Energy Update: Week of January 16

Friends,

Hope everyone enjoyed an extra day to honor Martin Luther King and his great contributions to our country.  I always like the extra day because my birthday is actually the day after MLK’s (and the day before Ben Franklin).  And thanks to all of you who wished me well on my birthday.  I appreciate your kindness.  And special thanks to POLITICO for making me the subject of their new “Birthday of the Day” feature. (the advantage of not having anyone more important born on the same day as you).

Wow, this is a short, but busy week…  Everything is closed Friday for the Inaugural, but tomorrow afternoon Senate Energy takes up the Zinke nomination for Interior Secretary, Senate Environment hosts EPA nominee Scott Pruitt on Wednesday morning and Thursday, Senate Energy returns with former Texas Governor and DOE nominee Rick Perry.  Speaking of Pruitt, today, the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC) endorsed his nomination to head EPA calling Pruitt a “highly-professional, thoughtful and effective” leader who can “strike an appropriate balance of environmental and economic objectives.”

We can address all yours questions and provide background.  Scott Segal (202-828-5845) and Jeff Holmstead (202-828-5852) are all over the EPA issues related to OK AG Scott Pruitt and are the following the Tillerson nomination.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer, (202-828-1718) a former DOE senior counsel, is following the Perry and DOE nomination.  And my colleagues Eric Washburn (202-412-5211) and Kevin Ewing (202-828-7638) can advise on Interior-related action.  Eric is closely tied to the many sportsman’s groups that have lead the charge for Zinke and Kevin can discuss any and all Interior regulatory issues including the last-minute offshore and methane rulemakings.

Today at 1:00 p.m. SAFE and the Ruderman Family Foundation will release a white paper revealing that two million employment opportunities could be opened up, and $19 billion in annual healthcare expenditures could be saved, if individuals with disabilities had access to the basic transportation needs that could be provided by autonomous vehicles.  Please dial (888) 567-1603 to participate.

Finally, since it is inauguration week, I have Included a primer of facts, trivia and interesting items on our inaugural history.  Enjoy and as usual, call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

INAUGURATION PRIMER

Key Details: For those of you in town (or trying to get out of town), here are some key details on weather, road closures, maps, parade info and inaugural balls from our friends at WTOP:  http://wtop.com/inauguration/2017/01/inauguration-day-2017-survival-guide-street-closures-metro-service-parade-route/

Schedule: Here is the schedule of events and some other interesting facts for the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States: http://www.newsweek.com/2017-donald-trump-inauguration-schedule-events-540650

Who’s Johns Are Portable – Our friend Matt Daly of AP may have the best story of the entire Inaugural.  Workers preparing for the inauguration on Friday have taped over the name of the company — “Don’s Johns” — that has long supplied portable restrooms for major outdoor events in the nation’s capital.  Yes…insert every joke you can.  You can’t make this s— up!!!  LATEST UPDATE: Apparently, a lot of the masking tape actually fell off with rain over the weekend.  Unknown whether, the cover crew will return with something more secure (like duct tape)

Hats Off to Texas Energy: We are Bracewell will be holding a special breakfast on Thursday Morning on Capitol Hill honoring the Texas delegation and others.  If you are interested in attending, Please let me know.

 

Fun Inaugural Facts/Trivia

  • Longest inauguration speech:  William Henry Harrison delivered a 1 hr 45 min stem-winder in 1841 during a snowstorm.  Of course, he came down with pneumonia and died one month later, making his the shortest Presidential tenure ever.
  • Shortest Speech: George Washington second inaugural address consisted of 135 words.
  • Warmest temp at inauguration time: Ronald Reagan’s first inauguration in 1981 at 55 degrees.
  • Coldest temp at inauguration time:  Reagan’s second inauguration in 1985. Noon temperature: 7 degrees
  • Who was the first president to be sworn in January? Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937
  • What caused the switch from March to January? The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified on January 23, 1933 which moved Presidential and Congressional terms to begin in January.
  • Why did they initially have inaugural ceremonies in MarchThe original long lame duck period was a practical necessity for the White House and Congress at the end of the 18th Century, when any newly-elected official might require several months to put his affairs in order and then undertake an arduous journey from his home to the national capital.
  • When was the inauguration held indoors?  Reagan’s second in 1985, Taft in 1909
  • Who were the only people that where not federal or Supreme Court justices to administer the oath of office: Chancellor of New York Robert Livingston who administered oath to Washington in 1789 and John Calvin Coolidge, a notary public and father of Calvin Coolidge who administered the oath to his son at their home in Vermont after Warren Harding’s death in 1923. (Coolidge returned to Washington the next day, and was sworn in again by SCOTUS Justice Adolph Hoehling to forestall any questions about the authority of a notary public administering the presidential oath.
  • Snowiest inaugurals: Taft 1909 (10 inches), Kennedy 1961 (8 inches)
  • Have any inaugurations ever be held outside Washington? If so when:  1789 (New York), 1793 (Philadelphia), 1797 (Philadelphia)
  • Who was the first to be sworn in on the West Facade of the Capitol? Reagan 1981
  • Where were they sworn in before that? East Facade of the U.S. Capitol.
  • Where was the 1817 oath administered while the Capitol was under construction because of damage caused by the War Of 1812?  The Old Brick House  (where SCOTUS now sits) where James Monroe was sworn in by Chief Justice John Marshall.
  • How many inaugurations occurred because of a president’s death or resignation?  9… after the deaths of William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy, and after the resignation of Richard Nixon.
  • Who was the only President sworn-in in the air?  Lyndon Johnson in 1963 by Texas federal judge Sarah T. Hughes.
  • Which inauguration had almost no ceremonies? FDR’s 4th inauguration in 1945.  Due to austerity measures in effect during World War II, the inauguration was held on the South Portico of the WH, rather than the Capitol and FDR delivered the shortest timed inaugural speech in history. The parade and other festivities were canceled.  Many speculated FDR was also ill, which bore out some 70 or days later when he passed away and Harry Truman was sworn–in.
  • Which president had the most inaugural balls? Bill Clinton in 1997 when there were 14.
  • What happens if January 20 occurs on Sunday? The Chief Justice administers the oath to the president on that day privately and then again in a public ceremony the next day, on Monday, January 21.
  • Who was the first First Lady to accompany her husband in the procession from the Capitol to the White House? William Taft’s wife Helen Herron Taft.
  • Which president was not sworn in on a Bible? Theodore Roosevelt in 1901 who was instead sworn in on a book of laws.
  • Which president was the first to “affirm”, rather than “swear” the oath of office? Franklin Pierce in 1853, followed by Herbert Hoover in 1929.
  • Which president was the only to walk to and from his inaugural? Thomas Jefferson in 1801.
  • Has any President ever incorrectly state the Oath of Office? At his second inauguration in 2013, Barack Obama incorrectly said “I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully.” Unfortunately, the word “faithfully”  actually belongs between “will” and “execute.”
  • Who was the first president to feature a poet in the ceremony? John Kennedy had Robert Frost participate as the first poet in 1961; Bill Clinton followed suit in 1993 when Maya Angelou read at his inaugural.
  • Which inauguration was the first to be photographed? James Buchanan’s in 1857.
  • What was the first ceremony televised? Harry Truman’s in 1949.
  • How about the first on the internet? Bill Clinton’s second inauguration.
  • First President to Tweet from the stage?  Hmmmm, I wonder…

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We don’t know why it’s being done. We didn’t tell someone to do it.  We’re proud to have our name on the units.”

Robert Weghorst, chief operating officer for Don’s Johns, when asked by AP’s Matt Daly on why the logos were covered up on its portable toilet rentals used in the Presidential Inauguration.

 

IN THE NEWS

ERCC Endorses Pruitt – The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC) endorsed EPA nominee Scott Pruitt calling him a “highly-professional, thoughtful and effective” leader who can “strike an appropriate balance of environmental and economic objectives.”  In a letter to the Senate Environment Committee on the eve of its confirmation hearing, ERCC executive director Scott Segal said there is little doubt that Pruitt has fully immersed himself in the intricacies of the environmental statues that form the basis of EPA’s authority.   “The public, the environment, and EPA itself are better served when the Agency adheres closely to the statues that define its mission without attempt to stretch those statues beyond there logical breaking point.  Pruitt’s noteworthy commitment to the rule of law and transparency in the administrative process should ensure that all sides are heard and that resulting regulations are firmly grounded and effective.”  Segal takes on several questions raised by Pruitt opponents including  General Pruitt’s previous opposition to particular EPA rules    See more details here.

EPA Releases Phase II CAFE Standards – EPA released its final CAFE standards for phase II 2022-2025 – 14 months ahead of schedule.  When do EPA ever release controversial and complex issues so far in advance.   Here is the Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) Comment from CEO Robbie Diamond:

“Vehicle efficiency standards are fundamental to reducing the nation’s oil dependence and its many associated costs for our economic and national security. But we must respect the process through which these standards are reviewed. American mobility is changing and companies such as Uber and Lyft that have become critical parts of our transportation system did not even exist when these standards were created. We look forward to working with the incoming administration as it examines the national security advantages of vehicle efficiency standards and finds innovative ways to leverage them to improve American competitiveness.”

NHTSA Also Releases Traffic Fatality Data for 2016 – NHTSA also released its traffic fatality data for 2016.  Of course, this underscores the need to develop a set of policies to advance autonomous vehicle program which most safety advocates and experts insist will dramatically decrease traffic fatalities.  SAFE’s Diamond:

“Recognizing the paramount importance of public safety while, at the same time, fostering the ability of innovation to save countless lives and transform our energy landscape is the critical balancing act for industry and policymakers in the years to come.  Today’s announcement from NHTSA makes clear that America’s roads are dangerous.  A transition to autonomous vehicles, which are estimated to reduce roadway fatalities by 94 percent, cannot come soon enough.

Just last week, SAFE released a report from its Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety that includes recommendations to address public policy and safety issues that have the potential to slow or halt deployment of autonomous vehicles (AVs). In light of the significant regulatory challenges facing this rapidly-evolving industry, the Commission presents a number of best-practice recommendations to foster increased collaboration between industry and regulators, and improve public confidence in AV technology.

NC Co-op CEO Wins National Leadership Award for Communication Innovation – Curtis Wynn, CEO of Roanoke Electric Cooperative in Ahoskie, NC was awarded top honors in the cooperative industry’s “Spotlight on Excellence” program. Wynn’s selection for the 2017 J.C. Brown CEO Communication Leadership Award was announced at the national leadership conference for co-op CEOs hosted by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). The award, presented by NRECA CEO Jim Matheson, recognizes an electric co-op CEO who advances communication in the electric cooperative industry.  Wynn serves as secretary-treasurer for the NRECA Board of Directors. At Roanoke EC, Wynn expanded communications channels to more than 30 to include the cooperative’s blog, e-newsletter, mobile app and various social media platforms. He initiated “Straight Talk” Forums–a series in the co-op’s seven-county region giving Wynn the opportunity for face-to-face dialogue with the membership. One judge praised Wynn for embracing “numerous platforms to reach the members and share the co-op message.”

NOLA to Hire Coastal Reporting Krewe – The New Orleans Times-Picayune will create a Louisiana Coastal Reporting Team in early 2017 dedicated to in-depth coverage of the state’s ongoing, devastating land loss.  Award-winning environment reporter Mark Schleifstein and state news editor Drew Broach will lead the new team, which also will include contributions from veteran outdoors reporter Todd Masson and photographer/videographer Ted Jackson. Schleifstein and Jackson previously collaborated on “Oceans of Trouble: Are the World’s Fisheries Doomed?,” which won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for public service, and The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com staffs’ 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina.  Additionally, The Times-Picayune will add two full-time environmental journalists who will work exclusively on the Louisiana Coastal Reporting Team.  The creation of the Coastal Reporting Team is made possible in part by the Fund for Environmental Journalism, a grant-making program of the Society of Environmental Journalists.  Established in 2010, SEJ’s Fund for Environmental Journalism has disbursed more than $640,000 for journalism projects including position grants and story projects selected through periodic competitions. The Times-Picayune retains full editorial independence and authority; independent and separate agreements are maintained between SEJ and its donors.

Report: States With Clean Energy Attract Businesses – A new study undertaken released by the nation’s retail and technology industries concludes that states that are investing in clean domestic energy production are also the most likely to attract businesses, creating thousands of jobs in their communities. The new analysis, released by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) ranks all 50 U.S. states for the first time, based on the ease with which America’s most recognizable brands can procure domestic renewable energy such as solar and wind for their operations.  The Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index: State Leadership & Rankings, written by Clean Edge on behalf of RILA and ITI, notes that demand for clean energy among retailers and technology companies is expected to increase to 60 GW by 2025, the equivalent of powering over 43 million homes. Retail and tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Target and Walmart are among nearly half of the Fortune 500 companies seeking to locate operations in states with clean energy production due to fossil fuel price volatility and pollution concerns. The index is intended to inform business leaders and guide state policymakers hoping to attract new job-creating businesses and foster economic growth.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Report to Detail Impact of AVs for Those with Disabilities – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) and the Ruderman Family Foundation will release a white paper today at 1:00 p.m. revealing that two million employment opportunities could be opened up, and $19 billion in annual healthcare expenditures could be saved, if individuals with disabilities had access to the basic transportation needs that could be provided by autonomous vehicles.  Despite those with disabilities representing almost 20 percent of the U.S. population, the most recent government survey indicated that six million individuals with a disability had difficulty with mobility access.  The report—co-authored by Henry Claypool, Policy Director at the Community Living Policy Center at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Amitai Bin-Nun, Director of Autonomous Vehicle Initiatives at SAFE and Jeff Gerlach, Senior Policy Analyst at SAFE—contains a range of proposals for government and industry. Please dial (888) 567-1603 to participate.

CSIS to Host IEA Coal Market Report – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. that will feature Carlos Fernandez Alvarez, Senior Energy Analyst at the International Energy Agency, to present IEA’s Medium-Term Coal Market Report 2016. The report projects a decline of the share of coal in the power generation mix from over 41% in 2013 to approximately 36% in 2021 and highlights the continuation of a major geographic shift in the global coal market toward Asia. In addition, this year’s report has particular focus on Chinese dominance in global coal markets, productivity improvements and cost-cutting by producers, and the role of carbon capture and storage.

Senate Energy Hosts Zinke, Perry – The Senate Energy Committee will hold hearing for both Interior Secretary nominee Ryan Zinke and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to head DOE this week.  Zinke will testify this afternoon, while Perry will sit before the Committee on Thursday morning.

Senate Environment to Host Pruitt – The Senate Environment Committee is expected to hold a confirmation hearing for nominee Scott Pruitt on Wednesday January 18th at 9:00 a.m.

CSIS Panel to Look at Power Africa NatGas Effort – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a panel on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at Power Africa’s Understanding Natural Gas & LNG Options handbook with Assistant DOE  Secretary for Fossil Fuels Chris Smith, CSIS’s Africa Program expert Jennifer Cooke, EIA’s Angelina LaRose and US AID Deputy Coordinator Sean Jones, who heads USAID’s Power Africa. The natural gas handbook, led by DOE and drafted by a diverse group of experts, aims to foster shared understanding between government officials and private companies on the factors influencing successful natural gas and LNG projects in Africa. The 250-page document covers risk factors of various models and addresses issues around partner alignment, regulatory complicity, finance, and marketing. Angelina LaRose will discuss the EIA’s Natural Gas and LNG Market Outlook, and Sean Jones will elaborate on the extensive work of Power Africa.

Forum to Look at Taiwan, Energy – The Global Taiwan Institute holds its first public seminar of 2017 on Wednesday at Noon and will focus on Taiwan’s energy strategy. This timely seminar will look at the ways in which Taiwan is trying to re-orient its energy mix and potential opportunities to pursue energy cooperation in the Asia Pacific. The panel features Dr. Winston Dang, a former senior government official from Taiwan and thought leader in the field of energy politics and strategy in the Asia Pacific. The panel will be moderated by GTI Executive Director Russell Hsiao.

Forum to Look at Green Financing – Leaders in Energy will hold a Green Financing session on Thursday at 6:00 p.m.  The forum will examine current and anticipated sources for financing energy and sustainability projects under the Trump Administration, state, local, and international initiatives to see how they can be accessed by clean technology companies and entrepreneurs in the DC Metro region.

INAUGURATION DAY – January 20

POLITICO Sets Inauguration Hub – On Friday, POLITICO will transform the top floor of The W Hotel into its 2017 Inauguration Hub. With prime views of the Inauguration Parade route from our all-day networking lounge, the Inauguration Hub will be the premier destination for DC influencers to experience this historic moment. Live programming will include a full day of newsmaker interviews and discussions offering first-hand insights from new players in politics and policy, and an in-depth look at the changes ahead in the new Washington.   Full schedule of programming and speakers to be announced. Check out www.politico.com/inaugurationHub for updates.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Smart Cities Conference Set – The Smart Cities International Symposium, will be held on January 24-25 in Chicago.  The conference examines the latest technology advances and business models for the 21st Century connected city.

Mexican Energy Official to Address Challenges – Next Tuesday at 11:00 a.m., the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace holds a forum looking at Mexico’s energy reforms.  Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) has faced myriad challenges and opportunities since its first open licensing rounds in 2015. What can an independent regulatory agency achieve in a country that just opened its petroleum industry to private investments? Join the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) for a discussion with experts on global resource transparency. CNH’s Juan Carlos Zepeda will deliver a keynote, and Carnegie’s Deborah Gordon will moderate the discussion.

Energy Expert to Address NCAC Dinner – The National Capital Chapter of the US Energy Economists will hold its annual dinner on Wednesday evening, January 25th at Clyde’s Gallery Place.  The guest of honor and speaker is energy expert Amy Myers Jaffe.

