Energy Update: Week of June 29

Friends,

 

Happy 4th of July week….   While it has been a crazy few weeks, the July 4th Congressional break can’t really get started until today’s SCOTUS decision on Mercury.  Full response below, but feel free to connect with either Scott Segal (202-828-5845) or Jeff Holmstead (202-828-5852) as many of you already have.

 

It appears the EPA will also publish the Waters of the US rule (or now known as the Clean Water Rule) in the Federal Register today and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will hold an event today at the National  Zoo to talk about the rule.  My colleague Lowell Rothschild (512-739-2352) is a great contact on the subject and is always happy to discuss.    He has also done a series of blogs on the topic at http://www.energylegalblog.com

 

And with John Kerry negotiating with the P5+1 in Vienna trying to get a nuclear deal for Iran, the illusory June 30th is tomorrow.   That is not a hard deadline, but regardless we have some good information and resources on the topics that we can forward should you need it.  Please let me know what you need.

 

Finally, on Saturday, despite his recent stage mishap and some cancelled tour dates, Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters will be headlining his Sonic Highways July 4th extravaganza is set to roll.  The Foo Fighters are slated for a North American tour for most of July, beginning with Saturday’s RFK event.  But Foo Fighters management has been silent about whether Grohl will be ready to rock. His doctors had put him on rest after the surgery, which included Grohl getting six metal pins in his repaired right leg.  Bets are the show goes On with Grohl moving a little slower than normal.  The July 4th event is a daylong, multi-act concert, motorcycle rally and barbecue, with fireworks to top it off. Acts slated to perform include Heart, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip, Buddy Guy, Gary Clark Jr., D.C.’s own Trouble Funk and Trombone Shorty, all acts that played a role in his documentary Sonic Highways.

 

Jeff and Scott are ready to discuss the SCOTUS ruling.  Please don’t hesitate to call.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

THE BIG NEWS 

SCOTUS On MATS – The Supreme Court has dealt a significant blow to a major Obama administration rule that limits the amount of mercury and other hazardous pollutants from power plants, ruling 5-4 today that EPA erred while writing the rule. The rule has already pushed dozens of coal-fired power plants into retirement, and has been criticized by fossil fuel advocates as a key part of the administration’s “war on coal.” The administration had argued that it would bring billions of dollars in benefits for public health and the environment.

 

Segal on Ruling – Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, a group of power plants working on reasonable Clean Air Act implementation, said the ruling is significant when assessing expected upcoming legal challenges on the Administration’s GHG rules.

 

“As you may have heard, the Supreme Court has now ruled on the MATS case, Michigan v. EPA/UARG v. EPA.  The decision favored state and industry petitioners on a 5-4 decision.  Here are some important take-aways:

 

  1. The Court found that EPA elected not to consider cost when deciding whether to regulate mercury and air toxic emissions from power plants.  EPA had said such cost considerations were irrelevant.  Failing to consider costs meant that EPA could not possibly determine if the rule was appropriate, or even rational.  This failure far exceeded the flexibility EPA so frequently relies upon under the Chevron doctrine.

 

  1. As children, we learn that every day can’t be Christmas.  EPA just learned that today.  The Agency cannot continue to write rules without regard to their cost, simply because the Agency believes its cause is just.  The fact is that Congress envisioned a more balanced approach under which economic and environmental endpoints both play a vital role.  Blithe statements that EPA will take costs into consideration at some ill-defined future moment are insufficient, particularly when billions of dollars can be spent even as rules make their way through judicial review.

 

  1. Just a week ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would stay implementation of the proposed Clean Power Plan – the EPA’s carbon rule for power plants – until such time as final judicial review is complete.  Today’s decision which reverses a rule after great amounts of resources have already been spent is morality tale that demonstrates that the approach taken by the House is sensible and pragmatic.  When the Agency fails to consider the real world implications of its rules and stretches the limit of its legal authority, implementation should await final judicial review.

 

  1. Some have asked about the effect of the rule on the pending Clean Power Plan, the EPA power-plant carbon rule.  Today the Supreme Court clearly had cautionary words for an agency that would proceed without due consideration of cost.  The Court reminded the Agency of the unique position the power sector plays due to its current level of regulation and its importance to the economy as a whole.  These considerations should serve as important warnings to consider cost and reliability in a thorough manner before it finalizes its carbon rules.  Failure to do so will place legacy before legality.”

 

Dartmouth Study Shows Mercury Changes — Speaking of mercury, a Dartmouth-led study using a 600-year-old ice core shows that global mercury pollution increased dramatically during the 20thcentury, but that mercury concentrations in the atmosphere decreased faster than previously thought beginning in the late 1970s when emissions started to decline. The findings suggest that present-day efforts to cut mercury emissions will reduce pollution more quickly than current models predict.  The study appears in the journalEnvironmental Science & Technology.

 

 

IN THE NEWS

Efficiency Study –  Conventional wisdom suggests that energy efficiency (EE) policies are beneficial because they induce investments that pay for themselves and lead to emissions reductions. However, a new paper from researchers at the Becker Friedman Institute says the upfront investment costs are about twice the actual energy savings. Further, the model-projected savings are roughly 2.5 times the actual savings. While this might be attributed to the “rebound” effect – when demand for energy end uses increases as a result of greater efficiency – the paper fails to find evidence of significantly higher indoor temperatures at weatherized homes. Even when accounting for the broader societal benefits of energy efficiency investments, the costs still substantially outweigh the benefits; the average rate of return is approximately -9.5% annually. The results of an part of an experimental evaluation of the nation’s largest residential EE program conducted on a sample of more than 30,000 households by UC-Berkley researchers Meredith Fowlie and Catherine Wolfram and U of Chicago’s Michael Greenstone.

 

Groups Release Multistate GHG Resources – The Eastern Interconnection States Planning Council (EISPC) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) have released the final installment of the Multistate Coordination Resources for Clean Power Plan Compliance.   Funded by the Department of Energy, this final package includes information not found in the May 2015 publication, such as a brief that examines the legislative role(s) that need to be considered in any potential interstate compliance collaborations in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. The brief also includes sample legislative authorities and a checklist developed by the National Conference of State Legislatures. As states develop their compliance plans, they are proactively exploring a variety of options: single-state, multi-state, unit-based—in anticipation of the Clean Power Plan being finalized. Although NARUC’s member states have diverse opinions of the plan, there is ongoing, intense activity underway by states to better understand what these coordination efforts will entail if pursued as an option to successfully navigate the rules of compliance if the final plan goes forward.  NARUC plans to convene a meeting this fall among State Commissions, consumer advocates, air agencies, and energy offices to see whether the multistate tools developed by EISPC, NARUC, the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, and others fit together, and how.   A copy of the multistate package is available on NARUC’s website at http://bit.ly/1LAprBE.

 

BrightSource, NRG Respond to WSJ on Ivanpah Story – Both NRG and Brightsource responded to a recent Wall Street Journal story that questioned Ivanpah’s productions recently.  BrightSource cited recent reports that production output has improved 170% over last year at this time.  The NRG letter in the Journal said they have always assumed a four-year ramp rate to 100% plant capacity. They also added that the plant has “experienced operating days when the plant is meeting, and in some instances exceeding, projections for this stage of operations.”

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Stanford Forum to Look at Enviro Capital Issues – Next Tuesday, the Nature Conservancy and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, in cooperation with their Natural Capital Project partners, the World Wildlife Fund and the University of Minnesota, are holding a forum at RFF at 9:00 a.m. on Integrating natural capital into decisions. The event will feature leading academics and practitioners in the field of ecosystem services as well as experts from the public and non-profit sectors, addressing core sustainability challenges of the 21st century.  Speakers and panelists will highlight the latest advances in the science and practice of using ecosystem services to inform decisions. The discussion will provide insights into how this information can best be used by government agencies, multilateral institutions, and the broader sustainable development community to structure and implement policies that are simultaneously sound from environmental and economic perspectives. A panel of leading experts, including authors from a recently published Special Feature of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on “Nature as Capital,” will discuss key components of bringing natural capital considerations into mainstream decision making on issues such as agriculture, energy, infrastructure, urban planning, finance and national security.  Speakers will include former Bush Interior official Lynn Scarlett, USDA Research under secretary Ann Bartuska, WWF’s Tom Dillon, IADB’s Michele Lemay and Mary Ruckleshaus of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

 

MCOG to Hold EV Workshop – The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will hold a Electric Vehicle Readiness Workshop tomorrow to present EV deployment strategies taking place in the region, as well as strategies for advancing public and private charging development. Panelists include – the Transportation and Climate Initiative, US Department of Energy, World Wildlife Fund, Pepco, BG&E, Dominion Power, and the local Clean Cities Coalitions.  Participating governments include the District of Columbia, Prince George’s Co., Hyattsville, MD, Fairfax County, VA, and the Cities of Bowie and Baltimore. The lunch time presentation will address the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Eight State MOU and how the region could assist in advancing the ZEV Action Plan.

 

Cato Forum to Look at Free Markets, Energy – The Cato Institute will hold a forum on the case for free markets in energy next Tuesday in its Hayek Auditorium.  Since the 1970s, however, more libertarian voices have been heard on these issues. IER founder and CEO Rob Bradley, who has been involved with free-market energy policy since its inception, will discuss the history of libertarian thinking on past energy policy and its relevance for current policy debates.

 

Forum to Look at Nat Gas Issues in Europe – The Institute of World Politics will hold a forum on Tuesday, June 30th at 1:00 p.m. featuring a  a lecture on rival gas pipelines for Europe.  The event will feature Vilen Khlgatyan, Vice Chairman, Political Developments Research Center.  In recent years, the competition for supplying Europe with natural gas has heated up once again and has taken a more urgent course due to the conflict in Ukraine. Two pipeline routes are vying for dominance and are backed by different states with their own geopolitical considerations. In December 2014, it was announced that Russia’s Gazprom would re-route its proposed South Stream Pipeline to the Turkish-Greek border via the Black Sea and Turkey. Likewise, the U.S.-backed Nabucco pipeline was sidelined by the less ambitious and costly Trans-Anatolian Pipeline and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, which will see Azerbaijani gas and potentially Iranian and Turkmen gas cross Turkey to reach markets in Greece, the Balkans and Italy. Both pipelines have their advantages and disadvantages. This lecture will consider the economics and geopolitics of the rival pipelines and what’s at stake for the concerned parties.  Khlgatyan is Vice-Chairman of Political Developments Research Center (PDRC), a think tank based in Yerevan, Armenia. He specializes in the geopolitics of energy, non-kinetic warfare, and the post-Soviet region with an emphasis on the Caucasus.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Modeling – The US Energy Association will hold a forum Tuesday, June 30th at 2:00 p.m. on MIT’s global models that are project energy and climate issues. Using a projection modeling system developed by MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, the Integrated Global System Model (IGSM), we provide an integrated assessment of how human activities, given our current development path, are interacting with complex Earth systems and ultimately affecting the natural resources on which we depend. In the first part of the presentation (lead by Dr, Erwan Monier), we introduce the IGSM, and describe the capabilities of the modeling system to simulate the uncertainty in the future climate response to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols. In the second part of the presentation (lead by Dr, Sergey Paltsev), we provide an integrated economic and climate projection of the 21st century–not a prediction, as the future will ultimately be determined by actions taken over the next decades that are intended to stabilize our relationship with the planet. We incorporate the emissions targets currently proposed by the international community to address the challenges of climate change.

 

Perry to Address National  Press Club Luncheon – Rick Perry, the former three-term governor of Texas and a 2016 presidential candidate, will lay out an economic plan at a National Press Club luncheon on Thursday. The former U.S. Air Force pilot, who left office in January, will discuss how to fight “the cycle of hopelessness and lost opportunity that so many Americans feel trapped in.  The son of tenant farmers in Paint Creek, Texas, Perry is one of several governors and former governors in the large Republican presidential field. His state has the 12th largest economy in the world by GDP and since 2000 has created almost one-third of all new private sector jobs in the United States. As governor, Perry dealt with the border crisis, an ebola outbreak and refugees from Hurricane Katrina.

 

EPA’s McCarthy, NBC’s Anne Thompson to Look at Pope’s Climate Approach – Georgetown University will hold a forum Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. on Pope Francis’ just-released encyclical on care for creation and climate change.  The dialogue brings together a distinguished panel from government, media, academia, and business to discuss the encyclical, its moral framework, and its potential religious, ethical, and policy impacts.  Speakers will include EPA’s Gina McCarthy and NBC’s Anne Thompson, among others.

 

July 4th

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

CSM to Host McCarthy on Paris Talks – Recharge, the Christian Science Monitor’s energy section, will host EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for a talk on Tuesday July 7th at 9:30 p.m. looking at US energy and climate policy on the path to Paris negotiations.  As diplomats across the globe prepare for December’s climate talks, the US is working to meet its own ambitious emissions targets. Administrator McCarthy will outline progress to-date on greenhouse gas reductions, and will discuss what challenges remain for the world’s second-largest emitter.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Grid Design – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum Tuesday, July 7th at Noon at Energetics looking at designing a successful transition to clean, renewable energy.  Nicole Steele, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives’ Mid-Atlantic office will discuss the success stories of providing community-scale solar access at the local and regional scale, where there are often different rules, permitting and incentives.  She will discuss how GRID works with community partners, volunteers and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families, and describe what works in which areas and why, including low income solar rebate programs, single-family versus multi-family and community solar models, homeowners  versus renters, and innovative job training workforce development approaches involving schools or veteran communities.

 

House Committee to Look at DHS Climate Focus – The House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency will hold a hearing on Wednesday July 8th  examining DHS’s focus on climate change.

 

House Resources to Look at Helium Issues – The House Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday July 8th on recent legislation on the US Helium reserve.

 

House Energy Panel to Target Climate Issues – The House Energy panel at Energy & Commerce will hold a hearing on Wednesday July 8th looking at the GHG rule.

 

Congressional Renewable Energy Forum, Expo Set – The 18th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Thursday, July 9th in the Cannon House Office Building.  The exhibits will be in Cannon Caucus Room (Cannon 345) while the Policy Forum will be in 334 Cannon. The event brings together close to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and is Co-Hosted by the House and Senate’s Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses, as well as the Sustainable Energy Coalition.

 

Company to Highlight Data Destruction Method – On July 9th on Capitol Hill, Phiston Technologies will be leading a discussion and technology demonstration of their High Security Data Storage Media Destruction machines.  They will encourage people to bring old computer hard drives, solid state drives, cell phones, CDs/DVDs and ID cards and we will destroy them safely in seconds.   The event will be in 210 Cannon.

 

Senate Energy to Look at Nuclear Issues – On August 4th the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and related legislation.

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of June 1

Friends,

 

Today launches hurricane season 2015 and despite the Presidential visit last week and talk of climate change, most real experts see this season being  slower than an average season, with six to 11 named storms (see the 2015 storm name line up here).  While that’s no guarantee that a major storm won’t make a landfall, this season got off to an early start when Tropical Storm Ana brought heavy rain to the North Carolina coast in early May.  Important to also note that it has been 10 years though since our busiest hurricane season ever: 2005. That year saw 28 named storms — 15 of them hurricanes — including Hurricane Katrina, Rita and Wilma which devastated the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Dennis was the first of the four major hurricanes that hit the U.S. in 2005.  That season also a launched a very serious and well-documented debate about hurricanes and climate change that only the Administration seems to have not followed.

 

This Saturday also is the 147th Belmont Stakes, the third jewel of horse racing’s triple crown.  As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, this is the 14th time since 1978’s triple crown win that we have had a horse win the first two legs of the triple crown, but in each case since back-to-back triple crowns from Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978), the horse has failed to win the Belmont.  The 1.5-mile Belmont Stakes has a way of ending hot streaks.  While earning the Triple Crown is a test of endurance for one horse who must win three consecutive races in five weeks, challengers often enter the Belmont Stakes as a spoiler after resting up for the race. You may recall last year this issue leading to a tirade from the owner of California Chrome after Tonalist, a horse that did not run in the Kentucky Derby or Preakness Stakes, ran away to victory in Elmont.

 

After last week’s news dump – Waters of US on Wed, Sage Grouse on Thurs and RFS Fri – (all covered below with special section on RFS) Congress returns to action with a busy slate of energy hearings.  Busiest will be House Energy and Commerce which hosts Energy Secretary Moniz and others on the QER tomorrow, holds a big energy efficiency hearing on Wed/Thursday and a TSCA reform markup tomorrow and Wednesday.

 

Other key hearings include Senate environment on the new ozone rule and Senate Small Business on the WOTUS rule on Wednesday; Senate Energy on more legislation aimed at filling comprehensive energy legislation and a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee roundtable on how to improve the regulatory process on Thursday.   On the House Side, House Science looks at Reg impacts on business Thursday, while House Transportation digs into the recent Amtrak crash tomorrow.

 

Off the Hill on Wednesday, the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industries Forum (REIF) hold its 4th annual forum at the Reagan Center on Wednesday.  There will be a media briefing on Wednesday morning at 10ish and it will feature DOE, NREL and our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource, among others.  Why BSE? Because last week they initiated a JV with Chinese Companies Huanghe and Shanghai Electric to develop CSP (Ivanpah) solar technology to be built in China’s Qinghai Province. (again See below)

 

Finally, our friends at Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) today launched a new online portal—The Fuse, www.energyfuse.org—which creates a go-to destination for high-level news, analysis and discussion on all aspects affecting U.S. energy security.  In conjunction with the 167th meeting of OPEC in Vienna, The Fuse will feature live online and broadcast coverage, delivering first-hand reporting as well as social media and video accounts directly from the meeting. Fuse staff will also interview prominent attendees on OPEC’s role in today’s new oil market environment.  The Fuse offers incisive and prescient analysis of how the evolving energy landscape impacts U.S. economy, geopolitics, domestic production and advanced technology and will be updated daily with content from oil market and energy policy experts, as well as business and NGO leaders.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

The Big News: ETHANOL

Ethanol Volumes Finally Released – On Friday, EPA proposed long-delayed biofuel targets for 2014 and 2015 and issued a proposal setting the mandates for 2016.

 

2014: Despite 2014 being over, refiners will have to show that they have blended or purchased fuel credits for 13.25 billion gallons of conventional ethanol and 2.68 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of non-food advanced biofuels.

 

2015: EPA will require a total of 16.3 billion gallons of renewable fuels, of which 13.4 gallons would be conventional ethanol and 2.9 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons advanced biofuels.

 

2016: EPA will require refiners use 17.4 billion gallons, 14 billion gallons corn-based ethanol and 3.4 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons is to be advanced biofuel.

ClearView Says Plan Ambitious – Kevin Book and his energy experts at ClearView Energy called the EPA RFS Plan the “ambitious” 2016 target of 17.4 B gal may require 0.46 B RINs from a potential RIN bank of 2.43 B RINs, which could mitigate RIN price concerns. Uncertainty between now and the final rule, to say nothing of likely court action, could contribute to elevated RIN prices.  You Can reach Book and his ClearView Energy team at book@cvenergy.com or 202-506-5744.

Cap Alpha Experts Question – Other experts led by Jim Lucier at Cap Alpha observed that the RFS numbers still far short of those envisioned in the statute. EPA appears to be inviting Congress to revisit the statute at some point to set more attainable goals and to address distribution issues which may affect their attainability. In effect, we believe, EPA is endorsing the concept of the blend wall as an immediate practical consideration.  But for now, EPA is avoiding actions which would create near-term RIN scarcity. The increases seem consistent with increases in the gasoline pool that bring the RFS right up to the blend wall and perhaps a bit over, given the 14 billion number for 2016 (we estimate the blend wall level would be 13.8 billion based on EIA data.)  In short, whether one believes there is a blend wall or not, EPA appears to be treating it as a practical reality for the time being.  You can reach Lucier and his Cap Alpha team at 202-548-0072 or james.lucier@capalphadc.com.

Industry, Enviro, Legal, Policy Sources – Beside analysts like Book and Lucier, we have several excellent resources for you to follow up.  On the enviro side, you can call Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group (202-939-9127, sfaber@ewg.org).  For the refining sector, please call Tesoro’s Stephen Brown (202-744-5578 or stephen.h.brown@tsocorp.com) or Valero’s Bill Day (210-345-2928, bill.day@valero.com).  You can also connect with Bracewell subject experts Eric Washburn (202-412-5211), Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718) or Scott Segal (202-828-5845).

USDA/Biofuel Infrastructure – As part of the effort to support the relatively aggressive (unrealistic) assumptions of E15 and E85 penetration, USDA announced it is planning to spend up to $100 million to support infrastructure needed to allow for higher blends of ethanol at fuel pumps. The money will be administered through a state grant program that requires matching funds to promote and test new approaches to distributing higher blends of fuels, including E15 and E 85.

 

Who’s For, Who’s Against – Lots of groups put out statements Friday on the RFS.  Here is a list and links to those for and against.  Note the interesting folks on the against side like EWG and anti-poverty group Action Aid.  And of course, who could possible go against the National Frozen Pizza Institute.

 

FOR:  Renewable Fuels Assn, Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers, Growth Energy, BIO, Advanced Biofuels Assn, American Coalition for Ethanol, Advanced Ethanol Council.

 

AGAINST:  API, AFPM, National Chicken Council, American Energy Alliance, Environmental Working Group, NRDC, Action Aid, National Turkey Federation, the National Pork Producers, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Milk Producers Council, National Restaurant Association and the Grocery Manufacturers, Snack Food Assn, National Frozen Pizza Institute.

 

Blast from the Past: Popcorn Prices –  Back in July 2007, there was major concern over a significant increase in popcorn prices due to ethanol.  Our friend Chris Doering of Reuters detailed the problem as did NPR, CBS and many others.

 

IN THE NEWS

 

BrightSource’s China Project Moves Forward – Chinese Company Huanghe, Shanghai Electric and BrightSource Energy initialed a joint venture company agreement for construction of the Delingha Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project late last week.  The signing was conducted at Qinghai Shengli Hotel by Xie Xiaoping, Chairman and Secretary of CPC Group, BrightSource Chairman/CEO David Ramm and Bi Chengye, General Manager of Shanghai Electric. Qinghai Provincial Governor Hao Peng and U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus attended. The execution of the agreement will play a significant role in changing Qinghai’s energy mix and in kicking off a green era featuring energy efficiency and emission reductions.  Huanghe and BrightSource will build  two 135MW CSP projects with energy storage systems in Qinghai.  Expect this to be part of the discussion at this week’s China Renewable Energy Industries Forum (REIF) at the Reagan Center.

 

SAFE to Launch Energy Web site – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) today launched a new online portal, The Fuse, that creates a go-to online home for high-level news, analysis and discussion of critical developments affecting U.S. energy security today.   The site will be launched and live from the OPEC meetings in Vienna this week where it will bring live social media, video and reporting of the OPEC meeting, covering the event first-hand.  Fuse staff will also interview prominent attendees on OPEC role in today’s new oil market environment.   Launched amidst an unprecedented abundance of domestic oil and natural gas coupled with renewed volatility among major, long-term energy suppliers such as Iraq, Venezuela, Russia and Libya, The Fuse offers incisive and prescient analysis of how the evolving energy landscape impacts the U.S. economic and security outlook. Updated daily with content from oil market and energy policy experts, The Fuse will serve as a centralized resource for written analysis, visual data, videos, and exclusive insights from high-profile guest contributors on a wide variety of energy-related topics.  The launch of The Fuse features content from guest contributors including Frederick W. Smith, President and CEO of FedEx Corporation; Arun Majumdar, former Vice President for Energy at Google.org, and Founding Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E); T. Boone Pickens, former oil industry magnate and current chairman of hedge fund BP Capital Management; and Greg Ballard, former U.S. Marine and current Mayor of the City of Indianapolis.

