Energy Update: Week of Nov 6

Friends,

First off, our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in Texas as they deal with this weekend’s terrible incident.  It puts a damper on the earlier celebrations for our Houston/Texas colleagues’ World Series Game 7 victory and parade last week for the Astros in what ended up being a thrilling World Series (that makes two-in-a-row.)  And even with last week’s New York terrorist’s attack, the NYC Marathon went on without a hitch with Shalane Flanagan becoming the first American women to win in 40 years.

The tax bill has rolled out and is expected to see action this week.  We have a bunch of good “Tax Fax” in the update below, but bottom-line, my colleague Liam Donovan has ALL the bases covered and will be happy to discuss “on-“ or “off-the-record” as the action continues.  You can reach him at 202-828-5847 or liam.donovan@bracewell.com.  And, finally we have a full FERC, with final Senate approval of Rich Glick and Kevin McIntyre late Thursday and “Swearing-In” ceremonies expected this week.

The next UN climate change conference starts today (and runs through next Fri) in Bonn, Germany and there have been plenty of stories about Friday’s climate report.   While interesting and comprehensive, it really doesn’t add much more than we’ve heard before, doesn’t consider significant policy or political challenges and change that the US has been reducing emissions dramatically through market and technology advances.  Something to remember.

As for the meeting, it is a working meeting so don’t expect a big splash.  The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) industry members are sharing the progress of the rapid transformation that is occurring in the energy sector in the United States. It will also showcase how the suite of existing clean energy solutions can help take that transformation around the world, and help meet a country’s nationally-determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute and its climate expert Steve Eule participates in a side event on Wednesday sponsored by the international business community.

We starting the week off today with a ClearPath event focused on US-China Clean Energy issues at 11:30 a.m. in CVC Congressional Meeting Room North.  Given the President’s trip to China and upcoming trade issues in the news, this seems like a great time to hear some key experts, including Congressman Ryan Costello, ClearPath’s Rich Powell and Christopher Guith of Chamber’s Global Energy Institute.  Amy Harder of Axios moderates. For those unable to attend this morning’s event, there will be a livestream.  Speaking of trade, check out the WaPo editorial today urging President Trump to reject strong solar tariffs.

Tomorrow, House Energy looks at ENERGY STAR and features AHRI Chairman Chris Drew testifying.  Also, House Resources takes up broad offshore energy legislation that will attempt to define parameters for wind and oil/gas projects with a hearing tomorrow and mark up on Wednesday.

The next big nomination hearing is Wednesday for CEQ nominee Kathleen Harnett-White and EPA #2 Andy Wheeler.  I don’t even know what to say other than put your seatbelts on because of the expected turbulence.  Dems will oppose both aggressively over views on climate while ethanol Republicans Deb Fisher and Joni Ernst are smarting over Harnett’s positions on ethanol and the recent retaliatory hold on a USDA nominee they support.  House Science also discusses geoengineering.

Then on Thursday at 9:30 a.m., our friends at SAFE host a forum and release their trucking industry trend report, “Heavy-Duty Innovation: Energy, automation, and technology in the trucking sector.”  SAFE’s Jeff Gerlach, as well as a number of industry experts including the American Trucking Assn’s Bill Sullivan will discuss how the trucking industry is changing, and the regulatory measures that should be taken to enable a safer and more efficient trucking future.

Finally, our friends at AGA launched the #CookingWithGas campaign recently with Chef Fitz Tallon from Eataly Flatiron in New York. AGA is traveling around the country meeting professional chefs and talking to them about why they prefer cooking with gas.  Check out the video of Tallon talking about why he prefers #cookingwithgas.

Call with questions.  Tomorrow is Election Day in many places including Virginia and New Jersey.  Please vote…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

THIS WEEK’S LOBBY SHOP

The new episode of The Lobby Shop is live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This episode is very brief (14 minutes) and covers the House tax bill released Thursday morning.  It’s a great opportunity to subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you prefer – this episode is pretty quick and not a deep dive, but we will be doing more nitty-gritty analysis in future episodes.  Remember our  address for listeners to reach out with topic suggestions, feedback, etc. – thelobbyshop@policyres.com.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Mr. Trump clearly believes that the government should restrict Americans’ freedom to trade. But agreeing with the complainers in this case would obviously contradict his avowed motive — to support middle-class U.S. jobs.  The risks of helping a narrow slice of the industry at the expense of the rest of it simply outweigh the benefits.”

Washington Post Editorial Board on the upcoming solar tariff decision in front of President Trump.

 

“This proposal reneges on the tax reform deal that was already agreed to, and would impose a retroactive tax hike on an entire industry.  The House proposal would pull the rug out from under 100,000 U.S. wind workers and 500 American factories, including some of the fastest growing jobs in the country. We expect members of the House and Senate to oppose any proposal that fails to honor that commitment, and we will fight hard to see that wind energy continues to work for America.”

Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

 

TAX FAX

Tax Reform Rolling – House Republicans released a tax-reform bill today that would cut the corporate tax rate to 20% from 35%. The plan also includes cuts to individual tax rates and increases the standard deduction for individuals and families.  Retirement plans including 401(k)s appear to be untouched and the top tax rate for wealthy Americans would remain the same.  My colleague Liam Donovan has ALL the bases covered and will be happy to discuss “on-“ or “off-the-record.”  You can reach him at 202-828-5847 or liam.donovan@bracewell.com

Wind Has Concerns – The House tax bill raised the ire of the wind industry who said reneging on the previous deal would threaten American job growth and energy dominance. By derailing a bipartisan agreement to phase out the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), the House proposal strips away the investment certainty Congress promised wind developers just two years ago. The proposal puts at risk over $50 billion in planned investment supporting manufacturing, rural jobs and homegrown energy growth.  The wind industry worked with Congress in 2015, reaching a bipartisan agreement on tax reform that phased out the PTC over five years. Investors, taking Congress at their word, banked on stable investment policy and poured billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.

What’s the PTC Controversy? – The wind energy PTC, which allows for a tax credit for each kilowatt hour (kWh) generated, was the tool Congress created for wind developers to access capital needed to grow wind power in the U.S. This successful policy has driven domestic infrastructure investment and manufacturing, delivering U.S. jobs and driving down the costs to produce electricity. Recognizing the policy was working and success was near, Congress passed a bipartisan five-year extension and phase out of the credit in 2015, which is proceeding on an 80%-60%-40% schedule, ending after 2019.  The bill changes the terms of PTC qualification defining start of construction. Investors who put billions of dollars into factory orders and construction contracts cannot go back in time to meet the revised requirements. The House tax proposal would also terminate an inflation adjustment, cutting the value of the credit by half or more.

Navigant Study Says Roll Back Risks 50K JobsNavigant Consulting projects that maintaining stable investment policy through the five-year PTC phase out will create $85 billion in economic activity and help grow another 50,000 American jobs, including 8,000 jobs at U.S. factories, through the end of President Trump’s first term.  Boosting production of U.S. wind energy helps increase American energy independence and security. The majority of the value of an American wind farm is made-in-the USA by 102,500 workers and 500 factories across all 50 states.  View a map of every wind farm and factory in America.

CCS Says Include 45Q – A diverse, bipartisan group of carbon capture advocates today called on the Senate Finance Committee to include legislation to extend and reform the Section 45Q of the tax code to boost carbon capture in any tax plan considered by the committee.  The letter specifically calls for inclusion of the FUTURE Act, legislation introduced in July by Senators Heidi Heitkamp, Shelley Moore Capito, Sheldon Whitehouse, John Barrasso and 21 other Senators from both parties, in the Senate Finance Committee Chairman’s Mark.  The letter was signed by companies, labor unions, NGOs and other advocates including Occidental, Peabody Energy, Utility Workers Union of America, IBEW, NRECA, Clean Air Task Force, C2ES, ClearPath and many others.

Orphans are Included – The “orphan” tax credits – credits left out of the 2015 wind/solar PTC deal – were also in the tax bill, mirroring language found in Rep. Tom Reed’s H.R. 1090, which extends the residential and commercial tax credits until January 1, 2022 for geothermal heat pumps, fuel cells, microturbines, small wind and combined heat and power. The residential income tax credit would be retroactive back to January 1, 2017 at 30% and continue at that level until 2020 when it would drop to 26% and then at 22% for 2021 and end December 31, 2021. The 10% commercial investment tax credit would be extended until January 1, 2022 and change the language for placed in service to “property the construction of which begins before January 1, 2022.” Thousands of jobs among geothermal and other “orphaned” clean energy industries are in jeopardy and GHP manufacturers alone saw a sales decline significantly this past year.

