Energy Update: Week of July 2

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

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

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

 

FUN OPINIONS

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

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

JULY 4th HOLIDAY

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

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

IN THE FUTURE

 

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of April 30

Friends,

Well, it seemed Scott Pruitt was getting a rough ride last Thursday on Capitol Hill but the White House Correspondents Dinner speaker Michelle Wolf may have underperformed him Saturday. Apparently, many didn’t particularly like a number of her jokes and her coverage was worse that NRDC’s coverage of Pruitt.  I am sad I missed it this year, but we were celebrating my colleague Scott Segal’s birthday.  Also, Hannah was home from Wellesley for the weekend to umpire a US national team field hockey match on Sunday.

Okay folks, the first week of May means it’s Kentucky Derby week.  The action starts Wednesday when post positions are drawn.  Kentucky Oaks on Friday and post time for the big race is 6:46 pm on Saturday.  We have the field and betting breakdown in a special section below.  I am telling you that Justify, Mendelssohn and Good Magic are who I’m watching, but see below for the full details and predictions.  

ICYMI, the FAA reauthorization passed Friday in the House and included provisions to update the Stafford Act (how we pay for disaster relief) that speeds up inspections and ensures a percentage of assistance is dedicated to predisaster hazard mitigation.  Given the approaching NOAA hurricane season forecast, as well as the current Congressional discussions of improving disaster relief, perhaps this is the right time to dig into this hurricane preparedness issue and focus on some of the solutions the most thoughtful planners are looking at today.  Researchers at MIT are already tackling part of the extreme weather calculus by looking at how to better fortify our structures to withstand the destructive effects of extreme weather events.  Jeremy Gregory, executive director of MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub), is pushing the frontier of academic research into building materials, with implications for policymakers, building designers, communities and the vulnerable residents of hazard-prone areas.  We can help you here if you are digging in. Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) President Lisa Jacobson said the legislation “will ensure that the United States better prepares for disasters and extreme weather events and rebuilds more resiliently for when disaster does strike.”

Secondly, a number of folks reported on Friday that the Administration plans to freeze fuel economy standards at model year 2020 levels through at least model year 2026 vehicles.  While some are looking at it as a rollback, I would remind you that the Phase II targets were always seen as an overreach by most unbiased experts.  In fact, the agreement with a mid-term review was specifically designed to right-size the regs if it was likely that they would be unattainable (oh and they seem to be).  Either way, our friends at SAFE, Robbie Diamond, Greg Rogers, et al are In the middle of the action and can comment.  In fact, Diamond told the LA Times “a long, litigious road is the worst outcome for all stakeholders, especially the auto industry and American consumers.”

We taking a deep breathe this week with Congress in recess and more Pruitt hearings set for next week.

Off the Hill, this week is Waterpower Week in DC with the Hydro Association holding several events.  In Houston, the Offshore Technology Conference rolls into action.  Abby Hopper headlines Solar Summit 2018 tomorrow and Wednesday in San Diego and finally, the Columbia Center for Global Energy hosts an event today on conservative prescriptions on climate change that includes former Bush CEA chair Glenn Hubbard and our friend Rich Powell of ClearPath.

Finally, today is a big day in the trade world as temporary country exemptions on steel/aluminum tariffs expire.  My colleagues Josh Zive, Stoney Burke and Paul Nathanson are all over it and happy to discuss on the record.  As well, you can find more trade/tariff issues at the Coalition of American Metals Manufacturers and Users, which you can follow on Twitter at @tariffsaretaxes or on the website is www.tariffsaretaxes.org.

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

As the largest refiner by capacity in the U.S., with a best-in-class operating capability and a strong capital structure, the combined company will be exceptionally well-positioned to deliver on its synergy and earnings targets.”

Andeavor chairman and CEO, Gregg Goff discussing today’s deal with Marathon and how it provides value to shareholders now and in the future as part of the combined company.

 

ON THE POD

Bracewell Podcast Talking Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast will be posted soon and will focus on trade.  It will soon be live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music where Paul and Josh discuss today’s tariff deadline.

Amy Harder Talking Pruitt On TrumpWatch – With the Pruitt hearings last week, Amy Harder of Axios, New York’s WBA podcast “TrumpWatch”  to discuss whether Pruitt stays in his role at the EPA and discusses his  agenda.   , Amy discusses the testimony with host Jesse Lent about some of the more consequential actions he has taken while overseeing the EPA.

FUN OPINIONS

Harder Line on Climate – Our Friend Amy Harder has an Interesting column in her regular Harder Line column on Axios.com  that discusses why climate change can’t escape Washington’s back burner.  Amy smartly says climate change is one of the biggest issues facing political and corporate leaders, yet it is almost always put behind more imminent priorities. The amorphous, long-term nature of the problem doesn’t fit well into political agendas, and companies respond in kind.”  Even some of my friends in the environmental community with quietly admit this.  And it is also why Tom Steyer is now spending his millions on impeachment ads rather than the environment and climate.

THE DERBY PREVIEW

The annual Run for the Roses is back again for another edition of one of horse racing’s biggest events.

The first Triple Crown race of the year, the Kentucky Derby features a field of 20 horses vying for a purse of $2 million. Here’s a quick look at the basic information you need to know ahead of time so you don’t miss out on any of the festivities:

The 144th Kentucky Derby is the most exciting two minutes in sports.  It looks like we are in for a great and competitive race on Saturday. There are a few exciting prospects, and a few budding stars that will be going to post, but we also have some pretenders to sort through. The crop this year looks potentially strong, but important to note, while he qualified, Gronk is out because of a sickness.

Post time — 6:46 p.m.

Purse — $2 million, with $1.4 to the winner.

Attendance — More than 170,000

Weather — Mostly sunny and nice, 12% chance of precipitation, high of 81°.  The forecast is probably the single most important factor behind a good Kentucky Derby. It affects everything from track conditions, where wet weather can lead to a sloppy afternoon, to the infield, where wet weather can lead to a completely different kind of sloppy afternoon.  Bookmark willitrainonderbyday.com now and be sure to check back as we get closer to Derby Day.

TV — NBC’s coverage features hosts Bob Costas, a 27-time Emmy Award-winner, and Mike Tirico; analysts Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey, the Hall of Fame jockey and two-time Kentucky Derby winner; NBCSN host Krista Voda; analysts/handicappers Bob Neumeier and Eddie Olczyk; reporters Donna Brothers, Carolyn Manno, Laffit Pincay, III, and Kenny Rice; and race caller Larry Collmus.

The Distance — The Derby is 1 ¼ miles, or 10 furlongs.  Secretariat’s 1973 time of 1:59.40 remains the fastest ever.

The Draw — Post positions will be drawn Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m.

Draw Facts — Since racing began using a starting gate in 1930, the #5 post has the highest win percent at 11.4%. Interestingly, the #10 spot that has the highest in-the-money percentage of runners at 29.6%. Conventional wisdom has it that the inside post positions are not as good for horses these days due to the size of the field and the risk of being squeezed out as the race progresses. Post positions 1, 2 and 3 have been in a drought without a winner since 1986, 1978 and 1998 respectively.  The official Kentucky Derby website has a convenient list of complete post position records for every Kentucky Derby over the years.

Churchill Downs — Known as the home of the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks, Churchill Downs Racetrack is in Louisville, Kentucky and occupies 147 acres, featuring a one-mile dirt, oval racetrack and a seven furlong turf race course. Thoroughbred racing, the Kentucky Derby, and the Kentucky Oaks have run continuously at Churchill Downs since 1875. It features the Twin Spires — built in 1895 — that sit atop the grandstands, which remain among the most recognizable architectural features in the world.

What to Wear — The Kentucky Derby has been synonymous with style and glamour from the beginning. Today, it’s one of the only places in the world where people still dress to the hilt for a sporting event and where men’s fashion is just as important as women’s. From fantastic hats and colorful spring dresses to dashing bow ties and seersucker suits, Derby’s display of American style and tradition simply doesn’t exist anywhere else.

Men — The modern Derby man possesses an unparalleled color palette. Sun-drenched, tropical colors in bold stripes or busy plaid and bright pastels steal the limelight. Although, if you want a more polished look, a classic navy or pinstripe blazer is always in style. But remember, gentlemen: The secret to looking great is confidence.

Women — The Derby is a chance for every woman to express her inner Southern Belle. The race’s founder, Colonel M. Lewis Clark, Jr., had a vision for an experience that felt both comfortable and luxurious. Today, a myriad of fashions can be found at Derby – from cool sundresses to simple cocktail dresses and even more formal attire. But all these styles have one thing in common: the big Derby hat.  The extravagant hats that have become associated with the Derby did not really come around until the 1960s, when social fashion norms loosened up and the presence of television gave women a reason to stand out. The hats became larger, brighter, and more extravagant. Hats at the Kentucky Derby have become even more popular after the royal wedding in 2011, an event that showcased many elaborate hats and fascinators.  See a tutorial on Derby hats here.

The Apollo Curse — Not since the 8th running of the Derby has a horse won it without the benefit of a start as two-year old. That horse was Apollo who came with a late rush to beat Runnymeade back in 1882.  This year, we have not one but two horses looking to knock off the Apollo curse. Justify and Magnum Moon both come in looking strong and could end this streak.  Neither raced last year.
Breeder’s Juvenile — While it is a great race to win, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile has not exactly been a harbinger for Derby winners. Nyquist is one of only two are the only two who won the Juvenile that also won the Roses.  Last year’s winner Good Magic may be good enough to go the distance.

THE FIELD of 20

Here are some horses in the field that I would look out for:

Magnum Moon (Trainer Todd Pletcher, Rider Luis Saez) – He is 4 for 4 without a start at two, taking the Rebel and Arkansas Derby. He will run in the Kentucky Derby off three weeks’ rest. He ran in the Arkansas Derby off a short rest and was bearing out significantly in that race. Three hard races in a relatively short window is cause for concern, especially when you watch the replay of him bearing out in the Arkansas Derby. The added distance doesn’t figure to help him, and at times, has shown a lack of maturity which could hurt in a big field. He should prompt the pace if not lead it.  It’s hard not to like an undefeated horse from the Pletcher barn, with a tough aggressive rider, but he has some negatives that could hurt him, especially if the pace is fast.

Mendelssohn (Trainer Aidan O’Brien, Rider Ryan Moore) – It should have come as no surprise this horse can motor on dirt. His race in Dubai amounted to a public workout. Yes the track was kind to speed and the rail was good but he ran fast, went easily, and by no means needs the front. He’s won on turf, synthetic, and on dirt. He’s been a mile and 3 sixteenths, that’s further than anyone he will face in Louisville. His last win is faster than any in here have run and if he repeats that (or anything close to it) he will be very tough to beat.

Justify (Trainer Bob Baffert, Rider Mike Smith) – It is probably not possible for a colt to be in better hands coming up to the Derby than Justify is with trainer (Baffert) and rider (Smith). He’s three for three with no starts at two, but only raced at Santa Anita, which is a question mark despite him being the likely favorite at Post time.  He has plenty of speed but he doesn’t have to be right on the lead. He can stalk and pounce and I suspect that is what Smith will attempt to do.  He will likely be the favorite and has had a strong showing during Churchill Downs workouts over the past couple of days, clocking in at 1:13 over six furlongs.

Good Magic (Trainer Chad Brown, Rider Jose Ortiz) – Good Magic just won in the Blue Grass and was last year’s  Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champ as a maiden.   He has lofty expectations and trained great lately.  He will probably sit off a projected fast or even contested pace, but go when called upon.  Ortiz is a winning machine and chooses wisely in big races so look out for this one.

Audible (Trainer Todd Pletcher, Rider Javier Castellano) – Audible is popular but his pedigree doesn’t scream a mile and a quarter.  As well, his Florida Derby win had a lot of good Luck in it as he sat off a suicide hot pace and moved into it at the right time to finish the field.  Experts worry about his finish.  Interestingly, world-class rider John Velazquez won the Florida Derby aboard this colt but jumped off to ride Vino Rosso.  That should tell you something.

Vino Rosso (Trainer Todd Pletcher, Rider John Velazquez) – Speaking of Vino, he looks like a true distance horse (given his breeding) and after a good race in the Wood Memorial, he pulled veteran rider Velazquez off Audible. He can sit back and make one run into a contested and probably fast pace. He looks like he put it all together at the right time and should be right there. The worry with Vino is he may be already peaking and if he has, it will be difficult for him to win.

Bolt D’ Oro (Trainer Mick Ruis, Rider Victor Espinoza) – While fast and talented, he doesn’t seem to be as fast and talented as Justify. He will need some help from his trip and his experience to turn those tables. It also hurt his chances when Javier Castellano, in search of that elusive first Kentucky Derby win, jumped off this colt to ride Audible. Victor Espinoza is a great replacement for the big show, but the he hasn’t really run faster than he did as a two-years old. That is a little strange and rare. A good pedigree with Medaglia d’ Oro and A.P. Indy makes him one to still keep an eye on.

Noble Indy (Trainer Todd Pletcher, Rider TBA) – The Louisiana Derby winner was somewhat lucky to beat both Lone Sailor and My Boy Jack in that race. He will face both again along with a host of others. He has speed to be part of the pace or close to it. He doesn’t look like the distance will do him any favors. He may be in the mix longer than some think, but likely not at the finish. He will probably struggle with an expected fast pace and the longer distance.

My Boy Jack (Trainer Keith Desormeaux, Rider Kent Desormeaux) – MBJ is coming off 3 less than ideal trips starting with a win up the rail in the mud. He ran on the rail (and was not intimidated by it) and likes the mud.  He also is a strong finisher as evidenced by his Louisiana Derby finish where he can from far back and was very wide. He is agile, brave and doesn’t quit.  He has a three race super steady pattern and may be peaking at the right time.  He has lots of speed and will likely finish strong.  And if there is any bit of rain, he won’t mind it wet.

Hofburg (Trainer Bill Mott, Rider Irad Ortiz) – If you are looking for a sleeper, another intriguing colt who lacks seasoning is Hofburg.  He ran in the Florida Derby where he was wide but never surrendered and kept coming against a much more seasoned and accomplished foe who also got the jump on him. He can easily turn those tables with the race behind him and with the added distance he should relish.  It will take a lot of talent to overcome his inexperience but he could be a really good one flying under the radar.

Combatant (Trainer Steve Asmussen, Rider Ricardo Santana) – With an unlucky wide draw in Arkansas, Combatant is improving and can rally from off the pace but also not too far off if Santana chooses. He will be long odds but could surprise.

Others: Enticed, Flameaway, Noble Indy, Firenze Fire, Free Drop Billy, Lone Sailor, Bravezo – These are all long shots but if I had to consider them, I might think Free Drop Billy, who had a great two-year old year but just hasn’t shown anything this year, might be a sleeper. As well, Brazevo is trained by D Wayne Lukas and ridden by Gary Stevens and while not as talented, that team has won big surprises before including Oxbow in the Preakness in 2013.

THE PACE

Pace makes the race, and the Kentucky Derby is no exception. It looks like there is enough early speed in this race to insure either a lively pace or possibly a contested one. It is impossible to get a read on this until we see the draw Wednesday morning. Post positions affect jockey strategies and will definitely change outlooks. It is likely Promises Fulfilled will likely be the initial pacesetter provided he breaks well. The only other scenario I see at this point is a Mike Smith decision to go if Justify breaks well and gets the jump. He probably doesn’t want to lead, but will if it there, knowing Justify can handle it.  Justify is inexperienced so a clean ride without a lot of dirt and not having to bounce in the stretch may help him. The pace is the Derby is usually a fast one as the track is likely to be playing fast, especially with the forecast, but once things are out there are a number of pace pressers (Magnum Moon, Enticed, Flameaway, Noble Indy, Firenze Fire) all have enough speed to hang.  A fast pace does not mean speed can’t win if someone is loose and gets brave but it will be hard for the speed to hold at a mile and a quarter if things get contested.  Mendelssohn’s strength may give him an edge on some or most of the stalkers.  We’ll know more with the draw on Wednesday and with track conditions on Saturday, but it looks like a closers race on paper unless Justify is just too good.

ODDS

Odds to win 2018 Kentucky Derby (5/5/18) – per Sportsbook.ag as of today (4/30/18):

  • Justify 3-1
  • Bolt D’oro 18-5
  • Mendelssohn 9-2
  • My Boy Jack 9-2
  • Magnum Moon 19-4
  • Audible 13-2
  • Good Magic 15-2
  • Hofburg 10-1
  • Vino Rosso 16-1
  • Enticed 20-1
  • Solomini 25-1
  • Noble Indy 28-1
  • Flameaway 30-1
  • Instilled Regard 35-1
  • Free Drop Billy 40-1
  • Bravazo 50-1
  • Combatant 50-1
  • Lone Sailor 50-1
  • Promises Fulfilled 50-1
  • Firenze Fire 75-1

2018 Kentucky Derby Prediction

I don’t like to pick favorites, especially those that are under the Apollo Curse, but my gut says Justify is the best and strongest horse in the field.  If he is a favorite at 7-2 or higher, I am definitely laying cash there, but I don’t expect him to stay there.   Anything lower and I’ll probably box him up with Mendelssohn and Good Magic in the Trifecta box and add either My Boy Jack or Magnum Moon for the Super.

Win: Justify

Trifecta Box: Justify, Mendelssohn, Good Magic

Superfecta Box: Justify, Mendelssohn, Good Magic with My Boy Jack or Magnum Moon

Sleepers: Hofburg (10-1) and/or My Boy Jack (9-2)

Long Shots: Free Drop Willy (40-1) or Bravazo (50-1), each worth the $2 bet

IN THE NEWS

Marathon, Andeavor Connecting – Marathon Petroleum said today it will buy out San Antonio’s Andeavor, in a $23.3 billion cash-and-stock deal, bringing together the second-largest U.S. refiner and a highly integrated marketing, logistics and refining company.  The deal will see Marathon swap each Andeavor share for either 1.87 shares of Marathon common stock or $152.27 in cash; the deal is structured so that about 15% of Andeavor’s shares will receive the cash consideration.
Marathon investors will hold about 66% of the company, while Andeavor investors will own the other 34%.  The combined company will continue to use Marathon’s Findlay, Ohio, headquarters but will maintain an office in San Antonio, Texas, where Andeavor is currently based.  Gregg Goff, Andeavor chairman and CEO, said the deal provides value to shareholders now and in the future as part of the combined company.  The deal, which is subject to shareholder approval by both company’s investors as well as regulatory approval, is expected to close during the second half of 2017.

FAA Legislation Approved – The House approved FAA reauthorization legislation Friday.  The must-pass bill includes the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA), which reforms the Stafford Act. The DRRA clarifies existing assistance programs to speed up inspections and ensure that a percentage of assistance is dedicated to predisaster hazard mitigation.  The most important changes to the Stafford Act – which is how we pay disaster assistance – reduces restrictions for mitigation assistance and aims to ensure assistance is provided efficiently. The DRRA also mandates a FEMA guidance enabling cooperation with state and local governments in acquiring “open space” as a mitigation measure. This is significant most everyone agrees that hurricanes in the US are intensifying, both in frequency and in strength.  Every year, we seem to be incurring more damage and spending more on repairs.  The FAA changes underscore the immediate and demonstrable results of fortifying our structures to withstand the destructive effects of extreme weather events.  To that end, researchers at MIT are already tackling this part of the extreme weather calculus.  Jeremy Gregory, executive director of MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub), is pushing the frontier of academic research into building materials, with implications for policymakers, building designers, communities, and the vulnerable residents of hazard-prone areas.

CPP Comments Filed – The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council submitted comments on the Clean Power Plan repeal last Thursday as the deadline closed.  ERCC argued 1) the CPP went well beyond EPA’s Authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act; 2) CPP Is fundamentally inconsistent with the Cooperative Federalism Principles that Congress established in the CAA and other Federal Statutes; 3) the Clean Power Plan is just bad policy because it jeopardizes electric supply and harms consumers while essentially doing nothing to reduce climate change.  Finally, ERCC said it supports efforts for EPA to replace the CPP with regulations based on sound legal and economic principles. “Such an effort would provide regulatory certainty, diminish frivolous litigation, and aide the planning efforts of power companies and state utility commissions.”

Energy Storage Legislation Introduced – Reps. Steve Knight (R-CA) and Bill Foster (D-IL) have introduces legislation (H.R. 5610) that would establish a set of concrete innovation goals in the coming years for energy storage technologies. The Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act is modeled after similar “moonshot” initiatives, including John F. Kennedy’s original goal of landing a man on the moon that propelled the U.S. past Russia in the space race. The same type of moonshot goals can be applied to technologies such as energy and battery storage as the U.S. looks to keep up with and surpass China in the global clean energy race.  The House bill is similar to one in the Senate introduced by Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.)

DOE Announces $60M for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development – Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced 13 projects that will receive about $60 million to support cost-shared research and development in advanced nuclear technologies. The selections — broken down into categories pertaining to nuclear demonstration readiness, advanced reactor development, and regulatory assistance grants — are the first under the Office of Nuclear Energy’s “U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development” effort.  The announcement includes $40 million in DOE funding for NuScale’s small modular reactor design effort and nearly $5 million for a project to design and license application development for a facility capable of handling high-assay, low-enriched uranium and production of uranium fuels required for advanced nuclear fleets.

Report: Market, Regulatory Challenges to Pumped Storage Growth – With WATERPOWER Week upon us, the National Hydropower Association released a new report that says developing market changes that recognize the energy reliability and security role pumped storage plays and evaluating energy storage technologies based on their abilities to provide key supporting services to the overall electric grid. The report also recommends streamlining licenses for low-impact pumped storage hydropower and developing standard evaluation criteria for all forms of energy storage to better compare and evaluate different types of storage.

Report Looks at Nuclear, Renewables Integration – MIT Energy Initiative and Argonne National Lab teamed up for a report underscoring how nuclear and renewable power can work in tandem under a more diverse and reliable grid. “We find that operating nuclear plants in a more flexible manner, including varying power output to integrate renewable energy and supplying valuable operating reserves and frequency regulation, presents a potential ‘win-win-win’,” MIT’s Jesse Jenkins said. Jenkins and his modeled the benefits of pairing renewable resources with more flexible operation of nuclear power plants in a recent paper in Applied Energy. During summer 2015, the team worked on two power systems projects: one on the role of energy storage in a low-carbon electricity grid, and the other on the role of nuclear plants. Linking the two projects, the report uses new sources of operating flexibility to integrate more renewable resources into the grid.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Offshore Tech Conference Set – The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) starts today and runs through Thursday at NRG Park (formerly Reliant Park) in Houston.  The conference is focused on scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters. OTC showcases leading-edge technology for offshore drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection. OTC is the world’s foremost event for the development of offshore resources.

MI Innovation Council to Hold Meeting – Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council holds its 6th Annual conference today at the Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol. The full-day conference focuses on innovations in advanced energy, as well as get an overview on the latest policy developments. There will be several break-out panels throughout the day featuring dozens of expert panelists. The event brings together leaders in Michigan’s advanced energy industry, utility executives, policymakers, regulators, and others.

Forum to Look at Climate, Conservative Views – The Columbia Center for Global Energy hosts an event today on conservative prescriptions on climate change.  As part of its continuing series “Where Next on Climate?” the Center on Global Energy Policy will host a program focusing on conservative prescriptions to deal with climate change. Dr. Glenn Hubbard, Dean of the Columbia Business School and former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors under President George W. Bush, will offer opening remarks, then lead a panel discussion with our friend Rich Powell of ClearPath, John Diamond of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and Lynne Kiesling of Purdue University and R Street Institute.

NHA holds Washington Waterpower Week – The National Hydropower Assn holds Waterpower Week in Washington today through Wednesday.  Waterpower Week is comprised of three co-located conferences rolled into one: NHA’s Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference (IMREC), and Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS). This 3-day jam packed event provides you the opportunity to network, learn about legislative and regulatory initiatives, and discuss the issues impacting hydropower and marine energy industry.

Solar Summit Set for SD – GTM’s Solar Summit 2018 will be held in San Diego tomorrow and Wednesday at the Hyatt La Jolla.  This conference will present deep dives by the top industry executives and thought leaders that will help you navigate the challenges in the market.  SEIA’s Abby Hopper and former Governator Cal EPA head Terry Tamminen are among the list of speakers.

