Energy Update Week of March 10

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update Week of January 14

Friends, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE NEWS  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOING ON THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 21st – Presidential Inauguration Day

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

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 12 – State Of The Union Speech  

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

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

Energy Update Week of January 7

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lucky 13 for ‘13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOING ON THIS WEEK 

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

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

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

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

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

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 21st – Presidential Inauguration Day

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

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

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

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

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

February 3rd  – Super Bowl Sunday 

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

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

Energy Update Week of December 3

Friends,

Just a short note today with some follow up from late-breaking events on Friday, as well as an update from this morning’s SAFE event at the Newseum, which featured Presidential Economic Advisor Gene Sperling, Sens. Lamar Alexander and Roy Blount and military and business leaders.  The event was live on C-SPAN.   Fed Ex Chair Fred Smith and retired General P.X. Kelly also had a piece today in the National Review on the topic.

One additional note, as UN climate talks in Qatar continue, the US negotiators seem to be pressing hard to challenge developing countries like China to engage in any new efforts, rather than keep the “developing/developed” country divide.  While some are saying this is a big development that will lead to future treaties, as one who has followed this for years, I wouldn’t hold my breathe that nations like China and India will follow though – especially in the months after everyone returns home.  Our friend Kim Chipman has a story from Doha.

Please call with questions about this or other topics.

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

IN THE NEWS 

SAFE Releases Bipartisan Strategy to Support Domestic Production, Oil Displacement Technology – The national security and business leaders of the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) today proposed a detailed oil security plan to improve the U.S. economy, promote fiscal stability, and protect national security.  The proposal – A National Strategy for Energy Security: Harnessing American Resources and Innovation – supports expanding domestic energy supplies and technology to address the dangers created by the near-total reliance of the nation’s transportation sector on petroleum-based fuels.  The ESLC, co-chaired by former Marine Corps Commandant General P.X. Kelley (USMC, Ret.) and FedEx Chairman, President, & CEO Frederick W. Smith, includes entrepreneurs and former military leaders committed to improving U.S. energy security through reduced oil dependence.  The ESLC is a project of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE).  “As long as our nation remains dependent on oil, restoring economic growth and stabilizing our fiscal outlook will be undermined by the manipulated and volatile prices of a cartel-dominated global oil market.  This report offers a framework for policymakers to leverage domestic energy abundance in support of mitigating the urgent and severe threat posed by oil dependence,” remarked General Kelley and Mr. Smith.  Specific recommendations include:

-Responsible development of energy resources in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

-State participation in the State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Regulations (STRONGER) process, which should increase its scope to develop best practices for hydraulic fracturing.

-Fuel-neutral deployment communities for oil displacement technology like electric vehicles and natural gas trucks in small- to medium-sized cities, which will serve as R&D communities to identify effective approaches to deploying these oil-displacement technologies.

-Reinstated and reformed incentives for a fuel infrastructure to compete with oil-based liquid fuels.

-Reorient the Department of Energy’s R&D activities to catalyze those technologies most likely to improve U.S. energy security

-Improving the federal permitting process for major energy projects by streamlining authority, promoting transparency, and reducing frivolous litigation.

-Establishing an Energy Security Trust Fund seeded with revenue from new production.

House E/C “Big Five” Question HHS about NatGas Drilling Bias – Top House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans are questioning the objectivity of the Department of Health and Human Services on natural gas drilling, citing past comments in which the head of HHS’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has allegedly referred to shale gas development as “a disaster in some communities” and referred to “anecdotal evidence of environmental illness.”  In a letter Friday to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, committee Chairman Fred Upton and other lawmakers questioned the department’s role in an interagency working group on shale gas development and the validity of pending studies by ATSDR. They requested a briefing between HHS staff and committee staff and called on Sebelius to ensure that the department “will adopt an approach based on sound scientific principles.” The letter was signed by Upton, former Chair Joe Barton, Energy subpanel Chair Ed Whitfield, Health subpanel Chair Joe Pitts and Environment Subpanel Chair John Shimkus.

Emerson to Move to Head Rural Co-Op Assn – Our friend Missouri Congresswoman Joanne Emerson said today that she will resign from Congress March 1st to become CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the trade association of cooperative and consumer-owned utilities. She will succeed Glenn English, who announced his intention to retire in December 2011 after 19 years.  Emerson was elected to the House in 1996 from Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District to succeed her husband, the late Rep. Bill Emerson, and continued his leadership in food assistance policy in Congress. She chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Appropriations.  NRECA, based in Arlington, Va., represents more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives and utilities, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.  Emerson will take over one of the most influential rural-based organizations, with a lobbying budget that has been greater than $5 million in some years (in 2008 and 2009, about $2 million this year) and a political action committee that spent $2.96 million during the 2012 campaign.  She will be the fifth person and the fourth former Member of Congress to head the association. Its earliest president was Clyde T. Ellis, a House member from Arkansas. Others were former Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bergland, once a congressman from Minnesota, and English, the Oklahoma member who, like Emerson, resigned from the House shortly after re-election.

CSIS Honor Schlesinger with Energy Chair, Appoints Verrastro – CSIS has created a James R. Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics and will to appoint our friend Frank Verrastro as the inaugural chairholder. The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will now be led by David Pumphrey and Sarah Ladislaw, who will codirect the program and work in conjunction with the Schlesinger Chair.  The nation’s first Energy Secretary, James Schlesinger served in both Republican and Democratic administrations at the highest levels, and his leadership on defense, intelligence, budgetary, and energy matters will benefit the United States far into the future.  Verrastro has directed the CSIS Energy and National Security Program since 2003. He spent 30 years in energy policy and project management positions in the U.S. government and private sector. He has held positions in the White House and Departments of Interior and Energy, including as director of the Office of Producing Nations and deputy assistant secretary for international energy resources. In the private sector, he worked most recently as senior vice president for Pennzoil. In his new capacity, Verrastro will continue to serve as senior vice president at CSIS.

THIS WEEK’S GOINGS ON

Forum to Look at GrowthThe Atlantic’s Forum on Conservation, Efficiency, and Growth, taking place tomorrow at The W Hotel in Washington, DC.  The forum will feature expert discussions on corporate sustainability initiatives, and convene panels to explore how sustainable business practices influence our economy, our workforce, and America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace.  Speakers will include Darryl Banks, Vice President of Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress; Beth Keck, Senior Director of Sustainability for Walmart; Kathy Loftus, Global Leader of Sustainable Engineering and Energy Management for Whole Foods; Jackie Roberts, Director of Sustainable Technologies, Climate & Air for the Environmental Defense Fund; Beth Shiroishi, Vice President, Sustainability & Philanthropy for AT&T and Michael Washburn, Vice President of Sustainability for Nestle Waters North America.

House Transportation, Senate Panels to Look at Sandy – The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on Hurricane Sandy tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in 2167 Rayburn.  The hearing will review of the preparedness, response to and recovery from hurricane sandy” and will be webcast live.  Witnesses will include FEMA’s Craig Fugate, Fred Tombar, Major General Michael Walsh, Robert R. Latham Jr, Kevin Davis and David Popoff.  The next day at 10:00, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee (Chaired by Mary Landrieu) will convene a hearing on Sandy response and recovery as well. Fugate will be joined by HUD secretary Shaun Donovan.  On Thursday, a Senate Commerce Panel headed by Frank Lautenberg will focus on the Sandy’s impact on transportation networks.

Forum to Look at 20 Years of Energy Policy Act of ’92 – The Compete Coalition will host a policy forum on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the Phoenix Park Hotel on the Energy Policy Act of 1992, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of a landmark statute.  Key architects of the legislation and today’s electricity industry leaders will look back (and look ahead) at the ongoing impact of EPAct ’92 on competitive electricity markets and the benefits those markets are delivering for our nation’s electricity consumers.  Speakers will include former Senators Bennett Johnston and Don Nickles, former FERC Chair and Deputy Secretary of Energy Betsy Moler, former FERC Commissioner Bill Massey, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Federico Peña and former Deputy Secretary of Energy Linda Stuntz, among others.

McAuliffe to Headline 2012 VA Renewable Meeting – Potential VA Governor candidate Terry McAuliffe will be joining the Virginia Renewable Energy Assn for its annual meeting in Richmond on December 5th.  McAuliffe has been a leading voice and entrepreneur in the Renewable Energy Industry and has recently announced his intentions to run for Governor of Virginia in 2013.

NJ Set Clean Air Act Forum – The National Journal will hold a Clean Air Act Forum on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. at the Newseum to explore the promise of the Clean Air Act, its legacy after 40 years, and a look ahead to its future with the new Congress and Administration. Our friend Amy Harder will speak with former EPA Administrator and White House Climate Czar Carol Browner and former House Energy and Commerce Chairman Joe Barton on the CAA, as well as moderate a panel that includes David Markarian of NextEra Energy, Delaware Air Quality Director Ali Mirzakhalili, Jerome A. Paulson of the Child Health Advocacy Institute at Children’s National Medical Center, NRDC’s John Walke and ACCCE’s Paul Bailey.

