Special Energy Update: August 2

Friends,

The Trump administration said this morning it wants to freeze fuel efficiency standards for vehicles made from 2022 to 2025 at current levels and revoke a Clean Air Act waiver that allows California to set its own GHG specifications.

Here is the release and a link to the draft rule.

This morning EPA’s Bill Wehrum and NHTSA’s Heidi King hosted a pen and pad conference call to discuss proposed national fuel economy standards for MY 2021-2026 vehicles.

SOME HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Remember, many experts knew and suggested as far back as 2012 that the Phase II rules were always going to be a stretch.  And the 11th hour 2017 Obama EPA review really didn’t credibly change the fact that technology challenges still remain a problem.

As well, on the waiver, again many experts have suggested that since California itself has focused its attention on GHGs for its waiver now rather than the smog-forming pollution that make its circumstances unique to California, that there is no longer grounds to grant a specific, special waiver.

WHAT TO DO ON WAIVER QUESTIONS

Many of you have already spoken with my colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA air office head, on the waiver issue.  He reminds that in 2007, EPA made a similar argument that was subject to litigation – just as this one will be – but it never played out to its end because the Obama Administration came into office in 2008 and re-granted the waiver.  Jeff can be reached at jeff.holmstead@bracewell.com or 202-294-8700 should you have questions.  You can also forward questions to me.

OTHER EXPERTS

Our friends at Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) also weighed in on several topics.  SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond:

“The release of this proposal now enables the federal government and California to engage in the serious conversation that is needed between both parties. President Trump called for a deal when he convened the auto industry in May to discuss fuel economy standards—we look forward to sharing solutions and continuing a dialogue with all parties as this process moves forward.”

“Oil prices are at the highest point since 2014 thanks to the continued market manipulation of OPEC and rising geopolitical risk. Fuel economy standards, coupled with domestic production, are one of the best policies available to maintain momentum on reducing our oil dependence—these rules improve our national security, unleash innovation, save consumers money and help insulate our economy from oil price volatility.”

“The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have a unique opportunity to modernize the fuel economy standards by incorporating new technologies that create a win-win situation for all stakeholders. A long, litigious road is the worst possible outcome for the auto industry and its consumers, the administration and our national security.”

Diamond also offered specific additional on-the-record comment about the NPRM language on several topics”

On safety argument:

“The federal government’s own data shows that when managed properly for vehicle footprints, lightweighting and fuel economy rules don’t undermine highway safety. Saving lives while saving fuel can be accomplished simultaneously—especially while integrating new technologies such as advanced driver assist and other semi-autonomous features, which can result in 18-25 percent reductions in fuel demand system-wide, and save approximately 10,000 lives per year.”

On vehicle prices:

“Thanks to the incredible innovation of the automotive industry, the impressive gains in fuel efficiency that have been achieved since 2012 have come at a price that consumers can afford—vehicle purchase prices have fallen by 3% since 2013 even as the total Consumer Price Index has risen by 8%. By contrast, housing prices have increased by 15% and food prices have increased by 7%. We need a regulatory framework that supports continued technological innovation that will strengthen the industry, boost our economy, and help consumers deal with the rising price of oil.”

On assumption oil prices will stay low through 2050:

“Trying to predict oil prices is a fool’s game. Just 6 months ago, we were told oil prices wouldn’t rise above $75 per barrel in the near future. The only safe assumption about oil prices is that they are unpredictable, and subject to manipulation by foreign actors. Let’s remember that every modern recession has been preceded or occurred concurrently to an oil price spike.”

AFPM Also Weighs In:  The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) President/CEO Chet Thompson:

“The return to national, unified emissions targets set at reasonable levels would be a positive step toward ensuring that the vehicle fleet contains affordable options with features that meet the needs of American drivers. Today, vehicles with internal combustion engines are cleaner and more efficient than ever, and fuel, petrochemical and automobile manufacturers are innovating continuously to help Americans get more out of their cars.  We applaud the administration, EPA and NHTSA for offering this practical proposal and look forward to a final rule that reflects market realities, industry progress and consumer preferences.”

 

ANOTHER INTERESTING SIDEBAR

Given today’s fuel economy announcement, one issue that can improve fuel economy that states ACTUALLY have control over is how rough roads are and how they are maintained.  MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub has done significant research on Pavement-Vehicle Interactions – studies about how we can lower fuel consumption and vehicle emissions by taking a new approach to building and maintaining our roadways.  This is significant for how states determine their transportation budgets and the kind road maintenance projects they might undertake.

This is a good add-in to any stories you or your colleagues may be considering on the States AGs response, the actual CAFE policy impacts and how you can deal with fuel economy/GHGs outside of the rule.

MIT experts posted a new White Board Video that explains how texture, roughness, and structural properties of the road all play a role in vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions (it can be as high as 4%, which is pretty big when you think about how many drivers are out there).

In addition to Holmstead, my colleagues Scott Segal and Anna Burhop are also digging into the draft rule so please call/email with questions.

Frank Maisano

202-997-5932

 

Energy Update: Week of July 16

Friends,

I hope you had a chance to catch either/both the World Cup Final or Wimbledon.  The Friday semifinal between Jason Isner and Kevin Anderson was epic.  And then the Djokovic-Nadal Semi was just as crazy.  And Anderson knocked out Federer in similar fashion ibn the quarters.  In the end, all the extra play couldn’t get him past Djokovic who wins his 4th Wimbledon title.  On the Women’s side, Serena’s return to tennis’ top tier is slightly delayed because Angelique Kerber straight-setted her 6-3, 6-3.  And France capped an exciting FIFA World Cup by dominating Croatia, 4-2 in yesterday’s final game.

It’s All-Star week in DC with the Home Run Contest today and the game tomorrow.  There are lots of great Facebook/Instagram posts of people enjoying the MLB Fan Fest Weekend.  Check out WTOP’s list of events, road closures and deals, plus everything you need to know about the game itself. Read more.

This will be a busy week on Capitol Hill.  In addition to real work on energy Issues, the House Rules Committee will meet tomorrow move consideration of a resolution arguing a carbon tax would be “detrimental” to the U.S. economy and “not in the best interest” of the country.  On the hearing scene, House Science Energy and Enviro panels are hosting a joint hearing tomorrow on CCS Techs that will feature a discussion of the USA IT Act.   There is also a NSR reform hearing to discuss legislation.  On Wednesday, House Energy looks at energy storage and Mary Neumayr heads to Senate Environment on Thursday while Senate Energy looks at the proposed Energy and Interior reorganizations.  House Transpo also looks at hurricane response, resilience and preparedness so remember – if you are covering – our experts at MIT are happy to answer many of your key concerns about it.

Finally, on Wednesday in Ann Arbor, EPA holds a hearing on the 2019 RVOs for ethanol and biofuels.  Expect of full court press from both the ethanol activists and oil interests that think the program is in major need of reform.  We will be on guard so let me know if you need any insight.  We will have statements starting tomorrow.  Call with questions…Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Both of these bills address critical lapses in the ability of the U.S. to stay on pace with China and Russia in the potentially trillion-dollar global advanced nuclear energy market.”

ClearPath executive Director Rich Powell commenting on two bipartisan bills passed in the House Energy Committee that would spur advanced nuclear development.

 

ON THE POD

Bracewell Podcasts Looks at Trade, New EPA Head – The latest episode of the Bracewell Podcast, The Lobby Shop is now live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  We discuss the on-air discovery of Justice Kennedy’s retirement from SCOTUS in episode 55 and what has happened in the time since. We also dive into the way the President talks about tariff news to a lay-person audience vs. how that message is interpreted by the industries impacted by tariffs. Our special guests this week are Scott Segal and Anna Burhop, PRG team members who have worked with and for the new Acting Administrator of the EPA, Andrew Wheeler.

 

FUN OPINIONS

Adler Weighs In On Kavanaugh on Regs – Supreme Court watcher and former EPA official Jonathan Adler writes an op-ed in the New York Times that argues given President Trump’s concerns about the federal administrative state, his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is entirely fitting. For years, Judge Kavanaugh has toiled in the vineyards of administrative law, writing highly influential opinions on regulatory matters and demonstrating a willingness to discipline federal agencies when they go astray.  For the past 12 years, Judge Kavanaugh has sat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court (where I once clerked) hears many legal challenges to major federal regulations. As a consequence, it is the arguably the most influential court on matters of administrative law, and judges there are fed a steady diet of these often complex and demanding cases. Of Judge Kavanaugh’s nearly 300 opinions as a federal judge, over one-third concern administrative law — and they are quite revealing.

Climate Polls Show Both Parties Doubt Action – According to our friend Jackie Toth at Morning Energy writes despite differing over the impacts of climate change, Democrats and Republicans are in agreement on one thing: They don’t place much trust in governments to tackle the issue.  According to a new Bloomberg Global Business Forum survey conducted by Morning Consult, 63 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Republicans say they have little or no trust in governments to combat climate change.  See the full breakdown here.

IN THE NEWS

ClearPath Endorses Upton – ClearPath Action Fund is endorsing Michigan Rep. Fred Upton for his re-election bid.  They will begin running digital ads backing the Michigan Republican as part of a six-figure effort. CPA founder Jay Faison says Upton has an accomplished record of shepherding many bills hitting every facet of clean energy innovation.

House Energy Committee Advances Legislation to Spur Advanced Nuclear – The House Energy Committee advanced two bills that would spur deployment of advanced nuclear technologies.  One  bipartisan bill led by Reps. Bill Flores (R-Texas) and Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) to direct DOE to establish a program supporting availability of high assay low enriched uranium (HA-LEU) via public-private partnerships to address regulatory and market challenges. The other, the bipartisan NUKE Act (H.R. 1320) from Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) , is a commonsense step to making further improvements at rightsizing NRC’s workforce and budget. It does this by establishing reasonable deadlines for major applications and other efforts to streamline licensing, and authorizes studies to reconsider outdated regulations of the Atomic Energy Act.  ClearPath Action advisor and former NRC Commissioner Jeffrey Merrifield co-authored a recent white paper sponsored by ClearPath and USNIC that urged lawmakers, policymakers and the NRC to take prompt steps to ensure adequate supply of HA-LEU or risk continued progress in deploying the next generation of U.S. nuclear power. Merrifield and URENCO USA President Melissa Mann testified in support of the House Committee measure on behalf of ClearPath and USNIC at a May 22 hearing.

Trump Consider SPR Release – The Trump administration is considering tapping the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a means of combating rising gas prices, with options under consideration including test sales of 5 million barrels or a release of as much as 30 million barrels, according to two people familiar with the matter. A release from the oil reserve closer to November could lower prices ahead of midterm elections, though analysts disagree on whether and how much a release would impact the market.

OPEC Letter Says it will Stop Monitoring Quotas – The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee will stop tracking countries’ compliance with quotas following OPEC’s June 23 deal to transition to a collective production cap, according to a recent letter to OPEC members. The individual country data has never been publicly disclosed, and the letter adds that the committee will still track and report on OPEC’s compliance with the cap.  Our friends at SAFE are monitoring closely and can help discuss the subject.  Connect with Bridget Bartol ay 202-461-2361 or bbartol@secureenergy.org

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

NAS to Hold Truck Fuel Economy Meeting – The National Academies of Science’s Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences is hosting an event today in the afternoon assessing technologies for improving fuel economy of light-duty vehicles.  Speakers include NHTSA, EPA DOE, Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association and many others.

Forum to Look at Nuke Decommissioning – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing today at 2:00 p.m. on the urgent need to safely decommission nuclear power plants, which are increasingly shutting down. Leading scientists, policy experts, NGO advocates, and local elected officials with experience of decommissioning will speak at the briefing. It will cover the impacts of decommissioning, current decommissioning options, waste storage vs. transport, thorny unsolved problems and best practices, financing and liability, a just transition for communities and workers, how communities and states can and can’t weigh in on these issues, and how they should inform the fast-changing legislative and regulatory landscape.  Speakers for this forum are Zion Illinois Mayor Al Hill (home of the decommissioned Zion Nuclear Power Station), former Department of Energy Senior Policy Advisor Robert Alvarez, NRDC’s Geoffrey Fettus and Kevin Kamps, of Beyond Nuclear.

Forum to Look at Nuke Energy Trends – Today at 4:00 p.m., the Institute of World Politics hosts a lecture on the topic of “Energy Trends: Nuclear and Non-Nuclear” with Professor Henry D. Sokolski.  With the Trump administration’s proposed financial relief of the coal and nuclear industries in the name of national security, energy economics has re-emerged as a topic for national debate. So far, much of this discussion has been cast as a contest between market economics and national security.

Duke CEO, CARB Chair, Others Headline POLITICO Summit – POLITICO is hosting its second Pro Summit tomorrow at the Renaissance Hotel. The Pro Summit brings together Pro subscribers, expert reporters, key decision-makers, and others who are shaping the policy landscape for a full day of incisive conversations. Summit speakers include Rep. Joe Crowley, Duke CEO Lynn Good, FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, Amy Myers Jaffe of the Council on Foreign Relations, Coal CEO Bob Murray, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols and many others.  Duke Energy is the main event sponsor.

Senate Enviro Looks at ESA – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. on the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018.

House Science to Look at CCS – The House Science Committee panels on Energy and Environment are hosting a joint hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  Witnesses for this hearing include Wyoming Infrastructure Authority executive director Jason Begger, Carbon Utilization Research Council executive director Shannon Angielski and LLNL senior scientist Roger Aines.  With the USE IT Act moving forward in the Senate and the Fossil Energy Research & Development Act gaining support in the House, this hearing should provide an excellent opportunity to examine these and other vital policies that will help advance carbon capture technologies.

Forum to Look at Disaster Prep, Resilience – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. focusing on disaster preparedness. FEMA Deputy Administrator for Resilience Dr. Daniel Kaniewski discusses FEMA’s effort to engage communities and individuals in preparing for and bouncing back from catastrophes.

Senate Energy Looks at Critical Minerals – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the Interior Department’s final list of critical minerals.  Witnesses will include USGS National Minerals Information Center Director Dr. Steven Fortier, Dr. Roderick Eggert of the Colorado School of Mines, Greg Gregory of Materion Natural Resources, Aaron Mintzes of Earthworks, Laurel Sayer of Midas Gold Idaho, and our friend Jim Sims of NioCorp.

EPA to Hold RVO Hearing – EPA is announcing a public hearing in Ypsilanti, MI on Wednesday at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti to look at the proposed rule “Renewable Fuel Standard Program Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020.

House Energy Looks at Storage – The House Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. looking at the role of energy storage in the nation’s electricity system.

House Transpo Looks at Disaster Recovery, Prep – The  House Transportation Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on recovering from 2017 disasters and Preparing for the 2018 hurricane season.

 

Forum to Look at Digitalization in Energy – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program and the Technology Policy Program host a discussion on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. featuring Timothy Lieuwen (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Barbara Humpton (Siemens USA) about the new services and opportunities created for companies and regions as the energy industry continues its trend toward digitalization.  The session will begin with a presentation by Dr. Lieuwen, who will explain the findings of Georgia Tech’s recent study, Industrial Data in Power Generation.  The study is the first phase of an ongoing study of industrial data and regional economic development.  Following the presentation, Barbara Humpton will join Dr. Lieuwen to provide perspective on the ecosystem emerging around the digitalization of the energy industry, examining digitalization’s potential to simultaneously help increase reliability, decrease cost, and reduce environmental impacts. Speakers will also explain the behavioral standards for those firms handling data from the industrial sector, the role policy plays in the regulation of data transparency/ownership, and which actors have the most influence to establish and define values in this emerging sector.

Forum to Look at Iran Oil Issues – The Atlantic Council hosts a panel discussion on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. focused on a goal of drastically reduce Iran’s oil exports is realistic and the impact the US campaign is having on global production and prices as well as on Iran. This event is jointly sponsored by the South Asia Center’s Future of Iran Initiative, the Global Energy Center and the Global Business & Economics Center.

Forum Looks European Energy Security – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. looking at Finnish perspectives on energy security in Europe.  Finland’s Minister of the Environment, Energy, and Housing, Kimmo Tiilikainen. Europe has been at the forefront of people’s minds lately, will discuss the NATO Summit, Nord Stream 2, and the upcoming meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki dominating the news cycle. In his remarks and a moderated discussion with Atlantic Council Global Energy Center’s David Livingston, Mr. Tiilikainen will touch on topics such as how renewables factor into the conversation about energy security, the role of gas and nuclear power, relations with Russia and Nord Stream 2, and activities in the Arctic. He will also discuss the agenda for US-European cooperation.

Senate Enviro Hosts CEQ Nominee – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on nomination of Mary Neumayr to be a head of the Council on Environmental Quality.

Senate Energy Looks at Energy, Interior Re-Org – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to conduct oversight of the administration’s proposals to reorganize and modernize the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior.

Forum to Look at China Low Carbon Issues – The Wilson Center’s China Environmental Forum holds a panel discussion Thursday at 1:00 p.m. looking at tools that could help guide urban low-carbon initiatives and other sustainability actions. Hu Min from the Beijing-based energy policy incubator Innovative Green Development Program (iGDP) will introduce the recently launched China’s Low-carbon and Green Index for Cities (LOGIC). This index, created together with LBNL and Energy Foundation China, will track low-carbon and green development in 115 Chinese cities to inform future green development models. Roger Platt will talk about US-Green Building Council’s LEED for Cities rating system that empowers global cities and communities to assess, verify, and improve urban sustainability performance and quality of life, including low-carbon developments. A speaker from ACEEE will discuss how their city energy efficiency scorecard has spurred building, utility, and transportation policies to decrease energy use in major U.S. cities.

Health in Buildings Forum Set – The Department of Environment at the National Institutes of Health will gather government leaders and experts on Friday across the health and buildings sectors to discuss new developments in research about health in buildings in our HiBR 2018, Health in Building for Today and Tomorrow conference.  Speakers and attendees will examine the many developments in this sector through lively conversations about buildings including innovation, energy, policies, building practices, community solutions and emerging technologies.

IN THE FUTURE

 

CSIS To Host EIA Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting EIA Administrator Linda Capuano on Tuesday July 24th for a presentation and discussion of the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2018 (IEO2018). The IEO2018 builds on the IEO2017 reference case, which presented long-term projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. In particular, this year’s outlook offers a macroeconomic perspective regarding the uncertainty in economic growth in India, China, and Africa.

USEA To Discuss Africa Energy – The US Energy Assn will host a forum on Tuesday July 24th at 10:00 a.m. discuss specific generation and transmission projects currently underway and in the pipeline for development within the region. Please join us in a discussion regarding investment opportunities in various hydropower and wind power projects, as well as a transmission line and interconnection project. N Representatives of West African Power Pool (WAPP) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) will speak.

Forum to Look at Taiwan Energy – The Global Taiwan Institute and co-sponsor, The Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University, will hold a forum on Tuesday July 24th at 12:30 p.m. to explore the future of Taiwan’s energy. This event is the third installment of the Civil Society and Democracy Series, which is partially funded by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. The panelists will discuss Taiwan’s policy and opportunities in sustainable energy, how it will impact the Asia-Pacific region, and what it means for US interests.

Forum to Look at NET CCS Plant – The US Energy Assn Hosts a discussion on Thursday, July 26th at 10:00 a.m. to look at NET Power’s 50-MW demonstration emissions-free natural gas power plant.  NET Power is commercializing a novel power system that produces emissions-free electricity from natural gas for the same cost as conventional power plants. The system, which uses the supercritical CO2 Allam Cycle, is currently being demonstrated at a 50MWth power plant in La Porte, Texas, that is now in operation. A review of the technology will be provided, and an update will be given on the status of demonstration plant testing and operations, as well as commercial facility development.

Grid Forum Set for Iowa – The TransGrid-X 2030 Symposium will be held on July 26th in Ames, Iowa. The event will showcase the long-awaited NREL Seam Study—a concept featuring bi-directional high-voltage transmission; 600 GW of wind, solar and gas-fired generation; and a trillion-dollar economic event, if fully built.  Our friends Rob Gramlich and former FERC Chair Jim Hoecker will be among the speakers.

EPRI Hosts Electrification Conference – The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) hosts the inaugural Electrification 2018 International Conference and Exposition on August 20th to 23rd in Long Beach CA. Hosted by the and sponsored by more than 20 major utilities and organizations, this annual conference will bring together utility leaders, regulators, researchers, academia, vendors, economic development groups, and energy users from diverse manufacturing, transportation, industrial, and agriculture sectors around the globe.  SoCo CEO Tom Fanning is among the many speakers.

Energy Update: Week of July 2

Friends,

Wasn’t going to do an update today but decided to do a short one because of the crazy World Cup Games, the news about LeBron and – even more interesting – some policy news around the July 4th travel season, the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol on HFC reductions and Trump tweets over OPEC.

How could you not like those FIFA World Cup games yesterday. Two games to Penalty Kicks where host Russia’s Cinderella continued with a win over Spain after some brilliant saves by goalie Igor Akinfeev, who clinched the victory by stopping a shot with his foot.  The brilliant goalie play continued in the second game when Croatia outlasted Denmark in shootout, Croatia now faces Russia in the quarterfinals.  Brazil-Mexico now and Belgium-Japan this afternoon.

And apparently, LeBron James is headed to the Lakers for over $150M.  Now, the question is who may join him?  And don’t forget the MLB All-Star game is here at Nationals Park on Tuesday, July 17th. Our friend, former AP reporter and baseball author/historian Fred Frommer will be all over the run up to the game.  Frommer, author of You Gotta Have Heart, a history of DC baseball history, starts this Sunday at noon at The Farm, a rooftop building outside Nats Park, where former Washington Senators PA announcer Phil Hochberg chats about the four All-Star Games DC hosted in the 20th Century.  Then next Tuesday July 11th at 6:45 p.m., Fred will be at the Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center with Hochberg and Gregory McCarthy of the Nats, for a night of baseball history. Finally, the night before the All-Star Game July 16th, Fred will join fellow author David Rapp and documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner at East City Book Shop on Capitol Hill for an All-Star panel at 6:00 p.m. just before the Home Run Contest.

As we continue the July 4th travel season this week, I wanted to remind you of a note I sent on Friday highlighting the great work and important research of our friends at the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub on Pavement-Vehicle Interactions – research that can lower fuel consumption and vehicle emissions.  It is a perfect add-in to any stories you or your colleagues may be considering on the heavy travel week.  While this will be the busiest July 4th travel week ever, much of the traffic is likely to be spread out with the heaviest day to launch being tomorrow afternoon.

There is a new letter today from CEI and several other groups opposing the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The letter says the amendment would do “far more economic harm than environmental good,” adding that the environmental benefits are minimal.  But that is just not right.  A recent economic analysis for the White House showed significant jobs gains, 13 Republican Senators (mostly conservatives) urged the President to submit it to the Senate, 34 HVACR Manufacturing CEOs urged support and 3 conservative taxpayers groups (ACCF, Americans for Tax Reform and FreedomWorks) suggested Trump support Kigali because of global competitiveness advantages.  And all of this occurs after last week’s lawsuit by 11 states against EPA over implementing over HFC reductions.

If you are following recent tweets and comments from President Donald Trump about OPEC oil market manipulation, SAFE President/CEO Robbie Diamond weighed in saying Trump is right to point to OPEC as manipulating the market, but urged him to also turn his sights to “solutions that end oil dependence and the cartel that manipulates the market rather than having the U.S. come hat in hand to these foreign powers. Asking the cartel to increase output is like trying to put a Band-Aid on a broken system that shouldn’t even exist in the first place.”