CSIS to Look at Carbon PricingThe CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host John Larsen (Rhodium Group; CSIS), Jerry Taylor (Niskanen Center), and Thomas Kerr (IFC) tomorrow to discuss the state of play of carbon markets and pricing around the world. Carbon pricing and emissions trading systems (ETS) have been gaining momentum as tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet Paris Agreement targets. The majority of OECD countries have a carbon pricing mechanism in place.  Despite progress, carbon pricing and ETS only cover approximately 15% of global emissions. The United States is still without a nation-wide carbon price, a politically fraught issue. Ultimately, prices must be significantly higher, and these mechanisms more widely adopted, in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Whether pricing carbon and ETS will come to meet expectations remains an open question.

Forum to Look at PJM Region Energy Issues – On Wednesday, the Great Plains Institute and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions hold an expert workshop for state officials and stakeholders exploring recent energy and environmental policy developments in the PJM region.  Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Robert F. Powelson will deliver a keynote address.  After Commissioner Powelson’s keynote, Adam Keech, Executive Director of PJM Market Operations will present on recent developments at the RTO. A panel of state leaders will then react to recent PJM proposals and decisions and present on state-level developments. An industry panel will explore trends in the electricity industry, including recent commitments by utilities to decarbonize their portfolios. A third panel will explore timely environmental issues, from the new tax credit for carbon capture and storage projects to EV charging infrastructure and Virginia’s move to link to RGGI.

Forum to Focus on Russian Energy – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council holds a timely discussion on Russia’s energy strategy, the final event in a four-part series on Russia Today and Tomorrow: Internal Strengths and Weaknesses.  Russia remains one of the largest oil and natural gas producers in the world. Its economy largely depends on energy exports, with revenues accounting for about a half of the country’s federal budget. Dr. Tatiana Mitrova, director of the Energy Center at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, will be presenting a paper of Russia’s energy strategy. This will be followed by a panel discussion which will explore the current state of the energy industry in Russia, as well as its immediate and long-term strategy and the influence of the Russian government that includes our friend Elizabeth Rosenberg of the Center for a New American Security.

JHU Forum to Look at China, Enviro Policies – On Wednesday at 12:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies hosts a forum on Chinese environmental policies.  Professor Rui Wang specializes in the public policy analysis for sustainable development, especially on issues related to cities or China. Professor Wang’s research appears in the areas of public policy, economics, and natural science and has been covered in the Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, Los Angeles Times and New York Times. He also gave talks at the China Finance 40 Forum, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Los Angeles World Affairs Council, RAND, World Bank, and numerous academic conferences and institutions. His works on California’s local climate actions, China’s urban household carbon emissions, and parking in China’s cities were cited by the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report. Professor Wang is the inaugural Johns Hopkins SAIS China Yeung Family Endowed Scholar and a steering committee member of the Johns Hopkins 21st Century Cities Initiative.

NAS to Hold Forum on WIPP – The National Academies of Sciences hosts a public meeting on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. focused on the disposal of surplus plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.

Forum Looks at Climate – The Wilderness Society hosts “Climate Change and U.S. Public Lands” on Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. at the National Press Club.  The forum is the second of a series of panel discussions aim to give the information, resources and connections journalists need to continue telling in-depth, powerful stories that explore the implications of current and future energy, environment and climate policies.  This upcoming panel discussion will dig deeper into the role that U.S. public lands play in the climate change discussions and solution, and the issues that surround it, with topics including: energy production and emissions tracking on public lands; the impact of an energy dominance agenda on the administration’s view of climate change and participation on an international stage; aspects of impacts and adaptation; and carbon storage.  Speakers include former Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter, former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Interior David Hayes, Mother Jones writer Rebeccca LKeber and WaPo’s Dino Grandoni.

Forum  Looks at Oil in Iraq – The Middle East Institute (MEI) hosts a panel discussion on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. examining options and priorities for improving governance in Iraq, featuring Erin Banco, investigative reporter for the Star-Ledger and NJ.com; Alan Eyre (State Department), Omar Al-Nidawi (Gryphon Partners), and MEI Scholar Jean Francois Seznec. The panel will be moderated by MEI’s director for conflict resolution and Track II dialogues, Randa Slim.

IN THE FUTURE

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

Approps Subpanel to Mark Energy Budget – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies will meet next Monday AT 5:30 p.m. to mark-up  the FY 2019 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.

BP Tech Head to Discuss Global Energy – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold a wide-ranging discussion next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. about the role of technology in shaping the future of global energy. The energy industry is changing faster than at any time in our lifetime. It faces two huge challenges: firstly, providing more energy than ever before to meet the world’s increasing demand; and secondly, transitioning to a lower carbon future. Drawing upon analysis conducted by BP and its partners, BP’s Technology Head David Eyton will discuss some of the major longer-term signals out to 2050, as well as key findings in transport, power and heat. Eyton’s conversation with Amb. Morningstar will also cover the key game-changing technologies for the energy industry and the challenges we face.

Senate Approps to Host Pruitt – EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is scheduled to testify the week of May 7th before the Senate appropriations subcommittee that oversees his budget according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the panel.

BPC to Host Panel on Federal Science – The Bipartisan Policy Center will Host a Forum on Tuesday May 8th at 9:00 a.m., looking at federal funding for Fiscal Year 2018 for research and development. Continually developing new scientific knowledge and technologies drives long-term economic growth and creates higher-skilled jobs. BPC will focus its conversation on federal investment in scientific research and innovation and how to maintain America’s economic and competitive edge.

Senate Energy Committee to Look at Puerto Rico – The Senate Energy Committee will convene an oversight hearing next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. to examine the current status of Puerto Rico’s electric grid and proposals for the future operation of the grid.

Forum to Discuss LNG Study – U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum on Tuesday, May 8th at 10:00 a.m. featuring energy economists at ICF who recently conducted a study for LNG Allies.  The study “Calculating the Benefits of US LNG Exports” looked at direct, indirect, and induced value added ($GDP) and employment from LNG terminals and the natural gas feedstock.  The principal author of the ICF report, Harry Vidas, joins Fred H. Hutchison, President/CEO, of LNG Allies to discuss the findings.

EnviroRun Features Amy Harder – Next Tuesday, Envirorun DC hosts Amy Harder, energy and climate change reporter at Axios. Amy is an energy and climate change reporter at Axios, both in her regular column called Harder Line, and her other reporting for Axios she covers congressional legislation, regulations, lobbying, and international policy actions affecting energy and climate change issues in the United States. She previously covered the same issues for The Wall Street Journal and before that at National Journal.  The run begins at 6 PM and we will return to the venue for networking and hear from the speaker at 7:00 pm.

OPIS Looks at West Coast Fuel Supply – OPIS holds a forum in Napa Valley at the Silverado Resort on May 9th and 10th looking at West Coast fuel supplies and transportation opportunities.  Industry experts will examine the impact of new players in the Western markets, opportunities that California assets can offer, carbon emissions regulations, renewable fuels, plus get an exclusive technical analysis of West Coast spot market prices.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Challenges – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions holds a conversation on Wednesday May 9th at GWU’s Lerner Hall at 9:30 a.m. featuring utilities, federal and state policy experts, and industry analysts to discuss solutions to address this question and others.  The event will feature a keynote from Ralph Izzo, CEO of PSEG, as well as perspectives on state policy options, environmental and economic impacts, and the federal landscape.

WCEE Forum Looks Congressional Energy Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum on Thursday, May 10th at 8:00 a.m. at the American Gas Association to look at the Congressional agenda in the first year of the Trump Administration.  WCEE hosts for a wide-ranging conversation over breakfast about Congressional priorities and areas for bipartisan agreement on energy and environment issues. Key Congressional staffers who will offer their insights and opinions on the busy year that lies ahead include Senate Energy’s Chester Carson and Brie Van Cleve, Emily Domenech of the House Science Committee’s Energy panel, House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Environment Majority Chief Counsel Mary Martin and several others.

CSIS, EPIC to Hold Nuclear Forum – CSIS and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) will hold a half-day public conference on Thursday afternoon May 24th to address pressing questions in an effort to better understand the potential future of U.S. nuclear power. Nuclear energy faces an uncertain future in the United States as the fuel is beset by fierce competition from natural gas and renewable energy in many markets. Coupled with failure to deliver new projects on time and at cost, along with a public sensitive to operational safety, existing and future nuclear power generation is at risk in the United States.

FERC Chair Headlines EIA Annual Energy Conference – EIA holds Its annual 2018 Energy Conference on June 4th and 5th at the Washington Hilton.  FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre will keynote the event.

Hydrogen, Fuel Cell Forum Set for DC – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association will be hosting a full-day forum and exposition on Tuesday, June 12 in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with leading executives, experts, and policymakers on fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The forum will bring together key federal and state policymakers, including the Department of Energy and White House, as well as the broader environmental, transportation, and energy communities to raise awareness of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. This event will precede the Department of Energy’s 2018 Annual Merit Review.

GTM to Host Grid Forum – Greentech Media host Grid Edge Innovation Summit on June 20th and 21st in San Francisco.  The event is an energy conference that will examine the energy customer of tomorrow and how new innovative business models are quickly emerging.  GTM brings together forward thinking and prominent members of the energy ecosystem and as our research team explores the future of the market. Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff will speak along with many others, including our friends Shayle Kann, Julia Pyper and Stephen Lacey.

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

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

Energy Update: Week of April 23

Friends,

Sorry friends we are a little late today but I’ve been running around Atlanta in meetings and am now headed to an event where SoCo CEO Tom Fanning with be named CEO Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Assn. Nice digs at the Georgia Aquarium by the way, you should check it Out if you are ever down here.

Well, it’s last week of April and I can’t say we’ve had enough April showers but it has been too darn cold, so I hope we’ll see some better weather soon. At least our friends in England have another Prince in the line of succession. Poor Prince Harry, slipping down the list further despite the big summer wedding plans.  So far the hockey playoffs have been pretty exciting and yesterday we put the Valero Texas Open in the books with Andrew Landry earning his first PGA win.

We have a CRAZY week in Congress, but nothing will bigger than Thursday’s Scott Pruitt show.  That’s when the House Energy and Commerce Committee and House Appropriations will both host EPA Administrator Pruitt on the agency’s budget request.  Good Luck with that topic which will probably be more security, first class flying and office decorations (Still don’t think a SCIF is an office decoration) rather than Superfund. Other hearings include a House Resources hearing on Wednesday looking at NEPA lawsuits and NRC Commissioner at House Approps on 2019 budget.  Finally, Sens. Michael Bennet and Susan Collins host Olympians as they brief Congress about impact of climate change on winter sports at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

More excitement just now on the committee vote for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with Rand Paul  surprisingly voting for Pompeo in committee, allowing him to clear the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Obviously, the nomination will roll forward as Sen. Heitkamp has said she already supports him.  I would expect a few others to like Connelly and Manchin to follow suit.  Anyway, important climate and HFC issues on the plate for the Secretary of State so stay tuned.  We may also soon see an economic study from supporters of addressing HFCs through the Kigali amendment.  We will keep you posted.

Thursday is also the deadline for comments on the withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan.  We are all over this with Jeff Holmstead, Scott Segal and other folks who are commenting.  I will try to send a summary of some comments later this week.

Watch out for additional traffic this week on the Hill and it is more than just Pruitt gawkers.  Tomorrow and Wednesday cement manufacturers and workers will be in DC pushing for Infrastructure opportunities and discussion of costs saving measures like life cycle cost analysis.  In fact last week, cement industry economists released research that shows incorporating a life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) provision into federal infrastructure legislation can save taxpayers $91 million for every $1 billion spent on projects, and today, Reps. Jason Lewis (R-MN) and Peter Aguilar (D-CA) introduced legislation that will increase the usage of LCCA for large federally funded infrastructure projects.

Also coming to town on Thursday, look for union refinery workers that want to continue to remind President Trump and Congress that the current structure of the RFS risks their jobs. This will be Interesting given many refiners big, small and integrated will report their first quarter earnings this week and next. Valero, Shell and ConocoPhillips report Thursday, while Chevron and ExxonMobil are Friday.  BP, Holley Frontier and PBF report next week and Andeavor on May 7.  Given the ongoing battle over the RFS, stay tuned.

This White House Correspondents Dinner is on Saturday.  I have gone a number of times and it is always fun to see everyone. Also, next week is Kentucky Derby week.  We will have the breakdown next week.  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Americans are united in the belief that now is the time to invest in infrastructure – and those investments should be made wisely. Including LCCA in legislation would be a taxpayer victory, and provide a guardrail for delivering return on investment for the federal government and states funding infrastructure revitalization.”  

PCA President and CEO Michael Ireland discussing a new report from PCA incorporating a life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) provision into federal infrastructure legislation.

 

ON THE POD

Bracewell Podcast Talking Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast returns this week and is live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  Josh and Liam discuss this week’s roll-out of “TariffsAreTaxes” coalition to fight steel and aluminum tariffs, the “generic ballot” and what it tells us about Midterms, and a special 4/20 topic: federal decriminalization of marijuana.

Book, McMonigle Featured on CapCrude – Platts Capitol Crude Podcast looks at geopolitical risks flaring up across the globe which raises the prospect of oil supply disruptions. Platts Meghan Gordon hits up veteran analysts Joe McMonigle of Hedge Risk Management and Kevin Book of ClearView Energy Partners to weigh in on four of the top risk areas: Venezuela’s collapsing economy, the Syrian war, the teetering Iran nuclear deal and China trade tensions.

IN THE NEWS

Study: Life-Cycle Cost Analysis Can Save Taxpayers Billions on Infrastructure Projects A new report from the Portland Cement Association (PCA) Market Intelligence Group says incorporating a life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) provision into federal infrastructure legislation could save taxpayers $91 million for every $1 billion spent on projects.  Using research from the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub, the report says evaluating the full economic burden of a project over its lifetime is key to improving performance and lowering costs, 50 percent of which can relate to project maintenance.   PCA economists estimate that applying the roughly 9.1% savings rate to the Trump Administration’s infrastructure proposal could yield $90 billion in potential taxpayer savings.  If LCCA had been included in the FAST Act, which provided $226.3 billion to federal-aid highways beginning in FY 2016, there would have been a $2.4 billion taxpayer savings. This translates to roughly 1000 highway lane-miles, equivalent to paving a two-lane highway from Washington, D.C. to Boston.  LCCA is a widely supported, long-proven process that helps planners, engineers and policy makers understand the full cost of a project over its lifetime. Including LCCA in project design and planning leads to greater accuracy, better performance and lower costs.  To learn more, see PCA’s analysis. To learn more about the principles of life-cycle-cost analysis, visit the MIT CS Hub. To learn about organizations that support LCCA, visit www.cement.org/lcca.

Reps. Introduce LCCA Legislation – Speaking of LCCA, Jason Lewis (R-MN) introduced legislation called “Preserving America’s Infrastructure Dollars (PAID) Act of 2018” which will increase the use of  Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) for large federally funded infrastructure projects.  Lewis said “Infrastructure is the backbone of America, and the roads, highways, and bridges built or repaired should be made to last. Under the bipartisan PAID Act, federally funded projects would need to undergo LCCA to factor in initial building costs and future costs such as maintenance, to evaluate the economic efficiency between various construction options and designs.”  Many states, including Minnesota and California, already perform LCCAs for construction projects. Lewis says the process encourages market competition and strong stewardship of taxpayer dollars, while allowing states to retain the flexibility to make the best decision for their communities.

Tax Group, Highway Users, Boilermakers Support – The legislation is supported by Americans for Tax Reform, The American Highway Users and International Brotherhood of Boilermakers all endorse the legislation.  The Boilermakers said when “the benefits of long-lasting and durable concrete are taken into account, we believe the market for this valuable material will only be enhanced.”    Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist said almost 50% of infrastructure costs are future costs such as maintenance, rehabilitation, and restoration, so requiring LCCAs will ensure that agencies are armed with information to make the most cost-effective said decisions when allocating infrastructure dollars.” The Highway Users said they support federal policy that encourages the States to keep federal taxpayers’ interests in mind by evaluating the short and long-term benefits of various, value-engineered construction and materials approaches.

Perry Announces $105 Million in New Funding to Advance Solar Technologies – DOE announced up to $105.5 million last week to support solar technology. Under its Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), DOE will fund about 70 projects to advance both solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) technologies, as well as facilitate the secure integration of those technologies into the nation’s electricity grid. Funding will also support efforts that prepare the workforce for the solar industry’s future needs.  The 2018 SETO announcement will combine all of SETO’s technology areas into one request. By creating a more streamlined and consolidated funding strategy, DOE seeks to accelerate the cycles of learning in solar research and reduce government overhead costs.  Sign up HERE to learn more about this funding opportunity at an upcoming webinar.

What Will DOE Cover – The funding program will focus on four main areas:

TOPIC 1: Advanced Solar Systems Integration Technologies (up to $46 million, ~14 projects)

  • These projects will advance research on technologies that enable the seamless integration of solar energy onto the nation’s electricity grid. By supporting advances in power electronics, solar plus storage, and PV-integrated sensor technologies, the work will help ensure a smooth transition to a secure, reliable, and resilient grid of the future.

TOPIC 2: Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Research and Development (up to $24 million, ~21 projects)

  • These projects pursue innovative CSP concepts and technology solutions that enable the solar industry to reach DOE’s 2030 levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) targets for CSP, including $0.05 per kilowatt-hour for systems with greater than 12 hours of onsite storage. Research in CSP will focus on advancing elements found in CSP subsystems, including collectors and thermal transport systems for advanced power cycles, while pursuing new methods for introducing innovation to CSP research.

TOPIC 3: Photovoltaics Research and Development (up to $27 million, ~28 projects)

  • These projects support early-stage research to increase performance, reduce materials and processing costs, and improve reliability of PV cells, modules, and systems. These projects support DOE’s efforts to lower LCOE to $0.03 per kilowatt hour from utility-scale systems by 2030, which is half the cost of utility-scale solar today.

TOPIC 4: Improving and Expanding the Solar Industry through Workforce Initiatives (up to $8.5 million, ~4 projects)

  • These projects will pursue innovative initiatives that prepare the solar industry for a digital future while also increasing the number of veterans and participants in the solar industry.

EEI, Utilities Promote Storage – The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and 32 energy companies/organizations sent a letter to leaders of the Energy Storage Association (ESA) last week to support its efforts in advancing energy storage and to highlight principles seen as critical to helping the nation achieve a cleaner, more reliable and affordable energy system. Seeking to ensure the long-term growth of the energy storage industry, the letter promoted the need for state and local regulatory authorities to evaluate and choose the business and ownership models that will best facilitate growth in their state. The letter also stated that energy storage deployed at scale could strengthen electric company operations and reliability, while modernizing the energy grid and lowering overall costs.

NAFTA Discussions Look to Wrap Up – Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo reaffirmed Friday that the United States, Canada and Mexico are still pushing for a “comprehensive” new NAFTA agreement, despite the intense focus in recent weeks on automotive rules of origin. However, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters separately that the discussion on the auto rules of origin language was still center stage.  Ministers will meet again on Tuesday.  An informal timetable for wrapping up the talks is also looming. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is pushing to wrap up talks in the next couple of weeks so that Congress can vote by mid-December.  My colleagues Josh Zive and Stoney Burke are following this issue closer than anyway and are happy to offer your Insights.  You can reach them at josh.zive@bracell.com or Stoney.burke@bracewell.com

DTE NatGas Plants Approved – The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality approved a permit for DTE Energy to build two natural gas-fired turbines near Detroit despite local Opposition concerned about pollution concerns. MDEQ officials say they reviewed public comments and concluded that DTE’s request met all of the requirements for a permit.  DTE’s turbines will be part of the company’s new infrastructure in a facility that will power Ford Motor Co.’s Research and Engineering Center as it transforms into a green, high-tech campus. Other systems will include natural air flow ventilation and geothermal heating and cooling.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Fanning to Receive Leadership Award from Coaches – Southern CEO Tom Fanning will receive the CEO Coach of the Year award from the American Football Coaches Assn at a dinner tonight at the Georgia Aquarium.  The award is the highest honor bestowed by the organization, whose inaugural recipient in 2006 was Jeffrey R. Immelt, former CEO of General Electric. Other former winners include former Domino’s Pizza CEO David Brandon (2007), former MidAmerican Energy Holdings CEO David Sokol (2008), former HP CEO Mark Hurd (2009), FedEx CEO Fred Smith (2010); BP Capital CEO T. Boone Pickens (2011); NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (2012); former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson (2013), AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson (2014),  Berkshire Hathaway Energy head Greg Abel (2015) and former Honeywell Chairman and CEO David Cote (2016).

Refiners Security Conference Set – The annual AFPM Security Conference will be held today through Wednesday in New Orleans and presents current topics of vital importance to critical infrastructure, keeping security professionals up to date on security issues, policies, and future regulations. The event will relay the latest information on security regulations from DHS and the Coast Guard. This year’s conference will also go beyond just the regulations with sessions on hurricane response efforts, environmental NGO activism, cybersecurity and other emerging security and terror threats.

Axios to Host Gore, Sen. Sullivan – Mike Allen and Axios will host conversations on the news of the day with former VP Al Gore and Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska at AJAX tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. as part of it News Shapers Series.

Webinar to Look at Infrastructure on Hurricane – The Bipartisan Policy Center holds a webcast tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on whether America’s infrastructure can withstand the next natural disasters.  They will also discuss what lessons can be learned from previous disasters.”

Wilson to Hosts Climate Book Launch – Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a book launch discussion with author Barry Rabe on pricing carbon. Climate change, economists generally agree, is best addressed by putting a price on the carbon content of fossil fuels—by taxing carbon, by cap-and-trade systems, or other methods. But what about the politics of carbon pricing? Do political realities render carbon pricing impracticable?  In this book, Barry Rabe offers the first major political science analysis of the feasibility and sustainability of carbon pricing, drawing upon a series of real-world attempts to price carbon over the last two decades in North America, Europe, and Asia.

JHU Hosts Forum on Resilient Infrastructure – Johns Hopkins University’s Energy, Resources and Environment (ERE) Global Leaders Forum hosts a presentation tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. by the AECOM Practicum team looking at Cities as Innovation Centers.  The event will focus on investing in resilient Infrastructure,” followed by a panel discussion.  ERE’s Practicum students in partnership with the global engineering company AECOM are exploring the topic of climate risk and resilient infrastructure. This presentation and panel discussion will identify traditional barriers to investing in resilience and investigate best practices for implementing resilience.

Energy Happy Hour – The US Energy Economists in the National Capitol Area are co-hosting a Joint Happy Hour Event tomorrow evening at Dirty Martini with OurEnergyPolicy.org (OEP), which is a nonpartisan, nonprofit that has hosted more than 400 policy discussions over the past five years.

WRI Hosts Enviro Prize Winners – The World Resources Institute hosts a forum on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. which features an intimate conversation with 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize winners  The Goldman Environmental Prize, one of the most prestigious environmental awards, honors grassroots champions from six continents. The names of this year’s recipients will be announced on April 23rd.  After sharing their incredible stories, the Prize winners will join a Q&A discussion with the audience on environmental activism in the energy space, and regional approaches on the transition to clean energy.

NRC Commissioners Head to Approps – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Energy & Water panel will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to review the Fiscal Year 2019 funding request and budget justification for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission  Commissioners Kristine Svinicki, Jeff Baran, and Stephen Burns.

Resources Looks at NEPA – The House Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on reform of  the National Environmental Policy Act. It will look at the “weaponization” of NEPA and the Implications of environmental lawfare.  Witnesses include SMU Law Professor James Coleman, Melissa Hamsher of Eclipse Energy Resource Corporation, Laura Alice Watt of Sonoma State University and former CEQ official Horst Greczmiel.

Forum to Look at Sustainable Investing – Bloomberg Government and the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce will host a series of in-depth conversations starting Wednesday April 25th at 3:30 p.m. on Investing in a Sustainable Energy Future driven by transformative technology innovations in renewable energy and a functioning trade system necessary to respond to the challenge of energy security and climate change.  Panelists will examine how government leaders and energy investors are putting policy and capital to work to transform the world’s energy sources and protect the environment.

Forum Set for Discussion of Oceans – The Carnegie Institution for Science lecture on the sustainable use of the ocean Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. Oregon State University’s Jane Lubchenco will draw on her four years as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the Administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), her two years as the first U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean, and her decades of research around the world to summarize the importance to people of sustainable use of the ocean, and approaches that are working.

