Energy Update: Week of February 8

Friends,

While Super Bowl 50 had its usual hype, the overall event just didn’t live up to it.  The game was a defensive struggle filled with turnovers, poor throws, penalties and sacks.  There was only one offensive TD, a missed field and lots of punts.  All of this made it kind of boring until one of the quarters landed on my numbers.  Even with that excitement, the commercials were average and the halftime show didn’t impress despite a new song from pop powerhouse Beyoncé.

Tomorrow voters head to the polls in New Hampshire despite another snowstorm to tell us the current state of both political races.  I’m actually glad that both Iowa and New Hampshire are finally going to be out of the way.  I always feel like their importance is overhyped in the presidential race.

With Presidents’ Day approaching next week the Congress has a short week this week.  The Senate continues action on its energy bill despite some roadblocks from the plant water crisis.  Senate Environment also looks at renewing WRDA.   The House tackles regulations in House Science on Wednesday and House Ag host EPA’s Gina McCarthy to look at the rural economy on Thursday.

A big event is Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. when NRECA, NRDC, the Peak Load Management Association, Great River Energy and The Brattle Group host a call to discuss new research on the economic and environmental benefits of a novel approach to demand response and energy storage, dubbed “community storage.”  The press call will feature a new report about community storage programs and technologies.   Let me know if you need the call-in info.

There are several important RESCHEDULED events this week including a Friday SAFE event that was rescheduled from the previous snowstorm focused on conflicts between Iran and Saudi Arabia with former officials John Hannah and Bob McNally, among several other experts.  Finally, SEJ is rescheduling its 4th annual “Year Ahead in Environment and Energy” event for Thursday at 3:00 p.m., where leading reporters and editors will discuss the critical issues that will shape 2016.

Other events include a three-day National Assn of State Energy Officials Conference starting tomorrow that will focus on the GHG rules at the Fairmont Hotel.  Also, on Wednesday, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy hosts a discussion on combating climate change in the courts at the National Press Club.  Speakers will include RI Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, NRDC co-founder Richard Ayres, former EPA GC Roger Martella, Bordas & Bordas partner Sharon Eubanks (lead counsel for the U.S. in United States v. Phillip Morris), L former EPA counsel Lisa Heinzerling and more.  And Thursday, RFF and EPRI hosts hold a Seminar Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. looking at Clean Power Plan Strategic Modeling.

Finally, the annual budget parade starts this week when the president submits his budget to Congress tomorrow.  Last week he previewed one giant sore spot when he announced a $10 barrel tax on oil.  The proposal which will lead to a 25-cent gasoline increase is likely to be dead letter office.  Not even Democrats were very excited about that proposal in the election year.  Either way, the budget battles begin this week with the parade of a government officials heading to Capitol Hill, starting with Wednesday’s NRC hearing featuring all Four Commissioners.   USDA’s Tom Vilsack is in Ag Approps on Thursday morning.  Energy Secretary Moniz holds his budget briefing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.

We have experts available on all the issue areas including my colleague and former House Appropriations staffer Ed Krenik and former Finance Committee tax/budget expert Curt Beaulieu.  Please call if you have questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

President Signals Gas Tax for Budget – Floating a major Lead balloon, President Obama said late last week that he will propose a $10-per-barrel crude oil tax as part of his budget tomorrow in order to fund about $300 billion worth of “sustainable transportation” programs over the next decade.  Republicans blasted the plan with glee, while most Democrats sat it out, hoping any talk of gas talks won’t infiltrate the 2016 campaign.

IPAA Fires Back –  The Independent Petroleum Association of America Spokesman Neal Kirby blasted the proposal saying “make no mistake, this is an energy consumer tax disguised as an oil company fee. At a time when oil companies are going through the largest financial crisis in over 25 years, it makes little sense to raise costs on the industry. This isn’t simply a tax on oil companies, it’s a tax on American consumers who are currently benefiting from low home heating and transportation costs.  This could also put American oil companies at a competitive disadvantage with foreign oil companies, as imported oil may not face the same treatment. For the first time in years, the U.S. Congress recently passed a highway funding bill. The Administration had the opportunity to raise funding for our nation’s highways during that time. Why now instead of then?”

Well Control Rule Heads to OMB – The Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) sent its new standards for blowout preventers to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) late last week for its review, a required step before finalization.  The BSEE rule would require third-party verification of design standards, enhanced onshore monitoring of performance and new engineering standards for operation.

WoodMac Study Underscores Problems – Last week, we mentioned the initial findings from a study conducted by international research consultancy Wood Mackenzie confirm that the high cost of a proposed new rule.  The findings showed that it could significantly reduce domestic energy production and curtail U.S. economic activity, energy supplies, and state and federal offshore revenues.  The new requirements included in the proposed rule call for far reaching changes to the rules by which the oil and gas operators are governed and would increase costs in a manner that will severely impact Gulf Coast economies.  According to initial findings released today, the study found that under an $80 oil assumption, comparable to the price assumptions used by BSEE in developing the rule, the Interior Department’s draft rule would:

  • Decrease exploration drilling by up to 55% or 10 wells annually
  • Reduce Gulf of Mexico production by as much as 35% by year 2030
  • Result in 105,000 – 190,000 jobs at risk by 2030; this may include jobs beyond the energy sector;
  • Most notably, 80% of these jobs could be in Louisiana and Texas.

AHRI, NRDC Align on Phasing Out Certain HFC Refrigerants – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) issued a joint letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in support of changing the status of certain refrigerants used in liquid chillers under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program effective January 1, 2025. The two groups took this action following lengthy discussions on the importance of moving beyond high-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants used in chillers and consideration of factors such as the safety of alternatives, the continued improvement of system efficiency, reasonable product development timelines, and the avoidance of market migration. The effective date was negotiated with those factors in mind. “This is another example of industry and efficiency advocates working together toward environmental progress, while allowing sufficient time and predictability for manufacturers,” said AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek. “We are grateful to the members of AHRI’s Liquid Chillers Product Section, who worked diligently to reach this agreement,” Yurek added.  The EPA is expected to decide in the coming months whether or not to accede to this consensus recommendation.

Nuclear Society Releases ToolKit – The American Nuclear Society introduced the Nuclear in the States Toolkit, Version 1.0 today at a media event in Washington, D.C.  The toolkit catalogs policies related to new and existing nuclear reactors for state policymakers to consider as they draft their Clean Power Plan compliance strategies. It was developed by the ANS Special Committee on Nuclear in the States to catalog the myriad policy options available at the state-level to support new and existing nuclear energy facilities. “This report is intended to prompt discussion about nuclear as a reliable clean-energy source. ANS does not endorse or support any specific policy pathway. The intent of this report is to serve as a menu of policy options for state policymakers to consider as they move ahead on their clean energy compliance plans,” said ANS President Eugene S. Grecheck.  Among the subjects covered in the toolkit are electricity capacity markets, governmental support, public hearings, and tax policies. There are also policy- and market-based tools included with comments and examples provided for each tool. By developing this guide ANS hopes to prevent further nuclear plant closures and promote new plant builds.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

NAS to Look at Rural Electricity Issues – Today and Tomorrow, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force will hold a technical workshop on electricity use in rural and islanded communities. Workshop topics will include attributes of electricity use and distribution systems associated with rural electricity users, islanded residents, and isolated demand centers;  challenges and opportunities for increasing efficiency, reducing emissions and costs, and resiliency in such locations; and innovative clean energy strategies being undertaken in such locations.

Forum, Report to Highlight LNG Exports – The Atlantic Council will hold a panel today and launch its Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative with the report “Surging Liquefied Natural Gas Trade, How US Exports Will Benefit European and Global Gas Supply Diversity, Competition, and Security” authored by Global Energy Center Senior Fellow and former leading CIA analyst Bud Coote.  The report analyzes global LNG market developments and the potential role of US LNG in Europe and Asia. The EU’s move toward a freer energy market and a global shift toward gas by climate conscious consumers are likely to help fuel growing demand for US LNG in the coming years. The strong match between Europe’s energy objectives and US LNG exporters’ goals will not only bolster a secure and competitive energy market in Europe, but help lead the fight against climate change.  Coote and Fabrice Vareille, Head of Transport, Energy, and Environment Section of the EU Delegation to the United States, will discuss.

Wind Summit to Look at Finance, Investment – Infocast is holding its annual Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit today through Wednesday at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego.   Now that the PTC question has been settled, the Summit will focus on the critical issues and opportunities for the wind industry, including the impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan on Wind, long-term outlook for natural gas prices, the outlook for tax equity and debt and many other topics.

NASEO Energy Policy Outlook Conference to Focus on GHG Plans, Other Issues – The National Assn of State Energy Officials hosts a three-day Conference starting tomorrow that will focus on the GHG rules at the Fairmont Hotel.   Ernest Moniz is Keynote Speaker Wednesday and former Trade Rep Ron Kirk will speak Thursday.  Our friend Bryan Hannegan of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will also speak among the many panels.

ICF to Present 2016 Fuels Outlook – ICF International will hold a webinar tomorrow to look at the 2016 Fuels Outlook.  ICF’s Joel Bluestein will present and provide insights on how the fuel sector may trend in the new year as well as the risks and opportunities the sector presents. Topics will include the effects of continued low oil prices on North American energy production; the outlook for LNG exports and, with the lifting of the ban, crude oil exports; key drivers of natural gas demand in the near term; Investment outlook for natgas infrastructure and the implications of the Clean Power Plan.

WCEE Feature Paris Climate Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a forum tomorrow at 12:00 noon to hear from four organizations about their participation in COP21, their thoughts on the agreement, and how they’re getting to work on implementation.   Speakers will include Astrid Caldas of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Jennifer Huang of Center for Climate & Energy Solutions (C2ES), Anne Kelly of Ceres and Tanya Primiani of the World Bank.

Forum to Look at Iran Oil Contracts – Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion of Iran petroleum issues and contracts.  Yeganeh Torbati of Reuters will moderate a discussion on how the new IPC differ from the current investment structure in Iran and its impacts on regions like Iraq.  The panel will feature the following renowned experts on Iran and energy: Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center and President of SVB Energy International, Dr. Suzanne Maloney, Deputy Director of the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, and Guly Sabahi, a Partner with the energy sector team at Dentons.

Forum to Focus on Climate Action – The Johns Hopkins University, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the Embassy of Peru will hold a forum tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. for the inauguration of the Seminar Series “Embassy Talks.”  Professor Francisco E. González and Gabriel Quijandría will present a dissertation about “From Lima to Paris: Assessing International Efforts to Strengthen Climate Action”.  This seminar will assess how the COP20 set the stage for the successful negotiation of the COP21 Paris Agreement. The seminar will place particular emphasis on the role that Latin American countries played in the COP20 and COP21 conferences in order to gauge the achievements and limitations of regional cooperation with regard to one of the most important and high-stakes medium- and long-term multilateral issues of the 21st century.

Energy Ministers Meet in Canada – The North American Energy Ministers  are meeting Wednesday and Thursday in Winnipeg, Canada.  If you think we may get some snow On Wednesday, it will be colder up there.  The meeting will discuss current energy strategies on GHGs, Oil prices and many other Items.  The meetings will Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr and Mexican Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquín Coldwell.

Nuclear Innovation Conference Set – The Energy Innovation Reform Project and Oak Ridge will hold a nuclear innovation conference on Wednesday and Thursday in Oak Ridge, TN. Continuing on the important work of the 2015 Advanced Reactors Technical Summit II at UMass Lowell and the inaugural 2014 Special Technical Symposium at Argonne National Laboratory, the Technical Summit III will continue the discussion on approaches for improving the cost and deployment time frame of advanced reactors. Specifically the Summit III will engage in a discussion of common ground practical ideas and concepts that have the potential of significantly accelerating advanced reactor design, deployment, and operations. The Technical Summit III features the leading advanced reactor concepts as well as key thought and policy leaders.  Speakers will include NRC Commissioner William Ostroff and DOE’s John Kotek, among many others.

House Science to Look at Regulations – The full House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at last-year regulations examining executive branch overreach.  Witnesses will include Karen Kerrigan of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Bosworth Air Conditioning President Jerry Bosworth, ASE’s Kateri Callahan and Sam Batkins of the American Action Forum.

House Approps Starts Budget Process with NRC Commissioners – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies will hold a budget hearing on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Witnesses include all the commissioners and Chairman Burns.

Senate Environment to Look at WRDA Reform – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing on Wednesday looking at enacting a new Water Resources Development Act. Witnesses for the hearing will include Bob Portiss, port director for the Tulsa, Okla., Port of Catoosa and several others.

Coalition Start Effort to Boost Community Storage – NRECA, NRDC, the Peak Load Management Association, Great River Energy and The Brattle Group host a call Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. to discuss new research on the economic and environmental benefits of a novel approach to demand response and energy storage, dubbed “community storage.”  The press call will feature a new report about community storage programs and technologies.  The group will also announce the launch of “Community Storage Initiative” and release of new research from The Brattle Group on how residential water heaters can serve as energy storage devices to benefit electric customers and the grid.

Climate Legal Battle Roundtable on Tap – On Wednesday, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy holds a discussion on combating climate change in the courts at the National Press Club.  Speakers will include RI Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, NRDC co-founder Richard Ayres, former EPA GC Roger Martella, Bordas & Bordas partner Sharon Eubanks (lead counsel for the U.S. in United States v. Phillip Morris), L former EPA counsel Lisa Heinzerling and more.

Forum to Look at Paris Outcome – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing on Wednesday in G50 Dirksen discussing the climate deal that came out of the 2015 Paris climate change conference, as well as what lies ahead for the 185 countries that pledged to reduce their emissions.  The discussion will focus on what commitments countries have made in the international deal on climate, and what the deal will mean for emission levels and the climate.  Speakers for this forum are State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment Dan Reifsnyder, Bruno Fulda of the Embassy of France and Georg Maue of the Embassy of Germany.

GWU Forum to Feature Scarlett, Boots – On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in GWU’s Jack Morton Auditorium, the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration and School of Media & Public Affairs will hold a discussion of climate change moderated by Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs and the creator and host of Planet Forward, a user-driven web and television project that highlights innovations in sustainability.  The centrist discussion, “Finding Common Ground: Climate Solutions for the Next Administration,” will feature former Bush Interior official Lynn Scarlett (now at The Nature Conservancy) and CEQ head Mike Boots.

ACCO to Talk with Better Buildings Director – The Association of Climate Change Officers will hold a roundtable on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.  with Maria Vargas. Vargas is the Director of the Better Buildings Challenge at the Department of Energy. The goal of the Better Buildings Challenge is to make American buildings 20 percent more efficient by 2020. This leadership initiative involves chief executive officers, University presidents and state and local leaders that have committed to upgrading buildings across their portfolio and providing their energy savings data and strategies as models for others to follow.

RFF/EPRI to Look at GHG Modeling – Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will hold a Seminar Breakfast on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. looking at Clean Power Plan Strategic Modeling.  Industry leaders, policymakers, and the public still have questions about how the Clean Power Plan will impact the mix of power generation, the interconnected grid, cross-state electricity markets, and how consumers use electricity. New modeling results from researchers at Resources for the Future and the Electric Power Research Institute provide strategic insight into these questions and more. This event is the second in RFF and EPRI’s 2016 Clean Power Plan series. Watch the video from the first event, where experts discussed formal comments to EPA on the federal plan and trading rules.

House Ag to Host McCarthy on Rural Economy – The House Agriculture Committee will hold a public hearing on Thursday to consider the impacts of EPA’s actions on the rural economy featuring Gina McCarthy.  McCarthy will be called on to explain her agency’s decisions and discuss with members of Congress how we might work together to ensure that future actions by the EPA do not harm American agriculture.

JHU to Host Energy Expert on Low Oil Prices – On Thursday at 12:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University will host a conversation with energy expert J. Robinson West.  West is a senior adviser with CSIS’ Energy and National Security Program. The former chairman of PFC Energy, he has advised chief executives of leading national and international oil and gas companies on corporate strategy, portfolio management, acquisitions, divestitures and investor relations.  West founded PFC Energy in 1984 and built it into a global consulting firm staffed with 130 professionals specializing in the oil and gas industries.

CAP Forum to Discuss Global Food Security – The Center for American Progress will host a panel discussion on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. at the National Press Club with leading voices at the forefront of the global conversation on food security.  They will also release the findings and recommendations of a new report “Food Chain Reaction: A Global Food Security Game.”  The event will feature keynote remarks from CAP Chairman Senator Tom Daschle and an expert panel moderated by Bloomberg News food security reporter Alan Bjerga.  Panelists include an international set of Food Chain Reaction participants, including Cargill Economist Tim Bodin, World Wildlife Fund Senior Vice President for Agriculture David McLaughlin, Vice President of Public Affairs for Mars Incorporated Matthias Berninger, EMBRAPA Labex-USA Coordinator Geraldo Martha, and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Senior Fellow Nutan Kaushik.  Panelists will discuss the role public- and private-sector stakeholders need to play as population grows, standards of living rise, and the need to produce more food presents new demands on global leaders and our planet.

RESCHEDULED – SEJ, Wilson to Look at 2016 Enviro Issues – On Thursday at 3:00 p.m., the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Environmental Change and Security Program at Wilson will hold its 4th annual “Year Ahead in Environment and Energy” event, where leading reporters and editors will discuss the critical issues that will shape 2016. Jessica Coomes, deputy news director at Bloomberg BNA, will present Bloomberg BNA’s Environment Outlook 2016, followed by a panel discussion featuring leading journalists.  A reception sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, Resource Media, Environmental Law Institute, Bloomberg BNA, and the Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program will follow.  Speakers will include HuffPost’s Laura Barron-Lopez, SEJ President Jeff Burnside, former LA Times reporter Marla Cone (now at National Geographic), Bloomberg BNA’s Jessica Coomes, Chris Mooney of the Washington Post, E&E News Manuel Quinones, BNA’s Dean Scott and  former BaltSun reporter (now at Chesapeake Bay Journal) Tim Wheeler.

RESCHEDULED: SAFE Forum to Look at Iran, Saudi Arabia Conflict – Securing America’s Future Energy and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) Capitol Hill lunch event has been rescheduled for Friday at 10:00 a.m.  The event will discuss the rising tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and U.S. energy and national security interests in the region and feature  SAFE Energy Security Leadership Council member General Charles F. Wald (U.S. Air Force, Ret.), former NSC head John Hannah, former National Economic Council official Bob McNally and FP Correspondent Indira Lakshmanan.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

NE ISO Chief to Address Dinner – Next Tuesday evening, February 16th, the National Capitol Area of the US Assn Of Energy Economists will host its annual dinner featuring a presentation by Gordon van Welie of ISO-New England on balancing clean energy integration with reliable and competitive power markets.  van Welie is president and chief executive officer of ISO New England Inc., having previously served at Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution LLC, where he served as vice president and general manager of the Power Systems Control Division and was responsible for managing information technology solutions for electric companies.

CSIS to Look at Oil Markets for 2016 – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a public session on Wednesday February 17th at 10:00 a.m. to preview what 2016 may look like and the state of the oil market. The panel will discuss updated forecasts of supply and demand, the outlook for U.S. unconventionals production, and the implications for the midstream and refining sector. A month into the new year, oil and gas markets, companies, and lenders are off to a turbulent start, in many ways continuing trends from over the past 18 months. Despite the risk of supply disruptions around the globe and the most recent uptick in oil prices, resilient production, especially from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Iraq, combined with the reentry of Iranian volumes, a strong dollar, abundant inventories, and the uncertainty surrounding new demand growth are likely to sustain low prices well into this year.  Speakers will include EIA’s Howard Gruenspecht and several others.

Forum to Look at Climate Innovation, Partnerships – On Thursday, February 18th at 9:00 a.m., the Wilson Center will hold a forum on Innovation in solving climate goals.  Debra Knopman and Zhimin Mao from RAND will discuss how RAND has worked with the Guangdong Provincial Department of Housing and Rural Development since 2011 to develop a system of quality of life indicators and identify policy options to advance sustainability in the Pearl River Delta region. Mark Ginsberg, Senior Fellow at U.S. Green Building Council and Principal of Ginsberg Green Strategies, will discuss how various LEED certification and scoring mechanisms are helping Chinese cities and professionals better measure and manage buildings and other urban systems. Abby Watrous, Senior ORISE Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), will discuss how DOE is working with the China Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to deploy low-carbon development policy and planning tools for cities across China.

CSIS Hears BP Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a presentation on Thursday February 18th at 10:30 a.m. of the BP Energy Outlook – 2016 Edition with Spencer Dale , Group Chief Economist with BP p.l.c. The BP Energy Outlook attempts to describe the “most likely” trajectory of the global energy system – based upon assumptions around economic and population growth as well as developments in policy and technology – as well as examining key uncertainties. Questions to be addressed in the 2016 edition include: what factors will shape energy markets over the next 20 years? What impact would a slowdown in global economic growth have on energy demand? How could agreements reached at COP21 affect energy consumption?

Forum to Look at Low Oil Price Impacts – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center will hold a discussion on Friday February 19th at 12:30 p.m. the impact of low oil prices on economic and political stability in Latin America. The collapse in crude oil prices since mid-2014 has shaken the foundation of global energy markets, with far-reaching economic implications in Latin America. Today, governments across the region face fiscal constraints, market upheaval, challenges to longstanding fuel subsidy programs, and lagging economic growth. Some are adapting creatively, while others are not. With this volatile landscape as a backdrop, panelists will address the following questions about impacts of the low-price environment.

Forum to Look at Enviro Justice Issues in GHG Plan – On February 22, at 3:00 p.m., the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is rescheduling its GHG briefing cancelled by the January snow storm.  The forum will be a webinar and discuss how environmental justice (EJ) is addressed through EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  The panel will explore how incorporating environmental justice concerns into the Clean Power Plan’s implementation can impact vulnerable communities.  Speakers for this forum include EPA Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Environmental Justice Mustafa Ali.

IEA Medium-Term Oil Report Released – On Wednesday, February 24th at 1:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Keisuke Sadamori, Director of the Office for Energy Markets and Security with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to present the IEA’s 2016 Medium-Term Oil Market Report (MTOMR). Our friend Kevin Book, Managing Director with ClearView Energy Partners LLC, and Senior Associate with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will moderate the discussion.

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of January 11

Friends,

Tough lead today with the loss of the innovative and iconic rock legend David Bowie who passed away last night after an 18-month battle with cancer.   Ground control to Major Tom, your circuits dead, there’s something wrong…Can you hear me Major Tom???

The loss is especially difficult for those who have followed Bowie through his Changes that crossed generational and economic spectrums.  Only if We could steal time…Just for one day.  Either way, there’s a Starman waiting in the sky.

All the way from Washington, You want the Young Americans to say the energy week starts with the President’s final  State of the Union address tomorrow night.  We expect a heavy dose of general platitudes and self-congrats on the Paris agreement and the domestic implementation piece: the Administration’s GHG rules.  We don’t expect a lot of specific policy focus in spite of having a solar advocates sitting with the first lady in the President’s box.

Congress also joins the fight with action this week with a more Congressional Review Act action focused on limiting EPA’s controversial and currently blocked-by-the-court Waters of the United States rule.  The House will take up the STREAM Act which .Finally, if you follow energy efficiency (as I SO do) a House Energy panel will look at legislation that will redefine certain energy efficiency rules for DOE.  Tomorrow, the House Science Committee will mark up bipartisan legislation intended to boost public and private research on advanced nuclear reactor technologies.

The biggest event this week is the US Chamber’s annual “State of American Business” address on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. featuring  Chamber President Tom Donohue perspective/policies on the economy and energy issues.  Wednesday has three great events with WCEE looking at hydraulic fracturing (in light of last week’s SAB draft report), our friend Sam Thernstrom’s  Energy Innovation Reform Project briefing/discussion of the future of nuclear power and the World Resources Institute’s 2016 Stories to Watch.  Finally, Thursday, Bloomberg First-Word Energy editor Mark Drajem joins BGov analysts Loren Duggan, Adam Schank and Danielle Parnass for a free webinar tackling key energy issues and other questions.

Remember to mark your calendars for next week’s USEA 12th annual State of Energy event on Thursday, January 21st and Friday’s annual SEJ/Wilson Center forum on environment and energy stories for 2016.  And remember just three weeks to the Greenest Show on Grass: The Waste Management Phoenix Open, a PGA event which always includes a great environmental policy forum.