WCEE Forum to Look at Solar Integration – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a forum next Wednesday on solar Integration.  In the past six years, U.S. photovoltaic capacity has expanded rapidly.  The FTC also recently held a public workshop and invited comments on this issue, including a discussion of “competition among solar directed generation or DG firms, between solar DG firms and regulated utilities, and between solar generation and other power generation technologies.” The discussion will address what role competition law may have in the market for the generation and distribution of electric power. We will consider both federal and state/local regulation, and consider arguments presented by advocates on either side of the issue.  Robert Ivanauskas of FERC’s Office of Energy Infrastructure and Security will address what role competition law may have in the market for the generation and distribution of electric power. We will consider both federal and state/local regulation, and consider arguments presented by advocates on either side of the issue.

USEA to Look at ND’s Carbon Management – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum on Wednesday ,January 25th at 2:00 p.m. to discuss carbon management issues in North Dakota.   The University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) is internationally recognized for its expertise in fossil energy research, and North Dakota’s state government and industry are interested in private / public partnerships in research that will allow the state to continue to develop and use its natural resources in an environmentally responsible manner.  EERC’s John Harju and Bill Sawyer from ALLETE Clean Energy will discuss new and exciting activities in North Dakota that are examining an integrated energy and carbon solution platform. The goal is to demonstrate that the electric utility industry, both regionally and nationally, can utilize our nation’s most abundant fuel while providing the foundation for the beneficial use of the CO2 produced, and do so in a cost-effective and environmentally sound manner.

AEI to Host Carbon Tax Discussion – AEI will host a panel discussion on carbon taxes on January 26th at 9:00 a.m. looking at whether the standard “efficiency” arguments offered by some conservatives in favor of a carbon tax make any sense at all given the various incentives of Congress and the bureaucracy.  Participants will include my colleague Jeff Holmstead, Heritage’s David Kreutzer, AEI’s Aparna Mathur, Roger Sant of the Summit Foundation RFF’s Roberton Williams, Resources for the Future; University of Maryland and AEI’s Benjamin Zycher.

Washington Auto Show Set – The Washington Auto Show will be held on January 27th to February 7th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  As the “Public Policy Show” on the auto show circuit, the 10-day public show is preceded by two Public Policy Preview Days of special events and announcements for officials in government, industry and the media on January 24th and 25th.  The events of the 25th will be on Capitol Hill in the Kennedy Caucus Room. Speakers will include Michigan Senator Gary Peters and Rep Debbie Dingell, Our friend Joe White of Reuters and GMU’s Adam Thierer and the Chamber’s Matt Duggan. The Washington Auto Show is also the largest public show in Washington, D.C. Over the course of its many years this beloved and historic D.C. tradition has attracted Washingtonians of all stripes – and political affiliations. Along with the engineering prowess on display among the more than 600 new models from over 35 manufacturers, the 2017 show will feature VIP tours led by award-winning automotive writers and a special exhibit area for live painting of “art” cars.

CSIS to Present IEA Gas Security Review – On Friday, January 27th at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Costanza Jacazio, Senior Gas Expert at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s Global Gas Security Review. Providing more transparency for LNG markets, the report assesses the degree of flexibility the global gas markets can provide in the wake of a demand or supply shock. Among other issues, the report seeks to address how much slack there is in the global gas system and the flexibility of LNG markets in practice.

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

CSIS to Host BP Energy Outlook – CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a discussion on Wednesday February 1st at 9:30 a.m. looking at the annual BP Energy Outlook with BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale. The BP Energy Outlook considers a base case, which outlines the “most likely” path for energy demand based on assumptions about future changes in policy, technology, and the economy. Beyond the base case, the Energy Outlook examines some of the key issues that will shape energy supply and demand through 2035 and explores possible alternative outcomes.

WM Host Annual Sustainability Forum – Waste Management will host leaders from global companies, representatives from municipalities across the country, experts, innovators and influencers, on Thursday, February 2nd at their 7th annual Executive Sustainability Forum at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz. The day-long event will feature renowned speakers and panel discussions on the e-commerce revolution and the conundrum of complex packaging and it launches a great week of golf with the WM Phoenix Open.  In addition, just one week after the presidential inauguration, keynote speakers Dana Perino, former Republican White House Press Secretary and now co-host of The Five on Fox News Channel, and Julie Roginsky, Democratic Party strategist and regular Fox News Channel contributor, will delve into anticipated changes in U.S. environmental policies and the possible implications for businesses and local governments.  An afternoon workshop tackling the emerging dialogue around Sustainable Materials Management and Lifecycle Thinking will facilitate a dynamic results-oriented session around changing goals to reflect broader environmental benefits.

Forum to Tackle 2017 Environ Agenda – On Friday Feb 3rd at 3:00 p.m., SEJ and the Wilson Center hold their annual what to expect in the year in environment session. SEJ will launch its new report, “Journalists’ Guide to Energy and Environment 2017,” presented by SEJ Board President and Climate Central Senior Science Writer Bobby Magill. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with six leading reporters and editors from Associated Press, Politico, MongaBay, Washington Examiner, and more to be confirmed.

Segal, Others Address Trump, Environment at SEJ Forum – The Society of Environmental Journalists holds a mini-conference Saturday Febuary 4 (and perhaps 5) in Washington DC on covering the Trump Administration on environment and energy. Speakers include EPA Transition Chief Myron Ebell, former EPA water chief Tracy Mehan, Bracewell energy expert Scott Segal, former EPA deputy administrator and climate change activist Bob Perciasepe. There will also be an all-star panel of reporters who have covered Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, Rick Perry and Rex Tillerson.

Annual Sustainable Energy Factbook Set for Release – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance will release their annual Sustainable Energy Fact book Feb 6th.  More on this as we get closer.

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update: Week of November 14

Friends,

In case you haven’t noticed, the last few nights, the Moon has been crazy bright.  Now that I have to walk our new puppy every night, the Supermoon has been really awesome to see.  A “supermoon” occurs when the moon becomes full on the same day as its perigee, the point in the moon’s orbit when it is closest to Earth.  Supermoons generally appear to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons. The Supermoon tonight will be the closest a Full Moon has been to Earth since January 26, 1948 and is the last night to really catch it until 2034 when it will even be closer and brighter.  Live Science offers a viewing guide here.

What a crazy finish to this crazy election.  Boy, do the results change things around DC especially in the environment and energy arena.  We are offering our insights and policy analysis.  We had a HUGE turnout for our election impacts webinar last week and we will continue to keep you updated on activities related to the transition.  We have already been chatting with many of you and are happy to continue answering your questions regarding transition, First 100 Days agenda, Congress and other information.   Also, if you are looking for more analysis, E&E TV hosts our friend and energy analyst Kevin Book to discuss the energy and environment landscape on the heels of Trump’s election.

With the election in the past and the transition beginning, we are quickly turning to the post-election legislative session, which has certainly lost a lot of its momentum.  That being said, there are several items that need to be completed.  Tomorrow Congress hits “go” with just a few weeks left in the 114th Congress and some unfinished business has been dramatically shortened.  Rumors around suggest that Republicans would rather deal with incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rather that the retiring Harry Reid.  So it seems like dramatic tax, budget and energy changes might just get wrapped up into a small CR, pushing everything to early next year.

Also this week ministers arrive in Marrakesh for week two of COP 22 to a much different political tone. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is participating today and tomorrow in sessions on carbon capture, innovation and clean energy, while Climate negotiator Jonathan Pershing arrived over the weekend.  There are also rumblings about a new Trump Administration trying to get out of Paris which actually is kind of silly since the agreement doesn’t really require us to do anything more than we are already doing in terms of mandatory GHG reporting.   More on this as we go forward.

Other events start tomorrow with a GenerationHub forum that will feature Holmstead and me, a enviros anti-pipeline rally at the White House, RFF-Stanford’s NatGas forum and USEA hosting Coal Council CEO Janet Gellicci.  On Wednesday, Senate Approps looks at the future of Nuclear.  And Friday, CSIS hosts IEA to release its World Energy Outlook and RealClearPoltics hosts an energy summit featuring AGA’s Kathryn Clay, SEIA’s Chris Mansour, AWEA’s Rob Gramlich and NEI’s Revis James, among others.

Finally, next Monday at the National Press Club, Gina McCarthy will give her final address.  Bracewell is sponsoring table so we will be there to hear her take as she departs after 8 years at the EPA.

We are on it… Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The last thing in the world any newly-elected president wants to do is go into complicated issues with blinders on.  As a result, they look to people as advisors and implementers that have a full understanding of the subject matter they are supposed to address.”

Scott Segal, head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group

 

PRG ELECTION ANALYSIS

Bracewell PRG Election Update – The 2016 election results have significant implications for companies across a wide range of industry sectors. From environmental policy to financial services to tax reform, President-elect Trump has committed to sweeping action on a variety of fronts, and will have a Republican-controlled House and Senate to work with on priority issues. Nevertheless, the GOP-led Senate is not filibuster-proof, and many of the finer points of Trump’s agenda remain unclear. Accordingly, it is important for interested stakeholders to begin thinking through how their own priorities will track with the next President and Congress. The Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP (PRG) has prepared this post-election report to identify some of the key issues slated for action in Washington next term. Our team of lobbyists, lawyers and strategic communications professionals combines decades of experience working on these issues in the private sector, on Capitol Hill and at federal agencies—and stands ready to help our clients make sure their voices are heard by policymakers and the public. For further details on the election results, click here.

Bracewell Webinar Sees Massive Attendance – Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group experts held an election wrap up on Wednesday with more than 500 participants.  Here is the audio file from Wednesday’s Bracewell PRG Election Analysis webinar:  https://bgllp.sharefile.com/d-sdf9ccd676b94f6f9  Here is a list of the speakers:

    • Host/Intro: Dee Martin
    • Scott Segal
    • Jeff Holmstead
    • Salo Zelermyer
    • Josh Zive
    • Curt Beaulieu
    • Paul Nathanson
    • Ed Krenik
    • Former TX Sen Kay Baily Hutchinson

 

The slides from the presentation are available here.

VIDEO: Election Day Takeaways and What to Expect in the Trump Presidency – Dee Martin and Scott Segal, co-heads of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, discuss their reactions to the surprising results of the 2016 elections and what to expect during the first 100 days of a Trump administration. view video…

VIDEO: Outlook for the Clean Power Plan and Other Environmental Issues – Scott Segal, co-head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, and Jeff Holmstead, head of the Environmental Strategies Group at Bracewell and former EPA Air Office head, discuss how the next President and Congress will confront issues such as climate change, the Clean Power Plan, and other environmental regulations. view video…

VIDEO: Outlook for Energy Policy – Dee Martin, co-head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, and former DOE Counsel Salo Zelermyer discuss what the results of the election may mean for oil and gas, renewable energy, and fuels. view video…

Detailed Policy Papers for PRG Here – There are also written policy analysis papers on the PRG site that details impacts of the election on a number of key issues, including Environment, Energy, Trade, Tax Issues, and Appropriations/Budget.

 

POST-ELECTION LEGISLATIVE SESSION PRIMER

Post-Election Legislative Session – Tomorrow, lawmakers will return to the Capitol for necessary post-election legislative session.  With just a few weeks left in the 114th Congress, the long list of unfinished business has been dramatically shortened.  Rumors around suggest that Republicans would rather deal with incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rather that the retiring Harry Reid.  SO it seems like dramatic tax, budget and energy changes might just get wrapped up into a small CR.

The Deadline – Lawmakers face a Dec. 9 deadline for the keeping the government running, but senior leaders plan to move a continuing resolution in the lame duck that will fund the government into early next year.

A Clean CR? – The election has made significant changes to the tone of the post-election legislative session.  More sources and media outlets are reporting that House and Senate GOP leaders plan to move legislation that funds the government at current levels into early next year.  This effort will split up showdowns over a government shutdown and a debt ceiling hike.  Pushing the issues to when Trump and a Republican Congress handle government funding is easier politically and gives the GOP more control over final budget outcomes.  Expect a CR to go to the March/April time frame.

The Tax Issues – One of the biggest issues to hit the agenda is whether Congress considers energy tax extenders as part of must-pass budget legislation.  Last year’s omnibus deal included a 5-year phased down extension of tax credits under Sec 45(commercial), Sec 48(commercial), and Sec 25D(residential) for wind and solar.  Already both House and Senate leaders have said they plan to have tax extenders that were inadvertently left out of the deal, at the top of the agenda when the post-election legislative session gets underway.  CEQ chair and energy advisor to President Obama Brian Deese also said these energy tax extenders must be renewed in a post-election session of Congress.  These seem to be part of any Democratic ask, but there are also a lot of other Republican-led extenders that may balance that out.

CCS Tax Credit – Speaking of the post-election legislative session, our friends at the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) have just posted their presidential transition memos on carbon capture, utilization and storage. With the lame duck session now just days away, action on 45Q and related policy priorities is building. NEORI expects new cosponsors on the Senate and House 45Q bills once Congress returns and are confident that this bipartisan, common-sense energy and climate legislation will pass this year.

Energy Legislation – While Sens. Murkowski and Cantwell continue discussions with House energy Conferees, most experts think it may be unlikely that enough progress will be made to have significant energy legislation face a vote.  Senate conferees last month sent the House a compromise proposal, and discussions are expected to step up once members return next week.  Now most think, the current discussions will be the primer to start discussions early next year.

LNG Permits Expedited In NADA – Our friends at Bloomberg First Energy are reporting that the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, is saying that Congress may pass legislation to expedite DOE approval for liquefied natural gas exports.  One reason they are optimistic is its inclusion of language speeding of the process in the House’s 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, currently undergoing conference with the Senate.

WRDA Still Possible – One thing that seems to have some momentum is the Water Resource Development Act reform legislation that was overwhelmingly approved by both Houses earlier this year.   The legislation includes resources for Flint’s water crisis.

What’s Out For Sure – There are a number of things that are definitely out, like any thought that Merrick Garland’s nomination will be considered.

 

IN THE NEWS

NRECA Aim to Hire Vets – Faced with the challenge of filling 15,000 jobs over the next five to seven years, America’s electric cooperatives want to do more than simply thank veterans for their service this Veterans Day—they want to offer them a job.  To achieve this goal, NRECA launched Serve Our Co-ops; Serve Our Country, a nationwide program to provide veterans, service members and military spouses with the opportunity to continue their mission of service by joining the ranks of America’s electric co-ops. The program provides participating co-ops with resources and training to help them implement nationally-recognized best practices in attracting, hiring, onboarding and retaining veterans.  50 co-ops have signed on to the initiative since its launch earlier this year. In July, Jonesboro, Ark.-based Craighead Electric Cooperative hired the first veteran under the program when it welcomed aboard Air Force Capt. Jeremiah Sloan as an electrical engineer. “He is a totally professional young man,” Craighead CEO Brian Duncan said. “Not only did we get a quality candidate to serve our members, we got a local guy who wanted to get back home and a veteran who has served our country well.”  Click here to view a brief video about the program, including interviews with Sloan and Duncan on why vets are a good fit for electric co-ops.  For more information on Serve Our Co-ops; Serve Our Country, contact Dan Riedinger, NRECA Media Relations, at (202) 403-7517 or dan.riedinger@nreca.coop.

AGA Leads Effort Aimed at Scammers – The American Gas Association, in coordination with a number of natural gas utilities and industry trade associations, will launch this week an inaugural campaign, titled “Utilities United Against Scams.” This collaborative effort is geared toward promoting awareness and prevention of the increasing number of scamming incidents targeting utility customers across North America. As a result of this effort, the third Wednesday in November every year will be designated as Utilities United Against Scams Day.  This national campaign aims to address the wide-range of utility scams including telephone, mail, email, door-to-door and other scams that involve criminals posing as utility company representatives and demanding immediate payment or personal information from customers. AGA member companies across the nation will continue to work alongside law enforcement, industry stakeholders and political leaders at the local and national level to denounce these disruptive scams.

Georgetown Report Says Clean Energy Booming – A new report from the Georgetown Climate Center shows that a dramatic shift to clean energy is taking place across the U.S.  Between 2011 and 2014, installed wind energy capacity grew by more than 40 percent nationally, for example, while solar capacity grew by 577 percent nationally. The Georgetown Climate Center works with states and cities to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, and to help communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. Its new report focuses on actions in 19 states that are leading a shift to cleaner energy. These actions have contributed to a 6 percent drop in overall United States greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector between 2012 and 2015.

REPORT: Global Emission Flat Despite Economic Growth – The Global Carbon Project says in a new report the global CO2 emissions stayed flat for the third year in a row despite  modest economic growth around the globe.  The report said the expanded natural gas use and lower coal use in China is driving the trend.  While the global economy grew by over 3%, emissions growth remained relatively flat.  Emissions are projected to rise by only 0.2% this year, marking a “clear break” from growing 2.3% in the decade to 2013. Emissions grew 0.7% in 2014.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

COP 22 Marrakesh – The 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) continues this week as ministers arrive in Marrakesh, Morocco to focus on action items in order to achieve the priorities of The Paris Agreement, especially related to adaptation, transparency, technology transfer, mitigation, capacity building and loss and damages.  It will also look at many of the difficult conflicts that were disregarded during last year’s negotiations.

JHU Forum Looks at Energy, Climate Policies – Today at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins SAIS will host a forum on energy and climate policy proposals for the next Administration.  The discussion features former State Department Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs David Goldwyn, former NSC energy advisor Bob McNally, RFF’s Roberton Williams and NRDC’s Ben Longstreth.