Clean Power Plan Comment Deadline – THURSDAY

Pruitt Heads to House Energy, Approps Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Committee will host EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on the agency’s budget request.  Good Luck with staying on that topic.  Pruitt then visits the House Approps Environment subpanel at 2:00 p.m.

GMU Forum Looks at Energy-Water Nexus – The Center for Energy Science and Policy (CESP), a joint-initiative of the Schar School of Science and Policy and the College of Science at George Mason University, hosts the Mason Energy Symposium — “Energy-Water Nexus” on Thursday.  The event is the 2nd annual Mason Energy Symposium and is focused on the important nexus between energy and water. The event will advance understanding of the international and domestic aspects of the most basic and critical needs in the 21st century – abundant and reliable supply of water and energy. It will also explore the particular role of off-shore renewable (wind) energy and associated technologies.  The full-day event will feature three panels: Panel I on Offshore Renewable Energy; Panel II on the domestic and international aspects of the water and energy nexus; and Panel III on Mason Energy-Water research opportunities. The afternoon will provide Mason students and faculty opportunities to showcase their work relating to energy and water through presentations and posters.  The luncheon speaker will be Ambassador (ret) Mary Warlick, former Assistant Secretary in the Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources.

USEA Focus on Plain Project – The U.S. Energy Association hosts a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on the Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership, as part of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) Initiative run by DOE.  The project aims to foster the deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) across a large area in the central interior of the United States and Canada. Using an adaptive management approach (AMA) to the assessment of carbon dioxide (CO2) geologic storage, the PCOR Partnership has demonstrated that secure storage can be achieved in association with CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations.

Resources Panel to Look at Offshore Revenue – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. examining the critical importance of offshore energy revenue sharing for Gulf Producing States.  Witnesses will include Chett Chiasson, Executive Director of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission (Port Fourchon) and Reggie Dupre, the Executive Director of the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District.

Forum to Look at Gender Impacts of Climate – Women In International Security hosts a round table discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at gender dimensions of climate change. The Panel will examine how climate change impacts men and women, to what extent national and international policies have integrated these gender dimensions, and identify gaps. We will also discuss the state of research and how the Women, Peace and Security Agenda intersects with scholarship and programs addressing climate change.

Forum to Look at Danish Oil, Gas – The Atlantic Council Global Energy Center hosts a Thursday conversation at 11:30 a.m.  with Ørsted North America President Thomas Brostrøm as he discusses Ørsted’s transformation from an oil company to a clean energy company and lays out his perspective on the future of wind energy in the United States.  Ørsted, previously known as Danish Oil and Natural Gas, has undergone a profound transformation in recent years. In recognition of the challenge presented by climate change and the opportunities afforded by the global energy transition, the company divested its fossil fuel assets and made new investments that have seen it become one of the world’s fastest-growing and most active clean energy firms.

ITIF, MIT Report to Release Report on Energy Storage – On Thursday at 1:30 p.m., the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosts the release of a new report produced in collaboration with the MIT Energy Initiative on Grid-scale Energy Storage. The report’s authors, ITIF Senior Fellow David M. Hart and MIT Professor Bill Bonvillian, will present their findings and discuss policy options to spur grid-scale storage innovation with an expert panel.

Forum Report to Focus on Global Oil Impacts – The Center for a New American Security holds an event on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. how lower oil prices have reshaped geopolitical calculations for U.S. policymakers. This panel will include discussion of: (1) Russia’s response to lower oil prices and the challenges this presents to the United States; (2) the prospects for continued U.S. engagement in the Middle East given decreasing concerns about energy scarcity; (3) opportunities for U.S. collaboration with Asian partners given decreased competition over energy resources; and (4) the geopolitical ramifications of lower fossil fuel prices for renewable energy resources.  The event will coincide with the release of the new CNAS report “U.S. Geopolitical Challenges and Opportunities in the Era of Lower Oil Prices” by Dr. David Gordon, Divya Reddy, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Neil Bhatiya, and Edoardo Saravalle.

Forum to Host Iraq Ambassador – On Thursday at 5:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center hosts a wide-ranging discussion on the state of investment in Iraq as the country rebuilds, featuring Iraq’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Dr. Fareed Jasseen. On the heels of the Kuwait conference in February, and with an oil and gas bidding round and elections on the horizon, this wide-ranging conversation will focus on the state of investment in Iraq, including the role the energy sector can play in enabling recovery, and the challenges ahead in terms of rebuilding and recovery.

Water Symposium to Feature Perdue, Vilsack – Colorado State University hosts a “Water in the West” Symposium on Thursday and Friday featuring experts, policymakers, researchers, and investors.  The event features the latest around water challenges, collaborate with experts, and create a roadmap for water research, innovation, education, and policy.  The Symposium will take place at the Water Resources Center, the first building to be constructed at the future National Western Center, a 250-acre redevelopment in north Denver. More than 20 confirmed expert speakers to-date including Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and Tom Vilsack, Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

WCEE Hosts FERC Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) hosts a lunch discussion on Friday at FERC on the fundamental economics and basic mathematics behind wholesale electricity market pricing, known as Locational Marginal Prices. FERC staff Robin Broder Hytowitz will provide an overview of electricity pricing focusing on broad concepts that apply to all ISOs/RTOs. The overview will explain the concepts behind Locational Marginal Prices, uplift, and an extension used in some wholesale markets today.

WH Correspondents Dinner Set for April 28th – The White House Correspondents’ Association hosts its annual dinner on Saturday featuring comedian Michelle Wolf as the entertainer.  Wolf is the host of a newly announced show on Netflix, which comes on the heels of her highly reviewed HBO special. She is also known for her acclaimed work as a contributor on Comedy Central’s Daily Show With Trevor Noah.  President Trump has said he will not attend.

IN THE FUTURE

MI Innovation Council to Hold Meeting – Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council holds its 6th Annual conference on Monday, April 30 at the Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol. The full-day conference focuses on innovations in advanced energy, as well as get an overview on the latest policy developments. There will be several break-out panels throughout the day featuring dozens of expert panelists. The event brings together leaders in Michigan’s advanced energy industry, utility executives, policymakers, regulators, and others.

Forum to Look at Climate, Conservative Views – On Monday April 30th, the Columbia Center for Global Energy hosts an event on conservative prescriptions on climate change.  As part of its continuing series “Where Next on Climate?” the Center on Global Energy Policy will host a program focusing on conservative prescriptions to deal with climate change. Dr. Glenn Hubbard, Dean of the Columbia Business School and former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors under President George W. Bush, will offer opening remarks, then lead a panel discussion with our friend Rich Powell of ClearPath, John Diamond of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and Lynne Kiesling of Purdue University and R Street Institute.

NHA holds Washington Waterpower Week – The National Hydropower Assn holds Waterpower Week in Washington on April 30 to May 2nd.  Waterpower Week is comprised of three co-located conferences rolled into one: NHA’s Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference (IMREC), and Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS). This 3-day jam packed event provides you the opportunity to network, learn about legislative and regulatory initiatives, and discuss the issues impacting hydropower and marine energy industry.

Solar Summit Set for SD – GTM’s Solar Summit 2018 will be held in San Diego on May 1st and 2nd at the Hyatt La Jolla.  This conference will present deep dives by the top industry executives and thought leaders that will help you navigate the challenges in the market.  SEIA’s Abby Hopper and former Governator Cal EPA head Terry Tamminen are among the list of speakers.

CSIS to  Look at Carbon Pricing – Next Tuesday, the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host John Larsen (Rhodium Group; CSIS), Jerry Taylor (Niskanen Center), and Thomas Kerr (IFC) to discuss the state of play of carbon markets and pricing around the world. Carbon pricing and emissions trading systems (ETS) have been gaining momentum as tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet Paris Agreement targets. The majority of OECD countries have a carbon pricing mechanism in place.  Despite progress, carbon pricing and ETS only cover approximately 15% of global emissions. The United States is still without a nation-wide carbon price, a politically fraught issue. Ultimately, prices must be significantly higher, and these mechanisms more widely adopted, in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Whether pricing carbon and ETS will come to meet expectations remains an open question.

Forum to Look at PJM Region Energy Issues – On Wednesday May 2, the Great Plains Institute and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions hold an expert workshop for state officials and stakeholders exploring recent energy and environmental policy developments in the PJM region.  Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Robert F. Powelson will deliver a keynote address.  After Commissioner Powelson’s keynote, Adam Keech, Executive Director of PJM Market Operations will present on recent developments at the RTO. A panel of state leaders will then react to recent PJM proposals and decisions and present on state-level developments. An industry panel will explore trends in the electricity industry, including recent commitments by utilities to decarbonize their portfolios. A third panel will explore timely environmental issues, from the new tax credit for carbon capture and storage projects to EV charging infrastructure and Virginia’s move to link to RGGI.

Forum to Focus on Russian Energy – On Wednesday May 2 at 10:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council holds a timely discussion on Russia’s energy strategy, the final event in a four-part series on Russia Today and Tomorrow: Internal Strengths and Weaknesses.  Russia remains one of the largest oil and natural gas producers in the world. Its economy largely depends on energy exports, with revenues accounting for about a half of the country’s federal budget. Dr. Tatiana Mitrova, director of the Energy Center at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, will be presenting a paper of Russia’s energy strategy. This will be followed by a panel discussion which will explore the current state of the energy industry in Russia, as well as its immediate and long-term strategy and the influence of the Russian government that includes our friend Elizabeth Rosenberg of the Center for a New American Security.

Forum  Looks at Oil in Iraq – The Middle East Institute (MEI) hosts a panel discussion on Thursday May 3rd at 2:00 p.m. examining options and priorities for improving governance in Iraq, featuring Erin Banco, investigative reporter for the Star-Ledger and NJ.com; Alan Eyre (State Department), Omar Al-Nidawi (Gryphon Partners), and MEI Scholar Jean Francois Seznec. The panel will be moderated by MEI’s director for conflict resolution and Track II dialogues, Randa Slim.

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

BPC to Host Panel on Federal Science – The Bipartisan Policy Center will Host a Forum on Tuesday May 8th at 9:00 a.m.  looking at federal funding for Fiscal Year 2018 for research and development. Continually developing new scientific knowledge and technologies drives long-term economic growth and creates higher-skilled jobs. BPC will focus its conversation on federal investment in scientific research and innovation and how to maintain America’s economic and competitive edge.

OPIS Looks at West Coast Fuel Supply – OPIS holds a forum in Napa Valley at the Silverado Resort on May 9th and 10th looking at West Coast fuel supplies and transportation opportunities.  Industry experts will examine the impact of new players in the Western markets, opportunities that California assets can offer, carbon emissions regulations, renewable fuels, plus get an exclusive technical analysis of West Coast spot market prices.

Hydrogen, Fuel Cell Forum Set for DC – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association will be hosting a full-day forum and exposition on Tuesday, June 12 in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with leading executives, experts, and policymakers on fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The forum will bring together key federal and state policymakers, including the Department of Energy and White House, as well as the broader environmental, transportation, and energy communities to raise awareness of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. This event will precede the Department of Energy’s 2018 Annual Merit Review.

GTM to Host Grid Forum – Greentech Media host Grid Edge Innovation Summit on June 20th and 21st in San Francisco.  The event is an energy conference that will examine the energy customer of tomorrow and how new innovative business models are quickly emerging.  GTM brings together forward thinking and prominent members of the energy ecosystem and as our research team explores the future of the market. Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff will speak along with many others, including our friends Shayle Kann, Julia Pyper and Stephen Lacey.

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

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

Energy Update: Week of March 5

Friends,

Oscar Sunday went off without a big hitch. Big Winners included Guillermo del Toro, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Gary Oldmam.  More importantly, the Oscars ceremony signals that March Madness is upon us. Murray State was the first team to punch their ticket to the NCAA tourney with the Ohio Valley Conference Championship on Saturday. All this week teams will vie for their conference championships and a spot in the big dance. Start digging in the metrics now…pool advice comes next week after the NCAA selection show Sunday at 6 p.m.

It’s also March Madness in the energy industry this week with CERAWeek. Many of the energy industries biggest political and business titans convene on Houston to discuss the state of policy and the impact of politics on the energy biz.  Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan kicked off the action today, tomorrow morning PBF CEO Tom Nimbly joins OPIS expert Tom Kloza and Sheetz CEO Mike Lorenz to discuss refining and Wednesday Energy Secretary Rick Perry hosts his Mexican and Canadian counterparts in an energy discussion which is certain to touch tariffs and NAFTA.  You can check the full line up here.

Speaking of NAFTA and the Steel tariffs, I have included a new report on potential job losses.  As well, our Bracewell policy experts are covering this issues very closely and are available to speak on background and on the record. For a great primer on the topic, tune into Bracewell’s Podcast where Paul Nathanson and Josh Zive break down the context and history of the proposed tariffs and the President’s tweeted claims that trade wars are “easy to win.”  You can listen on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.

Back in Washington the action doesn’t stop. After last week’s White House meetings on the RFS, union refinery workers from 11 states will pour into the Capitol to urge Congress to help protect their jobs. They will discuss the urgent need for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) reform with legislators.

In other congressional action, energy bills to improve energy efficiency and block brick kiln regulations are expected on the House Floor.  Tomorrow, Senate Energy looks at USGS nominee James Reilly, House Oversight looks at the Army Corps and House Science takes on the future of fusion energy. On Wednesday, House Energy looks at the future of transportation fuels and vehicles and House Small Business looks at Reg Reform.

Off the Hill, Third Way hosts an advanced Nuclear forum tomorrow, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum hosts a grid resiliency policy roundtable Wednesday, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center hosts a conversation with Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes Thursday morning and on Friday, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and EESI hosts a lunch briefing focused on the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.

Finally, the 10th Annual Congressional Hockey Challenge is set for the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Thursday May 15th.  I will be on the ice again this year officiating and I hope you all try to attend for this great cause.  Get Tickets here.  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“I think it’s going to surprise people how quickly a lot of companies move. What we’ve announced is substantially higher than what the Clean Power Plan would have required, and I think you’re going to see numerous other companies end up in that same place.”

Gerry Anderson, DTE Energy’s chairman and CEO, discussing the swiftness with which power companies will cut carbon emissions.

ON THE POD

Bracewell Pod Focuses on Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast is live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  The podcast addresses the tumultuous past 24 hours of on-again-off-again steel and aluminum tariff announcements from the Administration. We break down the context and history of the proposed tariffs and the President’s tweeted claims that trade wars are “easy to win.

IN THE NEWS

Steel, Aluminum Tariffs Announced – During a meeting with Steel and Aluminum executive, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he will impose tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports into the US for an unlimited time frame.

User Groups Raise ConcernsRoy Hardy, President of the Precision Metalforming Association, and Dave Tilstone, President of the National Tooling and Machining Association said the steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imperils the U.S. manufacturing sector, and particularly downstream U.S. steel and aluminum consuming companies, who alone employ 6.5 million Americans compared to the 80,000 employed by the domestic steel industry.  “The tariffs will lead to the U.S. once again becoming an island of high steel prices resulting in our customers simply importing the finished part.  The lost business to overseas competitors will threaten thousands of jobs across the United States in the steel consuming manufacturing sector, similar to our experience in 2002 when the U.S. last imposed tariffs on steel imports.  Those “201” steel tariffs resulted in the loss of 200,000 American manufacturing jobs (more than employed by the entire domestic steel industry) because of high steel prices due in large part to the tariffs.  President Trump campaigned on the promise to protect manufacturing jobs but by ignoring warnings from a wide range of manufacturers, his plan to impose tariffs will cost manufacturing jobs across the country.  Our associations plan to work to end these tariffs as soon as possible so that he fulfills that commitment.”

HVAC Manufacturers Worry as Well – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), which represents manufacturers of heating, air conditioning, commercial refrigeration, and water heating products and equipment, said it was disappointed in the decision.  As it made clear in letters to the President and to Commerce Secretary Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer, AHRI does not support additional tariffs on steel and aluminum due to their impact on manufacturers and consumers.  “As major users of steel and aluminum, we have been proactive in explaining to the administration that the HVACR and water heating industry would be negatively impacted by an increase in tariffs, as would the consumers that rely on the products we manufacture,” said AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek.  “While we have been pleased with the Trump Administration’s enthusiastic support for manufacturing, we believe this step to be injurious, rather than helpful, to our efforts to increase American manufacturing and create jobs.”

Study:  Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Will cost 179,000 Jobs – A New Report by economists Laura Baughman and Joe Francois at The Trade Partnership.  We are working closely with them and our cooperation goes back to the 201 steel tariffs – they were authors of the 2003 study on 201 steel tariff jobs losses still cited to this day.  In brief, the new report  “Does Import Protection Save Jobs?” finds:

  • Short term, the tariffs would increase U.S. iron and steel and non-ferrous metals (primarily aluminum) employment by 33,464 jobs, but cost 179,334 jobs throughout the rest of the economy, for a net loss of nearly 146,000 jobs;
  • More than five jobs would be lost for every one gained;
  • Job losses in other manufacturing sectors  (-36,076) would cancel out the job gains in the steel- and aluminum producing sectors, with particularly large “hits” to workers in the fabricated metals sector (-12,800), motor vehicles and parts (-5,052), and other transportation equipment (-2,180);
  • Two thirds of the lost jobs affect workers in production and low-skill jobs.

The results are detailed in the report by sector.  The full report can be found here.

NOLA, NYT Join for Report on Gulf Coast – Last year, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune and The New York Times agreed to collaborate to bring attention to the impact of climate change on land loss in one of the country’s most vulnerable and vital regions.  The result was a collaboration released last week called “Our Drowning Coast,” a special report about the ecological crisis facing our vanishing coast and the people who live there, is the product of an unusual partnership between two news organizations, one local and one national. The approach made sense because the future of the state’s coast, which is critical to the energyseafood and shipping sectors, should be of great concern to those who live here as well as to those who merely benefit from its bounty. The result is this special project of articles, photos, videos and graphic illustrations, 10 months in the making, timed to coincide with this year’s tricentennial of New Orleans. The lead article tells the story of the intrepid mayor of Jean Lafitte, who is fighting to save his town from encroaching seas. Another examines the expenditure of billions of dollars to repair and improve the New Orleans levee system after Hurricane Katrina, and questions whether it is enough to protect the city through its next 100 years. A third looks at the latest threat to Louisiana’s coast, an aphid-like insect that, along with nutria and feral hogs, is destroying the vegetation essential to keeping the wetlands from dissolving.  Our friend Mark Schleifstein coordinated the reporting.

Report: Future Battery Costs Reduced by Components – A new report from GTM Research, “U.S. Front-of-the-Meter Energy Storage System Prices, 2018-2022” shows that while declines in battery prices between 2012 and 2016 helped to drive a 63% percent reduction in system costs, battery price declines will taper off and future changes in system prices will be driven by other component cost declines.  Standardization of system design and engineering, and competitive markets will all continue to bring down storage BOS hardware costs as well as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) expenses. New system architectures and inverter selections will also impact the final cost of energy storage systems in the future. This new GTM Research report touches on all these components and uses a bottom-up methodology to track, model and report on energy storage system prices. The full report, available to purchase here, includes both an in-depth analysis of the data and a cost model.

BPC Report Examines Power Sector Resilience in Wake of FERC Decision – Following the decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in January to end consideration of the proposed grid resiliency pricing rule, a new Bipartisan Policy Center primer seeks to provide a high-level introduction to the concept of power sector resilience.  The paper highlights what research has been done on the topic as well as key areas where more work is needed. This includes a discussion of how resilience is defined and measured; what threats the power system should be resilient to; how this term is related to, but distinct from, reliability; and what organizations are working to better define and measure resilience.  These issues and questions will be key ahead of FERC’s March 9 deadline for regional transmission organizations and independent system operators to answer questions about resilience in their geographic footprints.

Report on Russian Sanctions Impact on Energy – The Atlantic Council released its latest report: “Impact of Sanctions on Russia’s Energy Sector” late last week.  In this new report, Global Energy Center Non-Resident Senior Fellow Bud Coote addresses: the impact of US and European Union sanctions on Russia’s energy sector, Moscow’s strategy and actions to deal with energy-related sanctions, the geopolitical and other implications of Russia’s ability to cope with these sanctions.  Coote’s analysis highlights how Moscow has managed to successfully pursue its energy goals, despite the broader negative impact of sanctions on other areas of the Russian economy.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

CERAWEEK Set for Houston CERAWEEK’s 2018 conference will be held in Houston from March 5-9th at the Hilton Americas.  Speakers this year include Interior Secratery Zinke, Energy Secretary Perry (who will also host a discussion with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts), OPEC SG Mohammad Barkindo, GM’s Mary Berra, BP’s Bob Dudley, IAE’s Fatih Birol, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Energy Transfer’s Kelsey Warren, Paul Spencer of the Clean Energy Collective, Sunnova’s John Berger, and many, many more.

NAS to Look at Carbon Waste Streams – The National Academy of Sciences’ Division on Earth and Life Studies and Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences will host a three-day meeting today, tomorrow and Wednesday on developing a research agenda for utilization of gaseous carbon waste streams.

Third Way Forum to Look at Future Nukes – Third Way and NEI hold the third annual Advanced Nuclear Summit tomorrow in Washington, DC.  As the advanced nuclear sector gets closer to licensing and constructing new power plants, we will explore how nuclear leaders can engage with communities on the ground, how these technologies can help meet their needs, and how to address the challenges that concern them.  The forum is also co-hosted by GAIN and the Idaho, Oak Ridge, and Argonne National Labs.

Wind Forum Set – The Business Network for Offshore Wind hold a forum tomorrow at the Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport Hotel.  The forum will look at the regional offshore wind market, discuss opportunities for US developers and Tier 1 and 2 supplier, and listen to available State resources.  Speakers include MEA’s Mary Beth Tung, BOEM’s Daryl Francois and our friends Clint Plummer of Deepwater Wind and Raul Rich of US Wind.

Steelworkers Headed to DC to Talk RFS – The United Steelworkers (USW) will bring 30 workers from over a dozen independent merchant oil refineries in 11 states to Washington, D.C., to save their jobs tomorrow and Wednesday. They will discuss the urgent need for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) reform with legislators.  Union members will meet with senators and representatives on Tuesday, March 6, and Wednesday, March 7, to raise awareness about how the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) use of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) to track RFS compliance threatens thousands of family-supporting, community-sustaining jobs across the country. USW National Oil Bargaining Chairman Kim Nibarger, who will be in Washington for the meetings, said that refiners currently are forced to purchase RINs at artificially inflated prices because they lack the size and infrastructure to blend ethanol into their gasoline. The fly-in will feature workers from the Philadelphia Energy Solutions and Monroe Energy refineries near Philadelphia, as well as PBF Energy refineries in Torrance, Calif.; Delaware City, Del.; Paulsboro, N.J.; Chalmette, La.; and Toledo, Ohio; HollyFrontier refineries in El Dorado, Kan.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; and Salt Lake City and Valero refineries in Meraux, La.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Dumas and Port Arthur, Texas.

Senate To Hear USGS Nominee – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the nomination of James Reilly to be director of the U.S. Geological Survey.

House Oversight Look at Corps – The House Oversight Interior-Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow on examining the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

House Science Look at Fusion Energy – The House Science Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow looking at the future of U.S. fusion energy research. Among those testifying includes Bernard Bigot, director-general, International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor; James Van Dam, DOE’s acting associate director of the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences; Mickey Wade, director of advanced fusion systems at General Atomics; and Mark Herrmann, director of the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Forum to Look at Great Lakes Water Issues – The U.S. Water Alliance and Northeast-Midwest Institute hold briefing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on water-related challenges in the Great Lakes region.  The event will showcase top utility, community, and philanthropic leaders discussing the latest innovations from the Great Lakes region that are forging progress in providing access to affordable and safe water and wastewater services, and how cross-sector partnerships are driving revitalization, job growth, and economic development.  Speakers will include SeMia Bray of Emerald Cities Cleveland, Elizabeth Cisar of the Joyce Foundation, Josina Morita of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and Kevin Shafer of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Forum to Look at Water Infrastructure – The World Water Council holds webinar at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow on water infrastructure and other water-related issues.