Finally, in case you missed it last week, we are resending our top issue for 2016 for your review.  Tell us you thoughts are let us know what issues we may have missed.

Enjoy tonight’s big game…let’s hope it’s as exciting as the Valero Alamo Bowl, perhaps the only really fun game of a drab Bowl season.   Perhaps more fun:  Watching hockey given Washington Capital Alex Ovechkin hit the 500 goal mark (in just 801 games) yesterday against Ottawa.

We can beat them, forever and ever…  We can be heroes, just for one day.   Don’t forget the National Press Club Event on Paris and utilities with Tom Friedman, Tom Kuhn, and SAFE’s Robbie Diamond starting right about now.  As usual, call with questions…

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Journal Study Says Climate Could Limit Water Use at Power Plants – A new study from an Austrian research center says climate change could lead to significant declines in electricity production in coming decades as water resources are disrupted.  Hydropower stations and thermoelectric plants, which depend on water to generate energy, together contribute about 98% of the world’s electricity production, said the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.  Shifts in water temperatures, or the availability of fresh water due to climate change, could lead to reductions in electricity production capacity in more than two thirds of the world’s power plants between 2040 and 2069.

House Moves on Regulation Reforms – With regulations a major focus in the President’s last year in office, the House passed legislation aimed at reducing unnecessary and burdensome regulations.  The bill would establish the Retrospective Regulatory Review Commission, a group that would review federal regulations, especially those with an estimated annual cost of $100 million or more, and advise Congress on the potential repeal of regulations that have excessive costs and place unnecessary burdens on those regulated. Smith said the outsized growth of burdensome regulations has created the need for a special group to study regulatory reductions that “make government smaller, more efficient, and accountable” to its citizens. The vote was 245 to 174.

SAB Questions Continue – The EPA’s Science Advisory Board criticized its conclusion that there’s no evidence the gas drilling leaves “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water,” saying it didn’t reflect noted “uncertainties and data limitations.”  The SAB released 133-page draft report late last week that said the EPA’s previous report could be improved.   The report questions the “clarity and adequacy” of the EPA draft report and says EPA “needs to do a better job of recognizing the importance of local impacts” from fracking.  SAB cites Dimock, Pavilion and Parker County as examples where the local community makes claims regarding localized impacts.  Finally, with respect to the “no widespread, systemic” language, SAB said the phrase “does not reflect the uncertainties and data limitations” that is well expressed elsewhere in the EPA draft report.

Segal Challenges SAB Approach – My Bracewell & Giuliani colleague Scott Segal, who testified before the SAB and has decades of experience representing a number of oil and gas producers, said as someone who participated in the SAB process, “I can confirm that reviewers were presented with no new information that challenges the finding in the EPA draft report of no ‘widespread’ or ‘systemic’ contamination resulting from natural gas development.  The SAB panel did hear a parade of anecdotal statements, many of which came from plaintiffs in active litigation.  By contrast, the SAB panel had before it conclusions from the National Academy of Sciences, the US Geological Survey, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, MIT, GAO, the Groundwater Protection Council, and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission – all largely supportive of the claim that contamination is neither widespread or systemic, just as EPA’s Draft Assessment found.  The experts at EPA’s Office of Research and Development should not let largely discredited, anecdotal or litigation-inspired evidence stand in the way of conclusions based on scientific consensus.”

Top 10 Issues In 2016

  • We’ll Always Have Paris – In December, nations agreed to a next step climate approach.  While hailed as a breakthrough, it is clearly not the historic agreement many advocates had hoped for.  In fact, it appears to be another incremental step that is much less bold and demanding than they would ever have found remotely acceptable.  Nobody is really bound to anything other than to keep trying and reviewing their progress every five years, with no prescribed penalties for missing them.   How this plays out this year globally will determine whether this is a turning point or the same old, same old.  Another test for the Administration’s position will be regarding the funding requests for the UN’s Green Climate Fund. While Congress has already hit the funding several times, it remains controversial especially as the developing world waits to be “Shown the Money” following Paris.
  • Legal Eagles for CPP Year – The linchpin to meeting Paris and addressing climate change for the Administration is centered around its Clean Power Plan, which regulates GHGs and requires existing power plants to slash their carbon emissions by 2030. Almost 30 states and a wide array of industry groups have challenged the rule, claiming EPA doesn’t have the legal authority to enact it.  Arguments will center around the contention that Congress never gave EPA the authority to encourage emission control methods outside the fence line of a power plant, such as forcing increased renewables.  They will also challenge regulating power plants under Section 111(d) after they already regulated them under Section 112, which covers hazardous air pollutants.  Also look for Rural Co-ops to weigh heavily in to the legal battle as they have a very strong case for being aggrieved the most by the rules.  Lots to do on this with key dates set for early this year and folks like my colleague Jeff Holmstead ready to discuss at any point.
  • Politics All The Time – As we progress through 2016, we will be under a full slate of political action starting this month in Iowa where the first-in-the-nation votes are well underway.  This year-long sweep will keep a target on the back of candidates, parties, Congress and President Obama for every little political move and its meaning.  It also will likely clear the Congressional schedule some time around mid-March or April to focus on theme legislating and political campaigning – always a dangerous time for both Congress and the Administration.    Who is standing at the end of the day on November 2nd remains a mystery, today but the road will be loud, twisting and bumpy.
  • Regs, Regs and More Regs – It is 2016…the last year of President Obama’s time in office.  And like with any end of a second-term President, expect a full regulatory dump.  While most are looking at gun safety, e-cigarettes and other social regs, the energy and enviro side will see the same barrage.  Already, DOE is pounding the pavement to rush out over 20-plus efficiency regulations that will tie appliance and HVAC industries in knots trying to comply.  Other key regulations like Methane from gas drilling, Federal land fracturing regs, tougher Ozone rules, a battle of EPA Water of the US rules and more individual climate rules will all be a part of the year-long sweep.   Many industry and regulatory watchdogs are on guard, but the sheer volume of the effort masked in the President election may allow some to side through.
  • Expanding the Innovation Agenda – Last year was a great year for the innovation agenda.  It picked up extra steam not only in our national labs but also with private companies investing millions in the effort.  Southern Company was the prime example promoting several bold and innovative individual  technologies like carbon capture, large-scale biomass and new generation nuclear.  They also started an innovation center to house the creative outcomes of its workforce.  We also saw its emergence on the global scene in the Breakthrough Coalition led by Bill Gates and the govt-to-govt “Mission Innovation” initiative.  Only a bold private-public innovation/technology partnership process like this by world and business leaders can achieve success.
  • Ozon‘ing Out – The Ozone/NAAQS instantly become one of the biggest political and policy fights of 2015 when the White House/EPA announced it would roll out a standard at 70 ppb.  Last year we predicted that the  Administration had only so much political capital at its disposal and it made clear that controlling greenhouse gases is its legacy issue.  Given the state and industry pushback and the symbolic Keystone victory the White House gave to enviros, the Administration clearly didn’t have the bandwidth to sustain a tougher ozone rule, especially as we venture into an election year.  There is no doubt that many in Congress and the states will still say the current EPA plan is unrealistic and enviros have already filed suited calling for 60 ppb.  Just before Christmas both sides hammered EPA with lawsuits.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and NAM are the loudest industry voices complaining that imposing new standards make no sense when many communities haven’t even complied with previous ozone reduction levels.  This battle will play out in the election year where state and local officials end up playing an oversized role since  they are impacted the most.
  • RFS, Ethanol: Same Old Sad Song – The disaster known as the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) continued last year with EPA finalizing its long-awaited rule in early December.  The original law establishing the RFS set in place an increasing level of use for ethanol expressed in terms of actual volume numbers.  As time has gone by, however, the actual total gasoline fuel pool has declined due to more efficient autos, more mass transit, and even electric cars.  As a result, the volume number – if EPA fails to adjust it downward – will exceed 10% by volume of gasoline.  But above that level, autos have significant performance issues.  The ethanol folks want the continued higher growth; fuel makers and consumers are queasy about the higher numbers.  There is little environmental case for higher ethanol use any more, especially as commercial   second-gen biofuels remain elusive.  Indeed, major enviro groups like EWG have produced studies showing the higher levels are actually worse for carbon emissions when the ethanol lifecycle is taken into account. It is likely the RFS won’t be repealed, but a wholesale revision is closer to a reality that ever.  Now, Congress will be expected to once again roll up its sleeves on a bipartisan basis and amend the law to a more functioning workable approach.
  • Crude exports, Iran: Catching the Garbage Truck? – The year–end budget deal achieved a goal of many in the oil industry and Congress to remove the decades-old ban of crude exports.  Going forward with market prices low and the world supply broad, there is some question as to how this policy will impact the markets going forward.  2016 will be a key year to see how this plays out.  Another warning sign is the role Iran will play as it comes off sanctions and moves to place it oil into the marketplace.
  • Renewable Reset – The year-end tax/budget deal also renewed the PTC/ITC for five years even though it will eventually phaseout.  The move was a long-standing wish for the renewable industry which has struggled to survive the boom and bust cycles of Congressional budget battles holding the tax credit hostage over the years.  One need only look at AWEA’s graphs charting the installation numbers to understand why the long-term approach will help Installation despite stiff competition from low natgas prices.  2016 looks to be a strong year for renewables especially in light of the Administration efforts to push utility switches with its GHG regs.  It remains an uncertain question though as to whether folks will build more renewables though because of other factors like costs, local NIMBY opposition, state regulatory woes or infrastructure challenges.   Certainly, the technologies are bursting onto the scene in the developing world where China and India (and many others) are already building a number of projects with infrastructure and without opponents at every turn.
  • Build It…Infrastructure – Our continued failure to seriously invest in our transportation and energy infrastructure is costing us jobs and putting our global competitiveness at risk.  Today, we are producing more oil, natural gas and renewable energy than ever before, yet we cannot get that energy efficiently to where it is needed because of we lack the transmission lines, pipelines, roads, rail, trucks, and ships that can move it .  Not investing in our outdated infrastructure will stifle our energy growth, leave us vulnerable to supply disruptions, and weaken our energy security.   Industry trade associations and DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review underscored this challenge.  Yet at the same time, the Keystone opponents were handed a symbolic, but important victory on the most high-profile infrastructure project in 2015.  Expect a reinvigorated attack in 2016 on energy projects and infrastructure, using Keystone as the template.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Detroit Auto Show Set to Go – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) starts today and runs through January 24th in the Motor City.  The official press conference schedule for the 2016 NAIAS begins with Press Preview today and tomorrow. With more than 5,000 credentialed journalists from 60+ countries expected to attend the upcoming show, automakers and suppliers exhibiting at NAIAS garner considerably greater global visibility and impact when compared to other domestic shows.  The 2016 NAIAS Press Conference Schedule is available on the NAIAS website under the main Press tab.  In its 28th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.

Press Club to Host Forum on Paris Utility Impacts – Today at 2:30 p.m., the National Press Club will host a discussion on the impact of the Paris accord on Electric Utilities with NYT Columnist Tom Friedman in the First Amendment Lounge.   Friedman will lead a panel discussion on the impact of the recent UN Climate Conference in Paris and what it will mean for the U.S. Electric Utility industry and their customers. The panel will includes EEI’s Tom Kuhn, Larry Kellerman of 21st Century Utilities LLC,  former Florida PSC Chair Joe Garcia and Robbie Diamond, the founder of an energy non-profit SAFE.

House Energy to look at Efficiency Legislation – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the External Powers Supplies (EPS) Act of 2016.  This legislation would exempt certain lighting technologies from the definition of “External Power Supplies” included in the Department of Energy’s EPS efficiency standard, which was finalized in 2014. Relief is necessary as the requirements of DOE’s final rule go into effect in February of 2016.  Witnesses will include the National Electrical Manufacturers Association member Pekka Hakkarainen and ACEEE’s Jennifer Amann.

Blood Oil Author to Be Featured – Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., the Center for Global Development will hold a book forum on Blood Oil with author Leif Wenar.  All of the recent reforms around extractives—from transparency to certification to oil-to-cash—point toward the modern idea that the people, not power, should have the ultimate right to control a country’s resources. Can the US lead the West toward the next global revolution, by abolishing its legal trade in authoritarian oil and conflict minerals.

State Of The Union Address –Tomorrow at 9:00 p.m., President Obama will present his final State of the Union Address before Congress.

Stories to Watch 2016 – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at the National Press Club,
the World Resources Institute will present the big stories that will shape the world in 2016.
WRI President Andrew Steer will look at the Paris Agreement, major trends in energy, finance, business, food and cities and many other items.

Nuclear Forum to Look at Future Action – The Center for the National Interest and the Energy Innovation Reform Project will hold a briefing and luncheon discussion of the future of nuclear power on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. The meeting is the first in a new series of programs on nuclear energy and will feature remarks by John Kotek, Acting Assistant Secretary of Energy for Nuclear Energy.  The combination of innovative energy technologies with energy and climate change policies in the United States and other leading energy producers and consumers has produced turmoil in international energy markets as well as in domestic markets in many countries. This event will have two components, a briefing on new nuclear technologies-including small modular reactors-from and a lunch discussion of the Obama administration’s efforts to promote nuclear innovation featuring Samuel Thernstrom, EIRP Executive Director.

CAP to Look at Paris, Climate Finance – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Center for American Progress will host a discussion on the future of climate finance in the Paris era. Specific issues will include the influence of multilateral climate funds in the global economy; how developed countries, such as the United States and Japan, can cooperate and improve resilience in the most vulnerable regions; and how countries and multilateral efforts can work with the private sector.  Featured panelists include Global Environment Facility (GEF) CEO Naoko Ishi and Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy and Environment of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Board Member of the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

UC-Davis Forum to Look at Freight System Efficiency – The National Center for Sustainable Transportation at UC-Davis hosts a briefing Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in B-369 Rayburn looking at increasing the efficiency and economic competitiveness of the nation’s freight system.

Cato Forum Look at Book on Oil –
On Wednesday at Noon, the Cato Institute
will host a Book Forum in its Hayek Auditorium
on “Blood Oil” featuring the author Leif Wenar of King’s College London, Bruce W. Jentleson of Duke University and Cato’s Ian Vásquez. The benefits from development and global connectedness — in which we are all inescapably complicit — have been huge. However, the natural resources that enabled that development also benefited people who systematically made the lives of others desperate and miserable, fueled violent conflicts, and funded many of the world’s autocracies.

This cycle continues today, but there is hope. In his book, Blood Oil, Leif Wenar explores this great moral challenge of our time, and “shows how citizens, consumers, and leaders can act today to avert tomorrow’s crises — and how we can together create a more united human future.”

Wenar, the chair of philosophy and law at King’s College London, has written a timely and provocative book.

WCEE to Continue at NatGas Drilling Series – On Wednesday at 12:00 p.m., the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host its third in a series of Lunch & Learn seminars looking at the topic of hydraulic fracturing. Part 3 of the series will focus on induced seismicity, which are the earthquakes associated with energy development, particularly in the states of Kansas and Oklahoma. 

This event will have an in-person option; and for those unable to attend, a webinar option.  Speakers will include Julie Shemeta, President and Founder of MEQ Geo, an independent micro-seismic consulting company based in Denver, Co. She has experience with conventional and unconventional oil development, geothermal energy and mining and has worked on projects in North America, Australia, India, Argentina, Columbia, Germany and Mexico. Julie was one of eleven authors of the National Academies National Research Council’s 2012 Study, Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies.  Also speaking will be Rex Buchannan, Interim Director of the Kansas Geological Survey. He was appointed Interim Director in 2010 and has been with the Survey since 1978. In this role, he also chairs the Kansas Taskforce on Induced Seismicity. In addition, Mr. Buchannan serves as Secretary of the American Association of State Geologists and has been a past Chair of the Geology and Public Policy Committee of the Geological Society of America.

NAS to Host Arctic Sessions – On Thursday, the National Academy of Sciences Polar Research Board will host a series of lively, public-friendly presentations from top scientists and other experts who study the connections between Arctic-region changes and impacts that can affect people and places around the globe. Attendees can also explore a series of interactive exhibits and displays.  The event is free and open to the public. Some of the topics/speakers at this event will include:
 Permafrost carbon: a climate change amplifier by Max Holmes of  Woods Hole Research Center; The Polar vortex: Impacts of arctic warming on the weather where we live with
Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University; Plants and animals: How arctic warming can affect global ecological dynamics
by Natalie Boelman of the  Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Sea level rise from the loss of polar ice
 featuring  Penn State’s Richard Alley; the Arctic Ocean implications of the shrinking polar ice cap
by US Navy Admiral Jonathan White and Arctic as a new frontier for sustainable development
by Gwen Holdmann of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power.

World Bank Transpo Conference Set – The World Bank and EMBARQ, the urban mobility initiative of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities will hold its annual Transforming Transportation conference Thursday and Friday.  The event convenes leading transport and urban development experts from national and local governments, multilateral development banks, foundations, civil society, research institutions, and businesses from around the world. At Transforming Transportation, they share the latest experiences, information, and best practices around sustainable transport.  More information at www.TransformingTransportation.org.

Wilson Forum to Look at Security, Disasters, Climate – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a discussion of whole-of-government interventions to reduce climate change vulnerability. The panelists will discuss opportunities to increase collaboration across U.S. agencies and what role can disaster risk management play in building stability.

U.S. Chamber State of American Business on Thursday – The U.S. Chamber will host its annual “State of American Business” address and press conference on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 9:30 a.m. at the Chamber’s HQ. The Chamber’s Tom Donohue will provide the business community’s perspective on how the economy and country are doing, and he will lay out the organization’s key policy priorities, including on energy issues.

BGov to Look at Lame Duck 2016 – Bloomberg Government analysts and First Word Editor Mark Drajem will conduct a webinar at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday to provide a deep-dive discussion in these key policy areas: tax overhaul, energy and health care. The webinar will answer what House Speaker Paul Ryan’s chances are of making meaningful headway on simplifying the tax code, the likelihood of enacting legislation on climate change, renewable fuel standards and exports of U.S. shale gas, as well as expected action on Obamacare.

ASE to Host Congressional Briefing on Cutting Edge Technologies, Businesses – On Thursday at Noon, the Alliance to Save Energy will host a Congressional Briefing on Cutting Edge Technologies and Businesses: Opening the Door for Energy Efficiency Deployment at Scale. This event will focus on technologies, systems efficiency, and the keys to bringing energy efficiency to scale in the built environment.  The purpose of the briefing is to educate and engage congressional staff and energy efficiency professionals on the work and progress being done in this area, while also discussing solutions and best practices that can help further advance energy efficiency in the built environment.

Forum to Look at G20, Green Finance – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
will look at public policy and private institutional innovations for a more sustainable global financial system. A new report from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), The Financial System We Need, captures this momentum to harness the world’s financial system for the transition to a low-carbon, green economy.  Following the launch in 2015 of the Sustainable Development Goals, along with the successful Paris climate agreement, 2016 looks set to be the ‘year of green finance,’ focusing on the operational measures needed to mobilize the trillions of dollars required for the transition. Spearheading this movement, China intends to place a special focus on green finance in 2016 under its G20 presidency. The United States now has an historic opportunity to advance leadership on green finance internationally, as well as to scale-up domestic innovations already in place.  Participants will include former IMF director John Lipsky, Carnegie’s David Livingston, former Obama NSC official Michelle Patron and Jay Shambaugh, current member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Washington Auto Show Sets Policy Bar Green Car Journal has announced finalists for the 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ and 2016 Connected Green Car of the Year™ awards that will be presented at the 2016 Washington Auto Show on January 21. Focused on aspirational vehicles with exceptional green credentials, nominees for 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ include the BMW X5 xDrive40e, Lexus RX 450h, Mercedes-Benz C350e, Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, and Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV. Vying for the all-new 2016 Connected Green Car of the Year™ award are the Audi A3 e-tron, BMW 330e, Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Toyota Prius, and Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV.  Finalists previously announced for the 2016 Green SUV of the Year™ award that will also be presented at The Washington Auto Show® are the BMW X1 xDrive 28i, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-3 and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.  The 2016 Green Car Awards recognize vehicles that exhibit laudable environmental achievement. Along with improved environmental performance, traditional buyer touchstones like functionality, safety, quality, value, and performance are also considered. Affordability and availability are important to ensure honored models are accessible to a wide range of buyers. Honoring continual environmental improvement places emphasis on new vehicles and those in the very early stages of their model lifecycle. The Connected Green Car of the Year™ award considers these elements plus the integration of connected technologies that enhance efficiency, safety, and the driving experience.

Food, Energy, Water Conference Set – Next week, the Food-Energy-Water Nexus conference will be held at the Hyatt at Reagan National Airport.  The conference will feature 1,200 other leaders in science, technology, government, business, civil society, and education to create strategies and initiatives that transform ideas into action.

Senate Energy to Look at Energy Markets – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing next Tuesday to examine the near-term outlook for energy and commodity markets.

Senate Energy to Look at Auto Tech innovations – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday January 21st to examine the status of innovative technologies within the automotive industry.

USEA Hosts State of Energy Forum – The US Energy Assn will host its 12th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum on Thursday, January 21st at Noon in the National Press Club.  Senior leaders from the energy industry’s major trade associations will provide their outlook and overview of their priorities for 2016.  Speakers will include NEI’s Marvin Fertel, API’s Jack Gerard, APPA’s Susan Kelly, EEI’s Tom Kuhn, AGA’s Dave McCurdy, NMA’s Hal Quinn, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, AFPM’s Chet Thompson and INGAA’s Don Santa among others.

Forum to Look at African Energy Finance – On Thursday afternoon, January 21st  the US Africa Chamber of Commerce will hold a forum on the future of energy investment in Africa. The event will explore a variety of deep-dive topics related to energy investment and development in Africa, and will host attendance from both major players in various energy markets on the continent, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) currently operating within the energy sector in Africa and the U.S. See below for the panel schedule.

SEJ, Wilson to Look at 2016 Enviro Issues – On Friday, January 22nd at 3:00 p.m., the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Environmental Change and Security Program at Wilson will hold its fourth annual “Year Ahead in Environment and Energy” event, where leading reporters and editors will discuss the critical issues that will shape 2016. Jessica Coomes, deputy news director at Bloomberg BNA, will present Bloomberg BNA’s Environment Outlook 2016, followed by a panel discussion featuring leading journalists from National Geographic, Huffington Post, Bloomberg BNA, Environment & Energy Daily, and more to be confirmed.  Speakers will Include our friends Meaghan Parker, Jeff  Burnside and Doug Fischer.

CSIS to Host Infrastructure Discussion – On Wednesday, January 27th, CSIS will hold an expert panel discussion on meeting infrastructure demands around the world. According to the World Bank’s Global Infrastructure Facility, the unmet demand for infrastructure around the world is estimated to be above $1 trillion per year. Meeting the financing need for bankable and sustainable projects must be a priority, for both governments and the private sector, in the coming decades. In addition to financing needs, donors and the private sector must work together to build capacity and provide technical assistance that will ensure continued success long after the individual projects have been completed. Panelists will discuss ways in which infrastructure can become a driver of development and stability, and how targeted investments in smart projects and capacity building can produce measurable results to pave the way for sustainable economic growth in low and middle-income countries.

Greenest Show on Grass: Waste Management Phoenix Open – February 1st through 7th, Waste Management will host its annual PGA tour event at the Phoenix Open in Arizona.  Waste Management has been a partner of the Phoenix Open for 15 years, and is dedicated to making the Open the greenest tournament on the PGA TOUR. The tournament has also become a major platform for Waste Management Think Green solutions, including the Four Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle and recover.  As a regular part of the event, WM is hosting its 6th annual Executive Sustainability Forum which provides a platform to discuss how and why the circular economy is fractured.  The event will identify collective challenges, and approaches to overcoming these challenges through collaboration along the value chain.  Speakers will include WM CEO David Steiner, our friend Dana Perino, NYT’s John Tierney  and Bloomberg View’s Adam Minter, among many others.

Sustainability Forum Set at GMU – Leaders in Energy, Association of Energy Engineers – National Capital Chapter, and George Mason University will hold an Energy and Sustainability Extravaganza on its GMU Arlington campus on February 5th.

Energy Update: Week of January 4

Friends,

Welcome to 2016!!!!  I hope you were able to enjoy a few days over the holidays to relax.  It sure seemed like it as the traffic was non-existent over the past two weeks.

