ad many other Items.

 

Finally, next Monday at 10:00 a.m., the American Gas Association will unveil a new report examining how the natural gas delivery system was tested, how utilities prepared and responded, and what last winter has taught us about the upcoming season.  Speakers will also address where the nation stands going into the 2014-2015 winter heating season and what customers can expect.

 

Don’t look now, but we only have three weeks left in the baseball season…Hard to believe…  While last week’s climate change/bird report said the Baltimore Oriole would be leaving Baltimore, it seems to me they are actually back.  Here’s hoping for a Beltway World Series (without apologies to my Midwest/Detroit/St. Louis friends).   It may also be possible that we have an I-5 LA World series, but who would notice.  Sorry LA.  Get ready for more on this is a few weeks….

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Palen Solar Project Gets Likely Approval from CEC – The California Energy Commission is expected to approve a Concentrated Solar tower at the 500-MW Palen solar project.   The energy commission issued a preliminary approval late Friday afternoon for the first of Palen’s two 250-megawatt solar towers.  The project is being developed by BrightSource Energy and Abengoa Solar.  According to The Desert Sun, the decision was written by the two commissioners overseeing Palen’s review process and is not final, but it is unlikely to be overturned by the full commission. A final decision will be issued on October 29th after a 30-day comment period and a conference at UC Riverside’s Palm Desert campus on October 6th to discuss Palen.

 

New Analysis Cites Challenges to State Implementation of GHG Rule – Last week, the House Energy Committee held a detailed hearing on state implementation challenges of EPA’s new GHG rule.  To that end, two of the best and most influential documents out there on implementation challenges of the proposed rule on carbon emissions from existing power plants have been author by two former Colorado PUC Chairs,  Ray Gifford (303.626.2350 or rgifford@wbklaw.com) and Greg Sopkin (303.626.2327 or gsopkin@wbklaw.com).  The first says the EPA’s CO2 Rule collides with flexibility asserted by States.  The second outlines institutional and practical issues with state and multi-state implementation and enforcement.

 

Govs Raise Concerns about GHG Rule, Yucca, Other Items – In a new letter to EPA, 15 Republican Governors raised major concerns about EPA and its ability to work with states to adequately implement the new GHG rules for power plants.  Governors Robert Bentley of Alabama, Sean Parnell of Alaska, Jan Brewer of Arizona, C.L. “Butch” Otter of Idaho, Mike Pence of Indiana, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Phil Bryant of Mississippi, Pat McCrory of North Carolina, Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Gary Herbert of Utah, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and Matt Mead of Wyoming signed the letter, explaining that EPA’s proposal exceeds federal authority as afforded by the CAA, and creates significant obstacles to state compliance, which the President’s Administration has failed to address.  They also challenged EPA on a number of areas including enforcement of state plans, natural gas infrastructure, nuclear waste storage, concerns about importing/exporting electricity and the availability of renewables.

 

Sens. Also Ask for Comment Extension on GHG Rule – To that end, a bipartisan group of 53 senators sent a letter to EPA asking it to extend the public comment period another 60 days for the agency’s proposal to restrict greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.  The letter was led by Nebraska Sen Deb Fischer and ND Sen Heidi Heitkamp who also wrote a similar letter earlier this year asking for at least a 120-day comment period.  The letter says the complexity and magnitude of the proposed rule necessitates an extension to “ensure that state regulatory agencies and other stakeholders have adequate time to fully analyze and comment on the proposal. It is also important to note that the challenge is not only one of commenting on the complexity and sweeping scope of the rule, but also providing an opportunity to digest more than 600 supporting documents released by EPA in support of this proposal.”  Forty-three Republicans and 10 Democrats — Heitkamp, Mark Begich, Mary Landrieu, Mark Pryor, Mark Warner, Tom Harkin, Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, Tim Kaine and Tim Johnson — signed the letter.

 

Morning Consult Interactive Map Details – Morning Consult is Compiling the latest information on state and national developments on the EPA’s proposal to cut carbon emissions.  MC says since the draft rule was released on June 2, there has been an onslaught of news and analysis explaining the 645-page plan. To help sort through all that information, MC will be routinely updating this page with stories, reports and economic analysis that help explain the proposal and state responses.  I would advise making it a bookmark.

 

AP Report Says Energy Boom Supports 30K Companies – A new report from the American Petroleum Institute says the U.S. oil and natural gas boom is bringing business to almost 30,000 companies within the industry’s supply chain.  The industry has also maintained nearly 10 million jobs within the last three years and has accounted for almost 8% of domestic economic activity, the report said. Even in states where oil and natural gas resources are less common, the industry is still a major source of economic activity.  Here is the interactive link to impacts from every state.  Three states with big oil and gas production — Texas, Oklahoma and California — led the survey with the largest number of vendors supplying the industry.   Texas is by far the largest with 11,033 businesses engaged, $308 billion to Texas and nearly 2 million workers.  Oklahoma had 2,500 vendors with $39 billion to economy and 364,000 workers, while California had 2,000 vendors contributing $131.4B and nearly 800K jobs.  While 19th in oil production, Pennsylvania ranked third in natgas production with 1,347 vendors contributing $34.7 billion to the state’s economy and created 340,000 jobs.

 

EIA Launches New Energy Outlook Data – EIA is launching an improved interactive, online Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) Data Browser that provides enhanced capabilities for analysis and visualization of the historical and forecasted data in EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook.  The STEO Data Browser works with all types of mobile devices and tablets to provide easy access to STEO data and forecasts covering everything from U.S. energy production, consumption, inventories, imports, exports, and prices to international petroleum supply and demand.

 

AGA Launches Threat Information Sharing Center for Natural Gas Utilities – The American Gas Association recently launched a new tool to help further enhance the security of natural gas utilities. The Downstream Natural Gas Information Sharing and Analysis Center (DNG ISAC) is a platform for sharing cyber and physical threat intelligence, incident information, analytics and tools. Now fully operational, the DNG ISAC will help local natural gas utilities throughout the nation share and access timely, accurate and relevant threat information as part of their continued commitment to the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to the more than 177 million Americans who rely on it to meet their daily needs.  Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs), as described by the National Council of ISACs, are trusted entities established by critical infrastructure sectors to provide comprehensive analysis that may be shared within the sector, with other sectors and with government. ISACs take an all-hazards approach to combating threats with services including risk mitigation, incident response, alert systems and information sharing. There are currently more than one dozen ISACs covering a wide range of industry sectors, including the electric, nuclear, financial, telecommunications, information technology and water industries. Combination gas and electric utilities, which already access the Electric Subsector (ES) ISAC for electric threat information, will eventually also be able to access the DNG ISAC, and vice-versa. This integration of the two ISACs will strengthen situational awareness of these two industries for the ultimate benefit of their shared customers.  Partnership between the private sector and the federal and state governments is the key to addressing cybersecurity threats to our nation’s critical infrastructure.

 

NRG Launches CCS Project – While Southern’s Kemper plant in Mississippi is well on its way to developing the first Commercial CCS Plant in the U.S., our friends at NRG with their partner JX Nippon broke ground last week on a coal-fired power plant in Texas is that will capture 1.4 million tons of CO2.  The Petra Nova project will apply carbon capture technology to an existing coal-fired power plant — helping to advance the technologies that enable cleaner, safer and more sustainable energy production from our abundant fossil energy resources.  It was awarded $167 million from the Energy Department to capture emissions from 60MW, but the developers quadrupled the size of the project with no additional federal funding.  When completed, the project will capture the same amount of CO2 as taking 250,000 cars off the road.  Using a process previously tested in a three-year pilot scale test in Alabama, the project will capture 90% of the plant’s carbon. The captured carbon will then be compressed, dried and transported to an oil field where it will be used in the Enhanced Oil Recovery or EOR.

