Energy Update: Week of 12/11

Friends,

It is Hanukkah week which begins on tomorrow night at sunset and ends next Wednesday.  Hanukkah is a Jewish Festival of Lights is celebrated for eight days and nights.  It commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.

An info-packed “In the News” section this week after last week’s busy-ness.  It includes some reaction to the solar trade hearing, more on the Cruz-White House RFS meeting, a new view from EPA on the New Source review program, and finally an extension for 30 days (requested by new FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre) for FERC to consider the DOE resiliency proposal aimed at supporting coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

The big political news this week is the Alabama Senate race and the tax reform conference committee, which will meet publicly for the first time on Wednesday.  While tax negotiations continue behind the scenes, Congress is also going full bore on a spending deal to avoid a government shutdown before Christmas.

We still have a big week in the Energy space (hopefully our last before gliding into the holidays).  Tomorrow, the White House rolls out what we hear will be “the most aggressive” 5-year offshore drilling plan ever.  While we all look for the HUGE tweet, we remind that will can answer many of your questions about the impacts and possibilities.

Also tomorrow, House Energy panels hosts automakers and auto dealers to discuss fuel standard and CAFE’s relook.  Senate Energy looks at FERC/Interior permitting and we will see committee votes on EIA’s Linda Capuano, Interior assistant secretary Tim Petty and NOAA’s Barry Myers (Wed in Senate Commerce).

Also Wednesday, the House Energy Subcommittee looks at NAFTA with our friends’ Karen Harbert of the Chamber Global Energy Institute and APFM’s Chet Thompson among those testifying, and Senate Environment hosts NRC Commissions to discuss nuclear.

Speaking of NAFTA and energy, National Journal hosts a webinar on it Thursday and Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee for a sit down with BPC President Jason Grumet.

And then TAKE THE REST OF FRIDAY OFF AND GO SEE THE NEW STAR WARS MOVIE!!!!!

Finally, this morning, there are two interesting New York Times pieces worth reading: one is an internal look at Trump’s mindset and interactions from Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker which I found fascinating and informative; and the second looks at EPA’s enforcement and unfortunately picks up a usual theme backed by misleading stats.  In the second case, there is clearly a different (and just as reasonable) approach in this EPA which shouldn’t be a surprise to advocates or reporters. We are happy to discuss.

And in case you weren’t able to get there this morning at the Newseum, our friend and Axios Energy Reporter Amy Harder led a conversation on energy policies and priorities under President Trump with FERC’s Neil Chatterjee, Rep Paul Tonko and Heritage’s Nick Loris.  Check out the details…

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

THE LOBBY SHOP

The new episode of The Lobby Shop is live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This week’s episode features Special Agent Tom O’Connor, President of the FBI Agents Association.  Tom discusses developments within the Bureau and FBIAA after Director Chris Wray’s nomination, how FBIAA is able to support active, retired, and deceased Special Agents and their families, and what issues are foremost in the minds of FBI personnel lately.  Since it is tax legislation season, we also have a bonus episode featuring PRG’s resident tax expert Liam Donovan on the latest in tax reform and what’s up next for the Conference Committee, final vote, and beyond. Tune in for a look behind the scenes and lots of seasonal analogies.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“It makes no sense to effectively tax tens of thousands of good-paying U.S. jobs out of existence, solely to benefit the commercially unskilled Chinese and German owners of Suniva and SolarWorld, who will cut and run.”

Michael O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development at NextEra Energy.

IN THE NEWS

EPA Rolls Out Redefined NSR Focus in Memo – The EPA issued a memo on Friday saying the agency won’t “second guess” the analyses that companies have to conduct before construction projects on their plants to determine whether they might emit more pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. The well-constructed memo is the first step in a major initiative revise the New Source Review program, which governs permits for new or reconstructed plants’ emissions under the Clean Air Act.  The Supreme Court this morning declined to hear the major case involving EPA’s enforcement of the NSR program.  My Colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA Air Office head is happy to discuss the details.

WSJ Blasts Ethanol – The Wall Street Journal Ed Board blasted the “hostage taking” over ethanol policy in an editorial last Thursday.  The piece discusses the back-and-forth over ethanol policy that first involved Corn State Senators blocking Trump EPA nominees, then oil state Senators pushing back by blocking Iowa-favored Ag nominees, including one that would clear a path for Sen. Grassley’s grandson to become Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture.  The Journal says the “Senate hostage-taking is unfortunate, not least because it undermines the ability of the executive branch to govern. But this is what happens when politicians decide to favor certain industries like ethanol at the expense of others. The political and economic damage will grow as long as this policy continues.” It also adds that America’s independent refiners and manufacturers deserve at least as much consideration as the Trump Administration has given ethanol interests. WSJ: “The RINs regime has imperiled the jobs of many blue-collar union voters who swung for Mr. Trump in 2016.”

AEI Report Hits RFS – The American Enterprise Institute has a new report looking at policymaking lessons from the RFS, saying the RFS would be better as a rate standard than a volume standard.  AEI also adds that EPA should issue multi-year rules rather than annual rules in order to improve certainty and that uncertainty should be explicitly incorporated into future rulemakings.

EPA to Hold Additional CPP Hearings – EPA said it would hold additional public hearings on the repeal the Clean Power Plan.  The hearing will be in San Francisco, Gillette, WY and Kansas City. The hearing were added due to the “overwhelming response” to the recent hearing in Charleston.  Dates and locations of the meetings will be announced in the coming weeks.

Companies Roll Out Landmark Methane Effort – API rolled out a landmark partnership to accelerate improvements to environmental performance in operations across the country. Focused initially on reducing methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, the Environmental Partnership includes 26 natural gas and oil producers, who produce a significant portion of American energy resources. Participating companies will begin implementing the voluntary program starting January 1, 2018.  Collectively, at the time of launch, the participating companies represent operations in every major U.S. natural gas and oil basin. The Environmental Partnership is a historic agreement bringing together American natural gas and oil companies of all sizes to take action, learn and collaborate in an effort to further improve our environmental performance.

What Methane Program Will Address – The three Environmental Performance Programs include:

  1. Leak Program for Natural Gas and Oil Production Sources: Participants will implement monitoring and timely repair of fugitive emissions at selected sites utilizing detection methods and technologies such as Method 21 or Optical Gas Imaging cameras.
  2. Program to Replace, Remove or Retrofit High-Bleed Pneumatic Controllers: Participants will replace, remove or retrofit high-bleed pneumatic controllers with low-or zero-emitting devices.
  3. Program for Manual Liquids Unloading for Natural Gas Production Sources: Participants will minimize emissions associated with the removal of liquids that, as a well ages, can build up and restrict natural gas flow.

Who is in? – Participants at launch include: Anadarko, Apache, BHP, BP, Chesapeake Energy, Cabot Oil & Gas, Chevron, Cimarex Energy, ConocoPhillips, CrownQuest, Devon Energy, Encana, EOG Resources, Exxon Mobil subsidiary XTO Energy, Hess, Marathon Oil, Murphy Oil, Newfield, Noble Energy, Occidental Petroleum, Pioneer Natural Resources, Shell, Southwestern Energy, Statoil, TOTAL and Western Gas Partners.  To view more information about the program and companies’ commitments, visit www.TheEnvironmentalPartnership.org.

SAFE Looks at Expand EV Markets – Securing America’s Future Energy released its quarterly update to the Energy Security Fact Pack, a data-driven overview of the latest trends in energy security. The Fact Pack includes charts on domestic and global oil production and consumption patterns, oil market dynamics and prices, and up-to-date information on fuel efficiency and advanced fuel vehicles.  The latest Fact Pack highlights developments in the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) market, which is poised to see significant growth in the coming years as a result of new models, lower battery costs, increased range, and growing consumer awareness. Demand for EVs has continued to rise in 2017, setting new records for purchases and vehicle model availability. Although six models currently account for nearly two-thirds of sales, consumers have a fuller range of choices with 37 models available, thanks to marked declines in battery technology costs and enhanced range.  See the Charts.

SAFE, Mayors Support of Federal EV Tax Credit – Speaking of SAFE, it has worked in collaboration with the City of Atlanta to recruit 22 mayors from cities across the country to sign a joint letter in support of the federal electric vehicle (EV) tax credit. The mayors’ letter was sent to the appointed members of the conference committee following recent passage of the House and Senate tax reform legislation. It called for the preservation of the Section 30D Federal Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Tax Credit, which offers a $7,500 discount on purchase of a new electric vehicle.  SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a coalition of CEOs and retired military leaders concerned with threats to America’s economic and national security through our continued oil dependence, have also express strong support of the EV tax credit citing it as a cornerstone to energy security policy.

Solar Growth Continues…. – The EIA said its latest monthly report shows that U.S. PV output in the first nine months of 2017 grew 47% over the same period in 2016, with market growth across the nation. PV represented 1.9% of total generation during this period. Every state in the U.S. increased its output from solar, from South Dakota, the only remaining state that did not generate more than 1,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) or one gigawatt-hour (GWh) in the nine month period, to perennial PV giant California.  California, with its 24.8 M mw, more than laps the field over next place Arizona, with 4.6M. However, as PV output growth across the U.S. accelerates, the Golden State’s share of PV generation, shrank from 48% in 2016 to 43% in 2017. Rounding out the top 10 generators are North Carolina, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas, Massachusetts, Georgia, Utah and Colorado. Of those top 10 states, Georgia had the highest year to year percentage growth, increasing 186% from 2016 to 2017, followed by Texas with 165% and Utah with 123%. Other states that made impressive percentage and quantity growth gains in the same time period are Minnesota, Idaho, Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi.

…But Trade Case Creates Worry – Folks are worried though about solar in the face of new potential tariffs.  More than 60 witnesses testified in a cramped conference room at USTR during a final eight-hour public hearing on the Section 201 trade case.  A new GTM Research report finds that the average fixed-tilt utility-scale solar price has since edged back above of DOE’s price target, amid market uncertainty surrounding the Section 201 solar trade case. The recent price increase stems from a rush to procure “tariff-free” solar panels over the summer with the potential for new tariffs looming. The National Electrical Contractors told the Hill that thousands of high-tech, high-skilled, and good-paying electrical contractors’ jobs are at risk.

Third Way Releases CCS Map – Third Way has a new map and database that is the most comprehensive tracking site for projects working to capture carbon emissions. Third Way says there are 100 carbon capture projects globally, with 51 in the United States. These projects can capture, store, and utilize emissions from power and bioenergy plants, industrial facilities, and even directly from the air. Some are innovative new concepts being developed by startups, and others have been operating at commercial scale for decades. One thing they have in common: we’ll likely need this full suite of technologies to meet international and domestic climate goals.

ACCF Paper Focuses on Regs – The American Council for Capital Formation released a paper by former OIRA head John Graham outlining 10 ideas for improving the regulatory process. It’s the product of a November 2016 roundtable with Sens. Mike Rounds, Angus King, James Lankford and others. Graham, who now heads Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, said the themes of this paper are increasing transparency at regulatory agencies, enhancing public, congressional and judicial oversight of agencies, stimulating retrospective review of old regulations, and ensuring evidential support for new regulations.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Paris Forum to Focus on Anniversary – French President Macron will host the One Planet Summit tomorrow 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 tomorrow.  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.

House Panels to Look at Fuel Standards, GHGs – The House Energy & Commerce panels on Environment and on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will hold a joint hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to discuss updates on the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Program (CAFE) and GHG emissions standards for motor vehicles.  Witnesses include our friend and Montgomery, AL Honda/Acura dealer Forrest McConnell representing the National Automotive Dealers Assn.  Others include AAM’s Mitch Bainwol, Global Automakers John Bozzella and Dave Cooke of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Senate Energy to Look FERC, Interior Permitting; Vote on Nominees – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to examine the infrastructure permitting processes at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Department of the Interior.  Testifying will be Interior’s Jim Cason, FERC’s Terry Turpin and Janet Pfleegar of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, along with several others.  The Committee will also vote on nominations Linda Capuano to head the DOE’s Energy Information Administration and Tim Petty to be assistant secretary of the Interior Department before the hearing.

Senate Foreign Relations to Focus on European Security – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on European energy security focused on U.S. Interests and coercive Russian diplomacy.  Witnesses include the State Department’s Assistant Secretary of Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell and State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Energy Resource John McCarrick.

WH Infrastructure Aide Headlines Forum – The Hudson Institute will host an event tomorrow at Noon on the future of U.S. public transit systems keynoted by D.J. Gribbin, Special Assistant to the President for Infrastructure Policy. Following Gribbin’s remarks, David Horner will moderate a panel discussion featuring Maryland Secretary of Transportation Pete K. Rahn, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority General Manager and CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld, and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority CEO Phillip A. Washington.

Resources Looks at Dependence on Foreign Metals, Minerals – The House Resources panel on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the consequences of relying on other countries for a growing number of metals and minerals.  Witnesses include DoD’s Ronnie Favors, USGS’s Murray Hitzman, RAND’s Richard Silberglitt, NMA’s Katie Sweeney and Havasupai Tribe Council member Carletta Tilousi.

Webinar to Look at Digital Grid – Utility Dive will hold a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on discussion on how digital agility can help utilities improve operational excellence and deliver superior customer engagement and experience.  Speakers will include experts from MIT, PG&E and Siemens Digital Grid.  Key topics covered in the webinar will include adopting new grid modernization strategies, building new revenue streams, extreme weather and grid resilience among other issues.

Energy Storage Forum Set –The 3rd annual U.S. Energy Storage Summit will be held in San Francisco tomorrow and Wednesday 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 – Tomorrow and Wednesday, 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.

House Energy Panel Looks at NAFTA, Energy – The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn on the impacts and future of North American energy trade and NAFTA.  Our friends Chamber Global Energy Institute head Karen Harbert and refiners Assn Head Chet Thompson will be among those testifying.  RFF’s Alan Krupnick and ABB’s Allen Burchett (repping NAM) will also join the panel.

Senate Environment Hosts NRC Commissioners – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  NRC Chairwoman Kristine Svinicki, Commissioner Jeff Baran and Commissioner Stephen Burns will testify.

Senate Commerce to Vote on NOAA Head – The Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to approve President Trump’s choice of AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

RFF Seminar to Look at CPP – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a seminar on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. to explore the implications of social cost of carbon revisions for the Clean Power Plan itself and for potential future energy and climate policies.  RFF’s Alan Krupnick will reflect on the decision’s treatment of health benefits, and Harvard University’s Kathy Fallon Lambert will present new research on how repealing the Clean Power Plan would impact public health. RFF’s Dallas Burtraw will conclude the seminar with a discussion of how a revised “inside the fence line” approach to Clean Power Plan compliance might work.

House Science to Look at Solar Programs Focus – The House Science Committee is holding a hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on advancing solar energy technology.  The hearing will look at research and deployment, while examining DOE’s efforts to shift solar energy funding toward early-stage research.  Witnesses include DOE’s EERE head Dan Simmons, NREL’s Martin Keller, Stanford University’s Steve Eglash and Kenny Stein of the Institute for Energy Research.

Energy Stakeholder Breakfast Set – The Advanced Energy Stakeholder Series continues on Thursday morning with an event supported by stakeholder member organizations across New York, Chicago, Denver, Washington D.C. and Boston.  The breakfast will focus on energy, mobility & transportation and will include Rachel Healy of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Jigar Shah, PEPCO’s Robert Stewart, Marissa Gillett of the Maryland Public Service Commission and David Schatz of ChargePoint.

NJ to Host NAFTA WebinarNational Journal will host a webinar on Thursday 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 at 9:00 a.m. 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.

BPC to Host FERC Chair – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee for a sit down with BPC President Jason Grumet to discuss the proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule. This proposal, drafted by the Department of Energy, calls for an expedited rulemaking to support generators that provide specific reliability and resiliency services. The proposal calls on FERC to take action on the rulemaking by today.

NatGas Roundtable Panel to Discuss Energy Security – On Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Mexican Cultural Institute, the Embassy of Mexico and the Natural Gas Roundtable of Washington will hold a panel session on natural gas and North American energy security. A Holiday Reception will follow at 4:30 p.m.

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – MIDNIGHT, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15th

IN THE FUTURE

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 – On January 9th, API holds its annual State of Energy Address.

Hopper, Honorable to Headline WCEE Event – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a reception at Dentons on Tuesday January 9th at 6:00 p.m. to discuss lessons learned from political appointees.  The event features a lively discussion about the political appointment process in the energy and environmental fields and will feature a panel of former state and federal political appointees about how they started down the path towards political appointment and navigated the process.  Panelists will share their experiences and candid views about the challenges and rewards of a political appointment, as well as lessons they have learned while in these highly visible roles.  Speakers include SEIA’s Abby Hopper, former director of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; former FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable and Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Katz, who is President of the National Association of State Utility Advocates.

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.

WCEE to Look at 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds its  6th Annual WCEE Lunch & Learn Brainstorming Event on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon kicking off its Lunch & Learn planning, as well as deciding what topics to cover in 2018.

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 August 7

Friends,

Well, we finally might have a chance to breathe now that Congress has headed back home for the August Work Period. It has been a pretty crazy nine months since election day 2016. I’m sure there will be plenty of action outside the Beltway in August given the results (or lack thereof, depending on your political view).

We will not report weekly in August but will update you when necessary. Some events for August include AWEA launching its inaugural #AmericanWindWeek this week.  Throughout the week, AWEA members will highlight America’s wind energy leadership—modern wind power was born in the U.S., and is home to some of the world’s most productive wind turbines.  #AmericanWindWeek will feature on-the-ground events across the country so click on the link to catch one in your area.

Next week, the ITC holds its public hearing on Tuesday looking at the injury phase of the 201 trade petition filed by Suniva which aims to impose tariffs that place the recent success of the entire solar industry and its workforce at risk.  You will hear a bunch this week and next from the solar industry, as well as a broader coalition of affected parties like utilities, union workers, retailers and conservative/free trade advocates, weighing in on the high cost and devastating impacts any potential tariffs could have.

