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.

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of March 16

Friends,

This is a busy week on a number of fronts.  First, think Green on St. Patrick’s day tomorrow, then St Joseph’s Day for us Italians (which is essential knowledge if you are selling your house), then Friday is the first day of Spring (think Green again) with the vernal equinox falling at 6:45 p.m.

But the big news today is NCAA Hoops March Madness starting tomorrow with 16-seeds Manhattan and Hampton tipping off at 6:40 and 11-seeds BYU/Mississippi live at 9:10.  16s N Florida and Robert Morris and 11s Boise State and Dayton play-in on Wednesday.  The heavy action starts Thursday just after Noon.   It looks like a great tournament with Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke and Villanova taking the top seeds.  Each is very strong, but Kentucky seems to have an added edge going into the tournament undefeated.  Although the last team to finish undefeated was the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers led by Kent Bentson and Quinn Buckner.  Look out for Arizona who has also been strong all year.   With Justin Anderson a little rusty from his latest medical issues, I would not put a lot of gold on UVa, while North Carolina will likely have its hands full with Harvard.

Some sleeper teams to watch include 11-seed Texas, the always tough/tourney-savvy Michigan State, first-time tourney team Buffalo coached by former Duke floor general Bobby Hurley and Wyoming, who won the Mountain West and plays a controlled pace that will keep them in most games.  As you know, we at Bracewell always have experts for you and we are no different on college basketball, where our trade/campaign finance expert Josh Zive also doubles as a great resource for your NCAA pool.  I am certain that he will only take a small fee and percentage of your earnings should you need his hoops knowledge.

On the Women’s side, top seeds will be determined tonight on ESPN, but most seem to think Maryland, Connecticut, Notre Dame and Baylor, maybe South Carolina are the likely top seeds.   Everything concludes in early April with Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis and Women’s in Tampa.

The craziness translates to Congress as well with a jam-packed hearing schedule in DC – especially given that Thursday most people will be watching basketball.  I have been promised though that all action will cease just after Noon on Thursday!!!!   I’m sure the Senate Majority Leader will want to watch both Louisville and top-seeded Kentucky…but which one will he really root for???

That being said, there are several very important hearings in the House Energy & Commerce Committee this week including tomorrow’s climate legal issues hearing featuring Harvard legal eagle Laurence Tribe, who recently wrote that his protégé President Obama is wrongly using the Clean Air Act on climate issues; a legislative hearing on the bipartisan Coal Ash legislation on Wednesday and a Thursday hearing on thermal water heaters and DOE energy efficiency rules that will feature AHRI member Stephen Koep of Vaughn Thermal Corporation in Massachusetts.

Other important hearings will include a House Science Committee hearing on Ozone impacts tomorrow and the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday looking at regulations and their impacts on small businesses.  The hearing will feature a significant discussion on DOE’s slew of regulations moving forward in the next two years.  AHRI member Vicktor Anderson, of Western Michigan’s Structural Concepts Corporation will be testifying  that the new regs will severely impact his ability to retain current employees and economically produce cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration products.  Keeping the regulations theme, Senate Homeland Security/Govt Affairs will discuss overhauling the government regs’ rulemaking process featuring former OIRA head and Dean at Indiana U’s School of Environment and Public Affairs John Graham.  Senate Energy will focus on grid upgrades and security tomorrow featuring transmission experts like FL PSC/NARUC head Lisa Edgar and EPRI’s Mike Howard.  Senate Energy takes up crude exports with refiners’ Charlie Drevna and CP CEO Ryan Lance on Thursday and tomorrow state officials will be at House Transportation to discuss the highway bill and its importance to state and local officials, led by NC Gov Pat McCrory and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.  Finally, the Senate takes up Sportsmen legislation on Wednesday and our resident expert, Eric Washburn can comment (202-412-5211).

Budget hearings this week include tomorrow’s hearings featuring Ag Secretary Vilsack (where ethanol questions will likely come up), offshore’s BOEM and BSEE; National Park Service chief Jon Jarvis, and DOE subcabinet officials and science folks.  Transportation Secretary Foxx goes on Wednesday and Federal Highway, Federal Transit, NHTSA and Maritime Administration officials on testify Thursday.  FWS head Dan Ashe is tomorrow and Thursday, while DOE’s Environmental Management issues are heard on Wednesday.  Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell also goes Wednesday and NOAA’s Kathryn Sullivan will be at House Approps Wednesday and House Resources Thursday.  Probably missed a hearing or two in there so keep checking.

If you can pull yourself away from the Hill before Thursday, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visits CSIS tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., WCEE holds a forum on Wednesday at the National Grange looking at energy storage and Thursday morning, The Energy Times will hold an executive energy briefing focused on utilities and how they are changing featuring PSE&G CEO Ralph Izzo and NH Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, among other.

Finally, I noticed again this morning that The Analysis Group, headed by Sue Tierney, seem to be the only folks  that think the EPA Clean Power Rule will be no problem for grid operators like PJM, who have expressed serious concerns about reliability.  I’m sure Jeff Holmstead and Scott Segal would be happy to offer thoughts regarding the topic.

Clear the decks for Thursday and Friday and get those NCAA pools in to your administrator soon…Call with questions.

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-586
(202) 997-5932

IN THE NEWS

Wash Post Fact Checker on Climate Taken to TaskThe Washington Post Fact Check is usually a pretty reasonable place to check the verity of the back and forth in the policy, political or advertising battles.  On Friday, it published a piece last on what they called Sen. Inhofe’s “Misleading Statements on Carbon Emission Rule.”  WPFC took Inhofe’s comment: “EPA also intends to pursue a legislative proposal for an additional $4 billion in mandatory spending for EPA to enforce its climate change regulations … which 32 states oppose and will result in double-digit electricity price increases in 43 states” and applied its scrutiny.  Unfortunately, while claiming to not take a position on the Clean Power Plan, the WPFC in fact advocated several positions in favor of the CPP, hyperlinked to an NRDC site supporting it and didn’t make a similar link to the widespread available links that oppose the plan.  As well, WPFC downplayed state opposition by claiming not all the states really oppose the rules because they have some agencies considering how to implement them.  Of course, that assumption is suspect given the that regulators will always consider what has to be done to comply.  The fact is, the 32-state figure IS as dramatic as it sounds.

ACCCE Fires Back – The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) pushed back on the WPFC saying they conducted analysis showing widespread opposition from state officials to the EPA proposal. ACCCE also commissioned a detailed economic analysis of the CPP by NERA Economic Consulting (NERA).  Both analyses have been cited in Congressional hearings and were referenced in the WPFC piece.  The article disputed ACCCE’s analysis of state opposition to the EPA proposal, as well as NERA’s economic analysis. However, the Fact Checker did not check any facts with either ACCCE or NERA. The Fact Checker got facts wrong in the article and omitted other important facts. Applying the Fact Checker’s own criteria to the article, ACCCE says the article deserves at least three Pinocchios for “significant factual errors,” as well as bias.  See the full Fact Check Response here.

Drones Moving into Energy Space – The rage over drones are not just for weddings or the White House lawn.  The energy industry is also recognizing the economic and safety benefits of deploying unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or “drones” for tasks such as pipeline surveys, pipeline inspections or even tracking ice and aquatic life movement prior to drilling offshore.  Taking it further, FAA recently released  a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking focused on the Operation and Certification of Small UAS, which my colleague Mike Weller has discussed in a recent blog.  The FAA is accepting comments on its proposal through April 24, 2015 and in the meantime continues to process case-by-cases requests for authorization under exemptions, which Mike has discussed in another recent blog here.  The blogs are on the record if you are covering this issue.  Should you have questions, you can also talk to Weller at 202-828-5812 or Mike.Weller@bgllp.com

Fallout from RFS Reform Splash Last Week – At the ABLC annual forum last Wednesday, Advance Biofuels head Mike McAdams made a giant splash when he declared that the current dysfunctional RFS program needed fixing.  The comments were the first breech of the ethanol side and the starch ethanol gang respond with volumes of fire and vitriol.  Of course, they only people who are trying to maintain the current program as it clearly is not working.  With a lot expected on this issue this summer, I thought I would forward the text of McAdams speech which make some strong points about the need for RFS reform.  Whatever happens, expect this to be a major fight.

Durbin Introduces Innovation Legislation – Sen. Dick Durbin introduced legislation today that would lift federal budget caps to increase funding for basic scientific research.  Durbin cited China’s outpacing the United States in such spending during the past decade as the main reason for stepping up to issue.  Five programs are targeted by Durbin’s bill: the Department of Energy Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense Science and Technology Programs, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Science Directorate and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Scientific and Technical Research.