 

UMich Shale Report Makes Recommendations Public Trust, Methane – The American shale gas boom has the potential to revitalize domestic manufacturing, and a new report from a University of Michigan-led panel recommends steps to make that happen in a responsible manner.  Those steps include increasing public trust of hydraulic fracturing, monitoring and reducing methane emissions, and using shale gas profits to advance renewable energy technologies, among other efforts.  The report, “Shale Gas: A Game-Changer for U.S. Manufacturing,” summarizes and expands on the U-M-sponsored daylong conference of the same name held this spring in Washington, D.C. In addition to U-M faculty members, representatives from industry, environmental organizations and government agencies participated.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Enviro Commissioners  Discussing GHG Rule Issues in Santa Fe – The Environmental Council of States (ECOS) will hold its Fall meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico today through Wednesday.  Of Course, EPA’s GHG rules will be on the agenda and both EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Air Chief Janet McCabe are expected to speak.

 

Chamber to Host Keystone Tour – The Chamber’s 21st Century Energy Institute will hold a tour of locations along the Keystone pipeline route next week to highlight the 6th anniversary of the filing of TransCanada’s initial permit for the pipeline.   The roadshow starts Monday and goes through Friday.  You can follow the events here.

 

Marshall to Host Curry on Climate Issues – The George Marshall Institute will hold a discussion tomorrow by noted climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, who will make the case that the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified. The key issues to be discussed are evidence reported by the IPCC AR5 weakens the case for human factors dominating climate change in the 20th and early 21st centuries, weaker linkages between anthropogenic climate change and extreme weather, and the importance of natural climate variability and challenges to decision making under deep climate uncertainty.  Arguments are presented that greater openness about scientific uncertainties and ignorance, and more transparency about dissent and disagreement, would provide policymakers with a more complete picture of climate science and its limitations, and ensure that the science community, policymakers, and the public are better equipped to understand, respond and adapt to climate change.

 

Pace Webinar Looks at GHG Rule – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., Pace Global will hold a roundtable discussion on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan as they provide their perspectives on the program and summaries of select analyses performed to date. Many questions have been voiced about this proposed rule. Given the near-term deadline of October 16 for submitting comments to the EPA on the Clean Power Plan on the proposed rule, impacted organizations need to formulate informed positions for federal comment submissions and for discussions with the state stakeholders on implementation planning.

 

REFF-West Forum Set for SF – The 7th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West will be held tomorrow and Wednesday at the Palace Hotel  in San Francisco, CA to focus on the state of renewable energy financing In the region.  Speakers will include our friends Dan Reicher of Stanford, EEI’s David Owen, among others.

 

Fuel Cell Caucus to Hold Hydrogen Vehicle Briefing – The House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus will host a special briefing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the introduction of mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicles into the retail market.  The agenda will include remarks from Members of the Caucus as well as presentations by Administration officials and corporate fuel cell specialists. Following the event from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm, the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle will be made available for Ride & Drive opportunities for any interested participants at 300 1st Street SE.

 

DOE Webinar to Highlight CNG – The Energy Department will hold a webinar tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) infrastructure. The webcast will present an overview of the costs and design of CNG fueling stations. Mark Smith from the Energy Department and John Gonzales from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will present an overview of the key components of a CNG station, how a CNG station works, and factors that affect the cost.  Jeremy Talbot from Phoenix Energy will describe the design and costs of a CNG station on the smaller end of the design range.  Graham Barker from ANGI Energy Systems will describe the design and costs of a larger CNG station.  This webinar will complement an upcoming white paper on the same subject.

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Energy Security, Ukraine – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a forum Wednesday on  U.S. – Europe Transatlantic Alliance and assessing the NATO Summit.  The focus will be on energy security in light of the Ukraine crisis.  Speakers will include Reps. Michael Turner and William Keating, Lithuanian Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis, Azerbaijani Ambassador Elin Suleymanov and François Rivasseau, Deputy Head  of the Delegation of the EU to the United States.

 

Browner, UN Official to Discuss Climate Ambitions – Center for American Progress will hold a forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on the upcoming climate summit, looking at how to increase global ambition to address the issue.  Next week, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will convene a Climate Leaders Summit in New York City, at which he expects world leaders to announce “bold pledges” and “concrete action” to reduce emissions and lay the groundwork for an ambitious 2015 global climate agreement.  The Center for American Progress is pleased to invite you to a discussion of what we should expect world leaders to deliver at the Climate Leaders Summit and beyond in order to lock in a strong 2015 global climate deal and drive low-carbon economic growth.  Former EPA administrator Carol Browner will speak, along with the UN’s Bob Orr, Rachel Kyte of the World Bank and Nigel Purvis.

 

House Energy Panel to Look at Energy Workforce – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on energy workforce development legislation.  Witnesses will include DOE’s LaDoris Harris, API’s Jack Gerard, Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Paula Jackson of American Association of Blacks in Energy and ACEEE’s Jim Barrett.

 

EPA Webinars Aim to Explain Key Elements of GHG Rule – The EPA is holding a series of webinars over the next six weeks to give interested stakeholders the information they need to learn about and provide public comment on these proposed rule.  I meant to send this last week as they held their first meeting last Wednesday, but they continue this week with a webinar for environmental stakeholders  at 1:00 p.m.  to delve deeper into the key aspects of the proposed Clean Power Plan.

 

Stanford Climate Experts to Address Issues – On Wednesday at the Hoover Institute, scientists from the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment will travel to Washington, D.C., to lead a panel discussion on the findings of their latest work related to climate change impacts and risks.  Topics will include regional “hot spots” where the effects of climate on atmospheric conditions will be most profound and potentially disruptive, water management in the face of increased water scarcity, resiliency challenges and efforts in U.S. cities and urban regions and impacts on global agriculture production and responses.  A question and answer session will follow panelists Noah Diffenbaugh, David Lobell and Buzz Thompson’s remarks.

 

American Energy & Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit  Set –As part of the American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness (AEMC) Partnership, the Council of Competitiveness and the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will co-host the 2014 AEMC Summit next Wednesday at the Reagan Building in DC.  The event is an annual gathering of preeminent leaders from industry, government, academia, labor, and the national laboratories to address critical national imperatives in manufacturing and energy.  The 2014 AEMC Summit is one of several activities launched through the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative to achieve the dual goals of  increasing U.S. competitiveness in the production of clean energy products by strategically investing in technologies that leverage American competitive advantages and overcome competitive disadvantages, as well as increasing U.S. manufacturing competitiveness across the board by increasing energy productivity through strategic investment in technologies and practices to enable U.S. manufacturers to increase their competitiveness through energy efficiency, combined heat and power, and taking advantage of low-cost domestic energy sources.

 

House Science to Hear From McCabe, Holdren – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Administration’s overall climate plan.  The hearing will feature John Holdren, Director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, as well as EPA Air chief Janet McCabe.

 

Senate Finance to Look at Energy Tax Reform – The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. focused on longer term reform of the energy tax code. Witnesses will include former Oklahoma Sen. Don Nickles, retired Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine, Tufts University economics professor Gilbert Metcalf, Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Ethan Zindler and David Kreutzer, a research fellow in energy and climate change at the Heritage Foundation.

 

House Energy Panel to Look at Energy Workforce – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on energy workforce development legislation.  Witnesses will include DOE’s LaDoris Harris, API’s Jack Gerard, Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Paula Jackson of American Association of Blacks in Energy and ACEEE’s Jim Barrett.