2016 Looks to be a promising year for political banter so I will just mention it and remind you that we will be on top of it for you.  To that end, as usual, I am forwarding a few of the top issues we expect to see in 2016 in our energy and environment arena.  As you may recall last year, I had the top 15 for 15, but this year, I am just returning to a David Letterman-like Top 10 now that he has retired.

Looking forward, the 50th Super Bowl (Super Bowl L) plays on February 7th in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and Coldplay will be on the halftime docket.   This year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs should be entertaining and as a hockey fan generally who happened to live in the Washington area, I am excited and intrigued by the Washington Capitals this year.  I know, it is only January and I still will take the Red Wings, but I am excited about the possibility of a long DC playoff run.

2016 also brings the Summer Olympics in Rio.  Already we’ve heard about the environmental problems, traffic woes and many other challenges to pulling this off – especially a developing economy country, but it is important to mark on the Calendar as there is always so much great fanfare and human interest at the Olympic Games.

In the concert scene, 2016 appears to see more resurgence from long-time hard rock acts as AC/DC, Tool, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard (w Styx), Megadeth (w Suicidal Tendencies) and Disturbed all will be on the road in the first half of this year.  We’ll keep you posted.

And as you review key 2015 energy, don’t overlook two important sleeper successes that will have lasting impacts:

Hot Water Heater Victory – In April Congress passed legislation to stop rules that would have blocked the use of grid-enabled water heaters. These are crucial to demand-response levers, loved by both utilities and energy conservation advocates. However, DOE’s planned new standards would have  banned their manufacture. Rather than an another top-down mandate, this legislation showed progress can be made when Congress, the president, industry and environmental groups work together.
Global HFC Deal – Before Paris, nations across the globe came together to limit hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, a greenhouse gas several times more potent than carbon dioxide. The agreement builds on the successful legacy of the Montreal Protocol, which has resulted in a 97% reduction in the production of ozone-depleting substances. The signatories have now agreed to work in 2016 to include HFC refrigerants under the purview of the treaty, and set a schedule to phase down the worldwide use of these refrigerants. The HFC reductions could have far more impact that the UN’s Paris climate agreement on cutting the release of compounds blamed for the Earth’s warming.

There are a few great event this week starting tomorrow when WCEE hosts Gina McCarthy for a breakfast chat at the Cosmos Club and API holds its annual State of the Energy Industry event featuring CEO Jack Gerard at the Reagan Trade Center.  Finally, mark next week’s launch of the world-renowned Detroit Auto Show, a Monday afternoon National Press Club discussion on the impact of the Paris accord on Electric Utilities with NYT Columnist Tom Friedman, EEI’s Tom Kuhn and SAFE’s Robbie Diamond and next Tuesday’s State of the Union Address as key events.

As usual, call with questions…and on to the Top 10!!!

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932
Top 10 Issues In 2016

  • We’ll Always Have Paris – In December, nations agreed to a next step climate approach.  While hailed as a breakthrough, it is clearly not the historic agreement many advocates had hoped for.  In fact, it appears to be another incremental step that is much less bold and demanding than they would ever have found remotely acceptable.  Nobody is really bound to anything other than to keep trying and reviewing their progress every five years, with no prescribed penalties for missing them.   How this plays out this year globally will determine whether this is a turning point or the same old, same old.  Another test for the Administration’s position will be regarding the funding requests for the UN’s Green Climate Fund. While Congress has already hit the funding several times, it remains controversial especially as the developing world waits to be “Shown the Money” following Paris.
  • Legal Eagles for CPP Year – The linchpin to meeting Paris and addressing climate change for the Administration is centered around its Clean Power Plan, which regulates GHGs and requires existing power plants to slash their carbon emissions by 2030. Almost 30 states and a wide array of industry groups have challenged the rule, claiming EPA doesn’t have the legal authority to enact it.  Arguments will center around the contention that Congress never gave EPA the authority to encourage emission control methods outside the fence line of a power plant, such as forcing increased renewables.  They will also challenge regulating power plants under Section 111(d) after they already regulated them under Section 112, which covers hazardous air pollutants.  Also look for Rural Co-ops to weigh heavily in to the legal battle as they have a very strong case for being aggrieved the most by the rules.  Lots to do on this with key dates set for early this year and folks like my colleague Jeff Holmstead ready to discuss at any point.
  • Politics All The Time – As we progress through 2016, we will be under a full slate of political action starting this month in Iowa where the first-in-the-nation votes are well underway.  This year-long sweep will keep a target on the back of candidates, parties, Congress and President Obama for every little political move and its meaning.  It also will likely clear the Congressional schedule some time around mid-March or April to focus on theme legislating and political campaigning – always a dangerous time for both Congress and the Administration.    Who is standing at the end of the day on November 2nd remains a mystery, today but the road will be loud, twisting and bumpy.
  • Regs, Regs and More Regs – It is 2016…the last year of President Obama’s time in office.  And like with any end of a second-term President, expect a full regulatory dump.  While most are looking at gun safety, e-cigarettes and other social regs, the energy and enviro side will see the same barrage.  Already, DOE is pounding the pavement to rush out over 20-plus efficiency regulations that will tie appliance and HVAC industries in knots trying to comply.  Other key regulations like Methane from gas drilling, Federal land fracturing regs, tougher Ozone rules, a battle of EPA Water of the US rules and more individual climate rules will all be a part of the year-long sweep.   Many industry and regulatory watchdogs are on guard, but the sheer volume of the effort masked in the President election may allow some to side through.
  • Expanding the Innovation Agenda – Last year was a great year for the innovation agenda.  It picked up extra steam not only in our national labs but also with private companies investing millions in the effort.  Southern Company was the prime example promoting several bold and innovative individual  technologies like carbon capture, large-scale biomass and new generation nuclear.  They also started an innovation center to house the creative outcomes of its workforce.  We also saw its emergence on the global scene in the Breakthrough Coalition led by Bill Gates and the govt-to-govt “Mission Innovation” initiative.  Only a bold private-public innovation/technology partnership process like this by world and business leaders can achieve success.
  • Ozon‘ing Out – The Ozone/NAAQS instantly become one of the biggest political and policy fights of 2015 when the White House/EPA announced it would roll out a standard at 70 ppb.  Last year we predicted that the  Administration had only so much political capital at its disposal and it made clear that controlling greenhouse gases is its legacy issue.  Given the state and industry pushback and the symbolic Keystone victory the White House gave to enviros, the Administration clearly didn’t have the bandwidth to sustain a tougher ozone rule, especially as we venture into an election year.  There is no doubt that many in Congress and the states will still say the current EPA plan is unrealistic and enviros have already filed suited calling for 60 ppb.  Just before Christmas both sides hammered EPA with lawsuits.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and NAM are the loudest industry voices complaining that imposing new standards make no sense when many communities haven’t even complied with previous ozone reduction levels.  This battle will play out in the election year where state and local officials end up playing an oversized role since  they are impacted the most.
  • RFS, Ethanol: Same Old Sad Song – The disaster known as the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) continued last year with EPA finalizing its long-awaited rule in early December.  The original law establishing the RFS set in place an increasing level of use for ethanol expressed in terms of actual volume numbers.  As time has gone by, however, the actual total gasoline fuel pool has declined due to more efficient autos, more mass transit, and even electric cars.  As a result, the volume number – if EPA fails to adjust it downward – will exceed 10% by volume of gasoline.  But above that level, autos have significant performance issues.  The ethanol folks want the continued higher growth; fuel makers and consumers are queasy about the higher numbers.  There is little environmental case for higher ethanol use any more, especially as commercial   second-gen biofuels remain elusive.  Indeed, major enviro groups like EWG have produced studies showing the higher levels are actually worse for carbon emissions when the ethanol lifecycle is taken into account. It is likely the RFS won’t be repealed, but a wholesale revision is closer to a reality that ever.  Now, Congress will be expected to once again roll up its sleeves on a bipartisan basis and amend the law to a more functioning workable approach.
  • Crude exports, Iran: Catching the Garbage Truck? – The year–end budget deal achieved a goal of many in the oil industry and Congress to remove the decades-old ban of crude exports.  Going forward with market prices low and the world supply broad, there is some question as to how this policy will impact the markets going forward.  2016 will be a key year to see how this plays out.  Another warning sign is the role Iran will play as it comes off sanctions and moves to place it oil into the marketplace.
  • Renewable Reset – The year-end tax/budget deal also renewed the PTC/ITC for five years even though it will eventually phaseout.  The move was a long-standing wish for the renewable industry which has struggled to survive the boom and bust cycles of Congressional budget battles holding the tax credit hostage over the years.  One need only look at AWEA’s graphs charting the installation numbers to understand why the long-term approach will help Installation despite stiff competition from low natgas prices.  2016 looks to be a strong year for renewables especially in light of the Administration efforts to push utility switches with its GHG regs.  It remains an uncertain question though as to whether folks will build more renewables though because of other factors like costs, local NIMBY opposition, state regulatory woes or infrastructure challenges.   Certainly, the technologies are bursting onto the scene in the developing world where China and India (and many others) are already building a number of projects with infrastructure and without opponents at every turn.
  • Build It…Infrastructure – Our continued failure to seriously invest in our transportation and energy infrastructure is costing us jobs and putting our global competitiveness at risk.  Today, we are producing more oil, natural gas and renewable energy than ever before, yet we cannot get that energy efficiently to where it is needed because of we lack the transmission lines, pipelines, roads, rail, trucks, and ships that can move it .  Not investing in our outdated infrastructure will stifle our energy growth, leave us vulnerable to supply disruptions, and weaken our energy security.   Industry trade associations and DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review underscored this challenge.  Yet at the same time, the Keystone opponents were handed a symbolic, but important victory on the most high-profile infrastructure project in 2015.  Expect a reinvigorated attack in 2016 on energy projects and infrastructure, using Keystone as the template.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

WCEE to Host EPA’s McCarthy – Tomorrow morning, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a Leadership Breakfast with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy at the Cosmos Club.  McCarthy will share her insights about her path to leadership and remark on recent policy events in the field of energy and the environment including the Clean Power Plan and COP21.

API State of Energy Set – API will host its annual State of Energy event tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building Atrium Ballroom featuring API head Jack Gerard.  The event will kick off America’s energy policy discussion ahead of the critical 2016 elections.   In order to take best advantage of America’s tremendous energy potential, API will continue to keep the national energy conversation focused on the facts for the public and for lawmakers, both current and prospective.

WCEE To Host Planning Session for Event Agenda – On Wednesday at Noon, WCEE will holds its 4th annual “Brainstorming” event at Exponent (1150 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 1100).  As the new year kicks off, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment would also like to kick off planning for 2016, brainstorming about the topics for WCEE’s coming year’s “Lunch & Learn” (brown-bag) events.

CSIS To Look at Paris
Agreement – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday looking at the Paris Agreement reached at the 21st Conference of Parties meeting under the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (COP21). To help understand what the new climate agreement means for future U.S. and international efforts to combat climate change, Paul Bodnar, Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change at the White House’s National Security Council will discuss what the agreement entails and what actions the U.S. government and the international community are likely to focus on in the coming years.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Detroit Auto Show Set to Go – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) run from January 11th to 24th in the Motor City.  The official press conference schedule for the 2016 NAIAS begins with Press Preview, Jan. 11-12. With more than 5,000 credentialed journalists from 60+ countries expected to attend the upcoming show, automakers and suppliers exhibiting at NAIAS garner considerably greater global visibility and impact when compared to other domestic shows.  The 2016 NAIAS Press Conference Schedule is available on the NAIAS website under the main Press tab.  In its 28th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.

Press Club to Host Forum on Paris Utility Impacts – Next Monday at 2:30 p.m., the National Press Club will host a discussion on the impact of the Paris accord on Electric Utilities with NYT Columnist Tom Friedman in the First Amendment Lounge.   Friedman will lead a panel discussion on the impact of the recent UN Climate Conference in Paris and what it will mean for the U.S. Electric Utility industry and their customers. The panel will includes EEI’s Tom Kuhn, Larry Kellerman of 21st Century Utilities LLC,  former Florida PSC Chair Joe Garcia and Robbie Diamond, the founder of an energy non-profit SAFE.

BPC to Host Allowance Forum on GHG Rules – The Bipartisan Policy Center
will host a discussion next Monday looking at the allowance allocations in the Administration’s GHG rules.   BPC will introduce some of the key issues related to allocation. Through moderated discussion, panelists will explore options for distributing allowances, lessons learned from past policy experience, the implications of electricity market structure, and the expected impacts on companies and customers. Panelists will weigh the benefits of a simple allocation approach versus a more complex design, including how allocation might attempt to address leakage of emissions to non-covered sources and the potential for disproportionate impacts on communities, companies, and/or industries.  Participants will be announced.

State Of The Union Address – Next Tuesday, January 12th at 9:00 p.m., President Obama will hold his final State of the Union Address before Congress.

Stories to Watch 2016 – On Wednesday, January 13th at 9:00 a.m. at the National Press Club,
the World Resources Institute will present the big stories that will shape the world in 2016.
WRI President Andrew Steer will look at the Paris Agreement, major trends in energy, finance, business, food and cities and many other items.

Cato Forum Look at Book on Oil –
On Wednesday, January 13th at Noon, the Cato Institute
will host a Book Forum in its Hayek Auditorium
on “Blood Oil” featuring the author Leif Wenar of King’s College London, Bruce W. Jentleson of Duke University and Cato’s Ian Vásquez. The benefits from development and global connectedness — in which we are all inescapably complicit — have been huge. However, the natural resources that enabled that development also benefited people who systematically made the lives of others desperate and miserable, fueled violent conflicts, and funded many of the world’s autocracies.

This cycle continues today, but there is hope. In his book, Blood Oil, Leif Wenar explores this great moral challenge of our time, and “shows how citizens, consumers, and leaders can act today to avert tomorrow’s crises — and how we can together create a more united human future.”

Wenar, the chair of philosophy and law at King’s College London, has written a timely and provocative book.

WCEE to Continue at NatGas Drilling Series – On Wednesday, January 13th at 12:00 p.m., the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host its third in a series of Lunch & Learn seminars looking at the topic of hydraulic fracturing. Part 3 of the series will focus on induced seismicity, which are the earthquakes associated with energy development, particularly in the states of Kansas and Oklahoma. 

This event will have an in-person option; and for those unable to attend, a webinar option.  Speakers will include Julie Shemeta, President and Founder of MEQ Geo, an independent micro-seismic consulting company based in Denver, Co. She has experience with conventional and unconventional oil development, geothermal energy and mining and has worked on projects in North America, Australia, India, Argentina, Columbia, Germany and Mexico. Julie was one of eleven authors of the National Academies National Research Council’s 2012 Study, Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies. 

Also speaking will be Rex Buchannan, Interim Director of the Kansas Geological Survey. He was appointed Interim Director in 2010 and has been with the Survey since 1978. In this role, he also chairs the Kansas Taskforce on Induced Seismicity. In addition, Mr. Buchannan serves as Secretary of the American Association of State Geologists and has been a past Chair of the Geology and Public Policy Committee of the Geological Society of America.

NAS to Host Arctic Sessions – On Thursday, January 14th, National Academy of Sciences Polar Research Board will host a series of lively, public-friendly presentations from top scientists and other experts who study the connections between Arctic-region changes and impacts that can affect people and places around the globe. Attendees can also explore a series of interactive exhibits and displays.  The event is free and open to the public. Some of the topics/speakers at this event will include:
 Permafrost carbon: a climate change amplifier
by Max Holmes of  Woods Hole Research Center; The Polar vortex: Impacts of arctic warming on the weather where we live with
Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University; Plants and animals: How arctic warming can affect global ecological dynamics
by Natalie Boelman of the  Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Sea level rise from the loss of polar ice
 featuring  Penn State’s Richard Alley; the Arctic Ocean implications of the shrinking polar ice cap
by US Navy Admiral Jonathan White and Arctic as a new frontier for sustainable development
by Gwen Holdmann of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power.

ASE to Host Congressional Briefing on Cutting Edge Technologies, Businesses – On Thursday, January 14th at Noon, the Alliance to Save Energy will host a Congressional Briefing on Cutting Edge Technologies and Businesses: Opening the Door for Energy Efficiency Deployment at Scale. This event will focus on technologies, systems efficiency, and the keys to bringing energy efficiency to scale in the built environment.  The purpose of the briefing is to educate and engage congressional staff and energy efficiency professionals on the work and progress being done in this area, while also discussing solutions and best practices that can help further advance energy efficiency in the built environment.

Forum to Look at G20, Green Finance – On Friday, January 15th at 10:00 a.m., the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
will look at public policy and private institutional innovations for a more sustainable global financial system. A new report from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), The Financial System We Need, captures this momentum to harness the world’s financial system for the transition to a low-carbon, green economy.  Following the launch in 2015 of the Sustainable Development Goals, along with the successful Paris climate agreement, 2016 looks set to be the ‘year of green finance,’ focusing on the operational measures needed to mobilize the trillions of dollars required for the transition. Spearheading this movement, China intends to place a special focus on green finance in 2016 under its G20 presidency. The United States now has an historic opportunity to advance leadership on green finance internationally, as well as to scale-up domestic innovations already in place.  Participants will include former IMF director John Lipsky, Carnegie’s David Livingston, former Obama NSC official Michelle Patron and Jay Shambaugh, current member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Washington Auto Show Sets Policy Bar Green Car Journal has announced finalists for the 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ and 2016 Connected Green Car of the Year™ awards that will be presented at the 2016 Washington Auto Show on January 21. Focused on aspirational vehicles with exceptional green credentials, nominees for 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ include the BMW X5 xDrive40e, Lexus RX 450h, Mercedes-Benz C350e, Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, and Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV. Vying for the all-new 2016 Connected Green Car of the Year™ award are the Audi A3 e-tron, BMW 330e, Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Toyota Prius, and Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV.  Finalists previously announced for the 2016 Green SUV of the Year™ award that will also be presented at The Washington Auto Show® are the BMW X1 xDrive 28i, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-3 and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.  The 2016 Green Car Awards recognize vehicles that exhibit laudable environmental achievement. Along with improved environmental performance, traditional buyer touchstones like functionality, safety, quality, value, and performance are also considered. Affordability and availability are important to ensure honored models are accessible to a wide range of buyers. Honoring continual environmental improvement places emphasis on new vehicles and those in the very early stages of their model lifecycle. The Connected Green Car of the Year™ award considers these elements plus the integration of connected technologies that enhance efficiency, safety, and the driving experience.

Energy Update: Week of November 2

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

THANKSGIVING – November 26

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of October 26

Friends,

 

Last week ended with a bang with the publication of the EPA GHG rule regulating power plants.  And I didn’t really event get to celebrate “Back to the Future” Day Thursday (10/21/2015) because we were so busy with GHGs, ozone and other things. Below you’ll see a full recap of the late-week action including statements from States suing over the GHG rule and a bunch of industry comments.

 

Speaking of industry, if you just missed the industry legal experts discussions of the petitions challenging the new EPA GHG rule, let us know and we can get you connected to get you questions/concerns addressed.

 

On the Hill, we get a vote for the new House Speaker, but also the start of Congressional Action on challenging the GHG rule.  While success on that review is unlikely, it will continue the On-going discussion of the challenges facing states, communities and industries.  If you are looking for a good read on some of the challenges being created by the new GHG rules, take a look at this weekend’s Washington Post piece on the dilemma facing rural cooperatives.

 

Finally, with Halloween set for Saturday, I am preparing to launch my annual flavored pumpkin seed effort.  Besides the old standby flavors, I’m trying to think of something clever this year for the palate.   Send me your ideas!!!

 

Call with questions…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

THE BIG NEWS

 

GHG Rule Finally Published – EPA’s power plant carbon rules were published in the Federal Register last Friday. The publication opens up a 60-day window for states and companies opposed to the rule to file lawsuits in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  The Clean Power Plan, covering existing power plants, is available here. The rule for new, modified and reconstructed power plants is here . And the proposed federal implementation plan, set for finalization next year, is available here.

 

Delays Delays – It was speculated that the Administration might try to delay the rule from its August 3rd date to prevent challenges from emerging before the UN Climate conference in Paris.   Below is a chart that details the last six major EPA rules proposed in 2015 (and the 2011 MATS Rule for good measure).  You can see that the average for most rules is 27 days.  This rule took 81 days.  The MATS rule, another controversial rule that eventually was overturned by the Supreme Court was 57 days, double the regular average.

 

 

AGs File Suit Immediately – WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is leading a coalition of 23 other States in a lawsuit asking a federal court to strike down the EPA’s GHG rule for Power plants.  MORRISEY: “The Clean Power Plan is one of the most far-reaching energy regulations in this nation’s history,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “West Virginia is proud to be leading the charge against this Administration’s blatant and unprecedented attack.  EPA claims to have sweeping power to enact such regulations based on a rarely-used provision of the Clean Air Act but such legal authority simply does not exist,” Morrisey said.

What Did the AGs Do? – They filed a Petition for Review Friday morning and the Stay Motions Friday afternoon in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  In the filing, the States argue the Rule is illegal and will have devastating impacts upon the States and their citizens.   The Section 111(d) rule exceeds EPA’s authority by unlawfully forcing States to fundamentally alter state resource-planning and energy policy by shifting from coal-fired generation to other sources of power generation, with a significant emphasis on renewable sources. The Rule is also illegal because it seeks to require States to regulate coal-fired power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, even though EPA already regulates those same plants under Section 112 of the Act.

Who are the States? – The States challenging the Rule include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming, the Arizona Corporations Commission and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. The states of Oklahoma and North Dakota filed their own challenges.

The Petition – You can see a copy of the Petition for Review can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1jYApFR

 

The Usual Suspects – EPA has states siding with them too.  15 states are supporting the rule and you won’t be surprised by most.  The states include New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York.

 

Congressional Action Up First – House Energy and Commerce Committee Energy Panel chair Ed Whitfield said Friday he would advance Congressional Review Act resolutions to formally disapprove of the rules.  Also Friday, Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY), along with Sens. Capito (R-WV), Manchin (D-WV), and Heitkamp (D-ND), introduced the Senate counterpart.  The Capito/Heitkamp press statement is here:  http://www.wvva.com/story/30335275/2015/10/23/senator-capito-to-introduce-resolution-to-overturn-epas-clean-power-plan

 

ICYMI:  A Round Up of Statements – In case you missed it, here is a round of some industry Statements on the action:

 

PBEF Statement – The Partnership for A Better Energy Future offer the following remarks regarding the publication of EPA’s Clean Power Plan in the Federal Register.  The rule has taken 81 days to be published, 54 days longer than the average of the previous six major EPA rules released in 2015.  (their average was 27 days): “This regulation will be exceptionally difficult for our States and businesses to meet.  It is why half of the States and their legal officers are already raising concerns about this rule that will  increase energy prices and threaten electric reliability. PBEF members are committed to being responsible stewards of our environment, leading the way in that effort, and we know we have all options on the table, including legal action, to prevent EPA’s regulatory power grab from taking effect.  As dozens of states and numerous other stakeholders know firsthand, the EPA’s effort to shut down existing power plants will drive up energy prices for businesses and consumers alike.  It will inflict significant damage to our entire economy and reduce our nation’s global competitiveness without any significant reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.

 

US Chamber – “The EPA’s rule is unlawful and a bad deal for America. It will drive up electricity costs for businesses, consumers and families, impose tens of billions in annual compliance costs, and reduce our nation’s global competitiveness—without any significant reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “According to EPA’s own predictions, if this rule is allowed to go into effect on EPA’s schedule, numerous electricity plants will be forced to shut down within the next year, causing job losses in communities throughout the country. Not only are these regulations bad for our economy, they also represent a massive executive power grab. EPA completely bypassed the legislative branch, basing its 2,000-page rule on roughly 300 words in the Clean Air Act and including a host of policies that have already been considered and rejected by Congress.”