Advanced Nuclear Credit Included In Tax Reform – The tax reform plan also includes a modification to the 45J tax credit for production from advanced nuclear power facilities that is vital to the expansion of the U.S. fleet. It at least largely mirrors a bipartisan bill from Reps. Tom Rice and Earl Blumenauer lawmakers approved by voice vote in June modifying the credit to allow more time for the nation’s new reactors under construction to utilize the credit and allow transferability of the credit to other partners of the utilities.

A GOOD READ on Winners, Losers – Energy Winners, Losers in House Tax Plan: WASHINGTON EXAMINER

IN THE NEWS

BCSE to Release Priorities Paper at COP23 – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy released a policy paper today that outlines its COP 23 priorities as the meeting launches in Bonn.   The Council released the final version of the BCSE COP 23 policy position paper, Powering Ambition at COP 23. The BCSE at COP 23 website is also live: www.bcse.org/cop23.  This page will include all of BCSE events, public statements, delegation information and case studies of clean energy in action.

Vistra Head on CNBC’s Mad Money – Last Week, we mentioned the Vistra-Dynegy merger and later in the week on CNBC’s Mad Money, Curt Morgan discussed the deal with Jim Cramer, who called the deal a “game-changer.”  Morgan highlighted the national focus and diverse fuel mix that the new company will have and said it will be strong in both low and high gas price environments.

Chamber Highlights Efforts to Restore Power After Hurricanes – Speaking of videos, the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute released a series of videos last week looking at during and after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, everyday Americans assumed the role of first responders as their family and friends faced sheets of rain, catastrophic flooding and destructive winds. In its new video series titled “Energy Strong” GEI highlights the many ways America’s energy industry stepped up and responded.

GA Lawmakers Urge Nuclear Tax Credits – Georgia lawmakers are asking for an extension on tax credits for the Vogtle nuclear plant expansion project.  All but two members of the state’s House delegation sent a letter to the head of the House Ways and Means Committee last week.

They want the tax plan to include a measure that would lift the 2020 expiration date on a tax credit for new nuclear energy production. Two reactors at Vogtle now under construction won’t be up and running until after that deadline.

Biotech Company to Protect Palm Trees, Dates – ISCA Tech and the University of California-Riverside scientists will work to develop environmentally-friendly pest controls to save California’s iconic palm trees and protect the date palm industry from the invasive South American palm weevil. With a new grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR).  FFAR is a nonprofit established in the 2014 Farm Bill with bipartisan congressional support, today awarded $150,000 to fund research to combat this emerging pest. The FFAR grant is being matched by funds from UCR, ISCA, California Date Commission, and the Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association, for a total $300,000 investment in addressing this pest.  The South American palm weevil first spread from Mexico’s Tijuana area into San Diego County in 2011, where it is now killing Canary Island date palm trees. Surveys also have detected the weevil in California’s Imperial County, as well as in the Yuma, Ariz., and Alamo, Texas counties.  At risk are several palm species, including commercial date trees that contribute about $89 million a year to California’s and Arizona’s economies. Other at-risk palms include Canary Islands date, coconut, African oil, sago and California fan palms. The national market for landscape, decorative and potted palm trees is valued at more than $280 million a year.

IAEA Head Says Speed Up Nuke Projects – The global nuclear power industry needs to accelerate growth to satisfy the world’s energy demands and contribute to climate change goals, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano told the International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century. “More use of nuclear power will be needed to provide the steady supply of baseload electricity to power modern economies if countries are to meet the goals for greenhouse gas emissions which they set for themselves in the Paris Agreement,” he said

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Climate Change Meeting Set for Bonn – The next UN climate change conference is scheduled to be held starting today and run through November 17th in Bonn, Germany, which is home to the climate change secretariat and 18 other UN agencies that will be hosting the conference.  Presided over by the government of Fiji, COP 23 is slated to be a “working COP”, as negotiators continue to develop the Paris rulebook—the rules and working processes that will underpin the Paris Agreement’s implementation. With respect to the rulebook, no major decisions are expected to be made before 2018. The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will lead a delegation of its industry members to COP 23.  The Council will participate in COP 23 to share the progress of the rapid transformation that is occurring in the energy sector in the United States. It will also seek to showcase how the suite of existing clean energy solutions can help take that transformation around the world, and help meet a country’s nationally-determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute and its climate expert Steve Eule participates in a side event on Wednesday sponsored by the international business community.

Forum to Look at Energy Trends –The German Marshall Fund of the United States hold a conference today that will examine energy trends through three different lenses. The first session will examine the recent efforts, supported by the U.S. and the EU, to reform energy sectors in Black Sea states, notably but not exclusively in Ukraine and Georgia. Second, a panel of experts will discuss the ever-shifting energy politics of the broader Eurasia region, from Central Asia to the Black Sea and beyond. Finally, the conference will feature keynote remarks by Ambassador Mary Warlick, Acting Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Bureau of Energy Resources.

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

Fuel Cell Expo Set – The Fuel Cell Seminar and Energy Expo will be held tomorrow through Thursday in Long Beach, CA.  Hear from top names in industry and government, including Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh; NASEO Executive Director Dave Terry; California Energy Commissioner Janea Scott; NCSL Energy Director Glen Anderson; Division Chief, CARB Annette Hebert and more.  There will be more than 180 Technical Sessions and more than 40 Posters on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons by our industry’s top researchers, scientists, and speakers.  Session tracks will cover a wide-range of topics including international, state, regional hydrogen infrastructure plans, technology advances, transportation deployment, hydrogen generation and energy storage.

House Energy Panel to Look at ENERGY STAR – The House Energy Committee will look at ENERGY STAR and other efficiency programs tomorrow.  Expects experts from enviro groups, AHRI and other sustainability groups to weigh in.  AHRI Chairman Chris Drew will say there is a strong industry preference to retain both the product program and the buildings programs at EPA and that the program needs adequate funding preserved, among other items.  Others testifying include ASE’s Kateri Callahan, Doug Johnson of the Consumer Tech Association, AHAM’s Joe McGuire and Greg Merritt of Cree.

GU Presenter to Discuss China, Wind – Georgetown’s Mortara Center for International Studies will present at this Energy and Climate Policy Research Seminar tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. with Julia Kirch Kirkegaard, a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford Business School. She has studied the role of global innovation networks in China’s wind turbine industry, the case of Chinese industrial upgrading within the green energy sector, the societal acceptability of wind power (in Denmark and China), and contestations over expertise and science communication. In her research at Stanford, she is investigating the role of expertise and experts in the emergence of R&D and innovation networks.

House Resources Looks OCS Drilling Draft – The House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on Outer Continental Shelf Discussion Draft.  The draft legislation aims to distribute revenues from oil and gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf to certain coastal States, to require sale of approved and scheduled offshore oil and gas leases, to establish offshore wind lease sale requirements, and to empower States to manage the development and production of oil and gas on available Federal lands.  Witnesses will include Ray Brady of the Argonne National Lab, North Dakota Industrial Commission Director Lynn Helms, David Holt of the Consumer Energy Alliance and the Tulane Energy Institute’s Eric Smith.  Mark up will follow on tomorrow and Wednesday.

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

NEI’s Korsnick Headlines Stimson Forum – The Stimson Center hosts a forum tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. on re-energizing nuclear security.  Nuclear security is out of the spotlight since the end of the Nuclear Security Summit series. This forum will look at the future of nuclear development and how can industry, civil society, and international organizations facilitate the outstanding Security Summit commitments.  This event is an on-the-record discussion of trends in the nuclear industry and security and marks the official launch of a new Stimson publication: “Re-energizing Nuclear Security: Trends and Potential Collaborations Post Security Summits.”  Panelists include NEI CEO Maria Korsnick, Canadian Nuclear Association CEO John Barrett and Frank Saunders, Vice President of Nuclear Oversight and Regulatory Affairs at Bruce Power.

Wheeler, Harnett-White Set to Go to Senate Environment – Senate Environment will hold a confirmation hearing on Wednesday for Kathleen Hartnett White’s nomination to run the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  It will also address the confirmation of Andy Wheeler to serve as EPA deputy administrator at the same time.

House Science Looks at GeoEngineering – The House Science Committee’s Energy Subcommittee and Environment Subcommittee hold a joint hearing on geoengineering innovation, research and technology. discussion draft legislation to “Overhaul Federal Lands Energy Policy” to distribute revenues from oil and gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf to certain coastal States, to require sale of approved and scheduled offshore oil and gas leases, to establish offshore wind lease sale requirements, and to empower States to manage the development and production of oil and gas on available Federal land, and for other purposes. Witnesses include Phil Rasch of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Joseph Majkut of the Niskanen Center, Cornell’s Douglas MacMartin, and Kelly Wanser of the University of Washington.

ITC to Look at Biodiesel Tariffs – The U.S. International Trade Commission holds a hearing Thursday at 9:30 a.m. on the final phase of countervailing duty and anti-dumping duty investigations regarding biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia.

