Energy Update: Week of November 10

Friends

 

The midterm elections are now behind us (except for Louisiana and a few undecided House races in Arizona, California and New York).  But before we head to Sesame Street, I am forwarding in one last blast (like a November Minnesota snow storm), our election recap and video analysis in a special section below, as well as an interviews with energy analyst Kevin Book, several trade association heads and a renewable energy summary from our friend Craig Cox.  The Hill hosts a policy forum on the Energy on Thursday morning.

 

So yes, on this day in 1969, Sesame Street introduced us and now our kids, to Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster and the rest of the gang, teaching us how to spell, count, do arithmetic, have manners, respect others and express feelings.  Psychologist Lloyd Morrisett and NYC public TV producer Joan Ganz created the Children’s Television Workshop and developed a format that had “frequent repetition, clever visual presentation, brevity, and clarity” could potentially be used to teach preschool-aged children, especially with infectious songs that kids could easily recall and match to the educational content.  Hard to argue it hasn’t been a huge success.

 

Veterans’ Day is tomorrow and while that improves traffic, it is truly an important day to honor those who fight for us.  In honor of our Veterans, HBO and Starbucks will hold the Concert for Valor live on the Mall in Washington, D.C. rolling out a bunch of great stars like Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Carrie Underwood, Dave Grohl, Eminem and Rihanna are among the artists who will play.  The gates open at 10:00 a.m. and the show starts at 7:00 p.m.  While it is snowing like mad in Minnesota/North Dakota, the weather in DC is expected to be fabulous.

 

With the President in Beijing, China for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC), it is interesting to mention that BrightSource Energy’s Joe Desmond is also in China signing a joint venture agreement with Shanghai Electric Group (SEC) to construct two 135 megawatt (MW) CSP plants as part of the first phase of the Qinghai Delingha Solar Thermal Power Generation Project.   Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews was there with Desmond for the signing.

 

Congress returns this week for the “lame duck” session on starting Wednesday. They will spend the first week deciding what to do on a range of issues, including tax extenders, the PTC and a continuing resolution which is necessary by December 11 to keep the government running.  Most hearings this week focus on ISIL and Ebola issues.   Next week, the Senate will be in for a full five-day work week while the House will be in for four days through Thursday, November 20th.  My colleague Curt Beaulieu (202-828-5806) is fresh off the Hill’s Senate Finance Committee and can give you great insights on where things stand.   We also expect to see on the House Floor “secret science” legislation to prevent EPA from using science, data, and other information that is not publicly-available, peer-reviewed, and/or independently evaluated to justify the promulgation of new, costly rulemakings.

 

Outside Congress in DC, we expect to see EPA release the 2014 RFS final rule, continue to watch DOE rules on furnaces and other energy efficiency issues and have the roll out the final coal ash rule (which must happen by December 19).  We can be helpful on all of these items with my expert colleagues and other industry sources.

 

Finally, on Friday, the Supreme Court will consider whether to take up challenges to the D.C. Circuit’s April ruling upholding the controversial MATS rule.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead is available to comment.  And speaking of interesting papers, there is a new one from the Federalists Society that offers a heady discussion of the EPA effort to compel states to become the enablers of the Administration’s GHG plan.  Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

2014 MID-TERM ELECTION WRAP UP

 

Republicans Win Big On Election Night – Republicans won big victories in the 2014 Midterm Elections, winning key gubernatorial and congressional races in what many are viewing as a “wave election.”

 

Senate – In the Senate, Republicans took the majority, picking up 7 seats that were previously held by Democrats, giving the GOP 52 Senate seats in the 114th Congress.  Republicans won in Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, Iowa, North Carolina, Arkansas and Colorado. They also managed to hold Republican seats in the hotly-contested states of Georgia, where Republican David Perdue will succeed retiring GOP Senator Saxby Chambliss; Kansas, where Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) managed to hold on despite a strong challenge from independent Greg Orman; and in Kentucky, a top target for Democrats seeking to unseat Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who is expected to be elected the next Senate Majority Leader.  Democrats were able to hold off strong challenges in the states of Virginia, where it took 3 days to finalized the 16,000-vote victory by incumbent Mark Warner who was almost surprised by former White House/RNC official Ed Gillespie; New Hampshire, where former Senator Scott Brown challenged incumbent Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH); Michigan, where Congressman Gary Peters (D-MI-14) defeated GOP candidate Terri Lynn Land to hold on to the seat of retiring Senator Carl Levin (D-MI); and in Oregon, where incumbent Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) easily overcame a challenge from Republican Monica Wehby.

 

House of Representatives – In the House of Representatives, Republicans added at least ten seats to their existing majority, moving it to nearly 243 seats depending on the undecided races.  One key note:  former GM lobbyist Debbie Dingell won the seat of husband John Dingell, keeping the Dingell name in that seat for every Congress since 1933…that’s the 72nd  Congress or 81 years.

 

Governors – There were big wins in State Capitals for many Republicans closely –fought incumbent wins in Florida (Scott), Michigan (Snyder), Maine (LePage), Wisconsin (Walker), Kansas (Brownback) and Georgia (Deal).  They also won big in the key states of Ohio (Kasich), Texas (Abbott), Nevada (Sandoval), New Mexico (Martinez) and Iowa (Branstad).   Finally, they won big surprising victories in blue states of Illinois (Rauner), Massachusetts (Baker) and Maryland (Hogan) and came up just short in Connecticut and Vermont.  Democrats defended incumbents in generally close races in New York (Cuomo), New Hampshire (Hassan), California (Brown), Hawaii (Ige, who knocked out incumbent Abercrombie in primary), Minnesota (Dayton), Oregon (Kitzhaber) and, after a few days, Colorado (Hickenlooper).  The big pick up for Democrats was in Pennsylvania, where Tom Wolf swamped incumbent Tom Corbett despite the State Legislature going overwhelmingly Republican.   Two races remain open: Vermont where incumbent Peter Shumlin leads in a race that will go to the State Legislature to be decided and Alaska, where Republican incumbent Sean Parnell trails challenger Bill Walker by a narrow margin.  In the end, Republicans picked up 3 state Houses giving them 31, while Democrats sit at 17, with Ds leading in the two races undecided.

 

What to Expect in the 114th Congress – Scott Segal says in a video that several changes are anticipated in the new Congress, with both chambers set for Republican control.  He adds key factors include more oversight of key Administration initiatives, notably in energy, the environment, and immigration; a return to a more traditional appropriations process; and the prospects for negotiations between the White House and Congress on key policy initiatives.

 

Insights on McConnell from former Rep. Anne Northup – Fresh off the campaign trail with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), former U.S. Representative Anne Northup provides insights on what can be expected from a Republican-controlled Senate. In this discussion with fellow PRG partner Scott Segal, she discusses some of the new Senate Majority leader’s policy priorities and how the Senate and House will work together.

 

Energy, Environment in the Next Congress – The President, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), and soon-to-be Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have all expressed interest in tackling energy issues in the 114th Congress, according to Segal. With Sen. Murkowski as Senate Energy chair and Sen. Inhofe as Senate Environment chair, both Committees will undoubtedly step up their oversight of EPA, with a particular focus on the President’s “Clean Power Plan.” Murkowski is a strong advocate of oil and natural gas development on federal lands, will work aggressively on reliability issues.  If Sen. Mary Landrieu prevails in her December runoff, she and Murkowski will continue their strong working relationship. If Landrieu loses, however, the position of Ranking Member will fall to Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), whose state has no oil and gas production and plans to soon close its only coal-fired power plant.  While Cantwell is also a more staunch supporter of environmental regulation than Landrieu, she and Murkowski also have a history of working together to facilitate the Committee’s work.

 

Keystone, GHG Rules in Focus – In the new session in 2015, a bill to finalize the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline is a virtual certainty, whether as a separate legislative item or an attachment to must-pass legislation. It remains to be seen what legislative amendments and/or riders will be advanced to curtail the scope and speed of the Clean Power Plan, but it is likely one or more of these provisions will reach the floor of both chambers. Points of focus for States and Republican legislators include: the interim targets for emissions reductions states must meet by 2020, the impact the Clean Power Plan is likely to have on electrical reliability, and the enforceability of the Clean Power Plan in light of widespread opposition from numerous governors.  Because the success or failure of the Clean Power Plan is highly dependent on the States, the outcomes in a number of gubernatorial races will also be felt in the coming years. Governors’ mansions fell to Republicans in Democratic strongholds like Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Gas-rich Pennsylvania flipped the other way. But the net effect probably amplifies the chorus of opposition to implementation of the Clean Power Plan and other EPA rules.  Finally, we anticipate the volume obligations and the credits program under the Federal Renewable Fuel Standard, the ethanol mandate, to be subject to greater scrutiny and perhaps legislative reform in the new Congress. Further oversight is likely on ozone, regional haze, coal ash, and the waters of the United States as well.

 

Full Analysis on Key issues on PRG Site – There are several other detailed background papers and video analyses from key Bracewell PRG experts on issues like crude oil exports, shale oil/gas production, LNG exports, renewable energy, offshore oil/gas energy, tax issues and endangered species issues.  Click On the Link to review the details

 

PRG webinar review – Nearly 200 people tuned in to hear our 2014 midterms post-election analysis webinar Wednesday morning. Slides are available here: PRG_2014_Midterm_Elections_Webinar_PPT An audio file of the presentation is available for download here.

 

List of experts – PRG Speakers are listed here.  I have also added a number of additional experts that Bracewell’s PRG has In-house and available to provide you background expertise.  Our experts include:

 

1) Scott Segal (202-828-5845) on election results /implications, energy/environmental regulations;

2)former EPA Air chief Jeff Holmstead (202-828-5852) on energy issues and environmental regulations; 3) former Daschle/Reid energy staffer Eric Washburn (202-412-5211) wildlife issues, Democratic Politics;

4) former DOE Counsel Salo Zelermyer, (202-828-1718) on LNG exports, energy efficiency, biofuels;

5) trade expert Josh Zive (202-828-5838) on crude exports

6) former Senate Finance Committee Republican Tax staffer Curtis Beaulieu (202-828-5806) on Tax Issues

7) former KY Rep. Anne Northup on election results, implications, Mitch McConnell

8) Jason Hutt (202-828-5850), Lowell Rothschild (202-828-5817) on natgas, fracking issues

9) Kevin Ewing (202-828-7638) Offshore drilling

10) Ed Krenik (202-828-5877) Appropriation, Congressional politics, energy efficiency technologies

11) Cathy McCarthy (202-828-5839) Transmission, FERC

12) Mark Lewis (202-828-5834) FERC Oil/Gas Pipeline issues

13) David Perlman (202-828-5804) CFTC issues

 

Book Comments on Election FalloutE&E TV’s OnPoint featured Kevin Book, managing director at ClearView Energy Partners, the day after the election where he discusses committee shake-ups, the future of U.S. EPA air and water regulations, exports policy, and Keystone XL. He also gives his take on Tom Steyer’s effectiveness in the midterms and talks about how the environmental community should refocus its spending strategy heading into 2016. The power shift in Washington is expected to have direct impacts on some of the most debated energy and environment policies.

 

Energy Leaders Address Election Issues/Results – Story Partners released election impact insights from top energy industry leaders. If you haven’t had a chance, you can view the video interviews  here.  Videos include Cal Dooley, President & CEO, American Chemistry Council; Frank Macchiarola, EVP, Government Affairs, ANGA; Brian Wolff, EVP Public Policy & External Affairs, EEI; and Karen Alderman Harbert, President & CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy to explore the political implications of the 2014 elections on the U.S. energy industry. We also spoke with leading journalists and pollsters.  The interviews look at what a shift in the Senate means for the energy economy; how candidates framed energy issues through the election cycle; what energy policy will look like in the next congressional session; and many other critical issues.

 

Renewable Election Update, Summary – Our friend Craig Cox, former head of the Interwest Energy Alliance, has forwarded his 2014 Clean Energy Election Summaries for the West, Midwest, South, and the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.  The clean energy or climate policy positions of each winning gubernatorial candidate are also included in each regional summary as are the policy positions of utility regulators who won in states where the regulatory commissions are elected.

 

IN THE NEWS

 

BSE Enters JV on Solar with China – BrightSource Energy and Shanghai Electric Group (SEC) announced today in Beijing that they have signed an agreement forming a joint venture for building utility-scale CSP plants in China. Under the agreement, the joint venture will leverage both partners’ contributions to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for projects featuring BrightSource’s solar power tower technology in China. The joint venture’s first proposal is for the construction of two 135 megawatt (MW) CSP plants as part of the first phase of the Qinghai Delingha Solar Thermal Power Generation Project, of which the majority owner is Huanghe Hydropower Development Co. (Huanghe), a subsidiary of the China Power Investment Corporation (CPI). The announcement and signing ceremony was witnessed by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce H. Andrews during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in Beijing, China.  The Qinghai Delingha project will be located in China’s Qinghai province and is planned for six 135 MW CSP tower plants. The first phase will include two 135 MW solar thermal plants with thermal energy storage. Construction of the first two plants is expected to begin in 2015 and be completed in 2017.

 

BSE’s Desmond to Join Commerce Panel –  Speaking of BrightSource and Joe, Commerce Department Secretary Penny Pritzker appointed Desmond to the agency’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee. He will serve as a representative of U.S. solar energy companies in renewable energy and efficiency sector through June 12, 2016.   The committee was formed on June 19, 2012 to provide consensus recommendations from the private sector to the Secretary of Commerce that will enhance export competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency products.  Participation from private sector companies strengthens the Department of Commerce’s efforts on the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative, as well as the National Export Initiative.  Nominations  are based on the ability of the member to carry out the committee’s goal of increasing U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency products in the global market.  Desmond, along with the BrightSource Energy team, combines nearly three decades of experience designing, building, and operating the world largest solar energy plants to minimize the impact on the environment and help customers reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

 

NERC Report Underscores Grid Reliability Concerns Over EPA Rule – The North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC) said in a new study that EPA’s estimates that more than 100 gigawatts in power capacity may be shut down may be too conservative.  NERC also said EPA’s assumptions about achievable power plant efficiencies underestimates the amount of work already done, and that the rule could lead to a greater need for new electric transmission.  “Based on our preliminary assessment of the proposed rule, we believe there must be further detailed engineering analysis to demonstrate whether the assumptions and targets are feasible in the timeframe proposed,” NERC chief Gerry Cauley said in a statement.

 

S&P Study Says Fuel Switching Likely to Increase Price – A new study from the Brattle Group says the loss of the cheaper coal units will boost power prices by as much as 25% on grids that serve about a third of the nation’s population.  Our friends at Bloomberg report the biggest impact may be in the Midwest and Northeast, where demand for gas for heating jumps during the cold-weather months. Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), which manages the electricity network that runs from Manitoba to Louisiana, expects its power reserves to fall short of targets by about 2,000 megawatts by 2016, with deficits mounting after that. Even with the shale boom that’s cut gas prices, power generated with the fuel costs $30 to $35 a megawatt-hour, compared with about $25 for coal, according to Brattle.  The MISO concerns are similar to those expressed above by NERC and in recent reports by grid operators PJM and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

 

McGinty to Become PA Gov CoS – Our friend Katie McGinty will become Chief of Staff in Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s administration.  McGinty has more than 25 years of experience in public service. She has served in many capacities, including at the White House during the Clinton Administration and as Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection Secretary. McGinty has also spent time in the private sector.  McGinty will become Chief of Staff following Wolf’s inauguration on January 20, 2015. Until then, she will assist Gov.-elect Wolf as he builds his administration.

 

Oil, Gas Jobs Keep Growing – The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that oil and gas sector had increased it employment again, reporting with 215,600 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, up from 213,100 a month earlier and 200,600 a year ago.  To that end, a new API study says more women have opportunities to make careers in the oil and natural gas industry.  API’s Rayola Dougher, senior economic adviser at the American Petroleum Institute, said at a Women’s Leadership conference last week in Houston that while women constitute approximately 19% of the industry’s current workforce today, about 185,000 jobs are expected to be available for them over the next 15 years.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

Military Enviro Leaders to Address Conference – The Defense Energy Summit will be held today through Wednesday in Austin, TX.  Speakers will include, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs Edward Thomas Morehouse, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Energy & Sustainability) Richard Kidd and Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Energy, Installations & Environment Dennis McGinn (VADM, Ret).

 

MD Offshore Wind Group to Highlight Opportunities – The Maryland Offshore Wind Business groups is holding an International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum tomorrow through Thursday at the Pier 5 Hotel in Baltimore.  The event will offer thoughtful keynotes and workshops that cover everything from new technologies to managing risk in the OSW industry.  Speakers will include MD Gov Martin O’Malley, MD Sen. Ben Cardin, and our friend and O’Malley Energy advisor Abby Hopper, among many others.

 

CSIS to Host Global Security Forum – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold its 5th annual Global Security Forum 2014 on Wednesday starting at 8:00 a.m. which will address top challenges facing US and global security issues.   The forum will feature a role-playing simulation on Russian oil crisis.  The keynote speaker will be Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work.  Speakers will include former CIA head John McLaughlin, former approps staffer Jim Dyer, David Sanger from the New York Times and CBS’s Bob Schieffer.

 

Georgetown Forum to Discuss Paris Climate Meetings – The Georgetown University Mortara Center for International Studies and the McCourt School of Public Policy are hosting a seminar on Wednesday focused on the Paris COP Meetings and climate agreement  The event will feature Elliot Diringer, Executive Vice President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).  The energy and climate policy research seminar aims to enhance intellectual exchange among faculty and students by providing a forum to discuss research and policy topics related to the international and domestic dimensions of energy and climate change policy.  The Energy and Climate Policy Research Seminar is co-chaired by Joanna Lewis (SFS) and David Konisky (McCourt).

 

RFF to Host Nobel Laureate Mario Molina on Understanding Climate Risk – On Wednesday at 4:00 p.m., Resources for the Future (RFF) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will host a special lecture on understanding climate risk. RFF President Phil Sharp and AAAS CEO Alan Leshner will host a conversation with 1995 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Mario Molina about how the nation should prepare for the risks posed by a changing climate.  Molina is Director of the Mario Molina Center for Energy and Environment in Mexico City; Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego; and Professor at the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography

 

PJM’s Boston to Address Polar Vortex – On Thursday,  ICF International will host its energy and environment breakfast featuring energy expert Terry Boston of PJM.  Boston will discuss the next polar vortex—and what we need to do to ensure reliable supplies of power at prices we can afford during extreme weather events.  At this time last year, we thought we were well prepared for winter weather—even very cold weather—in the Mid-Atlantic region. But then the polar vortex hit in two waves in January 2014, and the concept of “well prepared” seemed to change. While the system held together—no significant blackouts were recorded—the extreme cold snaps revealed vulnerabilities in the system, including more than 20% of the PJM’s generation shuttered due to the cold, planned closures were higher than they should have been, and gas supplies were so constrained that many consumers paid the highest recorded gas and wholesale power prices in history.  With more generation capacity due to retire soon, and an aging grid, Boston will address where we now stand in our ability to withstand winter’s frigid temperatures and storms.

 

IEA to Release Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014 – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Philippe Benoit, Head of the Energy Efficiency and Environment Division at the IEA, to discuss the IEA’s recently released inaugural Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014. The report finds that the global energy efficiency market is worth at least $310 billion a year and is expected to grow. The annual report from the International Energy Agency, now in its second year, confirms the position of energy efficiency as the “first fuel” in the IEA’s largest economies.   Benoit will also present a related IEA study, Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency, which shows that the benefits of energy efficiency go well beyond the simple scaling back of energy demand. The study reframes the discussion about energy efficiency and shows how it has the potential to support economic growth, enhance social development, advance environmental sustainability, ensure energy-system security and help build wealth. Guy Caruso, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

Hill Forum to Look at Election Results, Impacts on Energy – On Thursday at 8:00 a.m., The Hill will host a discussion of what’s next in the energy sector. Business analysts and innovators will offer perspectives on the energy industry’s next 5 years. Policymakers and government leaders will explore the energy agenda for the 114th Congress and will look ahead to anticipate energy priorities and initiatives in 2016. Keynote Speaker will Include Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL-15), Marc Veasey (D-TX-33) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY-01).  Other speakers will include ClearView Energy analyst Kevin Book, Jennifer Dlouhy of The Houston Chronicle, API’s Jack Gerard, Tom Hassenboehler of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and former Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy & Climate Change Heather Zichal.

 

ELI to Look at EPA Methane Rule – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a webinar on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. on controlling methane from the oil and gas sector.  This past March, the White House put forth a new strategy to reduce methane emissions as part of its comprehensive Climate Action Plan, and EPA is following up by developing both regulatory and voluntary approaches to controlling methane emissions from oil and gas operations.  This seminar brings together a diverse panel of experts to weigh the pros and cons of different approaches to methane control. The panel will explain how the oil and gas sector can be an active partner in new initiatives and how the reduction of methane fits into the larger strategy for addressing climate change.  The event will feature EPA Air Office Head Janet McCabe, API’s Howard Feldman and EDF’s Tomás Carbonell.

 

Markey to Headline Energy Forum – The International Institute for Energy Conservation will hold a 30th anniversary and symposium on Thursday afternoon at The Liaison Capitol Hill.  The Symposium will feature presentations and panel discussions on how energy efficiency and other clean energy policies and technologies can provide climate change solutions.  Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts headlines a long list of speakers. The event is co-hosted by the United Nations Environment Program, Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program, the Climate Registry, the United Nations Foundation, SmartPower, The Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and Home Performance Coalition

 

Forum to Look at Climate Resilience – On Thursday at 5:30 p.m., Chino Cienega Foundation, I. M. Systems Group, Inc., Global Gender Program of the Elliott School, The George Washington University Alumni Association, World Wildlife Fund will host a forum on building a climate resilience from the beginning.  This event is part of the Myanmar Advanced Leadership Institute on Climate Change (MALICC), which brings a delegation of 14 government officials and civil society leaders to Washington. MALICC builds on a two-year partnership between PISA and ALARM, Myanmar’s leading environmental organization, in order to help mainstream climate change into the nation’s policy-making.  Roger-Mark De Souza, director of population, environmental security and resilience at the Wilson Center will speak.

 

CHP Policy Forum Set – On Thursday and Friday at the Park Hyatt Washington, the annual Combined Heat & Policy Association Policy Forum will kick off with a reception and trade show Thursday.  The next day attendees will hear a series of presentations about how local, state, and federal policies have enabled CHP. Each panel will feature a case study of a cooperative effort that worked to successfully get more CHP in the marketplace. With CHP being a solution that could solve a variety of energy needs, attendees will hear about small scale, medium scale, and large scale projects ranging from public buildings to industrial installations to hospitals.  Agenda highlights include Keynote Speech by Rep. Paul Tonko and DOE’s Jay Wrobel.

 

Forum to Look at Mexico Energy Plans – The Woodrow Wilson Center and the Atlantic Council will host a forum on Friday on Mexico’s Energy Reform.  The Mexican energy industry is set for transformation after President Enrique Peña Nieto signed into law the reform’s secondary legislation in August. The event will feature the first major policy address in the United States by one of the top Mexican officials leading this reform.  The event also follows two publications in step with the reform process and written by the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s nonresident senior energy fellow, David Goldwyn, Mexico’s Energy Reform: Ready to Launch (August 2014) and Mexico Rising: Comprehensive Energy Reform at Last? (December 2013).  Keynote speakers will include Secretariat of Energy of Mexico María de Lourdes Melgar Palacios, Federal Commission of Electricity of Mexico (CFE) Director General Enrique Ochoa Reza, and Goldwyn, as well as our friend Bill Loveless, Platts Energy Week Host.

 

CSIS to Highlight Seimens CEO – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum on Friday at 10:00 a.m. with Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens AG.  Kaeser will discuss recent developments in the global energy landscape. In the context of dynamic economic, political, environmental and technology-based trends all serving to shape current and future energy markets, we very much welcome the opportunity to hear Mr. Kaeser’s perspective on these timely issues. Frank Verrastro, Senior Vice President and James R. Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics at CSIS, will moderate.

 

House Foreign Affairs to Look at Africa, Energy – The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on Friday at noon looking at the future of energy in Africa.  Witnesses include Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robert Ichord, US AID’s Eric Postel, Acting Assistant Energy Secretary Jonathan Elkind, Leadership Africa USA CEO Walker Williams and Dianne Sutherland, owner of Petroleum Africa Magazine.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

MacFarlane to Make Final Address at Press Club – Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Allison Macfarlane, who recently announced she will leave the commission at the end of December, will deliver her final public address at a National Press Club luncheon next Monday, November 17th.  She will reflect on the agency’s accomplishments and challenges during her tenure and talk about the issues facing the agency going forward.

 

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

 

Webinar Set to Cover Offshore – WINDExchange, the DOE Wind Program’s platform for disseminating credible information about wind energy, is hosting a webinar on November 19th at 3:00 p.m.  Guest speakers will focus on recent developments in the economics of offshore wind. They will discuss the 2014 Offshore Wind Market Report, U.S. wind energy manufacturing, and potential impacts of wind project development on job growth. The webinar is the first in a series designed to inform participants about offshore wind’s technological and industry developments, recent Energy Department-funded research results, and opportunities to move the industry forward in the United States.

 

NJ to Host Power Forum – The National Journal will host a policy summit on Powering the 21st Century: what the next decade will mean for industry, consumers, tech-driven innovations, and action in Washington on Thursday November 20th at 8:00 a.m.  There’s an ‘energy renaissance’ underway in the U.S., thanks in part to a variety of innovative technologies that have improved access to new energy sources. These advances mean the U.S. will be able to meet all its own energy needs by 2035, if not sooner.   These innovations are taking place while the Obama administration attempts to regulate emissions and lower greenhouse gasses by 17% by 2020. The event will focus on the new energy boom’s meaning for sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives, as well as power distribution and reliability.  Our friend Ben Geman will moderate a panel that will include CEQ’s Mike Boots, PG&E’s Helen Burt, NRDC’s David Goldston, SEIA’s Rhone Resch and WRI’s

Andrew Steer.  I suppose it will be an interesting panel of all the panelists agreeing with each other…

 

IEA Chief to Headline CSIS Forum – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum on Monday November 24th at 9:30 a.m., hosting Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA).  Birol will present the IEA’s 2014 World Energy Outlook. The global energy landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, reshaping long-held expectations for our energy future. Dr. Birol will help shed light on the rapidly evolving global energy landscape, presenting the WEO’s comprehensive analysis of medium- and longer-term energy trends. This year’s edition of the WEO also has a special focus on the outlook for nuclear power and its implications, and an in-depth study of sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the prospects for improving access to modern energy services and for developing the region’s huge resource potential in a way that contributes not only to regional and global energy balances, but also to local and social well-being. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

GenForum Set to Discuss GHG, Reliability, NatGas – PennWell’s GenForum will be held on December 8th in Orlando, Florida.  At the event, there will be a panel  discussion on the future of coal power during a dash to gas, as well as EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The EPA rule proposal is meant to have states implement plans to cut power sector emissions 30% by 2030. GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. GenForum brings together power generation executives who operate, plan, build, regulate and invest in power generation systems in North America. Other speakers will include PJM Interconnection Chief Economist Paul Sotkiewicz, Ph.D., will kick off GenForum with a keynote presentation on electric power demand. Julie Turner, Duke Energy general manager for combined-cycle gas generation in North and South Carolina will be part of a panel discussion on natural gas generation. Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) President and CEO John Shelk will discuss issues surrounding competitive power in today’s marketplace. Florida PSC Commissioner Eduardo Balbis will discuss the Florida electric power landscape. ScottMadden Consulting Partner Stuart Pearman will discuss issues posed by distributed generation.

 

Energy Update Week of January 14

Friends, 

It has been some crazy football days lately.  I was only still trying to recover from that wild Ravens-Broncos game on Saturday when in-between kids’ lacrosse and field hockey games, I managed to see the Seahawks roar back from a 20-point deficit in the 4th quarter to take the lead on Atlanta with :31 left, only to lose on a long field goal.   How incredible were all those games?  Even the other two games that weren’t as close were wild, high scoring games.

Congrats to our friend and shallow water drilling expert Jim Noe’s Alabama Crimson Tide who completed the college football season by exposing Notre Dame as the fraud that many of us native Midwesterners suspected they were.  The Tide whacked the “undefeated” and hyped Irish (who’s victory included a 3OT win over Pitt, 3-pt wins over BYU and Purdue and close victories over Michigan and Michigan St) 42-14 to claim its third national Championship in four years.  Roll Tide!!! 

So, not much happening this week in DC as members get back together for policy retreats.  We should start seeing the beginnings of some strategy on several upcoming important fiscal battles.  What we do have coming up in DC is the Second Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama, which is always an exciting event regardless of your party affiliation or political views.  Yesterday, the streets of DC were jammed with practice runs for the parade and all along the parade route, Construction Crews are busily readying grandstands and other venue items.  As well, the party notices are rolling in, with the Clean Energy Ball, the Green Inaugural Ball and, of course our old mainstay Texas State Society’s Black Ties and Boots, all set for the weekend or Monday.   I will be missing this weekend’s festivities as I will have to be in Delaware for wrestling (Adam) Saturday, Virginia Beach for field hockey national qualifiers (Hannah) on Sunday and Pennsylvania for a lacrosse tourney (Olivia) on Monday.   It is a lot of driving, but we can and will do it all. 

There is one DC event here this week that you should highlight.  The US Energy Association will hold its annual state of the energy industry forum on Wednesday (my birthday for any of you thinking about getting me something) at the National Press Club at Noon.  Speeches from leaders of each sector will set the table for the 2013 energy agenda.  Also, take notice of the jobs forum on Thursday in New Jersey related to developing manufacturing around offshore wind.  There may also be some news on development of the offshore wind transmission system that you might find interesting.  Finally, the most famous auto show in the world launches today in Detroit at Cobo Hall, buoyed by new excitement and success in the auto industry. 

Finally, if the MLK holiday weekend is not a busy enough for your typical Spoonman, we’ll  launch it on Friday with Soundgarden (in my mind the 90’s grunge-era band that has Outshined all) who kicks off its 2013 King Animal Tour out of the Rusty Cage at DAR’s Constitution Hall.  They have Been Away Too Long off My Wave after they Fell on Black Days.  Now they are back just in time to share the Ugly Truth and Blow Up the Outside World.  See you in the Superunknown of the Black Hole Sun with the other Slaves and Bulldozers,  Rowing in the Blood On The Valley Floor.    Five Days until shortened NHL season launches.  I must say I’m really looking forward to watching games on the NHL network and NBC Sportschannel every night.  

Finally, we saw that our friends at the Sierra Club Hunted Down and are launching 100 days of Action for Climate Solutions, as if it would be different from their demand for action from the last 100 days, or 100 days before that.  Please feel free to call with questions about that or any other topics. 

Frank Maisano
(202) 8282-5864
c. (202) 997-5932 

IN THE NEWS  

Rockefeller Out – Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller will not run for a sixth term in 2014.  Rockefeller formally announce his decision at an event in Charleston, W.Va. on Friday.  Already, Republican Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito has said she would challenge Rockefeller in the trending Red state.  Potential Democrat candidates include Gov. Earl Tomblin, Rep. Nick Rahall and former Gov. Bob Wise.  Rockefeller is chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and was first elected to the Senate in 1984. 

Energy Rolls out New Nuclear Waste Storage Site – The DOE said Friday the Administration will ask Congress to approve a new national nuclear waste plan that have a pilot interim storage site by 2021 and a full-scale interim storage facility by 2025.  The plan will have a permanent geologic repository by 2048. All of the sites would be chosen with the consent of the host communities.  The response comes after the President rejected Nevada’s long-controversial Yucca Mountain as a permanent storage site.  The strategy represents the administration’s response to the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.  The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Philip Jones said at first blush, there appears to be much to like in the report.  Jones: “We are hopeful this report is accompanied by the strong leadership necessary to jumpstart our nation’s nuclear-waste policy. We look forward to working with Congress and the Energy Department so we can resolve this longstanding issue. Our government owes it to the nuclear utilities and their consumers who have been paying for this program over the last 30 years.”  Senate ENR Minority leader Lisa Murkowski said it’s important to quickly resolve the government’s outstanding liability issue with interim storage facilities, while continuing to work on a permanent solution.  Murkowski: “DOE’s study is an important and constructive step in developing a viable path forward. Establishing an interim storage facility makes a lot of sense, and the best option is to use a consent-based siting approach. I’m hopeful that Congress and the administration will work together to enact legislation that will advance our nuclear energy strategy.” 

TX’s Smitherman to Head NARUC Gas Committee – Speaking of our friends at NARUC, they have appointed Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman Barry Smitherman as Chair of the Association’s Committee on Gas.  Smitherman, who served as a Co-Vice Chair of the committee, replaces outgoing Chair Timothy Alan Simon of California, who left regulation. Ohio Commissioner Todd Snitchler will serve as Co-Vice Chair along with Rhode Island Commissioner Paul Roberti of Rhode Island.  Through panel discussions and educational sessions, the Gas Committee fosters awareness and understanding of issues affecting the transportation, distribution, and sale of natural gas safely, efficiently, and economically. Committee members work closely with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. departments of Energy and Transportation.  Smitherman was appointed to the Railroad Commission of Texas in July 2011 by Gov. Rick Perry, and was elected Chairman by his colleagues in February 2012. In November 2012, Chairman Smitherman won the statewide election to the Commission with 74% of the vote, receiving over 4.5 million votes. He is a fourth generation Texan, with a unique blend of private and public sector experience. Prior to serving at the Railroad Commission, he chaired the Public Utility Commission of Texas from 2007-2012. He was originally appointed to the PUCT in 2004. 

Statoil Adds Resources in Marcellus Shale – Our friends at Norway’s Statoil have expanded their shale position with a $590 million deal to acquire 70,000 acres in the liquids-rich portion of the Marcellus shale in Ohio and West Virginia.  Statoil entered the Marcellus in 2008 through a partnership with Chesapeake Energy Corporation. Since then the company has pursued a targeted and stepwise growth strategy to expand its US onshore holdings and develop operational and organizational capacity.  In 2010, Statoil acquired acreage in the liquid-rich Eagle Ford Shale in Texas and in 2011 the company took over ownership and operatorship for leases in the Bakken and Three Forks formations in North Dakota and Montana through the acquisition of Brigham Exploration.  In 2013, Statoil will become operator for 50% of the Eagle Ford acreage, in line with the agreement with Talisman Energy Inc. from 2010.  A majority of the net acres in this transaction are located in the liquid-rich part of the Marcellus. The market for these products is substantially better paying than the current market for dry gas in the US.   At this early stage of development the risked resource base is estimated at 300-500 million barrels of oil equivalent equity. Current equity production is approximately 5,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day. 