The follow week, the country will focus on the upcoming solar eclipse, which occurs on August 21st.  EIA says that solar eclipse will obscure the sunlight needed to generate electricity at approximately 1,900 utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the United States. However, relatively little solar PV capacity lies in the path of totality.  See the full EIA analysis here.  If you really want to “Science Nerd” out that week, the American Chemical Society holds its 254th annual national meeting during the entire week and will feature tons of events on really complex STEM issues, as well as highlight many important and innovative technological advances.

Before Congress vaulted, the Senate did address one HUGE need when late Thursday, they approved FERC nominees Robert Powelson and Neil Chatterjee to the Commission to restore its quorum, which had been absent and limiting action since April.  More on the reaction for this long-awaited relief below.   The Senate also approved DOE #2 Dan Brouillette and our former Bracewell colleague and ex-TX Sen. Kay Baily Hutchinson to be the Ambassador to NATO, among others.

Finally, August break also means we have to start getting ready for the Society of Environmental Journalists annual meeting, this year held in Pittsburgh on October 4-8th.   Of course, Bracewell’s PRG will again sponsor its Thursday Night Extravaganza.  More on this as we get closer, but mark your calendar.

When we return in September, football will be in full swing, my college field hockey umping season (as well as Hannah’s 2nd Wellesley and Olivia’s 1st HS seasons) will be underway and tennis’s final major, New York’s US Open will hitting the Quarterfinal rounds.   Enjoy and see you then…We will be around nearly all August, so if you’re in DC, let’s grab a lunch or coffee and as always, call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“I have been attacked in cartoon form.  I have officially arrived.”

New FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, who was approved unanimously late Thursday by the Senate, on social media over the weekend after seeing the following editorial cartoon:

IN THE NEWS

FERC Approves Nominees to Restore Quorum – The Senate approved FERC nominees Robert Powelson and Neil Chatterjee late last week before heading out on August work period.  Senators’ unanimous votes Thursday approved Senate energy aide to Majority Leader McConnell Neil Chatterjee and Pennsylvania utility regulator Robert Powelson that restores a voting quorum. Only one commissioner currently serves on the panel, leaving it unable to make decisions on interstate pipelines and other projects worth billions of dollars.

Segal Praises Powleson, Chatterjee – ERCC Director Scott Segal offered relief that “the long day’s journey into night for energy infrastructure is over, regarding the voice vote confirming Powelson and Chatterjee.  “This ends the first missing quorum in 40 years of regulatory activity for the Commission.  As ERCC reported to Senate Leadership earlier last week, some $50 billion in private capital was hamstrung by FERC inaction for major pieces of energy infrastructure like interstate natural gas pipelines so essential for bringing clean energy all over the country and the world.  As well, more than 75,000 jobs were in jeopardy as projects were delayed.  Chatterjee brings a long record of work on major energy policies to the FERC, and Powelson brings an important state perspective from a major energy-producing state. With the FERC quorum shortly restored, business confidence will be restored – and it will be time to get back to work.”

INGAA Pleased Quorum RestoredINGAA CEO/President Don Santa applauded the Senate for confirming Chatterjee and Powelson to serve as members of FERC, thereby restoring the commission’s quorum, which has been absent for six months.  Santa, a former FERC Commissioner who in a group of 4 that was approved just before losing a quorum in 1993, said “the commission now can get back to work thoroughly reviewing the many energy infrastructure projects of national importance that have been sidelined in recent months.”  Santa also said INGAA looks forward to seeing quick action on nominees Republican Kevin McIntyre (designated as chairman) and Democrat Richard Glick, noting encouragement that the Senate Energy Committee had already scheduled a hearing for the two nominees in September.  Santa: “INGAA hopes that the Senate can confirm McIntyre and Glick as soon as possible.”

Chamber Says ‘Finally’ – The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute also expressed released that the quorum was finally restored.  Institute President and CEO Karen Harbert said for months, an increasing number of critical energy infrastructure projects have been stalled due to a lack of a quorum at FERC.  Harbert: “We’re pleased that the Senate has finally acted to confirm Neil Chatterjee and Rob Powelson.  Both nominees are exceptionally well qualified and will serve with distinction.  While overdue, the Senate’s action will now allow American energy companies the ability to move forward with projects that will create jobs and improve our security.”  The U.S. Chamber led a coalition of over 90 business groups which sent a letter earlier today urging quicker action on nominees, and specifically objecting to forcing even non-controversial nominees to the cloture process, which is a departure from previous norms.

Segal Discusses CPP Follow Up in POWER Magazine Piece – Segal was also featured in POWER magazine this month regarding the future of power-sector regulation in a post-Clean Power Plan world.  Segal says it is possible to have a sensible approach to regulating baseload power even as investments continue in alternative energy sources that reflect the broad range of American innovation. Renewable and nuclear power sources will continue to expand as cost-effectiveness improves, tax policy remains conducive and state legislation is appropriate. Durable and sensible regulatory reform will be in the best interest of all forms of power development.”

Denver Post Editorial: Starving Coal Plants is Misguided – The Denver Post Editorial board, not the most conservative editorial board out there, wrote an editorial on Sunday saying that starving coal power plants to save the environment is a misguided policy approach when referring to opposition over two coal mine expansion applications.  “The buildup of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere is distressing and contributing to the global warming that poses a real — albeit distant — threat to our environment, wildlife and coastal cities,” they said.  “But the place to effect meaningful change is not on the front end by eliminating the extraction of coal and gas from the ground. Interfering with efforts to meet our nation’s demand for coal will hurt nearly every community in America where 32% of the U.S. power market still depends on burning this dirty fossil fuel to power cities.  Forcing coal power plants out of commission by starvation will hurt far worse than carefully planning a transition and continuing this inexorable march away from coal over time.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE FOR AUGUST

AWEA Launches First ‘Wind Week’ – This week, AWEA launches its inaugural #AmericanWindWeek.  The week will highlight America’s wind energy leadership—modern wind power was born in the U.S., and is home to some of the world’s most productive wind turbines.  #AmericanWindWeek will feature on-the-ground events across the country, from ribbon cuttings and public tours at wind projects to a charity 5K through a wind farm. The week culminates when AWEA hosts the Fowler Wind Fair in Fowler, Indiana. Fowler perfectly encapsulates how wind is creating a future full of good jobs and new opportunities across rural America.

Forum to Look at Oil Corruption Issues – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a forum next Tuesday August 8th at Noon on how the US can counteract oil corruption.  The oil industry has been entangled in serious corruption controversies, from the legality of some companies’ stance on climate change to dealings with producer-country governments. In response, the U.S. government has shown leadership over the past decade in helping bring more transparency to the sector.  The event will offer an engaging discussion of new findings by Global Witness on Shell’s activities in Nigeria, why corruption in this key economic sector matters, and how the U.S. government-and companies-can be part of the solution.  Speakers will include former WaPo reporter and dean of the Columbia School of Journalism Steve Coll (who wrote a book on Exxon).   Others include Olarenwaju Suraju, a Nigerian anticorruption and environmental activist and Simon Taylor, co-founding director of the international anticorruption organization Global Witness.  Carnegie’s Democracy and Rule of Law fellow Sarah Chayes will moderate.  She is a co-author of “The Oil Curse: A Remedial Role for the Oil Industry.”

Beyer to Address Forum on Paris Implications – The United Nations Assn of the USA will hold a forum tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. in 2168 Rayburn to discuss the Paris Treaty and the potential consequences and risks associated with this recent withdrawal.  The keynote speaker will include Rep. Don Beyer, the Vice Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.  The program will also look at the current situation as addressed by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #17 (Partnerships for the Goals) as catalyst for the UN Association to reaffirm efforts to inform, educate and advocate for global cooperation.

Clean Energy Bootcamp Set – The Clean Energy Leadership Institute, in partnership with the Duke University Energy Initiative, will hold its inaugural Clean Energy 101 Bootcamp on Saturday, August 12th.  The Clean Energy 101 Bootcamp is designed to give current students, recent graduates, and those interested in pursuing a career in clean energy an introduction to fundamental concepts of clean energy technology, finance, business development and policy.  The Bootcamp will also offer extensive opportunities to network and learn from current professionals about what it means to work in government, industry, advocacy, science, and entrepreneurship roles across the clean energy sector.

Trade petition Hearing Set – The US International Trade Commission will hold its first hearing on the injury phase of the Solar 201 trade petition filed by Suniva on August 15th beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the USITC in Washington, DC. In the event that the Commission makes an affirmative injury determination or is equally divided on the question of injury in this investigation, a second hearing on the question of remedy will be held beginning at 9:30 a.m. on October 3rd.

USEA Forum to Look at Energy-Water Nexus – The US Energy Association will host a forum on Tuesday August 15th at 10:00 a.m. featuring Verdant Power looking at the water-energy nexus. According to DOE’s “The Water Energy Nexus:  Challenges and Opportunities” report, several trends are increasing urgency to address the water-energy nexus in an integrated and proactive way: climate change, which is affecting precipitation and temperature patterns throughout the world; population growth and regional migration trends that are likely to increase, which complicate   management of energy and water systems; new technologies in energy and water domains that shift water-energy demands; and developments in policies that are introducing additional incentives and challenges for decision making.  Verdant Power is addressing the water-energy nexus in an integrated and proactive way resulting from its successful R&D efforts at the company’s Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project in New York City’s East River – the world’s first grid-connected array of marine renewable energy (MRE) turbines systems. Verdant Power’s Trey Taylor will look at their holistic, strategic approach in helping build sustainable communities through MRE-based integrated energy and hybrid power systems, microgrids, and water management.

ACS to Host National Meeting, Innovative Technologies Event – The American Chemical Society hosts Its 254th national meeting and expo on August 20th through 24th in DC at the Walter Washington Convention Center focusing on chemistry’s impact on the global economy.  The week will be filled with more science and chemistry events than anyone could ever want.  They will also honor innovative technologies toward the end of the conference and we will have more Information about that closer to the event.

 

IN THE FUTURE

McIntyre, Glick Head to Confirmation Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. for Rich Glick and Kevin McIntyre to join FERC.

Platts Forum to Look at Pipeline Issues – Platts will hold its 12th annual conference in Houston at the Houstonian on September 7th and 8th looking at pipeline development and expansion.   During the conference, my colleague George Felcyn and our friend George Stark of Cabot will be featured on a panel on building pipeline support from the grassroots.   This workshop will focus on ways for pipeline companies to build public support, shape media coverage, influence regulators and successfully see their planned projects through to completion.

TX Renewable Summit Set – On September 18th – 20th, the Texas Renewable Energy Summit will be held in Austin at Omni Southpark.  The summit will offer the latest insights into the market and hear from key players about the key trends impacting renewable energy project development, finance and investment in Texas.  The falling price of solar panels is driving a surge in interest by public utilities and corporate customers in contracting for solar power, while a huge queue of wind projects is forming. As much as 16 GW of new wind and solar projects could come to fruition in Texas.  However, development and financing challenges must be surmounted to assure project success and bankability. Large quantities of solar may drive the dispatch curve and market prices in unpredictable directions.

Ideas Conference Set – The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute holds its 9th annual Washington Ideas conference on September 26-28.  “Washington Ideas” convenes the nation’s leaders in politics, business, health, science, technology, arts, culture and journalism for three days of can’t miss conversation and connections. In the heart of the nation’s capital, we will tackle the most consequential issues facing the country and the world.

Coal Event to Hear from Alpha CEO – The 40th annual Coal Marketing Days forum will be held on September 26-27 at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh.  The event hosts a variety of coal suppliers and buyers, coal transport companies, and industry-wide analysts who exchange in-depth knowledge on the current state of the global and domestic coal-producing markets and focuses on the current trends and challenges shaping the business. Alpha Natural Resources CEO David Stetson is the keynote.

EEI Comms Conference Set – Our friends at EEI hold their annual Communicators Conference On Monday October 2 and Tuesday October 3rd in Washington.  Utility Communicators from across the Country will be in town to discuss policy and best practice issues, among other items.

SEJ Set for Pittsburgh – Speaking of Pittsburgh, SEJ’s 27th annual conference is set for October 4-8 in Steel City.

Vets in Energy Forum Set – Veterans In Energy will hold a forum on October 5th through 7th at NRECA in Arlington. VIE provide transition, retention and professional development support to the growing population of military veterans who have chosen energy careers.  Speakers will include Chris Hale Of GI Jobs and Gen. John Allen, former Dep Commander of US Central Command.

Renewable Tour Set for October Shenandoah Fall – JMU’s Center for Wind Energy joins the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and hundreds of solar-savvy installers and grassroots organizations throughout America to showcase thousands of solar-powered homes, schools and businesses in Virginia and across North America — for the 22nd Annual National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event. The ASES National Solar Tour shows families and businesses real-life examples of how their neighbors are harnessing free energy from the sun to generate electricity, warm and cool their homes, heat water and slash monthly utility bills.

 

Energy Update: Week of July 17

Friends,

How about a cheer for the old folks as Roger Federer continues to amaze with another Wimbledon title, his record breaking 8th victory.  And while Venus Williams came up just short in her 20th Wimbledon at age 37, they both deserve kudos for another great Grand Slam performance.   While I was working on the update last night, my house was abuzz with talk of the season premiere of Game of Thrones.  It sounded in the post-show discussion like the season opener didn’t disappoint.

This week, we will probably finally see the DOE Grid Study.  On Friday, our friends at Bloomberg got a draft which says renewables are not risking the grid.  The DOE and others say just wait for the report.  Sect. Perry is slated for a NPC event tomorrow morning, so that may be it.

Also in case you missed it on Sunday, with potential action soon in the Senate on incentives for nuclear power on the agenda, former Constellation nuclear executive Mike Wallace had an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun over the weekend urging focus on the nation’s nuclear current and future nuclear fleet and the important role It will play in providing reliable power, improving National Security and reducing emissions.

Capitol Hill this week is abuzz with budget items.  Senate Approps marks up Interior, AG and Energy/Water budgets.  Tomorrow, a House Energy Panel looks at the state of the electricity industry  and Senate Energy will discuss North American energy and security issues.  House Resources looks at Alaska oil and gas while on Wednesday, House Science looks at energy innovation.  Finally, on Thursday, the Senate Energy Committee takes up Interior and DOE Nominations, including our friend Mark Menezes at DOE.

A number of good other energy events also this week in DC led by Wednesday’s CSIS event on the RFS featuring our friend Kevin Book and Friday’s USEEE event with BP’s Mark Finley to discuss their 2017 Energy Outlook.

Congrats to our friend Bill Murray, who joined R Street Institute as federal energy policy manager after editing the RealClearEnergy website for two years.

Finally, on Thursday evening, Bracewell will host the Women’s Energy Network Summer Networking Happy Hour at 5:30 p.m. WEN DC is an organization that prides itself on supporting the professional development and advancement of women in the energy industry through relationships and networking. Come enjoy great food, networking, and policing wonkery with folks from across the energy industry.

Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“I think there has been way too much build up (regarding the DOE Study). The study has been built up the point no matter what it says it is likely to disappoint everybody.”

Tom Pyle, head of the American Energy Alliance commenting in a Bloomberg news after obtaining a draft of the long-awaited, upcoming DOE Grid Study.

 

IN THE NEWS

Bloomberg: Grid Study Says Not Much Impact From Renewable – Bloomberg reports that the new DOE Grid Study will say wind and solar power don’t pose a significant threat to the reliability of the U.S. power grid according to Energy Department staff members.  “The power system is more reliable today due to better planning, market discipline, and better operating rules and standards,” according to a July draft of the study obtained by Bloomberg.  The findings are still under review by the department’s leadership.

Advanced Nuclear Highlighted in Op-Ed – Over the weekend, former Constellation exec and nuclear Power expert at CSIS Mike Wallace penned an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun extolling the importance of protecting our current nuclear fleet while expanding opportunities to develop new plants.  In the piece, Wallace argues that “an integrated nuclear energy infrastructure is necessary for geo-political relevance for any meaningful country in the 21st century. It is a fundamental strategic national asset, and just like the Pentagon, or the Interstate Highway System, it provides broad-based benefits to the whole country, including domestic energy, grid reliability, support for advanced academic physics and engineering programs, manufacturing, training programs for skilled labor, and providing geo-political influence on global standards for safety, security, operations, emergency response and nonproliferation.”

Groups Asks for Expedited Review of Projects – The Center for LNG and the Natural Gas Supply Association is asking DOE to speed up reviews for LNG applications.  The groups submitted comments to DOE, who is reviewing regulations. “Regulatory certainty is essential for the U.S. LNG industry and we are thankful that DOE is looking at the regulatory process. Our recommendations provide a framework for a more certain future for American LNG and the billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs it entails,” they wrote.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Discuss Self-Driving Cars – The R Street Institute will host an afternoon panel today at 2:00 p.m. featuring a discussion of policy questions surrounding self-driving technologies Self-driving vehicles have yet to be deployed en masse on America’s streets. But their potential to reduce auto fatalities drastically and free our morning commutes makes expediting this process and providing a permissive regulatory framework a top priority. In the halls of Congress, members of both the House and Senate are actively grappling with what enabling legislation is needed to deliver our autonomous future safely and securely. Panelists will include Paul Brubaker of ATI21, Paul Lewis of the Eno Center for Transportation, Daimler’s Jessica Nigro and David Strickland of the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets.

Perry to Discuss Global Security, Grid Study – Tomorrow morning at 8:45 a.m., DOE Secretary Rick Perry and Dr. Fatih Birol will participate in a news conference on global security in the National Press Club’s Murrow Room.

House Energy to Discuss State of Electricity Industry – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will convene a hearing tomorrow examining the state of the electric industry through market participant perspectives.  Witnesses will include Duke’s Alex Glenn, NextEra’s Joe Kelliher, PSEG’s Tamara Linde, Lisa McAlister of American Municipal Power, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative head Jackson Reasor, Ken Schisler of EnerNOC and Steven Schleimer of Calpine.

Senate Energy Looks at Energy, Security Issues – The full Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will convene a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. to examine the status and outlook for U.S. and North American energy and resource security.

House Appropriations Committee Marks Interior Budget – Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., the Full House Appropriations Committee will markup the FY2018 Interior Appropriations Bill.