Finally, the most grueling test of strength and endurance – the Tour de France – cycling’s crown jewel, starts on Saturday.  With one more Tour victory, Chris Froome can match the record of five shared by Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain. The start of the 105th edition will be at Noirmoutier-en-l’île.  The 2018 Tour route will include a total of 26 mountain climbs or hills, including  12 in the Alps, 4 in the Massif central and 10 in the Pyrenees.  Ouch!!! Riders arrive in Paris on July 29th.

Enjoy the holiday week…Stacey and kids headed to Imagine Dragons tonight.  I bet that’s a fun show.  Call with questions …Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Kigali gets us everything we want and everything we’ve been advocating for for a long time—a unified, negotiated decision on phasedowns [of HFCs] instead of prohibitions.  U.S. ratification of the global deal offers the greatest level of certainty for the market writ large. That process, rather than litigation, is where our industry will be focusing its efforts in the coming months.””

Caroline Davidson-Hood, general counsel for the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute regarding the lawsuit filed by 11 states challenging implementation of EPA HFC reductions

 

“Because of the technological prowess of American manufacturers, U.S. businesses stand to gain from this deal – ratification will open new markets at a time when demand for refrigeration, heating, and air-condition equipment is projected to grow.”

A letter from conservative tax group leaders of Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks and the American Council for Capital Formation on moving the Kigali amendment forward in the Senate. 

 

FUN OPINIONS

CEOs Say Kigali Essential for Global Competitiveness – ICYMI, following the letter from 13 Senators urging the White House to send them the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol, 34 HVACR Industry CEOs wrote a letter to President Trump urging his support for Kigali.  These are major manufacturers that include Honeywell, Lennox, Fujitsu, Johnson Controls, Rheem, Dow Chemical and many more.  The CEOs, who speak for more than 589,000 Americans currently employed in the industries, urged the President to send the Kigali Amendment to the Senate to secure a position of strength for American companies in a highly competitive global market for next generation air conditioning, refrigeration, thermal insulation, aerosols, medical uses, fire suppression, semiconductors and other technologies that utilize fluorocarbons.

IN THE NEWS

AGs Suit Spurs New Twist in Kigali Discussion – CEI will release a letter today opposing the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol but a legal challenge to EPA’s current regulations on HFC reductions by 11 states.  In its guidance, the EPA said revoking the rules would “dispel confusion and provide regulatory certainty” after a federal appellate court in July 2017 struck down large portions of the Obama-era regulation.  NRDC filed a similar suit earlier this week.  Another legal fight over the EPA guidance raises concerns about avenues for regulations to change, even as the industry continues to advocate for U.S. participation in a 2016 global deal to phase down HFCs called the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

Better Pavement Mean Better Fuel Econ, Less Emissions – As we begin the July 4th travel season, you or your colleagues should check out the important research by MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub on Pavement-Vehicle Interactions – studies about how we can lower fuel consumption and vehicle emissions by taking a new approach to building and maintaining our roadways.  It is a perfect add-in to any stories you or your colleagues may be considering on the heavy travel week this July 4th.

Wasted Energy in Travel – All vehicles, whether gasoline, diesel, or electric, use energy to move—but some of that energy is wasted. The quality of the roads we drive on every day impacts the amount of fuel we use, as well as the associated greenhouse gas emissions. On roads with poor surface conditions or inadequate structural properties (like many in our favorite District) vehicles consume additional fuel beyond what’s needed to move.  This wasted fuel is known as excess fuel consumption, and it has a significant impact on fuel economy and vehicle emissions.

Pavement Improvements Help Reduce Fuel Consumption – MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) researchers study pavement-vehicle interaction (PVI) in an effort to understand and quantify the impacts of excess fuel consumption. MIT’s research focuses on three key factors:

  1. ROUGHNESS: whether the road is bumpy or smooth. Roughness, commonly seen and felt as the presence of cracks and potholes, has a significant impact on passenger vehicles.
  2. TEXTURE: the abrasiveness of the road surface, which can be seen and heard when driving.
  3. DEFLECTION: the bending of a pavement under the weight of a vehicle. Deflection is present from the initial construction, and depends on pavement design. Think of the difference between walking or riding on sand versus a paved surface.

Road Solutions Can Improve Fuel Efficiency, Reduce Emissions – CSHub studies suggest that excess fuel consumption can be significantly reduced by building stiffer roads and maintaining smoother pavements—benefiting states and municipalities alike through reductions in emissions and fuel costs to drivers.  And it reduces road ware costs on vehicles and tires, while improving driving comfort.  There are two case studies that quantify fuel waste on US roadways.  The impacts of excess fuel consumption depend on a variety of factors, including location, traffic levels, pavement designs, and maintenance schedules. MIT has done case studies examining real roadway networks, including in California and Virginia:

  • California: Using data collected by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) through the use of GPS and ground-penetrating radar, MIT conducted an analysis of the state’s entire 50,000 lane-mile system and found excess fuel consumption of 1 billion gallons over a 5-year period. The collaboration showed that PVI, including roughness and deflection, accounts for 1 percent of overall fuel consumption on California highways.
  • Virginia: A study of the Commonwealth’s interstate highway system—some 5,000 lane miles in total—identified 1 million tons of CO2 associated with EFC emissions over a 7-year period. Researchers also determined that only 1.3 percent of the interstate network is responsible for 10 percent of its total greenhouse gas emissions, meaning rehabilitation of those few lane miles could result in significant environmental improvements.

Who Can Help – If you’re looking for a resource to discuss the impact of pavement interaction on fuel economy and emissions, MIT’s Jeremy Gregory (jgregory@mit.edu) is available to address the key issues, impacts and examples surrounding improved pavements and infrastructure … and how this affects American communities and drivers.  MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub [cshub.mit.edu] is pushing the frontier of academic research into building materials, with implications for policymakers, communities, the transportation industry, fleets and the millions of American drivers hitting the roads over July 4th and all summer.  For more info, drop me a note, reach out to Jeremey or connect with MIT communications person Anne Wilson Yu.  You can reach her at awwilson@mit.edu

ACCF: Proxy Advisory Have Minimal Oversight – The American Council for Capital Formation released a new report that says proxy advisory firms are operating with minimal oversight.  The firms, which advise shareholders on how to assess and vote on company plans, are moving toward an increasingly activist stance on issues relating to the environment, as well as social and political issues. The report, titled “The Conflicted Role of Proxy Advisors,” examines the impact such proxy firms have on major policies at most publicly traded companies.  Our friend Dave Banks is leading an effort at ACCF on this issue.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

JULY 4th HOLIDAY

Stanford to Look at Behavior, Enviro Change – Stanford holds an event on Thursday evening featuring PhD Candidate Jen Wang, who will discuss an even more fundamental condition and challenge to positive environmental change – getting humans to change their behaviors. From the everyday choices we make to our combined organizational behaviors, human behavior is at the core of the environmental issues we care about.

Event to Honor Tesla Birthday – On Friday evening, the International Club of DC and the Embassy of Croatia host a dinner reception of Croatian culture, music, wine, and cuisine on the occasion of the 162nd anniversary of the birth of Croatian-born scientist Nikola Tesla. During the event, Tesla will have a Model S and Model X on display. Tesla product experts will be on hand to answer questions and show you how electric vehicles can fit seamlessly into your lifestyle. Test rides will be offered on a first come, first serve basis.

IN THE FUTURE

 

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held tomorrow and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

BPC Forum to Examine Oil, Gas Issues – On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) convenes a panel of experts to examine the current state of the Environmental Social Governance (ESG) movement in the oil and gas sector and explore what’s coming next. This movement continues to gain traction in a time when the regulatory agenda has changed significantly under the Trump Administration. ESG is particularly significant for the energy sector, specifically as shareholder resolutions surrounding climate change continue to take center stage in the media and in the boardroom.

Duke CEO, CARB Chair, Others Headline POLITICO Summit – POLITICO is hosting its second Pro Summit on July 17th at the Renaissance Hotel. The Pro Summit brings together Pro subscribers, expert reporters, key decision-makers, and others who are shaping the policy landscape for a full day of incisive conversations. Summit speakers include Rep. Joe Crowley, Duke CEO Lynn Good, FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, Amy Myers Jaffe of the Council on Foreign Relations, Coal CEO Bob Murray, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols and many others.  Duke Energy is the main event sponsor.

Grid Forum Set for Iowa – The TransGrid-X 2030 Symposium will be held on July 26th in Ames, Iowa. The event will showcase the long-awaited NREL Seam Study—a concept featuring bi-directional high-voltage transmission; 600 GW of wind, solar and gas-fired generation; and a trillion-dollar economic event, if fully built.  Our friends Rob Gramlich and former FERC Chair Jim Hoecker will be among the speakers.

EPRI Hosts Electrification Conference – The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) hosts the inaugural Electrification 2018 International Conference and Exposition on August 20th to 23rd in Long Beach CA. Hosted by the and sponsored by more than 20 major utilities and organizations, this annual conference will bring together utility leaders, regulators, researchers, academia, vendors, economic development groups, and energy users from diverse manufacturing, transportation, industrial, and agriculture sectors around the globe.  SoCo CEO Tom Fanning is among the many speakers.

Energy Update: Week of June 18

Friends,

The winner of the 2018 US Open for golf this year was Shinnecock Hills.  Yes, Brooks Koepka took home the trophy for the second straight year – which is amazing and rare – but the course really was the overall winner, proving tougher than even many of the greatest players in the world could even imagine.  This was exemplified by the controversy when Phil Mickelson struck his own still moving ball on the 13th green on Saturday.  The crazy things a tough course does to these guys.

And talking about crazy.  How about Argentina/Iceland playing to a 1-1 tie?   And forget about natgas drilling or global warming, apparently, a World Cup victory over Germany can cause an earthquake in Mexico. Colombia/Japan kick off tomorrow’s FIFA World Cup action as Group Play continues.  See the full schedule here.

Trade talk is buzzing across town and it will likely get more heated this week when Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appears Wednesday before the Senate Finance Committee to discuss tariffs.  On the international trade front things are staying very busy: new tariffs on China, the future of NAFTA in question, and the ongoing dispute over the steel and aluminum tariffs. Secretary Ross will have to be prepared to answer questions on all of these topics and more.  Our team here has been in the trenches in this policy debates and has been watching all of these issues closely.  If you want to get a perspective on the ongoing trade disputes and what they may mean for the manufacturing and energy sectors feel free to contact Paul Nathanson (paul.nathanson@bracewell.com, 202-828-1714) or Josh Zive (josh.zive@bracewell.com, 202-828-5838).

Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Rick Perry will deliver remarks Friday at the Commerce Department’s SelectUSA 2018 Investment Summit, discussing energy investment and innovation technology.

Ahead of this week’s meeting of members and nonmembers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC members are considering a compromise agreement to increase oil production by 300,000 – 600,000 barrels per day in the next few months, according to people briefed on the discussions.  Action starts Wednesday and our friends from SAFE can give you the full brief if you call Bridget Bartol (bbartol@secureenergy.org).

In Congress, the House takes up a number of funding bills (including the Energy/Water funding legislation) on the House Floor.  Expect amendments and votes on all sorts of topics.  A House Energy panel meets Wednesday to explore the effects of the recent tax overhaul.  On Thursday, the House Science Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing on state perspectives regulating background ozone. Then Friday, another House Energy panel gathers for a hearing on advanced biofuels.

Outside DC, CO2NNECT 2018 launches today in Jackson Hole today to look at progress on carbon capture and features remarks from Sen. EPW Chair John Barrasso, Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana and GOP Gov. Matthew Mead of Wyoming.  And starting tomorrow Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF) NYC brings together the biggest investors and developers to drive investment in the renewable energy sector.  Finally, on Thursday, our friend Matt Letourneau from the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute (GEI) speaks to a group of utility communicators in Louisville, Kentucky at UCI’s 2018 annual conference.

Speaking of the Chamber’s GEI and Thursday, they will host a global energy security forum at 3:30 p.m. that will release the 2018 International Index of Energy Security Risk.  GEI President and CEO Karen Harbert and White House Energy Advisor Wells Griffith will offer remarks, while GEI international expert Steve Eule hosts a panel that Includes Embassy Energy officials from Canada, Mexico and the UK.

Summer Solstice on Thursday… Longest daylight of the year and first official day of Summer!!!  Call with questions…Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Self-driving technologies will have an enormously positive impact on our country, our economy, and our society. This is an opportunity too great to ignore and now is the time to prepare and implement policies that will unlock these myriad benefits and mitigate any negative impacts of this technological shift. There is a balance we must strike to realize the billions in economic savings from increased travel access and productivity, to reduced congestion and fewer accidents. The more we maximize the economic and productivity benefits while minimizing any potential impacts on job holders, the better off our country and workforce will be.”

Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of SAFE on the release of its latest policy brief: America’s Workforce and the Self-Driving Future: Realizing Productivity Gains and Spurring Economic Growth. 

ON THE POD

Cap Crude: US Casts Big Shadow Over OPEC Meeting – As OPEC meets again in Vienna this week, the last US official to attend an OPEC meeting, Ken Hance tells Capitol Crude that the Trump administration should work closer with the producer group for price stability.

FUN OPINIONS

EIA: Adoption of AVs could increase U.S. transportation energy consumption – EIA release a great fact in its “Today in Energy series on autonomous vehicles.  EIA says AVs are one of the main sources of uncertainty in the future of U.S. transportation energy consumption, as autonomous vehicle technology has the potential to change travel behavior, vehicle design, energy efficiency, and vehicle ownership. Analysis in EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018) shows that the widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles could increase overall light-duty vehicle travel and, depending on how those vehicles are powered, lead to slightly higher transportation energy consumption.

See graph and read more…

IN THE NEWS

ClearPath Continues Help for Heller – ClearPath Action Fund is planning to spend $500,000 to help re-elect Nevada Sen. Dean Heller.  ClearPath Action Fund Founder Jay Faison said Heller has long been a leader among Republicans in expanding clean energy deployment and innovation.  The Heller effort includes a new set of digital ads that recognize his clean energy leadership in Congress. “Senator Dean Heller has worked across the aisle in Washington, taking bipartisan action for clean energy technologies that create good jobs in Nevada,” the 30-second ad states. That includes helping lead efforts to streamline clean energy project permitting on public lands and offer tax incentives for both clean energy production and storage. ClearPath will also run 15-second and 60-second ads showcasing Heller’s record.

Simmons Named to Head DOE Renewable Office – President Trump intends to make Dan Simmons the permanent head of DOE’s energy efficiency and renewable energy office, after more than a year as its top official.  Simmons became EERE’s principal deputy assistant secretary on May 1, 2017, after working on Trump’s DOE transition and beachhead teams.   Simmons has been well-received by both renewable advocates and Congress who have appreciated openness.  Before joining the administration, Simmons was the vice president for policy at the libertarian-leaning Institute for Energy Research, which regularly attacked the Obama administration’s renewable energy programs. He also directed the Natural Resources Task Force at the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Report Provides Comprehensive View on Cost, Benefits of Self-Driving Tech – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) today releases its latest policy brief: America’s Workforce and the Self-Driving Future: Realizing Productivity Gains and Spurring Economic Growth. The study is an examination and in-depth economic analysis of the effects self-driving technologies could have on the American economy and its workforce. The report is based on research and individual reports led by three economists: former Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Erica Groshen, former Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future W. David Montgomery and Compass Transportation CEO Richard Mudge.  The report found that by 2050, AVs will add between $3 to $6 trillion in cumulative consumer and societal benefits to the U.S. economy. Annually, $800 billion in economic and societal benefits could be realized when AVs are fully deployed. Nearly every American will benefit from improved safety, enhanced access to transportation for senior citizens, people with disabilities and the disadvantaged, increased productivity, and the ability to gain productive time for work or errands.

Electrification Coalition Releases Inaugural Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Scorecard – The Electrification Coalition (EC) released the ZEV Scorecard, a ranking system and informational tool for policymakers, advocates, and the public to use as a guide to improve the effectiveness of state-level actions to increase adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV). The ZEV states, which are already the country’s leaders of supportive PEV policies and adoption, were analyzed and placed into three tiers with California, Maryland and Connecticut placing in the top tier.  The ZEV Scorecard was developed by the EC to provide a single, comprehensive and data-driven ranking of the ZEV MOU states. By tracking policy changes over time it can help to determine effectiveness of certain strategies and can underscore the importance for states and other regulators to continue to create policies that support PEV adoption.  States can analyze the steps taken to date in order to determine if they should implement or add to financial and non-financial incentives, develop EV infrastructure and, or create public awareness campaigns.   The 2018 ZEV Scorecard Tiered Rankings include Tier 1: California, Maryland, Connecticut; Tier 2: Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Tier 3: Vermont, Rhode Island, Oregon, Maine.  To determine the scorecard rankings, the EC used a weighted ranking system and appraised state-level policy actions for three categories: 1. State-provided incentives to consumers; 2. Availability and support of public refueling infrastructure; 3. Outreach campaigns to educate the public. The EC plans to update its analysis and the rankings of the participating ZEV states annually. The full report can be found here.

DOE Announces Prize Competition Winners to Bolster Onshore Manufacturing – The Department of Energy announced the winners of the American Inventions Made Onshore (AIM Onshore) Prize Competition at the 2018 MForesight National Summit in Washington, D.C.  AIM Onshore is part of a DOE initiative to close the gap between American innovators who develop new energy technologies and domestic manufacturers who produce them. The four winning organizations listed below will receive $150,000 to deliver DOE’s Build4Scale training to energy hardware innovators and help them forge partnerships with domestic manufacturers.  DOE’s Build4Scale training, released earlier this year, equips American scientists and engineers with knowledge of basic manufacturing processes, an understanding of product design for manufacturing, and the know-how to make and evaluate manufacturing-related decisions.  By requiring winners to demonstrate a sustainable revenue stream to continue providing the training, DOE is leveraging a small initial federal investment in an initiative that will ultimately be sustained by the private sector.  Winners include Innovation Works – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; mHUB – Chicago, Illinois; FuzeHub – Albany, New York and ADL Ventures – San Francisco, California

DOE’s Build4Scale training – developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in collaboration with industry, academia, and government and other resources – is available to the public for use and dissemination at Build4Scale.org.

Report Says Clean Energy Moon Shot Needed – The University of Virginia Darden School of Business’ Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation released a new policy playbook last week saying a national moonshot goal should be launched to spur more public and private investments in clean energy technologies. The playbook lists five other actions that should be taken, including national clean-tech bank and lending models and a “New Deal” strategy for helping communities bring in clean tech industries and jobs. The purpose of the playbook is to present new and innovative ideas for more rapidly moving the needle on addressing climate change. The policy actions presented here are motivated by a need to catalyze clean technology innovation. Recognizing that leadership by the federal government is unlikely in the current politicized environment, the playbook suggests a bottom-up approach to influencing change. Innovating for climate change will require solutions that address both mitigation and adaptation. See the recommendations here.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Carbon Capture forum Features Barrasso, Govs – The Great Plains Institute holds CO2NNECT 2018 today in Jackson Hole today to look at progress on carbon capture.  event includes lawmakers such as Wyoming GOP Sen. John Barrasso, who heads the Senate environment committee; state leaders such as Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana and GOP Gov. Matthew Mead of Wyoming; and executives from companies such as NRG Energy Inc., NET Power LLC, Occidental Petroleum Corp., and Peabody Energy Corp. The event is designed to increase understanding and harness leadership support for carbon capture among governors; members of Congress; industry executives; labor, philanthropic and NGO leaders; and journalists and media influencers.

DOE, NEI, Westinghouse Address Nuclear Meeting – The American Nuclear Society’s annual meeting is today through Thursday in Philadelphia at the Marriott.  The event will feature business and government leaders delving into the global expansion of nuclear energy and revitalizing the struggling industry. Speakers include Westinghouse President and CEO Jose Gutierrez; Ed McGinnis of the Energy Department’s nuclear energy office; and Nuclear Energy Institute President and CEO Maria Korsnick.

University Coalition Heads to CSIS – Today at 2:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Janet Napolitano (President, University of California), Kristina M. Johnson (Chancellor, The State University of New York) and Timothy Carter (President, Second Nature) for a discussion on the recent launch of the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), the role of research universities in the development of climate action plans, and their own imperatives for a more sustainable energy system.  This spring, UC3 was launched by 13 research university systems in the United States, Canada, and Mexico to mobilize their resources and expertise to inform and facilitate climate solutions in partnership with businesses, local communities, cities, and states.  The coalition will utilize its research base and multidisciplinary approaches to craft innovative climate action plans, develop new energy technologies, and advance climate science.  UC3 will work in partnership with Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Network, a group of hundreds of colleges and universities that have committed to take action on climate change and sustainability actions.  Climate Change and the National and Corporate Interest is a high-level speaker series showcasing a variety of country and corporate perspectives on plausible pathways for pursuing a climate change strategy and why those actions are in their national or commercial interest.

RFF Webinar Set to Discuss Electricity Resilience – Resources for the Future (RFF) hold a webinar today at 3:00 p.m. focused on the economics of electricity system resilience.  Researchers at Resources for the Future have published previously on decisionmaking on this topic, and on May 30, they co-hosted a workshop with the R Street Institute on economic approaches to identifying and addressing resilience in the bulk power system. This webinar will highlight the timely lessons from that workshop, including definitions of resilience and how it relates to reliability, what’s wrong and what’s right about existing markets and institutions, the role of consumers, and how to decide what to do next.

A careful analysis suggests that current institutions to support system reliability go a long way toward supporting system resilience—and that real threats to reliable electricity supply and quick recovery from outages may lie in other parts of the system, and therefore call for differently targeted measures.

Register to attend the webinar.  Speakers include former AWEA policy chief Robert Gramlich, R Street’s Devin Hartman, RFF’s Karen Palmer and former DOE official Susan Tierney.

Forum to Look at Ukraine Energy – The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe hold a briefing today at 3:30 p.m. in Dirksen G-11 on curbing corruption in Ukraine’s energy sector.  This briefing will review the challenges facing Ukraine’s energy sector with a focus on corruption’s role in preventing necessary reforms. Speakers will provide expertise and insight as to how Ukraine’s energy sector fits into the larger picture of Ukraine’s fight against corruption. They will also examine Russia’s malign influence in the country. Finally, the briefing will offer policy responses to these issues. Former Ambassador Bill Courtney and CSIS expert Ed Chow will speak.

REFF Wall Street Forum Set – The Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF) New York City will be held tomorrow and Wednesday in NYC.  For 15 years, REFF-Wall Street has brought together the biggest investors and developers to drive investment in the renewable energy sector. This year features a special line-up of dynamic speakers, high-level networking opportunities, and the most active players in the renewable energy industry.  FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee and ACORE’s Greg Wetstone are among the speakers.

FERC Chair to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host its monthly meeting at the University Club tomorrow at Noon.  FERC Chairman Kevin J. McIntyre, will be the guest speaker.

Stimson Center to Discuss China, Arctic – The Stimson Center’s East Asia Program discussion tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. on regional perspectives of Chinese activities in the Arctic.

Landscape Architects Discuss Climate – The American Society of Landscape Architects holds a  discussion tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. on smart policies for a changing climate. The event is a candid discussion with ASLA CEO Nancy Somerville and Diane Jones Allen of the College of Architecture Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington. They will discuss a recent Blue Ribbon panel’s findings and ASLA’s ambitious efforts to align landscape design approaches through the adoption of effective public policies.