 

Wilson Center to Look at Energy , Security in China, Asia – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. on energy and security in China and Asia Pacific. China’s search for expanded, more reliable, and more sustainable sources of energy to fuel its development has become a major driver of China’s foreign relations. Beijing’s recent agreement to purchase Russian natural gas via a new Siberian pipeline and its use of drilling platforms to assert sovereignty claims in the South China Sea demonstrate that energy contracts, exploration and production have become primary goals and tools of Chinese foreign policy. The challenges and opportunities of China’s rise cannot be understood without expert appraisal of its energy needs and strategies – and consideration of alternative policy responses.  Speakers will include expert Amy Myers Jaffe, Mikkal Herberg of UC San Diego, Wilson’s Jan Kalicki, former State Department official David Goldwyn and several others from government and energy industries.

 

Forum to Tackle Energy Exports – Rice University’s Center for Energy Studies will hold a breakfast forum  on Wednesday looking at regulation, politics and the economics of US energy exports.  Although the U.S. currently ranks as the world’s top producer of crude, policies put in place more than 40 years ago largely prevent that oil from accessing international markets. The national de facto ban on crude oil exports has started to generate interest and attention from Washington – along with a fair share of controversy. WY Sen. John Barrasso will address the issue as will a panel featuring our friend Mike Catanzaro and Rice’s Ken Medlock.

 

Forum to Look at Methane Hydrates – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a forum on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. to discuss recent developments in methane hydrates. The event will feature Ray Boswell, Technology Manager for Methane Hydrates with the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and Takami Kawamoto, Deputy Director General of the Methane Hydrate Research and Development Group with the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC).  While global resource estimates vary greatly, methane hydrates, or ice compounds that contain natural gas, have largely been hailed as potential game changers. The energy content of the formations is immense and the United States, Canada and Japan have already carried out a number of projects investigating their potential. Nonetheless, technological and environmental challenges remain. The session, part of the program’s Frontier Energy Series, will focus on methane hydrate extraction technologies, the global resource base, public sector involvement and the potential for more mainstream adoption. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

House Resources Hearing Aimed at Data, Coal Leases – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will conduct a legislative hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on legislation on coal lease issues and data preservation.

 

Wilson Forum to Discuss New Climate Economy – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Managing Our Planet forum will reconvene on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. to discuss the upcoming “Global Commission on the Economy and Climate” report.  The New Climate Economy is the flagship project of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, and was established by seven countries, Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as an independent initiative to examine how countries can achieve economic growth while dealing with the risks posed by climate change.  Chaired by former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, and co-chaired by renowned economist Lord Nicholas Stern, the Commission comprises 24 leaders from 19 countries, and is led by a core team under Program Director Jeremy Oppenheim.  The research has been carried out by a partnership of leading global economic and policy institutes, including the World Resources Institute (Managing Partner), and will launch September 16 at the United Nations. On September 17, a panel will convene to discuss the findings and recommendations set forth by the Commission and what policies and actions can be implemented.  The “Managing Our Planet” seminar series is developed jointly by George Mason University, the Brazil Institute and the Environmental Change and Security Program. It is based on the premise that the impacts of humanity on the environment (including natural resources) are at a planetary scale, requiring planetary-scale solutions.

 

Forum to Look at National Labs, National Security Role – The Technology, Policy, and National Security Series, co-sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories and the George Washington University, will hold a forum on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. on the  contribution of the National Laboratory System to U.S. National Security.  Speakers will include Paul Hommert, Director, Sandia National Laboratories, Charles McMillan, Director – Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Adam Schwartz, director of the Ames Lab.

 

Minot Forum to Discuss Nuclear Road Map – The Minot (ND) Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a forum on Thursday at the Army-Navy Club on strategic nuclear enterprises and the road ahead.  There will be some 14 speakers on the agenda.

 

Murkowski, Scott to Address Energy Forum – On Thursday at 8:00 a.m., the Manhattan Institute Center for Energy Policy will host a forum at the National Press Club’s Holeman Lounge to discuss American energy insecurity.  Speakers will include Lisa Murkowski and Tim Scott in a conversation with Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Mark Mills.  The American economy and quality of life are inextricably linked to an affordable and secure energy supply. But energy discussions that focus on geopolitical, environmental, and macro-economic issues can overlook the impact of policies on the well-being of America’s economically disadvantaged households. Energy policies that lead to higher energy prices, whether or not intentional, give rise to “energy insecurity”—where household budgets and quality of life are eroded, including pushing many below the poverty line.

 

Forum to Address SCOTUS Cases on Energy, Environment – The Law & Economics Center at George Mason University School of Law will host an event Thursday at 8:30 a.m. where legal and economic scholars will preview cases accepted for review by the Supreme Court in the 2014-2015 term that have significant impacts or implications for energy and environmental concerns. The speakers will also address cases that are rising for potential Supreme Court review from the nation’s lower courts and will highlight the importance of those cases and the necessity for Supreme Court review.

 

Seoul-DC Policy Forum Set – The Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings and The Korea Foundation will host the 7th Seoul-Washington Forum at JHU’s Kenney Auditorium on Thursday at 9:00 a.m.   Leading experts from South Korea and the United States will examine strategic changes in the region and what this means for the U.S. rebalance to Asia, challenges related to U.S.-Korea-Japan relations, the politics of unification and North Korea’s nuclear threat, and South Korea’s leadership in green economy and climate change.

 

NYU Forum to Look at Climate Engineering – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., New York University’s DC campus will host a seminar on Climate engineering (CE).  Also known as geoengineering, CE encompasses a set of proposed ideas that aim to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere or to reflect sunlight away from the Earth to counter some of the effects of climate change. In the past decade, CE has garnered prominent attention in scientific and policy circles and environmental discourse in Europe, North America and other regions and countries. In the United States, the National Academy of Sciences is set to present its report on geoengineering by the end of the year. At the international level, the IPCC recently included climate engineering in the summary for policy makers of its working group I and working group III reports in its Fifth Assessment, as well as including extensive sections on the topic in all three of its full working group reports.  Speakers include Wil Burns, of the Washington Climate Geoengineering Consortium and AEI Geoengineering expert Lee Lane, among others.

 

Revkin to Headline Wilson Program Celebration – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the Wilson Center will celebrate 20 years of exploring the intersection of environmental security, population dynamics, and resilience.  For the last 20 years, Wilson’s Environmental Change and Security Program has brought together a wide range of communities that do not always interact with one another to create new connections and discuss some of the most critical challenges facing the world today. ECSP reaches a unique network of experts, policymakers, and journalists working where conflict meets international development, reproductive health and women’s empowerment, and the environment.  Our friend Andy Revkin, columnist for The New York Times, will moderate a panel featuring three current and former ECSP directors alongside three renowned experts from the environment, security, and population and reproductive health sectors.  Panelists will include Sharon Burke of the New America Foundation, Ohio U professor Geoffrey Dabelko, and USAID’s Carmen Tull, among several others.

 

Solar Report to Address Trends – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s will release its 2014 U.S. Solar Market Trends report answers these questions by providing public data on U.S. solar installations in 2013 by technology, state and solar market sectors. It offers insight on the major factors affecting the solar market, such as photovoltaic prices, strong consumer demand, available financing, renewable portfolio standards in some states, and financial incentives from the federal government, states and utilities. The report includes ranking of Top 10 States in several categories.  Solar Market Trends Report author and IREC Vice President Larry Sherwood will take an in-depth look at PV installations in 2013, including growth trends by sector and state rankings for installations. If you’re involved in the solar industry, or wish to become involved, this webinar will provide valuable information about the rapidly changing solar market in the U.S.

