Energy Update: Week of August 20

Friends,

Hope your August is going great. I know we haven’t slowed down with all the fall sports starting.   Hannah is back at Wellesley on the field hockey pitch, Olivia is in the middle of practice double sessions, Adam just finished 12th in the Annapolis 10-miler yesterday in under an hour and I have started my NCAA field hockey season.  That is a lot, but not enough for us to top each weekend off with Incubus last Sunday at The Fillmore in Silver Spring and Godsmack/Shinedown last night at Jiffy Lube Live.

And it hasn’t really slowed down in DC either.  Last week, we had 2019 RFS RVO comments due and the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute released a new analysis that quantifies billions of dollars of savings in lower electric bills Americans are starting to realize stemming from enactment of the Tax Cut & Jobs Act.  Then this week, we expect to see the roll out of the Clean Power Plan replacement which is yet to be named.  President Trump is expected to announce the new plan in West Virginia tomorrow.  The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal all had stories.

My colleague Scott Segal said “the previous administration’s effort to address greenhouse gases was a complex and unnecessarily burdensome overreach that took much of the responsibility for power systems away from the state regulators who know them best.  He adds “the replacement rule is premised on the fact that states are in a better position to judge the inventory of measures available to reduce carbon emissions within their power sectors.  That’s consistent with decades of integrated resource planning that takes places at the state level, the shared responsibilities under the Clean Air Act, and the traditional federalism that governs utility regulation in most states.”  Both Segal and Holmstead will be available this week.  I also expect our friends at the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute will also have comments, background and analysis as well.

Not much shaking this week other than the meetings with SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh and we hear rumors that the Senate may shut it down after finishing a few more funding bills.  Action includes Senator Peter’s hosting a field hearing today in Traverse City on pipeline safety while Senate Environment (and Public Works) holds a field hearing in Ellicott City on the Federal role in preventing future flooding.  Tomorrow, Senate Energy looks at energy efficiency and blockchain while Sen. Judiciary hosts witnesses like SoCo CEO Tom Fanning on protecting critical infrastructure at 2:30 p.m.  On Wednesday, Senate Energy discusses several bills related to land, forest and mineral extraction including Helium Extraction.

Also this week, EPRI is hosting its Electrification conference in Long Beach.  They also have recently introduced a new #sharegrid concept (including a great white board video) that outlines the shared, integrated grid concept and how it will improve customers’ energy assets all while enhancing grid reliability, resiliency and value for all.

Finally, there is new interesting research from MIT on pavement’s impact on urban heat island and its impact on climate change. “Albedo” is the measure of how much solar energy is reflected by the Earth’s surface. Low albedo, or darker color, surfaces absorb more heat and reflect less shortwave radiation than high albedo, or lighter color, surfaces. Increasing pavement albedo has been considered as a strategy to mitigate impacts of climate change, but evaluating the effectiveness of such strategies requires context-specific data on climate conditions. MIT’s CSHub has developed an analytical approach to quantify global warming potential savings resulting from increases in pavement albedo.  More detail on this soon.

The comment period closes today for CEQ’s NEPA reform plan.  We are following closely.  Enjoy the last two weeks of August.  Call with questions – especially on CPP-related issues…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Our new analysis shows that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is reducing energy costs for both residential customers and industrial users.  Utilities that have seen relief from their tax bills are passing those savings onto their customers, which ultimately saves consumers money. This savings is resulting in increased economic productivity and more jobs around the country.”

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute, rolling out a New report that looks at the benefits utility customers are reaching due to the Administration tax relief plan.

“The previous administration’s effort to address greenhouse gases was a complex and unnecessarily burdensome overreach that took much of the responsibility for power systems away from the state regulators who know them best.  It is why 29 states pushed back against the rules and the Supreme Court blocked their implementation with which an unprecedented stay. It is clear this Administration and its EPA seem likely to address this issue within the framework of the Clean Air Act and give states a significant role in managing the reliability and environmental performance of their power sectors.

Finally, the replacement rule is premised on the fact that states are in a better position to judge the inventory of measures available to reduce carbon emissions within their power sectors.  That’s consistent with decades of integrated resource planning that takes places at the state level, the shared responsibilities under the Clean Air Act, and the traditional federalism that governs utility regulation in most states.”

Scott Segal commenting on the expected new release of the Trump Administration’s redo of the Clean Power Plan, expected to be released on Tuesday in West Virginia. 

 

ON THE POD

Cap Crude Looks at Russian Sanctions – The Platts Capitol Crude podcast focuses on Russia with Congress considering a raft of new sanctions against Russia that could hit energy trade.  Agnia Grigas, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and author of The New Geopolitics of Natural Gas, discusses the potential risks to oil and gas investment, including the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

 

FUN OPINIONS

Former Energy Secretary Says Ethanol Bad Policy – As a former senator from an agricultural state and a former U.S. Energy secretary, Spence Abraham recently wrote in The Hill that both American agriculture and our independent refineries can succeed. Unfortunately, the current structure of the federal biofuel mandate fails to achieve these goals.  Abraham wrote: “As the U.S. Energy secretary during the passage of the first RFS, I can categorically state that the RIN system was not meant to create a multibillion-dollar commodity market that serves to subsidize large-scale blenders and vertically integrated oil companies at the expense of smaller and independent refiners. The administration and Congress must act to reform the RFS in a way that keeps RIN costs under control, while also ensuring robust domestic biofuel use. Recent experience proves such a ‘win-win’ can be achieved to save manufacturing jobs in the Rust Belt, without adversely impacting the Corn Belt.  The president previously considered taking more permanent action to achieve this goal. Now would be a great time for him to finish the job.”

IN THE NEWS

Chamber Report Says Tax Cuts Will Reduce Power Bills – The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute (GEI) will release new analysis that quantifies billions of dollars of savings in lower electric bills Americans are starting to realize stemming from enactment of the Tax Cut & Jobs Act.  Investor owned utilities (IOU) saw significant tax rate reductions from comprehensive tax reform and are now passing on that savings to their customers.  GEI quantified that total savings in 12 representative states and further calculated the average residential customers’ savings.  With businesses and families keeping more of their money, we also modeled the additional economic growth and job creation expected to occur. The 12 representative states GEI analyzed were Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Texas and Virginia.  Across those states, customer savings over the next five years (2018-2022) will range from $100 million in Maine to over $3 billion in California. Each state also sees meaningful GDP and job gains as a result of these customer savings.

RVO Comments Pour In – On Friday, the comment period for the 2019 Renewable Volume obligations (RVO) for the Renewable Fuels Standard closed.  There were many comments from both sides, But the opponents are a broad-based group of refiners, labor unions, conservative and environmental groups.  Here are some highlights:

1) United SteelworkersRoxanne Brown, Legislative Director, United Steelworkers:

Our union believes that reducing the U.S.’s reliance on foreign oil and focusing on energy independence is a meaningful policy goal not just for strategic and employment reasons, but for our environment as well.  However, current RFS policy has led to increased foreign imports of biofuels, including biomass-based diesel fuel, undermining Congressional intent of the RFS.

The reduced availability of additional biofuels to blend into the system creates logistical and technological challenges commonly known as the “blend-wall”. This has led to significant cost impacts for refineries as compliance costs related to Renewable Identification Number (RIN’s) pricing, which has wildly fluctuated based off of no logical demand structure, creates uncertainty for refineries and undermines long term investment strategies for domestic refining.  USW encourages the EPA to develop realistic biofuel assumptions that recognize the significant changes in fuels policy and the continued inability of commercially viable cellulosic biofuel to enter the market.

2) The Toledo Chamber of CommerceBrian Dicken, Vice President, Advocacy & Public Policy, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce

We are encouraged that EPA is taking comment on RIN market reforms, but believe such reforms should be dealt with in the final RVO and not via a separate rulemaking. Even biofuel interests have questioned the volatility of the RIN market. The history of the program shows wild swings in RIN costs, but the percentage of ethanol blended into gasoline has stayed at around 10 cents regardless of whether RINs are three cents or $1.40.

Public comments EPA received for last year’s RVO detailed several observations of possible market manipulation that are illegal in other contexts, but not controlled or regulated in relation to the RIN market. EPA must act to prevent anti‐consumer manipulative practices and should advance RIN market reforms in the final 2019 RVO, rather than wait to pursue measures addressing RIN market integrity in the future.

3) IBEW Local 8 in NW OhioStephen Brown, Business Representative, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 8.  Local 8 represents over 1,600 electrical workers in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan; its jurisdiction includes the Toledo Refinery Company (TRC):

EPA’s proposed increase in the RFS requirement over 2018 levels fails to recognize the blendwall and the uneven playing field among RFS obligated parties. It could result in upward pressure on RIN costs, which as we saw earlier this year with Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), would once again threaten highly skilled domestic refining industry jobs.

A look back at the last six months proves EPA can help prevent RIN price spikes without adversely impacting biofuel consumption. A combination of RFS reform discussions and small refiner waivers has resulted in RIN prices decreasing from 90 cents last November to approximately 20 cents recently.  Despite these factors, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) monthly data shows there has been NO backtracking on biofuel blending. In fact, the blend rate in the first quarter of this year was slightly higher than it was in the first quarter of last year.  This has all occurred in conjunction with small refiner waivers and falling RIN prices. The facts to date show that domestic biofuel use will remain robust, even when the standard is waived for parts of the industry.

4) NJ Senate Majority Leader Sweeney, Dep. Assembly Speaker Burzichelli – Stephen Sweeney, Senate President, New Jersey Senate & General Assembly:

The proposed increase in the RFS requirement over 2018 levels fails to recognize the blendwall and the uneven playing field among RFS obligated parties. It could result in upward pressure on RIN costs, which as we saw earlier this year with Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), would once again threaten highly skilled domestic refining industry jobs.

In the high RIN price environment of the last two years, RINs became the [Paulsboro, NJ] refinery’s most significant operating expense; rising above pay, benefits and energy costs. The refinery spent nearly $150 million from 2015 to 2017 on RINs. Returning to such a financial environment would be unsustainable and certainly threaten jobs in the region.

The EPA must act now to prevent anti-consumer manipulative practices and advance RIN market reforms in the final 2019 RVO, rather than wait to pursues measures addressing RIN market integrity in the future.

5) Paulsboro Independent Oil Workers UnionRudolph Rafferty, President, Independent Oil Workers, representing 300 employees at New Jersey’s Paulsboro Refining Company and an additional 200 from neighboring facilities.

The facts to date show that domestic biofuel use will remain robust, even when the standard is waived for parts of the industry.  These facts prove EPA can set a reasonable volumetric requirement that is below the blendwall without adversely impacting domestic ethanol or other biofuel consumption, much of which is economic without government support.

For every refinery employee, 15-20 indirect jobs are maintained to support our activities.  This support comes in the form of goods and services.  For example, one of our products serves as a base stock for a neighboring facility, which employs 105 additional union jobs.  All told, the Paulsboro Refinery helps to support thousands of people and hundreds of families in Gloucester County, New Jersey.  The Paulsboro Refinery has produced fuels for more than 100 years.  It has provided stable employment for generations of families who have relied on compensation from refinery employment to provide a good quality of life.

6) Holly-Frontier – in its comments, HollyFrontier requests that EPA take three specific actions: (1) further reduce the renewable volume obligation (“RVO”) using the general waiver authority given the inadequate volume of domestically produced renewable fuel available to obligated parties; (2) implement Renewable Identification Number (“RIN”) market reforms to increase RIN liquidity and decrease RIN prices; and (3) continue granting small refinery disproportionate economic hardship exemptions as required by the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) when circumstances demonstrate a disproportionate economic harm.

7) Valero – Valero’s comments stress concerns that EPA has yet again proposed RVOs that are not reasonably attainable & declined to make use of available authorities to reduce harms caused by RFS and volatile RIN market.

8) PBF Energy – PBF Energy says the 2019 proposed conventional biofuel volumes should be lowered to avoid severe economic harm. Recent experience indicates setting unreasonable volume targets does result in such harm, but does NOT appreciably do anything to overcome the challenges of the blendwall and advance the RFS program’s objectives.  It also says EPA should lower advanced biofuels limits that are overly aggressive to better reflect accurate domestic production.  Finally, they say EP should EPA should include RIN trading reforms in the RVO as well as advance other changes to ensure RIN market liquidity and limit compliance costs.

NDAA Signed By President – President Trump signed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, including bipartisan language led by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) to require the secretary of energy to report on the feasibility of siting, constructing and operating “micro reactors” at critical Defense Department or Energy Department national security facilities. ClearPath Action advisor and former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Commissioner Jeff Merrifield praised the proposal at a May 22 House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing.  The NDAA also allows approvals of exports of non-sensitive nuclear technologies to be delegated to officials more junior than the secretary of energy. This would allow for much quicker approvals, which at times have taken more than a year. All exports to China and Russia would still have to be approved by the secretary of energy.  There was also language the bill on addressing climate change.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

Oil/Gas Conference Set for Denver – EnerCom’s Oil & Gas Conference takes place this week at the Westin Denver Downtown.  The conference offers investment professionals the opportunity to listen to the world’s key senior management teams present their growth plans.  Our friends at Wolfe Research will host a full day of management meetings with execs on Tuesday August 21st at the Palm Restaurant.

Senate Commerce Hosts Pipeline Safety Field Hearing – The Senate Commerce Committee will convene a field hearing today at 10:00 a.m. in Traverse City, MI looking at pipeline safety in the Great Lakes.  Sen Gary Peters is hosting.  The hearing will focus on federal oil spill prevention efforts, preparedness and response capability in the event of an oil pipeline break in the Straits of Mackinac. Line 5, the 65-year-old pipeline crossing the Straits of Mackinac, has been the subject of multiple safety concerns, including damage from anchor strikes.  Witnesses include PHMSA Administrator Skip Elliott, USGC local Commander Joanna Nunan and NOAA’s Scott Lundgren, as well as Enbridge’s David Bryson, NWF’s Michael Shriberg, API’s David Murk, Chris Hennessy of the Michigan Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET) and local Brewer Larry Bell.

Senate EPW Looks at Flooding in Ellicott City Field Hearing – The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold a field hearing hosted by Sen. Cardin to provide oversight repeated flooding events in Ellicott City, MD. The hearing will be reviewing the Federal role in preventing future events.

NEI Hosts Reg Affairs Forum – NEI hosts its 2018 Regulatory Affairs Forum in Bethesda tomorrow through Thursday. Topics will focus on a broader issues including Operations, Engineering, and other leadership in the nuclear industry.  Along with Regulatory Affairs personnel, this diverse population will participate in a fast paced exploration of regulatory fundamentals, current and evolving regulatory issues and trends, and how their role; either on the front line, or in station leadership, impacts regulatory performance.

DOE Better Buildings Summit Set – The Advanced Manufacturing Office’s Better Plants Program will co-host the Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2018 Better Buildings Summit in Cleveland, Ohio from tomorrow through Thursday. The Summit is one of the premier events for energy professionals to engage with one another, explore and share innovative strategies, emerging technologies, financing trends, and much more. This year, the Summit will be held in conjunction with DOE’s annual Energy Exchange and will focus on federal facility energy management. Combining the Summit with the Energy Exchange will provide greater access to technical discussions, trainings, panel sessions, and networking opportunities.

Sen Energy Looks at Blockchain. Energy Efficiency, Holds Leg Hearing Wednesday – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to consider the energy efficiency of blockchain and similar technologies and the cybersecurity possibilities of such technologies for energy industry applications. In particular, should we expect electricity prices to increase from rising electricity demand in blockchain applications? In addition, how can we evaluate whether blockchain and similar approaches will soon improve the cybersecurity of computing systems used to supply our energy? Witnesses include Pacific NW Labs Paul Skare, EPRI’s Tom Golden, Claire Henly of the Energy Web Foundation and Princeton’s Arvind Narayanan. Then on Wednesday, the Public Lands, Forests, and Mining panel will also hold a legislative hearing on Wednesday looking at 14 bills including helium extraction, wild and scenic rivers, geologic mapping and fire protection.  Witnesses will include Sens Bennet and Udall, as well as BLM’s Chris McAlear and Forest Service’s Glenn Casamassa.

Fanning Headlines Senate Judiciary Look at Cybersecurity Threat – Southern Co. CEO Tom Fanning will testify at the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to examine cyberthreats to the nation’s electrical grid.  Fanning is a member of the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, the chief coordinating liaison between the power sector and the federal government in preparing for attacks and “national-level incidents” against infrastructure like transmission lines. Other witnesses include Michael Moss, deputy director, Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Bob Kolasky, director, National Risk Management Center, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security; and James Lewis, senior vice president, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Canadian Energy Expert to Look at Quebec Circular Economy – The Circular Economy Working Group holds its August monthly meeting on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at the Canadian Embassy Quebec Office.  The Group materialized from past Leaders in Energy workshops and activities on the circular economy.   At the August meeting, Charles Girard, Lead Energy, Cleantech, and Economic Attache at Quebec Government Office in Washington, will present on circular economy business activities in Quebec.

Forum to Look at Advanced Nuclear – The Global America Business Institute holds an event on advanced nuclear innovation at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday.  Speaker Ron Faibish – Senior Director of Business Development, Nuclear Technologies and Materials at General Atomics (GA) – will look at the topic.

ABA Teleconference to Discuss Fuel Economy – The American Bar Assn will host a teleconference on fuel economy and greenhouse gas standard reform on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

EPA to Host IRIS Public Meeting – The EPA is hosting a public meeting on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. to receive feedback on the IRIS Assessment Plan (IAP) for Naphthalene. EPA has extended the public comment period until September 5, 2018.

IN THE FUTURE

Forum to Look at Regional Transportation – The Georgetown Climate Center will host an event next Monday at 1:00 p.m. in Largo to facilitated discussions designed to hear input on the topics of an innovative, low-carbon transportation future, residential and business transportation choices, improving environmental quality and public health benefits while also increasing mobility and modernizing the transportation system and policies/programs that could help achieve this vision.

USEA to Discuss Energy Employment – On Wednesday, August 29th at 10:00 a.m., the US Energy Assn hosts a presentation to summarize the high level results of the 2018 US Energy and Employment Report (USEER) in four key sectors of the American economy–Electric Power Generation and Fuels Production; Transmission, Distribution, and Storage; Energy Efficiency; and the Motor Vehicles Industry.  In addition to providing job numbers in emerging technologies, such as renewables, energy storage, and smart grid, the USEER analysis reveals the large number of direct employment that has gone uncounted in traditional energy sectors such as nuclear generation and fossil fuel production.  Two special features of the presentation include an analysis of jobs focused on energy efficiency and a breakdown of motor vehicles employment associated with alternative fuels and fuel efficiency.  Finally, the presentation will take a forward look at predicted employment growth in 2018 in each energy sector, the hiring difficulty experienced by energy employers, and a demographic overview of energy employment in America. David A. Foster of the Energy Futures Initiative, Speaks.

CSIS Hosts Trade Reps – On Monday September 17th, the CSIS Scholl Chair in International Business is hosting a conversation with six former United States Trade Representatives, who will share wisdom from their own experience and discuss the current global trading system, its institutions, and the prospects for trade in these challenging times. Speakers include Bill Brock, Carla Hills, Micky Kantor, Charlene Barshefsky​, Susan Schwab and Ron Kirk.

Border Energy Forum Set for San Antonio – The North American Development Bank (NADB) will host the XXIII Border Energy Forum in San Antonio on September 26th and 27th at the Hilton San Antonio. This forum brings together local and state officials, private sector developers, academics, large commercial users, and energy experts from the U.S. and Mexico. NADB’s unique position as the only U.S.-Mexico binational development bank, has provided the Bank the opportunity to be involved in some of the most relevant clean energy projects developed in the last five years in the region. NADB has financed close to $1.5 billion for 35 projects with total costs of $5.2 billion. Roughly, 2,548 MW of new generation capacity is being installed along the border. The forum will center the dialogue on energy prosperity, innovation, financing, the future of energy markets, and crossborder opportunities along the U.S.-Mexico border, and how to continue building partnerships to advance both countries energy goals that ultimately improve economic development and protect the environment.

SEJ in Flint – The Society of Environmental Journalism holds its annual conference on October 3-6th in Flint.  Of course, Bracewell hosts its annual event on Thursday October 4th.

Energy Update: Week of June 11

Friends,

What a sports weekend….  C-A-P-S, Caps, Caps, Caps.  As you know, I am a Detroit guy but kudos to my second hometown who won their first Stanley Cup ever on Thursday and it was a thrilling ride for DC.  The WaPo has the Day-In-The-Life and the Caps after-party details with Cup.  And the party has continued since… The Parade will be tomorrow morning starting at 11:00 a.m. running up Constitution Avenue between 17th Street and ending at 7th Street.  The action then moves to the National Mall.

Then Friday, the Golden State Warriors finished off LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavs for an NBA Finals sweep.   On Saturday, Justify rolled to the second triple crown in four years leading wire-to-wire in the Belmont Stakes boldly holding off a late run from long-shot Gronkowski.  While I didn’t think he would do it, I was impressed by his run and give a lot of credit to Baffert’s move to run stable mate Restoring Hope, who ran the first mile on Justify’s shoulder and prevented the field from pressuring Justify like Good Magic did in the Preakness.  While Justify didn’t pay out, I was a big fat winner on a trifecta box with Hofburg and Gronk.  Finally, on Sunday, Rafa Nadel again proved he is “King of Clay” winning his 11th French Open Title.

And while the sports were nuts, the Tonys were also awarded in NYC last night and featured some colorful language from Robert DeNiro.  The biggest winner was a great play Stacey and I saw earlier this year called The Band’s Visit with Tony Shalhoub.  The musical took home 10 Tonys including Best Musical. And for you Harry Potter fans, the Cursed Child won Best Play, among its six awards.  All the winners are here.

And looking forward, I know I usually adopt the Champ Kind sports philosophy of “No Soccer,” but it is hard to not pay attention to the FIFA World Cup which starts on Thursday with host Russia taking on Saudi Arabia.  Here are the teams from Fox, who is televising the event, and a guide from Yahoo! Soccer for those watching.   Finally, the US Open launches on Thursday in NY at Shinnecock Hills with World #1 Dustin Johnson at the top pf his game after holing out on 18 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic yesterday.