SoCo CEO Fanning already Talking Energy Innovation – Speaking of Innovation, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning made that the centerpiece of a discussion at the Atlantic Council last week.  Fanning highlighted the company’s effort to drive energy innovation including the development of new clean coal technologies in Mississippi, new nuclear in Georgia, advanced renewables across their portfolio and the largest biomass plant operating in Texas, among a number of other initiatives.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Symposium to Look at Climate Resilience – USAID’s Global Climate Change Office will host the opening session of the Advancing Climate-Resilient Development Symposium in Washington, D.C., today through Thursday.  A host of speakers will discuss key issues during the four-day long symposium.

OMB Talks Budget at House Approps – The House Approps panel on Financial Services and General Government  will hold a hearing today at 3:00 p.m. on the budget for the Office of Management and Budget featuring OMB head Shaun Donovan.

Ashe to Look at Fish/Wildlife Budget – The House Appropriations Interior subpanel will host US FWS head Dan Ashe and budget office Chris Nolan tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.  Ashe will also appear before House Resources on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in 1334 Longworth.  Of course, our own Eric Washburn can discuss issues like Sage grouse listings that will likely be part of the discussion.

Senate Energy to Focus on Electric Grid – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow to evaluate the state of technological innovation related to the electrical grid.   Witnesses will include AEP’s Transmission’s Lisa Barton, Florida PSC Commissioner and NARUC President Lisa Edgar, EPRI CEO Michael Howard, Argonne National Laboratory Director Peter Littlewood and Jeff Taft of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

House Transpo to Look at State Impacts – House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing on the surface transportation reauthorization looking at the state and local impacts of transportation on economic growth and job creation.  The hearing will feature Gov. Pat McCrory, D-N.C., on behalf of the National Governors Association; Ralph Becker, mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, on behalf of the National League of Cities; and John Cox, director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation, on behalf of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

House Energy Panel to Look at Power Plan Legal, Cost Issues – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on legal and cost issues with EPA Clean Power Plan.   Harvard Legal Expert Laurence Tribe, who recently wrote that his protégé President Obama is wrongly using the Clean Air Act on climate issues, will testify while NYU’s Richard Revesz will counter Tribe.  Revesz responded to Tribes’s Wall Street Journal piece with one in The Hill attacking Tribe.  (publications tell you a little about their target audiences don’t they).  Hunton’s Allison Wood, Florida PSC Chair Art Graham, Maryland PSC Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman,

Ohio EPA head Craig Butler, North Carolina DENR Secretary Donald van der Vaart will also testify.

House Science Looks at Ozone Rule Issues – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on EPA’s proposed ozone standard, its impact and achievability.  Witnesses include Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Ray Keating of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Harvard Medical School’s Mary B. Rice and Eldon Heaston of the Mojave Desert and Antelope Valley AQMD.

Resources to Look at Offshore Agency Budgets – The House Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to review the missions and spending priorities of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and Office of Natural Resources Revenue.  BOEM head Abbie Hopper, BSEE head Brian Salerno and Office of Natural Resource Revenue head Greg Gould will testify.  Expect questions on the recently announced 5-year leasing/drilling plans.

Sportsmen Legislation on Tap in Senate EPW Panel – The Senate Environment’s Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow on Sportsmen legislation to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting.  Witnesses will include Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation; Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited; and Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.  And our resident Sportsman, Eric Washburn can address all your questions (202-412-5211, eric.wasburn@bgllp.com)

Vilsack Hit Senate Approps – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Ag panel  will host USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on the proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2016 for the Agriculture Department.  Vilsack will be joined by Chief Economist Robert Johansson and Budget Officer Michael Young.  Expect some ethanol discussion here.

House Approps to Look at DOE Sub Budgets – After visiting with DOE Secretary Moniz, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will hold a budget hearing on DOE’s Applied Energy Programs with its sub cabinet officials tomorrow.  Witnesses will include Franklin Orr (Science and Energy), David Danielson (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy), Peter Lyons (Nuclear Energy), Christopher Smith (Fossil Energy) and Patricia Hoffman (Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability).   Orr and Deputy Director Pat Dehmer will also return at 1:00 p.m. to specifically discuss the DOE Science budget in further detail.

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit tomorrow at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.

Jewell to Address Public Lands, Water – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., CSIS will host Interior Secretary Sally Jewell for a public address on Interior’s energy priorities for the next two years. The Department serves as a significant steward of the nation’s public lands, managing one-fifth of the landmass and 1.7 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf.

Members Launch of House Caucus on Carbon, Enhanced Oil Recovery – Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., a group of bipartisan members will launch a Congressional caucus to educate members on the energy security, economic, and environmental benefits of enhanced oil recovery using carbon dioxide. Speakers at the event in 1302 Longworth include organizers Reps. Michael Conaway, Gregg Harper and Marc Veasey, as well as Keith Bowman of Tellus Operating Group, Sasha Mackler of Summit Power, Domenico Parisi of the National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center, Bob Perciasepe of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, John Risch of SMART (formerly the United Transportation Union), and Kyle Simpson of Hogan Lovells.

Senate Moves on TCSA Legislation – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on legislation to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to reauthorize and modernize the act.  Witnesses will include EPA’s Jim Jones, EDF’s Richard Denison, March of Dimes Foundation chief medical officer Edward McCabe, GWU Milken Institute School of Public Health dean Lynn Goldman, EWG’s Ken Cook and new MD AG Brian Frosh.  Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Bonnie Lautenberg will also deliver statements.  The legislation aims to update the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 and has 7 Democrats and 9 Republicans as sponsors.

House Energy Panel to Look at Coal Ash Rule, Legislation – The House Energy & Commerce panel on Environment will hold a hearing tomorrow on Rep McKinley’s legislation “Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015.”

Foxx, Transpo Officials Hit Hill Approps – The Senate Approps panel on Transportation will host DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 562 Dirksen for a budget hearing.   Meanwhile the next day,  Federal Highway Administration acting administrator Gregory Nadeau, Federal Transit Administration acting administrator Therese McMillan, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator Mark Rosekind and U.S. Maritime Administration administrator Paul Jaenichen will testify before the House Approps Transportation panel at 10:00 a.m. in 2358-A Rayburn .

EPA Officials to Head to House Transpo – Speaking of transportation, on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will convene a hearing on the FY 2016 Budget for EPA.

House Small Biz Tackles Regulations, Impacts – The House Small Business Committee will hold a committee hearing at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday on regulatory red tape and the challenges for small manufacturers. Those testifying include AHRI member Viktor Anderson, director of engineering for Structural Concepts in Muskegon, Michigan, who will say that new regulations will severely impact his ability to retain current employees and economically produce cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration products.  Other also on the panel include Cynthia Reichard of Arylessence Inc., Janis Herschkowitz of PRL in Cornwall, Pa., representing the American Foundry Association and James Goodwin at the Center for Progressive Reform.

WCEE Forum to Look at Grid Storage – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a forum on Wednesday at the National Grange looking at energy storage.  The event will feature Katherine Hamilton, who will describe the industry players and technologies and update us on the exciting developments from the technological and policy perspective for energy storage.   Hamilton is the Policy Director of the Energy Storage Association. Katherine served as President of the GridWise Alliance, advocating for nearly $5 billion in funding for smart grid projects in the Recovery Act. Prior to that role, Katherine was a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a portfolio in clean energy technologies of nearly $6 billion.  She co-directed the American Bioenergy Association, working with the states of Maryland and New Jersey to develop renewable portfolio standards. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine led buildings research and then managed government relations in Washington, DC. Katherine spent a decade at Virginia Power, designing overhead and underground electrical systems for commercial and residential developments. Katherine studied electrical engineering at Northern Virginia Community College and holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. Katherine is part of The Energy Gang podcast through Greentech Media.

Forum, Simulation to Address Cybersecurity Risks – The 3rd Annual Information and Cyber Governance, Data Analytics and Privacy Briefing will be held at the National Press Club on Wednesday.  The program will focus on identifying, protecting and responding to  today’s growing internal and external cybersecurity risks.  SEC Deputy Director Scott Bauguess and FTC General Counsel David Shonka will headline a number of speakers.  During the conference in addition to the moderated Q and A format, the audience will participate in an exercise using a hacking simulator. It has the strategic rigor of chess and the feel of a turn-based card game.  The “Game of Threats™” allows executives to better understand the complexity and fast-paced nature of deciphering threats and crafting the proper response, highlighting the importance of making the right move at the right time to thwart the hackers. My Bracewell colleague and expert on cybersecurity Shamoil Shipchandler is a great resource on the issue.