 

Diesel Tech Forum to Host Emergency Grid Webinar – To assist policymakers, planners and businesses prepare for a wide variety of weather-related emergencies, the Diesel Technology Forum is sponsoring a free webinar Thursday at 2:00 p.m. that will provide a basic understanding of the issues surrounding the use of emergency back-up power systems, technology and fuel choices, operating conditions and incentives to provide critical electrical power.  Emergency backup electrical generators can save lives during an emergency. Interruptions of electrical power, even of short duration, create situations that could imperil public health and safety. Blackouts also wreak havoc for businesses and create significant inconveniences for individuals. Emergency generators must be able to provide reliable, immediate and full strength electric power when there is a failure of the primary power supply system.  From hurricanes, floods, mud slides, to wild fires and tornadoes, frequent weather-related disasters call attention to the vulnerability of the nation’s electrical grid and the importance of continuous electrical power. Weather events, both large and small, cut off power to hundreds of thousands of people and businesses for days exposing the importance of emergency back-up power as part of local, state and federal emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

 

Forum to Look at Carbon Accounting, Vehicle Fuels Research – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. examining recent research regarding the carbon dioxide (CO2) intensity of transportation fuels, such as crude oil and ethanol. The panel will also consider the economic costs and benefits of renewable fuels as a CO2 reduction strategy. Speakers for this forum are Argonne’s Michael Wang, Steffen Mueller of the Energy Resources Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Dean Drake of the Defour Group.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Company Start Ups – Potential Energy DC will host a discussion on Thursday

in McLean to Look at funding opportunities for energy companies. Speakers will provide insight into grants for concepts, demo and post-demo options, and share their perspectives as angels and VCs. Also hear from PEDC’s CFO-in-residence about how to position your company for success.

 

Forum to Target Japan, Germany Renewable Policy Discussion – On Friday at 1:00 p.m., the Energy Security Initiative (ESI) at Brookings will host a discussion on renewable energy in Germany and Japan. This event serves as the launch of ESI’s new policy brief, “Transforming the Electricity Portfolio: Lessons from Germany and Japan in Deploying Renewable Energy.” Report authors John Banks, a nonresident senior fellow with ESI, and Charles Ebinger, ESI’s director, will join ESI Nonresident Senior Fellow and Public Policy Consulting Principal Ron Binz in a panel discussion on the findings of the study. Lisa Wood, the executive director for the Institute for Electric Innovation and a nonresident senior fellow at ESI, will moderate.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

AGA to Release Winter Heating Season Report – On Monday, September 22 at 10:00 a.m., the American Gas Association (AGA) will unveil a new report examining how the natural gas delivery system was tested, how utilities prepared and responded, and what last winter has taught us about the upcoming season.  AGA Chairman Gregg Kantor, AGA President and CEO Dave McCurdy, AGA Vice President of Policy Analysis Chris McGill and other AGA experts will provide an in-depth discussion of the factors that go into safely and reliably delivering natural gas to millions of American homes and businesses on the days it is needed most. Speakers will also address where the nation stands going into the 2014-2015 winter heating season and what customers and investors can expect.

 

RPS Summit to Focus on EPA Carbon Rules, Impacts – The Clean Energy States Alliance will hold a 2014 National Summit on RPS next Monday and Tuesday at Gallaudet’s Kellogg Conference Hotel.  The event is the best way to learn about developments and trends related to state RPSs and to network with many of the people from across the country that are most engaged in implementing and analyzing state RPSs.  Sessions this year will cover a wide range of topics, including how EPAs carbon regulations may impact state RPSs, harmonizing different states’ methodologies for determining the costs of an RPS, the status of Commerce Clause cases with potential impacts on RPSs, and the intersection between RPS, net metering, and other solar policies. There will also be plenty of time for networking.

 

CSIS to Hold Russia, Asian Energy Discussion – Next Monday, the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a forum looking at Russian energy activity in Asia. European sanctions have accelerated Russia’s political and economic push into Asia. At the center of Russia’s turn to Asia is energy: Moscow sees new markets in Asia as an alternative to stagnant, politically risky Europe, while Asian investment is crucial for Russia’s ability to tap new source of oil and gas. Despite the signing of a $400 billion gas deal with China in May, Russia’s ability to make good on its Asian energy ambitions remains uncertain.  The forum will feature Edward Chow, Senior Fellow in the CSIS Energy Program; Shoichi Itoh, Institute for Energy Economics in Tokyo; and Andrew Kuchins, Director and Senior Fellow in the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program

 

UN Climate Summit Set – The UN will host a climate summit on September 23 in NYC.  The summit will be hosted by the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon for generating  “political momentum on climate action” ahead of the December climate deal negotiations in Lima, Peru.   President Obama is expected to address the forum.

 

Hill Hosts 2030 Energy Summit – The Energy 2030 Summit will be held on Tuesday, September 23rd at 8:00 a.m.  The event will generate a discussion on what the federal government can do to help spur activity at the state and local level to achieve the goal of doubling U.S. energy productivity by 2030.  Taking place on Capitol Hill, the Energy 2030 Summit will feature keynote addresses from congressional members and timely discussions from leading voices in energy efficiency about the work being done at the state, local, and federal level and highlight the support that has been generated across the nation for the Energy 2030 goal.

 

Solar Forum to Look at Utility Solar Opportunities – The GW Solar Institute will host its 6th Annual Solar Symposium on Tuesday September 23rd at the SMPA’s Jack Morton Auditorium.  This event convenes policymakers, industry experts, business leaders, academics, and students to discuss innovative solutions to today’s biggest solar policy questions.  This year’s theme, “Using Solar Energy to Generate Wealth in Lower Income Communities” will be the first national gathering of stakeholders dedicated to achieving solar energy affordability and accessibility for Americans with limited means. The dynamic, action-oriented agenda will focus on creative incentive and financing models, eliminating legal and regulatory barriers, and integrating solar investments into existing federal programs. The event will also feature an Innovation Showcase highlighting low-income solar pioneers and initiatives from across the country.

 

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

 

Forum to Explain NatGas Drilling – On Tuesday September 23rd at 1:00 p.m., natgas expert Barry Stevens will conduct a live conference on hydraulic fracturing, focusing on the advanced technologies used to recover oil and gas from oil formations and shale gas formations. Barry will talk about how the industry uses science and technology to improve production through unconventional recovery methods, both improved and enhanced. He will also explain on-shore oil extraction and shale gas hydrofracturing.  Stevens is the founder and president of TBD America, Inc. a Technology Business Development consulting group serving the public and private sectors in the energy, fuels and water treatment industries.

 

NY PSC  Chair to Address 100th Energy Breakfast – ICF International holds its 100th Energy Breakfast at the National Press Club on September 24th.  Energy expert Audrey Zibelman will speak.  As Chair of the New York Public Service Commission and former COO of PJM, Zibelman will share the issues involved in trying to gain consensus within the power industry in a time of great flux.   She will address challenges and questions including reliability, rates environmental issues and regulators’ roles.

 

NatGas Forum to Tackle Western Issues – The Energy Institute at Colorado State University will hold its 4th Natural Gas Symposium on September 24 and 25th at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Denver, Colorado. For the past three years, Colorado State University has built a reputation for hosting a balanced symposium discussing all sides of the natural gas issue while remaining an “honest broker” of information and education.  Prior to the 2014 symposium, CSU experts will craft a white paper that covers the State of Oil and Natural Gas Development. The draft will be revised during the two-day symposium. A public comment period will follow the symposium and will be open for feedback until Sept. 30, 2014. The white paper will be published before Oct. 31, 2014 on the symposium website. All symposium sessions will be live video streamed from www.naturalgas.colostate.edu.