Between the Caps tomorrow and Thursday’s events, I suspect their won’t be much work done in DC this week but here we go: The Senate Appropriations Committee marks up its fiscal 2019 Interior-Environment bill this week, the Farm bill emerges in both the House and Senate and all five FERC Commissioners visit Senate Energy tomorrow.

The biggest event this week is Wednesday morning’s SAFE forum that releases a new groundbreaking study with original research on the magnitude of impacts from driverless cars at the Jack Morton Auditorium at the George Washington University.

Stacey heads to her annual trek to Delaware’s Firefly Festival, the 4-day music celebration at Dover Downs that this year features Foster The People, Jimmy Eat World, Eminem, The Killers, Portugal The Man, and many more. Finally, Thursday night at Nationals Park will be an emotional Congressional Baseball game with the return of Steve Scalise after last year’s shooting.  You can get tickets here.

Call with questions…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“As the puck drops, the words that D.C. fans have been waiting to hear since 1974: The Washington Capitals are the 2018 Stanley Cup champions! It’s not a dream! It’s not a desert mirage, it’s Lord Stanley and he is coming to Washington!”

Washington Capitals Radio broadcaster John Walton in the final moments of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

ON THE POD

Lobby Shop Hits Recess Cancellation, Caps – Bracewell’s latest episode of our podcast, The Lobby Shop, is now live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  Josh and Liam reunite for a look at the cancellation of Congress’s August recess by Senate Majority Leader McConnell, the outlook of the Midterm elections, DC’s Capitals in the Stanley Cup Final, and more.

FUN OPINIONS

Murkowski, Faison on CNN: Nuclear Power Important for Rural Communities – In a column on CNN’s website, Senate Lisa Murkowski and ClearPath’s Jay Faison argued that small reactors could be a huge success for rural communities.  They urged policymakers to develop policies that will unleash entrepreneurs to rebuild America’s nuclear industry.  While efforts to mitigate climate change are heating up, China is rushing to grab the strongest foothold in the clean energy race. China is already constructing and operating advanced reactors while we have none. The US — once the pioneer and undisputed champion of nuclear power and other breakthroughs — is falling behind.  Murkowski and Faison argue leadership in nuclear technology development allows leadership in nuclear regulation and safeguard regimes. A robust and healthy American nuclear sector is a prerequisite for national security in today’s world.

NEW MIDTERM WEBSITE

Morning Consult Mid-Term Election Tracker in Place – Speaking of midterms, with less than 150 days to go, Morning Consult has introduced The Midterm Wave Watcher.  It is a new interactive feature showcasing a range of survey research insights related to the 2018 midterm elections. MC interviews registered voters across the country every day to gauge their opinions on their elected officials as well as whom they’re planning to vote for in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections for House and Senate. This data, based on hundreds of thousands of surveys conducted in all 50 states, will be released on a monthly basis heading into November. See the full methodology here, and explore the full results here.

IN THE NEWS

Faison Joins DOE Nuclear Advisors – ClearPath Founder Jay Faison was named to the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee, which offers advice and recommendations from a range of experts to the assistant secretary for nuclear energy.  Energy Secretary Rick Perry has appointed Jay to the Committee through December 2019. NEAC was established in 1998 and provides advice and recommendation on scientific, commercial, technical and programmatic issues relating to DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy. Jay joins NuScale Power Chairman and CEO John Hopkins, Oklo Co-founder and COO Caroline Cochran, Nuclear Industry Council President and CEO David Blee, Nuclear Energy Institute President and CEO Maria Korsnick and others on the committee.

Jay’s Take on NuclearVision – Now that he is on the DOE board, Faison outlined a number of opportunities that he will focus on.  Faison’s new blog out highlights what he calls NuclearVision, including (1) setting aggressive technology goals, in coordination with the private sector, that balance the pace of scientific innovation with commercial needs; (2) proactively encouraging thinking that challenges the status quo and pushes the limit of innovation and (3) empowering technical staff, including program managers that should come from the cutting edge of industry.  Following those and other guiding principles could result in proper investments in DOE’s research programs, facilitating advanced fuels development, constructing a versatile fast test reactor by 2026 and competitive cost sharing for our most promising advanced reactor designs.

FirstSolar Launches Ohio Facility – FirstSolar has broken ground on new $400-million, 1-million-square-foot solar plant in Toledo, OH that will triple the company’s manufacturing capacity in the U.S. The plant, which is set to reach full capacity in late 2019, will bring 500 jobs to the region, compensating for the 350 jobs First Solar cut to upgrade its Perrysburg Township plant, located less than two miles away, from Series 4 to Series 6 panel production last year. When the new plant is complete, the two factories will produce enough panels to generate a combined 1.8 gigawatts of power annually, three times the Perrysburg site’s current output.

More States Granted Delay in WOTUS Case – Late Friday a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction on against the Waters of the U.S. rule to 11 states, including Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Kentucky. Federal Judge Lisa Godbey Wood for U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia ruled that the states have a substantial likelihood of winning at least some of their claims against the 2015 rule.  POLITICO reports the judge singled out two of the states’ claims as particularly strong: that the Obama rule violated the Clean Water Act with its sweeping coverage of wetlands and streams high up in the tributary network, and that it violated the Administrative Procedures Act by making significant changes between the proposed and final versions of the rule.   With this ruling and North Dakota’s previous ruling which granted preliminary injunction to 13 states in 2015, the rule is on hold in nearly half the country.

Report Finds Offshore Wind Could Add Jobs – A new report by the American Jobs Project said Maine is well-positioned to capture hundreds of jobs when offshore wind takes off.  It says the state should adopt policy positions to improve its opportunities thanks to advances in floating platforms developed by the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center.  It suggests that Maine could see 2,100 jobs if the state adopts “forward-thinking policies.” The report includes recommendations that include restoring an office that fast-tracked wind power projects during the administration of Democratic Gov. John Baldacci. Other recommendations include establishing offshore wind certificate or degree programs to support a skilled workforce and establishing a Northeast Offshore Wind Innovation Center.

Pope Meets with Oil CEOs – Pope Francis urged leaders in the financial, oil and gas industries at a conference at the Vatican to work on transitioning to energy sources that are “highly efficient while producing low levels of pollution,” saying that “there is no time to lose.” Francis told the group, which included the chairman of Exxon Mobil Corp., the chief executive of the Italian energy giant Eni SPA and the chief executive of BP PLC, that the entire world is affected by climate change, though the poor would “suffer the most from the ravages of global warming.”

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

AWWA Holds Annual Conference – The American Water Works Association Annual Conference and Exposition today through Thursday at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Merrifield Headlines Nuclear Export Forum – Several groups are hosting forum in 2322 Rayburn this morning at 11:00 a.m. to discuss the importance of nuclear experts to the U.S.  Speakers will include former NRC Commissioner and ClearPath advisor Jeff Merrifield on industry/government collaboration, Westinghouse’s Graham Cable on understanding the export market, Nuclear Industry Council CEO David Blee on the export potential for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and several more.

Interior Official to Address Energy Policy – The Atlantic Council hosts a conversation on today at Noon with Vincent DeVito, counselor to the secretary for energy policy at Interior. DeVito will focus on the advanced energy aspects of the Trump administration’s “energy dominance” agenda.

House Resources Holds MI Field Hearing on Fishery, Bird Controversy – The House Natural Resources Committee holds a field hearing today at 2:00 p.m. that examines the effects of mismanagement of the cormorant in the Great Lakes region at Alpena Community College in Michigan.  The boom in population of the cormorant has created controversy regarding its impact on fisheries quality and quantity nationwide. In Michigan, recreational and commercial fishing is an economically significant industry valued between $4 billion and $7 billion annually.  Speakers will discuss including Randall Claramunt of MI DNR and Tom Cooper, who is chief of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Migratory Bird Program in the Midwest Region.

Wilson to Host Brazilian Biofuels Experts – The Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a forum today at 4:00 p.m. featuring a delegation from the Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy, charged with the new biofuels program implementation, and Brazil’s National Agency of Oil, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP).  The group comes to the Wilson Center for a public conversation on RenovaBio. The delegation will be in Washington for meetings with the U.S. government and the private sector to discuss lessons learned from the implementation of the RFS and the LCFS, in order to improve the development and implementation of the new policy in Brazil.  RFA’s Geoff Cooper and UC-Davis Institute of Transportation Studies Director Dan Sperling will also speak.

Marine Fuel Conference Set – Platts hosts its 15th annual Bunker and Residual Fuel Conference in Houston at the St. Regis Hotel tomorrow and Wednesday.  The event features the Latest on Bunker and Marine Fuels, and the Impact of the IMO Low-Sulfur Deadline of 2020 including strategies for ship owners and bunker fuel suppliers, shipping economics in a complex new environment and enforcement challenges and policies.

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

Ethanol Conference Set – The International Fuel Ethanol Workshop and Expo takes place tomorrow and Wednesday at CenturyLink Center in Omaha.  The event features programming that maintains a strong focus on commercial-scale ethanol production, new technology, and near-term research and development.  Growth Energy’s Emily Skor is keynoting.

Playbook to Feature Scalise – On the eve of his return to the Congressional baseball game, POLITICO Playbook holds breakfast interview with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise on Republican priorities and the leadership agenda tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m.

Sen Energy Hosts FERC Commissioners – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources holds an oversight hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on FERC.  All five FERC Commissioners will testify.

Forum to Look at Buildings of the Future – As a part of High Performance Building Week 2018, there will be a Congressional briefing tomorrow at Noon in 2322 Rayburn seeking recommendation for future buildings.  The National Institute of Building Sciences Consultative Council serves a unique role in the building industry, bringing together representatives from leading organizations that represent all aspects of design, construction, operation and regulation to examine important issues before the industry.  The forum will look at ways to explore how the building industry can and should evolve to meet the changing needs of society and how new technologies and practices can attract a 21st century workforce.  Speakers include Reps. David McKinley and Peter Welch who are Co-Chairs of the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus, as well as our friend Ryan Colker of the National Institute of Building Sciences and several others.  On Thursday in 2226 Rayburn, this same group will also hold an expert discussion focusing on how codes and standards play a significant role in supporting strong, practicable and resilient 21st century infrastructure solutions. These solutions include not only incorporating new technologies – such as 3D printing – into codes and standards, but also recognizing the value of hazard mitigation strategies in assuring that infrastructure and buildings are built to withstand future events.

DC Bar Hosts Enforcement Meeting – The D.C. Bar sponsors forum tomorrow at noon on environmental enforcement in the Trump administration. Speakers include Deborah Harris, chief of the Justice Department’s environmental crimes section.

USEA Forum to Look at USE IT Act – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association hosts a forum on the USE IT Act. In March, Sens. Barrasso, Capito, Whitehouse, and Heitkamp introduced the “USE IT” Act, which would support R&D for innovative carbon capture and use technologies. This workshop will explore the environmental and economic opportunities for innovative carbon technologies — including direct air capture and carbon utilization in building materials and fuels. The conversation will include a discussion of the policy landscape for these solutions, as well as the emerging industry and investment trends in the space.  Speakers will include USDA’s David Babson, C2ES’s Jeffrey Bobeck and Erin Burns of Third Way.

SAFE to Discuss Impact of Self-Driving Technology on Economy, Workforce – On Wednesday at 8:30 a.m., Securing America’s Future Energy will hold a forum and release a new groundbreaking study with original research on the magnitude of impacts from driverless cars at the Jack Morton Auditorium at the George Washington University.  The study done in collaboration with leading transportation and labor economists focuses on impacts from driverless cars and offers case-study analysis on the economic productivity gains.  It will also offer context on the history of network-scale innovations and the short and long-term impacts on the workforce.  Speakers include Report author J.D. Vance, former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, ep. Debbie Dingell, DOT’s Loren Smith ITIF’s Rob Atkinson and CBPP’s Jared Bernstein, all who are actively crafting AV Policy.  For further information, contact Leslie Hayward lhayward@secureenergy.org.

Senate Energy to Look at Hydro Legislation – Senate Water and Power Subcommittee holds a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday looking at a hydropower bill and other legislation.

Senate Enviro Looks at Infrastructure – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on innovation and America’s infrastructure.  The hearing will examine the effects of emerging autonomous technologies on America’s roads and bridges.

Harvard’s Stavins to Speak at Webinar – Harvard hosts a free live webcast with Professor Robert Stavins at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday. During this 45-minute webcast, Professor Stavins will review the past year’s development on the economics, policy, and politics of climate change, including ongoing work on the implementation of the Paris Agreement.   Stavins will also address the types of policies that countries have put in place and may launch in the future. He will conclude with reflections on the path ahead for the Paris Agreement. Register Here.

Forum to Look at Grid for E-Mobility – At 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the National Press Club, the Electric Drive Transportation Association holds a discussion on building the modern Grid for E-Mobility.

Senate Enviro Looks at Crops Water Issues – The Senate Environment Superfund and Waste Management Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. Army Corps’ regulation of surplus water and the role of states’ rights.

Drillers to Host Seminar – The International Association of Drilling Contractors hosts its “IADC Onshore and Offshore Drilling Rigs 101” event on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. IADC members representing both onshore and offshore companies will talk about the latest drilling rig technology and discuss the role of the drilling contractor in the well construction process, along with a presentation of industry safety data.

House Energy Panel to Look at Chemical Facilities – The House Energy & Commerce’s Environment Panel hosts a hearing Oat 10:00 a.m. Thursday to get a progress report on the chemical facilities anti-terrorism standards.

Forum to Look at Political; Interference in Climate Data – The Center for American Progress holds a discussion on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. on the large amount of high-quality data and analysis needed to understanding climate change and its potential remedies and responses.  Speakers will include former DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Rep Paul Tonko and MIT’s Bina Venkataraman, among others.

Forum to Look at Boosting Climate Resilience – On Thursday at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center holds a discussion with representatives from USAID projects in East Africa on how to build resiliency when facing uncertain future scenarios. Panelists will share tools, technologies, good practices and approaches that are applicable and relevant to ongoing and future USAID bilateral and regional programming.

Congressional Baseball Game – Thursday 7:05 p.m.

DOE Science Heads to CSIS for Forum – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting a discussion with Paul Dabbar, DOE’s Under Secretary for Science on Friday at 11:00 a.m. Dabbar will discuss DOE’s priorities and the role of innovation in DOE’s mission and the U.S. energy sector broadly.

Forum to Look at Spent Fuel in Sweden – The Global America Business Institute will host a discussion on Friday at 12:00 p.m. on the current status of spent fuel management in Sweden.  This forum will discuss progress and lessons learned.

IN THE FUTURE

University Coalition Heads to CSIS – On Monday June 18th at 2:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Janet Napolitano (President, University of California), Kristina M. Johnson (Chancellor, The State University of New York) and Timothy Carter (President, Second Nature) for a discussion on the recent launch of the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), the role of research universities in the development of climate action plans, and their own imperatives for a more sustainable energy system.  This spring, UC3 was launched by 13 research university systems in the United States, Canada, and Mexico to mobilize their resources and expertise to inform and facilitate climate solutions in partnership with businesses, local communities, cities, and states.  The coalition will utilize its research base and multidisciplinary approaches to craft innovative climate action plans, develop new energy technologies, and advance climate science.  UC3 will work in partnership with Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Network, a group of hundreds of colleges and universities that have committed to take action on climate change and sustainability actions.  Climate Change and the National and Corporate Interest is a high-level speaker series showcasing a variety of country and corporate perspectives on plausible pathways for pursuing a climate change strategy and why those actions are in their national or commercial interest.

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

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

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

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

CSIS to Host BNEF Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting the launch of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) New Energy Outlook 2018 on Wednesday, June 20th at 10:00 a.m.  NEO 2018 is BNEF’s annual economic forecast for the world’s power sector.  Built over nine months, it is the result of international collaboration between 65 market and technical experts from BNEF’s 11 offices.  For the first time, NEO projects out to 2050, offering 10 more years of data and new insights about the energy transition in the long-term.  Seb Henbest (NEO Lead Author and Head of Europe, Middle East & Africa; BNEF) will present the findings of the NEO 2018, followed by Q&A and discussion led by MIT’s Francis O’Sullivan.

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

Duke’s Good to Speak at Women Conference – The Center for Strategic and International Studies is hosting a Smart Women, Smart Power conversation with Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good on Thursday, June 21st at 6:00 p.m.  She will discuss trends impacting the energy industry, the challenges it faces, and the efforts being made to create a cleaner, smarter energy future.  The conversation will be moderated by Fortune’s Nina Easton.

NERO to Honor Scalise, Heitkamp – The National Energy Resources Organization will hold its 2018 Awards dinner on Thursday, June 21st at the Capitol Hill Hyatt.  Awardees will be Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.  NERO is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to engage in dialogue on energy issues, recognize outstanding achievements, and promote public awareness.

Chamber to Release Security Index – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute (GEI) hold a forum to release its 2018 International Index of Energy Security Risk on Thursday July 21st at 3:30 p.m.  GEI President and CEO Karen Harbert will offer remarks followed by a presentation and panel discussion on international energy security challenges moderated by GEI Vice President Steve Eule.  The Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk: Assessing America’s Vulnerabilities in a Global Energy Market is an annual energy risk indicator, which uses quantifiable data, historical trend information, and government projections to identify the policies and other factors that contribute positively or negatively to U.S. energy security. The Index provides a look at energy security retrospectively from 1970 to 2013 and prospectively from 2014-2040. From this data, policymakers and energy professionals can use the Index to track shifts in U.S. energy security over time and assess potential impacts of new policies.

Forum to Look at Climate Finance – On June 22nd at 10:00 a.m., Brookings hosts a panel of experts will provide an update on innovations in multilateral climate finance. John Roome, senior director for climate change at the World Bank, will discuss innovative approaches for supporting clean infrastructure in developing countries, since too often climate effects hit poor people the hardest. Kruskaia Sierra-Escalante, manager of the International Finance Corporation (IFC)’s Blended Finance Unit, will discuss blended concessional finance for the private sector. Brookings Senior Fellow Joshua Meltzer will discuss his latest research on the topic.

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

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

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

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

JULY 4th HOLIDAY

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

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

Energy Update: Week of March 19

Friends,

Given tomorrow is the first day of spring.. it’s totally March Madness!!!  Wow… Was that a great weekend of basketball? Some great games and some great surprises. While I never would have picked them, I certainly know where UMBC is since it is about 10 minutes from my house. In fact, on St Patrick’s Day, our friend – whose daughter plays lax there – was mobbed when he showed up at the Killarney House with a UMBC jacket.  I know my bracket is in trouble, but I hope you’re doing better.  At least my Nevada prediction has held strong.  Not as many surprises on in the Women’s NCAA bracket with #1 UConn rolling to a 140-53 victory just after UMBC knocked out UVa.  NCAA Frozen four brackets are out with first round action starting Friday and final round action set for Minnesota on April 5th and 7th.  Top seeds are Cornell, St. Cloud St, Ohio St and Notre Dame.  And the Masters just two weeks away.

This is a crazy week as Congress runs up to the Easter spring break recess. Expect most of the key action to surround the budget that has to be approved by the end of the week, but the House will also fast-track legislation to streamline regulations for ceiling fan manufacturers.  There is also a full slate of hearings in both the House and Senate.

Rick Perry is the biggest highlight tomorrow at Senate Energy looking on his 2019 Budget. His program office heads go to House Approps on Thursday on the applied science budget.  NRC Commissioners head to the Hill tomorrow and Wednesday.  NOAA also on Wednesday.

Trade controversies continue to heat up.  Friday was the deadline for solar companies to request exemptions from solar tariffs. And on Wednesday and Thursday, Trade Rep Bob Lighthizer and Commerce Sect Ross will testify on steel and aluminum tariffs as well as his budget. Expect a rough ride from both sides of the aisle. And the Commerce Department will start accepting requests today from companies seeking to have imported steel and aluminum products excluded from the planned tariffs.  As you know, my colleague Paul Nathanson and Josh Zive are all over this issue should you have questions. Keep your eyes open for more coalitions forming this week.

Also this week, after an impressive interview on 60 Minutes yesterday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman or MBS will be in Washington for a visit. Expect a full Slate of energy issues to come up including oil, natgas and nuclear. Finally in the offshore space, Interior released some new safety rules today on inspections and is expect to announce the results of the most recent lease sales on Wednesday.

Tomorrow is Ag Day so the National Press Club hosts USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue at 1:15 p.m. for remarks in the Holeman Lounge. Perdue also testifies on the USDA budget before House Approps’ Ag subpanel on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. before the ethanol folks have a fly–in later in the week.  Action still rages on White House meetings regarding the RFS (likely tomorrow). We are on it, so don’t hesitate to call if you have questions.

Off the Hill, the Science Coalition hosts a panel on advanced techs today with ClearPath’s Jeremy Harrell, ACCF hosts a conversation with Sen. Wyden tomorrow, Atlantic Council talks Solar Wednesday, AEI hosts a Thursday infrastructure forum with DOT Official Derek Kan and Friday Berkeley’s Haas Energy Institute hosts a forum on energy research.

Finally, Congrats to our friend Tom Henry, enviro reporter at the Toledo Blade and great SEJ member, who celebrated his 25th anniversary late last week at the paper, which is kind of amazing if you think about the market.  Way to go Tom!!!

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“This approach greatly improves our inspectors’ efficiency, increasing safety oversight at OCS facilities. Our team developed a smarter, safer strategy that provides more physical inspection time offshore and reduces government costs. This makes sense for the American taxpayer and increases our ability to ensure safe operations offshore.”

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director Scott A. Angelle on new inspection rules.

ON THE POD

Bracewell Podcast Focuses on Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast is live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  My Colleagues Josh, Liam, and Paul discuss the Pennsylvania special election and Democrat Conor Lamb’s apparent victory, staff shake-ups in the Administration and the likelihood of more, and the latest information on the impending steel and aluminum tariffs.

Cap Crude Looks at Venezuela – On this week’s Capitol Crude podcast, Francisco Monaldi, the Latin American energy policy fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, says Venezuela oil output is in a “death spiral,” with another 400,000 b/d decline possible this year. We also talk Citgo’s future, sanctions after Rex Tillerson’s firing and the likely impact of a PDVSA default.

