Energy Update: Week of February 12

Friends,

The Winter Olympics are ON!!!!!!  Winners of the first medals of the games for the US were in the were in the Slopestyle Snowboarding race where 17-year-old Red Gerard took the Men’s race Saturday and Jamie Anderson won the Women’s race Sunday. And Women’s Hockey took down Finland.  Before we get going, I always like to mention our friend Scott Segal in the Bacchus parade (this year it’s the 50th year) at the Mardi Gras celebrations that run through Fat Tuesday tomorrow.  Valentine’s Day is Wednesday as is Ash Wednesday.

We start today’s update with analysis on both the just-released infrastructure principles and last week’s energy tax provisions finally approved as part of the Budget deal.  In the infrastructure space, the plan outlines $200 billion of Fed dollars, but leans heavily on states and local governments and private/public partnerships. It also carves out $50 billion for rural infrastructure projects and outlines a strategy to revamp federal project permitting.  We are looking at five major categories:

1) Infrastructure Permitting

2) Public Finance/Appropriations

3) Public/Private Partnerships

4) Innovation

5) Life Cycle Analysis 

There is more on each of these topic areas below, and in the coming days, we will provide a detailed assessment of each. If you are following the infrastructure debate, you’ll want to tune in to a March 1st Bracewell forum on Capitol Hill that we are hosting that will feature insights from policymakers and industry representatives involved in crafting the next key elements infrastructure policy.

On the budget, OMB released FY2019 Budget outlines this Administration’s key funding priorities.  While we always downplay the Admin’s budget, this one is more relevant as it accounts for the Bipartisan Budget Act (aka “the caps deal”) passed by Congress last week.  Look for slight increases in some places like DOE and Interior with some decreases in other places like EPA.  As usual, expect Congress to play a more significant budget role in right-sizing much of this funding.  Experts here can help, so please drop me a note.

The other big story this week is the Business Council for Sustainable Energy will release its annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook for 2018 on Thursday.  In its 6th year, the Factbook provides new industry information and trends for the U.S. energy economy, with an in-depth look at the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors as well as emerging areas. Also tomorrow afternoon at the Capitol Visitors Center, our friends at Johnson Controls will join a panel on battery sustainability and recycling led by Sen Portman, his Senate Auto Caucus colleagues and the Responsible Battery Coalition.  The Atlantic Council also holds an interesting forum on Iraq and Energy tomorrow.

NARUC Commissioners are in town for their annual Winter Meeting and will be hearing from Lisa Murkowski and many others.   And with ethanol policy in the news lately, the Renewable Fuels Assn’s National Ethanol Conference launches in San Antonio today.

Hearings this week include Wednesday afternoon’s House Energy panel hearing on New Source Review reform featuring our colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA Air Office head and NRDC friend John Walke (I don’t think they will be agreeing much!).  Meanwhile at the same time, a House Resources Committee panel will look at the state of the nation’s water and power infrastructure.

Finally tonight, tune in to the New England Sports Network for the finals of the 66th annual Beanpot college hockey tournament. The first two Monday nights of February in Boston are reserved for the Beanpot, an annual hockey tournament that features Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern.  In the Semis last week, nationally-ranked Northeastern blanked BC 3-0, while BU tripped Harvard 3-2 in double OT.  BC-Harvard starts at 4:30 p.m. while the finals go at 7:30 p.m., all at the Boston (TD) Garden.

And in case you missed it, college lacrosse started this past weekend and pitchers and catchers report in just two days with full teams next week for spring training.

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“After six years of rapid and steady growth, the solar industry faced headwinds that led to a dip in employment in 2017, including a slowdown in the pace of new solar installations. Uncertainty over the outcome of the trade case also had a likely impact on solar jobs growth. At the same time, the fact that jobs went up in 29 states is an encouraging sign that solar is taking hold across the country as a low-cost, sustainable, and reliable energy source.””

Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director at The Solar Foundation on the release of the National Solar Jobs Census 2017.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Today, the President announced more details regarding the new national infrastructure initiative that he referenced during his State of the Union address.  The details suggest the Administration is taking a new approach to infrastructure—coupling traditional infrastructure concepts with modern approaches to funding and permitting.  This new approach will have significant impacts on the energy industry, manufacturing, utilities, highways, railways, tech, and telecom.

The Role of Infrastructure Permitting – The environmental review and permitting process for energy infrastructure is often unpredictable and challenging.  The White House has suggested expansive reforms to the permitting process intended to improve it through increased coordination of federal agencies, defined timelines, and revisions to the process by which states participate in the permitting process.  These reforms, and in particular the role of states in the permitting process, are likely to generate significant discussions on states’ rights and cooperative federalism.

The Role of Public Finance, Appropriations – The looming question with this infrastructure package is how the government will pay for it, especially given the recently enacted two-year budget deal. The Administration’s stated goal is to leverage roughly $200 billion in direct federal outlays into $1.5 trillion in total infrastructure spending. Doing so will require creativity in identifying revenue sources and developing innovative financing tools that will entice state and local governments to invest alongside private industry. Achieving this ambitious target will require a mix of new loan instruments, federal grant money through the annual Congressional appropriations process, and an expansion of existing tools such as private activity bonds.

The Role of Public Private Partnerships (P3s) – The ability of private entities to engage with government to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure may be the linchpin of this proposal. The most obvious way for private companies to participate in projects that serve the broader civil interest is through public-private partnerships. But despite the rising prominence of P3s among the states and across the globe, the U.S. government’s ability to employ these tools is hampered by significant statutory and regulatory barriers. In order to harness the skills—and the funds—of the private sector on a trillion-dollar scale, the authority of the federal government to engage in P3s will have to be expanded and the process streamlined.

The Role of Innovation – In addition to conventional infrastructure like roads, bridges, and utilities, the Administration’s plan carves out a place for “transformative” projects that seek to make significant investments in emerging technologies.  The idea is for government to work with private industry to facilitate the next “moon shot” and encourage development of transformative infrastructure projects. From a national 5G network to the next generation of smart grid technologies, policymakers will be looking for innovative infrastructure projects to keep pace with the growing digital economy.

The Role of Life Cycle Analysis – Whether the cause is natural disasters to simple wear-and-tear, our nation’s infrastructure incurs billions of dollars of damage and degradation every year.  The use of life cycle analysis techniques allows planners to better calibrate the long-term economic and environmental impacts of choices made at the front end of a project involving design, materials, and a host of other factors—significantly allowing for more meaningful, long-term infrastructure investment decisions.

THE BUDGET DEAL

Another Shutdown…And a Deal – The budget deal is the big story looking back at late last week.  You may have missed the shutdown because it occurred from about Friday at midnight to Friday Morning when President Trump signed the deal.

Why the Delay? – There was the framework of a deal as far back as Tuesday, Senator Rand Paul slowed the Senate to a crawl Thursday evening objecting into the overall cost of the deal.

Four Corners – The deal is the biggest fiscal package passed by Congress in nearly a decade, which sets new limits on how much the government can spend in the next two years. The deal keeps the government operating on another temporary funding patch until March 23. But Congress must still pass another bill, known as an omnibus, with detailed spending levels for each government program for the rest of this fiscal year, which ends in September.  As part of the deal, military spending will rise to $700 billion for fiscal 2018, roughly 10% above current levels. Domestic spending will also get a boost to $591 billion.

The Energy Piece – The budget deal included tax extenders, which includes the 5-year phase-out tax credits for 48c and 25D (starting on page 209).  The other credits that were modified are the 45J production tax credit for nuclear that is imperative for the future of a nuclear plant in Georgia and the 45Q credit for carbon capture and sequestration. The nuclear production credit eliminates the 2020 placed-in-service deadline in the credit. That frees it up to be used not just to help complete Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle AP1000 reactor project but also the advanced technologies that represent the future of the nuclear sector, such as NuScale Power’s small modular reactor design.  The 45Q fix gives a boost to pioneering efforts such as NET Power that could capture and use all the carbon emitted from facilities powered by both coal and natural gas. The 45Q incentive has the potential to dramatically boost commercial carbon capture deployment in the U.S., which can also lead to significant increases in enhanced oil recovery and other economic benefits.

ClearPath Weighs in on Nuclear, CCS – The ClearPath Foundation said Congress delivered a potentially game-changing clean energy victory by fixing two critical carbon capture and advanced nuclear tax incentives as part of the broader budget deal.   “This is an awesome one-two punch for the future of U.S.-led clean and reliable energy,” ClearPath Action Executive Director Rich Powell said.  “This is not only a big win for two of our most important clean energy prospects but also a product of tremendous bipartisan teamwork,” ClearPath Action Founder Jay Faison said. “This can serve as a template both for the commercialization of technologies preventing an enormously consequential amount of CO2 from going into the atmosphere as well as future collaboration in Congress to continue to give the U.S. a much-needed innovation edge over China.”

CCS Credits Help Nat Gas Too – Speaking of the success on CCS, ClearPath’s Faison also explained in a blogpost last week prior to the vote that carbon capture is not just crucial to the future of coal but also a valuable insurance policy for our booming natural gas industry. Tax credits will allow us to affordably scale up carbon capture from natural gas at NET Power and elsewhere and protects our gas industry from whatever supercharged Clean Power Plan a future Democratic White House will inevitably throw at the power sector, Jay wrote. It could mean coal and gas can both have a future that’s clean and bright, no matter who wins the White House or what regulators in Europe and China decide on.

GEO Praises Inclusion of Orphan Tax Credits – The geothermal heat pump industry was relieved they have finally received the tax Credits they have been lacking since they were left out of the 2015 deal.   Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) executive Ryan Dougherty said the deal marks a significant step toward achieving our goal of tax parity.  “Geothermal heat pumps are 100% ‘Made in the USA’ with American-made components manufactured and installed by American workers. With the extension of federal tax credits being revived, the entire geothermal supply chain, including manufacturers, distributors, dealers, contractors, installers, drillers – plus all the families and small businesses that they support – will finally get the relief we have needed since being left on the sidelines in 2015. AHRI’s Joe Trauger said all of these credits and deductions “provide welcome incentives for American consumers and businesses to replace aging, less efficient equipment with that that is saves energy and helps the environment.”

BCSE Raises Concerns about Multi-Year Extension – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) President Lisa Jacobson praised the passage of the clean energy tax provisions as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act this week. But they also raised concerns about the lack of parity between clean energy tax measures continues to hinder investment and job creation in a number of sectors that contribute to a diverse, reliable and affordable energy system. BCSE had called for multi-year extensions of all the pending energy extenders and also sought to modify or expand tax measures to level the sustainable energy playing field for waste heat to power, energy storage, and commercial geothermal. BCSE is disappointed that the Bipartisan Budget Act did not adopt those proposed changes.

NEORI: Deal is Landmark Victory for CCS – The National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) said the 45Q credit will drive private investment in commercial deployment of technologies to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants and industrial facilities for enhanced oil recovery and other forms of geologic storage and for beneficial uses of CO2. The victory represents one of the most significant energy and environmental accomplishments by Congress in recent memory according to Brad Crabtree of the Great Plains Institute, which co-convenes NEORI with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. “Passage of this legislation highlights the potential for carbon capture to marshal support across the political spectrum for a policy that will boost American energy production, reduce carbon emissions, protect and create high-wage jobs, and increase federal and state revenue.” C2ES President Bob Perciasepe, said leaders from both parties have demonstrated a commitment to reducing carbon emissions while protecting and creating jobs and investing in new American industries.

IN THE NEWS

EIA Releases Annual Energy Outlook – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018) last week providing modeled projections of domestic energy markets through 2050.  The report includes cases with different assumptions regarding macroeconomic growth, world oil prices, technological progress, and energy policies. Strong domestic production coupled with relatively flat energy demand allow the United States to become a net energy exporter over the projection period in most cases. In the Reference case, natural gas consumption grows the most on an absolute basis, and nonhydroelectric renewables grow the most on a percentage basis.  EIA said the US will become a net exporter of energy by 2022, four years earlier than it projected last year.  EIA’s forecast predicts that oil production will taper off around 2040 as the shale fields currently operating are tapped out, but not before increasing to about 12 million barrels a day.

Renewables Also Booming – The latest issue of FERC’s Energy Infrastructure Update (with data through December 31, 2017) says renewable sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) accounted for half (49.85%) of the 24,614 megawatts (MW) of new U.S. electrical generating capacity placed into service in 2017. New natural gas capacity accounted for 48.67%, with the balance coming from waste heat (0.89%), nuclear (0.41%), and oil (0.16%). There was no new coal capacity added during 2017.  Growth in new solar capacity has been most dramatic. By the end of 2017, installed generating capacity at utility-scale (i.e., 1-MW or larger) solar facilities totaled 30.30 GW – roughly eight times (7.77%) greater than that FERC reported five years ago in its December 2012 “Energy Infrastructure Update.” Solar is now 2.55% of total U.S. installed utility-scale generating capacity. Moreover, inasmuch as FERC data do not include distributed solar (e.g., rooftop PV), actual U.S. solar capacity is significantly higher – perhaps 30% or more. Combined, the generating capacity of non-hydro renewables is 73.89% greater than that reported five years ago.

Solar Foundation Report Raises 2018 Concerns – All the new on renewables is not totally good.   New solar tariffs risk solar jobs in 2018 according to a new report from the Solar Foundation.  The solar industry employment declined in 2017, while jobs increased in numerous states with emerging solar markets, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2017, the Foundation’s 8th annual report on solar employment.  The Solar Jobs Census found that 250,271 Americans work in solar as of 2017, representing a 3.8 percent decline, or about 9,800 fewer jobs, since 2016. This is the first year that jobs have decreased since the Solar Jobs Census was first released in 2010.  However, the long-term trend continues to show significant jobs growth. The solar workforce increased by 168% in the past seven years, from about 93,000 jobs in 2010 to over 250,000 jobs in 2017.

Interesting Solar Facts – Some key findings from the National Solar Jobs Census 2017 include:

  • Demand-side sectors (installation, sales & distribution, and project development) make up almost 78 percent of overall solar industry employment, while manufacturing makes up 15 percent. Demand-side sectors lost approximately 7,500 jobs in 2017, while manufacturing lost about 1,200 jobs.
  • The solar industry is more diverse than comparable industries, but more needs to be done to ensure it is representative of the greater U.S. population. Women made up 27% of the solar workforce in 2017, down 1% from 2016. Veterans made up 9% of solar workers, which is 2% more than the overall U.S. workforce.
  • Solar employs twice as many workers as the coal industry, almost five times as many as nuclear power, and nearly as many workers as the natural gas industry. (These comparisons with other industries are based on 2016 jobs numbers, the most recent data available for an apples-to-apples comparison.)

Canadians Suing; EU Worried about Solar Tariffs – Canadian solar manufacturers challenged the Trump administration’s imposition of tariffs in the International Court of Trade. Ontario-based Silfab Solar, Heliene and Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., along with U.S.-based distributor Canadian Solar, filed the challenge, claiming that an investigation last year by the International Trade Commission found Canadian products don’t significantly hurt U.S. manufacturers and don’t account for much of the overall imports of solar cells to the country. The complaint was filed now because Customs and Border Protection began collecting the tariff on Wednesday, creating the injury for the companies. Meanwhile, the European Union said it is seeking compensation through the World Trade Organization, citing Germany’s significant production of solar panels for the North American market.

RUS Appointee Praised by NRECA, UTC – Missouri Co-op head Kenneth Johnson has been nominated by President Trump to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service. Johnson is general manager and CEO of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative and president for Co-Mo Connect in Missouri NRECA head former Rep. Jim Matheson said they were “excited and thrilled” to hear the news. “The ongoing collaboration between RUS and electric co-ops remains essential to the success of rural communities across the nation as co-ops invest in infrastructure upgrades to modernize the grid and meet consumer expectations. Ken is exceptionally qualified to serve in this role.” Utilities Technology Council CEO Joy Ditto added Johnson is an outstanding person to lead the Rural Utilities Service. “His background is perfectly suited for this position, as he understands the needs of utilities in rural America. He led deployment of a fiber-to-the-home broadband network in rural Missouri that provides robust, affordable and reliable broadband services to 15,000 homes and businesses.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Murkowski, FERC Commissioners to Address NARUC – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners holds its annual Winter Policy Summit today through Wednesday.   The Summit will convene an array of speakers from federal agencies, industry, the media, advocacy organizations and more.  Keynote speakers Include Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn, FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, as well as FERC Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur and Rick Glick, Reps. Bill Johnson and Tom Reed and Montana PUC Chair Travis Kavula.  Other speakers include Southern’s Bruce Edelston, SEIA’s Sean Gallagher, IECA’s Paul Cicio, Business Council for Sustainable Energy’s Ruth McCormick, Kyle Rogers of AGA, Statoil’s Kevin Maule, ACCCE’s Paul Bailey and our friend Dave Shepardson of Reuters.

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

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

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

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

Holdren to Address UMd Forum – The University of Maryland at College Park hosts an interactive discussion tomorrow at Noon featuring Dr. John Holdren and the University of Maryland Global Sustainability Initiative.  Currently the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Holdren served as assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Obama Administration.

Forum to Look at Battery Sustainability – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center SVC-214, the U.S. Senate Auto Caucus, Sen. Rob Portman and the Responsible Battery Coalition will host a forum focused on vehicle battery sustainability and recycling.  Featured panelists will include Responsible Battery Coalition head Pat Hayes, Ramon Sanchez of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Johnson Controls’ sustainability expert Adam Muellerweiss, Jonathan Moser of Lafarge Canada, AutoZone’s Ray Pohlman and Micah Thompson, environmental affairs exec with Advance Auto Parts.

House Energy Look at NSR – The House Energy & Commerce panel on the Environment will holds a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to look at New Source Review permitting challenges for manufacturing and infrastructure.  The hearing with feature former PEA Air Office Head and Bracewell colleague Jeff Holmstead, former OMB official and AF&PA policy Head Paul Noe, NRDC’s John Walke, Arkansas DEQ  air director Stuart Spencer, PA Chamber official Kevin Sunday and GWU Law Professor Emily Hammond.