 

WAPA Forum to Look at Safety in Vehicle Communications – Global Automakers and the Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA) will hold a panel discussion Wednesday, September 24th about vehicle-to-vehicle communications and automotive safety at the National Press Club’s First Amendment Lounge.  Speakers will include Toyota Safety Technical & Regulatory Director Kevin Ro, DENSO International’s Doug Patton, Lars Reger of NXP Semiconductors and Morgan Stanley Research Executive Director Ravi Shanker.  Global Automakers CEO John Bozzella will moderate.

 

EcoDistrict Summit Set – The 6th annual EcoDistricts Summit is being held in Washington, DC on Wednesday through Friday on September 24-26th.  EcoDistricts works to help create sustainable cities from the neighborhood up, and Washington, DC—a case study in inventive collaboration—has captured that spirit like few others.  At this year’s Summit, we’ll explore district-scale sustainable development from every angle and dig deep into the public-private-civic partnerships that are laying the groundwork for the neighborhoods of the future: resilient, vibrant, resource-efficient and just.  Participants will get an insider’s look at the projects (and players) behind the world’s most livable cities, and they’ll dig into information-rich education sessions, mobile workshops and studios designed to inform and inspire with updates on emerging best practices from cities across North America and beyond.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Renewable Integration – On Wednesday, September 24th at 10:00 a.m. the U.S. Energy Association will Hold a forum on renewable energy integration.  Renewable Energy Integration is a ground-breaking book which offers a distilled examination of the intricacies of integrating renewables into power grids and electricity markets. Through thirty-five chapters, this first of its kind volume offers informed perspectives from internationally renowned experts on the challenges to be met and solutions developed by operators around the world. The book focuses on the practical implementation of strategies and provides real-world context for theoretical underpinnings and the development of supporting policy frameworks. It lays out the key issues around the integration of renewables into power grids and markets, from the intricacies of operational and planning considerations to supporting regulatory and policy frameworks; provides global case studies that highlight the challenges of renewables integration and present field-tested solutions; illustrates enabling technologies to support the management of variability, uncertainty and flexibility in power grids.  In this briefing the speakers will discuss the background to the book, provide an overview of different parts and key themes, and how they relate to the  U.S. renewable energy industry. The speakers will also give their perspectives  on the future outlook of renewable integration  and enabling technologies.  They will include Alstom Grid’s Lawrence Jones and Charles Smith of the coalition, Utility Variable-Generation Integration

 

ACORE Webinar to Feature Bloomberg New Finance Experts – ACORE will hold a webinar on Wednesday, September 24th that will give an update and near-term outlook on the North American market, provided by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Topics to be covered include trends in distributed solar, prospects for emerging energy smart technologies, impact of proposed EPA regulations, and opportunities in Mexico.  Speakers will include Bloomberg Energy Finance Analysts Michel Di Capua, Nick Culver and Thomas Rowlands-Rees.

 

BPC to Discuss GHG Rules – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on Thursday, September 25th at 10:00 a.m.  on how early action is accounted for in the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan. This panel of experts from state, utility and environmental advocate perspectives will discuss the treatment of: energy efficiency savings prior to 2020, renewable energy and existing cap-and-trade programs, among other topics.  Over the last year, BPC’s Energy Project has held a series of workshops and events on the Clean Power Plan to inform both the debate and the comments submitted to EPA.  Our friends Jean Chemnick at Greenwire moderates a panel with Southern Company’s Ray Harry, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Assistant Commissioner David Thornton and EDF’s Megan Ceronsky.

 

McCarthy to Address RFF Session – Resources for the Future presents a Policy Leadership Forum on Thursday, September 25th at 10:00 a.m. featuring a conversation with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  RFF President Phil Sharp will conduct a conversation with McCarthy about the critical energy and environmental issues facing the nation.

 

Geothermal Event, Expo to Review Latest Techs – The Geothermal Energy Association is hosting its annual Meeting and Expo in Portland, OR at the Portland Convention Center.  The event is world’s largest gathering of vendors providing support for geothermal resource exploration, characterization, development, production and management. It provides a unique opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their projects, equipment, services and state of the art technology to the geothermal community.  The Expo is co-held with the Geothermal Resources Council’s annual meeting  and will look at the latest developments in geothermal energy. Last year, the GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Expo hosted representatives from more than 37 countries.  The meeting will offer technical, policy, and market conference sessions and educational seminars, as well as tours of local geothermal and renewable energy projects.

 

Inglis to Headline  Midwest Energy Conference – The Midwest Energy Policy Conference will be held in St. Louis on September 30th and October 1st.  The event will address the 2014 environmental and energy rulings of the SCOTUS, the path forward following the EPA greenhouse gas 111(d) ruling and what makes successful state energy plan programs relevant and successful in several key focus areas (economic development, education, research, regulations, portfolio mix, biofuels, and more)  The Keynote speaker will be former SC Rep. Bob Inglis.

 

Shale, Coal Exports Conference Set – Law Seminars International will host a forum on October 1st and 2nd in Baltimore.  The event is co-hosted by Bracewell’s Chuck Shoneman and will focus on export policies for coal, oil and natural gas.  B&G’s Scott Segal will also join a panel to discuss the politics of export policies.

 

USEA Forum Set – The US Energy Assn will host its 7th annual Energy Supply Forum at the National Press Club on October 2nd.

 

RESA to Convene 3rd Annual Retail Energy Markets Symposium — The Retail Energy Supply Association’s 2014 Energy Competition Symposium will hold its annual conference in Columbus, Ohio, on October 2nd, a half-day event exploring the leading issues affecting retail energy competition nationally.  They will also address the future of competitive retail and wholesale energy markets, product innovations for retail customers and improving the shopping experience for consumers.  Distinguished speakers include Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Chairman Thomas Johnson, Cheryl Roberto of the Environmental Defense Fund, Kristin Munsch of the Citizens Utility Board, Bruce Weston with the Office of Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, Sam Randazzo of the Industrial Energy Users, Ohio Gas Association President Jimmy Stewart, PUCO Commissioner Asim Haque, EnerNOC’s Katie Guerry, former Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Philip O’Connor, former PUCO Chairman Todd Snitchler, Clean Power Finance’s Sierra Peterson, and Karen Moury with Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney.  The symposium will feature a keynote address by Ohio State Senator Bill Seitz, Chairman of the Public Utilities Committee.

 

Clean Tech Forum Set – On Thursday, October 9th, former White House Climate Task Force leader Roger Ballantine and former FCC Chair Reed Hundt will speak at a forum looking at the future of energy, renewables and clean tech markets.  The event will be at 9:00 a.m. at the Wooly Mammoth Theater’s Melton Rehearsal Hall.

 

Shale Water Expo Set – On October 14 and 15, Shale Water Expo 2014 will be held in Houston at the  Stafford Convention Centre.  The event is focused on shale play water management is the only national fluids-specific event for the oil and gas industry.  It will present timely, in-depth insight from industry leaders sharing their expertise on water management, logistics, sourcing, recycling, market forecasting and industry trends.

 

ANGA, Penn State to Host Gas Utilization Conference – Penn State University and ANGA will hold a forum on October  14-15 in Canonsburg, PA at the Hilton Garden Inn.  The conference aims to develop a better understanding of natural gas development issues across the nation and the impact shale plays have on the world energy market.  Top industry experts, government officials and academic researchers will address the major issues driving the natural gas revolution as America moves to expanding its use of natural gas for transportation, manufacturing and power generation.

 

Christie to Address Chamber Legal Forum – The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform is hosting its 15th Annual Legal Reform Summit on Tuesday October 21st.  The Legal Reform Summit gathers business and industry leaders, government officials, as well as the media, to explore hot legal issues and discuss the current state of legal reform and its importance to the greater business community and national economy.   This year’s Summit will feature a keynote address from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, as well as remarks by Tom J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Panels will explore the increase in government overreach and serial enforcement, the outsourcing of public powers to private parties, and follow-on litigation.