SAFE Forum to Highlight Release of Trucking Report – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at The Loft at 600 F, Securing America’s Future Energy hosts a forum and releases its trucking industry trend report, “Heavy-Duty Innovation: Energy, automation, and technology in the trucking sector.”  The trucking sector is a backbone of the American economy. 70% of the nation’s freight, representing more than $725 billion in annual revenue, are moved by the trucking industry. Freight levels are forecast to grow more than 40% by 2045, and energy and oil use are set to rise by 20% in the next 25 years.  New technologies offer an opportunity to dramatically improve the safety and efficiency of the trucking sector. Connectivity and platooning, advanced driver assistance systems, and design modifications are already creating opportunities to save lives and fuel while reducing costs, but regulatory changes are necessary to enable the industry and American economy to benefit.  SAFE’s Jeff Gerlach, as well as a number of industry experts including the American Trucking Assn’s Bill Sullivan will discuss how the trucking industry is changing, and the regulatory measures that should be taken to enable a safer and more efficient trucking future.

Chatterjee Hits Platts Presser – S&P Global Platts hosts its Energy Podium forum on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. with FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee.  Chatterjee will discuss a broad range of issues facing the Commission with Platts reporters and other press.

CSIS to Host Africa Power Panel – CSIS hosts a public panel discussion Thursday looking at the lessons that can be learned from Power Africa.  The Obama Administration’s Power Africa Initiative was arguably one of the more intriguing innovations in development in recent years. Described as an initiative that brings “together technical and legal experts, the private sector, and governments from around the world to work in partnership to increase the number of people with access to power”, Power Africa has been an attempt to work more effectively between various government agencies. It also operated under the assumption that Africa presented both development challenges and business opportunities for American workers and companies. Following the welcome remarks from Daniel F. Runde, and the opening remarks from Jennifer G. Cooke, our expert panelists will assess Power Africa’s progress and look for opportunities to scale and replicate the initiative to other sectors and geographies.

GW to Hold Book Launches, Panels – George Washington University holds two book Launches on Thursday.  At Noon, authors will discuss their findings and conclusions on energy security debates in China, India, Japan, Russia and the political economy and transit security of the region. Then at 5:00 p.m., the Brazil Initiative and the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy hold a book launch and guest lecture by Dr. Sergio Salles, with Dr. Nicholas Vonortas as discussant on bioethanol evolution, risks and uncertainties.

IN THE FUTURE

NARUC Annual Meeting to Dig Into Issues – Next week, the National Assn of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) will hold its 129th annual meeting at the Hilton Baltimore and will feature panels on energy policy, telecommunications, and other utility topics are issues at the forefront of trade and mainstream news. The event will feature stakeholders, informed experts, representatives from industry, federal policymakers, and dedicated state regulators for robust, timely discussions.  Key speakers include Montana PUC Commissioner Travis Kavulla, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, former Commissioners Marc Spitzer and Tony Clark, DOE’s Travis Fisher and many others.

Solar Trade Breakfast at NARUC – The Solar Energy Industries Association and Cypress Creek Renewables holds a breakfast panel discussion next Monday morning on the Solar Section 201 trade petition on imported solar components.  The event discussed the effect of the ITC ruling on the $23 billion U.S. solar industry, which employs 260,000 American workers in good-paying jobs including manufacturers, is unmistakable. It would decimate one of the least expensive energy sources in America by doubling the price of solar panels in the U.S., thereby crippling demand, diminishing local investment and costing up to 88,000 jobs across the country.   The panel includes GA PSC Chair Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, utility representatives and exec and developers working with rural cooperatives.

Forum to Look at CAFE, High Octane Fuels – Next Monday, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing in 106 Dirksen examining how high-octane, low-carbon fuel can enable CAFE compliance. Research suggests that high-octane, low-carbon fuel is the lowest-cost compliance option for both consumers and the automotive industry.  Speakers for this forum are NREL’s Robert McCormick, Oak Ridge National Lab’s Brian West, Dean Drake of the Defour Group and Andrew Varcoe of Boyden Gray & Associates.  Higher-octane, low-carbon fuels enable greater engine efficiencies, thereby lowering GHG and toxic emissions and improving fuel economy. Automotive engineers have expressed interest in raising the octane level of gasoline, which would enable the design and sale of these more efficient engines, but the administration must act to enable a viable pathway for these fuels to enter the marketplace.

USEA Forum to Discuss CURC Study – Next Monday at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Association and the Carbon Utilization Research Council (CURC) hold a forum on CURC’s recent CCS study analyzing options to overcome barriers to large-pilot projects for power plants equipped with CCS.  The purpose of the report was to study innovative options for governments and industry to fund projects that test coal-based power generation and carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies at the large-pilot scale. The panel discussion will provide an overview of the key findings of the report and an illustration of current case study examples of international collaboration by industry stakeholders and governments.  Panelists include CURC’s Shannon Angielski, DOE’s John Litynski, Frank Morton of the National Carbon Capture Center, Chris Romans of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America and Don Stevenson of the Gas Technology Institute.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil – Next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and Global Energy Center holds a timely conversation on Venezuela’s declining oil industry, the increasing presence of Russia and China in the country, and what lies ahead. Keynote remarks will be offered by House Energy & Commerce member Jeff Duncan.

JHU to Discuss Nuclear – The Johns Hopkins University holds a forum on Tuesday November 14th at 5:00 p.m. looking at the status and prospects for U.S. Nuclear Power. Westinghouse, a leader in the industry, entered bankruptcy and two reactors that were under construction in South Carolina have been abandoned because of cost overruns. The US still has not solved the problem of long term storage of high level nuclear waste. An interesting possibility for the future is the development of advanced nuclear reactors that would be smaller, safer and cheaper to build. These and other issues will be discussed by speaker, NEI’s Matthew Crozat.

Forum to Look at Energy – On Wednesday Morning, Roll Call will host a forum on energy called Energy Decoded at the Newseum. Roll Call Live, in partnership with CQ News hosts a packed morning of expert analysis and bipartisan discussion to examine the many questions that energy stakeholders and policymakers will face in the new administration.   Topics will include the future of climate policy, energy tax reform, coal and domestic oil production and renewable energy initiatives.  Speakers will include FERC Chair Neal Chatterjee, Sen. Joe Manchin and our friend Jeanette Pablo, among others.

ITIF to Look at ARPA-E – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) holds a discussion on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at ARPA-E’s versatile role in clean energy innovation featuring a new study on the topic.  Authors David Hart and Michael Kearney, along with an expert panel of energy innovators and thought leaders discuss.

WRI to Discuss Powering Cities – On Wednesday, November 15th at Noon, the World Resources Institute hosts Michael Westphal to present his paper on energy access – another chapter of the World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City. Millions of residents in some of the fastest growing cities in the world don’t have access to clean, reliable energy, and the challenge of reaching them is not getting easier. In 2012, only 58 percent of the urban population had access to electricity in low-income countries, and nearly 500 million urban residents worldwide used dirty and harmful cooking fuels like charcoal and wood.

Forum on European Gas Projects Set – On Wednesday afternoon November 15th, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts the Jamestown conference on “Nord Stream and European Energy Security.” It will provide a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the Russian objectives, European responses, and American policies related to this large project.

Forum to Discuss Brazil Oil, Gas – The Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute hosts a forum on Thursday November 16th at 10:00 a.m. looking T pre-salt auctions in Brazil’s oil and gas industry.  The Director-General of ANP, Decio Fabrício Oddone da Costa, will discuss the objectives of Brazil’s new regulatory framework for the oil & gas policy.

Webinar to Look at EVs – National Journal holds webinar on Thursday November 16th at 11:00 a.m. on the rise of electric vehicles.  The webinar will examine the industry’s history, development and future, and address the major players and policymakers and what policies have fostered the industry’s growth so far, and which state and federal actions could help—or hinder—its development.  It will also look at how the Trump administration’s deregulatory drive impact the development of EVs in the US, as well as the feasibility of the ambitious goals laid out by countries like France and India.

Clark to Headline USAEE Lunch – On Friday, November 17th, the NCAC of the US Assn of Energy Economists host its November lunch with former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark at Chinatown Gardens.  Clark will discuss the forces that are shaping electricity markets today, with an emphasis on the implications of the regulatory crossroads of federal jurisdiction and state public policy choices.

USTR Comment Deadline on Solar Trade Case – November 20th

THANKSGIVING – November 26th

EPA to Hold CPP Public Hearing in WV – EPA will hold a public hearing regarding the withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan in West Virginia on Nov. 28th and 29th.  EPA said it will convene two daylong sessions at the state capitol in Charleston. The agency said it “may also hold an additional hearing to be announced at a later date.”  EPA also extended the comment period on the proposal to Jan. 16, 2018.