Manufacturing Trade Group Blogs on LNG Exports – Last week, we mentioned several times the LNG export issue.  Today, the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC), a Washington, DC-based trade organization with one primary objective: to ensure that consuming industries and manufacturers in America have access to reliable supplies of globally-priced materials necessary for those industries to produce their products, weighed into the fray with a blog post that says open access to raw materials creates the maximum benefit for all manufacturing.  “While the export restraint picture is more complex than import restraints, economic freedom creates more winners than restrictions do.  Economic theory (and, to be fair, most observation) indicates that restrictions on exports create similar inefficiencies as import protectionism.  Export restrictions reduce the incentive to invest in production of products and services whose prices are held down, just as restrictions on import trade reduce the incentive to invest in the protected market in favor of other markets.  In time, the price of natural gas would approach world price levels, but at a higher price in the US than if production were not constrained.” 

MD Gov Plans To Move Offshore Wind Legislation Again – Our friends at the Baltimore Sun report that after falling just short last year, Gov. Martin O’Malley is preparing once again to introduce a bill aimed at pushing offshore wind for Maryland.  And Sun reporter and SEJ veteran Tim Wheeler writes the measure may finally pass this year thanks to a shake-up in the Senate Committee that blocked it last year over differences not related to the legislation.  The measure is expected to offered a limited renewable energy credit similar to New Jersey for turbines off the Maryland coast in the Atlantic Ocean.  

Marshall Report Looks at Renewables – The George C. Marshall Institute recently released a new report discussing arguments favoring protection and subsidization of renewable energy industries.  In The Infant Industry Argument and Renewable Energy ProductionDr. Sergey Mityakov and Margarita Portnykh, both of the Clemson University Department of Economics, examine the justification for and effectiveness of government support for the production of renewable energy.  They survey the array of state and federal subsidies, tax incentives, and production mandates, noting that “current government policies provide incentives only for production of clean energy,” but “they do little to solve potential market failures” and “as a result, those policies may prove to be quite ineffective instruments to stimulate the cost reduction in clean energy.”  Mityakov and Portnykh test the renewable energy sector finding that the expected decline in costs has not materialized.  For example, in the case of wind energy, they found that despite capacity doubling between 2001-2008, a predicted decline in costs “failed to materialize.”  Energy issues are at the forefront of the nation’s agenda.  Similarly, scrutiny of public spending is intense.  The Mityakov-Portnykh study shows that production supports are both poor energy policy and wasteful public expenditures.  A more effective approach would identify and then target the underlying causes of market failure in the clean energy sector.  

Industry Says PTC Enjoys Bipartisan Support, Protects Jobs – The wind industry countered the study and many opponents general notion that the PTC hurts the US by saying wind energy – which has strong bipartisan backing from political leaders and many communities – is strengthening the economic fabric of communities across America by becoming one of the fastest growing U.S. manufacturing sectors.  The U.S. wind industry supported more than 75,000 jobs in 2011. A full 30,000 of those jobs were in manufacturing.  There are nearly 500 U.S. factories currently supplying the wind industry, up from as few as 30 in 2004, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service recently found.  A recent assessment by the U.S. Department of Energy concluded that the U.S. could supply 20% of the nation’s electricity needs through wind by 2030.  That would support roughly 500,000 good quality jobs in the U.S., with an annual average of more than 150,000 workers directly employed by the wind industry.  And it would result in energy-related cost savings to the nation ranging from $100 billion to $250 billion through 2030. 

NREL to Host Collegiate Wind Competition – DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to participate in DOE’s inaugural National Collegiate Wind Competition.  The National Collegiate Wind Competition is a forum for undergraduate college students of multiple disciplines to investigate innovative wind energy concepts; gain experience designing, building, and testing a wind turbine to perform according to a customized market data-derived business plan; and increase their knowledge of wind industry barriers. Successful teams will gain and then demonstrate knowledge of technology, finance, accounting, management, and marketing, providing lifelong technical and business skills.  The theme of the inaugural competition is to design and construct a lightweight, transportable wind turbine that can be used to power small electronic devices. A principal contest involves testing each team’s prototype wind turbine in a wind tunnel under specific conditions. Each team’s business plan and turbine will also be evaluated against other pre-weighted criteria. The third stage of the competition will be a team-to-team debate relating to current wind market drivers and issues. Teams will be judged on the members’ understanding of the issues posed to them, their communication of potential solutions, and their ability to promote constructive dialogue.  This competition is an opportunity for collegiate institutions to showcase student ingenuity and the programs that the students represent. In addition to this national recognition, the turbine from the college or university with the best overall score will be placed on temporary display at the DOE Headquarters building in Washington, D.C.

GOING ON THIS WEEK

Detroit Auto Show Ready to Roll –Global automakers have saved their best for the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) which begins with the annual press preview today at Detroit’s famous Cobo Hall.  The show is a reflection of the positive changes that are occurring in our industry according to 2013 NAIAS chairman Jim Seavitt. “Automakers from around the world continue to place NAIAS at the top of their global auto show strategies, and have committed to more than 50 vehicle debuts with the majority being worldwide unveilings, ” he said.  The official NAIAS Press Conference Schedule, features nearly 40 official events to be held at Press Preview.  Together, the more than 50 worldwide and North American unveilings are a major demonstration of confidence in the NAIAS, which is frequently compared with shows in Geneva, Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo, and Beijing/Shanghai.    Most NAIAS press conferences will take place at Detroit’s Cobo Center, which is currently in the second of a three-phase expansion plan. Some events will take place in the new three-story glass atrium facing the Detroit River. The lone offsite press conference will be presented by Ford Motor Company at neighboring Joe Louis Arena tomorrow.  With more than 6,000 journalists from around the globe expected to attend NAIAS, the show continues to be at the forefront as a venue for manufacturers and Tier One suppliers to announce new vehicles and make industry news.  

Reicher to Headline AWEA West Event – Focusing on California and surrounding states, the AWEA Regional Wind Energy Summit – West will be held in La Jolla today providing a comprehensive and timely analysis of critical topics in Western wind, including the renewable portfolio standard, wind energy market opportunities, and regional transmission planning.  This event gives you a regional perspective, access to experts who are embedded in the industry and geographical area.  Speakers will include our friend Dan Reicher, executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University. He has more than 25 years of experience in energy technology, policy, and finance, including serving in the Clinton administration at the Department of Energy as Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and recently as a member of President Obama’s Transition Team. Reicher came to Stanford in 2011 from Google, where he served since 2007 as Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives.  Following the conference, AWEA will also hold an Environmental Health and Safety seminar and a wind project maintenance and reliability seminar as well.  

WRI Looks at Big Stories for 2013 – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. at the National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Room on what stories will impact people and the planet in 2013.  Dr. Andrew Steer, President & CEO, will present his views for where the world is headed in international development, climate change, energy, sustainable business, natural resources, and more. 

USEA Holds Annual State of Energy Forum – The US Energy Association will hold its annual state of the energy industry forum on Wednesday (my birthday for any of you thinking about getting me something) at the National Press Club at Noon. Distinguished leaders from the most influential and active energy trade associations as they present the priorities, issues, trends, and challenges affecting the industry in 2013.  Speakers will include Marv Fertel (Nuclear Energy Institute), Jack Gerard, President & CEO, American Petroleum Institute), Regina Hopper (America’s Natural Gas Alliance), Skip Horvath (Natural Gas Supply Association), Tom Kuhn (Edison Electric Institute), Hal Quinn (National Mining Association), Dave McCurdy (American Gas Association), Joe Nipper (American Public Power Association), Rhone Resch (Solar Energy Industries Association), Don Santa (Interstate Natural Gas Association of America),

John Shelk (Electric Power Supply Association) and JoAnne Emerson (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association).

Forum to Look at Wildlife, Nuclear Incidents at Chernobyl, Fukushima – Nuclear Policy Talks and the Institute for Nuclear Studies will hold a forum on  Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. at George Washington University to look at differences and similarities of impacts to wildlife at Chernobyl and Fukushima.  In the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, most organisms surveyed have shown large drops in abundance with a consequent drop in overall biodiversity in contaminated regions. For example, the forest bird community has seen a two-thirds drop in total abundance and a 50 percent drop in species richness in the more radioactive areas when compared to clean areas within the zone. It seems possible that many of the effects that have been observed in Chernobyl but not yet seen in Fukushima are the product of multiple generations of exposure and consequent mutation-accumulation rather than the effects of acute exposure although a recent study of birds and insects has found significant declines in some groups, and there is conclusive evidence of genetically based mutations that have increased over time for butterflies. A key conclusion from current knowledge is that an intensive research program should be initiated to compare and contrast the effects of mutagens stemming from the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters in natural populations so that accurate predictions may be generated related to the long term consequences of radiological events and the likely risks to human populations in these regions.  Timothy A. Mousseau, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina will address these issues.

API’s Felmy to Headline ICF Energy Breakfast – ICF International continues its Energy Breakfast Series with an event on Thursday featuring Dr. John Felmy, chief economist of the American Petroleum Institute (API).  Felmy will draw on his unique perspective to discuss petroleum market issues and how they may affect the petroleum industry, the economy, and consumers.  We are in an unprecedented period of transition. The International Energy Agency has projected that the U.S. could be self-sufficient in petroleum supplies by 2030. Current market trends and supply developments have substantial implications for world petroleum markets, energy security, trade deficits, and our personal pocketbooks. 

NJ to Hold Offshore Wind, Jobs Forum – The New Jersey Alliance for Action will hold a forum on Thursday at the PNC Bank Arts Center’s Meyner Reception Center looking at offshore wind energy and transmission.  It will be a supply chain forum for the burgeoning wind industry.  Speakers will include AWC CEO Bob Mitchell, Offshore Wind Development Coalition head Jim Lanard and Fishermen’s Energy Chris Wissemann, among others.  

World Bank to Hold Transportation Conference – EMBARQ and the World Bank will co-host the tenth annual Transforming Transportation conference at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. on Thursday and Friday.  There is more work to be done within the transport community to achieve scale and widespread adoption of sustainable solutions.  The conference will address topics including improving health & safety in cities, capitalizing on the multilateral development banks’ $175b commitment for sustainable transport at Rio+20, integrating urban transport and development and the benefits of high quality urban design, among others. 

Green Inaugural Ball Set for Newseum – The Green Inaugural Ball will be held at The Newseum on Sunday  bringing together the broad environmental, conservation and clean tech community to celebrate the past four years and look forward to the future.  The dress code is black or Green tie.  The event is sponsored by a bunch of environmental and clean energy groups.

January 21st – Presidential Inauguration Day

Salazar to Attend Clean Energy Ball – Next Monday evening, the 7th Environmental and Clean Energy Inaugural Ball will be held from 8:00 p.m. to Midnight at Sequoia Restaurant in Georgetown’s Washington Harbor waterfront.  This black tie, bi-partisan celebration has become a Washington tradition over the past 24 years as the environmental and clean energy communities gather to welcome a new Administration and make headway towards a more sustainable future.  In 2009, guests included Energy Secretary Chu and Lisa Jackson from EPA. In 2013, U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will be a Special Honored Guest. 

FUTURE EVENTS

House Energy Committee Sets Organizational Meeting – The full House Committee on Energy and Commerce will host a Committee Organizational Meeting for the 113th Congress on Tuesday, January 22nd at 10:00 a.m. 

WRI to Host Intelligence Report Release – The World Resources Institute will host a discussion of the findings of the National Intelligence Council (NIC) report Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds on Tuesday January 22nd at 10:30 a.m.  The report explores how meta-trends such as demographic shifts, technological developments, and resource availability may shape the geopolitical landscape in the coming decades.  Presenting the findings of the Global Trends 2030 Report will be its principal author, Mathew Burrows, Counselor and Director at the NIC. Mathew will be joined by Alex Evans, Senior Fellow, NYU Center on International Cooperation, and WRI’s Managing Director, Manish Bapna, who will take turns to discuss how the international community can address questions of emerging resource scarcity. Active audience participation will be encouraged. 

Report to Look at LNG Exports – The U.S. Energy Association  will release a report on Tuesday January 22nd at 2:00 p.m. on the global impacts of exporting LNG from the United States. The report, Exporting the American Renaissance: Global Impacts of LNG Exports from the United States describes an objective, economic-based analysis of the potential impact of LNG exports from the United States on domestic and global markets. While much attention has focused on the impact of U.S. LNG exports on the U.S. market, this study from Deloitte MarketPoint LLC and the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions analyzes the potential economic consequences of those exports on global markets. It attempts to estimate the potential price impacts, gas supply changes, and flow displacements if the U.S. exported a given volume of LNG to either Asia or Europe.  Authors Peter Robertson and Tom Choi of Deloitte will discuss. 

VA Clean Energy Day Set – Thursday January 24th will be the third annual Clean Energy Lobby Day in the state legislature in Richmond, Virginia. 

Forum to Host IEA Coal Outlook Report – CSIS will host a forum featuring International Energy Agency’s Medium-Term Coal Market Report on Thursday, January 24th featuring Laszlo Varro the Head of IEA’s Gas, Coal & Power Markets Division.   David Pumphrey, Co-Director and Senior Fellow in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will moderate.  The Medium-Term Coal Market Report 2012 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. The annual report shows that while coal continues to be a growing source of primary energy worldwide, its future is increasingly linked to non-OECD countries, particularly China and India, and to the rise of natural gas.  The international coal market is experiencing dynamic changes. In 2011, China alone accounted for more than three-quarters of incremental coal production, while domestic consumption was more than three times that of global trade. Low gas prices associated with the shale gas revolution caused a marked decrease in coal use in the United States, the world’s second-largest consumer. This led US thermal coal producers to seek other markets, which resulted in an oversupply of coal in Europe and a significant gas-to-coal switch. Meanwhile, China overtook Japan as the largest importer of coal, and Indonesia overtook Australia as the world’s largest exporter on a tonnage basis.  The report examines the pronounced role the Chinese and Indian economies will exert on the international coal trade through 2017. In the report’s Base Case Scenario, China accounts for over half of global consumption from 2014, and India surpasses the United States as the world’s second-largest consumer of coal in 2017. The report also offers a Chinese Slowdown Case, a hypothetical scenario which shows that even if Chinese GDP growth slowed to 4.6% average over the period, the country’s coal consumption would continue to grow.

SEJ, Wilson Center to Host Enviro Journos Panel – The Wilson Center’s Environmental Change & Security Program and the Society of Environmental Journalists will host a forum on Friday, January 25th at 3:00 p.m. looking at the year ahead in environment and energy.  A panel of veteran journalists will offer their thoughts on what will be the biggest environment and energy stories in the U.S. and around the world at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  Bloomberg BNA’s Director of Environmental News John Sullivan will kick off the discussion with an overview of the key legislative, regulatory, and legal developments expected in 2013. Margie Kriz Hobson of E&E Publishing’s EnergyWire will moderate the panel, which will include top journalists covering local, national, and international environmental issues. Including SEJ members Peter Behr, AP’s Dina Cappiello, PRI’s Peter Thomson and Bud Ward of the Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media. 

Climate Issues Likely Discussed at WEF – The World Economic Forum will be held in Davos, Switzerland on January 24-27th.  For over 40 years, the mission of the World Economic Forum – committed to improving the state of the world – has driven the design and development of the Annual Meeting program. The Annual Meeting remains the foremost creative force for engaging leaders in collaborative activities focused on shaping the global, regional and industry agendas. As expected, a portion of the discussion is expected to look at climate issues.  

NAS to Look at EV Barriers – The National Academies of Science’s Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences Transportation Research Board is hosting a meeting on Friday and Saturday, January 25-26 at NAS’s Keck Center to examine “Overcoming Barriers to Electric Vehicle Deployment.”

Oregon Clean Energy Conference Set – The 12th annual Harvesting Clean Energy Summit will be held at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR at the Hilton Garden Inn on January 27-29th.  Participants from a diverse range of fields – from motivated farmers, ranchers and other rural landowners to professionals from agriculture and forestry associations, rural utilities, tribes, economic development agencies, and research institutions, to lenders, energy developers and consultants, and representatives of federal, state and local government will attend to discuss Clean Energy strategies.  Drawing on several dozen top-notch speakers, Harvesting Clean Energy focuses on the practical steps to successful project development, from economic and feasibility assessments, to accessing technical support and securing financing amidst tough finance markets.  Learn about wind power, a range of bio-energy technologies, solar and geothermal resources, microhydro, energy innovation in the food processing sector, and efficiency technologies to reduce energy costs and enhance profitability.  Hear about strategies to maximize local job creation and economic benefits from developing our clean energy resources. 

Washington Auto Show, Policy Forums Set – The Washington Auto Show, the policy auto show, will be held starting February 1st for 10 days.  The largest public show in Washington is scheduled from Feb. 1 -10, with January 30th and 31st serving as special preview days for media, government and industry.  On January 30th, the show will hold its annual Public Policy Day on Capitol Hill.  The Policy Summit will be presented by National Journal and The Washington Auto Show in Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building.  “Only The Washington Auto Show can bring together the latest in safety and technology as well as consumer promotions and lots of fun; indeed, “It is the hottest ticket” in town,” said Robert Fogarty, show chairman and CEO of Sport Automotive.  In 2013, the show will have a new floor plan and many new features, including a Luxury Showcase with 11 luxury brands together on the first level and the Exotic Car area. The Advanced Technology SuperHighway Café will house the latest innovations in safety, sustainability and technology.  At the same time, the show draws a massive, diverse and affluent audience with its showcase of stars and cars, cutting-edge technologies, contests and car giveaways.  Look for the display of more than 700 new vehicles by over 42 domestic and import manufacturers offering a showcase of cars, trucks, mini-vans, sport utility vehicles. The show fills the 750,000 square-foot space with two-levels of advanced exhibits. 

ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set – ACORE will hold its National Renewable Energy Policy Forum on February 5th and 6th on Capitol Hill.  The form strategically occurring after the election at the start of the 113th Congress, which will chart the path forward for pro-growth, constructive and bipartisan renewable energy policy.  Renewable energy leaders from Capitol Hill and across the country will assess the volatile state of renewable energy policy and provide a call to action for policymakers for 2013 and beyond.  Some of the Policy Co-Chairs include our friends, Katie McGinty (unless she has a new job), BrightSource Energy’s Joe Desmond and Stanford’s Dan Reicher. 

AWEA To Go To Capitol Hill – On February 5th and 6th, AWEA will return to Capitol Hill for its annual lobby days.  The November 2012 elections will bring new faces to Congress and change the dynamics of Congressional committees that are key to the wind industry.  AWEA members will conduct meetings on Capitol Hill, sharing company perspectives on pressing legislative issues with legislators in whose states they live, and/or has offices, projects, or manufacturing facilities. 

Seminar to Focus On CA Cap, Trade – The Climate consultants at 427, LLC will hold a one-day training course on California’s cap-and-trade program on February 6th in San Francisco to look at carbon markets   A team of renown experts will cover everything you need to know about carbon markets in California, from the rules and program design to the price dynamics and market strategy. More information about the day’s agenda and online registration at  http://calcarbon.eventbrite.com   

February 12 – State Of The Union Speech  

Co-ops to Hold Technology Conference in NOLA – The National Rural Electric Co-op Assn (NRECA) will hold its annual TechAdvantage Conference & Expo in New Orleans on February 18th and 19th to highlight the latest technologies available to electric cooperative engineers, information technology staff, and supply chain and member service professionals. 

EIA Director to Launch US Energy Market Outlook at USDA Forum – The Department of Agriculture (USDA) will hold its 2013 Agricultural Outlook Forum, “Managing Risk in the 21st Century,” on February 21st and 22nd at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.   Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will present the keynote address, followed by guest speaker former Senator Tom Daschle, currently a senior policy advisor with DLA Piper. USDA Chief Economist Joseph Glauber will present the 2013 U.S. Economic Outlook for Agriculture.  The Forum’s dinner speaker on February 21st will be Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), addressing the, “U.S. Energy Market Outlook.”  A program schedule and registration are available at www.usda.gov/oce/forum.  Among the 25 breakout sessions are other risk-management sessions and 85 distinguished experts in the fields of international trade, forestry, conservation, transportation, energy, nutrition, local foods, and food safety. The Forum continues to feature the traditional USDA commodity supply and demand and food price outlooks.  USDA has hosted the Agricultural Outlook Forum since 1923 to provide farmers and ranchers, government, and agribusinesses with sound information for decision-making. Attendees are expected to include members of farm organizations, food and fiber firms, academia, foreign governments, and the news media.

Energy Update Week of January 7

Friends,

I hope everyone had a great holiday.  While we all survived the Fiscal Cliff Hurricanes, it seems as if there will be more political trouble down the road from Debt Black Hawks in Congress.  Remembers the Devils are always in the details.  While I took Flyers on the whole fiscal mess, it couldn’t nearly Bruin the controversy over the NHL lockout, which is finally resolved.   The 48-game season is set to start in a few weeks, so let’s get it on…  Too bad Nick Lidstrom didn’t keep his Red Wings for this shortened season.  I bet he would be a Predator in a shortened 48-game season.  It would have been much better for his older Jets than the long-regular season and playoffs.  Anyway, Canadians, Canucks and Maple Leafs of all stripes are finally breathing a sigh of relief that the OHL is not playing on Hockey Night in Canada anymore (they couldn’t even watch the Canadian Jrs lose to the USA at the World Junior Championships in Russia).

Speaking of Capitals, the beginning of January also signals the beginning for the Stars of the state legislatures across the nation.  Look for an Avalanche of local legislation that sometimes Ducks logic.  In Maryland, Islanders looking for new offshore wind legislation are expected to push local Senators, Kings and other officials with a new effort to reignite the issue that went up in Flames last year in the State Senator, which truly gave supporters the Blues.  Perhaps Lightning will strike this year.   Like Panthers on the prowl, we will be trying to monitor key issues, but if you Coyotes out there hear of local state legislative issues that you need us to report on or want to mention, please let me know and we’ll report with our Sabres of truth.  

We are keeping our eyes peeled for movement from the White House on a new EPA Administrator.  We were are a bit surprised as Penguins without ice to see Christine Gregoire’s name mentioned by Washington State types last week who obviously are hearing about her being vetted.  We’re only a little surprised because we were thinking she would be better for Energy with her strong past experience on Hanford/nuclear waste issues, but if she was being vetted, that wouldn’t necessary mean for which job either…Oh yes, but that’s right…the Energy Secretary job is not open…yet…  See any Sharks circling? 

Tomorrow, two good events:  API’s Jack Gerard will be presenting the Oilers’ State of industry at the Mellon Auditorium at Noon.   Secondly, a bunch of Conservative Energy Rangers will be starting a Wild new group aimed at reigniting conservative leadership on conservation and the environment at the Reserve Officers Assn at 10:00 a.m.  I’ll be breaking owwwwt my Blue Jacket for these events, so see you there. 

Finally, this week is the first Energy Update of 2013 so we are unveiling our Lucky 13 issues for ’13 to watch.  In the meantime, honk – honk – honk… (if you’ve ever been waiting in a DC parking garage after a hockey game, you’ll know what I mean…)

Frank Maisano
(202) 8282-5864
c. (202) 997-5932 

The Lucky 13 for ‘13

1. Offshore Wind is Make or Break – This is a very important year for offshore wind.  While the industry has held unchecked promise for years, it is now time to start “putting up” projects that have long been delayed.  There is no doubt that 2012 saw significant progress for the fledgling industry. With strong government leadership at the state and federal levels working together with the innovators on the front lines of the economic and technical development, we are closer than ever to really starting an entirely new industry that promises revenue, jobs and clean energy, all in one.  This year, while government pushes forward on administrative and regulatory support, 2013 will be time to get a project in Rhode Island, Delaware or New Jersey or Massachusetts in the water and operating.

2. Wind PTC Change in Timing Will Make Big Difference Going Forward – In the final Fiscal Cliff deal, the PTC was renewed for another year.  But a more significant change was made that will change the dynamic on how we go forward with wind projects.  The negotiators changed the definition of when a wind project gets the credit from “In Service” to “Commence Construction.”  That change alone will buy projects another year, but in the long-run, it will redefine the timeline for projects as they look for new ways to phase out the credit.  Look for the phase out discussion to begin as Congress starts considering major tax legislation this summer.  The industry has laid down a six-year marker to start, while even supporters in the Senate see it as maybe a little less.  The process and timeline of the phaseout will help create industry and developer certainty that will be important to keeping a strong long-term future for the thousands of manufacturing jobs created by the wind industry and its supply chains.  

3. No Nukes – Last year, we pegged action on some nuclear projects as a key for the future of expanding nuclear power.  While many lagged, some are not throwing in the towel yet.  Currently, there are five under construction by three companies and consortia, but most development remains on life support with only Southern Company advancing its effort at Georgia’s Plant Vogtle with some success.  Problems abound even for Southern as lawsuits, activist opponents and costs make these expansions more treacherous.  Keep a close eye on Georgia, especially now that several older coal plants are also timelined to close in a few years, which makes Vogtle that much more important. 

4. Nat Gas Revolution – The natural gas revolution is here and is for real.  We have heard sputtering about it from all corners of the political and policy worlds, but the numbers are in. There are abundant supplies of natural gas in the world, and many of these supplies can be developed and produced at relatively low cost. In the U.S., despite their relative maturity, natural gas resources continue to grow, and the development of low-cost and abundant unconventional natural gas resources, particularly shale gas, has a material impact on future availability and price. Unlike other fossil fuels, natural gas plays a major role in most sectors of the modern economy — power generation, industrial, commercial, and residential. It is clean and flexible. The role of natural gas in the world is likely to continue to expand under almost all circumstances, as a result of its availability, its utility, and its comparatively low cost.  There is a lot to watch, but what regulatory burdens are imposed by items like EPA’s mandated study and what opponents do through the local political and legal system could slow the juggernaut.  

5. LNG, other Energy Exports Open for Business – One of the key questions this year will be whether the US energy industry will be allowed to export energy to nations that desperately need it.  In some cases it will be China, in other cases, maybe Japan or Europe.  Whatever, this fight is shaping up to be a real battle, with the Senate Energy committee stepping into it on its very first days of the 113th Congress.  Already, they are planning hearings on LNG Exports and DOE’s recent report, as well as looking at royalties from coal exports.  Energy exports can help our trade deficit and keep jobs rolling in the US even if our demand drops, especially in light of the widely-discussed natural gas revolution.  Look for the key fight to be over price and when enough is enough.  The key group to watch is the chemical manufacturing sector.  They will be the canary in the coal mine.

6. Climate G20 – With the real expiration of the Kyoto Treaty and indifference among most nations towards replacing it with a real policy, it is likely that international discussions around climate change will take on new meaning this year.  But even with the Administration superficially focused on climate change to address its activist base, look for more aggressive focus on the new real playing field for these discussions:  the G20 economic forum process. Not only are the right people at the table, but it places the climate issue in its proper context among other major issues like the global economy, technology partnership and international competitiveness. We know activists think John Kerry’s presence at State will make a difference, but don’t count on it, unless he and the President takes the fight to the next G20 Meeting in Russia in September 2013. 

7. Low Gasoline Demand – With 2012 seeing the highest average price for gasoline ever, we are seeing changing dynamics in the gasoline market that will likely change it forever going forward.  The problem has two unknowns: the fuel economy of the vehicle fleet itself, which hinges on how many new, efficient cars replace old, inefficient cars and the vehicle miles traveled.  EPA’s “real world” vehicle efficiency estimates show that demand is shrinking to an expected 108 billion gallons per year of U.S. demand by 2022. And with new fuel economy standards likely to be implemented next year, that demand will fall exponentially more. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute estimates that new vehicle fuel economy rose 1 mpg in 2012, with new CAFE standards and consumer choice contributing to that outcome.  Expect greater gains in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Ultimately, a smaller domestic gasoline marketplace means changing the products available for sale or intended for export – and both will involve plenty of economic and political challenges. 

8. GHGs for Everyone? – Maybe the biggest story of 2013 will be what happens with the new proposed greenhouse gas rules for new power plants that were proposed in 2012.  In addition to that, what is next in EPA’s target list?  Many experts think it will be GHG emissions at existing power plants.  There is also potential for GHGs at refiners and other manufacturing facilities, but impacts on gasoline supply and consumer goods could be a factor here in delaying these as targets.  Whatever it is, the ultimate goal seems to be wide-ranging GHG regulations that will eventually have a broad impact on the entire economy.  2013 will see the first real steps implementing this enviro vision. 

9. Solar Successes Reaping Benefits – Solar has arrived: really…2013 will be a great year as jobs continue to be created and several important projects in the pipeline become a reality.  With the mistakes of Solyndra fading away and the successes of projects like BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah project (which will go live in 2013) and big name Utility investors like Southern Company and Warren Buffet’s Mid-American buying in, solar is really ready to burst into the positive spotlight. 

10. New Natgas Drilling Technologies Will Make Things Move Faster, Better – For years, we have quietly watched a revolution on natural gas drilling.  With louder opponents, new political battlegrounds and silly movies like Gasland, one thing you can expect the industry technologists to do is to continue to build a better natural gas drilling mousetrap to get more out with less environmental impact.  Already, new technologies on water use, land impacts and air emissions are emerging faster than opponents claim to block drilling.  2013 will be a great year to watch these technologies emerge on the big stage to keep the natgas revolution alive and strong.

11. Keystone A Done Deal? – It’s funny how the biggest political issue stays hot.  As EPA’s Lisa Jackson resigns, enviros immediately claimed that it was because of Keystone.  How convenient for their cause.  It would be more believable if EPA had more than a sidebar role in the Keystone deal.  It is probably also more believable to think she left over getting rolled on NAAQS or the potential e-mail scandal questions.  It is most likely though, she was just done after four hard years (and who could blame her).  Anyway, back to Keystone, the biggest Administration questions remaining were resolved by Nebraska so that political fig leaf is gone.  Enviros are hanging hopes on John Kerry coming into the State Department but good luck with that: the cake is already baked.  Here’s the wiggle-room catch: Look for a final decision that leaves loose ends that can foster litigation.  The President gets his cake and the enviro lawsuit machine eats it too. 

12. Lawsuits, Lawsuits, Lawsuits – Speaking of lawsuits, it is widely expected that litigation will be the new “fiscal cliff” of 2013.  With the Administration taking more and more leeway with regulation and Congress arguing at every turn, both industry and enviro groups better pack on the funding to sue and be sued.  Already we have seen significant battles over the CASPR rule, auto CAFE standards, RFS changes/requirements and other EPA mobile source rules.  These will be small potatoes when compared to upcoming fights on GHG rules or new soot/particulate standards. 

13. Drilling Will Expand, Safety Will Be Focus – New U.S. energy growth will continue to propel significant economic expansion in the US.  This growth developing our domestic resources strengthens our energy security, creates good-paying jobs and generates needed revenue for the U.S. Treasury.  Ramping up the level of safe and responsible production in our federal waters/land is critical to that increase. Long-term investment requires confidence in the regulatory regime.  While the number of permits being issued for drilling has increased over the past year, there are still insufficient approved permits in the queue to support robust rig activity. Operators are getting permits approved “just in time” as a rig moves to its destination, and there is serious concern those approvals could slip to “not in time,” resulting in idle rigs waiting for approved permits. Given the costs, look for industry to keep fighting so permits are flowing to support an influx of new rigs.  Of course, with safety as Interior’s top priority, industry hasn’t been waiting around for a policy document to build a strong safety culture.  Despite the failures that led to Macondo, 2013 will show a drilling industry at large has long since been a leader on building and maintaining a strong culture of safety to make sure its employees are protected. 

IN THE NEWS

Gore Sells Current TV to Al Jazeera – Former VP Al Gore has sold Current TV, the small cable news channel that he co-founded to Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based media company.  The acquisition gives Al Jazeera, which is funded by the Qatar government and one of the largest fossil fuel producers in the world, the opportunity to establish a footprint in the United States, where it already has an English-language version.  Al Jazeera did not disclose the purchase price, but people with direct knowledge of the deal pegged it at around $500 million, indicating a $100 million payout for Gore.  It was also reported that Gore and his partners were eager to complete the deal by December 31 to avoid being subject to higher tax rates.  Unfortunately for them, the deal was not signed until Wednesday. Aren’t both of those facts rich with irony?  I think I’ll just leave it at that. 

Promised Land Continues to Be Panned – The widely-touted Matt Damon melodrama Promised Land isn’t getting very good reviews and it’s not just natural gas companies that are complaining.  Houston Chronicle Columnist Loren Steffy said it “doesn’t live up to its promise,” while even liberal press like Grist and Huff Post hammered it as well.    Grist says it landed in theaters with a resounding “meh!”  Other pre-release showings weren’t so hot.  And Box Office Mojo said after a middling performance in limited release, Promised Land expanded to 1,676 locations this weekend but could only muster $4.3 million (good for 10th place). “While Matt Damon is obviously a star, audiences aren’t going to show up for anything he does, especially when the marketing fails to present any semblance of an interesting story. With its “B” CinemaScore, and without any Academy Award nominations (that’s an assumption based on its poor reviews and lack of any previous awards recognition), the movie should disappear quickly from theaters.”  It lost out badly to Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3-D.  That says a lot…

NY Report Finds No Harm from NatGas “Fracking” – Speaking of natural gas drilling and controversy, over the past few months frustration has mounted in New York as the state struggles to finalize its natural gas regulations. What may have originally been an attempt at a pragmatic review has quickly devolved into political theater, with each day bringing new information to light on the actions – or, all too often, inactions – of state officials who seem content to let the issue drag on indefinitely. The latest example? A secret health review from Governor Cuomo’s hand-picked Health Secretary which found that “significant adverse impacts on human health are not expected from routine HVHF operations.” 

Hagel Nominee Brings Back Byrd-Hagel Memories – While enviros groups are swooning over John Kerry’s nomination to the State Department, they have to be a bit worried over the President’s suggestion that Chuck Hagel become the Defense Secretary.  While it will really have little impact on major environmental policy issues, just the mere mention of Chuck Hagel brings up memories of the long-standing Senate resolution Byrd-Hagel’s S Res. 98 that garnered a 95-0 vote in the Senate and has guided our international climate policy since 1997 (through several administrations and much to the chagrin of enviros).  Interesting Sponsors include Jay Rockefeller, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin and Barbara Mikulski, among many others who have left the Senate and some even who have passed on.  See the list in the Link.

Kansas’ Largest Wind Farm Starts Up – The largest wind farm ever built in Kansas has started operations.  Flat Ridge 2, jointly owned by BP Wind Energy and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, has 274 wind turbines, each with capacity to generate 1.6 megawatts of electricity or a total of 438 megawatts. That’s enough to supply electricity to 160,000 homes.   Besides being the largest wind farm in Kansas, the $800 million project is the largest ever to be built all at once, instead of in phases. 