 

Nichols to Address EMA Forum – The Emissions Marketing Assn’s 18th Annual Meeting will be held on October 22-24th at the Double Tree Suites in Santa Monica.  Discussions will include AB 32, the EPA GHG rules and renewable energy credits.  Speakers will include CARB’s Mary Nichols, our friend Bill Peters of Argus and Joel Bluestein of ICF, among many others.

 

Holmstead to Address EPA Rules at FL Conference – The Florida Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association will hold a forum at its annual conference in Jacksonville on October 29-30th on the proposed Section 111(d) guidelines for CO2 emissions from existing utility units.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead will address the panel as will out friend Mike Kennedy of Duke Energy.

 

Atlantic, Aspen to Host Washington Ideas Forum – The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute are holding their 6th annual Washington Ideas Forum on October 29-30th in Washington, D.C. to discuss vital issues of our time from politics and the economy to technology and the fabric of our culture. Speakers will include former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, edX CEO Anant Agarwal, Revolution Founder Steve Case, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, genomic research scientist Craig Venter, and House of Cards Screenwriter Beau Willimon.  Among those moderating the Forum will be Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson, The Atlantic’s Editor-in-Chief James Bennet, Washington Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons, Editor Scott Stossel, and National Correspondents Ta-Nehisi Coates and James Fallows.

 

Energy Update Week of March 10

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update Week of July 1

Friends,

In case you missed it Saturday, le Tour d’ France’s historic 100th edition kicked off Saturday to madness with a team bus getting wedged under the finishing banner that threatened the end of the first stage and two giant pile ups in the last few kilometers that knocked out the three best sprinters from a certain stage sprint finish…and that was only the first day.  Tomorrow, the field heads from Corsica to mainland Southern France to start the trek to Paris.  The 21 stages include two brutal mountain stages at 18 and 19 that are likely to determine race while inflicting massive pain on the peloton.  Look for another update next week.

In case you didn’t notice, last week was a massive news week.  There was so much going on that big things, like the President’s climate speech, hardly registered over the din of many other more important items, such as the SCOTUS cases on voter rights and DOMA.  My colleagues Scott Segal (202-828-5845) and Jeff Holmstead (202-828-5852) answered tons of questions on climate, CSAPR and other things last week and remain at your beck and call.

This week is July 4th so little action in DC from a policy angle, but if you are in the Nation’s Capital for the 4th of July, you should try to make it over the Capitol Fourth on the mall.  It is one of the most spectacular events of the year and crosses party, political and policy lines.

Two bits of history spark this week as well.  It is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, another place close to DC that is a special place to visit.  So much history, tragedy and strategery (as Will Farrell might say) makes the three epic days of Gettysburg one of the most interesting and historic battles ever.  Take some time to check out many of the key issues that faced each side and why it was such a turning point in the preservation of our nation.  Secondly, 60 years ago yesterday, the first Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan in 1953.  Carscoops has some great facts on the ‘Vette.  Boy it still looks good and I hope I’m still that fast when I hit 60!!!

Finally, with all the news last week, you may have missed this one.  On Saturday morning, my colleague Josh Zive, who many of you know as a trade and campaign finance expert here at PRG, ventured onto C-Span’s Saturday Washington Journal, the call-in show that provides a forum for leading journalists and public policy makers to discuss key events and legislation.   NRDC’s Bob Deans and Josh battled over climate, energy and the usual miscellaneous, less-relevant topics that C-Span callers tend to offer up.  Check Out the video.

 

Call with Questions,
Frank Maisano
(202) 828-5864
c. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

House Passes Offshore Energy Legislation – The House passed legislation from House Resources Chairman Doc Hastings that would allow joint energy development projects between U.S. companies and Mexico’s PEMEX Gas y Petroquímica, among other items that increase production.  Our friend Khary Cauthen of API said the bill’s passage was a positive step for U.S. producers operating in the Gulf, while Jim Noe, Executive Director of the Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition and Executive Vice President at Hercules Offshore, applauded the move, saying the legislation would boost our nation’s supplies of needed oil and gas and help us move beyond our government’s continued ambivalence about what to do with the natural resources we harbor just off our nation’s coasts.    Noe: “President Obama recently reiterated support for an ‘All of the Above’ energy policy and has often voiced intent to decrease our reliance on imported energy supplies, many of which come from overseas regimes who do not share our nation’s core values.  Yet Administration policy continues to ignore the full potential of our resources offshore.  While over 20 percent of this country’s oil and gas production comes from the offshore, the Administration’s own 5-Year Plan for offshore development leaves approximately 85% of available areas off limits to energy exploration and production.   The Offshore Energy and Jobs Act addresses this apparent contradiction, and the men and women of the Gulf energy industry stand ready to implement this proactive plan.  Our nation’s economic and energy security will only benefit from optimizing available energy production today as we gradually transition to a next-generation energy portfolio.  It’s time to get to work making it happen.

Climate Politics Starts – The Game is On…The advertising has started and even the President, before launching to Africa, did his Saturday Radio Address on climate change.  While advertising and rhetoric is interesting, the larger questions on the policy include timetable, political and legal questions.   In addition, reports say that EPA has sent the White House a new draft of its proposed greenhouse gas rule for future power plants.  OMB will now review them.

Binz Nominated to FERC – Former Colorado PUC Commissioner Ron Binz was nominated to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Binz, a renewable energy proponent that served under Gov. Bill Ritter, would succeed outgoing FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff.  Binz could be controversial though.  A report from the American Tradition Institute says Binz is a “well-known anti-coal crusader.”   ATI says as Colorado PUC chair, Binz was heavily involved in pushing through the state’s “Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act,” which sought to move the state away from coal power to natural gas, only to find himself tripped up by ethical missteps revealed by his state’s Open Records Act.   As a result of his involvement with the “Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act,” Binz had serious conflict-of-interest issue charges levied against him while PUC chair.

Fellow PUCs Support, Denver Post Hits Binz – Binz’s nomination drew praise from NARUC President Philip Jones, PSEG chief Ralph Izzo, Xcel Energy head Ben Fowke and Colette Honorable, chairwoman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission who was also mentioned as a possible candidate to lead FERC.  The Denver Post, Binz’s hometown Paper had a much different take, unloading on Binz for his state travels and ethics.  According to the Denver Post, “Months before the 2010 legislative session began, [Binz] engaged in meetings with executives from the natural gas industry and Xcel Energy…By early March 2010, he was even reassuring Xcel officials on how the commission would treat cost recovery under draft language.”  The Post also said that Binz as a “consumer advocate,” would only be true if you happen to believe higher energy prices are a consumer’s best friend. In an article in The Energy Daily a few years ago, and later in an interview with the Post, Binz openly advocated for higher electricity prices as part of a comprehensive climate policy.

Macfarlane, Others Approved – In the flood of news last week, you may have missed that the Senate approved NRC Chair Alison Macfarlane Thursday night, sneaking under the June 30th wire.  Macfarlane, who replaced the controversial Greg Jaczko in the middle of his term, will now serve a full five-year term as chairwoman.  Several others were approved in the late night session before the Senate exited, including two CPSC commissioners (who were approved without hearings) Marietta Robinson and Ann Marie Buerkle, as well as OMB’s Howard Shelanski, who will become the next administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a key reviewer of environmental regulations.

Sussman Leaving EPA – EPA senior policy counsel Bob Sussman is leaving the agency by next Monday.  Sussman served as EPA assistant administrator early in the Clinton administration and was a member of then-Sen. Barack Obama’s energy and environment team during the 2008 presidential election.  HE also focused on EPA for Obama’s transition team.  He also was a senior fellow at The Center for American Progress.