 

Sage Grouse Plans Released – The Obama administration on Thursday released plans to conserve the habitat of the greater sage grouse in several Western states that include limits on oil and natural-gas drilling, a move that could have a broad impact on the West’s economy.  The plans drew fire from western Republicans and the oil and gas industry, who said they would extend federal land control and threaten state economies without properly protecting the bird.  But Secretary Jewell made the announcement with Wyoming’s Republican governor Matt Mead.  As well, Environmentalists seemed split, with some saying the moves did not go far enough.  Remember, my colleague Eric Washburn is in the middle of this discussion and can be a great resource (202-412-5211)

WOTUS Rule Released, BG Experts Providing Key Info – The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers finalized their long-awaited and controversial rule aimed at clarifying what bodies of water fall under the agencies’ jurisdiction.  The Waters of the United States rule would give the agencies authority over tributaries that have a physical feature of flowing water, including a bed, bank and high water marks. The rule also protects bodies of waters adjacent to lakes, rivers and their tributaries and would regulate ditches that function as streams.  Interestingly, perhaps in a nod to its massive public outreach program chronicled by the New York Times, they have changed the name to the Clean Water Rule.  I’m sure that poll-tested well…  Anyway, we have the absolute best resource on the WOTUS rule:  Lowell Rothschild.  He is happy to answer your questions and can be reached at 512.739.2352 or lowell.rothschild@bgllp.com  Lowell is also blogging many more details that I can write here regularly on the B&G Energy Blog.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Forum to Look at Renewables, Future – Today at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on the emergence of renewable energy as an important component of US energy policy. The panel will explore the benefits that renewables can bring to domestic and international considerations on climate change, energy security, and economic developments. The panel will also discuss a recent roadmap released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) called REmap 2030 which overviews renewable energy potential in the United States and countries across the globe over the next fifteen years.  Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director General Adnan Amin, US State Department Special Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein, DOE’s EERE Deputy Mike Carr and ACORE’s Dennis McGinn.

 

Hill Hosts Technology, Innovation Forum – Tomorrow morning, The Hill will host a discussion on the effects of new technologies and innovation in energy, the implications of energy policies and regulations, ongoing efforts to meet carbon emission goals, and the role nuclear energy could play in the global economy.  Featured speakers Third Way’s Matt Bennett, Sarah Chamberlain of the Main Street Partnership, Center For Climate And Energy Solutions Eileen Claussen and Westinghouse Electric Company President & CEO Danny Roderick.  There will also be a keynote interview with Illinois Congressman Adam Kinizinger.

 

Moniz to Head back to House Energy – After cancellation last Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold its rescheduled hearing next Tuesday with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about the Quadrennial Energy Review and related legislation.  Several others will also be testifying including our friend BPC President Jason Grumet, who will target the shifting the strategy of U.S. energy diplomacy by improving coordination and planning and removing barriers to trade among allies and partners.  Others on the panel include Association of International Petroleum Negotiators expert Rudolf Dolzer, Lancaster County PA Commissioner Scott Martin, IHS’s Gerald Keeps, Alison Cassady of Center for American Progress and George Washington University Law School professor Emily Hammond.

 

BPC Forum to Look at Second Term Presidents – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Democracy Project, in partnership with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, will hold a discussion tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. about second-term presidents.   Former white House Staff like Sandy Berger and Ken Duberstein and USA Today Washington Bureau chief Susan Page will discuss how past second-term presidents worked with Congress, with their own party, and with the opposing party, shipping foreign policy goals and engaging  with the presidential candidates aiming to succeed them.   Drawn from the wisdom of those who have served and covered second-term presidents, panelists will address several dynamics with which a second-term president must contend that are unlike those from their first terms.

 

NJ Hosts House Oversight Chair – Ahead of tomorrow’s hearing exploring the challenges faced by those seeking public information under the Freedom of Information Act, National Journal and Steve Clemons, National Journal’s Washington editor-at-large will host an in-depth conversation at the Reagan Trade Center at 11:15 a.m. with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  The discussion will focus on the upcoming hearing and other priorities of a committee that oversees every aspect of the government’s functioning.

 

NAS to Hold Discussion on Aviation Emissions – The National Academy of Sciences holds a meeting on propulsion and energy systems to reduce commercial aviation carbon emissions tomorrow and Wednesday at NAS 2100 C Street NW.  Steve Csonka, executive director of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, delivers remarks among others.

 

Wald to Headline WCEE Event – Tomorrow, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a brown bag Luncheon with the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Matt Wald.  Wald reported on energy and airline safety issues for most of his 37 years as a reporter at the New York Times. He will publish an article in the EPRI Journal this summer on the “rush to renewables” and how that may impact the reliability of the electricity grid. Wald has a long background in energy technology, especially in nuclear energy. He has covered every aspect of the energy business, including wind, solar, fuel cells, coal mining and combustion, fracking, liquid motor fuel production, and grid operations. He looks forward to analyzing the many new challenges faced by the industry.

 

US China Partnership Event Set for Reagan Center – The U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industries Forum (REIF) hold its 4th annual forum at the Reagan Center on Wednesday.  There will be a media briefing on Wednesday morning.  REIF is the annual event of the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Partnership, brings together more than 150 government, industry, and academic leaders from both countries to discuss policy and market outlook, share best practices, assess joint work, prioritize future collaborations, and unlock commercial opportunities.  The event is being co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) and supported by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA). The event will highlight important policy developments, financing trends, quality assurance and manufacturing practices, opportunities and challenges of utility and distributed projects, renewable energy integration, and local-level leadership.  Our friend Joe Desmond from BrightSource Energy will be attending.

 

Geothermal Forum Set – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will be holding its 5th annual National Geothermal Summit on Wednesday and Thursday at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV. The National Geothermal Summit is the leading forum for western state policy discussions, bringing together the geothermal industry for a dialogue with state and federal policy makers.

 

House Energy Hearing Looks at DOE, Efficiency – The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on energy and power will hold a hearing Wednesday and Thursday on the Discussion Draft on Accountability and Department of Energy Perspectives on Title IV: Energy Efficiency. The hearing will examine Title IV’s Subtitle A on Energy Efficiency and Subtitle B on Accountability.

 

Press Club to Host Speaker on Climate – The National Press Club’s Event Committee will hold a forum on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. on climate change with Dr. Andy Jorgensen for a presentation about the phenomenon and methods which have been used to characterize these changes. The human dimension of the problem will be emphasized then we will consider solutions.

 

Senate Enviro Looks at EPA Ozone Plans – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to look EPA’s proposal to tighten the national ozone standard. The hearing will focus on the “challenges and implications” of a tighter ozone standard. It will mostly feature as witnesses local and regional air quality regulators who would be in charge of putting in place a more stringent limit, including Uintah County Commission chair Michael McKee, MWCOG Transportation Director Kanathur Srikanth, Boone County, KY  judge-executive Gary Moore, JHU professor of medicine, epidemiology and environmental health science Gregory Diette and Larry Greene, executive director of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

 

House Science to Look at Competitiveness – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on EPA Regulatory overreach and its impacts on American competitiveness on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. Witnesses will include Bill Kovacs of U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Bob Kerr and NAM’s Ross Eisenberg.

 

Forum to Look at Arctic Sustainability – The Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies will host a conference on Thursday and Friday at George Washington University addressing a variety of topics central to promoting Arctic urban sustainability. The panels will address such issues as the role of cities in Russia, sustainability in various Arctic urban centers, energy resource development in the Arctic, and the future of Arctic cities in comparative perspective.

 

Plug Power Execs to Discuss Hydrogen Fuel Cells – On Thursday, Plug Power Inc., leader in the development and deployment of commercial hydrogen and fuel cell technology made in the USA, will host an event featuring Andy Marsh, President & CEO and Gerry Conway, Vice President & General Counsel at the Willard. They will be traveling with members of Plug Power’s executive team from city to city to meet with individual shareholders to talk about their hydrogen infrastructure, fuel cell material handling technology, revenue goals and long-term plans.

 

CSIS to Look at RGGI Issues – The Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy and National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the future of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) under changing leadership.   The keynote address will be by Katie Dykes, Chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and Deputy Commissioner for Energy in Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

 

ELI Forum to Look at NatGas Regs – On Thursday, ELI will Host a forum on EPA’s plans to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.  EPA’s announcement of its forthcoming action has fueled considerable debate as domestic oil and gas production has reached historic levels in a volatile price market.   Leaders will respond to issues.  Speakers will Include EPA’s Paul Gunning, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, ANGA’s Amy Farrell, former EPA official Bob Sussman, Theresa Pugh of INGAA, former EPA #2 Bob Perciasepe and API’s Howard Feldman, among others.

 

USEA to Host Mitsubishi on CCS Technology – The US Energy Assn will host speakers from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to discussion carbon capture issues on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.   Mitsubishi began R&D activities for Carbon capture in 1990 and has developed a high efficiency chemical solvent process, the KM CDR Process®, in collaboration with the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. The process has been applied to eleven (11) worldwide commercial CO2 capture plants which are providing captured CO2 from natural gas-fired flue gas to enhance chemical production such as urea and methanol.  One of the most urgent challenges faced today, with the apparent advent of global warming, is the capture of CO2 from coal fired power plants, which is the largest single source of global CO2 emissions. MHI and Southern Company have successfully completed a demonstration test program of a 500 tpd fully integrated CCS plant applied to a coal-fired power plant for the past 4 years. In addition, MHI has received an order for the world’s largest post-combustion CO2 capture plant of 4,776 tpd from an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project mainly promoted by NRG Energy Inc. and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation, which is now under construction.

 

Senate Panel Roundtable to Look at Reg Process – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management Subcommittee will hear from several experts on how to improve the regulatory process  in a roundtable on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. The roundtable will discuss federal rules and regulations as well as what can be done to improve the rulemaking process.

 

Forum to Look at Zero Energy Buildings – ACEEE and the National Association of State Energy Officials will host a forum on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in B354 Rayburn to focus on Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings.  Residential and commercial buildings consume a whopping 41% of all energy in the United States. And the majority of that energy is used to heat, ventilate and cool our buildings throughout the year. We have the technology and techniques today that can significantly reduce building energy consumption to virtually zero, which drastically reduces monthly utility bills and carbon emissions.  This briefing will provide an overview of what’s behind the growth in the ZNE building market, its economic and environmental benefits, and why Zero Net Energy is important to your district. Speakers will highlight current and future ZNE projects and identify stakeholders’ roles in these efforts, including small businesses, builders, developers, State and local committees, technology producers and NGOs.  Speakers Include NASEO’s Executive Director David Terry, Bosch Thermotechnology’s Mark Stimson, ACEEE’s Jennifer Amann and Greg Guess, Director of Efficiency and Conservation of the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence.

 

Beacon Exec to Discuss Energy Storage – On Thursday at 3:00 p.m.,  Aaron Bullwinkel, Vice President & General Counsel, Beacon Power, will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the energy storage industry, as it develops from a nascent industry to a viable, economic alternative to transmission and distribution development, a means to achieve energy savings, an operations tool, and an answer to service interruptions.

 

BPC Forum to Focus On Midwest GHG Issues – The Great Plains Institute and Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a workshop Friday in Detroit at the Westin Metro Airport to discuss implementation options for EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan in the Midcontinent region.   States will soon have to develop and submit plans to achieve EPA’s goals. 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. Also, the Midwestern Power Sector Collaborative, convened by the Great Plains Institute, brings state officials and stakeholders together to explore and engage on these policy issues. Please join us and contribute your ideas and input to these regional efforts.   This workshop will gather states, stakeholders, and experts, including those participating in MSEER and the Power Sector Collaborative.   The agenda includes a keynote address by Valerie Brader, Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy and several panels exploring policy pathways for states to achieve state emissions goals and opportunities/challenges for multistate collaboration, among other items.

 

NARUC, NACAA, NASEO to Address GHG Compliance Issues – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Friday at 10:30 a.m. in 2168 Rayburn examining the options available for states to comply with EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan, which will be finalized later this summer.   State energy, environmental, and utility officials are already working closely together to identify compliance options, with the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA), National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), and National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) leading the way. On May 21, NACAA, which represents air regulators in 41 states and over 100 local agencies, released a comprehensive document examining potential state compliance strategies under the Clean Power Plan.  NARUC and NASEO are helping to disseminate the report, Implementing EPA’s Clean Power Plan: A Menu of Options, to state energy offices and utility commissions throughout the country. The report does not include recommendations, but instead provides an objective assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches to Clean Power Plan compliance. The speakers will discuss the co-benefits, costs and effectiveness of these different approaches, as well as the opportunities and challenges the Clean Power Plan represents to states.  Speakers for this forum are NACAA’s Bill Becker, NASEO’s David Terry and NARUC’s Charles Gray.

 

Green Forum Set for Convention Center – This weekend, starting Friday, Green Festivals will hold the DC Green Festival and Expo at the Walter Washington Convention Center.   Green Festival is inspiring and empowering consumers, communities and businesses to work green, play green and live green. At each event, you will find of the widest selection of green products and services, where people can shop and enjoy vegan, vegetarian, organic foods, and learn how to live healthier, more sustainable lives through hands-on demos, educational activities and inspirational speakers. This marks the 11th Green Festival at the D.C. Convention Center.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

BPC to Look at Batteries, EVs – Next Monday at 3:00 p.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum on batteries for vehicles and the electric grid.  Next-generation battery technologies are powering vehicles and connecting directly to the electric grid. As a result, international competition to develop and supply new battery technology has intensified in recent years. This event will discuss the linkages between federal R&D investment, next-generation battery technology development, and U.S. business competitiveness.  The American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) is a group of current and retired CEOs of major innovation-driven companies that advocate for greater federal investment in energy technology innovation. This event is the first in a series that follows AEIC’s February report, Restoring American Energy Innovation Leadership, to elevate conversations on the role of federal energy innovation investments in economic growth and international competitiveness.   Speakers will include Argonne’s Jeff Chamberlain, Johnson Controls’ Perry Watts and our friend Steve Levine.

 

Forum Looks at TransAtlantic Solutions – Next Tuesday at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) will hold its second annual “Transatlantic Dialogue of the States, Cities, and Communities.” While German-American relations focus mainly on the connections between Berlin and Washington, this dialogue will bring together civic leaders from throughout Germany and the United States to discuss common challenges and innovative programs at the sub-national level. The focus this year will be the role of cities and states as international actors on topics including energy, immigration, and trade.  The event will feature panels on “How Cities are Responding to the Energy Transformation,” “Immigration Reform and Cities of Migration,” and “TTIP: The Impact on Cities and States.”

 

Senate Energy to Continue Energy Hearing Process –The Senate Energy Committee will hold another hearing next Tuesday to receive testimony on energy accountability and reform legislation.

 

Statoil to Offer 2015 Energy Perspectives – On Wednesday, June 10th at 8:30 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Eirik Wærness, Chief Economist in Statoil, to present the company’s newly released Energy Perspectives 2015 publication. The report describes the macroeconomic and market outlook to 2040 including supply, demand, energy trade and CO2 impacts. The outlook illustrates some of the uncertainties about the future through modeling various scenarios. This year’s report describes the possible development in global energy markets towards 2040 through three alternative scenarios, called Reform, Renewal and Rivalry, respectively.

 

Forum to Look at Grid, Distributed Solar – On Wednesday, June 10th at 9:00 a.m. the Progressive Policy Institute will host a forum focused on the future of the grid and a discussion of distributed solar and wind.

 

AEI Forum to Look to Carbon Tax Issues – AEI will host a forum on Wednesday, June 10th at 2:30 p.m. on Sheldon Whitehouse’s carbon tax proposal.  The debate over whether the US should implement a carbon tax is both highly important and highly controversial. Supporters of a carbon tax argue that it would be the most efficient way of addressing climate change implementing broader fiscal reform, while opponents of such a tax suggest that it would harm the economy and have almost no effect on the climate.

 

CSIS to Host BP Stat Review – Next Thursday at 8:30 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Spencer Dale, Group Chief Economist at BP, to present BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2015. The 64th annual edition of the review continues a tradition of providing objective, global data on energy markets to inform discussion, debate and decision-making.  The review takes on important and timely questions on global oil production and consumption, slower economic growth in China and other emerging markets and the continuing strong growth in US shale oil and gas production.

 

Congressional Briefing on High Performance Buildings Set – On Thursday, June 11th at 9:30 a.m. on Capitol Hill, the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus will hold an event on High Performance Building Week.  HPB is next week and is an annual celebration of high performing buildings organized by the coalition of building industry stakeholders that support the HPB Congressional Caucus. This year, the coalition will be announcing several policy priorities during the week. The 2015 Policy Priorities will act as the framework for lobbying efforts between the members and Congress. As part of the High-Performance Building Week program, the National Institute of Building Sciences is conducting a briefing on some of the newest reports and topics including the Consultative Council report.  Speakers will include Reps. David McKinley and Peter Welch, Co-Chairs of the Caucus.  Highlights include a discussion of the 2014 NIBS Report.

 

USEA Energy Forum Set – The US Energy Assn’s 26th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum will be on Thursday, June 11th at the National Press Club.  The U.S. is now an energy superpower: #1 in natural gas production and soon to be #1 in oil production. But this forum will look at what will it take for us to be an Energy Efficiency Superpower  The U.S. has made great strides over the last 25 years, but other countries still rank higher when it comes to energy efficiency. The Energy Efficiency Forum has addressed topics and issues of importance to our economy, our environment and our national security for 25 years. Speakers from both sides of the aisle, from the Executive Branch, from the U.S. Congress, from federal agencies, from the military and from business and industry address the Forum every year.

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 – 16th in Washington, DC.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.

 

Lt Dan to Speak to National Press Club – Academy Award nominee and Emmy-winning actor and director Gary Sinise will address an NPC Speakers Breakfast on Tuesday, June 16th at 8:30 a.m.  Sinise will discuss his tireless advocacy for America’s servicemen and women through the Gary Sinise Foundation.  Sinise will be in Washington to receive the 2015 Service to America Leadership Award from the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF).

 

DOE Loan Official to Speak at Offshore Conference – Peter Davidson, the Executive Director of the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to give Special Luncheon Address at Infocast’s 6th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit, June 17-18th in New York. Leading offshore wind players will discuss the unique value of offshore wind, the latest financial innovations, public/private partnerships, and technological advances being developed to reduce development time and cost and maximize ROI of offshore wind power projects in North America.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

 

SoCo Fanning Headlines REFF Wall Street – ACORE hosts it 12th annual REFF-Wall Street 2015 on June 24 and 25th at The Grand Hyatt in New York City.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S.  Attendees of this event include CEOs and other senior company officials, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.  The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 senior decision makers, financiers and professionals in the renewable energy finance field.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will headline a list of speakers that also includes DOE EERE’s David Danielson and former EERE head Cathy Zoi.

 

National Security Conference Set – The 2015 Center for New American Security Annual Conference will be held on June 26th at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  CNAS’ annual national security conference will feature keynote addresses and discussion topics designed to chart a course for the next administration and beyond.

 

July 4th

 

August Recess

 

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

Energy Update: Week of March 30

Friends,

 

How about those games over the weekend.  Undefeated Kentucky had their hands full with Notre Dame but managed to pull it out, while Wisconsin showed they are the “Real Cheese” making their second-consecutive trip to the Final Four besting a tough Arizona team.  Meanwhile yesterday, surprising, but tourney perennial Michigan State took out Louisville in OT and Duke overpowered Gonzaga, sending a third #1 seeds to Indianapolis.  All the action kicks off on Saturday with the winners meeting next Monday Night.  On the women’s side, the top teams have so far played out with #1-seed Notre Dame ousting #2 Baylor yesterday and #1 seed South Carolina moving on to Tampa.  Strongly favored #1 Maryland plays Tennessee tonight after the Lady Vols roared back from 20-points to beat Gonzaga Saturday and overall #1 seed UConn, who routed Texas by 51 points, plays 7th seed Dayton to lock in the Final Four.   UConn’s victory margins have been 66, 36 and 51.  That is domination.

 

And don’t forget the ice…There was some great action in the NCAA Men’s ice hockey tourney over the weekend including late game heroics by Boston U in games aGAINst Yale and Minnesota-Dulute (I know on the spelling, but that’s how they say it) to move on to the Frozen Four.  As well, a late controversial goal by Rochester Institute of Tech knocked out overall #1 seed Minnesota St.-Mankato.  The semis are set for TD Garden in Boston starting April 9th with BU taking on North Dakota and Providence playing UNebraska-Omaha, who bounced RIT after its big upset.  Finally, mark your calendar, two weeks until the quest begins for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

 

With Congress on recess ahead of the Passover and Easter holidays, there won’t be much action in DC this week, but we will keep you covered regarding any potential long-awaited but politically sensitive policy developments, like Iran and the DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review, which was supposed to arrive last week.

 

In a fun recess twist as the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln approaches on April 14th, my friend Rick Klein of ABC Politics conducted an extraordinary interview with Abraham Lincoln.  See it here.  I thought Rick should have told him to skip the theater that night, but I suppose he didn’t want to be like Marty McFly and alter history.

 

One good item today at 11:30 at The Newseum, POLITICO’s Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen takes Playbook live for an afternoon conversation with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy about policy, politics and the news of the day.

 

And tomorrow, FERC holds its final GHG technical Conference in St. Louis.  Ameren CEO Warner Baxter is expected to present to the panel.  You may recall his recent white paper where they say some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions.  I will send you his testimony for tomorrow should you be interested.

 

Finally, congrats to our friend Dina Cappiello who leaves the AP enviro beat to join Edelman’s DC office today.   Who will Borenstein argue with now, Dina?  He is going to have to call Marc Morano!!!

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

SCOTUS WRAP – A divided Supreme Court weighed new regulations aimed at reducing power plant emissions of mercury last week.  The justices heard arguments Wednesday in a challenge brought by a bipartisan group of Attorneys General like by Michigan AG Bill Schuette.  My colleagues Jeff Holmstead and Scott Segal have been commenting since with Holmstead saying the Supreme Court was clearly divided in the MATS case.  Holmstead: “On the statutory issue – what does the word “appropriate” mean in context – it really seems as though industry and the states had the stronger side of the argument.  If the government prevails, necessary and appropriate would essentially have the same meaning.  And most experts on statutory construction believe that any interpretation of which renders a word meaningless is not to be preferred.”  Segal added once the Agency is forced to consider cost, it is clear that the regulatory outcome would be different.  The benefits of mercury control under the MATS rule is between $4 to $6 million on a cost of $9.6 billion – making the rule one of the most expensive in EPA history.  Segal: “All the while claiming they needn’t do a comprehensive cost analysis, EPA manages to claim the regulation will save billions.  But their process is to once again count particulate-matter benefits EPA has already claimed advancing other rules, a dubious accounting sleight-of-hand called double counting.  As the Chief Justice said, this approach raises “a red flag.”  24 states challenged this rule before the D.C. Circuit, including six Democratic attorneys general, making the opposition bipartisan and multi-regional.  Looking forward, Segal added if the Supreme Court rejects an EPA rule high in cost with very speculative benefits, that “can’t be good for the EPA’s plans on controlling carbon for existing power plants.”  Some of the best legal experts in the country, including Harvard Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe have argued that the carbon rule is on even shakier legal footing.

 

BLM Releases Nat Gas Drilling Rules – We all know that Interior, three years after its initial proposal, finalized new regulations applicable to hydraulic fracturing activities on federal and Indian lands.  BLM previously released a draft proposed rule in May 2012 and revised draft in May 2013.   My colleagues Jason Hutt and Mike Weller do a DEEP DIVE on the rule.  Key aspects of the final rule include requirements to:  (1) request approval of hydraulic fracturing before commencement of operations; (2) disclose chemicals after completing hydraulic fracturing activities (preferably via FracFocus); (3) perform well integrity and cement evaluation tests and obtain approval if cement remediation is required; (4) use steel tanks for the storage of recovered waste fluids from hydraulic fracturing; and (5) supply information  on estimated fractures and existing wellbores to reduce the risk of impacts to existing wells, i.e., “frack-hits.”  The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the Western Energy Alliance filed lawsuits the same day challenging the rule.  The state of Wyoming filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming on March 26, 2015.  The final rule is effective on June 24, 2015.

 

Mexico Says It Will Peak Emissions – A lot of climate advocates are perking up regarding late last week’s announcement by Mexico that they plan to “peak” emissions by 2026, then reduce by 22% by 2030.  The approach captures the new view that developing countries continue to do what they want for 10-15 years and then try to reduce.  It also follows the path of many climate pledges of past years that have been left wanting after the UN meetings conclude.   While folks like WWF’s Jen Morgan praised the action as a major turning point, they rightfully point out that the “devil is in the details.”  I, for one, have been at the rodeo before, and I’m skeptical the pledges will ever come to pass. I will be skeptical until people actually start to do what they say they’re going to do, which to date at UN Meetings has  been never.