House Resources to Look at Water, Power Infrastructure – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.  looking at the state of the nation’s water and power infrastructure.

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability ReportBloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will release of the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook in Washington, DC, on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.  Speakers include BNEF’s Ethan Zindler and Rachel Luo, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson, SEIA’s Abby Hopper, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan, NHA’s Jeff Leahey, AGA’s Dave McCurdy and Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls.  The panel will look at the cost of energy for consumers and businesses, and how has this changed over time; U.S. ranking for energy prices and clean energy investment; clean energy contributions to American jobs and other items.  There will be a second stakeholder briefing at Noon.

FERC Meeting Set – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., FERC will hold open meeting.

Senate Foreign Relations to Hold Fannon Nom Hearing – The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will meet on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to consider several nominations including our friend Frank Fannon to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Energy Resources).

House Science to Look at STEM – The House Science Research and Technology Subcommittee holds a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on mentoring, training and apprenticeships for STEM education and careers.

House Resources to Look at Critical Minerals – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the House Resources Committee will hold a hearing on national strategic and critical minerals production.

Solar Tariff Proponents Discuss Case on Hill – Advocates for the tariffs on solar components will hold a staff briefing on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in 2253 Rayburn to discuss their Section 201 “global safeguard” case on solar imports and steps forward for Suniva and SolarWorld.  Tim Brightbill and Warren Payne will speak.

IN THE FUTURE

FEBRUARY 19 – President’s Day Holiday.

Forum to Look at FERC Decision on Grid NOPR – On Wednesday, February 21st at Noon, the Global America Business Institute will host a presentation on the FERC Response to grid resilience in RTOs and ISOs.  The speaker will be Judah Rose, Senior Vice President and Managing Director at ICF International.

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

WEN HAPPY HOUR – The Women’s Energy Network holds its winter Happy Hour reception on Thursday February 22nd at 5:30 p.m. at Matchbox Bistro in Chinatown.

SEPA Head to Speak to Renewable Group – The Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy will hold a WRISE DC lunch and learn with Julia Hamm, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) on Friday February 23rd at Noon.  .Hamm will discuss her recent trips to and work with Puerto Rico, what SEPA is doing more broadly, as well as take-aways from her decades of work in renewable energy.

Climate, Security Forum Set – On Monday February 26th at 9:30 a.m., the Center for Climate and Security, in partnership with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, holds their 2018 Climate and National Security Forum: A Responsibility to Prepare. This year’s forum panels will focus on the risks that climate change presents to national security on an operational and strategic level, and the challenges and opportunities in preparing to counter and manage those risks.

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

BPC to Focus on Nuclear Energy Exports – The Bipartisan Policy Center hold a discussion next Monday at 10:00 a.m. with members of DOE, the U.S. nuclear energy industry, academia, and the Nuclear Innovation Alliance looking at the vital role that the export control regulations play in nuclear energy commerce and nonproliferation efforts. The conversation will focus on recommendations from a recent Nuclear Innovation Alliance report on how the regulations and their implementation can be improved.  Speakers will include NNSA’s Kate Strangis and Matt Bunn of the Harvard Kennedy School.

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

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

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

Third Way Forum to Look at Future Nukes – Third Way holds its third annual Advanced Nuclear Summit on March 6th in Washington, DC.  As the advanced nuclear sector gets closer to licensing and constructing new power plants, we will explore how nuclear leaders can engage with communities on the ground, how these technologies can help meet their needs, and how to address the challenges that concern them.  The forum is co-hosted by GAIN and the Idaho, Oak Ridge, and Argonne National Labs.

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

EESI, BSCE to Host Staff Brief on FactBook – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute hosts a lunch briefing on Friday March 9th In 2168 Rayburn focused on the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. A panel of executives from BCSE member companies and analysts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance will discuss.

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

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

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

 

Energy Update: 1/2/18

Friends,

Welcome to 2018 and back to the action… ALMOST.  Don’t expect we’ll see much going on in this short week, but the Senate does return tomorrow to swear in new members Tina Smith and Doug Jones.

With it being the first week of the New Year, we are rolling out our top 10 Issues for 2018.   Issues include Ethanol, trade, taxes, regs, climate, legal challenges, HFCs, Infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, and electricity markets.

One issue that is important but I didn’t mention is rising crude prices. My friends at Platts did touch on that issue with former EIA head Adam Sieminski and others though in their weekly Podcast. These experts see prices ending 2018 as low as $52/b and as high as $70/b, but a number of factors could significantly alter their path, from OPEC compliance to oil demand in Asia to US trade policy.  My friends at SAFE are always focused on this issue (you can talk to Leslie Hayward) or Kevin Book at ClearView, has also weighed in on this topic.

Mark your calendar for events starting next week, including API holding its annual State of Energy Address and the NY City Clean Power Plan “hearing” next Tuesday, CSIS hosting former DOE Secretary Moniz on Thursday January 11th, the Detroit Auto Show starting January 14th and BPC hosts FERC’s Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur, while CSIS hosts launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017 on Jan 16th.  Speaking of the 16th, make sure you note that it is my 50th birthday.  Blatantly telling you now because I am accepting presents all month…

Finally, I hope you noticed the super cool super moon last night/this morning.  I knew it was out there but I really didn’t get the full impact until I was driving up Massachusetts Avenue this morning and saw it perched over Washington DC.  Pretty awesome.  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

The Top Issues for 2018

  1. Ethanol and a “deal” – One of the biggest issue last year was the battle over the RFS, RINs and ethanol.  The issues reached the highest levels of the White House where they expressed an interest in finding a win-win resolution that solves compliance problems while preserving the biofuels program.  This may be one of the early issues to see action this year because it continues to impact volume obligations, confirmations and other items, as well as potential legislative action, which is always a heavy lift.
  2. Solar, Steel, other Tariff/Trade issues – The President has demanded tariffs and January will be a key moment for this discussion.   He faces deadline on steel and solar and continues to hear internal pulls from Economic Advisor Gary Cohn and others who see tariffs as a major concern.  On the Solar case, the solar industry and a broad group of opponents that includes retailers, contractors, utilities and conservatives have urged the President to reject tariffs that could harm the entire industry. As well, look for action on the administration’s efforts to rework NAFTA, whose negotiations have dragged into at least the first quarter of this year.  Congress also started to look at the NAFTA impacts on energy which is likely to remain a central topic.
  3. Taxes and more taxes – With the Tax bill passed and in motion, there will be many tax implications in place over 2018.  Some will be very political and some will be below the radar, but we are certain that you will hear about it.  What you will also hear about as we approach the next budget deadline on January 19th is the potential to have a long-promised tax extenders package that includes incentives for biodiesel blenders, fuel cells, small wind, Geothermal Heat Pumps, distributed wind, CHPs and many other small, but innovative technologies.  Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch unveiled a bill containing a smorgasbord of renewable energy credits just before the holidays, and House Chair Kevin Brady has vowed to move this year.
  4. Slowing regulations in all corners – The White House was most aggressive in 2017 pulling the current regulatory regime back from the previous Administration’s overreach.  This effort will remain a key priority in 2018 because it is one place where the Administration remain largely in control of the process.  Among the regulations in the crosshairs include the Clean Power Plan, WOTUS, offshore drilling issues, other climate action, ozone restrictions, well construction for natgas wells and a new approach to enforcing bird death restrictions.  We have experts on all topics so feel free to reach out.
  5. Climate ups and downs – While 2017 focused largely on the withdrawal from the voluntary Paris Accord, the Clean Power Plan repeal/replace, what climate websites were changed and other carping about the new Administration not caring enough about climate, 2018 promises to be focused on much of that and more state issues that form new ideas to reduce emissions.  While a lot of it will be couched in political clouds, these types of initiatives – along with expanded use of natural gas, and renewables in the regular power mix – will actually reduce our emissions.  Already we are beating many of our targets, while Germany and many other Paris signers are struggling to reduce emissions.  And don’t think that progress will stop political attacks or legal actions against the Trump Administration or companies.
  6. Lawsuit Central – Understanding #4 & #5, it seems like more legal battles is a hardy perennial, but in 2018 legal challenges on the climate, regulations will again play a prominent role.  Unlike previous years when Republican AGs like now EPA head Scott Pruitt and WV’s Pat Morrisey led the charge, this year Democrat AGs in Blue states – buoyed by environmental activists – will lead efforts to file suits against the Trump Administration. Lawyers will be busy, including those inside EPA who are already prepping for each fight by being very careful in how they write new rules.
  7. HFC issues and the Kigali Amendment – The Kigali amendment was signed in late 2016 as part of the Montreal Protocol. Its aim is to reduce the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in air conditioners and refrigerators.  Early in 2018, the big news will be whether the administration follows through on statements from late last year where they vowed to fund efforts to implement it and send the amendment to the Senate for a ratification vote.  The Treaty is binding and goes into effect in 2019 since many countries already have ratified it.  The agreement was supported by both industry, environmental and other sustainability groups, and holds China, India and others to binding limits as global AC and refrigerant use grows globally.
  8. Infrastructure – The most important word for 2018 is infrastructure.  Why? Because it is an election year and infrastructure sells in both parties.  The President is expected to unveil a long-awaited statement of infrastructure “principles” soon and some see the push as an opportunity to advance energy and water infrastructure investments. This means pipelines, transmission and other generation assets.  While the larger infrastructure debate will take on many shapes, energy will play a significant role in the form of new pipeline approvals to move new natural gas, export terminals to get it our resources to foreign markets and important generation assets like new nuclear projects, renewables and gas plants.
  9. Emerging Autonomous Vehicle Rules – Last year, autonomous vehicles began to emerge as a new, important issue.  As the technology and regulatory discussion continues and becomes more defined, there will be more details, innovations and exciting changes for 2018.  Our friends at SAFE have been among the leaders on this issue and have an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force with leading experts to help develop an action plan to facilitate the widespread deployment of this transformative technology.
  10. Electricity markets and the Perry plan – FERC faces an early January deadline (delayed from last month) to respond to the Energy Department’s request to propose a rule that would compensate nuclear and coal plants for resiliency. As our friends at Axios point out, it is a wonky, complex issue, but it remains a battle over nuclear and coal versus gas and renewables.  As natgas prices remain low (as expected for 2018), the market challenges for coal and nukes remain a potential problem.  With many political and energy sectors interests on both sides, it will be a key decision for going forward in 2018.

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“It’s a good context to revisit things like siting, permitting, certainly some of the export terminal issues.”

Rep. Kevin Cramer talking Infrastructure to POLITICO.

 

IN THE NEWS

EIA talking Year-end Oil – Last week,  the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that after decreasing nearly 20% in the first half of 2017, the spot energy index in the Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) ended 2017 16% higher than the beginning of the year. Higher crude oil and petroleum product prices in the second half of 2017 were responsible for the increase in the S&P GSCI energy index.  EIA also reported that total U.S. production was slightly over 9.75 million barrels per day in the week ending December 22nd.  Our friends at Axios point out that this is actually 35,000 barrels per day less than the prior-week average, signaling the first weekly dip since Hurricane Nate took a bunch of Gulf of Mexico production temporarily offline in mid-October.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Senate Returns, Jones, Smith Sworn in – The Senate returns for the second session of the 115th Congress on Wednesday when they will swear in new Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and Minnesota LG Tina Smith. Smith is replacing Sen. Franken who resigns today and Jones defeated Roy Moore to give Democrats a win to replace AG Jeff Sessions.  The House returns next Monday.

IN THE FUTURE

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

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – On January 9th, API holds its annual State of Energy Address in the Atrium Ballroom of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  The luncheon starts at 12:00 Noon with a CEO Jack Gerard’s speech at 12:30 p.m. and a reporter briefing at 1:15 p.m.

NY to Host CPP Meeting for EPA Comments – On January 9th, New York AG Eric Schneiderman holds a meeting to provide public comments to EPA on repealing the Clean Power Plan at The New School in NYC.  Schneiderman is calling it a “people’s hearing” 1) as if the residents and miners of WV are not people and 2) certainly most New Yorkers are just regular folks Like everyone else.  My guess it will be very entertaining but not all that valuable to EPA.

Wilson Forum to Look at Taiwan Energy Issues – The Woodrow Wilson Center holds a discussion on next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the political and social, as well as economic ramifications of the options Taipei has to meet its expansive energy needs, and how its decisions may impact Taiwan’s foreign policy.

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

WRI Outlines Stories to Watch – On Wednesday, January 10th at 9:00 a.m., the World Resources Institute hosts in 15th annual Stories to Watch event.  The event is for policymakers, business leaders and media in Washington, DC, and around the world.  Dr. Andrew Steer, WRI President & CEO, will share his insights on the big stories in the environment and international development in the coming year. In this turbulent time, he will explore global trends and emerging issues related to economics, climate change, energy markets, forests, water, security issues and more.

CSIS to Host Moniz – On Thursday, January 11th at 4:00 p.m., CSIS holds a discussion with Ernest J. Moniz, the co-chair and CEO of NTI and former U.S. Secretary of Energy. He will provide remarks on the role of nuclear weapons in today’s increasingly dangerous global security environment, which will be followed by a discussion with John Hamre, president and CEO of CSIS.

Detroit Auto Show Launches – The North American International Auto Show runs from January 13th to 28th and serves as the global stage for companies to debut brand-defining vehicles and industry-shaping announcements.  Press Days start on January 14th where the world’s automotive and mobility leaders gather for three days of worldwide product and technology debuts.  Last January, the 2017 NAIAS featured 71 vehicle introductions, including 46 worldwide debuts. News coming out of NAIAS is heard across the globe as more than 5,100 journalists from 61 different countries annually attend to cover the latest and greatest happenings our industry has to offer.

BPC to Host LaFleur, Chatterjee – On Tuesday, January 16th at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts FERC Commissioners Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur to discuss the proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule. This proposal, drafted by the Department of Energy, calls for an expedited rulemaking to support generators that provide specific reliability and resiliency attributes. FERC is expected to take action on the proposal by January 10.

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

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

CSIS to Host Canada Energy Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a presentation on January 23rd at 9:30 a.m. featuring the National Energy Board’s (NEB) Canada’s Energy Future 2017: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2040. This report, part of NEB’s annual Energy Future series, features long-term projections of Canadian energy supply and demand.  The 2017 edition examines how recent energy developments, especially in climate policy, have affected Canada’s energy outlook. The study also includes additional scenarios focusing on long-term climate policy and technology trends. Similar in structure to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook, the report is the only public, long-term Canadian energy outlook that includes all energy commodities in all provinces and territories.

Pruitt, Snyder, Others Headline Washington Auto Show – The Washington Auto Show launches on January 23rd and runs through February 4th.  The Washington Auto Show is the Public Policy Show, where the auto industry intersects with the government officials who write and enforce the laws and rules that affect the field. This coming year, one of the focuses of the show will be on connected and autonomous vehicle technology, and the ways pending legislation could impact its development.  Major speakers include EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Sen. Gary Peters, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and many others, including representatives from the U.K., South Korea, Japan, China, and the U.A.E. Press Day is January 25th and will feature a sneak peek of the more than 600 cars on the floor of the consumer show.

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

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

Energy Update: Week of September 11th

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

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

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

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE FUTURE

National Drive Electric Week – Launches Sunday, September 17

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

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

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

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

ITC Solar Trade Petition Injury Determination – September 22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update: Week of June 19

Friends,

I hope you all enjoyed your Father’s Day as much as I did.  I was completely out of control running a 10K with Adam in the morning (he smoked me in the last two miles: 39:00 to 41:50), officiated 6 lax games with Hannah, then went with all three (and sat in the prime seats with Olivia) to the Third Eye Blind/SilverSun PickUps concert at Pier 6 and finally a late visit to Ra! for sushi.  I even was able to take in a little of the exciting and amazing finish by Brooks Koepka as he ran through the final few holes en route to his US Open victory.

Back to the work week (which may actually seem like rest compared to the weekend). Last week’s budget questions were not as tough as some expected given Congressional appropriators have pretty much disregarded the “Mulvaney” budget…as some of his former House colleagues chided during hearings.  This week, the action hits its stride as Energy Secretary Perry returns to action off his recent trip to Asia.  Because of the trip, Perry is pulling a trifecta with testimony tomorrow at House Approps, Wednesday at Senate EPW Approps and Thursday at Senate Energy.  Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke also hits a triple starting tomorrow at Senate Energy, Wednesday afternoon at Senate Interior Approps and Thursday at House Resources.  In each case, they will continue the effort to explain the administration’s budget request.

This biggest event this week is the Chamber’s Energy Institute 10th Anniversary “Energy Strong” forum tomorrow morning focused on energy progress made over the past decade, as well as ways that continued energy innovation can drive future economic growth.  Speakers will include EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, among a number of others.

Also tomorrow, with the Trump Administration close to completing its Section 232 trade investigation of whether imported steel poses a “threat to U.S. national security,” steel folks will hold two events: At Noon the Washington Auto press hosts the Steel Market Development Institute at the Press Club while steel consumers in the US will hold a briefing at 2:00 p.m. in the Club’s Zenger Room to discuss the impacts of trade tariffs.

Then tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum on energy innovation featuring Sen. Lamar Alexander and a panel moderated by Axios’ Ben Geman that includes ClearPath’s Rich Powell, Air Liquide’s Mike Rosen and Southern’s Steve Wilson.  The event is a follow up on a recent letter from 14 CEOs including major corporations and Chamber CEO Tom Donahue that urges Congressional support funding for energy innovation programs. We also expect to see another letter this week on the same topic from a wide array of “strange-bedfellow” groups.  In addition, former Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz will discuss energy innovation projects at a National Press Club Newsmaker Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. hosted by me and moderated by our friend Rod Kuckro of E&E News.