Valero to Supply Jet Fuel to DoD – Valero Marketing and Supply Co. has been awarded a $456.4 million contract to supply aviation turbine fuel to the Department of Defense.  The company is a subsidiary of San Antonio-based refining and marketing firm Valero Energy.  The Defense Logistics Agency Energy at Fort Belvoir, Va., is managing the contract.

Inconsistency in Aim to Power Africa – During his trip to Africa, the President said the US will roll out a $7 billion government-backed initiative to increase access to electric power in sub-Saharan Africa.  The President said the goal is to double access to electric power.  There remains one small problem with his approach.  Most developing country often look to coal to provide low-cost and reliable power to build up new electric grids.  The President has already directed the World Bank and other international organizations to stop funding coal projects.

 

GOING ON THIS WEEK

NOTHING… WOOOOO-HOOOO – It’s the July 4th Summer Congressional District Work Period, or Recess as some like to call it.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Heritage to Look at Reagan Enviro, Energy Issues – The Heritage Foundation will host a forum on Monday, July 8th at 12:00 p.m. in its Lehrman Auditorium looking at Ronald Reagan’s battle with environmental extremists and why it matters today.  Reagan, with his unbridled faith in American ingenuity, creativity, and know-how and his confidence in the free-enterprise system, believed the United States would “transcend” the Soviet Union. To do so, however, as President, he had to revive and revitalize an American economy reeling from a double-digit trifecta: unemployment, inflation, and interest rates. He knew the economy could not grow without reliable sources of energy that America had in abundance.  The environmental movement was in its ascendancy at the time and had persuaded Congress to enact a series of well-intentioned laws that posed threats of great mischief in the hands of covetous bureaucrats, radical groups, and activist judges. As a conservationist and an environmentalist, Reagan believed in being a good steward. More than anything else, however, he believed in people. Specifically, for him, people were part of the ecology as well. That was where the split developed.   The event will be hosted by Edwin Meese III and will feature author William Perry Pendley, a former member of the Reagan Administration and author of some of Reagan’s most sensible energy and environmental policies.  Pendley will provide an insider’s view of how Reagan fought the new wave of anti-human environmentalists and managed to enact laws that protected nature while promoting the prosperity and freedom of man – saving the American economy in the process.

Woolsey to Address JHU Forum on Energy – The Johns Hopkins SAIS program will host a forum on Monday, July 8th at 6:30 p.m. featuring Ambassador R. James Woolsey, a former Director of Central Intelligence, in its Nitze Building – Kenney Herter Auditorium.  While our investment in alternative energy resources is improving, the US continues to be dependent on oil. Our need to import oil greatly impacts our foreign policy decisions and national security. Woolsey will share his views on how our dependence on oil, both domestic and foreign, affects our national security, and the potential for our energy policies to change in pursuit of smarter investment in energy alternatives.

Wind Hill Meeting Training Set – AWEA will sponsor its wind power on Capitol Hill event on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 9th and 10th.  The Wind Power on Capitol Hill event is designed to develop participants’ advocacy skills. Through a familiarization with current federal energy policy issues on Capitol Hill, the event offers training from advocacy experts on how to effectively communicate with Congressional offices. The event shares specific techniques on work with member of Congress and arms participants with answers to tough questions, to prepare for effective and productive Hill meetings.  Speakers will include FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff, White House CEQ expert Jon Powers, Texas PUC Chair Donna Nelson and Cal PUC Commissioner Catherine Sandoval, among many others.

ICF Webinar to Look at NGLs – ICF International will host an energy webinar on Tuesday July 9th at 11:30 a.m. on assessing the value of natural gas liquids.  During the webinar, ICF expert Mike Sloan will discuss ICF’s long-term outlook on natural gas liquids markets and address the continual issues facing the NGL industry, including risks associated with major new investments, markets likely to face the most risk, and where the winners and losers are likely to be located.

Forum to Look at Transmission 101 – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute and WIRES (Working group for Investment in Reliable and Economic electric Systems) will host a briefing on Tuesday, July 9th at 2:00 p.m. in 2212 Rayburn about the operational basics of high-voltage transmission to help facilitate your understanding of the complex economic and policy challenges facing the grid in the 21st century. Transmission issues are a major concern for federal and state policymakers as well as your constituents.  By delving into the grid’s operation and the interstate markets for bulk power it supports, the briefing is designed to provide a foundation for discussions about cost responsibility, land use issues, transmission planning, integration of variable renewable energy resources, and other issues that are becoming more important to the future of the power industry. Speakers for this event include: FERC Director of Policy Development Jeff Dennis, Jay Caspary of the Southwest Power Pool, Clean Line Energy Partners Wayne Galli and former FERC Chairman Jim Hoecker.

Forum to Tackle Reduce Plutonium Stockpiles – The Carnegie Endowment’s Nuclear Policy Program will convene a special briefing and discussion on Tuesday, July 9th at 2:00 p.m. to look at the controversial effort to reduce plutonium stockpiles. Panelists will discuss the program’s objectives and its difficulties, as well as options for minimizing plutonium that are now being explored. Speakers include Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith from the Center for Public Integrity, who have recently published four articles on this topic, and Frank von Hippel of Princeton University. The single most costly U.S. nonproliferation program currently underway faces a cloudy future in Washington. The Obama administration has proposed to halve planned spending for a U.S. plutonium disposition program that was crafted in negotiations with Russia and has been blessed by three U.S. presidents.  DOE has begun studying alternatives, creating uncertainty about the future of a $7.7 billion nuclear fuel factory in South Carolina that lies at the U.S. end of the bargain. Lawmakers who wish to keep the project alive held up Ernest Moniz’s confirmation as energy secretary for a month and have threatened to block other nominations unless it proceeds.

Wyden, Upton Headline ACCF Speaker Events – The American Council on Capital Formation (ACCF) will hold a summer economic speaker series starting Tuesday, July 9th at 8:00 a.m. when Senate Energy Chair Ron Wyden will speak to the group at Johnny’s Half Shell.  Other speakers will include Rand Paul on Tuesday, July 16th and House Energy & Commerce Chair Fred Upton on July 25th.

Demand Response Meetings Set – The National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid will be held on Tuesday-Thursday, July 9 – 11th at Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, focuses on the business and policy aspects of demand response and its enabling technologies and applications. It devotes an entire day to roundtable discussions featuring experts in demand response and smart grid, who discuss with each other and with the audience the latest trends, issues, and business developments.

Boustany to Discuss LNG Exports at CSIS – The Center for Strategic & International Studies Energy and National Security Program and Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Studies will host a discussion on Wednesday, July 10th at 8:30 a.m. on expanding U.S. trade markets and liquefied natural gas exports.  The U.S. will soon become an exporter of liquefied natural gas into global markets. In addition to potentially changing the global energy map, liquefied natural gas exports will add to the shale gas revolution’s stimulus for the US economy, reduce trade deficits, and provide new sources of revenue to all levels of government.  Rapidly growing Asian economies will need energy of all types creating a major opportunity for US gas exporters to provide clean natural gas and deepen the commercial relationship between our country and the Asian region.  Congressman Charles Boustany will discuss his state’s efforts to expand energy exports and the importance of the Asian region to the North American gas market.   He will be joined by CSIS experts Ambassador Karl Inderfurth, and Sarah O. Ladislaw, Co-director and Senior Fellow in the Energy and Security Program.

DOE to Discuss Solar Financing – The Energy Department will present a live webcast on Wednesday, July 10th at 2:00 p.m. looking at innovation and success in solar financing.  The webcast will feature recent developments in solar project financing and customer acquisition models. The discussion will include an overview of recent developments in third-party solar financing, community shared solar, bulk purchasing, and Clean Local Energy Accessible Now/feed-in-tariff programs.