IN THE NEWS

BSEE Rolls Out Safety Plan – The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is increasing physical inspection time offshore, while reducing taxpayer burden by nearly $20 million over 3.5 years, providing significant cost-savings to the American public. Exploring ways to make inspections more efficient and reduce helicopter operating expenses, a team of BSEE leaders in the Gulf of Mexico Region developed the new approach.  Taking advantage of technology allowing for access to electronic records onshore, BSEE’s inspectors will now have significantly more time to inspect operations offshore, ensuring safety at more than 2,200 facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. It will also reduce helicopter operating expenses 15% without impacting safety and environmental protections. Oil production from the Outer Continental Shelf accounts for one of every six barrels produced in the United States. With 98% of all OCS energy produced from the Gulf of Mexico, it is critical that BSEE continues to maximize efficiency and ensure that oil and gas operations  are conducted safely and in an environmentally sustainable manner.

GEST Says Rules will Improve Safety, Reduce Costs – The Gulf Economic Survival Team said the new rules, which go into Place on April 1 will improve safety and reduce costs.  Lori LeBlanc: “Safety is a top priority for those of us who support offshore oil and gas development and if we can find ways to improve safety and reduce risks while also resulting in a cost savings to the American taxpayer than it is win-win situation.  Our family members and our neighbors go to work offshore every day to produce the fuel for America and we want nothing more than to see them come home safely.  We are pleased with BSEE’s new initiative to implement an effective and efficient new safety inspection program that will make it an even safer offshore industry.”

DOE to Start Water Project Effort – the U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry led a roundtable discussion on the use of federal prizes and challenges to drive innovation, particularly when it comes to critical water issues. The group discussed ways to tackle some of our nation’s most important water issues through innovation opportunities. He was joined by government and industry leaders, including Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios, CEO of the Case Foundation, Jean Case, President of DEKA Research & Development Corporation Dean Kamen, Author and Expert Seth Siegel, Director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Dr. Steven Walker, and DOE’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Daniel Simmons.  Experts from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory, past prize winners, prize organizers, innovation experts, water experts, and federal agency leaders also participated in today’s event.

U.S. Energy Exports to Mexico Exceeded Import Value for Third Straight Year – In each of the past three years, the value of U.S. energy exports to Mexico has exceeded the value of U.S. energy imports from Mexico. Energy trade between Mexico and the United States has historically been driven by Mexico’s sales of crude oil to the United States and by U.S. exports of refined petroleum products to Mexico. As the United States has reduced crude oil imports from Mexico, the trade balance has shifted.

Clean Edge Changes Clean Energy, Smart Grid, Water Indexes – Clean Edge, Inc. announced the results of the semi-annual evaluation of the following stock indexes:

All changes became effective prior to today’s market open.  As part of the recent changes, Clean Edge has expanded the definitions for QGRD to include companies involved in electric vehicle networks and smart grid and grid infrastructure-enabling software technologies such as blockchain. As a result, newly added constituents include such companies as BYD, Autoliv, Aptiv, Cisco, IBM, Nvidia, and Oracle. For CELS, Clean Edge is now tracking firms that receive a majority of their revenues and/or profit from lithium-ion production (used in electric vehicles and for energy storage), resulting in the addition of both Albermarle and SQM.

KAPSARC Appoints Adam Sieminski as President – The KING Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center’s (KAPSARC’s) Board of Trustees has appointed Adam Sieminski as president to the Center effective from April this year, succeeding its current interim president Nadhmi Al-Nasr. Sieminski possesses a distinguished level of experience in the field of energy economics and policy.  Commenting on Adam’s appointment, Eng. Khalid Al-Falih, chairman of KAPSARC’s Board of Trustees, highlighted the Board’s aim to build on the Center’s research capabilities and international partnerships, re-enforcing the Center’s mission in promoting sustainable energy ecosystems that provide social development while protecting the environment, for the benefit of Saudi Arabia, the region and the entire world.  Before his appointment, Sieminski held the James R. Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and prior to that, served as the administrator of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

World Water Forum Set – The 8th World Water Forum will be in Brasilia, Brazil this week.

Power Conference Set for Nashville – The 20th annual Electric Power Conference started today in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland, running through Thursday.  The Conference and exhibition for power generators provides up-to-date training of regulatory and policy changes, and access the latest products and technologies available on the market, ensuring safer, more efficient and more productive facilities across power generation. Today’s action include a plant tour of TVA’s Gallatin Plant.  TVA’s Joe Grimes will be the keynote speaker.

ClearPath, BPC Experts Look Research, Science – The Science Coalition holds a forum today at 2:00 p.m. in 122 Cannon on American energy and how research powers the future.  ClearPath Managing Director-Policy Jeremy Harrell joins BPC’s Brad Townsend, Third Way’s Erin Burns and Princeton’s Greg Scholes and others at the briefing.

NYC Climate Forum to Look at Tufts Expert Research – Today at 6:00 p.m. in NYC,  the Center on Global Energy Policy is hosting a presentation and panel discussion on climate, energy, and development as part of its on-going speaker series “Where Next on Climate?” Kevin Knobloch of Tufts University’s Climate Policy Lab will present results from a soon-to-be-completed research project entitled “The Relationship between Clean Energy/Climate Policy and Expanding Corporate Markets.” This project involved structured interviews with C-suite leaders in major corporations and private equity houses. After Knobloch’s presentation, there will have a panel discussion with Knobloch, Geoffrey Heal of the Columbia Business School, C2ES’s Nancy Meyer and John MacWilliams of Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy.

Conference to Focus on Resilience – The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association will hold a coastal summit tomorrow through Thursday in Washington.  The forum will focus on Science & Policy for Resilient Coasts.  Speakers will include local official and coastal protection groups from across the country, including former Interior Official Lynn Scarlett.  See line up here.

Forum to Look at Climate Business EnvironmentClimate Con runs tomorrow and Wednesday in Asheville, NC at The Collider.  Speakers Include HP’s John Frey, Duke Energy Robert Sipes and advisor to NC Gov. Cooper Jeremy Tarr.

AWEA Hosts Siting Conference in Memphis – The wind industry will hold a siting and enviro compliance conference in Memphis tomorrow.  The Siting and Environmental Compliance Conference is where leaders from the wind industry, environmental permitting and compliance sector, the scientific community and regulatory officials come together for a robust discussion about the current state of siting and environmental compliance, and network.  Our friend Michael Speerschneider of AWEA leads a number of panels and speaks.

ACCF to Host Conversation with Wyden – Tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. at the Phoenix Park Hotel, the American Council for Capital Formation and the ACCF Center for Policy Research are hosting a conversation with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) about principled bipartisanship today.

Wilderness Society Forums Launch – The Wilderness Society launches a series of events tomorrow at the National Press Club to focus on energy, environment, and climate issues.  In this series of five panel discussions, policy, political and journalism experts will discuss how trends within environmental reporting may play out in 2018 and beyond — and how they relate to public lands. For our first event tomorrow, leading experts to discuss major developments and trends that have emerged in the last year and how they can be used to forecast what’s to come next for national energy policy, deregulation, transparency, and accountability.  Speakers will include Reuters reporter Valerie Volcovici, former ND Sen. Byron Dorgan Adam Federman of the Nation Institute and former Interior official Lynn Scarlett, now with The Nature Conservancy.

Perry Heads to Senate Energy – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow to examine the President’s Budget Request for DOE for Fiscal Year 2019.  Energy Secretary Perry will testify.

Senate Panel to Look at TVA Nominee – The Senate Committee on Environment’s Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a subcommittee hearing tomorrow on the nomination of John L. Ryder of Tennessee to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

NRC Commissioners head to House Energy Subpanels – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Subcommittee on Environment are holding a joint hearing tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. on NRC’s FY19 budget. NRC Commissioners Baran, Burns and Svinicki will testify.

Forum to Look at Saudi Nuclear Issues – The Global America Business Institute holds a special discussion tomorrow at Noon on key issues and prospects for cooperation in Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Energy Program.  Speakers include our friend Jeff Crater and Fred McGoldrick.

Perdue to Address Press Club on Ag Day – Tomorrow is Ag Day so the National Press Club will host USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue tomorrow at 1:15 p.m. for remarks in the Holeman Lounge.  Perdue also testifies on the USDA budget before House Approps’ Ag subpanel on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

House Oversight to Look at Cyber Infrastructure – The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on government perspectives on security and modernization on cybersecurity.

Atlantic Forum to Look at Solar Future – Tomorrow at 3:45 p.m., the Atlantic Council hosts a forum on the future of solar energy and the role of American leadership. It will feature a conversation with CFR expert Dr. Varun Sivaram and Jigar Shah.

Senate Environment Hosts NRC – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. providing oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Commissioners will testify.

House Ways/Means Talks Trade – The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on the U.S. trade policy agenda with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The hearing will take place on Wednesday in 1100 Longworth at 10:00 a.m. Then on Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Committee will Host Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

House Panel to Look at US-Saudi Nuke Cooperation – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa will convene a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. looking at implications of a U.S.-Saudi Arabia Nuclear Cooperation Agreement for the Middle East.  Witnessed include Henry Sokolski of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, Harvard’s William Tobey and GWU’s Sharon Squassoni.

HVAC Industry to Hold Session at Canadian Forum – AHRI will host two educational sessions at the Canadian Mechanical & Plumbing Exposition (CMPX), taking place Wednesday and Thursday in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., Associate Certification Engineer David Noyes will host a one-hour session on heating product certification programs. Certification Engineer Caroline M. Henley will follow for a session on AHRI’s variable refrigerant flow standard and certification program.

Ethanol Group to Hold Fly-In – The American Coalition for Ethanol holds its 10th annual DC Fly-IN & Government Affairs Summit Wednesday. The meetings will take place at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel and on Capitol Hill.  Speakers will include EPA’s Bill Wehrum and Sen. Joni Ernst.

Axios to Host 5G Panel – On Thursday morning at AJAX, Axios’ Mike Allen host a discussion on the way a faster, smarter, more connected internet is changing modern cities.  The event features interviews with US Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Yvette Clarke D-NY) and Gensler CEO Diane Hoskins.

Conference to Look at NatGas Infrastructure – On Thursday morning at the Reserve Officers Assn, LNG Allies is convening and hosting a conference expanding global gas infrastructure. Panels and individual international speakers will address enhancing global gas infrastructure, building new US energy infrastructure, augmenting European energy security, creating new global energy partnerships, facilitating new Asian gas infrastructure and expanding global gas infrastructure.

House Approps to Look at Applied Energy Budget – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m. in 2362-B Rayburn, the House Energy and Water Development Approps Panel will look at the applied energy budget for 2019.  Witnesses will include Under Secretary for Energy Mark Menezes, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Edward McGinnis, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel Simmons, Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Bruce Walker and Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steve Winberg.

Senate Energy to Look at Drought, Water Legislation – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a legislative hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to examine the 2018 Western Water Supply Outlook and the following Water Infrastructure and Drought Resilience legislation.  Witnesses include Interior’s Timothy Petty, Derek Sandison of the Washington State Department of Agriculture, Patrick O’Toole of the Family Farm Alliance, Trout Unlimited’s Laura Ziemer, Phoenix AZ Water Services Department head Kathryn Sorensen and Cindy Ortega of MGM Resorts International.

Forum to Look at China Energy Ambitions – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum will be hosting speakers to discuss the trend lines of China’s coal and nuclear power domestically and along the Belt and Road. Thomas Rawski (University of Pittsburgh) will provide a snapshot of current efforts to reform domestic energy structures and electricity pricing, and how these changes may affect domestic and overseas investment in coal and nuclear power. Ravi Madhavan (University of Pittsburgh) will discuss the state-owned enterprise landscape that dominates nuclear power development in China and how they are making inroads into overseas markets, including Pakistan, Argentina, and the UK. Erica Downs, a senior research scientist in the China Studies division of the CNA Corporation will take us further along the Belt and Road, looking at some of the broader drivers of China’s financing and building of power plants abroad.

WCEE Forum to Look at AVs – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a brown bag lunch on Thursday at Noon to hear from Ellen Partridge, Senior Law Fellow at the Environmental Law and Policy Center; Kelley Coyner, Senior Fellow at the Center for Regional Analysis and Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University; and Fred Wagner, partner at Venable, as they share with us their knowledge of AV’s and the impacts AV’s will have on the natural and human environment, energy consumption, and the transportation landscape generally.

WRI to Look at Climate Winners, Losers – The World Resources Institute’s Climate Program and Governance Center will host a conversation on Thursday at 12:45 p.m. looking at the political economy of climate action. Together, they will draw on real-world examples, from Kenya to Bangladesh, to identify potential coalitions for reform, sources of opposition, as well as laws and institutions that can help accelerate progress towards limiting warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. Speakers include WRI’s Mark Robinson, Eliza Northrop and Jesse Worker.

AEI to Host Trump Infrastructure Official – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the American Enterprise Institute hosts Under Secretary for Policy at the Department of Transportation Derek Kan. Kan will outline the details of the Trump administration’s infrastructure plan. Following his remarks, AEI’s Richard Geddes will lead a discussion among infrastructure policy experts to review the main elements of the proposal and the future of US infrastructure policy including BNSF’s Matt Rose, Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation, AASHTO’s Joung Lee and Kevin DeGood of the Center for American Progress.

Energy Forum Set for Hass Institute – On Friday, Cal-Berkeley’s Energy Institute at Haas holds its 23rd annual one-day research conference on energy research and policy in Berkeley. The purpose is to bring together outstanding scholars and practitioners from around the world to exchange ideas and research results on topics related to energy markets and regulation.  It is a great line up of experts including former FERC Chair Norman Bay and RFF’s Josh Linn, among many others.

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

Forum to Look at Oil/Gas in Argentina – Next Tuesday, the Inter-American Dialogue is hosting a panel discussion to analyze Argentina’s oil production. Remarks from the panelists will be followed by an open discussion with participants. Opening Remarks will be made by Fernando Oris de Roa, Argentine Ambassador to the US.  Additional speakers will include Omar Gutierrez, Governor of Neuquén Province in Argentina.

USEA Look at Reliability –The U.S. Energy Association will host a brown bag discussion on Wednesday March 28th looking at reliability challenges and solutions.  The event will address what the U.S. can learn from Europe about integrating intermittent renewables.  Leading experts on grid reliability speak about the challenges encountered in Europe and how the U.S. plans to deal with those challenges in its quest to integrate increasing amounts of clean–but intermittent–renewable generation into the grid. Speakers include PJM’s Tim Burdis, the Atlantic Council’s Robert Ichord, NERC’s John Moura and Will Polen of the US Energy Association.

WCEE Happy Hour – On Wednesday, March 28th at 5:30 p.m. at the Fainting Goat (1330 U St, NW), the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment is hosting its monthly Happy Hour.

Program to Look at Improving Energy Security in Ukraine, Estonia – The Institute of World Politics’ Women Executives in National Security (WENS) program hosts a forum on Thursday March 29th at 4:30 p.m. to discuss energy-related preferences and climate change beliefs in Southern Ukraine and Western Estonia. Special attention will be given to the issues of social acceptance of large wind energy projects, since the surveyed regions have a high potential for wind power development.

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

Perry, FERC to Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today announced Energy Secretary Rick Perry will testify before the Energy subcommittee on April 12th on Budget and oversight hearings.  They will also host all FERC commissioners to testify before the same subpanel on April 17th.

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

Pruitt Heads to House Energy – The House Energy and Commerce Committee will host EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on the agency’s budget request April 25th.

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

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

Energy Update 1/16

Friends,

Holy cow…I still can’t believe Minnesota stayed alive by winning that playoff football game on Sunday.  NHL All-Star game in Tampa this weekend (with the awesome 3-on-3 format), Super Bowl Sunday is just three weeks away and the Winter Olympics starts right after in South Korea.

We are early today because of a number of events in this short week. The bulk of the oxygen this week will focus on the budget with a Friday deadline to extend government funding.  There is also a lot of activity on the trade issues with NAFTA, aluminum, steel, washing machine and solar issues all seeing discussions.  In fact, in an editorial Friday, the Washington Post hit the President’s approach to trade, saying that it be exceedingly difficult to achieve his goal of tearing down international trade actions.  The Post said not all trade deals were perfect, but “broadly speaking, increasingly free trade over the past 70-plus years has brought tremendous benefits both to the hundreds of millions lifted out of poverty in Asia, Africa and Latin America and to Americans who have enjoyed a wider choice of quality products, at lower cost, and high wages in export industries.”

As mentioned, Congress is in town despite the MLK holiday yesterday to deal with the budget. Hearings include this morning’s Senate Energy hearing on the domestic/global energy outlook with IEA’s Faith Birol and a Senate Environment hearing on water infrastructure tomorrow.  House Energy looks at Superfund and House Resources looks at onshore energy burdens on Thursday and Friday, a House Energy panel looks at LNG exports.

The Detroit Auto Show started yesterday (Washington’s policy show starts next week) while BPC hosts FERC’s Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur, Heritage hosts a NAFTA forum and CSIS hosts launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017 today.  Thursday, the US Energy Assn will hold its 14th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum at the National Press Club, the Chamber holds an infrastructure summit featuring INGAA’s Don Santa and RFF hosts author/expert Daniel Raimi for a book event on his new natgas drilling book.  On Friday, the US Assn of Energy Economists hosts its January luncheon looking at the natgas and battery revolutions.

Finally, after last week’s reacts to the new 5-year drilling plan and the Florida removal, public hearings start today with a meetings in Annapolis and Jackson Mississippi.  Richmond hosts tomorrow and Thursday, things move to Dover, DE.  More hearings next week and through the end of February.

One last time: we rolled out 10 Top Issues for 2018 in the Update.  Issues include Ethanol, trade, taxes, regs, climate, legal challenges, HFCs, Infrastructure, autonomous vehicles and electricity markets.

Finally, you know what today is…  I’ve already had a singing gorilla wish me happy 50th in our morning meeting that to my wife Stacey.  Here is a copy of last year’s POLITICO Playbook Birthday of the Day Q&A.  And I noticed that I have dropped to #2 on Playbook’s Jan 16th birthday list…  Labor Sect Acosta shares the day although I have him by one year.  Damn you, Carl’s Jr.!!!!

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

10 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

“We’ve decided that the best thing for our family and for me and I think, frankly, for North Dakota is for me to seek reelection to the House of Representatives.”

Rep. Kevin Cramer in deciding against running for North Dakota’s US Senate seat and incumbent Heidi Heitkamp.

“Mayor de Blasio turned his back on millions of first responders, police officers, firefighters and other public employees who depend on their pensions to provide for themselves and their families in retirement. Government pension managers have a responsibility by law to seek the greatest return for their investors and pensions that invest in oil and natural gas companies have historically delivered a higher return than other investments. Deliberately hurting pension holders, like the fine men and women who keep our city safe, is a disgraceful way to score cheap political points.”

API New York Executive Director Karen Moreau, commenting on New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement to divest the city’s pensions from oil and natural gas.

IN THE NEWS

White House Names Fannon to State Energy Gig – So much a for a move to the consulting…Our friend Frank Fannon has been nominated to be an assistant secretary of State on energy resources. Fannon worked at Senate Environment under Jim Inhofe and had an instrumental role in the drafting and passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  Previously, Fannon was head of BHP Billiton’s DC office and also worked at Murphy Oil Corporation.

ALEC Chair Hit Solar Tariffs – The national chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), North Carolina State Rep. Jason Saine urged the President reject solar tariffs in a letter late last week.  Saine wrote Increasing tariffs on solar panels risks shuttering one of the fastest growing segments of our economy. According to recent estimates, the solar industry is creating jobs at a rate 17 times faster than the broader economy and employs over a quarter of a million people across the country.  He also added for utilities like Duke Energy, which must select cost-competitive resources (whether they be fuel-based or renewable) when selecting new generation resources to meet customer demand requirements, such cost increases may eliminate solar generation from its evaluation processes entirely.

ETAC Pushes Back On Protectionist Coalition Claims – In additional to the ALEC letter from Saine, the Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC) responded to a letter from the protectionist Coalition for a Prosperous America urging the president to impose a “global tariff” on imports.  ETAC released a letter that strongly encourages Trump to reject the attempt of two foreign-owned bankrupt solar companies, Suniva and SolarWorld, to use the Section 201 trade law process to bail out their creditors and shareholders. “Tens of thousands of U.S. solar industry jobs in the United States now hang in the balance. A decision to impose tariffs and/or quotas on imported solar components may offer Suniva and SolarWorld the short-term lifeline they seek, but it will do so at the cost of undermining virtually the entire rest of the industry, including hundreds of U.S. solar companies that are healthy, productive and providing good-paying jobs in communities across the country.”

China Imports Actually Increasing – A New piece in RealClearMarkets, Allan Golombek argues unilateral reduction of tariffs last month by China on almost 200 consumer products provides further testimony to the fact that the goal of its trade is not just to increase exports, but also imports. Golombek says after years as the world’s biggest exporter, China is on track to becoming the world’s biggest importer over the next few years, according to a paper prepared by two leading economists for the China International Capital Corporation.

EIA Net Exporter of NatGas – The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the U.S. is now a net exporter of natural gas on an annual basis for the first time since at least 1957.  Net exports averaged about 0.4 billion cubic feet per day last year, flipping from net inflows of 1.8 billion in 2016.  EIA also said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook for January, which the share of U.S. total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas to rise from 32% in 2017 to 33% in 2018 and to 34% in 2019, as a result of low natural gas prices. Coal’s forecast generation share falls from 30% in 2017 to slightly lower than 30% in 2018 and 28% in 2019. The nuclear share of generation was 20% in 2017 and is forecast to average 20% in 2018 and 19% in 2019. Renewables provided almost 10% of electricity generation in 2017, and its 2018 share is expected be similar before increasing to almost 11% in 2019. The generation share of hydropower was more than 7% in 2017 and is forecast to be slightly lower than 7% in both 2018 and 2019.  Finally, EIA added that after declining by 1.0% in 2017, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are forecast to increase by 1.7% in 2018 and by 0.2% in 2019. Energy-related CO2 emissions are sensitive to changes in weather, economic growth and energy prices.

EPA Delays Climate Rule Comment Deadline – EPA will soon announce dates for additional public hearings on its proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan and extend the deadline to submit comments. As previously reported, additional hearings will be held in Kansas City, MO on Feb 21, San Francisco on Feb 28 and Gillette, WY on March 27.   EPA will keep the record open for an additional 30 days after the last one.