RFF to host Webinar On Cali Cap/Trade – Resources for the Future and other experts will hold an interactive online panel discussion tomorrow looking at the proposed changes to California’s cap-and-trade program, potential implications for the state’s carbon market, and the potential effects on linkage with the programs in Quebec, Ontario, and other jurisdictions that might consider linkage in the future.  Speakers include RFF’s Dallas Burtraw, James Bushnell of UCal-Davis, Stewart Elgie of the uOttawa Institute of the Environment, Jan Mazurek of the ClimateWorks Foundation Duke Nicholas Institute expert Brian Murray and Dave Sawyer of EnviroEconomics.

WCEE to Host Sustainable City Event – Tomorrow at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum with National Geographic’s Senior Manager of Sustainability, Susan Kolodziejczyk. Kolodziejczyk will present an interactive exploration of the intersection of urbanization and sustainability, what that means in terms of society’s choices and priorities, and examples of successful, innovative city solutions around the world.

House Resources to Look at Alaska Oil, Gas Issues – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on: promoting oil and gas development in Alaska.  Witnesses will Include Gary Dixon of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 959 Alaska, Richard Glenn of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Scott Jepsen.

Senate Approps Panel Marks Energy/Water Budget Bill – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will meet to markup the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018 tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.

Webinar to Focus on NJ Solar Issues – Utility Dive is hosting a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. focused on the PSE&G approach to proactively studying and accommodating the impacts of DER on the PSE&G system.  NJ is experiencing some of the strongest solar PV growth in the U.S. NJ-based Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) takes an active role in understanding feeder and substation capacity to accommodate solar PV, and to avoid negative impacts to grid reliability, voltages, thermal capacity, flicker and more. The webinar will cover PSE&G’s method to study and accommodate the impacts of DER, in collaboration with Siemens PTI. An overview of the study and its methodologies and the distribution system at PSE&G, available DERs, challenges, the need for the study and the results.  Speakers include PSE&G’s Ahmed Mousa and Siemens PTI’s Hugo Bashualdo.

AGA to Discuss NatGas Supply – The American Gas Association (AGA) and the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) will hold a press conference on Wednesday at 9:30 AM EDT, to release the major findings of the PGC’s year-end 2016 biennial report: Potential Supply of Natural Gas in the United. The report is expected to reveal that domestic estimates of undiscovered natural gas resources continue to grow, due largely to the existence of technologies that continue to unlock energy resources from shale and other producing formations.  Alexei V. Milkov, director of the Potential Gas Agency, Colorado School of Mines and AGA’s Chris McGill will speak.

Forum to Look at RFS – CSIS will host an update on the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  The event will feature Harvard’s James Stock and our friend Kevin Book of ClearView, a Senior Associate of the CSIS Energy & National Security Program.

Cramer to Headline Forum on Innovation – Microsoft and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a conversation on Wednesday looking at clean innovation and why it makes business sense. The discussion will bring together stakeholders from industry, government and civil society to discuss the business drivers for innovation in clean energy and low-carbon technologies across a broad range of industries.  Keynoter will be Rep Kevin Cramer, while a panel lead by Bob Perciasepe, will explore the business drivers and challenges associated with clean innovation across multiple sectors and geographies.  These issues include growing customer demand, competitiveness concerns, cost pressures, efficiency gains and enhanced performance.

House Science to Look at Energy Innovation – The House Committee on Science will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at energy innovation and letting technology lead.  Witnesses will include Jacob DeWitte of Oklo, UCLA’s Gaurav Sant, Harvard’s Venky Narayanamurti and Kiran Kumaraswamy of AES Energy Storage.

Atlantic Forum to Look at Russia Sanctions – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold a conversation about the recently Senate-passed legislation on Russia sanctions on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. The ongoing discussions in Congress provide an opportunity to take stock of existing sanctions policy, discussed the proposed legislative changes, and assess the current and future impact of sanctions on Russia’s energy sector.    Speakers will include the Atlantic Council Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center’s Ambassador Daniel Fried, Atlantic Council Global Energy Center Senior Fellow David Mortlock,and Jeffrey Turner of Squire Patton Boggs.

Forum to Look at Energy, Transportation Systems – The Johns Hopkins University SAIS will hold a day-long conference on Thursday looking at the Atlantic Basin’s four ‘continental’ energy and transportation systems. This conference seeks to explore the drivers, dynamics and limits of this Atlantic Basin energy and transportation world, and to map its contemporary technical, economic, social and political contours. Current status quo configurations (geographical, technical, market, policy) and business-as-usual trajectories of these five transportation regimes – four ‘continental’ terrestrial systems and one pan-Atlantic Basin maritime transportation system which links them together – will be examined, along with the new types of energy policy and transportation infrastructure requirements (and new transnational and pan-Atlantic collaboration mechanisms) that could be demanded by any future Atlantic Basin pathways consistent with the Paris Accord’s objective to defend the 2-degree guardrail.

Senate Energy Holds Hearing on Energy Nominees – On Thursday, Senate Energy Committee will convene a hearing to consider new energy nominations.  They include Brenda Burman of Arizona to be Commissioner of Reclamation of the Department of the Interior; Susan Combs of Texas to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Policy, Management and Budget); Paul Dabbar of New York to be Under Secretary for Science of the Department of Energy; Doug Domenech of Virginia to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Insular Affairs); David Jonas of Pennsylvania to be General Counsel of the Department of Energy; and Mark Menezes of Virginia to be Under Secretary of the Department of Energy.

Senate Approps to Mark up Budgets – On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., the full Senate Committee on Appropriations will meet to markup the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018 as well as the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Act, 2018.

Forum to Feature BP’s Finley on Energy Report – The US Association for Energy Economics, National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC-USAEE) will host BP’s Mark Finley for its July luncheon on Friday at the Chinatown Garden.  Finley will present the just-released 2017 BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Grid Evolution Summit Set – The Grid Evolution Summit is set for July 25th through 27th at the Washington Hilton.  The event, sponsored by the Smart Electric Power Alliance, will be a conversation of industry stakeholders that will determine how the electric sector evolves, modernizes the grid and better integrates distributed energy resources.  Speakers will include Rep Paul Tonko, House Energy Committee Counsels Rick Kessler and Tom Hassenboehler, PSE&G Renewable VP Courtney McCormick, Xcel’s Doug Benvento DOE’s Eric Lightner, Maryland PSC Chair Kevin Hughes, Kit Carson Electric Co-op CEO Luis Reyes and Utility Dive Editor Gavin Bade.

Forum to Look at Clean Energy Innovation – On Wednesday, July 26th at 10:00 a.m., the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will release a new report assessing recent federal efforts to overcome Clean Energy Development challenges and consider how this record might be extended and improved upon in the future.  Transformational clean-energy innovations are required to achieve the nation’s economic, environmental, and national security goals. Smart grids that can integrate massive distributed resources, power plants that can capture and sequester carbon emissions, and other advanced technologies must be demonstrated at scale before they can be fully commercialized. Public-private partnerships are needed to cross this “valley of death” between prototype and commercialization and strengthen investor confidence in the affordability, reliability, and practicality of such innovations. Speakers will include William Bonvillian, Former Director of the MIT Washington Office; Joseph Hezir of the Energy Futures Initiative, Rice University Baker Institute’s Christopher Smith and our friend Sam Thernstrom, Founder and Executive Director of the Energy Innovation Reform Project.

CSIS to Look at NAFTA Energy Issues – On Wednesday July 26th at 10:00 a.m., CSIS will hold a forum on renegotiating NAFTA, looking at energy challenges and opportunities.  The event will feature CSIS experts Dave Pumphrey and Scott Miller.

Community Solar Forum Set for Denver – The Coalition for Community Solar Access will host the first annual National Community Solar Summit in Denver on July 26 – 28.  A few highlights for Denver include energy company CEOs including Tom Matzzie of CleanChoice Energy, Jesse Grossman of Soltage, Zaid Ashai of Nexamp, Rick Hunter of Microgrid Energy and Steph Spiers of Solstice.  Other speakers include energy company leaders Hannah Masterjohn of Clean Energy Collective, Dan Hendrick of NRG Energy, Adam Altenhofen of US Bank, Adam Capage of 3 Degrees and Lori Singleton of Salt River Project.

USEA Energy Supply Forum Set – On Thursday, July 27th, USEA will hold its 10th Annual Energy Supply Forum in the Ballroom of the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  This annual gathering brings together the country’s top energy industry and policy leaders to examine the current state of energy exploration and production, electricity generation, and global and domestic fuel supply. Detailed agenda coming soon.

INGAA Chair to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host INGAA Chair Diane Leopold as the guest speaker at its next luncheon on Thursday July 27th at Noon. Leopold is an executive vice president of Richmond, Virginia-based Dominion Energy, and is the president and chief executive officer of the company’s Gas Infrastructure Group.

Texas EnviroSuperConference Set – The 29th annual edition of the always educational and entertaining Texas Environmental Superconference will be held on Thursday and Friday, August 3rd and 4th in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel.  The Superconference will cover an engaging array of practice areas and topics including air and water quality, endangered species, and environmental aspects of infrastructure projects and legal issues associated with oil and gas activities. Timely presentations from current and former government officials will give key insights on latest developments and priorities at state and federal agencies, and compelling ethics topics will include internal investigations and climate change.

Energy Update: Week of July 10

Friends,

With the July 4th holiday passing, it means we had some great fireworks (especially in DC) and that the Tour de France is rolling in France.  With 9 of 21 stages complete, the riders have reached the first rest day today with 4-time champ Chris Froome racing up the Mont du Chat yesterday to expand his lead in the yellow jersey.   Lots of time and many mountains to still climb.  You can watch all the action on NBCSN every day.  It was also Super Saturday at Wimbledon with Federer, Murray, Nadal and Djokovic all looking strong on the men’s side while Kerber, Halep, Wozniacki and Venus Williams (who has already advance today to the QF with a straight set win) have all advanced to the 4th round.  The All-Star break for major League baseball also start today and not too soon for the World Champion Cubs who gave up 10 runs in the first inning in their game yesterday against the Pirates.

Interesting action at the G-20 with some limited focus on climate. On Saturday, G-20 nations reached a compromise on climate change that declared the Paris climate change agreement is “irreversible” and must be implemented “swiftly.” The U.S., on the other hand, declared its intention to pull out and forced additional language in supporting fossil fuels alongside support for renewables. And as for the soon-expected grid study from DOE, we hear it won’t likely be this week, but we are still keeping our eyes open for paper.  And speaking of energy dominance, Platts Capitol Crude addresses the subject on this week’s podcast with ClearView’s Kevin Book, looking at whether it’s hollow rhetoric and what it could mean for policy and markets going forward.

Congress returns this week to more action on healthcare.  No expected action on the just re-introduced Senate Energy legislation but Sens Murkowski and Cantwell are hopeful that they will have something passed by August recess.   There will be votes on nominations for NRC and EPA on Wednesday, as well as a House Resources hearing on oil and gas development. Also Wednesday, the full House Approps Committee marks up its Ag and Energy/Water budgets.   Finally, tomorrow, the annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency expo will be held in the Rayburn Foyer.

Off the hill, our friend Coral Davenport discusses the Paris Agreement at a forum at the Embassy of Croatia tomorrow evening and Wednesday the Women’s Energy Network is hosting CFTC Commissioner Sharon Bowen for a lunch and learn” event.  And today, the EPA is holding a public hearing on methane regulation delays which should bring out the usual suspects on both sides if the debate.

Finally, Bracewell has brought on some new energy expertise in the civil Litigation arena by hiring David A. Super to lead our civil litigation practice in Washington, D.C.  Super joins Bracewell from Baker Botts where he practiced for 27 years.   Super as new head of civil litigation in DC is a first chair trial lawyer with fantastic experience acting for companies in the energy industry, including disputes with federal regulators on many energy and environmental issues.

I’m out for most of the week in Lancaster, PA, the home of USA Field Hockey, umpiring their National Championships.  We are taking a quick break to road trip to Detroit for Metallica on Wednesday.  Anyway, I will be fully connected, so feel free to call with questions.

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“AHRI encourages ratification of the Kigali Amendment, while also instituting the regulatory and tax reforms necessary to ensure predictability for manufacturers, distributors, and installers while providing incentives for consumers and businesses to replace their older, less efficient equipment with updated models.  Taken together, these steps can bring about significant energy reduction and environmental benefits.”

AHRI’s Francis Dietz following a new report by the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD) that reviews HCFC/HFC regulatory frameworks, energy efficiency standards, and labeling programs in 19 countries that account for roughly 65% of global AC demand.

 

IN THE NEWS

New Study Highlights Quest for Improved AC Globally – The Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD) in Washington, DC and Paris along with researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released a report that addresses the hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) and hydrofluorocarbons regulatory frameworks, energy efficiency standards, and labeling programs in 19 countries that account for roughly 65% of global AC demand. The report, “Opportunities for Simultaneous Efficiency Improvement and Refrigerant Transition in Air Conditioning,” ranks the HFC transition as the single biggest climate mitigation opportunity available today.

AHRI Sees the Issue As Hugely Important – This is a hugely important transition that the HVAC industry has played a significant role in crafting with other stakeholders. As manufacturers of more than 90% of U.S. – and more than 70% of global – residential and commercial air conditioning and commercial refrigeration units, AHRI member companies are committed to producing more energy efficient products to help reduce global demand for energy, lower costs for consumers, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.  As the LBNL report indicates, there are many global opportunities to accomplish make significant progress on all those goals, beginning with ratification and implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and continuing with efforts to simultaneously reduce the energy impact of AC and commercial refrigeration equipment while increasing its availability and affordability for consumers around the world.  Also important are national and regional minimum energy performance standards backed by performance certification programs, such as the AHRI Certification Program, that help assure governments, businesses, and consumers of the accuracy of stated equipment efficiency.

What About Efficiency on Units though? – AHRI’s Francis Dietz adds current AC units are already super-efficient and in fact are nearing the technological limits of efficiency.  The issue really is getting efficient units in the hands of consumers at prices they can afford.  We can accomplish that gradually through MEPS, which is already being done all over the world, but to make bigger leaps through stronger tax incentives and rebate programs to induce people to change out their old equipment for newer, more efficient models.

DOE Releases Walk-In Freezer Rule – The Department of Energy is issuing the final rule for walk-in coolers and freezers, which was held up at DOE for months. It’s set to publish in the Federal Register today. The rule, issued in December of 2016 by the outgoing Obama Administration was delayed with several others as part of a review by the new Trump Administration.  AHRI said it understood why the new administration wanted to review the walk-in coolers and freezers rule before issuing it, but are pleased it is now being issued in the form that was agreed to in the ASRAC negotiations of which AHRI and Other key efficiency and environmental stakeholders played important roles.  AHRI’s Francis Dietz: “This is one less regulatory ball in the air for our industry and our members can now move forward in preparing for the rule’s implementation.”

Refiners Send Letter to Trump on Venezuela Crude, Potential Sanctions – Given the troubling political developments in Venezuela, the American Fuel & Petrochem Assn (AFPM) is sending a letter to President Trump and other key foreign policy advisors to highlight one critical consideration: a full or partial prohibition of Venezuelan crude imports.  The refiners group says it could have a significant negative effect on U.S. refiners, consumers, and our nation’s economy.  AFPM Prez Chet Thompson: “Sanctions limiting U.S. imports of Venezuelan crude would disadvantage many U.S. refineries, particularly those in the Gulf Coast and East Coast regions, that have optimized to utilize sour crudes produced in Venezuela. Restricting the supply of crude could also impact the price that U.S. consumers and businesses pay for their fuel.”  I can forward letter if want to review.

ACI Releases Sustainability Report – The American Cleaning Institute’s (ACI) released its 4th Sustainability Report, “Foundations for Transformation,” showcases the steps the cleaning product supply chain is taking to address the industry’s core material issues.  The 2017 Report highlights the progress made by companies throughout the cleaning product supply chain to decrease the industry’s environmental footprint over the last two years.  Since its inception, ACI’s Sustainability Metrics Program has been tracking industry performance in categories including energy, water, waste and climate change/greenhouse gases, to showcase where member companies are doing well, and to highlight the areas in need of attention. The 2017 Report highlights include a 23% reduction during cleaning product formulation since 2011, an increase in renewable energy use by 46% since 2011 and a 64% of the waste from product formulation being reused or recycled in 2015.

Unions Weigh In on E15 Expansion Legislation – Following a hearing recently on legislation to allow year-round sale of E15 percent, the United Steelworkers union sent a letter Thursday to all 100 senators arguing that the RFS needs a complete overhaul rather than the modification in Sen. Deb Fischer’s bill.  A mark-up is planned for later this month.  Happy to forward letter if you need it.

Interior Pushes to Expand Drilling, Speed Permit Approvals – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday issued an order that instructs BLM to hold lease sales every quarter and establishes a 30-day approval time for oil and natural gas drilling permits. The approval time for a permit under the Obama administration was 257 days on average.  Christopher Guith at the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute said this is a much-needed change in U.S. policy, embracing America’s energy abundance and diversity instead of policies that pushed us to depend more on imported energy and exported jobs.  Guith: “The law has been pretty clear for a century–the Secretary of Interior is responsible for conducting quarterly lease sales on available BLM land and concluding the review process on an application for a permit to drill within 30 days.  The previous administration decided to ignore these legal requirements to the detriment of U.S. energy security and western jobs.  Secretary Zinke’s re-commitment to following the law is a tremendous step towards harnessing America’s status as a growing energy super-power.”

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Wilson to Host Discussion on Religion, Climate in Small Island Nations – Today at 2:00 p.m., American University and the Wilson Center will host a forum exploring climate change as a basis for outreach and collaboration in the Caribbean and the Pacific and the added value religious voices might bring to this work.  In the small island developing states (SIDS) of the Caribbean and the Pacific, faith-based leaders, community stakeholders, and national policymakers work together to address pressing concerns associated with climate change, such as ensuring livelihoods and sustainability in the face of sea-level rise and other threats. Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American States for Barbados Selwin Hart will be among the speakers.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 20th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum will be held tomorrow from at 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Rayburn.  Among the speakers will be Sen. Edward Markey and Rep. Paul Tonko.