Senate Finance Talks Trade with Ross – Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will appear Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. before the Senate Finance Committee to discuss tariffs.

House Energy Panel to Look at Energy Tax Issues – The House Energy and Commerce Committee hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on the benefits of tax reform on the energy sector and consumers.

Senate to Host EPA Nominees – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing on the nominations of William McIntosh and Peter Wright to be assistant administrators of EPA on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

CSIS to Host BNEF Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting the launch of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) New Energy Outlook 2018 on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  NEO 2018 is BNEF’s annual economic forecast for the world’s power sector.  Built over nine months, it is the result of international collaboration between 65 market and technical experts from BNEF’s 11 offices.  For the first time, NEO projects out to 2050, offering 10 more years of data and new insights about the energy transition in the long-term.  Seb Henbest (NEO Lead Author and Head of Europe, Middle East & Africa; BNEF) will present the findings of the NEO 2018, followed by Q&A and discussion led by MIT’s Francis O’Sullivan.

Book Event Looks at Chernobyl – The Woodrow Wilson Center Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies holds a book discussion on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. looking at a new book on Chernobyl and the history of the nuclear catastrophe. In his new book, Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe, Serhii Plokhii draws on new sources to lay bare the flaws of the Soviet nuclear industry, tracing the disaster to the authoritarian character of Communist party rule, the regime’s control of scientific information, and its emphasis on economic development over all else. Today, the risk of another Chernobyl, claims Plokhii, looms in the mismanagement of nuclear power in the developing world.

Atlantic Council Hosts BP Stat Review – On Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., Atlantic Council is hosting the US launch of the 2018 BP Statistical Review of Energy with BP Group Chief Economist Spencer Dale. As the energy landscape continues to undergo profound change, it is more important now than ever to understand the trends and developments driving this change. The 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy examines issues like who is winning the tug-of-war between OPEC oil and tight oil, why natural gas grew so fast in 2017, and if there is enough cobalt and lithium to fuel battery demand going forward.  BP’s Statistical Review provides an objective overview of what happened to energy markets in 2017 and a guide to future trends. Perhaps more importantly, it helps us better understand the complex world in which we operate. Dale will present the findings of BP’s 2018 report, one of the most widely respected and highly anticipated global energy publications, followed by a moderated discussion.

GTM to Host Grid Forum – Greentech Media host Grid Edge Innovation Summit on Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco.  The event is an energy conference that will examine the energy customer of tomorrow and how new innovative business models are quickly emerging.  GTM brings together forward thinking and prominent members of the energy ecosystem and as our research team explores the future of the market. Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff will speak along with many others, including our friends Shayle Kann, Julia Pyper and Stephen Lacey.

Forum to Discuss Roof Top Solar – Bernstein Management Corporation, Carr Properties, WC Smith, New Partners Community Solar and Sol Systems host a forum on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. at the Greater Washington Board of Trade to discuss different ways each took advantage of available incentives and successfully “went solar” in DC. Each will share the benefits, the challenges, and the lessons learned.

AAAS Hold Science/Tech Forum – The American Association for the Advancement of Science holds the 2018 Science and Technology Policy Forum.  Former Rep. Rush Holt and other will speak on the agenda.

OPEC Meeting Set for Vienna – OPEC hosts its 7th International Seminar in Vienna with the theme Petroleum—cooperation for a sustainable future.  Our friends at SAFE can discuss.   Lots of big names speaking that you can see here.

S&P Hosts Transmission Forum – S&P Global Platts holds 2018 Transmission Planning and Development Conference on Thursday at the Hilton in Arlington, Va.  The event will address key growth drivers impacting the US electric transmission grid.  FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, analyst Christi Tezak, hydro expert Jeff Leahy, ITC’s Nina Plaushin and many more.

Forum to Look at Water Infrastructure – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program will host utility, workforce, and community leaders to discuss the economic and infrastructure opportunity offered in the water sector. The event follows the release of a new report, Renewing the water workforce: Improving water infrastructure and creating a pipeline to opportunity, which provides clearer metrics and actionable strategies on this front.  Louisiana Rep. Garrett Graves will keynote followed by a panel.

House Science Tackles Ozone Science – The House Science Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at state perspectives on regulating background ozone. Witnesses include Diana Rath of Alamo Area Council of Governments, AZ DEQ air quality official Tim Franquist, EDF’s Elena Craft and scientist Gregory Stella of Alpine Geophysics.

House Transpo Looks at Pipeline Legislation – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials will host an oversight hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to examine the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act, enacted in June 2016 in the wake of a 100,000-metric-ton gas leak from the Aliso Canyon underground storage facility managed by Southern California Gas Co. directed the nation’s top pipeline regulator, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, to set baseline safety standards for underground gas storage facilities, prioritize work on unfinished congressional mandates and study the potential for a centralized pipeline incident database, among other steps.

House Small Biz Committee Looks at Ag Regs – The House Small Business agriculture and energy subcommittee looks at how federal regulations affect small farmers.  Witnesses include Craig Martins on behalf of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and GROWMARK, John Weber of the National Pork Producers Council and Glenn Brunkow on behalf of the American Farm Bureau.

Wilson Forum Looks at Arctic Communities, Energy – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Canada Institute and Polar Initiative hold a conference call briefing on Thursday at 11:00 to discuss energy innovation in remote Arctic communities.  The webinar features a spotlight on the energy approaches of these remote Arctic communities and how innovations are contributing to economic development and community resilience.

Forum to Look at Air Quality Issues –The World Resources Institute holds forum on Thursday at Noon looking at open air quality data to fight unequal access to breathable clean air. This presentation shares stories of communities from Delhi to Ulaanbaatar to Sarajevo and from scientists to journalists, using open air quality data from the platform to advance their fight against air inequality. The subsequent open-source tools, the OpenAQ community has developed and the entire data-sharing platform may be of interest to other open data communities.

Chamber to Release Security Index – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute (GEI) hold a forum to release its 2018 International Index of Energy Security Risk on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.  GEI President and CEO Karen Harbert will offer remarks followed by a presentation and panel discussion on international energy security challenges moderated by GEI Vice President Steve Eule.  The Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk: Assessing America’s Vulnerabilities in a Global Energy Market is an annual energy risk indicator, which uses quantifiable data, historical trend information, and government projections to identify the policies and other factors that contribute positively or negatively to U.S. energy security. The Index provides a look at energy security retrospectively from 1970 to 2013 and prospectively from 2014-2040. From this data, policymakers and energy professionals can use the Index to track shifts in U.S. energy security over time and assess potential impacts of new policies.

Duke’s Good to Speak at Women Conference – The Center for Strategic and International Studies is hosting a Smart Women, Smart Power conversation with Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good on Thursday at 6:00 p.m.  She will discuss trends impacting the energy industry, the challenges it faces, and the efforts being made to create a cleaner, smarter energy future.  The conversation will be moderated by Fortune’s Nina Easton.

NERO to Honor Scalise, Heitkamp – The National Energy Resources Organization will hold its 2018 Awards dinner on Thursday at the Capitol Hill Hyatt.  Awardees will be Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.  NERO is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to engage in dialogue on energy issues, recognize outstanding achievements, and promote public awareness.

House Energy Loos at Advanced Biofuels in RFS – The House Energy and Commerce hearing on Friday at 9:15 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn on advanced biofuels Under the RFS.  The hearing will look at current status and future prospects.

Forum to Look at Climate Finance – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., Brookings hosts a panel of experts will provide an update on innovations in multilateral climate finance. John Roome, senior director for climate change at the World Bank, will discuss innovative approaches for supporting clean infrastructure in developing countries, since too often climate effects hit poor people the hardest. Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante, manager of the International Finance Corporation (IFC)’s Blended Finance Unit, will discuss blended concessional finance for the private sector. Brookings Senior Fellow Joshua Meltzer will discuss his latest research on the topic.

IN THE FUTURE

World Gas Conference Features Perry, Industry Leaders – The International Gas Union (IGU) hosts the 27th World Gas Conference (WGC 2018) in Washington DC from June 25-29.  The triennial event aims to raise the voice of natural gas while offering timely updates on strategic, commercial and technical issues facing the entire gas value chain and offers the most comprehensive and diverse program to date for the natural gas industry. For the first time ever this includes topics for professionals working in sectors including finance, trading, law, sustainability/renewables, policy/government.  Energy Secretary Rick Perry headlines.

Young Professional Program for World Gas Forum Set – The Young Professionals Program (YPP) will hold a special forum during the World Gas Conference June 25-29 in Washington, DC.  YPP will provide a great opportunity for promising young professionals in the energy sector to learn from top leaders in the natural gas industry and network with their peers throughout the world.  More on this as we get closer.

Forum to Talk Eastern Europe Energy – The Atlantic Council Global Energy Center and the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrád Group holds its “Towards 21st Century Energy Systems in Central & Eastern Europe” conference next Monday.  The event will feature discussion and debate on the strategic and policy implications of the Trump Administration’s energy agenda and its impact on the transatlantic relationship, with special attention paid to the Central and Eastern European region.  The expert panels will discuss the impact of the US’ energy agenda on Central and Eastern Europe and innovation in Central and Eastern European energy systems.

Brookings Talking Global Markets With Experts – The Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy & Climate will host Fatih Birol in a discussion facilitated by Initiative Co-Chair David G. Victor. Both renowned energy experts, they will discuss the latest updates in global energy, including recent evolutions in global markets and prices, and the intersections of climate change and energy policy.  Fatih Birol is executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), and has been named by Forbes Magazine as one of the most influential people in world energy, and “Energy personality of the year” in 2017 by the Financial Times. He is also chair of the World Economic Forum’s (Davos) Energy Advisory Board and serves on the U.N. Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Sustainable Energy for All.  After the session, panelists will take audience questions.

ACEEE Forum Set – On Tuesday at the National Press Club, the American Council for and Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) will convene a one-day symposium to highlight international energy efficiency best practices, with a particular focus on opportunities for improvement in the United States. Our research has shown that energy efficiency can be a low-cost, powerful tool for countries to meet their energy and environmental goals and to sustainably increase shared prosperity. At this event, ACEEE will release its biennial International Scorecard, which examines the energy efficiency policies and performance of the world’s 25 largest energy-consuming countries. The scorecard evaluates countries based on 35 metrics and shows how all can substantially improve their energy efficiency. The symposium will feature four panels that will explore: (1) scorecard findings, (2) lessons learned from high-performing countries, (3) opportunities for the United States, and (4) notable efforts and opportunities for global companies.

CSIS Hosts Climate Investments Head – On Tuesday June 26th at 9:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Pratima Rangarajan, CEO of Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) Climate Investments, for a conversation on OGCI Climate Investments within the context of the OGCI, why the fund was founded last year, and how and why Climate Investments differentiates itself from other funds. OGCI Climate Investments intends to invest $1 billion over the next ten years to develop and demonstrate innovative technologies which could significantly curb global greenhouse gas emissions.

Hydro Conference SetHydroVision International will be held in Charlotte, NC on June 26-28th at the Charlotte Convention Center.  HydroVision is the largest gathering of hydro professionals worldwide. The event highlights perspectives on the role of hydropower, explores issues affecting hydro resources, and helps participants develop a vision to meet challenges and ensure the future sustainability of hydro.

Forum to Look at National Lab Ideas – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation holds a forum on Wednesday, June 27th at noon in 2325 Rayburn to look at new ideas for strengthening partnerships at DOE’s National Labs.  Two promising ideas for providing such connections are the proposed Impact for Energy Foundation and the pilot small business voucher program. The former would make it easier for companies and philanthropists to work collaboratively with intramural teams at DOE labs. The latter provides small businesses that need sophisticated insights with no-cost access to lab experts who can accelerate their innovations.  Speakers will include Reps. Randy Hultgren Ben Ray Luján, as well as Rita Baranwal, Director of (GAIN) Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear at the Idaho National Laboratory.

Forum to Look at Energy Policy In Brazil – On Thursday, June 28th at 9:00 a.m., the Inter-American Dialogue will hold a forum to look at energy policy in Brazil.  The event features a panel discussion on the recent oil licensing rounds, opportunities for private investment in the oil, gas and power sectors, and the outlook for energy policy next year.
Forum to Look at Fossil Fuels in Sustain Energy Future – The U.S. Energy Association holds a forum on Thursday, June 28th at 10:00 a.m. to look access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy services while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of the energy sector.  This briefing seeks to discuss the following within the context of the 2030 Agenda including recommendations on Carbon Capture Use and Storage; financing investment in fossil energy; transformation of the Energy System, among other things.  The speaker will be Scott Foster, the Director of the Sustainable Energy Division with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

Chatterjee Headlines Grid Forum – Icons of Infrastructure hold a forum at the National Press Club on Thursday, June 28th afternoon looking at the transformation of the energy grid.  The forum will look at how needed research and development efforts gets funded and what are the stakes for consumers, the energy sector and policymakers.  In one packed day of headline speakers, panel debates, creative networking opportunities, open discussions, and an in-depth analysis, you’ll learn about exciting developments in domestic energy markets, and hear insider perspective on the challenges we face.  Speakers include FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, NREL’s Peter Green, DOE’s Eric Lightner and many more.

Forum to Look at Climate Risk – At the June Adaptation Community Meeting, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and the Inter-American Development Bank will come together on Thursday June 28th at 4:00 p.m. At the World Bank to discuss each organization’s current and emerging approaches to climate risk management. The discussion will highlight each organization’s approach, initiatives to track and assess the effectiveness of climate risk management, lessons learned, and ideas for the future.

Mulvaney Headlines Annual CEI Dinner – On Thursday June 28th, the Competitive Enterprise Institute holds its annual dinner and reception at the Marriott Marquis.  National Review’s Jonah Goldberg will be master of ceremonies and keynoter is OMB chief Mick Mulvaney.

JULY 4th HOLIDAY

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held on July 10th and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

BPC Forum to Examine Oil, Gas Issues – On Thursday July 12th at 10:30 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) convenes a panel of experts to examine the current state of the Environmental Social Governance (ESG) movement in the oil and gas sector and explore what’s coming next. This movement continues to gain traction in a time when the regulatory agenda has changed significantly under the Trump Administration. ESG is particularly significant for the energy sector, specifically as shareholder resolutions surrounding climate change continue to take center stage in the media and in the boardroom.

Duke CEO, CARB Chair, Others Headline POLITICO Summit – POLITICO is hosting its second Pro Summit on July 17th at the Renaissance Hotel. The Pro Summit brings together Pro subscribers, expert reporters, key decision-makers, and others who are shaping the policy landscape for a full day of incisive conversations. Summit speakers include Rep. Joe Crowley, Duke CEO Lynn Good, FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, Amy Myers Jaffe of the Council on Foreign Relations, Coal CEO Bob Murray, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols and many others.  Duke Energy is the main event sponsor.

Energy Update: Week of February 5

Friends,

I have to say that was a great Super Bowl.  So much offense and so much back and forth.  Wow…and Punxsutawney Phil still says six more weeks of winter.  It is the first Super Bowl and as well as first NFL Championship for the Eagles since 1960.  While so many Eagles fans are relieved to finally have a Super Bowl, it now leaves just Browns (1964) and Lions (1957) fans still out in the cold with the longest drought and no Super Bowl appearances.  While teams like Arizona (Cardinals franchise hasn’t won since 1947 through Chicago & St. Louis), Minnesota (1961), Tennessee (Houston Oilers 1961, Chargers (1963) and Atlanta (1965) all have had at least Super Bowl sniffs.  Special props to avid update readers, die-hard Philly sports Phanatics and longtime friends: Brian Sansoni, Comms VP at American Cleaning Institute and Paul Copleman of Avangrid.

Speaking of the Super Bowl and energy, props also to FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson who won a bet over fellow Commissioner and Patriots fan Cheryl LaFleur.  Powelson, who offered up some Kobi Chessesteaks (with Cheez Whiz, I hope) while LeFleur, of course, offered Lobsters.  Looks like they upped the ante with Sam Adams and Victory IPA

It seems like we have seen this movie before, but this week will likely be consumed by budget funding discussions and a new CR.  There are a number of energy-related committee hearings this week starting to move legislation.  Other key events include a House Energy hearing tomorrow on nuclear Infrastructure; Wednesday’s Senate EPW will finally look to move EPA Deputy Administrator (now that Kathleen Harnett-White has withdrawn her CEQ nomination) then look at ag impacts of WOTUS; and Senate Energy hearing Thursday looking at energy infrastructure.

Off the Hill, the National Association of State Energy Officials holds its Energy Policy Outlook Conference tomorrow.  WCEE hosts Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of Energy Storage Association on Wednesday to discuss battery storage and the impact it will have on the evolving energy markets.  On Friday, the energy economists hosts Wood MacKenzie Research Director for Natural Gas Liquids Anne Keller for its February lunch.

Opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics is on Friday, with three weeks of skiing, hockey, bobsledding, ski jumping, et al to follow!  Here is the link to NBC’s coverage schedule portal.

 

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The Kigali Amendment is a rare agreement that has the support of everyone from industry to environmentalists.  It supports human health, it supports the environment, and it supports industry.”

Steve Forbes at a Hudson Institute Event on the HFC issues and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

 

IN THE NEWS

 Hudson Forum to Look at HFC Issues – The Hudson Institute this morning to discuss the current status of HFC issues and the Kigali Treaty.  Keynote speaker Steve Forbes said the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is one of those rare environmental policies that offers almost everyone something they can like – liberal, conservative, businessperson, environmentalist, politician. For the United States, it is an opportunity to grow our economy and create jobs while doing something good for the planet.  AHRI’s Steve Yurek added Kigali is a perfect example of industry, environmental groups, and governments finding common ground in a way that is good for business and good for the environment.  He added the U.S. HVACR Industry supports Kigali because it is committed to reducing its environmental impact, while creating a predicable business environment and advancing US technological leadership.  With all the talk of Paris, the global efforts to reduce the heat-trapping gases from refrigerants used in air conditioning and cooling is an interesting story.  Other speakers included White House official David Banks, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead, NRDC’s Dave Doniger and Ingersoll Rand’s Paul Camuti.

House Ag Members Call for 45Q – House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway and 42 signatories sent a letter to Speaker Ryan and the leadership of House Ways and Means urging enactment of legislation to amend Section 45Q of the tax code. Conaway is sponsor of the Carbon Capture Act, legislation which would extend and revise Section 45Q to enable new investments in carbon capture technologies.   This letter, signed by the majority of House cosponsors of the Carbon Capture Act follows an earlier letter of support from the the four main Senate sponsors of 45Q legislation to Senate and Finance Committee leadership. This ongoing momentum signals the strong and growing support for action now on carbon capture legislation.

CEQ Nominee Out – Kathleen Hartnett White has withdrawn her name to Be the head of White House’s Council on Environmental Quality. A controversial and conservative nominee, Hartnett White had faced considerable backlash for her previous comments on carbon dioxide, climate science and anti-pollution regulations.  CEQ has been effectively operating already though without a head because of its great staff team headed by former House Energy staffer Mary Neumayr.  The withdrawal of White frees up the Senate controversy over other EPA nominees including Andy Wheeler to be EPA’s #2.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Federalist Society to Look at Regulations – The Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project will hold a day-long symposium at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University today looking at regulations and regulatory reform. Boyden Gray will be among the speakers.

NASEO 2018 Energy Policy Outlook Conference Set – Tomorrow through Friday at The Fairmont in Washington, DC, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold its 2018 Energy Policy Outlook conference.  This conference presents the work of NASEO’s members, the 56 governor designated State and Territory Energy Offices. The conference will feature a wide array of federal and private sector partners that state-level energy offices work with on a day-to-day basis, such as Federal and congressional offices; state and local planners, developers, and regulators working in energy, housing, transportation, climate, and resilience; grid operators and transmission organizations; and businesses and investors interested in clean energy economic development.  Our friends Lisa Jacobson of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Schneider Electric’s Anna Pavlova will be among the presenters.

EV Workshop Set in NoVa –Tomorrow morning, Virginia Clean Cities, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Greater Washington Region Clean Cities and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments host an informative workshop on electric vehicles and EV charging stations.  This workshop will provide an overview of the benefits of EVs for fleets, and infrastructure considerations for selecting and installing EV charging equipment. Northern Virginia fleet managers, business leaders and government officials will be able to test drive the newly redesigned, longer-range 2018 Nissan LEAF, the 2018 Chevy Bolt, SmartForTwo, Vantage and other EVs. Participants will also get information on charging options for their fleet, workplace and much more.

House Energy to Look at Nuclear – The House Energy Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at DOE modernization, advancing the economic and national security benefits of America’s nuclear infrastructure.  Witnesses include NNSA’s Art Akins, NRC’s Victor McCree, DOE’s Ed McGinnis and James Owendoff, NEI’s Maria Korsnick, former NRC Commissioner Bill Ostendorff, Idaho National Lab director Mark Peters and GAO’s David Trimble.

EIA to Present Energy Outlook – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., Johns Hopkins University will host EIA Director Linda Capuano at its Kenney Herter Auditorium to present EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018). AEO2018 includes projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices. The discussion will consider results across AEO2018 cases that vary assumptions regarding U.S. economic growth rates, domestic resources and technology, and world oil prices.

RFF to Look at Drilling, Earthquakes – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. where RFF Senior Research Associate Daniel Raimi will interview study co-author Willy Aspinall and discuss what its findings mean for reducing induced earthquake risk in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has experienced a roughly 900-fold increase in seismic activity since 2009, and is now the most earthquake-prone region in the contiguous United States. Increased oil and gas activity, particularly wastewater from drilling for oil and gas, has been identified as a major cause of this rise. A new paper in Science by RFF’s Roger Cooke and coauthors Thea Hincks, Willy Aspinall, and Thomas Gernon provides a clearer picture of the causal relationship between wastewater disposal and the state’s increased seismic activity.

Senate Enviro to Vote on Wheeler, Discuss WOTUS – The Sneate Environment Committee will hold a business meeting to consider the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to be deputy administrator and Holly Greaves to be chief financial officer.   Following the vote, the committee will turn to WOTUS and its impacts on agriculture.  American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvall, National Cattleman’s Beef Association Public Lands Council Niels Hansen, National Pork Producers Council president Howard Hill, Delaware agriculture secretary Michael Scuse, and Donn Teske, vice president of the National Farmers Union.

WCEE to Host Battery Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Lunch and Learn on Wednesday at Noon to hear from Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of Energy Storage Association.  Speakes-Backman will share her knowledge of battery storage and the impact it will have on the evolving energy markets.

Senate Energy to Tackle Energy Infrastructure – The Senate Energy Committee will hold hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to look at  the history and future opportunities for energy infrastructure.

WoodMac Researcher to Discuss Shale for Energy Economists – The National Capital Chapter of the US Energy Economists hosts its February lunch on Friday at Noon at Carmines.  Wood MacKenzie Research Director for Natural Gas Liquids Anne Keller will address the often overlooked and usually unheralded bounty of the shale revolution which has led to a huge increase in natural gas liquids production. These chameleons of the hydrocarbon chain, which begin their trip to market as gas and end up transformed into liquids along the way, are providing emerging economies with clean burning fuel and US chemical producers with a potential cost advantage that they are betting billions of dollars will continue.

JHU to Feature Indian Expert to Discuss Climate – On Friday, Johns Hopkins University hosts its fifth annual research workshop for DC area faculty members focusing on energy and climate change issues. The workshop aims to promote collaboration among local scholars and provide an opportunity for feedback on current research projects and work-in progress.  Papers will be circulated to registered participants in advance in order to facilitate an active and informed discussion.