Georgia Power to Retire Plants – Georgia Power will retire 15 coal- and oil-fired generating units at four plants totaling 2,061 megawatts (MW) over the next few years.  The request includes units 3 and 4 at Plant Branch in Putnam County; units 1-5 at Plant Yates in Coweta County; units 1 and 2 at Plant McManus in Glynn County; and units 1-4 at Plant Kraft in Chatham County.  Branch, Yates and 3 of the 4 Kraft units are coal-fired, while the other Kraft Unit is oil- or natural gas-fired and McManus is oil-fired.  Plants will be retired by the April 16, 2015 effective date of EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule. Georgia Power expects to seek a one-year extension of the MATS compliance date for Plant Kraft, and retire those units by April 16, 2016.  Several factors, including the cost to comply with existing and future environmental regulations, recent and forecasted economic conditions, and lower natural gas prices contributed to the decision to close these units.  My colleague Scott Segal said it also should be noted that Georgia Power has had a number of major investments over the last several years designed to diversify the portfolio of energy sources it uses.  Segal: “In the future, Georgia consumers and businesses will benefit from investments in state-of-the-art fossil fuel facilities, renewables, energy efficiency projects – as well as one of the only new builds in the nuclear sector.  In Washington, we theorize about an all-of-the-above energy policy; for Georgia Power and the Southern family, it looks like theory is moving into practice.” 

Chinese Restart Nuke Plant Construction – We may be struggling to build them here, but China has resumed construction on a “fourth generation” nuclear power plant, suspended after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, which will be its biggest-ever nuclear facility.  Construction on the coastal Shidao Bay nuclear plant in Rongcheng, a city in eastern China’s Shandong province, resumed last month.  The plant, which will be cooled by high temperature gas, will become the world’s first successfully commercialized fourth generation nuclear technology demonstration project.  The plant, expected to begin supplying electricity to the grid by 2017, will have a final generating capacity of 6,600 megawatts with initial investment in the project will be three billion yuan ($480 million).

GOING ON THIS WEEK 

FrackNation Opens in NY – Given the poor Promised Land showings, journalist Phelim McAleer releases his documentary, FrackNation, today in New York City. FrackNation is an antidote to GasLand, and Promised Land. McAleer begins with a revealing public exchange with Fox at a GasLand screening in 2011, then visits the residents of the bucolic farmlands where fracking is done, or could be done.  Fox repeatedly refuses an interview, so McAleer executes a Michael Moore–style ambush. Fox scurries away, and gets security to remove McAleer and his team from a public building. In running, Fox only indicts himself. FrackNation eviscerates one after another of Fox’s claims, including an assertion that breast-cancer rates soared around Texas’ shale-oil fields. The AP has reported the Texas Cancer Registry shows no such fact. 

New Leadership Group to Discuss Environment, Conservation – Former Interior Secretary Gale Norton, former Secretary Of Agriculture Ed Schafer and former Deputy Secretary Of The Interior Lynn Scarlett and the new CONSERVATION LEADERSHIP COUNCIL will host a forum and lunch tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. at the Reserve Officers Association’s Top of the Hill Conference Center on how conservatives are rebuilding leadership on conservation and the environment.   The CLC will showcase a new national dialogue among conservative leaders about innovative solutions to America’s environmental and conservation challenges. The CLC event will engage political and policy leaders in an interactive conversation about conservation and stewardship through policies rooted in fiscal responsibility, limited government, market entrepreneurship, community leadership, and public-private partnerships.  The CLC also will release a set of commissioned academic papers on topics ranging from energy and water security to species protection and land management – offering a set of actionable recommendations that focus on private-sector and community initiatives as federal budgets tighten.  Invited participants include dozens of leaders from federal, state and local government, the private sector, conservation groups and academia who share an interest in advancing policy solutions that reflect the CLC’s principles. Others on the CLC include former CEQ Chair Jim Connaughton, former EPA official Mary Gade, former Energy assistant Sect Kevin Kolevar, former Augusta , Georgia Mayor Bob Young and many others. 

API to Hold State of Energy – The American Petroleum Institute will hold its state of the energy industry tomorrow at Noon in the Andrew Mellon Auditorium.  API CEO Jack Gerard will outline the new realities of energy in America and the ways the oil and natural gas industry is working and investing every day to ensure the safe exploration, production and delivery of American-made energy. Energy that is vital to creating jobs, growing businesses and ensuring our quality of life. 

Calvert’s Freeman to address GreenBiz Roundtable – The Wharton Club of DC’s Green Business Roundtable will hold its monthly meeting Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at the National Press Club’s McClendon Room to discuss the intersection of business and our environment.  The speaker will be Calvert’s Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President of Sustainability Research and Policy.  Freeman leads Calvert’s Sustainability Research Department and oversees its company research and analysis as well as its policy and advocacy work. From 2003 until early 2006, he led Burson-Marsteller’s Global Corporate Responsibility practice advising multinationals on policy development, stakeholder engagement and communications strategies related to human rights, labor rights and sustainable development. During the Clinton Administration he served in three positions as a presidential appointee in the State Department, most recently as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from 1999 to early 2001. 

Utah Energy Forum to Look at All of the Above Energy – The Utah Office of Energy Development will hold the 2013 Utah Governor’s Energy Development Summit on Thursday and Friday in Salt Lake City’s Salt Palace Convention Center.  The Summit is the premier energy event for Utah and the greater Rocky Mountain area. Join Governor Gary R. Herbert and other national energy leaders as they highlight energy priorities, hot topics, and emerging energy issues. 

FUTURE EVENTS

Reicher to Headline AWEA West Event – Focusing on California and surrounding states, the AWEA Regional Wind Energy Summit – West will be held in La Jolla on January 14th, providing a comprehensive and timely analysis of critical topics in Western wind, including the renewable portfolio standard, wind energy market opportunities, and regional transmission planning.  This event gives you a regional perspective, access to experts who are embedded in the industry and geographical area.  Speakers will include our friend Dan Reicher, executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University. He has more than 25 years of experience in energy technology, policy, and finance, including serving in the Clinton administration at the Department of Energy as Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and recently as a member of President Obama’s Transition Team. Reicher came to Stanford in 2011 from Google, where he served since 2007 as Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives.  Following the conference, AWEA will also hold an Environmental Health and Safety seminar and a wind project maintenance and reliability seminar as well. 

WRI Looks at Big Stories for 2013 – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday, January 15th at 9:00 a.m. at the National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Room on what stories will impact people and the planet in 2013.  Dr. Andrew Steer, President & CEO, will present his views for where the world is headed in international development, climate change, energy, sustainable business, natural resources, and more. 

USEA Holds Annual State of Energy Forum – The US Energy Association will hold its annual state of the energy industry forum on January 16th (my birthday for any of you thinking about getting me something) at the National Press Club at Noon. Distinguished leaders from the most influential and active energy trade associations as they present the priorities, issues, trends, and challenges affecting the industry in 2013.  Speakers will include Marv Fertel (Nuclear Energy Institute), Jack Gerard, President & CEO, American Petroleum Institute), Regina Hopper (America’s Natural Gas Alliance), Skip Horvath (Natural Gas Supply Association), Tom Kuhn (Edison Electric Institute), Hal Quinn (National Mining Association), Dave McCurdy (American Gas Association), Joe Nipper (American Public Power Association), Rhone Resch (Solar Energy Industries Association), Don Santa (Interstate Natural Gas Association of America),

John Shelk (Electric Power Supply Association) and JoAnne Emerson (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association). 

Detroit Auto Show Ready to Roll –Global automakers have saved their best for the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) which begins with the annual press preview on Monday, January 14th at Detroit’s famous Cobo Hall.  The show is a reflection of the positive changes that are occurring in our industry according to 2013 NAIAS chairman Jim Seavitt. “Automakers from around the world continue to place NAIAS at the top of their global auto show strategies, and have committed to more than 50 vehicle debuts with the majority being worldwide unveilings, ” he said.  The official NAIAS Press Conference Schedule, features nearly 40 official events to be held at Press Preview, January 14-15th.  Together, the more than 50 worldwide and North American unveilings are a major demonstration of confidence in the NAIAS, which is frequently compared with shows in Geneva, Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo, and Beijing/Shanghai.    Most NAIAS press conferences will take place at Detroit’s Cobo Center, which is currently in the second of a three-phase expansion plan. Some events will take place in the new three-story glass atrium facing the Detroit River. The lone offsite press conference will be presented by Ford Motor Company at neighboring Joe Louis Arena on Jan. 15.  With more than 6,000 journalists from around the globe expected to attend NAIAS, the show continues to be at the forefront as a venue for manufacturers and Tier One suppliers to announce new vehicles and make industry news.  

Olmos, Nash to Host Urban Wheel Awards at NAIAS – Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning actor, producer, director and Latino activist, Edward James Olmos, will join Daytime Emmy award-winning actress Niecy Nash to host the 17th Annual Urban Wheel Awards on Sunday, January 13, 2013 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel inside the Sound Board theatre during the North American International Auto Show’s (NAIAS) press preview week. The Urban Wheel Awards is the official multicultural event of the NAIAS.  The Urban Wheel Awards (UWA) is the only Official Multicultural Event held in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show.  The UWA brings together celebrities, automotive executives, international media, government representatives, and the multicultural community.  This year the UWA will honor women in the automotive industry.  The evening begins with a vehicle display at 4:00 p.m. followed by the Celebrity Red Carpet at 5:00 p.m.; VIP and General receptions start at 5:30 p.m., immediately followed by the awards from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  An afterglow networking reception will conclude the evening.  Proceeds from the event support the Emerging Diversity Education Fund, which provides internships, scholarships, and mentoring to students pursuing careers in communications and the auto industry.  

API’s Felmy to Headline ICF Energy Breakfast – ICF International continues its Energy Breakfast Series with an event on Thursday, January 17th featuring Dr. John Felmy, chief economist of the American Petroleum Institute (API).  Felmy will draw on his unique perspective to discuss petroleum market issues and how they may affect the petroleum industry, the economy, and consumers.  We are in an unprecedented period of transition. The International Energy Agency has projected that the U.S. could be self-sufficient in petroleum supplies by 2030. Current market trends and supply developments have substantial implications for world petroleum markets, energy security, trade deficits, and our personal pocketbooks. 

NJ to Hold Offshore Wind, Jobs Forum – The New Jersey Alliance for Action will hold a forum on January 17th at the PNC Bank Arts Center’s Meyner Reception Center looking at offshore wind energy and transmission.  It will be a supply chain forum for the burgeoning wind industry.  Speakers will include AWC CEO Bob Mitchell, Offshore Wind Development Coalition head Jim Lanard and Fishermen’s Energy Chris Wissemann, among others.  

World Bank to Hold Transportation Conference – EMBARQ and the World Bank will co-host the tenth annual Transforming Transportation conference at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. on Thursday and Friday, January 17th and 18th.  There is more work to be done within the transport community to achieve scale and widespread adoption of sustainable solutions.  The conference will address topics including improving health & safety in cities, capitalizing on the multilateral development banks’ $175b commitment for sustainable transport at Rio+20, integrating urban transport and development and the benefits of high quality urban design, among others.

Green Inaugural Ball Set for Newseum – The Green Inaugural Ball will be held at The Newseum on Sunday, January 20th, bringing together the broad environmental, conservation and clean tech community to celebrate the past four years and look forward to the future.  The dress code is black or Green tie.  The event is sponsored by a bunch of environmental and clean energy groups. 

January 21st – Presidential Inauguration Day

Salazar to Attend Clean Energy Ball – On Monday evening, the 7th Environmental and Clean Energy Inaugural Ball will be held from 8:00 p.m. to Midnight at Sequoia Restaurant in Georgetown’s Washington Harbor waterfront.  This black tie, bi-partisan celebration has become a Washington tradition over the past 24 years as the environmental and clean energy communities gather to welcome a new Administration and make headway towards a more sustainable future.  In 2009, guests included Energy Secretary Chu and Lisa Jackson from EPA. In 2013, U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will be a Special Honored Guest. 

VA Clean Energy Day Set – Thursday January 24th will be the third annual Clean Energy Lobby Day in the state legislature in Richmond, Virginia. 

Oregon Clean Energy Conference Set – The 12th annual Harvesting Clean Energy Summit will be held at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR at the Hilton Garden Inn on January 27-29th.  Participants from a diverse range of fields – from motivated farmers, ranchers and other rural landowners to professionals from agriculture and forestry associations, rural utilities, tribes, economic development agencies, and research institutions, to lenders, energy developers and consultants, and representatives of federal, state and local government will attend to discuss Clean Energy strategies.  Drawing on several dozen top-notch speakers, Harvesting Clean Energy focuses on the practical steps to successful project development, from economic and feasibility assessments, to accessing technical support and securing financing amidst tough finance markets.  Learn about wind power, a range of bio-energy technologies, solar and geothermal resources, microhydro, energy innovation in the food processing sector, and efficiency technologies to reduce energy costs and enhance profitability.  Hear about strategies to maximize local job creation and economic benefits from developing our clean energy resources.

Washington Auto Show, Policy Forums Set – The Washington Auto Show, the policy auto show, will be held starting February 1st for 10 days.  The largest public show in Washington is scheduled from Feb. 1 -10, with January 30th and 31st serving as special preview days for media, government and industry.  On January 30th, the show will hold its annual Public Policy Day on Capitol Hill.  The Policy Summit will be presented by National Journal and The Washington Auto Show in Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building.  “Only The Washington Auto Show can bring together the latest in safety and technology as well as consumer promotions and lots of fun; indeed, “It is the hottest ticket” in town,” said Robert Fogarty, show chairman and CEO of Sport Automotive.  In 2013, the show will have a new floor plan and many new features, including a Luxury Showcase with 11 luxury brands together on the first level and the Exotic Car area. The Advanced Technology SuperHighway Café will house the latest innovations in safety, sustainability and technology.  At the same time, the show draws a massive, diverse and affluent audience with its showcase of stars and cars, cutting-edge technologies, contests and car giveaways.  Look for the display of more than 700 new vehicles by over 42 domestic and import manufacturers offering a showcase of cars, trucks, mini-vans, sport utility vehicles. The show fills the 750,000 square-foot space with two-levels of advanced exhibits. 

ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set – ACORE will hold its National Renewable Energy Policy Forum on February 5th and 6th on Capitol Hill.  The form strategically occurring after the election at the start of the 113th Congress, which will chart the path forward for pro-growth, constructive and bipartisan renewable energy policy.  Renewable energy leaders from Capitol Hill and across the country will assess the volatile state of renewable energy policy and provide a call to action for policymakers for 2013 and beyond.  Some of the Policy Co-Chairs include our friends, Katie McGinty (unless she has a new job), BrightSource Energy’s Joe Desmond and Stanford’s Dan Reicher. 

February 3rd  – Super Bowl Sunday 

AWEA To Go To Capitol Hill – On February 5th and 6th, AWEA will return to Capitol Hill for its annual lobby days.  The November 2012 elections will bring new faces to Congress and change the dynamics of Congressional committees that are key to the wind industry.  AWEA members will conduct meetings on Capitol Hill, sharing company perspectives on pressing legislative issues with legislators in whose states they live, and/or has offices, projects, or manufacturing facilities.

Co-ops to Hold Technology Conference in NOLA – The National Rural Electric Co-op Assn (NRECA) will hold its annual TechAdvantage Conference & Expo in New Orleans on February 18th and 19th to highlight the latest technologies available to electric cooperative engineers, information technology staff, and supply chain and member service professionals.

Energy Update Week of October 1

Friends,

Short note today because I’m just speechless over yesterday’s final Ryder Cup meltdown.  That and the fact that there is a lot going on regarding party preparation for the first Presidential Debate in Denver Wednesday night.  I’ll be serving chicken wings for my event since on that day 38 years earlier at Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, the first “Buffalo wings” were made and served to patrons who were probably getting ready for the Goldwater-Johnson Debate, or maybe a Bills Game from the old AFL days (they defeated the San Diego Chargers that year for the AFL Championship behind the play of future pol Jack Kemp).

The week of October 1st not only means the it’s the start of the fourth quarter, but that it’s been 50 years since James Meredith integrated the University of Mississippi and that it has been 26 years since original Metallica Bassist Cliff Burton was killed in the “black ice” bus crash in Sweden.  Also, the Boston American’s played the first modern World Series game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1903.  And while we’re in PA, in 1940, the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened (I think I’ve hit a few potholes from the original road).  And for those of you in DC, you may remember that 10 years ago this week (tomorrow actually), the DC sniper incidents began, wreaking havoc in the region for more than 3 weeks.

October also means the Supreme Court kicks off its fall term.  The session kicks off with a bang this week with a landmark case to decide whether survivors of human rights violations in foreign countries can bring lawsuits against corporations in US courts. The case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, centers on a lawsuit that accuses the oil giant of complicity in the murder and torture of Nigerian activists.

A couple things I do want to mention though:  tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., SEIA and Hart Research will release the latest poll showing voter perceptions (expect good news!!) about solar energy and their views on the government’s role in developing solar.  Speaking of solar, our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy is one of the key speakers at the US Energy Association annual energy supply conference at the National Press Club on Thursday.  The following day, Friday evening at MIT, E&E TV’s Monica Trauzzi hosts the only real Presidential energy debate in Boston featuring campaign energy surrogates, Joe Aldy (Obama) and Oren Cass (Romney).  And don’t forget this week is GridWeek, while next week is AWEA’s Offshore Wind conference in Virginia Beach.

So stay tuned on Wednesday, remember to drink when you hear the word “jobs” and call with questions.  Special thanks to my friends in the enviro community, who’s spamming of Jim Lehrer just about assures the words “climate” and “change” won’t be mentioned together.  We’ll be tracking it all…36 days to the election.

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

IN THE NEWS

President Blocks Chinese Wind Farm Purchase – Are there politics in them there hills? Blasted by his opponent’s ads that say he is soft on China, President Obama issued an order using a trade provision to block a Chinese company’s purchase of four wind farm projects in Oregon in the vicinity of a U.S. naval facility’s restricted airspace.   The President is demanding that Ralls Corporation divest its interest in the wind farms it purchased earlier this year.  My colleague Josh Zive (202-828-5838), a great resource on CIFUS and other trade issues, said there are many reasons why the White House would take a swipe at China, but even if it wasn’t politically motivated, it will have political implications, especially internationally where the politics are far more complicated.   Feel free to call Josh, as he is happy to discuss in great detail.

New Job Recovery Plan for Out-of-Work Power Plant Workers – Washington TV Station WJLA unknowingly has unveiled the President’s second-term plan for all those coal and power plant jobs that EPA is eliminating:  The DC Lottery.  James Brown, a husband and father of three daughters in college, will lose his job of 27 years at Alexandria’s GenOn Power plant on October 12 due to its shut down after a long battled with environmentalist over the plant.  But here’s the Prez’s plan kicking in on this unlucky tale: He won $102,500 in the DC-5 Lottery last week.  Yes, this is the famous plant that the Energy Department and FERC ordered to run for grid reliability of the Nation’s Capital while EPA and the Commonwealth of Virginia fined them for operating.  It spurred legislation to fix such situations from Pete Olsen that was able to get support from both Henry Waxman and Ed Markey.  The legislation awaits action in the Senate, and may see action in the post-election Congressional Session.

Bipartisan Letter Expresses Concern with EPA Overreach in HF Diesel Fuel Guidance – A bipartisan groups of Senators sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson expressing concern that EPA is expanding its definition of diesel fuels in its draft permitting guidance for oil and natural gas hydraulic fracturing activities in an effort to gain more federal control over the hydraulic fracturing process.  Senators signing the letter include Jim Inhofe, Lisa Murkowski and North Dakota’s John Hoeven, along with Democrats  Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Joe Manchin  of West Virginia.  Hydraulic fracturing is excluded from EPA regulation under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), except when diesel fuel is used. Even then, under Energy Policy Act, Congress gave EPA very narrow optional authority to regulate ‘diesel fuel’ under UIC program if the Agency deems it necessary. Through its draft guidance, EPA is attempting to broaden the definition of diesel fuel in order to increase the chance that the federal government can step in to stifle hydraulic fracturing.  Last December, Inhofe, Murkowski, Hoeven and Landrieu sent a bipartisan letter to the EPA expressing concern about the approach the agency was taking with its draft guidance. The Senators said that EPA’s plan could have serious effects on states’ primacy as well as create burdensome permitting requirements that could have widespread implications for oil and gas development across the country.

Finzel Joins Waggener – Our friend Ben Finzel, former Energy media strategist and energy PR firm expert is moving over to Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, one of the world’s largest independent communications agencies, as General Manager of the Washington, DC office and Senior Vice President and head of the Public Affairs practice.  Finzel brings more than 20 years of communications and public affairs experience to the agency, including a presidential appointment during the Clinton administration and nearly six years as a press and legislative staffer for two members of Congress.   He joins WE from Widmeyer Communications, where he managed the public affairs practice and focused on key issues including the economy, energy and the environment. Finzel worked with clients including the American Energy Innovation Council, the National Association for the Self-Employed and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.   In previous in-house communications roles at two global communications firms, Finzel led media relations teams on the launch of a worldwide conservation program for the Worldwide Fund for Nature, on the release of the “Combat Climate Change” report in Washington, D.C., and on the opening of the first publicly accessible hydrogen refueling station in the United States with Shell Hydrogen and General Motors. As a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) during the Clinton administration, Finzel managed communications for the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, developing and promoting the “Clean Energy for the 21st Century” brand the DOE used to highlight innovations resulting from government leadership.

THIS WEEK’S GOINGS ON

Geothermal Energy Forum Set for Reno – The GEA Geothermal Energy Expo will be held today and tomorrow at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, NV.  The event is the world’s largest gathering of vendors providing support for geothermal resource exploration, characterization, development, production and management.

Jackson Hole Forum to Look at CO2 Solutions – The University of Wyoming’s Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy (CEEPP) and the School of Energy Resources (SER) will host a forum today and tomorrow focused on power generation and the environment in Jackson Hole’s Teton Village.  This symposium will focus on solutions to CO2 emissions from coal-generated electricity, the economic implications of alternative control options, and the costs of alternatives to coal-fired generation.  The event will convene scholars and experts in economics, engineering, policy, and science to evaluate the technological and economic viability of various solutions to CO2 emissions. The keynote speaker for the symposium is Samuel Fankhauser, Co-Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, member of the UK Committee on Climate Change, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy. A handful of other academics will also speak including Joe Aldy of Harvard and RFF’s Josh Linn.

Forum to Look Emission Trading Issues – The International Emissions Trading Assn will hold its Carbon Forum today and tomorrow in Washington, DC at the Marriott at Metro Center.  Speakers will include UN climate chief Christine Figueres, Eileen Claussen, Dirk Forrister, Alstom’s Bob Hilton, NREA’s Anne Smith, Shell’s David Hone former DOE official Victor Der, former EPA air official Bill Wehrum, ELI President John Cruden, CARB Chair Mary Nichols and our friend at Argus Media Bill Peters and E&E TV’s Monica Trauzzi.

SEIA to Release Solar Poll Numbers at Briefing – Tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., SEIA and Hart Research will release the latest poll showing voter perceptions about solar energy and their views on the government’s role in developing solar.  This is the fifth consecutive year SEIA has released public opinion research, which has remained consistent and strongly favorable toward solar energy and its adoption in the US.  Rhone Resch, CEO and President, Solar Energy Industries Association, Tom Kimbis, VP for Strategy and External Affairs, SEIA and Molly O’Rourke of Hart Research Associates will discuss the findings. The poll was conducted online among 1,206 likely voters Sept. 4 to 9.  Experts say the results are very strong, showing overwhelming support for solar and the role of government incentives for solar, despite the year’s political attacks on solar and renewables.

Bromwich, Watson, Statoil Headline Drilling Forum at CSIS – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS )will hold an energy and security forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to discuss advancing offshore safety by sharing research, information and best practices on safety and environmental protection.  Speakers will include Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director James Watson, Charlie Williams of the Center for Offshore Safety, Statoil’s Svein Erik Eide, EDF’s Elgie Holstein and former BOEMRE  head Michael Bromwich.

Navy Sect Headlines Aviation Biofuels Conference – The Aviation Biofuels Development Conference will be held at Embassy Row Hotel tomorrow and Wednesday and will look at the specific challenges faced in the alternative aviation fuel market.  The key issues in Washington DC will include long-term partnerships and alliances, policy, understanding feedstock and technology options, infrastructure and supply chain development, and scale up and Commercialization. Speakers will include Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, among others.

GridWeek Set for DCGridWeek 2012 is set for the Washington DC Convention Center tomorrow through Thursday and will tackle the challenge of deriving value from this complexity — gathering utility, policy, regulatory and consumer experts to approach the topic head-on. As grid-modernization and smart grid efforts provide the energy industry with more information, a broader system view, and more efficiency and control, we are faced with increasing complexity. The challenge lies in deriving value from that complexity — for all stakeholders.  Providing a mix of in-depth panel discussions, value-focused case studies, and a forward look at how the ever-changing energy landscape will impact the electrical grid, GridWeek will explore three key themes:  1) Stakeholder value, 2) Managing complexity and 3) Smart energy policy.  Speakers will include DOE’s David Sandalow, NIST’s Patrick Gallagher, EEI’s Ton Kuhn and many others.

Forum to Look at Electric Vehicles – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in 121 Cannon on the growth of plug-in electric vehicles in the United States and efforts to spur greater transport electrification. The briefing will discuss how communities, utilities, private companies, the government and others are leading efforts to put more PEVs on the nation’s roads by capitalizing on new technologies and working to overcome market barriers. The briefing will explore ways to foster more rapid PEV adoption across multiple sectors and the different rationales for doing so. Speakers will also discuss the various benefits of increased PEV market share; how utilities, communities and other businesses are developing more PEV-friendly areas; and the growing electrification of vehicle fleets.  The speakers for this event are Rep. Janice Hahn’s (D-CA) Communications Director Henry Connelly, DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program Manager Patrick Davis, EDTA’s Genevieve Cullen, Edward Kjaer of SoCal Edison and UPS’s Jim Bruce.

Encana’s Hock to Headline Energy Communications Conference – The 3rd annual Energy Crisis Communications Forum will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the Royal Sonesta Houston and will focus on navigating current media trends and regulatory policies to achieve effective communications plans.  Our friends Doug Hock of Encana, Buddy Eller of STP Nuclear and many others.  This conference will focus on adapting and implementing an effective crisis communications plan in order to enhance, maintain, or rebuild organizations’ bottom line, reputation, and brand.

NJ to Host Energy Job Policy ForumNational Journal will host a Live Policy Summit on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. at the Newseum’s Knight Conference Center to discuss powering America’s future by empowering workers.  While everyone agrees creating more jobs is America’s top priority, many U.S. companies, including in the energy industry, have been unable to find workers with the skills they need to compete and innovate.  A panel of experts – including voices from key federal agencies, companies that actively invest in skill-building, leading academics, workforce development experts, and others – will explore what steps can be taken to better prepare these workers for jobs in the energy industry and continue to put Americans back to work.  U.S. Department of Labor Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training Administration Jane Oates will keynote while NJ’s Managing Editor for Domestic Policy Caren Bohan will moderate a panel that includes NV Energy Human Resources SVP Alice Cobb, Clay Goodman of Estrella Mountain Community College, Nicole Smith of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, Tom Tarantino of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal.

NPC to Look at Future Transpo Technologies – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host the National Petroleum Council on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. for a discussion of its recent study examining future opportunities and challenges for transportation fuels and vehicle technologies.  Advancing Technology for America’s Transportation Future is the NPC’s response to a request from Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu. This two-year study involved more than 300 participants from the oil and gas industry, U.S. and international vehicle manufactures, transportation services end-users, non-governmental organizations, financial institutions, consultancies, academia, and research groups.  The study found that transportation in the United States could evolve at an accelerated rate, depending on the speed of technology advancements and the economic viability of alternative fuels and vehicles. Nonetheless, sustained and focused efforts by industry and government are essential for progress to continue and accelerate.  In order to examine the potential impacts of accelerated technology development, this study assumes that aggressive improvements in alternative fuels and vehicles can be achieved and substantial transition hurdles can be overcome.  Through modeling and qualitative analysis, this approach provides insights about the possible futures of the U.S. transportation system that are associated with significant advances in vehicles powered by biofuels, electricity, hydrocarbon liquids, hydrogen, and natural gas. Speakers include Linda Capuano of Marathon, Stephen Brand of Welltec and Chevron’s Puneet Verma.

NGSA to Unveil Winter Outlook – The Natural Gas Supply Association will roll out its 2012-13 Winter Outlook, an assessment and analysis of market conditions for the upcoming winter heating season, will be released on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room.

NY Shale Gas Conference Set – West Legal EdCenter will hold a Shale Gas Drilling operations conference on Wednesday in New York City.  The Conference is chaired by litigation lawyer who has attacked companies over the years, Marc Bern of Napoli, Bern, Ripka, Sholnick.  Despite this fact, many of the panels look to be balanced including one on Parker County and Dimock.  Of course, in each of those cases, the facts have proven that drilling operations were wrongly targeted by opponents and money-hungry trial lawyers.

Wellinghoff, DOE’s Hogan Headline CHP Meeting – The U.S. Clean Heat and Power Association will hold its annual conference on Wednesday and Thursday at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel.  The USCHPA brings together diverse market interests to promote the growth of clean, efficient local energy generation in the United States.  Topics to be addressed include the role for CHP in national security, federal energy policy, greater building efficiency, utility perspectives on CHP and  new products for waste heat recovery, among other topics.

RFF to Look at Climate Risk – Resources for the Future will hold its academic seminar series on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. hosting Geoffrey Heal, Professor of Finance & Economics at the Columbia Business School to discuss risk, ambiguity and climate change.  The selection of climate policies should be an exercise in risk management, reflecting the many relevant sources of uncertainty.  There are important uncertainties not only in projections of climate change for any development pathway but also in the development pathway itself, its consequences for exposure and vulnerability, and the way that these factors interact to produce impacts. Successful risk management requires information on the range of possible outcomes and, ideally, on their likelihoods. Increasingly, studies of climate change and climate-change impacts place a priority on characterizing uncertainty, but this rarely extends to consensus on the distribution of exposure, vulnerability, or possible outcomes.  This paucity of probabilistic information greatly reduces the scope for policy analysis based on expected utility theory and benefit-cost analysis. It highlights the value of robust decision making tools designed for situations where generally-agreed probability distributions are not available and stakeholders differ in their degree of risk tolerance.

Energy Efficiency Reports to Be Released – The Alliance for Great Energy Efficiency Day as members of the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy (EE Commission) will unveil a highly-anticipated series of reports on Wednesday in G-50 Dirksen documenting the current state of energy efficiency in the U.S. economy and best local, state, national, and international practices. The EE Commission, a diverse, bipartisan group, aims to reach consensus on a set of federal policies and other actionable recommendations to double energy productivity by 2030 to make the United States one of the world’s most energy-efficient economies.   Report topics to be discussed include community planning and mobility, residential and commercial buildings, industry products and processes, power generation and smart grid and systems integration.

USEA to Host Energy Supply Forum – The US Energy Assn will hold its 5th Annual Energy Supply Forum on Thursday at the National Press Club.   Representatives from both the public and private sector will gather to discuss topics ranging from unconventional energy supply resources to onshore exploration and production to technologic advances in the supply sector.   One of those speakers is our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy, solar developer of the Ivanpah project in California, which currently is more than 50% complete and expected to be operational next year.  Issues will include domestic production, energy policy-post election, energy efficiency-demand response, energy exports and new policy initiatives.  Speakers will include FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff, DOE’s Kathleen Hogan and Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett.

Clean Energy Economy Topics at Pew Conference – The Pew Charitable Trusts will convene a group of business leaders from across the country at Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on Friday to discuss how clean energy can be an essential part of reinvigorating the U.S. manufacturing base and enhancing the country’s competitiveness.   At the “Innovate, Manufacture, Compete: A Clean Energy Action Plan” conference, presenters from the private and public sectors will offer perspectives on the current state of the U.S. clean energy industry and strategies for strengthening policy. These discussions build on a series of roundtable meetings with key stakeholders that Pew has convened across the United States this year. Based on input from industry, academic, and policy experts, Pew is working to highlight the most promising policy initiatives that the United States can pursue for enhanced clean energy competitiveness.   Speakers include our friends Joe Desmond (boy is he having a busy week), as well as NREL’s Dana Christensen, Dow Chemical’s Doug Parks, ARPA-E’s Peder Maarbjerg, Ex-Im Bank chairman Fred Hochberg, DoD’s Joseph Sikes, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls Bloomberg New Energy Finance policy ace Ethan Zindler  and Senate ENR majority staff director Bob Simon.   David Danielson, assistant secretary of energy efficiency and renewable energy at DOE and former VA Sen. and secretary of the U.S. Navy John Warner will offer concluding remarks.

MIT Debate on Energy Set for Boston – The MIT Energy Initiative will be hosting a presidential energy debate on Friday morning.  The debate will feature campaign surrogates, Joe Aldy (Obama) and Oren Cass (Romney).  Questioners during the debate include CNNMoney.com’s Steve Hargreaves, Bill Loveless of Platts Energy Week and E&ETV Host Monica Trauzzi. E&ETV has the exclusive video coverage of the event and will be airing the debate in its entirety on Monday, October 8th.

Forum to Look at Japan’s Energy Future – The Brookings Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies and the Energy Security Initiative will host a discussion on Friday at 1:00 p.m. on Japan’s energy future, including the shifts in Japan’s energy policymaking, the different energy scenarios for Japan and the challenges of developing alternative sources of renewable energy. Following a summer of protests over the safety of nuclear power—prompted by last year’s Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis—the Japanese government recently released a much-awaited energy strategy. The new plan from the governmental Council on Energy and the Environment called for a “zero-nuclear” Japan, phasing out all nuclear power by the year 2040. However, the Japanese Cabinet abstained from fully endorsing the zero-nuclear option, and a small number of new nuclear reactors remain under construction. Obscured by an array of competing priorities and economic, political, and energy security considerations, Japan’s energy future seems unclear. Panelists will also address the implications of a nuclear phase-out for Japan’s export industries, global energy markets, climate change goals, and trade in liquid natural gas.  They include Howard Baker Forum Director Scott Campbell, Charles Ebinger of Brookings’ Energy Security Initiative, GWU’s Llewelyn Hughes and Toshikazu Okuya, Special Advisor to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

RFF to Host Lecture on Environment Policy – Resources for The Future will hold an event celebrating its 60th anniversary with the Resources 2020 lecture series on Friday at 2:00 p.m. at the National Association of Home Builders featuring Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, discussing inequality and environmental policy.  Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University, the winner of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2001, and a lead author of the 1995 IPCC report, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was chairman of the US Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton, and chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank during 1997-2000. Stiglitz received the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded biennially to the American economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the subject. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University, held the Drummond Professorship at All Souls College at the University of Oxford, and has also taught at MIT, Yale, Stanford, and Princeton. Stiglitz helped create a new branch of economics, “the economics of information,” exploring the consequences of information asymmetries and pioneering such pivotal concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now become standard tools not only of theorists, but also of policy analysts. His work has helped explain the circumstances in which markets do not work well and how selective government intervention can improve their performance.