 

DOE Meeting Coverage – Following the two-day member symposium, several AHRI furnace manufacturers like Rheem, Johnson Controls , Carrier, Lennox, Goodman and Ingersoll Rand remained in Washington to attend a hearing at DOE Headquarters on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for residential furnaces on Friday.  DOE got an earful from critics on the plan which AHRI, AGA and individual companies say will raise costs and unnecessarily burden consumers. Those challenging the rule say it will increase costs for consumers by $6-12 billion, with most of that burden falling “unevenly” on low and fixed-income residents.  The American Gas Association, who recently wrote in a blog post that while on the surface, the rule appears to be a positive step toward achieving greater energy efficiency, a closer examination reveals counterproductive and unintended consequences that conflict with DOE’s stated goal of improved efficiency and reduced emissions.

 

AHRI Member Companies Storm Capitol – Speaking of the two-day symposium, manufacturers of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, commercial refrigeration (HVACR) and water heating equipment descended on Washington last week to meet with their representatives and learn more about the legislative process.  The manufacturers engaged in a Public Policy Symposium organized by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).  Attendees heard from CBS News White House Correspondent Major Garrett at lunch on Wednesday, followed by panel sessions in the afternoon.  The visit to the nation’s capital came at a pivotal time for the industry.  The Department of Energy (DOE) has taken an extremely aggressive approach to rulemaking in the past two years, and is poised to issue some 18 new regulations on the industry over the next two years.   In Congressional and Senate meetings on Thursday, the AHRI members detailed that while the industry is not opposed to regulation, they have a right to expect that DOE conduct its rulemakings through a fair and transparent process – one that works to the benefit of manufacturers, consumers, and the environment.  Accordingly, the manufacturers will be advocating for legislation to amend the Energy Policy Act to accomplish that goal.

 

Reps Wants DOE, EPA Coordinating Better – A number of Congressmen are raising concerns about EPA and DOE coordination and conflicting mandates on several issues facing small and large manufacturers.  Rep Bill Heuzinga leads a group that includes Reps Pat Meehan, Bill Johnson, Chris Collins, Mike Fitzpatrick, Ryan Costello, Joe Wilson and David Rouzer.  They specific question is the timeline that is forcing manufacturers to fully integrate their compliance with all applicable energy efficiency requirements, for the of the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program which in this case is focused on substitutes used in the commercial and residential refrigeration and foam-blowing sectors.

 

Gallup Says American Care Less About Environment – Americans’ concern about several major environmental threats has eased after increasing last year. As in the past, Americans express the greatest worry about pollution of drinking water, and the least about global warming or climate change. The results are based on Gallup’s annual Environment survey, conducted March 5-8. Gallup trends on many of these items stretch back more than two decades. Last year’s increased worry has proved temporary, with the current level of worry on each of the problems back to about where it was in 2013.

Despite ups and downs from year to year in the percentage worried about the various issues, the rank order of the environmental problems has remained fairly consistent over the decades. Americans express greater concern over more proximate threats – including pollution of drinking water, as well as pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and air pollution – than they do about longer-term threats such as global warming and plant and animal extinction. The amount Americans worry about the various threats tends to rise and recede in unison, with concern higher in the late 1980s and early 1990s during the revival of environmentalism, and in the late 1990s and early 2000s amid the economic boom. Since then, Americans’ worry has fallen, with concern dipping to record lows on most issues in 2010 or 2011. The current level of worry on each issue remains at or near those record lows.

 

NARUC Has New Comms Person – We knew that our friend Rob Thormeyer is headed to FERC, but now we know who will replace him at NARUC.  The utility commissioner group has hired Regina Davis as its new Director of Communications, effective April 13th.  Davis will be the Association’s main point-of-contact with the press and will help write, edit, and distribute press releases, speeches, testimony, and other official NARUC correspondence. She will also assist in promoting the Association’s three annual meetings.  Davis joins NARUC after several years as Communications Director for the Maryland PSC, where she served as the commission’s primary spokesperson in the media and at civic, non-profit, charitable, and educational organizations and community associations. Prior to joining the Maryland PSC in 2011, Davis worked in similar capacities at the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the University of Maryland Dental School, and the University of Maryland Baltimore’s Office of External Affairs.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Foxx, McCarthy to Headline POLITICO PB Forum – POLITICO’s Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen takes Playbook live for an afternoon conversation with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy about policy, politics and the news of the day.  The action begins at The Newseum at 11:30 a.m.

 

ELI, DC Bar to Host  Social Cost of Carbon Forum – ELI and the DC Bar will host a forum today at Noon on the social cost of carbon.  The SCC tool assesses the economic costs of greenhouse gas emissions.  The panel of experts will offer a primer on the tool and debate the advantages and shortcomings of relying on it as a factor in agency decision-making.  Richard Ayres is among the nation’s most knowledgeable and well-respected environmental attorneys and policy makers. He has significantly shaped the country’s environmental policies, including the Clean Air Act, and their implementation.  Dr. Kevin D. Dayaratna specializes in tax, energy and health policy issues as Senior Statistician and Research Programmer in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis (CDA). An applied statistician, he has researched and published on the use of high-powered statistical models in public policy.  Dr. Laurie Johnson is the chief economist at NRDC’s climate and clean air program in Washington, DC. She focuses on modeling the costs and benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the impacts of environmental regulation on employment, economic analyses of regulation by industry, and macroeconomic modeling of climate change legislation and its distributional impacts.  Patrick Traylor practices in the area of environmental law, with a particular focus on the Clean Air Act, environmental litigation, and energy infrastructure development and climate change.

 

Roundtable to Look at Energy in Japan, Korea, China – The Energy Security Worldviews in Asia will hold a Roundtable tomorrow at Noon at GWU that examines how key actors with an influence on energy decision making in Japan, South Korea, and China view their country’s energy vulnerability and security.  Speakers will include GW experts Mike Mochizuki and Robert Sutter, as well as Korean Studies expert Scott Snyder of the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

WCEE to Discuss Cheap Oil, Gas prices with AAA – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environmental (WCEE) will hold a brown bag lunch tomorrow at Noon on low price oil and its impact on gasoline prices   Avery Ash, Director, Federal Relations at the American Automobile Association (AAA) will discuss the recent fluctuations in gas prices, expectations for the short term and long term and give some insight into the work AAA does to forecast prices for their members and the public.  Ash serves as Director of Federal Relations for AAA. In this capacity Avery is responsible for the Association’s work on energy issues, in particular crude oil and gasoline. This includes the publishing of AAA’s weekly Fuel Gauge Report, which provides analysis of prices and trends, and the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the most current and accurate source of gasoline prices surveying more than 100,000 stations every day. Avery has also led in development of the Association’s engagement strategy for electric vehicles. This includes the roll-out of AAA’s first-in-nation level 2 and level 3 charging services as well as an engagement and education strategy to serve AAA’s more than 53 million members. Prior to joining AAA, Avery served as Legislative and Special Assistant for Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, where he focused on economic development issues.

 

NAS to Release reporters on Climate Intervention at USEA – The National Academy of Sciences will release two reports on Climate Intervention at the US Energy Association tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.  Climate intervention is no substitute for reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and adaptation efforts aimed at reducing the negative consequences of climate change. However, as our planet enters a period of changing climate never before experienced in recorded human history, interest is growing in the potential for deliberate intervention in the climate system to counter climate change. This study assesses the potential impacts, benefits, and costs of two different proposed classes of climate intervention: (1) carbon dioxide removal and (2) albedo modification (reflecting sunlight). Carbon dioxide removal strategies address a key driver of climate change, but research is needed to fully assess if any of these technologies could be appropriate for large-scale deployment. Albedo modification strategies could rapidly cool the planet’s surface but pose environmental and other risks that are not well understood and therefore should not be deployed at climate-altering scales; more research is needed to determine if albedo modification approaches could be viable in the future.    AAAS head Marcia McNutt will speak.

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – FERC holds its final GHG technical Conference in St. Louis tomorrow.  Ameren CEO Warner Baxter is expected to present to the panel.  You may recall his recent white paper in which Ameren, a coal-heavy utility in Missouri, feels like some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions. The full announcement, including a quote by FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, is available here.  The full text of the notice in the Federal Register, including instructions on how to register for the conferences, is available here.  Commissioner Tony Clark released his own statement, available here.

 

Nat Gas Roundtable to Host DOI Offshore Expert – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Janice Schneider, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at Interior (DOI), at its luncheon tomorrow, where she will discuss the current offshore energy production landscape.  Schneider oversees four DOI bureaus including BLM, BOEM, BSEE and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. In this capacity, she guides the Department’s management and use of federal lands and waters and their associated mineral and non-mineral resources, spanning approximately 245 million acres of federal surface lands, 700 million acres of federal mineral interests and the 1.7 billion-acre Outer Continental Shelf.

 

Forum to Look at Climate Prep – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing Wednesday in 485 Russell examining the recommendations of the White House State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. The bipartisan Task Force of 26 governors, mayors, tribal leaders, and other officials spent a year compiling recommendations on how the federal government could help local communities be more resilient to climate change impacts. From an initial 500 ideas, the Task Force produced a report of 35 concrete recommendations for tools, training, funding and services the Federal Government can provide to help the nation’s communities increase their resilience. Even without taking into account the effects of climate change, making communities more resilient saves lives-and saves money in the long run.  Speakers for this forum are Jennifer Jurado, Director, Environmental Planning & Community Resilience in Broward County; Governor Jay Inslee Washington DC Office Director Sam Ricketts and Carolyn Berndt, Program Director for Sustainability at the National League of Cities.

 

RFF to Host Offshore Energy Discussion – Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment will hold an RFF First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m., where leading experts will examine offshore oil and gas leasing reform in the US Arctic. Panelists will explore how these new regulations and strategies meet the need for integrated Arctic management and what work remains to be done to design a regulatory approach that appropriately balances resource development, environmental protection, and community livelihoods. The conversation will cover recommendations put forth in the National Petroleum Council’s Arctic study (to be released at the end of March) and lessons for the Arctic from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

 

Post to Host Energy, Innovation Future Event The Washington Post will gather leaders from the energy, defense and technology sectors Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at Charlie Palmer Steak  to discuss and debate innovative solutions for securing the country’s energy resources. This live event will explore threats to national security, including cyberattacks, as well as efforts to mitigate the effects of natural disasters on the energy ecosystem.  Speakers will include FERC commissioner Tony Clark and Robert “RJ” Johnston, Chief Executive of the Eurasia Group.

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Crude, Refining Export Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a conference on Thursday morning focused on the latest developments in the crude oil export debate as well as the role of refining (both domestic and globally) in finding an economically viable home for US light oil production. As debates heat up over domestic policy choices affecting both the upstream and downstream sectors, the need for informed (and perhaps more detailed) discussion has become increasingly important. This conference seeks to both inform and supplement the debate on two issues that will have a large impact on the future domestic U.S. energy landscape as well as global investment going forward.  The Refining panel, featuring Joanne Shore, Chief Industry Analyst at AFPM, EnSys Energy’s Martin Tallett and Lynn Westfall, Petroleum Markets Analyst with EIA’s Office of Energy Markets and Financial Analysis, will provide a primer on the U.S. refining sector, addressing refinery configurations, operations and economics; the ability of the domestic and global refining system to accommodate additional light oil production and some of the implications of investment choices and oil flows in the near and medium terms. The Exports panel, featuring ClearView Energy’s Kevin Book and Sharon Burke of the New America Foundation, will address the current regulatory framework, the politics of exports and the potential geopolitical implications of allowing or impeding such activity. Frank Verrastro and Sarah Ladislaw of CSIS will moderate.

 

DOE’s Kenderline to Discuss QER – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) with Melanie Kenderdine, Energy Counselor to US Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, and Director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis.   On January 9, 2014, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the administration to conduct the first-ever QER to help the Federal Government better meet the nation’s energy goals. With a focus on energy infrastructure and US energy and climate security, the QER assists the government in translating energy policy goals into a set of integrated actions through improved interagency dialogue and increased engagement of external stakeholders.  Welcome remarks will be delivered by The Hon. Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the discussion will be moderated by David Koranyi, Director of the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Columbia to Host Panel on Sustainability – Columbia University’s Earth Institute will hold a forum on the state of sustainability policy on Tuesday April 7th at 6:00 p.m. in NYC at the Low Memorial Library.   The event will feature the Earth Institute’s Steve Cohen, Columbia researcher Dong Guo,; NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Director Nilda Mesa and our friend Andy Revkin.   This panel will explore the role that public policy plays in influencing behavior within organizations and among individuals, in order to facilitate and speed up that transition.

 

AGA to Release Gas Supply Report – The American Gas Association (AGA) and the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) will hold a press conference on Wednesday, April 8th at 9:00 a.m. to release the major findings of the PGC’s year-end 2014 biennial report: Potential Supply of Natural Gas in the United States, and discuss how customers and the nation can benefit from domestic natural gas resources. The report is expected to reveal that domestic estimates of undiscovered natural gas resources continue to grow, due largely to the existence of technologies that continue to unlock energy resources from shale and other producing formations. Dr. John B. Curtis, Director of the Potential Gas Agency and Colorado School of Mines and AGA Supply expert Chris McGill will discuss the report.

 

Solar Forum to Cover Solar Now, Future – Greentech Media will host a Solar Summit in Phoenix, AZ on April 14th – 16th at the Wigwam Resort.  Speakers will include SRP’s Lisa Singleton, Sun Power CEO Tom Werner and our friends Stephen Lacey of Greentech Media,  Shayle Kann of GTM Research, and Brad Heavner of the Cal Solar Energy Industry Assn, among many others.   The Summit focuses on what the solar industry needs to know and includes the research and economic analysis of GTM Research’s team.   This year’s agenda includes panels, engaging debates among the industry’s top thought leaders, and an interactive polling session.   Topics will include dynamics in the global solar market, system performance, asset management, technology integration given new energy customer and the  U.S. solar market in 2016 and beyond.

 

BNEF to Host Energy Summit – Bloomberg New Energy Finance will host a summit on April 13-15th focused on the future of energy at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.  The Future of Energy Summit 2015 is a unique forum providing an unrivaled meeting place at the intersection of the energy markets, regulation, industry, finance and policy.  A decade into the modern age of clean energy, and nearly a decade into the new age of shale gas abundance, the global energy system is not just growing, but shifting shape. At Summit 2015, the agenda will look at how phase change is likely to accelerate for the future.  Al Gore, former Duke CEO Jim Rogers, former Sen. Judd Gregg, former UN Climate head Connie Hedegaard, PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo CSIS expert Sarah Ladislaw and our friend Ethan Zindler of BNEF will speak among the many others.

 

Forum to Focus on Food, Water Nexus – The Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, National Geographic and Lockheed Martin are hosting the third in a series of roundtables, The Energy-Water-Food Nexus: Risks and Opportunities for the Private Sector on April 17th at 1:00 p.m. at National Geographic HQ. The roundtables identify the nexus risks to businesses, and examine why and how leadership from the private sector, in collaboration with key stakeholders, is critical to successfully managing the synergies and tradeoffs among water, food and energy infrastructure for the benefit of society, business and the environment.  This roundtable will focus on best practices and opportunities for harnessing innovation to address nexus challenges in the U.S., and globally.

 

FERC’s Honorable, Former Sen Bingaman Address Utility Issues Conference – On April 19th to 22nd in Santa Fe, NM, the Center for Public Utilities’ Advisory Council will hold a Current Issues conference dealing with important topics affecting the industry today. Through a series of panels, industry leaders and Commissioners discuss the current issues facing the Electric, Natural Gas, Telecommunications and Water industries. The panels are designed to create meaningful dialog between the panelists and audience in an informal setting conducive to audience participation.  Former NM Senator Jeff Bingaman, former Chairman, Energy & Natural Resources Committee and FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable speak Monday morning April 20. Lisa Edgar, NARUC President, will also be on the program, along with many NARUC Committee Chairman.

 

Fiorina To Address Lugar Speaker Series – On Monday, April 20th, the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series will hold its the 25th Annual Lugar Series Luncheon featuring Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and Prospective Candidate as its keynote speaker.  The event will be held at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

 

Tillerson, Hess Kinder, Others Headline CERA WeekCERAWeek 2015 will be held on April 20th through 24th in Houston, TX.  CERA Week usually offers comprehensive insight on what’s ahead for global energy. The oil price collapse has created new risks and realities – with profound impacts on key regions, industries, and economies. The event features industry and thought leaders proving fresh understanding of geopolitics, technology, markets, investment, strategy and regulatory policy.  Speakers will include Peabody Energy’s Greg Boyce, Exxon’s Rex Tillerson, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, BP’s Bob Dudley, Energy Secretary Moniz, former BrightSource exec now at Google John Woolard and many more.

 

MD OSW Meeting to Honor BOEM Director Hopper – The Business Network for Maryland Offshore Wind’s (BizMDOSW) will hold its annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland on April 22-23, at Camden Yards.  The meeting is a 2-day gathering of European and American business executives, government officials, technical experts and academics brought together to build expertise among local companies. The event will have more than 150 participants from the U.S., Germany and Denmark including Dong Energy, Siemens, Bladt Industries, Blue Water Shipping and A2Sea.   The April 22nd dinner will be a celebration honoring U.S. Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management Director Abigail Hopper for outstanding achievement within the offshore wind industry.  The all-day April 23rd meeting will focus on creating jobs locally and regionally, including subcontracting opportunities for Maryland businesses and will also include reports on the East Coast regional offshore wind industry in Rhode Island, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland. The Maryland offshore wind development is projected to have steel in the water by 2019, and the development team expects to submit its OREC application to the state and to seek further permitting from U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.  Among the speakers will be our friends Bill Wall of the Atlantic Wind Connection and Clint Plummer of Deepwater.

 

CSIS to Hold Global Development Forum – CSIS will hold its inaugural Global Development Forum (GDF) on Thursday April 23rd. With a significant reduction in extreme poverty and an increase in private financial flows to the developing world over the past two decades, the face of development is rapidly changing. Meeting today’s challenges calls for innovation and effective partnerships across sectors, with an emphasis on improving governance and leveraging the role of the private sector.  GDF will feature keynote addresses by Representative Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director of the World Bank Group. Breakout panel discussions will foster dialogue on topics including private sector partnerships, capacity building and workforce development, innovative finance, the post-2015 global development agenda, Ebola recovery in West Africa, and the strategic role of development in overall U.S. foreign policy. GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.

 

Perino to Hold Book Event at Press Club – Our friend Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush and current co-host of The Five, will discuss and sign copies of her new book “And the Good News Is…:Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side” at an April 24th book rap scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the ballroom at the National Press Club.

 

ACORE Policy Forum Set – ACORE will hold Its Renewable Energy Policy Forum on April 22-23 at the Westin City Center in Washington, DC.  ACORE’s Policy Forum champions the progress of the industry in reducing costs and deploying at scale, and will feature policymakers, industry leaders and other perspectives to outline challenges and highlight opportunities facing the sector. The Forum will drive bipartisan renewable energy policy priorities and strategy for the next two years, setting up a successful long-term outlook for the industry. The outcome of the Forum – the policy agenda for renewable energy policy – will be shared with the President and Congress, as well as governors, legislators, and regulators in the states.  Speakers will include Energy Secretary Moniz, EPA’s Gina McCarthy, former FERC Chair John Wellinghoff, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Georgia PSC Commissioner Bubba McDonald, and our friends, Joe Desmond of Brightsource Energy, Dan Reicher of Stanford, Michael McAdams of the Advanced Biofuels Coalition and AWEA’s Tom Kiernan.

 

NHA to Set Hydro Conference – The National Hydropower Association holds its annual conference at the Capitol Hilton on April 27-29th.  The Conference is a well-rounded conference program designed to discuss, prepare and foresee the future of hydropower throughout the nation. Speakers will include NY Rep. Paul Tonko and White House OSTP staff Cristin Dorgelo.

 

Marine Tech Conferences Alongside NHA Meeting – The 3rd Annual Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS) will be held as part of the inaugural International Marine Renewable Energy Conference on April 27-29th at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., and will be co-located with the National Hydropower Association’s annual conference.  METS provides a venue where technical experts can publish and present wave and water current energy research that helps accelerate the pace of technology development. Holding METS in conjunction with the International Marine Renewable Energy Conference will provide researchers with the invaluable opportunity to interact with public and private industry stakeholders.

 

 

 

FRANK MAISANO
Founding Partner
Ext. 5864
Policy Resolution Group

 

Energy Update Week of June 16

Friends,

Happy Father’s Day to all out there.  I hope it was a good day for you.  I spent my Father’s Day where else:  a lax tourney.  But yesterday, I was officiating rather than just watching Hannah.  I did make it home in time to watch Martin Kaymer cruise to his big victory at the US Open.   Wow, that Friday the 13th full moon did wonders for him as he delivered a second 65 that led him into the weekend with a nice cushion.  BTW, the last time a full moon on Friday the 13th hit together was in 2000 and it won’t occur again to 2049.

Not to be overshadowed, the LA Kings and San Antonio Spurs won the NHL and NBA championships in 5 games.   The NY Rangers battled hard but the Kings had just two much luck and skill taking 3 OT games.  Meanwhile, the Spurs, a Bracewell Giuliani client mind you, just hammered the two-champ Miami Heat, taking their last three victories by wide margins.  Congrats to my colleague Tullos Wells in San Antonio who gets his 5th NBA championship ring.   Kind of makes all the contract negotiating pains worth it.

This week starts to the run up to the summer solstice, which hits Saturday at 10:51 a.m.  The summer solstice day has the longest period of daylight of the year and is often a day to see how many rounds of golf you can get in in one day.  The week also marks 20 years ago tomorrow since the OJ Simpson slow speed chase occurred, setting off a media reality onslaught/celebrity trial like we have never seen before.

The first round of hearings on the Administration’s new GHG plan for existing power plants begins this week with the Senate Environment hosting former Republican Administration EPA leaders and State AGs, while the House Energy subpanel is hosting current EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe.  And thank goodness, the President mentioned climate change at his UC-Irvine commencement speech because that is want college graduates really want to hear.  Finally on Wednesday, Senate Energy gets to the controversial FERC nomination votes of Cheryl LaFleur and Norman Bay, as well as a vote on Landrieu’s Keystone XL  fast-track bill.

For those of you interested, the Firefly Festival is this weekend in Dover, DE.  Firefly is a 3-day/4-night music extravaganza that this year will feature Foo Fighters, Outkast, Jack Johnson, Imagine Dragons, Beck and many more.  My wife will be attending all 4 nights/3 days with her friends,  leaving me to get the three kids to their lax tourneys in Richmond, Bel Air, MD and Poolesville.  Is it possible they could be any further apart?  I will need to have a lot of the new Godsmack single 1000 Horsepower (just out this past week) to get everywhere I need to be.

Finally, there will likely be no update next week (at least on Monday/Tuesday) because I will be running around like a mad man over the weekend and then will head to Pittsburgh Monday morning early to attend the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Shale Energy Reporting Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.  It will be a great event that includes a great drilling process site tour on Tuesday.   Call with questions.

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

Poll Shows Concerns Over EPA Rule – As you know, I often say polls on climate issues really don’t mean much, especially as my friends In the environmental community have recently touted polls that show overwhelming support for the President’s plan.  Well, the National Mining Association also released a poll last week showing that most Americans (76%) are at least somewhat worried that new regulations proposed by EPA to remove coal-powered electricity from the nation’s energy mix will lead to higher prices for consumers.  The results are consistent with other findings that price increases are a significant driver of Americans’ sentiment about EPA regs and electricity.   I’m just sayin’…

CU Water Studies Look  at Needs, River Basin Impacts – The Colorado University Law School’s Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment (GWC) has released two new studies prepared by the GWC’s Colorado River Governance Initiative.  Restoring Sacred Waters: A Guide to Protecting Tribal Non-Consumptive Water Uses in the Colorado River Basin is a detailed review of strategies available to tribes seeking to protect non-consumptive uses of their federal reserved rights. It surveys potential legal and political hurdles that tribes may encounter when applying their rights to instream flows and offers practical strategies derived from case studies the advice of tribal officials on how to surmount these hurdles. Strategies outside of the application of Indian federal reserved rights are also explored, including how federal environmental laws and conservation easements have been used to create additional flows in reservation streams.  The second, Research Needs in the Colorado River Basin, is a synthesis of ideas gained from interviews and reports assessing the state of research post Basin Study, identifying those areas where additional progress is most needed to aid the policy discussions.  Embedded in this effort is an assessment of the role that the academic community can play going forward in addressing any shortcomings.