Speaking of Moniz, later in the day he will join a forum at the Atlantic Council on the climate energy balance that includes former Defense secretary Chuck Hagel, former EPA head Christie Todd Whitman and Statoil Chief Economist Eirik Waerness.  Waerness also briefs at CSIS on Thursday on the US release of Statoil’s new 2017 Energy Perspectives report, which summarizes narratives about global energy demand and energy mix for the future decades.  CSIS also hosts the launch of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) New Energy Outlook 2017 on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

After delaying another week, we might see RVOs this week, but not really holding my breath given the history here…  There is a LOT of interesting news out there this morning.  If you have any questions about any of it that I can help you with, please don’t hesitate to call…  Wednesday at 4:24 p.m. is Summer Solstice, so enjoy the longest day of the year…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“These new estimates show the potential damage to the solar industry as a result of this petition.  Rather than help the industry, the trade action would kill many thousands of American jobs and put a stop to billions of dollars in private investment.”

SEIA President Abigail Ross Hopper on the impacts of the 201 trade case filed by Suniva now being reviewed by the US International Trade Commission.

 

IN THE NEWS

SEIA Says Trade Action would Cost 88K Jobs – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) projects that 88,000 jobs would be lost, about one-third of the current American solar workforce, if Suniva gets trade protections proposed in its petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).  Among the states standing to lose the most jobs include California with an expected job loss of 15,800, another 7,000 jobs would be lost in South Carolina, and 6,300 in Texas, according to preliminary estimates by SEIA.  Despite Suniva’s claims that its move is meant to protect domestic manufacturing, SEIA found that U.S. solar manufacturing jobs will actually decline if the petition is granted.  The case comes after a record-breaking year of solar energy growth in 2016 when industry jobs grew by 25% year-over-year and electricity generating capacity nearly doubled.  SEIA forecasts that solar jobs would be lost in all segments of the market. The utility-scale market, which has paced the industry’s growth for years, would see jobs shrink by 60%, while residential and commercial employment would fall by 44% and 46%, respectively.

AHRI Group Offers Low-GWP Alternative Refrigerants Testing Results – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology Institute (AHRTI), the research arm of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), released the first research report as part of its ongoing testing of flammable refrigerants, many of which were identified as possible replacements to high global warming-potential (GWP) hydrofluorocarbons that will be phased down under the Montreal Protocol. The research and testing program is part of a $5.2 million commitment on the part of AHRI, ASHRAE, U.S. Department of Energy, and the California Air Resources Board to further test in real-world settings low-GWP, but mildly flammable or flammable, refrigerants. The report, Benchmarking Risk by Whole Room Scale Leaks and Ignitions Testing of A2L Refrigerants, was developed following testing at UL, which began in June 2016. The objective was to conduct refrigerant leak and ignition testing under real-world conditions to develop data and insight into the risk associated with the use of A2L refrigerants, which are mildly-flammable, but have a low-GWP. Room scale tests were performed for commercial and residential scenarios, including a packaged terminal air conditioner in a motel room, a rooftop unit in a commercial kitchen, a walk-in cooler, a reach-in refrigerator in a convenience store, a split HVAC unit in a utility closet and with servicing error, and a split HVAC unit with hermetic electrical pass-through terminal failure. Further testing is planned as part of this effort and results will be released when they are available.

EIA: Wind, solar Account for 10% of U.S. electricity generation for first time – The EIA said last week that for the first time, wind and solar power installations provided about 10% of total U.S. electricity generation in March and likely exceeded that level in April.  EIA added that the share will likely fall below those levels in the summer, largely because output fluctuates based on seasonal changes.  On an annual basis, wind and solar made up 7% of total U.S. electric generation in 2016. Texas accounted for the largest total amount of wind and solar electricity generation. Nearly all of this generation was from wind, as Texas generates more wind energy than any other state. As a share of the state’s total electricity generation, wind and solar output was highest in Iowa, where wind and solar made up 37% of electricity generation in 2016. In addition to Iowa, wind and solar provided at least 20% of 2016 electricity generation in six other states.  See the EIA charts here.

Wind Runs Adverting Campaign About Jobs – Speaking of wind, AWEA’s partner American Wind Action launched a multimillion-dollar digital, TV and radio advertising issue advocacy campaign in Washington that features workers at an Iowa wind turbine manufacturing facility who say the industry “powers American jobs.”

AHRI Pushes Back on Energy Efficiency Lawsuit – Eleven states, led by California and New York, have sued the Trump administration for failing to finalize energy-efficiency regulations for portable air conditioners, walk-in coolers and other products. AHRI’s Francis Dietz said while the HVACR industry is just as anxious as others to have some certainty about these delayed rules that affect its members’ products, it is not unusual for there to be a delay in getting rules out at the beginning of an administration.  “As much as they would like to see decisions made on these, the odds are, these rules will be out long before this suit sees the inside of a courtroom.”  He added it’s important to remember that these products are already available for anyone to buy, so the argument that this delay is somehow keeping consumers from saving money/energy is simply not true. Having said that, manufacturers thrive on certainty, and that has created uncertainty and the new legal actions only create more.

SAFE Weighs In On AV Hearing Discussions – Following last week’s Senate Commerce Committee’s hearing on autonomous vehicles (AVs), Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) head Robbie Diamond said he is encouraged by Congressional action to advance autonomous vehicle (AV) policy.  Diamond says the technology “will improve the lives of countless people, prevent deaths, and mitigate our nation’s oil dependence. Congress has an important role to play in expediting the safe deployment of these vehicles on public roads by judiciously establishing a single, national regulatory framework.”  He added that AVs are a national issue which requires a national policy, and while it is critical to avoid overregulation, not being clear about basic performance standards creates a situation in which developers do not have a clear understanding of safety standard to build towards, and a policy vacuum forms that invites states to continue to create a messy patchwork of regulations.  Diamond: “A unified national framework, that includes federal preemption of conflicting state standards, would address both of these growing challenges—and we urge lawmakers to continue moving forward swiftly.”  Until a unified national framework is in place, SAFE believes that states should refrain from imposing AV regulations that may create unnecessary delays in deployment of the technology. Federal preemption has the ability to provide the much-needed certainty to automotive and technology companies, and will spur increased AV development across the country.  In January, SAFE’s Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety, a panel of experts and former public officials committed to the safe and timely introduction of AVs, released its best-practice recommendations for AV deployment. These recommendations emphasized the need for a modern regulatory environment, as well as industry-government communication.

House Committee Approves Crucial Nuclear Incentive – Last Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved bipartisan energy legislation from Reps. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) modifying the 45J production tax credit to allow more time for the nation’s four new reactors under construction to receive the credit, and to allow transferability of the credit to other partners of the utilities. ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell said: “This effort is vital to any real hope of expanding our nuclear fleet.”  The legislation changes current law by removing the 2021 deadline for the new reactors to be placed in service. It may also affect facilities that would use other advanced nuclear technologies, such as small modular reactors being designed by NuScale Power. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has introduced a companion measure.

Congressional Baseball Game Raises $1M For Charity – Speaking of ClearPath, they were a proud sponsor of Thursday night’s Congressional Baseball Game, which brought both teams together in a bipartisan display of collegiality that raised more than $1 million for charity. The record number of tickets sold -nearly 25,000 – and other proceeds benefit the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, the Washington Literary Center and the Capitol Police Memorial Fund.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Ukraine Gas Leaders to Address Forum – Next Monday at 3:30 p.m., the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and Global Energy Center will hold a conversation on the future of Ukraine’s energy sector with Naftogaz leadership.  On May 31, Ukraine’s Naftogaz won a victory over Russia’s Gazprom in the international arbitration court in Stockholm. Naftogaz won on all three counts the court considered. On the heels of this extraordinary development, the Atlantic Council will bring together Naftogaz Chief Executive Officer and Chief Commercial Officer, Andriy Kobolyev and Yuriy Vitrenko, and fellow energy experts, to discuss Ukraine’s energy sector – Nord Stream 2, implications of the arbitration between Naftogaz and Gazprom in Stockholm, and energy reforms.

Chamber to Host Pruitt, Zinke – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy will celebrate its 10th Anniversary tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. with an “Energy Strong” forum that will examine the remarkable progress made over the past decade, and the ways that continued energy innovation can drive future economic growth.  Speakers will include Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy CEO Karen Harbert, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Sen. Dan Sullivan, former National Security Advisor General Jim Jones Jr. (Ret.), IHS Markit’s Dan Yergin, EEI President Tom Kuhn, NuScale Power CEO John Hopkins and several others.

Zinke to Talk Interior Budget at Senate Energy – The full Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will convene a hearing next Tuesday to examine the president’s budget request for the Department of the Interior for Fiscal Year 2018.  Secretary Ryan Zinke will appear.   Later in the day, The Committee’s panel on Public Lands, Forests and Mining’s will hold an oversight hearing on restoring watersheds and large landscapes.

Perry to Testify at House/Senate Approps Subpanels, Sen Energy – Energy Secretary Rick Perry is scheduled to testify next week before three committees on the budget.  Expect lots of funding questions but also a number of questions about the reliability study.  Tomorrow, Perry heads to the House Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Energy and Water.  On Wednesday, he hits the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water and Thursday, he moves over to the Senate Energy Committee.

Forum to Look at AVs – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and the Washington Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany will hold a forum next Tuesday, June 20th at 10:00 a.m. to discuss key policy and commercial issues and insights on how enterprises and policymakers from the U.S. and Germany are enabling the future of mobility.  Emerging digital technologies are enabling connected and autonomous vehicles (AVs). These technologies will reshape the future of mobility, reducing accidents and producing an estimated $1 trillion-a-year economic benefit in the United States alone. But to achieve that vision, policymakers will need to create a regulatory environment that encourages experimentation while ensuring high standards of road safety, as Germany has recently done by developing a policy framework for autonomous vehicle research and experimentation.  Speakers include Michael Bültmann of HERE Deutschland, ITIF’s Stephen Ezell and German Federal Ministry of Transportation’s Tobias Miethaner.

House Science Dems Hosts Climate Advocates – Democrats on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will host a roundtable discussion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to showcase the threats posed by man-made global warming.  Ranking Democrat Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson has invited heavy hitters in the climate world to the four-hour event, which will feature two expert panels on science and the UN Process.  Among the witnesses include climate scientist Ben Santer, former UN Environmental Chair Christiana Figueres and several others.

Forum to Look at OPA Reform – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday, June 20th at 12:00 p.m. looking at updating the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) in 1990.  OPA was passed following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, to strengthen the federal government’s ability to prevent and respond to oil spills, establish financial resources to aid response, and raise standards for contingency planning. The program will cover OPA issues raised by pipeline projects, and by the Trump Administration’s efforts to increase production from offshore and federal lands and to restrict the definition of waters of the United States in ways which may reduce the scope of contingency planning requirements for inland locations.  Speakers will also discuss key decisions from the past year involving the OPA and related federal statutes, including decisions about recoverable damages, citizen suits, and presentation of claims to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, as well as decisions in enforcement cases against vessels involving the use of “magic pipes” to deal with oily bilge water. The expert panel includes NOIA’s Randall Luthi, Cyn Sarthou of the Gulf Restoration Network and Richard Udell, who serves in DOJ’s Environmental Crimes Section.

WAPA to Host Steel Discussion – The Washington Automotive Press Assn is holding a forum at the National Press Club Tuesday June 20th at Noon featuring the Steel Market Development Institute. Dr. Jody Hall, vice president of the automotive market for the Steel Market Development Institute, will discuss advancements in steel grades and how their application in the vehicle structure helps protects occupants in the event of a crash and is easier to repair than vehicles made with alternative materials.

Steel Consumers to Address Tariff Issues – Steel consumers in the US will hold a briefing on Wednesday at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room at 2:00 p.m. to discuss the Impacts of trade tariffs. Speakers include American Institute for International Steel President Richard Chriss, Chief Commercial Officer of the Port of New Orleans Bobby Landry, trade law expert Lewis Leibowitz and Stuart Speyer of Tennsco, a family-owned manufacturer of quality storage products.  The event will feature U.S. steel supply chain, voices from ports to steel-using manufacturers, speak out about the potentially destructive impact of steel tariffs on their own economic viability. The U.S. steel industry directly employs 142,000 workers, compared to an estimated 6.5 million who are employed by steel-using manufacturers.

Senate to Look at Water Infrastructure – The Senate Environment Committee’s Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on innovative financing and funding to address America’s crumbling water infrastructure.

BPC Innovation Forum to Feature Sen Alexander, Southern ClearPath Experts – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Energy Innovation Commission tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in 430 Dirksen about the energy innovation process, with leading industry voices discussing whether smart, targeted approaches for limited federal resources can complement private sector investments in pursuit of advanced energy technologies. President Trump’s recent budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 has sparked a conversation about the appropriate federal role in supporting the nation’s innovators. As the congressional appropriations process begins in earnest, energy research programs within the Department of Energy are among those under scrutiny, despite a history of broad, bipartisan support.  Sen. Lamar Alexander will offer Keynote remarks, followed by a panel discussion with ClearPath’s Rich Powell, Air Liquide’s Mike Rosen and Southern’s Steve Wilson moderated by Axios’ Ben Geman.

WCEE to Host Litigation Roundtable – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment hold its Third Annual Litigation Roundtable Wednesday with the women Administrative Law Judges of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Judges will discuss their experience as Administrative Law Judges, interesting developments in their careers, who mentored them along the way and who they themselves mentored, and share the “Dos & Don’ts” regarding hearings and settlement conferences.

BGov to Look at Infrastructure IssuesBloomberg Government will convene a conversation on Wednesday morning looking at the latest innovations for America’s infrastructure and the public and private sector partners bringing these ideas to life. Federal, state and industry leaders discuss the nation’s infrastructure priorities – funding, connectivity and sustainability – and where the public sector should focus infrastructure efforts to have the greatest impact.

Moniz, Whitman, Others to Discuss Climate, Energy – The Atlantic Council will host a forum on Wednesday looking at the energy and climate balance.  The conference convenes 150 rising leaders from around the world to discuss one of the most pressing issues facing the next generation: finding a balance between mitigating and adapting to climate change while also providing secure and reliable energy to fuel our future. The bipartisan agenda includes a cross-generational lineup of senior speakers alongside future leaders and represents a range of views on energy and climate from both sides of the Atlantic. Confirmed speakers include Founder of Sun Edison and Generate Capital Jigar Shah, Campaign Director for Greenpeace USA Leila Dean,  President and Co-Founder of OPower Alex Laskey, former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, CEO and Founder of Merdiam Thierry Deau, Manager for Environment and Policy Planning for ExxonMobil Peter Trelenberg, former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, former EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman,  Chairman and CEO of the Libra Group George Logothetis, and Executive Vice President and Chief Economist of Statoil Eirik Waerness, among many others.

Wilson Forum Look at Arctic Relations – The Wilson Center hold its Arctic Circle Forum on Wednesday and Thursday beginning each day at 8:30 am and looking at the U.S. and Russian roles in the Arctic.  The Arctic is a region of international dialogue and potential competition, of varied challenges and diverse opportunities. It is also a region that is gaining in both geopolitical significance and public awareness every day. The complex relationship between the United States and Russia, along with the approaches of the six other Arctic nations, will continue to shape the region’s social, economic, political and environmental issues far into the future.  The event will explore the crucial Arctic relationship and the implications for all Arctic nations, the communities that call the region home, and the countries and organizations that have a vested interest in a peaceful and sustainable Arctic.

House Resources to Look at Linking Helium, NatGas, Oil Leasing – The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a Wednesday 10:00 a.m. legislative hearing on discussion drafts of the Helium Extraction Act of 2017.  The legislation focuses on amending the Mineral Leasing Act to provide that extraction of helium from gas produced under a Federal mineral lease shall maintain the lease as if the helium were oil and gas.

House Science Looks at Advancing in Enviro Techs – The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. examining advances in environmental technologies. Witnesses will include Saildrone exec Sebastien De Halleux Dr. Neil Jacobs of Panasonic Avionics and Oregon State University Professor in Ocean Ecology and Biogeochemistry Burke Hales.

BNEF to Release Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting the launch of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) New Energy Outlook 2017 on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. The report is BNEF’s annual economic forecast for the world’s power mix to 2040. Built over nine months, it is the result of a major collaboration of more than 65 market and technical experts from BNEF’s 11 offices around the world.  Seb Henbest (NEO Lead Author and Head of Europe, Middle East, & Africa; BNEF) and Elena Giannakopoulou (Lead Energy Economist; BNEF) will present on the NEO 2017 findings, followed by Q&A and discussion.

Press Club to Host Former Energy Sect Moniz – The National Press Club will host a Newsmaker on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in the Club’s Lisagor Room featuring former Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz.  Moniz will propose ways to maintain the American leadership edge on energy innovation. Moniz also is expected to announce the formation of a new non-profit organization “The Energy Futures Initiative,” that aims to foster innovation in global energy systems. According to the creators, EFI will be a non-partisan, think tank and advisory firm working across all energy sources to provide evidence-based analysis on decarbonizing energy systems, creating high-paying energy jobs, and finding ways to make energy infrastructure and supplies more secure.

Forum to Look at Innovation, EU Climate Challenges – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Delegation of the European Union to the US will hold a discussion on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. addressing current trends in innovation and economically sound decarbonization efforts across key sectors. World Bank Group CEO Kristalina Georgieva will keynote.

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

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

Senate Energy to Hear from Perry on DOE Budget – The full Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will convene a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to examine the president’s budget request for the Department of Energy for Fiscal Year 2018.  Secretary Perry will testify.

State to Launch New Arctic Book – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at George Washington University, the State Department releases a book containing excerpts from the blog and book, Our Arctic Nation. The forum will feature a selection of Our Arctic Nation contributors discussing their experiences exploring their state’s Arctic connections and for discussion about national Arctic identity and the importance of the region to America’s future. Robert Orttung of GWU’s Elliott School of International Affairs and Representatives from the U.S. Department of State will speak.