DC Solar Homes Tour Set for Weekend – The American Solar Energy Society will hold its 22nd annual metro Washington, D.C. Tour of Solar and Green Homes on  Saturday and Sunday.  The National Solar Tour is the world’s largest grassroots solar event with more than 165,000 participants visiting some 5,500 buildings in 3,200 communities across the U.S.   Now in its 17th year, the annual showcase allows participants the opportunity to see innovative green homes and buildings that use solar energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable technologies. Over 70 solar and green homes are on the D.C. Tour of Solar and Green Homes, including our friend and SEIA media person Monique Hanis, whose house is #6 on the Saturday tour.

FUTURE EVENTS

Bingaman to Speak at Colorado Law School on Energy – As part of the  Energy Innovation Series and the Big Energy Seminar Series, the University of Colorado Law School, NREL’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), Silicon Flatirons, CEES and the NRLC are hosting the 5th Annual Schultz Lecture featuring  retiring New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman, the Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.  The lecture will be in the Colorado’s Wolf Law Building in the Wittemyer Courtroom on Monday October 8th.   The Schultz Lectureship Series on oil and gas, energy, and natural resources provides valuable information to policymakers, practitioners, business executives, and the academic community on emerging issues in the field.

Renewable Groups Forum to Look at Market Barriers, Trends, Overview – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy, the American Wind Energy Association, the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, the National Hydropower Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association, in cooperation with the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, is hosting an educational briefing on Tuesday, October 9 at 2:00 p.m. in 2168 Rayburn  to focus on market trends and policy drivers for commercially available renewable energy technologies.  A moderated panel discussion with Q&A will follow.  Panel I will provide an overview of U.S. and Global market trends and feature Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.  The second panel will feature a discussion of trends and barriers to increased deployment and investment and feature Austin Energy’s Solar program head Patricia Alofsin, (our friend and) Calpine’s Yvonne McIntyre to talk geothermal, wind expert Jack Thirolf of Enel Green Power and a speaker from Voith Hydro.

EIA, DOE, NASEO to Host Winter Fuels Outlook – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Energy Information Administration, and the National Association of State Energy Officials will hold the 2012 – 2013 Winter Fuels Outlook Conference Wednesday, October 10 at the National Press Club.   This important supply and demand forecast event will address global oil supply uncertainty, and the effects of projected winter weather on the demand for heating and key transportation fuels.  A range of market factors that may impact the supply, distribution and prices of petroleum, natural gas and electricity this winter will be discussed in great detail by some the nation’s leading energy data and forecasting experts.  This important annual event helps to inform the entire energy policy and business community, trade associations, federal and state agencies, policy makers, and consumer groups about the current and anticipated energy supply and demand balances and outlook for prices.  This year’s conference includes a presentation on EIA’s Winter Fuels Outlook, as well as presentations from well-known industry representatives and energy experts who will provide their views on factors that will affect energy markets this winter in the United States and globally.  Key speakers include DOE’s Pat Hoffman, EIA’s Adam Sieminski and NASEO’s David Terry.  Among the speakers will be our friend John Kneiss, of Hart Energy, who will discuss ethanol.

Yale to Start Shale Gas Policy Seminar Series – The Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy will hold its second annual policy workshop webinar series on Wednesday, October 10th focusing on emerging issues in shale gas development.   Natural gas extraction generally, and shale gas extraction in particular, has become a highly charged issue as stakeholders debate its effects on environmental and public health and its role in our future energy mix. This webinar series seeks to answer important questions about extraction, the environment, and the future of energy by grounding that debate with expert speakers from a variety of disciplines.   Dr. Jim Saiers, Professor of Hydrology at Yale University, will launch the series with an overview of the environmental implications of shale gas development.

AWEA Offshore Conference Set for VA Beach – AWEA will host its annual offshore wind conference in Virginia Beach on October 11-13th.  Stay tuned for more details, but  BOEM’s Tommy Beaudreau will kick off the event and AWC President Bob Mitchell will speak on Thursday morning, providing a development update on the project and its implications for accelerating offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic.

CIBO Conference to Discuss EPA Uncertainty – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO) will hold its 34th annual meeting on October 10-12th at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, California.  Never, in CIBO existence, has there been a time of greater uncertainty regarding industrial energy. This October could be CIBO’s most important meeting to assess the reality of the situation and the potential implication for our members and facilities within the United States.   Speakers include EPA Air Administrator Gina McCarthy, former EPA General Counsel and Bracewell & Giuliani partner Lisa Jaeger, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, ALSTOM Power’s Carl Bozzutto, ACCF’s Margo Thorning, GOP pollster Rich Galen and of course, CIBO President Bob Bessette.

Georgetown U Cleantech Conference Set – The Annual 2012 Georgetown Energy and Cleantech Conference is set for Friday, October 12th and is a hallmark campus event and a premiere gathering of students and professionals in the Capital Region.  The world faces a range of critical energy challenges and significant investment is necessary to help ensure the future availability of affordable, low carbon energy. Innovation throughout the energy supply chain can enable private and public sectors to move closer to achieving this goal. Understanding current practices and anticipating future trends will be a key differentiator for companies and governments everywhere.  The event will be held at Georgetown University’s Rafik B. Hariri Building.  Speakers include Green Mountain Energy CEO James Steffes, NREL’s Matt Ringer and USEC’s Pat Sullivan, among others.

Cato Institute will hold a lunch forum on Friday, October 12th featuring Robert Bradley Jr., Founder and CEO of the Institute for Energy Research.  Bradley will look at industry and its call for regulations sometimes.  Milton Friedman once said, “The two greatest enemies of free enterprise in the United States… have been, on the one hand, my fellow intellectuals and, on the other hand, the business corporations of this country.” The history of public-utility regulation and environmental regulation in the electricity industry is an example of Friedman’s point, with Insull (Commonwealth Edison) fathering public-utility regulation a century ago and Rogers (Duke Energy) sponsoring CO2 regulation today.  Why did these industry leaders — and so many others — forsake free-market competition given the perils of relying on politics? And what are the public policy implications today for one of America’s most regulated industries?  This discussion draws upon Bradley’s most recent book, Edison to Enron: Energy Markets and Political Strategies, the second volume in his trilogy on political capitalism in the energy industry.

Utility, Fuel, Renewables to Address RETECH Forum – RETECH 2012 is set for Washington DC on October 16th-19th at the Omni Shoreham.  RETECH is the premier business, policy and technology conference and exhibition for the entire renewable energy industry and will host renewable energy leaders from government, utility, finance and technology.   RETECH 2012 is the only event dedicated to delivering coverage on EVERY discipline of renewable energy technology.  RETECH’s conference sessions will focus on current trends, the newest technologies and important up-to-date information on the changing legislative and regulatory landscapes.  Among the speakers will be EIA’s Adam Siemanski, as well as our friends Yvonne McIntyre of Calpine Corporation, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, former DOE energy advisor Larisa Dobriansky, Drive NatGas Executive Director Kathryn Clay, DTF’s Allen Schaeffer and EPRI’s Bryan Hannegan.

SEJ Ready for Lubbock – SEJ Kicks off at Texas Tech in Lubbock on October 17 through the 22nd.  Bracewell will of course be sponsoring its Thursday night event, so we hope to see you there.

Forum to Look at Energy Storage – ICF International’s October Energy and Environment Breakfast will be held on October 18th and feature energy experts discuss the future of energy storage in the United States. ICF welcomes energy experts Dr. Imre Gyuk, an energy storage program manager in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, and Chris Shelton, president of AES Energy Storage.

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

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

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

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

November 6th – Election Day

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

 

Energy Update Week of September 10

Friends,

Well, the conventions were a huge hit, but are now in the rear-view mirror.  No time to recover as Congress rolls back into town with everything, but nothing to do (that may be the simplest way to put it!).  Right now, it seems the length of stay will depend largely on whether Congress can come to an agreement on a short-term funding bill to get to the lame duck-session.

For those of you hoping to watch the US Open men’s final yesterday, you’re in luck: it is today – something that has happened at every U.S. Open since 2008.  Instead yesterday, Serena Williams followed up a Wimbledon victory and Olympic goal medal by outlasting Victoria Azarenka, rallying in three sets to win the US Open Women’s title.  Recent Men’s Olympic Gold medalist Andy Murray will face Novak Djokovic today at 4:00 p.m. in the men’s final after defending champ Djokovic defeated David Ferrer in their delayed semi-final in New York. This major tournament is the first since the 2004 French Open with neither Roger Federer nor Rafael Nadal in the semifinals and is Murray’s 5th major final where he is yet to win. Fun US Open Fact: Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have combined to win 29 of the last 30 major titles, a stretch that began at the 2005 French Open.   Surprising Energy/US Open Fast Fact:  Our friend John Grasser, PR man in DOE’s Fossil office and formerly of the National Mining Assn, officiated US Open matches for many years as a Chair Umpire. 

I found it tough switching between the Women’s Final, the NFL opening Sunday and the PGA FedEx Cup’s penultimate playoff BMW Classic which had Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Lee Westwood and Adam Scott all in the mix.  Next Week’s Tour Championship will determine who wins the overall FedEx Cup and the $10 million prize that goes with it.  Only the top five competitors – McIlroy, Woods, Nick Watney, Mickelson, and Brandt Snedeker – will be assured of an overall victory with a win at the Tour Championship. 

On to the energy debate…How about that climate issue winding its way in to the political fight, as well as into the stump speeches of both candidates…Who’d a thunk? Can’t wait for the first debate.  By the way, I think it’s a little funny that a week or so after the New York Times blasted Exelon for promoting EPA policies that will increase the cost of coal power (therefore increasing the wholesale price of electricity), they are then kicked out of AWEA for undercutting the PTC, again, because it lowers the wholesale price of electricity.  At least they are consistent.  By the way, speaking of wind, my friends at AWEA and NRDC both tell me that the enviro group is dubbing this “Wind Week” and is expected to release reports on supply chain economic benefits and other secondary benefits like jobs and tax revenues.  Now if they could just tell their members and other enviros to stop suing or blocking wind developers’ projects in many places.  

For you concert goers, I hope you had a chance to catch Rush at Jiffy Lube Live for Clockwork Angels.  I passed on the long drive/traffic woes this time as I saw them twice last time around.   Smashing Pumpkins at GMU’s Patriot Center is the next great show, unless you want to trek to Baltimore’s Lyric Opera House to see Journey (still think they not the same w/o Steven Perry) to do a benefit show for JHU’s Kimmel Cancer Center.    

So, lots of hearings this week (82 by my count), including many on energy and environment.  Highlights include two nuclear hearings on Wednesday in the Senate with the NRC commissioners at Senate Energy.  Two other important hearings in the House Energy subpanel chaired by Whitfield: Thursday on the Romney Energy Independence Plan and Friday in EPA rules for power plants and the inclusion of carbon capture requirements.  House Resources is also busy trying to settle long-standing scores on offshore drilling with Interior officials and power marketing agencies and renewables with Sect. Chu. 

We’ll also likely see action on the No More Solyndras Act on the House floor Friday which phases out DOE’s loan guarantee program, specifies a fine for any official who agree to subordinate the government’s position to private investors and requires a GAO study of federal energy incentives.  No word on whether Majority Leader Reid will rush it to the floor to get it passed right away, but Republicans in the House have promised to hold their breath until he does.  Also listen for continued bluster about including the wind PTC, but that will likely remain absent until at least post-election. 

We’ll be tracking it all…  57 days, 1374 hours or 82,300 or so minutes to the election.  Call with questions.

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

IN THE NEWS

Solar Hits Record High for 2Q – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said the solar industry installed 742 megawatts of solar power in the second quarter of 2012, the second-best quarter on record for the utility market segment.  The figures come in GTM Research’s U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2nd Quarter 2012, the quarterly report that finds looks at installations in the US solar industry.   Utility installations hit 477MW in the second quarter, with eight states posting utility installations of 10 megawatts or greater: California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, New Mexico, and New Jersey. In total, the U.S. now has 5,700 megawatts of installed solar capacity, enough to power more than 940,000 households.  According to the report, the utility photovoltaic (PV) market will remain strong through the last two quarters of 2012. With 3400MW of utility PV projects currently under construction, and weighted USaverage system prices 10% lower than the previous quarter, GTM Research forecasts an additional 1.1 gigawatts of utility PV to begin operating before year’s end. The report forecasts a total of 3200 megawatts, or 3.2 gigawatts, of PV will be installed in the US in 2012, up 71% over 2011.  The report also looks at progress by State.  

BrightSource to Develop Advanced Solar Technology – Speaking of solar successes, our friends at BrightSource Energy, a leading concentrating solar thermal technology company and developers of the hugely successful Ivanpah Solar project in CA (which is over 50% complete ad currently employing nearly 2,000 workers), said they will work with DOE’s SunShot program to develop and demonstrate an advanced technology and process for the assembly and installation of heliostats – called the Flexible Assembly Solar Technology (FAST) – to substantially reduce the costs and construction time of the solar field in solar power tower projects.  The FAST demonstration project will significantly contribute to achieving DOE’s goal to have installed solar field costs of $75 per square meter by 2020. The new heliostat assembly process represents a breakthrough in the way that the solar field is developed and constructed.  FAST is designed to 1) reduce heliostat assembly and materials costs, 2) compress the solar field construction schedule by 25%, 3) eliminate the need for a fixed assembly facility, reducing impact on the environment, 4) provide flexible and scalable design to meet unique demands of each project an 5) allow for easy relocation to multiple project sites.  As part of the project, BrightSource will engage a U.S.-based automation company to support the fabrication and development of the FAST prototype. 

Holmstead, Book Star on EE TV – My Bracewell Colleague Jeff Holmstead and our friend ClearView Energy analyst Kevin Book were featured in back-to-back shows on E&E TV’s On Point.   During today’s OnPoint, Kevin Book, managing director at ClearView Energy Partners, discusses the components of the Romney-Ryan energy plan and explains the role it will play as the elections near. He also discusses the future of the production tax credit for wind energy as part of a larger tax package.  On Friday, Holmstead, a former assistant administrator for air and radiation at EPA, discusses the impact of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling that U.S. EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule be remanded to the agency.  He explains what the next steps are for the agency and also weighs in on states’ rights following the decision. 

Energy Panels Continue at DNC – With the Conventions complete, a review of the Democratic Convention pointed to a number of additional good panels on energy.  The best panel may have been Darren Samuelsohn’s POLITICO/AWEA Energy panel on Wednesday featuring former EPA administrator and former director of the White House Office of Climate Change Carol Browner , Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, former New Mexico Gov. and Clinton Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and Kevin Book of ClearView Energy Partners.  Markey said Democrats weren’t afraid to highlight clean energy despite Republican attacks while Richardson said he thought high gas prices wouldn’t have much impact.   A second great panel not only featured excellent policy discussion on energy, but protesters from the Occupy movement.  National Journal energy reporter and moderator Amy Harder showed the true professional she is by handling the protesters and still keeping the discussions on track.  As the NJ protest reporter for the week as well, she then managed to punch out a story on the protesters attacking her panel.  The panel featured incoming ranking Senate Energy Committee Democrat Ron Wyden, NEI’s Marvin Fertel, Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations, EPRI CEO Mike Howard, Richard Newell of the Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.  Harder also hosted an event with Wyoming Senator Tom Barrasso and for Vermont Gov./former DNC Chair Howard Dean which included a lively back and forth question/answer session about energy issues.  And yes, Harder have two doctors on the stage couldn’t help herself but to ask at least one question about health care.    

New Clean Energy Book Out – Our friends at clean-energy research and advisory firm Clean Edge, Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder, have just released their second book Clean Tech Nation: How the U.S. Can Lead in the New Global Economy (HarperCollins). The book’s provocative Seven-Point Action Plan for Repowering America includes adapting oil and gas MLP investment vehicles for clean-energy projects and creating a national green infrastructure bank. Remember, this topic was the subject of a study from SMU’s Maguire Energy Institute this summer that held that MLPs could hold incredible potential for renewables.  NRG Energy president and CEO David Crane says “Clean Tech Nation deftly illustrates how well placed and naturally advantaged the U.S. is in this race among nations, and offers a coherent and realistic action plan designed to secure that lasting advantage for the benefit of the American people.” To buy the book, download a free chapter, or see the authors’ scheduled appearances around the country, visit www.cleantechnation.com. 

Jobs Weak, Except for Oil, Gas – For some time know, we have highlighted the incredible job growth in the oil and gas sector over the past few years, showing that the only real job growth in the US  has been in oil and gas – often times in spite of the President’s policies.  The latest evidence from the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms this despite the weak August jobs data released Friday.  Oil and gas extraction payrolls grew by 1,100 employees last month to 197,300, up 0.6% from July and nearly 12% from a year ago. 

THIS WEEK’S GOINGS ON

State Energy Officials gather in MN – The National Assn of State Energy Official will hold its annual conference today through Wednesday in Minnesota at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis.  NASEO has planned a slate of informative discussions that emphasize this year’s theme of “States Partnering with America’s Leading Companies to Advance Energy and Economic Opportunities.” The 56 State and Territory Energy Offices and their more than 2000 staff are working with leading companies across the nation to open opportunities for the private sector to advance energy technologies expand markets.  Speakers will include Stanford’s Dan Reicher, among others. 

Solar Conference to Feature Clinton – SEIA and SEPA will host Solar Power International in Orlando tomorrow through Thursday looking at the future of the industry.  Former President Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker.  Recently, the former President visited BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah Solar project prior to speaking at Harry Reid’s annual Clean Energy Summit. The event will look at new markets for solar, new products, and the issues and strategies that will guide the industry’s growing emergence as an energy solution. 

Energy Panel to Look at EPA Foreign Grants – House Energy’s Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. on H.R.4255, the “Accountability in Grants Act of 2012,” to prohibit the administrator of EPA from awarding any grant, contract, cooperative agreement, or other financial assistance under section 103 of the Clean Air Act for any program, project, or activity to occur outside the United States and its territories and possessions.  Witnesses include EPA’s Craig Hooks, David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation, Daniel Simmons at the Institute for Energy Research, associate director of George Mason University’s Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy Andrew Light and Elisa Derby of Winrock International.

House Resources Hope to Get Chu on Power Marketing Memo – The full House Committee on Natural Resources will convene an oversight hearing on tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to discuss DOE Secretary Steven Chu’s Power Marketing Administration Memorandum directives and their potential impact on increasing electricity costs for over 40 million families and small businesses.  Chairman Doc Hastings sent a letter to Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu inviting him to testify at the Full Committee hearing on his Memorandum, which mandates new missions for the Power Marketing Administrations and could raise energy costs for over 40 million Americans. Secretary Chu was originally invited to testify at a hearing on April 26, 2012, but declined due to foreign travel. In June, over 160 House members and Senators sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary Chu expressing concerns with the missions outlined in his Memorandum. The House also passed bipartisan appropriations language prohibiting funding for any new activities in the document. 

ELI Forum to Look at Election, Enviro Stakes – As political conventions end, the Environmental Law Institute and the New York City Bar Environmental Law Committee, the Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School and the International Environmental Law Committee will host an event tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. at the New York City Bar Association focused on the environmental stakes in the 2012 election.  Often overlooked in the coverage of the 2012 elections, environmental and energy issues could be among those most affected by the elections’ results. Senior environmental litigators and policy experts will discuss: the key environmental issues at stake in the upcoming elections; the impacts of those issues on the presidential race; and the environmental challenges facing the next administration and Congress.  Panelists will include former CEQ General Counsel Mark McIntosh, Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law Director Michael Gerrard, retired Skadden partner Ken Berlin and Ray Ludwiszewski of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  Environmental Law Institute President John Cruden will moderate. 

O’Malley, Wellinghoff to Headline Retail Energy Event – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff are featured speakers at the Retail Energy Supply Association’s 2012 Energy Competition Symposium in Baltimore on Wednesday. The half-day event will explore the state of play for retail energy competition nationally. Other featured speakers include Douglas Scott, chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, Douglas Nazarian, chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission, Todd Snitchler, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Rob Powelson, chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, William Massey, former FERC commissioner and counsel to the COMPETE Coalition, and Itron’s Daniel Pfeiffer.  The symposium will feature panel discussions on the value of customer choice in retail energy markets, the future outlook for customer choice in energy, and an overview of the innovative product and service offerings being developed in competitive retail energy markets. The afternoon event will close with a cocktail reception.

Senate Energy Committee Hearing on Nuclear Waste Bill – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to receive testimony on S. 3469, the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2012. Witnesses include DOE assistant secretary for nuclear energy Dr. Peter Lyons, Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future co-chairman Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, former NRC Chair Dr. Richard Meserve (currently president of the Carnegie Institution for Science), Constellation Nuclear President Henry Barron and NRDC’s Geoffrey Fettus.

Senate Environment Panel Tackles Nuclear, Japan – The Senate Environmental Clean Air/Nuclear Safety panel will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to NRC’s implementation of recommendations for enhancing nuclear reactor safety.  All five members of the NRC leadership will be in attendance to update lawmakers on the progress of post-Fukushima safety measures. 

WCEE Forum to Address Grid Issues – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host the first of a three-part series on Wednesday at Noon where we are and what is needed to overcome the hesitancy for investment in deploying SmartGrids and MicroGrids.  The 2011 North American Electric Reliability Corporation Blackout shows an alarming trend of outages affecting 50,000 people or more over the past decade. From 2010 to 2011 alone, the Eaton Blackout Tracker shows an increase in the reported blackout incidents of over 100%. Proponents argue that SmartGrids and MicroGrids will make electricity distribution more secure, resilient, improve energy management and energy efficiency, enable dynamic pricing and spur the deployment of new technologies including electric vehicles.   Today, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) estimates smart grid costs are upwards of $165 billion over two decades. The core tension focuses on expense, technology and return on investment. Further, dealing with all this data requires robust, flexible telecommunications. Many believe there isn’t one single telecommunications technology solution that can meet the requirement for a cost-efficient backhaul that addresses the needs of the entire utility enterprise.   Speakers will include Chantal-Aimee Hendrzak of PJM Interconnection, FERC’s Jamie Simler and Debbie Haught of the Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Investment Grant Program. 

Group to Host EV Webinar – Top industry leaders from FedEx and PG&E will discuss plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in their everyday operations in a webinar on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., hosted by the Electrification Coalition.  In addition, battery manufacturer, Dow Kokam, will discuss the opportunities for achieving sustainable business solutions with electrification. Forward-thinking businesses are always looking for innovative ways to increase efficiency, productivity, and profits. For companies employing a large fleet of commercial vehicles, integrating PEVs into their existing fleets could do all three.   Speakers include FedEx Express’ Keshav Sondhi, PG&E’s Director of Fleet Services Dave Miesel and Dow Kokam’s Mira Inbar. 

Forum to Look at Rio +20 Progress – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars “Managing Our planet” seminar series will hold a forum on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. looking at Rio+20 impacts and ways forward.    Tens of thousands of delegates, journalists, and activists converged on the city of Rio de Janeiro for the June Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. Yet there was a general sense of frustration and angst over the final document and lack of commitment from leading delegates. Meanwhile nations, private sector and civil society made hundreds of “voluntary commitments” and participated in numerous unofficial activities and side events.  A panel of experts will analyze and discuss the conference outcomes and the next step in the global effort for climate change sustainability. A fourth panelist will discuss the significant role of the private sector during the conference.  Speaker will include Marck Tercek of The Nature Conservancy, Fred Boltz of Conservation International, NRDC’s Jacob Scherr and former Clinton aide Reid Detchon of the United Nations Foundation.  The “Managing Our planet” seminar series is developed jointly by George Mason University, the Environmental Change and Security Program and Brazil Institute. 

Ohio Shale Gas Conference to Look at Successes, Challenges – Infocast will host Black Gold Ohio, a conference focused on shale gas development in the Utica Shale region at the Westin Columbus on Wednesday and Thursday.   The conference will look at the revival of Ohio manufacturing with the Utica and Marcellus booms.  As a result, Ohio has seen a significant rise in demand for steel mills, surveyors, pipe makers, tankers for hauling water, trailers for transporting frac sand and other supporting manufacturing and development.  It’s predicated that by 2015, the Utica and Marcellus shale booms will have created 200,000 jobs, generated a $12 billion growth in overall wages in the State and increased $22 billion in economic output of the Ohio State.  Speakers will include the Ohio Oil & Gas Assn head Tom Stewart and Chesapeake Energy’s Scott Rotruck, among many others. 

House Resources Gets Interior Officials On Drilling – the long-awaited showdown with House Resources Committee and some Lower level Interior officials is expected to take place on Thursday when the committee holds a hearing on oversight issues on drilling decisions at the Department of Interior.  Of course, this has been a long-standing tussle between Chairman Hastings and Senior Interior officials, but now, it appears that Neal Kemkar, special assistant to the counselor to the Interior secretary and Mary Katherine Ishee, senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to the assistant Interior secretary for land and minerals management.

Spill Containment Conference Set for Caribbean Drilling – OPEN FORUM and the Energy Chamber of Trinidad will hold the first-ever regional conference on emergency response issues for offshore drilling in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Thursday.   The event will focus on the critical issues related to emergency spill response procedures and protocols following the BP/Deepwater Horizon incident two years ago. Speakers will include former BOEMRE chief Michael Bromwich and John Slaughter of the U.S. Coast Guard.  Among other experts, our friends at Helix, former IADC head Lee Hunt and Bracewell’s very own Kevin Ewing.  Hunt, who joined with Helix to organize the conference said “While the international focus has been largely an effort by the United States to protect its shores, this conference will give Caribbean nations the opportunity to focus on how they can learn from each other and work together to build deepwater response capabilities.”

PennFuture Clean Energy Conference to Highlight, Discuss Clean Energy Markets – PennFuture holds its 11th annual Clean Energy Conference in Philadelphia on Thursday and Friday at the Double Tree Hotel.   The event has served as the premier event for policymakers, business leaders, public interest organizations and investors to learn how to grow Pennsylvania’s clean energy economy.  In 2012, the Clean Energy Conference will take a new approach to addressing the changing clean energy landscape by highlighting how the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions can become America’s clean energy hub. Attendees will gain a better understanding of the myriad opportunities present in these regions and strategies needed to prepare for, and realize, success.  Notably, PennFuture has partnered with America’s leading clean energy trade associations –- the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, American Council on Renewable Energy, American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industry Association –- to bring unparalleled insight to this year’s conference.  The two-day event in Center City Philadelphia will feature expert perspectives on the current status and future direction of clean energy markets. Additionally, the conference will host a networking event and exhibitor showcase, present nationally significant keynote speakers and offer a tour of the Department of Energy’s energy efficiency hub.  Speakers will include Delaware governor Jack Markell, NRG’s Lee Davis,  DOE’s Richard Kauffman, US Rep. Bob Inglis, former PA DEP head Katie McGinty and our friends Mark Fulton of Deutsche Bank, Hans Detweiler of Clean Line Energy and Eric Thumma of Iberdrola Renewables, among several others. 

House Energy Panel to Discuss Energy Independence Plan, CCS Technologies – The House Energy and Commerce panel on Energy will hold two hearings on Thursday and Friday.  Thursday, the panel will tackle a pledge by Republican Candidate Mitt Romney to have energy independence by 2020 by focusing on offshore and shale oil and gas.  On Friday, the panel will look into EPA NSPS for greenhouse gases and its requirement to have all coal plants install carbon capture and sequestration technologies before permits are granted.  Most experts say CCS technologies will not be commercially available by the 2020 deadline.      

NRC to Hold Public Meeting on Emergency Planning – The NRC and FEMA are considering changes in emergency planning rules. They will hold a scoping meeting at NRC on Thursday afternoon with Public comment permitted. This is a part of the post-Fukushima evaluation generally, and also because of NIRS’ Petition for Rulemaking calling for expanded emergency evacuation zones and better emergency drills.  Accordingly, NRC and FEMA will hold a public meeting on possible revisions to the “Criteria for Preparation and Evaluation of Radiological Emergency Plans and Preparedness in Support of Nuclear Power Plants.”  The purpose of these meetings is to gather feedback from you, the public affected by these regulations. More specifically these agencies want to “initiate a conversation with stakeholders and the public on the revision process and proposed NRC and FEMA changes,” and to provide opportunities for the public to ask questions, obtain feedback, and be involved in the rulemaking process. 

Forum to Look at Energy, Eurasian Politics – The Johns Hopkins University American Foreign Policy Program will hold a discussion at its Rome Building Auditorium on Thursday focused on energy and 21st Century Eurasian geopolitics.  Kent Calder, director of the SAIS Japan Studies Program and the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, will make introductory remarks about his new book, “The New Continentalism: Energy and 21st Century Eurasian Geopolitics.”  A panel discussion about the book by Charles Doran, director of the SAIS International Relations Program and the Canadian Studies Program; David M. Lampton, director of the SAIS China Studies Program; Frederick Starr, chairman of the SAIS Central Asia-Caucasus Institute; and Michael Mandelbaum (moderator), director of the SAIS American Foreign Policy Program, will follow.

 FUTURE EVENTS

LeVine to Speak at GWU Group – Our Friend Steve LeVine of the New America Foundation, Contributing Editor at Foreign Affairs and Author of “The Oil and the Glory” will speak at George Washington University next Monday, September 17 at 6:00 p.m. in Lindner Family Commons, Room 602 on the geopolitics of energy.  Looking at geopolitics through the lens of energy, author Steve LeVine will offer insight on the shifts in geopolitical power in the 21st century as it relates to previously untapped sources of existing fossil fuels, advancements in new energy technology, and the countries and corporations competing to dominate these markets.

Maryland to Hold Clean Energy Summit – Maryland will hold its 2012 Clean Energy Summit on September 18-19th at The BWI Airport Marriott.   The program over the two day conference covers our theme topic from the perspective of big corporate giants to small star- up ventures. Speakers from within and outside of the state bring best practice models and present case studies to more broadly inform Maryland energy industry stakeholders.  The list of speakers includes MD Comptroller Peter Franchot, O’Malley Energy Advisor Abby Hopper and White House Energy advisor Dan Utech, among many others. 

Bracewell to Hold Texas Air Discussion – Bracewell & Giuliani’s environmental team will hold a morning briefing in the Houston office’s conference center at 8:30 a.m. to address a number of issues that face industrial project developers.  B&G experts Jeff Holmstead, Rich Alonso, John Riley Tim Wilkins and Chris Thiele will all provide expertise on topics from TCEQ permits to national GHG issues.  

Forum to Look at Cybersecurity Issues – NDN is hosting a panel discussion with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners on Tuesday September 18th to look at how to develop a cybersecurity expertise that both protects our national security and provides reliable electric service.  In today’s world, the electric power industry is increasingly incorporating information technology (IT) systems and networks into its existing infrastructure. These IT systems need to be  implemented securely or our electric grid  could be extremely vulnerable to attacks which could jeopardize our national security. Miles Keogh, Director of Grants and Research for NARUC and  author of the recently released report, ‘Cybersecurity for State Regulators’ will lead the discussion.  This panel on the national grid and cybersecurity is the 13th in our “Clean Energy Solution Series” to showcase the leaders, companies, ideas and policies who are hastening our transition to a cleaner, safer and more distributed energy paradigm of the 21st Century. 

UCS to Look at Access to Government Science Data – The Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy will hold a forum series next  Tuesday, September 18 at 2:00 p.m. focused on barriers to citizen access to governmental scientific information—such as data about air quality around Ground Zero, the location of coal ash dumps, or the prevalence of toxic chemicals in the FEMA trailers provided to Hurricane Katrina victims. To kick off the series, UCS will host a webinar to highlight the consequences of inadequate information and recent attempts to restrict access. 

Forum to Look at Renewables in Indonesia – The US-ASEAN Business Council will host a briefing and roundtable discussion on Wednesday, September 19th at 10:00 a.m. at Citi’s DC offices on renewable energy opportunities in Indonesia.  Officials from the U.S. Embassy Jakarta, USAID, MCC, USTDA, and DOE will brief companies, take questions, and engage in discussion on the market opportunities, policy developments, and challenges in Indonesia’s renewable energy sector today, as well U.S. government investments in the sector which may create commercial opportunities for your company. 

EPA to Host Webinar on Renewable Energy Procurement – EPA’s Green Power Partnership (GPP) will host a webinar on addressing barriers to renewable energy procurement. The use of clean energy is a key component of many organizations’ sustainability goals. However, the process of procuring clean energy at a meaningful scale has proven to be difficult for corporations.  This webinar will examine some of the common challenges including market access, deal terms, and risk management requirements that companies have encountered when trying to source clean energy for facilities or power portfolios, and present solutions that Fortune 100® companies have followed to overcome these barriers in a meaningful and cost effective way.  Speakers include EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program Director Blaine Collison and Charles Esdaile and Chris Hayes, Co-Founders and Managing Partners at Altenex. 

Corbett, Koppel Headline NatGas Conference – Following last year’s inaugural success, the Marcellus Shale Coalition will return to Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center to host the SHALE GAS INSIGHT™ 2012 Conference on September 20-21 to offer insights on natural gas development in in the region.  Industry and policy experts from top producing, midstream, and supply chain firms; academia; government; and the NGO community will provide the latest insights and analysis on state and federal policies, technological advancements in the industry, and much more.  Speakers will include veteran newsman Ted Koppel, PA Gov. Tom Corbett, our WSJ friend Russell Gold and many more. 

Briefing to Discuss Nuclear Opposition – The Coalition Against Nukes is hosting a Congressional Briefing Thursday, September 20th at 2:00 p.m. in 121 on the medical effects of nuclear power. This briefing will include medical testimony on the effects of radiation from Dr. Catherine Thomasson of Physicians for Social Responsibility, testimony from Alice Slater of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation on the relationship of nuclear weapons to nuclear power, testimony on the state of our decrepit nuclear fleet in the United States from Michael Mariotte of NIRS and testimony from Beyond Nuclear‘s Paul Gunter on the Freeze Our Fukushima’s campaign and why it is imperative that we immediately close all of our dangerous GE Mark 1 and Mark 2 boiling water reactors in the United States.  Arne Gundersen will give testimony on the Fukushima catastrophe and reactor #4. 

Burcat, Miles Speak at WV Wind Forum – Marshall University and the WV Wind Working Group will host a West Virginia Wind Forum on September 25th in Davis, WV at Canaan Valley.  There will be a pre-conference site tour on the afternoon of Sept 24th of the AES Laurel Mountain wind and energy storage facility. This annual wind forum is held to examine the barriers to wind energy development and potential solutions for reducing these barriers. Updates on wind energy-related issues around the state are on the agenda.   Our friends Bruce Burcat of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition and Jonathan Miles of JMU will speak among others.  Updates from PJM on integration and Invenergy on Beech Ridge will also be on the agenda. 