Forum to Look at Climate Risks – EESI and Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) hold a briefing tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. to explore the climate risks facing the U.S. real estate sector, as well as policy solutions and innovations to help protect this crucial piece of the American economy. Given the economic activity and investment tied to the buildings sector, its long-term health will depend on the capacity of public officials, insurance agencies, and property managers to adapt to climate change risks.  The discussion on ways the public and private sectors can collaborate to develop the policy tools necessary to safeguard America’s buildings and homes from future natural disasters.  Congressional Speakers include Reps. Charlie Crist and Lee Zeldin, with panel speakers St. Petersburg FL City Council Member And Realtor Brandi Gabbard, Ryan Colker of the National Institute of Building Sciences and John Miller of the New Jersey Association of Floodplain Management.

Transmission Forum Set – Infocast’s 21st annual Transmission Summit East will be held on Wednesday  through Friday to discuss the latest transmission business strategies and the changing policy landscape.  More than 20 interactive panels and presentations will address topics including the new FERC Commission’s impacts on Transmission, new FERC ROE frameworks affecting project economics and financing, resiliency, renewables growth and grid modernization needs and co-opting generation and transmission.  Speakers include Clean Line’s Michael Skelly, Southern Transmission’s John Lucas, PJM’s Paul McGlynn and many others.

Forum to Look at Grid Resiliency – The Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum hosts a grid resiliency policy roundtable on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m.

Forum to Look at Climate Conflict Issues – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a forum on the long-term trends toward a warming climate, economic and social discontent.  In-depth research projects conducted by the Peace Research Institute Oslo identify how the effects of climate change interact with fragility to shape conflict trends.  The panel will discuss ways in which these climate-conflict insights could improve policies and programs in defense, diplomacy, and development.  Panelists include USAID’s Cynthia Brady, Joshua Busby of UT-Austin and former U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Environmental Security) Sherri Goodman.

House Energy Looks at Transportation Fuels, Vehicles – The House Energy & Commerce Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday looking at the future of transportation fuels and vehicles. Witnesses will include EIA’s John Maples, NREL’s John Farrell, RFF’s Joshua Linn, Jeremy Martin of the Union of Concerned Scientists and John Eichberger of the Fuels Institute.

House Small Biz Look at Reg Reform – The House Small Business Committee hold a hearing on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. to examine how regulatory reform efforts by President Trump and Congress affect small firms. Witnesses include NFIB’s Karen Harned, NAM’s Patrick Hedren, NAHB’s Randy Noel and former EPA official and Georgetown professor Lisa Heinzerling.

Energy Efficiency Day Set – On Wednesday afternoon, the Alliance to Save holds Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) on Capitol Hill at the American Trucking Assn. Each year the event draws stakeholders from business, industry, government and academia to offer their unique industry perspectives.  This year GEED will explore the revolution underway in the energy and transportation sectors and the foundational roles  of energy efficiency and public policy as change agents driving this new future.  Industry executives will kick GEED off with a look at the key technologies, policies, and stakeholders driving disruption in the automotive and utility sectors, with a focus on opportunities to advance energy efficiency. Two responsive roundtables will follow, diving deeper into the role of federal policy in adopting a systems approach to energy efficiency and addressing the evolving transportation sector.

Youth Nuclear Issues Discussion – The Department of Energy (Office of Nuclear Energy) and the Nuclear Energy Institute will hold another Millennial Nuclear Caucus on Wednesday evening.  The forum encourages all young people interested in nuclear energy, advanced science and technology solutions, or the future of clean energy to attend and join in the conversation. We all have a stake in the future of nuclear.

Norway Ambassador to Talk Energy – On Thursday  morning at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the Norwegian Embassy will hold a wide-ranging conversation with Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes about current trends in the Norwegian oil and gas sector. Norway is a major offshore oil and gas producer, producing about 2 million barrels of oil per day and exporting a record 122 billion cubic meters of natural gas during 2017.

Conservative Groups Look at Clean Energy – On Thursday at Noon, the R Street Institute, Texas Clean Energy Coalition (TCEC) and The American Conservative will host a forum in 2045 Rayburn at Noon for a discussion of how these trends are playing out in the Texas electric market, how conservative leaders are embracing the economic benefits of clean energy, and what the “Texas story” can teach us about current energy debates in Washington and around the country. Panelists include Georgetown, Texas Mayor Dale Ross, ERCOT COO Cheryl Mele, Texas Clean Energy Coalition head Elizabeth Lippincott and former Public Utility Commission of Texas commissioner (PUCT) Ken Anderson.

Heritage hosts Forum on European Initiative – The Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on Thursday to discuss The Three Seas Initiative, an effort by 12 European nations situated between the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black Seas to develop energy and infrastructure ties between their countries.  Krzysztof Szczerski, a chief architect of the Three Seas Initiative, presents a Polish perspective on what the Initiative means for Europe and the United States, and how it will strengthen the transatlantic alliance.

EESI, BSCE to Host Staff Brief on Factbook – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute hosts a lunch briefing on Friday  In 2168 Rayburn focused on the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. A panel of executives from BCSE member companies and analysts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance will discuss.

Press Club to Host Climate Insurance Event – On Friday at 10:00 a.m. in the Press Club’s Murrow Room,  the CO 2 Coalition will host Dr. Bruce Everett to discuss climate insurance and other climate issues.  Everett will discuss several assertions he says are false, sucsh as, carbon dioxide controls the climate, renewable energy sources are free, fossil fuels seem cheaper because of subsidies and many more Conservative views on the issue.

Australian Sen to Address Energy Markets – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Center for Strategic & International Studies-Pertamina Banyan Tree Leadership Forum will host Senator Matthew Canavan of the Australian Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia. Minister Canavan will discuss the state of Australia’s resources and energy market, opportunities for engagement between Australia and the U.S., and Australia’s role as a net energy exporter in the Indo-Pacific.

Tulane Enviro Forum Set – The Environmental and Energy Society of Tulane University Law School proudly hosts the 23rd annual Summit on Friday and Saturday to bring together professionals and the public on current and pressing environmental and legal policy issues. This year, the conference will include 21 panels on a wide range of environmental issues with 75 speakers and moderators participating in the event. Our local, national, and international speakers represent strong voices from business, legal, and scientific backgrounds.  Jean-Michel Cousteau is Friday Keynote.

IN THE FUTURE

AFPM Annual Meeting Set for New Orleans – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers will hold its 2018 annual meeting in New Orleans on March 11 -13th at the Hilton Riverside.  The meeting is the world’s premier refining meeting, assembling key executives, decision-makers, and technical experts from refining businesses, technology providers, contracting and consulting firms, and equipment manufacturers around the world. It will address current issues of importance to the industry, including industry and community impacts of the 2017 hurricane season. The breakout sessions will feature presentations and panels on process safety, key regulatory issues, innovation, workforce development, economic/commercial issues, the use of big data and emerging technologies.  Speakers include former Tonight Show host Jay Leno, NFL CMO Dawn Hudson, political analyst Charlie Cook Koch CEO Brad Razook and GM’s Dan Nicholson.

Forum to Look at CCS – The Global CCS Institute holds its 7th Annual DC Forum on CCS on Tuesday, March 13th in the Ronald Reagan Building’s Polaris Room at 8:30 a.m.  The event is a lively discussion of the key questions that clean energy and CCS advocates are focused on, including 45Q impact, private sector investment, future government support and key audiences for advocacy efforts. Speakers include ClearPath’s Rich Powell, Global CCS Institute CEO Brad Page,, WRI’s Andrew Steer, former Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy David Mohler, ADM’s Scott McDonald, Kurt Walzer of the Clean Air Task Force, House Energy Committee former Chief Counsel Tom Hassenboehler and former DOE official Daniel Richter.

Forum to Look at Pipeline – The Atlantic Council’s Eurasia  Center and Global Energy Center will hold a debate next Monday at 2:00 p.m. looking at the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and its potential implications for the United States and its European allies. Panels I and II will debate the different views on the pipeline from the United States and Europe and address the impact of Nord Stream 2 on European energy security, the political and economic questions associated with the pipeline, and the effects of the pipeline on transit countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

JHU Forum to Look at Global Solar, Wind – Next Monday at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS will look at the role of wind and solar in the global power sector. A new book — presented by Professor Johannes Urpelainen — will offer a comprehensive political analysis of the rapid growth in renewable wind and solar power, mapping an energy transition through theory, case studies, and policy analysis.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil – Next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and Global Energy Center for a timely conversation on the downfall of Venezuela’s oil sector and what may be in store in the future.  Speakers will include former State Dept official David Goldwyn, Atlantic Council Author Francisco Monaldi and Jason Marczak, Director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

BPC Infrastructure Hub Sets Innovation Forum – The BPC Infrastructure Lab hold its second event in a series on Infrastructure Ideas and Innovations on Tuesday March 13th at 10:00 a.m. The American economy is increasingly driven by a powerful network of billions of “smart” and connected devices, ranging from miniscule sensors to massive industrial machines. From autonomous vehicles to smart water meters, today’s innovations are transforming how we live and how our core industries do business.  These technological advancements also raise important policy questions: What infrastructure investments must be made to ensure that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), the infrastructure that underlies the innovation, has the powerful and reliable communications network needed to sustain it? How can we incorporate IIoT innovations, such as custom private networks that combine satellite-terrestrial technologies, to improve the quality and competitiveness of our infrastructure?

Algae, CCS Forum Set – Next Tuesday, March 13th at 1:30 p.m., U.S. Energy Association hosts a presentation on algae’s role in successful CO2 mitigation campaign.   Heralded by proponents, dismissed by naysayers, algae may not cure our carbon conundrum but could be a key enabler for carbon capture and use (CCU). Algae Biomass Organization Executive Director Matt Carr addresses the topic.

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

NOAA COmms Director Heads EnvirorunEnvirorun hosts David Herring, director of communications and education at NOAA’s Climate Program Office next Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.  Starting this month, the Speaker Series will be taking place at WeWork K Street and will feature a new route and the run starting at 6 p.m. and speaker at 7 p.m.  Envirorun will meet at WeWork K Street before going out on the fun run. There will be a place to store bags while runners are on the trails. After the run, we will return to the venue for networking and hear from the speaker at 7:00 pm. Non-runners welcome to join.

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

CSIS to Talk Electricity Markets, Conflicts – On Wednesday , March 14th at 3:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Dr. Brian Ó Gallachóir (University College Cork) and Dr. Morgan Bazilian (Colorado School of Mines) for a presentation on electricity market and infrastructure developments in conflict zones with particular focus on power sector development in the wake of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. Sarah Ladislaw (CSIS) will moderate the discussion.

Forum on New Solar Book – On Friday, March 16th at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program hosts a discussion on ‘Taming the Sun,’ the new book by Dr. Varun Sivaram, Philip D. Reed fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Sivaram will discuss the financial, technological and systematic innovation required to maximize solar power utilization and highlight the need for a creative public policy framework, and comprehensive energy market restructuring, to create a more effective clean energy portfolio and establish solar energy as the cornerstone of the global energy revolution.

Forum Looks At Budget Impacts on Climate, Enviro Research – The Novim Group, in partnership with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, holds a briefing on Friday March 16th at 2:00 p.m. discussing a new report on the environmental and societal impacts of the Administration’s proposed climate and environmental research program cuts for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The briefing’s speakers, who helped author the Novim report, will give an overview of its findings and conclusions. Speakers for this forum are Michael Ditmore and Ari Patrinos of Novim as well as Kei Koizumi American Association for the Advancement of Science.

World Water Forum Set – The 8th World Water Forum will be in Brasilia, Brazil on March 18 to 23.

International PetroChem Conference Ready – AFPM holds its 2018 International Petrochemical Conference in San Antonio on March 25-27th.  The International Petrochemical Conference is the world’s largest and most prestigious conference representing the petrochemical industry. The meeting consists of a variety of sessions covering key political, economic, and environmental issues affecting the petrochemical industry. The sessions emphasize global competitiveness in the petrochemical business and are presented by recognized experts in the areas of petrochemical markets, economics, and politics.

EPA Clean Power Plan Repeal Hearing Heads for WY – EPA’s final listening sessions for its proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan start in Gillette, Wyoming on March 27th.  The EPA had already held one two-day meeting in West Virginia in late 2017.

Offshore Wind Partnership Forum Set – The Business Network for Offshore Wind hold its 2018 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum on April 3rd to 6th in Princeton New Jersey.  The IPF is the leading technical conference for offshore wind in the United States and is dedicated to moving the industry forward.  Among the speakers will be BOEM’s Walter Cruickshank and James Bennett, Statoil’s Sebastian Bringsværd, U of Delaware’s Jeremy Firestone, NYSERDA’s Greg Lampman, Recharge’s Darius Snieckus Deepwater’s Jeff Grybowski and NWF’s Collin O’Mara.

Refiners Security Conference Set – The annual AFPM Security Conference will be held on April 23-25 in New Orleans and presents current topics of vital importance to critical infrastructure, keeping security professionals up to date on security issues, policies, and future regulations. The event will relay the latest information on security regulations from DHS and the Coast Guard. This year’s conference will also go beyond just the regulations with sessions on hurricane response efforts, environmental NGO activism, cybersecurity and other emerging security and terror threats.

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

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

 

Friends,

Happy Columbus Day from Washington.  No traffic during a rain storm and free parking on the streets makes me wish every day was a Federal holiday…  While I understand that there is some controversy regarding honoring Columbus, this is the special day for Italian-Americans like yours truly.  To appreciate, I spent the weekend in the North End of Boston for a great meal at Giacomo’s and some cannolis from Modern Pastry.

Wow… Was that a week or what? And no slow down on Friday as it seemed even busier with the CPP documents making their way out into the public.  Then, Hurricane Nate roared ashore over the weekend with Mississippi Power and Alabama Power working hard to restore power, which as of Sunday seemed to be all back on other than a small area around hardest-hit Mobile which is supposed to be back on by noon today.  Nate also forced offshore oil companies to curtail 92.61%, or 1.62 million barrels per day, of Gulf of Mexico oil production as of Sunday.

Back to CPP, we expect to have an announcement tomorrow after this morning’s event in Kentucky.  Administrator Pruitt said in a speech in Hazard, KY (by the way, yours truly is a Duke of Hazard thanks to former Mayor Bill Gorman) with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he will formally sign the proposal to withdraw the CPP tomorrow in Washington.  My Colleague Jeff Holmstead can answer your questions.  Email us at here or jeff.holmstead@bracewell.com.

SEJ in Pittsburgh was a great event, especially with all this important environmental activity making news… and Jeff just happened to be on a CPP/climate legal panel as the documents were coming out.  Way to go Carolyn Whetzel.  I knew that was your plan all along.  And our reception was awesome…including the great, fun band that we hosted.  Looking forward to Flint, but it seems like there will so many things between now and then.

In addition to the CPP activity this week, the big event on Capitol Hill with be Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s visit to the House Energy Committee when he will get intense questions about his recent grid proposal to FERC.  That’s Thursday at 10:00 a.m.  Other events include a cybersecurity event tomorrow with rural Co-ops (featuring Arkansas Co-op leader, our friend and expert Duane Highley); a House Resources panel hearing on Wednesday to look at legislation to amend the OCS Lands Act featuring Mary Landrieu, Michael Bromwich and API’s Erik Milito; Thursday CSIS hosts IEA’s Renewable Energy Division head Heymi Bahar for a presentation of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Market Report 2017; and Friday, House Resources returns to legislation focused on onshore energy.

Finally, stay tuned tomorrow for some more great hiring news at Bracewell’s PRG.  We are excited to make a big announcement on a new tax expert who is super smart on policy, very media savvy and well-connected in the nerdy tax world.  He will be a huge help to those of you covering tax policy

Call with questions.  Best

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“I’m sympathetic with the ‘hurry up and fix something'” attitude, said “But this is such a draconian way of fixing it that I’m assuming it’s put out there to be a lightning rod to get people off their ass and get to focusing on proper solutions to this.” He added: “Everything in our society has a shelf-life and then it goes into retirement.”

Former FERC Chairman Pat Wood, a Republican who is a strong advocate for markets in Darius Dixon’s  POLITICO.

IN THE NEWS

PA Delegation Urges Trump to Protect Refinery Jobs – Following an event at a refinery in Philadelphia this morning, members of Congress and union officials released a letter from Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation urging President Trump support refining jobs in the Northeast.  Signers including Sens. Casey and Toomey, as well as Reps. Doyle, Barletta, Evans, Kelly, Brady, Meehan, Boyle, Thompson, Perry, Shuster, Rothfus and Costello.

EIA: CO2 Emissions Headed Down – The Energy Information Administration has new data on energy-related CO2 emissions and they show a 1.7% decline in 2016.  The data lowers energy-related emissions to 14% below 2005 levels and just 2.6% above 1990 levels, even though the economy is much larger than it was a quarter century ago. The trend of declining coal‐fired electricity generation and increasing non‐fossil fuel and natural gas‐fired generation continued in 2016. Coal’s share of total electricity generation fell from 53% in 1990 to 30% in 2016.  The natural gas share of electricity generation grew from approximately 12% in 1990 to 30% in 2012 and to 34% in 2016.  The non-fossil fuel electricity generation share (35%), including both nuclear and renewables, exceeded that of both coal and natural gas in 2016.  See a bunch a great charts here.

EPA GHG Report Also Shows Decrease – Another new annual report from EPA says greenhouse gas emissions from America’s largest industrial facilities fell 2% in 2016 to 2.99 billion tons, led by a large cut from the power sector. The decline in emissions in 2016 was led by a 4.6% reduction from U.S. power plants, an 18% decline from five years ago.

TX Utility to Retire Coal Plant – Speaking of emissions heading down, Texas utility Vistra announced on Friday plans to retire its Monticello Power Plant in Titus County, Texas. In total, approximately 1,800 MW of power will be taken offline in January of 2018.  Vistra said the market’s unprecedented low power price environment has profoundly impacted the plant’s operating revenues and no longer supports continued investment.  Vistra estimates that approximately 200 employees will be impacted by Monticello’s retirement.  More here.

Wheeler EPA Nom Finally in Motion – After months of expectation and speculation, President Trump late last Thursday appointed Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting energy and natural resources expert Andrew Wheeler to the #2 position at EPA. Wheeler previously worked for Sen. Jim Inhofe and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Clean Energy – Today at 3:15 p.m., as part of the State Innovation Exchange’s annual SiX Legislator Conference, local and state leaders will gather in Washington, D.C., for a panel discussion on clean energy efforts in the States. More than 500 progressive state legislators and legislative staff from across the nation will gather for the 4th annual legislator conference. These state lawmakers, who are on the front lines of the resistance and policy making efforts across the country will gather to discuss and find solutions to some of the most pressing issues impacting the country as well as plan new strategies to further resist the efforts of the Trump administration.  The conference goes through tomorrow.

Rural Co-Ops to Discuss CyberSecurity – The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association hosts a cybersecurity forum, “Insights on Cybersecurity for Electric Utilities,” tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  The event will be in collaboration with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Department of Homeland Security.

WRI to Host Forum – Experts from the Open Government Partnership and World Resources Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. on climate action.  The forum will profile a range of innovative approaches that open government advocates have taken to strengthen countries’ climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. Together, they will unpack how improving transparency, accountability and public participation in climate decision-making processes can help governments and civil society leaders around the world achieve ambitious climate targets.

Forum to Look at US-China Relations – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the Brent Scowcroft Center’s Asia Security Initiative will hold a timely conversation tomorrow on the role energy plays in the US-China relationship. The US administration’s emerging diplomatic strategy and the upcoming nineteenth national congress of the Communist Party of China provide an opportunity to take stock of the role energy plays in the US-China relationship, as well as in how China views its future. Key issues in the US-China relationship include the role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, China’s view of US energy exports, and how energy fits into the administration’s trade agenda.  Speakers include our friend Robert Fee of Cheniere Energy, ITC Assistant Secretary Alan Turley and DOE China advisor Maria DiGuilian with our friend Keith Johnson of FP moderating.

Report top Look at Highly-Enriched Uranium Facilities – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Fissile Materials Working Group and International Panel on Fissile Materials will launch of a major new IPFM research report, edited by Pavel Podvig, with contributions by six leading Russian experts on highly enriched uranium (HEU) facilities. The report describes in unprecedented detail Russian programs that use HEU as fuel in military and civilian applications. Further, it asses Russia’s contribution to the effort to convert research reactors from HEU to non-weapon-usable low-enriched uranium fuel, and Russia’s efforts to repatriate HEU fuel it had supplied to facilities abroad. Finally, it evaluates the organizational structure and regulations governing the security of HEU in civilian facilities in Russia. It makes recommendations for securing Russia’s commitment to the goal of a comprehensive global HEU minimization strategy.

House Resources Look at Revenue Legislation – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to look at a discussion draft of legislation to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to distribute revenues from oil and gas leasing on the outer Continental Shelf to certain coastal States, and for other purposes.  Witnesses will include former Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, South Caroline State Senator Stephen Goldfinch, API’s Erik Milito and former BOEM director Michael Bromwich.

Walden, DOE Official Headline Canadian Energy Efficiency Forum – On Thursday, the Canadian Embassy hosts the 28th annual Energy Efficiency Forum, featuring Dan Brouillette, deputy secretary at the Department of Energy, and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

House Energy to Discuss Grid Proposal – Energy Secretary Rick Perry testifies before the House Energy Subcommittee on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to offer his vision for managing and executing the department’s missions and opportunities to update and align DOE’s missions and operations with the emerging energy, national security, environmental, and technological challenges confronting the nation.  Expect some interesting questions as a many energy industries have raised concerns about the DOE approach

ACORE Finance Forum Set – The American Council on Renewable Energy will hold forum on the state of the renewable energy public policy, financial markets and corporate renewables strategy when they hold ACORE Finance West on Thursday at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco.  This annual conference convenes senior investors, industry executives, and other top transactional professionals to address market trends in the context of renewable investment opportunities in the Western U.S.

Bloomberg Hosts Sustainability Forum – Bloomberg holds its 3rd annual Sustainable Business Summit on Thursday and Friday in its New York offices to discuss how companies are yielding positive returns for investors, creating sustainably valuable products and processes, and developing innovative sustainable business models.  Uniquely positioned at the intersection of sustainable business and sustainable investing, the summit will explore the challenges and even greater opportunities emerging across industries.

WAPA to Host Road Rally – The Washington Automotive Press Association holds its 2017 WAPA Rally on Thursday.  This year’s event will be a drive event on the roads just beyond the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the scenic Eastern Shore of Maryland. The event provides the opportunity to drive or ride in the latest and greatest cars, trucks and SUVs provided by WAPA’s automotive partners.

CSIS to Host IEA Renewable Energy Report Launch – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Heymi Bahar, Project Manager of the Renewable Energy Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. for a presentation of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Market Report 2017 (formerly titled Medium-Term Renewables Market Report). The report provides a detailed market analysis and overview of renewable electricity capacity and generation, biofuels production, and heat consumption, as well as a forecast for the period between 2017 and 2022. This year’s report also assesses the off-grid solar market in Africa and developing Asia and the contribution of electric vehicles to renewable road transport.  Our friend Kevin Book will moderate.

Groups to Look at Nuclear Report – The Natural Resources Defense Council, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung will host a forum on Thursday at noon for the U.S. launch of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017.

Women’s Energy Groups Hold Reception – The Women’s Energy Network hosts its October Happy Hour reception at Asia Nine on Thursday evening starting at 5:30 p.m.  WEN DC is an organization that supports the professional development and advancement of women in the energy industry through relationships and networking. The events feature great food, drinks, networking, and socializing with your WEN members and other professionals from across the energy industry.

KB Hutchison to Address WaPo Forum – On Thursday at 6:30 p.m., U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison – former TX Senator and Bracewell colleague will speak one-on-one with columnist David Ignatius at The Washington Post. Hutchison will explore the future of NATO, mounting threats from Russia against Western allies and the ambassador’s top priorities for military cooperation, intelligence-gathering and combating terrorism.This live, on-stage interview is a part of the ongoing “Securing Tomorrow” series.

House Resources Looks at Onshore Energy – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the House Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on a discussion draft of legislation looking at opportunities for to harness onshore resources to achieve domestic energy independence by empowering States to manage the development and production of oil and gas on available Federal land, and for other purposes.

Wilson Forum to Look at Mexico Energy Outlook – On Friday at 4:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a forum looking at Mexico’s energy outlook.  Mexico’s landmark 2013 energy reform has caused a transformation for PEMEX from a monopolistic national oil company to a company with a competitive entity, with a more efficient business model. José Antonio González Anaya has been leading this effort since February 2016, and has emphasized the importance of partnerships along the breath and length of PEMEX activities. PEMEX is now fully engaged, since 2016, in exploration and production activities in partnership with private and foreign companies.   The event will feature a conversation with José Antonio González Anaya, where he will speak about the progress that has been made and the challenges the company will face in the next 12 months.