WAPA to Host Ride/Drive of Ionig – WAPA also will host a lunch and drive on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at River Farm in Alexandria, VA featuring the all-new Hyundai Ioniq Electric and Hybrid line of vehicles.

CSIS to Host Statoil Energy Report – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum on at 1:00 p.m. featuring Eirik Wærness, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of Statoil, to present the company’s newly released Energy Perspectives 2017.  The Energy Perspectives report summarizes different narratives about global energy demand and energy mix for the future decades, scenarios, based on different assumptions about regional and global economic growth, conflict levels and implications, technological development and energy and climate policies. In the 2017 version, models have been adjusted with last year’s developments in the energy and climate policy area, technology costs and maturity, more thorough assessments of GDP forecasts, as well as included adjustments made to historic global CO2 emissions. The modelling runs to 2050 with 2014 as baseline year, and provides a forecast for global energy demand and energy mix, economic growth, CO2 emissions, and more.

Forum to Hear Energy Demand Expert – On Friday at Chinatown Garden, the National Capital Chapter of the US Energy Economists will host physicist, venture capitalist, author, government advisor, and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Mark Mills.  Mills will discuss energy demand disruptions and the aspirations versus the reality. Mills says we are nearing an era of ‘peak energy demand’ requires believing that innovation is over, and similarly that we’ve seen the end of normal economic and social behaviors.  Technology and demographic trends in fact suggest that the recent past is in an interregnum, not a ‘new normal’ when it comes to energy demand.

 

IN THE FUTURE

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

Smart Cities Conference Headed for Austin – The 2017 Smart Cities Connect Conference will be in Austin, TX at the Convention Center on June 27th.  The event convenes more than 200 global city leaders to prospect and partner with innovative technology and service providers.

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

CSIS to Host IEF Head on Energy Markets – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program on Wednesday June 28th at 10:30 a.m. will host Dr. Sun Xiansheng, Secretary General of the International Energy Forum (IEF), for a presentation and discussion on the forces impacting the security of global oil and gas supplies. Adam Sieminski will moderate the session that will focus on three key aspects of current markets: (1) why the volatile nature of the energy markets continues to pose many challenges for producers and consumers and (2) how, despite policy shifts in Washington, tightening greenhouse gas emission thresholds around the world could continue to shape many long-term decisions made by policy makers.  Dr. Sun has over 30 years of practical industry experience in oil & gas production, trading, and pipeline construction. He was elected Secretary General of the IEF in August 2016.

CSIS to Discuss Energy Efficiency Issues – On Thursday June 29th at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Philippe Benoit, former head of Energy Efficiency and Environment Division of the International Energy Agency, to discuss some of the benefits and pitfalls in shifting the focus of energy efficiency from savings to growth. Ariel Yépez, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), will discuss how the IDB is working to increase the appeal of energy efficiency as a development tool for its client countries by also emphasizing its potential to support expanded service delivery. Laura Van Wie McGrory, Alliance to Save Energy, will discuss how energy efficiency also brings important benefits other than just energy savings to the U.S. and other developed countries.

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of May 15

Friends,

Hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day, taking some time to celebrate the important moms in our lives.  I spent the entire afternoon at DC101’s Kerfuffle with Stacey, listening to a bunch of groups she loves.  I did get to hear Weezer, so that was awesome.   In fact, today, while you took your car to work, I took my BOARD…

And great news for science folks…Kára McCullough, the Miss District of Columbia became Miss USA 2017 on Sunday night in Las Vegas. The 25-year-old winner is a scientist and technical reviewer at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The Congress continues its push toward the Memorial Day break that signals the unofficial start of summer. This week, there are a lot of committee hearings including Elaine Chao before Senate EPW on infrastructure, but the biggest is the Senate Energy Confirmation hearing of David Bernhardt to be deputy at Interior.  As well, the quick turnaround by the Committee leadership also bodes well for a quick hearing on the new FERC nominees Robert Powelson and Neal Chatterjee.  Speaking of Powelson, he will NOT address the NatGas Roundtable tomorrow at Noon, but will be replaced by New York Commissioner Diane X. Burman.

The Chamber also has a busy week with an event tomorrow morning with experts like IHS’s Dan Yergin discussing financial disclosure on climate issues moderated by Chamber Energy head Karen Harbert.  On Wednesday, ACCF will hold a forum at the Newseum on energy policy in the 115th Congress featuring Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, ClearPath’s Jay Faison and Alaska coop exec Meera Kohler.

Tomorrow, Clean Edge will be releasing its 8th Annual U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index. The Index offers current and historical data on all 50 states and the 50 largest metro regions.  Expect to see discussions of state expansion of wind power, discussion of cities renewable efforts, clean energy jobs and much more.

Finally, Saturday is Preakness at Pimlico in Baltimore, the second jewel in the Triple Crown.  Derby winner Always Dreaming is expected to remain the favorite after his strong performance at Churchill and many of his key rivals have not made the trip to Baltimore.  Full analysis below, but I really like Classic Empire in this race to edge out Always Dreaming.  Keep both in the trifecta box with Multiplier or Conquest Mo Money.

Next week, we expect the budget to be announced on May 22nd so stay tuned…Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We’re heartened by this trade deal for its potential to increase Chinese access to American LNG.  We have had extensive negotiations with the Chinese over the last month. We have shipped LNG to 20 other countries around the globe, and are in talks to ship to more.”

Cheniere spokesman Eben Burnham-Snyder following Thursday’s trade agreement with China to increase trade access for some U.S. companies to China, which is expected to include LNG exports.

 

PREAKNESS PREVIEW

The Pimlico Racecourse is in Baltimore and hosts both colts and geldings over a distance of 9.5 furlongs or 1 3/16 miles.  It is the shortest of the Triple Crown Races. Because it is shorter, the track is more firm with slightly tighter turns and the field almost always is smaller, pacesetting horses often can just power out of the gate and run a clean race like Always Dreaming did in the Derby.  The Preakness favors the fastest horses.  While long shots do deliver a big upset from time to time, we tend to see the favorites perform the best at Pimlico.

The Preakness Stakes attracts more spectators than any other US race, other than the Kentucky Derby. The race was first run in the 1870s. Traditionally, the winner of the race wears a garland of yellow flowers, called Black-Eyed Susans. The purse is around $1.5 million.  Post time is 6:45 p.m. and the Preakness is the 8th race of 9 on Saturday.  Post Draw is Wednesday.

Derby Re-Runs – Derby winner Always Dreaming is expected to remain the favorite after his strong performance at Churchill and many of his key rivals have not made the trip to Baltimore.

There will also likely be a much smaller field. The Preakness often has the smallest field of the trio of races because the two-week turnaround can be brutal, and many teams decide to give their horses rest for the longest of the races in the Belmont.  Only three horses ran in both the 2016 Derby and the Preakness. Last year, after Nyquist bested Exaggerator in the Derby, Exaggerator returned the favor in Baltimore.  This gives Lookin at Lee hope that he may run down AD, but a fast, shorter track and good weather might make Classic Empire the real challenger.   He had a rough trip in the 20-horse field, getting bounced around by McCracken and Irish War Cry, yet he still showed pretty well on sloppy track, McCraken and Irish faded in the stretch.  He also was impacted by most bettors wagering him down just prior to post time. Very little went right for Classic Empire in the Derby, so don’t be too discouraged with his 4th place finish.

Hence and Gunnerva also run again and are potential sleepers, but both underperformed in Louisville.  One of these might be good for the superfecta or trifecta box because they both have potential.

Who’s New – There will be a number of fresh horses that all have the advantage of rest.  Of the newbies, Cloud Computing enters the Preakness with only three career starts, but has displayed talent from the outset, winning his career debut by almost 2 lengths despite a poor start.  He has also been strong in his two other stakes tries has been training very well at Belmont Park.

Multiplier is fast and was strong in the Illinois Derby giving him the pre-race lowest odds among the new horses in the field, but limited racing and nothing as a 2-year makes him an unknown.

New Mexico-bred Conquest Mo Money had a strong effort in the April 15 Arkansas Derby, in which he contested the pace from the outset and almost held off Classic Empire at the end.  Because he like to push the pace he’ll be a major player in the Preakness, giving AD more pace at the outset.

Royal Mo was another stakes winner that should have also forced a faster early pace, but he sustained an injury yesterday and is now out of the field.

Senior Investment and Term Of Art are the other longer short all with pre-race odds of 16-1 to 25-1.

Don’t Look for Sleepers Here – These longer-shot horses will be tempting, but you should keep in mind that long shots have not performed very well in past Preakness Stakes, most likely because of the shorter distance.

PICK:  Stay with favorites… I like Classic Empire to get revenge over a close Always Dreaming.  I’ll box them with Mo Money or Multiplier.  For the Super, I’d add Gunnerva to that mix…  Good Luck.

 

IN THE NEWS

Bodine to Head EPA Enforcement – President Trump plans to nominate Susan Bodine, chief counsel on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, to be EPA’s assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance. Bodine is the latest EPW staffer with ties to Sen. Inhofe to land at EPA.  Bodine also served as assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (now the Office of Land and Emergency Management) during the last three years of the George W. Bush administration as the Senate-confirmed.  My colleague Scott Segal said “Susan Bodine is a skilled professional and an accomplished lawyer in and out of government service.  Her time running the waste office at EPA during the George W Bush Administration was productive and competent.  Her stints as a counsel in both the House and Senate have given her the kind of perspective that comes from effective oversight of the EPA.  Susan is a great pick, particularly if the Administration is contemplating any changes in the priorities at OECA.”

Cheniere Talks LNG with China – On Friday, Cheniere Energy said it has had extensive negotiations with China about increasing U.S. liquefied natural gas exports.  It follows a new agreement with China – announced Thursday by the President – to increase trade access for some U.S. companies to China, which is expected to include LNG exports.  Cheniere is currently the only company able to export large cargoes of LNG from the continental United States, giving it a leg up now to ink long-term contracts with China, the world’s largest growth market for gas.

SEIA Opposes Steep Import Tariffs – The Solar Energy Industries Assn is opposing a petition to the ITC by Suniva to impose import tariffs on solar cells and modules.  SEIA and other petition critics say the higher prices would wreak havoc on solar electricity project economics. SEIA’s letter says granting the petition would put 260,000 jobs at risk.  See the letter and a bunch of documents on the case here.

RFS Volumes Head to OMB – On Thursday, EPA forwarded its proposed 2018 biofuels requirements to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for review. The agency will need the rule back by early June if it is to release a final rule by the Nov. 30 deadline.  Our friend Eric Wolff at POLITICO reports that the mandate would stick with the statutory level that requires blending of 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel, usually corn-based ethanol.

US Oil Rig Count Rises for 17th Straight Week – Baker Hughes said late last week that the U.S. rig count grew for the 17th consecutive week, increasing to a total to 712. That’s the highest level since the week of April 17, 2015. The increase extended the longest stretch of rig additions in six years, illustrating that drillers are finding efficient ways to ramp up production in a lower oil-price environment.  The Baker Hughes Rig Counts are an important business barometer for the drilling industry and its suppliers. When drilling rigs are active they consume products and services produced by the oil service industry. The active rig count acts as a leading indicator of demand for products used in drilling, completing, producing and processing hydrocarbons.

Tillerson Signs Arctic Agreement – On Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed a joint statement with seven other foreign ministers at the Arctic Council that calls for action to reduce greenhouse gases and cited the Paris climate change agreement.  The agreement is important given the current deliberations in the White House regarding the status of the Paris agreement.  The Fairbanks Declaration of 2017, also signed by Russia, Canada, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland, says the Arctic Council members note “the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change and its implementation,” and reiterates “the need for global action to reduce both long-lived greenhouse gases and short-lived climate pollutants,” while it reaffirms “the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the need for their realization by 2030.”

USWAG Asked for Review of Coal Ash Rule – The Utility Solid Waste Activities Group petitioned EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Friday to reconsider “specific portions” of the agency’s regulation governing coal ash. The petition argues aspects of the rule warrant changes due to legislation passed last year that included changes to permitting and enforcement provisions, and also asks the agency to put a legal challenge on ice while it reconsiders those aspects of the rulemaking.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

BPC Forum Looks at Power Sector – This morning at 10:30 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center held a discussion on how digitization can improve the efficiency and performance of the power sector across the entire value chain, from electricity production to transmission and distribution. Experts will discuss the benefits of digitization, as well as the policy challenged it faces.  Speakers will include GE Power’s Steve Bolze, Exelon’s Chris Crane, NYPA’s Gil Quiniones and BPC President Jason Grumet.

Cities Water Summit Set – Invest4Resilience will host the Great Water Cities Summit 2017 forum today in New York at the Marriott Marquis for leaders from Wall Street and cities officials to share their vision, experience and expertise in how they are investing in their communities and making them more resilient. They will discuss how investments in physical and financial assets, as well as human resources, are the key to sustainable growth and a resilient future.

Interior to Host NavGen Listening Sessions – The Interior Department kicks off four listening sessions this week across Arizona to gather input on what to do about the Navajo Generating Station.  Today, the Arizona Mining Association hosts a rally in Phoenix to support of the continued operation of the plant. The four utility owners announced back in February that they would end their three-quarter stake in the plant by the end of 2019.

Chamber to Discuss Financial Disclosure – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy and Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness host a forum tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. on financial markets and the role of disclosure, sustainability and the importance of materiality. The event follows a report from the Financial Stability Board calling on companies to disclose climate-related risks and will include findings from a new report by IHS Markit entitled “Climate-related Financial Risk and the Oil and Gas Sector.”  Speakers include IHS Markit’s Daniel Yergin and Antonia Bullard, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School Assistant Professor J.W. Verret.  The Chamber’s Karen Harbert (Energy Institute) and Brian O’Shea (Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness) will also speak.

Forum to Look at Energy Emergency Preparedness in States –Today in 334 Cannon at 12:30 p.m., the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold a briefing about the key role played by the 56 governor-designated State and Territory Energy Officials, other state agencies, the private sector, and DOE.  In this briefing, NASEO and state energy directors will discuss the concept of energy assurance-as well as key mitigation actions-and how State Energy Offices partner with state and local agencies and the private sector to rebuild after a natural disaster, prepare for future emergencies, and improve resiliency with energy efficiency and renewable energy. The speakers for this forum are NASEO head David Terry, Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Kylah McNabb and Kelley Smith Burk of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Clean Edge to Release Clean Tech Index – Clean Edge will be releasing its 8th annual U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index tomorrow. The Index offers current and historical data on all 50 states and the 50 largest metro regions. Expect to see discussions of state expansion of wind power, discussion of cities renewable efforts, clean energy jobs and much more.

WAPA to Host Jeep Presentation – Tomorrow at Osteria Morini (near Nationials Park),  the Washington Automotive Press Association will host Jeep® for the introduction of its latest and highly anticipated compact-SUV:  the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass. Compass expands the Jeep brand’s global vehicle lineup as it will be built in four countries for consumers around the world. As the most capable compact-SUV ever, the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass features legendary Jeep 4×4 capability, a sophisticated design that evokes the premium side of the Jeep family, outstanding on-road dynamics, fuel-efficient powertrains, and a host of advanced safety and technology features.

CHANGE – Powelson NOT Addressing NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will not host Pennsylvania PUC Commissioner and newly nominated FERC Commissioner Robert F. Powelson tomorrow at noon as the guest speaker at its next luncheon.  Instead, he will be replaced by New York Commissioner Diane X. Burman.

Webinar to Look at Power, Voltage IssuesPower Magazine hosts a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. focused on “A New Paradigm Opens: Replacing Low-Voltage, Low-Power Drives with Medium-Voltage Solutions“. The webinar is designed to review the potential benefits and concerns of using either low-voltage or medium-voltage equipment in low-power applications. Industry expert Karl Heideck will discuss the impact medium-voltage and low-voltage equipment will have on your plant, your plant’s power grid, and motor.  If you can’t attend the live session, the recording will be available to everyone that registers. All participants will receive a certificate of completion after viewing the webinar.

Forum to Look at Gen IV Nuclear Reactors – Tomorrow at Noon, the Global America Business Institute (GABI) is hosting a roundtable on molten salt reactor (MSR) technology, a Generation-IV concept that has received renewed interest in recent years from a number of advanced nuclear firms, developers, and innovators in North America. MSR technology was extensively researched in the 1960s by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), with the research work culminating in the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) test reactor, constructed in 1964 and operated until 1969. Resurgent attention on MSRs has been driven by the design’s potential for high inherent safety, efficiency, reliability, flexibility, cost-competitiveness, and proliferation resistance. MSRs can also reduce the environmental impact of nuclear waste, and can be utilized to “burn” long-lived radioactive elements in spent nuclear fuel from conventional reactors, reducing the necessary time frame of geologic containment. The theoretical advantages of MSRs have led several start-ups in the U.S. and Canada to pursue funding and investment for research, development, and ultimate commercialization of their respective MSR designs.  The discussion on MSRs will be led by Mr. Ed Pheil (Founder and Chief Technology Officer) and Dr. Youssef Ballout (President) of Elysium Industries, a Boston-based advanced nuclear energy firm presently researching and developing its own molten salt reactor design.

Chao, Others head to Senate Environment to Look at Infrastructure – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. on leveraging Federal funding and innovative solutions for infrastructure.  Witnesses Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority director Tim Gatz and Aubrey Layne Jr., secretary of transportation for Virginia, among others.  They will continue the hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the road forward for infrastructure with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

Forum to Look at Investment Opportunities in Changing Climate – Tomorrow at 6:30 p.m., the Harvard Business School Club of Washington, D.C. will host a panel discussion to explore the current state of investment in fields such as energy, environment, and resource efficiency. Additionally, the speakers will discuss what financial, technical, and policy innovations are needed in order to continue to grow investment in the clean and resilient economy of the future. This event will kick-off an ongoing series of programs and roundtables on sustainability-oriented business opportunities and initiatives.  The panel discussion will feature The Nature Conservancy President & CEO Mark Tercek, JPMorgan Chase Global Head of Sustainable Finance Matt Arnold and Hannon Armstrong President & CEO Jeff Eckel.