TX LNG Facility No Impact – FERC said in a draft review on Friday that Cheniere Energy’s proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, will not cause widespread environmental impact. Public comments on the review will be accepted until August 4th.   The Corpus Christi project will result in a permanent loss of 25 acres of wetlands, but FERC said measures Cheniere plans to take will minimize any further disturbance on wetlands.

State Dept Official to Head to Columbia U – The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) said Ambassador Carlos Pascual will be joining the Center in the Fall as a Fellow and Senior Research Scholar.  As a Fellow during the upcoming Fall semester, Pascual will teach a course to students in Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs as well as generate original research on the geopolitics of energy, including the implications of the recent increased US energy production. He will also help maximize the Center’s policy impact, which in its first year has emerged as a key resource for policymakers, industry, NGOs, and the wider public seeking to get beyond the polarization that often threatens to overwhelm energy debates. Pascual joins Columbia from his most recent position as Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the US Department of State. Prior to his appointment by US Secretary of State Clinton, Pascual served as the US Ambassador to Mexico.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

EIA Head to Keynote International Energy Conference in NYC – Tonight in New York, Adam Sieminski, administrator of the Energy Information Administration will address the international implications of the U.S. energy renaissance at the 37th annual International Association for Energy Economics conference at the New Yorker Hotel.  The conference goes through Wednesday and also features thought leaders across business, government and academia including representatives from Statoil, National Renewable Energy Labs, IMF, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, UC Davis, Baker Hughes, Citi Research, SunEdison and many more. See the Detailed conference schedule here.

Energy to Hold Hydrogen, Fuel Cells Program Merit Review – All this week, the U.S. Department of Energy holds its 2014 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meetings (AMR) for the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and the Vehicle Technologies Office at the Marriott Wardman Park.

Public Power Conference Set – The American public Power Assn hold its annual Conference in Denver through Wednesday.  The program features leading political, economic, business and public policy thinkers and public power leaders addressing the critical issues, including the new GHG rules for existing power plants.  ABC News White House correspondent Jon Karl, former Steeler Merril Hoge and former White House CIO Theresa Payton will speak.

Forum to Look at Renewable NatGas Use – Tomorrow, the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition and Energy Vision will hold an all-day forum discussing extracting value and vehicle fuel from waste using natural gas.

Forum to Look at OAS Climate Issues – The Worldwatch Institute will hold a policy roundtable event tomorrow focused climate change: challenges and opportunities for the Americas.   WWI’s 59th OAS Policy Roundtable will encourage the exchange of experiences to address various issues related to climate change adaptation strategies and its mitigation.

Senate Ag to Highlight Bio-based Products – The Senate Ag Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to showcase companies leading the way in manufacturing plastics, chemicals and other materials from plants. The hearing will be followed by an event at which more than 30 companies will showcase technologies that turn biomass into usable materials.  Witnesses will include Scott Vitters of Coca-Cola, Lear’s Ashford Galbreath , Cargill’s Kurtis Miller and Adam Monroe of Novozymes North America among others.

ELI Forum to Discuss US GHG Efforts, Paris – Tomorrow at Noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a discussion that will look at likely greenhouse gas reduction efforts for the United States to propose at the 2015 Paris Climate Summit. The expert panel will identify where the United States is in progress towards our current target and how that target might be adjusted in the lead up to the 2015 Paris negotiations. Our panel will also examine the process by which the EU reached its target and ask whether it might be illustrative for the White House and Congress.  Panelists will include former EPA official Bob Sussman, NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, UN Environment Program’s Hilary French, Ned Helme of the Center for Clean Air Policy and WRI’s David Waskow.

Holmstead, Tierney to Address GHG Rule at BPC Forum – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on the new EPA rule on GHGs for existing power plants.  The panel, hosted by our friend and WSJ reporter Amy Harder, will feature my colleague Jeff Holmstead, former Assistant Administrator for Air at EPA, and Sue Tierney, former Assistant Secretary for Policy at DOE.

Forum to Tackle Grid Innovation – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) will hold a briefing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 428 Russell looking at innovation in electric grid technologies and the opportunity being provided by the Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). The QER was launched this January to advance a 21st century energy policy that, among other things, seeks to improve electric grid resilience. The electric grid faces unprecedented threats in the United States, including extreme weather, cyberattack, and physical vulnerabilities which urgently need to be addressed.  Speakers from the Department of Energy (DOE), G&W Electric, Siemens, and Commonwealth Edison will discuss the concept and purpose of the QER and the need to reform our energy policy to strengthen the nation’s electric transmission and distribution grid, as well as the technologies available today that are making it happen.  Speakers for the forum include Rep. Jerry McNerney and DOE’s Karen Wayland, of Energy, among others.

ACORE to Look at Middle Market Renewables – ACORE will hold a teleconference on Wednesday at Noon to discuss investor plans to take advantage of such rapid growth in the renewable energy middle market growth sector.   The renewable energy market is intensifying in 2014 with much of the project development expected in the $10-$100 million middle market range. Investors recognizing the attractive risk and return profile of renewables in this asset class are increasingly deploying infrastructure capital. The webinar will focus not only on percentage returns but will critically detail the fine print; the terms and conditions these investors tie to their capital for renewable projects. The presentation will include recent equity, tax equity and debt pricing and will further describe how all these types of capital are successfully deployed.

Senate Enviro Panel to Host Former EPA Heads, AL AG – The Senate Environment panel  on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hear from former EPA chiefs, two academics and Alabama’s attorney general on climate change and the new GHG rules for existing power plants.  Former EPA Administrators Bill Ruckelshaus, Bill Reilly, Lee Thomas and Christine Todd Whitman will join Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, UCSB Professor Dan Botkin and LSU economist Joe Mason.

House Resources to Look at American Energy Jobs – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the House Resources Committee’s panel on energy will convene an oversight hearing focused on opportunities for states and localities in creating energy jobs.  America’s surge in energy production is fueling an employment boom that’s creating much-needed economic growth in states and local communities. In the past decade, 30 states have experienced a 50 percent surge in jobs indirectly relating to oil and natural gas production and it’s estimated that by 2035 unconventional oil and natural gas production will bring in $2.5 trillion in combined state and federal revenue. For example, revenues from North Dakota’s oil and natural gas production gave the state a $1.6 billion budget surplus in 2012. Witnesses include DeSoto Parish, La. sheriff Rodney Arbuckle, Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration director Kevin Carter,  Lea County, NM vice chairman Commission Ron Black and Phil Hopkins, director of economic and country risk consulting at IHS Global.

House Energy Panel to Look at New GHG Rule – The House Energy and Commerce subpanel on Energy will hold a hearing on President Obama’s new GHG standards for existing power plants on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.  EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe will testify.

Senate Energy Looks at NatGas – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. on natural gas and how to harness the resource for export, domestic consumption, and transportation fuel.    The hearing will address issues surrounding natural gas and would likely feature a mix of government and private-sector witnesses.

API Expert to Discuss Crude Exports – ICF hosts its June Energy Breakfast on Thursday morning at the National Press Club featuring API’s Kyle Isakower, who will address the future of petroleum imports and exports. The discussion will focus on the oil production boom in areas such as the Eagle Ford and Bakken plays, and the potential for increasing U.S. exports and decreasing imports.

Boston Journos to Discuss State of Investigative Journalism – On Thursday, Boston NPR station and WGBH and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting will hold a forum in Boston looking at the role of investigative journalism in today’s rapidly changing media landscape.  A distinguished panel of award-winning journalists will discuss the importance of investigative journalism for our democracy, the lessons learned from Watergate, the role journalists played in exposing the sex abuse scandal in the local Catholic Church, and more.  The panel includes Frontline’s Raney Aronson-Rath, New England Center for Investigative Reporting executive director and managing editor Joe Bergantino, Boston Globe Spotlight Team editor Thomas Farragher and WGBH investigative reporter Phillip Martin.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

SEJ to Host Shale Reporting Seminar – The Society of Environmental Journalists in partnership with Carnegie Mellon will host a shale reporting education seminar at CMU June 22-24th.  The goal of the whole event is to provide a focused group of journalists who cover shale issues with the latest/balanced info. on shale issues.  On Monday, the conference will here from academics, environmental advocates and industrial folks to discuss the many details of the current Shale boom.  The following day they will head out on a rig tour of drilling, production and compressing sites.  See more here.

FERC Commissioners to Address Regional Regulators Conference – The Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners (MACRUC) will hold its 19th  Annual Education Conference on June 22nd through 25th at the Hotel Hershey.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioners John Norris and Phil Moeller, as well as NARUC head Colette Honorable, New Jersey Natural Gas CEO Laurence Downes, Bill Colton of ExxonMobil, Walter Lynch of American Water and Exelon Utilities CEO Denis O’Brien.

Summit to Target Crude By Rail Issues – American Business Conferences will hold a Crude By Rail summit on June 24-25 in Houston to focus specifically on how each stakeholder can cost effectively optimize safety in their operations to restore confidence and promote reliability.  As the only crude by rail event specifically focused on optimizing safety, the Crude By Rail Safety Initiative 2014 host speakers from every key stakeholder group, including regulators, shippers, railroad operators, transloaders and refiners to quantify the cost-impacts of improving the safety of crude by rail operations.  Expert speakers will breakdown railroad strategies for improving safety and shipper strategies for crude testing, classification and transloading, provide a cost-analysis of railcar upgrades, clarify how the emerging regulatory landscape will impact each stakeholder and examine best practice emergency response and hazmat training.

Dingell to Address Press Club Luncheon – The National Press Club will host Rep. John Dingell, the Michigan Democrat who holds the record as the longest-serving U.S. House member ever, for his farewell address on Friday. Dingell announced he will retire at the end of his current term, having been a member of the U.S. House for 58 years, serving alongside 11 presidents. He served as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and helped pass legislation including Medicare, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act.

July 4th Holiday

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

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

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

Energy Update Week of April 7

Friends,

Masters week has arrived signaling that it must really be Spring finally (and not too soon because of the polar vortex).  Players start practice rounds today and the action kicks off on Wednesday with the Par 3 Competition and Round 1 on Thursday.   With Woods out and past winners like Mickelson and Zach Johnson struggling, the field looks wide open for the Green Jacket.  Hopefully this morning’s heavy rains in the region won’t impact the timeline.

With #7 seed Connecticut and #8 Kentucky knocking off Florida and Wisconsin on Saturday, tonight’s NCAA men’s final will crown an unlikely winner that few, less the Huskie/Wildcat faithful, would have predicted.  Of course, both programs have been there before and neither will be the lowest seed ever to win a championship.   In 1985, heavy underdog #8 seeded Villanova Wildcats led by Eddie Pinckney, shot nearly 85% from the floor to defeat the mighty Patrick Ewing-led Georgetown Hoyas.   As for the women, everybody got what they wanted in Nashville:  37-0 Notre Dame against 39-0 Connecticut.  Last night, ND rolled over Maryland 87-61 while UConn broke away from Stanford for a 75-56 victory.  Finally, don’t sleep on the Frozen Four in Philly which starts Thursday with Boston College and Union College at 5 pm.  North Dakota takes on Minnesota in the nightcap.

Speaking of Nashville, country music veteran George Strait and singer Miranda Lambert led the winners at the 49th Academy of Country Music awards (the event was in Las Vegas).  Now you all know I’m not a country music guy (I once was hanging out on a beach in the Bahamas with Vince Gill and wondered aloud to him why some folks wanted to “make a picture” with him), but I know many of you are…so I wanted to report last night’s late results.   Jason Laden won male vocalist for the second consecutive year, while rising artist Kacey Musgrave’s picked up album of the year for her debut studio record “Same Trailer Different Park.”  The award for song of the year was given to Lee Brice’s “I Drive Your Truck.” The song was inspired by Paul Monty, the father of U.S. soldier Jared Monty who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006.  And again, for those of you that happen to be fans, just heard tickets will be on sale soon for the FULL Fleetwood Mac Reunion tour.

Back on the policy and politics front, the week will be busy as Congress hustled to work before next week’s Passover/Easter recess.  Energy Secretary Moniz is on Capitol Hill twice, while Gina McCarthy addressed a BPC/NARUC forum today and the Senate Approps Committee on Wednesday.   EPA’s Janet McCabe gets a nomination hearing tomorrow and Senate Ag looks at Advanced Biofuels.  Wednesday, the Joint Economic Committee looks at natgas production and RFF hosts a shale forum on Thursday.

Finally, this afternoon, the House Energy & Commerce Health panel holds a hearing on improving FDA transparency where our friend Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group will testify on issues related to sunscreen featured in a recent Washington Post story.   Janet Woodcock, Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research will also testify.

Tomorrow, our friends at SAFE are releasing the latest update to last year’s landmark “Oil Security Index” report.  The initial report, released in October around the 40th Anniversary of the Arab oil embargo measures and ranks the oil security of 13 countries around the globe. The Index measures countries’ structural dependence on oil, economic exposure to the global oil market, and capacity to respond to oil supply disruptions. Given the U.S.’s recent increase in oil consumption and Russia’s heavy reliance on oil export revenue, you might imagine that tomorrow’s report will particularly focus on these two countries.   And also tomorrow, the Chamber’s Energy Institute hosts FirstEnergy CEO Tony Alexander as part of its CEO leadership series.

Finally, our friend Russ Gold of the Wall Street Journal is in town Friday to discuss his book on the natural gas boom at the New America Foundation.  Two weeks to go until the Stanley Cup Playoffs…Call with questions

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Magner Book A NY Post Must Read – Our friend Mike Magner, who doubles at the National Journal, had his book A Trust Betrayed make the New York Post’s “Must Read” list over the weekend.  Magner’s book, released last month, provides the first comprehensive reporting on a story that began in 1941 when the Marine Corps opened Camp Lejune on the Atlantic shores to practice beach landings for World War II. For the next 40 years, the Marines dumped toxic wastes at numerous locations around the sprawling installation that ended up seeping into the groundwater that provided the base water supplies.

Marino Letter Outlines NatGas Benefits – Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania wrote this week that natural gas/shale drilling is nothing short of a game-changer for the U.S. economy, especially his rural district in Northeast Pennsylvania.  Marino pointed out the opportunities and long-term growth prospects that the energy industry is creating in the area.  Marino said Lackawanna College, a two-year educational institution situated in the heart of Pennsylvania’s bountiful Marcellus Shale, launched a curriculum in the study of petroleum and natural gas in 2009.  The college has gone on to develop a Natural Gas Technology Associate’s Degree program in cooperation with the natural gas industry designed to prepare students for a career in the operations segment of the industry, a flourishing source of regional job growth.  If you want to see a copy of Marino’s Letter, I can forward.

Companies, EDF Sponsor Contest to Capture Methane Technologies – EDF and five oil and natural gas companies are calling on engineers and technology developers to submit proposals and compete in the “Methane Detectors Challenge.” The collaboration between industry and environmental groups is designed to spur the development of cutting-edge, new technologies that provide continuous detection of methane emissions.  The program will make it easier for the oil and gas industry to rapidly find and fix methane leaks that are having a sizable impact on intensifying global climate change.  The Methane Detectors Challenge offers innovators the unique opportunity to have their technologies undergo extensive, independent testing, at no cost, in Southwest Research Institute’s state-of-the-art laboratory in Texas. The most promising technologies, that also meet required specifications, will advance to pilot field trials at facilities run by many of the participating oil and natural gas companies.

EIA: Net Energy Imports In 2013 Lowest In More Than 20 Years – EIA reports this week that total U.S. net imports of energy, measured in terms of energy content, declined in 2013 to their lowest level in more than two decades. Growth in the production of oil and natural gas displaced imports and supported increased petroleum product exports, driving most of the decline. A large drop in energy imports and a smaller increase in energy exports led to a 19% decrease in net energy imports from 2012 to 2013. Preliminary 2013 data for U.S. total energy consumption, production, and trade, is now posted in EIA’s Monthly Energy Review.

April is Safe Digging Month, Excavation Damages  Cut in Half – According to the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), an organization co-founded by the American Gas Association (AGA) and dedicated to utility line damage prevention, excavation damages for all underground facilities have decreased by approximately 50% since 2004. This improvement is due in large part to work done by local natural gas utilities to promote the use of “Call 811,” the national number for people to call to locate utility lines before beginning any digging project, no matter how small. With excavation damage remaining the leading cause of pipeline incidents in the United States, America’s natural gas utilities are committed to reducing their occurrence even further by urging communities to follow safe digging protocol and call 811 before beginning any kind of project that involves digging. Across the country, natural gas utilities are engaging innovative outreach campaigns to spread the word about safe digging in their communities.   AGA today also released a video to help children understand natural gas safety. April marks the 7th annual National Safe Digging Month, an initiative put in place to remind professionals and homeowners of the importance of following safe digging procedures. Striking a single utility line can cause injury and outages, and incur repair costs and fines. Every digging project – even small projects like installing a mailbox, building a deck or planting a tree or garden – warrants a free call to 811 to help ensure utility lines are avoided.  Utility crews will locate and mark lines at no cost to the caller.

Rail Congestion, Cold Weather Raise Ethanol Spot Prices – EIA also said last week that ethanol spot prices have increased steadily since early February. By late March, New York Harbor (NYH) spot ethanol prices exceeded prices for RBOB (the petroleum component of gasoline) by more than $1 per gallon. Ethanol spot prices in Chicago and Gulf Coast markets also rose above NYH RBOB prices. The premium of New York Harbor over Chicago spot ethanol prices, which averaged 25 cents per gallon in January (close to the typical transportation costs of moving ethanol from production centers in the Midwest to terminals on the East Coast in recent years) widened to $1 per gallon in early March. Logistical constraints in and around ethanol production centers in the Midwest, mainly involving railroads on which approximately 70% of ethanol is shipped, appear to be a key factor driving recent prices.  The whole EIA issue has spurred a most excellent argument between RFA and the Railroads.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Appropriations/Budget:

Tuesday

  • House Approps Panel on Energy, Water on Environmental Management program.  Dave Huizenga testifies.  10:00 a.m.

Wednesday

  • House Approps Panel on Interior, Environment on EPA budget.  McCarthy testifies.  10:00 a.m.
  • Senate Approps Panel on Energy, Water on Energy Budget. Moniz testifies. 2:30 p.m.

Thursday

  • House Science on DOE’s Science, Technology budget.  Moniz testifies.  9:00 a.m.

BPC, NARUC to Host GHG Conference – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Energy Project and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners will hold their 3rd workshop in a series today at the Grand Hyatt Washington on Greenhouse Gas Regulation of Existing Power Plants under the Clean Air Act.  This workshop will look at state, regional and company approaches that are impacting power sector GHG emissions. The event will feature dynamic panel discussions on: 1) examples of state successes that are contributing to GHG reductions from the power sector, 2) industry approaches to diversify their resource mix, 3) experience and opportunities to enhance energy efficiency and 4) existing and potential multi-state reduction efforts.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will deliver a keynote address to a workshop. Colette D. Honorable of NARUC will also deliver remarks.

Climate Program to Hold Public Meetings – The U.S. Global Change Research Program will hold a meeting today and tomorrow at the National Academy of Sciences Building focused on existing programs research.

Georgetown to Host GHG Forum – Georgetown University Law Center will hold an event today at 3:30 p.m. on the state and federal climate policymaking with leading state officials and academic experts.  Panelists for this event will include Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Secretary and Georgetown Law Alumni Deborah Markowitz, former EPA Policy office official and GU Professor Lisa Heinzerling, and William W. Buzbee, director of the Emory Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program.  The event is sponsored by the Georgetown Climate Center and the Georgetown Environmental Initiative and is part of a speaker series focused on climate change.  Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center and Director of the Georgetown Environmental Law Program, will moderate the discussion.

Fed Bank Exec to Address Forum – NERA Economic Consulting and its parent company, Marsh & McLennan Companies, are co-sponsoring a series of lectures starting today at 6:00 p.m. on current economic events.  The events are organized by The George Washington University’s Department of Economics.   The first event will feature Sandra Pianalto, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Ms. Pianalto will put a spotlight on the importance of education and innovation in spurring long-term economic growth.

NIST to Host Disaster Resilience Workshop – The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host a workshop at its Gaithersburg Main Campus today looking at a community-centered approach to disaster resilience.  Annual losses from natural and other types of disasters in the United States averages $57 billion, with losses from large single events, such as Hurricane Katrina, exceeding $100 billion.  The workshops will explore the role that buildings and infrastructure systems play in enabling communities to protect people and property and recover more rapidly from natural and man-made hazards.

Utility Summit to Feature Moniz, Whitman – Bloomberg New Finance will hold a summit in New York today through Wednesday focused on Changing utility business models.   Speakers include DOE Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz, former NJ Gov. and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, UK Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change Greg Barker, Exelon CEO Christopher Crane, GE CEO Jeff  Immelt, former Duke Energy Jim Rogers and many more.

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

Senate Ag Committee to Look at Advanced Biofuels – The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow discuss the role that advanced biofuels can play in strengthening the rural economy.  Unlike renewable fuels such as corn-based ethanol, advanced biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol are typically made from feedstocks such as wood, grass or agricultural waste. The technology has been slow to catch on.  The hearing will examine the role domestically-produced, advanced, non-food based biofuels are playing in creating jobs and strengthening the rural economy.  Witnesses will include Richard Childress of Childress Racing, DuPont Biosciences Jan Koninckx, Brooke Coleman of the Advanced Ethanol Council, Innovate Mississippi’s Sumesh Arora and Nancy Young of Airlines for America.

Senate Environment to Hear EPA Nominations – The full Senate Committee on Environment hold a nominations hearing tomorrow on EPA nominations for Janet G. McCabe to be the Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation office, Ann E. Dunkin to be the Assistant Administrator for Environmental Information of the EPA and Manuel H. Ehrlich, Jr., to be a Member of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board”

FirstEnergy CEO to Address Chamber Leadership Series – The Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host its CEO Leadership Series luncheon tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. featuring FirstEnergy President and CEO Anthony Alexander.  The electric utility industry is in a time of unprecedented change.  Alexander’s remarks will focus on some of the regulatory challenges and mandates that are making it more difficult for electric utilities to provide reliable, affordable service to customers.  He also will emphasize the importance of a national energy policy that drives economic expansion, creates jobs, and recognizes the high value that customers place on the use of electricity.

Heartland to Hold Climate Events – Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast and scientists from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change will be Washington, DC the week on Wednesday and Thursday for meetings with members of Congress, the press, and allies to announce the release of two new reports on why global warming is not a crisis: “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts” and “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Human Welfare, Energy, and Policies.  The authors find higher levels of carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures benefit nearly all plants, leading to more leaves, more fruit, more vigorous growth, and greater resistance to pests, drought, and other forms of “stress.” Wildlife benefits as their habitats grow and expand. Even polar bears, the poster child of anti-global warming activist groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), are benefiting from warmer temperatures.  Media event will be Wednesday Morning at the National Press Club.

House Resources To Look at Women in Energy Jobs – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. looking at energy job opportunities for women and minorities.  Women and minorities are already a key part of America’s energy renaissance and their role and importance will only continue to grow. It is estimated that their employment in the energy sector will rise to one-third by 2030 – up from one-fourth in 2010. This hearing will examine opportunities in this sector, what is driving this increase, and identify ways to ensure continued job growth.

Energy, Oil Debate Set – Tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. at American University, the French-American Global Forum / French-American Institute for Global Affaires and The School for International Services at American University -Washington, DC. in Cooperation with Le Monde Diplomatique present the fourth and final debate of the Le Monde diplomatique Debates Series – Washington, D.C. on oil and energy and what the future will hold.

Atlantic Council to Focus on Global Solutions – The Atlantic Council will hold a Global Solutions Summit on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. As populations, urbanization, and incomes rise in emerging markets, demand for the basic necessities of a middle class lifestyle will also grow thus presenting myriad opportunities for sustainable, economic growth. The Summit seeks to discuss the impact of megatrends and various solutions for resource constraints.  The Global Solutions Summit is based on the premise that in the coming decades, with population growth, rising incomes, and increasing rates of urbanization in emerging markets, billions more people will have the income to afford such basic necessities as electricity, adequate nutrition, clean water, clean air, and essential health care as well as other middle class amenities and life styles. Meeting these demands is both a moral imperative and an unparalleled business opportunity that can generate high returns for investors in both developed and developing countries and serve as a new, powerful engine of global growth.