IN THE FUTURE

Wilson Center to Host Events on Resilience Week – The Wilson Center’s Global Sustainability and Resilience Program is hosting the 2017 Resilience Academy Capstone Conference next week in cooperation with the Munich Re Foundation, UN University-Institute for Environment and Human Security, and International Centre for Climate Change and Development. Among the event will be three public sessions of the Academy, covering the many ways in which resilience is vital for communities around the world.

JHU to Host Sustainable Energy Institute – Next Monday, October 16th at Noon, Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS will launch its Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP) to conduct policy analysis that will help governments universalize energy access at minimal environmental impact. Directed by Johannes Urpelainen, the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment, ISEP offers bold ideas, rigorous policy analysis, and sustained engagement with policymakers and other change agents.

Wilson Forum to Look at Cities, Cars, Air – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum will host a forum next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. on how cities are confronting the challenges of adapting a transportation system to new sustainability concerns. Simon Ng, an independent researcher formerly with Civic Exchange, will reflect on Los Angeles’ and Hong Kong’s quests for sustainable mobility and urban livability while also shedding light on the similar challenges faced by ever-growing Chinese megacities. Drawing on years of International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) engagement in the PRD lowering vehicular emissions, Zifei Yang will introduce the increasingly effective vehicle emission control programs that Shenzhen and other PRD cities have instituted.

National Bioenergy Day 2017 – The Department of Energy (DOE) will celebrate its 5th annual National Bioenergy Day on Wednesday October 18th to celebrate bioenergy, a form of renewable energy derived from biomass—organic material—that can be used to produce transportation fuels, products, heat, and electricity. This is an opportunity to showcase bioenergy facilities and the bioenergy supply chain around the United States.

BPC to Host Moniz on Nuclear – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz a conversation on October 18th at 9:00 a.m. with BPC President Jason Grumet to discuss the vital role U.S. nuclear energy plays in achieving national security objectives. The conversation will highlight the key takeaways from The U.S. Nuclear Energy Enterprise: A Key National Security Enabler, a report issued by Sec. Moniz’s new Energy Futures Initiative.

USEA Hosts Energy Transition Outlook – The US Energy Assn will roll out the DNV GL Energy Transition Outlook on Wednesday, October 18th at 9:00 a.m. in the Fourth Estate Room at the National Press Club.  The Outlook provides a balanced forecast of our energy future through to 2050 and draws on DNV GL’s independence and its broad involvement across the entire supply chain, spanning complex offshore infrastructure, onshore oil & gas installations, large-scale wind, solar and energy efficiency projects and the world’s most advanced electricity transmission and distribution grids. The report forecasts energy demand and supply globally, and in 10 world regions.

Press Club to Host Comms Summit – On Wednesday, October 18, the National Press Club will host its annual Communicators’ Summit at the Club’s First Amendment Lounge.  This year’s theme is “Content is King.” Leading experts will share insights on producing content suited to the unique strengths of different digital, online and social media channels, as well as emerging technologies. We’ll discuss the challenges of developing credible and compelling content at a time when trust in corporations, government, NGO’s and the media is being tested more than any time in a generation.  Speakers will include AARP’s Bill Walsh, AXIOS Editor Nicholas Johnston, Twitter‘s head of Global Public Policy Communications Emily Horne, Richard Levick, Scripps News Washington Bureau investigative correspondent Mark Greenblatt and several more.  The Luncheon Keynote speaker will be Richard Edelman, President and CEO of Edelman.  Special kudos to our friend Tim Brown of GE Renewable who is helping put the program together.

ELI Hosts Annual Dinner, Forums – The Environmental Law Institute holds its annual awards dinner honoring  Achim Steiner, Administrator for the United Nations Development Program on Wednesday October 18th at the Omni Shoreham in DC.  At 2:00 p.m., they will host a discussion about “cooperative federalism” and the need to ensure that environmental program administration reflects the significant expertise and experience state environmental agencies now have after decades of administrating environmental protection laws.  Panelists will include ECOS’s Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Chevron’s Richard DeSanti, BNSF’s John Lovenburg, Todd Parfitt of the Wyoming DEQ, C2ES’s Janet Peace and Martha Rudolph, Director of Environmental Programs at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  They will also hold the Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum on cooperative Federalism, featuring GE’s Neil Kemkar, Bob Martineau of the Tennessee DEC and several others.

JHU to Look at EVs – On Wednesday, October 18th at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University hosts a forum on electric cars.  Speakers will address range, infrastructure, environmental impacts and other Issues.

CSIS to Look at Vehicle Issues – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program and Van Ness Feldman are pleased to announce a conference on the history of vehicle efficiency standards and electricity regulation in honor of the late Robert Nordhaus. This program looks at the evolution of two policy areas in which Bob made an important mark, and which raise issues of great significance today.  Panels will include former Energy Committee Chair and RFF Head Phil Sharp, former Bush 43 CEQ chief Jim Connaughton and Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers CEO Mitch Bainwol, as well as former FERC Commissioners Tony Clark and Joe Kelliher.

DOE, NEI Host Nuclear Forum – The Department of Energy and the Nuclear Energy Institute will host the Millennial Nuclear Caucus on Thursday, October 19th at 5:00 p.m. in Washington, DC.  Stay tuned for details.

Forum to Look at Storage, Micro Grids – On Thursday, October 19th at 5:30 p.m. at EEI, Leaders in Energy, along with Resilient Virginia, will be sponsoring a forum on improving resilience through microgrids and battery storage.  The utilization of microgrids plus battery storage is seen increasingly by public and private organizations as the wave of the future to help ensure energy reliability and security in the age of intense hurricanes and cybersecurity threats.  Topics include: technology that supports the utility/microgrid interface, tools for developers to assess microgrid viability based on existing infrastructure and regulations, how local governments in the DMV are working with private companies to make microgrid development financially feasible, and how our regional Department of Defense installations are utilizing microgrids as part of their energy security systems. Speakers include EEI’s John Caldwell, USGBC’s Brendan Owens, Dan Ton of DOE’s Smart Grid R&D and Michael Yambrach, the Energy and Sustainability director in Montgomery County, MD.

Economists to Host Weather Hedge Specialist – The National Capitol Chapter of the US Assn Of Energy Economists will host their October forum with Munich Re’s Edward Byrne on Friday October 20th at Carmines.  Ed Byrns has specialized in weather hedging for many years. His talk focuses on how the new world of big data is creating innovative weather risk products to manage business exposure.

This presentation is a journey from the past to the present and on to the future. Throughout this journey, we will learn what weather risk management is, where market capabilities are today and how future solutions could target micro-level risks.

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.

Green Bonds Conference Set for NYC – Environmental Finance will host Green Bonds 2017 at 10 on the Park in New York City on October 23rd.  According to the Green Bonds Database, the American green bonds market has continued its rapid growth with over 17$ billion issued in the last twelve months.

At the conference this year we will look at the drivers behind this boom and how to ensure sustainable growth as the market matures.

AWEA Finance, Offshore Conferences Set for NYC – AWEA hosts its Wind Energy Finance & Investment Conference in NYC on October 24-26th at the Roosevelt Hotel.  Wind energy continues to grow and is providing jobs, community value and, solid investment opportunities. The event will also be co-located with AWEA’s annual Offshore WINDPOWER conference, which will feature Denmark’s Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Christian Lilleholt and DOE’s Tim Unruh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power.

Women Renewable Energy Forum Set – The Women of Sustainable Energy and Renewable Industries (WRISE) Leadership Forum 2017 on November 6-7 in its inaugural year under the new brand (previously WoWE). Co-located with the AWEA Fall Symposium, this event will feature keynote speakers, professional development, networking, and expert panels on key issues in the industry.

AWEA Fall Symposium Returns to New Mexico – On November 7th through the 9th , AWEA hosts its annual Fall Wind Energy Fall Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort, where key strategic decisions are made to build the future of wind energy. The event will feature new executive insights, and actionable strategic plans to power your business in the upcoming year.

 

Energy Update: Week of 10/2

Friends,

The news cycle will be totally overrun this week by the terrible shooting in Las Vegas last night and our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted, as well as our gratitude to those who helped others.

In the sports world this week, baseball playoff kick off tomorrow with the Yankee and Twins, but also some great match ups are already set: (Cubs/Nats & RedSox/Astros).  As well, the update’s favorite season also launches this week: the NHL hockey season.

Tomorrow, the US International Trade Commission returns to the solar trade case with a public hearing on the remedy phase.  We will be in full impact mode.  We can help you with a full array of resources that will be impacted from utilities to contractors to manufacturers to retailers.

The big event on Capitol Hill this week is Wednesday’s Senate Environment nomination hearing for several EPA nominees including Bill Wehrum for the air office.  Other events include grid hearings tomorrow in House Science and House Energy (industry sector experts testifying including SEIA’s Abby Hopper, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan, ACCCE’s Paul Baily and NEI’s Maria Korsnick).  Also Wednesday, Senate Commerce Committee will mark up a bill meant to boost self-driving cars.  Our friends at SAFE can provide you with excellent background and resources, as they did here in the San Jose MercNews.  Finally Thursday, House Energy returns to electricity to hear from consumer groups/advocates.

This week on Wednesday, SEJ launches its annual meeting in Pittsburgh.  There will be a number of great tours during the day Thursday and great policy panels on Friday and Saturday.  And, of course, Bracewell is hosting our annual reception on Thursday night.

Finally, Congrats to the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, who is celebrating its 25th Anniversary, with a reception Thursday evening at Stanton & Greene. Good luck on the next 25!!!!

Supreme Court Fall Term launches today.  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“American energy security has now improved for five years in a row, despite rapidly challenging market conditions and geopolitical tensions. Just five years ago, the story was much different. But because of the shale revolution that has taken place during this time period, our nation enjoys much greater energy self-sufficiency, which translates into fewer imports, lower costs, and reduced emissions.” 

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute.

“From the outset, Georgia Power and the project co-owners have worked to minimize the impact of the project on our customers’ bills and these additional loan guarantees will help us continue to reduce our financing costs.”

Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power.

IN THE NEWS

Georgia Power Received Additional Loan Guarantee Commitments for New Vogtle Units – The DOE has conditionally approved a $3.7 billion increase in the federal loan guarantees for the over-budget Vogtle nuclear project in Georgia, the agency announced this morning.  Georgia Power had previously secured loan guarantees of $3.46 billion for the construction of Vogtle units 3 and 4, the first to be built in the United States in more than 30 years. With a total of more than $5 billion in anticipated DOE loan guarantees, Georgia Power expects to be able to provide more than $500 million in present-value benefits to its customers.

More Information on Decision, Vogtle – Georgia Power owns 45.7% of the new units, with the project’s other Georgia-based co-owners including Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities. On August 31, Georgia Power filed a recommendation with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to continue construction of the Vogtle nuclear expansion supported by all of the project’s other co-owners. The recommendation was based on the results of a comprehensive schedule, cost-to-complete and cancellation assessment launched following the bankruptcy of Westinghouse in March. The Georgia PSC is expected to review the recommendation and make a decision regarding the future of the Vogtle 3 & 4 project as part of the 17th Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) proceeding. Final approval and issuance of these additional loan guarantees by the DOE cannot be assured and are subject to the negotiation of definitive agreements, completion of due diligence by the DOE, receipt of any necessary regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of other conditions.

Rural Co-ops Support Oglethorpe, SoCo – The rural co-ops weighed in on the DOE’s loan guarantee for the Plant Vogtle nuclear power project.  Co-Op Oglethorpe Power in Georgia is one of the co-owners and will have a share of the loan (about $1.6 billion). NRECA CEO Jim Matheson today applauded the decision saying: “Today’s announcement is welcome news for Oglethorpe Power, the Vogtle project, and the future of America’s electric generation. Nuclear energy is an essential source of emissions-free, 24/7 power. This DOE loan guarantee will help promote a diverse fuel mix, which is vital as electric co-ops work to meet 21st century energy needs and ensure continued access to affordable, reliable power. I applaud DOE and Secretary Perry for recognizing the value of this project and making it more affordable for our members.”

DOE Urges FERC to Take Swift Action to Address Threats to Grid Resiliency – DOE formally proposed that FERC take swift action to address threats to U.S. electrical grid resiliency.  Pursuant to his authority under Section 403 of the Department of Energy Organization Act, the Secretary urged the Commission to issue a final rule requiring its organized markets to develop and implement reforms that would fully price generation resources necessary to maintain the reliability and resiliency of our nation’s grid.

Why DOE – After Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry issued his April 14 memo directing staff to study baseload power concerns, we explained that DOE had authority to direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to undertake rulemakings. Secretary Perry is primarily responsible for ensuring the electrical grid meets America’s needs now and into the future and FERC is charged with regulating the markets to achieve that mission. The recent Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability showed that while today’s grid is reliable, market distortions are threatening its resilience and the future of American energy security.

Letter to FERC/NOPR – The full text of the Secretary’s Letter to the Commission as well as the Proposed Rule are both available at DOE’s website, www.energy.gov.

Insight From ClearPath – ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell offered insights saying by urging FERC to establish a new tariff allowing highly reliable and resilient operators (who have 3 months or more of on-site fuel supply in place) to recover their full costs of generation, DOE today takes a historic step to shore up our vital national nuclear fleet.  This approach will work within the wholesale electricity markets as opposed to forcing further bottom-up state action to save the plants — out of market actions that add further complexity and uncertainty to our already un-level playing field for power. ClearPath hopes this is the beginning of a holistic review of the functioning of the wholesale power markets, which might also include changes to how generators are compensated, as well as formal valuation of clean power.  Some observers may be concerned that this measure compensates all highly reliable sources of power, including unmitigated coal. ClearPath believes that FERC, and the RTOs and ISOs, will be able to design a tariff structure that compensates all highly reliable generators to remain online and ready to run, without necessarily increasing the dispatch of emitting sources like unmitigated coal.  ClearPath has been calling for FERC to move ahead rapidly on this price formation reform agenda — see below: https://clearpath.org/jay-and-richs-take/why-rebuilding-ferc-quorum-matters-for-nuclear

Renewables Express Concern – The American Wind Energy Association also released this statement regarding DOE’s announcement on grid resiliency: Amy Farrell, Senior Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, American Wind Energy Association: “We worry today’s proposal would upend competitive markets that save consumers billions of dollars a year. The best way to guarantee a resilient and reliable electric grid is through market-based compensation for performance, not guaranteed payments for some, based on a government-prescribed definition.”  On background, in June, the CEO of NERC testified to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that “the state of reliability in North America remains strong, and the trend line shows continuing improvement year over year.”  Christopher Mansour, vice president of federal affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association: “While we agree that wholesale markets should fully compensate generators for all the energy, capacity and ancillary services they provide, healthy competition should always promote the best, most innovative solutions,” he said. The conservative R St. Institute called Perry’s plan “an arbitrary backdoor subsidy to coal and nuclear plants.”

Ameren to Add Wind, Solar, Reduce Emissions – Ameren Missouri has announced plans to add enough solar and wind electricity to power 214,000 homes.  The St. Louis-based subsidiary of Ameren Corp. said adding at least 700 megawatts of wind power would cost about $1 billion and take until 2020. Ameren says improving technology and renewable energy initiatives with large customers could boost the wind investment higher.   Adding 100 megawatts of solar power is expected to occur over 10 years, but no costs estimates are available. One solar facility at St. Louis Lambert International Airport is slated to be completed next year. Ameren is working to reduce its carbon emissions 80% by 2050 from 2005 levels.

Chamber Releases Energy Security Index – The 2017 edition of Global Energy Institute’s Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk finds that U.S. energy security is continuing to rapidly improve to one of the best scores in decades, after hitting bottom just five years ago. The Index employs 37 different energy security metrics in four major areas of risk: geopolitical, economic, reliability, and environmental. A lower Index score indicates a lower level of risk. The eighth annual edition of the Index covers 1970-2040 and incorporates the latest historical data and forecast models. In 2016—the most recent year available—the risk score dropped another 1.3 points to 76.0, the lowest score since 1995. Since 2011, the total risk index score has dropped by 25 points, the largest rise or fall during any five year period since 1970. Of the 37 metrics, 18 showed decreases of more than 1 percent, while another 9 remained about the same. Among the areas of improvement were fuel imports, energy expenditures, energy use intensity, and environmental categories. The biggest areas of improvement in the Index were related to oil and gas expenditures, which are a result of increased domestic shale production. The single largest category that saw improvement was security of US natural gas imports.  On the flip side, price volatility risks, related largely to the recent plunge in the price for crude oil, remained high. Metrics related to electric grid reliability risks during periods of peak demand also inched higher.  This year’s Index features special sections on electricity capacity margins and transmission lines, which contains additional data and analysis regarding demand and infrastructure.  The Index and its companion, the International Energy Security Risk Index, are available on our website at: www.globalenergyinstitute.org/energysecurity. The U.S. index is once again available in an online, interactive web tool format, which makes it easy to see how various metrics change from year to year.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Geothermal Conference Set for Utah – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is holding GEOEXPO+ on today through Wednesday at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, UT.  The meeting will be held in conjunction with the GRC Annual Meeting.

FERC Commissioner, Interior Official Headlines NA Gas Forum – The North American Gas Forum is being held today and tomorrow in Washington DC.  FERC Cheryl LeFleur and Interior’s Vincent DeVito will deliver a keynotes tomorrow and there will be a members panel featuring Reps. Scott Tipton, Joe Barton, Bill Johnson and Others.  Other speakers include INGAA’s Don Santa, former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, RFF’s Richard Newell, ClearView’s Kevin Book, PJM’s Craig Glazer, NGSA’s Dena Wiggins and DOE’s Fossil Energy Office acting chief Robert Smith.

WCEE Hosts Federal Lands Discussion – Today at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds a forum to discuss current opportunities and challenges for the development of energy and mineral resources under the new Administration. Among other hotly debated topics, the event will cover the role of climate change considerations in decision-making, potential changes in mitigation requirements, issues regarding royalty valuation and payment, and still unresolved issues regarding the scope of Presidential withdrawal authority onshore and offshore under decades-old statutes.

CCS Forum to Look at Norway Success Story – The Global CCS Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. in National Press Club’s Zenger Room on the Innovation and low-carbon policies that are driving the development of clean energy technologies around the world.  The discussion will explore how Norway has fostered the development of its carbon capture infrastructure, as well as the emerging business case for carbon capture in the U.S. and globally.  Featured speakers Gassnova CEO Trude Sundset, Rich Powell of ClearPath Foundation, Thina Saltvedt of Nordea Bank Norge and Statoil VP of New Energy Solutions Steinar Eikaas, who operates the world’s most successful carbon capture project in the North Sea.

US ITC to Hold Solar Remedy Hearing – The US International Trade Commission will hold a hearing at 9:30 a.m. on the remedy portion of its solar trade case.  Last week, petitioners filed testimony in the case with the solar industry further attacking the case.

House Science to Look at Grid – The House Science Committee will hold a full committee hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at grid resiliency. The purpose of the hearing is to define resiliency, examine electric resiliency from both physical and cyber threats, and to study the effectiveness of private and government coordination on resiliency across the electricity delivery sectors. This hearing will specifically discuss the recommendations made by the National Academies of Sciences.  Witnesses will include the University of Illinois’ William Sanders, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Electricity Market Manager Carl Imhoff, Gavin Dillingham of the Houston Advanced Research Center and Walt Baum of the Texas Public Power Association.

Senate Energy to Vote on Noms, Discuss Energy Storage – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. to vote on DOE nominees Bruce Walker for DOE’s assistant secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and Steven Winberg as DOE’s assistant secretary of fossil energy.  The Committee will then turn to a Hearing on energy storage technologies.  Witnesses include Pacific Northwest National Laboratory expert Vincent Sprenkle AES Energy Storage VP Praveen Kathpal, Simon Moores of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence and Voith’s John Seifarth.

CAP to Discuss Hurricane Impacts – The Center for American Progress and former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate will host a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on disaster lesson learned.  Fugate will discuss his experience following Superstorm Sandy. His remarks will be followed by a panel of experts who will highlight different aspects of the recovery, including best practices for building resilient infrastructure, public health challenges in the wake of disasters, and the need for aid to flow to historically disadvantaged communities simultaneously dealing with flood damage, toxic waste, and air pollution in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Forum to Look at Iran Deal – Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., the Center for a New American Security will hold two panel discussions on the implications of the potential collapse of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The discussion will focus on what happens if President Trump begins unraveling the nuclear agreement in mid-October by not certifying Iranian compliance to Congress and will also examine other potential collapse scenarios. Our friend Elizabeth Rosenberg is among the panelists.

House Energy to Return to Reliability – The House Energy panel returns to the resiliency theme for part II of last week’s hearing on the topic.  This hearing will include comments from the industries that were supposed to be featured in the initial afternoon session.  Witnesses include SEIA’s Abigail Ross Hopper, ACCCE’s Paul Bailey, API’s Marty Durbin, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan, NEI’s Maria Korsnick, NRDC’s FERC expert John Moore, Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman and Chelan County PUD General Manager Steve Wright on behalf of National Hydropower Association.

NatGas Winter Outlook Set – The Natural Gas Supply Association holds its winter outlook media briefing for 2017-2018 Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

EPA, NRC Noms Hearing Reset – The rescheduled Senate Environment Committee confirmation hearing will be held Wednesday for several EPA posts and Jan Baran at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.   Testifying will be four EPA nominees: Bill Wehrum to run the air office, Matthew Leopold to be general counsel, Michael Dourson to run the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and David Ross to run the water office.  The committee shelved a hearing planned for last week on the picks after the Senate adjourned earlier than expected for Rosh Hashanah.

Senate Commerce to Mark up AV Legislation – The Senate Commerce Committee will mark up a bill meant to boost self-driving cars on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. The “American Vision for Safer Transportation Through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act,” S. 1885, aims to reform existing laws to get self-driving cars on the road, clarify state and federal oversight of the technology, and direct the Transportation Department to set new safety standards.  It is sponsored by Sen. Gary Peters and Chairman John Thune with co-sponsors Roy Blunt and Debbie Stabenow.  Our friends at SAFE can provide you with excellent background and resources.

House Energy to Look at Air Quality, Wildfires – House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to get the perspectives of key stakeholders on the air quality impacts of wildfires.  Witnesses include John Bailey of Oregon State University, Florida Forest Service director Jim Karels, Murphy Company Resources VP Knox Marshall and Restoring America’s Forests Director Christopher Topik.

Clean Energy Conservatives Meet – On Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, the Christian Coalition, Young Conservatives for Energy Reform, and Veterans for Energy Reform are hosting an evening reception at their annual Conservative Clean Energy Summit.   Last year, the event brought in over 500 attendees from around the country and focused on the issue of energy reform.  The event includes visits to Capitol Hill with conservative lawmakers.

Holmstead Featured at EPIC Forum on Energy – My colleague Jeff Holmstead is joining a panel hosted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. that will address what Americans think about the direction of energy and climate policy.  Holmstead and Sue Tierney (EPIC’s inaugural policy fellows) will be moderated by our friend Jon Fahey, AP’s Global Health & Science Editor.   The event will focus on the results of an EPIC/AP-NORC poll coming out on Monday that tracks opinions on central topics shaping the energy and climate landscape. More. It will be livestreamed at epic.uchicago.edu/live.

SEJ Set for Pittsburgh – Speaking of Pittsburgh, SEJ’s 27th annual conference is set for Wednesday through Saturday in Steel City.   Bracewell hosts its annual reception on Thursday night.

Vets in Energy Forum Set – Veterans In Energy will hold a forum on Thursday and Friday 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.

CSIS to Look at Electricfication – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. looking at the future of electrification with Arshad Mansoor, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).  Mansoor will provide an overview of the recent EPRI report, The Integrated Energy Network: Connecting Customers with Reliable, Affordable and Cleaner Energy, which calls for a more interconnected and integrated energy system through greater electrification. Frank O’Sullivan, Director of Research and Analysis at the MIT Energy Initiative, and Ken Colburn, Principal and U.S. Program Director at the Regulatory Assistance Project, will follow with views on the opportunities and benefits, as well as obstacles and potential drawbacks of a path to a more electrified economy.  This event is part of CSIS’s ongoing work on Electricity in Transition, which surveys the current landscape of the U.S. and global electricity sector.