Foxx, Shuster Head NJ Forum on Transportation – On Thursday at the Newseum, National Journal will host a forum of key stakeholders and experts for a robust discussion about the prospect of finding consensus to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure.  Speakers will include Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and House T&I Chair Bill Shuster, as well as Casey Dinges of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Standard & Poor’s Steve Dryer, BPC Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative Director Aaron Klein, ARTBA’s Pete Ruane and Frederick “Bud” Wright of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Forum to Look at Ex-Im Bank – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a reschedule forum  on the Export-Import Bank’s contribution to the U.S. economy, future directions and challenges, and ways the U.S. Congress continue to support the Bank. Since 2009, the Export-Import Bank has helped create 1.2 million private-sector jobs by financing small business exporters. Over the last five years, it has generated $2 billion more than the cost of its operations. However, the Bank is currently operating on a short term extension of its charter which expires on June 30, 2015. Given the forthcoming deadline, a conversation on the role the Bank plays in growing American jobs and its contribution to the global economy is needed to spur further support from the U.S. government.   Illinois Rep. Robert Dold will make keynote remarks, while Other speakers will include Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg, Ex-Im Advisory Committee Member Don Nelson, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia President and Former Ex-Im Vice Chair Linda Conlin and NAM’s Linda Dempsey.

House Energy Panel to Look at Water Heater Efficiency – The House Energy panel  of the Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on legislation to modify the efficiency standards for grid-enabled water heaters.  NERCA and AHRI members are expected to participate, including AHRI member Steve Koep of Vaughn in Massachusetts.

PSE&G’s Izzo, Sen. Shaheen  to Headline Energy Briefing – On Thursday morning, the Energy Times will hold an executive energy briefing focused on utilities and how they are changing. Innovators and policymakers will be speak including PSE&G CEO Ralph Izzo, NH Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, NY State PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman and NIST’s Steven Busby.

Sen Energy to Tackle Crude Exports – The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing to receive testimony on U.S. crude oil export policy on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.   Last year at this time, Murkowski offered her thoughts on crude exports at CERA Week.  Witnesses will include former State Dept official Carlos Pascual, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance, Jeff Warman of Monroe Energy and our friends Elizabeth Rosenberg of the Center for a New American Security and AFPM President Charlie Drevna.

Senate Govt Comm Look sat Rulemaking Improvements – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to explore some ways to revamp the government’s rulemaking process. The committee will hear from experts including John Graham, who led the White House regulatory review office during the George W. Bush administration, as well as Neil Eisner, senior fellow at the Administrative Conference of the United States; NAM’s Drew Greenblatt and former executive director of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Pamela Gilbert.

NCAA Games Start – 12:10 p.m. Thursday.

FUTURE EVENTS

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference on March 24-25th.  More on this as it comes into shape.

Forum to Look at Indigenous People, Industry – The CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a forum on Wednesday, March 25th 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 –  On March 25th to 27th, 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.

Marcellus Shale Meeting Set for NE PA – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold a meeting on March 26 and 27th in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Tax proposals from new PA Gov. Tom Wolf will be a significant topic of discussion.

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.

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.

Energy Update: Week of March 3

Friends,

 

March and Spring look like they have finally sprung…and we mean it this time.  No more snow days around here.   NCAA basketball is heating up as we approach next week’s NCAA March Madness Selection Show on Sunday.  While there are a lot of great stories that we can get into more next week, this week Maryland and Geo Washington U’s women’s teams seem to stand out above the crowd.  The Lady Terps rolled through the Big 10 in their first season undefeated, while my students at GW won the Atlantic 10 yesterday and are currently 29-3 with one of their losses coming to Maryland.  March Madness is on…

 

The House is out this week but the Senate will hold a big, important hearing on Wednesday where states will weigh in on how to implement EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Witnesses include officials from California, NY, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Indiana.  When implementing, consider the item suggested a few weeks ago Ameren CEO Warner Baxter.  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.

 

Off the Hill, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will kick off a new Atlantic Council CEO series tomorrow highlighting a discussion on how innovation and advances in energy technologies will impact the future of power industry.   A dynamic speaker, Fanning has addressed this subject a number of times including last summer as keynoter at a Bipartisan Policy Center Energy Forum in Washington, DC.  The event starts at 1:30 p.m. and will be live webcast at this link.

 

As well, the National League of Cities, American Public Power and American Association of State Highway are holding Washington forum focused on environment and other issues, while Transportation Officials and the American Public Transportation Association are in town highlighting their “2015 Bottom Line Report” on transportation investment needs.

 

Finally, my colleague Curt Beaulieu, former Senate Finance Committee tax counsel for Sen. Hatch recently wrote an article for Tax Notes on the upcoming debate over reforms in the tax code.   I also have a PDF if you cannot link to it…   Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Leno Hammers Ethanol In AutoWeek – Now I read this last week because I get AutoWeek at home, and was waiting to put in today’s update.  Former Tonight Show Host, comedian and well-known car collector Jay Leno pummeled ethanol in an essay entitled, “Jay Leno Hates Ethanol.”   Leno say the ethanol in modern gasoline—about 10% in many states—is so corrosive, it eats through either the fuel-pump diaphragm, old rubber fuel lines or a pot metal part, then leaks out on a hot engine causing car fires.   Leno: “Blame the Renewable Fuel Standard. This government-mandated rule requires certain amounts of ethanol and other biofuels be blended with gasoline and diesel fuel. But when Congress first passed RFS as part of the Energy Policy Act in 2005, our demand for energy was increasing. Today, it’s the opposite. Total demand for fuel has decreased thanks to more-efficient vehicles, more hybrids and increased environmental awareness. The EPA is set to release the 2015 standard in June. Meanwhile, some legislators are pushing to reform or eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard entirely.”

 

EPA RFS Source on Capitol Crude – This week’s version of Capitol Crude hits the RFS and Ethanol.  Our friends Brian Schied and Herman Wang channel their inner 80s new music Sirus XM “1st Wave”:  EPA’s Chris Grundler may not be a member of Depeche Mode, but to Platts senior editors Brian Scheid and Herman Wang his appearance at the recent National Ethanol Conference unfolded like the seminal British electronic goth band’s discography.  Grundler, whose office is in charge of the Renewable Fuel Standard, apologized to conference attendees for failing to Shake the Disease of missing statutory deadlines to set the 2014 and 2015 mandates. But he asked the audience to Walk In My Shoes, saying the annual rule is difficult to manage. Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen, meanwhile, said he hopes the EPA will Never Let Me Down Again by setting the biofuels mandates below statutory levels.   Also on the podcast, RFA Senior Vice President Geoff Cooper gives us the World In My Eyes, talking about how exports are a top priority for the US ethanol industry, in the face of RFS uncertainty.

 

Power Plan Hub and More form E&E – I know I already mentioned the new Power Plan Hub from our friends at E&E News, but I noticed they are also writing a weekly Monday column for it too. It’s a preview of the week’s events, wrap-up of their recent stories and synopsis of new data/documents on the hub. It’s on the main page, under the map, so check it out.

 

CMU Study Highlights Benefits of LNG Export – A new Carnegie Mellon University study – the first peer-reviewed paper of its kind – says exporting clean-burning U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) “would help reduce global GHG emissions” and such policy will be “good for the climate.” This research follows a recently released White House Council of Economic Advisers report, which underscores the “key role” that natural gas continues to play in strengthening America’s geopolitical leverage, heightening our energy security and enhancing our environment. Taken together, these studies – and countless others – reflect the fact that America’s energy outlook has shifted from scarcity and weakness to abundance and strength.  Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering researchers determined that exporting natural gas to Asia or Europe will not cause increased greenhouse gas emissions. Their findings were recently published in a paper in “Environmental Science and Technology.”  Prior to 2008, U.S. domestic natural gas production did not meet projected demand growth, and the national natural gas debate centered on LNG imports. … As unconventional natural gas production (shale gas) became economically viable, U.S. technically recoverable natural gas reserves increased by 665 Tcf, which represents an increase in total U.S. natural gas resources of 38%.  As regulation progresses and the domestic fugitive emissions rate decreases, it will become more likely that LNG exports will result in global emissions savings. … From a global emissions perspective, this study has shown that exporting LNG can help to reduce life cycle GHG emissions from electricity generation and industrial heating.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

McCarthy, Foxx, Moniz to Address City Officials – The National League of Cities hold its annual Congressional City conference today through Wednesday at the Marriott.  President Obama addressed delegates this morning, but EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will speak on a panel about infrastructure and climate change later today.