Hopper, Others Headline Solar Summit in AZ – Greentech Media hosts its 10th annual Solar Summit 2017 on Wednesday and Thursday in Scottsdale, AZ.  Our friend Abby Hopper of SEIA will be among the speakers.

House Resources Reviews Rigs to Reefs Program – The House Resources Committee’s Energy Subcommittee will hold a hearing on reviewing recent state successes with the Rigs to Reefs Program.  Witnesses will include David Bump, vice president of drilling, completions and facilities at W&T Offshore Inc.; Frank Rusco, director of natural resources and environment at the Government Accountability Office; Dale Shively, leader of the artificial reef program at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department; and Greg Stunz, director of the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Faison, Murkowski Featured in ACCF Forum – The American Council on Council Formation will hold a forum on Wednesday at the Newseum on energy policy in the 115th Congress.  Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, ClearPath’s Jay Faison and Alaska coop exec Meera Kohler will discuss energy strategies aimed at innovation and production, rather than regulation.  The panel will be moderated by POLITICO Deputy Energy Editor Nick Juliano.

Hearing to Look at South American Energy – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will convene a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on energy opportunities in South America.  The issue of energy in the region is a huge opportunity for advancing U.S. interests, creating jobs, and realizing economic growth. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru all have significant oil or natural gas production. Chile also hosts the world’s second-largest lithium reserves. These abundant resources coupled with recent regulatory reforms have created an opening for greater U.S. energy collaboration with countries in South America. This hearing will focus on ways our country can increase our energy engagement to benefit U.S. and regional interests.  Witnesses include Jorge Pinon of the University of Texas at Austin, Lisa Viscidi, Director of Energy, Climate Change, and Extractive Industries Program at the Inter-American Dialogue and Jason Bordoff, Director of the Center on Global Energy Policy, School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Climate Reality Project Forum Look sat Carbon Pricing – The Climate Reality Project hosts a panel on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. looking at carbon pricing.

Heritage to Host Forum on Climate Impact on Poor – The Heritage Foundation hosts forum Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. featuring the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation’s latest documentary, Convicted: How Climate Alarmism Harms the World’s Poor (working title). As the sequel to Where the Grass is Greener: Biblical Stewardship vs. Climate Alarmism, Convicted delves into the deadly impacts of climate alarmism on people in developing countries, and what Biblical Stewardship requires of us: “To seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.”  The event will discuss why top experts risk their jobs, funding, and public reputations to oppose the politicization of science and the use of scientific theories to push social, economic, and political agendas. The science is not settled, watch Convicted: How Climate Alarmism Harms the World’s Poor to know more.

Senate Energy Holds Interior Deputy Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of David Bernhardt to be deputy Interior secretary Thursday at 10:00 a.m.  Bernhardt served at Interior during the Bush administration in the agency’s third-highest post, and most recently chaired the natural resources practice at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP. Bernhardt also served on President Donald Trump’s Interior Department transition team.

Resources to Discuss Western Power, Water Issues – The House Natural Resources Committee’s panel on Water, Power and Oceans will hold a hearing on Thursday focused on water rights and western power issues.  It will focus on the “Western Area Power Administration Transparency Act;” and the “Water Rights Protection Act. Witnesses include South Bend, Ind mayor Pete Buttigieg, Hattiesburg, Miss. mayor Johnny DuPree, Hamilton County, Ohio commissioner Todd Portune, Ohio EPA director Craig Butler, William Spearman of WE3 Consultants and NRDC’s Lawrence Levine.

House Approps Panel Looks at AVs – The House Transportation Approps Panel will hold a hearing Thursday at 10:00 p.m. on how to fit in new transportation technologies like self-driving cars and drones into existing government expenses.  Witnesses include Rand’s Nidhi Kalra, Mykel Kochenderfer of the Stanford University Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets CEO David Strickland and Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

CSIS to Host Book Talk by SEJer Lisa Palmer – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., the Center for Strategic & International Studies will host a book forum for our SEJ friend Lisa Palmer as she continues the launch of her new book, Hot, Hungry Planet.  Palmer shares what she has learned from her research and reporting. She focuses on three key concepts that support food security and resilience in a changing world: social, educational, and agricultural advances; land use and technical actions by farmers; and policy nudges that have the greatest potential for reducing adverse environmental impacts of agriculture while providing more food.  Palmer will be joined by experts on global food security for a panel discussion and will take questions from the audience.

Energy Economist to Hear From Schlumberger Exec – On Friday, May 19th at 12:00 p.m., the National Capital Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will host a forum on shale and tight oil with Schlumberger exec Robert Kleinberg.  The geography of the earth has changed radically over its history.  Some of those changes are responsible for the accumulations of oil and gas we find today.  Using the principles of organic geochemistry, Robert will show how the collision of continents hundreds of millions of years ago created the great Devonian and Mississippian shale plays: Marcellus, Fayetteville, Woodford, and Barnett.

CA to Hold Public Hearing on Retail Electricity Choice – The CPUC and the California Energy Commission will hold a joint en banc hearing on Friday in Sacramento with Commissioners of both agencies attending to discuss the changing state of retail electric choice in California.

 

IN THE FUTURE

WINDPOWER Set for Anaheim – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the national trade association that represents the interests of America’s wind energy industry, will hold its annual WINDPOWER 2017 Forum in Anaheim on May 22nd to 25th.   Cali Senate President Kevin de León, the California Senate’s most powerful member and legislative champion of the state’s hallmark 50% renewable energy standard law passed in 2015, will provide a keynote address at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, directly preceding AWEA’s Industry Leaders Panel – the marquee General Session panel at WINDPOWER. The discussion will feature Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy and incoming Board Chair of AWEA; Pete McCabe, Vice President, Onshore Wind, GE Renewable Energy; Karen Lane, CFO, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Onshore Americas; and Greg Wolf, CEO of Leeward Renewable Energy. This year’s panel will cover implementation of wind energy into the 2020s, opportunities in tax reform, emerging political issues, and more.

CSIS to Host Oil, LNG Balance Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting  Fereidun Fesharaki, Founder and Chairman of FGE on Tuesday May 23rd at 10:00 a.m. for a presentation and discussion on the current state of global oil and gas markets, one balancing as the other appears to tip toward imbalance.  Oil markets are struggling to reach a balance, and with robust demand growth and continued OPEC cutbacks, a balance might be reached in the 2017/2018 period. LNG markets are facing a prolonged period of imbalance, perhaps through about 2023, before a balance can be reached. While many advocate new U.S. LNG projects, around 50% of the projects currently under construction have still not been sold to end users.  Fesharaki’s work is recognized worldwide for pioneering oil and gas market analysis since the early 1980s. Born in Iran, he received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Surrey in England. He then completed a visiting fellowship at Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. He joined the East West Center in 1979, where he led the Energy program for two decades. FGE offices are spread around the world in 8 locations with heavy emphasis on Asia and the Middle East.

Forum to Look at Biogas – The American Biogas Council (ABC), the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (CRNG) and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing on Tuesday May 23rd looking at the untapped energy in domestic wastes. Waste streams-including manure, agricultural waste, waste water, food scraps and landfill gases-can be converted to biogas and upgraded to renewable natural gas (RNG) for electricity, pipeline injection, or vehicle use, while also providing valuable products such as fertilizer and compost. Currently, most waste streams represent a missed opportunity. State waste resources are diverse and numerous. The event will address the potential resources in their states, as well as economic and job opportunities, and policy drivers. The speakers for this forum are American Biogas Council exec Patrick Serfass, Lauren Toretta of CH4 Biogas, Grant Zimmerman of ampCNG, Avant Energy’s Brian Meek and others.

NatGas Summit Set – The 2017 RNG Summit Industry, Policy & Regulatory Forum will be held on Tuesday May 23rd at the American Gas Assn.  Organized by the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) and the American Biogas Council (ABC), in collaboration with Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica), the summit will be attended by companies throughout the renewable natural gas, biogas, and natural gas vehicles industries, as well as participants from various energy, environmental, and renewable energy organizations. Bioenergy Technologies Office Technology Manager David Babson will be speaking at the summit on the U.S. Department of Energy’s work related to renewable natural gas and biogas.  The 2017 RNG Summit will focus on how 2017 is shaping up to impact the present and future of the renewable natural gas (RNG) industry. The event will feature an afternoon of gaining insight into the current state of the U.S. RNG and biogas industries. Attendees will gain access to timely updates on central regulatory and policy discussions on issues impacting RNG.  Speakers include executives of companies in the waste, fuels, and transportation industries who will highlight the importance of developing and using RNG from North America’s vast supply of organic feedstocks.

Mexico Gas Summit Set – The 3rd Mexico Gas Summit will be held in San Antonio, Texas at the St. Anthony hotel on May 24th and 25th.  Organized by Industry Exchange, this oil and gas event brings together internationally recognized industry speakers, investors, government officials, and C level executives from the energy, infrastructure, and transportation industries. The geographic scope for the event will cover Mexico as a region with a strong focus on the opportunities associated with Gulf Coast onshore oil and gas exploration and production, midstream infrastructure, gas commercialization and the recent opening of the refined fuels market.

Shaheen, Forum to Launch Russian Gas Paper – The Atlantic Council and the Free Russia Foundation will launch of a new Atlantic Council policy paper, The Kremlin’s Gas Games in Europe: Implications for Policy Makers on Wednesday, May 24th at 2:00 p.m. in 216 Hart.  In The Kremlin’s Gas Games in Europe, Ilya Zaslavskiy presents policy recommendations for US and European policy makers as the European Union negotiates Gazprom’s latest pipeline project, Nord Stream 2. Examining previous Gazprom pipeline projects, the author argues that while Gazprom presents itself as an independent competitive firm, it has a consistent track record of acting as an arm of the Kremlin’s foreign and economic policy. Nord Stream 2, Mr. Zaslavskiy concludes, will present a major challenge to European law and EU principles and jeopardize the security interests of the United States and its European allies.  Sen. Jeanne Shaheen delivers the keynote Address, followed by a panel with CSIS expert Edward Chow and AC’s Bud Coote.  Our friend Emily Meredith, Deputy Bureau Chief of Energy Intelligence, will moderate.

Grid Infrastructure Event Set – WIRES in conjunction with the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the GridWise Alliance, and EESI will host a WIRES University seminar on Thursday May 25th that explores an oft-neglected the high voltage electric transmission grid. This whole-day session explains the grid’s importance as an enabler of markets and new technology as the economy becomes more thoroughly electrified. Our grid must also adapt to a distributed energy future which calls for a smarter and more flexible network.  This session delves into the details of why modernizing our high-voltage grid infrastructure is more critical than ever, given the age of the nation’s transmission facilities, the fundamental changes occurring in electric generation, and the demands on the system. Expansion and upgrade of the grid will make it more resilient and deliver increased economic, environmental, and consumer benefits in the range of $50 billion annually.  Speakers, including leaders from Congress, regulatory agencies, industry, and think tanks, will examine what challenges need to be overcome to upgrade our transmission system. Policymakers and regulators play a critical role in our nation’s energy infrastructure, and there is much room for improved coordination and planning.  A full agenda is forthcoming. Panels will address grid modernization, transmission’s role as a strategic asset and an enabler, regulatory and financial challenges, and the role that the wired network plays in the distributed energy environment, clean energy, and in tech innovation environments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of April 25

Friends,

I hope everyone enjoyed a quiet, reflective launch to Passover this past weekend, enjoying family/friends and maybe watching a little golf at the Valero Texas Open, some playoff basketball or even the near wrap up of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

First, I need to bounce back to last week.  I must be getting lame because last Monday I missed the Boston Marathon and the release of the Pulitzer Prize winners/finalists.  My daughter Hannah, who is headed for Wellesley next year, reminded me of the Marathon because she received videos from her friends on campus of the “Wellesley Scream Tunnel” at Mile 13 (a proud annual tradition that dates back to the original Boston Marathon in 1897).  On the Pulitzers, congrats to our friends who were winners, including The Washington Post’s Joby Warrick for his book on ISIS called Black Flag and T. Miller for his examination and exposé of law enforcement’s enduring failures to investigate reports of rape properly and to comprehend the traumatic effects on its victims.

The Congress focuses this week energy and water appropriations while there are a number of interesting Congressional hearings.  Tomorrow, Interior hold its DC Five-Year Drilling Plan public meeting following two last week in New Orleans and Houston.  Last week, Gulf Economic Survival Team Director Lori LeBlanc said continued energy production in the Gulf of Mexico and support of American energy workers who fuel this nation is essential.  Also tomorrow, NRECA’s Jeff Leahey heads a panel session at the National Hydro Assn’s annual conference which starts today and featured keynotes from Sen. Cantwell and Rep. McNerney.  Senate Energy also revisits a hearing rescheduled from last week on oil/gas production and development.

On Wednesday, BGov hosts EPA Air office head Janet McCabe discussing the nearing release of methane rules.  Mark Brownstein of the Environmental Defense Fund and Mark Boling of Southwestern Energy will join at the event.  The House Resources Committee hits the topic right after at 10:00 a.m. and will look at pump storage and other Hydropower issues at 2:00 p.m.

And on Friday, EESI and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will hold a briefing that releases the “2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.”

Finally, last Friday was Earth Day, or should we call it UN “Signing Day.”  It kind of seems like national letter of intent signing day for all the high school athletes committing to their future colleges.   Of course, almost of all of them will go to the colleges and compete, while those that sign the UN agreement will probably (if history is any guide) will do nothing more than sign away.  Anyway, I forwarded a few items and added a few more for this morning in case you may have missed it.

 

Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

EARTH DAY EXTRAVAGANZA

UN Paris Agreement Signing – Representatives from nearly 170 countries, including the United States, are slated to sign the Paris climate change deal at a ceremony in New York today – The UN event will feature a bevy of speeches from heads of state and high-ranking officials and celebrities, including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, French President François Hollande and even Leonardo DiCaprio.  John Kerry signs for the US.

Timing – Our friends at the World Resources Institute have produced a great interactive map that tracks which countries have signed and joined the agreement in real time.   You can see the map here.

What’s Next – Friday’s signing ceremony only a first, symbolic step toward ratification. Now countries will have to present formal ratification documents to their respective governments.  The Paris Agreement takes effect when 55 countries representing 55% of global greenhouse-gas emissions have ratified.

Europe Won’t Be Ratifying Soon– Both E&E News and now POLITICO are highlighting that internal politics within the European Union are delaying ratification there. The problem for the EU is that corralling all 28 countries into ratifying the agreement is difficult because there are deep divisions within the bloc over the EU’s internal climate targets for cutting emissions and how these should be distributed among countries.  Shockingly, that seems to be the same problem we’ve had for more than 20 years outside the EU.  Of course, they just say they’ll agree to ratify it and then don’t.

Green Analysis: Paris, CPP Distract from Climate Problem Solving – Speaking of Better ways to address climate, I came across this interesting analysis on how both Paris and CPP may be counterproductive because they distract time, attention, and resources away from adaptation.  In light of today’s Paris signing, the author, Chris Cooper definitively says that he is not optimistic that it will have the intended impact.  Cooper served as an international spokesperson for the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE), a New York-based energy and environmental nonprofit with official consultative status before the United Nations.  He was also Executive Director of the Network for New Energy Choices, a nonprofit advocacy group that pushed for a national Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and spearheaded efforts in dozens of states to reform net metering laws.  He still works for regional and national enviro groups as an expert witness on regulatory stuff and has written several books on renewable power.  If you can’t get the link to work, I have a pdf that I can send for you…

NYT: Climate Plans Won’t Have Much Impact – Our friends Coral Davenport and Justin Gillis have an in-depth piece in the New York Times that says despite the hard work and negotiations of international leaders, their planned actions, even if faithfully carried out, will likely fall far short of cutting emissions enough to meet the Paris goal.  Worth a good read.

Q&A With UN Sect General – Our friend Elana Schor has an interesting Q&A with UN Secretary-Generale Ban Ki-moon.  Would love to have a few tougher Qs though than pinned Ban down on the 20-year history of missed agreements and the future changes that will be required beyond the Paris agreement.

Rural Coops Highlight International Efforts to Provide Reliable, Clean Energy – On Earth Day, America’s Electric Cooperatives celebrate the community of cooperatives around the world.  From member-owned electric cooperatives in Bangladesh and Haiti to agricultural cooperatives in Ghana and Kenya, the cooperative business model puts the needs of members first, improving the quality of life and strengthening local economies.  Fifty years ago, the newly developed U.S. Agency for International Development joined forces with NRECA International to bring electricity to developing countries worldwide.  More than 110 million people around the globe have benefited from access to electricity. Increased access to electricity in more than 42 countries has boosted agricultural productivity, created new jobs in micro and small enterprises and raised both incomes and quality of life.  Co-ops consumer-centric utility model, a model that aligns the goals of the utility with the interests of consumers, promotes innovation and mitigates the risks that come with rapid technological change. Consistent with this consumer-centric model, cooperatives are leading the industry in the development of community approaches to solar and energy storage.  Co-ops own or purchase 6700 megawatts of renewable capacity. As of March of this year, 96 distribution co-ops in 29 states have developed or are planning community solar programs.

CCS Technology Still Opportunity – Our friend Ben Finzel reminds that Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) technology is key to successful implementation of the Paris agreement. To that end, leaders from Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Great Plains Institute, Clean Air Task Force and Third Way that says technological innovation will be critical in meeting the goal the world’s nations set out in the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming.  In a statement on CCUS, leaders of these enviro groups say CCUS technology can capture and safely store CO2 emissions from power plants and industrial facilities that the IPCC and International Energy Agency have concluded are essential to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.  They also add it’s worth highlighting that CCUS projects are now operating or under construction in eight countries with several new plants on the way around the world. And countries as diverse as Canada, China, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Norway have specifically included CCUS technology in their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) to the agreement. The United States has adopted an “all-of-the-above” strategy that includes CCUS.