CSIS to Look at Hurricane Impacts – The Center for Strategic & International Studies will also hold a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on rebuilding better after hurricanes.  Puerto Rico recently suffered devastating damage as a result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane, caused power outages for over 1 million people living in Puerto Rico.  The forum will engage in discussions geared toward reform, reconstruction, and modernization of infrastructure and preparedness.  It will feature Luis Fortuño, 10th Governor of Puerto Rico.

House E&C to Look at Consumer Views of Electric Markets – The House Energy & Commerce Committee will convene a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on consumer-oriented perspectives on improving the American electricity markets.  Witnesses include Joseph Bowring of Monitoring Analytics, Stefanie Brand of the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel, Electricity Consumers Resource Council head John Hughes, Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum, Rebecca Tepper of the consumer liaison group for the ISO New England Region and Walmart’s Mark Vanderhelm.

Forum to Look at LNG in Latin America – The Atlantic Council hosts a forum on Thursday at Noon looking at the Growing Role of LNG in Latin America.  Natural gas is emerging as a critical source of energy in the Americas and around the world, and Latin America is rapidly becoming a key destination for US LNG exports. Latin America is currently the number one destination for US LNG exports, accounting for over 40%. Many governments in the region see natural gas as a low-carbon energy option that can support their increasing turn towards renewables. Additionally, lower global LNG prices, the impacts of drought conditions on the region’s hydropower sector, and a departure from industries such as coal and diesel have driven the demand for LNG and calls into question whether this is an opportunity for Latin America to become more integrated.  The forum will feature a conversation with Argentinian Ministry of Energy and Mining Transport Director Gonzalo Aguirre, Jose Luis Castro of Sociedad Portuaria El Cayao (SPEC), Giovani Machado of Empresa de Pesquisa Energética and the State Department’s acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Resources Sue Saarnio.

ELI, DC Bar to Look at Policy Reversals – The Environmental Law Institute and the DC Bar are hosting a forum on Thursday on how agencies often reverse policy.  Since the presidential transition, EPA and other agencies have used a variety of tools to change policies and regulations. Three common tools they have used are stays, remands, and reconsideration. Agencies administratively stay the effective date of rules preventing them from going into effect, seek voluntary remand of rules in litigation to revisit rules administratively while avoiding a judicial decision, and administratively reconsider rules. Some of these actions have been the subject of the heated litigation, and the courts have acted to constrain agency discretion, including in an important D.C. Circuit decision rejecting EPA’s stay of the oil and gas methane rule. Expert panelists will discuss the use of these legal tools in changing agency policy, and offer cutting-edge perspectives from the government, the private sector, and the environmental advocacy community.

IN THE FUTURE

WRI to Host Forum – Experts from the Open Government Partnership and World Resources Institute will hold a forum next Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. on climate action.  The forum will profile a range of innovative approaches that open government advocates have taken to strengthen countries’ climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. Together, they will unpack how improving transparency, accountability and public participation in climate decision-making processes can help governments and civil society leaders around the world achieve ambitious climate targets.

Forum to Look at US-China Relations – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the Brent Scowcroft Center’s Asia Security Initiative will hold a timely conversation next Tuesday on the role energy plays in the US-China relationship. The US administration’s emerging diplomatic strategy and the upcoming nineteenth national congress of the Communist Party of China provide an opportunity to take stock of the role energy plays in the US-China relationship, as well as in how China views its future. Key issues in the US-China relationship include the role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, China’s view of US energy exports, and how energy fits into the administration’s trade agenda.  Speakers include our friend Robert Fee of Cheniere Energy, ITC Assistant Secretary Alan Turley and DOE China advisor Maria DiGuilian with our friend Keith Johnson of FP moderating.

Report top Look at Highly-Enriched Uranium Facilities – On Wednesday October 11th, the Fissile Materials Working Group and International Panel on Fissile Materials will launch of a major new IPFM research report, edited by Pavel Podvig, with contributions by six leading Russian experts on highly enriched uranium (HEU) facilities. The report describes in unprecedented detail Russian programs that use HEU as fuel in military and civilian applications. Further, it asses Russia’s contribution to the effort to convert research reactors from HEU to non-weapon-usable low-enriched uranium fuel, and Russia’s efforts to repatriate HEU fuel it had supplied to facilities abroad. Finally, it evaluates the organizational structure and regulations governing the security of HEU in civilian facilities in Russia. It makes recommendations for securing Russia’s commitment to the goal of a comprehensive global HEU minimization strategy.

ACORE Finance Forum Set – The American Council on Renewable Energy will hold forum on the state of the renewable energy public policy, financial markets and corporate renewables strategy when they hold ACORE Finance West on October 12th at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco.  This annual conference convenes senior investors, industry executives, and other top transactional professionals to address market trends in the context of renewable investment opportunities in the Western U.S.

Bloomberg Hosts Sustainability Forum – Bloomberg holds its 3rd annual Sustainable Business Summit on October 12-13th in its New York offices to discuss how companies are yielding positive returns for investors, creating sustainably valuable products and processes, and developing innovative sustainable business models.  Uniquely positioned at the intersection of sustainable business and sustainable investing, the summit will explore the challenges and even greater opportunities emerging across industries.

WAPA to Host Road Rally – The Washington Automotive Press Association holds its 2017 WAPA Rally on October 12th.  This year’s event will be a drive event on the roads just beyond the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the scenic Eastern Shore of Maryland. The event provides the opportunity to drive or ride in the latest and greatest cars, trucks and SUVs provided by WAPA’s automotive partners.

CSIS to Host IEA Renewable Energy Report Launch – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Heymi Bahar, Project Manager of the Renewable Energy Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), on Thursday October 12th for a presentation of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Market Report 2017 (formerly titled Medium-Term Renewables Market Report). The report provides a detailed market analysis and overview of renewable electricity capacity and generation, biofuels production, and heat consumption, as well as a forecast for the period between 2017 and 2022. This year’s report also assesses the off-grid solar market in Africa and developing Asia and the contribution of electric vehicles to renewable road transport.  Our friend Kevin Book will moderate.

BPC to Host Moniz on Nuclear – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz a conversation on October 18th at 9:00 a.m. with BPC President Jason Grumet to discuss the vital role U.S. nuclear energy plays in achieving national security objectives. The conversation will highlight the key takeaways from The U.S. Nuclear Energy Enterprise: A Key National Security Enabler, a report issued by Sec. Moniz’s new Energy Futures Initiative.

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.

Green Bonds Conference Set for NYC – Environmental Finance will host Green Bonds 2017 at 10 on the Park in New York City on October 23rd.  According to the Green Bonds Database, the American green bonds market has continued its rapid growth with over 17$ billion issued in the last twelve months.

At the conference this year we will look at the drivers behind this boom and how to ensure sustainable growth as the market matures.

 

Energy Update: Week of September 11th

Friends,

This week, we first start with thoughts of the importance of 9-11, remembering the loss of that day 16 years ago, and thinking about how it changed us.

Now, we face our latest challenge at the peak of hurricane season (which was yesterday), Hurricane Irma, which slammed into Florida Saturday.  We still are unsure of what the full damage will be but it looks like it may be better than expected given the initial size and speed of the storm, as well as the damage in caused in the Caribbean.  Still another day or so to go as it moves up into Georgia and South Carolina.  Just as we did with Harvey and refinery outages, we will likely be able to help with impacts as it moves into Georgia.  Let me know if you need anything.

As we deal with Irma, we are still helping with Harvey in Texas.  I wanted to pass along the good work of the Charitable Foundation of the Energy Bar Association, which has set up a relief fund for energy-related needs of Harvey’s victims.  CFEBA is working with the EBA’s Houston chapter to assure the money all goes straight to helping people. Any and all tax deductible contributions are appreciated can be made to the CFEBA’s Relief Fund through the CFEBA online store or by mail or fax using the Hurricane Harvey Relief Donation Form.  There are many opportunities to help both Texas and Florida through the Red Cross and others, so please do.  Texas oil and gas companies have contributed $27.3 million toward Hurricane Harvey relief efforts with Valero among the donors.

Back in DC, official Washington really cranks back up this week.  Last week, Congress easily cleared a package today to provide more than $15 billion in disaster aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey, raise the debt ceiling and fund the government for three months.   This will likely clear to decks for a discussion of tax reform which is expected to see behind-the-scenes work at least until around Columbus Day.  Energy issues will play a role in the discussions and we will have all the bases covered.

After last week’s FERC nomination hearing for Kevin McIntyre and Rich Glick, it seems we may have a vote on them in the Senate Energy Committee as soon as late this week.  We also saw Bill Wehrum finally being named to head EPA’s Air Office late last week.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead is happy to discuss Wehrum should you need background and comments.  He also sent a letter to the Senate Environment Committee Leadership recommending Wehrum.  (Can forward if you haven’t seen it.) Remember, Wehrum worked for Jeff when Holmstead headed the EPA Air Office.

On the hearing slate, tomorrow, House Energy holds the biggest action in a hearing about the electric grid reliability.  The follow up to the recent DOE grid study will feature an all-star cast of energy sector experts, as well as FERC Chair Neal Chatterjee, DOE’s Pat Hoffman and NERC’s Gerry Cauley.  Other hearings include Senate Energy on the National Labs tomorrow and House Energy looking at small business energy reg reform, Senate Commerce looking at AV Trucks and Senate Energy on carbon capture, all on Wednesday.

If you are following trade, tomorrow at the National Press Club at 2:00 p.m., the leading voice for the steel supply chain, the American Institute for International Steel, will release a new report that measures the impact of the 232 steel tariffs on the US economy, including impacts on manufacturing and agriculture.  And, on Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Ian Mead, Assistant Administrator of EIA’s Office of Energy Analysis, to present the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2017.  POLITICO also holds it Pro Policy Summit all day Thursday.

Speaking of trade petitions, I’m sure the solar trade petition will be a hot topic at the biggest event outside the Beltway, Solar Power International, which runs in Las Vegas today through Wednesday.  The event is the solar Industry’s biggest event and given Friday’s Q2 installation success story and  the Axios blurb about the White House leaning toward imposing solar tariffs (which mind you, seems to be a bit premature), folks should have a lot to talk about out in Vegas.

As many of you know, our friend Scott Segal has launched on a long-term Europe/Israel excursion. While he is out, (we will hear from him occasionally), please note that our full team is available for comment, political/policy insight and background.  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Bill is well-respected and well-liked by the career staff at EPA – and by anyone who has ever worked with him. During his almost 6 years at EPA, he worked closely with career staff on a wide range of issues and was known for rolling up his sleeves and getting involved in the details of the Agency’s regulations and permitting programs. From his work as an environmental engineer, his time at the Agency, and his many years of counseling clients, he has a comprehensive understanding of EPA’s regulatory programs and the many technical issues involved in implementing the Clean Air Act.”

Former EPA Air Administrator and Bracewell partner Jeff Holmstead in a letter to Senate Environment Committee Chair John Barrasso and Ranking Member Tom Carper supporting Bill Wehrum to be EPA Air Administrator.

“This report shows once again that solar is on the rise and will continue to add to its share of electricity generation.  Last year, solar companies added jobs 17 times faster than the rest of the economy and increased our GDP by billions of dollars. We are going to continue to fight for policies that allow the industry to continue this phenomenal growth.”

SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper, speaking about GTM Research’s Q2 report on solar installations.

IN THE NEWS

Wehrum Nominated to Head EPA Air Office – The White House nominated Bill Wehrum to serve as the Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation at EPA.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead, who has known Wehrum for more than 20 years, worked with him previously at EPA when he headed the Air Office previously.  Holmstead said praised Wehrum as the only person ever to have worked on Clean Air Act issues as an environmental engineer at a major chemical plant, a young attorney in private practice, a senior policy maker at EPA, and the head of the environmental group at a major law firm.  On Friday, Holmstead sent a letter to Capitol Hill (which I can send): “Bill is committed to the goals of the Clean Air Act and to the rule of law. He is also a person of the highest integrity. I am confident that, within the framework established by Congress, he will work to protect public health and the environment while at the same time pursuing regulatory reforms that will reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.  Truly, there is no better person to serve as the Assistant  Administrator of EPA for Air and Radiation.”

Q2 Report: Solar Growth Strong, Trade Barrier Puts Growth At Risk – GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said the US solar market continued its years-long expansion in the Q2 of 2017 as the industry installed 2,387 MW of solar photovoltaics (PV), the largest total in a second quarter to date. This tops Q1’s total and represents an 8% year-over-year gain, said in the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report.  All three U.S. solar market segments – commercial, residential and utility-scale – experienced quarter-over-quarter growth in Q2. The U.S. installed 2,044 MW of capacity in Q1. The non-residential and utility-scale market segments also posted year-over-year growth. The report did not change its forecast that the American solar industry would triple cumulative capacity over the next five years.  However, trade relief, which is being considered by the International Trade Commission, could radically affect the solar outlook and “would result in a substantial downside revision to our forecast for all three segments,” the analysis said.

Oil, Offshore Industry Pushes Back on MD Offshore Wind Amendment – Oil and Offshore groups are pushing back against an amendment from Maryland GOP Rep. Andy Harris to a Congressional spending bill.  Harris’ amendment would bar the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management from processing site assessment plans and construction and operation permits for offshore wind projects that would fall within 24 miles of the Maryland shoreline. These groups have joined opposition from wind groups who see the Harris effort as a NIMBY move.  The Harris amendment faces opposition from Senate Democrats and may not make it into a final spending deal at the end of this year.  But the oil industry worries that it will create a troublesome precedent for the sanctity of federal offshore leases. The National Ocean Industries Association, for one, says if Congress interferes at this late stage in the process (years after BOEM issued leases for the projects) it could have a definitive effect on the wind industry — and broader energy industry as a whole — that is looking to develop in federally controlled waters. “If Congress can simply decide that the valid leaseholders’ rights can be violated by a whim, you have billions of dollars of investment that” may be at risk, said Tim Charters, NOIA senior director of governmental and political affairs.

Conaway Preps Carbon Capture Bill – Texas Rep. Mike Conaway is preparing to introduce bipartisan legislation this month that would extend and expand the Section 45Q tax incentive for carbon capture facilities. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) are leading a similar effort. The bipartisan push is a crucial part of a multi-pronged financing effort for carbon capture projects that also includes private-activity bonds that would be authorized in bills from Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Marc Veasey (D-Texas). While the bonds provide low-cost financing for carbon capture development, the 45Q credit can further complement that by driving equity investment in the projects. Together, these incentives have the potential to dramatically boost commercial carbon capture deployment in the U.S., which can lead to significant increases in enhanced oil recovery and other economic benefits.  Conaway’s bill would increase the value of the credit for new projects, while limiting eligibility to projects that would begin construction within seven years or who haven’t yet received the credit, according to his Sept. 6 letter to colleagues. The bill would also expand the range of projects that could receive the credit to also include carbon monoxide capture and other facilities.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Solar Power International Set for Vegas – Solar Power International (SPI) will be held today through Wednesday at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.  SPI is a four day conference packed with education sessions, networking events and a wide range of exhibitions. The education sessions are led by industry leaders who share their expertise and ideas on prominent topics in the industry. As solar continues to evolve, SPI will keep you up to date on emerging technologies and policy changes.

Mayors to Look at Climate Locally – Today at 3:00 p.m. in 122 Cannon, the National League of Cities (NLC) and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing about what cities throughout the United States are doing to protect their communities by investing in resilience. In addition to providing security, their actions are resulting in multiple side benefits: lower monthly expenses for households, businesses, and the city itself; the protection and restoration of natural resources; and local economic growth and job creation.  This briefing’s speakers will showcase some of the defensive actions their cities are taking to reduce the impacts of extreme weather, as well as lessons learned.  Speakers include Pittsburgh mayor William Peduto, Flagstaff (AZ) Sustainability Manager Nicole Antonopoulos Woodman and Cooper Martin, Program Director of the Sustainable Cities Initiative at the National League of Cities.

Book Focused on NatGas Geopolitics – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a launch of Dr. Agnia Grigas’ new book, The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas.  As the world’s greatest producer of natural gas moves aggressively to become a top exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the US stands poised to become an energy superpower—an unanticipated development with far-reaching implications for the international order. In this new geopolitics of gas, the US will enjoy opportunities, but also face challenges in leveraging its newfound energy clout to reshape relations with both European states and rising Asian powers.  In her new book, Dr. Grigas examines how this new reality is rewriting the conventional rules of intercontinental gas trade and realigning strategic relations between the United States, the European Union, Russia, China, and beyond.

UN Climate Meetings in NYC – The United Nations hosts its 72nd General Session starting tomorrow and as usual, climate change discussions will likely be part of the conversation.

CSIS to Look at NAFTA – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., CSIS and the George W. Bush Presidential Center host an event on the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Speakers will discuss how lowering economic barriers has enabled North America to outperform other regions, and examine how an updated NAFTA could further improve the continent’s trade and competitiveness.  Keynote speaker will be Sen. Rob Portman, while a panel discussion, led by Andrea van Vugt, Sergio Gómez Lora and Matthew Rooney, with CSIS expert and Scholl Chair of International Business Scott Miller, will examine the potential impact of the ongoing NAFTA negotiations on the Americas and present key policy recommendations.

House Energy Panel to Look at Grid Reliability – The House Energy Subcommittee hold a hearing tomorrow on electric grid reliability. Witnesses include Acting FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Patricia Hoffman, NERC CEO Gerry Cauley, API’s Marty Durbin, Enel’s Kyle Davis (for SEIA), AWEA’s Tom Kiernan, ACCCE’s Paul Bailey, NEI President Maria Korsnick and a National Hydropower Association rep Steven Wright.

House Science to Tackle Grid Resiliency – The House Science Committee holds a hearing on electric grid resiliency tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  Witnesses include Carl Imhoff of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Bill Sanders of the University of Illinois, Gavin Dillingham of the Houston Advanced Research Center and Walt Baum of the Texas Public Power Association.

Forum to Look at Carbon Pricing – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions releases a new brief and hosts a webinar featuring business leaders on how and why companies are putting an internal price on carbon emissions. The webinar will also review key opportunities, benefits, experiences, and challenges drawn from the upcoming C2ES report, The Business of Pricing Carbon: How Companies are Pricing Carbon to Mitigate Risks and Prepare for a Low-Carbon Future.

ELI to Look at Hydro Energy – The Environmental Law Institute host a forum tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. on the future of hydrokinetic energy in the United States.  While off to a slow start in the United States, ocean energy technologies (wave, tidal, and current hydrokinetic energy) are already at an advanced phase of development in other parts of the world.  Wave and tidal energy developers claim that federal subsidies and tax cuts are insufficient to promote research and development, and some of the most successful ocean energy companies have moved overseas.  Though the current cost of hydrokinetic energy is higher in the US .compared to other fuels, and harnessing tidal and wave power poses technical challenges, some backers assert that tides are a more predictable source of renewable energy. Should more resources and subsidies be put into hydrokinetic energy research? What environmental impacts do these technologies pose compared to other renewable energy sources? What regulatory barriers need to be addressed to support the development of the hydrokinetic technology sector in the U.S.?  Panelists will include FERC’s Annie Jones, Meghan Massaua of the Meridian Institute and Seán O’Neill of Symmetrix Public Relations & Communication Strategies.

Steel Users Group To Release Tariff Impacts Report – Tomorrow at the National Press Club 2:00 p.m., America’s leading voice for the steel supply chain – the American Institute for International Steel – will release a new report that measures the impact of the 232 steel tariffs on the US economy, including impacts on manufacturing and agriculture.  Drawing from a newly released report, economist John Martin will detail the impact that steel tariffs pose for U.S. ports, which make an outsized contribution to the U.S. economy. According to Martin’s report, 1.3 million jobs are currently supported by port activity related to imported steel, feeding nearly $240 billion in economic activity, or 1.3% of U.S. GDP in 2016.

Senate Energy to Tackle Energy Labs – The Senate Energy Committee’s Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. looking at fostering innovation from contributions of DOE’s National Laboratories.  Witnesses include WVU Energy Institute director Brian Anderson, Argonne National Laboratory interim director Paul Kearns, Duke Energy’s Anuja Ratnayake and NREL associated lab director Bill Tumas.

API Hold Discussion on State NatGas, Oil Industries – The American Petroleum Institute holds an event Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. on the natural gas and oil industry’s impact in all 50 states. State-specific information will be provided along with brief remarks on the current state of the industry from API President and CEO Jack Gerard.

Senate Enviro To Look at Carbon Capture – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. focused on expanding and accelerating the deployment and use of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration. Witnesses will include NRG’s David Greeson, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead policy adviser advisor Matthew Fry and former DOE official Julio Friedmann, now with former Energy Secretary Moniz’s Energy Futures Initiative.

Senate Commerce Looks at AV Trucks – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at automated trucks and our nation’s highways.” The hearing will examine the benefits of automated truck safety technology as well as the potential impacts on jobs and the economy.  Including or excluding trucks, buses, and other heavy duty vehicles has been a topic of discussion in ongoing bipartisan efforts to draft self-driving vehicle legislation. Witnesses include Colorado State Patrol Chief Scott Hernandez, Navistar CEO Troy Clarke, Ken Hall of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, National Safety Council CEO Deborah Hersman, and American Trucking Associations CEO Chris Spear.

House Energy Panel to Look at Small Business Energy Reforms – The House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee holds a legislative hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. focused on relief for small business.  The legislation focuses on reducing regulatory burdens on small manufacturers and other job creators.

House Resource to Mark Up Native American Energy Legislation – The House Committee on Natural Resources will meet on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to markup several bills including to facilitate the development of energy on Indian lands by reducing Federal regulations that impede tribal development of Indian lands, and for other purposes.

Groups Aim to Save EPA – A group of Environmental activists will hold a press briefing on Wednesday at Noon in the Zenger Room dubbed National “Save the EPA” Day.  The effort will be led by AFGE National Council 238 President John J. O’Grady, who will serve as the national spokesperson for the Save the U.S. EPA campaign. In addition to O’Grady, speakers will include Rep. Debbie Dingell, Mary Anne Hitt of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign and NWF CEO Collin O’Mara.  After the event, they will march to EPA.

National Biodiesel Board Holds BioFry event on Hill – The National Biodiesel Board holds its annual BioFry event Wednesday at lunch on Capitol Hill.  D.C. food trucks will serve french fries and provide information about how the oil used to cook the fries can be recycled to make clean-burning biodiesel.

TNC to Discuss Electric Grid – On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. in 106 Dirksen, the Nature Conservancy holds a stakeholder dialogue to explore critical issues on the future of the electric grid.  Within the past decade, the electricity sector has seen advances in renewable energy, energy storage, electric vehicles, microgrids and other new options for planning and operating the grid. These tools and resources are attracting hundreds of entrepreneurs – as well as their investment and jobs – into the electricity industry while increasing reliability, enhancing efficiency, and integrating modern distributed energy resources. As a part of our series of regional forums, we will explore the impact these changes are having on how we deliver electricity in the 21st Century.

Forum to Look at Japanese Nuclear Industry – CSIS will host a conversation on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. with Japanese Diet members and US experts on Japan’s plutonium policies, their regional implications, and the prospects for continued US-Japan nuclear cooperation beyond 2017.  Speakers will include Kyodo News Senior Editorial Writer Masakatsu Ota, House of Councillors Member Masashi Adachi, House of Representatives Member Seiji Ohsaka and former Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Thomas Countryman.

House Panel to Look at Venezuela Crisis – The House Foreign Affairs Panel on the Western Hemisphere will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. looking at the crisis in Venezuela and its impacts, one of which is energy related.

POLITICO Hosts Pro Policy Summit – On Thursday at the Omni Shoreham, POLITICO holds its first Pro Policy Summit which will bring together key players from the executive branch, federal agencies and Congress as well as key innovators whose technologies are driving large-scale policy shifts. Among the Speakers will be our friends Lisa Jacobson of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Mike McKenna, Energy Editor Nick Juliano and many others.  A full agenda for the event is here and a list of speakers is available here.

Senators to Address CO2 Capture Forum – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will host a forum Thursday in 902 Hart Senate on innovations on carbon capture and use.  Experts will provide updates on these breakthrough technologies, and lawmakers will discuss ways to speed up their deployment.  Speakers will include C2ES President Bob Perciasepe, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, Sheldon Whitehouse, Shelley Moore Capito, John Barrasso and former DOE official Julio Friedmann, among many others.