 

Public Power Capitol Conference Set – The American Public Power Assn is also holding its annual Washington meeting focused on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.   Panels today and tomorrow with visits to Capitol Hill on Wednesday.   Bob Woodward addresses the crowd at the Grand Hyatt tomorrow at lunch.

 

Cyprus Energy Minster to Speak – The German Marshall Fund of the United States will welcome Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, minister of energy, commerce, industry and tourism, Republic of Cyprus, who will share his views on natural gas developments in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean tonight.  Minister Lakkotrypis’ remarks will be followed by a roundtable discussion with Edward C. Chow (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Simon Henderson (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), and Brenda Shaffer (Georgetown University). The panel will discuss developments in world gas markets and prospects for the Eastern Mediterranean.

 

And at the Atlantic Council as Well – The Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center will also host Lakkotrypris.  Minister Lakkotrypis is responsible for boosting the island’s economy through encouraging tourism and foreign investment, and improving the international standing of Cyprus.   In his remarks, Minister Lakkotrypis will focus on the challenges Cyprus faces in developing an oil and gas industry, as well as energy-related developments in the Eastern Mediterranean in a regional context.  Minister Lakkotrypis will be introduced by Atlantic Council’s Eurasian Energy Future Initiative Director David Koranyi. The keynote speech will be followed by a discussion moderated.

 

Transmission Summit Set – Tomorrow through Thursday, Infocast holds its 18th annual Transmission Summit at the Almas Temple Club in Washington, DC.  Policy makers, executives and industry leaders will meet to discuss the transmission industry.  FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, NJ BPU Commissioner Dianne Solomon, former NY PSC chair Garry Brown, D.C. PSC Chair Betty Ann Kane and Bracewell’s Cathy McCarthy will be among the speakers.

 

NRC to Host Reg Conference – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) will hold its 27th annual Regulatory Information Conference (RIC) tomorrow through Thursday at the at the Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center.  The RIC is an annual forum hosted by the NRC that brings together diverse groups of stakeholders to learn, share, and discuss information on significant and timely nuclear regulatory activities and emergent issues.  NRC Commissioners Burns, Svinicki, Ostroff and Baran will all speak.

 

House Transpo Committee to Hold TX Roundtable – The House May be out of session but the House T&I Committee will be In the field holding a roundtable in Houston at Rice University at 9:00 Central.  Participants will include Texas Congressmen  Blake Farenthold, Brian Babin, Gene Green and Kevin Brady, as well as Kirby Corp CEO David Grzebinski, Ronald McClain of Kinder Morgan,  Wal-Mart Stores private fleet  VP Bryan Most,  Steve Bobb of BNSF Railway and Roger Guenther of the Port of Houston.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Africa Energy – The Wilson Center will Host an event tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. on energy security in Africa.  Energy production in African nations has ballooned in recent decades, with proven oil and natural gas reserves more than doubling in the past 30 years. While Nigeria, Angola, and a host of smaller producers have accounted for most of the oil and gas production on the continent for years, significant hydrocarbons discoveries throughout Africa – including natural gas off the East African coast, deep-water oil in upper West Africa, and new oil reserves in Kenya and Uganda – are bringing about wide-ranging changes to the continent’s energy markets.   Sub-Saharan Africa is the fifth topic of the Wilson Center’s bimonthly Regional and Global Energy Series, which has already covered Russia and Ukraine, China and Asia Pacific, and North America, as well as a 2015 energy policy outlook keynoted by US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.  The framework for this Center Series is provided by Energy & Security: Strategies for a World in Transition, now in its second edition, which focuses on regional and global energy issues and is published by the Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press.  Speakers will include former editor of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian newspaper Phillip van Niekerk, former State Dept special envoy David Goldwyn and former  IMF and World Bank advisor Charles McPherson.

 

Gruenspecht to Address Luncheon – The Asian Americans in Energy, the Environment and Commerce (AE2C) is hosting its 2015 Lunar New Year event tomorrow at lunch featuring EIA Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht.  Gruenspecht will be speaking about the outlook for the global and U.S. oil and gas industry and its potential impacts. Over the past 35 years, Dr. Gruenspecht has worked extensively on electricity policy issues, including restructuring and reliability, regulations affecting motor fuels and vehicles, energy-related environmental issues, and economy-wide energy modeling. Before joining EIA, he was a Resident Scholar at Resources for the Future. From 1993 to 2000, he served as Director of Economic, Electricity and Natural Gas Analysis in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Policy, having originally come to DOE in 1991 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic and Environmental Policy. His accomplishments as a career senior executive at DOE have been recognized with three Presidential Rank Awards.

 

Fanning to Address First Atlantic Council CEO Forum – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold the first event in its CEO Series tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. with Southern’s Tom Fanning, featuring a discussion on how innovation and advances in energy technologies will impact the future of power industry.  Mr. Fanning’s remarks will be followed by a moderated discussion with Ambassador Richard Morningstar, Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center.

Forum to Look at Transportation System – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), in conjunction with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) will hold a briefing tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. in 334 Cannon on the investment requirements for America’s multi-modal transportation infrastructure.  The recent AASHTO-APTA Bottom Line report estimates that $163 billion is needed annually over six years to fix the nation’s aging surface transportation system ($120 billion for roads and bridges, and $43 billion for transit). At present, public investment in transportation infrastructure is only $100 billion a year ($83 billion for roads and bridges, and $17 billion for transit). With the looming May expiration of the transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), and with 70 million new U.S. citizens expected by 2050, now is the time to address these investment needs. Speakers for this forum are Bud Wright of AASHTO and APTA’s Michael Melaniphy.

 

EPA, DOE to Address Biofuels Leaders – The Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference will be held on Wednesday to Friday at the Capital Hilton in DC.  ABLC is the gathering point for the top leaders in the Advanced Bioeconomy — bringing together the entire spectrum of advanced Fuels, Chemicals & Materials CEOs and senior executives, business development, R&D leaders, strategic partners, financiers, equity analysts, policymakers and industry suppliers. EPA’s Paul Argyropoulos, DOE’s David Danielson and our friend Michael McAdams will be among the speakers.  ABLC looks at key technologies heading for scale, or deploying in force, plus advanced policies and financing strategies — and features definitive statements on direction, priorities, value chain build-out and supply chain selection from more than 100 C-Level execs.

 

Interior Official to Address Policy Issues at UColorado—The University of Colorado Law School will host Deputy Secretary of Interior Mike Connor for a policy speech tomorrow.

 

Senate to Hear from States on GHG Plan – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday to hear states weigh in on how to implement EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Witnesses will include WI PSC chairwoman Ellen Nowak, Wyoming DEQ director Todd Parfitt, Indiana DEM commissioner Thomas Easterly, former EPA official and CARB Chair Mary Nichols and Michael Myers, chief of environmental litigation in NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office.

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – The FERC holds its third GHG technical Conference on Wednesday in Washington. The fourth conference will be a staff-led conference in St. Louis on March 31st.  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.

 

Senate Panel Holds Military Enviro Budget Hearing – A Senate Armed Service panel will host military budget hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in Hart 216.  Witnesses will include John Conger, acting assistant Defense secretary for energy, installations and environment; Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment; Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment; and Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy.

 

Oil-Climate Index to be Released – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Stanford University, and the University of Calgary have developed the first-of-its-kind Oil-Climate Index, modeling these complex interactions. This data will shape how consumers, investors, industries, NGOs, and policymakers approach current and future oil production, refining, and consumption.  They will release the index on Wednesday morning.

 

Diesel Forum to Focus on Engine Technologies – On Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in 268 Capitol Visitors Center, the Diesel Technology Forum will hold a luncheon briefing to learn more about advanced engine technologies that are helping automobile manufacturers improve fuel economy.  With increasingly stringent fuel economy requirements that will be mandated in the near future, manufacturers from all over the globe are introducing more fuel efficient technology options, including clean diesel choices, into their line-ups. Advanced diesel vehicles are growing in popularity with consumers and manufacturers are planning to meet this demand. 47 diesel cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and passenger vans are currently available and 15 more having been officially announced to be introduced in the next two years. Many analysts predict that diesels will increase to 7 to 10 percent of the total U.S. vehicle market by 2020. While diesels prove popular with drivers they also promote energy independence, fuel efficiency and result in significant emissions reductions.

 

Trade Admin to Look at Renewables – The International Trade Administration holds a meeting of the Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. to discuss priority issues identified in advance by the committee chair and hear from interagency partners on issues impacting the competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency industries.