KS Energy Conference Set – The Kansas Department of Commerce will hold an energy conference on September 25-26th in Manhattan, KS Conference Center.  Items on the agenda include transmission, biofuels, wind development and supply chains, solar power and transportation.   NASEO’s Dave terry and BP Wind CEO John Graham will be among the speakers.    

Great Lakes Wind Issues Highlighted at Forum – The Great Lakes Wind Collaborative’ s (GLWC’s) 5th Annual Meeting will be held on September 25th in Erie, PA and will bring together representatives of U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, state/provincial and local governments, the wind industry, electric utilities, nonprofit organizations, academia, and other interested stakeholders to discuss and address issues regarding the sustainable development of wind energy in the binational Great Lakes region. 

Google’s Needham, Others to Address REFF-West Conference – Renewable Energy Finance Forum West (REFF-West) returns to San Francisco on September 27-28th for its fifth edition.  The event will discuss the latest trends in renewable energy financing as well as practical takeaway advice on how to move projects forward. Covering a range of renewable and clean energy technologies, with a particular focus on developments in the Western US, topics covered at REFF-West include project financing, venture capital, renewable power generation, emerging commercial technologies, financing smaller projects, equity financing and established technologies. The conference also offers an unparalleled networking opportunity, allowing you to meet senior representatives from both the energy and financial sectors who are focusing on renewables and clean technologies.  Speakers will include former ARPA-E head Arun Majumdar, ACORE President Dennis McGinn, CEQ’s Jonathan Powers and our friends Rick Needham of Google and Dan Reicher of Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Energy Center, among others.   

Geothermal Energy Forum Set for Reno – The GEA Geothermal Energy Expo will be held on September 30th through October 3 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, NV.  The event is the world’s largest gathering of vendors providing support for geothermal resource exploration, characterization, development, production and management.  

Jackson Hole Forum to Look at CO2 Solutions – The University of Wyoming’s Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy (CEEPP) and the School of Energy Resources (SER) will host a forum on October 1st and 2nd focused on power generation and the environment in Jackson Hole’s Teton Village.  This symposium will focus on solutions to CO2 emissions from coal-generated electricity, the economic implications of alternative control options, and the costs of alternatives to coal-fired generation.  The event will convene scholars and experts in economics, engineering, policy, and science to evaluate the technological and economic viability of various solutions to CO2 emissions. The keynote speaker for the symposium is Samuel Fankhauser, Co-Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, member of the UK Committee on Climate Change, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy. A handful of other academics will also speak including Joe Aldy of Harvard and RFF’s Josh Linn. 

GridWeek Set for DCGridWeek 2012 is set for the Washington DC Convention Center on October 2nd through the 4th and will tackle the challenge of deriving value from this complexity — gathering utility, policy, regulatory and consumer experts to approach the topic head-on. As grid-modernization and smart grid efforts provide the energy industry with more information, a broader system view, and more efficiency and control, we are faced with increasing complexity. The challenge lies in deriving value from that complexity — for all stakeholders.  Providing a mix of in-depth panel discussions, value-focused case studies, and a forward look at how the ever-changing energy landscape will impact the electrical grid, GridWeek will explore three key themes:  1) Stakeholder value, 2) Managing complexity and 3) Smart energy policy.  Speakers will include DOE’s David Sandalow, NIST’s Patrick Gallagher, EEI’s Ton Kuhn and many others. 

NY Shale Gas Conference Set – West Legal EdCenter will hold a Shale Gas Drilling operations conference on October 3rd in New York City.  The Conference is chaired by litigation lawyer who has attacked companies over the years, Marc Bern of Napoli, Bern, Ripka, Sholnick.  Despite this fact, many of the panels look to be balanced including one on Parker County and Dimock.  Of course, in each of those cases, the facts have proven that drilling operations were wrongly targeted by opponents and money-hungry trial lawyers.  

USEA to Host Energy Supply Forum – The US Energy Assn will hold its 5th annual Energy Supply Forum on Thursday October 4th at the National Press Club.   Representatives from both the public and private sector will gather to discuss topics ranging from unconventional energy supply resources to onshore exploration and production to technologic advances in the supply sector.   Issues will include domestic production, energy policy-post election, energy efficiency-demand response, energy exports and new policy initiatives.

AWEA Offshore Conference Set for VA Beach – AWEA will host its annual offshore wind conference in Virginia Beach on October 11-13th.  Stay tuned for more details, but  BOEM’s Tommy Beaudreau will kick off the event and AWC President Bob Mitchell will speak on Thursday morning, providing a development update on the project and its implications for accelerating offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic. 

Utility, Fuel, Renewables to Address RETECH Forum – RETECH 2012 is set for Washington DC on October 16th-19th at the Omni Shoreham.  RETECH is the premier business, policy and technology conference and exhibition for the entire renewable energy industry and will host renewable energy leaders from government, utility, finance and technology.   RETECH 2012 is the only event dedicated to delivering coverage on EVERY discipline of renewable energy technology.  RETECH’s conference sessions will focus on current trends, the newest technologies and important up-to-date information on the changing legislative and regulatory landscapes.  Among the speakers will be EIA’s Adam Siemanski, as well as our friends Yvonne McIntyre of Calpine Corporation, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, former DOE energy advisor Larisa Dobriansky, Drive NatGas Executive Director Kathryn Clay, DTF’s Allen Schaeffer and EPRI’s Bryan Hannegan.  

SEJ Ready for Lubbock – SEJ Kicks off at Texas Tech in Lubbock on October 17 through the 22nd.  Bracewell will of course be sponsoring its Thursday night event, so we hope to see you there.  

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

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

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

Special Update – September 4

Friends,

Hope everyone enjoyed the Labor Day weekend and an extra day off.  No big intro today as we sit in between conventions with lots of great energy events getting under way in Charlotte. My colleagues Dee Martin, Paul Nathanson and Caitlin Andrews are on the ground in the Queen City if you need anything.  As for RNC, I discuss below more, but whether you really think climate change is a top tier issues or not, you have to appreciate the multiple meanings in Mitt Romney climate zinger in his RNC speech targeting the President’s grander view, but more out-of-touch view.  The evidence of its effectiveness: the hysterical, hair on-fire reaction of many of my enviro friends.   

I wanted to mention one other event tomorrow in DC when WCEE hosts Heather Zichal to talk energy issues at the Capitol Hilton. 

Finally, one little update on getting older…My daughter player her first High School field hockey game on Friday.  If that wasn’t bad enough, while that game was ongoing (actually, I wasn’t there, I was refereeing a high school football game), my son took a shot to the head during his 12U football game and made a (questionable in my mind) trip to the emergency room via ambulance.  He was fine, of course, but you can never be too sure, especially when they couldn’t get ahold of us.  I knew he was really okay when he told me that it was cool to ride in the ambulance and that he asked the driver to turn on the siren and run some red lights.  I guess he won’t be getting a license until he turns 20.

Happy to talk about the role of energy/environment in this race.  Call with questions.

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

IN THE NEWS 

Most Drilling Operation Back in Action Anyway – Most drilling operation, shut in by Isaac for a few days have started back up throughout the weekend.   Inspections were done Thursday and Friday and most are ready to get back to work.   My friend Jim Noe (713-301-6797) at Hercules Offshore can walk you through some of the particulars of the getting back up and running if you are interested. 

Energy Plays Role in Romney Speech – Mitt Romney in his convention speech dove into energy issues calling for greater production of fossil fuels one of the key elements of his plan to create jobs and restore the economy.  He made it all as part of a call to attain energy independence by 2020.  He also infuriated most enviros with his signature line of the speech saying: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”  In one line, he both hinted at the President being out-of-touch on real issues while also giving him a shot for soaring rhetoric and tendency toward self-aggrandizement.   Of course, the enviro blogosphere erupted with outrage, completely proving the point of how effective the line was and how self-flatulating they are.

Energy Events Make Splash at RNC – There were a several good energy events at the Republican National Convention in Tampa that outlined several interesting issues.  They included:

POLITICO Event with T. Boone, API’s Durbin, ASE’s Callahan – POLITICO held an energy policy luncheon Wednesday that feature Boone Pickens, API’s Marty Durbin and Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan.  Pickens said that natural gas vehicles will prosper even without his so-called Pickens Plan.  Durbin highlighted a number of challenges in the offshore oil/gas market while praising the effort to create jobs with shale production.  Callahan praised Mitt Romney for his energy efficient policies as governor of Massachusetts. She said he had a “record that is really good on energy efficiency” as governor, including support of a 50 miles per gallon fuel efficiency standard and investing in building efficiency. 

Bloomberg Forums Feature Gerard, Pickens – Pickens also held a one-on-one at Bloomberg’s Link (which had some of the best food by the way).  Pickens hit many of the same themes he discussed at the POLITICO forum highlighting natural gas vehicles, natgas prices and current efforts on wind.    The day prior, API’s Jack Gerard also visited the same forum and led a spirited discussion of offshore drilling, natgas/ shale issues and the job growth in the oil/gas industry.

National Journal Events with Southern, Capito, Others – Perhaps one of the best events was a panel discussion Tuesday lead by National Journal’s Coral Davenport featuring Cap Alpha’s Jim Lucier, CAP’s Richard Caperton, Jerry Taylor of Cato and EPRI’s Mike Howard.  The panel was an outstanding mix of policy and politics, with lots of energy, both in discussion and in temperament.   It followed a one-on-one with WV Rep. Shelly Moor Capito.  Southern Tom fanning led the discussion with comments about the current state of energy policy.  Any earlier event focused on green buildings and energy use and featured Lucier, AGA’s Larry Borgard, former Gainesville Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan and Green Building Council exec Roger Platt. 

Dems Will Host Energy Events – Many of the above events will also have a sister event in Charlotte this week at the Democratic National Convention.  In fact this morning, The Washington Post hosted a great panel discussion on energy issues with Reps. Ed Markey and Ben Lujan, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Paul Bledsoe of the Bipartisan Policy Center, Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations, Joshua Freed of Third Way and Margo Thorning of the American Council for Capital Formation at the Ritz-Carlton.  Mary Landrieu was supposed to be there but stayed home to tend to Hurricane Isaac issues.   Also this morning, National Journal and The Atlantic host a forum on America’s energy outlook.  Our friend Amy Harder interviewed Senate Energy Committee new top Democrat Ron Wyden, and then lead a panel discussion with NEI chief Marv Fertel, Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations, EPRI CEO Mike Howard (who also participated last week with Southern) and former EIA head Richard Newell, now a professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment.   Also today, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell will be on a panel of folks hosted by POLITICO discussing Jobs and the economy and it is certain that Markell will discuss offshore wind as a major opportunity for his state and the Mid-Atlantic region.  Finally, speaking of POLITICO, they and AWEA will reprise their energy event on Wednesday. 

Speakers Line Up – Finally to some of the speeches, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Speaks tonight, while Duke Energy CEO – and convention co-chair – Jim Rogers will discuss energy issues on Thursday prior to President Obama’s speech at Bank of America Stadium. 

Dems Release Energy Platform – Democrats released a platform focused On an “all-of the-above” strategy.   While it mentions fossil fuels slightly, it leans heavily on clean energy for job creation, as well as natural gas resources.  I’m sure that won’t go over well with the Josh Fox crowd.  It also spends a significant amount of time attacking Republicans.  See it here.   

Shell Gets Start in Alaska on Drilling – Shockingly, just before Romney’s speech that was to talk about energy independence and oil/gas jobs, the Interior Department announced that Shell received permission to perform “limited preparatory activities” in the Chukchi Sea. The permit allows Shell to begin work to create a mud-line cellar and install two segments of pipe — actions to help install and protect the blowout preventer during production — in non-oil-containing formations.  Salazar speaks tonight and my bet is he mentions this and other drilling items many times. 

EVENTS  

WCEE to Host Zichal – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a luncheon tomorrow at Noon featuring Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. The WCEE Women in Leadership series, sponsored by our friends at ClearView Energy and Southern Company, showcases successful women who are leaders in their fields, and Ms. Zichal is certainly outstanding.   The event is  at the Capitol Hilton (16th/K St., NW). 

RFF Forum to Look at International Climate Issues – Resources for the Future will host a panel tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. in its First Floor Conference Center to look at the role of border measures in the design of unilateral climate policy.  Issues of competitiveness and emissions leakage have been at the fore of the climate policy debate in all the major economies implementing or proposing to implement significant emissions cap-and-trade programs. While unilateral policy cannot directly impose emissions prices on foreign sources, it can complement domestic emissions pricing with border carbon adjustments to reduce leakage and increase global cost-effectiveness. Theory suggests that border adjustment measures constitute a second-best instrument to complement unilateral emissions pricing. Although border measures have a theoretical efficiency rationale, their practical implementation is subject to serious caveats.  Against this background, panelists at this RFF First Wednesday Seminar will highlight recent research on the efficiency and distributional impacts of border measures, offer design guidelines to ensure their environmental effectiveness while limiting the scope for protectionism, and discuss the implications of such measures for international climate policymaking and negotiations.  RFF’s Carolyn Fischer hosts panelists Thomas Rutherford of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Aaron Cosbey of the International Institute for Sustainable Development and Nigel Purvis of Climate Advisers. 

House Resource to Get Chu on Power Marketing Memo – The full House Committee on Natural Resources will convene an oversight hearing on entitled Tuesday, September 11th at 11:30 a.m. to discuss DOE Secretary Steven Chu’s Power Marketing Administration Memorandum directives and their potential impact on increasing electricity costs for over 40 million families and small businesses.  Chairman Doc Hastings sent a letter to Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu inviting him to testify at the Full Committee hearing on his Memorandum, which mandates new missions for the Power Marketing Administrations and could raise energy costs for over 40 million Americans. Secretary Chu was originally invited to testify at a hearing on April 26, 2012, but declined due to foreign travel. In June, over 160 House members and Senators sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary Chu expressing concerns with the missions outlined in his Memorandum. The House also passed bipartisan appropriations language prohibiting funding for any new activities in the document. 

O’Malley, Wellinghoff to Headline Retail Energy Event – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff are featured speakers at the Retail Energy Supply Association’s 2012 Energy Competition Symposium in Baltimore on Sept. 12. The half-day event will explore the state of play for retail energy competition nationally. Other featured speakers include Douglas Scott, chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, Douglas Nazarian, chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission, Todd Snitchler, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Rob Powelson, chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, William Massey, former FERC commissioner and counsel to the COMPETE Coalition, and Itron’s Daniel Pfeiffer.  The symposium will feature panel discussions on the value of customer choice in retail energy markets, the future outlook for customer choice in energy, and an overview of the innovative product and service offerings being developed in competitive retail energy markets. The afternoon event will close with a cocktail reception. 

Senate Energy Committee Hearing on Nuclear Waste Bill – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing Wednesday, September 12 at 9:30 a.m. to receive testimony on S. 3469, the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2012. 

Ohio Shale Gas Conference to Look at Successes, Challenges – Infocast will host Black Gold Ohio, a conference focused on shale gas development in the Utica Shale region at the Westin Columbus on September 12-13th.  The conference will look at the revival of Ohio manufacturing with the Utica and Marcellus booms.  As a result, Ohio has seen a significant rise in demand for steel mills, surveyors, pipe makers, tankers for hauling water, trailers for transporting frac sand and other supporting manufacturing and development.  It’s predicated that by 2015, the Utica and Marcellus shale booms will have created 200,000 jobs, generated a $12 billion growth in overall wages in the State and increased $22 billion in economic output of the Ohio State.  Speakers will include the Ohio Oil & Gas Assn head Tom Stewart and Chesapeake Energy’s Scott Rotruck, among many others. 

Spill Containment Conference Set for Caribbean Drilling – OPEN FORUM and the Energy Chamber of Trinidad will hold the first-ever regional conference on emergency response issues for offshore drilling in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Thursday, September 13th.   The event will focus on the critical issues related to emergency spill response procedures and protocols following the BP/Deepwater Horizon incident two years ago. Speakers will include former BOEMRE chief Michael Bromwich and John Slaughter of the U.S. Coast Guard.  Among other experts, our friends at Helix, former IADC head Lee Hunt and Bracewell’s very own Kevin Ewing.  Hunt, who joined with Helix to organize the conference said “While the international focus has been largely an effort by the United States to protect its shores, this conference will give Caribbean nations the opportunity to focus on how they can learn from each other and work together to build deepwater response capabilities.” 

WAPA to Feature KIA at September Lunch – The Washington Automotive Press Assn‘s September luncheon will be held on Friday at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room at 12:00pm.  Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, and Tom Loveless, executive vice president of sales of Kia Motors will tell the story of Kia’s brand transformation and share insights about the company’s commitment to world-class design and standout from the crowd marketing initiatives that have delivered unprecedented growth and momentum and turned Kia into the seventh largest auto brand in the U.S.  During the meeting members and guests also will have a first look at the new Soul Ad Campaign, new vehicles and future technologies from Kia Motors. 

Corbett, Koppel Headline NatGas Conference – Following last year’s inaugural success, the Marcellus Shale Coalition will return to Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center to host the SHALE GAS INSIGHT™ 2012 Conference on September 20-21 to offer insights on natural gas development in in the region.  Industry and policy experts from top producing, midstream, and supply chain firms; academia; government; and the NGO community will provide the latest insights and analysis on state and federal policies, technological advancements in the industry, and much more.  Speakers will include veteran newsman Ted Koppel, PA Gov. Tom Corbett, our WSJ friend Russell Gold and many more.

AWEA Offshore Conference Set for VA Beach – AWEA will host its annual offshore wind conference in Virginia Beach on October 11-13th.  Stay tuned for more details, but  BOEM’s Tommy Beaudreau will kick off the event and AWC President Bob Mitchell will speak on Thursday morning, providing a development update on the project and its implications for accelerating offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic.

SEJ Ready for Lubbock – SEJ Kicks off at Texas Tech in Lubbock on October 17 through the 22nd.  Bracewell will of course be sponsoring its Thursday night event, so we hope to see you there.

Energy Update Week of June 18

Friends,

Hope everyone had a great Fathers’ Day yesterday.  What a great US Open finish, but I was shocked that Jim Furyk used my drive on “16”.  That duck-hook, a regular staple in my array of shots, was untimely, proving that even the best can get the “yips” when the major pressure is on.  Nothing against Webb Simpson winning, but I was hoping maybe that Graeme MacDowell would have holed that last putt so I could get another day of watching golf at the office.   BTW, here is the link in case you missed the Sunday New York Times Magazine, photo-spread showcasing BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah Solar project.  The photos were taken by renowned photographer Jamey Stillings, who recently took some unbelievable images of the Bridge at the Hoover Dam.

Rio +20 kicks off this week and while the President has said little about these issues because of his political fight at home, it still is the largest UN conference yet staged, led by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and attended by more than 130 world leaders. Other notable absentees include British Prime Minister David Cameron (who may be looking for his daughter at the pub) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is looking for more power after closing her nuclear plants.  Secretary of State Clinton, Climate Change Envoy Todd Stern and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will attend.

This is a very busy week in Washington. The Senate will vote on Sen. Inhofe’s his resolution to stop EPA’s Utility MACT rule on Wednesday.  Inhofe said small business trade group NFIB and Sen. Mary Landrieu will support his effort.   Coal Companies working in Montana are pressuring embattled Sen. Jon Tester in a letter sent Friday, and today, Senate doctors Tom Coburn, Tom Barrasso, John Boozman and Rand Paul said the rules “will devastate communities that rely on affordable energy, children whose parents will lose their jobs, and the poor and elderly on fixed incomes that do not have the funds to pay for higher energy costs. The result for public health will be disastrous in ways not seen since the Great Depression.”

Not that it matters to anything but the politics (as Sen. Maj. Leader Harry Reid will not be moving any similar energy legislation anytime soon), but the House will plan floor action on a package of bills aimed at delaying EPA regulations and promoting oil and gas exploration on Wednesday, with votes on Thursday. As well, the House Energy Committee will mark up legislation that will prevent federal agencies from conflicting each other when requiring power plants to run in emergency situations.  With Democrats and Republicans actually working together on this one, it might be possible.

Tomorrow is chock-full of hearings on our issues, making it one of the busiest Tuesdays of the year.  There are 10:00ish hearings in Senate Energy (the NRC natgas fracturing earthquake study), House Energy (GHG regulations), Senate Environment (natgas emissions featuring Gina McCarthy), Senate Finance (on the looming fiscal crisis), House Gov’t Oversight panel (on Green jobs/taxpayer subsidies) and House Energy panel (on federal green jobs).  The most exciting seem to be the House GHG hearing and the Senate earthquake study hearing, so I would choose those if you get to pick.  I will try to visit all of them, without cloning myself.

Also this week, our friends at Sterling Planet (the nation’s leading renewable energy retailer) Alden Hathaway and Will Jones will travel from Atlanta to Washington, DC to Philadelphia, PA to Detroit, MI to Chicago, IL and return to Atlanta in a Chevy Volt PHEV on an EV road trip for the ages.  Check out their progress as they go.

Finally, pay attention to tomorrow Infocast’s conference on a range of fuels and gasoline issues featuring automakers, refiners and biofuels manufacturers.  With all those people in one room there is a chance they could either be singing “Kumbaya” or be engaged in a steel cage match depending on the issues or the combatants.

I head out early on Friday to Northern New Jersey for more lacrosse tournaments.  Last weekend, the kids played well, but their teams struggled.  This week, they will be heartened by knowing that when they are finished with their games on Saturday, we will be headed to AC for the Orion Festival featuring Metallica (playing Ride The Lightning Saturday and The Black Album Sunday) and many others, including one of my all-time favorites, Suicidal Tendencies, which is probably appropriate for our issues set.

I want to close today by reminding everyone that today the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the War of 1812.  On June 18, 1812, President James Madison signed the declaration of war on Great Britain.  Of course, the war, often called our second war of independence, brought us key moments like the penning of our National Anthem, the burning of the Capitol and White House and the emergence of US Naval prowess when the US Constitution, led by Captain Isaac Hull, brutalized one of the Royal Navy best frigates HMS Guerriere.  After a 35-minute battle, Guerriere had been dis-masted, captured and was later burned, altering the course of future Naval dominance.

Of course, in the next month, we will remember the loss of Detroit and the Michigan territories to a combination of British, Canadian and Native American forces (insert any Detroit jokes here, positive or negative: I’m thinking of one about them wishing they kept us because of all the Stanley Cups we’ve won.)  Baltimore has been celebrating all week including a show yesterday from the Blue Angels.  Celebrations at Fort McHenry end tomorrow.

Less than two weeks (June 30) to le tour…. Call with questions.

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

IN THE NEWS

PM Rule Released – The EPA proposed to tighten its annual fine particulate matter (PM2.5) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) on Friday that would set the maximum allowable standard for soot, also called fine particle pollution, at range of 12 to 13 micrograms per cubic meter. The current annual standard is 15 micrograms per cubic meter.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA Air Administrator said changing the PM standard is actually a bigger deal than changing the ozone standard – in terms of both public health and impact on industry.   Holmstead: “It may not sound like much – lowering the standard from 15 to 13 – but it will mean a lot more regulations in many parts of the country.  This won’t be good news for places trying to attract new manufacturing jobs.  EPA is facing a bit of a dilemma.  Today, they’re saying that a PM standard somewhere between 11 and 13 will protect public health with a margin of safety.  But for the last 3 years, they’ve been claiming that their new regulations will save the lives of thousands of people who are being killed by PM, even though they live in areas with PM levels well below 11.”

NRC: Earthquakes not a problem with NatGas Drilling – The National Research Council said Friday the number of earthquakes caused by oil and gas drilling is minimal and the risks can be further reduced by avoiding sites near fault lines and keeping pressures equalized during extraction and injection.  In a highly anticipated report, the scientific research arm of the U.S. government urged industry to concentrate on siting risks before beginning energy projects and for federal agencies to better coordinate responses to induced quakes.  The report said quakes related to wastewater injection wells were slightly more common, and that one key for avoiding risk was to maintain more constant pore pressure, avoiding fluctuations in injection and extraction pressures.

Study:  Unconvent Gas Creating Jobs – A new IHS Global Insight study says natural gas production from shale, coal bed methane and tight sands is expected to supported more than one million jobs in 2010, and it will grow to support nearly 1.5 million by 2015, which not only is significant job creation, but also provides economic growth and revenue for federal, state and local treasuries throughout the U.S.  The economic contributions are realized throughout the lower 48 states and the District of Columbia in both 20 producing states and 28 non-producing states.  The new report, The Economic and Employment Contributions of Unconventional Gas Development in State Economies, examines unconventional gas activity – a growing subset of the total natural gas industry. The report found substantial growth in jobs and economic activity in unconventional plays over the past decade. The report is a companion to an IHS Global Insight study on shale gas economic and employment contribution released in December.   The dramatic impact on employment and the economy from unconventional gas activity reflects its significant capital intensity requirements, the ability to source capital equipment and services from US sources, the coast-to-coast structure of the supply chain and the quality of jobs created by the industry.  Between 2010 and 2015, the Top 10 producing states (as ranked by unconventional gas-related employment) – Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Wyoming, Ohio, Utah, Oklahoma and Michigan – will experience a compound annual job growth rate of nearly 8%, with Pennsylvania and Colorado leading with expected compound annual growth rates of 14% and 10%, respectively. Meanwhile, total US employment is expected to grow at a significantly lower average rate of 1.6% during the same period.

IHS: Non-Producing States Actually are Benefiting – The IHS study adds a new wrinkle saying of the nearly 1.5 million unconventional gas activity jobs contributing to the economy by 2015, nearly one-fifth are projected for non-producing states. The Top 10 non-producing states (as ranked by jobs growth due to unconventional gas development) in 2015 are projected to be California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Tennessee and Maryland, supporting the industry through the extensive supply chain and service jobs necessary to support development.  Study author John Larson said when it comes to unconventional natural gas, a state does not need to have a gas play to benefit economically.

Good Energies Changes Name to Bregal As it Expands Coverage – Good Energies Capital announced today that it is changing its name to Bregal Energy as a part of its migration to broader energy investor. Although the fund will continue to invest in renewables, the primary focus of future investments will be in the traditional energy sector throughout North America. The name change comes two years after the fund began investing outside renewables. In addition to renewable power, Bregal Energy has already invested in E&P, gas midstream, biomass/biofuels, thermal power plant development and transmission development. Beyond these sectors, the fund aims to make investments in energy related services and storage, among others. Bregal Energy targets equity investments in individual companies of between $15 million and $75 million in both control and non-control situations. The name change more closely identifies the fund with the other private equity assets within Bregal Investments. Bregal Investments has invested over $9 Billion since 2002. Bregal Investments is the private equity investment business of Cofra Holding AG and has several Private Equity Funds and Fund investment vehicles.   “Although the Good Energies Capital name has tremendous recognition in the renewables sector, we believe that given our change of focus and desire for the market to understand that we are part of a very large private equity group, the time was right for us to make this transition,” said John Breckenridge, leader of Bregal Energy. Despite the change in name and broader focus, Bregal Energy will continue to actively support all existing Good Energies Capital portfolio companies. Additionally, Good Energies Venture team located in London will continue to support existing Good Energies Venture portfolio companies. Furthermore, the philanthropic activities of the Good Energies Foundation will continue unchanged.  Of course, Bregal is a major equity investor along with Google in the Atlantic Wind Connection, an offshore wind transmission system proposed for the Atlantic Ocean between northern New Jersey and Virginia Beach.

E15 Finalized – EPA gave the final approval to move forward with the sale of E15 ethanol blends late last week enraging a number of refiners and automakers.  The announcement completes the last step for moving E15 into the marketplace for passenger vehicles 2001 and newer. With guidance on that issue from the EPA, fuel providers and retailers wishing to sell E15 can do so provided they register with EPA and follow approved misfueling mitigation protocols.  Refiner Assn President Charlie Drevna has criticized EPA on E15 their actions are “particularly troubling,” since recent information released by the Coordinating Research Council shows failures when using E15 in vehicles approved by EPA.  Drevna says EPA is rushing to judgment and acting recklessly.

State Kicks off Renewed Pipeline Route Review – The US State Department on Friday launched an environmental review of a new route proposed for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada. Republicans said the review quest though could expand the review beyond an 88-mile portion of the route through Nebraska that has been altered because of environmental concerns. The administration will accept public comments until July 30 on the supplementary EIS for the segment of Keystone XL that runs from Alberta to Steele City, Neb.

THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:

EV Roadtrip Kicks Off – This week, Sterling Planet (the nation’s leading renewable energy retailer) employees, Alden Hathaway and Will Jones will travel from Atlanta to Washington, DC to Philadelphia, PA to Detroit, MI to Chicago, IL and return to Atlanta in a Chevy Volt PHEV.  The highlight of the trip will be to launch the Philadelphia Green Power Community Challenge Program at the Philadelphia Phillies Stadium before the Phillies game on Wednesday.  The trip will showcase the ability for American technology and energy policy to meet America’s need for an energy economy that is both clean and renewable and also non-dependent on foreign imports.  All the highlights include tomorrow’s visit to Washington, DC for a charging at NPR Headquarters, which will include ACORE members and folks from EPA and DOE.  Thursday, the gang will be in Detroit, MI, charging at DTE and GM where they will address renewable charging of PHEVs and additional energy cost savings at auto plants.  On Friday, the Roadtrip will hit McDonald’s Corporate Headquarters or McDonalds Restaurant to encourage more charging stations for McD’s patrons who eat-in.  Along the way, there will be stops at various museums for additional charging, such as the Schiele Museum of Natural History (Gaston, NC), Richmond, VA Science Museum, the Smithsonian in DC and the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY.   The team will be seeking for additional sites for charging the Volt using renewable energy, either from direct solar or from wind conveyed through Sterling Planet customers as RECs.  The team anticipates making over 16 stops for charging including five overnight charges.  Many of these will be at Sterling Planet customers who already procure renewable energy from Sterling Planet.  The team expects to save nearly 13 gallons of gasoline as compared with conventional hybrids (such as a Prius).  This means the team expects to make the 2400 mile trip using as little as 45 gallons of gasoline for an average miles per gallon of over 53.  Team leader, Alden Hathaway, has over 10 years of experience (800,000 miles) driving hybrids long distances and will be employing his knowledge to ensure the team completes the trip in its 45-gallon allotment.  Assistant team member, Will Jones will be blogging and tweeting all along the trip.  Interested listeners can follow the team at www.sterlingplanet.com or on Twitter or Facebook.

Fuels Conference to Target EPA Rules – Tomorrow through Wednesday, Infocast will host a forum at the Temple Almas Club in DC to look at key concerns about EPA rulemakings like EPA’s pending ‘Tier III’ rules for gasoline, and greenhouse gas (GHG) vehicle rules.  The Next Generation Engines and Fuels Forum will bring together all of the stakeholders—automakers and engine manufacturers, oil companies and refiners, renewable fuels producers, blenders and retailers—to discuss the best way to work together to meet the new CAFE and Tier 3 standards. In a thoughtful, considered, collaborative manner, they will begin the discussion of the strategies, plans and processes for working together to achieve goals of historic importance. Stakeholders will share their ideas and perspectives on how to work together so that everyone can start working in concert—and arrive at the finish line at the same time.   Speakers will include AAM’s Julie Becker, Ford’s Dan Kapp, NACS John Eichberger, API’s Robert Greco and former EU Ambassador C. Boyden Gray.

Senate Energy to Look at Earthquakes From Energy Issues – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to hear receive testimony on the potential for induced seismicity from energy technologies, including carbon capture and storage, enhanced geothermal systems, production from gas shales, and enhanced oil recovery.  Witnesses include Dr. Murray Hitzman, professor of economic geology, Colorado School of Mines; Dr. William Leith, senior science advisor for earthquake and geologic hazards at the U.S. Geological Survey; Altarock Energy’s Susan Petty and Stanford University professor Mark Zoback.

Senate to look at Emissions From NatGas Processes – Tomorrow, the Senate Environment panel on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing at 10:00 a.m. reviewing recent EPA air standards for hydraulically-fractured natural gas wells, as well as those from oil and natural gas storage.  Witnesses will include EPA’s Gina McCarthy, EDF’s Fred Krupp, Wyoming DEQ director John Corra, Tisha Schuller of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, Devon Energy’s Darren Smith and Bill Allison of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

House Energy Tackles GHG Rule – The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on EPA’s GHG regulations and their impacts.  Witnesses will include Robb MacKie of the American Bakers Association, Carl Shaffer of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Charles Smith of the CountryMark Coop, Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment dean Bill Chameides, CAP’s Daniel Weiss, NARUC President David Wright (also a commissioner/vice-chairman of the South Carolina PSC), CONSOL Energy’s Steven Winberg, Tri-State Generation’s Barbara Walz and NRDC’s David Doniger.

House Oversight Back on Green Jobs – As if they haven’t wasted enough time on this issue, the House Oversight Committee’s Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight, and Government Spending Subcommittee will return to the taxpayer subsidies and green energy loans with a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  Witnesses are said to include NRG and several others.

House Energy Panel to Also look at Green Jobs Agenda – The House Oversight Panel will also look into the federal green jobs agenda with a hearing tomorrow at 10:15 a.m.  Witnesses will include CRS’s Molly Sherlock, AEI’s Ken Green, Heritage Foundation’s David Kreutzer, David Montgomery of NERA Economic Consulting and Michael Breen of the Truman National Security Project.

Senate Finance to Look at Budget Crisis – The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to look at confronting the looming fiscal crisis.  Former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and former Clinton White House Budget Director Alice Rivlin will testify.

Washington Fuel Cell Summit to Look at Technologies – Tomorrow, the Hydrogen Education Foundation is hosting a one-day summit in the nation’s capital featuring panel discussions, an expo and a Ride and Drive with fuel cell vehicles.  Government and industry will convene to discuss the latest advancements and keys to market successes for fuel cells, including open discussion around remaining challenges and obstacles.  Speakers will include DOE EERE Assistant Secretary David Danielson, the White House’s Heather Zichal, Defense Assistant Secretary for Operational Energy Plans and Programs Sharon Burke, Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing Peter Perez, Senator Ron Wyden Kathryn Clay of the Drive Natural Gas Initiative, CARB Chair Mary Nichols, Ballard CEO John Sheridan, Ed Cohen of Honda, Justin Ward of Toyota, National Fuel Cell Research Director Scott Samuelson and many others.

Forum to Focus on Water Policy – The Atlantic Council’s Energy and Environment Program will hold a workshop examining the energy water nexus and saving energy and water in the municipal, industrial, and commercial sectors tomorrow.  The workshop will address the ongoing energy water nexus policy, technology, and management impacts on water consuming sectors. The workshop features a wide array of thought leaders and expert speakers and participants. The invitation-only group comes from Congress, industry, technological innovators, corporations, utilities, U.S. and state government agencies, national laboratories, regulatory bodies, academia, associations and the non-profit community. The meeting, run under modified Chatham House rules, guarantees that participants and speakers alike have the opportunity for frank discussion of all issues.