IN THE FUTURE

SEIA, ESA to Host Discussion on Distributed Energy – The Solar Energy Industries Association and the Energy Storage Association will host a breakfast panel discussion Monday February 12th in Washington on Distributed Energy Resource (DER) valuation, interconnection, and benefits to the local grid. The forum will look at the ways in which the location of a DER can provide various grid benefits and may lead to changes in DER compensation.  Speakers include ESA CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman, SEIA’s David Gahl, Douglas Staker of Demand Energy and Sara Baldwin Auck of Regulatory Program.

WRI Climate Head to Address Group – Paula Caballero, Global Director of the World Resources Institute’s Climate Program, will be featured at keynote speaker next Monday at 3:00 p.m. at the National Press Club. She will be joined by a distinguished panel for lively debate featuring panelists GWU’s Kathleen Merrigan, Leonard Jordan of  USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and RFF’s Ann Bartuska.

National Ethanol Conference Set – The Renewable Fuels Association holds its 23rd annual National Ethanol Conference on February 12-14 in San Antonio.  Former Presidential Advisor Mary Matalin and veteran Democratic Political Strategist Donna Brazile are scheduled to speak together at the event on Washington Politics.

Forum to Look at Transmission – WIRES and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a briefing on Tuesday February 13th at 11:00 a.m. on the widespread, substantial, and long-lasting benefits of investment in electric transmission. The briefing will showcase two London Economics International studies – one study quantifies the future benefits of transmission investment based on two hypothetical projects, the second dispels many of the myths that deter and delay transmission investment.  This panel will discuss why transmission should be a major component of the infrastructure conversation and how the economic and societal benefits from a robust high-voltage grid are so important. Speakers study author Julia Frayer of London Economics International, ITC’s Nina Plaushin and former FERC Chair James Hoecker.

Forum to Look at Iraq, Energy – On Tuesday, February 13th at Noon, the Atlantic Council will hold a conversation with a panel of experts to discuss Iraq’s energy potential, export opportunities, and the influence of political dynamics on reforming the energy sector.  Speakers will include Luay Al-Khatteeb of the Iraq Energy Institute, Harith Hasan Al-Qarawee of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Atlantic Council Global Energy Center director Ellen Scholl.

House Resources to Look at Water, Power Infrastructure – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold an oversight hearing on the state of the nation’s water and power infrastructure.”

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability ReportBloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will release of the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook in Washington, DC, on February 15th.  In its 6th year, the Factbook provides new industry information and trends for the U.S. energy economy, with an in-depth look at the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors as well as emerging areas such as battery storage and sustainable transportation.  A panel of executives from BCSE members and BNEF analysts look at the cost of energy for consumers and businesses, and how has this changed over time; U.S. ranking for energy prices and clean energy investment; Clean energy contributions to American jobs and other items.

EMA To Hold Roundtable – The Emissions Marketing Association will hold roundtable Thursday, February 22nd in Juno Beach, Florida at the offices of NextEra Energy.  The event will include presentations, Q&A, and networking opportunities to allow for dialogue among the attendees.

BP Energy Outlook Set for Release – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host the U.S. launch of BP Energy Outlook 2018 on Monday February 26th at 9:30 a.m. Spencer Dale, chief economist of BP, will present the findings of the outlook followed by a moderated conversation with Sarah Ladislaw, director and senior fellow of the CSIS Energy & National Security Program.

CSIS to Look at Short-Term Oil Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a conference Tuesday February 27th on the short-term outlook for U.S. tight oil production and its implications for global oil markets.  As we enter the new year with renewed commitment from the OPEC/non-OPEC partnership, Brent has continued to climb from $45 per barrel low in 2017 to $70 in January 2018. Global economic growth continues to look robust, oil stocks are clearly in decline, geopolitical challenges remain ever-present, and market sentiment looks bullish (for now). However, persistently higher prices have the potential to bring on additional supply from both OPEC and non-OPEC sources.  In this context, much attention is being directed to prospective U.S. supply growth. Based on assessments of resource strength, well productivity, hedging activity, cash flow, break even costs, and a sizeable backlog in drilled-but-uncompleted wells (DUCs), estimates of U.S. near-term output vary widely and challenges remain. Against this backdrop, the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a distinguished group of experts to discuss the outlook moving forward.  Our friend Paul Sankey will speak at the event.

ERCOT Market Forum Set – The ERCOT Market Summit will be held on February 27th though March 1st The forum will look at perspectives on ERCOT Market Reform, end-use customers, Plant Retirements, Resource Adequacy and Reliability and dealing with the Impacts of Wholesale Price Volatility in ERCOT.

CERAWEEK Set for Houston CERAWEEK’s 2018 conference will be held in Houston from March 5-9th at the Hilton Americas.  Speakers this year include OPEC SG Mohammad Barkindo, GM’s Mary Berra, BP’s Bob Dudley, IAE’s Fatih Birol, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Energy Transfer’s Kelsey Warren, Paul Spencer of the Clean Energy Collective, Sunnova’s John Berger, and many, many more.

WINDPOWER Set for Chicago – The American Wind Energy Assn (AWEA) will hold WINDPOWER 2018 in Chicago from May 7th to 10th.  The industry closed 2017 strong, delivering 7,017 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity. That new capacity represents $11 billion in new private investment. There are now 89,077 MW of wind power installed across 41 states, enough to power 26 million American homes.  The wind industry is expected to continue its growth into 2018. WINDPOWER is where the industry comes together to plan for the future and keep this success story growing.

ACORE Renewable Policy Forum Set for Cap Hill – The annual 2018 ACORE Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Capitol Hill on March 14th.  The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum is the only pan-technology renewable energy policy summit to address federal and state policy. This signature conference brings together industry leaders and policymakers to discuss energy and tax policy, debate pressing issues in the changing electricity marketplace, and identify priorities for Congress, the states, and relevant agencies.

Solar Operations Conference Set – On March 13-14th, Solar Asset Management North America will hold its 5th edition in San Francisco. The event is the leading conference focused on the operational phase of solar plants and portfolios. The recommendations on the Section 201 solar trade case as well as the new tax provisions will also affect the existing assets, budgets and O&M. The conference aims to fully assess and quantify the impact on the future of the solar industry.

Energy Update: Week of 12/4

Friends,

I hope you got a great view of two things yesterday: 1) last night’s Super Moon and 2) the epic sign of Detroit Lions futility (and I’m not referring to the horrible performance in Baltimore).  The Super Moon was pretty spectacular, while in Michigan, demolition crews tried to implode the former home of the Lions, the Pontiac Silverdome to an epic fail. The highlighted links have the videos.  These launch a Super Busy Week starting today when President Trump heads to Utah where he is expected to announce that he will shrink the size of at least two national monuments.

Over the weekend, the Senate passed its tax reform bill which moves the process forward to this week.  Now, they will scramble to put together a House-Senate Conference as soon as this evening to hash out the differences.  While there are many out there, Axios has a good summary of a few energy issues at play in the tax plan including ANWR, corporate issues, EVs/Renewables, BEAT, AMT and oil/gas.  My tax expert colleague Liam Donovan is all over it and can answer your questions.  Follow him on twitter at @LPDonovan or at http://lpdonovan.com/

Tomorrow, solar advocates including Abby Hopper will hold a presser at the National Press Club at 9:15 a.m. to roll out an approach for protecting the booming solar industry with an American First plan instead of harmful tariffs proposals.  Then on Wednesday, the US Trade Rep holds a public hearing to take comments on the solar tariffs.  Expect a whole lot of rallying from solar advocates who will be out in force across from the White House.  Already, a diverse group including the Campbell Soup Company, Schneider Electric, utility NextEra Energy and the National Electrical Contractors Assn have weighed in against tariffs.

Other events Wednesday include the Feminist Majority’s 30th Women, Money, Power Summit and the widely attended, popular Southern Company Holiday party at Union Station. Out of town on Wednesday, ALEC hosts its annual States & Nation Policy Summit, a three-day conference in Nashville consisting of intensive, in-depth sessions addressing issues that will be at the top of state legislative agendas the following year.

Then Thursday, President Trump will meet with Sen. Ted Cruz and several Cabinet members to discuss U.S. biofuel policy and fuel efficiency standards, holding the meeting Cruz and 8 other senators requested in October.  It will be a busy day for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt who will have to rush over to the White House from the House Energy Committee where he will start testifying earlier that morning.

Finally, two special honors: First, congrats to our colleague David Mann who attends his final MBA class tonight at Georgetown University. David, who handles many of PRG’s Admin and FEC/Lobbying filings (as well as serving as Segal’s gatekeeper) has been plugging away on his MBA for more than 3 years.  Secondly, this evening at City Tap House in Dupont, many of us will honor veteran energy reporter Chris Holly as he retires. Chris has long been one of the most savvy, intelligent and fair reporters, covering so many issues, it is hard for me to remember all of them.  He was one of the first reporters I worked with when I started on this beat 20-plus years ago when he was at McGraw-Hill’s Electric Utility Week.  He has since graced the pages of Energy Daily for the last 15 or so.  We have enjoyed working with him all these years, and certainly will miss his wit, tough reporting and intellect.

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The time is ripe for EPA to grant substantive relief from the unique, adverse impacts the RFS program is having on the state of Texas. The extreme, detrimental impacts on large portions of the refining sector have now placed unacceptable burdens on the Texas economy and the economy and security of the nation as a whole.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott requesting a waiver from the Renewable Fuels Standard Friday.

IN THE NEWS

Groundbreaking Fluorocarbon Conversion Technology Advances under Montreal Protocol – The groundbreaking HFC chemical conversion technology offered by Midwest Refrigerants advanced to next stage of commercialization with a decision by the Montreal Protocol Multi-Lateral Fund (MLF) recently. The timetable for development could lead to construction of first-ever commercial scale unit in China in 2018.  According to the decision of the MLF Executive Committee, UNDP will prepare a project business proposal to be submitted by March 26, 2018, for review, consideration, and approval for funding at its next meeting in June 2018. The decision also set a budget of $2.8 million to support the project. The project also received strong statements of support and encouragement from MLF representatives from the United States government.  UNDP will develop a project proposal between Midwest Refrigerants and LUXI Chemical, in Liaocheng City, China, for the conversion of HFC-23, a byproduct of the R-22 manufacturing process that is also a potent greenhouse gas. R-22 is used as a refrigerant that is being phased out under the Montreal Protocol and is also used as a feedstock for polymer manufacturing. The Midwest conversion technology, which operated in a pilot facility for more than 24 months, has been shown to convert fluorocarbon compounds to their original components suitable for reuse in the manufacturing process, while leaving no waste stream. At commercial scale, this technology is expected to be considerably less expensive and more sustainable than current destruction technology.  Happy to connect you Midwest’s Lew Steinberg if you are interested.

New Report: US is Most Attractive Place for Oil & Gas Investment in the World – The Fraser Institute recently released its annual Global Petroleum Survey ranking the appeal for investment in 97 oil and gas jurisdictions around the world. This year’s survey results found six of the top 10 most attractive regions in the world for oil and gas development are located in the United States: Texas (1st), Oklahoma (2nd), North Dakota (3rd), West Virginia (5th), Kansas (6th} and Wyoming (9th). In fact, according to the report, in the last six surveys, Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota, as well as Saskatchewan in Canada, are the only four jurisdictions in the world to consistently rank in the top 10. Three hundred thirty-three oil and gas executives and managers responded to this year’s survey, which evaluates jurisdictions based on investment factors such as fiscal terms, taxation, environmental regulations, regulatory costs, consistency and enforcement, political stability, quality of infrastructure and geology, and availability of a skilled workforce.

EIA Says Taller, More efficient Turbines Producing More – The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that installed wind turbines are taller and more efficient than in the past.  EIA found that the average height and power generating capacity for wind turbines installed in the country are taller and more efficient that in years past.  According to data on utility-scale electricity generators collected by EIA, wind turbine capacity is based largely on the length of the blades and taller turbines are able to not only have longer blades, but also take advantage of better wind resources that are available at greater heights.  The largest onshore turbines in the United States are in Texas, with capacities of 4 MW each. One of the world’s largest wind farms is also in Texas: the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center has 420 wind turbines spread over about 47,000 acres. The project has a combined electricity generating capacity of about 735 MW.  Turbines are taller now than they were in previous decades. Since 2012, the average height of wind turbines installed in the United States has been about 280 feet, or 80 meters. Before 2006, few wind turbines were as tall as 280 feet. Wind speed typically increases with altitude and increases over open areas without windbreaks such as trees or buildings. Favorable sites for wind turbines include the tops of smooth, rounded hills; open plains and water; and mountain gaps that funnel and intensify wind.

TX Gov Abbott Requests RFS Waiver – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott requested a waiver from the RFS late Abbott, in particular, cited high RIN prices as causing hardship to refiners across the state. He said as a result of the increasingly unpredictable cost of RINS, refiners are exploring all options to reduce these escalating costs, including exporting product, which reduces fuel inventories in the United States, increasing the cost of fuel available to U.S. consumers and decreasing the U.S.’s energy independence and self-reliance strategy mentioned in the goals of the legislation when passed.  Abbott also said small retailers are impacted dramatically.  According to Professor Bernard Weinstein, a distinguished economist at the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, “On a global scale, if profit margins for small, independent retailers continue to narrow in order to ‘meet the competition,’ even more of these businesses can be expected to fail in coming years. Fewer small retailers, in turn, will result in higher fuel prices for consumers along with a reduction in the services these businesses provide, such as auto repair and maintenance.”

Diverse Groups Urge Opposition to Solar Tariff – There were four interesting separate sectors weighing in in the USTR Comments opposed to Solar Tariffs: 1) Campbell Soup Company, 2) Schneider Electric 3) utility NextEra Energy and 4) the National Electrical Contractors Assn CEO John Grau.  These comments show the broad impacts that this policy could have on many companies, sectors, workers or consumers.   And remember Duke Energy also offered strong comments at the ITC docket.  I can send pdfs of all of these if you cannot find them.

Cape Wind Project Gives Up Lease – Cape Wind Associates will not go through with their proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound, halting a controversial project that has been in the works for more than a decade.  Cape Wind will give up its 46-square-mile federal lease.  The decision was disappointing but not unexpected.  The project was dealt a major setback in January 2015, when Eversource and National Grid ended contracts to buy power from the turbines.  Then in 2016 when the state Energy Facilities Siting Board declined to extend permits for the project that had originally been issued in 2009. Interestingly, this project is not really representative of the current state of offshore wind, given that larger turbines are now being installed in truly offshore locations.  Deepwater Wind has successfully launched a project in Rhode Island and Current Statoil is moving forward with a project in leaded areas off New York.

US Rig Count Sees 4th Straight Week of Gains Baker Hughes said the number of US oil and natural gas rigs climbed by six to 929 last week — the fourth consecutive week of increases. Four new rigs were deployed in the Permian Basin and three were added to the Haynesville Shale, while North Dakota’s Williston Basin gained one rig.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Clean Edge, GridWise Alliance Host gridCONNEXT – GridWise Alliance and Clean Edge will host gridCONNEXT today through Wednesday in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of regulators, utility executives, corporations, and other industry stakeholders to explore the many grid modernization.

USGCRP to Take Comment – Today and tomorrow, the US Global Change Research Program is taking comments from the public at the National Academy of Sciences Building on topics like its Climate Communications Initiative, its Rising Seas Initiative and Building Resilience in the US-Mexico Drylands

EPA Holds Truck Emissions Kit Hearing – The EPA holds public hearings today on proposed repeal of emission requirements for glider vehicles, glider engines, and glider kits at EPA HQ.  The EPA earlier this month announced its plan to reclassify glider kits as non-new vehicles, thereby restricting the EPA’s ability to regulate their exhaust emissions, and to repeal the glider kit-specific provisions of the Phase 2 emissions regulations.

Climate Film to Be Screened – Tonight at 6:00 p.m., New America and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs hold a special screening of ‘The Age of Consequences,’ a documentary investigating the links between climate change, U.S. national security, and global stability.

Solar Tariff Opponents to Weigh-in at Press Club – Opponents of tariffs on solar imports will hold a briefing tomorrow at 9:15 a.m. at the National Press Club.  As the Trump Administration nears a determination on remedies for the Section 201 solar trade case, solar industry leaders will discuss the details of a true “America First” Plan for solar energy that supports domestic cell and panel manufacturing without destroying demand for American solar energy.  Experts will preview the U.S. Trade Representative hearing and discuss why the Administration should not impose quotas and tariffs on imports of these products and instead adopt an approach that will not inflate the cost of electricity for all Americans and harm workers, consumers and the U.S. economy.

ITC to Vote on Biodiesel Tariffs – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., the U.S. International Trade Commission holds meeting and vote on biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.  In May, USITC determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry was materially injured by reason of imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

EIA, Interior Noms Hearing Set – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the nominations of Timothy Petty to be an assistant Interior secretary and Linda Capuano to be administrator of the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration.

Forum to Look at Media, Journalism, Trump – Talkers Magazine will host a forum at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center In Washington DC looking at the Trump Administration and its coverage by the media.  A panel of talk show hosts including former talk show host and Hillsdale College radio station GM Scot Bertram, Dom Giordano of WPHT/Philadelphia, Hugh Hewitt of Salem Radio Network, Joe Madison SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Janet Parshall of the Moody Radio Network and Bill Press of the TYT Network.

Forum to Look at China Impact – The National Bureau of Asian Research will host a public panel discussion tomorrow at 3:45 p.m. in CVC 268 on China’s Growing Energy and Geopolitical Impact in Xi Jinping’s New Era. The event will also mark the launch of NBR’s 2017 Energy Security Program report on “Asia’s Energy Security and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.”  Rep. Ann Wagner leads the discussion.

Forum to Look at Climate Diplomacy – The German Marshall Fund is holding a forum tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. for a discussion on the future of climate action in the United States, the role of cities and regions in implementing international climate policy, and the importance of strong transatlantic leadership in this area of global concern.  The speaker will be Tim Robinson, Chief Counsel of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Roll Call Forum to Look at Infrastructure – Roll Call Live and CQ holds an infrastructure forum on Wednesday morning featuring expert analysis and bipartisan discussion to examine the many questions that infrastructure stakeholders and policymakers will face in the new administration.  Rep. Peter DeFazio and White House aide DJ Gribben.

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – The US Trade Representative will hold a public hearing on Wednesday to discuss the solar tariff issue.

California AG Hits Press Club – The National Press Club Newsmakers Committee will host California AC Xavier Becerra at a Headliners Newsmaker news conference Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in the club’s First Amendment Lounge. The news conference will look at Cali’s two dozen lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration’s efforts to make changes that affect immigrant rights, civil rights, environmental standards and consumer protections. Becerra will discuss these legal actions and other issues and will be moderated by Los Angeles Times reporter Chris Megerian.

Women, Power, Money Summit Set at Press Club – The Feminist Majority hosts its 30th annual Women Money Power Summit Wednesday at the National Press Club.  The summit brings together a combination of feminist thinkers, speakers, and activists as well as top political leaders. New strategies and campaigns to increase women’s economic and political clout and to stop the war on women and reproductive rights are always at the top of the agenda.  Main Speakers will include Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Mazie Hirono and Reps. Niki Tsongas and Maxine Waters.  Our colleague Dee Martin is a board member of FM.

Senate Enviro to Host Army Corps Nominee – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing Wednesday on the nomination of R.D. James to be assistant secretary of the Army for civil works.

WCEE to Host NatGas Leaders – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum on Wednesday looking at the role of natural gas in the economy.  Dena Wiggins, President and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), and Lori Traweek, Chief Operating Officer of the American Gas Association, will discuss how natural gas fits into our country’s energy future and how they rose to leadership in the energy world.

AEI to Host Ag Discussion – American Enterprise Institute will hold a forum on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. for a discussion on substantive reforms to US agricultural subsidy programs. AEI’s Vincent Smith will facilitate a discussion among these experts as they break apart the 2018 Farm Bill.  The event looks at the current state of the American farm sector.   In the newest papers of AEI’s “Agricultural Policy in Disarray” series, leading agricultural economists evaluate federal programs and regulations that affect conservation and the environment. Erik Lichtenberg will present his findings on conservation programs. Aaron Smith will discuss the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Nathan Hendricks will present his findings on the contentious debates between agricultural and environmental interests about the Clean Water Rule.

Wilson Forum Looks at Moving Villages – The Wilson Center will hold a forum on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. looking at moving villages due to climate change.  The event will feature the Village of Newtok, a Yupik Eskimo community of 450, faces certain destruction from a slow-moving climate disaster.  The discussion with Newtok’s leadership will focus on their experiences and struggles to preserve their Yupik way of life on their historic subsistence lands.

Senate Environment to Discuss Superfund Sites in Disasters – The Senate Environment Committee’s Superfund and Waste Management Subcommittee holds a hearing Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on challenges facing Superfund and waste cleanup efforts following natural disasters.

Forum Looks at Future of Ag – The National Museum of Natural History and Resources for the Future will host a forum on Wednesday evening with Jesse Ausubel, Director and Senior Research Associate of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University, for a look into the future as he explores how precision agriculture and better sources of food and fuel can benefit the natural world.  Ausubel’s work covers forests and farms, marine and human life, energy and materials. He marries climate and Earth sciences to elaborate the vision of a large, prosperous society that spares large amounts of land and sea for nature and emits little or nothing harmful into the atmosphere. This event is presented by Resources for the Future with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History as part of an ongoing series, Anthropocene: Life in the Age of Humans.

ALEC Conference Set for Nashville – Starting Wednesday in Nashville, the American Legislative Exchange Council hosts the States & Nation Policy Summit, a three-day conference consisting of intensive, in-depth educational sessions addressing issues that will be at the top of state legislative agendas the following year. Nearly 1,000 state and local lawmakers, policy experts and other stakeholders gather to explore the philosophical principles that guide a free society.

Forum to Look at NAFTA, Energy – The Washington International Trade Association holds an event Thursday at 9:00 a.m. the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center at as part of its NAFTA series on energy and NAFTA. The forum will look at NAFTA renegotiation’s impact on energy trade across North American borders, as well as its investment, jobs and North American energy independence.  Former Rep. Charles Boustany hosts API’s Jack Gerard, CSIS’s Sarah Ladislaw and Sergio Marchi of the Canadian Electricity Association.  Panel 2 includes our friend Maryam S. Brown of Sempra Energy, former State Department Energy envoy David Goldwyn and ADM’s Lorraine Hawley.

Pruitt to Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Thursday with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifying.  The appearance will be Pruitt’s first before the Energy and Commerce Committee.

House Resources to Look at Interior Dept Reforms – House Natural Resources panel lawmakers will review Interior Department reform proposals in a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.

House Transpo Roundtable to Look at Trucking Techs – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the House Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit will host a roundtable on emerging technologies in the trucking industry.

ASE Forum to Look at Biz Case for Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy hosts a forum on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. to discuss the business case for tax incentives promoting energy efficiency.  From residential retrofits to commercial-scale systems improvements, energy efficiency upgrades deliver massive benefits to consumers, businesses and taxpayers – creating jobs and economic activity, saving money, and reducing harmful emissions while strengthening U.S. energy security. Yet the U.S. tax code no longer contains meaningful tax incentives for energy efficiency. Hear directly from leading businesses and advocates about tax policies new and old that could advance this important cause – and the business case for getting them done as Congress looks at rewriting the tax code.