Hoover to Discuss Conservative Environmentalism – The Hoover Institution hosts a discussion on “Conservative Environmentalism” tomorrow at 8:45 a.m.  Philosopher and renowned author Sir Roger Scruton agrees that the environment is one of the most important political problems of our age, but argues in How to Think Seriously About the Planet that conservatism is far better suited to tackle environmental problems than either liberalism or socialism. Sir Roger will lay out his framework for thinking about the environment in a keynote address to be followed by an audience Q&A. This will be followed by a roundtable discussion on both the philosophical and practical dimensions of a conservative environmental policy, touching on issues ranging from the ethical precepts behind conservative environmentalism to the policy ideas that could be put forward in a conservative environmental agenda.  Steve Hayward moderates a panel with Stanford’s Jeremy Carl and GMU’s Mark Sagoff.

House Resources to Look at Energy Independence Legislation – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing tomorrow  at 11:30 a.m. on legislation to move toward domestic energy independence.  The legislation empowers States to control the development and production of all forms of energy on all available Federal land.

API Holds Cybersecurity Conference – The 11th annual API Cybersecurity Conference & Expo will be held in Houston at the Westin Houston Memorial City tomorrow and Wednesday.  The forum will focus on methods for thwarting the bad guys, what the scene looks like over the horizon and how the latest technologies can help you counter cyber espionage, address cyber warfare, and make your cyber efforts secure.  Cybersecurity is critical to the infrastructure of the oil and natural gas industry. The energy industry, including oil and natural gas, is ranked 2nd highest of all industries most likely to suffer a cyberattack. This conference is organized by API to provide an opportunity to network with cybersecurity professionals, and to candidly discuss challenges and share solutions. These sessions, essential to cybersecurity, are chosen and presented by recognized experts in the field.

RFF, Stanford Looking at NatGas Siting – Resources for the Future (RFF), Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Stanford Natural Gas Initiative Webinar are hosting another webinar in the series on New Research on the Science and Economics of Natural Gas tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. looking at optimal siting of shale gas and oil development.  This is the third event in a joint RFF/Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment/Stanford Natural Gas Initiative.  The siting of shale gas and oil development—everything from well pads to pipelines—is based on a complex network of factors, including resource availability, lease ownership, environmental concerns, local zoning, and community preference. Experts at Stanford University and Resources for the Future are considering ways in which these various factors come into play in siting decisions, including what “optimal siting” might look like in a variety of contexts. Stanford’s Anthony Kovscek will open the webinar by looking at optimal siting of shale development from a technical perspective, considering the geologic characteristics of formations that drive companies’ drilling decisions. RFF’s Juha Siikamäki will then present a new model considering optimal siting of shale gas and oil infrastructure from the perspective of minimizing habitat fragmentation and other landscape-level impacts. Finally, Tisha Schuller from the Stanford Natural Gas Initiative will discuss optimal siting of shale gas and oil infrastructure from the perspective of community and industry interactions.

USEA to Host Coal Council Head –The US Energy Assn will host National Coal Council CEO Janet Gellici tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.  Gellici will present the findings and recommendations from the Council’s recently released report in response to the Secretary Moniz’s request – “CO2 Building Blocks:  Assessing CO2 Utilization Options.”  Moniz had tasked the National Coal Council with preparing a white paper assessing market opportunities for CO2 utilization.

TransForum East Set for Nov – GenerationHub’s TransForum East is scheduled for tomorrow And Wednesday at the Capital Hilton in DC. TransForum East brings together electric transmission executives who operate, plan, build, regulate and invest in electric power transmission systems in Eastern North America.  Both Jeff Holmstead and I will be presenting; Jeff on CPP while I will focus on election impacts.  This regional forum provides two days of interaction and collaboration on the business of power transmission. You’ll gain insight from case studies of successful business models, regional planning strategies, financing trends and practical lessons learned from new construction and upgraded transmission projects occurring in the United States and Canada.

AWEA Fall Symposium Set – AWEA will host its Fall Symposium tomorrow through Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, TX.  The wind energy industry has a powerful vision to take us to 10% U.S. wind energy by 2020 and 20% by 2030.  Reaching these ambitious goals brings different challenges for different segments of the industry.  But how does that take shape in each step from development to distribution?  Participants in this year’s Fall Symposium will work together to identify those concrete steps that can be taken to keep our industry on target. Sessions will focus on the collaborative approach needed to reach industry goals bringing together strategic thinkers of developers, OEMs, suppliers, corporate purchasers of wind energy, and utilities.

CCS Forum Set – The Global CCS Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. to look at the future of carbon capture.  The Institute will be launching The Global Status of CCS: 2016 at a dedicated event at the 22nd conference of the parties (COP 22) in Marrakech on Tuesday, 15 November.   The report is an essential reference for industry, government, research bodies, and the broader community, providing a comprehensive overview of global and regional CCS developments. Following the report launch, we will run a number of webinars commencing in November 2016, through to early 2017.  A Summary of the Global Status of CCS: 2016 will be accessible on our website from 15 November, and includes updates on key CCS facilities.  Speakers will include Jeff Erikson of the Global CCS Institute, Armond Cohen of the Clean Air Task Force, Brookings’ expert Adele Morris and former Rep Bob Inglis.

AU to Host Energy Lecture – Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., American University will host a lecture by Professor Imre Szeman (University of Alberta) on the way interdisciplinary perspectives can inform our understanding of energy uses and forms. Drawing from his work in the field of Energy Humanities, Professor Szeman will explore the social, cultural, and political changes needed to make possible a full-scale transition from fossil fuels to new forms of energy.

Hearing to Focus on Nuclear Pollution – The Helsinki Commission will hold a hearing tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in 2325 Rayburn on nuclear pollution in the Arctic.  This briefing will examine the policy of the United States, the Russian Federation, and other Arctic Council nations toward the Arctic. Experts will present a general overview of U.S. and international policy in the Arctic, the broader geopolitics of the region, and the imminent threat posed by nuclear pollution.

Enviros to Rally at White House – Environmental groups will hold anti-pipeline rallies tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. including one at the White House.  It should be fun times.

Forum to DOE, National Intelligence – Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m., the Institute of World Politics will hold a special presentation on the role DOE’s plays in national intelligence with Mr. Jesse Reisman, DOE’s Technical Principal in the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.  Reisman has been working in the federal government since 2002, primarily in the cyber-related areas of counterterrorism, intelligence and inside threat.  Reisman’s presentation will focus on the role DOE plays in national intelligence, and will also provide a high-level discussion about the IC (mission, components, etc.) and the security clearance process.

Wilson to Host Petrobras President – The Wilson Center will host Petrobras President Pedro Parente on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  Parente will address the challenges and opportunities facing Brazil’s largest enterprise in today’s tough energy market. After his presentation, he will engage in dialogue with members of the audience interested in learning about the outlook for Petrobras and energy in Brazil. Petrobras has a key role to play in the national effort to overcome Brazil’s current economic downturn, regain trust and confidence from domestic and foreign investors, and put Brazil back on the path of sustainable and equitable economic growth.

Forum to Look at China Environment Reforms – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the International Fund for China’s Environment (IFCE) will host a briefing on Wednesday at discussing China’s ongoing efforts to implement environmental reforms and take action against climate change. Three environmental professionals from China will discuss the challenges and progress associated with setting emission reduction policies, implementing national climate targets at the local level, incentivizing supply chain sustainability, and more.

Heritage to Host Coal Film – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. , the Heritage Foundation will host the public premiere of “Collateral Damage: Forgotten Casualties of the Left’s War on Coal” in its Lehrman Auditorium.  “Collateral Damage” is an MRC TV investigative journalism project that documents and exposes the trials of West Virginia families and communities who have been hurt by Environmental Protection Agency regulations targeting the coal industry.

Sen Approps Panel to Look at Nuclear – On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in 138 Dirksen, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will convene a hearing looking at the future of nuclear power.  The witnesses will include former CIA director and current MIT Professor John Deutch, Oak Ridge Lab Nuclear and Engineering Lab Associate director Alan Icenhour and NRDC nuclear expert Matthew McKinzie.

Solar Focus Conference SetSolar Focus 2016 will be held Wednesday and Thursday at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel looking at East Coast solar policy. This year’s theme is “Cracking the Code on East Coast Solar” and will feature sessions from energy storage to fixing oversupplied SREC markets.

Ag Biomass R&D Group to Meet – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee will be meeting Thursday and Friday at the Hamilton Crown Plaza in DC to develop advice and guidance that promotes research and development leading to the production of bio-based fuels and bio-based products.

Economists Look At Carbon Tax Questions – The National Economists Club will host a discussion on Thursday at Noon to discuss low–income households and carbon tax.  Chad Stone, Chief Economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will speak.

Webinar to Look at Solar Issues, Regulation – Our friends at Power Markets Today will be hosting a webinar on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. on what solar means for retail power regulation.  The webinar will offer a high-level, comprehensive view of how the growth of solar is changing the industry’s regulatory landscape.  The event will feature Inger Goodman of Just Energy Group, SolarCity’s Sanjay Ranchod, CC Song of Marin Clean Energy and SoCal Ed’s director of energy policy Gary Stern.  Our fiend James Downing will moderate.  Call 301-769-6812 (1-888-637-7776 toll-free in the US and Canada) to register.

Columbia Law School to Look at Post-Election Policy – The Columbia Law School Executive Education will hold a seminar on Friday in New York that will look at what to expect after the election.  The forum will gathers professors who are experts in environmental law, immigration issues, regulatory matters, national security concerns, health care, and tax rules to discuss how they predict the next presidency and a new Congress will affect the business and legal landscape.  After a long and brutal battle, no matter who wins in November, there will certainly be fallout. Benefit from the wisdom of this Columbia Law School brain trust to anticipate what will change, and how, so that you can be well-prepared to advise your clients and implement effective strategy.

CSIS to Host IEA’s World Energy Outlook – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s “World Energy Outlook 2016.” This year’s projections for different scenarios to 2040, based on the latest data and market developments, cover all fuels, regions, and technologies. WEO 2016 gives particular attention to the impact of Paris, renewables, the road ahead for fossil fuels, Mexico’s energy outlook and energy and water issues.

RCP Energy Summit Set – RealClearPolitics will host a unique energy summit on Friday at Noon at the Newseum following the pivotal 2016 election. Prominent energy policy experts will discuss this transition phase and where we go from here. Each speaker will present a brief overview of their industry, along with the challenges they face, the opportunities ahead, and their outlook for the future.  RealClearPolitics Washington Bureau Chief Carl Cannon will moderate the event that will feature LIUNA President Terry O’Sullivan, Kevin Avery of ConocoPhillips, AGA’s Kathryn Clay, SEIA’s Chris Mansour, AWEA’s Rob Gramlich and NEI’s Revis James.

Grid Expert to Address Cybersecurity – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists (USAEE) will host its monthly luncheon on Friday at Carmines Restaurant at Noon.  Paul Feldman, former Chairman of the Midwest ISO, will focus on the clear and present danger associated with cyber-attacks, what we are doing about it, and what needs to be done better. He will differentiate between IT and OT systems, and how to relate the two into an integrated whole – and protect against attacks like the successful Ukraine attack.

CSIS to Launch India Urban Initiative – CSIS will launch of the U.S.-India State and Urban Initiative on Friday at 2:00 p.m.  The Initiative is a unique effort, backed by the U.S. government, to engage directly with Indian states on energy-related issues, and to form partnerships that can help India extend the benefits of electrification to all its citizens while achieving its goal of quadrupling renewable energy use by 2022. The Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies, with support from the Energy and National Security Program at CSIS, will act as Initiative secretariat. Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, and Amos J. Hochstein, Special Envoy, Bureau of Energy Resources from the U.S. Department of State will discuss the potential at the subnational level in the U.S.-India relationship, India’s energy picture, and the future of the Initiative.

 

IN THE FUTURE

McCarthy to Address Press Club – EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will address the National Press Club on next Monday November 21st at Noon.  McCarthy plans to focus on the environmental and public health legacy of the Obama Administration, with an emphasis on efforts to combat the global effects of climate change.

Thanksgiving – November 24

RFF to Look at Natural Disaster Issues – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a forum on Monday November 28th looking at disaster losses and climate change.  At this event, Robert Muir-Wood, chief research officer of Risk Management Solutions and author of The Cure for Catastrophe: How We Can Stop Manufacturing Natural Disasters, will explore the human causes of disaster and the new technologies and policy tools available to minimize their impact. In the book, he examines how decisions made today—about how homes are built, where people choose to live, how society prepares, and how leadership communicates warnings—determine whether a disaster can be withstood tomorrow.

Senators Headline Rachel Carson 75th Celebration – EESI will host a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s historic arrival on the American environmental and literary scene on November 30th.   Leading authors, environmental leaders, and members of Congress will all speak at the Rachel Carson Council’s all-day, one-of-a-kind event. Participants include Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich and Reps. Chris Van Hollen, John Tierney and several newly-elected environmental champions. They will be joined by environmental leaders including Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV); Carol Werner, Executive Director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI); Linda Pentz Gunter, Beyond Nuclear; Mae Wu, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); Amanda Hitt, Food Integrity Campaign; Zoe Ackerman, Rachel Carson Council; and others.  Confirmed award-winning authors include Sandra Steingraber, Living Downstream; Jennifer Ackerman, The Genius of Birds; Deborah Cramer, The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, An Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey; Kristen Iversen, Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Shadow of Rocky Flats; Melanie Choukas-Bradley, A Year in Rock Creek Park; Susan Cohen, Shorewords, and Bob Musil, Rachel Carson and Her Sisters and Washington in Spring. Their books will be available for purchase and personal signing.

EPA RVO Deadline for Ethanol – November 30

AGU Meeting to Focus on Climate – The Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union will be held on December 12-15 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.  It is the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, attracting more than 24,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and other leaders. Fall Meeting brings together the entire Earth and space science community from across the globe for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The technical program includes presentations on new and cutting-edge science, much of which has not yet been published.

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.

PRG’s Segal and Holmstead Weigh in on SCOTUS CPP Order

Today, PRG’s Scott Segal and Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead weighed in on yesterday’s order by the Supreme Court to stay the Clean Power Plan, part of the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate emissions in order to combat global warming.

Here is a quote from the article, published in USA Today:

“Doubtlessly weighing on the minds of the Court was a 2015 Supreme Court casedealing with another Clean Air Act rule. In that case, known as Michigan v. EPA, the Court found the rule to be illegal, but the decision came after power plants had already been forced to spend tens of billions of dollars to comply with the rule and was too late to save dozens of coal-fired power plants that shut down because they couldn’t afford the cost. Then, after the Court ruled against EPA, a lower court allowed the rule to remain in effect — in part because so much compliance investment had already been made. Maybe this a case of ‘fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.'”

Click here to read the complete column.

PRG’s Scott Segal Interviewed for E&ETV on EPA’s Clean Power Plan & “Just Say No” Option

PRG founding partner Scott Segal was interviewed for E&ETV’s OnPoint segment today by Monica Trauzzi. The discussion centered around the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and the possibility of a “just say no” option for states. Segal also explains why he believes a reliability safety valve is only part of the solution to ensuring reliability under the power plan.

The interview can be found by clicking the photo above, and a full transcript of the interview can be found here.

Energy Update: Week of March 23

Friends,

 

Here we go again…A great round of NCAA tournament games this past weekend, taking us down to the Sweet 16.  Some of the surprise winners are familiar names like UCLA, Xavier and Michigan State.  And of course, among the “Shockers” were Kansas, UVa and Villanova’s early exits.  Maybe a little surprising, but not totally.  Big names like UK, Duke, Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Louisville, etc continue on.  On the women’s side, top seeds are rolling with So Carolina and Notre Dame through to the Round of 16.  Today, Maryland should have their hands full with undefeated Princeton and UConn takes on Rutgers as they advance the second 8.

 

On March Madness, our friends at Iberdrola are having some fun with the idea.  Last week they rolled out Megawatt Madness tourney – matching up our 64 renewable locations around the country (mostly Iberdrola wind and solar fleet).   They have moved to the Sweet 16 so click and vote…

 

Finally, the 2015 NCAA Frozen Four hockey pairings were announced yesterday.  WCHA Champ Minnesota State-Mankato is top seed with North Dakota, Boston and Miami, getting No. 1 seeds. Regional play begins Friday and Saturday in Fargo, North Dakota (West Regional), Manchester, New Hampshire (Northeast), Providence, Rhode Island (East), and South Bend, Indiana (Midwest). The Frozen Four will be played in Boston at TD Garden on April 9th and April 11th.  Sleeper this year could be Harvard who won the ECAC and the UP’s Michigan Tech who are solid and return to the tourney for the first time since 1981.

 

Speaking of hockey, there is a big game in town (actually Kettler Arena in Arlington, VA) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.   The Congressional Hockey Challenge will feature members of Congress and staff (including a couple of ringers from the Canadian Parliament) playing a team of lobbyists to raise funds for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (the legendary SCOTUS justice was a huge hockey fan), USA Warriors Hockey and DC inner city youth hockey program Ft. Dupont.  POLITICO Playbook’s Dan Lippman profiles the event and I will be on the ice as part of the officiating crew.  Tickets are $10 so please turn out for this fun event and great cause.

 

Besides lacing up their skates, members will be active this week with several important hearings.  It all started this morning in West Virginia where Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, member of the both Sen. Energy and Enviro Committees held a field hearing in Beckley on EPA’s Clean Power Plan.   There is also a Small Business Committee field hearing in Louisiana with Chair Dave Vitter today on how small businesses are supporting America’s energy renaissance.  Following last week’s hearing on coal ash legislation, EPA’s OSW head Mathy Stanislaus discusses the EPA Rule/legislation in the much anticipated Round 2 tomorrow.   Also tomorrow, Senate Ag hits at the EPA’s Waters of the US rule where my colleague Lowell Rothschild (202-828-1711) is an outstanding resource.  Finally, House Ag will hold two hearings this week on the reauthorization of the CFTC.  My colleagues Bob Pease (202-828-5824) and Dave Perlman (202-828-5804) are great experts on the topic.