WAPA, Buick to Hold Ride, Drive – The Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA) and Buick will hold a Holiday Buick Encore ride-and-drive and happy hour on Wednesday at Indigo Landing in Alexandria, VA.  Buick is on pace for its best retail sales year since 2006, thanks to a product line-up that features the style, performance and technology luxury buyers expect and demand.  For the 2013 model year, along with a redesigned Enclave and a new high-performing, turbo-charged model for Verano, the all-new Buick Encore luxury crossover will begin arriving in dealerships soon and we’d like you to be among the first to drive it.  In addition to the ride-and-drive, Buick marketing and engineering executives including Roger McCormack, Director Buick Global Marketing will be on-hand to provide perspective on the Encore.  Buick Encore is the second of four new or significantly revised Buick vehicles to be introduced in the next 12 months, and is a beautiful, quiet, comfortable 5-passenger crossover with the right balance of performance and purposeful technology.  Encore also continues to expand the Buick portfolio by appealing to a whole new audience of luxury buyers as we expect the segment to grow more than a half million units by 2015.

RFF Panel to Look at Markets, Enviro Regs – Resources for the Future will hold its December First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. looking at markets for environmental regulations.  Over the past 60 years, environmental economists have pioneered the idea of market-based approaches to solving environmental problems. Regulators have implemented market-based programs for air pollution, water pollution, land management, and other environmental policy problems at local, state, federal, and—in the case of greenhouse gas regulation—international levels. Some applications hew more closely than others to ideal market-based policy design, as defined by economic theory, and programs have met with varying degrees of success. As part of RFF’s Resources 2020 lecture series—our 60th anniversary exploration of how economic inquiry can address future environmental challenges—panelists at this seminar will discuss what we can learn from successful and unsuccessful applications of market-based policy and its desirability, feasibility, and design in the future. The panel includes RFF experts on environmental markets for air, water, and land, as well as leaders in the policy community with diverse experience on these issues, including former Clinton OMB Director Sally Katzen, NRDC’s David Doniger, former Bush 41 White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray and RFF experts Dallas Burtraw, Art Fraas, Margaret Walls and Leonard Shabman.

German Chamber Sets Wind Energy Conference – For the 5th time since 2007, the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest is bringing a delegation of German wind energy companies to Chicago for the German American Wind Energy Business Conference.  This conference on Wednesday will provide attendees with the chance to learn about the wind technology innovations and supply chain and service practices that German manufacturers use to stay competitive. Current wind energy opportunities and programs in Illinois will also be addressed.  Attending the conference provides an excellent opportunity to connect with the German wind energy delegation companies to discuss business and partnership opportunities.

Forum to Look at Iranian Oil – The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center will host a discussion on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. entitled “Can the World Live Without Iranian Oil,” with Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International; and Denise Natali, Minerva Chair, Institute of National Strategic Studies, National Defense University.  Over the past year, Iranian oil production and exports have declined drastically to levels last seen at the end of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Yet the price of oil has remained relatively constant at around $100 per barrel or lower. Increasing oil production in neighboring Iraq and new discoveries in the United States and elsewhere, coupled with sluggish demand, raise the question of whether the world can live without Iranian oil and what that means for Iran’s ability to pursue a provocative nuclear program.  The Iran Task Force, co-chaired by Atlantic Council Chairman Senator Chuck Hagel and Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, seeks to perform a comprehensive analysis of Iran’s internal political landscape, its role in the region and globally, and any basis for an improved relationship with the West.

Transmission Conference to Look at New Year, Agenda – Energy Central and TransmissionHub will host a symposium on Wednesday in Washington, DC to Look at Transmission policy in the new year.  TransForum East is the second of three regional gatherings of key industry decision makers that Energy Central kicked off in April 2012 with TransForum Texas.  It is an event focused just on the Eastern Interconnection.  I will speak on the “Implications of the 2012 Presidential Election on Electric Power Policy,” at 2:00 p.m.    Other speakers include Trans-Elect/AWC CEO Bob Mitchell, Michael Skelly of Clean Line Energy and many others.

EIA to Present Outlook at JHU – Johns Hopkins University’s Energy, Resources and Environment Program and the Global Leaders Forum on Energy and Environment will host Adam Sieminski, administrator at the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.  Sieminski will present the agency’s projections of U.S. energy supply, demand and prices to 2040 with the early release of the reference case projections from the “Annual Energy Outlook 2013.”  A link to a webcast of the press conference will be available by 1:00 PM on Wednesday, December 5 at: http://www.sais-jhu.edu/pressroom/live.html

Houston Conference to Look at Regional Wind Issues – AWEA holds its Southwest Regional Wind Energy Summit on Wednesday and Thursday in Houston at the Hyatt Regency.  The conference will provide a comprehensive view of all critical aspects of wind energy in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) regions of the United States, and delve deep into the most important present and forecasted issues facing wind energy development in these regions.  Former Bush Administration official Jimmy Glotfelty will chair the event and speakers include former FERC Chair Pat Wood, SPP’s Carl Monroe and EDF Renewables CEO Gabriel Alonso.

Harvard Business Review to Host Doha Webinar – The Harvard Business Review will hold an interactive webinar on Thursday at 10:30 a.m., broadcast live from Doha, in partnership with Future Influencers, an exclusive think tank working group enabling high-level discussions and collaborations on sustainability topics.  Leaders gathering in Doha to address the world’s energy challenges at the 18th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 18) face formidable challenges. Policy recommendations that ignore the larger interdependencies in the global energy supply chain are unlikely to make headway. Economists since the 1960s, for example, have said that if we just get energy prices right, the market will work its magic. But getting the prices right depends on getting the policies right. Policy, in turn, is constrained by the social and political realities of each national jurisdiction. Participants include Barbara Kux ,Chief Sustainability Officer of Siemens AG; WRI’s Jennifer Morgan; Gregory Unruh of the Thunderbird School of Global Management and Future influencers: Gatien Bon, Anna Leidereiter, and Kali Taylor.

Commerce to Host Webinar on Exporting Renewable Technology – The Department of Commerce/Commercial Service is holding a webinar on Thursday December 6th looking at export finance for Renewable Energy Technologies.  This webinar will feature an update of USG export finance programs (Ex-Im, OPIC,TDA) for renewable energy technologies as well as export finance best practices from a private-sector perspective.  Speakers include Craig O’Connor of the , Ex-Im Bank of the United States, Brian O’Hanlon of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Andrea Lupo of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and Ed Sappin of the Willowbrook Company.

Panel to Look at Carbon Tax, Fiscal Cliff – Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies will hold a Panel on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. in its Rome Auditorium, #806 looking at Carbon prices and the fiscal cliff.  With the looming threat of the ‘fiscal cliff,’ and effects of super-storm Sandy, there is renewed talk in policy circles of the benefits of putting a price on carbon, as a means of dealing with the federal deficit while tackling climate change.  Leading experts about the viability of carbon market mechanisms throughout North America, like the Western Climate Initiative involving Québec and California will discuss the realities of a federal clean energy standard and the application of a national carbon tax in the context of simultaneously addressing emissions reductions and fiscal constraints.  Panelists include Brookings Adele Morris, Richard Caperton of the Center for American Progress and Manik Roy of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.  This event will be held in collaboration with the Québec Government Office in Washington, the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Québec in Montréal (Chair Raoul-Dandurand).

EPA Webinar to Focus on Global Warming Polling – EPA’s Green Power Partnership will host a free webinar on Friday at 1:00 p.m. on “Global Warming’s Six Americas: Understanding and Communicating with a Diverse Public.” Americans differ in their beliefs and concern about climate change. Understanding the differences is vital to effective engagement and to bring about positive behavioral change. Insight into stakeholders’ views can help organizations communicate the importance of using green power and saving energy.  The webinar will feature a presentation from Dr. Edward Maibach, Professor and Director of George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication. Dr. Maibach will provide a summary of recent findings from the “Climate Change in the American Mind” and “Global Warming’s Six Americas” audience research studies conducted by George Mason University and Yale University. He will address a range of topics including recent increases in public engagement in climate change, perceptions about extreme weather and its relationship to climate change, and public policy preferences.

FUTURE EVENTS

Panel to Look at National Security, Election Coverage – The National Security and New Media Journalism Project will present its National Security and New Media Conference panel and  Mightier Pen Award Luncheon on Tuesday, December 11th at the Union League Club in New York.  The Project was established to provide professional development for the next generation of national security journalists in an objective environment informed by the burgeoning opportunities of the new Media.  It will honor Monica Crowley of FOX News.  Panels prior to lunch will discuss new media, national security and the election.  Panelists will include Rich Miniter of Forbes Magazine, former Washington Times security expert Bill Gertz and NRO Columnists Andrew McCarthy, among others.

Chamber Foundation to Look at Fiscal Challenges, States Efforts – The National Chamber Foundation will hold a forum on the tough decisions of our fiscal challenge on December 11th at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  This event will highlight a report by the State Budget Crisis Task Force, co-chaired by Richard Ravitch, former lieutenant governor of New York, and Paul Volcker, former Federal Reserve Board chair. The report examines six major fiscal threats to states across the nation: Medicaid, federal deficit reduction, underfunded retirement, taxes, local government fiscal stress, and state budget laws and practices.  In addition, gubernatorial chiefs of staff from WI, CO, OK and VA will discuss how their states are balancing the need for fiscal responsibility while investing in a strong economic future.  A federal panel featuring Joseph A. Califano and Chamber President Tom Donohue will then facilitate a robust discussion on the challenges facing our country and answer the looming question of what we can do to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Forum to Look at EU Trading System – The Ministry of the Brussels-Capital Region, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, and the Environmental Law Institute will host a forward-looking examination of Europe’s leading role in establishing and operating a greenhouse gas trading system on Tuesday, December 11th ar 3:45 p.m.  With the international agreement to reach a new GHG protocol by 2020, where will the EU Emission Trading System go? How does it affect international transport, both by air and sea? What does this system mean for multinational businesses operating in or passing through Europe.  Panelists include GE’s Ann Condon, EU Enviro Rep in the United States Guenter Hoermandiger, Alcoa’s Sylvain Lhote and Nancy Young of Airlines for America.