 

National Assn of Manufacturers – NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly issued the following statement announcing the Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action’s (MCLA) challenge to the Administration’s Clean Power Plan:  “This regulation unlawfully exceeds the EPA’s authority, proposing a seismic change to the power industry and our national economy. The NAM filed hundreds of pages of comments with the EPA seeking to improve the proposed rule; these comments were largely ignored, leaving manufacturers no choice but to seek judicial intervention.  Manufacturers need abundant and reliable supplies of energy and reasonable and predictable policies that allow for continued investment and growth. This plan restricts resources and reduces reliability, while setting a dangerous precedent for future regulation of other sectors. Manufacturers can’t sit by while this Administration makes it increasingly difficult to make things and create jobs in the United States, especially at a time when the regulatory weight borne by manufacturers is heavier than ever. Manufacturers have been and remain committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, manufacturers have made great strides, lowering emissions by more than 10 percent since 2005. Unfortunately, this regulation disregards basic economic realities and clear limits established by Congress to the EPA’s authority.  Manufacturers will continue to be responsible stewards of our environment and will continue to lead in reducing emissions. With reasonable policies that allow for growth and innovation, we will continue developing solutions to tackle our biggest environmental challenges, but this approach is not the answer.”

 

National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said the EPA is doing “an end-run around Congress by imposing in the form of regulation a law that the legislative branch of government has already expressly rejected,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center.  “This is a crystal clear violation of the constitutional separation of powers.”   NFIB research shows that the cost of electricity is already a top concern among small business owners across the country.  “Small businesses will be squeezed between higher direct expenses and lower consumer demand resulting from higher home electric bills,” said Harned.  “Everyone remembers the effect that high gasoline prices had on the economy.  This will have a similar effect except that it will be permanent.  The EPA has dramatically overstepped its authority here and the consequences for the economy will be just as dramatic, especially for small businesses.”

 

American Iron & Steel Institute – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI: “This rule puts the affordability of electricity for steel producers at serious risk.  The leading states for iron and steel production in the U.S. are heavily dependent on coal for electricity production.  This rule will have a disproportionate impact on steel states and hinder economic growth for steel producers.” Gibson said that the new regulations could cause nationwide electricity prices to increase between six and seven percent. He said this electricity economic impact will be exacerbated for the steel industry due to the regional differences in current fuel mix and the cost to switch to other fuels for the generation of electricity.  He also noted that utilities that serve the steel industry have raised concerns that the rule could also have negative impacts on reliability.  He added, “These new regulations put steel producers in the U.S. at a disadvantage against competitors in other nations that generally have higher rates of greenhouse gas emissions, and many of which benefit from subsidized energy costs. This would have a devastating impact on the steel industry and our workers.” Gibson said the litigation focuses on the fact that the new rule exceeds the established bounds of EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and sweeps virtually all aspects of electricity production within EPA’s control.  The court challenge also points out that new bureaucracies would be created as states and industries would have to overhaul the power sector, including passing new laws to ensure the permitting, construction, and funding of EPA’s preferred power sources and shutting down existing disfavored plants.   AISI and other associations last year submitted joint comments to the EPA indicating the new regulations could severely harm the international competitiveness of energy-intensive, trade-exposed U.S. industries.

 

Wood, Paper Products Manufacturers – American Wood Council (AWC) President and CEO Robert Glowinski and American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman have issued the following statements after signing onto a joint petition for review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Clean Power Plan in the D.C. Circuit Court.   Glowinski, President and CEO, AWC: “EPA has overreached with its Clean Power Plan in how it seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Despite claims of flexibility, EPA has actually limited the types of renewable energy states can use, which includes our industry’s production and use of biomass energy. AWC joins this litigation in order to ensure continued use of renewable energy and to support states’ ability, as some have already done, to fully recognize biomass energy as a critical component of clean power.”  Donna Harman, President and CEO, AF&PA: “Energy is an essential element for paper and wood products manufacturing. We are concerned that this final rule will threaten availability of affordable electricity and reliability of the electricity grid system. AF&PA joins this litigation to protect the global competitiveness of our industry, which is among the top 10 manufacturing employers in 47 states. We hope the court will grant our requested stay while these serious legal challenges are heard.”

 

American Petrochemical & Fuel Manufacturers (AFPM) – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) President Chet Thompson commented on the rule and the precedent that it sets: “EPA’s Clean Power Plan stands unparalleled in its legal overreach and effect on the U.S. economy. The agency has veered from its statutory authority in an attempt to control electricity production by forcing the use of more expensive energy sources in the United States. Allowing this rule to stand, will cause irreparable injury and substantial harm to U.S. manufacturing and energy infrastructure, and ultimately the public by way of higher electricity costs and a less reliable grid.”

 

National Rural Electric Cooperative Assn (NRECA) — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today petitioned the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan.  “This rule goes far beyond what the Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to do and will challenge our nation’s electric system,” said Debbie Wing, NRECA director of media relations. “These complicated regulations will force cooperatives to close power plants, which are producing affordable electricity for consumers who were counting on them for decades to come. Co-op consumer-members will be saddled with higher energy bills as a result of this regulatory over-reach. Therefore, we have asked the court to intervene and recognize the lack of legal authority behind the EPA’s regulation.” Thirty-seven generation and transmission cooperatives from across the country joined NRECA in the legal filings.

 

Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC) – ERCC Director Scott Segal, said the final version of the Clean Power Plan appeared in the Federal Register after a delay of some 81 days since it was signed and announced with much fanfare by the EPA Administrator. Segal call it an unprecedented delay that is either indicative of major flaws that needed to be corrected in the final rule or an attempt to avoid the imposition of a judicial stay while U.S. diplomats are in Paris for the next major climate conference. In any event, the publication delay is about three times longer than other major EPA rules finalized in 2015. Segal: “It is now indisputable that one of the farthest reaching, most legally tenuous, and least cost-effective rules ever dreamed up by a federal agency can finally be challenged in court and under the Congressional Review Act.  The rule is based on a legally untenable theory that, contrary to forty years of precedent, EPA may regulate a sector by forcing investment in other, unrelated businesses or competing technologies completely outside of its facilities. In effect, EPA is simply mandating the shutdown of many coal-fired power plants throughout the country and ordering that wind and solar plants be built to take their place. If the rule stands, it will expand EPA authority over the states and the regulated community in ways that Congress never intended. In total, there are probably a dozen legal arguments likely to be raised by states, the regulated community, and even some environmental groups in subsequent litigation.”  Segal said the rule is a prime target to be set aside by the courts or the Congress.  Aside from weak legal support, the rule is costly and undermines electric reliability.   Segal also said the purported health benefits of the rule have been exposed as double counting of benefits the Agency has previously attributed to other rules.  And recent Supreme Court decisions show a marked willingness to revisit legal theories that EPA has previously claimed as a basis for deference.

 

National Mining Assn – In order to prevent significant and imminent harm to scores of states’ economies and millions of consumers nationwide, the National Mining Association (NMA) today asked a federal court to stay the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) controversial Clean Power Plan until legal challenges to the rule are resolved.   NMA’s filing in D.C. Circuit Court, together with similar filings from states all over the nation and business interests, confirms the growing concern with the immediate economic consequences of EPA’s plan to transform the nation’s electric grid. The rule’s publication in the Federal Register today formally sets in motion a protracted process for legal challenges to the rule.  “We are today asking the court to weigh carefully the far-reaching harm this rule will inflict immediately, well in advance of its effective date,” said NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn. “The immediacy of substantial harm from this power plant rule is plain from EPA’s own data that show it will cause more than 200 coal-fired power plants to close before courts have time to decide the legality of the rule.”  EPA’s 2012 mercury rule was a bad omen of pain to come, said Quinn. “What happened with EPA’s mercury rule cannot be repeated. That costly regulation resulted in far greater closure of power plants than EPA anticipated, and was promulgated, as was this rule, with cavalier disregard for its probable costs to the economy.”  While that rule was ultimately found unlawful due to EPA’s failure to consider costs, the damage it imposed to the grid and the economy cannot be undone.

 

American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) – Mike Duncan, president and CEO of ACCCE said: “With this action, EPA is finally opening the floodgates for litigation against its deeply flawed, illegal carbon rule. Officials preparing for the upcoming climate change talks in Paris should take note of the widespread opposition from policymakers and elected officials across the Unites States who are working overtime to protect their constituents, state economies and the nation as a whole from the President’s reckless pursuit of his climate legacy. We are hopeful they will be successful and that the courts act quickly and decisively to quash this illegal rule.”

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

ACI Report Features First-Ever “Critical Issue” Assessment for Cleaning Products Industry – The American Cleaning Institute released its new Sustainability Report, which contains our first-ever “materiality assessment” that maps the critical risks and opportunities facing the U.S. cleaning product value chain, including key energy and environmental metrics. The materiality assessment, conducted by sustainability analytics firm Framework LLC, identifies and characterizes those issues that are most material across ACI’s membership and to the industry at large. Companies committed to sustainability have increasingly informed their strategies and reporting by conducting such analyses, but the ACI assessment is among the first across the value chain of an entire industry sector. In 2014, 33 ACI member companies, including cleaning product makers and upstream ingredient suppliers, contributed environmental metrics data for ACI’s Sustainability Metrics Program. The program captured sustainability performance for 17.3 million metric tons of cleaning product-related production, and its results are detailed in the 2015 Report.

 

EPA Ozone Rules Set for Today – EPA’s controversial Ozone rule will be published in Monday’s Federal Register, according to a pre-publication notice out today.  The new standard of 70 parts per billion is stricter than 75 ppb standard the George W. Bush administration set in 2008, but it’s far laxer than the 60 ppb standard environmental and public health groups advocated for.  The subject was the major topic at the House Science Committee last Thursday where my colleague Jeff Holmstead testified.  Holmstead said the rule could end industrial development in many parts of the country  argued the areas of the country that would be out of compliance when the standards come into effect between 2020 and 2037 would not be able to allow any new businesses, such as factories, that may cause ozone emissions.  He said the costs of the regulation will be passed down to consumers because many of the cheap options for reducing ozone already have been done

 

Chamber: EPA Ozone Regs Could Threaten DFW Area Transportation Projects –speaking of ozone, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy continued its analysis of the impact of the Obama administration’s proposed ozone regulations with a snapshot look at the Dallas-Fort Worth region.  The Energy Institute’s Grinding to a Halt series explains how Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to tighten ozone standards could impact critical transportation projects nationwide. In the Dallas-Fort Worth region, state and local governments are working to address stifling traffic congestion through plans that include $40 billion for construction and expansion of freeways to accommodate additional vehicle capacity and population growth. But many projects that are part of those plans—such as the I-820 Loop Southeast Reconstruction project between Fort Worth and Arlington—could be threatened by EPA’s recently tightened standard.  Under the Clean Air Act, the federal government is authorized to withhold transportation funding and halt permitting for highway and transit projects in regions unable to demonstrate compliance with emissions rules. The Dallas-Fort Worth region is among many areas in Texas and across the country expected to have great difficulty complying. Previous Energy Institute reports identified challenges in the Washington, DC, Las Vegas and Denver regions.

 

Report: US Top 5 Country for New Solar Module Manufacturing – GTM Research released a new report, the Global PV Manufacturing Attractiveness Index 2015, or PVMAX, which ranks the world’s most attractive countries in which to manufacture solar PV modules. Perhaps most surprisingly, the PVMAX finds that the United States is the world’s fifth-most attractive module manufacturing country.  The global PV module market is facing a looming supply crunch, and manufacturers have taken notice. According to GTM Research, 6.6 gigawatts of new module manufacturing capacity have been contracted through the first nine months of this year, all of it in countries outside of China. Despite these planned plants, the global market may face a supply shortage over the next two years as demand grows.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Catholic U to Hold Discussion on Pope, Environment – The Catholic University of America, in conjunction with the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, will host a daylong conference today examining Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’s recent encyclical on the environment.   The conference, “Laudato Si’and the Protection of ‘Our Common Home’: Faith and Science in Conversation,” will take place in Heritage Hall of Father O’Connell Hall. The conference will include lectures by Catholic University faculty members from the fields of theology, business and economics, architecture, and philosophy, as well as invited experts on environmental science and domestic social policy. Topics discussed will include Catholic social teaching, the current scientific understanding of climate change, human responsibility for the natural world, and solidarity within the human community.

 

Solar Workshops Set – The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will host the first of 2 upcoming workshops on solar energy for the DMV local and regional businesses today at 10:00 a.m. The goal of these sessions is to convene stakeholders to discuss resources, opportunities, and barriers for commercial projects in the solar market. Invited participants include local government clean energy program representatives, experts from the DOE SunShot Initiative, building owners and commercial business leaders.

 

Forum to Feature World Bank Economist – The Johns Hopkins University will host a forum today at 12:30 p.m. featuring Anne Fay, Chief Economist at the World Bank.  As the threat of global climate change continues to develop, environmental and sustainability concerns will increasingly play key roles in the direction of infrastructure development and of economic growth in general. Fay will speak on the topic of de-carbonizing development. Her presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.

 

USAEE/IAEE North American Energy Conference – Today through Wednesday in Pittsburgh, the US Association for Energy Economics will hold a conference  featuring high-level business, government and academic opinion shapers exploring today’s dynamic energy landscape. Speakers include Don Santa, President and CEO, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, US Energy Information Administrator Adam Sieminski, Guy Caruso, Senior Advisor, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS and Edward Morse Managing Director, Citigroup. John Kingston, President of the McGraw-Hill Financial Global Institute and former director of news for Platts  to receive IAEE Journalism Award.  For full conference details check @usenergyecon or #USAEE2015

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Renewables in Developing World – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., the Wilson Center is hosting a forum on scaling up renewables in the developing world.  The forum will be a day-long exploration of the innovative tools being harnessed by the public and private sectors to scale up renewable energy in the developing world.  Speakers will also explore how renewable energy will help countries meet the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and support their climate change commitments.  They include Sen. Ed Markey, US AID’s Eric Postel, EEI’s David Owens and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Ethan Zindler.

 

BPC Looks at Nuclear Waste – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Nuclear Waste Council will hold a discussion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the challenges and solutions to America’s nuclear waste management, as well as the next steps to be taken by the Nuclear Waste Council to bring this conversation to implementation.  The panel was designed to reinvigorate and expand the discussion on nuclear waste, identify barriers prohibiting progress on storage and disposal of the waste, and explore options to create a viable national strategy for its long-term and safe disposition.  Over the past 18 months, the council has traveled across the country to discuss nuclear waste issues with industry and community leaders, and recently published a series of issue briefs outlining findings from those meetings and updating the state of play on storage, transportation and other topics.

 

NYU Energy Conference Set –The NYU Law School’s Institute for Policy Integrity will hold its 7th annual fall conference on energy policy in NYC.  The event will feature noted experts from government, the private sector, and academia will discuss what to expect as the energy landscape evolves.

 

Members to Launch Congressional Battery Caucus – Reps. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.) will officially kick off the Congressional Battery Energy Storage Caucus tomorrow afternoon, during an event featuring the Energy Storage Association and representatives of storage companies.  The caucus will be “dedicated to advancing understanding of how energy storage systems are enabling American businesses and homeowners to better access reliable, affordable, and sustainable electric power

 

Spectra Exec to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host William Yardley, president of Spectra Energy’s U.S. transmission business, as guest speaker at tomorrow’s luncheon.  Yardley will speak about the benefits of natural gas, and the important role of pipelines and related infrastructure in addressing energy security, economic and environmental policy challenges facing our nation.  He leads the business development, project execution, operations and environment, health and safety efforts associated with Spectra Energy’s U.S. portfolio of natural gas transmission and storage businesses.

 

Gibson to Headline Climate Focus – The Friends Committee on National Legislation, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, RepublicEN and the American Security Project hosts a briefing tomorrow at 12:00 noon in B340 Rayburn that highlights solutions to mitigate climate change and adapt to its consequences that are already being implemented by members of the business, national security, and faith communities.  The briefing will create awareness of the risks and opportunities that climate change offers to business, national security, and faith communities, and hopes to inspire bipartisan cooperation in Congress to catalyze solutions.  Among the speakers will be Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY).

 

Library of Congress Forum to Feature China Energy Policy Discussion – Tomorrow at Noon, The Library of Congress will host Noon – 1:00 p.m. Joanna Lewis in the Thomas Jefferson Building’s Asian Reading Room. Lewis, a professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, will give a lecture on “Chinese Energy Policy.”

 

Brookings to Look at Renewables in Germany – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host a discussion on renewable energy transitions in Germany and Japan as a follow-up to a policy brief released on this issue last September. Agora Energiewende Director Patrick Graichen and Yu Nagatomi, a researcher with the Power Market Study Group at the Institute of Energy Economics in Japan, will provide initial remarks. ESCI Nonresident Senior Fellow John P. Banks will join in the discussion.

 

Georgetown Expert to Discuss at European Energy – JHU will host a forum tomorrow evening looking at European Energy issues. JHU’s European and Eurasian Studies Program’s Distinguished Lecture Series host a lecture by Dr. Brenda Shaffer of Georgetown University on “Europe’s Energy Security.”

 

McConnell to Headline FOIA Group Gala – The Energy & Environment Legal Institute will hold a gala with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tomorrow evening.  McConnell will receive the group’s 2015 Champion of Free Market Environmentalism Award Recipient.  The Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) is a 501(c)(3) organization engaged in strategic litigation, policy research, and public education on important energy and environmental issues.  Primarily through its strategic litigation efforts, E&E Legal seeks to address and correct onerous federal and state governmental actions that negatively impact energy and the environment.

 

Stimson to Host Nuclear Summit – The Stimson Center will host a panel on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. on opportunities for incentives such as insurance, finance and limited liability to reduce nuclear risk while providing a return on investment to operators.  As the Nuclear Security Summit series draws to a close, the prospects dim for development of binding nuclear security standards to assure future safe, secure industry expansion. With DOE/NNSA’s Anne Harrington as the keynote and some key stakeholders participating, this event will explore the role that voluntary consensus standards could play in the nuclear industry, with a focus on cyber security and other areas of overlap between safety and security. To what extent could reputational risk, liability protections, insurance and nuclear project financing be used to marshal scarce resources and motivate voluntary implementation of additional security measures based on standards?

 

House Panel takes up Low-level Nuke Waste – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking at low-level radioactive waste disposal issues.  DOE’s Mark Whitney and NRC’s Michael Weber will testify, along with Organization of Agreement States Director Jennifer Opila, Leigh Ing, of the Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission and Aiken, SC Councilmember Chuck Smith.

 

Marshall Islands Minister to Discuss Climate – The American Security Project (ASP) will host a forum Wednesday at noon with Tony de Brum, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. He will discuss the importance of the upcoming COP in Paris and how effective climate diplomacy can still prevent the worst impacts of climate change.  At the event, ASP will formally launch a new Perspective Paper – “Climate Diplomacy and American Leadership.”

 

Pew Forum to Look at Industrial EE – The Pew Charitable Trusts, Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, Heat is Power Association, and the CHP Association will host a forum Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. on the impact of the Power Efficiency and Resiliency (POWER) Act on the deployment of combined heat and power (CHP) and waste heat to power (WHP) systems. CHP and WHP, which capture waste heat to produce electricity and/or heat or cool buildings, are distributed generation technologies that help achieve national economic, environmental, and energy goals.   A new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Clean Energy Initiative, Distributed Generation: Cleaner, Cheaper, Stronger – Industrial Efficiency in the Changing Utility Landscape details how an array of technological, competitive, and market forces are changing how the U.S. generates power and the ways that Americans interact with the electric grid. As part of their research, Pew commissioned ICF International Inc. to analyze the POWER Act’s impact on future market deployment of CHP and WHP, key distributed technologies used in industrial, institutional or manufacturing facilities. The results of this study will be presented at this event.  Speakers for this event include NY Rep. Tom Reed, among others.

 

CSIS to Talk Nigeria Oil, Release Report – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies looks at Nigeria’s Oil issues and a discussion on what the priorities for improving governance and addressing corruption in the sector should be, perspectives on early moves by the Buhari government, and an assessment of the prospects for changes in the country’s national oil company.  Aaron Sayne and Alexandra Gillies, co-authors (with Christina Katsouris) of the recently released report, Inside NNPC Oil Sales: A Case for Reform in Nigeria, will examine the major technical and political obstacles in the way of meaningful sector reform in Africa’s leading oil producer.

 

BPC to Host CEO Forum on Sustainable Food, Climate – The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) will launches a new CEO Council on Sustainability and Innovation on Thursday and will hold a panel at 2:00 p.m. to hear leading food and agriculture CEOs discuss the rationale behind their innovative approaches to a achieving a sustainable future.  Companies all along the food supply chain are on the front lines of addressing the challenges associated with a changing climate, a growing population and other threats to a stable food supply. Many companies are already dealing with the impacts of weather variability and supply chain disruptions, while also tackling higher and more volatile costs and an increasingly global customer base.  Speakers will include Land O’ Lakes CEO Chris Policinski, Kellogg CEO John Bryant and Elanco President Jeff Simmons.

 

Forum Looks at Climate, Reinsurance – Johns Hopkins University will host a forum on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. that will look at confronting climate change.  This presentation will show how the techniques developed in the re/insurance sector can illuminate pathways for climate resilience in the context of the new Sustainable Development Goals.

 

GW Forum to Look at Climate Mitigation, Displacement – Thursday at 6:00 p.m., the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs featuring Dr. Andrea Simonelli. Ahead of the upcoming Climate Negotiations in Paris (CoP21) this December, Simonelli will discuss the global implications of climate change for displacement and refugees, as well as the role of international organizations and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCC).  Simonelli will also discuss her newly released book Governing Climate Change Induced Migration: IGO Expansion and Global Policy Implications, which evaluates climate displacement from a political science perspective. This presentation will delve into the potential expansion and the structural constraints faced by intergovernmental organizations to tackle climate induced migration and displacement. Join us for an in-depth evaluation of how this urgent global issue relates to the current climate governance gap, including human and traditional security concerns.

 

FERC’s Honorable to Headline WCEE Event – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment’s Women in Leadership (WIL) will host an event Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the Capitol Hill Club featuring FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable, who will share her insights and some of the “lessons learned” for women in the energy sector.

 

 

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

 

Nye to Headline NG Climate Forum – On Friday at 7:30 p.m., National Geographic will host Bill Nye for a lively discussion on the global effects of climate change.   The event will feature clips from the National Geographic Channel’s new Explorer episode on climate change, as well as a lively discussion with Bill Nye, the host of the episode, and Brooke Runnette, president of National Geographic Studios. Dennis Dimick, executive editor at National Geographic magazine, will introduce the evening.

 

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Forum to Look at Global Energy Trends – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a discussion next Monday at 9:30 a.m. looking at emerging market economic and energy trends and their implications for the near and longer term global energy outlook with Joyce Chang, Managing Director and Global Head of Research at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Catherine Wolfram, Faculty Director at the Energy Institute at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

 

UN Official to Speak at CSM Event – On Tuesday morning, November 3rd, the Christian Science Monitor for a conversation with Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC , the official charged with bringing 195 nations together to agree on a global climate plan at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C.  The theme of the talk will be the state of global energy and climate heading into the Paris climate talks. Where do we stand with less than a month until diplomats meet in Paris to finalize an international climate agreement? Executive Secretary Figueres will provide an update on the negotiations and share her perspectives on what needs to happen during and after the summit in early December.

 

Forum to Look at Customers, Cities – The Energy Times is hosting an Empowering Customers & Cities Forum on November 4–6th in Chicago.  Energy customers are demanding more reliable service and sustainable solutions to deliver on their ever-increasing demand for power. At the same time, deregulation and legislative policy is forcing utilities and energy providers to rethink their business models. Now, more than ever, collaboration is required around the future of energy delivery and consumption.

 

Sen. Lee Headline Climate Preview Forum – On Wednesday, November 4th at 2:30 p.m., the Heritage Foundation will hold a forum  on the upcoming Paris climate negotiations. Senator Mike Lee provides his views on the President’s plan followed by a panel of leading experts who will address what will happen in Paris later this year and what Congress can do about it. Other speakers include the US Chamber’s Steve Eule and conservative FOIA gadfly Chris Horner,

 

Fall Wind Symposium Set – AWEA is hosting its annual Fall Symposium in Albuquerque, NM on November 5th at the Tamaya Resort.  The event will feature a community engagement seminar among the many other panels.

 

Women, Money, Power Summit Set for Press Club – On November 5th, the Feminist Majority is hosting its annual Women, Money, Power Summit in DC at the National Press Club at noon.  Speakers will include Congresswomen Barbara Lee, Louise Slaughter and Donna Edwards, among others.