 

Green Forum to Discuss Innovation – The World Green Energy Symposium will be held on Thursday at the University of the District of Columbia.  WGES will focus on the latest technologies and focus on discussions with top decision makers through a carefully planned  strategic process.

 

Kerry to Address Importance Climate Negotiations – On Thursday, the Atlantic Council will host a public address by Secretary of State John Kerry on the importance of the 2015 Conference of the Parties climate change negotiations.

 

CSIS to Discuss Nuclear Project – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m. CSIS will hold a briefing to discuss its New Approaches to the Fuel Cycle (NAFC) project, its findings, its recommended “best practices,” and their role in ensuring a secure and sustainable nuclear future.  In early 2011, the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program launched the NAFC project to develop an integrated approach to nuclear supply and demand that would improve the robustness of the nonproliferation regime without dampening the sustainability of nuclear energy. Drawing from industry, government, and NGO community expertise in the United States and abroad, the NAFC project is the first comprehensive approach to managing nuclear energy that would address “future Irans,” seeking to close gaps in the system that allow the spread of sensitive fuel cycle technologies and enable states to produce weapons-usable nuclear material.  Speakers include Dr. John Hamre, President, CEO, and Pritzker Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Ms. Joan Rohlfing, President and COO, Nuclear Threat Initiative, Ms. Sharon Squassoni, Director and Senior Fellow, Proliferation Prevention Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Dr. Andrew Newman, Senior Program Officer, Material Security and Minimization, Nuclear Threat Initiative, and Dr. Everett Redmond, Senior Director, Policy Development, Nuclear Energy Institute.

 

Brookings Forum to Focus on Arctic – On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host a forum featuring  Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., the U.S. special representative for the Arctic, for a keynote address on the future of U.S. policy for the region. Deputy Director for Foreign Policy at Brookings Bruce Jones will provide introductory remarks, and ESCI Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger will moderate the discussion and audience Q&A.

 

Building Tech Budget Addressed in Forum – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in 210 Cannon, EESI will hold a briefing on the programs and priorities of the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office (BTO), as reflected in its FY 2016 budget request. Buildings represent 40 percent of the total energy used in the United States and a whopping 70 percent of the electricity used (for lighting, air-conditioning, appliances, electronics). Making buildings and the products that go into them more energy efficient will make a serious dent in U.S. energy use, save billions of dollars each year, improve comfort, and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. BTO is seeking to reduce U.S. building energy consumption by 50% from a 2010 baseline.  In addition to providing an overview of the Building Technologies Office, the briefing will highlight successful industry-government partnerships that are bringing technologies like solid-state lighting to the marketplace and helping builders construct “zero-energy” homes. The panel will also address the role of Congress and building/energy issues on the horizon in the current session.  Panelists include DOE’s Roland Risser and House Science Dem Staff Director Adam Rosenberg.

 

CSIS to Release Paper on Mining – On Friday at 9:30 a.m., CSIS will host an expert panel to launch FSG’s new report Extracting with Purpose: Creating Shared Value in the Oil and Gas and Mining Sectors’ Companies and Communities. The extractives sectors can be invaluable in facilitating economic and social development around the world, yet close to 80 percent of countries whose economies depend on extractives industries have per-capita income levels that fall below the global average.  This new paper focuses on how private-sector stakeholders can best promote shared value and seize opportunities in the developed and developing world. Shared value, or policies and activities that measurably improve socio-economic outcomes and improve related core business performance, helps businesses frame potential opportunities to address societal issues and to deliver real business value as well as community development.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Symposium to Look at Climate Resilience – USAID’s Global Climate Change Office will host the opening session of the Advancing Climate-Resilient Development Symposium in Washington, D.C., March 16-19th.  A host of speakers will discuss key issues during the four-day long symposium.

 

Senate Energy to Focus on Electric Grid – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing to evaluate the state of technological innovation related to the electrical grid on Tuesday, March 17th.

 

House Approps to Look at DOE Sub Budgets – After visiting with DOE Secretary Moniz, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will hold a budget hearing on DOE’s Applied Energy Programs with its sub cabinet officials.  Witnesses will include Franklin Orr (Science and Energy), David Danielson (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy), Peter Lyons (Nuclear Energy), Christopher Smith (Fossil Energy) and Patricia Hoffman (Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability).   Orr and Deputy Director Pat Dehmer will also return at 1:00 p.m. to specifically discuss the DOE Science budget in further detail.

 

House Energy Panel to Look at Power Plan Legal, Cost Issues – Next Tuesday, March 17th at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on legal and cost issues with EPA Clean Power Plan.  .

 

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 17th at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.

 

EPA Officials to Head to House Transpo – Next Wednesday, March 18th at 10:30 a.m., the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will convene a hearing on the FY 2016 Budget for EPA.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Grid Storage – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a forum on Wednesday, March 18th at the National Grange looking at energy storage.  The event will feature Katherine Hamilton, who will describe the industry players and technologies and update us on the exciting developments from the technological and policy perspective for energy storage.   Hamilton is the Policy Director of the Energy Storage Association. Katherine served as President of the GridWise Alliance, advocating for nearly $5 billion in funding for smart grid projects in the Recovery Act. Prior to that role, Katherine was a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a portfolio in clean energy technologies of nearly $6 billion.  She co-directed the American Bioenergy Association, working with the states of Maryland and New Jersey to develop renewable portfolio standards. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine led buildings research and then managed government relations in Washington, DC. Katherine spent a decade at Virginia Power, designing overhead and underground electrical systems for commercial and residential developments. Katherine studied electrical engineering at Northern Virginia Community College and holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. Katherine is part of The Energy Gang podcast through Greentech Media.

 

Forum, Simulation to address Cybersecurity Risks – The 3rd Annual Information and Cyber Governance, Data Analytics and Privacy Briefing will be Held at the National Press Club on March 18th.  The program will focus on identifying, protecting and responding to  today’s growing internal and external cybersecurity risks.  SEC Deputy Director Scott Bauguess and FTC General Counsel David Shonka will headline a number of speakers.  During the conference in addition to the moderated Q and A format, the audience will participate in an exercise using a hacking simulator. It has the strategic rigor of chess and the feel of a turn-based card game.  The “Game of Threats™” allows executives to better understand the complexity and fast-paced nature of deciphering threats and crafting the proper response, highlighting the importance of making the right move at the right time to thwart the hackers. My Bracewell colleague and expert on cybersecurity Shamoil Shipchandler is a great resource on the issue.

 

Foxx, Shuster Head NJ Forum on Transportation – On Thursday, March 19th at the Newseum, National Journal will host a forum of key stakeholders and experts for a robust discussion about the prospect of finding consensus to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure.  Speakers will include Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and House T&I Chair Bill Shuster, as well as Casey Dinges of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Standard & Poor’s Steve Dryer, BPC Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative Director Aaron Klein, ARTBA’s Pete Ruane and Frederick “Bud” Wright of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

 

Sen Energy to Tackle Crude Exports – The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing to receive testimony on U.S. crude oil export policy on Thursday, March 19th at 10:00 a.m.   Last year at this time, Murkowski offered her thoughts on crude exports at CERA Week.

 

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference on March 24-25th.  More on this as it comes into shape.

 

WSJ ECO:nomics Conference to Feature Leaders –  On March 25th to 27th, 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.

 

Marcellus Shale Meeting Set for NE PA – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold a meeting on March 26 and 27th in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Tax proposals from new PA Gov. Tom Wolf will be a significant topic of discussion.

 

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.

 

Energy Update: Week of January 26

Friends,

 

This week Arizona becomes the center of the sports world.  Now I don’t want to let the air out the room… but there’s that little game on Sunday in Glendale featuring the Patriots and Seahawks.  But wait, also in Arizona, just across town starting tomorrow, our friends at Waste Management are hosting the Greenest Show on Grass, the Waste Management 2015 Phoenix Open (which features the most raucous and exciting hole in golf).  It all starts tomorrow with WM’s annual Sustainability Forum featuring many of the nation’s foremost thought leaders on sustainability. The Pro-Am will tee off on Wednesday morning on TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course and will feature country music star Dierks Bentley, ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman, NBA legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving, 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Randy Johnson, National Champ Ohio State University Head Football Coach Urban Meyer, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and many more.  As for PGA Players, the line-up includes Scottsdale hometown regular Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, defending champ Kevin Stadler, Padraig Harrington, Bubba Watson, Lucas Glover, Retief Goosen and Angel Cabrera among the field of 132 that will vie for the $6.3 million purse.  Of course, tomorrow

 

Away from the fun and back in Washington, the Keystone debate rolled on with 14 amendments last week, following through on the first steps of Majority Leader McConnell’s effort to restore “Regular Order” to Senate procedure.  As evidence of the effort, the 14 amendments on the Keystone XL legislation were more than occurred on ALL the legislation in the Senate during the entire previous Congress.