 

With the DOE Quadrennial Energy Review being released any day now, Secretary Moniz is supposed to visit Senate Energy on Thursday.   The hearing is not yet for sure as the QER may be delayed.  What is not delayed at Senate Energy is the RETURN of our friend Rosemarie Calabro Tully, who has been energy press secretary for the Bipartisan Policy Center since leaving the Committee when Chairman Bingaman retired, to ENR where she will communications for ranking member Maria Cantwell.

 

The big legal event in DC this week is the Supreme Court of the US hearing the long-awaited mercury rule challenge on Wednesday.  Michigan AG Bill Schuette leads 19 other states in arguing the rule is not attainable and too costly.  My colleagues Jeff Holmstead, Rich Alonso and Scott Segal can respond to any and all of your questions.

 

There are budget hearings this week on Forest Service, DOE with Secretary Moniz on Wednesday, PHSMA, House Energy Approps with all four NRC Commissioners and FBI Director James Comey.

 

Our friends at the Wall Street Journal are hosting ECO:nomics in Cali this week while Heating and AC company leaders flood DC for AHRI annual Washington DC Symposium (#AHRISymposium on Twitter).  If fact, some of those HVAC guys will likely weigh in at Friday’s DOE public hearing on the hotly-contested new Furnace efficiency rule.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer, former DOE Senior Counsel and attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani who represents energy efficiency and technology clients highlighted that DOE’s proposed rule clearly admits that increasing the standards on residential furnaces leads to increased switching from natural gas to electric furnaces which actually increases GHG emissions.  Expect this argument to continue to come up on Friday.  American Gas Assn and furnace-makers at AHRI both have expressed serious concerns about the effectiveness of DOE’s rule as well.

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Iberdrola Promoting Renewables with “Megawatt Madness”  – Iberdrola Renewables launched a bracket-style tournament last week called Megawatt Madness, which features 64 of our renewable power sites across the United States. The tournament allows employees, landowners, community members and the general public to vote for and share their favorite sites from the Iberdrola Renewables fleet.  This campaign features a website-based bracket, where participants can vote based on images, descriptions, and facts about each site. Participants are encouraged to share on social media to spread the word about what makes their site so special using the hashtag #IR64.  The winners of each round of the tournament will be determined by the amount of votes and social media shares they receive. Bracket match-ups will occur for one month, with the champion being selected after April 10.  Starting today, the sweet 16 are out there so go vote.

 

Atlantic Sunrise Will Create Jobs, Economic Growth –A new study from Penn State University says that the design and construction of Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline project will generate approximately $1.6 billion in additional wages, revenues and investments to the regional and state economies of Pennsylvania and Virginia.  The report clearly shows how vital this project and others like it are for Pennsylvania’s economy.  “Economic Impacts of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Project,” lead author Seth Blumsack, Associate Professor of Energy Policy at Penn State, finds that the proposed project would have a major, positive economic impact on the Pennsylvania and Virginia economies where new pipeline facilities would be built and operated.   According to the researchers, the design and construction of the Williams Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project could support approximately 8,000 jobs and an associated $870 million in economic value added during the construction period. Additionally, the ongoing operation of the pipeline would generate approximately $1.9 million in annual economic impact, supporting 29 jobs.   In a related report titled “Estimating the Impact of the Atlantic Sunrise Project on Natural Gas Consumers,” lead author Andrew Kleit, Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics at Penn State, found that consumers served by the Transco pipeline in the southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions could have saved $2.6 billion from 2012-2014 due to increased access to lower-priced Pennsylvania gas supply because of Atlantic Sunrise.

 

Interior Issues BLM NatGas Fracturing Rule – In another Friday afternoon release special, the Interior Department released its long-awaited rule governing hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on federal and American Indian lands.  The rule, issued by the Bureau of Land Management, will require companies using the process to strengthen wells with concrete barriers to prevent water zones; disclose the chemicals used to the online FracFocus database; and secure recovered waste fluid with stronger interim storage tanks.  The rule will also require companies to submit more information on preexisting wells to prevent cross-well contamination.

 

IER Hammers Rule, Administration – The Institute for Energy Research President said the Administration’s hydraulic fracturing regulation saying the Obama administration is being “dishonest” about its intentions. IER President Tom Pyle: “This new hydraulic fracturing rule isn’t about protecting the environment, but rather about curtailing domestic energy production, which has been this administration’s goal all along.” IER said production on federal lands has actually declined under this administration in the midst of record energy production on state and private lands.  Pyle: “Imposing federal controls on hydraulic fracturing is this administration’s latest regulatory scheme for disrupting America’s domestic energy boom. From proposing to block off ANWR and parts of Alaska’s energy-rich offshore areas to slow-walking drilling permits and fast-tracking green energy leases, President Obama remains determined to strangle domestic energy production by any means necessary.  Pyle Finished by saying the administration’s hydraulic fracturing rule is a solution in search of a problem and states are already regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands and have done so successfully for years without federal interference.

 

Drillers Sue Over Rule – Not wasting any time, IPAA and the Western Energy Alliance filed a federal lawsuit against the Interior regulations, challenging BLM’s issuance of regulations related to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The Complaint, filed in federal district court in Wyoming, characterizes BLM’s rulemaking as “a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns” and requests the regulations be set aside because the administrative record lacks the factual, scientific, or engineering evidence necessary to sustain the agency’s action. States have an outstanding record of protecting the environment and safeguarding the public. This new rule is simply another regulatory overreach by the Obama Administration that will hurt America’s oil and natural gas producers. WEA President Tim Wigley: Interior “struggles to meet its current workload of leasing, environmental analysis, permitting, monitoring, inspecting, and otherwise administering the federal onshore oil and natural gas program.  Yet it is undertaking an entirely new regulatory regime that it has neither the resources nor the expertise to implement.”

 

Bracewell Experts are Available – Despite another Friday policy announcement from this Administration; this one while NCAA basketball games will be filling most offices on Capitol Hill, in DC and around the nation., we have experts at B&G.  Should you need to discuss this long-awaited announcement on regulations for hydraulic fracturing on Federal land natgas drilling, feel free to call my colleagues Jason Hutt (202-828-5850, Jason.hutt@bgllp.com) and Lowell Rothschild (202-828-5817, lowell.rothschild@bgllp.com).  They will be happy to provide background information, on-the-record quote and policy/legal analysis.

 

More Drama on the Post Fact Check – You may recall last week, we detailed the March 13th Post Fact Checker article by Michelle Ye Hee Lee on recent remarks made by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.   ACCCE fired back a strongly-worded response highlighting several factual errors and omitted other important facts on state opposition to EPA’s proposal.  Now, ACCCE submitted a Letter to the Editor to The Washington Post, however, the paper rejected the letter as the original article did not appear in print.  Now ACCCE is releasing their L to E from ACCCE head Mike Duncan.

 

The Letter –The letter from Duncan reads: Your Fact Checker’s article “Inhofe’s misleading statements on carbon emissions rule” on March 13 was remarkable for two reasons.   First and foremost, the Fact Checker failed to check any facts with ACCCE or NERA. A single call or email was never even attempted, despite a lengthy piece which criticizes analyses by both organizations.  Secondly, there are a large number of facts the Fact Checker got wrong. For example, the Fact Checker incorrectly claims NERA assumed only a “worst-case scenario” when analyzing the economic impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan. NERA’s report, however, makes it crystal clear that several scenarios were modeled, including a best case scenario (referred to in NERA’s report as the “state unconstrained” scenario). The Fact Checker also claims NERA did not analyze regional compliance approaches. Had the Fact Checker read the report or checked with us, she would know for a fact that NERA devoted an entire 10-page appendix to explain its analysis of a regional compliance scenario and the impacts (for example, 41 states would experience double-digit electricity price increases).  In light of the numerous errors in this reporting, we can only assume the Fact Checker’s nose is growing by the moment.

 

Moniz, Pritzker Lead Trade Mission to China – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will lead a delegation of 25 American companies on a Business Development Trade Mission to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, China next month.  The trade mission will help U.S. companies launch or increase their business operations in China for Smart Cities – Smart Growth products and services, such as smart buildings, green data centers, carbon capture utilization and storage, energy efficiency technologies, clean air and water technologies, waste treatment technologies, smart grid and green transportation.  Southern Company and Brightsource Energy are among the companies already working innovative energy technologies with China and others internationally.

 

Platts Cap Crude Looks at Exports – Our friends at Platts Capitol Crude podcast takes a deep dive into the ongoing debate over crude exports following last week’s Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. The debate has dipped into the future of US oil production, current refining capacity and the influence exports may have on foreign policy. It also comes as the US fossil fuel industry finds itself in the midst of a “body swap” movie where policy has not kept pace with a radical change.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

IHS Execs to Discuss Current Oil Issues at CSIS – As part of its ongoing assessment of the impact of low oil prices and policy on the sustainability of domestic energy production, the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Dan Yergin, Kurt Barrow and Rick Bott of IHS today at 1:00 p.m. to present their most recent analysis looking at the oil export question in light of the fall in oil prices and the impact on investment and in terms of the supply chains in the non-oil producing states. The analysis considers 60 separate supply chain industries and provides granular impact analysis to fully understand the economic and job growth impact across the nation. Frank Verrastro, Senior Vice President and James R. Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics at CSIS, will moderate.

 

House Ag to Look at CFTC – The House Agriculture Committee will hold two hearings tomorrow and Wednesday on the reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.  The CFTC — whose oversight of futures markets expanded significantly under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act — has been awaiting reauthorization since September 2013.  My Colleagues Bob Pease (202-828-5824) and Dave Perlman (202-828-5804) are great experts on the topic.

 

NRC Commissioners Head to House Approps for Budget, Yucca – The House Energy and Water Appropriations panel will hear from NRC Chairman Stephen Burns and his fellow commissioners Kristine Svinicki, William Ostendorff and Jeff Baran about the agency’s fiscal 2016 budget request.  Topics concerns include Yucca Mountain, Nevada repository and many other topics.

 

Senate Ag Tackles WOTUS – The highly-controversial Water of the US Rule will be the subject of a hearing at Senate Ag tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.   Vocal critic and ag advocate Pat Roberts will chair the Hearing.  Witnesses will include Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary Donald van der Vaart, Kansas Department of Agriculture assistant secretary Susan Metzger, Josh Baldi of the Washington State Department of Ecology,  Ouray County, CO commissioner Lynn Padgett and several other farmers representing different sectors.

 

BPC to Host Moniz on Nuclear Future – The Bipartisan Policy Commission will hold a discussion tomorrow morning with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz looking at the progress to date and examining pathways forward on the future of nuclear waste disposal.   In January 2012, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future recommended a phased, adaptive, consent-based approach for finding a safe, permanent solution for managing nuclear materials.  BPC head Jason Grumet will host the discussion with Moniz.

 

ELI to Look at Coal Ash Rule – The Enviro Law Institute will host a forum tomorrow at Noon for an in-depth examination of the final coal ash rule. ELI’s expert panel will explain the rule’s workings and answer questions on safety, environmental guidelines and other topics.  On December 19, 2014, EPA’s Administrator signed the first ever federal rule regulating the disposal of coal ash, a combustion byproduct from coal-fired power plants.  EPA’s final rule determines that coal ash should be regulated as a solid waste under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), not a hazardous waste, and provides new national minimum criteria for the coal ash disposal.

 

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference Wednesday and Thursday.  Speakers will include Bracewell’s Scott Segal and folks from Congress and the Administration.

 

Forum to Look at Indigenous People, Industry – The CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  that will look at maximizing partnerships between indigenous communities and the extractive sector.  The discussion will focus on ways companies in the extractive industry engage indigenous communities in their areas of operation. Many extractive companies find themselves operating in close proximity to indigenous people and their territories. Working constructively with these communities is now a major business priority. The panelists will offer their perspectives on how both companies and indigenous communities can benefit from greater cooperation, whether through creating new education opportunities, offering extractive industry-related job training to potential indigenous employees, and by encouraging local economic growth.  The panel features Simon Boyce of the Navajo Nation, BHP Billiton’s Maria “Malala” Recart and former Canadian House of Commons Member Gary Merasty.

 

WSJ ECO:nomics Conference to Feature Leaders –  Wednesday to Friday, the editors of The Wall Street Journal will hold its ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, CA.  The event brings together global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts, policy makers and leading thinkers at ECO:nomics 2015 to identify and assess the most compelling opportunities — and pressing risks— emerging around the world in businesses impacted by the environment.  Through on-stage interviews with leading figures and interactive sessions with peers in diverse industries, participants at ECO:nomics 2015 will debate, discuss and get the inside story on essential issues: investing in innovation, disrupting current business models, the new meaning of sustainability and the future of the environmental movement, where energy policy is heading.  Speakers will include  Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, WV Sen. Jo e Manchin, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, coal magnate Bob Murray, former Brightsource CEO and current Google exec John Woolard, Dan Yergin, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute.

 

SCOTUS to Hear Mercury Case – The Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) will hear the long-awaited mercury rule challenge on Wednesday morning.  Michigan AG Bill Schuette leads 19 other states in arguing the rule is not attainable and too costly.  My colleagues Jeff Holmstead, Rich Alonso and Scott Segal can respond to any and all of your questions.

 

Moniz to Head to Senate Approps Panel – Secretary Moniz returns the Senate Approps panel on Energy and Water with Science advisor Frank Orr on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the DOE Budget.

 

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

 

Senate Energy to Hear From Moniz on QER – The Senate Energy Committee will review the upcoming release of DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review in a hearing on Thursday featuring Secretary Ernie Moniz.  The hearing was scheduled but may be delayed if the report is delayed.  Stayed tuned on whether it makes.

 

O’Connor to Address Law Symposium – ELI, ECOS, GWU’s Journal of Energy and Environmental Law and Environmental Law Association, RSM Eramus University Rotterdam  and the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement will host the Shapiro Enviro Law Symposium at GW Law School on Thursday and Friday.  Former SCOTUS Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will be among the many speakers.

 

NCAA “Sweet 16” Games Start – 12:10 p.m. Thursday.

 

DOE Furnace Public Hearing Set – DOE will host its public hearing on its Furnace Rule on Friday.  DOE rolled out its new efficiency proposal for certain residential natural gas-fired furnaces in Mid -February.  Here is the link for the rule.   My colleague Salo Zelermyer, former DOE Senior Counsel and attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani who represents energy efficiency and technology clients said “DOE’s proposed rule clearly admits that increasing the standards on residential furnaces leads to increased switching from natural gas to electric furnaces. Such an approach would actually increase lifecycle GHG emissions and stands in stark contrast to the goals of the President’s climate action plan.”  We are working on a number of these EE rules with many different members of the EE and HVAC industries and these are items that Salo watched closely when he was at DOE.  He is a great resource.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

FERC GHG Technical Conference to Focus on EPA Rule – FERC holds its final GHG technical Conference in St. Louis on March 31st.  Ameren CEO Warner Baxter is expected to present to the panel.  You may recall his recent white paper in which Ameren, a coal-heavy utility in Missouri, feels like some tweaks in the EPA rule can not only make the plan achievable, but also save consumers billions. The full announcement, including a quote by FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur, is available here.  The full text of the notice in the Federal Register, including instructions on how to register for the conferences, is available here.  Commissioner Tony Clark released his own statement, available here.

 

Nat Gas Roundtable to Host DOI Offshore Expert – The Natural Gas Roundtable is pleased to announce that Janice Schneider, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at Interior (DOI), will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon on Tuesday, March 31st, where she will discuss the current offshore energy production landscape.  Schneider oversees four DOI bureaus including the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. In this capacity, she guides the Department’s management and use of federal lands and waters and their associated mineral and non-mineral resources, spanning approximately 245 million acres of federal surface lands, 700 million acres of federal mineral interests and the 1.7 billion-acre Outer Continental Shelf.

 

RFF to Host Offshore Energy Discussion – Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment will hold an RFF First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday April 1st at 12:45 p.m., where leading experts will examine offshore oil and gas leasing reform in the US Arctic. Panelists will explore how these new regulations and strategies meet the need for integrated Arctic management and what work remains to be done to design a regulatory approach that appropriately balances resource development, environmental protection, and community livelihoods. The conversation will cover recommendations put forth in the National Petroleum Council’s Arctic study (to be released at the end of March) and lessons for the Arctic from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

 

Columbia to Host Panel on Sustainability – Columbia University’s Earth Institute will hold a forum on the state of sustainability policy on Tuesday April 7th at 6:00 p.m. in NYC at the Low Memorial Library.   The event will feature the Earth Institute’s Steve Cohen, Columbia researcher Dong Guo,; NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Director Nilda Mesa and our friend Andy Revkin.   This panel will explore the role that public policy plays in influencing behavior within organizations and among individuals, in order to facilitate and speed up that transition.

 

Solar Forum to Cover Solar Now, Future – Greentech Media will host a Solar Summit in Phoenix, AZ on April 14th – 16th at the Wigwam Resort.  Speakers will include SRP’s Lisa Singleton, Sun Power CEO Tom Werner and our friends Stephen Lacey of Greentech Media,  Shayle Kann of GTM Research, and Brad Heavner of the Cal Solar Energy Industry Assn, among many others.   The Summit focuses on what the solar industry needs to know and includes the research and economic analysis of GTM Research’s team.   This year’s agenda includes panels, engaging debates among the industry’s top thought leaders, and an interactive polling session.   Topics will include dynamics in the global solar market, system performance, asset management, technology integration given new energy customer and the  U.S. solar market in 2016 and beyond.