Forum to Look at Advanced Transportation – The Information Technology Industry Council will hold an expert panel discussion on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. about the future of mobility, the new technologies and business models that are likely to emerge, and the policies that can help spur even greater innovation. The event will also include a demonstration of Toyota’s new front-drive, zero emission, concept vehicle: the i-Road. Transportation is undergoing a technological transformation. Even as companies compete to introduce new and more efficient fuel technologies, increasing consumer demand for connectivity is turning the vehicle into the next mobile platform. Speakers will include Mary Brown of Cisco Systems, Toyota’s Andrew Coetzee and IBM’s Riz Khaliq.

Joint Economic Committee to Look at NatGas Production – On Wednesday  at 2:30 p.m., the Congressional Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearings to examine the economic impact of increased natural gas production.  Witnesses will include IHS expert John Larson, UPS’s Jim Bruce, EDF’s Mark Brownstein, and Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Director of Economics21 and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

ELI to Host Networking Happy Hour – The Environmental Law Institute and the D.C. Bar’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section will hold a networking event at the Laughing Man Tavern on Wednesday evening.  Light appetizers will be included; other refreshments are at your own expense.

Book Forum To Discuss Sci-Fi Thriller – On Wednesday, the Future Tense Book Club will meet at the New America Foundation to discuss Shovel Ready. The novel, by New York Times Magazine culture editor Adam Sternbergh, imagines a near-future New York City that is decaying while the wealthy who remain take refuge in an alternate reality. Our guide to Sternbergh’s engrossing dystopia: a garbage man turned hit man. In a conversation on Slate, Sternbergh’s editor, Zack Wagman, described the book as “noir, detective, sci-fi world-building, speculative dystopia, and just out-and-out thriller.”

NOIA Meeting Set for DC – The National Offshore Industry Association (NIOA) will hold its annual meeting at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC on Wednesday through Friday.  The event will include industry experts, Administration officials, politicians from both sides of the aisle and communications experts to discuss the future of the offshore industry.  Our friend Karen Harbert of the US Chamber’s Energy Institute, BSEE’s Brian Salerno , Sen. Tm Scott and Reps Barrow, Walden, Southerland, Scalise and Jeff Duncan will speak, among many others.

Center for Offshore Safety Holds Forum – On Wednesday and Thursday, 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.

Key Energy Reporters to Headline ACORE Forum – The American Council on Renewable Energy will host a morning of discussion and debate on the topic of clean energy in the media on Thursday at the National Press Club’s Lisagor Room.  Panel one will focus on national storylines impacting the U.S. clean energy sector and will feature our friends Coral Davenport, Monica Trauzzi Amy Harder.  Panel two will look at state reporting on clean energy and will include Ryan Randazzo of the Arizona Republic, among others.  Greentech Media Stephen Lacey will moderate.

CSIS to Release New Report on Energy, Geopolitics – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will roll out a new report on Thursday called the “New Energy, New Geopolitics: Balancing Stability and Leverage.”  The report is the result of a year-long exploration by the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the Harold Brown Chair in Defense Policy Studies on how shale gas and tight oil in the United States are impacting energy, geopolitical, and national security dynamics around the world, with the intention of providing policymakers a structured way to consider the potential risks and rewards of these new shale gas and tight oil resources.

RFF to Discuss Shale Gas Development – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. to discuss shale gas development.  RFF will host three distinguished scholars researching the benefits and costs of shale gas development as experienced by local communities. Hunt Allcott (New York University) will present his work on boom-and-bust cycles related to oil and gas development; James McElfish (Environmental Law Institute) will examine how impact fees collected in five Pennsylvania counties are being used in the local economy; and Lucija Muehlenbachs (University of Calgary and RFF) will present recent analyses on the impacts of shale gas development on property values and truck traffic and accidents in Pennsylvania.

McCurry to Speak at Press Club Dinner – The National Press Club will host a dinner on Thursday featuring former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry.  McCurry will look back on his nearly four decades in Washington as a communications and political strategist.  The dinner is sponsored by the NPC Communications and Marketing Committee and will be held in the Winners’ Room of the Fourth Estate Restaurant.

DOE to Start Stakeholder Meetings on QER – The Department of Energy will hold the first six public meetings to collect stakeholder input into the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) on Friday at the Congressional Auditorium in the U.S. Capital Visitor’s Center. As the Secretariat for the QER Task Force, DOE will hold a series of meetings to discuss and receive comments on issues related to the development of a comprehensive strategy for the infrastructure needed to transport, transmit and deliver energy to consumers.  The first of these stakeholder and public engagement meetings will focus on infrastructure resilience and vulnerabilities, including cyber and physical threats, climate, and interdependencies.  Details for the next five QER stakeholder public meetings are still being finalized, but will include a meetings on infrastructures constraints in New England, to be held in Hartford, CT; infrastructure constraints related to Bakken, to be held in North Dakota; electricity transmission storage and distribution in the west, to be held in Portland, Ore.; petroleum product transmission and distribution, including carbon dioxide and enhanced oil recovery, to be held in Louisiana; and rail, barge, and truck transportation, to be held in Chicago.

Forum to Feature Russ Gold NatGas Book – On Friday at 12:15 p.m., the New America Foundation will host a book forum with our friend Russ Gold of the Wall Street Journal moderated by our friend Steve LeVine.  A decade ago, Russell Gold noticed something going on in Fort Worth, Texas—oil drillers were suddenly afire with talk of a strange new phenomenon. Employing a new method that seemed a lot more like mining than drilling, they were improbably extracting natural gas from rock that had confounded everyone for decades – almost imporous shale. Since then, Gold has roamed the country investigating the boom created by the Fort Worth discovery. It has taken him to an overnight stay with a fracking crew in North Dakota, a bumpy ride on a pickup truck with ranchers in south Texas, and a hostile welcome by the repair crew on an exploded well in Pennsylvania. Along the way, he met with neighbors, workers, oil executives and environmentalists.  You might remember a few weeks ago, we featured the Gold’s book “The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World” as they rolled it out.  In the book, Gold unravels the mystery of hydraulic fracturing, how it has affected the lives of thousands of Americans, propelled a new energy-fueled economic boom, and changed geopolitics around the world.

FUTURE EVENTS

WCEE to Look at Honey “Bee” Issues – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a brown bag lunch on Tuesday, April 15th at Noon at Cassidy & Associates for a look at what threatens and nurtures bee colonies .  Dr. Mary Purcell-Miramontes, National Program Leader for USDA-NIFA will provide an overview of colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive suddenly disappear.  She will discuss how the disappearance is threatening many commercial fruit crops in the US and what is known about the causes of the disorder.  Also joining us will be Larry Marling, a local beekeeper and provider of home and office beehives. He will discuss considerations with home beekeeping and the enjoyment you may get from having your own backyard hive.

USEA Forum to Update AWC Transmission Project – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Wednesday, April 16th at 10:00 a.m. providing an update on the Atlantic Wind Connection.  The Atlantic Wind Connection is an offshore, undersea transmission line that will span the mid-Atlantic region, beginning in northern New Jersey and eventually extending to southern Virginia. The transmission line will connect wind farms that are built in the federally-designated “Wind Energy Areas,” at least ten miles off the coast. Bob Mitchell, CEO of the Atlantic Wind Connection and Trans-Elect, and Pierre Bernard, Managing Partner of Bernard Energy Advocacy, will provide an overview of the project and its significance for the future of East Coast electricity transmission.

DOE Webinar to Look at Wind Advances – The Energy Department will present a live webinar on Wednesday, April 16th at 3:00 p.m. looking at recent wind technology advances.  Owen Roberts, an engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will present on the current state of turbine technology, new methodology, and new state wind maps developed using these methods. Simon Mahan of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy will discuss the impact that modern and future turbines may have on the Southeast and lessons learned from ongoing projects. Aaron Barr from MAKE Consulting will discuss the future of low-wind-speed technology, current technology trends, and projections for the future.

UC-Boulder Forum to Look at Climate, Extreme Weather – On April 16th, the University of Colorado-Boulder will hold a forum on how scientists can forecast where extreme events will occur and their severity.   Kathleen Tierney, Director of the CU Boulder’s Natural Hazards Center and Kevin Trenberth from the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) will join facilitators Dr. Anne Gold of CIRES and Deb Morrison of University Colorado Boulder in an interactive panel discussion.  These experts will cover what communities and governments can do to increase resiliency to extreme weather events and how the scientific community can help prepare citizens and government.

INGAA Head Santa to Discuss Report – ICF International will host our friend Don Santa, President and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), on April 17th for its April Energy Breakfast.  Santa will discuss the INGAA Foundation’s new report on dynamics and issues affecting midstream infrastructure development. The report discusses the needs for midstream pipeline infrastructure in North America through 2035 to meet the booming production of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGL), and petroleum.

RFF to Host Deepwater Drilling, Restoration Discussion – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Thursday, April 17th at 12:45 p.m. to discuss the current state of offshore Oil and gas drilling.  Almost four years have passed since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.  RFF will host a discussion of lessons learned about restoration in the Gulf of Mexico region and whether these lessons can be applied to the development of oil and gas resources in the Arctic and other offshore areas. The discussion will take place on two panels—coastal restoration and Arctic development—and include experts from government, NGOs, and industry.  Speakers will include Don Boesch, government officials from NOAA and BSEE and many more.

GEA Event Set – The Geothermal Energy Association holds its International Geothermal Showcase on April 22nd at the Ronald Reagan Building. The Showcase will bring together the key government and industry leaders who will be making decisions about building thousands of new megawatts of geothermal power around the world.  has currently confirmed attendance from government and industry leaders representing 20 countries.  It will serve as an opportunity to explore and learn from each other about the best policies and approaches to expand the use of geothermal power domestically and abroad.  In addition, GEA will be releasing its “2014 U.S. & Global Geothermal Power Production” report at the International Geothermal Showcase.

FWS to Hold Final Wind, Wildlife Training – On April 23rd at 2:00 p.m., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host its final bimonthly training broadcast covering emerging issues and providing direction for wind energy facility planning, development, and operations to avoid impacts to wildlife and their habitat.  The final broadcast of the series will focus on the latest and greatest in research. Host Christy Johnson-Hughes will be joined by Cris Hein of Bat Conservation International and Chad Le Beau and Wally Erickson of WEST, Inc. to share research results and conclusions related to bats, grassland birds, and sage grouse.

FERC’s Clark, Congressional Members Address Hydro Conference – The National Hydropower Association will hold its annual conference in Washington, DC on April 28th through 30th at the Capital Hilton.  The event provides a forum for industry, legislative and regulatory agency staff to exchange knowledge and expertise pertinent to the hydroelectric industry.  FERC Commissioner Tony Clark will be a keynote speaker.  Others will include Reps. Diana DeGette, Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Ron Wyden.

WCEE Lunch to Focus on Energy Dependency in Ukraine, Others – The WCEE Brown-bag Luncheon Series will hold a forum on Friday, May 2nd at Noon on the politics of energy dependency, with specific focus on Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania.  The event will feature Margarita M. Balmaceda, Professor of diplomacy and international relations at Seton Hall.  Recent events in Ukraine again bring up the question of countries’ energy policy choices and the role of powerful domestic groups in relation to Russia and the EU. The event looks at these issues from the perspective of post-independence energy politics in three post-Soviet states: Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. It compared these three states’ reactions to the serious external shock of their sudden transformation from constituents of a single energy-rich state to separate energy-poor entities heavily dependence on Russia, as well as politically independent transit states.  Using extensive field research and until now untapped local sources in Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian, and Lithuanian, the book analyzes how these states’ unique location, powerful domestic economic actors often making a profit of their situation of energy dependency (“oligarchs”), and Russian power, has affected Russia’s ability to use energy as a foreign policy took in the region – and these states’ own political development.

WINDPOWER Set for Vegas – AWEA will hold its annual WINDPOWER conference in Las Vegas on May 5th through 8th at the Mandalay Bay.   Keynoter will be Seth Goldman of HonesTea.

Education Leaders to Discuss Energy, Manufacturing Skills Gap – The Newsmakers Committee of the National Press Club will host a Newsmaker forum on May 6th at 2:00 P.m.  to discuss the “skills gap” challenge facing the U.S. energy and manufacturing sectors today.  U.S. manufacturing employs more than 11,000,000 U.S. workers  directly and creates almost 7,000,000 more jobs in related industries.  There are an estimated 600,000 skilled manufacturing jobs that are currently unfilled and 2.7  million manufacturing employees are expected to retire in the next decade. In a recent survey of its members,  the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) and the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) stated that 74% reported they currently have skilled job openings. Further underscoring the problem, 90% of respondents said they are having severe or moderate challenges recruiting qualified employees.  Manufacturing technology continues to advance as does the need for  highly skilled workers. With many manufacturing technology  programs at secondary and post-secondary schools having closed in  recent years, there are not enough skilled people to fill these essential  roles.  Speakers will include Lackawanna College President Mark Volk, who hosted President Obama last year to talk about jobs and the economy.  Volk has launched a curriculum in the study of petroleum and natural gas in 2009 at the two-year college situated in the heart of Pennsylvania’s bountiful Marcellus Shale.  PMA President William Gaskin and NTMA President Dave Tilstone or CEOs from two of their member manufacturing companies will discuss their training initiatives and other programs to attract young workers to manufacturing, as well as ways in which the federal government and U.S. Congress can help close the skills gap in manufacturing. Finally,  Brig Gen. (retired) Marianne Watson of American Jobs for American Heroes (AJAH), which focuses on connecting manufacturers with members of the military, will also be on the panel.

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.

Kasparov to Speak at Cato Dinner – The Cato Institute will announce its Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty at its 2014 Biennial Dinner on May 21st at the Waldorf–Astoria Hotel in New York City.  The keynote address will be presented by Garry Kasparov, former Chess champion, Russian Pro-Democracy leader and Global Human-Rights activist.  The Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, named in honor of perhaps the greatest champion of liberty in the 20th century, is presented every other year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to advance human freedom. The prize carries a cash award of $250,000.

Hurricane Forum To Discuss Forecasting – On May 15th at the Stafford Centre in Stafford, Texas (South Houston), the 25th Annual Hurricane Symposium will be held looking at the latest forecasting technologies, incident management tactics and risk mitigation programs.  Speakers will include National Hurricane Center former Director Bill Read, KPRC Local 2 Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley, Port of Houston’s Captain Marcus Woodring, Hospital Corporation of America Executive Director of Emergency Services Allen Johnson, our friend and Houston Chronicle SciGuy Blogger Eric Berger, University of Miami’s Dr. Sharan Majumdar, Houston Airport System Safety and Emergency Management Manager Steve Runge and Spectra Energy’s Thomas McNulty.

Energy Update Week of February 10

Friends,

With the Olympics kicking off, I am stuck watching as much of it as I can.  I hope you are enjoying the Winter Olympic coverage as well.  The first few days featured some great women’s hockey and lots of moguls.  I always loved skiing and was pretty good, but I just don’t get the mogul thing.  Seems way too hard and WAY too dangerous for the knees.  Anyway, more great action this week as the men’s hockey competition cranks up on Wednesday, featuring many of the NHL’s brightest stars playing for country and Gold rather than their city and Lord Stanley.  We’ll get to that later.

In case you missed it (and you may have because they released it at 4:48 on Friday), EPA has determined in a study that coal ash use in recycled materials is not a hazard.   Seems like the first step to getting to a decision that our friend Ed Felker mentioned last week in a Newsmaker interview with an industry source.  See the details below.

Several hearings on Capitol Hill this week with House Energy looking at Clean Coal programs at DOE, Senate Homeland Security hosting DHS officials on responding to severe weather and Senate Energy tackling state efficiency and renewables programs.  This morning, House Transportation will be in Charleston, WV for a field hearing on the recent chemical spill and finally, with the approval of Max Baucus to be Ambassador to China, the committee leadership swap mentioned last week (Wyden to Finance, Landrieu to Energy) has been implemented.  Montana Lt Gov. and 2014 Sen. Candidate John Walsh will be appointed to replace Baucus.  His expected Republican opponent Rep. Steve Daines (who also represents the entire state) has a war chest of $2 million and is already up with TV ads.  Many experts say it will be tightly contested and a key pick up if Republicans want to get control of the Senate.  Game On!

Some interesting action also around town as well with NARUC hosting its winter meetings and the Green Jobs, Good Jobs conference today and tomorrow.  Lots of great speakers at each event, including Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Sen. Lisa Murkowski at NARUC and Gina McCarthy, Richard Trumpka and others at GJGJ.

Finally, for those of you mired in the doldrums because of the weather, pitchers and catchers (except for A-Rod, who has the year off) are reporting to Florida or Arizona to open spring training this week. As well, college lacrosse games began this past weekend signaling the start of lacrosse season (America’s fastest growing sport).  So despite the rough winter and not many signs of relief yet, at least there are some positive signs of Spring, showing us the light at the end of a pretty long and cold winter tunnel.  Stay warm, think Spring and start paying attention to college hoops because NCAA March Madness is just around the corner.  Call with questions.

 

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

 

IN THE NEWS

ERCC: Cold Snap Shows Importance of Coal Utilities – The recent  blast of cold weather has had significant impacts on utilities and the power market place.  This winter has offered some hard lessons about the importance of reliable and affordable electricity, and the need for policymakers in Washington to be very careful about limiting the flexibility and diversity of our electricity generation options. EPA carbon regulations, coupled with other regulations, push the power sector away from an optimal fuel diversity necessary to best protect American consumers, households, small businesses, and communities in the event of severe cold weather. The most recent experience with the Polar Vortex provided a vivid demonstration of this fact. As the EPA seeks to finalize carbon standards, they must take electric reliability fully into account and must listen to interagency, industry and state/local input in earnest.  The cold snap has sent natural gas prices soaring, resulted in shortages of propane used to heat many homes, and has exposed the fact that without fuel flexibility our country could face serious electricity reliability problems in the future.  The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council’s Scott Segal recently issues a white paper offer some important lessons on the subject.

Increased NatGas Price Forces Utilities Hand – The paper states that “this year’s cold snap greatly increased natural gas prices, forcing electric generators to turn to emergency expensive supplementary fuel sources, such as jet fuel.  During the course of recent cold weather, data from the PJM region encompassing New York and New England have shown substantial increase in wholesale market prices as a direct result of spikes in the underlying market price for natural gas. With half of New England reliant upon natural gas, some local utilities have had to run infrequently used turbines on jet fuel to meet demand.

Propane Takes Hit Too – Segal says the cold snap has stressed the natural gas supply as well, resulting in propane shortages that threaten the safety and well-being of millions of Americans.  In turn, as natural gas flows to electric generation at high costs, the incentive to remove natural gas liquids that are necessary for America’s propane consumers decreases. As a result, there has been significant propane shortages for consumers in the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast. About 14 million Americans rely on propane for home heating.

Reliability Threatened – The cold snap has threatened electric reliability and exposed weaknesses in relying on some sources of alternative energy, according to Segal.   FERC recently noted that: “Last week, cold temperatures stressed the bulk power system with high loads, increased generator forced outages, and other challenging operating conditions….PJM filed an application with the Commission for a week-long waiver…[which] allowed PJM to engage in unit-specific review of day-ahead plans with the interstate natural gas pipelines to help ensure that adequate supplies of natural gas were available and to confirm unit availability…Wind turbines were also affected by the cold, with some wind turbine models reaching their minimum operating temperatures.”  As well, Segal adds that coal-powered generating facilities will frequently have two to three month’s supply on hand, making them particularly useful for the increased demand associated with unusually cold weather. By contrast, natural gas facilities rely on a continuous delivery of fuel by pipeline, which can be subject to interruption under the circumstances of high demand.

Nearly 90% of Coal Capacity Slated to Close Was Operating Full Out – Just last week in their earnings call, AEP leaders  said 89% of the plants slated for retirement by mid-2015 in order to comply with MATS under the EPA’s current timeline were needed at full capacity during the Polar Vortex.  They said: “When 89% of our coal capacity slated for retirement in mid-2015 is called upon and running, natural gas delivery is challenged and voltage and load reductions are occurring, it is a clear reminder that we should carefully plan and design the social safety net, we call the electric grid to meet extreme requirements, not just steady state conditions. We believe the nexus of EPA initiatives, energy market development and security threats, whether physical or cyber is a national security issue.

Fitch: Higher Natural Gas Reliance Shows US Power Vulnerability – Fitch Ratings says the recent cold spell in the northeastern U.S. underscores the vulnerability of the power sector’s natural gas supply during extreme cold weather conditions, according to. The frequency of disruptions and price spikes will likely increase in the future, particularly during periods of extreme winter weather as competing natural gas space heating demand may take precedence over natural gas as a source of fuel for electricity generation.  On-peak wholesale power prices rose to as high as $765/MWh in PJM Interconnection LLC (PJM) operated wholesale electricity markets and $510/MWh in New York as natural gas prices and electricity demand soared. PJM reported that about 4000MW of 9,000MW of forced plant outages during the polar vortex weather event were due to unavailability of natural gas. New England faced natural gas shortages for the second winter in a row.  Falling natural gas prices supported by plentiful supply and a clean-fuel profile under the existing U.S. environmental regulations to control air polluting emissions has turned natural gas as a preferred fuel for electricity generation. Natural gas-fired power plants are also critical in supporting intermittent renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar.  In the PJM operated electricity wholesale market, natural gas fired electricity generation capacity is expected to grow from about 25% of the installed megawatt capacity to about 29% of installed capacity by 2016. In 2012, natural gas was fuel on the margin in California, Texas, New England, and New York where at least 40% of electricity was generated from natural gas-fired power generation facilities. For the U.S. as a whole, natural-gas fired generation capacity will grow 10% by 2016 from 2012 levels, based on Fitch’s estimation of the planned developments.

EPA Finds Coal Ash Use Appropriate – Late Friday, EPA released its evaluation of the two largest beneficial uses of coal ash: 1) use in concrete as a substitute for portland cement, and 2) the use fluegas gypsum as a substitute for mined gypsum in wallboard. EPA’s evaluation concluded that the beneficial use of encapsulated CCRs in concrete and wallboard is appropriate because they are comparable to virgin materials or below the agency’s health and environmental benchmarks.  The study that assures the two largest uses for recycled coal ash are safe.  EPA’s report comes as the agency is facing a court-agreed deadline of Dec. 19 to finish its rulemaking process for coal ash, and considering options to regulate coal ash as either a hazardous or non-hazardous waste product.

Sankey to Join Wolfe Research – Our friend Paul Sankey is joining Wolfe Research as a Managing Director to lead Wolfe’s new Energy sector research effort. Sankey will be joined and supported by a large and talented team. His initial product will focus on Global Oil and Gas markets, with coverage of Major Oils and US Refining. Over time Sankey’s team’s coverage will extend into Oil & Gas Exploration & Production, and in due course into Oil Services & Equipment, with potential for longer term expansion into further Oil & Gas related sectors.  Sankey joins Wolfe Research after thirteen years at Deutsche Bank, where his team was consistently top ranked. Among numerous accolades, Sankey has been voted for eight consecutive years onto Institutional Investor’s All-America Research Team, with the #1 ranking in each of the past three years. He has been ranked #1 in Greenwich Associates & Bloomberg top analyst survey four times, including consecutively in the past three years.

DOE, NASCAR Push More EV Charging Stations – At the NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte, N.C. last week, officials from the Energy Department, NASCAR and Sprint Corp. announced the companies’ participation in the Department’s Workplace Charging Challenge –  a collaborative effort to increase the number of U.S. employers offering workplace charging by tenfold. The Challenge also supports the broader efforts of the Department’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge to make plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) as affordable and convenient for the American family as gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years.  As part of today’s announcement, NASCAR unveiled five Eaton Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its Charlotte location, bringing the total number of EV charging stations to 20 across NASCAR facilities located in Daytona Beach, Concord, Charlotte and at Michigan International Speedway. The charging stations power electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles of NASCAR employees and guests. Last year, NASCAR entered a Memorandum of Understanding with the DOE to jointly promote clean, efficient energy technologies that strengthen U.S. competitiveness. NASCAR’s participation in the Workplace Charging Challenge is the latest example of these ongoing collaborative efforts to build a cleaner, more sustainable energy economy.  More than 55 employers have already committed to the Workplace Charging Challenge, including a number of NASCAR Official Partners such as 3M, Coca-Cola Company, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors. Find additional information on the Workplace Charging Challenge at www.electricvehicles.energy.gov.