Oil Conference to Look at ‘WildCards’ – The conference Oil Wildcards will be Held in New York at the Warwick Hotel tomorrow.  The conference is focused on crude oil supply and demand flashpoints. The symposium will explore consensus and competing views on the prospect for supply additions and demand disruptions, focusing on the topics of greatest contention, opacity, and impact. This intense one day program will dive into key topics including: Tight Oil in US, International Shale Oil, Deepwater/Arctic, Oil & the Economy, Natural Gas Liquids, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China/EM Demand.  Speakers will include a cross section of the best technical analysts in the field and represent a range of views and perspectives.

REFF-Wall Street to Look at Renewable Challenges – The 9th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street will be tomorrow and Wednesday in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria. With disappearing Federal support and several high-profile bankruptcies, there are challenges ahead for the sector.  On the agenda include panels on Solar finance, the interplay between renewables and other fuels, Federal support for renewables and new finance trends for renewables.  The keynote speakers include CT DEEP head Dan Esty, US Army Installations Asst Secretary Katherine Hammack and Dennis McGinn of ACORE.  Other speakers include NRG’s Steve Corneli, MidAmerican’s Jonathan Weisgall, SEIA’s Rhone Resch and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Michel DiCapua, among others.

Rio+20 Conference Starts –The Rio+20 summit begins in Brazil on Wednesday and runs through Friday, hosting political leaders from around the globe to discuss sustainability issues. At the Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet to get to the future we want.   The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg.

Forum to Look at All of Above Energy StrategyNational Journal will host a policy summit on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in the Newseum that looks at striking the right balance between green technologies and existing energy sources could impact America’s energy future and the U.S.  President Obama has said he supports expanded domestic oil and gas production as part of an “all of the above” strategy designed to promote energy independence. But Republicans accuse the president of promulgating unnecessary regulations, moving too slowly to increase domestic production, and picking winners and losers in support of green technologies while de-emphasizing readily-available resources.  Focus will be on reducing our dependency on foreign oil, fuel and energy efficiency standard impacts and fitting petroleum, coal and natural gas into the President’s energy strategy.  Our friend Amy Harder will moderate.  Speakers include Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Majority Whip and Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.  A discussion panel will include Bob Carling of the Sandia National Laboratories, Mary Hutzler of the Institute for Energy Research, Heritage’s David Kreutzer, RFF’s Alan Krupnick and former solar trade group head Scott Sklar.

Symposium to Look at Green Technologies – The World Green Energy Symposium (WGES) will be held on Thursday in the Washington Post Conference Center.  The Symposium is designed to spark innovative thinking and showcase examples of products that will ensure environmental and economic success in the energy industry today and in the future.  The WGES is known for drawing in the best minds from a multi-disciplined audience, and serves as a platform to present the latest case studies, unveil upcoming innovations and projects, discuss contracting opportunities and provide updates on the latest policies to a global audience and the media.  The Symposium provides opportunities to look at the future of latest energy technologies. It provides the opportunity to showcase latest products & technologies to an enthusiastic and forward thinking audience.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set for Hill – On Thursday, the Sustainable Energy Coalition – in cooperation with Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses – will host the 15th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum on Capitol Hill.  This year’s EXPO will bring together over fifty businesses, sustainable energy industry trade associations, government agencies, and energy policy research organizations to showcase the status and near-term potential of the cross-section of renewable energy (biofuels/biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) and energy efficiency technologies.  The late morning program will feature Members of the U.S. Congress while speakers throughout the day will discuss the role sustainable energy technologies can play in meeting America’s energy needs.   As Congress, the Administration, the business community, environmental advocates, and American voters search for options to stimulate the economy and “green jobs,” as well as address issues of national security, higher energy costs, increased reliance on energy imports, and the environmental threats associated with energy consumption, the EXPO will help address the role that sustainable energy technologies might play.  This will include not only the technical aspects of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies but also related issues such as economics, jobs potential, environmental benefits, current and near-term market potential, model programs in the public and private sectors, and institutional, financial and legal barriers.

Forum to Look at Clean tech, Transportation Issues – The South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Transportation Research Board will present a half-day policy forum on Thursday staring at 8:00 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Breakfast Keynote will be from Rep. Henry Waxman, Ranking Member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.  Other speakers will include Rep. Grace Napolitano and Rep. Janice Hahn.  One panel will discuss some of the notable efforts happening across the country to develop and deploy clean transportation and energy technologies and will include representatives from The Port of Los Angeles, Volvo Group North America, the West Coast Electric Highway (Washington State) and electric bus manufacturer Proterra, Inc. (South Carolina).  Panel 2 will discuss how Washington can do more to spur innovation in the clean tech field and how the federal government’s promotion of cleaner technologies can improve the economy and create jobs.  Panelists will include Members of Congress, representatives of Siemens, the BlueGreen Alliance, The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and South Coast Air Quality Management District.

House Science to Look at Energy User Facilities – The House Science Committee’s Energy and Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. looking at DOE energy user facilities and making sur they are utilizing the tools of science to drive innovation through fundamental research.  Witnesses will include Antonio Lanzirotti of the National User Facility Organization, Persis Drell of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Ely Lilly’s Stephen Wasserman, Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Suzy Tichenor and GE Global Research chief scientist for chemistry and chemical engineering/materials characterization Ernest Hall.

ICF Breakfast Looks at Clean Energy Funding – At its next Energy and Environment Breakfast on Thursday at 8:00 a.m., ICF welcomes senior officials from two of the foremost international and domestic organizations involved in funding, investing, and advising for energy projects worldwide—especially in clean and renewable projects in developing countries.  Morgan Landy of International Finance Corporation and Lynn Tabernacki of Overseas Private Investment Corporation will discuss potential opportunities and looming challenges in renewable energy markets domestically and abroad. Find out about the international organizations that are changing the face of worldwide opportunities for clean energy and how they can affect you and your prospects.

Zichal to Speak at NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, at the University Club at Noon at it luncheon on Thursday.

THE WEEKS AHEAD:

Zichal to Address Natgas Forum – NDN Clean Energy Initiative policy network will host a forum on Monday, June 25th at Noon featuring Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate. Zichal will spotlight the broad implications of hydraulic fracturing and the Administration’s view on the potential of natural gas and oil shale.   In recent years new advances in technology have changed our understanding of our nation’s energy future. “Hydraulic Fracturing” is a perfect example and offers America tremendous opportunity to take greater control of our own energy destiny. The potential is huge, but of course, like any new advance, there are risks.

The Association for Demand Response & Smart Grid (ADS) will hold a National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid Tuesday through Thursday, June 26-28 at US Chamber and the Reagan Trade Building. ADS is a nonprofit organization, originally formed as the Demand Response Coordinating Committee (DRCC) in 2004. ADS is an organization consisting of professionals and organizations involved in demand response and smart grid. It provides services to meet the needs of its members that help them in the conduct of their work and in the attainment of their personal, corporate and governmental objectives. ADS seeks to establish and grow a demand response “community” of policymakers, utilities, system operators, technology companies, consumers, and other stakeholders.

Speakers this year will be FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff, DoD’s Dorothy Robyn, Nick Sinai of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and DOE’s Eric Lighter.

Senate Commerce to Look at Energy Efficient Buildings – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing Thursday, June 28 at 9:30 a.m. to examine innovative non-federal programs for financing energy efficient building retrofits.

Jackson to Visit House Science – The House Committee on Science will hold a hearing on Thursday, June 28th at 10:00 a.m. looking at strengthening the scientific backbone of the EPA.  The hearing will be an examination of agency practices and look at foundations for regulations affecting the American economy.  EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will testify.

Workshop to Look at USFWS Wind Energy Guidelines – The Environmental Law Institute, Hogan Lovells LLP, and Defenders of Wildlife will host a USFWS Wind Energy Guidelines Implementation Workshop on Friday, June 29th at 9:30 a.m. at Hogan Lovells.  The United States Fish and Wildlife Service recently issued its final voluntary guidelines for onshore wind developers. These guidelines were the product of a five-year federal advisory committee process consisting of federal agencies, developers, conservation organizations, academia, and state and tribal representatives. The guidelines are intended to help developers and the Service analyze risks from wind energy development and operations to wildlife and wildlife habitat. This interactive workshop will provide an overview of the recently published final FWS Onshore Wind Guidelines, discuss questions regarding implementation intent and expectations from various stakeholder perspectives, and explore issues and opportunities for additional clarification.  Speakers will include David J. Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Interior, and David Cottingham, Senior Advisor to the Director of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

State Agency Assns Hold Clean Air Conference – On July 9-10, NARUC, the National Assn of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the national Assn of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) will hold a forum at the Renaissance Washington to state energy and Clean air issues.  Speakers on the agenda include FERC’s Jon Wellinghoff, EPA’s Gina McCarthy, DOE’s Pat Hoffman and CEQ’s Nancy Sutley, among many other state officials.

NARUC Summer Conference Set for Portland – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners returns to Portland, Ore., this summer with a loaded agenda and stellar keynote speakers. NARUC’s 2012 Summer Committee Meetings, July 22-25, will focus on the top challenges facing the utility sector, including smart-grid issues, universal service reform, hydraulic fracturing, new environmental rules, and much more.  Featured speakers at the meeting include University of Colorado School of Law Dean Philip J. Weiser, Environmental Defense Fund General Counsel Vickie Patton, QEP Resources President and CEO Charles Stanley, American Water President and CEO Jeff Sterba, FERC and EPA representatives.  Topics under discussion include: Bridging the Hydraulic Fracturing Divide; A Marriage of Convenience: Can Utilities and Wireless Companies Keep the Lights on; EPA Regulations: Are They Moving America Beyond Coal; Electricity and Gas Interpendencies; cyber security; gas pipeline safety; utility infrastructure costs; and much more.  The NARUC-Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Joint Forum on Reliability and the Environment will meet Wednesday, July 25, and the NARUC-FERC Collaborative on Smart Response will be meeting on Sunday, July 22.

Reid Clean Energy Summit Set for August Recess – The 5th annual National Clean Energy Summit will once again bring together clean energy visionaries and leaders, public officials, business executives and entrepreneurs, investors, students, and the media to discuss how to empower the public with tools to promote the clean energy economy; increasing jobs and our energy independence. The day-long clean energy summit will be hosted by Center for American Progress, Clean Energy Project, MGM Resorts International, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. National Clean Energy Summit 5.0: The Power of Choice will focus on empowering individuals, governments, and businesses with the ability to choose clean energy.  The conference will highlight energy options and how the freedom to make clean energy choices can improve the quality of life, save consumers money, and grow the economy.  The more the public, business, and government understand the immense benefits of clean energy, the more likely they are to support and adopt policies to bring that future here sooner.  There has never been a more important time for the nation to better enable investment in clean energy.  Bringing clean energy options in-line with a smarter electricity grid, while increasing the amount of solar, wind, and geothermal energy from projects in Nevada and the West, can give power to new industries and markets that will also simultaneously create new jobs and help rebuild our economy.  The Summit will also discuss why we must invest in the research, development, deployment, and commercialization of new clean tech products to make us competitive in the $7 trillion global clean energy market.  ONE FINAL NOTE:  The event in Las Vegas is only 40 minutes away from BrightSource’s Ivanpah Project, so there is the likelihood that there will be a site visit available.  More on this as we get closer.

 

Energy Update Week of June 4

Friends, 

More sad news this week with two items: the loss of Richard Dawson and retirement of 20-year Red Wing hockey great Nick Lidstrom.

One hundred people surveyed, top four answers are on the board, here’s the question:  Name an influential person in Game show history?  Frank: (Whack!) BLEEPPEPEPEPPE: Richard Dawson.  Survey Says:  (Ding). We’ll play.  You know its not the #1 answer because that is Merv Griffin or Mark Goodson, but Dawson, who starred on Match Game, Hollywood Squares and others took the Family Feud in the late 70s to new heights.  It was also a key turning point for the former Hogan’s Heroes actor creating an opportunity for guys just like him to host later in their TV careers (Ray Combs, Louie Anderson, Richard Karns of Home Improvement, John O’Hurley of Seinfeld fame, and now Steve Harvey).  But no one could really replace him and he was always a special treat while playing “the Feud.”  He kissed more women than anyone I know and I most remember the one time he was rebuffed by one woman in a 1983 episode.  Any way, he now is hanging out with    (Blank)     .   Cue the cheesy, 30-second ‘70s Disco riff while we all write our answers.

And on to Lidstrom…He is still alive and will likely be around for many years, but as a Red Wings guy for his entire career, it is hard to imagine him any other way than the Red Winged Wheel #5, just winning and getting the job done quietly and with humility.  He won plenty of awards, 4 Stanley Cups, 7 Norris Trophies (for the best the NHL’s defenseman) six in seven years between 2002 and 2009.  He also was the first European Captain to ever hoist a Stanley Cup.  But my friend and fellow Detroit-native Bill Day of Valero may have put it best saying he stepped up after the 1998 loss of Vlad Konstintinov: “Lidstrom stepped up and became the No. 1 defenseman – not by crushing opponents, but by always being in the right place at the right time with a stick, a poke check, a takeaway. If he ever put a hit on someone, or if someone ever put a hit on him, it escaped notice. He didn’t have to play a physical game because he was so smart, and he was able to stay on the ice longer than anyone else. I wish he had won more…but those things weren’t ever important to him. I’m just glad I got to see him play.”  Amen brother…

It will be a busy week with both houses of Congress back in session for a few weeks until July 4th week.  Last week, Majority Leader Cantor laid out his plans for the summer and it includes a number of energy bills, but with gas prices plummeting in the face of retreating world crude prices (shocking how that happens), it may push some energy issues to the backburner.  

The hearing of the week is Wednesday, when former EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz will visit the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  That can’t be good for him or the Administration.  I expect he will try to defend himself, but I don’t think he really gets it.  Expect a full court press on the Administration’s regulatory plan, lots of talk about Armendariz’s record in Texas blocking power plants, and conflicts of interest, as well as new legislation to make EPA regional administrators Senate-confirmed positions. 

That morning, National Journal will hold a forum on clean air, but unfortunately for our friend and panel moderator Coral Davenport (who we love dearly here at B&G), the panel‘s Admin organizers (let’s just say not really policy experts) have a panel that is less than balanced.  Our friend John Walke will be joined by a health expert from the liberal American Public Health Assn, former Obama EPA official Adam Kushner, a couple of liberal academics and Duke Energy.  And to top it off, they plan to have an interview with Henry Waxman.   So much for getting a good look at the overall debate.

WINDPOWER launches today in Atlanta with the wind industry very concerned about its future because of the uncertainty of its tax policy.  Expect lots of questions about its status and lots of folks talking about the important contributions of the wind industry and its supply chain to creating new jobs in the face of last week’s disappointing jobs/economic news. For a good summary of the issues, our friend Mark Del Franco of North American Windpower (he is still shaking off the Rangers loss) has an excellent curtain raiser for Atlanta.

I’m cutting this short because I’m on my way to New York today…  I will also be there on Wednesday so if you’re in NYC and interested in grabbing a coffee, let me know.  Call with questions. 

Best,

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

IN THE NEWS

EPRI Assesses EPA’s Environmental Rules – A new assessment from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) says flexibility for electric utilities in installing new pollution control technology to comply with current and pending EPA rules could save approximately $100 billion in future expenditures.  The results are based on two potential pathways for compliance, one based on the “current course” and the other on an “alternative flexible path.” The analysis found that installing a suite of new emissions controls would cost the U.S. economy up to $275 billion, between 2010 and 2035 in present value terms, if the current course is followed. By providing for a flexible path overall cost could be reduced by $100 billion while achieving the same level of compliance. Key findings of the assessment include 1) On the “current course” approximately 202 GW of existing coal-fired capacity would remain financially viable with costs for required environmental investment being recouped in less than 5 years; 2) Another 61 GW of coal capacity – primarily older, smaller, and less efficient units – could not be profitably retrofitted and would be retired; 3) The remaining 54 GW would either be retired or retrofitted depending on market-specific factors, such as: whether regulatory frameworks provide for cost recovery, cost and performance of competing generation, changes in power prices, trends in demand, and natural gas prices; and 4) In the alternative “flexible path” case, approximately 288 GW would remain financially viable, only 25 GW would be retired, and only 4 GW would either be retired or retrofitted depending on market-specific factors.  

Court Forces Soot EPA Decision – The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last week ordered EPA to propose its emissions standards for fine particulate matter from power plants and other sources by June 7th.  In its injunction, the court ordered that the EPA hold public hearings within two weeks after the agency’s proposal for primary and secondary fine particulate matter standards is published in the Federal Register. The court called for an additional seven weeks of public comment after the hearings, providing for nine weeks in total for the industry and public to weigh in on the proposal.  Most predict EPA will re-propose rules with final action coming after the November election

Appeals Court Moves on Yucca Fees – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was also busy late last week asked the Department of Energy to explain why it should be able to continue to collect fees for its nuclear waste fund despite the fact that there is no operating national repository. Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, utilities pay a fee that was designed to cover the cost the government would face in disposing of the waste. The court said the government’s argument appeared to be that Energy Secretary Steven Chu could effectively, “like an ostrich, put his head in the sand” when it came to taking into account various factors that could determine the cost associated with disposing of nuclear waste which they called “farfetched, almost absurd.”   Our friends at NARUC said decision by the court is an important victory for nuclear-power consumers. NARUC President David Wright of South Carolina said the court made clear that the Energy Department has not justified continued payments into the Nuclear Waste Fund, saying the Energy Department is on notice that they must do a thorough and complete assessment within six months as to whether the fees—charged to nuclear utilities and passed through to their consumers—are necessary. Wright: “Nuclear-power utilities and their consumers have paid more than $30 billion into the Nuclear Waste Fund for nearly 30 years. To date they have nothing to show for their investment except political delays, bureaucratic red tape, and a hole in the Nevada desert. Today’s decision will force the Energy Department to do its job and prove why it should continue fees for a nuclear-waste program that it says no longer exists. We believe the evidence demonstrates that until and unless a new nuclear-waste policy is developed, consumers should be given a break.”

CHK Wells Produce New Oil, Gas Find In TX, OK – Chesapeake Energy announced Friday a significant new discovery in the Hogshooter play in the Anadarko Basin of the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma. Chesapeake owns approximately 30,000 net acres in the play, which are more than 90% held by production (HBP) from its legacy deeper Granite Wash production.   Chesapeake has completed two horizontal wells in the Hogshooter formation to date. The Thurman Horn 406H well was drilled to a vertical depth of approximately 10,000 feet with a lateral section of approximately 4,900 feet. This successful exploratory well was drilled more than five miles from established Hogshooter production, but in a section of land where three wells had already been drilled to other formations. During its first eight days of stabilized production, the well averaged daily production of 5,400 barrels (bbls) of oil, 1,200 bbls of natural gas liquids (NGL) and 4.6 million cubic feet of natural gas (mmcf), or approximately 7,350 bbls of oil equivalent (boe) per day. The Meek 41 9H well, located approximately five miles from the Thurman Horn, was drilled to a vertical depth of approximately 10,500 feet with a lateral section of approximately 4,800 feet. During its first 27 days of stabilized production, the well averaged daily production of 1,300 bbls of oil, 365 bbls of NGL and 1.4 mmcf, or approximately 1,900 boe per day.  In addition to the wells mentioned above, Chesapeake has drilled two Hogshooter wells that are waiting on completion, the Zybach 6010H and the Hamilton 39 10H. Chesapeake says its acreage position contains at least 65 more Chesapeake-operated Hogshooter locations to drill during the next few years. The drilling and completion of these 65 wells will be a part of the company’s already budgeted Anadarko Basin drilling program and should result in no increase to the company’s budgeted capital expenditures. None of the 65 potential future Hogshooter wells were included as proven reserves in Chesapeake’s March 31, 2012 reserve report. 

EPA Rolls Out New Emissions Rule for Refiners – EPA issued new standards for new flares and process heaters at petroleum refineries last Friday.   This final rule, which responds to petitions requesting the agency to reconsider standards issued in 2008, provides industry with greater compliance flexibility than those earlier standards did and ensures that companies can make routine operational changes without triggering new requirements, according to EPA.  AFPA’s David Friedman said EPA’s final rule is certainly more balanced than the previous proposals, but the EPA still falls short in issuing common-sense standards. Friedman: “This final rule will not dramatically save, but rather cost the industry significant amounts each year, adding to the billions already paid by industry in complying with the myriad fuel and stationary source regulations, some of which are conflicting and contradictory.” 

Commerce Hits China with Wind Tower Duties – The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued a preliminary determination that the Chinese government provided massive subsidies to Chinese producers of utility-scale wind turbine towers.  The case alleges that unfairly subsidized wind turbine towers from China are harming the U.S. wind energy industry. The Wind Tower Trade Coalition (WTTC), a group of U.S. producers of utility-scale wind towers that includes Trinity Structural Towers, DMI Industries, Katana Summit and Broadwind Energy, brought the case.  The investigation applies to utility-scale wind towers with a minimum height of 50 meters that are designed for use in wind turbines with generating capacities in excess of 100 kW.  In its preliminary ruling, Commerce said that Titan Wind Energy (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. and CS Wind China Co. Ltd. received countervailing subsidies from the Chinese government at rates of 26.0% and 13.74%, respectively.  For all other Chinese producers of utility-scale wind towers, the countervailing rate is 19.87%.

Clean Edge Ranks Top Clean Energy States – Our friends at Clean Edge released their annual Clean Energy State Index, which ranks U.S. states based on more than 70 indicators across the clean energy spectrum, including technology, policy and capital.  According to Clean Edge, the top U.S. states for clean energy include California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington and Colorado.  Key market indicators tracked by Clean Edge included total electricity produced by clean energy sources, hybrid and electric vehicles on the road, clean energy venture and patent activity, and policy regulations and incentives.  In addition, clean energy patents granted to U.S. entities in 2011 exceeded the 1,000 mark for the first time, with more than half of them distributed across just three states.

Wyden, Markey Urge Prez to Impose Export Limits – Last week, Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Edward Markey, sent a letter to President Obama urging him to set new limits on exports of natural gas and other domestic energy resources.  Both have strong advocated for the approach saying natural gas and gasoline exports could raise prices for consumers. Markey also has been outspoken in predicting that crude imported from Canada through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline will be exported after being refined into diesel fuel.  In a letter Thursday, they urged Obama to set new federal policies governing energy exports in response to rapidly expanding shale oil and gas development, made possible through hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.  They also added that the policy should cover the growth in coal, gasoline and diesel exports, which have been rising in response to global demand.  Most industry folks say the approach is absurd and likely to undercut jobs in the US.  Currently, exports and not only keeping many refinery workers employed, they are helping our balance of trade dramatically.  My colleagues Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718) and Josh Zive (202-828-5838) are experts on the subject matter.

THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:

WINDPOWER Heads to Atlanta – AWEA’s annual WINDPOWER conference will be held in Atlanta today through Wednesday.  WINDPOWER is being held in the Southeast for the first time this year in recognition of the fact that it has emerged as a hot spot for wind energy manufacturing. The theme of the overall conference is “Manufacturing the Future Today.” Factories in the wind supply chain now employ 30,000 Americans, out of 75,000 currently working in wind energy. But those jobs are now in jeopardy because of uncertainty over the Production Tax Credit, due to expire at the end of this year unless Congress extends it.  In a year of partisan politics, two leading partisans will seek common ground at the biggest annual gathering of the wind industry – which is counting on bipartisan support to continue its rapid growth in the United States.  Karl Rove and Robert Gibbs will address thousands of attendees together June 5 in Atlanta at WINDPOWER 2012.  Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush, and Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary and longtime senior advisor to President Barack Obama, will jointly keynote in tomorrow morning’s General Session of the annual conference and exposition.  Their conversation will touch on many sides of the energy policy debate, and point out where party perspectives overlap — highlighting the opportunity for bipartisan agreement in support of wind power, one of the fastest-growing sources of manufacturing jobs in America, which draws over $15 billion a year of private investment in the U.S. economy.

Aspen Forum to look at Clean Energy Issues – Montreaux Energy’s 13th Aspen Clean Energy Roundtable will be held today through Wednesday at the historic Hotel Jerome in Aspen.  The Aspen Clean Energy Roundtable will convene 100 key industry partners and investors, along with leading government policy-makers and regulators. Our theme will be Clean Energy, Mobility, and Power Generation: Leadership in Energy Investment.  Confirmed Speakers include Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Shell natgas VP Dave Todd, Waste Management Organic Growth SVP Carl Rush; GE Energy Renewable Energy Strategy & Analysis head Brandon Owens, EPA Region 8 Energy & Climate advisor Kate Fay, Toyota Environmental Vehicles Product Planning Manager Craig Scott and NASCAR Green Innovation Director Michael Lynch, as well as many more.

Wilson Center to Launch Report – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will launch a new report today at 3:00 p.m. on people and the planet.  Rapid and widespread changes in global population, coupled with unprecedented levels of consumption, present profound challenges to human health and well-being and the natural environment.  Although much is known about these linkages, they do not feature prominently in international debates about sustainable development. In the run up to the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development this June, the Royal Society offers the results of a wide-ranging, international study on this interaction, in the form of its People and the Planet report.  Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue and Eliya Zulu, members of the Royal Society’s international working group, will present the report’s findings and discuss the prospects for genuinely sustainable development.  

CEI to Host Mercury Policy Forum – The Competitive Enterprise Institute will hold a forum on Capitol Hill today at 12:00 p.m. to discuss the Administration’s mercury rule.  Speakers will include Marlo Lewis, William Yeatman, and David Bier.

Forum to Look at Enviros, Conservatives – AEI will host a book forum tomorrow at Noon to look at the case for an environmental conservatism.  The environment has long been the undisputed territory of the political left, which has seen the principal threats to the planet issuing from globalization, consumerism and the overexploitation of natural resources. Philosopher Roger Scruton agrees that the environment is the most urgent political problem of our age but argues in his new book “How to Think Seriously About the Planet” that conservatism is far better suited to tackle environmental problems than either liberalism or socialism. Scruton suggests that rather than entrusting the environment to unwieldy nongovernmental and international organizations, we should assume personal responsibility and foster local sovereignty.  Scruton and a panel of experts will debate the problem of the environment at this AEI event.  Other speakers will include Mark Sagoff of George Mason University, AEI’s Steven Hayward and Ken Green, NYU’s Keith Kloor and Arizona State’s Daniel Sarewitz. 

Hendricks to Speak at Wharton Club – The Wharton Club of DC’s Green Business Roundtable will hold its monthly meeting with speaker Bracken Hendricks tomorrow at Noon in the National Press Club’s McClendon Room.  Hendricks is a Senior Fellow at American Progress and works at the interface of global warming solutions and economic development. He is a longtime leader in promoting policies that create green jobs, sustainable infrastructure, and investment in cities.  Hendricks will talk in depth about two case studies, the DC PACE Commercial Financing program for energy efficiency retrofits in commercial buildings, and his work on the “Clean Energy Web” and how utilities of the future will engage in encouraging distributed generation, smart grid networks and intelligent buildings.

Report Focused on Climate Latin America, Caribbean – The Center for American Progress and the Inter-American Development Bank will host a forum tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. in IABD’s Enrique Iglesias Auditorium for the release of a new report on, “The Climate and Development Challenge for Latin America and the Caribbean: Options for climate resilient low carbon development.”  The report addresses three questions related to the climate challenge for Latin America and the Caribbean including the key physical impacts of climate change that will most affect the region and the likely cost to the regional economies derived from these impacts, key adaptation measures to climate change in the region and their associated costs and how and at what cost would the region be able to reduce its emissions consistent with global climate stabilization goals.  The report is the result of joint work by the Inter-American Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean, and the World Wildlife Federation.  Speakers will include IADB President Luis Moreno, IADB’s Walter Vergara, Andrew Steer of The World Bank and Michael MacCracken of the Climate Institute.

Mining Summit to Look at Future of Industry – The Mining Americas Summit 2012 will be held in Denver, Colorado tomorrow and Wednesday at the Denver Marriott City Centre.   Senior executive leadership will gather to discuss the capital management strategies, cutting edge technologies and operational investments that will drive the mining industry for years to come.  Issues will include adopting leading policies and techniques to improve access to capital and attract investment; assessing emerging technologies on cost and operational metrics; managing political risk in mine operations – both domestic and abroad; exploring the latest geographical hotspots and resource opportunities and incorporating sustainability and safety.

NJ to Hold Clean Air Debate – National Journal will host a debate Wednesday morning at The Newseum looking at clean air standards and their broader impact on the nation’s public health, the environment, and the economy.  The event, moderated by our friend Coral Davenport, will feature Peter LaPuma of George Washington University, NRDC’s John Walke, Duke Energy Bill Tyndell former EPA enforcement official Adam Kushner and a keynote speech by Rep. Henry Waxman. 

House Energy to Host Armendariz – The House Energy panel of the Energy and Commerce will host EPA Region 6 administrator Al Armendariz on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  

UN Report Launched a Press Club – The United Nations Environment Program will launch its State of the Environment Report: Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5) on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in the National Press Club’s Holeman Lounge at 10:00 a.m.  The Global Environment Outlook (GEO-5) report, the UNEP’s flagship publication, keeps the state of the global environment under review. The release of the GEO-5 report, the fifth in the series, is particularly timely and relevant in the lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 20-22, 2012 — 20 years after the 1992 Earth Summit.  The GEO-5 report assesses progress towards key goals in the areas of Water, Land, Biodiversity, Atmosphere, Chemicals and Wastes. It also reviews progress made in meeting internationally agreed goals, analyzes successful policy options that have the potential for speeding up their realization, and highlights actions that both countries and the global community can take to advance sustainable development. The GEO-5 report will be launched almost simultaneously in UNEP regions, namely in Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, New Delhi, Beijing, New York, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Geneva and Brussels on the same day.  Speakers will include UNEP RONA Director Amy Fraenkel, Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, Department of State’s John Matuszak and James Dobrowolski, GEO-5 Chapter Lead Author and National Program.

Bingaman, Murkowski to Headline BPC Forum – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host a nuclear forum on Wednesday afternoon at the Hyatt Regency. In January 2012, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future issued a consensus report recommending a new comprehensive strategy to manage and dispose of the nation’s spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Breaking the current stalemate requires action by both the Administration and Congress.  BPC’s Nuclear Initiative for a discussion of ongoing efforts to implement the Blue Ribbon Commission recommendations and achieve near-term progress on nuclear waste storage and disposal.  Speakers will include Senator Jeff Bingaman, Senator Lisa Murkowski, former Senator Pete Domenici, BPC Nuclear Initiative Co-Chair Warren ‘Pete’ Miller, NEI’s Marshall Cohen, Joseph S. Hezir of the EOP Foundation and Marge Kilkelly of the Maine Yankee Community Advisory Panel on Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage and Removal.  

House Science Tackles EPA Impact on Jobs, Energy – The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Environment will hold a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on EPA’s impact on jobs and energy affordability, looking at understanding the real costs and benefits of environmental regulations.  Witnesses include OM’s Director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Cass Sunstein, Michael Honeycutt of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and our friends Mine worker union/climate expert Gene Trisko and Tom Wolf of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Council, among several others.

Sen. Commerce to Discuss EU Trading, Aviation Issues – The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to examine the European Union Emissions Trading System.   This hearing will examine issues associated with the inclusion of the airline sector in the ETS, a program that caps greenhouse gas emissions for certain industries in the EU, and its potential impact on U.S. air carrier operations.  Witnesses include Captain Sean Cassiddy, First Vice President of the Air Lines Pilots Association, International; Jos Delbeke, Director General of the European Commission Directorate-General for Climate Action; Edward Bolen of the National Business Aviation Association; EDF’s Annie Petsonk and Nancy Young of Airlines for America.

Sen. Energy’s Simon to Headline Argus Conference on Renewable Trading – Argus will hold a conference on Thursday and Friday at the Westin Georgetown to look at the major issues affecting REC market trading.  Senate Energy Committee Chief of Staff Bob Simon will keynote the event that will feature panels REC markets in a low-price gas/power environment, the prospects for REC market standardization and solar, biomass and wind project, infrastructure and transmission developments, among other items.  

ECOS Meeting Set for DC– The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) will host state environmental agency leaders on Thursday and Friday at the Hotel Monaco in Washington, DC for the State Environmental Protection in 2012 conference.  This is a critical time for state environmental programs as officials try to balance federal budget cuts with the need to address new, more complex pollution problems.  The meeting will provide a forum for state officials, business and industry, nonprofits, governmental agencies, and others to explore current challenges in meeting environmental and public health demands in an era of declining resources.  Panel topics will include implementation of federal rules and regulations, state innovation, air and energy, coal combustion residuals, green partnerships, nutrients and other water issues, toxics reform and more. 

Senate Environment Looks at Blue-Ribbon Commission Report, Nuke Waste – The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future for a consent-based approach to siting nuclear waste storage facilities.  Witnesses include Panel Co-chair Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, NRDC’s Geoffrey Fettus, NARUC President David Wright, Maine Yankee’s Eric Howes, Daniel Metla of the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board and Andrew Orrell of the Sandia National Laboratories.

JHU Forum to Discuss International Climate Disputes – The Johns Hopkins University, Energy Policy & Climate Program’s Forum Series is hosting Howard Schiffman, Visiting Associate Professor of Environmental Conservation Education at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, Thursday at Noon.  He will discuss international dispute settlement and climate change.

Webinar to Look at Oil Response – The ASPO-USA Webinar Series is hosting a webinar Thursday at 3:00 p.m. to look at a national oil emergency response plan.  The event will feature Roger Bezdek – President, Management Information Services Inc.; co-Author, “The Impending World Energy Mess;” ASPO-USA Advisory Board Member.  This session will address acute challenges and immediate-term responses to a potential constriction in U.S. oil supply and availability.  Dramatic “demand-side” responses will be unavoidable in such an oil emergency, however, preparations by both the public and private sector may help mitigate and manage social, economic, and political impacts.  Key topics to be addressed include non-price options to allocate oil supplies and minimize economic disruption of price spikes, impacts on and prospective responses by the transportation sector and the examination of potential timelines with which a near-term oil supply emergency may unfold.

Marshall to Host Forum on Climate, Security – The George C. Marshall Institute will host a panel discussion on Friday morning at the National Press Club at 8:30 a.m. concerning the linkage between anthropogenic climate change and U.S. national security. Driven by dire predictions derived from the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, concerns about the impacts of anticipated climatic changes have burst onto the national security agenda. The danger of this approach is that it offers a sense of urgency that may not be warranted, given the gaps in the current state of knowledge about climate, the known flaws in the methods used to construct the scenarios on which these security scenarios are based, and confusing the underlying causes of those security concerns.  Accordingly, the Institute will host a panel discussion to consider: How are the claims that climate change poses security threats derived? How probable are those threats? How do those probabilities compare to other known or expected security concerns?  Panelists include former VA State Climatologist Pat Michaels now at GMU, Ivan Eland of the Independent Institute, Heritage’s Steven Bucci and Peter Huessy of Geostrategic Analysis.