 

BNEF to Host Energy Summit – Bloomberg New Energy Finance will host a summit on April 13-15th focused on the future of energy at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.  The Future of Energy Summit 2015 is a unique forum providing an unrivaled meeting place at the intersection of the energy markets, regulation, industry, finance and policy.  A decade into the modern age of clean energy, and nearly a decade into the new age of shale gas abundance, the global energy system is not just growing, but shifting shape. At Summit 2015, the agenda will look at how phase change is likely to accelerate for the future.  Al Gore, former Duke CEO Jim Rogers, former Sen. Judd Gregg, former UN Climate head Connie Hedegaard, PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo CSIS expert Sarah Ladislaw and our friend Ethan Zindler of BNEF will speak among the many others.

 

Forum to Focus on Food, Water Nexus – The Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, National Geographic and Lockheed Martin are hosting the third in a series of roundtables, The Energy-Water-Food Nexus: Risks and Opportunities for the Private Sector on April 17th at 1:00 p.m. at National Geographic HQ. The roundtables identify the nexus risks to businesses, and examine why and how leadership from the private sector, in collaboration with key stakeholders, is critical to successfully managing the synergies and tradeoffs among water, food and energy infrastructure for the benefit of society, business and the environment.  This roundtable will focus on best practices and opportunities for harnessing innovation to address nexus challenges in the U.S., and globally.

 

FERC’s Honorable, Former Sen Bingaman Address Utility Issues Conference – On April 19th to 22nd in Santa Fe, NM, the Center for Public Utilities’ Advisory Council will hold a Current Issues conference dealing with important topics affecting the industry today. Through a series of panels, industry leaders and Commissioners discuss the current issues facing the Electric, Natural Gas, Telecommunications and Water industries. The panels are designed to create meaningful dialog between the panelists and audience in an informal setting conducive to audience participation.  Former NM Senator Jeff Bingaman, former Chairman, Energy & Natural Resources Committee and FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable speak Monday morning April 20. Lisa Edgar, NARUC President, will also be on the program, along with many NARUC Committee Chairman.

 

Fiorina To Address Lugar Speaker Series – On Monday, April 20th, the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series will hold its the 25th Annual Lugar Series Luncheon featuring Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and Prospective Candidate as its keynote speaker.  The event will be held at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

 

Tillerson, Hess Kinder, Others Headline CERA WeekCERAWeek 2015 will be held on April 20th through 24th in Houston, TX.  CERA Week usually offers comprehensive insight on what’s ahead for global energy. The oil price collapse has created new risks and realities – with profound impacts on key regions, industries, and economies. The event features industry and thought leaders proving fresh understanding of geopolitics, technology, markets, investment, strategy and regulatory policy.  Speakers will include Peabody Energy’s Greg Boyce, Exxon’s Rex Tillerson, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, BP’s Bob Dudley, Energy Secretary Moniz, former BrightSource exec now at Google John Woolard and many more.

 

Perino to Hold Book Event at Press Club – Our friend Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush and current co-host of The Five, will discuss and sign copies of her new book “And the Good News Is…:Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side” at an April 24th book rap scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the ballroom at the National Press Club.

 

ACORE Policy Forum Set – ACORE will hold Its Renewable Energy Policy Forum on April 22-23 at the Westin City Center in Washington, DC.  ACORE’s Policy Forum champions the progress of the industry in reducing costs and deploying at scale, and will feature policymakers, industry leaders and other perspectives to outline challenges and highlight opportunities facing the sector. The Forum will drive bipartisan renewable energy policy priorities and strategy for the next two years, setting up a successful long-term outlook for the industry. The outcome of the Forum – the policy agenda for renewable energy policy – will be shared with the President and Congress, as well as governors, legislators, and regulators in the states.  Speakers will include Energy Secretary Moniz, EPA’s Gina McCarthy, former FERC Chair John Wellinghoff, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Georgia PSC Commissioner Bubba McDonald, and our friends, Joe Desmond of Brightsource Energy, Dan Reicher of Stanford, Michael McAdams of the Advanced Biofuels Coalition and AWEA’s Tom Kiernan.

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of September 8

Friends,

 

It is a tough Monday given that I am still recovering from a fabulous SEJ conference in New Orleans and a weekend trip to central NY for college lax/FH recruiting visits for Hannah.  It was a lot of traveling, only made worse by the first-Monday-after-Labor-Day traffic!!!  ARGGH… Thank goodness the news media reported this morning that Kate and William will be having another royal baby to get me over the agony!

 

The fun doesn’t stop on the trip into the office though.  Congress rolls back into town tomorrow after the August campaign fest and the action (or “non-action” action is heating up).  Not much expected on energy, but the usual hearty election perennials are expected to be hot topics like Keystone, the long-delayed Renewable Fuel Standard and energy exports.   One that won’t be on the agenda: Gas Prices since they are down more than 25-cents in the last month or so.  While this price slide is not unusual as we move into fall, prices have been lower this year and will stay off the election campaign screen.

 

On the hearing schedule, tomorrow, the House Energy Committee launches back into action with an important hearing on state responses to the new EPA rules, and it will feature some heavy hitters in the state PUC community.  Other action includes a Wednesday hearing in House Science on energy independence and the Bakken Shale.

 

The hearings also are even outside the beltway.  Today, House Resources held a field hearing in Harrisburg on endangered bat issues and tomorrow they will focus on several bills aimed at reforming the ESA process.  My colleague Eric Washburn is an excellent resource on these issues and can be reached at (202-412-5211).  Senate Environment is looking at Chesapeake Bay restoration in Annapolis lead by Ben Cardin. And at 1:30 p.m., DOE’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis will host a public meeting in Newark, New Jersey, on the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER).  SoCo’s Tom Fanning will be attending the event with Secretary Moniz, which will examine electricity transmission, storage and distribution in the eastern electricity interconnection of the U.S.  Finally, The Atlantic will launch its new American Energy Series in New Orleans on Wednesday (See Below).

 

In addition to the SEJ conference last week, my colleagues, including Mayor Giuliani, spoke at the Institute for Energy Law Shale Plays Conference in Pittsburgh, detailing the important role that shale is playing with energy exports and independence.

 

Finally, last week, we reported that India wasn’t attending the September 23rd UN Meetings on climate change in NYC.  We also have now found that China will not attend either.  The UN and climate advocates are blithering about how it doesn’t matter that they are not going to attend the NYC climate talks, don’t kid yourself… IT DOES and they know it.  Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Giuliani, Segal Headline Shale Law Conference – Former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani headlined the Institute for Energy Law and the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation’s 5th Law of Shale Plays Conference last week in Pittsburgh.  Giuliani detailed the important role that shale is playing with energy exports and independence in a Keynote Discussion with my Bracewell colleague Scott Segal.   Giuliani urged President Obama to fast-track applications to export natural gas as a means to promote energy production domestically and influence foreign policy.  If exports of liquefied natural gas had been approved five years ago, he said it would give the U.S. another tool to deal with Russia today.  Other speakers included my colleagues Jason Hutt and Lowell Rothschild.  The event will also feature a keynote conversation with former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, hosted by PRG’s Scott Segal.

 

From the BP Decision – In case you missed it, there was a decision in the BP Macondo case last week.  I know you all covered it and many of you got into the details with my colleague Jason Hutt last week.   I did see one great line on page 122 that I thought you might find interesting given the work we do:  “The Macondo well was drilled in deepwater, which adds certain complexities not found in shallower waters or onshore. “

 

Diesel Power Evolving to Increase Power, Reduce Emissions – At the Environmental Protection Agency’s 10th annual West Coast Collaborative meeting the Diesel Technology Forum highlighted the evolution of diesel power as workhorse and economic engine through the transformation to near zero emissions with a future focus to help California and the nation meet energy and climate goals.  DTF Executive Director Allen Schaeffer: “Clean diesel is a national success story and for the last 10 years the West Coast Collaborative has played a key role in bringing stakeholders together.  This will form a solid foundation for the future as attention shifts to increasing the penetration of new technology diesel engines and reducing carbon dioxide (C02) along with smog-precursor NOx.  The inherent efficiencies of diesel technology coupled with the use of more renewable fuels and technology advances ensure it a continued key role in the future for California and beyond.”  Schaeffer appeared on a Clean Technologies Panel with Erik White, Chief of the mobile source control division of the California Air Resources Board, and representatives of CALSTART and the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition. The Panel was moderated by Dr. Matt Miyasato, deputy executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.  More than 100 stakeholders attended the Collaborative’ s annual Partner’s Meeting, which was hosted by Environmental Protection Agency Regions 9 and 10. The Collaborative is a public-private partnership between leaders of federal, state and local government, the private sector, academia and environmental groups dedicated to the reduction of diesel emissions and advancing clean air technologies and practices. The Collaborative is part of the National Clean Diesel Campaign.

 

NYT story Focuses on Energy Boom Driving Change in HeartlandThe New York Times continues its focus on energy today with an article by Nelson Schwartz highlighting the new energy production and how it has become “a real game-changer in terms of the U.S. economy.”   The article focuses on Youngstown, Ohio and a rebirth of its once-booming manufacturing sector.  NYT: “The turnaround is part of a transformation spreading across the heartland of the nation, driven by a surge in domestic oil and gas production that is changing the economic calculus for old industries and downtrodden cities alike.”

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

SoCo CEO Fanning, Moniz to Headline DOE Energy Review Meeting – DOE’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis will host a public meeting today in Newark, New Jersey to receive stakeholder input to the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), an administration-wide effort to make recommendations regarding key infrastructure needed for the transmission, storage and distribution of energy.  The Newark meeting will examine electricity transmission, storage and distribution in the eastern electricity interconnection of the U.S. The meeting will include panel discussions on building and operating the appropriate amount of transmission infrastructure for future needs, coping with new challenges and opportunities related to distribution, and business models and regulations of regulated utilities. Following panel discussions, the public will have an opportunity to make statements.   Southern Company CEO Tom fanning will speak, as will PSE&G’s Ralph Izzo and DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz.

 

RTO Auction Set for This Week – PJM is holding its first incremental capacity auction for the 2016/2017 delivery period this week. Results will be released on September 19th.

 

SEIA to Release Solar Market Report –Today at 1:00 p.m., SEIA and GTM Research will hold a webinar covering the highlights of the U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q2 2014 Report.  The U.S. solar industry continued to grow rapidly in Q2 2014, with impressive year over year growth led by a strong performance by both the residential and non-residential PV sectors. The webinar highlights trends in Q2, both at the national level and in some of the top state markets. The discussion will also include detailed PV and CSP market forecasts for the rest of 2014 and beyond.  Speakers will include Cory Honeyman Solar Analyst, GTM Research and Shawn Rumery of SEIA.

 

House Energy to Host State Officials on GHG Rule – The House Energy panel will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the EPA GHG rules and their impact on states.  The hearing will feature officials from state environmental, utility and legal offices.  Witnesses will include Texas PUC Commissioner Ken Anderson, Montana PSC Commissioner Travis Kavulla, AZ DEQ Director Henry Darwin, Indiana DEM Commissioner, Tom Easterly, RI PUC Commissioner, Paul Roberti, Maryland PSC Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman, and Washington state Utilities and Transportation Commission Chair David Danner.

 

Senate Enviro to Hold NRC Nomination Hearing – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a Nomination hearing for Jeff Baran and Stephen Burns to be Commissioners at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in Dirksen 406.

 

House Transpo Panel to Look at Enviro Reviews – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Highways and Transit Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow on surface transportation infrastructure projects focusing on case studies of the Federal Environmental Review and Permitting Process.   Witnesses will Include Carlos Braceras, executive director of the Utah Transportation Department; Lynn Peterson, secretary of the Washington State Transportation Department; Carlos Swonke, director of the Environmental Affairs Division of the Texas Transportation Department; and Michael Kraman, acting CEO of the Transportation Corridor Agencies, testify

 

House Science to Address Bakken Crude Oil Concerns – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. focused on the characteristics of Bakken crude,  The hearing will focus on whether Bakken crude is more volatile than other crudes.  Witnesses will include DOT Pipeline Administrator Tim Butters, and DOE Fossil Dep Assistant Secretary Chris Smith.  A second panel will include Kari Cutting of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, John Auers of Turner, Mason, & Company and Syracuse Fire Department Deputy Chief of Special Operations Mark Zoanetti.

 

Women Energy Leaders to Discussion Issues, Challenges – The WCEE Women in Leadership Committee will hold a forum tomorrow at Clyde’s Gallery Place at Noon to discuss women in Washington Leadership on energy issues.  Panelists will include Tasha Parker, Senior Vice President and Digital Energy Lead at Edelman; Liz Sidoti, Head of U.S. Communications at BP; Elizabeth Thompson, Vice President of US Climate & Political Affairs, and President at Environmental Defense Action Fund; and Heidi VanGenderen, Director of Public Engagement at the U.S. Department of Energy.

 

Forum to Look at Nuclear Proliferation – The Stimson Center will hold a forum on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. to separate fact from fiction on the proliferation risks posed by nuclear power. The event marks the release of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center’s latest research publication, “Moving Beyond Pretense:  Nuclear Power and Nuclear Proliferation.”  The panel will include Stimson’s Brian Finlay, Nonproliferation Policy Education Center Executive Director Henry Sokolski,  Georgetown’s Matt Kroenig and Virginia Tech expert Patrick Roberts.

 

Hensarling to Address Govt Overreach – On Wednesday at Noon, Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center in DC will host a conversation with Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling on government management risks and American prosperity and freedom.  Through an ever-growing, increasingly complex scheme of regulations, unelected and unaccountable agencies in Washington are increasingly turning the free market into a perfectly safe, “risk-free” system that de-incentivizes innovation, dampens the entrepreneurial spirit, and threatens prosperity. Worse, this new system erodes constitutional checks, flouts the constitutional balance of power, and risks our freedom. We need a new direction—a way forward that reignites economic growth by fostering risk-taking and innovation so all Americans have more opportunities to improve their lives.

 

Atlantic to Launch Energy Series in NOLA – On Wednesday, the Atlantic will launch a national event series “Elections,” with the first stop in New Orleans.  The event/series will examine the political, economic, scientific, and social imperatives for crafting future energy policy.  The NOLA event will feature Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne, NOLA Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Rep. Walt Leger, former Rep Chris John who know is CEO of Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, Eric Smith of the Tulane Energy Institute and Robert Thomas, Director of the Center for Environmental Communications Loyola University in New Orleans.

 

Webinar to Look at Crude By Rail Issues – Our friends at Stillwater Associates in Cali will hold a webinar on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. EST to discuss crude by rail issues.  Advances in drilling have brought about an energy boom in the U.S. This boom has led to a dramatic shift in crude oil logistics. To make up for the lack of pipeline capacity, producers have turned to moving crude-by-rail (CBR). In this free webinar, we will discuss the rapid growth of CBR from production in the Mid Continent to refineries on the East, West and Gulf Coasts. Participants will learn about the system of moving crude on train cars, the impact on stakeholders and public safety, and how regulations are evolving to solve the safety issues.  Michael Soares and Megan Boutwell  will speak.

 

Forum to Look at Arctic Climate Through Art – On Wednesday evening, the Atlantic Council will hold an even focused on the hard science of Arctic climate change and different Mediums to express it.   The Atlantic Council’s Young Atlanticist Program will hold a roundtable discussion with prominent artists and scientists to discuss the role of visual arts in communicating Arctic climate change science to the public, and the next generation of scientists.   The discussion will feature an artistic presentation and critique, followed by a moderated discussion. The Arctic Climate Change Emerging Leaders Fellowship (ACCEL) is an initiative of the Atlantic Council and Ecologic Institute. This event is the first in a series of events corresponding with Arctic 101, a transatlantic collaboration between ACCEL Fellows in Washington, DC and Berlin, which informs the next generation about Arctic climate change through innovative media, and encourages young people to develop a broader understanding of Arctic issues. The ACCEL Program is supported by the Allianz Foundation for North America.

 

Green Living Expo Set – The 2014 Green Living DC Expo will be held on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at the University of the District of Columbia’s Dennard Plaza – Van Ness campus.  New this year, events will be designed to be “Zero Waste,” meaning water bottles will be discouraged, refuse will be recycled, compostable and recycled paper and plastic goods will be used and food waste will be composted, among other environmentally-friendly initiatives.   Nearly 50 exhibitors will be on hand to help attendees discover why DC is steadily becoming the model of a sustainable city. Green businesses, energy-saving devices, green roofs, locally grown food, urban forests, urban biking, and green infrastructure are just a few of the featured topics and services that will be available. Visitors can consult with environmental experts while enjoying demonstrations, live music and local food. The event also includes panel discussions, speaker presentations, and an eco-bike tour around the Van Ness campus and the surrounding communities to highlight leading examples of urban sustainability. Kids aged K-12 will be entertained and educated with interactive displays, games and more provided by exhibitors and UDC’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences.

 

WRI to release Global Shale, Water Report – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., the World Resources Institute  will hold a special briefing on the report “Global Shale Gas Development: Water Availability and Business Risks.” This analysis, authored by experts from the World Resources Institute, will the first to show how freshwater availability could limit shale oil and gas development in many parts of the world.  Lead author Paul Reig will detail the report’s findings, conduct a tutorial for the interactive web map accompanying the report, and answer questions.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Marshall to Host Curry on Climate Issues – On September 16th, the George Marshall Institute will hold a discussion by noted climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, who will make the case that the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified. The key issues to be discussed are evidence reported by the IPCC AR5 weakens the case for human factors dominating climate change in the 20th and early 21st centuries, weaker linkages between anthropogenic climate change and extreme weather, and the importance of natural climate variability and challenges to decision making under deep climate uncertainty.  Arguments are presented that greater openness about scientific uncertainties and ignorance, and more transparency about dissent and disagreement, would provide policymakers with a more complete picture of climate science and its limitations, and ensure that the science community, policymakers, and the public are better equipped to understand, respond and adapt to climate change.