 

And while the President was wrapping with India on Climate (see below), his players at Interior fired another missive across the bow of Congress, this time on ANWR.  I thought we were done with ANWR a long time ago, but in this administration’s environmental “Every That Is Old Is New Again” agenda, the ANWR fight  is now reemerging.  This approach may not bode well for the new 5-year drilling plan, expected in the next week or so.  As well, there are probably many political implications that are yet to play out here.  Bracewell’s Ewing, Rothschild and/or Hutt can tackle background and questions that you may have.  Sens. Murkowski, Sullivan and Rep. Don Young will hold a presser in the Senate Radio/TV Gallery at 2:00.  I would expect some rich language there…  Finally, a number of House and Senate Committees are holding their organizing meetings this week to get rolling on their committee agendas.  As they do we may be helpful.  For example, our friends at the Senate Ag panel are expected to make CFTC issues a major priority and my Bracewell colleague David Perlman (202-828-5804) is one of the best experts on the topic in DC.

 

Tomorrow, my friends and I at the National Press Club will be hosting a lunch with FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, who will speak about the challenges her agency faces to maintain the reliability of the nation’s electricity grid and reasonable prices for consumers.  Also returning to the forefront this week will be the Ozone/NAAQS question.  One of the biggest regular political/policy fights, the EPA rolled out its new proposal just before Thanksgiving and Thursday, EPA rolls into its public hearings in DC, Dallas and LA.  Scott Segal, Jeff Holmstead and Joe Stanko are always good sources.   The Senate Energy Committee looks at LNG export issues/legislation as well on Thursday, while BPC holds a forum on stakeholder reactions to the proposed EPA regulation for existing power plants, which will include a number of key State Commissioners.

 

Finally, on Saturday, I was able to take in my first Monster Jam thanks to my friend Jeanne Mitchell, who hosted my son Adam and I at the Verizon Center to watch Grave Digger, Crush-Station and the others smash things, roar the engines and jump giant dirt mounds.  Quite a fun evening (including a Grave Digger rollover during the Donut competition) and all part of what goes on when the Caps/Bullets (I mean, Wizards) have a break.  Next up at Verizon on Friday, Fleetwood Mac for those of you in my age range and above….  And remember the Washington Auto Show rolls on all week at the Washington Convention Center with lots of great cars.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

President Moves to Limit ANWR Drilling – In a move that is sure to draw significant opposition from Congress, President Obama moved to limit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in his new management plan for the Alaska region.  The reforms proposes taking millions of acres off-limits to oil and gas drilling by designating them wilderness areas.   Of course Alaska delegation, including Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski were furious.  (cue the oversight hearing agenda…)  The entire delegation including new Gov. Bill Walker released an unusual Sunday news release where Murkowski called the move “a stunning attack on our sovereignty and ability to develop a strong economy.”  New House Resources Chair Rob Bishop called it “irrational.” The announcement is sure to set up another old fight with congressional Republicans, who have been spent decades unsuccessfully trying to open the refuge to oil exploration. It is important to note that the refuge is currently already is closed to fossil fuel development.

 

Finzel to Start PR Firm – Our great friend Ben Finzel is hanging out his own shingle.  After stops at a number of PR Firms, Congress and DOE over the past 25 years, Ben is opening Renew PR.   The firm is focused on “restoring common sense to communications” and will provide senior counsel, advice and outreach to corporate, association, non-governmental organization, alliance, coalition and foundation clients.  Ben writes that he looks forward to providing senior counsel and leadership based on four principles: truth, clarity, engagement and collaboration.

 

India “deal” Less “deal” than  China – Talk is nice, but it is not expensive.   It also doesn’t really help with press releases.  In a meeting in India this weekend, President Modi and President Obama said they will continue work together on climate issues but nothing in the discussion was substantive or even specific.  The U.S. and India on Sunday announced a modest deal to curb hydrofluorocarbons, a greenhouse gas emitted by refrigerators and air conditioners; work together at climate talks in Paris later this year; and finance India’s solar power targets. Unlike the arrangement with China late last year, the discussion is far more limited.  In fact, Modi said, “India is an independent country, and there is no pressure on us from any country or any person.”  The bottom line remains that for India, revitalizing economic growth, addressing the nation’s energy shortfall, and creating jobs will be taking precedence.

 

SEJ Forum Looked at Energy, Environment Issues for 2015 – In case you missed it Friday, for the third year in a row, the Society of Environmental Journalists held a public discussion at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC. The event ran from 3:00-5:00 p.m., followed by a reception. SEJ Board President Jeff Burnside introduced leading reporters and editors, who offered their predictions on the critical energy and environmental stories that will shape 2015. The event was also webcast live (see if you can hear my questions to the panelists).  Larry Pearl, director of environmental news for Bloomberg BNA, presented a brief overview then Doug Fischer, director of Environmental Health Sciences, moderated a panel that included Amy Harder, Neela Bannerjee, Randy Loftis of the Dallas Morning News, ClimateWire’s Lisa Friedman, and science reporter Lisa Palmer.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Caribbean Energy Forum Set – The White House and State Department in partnership with the Atlantic Council and the Council of the Americas will host a Caribbean energy security summit in Washington, D.C. today at the White House.  Representatives from countries including the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Grenada are expected to attend the summit as well as business and other political leaders.  The event will promote a cleaner and more sustainable energy future in the Caribbean through improved energy governance, greater access to finance and donor coordination.

 

AC-HV Expo Set – The Air Condition, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and  the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)are holding their 2015 AHR Expo, the world’s largest HVACR marketplace, at Chicago’s McCormick Place today through Wednesday.  The Show brings together over 2,000 exhibiting companies and 40,000 visitors, representing the entire spectrum of the industry including HVACR manufacturers, engineers, contractors, OEMs, facility managers, and other professionals. In addition, there are over 100 educational seminars, workshops (presented by ASHRAE and others) and new product presentations.

 

National Energy Education Summit Set – Today at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, the Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL) of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) will host the National Energy Education Summit. The Summit will engage energy educators at all levels and students to build, improve, and expand energy education and serve the needs of diverse populations of students and citizens. The Summit will cover what we teach in energy education, how we teach it, how we can collaborate to teach it better, and how we can overcome critical challenges.  The Summit will include organized symposia, contributed presentations, posters and workshops on how to advance various aspects of energy education. We will also hear from leaders in government, business and industry and civil society in plenary sessions.  Dr. Michael E. Webber, Deputy Director of the Energy Institute, Co-Director of the Clean Energy Incubator, Josey Centennial Fellow in Energy Resources, and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, at the University of Texas at Austin will present the opening keynote at the National Energy Education Summit.  Other speakers will include Scott Sklar and former Obama advisor Dan Kammen.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Urban Climate Issues – Today at 1:00 p.m., the Wilson Center will host a forum on climate perspectives for urban communities.  Over the next two decades the number of city dwellers will soar to nearly five billion, 60 percent of the world’s population.  Recognizing the need to strengthen the ties between urban policymaking and new scholarly work on urban development, and to disseminate evidence-based research on urban programming, the Wilson Center’s Urban Sustainability Laboratory, USAID, the International Housing Coalition, the World Bank and Cities Alliance have teamed together to cosponsor the fifth annual “Reducing Urban Poverty” paper competition for advanced graduate students. Winning authors of the 2014 Graduate Student Urban Poverty Paper Competition will present their solutions-oriented research, with commentary offered by experienced professionals working in the urban sector.

 

Energy & Climate Change Conference Set – The 15th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment: Energy and Climate Change will be held tomorrow to Thursday in Crystal City.  The event will feature more than 20 speakers and develop and advance partnerships that focus on transitioning the world to a new “low carbon” and “climate resilient” energy system. It will emphasize putting ideas into action – moving forward on policy and practice.

 

Forum to Look at Midwest Energy Issues – The U.S. Energy Association will host the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  M-WERC envisions that, through its efforts, the Midwest Region will become the leading region in the United States for the energy, power and control industries and will be known worldwide for its leading-edge research and technology development in these areas, resulting in innovative products, market leadership, employment opportunities, and vibrant technology transfer.  M-WERC represents one of America’s largest clusters of energy, power and control companies, educational and research institutions, and other key industry stakeholders.  M-WERC acts as a catalyst for the growth of these companies and industries, located in the greater Mid-West Region, through technology innovation, advanced research, market development, information sharing, workforce development, and strategic collaboration.