Tax Committee to Look at Extenders, PTC – A Ways and Means subcommittee will hold a hearing Friday at 9:30 a.m. to hear from a panel of experts to discuss the merits of dealing with a host of expiring tax provisions — including a key wind-industry incentive.  With the entire wind industry at its annual conference and issue being mentioned by political campaign, the wind production tax credit has been at the center of the debate over tax extenders.  The experts will look at various provisions and the best way for Congress to deal with all the temporary measures.  The Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures will “explore ideas on the framework that Congress should use to evaluate tax extenders, the principles of good tax policy that Congress should apply during this evaluation, and the specific metrics against which Congress should test the merits of particular provisions,” according to a committee release.

THE WEEKS AHEAD:

Nat Gas Vehicles Conference Set – Penn State-Lehigh will hold a natural gas vehicles forum on Monday June 11th hosting clean-air/clean-transportation advocates, industry stakeholders, fleet managers and policymakers.  They will discuss the fundamentals of using natural gas as a transportation fuel, network with other NGV stakeholders, and discuss opportunities and challenges to greater adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel. The conference will provide a comprehensive discussion on utilizing natural gas as a transportation fuel in Pennsylvania and the greater mid-Atlantic region. 

Brookings Forum to Look at Campaign, Energy – The Campaign 2012 project at Brookings will hold a discussion on next Monday at 10:00 a.m. looking at climate change and energy, the seventh in a series of forums that will identify and address the 12 most critical issues facing the next president. Our friend Darren Samuelsohn of POLITICO will moderate a panel discussion with Brookings experts Ted Gayer, Katherine Sierra and Charles Ebinger, who will present recommendations to the next president.

Offshore Safety Summit Set for Houston – The Offshore Safety Summit 2012 will be held in Houston on June 11-13th. Since the GOM Deepwater Horizon incident, oil and gas companies have once again come under the spotlight. Issues such as preventing hydrocarbon releases, oil spill response, risk assessment and management, process and human safety and personnel training have surfaced as key priority items that require immediate attention.  To meet the heightened focus on safety, oil and gas companies are reassessing and reshaping their HSE strategies to balance profit with safety, while developing a plan that is both technically compliant to new standards and humanly ergonomic in its application.  This conference will address the latest insights and case studies on effectively managing offshore HSE risk and creating a rigorous system to pre-empt major and costly accidents. Through real-life, practical case studies, Offshore Safety Summit 2012 will help oil and gas operators and contractors understand the human and technical factors involved in process safety and ensure a solid hazard prevention framework.

Chamber Holds Jobs Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold its third annual Jobs Summit 2012 on Wednesday, June 13th at the Chamber in DC.  , The Summit will bring together governors and thought leaders from across the country to discuss the state of our nation’s job market, outline policies that are needed to generate jobs and accelerate economic growth, and highlight what policies are working in each participating governor’s state.   A central part of the Summit will be the release of an updated edition of Enterprising States, which will take a comprehensive look at how states are positioning themselves for economic growth and investing in the future.  The bipartisan Governors’ Roundtable will be moderated by Major Garrett, Congressional Correspondent for the National Journal, following remarks by Tom Donohue and a research presentation based on the data released in the Enterprising States study.

Forum to Look at China Waste-to-Energy – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Thursday, June 14th at 9:00 a.m. to look at waste-to-energy in China.  China produces over one-quarter of the world’s garbage, piling up at least 250 million tons of household waste each year. In urban areas, where urbanization and growing consumption habits translate into an increasing volume of trash, this giant heap is growing at 8-10% annually. Cities are under great pressure to stem the rising tide of rubbish. Meanwhile, the central government has shown strong support for incineration, setting a target for 30% of China’s municipal solid waste to be burnt by 2030. As such, deployment of waste-to-energy technologies are on the rise in China.  In only ten years’ time, China has gone from having no waste-to-energy facilities to having over 150. By the time the 12th Five-Year Plan runs its course in 2015, China is expected 300 plants in operation. Burning trash appears to be a win-win solution for China: the process reduces growing volumes of garbage while producing much-needed energy. Chinese NGO and U.S. research speakers at this meeting will discuss some of the waste-to-energy benefits as well as pollution, data, and governance challenges.  Speakers include Liwen Chen of Green Beagle and Elizabeth Balkan of the Emergence Advisors.

Woolsey, Panel Address Gasoline Prices, Security – OurEnergyPolicy.org will host a panel discussion on Thursday, June 14th at Noon in B-369 Rayburn looking at gas prices and national security.  Gas prices spiked earlier this year, due in large part to geopolitical concerns, and dipped recently on fears of global economic insecurity. These continuing price fluctuations at home, and their connections to political and economic events around the globe, call into question the relationship between the gas prices consumers face and America’s national security.  How have national security and gasoline prices impacted each other historically? How might they in the future? Is the interaction of gas prices and security an issue that deserves Congressional attention? If so, what might Congress do?  Speakers will include Rob Barnett of Bloomberg Government, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey and AEI’s Ken Green.

Forum to Look at Urban, Regional Transpo Systems – The American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University will hold a conference on “Energy-Efficient Urban and Regional Transportation Systems: Financing and Planning” on Friday June 15th.  Bringing together an interdisciplinary group of scholars and experts from Germany and the United States, this workshop examines planning and financing of regional and urban sustainable transportation. Confirmed speakers include Roy Kienitz, former U.S. Under Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation.  The conference is part of the Institute’s project on “The Transatlantic Climate and Energy Dialogue: Urban and Regional Transportation and Energy Problems and Solutions”, which examines issues of transportation policy in both countries.  AICGS is a Washington-based, independent, non-profit public policy organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University that works in Germany and the United States to address current and emerging policy challenges in the German-American and transatlantic relationships.

Washington Fuel Cell Summit to Look at Technologies – On June 19th, the Hydrogen Education Foundation is hosting a one-day summit in the nation’s capital featuring panel discussions, an expo and a Ride and Drive with fuel cell vehicles.  Government and industry will convene to discuss the latest advancements and keys to market successes for fuel cells, including open discussion around remaining challenges and obstacles.  Speakers will include CARB Chair Mary Nichols, Ballard CEO John Sheridan, Ed Cohen of Honda, Justin Ward of Toyota, National Fuel Cell Research Director Scott Samuelson and many others.

Oil Conference to Look at ‘WildCards’ – The conference Oil Wildcards will be Held in New York at the Warwick Hotel on June 19th.  The conference is focused on crude oil supply and demand flashpoints. The symposium will explore consensus and competing views on the prospect for supply additions and demand disruptions, focusing on the topics of greatest contention, opacity, and impact. This intense one day program will dive into key topics including: Tight Oil in US, International Shale Oil, Deepwater/Arctic, Oil & the Economy, Natural Gas Liquids, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China/EM Demand.  Speakers will include a cross section of the best technical analysts in the field and represent a range of views and perspectives.

REFF-Wall Street to Look at Renewable Challenges – The 9th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street will be on June 19th and 20th in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria. With disappearing Federal support and several high-profile bankruptcies, there are challenges ahead for the sector.  On the agenda include panels on Solar finance, the interplay between renewables and other fuels, Federal support for renewables and new finance trends for renewables.  The keynote speakers include CT DEEP head Dan Esty, US Army Installations Asst Secretary Katherine Hammack and Dennis McGinn of ACORE.  Other speakers include NRG’s Steve Corneli, MidAmerican’s Jonathan Weisgall, SEIA’s Rhone Resch and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Michel DiCapua, among others.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set for Hill – On June 21st, the Sustainable Energy Coalition – in cooperation with Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses – will host the 15th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum on Capitol Hill.  This year’s EXPO will bring together over fifty businesses, sustainable energy industry trade associations, government agencies, and energy policy research organizations to showcase the status and near-term potential of the cross-section of renewable energy (biofuels/biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) and energy efficiency technologies.  The late morning program will feature Members of the U.S. Congress while speakers throughout the day will discuss the role sustainable energy technologies can play in meeting America’s energy needs.   As Congress, the Administration, the business community, environmental advocates, and American voters search for options to stimulate the economy and “green jobs,” as well as address issues of national security, higher energy costs, increased reliance on energy imports, and the environmental threats associated with energy consumption, the EXPO will help address the role that sustainable energy technologies might play.  This will include not only the technical aspects of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies but also related issues such as economics, jobs potential, environmental benefits, current and near-term market potential, model programs in the public and private sectors, and institutional, financial and legal barriers.

ICF Breakfast Looks at Clean Energy Funding – At its next Energy and Environment Breakfast on June 21st at 8:00 a.m., ICF welcomes senior officials from two of the foremost international and domestic organizations involved in funding, investing, and advising for energy projects worldwide—especially in clean and renewable projects in developing countries.  Morgan Landy of International Finance Corporation and Lynn Tabernacki of Overseas Private Investment Corporation will discuss potential opportunities and looming challenges in renewable energy markets domestically and abroad. Find out about the international organizations that are changing the face of worldwide opportunities for clean energy and how they can affect you and your prospects.

Energy Update Week of May 21

Friends,

Hard to believe it is the run up to Memorial Day this week.  Yet, gas prices aren’t even going up.  Trilby Lundberg says prices have been down 18-cents over six weeks.  That just shows you how high they actually were historically in February and March.  I hope that they stay put, but I am keeping my fingers crossed until Saturday.

Anyway, with only the Senate in session and even at that, the schedule limited, we’ll focus on other things to get your summer rolling.  Speaking of Summer, the music industry keeps getting belted with sad news as this past week Donna Summer passed away and Robin Gibb died this morning, leaving only Barry Gibb left of the legendary 1970s disco kings, the BeeGees.  I had planned to attempt to do an entire update featured BeeGees songs but it gave me a Night Fever last night.  We at Bracewell & Giuliani have decided to honor the group by creating all new marketing materials with the B&G logo changed to “Bee & Gee.”

Triple Crown hopes are Stayin Alive for “I’ll Have Another” as he drove past favorite Bodemeister for the second straight time.   Some fun facts: 12 Horse have been in this position since 1977-78 when we had back-to-back triple crown winners with Seattle Slew and Affirmed: Spectacular Bid (‘79), Pleasant Colony (‘81), Alysheba (’87), Sunday Silence (’89), Silver Charm (’97), Real Quiet (’98), Charismatic (’99), War Emblem (’02), Funny Cide (’03), Smarty Jones (’04) and Big Brown (’08).  The Belmont Stakes, which are in Elmont, NY just into Nassau County from Queens, will be June 9th and is the final and most demanding leg of the Triple Crown at 1.5 miles or 12 Furlongs (the others are shorter: Derby 8F or 1-1/4 mi, Preakness 9.5F or 1-3/16 mi).  It is named after August Belmont who had been a leading banker and racing man of the 19th century.  Inaugurated in 1867, the race is the oldest of the Triple Crown, running its 144th race (no races in 1911/12).  It is 6 years older than the Preakness and 8 years older than the Derby.   Anyway, if “I’ll Have Another” can do it, it’ll be Too Much Heaven.

You Should Be Dancing if you’re a lax fan, as this weekend the NCAA finals set up in Foxboro, Massachusetts for the men with Maryland, Loyola, Duke and Notre Dame qualifying.  On the women’s side in Stony Brook, NY, the top four seeds survived with Florida, Northwestern, Maryland and Syracuse winning.  In the last three years, Maryland battled N’western in the final, but this year they meet in the semifinals.

One thing I forgot to mention last week with all the traveling over open waters in the gulf to see the “unused leases” that weren’t being used there, the Manchester City footballers ousted their hated arch-rivals Manchester United on the last day of the regular season in a great match to win the Premier League title.  Good to see that Arab oil investment paying dividends for Manchester City.  And the following weekend, Chelsea, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich who got his start selling gasoline, took the Champions league in a thrilling 4-3 Shootout win over Bayern Munich.  So How Do You Mend A Broken Heart of Footballers? You mention them…  Speaking of the offshore excursion, if you missed the CBS Sunday Morning Show on Islands and the offshore segment, you can see it here.  It was most excellent.

Enough Sports Jive Talkin’, the Senate Energy is talking clean energy investments tomorrow and EPA holds its GHG Public Hearings in Chicago and DC on Thursday.   My colleague Scott Segal, who will testify Thursday in DC said the rules mark a real departure from the Administration’s goal of an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy and would effectively ban the future of almost half of our current electric portfolio. More of Scott’s thoughts are here

But I would suggest you worry less about monitoring Congress/EPA this week and start monitoring Beach/Bay Bridge Traffic.  Before that though check out ‘In the News’ for the full download on the PJM Power Auction (replete w/Trading Places references) , Cuba Drilling, Coal Ash and EPA permits for the Las Brisas Coal plant in TX. 

And late breaking news, NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko just said he will step down.  In a statement, Jackzo did not mention the conflicts that have emerged between him and his four fellow commissioners over the shutdown of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site and his treatment of them and NRC employees.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer (2020-828-1718) may be able to help you find some resources/info.  Really now, How Deep is Your Love for the Update?…Call with questions. 

Best,

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

 IN THE NEWS

First Cuba Well Comes up Dry – Spanish company Repsol said Friday an exploratory oil well off the coast of Havana has failed and will be capped and abandoned.  Repsol SA is evaluating the data it collected since the Scarabeo-9 drill rig arrived in January and will determine whether to sink further wells.  It’s not uncommon to strike out with offshore wells as four of every five come up dry, but Repsol says it is too soon to say whether other parts of Repsol’s exploration block are viable.  There is lots of drilling going forward as several national oil companies are expected to step in after Repsol is finished.  Stay tuned for more on this. 

PJM Auction Forwards Expected Price Increases Due to Coal Closures – While it’s not frozen OJ concentrates or pork bellies (like you would find in a Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwich), the grid operator PJM said this week that its forward power price auction reserves power three years in advance will likely cause higher residential electricity prices.   The auction, called the Reliability Pricing Model (RPM) and held from May 7-11, secures power resources for the 2015/2016 delivery year to help ensure the future reliability of the grid. Capacity resources include new and existing power plants, demand response and conservation programs. PJM said the auction procured 164,561 megawatts (MW) of capacity resources at a base price of $136 per MW, making the auction worth more than $8 billion.  The price was lower than the $150-$190 base price forecasts range of some energy analysts, but still higher than last year’s price because of retirements of existing coal-fired generation resulting largely from environmental regulations, which go into effect in 2015, according to PJM officials.  Ohio and the Mid-Atlantic will be hit particularly hard with northern OH seeing prices as high as $357/MW due to the high number of power plant outages in that area.  The Mid-Atlantic will see prices as high as $167/MW.  Experts say prices may be moderated some by other factors like weaker natural gas prices.  But I’ll leave you with the following for the next PJM auction in the hopes that it will go better: “Think big, think positive, never show any sign of weakness. Always go for the throat. Buy low, sell high. Fear? That’s the other guy’s problem. Nothing you have ever experienced will prepare you for the absolute carnage you are about to witness. Super Bowl, World Series – they don’t know what pressure is.”

Pavillion Study Confirms EPA Errors – An independent review of EPA’s December 2011 draft report on natural gas drilling in Pavillion, Wyoming by S.S. Papadopulos & Associates, a leading groundwater and hydrogeology consulting firm with more than 30 years of experience, found that the data and analysis does not support the EPA’s conclusions.  The report says the agency’s primary claim of contamination caused by hydraulic fracturing activity is inaccurate and incomplete.  The review also notes that EPA employed unapproved analytical methods and improperly conducted various field procedures; misinterpreted data used to draw conclusions; and EPA’s “lines of evidence” can be adequately explained with alternative hypotheses.   SSP&A identified the following specific deficiencies related to EPA’s study: 1)Poor Study Design, 2)Lack of Baseline and Background Data, 3)Analytical Concerns Leading to Incorrect Conclusions, 4)Serious Errors in the Construction, Development and Sampling of Monitoring Wells, 5) Lack of Suitable Samples and 6) No Source Identification, among the larger problems.

Dems Call for EPA Limits on Coal Ash – With the Transportation conference rolling on, 32 House Democrats prodded the transportation bill conferees on attempts to add coal ash and National Environmental Policy Act provisions from the House version in the final bill. The language would prevent the EPA from regulating coal ash as a hazardous waste (which the agency does not currently do). “Across the county, coal ash is often stockpiled in communities of color, who are the least equipped to respond to water poisoning and the onslaught of toxic dust. Nearly 70 percent of coal ash ponds in the United States are located in areas where household income is lower than the national median,” the letter says.  Coal Ash queen and former EPA General Counsel Lisa Jaeger (202-828-5844) at Bracewell is the best resource in DC on the subject.

Las Brisas Permit Turned Back by TX Court – A Texas judge said an air permit for the Las Brisas Power Plant In Corpus Christi will not stand up in court and does follow federal guidelines when the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued the air permit last year.  TCEQ maintains that the technical review and issuance of the air quality permit was conducted in accordance with all applicable state and federal regulations and requirements and is protective of public health.” It added that the commission “continues to review the details of the judge’s letter and will review the order when issued to determine its course of action.”  My B&G colleagues (Holmstead/Riley) are on this issue and would be happy to help you sort through the issues.

FERC to Monitor EPA, Reliability Concerns – FERC said late last week that it will advise EPA on requests for extra time for electric generators to comply with the new mercury and air toxics standards rule. The process addresses the need for timeliness, fairness and transparency while respecting FERC jurisdiction over reliability of the bulk power system.   Senate Energy Committee Ranking republican Lisa Murkowski, a long-time advocate for more aggressive FERC action said the policy statement by FERC makes obvious that the commission “needs clear statutory authority to protect electric grid reliability in the face of new EPA environmental rules.”  She added the policy statement acknowledges that whether the EPA considers or relies on the commission’s comments… rests entirely with the EPA.  “The nation must have an effective and credible protector of a reliable and affordable electric supply. FERC and the entities under its jurisdiction should be that protector, and EPA should be required to fully account for their comments and concerns.”  Segal and Holmstead are monitoring.

THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:

Forum Set to Discuss Science, Future Enterprise – The New American Foundation will hold a forum on Science issues on this afternoon.  Science and technology in America have been guided by the same set of ideas for more than half a century. The conventional wisdom is that if we feed more money and more scientists into our existing “knowledge enterprise” complex, society will derive proportionately more benefits. In the face of the global economic downturn, political disarray at the national level, and protracted challenges to the nation’s public health, environmental quality, industrial base, and energy system, this simplistic assumption is long overdue for a reckoning.   Today’s challenges demand new ways of thinking about science and technology, and the government’s role in advancing them. The problem, any honest inquiry will suggest, isn’t always money, or the number of scientists, but the very way we do science.   Speakers will include our friend Andy Revkin, GWU President Emeritus Stephen Trachtenberg and many others.

Forum to Look at Congress, Energy – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the National Capital Area Political Science Association will hold a forum at 4:00 p.m. today to look at Congress and its actions on the global energy crunch.  Fluctuating prices at the gas pumps are daily reminders to the American people of just how precarious and volatile the world energy market is with threats of international crises and growing energy demands from other industrialized countries. Any time there is public anxiety over the costs of operating cars, heating homes and fueling businesses, the politicians are not far behind in proposing solutions, whether by expanding exploration and production of fossil fuels or accelerating the development of alternative energy sources.  The debate over national energy policy is bound to heat-up as the presidential and congressional elections grow closer, both on the campaign trail and in the halls of Congress.  This panel will explore just how much can realistically be expected out of Congress this year in altering the country’s energy course and what new challenges and opportunities we might confront in the expanding global market for energy resources.  Speakers will include former House Energy/Commerce Chair and current RFF President Phil Sharp, former DOE official David Conover, Senate Energy Committee Staff Director Robert Simon, New York Times Congressional Reporter Jennifer Steinhauer and Donald Wolfensberger of the Congress Project.

Senate Energy to Look at Energy Innovation Report – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to consider the American Energy Innovation Council’s latest report, “Catalyzing American Ingenuity: The Role of Government in Energy Innovation,” and related issues. Witnesses include retired Lockheed Martin chairman/CEO, Norman Augustine, Ethan Zindler of Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Jesse Jenkins of the Breakthrough Institute.

Forum, Report to Look at Renewable Integration – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in  2322 Rayburn that may challenge widely held assumptions about renewable energy and the infrastructure needed to connect it to the grid. At this briefing, you will hear various perspectives regarding the overall economics, capacity and reliability of integrating renewable energy into the grid.  The briefing coincides with the release of a new report, The Potential Rate Effects of Wind Energy and Transmission in the Midwest ISO Region, commissioned by the Energy Future Coalition and produced by Synapse Energy Economics, which concludes that adding more wind power to the Midwest’s grid would place downward pressure on energy market prices and rates, even after factoring in the costs of the additional transmission needed to connect it.  Traditional power plants face fuel prices that fluctuate dramatically over time and they must also address regulatory uncertainty and pollution control upgrades, whereas, for example, solar, wind, and geothermal power plants are not subject to such fuel price volatility. What mix of renewable resources and traditional resources is actually the most reliable and cost effective system to meet our energy needs and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?  Speakers for this forum are John Jimison of the Energy Future Coalition, Robert Fagan and Ezra Hausmann of Synapse Energy Economics, former FERC Chair James Hoecker, Joe Gardner Midwest ISO and  Fred Morse,  USP Division Chair of SEIA and Senior Advisor to Abengoa Solar.

Columbia U to Host EPA Regional Enviro Conference – EPA and Columbia University Law School will host its biennial conference on Wednesday in New York that examines key and emerging environmental issues in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 area, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Topics will include natgas extraction, as well as air and climate issues.  Speakers will include EPA’s Judith Enck, several state Environmental Commissioners and other experts. 

Geothermal Energy Conference Set – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will be holding the 4th annual GEA International Geothermal Energy Showcase on Wednesday at the Reagan Trade Center in Washington, DC to highlight international geothermal projects, policies, and development in top international markets.  Industry leaders, government officials, and other power sector representatives from the U.S. and around the world are expected to participate.   This year, the event will focus on success in the leading countries and geothermal markets. Participants from the countries which are showing the most dramatic growth will be asked to address the event. Discussion will highlight what measures are succeeding in expanding geothermal energy production, with special attention paid to U.S. geothermal exports and financing for international geothermal development.   GEA is inviting representatives from both government and business involved in key geothermal markets including the Caribbean, Central America, Chile, East Africa, Europe, Indonesia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines and Turkey. The program will encourage discussion and interaction about government policies, projects in development, market potential, and opportunities for U.S. companies. Attendees will also hear from U.S. Government agencies involved in export assistance for geothermal companies, and from U.S. companies developing projects overseas.  Confirmed speakers include Senate Energy Chair Jeff Bingaman, Commerce Director of Energy and Environmental Industries Adam O’Malley, Pierre Audinet of The World Bank, Pinsuda Alexander of the US Trade and Development Agency and Ex-Im Bank Renewable Energy & Environmental Exports Director Craig O’Connor. 

EPA Public Hearing on GHGs Set for DC, Chicago – EPA will hold a public hearing on its proposed Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants on Thursday in DC and Chicago.  The Washington, DC hearing will be held at the Ariel Rios East Building, in Room 1153. The Chicago, Illinois hearing will be held at the Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building in the Lake Michigan Room (12th Floor) located at 77 West Jackson, Chicago, Illinois.  My colleague Scott Segal said the rules at first blush are short-sighted and mark a real departure from the Administration’s goal of an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy.  The rule would effectively ban the future of almost half of our current electric portfolio. More of Scott’s thoughts are here.  We will be there in DC on Thursday to testify. 

BG Enviro  Expert to Speak on Oil & Gas Issues at Houston Energy Summit – B&G energy expert

John Riley will speak on the Oil & Gas Industry panel at the Houston Energy Summit, hosted by the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute on Thursday.  Joining him on the panel will be State Representatives Larry Taylor and Sarah Davis; Commissioner Toby Baker of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; David Blackmon, director of government affairs, El Paso Corporation; and Stacy Duke, vice president of marketing and gas supply, Targa Resources.  The panel will discuss issues such as the impact of federal regulations on Texas industry, EPA’s enforcement activities within Texas, shale gas development, exploration and production, pipelines, and water resources.  The conference features public and private sector leaders discussing the positive impact of developing Texas’ domestic natural resources, focusing on policies that will enable Texas to remain a leading energy state and addressing how to push back against heavy-handed and intrusive federal regulations that drive up energy costs and dampen economic opportunities.  That focus ought to go over well with EPA’s Dr. Al.  Oh, actually he resigned…Forgot.

CAP to Look at Renewable Energy, Alaska – The Center for American Progress and the Alaska Federation of Natives will hold a special presentation: on Thirsday at 9”:00 a.m. on the challenges and opportunities for renewable energy in Alaska.  Rural Alaska presents unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to energy. On the one hand, fuel is expensive and scarce, but on the other, Alaskan innovators are on the front lines of developing a truly sustainable energy strategy that has the potential to be exported across the world. The need for immediate attention to the rural energy crisis in Alaska could not be clearer. High gas and oil prices, along with the effects of rapid climate change, are severely impacting rural native villages. The cost of living relative to income in village Alaska is growing. Dollars that would otherwise be used for growth in personal, business, and community-related spending are now being consumed largely by the growing costs of all forms of energy. The rural energy crisis is crippling for both individuals and communities. Something has to change.  Speakers will include Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, DOE’s renewable Energy head Steven Chalk, Interior’s Deputy Secretary David Hayes, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior, former EPA Administrator and White House Energy Czar Carol Browner and many others.

Brookings Forum to Look at Shipping Industry, Climate – On Thursday, the Global Economy and Development at Brookings, Oxfam America, World Wildlife Fund and ActionAid will host a discussion on how mechanisms in the shipping industry can be designed to mobilize new public resources to help developing countries confront the climate crisis while reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Panelists will include Ambassador Charles Rudolph Paul, Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the United States of America; Michael Keen, deputy director of the Fiscal Affairs Department at the International Monetary Fund; Nigel Purvis, president and CEO of Climate Advisers; and Heather Coleman, senior policy advisor at Oxfam America. Brookings Senior Fellow Katherine Sierra will moderate the discussion.

THE WEEKS AHEAD:

Brookings Forum to Look at Broadband, Energy Efficiency – The Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings will host a forum on the future of energy efficiency and its relevance for the Internet ecosystem on Wednesday May 30th at 10:00 a.m.  A panel of experts will discuss the rationale for and implementation challenges to bringing efficient and reliable energy throughout the network and product-planning process, beginning at the design phase.  The keynote speaker will be Comcast SVP of Strategic Planning Mark Colbitz.  Other speakers will include Elizabeth Colleton of NBCU Sustainability, Brookings Pietro Nivola, Intel’s Lorie Wigle and Comcast Cable’s Charlotte Field.  

Forum to Look at Water, Energy – The Environmental Law Institute and ZAG/S&W will host a presentation/webinar on Wednesday May 30th on water and the future of energy.  Discussion topics include water usage as an increasingly significant consideration in all types of energy projects, especially those involving energy sources that are likely to gain prominence in the future: unconventional natural gas, solar and other renewables, and biofuels; water issues faced by renewable energy technologies and projects; water use and water quality issues in hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas; water requirements in the production of biofuels; extracting the embedded energy in water and wastewater and water and energy efficiency strategies and technologies. Panelists will include Mary Ann Dickinson of the Alliance for Water Efficiency Jerome Muys and Gabriel Eckstein of ZAG/S&W and Suzanne Hunt from the Carbon War Room

Forum to Look at Chinese Energy Investment in US – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Thursday May 31st at 9:00 a.m. today to look at Chinese investment in North American energy.  As world energy demand soars, nations and corporations around the globe are seeking new resources and techniques to meet their energy needs. Whether it is oil from bitumen from Alberta, shale gas in Pennsylvania, or solar power in California, the economics and sources of energy production are shifting to Canada and the United States. As the world’s newest superpower, China requires ever increasing amounts of energy to continue its economic expansion. In addition to domestic measures, Chinese companies have been pouring money into the North American energy sector. These investments present new and intriguing possibilities for Canadian and American companies but also raise questions of national interest and security. Speakers at this Canada Institute and the China Environment Forum co-sponsored meeting will examine these potential issues and look towards the future of the Chinese-North American energy relationship.  Speakers include Wenran Jiang, associate professor, University of Alberta; Bo Kong, assistant research professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Relations; Jeff Kucharski, assistant deputy minister, Alberta Energy and Adam Lysenko of the Rhodium Group.

RFF to Host Economics Nobel Prize Winner for Lecture – In celebration of its 60th anniversary, Resources for the Future is presenting Resources 2020 on Friday, June 1st at 2:00 p.m. in National Geographic Museum’s  Grosvenor Auditorium and features  2009 Nobel Economic Sciences Laureate Elinor Ostrom.  Resources 2020 is a year-long distinguished lecture series featuring Nobel Laureates in Economics.  The inaugural event in the series will both honor the memory of Hans Landsberg, a pioneer in energy and mineral economics, and recognize Elinor Ostrom’s groundbreaking role as the first, and to date the only, woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Dr. Ostrom’s presentation will highlight the environmental and natural resource challenges facing the world through the end of this decade and the role that economic inquiry can play in helping decisionmakers address these issues.

WINDPOWER Heads to Atlanta – AWEA’s annual WINDPOWER conference will be held in  Atlanta on June 3rd through 6th.  WINDPOWER is being held in the Southeast for the first time this year in recognition of the fact that it has emerged as a hot spot for wind energy manufacturing. The theme of the overall conference is “Manufacturing the Future Today.” Factories in the wind supply chain now employ 30,000 Americans, out of 75,000 currently working in wind energy. But those jobs are now in jeopardy because of uncertainty over the Production Tax Credit, due to expire at the end of this year unless Congress extends it.  In a year of partisan politics, two leading partisans will seek common ground at the biggest annual gathering of the wind industry – which is counting on bipartisan support to continue its rapid growth in the United States.  Karl Rove and Robert Gibbs will address thousands of attendees together June 5 in Atlanta at WINDPOWER 2012.  Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush, and Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary and longtime senior advisor to President Barack Obama, will jointly keynote in the Tuesday morning General Session of the annual conference and exposition.  Their conversation will touch on many sides of the energy policy debate, and point out where party perspectives overlap — highlighting the opportunity for bipartisan agreement in support of wind power, one of the fastest-growing sources of manufacturing jobs in America, which draws over $15 billion a year of private investment in the U.S. economy.

Aspen Forum to look at Clean Energy Issues – Montreaux Energy’s 13th Aspen Clean Energy Roundtable will be held June 4-6th  at the historic Hotel Jerome in Aspen.  The Aspen Clean Energy Roundtable will convene 100 key industry partners and investors, along with leading government policy-makers and regulators. Our theme will be Clean Energy, Mobility, and Power Generation: Leadership in Energy Investment.  Confirmed Speakers include Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Shell natgas VP Dave Todd, Waste Management Organic Growth SVP Carl Rush,  GE Energy Renewable Energy Strategy & Analysis head Brandon Owens, EPA Region 8 Energy & Climate advisor Kate Fay, Toyota Environmental Vehicles Product Planning Manager Craig Scott and NASCAR Green Innovation Director Michael Lynch, as well as many more.

Forum to Look at Enviros, Conservatives – AEI will host a book forum on Tuesday, June 5th at Noon to look at the case for an environmental conservatism.  The environment has long been the undisputed territory of the political left, which has seen the principal threats to the planet issuing from globalization, consumerism and the overexploitation of natural resources. Philosopher Roger Scruton agrees that the environment is the most urgent political problem of our age but argues in his new book “How to Think Seriously About the Planet” that conservatism is far better suited to tackle environmental problems than either liberalism or socialism. Scruton suggests that rather than entrusting the environment to unwieldy nongovernmental and international organizations, we should assume personal responsibility and foster local sovereignty.  Scruton and a panel of experts will debate the problem of the environment at this AEI event.  Other speakers will include Mark Sagoff of George Mason University, AEI’s Steven Hayward and Ken Green, NYU’s Keith Kloor and Arizona State’s Daniel Sarewitz.

Mining Summit to Look at Future of Industry – The Mining Americas Summit 2012 will be held in Denver, Colorado on June 5th and 6th at the Denver Marriott City Centre.   Senior executive leadership will gather to discuss the capital management strategies, cutting edge technologies and operational investments that will drive the mining industry for years to come.  Issues will include adopting leading policies and techniques to improve access to capital and attract investment; assessing emerging technologies on cost and operational metrics; managing political risk in mine operations – both domestic and abroad; exploring the latest geographical hotspots and resource opportunities and incorporating sustainability and safety.

NJ to Hold Clean Air DebateNational Journal will host a debate Wednesday, June 6th at The Newseum looking at clean air standards and their broader impact on the nation’s public health, the environment, and the economy.  The event, moderated by our friend Coral Davenport, will feature Peter LaPuma, of George Washington University and NRDC’s John Walke.

Sen. Energy’s Simon to Headline Argus Conference on Renewable Trading – Argus will hold a conference on June 7th and 8th at the Westin Georgetown to look at the major issues affecting REC market trading.  Senate Energy Committee Chief of Staff Bob Simon will keynote the event that will feature panels REC markets in a low-price gas/power environment , the prospects for REC market standardization and solar, biomass and wind project, infrastructure and transmission developments, among other items. 

ECOS Meeting Set for DC– The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) will host state environmental agency leaders on June 7-8th at the Hotel Monaco in Washington, DC for the State Environmental Protection in 2012 conference.  This is a critical time for state environmental programs as officials try to balance federal budget cuts with the need to address new, more complex pollution problems.  The meeting will provide a forum for state officials, business and industry, nonprofits, governmental agencies, and others to explore current challenges in meeting environmental and public health demands in an era of declining resources.  Panel topics will include implementation of federal rules and regulations, state innovation, air and energy, coal combustion residuals, green partnerships, nutrients and other water issues, toxics reform and more. 

Nat Gas Vehicles Conference Set – Penn State-Lehigh will hold a natural gas vehicles forum on Monday June 11th hosting clean-air/clean-transportation advocates, industry stakeholders, fleet managers and policymakers.  They will discuss the fundamentals of using natural gas as a transportation fuel, network with other NGV stakeholders, and discuss opportunities and challenges to greater adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel. The conference will provide a comprehensive discussion on utilizing natural gas as a transportation fuel in Pennsylvania and the greater mid-Atlantic region.

Offshore Safety Summit Set for Houston – The Offshore Safety Summit 2012 will be held in Houston on June 11-13th. Since the GOM Deepwater Horizon incident, oil and gas companies have once again come under the spotlight. Issues such as preventing hydrocarbon releases, oil spill response, risk assessment and management, process and human safety and personnel training have surfaced as key priority items that require immediate attention.  To meet the heightened focus on safety, oil and gas companies are reassessing and reshaping their HSE strategies to balance profit with safety, while developing a plan that is both technically compliant to new standards and humanly ergonomic in its application.  This conference will address the latest insights and case studies on effectively managing offshore HSE risk and creating a rigorous system to pre-empt major and costly accidents. Through real-life, practical case studies, Offshore Safety Summit 2012 will help oil and gas operators and contractors understand the human and technical factors involved in process safety and ensure a solid hazard prevention framework.