 

Pace Webinar Looks at GHG Rule – On Next Tuesday, September 16th at 1:00 p.m., Pace Global will hold a roundtable discussion on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan as they provide their perspectives on the program and summaries of select analyses performed to date. Many questions have been voiced about this proposed rule. Given the near-term deadline of October 16 for submitting comments to the EPA on the Clean Power Plan on the proposed rule, impacted organizations need to formulate informed positions for federal comment submissions and for discussions with the state stakeholders on implementation planning.

 

Stanford Climate Experts to Address Issues – On September 17th at the Hoover Institute, scientists from the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment will travel to Washington, D.C., to lead a panel discussion on the findings of their latest work related to climate change impacts and risks.  Topics will include regional “hot spots” where the effects of climate on atmospheric conditions will be most profound and potentially disruptive, water management in the face of increased water scarcity, resiliency challenges and efforts in U.S. cities and urban regions and impacts on global agriculture production and responses.  A question and answer session will follow panelists Noah Diffenbaugh, David Lobell and Buzz Thompson’s remarks.

 

American Energy & Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit  Set –As part of the American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness (AEMC) Partnership, the Council of Competitiveness and the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will co-host the 2014 AEMC Summit next Wednesday at the Reagan Building in DC.  The event is an annual gathering of preeminent leaders from industry, government, academia, labor, and the national laboratories to address critical national imperatives in manufacturing and energy.  The 2014 AEMC Summit is one of several activities launched through the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative to achieve the dual goals of  increasing U.S. competitiveness in the production of clean energy products by strategically investing in technologies that leverage American competitive advantages and overcome competitive disadvantages, as well as increasing U.S. manufacturing competitiveness across the board by increasing energy productivity through strategic investment in technologies and practices to enable U.S. manufacturers to increase their competitiveness through energy efficiency, combined heat and power, and taking advantage of low-cost domestic energy sources.

 

Wilson Center to Look at Energy , Security in China, Asia – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Wednesday, September 17th at 10:30 a.m. on energy and security in China and Asia Pacific. China’s search for expanded, more reliable, and more sustainable sources of energy to fuel its development has become a major driver of China’s foreign relations. Beijing’s recent agreement to purchase Russian natural gas via a new Siberian pipeline and its use of drilling platforms to assert sovereignty claims in the South China Sea demonstrate that energy contracts, exploration and production have become primary goals and tools of Chinese foreign policy. The challenges and opportunities of China’s rise cannot be understood without expert appraisal of its energy needs and strategies – and consideration of alternative policy responses.  Speakers will include expert Amy Myers Jaffe, Mikkal Herberg of UC San Diego, Wilson’s Jan Kalicki, former State Department official David Goldwyn and several others from government and energy industries.

 

Forum to Tackle Energy Exports – Rice University’s Center for Energy Studies will hold a breakfast forum  on Wednesday September 17th looking at regulation, politics and the economics of US energy exports.  Although the U.S. currently ranks as the world’s top producer of crude, policies put in place more than 40 years ago largely prevent that oil from accessing international markets. The national de facto ban on crude oil exports has started to generate interest and attention from Washington – along with a fair share of controversy. WY Sen. John Barrasso will address the issue as will a panel featuring our friend Mike Catanzaro and Rice’s Ken Medlock.

 

Forum to Look at National Labs, National Security Role – The Technology, Policy, and National Security Series, co-sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories and the George Washington University, will hold a forum on Wednesday, September 17th at 5:30 p.m. on the  contribution of the National Laboratory System to U.S. National Security.  Speakers will include Paul Hommert, Director, Sandia National Laboratories, Charles McMillan, Director – Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Adam Schwartz, director of the Ames Lab.

 

Minot Forum to Discuss Nuclear Road Map – The Minot (ND) Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a forum on Thursday September 18th at the Army-Navy Club on strategic nuclear enterprises and the road ahead.  There will be some 14 speakers on the agenda.

 

NYU Forum to Look at Climate Engineering – On Thursday, September 18th  at 1:00 p.m., New York University’s DC campus will host a seminar on Climate engineering (CE).  Also known as geoengineering, CE encompasses a set of proposed ideas that aim to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere or to reflect sunlight away from the Earth to counter some of the effects of climate change. In the past decade, CE has garnered prominent attention in scientific and policy circles and environmental discourse in Europe, North America and other regions and countries. In the United States, the National Academy of Sciences is set to present its report on geoengineering by the end of the year. At the international level, the IPCC recently included climate engineering in the summary for policy makers of its working group I and working group III reports in its Fifth Assessment, as well as including extensive sections on the topic in all three of its full working group reports.  Speakers include Wil Burns, of the Washington Climate Geoengineering Consortium and AEI Geoengineering expert Lee Lane, among others.

 

Solar Report to Address Trends – On Thursday, September 18th at 2:00 p.m., the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s will release its 2014 U.S. Solar Market Trends report answers these questions by providing public data on U.S. solar installations in 2013 by technology, state and solar market sectors. It offers insight on the major factors affecting the solar market, such as photovoltaic prices, strong consumer demand, available financing, renewable portfolio standards in some states, and financial incentives from the federal government, states and utilities. The report includes ranking of Top 10 States in several categories.  Solar Market Trends Report author and IREC Vice President Larry Sherwood will take an in-depth look at PV installations in 2013, including growth trends by sector and state rankings for installations. If you’re involved in the solar industry, or wish to become involved, this webinar will provide valuable information about the rapidly changing solar market in the U.S.

 

Forum to Look at Carbon Accounting, Vehicle Fuels Research – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday September 18th at 2:30 p.m. examining recent research regarding the carbon dioxide (CO2) intensity of transportation fuels, such as crude oil and ethanol. The panel will also consider the economic costs and benefits of renewable fuels as a CO2 reduction strategy.

 

Forum to Look at Energy Company Start Ups – Potential Energy DC will host a discussion on Thursday September 18th in McLean to Look at funding opportunities for energy companies. Speakers will provide insight into grants for concepts, demo and post-demo options, and share their perspectives as angels and VCs. Also hear from PEDC’s CFO-in-residence about how to position your company for success.

 

UN Climate Summit Set – The UN will host a climate summit on September 23 in NYC.  The summit will be hosted by the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon for generating  “political momentum on climate action” ahead of the December climate deal negotiations in Lima, Peru.   President Obama is expected to address the forum.

 

Richardson, Perino, Ridge to Headline Shale Insight Conference – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold SHALE INSIGHT 2014 on September 23 – 25 in Pittsburgh focusing on shale development, featuring some of the most prominent industry and government leaders. The event will feature three days of pre-conference workshops, technical and public affairs insight sessions, major keynote addresses, and a dynamic exhibit hall featuring all the major shale players.  Speakers will include former Energy Secretary and NM Governor Bill Richardson, former PA Gov and first Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former White House Press Secretary and Fox News Personality Dana Perino, XTO President Randy Cleveland and many more.

 

NY PSC  Chair to Address 100th Energy Breakfast – ICF International holds its 100th Energy Breakfast at the National Press Club on September 24th.  Energy expert Audrey Zibelman will speak.  As Chair of the New York Public Service Commission and former COO of PJM, Zibelman will share the issues involved in trying to gain consensus within the power industry in a time of great flux.   She will address challenges and questions including reliability, rates environmental issues and regulators’ roles.

 

Inglis to Headline  Midwest Energy Conference – The Midwest Energy Policy Conference will be held in St. Louis on September 30th and October 1st.  The event will address the 2014 environmental and energy rulings of the SCOTUS, the path forward following the EPA greenhouse gas 111(d) ruling and what makes successful state energy plan programs relevant and successful in several key focus areas (economic development, education, research, regulations, portfolio mix, biofuels, and more)  The Keynote speaker will be former SC Rep. Bob Inglis.

 

Shale, Coal Exports Conference Set – Law Seminars International will host a forum on October 1st and 2nd in Baltimore.  The event is co-hosted by Bracewell’s Chuck Shoneman and will focus on export policies for coal, oil and natural gas.  B&G’s Scott Segal will also join a panel to discuss the politics of export policies.

 

USEA Forum Set – The US Energy Assn will host its 7th annual Energy Supply Forum at the National Press Club on October 2nd.

 

RESA to Convene 3rd Annual Retail Energy Markets Symposium — The Retail Energy Supply Association’s 2014 Energy Competition Symposium will hold its annual conference in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 2, a half-day event exploring the leading issues affecting retail energy competition nationally.  They will also address the future of competitive retail and wholesale energy markets, product innovations for retail customers and improving the shopping experience for consumers.  Distinguished speakers include Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Chairman Thomas Johnson, Cheryl Roberto of the Environmental Defense Fund, Kristin Munsch of the Citizens Utility Board, Bruce Weston with the Office of Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, Sam Randazzo of the Industrial Energy Users, Ohio Gas Association President Jimmy Stewart, PUCO Commissioner Asim Haque, EnerNOC’s Katie Guerry, former Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Philip O’Connor, former PUCO Chairman Todd Snitchler, Clean Power Finance’s Sierra Peterson, and Karen Moury with Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney.  The symposium will feature a keynote address by Ohio State Senator Bill Seitz, Chairman of the Public Utilities Committee.

 

Shale Water Expo Set – On October 14 and 15, Shale Water Expo 2014 will be held in Houston at the  Stafford Convention Centre.  The event is focused on shale play water management is the only national fluids-specific event for the oil and gas industry.  It will present timely, in-depth insight from industry leaders sharing their expertise on water management, logistics, sourcing, recycling, market forecasting and industry trends.

 

ANGA, Penn State to Host Gas Utilization Conference – Penn State University and ANGA will hold a forum on October  14-15 in Canonsburg, PA at the Hilton Garden Inn.  The conference aims to develop a better understanding of natural gas development issues across the nation and the impact shale plays have on the world energy market.  Top industry experts, government officials and academic researchers will address the major issues driving the natural gas revolution as America moves to expanding its use of natural gas for transportation, manufacturing and power generation.

 

Holmstead to Address EPA Rules at FL Conference – The Florida Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association will hold a forum at its annual conference in Jacksonville on October 29-30th on the proposed Section 111(d) guidelines for CO2 emissions from existing utility units.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead will address the panel as will out friend Mike Kennedy of Duke Energy.

 

Atlantic, Aspen to Host Washington Ideas Forum – The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute are holding their 6th annual Washington Ideas Forum on October 29-30th in Washington, D.C. to discuss vital issues of our time from politics and the economy to technology and the fabric of our culture. Speakers will include former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, edX CEO Anant Agarwal, Revolution Founder Steve Case, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, genomic research scientist Craig Venter, and House of Cards Screenwriter Beau Willimon.  Among those moderating the Forum will be Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson, The Atlantic’s Editor-in-Chief James Bennet, Washington Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons, Editor Scott Stossel, and National Correspondents Ta-Nehisi Coates and James Fallows.

 

Energy Update: Week of September 2

Friends,

 

Welcome Back, your dreams were your ticket out… Ooopps, slipped into the 70s John Sebastian classic Welcome Back Kotter theme  as I thought about school starting, Fall sports launching (Hannah scored her first goal of the field hockey season in already), the return of Football and Hockey and the reemergence of Congress, even if only for a couple weeks.  Yes, that is correct, just over 60 days to election day in November and Congress returns this late week after the series of Mid-term election Labor Day parades they all attended over the weekend (I love a good Parade).  But, as I said, the return is short-lived as they will recess in just two or so weeks, staying away until after November 2nd election day.  You guessed it…it means two lame duck sessions are expected in November just after election day and in early December following a recess for Thanksgiving.

 

So while we were away, a lot was going on… including last week on August 25th when we observed the 200-year anniversary of the burning of the White House.  And in the next two weeks we actually will have the bicentennials of more exciting things like the scribing of America’s most famous song, The Star Spangled Banner.  It has been covered by many as a prelude to most major events, but perhaps never as brilliantly as in 1969 by Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock or by Little Richard in the movie Mystery, Alaska.

 

On September 14, 1814, U.S. soldiers at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry raised a huge American flag to celebrate a crucial victory over British forces during the War of 1812. The sight of those “broad stripes and bright stars,” Francis Scott Key was inspired to pen the poem that would eventually become our national anthem.  Most people think Key was a prisoner as he wrote the Banner, but really, he was a visitor to the British fleet in Chesapeake Bay to secure the release of Dr. William Beanes, who had been captured after the burning of Washington, DC. Key secured Beanes’ release, but was detained on ship overnight during the shelling of Fort McHenry (which you can still visit in Baltimore). In the morning, he was so delighted to see the American flag still flying over the fort that he began a poem to commemorate the occasion.  The verse was first published under the title Defense of Fort M’Henry, and soon attained wide popularity when sung to the tune To Anacreon in Heaven. The Star-Spangled Banner officially became our national anthem when Congress approved it in 1931.  Stay tuned to the action over the next two weeks as celebrations kick off in Baltimore (including a Blue Angels show).  It is a great day trip.

 

We also want to start looking out for the September climate meetings in New York that the President intends to hold with foreign state leaders.   This meeting on September 23rd took on new life recently when our friends at the New York Times reported that the Obama Administration seems to be ready to sign us up to a climate plan in Paris next year without any help from Congress.  Maybe we can just admit now that the UN process has lost its luster, which is something I’ve been saying for a while.

 

SEJ holds its big event this week starting Wednesday.  Of course, our big reception will be on Thursday.  It will be a great event in New Orleans, which is always a fun place to be.    And on Thursday, Harry Reid holds his 7th Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas with Hillary Clinton topping the bill of speakers.

 

Finally, if you are following the Macondo case and the latest settlement issue that was announced today, feel free to touch base with my colleague Jason Hutt (202-828-5850).  As many of you know, he is familiar with the issues and often can be helpful.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS WHILE WE WERE AWAY

 

Honorable Nominated for FERC Spot – President Obama will nominate Arkansas Utility Regulator and president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Colette Honorable to serve as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Honorable has Been rumored to be headed for the position for some time.   a top state utility regulator and a rumored favorite for months.  If confirmed by the Senate, Honorable would replace FERC Commissioner John Norris, who resigned recently take a position in Italy with USDA. NARUC Executive Director Charles Gray said her appointment is a bittersweet moment for NARUC. Gray: “President Honorable has gone above and beyond in her service since joining the Association in 2008. If confirmed, we will miss her enthusiasm, dedication, and leadership she has brought from Day One. At the same time, we are grateful that President Obama nominated another State commissioner who understands how energy and utility issues impact retail consumers. If confirmed, FERC would have two past-NARUC presidents serving at the same time-President Honorable and FERC Commissioner Tony Clark. This speaks volumes about the important work going on at the State level.”

 

House Science Letter Challenges EPA – The House Science Committee sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy criticizing the agency’s limited analysis of its climate regulations and requesting more comprehensive, independent analysis before the agency moves forward.   Recently, GAO released a report highlighting a pattern of shoddy EPA analysis. It was revealed that EPA relied on decades old data and ignored important factors.  The independent watchdog warned that “EPA cannot ensure that it’s [analysis] provide the public with a clear understanding of its decision making.”    In the letter, Science Chair Lamar Smith wrote that “Credible analysis is critical to a well-informed debate concerning climate change and energy policy choices now before American people. EPA’s incomplete modeling disregards a number of technical, regulatory, and economic realities. Americans deserve the bottom line: what does it cost and what will we get for the money?”  The letter calls on EPA to provide comprehensive analysis that takes real-world contingencies into account rather than rely on models and science that are hidden from the public.   The committee also simultaneously sent a letter to the non-partisan Energy Information Administration (EIA) to conduct independent analysis using the same underlying data and assumptions that EPA uses.  The letter states that “tandem analysis by EPA and EIA would allow for a side-by-side comparison of results and provide a more comprehensive accounting of the possible impacts of the agency’s proposal.”

 

New Report Slams Sue, Settle Issues – A report by the National Center for Policy Analysis says interest groups’ tactic of using so-called sue and settle litigation has forced the EPA to issue deficient regulations. “Until there is reform, interest groups will continue using litigation as a tactic to direct agency action and circumvent standard rulemaking procedures,” said NCPA senior research fellow Ann Norman. “It is disingenuous to suggest, as some in the EPA have, that sue and settle does not actually interfere with required rulemaking procedures.”

 

Ivanpah Pushes Back on Avian Claims from Enviro Group – As you may have read during August, an Associated Press article discussing avian mortality at solar power facilities highlighted some scary Center for Biological Diversity numbers on impacts.  While the issues is a serious one, there are two key points that provide important context on the avian impact issues at Ivanpah and other Concentrated Solar Projects (CSP): 1) The Ivanpah project owners are now implementing its Avian and Bat Monitoring and Management Plan approved by state and federal agencies and required by permit. Under the approved plan, Ivanpah reported 321 avian fatalities between January and June 2014, of which 133 were related to solar flux, or birds passing through the concentrated sunlight.  2) The 28,000 annual bird deaths estimated by the CBD expert K. Shawn Smallwood, Ph.D. are suspect given his own testimony to the California Energy Commission where he questioned the veracity of his assumptions when he testified that, “The calculations I just made of fatality rates at Ivanpah were back-of-the-napkin-level, and were based on assumptions that I cannot at this time verify as correct.” (CEC Docket Number 09-AFC-07C, Palen Solar Power Project – Compliance, TN# 202736: Exh. 3128, P. 6)  A lot has been written about the impact solar thermal power tower technology – like that used at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System – has on birds. Like any infrastructure project, there are environmental impacts. These are legitimate concerns that must be addressed. But, the context is important.  The following blogs BSE posts here discuss the avian issues in detail, as well as many questions about solar flux and what it really does.