Oil, Gas Jobs Up Again – Friday’s employment report from the Department of Labor showed again that jobs in the oil and gas sector rose to 206,000 employees last month, about a one percent improvement.  In addition, coal mining jobs saw a slight Increase as well.   Employment in petroleum and coal products manufacturing was up 1.4% to 112,700 jobs.   Since last year, jobs in the oil/gas sector have increased by 6.6% from January 2013.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

NARUC, FERC to Discuss Resources – In addition to the NARUC Winter meeting, the NARUC and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Sunday Morning Collaborative discussed resource adequacy issues yesterday.  Tomorrow, FERC commissioners will also join the NARUC Committees on Electricity and Energy Resources and the Environment for a joint meeting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

House Energy to Look at Clean Coal Program – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing tomorrow on DOE’s Oversight of Energy Oversight of Clean Coal Programs. Witnesses will include DOE assistant secretary Julio Friedmann and NTEL acting director Scott Klara.

House Science Focused on Ensuring Open Science at EPA – The House Science, Space & Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at ensuring open Science at EPA.  Witnesses will include former bush OIRA chief and current IU Dean John Graham, Dr. Louis Anthony Cox, Jr. of NextHealth at Colorado Health Sciences Center, JHU’s Bloomberg School of Public Health professor Ellen and Raymond Keating of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

DOE Webinar Focused on Manufacturing for Fuel Cells –The Energy Department’s Fuel Cell Technology Office will present a live webinar tomorrow at noon looking at additive manufacturing for Fuel Cells.” During this webinar, Eaton will share their experience using additive manufacturing for prototype development and Nuvera will cover recent developments in additive manufacturing for full-scale production. EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office will also present an overview of additive manufacturing technologies and current R&D activity being supported by the Energy Department. This webinar will be of interest to hydrogen and fuel cell manufacturers and those interested in advanced techniques for hydrogen and fuel cell component manufacturing.

Aspen Forum to look at India, US energy Cooperation – The Aspen Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. looking at U.S. India cooperation on climate change and energy issues.  A strong strategic India-United States partnership on the policy and technical innovation pathways necessary to advance clean energy technology, resilience strategies, energy access, and multilateral development on climate change presents a unique opportunity for diplomatic and economic gains on both sides.  The moderated panel discussion will explore the future of the bilateral dialogue and collaboration between the two governments and non-state actors in both countries. WRI’s Manish Bapna moderates a panel that includes Carol Browner, CARB Chair Mary Nichols, Indian Environment Minister Suresh Prabhu and manufacturer Jamshyd Godrej.

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

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

Elliott School Program to Discuss Energy, Turkmenistan – George Washington University’s Central Asia program will host a forum tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. looking at the environment, human rights and oil development  in Turkmenistan.  Kate Watters, co-founder and Executive Director of Crude Accountability, will discuss the links between environmental and human rights violations and oil and gas development in Turkmenistan, one of the world’s most opaque and authoritarian countries. She will focus on the various responses of international financial institutions, multi-national oil companies and western governments to Turkmenistans official policies, and discuss the role of civil society in highlighting and uncovering environmental and human rights abuses.

Senate Environment to Tackle Transpo Legislation – The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing on Wednesday on MAP-21 transportation reauthorization legislation.  The hearing will focus on the economic importance of maintaining Federal investments in our transportation infrastructure.  Witnesses will include US Chamber President Tom Donohue, NAM’s Jay Timmons, Richard L. Trumka of the AFL-CIO, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials president and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock and American Road and Transportation Builders Association CEO Peter Ruane.

Senate Homeland Security Looks at Extreme Weather Events – The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will hold a hearing Wednesday on extreme weather events and the costs of not being prepared.  Witnesses will include DHS assistant Secretary for Policy David Heyman, DHS Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection Caitlin Durkovich, GAO’s Mark Gaffigan, Delaware DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara,  UNH’s Paul Kirshen and Zurich Insurance’s Chief Climate Product Officer Lindene Patton.

Senate Energy to Look at State Efforts to Implement Efficiency, Renewable Policy – Sen. Al Franken will chair a Senate Energy Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. focused on what states are doing to create jobs through innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency policies. Sen. Franken said he hopes to use the hearing as an opportunity to hear from businesses about the potential for economic growth, learn about states’ innovative energy policies, and to identify opportunities the federal government can take to support job creation and innovation at the local level.  Witnesses will include Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, Randy Clark of NORESCO, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy executive director Steve Nadel, Hawaii State Energy Office and Administrator of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Mark Glick, Texas State Energy Conservation Office director Bill Taylor and Bill Rodgers, CEO of GoodCents.

CSIS to Hold Africa, Water Symposium – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a symposium on Thursday morning focused on opportunities for women’s access to water and clean energy in Africa. Practitioners, thought leaders, experts and policy makers will discuss and explore the opportunities in water-energy access in Africa, and give examples of successful policies and entrepreneurial ventures that are helping to increase women’s participation in, and contribution to, the water and energy sectors in Africa. The panel sessions will focus on removing barriers to women’s access to energy and water, and on harnessing opportunities at the water-energy access nexus through innovative social, impact, and for-profit investment models, and diaspora networks and platforms to establish business ventures and relationships that catalyze more investments.

Forum to Look at Drought Issues – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a briefing Thursday at 2:00 p.m. In 210 Cannon examining the current and projected impacts of climate change in the Southwest and regional efforts to manage these risks. The Southwest is already the driest and hottest region in the United States, and California is in the midst of a historic drought. The draft Third National Climate Assessment (NCA) – the final version is due in March – projects that the region’s climate may become even more severe. These changes are having substantial adverse effects on the regional economy and quality of life, forcing local leaders to develop creative solutions to combat drought and other extreme conditions. How can the Southwest best address current impacts while also building climate resiliency to manage risk and foster long-term prosperity?  Speakers will include Eleanor Bastian of Rep. Diana DeGette’s office, National Park Service climate scientist Patrick Gonzalez, Chris Treese of the Colorado River District and Margaret Bowman, Acting Environment Program Director of the Walton Family Foundation.

DOE Webinar to Solicit Input on Solar Forecasting Metrics – The Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative will present a live webinar on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. on solar forecasting metrics.  During this webinar, the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and IBM will describe and solicit input on preliminary statistical and economic solar forecasting metrics and on proposed processes to determine baselines and target values for the metrics. The information gathered from this webinar will enable DOE, NOAA, NCAR, and IBM to develop a stakeholder-vetted set of metrics that is expected to serve as a reference document for the solar forecasting industry and users.

CEQ’s Sutley to Address CAP Forum on Last Day – The Center for American Progress will hold a conversation with Nancy Sutley on her final day as chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality on Friday at 10:00 a.m.  After five years as President Barack Obama’s environmental policy advisor, Nancy will share her insights on the administration’s record on climate change and conservation, the president’s environmental agenda moving forward, and why the role of CEQ is more important than ever. Carol Browner will host.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

USEA to Discuss Smart Grid – The U.S. Energy Association will host a discussion on Tuesday, February 18th at 10:00 a.m. to familiarize participants with Smart Grid concepts and solutions, including Distribution Optimization, Transmission Optimization, Asset Optimization, Demand Optimization, Smart Meters and Communications, and Workforce and Engineering Design Optimization. Smart Grid industry standards efforts will be discussed, including SGIP 2.0, IEEE, CIGRE and IEC. The impact of policy on Smart Grid technology investment will be shown globally. An overview of recent Smart Grid deployments will be given, including the lessons learned.  GE Energy’s John McDonald will speak.

Discussion to Look at Political & Ethical Issues with Geo-Engineering – The George Washington University Climate and Water Security Initiatives the Elliot School will host a discussion on Tuesday, February 18th at 5:30 p.m. Elizabeth Chalecki, Visiting Research Fellow from the Stimson Center, will discuss this topic.

Panel to Look at China, Renewables – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars China Environment Forum (CEF) together with WWF will hold a panel on Wednesday, February 19th at 9:00 a.m. that delves into china role for coal in its economy and a transition to renewables. The discussion will be anchored by a new WWF and Energy Transition Research Institute (Entri) report China’s Future Generation: Assessing the Maximum Potential for Renewable Power Sources in China to 2050 that assesses the scenarios at which China can technically transition to majority renewable electricity over the next 36 years.  The analysis shows that with existing commercially available technology and aggressive policies shifting the country away from energy-intensive industries, around 80 percent of China’s electricity generation can be met by renewable sources by 2050. The report will be released the day of this meeting and available online. The panel of industry, research, and NGO representatives will reflect on the near-term opportunities for businesses and the gaps that NGOs and other stakeholders could fill to accelerate this transition.  Our friend Ethan Zindler, Global Head of Policy Analysis of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, will be among the speakers.

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

BP Energy Outlook 2035 Released at JHU Forum – The Johns Hopkins University will host BP for the release of its annual BP Energy Outlook 2035 Wednesday, February 19th at 4:30 p.m.  Mark Finley, general manager of Global Energy Markets and U.S. Economics at BP, and Wil Kohl, founding director and senior adviser of the Energy, Resources and Environment Program at SAIS, will discuss the report.

Segal, Holmstead Featured in ELI Debate on GHG Issues – The Environmental Law Institute will host a debate on Thursday, February 20th at 12:00 p.m. regulating emissions outside the facility fenceline under Clean Air Act Section 111. Whether U.S. EPA and states can regulate emissions outside the facility fenceline is a critical factor in shaping the regulatory response to climate change using Clean Air Act Section 111. There has been much rhetoric about the ability of states and EPA to create regulatory tools such as an emissions trading of greenhouse gasses, but policy experts and professionals need a more definitive answer.  To address this topic, ELI announces its second seminar in a debate format. Loosely following an academic debate structure, two expert teams will argue the resolution, ask questions of the other side, and identify points of agreement and disagreement. Following the debate, the discussion will open to audience questions. We hope this format will help to crystallize issues and separate fact from rhetoric.  Debaters in the AFFIRMATIVE include Megan Ceronsky of EDF and NRDC’s David Doniger while debaters in the NEGATIVE will include Bracewell’s Jeffrey Holmstead and Scott Segal.

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

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

Steyer to Speak at Climate Leadership Conference – Leaders from business, government, academia and nonprofits will share innovative ways to address climate change through policy and business solutions at the 2014 Climate Leadership Conference February 24th to the 26th in San Diego.  Climate philanthropist Tom Steyer, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Janet McCabe, California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols, and Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann will be among more than 75 speakers. For more information, contact press@climateleadershipconference.org

Maisano Media Seminar Reset for February 25 – For those of you focused on media relations and policy communications, I am conducting a webinar Tuesday February 25th at 1:00 p.m. focused on creating a successful media strategies for the policy environment.  We will look at the nexus between policy communications and government affairs, as well as crisis management.  Finally, we will offer some of the tools of the trade.  We can also help you with a discount if you want to join in.

Consumers to Rollout Auto Issue at WAPA Lunch – The Washington Automotive Press Association will hold a forum at The National Press Club on Tuesday, February 26th at noon, where Consumer Reports will announce their Top Picks for 2014 and offer their insights into today’s most pressing automotive consumer and industry questions. Each spring, consumers and auto industry insiders alike look to Consumer Reports’ Auto issue for its Top Picks in cars and trucks.  From best and worst in fuel economy, safety and overall value to special tips to get the most car for the money in this economy, the issue provides the ratings, recommendations, and advice that will influence consumer purchases.  Which manufacturers are making the best cars? Consumer Reports auto issue also features its annual car brand report card that take an in-depth look at which brands offer the most for consumers combining scoring for test performance, reliability and safety across their entire product line.

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

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

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

CERA Week Set – March 3-7th will be CERA week in Houston.  CERAWeek 2014, presented by IHS Energy, will focus on the accelerating pace of change in energy markets, technologies, and geopolitics—and the emerging competitive playing field. The competitive landscape is evolving rapidly, affecting countries, companies, sources of supply, fuels for end-use markets, investment, logistics, human capital, and technological innovation. Companies face considerable risk as they seek to invest to support long-term growth.  Again, CERAWeek has a crazy list of speakers including Valero CEO Bill Klesse, Duke CEO Lynn Good, EPA’s Gina McCarthy, Energy Sect Ernie Moniz, EIA’s Adam Sieminski, Sen Energy ranking member Lisa Murkowski, BHP Billiton CEO Andrew MacKenzie, Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler and many, many more.

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

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.

Energy Update Week of February 3

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update Week of January 27

Friends,

“Super Bowl in NY” Week starts strong with some great hockey yesterday at Yankee Stadium.  I always love watching outdoor hockey games and was even more fascinated by Saturday night’s game at Dodger Stadium between the Ducks and Kings in 70-degree weather.  Nice work by the NHL’s ice crew to get that set.  How cool was it to see palm trees in the picture as a real NHL game, where the points mattered, raged on.

So despite the cold, get your Super Bowl pool/grids ready and line up the Super menu for Sunday’s big game.  Perhaps the NFL assumed global warming would have taken a stronger hold by now when they awarded NY/NJ (have to add Jersey in there so they don’t feel slighted) the game back in 2010.  But, looks like if you’re going, you’ll have to dress for frigid weather.

And, is it just me, or was there not that much music that actually was rewarded last night?  It seems the better musicians/singers were left out of the winners’ circle in lieu of helmet-dressed clowns and more fake/pop rappers.   And while Arby’s got a good laugh with a tweet asking for its hat back, I also think Dudley Do-Right may be making the same request.   Even the Rock category winners were won by older overdone celebrations of poor shells of Led Zeppelin and Ozzy Osbourne, whom I both love, but readily admit that their best days are long passed.

Lots of events this week in DC, mostly centering around tomorrow’s State of the Union Address by the President.  Our friend Josh Hicks at the Washington Post dropped some fun facts about the SOTU that are worth the read.  We expect some discussion of energy issues, but it will likely take a back seat to other issues such as health care, economic opportunities, education and jobs.  We also will be tweeting/watching/reacting/laughing/harrumphing (click on this one and laugh) as speech rolls on.

As for Congress, House Energy moves the bipartisan GHG emissions delay legislation tomorrow while Senate Energy tackles crude exports for the first hearing on the subject Thursday.

Finally, if you’re looking for some warmer weather, Waste Management will host its Executive Sustainability Forum on Thursday alongside it sponsorship of the PGA’s Phoenix Open.   Play starts Thursday, but of course, actions are already rolling at the TPC Scottsdale, home of the most awesome fan hole in golf.  In its forum, WM will bring together environmental experts and industry pioneers to look at recent innovations that can open new avenues for sustainability in your own environment.  GreenBiz will be streaming the event live.

Call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Reconsiders RFS Rule – The EPA said late last week that it will revisit its 2013 volume requirements for cellulosic biofuels in response to industry production that fell below forecasts.  EPA notified the American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers granted their petitions for reconsideration.  Refiner trade assn head Charlie Drevna said “the agency’s optimism for cellulosic biofuel appears to have been tempered by reality.” API’s Bob Greco added that, “It’s refreshing that EPA has finally agreed to reconsider bad public policy, mandating biofuels that do not exist,” and he asked that the mandate be predicated on “actual production rather than projections that — year after year — have fallen far short of reality.”

Green Biz Releases Annual Report – Green Biz released its 7th annual State of Green Business report.  Like the six reports that came before, the report looks at key trends and metrics that assess how, and how well, companies are doing in addressing sustainability challenges. Green Biz partnered with Trucost, the UK firm that has been at the cutting edge of developing performance metrics on natural capital.  This year’s report shows that despite the increase of corporate sustainability achievements and commitments, progress is elusive. Put together, the 2,000 or so companies aren’t moving the needle on greenhouse gas emissions, water efficiency, waste reduction, air pollution and other metrics.  The report is also the basis for the annual GreenBiz Forum, coming up in February. In preparation for the forum, Waste Management will host its Executive Sustainability Forum.  WM will bring together environmental experts and industry pioneers to look at recent innovations that can open new avenues for sustainability in your own environment.  GreenBiz will be streaming the event live, Thursday from 10 am to 5:30 pm Eastern Time.

Energy Guardian Source: EPA Won’t Impose Toughest Regs on Coal Ash – Our good friend Ed Felker of Energy Guardian reported late last week that the Obama Administration will continue to treat the power plant waste as a non-hazardous substance.  Felker reports that the decision, which could come as early as next week, would be a victory for recyclers and utilities and a setback for environmentalists who have pressed to regulate coal ash more stringently as a hazardous waste following the TVA coal ash incident in 2010.  The head of the nation’s largest recycler of coal fly ash Kirk Benson, chief executive of Utah-based Headwaters, told Felker that EPA plans to comply with a federal judge’s order to set a date to finalize new ash disposal regulations under Section D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which covers non-hazardous wastes.

Former MD Gov to Release New Book – Former Maryland Gov. and Rep. Bob Ehrlich recently released his second book on the future of the political system in America.   The book takes aim at what the former MD Governor calls a “venomous progressivism” commanding national politics.  Ehrlich highlights flaws in the Affordable Care Act, and covers the Obamacare debate and key controversial issues like the contraception mandate.  Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an Ehrlich friend and a political ally did the foreword for the book. Ehrlich will be featured at a book event in DC on Tuesday February 11th at Liberty Place, (325 7th St. NW) at 4:00 p.m.

E&E’s Energy Wire Increases Scope, Hires Key Reporters – Our friends at Environment & Energy Publishing LLC have recently announced a major expansion of EnergyWire’s scope of coverage, adding the various forces reshaping the electric utility industry to its longstanding coverage of unconventional energy — from environmental concerns to energy security to the infrastructure necessary to support this massive new resource.  Among the major consequences stemming from unconventional energy development is the huge increase in domestic natural gas production, an event that is dramatically reshaping the electric utility industry as gas becomes the go-to fuel for base-load power, displacing other sources. Other factors, from expanded solar energy utilization to “smart grids,” are also changing the traditional electric utility model, and the expansion of EnergyWire will bring all these elements together in one premier daily service, staffed with some of the best reporters in the business.  EnergyWire has recently added a bunch of our media friends including former Bloomberg Houston reporter Ed Klump, new technologies and alternative energy development expert and former NYT, Forbes and Guardian reporter David Ferris, former Atlanta J-C and Palm Beach Post Business/utilities reporter Kristi Swartz, former St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Bloomberg News Midwest energy/industry expert Jeffrey Tomich, longtime editor-in-chief of Platts’ electric power group Rod Kuckro and veteran Bloomberg/Ft. Worth Star-Telegram veteran Mike Lee.

Report: Solar Creating Significant Job Growth – The nonprofit Solar Foundation released a jobs census report from bw Research Partners and the George Washington University’s Solar Institute saying the solar industry added 23,682 jobs in 2013, increasing its employment to 142,698 people, a 19.9% year-over-year increase.  Solar employers expect to add 22,000 in 2014, according to the survey.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

House GHG Emission Bill Markup Set – The full House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a markup of the Whitfield-Manchin bill targeting EPA greenhouse gas regulations and a building efficiency bill tomorrow staring at 10:00 a.m.  Recently, the Energy and Power Subcommittee approved the legislation.  Opening statements begin today around 5:00 p.m.

STATE OF THE UNION, January 28th – President Obama will deliver his State of the Union Address to Congress tomorrow.  While healthcare and job creation are expected to get top billing, Energy is expected to play a prominent role.

Alt Fuels Workshops Set for Next Week at DC Auto Show – The Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition and the Washington Auto Show are partnering tomorrow through Thursday to provide alternative fuels training, workshops, and panels during this year’s show. This represents the first time that the Coalition is partnering with the Auto Show in this way, and we will be providing alternative fuels training, panels, and workshops relevant to the needs of fleets and organizations in our region.

The agenda is available here.

Conference to Look at Science, Climate Solutions – The 14th National Conference & Global Forum on Science, Policy & the Environment will be held on Tuesday-Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport.  Over 1,200 key individuals from many fields of sciences and engineering, government and policy, business and civil society to advance solutions to climate change.  The conference will be organized around two areas: [1] The Built Environment; and, [2] Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Forum to Look at 2014 Energy Choices – The American Security Project will host a forum tomorrow to look at America’s Energy Choices for 2014.  The way America uses and produces energy remains a hotly debated issue in Washington and around the country. We will discuss the various energy choices available to the United States currently and in the years to come.  A range of speakers from across multiple energy producing industries will be announced shortly.

Krosnick, Sharp to Discuss Climate Public Attitudes – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in 2325 Rayburn discussing American perceptions of climate change following a new in-depth survey conducted in December by Resources for the Future, Stanford University, and USA Today. For the first time, the survey explored in detail the public’s attitudes toward generating electricity from various sources and its attitude toward fracking in particular.  Speakers will include Stanford’s Jon Krosnick and RFF President Phil Sharp.  Initial results from the survey were featured in the December 20 issue of USA Today, but Dr. Krosnick will present a wide array of additional results, including whether the public believes climate change has been happening, what should and should not be done about it, whether the public supports or opposes specific government policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and more. RFF President Phil Sharp will discuss the poll results in the context of the current U.S. climate and energy policy landscape.

SNL Conference On Energy M&A Set for NYC – SNL Energy’s 27th Annual Exnet Power and Gas M&A Symposium – a national energy conference will be held on tomorrow and Wednesday at the Ritz-Carlton in New York.  The Symposium is the annual go-to event for industry executives, as well as financial and legal advisors who are concerned with strategic planning, business development and the economics of the sector. The speakers and audience are comprised of industry decision-makers, plus heads of power and utility practices at leading investment banks, law firms and consultancies.

Energy Happy Hour Set – The Leaders in Energy LinkedIn and CSRinDC (Corporate Social Responsibility) Meetup group will be co-hosting their professional networking Happy Hour on tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. at the Banana Cafe & Piano Bar.  The mission of the Leaders in Energy group is to gather people together who delight in thinking about, discussing, and collaborating on energy, environmental and sustainability topics.

IEA Coal Report to be Released at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will release the IEA’s Medium-Term Coal Market Report from 2013 in Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.  The event will feature Keisuke Sadamori, Director for Energy Markets and Security at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present IEA’s Report. The report, part of the IEA’s Medium-Term Reports series, provides IEA forecasts on coal markets for the coming five years as well as an in-depth analysis of recent developments in global coal demand, supply, and trade.  This third annual report shows that while coal continues to be a growing source of primary energy worldwide, its future is increasingly tied to developments in non-OECD countries, led by China. The current low prices for coal add a new challenge to the sector, which is facing uncertainty due to increasing environmental legislation and competition from other fuels, like US shale gas or European renewables. The report addresses significant questions including whether depressed prices for coal will boost the fuel’s consumption; if other developing countries will follow in China’s footsteps by increasingly relying on coal to fuel economic growth; and, above all, whether the strong growth of coal in China will continue between now and 2018. Jane Nakano, Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

Fusion Power to Be Focus of Forum – The American Security Project will host a forum on Wednesday at Noon in 2325 Rayburn (House Energy/Commerce) focused on fusion power.  Sustainable and controlled fusion power has been a dream for the scientific community for decades. However, recent advances in research and technology have raised hopes that fusion could become a new source of electricity. U.S. ITER Project Office Director Ned Sauthoff will discuss the topic with a panel.

RFF Event to Look at Forest, GHG Management – Resources for the Future will host an event on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. in its First Floor Conference Center on the contributions of forest on GHG management. Responsible management of temperate forests in the United States can play an important and ongoing role in climate change mitigation at a national and international scale. This RFF Seminar, co-sponsored by Resources for the Future and the Society of American Foresters, will delve into some of the questions that surround carbon accounting and forest management. The event, moderated by RFF Senior Fellow Roger Sedjo, will feature presentations by David Cleaves, explaining the integral role of the US Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis Program in determining carbon stocks; William Stewart, describing the results of new research comparing best practices and regulators’ assumptions about the carbon profiles of managed forests and the harvested products from such forests in northern California; and Robert Malmsheimer, discussing the recent work of the SAF’s Carbon Accounting Team to dissect the latest science underlying these discussions.