Annual POWER-GEN Conference Tackles Key Issues – The annual POWER-GEN Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida on December 11-13 at the Orange County Convention Center. Nearly 200 industry experts will present new solutions and innovations for the future in 36 conference sessions broken up in 12 tracks. Click here to download the Conference-at-a-Glance PDF.  The conference sessions are organized into multiple concurrent session tracks including industry trends / competitive power generation, environmental issues, emissions control, fossil technologies, gas turbine technologies, on-site power and plant performance.  There will also be separate Tracks on Nuclear, Renewable and Geothermal power.

DOE Grid Expert to Headline ICF Breakfast – ICF International continues its Energy and Environment Breakfast Series on Wednesday, December 12th with Jay Caspary, senior policy advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and member of DOE’s Grid Tech Team, who will explore challenging issues facing the electric grid and potential solutions to these problems.

Inglis to Discuss Climate/Energy Taxes – The Johns Hopkins Washington, DC Center will host a forum on Wednesday, December 12th at Noon on Climate and energy taxes.  Former U.S. Representative Bob Inglis’ presentation will focus on U.S. climate/energy politics and make the case for prudent action from a conservative perspective.  Inglis’ think tank at the George Mason University, the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, focuses on three key components to a prudent energy-and-climate policy. First, the policy should be strictly revenue-neutral to prevent the growth of government. Second, the policy should get government out of the business of ‘picking winners’ by ending all subsidies for all sources of energy. Third, the policy should, over time, fix the market distortion caused by negative externalities by attaching all costs to all sources of energy. A climate policy with these key attributes would level the playing field for energy production and poise the free-enterprise system to deliver the fuels of the future. 

RFF to Host Geoengineering Lecture – Resources for the Future will continue its 60th anniversary Resources 2020 Nobel Laureate lecture series on Thursday, December 13th featuring Thomas Schelling, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, who will discuss Geoengineering and some gentle experimentation.

Energy Forum Features Jones, Connaughton, Wirth – OurEnergyPolicy.org will host a forum at the National Press Club on Friday, December 14th where leading energy and government experts will share their ideas, expectations and predictions for the future of U.S. energy policy.   The panel, moderated by Jim Angle, Chief National Correspondent with Fox News Channel, will feature former CEQ Chair Jim Connaughton of Exelon, Former National Security Advisor General James Jones, and former Colorado Senator and United Nations Foundation leader Tim Wirth.  These panelists will offer insights into how the winners of the 2012 elections will and should approach energy and national security, climate and the environment, the economy, and other emerging issues.

Forum to Look at Disaster Preparedness – The Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation will hold a session of the CSIS-Pennington Family Foundation Series on Community Resilience Toward More Effective Disaster Philanthropy on Thursday, December 13th at 5:30 p.m. that will be an on-the-record panel discussion exploring how to move toward more effective disaster philanthropy.  Following a natural disaster, philanthropy plays a vital role in aiding affected communities and can have an equally critical role in building long term community resilience. As private entities, philanthropists can operate with flexibility across sectors and creativity that generates unique contributions across the lifecycle of disasters—from preparedness to recovery. The panel will feature Dr. David Abramson of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Wal-Mart’s Steve Dozier, Bob Ottenhoff of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, USAID’s Tony Pipa and Joe Ruiz of the UPS Foundation Humanitarian Relief Program.

Chamber to Host Farm Innovation Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation will co-host a program on Wednesday, December 19th highlighting the innovations and emerging opportunities that today’s agriculture industry are presenting. This program will identify many of the latest innovations and advances in agriculture and show how America’s agriculture community continues to feed an ever growing global population while at the same time supporting American job creation and competitiveness.  Speakers include USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Secretary, Chamber President Tom Donohue, former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings (current President of the National Chamber Foundation), Peter Klein  of the University of Missouri, AEI’s Nick Schulz, John Deere FarmSight Director Jerry Roell and Blake Hurst of the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Special Energy Update – November 30

Friends,

A special Friday note this week because we will not be available Monday as we (all of you and I) will all be at the Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) event at the Newseum at 10:30 a.m.  The event will feature Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council.  How often do you get to hear the President’s economic advisor tie energy security and fiscal issues together in the middle of the fiscal cliff negotiations with Congress?  Speaking of Congress, Senator Lamar Alexander and Roy Blount will also participate in the event which is focused on the impact of U.S. oil dependence on the nation’s economic, fiscal, and national security outlook.  SAFE will also release of its new report, “A National Strategy for Energy Security: Harnessing American Resources and Innovation” at the event which will include recommendation to the Congress and President to address the challenge.  Other speakers will include Fed Ex CEO Fred Smith, Marine Corps General P.X. Kelley, former NSC head Dennis Blair, Waste Management CEO David Steiner and several other military and business leaders.   

On Wednesday, The Financial Times recognized Bracewell & Giuliani among the most creative and forward-thinking law firms in the U.S., naming Bracewell a highly-commended firm in its U.S. Innovative Lawyers report.  Bracewell was fourth in the category of Most Innovative U.S. Law Firms: Business of Law 2012. The award to Bracewell focused on the launch of the Policy Resolution Group (PRG), a unit that many of you on this list know and work with daily and combines legal, government relations and communications advice.  The Financial Times’ U.S. Innovative Lawyers report includes unique rankings of law firms that bring fresh thinking and practices to solving business problems in America. More than 60 law firms submitted 320 entries to be included in the honors. 

Finally, with yesterday’s politician open mike on Sandy in the Senate Environment Committee, I wanted to pass along one important thing that seems to be getting lost in the Chairman’s effort to create a “public record of the storm.”  While it was a terrible tragedy for many in New Jersey/New York that were really impacted by it, those trying to gain political advantage on climate change (somewhat evident yesterday) seem to be forgetting an important fact: The storm and climate really aren’t related.  This originally didn’t come from climate skeptics, but one of the best, climate/science reporters covering the issues over the last 15 years, former NYTimes reporter Andy Revkin.  Revkin made some great points on NYT’s Dot Earth blog as the storm arrived in late October, focused on the complex connection to climate.  Revkin said while some climate scientists told him the event is precisely what you’d expect following a summer in which much of the Arctic Ocean was open water, “there remains far too much natural variability in the frequency and potency of rare and powerful storms — on time scales from decades to centuries — to go beyond pointing to this event being consistent with what’s projected on a human-heated planet.” He added that the storm’s “moniker can imply this is a human-created meteorological monster, it’s just not that simple.”

Please call with questions…  I look forward to seeing you at the Newseum on Monday morning.

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

IN THE NEWS 

Interior Announces First-Ever Renewable Energy Lease Sale – The Department of Interior just announced the first-ever competitive lease sales for renewable energy development in two wind energy areas (WEAs) in federal waters on the Outer Continental Shelf.  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is proposing to lease 278,000 Acres offshore just off Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Virginia for wind energy.   More details later today on a 4:00 p.m. call with Secretary Salazar, BOEM Director Tommy Beaudreau and David Hayes.

President Signs EU Airline Bill – Much to the Chagrin of the environmental community, President Obama signed legislation exempting U.S. airlines from the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme. Last month, the EU postponed enactment of its system by a year as talks go to the International Civil Aviation Organization on how to cut airline emissions on a global basis, but lawmakers still wanted to pass legislation opposing what they view as a unilateral imposition of fees by the EU. The bill, written by Sens. Claire McCaskill and John Thune, was passed overwhelmingly in both Houses of Congress. 

Solar Report Shows Decreasing Costs – A new report from the DOE Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found the average cost of installing new solar systems was 11-14% lower than last year, depending on the size of the project.  Even with the continued price declines, the report found, costs will have to decline even further if the solar industry is to continue to grow, especially as incentive programs begin to phase out. 

LAT Story Draws More Analysis – Remember the hubbub over the LA Times’ story by Julie Cart hammering the solar industry again on county costs and disenchantment.   The pushback from clean energy advocates called Cart out drew another analysis from EarthTechling analyst Pete Danko as well.    Danko highlighted criticisms from blogger RL Miller that says Cart is anti-solar and is leaving out key context and important facts that counter her regular storylines. Danko said Miller’s critique took Cart to task on a number of specific points, and scored some nice hits, including that the Riverside County supervisor Cart credulously gave a platform to has received a lot of campaign cash from fossil-fuel interests, among other issues.  Danko adds the problem with her work is that it is so relentlessly negative and so lacking in balance and context that the interesting and useful points she brings up are easily dismissed by solar advocates as the rantings of someone who is “anti-solar.”  