NYT’s Davenport to Discuss Paris at WFPG Forum – The Women’s Foreign Policy Group will host a forum tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. at the Embassy of Croatia featuring our friend Coral Davenport of the New York Times to discuss President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.  Coral NYT colleague Elisabeth Bumiller will moderate.

House Resources to Focus on Oil, Gas on OCS – The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday focused on evaluating federal offshore oil and gas development on the outer continental shelf.

Senate Committee to Vote on Nominees – The Senate Environment Committee will hold votes at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday on nominees to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as EPA’s top enforcement officials.  EPW had originally slated the markup for the Wednesday before July 4th recess.  NRC nominees Annie Caputo and David Wright, and EPA nominee Susan Parker Bodine are awaiting committee approvals.

Group to Release Smarter Grid Report – Former Trump transition team member and Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure Chairman Brigham McCown will hold a press call Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. to discuss the release of Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure’s latest policy analysis, “Building a smarter electric grid: How investing in smarter electricity will energize America.”

House Appropos to Mark up Ag, Energy Budgets – The full House Appropriations Committee will meet at 10:30 a.m. to markup the FY2018 Agriculture Appropriations Bill and FY2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.  Later at 3:00 p.m., the House interior Funding panel will mark up the 2018 Interior budget.

Forum to Feature CFTC Commissioner – The Washington DC Chapter of the Women’s Energy Network is hosting a forum at BP featuring U.S. Commodity Future Trading Commission Commissioner Sharon Y. Bowen.  The “Lunch and Learn” even will feature Bowen discussing the day’s most critical energy issues before the CFTC, as well as sharing her experiences as a trailblazing lawyer, business woman and public servant.

Wilson to Host China Coal Transition Forum – The Wilson Center will hold a forum on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.to discuss China and its uncertain transition away from coal.  Speakers at this China Environmental Forum (CEF) event will discuss the massive reforms that are lessening the pollution and carbon emissions from China’s coal-fired power sector and the social and economic challenges. Melanie Hart (Center for America Progress) will speak on how China is transforming its coal sector to improve efficiency, reduce emissions, and reduce the nation’s dependence on coal.  Hongxia Duan and Lucy Kitson of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) will discuss the opportunities and pitfalls of such a large-scale transformation in Shanxi and the lessons China can draw from countries that have undergone the economic and social transition away from coal. Lisa Abbott (Kentuckians for the Commonwealth) will close out the discussion bringing in a comparative discussion on how her group promotes energy diversification in the Appalachians that keeps communities strong.

Forum to Look at Ukraine Energy – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on important energy reforms in Ukraine.  The Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and Global Energy Center will bring together top energy experts and policymakers to discuss the status of the Ukrainian energy sector in a series of thematic panels. The discussion will begin with a talk on the state of the hydrocarbon industry and will segue to an exchange on the development, challenges, and way forward for the electricity, coal and nuclear sectors in Ukraine.  Among the speakers will be DOE’s David Mohler.

Clean Energy Webinar Will Discuss Grid Report – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Analysis Group’s Susan Tierney and Paul Hibbard will present findings from their report on market forces driving our changing electric power system, commissioned by Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) and AWEA.  The report was submitted to DOE to inform the Department’s upcoming review of grid issues.

 

IN THE FUTURE

RFF to host Webinar On Cali Cap/Trade – Resources for the Future and other experts will hold an interactive online panel discussion on Tuesday July 18th looking at the proposed changes to California’s cap-and-trade program, potential implications for the state’s carbon market, and the potential effects on linkage with the programs in Quebec, Ontario, and other jurisdictions that might consider linkage in the future.  Speakers include RFF’s Dallas Burtraw, James Bushnell of UCal-Davis, Stewart Elgie of the uOttawa Institute of the Environment, Jan Mazurek of the ClimateWorks Foundation Duke Nicholas Institute expert Brian Murray and Dave Sawyer of EnviroEconomics.

WCEE to Host Sustainable City Event – Next Tuesday at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum with National Geographic’s Senior Manager of Sustainability, Susan Kolodziejczyk. Kolodziejczyk will present an interactive exploration of the intersection of urbanization and sustainability, what that means in terms of society’s choices and priorities, and examples of successful, innovative city solutions around the world.

Webinar to Focus on NJ Solar Issues – Utility Dive is hosting a webinar on Tuesday July 18th at 2:00 p.m. focused on the PSE&G approach to proactively studying and accommodating the impacts of DER on the PSE&G system.  NJ is experiencing some of the strongest solar PV growth in the U.S. NJ-based Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) takes an active role in understanding feeder and substation capacity to accommodate solar PV, and to avoid negative impacts to grid reliability, voltages, thermal capacity, flicker and more. The webinar will cover PSE&G’s method to study and accommodate the impacts of DER, in collaboration with Siemens PTI. An overview of the study and its methodologies and the distribution system at PSE&G, available DERs, challenges, the need for the study and the results.  Speakers include PSE&G’s Ahmed Mousa and Siemens PTI’s Hugo Bashualdo.

AGA to Discuss NatGas Supply – The American Gas Association (AGA) and the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) will hold a press conference on Wednesday, July 19 at 9:30 AM EDT, to release the major findings of the PGC’s year-end 2016 biennial report: Potential Supply of Natural Gas in the United. The report is expected to reveal that domestic estimates of undiscovered natural gas resources continue to grow, due largely to the existence of technologies that continue to unlock energy resources from shale and other producing formations.  Alexei V. Milkov, director of the Potential Gas Agency, Colorado School of Mines and AGA’s Chris McGill will speak.

Forum to Look at RFS – CSIS will host an update on the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard on Wednesday July 19th at 10:00 a.m.  The event will feature Harvard’s James Stock and our friend Kevin Book of ClearView, a Senior Associate of the CSIS Energy & National Security Program.

Cramer to Headline Forum on Innovation – Microsoft and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a conversation on Wednesday July 19th looking at clean innovation and why it makes business sense. The discussion will bring together stakeholders from industry, government and civil society to discuss the business drivers for innovation in clean energy and low-carbon technologies across a broad range of industries.  Keynoter will be Rep Kevin Cramer, while a panel lead by Bob Perciasepe, will explore the business drivers and challenges associated with clean innovation across multiple sectors and geographies.  These issues include growing customer demand, competitiveness concerns, cost pressures, efficiency gains and enhanced performance.

Forum to Feature BP’s Finley on Energy Report – The US Association for Energy Economics, National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC-USAEE) will host BP’s Mark Finley for its July luncheon on Friday July 21st at the Chinatown Garden.  Finley will present the just-released 2017 BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

Grid Evolution Summit Set – The Grid Evolution Summit is set for July 25th through 27th at the Washington Hilton.  The event, sponsored by the Smart Electric Power Alliance, will be a conversation of industry stakeholders that will determine how the electric sector evolves, modernizes the grid and better integrates distributed energy resources.  Speakers will include Rep Paul Tonko, House Energy Committee Counsels Rick Kessler and Tom Hassenboehler, PSE&G Renewable VP Courtney McCormick, Xcel’s Doug Benvento DOE’s Eric Lightner, Maryland PSC Chair Kevin Hughes, Kit Carson Electric Co-op CEO Luis Reyes and Utility Dive Editor Gavin Bade.

CSIS to Look at NAFTA Energy Issues – On Wednesday July 26th at 10:00 a.m., CSIS will hold a forum on renegotiating NAFTA, looking at energy challenges and opportunities.  The event will feature CSIS experts Dave Pumphrey and Scott Miller.

Community Solar Forum Set for Denver – The Coalition for Community Solar Access will host the first annual National Community Solar Summit in Denver on July 26 – 28.  A few highlights for Denver include energy company CEOs including Tom Matzzie of CleanChoice Energy, Jesse Grossman of Soltage, Zaid Ashai of Nexamp, Rick Hunter of Microgrid Energy and Steph Spiers of Solstice.  Other speakers include energy company leaders Hannah Masterjohn of Clean Energy Collective, Dan Hendrick of NRG Energy, Adam Altenhofen of US Bank, Adam Capage of 3 Degrees and Lori Singleton of Salt River Project.

 

Energy Update: Week of March 21

Friends,

What a great hoops weekend for both the Men’s and Women’s NCAA tourney.  Kansas, UNC and UVa look strong and I love the surprises, like Middle Tennessee St knocking off Michigan State and Stephen F Austin and Northern Iowa, who both let Notre Dame and Texas A&M off the hook.  Not really a surprise that Gonzaga and Syracuse (even though they are high seeds) are in the Sweet 16 as they have been there before. On the Women’s side, traditional powerhouses UConn, South Carolina, Baylor, Notre Dame and Maryland have rolled so far with UConn and Baylor both expected to jump into the Sweet 16 tonight.

And the Frozen Four Hockey Bracket is out.  The top seed is polling experts Quinnipiac, while other tops seed went to St. Cloud St (MN), North Dakota and Providence.  Other perennial powerhouses including Big 10 champ Michigan, Ivy champ Harvard, BU, BC, MN-Duluth, Denver, Notre Dame, UMass-Lowell, Yale and Ferris St. all made the grade.  Frozen Four Finals set for April 7-9 in Tampa.  Congrats to the Minnesota women’s hockey team who this weekend defeated previously unbeaten Boston College to win back-to-back NCAA titles.

Spring Break and Easter week means a quick break in DC.  But not for the PRG Team at Bracewell.  We and our colleagues are taking the week to move to brand-new offices at 2001 M Street.  Yes, we are leaving our K street office of over 25 years for new construction.  While I wish we were moving closing to Annapolis, the new offices will be a nice change.  We are there starting next Monday.

As for this week, with all the crazy political issues swirling in the Presidential race, the Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program and Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy will host a special public panel discussion on Thursday to explore the politics of clean energy and climate action in this presidential-election year.

Other great events include tonight’s (6pm) University of Chicago Energy Policy Institute forum on the Clean Power Plan and look at its potential impacts on U.S. energy policy, markets and the environment.  Tomorrow, the Hudson Institute examines how U.S. oil and natural gas exports have reshaped the balance of global energy power, featuring Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS).  And also tomorrow, the Bipartisan Policy Center will host experts on how states and municipalities are tackling permitting delays and if it is enough to facilitate the investments in infrastructure crucial to keeping the American economy competitive and growing.

The Senate is out, but the House is here until Wednesday.  Following last week’s Gina McCarthy-MI Gov Rick Snyder Show on Flint water in House Gov’t Oversight, McCarthy returns to the House tomorrow for Appropriations Committee in the morning and House Energy panels in the afternoon to discuss the EPA Budget.   Tomorrow House Science has Secretary Moniz for the DOE Budget and Wednesday it hits Ozone standards, while House Resources has OSM’s Joe Pizarchik.

Finally, today is the 10th anniversary of Twitter.  Who ever thought 140 characters would be so valuable but still not be making any money: #awesome!!!  Please enjoy your family and friends over the Easter Holiday.  See you from our new offices next week!  Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Cal PUC Approves Ivanpah Extension – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved an agreement between the Ivanpah plant investors NRG Energy Inc., Google and BrightSource Energy Inc. and utility Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) to allow project operators at least six months, and possibly a year more, to meet current production targets of 448,000 MWh annually.  Ivanpah’s performance has improved dramatically in 2015 during the four-year expected ramp up, and the forecast for 2016 shows it will be operating a near-full power.

CleanTechnica Tackles Details of CPUC, Ivanpah – CleanTechnica technology reporter Susan Kraemer dug into the details to provide the most detail analysis of the current situation at Ivanpah and why the forbearance agreement with CPUC and PG&E was necessary.   You can see it here.

Pipeline Regs Designate Moderate, High Population Areas – Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) said natural gas pipelines running through moderately densely populated areas and those built before 1970 would be newly regulated.  The agency does not address whether or not to require installation of automatic shutoff valves as some advocates called for after the 2010 San Bruno pipeline accident.  My colleague Kevin Ewing (202-828-7638) knows the PHMSA issues inside and out if you need a backgrounder.

Interior to Impose New Air Regs – Following its five-year drilling Plan, Interior also announced a new proposal to enact new federal offshore air quality monitoring regulations on oil and gas development and service vehicles supplying rigs.  IPAA’s Dan Naatz said it’s clear this administration continues to mount an aggressive climate agenda against America’s oil and natural gas producers. “Earlier this week, the White House reduced the areas where the offshore industry can explore for America’s abundant and low-cost energy resources. Today, it proposes a highly complicated 349-page regulatory scheme that toughens measuring, tracking, and reporting of air quality emissions, which will no doubt add yet another layer of burdensome and costly requirements on an already-suffering industry and could affect American energy development.  Continuing to impose these challenging regulations, at a time when the industry is hurting under constrained market conditions, makes producers’ jobs of exploring and developing America’s plentiful oil and natural gas resources prohibitively expensive. Not only is this administration making it harder for American operators to stay in business, it is robbing the American taxpayers of billions of dollars in additional revenue that would be generated from this production.”  My colleague Rich Alonso (202-828-5861), former EPA enforcement official, has worked on similar topics and can be a great resource.

TPPF Video Shows GHG Rule Impact on Navajo Nation – A new video from the Texas Public Policy Foundation shows the negative effects of the Clean Power Plan on the Navajo Nation, Arizona and the Southwest where EPA’s regulation threatens to shut down two large power plants and coal mines—operations that provide much of the revenue for the Navajo Nation as well as good-paying jobs. Told through the eyes of the Navajo people as well as Arizona elected officials, this film offers a real practical experience to what this already disadvantaged and poor communities will face.

NASDAQ, Clean Edge Forum Changes Companies –  Clean Edge announced the results of the semi-annual evaluation of the NASDAQ® Clean Edge® Green Energy Index (NASDAQ: CELS) and the NASDAQ® Clean Edge® Smart Grid Infrastructure Index (NASDAQ: QGRD), both of which became effective prior to today’s market open. NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index (CELS):  The following five securities have been added to the CELS Index: Acuity Brands, Inc. (AYI); 8point3 Energy Partners, LP (CAFD); FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCEL); TerraForm Global, Inc. (GLBL); and Sunrun, Inc. (RUN).  The NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index is designed to track the performance of clean-energy companies that are publicly traded in the U.S. The Index includes companies engaged in the manufacturing, development, distribution, and installation of emerging clean-energy technologies such as solar photovoltaics, advanced batteries, hybrid and electric vehicles, and renewable materials. The five major sub-sectors that the index covers are Renewable Electricity Generation; Renewable Fuels; Energy Storage & Conversion; Energy Intelligence; and Advanced Energy-Related Materials. The securities must also meet other eligibility criteria which include minimum requirements for market value, average daily share volume, and price. The NASDAQ® Clean Edge® Green Energy Index is re-ranked semi-annually in March and September.

Platts Looks at Cuba, Oil Issues – President Barack Obama makes his trip to Cuba this week and Platts Capitol Crude asks: could a cargo of WTI crude from Corpus Christi soon follow him to Havana?  On this week’s podcast, Platts senior editors Brian Scheid and Herman Wang look at what a potential end to the long-standing trade embargo means for US crude oil and petroleum products exports. Jorge Pinon, director of the University of Texas at Austin’s Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program, says the future of US oil in Cuba may hinge on the situation in Venezuela as much as it does on US trade policy.

Prez Not Going to NYC for Climate Signing – Speaking of President Obama, our friend in the trade press are reporting that he will not travel to New York City for the April climate pact signing where world leaders and other top international officials will sign the document.  Some had suspected that Obama would attend be he will be in Europe and the Middle East during that time so Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to go to the United Nations ceremony to sign instead.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum Looks at PR Energy Concerns – The American Security Project  will host a discussion today on energy, economy, and security in Puerto Rico and how understanding the ongoing debt crisis through these lenses will strengthen our response.  Puerto Rico, America’s largest Caribbean territory, has long been an important U.S. geopolitical outpost and now finds itself on the verge of catastrophe under the weight of massive debt and a costly, inefficient energy supply. The impacts have triggered a large-scale resettlement to the U.S. mainland where gridlock has turned the Island’s future into a political hot potato rather than an issue of long-term strategic importance for U.S. national security.  As Congress recommits itself to a resolution, understanding the issues plaguing Puerto Rico through the lens of energy security and risk management offers opportunities to reverse the current trends, gain political support and address the future of 3.3 million U.S. citizens on the island.

Forum to Look at Sustainable Housing – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is holding a briefing today at 2:30 p.m. in 122 Cannon regarding energy efficient, “green” affordable housing and how it is improving health and safety in distressed communities while providing economic and environmental benefits to states. This is the second in a series of EESI briefings examining environmental justice as it relates to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. This briefing will show how sustainable affordable housing can save money for low-income families and strengthen community resilience while serving as a CPP compliance strategy.  Speakers will showcase sustainable affordable housing developments in Pittsburgh, PA, as well as a retrofit in Washington, DC, and will discuss the national movement to “green” affordable housing. The briefing will also feature the passive building retrofit of Weinberg Commons, a multifamily housing complex for low-income families in Southeast DC. The nation’s capital uses Enterprise Community Partners’ Green Communities Criteria as the baseline green building standard for its public and publicly-financed projects.

USEA to Look at Fossil Fuels – The US Energy Assn will host a forum today at 3:00 p.m. on addressing fossil fuels. Scientists believe significant climate change is unavoidable without a drastic reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases from the combustion of fossil fuels. However, few countries have implemented comprehensive policies that price this externality or devote serious resources to developing low-carbon energy sources. In many respects, the world is betting that we will greatly reduce the use of fossil fuels because we will run out of inexpensive fossil fuels (there will be decreases in supply) and/or technological advances will lead to the discovery of less-expensive low-carbon technologies (there will be decreases in demand). The historical record indicates that the supply of fossil fuels has consistently increased over time and that their relative price advantage over low-carbon energy sources has not declined substantially over time. Without robust efforts to correct the market failures around greenhouse gases, relying on supply and/or demand forces to limit greenhouse gas emissions is relying heavily on hope.  Thomas Covert, Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago will speak.