 

RFS Sent to White House Regs Office – Last week EPA submitted its proposal for the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard to the White House Office of Management and Budget for a final interagency review. EPA said it wants to raise the required volumes of biofuels, but it did not clarify whether it revised its 2013 proposal.  Reviews are expected to take 30 to 90 days, and in this case, there are a significant number of political considerations are at stake.

 

India PM to Pass UN Summit – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will miss a UN climate change summit being held on September 23rd in New York.   Modi is scheduled to be in New York to deliver his first address to the UN General Assembly later that week before flying down to Washington to meet US president Barack Obama. The summit will be hosted by the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon for generating “political momentum on climate action” ahead of the December climate deal negotiations in Lima, Peru.

 

Couldn’t Pass on this Steyer Gem – Speaking at a climate conference hosted by the American Renewable Energy Institute in Mid-August, everyman Tom Steyer laid out a comment that I just could pass sending on to you.  Steyer was attempting to explain why global warming Polls on the bottom of the list for a sizable portion of Americans.    Steyer:  “I think if you were to go around to most of the — what I would think of as super-sophisticated people who think about politics and policy more than five minutes a month — we are doing really well.  And the question in the United States of America is how are we doing with everybody else, which is the 99.5 percent of the people whose lives are very busy and complicated and pressing and they don’t have a lot of time to think about the things that don’t immediately impact themselves and their family.”  Ouch, Romney’s 47% comment sounds a lot better after hearing this.

 

Courts Limit NEPA Reviews – Ruling on a pipeline project and a mine project, two different federal courts issued decisions during August affirming limits on the scope of environmental reviews.  The pipeline case was a challenge to Enbridge’s Flanagan South pipeline, designed to transport tar sands crude from Illinois to Oklahoma.  The mine case involved Raven Crest Contracting’s Boone North No. 5 coal mine in West Virginia.  Neither decision breaks new ground; their significance lies in reaffirming that NEPA analysis should be confined to the scope of the federal agencies’ control over the project in question.  These cases encourage federal agencies to fend off demands for broader consideration of social and political issues surrounding major infrastructure projects.  My colleagues are constantly working on these issues and can provide more information.  They say the decisions apply well-settled limits of environmental review under both NEPA and the Clean Water Act.  As opponents of energy and infrastructure projects call for broader consideration of regional and global impacts from development in general, these decisions reaffirm that federal agencies can limit their environmental analysis to the scope of the project over which they have control and authority.

 

MIT Report Says UN Treaty Will Fall Short on Emissions Reductions – MIT issued a report during August predicted that the most likely United Nations (UN) climate treaty to come out of the upcoming 2015 Conference of the Parties (COP) negotiations is unlikely to stop the world from warming more than 2 degree Celsius above preindustrial levels, an internationally agreed upon target. While international efforts can decelerate the global warming trend, the report said any political effort will not put the globe on a path consistent with commonly stated long-term climate goals. This report was operates on the assumption that the new UN treaty for climate change will be based on voluntary efforts from countries, consistent with the 2009 Copenhagen agreement. MIT researchers Henry Jacoby and Henry Chen developed a computer model to conduct their analysis, and talked to many people engaged and familiar with the negotiations “to formulate judgments regarding the efforts nations will be willing to pledge by 2015.”

 

SoCo, PGA Announce “First Tee” National School Program – The First Tee of Greater Washington, D.C., said students in 11 Fairfax County, Va., elementary schools will have access to The First Tee National School Program as part of physical education instruction beginning this school year. Six of the 11 schools will implement the program in association with Southern Company, through an extension of its longstanding relationship with the PGA TOUR. Southern Company is The First Tee’s Education Patron. The schools include Bailey’s Upper Elementary School, Dranesville Elementary School, Fort Belvoir Elementary School, Hutchison Elementary School, Island Creek Elementary School and Woodley Hills Elementary School.  Fairfax County Public Schools and The First Tee of Greater Washington, D.C. provided funding for the additional five schools: Bailey’s Lower Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences, Clearview Elementary School, Columbia Elementary School, Herndon Elementary School and Washington Mill Elementary School.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

SEJ Conference Set for NOLA – Starting Wednesday,  the Society of Environmental Journalists will hold its annual Meeting in New Orleans.  Usually later in October, this year the conference comes in early September due to scheduling and availability.  Nonetheless, it will be a great time and feature all the usual events, including the famous Bracewell reception on Thursday night.  Tours will include natgas drilling, chemical corridor, offshore drilling, marshlands and many other tours.  Look for broad panel discussions on the EPA’s GHG rules as well as lots of other great stuff.

 

MD to Discussion Offshore Wind Port Study – On Wednesday, Maryland State officials and MD business leaders will hold a forum on unveil an offshore wind staging Port Feasibility study and hold a discussion in Baltimore at the Semmes Chesapeake Room.    Moffatt & Nichol will present a general framework of typical port requirements for an off shore wind component staging and assembly ground followed by its initial thoughts for possible sites within Baltimore. This will be followed by an open discussion between Moffatt & Nichol and participants to discuss innovative options for suitable sites and logistics for Baltimore to stage the assembly of the main offshore wind components.  Ideas and comments will be an important part of the discussion that afternoon, especially Baltimore’s private port owners, operators and port infrastructure construction companies / companies. The content of this discussion will help shape Moffatt & Nichol’s work in providing its assessment and recommendations to Maryland State Government.

 

CEQ Exec to Talk Solar at Webinar – On Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. , SEIA will begin a series of events explaining the Obama Administration’s efforts to help promote clean solar energy. The White House, Council on Environmental Quality, Federal Environment Executive and other agency representatives will visit SEIA’s office in Washington, DC for a live webinar to discuss opportunities to grow your business within the federal sector.   The Speaker will be Kate Brandt, Federal Environmental Executive at the White House’s CEQ.

 

Reid Clean Energy Summit Set – Harry Reid’s 7th annual National Clean Energy Summit will begin on Thursday, bringing together clean energy visionaries and leaders, public officials, business executives, energy policy experts, entrepreneurs, investors, citizens, and students, to discuss empowering Americans to develop our massive clean energy supplies, secure greater energy independence, and create jobs.  The day-long clean energy summit will be cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Reid, the Center for American Progress, the Clean Energy Project, MGM Resorts International, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Speakers include Hillary Clinton, USDA Secretary Vilsack, Obama Advisor John Podesta , John Huntsman and GE ecomagination director Deb Frodl, among many others.

 

CSIS to Hold Electricity Forum – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold its second Electricity in Transition series session on Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. to discuss electricity technology and the interplay between markets and regulation. The first panel, Technology in Transition, will address the commercial and technological advances impacting the electricity business and preview what other changes are on the horizon. The second panel, Markets and Regulation in Transition, will address the reevaluation of the current regulatory system, diving into the past, present and future of the interplay between markets and regulation in the electricity sector.   Speakers will include FERC Cheryl LaFleur, Maryland PSC Commissioner Larry Brenner, NREL’s Bryan Hannegan, former FERC Chair Betsy Moler, Bob Nordhaus,  former DOE officials Peter Fox-Penner and Linda Stuntz and EPRI’s Ron Schoff.

 

Forum to Look at CCS Technologies – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the US Energy Association will hold a forum that will cover a series of broad subjects in CO2 storage as a climate-change mitigation strategy, such as the current status and the need for CCS in the next decades, scientific and technical challenges in CO2 storage in geological media, and legal and regulatory challenges in large-scale deployment of CCS.  The speaker will be Stefan Bachu of the Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures.

 

Giuliani, Segal Headline Shale Law Conference – The Institute for Energy Law and the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF) the 5th Law of Shale Plays Conference on Thursday and Friday in Pittsburgh at the Omni Hotel.  My colleagues Jason Hutt and Lowell Rothschild are among the speakers.  The event will also feature a keynote conversation with former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, hosted by PRG’s Scott Segal.  Other speakers include Cabot’s Kevin Cunningham, Baker Hughes’ Will Marsh and SW Energy’s Mark Boling.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Webinar to Focus on UN Sustainability Issues – Researcher Magdalena A K Muir will hold a live webinar on N Sustainable Development Goals as part of the Association for Environmental Studies and Educators Webinar Series.  The webinar presentation and moderated discussion will introduce and discuss the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and related targets, which were released in the July 19 consensus outcome document negotiated by the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals.  Muir is an adjunct associate researcher with the Columbia Climate Center and The Earth Institute, Columbia University; visiting scholar at the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, University of Delaware; and associate professor, Aarhus University Herning.

 

SEIA to Release Solar Market Report – Next Monday, September 8th at 1:00 p.m., SEIA and GTM Research will hold a webinar covering the highlights of the U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q2 2014 Report.  The U.S. solar industry continued to grow rapidly in Q2 2014, with impressive year over year growth led by a strong performance by both the residential and non-residential PV sectors. The webinar highlights trends in Q2, both at the national level and in some of the top state markets. The discussion will also include detailed PV and CSP market forecasts for the rest of 2014 and beyond.  Speakers will include Cory Honeyman Solar Analyst, GTM Research and Shawn Rumery of SEIA.

 

House Energy to Host State Officials on GHG Rule – The House Energy panel will hold a hearing On Tuesday September 9th at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the EPA GHG rules and their impact on states.  The hearing will feature officials from state environmental, utility and legal offices.

 

House Science to Address Bakken Crude Oil Concerns – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday, September 9th at 2:00 p.m. focused on the characteristics of Bakken crude,  The hearing will focus on whether Bakken crude is more volatile than other crudes.

 

Women Energy Leaders to Discussion Issues, Challenges – The WCEE Women in Leadership Committee will hold a forum on September 9th at Clyde’s Gallery Place at Noon to discuss women in Washington Leadership on energy issues.  Panelists will include Tasha Parker, Senior Vice President and Digital Energy Lead at Edelman; Liz Sidoti, Head of U.S. Communications at BP; Elizabeth Thompson, Vice President of US Climate & Political Affairs, and President at Environmental Defense Action Fund; and Heidi VanGenderen, Director of Public Engagement at the U.S. Department of Energy.

 

Forum to Look at Arctic Climate Through Art – On Wednesday evening, September 10th, The Atlantic Council will hold an even focused on the hard science of Arctic climate change and different Mediums to express it.   The Atlantic Council’s Young Atlanticist Program will hold a roundtable discussion with prominent artists and scientists to discuss the role of visual arts in communicating Arctic climate change science to the public, and the next generation of scientists.   The discussion will feature an artistic presentation and critique, followed by a moderated discussion. The Arctic Climate Change Emerging Leaders Fellowship (ACCEL) is an initiative of the Atlantic Council and Ecologic Institute. This event is the first in a series of events corresponding with Arctic 101, a transatlantic collaboration between ACCEL Fellows in Washington, DC and Berlin, which informs the next generation about Arctic climate change through innovative media, and encourages young people to develop a broader understanding of Arctic issues. The ACCEL Program is supported by the Allianz Foundation for North America.

 

Green Living Expo Set – The 2014 Green Living DC Expo will be held on Thursday, September 11th at 3:30 p.m. at the University of the District of Columbia’s Dennard Plaza – Van Ness campus.  New this year, events will be designed to be “Zero Waste,” meaning water bottles will be discouraged, refuse will be recycled, compostable and recycled paper and plastic goods will be used and food waste will be composted, among other environmentally-friendly initiatives.   Nearly 50 exhibitors will be on hand to help attendees discover why DC is steadily becoming the model of a sustainable city. Green businesses, energy-saving devices, green roofs, locally grown food, urban forests, urban biking, and green infrastructure are just a few of the featured topics and services that will be available. Visitors can consult with environmental experts while enjoying demonstrations, live music and local food. The event also includes panel discussions, speaker presentations, and an eco-bike tour around the Van Ness campus and the surrounding communities to highlight leading examples of urban sustainability. Kids aged K-12 will be entertained and educated with interactive displays, games and more provided by exhibitors and UDC’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences.

 

WRI to release Global Shale, Water Report – On Thursday, September 11th 4:00 p.m., the World Resources Institute  will hold a special briefing on the report “Global Shale Gas Development: Water Availability and Business Risks.” This analysis, authored by experts from the World Resources Institute, will the first to show how freshwater availability could limit shale oil and gas development in many parts of the world.  Lead author Paul Reig will detail the report’s findings, conduct a tutorial for the interactive web map accompanying the report, and answer questions.

 

Marshall to Host Curry on Climate Issues – On September 16th, the George Marshall Institute will hold a discussion by noted climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, who will make the case that the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified. The key issues to be discussed are evidence reported by the IPCC AR5 weakens the case for human factors dominating climate change in the 20th and early 21st centuries, weaker linkages between anthropogenic climate change and extreme weather, and the importance of natural climate variability and challenges to decision making under deep climate uncertainty.  Arguments are presented that greater openness about scientific uncertainties and ignorance, and more transparency about dissent and disagreement, would provide policymakers with a more complete picture of climate science and its limitations, and ensure that the science community, policymakers, and the public are better equipped to understand, respond and adapt to climate change.

 

Stanford Climate Experts to Address Issues – On September 17th at the Hoover Institute, scientists from the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment will travel to Washington, D.C., to lead a panel discussion on the findings of their latest work related to climate change impacts and risks.  Topics will include regional “hot spots” where the effects of climate on atmospheric conditions will be most profound and potentially disruptive, water management in the face of increased water scarcity, resiliency challenges and efforts in U.S. cities and urban regions and impacts on global agriculture production and responses.  A question and answer session will follow panelists Noah Diffenbaugh, David Lobell and Buzz Thompson’s remarks.

 

Forum to Tackle Energy Exports – Rice University’s Center for Energy Studies will hold a breakfast forum  on Wednesday September 17th looking at regulation, politics and the economics of US energy exports.  Although the U.S. currently ranks as the world’s top producer of crude, policies put in place more than 40 years ago largely prevent that oil from accessing international markets. The national de facto ban on crude oil exports has started to generate interest and attention from Washington – along with a fair share of controversy. WY Sen. John Barrasso will address the issue as will a panel featuring our friend Mike Catanzaro and Rice’s Ken Medlock.

 

UN Climate Summit Set – The UN will host a climate summit on September 23 in NYC.  The summit will be hosted by the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon for generating  “political momentum on climate action” ahead of the December climate deal negotiations in Lima, Peru.   President Obama is expected to address the forum.

 

Richardson, Perino, Ridge to Headline Shale Insight Conference – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold SHALE INSIGHT 2014 on September 23 – 25 in Pittsburgh focusing on shale development, featuring some of the most prominent industry and government leaders. The event will feature three days of pre-conference workshops, technical and public affairs insight sessions, major keynote addresses, and a dynamic exhibit hall featuring all the major shale players.  Speakers will include former Energy Secretary and NM Governor Bill Richardson, former PA Gov and first Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former White House Press Secretary and Fox News Personality Dana Perino, XTO President Randy Cleveland and many more.

 

NY PSC  Chair to Address 100th Energy Breakfast – ICF International holds its 100th Energy Breakfast at the National Press Club on September 24th.  Energy expert Audrey Zibelman will speak.  As Chair of the New York Public Service Commission and former COO of PJM, Zibelman will share the issues involved in trying to gain consensus within the power industry in a time of great flux.   She will address challenges and questions including reliability, rates environmental issues and regulators’ roles.

 

Inglis to Headline  Midwest Energy Conference – The Midwest Energy Policy Conference will be held in St. Louis on September 30th and October 1st.  The event will address the 2014 environmental and energy rulings of the SCOTUS, the path forward following the EPA greenhouse gas 111(d) ruling and what makes successful state energy plan programs relevant and successful in several key focus areas (economic development, education, research, regulations, portfolio mix, biofuels, and more)  The Keynote speaker will be former SC Rep. Bob Inglis.

 

Shale, Coal Exports Conference Set – Law Seminars International will host a forum on October 1st and 2nd in Baltimore.  The event is co-hosted by Bracewell’s Chuck Shoneman and will focus on export policies for coal, oil and natural gas.  B&G’s Scott Segal will also join a panel to discuss the politics of export policies.

 

USEA Forum Set – The US Energy Assn will host its 7th annual Energy Supply Forum at the National Press Club on October 2nd.

 

Shale Water Expo Set – On October 14 and 15, Shale Water Expo 2014 will be held in Houston at the  Stafford Convention Centre.  The event is focused on shale play water management is the only national fluids-specific event for the oil and gas industry.  It will present timely, in-depth insight from industry leaders sharing their expertise on water management, logistics, sourcing, recycling, market forecasting and industry trends.

 

ANGA, Penn State to Host Gas Utilization Conference – Penn State University and ANGA will hold a forum on October  14-15 in Canonsburg, PA at the Hilton Garden Inn.  The conference aims to develop a better understanding of natural gas development issues across the nation and the impact shale plays have on the world energy market.  Top industry experts, government officials and academic researchers will address the major issues driving the natural gas revolution as America moves to expanding its use of natural gas for transportation, manufacturing and power generation.

 

Holmstead to Address EPA Rules at FL Conference – The Florida Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association will hold a forum at its annual conference in Jacksonville on October 29-30th on the proposed Section 111(d) guidelines for CO2 emissions from existing utility units.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead will address the panel as will out friend Mike Kennedy of Duke Energy.

 

Energy Update Week of July 28

Friends,

It was great to catch the final early morning coverage of le Tour de France for this year’s race, won by Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali.  He dominated from stage 3 to win going away.  The completion of the most grueling event in sports will be minor though compared to the marathon of events focused on EPA’s new GHG rules this week.