CSIS Discussion to Look at Intelligent Transportation Systems – On Wednesday, July 10th at 3:00 p.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies will host James A. Lewis, CSIS scholar, and Dr. Hiroyuki Watanabe, Chairman of the ITS World Congress, for a conversation on the ways rapid investment in intelligent transport systems (ITS) and global trends in urban transformation are driving an exciting new era for economic development.  The USA, Japan and Europe stand at the doorstep of new industries and jobs, disruptive technologies, environmental improvement, and enhanced community resilience. Later this year, over 90 nations will be represented at the 20th ITS World Congress in Tokyo, Japan. Detroit, Michigan and Bordeaux, France will host the 2014 and 2015 World Congress, respectively.

State Dept Expert to Address Economists – The National Economists Club will host conversation with the State Department’s Jennifer Harris on Thursday, July 11th at Noon at the Chinatown Garden Restaurant.  Harris is a member of the Policy Planning Staff at State and is responsible for global markets, geo-economic issues and energy security.   Prior to joining Policy Planning, Jennifer was a five-year member of the National Intelligence Council, where she helped to produce National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) and the NIC’s Global Trends 2025 Report. A Truman and a Rhodes Scholar, she holds degrees in Economics and International Relations from Wake Forest University (B.A.) and Oxford University (M.Phil), and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Forum to Look at Military Biofuel Benefits –On Friday, July 12th, the National Capital Chapter of the National Assn for Energy Economics will hold a discussion with Dr. Joel Yudken to discuss his recent study assessing the economic consequences of military’s investment and purchase of advanced biofuels to meet its goal of replacing petroleum-based fuels with alternative fuels over the next decade. He will also speak on the state of the advanced biofuels market, the economic impact of advanced biofuels investments and the challenges the industry will face in its ability to reach commercial scale production.

Senate Energy on Fuels – The Senate Energy Committee is expected to hold a hearing on gasoline issues on July 16th.  More details on this next week when We may know More about witnesses, etc.

NACo Conference Set For Ft Worth – The National Assn of Counties will hold its 78th Annual Conference and Exposition on July 19th in Fort Worth, TX.  The Annual Conference provides county officials with the opportunity to vote on the National Association of Counties’ (NACo’s) policies related to federal legislation and regulation; elect officers; network with colleagues; learn about innovative county programs; find out about issues impacting counties across the country; and view products and services from participating companies and exhibitors.

NARUC Summer Meetings Focus on Cyber, Broadband, Climate, Safety Policies – Cyber security, broadband adoption, climate policy, pipeline safety, and much more will take center stage during the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Summer Committee Meetings July 21-24 in Denver.  The meetings will bring in federal and State policymakers, industry officials, consumer advocates, and many critical stakeholders to the Denver Sheraton Downtown. The agenda, still under development, is available online.  Topics under discussion include: measuring cybersecurity; national broadband policies; integration of renewable energy; addressing climate mitigation and adaption; electricity and gas interdependencies; and much more.  Featured speakers include Federal Communications Commission member Jessica Rosenworcel, National Telecommunications and Information Administration Administrator Larry Strickling, Xcel Energy Chairman, President, and CEO Ben Fowke, and Questar Chairman, President, and CEO Ron Jibson. A complete list of speakers confirmed to date is available online.

 

SNL Energy: Let’s Be Frank

Wasting time on climate negotiations
SNL Energy:  Let’s Be Frank
Tuesday, December 04, 2012 10:36 AM ET
By: Frank Maisano

The views and opinions expressed in this piece represent only those of the author and not necessarily those of SNL.

As the United Nations climate meetings roll on in Doha, Qatar, it is finally time to admit the U.N. process is broken and will never be fixed. Already, we have wasted years looking for solutions that will never be achieved.

From its origins to perhaps its most significant moment when negotiators decided on a protocol in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 to today, nations have done little more than talk, posture and argue rather than achieve meaningful policies that could result in emissions reductions.

One of the reasons lies in the fact that emissions reductions were never about the environment for most countries. While it always has been a top priority for the environmental activist community, the process for most countries, both developed and developing, has always been about competitive economic advantage in the global marketplace. This notion has always undermined efforts to develop real, meaningful emissions gains.

Certainly, every year, international negotiators put on a good face, travel to exotic places like Morocco, Cancun, South Africa and Rio, as well as some colder, but also wonderful, locations to try to address the challenges of climate change. Unfortunately, with 194 countries debating every aspect of economic policy, future growth, sustainability and poverty, the process always breaks down.

Most often, it is in terms of developing countries versus developed countries, but the more difficult breakdown often occurs within each group. Developing countries are radically different, with the more advanced and growing economies (and therefore, significant emissions), such as China, India, South Korea and Mexico, having much different needs, goals and objectives than poor or island economies that have no other leverage. These countries are often the ones that will also be impacted first so they have some rightly deserved sympathy, even from those that are as self-righteous as your typical U.N. bureaucrat.

As well, on the developed country front, the U.S. is always mocked by its European counterparts who see themselves as piously superior to their western competitors even as they take advantage of every negotiating loophole for competitive economic advantage. Yet despite nearly 20 years of negotiations led by both Democrats and Republicans, U.S. policy negotiations have surprisingly remained incredibly consistent.

This policy balance, much to the chagrin of the U.S. and global activist community, has pretty much remained intact because the U.S. demanded early on that the negotiations be a global process that included all players, a stumbling block that large-emitting developing countries never have and never will get over, even as they start to pass developed countries in emissions.

Another reason for this consistency across U.S. administrations is rooted in the active role the U.S. Senate played prior to the Kyoto Protocol. Then, senators went on record unanimously (95-0) demanding they would not approve any treaty did not include developing countries for reductions of emissions in the same compliance period, expecting such an exemption would result in serious economic harm to the U.S. It also required an assessment of detailed financial costs and other impacts on the economy. These simple requirements have been the fundamental death knell for international efforts ever since. They are understandable to a skeptical public, they are reasonable to anyone who understands costs and they are probably unattainable under the current process, technology and mechanisms in use.

Despite all the wasted time, the process has spurned a reasonably interesting success. Early on, despite some infatuation with Al Gore’s freshly negotiated Kyoto treaty, the Clinton administration realized it needed to figure out a way to engage large developing countries. This continued aggressively under President George W. Bush, who was roundly criticized by activists because of his ill-fated decision to reject the treaty process as it was already imploding.

While there was a temporary hope for the U.N. with Bush’s rejection, which galvanized most nations to cut a deal to implement the treaty without the U.S., it was still clear over the next few years that the process would never work without the participation of large emitters like China and India as well as the U.S.

That is why in 2007 the Bush administration fundamentally changed the game by making the issue a discussion point among the major emitters at international conferences like the G-20. Not only are the right people at the table, but it places the climate issue in its proper context among other major issues like the global economy, technology partnership and international competitiveness.

President Barack Obama took this policy one step further in 2010 in Copenhagen, where he brought major emitters into a room and carved out a going-forward deal without the typical U.N. process-wrangling. While that framework has been placed on the back burner as many nations try to recover from the economic downturn, the message was unmistakable. Never again could a deal emerge from the U.N. process unless the major emitters decided it.

It is a tough message for climate campaigners to hear. Their 20 years of negotiating, pressure tactics and political stunts have produced nothing except bureaucratic infighting and lots of expense reports. But now, with the right pieces in place and major emitters at the table together, perhaps we can end the U.N.’s bureaucratic climate posturing and move on to something that has a modest chance for producing successful, politically obtainable and meaningful results.