CSIS to Release World Oil Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting the U.S. launch of OPEC’s World Oil Outlook 2017 (WOO) on Thursday at 2:00 p.m.  The WOO is OPEC’s outlook for medium- and long-term oil supply, demand, and downstream to 2040, factoring in the latest developments in global oil markets and OPEC production adjustments. The analysis includes the impacts of worldwide shifts in demographics, emissions reductions, and technological development in the oil sector.  The presentation of WOO 2017 will be given by OPEC’s Al-Qahtani.

POLITICO to Look at 2018 Mid-Terms – Playbookers Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman are going LIVE with POLITICO Playbook in a special extended version of the Playbook Audio Briefing on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the 6th & I Synagogue. The POLITICO Playbook Team and other key reporters will try to make sense of Washington as it marches toward mid-term elections in 2018.  Speakers will include POLITICO’s Rachel Bade, Annie Karni and Seung Min Kim, as well as Michael Barbaro of the New York Times, John Rogers of the National Republican Congressional Committee and Dan Sena of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

House Energy to Look at Cybersecurity, Energy – The House Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing on Friday at 9:00 a.m. examining the role of the Department of Energy in energy sector cybersecurity.  Bruce Walker, DOE’s Assistant Secretary of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability will testify.

IPAA Exec to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area members of the US Assn of Energy Economist will host Fred Lawrence for their Friday lunch.  Lawrence, VP at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, will discuss the outlook for U.S. oil and natural gas, including shale export trends over the past two years, focus on the Independents in a Sector and demand and geopolitical reality vs. ideology.

Forum to Touch on Climate, Bonn Results – The GW Law School is hosting a roundtable discussion on Friday at Noon looking at the status of climate change policy under the Trump Administration. The discussion will draw on articles written for the recent Special Edition of the Climate and Carbon Law Review (CCLR).   The program will feature several CCLR authors including Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown Law, Professor Robert Glicksman from the George Washington University Law School, Fatima Ahmad and Jennifer Huang from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and Charles Di Leva, visiting scholar at the Environmental Law Institute. Topics under discussion will include, the reaction of state and local authorities to the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement, the fate of the Clean Power Plan and the flexibility of Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.

IN THE FUTURE

Paris Forum to Focus on Anniversary – Forum to French President Macron will host the One Planet Summit on December 12 in Paris, on the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The Summit will focus specifically on climate finance. Heads of State will be invited to attend this meeting.

Nuclear Weapons Triad Forum Set – The Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance Deterrence Center (ANWA DC) will host the Inaugural morning forum on Capitol Hill on December 12th.  The event will feature key Members of Congress representing nuclear triad communities at Air Force and Naval bases, and NNSA sites, The group will also outline a series of 11 more 2018 forums and roundtables with key government officials, industry leaders and suppliers, and academic experts on the triad issues of the day, Each of these events will tackle the nuclear triad’s emerging issues and challenges, while sharing the successes, in the ongoing nuclear weapons enterprise modernization.

Energy Storage Forum Set –The 3rd annual U.S. Energy Storage Summit will be held in San Francisco on December 12th and 13th at the Hilton Union Square.  The forum will bring together utilities, financiers, regulators, technology innovators, and storage practitioners for two full days of data-intensive presentations, analyst-led panel sessions with industry leaders, and extensive, high-level networking.  Speakers will Include APRA-E’s Susan Babinec, Peter Klauer of Cal ISO, Cal PUC Commissioner Carla Peterman, ESA CEO (and former MD PSC Chair) Kelly Speakes-Backman and our friends Shayle Kann of GTM Research, Stephen Lacey and Justin Gerdes of Greentech Media.

Forum Set to Look at NatGas – On December 12th and 13th, the Energy Institute at Colorado State University (CSU) and Gas Technology Institute (GTI) will be co-hosting the CH4 Connections conference at CSU’s campus in Fort Collins. This conference, now in its fourth year, will focus on methane emissions quantification, mitigation, and capture for the natural gas industry, and will include a tour of the Methane Emissions Test and Evaluation Center (METEC) that will showcase the solutions under development and in field testing at the center.

NJ to Host NAFTA WebinarNational Journal will host a webinar on Thursday December 14th at 11:00 a.m. to look at renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.  In this webinar, speakers will examine NAFTA’s history, development, and future, and address the major players involved, each side’s key demands, the timeline, potential outcomes and the impact of President Trump’s rhetoric on the process.

Forum to Look at US-Mexico NatGas – The Latin American Dialogue hosts a panel discussion on Friday December 15th aimed at understanding the role of LNG for US energy exports and commercial ties in Latin America, as well as the US-Mexico energy relationship. As global energy trade grows and the United States looks to expand oil and gas exports, Latin American countries provide significant commercial opportunities for exporters and investors alike. It remains imperative that Latin American countries and the United States strive to find mutually beneficial opportunities in order to boost energy ties and expand energy cooperation.  Speakers include State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Energy Resources John McCarrick, Sempra’s Mark Nelson, Leslie Palti-Guzman of the Rapidan Group and several others.

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

CSIS to Host World Coal Report – On December 18th at 3:30 p.m., CSIS will host the launch of the IEA’s new report analyzing coal’s recent trends and forecasting its demand, supply, and trade through 2022.  Coal remains world’s dominant fuel. Under pressure from decarbonization, cheaper alternatives, and geopolitical shifts in demand, coal continues to be one of the most pressing questions in energy. Peter Fraser, Head of Division for Gas, Coal, and Power Markets at the International Energy Agency, will present the IEA’s report.

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – January 4th (expected).

75th Annual Global Globes – Can’t wait for Seth Myers to host this one from January 7th from Hollywood.

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – On January 16th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31, 2018, making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

 

Energy Update: Week of 11/27

Friends,

Welcome back from a great Thanksgiving Break and get ready to rumble. Before we get to the action though, you may have missed the big news from the HFC world while you were in a turkey haze on Thursday and Friday.  On Thursday in Montreal, the administration urged support for the new Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and said they would fund programs to administer it. This is an effort stakeholders, including the HVAC industry, has been supporting for a long time and can be great resources on the topic. Feel free to call Francis Dietz (703-969-6444) at AHRI for an additional background, interviews and additional resources.

This week is all about ethanol, the solar trade case and the clean power plan. Starting tomorrow in West Virginia, EPA will host two days of public hearings in Charleston to discuss repealing the paint the clean power plan and potential replacements Scott Segal and I will be in attendance as Scott testifies tomorrow. In his statement, Segal says an overly broad, unilateral federal program is not necessary – and worse yet uses federal fiat to remove the flexibility and pragmatism that the marketplace can provide in addressing greenhouse gases. The market achieves a careful balance of continued forward momentum in reducing emissions with the critical need to address consumer demand where it is most acute, and electric reliability and resilience.  Please feel free to ask your questions about the meeting and we will be happy to respond.

Secondly, after final sign offs just before the President launched to WPB Tuesday, energy lawyer Kevin McIntyre and Senate staffer Richard Glick cleared that last hurdle to take their seats at FERC.  A swearing-in ceremony could happen as soon as this week, filling the final vacancies at the commission.

On Capitol Hill we expect votes Wednesday on Kathleen Harnett white for CEQ and Andy Wheeler for Deputy at EPA.  Other hearings include a House Science Hearing on WOTUS tomorrow, a Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will be grid operators from California and the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, as well as the former general counsel of FERC and NEPA reform hearing on Wednesday.

A ton of other good events around town starting tomorrow when SAFE holds a great event featuring at former EIA administrator Adam Sieminski at 4:30 p.m. with a reception to follow!!!!  Also, CSIS tomorrow morning hosts the “Status of Carbon Capture 2017” event which launches that annual report of the Global CCS Institute and features the first public speech by new DOE Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steve Winberg. On Wednesday afternoon, the National Academies will review the 4th draft of the National Climate Assessment in an open meeting at the NAS building and the NYT hosts a Climate Summit in SanFran.  On Thursday at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee and R Street hosts a forum on Thursday in 122 Cannon featuring a discussion on clean energy with panelists from Microsoft, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) and others.

Finally two big deadlines this week: 1) The US Trade Rep closes its comment period for the solar trade case prior to its public hearing next Tuesday (here is the ITC’s final staff report); and 2) Thursday’s annual RVO roll out from EPA which who knows what it will say this year given the public back and forth over the issue and the nomination hostage taking that has been occurring.  And keep an eye out for a potential White House meeting with refining-state Senators that was requested recently.

Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The United States believes the Kigali Amendment represents a pragmatic and balanced approach to phasing down the production and consumption of HFCs, and therefore we support the goals and approach of the Amendment. There are a number of steps in our domestic process that we would need to complete before reaching a final decision on transmittal of the Kigali Amendment to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent. We have initiated the process to consider U.S. ratification of the Amendment.  ”

Remarks of Judith Garber, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the State Department at the 29th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Montreal, Canada.

“The Montreal Protocol is a model of cooperation. It is a product of the recognition and international consensus that ozone depletion is a global problem, both in terms of its causes and its effects. The Protocol is the result of an extraordinary process of scientific study, negotiations among representatives of the business and environmental communities, and international diplomacy. It is a monumental achievement.”

President Ronald Reagan upon signing the Montreal Protocol in 1987 as relayed by Garber in Montreal on Thursday.

IN THE NEWS

US to Push Forward on HFC Deal – The United States said they will contribute $37 million to support a shift to cleaner coolants, under a deal agreed in Montreal on Saturday as part of developed countries’ $540 million over three years.  In its 30th year, the Montreal Protocol has begun to pivot from its initial focus on the ozone layer to addressing the climate impact of chemicals used in fridges and air conditioners.  State department official Judith Garber said the US was starting the process to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the protocol, which sets a phasedown path for HFCs, a group of potent warming gases produced by these appliances, calling it a “pragmatic and balanced approach” to reducing HFCs’ “environmental impact”.  HVAC industry stakeholders strongly support the deal, seeing an opportunity to sell climate-friendly alternatives.  The Kigali Amendment will enter into force in January 2019, after Sweden became the twentieth country to ratify it on 17 November.

Coal Ash Recycling Reaches Record Level Amid Shifting Production, Use Patterns – The annual 2016 American Coal Ash Association survey on Production and Use says 56% of the coal ash produced during 2016 was recycled – establishing a new record and marking the second consecutive year that more than half of the coal ash produced in the United States was beneficially used rather than disposed.  According to ACAA’s survey, 60.2 million tons of coal combustion products were beneficially used in 2016 out of 107.4 million tons that were produced. Although the rate of ash utilization increased from 52 percent to 56 percent, the total volume of material utilized stayed about the same as production declined. Coal ash production volume declined 7% from 2015 levels as coal’s share of the electricity generation mix shrank in response to environmental regulations and competition from other energy sources. Coal ash utilization volume remained approximately level with the prior year.

What’s the Buzz? – Highlights of CCP production and use in 2016 include:

  • Use of coal fly ash in concrete declined 8% to 14.4 million tons. While down from 2015’s record utilization of 15.7 million tons, utilization remained well above the 13.1 million tons performance in 2014. The dip in 2016 utilization is attributed to some regional seasonal shortages of supply that resulted from power plant shutdowns and changing generating profiles.
  • Utilization of a key “non-ash” coal combustion product also declined. Synthetic gypsum is a byproduct of flue gas desulphurization units, also known as “scrubbers,” located at coal-fueled power plants. Use of synthetic gypsum in panel products (i.e. wallboard) decreased 19% to 9.9 million tons in 2016. The decrease is largely attributed to normal fluctuations in gypsum markets.
  • Synthetic gypsum use in agricultural applications – in which the gypsum improves soil conditions and prevents harmful runoff of fertilizers – also declined from 1.6 million tons to 772,000 tons.
  • Production of boiler slag remained level at 2.2 million tons. Approximately 1.3 million tons of boiler slag was utilized in the production of blasting grit and roofing granules.
  • For the first time, no utilities reported production of cenospheres – a very valuable form of ash mainly harvested from wet disposal impoundments. Production of this material dropped precipitously the year prior as impoundments began to close in response to EPA’s Final Rule for coal ash disposal.

DOE Looking at CAFE-like Rule for Appliances – The DOE is looking at an overhaul of its efficiency programs to allow more flexibility.  In a request for information late last week, the agency floated the idea of making efficiency standards more like corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for vehicles. That could, in theory, allow efficiency trading, so that manufacturers, companies or industries could buy and sell and products below and above a given efficiency level to meet an overall average. AHRI said they are evaluating the plan and while please with DOE is looking at market-based flexibilities in appliance standards program, they remain cautious about a CAFE standards-type approach, given the experience of the auto industry.  AHRI is pleased DOE is taking a collaborative approach to potential changes to the appliance standards program, look forward to working with DOE on ways to establish flexibilities that make it easier for manufacturers to comply, while continuing to save energy for the nation.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

EPA to Hold CPP Public Hearing in WV – EPA will hold a public hearing regarding the withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan in West Virginia tomorrow and Wednesday.  EPA said it will convene two daylong sessions at the state capitol in Charleston. The agency said it “may also hold an additional hearing to be announced at a later date.”  EPA also extended the comment period on the proposal to Jan. 16, 2018.

CCS Report to be Released – The Global CCS Institute will release its annual Global Status of CCS: 2017 report launch tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. This year, the Institute is partnering with one of the top think tanks in the city, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to promote and discuss the release of the Institute’s signature report, the globally recognized annual guide to the current progress and prospects for carbon capture and storage.  Speakers will include Global CCS’s Jeff Erikson and IEA’s Samantha McCulloch.

Senate Environment to Hear From TVA Board Nominees – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the nominations of Kenneth Allen, A.D. Frazier, Jeffrey Smith and James Thompson III to be members of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

House Science Look at States’ Role in WOTUS Rule – The House Science Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the future of the Waters of the United States regulation, examining the role of states.

Forum to Look at Asia-Pacific Security – The Center for Climate and Security (CCS) hosts a high-level discussion on the security risks of climate change in the Asia-Pacific tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. This discussion will explore these risks, how US military installations, operations, and strategies in the region may be shaped by them, and their influence on US bilateral and multilateral relationships.

Tillerson to Speak at Wilson Center – The Wilson Center will host US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. for an address on the future of U.S. relations with Europe by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, followed by a conversation with Wilson Center President and CEO Jane Harman.

Heritage Hosts Climate Discussion – The Heritage Foundation hosts a discussion tomorrow at Noon on the long history and politics of climate activism. Speaker Rupert Darwell will address the topic.

CSIS to Release New Energy Report – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will hold a presentation of its latest report, Energy and Development: Providing Access and Growth tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.  Based on findings from several workshops conducted by CSIS over the last two years, Energy and Development explores several of the most important shifts underpinning the energy access issue. By exploring the role of emerging economies as the primary drivers of future energy demand, the influence of sustainability and climate change concerns in crafting development strategies, and changes to how energy access and growth are measured, the report provides a unique survey of energy and economic growth in the developing world.  Sarah Ladislaw (CSIS) will present the report, followed by a panel discussion with Morgan Bazilian (World Bank; CSIS), Morgan Landy (International Finance Corporation), and Philippe Benoit (GIAS2050; CSIS). CSIS’s Erol Yayboke, co-author of the report, will moderate.

Forum on Tax Reform to Discuss Carbon Tax – The Brookings Institute will tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. regarding tax reform that will discuss a possible carbon tax. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the Cross Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate, congressional leaders, and top experts for a discussion on the prospects for tax reform and the potential to include a carbon tax in a broader bipartisan bill.   The event will feature a keynote address by Rep. John Larson and panelists include Niskanen’s Jerry Taylor and our friend Amy Harder of Axios.

SAFE Event to Feature Oil Discussion with Former EIA Head – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will host a panel discussion tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. at the National Union Building exploring how market uncertainty, underinvestment, geopolitical risk, OPEC intervention, rising global demand, and other market forces undermine oil market stability. The panel will discuss the likelihood of a return to high and volatile oil prices, implications for American economic and national security, and domestic policy solutions.  Moderated by our friend Ben Geman of Axios, the panel will feature former EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski – now at CSIS – and Jonathan Chanis, SAFE’s Senior Vice President of Policy.

USTR Reply Comments Deadline – Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 29th

California AG Hits Press Club – The National Press Club Newsmakers Committee will host California AC Xavier Becerra at a Headliners Newsmaker news conference Wednesday December 6th at 10:00 a.m. in the club’s First Amendment Lounge. The news conference will look at Cali’s two dozen lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration’s efforts to make changes that affect immigrant rights, civil rights, environmental standards and consumer protections. Becerra will discuss these legal actions and other issues and will be moderated by Los Angeles Times reporter Chris Megerian.

House Energy Panel to Look at Electricity Markets – The House Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on examining the role of financial trading in the electricity markets. Witnesses include NRG’s Chris Moser, PJM General Counsel Vince Duane, Wesley Allen of Red Wolf Energy Trading, Cal ISO’s Eric Hildebrandt, Max Minzner of Jenner & Block and FERC former general counsel Noha Sidhom, who now heads TPC Energy.

House Resources to Look at NEPA – The House Resources Committee holds a hearing On Wednesday at 10:00 on modernizing NEPA regulations for future issues.  Witnesses include Building Trades and Construction Council rep Mike Bridges, Converse County, Wyo. commissioner Jim Willox, Common Good chairman Philip Howard and former CEQ general counsel Dinah Bear.

API to Release STEM Study – The American Petroleum Institute will hold a lunch event Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. at George Washington University to showcase a new study on “STEM education and the energy workforce of the future.”

National Academies Review Climate Assessment – On Wednesday afternoon, the National Academies will review the 4th draft of the National Climate Assessment in an open meeting at the NAS building.

NYT to host Climate Summit – On Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco at the Metreon, The New York Times will hold ClimateTECH, a groundbreaking summit that brings together influential leaders from key industries to assess bold, cutting-edge technologies that could help keep global warming below the two-degree threshold.  Hosted by top Times journalists, ClimateTECH’s focus on innovation will also encompass the dramatic changes downstream (in finance, policy, consumer behavior, infrastructure) that are vital for these new technologies to gain adoption and succeed.  The program will feature on-stage interviews with celebrated entrepreneurs and inventors along with policy makers, economists and subject-matter experts. Designed for an audience of decision-makers, ClimateTECH will also include an early-stage technology showcase of the newest innovations, along with other experiential activities.  The Speaker list is long, but it includes California Gov. Jerry Brown, Statoil’s Irene Rummelhoff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tom Steyer and many others.

Solar Festival Set for Austin – The 2nd annual Solar Business Festival will be held on Wednesday and Thursday in Austin, Texas at the Thompson Conference Center. The two-day conference segment features a wide variety of sessions on, components of doing a solar and storage business in Texas, microgrids and energy storage, distributed grid, project financing, sustainable buildings, smart grids, solar initiatives and innovations, utility integration, community solar projects, policies, incentives and goals, market growth opportunities, regulatory framework, international solar market opportunities/challenges, sustainable farming and more.

CSIS Look at Zero-Emissions Fuels – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. onhydrogen, green shipping and zero-emission fuel in the maritime sector. The discussion will center on the development and implementation of hydrogen fuel technology, the important role it could play for shipping in the transition to a low-carbon future, and ongoing U.S.-Norwegian cooperation in the area.  Shipping accounts for more than 2% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions today and is set to increase up to 17% by 2050. This session will explore the concrete cooperation and projects being pursued in Norway and the United States.  Norwegian Ambassador Kåre R. Aas will give introductory remarks, followed by a discussion with Elisabet Bøe (Sogn og Fjordane), Joseph Pratt (Sandia National Lab), Lars Endre Gimmestad (Brodrene Aa), and Martin Grimnes (Arcadia Alliance) on the present and future of hydrogen technology and what a low-carbon future for maritime transport may look like.

Forum to Look at Energy Crossroads – The Texas Public Policy Foundation and The Heritage Foundation host the “At the Crossroads IV: Energy and Climate Policy Summit” on Thursday.  The conversation will feature the world’s leading scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and energy experts, who will gather to explore this turning point in energy history and the long-lasting potential it holds for America and beyond. Speakers include Sens. Jim Inhofe, Mike Lee, House Science Chair Lamar Smith and many others.

RFS RVO Deadline – Thursday, November 30th

Bernhardt to House Approps Committee – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in 2007 Rayburn, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will convene a supplemental oversight hearing on the U.S. Department of the Interior featuring David Bernhardt, Deputy Secretary of the Interior of Interior.

Forum to Look at Climate, Military Readiness – The American Security Project holds a forum on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. where they will discuss the range of security threats posed by climate change, whether these regulations may ease those threats, and how we can build further resiliency and security into the future.

Chatterjee to Address NatGas Roundtable – On Thursday at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee as the guest speaker at the next luncheon.

R Street Hosts Clean Energy Event on Capitol Hill – R Street hosts a forum on Thursday in 122 Cannon featuring a discussion on clean energy with panelists from Microsoft, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers (ACCES) and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions  Across the country, clean energy is growing rapidly in states that allow customers to choose their electricity supplier. This system of ‘retail choice’ grants customers more options and allows them to generate their own energy on-site. Importantly, large corporations have been leading the charge for distributed energy generation, marking a refreshing intersection of conservative and green agendas.

RFF to Look at Energy Security – Resources for the Future (RFF) will host a forum on Thursday focused on the new realities on energy security given our shale resources.  This RFF seminar will open with a presentation from former Department of Energy official Howard Gruenspecht on the economic and political factors that have led to a very different oil security picture than the country faced decades ago. RFF President Richard Newell will present new research on how the shale oil boom has altered the flexibility of the US supply, as well as how price and inventory dynamics can inform Strategic Petroleum Reserve policy. RFF University Fellow Stephen Brown will then discuss an RFF project that produced new estimates for the value of the oil security premium—a key metric used in benefit–cost analyses of related regulations. RFF Senior Fellow Alan Krupnick will wrap up with a discussion of the new energy security paradigm, which broadens the definition of US energy security beyond oil to include natural gas, electricity, and other energy systems.

House Resources Tackles Geothermal Legislation – On Thursday at 2:30 p.m., the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on geothermal exploration and three other bills focused on landslide hazards, geological mapping and volcanos early warning systems.  Witnesses include USGS Deputy Director David Applegate, Allyson Anderson Book of the American Geosciences Institute, Scott Nichols of U.S. Geothermal Inc. and Alaska State Geologist Steve Masterman.

Energy Awards to Be Presented to Community Leaders – Leaders in Energy will host its 4th annual “Four Generations of Leaders in Clean Energy & Sustainable Solutions Awards and Holiday Event.” The theme is “The Urgency of Now.” This year, Leader in Energy are recognizing people who are raising awareness and developing clean energy and sustainable solutions, with a visible sense of urgency.

IN THE FUTURE

Clean Edge, GridWise Alliance Host gridCONNEXT – GridWise Alliance and Clean Edge will host gridCONNEXT on December 4th through 6th in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of regulators, utility executives, corporations, and other industry stakeholders to explore the many grid modernization.

Forum to Look at Climate Diplomacy – The German Marshall Fund is holding a forum on next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. for a discussion on the future of climate action in the United States, the role of cities and regions in implementing international climate policy, and the importance of strong transatlantic leadership in this area of global concern.  The speaker will be Tim Robinson, Chief Counsel of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Solar Tariff Opponents to Weigh-in at Press Club – Opponents of tariffs on solar imports will hold a briefing on Tuesday December 5th at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club.  The event will feature solar industry advocates, as well as members of the Energy Trade Action Coalition like the National Electrical Contractors Association, utilities, retailers and Conservative free-trade groups. More next week.