EPA Panel Tackles NAFTA Issues – The EPA holds a meeting of its National Advisory Committee and the Governmental Advisory Committee Thursday and Friday to provide advice on trade and environment issues related to the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation.

Great EE Day Set – The Alliance to Save Energy will host the Great Energy Efficiency Day (part II) on Thursday morning at the Columbus Club.  The event will reconvene energy efficiency’s leading influencers for another full day of advocacy and education.  Our friends Ben Evans of ASE, Daiken’s Charlie McCrudden and GM’s Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy Director Britta Gross will also speak, as well as keynoter Greg Kats, former Director of Financing in DOE’s EERE office.

CSIS to Host EIA Outlook – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Ian Mead, Assistant Administrator of EIA’s Office of Energy Analysis, to present the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017).  The IEO2017 includes long-term projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Among other topics, Dr. Mead will discuss EIA’s view on long-term petroleum and other liquids fuel supplies, prospects for global natural gas markets, regional energy demand growth, and key uncertainties that may alter long-term projections.

USEEE to Look at Battery Storage – The US Assn of Energy Economists will hold its monthly lunch on Friday at Carmines that will feature Jason Burwen, Policy & Advocacy Director of the Energy Storage Association.  While battery energy storage has long been sought as a “game-changer” for the power sector, rapid cost declines and increasing deployment in recent years suggest that the game is already changing.  Burwen will provide a general overview of the U.S. battery energy storage market and economics, as well as describe the core services and value to the electric grid that storage provides. Jason will also discuss the policy barriers to greater storage deployment, both in RTOs/ISOs and at state PUCs, and offer some thoughts on future policy discussions for enabling the power system to realize the full value of flexible battery storage.

IN THE FUTURE

National Drive Electric Week – Launches Sunday, September 17

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.

IEA World Energy Report to be Detailed – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Laszlo Varro, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA), next Tuesday to discuss the IEA’s World Energy Investment 2017. Energy investment in 2016 totaled 1.7 trillion dollars, around 2.2 percent of the global economy. The report covers critical details about energy investment across various energy sectors, sources, and regions. It also includes a special focus on a wide array of topics, including how digitization is impacting investment and employment, global investment in innovation, and the impact of emerging business models. The report assesses the importance of energy policy driving investment into energy efficiency and into facilities that ensure adequate levels of energy security.

WCEE Event to Feature Marriott Leader – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment’s Women in Leadership (WIL) Committee will hold a reception next Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. At the Brattle Group featuring Dominica Groom, Senior Director, Global Sustainability and Supplier Diversity at Marriott International, the world’s largest global lodging company.  Dominica provides global leadership through strategic direction, planning and execution for these important operational platforms. In 2016, she was recognized as one of the top “Leading Women”, under the age of 40, in the state of Maryland for her tremendous professional accomplishments, community involvement and commitment to inspiring change. Additionally, she was also recognized as a “Top Influential Leader in Diversity” by the National Association for Minority Companies for her unwavering commitment to diversity & inclusion. Domenica will share her insights on her path to leadership, and some of the “lessons learned” for women in the sustainability and supplier diversity sector.

Forum to Look at Shale, Energy Security – On Wednesday, September 20th at 4:00 p.m., the Institute of World Politics will host a lecture on the topic of “Energy Security: New Market Realities” with Sara Vakhshouri of SVB Energy International.  The rise of North America’s shale oil and gas production has changed the market dynamics, energy trade flow, and the elements of energy security.  In this talk, Vakhshouri will cover the changes in market fundamentals, energy trade flows, energy prices and policies, and their broader impact upon global and regional energy security. We will also touch upon the current political risks treating the oil and gas supply from countries such as Qatar, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

ITC Solar Trade Petition Injury Determination – September 22

Statoil to Focus on Climate Roadmap – On Friday, September 22nd at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, Senior Vice President for Sustainability at Statoil, to present Statoil’s Climate Roadmap. The roadmap explains how Statoil will develop its business in support of the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement. Statoil believes the needed energy transition to a low-carbon society represents business opportunities, and Sverdrup will discuss how the company is reducing emissions, growing in renewables, and developing the portfolio and strategy to ensure a competitive advantage in a low-carbon world.

EMA Sets Annual Forum – The Environmental Markets Association holds its 21st Annual Meeting on September 27-29 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.  The event focuses on trading, legislation and regulation of environmental markets. The agenda includes panel sessions covering Carbon / RGGI, what’s next after the Clean Power Plan, update on current developments and trends in other existing environmental markets such as the SO2 and Nox programs and a general REC Market Overview that provides an update on supply and demand as well as estimates on potential growth as the market faces pricing pressure.

WAPA to Feature Ford Product at September Event – The Washington Automotive Press Assn and the staff of Ford’s Washington, D.C. offices will hold a networking event that highlights Ford’s best-selling vehicle on Thursday, September 21 from 5:30 p.m.at Ford’s offices are located at 801 Pennsylvania Avenue in Suite 400.

CSIS to Host Statoil on Climate Roadmap – On Friday, September 22nd at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, Senior Vice President for Sustainability at Statoil, to present Statoil’s Climate Roadmap. The roadmap explains how Statoil will develop its business in support of the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement. Statoil believes the needed energy transition to a low-carbon society represents business opportunities, and Sverdrup will discuss how the company is reducing emissions, growing in renewables, and developing the portfolio and strategy to ensure a competitive advantage in a low-carbon world.  This event is part of the Climate Change and the National and Corporate Interest series, featuring speakers to foster insightful discussions on a variety of corporate and country perspectives on the costs and benefits of their respective climate strategies.

NATIONAL CLEAN ENERGY WEEKSeptember 25-29th.  Hosted by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, the American Council on Renewable Energy, Advanced Energy Economy, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, the Biomass Power Association, Clean Energy Business Network, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the National Hydropower Association, and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

AEE Holds Michigan Energy Future Conference – The Advance Energy Economy will hold its 4th Annual Michigan Energy Future Conference on September 25th College for Creative Studies in downtown Detroit.  The global market for mobility solutions is growing rapidly, building on innovation, information technology, and new transportation business models. Focusing on this convergence, the event, sponsored by our friends at DTE Energy, will dive deep into the intersection of energy, telecommunications, and transportation. While other conferences have explored these issues independently, the Michigan Energy Future Conference will be the first comprehensive look at the synergies between sectors, exploring opportunities for the U.S. to benefit as the pace of convergence between these sectors accelerates.

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.

PA Shale Conference Set SHALE INSIGHT 2017 will be held on September 27th and 28th at the Pittsburgh Convention Center.  The event holds the most important discussions on shale development, featuring some of the most prominent industry and government leaders. Influential industry executives and innovative thought leaders will work through two days of technical and public affairs insight sessions, major keynote addresses, and a dynamic exhibit hall featuring all the major shale players.

CSIS, Fortune Smart Women Conference to Feature Ernst – On Friday September 29th at 9:00 a.m., the Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative holds a conversation with Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA).  The topics will include North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, and other global hotspots with Senator Ernst, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. She is the first female combat veteran elected to the U.S. Senate.  The event is – as always – moderated by Nina Easton of Fortune.

Geothermal Conference Set for Utah – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is holding GEOEXPO+ on October 1-4th at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, UT.  The meeting will be held in conjunction with the GRC Annual Meeting.

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.

Bloomberg Hosts Sustainability Forum – Bloomberg holds its 3rd annual Sustainable Business Summit on October 12-13th in its New York offices to discuss how companies are yielding positive returns for investors, creating sustainably valuable products and processes, and developing innovative sustainable business models.  Uniquely positioned at the intersection of sustainable business and sustainable investing, the summit will explore the challenges and even greater opportunities emerging across industries.

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.

Green Bonds Conference Set for NYC – Environmental Finance will host Green Bonds 2017 at 10 on the Park in New York City on October 23rd.  According to the Green Bonds Database, the American green bonds market has continued its rapid growth with over 17$ billion issued in the last twelve months.

At the conference this year we will look at the drivers behind this boom and how to ensure sustainable growth as the market matures.

 

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 June 26

Friends,

Despite the searing 100+ degree heat, the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships came to a stirring finale yesterday at Sacramento State.  Dalilah Muhammad led a scintillating 400M hurdle competition, Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs threw haymakers at each other in a crowd-pleasing shot put and Olympic 1500M Gold medalist Matt Centrowitz was clipped at the wire by Robby Andrews.  Other repeat winners included Jenny Simpson winning her 4th straight 1500M title and Evan Jager and Emma Coburn each took their 6th straight 3000m Steeplechase titles.  Top 3 in each event head to London for the World Championships in early August.   Tonight also launches the final “Best of 3” series of the College World Series in Omaha featuring Florida and LSU, who bounced out top-ranked Oregon State over the weekend.

While most of the focus this week will be on the Senate and its healthcare legislation, it is officially “Energy Week” at the White House.  Part one is today when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes a trip to Washington DC in what is being characterized as a “get-to-know-Trump” visit involving the first meeting between the two leaders. Coal exports, clean energy and Paris will likely be on the agenda.  Wednesday, the President hosts Govs.  LePage (ME), Walker (WI), Pete Ricketts (NE) and other local and tribal Leaders to talk local issues and Thursday, the President speaks at DOE on his favorite topic – Energy Dominance – with Pruitt, Zinke and Perry.  Perry will also host labor and industry folks as well at the event.  Expect some discussions of energy exports, especially LNG to Eastern Europe.  My Colleague Eric Washburn is in the model of it.  No trips outside DC are planned despite earlier rumors (most suspect because of the healthcare debate), but DJT is headed to Poland soon, who just started receiving LNG shipments.

Hearings include a House Energy & Commerce hearing on autonomous vehicle policy on tomorrow following last year recommendations from our friends at SAFE’s Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety, who are studying the issue and have recommend best practices for industry and other parties for testing autonomous vehicles in real-world conditions.  Also tomorrow, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will be before the Senate Approps EPA subpanel at 9:30 a.m.  Then Wednesday, the House Energy & Water Approps panel will mark up its FY2018 version of the budget.

While it was expected today, the Energy Department said it will delay a study on ensuring the reliability of baseload power generation on the electric grid until July.  Many of you have heard the rumors of a draft, but there is no real indication that there is much to that.  Secretary Perry will review a draft in early July.

The Senate will vote today to approve another five-year term for NRC Chairman Kristine Svinicki, who needs to be confirmed by this Friday to ensure a stable quorum.  Unfortunately, with healthcare taking the bulk of the attention, it is unlikely we will see any action on other nominees like those that could provide a quorum to FERC, which is currently delaying nearly $50 billion in energy projects.

Starting Thursday, the region gets its only regular stop on the PGA tour with the Quicken Loans National at the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms.  Rickie Fowler and Naval Academy grad/local story Billy Hurley (who won the tournament last year) will be among the stars at Avenel.  Hard to believe, but it is 4th of July coming up next week, which also means le Tour de France is also just around the corner!!!  Here is a look at the route which launches Saturday.

No update next week, but will be in touch if important news breaks.  Call with questions.

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“NuScale’s technology is one of the biggest opportunities for nuclear over the next decade and these reforms to 45(j) would significantly bolster their ability to demonstrate the first American small modular reactor.”

Spencer Nelson, policy associate with ClearPath Action on passage of legislation to expand the use of tax incentives for new nuclear power plants.

 

IN THE NEWS

House Moves Urgent Nuclear Tax Credit Legislation – House lawmakers swiftly gave broad approval Tuesday to a bill, H.R. 1551, from Reps. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) modifying the 45(j) production tax credit to remove a 2021 deadline for new reactors to be placed in service. “Without this legislation, the nuclear power industry may cease to exist as we know it today in this country,” Rice said, adding it may be “another 30 or 40 years before this country builds another cutting-edge nuclear facility” without this incentive. The reforms in this legislation were designed to allow more time for the nation’s four new nuclear reactors under construction to receive the credit. But it is also potentially beneficial for helping come online future advanced nuclear facilities using state-of-the-art small modular reactors, such as those being designed by NuScale Power. “NuScale’s technology is one of the biggest opportunities for nuclear over the next decade and these reforms to 45(j) would significantly bolster their ability to demonstrate the first American small modular reactor,” ClearPath Action Policy Associate Spencer Nelson said. The White House also supports the bill. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has introduced a companion bill.

Groups Send Congress Letter on Advanced Energy – A number of groups promoting an advanced energy agenda sent a letter to Senate and House Appropriators last week.  ClearPath was part of joined a monster lineup that included Third Way, the Nuclear Energy Institute, Bipartisan Policy Center, Carbon Utilization Research Council, the American Council on Capital Formation, a number of environmental groups and several research universities in asking leading Senate appropriators to push through strong federal energy innovation funding. “While American innovators have a long history of developing and improving energy technologies, it is essential that the nation maintains its competitiveness,” the letter to Chairman Alexander and Energy Appropriations Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein states. “American historical leadership in this area is unparalleled, but it is not guaranteed. … If steps are not taken to bolster U.S. leadership in this sector, the nation could eventually need to import energy technologies from China, rather than domestically manufacture them and export them across the world.”

FERC Opens LNG Project Docket – FERC is seeking comments on Jordan Cove LNG export project in Oregon.  It a document published today, it asked for comments to be part of an extended environmental impact statement FERC is preparing for the Coos Bay, OR project.  Comments are due by July 10th.

EIA: Renewable Continue to Grow – The latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information’s (EIA) “Electric Power Monthly” (with data through April 30, 2017) reveals that – for the first time since the beginning of the nuclear era – renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar – inc. small-scale PV, wind) are now providing a greater share of the nation’s electrical generation than nuclear power.  For the first third of this year, renewables and nuclear power have been running neck-in-neck with renewables providing 20.20% of U.S. net electrical generation during the four-month period (January – April) compared to 20.75% for nuclear power. But in March and April, renewables surpassed nuclear power and have taken a growing lead: 21.60% (renewables) vs. 20.34% (nuclear) in March, and 22.98% (renewables) vs. 19.19% (nuclear) in April.  While renewables and nuclear are each likely to continue to provide roughly one-fifth of the nation’s electricity generation in the near-term, the trend line clearly favors a rapidly expanding market share by renewables. Electrical output by renewables during the first third of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 has increased by 12.1% whereas nuclear output has dropped by 2.9%.

Solar on the Line – The Smithsonian American History Museum has recently opened an ongoing exhibit on solar energy. The showcase will be on display through most of 2017.  A synopsis can be found on line at: http://invention.si.edu/solar-line

Rig Count Still RisingOilfield-services company Baker Hughes said the US oil-rig count rose by 11 to 758.  The oil-rig count has risen for 23 straight weeks, extending a record-long streak of increases.  The gas-rig count fell by three to 183, and miscellaneous rigs were unchanged at zero, making the total rig count 941.

Cap Crude Looks at Russia – Our friends at Platts’ Capitol Crude are focused on Russia’s energy sector this week.   The US Senate has overwhelmingly approved new sanctions targeting Russia’s energy sector, but the effort has hit a major hurdle in the House and resistance from the Trump administration. Our friend Elizabeth Rosenberg, a senior fellow and director of the energy, economics and security program at the Center for a New American Security, talks about why this sanctions package, as proposed, could have disastrous consequences. Also, Nadia Rodova, Platts’ Moscow bureau chief, talks about the impact of current sanctions on Russian production and the view of the Trump administration from Moscow.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Conference of Mayors Meets in Miami – As it meets in Miami Beach for its 85th annual conference, the US conference of Mayors is certain to discuss climate change and role cities will play in addressing it.  The also intend on looking at Autonomous Vehicles.  The event will feature special guests such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, U.S. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.  They are expected to vote today on policy resolutions to send to federal lawmakers in Washington.  Bill Clinton spoke to the group yesterday and had an extensive discussion about climate change Issues.

EIA Energy Conference Set – The 2017 EIA Energy Conference is set for today and tomorrow at the Washington Hilton in DC.  The event features leaders from the coal, petroleum, natural gas, electric, renewable, and nuclear energy sectors, as well as policymakers shaping energy legislation and regulations, company executives developing and transporting energy resources, researchers finding energy solutions, and entrepreneurs pushing the latest energy technologies.  Main speakers will include FERC’s Colette Honorable, House Energy & Commerce Chair Greg Walden, International Energy Forum head Sun Xiansheng.  Walden and Pioneer’s Scott Sheffield will sit with EIA Head Howard Gruenspecht in the opening plenary next Monday.

Hudson to Hold Forum on India – The Hudson Institute’s South and Central Asia Program and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will host an event today at Noon on  building stronger trade relations between India and the United States. Rep. George Holding of North Carolina will give opening remarks, followed by a panel discussion.

Smart Cities Conference Headed for Austin – The 2017 Smart Cities Connect Conference will be in Austin, TX at the Convention Center tomorrow.  The event convenes more than 200 global city leaders to prospect and partner with innovative technology and service providers.

ClearPath Experts to Discuss Hydro at Conference – Tomorrow through Friday, Pennwell’s HydroVision will be held in Denver Colorado at the Colorado Convention Center.  Among the speakers will be ClearPath’s Rich Powell and Jeremy Harrell, as well as NHA’s Linda Church Ciocci and DOE’s Hydropower program manager Tim Welch.

Shimkus, Udall Headline Forum on TSCA – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a conference tomorrow at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health on chemical safety.  House Energy subpanel chair John Shimkus and Se. Tom Udall will headline the event, as well as former American Cleaning Institute CEO Ernie Rosenberg.

Pruitt Heads to Senate Approps Subpanel – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on the proposed fiscal 2018 budget estimates and justification for the EPA.  EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will testify.

House Resources to Mark up Legislation – The House Natural Resources Committee holds a markup tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. moving on several bills, including H.R. 2053, the Mining School Enhancement Act; H.R. 2425, the Public Lands Telecommunications Act; and H.R. 2939, the Water Rights Protection Act.

House Energy Panel to Look at Autonomous Vehicles – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at self-driving vehicle legislation.  Last year, our friends at SAFE formed a Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety who are studying the issue and have recommend best practices for industry and other parties for testing autonomous vehicles in real-world conditions. Witnesses will include Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers CEO Mitch Bainwol, Global Automakers CEO John Bozzella, the US Chamber’s Technology Engagement Center Tim Day, David Strickland of the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer, GWU Law Professor Alan Morrison, and Will Wallace of Consumers Union.

Stanford-Hoover event to Look at Nuclear – The Stanford University’s Hoover Institution hold a forum at Noon tomorrow in SVC 202 in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center looking at the necessity and viability of America’s nuclear power plants.  Among the speakers will be Ed McGinnis, DOE’s principal deputy assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary for nuclear energy.

Senate Enviro to Look at Advanced Clean Energy Tech – The Senate Environment Committee’s Clean Air and Nuclear Safety panel holds a hearing tomorrow at 2:45 p.m. looking at developing and deploying advanced clean energy technologies.

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

DOJ Enviro Lawyer Confirmation Hearing Set – The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold the confirmation hearing for Jeffrey Bossert Clark on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to be assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. Clark is an attorney at law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP who represented BP during the litigation following the company’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Timothy Kelly and Trevor McFadden, nominees to be judges on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and Beth Ann Williams, nominee to be assistant attorney general for DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy, will also be testifying at the hearing.

CSIS to Host IEF Head on Energy Markets – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. will host Dr. Sun Xiansheng, Secretary General of the International Energy Forum (IEF), for a presentation and discussion on the forces impacting the security of global oil and gas supplies. Adam Sieminski will moderate the session that will focus on three key aspects of current markets: (1) why the volatile nature of the energy markets continues to pose many challenges for producers and consumers and (2) how, despite policy shifts in Washington, tightening greenhouse gas emission thresholds around the world could continue to shape many long-term decisions made by policy makers.  Dr. Sun has over 30 years of practical industry experience in oil & gas production, trading, and pipeline construction. He was elected Secretary General of the IEF in August 2016.

AHRI Hosts CA State Summit – The HVAC industry will also hold a California State Summit on Wednesday and Thursday looking at energy and efficiency issues relating to the industry at the Hyatt in Sacramento.  Speakers will include CARB member Dean Florez, House Assembly Republican Leader Chad Myers and Senate President Kevin de Leon.

House Approps to Look at Energy Water – After last week’s testimony from Secretary Perry, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee Energy and Water Development will meet Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. to markup the FY 2018 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.

House Resources to Look at Oil, Gas on Fed Lands – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee holds a hearing on Thursday examining access to oil and gas development on federal lands. Witnesses and will include Interior’s Land and Minerals Management Deputy Kate MacGregor, Ryan Flynn of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, the Utah Governor’s Energy Advisor Laura Nelson and Mark Squillace, Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School.

CSIS to Discuss Energy Efficiency Issues – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Philippe Benoit, former head of Energy Efficiency and Environment Division of the International Energy Agency, to discuss some of the benefits and pitfalls in shifting the focus of energy efficiency from savings to growth. Ariel Yépez, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), will discuss how the IDB is working to increase the appeal of energy efficiency as a development tool for its client countries by also emphasizing its potential to support expanded service delivery. Laura Van Wie McGrory, Alliance to Save Energy, will discuss how energy efficiency also brings important benefits other than just energy savings to the U.S. and other developed countries.

Water Threat Discussed at Forum – The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), and Clean Water Action will hold a briefing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at federal protection for clean water, which is increasingly under threat from steep proposed EPA budget cuts and recent decisions rescinding key federal rules (including the rules that applied the Clean Water Act to smaller waterways and wetlands or prohibited discharge of coal mining waste into streams).  Speakers will discuss impacts of proposed funding cuts and rollbacks in clean water protections on public and environmental health, and how to undo the damage, including NY Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and former EPA Environmental Justice official Mustafa Ali.

AEE Webinar to Look at PURPA – Advanced Energy Economy’s Arvin Ganesan and Davis Wright Tremaine’s Glenn Benson will hold a webinar on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. featuring an overview of the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), a 1970s-era law that drives procurement of certain types of advanced energy generation.  Congress along with FERC are considering changes to this law and related regulations that could positively or adversely affect development of such generation projects. Join us to understand what PURPA is, how it’s implemented and what some of the contemplated and potential changes to the law may be.

USEA Forum to Look at Carbon Capture – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., US Energy Association will hold a forum on carbon capture.  This briefing will provide some insight into the development pathway for two of these technologies – MTR’s membrane-based approach and ION Engineering’s advanced solvent-based technology. Their developers will discuss the current status of their efforts and opportunities available given continued support of the development process.  Most of the CO2 captured to date has been used to support enhanced oil recovery efforts and has come from high-concentration sources where separation of CO2 is an inherent part of an industrial process, such as natural gas processing or fertilizer production. Costs associated with separating CO2 from lower-concentration sources, such as power generation, are too high to prompt widespread deployment of currently-available technologies. However, research and development efforts supported by the U.S. Department of Energy are leading to the development of 2nd generation technologies with substantially reduced costs and energy requirements. Further development and commercialization of these advanced technologies represents a large potential global market opportunity.  Among the speakers will Be Global CCS Institute expert Ron Munson.

Forum Looks at Energy, Transportation – The Government Affairs Industry Network (GAIN) announced its newest event series: Hot Topics in Public Policy. These events are a panel series focusing on issues currently — or soon-to-be — moving through the 115th Congress. These panels bring together thought leaders in the industry to discuss the state-of-play, providing insights and intel to help attendees stay ahead of the game in the current policy discussions heating up DC.  The first event in this series will be Thursday at the American Trucking Assn at 3:00 p.m. and will be a discussion of legislative and regulatory developments at the intersection of the energy and transportation industries. Among the panelists will be our friends Chris Guith of the Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy and Nick Juliano, Deputy Energy Editor of POLITICO.

 

IN THE FUTURE

JULY 4th Recess – June 30th to July 11th

Forum to Tackle Clean Power in Latin America – On Thursday, July 6th at 8:45 a.m., the Inter-American Dialogue will host a forum on clean energy in Latin America.  Latin America faces many challenges to decarboninzing the power sector, such as fossil fuel subsidies, the lack of a carbon tax or carbon market in most countries, and inadequate grid integration. However, expanding clean power could bring many benefits, such as energy security through the use of domestic energy resources, employment, and regional integration and technology development. A decarbonized power sector would also allow for reduced carbon emissions from the transport sector through the expansion of electric vehicles fueled by clean power.  The event will feature a discussion with Walter Vergara, senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, Samantha Gross, fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy, Energy Security and Climate Initiative, and Gabriela Elizondo Azuela, senior energy specialist at the World Bank Group.