Wind Group Says More Transmission Necessary – POLITICO outlines a new report from the Wind Energy Foundation finds more U.S. transmission lines are needed to meet the growing demand for renewables. Specifically, the report found transmission planners are not accounting for up to 51 gigawatts of potential near-term procurement.  Can send you copy of report if you need it.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Detroit Auto Show Launches – The North American International Auto Show is underway and runs until to January 28th.  The event serves as the global stage for companies to debut brand-defining vehicles and industry-shaping announcements.  Press Days start on Sunday 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.

POLITICO to Host Future of Mobility Event – POLITICO holds an event on “Driverless Cars and the Future of Mobility” today at 10:45 at the 2018 North American International Auto Show. The United States’ roads and highways will soon be driven by autonomous vehicles, which will fundamentally transform the transportation landscape in this country. This technology has the potential to reshape the communities that we live in and create stronger transportation networks for people of all ages and abilities. POLITICO addressing such questions as: When it comes to mobility, what are the sticking points? Will self-driving cars be a mobility revolution for older Americans and for people with disabilities?

BPC to Host LaFleur, Chatterjee – This morning 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 which was announced last week.  FERC scrapped DOE’s plan and has now undertaken its own process.

Senate Energy to Look at Energy Outlook – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing today at 10:00 a.m. to look at the domestic and global energy outlook from the International Energy Agency’s Fatih Birol.

Heritage to Look at NAFTA, Trade Issues –Today at 12:00 p.m., the Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on how enhancing energy trade with Canada and Mexico will result in more jobs and affordable power for American households and help achieve the Trump Administration’s goal of energy dominance.  Following efforts to modernize NAFTA, opportunities abound for one commonsense policy area that should be preserved and improved: energy. Canada and Mexico are two of America’s most important trade partners in energy markets. Experts on the panel include Bryan Riley, who heads NTU’s Free Trade Initiative; API International Policy advisor Aaron Padilla, Senior Advisor and Daniel Fine of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy.  Heritage’s Nick Loris moderates.

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – Today 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.

Interior to Start Public Hearings on 5-Yr Plan – The Interior Department will start a series of public hearings today to discuss the interior Department’s expanded five-year drilling plan.  Interior will hold meetings today in Annapolis, MD (Double Tree by Hilton) and Jackson, MS (Jackson Marriott), Richmond, VA (Airport Four Points) on tomorrow and Dover, DE (Holiday Inn Downtown) on Thursday.  Other meetings next week will include hearings in Augusta, ME (Jan 22), Baton Rouge, LA (Jan 22), Anchorage, AK (Jan 23), Concord, NH (Jan 23), Boston, MA (Jan 24), Montgomery, AL (Jan 24) and Providence, RI (Jan 25).  Future meetings include Tacoma, WA (Feb 5), Austin, TX (Feb 6), Salem, OR (Feb 6), Tallahassee, FL (Feb 8), Sacramento, CA (Feb 8), Hartford, CT (Feb 13), Columbia, SC (Feb 13), Hamilton, NJ (Feb 14), Albany, NY (Feb 15), Washington, DC (Feb 22), Raleigh, NC (Feb 26) and Atlanta, GA (Feb 28).

Senate Enviro to Look at Water Infrastructure – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to look at water infrastructure.  The hearing will feature a panel of witnesses to focus on Federal issues and impacts including Interior’s deputy assistant secretary for water and science Austin Ewell, Idaho Water Users Association executive director Paul Arrington, Contra Costa Water District GM Jerry Brown, Mike DeVries of the Provo River Water Users Association and Friant Water Authority CEO Jason Phillips.

Smart Cities Summit Set in Chicago – The 2nd annual Smart Cities International Symposium and Exhibition will be held on tomorrow and Thursday in Chicago.  The event brings together municipal professionals and thought leaders to explore technology advances and key lessons to date in achieving the Smart City vision.

USEA to Hosts State of Energy Forum – The US Energy Assn will hold its 14th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum on Thursday at the National Press Club.  The event usually coincides with the U.S. State of the Union Address and is widely regarded as one of USEA’s premier events.  This annual forum brings together leading executives from the most influential and active energy trade associations to present their views, exchange ideas and engage in dialogue on major cross cutting issues facing the energy industry for the year.

Chamber to Host Infrastructure Forum – U.S. Chamber President Tom Donohue will headline a summit on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. focused on modernizing America’s Infrastructure. This dynamic, high energy day-long event will serve to jumpstart important conversations on revitalizing America’s infrastructure, ensure that infrastructure is a top policy priority for 2018, and bring together the business community to voice broad industry support.

Senate Energy to Review DOE Nominees – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a nomination hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to review the nominations of Melissa Burnison to be an Assistant Secretary (Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs), and Anne Marie White to be an Assistant Secretary (Environmental Management), both of the Department of Energy.

Small Biz Committee to Look at DOE Energy Assistance – The House Small Business Committee’s panel on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on small business resources at the Department of Energy. The hearing will examine the resources available to small businesses in the energy sector through the Department of Energy.  This hearing will analyze the degree to which these programs are effective at minimizing confusion regarding participation in the federal contracting process and department-specific small business programs.  DOE’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Director Charles Smith will testify.

House Energy Panel to Look at Superfund – A House Energy panel will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:15 a.m. to focus on efforts to reform U.S. EPA’s Superfund program.   Witnesses will Include EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management Barry Breen, Steve Cobb of the land division at Alabama’s Department of Environmental Management, former EPA Superfund director and expert Win Porter, Portland Harbor policy analyst  for Oregon Gov. Kate Brown James McKenna, Debbie Mans of the NY/NJ Baykeeper and expert Katherine Probst.

Forum to Look at Report on Japan Energy – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum with Masakazu Toyoda, Chairman and CEO of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) for a presentation of the IEEJ’s Energy Outlook 2018, a report on the future of global energy. The 2018 edition of the outlook broadens its analysis out to 2050.  The outlook finds, despite large improvements in energy efficiency and intensity, global energy demand continues to increase up to 2050; most of this growth comes from non-OECD Asia. Energy-related CO2 emissions in the Advanced Technology Scenario decline after the 2020s but are still very far from reaching half of current levels by 2050. Two-thirds of total reductions are from electricity-related technologies, including non-fossil power, thermal power with CCS, and energy efficiency in power supply/demand.

House Resources Looks at Onshore Energy Burdens – The House Committee on Natural Resources will convene an oversight hearing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. examining the Department of the Interior’s actions to eliminate onshore energy burdens.  Witnesses will focus on seismic testing, with drilling proponents vowing to improve the ability to conduct the tests that can find oil under the ocean floor.

Hopper to Headline WI Clean Energy Event – SEIA’s CEO Abigail Hopper, clean energy communications expert Jane Bloch, utility executives and industry experts will all be featured at RENEW Wisconsin’s 7th Annual Renewable Energy Summit on Thursday in Madison.

RFF Book Event Highlights Raimi’s Fracking Debate – Resources for the Future will hold a book event on the evening of Thursday to discuss Daniel Raimi’s book on hydraulic fracturing.  Despite the heated debate over “fracking,” neither side has a monopoly on the facts. Raimi’s The Fracking Debate gives a balanced and accessible view of oil and gas development, clearly and thoroughly explaining the key issues surrounding the shale revolution.  The book answers many questions and highlights stories of the people and communities affected by the shale revolution, for better and for worse.  The book provides evidence and context that have so frequently been missing from the national discussion of the future of oil and gas production, offering readers the tools to make sense of this critical issue.

House Energy Panel to Look at LNG – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Friday at 9:15 a.m. looking at legislation addressing LNG exports and PURPA modernization.

Energy Economists Talk Gas, Batteries – On Friday, the US Assn of Energy Economists hosts its January luncheon looking at the Natural gas and battery revolutions.  The event will feature former AGA exec Dr. Benjamin Schlesinger. The shale revolution has made U.S. natural gas plentiful and cheap.  As battery prices fall, affordable storage could bridge the gap between renewables and around the clock reliability in power generation.  In this presentation, Dr. Schlesinger will explore the emerging competitive flash-points, and discuss from his work, gas markets that are at risk from a battery revolution, and vice versa.  He will discuss the key price cross-overs, how the timing might unfold, and think long-term about how low-cost batteries could ultimately affect the future of gas markets.

IN THE FUTURE

BPC to Focus on Infrastructure –On Monday January 22nd at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will launch the BPC Infrastructure Lab and “3I” Series—Infrastructure Ideas and Innovations. This new effort is aimed at providing policymakers with fact-based evidence that can shape strategies for restoring America’s infrastructure.  State and local governments across the country are struggling just to repair and maintain their infrastructure systems, let alone expand or upgrade these systems with the latest and greatest technologies. As such, the lab’s first event presents leading public-sector efforts to embed asset management concepts into municipal government practices. In the spotlight: the District of Columbia’s comprehensive asset inventory, which includes 96 percent of all assets owned, a tally of accrued deferred maintenance, and an action plan to improve the District’s infrastructure.

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.

Heritage to Look at Solar Trade Case – Heritage will hold a forum on solar tariff issues on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon.  The event will feature conservative experts, solar companies and many outside groups impacted by higher tariffs.

RFF, Stanford to Hosts Cal Climate Discussion – On January 23rd at 12:00 p.m. at the National Press Club, the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Resources for the Future will host a forum on insights into California’s commitment to tackling climate change and protecting its natural environment. Panelists will discuss the process for crafting and building support for the climate law and its impacts on industry as well as lessons to be drawn for similar efforts. The panel will feature Pacific Gas and Electric’s Kit Batten, RFF’s Dallas Burtraw and Stanford’s Michael Wara.

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. SAFE’s Joe Ryan will be on a SAE panel and autonomous vehicle expert Amitai Bin-nun on will present on policy day panel.

Thune to Hold Auto Innovation Policy Hearing – Speaking of the auto Policy, on policy day next Wednesday at the Walter Washington Convention Center, Sen. John Thune, chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a field hearing on automotive innovation and Federal policies.  The hearing will examine self-driving and other auto technologies as well as issues on the horizon for lawmakers and regulators. Days after the hearing, the convention center will open its doors for an industry-wide auto showcase event.  Witnesses include Florida Tech President Randy Avent, Zoox CEO Tim Kentley-Klay, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Mike Mansuetti of Bosch North America and Audi Mobility U.S. President Luke Schneider.

Trump to Head to World Economic Forum – The 48th annual World Economic Forum will be held on January 23-26th in Davos, Switzerland.  The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.  Trump is likely to discuss his recent efforts to impact trade.

SEJ to Host Annual Journalists Enviro Guide Forum – On Friday, January 26th at 3:00 p.m., the Society of Environmental Journalists, George Mason University and the Wilson Center host their annual forum and report: “The Journalists’ Guide to Energy and Environment,” which previews the top stories of 2018, with comments from a roundtable of leading journalists.  For the last five years, SEJ and the Wilson Center have hosted the only annual event in the nation’s capital featuring top journalists offering their predictions for the year ahead on environment and energy. Always streamed live and always standing room only, this event is essential for anyone working to meet the critical energy and environment challenges facing our nation and the world.  Panelists include AP’s Matt Daly, Nirmal Ghosh of the Straits Times, Bloomberg Environment’s Pat Rizzuto, Wellesley alum Val Volcovici of Reuters, E&E News’ Ariel Wittenberg and several others. Marketplace’s Scott Tong moderates.

State of the Union – President Trump addresses Congress at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday January 30th.

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.

FERC Commissioner Headlines Power Conference – The 31st annual Power and Gas M&A Symposium will be held in New York at the Grand Hyatt Midtown on January 31st and February 1st. The event is an executive conference from S&P Global Market Intelligence that brings utilities, power generators, renewables, and Wall Street together to set the tone for strategic decisions for the year.  FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, my Bracewell colleague Scott Segal and EEI Head Tom Kuhn will all speak, among others.

Hudson Forum to Look at HFC Issues – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on February 5th to discuss the current status of HFC issues and the Kigali Treaty.

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability Report – In early February, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance will release their annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.  More on this soon…

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.

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.

Energy Update: Week of June 12

Friends,

Another exciting weekend with a $450 million POWERBALL winner (not me), Pittsburgh winning the Stanley Cup for the second straight year and scoring a winner in the Belmont.  While I had the Win/Place order reversed, I still won a $5 Exacta (which paid out $115) on Saturday as Tapwrit outdueled Irish War Cry to take the third jewel of the Triple Crown, following in the footsteps of his sire Tapit.  Of course, my trifecta was snake-bitten by Lookin At Lee for the third straight race as this time I had him in the box and he faded badly (Yes, I left him out of the Derby/Preakness boxes and should have known this would happen).  Anyway, at least I didn’t lose money this week finishing slightly ahead.  Finally, tonight, Golden State goes for the clincher tonight at home and golf’s US Open starts on Thursday at Erin Hills in Wisconsin.

It is a very busy week in DC, starting tomorrow with the rescheduled confirmation hearing at Senate EPW for NRC Commissioners and EPA enforcement head Susan Bodine.  They are expected to vote Thursday to move NRC Chair Kristine Svinicki to fast-track her approval before the June 30 expiration of her current term.  We also expect a vote on FERC nominees soon as well (before July 4th recess).  Senate Energy canceled its permitting hearing slated for tomorrow.  On Wednesday, Senate EPW tackles the RVP ethanol issue (even as rumors continue that RVOs will soon be released by EPA) and Senate Commerce looks at automated vehicle technology and hurdles for testing and deployment in the US.

The budget process launches in earnest this week after a few hearings last week.  This week there are 18 hearings highlighted by a visit by Scott Pruitt to House Interior/Enviro Approps on Thursday.  Secretary of State Tillerson will appear at Senate Foreign Relations tomorrow and Ag Secretary Perdue is at Senate Ag tomorrow afternoon.  Secretary Chao make two separate visits to the Senate and House Transportation committees.

Off the Hill, EEI gathers in Boston today through Wednesday for its annual conference, while BP launches its annual Energy Statistics review tomorrow and will discuss it in a couple of events on Thursday.  For the future, Secretary Moniz returns to Press Club next Wednesday to discuss energy innovation (I’m hosting him for an NPC newsmaker event), Statoil’s Annual Energy perspectives report is next week as well and EIA’s annual Energy Conference is right around the corner, too.

I also thought you might find Amy Harder’s latest Harder Line column interesting since it looks at the importance of accurate media coverage of climate change, a topic near and dear to many of all our discussions over the years and one she is taking up at today’s Citizens Climate Lobby conference here in DC.  And keep your eye peeled for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy weighing into energy/environment budget debate soon.

Finally, the FireFly Music Festival starts on Thursday in Delaware and carries through four days of music.  This is my wife’s favorite event, so when she heads out Thursday, my kids and I will be living large, eating as much great carry-out (KFC Buckets and Ledo Pizza are on the agenda) as possible, watching movies late into the night and listening to loud music in the House.  Now that’s livin’.  Which reminds, on Friday, I’m hosting Newt Gingrich for a National Press Club event about his new book: Understanding Trump. It should be insightful, so please attend or pass on to your many colleagues covering the political angles…

Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The successful development of new energy technologies – and the jobs they create – depends on effective partnerships between public and private sectors.  A significant component of those partnerships is the proper alignment of investments along the technology development process.  Leveraging its expertise, the private sector has invested billions of dollars to commercialize new energy investments.  Critical to this process is the feedstock supplied by federal investments, especially in the early-stage and high-risk research.”

A Letter from 14 CEOs, including major Corporations like Southern, Air Liquide and DuPont, as well as Chamber CEO Tom Donahue, urging Congressional appropriators to support funding for energy innovation programs. The letter was sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s American Energy Innovation Council.

 

IN THE NEWS

CEOs Urge Congress to Protect Energy Innovation – Late last week, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s American Energy Innovation Council sent a letter to Congress urging their support for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy and research and development programs to ensure that the United States maintains its competitive edge. In a letter, 14 energy and economic heavy hitters, including Southern CEO Tom Fanning, Air Liquide CEO Mike Graff and Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donahue said early federal research helped develop hydraulic fracturing technologies as one example of why the private sector alone can’t fund critical innovation in energy.  Other signers include Lockheed’s Norn Augustine, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Shell’s Bruce Culpepper, former Commerce official John Doerr, Pioneer’s Tim Dove, PG&E’s Anthony Early, Clean Line CEO Michael Skelly, former DuPont CEO Chad Holliday, NEI’s Maria Korsnick, AGA’s Dave McCurdy and David Holt of the Consumer Energy Alliance.  I can send PDF if you need it.

New Research Initiative to Update, Improve Social Cost of Carbon – Resources for the Future (RFF) is launching a multi-year, multidisciplinary research initiative to improve the methodology used to calculate the social cost of carbon—an economic tool used to quantify both the benefits to society of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere and the harm to society from emitting more carbon dioxide. The social cost of carbon informs billions of dollars of policy and investment decisions in the United States and abroad—making it critical that estimates of the measure are transparent and based on the best available science and methodology. The following few examples highlight use of the social cost of carbon across several jurisdictions. Along these lines, RFF’s new initiative will support and inform policy design choices and evaluations of actions that affect climate change by decisionmakers and analysts worldwide.

Platts Cap Crude to Look at Paris, Oil Exports – The current edition of Platts Capitol Crude will look at whether President Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement hurt national security. It also looks at whether US crude exports are actually benefitting US allies and if we should be selling off the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  Andrew Hollard, director of studies and a senior fellow at the American Security Project, answers these questions and more on this week’s Capitol Crude.

Defense Energy Advisor Appointed – President Trump announced his intent to nominate Lucian Niemeyer late Friday to serve as assistant secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment. Niemeyer was previously a long-time staffer on the Senate Armed Services Committee where he ran the military installation portfolio and conducted oversight of federal energy and environmental programs.

Immelt to Step Down at GE – General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt is stepping down effective August 1, after 16 years of leading the company.  He will be replaced by John Flannery, who currently heads the industrial giant’s health care division.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

EEI Holds Annual Meeting – The Edison Electric Institute will launch its annual conference in Boston today through Wednesday at the Copley Marriott.  Keynote speakers include NBC’s Tom Brokaw, MIT Digital Economy Co-Director Andy McAfee, retired general Keith Alexander and former White House advisor and CNN analyst David Gergen.  Southern CEO moderates a great breakout session tomorrow morning featuring DOE veteran Pat Hoffman, FERC’s Joe McClelland and Oracle Chief Security Officer Mary Ann Davidson.

Climate Lobby Meetings, Hill Day Set – The Citizens Climate Lobby hold its 8th annual conference in Washington, DC on today and tomorrow at the Omni Shoreham.  The keynote speaker will be Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.  Most of tomorrow will be on Capitol Hill.

LNG CEO to Address Forum – The Atlantic Council will host a forum today at Noon looking at how unconventional oil and gas continues to reshape global energy markets.  Tellurian LNG CEO Meg Gentle will speak.  The conversation will focus on the outlook for US LNG, changes in the LNG market globally, and other trends and drivers.

Security Experts to Address Methanol Policy Forum – The Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), the U.S. Energy Security Council (USESC) and the Methanol Institute will hold a Methanol Policy Forum tomorrow 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.

Senate Environment Host NRC Nominees, EPA Enforcement Official – After it was postponed last week over paperwork issues, the Senate Environment Committee will host a nomination hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on three NRC nominees and EPA enforcement chief Susan Bodine. The NRC nominees include current commissioner Kristin Svinicki and new appointees Annie Caputo, a former Exelon Corp. executive who now works for the EPW Committee and David Wright, a former South Carolina Public Service commissioner.  Then on Thursday, the Committee will hold a business meeting to the nomination of current NRC Chair Kristine Svinicki, who needs to be reappointed by June 30th to continue her service.

CANCELED – Senate Energy Permitting Hearing – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has cancelled its hearing slated for tomorrow on the federal permitting processes.  No word on reschedule yet.

House Ag to Look at Watershed Issues – The House Agriculture Committee’s Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on small watershed infrastructure.  The hearing will look at continuing the current mission, and building upon successes.

Forum to Look at Global Risks – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., the Stimson Center and Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy will hold a strategic conversation analyzing the global risks presented to human security by environmental change, as well as the findings and recommendations from the recently released report – “New Challenges to Human Security: Environmental Change and Human Mobility.”  The event will be a discussion analyzing the global risks presented to human security by environmental change, as well as the findings and recommendations from the recently released report — New Challenges to Human Security: Environmental Change and Human Mobility.

Post Forum to Look at Food Systems The Washington Post will host a forum tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. that brings together entrepreneurs, food industry executives, scientists and farmers to discuss how technology and science are changing our modern food systems. They will explore the business practices that are driving consumer demand, the innovations and new ideas that are shaping the future of what – and how – we eat and consider the policies that will regulate an increasingly complex global food market.   Speakers will include USDA Economic Research Service Administrator Dr. Mary Bohman, EWG’s Ken Cook, Seth Goldman of Honest Tea, Hungry Harvest CEO Evan Lutz, Marty Matlock of the University of Arkansas, DC Chef/ Restaurateur Spike Mendelsohn, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan and Veronica Nigh of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

NAS to Discuss Social Cost of Carbon – The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will host members from its committee on Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon as well as experts from federal and state governments and academia on Wednesday to discuss approaches to valuing climate damages. The symposium is organized into three panels: the first to review the committee’s recommendations, the second to hear from academics who are developing estimates of the social cost of carbon, and the third to discuss federal and state approaches to valuing climate damages.

Senate Commerce to Look at AVs – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on paving the way for self-driving vehicles. The hearing will explore automated vehicle technology and hurdles for testing and deployment in the United States. The hearing will also examine state and federal roles to ensure safety while promoting innovation and American competitiveness.  Witnesses will include Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers’ CEO Mitch Bainwol, Rob Csongor of NVIDIA Corporation, John Maddox of the American Center for Mobility and MADD’s Colleen Sheehey-Church.

RFF to Host Webinar of RGGI Emissions Issues – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a webinar Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. to discuss emissions containment reserve (ECR) concepts with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  Researchers at Resources for the Future (RFF) and the University of Virginia have been working hard on further analysis and modeling of the ECR and the webinar will present the results of this research; a final report will be released in early summer.  The webinar will begin with an introduction and brief review of the ECR concept. Dallas Burtraw (RFF) and William Shobe (UVA) will then present results from simulation modeling and laboratory experiments that illustrate how the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) market would work with the addition of an ECR.  Following the presentations, representatives from industry, environmental advocacy groups, think tanks, and state environmental agencies will respond to the analyses with a look at what they view as opportunities, as well as potential challenges, of introducing an ECR program as part of RGGI. The webinar will include with time to respond to questions and comments from the audience.