 

Forum to Look at Climate Issues – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion on Thursday, November 5th, looking at the immediate impacts of climate change on US economic and national security. As the COP21 talks in Paris approach, the attention of the international community is fixated more than ever on climate. Still, much of today’s climate discourse focuses on the long-term impacts rather than the immediate ramifications of climate change. This panel of climate experts seeks to highlight the urgency of these issues from the perspective of both the public and the private sector. Joining us for this session are Judge Alice Hill, Senior Director for Resilience Policy at the National Security Council, The Hon. Sherri Goodman, President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and Alex Kaplan, Vice President of Global Partnerships at Swiss Re.

 

REFF West to Focus on Key Renewable Financing Issues – The 8th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West (REFF-West) 2015 will be held at the Four Seasons in San Francisco, CA on November 5th and 6th.  With a focus on renewable energy development in the Western U.S., REFF-West will highlight financing trends in renewable power, energy storage, system integration, and transportation; review important developments in Western power market expansion and in the role of the emerging corporate customer market segment; and discuss renewable energy’s role in smarter resource use and response to the Western water crisis.

 

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

 

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

 

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

Energy Update: Week of October 19

Friends,

I hope you are enjoying the baseball playoffs, mid-season football and the launch of the hockey season.  While I know you all tune in for the energy news, I also know you REALLY tune in for the family sports issues and Concerts.  On that front, I am excited to report that all the years of blood, sweat and tears for my daughter Hannah has finally paid off.  She has committed to play field hockey and lacrosse at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.  Both academics and sports are strong at Wellesley (they are a highly-ranked D III field hockey program) so it will be a challenging and exciting opportunity for her.

As I mentioned last week, we remain on-guard for the publishing of the Administration’s GHG rule for power plants in the Federal Register — which when live — will begin the long-anticipated legal wrangling over rule.  We continue to have it covered from end to end and will be available the moment things break.

To that end, today there is a summit at the White House focused on climate issues that featured a CEO meeting with President Obama and comments by VP Biden, DOE Secretary Moniz, John Holdren and Brian Deese that is all part of the Administrations’ campaign to create momentum for Paris negotiations.  Tomorrow, the discussions move over to Foggy Bottom when Secretary of State Kerry hosts his climate and clean energy forum.

Congress is returning this week and it will be busy.  There are several really good hearings you should have on your agenda.  Tomorrow, State Climate Envoy Todd Stern heads to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to talk Paris Climate discussions which should generate some heat given the recent letter from Chairman Corker.  On Wednesday, Senate Environment Hosts a hearing on EPA regulatory analysis featuring the U.S. Chamber’s Bill Kovacs and reg expert Sam Batkins of American Action Forum.  Also on Wednesday, Senate Agriculture will feature a discussion of GMOs and other biotech foods with Stonyfield Farms’ CEO Gary Hirshberg and USDA, EPA and FDA experts.  Finally, on Thursday, my colleague Jeff Holmstead will be testifying at House Science on the new Ozone rule, and House E&C’s Energy and Power panel  will continue its examination of the two final rules and a third proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new and existing fossil fuel-fired power plants.

Off the Hill, tomorrow, ELI hosts its annual dinner at the Marriott Wardman Park, which features its annual afternoon policy panel which this year is focused on climate issues approaching Paris.  Wednesday includes an afternoon RFF forum on real outcomes of federal regulations, featuring GWU’s Susan Dudley.  And, there is also a great event Thursday at Johns Hopkins SAIS program featuring a conversation with EU Energy Commissioner Maros Sefcovic.

Finally, with discussions ongoing this week in Bonn, Germany on the four corners of the upcoming climate talks, see the important announcement below from Southern Company late last week that outlined  an MOU with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to jointly explore the deployment of clean coal power generation and carbon capture and storage technologies.  It is the same as type of agreement they already have with China, underscoring a key missing discussion point in many UN climate discussions: technology transfer issues.  We’ll be talking more about this in the upcoming weeks.

Call with questions…

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Korea, Southern Sign Clean Coal MOUs – Southern Company signed an MOU with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to jointly explore the deployment of clean coal power generation and carbon capture and storage technologies. Through the agreement, the companies will jointly explore opportunities for these and other technologies in the U.S., the Republic of Korea and in developing nations where the environmentally acceptable utilization of coal could strengthen energy security.   Among the technologies to be evaluated is Transport Integrated Gasification (TRIG™), the 21st century coal technology at the center of subsidiary Mississippi Power’s Kemper County energy facility that Southern Company and KBR are jointly marketing to energy companies around the world. The Kemper facility is designed to generate electricity using low-rank coal with resulting carbon emissions better than a similarly sized natural gas plant. At least 65 percent of the plant’s carbon emissions are expected to be captured and repurposed through enhanced oil recovery.   The agreement also provides for the testing of KEPCO’s carbon capture technologies at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Alabama, which is operated by Southern Company Services. Aligned with efforts by the U.S. and Korea to cost-effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the NCCC conducts research and development (R&D) to evaluate and advance emerging carbon capture technologies through integration with a coal-fired power plant and a pilot gasification facility.   The MOU with KEPCO is the Southern Company system’s fifth such agreement with a leading international energy company. Last year Southern Company announced similar agreements with Shenhua Group Corporation Limited and China Huaneng Group – two of China’s largest energy companies – as well as with Huaneng Clean Energy Research Institute. Earlier this year, Southern Company Services entered into a research agreement with the Korea Institute of Energy Research, a Korean government-funded research institute which collaborates with KEPCO in the development of advanced green energy technologies.

AHRI Reinforces Refrigerant R&D Commitment at White House Event – At a White House Industry Leader Roundtable, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) offered a progress report on its 2014 pledge to invest $5 billion in research over the next 10 years for new refrigerants and heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) equipment to support energy efficiency.  During the White House event, AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek reported that the industry spent more than $255 million in 2015 toward a 10-year, $5 billion commitment in research and development and capital expenditures to develop and commercialize low-global warming potential (GWP) technologies, demonstrating the industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship.  He noted that the $5 billion pledge is in addition to the nearly $2 billion that was spent on such research in the previous five years. The yearly totals are expected to grow as spending moves from research into development and testing of equipment using the new refrigerants. For more information on AHRI’s refrigerant research, visit www.ahrinet.org/arep.

SAFE Forms Autonomous Vehicle Task Force – SAFE is forming an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force, a group of leading experts who will guide SAFE as it develops an action plan to facilitate the widespread deployment of this transformative technology. Taking full advantage of the safety, economic and national security benefits of driverless cars and trucks will require a concerted effort on the part of the public and policymakers to allow the technology to flourish, avoiding excessive regulation and creating policy only if necessary. As with all new products, autonomous vehicles will experience constant evolution, and it is important to get them on the road as soon as possible.  The Autonomous Vehicle Task Force was announced at a Newsmaker event hosted by the National Press Club. Advisor to Google and former Corporate Vice President for Research and Development at General Motors Larry Burns hailed the creation of a new “Automotive DNA,” through which cars are connected and driverless, offering consumers and businesses an entirely new and improved value proposition. Burns was joined by Lynn Liddle, Executive Vice President at Domino’s Pizza, and Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of SAFE, who respectively spoke to the implications of driverless cars for the business community and the opportunity to reduce America’s dependence on oil.  Driverless cars present a compelling case for consumers and businesses, affecting nearly every industry. For Domino’s Pizza, the global leader in pizza delivery, the implications are enormous, as autonomous vehicles would transform the model on which it and its competitors operate. The lure of newly liberated free time, lower fuel costs, and reduced or eliminated operations and maintenance expenses—as well as the unparalleled benefits to U.S. energy security—illustrate the importance of getting these vehicles to market.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

Goffman to Headline GHG Conference – Infocast is hosting the 2nd EPA Clean Power Plan Implementation Summit today through Wednesday at the Renaissance Hotel in Dupont.   Joseph Goffman, Associate Administrator and Senior Counsel of the EPA will deliver the keynote address and will discuss the implications of the final rule, and the challenges ahead on the road to compliance.  Participants will include environmental and state regulators, ISOs and RTOs, utilities, local distribution companies, IPPs, renewable energy providers, environmental engineering firms, legal experts and environmental consultants to discuss the final 111(d) rule and its direct impacts on power prices, system reliability, natural gas markets and infrastructure.

Senate FR Hosts Stern on Climate – Following a recent letter raising serious questions about approaching climate negotiations in Paris, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee panel will host Todd Stern, the State Department’s top global warming negotiator tomorrow at 2:45 p.m. for a hearing on the Obama administration’s efforts to reach an international climate change deal later this year.

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

CSIS to Look at China Summit – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will Host its Schieffer Series Dialogues tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. assessing US-China relations after the Obama-Xi Summit.  Former CBS newsman Bob Schieffer hosts panelists former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and our friend from the Financial Times, Demetri Sevastopulo.

ELI Dinner, Policy Forum Set – The annual Environmental Law Institute Dinner is tomorrow night and as usual, ELI will host the 2015 ELI-Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum at 4:00 p.m. at the Marriot Wardman Park hotel.  This year, the topic will be “Dangerous Intersection: Climate Change and National Security” and feature DoD’s John Conger and Security, NSC’s Alice Hill, as well as several others.

Woolard to Headline Discussion of Energy, Technologies – The Atlantic Council hosts a discussion tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. on innovative work that non-energy technology companies are doing at the cutting edge of today’s most pressing energy and climate issues. In this installment of the “Road to Paris Climate Series,” John Woolard, Vice President of Energy at Google, will assess the ways in which technology, data, and innovative financing are changing the global energy landscape. In particular, the discussion will center on Google’s efforts, which include more than $2 billion in investment, to make clean energy more accessible, scalable, and affordable across the world.   You may recall that Woolard was the former CEO of BrightSource Energy, developer of the Ivanpah Solar Project in California.

Whitman Featured in WCEE Clean Energy Forum – On Wednesday at 8:30 a.m., the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a breakfast with Governor Christine Todd Whitman, co-chair of The Clean and Safe Energy (CASEnergy) Coalition, and former governor of New Jersey and EPA administrator.  The discussion will surround the future of clean energy, including nuclear energy.   As the co-chair of The CASEnergy Coalition, Gov. Whitman is keenly attuned to the growing role that nuclear energy will play in our nation’s energy portfolio, especially in light of the finalized Clean Power Plan (CPP). As states create their plans to meet the CPP’s targets, they will increasingly rely upon clean sources of electricity like the power generated from nuclear facilities. As America’s leading source of emission-free energy, nuclear power must be a part of America’s – and the world’s – to tackle climate change.

Brattle to Release Colorado Solar Report – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at Paul Hastings, Peter Fox-Penner, Principal of The Brattle Group, will host a breakfast presentation to review the key findings of a recent Brattle study, “Comparative Generation Costs of Utility-Scale and Residential-Scale PV in Xcel Energy Colorado’s Service Area.”  The event will provide an opportunity to review and discuss the report’s findings.

Panel to Look at EPA Reg Analysis – The Senate Environment Committee Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking at oversight of regulatory impact analyses for EPA.  Witnesses include Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, the US Chamber’s Bill Kovacs, Sam Batkins of American Action Forum (who recently released a great report on DOE Regs). Mary Rice of the Harvard Medical School and Rena Steinzor of Maryland’s Carey Law School.

Senate Ag to Talk GMOs – The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking at the federal regulation of agriculture biotechnology with perspectives from producers and consumers.  USDA’s Michael Gregoire, EPA’s William Jordan and FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Director Susan Mayne will testify along with Stonyfield Farms’ CEO Gary Hirshberg and several others.

NAS Forum to Look at Extreme Weather – The National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Atmospheric Sciences & Climate will host a workshop on Wednesday and Thursday focused on extreme weather events and climate change attribution.

RFF Forum to Look at Reg Impacts – Resources for the Future holds an afternoon forum on real outcomes of federal regulations.   Before federal environmental regulations are issued, they are subject to extensive analysis to estimate the costs, benefits, and other outcomes. However, remarkably little is known about the actual performance of such regulations after the final rules are announced. Experts at this forum will present the results of RFF’s Regulatory Performance Initiative, a multi-year effort to analyze the actual impacts of a series of regulations issued by EPA, Energy, Interior and FDA.  Speakers will Include GW’s Susan Dudley, former OIRA head, as well as other experts like MIT’s Richard Schmalensee, RFF’s Art Fraas and NRDC’s David Hawkins, among many others.

CSIS to Look at Asian Urbanization – The CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a forum on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. on driving sustainable urbanization in Asia.  Rapid urbanization in Asia has created an unprecedented challenge for the development community. From 2000 to 2010, nearly 200 million people moved into East Asian cities, according to the World Bank. Through this panel discussion, we hope to determine ways in which urbanization can become a driver of development and stability, through targeted investments from donors, host country governments, civil society, and the private sector, with a special focus on infrastructure, technology, and financial services.

Forum to Look at Climate, Security Issues – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the Wilson Center a discussion of the lessons learned from this Climate Security Dialogue, and presentations on the latest MAB research on emerging threats to homeland and national security and the resulting impact on our military’s readiness and potential missions. Joining two highly regarded U.S. generals will be EU Ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan to put U.S. leadership in perspective before the pivotal UN climate summit this December.  Climate change is a complex, multi-decade challenge with implications for U.S. national security as well as transatlantic and global security. Yet comprehensive climate and energy security policy remains a political “third rail” in the United States.  In 2014 and 2015, members of the CNA Military Advisory Board (MAB) traveled throughout the United States to engage state and local governments, business leaders, and industry on the threats that climate change poses to U.S. national security, and to learn what local actors are doing in their communities to address energy and climate challenges.

EU Energy Commissioner Making First DC Visit at JHU Forum – On Thursday at 9:45 a.m., Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission Vice-President for Energy will be making his first ever official visit to Washington and Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Transatlantic Relations will be hosting him at a public forum.  JHU is co-hosting the public event with the Peterson Institute.  Building the Energy Union is one of the highest priorities of the European Commission. Last February, the Commission set out its vision of an Energy Union which will allow citizens and businesses access to reliable, competitive, affordable and sustainable energy, with ambitious climate targets at its core. The Energy Union means a new European energy governance, free flow of energy across borders and a secure supply in every EU country in gas and electricity. The development of a new European energy diplomacy will allow the EU to speak with one voice on the international stage. Developing regional cooperation is essential, but transatlantic energy relations and cooperation have a special and important role to play in reaching the Union’s objective.

IEA Report Featured at Brookings Forum – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s Heymi Bahar and Michael Waldron for the U.S. launch of the IEA’s “Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015.” This report assesses the trends in the electricity, transportation, and heat sectors, identifying drivers and challenges to deployment of renewable energy. It also assesses the potential impacts of enhanced policy actions under an accelerated case for renewable power, which would put the world more firmly on a path to a more sustainable and secure energy system.

House Science Reschedules Ozone Hearing – On Wednesday Thursday, the House Science Committee will hold its rescheduled hearing on the EPA’s Ozone Rule.  The committee will look at concerns regarding science and implementation with my colleague Jeff Holmstead as a witness, as well as Michael Honeycutt of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Seyed Sadredin of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

House Energy Panel to Look at GHG Rule – On Thursday, the Energy and Power Subcommittee will continue its examination of the two final rules and a third proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new and existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. The hearing is entitled, “EPA’s CO2 Regulations for New and Existing Power Plants: Legal Perspectives.” More information can be found online here as it becomes available.

McCarthy to Talk Methane at CAP – The Center for American Progress will host a conversation on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to discuss how the proposed limits on methane pollution from the oil and gas sector can benefit the climate, human health, and worker safety.  In August, EPA proposed the first-ever methane pollution standards that will require new and modified oil and gas facilities to use readily available technology to curb these harmful and wasteful leaks.  Fortunately, most companies are already implementing the rules and most find EPA intrusion unnecessary.

Forum to Look at Ocean Technologies – The Marine Technology Society and the House Ocean Caucus are holing a briefing on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in 2168 Rayburn looking at the five areas most commonly identified with ocean technology: Robotic/Unmanned Underwater Vehicles, Ocean Observing, Offshore Renewables, Offshore O&G and STEM Issues.  Our friend ken Satterlee of Shell will be among the speakers.

USEA Forum Look at NatGas to Methanol – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will look at Shale gas to Methanol Possibilities.  Thanks to shale gas, cheap and plentiful natural gas has led to new attention and interest in various natural gas monetization options. One promising option is the production of methanol using small-scale plants, which offer many advantages. The first advantage is that methanol prices track those of oil thereby providing a significant arbitrage to exploit if the natural gas feedstock is available as cheaply as it is in the U.S. Second, small-scale methanol plants have lower capital costs in comparison to traditional large plants making them attractive to a wider range of investors. Third, methanol is a liquid chemical product that can be transported easily and cost-effectively offering the ability to monetize natural gas from fields that are remote, have limited pipeline connectivity, or have relatively poor production or economics. Finally, methanol is a versatile chemical with multiple applications and end-uses.  This presentation will explore the potential of small-scale methanol plants in North America.

Webinar to Look at Demand Response Issues – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., our friend James Downing of Utility Markets Today will host a timely, relevant webinar looking at the Supreme Court’s EPSA v FERC case.  Speakers will include independent energy expert Robert Borlick, New England Power Generators Association President Dan Dolan, California Public Utilities Commission Principal Counsel Elizabeth Dorman and CPower Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Market Strategy Frank Lacey.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Solar Workshops Set – The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will host the first of 2 upcoming workshops on solar energy for the DMV local and regional businesses on Monday at 10:00 a.m. . The goal of these sessions is to convene stakeholders to discuss resources, opportunities, and barriers for commercial projects in the solar market. Invited participants include local government clean energy program representatives, experts from the DOE SunShot Initiative, building owners and commercial business leaders.

USAEE/IAEE North American Energy Conference – On October 25-28 in Pittsburgh, the US Association for Energy Economics will hold a conference  featuring high-level business, government and academic opinion shapers exploring today’s dynamic energy landscape. Speakers include Don Santa, President and CEO, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, US Energy Information Administrator Adam Sieminski, Guy Caruso, Senior Advisor, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS and Edward Morse Managing Director, Citigroup. John Kingston, President of the McGraw-Hill Financial Global Institute and former director of news for Platts  to receive IAEE Journalism Award.  For full conference details check @usenergyecon or #USAEE2015

Wilson Forum to Look at Renewables in Developing World – Next Tuesday, October 27th at 9:30 a.m., the Wilson Center is hosting a forum on scaling up renewables in the developing world.  The forum will be a day-long exploration of the innovative tools being harnessed by the public and private sectors to scale up renewable energy in the developing world.  Speakers will also explore how renewable energy will help countries meet the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and support their climate change commitments.  They include Sen. Ed Markey, US AID’s Eric Postel, EEI’s David Owens and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Ethan Zindler.

Spectra Exec to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host William Yardley, president of Spectra Energy’s U.S. transmission business, as guest speaker at the Tuesday, October 27 luncheon.  Yardley will speak about the benefits of natural gas, and the important role of pipelines and related infrastructure in addressing energy security, economic and environmental policy challenges facing our nation.  He leads the business development, project execution, operations and environment, health and safety efforts associated with Spectra Energy’s U.S. portfolio of natural gas transmission and storage businesses.

Gibson to Headline Climate Focus – The Friends Committee on National Legislation, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, RepublicEN and the American Security Project hosts a briefing next Tuesday, October 27th at 12:00 noon in B340 Rayburn that highlights solutions to mitigate climate change and adapt to its consequences  which are already being implemented by members of the business, national security, and faith communities.  The briefing will create awareness of the risks and opportunities that climate change offers to business, national security, and faith communities, and hopes to inspire bipartisan cooperation in Congress to catalyze solutions.  Among the speakers will be Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY).

Pew Forum to Look at Industrial EE – The Pew Charitable Trusts, Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, Heat is Power Association, and the CHP Association will host a forum next Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. on the impact of the Power Efficiency and Resiliency (POWER) Act on the deployment of combined heat and power (CHP) and waste heat to power (WHP) systems. CHP and WHP, which capture waste heat to produce electricity and/or heat or cool buildings, are distributed generation technologies that help achieve national economic, environmental, and energy goals.   A new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Clean Energy Initiative, Distributed Generation: Cleaner, Cheaper, Stronger – Industrial Efficiency in the Changing Utility Landscape details how an array of technological, competitive, and market forces are changing how the U.S. generates power and the ways that Americans interact with the electric grid. As part of their research, Pew commissioned ICF International Inc. to analyze the POWER Act’s impact on future market deployment of CHP and WHP, key distributed technologies used in industrial, institutional or manufacturing facilities. The results of this study will be presented at this event.  Speakers for this event include NY Rep. Tom Reed, among others.

BPC to Host CEO Forum on Sustainable Food, Climate – The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) will launches a new CEO Council on Sustainability and Innovation on Thursday October 29th and will hold a panel at 2:00 p.m. to hear leading food and agriculture CEOs discuss the rationale behind their innovative approaches to a achieving a sustainable future.  Companies all along the food supply chain are on the front lines of addressing the challenges associated with a changing climate, a growing population and other threats to a stable food supply. Many companies are already dealing with the impacts of weather variability and supply chain disruptions, while also tackling higher and more volatile costs and an increasingly global customer base.  Speakers will include Land O’ Lakes CEO Chris Policinski, Kellogg CEO John Bryant and Elanco President Jeff Simmons.

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

Energy Summit Set for Houston – The Energy Summit Series which will take place on November 1-3 at the JW Marriott Houston. The event will be co-located Transmission & Distribution and Distribution Technology & Innovation Summits.

Fall Wind Symposium Set – AWEA is hosting its annual Fall Symposium in Albuquerque, NM on November 5th at the Tamaya Resort.  The event will feature a community engagement seminar among the many other panels.

Women, Money, Power Summit Set for Press Club – On November 5th, the Feminist Majority is hosting its annual Women, Money, Power Summit in DC at the National Press Club at noon.  Speakers will include Congresswomen Barbara Lee, Louise Slaughter and Donna Edwards, among others.

REFF West to Focus on Key Renewable Financing Issues – The 8th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West (REFF-West) 2015 will be held at the Four Seasons in San Francisco, CA on November 5th and 6th.  With a focus on renewable energy development in the Western U.S., REFF-West will highlight financing trends in renewable power, energy storage, system integration, and transportation; review important developments in Western power market expansion and in the role of the emerging corporate customer market segment; and discuss renewable energy’s role in smarter resource use and response to the Western water crisis.

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

 

Energy Update: Week of October 5

Friends,

 

Last week was a very busy week with all the EPA and Energy action.  Perhaps Kyle Feldsher of the Washington Examiner captured it best in this story.

 

While we start the Baseball playoffs tomorrow as discussed last week, I want to call you attention to another prediction where Back to the Future 2 seems to be on target.  You may recall in the 1989 sequel classic, Marty McFly returns to 2015 on October 21st only to see  one of the newsflashing screens (a correct prediction in itself) reporting “Cubs Win the World Series” which causes McFly to scoff.  Of course, the big news in Chicago this week is that Tom Wilson, aka Biff Tannen from “Back to the Future,” drove the  DeLorean to Wrigleyville last Friday morning to deliver the news in person: The Chicago Cubs are going to win the 2015 World Series.  The Back to the Future Day arrives in just two weeks…

 

Speaking of the Cubs, my long baseball-suffering colleague Paul Nathanson (don’t feel so bad about his Blackhawks though we’ll get the that next) tells me that the national nonprofit organization focused on outdoor recreation, stewardship and education – Tread Lightly! – is hosting a special event Wednesday evening in 2168 Rayburn to celebrate its 25th anniversary. House Resources Chairman Rob Bishop will keynote.

 

On to Hockey Season…Wednesday the NHL season launches with two classic “Original Six” openers with Montreal taking on Toronto and the aforementioned, defending Stanley Cup Champ Chicago Blackhawks taking on the NY Rangers.  Herein begins the journey through 1,230 games that will take us to the playoffs next spring.  Favorites include the Hawks, Anaheim Ducks, LA Kings (who missed the playoffs last year) and the Rangers.  I will add that the perennial playoff-bound Detroit Red Wings (23 straight years) have looked very good in the preseason.  I also love what the Caps have done in DC, dumping the defensive-lapses of Mike Green, added scoring punch with T.J. Oshe, and more grit with former LAKing Justin Williams and Sabre veteran Derek Roy.