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

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 February 15

Friends,

With the snow and ice in the Mid-Atlantic yesterday, I was grounded in Florida for an extra day when our President’s Day return flight was cancelled.  I guess it’s not so bad to be stuck in FL when there is bad weather in DC – especially with the region’s less-than-competent, foul-weather driving skills.  But, I did finally make it back.

Has our energy world changed in the past week?  Wow… First, the SCOTUS stayed the Clean Power Plan and then on Saturday, conservative legal icon Justice Antonin Scalia unexpectedly passed away on a hunting trip in Texas.

I initially planned to have a primer on the SCOTUS decision, but I have altered some that given Justice Scalia’s passing.  There has been plenty of reporting and analysis on Scalia, the court impact and the politics, so we won’t weigh in there other than to point out an interesting opinion piece in the Washington Post from Legal scholar and friend Jonathan Adler and say that Tom Goldstein’s SCOTUS blog is a great place to keep pace with the action. My colleague Scott Segal adds his thoughts on Scalia below. You can use them “On-the-Record” or on background.

With President’s Day, the Congress is in a recess (maybe it’s last for the year to avoid any recess appointments).  It is a slow week, but NARUC Commissioners are here for their Winter Meetings and there are still a few good events on the schedule.  CSIS hosts EIA’s Howard Gruenspecht on the state of the oil markets and WCEE looks at government and business views on sustainability tomorrow, while the Atlantic Council discusses the implications of falling oil prices and CSIS hosts the BP Energy Outlook on Thursday.

And mark your calendars for Leap Day when ARPA-E launches it annual innovation conference with three days of R&D/Technology policy discussions.  Air Liquide CEO Mike Graff will launch the Summit with the featured “Fireside Chat” with FORTUNE innovation writer Katie Fehrenbacher, who interviews Graff and BASF CEO Wayne Smith.  Other speakers at the three-day event will include Sen Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, Energy Secretary Moniz, former VP Al Gore, EPA’s Gina McCarthy and Sen. Chris Coons.

Finally, this week, pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training 2016, the first informal part of the change of seasons and baseball’s annual sign of eternal World Series hope.  Hoping the Nationals will be able to rebound this year and, as always at the beginning of the season, the Cubs are still tied for first.  Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

THE BIG NEWS

Segal on Impacts of Passing of Scalia – The were numerous stories about the impacts of Justice Scalia.  My colleague Scott Segal adding to that with focus on its relation to the Administration’s Clean Power Plan.    Segal: “The truth is that there are significant legal problems with the Clean Power Plan that would raise questions with any composition of the Supreme Court.  Liberal legal scholars like Harvard’s Laurence Tribe have pointed to statutory and constitutional shortcomings that will need to be resolved.   For its part, the panel assigned to the case at the D.C. Circuit may not have entered a stay, but they did adopt an unusually expedited schedule for the case which may reflect misgivings with the rule, and a desire to resolve them before compliance became a foregone conclusion.  And of course, the Supreme Court stay remains in place likely until an eventual Supreme Court judgment after the end of the Obama Administration.  While Justice Scalia’s untimely passing creates more uncertainty, the Clean Power Plan is still predicated on an extraordinarily shaky legal foundation.

Adler Pens Solution to Political Dilemma – Case Western University law Professor and former EPA lawyer Jonathan Adler addressed the political problem a new SCOTUS appointment faces in an interesting, thought-provoking Washington Post Op-ed.   Adler’s academic piece is unlikely to sway partisans but It is an eye-opener to the challenge that faces both the President and the Senate.   Adler argues “the long run of continuing to escalate the current brinkmanship in judicial nominations are significant, however. Republicans should recall that Senate obstruction of judicial nominees has kept several highly qualified conservative nominees from the federal bench as well, and that refusing to allow Scalia’s seat to be filled for a year would further politicize an already soiled process.”

SCOTUS Stays Obama GHG Rule – In an unprecedented move on an environmental rule, The Supreme Court of the U.S. granted a stay of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) carbon regulations for the electricity sector while the regulations are under review by the courts.

Some Key Reacts – Here were a few of the major reacts:

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey: Morrisey hailed today’s decision blocking the Environmental Protection Agency as a monumental victory.  Morrisey praised the decision saying it provides immediate relief for workers and businesses across the country. It also reinforces confidence in the broader challenge as the Supreme Court found the coalition’s arguments strong enough to stop EPA even before the lawsuit concludes.  “Make no mistake – this is a great victory for West Virginia,” Morrisey said. “We are thrilled that the Supreme Court realized the rule’s immediate impact and froze its implementation, protecting workers and saving countless dollars as our fight against its legality continues.”

Scott Segal, ERCC: “We have long maintained that the legal rationale for the Clean Power Plan stood on extremely weak ground.  Some 40 years of precedent contradicted the rule.  Problems of statutory interpretation were apparent from the moment of the architecture of the rule was proposed.  While stays of administrative rules are rare, they are not unknown and in this case the outcome was richly deserved.  The Court has held that the rule be stayed not only through DC Circuit consideration, but also through ultimate Supreme Court judgment should appeal to the High Court ultimately be sought.  There are many things that can be done to cost-effectively encourage the use of renewables and efficiency projects, but the Clean Power Plan was not the right approach.  The threats it posed to state prerogatives, reliability and energy security concerns made the rule a bad bet for policy reasons as well.”

Mike Duncan of the American Council for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE): “We are pleased the Supreme Court took this unprecedented step to protect the states from further economic harm while the courts are deciding whether the administration’s Power Plan is unlawful and unconstitutional,” said Mike Duncan, president and CEO of ACCCE. “The stay is a signal the Supreme Court has serious concerns with the Power Plan. We’re optimistic the Power Plan will ultimately be rejected.”

Jeff Conner of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Assn (NRECA): “Charging ahead with implementation of the Clean Power Plan would have caused immediate and irreparable harm to America’s electric co-ops,” said NRECA Interim CEO Jeffrey Connor. “Had the stay not been granted, co-ops would have been forced to take costly and irreversible steps to comply with the rule, which is a huge overreach of EPA’s legal authority. The Clean Power Plan is a direct threat to co-ops’ ability to provide affordable and reliable electricity to their member consumers and should be erased from the books.”

Tom Donohue, US Chamber of Commerce President: “We welcome the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to stay the EPA’s unlawful greenhouse gas rule for the power sector. The Supreme Court’s stay of this rule and the D.C. Circuit’s order to hear the case quickly will ensure that America will not be forced to make costly and irreversible implementation decisions based upon an unprecedented regulation until judicial review is complete.  The EPA’s rule would put the government in control of our energy choices, drive up electricity costs for American businesses, consumers and families, impose tens of billions of dollars in annual compliance costs, and reduce our nation’s global competitiveness. Staying this rule is the right decision.”

AGs Lead Fight – Attorneys General from 28 states lead by West Virginia and Texas lead the effort to block the rule saying EPA exceeded its authority by double regulating coal-fired power plants and forcing states to fundamentally shift their energy portfolios away from coal-fired generation among other reasons. Those joining West Virginia and Texas were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Holmstead, Segal Weigh in USAT – The USA Today featured an op-ed from former EPA Air head Jeff Holmstead and ERCC director Scott Segal on the decision that said the Court’s order to stay the Obama administration’s “Clean Power Plan”  was “something it has never done before” when they put the regulation on hold until the courts can decide whether it is legal. They add the rule would mean higher energy costs and a less reliable electricity system for average Americans.

Chamber Official Point Out Paris Pledge Short Fall Already – Steve Eule, US Chamber climate expert who was in Paris, discussed the Stay decision in the context of the US UN pledge made in Paris.  Eule said the implications of this decision are likely to extend well beyond the United States and call into question the durability of the Obama Administration’s pledge to the United Nations (UN) to slash U.S. net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 26% to 28% by 2025 from the 2005 level.”    He added at the Paris climate talks, administration officials spent considerably energy assuring anyone who would listen that the Clean Power Plan was legally unassailable.  See the Blog Here.

 

IN THE NEWS

Loveless Launches Columbia Energy Exchange Podcast – Our friend Bill Loveless, former Platts TV host has launched a new podcast program with Columbia University.  Expanding on its existing programming, Columbia Energy Exchange features in-depth conversations with the world’s top energy and climate leaders from government, business, academia and civil society. The program explores today’s most pressing opportunities and challenges across energy sources, financial markets, geopolitics and climate change as well as their implications for both the U.S. and the world.  Examples of recent guests on Columbia Energy Exchange have included EPA’s Gina McCarthy, Southern CEO Tom Fanning, Duke CEO Lynn Good and many more.

AFPM Hits RFS – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) also filed a petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rulemaking for 2014-2016.  AFPM President Chet Thompson said despite EPA’s best efforts, certain aspects of the final RFS rule still run afoul of the Clean Air Act. Thompson:  “EPA failed to provide obligated parties with requisite lead time and used flawed methodologies in establishing volume requirements. This rule further confirms that the RFS program is dysfunctional and that the only real solution is full repeal by Congress.”

Co-ops, NRDC Launch “Community Storage” Initiative – The nation’s 50 million residential electric water heaters collectively represent a significant – and vastly underutilized – energy storage resource capable of leveraging substantial environmental and cost benefits according to new research commissioned NRECA, NRDC, the Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA) and Great River Energy (GRE).  This finding from the global economic consulting firm The Brattle Group was announced today (Feb. 10, 2016) at the launch of an initiative designed to promote growth in a novel, community-based approach to energy storage, dubbed “community storage.” By aggregating distributed energy technologies and home appliances, electric cooperatives are developing community storage to increase energy efficiency, better integrate renewable energy resources onto the grid, and reduce customers’ monthly electric bill.

One such community storage program managed by Minnesota-based generation and transmission cooperative Great River Energy has been able to store a gigawatt of energy each night by controlling the electric resistance water heaters of 65,000 end-use members.  Even in regions heavily reliant on coal and natural gas to generate electricity, the Brattle research shows that consumers have options for saving money on their electric bills and reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with their water heating. Consumers can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 30 percent using their water heater as a thermal battery. Consumers can reduce their CO2 emissions by more than 50 percent using heat pump water heaters.  These same consumers will be enabling integration of clean, renewable resources. Further, the emission reductions of community storage will compound as more consumers participate and the electricity sector transitions to cleaner fuels and generation technologies.

Rural Co-ops Launch Major Vote Initiative – Speaking of NRECA, they also launched a major initiative to enhance voter engagement. The goal of the “Co-ops Vote” campaign is to boost voter turnout in areas served by cooperatives by encouraging electric co-op employees and their consumer members to exercise one of their most basic rights—the right to vote.  Working in collaboration with states and local co-ops, this non-partisan campaign will educate and engage all voters on important issues, such as ensuring continued access to reliable electricity, promoting co-ops’ development of innovative renewable energy solutions, and expanding broadband coverage throughout rural America.  Co-ops Vote will provide a wide variety of tools to its more than 900, not-for-profit members to help educate and engage employees and communities, including voter registration information, candidate information and a campaign video. Co-ops are urged to take simple steps, such as encouraging employees to register to vote, hosting voter registration drives at co-op offices, and partnering with local civic groups to plan voter registration efforts.  For more information, visit www.vote.coop and follow #CoopsVote.

AHRI Releases Refrigerant Management Research Report – AHRI recently published research project AHRI 8018: Review of Refrigerant Management Programs. This project characterized refrigerant management and recycling programs implemented in key regions of the world, evaluated their effectiveness, and determined best practices as they relate to the U.S. refrigerant landscape.  The report provides clarity and insights on seven primary jurisdictions: Australia, Canada, California, the European Union, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The report also includes a high-level review of activities in China and Brazil. The focus areas of research included characterizing the current processes for original equipment manufacturers, contractors, end users, and reclaimers to handle refrigerants, how and where refrigerant recycling happens, and the amount of refrigerants ultimately destroyed.  Navigant Consulting, Inc., conducted a literature review and interviewed key personnel in the target jurisdictions to develop the detailed content of this report. Research covered the regulations, roles and responsibilities, funding sources, incentive and enforcement mechanisms, performance, refrigerant recovery, tracking and reporting, outreach, training, and flow of refrigerants in the nine jurisdictions.

New Data Highlights Natural Gas Savings for Consumers and Our Economy – Low domestic natural gas prices led to savings of almost $69 billion for residential natural gas customers over the past four years, according to the 2016 American Gas Association Playbook, released last week. Filled with new data and detailed graphics, this essential handbook provides a comprehensive explanation about the role natural gas plays in American’s daily lives and how it can help our nation achieve economic prosperity.  The 2016 AGA Playbook includes the latest data surrounding natural gas and its role in changing the way Americans use energy. It includes pertinent information about pipeline safety, natural gas supply and usage, industry safety, energy efficiency, economic growth, cybersecurity and more. It also details information on the latest natural gas utility initiatives to enhance cyber and physical security including the AGA Peer Review Program, the Downstream Natural Gas Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

National Trade Association for Community Solar Launched – Leading energy companies in the solar market today announced the formation of the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA), the first-ever national trade association for community solar. The Coalition’s founding leadership includes Clean Energy Collective, Community Energy, Ecoplexus, Ethical Electric, First Solar, and Recurrent Energy.  CCSA is a business-led trade organization that works to expand access to clean, local, affordable energy nationwide through community solar. Community solar refers to local solar facilities shared by individual community members, who receive credits on their electricity bills for their portion of the power produced.  Community solar projects provide American homeowners, renters and businesses access to the benefits of solar energy generation unconstrained by the physical attributes of their home or business, like roof space, shading, or whether or not they own their residence or building.  These programs can also expand access to solar energy to low-income households.  CCSA will work in partnership with consumers, local stakeholders, and utilities to promote smart policies and innovative program models to give all Americans in every community the ability to directly benefit from clean, affordable, and reliable solar power. CCSA’s initial goals are: to open markets in key states; serve as the resource for policymakers, utilities and advocates who seek clear, practical options for establishing community solar programs; and to be the messenger to highlight the growing success of the community solar market.   CCSA will target several key states in 2016, including New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland, and broaden its reach as the organization and the community solar market grows. The coalition will work with legislators, regulators and utilities to help develop fair policy and regulatory frameworks to drive sustainable growth for community solar.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Federal Leaders, “Lights Out” Talk Highlight NARUC Winter Meetings – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) holds its 2016 Winter Meeting today and tomorrow at the Renaissance Washington Hotel. Meetings will feature talks from FERC Chair Norman Bay, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai and PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez. The federal representatives will discuss current rulemakings, priorities within their agencies, and the role of state regulators.  Also among the General Session speakers is USAID Power Africa Deputy Coordinator Sean Jones. Power Africa is a federal interagency effort working to significantly increase access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa. The program works with public and private entities to decrease barriers to energy resources coming online and supports necessary reforms in regulatory and political structures to ensure the long-term viability of energy sectors. NARUC President Travis Kavulla of Montana will lead well-known author and journalist Ted Koppel in a thought-provoking question-and-answer session on his book, Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath.  Along with cybersecurity, panel topics will cover high-profile regulatory matters such as the Clean Power Plan, pipeline safety, decarbonization, broadband, natural gas, and transportation issues. Panel participants include state commissioners, subject-matter experts and consumer advocates.

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

WCEE to Feature Sustainability Discussion – Tomorrow at 12:00 noon at Johnson Control DC office, the Women’s Council on Energy and the  Environment (WCEE) will host a lunch focused on the challenges and opportunities of leading the sustainability function within organizations.  From defining sustainability, to embedding it into the organization’s values and strategy, to operationalizing it, the event will explore some of the current issues faced by these sustainability officers.  Speakers will include GWU Sustainability Director Meghan Chapple Brown, CEQ’s Christine Harada, WRI’s Kevin Moss and Johnson Controls Catherine Potter.

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

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

Forum to Tackle Strategic Impact of Falling Oil Price on Middle East – The Atlantic Council will host a discussion on Thursday 9:00 a.m. focused on the strategic implications of the fall of crude oil prices on the security and stability of the Middle East.  With the recent escalation of tensions between OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and Iran, there are many challenges.  Riyadh and Tehran are at odds in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, as Iranian officials boast about their plans to increase oil production by as many as one million barrels per day. As the Kingdom and its Gulf partners pursue costly security efforts abroad, low oil prices have forced them to consider painful and traditionally unpopular economic reforms at home. Middle Eastern oil producers could very well face a dual threat – can they continue to balance demanding security challenges at home and abroad?  Speakers will include former WSJ Publisher Karen Elliot House, IHS Petroleum Risk Director Raad Alkadiri and Atlantic’s Sherri Goodman.

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

Forum to Look at Russia, Oil Price Crash – On Thursday, the Woodrow Wilson Center will hold a forum Russian and the impacts of the oil price crash. Like every energy exporter, Russia is suffering from low commodity prices. But, since the beginning of the slump (mid-2014), Russia’s economic policy response has been reasonably effective. Drawing on policies developed over the past 15 years, Russia has let its currency fall against the dollar, helping to balance the budget, and has continued adjusting oil taxation to incentivize exports. With Duma elections coming this fall, 2016 is likely to be a more difficult environment for Russian policy makers.  Yale’s Chris Miller will speak.

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

RFF Policy Leadership Forum to feature Québec Premier – On Friday at 12:45 p.m., Resources for the Future will host a conversation between RFF President Phil Sharp and the Premier of Québec, Mr. Philippe Couillard, as they discuss critical environmental and energy issues facing North America.  Elected leader of his party and Premier of Québec in 2014, Premier Philippe Couillard is a neurosurgeon, former cabinet minister, member of Parliament, and respected leader, both in Canada and on the world stage.  Highlighting both the actions of state-level initiatives in addressing climate change—such as the Québec and California linked emissions trading system—as well as their roles on the world stage at COP21 in Paris, Québec has exercised significant leadership in the global community as part of the collective effort to solve the climate crisis.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

NACo to Meet – The National Assn of Counties holds it legislative meetings In Washington next week at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel.

WCEE Tackles Solar – Next Monday, February 22nd at Noon, WCEE will host a forum on the many opportunities and challenges for the solar industry in the coming year. This event is first in a series about solar power.  Speakers will include SEIA’s Katherine Gensler, SEPA CEO Julia Hamm and EEI’s Lola Infante, who directs EEI’s Generation Fuels and Market Analysis.

Forum Looks at Enviros, Nuclear – The New America Foundation and Future Tense will host a lunch and conversation next Monday at Noon in Washington, D.C., to consider whether you can truly be an environmentalist without embracing nuclear energy.  Speakers will including for WSJ reporter and author Steve Levine, Aaron VanDevender of the Founders Fund, ASU’s Jennifer Richter and Argonne’s Nuclear R&D Technical Director Robert Hill.

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

Brooking to Look at GHG Rules, State Implementation – Next Monday at 2:00 p.m., the Economic Studies group at Brookings will host an event to key issues related to state implementation of EPA’s GHG rules.  EPA has given states some flexibility in how they achieve their targets, and some states can continue work on implementation plans that balance the objectives of compliance, reliability, affordability, cross-state coordination, safety, and efficient long term low-carbon capital investment in the sector. States’ nearer term strategies could influence the evolution of the electricity sector for decades to come, well past the targeted 32 percent reduction in 2030 emissions from the sector relative to levels in 2005. Former Colorado Gov Bill Ritter will keynote, followed by a panel that includes former NJ Gov. and EPA head Christine Todd Whitman, NARUC Executive Director Greg White, Jonas Monast of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and RFF’s Josh Linn.

Senate Energy to Hear Jewel on Interior Budget – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing Next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. to examine the Department of the Interior’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2017.  Secretary Jewell will testify.

ELI Looks at Circular Economy Issues – Environmental Law Institute holds an afternoon forum regulatory and commercial law implications of a “circular economy” next Tuesday.  In response to the resource constraints, environmental pressures and economic barriers that characterize our “take and dispose” economy, many have put forward a vision for a “circular economy” that would not only conserve and recycle materials, but also contribute to new technological, financial and environmental innovations.  This session looks at the approach to supplant the way global production and energy systems operate. The purpose of this program is to explain the meaning of the “circular economy” and how it is being applied at the intersection of energy, environment and materials management and present some of the specific regulatory, procurement, financial structuring, and other legal initiatives that are emerging to help actualize its objectives globally.

Women in Solar Event Set – Women in Solar Energy (WISE) will hold its second annual NationWISE event on Tuesday, February 23rd  at 6:00 p.m. The goal of NationWISE is to discuss stories of women in different areas of the solar industry to show their diverse career paths and experiences and to prompt open discussion about female-friendly work environments. WISE is hoping to use this discussion to baseline its “best practices” that solar companies can adopt for human resources guidelines, female recruitment, and opportunities for women to excel in the solar energy industry.  Speakers include SEPA CEO Julia Hamm, Solar Foundation Executive Director Andrea Luecke and DOE SunShot Initiative head Lidija Sekaric.

Forum  to Look at CPP – New America and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a forum on February 24th for a close look at the current gap between climate goals and climate action, and ways that gap can be filled.  John Larsen of the Rhodium Group will present a new analysis of progress toward meeting the U.S. climate target. Then an expert group, convened by C2ES President Bob Perciasepe and New America Senior Advisor Sharon Burke, will explore how technology innovation and stronger action by cities, states and the federal government can help reach the goal.  Speakers include Scott Fulton, President of the Environmental Law Institute, Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center, and Dr. Ellen Williams (invited), Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

Senate Environment to Tackle RFS – The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will convene an oversight hearing on Wednesday, February 24th to examine the renewable fuel standard.

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

House Resources to Look at Enviro Mitigation – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Oversight will hold a hearing on Wednesday February 24th on new environmental mitigation regulations.

Distributed Wind Assn Hits Capitol – The Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) holds its annual Capitol Hill Reception in S-115, The Capitol on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.

NatGas Roundtable Feature Berkeley Research Expert – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host its February lunch on Thursday, February 25th featuring James Koehler, Associate Director of Berkeley Research Group. Koehler is an energy finance, markets, and policy expert in Berkeley Research Group’s international Energy and Natural Resources practice, based in Washington, D.C.

Paper Details NatGas, Propane In PA – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to look at natural gas and propane and their increasing foothold as alternative fuel sources for Pennsylvania’s transportation sector. Across the state, transit agencies and other large fleets are converting from gasoline to natural gas or propane because of cost and environmental benefits. However, use of natural gas or propane is not limited to large fleets. Opportunities exist for small fleets or individual vehicles such as mid-size delivery vans and trucks, taxis, and high-mileage commercial vehicles. Opportunities also exist to become a station owner.  This paper was written as an educational tool for Pennsylvanians on the options for fuel conversions, refueling options, and a summary of what is available in the market. This paper covers a broad range of topics concerning natural gas and propane opportunities within the Commonwealth.

USEA to Look at Australia, US Competition Issues – Next Friday, February 26th at 10:30 a.m., the US Energy Association will hold a briefing to discuss similarities and differences between the US and Australian energy industries and other competition issues.

ASE to Host Congressional Briefing – The Alliance to Save Energy will hold a Congressional Briefing next Friday on the Role of Benchmarking, Transparency and Codes in Driving a More Efficient Built Environment. The purpose of the briefing is to educate and engage congressional staff and energy efficiency professionals on the work and progress being done in this area, while also discussing solutions and best practices that can help further advance energy efficiency in the built environment.

Air Liquide CEO, Others Headline ARPA-E Event — On February 29th, Air Liquide CEO Mike Graff will launch the annual ARPA-E Innovation Summit with the featured “Fireside Chat.”  Graff will be interviewed by FORTUNE innovation writer Katie Fehrenbacher along with BASF CEO Wayne Smith.  Other speakers at the three-day event will include Sen Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, Energy Secretary Moniz and former VP Al Gore on Tuesday, March 1st.  EPA’s Gina McCarthy and Sen. Chris Coons will speak on Wednesday, March 2nd.

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

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

Defense Renewables Summit Set – Infocast hosts the 6th  Defense Renewables Summit on March 15-16th at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, VA, to bring DoD, Air Force, Army and Navy decision-makers together with renewable energy developers, utilities, system integrators, financiers, EPCs, cybersecurity, energy storage, smartgrid and telecom experts to meet the renewable energy goals and security needs of the DoD. The summit will explore how viable, financeable projects can be developed to the benefit of all. The summit will provide the latest on emerging guidelines and processes that merges the complexity of federal acquisitions with the risk allocation methods of project finance.

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

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