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Grid Storage – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a panel discussion tomorrow looking at grid storage technologies.  The event will  feature Haresh Kamath, Program Manager for Energy Storage at the Electric Power Research Institute, Judith Judson-McQueeney, Director of Emerging Technologies at Customized Energy Solutions, Praveen Kathpal, Vice President of AES Energy Storage, and Katherine Hamilton, Policy Director of the Energy Storage Association.  Grid storage is often touted as a way to help integrate intermittent sources of electricity such as wind and solar onto the grid. The development of grid storage technology, however, is about much more than just renewable integration. This session will address various grid storage technologies and their current and future potential to help create a more resilient and cost-effective energy infrastructure. Panelists will discuss existing and emerging grid storage technologies and applications, market factors affecting storage development, the deployment of storage technologies and regulatory/policy factors affecting grid storage deployment. Sarah O. Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

Press Club to Host FERC Chair – Cheryl LaFleur, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, will speak about the challenges her agency faces to maintain the reliability of the nation’s electricity grid and reasonable prices for consumers at a National Press Club luncheon tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.  LaFleur, chairman of the commission since July 2014, will also talk about the expansion of the nation’s natural gas supply system as the result of unprecedented production from the use of hydraulic fracturing technologies.

 

Utech to Head Climate Discussion – Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold the inaugural event in its Road to Paris Climate Series, featuring an event with Dan Utech, President Obama’s top advisor on energy and climate issues, among other prestigious experts.   Panelists will assess the national climate plans already announced by the United States and China and how their commitments could shape reactions by the European Union and lesser developed countries, which will shape the success or failure of an agreement at the Paris Conference of Parties in December 2015.  Former climate advisor Heather Zichal with moderate a panel with Utech, CAP’s Peter Ogden and WRI’s Andrew Steer.

 

Forum to Look at Ukraine Energy, Security – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on the security and energy implications for the South Caucasus after Ukraine on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.  As the Ukrainian crisis, and the associated political conflict between Russia and the West, continues, there is elevated risk of unanticipated spillover effects in neighboring regions. The focus of this conference, the South Caucasus, is particularly sensitive to the continuing conflict to the north, including the competition for political and economic influence in the region.  The conference will be divided into two panels. The first panel will look at geopolitical implications of the Ukrainian conflict on the region, such as Armenia’s joining the Eurasian Union and the region’s relations with other neighbors, including Turkey and Iran. The second panel will examine energy-related issues, including the impact of world supply and demand for energy; the EU’s evolving dependence on energy from Russia; and Russia’s challenges and opportunities in the region.  The conference will conclude with a lunch and keynote address.

 

EIA Head to Address Forum – On Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the St. Regis – Washington, D.C., Recharge will host a conversation with Adam Sieminski, administrator of the US Energy Information Administration.  The theme of the talk will be global energy after the oil price fall. How do plummeting oil prices change the international energy industry, and, specifically, the role the US plays in it? What does the future hold for all types of energy in a new era of cheaper oil?  The event is sponsored by America’s Natural Gas Alliance.

 

Senate EPW to Host Transpo Sect, Govs on Legislation – Senate Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing on Wednesday to take its first look at Transportation Reauthorization issues.  The hearing aims to provide state and federal perspectives on the importance of reauthorization.   Witnesses will include Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R), South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R), Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D).  Meanwhile, tomorrow, the House Transportation Committee will gather to organize.

 

CSIS Forum to Look at Oil Prices, Impacts – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Rusty Braziel, President & Principal Energy Markets Consultant for RBN Energy, James Jensen, President of Jensen Associates, Jim Burkhard, Vice President and Head of Global Oil Market Research and Energy Scenarios at IHS, and David Knapp, Senior Editor at Energy Intelligence Group, to discuss the energy market impacts of low oil prices.  For the past several years, oil prices have remained in a predictably stable price “band” of around $100/barrel – in spite of an unprecedented spate of global disruptions and new geopolitical unrest. A combination of lackluster oil demand growth, an unprecedented supply surge courtesy of U.S. tight oil production, and other market factors has led to a rapid decline in global oil prices. While it is likely too early to answer the critical questions about how low prices will go, how long they will stay there, and whether this recent price collapse will lead to a new oil price band or an era of greater price volatility, it is a good time to start assessing some of the key variables to watch. This session is an opportunity explore the various oil market dynamics at play and assess the potential implications and outlooks for the future. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

 

RFF Seminar to look at Climate, Food Supply – Resources for the Future will hold a seminar on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. on how climate change will affect our global food supply.  According to recent studies, climate change could reduce agricultural productivity, decreasing global food supplies and harming households that rely on crops, livestock, and fisheries for income. What types of policies can be developed today to help protect against the worst of these impacts? At this RFF seminar, experts will examine recent research on this important topic and discuss how the United States and other countries are addressing the challenge.

 

AWWA, MWCOG to Discuss Water Issues – On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., the American Water Works Association and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will hold a discussion of water and wastewater utility energy efficiency programs, both today and potential for the future. This workshop will highlight successes and challenges in the region, with an emphasis on how water and wastewater utilities could participate in state and energy sector efficiency incentive programs.  The forum will bring together representatives from local water and energy utilities to demonstrate past energy efficiency and/or renewable energy projects that have been completed or are proposed for a future date.

 

NAS to Look at Fukushima, Nuclear – On Thursday, the National Academy of Sciences will hold a meeting on Fukushima and current nuclear challenges.   The day-long Conference will focus on the 2004 NAS Spent Fuel Report and the Fukushima  accident.

 

Ozone Public Hearing Set for DC – EPA will hold its ozone rule hearing on Thursday at EPA headquarters.  EPA will hold several public hearings on the proposed updates to the national air quality standards for ground-level ozone, also known as smog. EPA has proposed to strengthen the standards to a level within a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion to better protect American’s health and the environment, while taking comment on a level as low as 60 ppb. While the low end of the range in the proposed rule (65ppb) is very troubling for industry and states, as low as background levels of ozone in many parts of the country and pushing as much as 94% of the nation out of attainment, 60ppb would be devastating for manufacturing, oil and gas production and agriculture across the country.  One thing to consider: the Administration only has so much political capital at its disposal and it has made clear that controlling greenhouse gases is its legacy issue.  It is unclear that the Administration has the bandwidth to sustain both rules.  There is no doubt that many in Congress and the states will demand that the proposed ozone NAAQS be placed on a more realistic course.  Look for Strong pushback on Ozone/NAAQS from Oil and gas.  Oil/gas production has been one of the only bright spots in the jobless recovery, and the range proposed for ozone may impose real, practical limitations on that production.

 

Senate Energy to Tackle LNG Permit Legislation – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on LNG permitting legislation on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.  The LNG Certainty and Transparency Act (S. 33) was introduced last week and would provide certainty with respect to the timing of Department of Energy decisions to approve or deny applications to export natural gas. Witnesses will include DOE’s Chris Smith, Paul Cicio of the Industrial Energy Consumers of America, ANGA’s Marty Durbin, NAM’s Ross Eisenberg and David Koranyi, the Eurasian Energy Future Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

 

BPC to Hold Event on Climate Stakeholders, Comments – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on stakeholder reactions to the proposed section 111(d) regulation for existing power plants.  Over a million comments have been submitted on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan. Pulling from a broad swath of interested stakeholders, the Bipartisan Policy Center will gather a mix of panelists to share highlights from their submitted comments on this regulatory undertaking.  Speakers will include Arizona DEQ director Henry Darwin, Florida PSC President Lisa Edgar, ACORE’s Todd Foley, Basic Power Co-op’s Elizabeth Gore, Jack Ihle of Xcel, Missouri PSC Robert Kennedy, ECOS President and TN Bob Martineau, NRDC’s Derek Murrrow, EEI’s Quin Shea and NY State DEC.

Forum to Look at IL Nuclear Power, Economy – Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) will hold its monthly policy luncheon on Thursday at 11:00 a.m.  For this luncheon, guest speaker David Bradish, manager of energy and economic analysis at the Nuclear Energy Institute, will discuss how he estimated the facilities’ economic impacts on the Illinois economy using modeling tools.

 

ASE to Hold Congressional Briefing – The Alliance to Save Energy will hold a congressional briefing on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. in 366 Dirksen on energy efficiency building blocks.  Energy efficiency has been a hot topic in Congress over the last few years. The afternoon briefing to discuss the fundamental tools of energy efficiency and energy efficiency policy.