Lease Sale Produces Minimal Attention – Overshadowed by EPA’s BP announcement, Wednesday Gulf of Mexico lease sale at the Superdome (which interestingly did NOT feature an appearance from Interior Sect. Ken Salazar as the pre-election sale did) garnered $133.8 million in bids for 116 offshore blocks in the Western Gulf of Mexico.  The agency received a total of 131 bids from 13 companies worth $157.6 million. The highest bid was submitted by Chevron for $17.2 million. This was the first sale under the Administration’s new 5-year plan, offering 20 million acres.  The next Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale will offer 38 million acres in March.    Of course, NIOA’s Randi Luthi said the level of activity in this sale will be a good indicator of industry’s confidence not only in the remaining resources of the Western Gulf of Mexico, but also in the Administration’s willingness to allow those resources to be developed in a timely fashion.  Jim Noe of Hercules (713-301-6797) is a great contact to discuss the impacts of the sale.  And to be expected, enviros are annoyed at the Administration for following through on the sale, bashing the President even though he was endorsed by Sierra Club, LCV and NRDC.  My good Clean energy friend RL Miller was even funnier tweeting: “Black Friday, Cyber Monday, now All of the Above Wednesday.” 

Hanger to Run for PA Gov – Our friend and former PA DEP head John Hanger announced that he is running for Governor of Pennsylvania, taking on first-term Republican Tom Corbett.   Hanger has served Governors of both parties, joining Tom Ridge in 1993-98 as PUC Commissioner and Rendell’s environmental watchdog agency head in 2008.  Hanger also founded the Powerhouse environmental group PennFuture, and has recently brandished more expert energy credentials, playing a much more aggressive middle-of-the-road, objective stance with regard to energy development.  Other potential candidates include U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Rep. Joe Sestak, Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro, PA state Treasurer Rob McCord, former Rendell administration official Tom Wolf and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski. 

GAO Coal Report Says Coal to Be Part of Future Mix – A new GAO report says coal will remain a major source for domestic electricity for decades to come, but will also provide a smaller share of the national energy portfolio.  In a report to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, GAO said up to 18% of current coal-fired capacity could be retired by 2035 because of new environmental regulations and lower-priced natural gas. The GAO made no recommendations in the report on federal policy, however.  The GAO also said that coal generation as a share of U.S. electricity will decline from about 42% last year to 38% in 2035. My colleague Scott Segal said it shows that coal is going to remain a mainstay of the U.S. economy by acknowledging how significant a role coal plays in the domestic power sector.    Segal added industry has been clear that older plants with lesser pollution controls are most likely to be retired in the face of new pollution regulations and low-cost natural gas. Those plants are mostly used sporadically during peak demand periods, but play a role in keeping prices down during those spikes. 

Sierra Club Wants to Block LNG Exports – As part of its none-of-the-above energy strategy (including solar and wind mind you) the Sierra Club issued a new report demanding that the Energy Department to examine and disclose the health and environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing before considering whether to move forward with exporting liquefied natural gas.  Of course, there is much more to the story, including that DOE has long studied the issues and will soon release a highly-anticipated study by year’s end.  Most experts see the Sierra club effort as a pre-emptive strike at a report that will not like.  Our DOE and Energy export expert (say that fast three times), Salo Zelermyer can discuss (202-828-1718). 

THIS WEEK’S GOINGS ON

SAFE Report to Highlight Plan to Oil Independence – On Monday, December 3rd, members of Securing America’s Future Energy’s (SAFE) Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) will release a portfolio of policy recommendations intended to reduce U.S. dependence on oil, which the Council says is a paramount threat to the national, economic and fiscal security of America.  The Council will unveil its report, “National Strategy for Energy Security: Harnessing American Resources and Innovation,” at the Newseum in Washington, DC.   The Council’s recommendations will focus on three major goals:  Increasing domestic production by taking full advantage of American oil and natural gas resources; Reducing domestic oil consumption through innovation and the adoption of new technologies; Invigorating initiatives in both production and consumption by reforming and streamlining the regulatory process.  The report will also discuss more internationally-focused developments on the horizon which could significantly impact America’s energy security outlook.  Speakers will include FedEx CEO Fred Smith, Sen.  Lamar Alexander,  former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis C. Blair, Waste Management CEO David Steiner, former USMC Commandant General James Conway and former Goldman Sachs Asset Management Co-CEO Eric Schwartz. 

New NARUC President Hosts Media Briefing – New National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Philip Jones of Washington will be hosting a Media Briefing on Monday, December 3rd at NARUC’s Washington headquarters.  The event will start at 12 noon and run for approximately one hour. A light lunch will be provided on a first come, first serve basis.  This event will focus on energy issues.  Please RSVP to NARUC Director of Communications Rob Thormeyer by Friday, if you plan on attending so they can have an accurate headcount for lunch. 

Sachs to Address Sustainability GWU – George Washington University’s Institute for International Economic Policy will host Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs in its City View Room, 7th Floor, on Monday, December 3rd at 4:00 p.m.   Sustainable Development is emerging as the defining challenge of our generation, and it will critically require a new kind of interaction between policy and research. The Sustainable Development Forum is a series of talks by leaders in academia and in policy which will attempt to set the research agenda for sustainable development following the Rio +20 conference. What will sustainable development entail? What are the most crucial questions we need to be asking? How should academia go about searching for answers that will actually inform real action and policy changes? 

Forum to Look at GrowthThe Atlantic’s Forum on Conservation, Efficiency, and Growth, taking place Tuesday, December 4th at The W Hotel in Washington, DC.  The forum will feature expert discussions on corporate sustainability initiatives, and convene panels to explore how sustainable business practices influence our economy, our workforce, and America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace.  Speakers will include Darryl Banks, Vice President of Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress; Beth Keck, Senior Director of Sustainability for Walmart; Kathy Loftus, Global Leader of Sustainable Engineering and Energy Management for Whole Foods; Jackie Roberts, Director of Sustainable Technologies, Climate & Air for the Environmental Defense Fund; Beth Shiroishi, Vice President, Sustainability & Philanthropy for AT&T and Michael Washburn, Vice President of Sustainability for Nestle Waters North America. 

Forum to Look at 20 Years of Energy Policy Act of ’92 – The Compete Coalition will host a policy forum on Wednesday, December 5th at 8:30 a.m. at the Phoenix Park Hotel on the Energy Policy Act of 1992, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of a landmark statute.  Key architects of the legislation and today’s electricity industry leaders will look back (and look ahead) at the ongoing impact of EPAct ’92 on competitive electricity markets and the benefits those markets are delivering for our nation’s electricity consumers.  Speakers will include former Senators Bennett Johnston and Don Nickles, former FERC Chair and Deputy Secretary of Energy Betsy Moler, former FERC Commissioner Bill Massey, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Federico Peña and former Deputy Secretary of Energy Linda Stuntz, among others. 

McAuliffe to Headline 2012 VA Renewable Meeting – Potential VA Governor candidate Terry McAuliffe will be joining the Virginia Renewable Energy Assn for its annual meeting in Richmond on December 5th

McAuliffe has been a leading voice and entrepreneur in the Renewable Energy Industry and has recently announced his intentions to run for Governor of Virginia in 2013.  

NJ Set Clean Air Act Forum – The National Journal will hold a Clean Air Act Forum on Wednesday December 5th at 8:00 a.m. to explore the promise of the Clean Air Act, its legacy after 40 years, and a look ahead to its future with the new Congress and Administration. Our friend Amy Harder will speak with former EPA Administrator and White House Climate Czar Carol Browner. , as well as moderate a panels that includes David Markarian of NextEra Energy, Delaware Air Quality Director Ali Mirzakhalili, Jerome A. Paulson of the Child Health Advocacy Institute at Children’s National Medical Center, NRDC’s John Walke and ACCCE’s Paul Bailey. 

WAPA, Buick to Hold Ride, Drive – The Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA) and Buick will hold a Holiday Buick Encore ride-and-drive and happy hour on Wednesday, December 5th at Indigo Landing in Alexandria, VA.  Buick is on pace for its best retail sales year since 2006, thanks to a product line-up that features the style, performance and technology luxury buyers expect and demand.  For the 2013 model year, along with a redesigned Enclave and a new high-performing, turbo-charged model for Verano, the all-new Buick Encore luxury crossover will begin arriving in dealerships soon and we’d like you to be among the first to drive it.  In addition to the ride-and-drive, Buick marketing and engineering executives including Roger McCormack, Director Buick Global Marketing will be on-hand to provide perspective on the Encore.  Buick Encore is the second of four new or significantly revised Buick vehicles to be introduced in the next 12 months, and is a beautiful, quiet, comfortable 5-passenger crossover with the right balance of performance and purposeful technology.  Encore also continues to expand the Buick portfolio by appealing to a whole new audience of luxury buyers as we expect the segment to grow more than a half million units by 2015. 

RFF Panel to Look at Markets, Enviro Regs – Resources for the Future will hold its December First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday December 5th at 12:45 p.m. looking at markets for environmental regulations.  Over the past 60 years, environmental economists have pioneered the idea of market-based approaches to solving environmental problems. Regulators have implemented market-based programs for air pollution, water pollution, land management, and other environmental policy problems at local, state, federal, and—in the case of greenhouse gas regulation—international levels. Some applications hew more closely than others to ideal market-based policy design, as defined by economic theory, and programs have met with varying degrees of success. As part of RFF’s Resources 2020 lecture series—our 60th anniversary exploration of how economic inquiry can address future environmental challenges—panelists at this seminar will discuss what we can learn from successful and unsuccessful applications of market-based policy and its desirability, feasibility, and design in the future. The panel includes RFF experts on environmental markets for air, water, and land, as well as leaders in the policy community with diverse experience on these issues, including former Clinton OMB Director Sally Katzen, NRDC’s David Doniger, former Bush 41 White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray and RFF experts Dallas Burtraw, Art Fraas, Margaret Walls and Leonard Shabman.  