EPIC Forum Looks at GHG Plan – This evening at 6:00 p.m., our friends at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago will host a forum on the Clean Power Plan and look at its potential impacts on U.S. energy policy, markets and the environment.  The panel discussion will highlight key provisions of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and the controversy surrounding this rule, including the recent stay ordered by the Supreme Court of the United States; Cap-and-Trade, Carbon Taxation, and the CPP — their differences, pros and cons, and the best solution for reducing carbon emissions; the potential impact of the CPP on traditional energy markets and energy prices (if upheld); the clean energy market and how the CPP could potentially catapult its growth (if upheld); and the impact of the judicial stay on COP21 commitments and global diplomatic relations, environmental law regulations, and future U.S. energy policies.  Speakers include EEI’s Ed Comer, EPIC’s Thomas Covert, former DOJ official Thomas Lorenzen, Constellation Energy Richard Wilson and several others.

Hudson Conference Looking at Shale Revolution – The Hudson Institute will host a conference tomorrow examining how U.S. oil and natural gas exports have reshaped the balance of global energy power. Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas, a senior member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, will discuss the geopolitics of energy and the outlook on Capitol Hill for expanding American global energy leadership through hydraulic fracturing. Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Mark P. Mills will keynote the conference, and four distinguished panels of experts will address the impact of the American shale revolution in different world regions.

BPC to Host Permitting Forum – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. to hear from experts on how states and municipalities are tackling the problem and if it is enough to facilitate the investments in infrastructure crucial to keeping the American economy competitive and growing.  America faces a growing infrastructure funding gap. One way to help meet that need is to encourage private capital to come in from the sidelines. Yet delays in the federal environmental review and permitting process—which can increase costs and uncertainty—are a barrier to private investment and the speedy delivery of needed projects. Recognizing this challenge, members of Congress and the Obama Administration have recently advanced various efforts designed to modernize, streamline and accelerate the review and permitting process. Speakers include Susan Binder of Cambridge Systematics, Christopher Hodgkins of the Miami Access Tunnel and NRDC’s Deron Lovaas.

McCarthy Heads to House Approps – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will conduct a budget hearing on the EPA budget, with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and CFO David Bloom testifying.

House Science Holds Hearing on DOE Budget Request – The full House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow for an overview of the DOE Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2017.  DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz will testify.

Forum to Look at U.S.-Japanese Nuclear Cooperation, Plutonium – Tomorrow at Noon at the US Capitol Visitors Center 215, NPEC will hold a forum that will focus on one nuclear security issue that, while important, is sure to go unmentioned at the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit on March 31 – April 1: What are the diplomatic and regional security implications of Japan opening a reprocessing plant capable of producing more than 1,000 bombs’ worth of plutonium per year at Rokkasho on the very eve of the US-Japan civilian nuclear cooperative agreement’s renewal?  Most government officials assume that this agreement will be renewed automatically. More than a few outside experts and former senior officials, however, have voiced concerns that the opening of Rokkasho could spark a fissile materials competition with China and South Korea.  To clarify what’s at stake and what alternative courses of action might be taken, NPEC has assembled a panel of Japanese and American experts. These include Fumihiko Yoshida, formerly the Deputy Director of The Asahi Shimbun, now resident at the Carnegie Endowment; Masakatsu Ota of Kyodo News; and William Tobey former Deputy Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration. In addition, Congressman Brad Sherman, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific, will share his views.  Congressman Brad Sherman will make remarks.

Forum to Look at Iran, Nuclear – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a forum tomorrow morning focused on the Iran Nuclear summit and nuclear Production. The Nuclear Security Summit has made little progress on preventing the production of fissile material that has no plausible use. One way forward would be to establish a norm that such production should be consistent with reasonable civilian needs.  The Nuclear Security Summit process has broken considerable ground on enhancing the security of vulnerable nuclear material. But it has made much less progress on preventing the production of fissile material that has no plausible use. One way forward, which would also complement nonproliferation efforts, would be to establish a norm that such production should be consistent with reasonable civilian needs.  Carnegie’s James M. Acton, Ariel Levite, and Togzhan Kassenova will explore the potential value of this norm and discuss whether progress is possible. Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, former U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, will moderate.

Forum to Look at Sustainable India – The South Asia Policy Research Initiative in collaboration with Georgetown U India Initiative, Science, Technology and International Affairs Major (STIA) and McCourt Energy and Environment Policy will host a panel discussion tomorrow at Noon on the balance between environmental protection and Economic Growth. The panel includes Muhammad Khan (Former Aide to Minister of Environment and Forests, India), and Professor Uwe Brandes (Founding Executive Director, Urban and Regional Planning, Georgetown University), and Professor Mark Giordano (Director, Science, Technology and International Affairs Major (STIA)), as we explore sustainable development in India that also protects the environment.  Muhammad Khan will discuss his experience and hear the views of Prof. Uwe Brandes and Mark Giordano who have great expertise in sustainable development and environment.

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

House Energy Panels Host McCarthy on EPA FY’17 Budget – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power and the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will also host EPA’s McCarthy to look at the FY2017 EPA Budget.

BGov Webinar Looks at Budget – Bloomberg Government holds a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the current state of budget planning in the House.  Speakers will include Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies Deputy Director and Heritage Foundation research fellow Romina Boccia joining BGOV’s legislative analyst Loren Duggan and BGOV’s senior budget analyst Cameron Leuthy.

Forum to Look at Shareholder Action – Tomorrow at 4 p.m. at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Ceres and the Council of Institutional Investors will host a forum on shareholder resolutions with energy companies. Investors in Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) have filed resolutions at key U.S. companies calling for companies to analyze the impacts of a 2 degree scenario on their portfolio of oil and gas reserves and resources and assess the resilience of the companies’ business strategies through 2040. The event features a panel discussion among resolution filers, analysts looking at 2 degree scenarios and the 50/50 Climate Project (focused on achieving “climate competent” corporate boards).  Speakers will include James Andrus of CalPERS, Helen Vine-Fiestas of BNP Paribas and Rich Ferlauto of the 50/50 Climate Project.

EEI to Host Leaders in Energy – The Edison Electric Institute hosts a panel of experts tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. who will discuss and explore interesting questions related to the evolving Smart Grid and Advanced Metering Insfrastructure (AMI) deployments that utilize unlicensed spectrum and its impact on energy efficiency.  Thought leaders from the utility, federal Smart Grid program, and telecommunications sectors will be at Leaders in Energy educational and professional networking event to explore issues related to the use of the unlicensed spectrum, advanced metering infrastructure communication platforms, and related Smart Meter applications in Smart Grid deployments to improve energy performance, benefit the environment, and services for utilities and customers.

House Oversight to Look at Leasing Program – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on the Interior will hold a hearing on Wednesday to examine the Bureau of Land Management’s Public Lands Leasing Program.

OSM Director Heads to House Resources –The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will conduct a hearing on Wednesday looking at entitled impacts of the FY 2017 Budget and Legislative Proposals for the Office of Surface Mining on private sector job creation, domestic energy production, state programs and deficit reduction. The witness will be Joe Pizarchik, Director of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement.

House Science Looks at Ozone Regs – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing on Wednesday examining EPA’s Regional Haze Program and its possible benefits.  Witnesses will include CEI’s William Yeatman, Tom Schroedter of the Oklahoma Industrial Energy Consumers, Environmental Policy Consultant Bruce Polkowsky and Aaron Flynn of Hunton & Williams LLP.

Wilson Forum Looks at Climate Adaption Issues – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center and USAID will hold an event that will feature a high-level discussion to explore what the Paris Agreement means for adaptation efforts globally. Speakers will identify specific activities being undertaken to support those efforts, with particular attention to National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and the NAP Global Network.  As the dust settles following COP21, we are rapidly sorting out what the Paris Agreement means in practice and what role the climate, development, and diplomacy communities should play in implementing it. The event is the first in a series of dialogues on post-Paris climate adaptation, mitigation, and financing.

Forum to Look at Energy Politics – The Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program and Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy will host a special public panel discussion on Thursday to explore the politics of clean energy and climate action in this presidential election year. Specifically, can Republicans, Democrats and Independents find common ground on the role of the federal government on these issues? If so, what are the most promising areas for bipartisan agreement?  The bipartisan panel will feature former Rep. and Carbon tax advocate Bob Inglis, former CO Gov. Bill Ritter, Theodore Roosevelt IV of Barclays Capital Corporation and former White House Climate official Heather Zichal.

Cato Event Looks at Minerals, Mining – On Thursday at Noon in B-354 Rayburn, Cato will host a forum on the future of US mineral resources. Domestic minerals and metals are a cornerstone of the U.S. economy, but data just published by the Energy Information Agency (EIA) show that investment in U.S. mining and exploration declined an incredible 35 percent last year—from $135 billion in 2014 to $88 billion in 2015—representing the second largest decline since 1948. The withdrawal of federal lands, often with permanent restrictions on mining force manufacturers to look elsewhere, and the permitting process is long and drawn out.  Federal holdings used to be called the “land of many uses,” but increasingly Washington has decided that one of those uses is no longer the mining of coal and minerals. Millions of acres, largely in the West, are now zoned for no mining, no matter how remote or rich they might be. The event will feature Ned Mamula, Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute; and Patrick J. Michaels, Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute; moderated by Peter Russo, Director of Congressional Affairs, Cato Institute.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Transmission Summit Set to Address Challenges – The 19th Annual Transmission Summit will be held on March 29-31 at the Washington Marriott Georgetown.  The event will feature senior executives from MISO, NYISO, PJM, SPP and ISO-NE, who will discuss their system needs and market changes, and representatives from such prominent transmission owners and developers as Clean Line Energy Partners LLC, Con Edison, DATC, Exelon Corp., LS Power Development LLC, National Grid, Xcel Energy and others will provide insights into their development plans and projects.

Forum to Look at Africa Food Crisis – The CSIS Africa Program and the CSIS Global Food Security Project will hold a discussion on Tuesday March 29th at 2:00 p.m. on examining Africa’s latest food crisis.  The 2015-2016 El Niño weather pattern, among the strongest on record, has caused intense drought in Eastern and Southern Africa and has left up to 60 million people in the two regions in need of emergency food assistance. Ethiopia has called the current drought its worst in 30 years, South Africa its worst in over a century. As the resulting food and health emergency grows, experts on food security, resilience, and climate change in Africa will join us to discuss the scale and impact of the current crisis and evaluate the response to date, with an eye toward what the U.S. and broader international community can do to support resilience to mounting climate variability challenges.

PHMSA Head to Address CSIS Forum – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a conversation with Marie Therese Dominguez, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) on Wednesday March 30th at 11:00 a.m.  As administrator, Dominguez is responsible for overseeing PHMSA’s development and enforcement of regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6 million miles of gas and liquid pipelines and nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.  Dominguez will provide an overview of PHMSA as well as her thoughts on the country’s main challenges and opportunities with regard to the transportation of energy and hazardous materials that are essential to daily life.

WCEE to Look at Solar Growth – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a brown bad lunch at Duane Morris on Wednesday, March 30th looking at the challenges and growth in solar.  The burgeoning solar industry presents a number of opportunities and challenges. The recent extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) provides a strong boost for the solar industry. At the same time, grid reliability and interconnection are of utmost important as increased solar capacity is added to the grid.  Anya Schoolman discusses solar programs and incentives, use of tax credits, and explores solar co-ops as a means to undertake solar PV projects. Kevin Lynn will then delve deeper into the issues of solar PV and grid integration through the lenses of technical, market, and regulatory challenges. Lastly, Erik Heinle will speak from his experience of working with various project owners, developers, and investors on issues surrounding facility construction and financing, power purchase agreements/net metering and interconnection issues as well as issues related to PURPA.

McGinn Featured at Roundtable – The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) will hold a new Defense & National Security Roundtable on Wednesday, March 30th at 4:00 p.m. featuring Dennis McGinn.  The event is part of a bi-monthly roundtable series featuring special guests from across sectors discussing critical climate change and national security initiatives in a town hall format.  McGinn, currently Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations & Environment), was the former director of ACORE.

Energy to Host QER Meetings Around Country – The Department of Energy has announced a series of public meetings around the country to seek input on the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER 1.2), which is a study the of the nation’s electricity system from generation to end-use. The stated purpose of the QER 1.2 is to develop a set of findings and policy recommendations to help guide the modernization of the nation’s electric grid and ensure its reliability, safety, security, affordability and environmental performance through 2040.  Meetings will include remarks from government officials, moderated panel discussions with public and private sector energy experts, and open microphone/public comment sessions. Meeting dates and locations will include Atlanta, GA (3/31), Boston, MA (4/15), Salt Lake City, UT (4/25), Des Moines, IA (5/6), Los Angeles, CA (5/10) and Austin, TX.

DOE Official to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Dr. Paula Gant, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of International Affairs at the Department of Energy for Its monthly lunch at the University Club.  Previously, Gant served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas in the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy.  As Deputy Assistant Secretary, Dr. Gant administered domestic and international oil and gas programs, including policy analysis and liquefied natural gas import and export authorization.

Energy Conference Set – The Energy Smart Conference will be held at the Gaylord on April 4-6th.  The event features top enterprises, energy service providers, and technology leaders to rethink the industry and refine energy management.  Main speakers will be Colin Powell, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us Daniel Pink and Green to Gold Author Andrew Winston.

RFF to Launch Revesz/Lienke Book – Resources for the Future will hold a book launch on April 5th for the book, Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the “War on Coal” by Richard Revesz and Jack Lienke.   Pro EPA advocates Revesz and Lienke argue that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and the Clean Power Plan are the latest in a long line of efforts by presidential administrations of both parties to compensate for a tragic flaw in the Clean Air Act of 1970—the “grandfathering” that spared existing power plants from complying with the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions limits applicable to new plants. At this discussion, Revesz and Lienke will clarify their arguments and a panel of experts will weigh in on the inherent challenges of Clean Air Act regulations and the future of environmental policies such as the Clean Power Plan.  A panel of experts will discuss the issues.

FERC’s Honorable to Headline Energy Times Forum – The Energy Times will hold a conference on California Renewables at the Fairmont San Francisco on April 6th.  Keynoters will in broad strokes paint a picture of what is happening in the world of electric utilities, energy infrastructure and the power grid today. They will suggest what will be needed in the future and they will begin our consideration of what it will take for us to get there.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable and Edison International’s Andrew Murphy, among many others.

RFF to Look at Deforestation – Resources for the Future will hold its First Wednesday Seminar on April 6th at 12:45 p.m. that focused on the opportunities for and challenges of reducing supply chain deforestation using private and regulatory strategies, potential synergies among these strategies, and linkages with Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).  The event will feature leading companies, nongovernmental organizations, and multi-stakeholder initiatives using and promoting these approaches.

HuffPost Podcast to Be Featured – Our friend Dana Yeganian, former Progress Energy PR person, is hosting a Happy Hour on Thursday, April 7th at NBCUniversal’s office at 300 NJ Ave featuring the new HuffPost podcast Candidate Confessional.  CC Hosts Sam Stein and Jason Chekis will provide an inside look at life on the losing side of the campaign trial.

Rogers Headlines Clean Energy Challenge Forum – The Clean Energy Challenge is hold a conference in Chicago on April 12th featuring capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives to recognize cleantech innovation.  The Clean Energy Trust Challenge is a nationally recognized accelerator for clean energy innovation. Run by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust, the Challenge has led to the development and growth of 60+ businesses throughout the Midwest.  Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and Ripple Foods CEO Adam Lowry.

USAEE Washington Energy Conference Set for Georgetown – The US Association for Energy Economics, National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC-USAEE) and the Georgetown Energy and Cleantech Club will host its 20th Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference on Wednesday, April 13th at Georgetown University.   The event will feature Keynote Speaker, Bill Hogan, of Harvard University and our friends Monica Trauzzi of E&E TV, former NYT reporter Matt Wald of NEI and GDF Suez exec Rob Minter.

Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 on April 19th at the Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the uncertainties of shale resource development under low price environment.

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

Pollution Agencies to Host Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ will hold its 2016 Spring Meeting on April 28th and 29th at the Columbia Marriott in Columbia, South Carolina. The event will feature panels and presentations related to multipollutant planning, NOx controls, the Clean Power Plan, NAAQS implementation, Clean Air Act cost-benefit analysis, and legal updates.

Solar Summit Set For AZ – On May 11 and 12 in Scottsdale, Arizona, the 9th annual Solar Summit will dive deep into a unique blend of research and economic market analysis from the GTM Research team and industry experts. This year’s agenda will feature themes from Latin America to BOS to the Global Solar Market.   DOE’s Lidija Sekaric and ERCOT’s Bill Magness lead a large group of speakers.

Energy Update: Week of January 26

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of January 20

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Holiday Edition

Friends,

 

After last week’s Frank Sinatra intro and living through the shortest day of the year in yesterday’s Winter Solstice, it must mean that it is time for the much-anticipated annual Holiday Energy Update.

 

It is the week of Christmas and all through DC; coal ash has been finally been burned, but methane and DOE’s Furnace Rule flee. 

Congress has finally left, more budget fights delayed; the role of Republicans taking over has been measured and weighed.

Wind turbines spinning, solar’s Ivanpah is shiny bright; the GHG rules for power plants remains the everlasting fight.

My kids & their sports are always filled with a goal; but what they really look forward to is getting their Christmas/Hanukkah coal.

Even if it’s more expensive now, they still want it, they do; because they know that its greatest value is in the BTUs.

And $2.45 a gallon is something we are facing with some joy; pretty good for the economy but makes the oil industry a little coy.

It has made energy independence finally closer than ever; and that’s mostly because the oil and gas industry never says never.

With Keystone looming and Bakken Shale booming oil; the Marcellus cranking out gas and jobs, now New York is the foil.  

We continue our push to make new climate tech viable; but only if the UN shuts it and we can keep our grid reliable.

For this New Year there’ll be new Congress, Court, and regulatory fights; all become more prominent if we can’t turn on the lights.

So as I roll another year in my Volt, now up to 140 m.p.g., I hope you will take a minute to share with me…

Some fun, peace and joy… and more holiday cheer, mostly because it really is the best time of year.