FUTURE EVENTS

 

National Zero Energy Building Forum Set – The Getting to Zero National Building Forum will be held Sunday-Tuesday, February 1-3rd at the Fairmont Georgetown Hotel. Zero energy buildings are ultra-efficient structures that use only as much energy as can be produce onsite through renewable energy resources. Research from New Buildings Institute (NBI) reports 300% growth in the number of buildings targeting zero energy performance goals in just two years. Other studies have quantified the value of the zero energy building market to be $1.4 trillion annually by 2035. While this market is still in the beginning stages, much like LEED, experts anticipate rapid growth in the next two decades.  The event will take an in-depth look at the world of zero net energy (ZNE) buildings, share perspectives on the growth of ZNE policies and projects and discuss the future of these extremely efficient buildings that produce as much energy as they consume over the course of a year.

 

CSIS Experts to Look at Turkish NatGas Pipeline Implications – On Monday, February 2nd, CSIS will host a forum on natural gas pipeline issues in Turkey.  In December 2014, Russia announced unexpectedly that it was cancelling its South Stream gas pipeline project. Instead, during a visit to Ankara, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a new pipeline project that would send additional gas to Europe through Turkey to the Greek border, which he dubbed Turkish Stream.  With much speculation as to the winners and losers of this decision, CSIS experts will endeavor to answer the many questions the new project raises.

 

JHU to Host Eni CEO – Next Monday, February 2nd at Noon, the Johns Hopkins University will hold a forum featuring Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni, who will discuss the future of oil markets.  Descalzi has been the CEO of Eni since May 2014.

 

Forum to Discuss Auto Innovations – New America will hold a conversation on February 2nd at 12:15 p.m. to discuss auto policy innovations.  Speakers will include Levi Tillemann, author of The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future, and Daniel Yergin, author of The Quest and The Prize, and they will focus on the century-long battle between automakers and the contest to build the car of the future.

 

NASEO Energy Policy Outlook Conference Set – On February 3-6 in Washington D.C., the National Assn of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will Hold its 2015 Energy Policy Outlook Conference.  The event will focus on the energy and economic opportunity in modernizing the nation’s energy infrastructure—electric grid, pipelines, buildings, and transportation—to achieve a more resilient, sustainable, and energy efficient future. The need to modernize our aging energy infrastructure is among the most important global competitive challenges facing the United States.

 

USEA to Look at Solar Economics for Utilities – Next Tuesday, February 3rd at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum assessing the economics of solar PV in the electric utility industry.  APPA’s James Cater will speak.  Solar photovoltaics (PV) makes up a small but rapidly growing portion of the nation’s electric generation capacity. Notwithstanding the increasing popularity and growth, questions remain regarding the basic costs and benefits, the nature and magnitude of subsidies, impacts on electric rates, and cost shifting among utility customers. This presentation provides an analytical framework for assessing the economics of solar PV within the electric utility sector. The intent is not to offer conclusions on the merits of solar PV as a power resource, but rather to present an analytical framework that may help decision makers assess the benefits and costs, and manage the trade-offs inherent in the use of this technology.

 

Hill Newspaper Forum to Look at Grid SecurityThe Hill will host a forum on grid resilience and security on Wednesday, February 4th at 8:00 a.m. in B-340 Rayburn. Leaders from Congress and the Obama Administration will discuss the role new energy technologies are playing in modernization, as well as steps for protecting a 21st Century power grid. Vulnerabilities in the security of the U.S. power grid — from the high-profile attack on a California substation to ongoing cyber incursions — has made protecting the grid a key policy issue for both the security and energy communities. Recent hacking incidents against major retailers, Hollywood, and the military’s social media accounts are only increasing concerns about the ability to protect America’s critical systems.

 

ASP to Hold Forum on Energy Security in Caribbean – On Wednesday, February 4th at Noon, the American Security Project will host a conference on energy security in the Caribbean.  Energy insecurity and availability are challenges that countries around the world face, but few places in the world face it like the islands of the Caribbean do. The islands are a diverse mix, ranging from Communist Cuba to the American territory of Puerto Rico, from small, isolated islands like Anguilla to large, multi-ethnic islands like Hispaniola. Most of the islands in the Caribbean have few indigenous fossil fuel resources, so virtually all of their energy needs are met by imported fossil fuels. To compound this, because of the lack of scale, costs for infrastructure are often much higher than for mainland, continental states.  Over the course of three panel discussions, the event will first examine the geopolitical importance of the region, and discuss what role energy plays in the balance of power. The next panel will look at the unique challenges of providing power to islands, and will attempt to offer lessons from other islands around the world. The final panel will look at existing and future solutions that could provide energy security, economic growth, and a cleaner environment.

 

RFF Forum to Look at Climate Agreement Action – Resources for the Future will host a First Wednesday Seminar  on February 4th at 12:45 p.m.  looking at countries level Of effort to reach a climate agreement.  Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, countries have committed to finalize a new international agreement to take action on climate change. To prepare for Paris, each country must outline Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), the actions it will take to reduce its emissions.  A collaborative and functional negotiation process around the new agreement will require a solid understanding of the levels of effort represented by the INDCs, particularly surrounding mitigation. However, comparing mitigation efforts is a challenging exercise, given the likely diversity of the proposed actions of each country.  At this RFF First Wednesday Seminar, experts will discuss a new method for comparing the INDCs, based on work by a team from Harvard University, Duke University, Japan’s Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, and Resources for the Future. They will also present a preliminary assessment of mitigation actions announced by several key jurisdictions, and a negotiator from the US State Department will offer comments.  State’s Trigg Talley and experts Joe Aldy and Bill Pizer will speak.

 

Forum to Look at Global Oil Issues – The Wilson Center will convene an expert global panel, assembled from Russia, Colombia, Canada, Iran, and Nigeria, on Wednesday February 4th at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the economic and political repercussions of depressed energy prices, as well as the effects of the lower prices on competitiveness and investment.  The event will be an exploration of the political, economic, and security implications of tumbling oil prices in various parts of the globe. For more information, please visit our event page.

 

Purdue Expert to Address Climate Impacts on Land Use, Poverty – On Thursday, February 5th at 4:30 p.m., the Johns Hopkins University will host a forum featuring Thomas Hertel of Purdue University, who will address the impacts of climate change and mitigation policies on global land use and poverty.  Professor Hertel is Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, where his research focuses on the economy-wide impacts of global trade and environmental policies. Professor Hertel’s most recent research has focused on the impacts of climate change and mitigation policies on global land use and poverty. Previously, Professor Hertel has conducted extensive research on the impacts of multilateral trade agreements, including the linkages between global trade policies and poverty in developing countries.

 

Former Gov Ritter Leads CO Law School Forum – University of Colorado Law School will hold its 2015 Martz Winter Symposium in its Wittemyer Courtroom on February 12-13th.  Many believe that global institutions and frameworks are failing to generate necessary progress on issues such as climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity, food security and nutrition, and poverty eradication; and that state, tribal, and local governments and communities, innovative companies, social and technology entrepreneurs, NGOs, impact investors, consumers and philanthropists increasingly are taking the lead in creating bottom-up solutions to these challenges.  The conference will explore this dynamic in detail, with an emphasis on the drivers behind these ground level innovations, and on how they can better “filter up” to inform the global conversations occurring on how best to address various dimensions of “global change”.  Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter leads a list of distinguished speakers.

 

FCC Chair to Address NARUC Winter Meetings – The 2015 NARUC Winter Committee Meetings will be held on February 15-18th at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  The Winter Meetings is the first substantive utility-regulatory conference of the year. Discussions will focus on the new Congress’ outlook for energy and telecommunications priorities.  Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the  Federal Communications Commission will be among the keynote speakers.

 

Geothermal Event Set for February – The Geothermal Energy Association’s State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing will be held on Tuesday, February 24th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.

 

Interior Official to Address Policy Issues at UColorado—The University of Colorado Law School will host Deputy Secretary of Interior Mike Connor for a policy speech on March 10th.

 

Aviation Forum to Feature Blakey – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting its 14th Annual Aviation Summit on Tuesday, March 17th at the Renaissance Hotel to bring together top experts and leaders from all sectors of aviation to discuss critical issues facing the industry. The 2015 Summit will focus on the future of space and aviation in the global economy.  Confirmed Speakers include Chamber CEO Tom Donohue, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, Former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, former FAA/NTSB/NHTSA head and current CEO of  Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Marion Blakey, and many others.