German Chamber Sets Wind Energy Conference – For the 5th time since 2007, the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest is bringing a delegation of German wind energy companies to Chicago for the German American Wind Energy Business Conference.  This conference on December 5th will provide attendees with the chance to learn about the wind technology innovations and supply chain and service practices that German manufacturers use to stay competitive. Current wind energy opportunities and programs in Illinois will also be addressed.  Attending the conference provides an excellent opportunity to connect with the German wind energy delegation companies to discuss business and partnership opportunities. 

Forum to Look at Iranian Oil – The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center will host a discussion on Wednesday, December 5th at 2:00 p.m. entitled “Can the World Live Without Iranian Oil,” with Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International; and Denise Natali, Minerva Chair, Institute of National Strategic Studies, National Defense University.  Over the past year, Iranian oil production and exports have declined drastically to levels last seen at the end of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Yet the price of oil has remained relatively constant at around $100 per barrel or lower. Increasing oil production in neighboring Iraq and new discoveries in the United States and elsewhere, coupled with sluggish demand, raise the question of whether the world can live without Iranian oil and what that means for Iran’s ability to pursue a provocative nuclear program.  The Iran Task Force, co-chaired by Atlantic Council Chairman Senator Chuck Hagel and Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, seeks to perform a comprehensive analysis of Iran’s internal political landscape, its role in the region and globally, and any basis for an improved relationship with the West. 

Transmission Conference to Look at New Year, Agenda – Energy Central and TransmissionHub will host a symposium on December 5th in Washington, DC to Look at Transmission policy in the new year.  TransForum East is the second of three regional gatherings of key industry decision makers that Energy Central kicked off in April 2012 with TransForum Texas.  It is an event focused just on the Eastern Interconnection.  I will speak on the “Implications of the 2012 Presidential Election on Electric Power Policy,” at 2:00 p.m.    Other speakers include Trans-Elect/AWC CEO Bob Mitchell, Michael Skelly of Clean Line Energy and many others.  

Houston Conference to Look at Regional Wind Issues – AWEA holds its Southwest Regional Wind Energy Summit on December 5th and 6th in Houston at the Hyatt Regency.  The conference will provide a comprehensive view of all critical aspects of wind energy in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) regions of the United States, and delve deep into the most important present and forecasted issues facing wind energy development in these regions.  Former Bush Administration official Jimmy Glotfelty will chair the event and speakers include former FERC Chair Pat Wood, SPP’s Carl Monroe and EDF Renewables CEO Gabriel Alonso. 

Commerce to Host Webinar on Exporting Renewable Technology – The Department of Commerce/Commercial Service is holding a webinar on Thursday December 6th looking at export finance for Renewable Energy Technologies.  This webinar will feature an update of USG export finance programs (Ex-Im, OPIC,TDA) for renewable energy technologies as well as export finance best practices from a private-sector perspective.  Speakers include Craig O’Connor of the , Ex-Im Bank of the United States, Brian O’Hanlon of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Andrea Lupo of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and Ed Sappin of the Willowbrook Company. 

Panel to Look at Carbon Tax, Fiscal Cliff – Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies will hold a Panel on Thursday, December 6th at 5:00 p.m. in its Rome Auditorium, #806 looking at Carbon prices and the fiscal cliff.  With the looming threat of the ‘fiscal cliff,’ and effects of super-storm Sandy, there is renewed talk in policy circles of the benefits of putting a price on carbon, as a means of dealing with the federal deficit while tackling climate change.  Leading experts about the viability of carbon market mechanisms throughout North America, like the Western Climate Initiative involving Québec and California will discuss the realities of a federal clean energy standard and the application of a national carbon tax in the context of simultaneously addressing emissions reductions and fiscal constraints.  Panelists include Brookings Adele Morris, Richard Caperton of the Center for American Progress and Manik Roy of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.  This event will be held in collaboration with the Québec Government Office in Washington, the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Québec in Montréal (Chair Raoul-Dandurand).

FUTURE EVENTS

Panel to Look at National Security, Election Coverage – The National Security and New Media Journalism Project will present its National Security and New Media Conference panel and  Mightier Pen Award Luncheon on Tuesday, December 11th at the Union League Club in New York.  The Project was established to provide professional development for the next generation of national security journalists in an objective environment informed by the burgeoning opportunities of the new Media.  It will honor Monica Crowley of FOX News.  Panels prior to lunch will discuss new media, national security and the election.  Panelists will include Rich Miniter of Forbes Magazine, former Washington Times security expert Bill Gertz and NRO Columnists Andrew McCarthy, among others.

Chamber Foundation to Look at Fiscal Challenges, States Efforts – The National Chamber Foundation will hold a forum on the tough decisions of our fiscal challenge on December 11th at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  This event will highlight a report by the State Budget Crisis Task Force, co-chaired by Richard Ravitch, former lieutenant governor of New York, and Paul Volcker, former Federal Reserve Board chair. The report examines six major fiscal threats to states across the nation: Medicaid, federal deficit reduction, underfunded retirement, taxes, local government fiscal stress, and state budget laws and practices.  In addition, gubernatorial chiefs of staff from WI, CO, OK and VA will discuss how their states are balancing the need for fiscal responsibility while investing in a strong economic future.  A federal panel featuring Joseph A. Califano and Chamber President Tom Donohue will then facilitate a robust discussion on the challenges facing our country and answer the looming question of what we can do to avoid the fiscal cliff. 

Annual POWER-GEN Conference Tackles Key Issues – The annual POWER-GEN Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida on December 11-13 at the Orange County Convention Center. Nearly 200 industry experts will present new solutions and innovations for the future in 36 conference sessions broken up in 12 tracks. Click here to download the Conference-at-a-Glance PDF.  The conference sessions are organized into multiple concurrent session tracks including industry trends / competitive power generation, environmental issues, emissions control, fossil technologies, gas turbine technologies, on-site power and plant performance.  There will also be separate Tracks on Nuclear, Renewable and Geothermal power.

RFF to Host Geoengineering Lecture – Resources for the Future will continue its 60th anniversary Resources 2020 Nobel Laureate lecture series on Thursday, December 13th featuring Thomas Schelling, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, who will discuss Geoengineering and some gentle experimentation.   

Forum to Look at Disaster Preparedness – The Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation will hold a session of the CSIS-Pennington Family Foundation Series on Community Resilience Toward More Effective Disaster Philanthropy on Thursday, December 13th at 5:30 p.m. that will be an on-the-record panel discussion exploring how to move toward more effective disaster philanthropy.  Following a natural disaster, philanthropy plays a vital role in aiding affected communities and can have an equally critical role in building long term community resilience. As private entities, philanthropists can operate with flexibility across sectors and creativity that generates unique contributions across the lifecycle of disasters—from preparedness to recovery. The panel will feature Dr. David Abramson of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Wal-Mart’s Steve Dozier, Bob Ottenhoff of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, USAID’s Tony Pipa and Joe Ruiz of the UPS Foundation Humanitarian Relief Program. 

Chamber to Host Farm Innovation Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation will co-host a program on Wednesday, December 19th highlighting the innovations and emerging opportunities that today’s agriculture industry are presenting. This program will identify many of the latest innovations and advances in agriculture and show how America’s agriculture community continues to feed an ever growing global population while at the same time supporting American job creation and competitiveness.  Speakers include USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Secretary, Chamber President Tom Donohue, former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings (current President of the National Chamber Foundation), Peter Klein  of the University of Missouri, AEI’s Nick Schulz, John Deere FarmSight Director Jerry Roell and Blake Hurst of the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Energy Update Week of September 10

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

THIS WEEK’S GOINGS ON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update Week of June 4

Friends, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best,

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

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE WEEKS AHEAD:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update Week of May 21

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best,

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

 IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE WEEKS AHEAD:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update Week of May 14

Friends, 

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

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

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

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

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

Best,

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

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE WEEKS AHEAD:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update Week of January 23

Friends,

Riveting football action yesterday sets up Super Bowl XLVI (46 for you Roman numeral deniers) featuring two old hands: the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.  It’s kind of hard to root for either Boston or New York, so I will just support the Referees (It’s generally what I do anyway).  Amazingly, the Giants actually lost twice to the Redskins this year.  It’s also too bad both Harbaugh’s were done in by field goals.  I was really hoping for a Harbaugh v. Harbaugh rematch, but I guess it was not to be.  I do feel bad for Ravens’ kicker Billy Cundiff.

Life was also busy last week with more head-spinning action on Keystone, which was widely reported, and from EPA on natural gas drilling in the Dimock, PA area.  In Dimock, EPA has now had a position, reversed and then finally Friday, re-reversed it again.  If you are asking yourself what side that puts them on now, who knows?  My bet is that they are with the handful of protesting residents, trial lawyers,  Gasland Producers or the Environmental Working Group.  Oh, those are actually all the same….   See more on this issue in detail below.  On Keystone, what can you say.  I expect the President’s decision will make a good 30-second ad this summer when gas prices are at their peak in the $4/5-plus range and EPA is moving tougher, more expensive  gasoline regulations for sulfur.   