 

It will be another busy week in DC with an expected House vote on the ban on crude exports.  On the Hill, Congress continues its investigation of VW, while Janet McCabe jumps over to the House Energy panel Wednesday to talk about the GHG rule.  She didn’t say much of anything at Senate Environment last week even when pressured so my bet is you’ll get a major dose of the same.   There will also be a good panel at Senate Energy tomorrow on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, featuring SAFE energy Co-chair and former National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair who will say it would be foolhardy to draw down the single immediate weapon we have to counteract oil supply disruptions and price spikes.  Others testifying include Secretary Moniz, ClearView’s Kevin Book, CSIS’s Sarah Ladislaw and Columbia’s Jason Bordoff.  Also Wednesday, House Science catches up to last week’s ozone decision looking at concerns regarding science and implementation with my colleague Jeff Holmstead as a witness.

 

Off the Hill in DC, EIA holds its 2015 Winter Energy Outlook Conference  tomorrow at the National Press Club where they will present the outlook for heating fuel costs with the release of its October 2015 Short-Term Energy Outlook.  USEA will hold its 8th Annual Energy Supply Forum on Wednesday and Thursday at the National Press Club which will highlight a range of policy and technological developments affecting U.S. energy supplies. And finally on Thursday, our friends at the American Gas Association (AGA) will unveil its winter outlook, outlining their take on the nation’s supply/demand picture and storage position; identify expectations for residential natural gas bills this winter compared to last year; and discuss a new analysis of consumer savings comparing natural gas to other fuel sources.

 

Thursday is National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day when fuel cell and hydrogen energy technology/ industry advocates are raising awareness of a clean energy technologies.  Our friends at Air Liquide are leading producers of Hydrogen and are closely involved with a couple of projects that DOE is expected to announce.   More on this later in the week.

 

Finally, I launch for Oklahoma on Wednesday night for SEJ’s annual conference in Sooner Nation.  Of course, Thursday, we are holding our annual Bracewell reception so I look forward to seeing you if you are going to be in OK.  Call with any questions.

 

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Corker Letter Raise State Dept Questions about Paris Climate Negotiations –Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker sent a letter on September 22nd to Secretary of State John Kerry in which he asks “whether the administration plans to treat the hoped for accord as a formal treaty that would be submitted to the Senate for approval—and for the reasoning if the answer is no.” “The Sept 22 letter also asks a series of questions about the legal obligations that the pact may or may not create.” please see a copy of the letter here:  “Sen­ate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee Chair­man Bob Cork­er is pressing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion to re­veal its plans for the in­ter­na­tion­al cli­mate-change ac­cord that nations hope to reach in Par­is late this year. ‘Long­stand­ing Con­sti­tu­tion­al pre­ced­ent as well as cur­rent law re­quires the Ex­ec­ut­ive branch to en­gage in mean­ing­ful con­sulta­tions with the Sen­ate on the form that a sig­ni­fic­ant and far-reach­ing in­ter­na­tion­al agree­ment such as the Par­is Agree­ment will take,’ Corker says in a let­ter to Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry. In the let­ter ob­tained by Na­tion­al Journ­al, Cork­er asks wheth­er the ad­min­is­tra­tion plans to treat the hoped-for ac­cord as a form­al treaty that would be sub­mit­ted to the Sen­ate for ap­prov­al—and for the reas­on­ing if the an­swer is no. The Sept. 22 let­ter also asks a series of ques­tions about the leg­al ob­lig­a­tions that the pact may or may not cre­ate. For in­stance, Cork­er asks: ‘The Par­is agree­ment may con­tain both leg­al and polit­ic­al com­mit­ments, but it is my understand­ing that the core of the agree­ment will es­tab­lish leg­al ob­lig­a­tions. Does the Ad­min­is­tra­tion con­sider the ex­pec­ted Par­is agree­ment to be an agree­ment that leg­ally binds the U.S. un­der international law or a non-bind­ing polit­ic­al doc­u­ment?’

 

Ozone Rule Released – The EPA lowered the national ozone emissions standard to 70 parts per billion on Thursday.  The decision upset environmental groups that said a lower standard would better protect human health, as well as industry groups concerned about high compliance costs.  Our friends at CIBO said: “The current ozone standard of 75 ppb is working even while it is still being implemented.  Lowering the standards to 70 ppb as EPA is doing in the proposal could threaten American jobs by stalling progress and raising the cost of energy.   Some communities are still struggling to attain the current standard.  In addition, a lower standard puts unnecessary strain on smaller communities and captures a number of additional counties that will hamper manufacturing and economic opportunities, slow an already sluggish economic recovery and increase the cost of electricity disproportionately impacting the poor, less fortunate and elderly on fixed incomes, as well as small businesses struggling in a weak economy.  EPA’s own data in its Air Quality Trends document shows that since 2000, CIBO members and others in industry  have helped decrease ozone levels by 18%, with future projections showing the rate continuing to fall.  You can see Other comments here from API, the US Chamber, NAM and AFPM.

 

Water Effluent Rules Set –  EPA finalized its rule limiting metals emitted into waterways from steam power plants.  The highly complex and technical final Effluent Limitation Guidelines and Standards for the Steam Electric Power Generating Point Source Category (ELGs) sets strict technology-based effluent limitations that will force technological and operational changes at existing facilities.  The power industry’s Quin Shea said “throughout the rulemaking process, EEI and its members urged EPA to set technologically feasible and cost-effective achievable limits that apply nationally to a broad range of facilities. Despite some very limited changes EPA made to the ELGs, significant implementation challenges remain that have the potential to create compliance challenges and increase customer costs. We also recommended that EPA provide reasonable compliance schedules for the ELGs that are aligned with the compliance timelines for other rulemakings, such as the recently finalized Clean Power Plan, and it appears that EPA has done so.

 

NRECA Says Water Rule Another Hit on Rural Energy –  America’s not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperatives are deeply disappointed by new standards for handling the by-products from electric steam power plants.  As local, member-owned businesses, electric co-ops and their member-owners value and deserve a healthy environment. However, the economic challenges many of our rural member-owners face underscore the importance of cost-effective regulations.  NRECA and others had identified significant errors in the data the EPA used to support the proposed rule, yet the Agency appears wedded to the initial proposal.  We are dismayed by the lack of rigor and by the lack of consideration given to cost, a burden that will ultimately be felt by co-op consumer-members.

 

Whitfield to Retire – Ed Whitfield has announced he will not run for re-lection in 2016.  My colleague Scott Segal said from an energy policy perspective, Chairman Whitfield has been “a true workhorse, producing bill after bill that addressed key regulatory issues”  Segal praised Whitfield for his keen understanding of the challenges in providing affordable and reliable power, and developed carefully drafted bills to promote sensible environmental policy.  “He asked the tough questions of officials at the US EPA and other federal agencies,” Segal added.  “By so doing, he has helped established an important record that will be of use in demonstrating the legal shortcomings of the Clean Power Plan.  Segal said Whitfield has much to be proud of over his 20-plus years in Congress.  Segal:  “He has had an aggressive agenda, but has kept an open mind and the demeanor of a gentleman.”

HVAC Industry on Energy Legislation Approved by House Committee – The House Energy & Commerce Committee approved an overhaul of the nation’s energy laws on Wednesday.  AHRI praised the Committee for moving the legislation.  Prior to the mark up, the HVAC industry sent a letter to Chairman Upton and ranking member Pallone outlining their strong support for the legislation.  The Letter: “The legislation goes a long way toward modernizing and protecting our energy infrastructure, while making strong advances in the use of energy efficient technology. Specifically, we are encouraged by language that would provide sensible technical corrections to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA).  These corrections would serve as a way to achieve our energy security goals in an equally sensible and environmentally friendly manner.  The letter was signed by AHRI President Stephen Yurek , NEMA’s Kyle Pitsor, Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Assn Director of Public Affairs Ryan Carroll and Rob McArver, VP of Government Relations for AHAM.

 

Farm Workers File Suit Against Monsanto – A farm worker and a horticultural assistant who both developed cancer after being exposed to Monsanto’s glyphosate weed killer have filed separate lawsuits against the company.  In March, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate – the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide – as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”   In a statement, renowned labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers, said of the lawsuits: “Farmers, farm workers, and other agricultural laborers have always been on the front lines of exposure to dangerous chemicals like weed killers. The recent news that glyphosate, an herbicide that has been around for decades, is a probable human carcinogen is alarming, but unfortunately not surprising.”  Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs, commented that, “The use of Monsanto’s weed killer has exploded over the past two decades in conjunction with its application on glyphosate-resistant GMO crops.  It’s time for the federal government to better protect the health of those exposed to harmful agricultural chemicals, specifically glyphosate. And it’s time we require mandatory GMO labeling to protect consumers’ right to know whether their food choices are contributing to the increased use of glyphosate.”

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Rep. Green FERC Clark, Other Headline Gas Forum – The North American Gas Forum  will be held  today, tomorrow and Wednesday in Washington  at the Park Hyatt.   Speakers will include FERC’s Tony Clark, Sen Heidi Heidkamp,  Rep. Gene Green and More.  As well, the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas will launch a report on “LNG and Coal Life Cycle Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions” today at 3:00 p.m. at the conference.

 

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

 

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

 

Winter Energy Outlook to Look at Heating Fuel Costs – EIA will hold its 2015 Winter Energy Outlook Conference  tomorrow at the National Press Club.  EIA will present its outlook for heating fuel costs with the release of its October 2015 Short-Term Energy Outlook. EIA Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht will present the case.  The WEO Conference is an annual event sponsored by EIA and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and hosted by the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO).  The agenda for the entire Winter Energy Outlook Conference can be found here.

Sen Energy to Look at SPR – Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to examine the potential modernization of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and related energy security issues. Witnesses include DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz, former Director of National Intelligence  & SAFE Commission on Energy co-chair Admiral Dennis C. Blair, Columbia’s Jason Bordoff, ClearView’s  Kevin Book and CSIS National Security Program Director Sarah Ladislaw.

 

Forum to Look at Carbon Recycling – The U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum tomorrow at noon on carbon dioxide recycling.  The forum describes progress toward CO2 recycling as a defense for global climate change and will provide an overview of the present technology, and describe a roadmap to make CO2 recycling a reality.  Speakers will include Richard Masel, CEO of Dioxide Materials and 3M’s Laura Nereng.

 

Energy Supply Forum Set – USEA will hold its 8th Annual Energy Supply Forum on Wednesday and Thursday at the National Press Club which will highlight a range of policy and technological developments affecting U.S. energy supplies. The forum will conclude the two-day event in which USEA will partner with the World Energy Council.

 

Senate Environment to Look at NRC – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking at oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Chairman Burns and Commissioners Svinicki, Ostendorff and Baran will testify.

 

House Energy to Host McCabe – The House Energy & Commerce’s Energy and Power panel will host EPA’s Janet McCabe on Wednesday looking at the EPA’s CO2 Regulations for New and Existing Plants.  This follows last week’s hearing featuring McCabe at the Senate Environment Committee.

 

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

 

House Armed Services Panel Focuses on Plutonium Issues – The House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Strategic Forces will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. on plutonium and the MOX Project.  Witnesses includes NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz, DOE’s John MacWilliams and Oak Ridge’s Thom Mason.

 

Resources Chair Bishop to Headline Outdoor Sportsman CelebrationTread Lightly! is hosting a special event Wednesday evening in the Rayburn Gold Room (2168) to celebrate its 25th anniversary as a national nonprofit organization focused on outdoor recreation, stewardship and education. Rep. Rob Bishop, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Natural Resources will keynote, and other speakers will discuss Tread Lightly!’s history and future — including announcing an all new program to fund 25 projects in celebration of the 25th anniversary.  Founded in 1990 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, Tread Lightly! promotes responsible outdoor recreation through ethics education and stewardship programs.

 

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

 

Hydrogen Fuel Day Set for Oct 8 – In recognition of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen energy technology, industry advocates are celebrating National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day Thursday to help raise awareness of a clean energy technology that is here now. October 8th was chosen as a reference to the of the atomic weight of Hydrogen, 1.008.  Our friends at Air Liquide will be joining with DOE in several projects that Are expected to be announced.  More on this later in the week.

 

AGA to Discuss Winter Outlook for Gas – On Thursday morning, our friends at the American Gas Association will unveil its winter outlook. AGA experts will outline the nation’s supply/demand picture and storage position; identify expectations for residential natural gas bills this winter compared to last year; and discuss a new analysis of consumer savings comparing natural gas to other fuel sources. Direct use of natural gas in homes and businesses, and how it may influence actions taken within the EPA Clean Power Plan and proposed regulations by the U.S. Department of Energy will also be discussed.

 

House Energy Panel Continues VW Investigation – As part of its ongoing investigation into Volkswagen’s emissions issues, the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold has a hearing Thursday looking at initial key questions. Volkswagen Group of America President and CEO Michael Horn and the Environmental Protection Agency are scheduled to testify as the subcommittee investigates Volkswagen’s alleged efforts to circumvent emissions requirements for certain models of diesel engine passenger vehicles. Members are working to understand the facts and circumstances surrounding Volkswagen’s reported Clean Air Act violations and what they mean for consumers and the general public.

 

AU Hosting Forum On Climate Engineering – On Thursday at 3:30 p.m. American University’s School of International Studies Global Environmental Politics will be hosting a lecture on climate engineering research and why we should not be doing it.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Forum to Look at Climate Views in Canada, US – The Canada Institute and Wilson Center will host a discussion on Tuesday October 13th to look at Canadian and American attitudes toward climate change, featuring findings from the Fall 2015 round of ongoing survey work in both nations. Key themes will include public views on whether climate change is occurring, response to a range of possible policy options across levels of government, and reaction to Pope Francis’ recent engagement on the issue. The U.S. side of this work will include an early look at how Americans want their states to respond to the new Clean Power Plan.

 

CSIS to Host IEA Enviro Head – On Wednesday October 14th , the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is host Philippe Benoit, Head of the Energy Efficiency and Environment Division at the International Energy Agency to present the IEA’s Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015. The annual report, now in its third year, confirms the position of energy efficiency as the “first fuel” in the IEA’s largest economies. It also evaluates the global energy efficiency market to understand the role of energy efficiency in the energy system. This year’s report provides insights into energy efficiency investments and impacts, which, as the main driver to decarbonize the energy sector, have taken on increased importance in the lead-up to COP-21. The 2015 report includes an update on market outlooks for energy efficiency and is published alongside IEA medium-term reports forecasting market trends and developments concerning primary energy sources for global markets: oil, coal, gas and renewables.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

JHU Forum Look s at EPA GHG Rule – On Wednesday, October 14th at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS will hold a forum on the EPA’s GHG Rule.

 

Energy Forum Looks at GHG Rule – ICF holds another Energy and Environment breakfast on October 15th at 8:00 a.m. at the National Press Club.  Bill Bumpers of Baker Botts and Kyle Danish of Van Ness Feldman will present the pros and cons, and handicap whether the EPA’s GHG Rue for Power plants needs to be modified or revamped at its core to pass legal muster.

 

White House to Hold Refrigerants Meeting – Approaching the one-year anniversary of a landmark agreement on reducing refrigerants use, the White House will hold a follow up event for stakeholders that participated in the agreement on October 15th.   At a White House event last September AHRI head Steve Yurek announced the nation’s HVACR industry will invest $5 billion in research and development funds over the next decade to develop the next generation of refrigerants and the air conditioning and refrigeration equipment in which they will be used. Next week’s event, sponsored by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, will highlight the private sector progress in developing alternatives to high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants.

 

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

 

Forum Addresses Japan Electricity Markets – On Thursday morning October 15th, there will be a breakfast seminar in the Reagan Center’s Polaris Room focused on existing opportunities for U.S. companies interested in participating in the electricity market reforms in Japan.  Japan is liberalizing its $60 billion electrical power market, giving new entrants access to the power grid. Liberalization of the retail market will begin in April 2016, spurring demand for new technologies and solutions.

 

RFF Discussion Features Nordhaus – On Thursday, October 15th at 9:00 a.m., Resources for the Future will host a Policy Leadership Forum  featuring a conversation with Bob Nordhaus.  Nordhaus is one of the most respected figures in US energy policy circles. He played a central role in drafting two of the pillars of current US climate efforts: Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the legal underpinning of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.  RFF’s conversation will feature Nordhaus and RFF President Phil Sharp, also a key figure in the creation of these two legislative cornerstones, as they discuss the evolution of US climate policy and its future prospects.

 

Panel to Focus on 10 years of RFS – On Friday at 10:30 a.m., the Economic Studies program at Brookings will convene an expert panel to discuss the effect of the RFS on prices for both fuels and food, whether the RFS is having an impact on greenhouse gas emissions, and if the statutory levels for future years are realistic or if they need to be revised further.  Speakers will include CBO’s Terry Dinan, MIT’s Chris Knittel, Princeton’s Tim Searchinger and Iowa State’s Bruce Babcock.

 

EIA Administrator to Discuss Winter Fuels Outlook – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Assn for Energy Economics will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Friday at October 16th at Noon at Carmine’s Restaurant.  Sieminski will be discussing EIA’s annual Winter Fuels Outlook and sharing insights into EIA’s updated data collection and analysis.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Summit Set for Houston – The Energy Summit Series which will take place on November 1-3 at the JW Marriott Houston. The event will be co-located Transmission & Distribution and Distribution Technology & Innovation Summits.

 

REFF West to Focus on Key Renewable Financing Issues – The 8th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West (REFF-West) 2015 will be held at the Four Seasons in San Francisco, CA on November 5th and 6th.  With a focus on renewable energy development in the Western U.S., REFF-West will highlight financing trends in renewable power, energy storage, system integration, and transportation; review important developments in Western power market expansion and in the role of the emerging corporate customer market segment; and discuss renewable energy’s role in smarter resource use and response to the Western water crisis.

 

Energy Update: Week of September 14

Friends,

 

Happy new year everyone.  Today is Rosh Hashanah, which occurs on the first and second days of the  Tishri, the first month of the Jewish Calendar year.  In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, “head of the year” or “first of the year.” On Rosh Hashanah it is customary to greet one another with blessings and good wishes for a good year or “L’Shanah Tovah” – then we eat!

 

Last week’s short week was nice, but I think the return to the regular traffic pattern in DC made it seem like we went a full 5 days last week.  It was brutal.  Anyway, this week we see the return to DC of my friend and colleague Scott Segal from his European vacation and there was no national lampooning on this trip.  We all look forward to hearing the stories and seeing the pictures from what sounds like it was a life-altering experience.

 

I hope you waited out the 3-hour rain delay to stay with the US Open Men’s Final where Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer in four sets.  It was a true battle of champions and some tremendous tennis.  It was Djokovic’s third major of the year (Australia/Wimbledon).

 

In Congress this week, most focus in on the Animas River spill.  The House Resources and Oversight Committees will hold a joint hearing Thursday on the Gold King Mine featuring Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and EPA’s Gina McCarthy, while Wednesday Senate Indian Affairs and Senate Environment also host McCarthy.  And after last week’s subcommittee work, the House Energy & Commerce Committee takes up oil exports legislation on Thursday along with a markup of a broader energy package.

 

Off the Hill, the most interesting event may be Wednesday when our friend our friend Karen Harbert of the Chamber’s Energy Institute will host a luncheon with BHP CEO Andrew MacKenzie, who may be able to offer interesting insights with a new PM in Australia. Other great event include our friend Monica Trauzzi speaking the CHP conference at the National Press Club today.  Growth Energy is talking about ethanol tomorrow with Gina McCarthy and Tom Vilsack, while my friends Jean Chemnick and Hannah Northey join me for a media panel at the CIBO DC meeting.  Also Wednesday morning National Journal hosts a conference on crude exports with Sens. Hoeven, Heidkamp and Markey and OurEnergyPolicy will be hosting an ozone forum with NAM’s Ross Eisenberg and NRDC’s John Walke that is moderated by Bloomberg’s Mark Drajem.

 

As the for the out of town scoreboard this week,  today through Wednesday, Anaheim hosts the Solar Power International conference which will feature VP Joe Biden and mid-week, we’re all in Philly with the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s big annual event featuring a speech by our friend and partner Rudy Giuliani and the second Republican President debate heads to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley.

 

There is a lot going on so please don’t hesitate to call.

 

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

SoCo Acquires 2nd Wind Project – Southern Company announced another agreement to acquire its second wind project: the 151-MW Grant Wind facility in Oklahoma from Apex Clean Energy.  In March, Southern Power announced an agreement to acquire the 299-MW Kay Wind facility in Oklahoma, also from Apex Clean Energy – which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015. Southern Power also recently announced the acquisition of a controlling interest in two California facilities: the 300-MW Desert Stateline facility from First Solar Inc. and the 200-MW Tranquility facility from Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc.  With the addition of the three facilities, Southern Power’s renewable ownership is expected to reach more than 1,600 MW with 21 solar, wind and biomass facilities either announced, acquired or under construction.  Across its system, Southern Company has added or announced more than 3,400 MW of renewable generation since 2012.

 

Another New DOE Air Conditioning Rule Rolls Out – The Energy Department today unveiled more new energy efficiency standards for air conditioners and heat pump systems for motels, hotels, condominium buildings and hospitals.  The final rule adopts the industry standards for larger “single package vertical” (SPV) units but tightens those for smaller systems.  DOE will require SPV air conditioners and heat pumps with less than 65,000 British thermal units per hour of cooling capacity to meet the new standards in four years, according to the rule.  Larger systems will need to comply with the new standards in October or a year from October, as many already follow the industry standards. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) adopted new standards for SPVs in October 2013.  AHRI is very concerned about the rule, saying member companies are reviewing the rule and will decide what, if any, action to take within the 60-day time period following publication in the Federal Register.

 

Chamber Fuzzy Math Blog Continues – The Chamber’s Energy Institute has released its second installment of analysis on EPA’s final rule.  In the first of the series, they examined the changes EPA made to its Base Case, or business as usual, power sector forecast in support of its Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) for the Clean Power Plan Final Rule compared the Base Case it issued a few short months ago in support of its RIA for the Proposed Rule.  In the most recent post, they take that analysis a bit further and take a closer look at how EPA treats electricity generation from coal and renewables.  In its Proposed Rule, EPA used Integrated Planning Models showed a 12% output for coal plants in 2030.

The vast majority of this lost coal output—90% in fact—is offset in EPA’s model by increased output from renewable sources, most notable non-hydro renewables. Essentially, EPA is forecasting an almost one-for-one replacement of renewable generation for coal-fired generation, or a new estimate of renewables generation in 2030 of 30%.  All told, according to EPA, in 2030 we will have made it halfway to the administration’s goal without lifting a finger.  See the details here.

 

INGAA to Launch Education Campaign – While protesters are busy fasting at FERC hoping it won’t issue anymore fossil fuel infrastructure permits (good luck with that), our friends at INGAA, an industry association of pipeline builders, will launch a campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to help educate Americans about the benefits of natural gas and the pipelines that move gas to customers. INGAA’s Don Santa: “America’s Energy Link will provide valuable information about pipelines and natural gas, including materials about safety and the environment. We hope to educate Americans about the tangible benefits natural gas brings to their quality of life every day.  America’s Energy Link, also will serve as a springboard for those who want to learn more about natural gas pipelines and be part of the conversation going forward.“

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Trauzzi to Address CHP Conference – The Combined Heat and Power Assn (CHP) will hold its 2015 Annual Meeting today and tomorrow at the National Press Club in Washington DC.  The theme of this year’s conference is CHP: Providing Resilience and Security in an Uncertain Energy World. With the changing landscape of energy generation in the U.S. and the strain on an aging electric grid, energy solutions that are not only cost effective and efficient–but most importantly resilient–are needed to secure our energy future. This conference will highlight the ways in which combined heat and power is the best answer for our resilient energy needs while also providing numerous other benefits. The  conference will feature a number of new elements including CHP Association’s inaugural Solution Summit aimed at fostering meaningful discussion among attendees on ways to increase CHP deployment.  In addition, there will be a trade show to highlight companies and organizations working in the industry, and a full day conference that will explore the conference theme of resilience.  E&E TV’s Monica Trauzzi will be the keynote speaker.

 

Biden to Address Large Solar Conference – Solar Power International will be held today through Wednesday in Anaheim, CA at the convention center.   Among the speakers will be Vice President Joe Biden who will address the general assembly on Wednesday.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Enviros View of NatGas Fracturing – Today at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy & the Environment (WCEE) launches its Lunch & Learn Series, which will aim to bring you perspectives from all sides of this issue.  The first will be an environmental viewpoint from NRDC and EPA on hydraulic fracturing.  Speakers will include NRDC’s Sharon Buccino and EPA’s Caroline Ridley.   I suspect a few of our good natural gas WCEE members may have some tough questions.