Third Way Video Highlights Challenges, Opportunities in Climate Issues – Third Way also has a new video out that says getting beyond 30% renewables will be a challenge.   Josh Freed says they love solar and wind energy as they are essential pieces of the effort to decarbonize the grid and meet our aggressive climate goals.  But, he adds, TW is also a pretty practical bunch, underscoring the notion that to get to 100% clean energy, we will need a mix of other low and zero-emissions energy sources to solve the climate challenge. You might recognize that voice in the video, it former Manchin staffer, Erin Burns.

ACCCE Takes on Power Plan AS UN Signing Continues – Speaking of videos, our friends at ACCCE are also discussing the COP21 agreement signing at UN Headquarters in New York City. The president and his allies are touting this agreement as a historic undertaking, in which American leadership is paving the way forward in the global effort to combat climate change.  Unfortunately, ACCCE is highlighting some of the smoke, mirrors and weaknesses in a new video that says it promotes false promises & puts politics over American families.   See the video here.

More ACCCE: Signing is Purely Symbolic – American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity president and CEO Mike Duncan said today’s signing of the Paris Climate Agreement is “nothing more than a parlor game lacking consequence or purpose; it’s purely symbolic.  The simple truth of the matter is that the agreement is an exercise in futility as the reduction targets are wholly unachievable.”  Duncan added that while the agreement is being signed, the president’s power plan on which the global agreement is based, has been halted by the U.S. Supreme Court until legal challenges to the rule are resolved.  Duncan: “A hallmark of President Obama’s second term has been action through executive fiat. As a result, we’ve seen one bad policy follow another with the Power Plan being the most egregious,” continued Duncan.  “The COP21 agreement isn’t worth more than the paper it’s printed on but will result in billions of dollars spent denying people access to the affordable, reliable power needed to grow economies and overcome poverty. That’s a sad state of affairs that should not be allowed to take place.”

It’s Wonderful Energy – The Chamber Energy Institute’s climate expert Steve Eule has a great piece in RealClearEnergy today that is a take on It’s a Wonderful Life, the 1946 American Christmas classic based on the short story “The Greatest Gift.” The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others, and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, who shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born.  Eule spoofs the format in It’s A Wonderful Fuel, offering a fun read and important context for Earth Day and any day.

Diesel Techs Getting Cleaner – On Earth Day, Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum has a great column focused on clean diesel technology ion the marketplace and the industry’s now near-zero in emissions.  See the piece plus a great picture of the industry’s “clean white handkerchief” test.

AEI Paper Lists Questionable Earth Day ClaimsAEI’s Mark Perry looks at 18 spectacularly wrong predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970 that set the tone for the way we may want to consider the claims we hear today.   “In the May 2000 issue of Reason Magazine, award-winning science correspondent Ronald Bailey wrote an excellent article titled “Earth Day, Then and Now” to provide some historical perspective on the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. In that article, Bailey noted that around the time of the first Earth Day, and in the years following, there was a “torrent of apocalyptic predictions” and many of those predictions were featured in his Reason article. Well, it’s now the 46th anniversary of  Earth Day, and a good time to ask the question again that Bailey asked 16 years ago: How accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970? The answer: “The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong,” according to Bailey.”

 

IN THE NEWS

NY Denies Constitution Pipeline Water Permits – On Friday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) denied the Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the Constitution Pipeline Project.  Constitution builders say they remain steadfastly committed to pursuing the federally-approved energy infrastructure project.  “In spite of NYSDEC’s unprecedented decision, we remain absolutely committed to building this important energy infrastructure project, which will create an important connection between consumers and reliable supplies of clean, affordable natural gas. We believe NYSDEC’s stated rationale for the denial includes flagrant misstatements and inaccurate allegations, and appears to be driven more by New York State politics than by environmental science,” the project sponsors said in a joint statement.

Where will they get there Energy? – With opponents blocking natgas drilling, pipelines, fighting Indian Point and Other nuclear projects, questions remain where NY will get power/energy to meet its needs.  Constitution Pipeline worked closely with NYSDEC staff for more than three years to ensure that water quality measures are met before, during and after construction. As a result of that dialogue, Constitution Pipeline voluntarily agreed to the agency’s requests to incorporate re-routes, adopt trenchless construction methodologies, commit to site-specific trout stream restoration and agreed to fund approximately $18 million for wetland mitigation and banking and approximately $8.6 million for the restoration and preservation of migratory bird habitats.  The FERC-certificated route was developed after extensive environmental and engineering analysis, which included a comprehensive review of route alternatives. In its Final Environmental Impact Statement, the FERC concluded that environmental impacts associated with these alternatives were significantly greater than the preferred route. Despite this, in the spirit of collaboration we followed NYSDEC guidance and further altered our preferred route to adopt NYSDEC staff recommendations.

NY Never Discussed Outstanding Issues – Developers also said the decision was a surprise given the ongoing dialogue.  “Contrary to NYSDEC statements, the company was not informed of any outstanding issues that it had not agreed to address as a condition of the permit. In fact, during the past nine months, weekly inquiries were made to the department to ensure no additional data was needed. Those inquiries were either ignored or responded to in the negative. It is obvious that the NYSDEC deliberately chose to remain silent to bolster the political campaign of the State.”  The developers also took serious issue with claims that its application lacked information related to stream crossings, depth of pipe, or blasting.  The project sponsors continued, “Completely contrary to NYSDEC’s assertion, we provided detailed drawings and profiles for every stream crossing in New York, including showing depth of pipe.  In fact, all stream crossings were fully vetted with the NYSDEC throughout the review process. We are appalled with the comments that Constitution failed to provide sufficient data to ensure every crossing was totally in compliance with the NYSDEC guidelines.”

DOE Proposes Revised Commercial Water Heater Efficiency Standards – The Department of Energy (DOE) issued the pre-publication version of its notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) to revise efficiency standards for commercial water heaters (CWH). The proposed standards increase the stringency of the current minimum thermal efficiency and maximum standby loss requirements for all gas water heaters and hot water supply boilers. The proposed minimum thermal efficiency for these products will require the use of condensing technology. The NOPR also lowers the maximum standby loss requirement for all electric storage water heaters and proposes minimum uniform energy factor standards for residential-duty commercial water heaters. No changes are proposed for the minimum efficiency standards for the remaining CWH equipment classes. The effective date will likely be in late 2019 or early 2020, which would be three years after the publication of the final rule, which is expected late this year or in early 2017.  A public meeting to discuss the NOPR will be held on June 6, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at DOE’s offices in Washington, D.C.

ACI Biofuel Subsidies Distort Soap Industry Marketplace – The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) said it supports legislation that would eliminate tax credits for biofuels produced with animal fats.  As part of the 2015 year-end legislative package of tax extenders, biodiesel and renewable diesel that is produced from animal fats is eligible for a $1 per gallon tax credit. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates eliminating the tax credit for biofuels that use animal fats would save $299 million in fiscal year 2016. Douglas Troutman, ACI General Counsel and Vice President, Government Affairs said ACI is not opposed to biofuels, but oppose misguided government subsidies that negatively affect the price and availability of animal fats, a key feedstock for the oleochemical industry.”  ACI represents the producers of oleochemicals, such as fatty acids and alcohols made from seed oils and animal fats, historically used in soaps and detergents.  The biofuel subsidy in question distorts the domestic market for animal fats by diverting this important raw material away from use in the manufacturing of cleaning products and towards the production of biodiesel. As a result, animal fats have seen a 116 percent increase in cost since 2006, the year the tax credit first became law.  Animal fats are the traditional feedstock for cleaning and personal care products such as laundry detergent, toothpaste, bar soap, bath gels and shampoos. Animal fats provide domestic chemical producers with a raw material that affords them a cost advantage over foreign manufacturers that use palm oil and similar materials as their primary feedstock. This industry supports approximately 25,000 American jobs. The supply of animal fats in the U.S. is largely inelastic (animals are raised for their meat, not fat), therefore the increased demand has rapidly outstripped supply, placing American cleaning product manufacturers at a tremendous market disadvantage.

EIA Updates State Energy Profiles – The Energy Information Administration has updated its State Energy Profiles with new data, including series for electricity, petroleum, and natural gas.  Activities covered by these series include prices, supply, and consumption.  The Profiles also feature updated annual data covering consumption, expenditures, emissions, vehicle fueling stations, and weather.  Quick Facts and analytical narratives have been updated for four states.  Puerto Rico also features an updated narrative.  Users can learn facts such Kentucky, the third-largest coal-mining state, produced more than 61 million short tons of bituminous coal in 2015; In 2014, Michigan had more underground natural gas storage capacity – almost 1.1 trillion cubic feet – than any other state in the nation; The Utica Shale has contributed to the rapid increase in natural gas production in Ohio, which was more than 12 times greater in 2015 than 2011; In 2015, 8.4% of Wisconsin’s net electricity generation came from renewable energy resources, split among biomass, wind, and conventional hydroelectric power; From July 2012 to April 2015, distributed solar photovoltaic generating capacity in Puerto Rico increased by a factor of nine, bringing distributed solar capacity to 37 megawatts. Solar capacity at utility-scale installations totaled 52 megawatts.  State and Territory Energy Profiles provide Quick Facts and an analytical narrative for each of the 56 states and territories.  In addition, the Profiles offer 91 key data series for each state, including state rankings for 10 of the series.  To view all 56 Profiles, visit the State Energy Profiles home page.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Arctic Chairmanship at Half Point – Today at 2:00 p.m., the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr. for a keynote address on the state and future of U.S. leadership in the Arctic. ESCI Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger will moderate the discussion and audience Q&A.

QER Meeting Set for Utah – On April 25 at 8:30 a.m., the Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force will hold a public stakeholder meeting at Western Electricity Coordinating Council, 155 North 400 West, Salt Lake City, Utah. It will also be livestreamed at energy.gov/live. The meeting is the second of six regional QER public input meetings (scroll down for dates and locations for the rest), all of which are based on wholesale market footprints as a convenient approach to capturing and assisting the Interagency QER Task Force in understanding the nation’s regional electricity diversity, which is characterized by differing resource mixes, state policies, and a host of other factors.  The Salt Lake City meeting covers the footprint of thirteen of the fourteen states (outside California) which are, all or in part, in the Western Interconnection, and represented by the Western Electricity Coordinating Council. Electricity issues related to California will be covered during a May 10th QER meeting in Los Angeles. In addition to today’s meeting in Salt Lake City the QER Review Task Force will hold public stakeholder meetings this spring in the following locations on Friday May 6th in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, May 9th in Austin, Texas, Tuesday, May 10th in LA and Tuesday, May 24th Atlanta.

Water Power Conferences Set for DC – Today through Wednesday, 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. NRECA’s will be Jeff Leahey featured speaker on a panel on Congressional activities while keynotes will come from Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Jerry McNerney.

5-YR Plan Public Meetings Start—The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold public meetings in Washington DC tomorrow on its five-year plan.  There were two meetings last week in New Orleans and Houston.  Recently, Interior rolled out the new five-year plan for drilling which set the scope of drilling for the years between 2017-2022. Gulf Economic Survival Team Director Lori LeBlanc said continued energy production in the Gulf of Mexico and support of American energy workers who fuel this nation is essential during a news conference hosted last week by the Consumer Energy Alliance. “The total economic impact of Gulf energy is immense.  It creates jobs in every state in the U.S., with some 430,000 jobs nationwide estimated to link to Gulf energy activity, along with tens of thousands here in Louisiana alone. Those of us on the Gulf Coast are proud to produce the energy to fuel America and we recognize that Gulf oil accounts for nearly one-fifth of our nation’s oil production. The U.S. Treasury directly benefits to the tune of over $5 to $8 billion dollars each year from energy production in the Gulf — making it one of the largest revenue streams for the federal government.”

Forum to Look at Energy Policy In the 2016 Election – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a day-long seminar tomorrow looking at U.S. Energy Policy in the 2016 Elections.  The event will feature panel discussions on the importance of bipartisan Energy Policy, oil/natgas production, distribution and refining, the electric power sector, the future of transportation and State and City leadership. Each election cycle affords policymakers an opportunity to assess the state of the nation’s energy sector in the context of shared objectives and within the context of a dynamic global energy landscape.  U.S. energy policy is driven by economic, security, and environmental priorities, but fundamental tensions continue to exist between those priorities and among the various constituencies involved in the nation’s energy sectors. The purpose of this conference is to inform the current debate on U.S. energy policymaking and assess what areas are ripe for action.

Senate Energy Looks at Oil/Gas Development – After last week’s delay, the Senate Energy Committee tomorrow will return to hold an oversight hearing to examine challenges and opportunities for oil and gas development in different price environments.  Witnesses with include Columbia Energy expert Jason Bordoff, Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute, Michael Ratner of CRS and several others in the oil/gas industry.

House Energy Takes up Pipeline Safety Reauth – The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday will mark up legislation to reauthorize PHMSA’s pipeline safety program. Similar legislation cleared the Transportation committee last week.  Both would force PHMSA to regulate natural gas storage and grant the Transportation secretary authority to issue emergency orders. Opening statements will be on Tuesday afternoon, with the markup scheduled for Wednesday morning.

McCabe to Headline BGov Methane Breakfast Forum – BGov hosts EPA Air office Head Janet McCabe and others for a panel discussion on the role methane plays in future climate discussions and the impact of the administration’s environmental initiatives.  Mark Boling of Southwestern Energy and Mark Brownstein of EDF will join McCabe.

Discussion to Look at Paris, Climate Action – Microsoft and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a lively discussion Wednesday at 8:30 that will bring together senior representatives from various sectors to discuss innovative and proactive solutions to climate change, what Paris means four months later, and how to move from agreement to action on climate change.  Speakers will include former EPA official Bob Perciasepe, Tamara “TJ” DiCaprio of  Microsoft, Cathy Woollums of Berkshire Hathaway Energy and Alex Liftman of Bank of America.

Forum to Look at Russian Energy Politics – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a day-long conference on energy and geopolitics in the Black Sea and South Caucasus.  Panels will cover all the different potential energy issues facing the region, including pipeline, supply and transportation issues.  Greg Saunders of BP will be a key speaker.

House Resources to Look at Methane Regulations – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Bureau of Land Management’s regulatory overreach into methane emissions regulation.  Witnesses will include Interior’s Amanda Leiter, Mark Watson of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Rio Blanco County, CO commissioner Shawn Bolton, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms and La Plata County, CO commissioner Gwen Lachelt.

Senate Small Biz to Look at Water Rule Impact – The Senate Small Business Committee will examine the Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS, on Wednesday looking at small business impacts and reforms to the Regulatory Flexibility Act.  Following Senate Environment’s recent hearing on the topic, RFA requires federal agencies to consider the impact of regulations on small businesses and consider less burdensome options if that effect is significant.  Witnesses will include NAM’s Rosario Palmieri, Darryl DePriest of the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, NFIB’s Elizabeth Milito and South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce CEO Frank Knapp.

DOE Hosts Pumped Storage Hydro Public Meeting – The Wind and Water Power Technologies Office within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a Request for Information to identify the challenges and opportunities faced by the pumped storage hydropower industry. Now DOE will host a public meeting on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. for individual stakeholder insight into the technical and market challenges and potential pathways to facilitate the development of pumped storage in the United States.

House Resources Looks at Hydropower Issues – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on realizing the potential of hydropower as a clean, renewable and domestic energy resource.  The hearing will focus on the barriers to nonfederal hydropower development.  Witnesses will include Steve Boyd of the Turlock Irrigation District, Snohomish County Public Utility District’s Jessica Matlock, and Debbie Powell of Pacific Gas and Electric.

CSIS to Look at Financing Production Resilience – On Thursday, CSIS Energy and the National Security program will host a conversation with former Vice Chairman of NY Mercantile Exchange Albert Helmig, Energy Intelligence Energy Casey Sattler and Betsy Graseck of Morgan Stanley, moderated by our friend Kevin Book.  Oil and gas producers have responded to six consecutive calendar quarters of price weakness by high-grading production, downsizing workforce and paring back capital spending. Financial investors’ continuing appetite for oil industry debt – and, more recently, equity – has continued to support U.S. production, too. Unexpectedly resilient output and stubbornly low commodity prices continue to erode corporate resources, however, raising several imminent questions.

Group to Discuss Nuclear Waste Storage – Waste Control Specialists will hold a news conference on storage facilities for nuclear waste on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at the National Press Club’s Holeman Lounge. A little over a year ago Waste Control Specialists (WCS) filed a Notice of Intent with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and announced it would submit an application to the NRC for a license to build and operate a consolidated interim storage facility for used nuclear fuel in 2016. WCS President Rod Baltzer will discuss the recent announcement that WCS expects to meet that timetable.

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

BPC to Focus on Water/Energy Book – On Thursday 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center holds a book session on “Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival” by author Michael Webber and a discussion about the interconnections between energy and water, their vulnerabilities, and the path toward a more reliable and abundant future for humanity.  Although it is widely understood that energy and water are the world’s two most critical resources, their vital interconnections and vulnerabilities are less often recognized. A new book offers a fresh, holistic way of thinking about energy and water—a big picture approach that reveals the interdependence of the two resources, identifies the seriousness of the challenges, and lays out an optimistic approach with an array of solutions to ensure the continuing sustainability of both.

Forum to Look at LNG – The Atlantic Council hosts the US LNG Exports and European Energy Security Conference on Thursday.  The event takes place shortly after the inauguration ceremony of Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana and will discuss the implications of US LNG exports on European energy security in the context of climate action post Paris COP21 and changing global energy markets.  There is an excellent list of great speakers, including a wide array of Foreign ministers from European countries on a panel moderated by our FP friend Keith Johnson.  A second panel moderated by our friend Amy Harder of the Wall Street Journal will include API’s Marty Durbin and DOE’s Paula Gant among others.