We kick off tomorrow with the State of the Union.  While we don’t expect that much in terms of energy issues, look for the President to take two tracts: one in which he defends himself from recent attacks against his actions on things like Keystone and onerous EPA rules; but also one where he continues to promote his “clean energy jobs” vision which could entail discussions of electric vehicles and a Production Tax Credit (PTC) extension for wind (a highly-coveted need for the wind industry as it expires at the end of 2012).  With interest from Senate Finance Chair Max Baucus in making the PTC part of the payroll tax deal at the end of February, it seems to have a place in the discussions.  While the Prez could include discussions of a Clean Energy Standard, I suspect that will fall by the wayside given its emphasis last year, its failure to go anywhere and the issues still unresolved regarding Fukashima, Japan.   I also wouldn’t look for any discussion of climate change rules. 

During today’s E&E TV OnPoint, our friend Jim Noe, general counsel and chief compliance officer at Hercules Offshore, discusses the state of the offshore drilling industry in the Gulf. He explains why his company has seen a 27% jump in stock price in the last quarter and talks about future growth as the industry moves toward more deepwater operations.

Finally, EIA rolled out its 2012 energy outlook this morning, saying the US will reduce its dependence on foreign oil and become a net exporter of natural gas by 2021.   Howard Gruenspecht, Acting EIA Administrator, who released “The Energy Information Administration’s 2012 Annual Energy Outlook Release” at the Johns Hopkins University said natural gas and renewable energy sources will gain “an increasing share of U.S. electric power generation, domestic crude oil and natural gas production growing, reliance on imported oil decreasing.”  The EIA report also adds that projected decreases in dependence on foreign oil are predicated on estimates that the economy will grow at only a moderate pace.

Happy to help with anything, including the State of the Union response.  We will be available.  Call with questions.

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

IN THE NEWS

Dimock Case Twists Again – The EPA threw another twist into the Dimock natural gas drilling saga that has been ongoing since the beginning of the year.  I won’t go into the longer (including its appearance in mockumentary Gasland) history, but since December EPA has been under fire for saying it would give water to residents after Pennsylvania DEP told Cabot the water was restored and they could stop deliveries.  Of course, then they reversed that decision and drew the outrage and protests of a handful of heavily-lawyered activist/residents.  They then reversed-reversed course again last week and said they were opening an new investigation and providing water to four homes (shockingly, the squeakiest of the heavily-lawyered wheels).  On cue, the Environmental Working Group, another wing of the Tort bar, issued statements over the weekend talking about the “human carcinogen” arsenic found in drinking water near gas drilling operation there.  Shockingly, arsenic has been there all along. 

Cabot: EPA Zig-Zags Cause Confusion – Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation has been equally confused by EPA’s zigging and zagging on Dimock.  They said they look forward to continuing our efforts to coordinate with the Dimock community and with state and federal regulators to address concerns regarding shale development in the area, but are disappointed that the federal EPA has undertaken a course regarding water sampling that seems inconsistent with what is known about Dimock and what was recommended by state regulators. “EPA’s zig-zag approach has caused confusion that undermines important policy goals of the United States to ensure safe, reliable, secure and clean energy sources from domestic natural gas.”  Here are four important points to consider:  1) EPA has presented no credible evidence to suggest that its new sampling initiative is a wise use of resources given the collection and analysis of over 2000 water wells that has already occurred in the area. More than ten thousands pages of this data have been provided to EPA; 2) EPA’s concerns are inconsistent with the findings of state regulators who have concluded after extensive investigation that Dimock drinking water meets regulatory standards. State regulators are closest to the facts, and most familiar with ground water and geological formations in the area. 3) EPA’s initiative marks a change in position for the Agency, unsupported by any new facts. As recently as December 2011, EPA told Dimock residents that their drinking water did not present a health threat and 4) What is needed is an objective approach to dealing with community concerns – something missing in recent EPA actions. EPA’s changing posture on sampling in Dimock is indicative of a broader problem of inconsistency with scientific process and a lack of cooperation with state and private sector parties.  Cabot hopes that we can work with EPA to further review existing data and to establish a firmer basis for Agency decision making.

EID Weighs on the EPA “Two-Step” – Finally, the good folks at Energy in Depth put this issue into perspective this morning in a blog post that is worth reading.  I know they are avid supporters of the natural gas industry, but the post does make some pretty revealing points about the EPA’s tortured process in Dimock. 

Senators Blast EPA of Pavillion Gas Drilling Study –Speaking of EPA flubs, a group of Senator blasted the agency in a letter for Its mishandling of another natural gas driller situation in Pavillion, Wyoming.  Ten Senators (including Sens. Inhofe, Murkowski, Crapo, Sessions, Boozman, John Cornyn, Coburn, Rubio, Roberts and Wicker) sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson requesting the agency consider its investigation on hydraulic fracturing and groundwater near Pavillion, Wyoming a Highly Influential Scientific Assessment (HISA), which means that it would be held to the highest scientific standards as well as the most rigorous peer review process. 

NJ: Keystone Decision Hurts US Production in ND, MT – With the Keystone pipeline decision, the Administration closed the door on quick approval of the pipeline that would bring Canadian Oil to the US.  While much as already been written on the issue, our friend Amy Harder at National Journal had a great take that I haven’t seen explored yet.  While most have focused on the lost access to Canadian oil, Harder looks at how President Obama’s denial of the Keystone affects the politics and policy of America’s Bakken oil formations.  Summary: “By rejecting the pipeline that would have carried Canadian oil to the Gulf Coast, President Obama is also making it harder to exploit some of America’s own oil. Almost a quarter of the pipeline’s capacity would have been oil from the recently discovered Bakken shale formation that spans North Dakota and part of Montana. Although it probably wasn’t intentional, Obama’s denial of the Keystone permit has made it more difficult for some U.S. companies to do what his administration and reelection campaign are taking credit for: increasing domestic oil and gas production. It’s an ironic twist, considering that the Bakken oil link likely sweetened the project for the administration initially.”  I can send you the full article if you can’t get it. 

Valero Strikes Back on Keystone – Despite the uncertainty and political fighting over the Keystone XL pipeline, our friends at Valero said they continue to invest in their U.S. refining operation.  In 2011, Valero spent nearly $3 billion on projects, and for 2012 our capital expenditure budget is over $3 billion. These expenditures are keeping employees on the job and putting additional people to work.  At Port Arthur, Texas, Valero has 1,600 contractors working on an expansion project, and at St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, they have another 1,000 contractors working on a separate project.  Valero’s Bill Klesse: “This illustrates why the federal government’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline is so absurd. There are pipelines in every neighborhood all across America. The administration’s decision was not about pipelines, it was about the misguided beliefs that Canadian oil sands development should be stopped and that fossil fuel prices should increase to make alternative energy more attractive. Instead, we should be impressed with how well the oil sands engineering and recovery technology has advanced, and the economic benefits this development brings.  Having more oil available in the marketplace has the potential to lower prices for consumers.  As an independent refiner, Valero buys all of the oil we process. Due to the administration’s misguided policies, refiners like Valero will have to buy more oil from other sources outside the U.S. and Canada. Consumers will bear the additional shipping cost, not to mention the additional greenhouse gas emissions and political risks.  With all the issues facing our country, it is absolutely unbelievable our federal government says no to a company like TransCanada that is willing to spend over $7 billion and put Americans to work on a pipeline.  The administration’s decision throws dirt into the face of our closest ally and largest trading partner.”

Wind Health Study Shows No Issue – For years, wind opponents have questionably argued that wind turbines have health effects, but a new study from an independent panel of scientists and doctors commissioned by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection says there  is little evidence that wind turbines pose health hazards to people living nearby.  The panel concluded in the 164-page report that there is no rigorous research to support such claims.  The panel did not conduct original research or investigate specific complaints. Instead, it surveyed the existing scientific studies. The panel acknowledged that the available scientific literature on the topic is limited and that previous studies have had shortcomings, including self-reported symptoms and problems with singling other factors that could account for the health effects.

MD Offshore Wind Bill Ready for Introduction – Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is introducing his offshore wind legislation sometime this week.  The proposal will be different from last year’s power purchase agreement legislation that required utilities to purchase offshore wind.  The new proposal will guarantee that any wind subsidy would increase residents’ rates no more than $2 per month.  It also will limit increases for the state’s largest commercial and industrial businesses to 2.5%.  It will require state regulators to hire an independent analyst to assess whether the costs to ratepayers would be offset by potential benefits such as new construction jobs, lower reliability costs and reduced emissions.

The approach copies a model is currently being used in New Jersey and has been supported by Republican Gov. Chris Christie.  It is also similar to earlier efforts in Maryland creating renewable energy credit requirements that subsidize solar power generation. 

Just In Case You Care – While we don’t really engage too much in Presidential politics, I did get an interesting e-mail over the weekend as former Speaker Newt Gingrich was winning the South Carolina primary from former Gingrich confidante/House Chief Administrative Officer, Scot Faulkner.  I recently worked with Faulkner at a National Press Club Newsmaker on an political education issues that he started with actor Richard Dreyfuss.  Following the Gingrich Victory Sunday morning, Faulkner sent the following e-mail: “I have extensive and detailed information on Newt Gingrich.  My book about his Speakership (“Naked Emperors”) documents how Gingrich destroyed his own revolution in order to cover-up his affair.  Gingrich uses “rolling reality” and “selective relevance” to promote himself and defend against attacks.  I can clearly explain this and provide recent examples.  I am available to talk on the record.  I am not affiliated with any campaign.  I simply want the voters to know Gingrich’s complete record.  Sincerely, Scot Faulkner.  It also provides his contact info at smf53@aol.com and o. 304-535-2757/c. 703-598-5548.  While I don’t endorse or condemn any outreach, I do send it along in case you or any of your colleagues covering the Presidential Campaign may find it interesting or worth pursuing.