CCS Report to be Released – The Global CCS Institute will release its annual Global Status of CCS: 2017 report launch on November 28th, 2017. This year, the Institute is partnering with one of the top think tanks in the city, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to promote and discuss the release of the Institute’s signature report, the globally recognized annual guide to the current progress and prospects for carbon capture and storage.

NYT to host Climate Summit – On November 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Metreon, The New York Times will hold ClimateTECH, a groundbreaking summit that brings together influential leaders from key industries to assess bold, cutting-edge technologies that could help keep global warming below the two-degree threshold.  Hosted by top Times journalists, ClimateTECH’s focus on innovation will also encompass the dramatic changes downstream (in finance, policy, consumer behavior, infrastructure) that are vital for these new technologies to gain adoption and succeed.  The program will feature on-stage interviews with celebrated entrepreneurs and inventors along with policy makers, economists and subject-matter experts. Designed for an audience of decision-makers, ClimateTECH will also include an early-stage technology showcase of the newest innovations, along with other experiential activities.  The Speaker list is long, but it includes California Gov. Jerry Brown, Statoil’s Irene Rummelhoff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tom Steyer and many others.

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

 

Energy Update: Week of May 18

Friends,

 

Did you notice that every day last week was actually a palindrome if you used the numerical date (i.e. 5/15/15)? As the dad of a palindrome daughter (Hannah), I pay attention to those kinds of things.

 

Mid-May means that college graduation season launches in full force this weekend and with next weekend’s Memorial Day, it is also US Naval Academy Commissioning Week down in Annapolis.  It is a great week where we honor the young leaders who have worked so hard to make it through the Naval Academy.  It also sports a great Blue Angels show on Wednesday.

 

Not to be outdone, mid-May in Baltimore also means Preakness and Saturday, American Pharoah splashed through a muddy track to win the wreath of Black-eyed Susans going away.  This is the 14th time since 1978 that we’ve had a horse win the first two jewels of the Triple Crown.  More details and history on this as we get ready for the Belmont in just under 3 weeks.

 

Of course, I mentioned Memorial Day and that brings the unofficial beginning of summer, often moving the Nation’s Capital to the shores of Delaware – at least on weekends.  We are kicking off the weekend in California where Adam is trying out for the Boys U15 US National Field Hockey team.  Can’t wait to grab an In ‘N Out Burger every day!!!   But it unfortunately means we will miss the NCAA lax championships this weekend.  On the men’s side at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly, Notre Dame will battle Denver while Maryland and Johns Hopkins both scored upsets to lock an all-Maryland, All-Big 10 matchup in the other semi.  On the women’s side, the top four seeds rolled into the final four with #1 Maryland getting #4 Syracuse and #2 North Carolina taking on #3 Duke at PPL Park in Philly.

 

Last night’s Billboard Awards ceremony was a smash for Taylor Swift as she surpassed Garth Brooks as the most decorated Billboard artist of all time.  Although the show ended on a ridiculous note with Kanye West’s performance.  It felt like I was watching on a bad Internet connection that kept freezing up as the screeners dubbed out so much of the (apparently vulgar) performance.   The Billboard awards also reminded me that 5 years ago Saturday, metal legend Ronnie James Dio passed away.   Dio’s career spanned over 50 and his legacy lives in his Stand Up & Shout Cancer Fund is dedicated to support research and education that furthers early detection, prevention and treatment of prostate, colon and stomach cancers.

 

With the run up to Memorial Day, the Congress has packed the week with action – especially Tuesday when House Energy will host a reliability hearing with Southern Co CEO Tom Fanning and NERC head Gerry Cauley, among others.  Other hearings tomorrow include House Resources looking at the Sage Grouse listing issues, Senate Energy tackling energy supply legislation, Senate Enviro and Senate Small Biz looking at WOTUS and Senate Approps marking up Energy/Water Funding.  On Wednesday, Senate Environment should see fireworks when it looks at EPA science advisory panels and House Resources will energy security corridors and electric reliability in separate hearings.  Finally, Thursday, Secretary Moniz returns to the House Energy Committee to discuss the DOE’s QER.

 

Off the hill, CSIS hosts a roundtable discussion on recent oil market developments on Wednesday and the US Energy Assn hold a discussion on Thursday with EIA on its Energy Outlook.

 

Out of DC this week, AWEA holds its annual massive confab WINDPOWER – this year in Orlando – starting today.  Speakers include Energy Secretary Moniz tomorrow as well as IKEA President Doug Greenholz.   The event is the U.S. wind industry’s biggest event all year with thousands of industry workers, company leaders, decision-makers, and over 400 exhibiting companies gathering for four days of high-level discussion and cutting-edge technology demonstrations.

 

Finally, it was my little girl Olivia’s 12th birthday on Saturday.  In addition to her winning her county lacrosse championship and celebrating with a sleepover, it also was a reminder for me that I’ve spent 12 years here at Bracewell as Olivia was born on my first day on the job in 2003.  It was been a fast but fun 12 years and I look forward to keeping it going…

 

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend and feel free to call with questions.

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

FERC Commissioners Offers Suggestions to EPA On GHG Rules – FERC’s five commissioners sent several suggestions to EPA on Friday to address reliability concerns related to the Administration’s GHG rules.  The letter captures the recommendations and analysis from the series of technical conferences FERC held earlier around the country.  Among the suggestions, FERC recommends EPA include a “reliability safety valve” to resolve potential conflicts between complying with EPA’s rule and FERC standards as well as giving FERC more oversight to monitor reliability issues as states submit compliance plans.   Finally, the commissioners said that with any threats to reliability, EPA should have a process by which FERC or the North American Electric Reliability Corp. would review state plans to look any concerns.

 

SAFE Releases Energy Security Facts – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released its Energy Security Fact Pack for Q1 2015. This edition explores the effects of lower oil prices on American consumers, whose spending on gasoline this year could fall by approximately 30% versus 2014. The good news though should be welcomed with caution, as global oil market price volatility has returned to levels not seen since 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis. The first quarter of 2015 marked the first significant consumer response to lower gasoline prices, as increases in the average fuel economy rating of new light-duty vehicles weakened and light-duty trucks increased market share in first-quarter sales figures. U.S. demand for petroleum fuels has in fact been growing steadily since 2013, though it still remains 8 percent below its pre-recession peak. In addition, Americans are driving more, with total vehicle miles traveled growing by 280 million miles year-over-year in Q1, the largest increase since 2000. On the international stage, while global oil supply outages increased only incrementally quarter-over-quarter, geopolitical tensions in and around oil-producing countries continue to threaten oil supplies and transit chokepoints. This includes the proxy war in Yemen between Saudi Arabia and Iran, plus conflict in Iraq, both of which continue to dominate headlines. The Fact Pack also contains new data on electric vehicle market penetration and sales, refueling infrastructure, and broader trends in light-duty vehicle fuel economy. Sales of plug-in electric vehicles in Q1 were essentially the same year-over-year. Nevertheless, automotive manufacturers continue to announce plans to deliver more plug-in electric vehicle models to consumers.  Visit SAFE’s website to download the Q1 2015 Energy Security Fact Pact in its entirety.

 

Report Says Crude Exports Would Help Flexibility, Resiliency – The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Energy, Economics, and Security (EES) Program has released a new report, Crude Oil Export & U.S. National Security. The report’s authors, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Senior Fellow and Director of the CNAS EES Program; David Gordon, a CNAS Adjunct Senior Fellow; and Ellie Maruyama, an EES Research Associate, make the case that lifting the U.S. ban on exporting crude oil would “help make U.S. energy producers more nimble and the economy more resilient, while at the same time strengthening Washington’s influence and leverage around the world.”

 

Germany Rolling Back Climate Regs Amid Concerns over Economy – Germany, often cited by our friends in the environmental community as a bastion of clean energy, is apparently is not going to be as tough on their coal-fired power plants.   According to an economy ministry document cited by Reuters, Germany is weakening regulations for power plant greenhouse gas emissions that were expected to close numerous coal-fired plants.  Following massive protest and concerns raised by German utilities, the economy ministry is now planning to require coal plant operators to reduce their emissions by 16 million metric tons by 2020, compared with the previous coal of 22 million metric tons.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

US, China Renewable Energy Industry Forum Set for Early June – While it was mentioned as happening last week in this update, ACORE will actually host the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industry Forum in early June.  The forum will convene private and public sector leaders from the U.S. and Chinese renewable energy industries on project financing and cross-border investment.

 

Moniz, KEA President Launch WINDPOWER – Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will speak at WINDPOWER – the U.S. wind industry’s largest event all year. This will be the first time ever that the head of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) attends the annual conference and exhibition, which will be held this year in Orlando, FL today through Friday.  Moniz will speak during the Welcome & Opening General Session tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. He is expected to discuss Wind Vision, the DOE’s definitive new report that shows how wind energy can create ample economic, environmental and health benefits and continue to provide key contributions to the nation’s energy portfolio. He will also explore advancements in wind turbine technology that could open up economic wind opportunities in many parts of the country.  Doug Greenholz, President of IKEA also will be speaking. Greenholz manages IKEA’s 40 existing stores and support units in the U.S. He is expected to talk about IKEA’s investment in U.S. wind farms and wind energy across the globe. IKEA announced late last year the purchase of a 165-megawatt Texas wind farm, the single largest renewable energy investment made by the company ever.