It all started this morning with a press call with EPA Administrator McCarthy and continues over the next four days.  Industry, labor unions, environmental groups and activists will all be adding their 50-cents to the debate.  Again, I cannot wait to see the inflatables and stroller brigades…  If you want pomp and circumstance, tune into the enviro’s calls (do you really need to sit on an hour-long  press call to find out what NRDC thinks about the GHG plan, I mean they wrote it).  If you want to get to the heart of the matter, the substance of the policy, you know who to call…  We will be fully deployed with Segal in Atlanta, Josh Zive in Denver, Holmstead and I manning the streets of DC and ERCC researcher Chris Burk heading to Steel City.  The testimonies will be posted here.  I can also send if you prefer that.

In addition to the showcase of the public hearings, Congress will respond with several hearings of its own regarding the GHG plan for existing plants.  House Energy, Senate Environment, Senate Budget and House Science will all address the issue, with House Energy hearing from all five FERC Commissioners (or would-be Commissioner as Norman Bay has not yet been sworn in.)   Here is the testimony.  The hearing will shine a bright spotlight on a number of the Commissioners’ disparate views on crucial electricity reliability issues and the Administration’s Clean Power Plan and will likely be much more intriguing than the public parade down at EPA HQ.  Look for Commissioners, particularly Tony Clark and Phil Moeller, to focus on the lack of significant interagency coordination on reliability in the run-up to the proposal of the EPA rule.  Look also for them to cover in detail the challenges faces by state and federal energy regulators and by the RTO’s in implementing the rule without significant threats to reliability.  Our crack research team has been through the testimony and has some gems if you are interested.  You can reach Scott Segal at 202-828-5845

Speaking of EPA on other issues, following last week’s very public, White House-driven news cycle stories about the 2014 RFS numbers, we learned that the proposal is headed for interagency review soon, with release expected in either August or September.   Last week, a number of key Midwestern Democratic Senators were briefed by White House CoS John Podesta (why he was doing it and not EPA who knows??).  Regardless, one of the attendees, Sen. Al Franken was happy to talk about it with our friend Erica Martinson at POLITICO, who was fresh off a visit to Iowa.   There are obviously a lot of political impacts at play here and our men in the corn fields (Segal, Washburn, et. al) are ready to help with tips, background and resources.  Something to stay on top of during August for all of us.

With the VA compromise on the table, Congress is likely to wrap up the only other necessary work before the August recess: an agreement on the Highway Trust Fund.  Looks like a temporary deal will win the day over not having anything.  Highway funding is just too important.   Also, don’t forget the 17th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum on Thursday in the Cannon Building on Capitol Hill.

Finally, our friend Dina Cappiello of AP has a good piece on coal exports that is worth a read as it discusses the global flaws in dealing with emissions country-by-country among many other things…  Lots of action and lots of questions?  We can help.  Please feel free to call.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

RFS Coming Soon – White House advisor John Podesta met with a number of Midwestern Democratic Senators late last week to tell them EPA’s final rule outlining 2014 volumes for renewable fuels mandates will be announced soon.  Some might suggest that meeting might be helpful for key candidates running in the fall mid-term elections as they head back home for the August work period.  The final volume mandates were due last in November, but EPA has been unable to finalize the standards.  The draft caused a ruckus among the opponents/proponents of the heavily-debated, controversial provisions.   The initial proposed volumes dropped the amount of ethanol required to be blended into gasoline under the RFS for the first time.  Senators attending the meeting included Sens. Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Harkin, Patty Murray, Dick Durbin, Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp.  And one other interested party seems to be Iowa Sen Candidate Bruce Braley.  My colleagues Eric Washburn (202-412-5211)and Scott Segal (202-828-5845) can cut through the rhetoric.

Boiler Rules Must Move Forward – A Court ruling on Friday said EPA must begin a long-stalled process to set limits on emissions released by industrial boilers.  The ruling addressed a 2006 order which required the EPA to implement standards under the Clean Air Act to cover sources responsible for producing 90% of emissions of polychlorinated biphenyls, hexachlorobenzene and polycyclic organic matter.  The Council of Industrial Boiler Operators Bob Bessette or my colleague Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718) can help if you need additional information.

Industry Groups Urge Comment Period Extension, Restarting Rule – The Partnership for a Better Energy Future sent to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy a letter last week identifying five high-level concerns with the proposed carbon standards for existing power plants.   The areas include electricity prices/economic impacts, rule structure/scope, technological achievability, additional regulations and the process/timeline.  The letter says it is clear that the rule will be disruptive to and is fundamentally incompatible with numerous practical and technical aspects of America’s electricity system. It adds that it is based on a flawed interpretation of the Clean Air Act.  Finally, the letter urges additional hearings and an extension of the 120-day comment period.   I can send the letter If you haven’t seen it.

New Study Confirms Shale Emissions Profile – A new Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study says natural gas derived from shale has about half the greenhouse gas output of coal.  The study matches claims in the gas/coal debate and runs counter to work by anti-natgas academic Robert Howarth of Cornell, who has said shale is much worse for the climate than conventional gas.   The lead author is Garvin Heath of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Op-Ed: PA Health Sect Addresses Health Claims Regarding Shale – PA Health Secretary Michael Wolf took to the Harrisburg Patriot-News  recently to address Marcellus Shale-related health questions raised by some opponents of drilling.  Wolf says the state Health Department has protocols for all public health inquiries and concerns that employees must follow and praised the Department’s team for taking on the challenging task of providing information and a forum for discourse on public health issues related to shale development.   Wolf said they are carrying out related monitoring activities under Act 13 of 2012, working with other state resources and public health stakeholders across the state to better understand the potential effects of Marcellus Shale drilling.  He cited a Marcellus Shale health outcomes study from Geisinger Health System’s Research Institute, which is a large-scale, detailed look at health histories of hundreds of thousands of patients who live near natural gas wells and facilities, as well as work with schools of public health in Pennsylvania to further understand and study the potential health impacts of drilling.

NYT Looks at Carbon Capture, Storage – Not to be outdone by his colleagues Cliff Krauss, Coral Davenport and Mike Wines who in the last week have been covering lots on the environment , the NY Times’ Henry Fountain pours out a quality piece on carbon capture, its technical challenges and it role in the coal industry of the future.  The story feature both the large-scale Kemper County project expected to launch operations next year and the smaller Saskatchewan’s Boulder Dam project.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

EPA Public Meetings Set – EPA will hold public meetings in Atlanta, Denver, Washington and Pittsburgh.  The Atlanta, Denver and DC meetings will be tomorrow and Wednesday, running both days.  The Pittsburgh meeting will be Thursday and Friday.

Heritage Looks at EPA Rule – Late this morning, the Heritage Foundation held a forum on EPA and regulation, focusing on the climate realities and fallacies, the EPA’s war on coal, and efforts to stop the EPA’s unchecked climate change regulation. Leading off the discussion was an address by PA Rep. Mike Kelly and a panel discussion with CEI’s William Yeatman and Heritage’s David Kreutzer.

Chamber to Look at Transportation Sector, Data – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold a forum today at Noon to explore how data is being used in the transportation sector.  the event will feature presenters from both the public and private sectors that utilize data to provide unique services, engage their customers, promote safety and efficiency, and move the world in a different and better way.

DOE to Hold Biomass Forum –  DOE will hold its 7th annual conference Biomass 2014 tomorrow and Wednesday, focusing on growing the future bioeconomy. Co-hosted with Advanced Biofuels USA, this year’s conference will take place at the Washington Convention Center. As in past years, Biomass 2014 will bring together top government officials and members of Congress—with industry leaders and experts from across the bioenergy supply chain—to continue ongoing dialogue about the critical challenges and key opportunities for the industry. The event will focus on the innovative technologies, priority pathways, financing strategies, and public policies needed to grow the bioeconomy of the future.

Nuclear Status Report Released – The Heinrich Böll Foundation will hold a press briefing tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. on the new World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2014. There will also be a lunch open to all at Noon.  Plummeting natural gas prices, sovereign debt crisis, increasing costs and improved economic conditions for renewable energy sources have created a challenging global environment for nuclear power. Contrary to the widespread perception – that we are seeing a global renaissance in nuclear power – this industry is actually in decline. The report provides a vital reality check to the current situation of the global nuclear industry as well as identifying important global nuclear trends, in particular with its renewable energy competitors. This year’s report features an in-depth reassessment of the nuclear power sector in Japan post-Fukushima: all of the Japanese reactors are currently shut down, dramatically reducing the number of operating reactors in the world. Time to adjust world nuclear statistics to industrial reality. Mycle Schneider, lead author of the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report, is a member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM), based at Princeton University, and a laureate of the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”. He is the Coordinator of the Seoul International Energy Advisory Council (SIEAC). He has advised the French Environment Minister, the Belgian Minister for Energy and Sustainable Development as well as the German Environment Ministry, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and others. Mycle has given evidence or held briefings at parliaments in 14 countries and given lectures at twenty universities and engineering schools in ten countries. He is a frequent speaker at renowned international energy events.

FERC Commissioners to Testify on GHG Rule – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. featuring FERC Commissioners and their perspectives on questions about EPA’s proposed clean power plan and other grid reliability challenges.  All five FERC Commissioners will testify despite that new Commissioner Norman Bay has not been sworn in yet.

Senate Budget Looks at Climate Economic Impacts – The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on the economic and budget impacts of climate change.  Witnesses will include Mindy Lubber of Ceres, GAO’s Alfredo Gomez, CNA Military Advisory Board Executive Director and former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security) Sherri Goodman, NERA’s David Montgomery and climate gadfly Bjorn Lomborg.

Senate Commerce Panel to Look at Gulf Restoration – The Senate Committee on Commerce’s panel on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. on the progress and challenges in Gulf Restoration post-Deepwater Horizon. The hearing continues the Committee’s oversight of restoration efforts following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The hearing will seek to assess the ongoing implementation of the 2012 RESTORE Act, and will also touch upon implementation of the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, building upon the Committee’s June 2013 hearing, “Gulf Restoration: A Progress Report Three Years After the Deepwater Horizon Disaster.”  Witnesses from the Department of Commerce, Gulf states, and other stakeholders will testify on both the progress made and the challenges faced in Gulf Coast restoration over the last year.

McCabe to Speak at NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, at its luncheon tomorrow.   McCabe will present an overview of the EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan.   Immediately following lunch, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host the Washington, DC premier of the film “Breaking Free: How the U.S. is Reducing its Carbon Footprint while Increasing its GDP.” The director of the film, Robin Bossert, will be available to provide background and answer audience questions.

Forum to Look at Climate National Security –Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Climate Change and national security.  The briefing will focus on the key recommendations and consensus points that emerged from June 4th discussion on the topic and highlight the next steps for action.  Speakers will include Craig Gannett of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, former White House official Alice Hill, Ian Kraucunas of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, King County, WA Council Chair Larry Phillips and Jonathan White, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy and Director of the Navy’s Task Force Climate Change.

Senate Enviro Panel to Look at Climate Threats – The Senate Environment panel on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. examining the threats posed by climate change.  Witnesses will include Carl Hedde of Munich Reinsurance, Broward Co Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, Bill Mook of the Mook Sea Farm, Bjorn Lomborg and Ray Keating of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Senate Energy to Look at Energy Development on Public Lands – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to examine breaking the logjam at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), focusing on ways to more efficiently process permits for energy production on Federal lands, and understanding the obstacles in permitting more energy projects on Federal lands, including S.279, the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act of 2013, to promote the development of renewable energy on public land, and S.2440, the BLM Permit Processing Improvement Act of 2014, to expand and extend the program to improve permit coordination by the Bureau of Land Management.

House Science to Look at GHG Rule – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. the House Science Committee will hold a hearing on the legal foundation for EPA’s carbon plan.  Witnesses will include Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead, former DOE fossil office head for President Obama Charles McConnell (now at Rice University) and Mass DEQ Commissioner David Cash.

EPA’s Perciasepe to Go to House Small Biz – On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., the House Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing on whether EPA is meeting its small business obligations.  The purpose of the hearing is to examine EPA’s  compliance with renewable fuels law in relation to the agency’s recent rule makings.  EPA’s Bob Perciasepe will testify.

Annual Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 17th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum  will be held Thursday in the Cannon House Office building in cooperation with the House and Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses.

CANCELLED Press Club to Host Nigerian President – The National Press Club event hosting Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan at a NPC luncheon on July 31st has been cancelled because of scheduling conflicts.  Jonathan was to discuss the prospects of Africa’s largest oil producer.

FUTURE EVENTS

USEA to Look at Carbon Scrubbing – The United States Energy Association will hold a forum on Tuesday August 5th at 2:00 p.m. looking at technology options for scrubbing carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere.  The forum will feature a discussion of the technical and economic hurdles that need to be overcome,  Dr. Klaus Lackner will consider the policy implications of air capture in the current climate change debate. Capture of carbon dioxide from ambient air renders emissions from any source reversible and it defines the cost of unauthorized emissions.  Rather than dwelling on the possibility that air capture could motivate a delay in action, the presentation will focus on the ability of air capture to create negative emissions, which the recent IPCC report considers necessary.  Finally, Dr. Lackner will outline different pathways for development and implementation of air capture technologies.

DOE to Host Webinar on “National Energy Literacy” – Next Tuesday, August 5th at 3:00 p.m., the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy respectfully invites you to join a virtual town hall featuring ongoing national, local and new media efforts from across the country in utilizing the Department of Energy’s Energy Literacy Framework to address one of our nations’ biggest national challenges, “Energy Illiteracy. The purpose of the webinar is to share ongoing energy educational materials and literacy efforts from across the country and how to engage diverse learners in energy. The webinar will include rapid fire sessions to showcase energy literacy efforts and resources for teachers and STEM professionals.

TX Enviro Superconference Set for Austin – The 26th annual Texas Environmental Superconference will be held on Thursday and Friday, August 7th and 8th, at the Four Seasons.  Several Bracewell attorneys will be speaking on panels with speakers including Lowell Rothschild, Rich Alonso and Tim Wilkins.  TCEQ’s Bryan Shaw and EPA’s Ron Curry will also speak.

SEJ Conference Set for NOLA – On September 3-7,  the Society of Environmental Journalists will hold its annual Meeting in New Orleans.  Usually later in October, this year the conference comes in early September due to scheduling and availability.  Nonetheless, it will be a great time and feature all the usual events, including the famous Bracewell reception on Thursday night.  Tours will include natgas drilling, chemical corridor, offshore drilling, marshlands and many other tours.  Look for broad panel discussions on the EPA’s GHG rules as well as lots of other great stuff.

Reid Clean Energy Summit Set – Harry Reid’s 7th annual National Clean Energy Summit will bring together clean energy visionaries and leaders, public officials, business executives, energy policy experts, entrepreneurs, investors, citizens, and students, to discuss empowering Americans to develop our massive clean energy supplies, secure greater energy independence, and create jobs.  The day-long clean energy summit will be cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Reid, the Center for American Progress, the Clean Energy Project, MGM Resorts International, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Giuliani, Segal Headline Shale Law Conference – The Institute for Energy Law and the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF) the 5th Law of Shale Plays Conference on September 4 – 5th in Pittsburgh at the Omni Hotel.  My colleagues Jason Hutt and Lowell Rothschild are among the speakers.  The event will also feature a keynote conversation with former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, hosted by PRG’s Scott Segal.  Other speakers include Cabot’s Kevin Cunningham, Baker Hughes’ Will Marsh and SW Energy’s Mark Boling.

Richardson, Perino, Ridge to Headline Shale Insight Conference – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold SHALE INSIGHT 2014 on September 23 – 25 in Pittsburgh focusing on shale development, featuring some of the most prominent industry and government leaders. The event will feature three days of pre-conference workshops, technical and public affairs insight sessions, major keynote addresses, and a dynamic exhibit hall featuring all the major shale players.  Speakers will include former Energy Secretary and NM Governor Bill Richardson, former PA Gov and first Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former White House Press Secretary and Fox News Personality Dana Perino, XTO President Randy Cleveland and many more.

Top Natural Resources And Energy Lobbyist Eric Washburn Joins Bracewell & Giuliani’s Policy Resolution Group

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Policy Resolution Group (PRG) at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP announced today that Eric Washburn is joining PRG as a partner in its Washington, D.C. office.  Washburn will provide federal legislative and regulatory advice to the firm’s industry and non-profit clients on a broad range of policy matters including natural resources and energy issues.

Washburn previously held senior positions at BlueWater Strategies and Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, and Berkowitz, at which time he became the founding Executive Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, a coalition of dozens of leading hunting and fishing organizations.  He has worked on a number of Democratic presidential campaigns, assisting in outreach to sportsmen.

Prior to joining the private sector, he was legislative director for Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.  He also served as a senior advisor to Majority Leader Harry Reid, including serving as Democratic Staff Director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

“We are excited to have Eric join the team,” said PRG Head Scott Segal.  “His extensive public and private sector experience and his substantive expertise on major energy, environmental, national resources and other issues will greatly benefit our clients.  A great deal of energy policy today is made by executive branch agencies.  Eric will strengthen our already robust energy and environmental practice with his skills and experience with the Administration and executive agencies. He is also highly respected by both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill and throughout the private sector.”

“I am delighted to join Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group,” said Washburn.  “PRG’s unique comprehensive service model of offering legal, advocacy, and communications services under one roof sets it apart from the competition.  Scott and I have been good friends for years and I’ve worked in collaboration with PRG on a variety of issues.  The team has an outstanding reputation in Washington for its substance and knowledge of the issues.”

Washburn received a Master’s Degree in Forest Science from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychobiology from Bowdoin College.

Formed in 2011, the Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell & Giuliani helps clients around the world navigate our complex federal landscape, creating and implementing successful strategies to achieve our clients’ government relations objectives.  PRG provides counsel and services in Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Information Gathering and Political Analysis, Strategic Communications and Legal Representation.  PRG Founding Partners include Scott Segal, former EPA Congressional Affairs head Ed Krenik, Bracewell partner and lobbyist Dee Martin, and strategic communications experts Frank Maisano and Paul Nathanson.