Repsol Rig Ready for Cuba – Cuba drilling is again in the news as the drilling rig that Spanish Company Repsol plans to use has arrived in Cuba.   The Scarabeo-9 rig will start exploring next week and should know within a couple of days if the island nation’s reserves are as rich as predicted.  The project has run into troubled political waters in the US though as the anti-drilling, anti-Cuba Florida delegation has been raising concerns about spills.  A U.S. trade embargo prohibits U.S. companies from conducting business with Cuba and threatens sanctions against foreign companies if they do not agree to do the same.  So it seems a bit absurd that well intervention company Helix, who has developed the only working containment system (used in the Macondo spill in 2010), has still not received licenses to provide Repsol with the very same containment services that it provides the company when it drills in US waters, actually further away from US shores.  

Ford Leaves US CAP – In an old school, “Ozone Action” move, the Ford Motor Company has withdrawn its membership in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a pro-climate legislation corporate-environmental lobby organization that has supported  federal laws limiting greenhouse gas emissions.  Ford CEO Alan Mullaly committed to reconsidering his company’s membership in USCAP after being pressed on the matter publicly at the company’s 2011 stockholder meeting and in subsequent private conversation by the conservative National Center for Public Policy Research.  It is reminiscent to the Ford pull out of the Global Climate Coalition from the year 2000 when they bowed to pressure from environmental groups to leave the group that opposed the Kyoto Protocol.  Just as with the hullabaloo that was made of its GCC departure, don’t expect the enviros to make much of this one.  US CAP, while still in existence, doesn’t carry the weight it did in 2009 when Congress was attempting to pass climate legislation.  

THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:

Reilly, Izzo, Carper. Others Headline WRI Forum – The World Resources Institute is hosting a roundtable discussion today at 3:00 p.m. that will be moderated by U.S. Senator Tom Carper and feature former EPA administrators, elected officials, and business and health leaders on “The State of the Clean Air Act: Past, Present and Future.” The participants will discuss the law’s significant accomplishments and the challenges that lie ahead.  The event will feature former EPA Administrators William Ruckelshaus and William Reilly, PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo, and two health experts: Dan Greenbaum of the Health Effects Institute and Dr. Sumita Khatri, Co-Director of the Asthma Center for the Cleveland Clinic. U.S. Senator Tom Carper will moderate the discussion.

Forum, Report  to Focus on Shale Gas – The Brookings Institution will hold a forum in its Saul/Zilkha Rooms at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow evaluating the prospects for natural gas exports from the US.  The shale gas “revolution” has transformed the U.S. energy landscape in recent years. New volumes of this unconventional natural gas have caused gas prices to plummet and obviated the need to import the large quantities of liquefied natural gas (LNG) considered essential less than a decade ago. The newfound abundance of gas resources has been a boon to domestic consumers, in the electricity, industrial and manufacturing, and transportation sectors.  Accordingly, the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will release “Evaluating the Prospects for Liquefied Natural Gas from the United States,” an interim report of a year-long study examining the feasibility and implications of U.S. LNG exports. Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative and lead author of the report, will present the findings. Following his presentation, three panelists will address the issues surrounding natural gas exports and will look ahead to the second part of the Brookings study, which focuses on the implications of U.S. LNG exports.   Panelists will include James Jensen, Kenneth Medlock of Rice’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy and CRS Energy Policy Analyst Michael Ratner.

Pershing to Headline Post-Durban Forum – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a post-Durban briefing on tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. that will feature Jonathan Pershing, Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, U.S. Department of State. Pershing will provide an update on the latest round of climate negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that recently took place in Durban, South Africa and offer some thoughts on next steps.

House Science to Look at ARPA-E – The House Science, Space & Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight will convene a hearing Tuesday, January 24th at 2:00 p.m.  reviewing the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. Witnesses will include ARPA-E Director Dr. Arun Majumdar, DOE IG Gregory Friedman and GAO , Energy and Science Issues Director Frank Rusco.

State of the Union Speech – President Obama will make the state of the Union Speech tomorrow at 9:00 p.m.  While we don’t expect that much in terms of the energy issue, look for the President to take two tracts: one in which he defends himself from recent attacks against his actions on things like Keystone and onerous EPA rules; but also one where he continues to promote his “clean energy jobs” vision which could entail discussions of electric vehicles and a Production Tax Credit (PTC) extension for wind (a highly-coveted need for the wind industry as it expires at the end of 2012).  With interest from Senate Finance Chair Max Baucus in making the PTC part of the payroll tax deal at the end of February, it seems to have a place in the discussions.  While he could include discussions of a Clean Energy Standard, I suspect that will fall by the wayside given its emphasis last year, its failure to go anywhere and the issued still unresolved regarding Fukashima Japan.   I also wouldn’t look for any discussion of climate change rules. 

House Energy to Look at Energy Jobs – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power has scheduled a hearing on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. on legislation focusing on North American Energy Access.  Expect the President’s Keystone decision to be the major focus.  

Washington Auto Show – The Washington Auto Show and Capitol Hill Auto Summit Begins on Wednesday.  Where the automotive industry meets public policy, The Washington Auto Show is known as the “public policy show” on the global auto show circuit. Produced by the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association (WANADA), The Washington Auto Show convenes thought leaders in government and industry for two Public Policy Preview Days that launch with a Capitol Hill summit.

NJ to Hold Panels on Auto Industry – Speaking of the Washington Auto Show, the National Journal will hold a live Policy Summit.  Created for The Washington Auto Show, the National Journal Live Policy Summit will take place from 8:00-10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January. 25th at the Cannon House Office Building. Entitled “Driving Innovation “The Role of the Auto Industry in the Green Economy,” the Summit will feature a multi-panel conversation on restoring strength to the auto industry through sustainable strategies.  The panels will be moderated by the National Journal’s Economics Correspondent Jim Tankersley and Energy and Environment Correspondent Amy Harder.  As policymakers debate ideas to boost job creation and American manufacturing, advances in technological innovation, global competition and changing public attitudes are accelerating the demand for more environmentally sustainable automobiles. What is the state of manufacturing in the U.S. auto sector? What are the latest trends in green technology?  And, how are they affecting the auto industry’s financial health and historic reliance on fossil fuels? This Summit will feature a panel of members of Congress, industry leaders, and experts exploring job creation and innovation in the automotive industry today.

House Oversight to Look at Chevy Volt Fire – The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. looking into issues surrounding the fires on Chevy Volts.  General Motors CEO Dan Akerson is scheduled to testify, as is National Highway Traffic Safety Administration head David Strickland.

Wind Executives Discuss Urgency of Extending the PTC – Environmental Law & Policy Center will host wind executives on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Room SVC 201 to discuss the need to renew the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC). Industry leaders are predicting massive cutbacks if the PTC is allowed to expire – in jobs, from 78,000 in 2012 to 41,000 in 2013, and in investment, from $15.6 billion in 2013 to $5.5 billion in 2013. Extending the PTC will provide necessary continuity and confidence in this growing global manufacturing industry, keeping jobs and investments in the U.S. Wind energy industry executives will report from the field on the importance of an extended Production Tax Credit (PTC) to keeping manufacturing jobs in the U.S. The PTC is a proven tool that puts Americans to work while keeping electricity rates low, spurring clean energy projects, creating economic development, reducing air pollution and promoting energy security.   Speakers will include Acciona’s Joe Baker, Iberdrola’s Rich Glick, Brendon Hoeft of Broadwind, Karen Torrent of ELPC and Scott Viciana of Ventower Industries.

Kammen, Katz Featured at Forum On Sustainable Solutions – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Wednesday in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center at 3:00 p.m. to look at sustainable solutions for the planet’s energy challenges.  The environmental challenges of climate change, energy demands, and natural resource loss continue to mount. World population hit seven billion on Halloween and is projected to go to ten billion if not more. The first decade of the 21st century was the warmest in 130 years of recorded global temperatures and 2010 was the warmest year yet recorded. Extinction rates are 1000 times base rates. The Amazon had the greatest drought in recorded history in 2010. Droughts, floods, wildfires, and probably intense tropical storms are becoming more frequent. These challenges call for action at a planetary scale.  The “Managing Our Planet” seminar series — developed jointly by George Mason University and the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program and Brazil Institute — addresses planetary scale problems and solutions.   Speakers will include Cal Berkeley’s Daniel Kammen, former Chief Technical Specialist at the World Bank and 2008 Obama campaign advisor and Greg Kats of Good Energies and author of “Greening Our Built World.”

Author to Look at Future Nuclear Issues – The Nuclear Policy Talks and Institute for Nuclear Studies  will hold a forum on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. looking at the future of nuclear energy at George Washington University’s State Room (1957 E Street, NW) featuring Charles Ferguson, President of the Federation of American Scientists.  Ferguson is the author of “Nuclear Energy: What Everyone Needs to Know.”  He will discuss the global prospects for nuclear energy. Topics will include the possibility of a revival of nuclear power, safety of nuclear facilities following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and the danger of nuclear proliferation and the future of international safeguards. 