 

Forum to Look at Nuclear – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) will hold a Capitol Hill briefing today at Noon in B-339 Rayburn on the role of nuclear power in Energy Reliability.  Speakers will include Exelon’s David Brown and Andrew Paterson of the Environmental Business International.

 

WCEE Forum to Look at Latin, Caribbean Energy Issues – Today at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Brown Bag luncheon at Louis Berger focused on energy issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.  The Inter-American Development Bank experts Natacha Marzolf and Gerard Alleng will speak.  Marzoff will provide an overview of the current energy situation, policy challenges and country risks in Latin America and the Caribbean, while Alleng discusses the potential hazards threatening Trinidad & Tobago due to climate change and the economic costs and benefits of mitigation.

 

STEM4US! Honors 2015 Energy Innovation – STEM4US! will join with energy, tech, and education sectors tonight to salute to Congressmen Bobby Rush, Ed Whitfield, Bill Johnson — the sponsors of the 21st Century Energy Workforce Development Jobs Initiative Act of 2014.  This event follows the STEM & Innovation Congressional Welcoming Reception, which STEM4US! co-hosted at the start of this Congress with some of the top education and innovation leaders in the nation and region including the United Negro College Fund, Edison Electric Institute, Pepco, and Duke Energy.  Sponsored by Speaker Boehner in the US Capitol, the event drew around 150 government and industry leaders to salute Members of the House and Senate Education, Science, and Energy Committees in the 114th Congress.  DOE Sect Moniz and FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable will speak as well as well as Sen. Maria Cantwell and House Energy & Commerce Chair Fred Upton.  Industry Speakers include our friend Don Santa of INGAA, PEPCO Holdings Tom Graham, Paula Jackson of the American Association of Blacks in Energy and Telsa’s James Chen.

 

Senate Energy Continues Energy Hearings – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold another hearing to receive testimony on energy supply legislation. The hearing agenda will focus on legislation from providing coastal states a share of offshore drilling revenue to creating a nationwide renewable energy standard. Hydropower, geothermal, biomass and coal are among the sources targeted by particular bills.

 

Fanning, NERC CEO to Lead House Energy Committee Hearing on Energy Reliability, Security –Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold a hearing on its discussion draft on Energy Reliability and Security to be included in the committee’s Architecture of Abundance energy legislation. The subcommittee will review the draft legislation at this hearing.  Witnesses NERC Chair Gerry Cauley, SoCo CEO Tom Fanning, FERC electric reliability director Mike Bardee, Veolia Energy’s Elinor Haider, Exelon’s Joseph Dominguez, Mike Bergey for the Distributed Wind Energy Association, NRDC’s John Moore, John Di Stasio of the Large Public Power Council, ABB’s Emily Heitman for the National Electric Manufacturers Association and EDF’s Elgie Holstein.

 

Senate Approps to Mark Energy, Water – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development will meet tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to markup the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016.  Earlier in May, the House passed a $34.5 billion energy and water appropriations bill.

 

Senate Hearings Look at WOTUS Rule – The Senate will hold two hearing tomorrow on the Obama’s Administration’s Waters of the US (WOTUS) Rule.  The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing at 10:00 a.m. in 406 Dirksen featuring witnesses Andrew Lemle of New Belgium Brewing Co., Vermont Law School’s Patrick Parenteau, Kansas Department of Agriculture assistant secretary Susan Metzger, Mark Pifher of Colorado Springs Utilities and Robert Pierce with Wetland Training Institute Inc.  At 2:00 p.m., the Senate Small Business Committee will also tackle WOTUS with witnesses Charles Maresca of the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, Benjamin Bulis of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association, 5th-generation Iowa farmer Darcy Dougherty Maulsby, NFIB’s Elizabeth Milito and Karl Randall Noel of Reve Inc.

 

House Resources Looks at Sage Grouse – The House Natural Resources Committee tomorrow holds a hearing on how Western states are managing greater sage grouse.  The decision will look at actions by several governors aimed at limited the actions the federal government may take in its upcoming decision on whether to list the birds under the Endangered Species Act.  Already Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has issued measures to address the Sage Grouse issues while others are contemplating similar actions.  My colleague Eric Washburn (202-412-5211) is in the middle of the discussions and can helpful should you need background.

 

Wilson Forum to Look at Caribbean, Latin Energy –Tomorrow at 11:30 a.m., the Wilson Center for Scholars will hold a forum on the importance of the energy sector in Latin America and the Caribbean.   The region contains some of the largest proven oil reserves in the world along with significant reserves of natural gas. Moreover, approximately half of U.S. energy imports flow from the Western Hemisphere. As the United States increases its own energy production simultaneously with engagement in the region, many countries continue to face infrastructure and governance deficits that hamper production.  Energy experts will explore the US role and impacts in the 7th event in the Wilson Center’s Regional and Global Energy Series.  Keynotes will be from former White House Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Chevron President for Africa and Latin America Ali Moshiri.  Other speakers will include former State Department official David Goldwyn and UT-Austin Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program Director Jorge R. Piñon.

 

EMA to Host Roundtable – Tomorrow at Noon in NYC, the Environmental Markets Association and over 60 environmental professionals will participate in the fourth installment of EMA’s Regional Thought Leader Round Table focused on Northeast RECs. This half day meeting is formatted to produce open discussions between speakers and attendees.

 

Report to Detail Enviro Democracy Index – The Access Initiative and the World Resources Institute will launch the first ever Environmental Democracy Index (EDI) on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. in the National Press Club. The index will offer new insights into the state of environmental democracy around the world and opportunities to use the tool to support reform. EDI is the first index to measure how well countries’ national laws protect environmental democracy rights, namely the right of the public to freely access relevant and timely information, to provide public input and scrutiny in decision-making and to seek justice before an independent and fair legal authority in cases of environmental harm or violation of rights.  Developed by The Access Initiative (TAI) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), the EDI is the first comprehensive index designed specifically to measure procedural rights in an environmental context. The United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) Bali Guidelines for the Development of National Legislation on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters provide EDI with an international standard against which national laws can be assessed. EPA General Counsel Avi Garbow will be among the speakers.

 

Senate Enviro to look at Oversight of Scientific Advisory Panels, EPA Processes – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., The Senate Committee on Environment Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight will hold a hearing on oversight of scientific advisory panels and processes at EPA.  Witnesses will include Roger McClellan, Pacific Legal Foundation Ted Hadzi-Antich, GAO’s Alfredo Gomez, World Environment Center CEO Terry Yosie and our friend Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group.

 

House Natural Resources Committee Hearing Tackles National Energy Security Corridors – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on the “National Energy Security Corridors Act”.

 

Forum to Look at Oil Price Balance – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. to Look at recent oil market developments and what to expect going forward.  10 months into the oil price collapse and despite the recent price rebound, companies of all sizes continue to adjust to the new economic, financial, and geopolitical realities. In the United States, the largest source of incremental oil supply growth globally over the past several years, output has remained remarkably resilient. That said, evidence of a slowdown continues, though the impact is likely to be uneven.  Featured discussions will examine and interpret these developments, and discuss the implications for oil markets going forward.  Speakers will include Michelle Foss of the University of Texas’ Bureau of Economic Geology’s Center for Energy Economics, Robert Kleinberg of the Schlumberger-Doll Research Center and former Vice Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange Albert Helmig, now CEO of Grey House.

 

House Resources Looks at Hearing Draft on Electricity Reliability, Forest Protection – On Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., the House Natural Resource Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold a hearing on Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act” discussion draft?

 

House Energy Panel, Moniz to Discuss QER – The House Energy panel of Energy & Commerce will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on featuring Ernie Moniz discussing the administration’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER).  Moniz was asked to discuss the QER recommendations aimed at addressing aging natural gas pipeline networks, electric grid modernization, rail traffic and other elements of the nation’s infrastructure.

 

USEA to Look at EIA Outlook – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to look at the “Annual Energy Outlook 2015,” prepared by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, presents long-term annual projections of energy supply, demand, and prices through 2040. The projections, focused on U.S. energy markets, are based on results from EIA’s National Energy Modeling System. NEMS enables EIA to make projections under alternative, internally-consistent sets of assumptions, the results of which are presented as cases. The analysis in AEO2015 focuses on six cases: Reference case, Low and High Economic Growth cases, Low and High Oil Price cases, and High Oil and Gas Resource case.  EIA’s Paul Holtberg, Team Leader of EIA’s Analysis Integration Team, will speak.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Demand Response Forum Set – The National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid will be held on May 26 through 28th in Washington, DC.  The event in the US focused on the business and policy aspects of demand response and its enabling technologies and applications. It is unique in that it devotes an entire day to roundtable discussions featuring experts in demand response and smart grid, who discuss with each other and with the audience the latest trends, issues, and business developments. The National Town Meeting also features panel discussions, case studies, and presentations of best practices. Another hallmark is attendee engagement, whether through Q&A sessions with top business leaders and policymakers, through formal electronic voting, or through the National Town Meeting’s reception and other networking sessions.