Senate to Look at RFS – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on the Renewable Fuels Standard on Wednesday targeting legislation by Sen. Fisher on renewable fuels, S 517, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act. Witnesses will include long-time renewable fuels advocate Brooke Coleman, Jonathan Lewis of the Clean Air Task Force, Sheetz EVP Mike Lorenz, Briggs & Stratton’s Todd Teske and Janet Yanowitz of Ecoengineering.

House Energy to Look at Energy Planning – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. getting states’ perspectives on energy security planning, emergency preparedness and state energy programs.

Senate Energy to Discuss Hydro Legislation – The Senate Energy Committee’s Water and Power Panel will hold a legislative hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. looking at several hydropower bills.  Witnesses will include Scott Cameron, acting assistant secretary for water and science, Department of the Interior; Mark Gabriel, administrator and CEO, Western Area Power Administration; Harlowton, Mont., Mayor Jeff Sell; Tom Fisher, president, Patterson Lake Homeowners Association; Mike Hamman, chief engineer and CEO, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District; and Christopher Wynn, vice president, Brookfield Renewable Energy Group.

RCP to Host Energy Workforce Conversation – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m. at the Columbus Club, RealClear Politics will convene experts spanning the commercial construction industry and its adjacent sectors to analyze industry success and workforce development.

Forum to Launch BP Energy Review – The Atlantic Council will launch of the 2017 BP Statistical Review of Energy on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. featuring BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale. From the shift to low-carbon fuels to the proliferation of renewables to the future of coal, BP’s Statistical Review of Energy continually provides authoritative and in-depth information and insightful analysis that is invaluable in understanding changing energy markets and production and consumption patterns.

Pruitt to Testify on EPA Budget – The House Appropriations Interior-EPA subcommittee will host EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. to testify on the White House’s EPA Budget, which proposed cutting the agency’s budget by 31%.  Pruitt will be joined by Holly Greaves, a landing team member who works on budget issues.

BP’s Dale Also Addresses NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will also BP’s Dale as its guest speaker at its next luncheon at Noon on Thursday where he will continue the public rollout of this year’s BP Statistical Review of World Energy Markets.

Gingrich to Discuss Politics, Book – Former Speaker of the House and 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich will appear at a National Press Club Headliners Event on Friday at 10:00 a.m. in the club’s First Amendment Lounge to discuss his new book, Understanding Trump.  I will be hosting the event on behalf of the NPC.  In Understanding Trump, Gingrich shares what he learned from more than two years helping Donald J. Trump throughout his presidential campaign, during his transition from presidential candidate to Commander in Chief, and in his first few months in office. Gingrich provides a unique perspective on how the new president’s past experience as a business leader has shaped his political agenda and approach to governing the country.

WCEE to Look at Western Energy Markets – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a forum on Friday at Noon at FERC to get an overview of the Western Energy Imbalance Market from FERC staff Elizabeth Olson who worked in the California electricity market during EIM implementation.

 

IN THE FUTURE

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

BPC Innovation Forum to Feature Sen Alexander, Southern ClearPath Experts – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Energy Innovation Commission will hold a conversation on Tuesday June 20th 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 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.

Wilson Forum Look at Arctic Relations – The Wilson Center hold its Arctic Circle Forum on Wednesday and Thursday, June 21-22, 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.

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 June 21st 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 June 21st 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.

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

Senate Energy to Hear from Perry on DOE Budget – The full Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will convene a hearing on Thursday June 22nd 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.

WAPA to Host Ride/Drive of Ionig – WAPA also will host a lunch and drive on June 22 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 June 22nd 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 June 23rd 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.

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.

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 June 5

Friends,

The jet lag of the red eye last Monday/Tuesday helped me overlook a big happening in the lax world last week.  On Monday, Maryland’s Men’s team broke a 42-year drought of “almost wons” by beating Ohio State 9-6 to take the NCAA title.  The day before, the Maryland Women won their 3rd title in 4 years with a 16-13 Win over Boston College, with Hannah’s old Severn School teammate Caroline Steele scoring 6 goals in the final.  Finally, Terrapins completed the four-pack when seniors Matt Rambo and Zoe Stukenberg swept Tewaaraton Awards as NCAA DI’s top lacrosse players.   Toss in Salisbury taking the DIII title for the 12th time and no doubt that MD is the center of lax world today.

As I mentioned in the post Memorial Day update, while Congress was in recess, the Big Story was Paris and the President didn’t (or maybe he did) disappoint revealing the big decision.  On Thursday, Trump took to the Rose Garden for a speech withdrawing the US from the Paris Accord.  A full analysis is below.  But pay special attention to Scott Segal’s analysis in our Bracewell podcast.  We are happy to continue our ongoing discussion of what all this may mean.

With Congress returning, it is budget time.  But before then, Senate Energy will likely approve FERC nominees Neal Chatterjee and Robert Powleson, along with DOE Deputy Dan Brouillette and Interior #2 David Bernhardt tomorrow.  On Wednesday, Senate EPW hosts three nominees for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as Susan Bodine for EPA’s Enforcement office.  Budget hearings include Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appearing before the House Interior Appropriations panel on Thursday and NRC Commissioners at the table on Wednesday at Senate Energy.

On Saturday, we get the final leg of this year’s Triple Crown at Belmont Park.  While Preakness winner Cloud Computing and Derby winner Always Dreaming won’t run on Saturday, it clear that Classic Empire and Lookin At Lee are both racing. So far, I’ve slept on Lookin At Lee but his strong finishing kick in both races make him another likely box bet. It is also confirmed that Patch, the one-eyed feel good story will be back in the field in New York, despite his 14th place showing in Louisville.  Tapwrit will also run again (6th in Derby) and could be a sleeper given his sire, Tapit was a Belmont winner.  Also Irish War Cry, a strong Derby favorite who was hindered during the start, would be a great pick after his 5-week rest. Finally, you cannot sleep on two others: Senior Investment ran hard against high odds to the finish to Show in the Preakness and Gotham Stakes winner J Boys Echo, who had a disappointing Derby, has performed well in New York.  Finally, Japan’s Epicharis is worth a look, but don’t put too much into his odds.  He is seeing heavy money from Japan which will simulcast the Belmont for the first time ever and that will impact his odds favorably despite not having a great record on the track.  This field will be a step up in class so beware. Post positions on Wednesday from the Rockefeller Center. Here is my tri-box: Classic Empire, Irish, Lee, and I’ll take Irish to outrun both in the stretch.  I may also try a box or Super with Tapwrit. Also putting a $2 flyer on fresh, NY homer J Boys Echo at 30-1. Good luck.

Special congrats to my energy/env colleagues that were named to the 2017 edition of Legalease’s The Legal 500 for the United States.  Jason Hutt, Jeff Holmstead, Kevin Ewing, Cathy McCarthy, Dave Poe, David Perlman, Mark Lewis , Kirk Morgan, Matt Paulson, Tim Wilkins, John Klauberg and Michael Brooks were all honored and are among the expert resources that you have all spoken to over the years.

Finally, I was out at Jiffy Lube Live on Saturday for the opening of the US Tour for Iron Maiden’s Book of Souls Tour.  It was a pretty awesome show and I posted a few picts and videos.  But I must say, every time I see them (this is my fourth time), I continually think of the 1984 American rock music mockumentary comedy film This is Spinal Tap.  Rock On…and call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The Council and its members remain resolute in their commitment to taking action on climate change, and will continue to work with the inter-governmental process as well as national and sub-national governments to advance policies that accelerate the deployment of American clean energy technologies and business solutions that are at the heart of the modern infrastructure of the global, low-carbon economy.”

Business Council for Sustainable Energy CEO Lisa Jacobson on the President’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

 

IN THE NEWS

Maybe We Won’t Always Have Paris…or Maybe We Might? – In a major (and pretty political) Rose Garden speech, President Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Agreement.  There has been mountains of TV coverage (terrible) and some much better news coverage of the action.  The WaPo has a lot of good stuff, most of it captured in Dino Grandoni’s Energy 202 blog, Amy Harder’s constant Axios reporting and Brad Plumer’s work at NYT.  Also there has been some great trade press work by E&E, Energy Daily, BNA, The Hill and many others.  And the FT did some great work with an international focus and our friend Zack Colman returned for Climate Home with a zinger story.  Finally, while we heard lots of banter about Ivanka/Brannon internal White House palace intrigue, Juliet Eilperin looked at the increasing strength of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in the decision process.

Political Impacts? – While much of the coverage and many activists claim this will have a HUGE political impact for the midterms and the 2020 Presidential, there is no historical evidence that that is true.  We have been following this issue for nearly 20 years and we always hear this kind of conversation in the moment.  While this will certainly help spur activist organizing and enviro fundraising, it often doesn’t translates to the ballot box – especially 18 month from now.   It may, but we shall see…

Bracewell Podcast Features Segal Detailing Paris Announcement Impacts – Bracewell environmental policy expert Scott Segal is the guest on Bracewell’s Lobby Shop podcast this week.  TV and the internet has been filled with hot takes about Paris, but very few efforts to explain what the Paris Accord is and how it really operates. Segal’s take offers a complete understanding of the agreement, it issues and the symbolic and Substantive impacts.  It is not punditry, but a serious explanation aimed at helping support informed policy discussions.

Chamber Pushes Back on the NERA Study Attacks – In his Rose Garden speech withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, President Trump referenced the NERA report on industrial sector GHG/Paris pledge impacts.  Subsequently, the report was unfairly attacked by activists and political opponents disappointed by the President’s decision.  The Chamber’s Energy Institute, one of its primary sponsors along with the American Council on Capital Formation, put together a comprehensive response to address questions and concerns.   You can see the response here.

Business Groups Will Stay Engaged in International Climate Talks – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy said it would stay involved in the International discussion despite the White House move on Paris.  BCSE and other have historical perspective from 2001 when President George W. Bush pulled the US out of Kyoto, which they say hurt the US reputation and the US’s role in future discussions on energy and climate change for many years. In the current environment, we are concerned that it could impact the US government’s ability to protect US commercial interests in these discussions as well as other important international negotiations. “Among the reasons cited for leaving the Paris Agreement, President Trump indicated that reducing emissions will increase household costs and result in lost jobs. However, over the past decade, the US has made significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions while keeping household spending on energy low and supporting a vast American workforce. In fact, household spending on energy as a proportion of total household spending is currently at the lowest it has been since the records began in 1959, and jobs in clean energy sectors are growing, with clean energy industries supporting over 3 million American jobs.”

Factbook Details Show GHG reductions haven’t Increased Electricity Costs – Earlier this year, the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) showed that significant greenhouses gas emissions reductions that have been made in the US, without increasing electricity costs. And, importantly, household spending on energy across the board as a proportion of total household spending is the lowest it has been since the records were started in 1959.  Please see the charts from the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook below that show this:

GTM Podcast Details Impacts of Solar Trade Case – Speaking of podcasts, Greentech Media’s Interchange podcast this week unpacks the consequences of a sweeping solar trade complaint now under review by the Trump administration.  Last week, the U.S. government officially accepted Suniva’s request to review the impact of imported cells and modules on domestic solar manufacturers. If trade officials request tariffs and minimum prices at the levels suggested by Suniva, it could set industry equipment pricing back to 2012 levels and installed system pricing at 2015 levels.  That would harm a lot of planned utility-scale solar projects as well as a number of state markets for residential installers.  Solar industry expert Shayle Kann joins GTM host Stephen Lacey for an insightful, detailed discussion of the potential impacts of trade case.

Tesoro, Western to Become Andeavor Refining – Tesoro and Western Refining will become Andeavor on August 1, 2017, a premier refining, marketing and logistics company in the western United States. Andeavor will have 13,000 employees, operate 10 refineries with a combined capacity of 1.1 million barrels per day, and have ownership in two logistics businesses. Andeavor’s retail marketing system will include more than 3,000 stations throughout the western U.S.

USGS Study: Fracking Not Source of Chemicals in Wells – A new U.S. Geological Survey study shows hydraulic fracturing is not a significant source of dangerous chemicals in drinking water wells.  USGS said the study looked at a significant section of oil and gas production areas in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, including the Eagle Ford and Haynesville shale formations. It did not take into account areas of the Marcellus Shale.  The study found low concentrations of benzene but in relatively high frequencies, which could mostly be attributed to natural sources.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Security Implications of Climate – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Center for Climate and Security (CCS) will hold a forum today at 2:00 p.m. discussing the role of climate change as a “threat multiplier” in the geopolitical landscape and the implications that has for U.S. national security. The briefing will explore the risk management and planning considerations facing the Department of Defense (DOD) as it seeks to maintain force readiness and bolster infrastructure resilience. The panel will also discuss the need for investments in preventive measures today to prepare for future needs concerning disaster assistance, the Arctic, and the displacement of vulnerable populations due to climate change.  The speakers for this forum are US Army Brigadier General Gerald Galloway (former Dean of the Academic Board at West Point), former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Environmental Security Sherri Goodman, USAF General Ron Keys, US Navy Rear Admiral Ann Phillips, United States Navy and former Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense John Conger.

Forum to Host Fireside Chat With Ford – Today at 2:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council hosts a fireside chat on the future of mobility and its global implications, featuring Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company Bill Ford.

Senate Energy To Vote on FERC Nominees – The Senate Energy Committee will vote on four of President Trump’s energy nominees tomorrow and likely approve the candidates for a full floor vote.  On tap are Dan Brouillette to serve in the second-highest post at the Energy Department and David Bernhardt for the job of deputy Interior secretary. Also up for a vote are Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to fill two Republican vacancies on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Brooking to Discuss Paris Move – The Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate will host a conversation tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on what Trump’s withdrawal means going forward. Speakers from across the Institution’s research programs will give their takes on impacts ranging from clean power and the domestic energy industry to U.S. foreign policy. Our friend Lisa Friedman, editor of ClimateWire, will moderate the panel and audience Q&A.

Carper Roundtable to Look at Energy Jobs – Senate Environment ranking Democrat Tom Carper is hosting a roundtable tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. focused on clean air regulations and how it can spur cleaner air, innovation and economic opportunities. Witnesses will include Energy Innovation CEO Hal Harvey, Ameresco’s Michael Bakas, Corning’s Tim Johnson and George Howard, co-owner and board member of Inovateus Solar.

Caucus to Host Building Efficiency WeekHigh Performance Building Week is next week on Capitol Hill from Tuesday through Friday.  The week is an annual event sponsored by the High-Performance Buildings Caucus of the U.S. Congress. The Caucus was formed to heighten awareness and inform policymakers about the major impact buildings have on our health, safety and welfare and the opportunities to design, construct and operate high-performance buildings that reflect our concern for these impacts.  Fundamental to these concerns include protecting life and property, developing novel building technologies, facilitating and enhancing U.S. economic competitiveness, increasing energy efficiency in the built environment, assuring buildings have minimal climate change impacts and are able to respond to changes in the environment.

CSIS to Host Norway Energy Minister – Tomorrow at 2:45 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Norwegian Minister of Climate and the Environment Vidar Helgesen for a discussion on Norway’s climate policy, challenges, and opportunities.  A top global producer of natural gas and the leading European producer of petroleum liquids, Norway is a champion of sustainable development and climate action. Norway continues to move forward on climate policy through its ambitious goal of a 40 percent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral. A key element is the engagement by industry and other stakeholders in “the green transition,” making use of the new economic opportunities that a low-carbon future entails. Multilateral engagement on climate is also key for Norway, which recognizes the potential security challenges related to climate change.

Forum to Look at Europe Energy Issues – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold a half-day conference on Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. looking at the implications of the changing global LNG market, progression of the European Energy Union concept, and priorities of the new administration in Washington, DC for Central and Eastern European energy security. Among the speakers will be Cheniere’s Robert Fee, former State Department official Melanie Kenderdine, current State official Mary Warlick, Lithuanian Energy minister Simonas Šatūnas and Foreign Policy editor Keith Johnson, among others.

Senate Environment Host NRC Nominees, EPA Enforcement Official – The Senate Environment Committee will host a nomination hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on three NRC nominees and EPA enforcement chief Susan Bodine. The NRC nominees include current commissioner Kristin Svinicki and new appointees Annie Caputo, a former Exelon Corp. executive who now works for the EPW Committee and David Wright, a former South Carolina Public Service commissioner.

House Foreign Affairs to Look at Energy Issues – The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere holds a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 2172 Rayburn looking at energy opportunities in North America.  Witnesses include CSIS energy expert Sarah Ladislaw, API’s tax expert Stephen Comstock and Duncan Wood, director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

OMB Nominees Head to Senate – The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a nomination hearing on Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. for Russell Vought, nominee for Office of Management and Budget deputy director, and Neomi Rao, nominee to lead the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The Budget Committee will hold a separate hearing on Vought in the afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

House Resources Look at Abandon Mine Renewal – The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources is holding a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on the Interior Department’s Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program.  Witnesses include John Dawes, executive director, Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds; Glenda Owens, acting director, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement; Todd Parfitt, director, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality; Hal Quinn, CEO, National Mining Association; and Rob Rice, chief, West Virginia Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation.

Senate Approps Panel to Look at NRC Budget – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will convene a hearing Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to review the FY2018 budget request for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Witnesses will be NRC Commissioners Kristine Svinicki, Jeff Baran and Stephen Burns.

House Resources to Look at Fire, Forest Management – The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands takes testimony on Thursday looking at the effects of lawsuits and government red tape on forest management.  The hearing will address burdensome litigation and federal bureaucratic roadblocks to manage our nation’s overgrown, fire-prone national forests.

Senate Energy to Look at Emerging Energy Tech – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. will examine cost reductions in emerging technologies.  The hearing will look at would be on how recent trends may affect today’s energy landscape.

Panel to Look at Nuke Issues – On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a forum on nuclear proliferation, safety, and security. Thomas Wood, Robert Otto, and Tristan Volpe will discuss their recent articles in the “Nonproliferation Review” on positive inducements for nuclear proliferation, safety, and security. James Casterton will respond by addressing the policy and global governance implications of these proposals in a moderated discussion with Joshua Pollack.

Forum to Look at Infrastructure – The Hudson Institute will host a timely conversation on Thursday 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.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Climate Lobby Meetings, Hill Day Set – The Citizens Climate Lobby hold its 8th annual conference in Washington, DC on Sunday June 11th though next Tuesday at the Omni Shoreham.  The keynote speaker will be Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.  Most of Tuesday will be on Capitol Hill.

Wilson Center to Discuss China Green Grid – Next Monday at 9:30 a.m., the Wilson Center hosts a forum on the Chinese green grid and its outcome. Panelists at the meeting will discuss what can be done to help China move towards a more market-oriented electricity system without making pollution and water quality worse. Mun Ho (Resources for the Future) will open up the panel reviewing the challenges power grid reforms have faced in China, particularly around power dispatch. While Chris James (Regulatory Assistance Project/RAP) will talk about the potential solutions to promote green electricity dispatch in China. As the United States went through a similar transition to market-based electricity systems starting in the mid-1990s, perspectives of a state regulator are important. Eleanor Stein (Albany Law School) will discuss New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision process, and whether principles and concepts from that process might be considered for China.

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

Senate Energy to Discuss Hydro Legislation – The Senate Energy Committee’s Water and Power Panel will hold a legislative hearing on Wednesday June 14th at 2:30 p.m. looking at several hydropower bills.

RFF to Host Webinar of RGGI Emissions Issues – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a webinar on June 14th at 10:15 a.m. to discuss emissions containment reserve (ECR) concepts with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  Researchers at Resources for the Future (RFF) and the University of Virginia have been working hard on further analysis and modeling of the ECR and the webinar will present the results of this research; a final report will be released in early summer.  The webinar will begin with an introduction and brief review of the ECR concept. Dallas Burtraw (RFF) and William Shobe (UVA) will then present results from simulation modeling and laboratory experiments that illustrate how the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) market would work with the addition of an ECR.

Following the presentations, representatives from industry, environmental advocacy groups, think tanks, and state environmental agencies will respond to the analyses with a look at what they view as opportunities, as well as potential challenges, of introducing an ECR program as part of RGGI. The webinar will conclude with time to respond to questions and comments from the audience.

Senate to Look at RFS – The Senate Environment Committee Is expected to hold a hearing on the Renewable Fuels Standard on June 15th.

Forum to Launch BP Energy Review – The Atlantic Council will launch of the 2017 BP Statistical Review of Energy on Thursday June 15th at 9:30 a.m. featuring BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale. From the shift to low-carbon fuels to the proliferation of renewables to the future of coal, BP’s Statistical Review of Energy continually provides authoritative and in-depth information and insightful analysis that is invaluable in understanding changing energy markets and production and consumption patterns.

BP’s Dale Also Addresses NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will also BP’s Dale as its guest speaker at its next luncheon at Noon on Thursday June 15th where he will continue the public rollout of this year’s BP Statistical Review of World Energy Markets.

WCEE to Look at Western Energy Markets – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a forum on Friday June 16th to get an overview of the Western Energy Imbalance Market from FERC staff Elizabeth Olson who worked in the California electricity market during EIM implementation.

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 June 21st 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.

BNEF Energy Outlook Report to Launch – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a forum on June 21st to launch Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) New Energy Outlook 2017. 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. This year, NEO 2017 highlights the long-term ramifications of competitive offshore wind and what cheaper batteries mean for the uptake of electric vehicles, consumer photovoltaic systems, and managing peak demand, among other stories.

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

CSIS to Host Statoil Energy Report – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum on June 22nd 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 June 23rd 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.

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.

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 March 7

Friends,

As Spring Breaks are beginning, it is time to start locking in on your favorites for those NCAA March Madness hoops pools.  Keep an eye this week on all the Conference championships to see who’s playing well (Kansas/Michigan State) and who has struggled lately (Maryland, Oklahoma).  It may also help you find some sleepers (Monmouth, Providence, Stephen F Austin, Little Rock).  And how about Yale, winning the Ivys and making the tourney for the first time since 1962.  Only Dartmouth (1959) has gone longer without making an appearance.

Tomorrow votes are hitting in Michigan, as well as Idaho (R), Hawaii (R) and Mississippi.  Most of the focus for both sides is Michigan, which hosted both Republican and Democratic debates over the last few days.  In fact, should you have any questions about the latest Democratic Prez positioning on natgas drilling (Sanders is opposed, Clinton announced a bunch of hoops that no one can get through)  let us know.  My colleagues can discuss the reality vs the politics.   One week to Super Tuesday, Part II.