Anti-Nuke Groups Look at Indian Point – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m. the anti-nuclear group Nuclear Information & Resource Service will host a webinar that features the Union of Concerned Scientists’ nuclear safety expert David Lochbaum.  Lochbaum will review the recent discovery of a major safety issue: hundreds of missing and degraded bolts in the reactor vessel of Indian Point unit 2, which has implications for reactors across the country.

House Energy Panel to Look at Nuclear Legislation – The House Energy and Committee Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on Friday at 9:30 a.m. on upcoming nuclear legislation on the Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act of 2016 and the Nuclear Utilization of Keynote Energy Policies Act.

Sustainable Factbook to Be Released – On Friday at Noon in B-338 Rayburn, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will hold a briefing that will provide information on the rapid changes occurring in the U.S. energy sector. The findings of the “2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook” show that the U.S. energy sector, and the power sector in particular, have experienced unprecedented growth in newer, cleaner sources of energy.  The briefing will feature an overview presentation by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) on the findings from the Factbook, followed by a moderated industry panel with senior executives from a range of clean energy industries.  Speakers for this forum include BNEF’s Colleen Regan, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson, AGA’s Kathryn Clay, SEIA’s Katherine Gensler, Owen Smith of Ingersoll Rand, Covanta’s Paula Soos, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls and Jeff Leahey of the National Hydropower Association.

WCEE to Look at Paris Implementation – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion on Friday at Noon on the role of states in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.  Maryland Public Service Commissioner Anne Hoskins, DOE Deputy Director for Climate, Environment & Energy Efficiency Judi Greenwald and EPRI’s Steve Rose  will all , Senior Research Economist, Electric Power Research Institute all look at the options states considering to continue de-carbonizing the electricity generation sector and what role of regulators will play in achieving these goals.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

IEEE to Host Transmission Technology Conference – IEEE will hold its annual Transmission PES Conference in Dallas at the Convention Center May 2-5.  The electric grid is undergoing transformations enabled by the integration of new technologies, such as advanced communication and power electronic devices and the increasing penetration of distributed generation. Such changes introduce a new paradigm in the cultural infrastructure of power systems, which requires a great deal of cooperation between utilities, power generation companies, consumers, governments and regulators.

Climate Hustle Film Makes Debut – The Marc Morano film Climate Hustle will make its one-night national theater debut at an event on May 2nd.  Last week, the film was screened at an event at the House Science Committee. A pre-film panel discussion featured Governor Sarah Palin, University of Delaware climatologist Dr. David Legates, and film host Marc Morano, and was moderated by Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center. It also included a special video appearance by Bill Nye “the Science Guy.”

Atlantic Council Caribbean Energy Summit – Next Tuesday, May 3rd at 8:30 a.m., the Atlantic Council will hold a discussion on these developments one day before leaders gather in Washington, DC for the US-Caribbean-Central America Energy Summit. The discussion will address opportunities for increased cooperation in the region’s energy integration. It will also launch the latest Atlantic Council report on the subject, The Waning of Petrocaribe?: Central America and Caribbean Energy in Transition, written by David L. Goldwyn and Cory R. Gill.  Energy security remains at the forefront of issues facing the Caribbean and Central America. With Venezuela’s economy in a tailspin, the eleven-year-old Petrocaribe oil alliance could suffer an abrupt demise. This could have serious regional consequences even though Central American and Caribbean member-nations have taken strides to diversify and transition into cheaper, cleaner energy sources. Speakers also include State Department expert Amos Hochstein.

PHMSA Head to Focus on Future of Pipeline Activity, Safety – Next Tuesday, May 3rd at 1:30 pm., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a conversation with Marie Therese Dominguez, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA). As administrator, Ms. Dominguez is responsible for overseeing PHMSA’s development and enforcement of regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6 million miles of gas and liquid pipelines and nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.  Dominguez will provide an overview of PHMSA as well as her thoughts on the country’s main challenges and opportunities with regard to the transportation of energy and hazardous materials that are essential to daily life.

Forum Looks at Fukushima, Chernobyl – The Goethe-Institut Washington will hold a forum Next Tuesday afternoon focusing on nuclear issues in light of the 30 years since the Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion in Ukraine and 5 years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began in Japan. Leading scientists, medical personnel and policy experts will present their findings on the lasting impacts of Chernobyl and Fukushima.

MD Climate Conference Set – The University of Maryland is hosting the Climate Action 2016 forum on Wednesday May 4th as a public conference in support of the objectives of the Climate Action 2016 multi-stakeholder summit to be held in Washington, DC on May 5-6.  The forum will provide an opportunity for discussion among academia as well as a diverse range of stakeholders with an interest in advancing the climate implementation agenda.  The Climate Action 2016 forum will feature both, the thematic areas of Climate Action 2016 summit in Washington, DC, as well as cross-cutting discussions on effective implementation of climate and sustainable development goals.

Brookings Forum to Look at Zika, Climate – Next Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the Brookings Institution will hold a forum on potential links between Zika and climate change.  Princeton University and the Brookings Institution will release the spring 2016 issue of The Future of Children. The title of the issue is “Children and Climate Change.” The journal contains nine chapters dealing with various effects of climate change on children.  Also released will be a policy brief, “Children and Temperature: Taking Action Now,” which reviews the threat posed to children’s health by rising temperatures, especially the link between rising temperatures and the spread of mosquitoes and the Zika virus.  The event will focus on the Obama administration’s initiative and will include a keynote address by Debra Lubar, Director, of the Office of Appropriations at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The event will also feature remarks by a panel of experts with extensive knowledge about the impact of rising temperatures on children’s health. All participants will take questions from the audience.

CSIS to Look at Oil/Gas Risk, Reform – Next Wednesday, May 4th at 11:00 a.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a forum on risk and reform for oil and gas exporting.  As energy prices seem set to remain low in the medium term, countries dependent on oil and gas export revenue face the challenge of reforming their economies and repairing their finances, while facing political and security risks. This event reviews the menu of reform options available to countries facing fiscal difficulties resulting from low hydrocarbon prices, as well as the particular challenges faced by Nigeria, Iraq, and Algeria, and the reform pathways those countries’ governments are undertaking.  The discussion will feature Benedict Clements, Aaron Sayne, Jared Levy and Haim Malka, moderated by Sarah Ladislaw.

WCEE to Look at Waste Fuels – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion on Wednesday at Noon on substantial organic waste streams and recycled products (e.g. food scraps, manures, recycled fats oils & grease [FOG]).  These fuels are produced within our urban and rural areas. These waste streams are already being converted to renewable energy, transportation fuels, and bio-products – and they have tremendous potential for growth.  The event will focus on companies working to convert waste to fuels, what roadblocks they are encountering, what the policy landscape looks like, and what the future holds for this industry.  Speakers will include Pernille Hager, who has been supporting the global development and launch of a production platform for sustainable synthetic fuels from household waste. She currently works with Fulcrum BioEnergy, a CA based company in the process of building a first-of-its-kind Biofuels plant in Sierra Nevada producing synthetic jet fuel from MSW.  Joining her will be Anne Steckel, Vice President of Federal Affairs at the National Biodiesel Board.

High Profile Energy Speakers Headline USEA Policy Forum – The U.S. Energy Association holds its annual membership meeting and public Policy forum at the National Press Club on Thursday May 5th from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Speakers will include NRC Chair Stephen Burns, FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable, DOE Office of Energy Policy & Systems Analysis Director Melanie Kenderdine, USAID Assistant Administrator for Europe & Eurasia Thomas Melia, AEP COO Robert Powers, ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson, and William Von Hoene, Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer at Exelon Corporation.

QER Meetings Set for Iowa, Texas, LA, Atlanta – The DOE’s QER Review Task Force will hold public stakeholder meetings this spring in the following locations on Friday May 6th in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, May 9th in Austin, Texas, Tuesday, May 10th in LA and Tuesday, May 24th Atlanta.

EIA to Present International Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday May 11th at 9:30 a.m. to present the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016).  The IEO2016 includes projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source through 2040; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.  Among other topics, Sieminski will discuss EIA’s view on long-term petroleum and other liquids fuel supplies, prospects for global natural gas markets, energy demand growth among developing nations, and key uncertainties that may alter the long-term projections.

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

CSIS to Hold Development Forum – The second annual Global Development Forum (GDF) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on May 19. The GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.  The 2016 GDF seeks to address the complex issues highlighted by the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Participants will examine the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of global trends including rising incomes, rapid urbanization, uneven economic growth, and widespread unemployment. In particular, discussions will explore ways in which official donors and key partners, including the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions can improve livelihoods, strengthen governance, and facilitate access to key resources including food, energy, and infrastructure.

The Bi-National Energy Committee along with the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy, the North American Development Bank (NADB) and other organizations will hold the Bi-National Green Energy Forum on June 2nd in San Antonio, TX.  Focusing on green energy projects: from renewable sources of energy to new technologies for energy efficiencies, the Forum is great opportunity to learn and discuss with experts and successful companies of Mexico and the US about cross-border opportunities in this vibrant growing bi-national market.

Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC.  More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/

Energy Update: Week of April 18

Friends,

With all the action last week, one might think that official Washington was trying to get everything possible it can done before Memorial Day.  Man, a lot of stuff happened last week including the FAA bill losing its energy/tax wings, the “other long-suffering” energy bill springing back to life, the final well control rule, GHG opposition briefs, a new/final-er (I know, it’s not a word) mercury rule and API outlining its items for the Party Platforms this summer.

The demise of the FAA tax credits was offset late last week by the sudden resurgence of the Senate Energy legislation.  The FAA failure seemed to catch too many headwinds after it just kept taking on more luggage/passengers than it could handle.   As for the new/old energy bill, many of the controversial provisions were just yanked out, so it appears that it may now be headed for final approval as early as next week.

I know many of you are following yesterday’s OPEC meetings in Doha, where 18 OPEC and non-OPEC nations gathered to try and freeze oil production at January levels – only to see talks collapse over Saudi Arabia’s insistence that Iran join the agreement.  Our friends at SAFE can speak to a number of the issues.  Check in with Ellen Carey at 202-461-2381.

It is a busy week on Capitol Hill.  Tomorrow, Senate Environment is hosting Gina McCarthy on the EPA Budget, Senate Energy Looks at oil/gas price determinations and House Homeland Security Looks at Pipeline Security.  USFWS head Dan Ashe talks ESA Designations/de-listing challenges as both House Oversight and House Resources hold three separate hearings on the topic this week (my colleague Eric Washburn is excellent on this topic: 202-412-5211).

On Wednesday, the Christian Science Monitor hosts another breakfast with DOE Secretary Moniz and Wilson Center talks hydrogen society/vehicles with Japanese experts while the Hudson Institute looks at Rural Broadband issues (something our friends at NRECA know very well).  On Thursday, POLITICO hosts a great energy event featuring my colleague Scott Segal, who will join Sen. Angus King and Rep. David McKinley on a panel to discuss the future of energy.

And so while Friday is Earth Day, it is also the big day for Secretary of State John Kerry when he will join other world leaders in New York to sign the Paris Climate agreement.  Sounds Like Gina McCarthy may not join him because she may have to be at the Senate Indians Affairs field hearing in Phoenix.

Finally, as I mentioned last week, today is the last day to file your taxes for 2015, so don’t forget since they gave us 3 extra days…And the Interior Five-Year Offshore Drilling Plan public hearing started this morning in NOLA.  Here are the GEST Comments from Lori LeBlanc.  Another hearing is Wednesday in Houston and then next Tuesday in DC.

 

Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Well Control Rule Released – BSEE released its long-awaited well control rule on Friday, just days before the six-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon accident.  The rule seeks to address safety concerns unearthed in the aftermath of the BP spill.  Interior claims to have addressed the concerns of industry enumerated by API and other groups in extensive comments on the proposed rule but that remains unclear.  issued a year ago.  The rule will go into effect 90 days after it is published in the Federal Register.

GEST LeBlanc: Rule Raises Significant Concerns – Lori LeBlanc, head of the Gulf Economic Survival Team (GEST) said their experts are currently reviewing the final Well Control Rule to determine what changes BSEE has made and whether industry’s recommendations were incorporated into the final rule.  “GEST shares BSEE’s intent of adopting a rule that enhances safety and environmental protection and we hope that this final rule will have addressed those technical flaws that would have resulted in unintended consequences and could have made offshore operations less safe,” said GEST Executive Director Lori LeBlanc.  “We are very disappointed to see the Interior Department release such a major rule without resubmitting it for public comment and consultation. Given how far off the mark the previous version was, the sheer complexity of the issues at hand, and the lack of substantive dialogue with industry experts during this process, we are concerned that this rule may not be ready for prime time.  LeBlanc added that GEST remains concerned about the economic impacts of the rule if several of the provisions have not been corrected, which could result in Gulf energy companies that operate globally deciding to shift investment and jobs to other parts of the world.

WoodMac Study Shows Rules Likely Impacts – Remember, earlier this year, Wood Mackenzie analysts study the rule’s impacts on drilling activities and the economic impacts and the results were not so good.  The study found that if the rule as proposed could reduce industry investment in the Gulf by up to $11 billion annually; reduce government tax revenues up to $5 billion annually through 2030, jeopardizing coastal restoration efforts; and place over 100,000 jobs at risk by 2030.  “We are concerned that Interior’s decision to go forward with this rule will lead to stranded assets in the Gulf, harming U.S. energy security while dealing a potentially devastating blow to Gulf communities stung by the industry downturn,” said LeBlanc.

Court: BSEE Can’t Hold Contractors Liable – In other offshore drilling news from late last week, a Federal court in New Orleans ruled definitively that BSEE cannot enforce against offshore contractors.  BSEE’s claimed authority over offshore contractors that have no leasehold or other rights from the federal government has been in serious contention since the Macondo incident.  That’s when BSEE reversed decades of consistent practice and policy to try to regulate entities that Congress never intended.  Several offshore contractors have disputed BSEE’s arrogation of enforcement authority and pursued the matter through administrative appeal and federal court action.  This decision marks the first federal court decision on the question, and it definitively states and explains the limitations of BSEE’s authority.  This decision brings the agency back to core principles of Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and puts to rest the many uncertainties raised by BSEE’s abandonment of longstanding legal policy and precedent.  My colleague Kevin Ewing (202-828-7837) can address the issue in depth.

Opposition Reply Briefs Filed in GHG Case – While it is headed for oral arguments in June, another round of briefs from opponents of the rule were filed on Friday.  Petitioners representing the 28 states and numerous trade groups and industry supporters responded in the D.C. Circuit on Friday to EPA’s defense of the Clean Power Plan. Most argued the rule isn’t legal saying “EPA ties itself in knots, torn between touting the Rule’s significance and downplaying the extraordinary nature of what it seeks to do. On one hand, EPA describes the Rule as ‘a significant step forward in addressing the Nation’s most urgent environmental threat,’ necessary for ‘critically important reductions in carbon dioxide emissions’ from fossil fuel-fired power plants.  On the other hand, EPA claims the Rule is not ‘transform[ative],’ because ‘industry trends’ will result in ‘significant reductions in coal-fired generation … even in the Rule’s absence.'”   Intervenors representing six corporations, including the bankrupt Peabody Energy, and the Gulf Coast Lignite Coalition, a group of power and coal companies, filed an intervenor reply brief outlining some similar arguments.

NRECA Weighs In – Rural Coops filed a reply brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit concerning the Clean Power Plan litigation.  NRECA Jeffrey Connor said the EPA has crossed a line by assigning itself vast regulatory authority that surpasses anything ever contemplated by Congress. “The agency wants to have it both ways, touting the Clean Power Plan as a major environmental milestone, while downplaying to the point of absurdity the rule’s unprecedented legal overreach. The fact is that EPA didn’t produce a rule simply to reduce emissions—it crafted a radical plan to restructure the U.S. power sector.”

Mercury Rule Finished by EPA – EPA today issued its Supreme Court-ordered fix for an error in its 2012 mercury pollution regulation.  The new “appropriate and necessary” finding – this time factoring compliance costs into EPA’s considerations – still concludes it’s proper to regulate mercury emissions from power plants. EPA would have written essentially the same regulation if it had made that finding when it originally considered the issue, it says, and thus the mercury rule will stay in place.

Read the finding here.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead said as expected, EPA responded to the Supreme Court’s decision in the MATS case (known as Michigan v EPA) with a new regulatory finding:  even taking into account the $9.6 billion a year in regulatory costs, it is “appropriate” to regulate coal-fired power plants under the air toxics provisions of the Clean Air Act.  In the Michigan case, the Supreme Court struck down EPA’s earlier finding because the Agency had refused to consider the cost of regulation when it determined that it was “appropriate” to regulate.  EPA said that the price tag is still a bargain because MATS will provide public health benefits of at least $37 billion a year.  But there is likely to be litigation over this new finding because virtually all of these claimed benefits come from reducing a type of pollution that EPA is not authorized to regulate under the air toxics provisions – so called “fine particle pollution.”  Holmstead says the Clean Air Act provides a very detailed regulatory process for regulating fine particles – a process that places clear limits on EPA’s authority.  He adds that opponents of last week’s finding are expected to argue that EPA is trying to circumvent those limits by using MATS to require reductions in fine particles that go well beyond what EPA is authorized to do under the fine particles provisions of the Clean Air Act.