Forum, Report to Look at Arctic Energy – The Canada Institute, the Kennan Institute, and the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program will launch of “In Search of Arctic Energy” on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.  The program will discuss the findings of the new paper and delve into the implications that arctic energy exploration will have for the region and the globe’s energy economy.  Speakers will include Mikkal Herberg of the National Bureau of Asian Research, Chevron’s Bill Scott, RFF’s Joel Darmstadter and State of Alaska State-Federal Relations Director Kip Knudson, among others.

Wind Guideline Discussion Set – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hosting a training broadcast series Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to cover the voluntary Land-based Wind Energy Guidelines (WEG) and how it applies to distributed wind.  Host Christy Johnson-Hughes will be joined by Kathy Boydston (Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies), Charles Newcomb (Endurance Wind Power), and Jennifer Norris (Ohio Department of Natural Resources). The broadcast will focus on how the WEG apply to distributed wind energy projects; coordination with State agencies; and the identification of “species of habitat fragmentation concern” as defined in the WEG.

Panel to Look at Geothermal – The American Geosciences Institute will host an event on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in 1334 Longworth looking at geothermal resources and value chains.  According to the U.S. Geological Survey, heat from the Earth’s interior could fuel more than 10 percent of the nation’s current electrical generating capacity.  The United States is already the world leader, accounting for 28 percent of the global installed geothermal capacity.  Nevada, California, Utah, and Oregon have the greatest amount of current geothermal development, but other states have significant potential, particularly as new technologies are developed.  Innovative processes, such as enhanced geothermal systems, extracting strategic materials from geothermal brines, and large-scale direct-use applications are just some of the new developments happening in the industry.  West Virginia’s Brian Anderson, Patrick Dobson of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Chad Augustine of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will join the panel moderated by DOE’s Director of Geothermal Technologies.

Forum to Discuss Energy Security Book – Georgetown University will host a book launch Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. in the Mortara Building Boardroom to celebrate the recent publication of Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition (co-editors Jan Kalicki and David Goldwyn) by Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press.  Goldwyn, Kalicki, Dr. Raad Alkadiri and Dr. Brenda Shaffer will also join in a panel discussion.

USDA Industry Day to Focus on Biofuels – The USDA will host an industry day on Thursday for the newly established Farm to Fleet program. Under the Navy Biofuels program established through the Defense Production Act Title III, the USDA is required to support one-third of the total $510 million program. Through the Farm to Fleet program, the USDA will commit Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds to purchase 70 million gallons of JP-5 or F-76 fuel for the Navy from biofuel blends ranging up to 50 percent. If biofuels meeting these specifications have a higher cost than the bulk fuel purchase made by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), CCC funds will be used to offset this price difference and result in an overall price-equivalent biofuel portion of the total 700 million gallons of JP-5 and F-76 to be purchased in this round of contracts.  The Industry Day will include discussions on which feedstocks are eligible or preferred, as well as partnerships between experienced biofuel developers who have worked with the Navy, Air Force, or DLA and traditional suppliers of bulk fuel contracts. Sample contracts may become available as soon as this month.

EEI, ELI to Host GHG Emissions Conference – The Edison Electric Institute and the Environmental Law Institute will hold a day-long conference on Thursday to look at GHG regulations. As you know, the President aims at reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 by using Section 111 of the Clean Air Act to reduce both new and existing power plant greenhouse gas emissions with a goal of implementing regulations before the end of his term in office.  The legal issues inherent in undertaking this task are extremely complex with significant economic, environmental, and social implications. And the timetable laid out by the President is extremely ambitious.  This conference brings together top experts in the field of energy and environmental law to discuss the legal hurdles and possibilities as well as the real-world ramifications of using Section 111 to address power plant greenhouse gas emissions.  Discussion leaders will focus on the legal uncertainties EPA and power producers will face as well as the day-to-day implications these regulations and the regulatory uncertainty will have for power producers, users, and state regulators as this new regulatory regime is constructed.  In a wrap up session, panelists will discuss relevant legislative history and review likely legal arguments to be made in response to and in support of proposed GHG rules for the power sector.

Senate to Tackle Crude Exports – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Thursday to examine opportunities and challenges associated with lifting the ban on United States crude oil exports.  Already, Senator Murkowski has made several important speeches on the topic, which is fast becoming an issue of importance.  Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, will testify, as well as CAP’s Daniel Weiss, University of California-Davis energy and sustainability executive director Amy Myers Jaffe and Delta Air Lines’ Graeme Burnett.

Senate Environment to Hear from NRC – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday featuring all five NRC commissioners.  The hearing will focus on implementation of Fukushima near-term task force recommendations and other safety issues.

Forum to Address Oil, Gas, Asian Markets – The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) will hold an on-the-record panel discussion on Thursday at 9:15 a.m. at the Army-Navy Club in DC looking at the role of North American unconventional oil and natural gas production in a dynamic Asia-Pacific energy sector, and key security issues for Asian energy markets. Panelists will include Fluor’s William Bodie, former Daewoo Shipbuilding VP JungHan Lee, Harvard University’s Holly Morrow and Kanji Yamanouchi from the Embassy of Japan.

Forum to Look at Energy in Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania – The George Washington University’s IERES Petrach Program on Ukraine will hold a forum on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. to look at the politics of energy in Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania.  Recent events in Ukraine again bring up the question of countries’ energy policy choices and the role of powerful domestic groups in relation to Russia and the EU. The Politics of Energy Dependency looks at these issues from the perspective of post-independence energy politics in three post-Soviet states: Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. It compares these three states’ reactions to the serious external shock of their sudden transformation from constituents of a single energy-rich state to separate energy-poor entities heavily dependent on Russia, as well as politically-independent transit states. Using extensive field research and until now untapped local sources in Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian, and Lithuanian, the book analyzes how these states’ unique location, powerful domestic economic actors often making a profit of their situation of energy dependency (oligarchs), and Russian power, has affected Russia’s ability to use energy as a foreign policy tool in the region, and these states’ own political development.  Seton Hall University’s Margarita M. Balmaceda will address the topic.

Waste Management to Host Forum – Waste Management will host its Executive Sustainability Forum on Thursday alongside it sponsorship of the PGA’s Phoenix Open.   WM will bring together environmental experts and industry pioneers to look at recent innovations that can open new avenues for sustainability in your own environment.  GreenBiz will be streaming the event live.

Levi to address JHU Forum – Johns Hopkins University’s African Studies program will host a speech on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. from Michael Levi, the David M. Rubenstein senior fellow for Energy and Environment at the Council on Foreign Relations.  Levi will discuss the international consequences of the U.S. oil and gas boom.

Green BRT to Look at Forestry – The January Green Business Roundtable will be held on Friday at 11:30 a.m. at the National Wildlife Federation National Advocacy Center to look at sustaining forests and improving supply chains via credible certifications.  Forest products for industrial and personal consumption are some of the most freely traded commodities in today’s global marketplace. But the trade in these products have also been implicated in the increasingly historic loss of forest cover worldwide, contributing 15-20 % of the CO2 emissions attributed to the global climate change challenge.  Forestry economics expert Bruce Cabarle will speak to his efforts during his 20 year tenure with the World Wildlife Fund and the Forest Stewardship Council to promote sustainable supply chains via public-private partnerships to promote environmentally, socially and economically sound solutions to this challenge.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Maisano to Headline Media Seminar – For those of you focused on media relations and policy communications, I will be participating in a webinar on February 4th focused on creating a successful media strategies for the policy environment.  We will look at the nexus between policy communications and government affairs, as well as crisis management.  Finally, we will offer some of the tools of the trade.  We can also help you with a discount if you want to join in.

BGov Transportation Forum to Feature LaHood, Rendell – Bloomberg Government and Building America’s Future will hold a conversation on Tuesday, February 4th at 8:00 a.m. about the transportation challenges in Washington and across the country.  Speakers will include Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Chairman, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Victor Mendez, Acting Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation.  Panelists will include former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, former PA Gov. Ed Rendell and former VA DOT Secretary Sean Connaughton.

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

ELI Panel to Look at 2014 Enviro Agenda – The Environmental Law Institute will hold an ELI Research Seminar on February 5th to discuss of what effects the next Obama Administration will have on environmental law, policy, and practice in 2014. Four expert practitioners will have an “inside-baseball” discussion about upcoming policies and regulatory agendas at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Interior, among other regulatory agencies.  Panelists will include former EPA GC Scott Fulton, former White House CEQ expert Gary Guzy, former FERC enforcement expert Sheila Slocum Hollis and Bill Meadows of the Wilderness Society.

NASEO Policy Outlook Conference Set for DC – The National Assn of state Energy Officials will hold its 2014 Energy Policy Outlook Conference at the Fairmont on February 4th through 7th.   The conference will focus on the energy and economic opportunity in modernizing the nation’s energy infrastructure—electric grid, pipelines, buildings, and transportation—to achieve a more resilient, sustainable, and energy efficient future.   The need to modernize our aging energy infrastructure is among the most important global competitive challenges facing the United States.  Our energy system is being stressed in order to meet complex operational demands, such as grid integration, shifts in resources and energy flows, cybersecurity, and an infusion of digital technologies across every sector of the economy.

Press Club Congressional Dinner Set – The Washington Press Club Foundation holds its 70th Annual Congressional Dinner on Wednesday February 5th in the evening at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s Grand Ballroom Concourse.

RFF to Discuss Unconventional Ideas For Resources – Resources For the Future (RFF) will hold its February First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday February 5th at 12:45 p.m.  Demographers emphasize that the population growth rate has steadily declined over the last four decades and is expected to continue declining at a rapid rate. What does this demographic phenomenon signify for demands on natural resources and ecological systems? What other factors may concurrently come into play? This moderated panel discussion will draw on the emerging insight that humankind may be in the era of the “Anthropocene,” prompting us to reconsider interrelationships among people, resources, ecology, and the way public policies shape these linkages. The State Department’s Jack Bobo will discuss some of the key demographic trends. UMBC Professor Erle Ellis, who has developed the still more recent concept of the “anthrome,” will discuss implications for ecological systems, including whether the potential to conserve biodiversity may, paradoxically, be increased by rapid urbanization and more intensive use of agricultural land. Roger Sedjo and Joel Darmstadter will emphasize the joint influence of markets and policy intervention, particularly in the cases of forests, agriculture, and energy.

POLITICO Forum to Discuss 2014 Energy Issues – POLITICO will host an in-depth look at the landscape for energy policy in 2014 and the implications for Congress and the administration on Thursday, February 6th at 8:00 am at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.  Special Guests will include Sens. John Barrasso and Sheldon Whitehouse as well as Reps. Joe Barton, Diana DeGette, Gene Green and John Shimkus.

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

Segal, Holmstead Featured in ELI Debate on GHG Issues – The Environmental Law Institute will host a debate on Thursday, February 6th at 12:00 p.m. regulating emissions outside the facility fenceline under Clean Air Act Section 111. Whether U.S. EPA and states can regulate emissions outside the facility fenceline is a critical factor in shaping the regulatory response to climate change using Clean Air Act Section 111. There has been much rhetoric about the ability of states and EPA to create regulatory tools such as a emissions trading of greenhouse gasses, but policy experts and professionals need a more definitive answer.  To address this topic, ELI announces its second seminar in a debate format. Loosely following an academic debate structure, two expert teams will argue the resolution, ask questions of the other side, and identify points of agreement and disagreement. Following the debate, the discussion will open to audience questions. We hope this format will help to crystallize issues and separate fact from rhetoric.  Debaters in the AFFIRMATIVE include Megan Ceronsky of EDF and NRDC’s David Doniger while debaters in the NEGATIVE will include Bracewell’s Jeffrey Holmstead and Scott Segal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Energy Update Week of December 2

Friends,

I hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving/Hanukkah Holiday.  I came out of a turkey coma just in time to see some great football on Friday and Saturday.  On Friday night, I was on the field for the Maryland State 4A Semifinal as the game’s back judge and while it was cold, I stayed warm by running nonstop.  The score of the game was 35-30 and that was just halftime.  We ended up two 93-yd TD runs and 13 more plays of over 50 yards with both teams effectively running spread offenses  (and tiring me out as the only guy back there.)

My game Friday was clearly outdone by the two Saturday classics at the Big House and in the Iron Bowl.  Michigan and Ohio State’s epic battle came down to M Coach Brady Hoke’s call to unsuccessfully go for two and the win in the final seconds, setting up an instant Big 10/M-OSU classic.  And boy are the Buckeyes glad they hung on to win after watching the evening Auburn-‘Bama game.  Wow!!!  Probably the most exciting end to a college football game EVER.

Then, I topped the weekend off with a full Sunday of lacrosse as my 10-year-old Olivia’s Crofton 5th/6th grade team smoked the entire field at the Fairfax Fall Brawl winning all six games comfortably en route to free “Champions” T-shirts and their picture on the Web and Facebook.

We slowly start back this week to begin the four-week roll to Christmas/New Years.  Not much Congressional action other than a few mark ups and a House Energy panel hearing on FERC’s role in the energy landscape on Thursday, but definitely some other good events to think about.

Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., CSIS will host IEA’s Fatih Birol to present the IEA’s 2013 World Energy Outlook 2013.  On Wednesday morning, WCEE will host a Women in Leadership Holiday breakfast featuring new FERC Acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur.

Also Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., I will host a Press Club Newsmaker with FBI agents that will discuss how sequestration’s mandated budget cuts are affecting daily FBI operations and hampering criminal and national security investigations.

Thursday, BPC’s Energy Project – along with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) – will host the second workshop on GHG power plant regulations focusing on the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts.   Finally, after opening its 60-day comment period Black Friday on its latest, controversial RFS proposal, EPA will hold a public hearing Thursday on the topic at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.  Look for the usual suspects.

And more on this next week, but for you energy geeks, next Tuesday, December 10th, Houston Mayor Annise Parker will make a luncheon speech at the National Press Club and the city’s energy renaissance will be among the items she will be discussing.  Bracewell’s PRG is hosting a table at the event.

Finally, today is three months to my daughter Hannah’s 16th Birthday.  Now, in Maryland at least, you know what that means.  Yes, I am getting the update out a little early today in order to pick her up from school and attempt to negotiate the Maryland DMV’s new driver/permit process.   Stay tuned for the details on this and other items at @FrankTalk19 and stay off the roads in the Annapolis area!!!!

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Congrats to Friends Making Media Moves – In case you hadn’t heard, major Congrats to our friends on the move in the press.  Coral Davenport, Ben Geman and Keith Johnson are all making moves to new outlets.  Coral is headed to fill the spot of John Broder at The New York Times, while Ben, who has been at The Hill what seems like forever, will take Coral’s place at National Journal.  Ben move comes on the heels of Zac Colman’s move from The Hill to The Washington Examiner.    Finally, longtime Wall Street Journal vet Johnson is moving over to Foreign Policy to cover geopolitics of energy.

Top Oil Companies Ranked, Shale Gains – Our friends at Energy Intelligence, the publishers of scribes like Oil Daily and Petroleum Intelligence Weekly have just released this year’s rankings of the world’s 50 largest oil companies. The ranking sees Russia’s Gazprom moving ahead of international majors Chevron and Total to eighth place, while Rosneft climbed three places and is poised to enter the top 10 following its acquisition of TNK-BP earlier this year. Saudi Aramco remains in the top spot, followed by Iran’s NIOC and Exxon Mobil.   This year’s rankings also demonstrate the impact of the US shale revolution for the first time, with a number of large US independents doing especially well due to their shale exposure. Anadarko jumped two spots to #44 and Apache rose one spot to #40. Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy broke into the Top 50 for the first time, ranking #47 and Devon Energy rose three places to #41. These companies have all managed to improve their performance despite low natural gas prices, write-downs of gas reserves and sales of assets as they refocused investment on higher-value liquids plays.   By contrast to the dynamic performance of some key national oil companies and US independents, the international majors are not keeping up. While Chevron and Total declined in the rankings, Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell stood still.  EI has produced an infographic of the report, which highlights some of news stories from the ranking.  The PIW Top 50 ranking has an unrivaled pedigree, having been executed annually for the last 25 years. The ranking is based on six operational criteria and, unlike other corporate ranking systems in this industry, it allows for comparisons of both national oil companies and private sector firms. These Top 50 companies represent over 70% of global oil production and fully two-thirds of global refined product sales, making these rankings truly comprehensive and global. The rankings are based on 2012 data, the latest annual figures available.

Report Cites Importance of “Loophole” in Shale Revolution – Speaking of Energy Intelligence, our friend Bill Murray has a new report out with his colleague Lauren Craft on the legislative genesis of the shale revolution.  The special report is focused on ‘Halliburton Loophole’ and its key role in spawning the current Shale Boom.  Murray and Craft argue that the technologies such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that are largely credited with clearing the path for the US unconventional gas revolution find their origins in language buried within a 551-page energy bill enacted in 2005 that limited EPA from regulating hydraulic fracturing under its underground injection control program.  This move spared oil and gas firms from red tape and litigation that would have likely occurred – even on private land – where shale gas has blossomed in recent years.  Craft and Murray say the provision would be very difficult to scrap now given the powerful role of shale in the forefront of our energy picture.  For copies or more info, Please feel free to contact Bill at bmurray@energyintel.com

IER Hits Wind PTC Issue – The Conservative anti-wind crusaders from the Institute for Energy Research said today in a new study that that 30 states and the District of Columbia are marking up net losses to fund the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and pour millions of their taxpayer dollars into the pockets of wind producers.   According to IER researchers, five U.S. states were net payers of more than $100 million in 2012, meaning that the burden of these states to pay for the wind Production Tax Credit surpassed the subsidy benefit received by producers in those states. Meanwhile, producers in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Iowa are being paid hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidy transfers from poorer states. On a regional basis, the Northeast and Southeast were the biggest net payers, subsidizing other areas with net losses of $591.8 million and $559.3 million, respectively.

Wind: Study Overlooks Manufacturing Benefit – The wind industry says the study is too narrow and doesn’t account for the broader positive impact of wind energy on the economy and the environment.   Wind is one of the most broadly dispersed energy sources, with manufacturing in 44 states now and turbines installed in 39 states plus Puerto Rico.  The wind industry currently employs 80,000 people across construction, development, engineering, operations with tens of thousands employed at 550 U.S. manufacturing facilities. A Navigant study said that extending the PTC will create an additional 17,000 new American jobs, boosting the manufacturing sector by one-third. In addition, U.S. wind investment will grow to $16.3 billion in 2016, and annual wind installations will be 8-10 GW through 2016.  On the environmental side, in 2012, the roughly 140 million MWh generated by wind energy avoided 79.9 million metric tons of CO2 – the equivalent of reducing power-sector CO2 emissions by 3.6%, or taking over 14 million cars off the road.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

DOE, NASEO to Discuss Energy Systems at Workshop – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and National Association of State Energy Officials, will host the 2013 Energy Assurance and Interdependency Workshop today at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC.  The purpose of the one and a half day workshop is to inform and educate participants on interconnected energy systems and their cascading impacts on other critical infrastructure and essential public services.    The workshop will feature a variety of scenarios and their immediate and long-term effects. The interactive workshop will also feature presentations and perspectives from industry owners and operators as well as public officials who are responsible for restoring life-line services after a catastrophic event.  State and local governments will have the opportunity to evaluate their energy emergency preparedness and energy assurance plans against potential energy emergency conditions.  Speakers will include ERCOT’s John Adams, DOE’s Pat Hoffman, and Judi Greenwald, CITGO’s Jack McCrossin and NASEO Executive Director David Terry.

NAS to Look at Markets, Clean Energy – The National Academy of Sciences will host a meeting on today at the Keck Center on market adoption of advanced energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.

IEA Head to Speak at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency to present the IEA’s 2013 World Energy tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.  The outlook presents a full update of energy projects through to 2035 and insights into what they mean for energy security, climate change, economic development, and universal access to modern energy services. Oil, coal, natural gas, renewables, and nuclear power are all covered, along with an update on developments for fossil fuels and renewable energy. This year, the World Energy Outlook also gives a special focus to topical energy sector issues including the implications for economic competitiveness of the changing energy map, oil supply, demand, and trade, and energy in Brazil. Sarah Ladislaw, Co-Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

NAS to Hold Seminar on EVs – The National Academies of Science will hold a forum tomorrow and Wednesday at its Keck Center on overcoming barriers to electric vehicle deployment.   Speakers will include MIT’s John Kassakian, NRC’s John Holmes, Russ Musgrove of FedEx and several auto dealers.

Heritage to Host Hillsdale College Author – The Heritage Foundation will hold a Book Event tomorrow at Noon for Hillsdale College author David J. Bobb on his new book, Humility An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue.  In our current age of arrogance, humility is associated with wimps and wallflowers not success. A culture of narcissism and a society of self-promoters has obscured our past, blinding us to the hidden strength of humility.  not success. A culture of narcissism and a society of self-promoters has obscured our past, blinding us to the hidden strength of humility.  David Bobb is Executive Director of Citizen Education for Hillsdale College and lecturer in politics. He is the Founding Director of two national centers for Hillsdale, the Washington, D.C.-based Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship and the Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence.

Forum to Look at German Move to Renewables – The Wharton Green Business Forum will hold at event tomorrow at the National Press Club’s McClendon Room at 12:30 p.m. to discuss Germany’s transition from traditional to renewable sources of energy this program, its costs, benefits and prospects, plus lessons for the U.S. and other nations.  Dr. Georg Maue, German First Secretary for Climate and Energy Policy, will speak.

LaFleur Headlines WCEE Breakfast – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. at the Cosmos Club for a Women in Leadership Holiday breakfast featuring FERC Commissioner Cheryl A. LaFleur.   LaFleur has an impressive resume and may be the next FERC Chair.  She will speak on a number of important energy issues over which FERC has authority as well as her career and offer insight on how she came to the important role she now plays.

Press Club to Host FBI Agents on Sequestration Impacts on Law Enforcement – The National Press Club’s Newsmakers Committee will host FBI agents on Wednesday to discuss how sequestration’s mandated budget cuts are affecting daily FBI operations and hampering criminal and national security investigations, as well as the risks associated with additional budget cuts and furloughs expected early next year.  Leaders of the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) will also update the group’s recent report Voices from the Field: FBI Agent Accounts of the Real Consequences of Budget Cuts. The report contains field reports from FBI Special Agents illustrating the impact of budget cuts on their work.  Speaking at the Newsmaker news conference will be FBIAA President Reynaldo Tariche and several active duty FBI agents from around the country.

RFF Seminar to Look at ESA, Species ConservationOn Wednesday at 12:45 p.m., Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold its December First Wednesday Seminar looking at the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) and species conservation.  ESA has provided a critical safety net for conserving the nation’s species in the 40 years since it was passed. However, effective implementation of the ESA remains a challenge in light of increasing threats to species; uncertainties about the pace, scope, and extent of environmental changes and their impacts on species; and limited resources for implementing species protection. Furthermore, the ESA traditionally has taken a species-by-species approach that constrains the ability to focus on the health of ecosystems and address complex threats that often unfold at the landscape scale. This RFF First Wednesday Seminar brings together diverse panelists to discuss strategies and opportunities for overcoming these challenges. Panelists will draw on examples of success and new strategies to suggest paths for increasing the effectiveness of ESA implementation going forward.  Panelists will include US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, Brad Gruver of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, EDF’s David Festa and Terry Fankhauser of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association.  National Wildlife Federation VP John Kostyack and former Interior official Lynn Scarlett of The Nature Conservancy will also provide comments.

JHU Forum To Hear From WRI Expert on Climate Risk – The Johns Hopkins Washington, DC Center will hold a forum on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. featuring Mark Trexler from the World Resources Institute.  Trexler will address climate risk management issues. Trexler joined the World Resources Institute’s nascent Climate, Energy and Pollution Program in 1988, and focused for many years on climate change mitigation options and strategies. He was a Lead Author for the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report, is widely published across mitigation and adaptation topics, and has worked with companies around the world on climate risk management efforts. He was Director of Climate Risk for the global risk management firm of Det Norske Veritas (DNV) from 2009 through 2012. His current work focuses on the application of knowledge management tools to the communication and management of climate risk. More information is available at his website.

Buick, WAPA to Host Ride, Drive – The Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA) and Buick will hold an end-of-the-year drive opportunity and the 2013 WAPA Holiday Reception at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown on Wednesday, starting at 2:00 p.m.  Vehicles include the Buick Regal, Regal GS, LaCrosse and Verano.