 

House Resources Oil/Gas Field hearing Set for NOLA –Tomorrow morning in New Orleans, The House Resources Committee will host a field hearing at the Louisiana Supreme Court. This hearing will focus on the current state of offshore oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico, what measures, if any, the federal government is taking to manage outer Continental Shelf resources to maintain our nation’s competitive advantage, and how federal policy decisions impact current and future oil and natural gas development.  Witnesses will include Sens. Cassidy and Vitter, along with other local oil and gas experts and academics.

 

CIBO to Hold Annual DC Meeting – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners will be meeting in Washington tomorrow ahead of their October annual meeting. The agenda includes GHG discussions, along with rule on methane, coal ash, and WOTUS.

 

McCarthy, Vilsack Hit Ethanol Forum – Growth Energy is hosting Its annual ethanol advocacy conference tomorrow at the Hyatt Regency, Capitol Hill.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will address the Conference in Washington, D.C. in the morning followed by an industry press conference with Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis and Growth Energy Board of Directors Co-Chair, Jeff Broin.  Later that afternoon, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy will also address the Growth Energy conference.

 

NJ to Host Lawmakers on Crude Exports – Tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., National Journal will hold a forum with Democratic and Republican lawmakers to explore the building momentum around crude oil exports. NJ will pose questions like will lifting the ban make America more competitive or will it increase greenhouse gases by promoting oil exploration? Will it raise energy prices, even though recent studies predict a drop in fuel prices as a result of more American oil in the market?  Speakers will include Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, John Hoeven and Ed Markey.

 

Atlantic Council to Look at Iran, NatGas – Tomorrow at Noon, the Atlantic Council will host a panel discussion on the future of Iranian energy, particularly natural gas, in a post-sanctions world. The panel of Atlantic Council fellows includes Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, President of SVB Energy International, Barbara Slavin, Washington Correspondent for Al-Monitor, and Dr. Brenda Shaffer, Visiting Researcher and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University. Yeganeh Torbati of Reuters will moderate the interactive discussion on the latest insight on the Iran agreement in light of the pending US Congressional vote, Iran’s energy policy priorities in the near and medium term, particularly as it relates to natural gas, the outlook for foreign investment in Iran’s energy sector and the geopolitical implications of Iranian natural gas development.

 

Giuliani to Address Shale Insight – The 2015 Shale Insight Conference will be held in Philadelphia Wednesday and Thursday.  Over the past five years, the conference has built a reputation for strong programmatic content, including an impressive speaker roster of nearly 100 industry experts, political figures and concurrent technical and public affairs session panelists who share their expertise.   Attendees at the 2015 conference will hear from featured presenters, including: Hon. Rudolph W. Giuliani, Partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP and former mayor of New York City, as well as Robert Bryce, journalist, author and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

 

Energy Breakfast to Discuss Energy Techs – On Wednesday morning, ICF will host the heads of the two premier U.S. electricity and energy technology groups to discuss how new energy technologies and innovations are quickly reshaping the way we produce, transport, and utilize energy.  We have seen dramatic price reductions and increases in efficiency in solar, wind, and energy storage. But there are equally stunning changes taking place in areas such as information technology, environmental controls, appliances, system monitoring, and resiliency that are changing the energy landscape.  To be prepared for this technology tsunami, every facet of the energy industry—generators, fuel companies, transmission firms, regulators, and customers—needs to understand their impact and the new options they allow and changes they will create.  Speakers will include ARPA-E Director Ellen Williams and EPRI CEO Michael Howard.

 

Forum to Look at Ozone Rule – On Wednesday at 8:30 a.m., Our Energy Policy is holding an expert panel discussion at the National Press Club on the impacts of EPA’s proposed new standards for ground level ozone on the dynamic energy sector.  EPA is expected to announce a new standard for ground level ozone, a smog-forming pollutant. Referred to by some in industry as “the most expensive regulation ever,” the controversial rule will likely reduce the existing standard from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 65 or 70 ppb. There is significant disagreement over the likely benefits, costs and impact on public health and the economy of such a change. The Panel includes our friends Ross Eisenberg of NAM, RFF’s Alan Krupnick, AFPM’s Sarah Magruder Lyle and NRDC’s John Walke.  Bloomberg’s Mark Drajem will moderate.

 

House Resources, Oversight Look Into EPA Mine Spill – The House Resources and Oversight Committees will hold a joint hearing Wednesday on the Gold King Mine spill.  Witnesses will include Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, EPA Administrator McCarthy, along with representatives of the Navajo Nation and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.

 

UNFCCC Head to Address Enviro Group Webinar – On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. , the Union of Concerned Scientists will host a webinar featuring UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres.  The next international meeting on global warming is in December, but momentum is already building. President Obama recently made a bold call for action from the Arctic, Climate Week in New York begins September 21, and Pope Francis will be in Washington, DC, and New York the same week speaking about his call for global climate action.  The UCS webinar will discuss more about what we should expect from this meeting, what emissions reduction commitments countries have already made, if we expect international agreement to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, and what role the United States will play.

 

Chamber to Host BHP CEO – The Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will hold a conversation with BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie on Wednesday at Noon.  Mackenzie will discuss the free trade outlook for global energy and resources.

 

Moniz to Address Accelerate Energy Summit – The Accelerate Energy Productivity 2030 Summit will be held at Arena Stage on Wednesday at Noon.  The event is the culmination of a series of regional dialogues and will officially unveil a roadmap for achieving the goal of doubling U.S. energy productivity. This half-day dialogue will feature a keynote address from Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz along with panel discussions regarding driving energy productivity through federal and state policy, industrial competitiveness, smart power systems, and the built environment.  Rep. Tom Reed and Jigar Shah, President & CEO of the Institute for Industrial Productivity, are the latest additions to a speaker roster of 25 industry leaders, including Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, who will unveil a roadmap for doubling U.S. energy productivity by 2030.

 

EPRI, NRDC to Release Electric Transportation Report – On Thursday at 8:00 a.m. , EPRI and NRDC will release a new report that finds widespread adoption of electric transportation will curbs GHG emissions and improve air quality.  The report is a comprehensive environmental assessment of electric vehicles by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that concludes that electric transportation, including non-road electrification, would lead to reductions in greenhouse gases (GHG) and improve air quality especially in densely populated urban areas.  The report adds that by 2050, the electricity sector could reduce annual GHG emissions by 1700 million metric tons relative to 2015 levels by leveraging a cleaner grid, widespread electrification of light-duty vehicles, medium-duty vehicles and non-road equipment could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 540 million metric tons annually in 2050—equivalent to removing 100 million passenger cars from the road.  Speakers will include EPRI’s Mark Duvall, SoCal Ed CEO Ted Craver, NRDC’s David Hawkins and EPRI CEO Mike Howard.

 

Mexican Energy Officials Headline North American Energy Forum – The Mexico and Canada Institutes of the Woodrow Wilson Center are hosting the Second Annual North American Energy Forum on Thursday.  Over the past year, two new developments have left their mark on North America’s energy markets. The first concerns the impact of low oil prices on the region’s producers, with revenue affecting existing and future projects. Alongside the issue of price, we have seen major developments in all three North American countries. In Mexico, the first round of oil contracts is underway, with contracts awarded for exploration in shallow water in July of 2015. At the same time, we have seen major new investment plans unveiled in the electricity sector. In Canada, major infrastructure challenges and political change in the province of Alberta have altered the investment environment. In the US, the Interior Department proposal to open a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean to offshore drilling has generated a highly charged debate, and new EPA rules on emissions have been the subject of analysis and legal challenge. The objective of the forum is to provide insight and draw attention to the challenges and opportunities that these new developments have created.  Featured Keynote Speakers include Mexican Under- Secretary of Energy for Hydrocarbons, Lourdes Melgar and Mexican Under-Secretary of Energy for Electricity, César Hernández Ochoa.

 

Brookings Hosts Electricity Book Review – On Thursday at 1:30 p.m., the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host Institute for Electricity Innovation (IEI) Executive Director and ESCI Nonresident Senior Fellow Lisa Wood for a discussion of the evolving electric power industry and future trends. Brookings Institution Trustee and former CEO of Duke Energy Jim Rogers will moderate the discussion.  Wood is editor of “Thought Leaders Speak Out: The Evolving Electric Power Industry,” IEI’s  collection of more than 20 essays by electric utility and technology company leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders focused on three distinct and interrelated areas driving this transformation: the evolving grid, the evolving customer, and evolving regulation. Attendees will receive a free copy of the book.

 

ACCF Forum to Look at Energy Challenges – The American Council for Capital Formation will hold forum Friday at the Washington Convention Center to discuss to discuss both the challenges and the opportunities in the nation’s energy landscape along with how our nation’s energy abundance has put us in a position to export. What are the barriers preventing a stronger position of U.S. domestic energy?  Do these regulatory challenges impede economic growth?  What communities across the country are most impacted by higher-prices, lower wages, and anti-growth policies? And finally, how does a strong domestic energy industry help communities of color?

 

Forum to Look at LNG Resources – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Association for Energy Economics is hosting a lunch Friday at Noon at Carmine’s with speaker Fred Hutchison, Executive Director of LNG Allies.  Hutchinson, Executive Director of LNG Allies, will discuss the outlook for US LNG production vis-a-vis the European outlook for increased demand capacity, restructuring, and contract negotiations.  Hutchison is the executive director (day-to-day manager) and founder of LNG Allies. He coordinates the team of consultants and is principal liaison with the membership on US and European LNG structure, markets, and policy.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

Moral March on DC – Climate Advocates will descend to Washington on September 21 to talk about Climate.  From September 21 to 25, there will be a series of events held across the country to call for the United States to honor its moral duty to act for climate justice.   On Wednesday, September 23, the Franciscan Action Network will lead an all-night, multi-faith vigil at the Lincoln Memorial.   On Thursday, September 24, the Pope will address a joint session of Congress, and there will be Jumbotrons set up at the Capitol and the National Mall for public viewing.  After the address, there will be a rally on the National Mall, between 4th St. NW and 7th St. NW, with performances and speakers.

 

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

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

 

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

 

Papal Visit Schedule Set – The official schedule is out for the Papal visit in the United States.  Pope Francis will arrive at Andrews AFB on Tuesday September 22, meet with the White House and address a Joint Session of Congress before heading to the UN on Friday.  He then travels to Philadelphia before heading back to the Vatican on Sunday September 27th.

 

UN Climate Talks Set – Climate sidebars will be held at the UN on September 24 and 25.  President Obama is expected to attend.

 

Holmstead, Others Experts to Discuss GHG Rule at DC Bar Event – On Thursday, September 24th at 12:30 p.m., the D.C. Bar will hold a forum in its Conference Center looking the EPA’s GHG Rule.  At this brown bag, sponsored by the Air Quality Committee of the D.C. Bar Environment, a panel of experts will offer perspectives on the final rule, including state compliance options and the nature and timing of legal challenges.  The panelists will be: David Doniger, Director, Climate & Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, Lisa Heinzerling, Professor of Law at Georgetown University, and Jeff Holmstead, Partner, Bracewell & Giuliani. All three of our speakers have previously served in high-level posts at EPA and have spent most of their careers shaping carbon pollution policy.

 

CSIS to Look at Global NatGas Markets – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Dr. Fereidun Fesharaki, Chairman and Founder of FGE, on Friday September 25th at 10:00 a.m. for a discussion of the global natural gas markets. As the low price environment persists, the debate over the impacts on gas production in the United States and globally continues. Spot prices have entered a long term lull disconnected from contract prices; European prices may remain weak for some time; and in the United States, many sellers are still planning to proceed with export projects. The LNG market turmoil will likely hit new heights in 2016 with so much additional volume in the market. How can the markets rebalance? What is needed to bring sanity to the market? David Pumphrey, Senior Associate with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

 

Global Citizen Event Set for NYC – On September 26th in NYC’s Central Park, the Global Citizen movement will hold an event focused on taking action to address poverty, environmental and education issues.  The event will feature a concert with Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay.

 

UN General Assembly – September 28th

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cato to Hold UN Climate Conference Forum – The Cato Institute will hold a day-long forum on October 30th in its Hayek Auditorium to hear distinguished climate scientists and legal experts assess the issues sure to drive the debate before, during, and after the Paris UN Climate meeting.  Speakers will include

John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry and Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon on a panel about science.  MIT professor and prominent climate skeptic Richard Lindzen will be the luncheon speaker.  In the afternoon, there will be a legal panel featuring Peter Glaser and Andrew Grossman and a policy panel that will include Harlan Watson, Former Chief Climate Negotiator in the George W. Bush administration and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger, who is Assistant Director, Center for the Study of Science at Cato.

 

Energy Update: Week of September 8

Friends,

 

I hope everyone enjoyed some slower times in August.  While I was able to get away a little, it just seemed like we were busy every week doing something from Iran to the Clean Power Plan to the Alaska visit.

 

And this week gets crazier for me personally.  While my girls are already well into the school year and their field hockey schedules, Adam heads off to boarding school on Wednesday in Charlottesville.  He is very excited and has been bouncing off the walls the last two weeks.  I can also confirm for the record that his sisters are very pleased with departure.

 

Well now that the break is over and Congress readies itself to reengage as we run toward the next big thing (on the environment, at least): the late-year Paris UN Climate meetings.  On that, I would suggest one look at the Iran deal for how it might play out.   Of course, Iran and nuclear weapons is a little more significant for global security issues, while any climate treaty will likely have significant economic impacts if implemented without much hope of slowing global warming.

 

But before we get to that cheery note, we have a lot to get to in Congress: the Pope is coming to DC and the SEJ Conference will be October 5-8 in Norman, Oklahoma.

 

It will be a busy week this week as people come back, but get ready for the pace to really pick up next week.  Generally, this week is all about Iran, but tomorrow our Friends Amy Harder, Darren Goode, and Kate Sheppard talk energy politics at 9:30, while later in the week House Science goes to town with several hearings including two on the Clean Power Plan’s impacts, and finally, House Energy will vote in Subcommittee Thursday on lifting the ban on crude exports.  Remember former USS Cole Commander Kirk Lippold is one of your best experts on the topic.  You can get him at kirk@kirklippold.com.

 

Also today, our friends at Morning Consult have launched a new feature where they will profile a Washington DC Insider, and I was honored that they asked me to be the inaugural issue profile.   Just remember, you can’t believe everything you read:  http://morningconsult.com/2015/09/frank-maisano-earns-his-media/

 

Finally, with the NFL launch this weekend and the high school/college football launch last weekend, I would just like to remind you that we are only 30 days from hockey season…  Don’t want that to get lost in all the hoopla over BYU “Doug Flutie” passes, unhappy San Antonio HS players blasting a HS official from behind because they were losing and, well…anything about Tom Brady.

 

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

EPA Delay GHG Plan Publication Date – Following the August 3 announcement of the President’s Plan to regulate GHGs from existing power plants, EPA said the intended to publish the rule in the Federal Register by this past week.  But at the end of August, they announced that wasn’t happening, suggesting a late October publication was more likely.   While many initially speculated that this would be done purposely to avoid having a stay issued before Paris after opponents sued over the rule, others suggest another problem cropped up as well: the overall complexity of the rule is so challenging that they were never going to make that labor day weekend deadline in the first place.

 

States Ask for Immediate Stay – Sixteen states led by West Virginia told the federal court they needed an immediate stay of the Clean Power Plan, not when the rule is published in the Federal Register in October.  “With EPA’s response to this Court’s briefing order, it is now clear that the States will suffer months of irreparable harm before they can possibly obtain a stay under the ordinary statutory procedures,” the states wrote.  Publication makes a rule official, starting the clock for both compliance and legal challenges.

 

NYT Emails Exposé Details GMO Debate Using Third Parties – Over the weekend, our friend Eric Lipton of the New York Times struck again with a nicely-written piece on detailing the efforts by advocates on both sides of the GMO debate to use third party advocates.  While the tactic isn’t really new or surprising (I know if it being used  by both sides all the way back to campaigns surrounding the Kyoto Climate Treaty in 1997), Lipton uses email to underscore the elaborate details of what has become a high-stakes fight with the US Senate getting to consider legislation the House passed this summer to limit states from imposing labeling requirements on GMO foods.

 

Stonyfield CEO Responds to NYT – Stonyfield CEO and Just Label It Chair Gary Hirshberg said “big biotech companies like Monsanto and big food companies like General Mills and Pepsi have spun the science to fight our right to know what’s in our food and how it’s grown. Nine out of ten Americans — regardless of age, income or even party affiliation — simply want to decide the right to know if GMOs are in their food, the same right held by consumers in 64 other nations. The Senate and the Obama Administration should look at all of the science — including clear and convincing evidence that GMO crops have fueled an explosion in weed killers linked to cancer — not just Monsanto’s “science” and reject legislation passed by the House to block state and federal GMO labeling.”

 

SoCo Rolls Out New NEST Products for Improved EE – Following its big move into the natural gas business recently with its acquisition of AGL resources, Southern continued its move to an “all-of-the-above” with a major energy efficiency announcement, rolling out the new NEST third-generation product line — the Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Protect and Nest Cam — which will be available to Southern Company system customers.   Southern CEO Tom Fanning said by offering customers innovative tools to create a truly connected home, Southern Company and Nest will help families better manage their energy use and improve their quality of life.  Residents in Georgia can already get the Nest Thermostat at no cost when they sign up for Georgia Power’s Smart Usage Rate plan.  In addition to retail locations and Nest Pro installers, select Nest products will be available through over 40 energy and enterprise partners, including subsidiaries with Southern Company.

 

CRUDE Report Says Export Ban Would Keep Gas Price Lower – Prices at the pump for American drivers have been substantially discounted because U.S. crude oil is kept in America, and that will continue to be the case as long as the export ban remains in place, according to a new study released today by The CRUDE Coalition.  The study also reports that since the domestic oil boom, domestic gasoline prices are no longer tied to European pricing.  The study by the consultancy Baker & O’Brien examines historical relationships between the prices of crude oil and gasoline, undermining the assumptions of a study just released by the Energy Information Administration, as well as the assumptions of several pro-export studies that had argued gasoline prices would drop if the export ban were lifted.  The study also provides further evidence that domestic gasoline prices would in fact rise if crude-export restrictions are lifted.   The report followed an EIA report that was less certain about price impacts. More info here.

 

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Reporters to Talk Climate, 2016 – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.  in the National Press Club’s First Amendment Lounge, Climate Nexus hosts a moderated discussion about how climate change and clean energy will factor into the 2016 election season.  Panelists will include POLITICO’s Darren Goode, Amy Harder of the Wall Street Journal, George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication Director Ed Maibach and Kate Sheppard of HuffPost.

 

Forum to Offer Paris Climate Preview – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Joseph Aldy, Associate Professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and Elliot Diringer, Executive Vice President at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) to discuss current and expected Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, to take place in Paris later this year.  The Paris 2015 conference–the next conference under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted in 1992–is highly anticipated around the globe but is yet another step on the longstanding pathway to coordinated global action. As was determined in Durban, South Africa in 2011, the goal of negotiations is an agreement with legal force that is applicable to all. Each country has been subsequently charged with arriving in Paris with predetermined climate goals, in the form of an Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC). Following an overview of the content and purpose of the INDCs, the expert panel will discuss comparability between already submitted INDCs, those yet to come, and the accompanying Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) processes.

 

NRC Commissioners Head to House Energy – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy Committee’s Subcommittees on Energy & Power and Environment & the Economy will conduct an oversight hearing on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Witnesses will include Commissioners Jeff Baran, Stephen Burns, William Ostendorff and Kristine Svinicki.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Storage – The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), the Korea Institute of Energy Research, and the Global America Business Institute will hold an energy roundtable discussion on Wednesday at noon focused on renewable energy storage.  Matt Roberts, Executive Director of the Energy Storage Association will be the speaker.

RFF Seminar to Look at Scarcity, Conservation – Resources for the Future will hold its September First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.  conservation and scarcity.  Environmental policies typically reflect an assumption that today’s scarcities will be tomorrow’s scarcities. Yet in the past, many social and technological innovations have radically altered the nature of scarcity, often reducing environmental impacts in the process. Several current trends (in agriculture, materials use, energy, and water) suggest that, with the right policies and investments, the human footprint could peak and decline in coming decades.  The seminar will feature the release of a new report from the Breakthrough Institute, Nature Unbound: Decoupling for Conservation, and discuss several of its key themes: how humans destroy nature, how they save nature, and what this implies for conservation. Panelists will include Linus Blomqvist of the Breakthrough Institute, Jesse Ausubel of the Rockefeller University and George Mason University fellow Thomas Lovejoy.

 

House Science Panels Tackle GHG Rule – The House Science will hold two hearings on Thursday and Friday on the impacts of the Administration’s GHG plan.  On Thursday, the Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Subcommittee on Energy will hold a joint hearing examining vulnerabilities of America’s power supply.  Witnesses will include University of Colorado Boulder expert Daniel Baker, Nadya Bartol of the Utilities Telecom Council, EPRI’s Richard Lordan and M. Granger Morgan of Carnegie Mellon University.  On Friday, Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing on State perspectives of how EPA’s Power Plan will impact power plants.

 

House Energy Panel to Take Up Export Ban – the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Panel on Energy and Power will vote Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on Joe Barton legislation to lift the 40-year-old crude oil export ban.  A good resource on this topic is topic is former USS Cole Commander Kirk Lippold who testified before the same panel earlier this year raising concerns about such a move.   You can reach Lippold at kirk@kirklippold.com

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Civil Nuclear Agreement – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a discussion on Thursday at 10:15 a.m. looking at the road ahead for the U.S.-ROK civil nuclear energy agreement. This event will look at the challenges and issues with the implementation of the 123 agreement, the outlook for it in Congress, and the overall context of the agreement. This event is on the record and open to the public.  Panelists will include Gary Samore, Executive Director of Research at Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Sharon Squasonni, who serves as Director and Senior Fellow of the Proliferation Prevention Program at CSIS.

 

Forum to Addresses Air Capture – The U.S. Energy Association holds a forum on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. looking at air capture technology’s role in decarbonizing global energy systems.  In order to meet targets set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to limit the most severe effects of climate change, levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere must not exceed 450 parts per million. While fuel switching, energy efficiency, and conservation are critical pillars to reduce CO2 emissions, they are insufficient to deal with fugitive emissions or cancel out past emissions. Air capture, or the technological ability to remove CO2 from air at least 1000 times more effectively than biomass presents a promising option to achieve the IPCC’s goal. This presentation will outline strategies for economically deploying air capture and discuss its role as one of the sustainable solutions to climate change.  The speaker at USEA will be ASU’s Christophe Jospe, who runs the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at ASU.

 

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Trauzzi to Address CHP Conference – The Combined Heat and Power Assn (CHP) will hold its 2015 Annual Meeting on September 14-15th at the National Press Club in Washington DC.  The theme of this year’s conference is CHP: Providing Resilience and Security in an Uncertain Energy World. With the changing landscape of energy generation in the U.S. and the strain on an aging electric grid, energy solutions that are not only cost effective and efficient–but most importantly resilient–are needed to secure our energy future. This conference will highlight the ways in which combined heat & power is the best answer for our resilient energy needs while also providing numerous other benefits. The conference will feature a number of new elements including CHP Association’s inaugural Solution Summit aimed at fostering meaningful discussion among attendees on ways to increase CHP deployment. In addition, there will be a trade show to highlight companies and organizations working in the industry, and a full day conference that will explore the conference theme of resilience.  E&E TV’s Monica Trauzzi will be the keynote speaker.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Enviros View of NatGas Fracturing – Next Monday, the Women’s Council on Energy & the Environment (WCEE) launches its Lunch & Learn Series, which will aim to bring you perspectives from all sides of this issue.  The first will be an environmental viewpoint from NRDC and EPA on hydraulic fracturing.  Speakers will include NRDC’s Sharon Buccino and EPA’s Caroline Ridley.   I suspect a few of our good natgas WCE members may have some tough questions.

 

CIBO to Hold Annual DC Meeting – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners will also be meeting in Washington on Tuesday September 15th ahead of their October annual meeting. The agenda includes GHG discussions, along with rule on Methane, Coal ash, and WOTUS.