 

Natural Gas Roundtable Hosts CFTC Chair Massad – Next Tuesday, May 26th at Noon, at the University Club, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host Timothy Massad, Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission as the guest speaker at the next luncheon.  Massad was sworn-in as Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on June 5, 2014, after being confirmed by the United States Senate as Chairman and as a Commissioner of the CFTC. Previously, Mr. Massad was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

 

RFF to Host Seminar on Creative Conservation – Resources for the Future will Hold a seminar on May 27th at 12:45 p.m. for an expert discussion of creativity, innovation, technology, and natural resources. Ruth DeFries, the Denning Family Chair in Sustainable Development in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University and a 2007 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant” award, will discuss key themes in her new book, The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis. A panel of experts in geography, conservation science, and economics will consider the advantages and limits of innovation in using and conserving natural resources.

 

WRI to Release Low Carbon Future Report – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum at the National Press Club on Wednesday, May 27th at 9:00 a.m. to look at ways to reach a low carbon future.  A diverse panel of experts will discuss important questions as the WRI releases Delivering on the U.S. Climate Commitment: A 10-Point Plan Toward a Low-Carbon Future. This landmark publication will examine several pathways for the United States to use existing policies and authority to accelerate technology trends underway to make deep emissions cuts while taking advantage of economic opportunities from improved efficiencies and affordable, low-carbon solutions.  Speakers will include Rick Duke of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, Richard Kaufmann of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, Sierra Club’s John Coequyt, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls and Guardian enviro correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg, who will moderate.

 

DOE to Host Better Buildings Summit – On Wednesday and Thursday, May 27-28th, the Department of Energy will hold the Better Buildings Summit at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  The Better Buildings Summit is a national meeting where leading organizations across key sectors showcase solutions to cut energy intensity in their buildings portfolio-wide by 20% over the next ten years. This Summit is designed for partners and stakeholders to exchange best practices and highlight demonstrated market solutions with an equal emphasis on discussing future opportunities for greater energy efficiency in America’s homes and buildings.  At the 2014 Summit, more than 500 participants engaged in dialogue focused on sharing proven approaches. Speakers from the commercial, industrial, public, and multifamily sectors shared how they draw on energy efficiency technologies, business practices, and partnerships to save money on utility bills, create new jobs, and improve their organization’s competitiveness.

 

Forum to Look at Improved Nuclear Projects – Next Thursday morning, the Global America Business Institute will hold a forum on sustainable nuclear energy for the future while improving safety, economics and waste management.  Speakers will include Argonne  National Laboratory’s Dr. Yoon I. Chang who will discuss prospects for the integral fast reactor and EPRI’s Andrew Sowder who will look at R&D Programs in the US and future commercialization.

 

USEA to Host Summit Power Group on CCS, EOR – Next Thursday, May 28th at 10:00 a.m., the US Energy Association will host Summit Power Group to discuss CCS technologies.  Summit  is an energy development company with a focus on carbon capture for enhanced oil recovery. Sasha Mackler, Vice President of Summit Carbon Capture, will provide a high-level overview of the status of CCUS in the power industry and discuss how different policy mechanisms under consideration can enable projects and support the growth of this emerging industry.

 

Forum to Look at BLM Fracking Rule – On Thursday, May 28th at noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a discussion about the BLM natural gas drilling rule and its ramifications when it goes into effect on June 24, 2015. What will the effect be on fracking operations, oil and gas development, and energy production overall?  The panel of experts on these issues includes Texx Lone Bear, Acting Director of the Natural Resources Division at the  Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, NRDC’s Amy Mall, Interior’s Richard McNeer and Western Energy Alliance’s Kathleen Sgamma.

 

EESI Head to Lead EnviroRun – Next Thursday’s May 28th Envirorun will feature Environmental and Energy Study Institute Executive Director Carol Werner. EESI is a non-profit education and policy organization that is dedicated to sustainable development, believing that a sound environment and a sound economy go hand in hand.  Launch for the four-miler is 6:00 p.m. with the comments after at Bar Louie.

 

Geothermal Forum Set – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will be holding its 5th annual National Geothermal Summit on June 3-4th at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV. The National Geothermal Summit is the leading forum for western state policy discussions, bringing together the geothermal industry for a dialogue with state and federal policy makers.

 

BPC Forum to Focus On Midwest GHG Issues – The Great Plains Institute and Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a workshop Friday June 5th in Detroit at the Westin Metro Airport to discuss implementation options for EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan in the Midcontinent region.   States will soon have to develop and submit plans to achieve EPA’s goals. States and stakeholders in the region have been working to evaluate the policy options available to states for inclusion in state plans. In the Midcontinent region, state officials have been active in the Midcontinent States Environmental and Energy Regulators (MSEER) group. Also, the Midwestern Power Sector Collaborative, convened by the Great Plains Institute, brings state officials and stakeholders together to explore and engage on these policy issues. Please join us and contribute your ideas and input to these regional efforts.   This workshop will gather states, stakeholders, and experts, including those participating in MSEER and the Power Sector Collaborative.   The agenda includes a keynote address by Valerie Brader, Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy and several panels exploring policy pathways for states to achieve state emissions goals and opportunities/challenges for multistate collaboration, among other items.

 

EIA Annual Energy Conference Set – EIA will hold its 2015 Energy Conference on June 15 – 16th in Washington, DC.  Keynote Speakers will DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, Mexican Energy secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, among others.

 

DOE Loan Official to Speak at Offshore Conference – Peter Davidson, the Executive Director of the Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to give Special Luncheon Address at Infocast’s 6th North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit, June 17-18th in New York. Leading offshore wind players will discuss the unique value of offshore wind, the latest financial innovations, public/private partnerships, and technological advances being developed to reduce development time and cost and maximize ROI of offshore wind power projects in North America.

 

Bay, Clark, Moeller Headline Utility Commissioners Education Forum – The 20th Annual Education Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (MACRUC) will be held on June 21 – 24 at the Williamsburg Lodge in Virginia.  Speakers will include former Senator/Governor Evan Bayh, FERC Commissioners Norman Bay, Tony Clark and Philip Moeller, NARUC President and Florida PSC Chair Lisa Edgar, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, PSE&G President  Ralph LaRossa, and American Water Works CEO Susan Story.

 

Energy CyberSecurity Forum Set for Houston – The 3rd Annual Cyber Security for Oil and Gas Summit will be held in Houston on June 22-24th.  The event brings together the oil and gas industry to address critical concerns and trends with regard to the development of cyber security practices.  The complex nature of cyberattacks and those specifically levied against the oil and gas industry have been increasing over the years and while the industry is well prepared, continuous improvement is always necessary to maintain an edge on the nefarious actors working against the industry.

 

National Security Conference Set – The 2015 Center for New American Security Annual Conference will be held on June 26th at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.  CNAS’ annual national security conference will feature keynote addresses and discussion topics designed to chart a course for the next administration and beyond.

Energy Update Week of July 21

Friends,

Amazingly, yesterday was the 45th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon.  “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” was the lasting memory of the epic Apollo 11 flight that landed the first humans on the moon and safely returned them to Earth. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin ventured out on the moon for 21.5 hours before taking off from the lunar surface to meet up with fellow astronaut Michael Collins in the command module, and then return to Earth.

For the golf fans among us, this weekend’s British Open was pretty amazing as well.  With two potential eagle opportunities in the last few holes, the race to the Claret Jug was a thrill even with 25-year-old ace Rory McIIroy holding the lead wire to wire.  Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler kept the pressure on but McIIroy made good for the win (and a big payout for his father, who made a 2004, 500-1 futures bet with the betting House Ladbrokes on McIlroy winning the Open Championship within 10 years.)   He has immediately been targeted by Tom Steyer as a potential source of funds.

Despite the difficult news about Ukraine and Gaza attracting most of the news energy, we still have two big items on the plate in Washington with two weeks to go to the mid-term election year August recess.   Both the Highway Trust Fund and the President’s greenhouse gas rules for existing power plants with continue to draw the major attention in Congress.