We’re always working hard to be there for you; interviews, sources, background – something is always new.

So as you settle in for the holidays during this week and next; The Winter Classic, some football, some well-deserved rest. 

From Our Bracewell family to yours, have a great holiday season; Can’t wait to make next year even better for whatever reason.

 

 

As a following on to my limited poetic prose, I offer a counter view from my friends at the New Yorker, who have offered some climate change Christmas Carols that I found entertaining.  My favorite is the Frosty the Snowman version – although why would a melted snowman have to be in grave.  It would be a puddle or a wet coal slurry wouldn’t it?  And if the coal was on the ground, it would be surface mined, I think?

 

Speaking of holiday songs, here are my top 10: 1) The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole, 2) Little Drummer Boy with Bing and David Bowie, 3) Lou Monte’s Dominick the Christmas Donkey, 4) Singing Dogs doing Jingle Bells, 5) Elmo & Patsy’s Grandma Got Run Over by A Reindeer, 6) White Christmas by Bing Crosby, 7) Oh Come all Ye Faithful by Twisted Sister, 8) The Hanukkah Song by Adam Sandler, 9) Baby it’s Cold Outside by Dean Martin (originally) with Marilyn Maxwell, 10) Andy Williams’ version of It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.   Go ahead, fight me on this as I sure I missed a few of your favorites.

 

Coal ash rolled out late Friday.  We have a full report and lot of information below.  As well, our friends at the Advanced Energy Economy round up 2014 with their take on Top 10 Utility Commission Actions in 2014 and the Top Energy News in 2014.  They also are published 2015 Trends, but we’ll all focus on that after the New Year when we return with the B&G Energy Update’s Top 15 issues for 2015. 

A lot “In the News” today: our friend Abby Hopper is taking over at BOEM, two great successes for Solar in Georgia for Southern Company, NY finally moves on (and bans) NatGas drilling and AGA rolls out its new website.  And finally mark your calendars for the API State of the Energy Industry event on January 6th when we return.  See below…

 

Finally, our friend Sam Thernstrom, former CEQ official and current enviro deep thinker, has a great piece on enhanced oil recovery and CCS in the Weekly Standard.  Sam focuses on the shale gas revolution successes and shows how they can be translated into the enhanced oil recovery space.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

EPA: Coal Ash Not Hazardous – Once again late on a Friday, EPA released its long-awaited coal ash regulation.  They are not declaring coal ash “hazardous.”  The agency has also released a fact sheet and developed a “frequently asked questions” Web page. My colleague Scott Segal (202-828-5845) said: “Today, the EPA embraced regulation of coal ash under Subtitle D of the nation’s waste statute.  The Agency correctly found that the characteristics of coal ash did not justify the use of hazardous waste authority.  Further, using anything other than Subtitle D could have endangered affordable and reliable electric power, undermined the beneficial re-use of ash, and overloaded the hazardous waste management system in the United States.  Subtitle D is used for industrial wastes that have largely benign characteristics.  It falls to the states to implement Subtitle D programs, as they have done successfully for decades.”

 

Comments other Industry Sources – Here are the reactions from major coal ash recycling interests.  Attached please find statements from the American Coal Ash Association, which represents the full value chain from ash producers to users; Headwaters Resources, the largest ash marketer; and Citizens for Recycling First, which represents only ash marketers.

 

Additional Resources – here are a few folks you should have on your contacts’ list.

 

Waste Management’s Harry Lamberton, (hlamberton@wm.com)

B&G’s Scott Sherman, former EPA official: 713-221-1590, scott.sherman@bgllp.com

Gary Merritt of Northern Star Generation (for excellent Background): 412-551-6641, gary.merritt@northernstargen.com

Tom Adams at American Coal Ash Assn: 720-375-2998, thadams@acaa.org

Jim Roewer of the Utility Solid Waste Activities group (USWAG): 202-508-5645, jroewer@uswag.org

Jeff Holmstead, former EPA Air Administrator: 202-828-5852, jeff.holmstead@bgllp.com

Bob Bessette at the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (703-231-5496, bessette@cibo.org)

 

Coal Ash Report Provides  Data on Re-Use – Finally, don’t forget to check out the information from Wednesday’s American Coal Ash Association event where they released their annual Coal Ash Production & Use Survey results.  The survey provides the most complete data available on the amount of coal ash materials that are produced and the volumes that are beneficially used in a variety of applications. The news conference materials are all available on the ACAA website now 1) News Release and 2) Presentation.

 

Abby Hopper Names head of BOEM – Our friend Abby Hopper will be named the next head of the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on January 5th.  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will make the announcement today.  Abby was head of Maryland Energy Administration and served as MD Gov. Martin O’Malley’s energy advisor.  I have worked closely with Abby on a number of energy issues in Maryland and found her to be a capable, savvy policy expert who has excellent political skills.  She also is a very quick study, a trait that will be essential as she undertakes this new role at BOEM.  The Houston Chronicle:  http://fuelfix.com/blog/2014/12/18/ocean-energy-bureau-gets-new-director/

 

NY Bans NatGas Drilling – New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo decided that fracking will NOT be allowed in New York. Obviously, with the economic boom right across the border in Susquehanna County, we know what an economic and education engine natural gas drilling has been for rural Northeast Pennsylvania. My colleague, Jason Hutt, is happy to discuss the implications of this issue. Please feel free to call him at (202) 828-5050. Currently, EIA says more than half of New York gets its power from natural gas.  Industry sources Have pointed out that the state will be importing that gas when they don’t have to.

 

Bipartisan Letter Urges EPA to Pull GHG Rule – A groups of 93 Republicans and 6 Democrats are urging the President and EPA to withdraw the new rule targeting the existing power plants.   Reps Ed Whitfield and Georgia Democrat Sanford Bishop lead the effort to express their concerns regarding the proposed rule announced by EPA’s existing power plant.  EPA’s proposal would dramatically affect the “way we generate, transmit and consume electricity in the United States” by asserting unprecedented federal overreach in state electricity decision-making.  Joined by nearly 100 additional Members, Whitfield and Bishop detailed the complexity of the rule stating “EPA specifically directs states to consider renewable energy standards, generation dispatch changes, co-firing or switching to natural gas, construction of new natural gas combined-cycle plants, transmission efficiency improvements, energy storage technology, plant retirements, expanding renewables like wind and solar, expanding nuclear, market-based trading programs, and demand-side energy efficiency and conservation programs.”

 

GTM Research  Annual US Solar-Plus-Storage Market to Surpass $1 Billion by 2018 – According to the latest report from GTM Research. The report, The Future of Solar-Plus-Storage in the U.S., forecasts the nation to install 318 cumulative megawatts of behind-the-meter solar-plus-storage capacity through 2018. Paired with solar, energy storage becomes even more attractive given its ability to take advantage of the 30 percent federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in certain situations. It also allows the owner to scale down the size of the system, as opposed to installing a stand-alone system, resulting in lower effective upfront costs.  The report identifies several trends helping solar-plus-storage grow to a billion dollar business in the U.S. including strong solar PV growth, falling battery costs, state incentives, net energy metering (NEM) changes and resiliency needs.  The report provides a detailed state-level forecast, breakdown of the vendor ecosystem, market drivers and barriers, and an economic analysis for residential and non-residential end customers.  By 2018, GTM Research expects that one in ten new commercial solar customer will pair its installation with solar. The key driver for this growth in commercial solar-plus-storage deployments is attractive end-customer economics.  This report quantifies end-customer economics for three end-customer types across multiple utilities and conclude that for some of those customer-utility combinations.

 

Georgia PSC Approves SoCo Solar Project for Navy Base – The Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) today indicated positive approval to allow the Department of the Navy (DON) and Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power to proceed with the development of a potential 30 megawatt alternating current (AC) or 40 megawatt (MW) direct current (DC) renewable energy project at Naval Submarine Base (NSB) Kings Bay, Georgia.  The DON has been actively working with Georgia Power to develop a cost-effective, renewable energy project to meet the secretary of the Navy’s goal to produce or procure 1 gigawatt (GW) by the end of 2015. The potential project at NSB Kings Bay would allow for the construction of a new renewable energy generation asset on-base for consumption by the surrounding community and Georgia Power. NSB Kings Bay is located in the southeastern corner of Georgia and has been operating in its current capacity since 1975. It plays a critical role as the East-Coast home to the Ohio-class submarines. Georgia Power has long served as the base’s provider of electricity.

 

SoCo Adds Another Solar Project in Georgia – Speaking of solar and Southern Company, SoCo subsidiary Southern Power announced plans to develop a 131-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) solar project in Georgia, which will be capable of generating enough electricity to help meet the energy needs of more than 21,000 homes. The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) will be sold to three Georgia electric membership corporations.   Southern Power has selected First Solar to be the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the facility. Construction of the plant is scheduled to begin in September 2015, and the project is expected to achieve commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016. The solar facility, which will be constructed on a 911-acre site in Taylor County, is expected to consist of approximately 1.6 million thin-film PV solar modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables manufactured by First Solar. Southern Power has previously acquired seven solar facilities with Turner Renewable Energy, as well as one facility with First Solar.

 

AGA Rolls out New Web Site – The American Gas Association unveiled the new face of www.aga.org, featuring a contemporary, engaging design, an updated interface, and innovative features to help improve the user experience and make information about our nation’s abundant clean energy source—natural gas—more easily accessible.  The website’s new design uses bold colors and updated imagery along with industry standard best practices to allow web visitors to search for and share timely, relevant, and accurate information about natural gas utility issues across all digital media platforms. The site has incorporated responsive design to provide an optimal viewing experience for a variety of devices, including desktop computers, smartphones and tablets.  AGA’s digital strategy leverages multiple social media platforms—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube, as well as the True Blue Natural Gas blog, featuring industry experts and analysts—to help touch a range of growing audiences with relevant information. The new site will allow for easy sharing from aga.org across all of these properties.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Two more days of Hanukkah and Then Christmas….

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Top 15 for ’15 – The BG Energy Update will roll out its 15 issues for 2015 on Monday January 5th as we return from the Holiday Break.  Don’t Miss it…

 

Gerard to Address  State of Energy – API will hold its 2015 State of American Energy luncheon on Tuesday, January 6 at the Ronald Reagan Building.  API head Jack Gerard will speak.

 

Detroit Auto Show to Roll Out New Vehicles – The 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will open for Press Preview January 12-13th at Cobo Center in Detroit.  Now in its 27th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.  On January  16th, rock legend Steve Miller Band will perform at the largest single night fundraiser in the world: the North American International Auto Show’s Charity Preview.

 

CP Chair To Discuss Oil, Gas – On Wednesday, January 14th, the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Ryan Lance, Chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips, to discuss the new North American oil and natural gas resource abundance and its U.S. energy policy implications. Burgeoning tight oil and shale gas development in the United States, oil sands development in Canada and underexplored conventional resources in Mexico combine to make North America one of the most dynamic oil and gas development plays in the world. The ability to continue developing these vast resources and benefiting from the resulting job creation and economic stimulation represents great opportunity, while also posing non-trivial challenges, particularly in the face of new price realities and impending surpluses. Mr. Lance will discuss these and other key issues. Frank Verrastro, Senior Vice President and James R. Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics at CSIS, will moderate.

 

IIHS President Adrian Lund to Look at Vehicle Safety – On January 15th, WAPA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) will hold a luncheon to discuss “Vehicle Safety Improvements and What’s Ahead.”  The Institute’s president, Adrian Lund, will be sharing research on how better vehicle crashworthiness is saving lives and how technology – both new and old – can improve safety in the future.

 

SOTU Set – President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, January 20th.

 

DC Policy Auto Show Set – The 2015 Washington Auto Show Public Policy Days are set for Wednesday, January 21st in the Cannon House Office Building and Thursday, January 22nd at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.    The annual Sneak Peek Reception, the highly anticipated social and networking event held before Washington’s largest public show opens to attendees, offers automotive industry thought leaders and decision maker’s exclusive early access to the most impressive new models and technological innovations on display at the 2015 Washington Auto Show.  Set for Thursday, January 22, from 5-8 p.m. the Sneak Peek Reception marks the finale of the 2015 Public Policy days, which brings together executives and legislators who influence the automotive sector to address the key issues affecting the industry, its employees and customers, including energy conservation, the environment, and consumer safety technologies.  The Show opens on January 23rd and runs through February 1st.

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of December 15

Friends

 

As we slide toward the holiday season, longing for the Summer Wind, I was struck listening to holiday songs from the legendary Frank Sinatra, who would have celebrated his 99th birthday on Friday.   It is Nice Work If You Can Get It.   So with Congress over the initial Stormy Weather of funding for the remainder of the Fiscal Year, the leadership has said Let Me Try Again this week for tax extenders and terrorism insurance.   Hopefully it is not My Way or the highway for progressives and/or conservatives, who seemingly have been doing Something Stupid in order to keep this Congress from adjourning.

 

Despite The Way You Look Tonight, there is still a lot going on in the energy and environmental space.  It starts with the UN meetings in Lima which concluded on Sunday.  Following earlier meetings in New York, New York in September and the US/China agreements, there were High Hopes for UN meetings in Lima as a precursor for April in Paris…(or December).  But reports on Saturday had the discussions on the verge of collapse before – Luck Be a Lady – they were saved to some modest agreement which will begin the long slide to Paris next year.  So Call Me Irresponsible, but for those of you who have been around the UN process for as long as I have, you will notice the similarities in the negotiating process that seem eerily familiar from every other year.  Appropriately, today is also the 75th anniversary of the movie classic, Gone With the Wind, whose famous closing line, “Frankly My Dear…I don’t give a damn” seems most appropriate when thinking about the about the UN negotiations.   More on Lima and what it means (which is not much really) below.

 

As this is the Second Time Around for this reminder, The Best is Yet to Come for Coal Ash and the DOE Furnace rule.   It is expected these Strangers in the Night – both Coal Ash and the DOE Furnace Rule – will emerge Night and Day sometime this week.

 

Coal Ash is expected Friday at the latest.  Will it be The Good Life for utilities and recycling/re-use companies or will enviros Get Happy over the new rule?  Remember to Come Fly with Me…or better yet, our experts on the Coal Ash rule: Scott Segal/Jeff Holmstead for the utility side, as well as former EPA General Counsel Lisa Jaeger and Waste Management coal ash recycling head Harry Lamberton.  Each can offer a Pocketful of Miracles for you.

 

DOE’s new Furnace rule is also expected shortly and has sparked some controversy among those that suggest the rule will create disincentives to make energy efficiency upgrades.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718), a former DOE Senior Counsel and energy efficiency technology expert can Speak Low and Close to You in order to provide valuable insights.  Stay tuned for Nothing But The Best and call when the rule breaks.

 

This looks like the last week of potential events for My Kind of Town before things slow down for the Holidays.  Today at Noon, Come Rain or Shine, AGA and WCEE will look All The Way at 2015 Congressional Energy Agenda.  As well, CSIS holds a couple of great forums tomorrow and Wednesday on ClimateScope 2014 and the future of coal/CCS technology.  As well, the BPC holds an event Thursday to look at the Witchcraft behind the In-Depth Review (IDR) of U.S. Energy Policy 2013. IDR is a report that focuses on one of the IEA’s 29 member countries to examine key developments in energy policy.  They Can’t Take That Away from Me.

 

Remember, I Get a Kick out of You guys so please call with questions. I would give you Five Minutes More, for Southern Company’s new joint agreement with China’s Huaneng Power to develop Kemper-Like CCS technology, but That’s Life.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Climate Meeting Strikes Familiar dis-Chord – The UN climate meetings is Lima concluded on Sunday with negotiators reaching a watered-down deal that sets the stage for a global climate pact in Paris next year.  The Lima agreement was reached early Sunday after late-night wrangling between rich and poor countries.  The Lima deal lays out a wide range of options for a global deal to be reached in Paris, and also lays out how each nation will submit its own plans for curbing warming in the first half of 2015. The agreement would commit all countries to outlining domestic plans by early next year to slash their greenhouse gas emissions.  This type of deal sounds shockingly similar to every other UN negotiating session, which eventually amounted to nearly nothing, so I remain skeptical.

 

SoCo Joins With Chinese Power Company to Develop CCS Technology in China – Southern Company has signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s largest power generation company, making it the third such agreement signed this year.  The MOU with the China Huaneng Group highlights continued international interest in 21st century coal technologies being deployed at the Kemper County energy facility.  In fact, over the last year, a growing number of international energy leaders and government officials have toured the Kemper facility.  As the largest power generation company in China, the China Huaneng Group has more than 140,000 megawatts of installed capacity. Energy demands in China, India and other parts of Asia continue to grow. Companies in these regions can benefit from the use of low-rank coal, such as the lignite that will be used at Kemper. Low-rank coal constitutes half of the world’s coal reserves.  Earlier this year, the company signed similar agreements with the Shenhua Group and The Clean Energy Research Center, an affiliate of Huaneng.

 

FERC to Host Reliability Conference on EPA Rule – FERC will convene a series of “technical conferences” on potential reliability impacts stemming from EPA’s proposed existing source performance standards (ESPS) to cut greenhouse gases (GHGs) from power plants sometime early next year.

 

SCOTUS to Review FERC Order On Demand Response – The Obama administration announced late Friday its intent to ask the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling tossing a key FERC order on demand response.  The SG asked the court for an extension until January 15 to file a petition for a writ of certiorari on the matter.   Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit which earlier this year struck down FERC’s Order No. 745 that required that demand response be sold at locational marginal prices in wholesale electric markets.  FERC has also filed to request a corresponding extension of the stay of the D.C. Circuit’s mandate.  Order No. 745 remaining in effect operates to depress clearance prices in wholesale markets from what they would be otherwise, which means that generators receive less revenue.