Budget discussions continue this week with Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Moniz heading to Senate Approps’ panels after several visits last week.  Moniz was a champion with three marathon sessions at House Energy, Senate Energy and House Energy Approps last week.   Senate Environment jumps into state regulation and how states are impacted on Wednesday following a recent letter from Chairman Inhofe to the 20 states covered by the Committee asking for their “perspective” on EPA regulations.

Off the Hill, there is a great event tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. that is a “must attend.”  The National Press Club’s Newsmaker Committee will host Republican entrepreneur turned philanthropist Jay Faison, Founder and CEO of ClearPath, a new non-profit foundation dedicated to finding and promoting conservative clean energy solutions in the Club’s Bloomberg Room.   It is his first foray into DC since announcing his intention to play a bigger energy role with Republicans and with the Newsmaker format, you’ll have a great opportunity to inquire.

Finally, this weekend, South By Southwest begins in Austin Texas on Friday and runs through the following week.  Originally just a small music festival, SXSW has also become a popular policy and political forum.  On Friday, President Obama will sit down with Evan Smith, Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief, for a conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives.   There are many environmental, technology, policy and political issues on the agenda…and, as expected, some awesome music.  See the full schedule of events here.

Congrats (I think) to my friend and ex-biofuel reporter Rachel Gantz who starts TODAY as RFA’s New Comms Director.  Good luck with that…

Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

SCOTUS Rejects Mercury Stay – Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Thursday refused to block EPA’s regulation limiting emissions of mercury from coal-fired power plants.  The decision comes a few weeks after they approved an extraordinary stay to block the Administration’s plan for regulating GHGs.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead told the New York Times the decision was a pretty strong way of sending a signal that the fact that the court granted a stay of the Clean Power Plan was highly extraordinary, and they don’t want to be inundated with these.  Holmstead: “I think this is Justice Roberts’ effort to say that the Clean Power Plan is an extraordinary situation.” Holmstead and other experts noted that blocking the mercury rule would have had little practical impact, because most electric utilities have already put it into effect, closing almost 100 coal-fired power plants.

 

Chamber Energy Institute White Paper on Stay Impacts on Deadlines – We have all heard EPA Administrator McCarthy saying many different things about the impacts of the Supreme Court’s stay on the GHG rules, including that that “[l]ife is continuing [in] the exact same direction it was before the stay,” that the stay “didn’t mean that anything on the ground really had changed,” the stay “is not going to slow us down” and finally, that the stay won’t push back the compliance deadlines.  As my colleague Jeff Holmstead has mentioned to many of you, the SCOTUS stay WILL delay all the deadlines of the Clean Power Plan even if the courts eventually uphold the rule.  This is also the focus of a new paper from the US Chamber’s Energy Institute.  With regard to the stay, the paper says: “the proper interpretation of the Court’s order is that the Stay tolls all the Rule’s deadlines—not just those that actually fall during the Stay—for at least the period of time the Stay is in place.”  Chamber Energy expert Dan Byers has also summed up the issues in a good, public and quotable blog.   And of course, as one of the attorneys in the case, Holmstead Is happy to discuss the issues and the protocols  going forward.

 

Cities Launch Energy Security  Coalition – A group of medium and large-size cities from around the country announced the launch of the Energy Secure Cities Coalition (ESCC), a partnership of communities dedicated to transitioning their municipal fleets from petroleum-fueled vehicles to those powered by alternative fuels, like electricity and natural gas. Each ESCC city has the potential to improve quality of life for its residents as well as boost its economic competitiveness—regionally and globally—by saving millions of valuable taxpayer dollars over the next decade through the lower fuel and vehicle maintenance costs of alternative fuel vehicles.  The Energy Secure Cities Coalition includes Atlanta, Ga.; Charlotte, N.C.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Orlando, Fla.; Rochester, N.Y.; Sacramento Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; and West Palm Beach, Fla.  The ESCC plans to grow to at least 25 cities with the goal of taking 50,000 petroleum-powered vehicles off the road, saving 500,000 barrels of oil every year and protecting city budgets from volatile and unpredictable global oil prices, directly influenced by geopolitical instability and conflict. Fleets are some of the largest single fuel consumers in a given city and represent an opportunity to jump-start a community’s effort to reduce its dependence on oil, promote fuel diversity, and set an example for other cities across the country to follow. The Energy Secure Cities Coalition offers participating cities a network to learn from each other before, during and after the fleet conversion process, participating in a forum in which municipalities can share best practices on communicating their goals, engaging their communities, recognizing obstacles and solving problems. The ESCC is a project of its member cities in collaboration with Securing America’s Future Energy and the Electrification Coalition. Learn more at www.energysecurecities.org.

 

Report: Property Values Unaffected By Pipelines – A new study conducted by Integra Realty Resources on behalf of The INGAA Foundation says the presence of an underground natural gas transmission pipeline does not affect the sales prices or value of residential properties.  The independent study of residential properties in proximity to natural gas pipelines in the Southeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast United States,  Pipeline Impact to Property Value and Property Insurability, identifies residential neighborhoods that were bordered or bisected by at least one pipeline and isolated home sales of similar properties both on and off the pipelines.  The study then performed a direct comparison of the properties for normal valuation purposes.   IRR analyzed property sales in communities in four states – Ohio, New Jersey, Virginia and Mississippi – and determined that “there is no measurable impact on the sales price of properties located along or in proximity to a natural gas pipeline versus properties which are not located along or in proximity to the same pipeline.” A fifth analysis, of a community in Pennsylvania, conducted by a separate appraisal company also was included in the analysis.  IRR analyzed actual residential property sales data in each area, normalized by significant factors (i.e. gross living area, size, age, date of transaction, etc.) to derive adjustments used to account for differences, in each area, both on and off pipeline easements, in like and similar conditions.  It then applied linear regression analyses to see if a correlation existed between sales price and location “on” or “off” the pipeline easement.  In every area of study, IRR found no negative impact on price, and no correlation between price and proximity to pipeline easement.  IRR also found that buyers purchasing homes along pipeline easements in each area studied were able to obtain conventional, Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Affairs loans. “This indicates that a presence of a natural gas pipeline had no effect on obtaining a mortgage,” the report said.  Moreover, insurance companies and agents interviewed said there was no indication that the presence of a natural gas pipeline would hinder a buyer’s ability to acquire property insurance. They also said there was no indication that premiums paid for insurance policies would increase because of the presence of a natural gas pipeline.

 

Morning Consult National Poll Shows Support for Coal Generation – In a new national poll conducted by Morning Consult, 54% of registered voters ‘totally approve’ the use of coal to generate electricity, compared to 32% who ‘totally disapprove.’ 14% have no opinion.  ACCCE’s Laura Sheehan said “Despite the near-constant fearmongering campaign conducted by this administration and its allies, the electorate continues to recognize the importance coal plays in the production of affordable and reliable energy.”

 

Rural Co-Ops Support LIHEAP Action Day – Yesterday was LIHEAP Action Day. LIHEAP is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides those in need with assistance paying their home heating and cooling bills.  The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) strongly supports action on LIHEAP because it reinforces one of cooperatives’ core principles: concern for community. While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.  NRECA Interim CEO Jeffrey Connor said since 1981, LIHEAP has helped millions of low-income Americans pay their energy bills, delivering critical short-term aid to our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, including senior citizens on fixed incomes and the poor.  “America’s electric co-ops, which serve 93 percent of the nation’s persistent poverty counties, are acutely aware of LIHEAP’s importance and the need to fully fund it in fiscal year 2017,” Connor added.   Helen Holton, Baltimore City Council member since 1995 and executive director for the National Organization of Black County Officials wrote in Roll Call a clear call for support of the program, which assisted 6.8 million American households last year.  The National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) sponsored LIHEAP Action Day along with member companies of NRECA, the American Gas Association (AGA) and the Edison Electric Institute. The annual day-long event is aimed at building awareness for LIHEAP, a program providing financial assistance to low and fixed-income individuals for fuel and utility bills, as well as low-cost weatherization and energy-related home repairs. On LIHEAP Action Day, nearly 300 meetings took place in offices on Capitol Hill.  LIHEAP champions and advocates converged on the nation’s capital city to discuss the importance of fully funding the program at $4.7 billion for FY2017.

 

Report: Energy Storage Improving – The U.S. energy storage market just had both its best quarter and best year of all time. According to the GTM Research/Energy Storage Association’s U.S. Energy Storage Monitor 2015 Year in Review, the U.S. deployed 112 megawatts of energy storage capacity in the fourth quarter of 2015, bringing the annual total to 221 megawatts. This represents 161 megawatt-hours for the year.  The 112 megawatts deployed in the fourth quarter 2015 represented more than the total of all storage deployments in 2013 and 2014 combined. Propelled by that historic quarter, the U.S. energy storage market grew 243 percent over 2014’s 65 megawatts (86 megawatt-hours).

RFA Hires New Comms Director
– The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has hired our friend and former biofuels industry reporter Rachel Gantz as its new communications director. Gantz will serve as the RFA’s spokesperson, communicating the group’s top messages to reporters, and will focus on growing RFA’s footprint in the media.  She starts today.  Gantz spent nearly 17 years as a reporter, most recently at Oil Price Information Service, where she was a senior reporter covering the biofuels industry. She also worked at Hart Energy Publishing’s Oxy Fuel News and Argus’ Air Daily, covering the biofuels and air emissions industries.

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

McCarthy to Headline Climate Conference – The 2016 Climate Leadership Conference will take place today through Thursday in Seattle.  The event convenes a global audience of climate, energy, and sustainability professionals to address climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. Now in its fifth year, the 2016 event will host the first U.S. climate conference post-Paris to further accelerate climate solutions and a low-carbon economy.  Speakers include EPA Head Gina McCarthy, former CNN and current GWU School of Media & PA head Frank Sesno, Microsoft’s Dan Reicher and former CO Governor Bill Ritter.

 

Press Club to Host Faison, Will Outline Plans to Move Republicans on Energy Agenda  – The National Press Club’s Newsmaker Committee will host Republican entrepreneur turned philanthropist Jay Faison, Founder and CEO of ClearPath, a new non-profit foundation dedicated to finding and promoting conservative clean energy solutions, tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in the Club’s Bloomberg Room.  Faison  will outline the organization’s conservative approach to environmental and energy issues at a Tues., March 8 Newsmaker news conference. Faison also will detail the organization’s plans to influence policymakers and the role ClearPath intends to play in the 2016 elections.  Last year, Faison, made headlines when he announced that he was donating  $165 million to start ClearPath with the goal of moving the Republican Party forward on clean energy.  He believes smaller government, free markets and American innovation are the best way to solve energy challenges and reduce environmental and health risks caused by air and carbon pollution.

 

DOE to Hold Biomass Meetings – The Department of Energy has announced an open meeting of its Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee tomorrow and Wednesday.  The purpose of the meeting is to develop advice and guidance that promotes research and development leading to the production of biobased fuels and biobased products. The tentative agenda includes updates on USDA and DOE biomass research and development activities, as well as an update on the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. The meeting is also expected to include an overview of the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office 2016 budget, focused on new areas and activities, along with an overview of the 2016 budget, along with new areas and activities for USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Agricultural Research Service. In addition, the meeting is scheduled to include a presentation on biomass-related ARPA-E activities.

 

USEA Look at CCS Utilization – The US Energy Association hosts a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on utilization of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.  The “U” in CCUS, is a key component of essentially all major CO2 capture and storage projects such as Summit’s Texas Clean Energy Project, Petra Nova’s Parish project, Boundary Dam, and Kemper. This briefing will assess the market dynamics, issues and opportunities at play.  Speaker will be Michael Moore, Vice President of Energy Commodities and Advisory Services at FearnOil.

 

JHU Forum Looks at Renewables – Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS will hold a forum tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. as part of the SAIS Research Seminar Series in Politics and Political Economy, 2015-2016 on how power sectors reforms are shaping renewable energy issues across the globe.  Johannes Urpelainen, the speaker for this seminar, is Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.

 

POLITICO Forum to Look at Canada Visit – As President Barack Obama prepares to welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a historic state visit, POLITICO and CABC will hold a series of high-level conversations tomorrow evening at The Newseum on North American leadership in energy, the global economy, security and the refugee crisis.  Featured speakers include US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske; Alan Bersin, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer at U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Richard Duke, Deputy Director for Climate Policy in the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change.  Other speakers will include State’s Simon Henshaw, NRDC’s Canada Project analyst Danielle Droitsch and Port Metro Vancouver CEO Robin Silvester.

 

Groups Look at Ag Impacts on Climate – The Organic Consumers Association and Regeneration International will hold a workshop on Wednesday to discuss the science and management of the remarkable bio-chemical process called carbon sequestration.  Scientists will explain how it works and climate policy experts will describe initiatives to drive the rapid, large-scale, worldwide adoption of regenerative agriculture techniques that can sequester carbon, improve both quantity and quality of foods produced, and concurrently decrease atmospheric CO2.  Some of the speakers include Catherine Geslain-Laneelle, Kristine Nichols, David Johnson, and Richard Teague.

 

Senate Environment to Hear From States on Regulating – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. looking at state views of Federal regulations.   Witnesses will include South Dakota DENR secretary Steven Pirner, Arkansas DEQ director Becky Keogh, WV DEP Secretary Randy Huffman, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources secretary Deborah Markowitz, secretary and Delaware DNREC Air Quality director Ali Mirzakhalili.

 

AGA Expert Feature In CHP/NatGas Webinar – The Alliance for Industrial Efficiency is cohosting a webinar with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy on Wednesday at Noon on the state of the market and implications for natgas & CHP.   Expert panelists will explore data from the 2016 BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook on the state of the market for natural gas and combined heat and power (CHP), and provide their perspectives on prospects for continued growth.   They will also will explore data from the 2016 BCSE Sustainable Energy Factbook on the state of the market for natural gas and combined heat and power (CHP), and provide their perspectives on prospects for continued growth.  Among the speakers will be our friend Richard Meyer, Manager of Energy Analysis & Standards at the American Gas Association.

 

Vilsack Former Ag Secretaries to Talk Nutrition at BPC – As part of National Nutrition Month, the Bipartisan Policy Center is hosting a conversation on food and nutrition, featuring Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m..  The event will be a robust discussion with a bipartisan panel on the current state of nutrition in America and innovative approaches to creating a healthier future.   Joining Vilsack on the panel will be former Ag Secretaries Ann Veneman and Dan Glickman.

 

Forum to Look at National Labs Budget – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), in partnership with the House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses, will hold a briefing on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. looking at the energy efficiency and renewable energy provisions of the President’s budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.  Speakers from the Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) will give an overview of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) budget request, explain the EERE Office budget priorities, and provide context on how these priorities and trends compare to prior years.  DOE’s David Friedman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, will launch the conversation and CRS experts and Scott Sklar will also join the panel.

 

Senate Approps Hosts Vilsack – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture, Food, and Drug Administration will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to review the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request and funding justification for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Secretary Vilsack will testify.

 

Moniz Head to Senate Energy Approps Panel – After last week’s testimony barrage, Secretary Moniz returns to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. a hearing to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Energy.

 

ELI host Enviro Social Event – The Environmental Law Institute and the D.C. Bar’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section will hold a networking event Wednesday night to build community and connections among environmental professionals.

 

Murkowski Honored by WCEE – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold its Woman of the Year Gala Wednesday evening at the Capital Hilton Hotel.  The 2016 WCEE Woman of the Year is Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski.  Murkowski is Alaska’s senior representative in the U.S. Senate and chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Senate Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee.

 

Forum to Focus on Clean Power Plan – The Environmental Law Institute will hold its 2016 J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Environmental Law Symposium on Thursday and Friday at GWU.  The event will focus on environmental, economic, and governance issues for the electricity mix in the coming two-to-three decades. The two-day Symposium will bring together a multi-disciplinary group of experts for a series of panels and discussions structured around issues surrounding the Clean Power Plan.

ARPA-E Director Talks Innovation, Grid – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a discussion on Thursday with Ellen Williams, Director of ARPA-E, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. Dr. Williams and  ARPA-e play a critical role in incubating new energy technologies.  One issue where real progress on both technology and market deployment continues to be needed is the electric grid.  Dr. Williams will discuss key areas of focus for ARPA-E in 2016, with a  special focus on grid management and grid storage as well as the new initiatives including Mission Innovation. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will provide a brief introduction and Frank O’Sullivan, Director of Research and Analysis with the MIT Energy Initiative and Senior Associate with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will moderate the discussion.

 

Forum to Look at Japan Priorities in Middle East – On Thursday, the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Global Energy Center will bring together Japanese scholars and practitioners alongside US analysts to discuss Japanese energy priorities and policies in the Middle East. These experts will discuss how the Middle Eastern landscape impacts Japan’s energy policies, and how Japanese policies in turn impact the region.

 

Poneman to Discuss Argentina, Energy – The Atlantic Council for a discussion on Friday looking at Argentina’s energy outlook in the new administration of President Mauricio Macri era. The event will launch the Atlantic Council’s latest policy brief, The New Argentina: Time to Double Down on the Energy Sector?, authored by Argentine energy expert Cristian Folgar.  Among the speakers will be Dan Poneman, former Deputy Secretary of Energy.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

AHRI Public Policy Forum Set – The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) hold its annual Public Policy Forum on March 15th and 16th.  The 2016 Public Policy Symposium is designed to bring AHRI members together with key public officials to discuss important issues facing the HVACR and water heating industry. The two-day event provides participants with the opportunity for face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and Congressional staff on Capitol Hill, and with key officials in federal agencies. Near-miss Virginia Senate Candidate and former political operative Ed Gillespie will keynote the forum.

 

Chamber Summit to Look at Competitiveness – The U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness holds the 10th Annual Capital Markets Summit looking at the foundation of economic growth on March 15th.  This year, the event will examine the current state of the capital markets, including how innovation is changing the landscape, and explore what changes are necessary to ensure these markets are modernized and well-regulated to ensure economic growth.

 

Forum to Focus on Geothermal – EESI and the Geothermal Energy Association is hosting a briefing on Wednesday March 16th at 2:00 p.m. in 212-10 in the Capitol Visitors Center highlighting the state of the geothermal energy industry and its near-term prospects in the United States and in more than 80 other countries working to expand its use. With demand for clean energy accelerating around the globe, geothermal energy has major potential as a renewable resource that can provide power around-the-clock, complementing intermittent renewable power technologies. Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Deputy Director-General Sakari Oksanen, U.S. Geothermal President  Doug Glaspey and several others.

 

Wilson Center Forum to Look at Developing Country Support – Next Wednesday March 16th, the Wilson Center will host a panel of experts from CIGI, ICCCAD, and United Nations University to discuss the current status and future of financing and insurance for combating climate-related loss and damage.  The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement focused on support for vulnerable countries in the face of looming climate-related “loss and damage.”

 

GEA Sets Geo Energy Showcase – The Geothermal Energy Assn will be holding its 3rd U.S. and International Geothermal Energy Showcase in Washington, DC on Thursday, March 17th at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. This year’s Showcase will focus on the building blocks for successful geothermal projects and highlight key geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and the international markets. The program will showcase geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and around the world. Topics covered will include: the geothermal market today, projects under development in the U.S. and internationally, outlook for the future of the geothermal market, policies driving geothermal development, new technologies, and federal agency support at home and abroad. Over 36 countries will be represented at the Showcase. Represented countries include the United States, United Kingdom, Jamaica, United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, India, Belgium, Guatemala, Hungary, Uganda, Turkey, the Philippines, Fiji, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Burundi, St. Kitts, Kenya, Mexico, Japan, Ethiopia, Qatar, Iceland, Taiwan, Albania, Nevis, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Burkina Faso, Vanuatu, Italy, Taiwan, Peru, Colombia, and more.  Speakers will include International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Deputy Director-General Sakari Oksanen and Nevada Senator Dean Heller.

 

BCSE to Host Clean Energy Forum –The Business Council for Sustainable Energy will hold a Clean Energy Forum on March 16th for its Members to look at the 2016 clean Energy Agenda.

 

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

 

ACORE Policy Forum Set – The 2016 ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be on March 16th and 17th at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Senator Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will provide the Mid-Morning Keynote.  The event has a great line up including moderators Joe Desmond of Bightsource Energy, Greg Wetstone of ACORE and Dan Reicher, former DOE official and Google exec at Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center.

 

Forum to Look at Critical Infrastructure – Next Thursday, March 17th at 9:30 a.m. at the Reserve Officers Association, the Secure the Grid Coalition and Homeland Security Today Magazine will hold a forum on critical infrastructure and a secure electric grid.  This symposium will explore the path from today’s vulnerabilities to tomorrow’s mitigations for the civilian electrical grid from major system failures and long-term power outages. How vulnerable are we to catastrophic level black outs? What does that mean for the major power consumers of the civilian electrical grid?  Homeland Security Today Magazine’s Editor and Chief Anthony Kimery will host a discussion with panelists that include President Bill Clinton’s former Director of Central Intelligence Ambassador James Woolsey, Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, and several other experts.

 

Forum to Look at Specialty Metals – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Thursday March 17th at 2:30 p.m. featuring a discussion on the new resource challenges – specialty metals. Obscure resources we paid little attention to are increasingly playing critical roles as we switch to new energy sources, as high-tech proliferates globally, and as military technologies proliferate. A lack of understanding and production of these materials will limit their development and deployment of critical technologies.  Most notably, as the global community transitions from fossil fuels to clean energy, demand for rare metals will increase dramatically. Potential shortages and volatile prices will keep some technologies out of reach or limit the implementation of our most effective energy solutions.  And with Beijing allocating vast sums to produce and process these materials, geopolitical risks abound.  The panelists will explore this budding war over the periodic table by discussing what the geopolitical implications of rare metals are and hoe their production differs.  It will also look at international transparency and other production process issues.

 

Forum to Feature Specialty Metals Book Author – On Friday, March 18th at Noon, the local chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will host a lunch with David Abraham as he discusses how countries are lining up sides on the next geopolitical resource battle — specialty metals. Abraham is the author of “The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metals Age.”  The Economist said”…[Abraham] persuasively explains the danger of underestimating a business that, by one estimate, generates $4 billion of revenues a year and also plays a critical role in systems worth about $4 trillion. China, which develops more rare metals than any other country, understands the calculus. The West, his book suggests, does not.”