World Bank Transportation Conference Set –The World Bank will host its ninth annual “Transforming Transportation” event Thursday and Friday starting at 8:30 a.m.  This year’s conference will focus on big ideas to scale up sustainable transport best practices in cities worldwide. In previous years, we highlighted challenges facing urban transport and key projects that were good examples to emulate. The aim in 2012 is to reflect briefly on past successes and ongoing challenges of implementing sustainable urban transport and development, and then to turn our attention to scaling up for the future.  The plenary session on Day 1 will discuss the future of the city, and on Day 2 we will look beyond the transport sector for inspiration on how to scale up best practices. Other sessions will include moderated panel discussions and rapid presentations of innovative ideas. The agenda also features screenings of urban transport videos and a cocktail reception to honor the late Dr. Leon “Lee” Schipper.  Transforming Transportation 2012 is open to the public. Our guests will include about 300 of the world’s leading transport and urban development experts from national and local governments, multi-development banks, foundations, civil society organizations, research institutions, and private companies and associations.

Local CA Air agency to Host Conference – The South Coast Air Quality Management District, LA’s pollution control agency, is holding a conference on transportation infrastructure, environmental policy and green technologies on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel.  The conference’s panel will include speakers from DOE’s Clean Cities Program, Electrification Coalition, Georgetown Climate Center and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.  California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District will hold panel discussions regarding the latest development of clean energy and transportation technologies and how public and private sector cooperation can promote their deployment.  Both states and local communities have begun to do what they can to cut back on pollution from mobile sources by integrating new technologies that either reduce or prevent emissions. This presentation will explore current efforts and technologies that are being implemented or tested to reduce emissions from marine vessels, locomotives and other mobile sources.   Panelist include SCAQ Executive Director Barry Wallerstein, Vicki Arroyo of the Georgetown Climate Center at GU’s Law Center, DOE’s Co-Director of Clean Cities Program Linda Bluestein, Robbie Diamond of the Electrification Coalition and Anupom Ganguli of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

World Bank to Release Transportation Report – The World Bank will unveil the conclusions of its new report, Turning the Right Corner: Ensuring Development Through A Low-Carbon Transport Sector Thursday at Noon at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  The Report argues that in addition to protecting the environment, efficient transport systems advance development objectives. The report examines the intersection of transport, growth, and carbon emissions, including the differences in transportation sectors in developed and developing countries, options for pricing transportation, and the need for broad sector reform.  Andreas Kopp of the World Bank and Carnegie’s Daniel Sperling will discuss the policy implications of the new report.

Beaudreau to Headline ELI Arctic Drilling Forum – The Environmental Law Institute will host a forum on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. looking at offshore oil & gas in the Arctic over the next five years.  U.S. demand for energy resources continues to increase, along with growing concern about the short- and long-term impacts of domestic oil and gas development and consumption. In few areas is this tension so clearly exemplified as in the U.S. Arctic. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) recently published a mean estimate that the Alaskan outer continental shelf contains 26.6 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and 131.45 trillion cubic feet of such gas.  In this seminar, panelists will discuss the draft leasing program and aspects such as science needs and availability, expected activity impacts, and how the program may align with other ongoing ocean management processes, such as coastal and marine spatial planning.  Speakers will include new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Tommy P. Beaudreau, Eleanor Huffines of the Pew Environment Group and Jessica Lefevre of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission.

AEI Forum Looks at Energy Markets – The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research will hold a forum on Friday at 4:00 p.m. looking at energy markets and political strategies.  Efforts to regulate the natural gas economy began with Emerson McMillin’s call for public-utility regulation of (manufactured) gas distribution before the American Gas Light Association in 1890. It continues today with T. Boone Pickens’s call for passage of the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions (NAT GAS) Act of 2011. What has transpired in the 120 years between these two calls for legislative action concerns all phases of the natural gas industry, from the wellhead to the burner tip.  How much of these developments has been driven by industry and how much by outside interests (the “bootleggers and Baptists” question). And what have been the consequences? The new book “Edison to Enron” describes the development and politics of America’s electricity and gas industries from a free-market perspective.  AEI and the Institute for Energy Research will host a lively discussion of America’s history of gas regulation and thoughts about our natural gas future featuring AEI’s Ken Green and Steven Hayward as well as Ken Malloy of CRISIS and Energy Markets and Robert Bradley of the Institute for Energy Research. 

THE WEEKS AHEAD:

Senate Energy to Look at Global Energy Outlook – The full Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday, January 31st to receive testimony on the U.S. and global energy outlook for 2012.  EIA and other are expected to testify. 

House Science to Look at Pavillion, Nat Gas Drilling – The House Science, Space & Technology Committee’s Energy and Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, February 1st at 10:00 a.m. examining EPA’s approach to ground water research on the Pavillion, WY Case. 

Chamber Economist Will Discuss Economy, Outlook – GFI Group will Hold its Quarterly Economic Roundtable Series for the 4th Quarter in Thursday, February 2nd at 9:00 a.m. at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  The Forum will feature Martin Regalia, the Chamber’s Chief Economist, former CBO head Douglas Holtz-Eakin, GFI Chairman/CEO Michael Gooch.  This is the fourth event of a series of quarterly economic briefings hosted by GFI Group  and The National Chamber Foundation (NCF)and led by Regalia.  Regalia will deliver a keynote address based on GDP data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce from the previous quarter, before leading a panel of chief economists representing crucial sectors of the economy. The goal of these briefings will be to offer the business community better insight into the impact of policies on their industries as well as to offer solutions to potentially negative effects.    

Senate Energy to Look at Panel’s Final Nuclear Report – The full Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will convene Thursday, February 2nd to receive testimony on the final report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear.>  Expect members of the Commission like RFF President Phil Sharp to testify.  Future.

NARUC Winter Meetings Set for DC – On February 5-8th, Federal policymakers, congressional staff, and top industry officials will address the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Winter Committee Meetings in Washington. The meetings, along with the February 8-9 National Electricity Forum, will be held at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  Featured speakers at the meetings include Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu (Wednesday), IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates Chair and renowned author Daniel Yergin (Tuesday), National Cable and Telecommunications Association President and CEO Michael Powell (Monday) and many more.  In addition, EPA Air Administrator Gina McCarthy is scheduled to address the first meeting of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission-NARUC Forum on Reliability and the Environment on Tuesday, along with FERC Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur and Philip Moeller (See below) . Other participants in this discussion include representatives from the Energy Department, regional transmission organizations, and electric utilities.  Panel discussions on nuclear-waste policy, hydraulic fracturing, and much more will be held throughout the week.

FERC, NARUC to Hold Meeting on Meeting New EPA Rules – Speaking of the Winter meetings, Federal and State energy regulators will hold a forum on February 7th to explore reliability issues stemming from new and pending environmental rules for the power sector.   The Forum, consisting of membership from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), will coincide with NARUC’s three yearly meetings. NARUC is the national organization representing State public service commissioners.   The first meeting of the FERC-NARUC Forum on Reliability and the Environment will take place during the NARUC Winter Committee Meetings in Washington. FERC Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur and Philip Moeller will be the Federal co-chairs of the workshops, and NARUC First Vice President Philip Jones of Washington and Treasurer David Ziegner of Indiana will be the State co-chairs.   FERC and NARUC will hold a forum as part of an effort to determine how prepared the electric utility industry will be to meet upcoming rules and requirements on emissions reductions. With significant investment predicted in utility infrastructure predicted over the next several years, the Forum will let Federal and State regulators discuss these issues in an open and transparent venue.   The workshops follow a recent NARUC resolution that called for a dialogue among FERC, the States and the Environmental Protection Agency to allow for a meaningful assessment and response to reliability issues.

Annual National Electricity Forum to Feature Chu, Utility CEOs, Others – The National Electricity Forum will be held February 8-9 at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  The Forum is the preeminent public policy forum offering an in-depth, timely examination of public policy issues related specifically to the nation’s electric power delivery system infrastructure.  Speakers at the National Electricity Forum—a joint meeting sponsored by NARUC and the Department of Energy—will include Secretary Chu, Dominion Chairman, President, and CEO Thomas Farrell, Edison International Chairman, President and CEO Theodore F. Craver, Jr., NRG President and CEO David Crane, and PSEG Group Chairman, President, and CEO Dr. Ralph Izzo.

Oil, Gas Properties Expo Set for Houston – The North American Prospect Expo (“NAPE”) will be from February 22-24 at the George R. Brown convention center in Houston.  NAPE is the world’s largest E&P expo and provides a marketplace for the buying, selling and trading of oil and gas prospects and producing properties via its exhibits.  NAPE is also an excellent E&P networking venue, bringing together in one location prospects and producing properties, corporate development, capital formation, as well as services and technologies.

CERA Week – The 31st Annual CERAWeek 2012 begins on March 5th through 9th at the Hilton Americas in Houston, Texas.  The annual event will focus on energy’s new role in rebuilding the global economy and providing stability in a volatile time for the international political order.

Methanol Forum Set – The Methanol Institute, the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) and the United States Energy Security Council will hold Methanol Policy Forum 2012 Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.  This first-of-its-kind conference on methanol that will bring together industry leaders, energy policy experts, executive branch officials, Members of Congress, academics and the media to share information about methanol’s potential as a liquid transportation fuel.  Methanol Policy Forum 2012 will highlight market trends and pricing, potential of natural gas, coal, renewable, and other resources to serve as methanol feedstocks, global vehicle technology and methanol fuel deployment and public policy drivers.