 

Study: Methane Emissions Lower – The rate of methane emissions from natural gas production fell last year by about 10%, according to the latest results of field research jointly backed by the oil and gas industry and the Environmental Defense Fund.  A team of researchers from the UT-Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering and environmental testing firm URS reported a small subset of natural gas wells are responsible for the majority of methane emissions from two major sources — liquid unloadings and pneumatic controller equipment — at natural gas production sites.  With natural gas production in the United States expected to continue to increase during the next few decades, there is a need for a better understanding of methane emissions during natural gas production.  The UT Austin-led field study closely examined two major sources of methane emissions — liquid unloadings and pneumatic controller equipment — at well pad sites across the United States. Researchers found that 19% of the pneumatic devices accounted for 95% of the emissions from pneumatic devices, and 20% of the wells with unloading emissions that vent to the atmosphere accounted for 65% to 83% of those emissions.

 

Large-Scale Solar Continues Strong Growth – The United States installed 1,354 megawatts (MW)  of solar photovoltaics (PV) in Q3 2014, up 41% over the same period last year. The numbers come from the latest edition of GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) U.S. Solar Market Insight Report.  According to the report, Q3 was the nation’s second largest quarter ever for PV installations and brings the country’s cumulative solar PV capacity to 16.1 gigawatts (GW), with another 1.4 GW of concentrating solar power (CSP) capacity.  Solar is proving to be an important and growing source of new generating capacity for the United States. Through the first three quarters of the year, solar represents 36 percent of new capacity to come on-line, up from 29 percent in 2013 and 9.6 percent in 2012.  The report tracks installations across three market segments: utility-scale, residential and non-residential which includes commercial, government and non-profit installations. The U.S. residential market exceeded 300 MW in a quarter for the first time in history. Impressively, more than half of this total came online without any state incentive. Residential continues to be the most reliable market segment, now growing 18 out of the past 19 quarters. GTM Research forecasts it to exceed the non-residential segment in annual installations for the first time in more than a decade.

 

EIA: Cal Solar Booming – Speaking of solar, increased solar and wind electricity generation in California are changing net load shapes.  As more solar and wind electric generating capacity is added in California, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the electric grid operator for most of the state, is facing an increasingly different net load shape. Net load—the total electric demand in the system minus wind and solar generation—represents the demand that CAISO must meet with other, dispatchable sources such as natural gas, hydropower, and imported electricity from outside the system.

 

Warren, King Hirono Join Senate Energy – With Maria Cantwell slated to take the minority helm of the Senate Energy Committee with Mary Landrieu’s defeat, the committee shuffles slightly with Landrieu, Tim Johnson and Mark Udall all leaving the Senate.   New members will include Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono (remember Brian Schatz was on the Committee until recently), Maine’s Angus King and Elizabeth Warren.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Energy Ministers Meeting in DC – Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is hosting Canadian Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford and Mexican Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquin Coldwell for a trilateral meeting on North American energy issues today in Washington.  The Keystone Pipeline, Mexico’s Energy legislation and global oil issues all are on the agenda.

 

Forum to Look at Additional Social Cost of Carbon Issues – This morning at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association held a second forum issues related to the social cost of carbon (SCC).  The presentation assessed the benefits of CO2 and compares these to estimates of the social cost of carbon (SCC) that have been published by the Federal government.  CO2 is the basis of life on Earth, and the successful development of fossil fuels, which generate CO2, facilitated successive industrial revolutions, created the modern world, and enables the high quality of life currently taken for granted.  There is a strong causal relationship between world GDP and CO2 emissions over the past two centuries, and this relationship is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future.  The presenter, Roger Bezdek, will compare the CO2 costs and benefits (on a normalized per ton basis) using the SCC estimates and find that the current and future CO2 benefits clearly outweigh any hypothesized costs by, literally, orders of magnitude.

 

Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories – A DOE Commission will hold a public meeting in Alexandria all day today to review whether the DOE national laboratories are properly aligned with the Department’s strategic priorities, have clear and balanced missions, have unique capabilities to meet current energy and national security challenges, are appropriately sized to meet the Department’s energy and national security missions, and are appropriately supporting other Federal agencies.  The Commission will also look for opportunities to more effectively and efficiently use the capabilities of the national laboratories and analyze the effectiveness of the use of laboratory directed research and development to meet the Department’s science, energy and national security goals.

 

Forum to Look at Renewables in Baltics – Today at noon, the Heinrich Boell Foundation will hold a forum on renewable energy in eastern Europe. During the past year the transatlantic community has revisited the subject of Europe’s energy security with renewed urgency. Russian aggression since the Ukraine crisis has again underscored the need for Europe to achieve energy independence by diversifying its energy supply. However, the debate about the new geopolitics of European energy security largely overlooks the potential for investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency in Eastern Europe — key components for achieving an energy independent future and a sustainable, clean energy economy.  The forum will include representatives from renewable energy associations in the Baltics to Washington to discuss efforts underway there to diversify energy supplies away from not only Russian energy sources, but from fossil fuels in general. The region is especially dependent on Russia for its energy (and particularly vulnerable to disruption of supply), yet also uniquely situated for increasing its renewable energy capacities and becoming a model in this regard for other EU Member States.

 

WCEE Forum to look at 2015 Congressional Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Brown-bag Luncheon Series forum on next Monday , December 15th at Noon at AGA.  2014 did not see much legislation passed on the Hill, but it was nonetheless an active year for the energy sector.  FERC approved three LNG export terminals in 2014 and the first US LNG exports are expected to begin in 2015.  The debate over whether to repeal a 39-year old oil export ban ramped up as US oil production increased significantly. Amidst this abundance of natural gas and oil, the US solar industry has taken off as solar prices begin to come in line with traditional forms of energy. Speakers will address what 2015 will hold for the US energy market and how is the new Congress expected to help or hinder energy policy.  Presenters will include Bill Cooper of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, API’s Rayola Dougher, SEIA’s Emily Duncan and EPRI’s Barbara Tyran.

 

Forum to Focus on Integration, Deployment of Renewables – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) and the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) are co-hosting an event tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. on overcoming challenges to increasing integration and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.  Key R&D areas focusing on grid integration, renewable energy reliability, and the role of energy efficiency will be discussed.

 

CSIS to Release Climatescope Report – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Energy and National Security Program hosts a presentation of the recently released Climatescope 2014. The Climatescope is a unique country-by-country assessment, interactive report and index that evaluates the investment climate for climate-related investment worldwide. It profiles 55 countries and evaluates their ability to attract capital for low-carbon energy sources while building a greener economy.  The Climatescope is a snapshot of where clean energy policy and finance stand today and a guide to where clean energy can go. Presenting the report will be Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance and CSIS Energy Program non-resident senior associate, followed by a panel discussion on low carbon energy-related investment in developing countries. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow at the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

 

Future Role of Natural Gas Fired Power Generation with CCS – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., USEA will host a forum looking at the role of natural gas-fired power together with CCS technologies.  The growth in natural gas-fired power generation continues to be driven by relatively low gas prices, as well as existing and expected environmental regulations. Other emerging factors will both accelerate and hamper this growth, i.e. increasing needs for operational flexibility and the potential need to capture CO2 from gas-fired generation units.  Growing variability in dispatch of firm assets as a result of increasing renewables deployments, distributed generation, and load management makes natural-gas fired generation attractive. Potential long-term goals for CO2 emissions mitigation are likely to require reducing emissions from gas-fired generation, but CO2 capture will limit operational flexibility and economy of operations.  EPRI’s Revis James will speak.

 

ELI Forum to Look at Green Infrastructure – The Environmental Law Institute will host a conference tomorrow at noon to look at green infrastructure.  Municipal wastewater and stormwater utilities are increasingly incorporating green infrastructure (GI) into their wet weather management plans. GI can be a cost-effective alternative for communities in lieu of traditional gray infrastructure and also can provide significant community benefits such as redevelopment and green space creation. Regulators are supportive of its use, but green concepts are relatively new and questions remain about how GI will be monitored, assessed and credited and whether, ultimately, it will be effective.  The discussion will focus on lessons learned with regard to GI implementation, the evaluation and maintenance of green projects following completion, and the growing trend in the use of GI following enforcement actions. The panel will discuss the pros and cons of GI, whether GI is the best solution for communities, and GI alternatives. Don’t miss this timely seminar that stormwater and wastewater utilities, city managers, citizens, and environmental groups will find valuable moving forward.

 

DOE to Look at Marine Technology – Tomorrow at 9:00 and 2:00, the Energy Department’s Water Power Program will present a webinar on marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technology development risk management framework. The Energy Department and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed an MHK technology reliability and survivability risk assessment framework that is designed to reduce deployment failure risk and increase the probability of success when applied to an MHK technology development project at any stage, particularly prior to demonstration activities.  Energy Department representatives and NREL’s David Snowberg and Jochem Weber will hold a webinar to introduce the MHK industry and relevant stakeholders to the MHK Technology Development Risk Management Framework. Snowberg and Weber will provide an overview of the risk management framework during the first half of the webinar and will take questions and comments from participants during the second half.

 

EPRI, RFF Host GHG Webinar – Tomorrow at noon, Resources for the Future (RFF) and EPRI are hosting a webinar on the air quality and climate impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  The webinar will cover key issues in the air quality benefits estimates and their economic valuation, as well as the complexities of the social cost of carbon and its application to carbon dioxide reduction policies.  This is the fourth event in a joint EPRI-RFF series on EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Exploring Opportunities for Collaboration and Compliance. Learn more about the series and future events at www.rff.org/CPPseries.

 

Third Q Solar Report Released – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., SEIA and GTM Research will hold a webinar covering the highlights of the U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q3 2014 Report.  The U.S. solar industry continued to grow rapidly in Q3 2014, with impressive year over year growth led by strong performances from both the residential and utility PV sectors. The webinar highlights trends in Q3, both at the national level and in some of the top state markets. The discussion will also include detailed PV and CSP market forecasts for the rest of 2014 and beyond.  Cory Honeyman of GTM Research and Shawn Rumery of SEIA will speak.

 

CSIS Conference to Look at Role of Coal – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host an event Wednesday afternoon examining the key factors that affect coal usage in major economies as well as the current state of clean coal technology deployment. Over the course of the conference, speakers will examine coal from economic competitiveness, development, energy security and climate perspectives, thus providing insights into the future role of coal.  While the robust development of shale gas and the proposed regulation on greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants challenge the viability coal in the United States, the forecast for coal demand remains strong for developing parts of the world for decades to come as economic development continues to drive their energy and electricity demand. Simultaneously, the worldwide momentum to address climate change and the continued growth in coal consumption—primarily outside the United States—make the development and deployment of clean technology pressing.

 

Forum to Look at Russia, Pipeline Projects – The Center for Global Interest will hold a forum on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. at JHU’s SAIS to discuss Russia and pipeline projects.  On a recent visit to Ankara, Russian President Putin announced the scrapping of the multibillion dollar South Stream gas pipeline project and signaled that a new link could be built with Turkey. JHU will host a discussion on the cancellation of South Stream and the resulting geopolitical and economic implications for the region.  Speakers will include Edward Chow, senior fellow in the Energy and National Security Program at CSIS, and Tim Boersma, fellow and acting director of the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings, to consider what the latest development means for Europe, Russia, Turkey and the United States. CGI Program Director Konstantin Avramov will moderate the discussion.

 

Senate Environment to Look at New Ozone Rule – On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., the Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold an oversight hearing to examine the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone.  The hearing will be held only if the Senate remains in session.

 

JHU to Host National Security Expert – For their next Rethinking Seminar, Johns Hopkins University and the Applied Physics Laboratory will host Edward Chow on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. in Pentagon City.  Chow is a Senior Fellow in the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and will discuss the renaissance in U.S. oil and gas production, trends in world-wide energy production and use, the geopolitical consequences of new sources of energy and trade, and the potential international security consequences.

 

Forum to Look at Engineering Technologies – On Thursday at 8:30 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum energy technology and engineering challenges.  The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking to understand the broader technical challenges related to subsurface technology and engineering for energy applications such as oil and gas, carbon storage, geothermal, and waste disposal.  This briefing will aim to facilitate a dialogue with industry on what they perceive as the key challenges and opportunities regarding new subsurface signals.

 

BPC to Look at Energy Review – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a presentation on Thursday looking at the In-Depth Review (IDR) of U.S. Energy Policy 2013. IDR is a report that focuses on one of the IEA’s 29 member countries to examine key developments in energy policy. The IEA’s IDR reviews each member country approximately every five years, meeting with officials and experts both inside and outside of government.  In June 2013, the IDR peer-led team visited Washington, D.C. to review the United States on a wide range of energy-related topics, best practices and objectives. The 2013 IDR focuses on energy power supply (electricity) as a special chapter in addition to the comprehensive energy review, highlighting the evolving U.S. energy policy framework that has occurred in the United States since the last IDR was completed in 2007.  The event will feature Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.

 

SE Wind Facts Sheets, Webinar Set – As the lead organization for the Southeast Wind Energy Resource Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, The Southeastern Wind Coalition (SEWC) has released a new set of fact sheets to highlight the impact of turbine technology advancements on the potential for land-based wind energy in the Southeast.   A webinar will be held on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to explore the data behind the maps and to discuss the implications for building the land-based wind industry in the Southeast.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Top 15 for ’15 – The BG Energy Update will roll out its 15 issues for 2015 on Monday January 5th as we return from the Holiday Break.  Don’t Miss it…

 

Gerard to Address  State of Energy – API will hold its 2015 State of American Energy luncheon on Tuesday, January 6 at the Ronald Reagan Building.  API head Jack Gerard will speak.

 

Detroit Auto Show to Roll Out New Vehicles – The 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will open for Press Preview January 12-13th at Cobo Center in Detroit.  Now in its 27th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.  On January  16th, rock legend Steve Miller Band will perform at the largest single night fundraiser in the world: the North American International Auto Show’s Charity Preview.

 

DC Policy Auto Show Set – The 2015 Washington Auto Show Public Policy Days are set for Wednesday, January 21st in the Cannon House Office Building and Thursday, January 22nd at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.    The annual Sneak Peek Reception, the highly anticipated social and networking event held before Washington’s largest public show opens to attendees, offers automotive industry thought leaders and decision maker’s exclusive early access to the most impressive new models and technological innovations on display at the 2015 Washington Auto Show.  Set for Thursday, January 22, from 5-8 p.m. the Sneak Peek Reception marks the finale of the 2015 Public Policy days, which brings together executives and legislators who influence the automotive sector to address the key issues affecting the industry, its employees and customers, including energy conservation, the environment, and consumer safety technologies.  The Show opens on January 23rd and runs through February 1st.

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of December 8

Friends

 

So can we just agree that there should at least 8 teams that qualify for the NCAA football playoffs?  The top 4 teams will play off starting on New Year’s Day when Oregon and Florida State meet in the Rose Bowl and Alabama and Ohio State meet in the Sugar Bowl in NOLA.   The winners will meet on January 12th in Arlington Texas.  Unfortunately, Baylor and Texas Christian (TCU) were left outside looking in.  While Baylor and TCU won’t get to play for a national championship, both teams will play in “New Year’s Six” bowls involved in the inaugural College Football Playoff.  The No. 5 Bears will play No. 8 Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl Classic, while the No. 6 Horned Frogs will face No. 9 Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl.  No. 7 Mississippi State will play No. 12 Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl. No. 20 Boise State and No. 10 Arizona will meet in the Fiesta Bowl.  Why can’t we just let all the winners keep playing?  See the full Bowl schedule here.

 

So while many are on edge over Bowl slighting (I suspect that my friend and TCU alum Craig Felner of Valero is at the top of that list), I will have time to mull it over while on jury duty starting tomorrow in Annapolis.  So finally, after nearly 30 years as a registered voter, the jury task has finally caught up to me.

 

If I manage to get out, I will be hosting a great Newsmaker on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in the National Press Club’s Zenger Room, featuring former Obama IP Czar Victoria Espinel, Commerce Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews and other industry experts.  Other great events this week include WCEE hosting Interior Secretary Jewell tomorrow, WCEE on offshore wind in Maryland Wednesday featuring our friend/MEA head Abby Hopper, and on Thursday, AGA hosts an event on the winter gas outlook and ICF hosts NERC and NIST experts to discuss cyber threats and reliability.

 

As Congress runs to the end of the lame duck session this week, they focus on the “CRomnibus” legislation that is expected to keep the government open until next year as well as several key hearings.  The Senate Energy Committee with move the nomination of FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable after last week’s nomination hearing as well as the expected full Approval Senate.  In Committees, the House Oversight Committee tackles EPA management (or mismanagement )of the RFS, House Energy will look back at energy legislation of 1975 and Senate Commerce will look at the future of nuclear power.

 

Next week we also expect the coal ash rule to move forward.  The action is picking up as a long-awaited 60 Minutes piece on Coal Ash issues in North Carolina ran yesterday, while NPR’s Diane Rehm Show will take up the topic on Thursday featuring our friends Manny Quinones of E&E News and Jim Rouwer of USWAG, along with Earthjustice’s Lisa Evans.   Remember our experts, former EPA General Counsel Lisa Jaeger and Waste Management coal ash recycling head Harry Lamberton can address your questions.

 

DOE’s new Furnace rule is also expected shortly and has sparked some controversy among those that suggest the rule will create disincentives to make energy efficiency upgrades.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718), a former DOE Senior Counsel and energy efficiency technology expert can provide valuable insights.  Stay tuned and call when the rule breaks.

 

Finally, you may have seen the latest tome in the New York Times by our friend Eric Lipton focused on Attorneys General working on energy issue.  While the  conclusion seems more like discovering that there is gambling in Casablanca, we should remember that the self-same NYT pointed out last fall that NRDC wrote the actual 111d rule.

 

Sorry, I didn’t include any reporting on Kate/Will and their schedule (yes, I pronounced it said-u-al).  Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

State Air Agencies Weigh in Against EPA Rule – A number of state environmental agencies are disputing any alliance among state agencies to implement the EPA rule.  The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies head Clint Woods has collected most of our member states’ 111(d) comments at: http://www.csg.org/aapca_site/news/111dComments.aspx   In addition, they’ve been racking up a few of the other state environmental agencies on Twitter too: https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=%40AAPCA_States%20%23CleanPowerPlan&src=typd Clint is happy to discuss the EPA rule and Its challenges for states.  You can reach him at 859-244-8040 or cwoods@csg.org.