Legal Group Claims Internal Emails Show Coordination by AGs on Climate –New York AG Eric Schneiderman and other politically-aligned AGs secretly teamed-up with anti-fossil fuel activists in their investigations against groups whose political speech challenged the global warming policy agenda, according to e-mails obtained by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal).  E&E Legal released these emails on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report about a January meeting, in which groups funded by the anti-fossil fuel Rockefeller interests met to urge just this sort of government investigation and litigation against their political opponents.  After the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) criticized these AGs’ intimidation campaign, the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Claude Earl Walker — one of the AGs working with Schneiderman — subpoenaed 10 years of CEI records relating to the global warming issue.  The e-mail correspondence between Schneiderman’s staff, the offices of several state attorneys general, and activists was obtained under Vermont’s Public Records Law, and also show Schneiderman’s office tried to obscure the involvement of outside activists.  His top environmental lawyer encouraged one green group lawyer who briefed the AGs before their March 29 “publicity stunt” press conference with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore not to tell the press about the coordination.  At that event the AGs announced they were teaming up to target opponents of the global warming agenda. The AGs went as far as trying to claim privilege for discussions and emails even with outside groups in this effort to go after shared political opponents, including each state that receives an open records request immediately alerting the rest to that fact.  In that case, according to the Schneiderman office’s draft, every state was to immediately return any records to New York.  To its credit Vermont objected to that as, naturally, being against state laws.  See the full slate of issues and emails here.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

5-YR Plan Public Meetings Start—The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold public meetings in New Orleans and Houston today and Wednesday on its five-year plan.  There will be another in Washington next Tuesday on April 26th.  Recently, Interior rolled out the new five-year plan for drilling which set the scope of drilling for the years between 2017-2022. Gulf Economic Survival Team Director Lori LeBlanc said continued energy production in the Gulf of Mexico and support of American energy workers who fuel this nation is essential during a news conference hosted by the Consumer Energy Alliance. “The total economic impact of Gulf energy is immense.  It creates jobs in every state in the U.S., with some 430,000 jobs nationwide estimated to link to Gulf energy activity, along with tens of thousands here in Louisiana alone. Those of us on the Gulf Coast are proud to produce the energy to fuel America and we recognize that Gulf oil accounts for nearly one-fifth of our nation’s oil production. The U.S. Treasury directly benefits to the tune of over $5 to $8 billion dollars each year from energy production in the Gulf — making it one of the largest revenue streams for the federal government.”

CEI to Discuss Green Climate Fund – Today at Noon, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) will host a lunch on Capitol Hill to discuss what can be done about two Obama administration efforts to circumvent Congress and push its climate agenda: the Paris Climate Treaty and the Green Climate Fund.  The Obama Administration announced it will sign the Paris Climate Treaty along with 130 other nations at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on April 22, 2016. The State Department also announced that the United States will officially become a party to the agreement later in the year. How can the United States become a party to the agreement without going through “its own national legislative requirements” to ratify it, as specified by the UN? CEI experts will discuss what is wrong with this agreement and how Congress can respond.  Congress did not appropriate any money for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for FY 2016. Nonetheless, in March the State Department re-programmed $500 million from the Economic Support Fund account to the GCF. Initial contributions by the United States and other developed countries are meant to prepare GCF for full funding of $100 billion per year beginning in 2020. CEI experts will discuss what the Green Climate Fund is and why Congress should not fund this initiative.

JHU to Look at Enviro Diplomacy –Tonight at 6:00 p.m., the Johns Hopkins SAIS program will host a forum on what environmental diplomacy entails and how it differs from standard notions of American diplomacy.  The forum will also look at the tactics necessary within negotiating historic agreements.  Speakers featured include former State Dept negotiator Dan Reifsnyder and SAIS alum Lynn Wager.

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

Forum to Look at California EV, Grid Connections – Infocast is holding its 2nd Annual EVs & the Grid Summit in Long Beach Marriott in Cali tomorrow looking at transport and power convergence.  Automakers will share their views on the market, latest models, and how to overcome adoption hurdles.  Third-party solution providers will assess partnership opportunities and requirements for equipment, software, energy storage & conversion and on-site renewables.  Policy-makers & utilities will hash out potential business models for capturing new value streams from electrification and a digital, distributed grid.  Port & airport authorities, municipalities, fleet managers and commercial building owners will share perspectives and explore partnering opportunities with solution providers.

Senate Enviro to Look at EPA Budget – The Senate Environment Committee will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. examining the President’s FY 2017 budget request for EPA.  The hearing will feature EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

Senate Energy to Look Oil, Gas Price – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing to examine challenges and opportunities for oil and gas development in different price environments.  Witnesses with include Columbia Energy expert Jason Bordoff, Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute, Michael Ratner of CRS and several others in the oil/gas industry.

House Resources/Oversight to Look at ESA – The  House Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow on recent changes to Endangered Species Critical Habitat Designation and Implementation.  The hearing will feature Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.  My Colleague Eric Washburn is a great resource on the topics.  Also on Wednesday and Thursday, the House Oversight Committee looks at barriers to ESA de-listing after a species has recovered.  That hearing will be at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday and 9:00 a.m. Thursday in 2154 Rayburn.

House Homeland Security to Look at Pipeline Security – The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on how the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) works with pipeline stakeholders to secure this critical infrastructure.  Witnesses will include our friend Andy Black of the AOPL, as well as DHS TSA security official Sonya Proctor, National Grid’s Kathleen Judge for AGA and CRS Energy/Infrastructure expert Paul Parfomak.

Jewell to Speak on National Park Week – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. at the National Geographic Society, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will deliver a major speech on the Obama Administration’s approach to conservation and the need for a course correction in order to ensure healthy lands, water and wildlife for the next century of American conservation. Following Jewell’s remarks, Editor in Chief of the National Geographic Magazine Susan Goldberg will hold a one-on-one conversation with the Secretary on threats facing public lands and Jewell’s vision for the future of conservation. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis will offer opening remarks to celebrate the 100-year milestone of America’s national parks, focusing on connecting with and creating the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates. As part of National Park Week (April 16-24), visitors can enjoy all national parks – from iconic landscape parks like Acadia National Park in Maine to urban cultural sites like San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in California – for free.

Forum to Look at European Energy Security – Reuters will host a forum tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. on Europe’s Energy Security.  From worries about Russia to the collapse of global energy prices and the rise of renewables, what will Europe’s energy security picture look like in the years to come? This event will be contacted under Chatham House rules.  Reuters global affairs columnist Peter Apps will Moderate a panel that includes Roric McCorristin of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, energy analyst Patricia Schouker and Belgian deputy Chief of Mission Thomas Lambert.

Moniz to Headline CSM Breakfast – Following its last breakfast with EPA’s Gina McCarthy, the Christian Science Monitor hosts a live interview with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on the impact of COP21 on Wedensday at 8:30 a.m. at the St. Regis.  The theme of the event will be the state of global energy and climate four months after last December’s historic summit in Paris, and just days before leaders convene in New York City for the official signing ceremony.  The talk with the Secretary will be followed by an expert panel featuring WRI President Andrew Steer, Georgetown’s Joanna Lewis, WRI’s Andrew Light, and C2ES’s Elliot Diringer.

Forum to Look at Rural Broadband – The Hudson Institute will host a discussion on Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. about closing the urban-rural economic gap through enhancing rural broadband. Hudson Senior Fellow Hanns Kuttner will present a new Hudson report, The Economic Impact of Rural Broadband. Joining him to discuss the industry’s impact and prospects will be.  There will also be a panel featuring  Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA; Nancy White, CEO of a rural broadband company in Lafayette, Tenn.; and rural broadband consultant Leo Staurulakis.

Senate Approps Panel Looks at EPA Budget – Following up on Senate Enviro’s review of the EPA budget, the Senate Appropriations panel on Interior/Environment will take Its turn with EPA head Gina McCarthy.

House Science Looks at Fusion – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will convene a hearing that will be an overview of Fusion Energy Science.  Witnesses will include Dr. Bernard Bigot, Director General, ITER Organization; Dr. Stewart Prager, Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; and Dr. Scott Hsu, Scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

NRC Commissioners Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the NRC Fiscal Year 2017 budget.  Commissioners will testify.

WCEE to Look at Solar Power Growth – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion on Wednesday looking at solar power growth over the next 25 years.  Forecasts for US solar power penetration in the next 25 years range from almost inconsequential levels to an exponential progression in which solar accounts for nearly all power generation. While these are two extremes and the actual path is likely somewhere in between, WCEE will look “under the hood” at some key projections and the assumptions behind them, based on the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions’ paper of US Solar Power Growth through 2040.  Following that,  the event will take an up-close look at what the DOE’s SunShot initiative is doing to reduce the soft costs of solar and ensure that solar is fully cost-competitive with other energy sources by 2020.   Speaker will include Suzanna Sanborn of Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions and Elaine Ulrich, Program Manager of DOE’s SunShot.

Forum to Look at Electricity Pricing Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a panel discussion on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. looking at time-variant electricity pricing as part of our ongoing series, “Electricity in Transition.” For a century, the retail rate structure in the United States has remained virtually unchanged. Nearly all retail customers in the U.S. pay a flat rate regardless of the time of day or the actual cost of electricity. While this pricing structure insulates consumers from price volatility, it may also lead to inefficiency in resource allocation. Enabled by the increasing deployment of smart meters, some states have been experimenting with new retail rate designs that reflect the fact that wholesale electricity prices vary over the course of the day. Time-variant pricing allows utilities and regulators accurately reflect market dynamics for customers, encouraging more efficient resource distribution. But do consumers actually respond to changing prices and Can time-variant pricing impact the adoption of new distributed energy technologies?   The panelists will discuss the objectives of moving to time-varying electricity rates, including the advantages and disadvantages of different rate structures, the distributional impacts of time-variant pricing, and the broader energy, environmental, and economic impacts of time-variant pricing. In addition, panelists will discuss recent experiences with time variant rates in different jurisdictions.

Segal, McKinley Headlining POLITICO Energy Forum – POLITICO hosting a forum Thursday, April 21 at 8:30 a.m. at the W Hotel focused on America’s Energy Agenda.  The event will look at new prices and new policies and examines the future of energy. Topics will include fluctuating energy costs and the calculus for Washington regulators and innovation.  Strategic priorities for building energy infrastructure and potential changes for a new administration.  Featured speakers include Sen. Angus King, Rep. David McKinley and my colleague Scott Segal, as well as BLM’s Neil Kornze, former AWEA head Denise Bode and BCSE’s Lisa Jacobsen.

Forum to Look at Hydrogen Economy – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Embassy of Japan will host a forum on hydrogen.  Dubbed “the energy of the future” by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan has been investing heavily on the potential of hydrogen as an alternative energy source. With zero emissions, it is an element that is plentiful, and the prospect for hydrogen-powered cars and hydrogen fuel-cell use at home is alluring. But from advancing the technology to developing the needed infrastructure, the cost to make hydrogen society a reality is high. The event will be a discussion ahead of Earth Day on the prospects of using hydrogen energy, and the outlook for cooperation between the United States and Japan to make hydrogen society a reality.

Panel to Look at Advanced Nuclear Reactors – The Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing Thursday at 9:45 a.m. on enabling advanced reactors and legislation targeting advancing It.  Witnesses will include NRC’s Victor McCree, former NRC commissioner Jeff Merrifield, NEI’s Maria Korsnick, and several others.

USEA to Host Penn St Expert on CO2 Transformation – The US Energy Assn will host a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at turning CO2 into sustainable chemicals and fuels.  Capturing CO2 and converting it into chemicals, materials, and fuels using renewable energy, is an important path for sustainable development and a major challenge in 21st century. Concentrated CO2 can be used for manufacturing chemicals (lower olefins such as ethylene and propylene, methanol, and carbonates), and fuels (such as liquid transportation fuels or synthetic natural gas). Penn State expert Chunshan Song will be the featured speaker.

NGV Leader to Address NatGas Roundtable – On Thursday, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host Matthew Godlewski, President of NGVAmerica will be the guest speaker at its next luncheon at the University Club. Godlewski’s topic will be: “Natural Gas Vehicles in Today’s Marketplace.”

Forum Look at Enrichment, Processing – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a forum on limiting enrichment and processing of nuclear materials.  The United States has long had a policy of discouraging the further spread of dual-use technologies that can be used either to make fissile material for nuclear weapons or for peaceful uses like reactor fuel – that is, uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing.   The international community, on the other hand, has long resisted serious limits on enrichment and reprocessing beyond restraining nuclear trade.  And yet, the case of Iran illustrates just how close a country can get to a latent nuclear weapons capability in the absence of legally binding restrictions.  In light of these challenges, how well is the U.S. policy working?  What additional tools might we expect to employ in the coming years? Speakers will include Thomas Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State and Edward McGinnis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy, among several others.

EARTH DAY April 22 – Not only is this Earth Day, but it is expected to be the UN Paris Climate Agreement signing day in New York.  Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to be in New York as the President will be overseas.

Senate Indian Affairs Field Hearing to Blast EPA – While McCarthy was originally expected to join Kerry, there is rumor that she may have to be in Phoenix at the Senate Indian Affairs field hearing at 12:30 p.m. examining EPA’s unacceptable response to Indian tribes.  I guess Sen. McCain is the spoil sport on the signing.  While McCarthy may not come, EPA’s assistant administrator of Land/Emergency Management Mathy Stanislaus will for sure attend.  Navajo President Russell Begaye, Navajo Council member LoRenzo Bates and Hopi Chairman Herman Honanie, whose reservation is also downstream from Gold King Mine, will also testify.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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.

Forum to Look at Energy Policy In the 2016 – Election The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a day-long seminar on Tuesday, April 26th looking at U.S. Energy Policy in the 2016 Elections.  The event will feature panel discussions on the importance of bipartisan Energy Policy, oil/natgas production, distribution and refining, the electric power sector, the future of transportation and State and City leadership. Each election cycle affords policymakers an opportunity to assess the state of the nation’s energy sector in the context of shared objectives and within the context of a dynamic global energy landscape.  U.S. energy policy is driven by economic, security, and environmental priorities, but fundamental tensions continue to exist between those priorities and among the various constituencies involved in the nation’s energy sectors. The purpose of this conference is to inform the current debate on U.S. energy policymaking and assess what areas are ripe for action.

CSIS to Look at Financing Production Resilience – On Thursday, April 28th, CSIS Energy and the National Security program will host a conversation with former Vice Chairman of NY Mercantile Exchange Albert Helmig, Energy Intelligence Energy Casey Sattler and Betsy Graseck of Morgan Stanley, moderated by our friend Kevin Book.  Oil and gas producers have responded to six consecutive calendar quarters of price weakness by high-grading production, downsizing workforce and paring back capital spending. Financial investors’ continuing appetite for oil industry debt – and, more recently, equity – has continued to support U.S. production, too. Unexpectedly resilient output and stubbornly low commodity prices continue to erode corporate resources, however, raising several imminent questions.

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

BPC to Focus on Water/Energy Book – On Thursday, April 28 at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center holds a book session on “Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival” by author Michael Webber and a discussion about the interconnections between energy and water, their vulnerabilities, and the path toward a more reliable and abundant future for humanity.  Although it is widely understood that energy and water are the world’s two most critical resources, their vital interconnections and vulnerabilities are less often recognized. A new book offers a fresh, holistic way of thinking about energy and water—a big picture approach that reveals the interdependence of the two resources, identifies the seriousness of the challenges, and lays out an optimistic approach with an array of solutions to ensure the continuing sustainability of both.

Forum to Look at LNG – The Atlantic Council hosts the US LNG Exports and European Energy Security Conference on Thursday April 28th.  The event takes place shortly after the inauguration ceremony of Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana and will discuss the implications of US LNG exports on European energy security in the context of climate action post Paris COP21 and changing global energy markets.  There is an excellent list of great speakers, including a wide array of Foreign ministers from European countries on a panel moderated by our FP friend Keith Johnson.  A second panel moderated by our friend Amy Harder of the Wall Street Journal will include API’s Marty Durbin and DOE’s Paula Gant among others.

Sustainable Factbook to Be Released – On Friday, April 29th at Noon in B-338 Rayburn, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will hold a briefing that will provide information on the rapid changes occurring in the U.S. energy sector. The findings of the “2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook” show that the U.S. energy sector, and the power sector in particular, have experienced unprecedented growth in newer, cleaner sources of energy.  The briefing will feature an overview presentation by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) on the findings from the Factbook, followed by a moderated industry panel with senior executives from a range of clean energy industries.  Speakers for this forum include BNEF’s Colleen Regan, BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson, AGA’s Kathryn Clay, SEIA’s Katherine Gensler, Owen Smith of Ingersoll Rand, Covanta’s Paula Soos, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls and Jeff Leahey of the National Hydropower Association.

WCEE to Look at Paris Implementation – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a discussion on Friday, April 29th at Noon on the role of states in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.  Maryland Public Service Commissioner Anne Hoskins, DOE Deputy Director for Climate, Environment & Energy Efficiency Judi Greenwald and EPRI’s Steve Rose  will all , Senior Research Economist, Electric Power Research Institute all look at the options states considering to continue de-carbonizing the electricity generation sector and what role of regulators will play in achieving these goals.

IEEE to Host Transmission Technology Conference – IEEE will hold its annual Transmission PES Conference in Dallas at the Convention Center May 2-5.  The electric grid is undergoing transformations enabled by the integration of new technologies, such as advanced communication and power electronic devices and the increasing penetration of distributed generation. Such changes introduce a new paradigm in the cultural infrastructure of power systems, which requires a great deal of cooperation between utilities, power generation companies, consumers, governments and regulators.

 

EIA to Present International Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday May 11th at 9:30 a.m. to present the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016).  The IEO2016 includes projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source through 2040; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.  Among other topics, Sieminski will discuss EIA’s view on long-term petroleum and other liquids fuel supplies, prospects for global natural gas markets, energy demand growth among developing nations, and key uncertainties that may alter the long-term projections.

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

 

CSIS to Hold Development Forum – The second annual Global Development Forum (GDF) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on May 19. The GDF will feature over 40 speakers, including key stakeholders from U.S. government agencies, leading multilateral and non-governmental organizations, foreign governments, and the private sector.  The 2016 GDF seeks to address the complex issues highlighted by the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Participants will examine the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of global trends including rising incomes, rapid urbanization, uneven economic growth, and widespread unemployment. In particular, discussions will explore ways in which official donors and key partners, including the private sector, civil society, and multilateral institutions can improve livelihoods, strengthen governance, and facilitate access to key resources including food, energy, and infrastructure.

 

Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC.  More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of December 15

Friends

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of December 8

Friends

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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.