 

Forum to Look at Sustainable Housing – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is holding a briefing on March 21st at 2:30 p.m. in 122 Cannon regarding energy efficient, “green” affordable housing and how it is improving health and safety in distressed communities while providing economic and environmental benefits to states. This is the second in a series of EESI briefings examining environmental justice as it relates to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. This briefing will show how sustainable affordable housing can save money for low-income families and strengthen community resilience while serving as a CPP compliance strategy.  Speakers will showcase sustainable affordable housing developments in Pittsburgh, PA, as well as a retrofit in Washington, DC, and will discuss the national movement to “green” affordable housing. The briefing will also feature the passive building retrofit of Weinberg Commons, a multifamily housing complex for low-income families in Southeast DC. The nation’s capital uses Enterprise Community Partners’ Green Communities Criteria as the baseline green building standard for its public and publicly-financed projects.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Energy Update: Week of January 19

Friends,

As we prep for the “massive” snow headed toward the East Coast (hurry up and rush out to get your bread and milk) we should remember that it is winter.  Regardless, stay tuned and we’ll be ready to report to you next week regardless of the weather.

Keeping it short this week because I’m still on a birthday downer.  As I get older, I just see it as another day, but I feel really humbled and blessed by all the folks who took a minute out of their day to wish me well over the weekend.  Thanks for that.  Presents:  A great new USA Field Hockey pullover for umpiring and a new visor for my Hockey helmet.  Can’t ask for more than that…other than a few more grants to help pay for Hannah’s Wellesley tuition this summer.

We are two weeks away from Iowa votes and it is getting really busy including tomorrow’s annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit.  The Nation’s mayors are in DC this week for the 84th Winter Meeting so you can expect to hear about climate actions and other energy issues.

Meantime, the Senate returns this week while the House returns next .  A couple of good hearings in Senate Energy  this week with EIA’s Adam Sieminski and our friend Jim Lucier on Energy markets today and Thursday experts on auto innovations.  Tomorrow, the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee digs into Iran issues following the weekend’s moves on sanctions and swapping prisoners.  We can cover a lot of issues from human rights to Iran oil issues, so please let us know.

Off the Hill, FTC holds a panel this morning on emerging trends in the auto industry, such as car-sharing, connected cars, and autonomous vehicles, which will feature SAFE CEO Robbie Diamond following the DOT announcements last week for $4B self-driving car pilot projects over a 10-year span.

Kudos to Rep./Dr. Phil Sharp, RFF President and former U.S. Congressman from Indiana, who will receive the second Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security from Energy Secretary Moniz tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.  Cato holds a forum at 11:00 a.m. on GMOs and the future of the global food supply and medical innovations.  And the Washington Auto Show also launches it policy day on Capitol Hill that will explore how technology is making our nation’s roads and vehicles safer and infrastructure smarter and transforming the way we live, work and travel featuring Michigan Sen. Gary Peters and our friend Joe White of ThomsonReuters.   Media day will be Thursday.

Also on Thursday, US Energy Assn hosts its 12th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum in the National Press Club.  Senior leaders from the energy industry’s major trade associations will provide their outlook and overview of their priorities for 2016.

Finally, on Friday at 3:00 p.m., the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Wilson Center will hold its 4th annual “Year Ahead in Environment and Energy” event, where leading reporters and editors will discuss the critical issues that will shape 2016.

Call if you have questions and are not snowed in…

Best,

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Industry, Advocates Reach Agreement on AC Efficiency Standard – Industry and efficiency advocates reached an agreement last week on a new energy efficiency rule for residential central air-conditioners and heat pumps. The deal will save around 2.8 quadrillion Btu over the 30-year life of the new standard (for reference, the U.S. consumed about 97 quads in 2011). The previous version was finalized in 2011 and the Energy Department is required to complete a new standard for the equipment by June 2017 or state that one isn’t economically justified given current technology. But in an effort to keep the rule on schedule, DOE organized a negotiated rulemaking process last year between industry and advocates. While the agreement is a big deal, other approvals are needed and DOE still has to turn the details into a proposed rule.

White House Proposes $4B for Self-Driving Cars – In an announcement at the Detroit Auto Show, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says the 2017 budget proposal will include $4B for self-driving car pilot projects over a 10-year span. Among other things, the funds would cover a program to test self-driving cars on technologically advanced roads.  To encourage tests, the DOT also plans to make up to 2,500 self-driving cars exempt from some proposed safety rules for up to two years, and to work with state governments to create state regulations for autonomous vehicles.  Remember, last year in October, there was a NPC Newsmaker on the topic that including Google advisor and former GM exec Larry Burns, Domino’s Pizza EVP Lynn Liddle and Robbie Diamond, President of SAFE, who respectively spoke to the implications of driverless cars for the business community and the opportunity to reduce America’s dependence on oil.  SAFE also formed an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force, a group of leading experts that are guiding action plans to facilitate the widespread deployment of this transformative technology.

SAFE CEO Says DOT Regs Good Start – In response to DOT Secretary Foxx’s announcement of pending regulations on driverless and connected cars, SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond said the United States is crossing the threshold into the largest transformation in transportation since the invention of the automobile. Diamond: “Driverless, connected cars will save lives, reducing road fatalities by 90 percent. They will also encourage the mass deployment of electric vehicles and lessen America’s dependence on oil through improved fuel efficiency, diversity and drastically different ownership models.   With the government setting aside $4 billion over 10 years for pilot programs to put the rubber to the road, it demonstrates the need to test and prove this technology immediately on public streets. This does not, however, need to be a large, expensive government program. Any future rules at the national or state level should be minimal until proven necessary to give businesses the space to continue their investment in transportation innovation. Accelerating driverless vehicle technology will reduce fatalities and injuries, drastically lower healthcare costs, offer more fuel choice, cut congestion, and give mobility to millions of people who currently have none due to age or disability.”  We can find you great resources on this topic, so please let me know if you are covering it.

Solar Jobs Expanding – The Solar Foundation released its highly anticipated jobs report, which found that the U.S. solar industry employed about 209,000 people last year.  SF’s National Solar Jobs Census 2015 is the 6th annual update of current employment, trends and projected growth in the U.S. solar industry. Census 2015 found that the industry continues to exceed growth expectations, adding workers at a rate nearly 12 times faster than the overall economy and accounting for 1.2% of all jobs created in the U.S. over the past year. Our long-term research shows that solar industry employment has grown by 123% in the past six years, resulting in nearly 115,000 domestic living-wage jobs.  The solar workforce is larger than the oil and gas extraction industry, which shed 13,800 jobs in 2015 and now employs 187,200 people. The oil and gas pipeline construction industry, which employs 129,500 workers, lost 9,500 jobs (U.S. BLS) during the same period. The solar industry is already three times larger than the coal-mining industry, which employs 67,929 people (JobsEQ 2015Q3). Solar employers surveyed expect to add more than 30,000 jobs over the next 12 months. The expected increase of 14.7% would bring the count of U.S. solar workers to 239,625 by the end of 2016.

Foundation Awards Scholarships to HVACR Students, Veterans – The Clifford H. “Ted” Rees, Jr., Scholarship Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), today announced $60,500 in scholarship funds to 35 students, including five veterans, studying to become technicians in the HVACR and water heating industry.  The awards are for qualified and dedicated students that are pursuing careers in the HVACR and water heating industry that can help close the employment and skills gaps, according to AHRI CEO Steve Yurek.   Since the Rees Scholarship Foundation was founded in 2003, it has awarded almost $440,000 in scholarships to more than 250 deserving students and instructors. For a list of past scholarship recipients, click here.   The Rees Scholarship Foundation was established to assist with the recruitment and competency of future HVACR and water heating technicians by awarding scholarships to qualified students enrolled in an institutionally accredited school. Eligible students must be preparing for a career in either residential or light commercial air conditioning, heating, or water heating, or commercial refrigeration.

Murkowski, Faison Set Marker for Republican Climate Energy – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and a conservative clean-energy advocate say there is vast untapped potential for hydropower across the country in a New York Times op-ed that ran last week. Murkowski and Jay Faison call on the president to back the energy bill for its hydropower provisions. Murkowski and Faison say they “believe climate change is a threat, and appreciate [Obama’s] offer to collaborate.” They argue that the president should back the energy bill because it clears away bureaucratic red tape that slows the growth of hydropower, a zero-emission power source that faces opposition from environmentalists and a costly relicensing process.

DOE Awards Southern to Grant to Lead Advanced Nuclear Tech Development – Southern Company was awarded up to $40 million from DOE to explore, develop and demonstrate advanced nuclear reactor technologies through subsidiary Southern Company Services.  The effort will be managed through a new public-private partnership with TerraPower, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Electric Power Research Institute and Vanderbilt University. Housed at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the research will bolster the development of molten chloride fast reactors (MCFR), an advanced concept for nuclear generation.  Researchers believe MCFRs could provide enhanced operational performance, safety, security and economic value, relative to other advanced reactor concepts. The MCFR project is one of two DOE cost-shared advanced reactor concept development projects awarded $6 million in 2016, with an opportunity for $40 million each in total funding over multiple years.  A long-standing proponent of nuclear power, Southern Company – through its subsidiaries – is the only electric utility in America today developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including being one of the first to build new nuclear units in more than 30 years. The company is building the two new nuclear units at subsidiary Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle, which are expected to provide enough emission-free generation to power 500,000 homes and businesses.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Detroit Auto Show Rolls On – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) continues this week in the Motor City.  The official press conference schedule for the 2016 NAIAS begins with Press Preview today and tomorrow. Last week was press week and to see a the full 2016 NAIAS Press Conference Schedule look under the main Press tab.  In its 28th 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.

Food, Energy, Water Conference Set –The Food-Energy-Water Nexus conference will be held today and tomorrow at the Hyatt at Reagan National Airport.  The conference will feature 1,200 other leaders in science, technology, government, business, civil society, and education to create strategies and initiatives that transform ideas into action.

EIA Head to Discuss Energy Markets at Senate Energy – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing this morning to examine the near-term outlook for energy and commodity markets.  EIA’s Adam Sieminski will testify along with several others including our friends Jim Lucier of Capital Alpha Partners and Ethan Zindler of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

SAFE CEO, Others to Join FTC Forum –The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a one-day workshop today to explore competition and related issues in the U.S. auto distribution system, including how consumers and businesses may be affected by state regulations and emerging trends in the industry. The event will take place in Washington, D.C. at the FTC’s Constitution Center Auditorium.  The January workshop will focus primarily on exploring the competition issues arising from state level regulation of auto distribution.  It also will explore emerging trends in the auto industry, such as car-sharing, connected cars, and autonomous vehicles, with a focus on how those trends will affect the current regulatory system that governs the auto industry.

Senate Energy to Look at Energy Markets – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing today to examine the near-term outlook for energy and commodity markets.

Heritage to Look at Western Lands – The Heritage Foundation holds a discussion today at Noon on rethinking Federal Management of Western Lands. Utah House Speaker Gregory H. Hughes will be the main speaker.

Forum to Look at GMOs – Cato will hold a forum tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. on GMOs and the future of the global food supply and medical innovations.  The event will feature Monsanto’s  Robert Fraley, North Carolina State’s  Jennifer Kuzma and Marian Tupy, Editor of  www.humanprogress.org.   For thousands of years, farmers used selective breeding to produce more plentiful harvests and increase the usefulness of domesticated animals. Today, genetic engineering allows businesses to do the same—but more cheaply, precisely and speedily. Unbeknownst to most people, the use of genetically modified organisms is not limited to agriculture. GMO technology is all around us, helping to produce life-enhancing products, such as synthetic insulin, and life-saving medicines, such as cancer-fighting Avastin. Still, controversy surrounding GMOs persists. Join us to hear our two distinguished speakers discuss the risks and benefits associated with GMO science.

Energy to Hold Appliance Efficiency Meeting –  DOE and its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will hold a meeting of the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

Moniz to Present Schlesinger Energy Medal – On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., Energy Secretary Moniz will present the “Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security,”  at Forrestal.  The James R. Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security honors an individual’s distinguished contributions to advancing our understanding of the threats, opportunities and energy policy choices impacting the domestic and international energy security interests of the United States through analysis, policy or practice.   The first Medal was given to Daniel Yergin on October 1, 2014, the 37th anniversary of the Energy Department’s formal opening in 1977.  Wednesday, Dr. Phil Sharp, President of Resources for the Future and former U.S. Congressman from Indiana, will receive the second Schlesinger Medal for Energy Security .

Washington Auto Show Sets Policy Bar – The Washington Auto Show also launches it policy day on Capitol Hill that will explore how technology is making our nation’s roads and vehicles safer and infrastructure smarter and transforming the way we live, work and travel featuring Michigan Sen. Gary Peters and our friend Joe White of ThomsonReuters.   Media Day will be Thursday.

Forum to Look at Climate, Food Security – The American Meteorological Society the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America will hold a briefing on climate change and food security in Russell 485 at 3:00 p.m.

Senate Energy to Look at Auto Tech innovations – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday to examine the status of innovative technologies within the automotive industry. Witnesses for Thursday include DOE’s David Friedman, AAMA’s Mitch Bainwol, Electric Drive Transportation Association President Genevieve Cullen, NREL’s Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center Director Chris Gearhart and Xavier Mosquet of the Boston Consulting Group.

USEA Hosts State of Energy Forum – The US Energy Assn will host its 12th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum on Thursday at Noon in the National Press Club.  Senior leaders from the energy industry’s major trade associations will provide their outlook and overview of their priorities for 2016.  Speakers will include NEI’s Marvin Fertel, API’s Jack Gerard, APPA’s Susan Kelly, EEI’s Tom Kuhn, AGA’s Dave McCurdy, NMA’s Hal Quinn, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, AFPM’s Chet Thompson and INGAA’s Don Santa among others.

Brookings Expert to Look at Climate Economics – Brookings Institution Climate and Energy Economics Project Director Adele Morris delivers remarks at a National Economists Club luncheon on Thursday at Noon in Chinatown Garden Restaurant.  Morris will focus on climate change economics and policy.

Forum to Look at African Energy Finance – On Thursday afternoon, the US Africa Chamber of Commerce will hold a forum on the future of energy investment in Africa. The event will explore a variety of deep-dive topics related to energy investment and development in Africa, and will host attendance from both major players in various energy markets on the continent, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) currently operating within the energy sector in Africa and the U.S. See below for the panel schedule.

Green Car Journal to Announce Winner at Auto ShowGreen Car Journal has announced finalists for the 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ and 2016 Connected Green Car of the Year™ awards that will be presented at the 2016 Washington Auto Show on Thursday . Focused on aspirational vehicles with exceptional green credentials, nominees for 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ include the BMW X5 xDrive40e, Lexus RX 450h, Mercedes-Benz C350e, Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, and Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV. Vying for the all-new 2016 Connected Green Car of the Year™ award are the Audi A3 e-tron, BMW 330e, Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Toyota Prius, and Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV.  Finalists previously announced for the 2016 Green SUV of the Year™ award that will also be presented at The Washington Auto Show® are the BMW X1 xDrive 28i, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-3 and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.  The 2016 Green Car Awards recognize vehicles that exhibit laudable environmental achievement. Along with improved environmental performance, traditional buyer touchstones like functionality, safety, quality, value, and performance are also considered. Affordability and availability are important to ensure honored models are accessible to a wide range of buyers. Honoring continual environmental improvement places emphasis on new vehicles and those in the very early stages of their model lifecycle. The Connected Green Car of the Year™ award considers these elements plus the integration of connected technologies that enhance efficiency, safety, and the driving experience.

Forum to Look at Energy, Russia Relations – The Wilson Center will hold a forum on Friday at 10:00 a.m. on how energy/environment issues impact prospects for U.S.-Russia Relations.

EPRI’s Tyrant to Address Grid Issues – On Friday at Noon at Carmines, the US Assn of Energy Economists will host Barbara Tyran of EPRI at its monthly lunch to discuss grid interconnect issues.  Tyran is the principal liaison between EPRI executive management, and Congress, the Administration, the national trade associations, the national leadership of the state public utility commissions, state legislators/regulators, and the Washington energy community.

SEJ, Wilson to Look at 2016 Enviro Issues – On Friday at 3:00 p.m., the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Environmental Change and Security Program at Wilson will hold its fourth annual “Year Ahead in Environment and Energy” event, where leading reporters and editors will discuss the critical issues that will shape 2016. Jessica Coomes, deputy news director at Bloomberg BNA, will present Bloomberg BNA’s Environment Outlook 2016, followed by a panel discussion featuring leading journalists from National Geographic, Huffington Post, Bloomberg BNA, Environment & Energy Daily, and more to be confirmed.  Speakers will Include our friends Meaghan Parker, Jeff  Burnside and Doug Fischer.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum to Look at Enviro Justice Issues in GHG Plan – Next Monday at 11:00 a.m., the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing discussing how environmental justice (EJ) is addressed through EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  The panel will explore how incorporating environmental justice concerns into the Clean Power Plan’s implementation can impact vulnerable communities.  Speakers for this forum include EPA Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Environmental Justice Mustafa Ali.

GU Group to Look at Paris Results – Georgetown’s Mortara Center for International Studies will hold a forum on next Tuesday to assess COP 21’s results.  The panel will feature GU Prof Featuring Joanna Lewis, Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center and students Norah Berk, SFS ’15 and Alexandra Donovan, SFS ’17.

Forum to Look at Paris Event – The United Nations Environment Program and the George Washington University Sustainability Collaborative will host an event on Wednesday January 27th that will highlight key achievements of 2015: the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the outcomes of the recent Paris climate conference.  The event will provide an overview of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and what they mean for the public and private sectors with a particular focus on implementation of the environmental dimension. It will also highlight the SDGs regarding sustainable cities, sustainable consumption and production, and climate change and their relevance for North America.

Nuclear Summit Set for Newseum – Third Way and the Idaho National Laboratory are partnering with Argonne National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to host a first-of-its-kind Advanced Nuclear Summit and Showcase in Washington, Dc on Wednesday January 27th at the Newseum.  In North America, 48 companies, backed by more than $1.6 billion in private capital, are developing plans for advanced nuclear reactors. The influx of ideas and investment into the advanced nuclear industry has made it a burgeoning part of the clean energy sector. The Advanced Nuclear Summit and Showcase builds upon the conversations sparked by the White House Summit on Nuclear Energy and the Nuclear Innovation Workshops sponsored by the Idaho National Laboratory.   Along with national policymakers and influencers, the Summit will establish that there is a robust advanced nuclear sector being developed by private companies and research institutions, and that government has a vital role to play in bringing the promise of the sector to reality.

CSIS to Look at GHG plan – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a discussion on the future of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) in 2016. The expert panel will provide an overview of the state, federal and court level activity and planning that is likely to take place throughout the upcoming year.  John Larsen, Director with the Rhodium Group and Senior Associate with the Energy and National Security Program at CSIS, will highlight recent analysis from the CSIS-Rhodium Group study regarding emissions impacts and preview forthcoming work on energy sector impacts of the rule. Kathryn Zyla, Deputy Director with the Georgetown Climate Center, will give an overview of the approaches being considered by various states and the issues that matter most to their decision making. Kyle Danish, Partner with VanNess Feldman LLP, will discuss legal challenges to the CPP and the likely timeframe and pathways for resolving those challenges. Emily Holden, ClimateWire Reporter with E&E Publishing, will provide additional perspective on the various state, regional, and congressional issues that are important to watch this year.

ELI Book Forum to Tackle Coal Grandfather Issue – On Wednesday, January 27th at Noon, the Environmental Law Institute will host a book forum to anti-coal lawyer Richard Revesz.  In their forthcoming book, “Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the ‘War on Coal’”, Revesz and Jack Lienke detail the history of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the political compromises that led to exempting existing power plants, many of which are coal-fired, from significant portions of the CAA’s regulatory authority. ELI will feature an expert panel with Revesz, Lienke,, Bill Bumpers, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, and former EPA Air Administrator Bill Rosenberg as they discuss the environmental implications of the Clean Power Plan and the ramifications of grandfathering. Hear Professor Revesz and other experts in the field discuss to what degree the Clean Power Plan really reduces pollution, and the interaction between grandfathering and pollution reduction

RFF to Look at FIP, Trading on GHG Plan – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Wednesday, January 27th at 12:30 p.m. on the federal implementation plan and model trading rules. The comments, due January 21, 2016, give stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback on the challenges and opportunities for state implementation of the carbon dioxide emissions guidelines for power plants.  RFF will be joined by EPRI for a special seminar focusing on a diverse set of stakeholder comments on how the federal implementation plan and model trading rules might impact the electric power sector.  This is the first event in the RFF/EPRI 2016 Clean Power Plan Seminar Series. The next event, on February 11, will highlight modeling results of how the Clean Power Plan impacts various states and regions. Speakers will include NRDC’s Ben Longstreth, EPRI’s Vic Niemeyer, RFF’s Karen Palmer and AEP’s Resource Planning Managing Director Scott Weaver.

CSIS to Host Infrastructure Discussion – On Wednesday, January 27th, CSIS will hold an expert panel discussion on meeting infrastructure demands around the world. According to the World Bank’s Global Infrastructure Facility, the unmet demand for infrastructure around the world is estimated to be above $1 trillion per year. Meeting the financing need for bankable and sustainable projects must be a priority, for both governments and the private sector, in the coming decades. In addition to financing needs, donors and the private sector must work together to build capacity and provide technical assistance that will ensure continued success long after the individual projects have been completed. Panelists will discuss ways in which infrastructure can become a driver of development and stability, and how targeted investments in smart projects and capacity building can produce measurable results to pave the way for sustainable economic growth in low and middle-income countries.

Senate Energy to Explore Innovative Nuclear Technologies – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday January 28th to examine the status of innovative technologies within the nuclear industry.

Greenest Show on Grass: Waste Management Phoenix Open – February 1st through 7th, Waste Management will host its annual PGA tour event at the Phoenix Open in Arizona.  Waste Management has been a partner of the Phoenix Open for 15 years, and is dedicated to making the Open the greenest tournament on the PGA TOUR. The tournament has also become a major platform for Waste Management Think Green solutions, including the Four Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle and recover.  As a regular part of the event, WM is hosting its 6th annual Executive Sustainability Forum which provides a platform to discuss how and why the circular economy is fractured.  The event will identify collective challenges, and approaches to overcoming these challenges through collaboration along the value chain.  Speakers will include WM CEO David Steiner, our friend Dana Perino, NYT’s John Tierney  and Bloomberg View’s Adam Minter, among many others.