On highways, this could be a decisive week for highway and bridge building if the Senate can pass a bill providing funding.  The current bill expires on August 1st and runs out of money at the end of August.  Last week, the House passed its version of the bill that would keep money flowing to state transportation projects through nest May.  But controversies over the short-term nature and closely-related items like Davis-Bacon remain and could trip it up.  The topic and expectations regarding highway funding is sure to be a topic that Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at the National Press Club today at 1 p.m. (just finished on C-SPAN)

The other big item is next week’s EPA public hearings in Atlanta, Denver, Washington and Pittsburgh.  My colleagues will be in all four cities to relay concerns about technology, reliability, power costs and other items.  I’m sure our friends in the environmental community will be there as well (hopefully with the inflatable power plants they like to bring to these showcases or a stroller brigade or something similar)

This week on the rule there are a number of excellent hearings including a Wednesday Gina McCarthy performance at Senate Environment, our friend Bud Weinstein Thursday at House Energy/Commerce on the economic impacts of state energy policies and tomorrow House Foreign Affairs takes up the international role of the U.S.   As well, the Senate Energy Committee will look at revenue and natural resources issues, tomorrow.

Finally on the policy side, our friends at the Bipartisan Policy Center are gathering experts, business leaders, academics and policymakers to assess the state of American energy innovation and new approaches to drive more resources into it tomorrow at the Renaissance Washington.  Energy Secretary Moniz leads the discussion.  Our friends Steve Mufson, Ben Geman and Jim Snyder moderate panels.

From the news, our friend Cliff Krauss in on A1 of the New York Times with how the greater sage grouse’s potential addition to the endangered species list has brought together an odd coalition.  My colleague Eric Washburn helped bring this one to light.

Lastly, last night, the Queen revival rolled into Merriweather Post and I mention it because it is the second report I have received about how good former Idol star Adam Lambert has been standing in for the late and irreplaceable Freddie Mercury.  They play all the classics and it is a fabulous show.  While I missed Queen, I will head to Merriweather Thursday to see Beck.  Where it’s at….Call if you have questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Still Not Moving Needle on Environment Concern – The same ol’ story in more polling this week from our friends at POLITICO:  Just 4% of respondents in POLITICO’s new poll of likely voters in competitive Senate states and House districts identified the environment as the national issue that concerns them the most, beating out other issues like taxes, terrorism and foreign affairs. The highest ranking concerns were the economy and jobs, which were chosen by 21% and 10% of respondents, respectively.

Industry Groups Propose Crude Train Car Limitations – Our friend Jim Snyder of Bloomberg had a great piece last week on industry proposals to phase out older rail cars that haul crude.   The plan calls for slightly thicker walls for new cars to make them less vulnerable to puncture who asked not to be identified discussing private communications. The parties agreed to scrap a fleet of thousands of DOT-111s within three years if manufacturers agree they can replace or retrofit the tank cars in that period.  While API and AAR have rolled this effort forward, refining industry, who lease a majority of the crude cars on the rails today raised concerns and says they were not part of the deal.  The Department of Transportation will outline a comprehensive plan for oil train safety in the coming weeks.

Enviros, Google to Map Methane Leaks from Pipelines – The Environmental Defense Fund and Google’s Earth Outreach program are going to map natural gas leaks in Boston, Indianapolis and New York’s State Island.  The interactive maps are the first step of a pilot project to use Google’s Street View cars to measure environmental indicators.  EDF says it worked with utilities to validate the findings.   Our friends at the American Gas Association said only a small fraction of produced natural gas leaks from local utility pipelines, and that utilities have lowered emissions by 22% since 1990. CEO Dave McCurdy said in their attempt to raise the awareness of natural gas emissions, the EDF campaign understates that utilities are working with state and local policymakers to effectively reduce emissions by adopting innovative rate mechanisms to upgrade, replace and modernize natural gas distribution pipelines for safety and economic reasons.

NYT Features Christy as Well – With all the fun stories last week about Tom Steyer, his coal interests and his response, there was another NYT piece by Michael Wines that was equally interesting on longtime climate skeptic John Christy.  Often one of most credible skeptics, Christy is an outlier on what the vast majority of his colleagues consider to be a matter of consensus: that global warming is both settled science and a dire threat.  The article says he regards it as neither and not because the earth is not heating up. It is, he says, and carbon dioxide spewed from power plants, automobiles and other sources is at least partly responsible. But in speeches, congressional testimony and peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, he argues that predictions of future warming have been greatly overstated and that humans have weathered warmer stretches without perishing.

TX, CO Efforts to Block NatGas Drilling (not Fracking) Hit Roadblock – Two separate efforts to limit natural gas drilling in Texas and Colorado hit road blocks last week.  The Denton, Texas City Council rejected a ban on further permitting of hydraulic fracturing in the community.  The north Texas city sits atop the Barnett Shale, one of the largest natural gas reserves in the country.  The City Council members voted down the petition 5-2 after eight hours of public testimony, sending the proposal to a public ballot in November.  In Colorado, the organizer of Initiative 75, the grassroots anti-drilling (not fracking) measure said the statewide campaign failed to collect enough signatures to reach the ballot.  Lead organizer Cliff Willmeng said supporters were not on pace to gather the requisite 86,105 valid signatures needed by the August 4 deadline.   Initiatives generally need about 125,000 signatures to clear the petition hurdle, given that many signatures are inevitably found to be invalid by the Secretary of State’s office.  Initiative 75, the Colorado Community Rights Amendment, would have allowed localities to supersede state authority in order to ban corporate activity within their borders, including anti-drilling laws.  Still, these are not the two other anti-drilling initiatives sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jared Polis.  Initiative 88 would expand the state’s setbacks rule from 500 to 2,000 feet, while Initiative 89 would create an Environmental Bill of Rights.

Other Pro-NatGas CO Measures on Pace to Make Ballot – Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED) said two statewide ballot measures have garnered a majority of signatures needed to qualify for Colorado’s statewide ballot and deemed both valuable to the conversation and education of voters this November.  Ballot Initiative #121 is a fair, commonsense approach and something all Coloradans can support in acknowledging those impacted by energy development should be fairly compensated and likewise, those that ban oil and natural gas activities – such as fracking – shouldn’t financially benefit from an industry it has essentially boycotted. In that same vein of fairness, Ballot Initiative #137 would require the financial cost of a successfully passed ballot measure be disclosed up front and during the ballot signature gathering process. Ballot Initiative #121 has garnered over 55,000 signatures, while Ballot Initiative #137 has acquired more than 59,800 signatures and both measures will likely appear before voters this November.

Interior to Offer NJ Offshore Wind Leases – Our friends at Energy Guardian report that there are enough companies interested in building wind farms off New Jersey’s coast for the Interior Department to go forward with its third state leading effort.  Already, BOEM has offered to sell wind leases off the coasts of Massachusetts and Maryland and awarded five more in New England, Delaware and Virginia.  Now they are preparing to offer leases for nearly 344,000 acres in an offshore area that could generate 3,400 megawatts and power about 1.2 million homes.  BOEM said 11 firms already have expressed an interest in the New Jersey leases, which begin in an area about seven nautical miles off the coast of Atlantic City.  A formal notice for the proposed sale will be posted in the Federal Register today.

NHL, NRDC to Reduce GHG Impacts – I am usually talking about hockey in the intro, but today, the NRDC and NHL have teamed up for a report that help the league reduce its greenhouse gas footprint.  Each hockey game emits 408 metric tons of CO2 — the equivalent output of about 900,000 gallons of gasoline, according to EIA figures. That’s approximately 56 pounds per attendee, though that doesn’t include fans’ transportation to the game, according to the report. In the report, the NHL lays out its first carbon inventory, which details the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the many facets of our operations, including energy and water use, waste and travel. While NHL hockey games are energy intensive, the league says that the geographic locations of our Clubs require a substantial amount of travel over the course of a season. Like the other professional sports, these business operations affect the air and our supplies of clean, fresh water. But the league has implemented programs to reduce that output — including some venues participating in demand response programs; more efficient lighting and industrial equipment; and on-site solar power and other renewables.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

DOE Looking for R&D Insights – Tomorrow morning, the Office of Fossil Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy is seeking industry’s involvement in developing a R&D agenda on subsurface technology and engineering.  They will hold a forum at USEA led by Mark Ackiewicz, Program Manager for the Division of CCS Research at the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, this briefing will aim to facilitate a dialogue with industry on what they perceive as the key challenges and opportunities regarding adaptive control of fractures and fluid flow.

Senate Energy to Look at Energy Resource Revenue – The Senate Energy Committee will convene a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. to examine leveraging America’s resources as a revenue generator and job creator, focusing on the state and local government benefits in terms of revenue generated and jobs created from natural resource production.  Witnesses will include Interior’s Gregory Gould who directs the Office of Natural Resource Revenue, as well as Lafourche Parrish President Charlotte Randolph, Paul Pearce of the National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition, Joel Webster  of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Quest Offshore’s Sean Shafer,  Utah’s Director of Energy Development Laura Nelson and Duane Taylor of the Motorcycle Industry Council.