Chamber Holds Jobs Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold its third annual Jobs Summit 2012 on Wednesday, June 13th at the Chamber in DC.  , The Summit will bring together governors and thought leaders from across the country to discuss the state of our nation’s job market, outline policies that are needed to generate jobs and accelerate economic growth, and highlight what policies are working in each participating governor’s state.   A central part of the Summit will be the release of an updated edition of Enterprising States, which will take a comprehensive look at how states are positioning themselves for economic growth and investing in the future.  The bipartisan Governors’ Roundtable will be moderated by Major Garrett, Congressional Correspondent for the National Journal, following remarks by Tom Donohue and a research presentation based on the data released in the Enterprising States study.

Washington Fuel Cell Summit to Look at Technologies – On June 19th, the Hydrogen Education Foundation is hosting a one-day summit in the nation’s capital featuring panel discussions, an expo and a Ride and Drive with fuel cell vehicles.  Government and industry will convene to discuss the latest advancements and keys to market successes for fuel cells, including open discussion around remaining challenges and obstacles.  Speakers will include CARB Chair Mary Nichols, Ballard CEO John Sheridan, Ed Cohen of Honda, Justin Ward of Toyota, National Fuel Cell Research Director Scott Samuelson and many others.

REFF-Wall Street to Look at Renewable Challenges – The 9th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street will be on June 19th and 20th in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria. With disappearing Federal support and several high-profile bankruptcies, there are challenges ahead for the sector.  On the agenda include panels on Solar finance, the interplay between renewables and other fuels, Federal support for renewables and new finance trends for renewables.  The keynote speakers include CT DEEP head Dan Esty , US Army Installations Asst Secretary Katherine Hammack and Dennis McGinn of ACORE.  Other speakers include NRG’s Steve Corneli, MidAmerican’s Jonathan Weisgall, SEIA’s Rhone Resch and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Michel DiCapua, among other.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set for Hill – On June 21st, the Sustainable Energy Coalition – in cooperation with Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses – will host the 15th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum on Capitol Hill.  This year’s EXPO will bring together over fifty businesses, sustainable energy industry trade associations, government agencies, and energy policy research organizations to showcase the status and near-term potential of the cross-section of renewable energy (biofuels/biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) and energy efficiency technologies.  The late morning program will feature Members of the U.S. Congress while speakers throughout the day will discuss the role sustainable energy technologies can play in meeting America’s energy needs.   As Congress, the Administration, the business community, environmental advocates, and American voters search for options to stimulate the economy and “green jobs,” as well as address issues of national security, higher energy costs, increased reliance on energy imports, and the environmental threats associated with energy consumption, the EXPO will help address the role that sustainable energy technologies might play.  This will include not only the technical aspects of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies but also related issues such as economics, jobs potential, environmental benefits, current and near-term market potential, model programs in the public and private sectors, and institutional, financial and legal barriers.

Energy Update Week of May 14

Friends, 

A little shorter version of the usual Monday update because I was offsite yesterday, but certainly not enough to avoid Interior’s announcement about the Atlantic Wind Connection.  Interior declared there to be no competitive interest for the use of certain areas of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to construct an offshore transmission system which will speed permitting efforts.  Please feel free to follow up with Bob Mitchell (202-258-0960) if you have lingering questions. 

I tweeted (@FrankTalk19) a couple of the most excellent shots of the Hercules offshore rig with my friends at CBS Sunday.    They are doing a feature on islands this Sunday and always feature one “man-made” island which this year is the 173.  Looking forward to seeing the story as it captures day-to-day life on the working rig.  Incidentally, today the White House is releasing another report saying leases are going unused.  Funny how that works, because having been out there yesterday, I’d say that if there is oil or natural gas liquids in the ground, companies are trying to get it as fast as possible.  See more below, but our friend Jim Noe is happy to discuss (713-301-6797) 

Big hearing in Senate Energy Thursday on the Clean Energy Standard, perhaps the first of several as we understand it.  My colleagues Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead think it will be very different to do in an election year and still see a lot of homework to do.  They are happy to discuss the issue.  In addition, we’re keeping track of Lisa Jackson at Senate Approps, the House Oversight Committee and the Friday farm bill hearing.  Also, we may here more recommendations for tariffs in the solar dumping case against China by Thursday.  Already both sides are out in full force trying to apply last minute public pressure to shape the debate

NCAA lacrosse first rounds were awesome setting up a classic JHU-Maryland matchup on the men’s side at Navy Marine Corps Stadium Saturday at high noon.  Not to be outdone, the women’s side will feature a Maryland-Loyola matchup where former UMD great Jen Adams will coach against her alma mater (also at high noon).  Which way to go?  Oh the drama in my house…  Girls want to go to College Park, Adam is demanding heading to Annapolis.  Either way, it will be great.  The NY Rangers barely finished off the Caps (but give them credit that they did) and the LA Kings look unstoppable.  Hard to believe from a team that snuck into the playoffs on the last day of the season.  By the way, does the NBA even exist anymore?  Are they still in a lockout?  Seriously, can the NBA playoffs be any more boring compared to the NHL?  I would rather watch the action during a rain delay at Nationals Park than watch the first few rounds of the NBA playoffs.  I hope to finals can get a little better.

Call will questions.  You should also follow our Bracewell DC crew on Twitter @PolicyRez as well.

Best,

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

IN THE NEWS

White House Report Says Leases Going Unused – The White is releasing a new report today that says nearly 72% of the Outer Continental Shelf land leased for oil and gas development is “not producing or not subject to pending or approved exploration or development plans.” As for onshore leases, about 56% of federal land leased in the continental U.S. was idle as of the end of 2011.  This one again, underscores the fundamental misunderstanding this administration continues to show about the oil/gas industry.  And they don’t really care right now, because they are trying to inoculate themselves from a political weakness with misleading statistics and political rhetoric.  Apparently, according the energy “experts” in the White House’s definition of “idle” doesn’t include exploratory work and environmental reviews that must take place before drilling can begin.   My friend Jim Noe can discuss the issue (713-301-6797).

Final EPA Dimock Testing Shows No Impacts from Drilling – A final batch of EPA drilling tests said there was no water with unsafe levels of chemicals and that none of the levels that are there can be associated with drilling.  EPA has been testing water in Dimock, Pa. from January to March, and has been unveiling them in a series of late afternoon Friday releases.  As with the previous three sampling results, EPA found that Dimock drinking water meets all regulatory standards.  The EPA again did not indicate that those contaminants that were detected bore any relationship to gas development in the Dimock area.  These contaminants are more likely indicative of naturally-occurring background levels or other unrelated activities.  Cabot said it was pleased that EPA has now reached the same conclusion of Cabot and state and local authorities resulting from the collection of more than 10,000 pages of hard data — that the water in Dimock meets all regulatory standards.

Interior Moves Offshore Wind Transmission Project Forward – Continuing its significant momentum supporting offshore wind energy and transmission, the Department of Interior today declared there to be no competitive interest for the use of certain areas of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to construct an offshore transmission system being proposed by the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC).  After a year of intensive internal and public review, the decision allows the project to move forward in its permitting process.  AWC CEO Bob Mitchell praised the Administration’s effort on renewable energy, saying the decision is an important step to advancing what could be the world’s first integrated electric transmission superhighway for offshore wind.  Mitchell: “This milestone allows the AWC to proceed to intelligently plan for the backbone transmission system that is necessary for an entirely new robust offshore wind industry to develop in America. There is no reason for the United States to have to yield all of the factories and jobs to Europe and China.”  A Determination of No Competitive Interest (DNCI) has been made by Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), after soliciting input from other potential competitors and the public.  The DNCI issuance allows BOEM to grant the project a right-of-way (ROW) on the OCS once the environmental impact of the project is reviewed under NEPA, and with further public input.  The lack of competitive interest means that the delays associated with an auction are avoided.

Brattle Study Cites Concerns for Midwest in Mercury Rule – A new study for the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) by The Brattle Group found that compliance with the MATS rule poses significant challenges for generators in the Midwest.  The feasibility assessment took into account the historical level of actual retrofits and new generation construction, typical timelines to complete various types of projects, potential bottlenecks in specialized types of labor, and the required planned outages in coal plants to install and test the environment control equipment. The study finds that the projected amount of retrofits on coal units and the amount of new generation to replace retiring coal units in the MISO region will exceed the historical maximum achieved for simultaneous deployments of retrofits and new builds by 51% to 162%, based on MISO’s current projections of retrofit requirements and announced projects. For nationwide retrofits, the requirements imposed by MATS would be below historical maximums if the EPA’s projections are correct, or up to 93% above historical maximums if industry estimates are more accurate.  With respect to the timeline needed for retrofits, the study finds that some types of upgrades can be completed before 2015 without difficulty, including activated carbon injection (ACI) and dry sorbent injection (DSI), which can be implemented within approximately a year and a half. Most projects, however, have a longer lead time of approximately three to four years, including wet and dry scrubber, baghouse, electrostatic precipitator (ESP), and selective catalytic reduction (SCR), as well as new gas combustion turbines (CTs) and combined cycles (CCs). Some of these longer lead time projects may not be completed by the MATS compliance date (April 2015, with a potential one-year extension) to the extent they have not already started. 

Brattle Also Raises Concerns about Labor to Upgrade – The Brattle study also evaluated the potential for craft labor to become a bottleneck that could introduce project delays and increase costs. Comparing the projected labor needs against the current labor supply for each craft revealed that boilermakers are the most likely bottleneck. As many as 7,590 boilermakers (or 40% of boilermakers currently employed nationally) could be needed to complete the projected retrofits and new generation construction by 2015. This potential demand is more than four times the number of boilermakers currently employed in the Utility System Construction Industry. Therefore, meeting the projected demand for boilermakers will likely require a combination of adjustments on the supply side, including training new labor, relocation, extending work hours, and attracting craft labor from other industries.  With respect to the incremental outage periods necessary to implement the projected retrofits, the study estimates that some upgrades, such as dry scrubber, DSI, selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR), and ACI, require that the outage duration need only be extended a few days or a week, although some types of upgrades impose much longer outages. Wet FGD, baghouse, and SCR retrofits are likely to require that outages be extended by approximately three weeks. Considering the fleet-wide impacts of these outages, it appears that MISO may have to schedule approximately 45% more MW of coal outages per season for MATS compliance by fall 2015, assuming that many plants will gain a one-year compliance extension. These additional outage requirements appear to be feasible to implement under MISO’s low-retirement scenarios without causing system reliability concerns. The study notes, however, that implementing the incremental outages under scenarios with higher coal retirement scenarios (12 GW and 19 GW) would likely require a combination of extending the six-month outage season to nine months and requesting an additional one-year reliability extension to 2017 for MATS compliance.

Get the Study Here – The Brattle study, “Supply Chain and Outage Analysis of MISO Coal Retrofits for MATS,” was prepared by Brattle economists Metin Celebi, Kathleen Spees, and Quincy Liao, with assistance from Steve Eisenhart at the VATIC Associates. It is available for download at www.brattle.com.

RFA Says Ethanol Reduced Gas Price – The Renewable Fuels Association will release a report today that says ethanol reduced the price of gasoline in 2011 by an average of $1.09 per gallon – up from $0.89 per gallon in 2010.  The finding is in according to updated research conducted by economics professors at the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University.  Surprisingly, those economic found that three primary factors are responsible for “price benefit:”  higher oil and gasoline prices, higher ethanol inclusion and ethanol being priced at a larger-than-normal discount to gasoline.  Refiners said the study is flawed and is based on false assumptions and distorted statistics to reach the predetermined conclusion.  Charlie Drevna: “ Today’s study is just an update of an equally flawed 2009 study that even the authors conceded is not a reflection of reality. In their original 2009 report, the authors of the study wrote:  ‘…it would be wrong to extrapolate the results to today’s markets.’   AFPM says increased amounts of ethanol in gasoline will likely lead to consumers paying even more at the pump. According to the AAA daily fuel gauge report, fuel that is 85% ethanol, E85, significantly decreases fuel economy and is more expensive than gasoline on a miles-per-gallon basis due to its lower energy content, even at today’s prices. The AAA report notes that if consumers were to use E85 today, they would be paying nearly 60 cents per gallon more than if they filled up with regular gasoline.

THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:

API to Look at Politics, Energy – API will host a discussion at The National Press Club on Tuesday, May 15th at 8:30 a.m. to look at the importance of sound energy decisions for our nation.  At the event, API will release a report to the Democratic and Republican Platform Committees followed by a bipartisan panel discussion with energy advisors and experts.

CFTC Chairman to Address the National Press Club Luncheon – Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will address the National Press Club at a luncheon on Tuesday May 15th at 12:30 p.m. at a luncheon speech.  Gensler and his agency are at the center of implementing the sweeping – and controversial — Dodd-Frank financial reform law, enacted in 2010. Congress passed the law in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, which was triggered by liquidity problems in the U.S. banking system and collapse of the housing bubble.  The law contains the most comprehensive changes to financial-market regulation since the Great Depression. It has drawn withering criticism from many conservatives for its far-reaching efforts to impose enough rules to prevent another financial crisis. Opponents object in particular to its establishment of a new consumer protection agency, which supporters say is a vital reform.

MD to Hold Public Meetings on Climate Change – Maryland continues its public meetings today on its climate change law in Centreville in Queen Anne’s County.  In 2009, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act that requires the State to develop and implement a plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25% by 2020. Last week the meetings kicked off in Elkton, MD.  Other meetings will be in Fredrick on May 24th, Annapolis on May 31st and Baltimore on June 5th

Nebraska Hearings Set for new Pipeline Route – The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality will hold two more hearings Wednesday in Albion tomorrow and in Central City on Thursday to discuss the new path for the Keystone Pipeline.  The meetings will be one opportunity for the agency to meet with interested persons and discuss where the pipeline review process stands.  NDEQ says they will have detailed maps available, so that people can get a clearer idea of where the corridor is proposed. NDEQ  held meetings last week in O’Neill and in Neligh

CHP Spring Forum Set – The U.S. Clean Heat & Power Association will hold its Spring CHP Forum on Wednesday at the Washington Plaza Hotel in DC. 

Great Efficiency Day Set – The first installment of the 2012 Great Energy Efficiency Day Series, will be held on Wednesday morning at Union Station’s Columbus Club, as representatives from diverse industries convene a discussion on the business case for energy efficiency. Learn how and why all sectors of business – from automakers to utility providers to product manufacturers – are adopting energy-efficient practices to increase profitability, productivity, and security. And, gain insight into how the public sector is driving efficiency through keynote addresses from Congressional, Administration, and State officials.   Launched in 2004, Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) has quickly become a “must attend” public discussion on the need for, and benefits of, energy efficiency. In 2012, GEED is expanding to a twice-a-year series on Capitol Hill to provide more public opportunity for energy efficiency discourse.  GEED events draw more than 400 stakeholders from business, industry, government, academia, and media to discuss the most pressing issues and advances in energy efficiency.  Confirmed speakers include Sen. Mark Warner, Kateri Callahan of the Alliance to Save Energy, ACC’s Cal Dooley, BRT President and former MI Governor John Engler, EEI head Tom Kuhn, AGA President Dave McCurdy, DOE’s Maria Vargas and many more. 

House Oversight to Look at Clean Tech, Loan Guarantees – The House Oversight panel on Regulation chaired by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.    Witnesses will include Craig Witsoe of Abound Solar, Brian Fairbank of Nevada Geothermal Power Inc., BrightSource Energy CEO John Woolard, FirstSolar’s Michael Ahearn, and James Nelson of Solar 3D and Gregory Kats of Capital-E.

AEI to Look at Cuba Issues – While it isn’t only about energy, the American Enterprise Institute will hold an event tomorrow that will look at Cuba after Castro and I fully expect there will be some discussion on Cuba’s plan to drill for oil off its Northern coast.  The event will be at 10:00 a.m. and will feature

Senate Approps Panel to Host Jackson – EPA’s Lisa Jackson will be featured at a Senate Appropriations environmental panel hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. to discuss EPA budget issues.

Senate Environment to Highlight Role of Corporate Responsibility – The Senate Committee on Environment’s panel on Children’s Health and Environmental Responsibility will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. looking at corporate environmental responsibility and innovation.  Witnesses will include Intel’s Todd Brady, GE Power & Water’s , Len Sauers of Procter & Gamble, Eastman Chemical’s Parker Smith and Mitch Jackson of FedEx.

Blackburn, Shaheen Headline Women’s Energy Council Forum – The Women’s Energy Resource Council  will hold its 2nd Annual Leadership Forum  on Wednesday  at Noon at the Phoenix Park Hotel.  The forum will include a variety of speakers and panelists from Capitol Hill, the Administration, and the private sector.  Registration and lunch begin at 11:30am with Representative Marsha Blackburn starting the program at 12:00.  Some of the other speakers will include Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Politics Daily’s Patricia Murphy, and Pia Carusone, Chief of Staff to former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who will discuss crisis management during the Tucson shooting. 

WAPA to Discuss Mercedes Mobile Technology – The Washington Automotive Press Association will host its May luncheon on Wednesday at the National Press Club featuring Matthew Wiethoff, Manager of Business to Consumer Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.  Wiethoff will discuss the strategy behind the company’s mobile technology initiatives and what’s in the pipeline.  In October 2009, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services became the first captive auto finance company to introduce an app for customers with iPhones to enable them to make monthly payments.  Since introducing its iPhone app giving customers the convenience to make payments “anytime, anywhere,” Mercedes-Benz Financial Services (MBFS) has received over $68 million in payments via mobile channels through the first quarter of this year — and the number is growing.  Given the strong demand, MBFS continues to build capabilities in the mobile space, having recently enhanced the My MBFS app to include: request a quote from a dealer; payment reminders; and GPS dealer locator capability.

ELI Panel to Look at Litigation, Environmental Exposure – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a panel discussion on tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. focused on environmental litigation and the bar for injury in environmental exposure cases.  Panelists will include Carla Burke of Baron & Budd, John Guttmann of Beveridge & Diamond and Robert Percival of the Environmental Law Program of University of Maryland Carey School of Law.

Solar Expert Featured at ICF Energy Breakfast – ICF International will host its May Energy and Environment Breakfast on Thursday morning featuring Julia Hamm, president and CEO of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). The outlook for solar power and for specific projects is being buffeted by many factors, including sharp declines in the cost of photovoltaics, low prices for natural gas, state Renewable Portfolio Standards, and Federal tax credits and research programs (such as the SunShot Initiative). Hamm will discuss the role can solar electricity play in the future of the U.S. power mix and what issues need to be addressed for it to reach its full potential, as well as the best prospects and opportunities for development. 

Green Week Panels Cover Array of Issues — The Institute for Policy Analysis and Interpretation will hold DuPont Green Week activities on Thursday and Friday at Johns Hopkins University with panels on financing, carbon markets and many other topics. 

DOE to Headline Industrial Efficiency Forum – The Alliance to Save Energy’s honoring its 35th Anniversary, will hold an Industrial Energy Efficiency Forum on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. at EEI.  The event will include experts from a diverse set of industries who will discuss energy efficiency within the industrial sector – from their early efforts to current energy efficiency and management programs being implemented across U.S. industry.  Discover how manufacturers have improved energy efficiency at their plants and what types of mechanisms and technologies will be important in achieving additional gains in energy efficiency, industrial productivity, and energy security. Valuable insights into Superior Energy Performance and Better Buildings/Better Plants will be provided along with the recognition of several plants in the Southeast that have achieved Superior Energy Performance certification through ISO 50001 energy management and verified energy Speakers will include DOE’s Kathleen Hogan and many others. 

Senate Energy to hold Clean Energy Standard Hearing – The full Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing on Thursday to focus on the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 and receive testimony on S. 2146. Witnesses include DOE’s David Sandalow and EIA’s Howard Gruenspecht, as well as RFF’s Karen Palmer, Judy Greenwald from the former Pew Climate Group now named the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, DE DNREC Secretary Colin O’Mara, American Iron and Steel Institute CEO Tom Gibson, Duke Energy’s Keith Trent and Jacksonville Electric Authority CEO James Dickenson.  My colleague Scott Segal says a federal standard mandating certain energy investments is a difficult policy to get right.  He adds that supporters must take into account geographic differences and must incentivize a sensible mix of technologies, including both energy-generating and energy-saving approaches.  A CES must be based on realistic assumptions about the future of nuclear power and the real costs of certain renewables.  Segal: “In a down economy,  costs to consumers must be a paramount consideration.  Unfortunately, the whole range of final and proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations on the power sector have already ensured that energy costs will be increasing.  There is not a single study that evaluates the cost of a federal CES against the backdrop of these regulations.  There is a lot of homework yet to be done, and not much time to do it during this election year.”

SAFE Group to Unveil Report – On Thursday, the Diplomatic Council on Energy Security (DCES) will formally launch with its report on oil’s impact on the trade deficit, followed by a discussion energy security with DCES members at the Hay Adams Hotel at 10:00 a.m.  The DCES, a project of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), is a bipartisan coalition of former U.S. ambassadors who have come together to call attention to the diplomatic and foreign policy constraints posed by America’s dependence on oil.

Brookings Forum to Look at Clean tech Innovations – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., Global Economy and Development at Brookings will host a discussion on how international organizations can help fill capacity building and financing gaps in clean technology innovation in developing and least developed countries. Panelists will include Tim Richards, managing director for International Energy Policy at General Electric Company; Alfred Watkins, executive chairman of the Global Innovation Summit; Dr. Romain Murenzi, executive director of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World; and Brookings Nonresident Fellow Nathan Hultman, director of the Environmental Policy Program at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. Brookings Senior Fellow Katherine Sierra will moderate the discussion.

EPA Economists Discuss Electronic Reporting on Water – Resource for the Future will hold a forum on Thursday at Noon  in its 7th Floor Conference Room on electronic reporting of water discharge monitoring report data and whether it affects compliance behavior of regulated entities. Ron Shadbegian and Ann Wolverton of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics exam whether or not the adoption of an electronic reporting requirement increases on-time reporting of monthly discharge data and the probability that regulated entities are in compliance, and reduces their overall discharges relative to the permitted amount.

Reps. to Highlight Energy Storage Efforts – The Electricity Storage Association along with the Copper Development Association, National Electrical Manufacturers Association, National Hydropower Association, and NY-BEST will host an event on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in 1300 Longworth to look at energy storage technologies.  Reps. Chris Gibson and Mike Thompson are expected to attend.

Biofuels Roundtable Set – USDA, along with the Department of Energy and the Department of Navy, will co-host an Advanced Biofuels Industry Roundtable, Friday.  The Roundtable will focus on efforts to accelerate the production of bio-based fuels for military and commercial purposes. Last year, USDA, and the Departments of Energy and the Navy announced that – through the Defense Production Act – they will collaborate to accelerate the development of advanced, drop-in aviation and marine biofuels and marine diesel to help power our military. Participants in this roundtable will discuss next steps for those interested in pursuing the production of aviation biofuels and marine diesel. Topics will include production, distribution and contracting, and best practices. This roundtable follows a “match making” event hosted last week at USDA headquarters to promote connections between agricultural producers of energy feedstocks, and biorefineries.   In August 2011, the agencies announced plans to invest up to $510 million during the next three years to produce drop-in aviation and marine biofuels. 

In December, the Navy announced “the single largest purchase of advanced drop-in biofuel in government history by the Defense Logistics Agency,” for 450,000 gallons of fuel.   This roundtable follows a matchmaking event hosted on March 30 at USDA headquarters to promote connections between agricultural producers of energy feedstocks and biorefineries.

THE WEEKS AHEAD:

Forum Set to Discuss Science, Future Enterprise – The New American Foundation will hold a forum on Science issues on Monday afternoon, May 21st.  Science and technology in America have been guided by the same set of ideas for more than half a century. The conventional wisdom is that if we feed more money and more scientists into our existing “knowledge enterprise” complex, society will derive proportionately more benefits. In the face of the global economic downturn, political disarray at the national level, and protracted challenges to the nation’s public health, environmental quality, industrial base, and energy system, this simplistic assumption is long overdue for a reckoning.   Today’s challenges demand new ways of thinking about science and technology, and the government’s role in advancing them. The problem, any honest inquiry will suggest, isn’t always money, or the number of scientists, but the very way we do science.   Speakers will include our friend Andy Revkin, GWU President Emeritus Stephen Trachtenberg and many others.

Columbia U to Host EPA Regional Enviro Conference – EPA and Columbia University Law School will host its biennial conference on May 23rd in New York that examines key and emerging environmental issues in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 area, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Topics will include natgas extraction, as well as air and climate issues.  Speakers will include EPA’s Judith Enck, several state Environmental Commissioners and other experts. 

Geothermal Energy Conference Set – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will be holding the 4th annual GEA International Geothermal Energy Showcase on May 23rd at the Reagan Trade Center in Washington, DC to highlight international geothermal projects, policies, and development in top international markets.  Industry leaders, government officials, and other power sector representatives from the U.S. and around the world are expected to participate.   This year, the event will focus on success in the leading countries and geothermal markets. Participants from the countries which are showing the most dramatic growth will be asked to address the event. Discussion will highlight what measures are succeeding in expanding geothermal energy production, with special attention paid to U.S. geothermal exports and financing for international geothermal development.   GEA is inviting representatives from both government and business involved in key geothermal markets including the Caribbean, Central America, Chile, East Africa, Europe, Indonesia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines and Turkey. The program will encourage discussion and interaction about government policies, projects in development, market potential, and opportunities for U.S. companies. Attendees will also hear from U.S. Government agencies involved in export assistance for geothermal companies, and from U.S. companies developing projects overseas.

Brookings Forum to Look at Shipping Industry, Climate – On Thursday, May 24th, Global Economy and Development at Brookings, Oxfam America, World Wildlife Fund and ActionAid will host a discussion on how mechanisms in the shipping industry can be designed to mobilize new public resources to help developing countries confront the climate crisis while reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Panelists will include Ambassador Charles Rudolph Paul, Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the United States of America; Michael Keen, deputy director of the Fiscal Affairs Department at the International Monetary Fund; Nigel Purvis, president and CEO of Climate Advisers; and Heather Coleman, senior policy advisor at Oxfam America. Brookings Senior Fellow Katherine Sierra will moderate the discussion.

RFF to Host Economics Nobel Prize Winner for Lecture – In celebration of its 60th anniversary, Resources for the Future is presenting Resources 2020 on Friday, June 1st at 2:00 p.m. in National Geographic Museum’s  Grosvenor Auditorium and features  2009 Nobel Economic Sciences Laureate Elinor Ostrom.  Resources 2020 is a year-long distinguished lecture series featuring Nobel Laureates in Economics.  The inaugural event in the series will both honor the memory of Hans Landsberg, a pioneer in energy and mineral economics, and recognize Elinor Ostrom’s groundbreaking role as the first, and to date the only, woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Dr. Ostrom’s presentation will highlight the environmental and natural resource challenges facing the world through the end of this decade and the role that economic inquiry can play in helping decisionmakers address these issues.

WINDPOWER heads to Atlanta – AWEA’s annual WINDPOWER conference will be held in  Atlanta on June 3rd through 6th.  WINDPOWER is being held in the Southeast for the first time this year in recognition of the fact that it has emerged as a hot spot for wind energy manufacturing. The theme of the overall conference is “Manufacturing the Future Today.” Factories in the wind supply chain now employ 30,000 Americans, out of 75,000 currently working in wind energy. But those jobs are now in jeopardy because of uncertainty over the Production Tax Credit, due to expire at the end of this year unless Congress extends it.  In a year of partisan politics, two leading partisans will seek common ground at the biggest annual gathering of the wind industry – which is counting on bipartisan support to continue its rapid growth in the United States.  Karl Rove and Robert Gibbs will address thousands of attendees together June 5 in Atlanta at WINDPOWER 2012.  Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush, and Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary and longtime senior advisor to President Barack Obama, will jointly keynote in the Tuesday morning General Session of the annual conference and exposition.  Their conversation will touch on many sides of the energy policy debate, and point out where party perspectives overlap — highlighting the opportunity for bipartisan agreement in support of wind power, one of the fastest-growing sources of manufacturing jobs in America, which draws over $15 billion a year of private investment in the U.S. economy.

Aspen Forum to look at Clean Energy Issues – Montreaux Energy’s 13th Aspen Clean Energy Roundtable will be held June 4-6th  at the historic Hotel Jerome in Aspen.  The Aspen Clean Energy Roundtable will convene 100 key industry partners and investors, along with leading government policy-makers and regulators. Our theme will be Clean Energy, Mobility, and Power Generation: Leadership in Energy Investment.  Confirmed Speakers include Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Shell natgas VP Dave Todd, Waste Management Organic Growth SVP Carl Rush,  GE Energy Renewable Energy Strategy & Analysis head Brandon Owens, EPA Region 8 Energy & Climate advisor Kate Fay, Toyota Environmental Vehicles Product Planning Manager Craig Scott and NASCAR Green Innovation Director Michael Lynch, as well as many more.

Mining Summit to Look at Future of Industry – The Mining Americas Summit 2012 will be held in Denver, Colorado on June 5th and 6th at the Denver Marriott City Centre.   Senior executive leadership will gather to discuss the capital management strategies, cutting edge technologies and operational investments that will drive the mining industry for years to come.  Issues will include adopting leading policies and techniques to improve access to capital and attract investment; assessing emerging technologies on cost and operational metrics; managing political risk in mine operations – both domestic and abroad; exploring the latest geographical hotspots and resource opportunities and incorporating sustainability and safety.

NJ to Hold Clean Air DebateNational Journal will host a debate Wednesday, June 6th at The Newseum looking at clean air standards and their broader impact on the nation’s public health, the environment, and the economy.  The event, moderated by our friend Coral Davenport, will feature Peter LaPuma, of George Washington University and NRDC’s John Walke.

Segal to Speak at ECOS meeting – The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) will host state environmental agency leaders on June 7-8th at the Hotel Monaco in Washington, DC for the State Environmental Protection in 2012 conference.  This is a critical time for state environmental programs as officials try to balance federal budget cuts with the need to address new, more complex pollution problems.  The meeting will provide a forum for state officials, business and industry, nonprofits, governmental agencies, and others to explore current challenges in meeting environmental and public health demands in an era of declining resources.  Panel topics will include implementation of federal rules and regulations, state innovation, air and energy, coal combustion residuals, green partnerships, nutrients and other water issues, toxics reform and more.  Speakers will include our colleague Scott Segal.

Nat Gas Vehicles Conference Set – Penn State-Lehigh will hold a natural gas vehicles forum on Monday June 11th hosting clean-air/clean-transportation advocates, industry stakeholders, fleet managers and policymakers.  They will discuss the fundamentals of using natural gas as a transportation fuel, network with other NGV stakeholders, and discuss opportunities and challenges to greater adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel. The conference will provide a comprehensive discussion on utilizing natural gas as a transportation fuel in Pennsylvania and the greater mid-Atlantic region.

Offshore Safety Summit Set for Houston – The Offshore Safety Summit 2012 will be held in Houston on June 11-13th. Since the GOM Deepwater Horizon incident, oil and gas companies have once again come under the spotlight. Issues such as preventing hydrocarbon releases, oil spill response, risk assessment and management, process and human safety and personnel training have surfaced as key priority items that require immediate attention.  To meet the heightened focus on safety, oil and gas companies are reassessing and reshaping their HSE strategies to balance profit with safety, while developing a plan that is both technically compliant to new standards and humanly ergonomic in its application.  This conference will address the latest insights and case studies on effectively managing offshore HSE risk and creating a rigorous system to pre-empt major and costly accidents. Through real-life, practical case studies, Offshore Safety Summit 2012 will help oil and gas operators and contractors understand the human and technical factors involved in process safety and ensure a solid hazard prevention framework.

Chamber Holds Jobs Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold its third annual Jobs Summit 2012 on Wednesday, June 13th at the Chamber in DC.  , The Summit will bring together governors and thought leaders from across the country to discuss the state of our nation’s job market, outline policies that are needed to generate jobs and accelerate economic growth, and highlight what policies are working in each participating governor’s state.   A central part of the Summit will be the release of an updated edition of Enterprising States, which will take a comprehensive look at how states are positioning themselves for economic growth and investing in the future.  The bipartisan Governors’ Roundtable will be moderated by Major Garrett, Congressional Correspondent for the National Journal, following remarks by Tom Donohue and a research presentation based on the data released in the Enterprising States study.

Washington Fuel Cell Summit to Look at Technologies – On June 19th, the Hydrogen Education Foundation is hosting a one-day summit in the nation’s capital featuring panel discussions, an expo and a Ride and Drive with fuel cell vehicles.  Government and industry will convene to discuss the latest advancements and keys to market successes for fuel cells, including open discussion around remaining challenges and obstacles.  Speakers will include CARB Chair Mary Nichols, Ballard CEO John Sheridan, Ed Cohen of Honda, Justin Ward of Toyota, National Fuel Cell Research Director Scott Samuelson and many others.

REFF-Wall Street to Look at Renewable Challenges – The 9th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street will be on June 19th and 20th in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria. With disappearing Federal support and several high-profile bankruptcies, there are challenges ahead for the sector.  On the agenda include panels on Solar finance, the interplay between renewables and other fuels, Federal support for renewables and new finance trends for renewables.  The keynote speakers include CT DEEP head Dan Esty , US Army Installations Asst Secretary Katherine Hammack and Dennis McGinn of ACORE.  Other speakers include NRG’s Steve Corneli, MidAmerican’s Jonathan Weisgall, SEIA’s Rhone Resch and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Michel DiCapua, among other.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set for Hill – On June 21st, the Sustainable Energy Coalition – in cooperation with Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses – will host the 15th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum on Capitol Hill.  This year’s EXPO will bring together over fifty businesses, sustainable energy industry trade associations, government agencies, and energy policy research organizations to showcase the status and near-term potential of the cross-section of renewable energy (biofuels/biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) and energy efficiency technologies.  The late morning program will feature Members of the U.S. Congress while speakers throughout the day will discuss the role sustainable energy technologies can play in meeting America’s energy needs.   As Congress, the Administration, the business community, environmental advocates, and American voters search for options to stimulate the economy and “green jobs,” as well as address issues of national security, higher energy costs, increased reliance on energy imports, and the environmental threats associated with energy consumption, the EXPO will help address the role that sustainable energy technologies might play.  This will include not only the technical aspects of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies but also related issues such as economics, jobs potential, environmental benefits, current and near-term market potential, model programs in the public and private sectors, and institutional, financial and legal barriers.