Sustainability Forum Set at GMU – Leaders in Energy, Association of Energy Engineers – National Capital Chapter, and George Mason University will hold an Energy and Sustainability Extravaganza on its GMU Arlington campus on February 5th.

Wind Summit to Look at Finance, Investment – Infocast is holding its annual Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit February 9-11 at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego.   Now that the PTC question has been settled, the Summit will focus on the critical issues and opportunities for the wind industry, including the impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan on Wind, long-term outlook for natural gas prices, the outlook for tax equity and debt and many other topics.

Nuclear Innovation Conference Set – The Energy Innovation Reform Project and Oak Ridge will hold a nuclear innovation conference on February 10 and 11th in Oak ridge, TN.

Energy Update: Week of March 23

Friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Energy Update: Week of March 16

Friends,

This is a busy week on a number of fronts.  First, think Green on St. Patrick’s day tomorrow, then St Joseph’s Day for us Italians (which is essential knowledge if you are selling your house), then Friday is the first day of Spring (think Green again) with the vernal equinox falling at 6:45 p.m.

But the big news today is NCAA Hoops March Madness starting tomorrow with 16-seeds Manhattan and Hampton tipping off at 6:40 and 11-seeds BYU/Mississippi live at 9:10.  16s N Florida and Robert Morris and 11s Boise State and Dayton play-in on Wednesday.  The heavy action starts Thursday just after Noon.   It looks like a great tournament with Kentucky, Wisconsin, Duke and Villanova taking the top seeds.  Each is very strong, but Kentucky seems to have an added edge going into the tournament undefeated.  Although the last team to finish undefeated was the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers led by Kent Bentson and Quinn Buckner.  Look out for Arizona who has also been strong all year.   With Justin Anderson a little rusty from his latest medical issues, I would not put a lot of gold on UVa, while North Carolina will likely have its hands full with Harvard.

Some sleeper teams to watch include 11-seed Texas, the always tough/tourney-savvy Michigan State, first-time tourney team Buffalo coached by former Duke floor general Bobby Hurley and Wyoming, who won the Mountain West and plays a controlled pace that will keep them in most games.  As you know, we at Bracewell always have experts for you and we are no different on college basketball, where our trade/campaign finance expert Josh Zive also doubles as a great resource for your NCAA pool.  I am certain that he will only take a small fee and percentage of your earnings should you need his hoops knowledge.

On the Women’s side, top seeds will be determined tonight on ESPN, but most seem to think Maryland, Connecticut, Notre Dame and Baylor, maybe South Carolina are the likely top seeds.   Everything concludes in early April with Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis and Women’s in Tampa.

The craziness translates to Congress as well with a jam-packed hearing schedule in DC – especially given that Thursday most people will be watching basketball.  I have been promised though that all action will cease just after Noon on Thursday!!!!   I’m sure the Senate Majority Leader will want to watch both Louisville and top-seeded Kentucky…but which one will he really root for???

That being said, there are several very important hearings in the House Energy & Commerce Committee this week including tomorrow’s climate legal issues hearing featuring Harvard legal eagle Laurence Tribe, who recently wrote that his protégé President Obama is wrongly using the Clean Air Act on climate issues; a legislative hearing on the bipartisan Coal Ash legislation on Wednesday and a Thursday hearing on thermal water heaters and DOE energy efficiency rules that will feature AHRI member Stephen Koep of Vaughn Thermal Corporation in Massachusetts.

Other important hearings will include a House Science Committee hearing on Ozone impacts tomorrow and the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday looking at regulations and their impacts on small businesses.  The hearing will feature a significant discussion on DOE’s slew of regulations moving forward in the next two years.  AHRI member Vicktor Anderson, of Western Michigan’s Structural Concepts Corporation will be testifying  that the new regs will severely impact his ability to retain current employees and economically produce cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration products.  Keeping the regulations theme, Senate Homeland Security/Govt Affairs will discuss overhauling the government regs’ rulemaking process featuring former OIRA head and Dean at Indiana U’s School of Environment and Public Affairs John Graham.  Senate Energy will focus on grid upgrades and security tomorrow featuring transmission experts like FL PSC/NARUC head Lisa Edgar and EPRI’s Mike Howard.  Senate Energy takes up crude exports with refiners’ Charlie Drevna and CP CEO Ryan Lance on Thursday and tomorrow state officials will be at House Transportation to discuss the highway bill and its importance to state and local officials, led by NC Gov Pat McCrory and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.  Finally, the Senate takes up Sportsmen legislation on Wednesday and our resident expert, Eric Washburn can comment (202-412-5211).

Budget hearings this week include tomorrow’s hearings featuring Ag Secretary Vilsack (where ethanol questions will likely come up), offshore’s BOEM and BSEE; National Park Service chief Jon Jarvis, and DOE subcabinet officials and science folks.  Transportation Secretary Foxx goes on Wednesday and Federal Highway, Federal Transit, NHTSA and Maritime Administration officials on testify Thursday.  FWS head Dan Ashe is tomorrow and Thursday, while DOE’s Environmental Management issues are heard on Wednesday.  Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell also goes Wednesday and NOAA’s Kathryn Sullivan will be at House Approps Wednesday and House Resources Thursday.  Probably missed a hearing or two in there so keep checking.

If you can pull yourself away from the Hill before Thursday, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visits CSIS tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., WCEE holds a forum on Wednesday at the National Grange looking at energy storage and Thursday morning, The Energy Times will hold an executive energy briefing focused on utilities and how they are changing featuring PSE&G CEO Ralph Izzo and NH Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, among other.

Finally, I noticed again this morning that The Analysis Group, headed by Sue Tierney, seem to be the only folks  that think the EPA Clean Power Rule will be no problem for grid operators like PJM, who have expressed serious concerns about reliability.  I’m sure Jeff Holmstead and Scott Segal would be happy to offer thoughts regarding the topic.

Clear the decks for Thursday and Friday and get those NCAA pools in to your administrator soon…Call with questions.

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-586
(202) 997-5932

IN THE NEWS

Wash Post Fact Checker on Climate Taken to TaskThe Washington Post Fact Check is usually a pretty reasonable place to check the verity of the back and forth in the policy, political or advertising battles.  On Friday, it published a piece last on what they called Sen. Inhofe’s “Misleading Statements on Carbon Emission Rule.”  WPFC took Inhofe’s comment: “EPA also intends to pursue a legislative proposal for an additional $4 billion in mandatory spending for EPA to enforce its climate change regulations … which 32 states oppose and will result in double-digit electricity price increases in 43 states” and applied its scrutiny.  Unfortunately, while claiming to not take a position on the Clean Power Plan, the WPFC in fact advocated several positions in favor of the CPP, hyperlinked to an NRDC site supporting it and didn’t make a similar link to the widespread available links that oppose the plan.  As well, WPFC downplayed state opposition by claiming not all the states really oppose the rules because they have some agencies considering how to implement them.  Of course, that assumption is suspect given the that regulators will always consider what has to be done to comply.  The fact is, the 32-state figure IS as dramatic as it sounds.

ACCCE Fires Back – The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) pushed back on the WPFC saying they conducted analysis showing widespread opposition from state officials to the EPA proposal. ACCCE also commissioned a detailed economic analysis of the CPP by NERA Economic Consulting (NERA).  Both analyses have been cited in Congressional hearings and were referenced in the WPFC piece.  The article disputed ACCCE’s analysis of state opposition to the EPA proposal, as well as NERA’s economic analysis. However, the Fact Checker did not check any facts with either ACCCE or NERA. The Fact Checker got facts wrong in the article and omitted other important facts. Applying the Fact Checker’s own criteria to the article, ACCCE says the article deserves at least three Pinocchios for “significant factual errors,” as well as bias.  See the full Fact Check Response here.

Drones Moving into Energy Space – The rage over drones are not just for weddings or the White House lawn.  The energy industry is also recognizing the economic and safety benefits of deploying unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or “drones” for tasks such as pipeline surveys, pipeline inspections or even tracking ice and aquatic life movement prior to drilling offshore.  Taking it further, FAA recently released  a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking focused on the Operation and Certification of Small UAS, which my colleague Mike Weller has discussed in a recent blog.  The FAA is accepting comments on its proposal through April 24, 2015 and in the meantime continues to process case-by-cases requests for authorization under exemptions, which Mike has discussed in another recent blog here.  The blogs are on the record if you are covering this issue.  Should you have questions, you can also talk to Weller at 202-828-5812 or Mike.Weller@bgllp.com

Fallout from RFS Reform Splash Last Week – At the ABLC annual forum last Wednesday, Advance Biofuels head Mike McAdams made a giant splash when he declared that the current dysfunctional RFS program needed fixing.  The comments were the first breech of the ethanol side and the starch ethanol gang respond with volumes of fire and vitriol.  Of course, they only people who are trying to maintain the current program as it clearly is not working.  With a lot expected on this issue this summer, I thought I would forward the text of McAdams speech which make some strong points about the need for RFS reform.  Whatever happens, expect this to be a major fight.

Durbin Introduces Innovation Legislation – Sen. Dick Durbin introduced legislation today that would lift federal budget caps to increase funding for basic scientific research.  Durbin cited China’s outpacing the United States in such spending during the past decade as the main reason for stepping up to issue.  Five programs are targeted by Durbin’s bill: the Department of Energy Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense Science and Technology Programs, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Science Directorate and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Scientific and Technical Research.

SoCo CEO Fanning already Talking Energy Innovation – Speaking of Innovation, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning made that the centerpiece of a discussion at the Atlantic Council last week.  Fanning highlighted the company’s effort to drive energy innovation including the development of new clean coal technologies in Mississippi, new nuclear in Georgia, advanced renewables across their portfolio and the largest biomass plant operating in Texas, among a number of other initiatives.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Symposium to Look at Climate Resilience – USAID’s Global Climate Change Office will host the opening session of the Advancing Climate-Resilient Development Symposium in Washington, D.C., today through Thursday.  A host of speakers will discuss key issues during the four-day long symposium.

OMB Talks Budget at House Approps – The House Approps panel on Financial Services and General Government  will hold a hearing today at 3:00 p.m. on the budget for the Office of Management and Budget featuring OMB head Shaun Donovan.

Ashe to Look at Fish/Wildlife Budget – The House Appropriations Interior subpanel will host US FWS head Dan Ashe and budget office Chris Nolan tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.  Ashe will also appear before House Resources on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in 1334 Longworth.  Of course, our own Eric Washburn can discuss issues like Sage grouse listings that will likely be part of the discussion.

Senate Energy to Focus on Electric Grid – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow to evaluate the state of technological innovation related to the electrical grid.   Witnesses will include AEP’s Transmission’s Lisa Barton, Florida PSC Commissioner and NARUC President Lisa Edgar, EPRI CEO Michael Howard, Argonne National Laboratory Director Peter Littlewood and Jeff Taft of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

House Transpo to Look at State Impacts – House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing on the surface transportation reauthorization looking at the state and local impacts of transportation on economic growth and job creation.  The hearing will feature Gov. Pat McCrory, D-N.C., on behalf of the National Governors Association; Ralph Becker, mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, on behalf of the National League of Cities; and John Cox, director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation, on behalf of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

House Energy Panel to Look at Power Plan Legal, Cost Issues – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on legal and cost issues with EPA Clean Power Plan.   Harvard Legal Expert Laurence Tribe, who recently wrote that his protégé President Obama is wrongly using the Clean Air Act on climate issues, will testify while NYU’s Richard Revesz will counter Tribe.  Revesz responded to Tribes’s Wall Street Journal piece with one in The Hill attacking Tribe.  (publications tell you a little about their target audiences don’t they).  Hunton’s Allison Wood, Florida PSC Chair Art Graham, Maryland PSC Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman,

Ohio EPA head Craig Butler, North Carolina DENR Secretary Donald van der Vaart will also testify.

House Science Looks at Ozone Rule Issues – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on EPA’s proposed ozone standard, its impact and achievability.  Witnesses include Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Ray Keating of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Harvard Medical School’s Mary B. Rice and Eldon Heaston of the Mojave Desert and Antelope Valley AQMD.

Resources to Look at Offshore Agency Budgets – The House Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to review the missions and spending priorities of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and Office of Natural Resources Revenue.  BOEM head Abbie Hopper, BSEE head Brian Salerno and Office of Natural Resource Revenue head Greg Gould will testify.  Expect questions on the recently announced 5-year leasing/drilling plans.

Sportsmen Legislation on Tap in Senate EPW Panel – The Senate Environment’s Fisheries, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow on Sportsmen legislation to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting.  Witnesses will include Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation; Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited; and Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.  And our resident Sportsman, Eric Washburn can address all your questions (202-412-5211, eric.wasburn@bgllp.com)

Vilsack Hit Senate Approps – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Ag panel  will host USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on the proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2016 for the Agriculture Department.  Vilsack will be joined by Chief Economist Robert Johansson and Budget Officer Michael Young.  Expect some ethanol discussion here.

House Approps to Look at DOE Sub Budgets – After visiting with DOE Secretary Moniz, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will hold a budget hearing on DOE’s Applied Energy Programs with its sub cabinet officials tomorrow.  Witnesses will include Franklin Orr (Science and Energy), David Danielson (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy), Peter Lyons (Nuclear Energy), Christopher Smith (Fossil Energy) and Patricia Hoffman (Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability).   Orr and Deputy Director Pat Dehmer will also return at 1:00 p.m. to specifically discuss the DOE Science budget in further detail.

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

Jewell to Address Public Lands, Water – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., CSIS will host Interior Secretary Sally Jewell for a public address on Interior’s energy priorities for the next two years. The Department serves as a significant steward of the nation’s public lands, managing one-fifth of the landmass and 1.7 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf.

Members Launch of House Caucus on Carbon, Enhanced Oil Recovery – Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., a group of bipartisan members will launch a Congressional caucus to educate members on the energy security, economic, and environmental benefits of enhanced oil recovery using carbon dioxide. Speakers at the event in 1302 Longworth include organizers Reps. Michael Conaway, Gregg Harper and Marc Veasey, as well as Keith Bowman of Tellus Operating Group, Sasha Mackler of Summit Power, Domenico Parisi of the National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center, Bob Perciasepe of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, John Risch of SMART (formerly the United Transportation Union), and Kyle Simpson of Hogan Lovells.

Senate Moves on TCSA Legislation – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on legislation to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to reauthorize and modernize the act.  Witnesses will include EPA’s Jim Jones, EDF’s Richard Denison, March of Dimes Foundation chief medical officer Edward McCabe, GWU Milken Institute School of Public Health dean Lynn Goldman, EWG’s Ken Cook and new MD AG Brian Frosh.  Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Bonnie Lautenberg will also deliver statements.  The legislation aims to update the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 and has 7 Democrats and 9 Republicans as sponsors.

House Energy Panel to Look at Coal Ash Rule, Legislation – The House Energy & Commerce panel on Environment will hold a hearing tomorrow on Rep McKinley’s legislation “Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015.”

Foxx, Transpo Officials Hit Hill Approps – The Senate Approps panel on Transportation will host DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 562 Dirksen for a budget hearing.   Meanwhile the next day,  Federal Highway Administration acting administrator Gregory Nadeau, Federal Transit Administration acting administrator Therese McMillan, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator Mark Rosekind and U.S. Maritime Administration administrator Paul Jaenichen will testify before the House Approps Transportation panel at 10:00 a.m. in 2358-A Rayburn .

EPA Officials to Head to House Transpo – Speaking of transportation, on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will convene a hearing on the FY 2016 Budget for EPA.

House Small Biz Tackles Regulations, Impacts – The House Small Business Committee will hold a committee hearing at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday on regulatory red tape and the challenges for small manufacturers. Those testifying include AHRI member Viktor Anderson, director of engineering for Structural Concepts in Muskegon, Michigan, who will say that new regulations will severely impact his ability to retain current employees and economically produce cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration products.  Other also on the panel include Cynthia Reichard of Arylessence Inc., Janis Herschkowitz of PRL in Cornwall, Pa., representing the American Foundry Association and James Goodwin at the Center for Progressive Reform.

WCEE Forum to Look at Grid Storage – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a forum on Wednesday at the National Grange looking at energy storage.  The event will feature Katherine Hamilton, who will describe the industry players and technologies and update us on the exciting developments from the technological and policy perspective for energy storage.   Hamilton is the Policy Director of the Energy Storage Association. Katherine served as President of the GridWise Alliance, advocating for nearly $5 billion in funding for smart grid projects in the Recovery Act. Prior to that role, Katherine was a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a portfolio in clean energy technologies of nearly $6 billion.  She co-directed the American Bioenergy Association, working with the states of Maryland and New Jersey to develop renewable portfolio standards. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine led buildings research and then managed government relations in Washington, DC. Katherine spent a decade at Virginia Power, designing overhead and underground electrical systems for commercial and residential developments. Katherine studied electrical engineering at Northern Virginia Community College and holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. Katherine is part of The Energy Gang podcast through Greentech Media.

Forum, Simulation to Address Cybersecurity Risks – The 3rd Annual Information and Cyber Governance, Data Analytics and Privacy Briefing will be held at the National Press Club on Wednesday.  The program will focus on identifying, protecting and responding to  today’s growing internal and external cybersecurity risks.  SEC Deputy Director Scott Bauguess and FTC General Counsel David Shonka will headline a number of speakers.  During the conference in addition to the moderated Q and A format, the audience will participate in an exercise using a hacking simulator. It has the strategic rigor of chess and the feel of a turn-based card game.  The “Game of Threats™” allows executives to better understand the complexity and fast-paced nature of deciphering threats and crafting the proper response, highlighting the importance of making the right move at the right time to thwart the hackers. My Bracewell colleague and expert on cybersecurity Shamoil Shipchandler is a great resource on the issue.

Foxx, Shuster Head NJ Forum on Transportation – On Thursday at the Newseum, National Journal will host a forum of key stakeholders and experts for a robust discussion about the prospect of finding consensus to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure.  Speakers will include Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and House T&I Chair Bill Shuster, as well as Casey Dinges of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Standard & Poor’s Steve Dryer, BPC Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative Director Aaron Klein, ARTBA’s Pete Ruane and Frederick “Bud” Wright of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Forum to Look at Ex-Im Bank – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a reschedule forum  on the Export-Import Bank’s contribution to the U.S. economy, future directions and challenges, and ways the U.S. Congress continue to support the Bank. Since 2009, the Export-Import Bank has helped create 1.2 million private-sector jobs by financing small business exporters. Over the last five years, it has generated $2 billion more than the cost of its operations. However, the Bank is currently operating on a short term extension of its charter which expires on June 30, 2015. Given the forthcoming deadline, a conversation on the role the Bank plays in growing American jobs and its contribution to the global economy is needed to spur further support from the U.S. government.   Illinois Rep. Robert Dold will make keynote remarks, while Other speakers will include Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg, Ex-Im Advisory Committee Member Don Nelson, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia President and Former Ex-Im Vice Chair Linda Conlin and NAM’s Linda Dempsey.

House Energy Panel to Look at Water Heater Efficiency – The House Energy panel  of the Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on legislation to modify the efficiency standards for grid-enabled water heaters.  NERCA and AHRI members are expected to participate, including AHRI member Steve Koep of Vaughn in Massachusetts.

PSE&G’s Izzo, Sen. Shaheen  to Headline Energy Briefing – On Thursday morning, the Energy Times will hold an executive energy briefing focused on utilities and how they are changing. Innovators and policymakers will be speak including PSE&G CEO Ralph Izzo, NH Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, NY State PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman and NIST’s Steven Busby.

Sen Energy to Tackle Crude Exports – The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing to receive testimony on U.S. crude oil export policy on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.   Last year at this time, Murkowski offered her thoughts on crude exports at CERA Week.  Witnesses will include former State Dept official Carlos Pascual, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance, Jeff Warman of Monroe Energy and our friends Elizabeth Rosenberg of the Center for a New American Security and AFPM President Charlie Drevna.

Senate Govt Comm Look sat Rulemaking Improvements – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to explore some ways to revamp the government’s rulemaking process. The committee will hear from experts including John Graham, who led the White House regulatory review office during the George W. Bush administration, as well as Neil Eisner, senior fellow at the Administrative Conference of the United States; NAM’s Drew Greenblatt and former executive director of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Pamela Gilbert.

NCAA Games Start – 12:10 p.m. Thursday.

FUTURE EVENTS

AHRI to Host Annual DC Meeting – The Heating and Air Conditioning trade association AHRI will hold its annual Washington Conference on March 24-25th.  More on this as it comes into shape.

Forum to Look at Indigenous People, Industry – The CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a forum on Wednesday, March 25th at 10:00 a.m.  that will look at maximizing partnerships between indigenous communities and the extractive sector.  The discussion will focus on ways companies in the extractive industry engage indigenous communities in their areas of operation. Many extractive companies find themselves operating in close proximity to indigenous people and their territories. Working constructively with these communities is now a major business priority. The panelists will offer their perspectives on how both companies and indigenous communities can benefit from greater cooperation, whether through creating new education opportunities, offering extractive industry-related job training to potential indigenous employees, and by encouraging local economic growth.  The panel features Simon Boyce of the Navajo Nation, BHP Billiton’s Maria “Malala” Recart and former Canadian House of Commons Member Gary Merasty.

WSJ ECO:nomics Conference to Feature Leaders –  On March 25th to 27th, the editors of The Wall Street Journal will hold its ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, CA.  The event brings together global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts, policy makers and leading thinkers at ECO:nomics 2015 to identify and assess the most compelling opportunities — and pressing risks— emerging around the world in businesses impacted by the environment.  Through on-stage interviews with leading figures and interactive sessions with peers in diverse industries, participants at ECO:nomics 2015 will debate, discuss and get the inside story on essential issues: investing in innovation, disrupting current business models, the new meaning of sustainability and the future of the environmental movement, where energy policy is heading.  Speakers will include  Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, WV Sen. Jo e Manchin, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, coal magnate Bob Murray, former Brightsource CEO and current Google exec John Woolard, Dan Yergin, T. Boone Pickens and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute.

Marcellus Shale Meeting Set for NE PA – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold a meeting on March 26 and 27th in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Tax proposals from new PA Gov. Tom Wolf will be a significant topic of discussion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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