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

WCEE to Host NatGas Leaders – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum on December 6th the role of natural gas in the economy.  Dena Wiggins, President and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), and Lori Traweek, Chief Operating Officer of the American Gas Association, will discuss how natural gas fits into our country’s energy future and how they rose to leadership in the energy world.

AEI to Host Ag Discussion – American Enterprise Institute will hold a forum on Wednesday, December 6th at 12:30 p.m. for a discussion on substantive reforms to US agricultural subsidy programs. AEI’s Vincent Smith will facilitate a discussion among these experts as they break apart the 2018 Farm Bill.  The event looks at the current state of the American farm sector.   In the newest papers of AEI’s “Agricultural Policy in Disarray” series, leading agricultural economists evaluate federal programs and regulations that affect conservation and the environment. Erik Lichtenberg will present his findings on conservation programs. Aaron Smith will discuss the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Nathan Hendricks will present his findings on the contentious debates between agricultural and environmental interests about the Clean Water Rule.

Wilson Forum Looks at Moving Villages – The Wilson Center will hold a forum on Wednesday December 6th at 1:00 p.m. looking at moving villages due to climate change.  The event will feature the Village of Newtok, a Yupik Eskimo community of 450, faces certain destruction from a slow-moving climate disaster.  The discussion with Newtok’s leadership will focus on their experiences and struggles to preserve their Yupik way of life on their historic subsistence lands.

Forum Looks at Future of Ag – The National Museum of Natural History and Resources for the Future will host a forum on Wednesday evening with Jesse Ausubel, Director and Senior Research Associate of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University, for a look into the future as he explores how precision agriculture and better sources of food and fuel can benefit the natural world.  Ausubel’s work covers forests and farms, marine and human life, energy and materials. He marries climate and Earth sciences to elaborate the vision of a large, prosperous society that spares large amounts of land and sea for nature and emits little or nothing harmful into the atmosphere. This event is presented by Resources for the Future with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History as part of an ongoing series, Anthropocene: Life in the Age of Humans.

Pruitt to Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on December 7th with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifying.  The appearance will be Pruitt’s first before the Energy and Commerce Committee.

ASE Forum to Look at Biz Case for Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy hosts a forum on Thursday, December 7th at 12:00 p.m. to discuss the business case for tax incentives promoting energy efficiency.  From residential retrofits to commercial-scale systems improvements, energy efficiency upgrades deliver massive benefits to consumers, businesses and taxpayers – creating jobs and economic activity, saving money, and reducing harmful emissions while strengthening U.S. energy security. Yet the U.S. tax code no longer contains meaningful tax incentives for energy efficiency. Hear directly from leading businesses and advocates about tax policies new and old that could advance this important cause – and the business case for getting them done as Congress looks at rewriting the tax code.

CSIS to Release World Oil Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting the U.S. launch of OPEC’s World Oil Outlook 2017 (WOO) on Thursday December 7th at 2:00 p.m.  The WOO is OPEC’s outlook for medium- and long-term oil supply, demand, and downstream to 2040, factoring in the latest developments in global oil markets and OPEC production adjustments. The analysis includes the impacts of worldwide shifts in demographics, emissions reductions, and technological development in the oil sector.  The presentation of WOO 2017 will be given by OPEC’s Al-Qahtani.

IPAA Exec to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area members of the US Assn of Energy Economist will host Fred Lawrence for their December 8th lunch.  Lawrence, VP at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, will discuss the outlook for U.S. oil and natural gas, including shale export trends over the past two years, focus on the Independents in a Sector and demand and geopolitical reality vs. ideology.

Paris Forum to Focus on Anniversary – Forum to French President Macron will host the One Planet Summit on December 12 in Paris, on the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The Summit will focus specifically on climate finance. Heads of State will be invited to attend this meeting.

Nuclear Weapons Triad Forum Set – The Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance Deterrence Center (ANWA DC) will host the Inaugural morning forum on Capitol Hill on December 12th.  The event will feature key Members of Congress representing nuclear triad communities at Air Force and Naval bases, and NNSA sites, The group will also outline a series of 11 more 2018 forums and roundtables with key government officials, industry leaders and suppliers, and academic experts on the triad issues of the day, Each of these events will tackle the nuclear triad’s emerging issues and challenges, while sharing the successes, in the ongoing nuclear weapons enterprise modernization.

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

CSIS to Host World Coal Report – On December 18th at 1:30 p.m., CSIS will host the launch of the IEA’s new report analyzing coal’s recent trends and forecasting its demand, supply, and trade through 2022.  Coal remains world’s dominant fuel. Under pressure from decarbonization, cheaper alternatives, and geopolitical shifts in demand, coal continues to be one of the most pressing questions in energy.

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – January 4th (expected).

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – On January 16th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31, 2018, making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

Energy Update: Week of May 22

Friends,

I obviously cannot start today without some heartfelt words of tribute for Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell, who passed late last week at the young age of 52.  Normally, I’m not one to get choked up over early rock star deaths, but for some reason, this one hurt more than the rest.  As you know, I am Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Cornell regular, having seen at least 8 shows since the mid-90s.  His soulful voice, four octave range and overall contributions to the music industry and society separate him from his peers.  I also appreciate his commitment to bringing early grunge out of the doldrums after Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood’s heroin death in 1990 which makes his passing even tougher.

This issue has generated many tributes (I particularly like Live’s version of I am a Highway at Rock on the Range Friday) and press, and there are a few articles I have pulled for you to read if you haven’t followed the story closely: The Detroit Free Press music critic’s hindsight analysis on the Cornell’s final performance at the Fox Theater and a Washington Post piece by culture reporter Travis Andrews on grunge front men and untimely early deaths.  There is also a great piece about depression and what Cornell’s Death may signal about the mental health issues related to it.  There were so many great lines I could grab, but as I listened to the entire Cornell portfolio over the past few days, this passage from Before We Disappear is what struck a chord most:

I know that it feels like, We will live forever

But I fear, That time can hide the years

Like we were never here, So hold on tightly my dear…Before we disappear

On a more cheery note, the Preakness ran Saturday in Baltimore and boy was it a great race.  I saw my prediction and my bets fizzle as Cloud Computing – who I warned you to watch out for – snuck by Classic Empire with Always Dreaming fading in the stretch.  That means no Triple Crown winner this year as we roll the Belmont on June 10th.  I had a tri-box with Empire, Cloud and Dreaming (which looked GREAT until just into the stretch) but the favorite’s late fade and Cloud’s late push to the wire left me sniffing green but getting nothing!

This week is the lead up to Memorial Day, but don’t get away too fast because Senate Energy is holding FERC Nominations hearings on Thursday…  Yes, you heard in right.  The paperwork on FERC Nominees Powelson and Chatterjee is finalized and, as she said on Wednesday at an ACCF Energy forum with ClearPath’s Jay Faison, Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski noticed the hearing as soon as she had it all.  Senate Environment has ozone issues and Senate Finance hears from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.  On the House side, hearings look at border tax issues in House Ways & Means, “sue & settle” in House Oversight, state rulemaking coordination and EPA Science Advisory reforms in House Science and Federal lands’ issues in House Resources.

As early as late today, we will see the President’s FY2018 budget. In fact, there have already been a few leaks but we remind that what the White House proposes, just like previous White Houses, is not much more than a press statement that often times has little chance of being enacted. That said, this release will start the real effort of Congress to fashion a budget.  We’re on it, so call if you have questions.

OPEC is meeting this week and our friends at SAFE are live from Vienna.  Leslie Hayward is there for the meeting and can offer insight and commentary on what the expected deal extension means for the U.S., and policy responses available to Congress and the Trump administration. Former Domestic Policy Advisor to the Trump Transition Team and SAFE Advisor Ken Blackwell also has an Op-Ed in the Daily Caller on this topic as well.  For other questions for SAFE, reach out to me or Bridget Bartol (she is SAFE’s new Manager of Media Relations).

In California starting today AWEA holds its 2017 WINDPOWER event.  I will be headed to Anaheim for the event soon and hope to see a Ducks game while there.  Then, my daughters fly out to join me to umpire the California Cup field hockey tourney in Simi Valley area over the holiday weekend.

Finally, I wanted to mention last Wednesday, one of the great Congressional staffers of all-time was honored with a Memorial Service in the Russell Caucus Room.  It was a standing room only service for former Durbin Chief of Staff Ed Greelegs.  While he retired almost 10 years ago, Greelegs passed last month of complications from Parkinson’s at the too young age of 66.  I got to know Ed as a young staffer in Hal Rogers’ office as we were neighbors in the Rayburn building.  Greelegs was a great human being, tremendously quick-witted and always there to lend advice if needed.  I was proud to be in the room on Wednesday and glad to have known him.

Call with questions…

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“During the Obama Administration, we experienced first-hand the devastating effects of unlawful executive overreach on jobs and our States’ local energy economies We welcome the opportunity to participate in the process of scaling back these unlawful regulations, restoring the rule of law, and ultimately, returning key decisions about energy production and priorities to the States and their citizens.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, writing in a letter to EPA outlining rules he and seven other states are raising concerns about.

 

BONUS QUOTE

“Over the past two years we have studied the engineering and economics of Michigan’s energy future very, very carefully. We have concluded that not only is the 80 percent reduction goal achievable – it is achievable in a way that keeps Michigan’s power affordable and reliable. There doesn’t have to be a choice between the health of our environment or the health of our economy; we can achieve both.”

Gerry Anderson, DTE Chairman and CEO.

 

IN THE NEWS

DTE Energy Announces Plan To Reduce Carbon Emissions by 80% – DTE Energy today announced a broad sustainability initiative that will reduce the company’s carbon emissions by more than 80% by 2050. This reduction and 2050 timeframe align with the target scientists broadly have identified as necessary to help address climate change.  DTE’s efforts to cut its carbon emissions will garner a 30 percent reduction by the early 2020s, 45% by 2030, 75% by 2040 and more than 80% by 2050. The company will achieve these reductions by incorporating substantially more renewable energy, transitioning its 24/7 power sources from coal to natural gas, continuing to operate its zero-emission Fermi 2 power plant, and strengthening options for customers to save energy and reduce bills.  These plans define a long-term shift by DTE to produce over three-quarters of its power from renewable energy and highly efficient natural gas-fired power plants.

What DTE Will Do – DTE’s plans include construction of an additional 6,000MW of renewable energy capacity – enough to supply the energy for nearly 2 million homes – supplementing the 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy DTE has built since 2009.  The addition of 3,500MW of natural gas-fired energy capacity to supply 24/7 power and ensure reliability.  The steady retirement of the company’s aging coal-fired plants, which continued in 2016 with announced shutdown of 11 coal units by the early 2020s.  The investment of $5 billion over the next five years to modernize the electric grid and gas infrastructure, ensuring reliability while creating and supporting more than 10,000 Michigan jobs. Continued heavy investment in energy efficiency and energy waste reduction, helping customers to both save money and take great control over their energy use. An aggressive plan to reduce energy and water within DTE’s own facilities by a minimum of 25 percent.

Clean Edge Index Highlights Renewable Jobs, State Gains – Clean Edge released its 8th annual U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index, which tracks and ranks the clean-energy activities of all 50 states and the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. As the Trump administration works relentlessly to dismantle climate and environmental protections and forwards a pro-fossil-fuel, climate-change-denial narrative, this year’s Index shows that states and cities are playing an outsized role in the expansion of clean energy, transportation, and energy efficiency. A free downloadable summary report of this year’s Index is available at www.cleanedge.com.  In 2016, wind and solar power represented 61% of all new electricity generating capacity installed in the U.S. for the second year in a row. This dramatic transition away from fossil fuels (particularly coal) for new power sources is having a significant impact on state-level generation mix. Three states (Iowa, South Dakota, and Kansas) now generate 30% or more of their electrons from utility-scale wind and another three states exceed 20% renewables (Oklahoma and North Dakota from wind and California from wind, solar, and geothermal). These leaders are politically diverse, with the top 10 states for renewable electricity generation including five red states and five blue states. The clean energy jobs metric (measured as a percentage of a state’s total workforce) is a new indicator in this year’s Index. A total of 2.4 million jobs nationwide (including those in solar, wind, and hydro generation; ethanol and biomass fuels; storage and smart grid; and energy efficiency) reflect the economic vitality of the sector. Solar and wind power generation jobs (473,881 combined nationwide), for example, now outpace jobs in natural gas electric power generation (362,118) and coal power generation (160,119). Top states for clean energy jobs include Vermont, Rhode Island, Utah, Michigan, Oregon, and Massachusetts.

States Outline Rules for EPA – An 8-state coalition in establishing a list of federal regulations that should be repealed, replaced or modified.  The letter follows a request for public comment from EPA as to what regulations should be considered appropriate for change.  The letter highlights the EPA’s need to review a number of Obama-era regulations, streamline the process for allowing states to administer their own water permitting programs and revise regulations to improve the way individual states implement federal rules. Some specific regulations recommended for repeal, replacement or modification include:

  • The so-called “Clean Power Plan”
  • The Waters of the United States rule
  • Mercury and Air Toxics Standards
  • Oil and Gas Methane New Source Performance Standards
  • The Greenhouse Gas Reporting rule

West Virginia signed the letter with attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma and South Carolina.  Read a full copy of the letter and list of recommended regulations at http://bit.ly/2rmhpGb.

AHRI Comments to EPA on SNAP, Refrigerants –The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) also submitted regulations to the EPA in response to its request for information on regulations that industry would like repealed, replaced, or modified.  AHRI focused on refrigerants and the SNAP program saying the U.S. air conditioning and refrigeration industry has been a global leader researching alternative refrigerants and developing low global warming potential technologies. AHRI and its members supported a global phase down of HFCs and are strongly committed to the Montreal Protocol agreement reached in Kigali, Rwanda. However, expedient approval of additional products is needed to meet these goals and we believe that the very narrow and limited minor change to the stand-alone commercial refrigeration and chiller sectors will not impact the ability to meet the commitment.

ERCC Weighs in On Rules – The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC) also weighed in on regulations like New Source Review, the Clean Power Plan, NSPS for New units, CCS technology, NAAQS, Mercury, Coal Ash, 316(b) discharge issues, WOTUS, Regional haze and several others.  See the letter here.

Hannegan To Lead CO Co-Op – Former White House, EPRI and NREL expert Bryan Hannegan has been tapped to lead Colorado Cooperative Holy Cross Energy after the retirement of CEO Del Worley.  Holy Cross has 42,000 members and is primarily centered in Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin Counties.

Dillon Heads Back to House – Former Senate Energy Committee Spokesman Robert Dillon is joining Texas Rep. Kay Granger’s office following a short stint at the American Council on Capital Formation.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

WINDPOWER Set for Anaheim – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the national trade association that represents the interests of America’s wind energy industry, will hold its annual WINDPOWER 2017 Forum in Anaheim today through Thursday.   Cali Senate President Kevin de León, the California Senate’s most powerful member and legislative champion of the state’s hallmark 50% renewable energy standard law passed in 2015, will provide a keynote address tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., directly preceding AWEA’s Industry Leaders Panel – the marquee General Session panel at WINDPOWER. The discussion will feature Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy and incoming Board Chair of AWEA; Pete McCabe, Vice President, Onshore Wind, GE Renewable Energy; Karen Lane, CFO, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Onshore Americas; and Greg Wolf, CEO of Leeward Renewable Energy. This year’s panel will cover implementation of wind energy into the 2020s, opportunities in tax reform, emerging political issues, and more.

Axios, NBC to Host Infrastructure Forum with Inhofe – Axios and NBC News will host a forum tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. featuring “Meet the Press” Moderator Chuck Todd and Axios CEO Jim VandeHei. The event will be held at Ajax and will be an exclusive discussion on Infrastructure in 2017 with Sen. Jim Inhofe and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

CSIS to Host Oil, LNG Balance Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting  Fereidun Fesharaki, Founder and Chairman of FGE tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. for a presentation and discussion on the current state of global oil and gas markets, one balancing as the other appears to tip toward imbalance.  Oil markets are struggling to reach a balance, and with robust demand growth and continued OPEC cutbacks, a balance might be reached in the 2017/2018 period. LNG markets are facing a prolonged period of imbalance, perhaps through about 2023, before a balance can be reached. While many advocate new U.S. LNG projects, around 50% of the projects currently under construction have still not been sold to end users.  Fesharaki’s work is recognized worldwide for pioneering oil and gas market analysis since the early 1980s. Born in Iran, he received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Surrey in England. He then completed a visiting fellowship at Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. He joined the East West Center in 1979, where he led the Energy program for two decades. FGE offices are spread around the world in 8 locations with heavy emphasis on Asia and the Middle East.

Forum to Look at Biogas – The American Biogas Council (ABC), the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (CRNG) and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing tomorrow looking at the untapped energy in domestic wastes. Waste streams-including manure, agricultural waste, waste water, food scraps and landfill gases-can be converted to biogas and upgraded to renewable natural gas (RNG) for electricity, pipeline injection, or vehicle use, while also providing valuable products such as fertilizer and compost. Currently, most waste streams represent a missed opportunity. State waste resources are diverse and numerous. The event will address the potential resources in their states, as well as economic and job opportunities, and policy drivers. The speakers for this forum are American Biogas Council exec Patrick Serfass, Lauren Toretta of CH4 Biogas, Grant Zimmerman of ampCNG, Avant Energy’s Brian Meek and others.

NatGas Summit Set – The 2017 RNG Summit Industry, Policy & Regulatory Forum will be held tomorrow at the American Gas Assn.  Organized by the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) and the American Biogas Council (ABC), in collaboration with Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica), the summit will be attended by companies throughout the renewable natural gas, biogas, and natural gas vehicles industries, as well as participants from various energy, environmental, and renewable energy organizations. Bioenergy Technologies Office Technology Manager David Babson will be speaking at the summit on the U.S. Department of Energy’s work related to renewable natural gas and biogas.  The 2017 RNG Summit will focus on how 2017 is shaping up to impact the present and future of the renewable natural gas (RNG) industry. The event will feature an afternoon of gaining insight into the current state of the U.S. RNG and biogas industries. Attendees will gain access to timely updates on central regulatory and policy discussions on issues impacting RNG.  Speakers include executives of companies in the waste, fuels, and transportation industries who will highlight the importance of developing and using RNG from North America’s vast supply of organic feedstocks.

Senate Environment to Look at Ozone Changes – The Senate Environment’s Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow on legislation to delay implementation of EPA’s ozone standards.  The hearing will focus on legislation offered by Chair Shelly Moore Capito and Jeff Flake that both revise the ozone standard from the 2015-proposed 70 ppb threshold and stretch the review period from 5 to 10 years.  Witnesses will include Arizona DEQ director Misael Cabrera, Baton Rouge Area Chamber exec Kyle Zeringue, Ahron Hakimi, of the Kern County Council of Governments, University of Arizona Doctor Monica Kraft and Delaware DNREC secretary Shawn Garvin.

House Science to Look at Better Coordination with States – The House Science Subcommittee on Environment meets tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to hold a hearing on science advisors and expanding the role of states in EPA rulemaking.  The hearing will review the relationship between U.S. EPA and state environmental quality departments on how they implement federal environmental regulations.  They will also address science advisory board issues as Democrats have invited Deborah Swackhamer, chairwoman of EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors.  Other witnesses will include Arizona DEQ director Misael Cabrera and Arkansas DEQ director Becky Keogh.

Ways/Means Tackles Border Tax – As part of it on-going Hearing set on tax reform, the House Ways & Means Committee jumps to the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) issues in a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  The BAT envisioned in the House GOP blueprint would tax imports at 20%, while exempting exports.  Proponents argue such a system would bring U.S. taxation in line with the “territorial” system employed by much of the rest of the world.  Opponents including businesses from across the spectrum in retail and energy are strongly opposed.  Our tax expert Curt Beaulieu can provide a full low down on the issues.

USEA Host Coal Discussion – The US Energy Association hosts a conversation tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. with H Quest Vanguard CEO George Skoptsov to discuss future coal technologies and their path to market.  The path to realization of coal’s true value lies in the development of new technologies. Clean and efficient coal conversion to value-added fuels, chemicals, and advanced materials will open vast new markets to the coal industry.   H Quest’s Wave Liquefaction technology is one such transformational process invented in 2009-2010 at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (DOE PNNL) in response to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program. Wave Liquefaction™ can convert a wide range of domestic coals, producing 3 barrels of liquid products per ton of coal. Break-even costs for coal-derived synthetic crude lie in the $30-$45/barrel range depending on the coal and site specifics. Conversion reactors are small, modular and are electrically driven: unlike conversion processes of the past, Wave Liquefaction™ has no CO2 emissions or fresh water consumption, enabling deployment of small-scale processing plants directly at the existing mines.

RFF to Host Webinar on Space Observations – Resources for the Future (RFF) will host a webinar tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. to look at the benefits of observing Earth from space. RFF Fellow Yusuke Kuwayama will introduce RFF’s Consortium for the Valuation of Applications Benefits Linked with Earth Science (VALUABLES), a cooperative agreement between RFF and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This multi-year effort will advance the valuation of the applied benefits linked to information from space-based observations of Earth, catalyze a community of research and practices of Earth scientists and social scientists, and disseminate findings to key stakeholders from academia, government, NGOs, and elsewhere. Register Here.

Mexico Gas Summit Set – The 3rd Mexico Gas Summit will be held in San Antonio, Texas at the St. Anthony hotel on Wednesday and Thursday.  Organized by Industry Exchange, this oil and gas event brings together internationally recognized industry speakers, investors, government officials, and C level executives from the energy, infrastructure, and transportation industries. The geographic scope for the event will cover Mexico as a region with a strong focus on the opportunities associated with Gulf Coast onshore oil and gas exploration and production, midstream infrastructure, gas commercialization and the recent opening of the refined fuels market.

House Oversight Panels Look at Sue, Settle – The House Oversight and Government Reform panels on Energy and Intergovernmental Affairs will hold a joint hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. examining ‘sue and settle’ agreements.  The issue has long been a thorn to Republicans who over the last 8 years felt the Obama EPA would enter agreements with like-minded groups to force their aggressive action.  Witnesses will include U.S. Chamber of Commerce environmental policy expert Bill Kovacs, as well as other business and legal experts.

House Resources to Look at Federal Land Policies – The House Natural Resources panel on Oversight will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to review whether Congress should amend long-standing laws affecting the management of federal and tribal lands, as well as designated wilderness areas.  Witnesses will include rancher and Arizona State Rep. David Cook (R), Napa County, Calif., supervisor Diane Dillon, Washington County, Utah deputy attorney Celeste Maloy and Kendra Pinto, Native American community organizer and activist living in the Navajo Eastern Agency of New Mexico.

Shaheen, Forum to Launch Russian Gas Paper – The Atlantic Council and the Free Russia Foundation will launch of a new Atlantic Council policy paper, The Kremlin’s Gas Games in Europe: Implications for Policy Makers on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in 216 Hart.  In The Kremlin’s Gas Games in Europe, Ilya Zaslavskiy presents policy recommendations for US and European policy makers as the European Union negotiates Gazprom’s latest pipeline project, Nord Stream 2. Examining previous Gazprom pipeline projects, the author argues that while Gazprom presents itself as an independent competitive firm, it has a consistent track record of acting as an arm of the Kremlin’s foreign and economic policy. Nord Stream 2, Mr. Zaslavskiy concludes, will present a major challenge to European law and EU principles and jeopardize the security interests of the United States and its European allies.  Sen. Jeanne Shaheen delivers the keynote Address, followed by a panel with CSIS expert Edward Chow and AC’s Bud Coote.  Our friend Emily Meredith, Deputy Bureau Chief of Energy Intelligence, will moderate.