Annual SoCo Washington DC Holiday Event – Wednesday Night

EPA to Hold RFS Public Hearing – EPA will hold a public hearing Thursday on its proposed 2014 mandate for the renewable fuel standard program at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington. EPA announced recently that it plans to cut the amount of ethanol required to be blended into fuel.

CSIS to Host Clean Report Release – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the CSIS Americas Program will host Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and Carrie McKellogg, Chief of Access to Basic Services & Green Growth at the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. The two will present Climatescope 2013, a new report, online tool, and data resource profiling clean energy market and investment conditions in 26 Latin American and Caribbean nations. Sarah Ladislaw, Co-Director and Senior Fellow at the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.  Sponsored by the MIF and researched by BNEF, Climatescope assesses low-carbon energy markets from Mexico south within the western hemisphere. First released in 2012, it scores nations on their local conditions for attracting capital in support of clean energy development. Climatescope takes into account 39 data points encompassing a country’s enabling framework for clean energy investment, its history of clean energy investment and climate financing, its availability of low-carbon business and clean energy value chain segments, and its greenhouse gas management efforts. Zindler and McKellogg will discuss which countries scored highest in the Climatescope, which lagged behind, and why.

SEIA Webinar to Discuss Solar Integration – SEIA will hold a webinar on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. for a timely discussion on the recent regulatory changes for energy storage and how these changes will affect grid integration, solar energy expansion, and improvements to grid reliability. Both the FERC and CPUC have adopted new rules and procurement requirements to encourage energy storage as a resource, enhance power system operations, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.  FERC adopted these rule changes with the intent of fostering opportunities for energy storage technologies such as compressed air energy storage, regenerative fuel cells, batteries, superconducting magnetic energy storage, flywheels and thermal energy storage systems to participate in electricity markets and supply ancillary services to wholesale electric market participants and electric transmission providers.  CPUC adopted energy storage procurement requirements for the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities, retail electric suppliers and its community aggregators. The state’s investor-owned utilities will begin procuring energy storage assets or services in 2014.  The expert speakers will discuss these regulatory changes and implications from the regulatory, company, and technology perspective, including Joel Meister of Solar Grid Storage and Carrie Cullen Hitt of SEIA, among others.

BPC, NARUC to Hold 2nd Clean Air Act Workshop –Thursday, BPC’s Energy Project – along with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) – will host the second workshop on section 111(d), which will focus on the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts of GHG power plant regulation.  The event will also explore the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts of GHG regulations.  The three panels will focus on: 1) state considerations and policy design issues; 2) important drivers that could impact carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector and 3) modeling impacts of different proposals under section 111(d). BPC will include participants from state organizations, industry and environmental organizations. Former EPA Administrator Bill Reilly, a BPC’s Energy Project Co-chair, will keynote.   Other speakers will include ACCCE’s Paul Bailey, Exelon’s Kathleen Barron, AEP’s Bruce Braine, RFF’s Dallas Burtraw, NRDC’s Dan Lashoff and Jason Grumet.

Forum to Look at Renewable Investments – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy will host a congressional briefing on Friday in B-369 Rayburn looking at renewable energy market investments and policy trends.  This event is being put on in cooperation with the United States House of Representatives Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Houston Mayor to Address Press Club –The National Press Club will host a luncheon with Houston mayor Annise Parker on Tuesday, December 10th at Noon.  Parker, one of the first openly gay mayors in the U.S. and the head of the “energy capital of America” will talk about her political future and past, the renaissance of American oil and gas energy industry, Texas’s thriving economy and the challenges of managing city finances.

CHP Conference Set – The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Association will hold its annual conference in Washington DC on December 10th and 11th. This year’s theme is “Making the Business Case for Combined Heat & Power”. The conference will bring together different leaders within the CHP industry to discuss access to financing, a major barrier to CHP deployment. The conference will also focus on demonstrating the business benefits of CHP for different sectors. Representatives from Coca Cola, Procter and Gamble, Schneider Electric, American Gas Association, Edison Electric Institute, Veolia Energy, General Electric, Caterpillar, Cargill, and many others working on the issue of combined heat and power will be on the agenda.  Topics will include financing, electric utilities finding value in CHP, environmental issues, debt financing for small to medium projects and natural gas among many other items.

Forum to Look at IPCC Document – George Washington University’s IERES program will host a presentation on Friday, December 6th at 4:00 p.m. featuring Oleg Anisimov, Professor of Physical Geography at the Hydrological Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia.  His presentation will start with a brief discussion of the Fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report, where he served as a coordinating author. The report is almost ready, and will be officially released at the end of March 2014. The discussion will focus on the impacts of the changing climate in the polar regions, including the socio-economical dimension in the Arctic. It will then provide two examples of impacts that escaped the IPCC s attention. The first is the potential impact on the Arctic urban population (the current emphasis is on indigenous peoples). The second is related to the drivers of climate change associated with the potential release of methane, with implications for environmental policy making, particularly the post-Kyoto negotiation process.

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

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

Forum to Look at Energy InfrastructureThe Atlantic will hold an Energy and Infrastructure Super Summit on the morning of Thursday, December 12th in Washington, D.C.  The event will include a select group of senior leaders from a diversity of sectors, this year’s summit will cover topics including innovative water conservation efforts, evolving green building standards, and the future of energy policy and infrastructure investment. We will feature one-on-one interviews and panel discussions exploring these topics from all angles and make time for audience engagement through Q&A.  Speakers will include Brendan FitzSimons of EDF, AT&T’s John Schultz and Lee McIntire of CH2M HILL.

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

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

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

 

Energy Update Week of November 25

Friends,

We slow down this week for two of my favorite eating holidays: Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Rather than outline the history of both, let me give you some history on the amazing day we celebrate this year:  Thanksgivukkah.  Yes, the convergence this week of Thanksgiving falling on the first day of Hanukkah happens only once in a lifetime.  Don’t hold your breath for the next one — it will not occur again for more than 70,000 years.

Why?  Because Thanksgiving is the 4th Thursday in November. Hanukkah is the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev.  The 4th Thursday in November can range from the 22nd to the 28th. If the 29th is a Thursday, then so is the 1st, so the 29th would be the fifth Thursday, not the fourth. And if the 21st is a Thursday, then it’s only the third Thursday. On average, then, Thanksgiving falls on the 28th about every seven years. It will fall on the 28th this year, then again in 2019, 2024, 2030, and 2041, or four times in the next 28 years. (It’s not exactly every seven years because leap days throw things off a little.)

On the other hand, the Jewish month of Kislev can currently start as early as November 3 or as late as December 2, which means that the first day of Hanukkah can come as early as November 28 or as late as December 27.  The reason for the broad range of possible dates is that the Jewish calendar is lunar-solar. The months are based on the cycles of the moon. But the calendar changes the lengths of those months, and even how many months are in a year, to make sure that Passover always falls in the spring. This complex system ensures that the Jewish date and the secular date match up every 19 years.

Because of this Jewish 19-year cycle, 19 years from now, in the year 2032, Hanukkah will again fall on November 28th, but Thanksgiving in that year falls three days earlier, on the 25th.  On average, we would expect the 19-year Jewish cycle and the 7-year Thanksgiving-on-November-28 cycle to coincide about every 19×7 years, which is to say, approximately every 133 years. And they sort of do.  152 years ago, in 1861, the first day of Hanukkah and the 4th Thursday in November were both on November 28th. But there was no “”official” Thanksgiving back then.  In 152 years from now, in 2165, Thanksgiving falls on the 28th, and you’d expect Hanukkah also to fall on the 28th, but it doesn’t.  The reason centers around an extra 11 minutes each year (3 days over those 19 years) that are generally not accounted for in the Jewish calendar, but were in Pope Gregory’s calendar in 1582.

Whatever the reasons, travel safely, count your blessings with family and get ready for Turkey, Brisket, mashed potatoes, Latkes, stuffing and some candle lighting.

On some policy stuff, if you thought ethanol would be off the radar screen this week with last week’s announcement and nest week’s Public hearing (Dec 5th), our friends at the Associated Press dropped another excellent piece in their series, this time exploring ethanol’s waning political clout.  Secondly, the Supreme Court said this morning that it will hear one hour of oral arguments on Monday, February 24th on a case focused on a narrow part of EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations.  The court will look at whether EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases.  A pretty important question for the current issues going forward.

Remember, the Monday return on December 2nd has a number of good events that MORNING including a 9:30 a.m. CAP/Gina McCarthy Forum on US/China Cooperation and a 10:00 a.m. Energy Innovation Reform Project event in the Microsoft DC offices exploring key issues surrounding integration and balancing of intermittent renewables.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

UN Meetings Wrap Up – With the same flurry of hand-wringing negotiations and the talks on the “brink of collapse”, UN pols once again pulled the climate negotiations from the brink of death.  (If I had an emissions reduction for every time that happened…) With Paris on the schedule for December 2015 when nations will need to extend the Kyoto Treaty, the U.S. and other countries agreed that by early 2015, they will put forward individual country plans for lowering emissions.   At some point, we just need to stop holding these silly meetings which have produced very little expense some awesome expense reports since the mid-1990s.  Our friend Lenny Bernstein of The Washington Post has a good summary here.

Former Iowa Gov. Pitches Importance of Wind to NJ Economy, Gov. Christie – While most expect NJ Gov. Chris Christie to be headed to Iowa, former Iowa Governor Chet Culver headed to New Jersey last week to tell local leaders and officials his Iowa wind energy success story, highlighting how New Jersey can achieve the same success with offshore wind energy and the New Jersey Energy Link offshore transmission line.  And as you know, maybe there is little road through Iowa that matters for a certain NJ politician in 2016.  During his term as Governor starting in 2007, Culver committed to making Iowa a leading state for wind projects and bringing new, innovative industries to the State. Within four years, Iowa became the first state to reach 20% electricity from wind, powering the equivalent of more than a million Iowa homes. Today, Iowa is generating 25% of its electricity from wind farms in the State.  Iowa’s focus and commitment to developing its wind resource proved to be the key factor in attracting wind-related businesses. Today two turbine manufacturers, two major blade manufacturers, and a tower manufacturer have located in Iowa, making Iowa a major distribution hub for wind farms in a 500-mile radius of the State.  More than 200 companies in the state supply the industry, including businesses in 80 of Iowa’s 99 counties. Iowa’s wind industry has created over 7,000 jobs for Iowans across the state, with over $300 million invested in manufacturing facilities and billions of dollars in new infrastructure.  Focusing on job creation and public-private partnerships, Forbes magazine ranked Iowa under Culver the “No. 1 place in America for businesses and careers and CNBC said Iowa was one of the “Top States for Business.”

LaFleur to Head FERC – FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur has been named acting chairwoman of U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this morning replacing previous chairman, Jon Wellinghoff, who announced he would be departing during last Thursday’s meeting.  Earlier this year, Wellinghoff announced he was going to be employed by renewable energy law firm Stoel Rives, which created conflict concerns among some.  LaFleur joined the commission in 2010 and worked in the electric and natural gas industry.

Interior Says Drilling Generated Billions – The Interior Department collected and disbursed more than $14.2 billion in revenue generated by energy production on public lands and offshore waters in Fiscal Year 2013 – a $2 billion or 17% increase over the previous year. The revenues were distributed to state, local, federal and tribal accounts to support critical reclamation, conservation, recreation and historic preservation projects. Local governments apply the revenues to meet a variety of needs, ranging from school funding to infrastructure improvements and water conservation projects.  The FY 2013 increase in disbursements is attributed primarily to $2.77 billion in bonus bids received for new oil and gas leases in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Overall disbursements totaled $12.15 billion in FY 2012.

Ark PSC Commish to Head NARUC – Arkansas Public Service Commission Chair Colette Honorable was elected by her peers as the leader of the national association representing State utility regulators across the country at the conclusion of the NARUC 125th Annual Meeting.  She succeeds outgoing NARUC Philip Jones of Washington, whose one-year term expired today.  As President, Honorable will provide general oversight of the Association, serving as the primary voice of the Association, leading NARUC before Congress, the courts, and administrative agencies. She will also be responsible for designating members to the NARUC Board of Directors, committee leadership positions, and other Association appointments as necessary.  Honorable was appointed to the Arkansas PSC by Governor Mike Beebe in October 2007, and was designated Chairman in January 2011. Within NARUC, she completed her term as Second Vice President of the Association. She also recently served as the Association’s Treasurer.  Honorable has also been discussed as a possible replacement for FERC after the failure of the Ron Binz nomination.

NARUC Seeks Flexibility as EPA Drafts Emissions Rules for Existing Plants – Speaking of NARUC, they also are urging EPA to be flexible and seek input across all levels of State government as it develops emissions reduction rules for existing power plants.  In a resolution, NARUC “urges the EPA, in developing any emissions guidelines for regulating carbon emissions from existing power plants, to recognize the primacy of States to rely on both State utility and environmental regulators to lead the creation of emission performance systems that reflect the policies, energy needs, resource mix, economic conditions of each State and region.”  The resolution was one of several passed by NARUC membership at the conclusion of the Association’s 125th Annual Meeting. The resolutions are now considered NARUC policy, providing guidance and positions for the Association’s advocacy before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, and the courts.

Duke Settles Bird Death Issues at Wyoming Wind Farms – Duke Energy’s wind energy subsidiary pleaded guilty in Wyoming late Friday for several bird deaths at wind Projects there.  Two projects there were connected to the death of 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds between 2009 and 2013. The plea is the first time a company has been held responsible for bird deaths at wind projects. Duke Energy Renewables will pay $1 million in fines, restitution and community service, and is on probation for five years, during which it must develop a compliance plan to prevent more bird deaths.  At the same time, the company was praised for working to address the issue.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Thanksgiving/First Night Of Hanukkah – November 28th

Maisano Officiates Md High School State Football Semifinal – On Friday night, I will be the Back Judge for the MPSSAA 4A State Semifinal playoff game on Saturday at Paint Branch HS in Montgomery County.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

McCarthy to Headline CAP China Event – The Center for American Progress will hold a forum on Monday December 2nd at 9:30 a.m. where EPA head Gina McCarthy to discuss the importance of US-China cooperation on the environment and climate pollution. Administrator McCarthy will also highlight recent progress on the President’s Climate Action Plan and steps the United States is taking to reduce carbon pollution and drive sustainable U.S. economic growth.

Forum to Look at Renewables Intermittency, PTC – The Energy Innovation Reform Project will hold a Chatham House-rules workshop on December 2nd at 10:00 a.m. in the Microsoft DC offices exploring key issues surrounding integration and balancing of intermittent renewables.  The forum will discuss the European and American experiences, and consider recommendations for how we can better account for cost and reliability issues in electricity policies and debates.  Speakers will include NARUC President Phil Jones, Exelon’s Dave Brown, Montana PSC Commissioner Travis Kavulla and NREL’s Brian Hannegan, among several others.   As intermittent renewables become larger players in the electric system, they raise new issues that were often unanticipated when today’s policies were first formulated. Policymakers and the public need to better understand the cost, reliability, and infrastructure implications of these policies, as well as potential opportunities to address these emerging concerns through policy reforms.

DOE, NASEO to Discuss Energy Systems at Workshop – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and National Association of State Energy Officials, will host the 2013 Energy Assurance and Interdependency Workshop at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC on Monday, December 2nd.  The purpose of the one and a half day workshop is to inform and educate participants on interconnected energy systems and their cascading impacts on other critical infrastructure and essential public services.    The workshop will feature a variety of scenarios and their immediate and long-term effects. The interactive workshop will also feature presentations and perspectives from industry owners and operators as well as public officials who are responsible for restoring life-line services after a catastrophic event.  State and local governments will have the opportunity to evaluate their energy emergency preparedness and energy assurance plans against potential energy emergency conditions.  Speakers will include ERCOT’s John Adams, DOE’s Pat Hoffman, and Judi Greenwald, CITGO’s Jack McCrossin and NASEO Executive Director David Terry.

NAS to Look at Markets, Clean Energy – The National Academy of Sciences will host a meeting on Monday, December 2nd at the Keck Center on market adoption of advanced energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.

IEA Head to Speak at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency to present the IEA’s 2013 World Energy on Tuesday, December 3rd at 9:30 a.m.  The outlook presents a full update of energy projects through to 2035 and insights into what they mean for energy security, climate change, economic development, and universal access to modern energy services. Oil, coal, natural gas, renewables, and nuclear power are all covered, along with an update on developments for fossil fuels and renewable energy. This year, the World Energy Outlook also gives a special focus to topical energy sector issues including the implications for economic competitiveness of the changing energy map, oil supply, demand, and trade, and energy in Brazil. Sarah Ladislaw, Co-Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

NAS to Hold Seminar on EVs – The National Academies of Science will hold a forum on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 4th/5th at its Keck Center on overcoming barriers to electric vehicle deployment.   Speakers will include MIT’s John Kassakian, NRC’s John Holmes, Russ Musgrove of FedEx and several auto dealers.

LaFleur Headlines WCEE Breakfast – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment on Wednesday December 4th at 8:00 a.m. at the Cosmos Club for a Women in Leadership Holiday breakfast featuring FERC Commissioner Cheryl A. LaFleur.   LaFleur has an impressive resume and may be the next FERC Chair.  She will  speak on a number of important energy issues over which FERC has authority as well as her career and offer insight on how she came to the important role she now plays.

RFF Seminar to Look at ESA, Species ConservationOn Thursday December 4th at 12:45 p.m., Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold its December First Wednesday Seminar looking at the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) and species conservation.  ESA has provided a critical safety net for conserving the nation’s species in the 40 years since it was passed. However, effective implementation of the ESA remains a challenge in light of increasing threats to species; uncertainties about the pace, scope, and extent of environmental changes and their impacts on species; and limited resources for implementing species protection. Furthermore, the ESA traditionally has taken a species-by-species approach that constrains the ability to focus on the health of ecosystems and address complex threats that often unfold at the landscape scale. This RFF First Wednesday Seminar brings together diverse panelists to discuss strategies and opportunities for overcoming these challenges. Panelists will draw on examples of success and new strategies to suggest paths for increasing the effectiveness of ESA implementation going forward.  Panelists will include US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, Brad Gruver of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, EDF’s David Festa and Terry Fankhauser of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association.  National Wildlife Federation VP John Kostyack and former Interior official Lynn Scarlett of The Nature Conservancy will also provide comments.

JHU Forum To Hear From WRI Expert on Climate Risk – The Johns Hopkins Washington, DC Center will hold a forum on Wednesday, December 4th at 12:00 p.m. featuring Mark Trexler from the World Resources Institute.  Trexler will address climate risk management issues. Trexler joined the World Resources Institute’s nascent Climate, Energy and Pollution Program in 1988, and focused for many years on climate change mitigation options and strategies. He was a Lead Author for the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report, is widely published across mitigation and adaptation topics, and has worked with companies around the world on climate risk management efforts. He was Director of Climate Risk for the global risk management firm of Det Norske Veritas (DNV) from 2009 through 2012. His current work focuses on the application of knowledge management tools to the communication and management of climate risk. More information is available at his website.

Annual SoCo Washington DC Holiday Event – December 4th

EPA to Hold RFS Public Hearing – EPA will hold a public hearing December 5th on its proposed 2014 mandate for the renewable fuel standard program at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington. EPA announced recently that it plans to cut the amount of ethanol required to be blended into fuel.

CSIS to Host Clean Report Release – On Thursday December 5th at 9:30 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the CSIS Americas Program will host Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and Carrie McKellogg, Chief of Access to Basic Services & Green Growth at the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. The two will present Climatescope 2013, a new report, online tool, and data resource profiling clean energy market and investment conditions in 26 Latin American and Caribbean nations. Sarah Ladislaw, Co-Director and Senior Fellow at the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.  Sponsored by the MIF and researched by BNEF, Climatescope assesses low-carbon energy markets from Mexico south within the western hemisphere. First released in 2012, it scores nations on their local conditions for attracting capital in support of clean energy development. Climatescope takes into account 39 data points encompassing a country’s enabling framework for clean energy investment, its history of clean energy investment and climate financing, its availability of low-carbon business and clean energy value chain segments, and its greenhouse gas management efforts. Zindler and McKellogg will discuss which countries scored highest in the Climatescope, which lagged behind, and why.

SEIA Webinar to Discuss Solar Integration – SEIA will hold a webinar on Thursday, December 5th at 1:00 p.m. for a timely discussion on the recent regulatory changes for energy storage and how these changes will affect grid integration, solar energy expansion, and improvements to grid reliability. Both the FERC and CPUC have adopted new rules and procurement requirements to encourage energy storage as a resource, enhance power system operations, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.  FERC adopted these rule changes with the intent of fostering opportunities for energy storage technologies such as compressed air energy storage, regenerative fuel cells, batteries, superconducting magnetic energy storage, flywheels and thermal energy storage systems to participate in electricity markets and supply ancillary services to wholesale electric market participants and electric transmission providers.  CPUC adopted energy storage procurement requirements for the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities, retail electric suppliers and its community aggregators. The state’s investor-owned utilities will begin procuring energy storage assets or services in 2014.  The expert speakers will discuss these regulatory changes and implications from the regulatory, company, and technology perspective, including Joel Meister of Solar Grid Storage and Carrie Cullen Hitt of SEIA, among others.

BPC, NARUC to Hold 2nd Clean Air Act Workshop – On December 6th, BPC’s Energy Project – along with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) – will host the second workshop on section 111(d), which will focus on the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts of GHG power plant regulation.  The event will also explore the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts of GHG regulations.  The three panels will focus on: 1) state considerations and policy design issues; 2) important drivers that could impact carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector and 3) modeling impacts of different proposals under section 111(d). BPC will include participants from state organizations, industry and environmental organizations. Former EPA Administrator Bill Reilly, a BPC’s Energy Project Co-chair, will keynote.   Other speakers will include ACCCE’s Paul Bailey, Exelon’s Kathleen Barron, AEP’s Bruce Braine, RFF’s Dallas Burtraw, NRDC’s Dan Lashoff and Jason Grumet.

Forum to Look at Renewable Investments – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy will host a congressional briefing on Friday December 6th in B-369 Rayburn looking at renewable energy market investments and policy trends.  This event is being put on in cooperation with the United States House of Representatives Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus.

CHP Conference Set – The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Association will hold its annual conference in Washington DC on December 10th and 11th. This year’s theme is “Making the Business Case for Combined Heat & Power”. The conference will bring together different leaders within the CHP industry to discuss access to financing, a major barrier to CHP deployment. The conference will also focus on demonstrating the business benefits of CHP for different sectors. Representatives from Coca Cola, Procter and Gamble, Schneider Electric, American Gas Association, Edison Electric Institute, Veolia Energy, General Electric, Caterpillar, Cargill, and many others working on the issue of combined heat and power will be on the agenda.  Topics will include financing, electric utilities finding value in CHP, environmental issues, debt financing for small to medium projects and natural gas among many other items.

Forum to Look at IPCC Document – George Washington University’s IERES program will host a presentation on Friday, December 6th at 4:00 p.m. featuring Oleg Anisimov, Professor of Physical Geography at the Hydrological Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia  His presentation will start with a brief discussion of the Fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report, where he served as a coordinating author. The report is almost ready, and will be officially released at the end of March 2014. The discussion will focus on the impacts of the changing climate in the polar regions, including the socio-economical dimension in the Arctic. It will then provide two examples of impacts that escaped the IPCC s attention. The first is the potential impact on the Arctic urban population (the current emphasis is on indigenous peoples). The second is related to the drivers of climate change associated with the potential release of methane, with implications for environmental policy making, particularly the post-Kyoto negotiation process.

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

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

Forum to Look at Energy InfrastructureThe Atlantic will hold an Energy and Infrastructure Super Summit on the morning of Thursday, December 12th in Washington, D.C.  The event will include a select group of senior leaders from a diversity of sectors, this year’s summit will cover topics including innovative water conservation efforts, evolving green building standards, and the future of energy policy and infrastructure investment. We will feature one-on-one interviews and panel discussions exploring these topics from all angles and make time for audience engagement through Q&A.  Speakers will include Brendan FitzSimons of EDF, AT&T’s John Schultz and Lee McIntire of CH2M HILL.