 

SAFE Issues Iran Report – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released a new Intelligence Report assessing the latest oil market dynamics and their impact on ongoing negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran over the country’s nuclear capabilities.   Last week, Iran and the P5+1 negotiators announced that they would again extend talks aimed at halting Iran’s nuclear weapons program, with a proposed final framework due by March 1, 2015, and a final deal due by July 1.   Since the previous 2014 extension, oil markets have undergone a significant shift. With global oil demand growth proceeding at a manageable pace, non-OPEC oil production surging, and Libyan output back online, the market is extremely well supplied. Prices have dropped by $40/bbl since June as a result.  These developments could play an important role in the negotiations going forward. If current market dynamics persist, Iranian oil export revenue will decline by 25 percent year-over-year in 2015 to roughly $40 billion—the lowest level since 2004 and well short of a projected budget requirement in excess of $60 billion. While most of Iran’s oil revenues are captured in escrow accounts abroad, this drop in earnings should increase Iran’s desire for a deal.   Yet, Iran finds itself in a catch-22: revenues are falling and sanctions are stressing its economy; but any incremental barrels it brings to the market will simply add to the glut, further depressing prices and offsetting any revenue gains.  Meanwhile, a more flexible global oil market should make the P5+1 more willing to maintain current sanctions levels, which are now essentially cost-free. Moreover, our analysis suggests that oil market conditions throughout 2015 will make it possible for the P5+1 to credibly threaten to strengthen sanctions if needed without risking economically-destructive oil price volatility.

 

Cassidy Sweeps Past Landrieu on LA Senate Runoff – The Republican sweep of 2014 is now complete as Republican Bill Cassidy  trounced Sen. Mary Landrieu in a Saturday runoff 56-44 percent.  Cassidy’s victory is the 9th Senate seat picked up by the GOP in this year’s elections.  Landrieu, the three-term incumbent who chairs the Senate Energy Committee was already in trouble after the two Republican candidates come together after the November election.  According to most experts and senate watchers, she was hurt by her failure to pass legislation to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline in the lame-duck session last month.  Cassidy, a medical doctor first elected to a Baton Rouge-area congressional seat in 2008, served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

 

MD Rep Legislation Looks to Carbon Tax – Maryland Rep. John Delaney introduced legislation designed to help states combat climate change and meet new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements on greenhouse gas emissions. In June, the EPA proposed new regulations for existing power plans under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. The State’s Choice Act mandates that the EPA allow a state level excise tax as a compliance option.  The legislation requires that the EPA offer states the option of imposing a state level excise tax on greenhouse gas emissions from regulated sources as a way to comply with regulations under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

 

Eagle Ford Shale Rolls On – Our friend Ryan Holeywell writes in the Houston Chronicle’s FuelFix that the billionth barrel rolled out of the Eagle Ford Shale formation last month.  The report comes from analysts at the Wood Mackenzie research firm that said the number of barrels they calculated include crude oil and condensate and that more than 70% of them have been produced in the past two years.   The report says the Eagle Ford Shale formation is likely to stay profitable as long as prices stay above $50 per barrel. Wood Mackenzie projects that about $30.8 billion of the $139.3 billion in onshore spending in the United States will be invested into production and exploration in Eagle Ford next year — more than any other area.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

UN Climate Meeting Set for Lima, Peru – The UN continues its annual climate meeting in Lima, Peru starting this week. The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol will run through Saturday.

 

ACEEE to Hold Behavior, Climate Conference – On Sunday through Wednesday at the Grand Hyatt – Washington, ACEEE will host the 8th annual Behavior, Energy and Climate Change conference (BECC) which will focus on understanding individual and organizational behavior and decision-making related to energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and sustainability. BECC 2014 will build on the overwhelming success of previous BECC conferences, at which 700 participants discussed innovative policy and program strategies, shared important research findings, and engaged in building dynamic new networks and collaborations.  The BECC Conference is convened by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC), Stanford University, and California Institute for Energy and Environment (CIEE), University of California.

 

USEA to Look at Social Cost of Carbon – The U.S. Energy Association will host a forum today at 2:00 p.m. on the social cost of carbon (SCC). The USG SCC estimates are the result of significant aggregation across many dimensions: time, socioeconomic scenarios, uncertain parameters, world regions, damage categories, and models. This study presents an in-depth examination of the three models underlying the current USG SCC estimates (DICE, FUND, and PAGE) as well as the overall USG approach. Our assessment reveals significant variation across models in their structure, behavior, and results and identifies fundamental issues and opportunities for improvements. The objective of this work is to improve understanding of SCC modeling and estimates in order to inform and facilitate public discussion, future SCC modeling and use, and future climate research broadly.  The speaker will be Steven Rose, EPRI’s Senior Research Economist for Energy and Environmental Research.

 

CSIS Forum Locked on NatGas Methane Emissions – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) co-sponsor an event this morning addressing fugitive methane emissions across the natural gas value chain. The U.S. unconventional oil and gas revolution that reversed decades-old trends of fossil fuel production declines in the U.S. has had ripple effects globally. Expansion of natural gas resources and production has inspired a rigorous environmental debate about the regulation of these new resources. As the primary component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas, the regulation of fugitive methane emissions has moved to the forefront of national regulatory debates. In order to address these issues, the event will feature two panels: one addressing the science around the significance of methane as a potent greenhouse gas and the second looking at what is being done by government and industry (upstream and downstream) to reduce emissions and leakage.  Participants included EPA’s Janet McCabe, UT’s David Allen, Shell’s Greg Guidry, EDF’s Steven Hamburg and AGA’s Dave McCurdy among others.

 

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

 

Jewell to Host Interior Secretary – Tomorrow morning at the Capitol Hill Club, the Women’s Council for Energy and the Environments (WCEE) will host an informal conversation with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to discuss her path to success and the opportunities and challenges she faces in her current role as Secretary of the Interior.

 

New Republic Forum Focus on Climate Progress – The New Republic and LeadingGreen will host a program tomorrow morning at the Newseum that will focus on the future of climate progress in the United States.  Editors with New Republic editors and guest speakers will present and analyze poll data on the midterm elections, projecting how climate will play into the 2016 presidential election, and shedding light on the current Administration’s environmental policy.  Speakers include former WSJ reporter Jeffrey Ball, who is Scholar-in-Residence at Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance; the New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn; Democratic pollster Geoff Garin and our friend Amy Harder at the Wall Street Journal.

 

Canadian Embassy, NatGas Roundtable to Talk LNG – The Embassy of Canada and the Natural Gas Roundtable of Washington are hosting the Natural Gas and North American Energy Security Forum tomorrow at 4:00 p.m.  The event will include a moderated dialogue focusing on new natural gas market and technology opportunities, production advancements to unlock new supply and access international LNG markets. The focus will be on areas where government policy and industry can be coordinated to advance bi-national priorities on the economy, emissions and natural gas opportunities.  Speakers will include AGA CEO Dave McCurdy, NGSA CEO Dena Wiggins and Canadian Gas Association CEO Tim Egan.

 

House Oversight to Look EPA’s Management of RFS Program – The House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. examining EPA’s management of the RFS program.  EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe will testify.

 

Senate Energy Committee to Move FERC Nominee – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will convene a business meeting to consider the pending nomination of Colette Honorable to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Last week, Honorable cruised through her nomination hearing and is expected to be approved before Congress adjourns.

 

CMU Forum to Look at Energy Innovation Methods – On Wednesday at Noon at 121 Cannon, the Center for Clean Energy Innovation and Carnegie Mellon University’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation will hold a forum to learn how CMU is trying to bridge the valley of death and how its efforts can translate to other government and university programs. A panel of CMU-born start-ups and technology transfer experts will discuss their recent successes as well as shed light on continued challenges to scaling up energy breakthroughs into transformative products.  A major challenge in bringing down the cost of clean energy technologies is bridging the so-called “valley of death” – the state of technology development where many promising discoveries die because they are not sufficiently advanced to attract private sector partners or venture funding even though they may hold tremendous potential impact.  Positively, some universities and research laboratories have successfully reformed their technology transfer capabilities to better address the valley of death and more efficiently transfer innovations to the market. For example, Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) faculty and students have leveraged their technology transfer prowess to spin out more than 130 companies over the past five years and have attracted approximately $400 million of outside investment.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Behaviors in Developing Countries – The Ecologic Institute in Washington, DC will hold a forum on Wednesday at Noon looking at energy behaviors, focused on developing country households.  Energy frequently accounts for a high portion of expenditures by households in developing and emerging economies. Climate change mitigation, household welfare, and energy security are just some of the pursuits which may benefit from energy efficiency. Yet, implementation lags globally.  Aurelia Figueroa of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) will present path breaking research on behavior-informed design to increase the uptake of energy efficient technologies drawing upon a randomized control trial (RCT) conducted in the informal settlement of Kibera in Nairobi. The event is hosted by Ecologic Institute and will be moderated by Ecologic Institute’s Max Gruenig.

 

Senate Commerce to Look at Passenger Rail – The Senate Commerce Committee’s on Subcommittee on Surface Transportation will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on the future of and investments in passenger rail.  This hearing will focus on the current state of intercity passenger rail in the United States, the need to invest for future growth, and implications for future legislative action.

 

WCEE Forum Looks at Offshore Wind – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum on Wednesday at Kaye Scholer to look at offshore wind energy innovation.  In October this year, the potential for Maryland to be one of the leaders in the development of offshore wind became a reality.  The Maryland Public Service Commission gave final approval to a set of regulations designed to implement Maryland’s Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 (OWEA).  A panel of prominent speakers who were closely involved in the genesis, creation and design of Maryland’s offshore wind program.  Our panel will discuss the history of OWEA and innovative use of offshore renewable energy credits (ORECs) as a means to finance the development of offshore wind, the Commission’s role in the competitive selection process, the issuance of the important OREC Order that will enable offshore wind projects to be financed and the structure of the financing mechanisms built into the regulations that will enable offshore wind to be financed on a stable long-term basis.  Panelists include MEA Director Abigail Hopper and Maryland PSC Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman.

 

Newsmakers Committee to Discuss Data – The National Press Club Newsmakers Committee will host government and industry software experts to address data advances and innovation at a Newsmaker forum in the Club’s Zenger Room at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday.  The group will hold an expert discussion about how data really works, the promise of continued innovation and the need to foster a policy environment that ensures society captures the maximum possible benefit.  Innovative new software, vast computing power and connected devices have taken us to a new era of data innovation, changing the way the world identifies and solves problems. The benefits of this innovation extend to nearly every aspect of business, the economy and modern society, but the increasing abundance of data also has raised questions for many people, and it has fed misperceptions.  Newsmaker speakers at this event will include former Bush Administration Intellectual Property czar Victoria Espinel, currently President & CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance; Bruce Andrews, Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Commerce; John Nesi, VP Market Development at Rockwell Automation; and Dr. Jane Snowdon, Chief Innovation Officer at IBM.

 

AGA to Discuss NatGas Issues for 2015 – The American Gas Association (AGA) will hold a media roundtable on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. with its incoming AGA Board Chairman Terry D. McCallister, chairman and CEO of WGL Holdings, Inc. and Washington Gas Light Company in Washington, D.C., and Dave McCurdy, AGA president and CEO.   McCallister and McCurdy will discuss the vision for natural gas in 2015, and how we can secure natural gas as America’s new energy foundation, providing economic, environmental and energy security solutions for the nation. They will also address AGA’s legislative and regulatory priorities for 2015.

 

NERC, NIST Experts to Discuss Security – ICF International will host NERC’s Fred Hintermister and NIST’s James St. Pierre on Thursday at an Energy Breakfast in Washington D.C. at the National Press Club.  The content of this breakfast event will include threats and concerns from our power system and how they plan to keep us safe.  In recent months, there’s been reports of attacks on both the physical energy infrastructure and on the other cyber elements of the grid.

 

House Science Looks at Future of Nuclear Energy  On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the House Science, Space & Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on the future of Nuclear Energy.  Witnesses will include Peter Lyons, DOE’s Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy, Ashley Finan of the Clean Air Task Force, NuScale Power’s Mike McGough, Transatomic Power’s CEO Leslie Dewan and NEI’s Dan Lipman.
EIA Head to Talk Energy History, Status at House Energy Panel – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on the first energy legislation from 1975 and Our current status. Witnesses will include EIA’s Adam Sieminski, Lucian Pugliaresi of the Energy Policy Research Foundation (EPRINC), Charles Ebinger of the Brookings Institution and Deborah Gordon of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

 

DC Bar to Look at Climate Justice, Burdens, EPA Plan — On Thursday at 12:30 p.m., the D.C. Bar will hold a forum looking at a new Look at the Climate issue as a panel of environmental justice activists try to explain why climate issues are justice issues for overburdened communities. The panelists will discuss how communities, environmentalists, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are addressing climate justice concerns, including concerns about EPA’s proposed regulations for existing power plants – the “Clean Power Plan.”

 

Forum to Look at DoD, Climate Adaptation – The American Security Project will hold a forum on Friday at Noon looking at Department of Defense efforts on Climate adaptation.  In October, the Department of Defense issued its landmark Climate Adaptation Roadmap that detailed how the military is planning for climate change. As the Department of Defense’s lead climate official, Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Conger will discuss how the Department plans to implement the roadmap in the years ahead.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Forum to Look at Additional Social Cost of Carbon Issues – Next Monday, December 15th at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host a second forum issues related to the social cost of carbon (SCC).  This presentation assesses the benefits of CO2 and compares these to estimates of the social cost of carbon (SCC) that have been published by the Federal government.  CO2 is the basis of life on Earth, and the successful development of fossil fuels, which generate CO2, facilitated successive industrial revolutions, created the modern world, and enables the high quality of life currently taken for granted.  There is a strong causal relationship between world GDP and CO2 emissions over the past two centuries, and this relationship is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future.  The presenter, Roger Bezdek, will compare the CO2 costs and benefits (on a normalized per ton basis) using the SCC estimates and find that the current and future CO2 benefits clearly outweigh any hypothesized costs by, literally, orders of magnitude.

 

WCEE Forum to look at 2015 Congressional Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Brown-bag Luncheon Series   forum on next Monday , December 15th at Noon at AGA.  2014 did not see much legislation passed on the Hill, but it was nonetheless an active year for the energy sector.  FERC approved three LNG export terminals in 2014 and the first US LNG exports are expected to begin in 2015.  The debate over whether to repeal a 39-year old oil export ban ramped up as US oil production increased significantly. Amidst this abundance of natural gas and oil, the US solar industry has taken off as solar prices begin to come in line with traditional forms of energy. Speakers will address what 2015 will hold for the US energy market and how is the new Congress expected to help or hinder energy policy.  Presenters will include Bill Cooper of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, API’s Rayola Dougher, SEIA’s Emily Duncan and EPRI’s Barbara Tyran.

 

Forum to Focus on Integration, Deployment of Renewables – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) and the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) are co-hosting an event, next Tuesday, December 16th at 8:30 a.m. on overcoming challenges to increasing integration and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.  Key R&D areas focusing on grid integration, renewable energy reliability, and the role of energy efficiency will be discussed.

 

CSIS to Release Climatescope Report – Next Tuesday, December 16th at 9:30 a.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Energy and National Security Program hosts a presentation of the recently released Climatescope 2014. The Climatescope is a unique country-by-country assessment, interactive report and index that evaluates the investment climate for climate-related investment worldwide. It profiles 55 countries and evaluates their ability to attract capital for low-carbon energy sources while building a greener economy.  The Climatescope is a snapshot of where clean energy policy and finance stand today and a guide to where clean energy can go. Presenting the report will be Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance and CSIS Energy Program non-resident senior associate, followed by a panel discussion on low carbon energy-related investment in developing countries. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow at the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

 

Third Q Solar Report Released – Next Tuesday, December 16th at 1:00 p.m., SEIA and GTM Research will hold a webinar covering the highlights of the U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q3 2014 Report.  The U.S. solar industry continued to grow rapidly in Q3 2014, with impressive year over year growth led by strong performances from both the residential and utility PV sectors. The webinar highlights trends in Q3, both at the national level and in some of the top state markets. The discussion will also include detailed PV and CSP market forecasts for the rest of 2014 and beyond.  Cory Honeyman of GTM Research and Shawn Rumery of SEIA will speak.

 

CSIS Conference to Look at Role of Coal – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host an event in the afternoon of December 17th examining the key factors that affect coal usage in major economies as well as the current state of clean coal technology deployment. Over the course of the conference, speakers will examine coal from economic competitiveness, development, energy security and climate perspectives, thus providing insights into the future role of coal.While the robust development of shale gas and the proposed regulation on greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants challenge the viability coal in the United States, the forecast for coal demand remains strong for developing parts of the world for decades to come as economic development continues to drive their energy and electricity demand. Simultaneously, the worldwide momentum to address climate change and the continued growth in coal consumption—primarily outside the United States—make the development and deployment of clean technology pressing.

 

Gerard to Address  State of Energy – API will hold its 2015 State of American Energy luncheon on Tuesday, January 6 at the Ronald Reagan Building.  API head Jack Gerard will speak.

 

Detroit Auto Show to Roll Out New Vehicles – The 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will open for Press Preview January 12-13th at Cobo Center in Detroit.  Now in its 27th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.  On January  16th, rock legend Steve Miller Band will perform at the largest single night fundraiser in the world: the North American International Auto Show’s Charity Preview.

 

DC Policy Auto Show Set – The 2015 Washington Auto Show Public Policy Days are set for Wednesday, January 21st in the Cannon House Office Building and Thursday, January 22nd at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.    The annual Sneak Peek Reception, the highly anticipated social and networking event held before Washington’s largest public show opens to attendees, offers automotive industry thought leaders and decision maker’s exclusive early access to the most impressive new models and technological innovations on display at the 2015 Washington Auto Show.  Set for Thursday, January 22, from 5-8 p.m. the Sneak Peek Reception marks the finale of the 2015 Public Policy days, which brings together executives and legislators who influence the automotive sector to address the key issues affecting the industry, its employees and customers, including energy conservation, the environment, and consumer safety technologies.  The Show opens on January 23rd and runs through February 1st.