Grid Infrastructure Event Set – WIRES in conjunction with the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the GridWise Alliance, and EESI will host a WIRES University seminar on Thursday that explores an oft-neglected the high voltage electric transmission grid. This whole-day session explains the grid’s importance as an enabler of markets and new technology as the economy becomes more thoroughly electrified. Our grid must also adapt to a distributed energy future which calls for a smarter and more flexible network.  This session delves into the details of why modernizing our high-voltage grid infrastructure is more critical than ever, given the age of the nation’s transmission facilities, the fundamental changes occurring in electric generation, and the demands on the system. Expansion and upgrade of the grid will make it more resilient and deliver increased economic, environmental, and consumer benefits in the range of $50 billion annually.  Speakers, including leaders from Congress, regulatory agencies, industry, and think tanks, will examine what challenges need to be overcome to upgrade our transmission system. Policymakers and regulators play a critical role in our nation’s energy infrastructure, and there is much room for improved coordination and planning.  A full agenda is forthcoming. Panels will address grid modernization, transmission’s role as a strategic asset and an enabler, regulatory and financial challenges, and the role that the wired network plays in the distributed energy environment, clean energy, and in tech innovation environments.

FERC Nominee Hearing Set – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a nomination hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in 366 Dirksen.  The purpose of this hearing is to consider the nominations of Dan Brouillette to be the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy, Neil Chatterjee to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Robert Powelson to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Senate Finance to Host Treasury Sect on Budget, Tax – US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will testify at Senate Finance on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to review the full fiscal 2018 budget request and tax reform proposals.

Forum to Look at Vietnam Climate Issues – The PISA-ASEAN Roundtable Series on Climate-Smart Development and Chino Cienega Foundation hosts a forum Thursday at GWU’s Elliott School.  As one of the country’s most vulnerable to climate change, the Vietnamese government has been forthright in addressing the issue through public media. Having worked with youth and local communities on environmental advocacy, Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Ly will share her views on public understanding of climate change and its implications.

USEA-led CCS Ministerial Set – The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) will be held Thursday afternoon at the Washington Hilton.  The event, organized by the US Energy Assn, is a Ministerial-level international climate change initiative that is focused on the development of improved cost-effective technologies for CCS. It also promotes awareness and champions legal, regulatory, financial, and institutional environments conducive to such technologies. The dialogue and feedback received from this discussion, and the other regional meetings to be held this year, will provide the basis for a message to the CSLF ministers at the annual meeting this December.

Solar Discussion Held at NRECA – Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, Mount Vernon Group, Great Falls Group, Clean Energy for Fairfax Now, Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment and the Ready for 100 Campaign will hold a forum on Solar at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association on Thursday evening.  Sierra Club and business leaders have partnered to create this program explaining how commercial customers can save money and meet sustainability goals with on-site or offsite solar arrays. Speakers will discuss current options for purchasing solar, including onsite (rooftop, parking lots) and offsite (solar farms), using financial models such as low-cost loans, utility-sponsored programs, and power purchase agreements (PPAs).

 

IN THE FUTURE

Memorial Day – May 29th Break out the Linen…

WRI to Host Forests Discussion – Next Tuesday, May 30th at 12:30 p.m., the World Resources Institute will look at political and policy issues surrounding forests.  Efforts to achieve the Paris Agreement will not succeed if tropical deforestation continues business as usual. Protecting forests is among one of the most affordable, efficient strategies to curb greenhouse gas emissions and advance sustainable development. Frances Seymour, author of Why Forests? Why Now? and land rights expert Peter Veit will discuss the benefits and limitations of REDD+, the international community’s role in financing forest protection, and the challenges that Indigenous Peoples still face when registering their land.

WCEE May Happy Hour Set – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment is hosting its May Happy Hour on Wednesday, May 31st at 5:30 p.m. at Penn Commons.  WCEE is a non-partisan, policy-neutral organization that focuses on women, energy and the environment.

Author to Discuss Cybersecurity Grid IssuesLeaders in Energy will host a forum Thursday June 1st in Arlington to discuss cybersecurity and power grid issues with Berlin-based author, Marc Elsberg, who is visiting the DC area to showcase his techno-thriller, “Blackout” and hear from other cyber and other energy specialists in these exciting and fast-moving fields. Reviewed as “fast, tense, thrilling – and timely”, “Blackout” has been “highly recommended” by Lee Child, author of the bestselling Jack Reacher series.  Other speakers include Arlington County Energy Manager John Morrill and former MISO chairman Paul J. Feldman.

Forum to Look at Security Implications of Climate – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Center for Climate and Security (CCS) will hold a forum on Monday June 5th discussing the role of climate change as a “threat multiplier” in the geopolitical landscape and the implications that has for U.S. national security. The briefing will explore the risk management and planning considerations facing the Department of Defense (DOD) as it seeks to maintain force readiness and bolster infrastructure resilience. The panel will also discuss the need for investments in preventive measures today to prepare for future needs concerning disaster assistance, the Arctic, and the displacement of vulnerable populations due to climate change.  The speakers for this forum are US Army Brigadier General Gerald Galloway (former Dean of the Academic Board at West Point), former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Environmental Security Sherri Goodman, USAF General Ron Keys, US Navy Rear Admiral Ann Phillips, United States Navy and former Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense John Conger.

Forum to Look at Infrastructure – The Hudson Institute will host a timely conversation on June 8 at Noon about the importance of modernizing America’s infrastructure to spur sustained economic growth and job creation and improve the quality of life for all Americans. U.S. Senator John Boozman will offer his perspective in opening remarks drawing on his experiences serving on the Committee on the Environment and Public Works and the Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.  A panel discussion will follow the senator’s remarks featuring the Aubrey Layne, Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation;, former Federal Transit Administration chief counsel David Horner; former senior deputy mayor and COO of Indianapolis under Mayor Steve Goldsmith Skip Stitt, author of Hudson’s recent report Infrastructure Spending and Public-Private Partnerships and Jennifer Aument, a commissioner for the Virginia Port Authority and Group General Manager, North America at Transubran.

Security Experts to Address Methanol Policy Forum – The Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), the U.S. Energy Security Council (USESC) and the Methanol Institute will hold a Methanol Policy Forum on June 13th at the National Press Club.  The Forum will include a special luncheon discussion:  Energy Security through Fuel Choice, which features a conversation with the U.S. Energy Security Council experts like former National Security Advisor Robert C. McFarlane, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former President of Shell Oil Company John Hofmeister, former White House Counsel and Ambassador to the EU C. Boyden Gray and former Louisiana Senator and Senate Energy Bennett Johnston.  Our friend Joe Cannon and other will speak on panels as well.

CA Energy Forum Set – Advanced Energy Economy’s (AEE) annual California energy policy event, Pathway to 2050, will be held on June 21st in Sacramento.  The event brings together an influential group of advanced energy business leaders and state policy-makers to discuss opportunities to accelerate California’s economy through the growth of advanced energy.  Speakers will include our friends Caroline Choi of SoCalEd, Dan Morain of the Sacramento Bee and Greentech’s Katie Fehrenbacher. Other speakers include SoCal Ed CEO Kevin Payne, GE’s Deb Frodl, Cal Assembly Speaker Kevin de Leon, CPUC President Michael Picker, Cal Energy Commissioner Janea Scott and Tom Steyer.

EIA Energy Conference Set – The 2017 EIA Energy Conference is scheduled for June 26-27 in Washington, DC.

Global Security Forum Set – The Center for a New American Security hosts its 2017 Annual Conference in partnership with The Washington Post on Wednesday, June 28th at The Mayflower Hotel. This year’s conference will bring together U.S. national security policymakers and experts to highlight major divides and identify potential bipartisan solutions. CNAS is an independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 20th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Tuesday, July 11th from at 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In Rayburn.

Energy Update: Week of February 6

Friends,

What looked to be a slow, blowout Super Bowl, turned into an outrageous game which featured a hard-to-believe comeback by the Patriots.  Despite me not winning any quarters this year in the pool, that last quarter (and first-ever OT) was one for the ages even, if you don’t like the Patriots.  I did win my bet on the “over” for Gisele Bündchen TV appearances with four.  Thank goodness the Pats came back because those three 4Q/OT appearances took me over the top of the 1.5 prop bet line.  What I didn’t bet on was the social media traffic on API’s Super Bowl ad…wow!!!  What a surprise success, generating positive and negative comments so much so that API held a presser this morning on the topic.  My ad winner was the KIA enviro ad spoof “Hero” on saving whales, trees, ice caps, etc featuring Melissa McCarthy.  Speaking of McCarthy, how about the SNL skit spoofing my friends Sean Spicer and Glenn Thrush. (I hope they laugh it off because it was hi-larious and I didn’t raise my hand Glenn!!!)

And if a Pats win wasn’t enough for Boston, the “social event of winter season” actually launches today when the Beanpot, an annual hockey tournament that features Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern, begins. It is the official battle for Boston’s hockey bragging rights.   BTW, for all you baseball fans, pitchers and catchers report starting Sunday to Florida and Arizona.

Congress this week will continue to move forward on approving cabinet nominees and disapproving federal regulations issued in the final months of the Obama Presidency using the Congressional Review Act.  It is a short week in Congress due to the Democratic conference retreat, which begins Wednesday evening in Baltimore. House floor activity this week will continue to focus on passage of resolutions of disapproval under the CRA to overturn regulations, with Interior’s Land-Use 2.0 rule on the agenda.  Meanwhile the Senate takes up the Methane Flaring rule passed by the House on Friday and votes on several cabinet appointees, with the big vote on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos tomorrow.  We might see action later in the week on Perry, Zinke or Pruitt, but it seems unlikely.  Coral Davenport has a good story in the NY Times this morning on Scott Pruitt and his likely approach to EPA.  With FERC quorum story making news, we also have heard from our friend Rod Kuckro at E&E News (and several others) that former TX utility commissioner Barry Smitherman may be chosen to head the Commission in the near future.

The main event this week is Wednesday when the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) will release their 5th annual edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook at a Washington, D.C. press event.  The Factbook provides insight into key U.S. energy statistics related to energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy and outlines key factors influencing America’s energy infrastructure, economy and environment.  Speakers include BNEF’s Ethan Zindler, AGA’s Kathryn Clay, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobsen and SEIA’s Abby Hopper among others.   ACCF also hosts a great forum on Wednesday to discuss border tax policy questions.  My colleague Curt Beaulieu (202-828-5806) is a great resource on the topic if you have questions.

Finally, with the announcement of Neil Gorsuch last week as the nominee to the Supreme Court, I saw my friends in the enviro community sent lawmakers a letter today urging them to oppose Gorsuch.  For a better primer on the nominee – specifically on his call for the reassessment and potential revocation of Chevron deference to agency interpretation of its own statutes – my colleagues at Bracewell have provided info that may be more helpful to you over the next few months as Gorsuch goes through the confirmation process.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Nothing is over until we decide it is.  Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”

Bluto Blutarsky, Faber College, 1963.

 

IN THE NEWS

CRAs Move Forward – The Congress Passed Congressional Review Act legislation last week on the Interior Department Stream Rule.  Then, Friday, the Senate followed the House in killing rules mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform that require resource extractors to disclose payments made to the U.S. or foreign governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals. The House also voted to kill a Methane Waste and Prevention Rule, which would prevent methane flaring and waste from oil drilling operations. The Methane Rule goes before the Senate early this week.

Chamber Comments on CRAs – The Chamber’s Energy Institute praised the actions with CEO Karen Harbert saying on the Stream Rule:  “Today’s vote to block the Obama Administration’s unnecessary and costly stream rule is a victory for common sense and American energy production. This rule interfered with state authorities and would have placed massive amounts of coal resources off limits for production, costing us jobs and higher energy prices.  We look forward to President Trump signing the resolution, and to continued scrutiny of the Obama Administration’s last minute regulations.  On the SEC extractive industries CRA effort, Christopher Guith, Senior Vice President for Policy, US Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy said “We’re pleased that, like the court before it, Congress blocked a rule that would have unfairly and needlessly harmed American companies and their shareholders. The SEC’s Extractive Industries rule would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars to comply with, have vast unintended consequences and ultimately harm those it is intended to protect.  There are existing laws and treaties ensuring transparency and disclosure, including the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.  This one wasn’t necessary, and far too costly.  We look forward to President Trump’s signature.”  Expect comments on the Methane rule later today.

Bay Final Days Sees Pipeline Approvals – In FERC Chair Norman Bay’s final day, the Commission approved several key pipeline projects along with a slate of other items while the agency still had a quorum.  FERC approved Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise and Northern Access natural gas pipeline projects.

Atlantic, from Energy Transfer, is a $2.6 billion project, with work stretching across several states between Pennsylvania and South Carolina.  Northern Access, developed by National Fuel Gas Co is a $455 million project that would bring more gas into markets in New York, New England, the Midwest and Canada. One day earlier, FERC ruled in favor of Energy Transfer Partners LP’s Rover natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to Ontario, a project estimated to cost $4.2 billion.  AP’s Matt Daly details the overall issues and challenges.

Groups Calls for CCS Tax Improvements – The National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) and its coalition partners have released a letter they sent to the House Ways and Means Committee calling on inclusion of 45Q legislation in any tax reform bills that move this Congress.  The letter Calls on Congress to “extend and strengthen” the 45Q tax credit because it “offers one of the most effective tools to protect and drive growth in the energy sector while also reducing CO2 emissions.  The opportunity represents a genuine win-win for our nation’s economy and environment, one that will bring high-paying and investment to energy producing and industrial states and regions of our country.  Among the signers is Jay Faison’s Clearpath Foundation, NRDC and a bunch of companies like Southern, Peabody and others.

Platts Capitol Crude Looks Southeast Asia, Energy – The Platts Capitol Crude Podcast this week looks at long-simmering tensions in the South China Sea and what new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may bring to the discussion.  Platts Brian Scheid interviews Zack Cooper, a fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where they discuss changing US policy ahead of the summer drilling season offshore China and Vietnam, Twitter diplomacy and the risks for oil.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

JHU to Host McNally Book Event – The Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS program will host Bob McNally this evening at 5:00 P.m. to discuss his new book, “Crude Volatility – The History and Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices.” World oil prices have fallen drastically over the last two years, spurred partly by the rise of tight oil production in the US, and by OPEC’s failure to cut production.  Recently, in an effort to raise oil prices, OPEC is attempting to regroup and has agreed to lower its production. Will it succeed? This is one of the questions to be discussed at this energy forum which will also review the history of oil prices.  Our friend Kevin Book, Managing Director at Clearview Energy Partners will serve as the commentator.

House Science to Look at EPA Science Mission  – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on the science mission of the EPA.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead will be among those testifying on potential reforms to the Scientific Advisory Board and other items. Others include former NJ Rep Rush Holt, a physicist who is now CEO of AAAS, ACC’s Kim White and Richard Belzer.

Forum to Look at RGGI Issues – The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, the Georgetown Climate Center, and Resources for the Future (RFF) will host a webinar tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  States participating in RGGI are engaged in their 2016 program review to evaluate the emissions trading system and consider potential changes. In the course of this review, the idea of an emissions containment reserve (ECR) mechanism has been proposed to address a common issue confronting cap-and-trade programs worldwide: the prices for emissions allowances tend to be significantly lower than program designers anticipate in advance, making mid-course corrections necessary for it to perform as intended. This webinar will bring together experts and representatives from states, electric generators, academia, and nongovernmental organizations to consider this new approach for ensuring that the RGGI emissions trading program functions as designed and examine the finer points of how such a reserve might work and be implemented.  Speakers include RFF’s Dallas Burtraw and UVa’s William Shobe.

German Enviro to Discuss Policy – The BMW Center for German and European Studies and the Science, Technology, and International Affairs Program of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown will host a presentation tomorrow at Noon by Sascha Müller-Kraenner, Executive Director / CEO, Environmental Action Germany.  Müller-Kraenner will discuss how the G20 Presidency might provide an opportunity to include the new U.S. administration in an international conversation around energy security, sustainable investments, and climate change. He will also discuss how international coalitions might get rearranged or shift — depending on whether the U.S. administration chooses a course of cautious engagement or disruptive confrontation. Lastly, he will shed light on how German energy policy might develop after the upcoming national elections.

Annual Sustainable Energy Factbook Set for Release – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance will release their annual Sustainable Energy Fact book Wednesday at Bloomberg’s offices at 9:30 a.m.  The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance team up for the fifth time to identify key U.S. energy statistics and trends.  There will also be a forum for stakeholders at Bloomberg at Noon.

Reporters Look at Enviro Priorities – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a panel discussion on Wednesday at Noon at the DC Bar to look at the environmental priorities of Congress and the new Administration. Although these issues played a minor role in the election, they pose numerous challenges for federal policymakers. What will be the environmental priorities of the new administration? What environmental legislation might be enacted by the 115th Congress? Our friends John Siciliano of the Wash Examiner, Inside Washington’s Jeremy Bernstein and Josh Kurtz of E&E News will address these and other issues.

Energy Efficiency Day Set for Hill – The Alliance to Save Energy will host Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in 106 Dirksen.  The event returns to Capitol Hill for a dialogue on the keys to driving energy productivity and prosperity in the 115th Congress.  This year promises to be pivotal for both protecting the important policy and regulatory gains we have enjoyed in the past decade, but also and importantly, for securing innovative policies, funding and programs that advance energy efficiency in this new political environment. As we have seen over the last eight years, energy efficiency policies and initiatives have a proven track-record of increasing energy productivity and delivering a strong return on investment.  GEED will highlight policies and initiatives that are proven to increase energy productivity and have a strong ROI, while also identifying new legislative opportunities that fit within the 115th Congress’ and the incoming Administration’s focus areas of economic growth, tax reform and aging infrastructure.

ACCF Hosts Border Tax Panel – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will host a forum on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. in Dirksen G-50 looking at the potential impacts of Border Tax adjustments.  The panel will explore the theoretical aspects and potential economic impact of increased taxes on imports, as well as a look at how the potential real world implications could work for different industries.

Transmission Infrastructure Summit Set – The National Electric Transmission Infrastructure Summit will be held on Thursday and Friday at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.  The Summit is a one-and-a-half day gathering focused on the challenges and merits of extending, modernizing, and integrating the high-voltage electric transmission system – necessary to enable access to the rich but currently remote resources of renewable energy required for a clean-energy future, while mitigating the cost and variability of those resources.  Speakers will include our friend Jimmy Glotfelty of Clean Line Energy Partners, as well as Southwest Power Pool CEO Nick Brown, National Electric Manufacturers Association CEO Kevin Cosgriff and several others.

Energy Factbook Touted At Capitol – On Friday, EESI and the House and Senate Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Caucuses will host an event on Capitol Hill in Rayburn’s Gold Room to discuss the release of the BNEF-BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook.

 

IN THE FUTURE

NARUC Conference Set – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners hosts its yearly Winter Committee Meetings in Washington, D.C. Sunday through next Wednesday at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  As usual, the groups has assembled an array of speakers and sessions that continue to advance the priorities and issues facing state utility regulators. Next Monday, PA PUC Commissioner Robert Powelson hosts a discussion on infrastructure with Exelon CEO Chris Crane, API’s Jack Gerard and others.  Other speakers include FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, Chamber Energy CEO Karen Harbert, Paul Cicio of the Industrial Consumers of America, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, former EPA GC Roger Martella and many others.

ACCF to Host Brady for Tax Discussion – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will host a discussion on Tuesday, February 14th with House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady.  This follows a recent panel on Border Tax issues slated for this Wednesday.

Former FERC Chair Bay to Address Energy Storage Forum – On February 15th, the 3rd Annual Energy Storage Policy Forum will be held at the National Press Club.   The new Administration and Congress bring with it a new focus and new opportunities. Impending transitions at FERC, DOE, and other agencies have significant ramifications for the continued growth of energy storage.  Speakers will include retired FERC Commissioner Norman Bay, Mass Dept of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson and Cal PUC Commissioner Carla Peterman.

Holmstead, Others Address Southeast Power Challenges – Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, will hold an event on Wednesday, February 15th at Noon focused on the energy and environmental policy challenges facing the Southeast power sector as the next administration takes office. The event will gather stakeholders from across the region in Washington, D.C., to discuss the state of the electricity sector and key issues facing state and federal policymakers, including how market factors and federal policy will affect electricity sector planning in 2017 and beyond. Invitees include representatives from electric utilities, environmental NGOs, energy companies, and state agencies.  Speakers include my colleague Jeff Holmstead, Clearpath’s Zack Baig, Georgia PSC Commissions Lauren McDonald, Entergy’s Rick Johnson, former Senate Staffer and Nicholas Institute expert Tim Profeta, among others.

House Science to Look at Loan Guarantee Program – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, February 15th looking the DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program.

CSIS Forum to Look at Oil Markets – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program holds a discussion on Thursday February 16th at 10:00 a.m. with President of RBN Energy Rusty Braziel, ESAI Energy’s Managing Principal of Petroleum & Alternative Fuels Sarah Emerson, and IHS Energy’s VP of Oil Markets (Midstream and Downstream) Kurt Barrow on where U.S. domestic and global oil and gas markets are heading in 2017. We enter the new year with higher oil prices, but also the continued questions around the implementation of and compliance with announced OPEC and non-OPEC supply cutbacks, resurgent U.S. production, enormous stocks, potential increases from Nigeria, Libya, and elsewhere, still-enormous stocks, and various forecasts of new demand growth.

Heritage Forum to Look at Science, Modeling – The Heritage Foundation will host a forum on Thursday February 16th at Noon on climate modeling, science, and economics behind climate change.  The event will feature Heritage’s Nick Loris and their in-house statistician Kevin Dayaratna, University of Guelph scientist Ross McKitrick and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger of Cato’s Center for the Study of Science.

RTOs Speak at Grid Forum – WIRES, the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday, February 16th at 2:00 p.m. looking at the modernization of the nation’s critical network of high-voltage transmission. Designed and built well before the digital age to serve more localized customer loads, the “grid” is struggling to support active and increasingly competitive wholesale power markets that now operate regionally. It is often congested or inadequate to deliver domestic energy resources that are not close to customers. Its aging facilities have acknowledged weather and cyber vulnerabilities. Speakers include Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), as well as Midcontinent ISO’s Clair Moeller, Southwest Power Pool’s Mike Ross and Craig Glazer of PJM Interconnection.

Forum to Look at Climate Threats – In the February USAID Adaptation meeting on Thursday February 16th at 4:00 p.m., Cardno principal Michael Bilney, MBA will discuss Cardno’s collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a risk-based method to screen hundreds of NOAA facilities and evaluate the most at-risk facilities’ vulnerability to potential climate change threats.  The approach combined qualitative risk assessment, and asset management facility condition and engineering assessments to identify site-specific vulnerabilities and related adaptation and resilience improvement actions. Bilney will summarize the phases of the analysis and provide key lessons learned, adaptation and resilience improvement measures and strategies developed during the recently completed project.  He will also summarize critical activities in the recommended process developed to guide future NOAA facility climate change vulnerability assessments.