 

NJ to Host Lawmakers on Crude Exports – Next Tuesday at 8:00 a.m., National Journal will hold a forum with Democratic and Republican lawmakers to explore the building momentum around crude oil exports. NJ will pose questions like will lifting the ban make America more competitive or will it increase greenhouse gases by promoting oil exploration? Will it raise energy prices, even though recent studies predict a drop in fuel prices as a result of more American oil in the market? And many more.

 

Atlantic Council to Look at Iran, NatGas – Next Tuesday, September 15th at Noon, the Atlantic Council will host a panel discussion on the future of Iranian energy, particularly natural gas, in a post-sanctions world. The panel of Atlantic Council fellows includes Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, President of SVB Energy International, Barbara Slavin, Washington Correspondent for Al-Monitor, and Dr. Brenda Shaffer, Visiting Researcher and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University. Yeganeh Torbati of Reuters will moderate the interactive discussion on the latest insight on the Iran agreement in light of the pending US Congressional vote, Iran’s energy policy priorities in the near and medium term, particularly as it relates to natural gas, the outlook for foreign investment in Iran’s energy sector and the geopolitical implications of Iranian natural gas development.

Giuliani to Address Shale Insight – The 2015 Shale Insight Conference will be held in Philadelphia on September 16th & 17th Over the past five years, the conference has built a reputation for strong programmatic content, including an impressive speaker roster of nearly 100 industry experts, political figures and concurrent technical and public affairs session panelists who share their expertise.  Attendees at the 2015 conference will hear from featured presenters, including: Hon. Rudolph W. Giuliani, Partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP and former mayor of New York City, as well as Robert Bryce, journalist, author and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

 

Forum to Look at Ozone Rule – On Wednesday, September 16th at 8:30 a.m., Our Energy Policy is holding an expert panel discussion at the National Press Club on the impacts of EPA’s proposed new standards for ground level ozone on the dynamic energy sector.  EPA is expected to announce a new standard for ground level ozone, a smog-forming pollutant. Referred to by some in industry as “the most expensive regulation ever,” the controversial rule will likely reduce the existing standard from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 65 or 70 ppb. There is significant disagreement over the likely benefits, costs and impact on public health and the economy of such a change. The Panel includes our friends Ross Eisenberg of NAM, RFF’s Alan Krupnick, AFPM’s Sarah Magruder Lyle and NRDC’s John Walke.  Bloomberg’s Mark Drajem will moderate.

 

Mexican Energy Officials Headline N American Energy Forum – The Mexico and Canada Institutes of the Woodrow Wilson Center are hosting the Second Annual North American Energy Forum on Thursday, September 17th.  Over the past year, two new developments have left their mark on North America’s energy markets. The first concerns the impact of low oil prices on the region’s producers, with revenue affecting existing and future projects. Alongside the issue of price, we have seen major developments in all three North American countries. In Mexico, the first round of oil contracts is underway, with contracts awarded for exploration in shallow water in July of 2015. At the same time, we have seen major new investment plans unveiled in the electricity sector. In Canada, major infrastructure challenges and political change in the province of Alberta have altered the investment environment. In the US, the Interior Department proposal to open a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean to offshore drilling has generated a highly charged debate, and new EPA rules on emissions have been the subject of analysis and legal challenge. The objective of the forum is to provide insight and draw attention to the challenges and opportunities that these new developments have created.  Featured Keynote Speakers include Mexican Under- Secretary of Energy for Hydrocarbons, Lourdes Melgar and Mexican Under-Secretary of Energy for Electricity, César Hernández Ochoa.

 

Brookings Hosts Electricity Book Review – On Thursday, September 17th at 1:30 p.m., the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host Institute for Electricity Innovation (IEI) Executive Director and ESCI Nonresident Senior Fellow Lisa Wood for a discussion of the evolving electric power industry and future trends. Brookings Institution Trustee and former CEO of Duke Energy Jim Rogers will moderate the discussion.  Wood is editor of “Thought Leaders Speak Out: The Evolving Electric Power Industry,” IEI’s  collection of more than 20 essays by electric utility and technology company leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders focused on three distinct and interrelated areas driving this transformation: the evolving grid, the evolving customer, and evolving regulation., Attendees will receive a free copy of the book.

 

Moral March on DC – Climate Advocates will descend to Washington on September 21 to talk about Climate.

 

Book to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will hold its September Roundtable on Tuesday, September 22nd featuring Kevin Book, Managing Director of ClearView Energy Partners.   Book heads the research team at ClearView, an independent research firm that serves institutional investors and corporate strategists. Mr. Book’s primary coverage areas include oil, natural gas, coal and refined products.

 

Papal Visit Schedule Set – The official schedule is out for the Papal visit in the United States.  Pope Francis will arrive at Andrews AFB on Tuesday September 22, meet with the White House and address a Joint Session of Congress before heading to the UN on Friday.  He then travels to Philadelphia before heading back to the Vatican on Sunday September 27th.

 

UN Climate Talks Set – Climate sidebars will be held at the UN on September 24 and 25.  President Obama is expected to attend.

 

Global Citizen Event Set for NYC – On September 26th in NYC’s Central Park, the Global Citizen movement will hold an event focused on taking action to address poverty, environmental and education issues.  The event will feature a concert with Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay.

 

UN General Assembly – September 28th

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of March 23

Friends,

 

Here we go again…A great round of NCAA tournament games this past weekend, taking us down to the Sweet 16.  Some of the surprise winners are familiar names like UCLA, Xavier and Michigan State.  And of course, among the “Shockers” were Kansas, UVa and Villanova’s early exits.  Maybe a little surprising, but not totally.  Big names like UK, Duke, Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Louisville, etc continue on.  On the women’s side, top seeds are rolling with So Carolina and Notre Dame through to the Round of 16.  Today, Maryland should have their hands full with undefeated Princeton and UConn takes on Rutgers as they advance the second 8.

 

On March Madness, our friends at Iberdrola are having some fun with the idea.  Last week they rolled out Megawatt Madness tourney – matching up our 64 renewable locations around the country (mostly Iberdrola wind and solar fleet).   They have moved to the Sweet 16 so click and vote…

 

Finally, the 2015 NCAA Frozen Four hockey pairings were announced yesterday.  WCHA Champ Minnesota State-Mankato is top seed with North Dakota, Boston and Miami, getting No. 1 seeds. Regional play begins Friday and Saturday in Fargo, North Dakota (West Regional), Manchester, New Hampshire (Northeast), Providence, Rhode Island (East), and South Bend, Indiana (Midwest). The Frozen Four will be played in Boston at TD Garden on April 9th and April 11th.  Sleeper this year could be Harvard who won the ECAC and the UP’s Michigan Tech who are solid and return to the tourney for the first time since 1981.

 

Speaking of hockey, there is a big game in town (actually Kettler Arena in Arlington, VA) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.   The Congressional Hockey Challenge will feature members of Congress and staff (including a couple of ringers from the Canadian Parliament) playing a team of lobbyists to raise funds for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (the legendary SCOTUS justice was a huge hockey fan), USA Warriors Hockey and DC inner city youth hockey program Ft. Dupont.  POLITICO Playbook’s Dan Lippman profiles the event and I will be on the ice as part of the officiating crew.  Tickets are $10 so please turn out for this fun event and great cause.

 

Besides lacing up their skates, members will be active this week with several important hearings.  It all started this morning in West Virginia where Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, member of the both Sen. Energy and Enviro Committees held a field hearing in Beckley on EPA’s Clean Power Plan.   There is also a Small Business Committee field hearing in Louisiana with Chair Dave Vitter today on how small businesses are supporting America’s energy renaissance.  Following last week’s hearing on coal ash legislation, EPA’s OSW head Mathy Stanislaus discusses the EPA Rule/legislation in the much anticipated Round 2 tomorrow.   Also tomorrow, Senate Ag hits at the EPA’s Waters of the US rule where my colleague Lowell Rothschild (202-828-1711) is an outstanding resource.  Finally, House Ag will hold two hearings this week on the reauthorization of the CFTC.  My colleagues Bob Pease (202-828-5824) and Dave Perlman (202-828-5804) are great experts on the topic.

 

With the DOE Quadrennial Energy Review being released any day now, Secretary Moniz is supposed to visit Senate Energy on Thursday.   The hearing is not yet for sure as the QER may be delayed.  What is not delayed at Senate Energy is the RETURN of our friend Rosemarie Calabro Tully, who has been energy press secretary for the Bipartisan Policy Center since leaving the Committee when Chairman Bingaman retired, to ENR where she will communications for ranking member Maria Cantwell.

 

The big legal event in DC this week is the Supreme Court of the US hearing the long-awaited mercury rule challenge on Wednesday.  Michigan AG Bill Schuette leads 19 other states in arguing the rule is not attainable and too costly.  My colleagues Jeff Holmstead, Rich Alonso and Scott Segal can respond to any and all of your questions.

 

There are budget hearings this week on Forest Service, DOE with Secretary Moniz on Wednesday, PHSMA, House Energy Approps with all four NRC Commissioners and FBI Director James Comey.

 

Our friends at the Wall Street Journal are hosting ECO:nomics in Cali this week while Heating and AC company leaders flood DC for AHRI annual Washington DC Symposium (#AHRISymposium on Twitter).  If fact, some of those HVAC guys will likely weigh in at Friday’s DOE public hearing on the hotly-contested new Furnace efficiency rule.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer, former DOE Senior Counsel and attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani who represents energy efficiency and technology clients highlighted that DOE’s proposed rule clearly admits that increasing the standards on residential furnaces leads to increased switching from natural gas to electric furnaces which actually increases GHG emissions.  Expect this argument to continue to come up on Friday.  American Gas Assn and furnace-makers at AHRI both have expressed serious concerns about the effectiveness of DOE’s rule as well.

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Iberdrola Promoting Renewables with “Megawatt Madness”  – Iberdrola Renewables launched a bracket-style tournament last week called Megawatt Madness, which features 64 of our renewable power sites across the United States. The tournament allows employees, landowners, community members and the general public to vote for and share their favorite sites from the Iberdrola Renewables fleet.  This campaign features a website-based bracket, where participants can vote based on images, descriptions, and facts about each site. Participants are encouraged to share on social media to spread the word about what makes their site so special using the hashtag #IR64.  The winners of each round of the tournament will be determined by the amount of votes and social media shares they receive. Bracket match-ups will occur for one month, with the champion being selected after April 10.  Starting today, the sweet 16 are out there so go vote.

 

Atlantic Sunrise Will Create Jobs, Economic Growth –A new study from Penn State University says that the design and construction of Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline project will generate approximately $1.6 billion in additional wages, revenues and investments to the regional and state economies of Pennsylvania and Virginia.  The report clearly shows how vital this project and others like it are for Pennsylvania’s economy.  “Economic Impacts of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Project,” lead author Seth Blumsack, Associate Professor of Energy Policy at Penn State, finds that the proposed project would have a major, positive economic impact on the Pennsylvania and Virginia economies where new pipeline facilities would be built and operated.   According to the researchers, the design and construction of the Williams Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project could support approximately 8,000 jobs and an associated $870 million in economic value added during the construction period. Additionally, the ongoing operation of the pipeline would generate approximately $1.9 million in annual economic impact, supporting 29 jobs.   In a related report titled “Estimating the Impact of the Atlantic Sunrise Project on Natural Gas Consumers,” lead author Andrew Kleit, Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics at Penn State, found that consumers served by the Transco pipeline in the southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions could have saved $2.6 billion from 2012-2014 due to increased access to lower-priced Pennsylvania gas supply because of Atlantic Sunrise.

 

Interior Issues BLM NatGas Fracturing Rule – In another Friday afternoon release special, the Interior Department released its long-awaited rule governing hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on federal and American Indian lands.  The rule, issued by the Bureau of Land Management, will require companies using the process to strengthen wells with concrete barriers to prevent water zones; disclose the chemicals used to the online FracFocus database; and secure recovered waste fluid with stronger interim storage tanks.  The rule will also require companies to submit more information on preexisting wells to prevent cross-well contamination.

 

IER Hammers Rule, Administration – The Institute for Energy Research President said the Administration’s hydraulic fracturing regulation saying the Obama administration is being “dishonest” about its intentions. IER President Tom Pyle: “This new hydraulic fracturing rule isn’t about protecting the environment, but rather about curtailing domestic energy production, which has been this administration’s goal all along.” IER said production on federal lands has actually declined under this administration in the midst of record energy production on state and private lands.  Pyle: “Imposing federal controls on hydraulic fracturing is this administration’s latest regulatory scheme for disrupting America’s domestic energy boom. From proposing to block off ANWR and parts of Alaska’s energy-rich offshore areas to slow-walking drilling permits and fast-tracking green energy leases, President Obama remains determined to strangle domestic energy production by any means necessary.  Pyle Finished by saying the administration’s hydraulic fracturing rule is a solution in search of a problem and states are already regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands and have done so successfully for years without federal interference.

 

Drillers Sue Over Rule – Not wasting any time, IPAA and the Western Energy Alliance filed a federal lawsuit against the Interior regulations, challenging BLM’s issuance of regulations related to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The Complaint, filed in federal district court in Wyoming, characterizes BLM’s rulemaking as “a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns” and requests the regulations be set aside because the administrative record lacks the factual, scientific, or engineering evidence necessary to sustain the agency’s action. States have an outstanding record of protecting the environment and safeguarding the public. This new rule is simply another regulatory overreach by the Obama Administration that will hurt America’s oil and natural gas producers. WEA President Tim Wigley: Interior “struggles to meet its current workload of leasing, environmental analysis, permitting, monitoring, inspecting, and otherwise administering the federal onshore oil and natural gas program.  Yet it is undertaking an entirely new regulatory regime that it has neither the resources nor the expertise to implement.”

 

Bracewell Experts are Available – Despite another Friday policy announcement from this Administration; this one while NCAA basketball games will be filling most offices on Capitol Hill, in DC and around the nation., we have experts at B&G.  Should you need to discuss this long-awaited announcement on regulations for hydraulic fracturing on Federal land natgas drilling, feel free to call my colleagues Jason Hutt (202-828-5850, Jason.hutt@bgllp.com) and Lowell Rothschild (202-828-5817, lowell.rothschild@bgllp.com).  They will be happy to provide background information, on-the-record quote and policy/legal analysis.

 

More Drama on the Post Fact Check – You may recall last week, we detailed the March 13th Post Fact Checker article by Michelle Ye Hee Lee on recent remarks made by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.   ACCCE fired back a strongly-worded response highlighting several factual errors and omitted other important facts on state opposition to EPA’s proposal.  Now, ACCCE submitted a Letter to the Editor to The Washington Post, however, the paper rejected the letter as the original article did not appear in print.  Now ACCCE is releasing their L to E from ACCCE head Mike Duncan.

 

The Letter –The letter from Duncan reads: Your Fact Checker’s article “Inhofe’s misleading statements on carbon emissions rule” on March 13 was remarkable for two reasons.   First and foremost, the Fact Checker failed to check any facts with ACCCE or NERA. A single call or email was never even attempted, despite a lengthy piece which criticizes analyses by both organizations.  Secondly, there are a large number of facts the Fact Checker got wrong. For example, the Fact Checker incorrectly claims NERA assumed only a “worst-case scenario” when analyzing the economic impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan. NERA’s report, however, makes it crystal clear that several scenarios were modeled, including a best case scenario (referred to in NERA’s report as the “state unconstrained” scenario). The Fact Checker also claims NERA did not analyze regional compliance approaches. Had the Fact Checker read the report or checked with us, she would know for a fact that NERA devoted an entire 10-page appendix to explain its analysis of a regional compliance scenario and the impacts (for example, 41 states would experience double-digit electricity price increases).  In light of the numerous errors in this reporting, we can only assume the Fact Checker’s nose is growing by the moment.

 

Moniz, Pritzker Lead Trade Mission to China – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will lead a delegation of 25 American companies on a Business Development Trade Mission to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, China next month.  The trade mission will help U.S. companies launch or increase their business operations in China for Smart Cities – Smart Growth products and services, such as smart buildings, green data centers, carbon capture utilization and storage, energy efficiency technologies, clean air and water technologies, waste treatment technologies, smart grid and green transportation.  Southern Company and Brightsource Energy are among the companies already working innovative energy technologies with China and others internationally.

 

Platts Cap Crude Looks at Exports – Our friends at Platts Capitol Crude podcast takes a deep dive into the ongoing debate over crude exports following last week’s Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. The debate has dipped into the future of US oil production, current refining capacity and the influence exports may have on foreign policy. It also comes as the US fossil fuel industry finds itself in the midst of a “body swap” movie where policy has not kept pace with a radical change.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

IHS Execs to Discuss Current Oil Issues at CSIS – As part of its ongoing assessment of the impact of low oil prices and policy on the sustainability of domestic energy production, the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Dan Yergin, Kurt Barrow and Rick Bott of IHS today at 1:00 p.m. to present their most recent analysis looking at the oil export question in light of the fall in oil prices and the impact on investment and in terms of the supply chains in the non-oil producing states. The analysis considers 60 separate supply chain industries and provides granular impact analysis to fully understand the economic and job growth impact across the nation. Frank Verrastro, Senior Vice President and James R. Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics at CSIS, will moderate.

 

House Ag to Look at CFTC – The House Agriculture Committee will hold two hearings tomorrow and Wednesday on the reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.  The CFTC — whose oversight of futures markets expanded significantly under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act — has been awaiting reauthorization since September 2013.  My Colleagues Bob Pease (202-828-5824) and Dave Perlman (202-828-5804) are great experts on the topic.

 

NRC Commissioners Head to House Approps for Budget, Yucca – The House Energy and Water Appropriations panel will hear from NRC Chairman Stephen Burns and his fellow commissioners Kristine Svinicki, William Ostendorff and Jeff Baran about the agency’s fiscal 2016 budget request.  Topics concerns include Yucca Mountain, Nevada repository and many other topics.

 

Senate Ag Tackles WOTUS – The highly-controversial Water of the US Rule will be the subject of a hearing at Senate Ag tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.   Vocal critic and ag advocate Pat Roberts will chair the Hearing.  Witnesses will include Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary Donald van der Vaart, Kansas Department of Agriculture assistant secretary Susan Metzger, Josh Baldi of the Washington State Department of Ecology,  Ouray County, CO commissioner Lynn Padgett and several other farmers representing different sectors.

 

BPC to Host Moniz on Nuclear Future – The Bipartisan Policy Commission will hold a discussion tomorrow morning with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz looking at the progress to date and examining pathways forward on the future of nuclear waste disposal.   In January 2012, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future recommended a phased, adaptive, consent-based approach for finding a safe, permanent solution for managing nuclear materials.  BPC head Jason Grumet will host the discussion with Moniz.

 

ELI to Look at Coal Ash Rule – The Enviro Law Institute will host a forum tomorrow at Noon for an in-depth examination of the final coal ash rule. ELI’s expert panel will explain the rule’s workings and answer questions on safety, environmental guidelines and other topics.  On December 19, 2014, EPA’s Administrator signed the first ever federal rule regulating the disposal of coal ash, a combustion byproduct from coal-fired power plants.  EPA’s final rule determines that coal ash should be regulated as a solid waste under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), not a hazardous waste, and provides new national minimum criteria for the coal ash disposal.

 

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference Wednesday and Thursday.  Speakers will include Bracewell’s Scott Segal and folks from Congress and the Administration.

 

Forum to Look at Indigenous People, Industry – The CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  that will look at maximizing partnerships between indigenous communities and the extractive sector.  The discussion will focus on ways companies in the extractive industry engage indigenous communities in their areas of operation. Many extractive companies find themselves operating in close proximity to indigenous people and their territories. Working constructively with these communities is now a major business priority. The panelists will offer their perspectives on how both companies and indigenous communities can benefit from greater cooperation, whether through creating new education opportunities, offering extractive industry-related job training to potential indigenous employees, and by encouraging local economic growth.  The panel features Simon Boyce of the Navajo Nation, BHP Billiton’s Maria “Malala” Recart and former Canadian House of Commons Member Gary Merasty.

 

WSJ ECO:nomics Conference to Feature Leaders –  Wednesday to Friday, the editors of The Wall Street Journal will hold its ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, CA.  The event brings together global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts, policy makers and leading thinkers at ECO:nomics 2015 to identify and assess the most compelling opportunities — and pressing risks— emerging around the world in businesses impacted by the environment.  Through on-stage interviews with leading figures and interactive sessions with peers in diverse industries, participants at ECO:nomics 2015 will debate, discuss and get the inside story on essential issues: investing in innovation, disrupting current business models, the new meaning of sustainability and the future of the environmental movement, where energy policy is heading.  Speakers will include  Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, WV Sen. Jo e Manchin, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, coal magnate Bob Murray, former Brightsource CEO and current Google exec John Woolard, Dan Yergin, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute.

 

SCOTUS to Hear Mercury Case – The Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) will hear the long-awaited mercury rule challenge on Wednesday morning.  Michigan AG Bill Schuette leads 19 other states in arguing the rule is not attainable and too costly.  My colleagues Jeff Holmstead, Rich Alonso and Scott Segal can respond to any and all of your questions.

 

Moniz to Head to Senate Approps Panel – Secretary Moniz returns the Senate Approps panel on Energy and Water with Science advisor Frank Orr on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the DOE Budget.

 

Marcellus Shale Meeting Set for NE PA – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold a meeting on Wednesday and Thursday in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Tax proposals from new PA Gov. Tom Wolf will be a significant topic of discussion.

 

Senate Energy to Hear From Moniz on QER – The Senate Energy Committee will review the upcoming release of DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review in a hearing on Thursday featuring Secretary Ernie Moniz.  The hearing was scheduled but may be delayed if the report is delayed.  Stayed tuned on whether it makes.

 

O’Connor to Address Law Symposium – ELI, ECOS, GWU’s Journal of Energy and Environmental Law and Environmental Law Association, RSM Eramus University Rotterdam  and the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement will host the Shapiro Enviro Law Symposium at GW Law School on Thursday and Friday.  Former SCOTUS Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will be among the many speakers.

 

NCAA “Sweet 16” Games Start – 12:10 p.m. Thursday.

 

DOE Furnace Public Hearing Set – DOE will host its public hearing on its Furnace Rule on Friday.  DOE rolled out its new efficiency proposal for certain residential natural gas-fired furnaces in Mid -February.  Here is the link for the rule.   My colleague Salo Zelermyer, former DOE Senior Counsel and attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani who represents energy efficiency and technology clients said “DOE’s proposed rule clearly admits that increasing the standards on residential furnaces leads to increased switching from natural gas to electric furnaces. Such an approach would actually increase lifecycle GHG emissions and stands in stark contrast to the goals of the President’s climate action plan.”  We are working on a number of these EE rules with many different members of the EE and HVAC industries and these are items that Salo watched closely when he was at DOE.  He is a great resource.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – FERC holds its final GHG technical Conference in St. Louis on March 31st.  Ameren CEO Warner Baxter is expected to present to the panel.  You may recall his recent white paper in which Ameren, a coal-heavy utility in Missouri, feels like some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions. The full announcement, including a quote by FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, is available here.  The full text of the notice in the Federal Register, including instructions on how to register for the conferences, is available here.  Commissioner Tony Clark released his own statement, available here.

 

Nat Gas Roundtable to Host DOI Offshore Expert – The Natural Gas Roundtable is pleased to announce that Janice Schneider, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at Interior (DOI), will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon on Tuesday, March 31st, where she will discuss the current offshore energy production landscape.  Schneider oversees four DOI bureaus including the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. In this capacity, she guides the Department’s management and use of federal lands and waters and their associated mineral and non-mineral resources, spanning approximately 245 million acres of federal surface lands, 700 million acres of federal mineral interests and the 1.7 billion-acre Outer Continental Shelf.

 

RFF to Host Offshore Energy Discussion – Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment will hold an RFF First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday April 1st at 12:45 p.m., where leading experts will examine offshore oil and gas leasing reform in the US Arctic. Panelists will explore how these new regulations and strategies meet the need for integrated Arctic management and what work remains to be done to design a regulatory approach that appropriately balances resource development, environmental protection, and community livelihoods. The conversation will cover recommendations put forth in the National Petroleum Council’s Arctic study (to be released at the end of March) and lessons for the Arctic from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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