RBN CEO to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will hold its February luncheon on Friday, February 17th at Noon at Carmines featuring RBN CEO Rusty Braziel. Braziel is President and CEO of RBN Energy, a leading energy market analysis and advisory firm and is the author of The Domino Effect, bestseller book about understanding energy markets. Braziel will address the economics of new drilling and the recovery.

USEA to Host World Coal CEO – On Friday, February 17th at 2:00 p.m., USEA hosts Benjamin Sporton, Chief Executive of the World Coal Association.  Sporton will look at how the global coal market is changing and what happens to the Paris Agreement under the new Trump administration.

RFA Ethanol Conference Set of San Diego – The Renewable Fuels Association hold its 2017 National Ethanol Conference on February 20-22 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The forum will address policy and market issues and what industry can do to develop both domestic and foreign markets, including expanding infrastructure, blends above E10, high octane fuels and exports.  At a key Panel on the first day, AFPM President Chet Thompson will join RFA CEO Bob Dinneen for a future of fuels policy discussion.  Our friend Rachel Gantz will also host a panel of journalists including WSJ’s Amy Harder to discuss media coverage of the policy issues.

ARPA-E Forum Set – The annual ARPA-E Innovation Forum will be held on February 27th through March 1st at the Gaylord at National Harbor. Summit is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its eighth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market.  Among the speakers will be Duke’s Lynn Good (who will be interviewed by our friend Bill Loveless), Sen. Cory Gardner and Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs, as well as somebody from the new Trump Administration.

ACCF Panel Hosts former Commissioners to Look at FERC Challenges – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will moderate a discussion on Tuesday, February 28th at 12:30 p.m. in 485 Russell.  The event will feature former FERC Commissioners Philip Moeller and James Hoecker on a wide range of policy issues facing FERC.   The discussion comes at a particularly interesting time for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which entered the new year with a full plate of issues, including the challenge of ensuring electric reliability in the face of increasing environmental pressures from outside advocacy groups. And the Commission does so without its full complement of commissioners, having now just two of its five seats filled after the sudden resignation of Norman Bay.  Our friend Glen Boshart will moderate.

CERAWeek Set for Houston – The 36th CERAWeek by IHS Markit will be held on March 6th through 10th in Houston at the Hilton Americas.  CERAWeek is the premier annual international gathering of energy industry leaders, experts, government officials and policymakers, leaders from the technology, financial, and industrial communities – and energy technology innovators. Midst the turbulence and uncertainty in energy markets this year, CERAWeek 2017 will provide new insights and critically-important dialogue – and a very cost efficient way to engage on the most urgent questions with decision-makers from around the world.  A laundry list of other key energy speakers/CEOs will speak.  See the list here.

Southern NextEra Execs Address Transmission Summit – The 20th Transmission Summit will be held March 6-8th at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  The event brings together policy makers with transmission industry leaders to develop strategies that will take advantage of opportunities created by emerging policy, regulatory and technological changes.  Topics will include post-election policy shifts and potential new opportunities for transmission infrastructure investment, dealing with the impacts of revisions to FERC’s Order 1000 processes on regional planning and competitive projects, integrating and interconnecting ever more renewable energy assets and using non-transmission alternatives and storage to defer new builds and replace aging infrastructure.  Key speakers include former FERC Chair Joe Kelliher of NextEra, Southern’s Bruce Edelston, and Georgia PSC Commissioner Tim Echols, among others.

GEA to Host DC Meeting – On March 7th, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will hold its International Geothermal Forum in Washington, DC.

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona from March 27 – 29 at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  More on this in the future.

Energy Update: Week of January 30

Friends,

We are returning from a bizarre weekend that capped the first week of the new Trump administration.  Whew!!!!   Let’s just leave it at that…Hope you had a good chance to enjoy all-star Sunday with the NHL All-Star Classic and the NFL’s Pro-Bowl.  Seriously, whoever thought of the 3-on-3 tournament deserves an award.  The play was phenomenal and the ceremonies announcing the top 100 players of all-time were just as good.  Of course, next week gear it up for Super Bowl LI live from Houston on Sunday.

We were all pretty busy last week with discussions of social media blackouts, web page changes and executive orders.  I know I spoke with more of you that I have in a long time…  BTW, if are writing on the regulations EO today or are thinking about Paris based on what you might have read about the Trump Administration pulling out, feel free to call.  We can discuss.

This week, the pace continues as we’ll see votes for Zinke for Interior and Perry for Energy tomorrow in Senate Energy and a vote on Scott Pruitt for EPA at Senate Environment on Wednesday.  Meanwhile, the House rolls into Congressional Review Act items today and tomorrow at the House Rules Committee covering the Stream rule, BLM waste prevention rule and Interior’s Methane flaring rule (as well as a couple of other not related to environment).  Other hearings on Wednesday include Senate Commerce hearing looking at unnecessary regulatory burdens featuring API’s Jack Gerard and NAM’s Rosario Palmieri, House Transportation on infrastructure featuring FedEx CEO Fred Smith and House Energy panel hearing on cybersecurity of the grid.

On Thursday, Waste Management hosts its annual Sustainability Forum with Dana Perino on Thursday at the WM Phoenix Open, a great PGA event for this week.  This year, my friend Toni Beck hosts a panel with Fox News star and former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and Fox News Democrat Contributor Julie Roginsky will address the current political environment and the Trump Administration.   WM CEO Jim Fish will also speak.

Finally, with the all the moves on energy and the environment, it is timely and relevant to attend to the two important Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) events on Friday and Saturday.  On Friday at 3:00 p.m., SEJ and the Wilson Center hold their annual what to expect in the year in environment session. SEJ will launch its new report, “Journalists’ Guide to Energy and Environment 2017.”  On Saturday, SEJ holds a mini-conference at NYU’s DC Campus looking at covering the Trump Administration on environment and energy. Speakers include EPA Transition Chief Myron Ebell, former EPA water Chief Tracy Mehan, my Bracewell colleague Scott Segal and many more.

Remember, next Wednesday February 8th, The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) will release their 5th annual edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook at a Washington, D.C. press event.  The Factbook provides insight into key U.S. energy statistics related to energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy and outlines key factors influencing America’s energy infrastructure, economy and environment.  They have also added our friend and new Head of SEIA Abby Hopper to the list of speakers.  Mark it down…

Finally, Congrats to our Bracewell colleague Salo Zelermyer who will take over Valero Energy’s Washington DC office.  A former DOE Counsel, Salo is a great resource for you and I suspect, he will continue to be one.  We wish him well and of course, we will continue to work with him.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“This new administration has promised to aid manufacturers that have had to endure an unprecedented number of regulations which increased the cost of doing business in America, harmed consumers, stifled job creation, and hurt our global competitiveness. Removing SCC calculations as a justification for regulations is an excellent place to start.”

HVACR Trade Assn President Stephen Yurek Urging the White House to Reject the Increase in the Social Cost of Carbon in Rulemakings.

 

IN THE NEWS

Zelermyer to Head Valero DC Office – Former DOE Counsel and Bracewell expert Salo Zelermyer will head Valero Energy’s Washington DC office the company announced today.  Valero said Zelermyer will join the company as Vice President Federal Affairs and Counsel.  Zelermyer is currently a Senior Principal at Bracewell LLP, serving in the firm’s Policy Resolution Group for eight years. Prior to that time, Zelermyer was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as Senior Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Energy. “We are very excited to have Salo join us and lead our team in Washington during this very dynamic time” said Jason Fraser, VP Public Policy and Strategic Planning.  Zelermyer will assume his new position with Valero on March 1.  Craig Felner, the current VP Federal Affairs, has decided to leave the company to join a government relations consulting firm in Washington, D.C.  His last day will be February 10, 2017.  “Craig has been a strong voice for Valero while heading up our Federal Affairs team in the Washington D.C. office” said Fraser, “We thank him for all his contributions to the company and wish him well with his future endeavors.”

Bay Resigns From FERC – FERC Chair Norman Bay resigned late last week after President Donald Trump’s replaced him as the agency’s chairman Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur.  The action leaves the Commission with on two members – a non-voting quorum – that risks federal decisions on multibillion-dollar natural gas pipelines and other infrastructure actions.  Among the pipelines waiting for approval are Energy Transfer Partners LP’s Rover project and the Atlantic Sunrise system by Williams Partners LP. Spectra Energy’s Nexus system and National Fuel Gas Co.’s Northern Access expansion.   Commissioner Bay’s resignation only underscores the need to get a new slate of FERC Commissioners in place as quickly as possible.  There are numerous actions before FERC that are timely and require action.  It must be a priority to get the FERC team in place so these important projects and issues can be addressed.

Who is on the list – With three Republican commissioner openings and quick action needed, who might be tapped?  Media reports and FERC experts say McConnell Energy staffer Neil Chatterjee is clearly a top, likely choice.  Some have suggested that our Bracewell DC Managing Partner Mark Lewis, who does a ton of FERC Pipeline work, is a good candidate. Other top names include Montana PUC Commissioner Travis Kavulla, NARUC President Robert Powelson, NAERC’s Janet Sena, Greenberg’s Kenneth Minesinger, Crowell & Moring Richard Lehfeldt, (former counsel for the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power) and Bill Marsan, general counsel at American Transmission Co.

AHRI to White House: Reject Social Cost of Carbon Increase – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) today called on President Trump to withdraw the Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis. This analysis, commonly referred to as the Social Cost of Carbon, was reached through a closed-door, non-transparent process by an exclusive interagency working group created under the previous administration. “By using the SCC as a basis for cost-benefit analyses to validate unreasonable efficiency regulations — without stakeholder input on the estimates – we believe the previous administration violated its responsibility under the Administrative Procedures Act,” stated AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek.  Several of the rules affecting the HVAC industry have been issued using these analyses have not adequately considered higher equipment costs for consumers or energy, production costs, and job losses for manufacturers.  “To correct these errors and prevent similar issues in future rulemakings, AHRI respectfully requests that the President direct federal agencies to cease using the SCC analysis and prevent its further use in the rulemaking process,” said Yurek.

Consumer Cleaning Product Ingredient Safety Website Completed – Safety data on hundreds of chemicals in the U.S. consumer cleaning product supply chain have been collected and are now available through the website for the American Cleaning Institute’s (ACI) Cleaning Product Ingredient Safety Initiative (CPISI). ACI announced that more than five years of work on the Initiative has been finalized, providing reams of publicly available data on ingredients in cleaning products.   ACI conducted an exposure assessment for each of the nearly 600 ingredients on the Ingredient Inventory that are used in consumer cleaning products.  In addition to developing a quantitative estimate of consumer exposure, ACI published on its website a description of each ingredient, including the types of products in which it is used; the form of those products; the ingredient’s function within each of those products; the typical concentration range among the products and the most relevant routes of exposure associated with the use of those products.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Former Sect of State to Address Smart Women Forum – Today at 5:30 p.m., CSIS will host a Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative conversation with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (WELLESLEY Alum) to discuss America’s place in the world.  The event will be moderated by Nina Easton, chair of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International.

CSIS Forum to Look at Deep Decarbonization – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum tomorrow looking at deep decarbonization scenarios.  Speakers Jeremy Bentham, Global Head of Strategy at Royal Dutch Shell; Philippe Benoit, former head of the Energy Environment Division at the International Energy Agency and current Senior Associate (Non-resident) with the Energy & National Security Program; and Noah Kaufman, Climate Economist at the World Resources Institute, will hold a discussion on the topic. Bentham will present Shell’s new Pathways to Net-Zero Emissions. The report explores possible ways in which the world’s energy system could evolve to meet future demand while simultaneously mitigating climate change. Benoit, formerly of IEA, will discuss the IEA’s 450 Scenario, a 2°C scenario in which concentration of greenhouse gas emissions are limited to 450 parts per million CO2. Kaufman will round out the discussion with a comparison of the Mid Century Strategies, prepared for the Marrakech climate talks by the Council on Environmental Quality.

USEA Holds State of Industry Forum – The US Energy Assn will holds its 13th annual State of the Energy Industry forum tomorrow at the National Press Club Ballroom.  Distinguished leaders from the most influential and active energy trade associations will come together to engage in dialogue and deliver presentations on the issues, trends and challenges affecting the industry for 2017.

AGA Experts Examine Energy Use, Benefits in NatGas Commercial Sector – The American Gas Association (AGA) will host a press call tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to explore the natural gas commercial sector and its many benefits to the U.S. economy.  The commercial natural gas market is comprised of more than 5.4 million customers, 99 percent of which is served by natural gas utilities. It represents every day businesses and public activities such as schools, hospitals, police and fire stations, offices, restaurants, grocery stores, retail outlets and public halls.  AGA experts will provide an analysis of the EIA Commercial Energy Building Consumption Survey as well as the potential stimulus to the bottom lines of many American businesses through greater use of natural gas.  Check in with Jackie Bavaro (jbavaro@aga.org, 202-824-7204) if you have questions or wan the call-in numbers.

Senate Commerce Looks at Reg Burdens – The Senate Commerce Committee is hold a hearing on Wednesday on reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens.  API’s Jack Gerard, Consumer Technology Association CEO Gary Shapiro, NAM’s Rosario Palmieri, Hoover Institution Fellow Adam White and former EPA counsel Lisa Heinzerling, all testify.

FedEx’s Smith, Others  Headline House Transpo Infrastructure Hearing – The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on infrastructure.  FedEx CEO Fred Smith, Cargill CEO David MacLennan, BMW CEO Ludwig Willisch, Vemeer’s Mary Andringa and AFL-CIO head Richard Trumpka will all testify.

House Energy Opens Hearing Slate with Focus on Electric Cybersecurity – On Wednesday at 10:15 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on the electricity sector’s efforts to respond to cybersecurity threats.

Forum to Look at Climate Risks in Latin America – The Inter-American Bank will hold a dialogue seminar on Wednesday to look at climate risks in Latin America.  The discussion on these questions will include climate and energy experts.  There will also be a presentation of the Inter-American Development Bank’s new report, “Stranded Assets: a Climate Risk Challenge.”

CSIS to Host BP Energy Outlook – CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a discussion on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. looking at the annual BP Energy Outlook with BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale. The BP Energy Outlook considers a base case, which outlines the “most likely” path for energy demand based on assumptions about future changes in policy, technology, and the economy. Beyond the base case, the Energy Outlook examines some of the key issues that will shape energy supply and demand through 2035 and explores possible alternative outcomes.

WM Host Annual Sustainability Forum – Waste Management will host leaders from global companies, representatives from municipalities across the country, experts, innovators and influencers, on Thursday, at their 7th annual Executive Sustainability Forum at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz. The day-long event will feature renowned speakers and panel discussions on the e-commerce revolution and the conundrum of complex packaging and it launches a great week of golf with the WM Phoenix Open.  In addition, just one week after the presidential inauguration, keynote speakers Dana Perino, former Republican White House Press Secretary and now co-host of The Five on Fox News Channel, and Julie Roginsky, Democratic Party strategist and regular Fox News Channel contributor, will delve into anticipated changes in U.S. environmental policies and the possible implications for businesses and local governments.  An afternoon workshop tackling the emerging dialogue around Sustainable Materials Management and Lifecycle Thinking will facilitate a dynamic results-oriented session around changing goals to reflect broader environmental benefits.

Former NRC Commissioner Heads Discussion on Nuclear Waste Documentary – The George Washington University’s Elliot School will hold a forum and screening on the documentary film “Containment” Thursday at 5:00 p.m. “Containment” by Peter Gallison and Robb Moss is about the effects of nuclear waste cleanup left over from the Cold War.   Among the speakers will be former NRC Commissioner Allison Macfarlane, who now heads the Center for International Science and Technology Policy in GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

Forum to Tackle 2017 Environ Agenda – On Friday at 3:00 p.m., SEJ and the Wilson Center hold their annual what to expect in the year in environment session. SEJ will launch its new report, “Journalists’ Guide to Energy and Environment 2017,” presented by SEJ Board President and Climate Central Senior Science Writer Bobby Magill. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with AP’s Seth Borenstein, Politico’s Elana Schor, John Siciliano of the Washington Examiner, BNA’s Amena Sayid and several others.

Segal, Others Address Trump, Environment at SEJ Forum – The Society of Environmental Journalists holds a mini-conference Saturday in Washington DC on covering the Trump Administration on environment and energy. Speakers include EPA Transition Chief Myron Ebell, former EPA water chief Tracy Mehan, Bracewell energy expert Scott Segal, former EPA deputy administrator and climate change activist Bob Perciasepe. There will also be an all-star panel of reporters who have covered Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, Rick Perry and Rex Tillerson.

 

IN THE FUTURE

JHU to Host McNally Book Event – The Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS program will host Bob McNally next Monday at 5:00 P.m. to discuss his new book, “Crude Volatility – The History and Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices.” World oil prices have fallen drastically over the last two years, spurred partly by the rise of tight oil production in the US, and by OPEC’s failure to cut production.  Recently, in an effort to raise oil prices, OPEC is attempting to regroup and has agreed to lower its production. Will it succeed? This is one of the questions to be discussed at this energy forum which will also review the history of oil prices.  Our friend Kevin Book, Managing Director at Clearview Energy Partners will serve as the commentator.

Forum to Look at RGGI Issues – The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, the Georgetown Climate Center, and Resources for the Future (RFF) will host a webinar next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  States participating in RGGI are engaged in their 2016 program review to evaluate the emissions trading system and consider potential changes. In the course of this review, the idea of an emissions containment reserve (ECR) mechanism has been proposed to address a common issue confronting cap-and-trade programs worldwide: the prices for emissions allowances tend to be significantly lower than program designers anticipate in advance, making mid-course corrections necessary for it to perform as intended. This webinar will bring together experts and representatives from states, electric generators, academia, and nongovernmental organizations to consider this new approach for ensuring that the RGGI emissions trading program functions as designed and examine the finer points of how such a reserve might work and be implemented.  Speakers include RFF’s Dallas Burtraw and UVa’s William Shobe.

Annual Sustainable Energy Factbook Set for Release – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance will release their annual Sustainable Energy Fact book Wednesday, February 8th.  The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance team up for the fifth time to identify key U.S. energy statistics and trends.

Reporters Look at Enviro Priorities – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a panel discussion on Wednesday February 8th at Noon at the DC Bar to look at the environmental priorities of Congress and the new Administration. Although these issues played a minor role in the election, they pose numerous challenges for federal policymakers. What will be the environmental priorities of the new administration? What environmental legislation might be enacted by the 115th Congress? Our friends John Siciliano of the Wash Examiner, Inside Washington’s Jeremy Bernstein and Josh Kurtz of E&E News will address these and other issues.

Energy Efficiency Day Set for Hill – The Alliance to Save Energy will host Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) on Wednesday, February 8th at 2:00 p.m. in 106 Dirksen.  The event returns to Capitol Hill for a dialogue on the keys to driving energy productivity and prosperity in the 115th Congress.  This year promises to be pivotal for both protecting the important policy and regulatory gains we have enjoyed in the past decade, but also and importantly, for securing innovative policies, funding and programs that advance energy efficiency in this new political environment. As we have seen over the last eight years, energy efficiency policies and initiatives have a proven track-record of increasing energy productivity and delivering a strong return on investment.  GEED will highlight policies and initiatives that are proven to increase energy productivity and have a strong ROI, while also identifying new legislative opportunities that fit within the 115th Congress’ and the incoming Administration’s focus areas of economic growth, tax reform and aging infrastructure.

Transmission Infrastructure Summit Set – The National Electric Transmission Infrastructure Summit will be held on February 9-10th at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.  The Summit is a one-and-a-half day gathering focused on the challenges and merits of extending, modernizing, and integrating the high-voltage electric transmission system – necessary to enable access to the rich but currently remote resources of renewable energy required for a clean-energy future, while mitigating the cost and variability of those resources.  Speakers will include our friend Jimmy Glotfelty of Clean Line Energy Partners, as well as Southwest Power Pool CEO Nick Brown, National Electric Manufacturers Association CEO Kevin Cosgriff and several others.

CSIS Forum to Look at Oil Markets – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program holds a discussion on Thursday February 16th at 10:00 a.m. with President of RBN Energy Rusty Braziel, ESAI Energy’s Managing Principal of Petroleum & Alternative Fuels Sarah Emerson, and IHS Energy’s VP of Oil Markets (Midstream and Downstream) Kurt Barrow on where U.S. domestic and global oil and gas markets are heading in 2017. We enter the new year with higher oil prices, but also the continued questions around the implementation of and compliance with announced OPEC and non-OPEC supply cutbacks, resurgent U.S. production, enormous stocks, potential increases from Nigeria, Libya, and elsewhere, still-enormous stocks, and various forecasts of new demand growth.

RTOs Speak at Grid Forum – WIRES, the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday, February 16th at 2:00 p.m. looking at the modernization of the nation’s critical network of high-voltage transmission. Designed and built well before the digital age to serve more localized customer loads, the “grid” is struggling to support active and increasingly competitive wholesale power markets that now operate regionally. It is often congested or inadequate to deliver domestic energy resources that are not close to customers. Its aging facilities have acknowledged weather and cyber vulnerabilities. Speakers include Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), as well as Midcontinent ISO’s Clair Moeller, Southwest Power Pool’s Mike Ross and Craig Glazer of PJM Interconnection.

RFA Ethanol Conference Set of San Diego – The Renewable Fuels Association hold its 2017 National Ethanol Conference on February 20-22 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The forum will address policy and market issues and what industry can do to develop both domestic and foreign markets, including expanding infrastructure, blends above E10, high octane fuels and exports.  At a key Panel on the first day, AFPM President Chet Thompson will join RFA CEO Bob Dinneen for a future of fuels policy discussion.  Our friend Rachel Gantz will also host a panel of journalists including WSJ’s Amy Harder to discuss media coverage of the policy issues.

ARPA-E Forum Set – The annual ARPA-E Innovation Forum will be held on February 27th through March 1st at the Gaylord at National Harbor. Summit is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its eighth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market.  Among the speakers will be Duke’s Lynn Good (who will be interviewed by our friend Bill Loveless), Sen. Cory Gardner and Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs, as well as somebody from the new Trump Administration.

CERAWeek Set for Houston – The 36th CERAWeek by IHS Markit will be held on March 6th through 10th in Houston at the Hilton Americas.  CERAWeek is the premier annual international gathering of energy industry leaders, experts, government officials and policymakers, leaders from the technology, financial, and industrial communities – and energy technology innovators. Midst the turbulence and uncertainty in energy markets this year, CERAWeek 2017 will provide new insights and critically-important dialogue – and a very cost efficient way to engage on the most urgent questions with decision-makers from around the world.  A laundry list of other key energy speakers/CEOs will speak.  See the list here.

Southern NextEra Execs Address Transmission Summit – The 20th Transmission Summit will be held March 6-8th at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  The event brings together policy makers with transmission industry leaders to develop strategies that will take advantage of opportunities created by emerging policy, regulatory and technological changes.  Topics will include post-election policy shifts and potential new opportunities for transmission infrastructure investment, dealing with the impacts of revisions to FERC’s Order 1000 processes on regional planning and competitive projects, integrating and interconnecting ever more renewable energy assets and using non-transmission alternatives and storage to defer new builds and replace aging infrastructure.  Key speakers include former FERC Chair Joe Kelliher of NextEra, Southern’s Bruce Edelston, and Georgia PSC Commissioner Tim Echols, among others.

GEA to Host DC Meeting – On March 7th, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will hold its International Geothermal Forum in Washington, DC.

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona from March 27 – 29 at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  More on this in the future.