ELI Forum to Focus on Energy Performance – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at noon to look at improving energy performance at industrial facilities.  In the last decade, the U.S. Department of Energy and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have raised the bar for energy performance in industrial facilities.  Speakers will include General Dynamics Stephen Cannizzaro, Robert Bruce Lung of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and DOE’s Paul Scheihing.

Senate Foreign Relations Tackles Climate – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, International Environmental Protection, and Peace Corps will hold a hearing tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in 444 Dirksen on U.S. security implications of international energy and climate policies.  Witnesses will include Amos Hochstein of the State Department, US AID’s Eric Postel, DoD’s Daniel Chiu, retired Rear Admiral David Titley, of the CNA Military Advisory Board, former State Department official David Goldwyn, former EIA official Mary Hutzler and Michael Breen of the Truman National Security Project.

BPC Forum to Focus on Innovation – On Wednesday, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) will gather experts, business leaders, academics and policymakers to assess the state of American energy innovation and new approaches to drive more resources into it.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will be the keynote speaker. Former Dow exec Chad Holliday, DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, DOE’s David Danielson, MIT Energy Initiative Director and many others will be among the other speakers.

Senate Environment to Host McCarthy on New Rule – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday featuring EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  The hearing will focus on EPA’s proposed carbon pollution standards for existing power plants.

House Energy Panel to Look at States, Modernizing Rules – The House Energy and Commerce panel on the Environment will hold a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to hear from state regulators and the business community on how the federal government and states could work together to modernize environmental regulations.  Witnesses will include Henry Darwin, director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality; David Cash, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; Teresa Marks, director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality; and William Kovacs, senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Webinar to Address CHP in NY, Cali – The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Association will hold a webinar on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. looking at CHP Programs in California and New York.  The discussion will center on CHP incentive programs and their practical applications, comparing those in New York with those in California.  The webinar will feature speakers on the programs from NYSERDA and the California Self Generation Incentive Program, as well as speakers from manufacturers of CHP equipment.

House FA Look at Energy Dominican Republic – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere will convene a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in 2255 Rayburn bolstering economic growth and energy independence with the Dominican Republic.  Witnesses will include AES CEO Andrés Gluski, former OAS Ambassador of the Dominican Republic Roberto Álvarez  and Santiago Canton, Executive Director of RFK Partners for Human Rights.

Resources to Look at Mineral Resources – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. focused on American metals and mineral security.  The hearing will be an examination of the domestic critical minerals supply and demand chain.  Critical and strategic metals and minerals are fundamental components of technologies and everyday items ranging from cell phones, computers, medical equipment, renewable energy products, high-tech military equipment, building materials, and common household products. The timely and environmentally responsible development of our Nation’s vast supplies of strategic and critical minerals will create good-paying mining jobs, boost local economies, and provide security to America’s economy. This hearing further underscores the need for the Senate to approve H.R. 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act, which passed the House last September and allows the United States to more efficiently develop its strategic and critical minerals that are vital to America’s economic competitiveness.

WCEE to Hold Annual Legislative Roundtable – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold its Annual Legislative Roundtable next Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. at the American Gas Assn.  The event will highlight key issues facing the US Congress this fall.  The event will discuss highly contested legislative issues ranging from crude oil and LNG exports to renewable policies in the electricity and transportation sectors.   Senior congressional staff will share with us their predictions regarding the role these issues are playing in the midterm elections and how the outcome will likely impact the policies that shape the energy industry.  Speakers will include Senate Energy Committee directors Liz Craddock and Karen Billups, as well as reps from the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  Out friend Christi Tezak moderates.   WCEE will also hold an Energy Happy Hour the night prior at OYA at 777 9th Street.

WRI to Release Report – On Thursday morning at NPR, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Resources and Rights Initiative (RRI) unveil the report “Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change: How Strengthening Community Forest Rights Mitigates Climate Change.”  The analysis will offer the most comprehensive review to date linking legal recognition and government protection of community forest rights with healthier forests and reduced carbon pollution from deforestation. More than 11 percent of global emissions are due to deforestation and other land use, and this new analysis offers an exciting and largely untapped tool to help reduce global emissions.  As discussions head toward the next round of international climate negotiations in Lima, Peru and Paris in 2015, this report and discussion will offer a fresh perspective for how strengthening rights of local and indigenous communities can be an exceptionally powerful tool for climate action and forest protection. Armed with the report’s results, practitioners and policy makers should be convinced that safeguarding forest rights is as crucial of a climate solution as others like REDD+, renewable energy and low-carbon urban design.

Former State Official  to Address Carnegie – on Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Carnegie Endowment will host Ambassador Carlos Pascual to share his perspectives on some of the key energy issues during his tenure at the Bureau of Energy Resources at the State Department, as well as ongoing energy challenges.  Other speakers will include Jessica Tuchman Mathews, Deborah Gordon and Bruce Jones.

CO’s Gardner to Headline Energy Forum – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Heritage Foundation will host Rep Cory Gardner Of Colorado to lead a discussion in how open energy markets will create more opportunities for Americans, promote economic prosperity at home and abroad.  Expanding domestic energy production over the past few years has provided a welcome boost to the American economy. The federal government, however, has constrained the economic benefits by significantly limiting companies’ ability to trade energy freely around the world.  Other speakers include Jamie Webster of IHS, NAM’s Ross Eisenberg and Cato’s Scott Lincicome.

Energy to Hold Nomination Hearing for Dep Energy Sect – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to examine the nomination of Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, of California, to be Deputy Secretary of Energy.

House Energy Panel to Look at State Economic Impacts – The House Energy and Committee Committee’s Energy and Power panel will hold a hearing on Thursday at on the economic impacts of state energy policies.  Witnesses will include our friend Bernard Weinstein of the SMU Maguire Energy Institute, as well as Paul Polzin of the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Tom Tanton of the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, Manhattan Institute fellow Fred Siegel, Steve Clemmer of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Steve Nadel of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

USEA to Focus on China, CCS – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum on coal issues in China. The presentation will review some of the most recent CCS developments in China, including an overview of the ongoing research, demonstration and deployment as well as an overview of recent policy actions taken.  Additionally, Jim Wood, Director for the US-China Clean Energy Research Center for Coal for West Virginia University,  will present on the US-China collaboration on CCS.

CSIS Forum/Study to Look at EPA Rule – On Thursday at 12:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the Rhodium Group (RHG) will release the preliminary results from their study on the economic and energy system impacts of EPA’s proposed 111(d) rule – the Clean Power Plan – regulating carbon dioxide from existing power plants. The results from the study will be compared with the economic impacts in the EPA’s regulatory impact analysis, highlighting areas where the modeling results diverge.  CSIS and RHG have partnered to do an initial assessment of the economic impact of future emissions standards that accounts for these broader energy market dynamics and maps impacts by region of the country to help inform key regional and industry stakeholders. The study focuses on the changes to the electric power and energy production that are likely to under the EPA’s proposal, as well as price, demand expenditures and other impacts. The analysis provides a balanced and measured set of estimates of national and regional results to inform ongoing policy deliberations both in Washington and in the states.

Forum to Look at Climate Impacts – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing on Friday morning in 562 Dirksen to examine the current and projected impacts of climate change in the Northeast and regional efforts to manage these risks. The Northeast is home to approximately 64 million people and is one of the most built-up environments in the world.  The Third National Climate Assessment (NCA), which was released on May 6, projects that climate change will further threaten the region’s environmental, social, and economic systems. While many of the states and municipalities in the Northeast have developed plans to mitigate and adapt to the threats of climate change, implementation is still in the early stages. How have federal, state, and local government initiatives acted to increase resiliency against current and future impacts of climate change? What more can and should be done to reduce these risks?  Speakers for this forum are Radley Horton of the Northeast Climate Science Center (also Convening Lead Author, National Climate Assessment Chapter on the Northeast), HUD advisor Scott Davis, NYC Director of the Office of Recovery and Resiliency Dan Zarrilli and Sam Carter of the Rockefeller Foundation.

FUTURE EVENTS

EPA Public Meetings Set – EPA will hold public meetings in Atlanta, Denver, Washington and Pittsburgh.  The Atlanta and Denver meeting will be on July 29th while DC will be July 30th and Pittsburgh on July 31st.

Chamber to Look at Transportation Sector, Data – Next Monday, July 28th at noon, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold a forum to explore how data is being used in the transportation sector.  the event will feature presenters from both the public and private sectors that utilize data to provide unique services, engage their customers, promote safety and efficiency, and move the world in a different and better way.

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

McCabe to Speak at NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, at its luncheon Tuesday July 29th.  McCabe will present an overview of the EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan.   Immediately following lunch, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host the Washington, DC premier of the film “Breaking Free: How the U.S. is Reducing its Carbon Footprint while Increasing its GDP.” The director of the film, Robin Bossert, will be available to provide background and answer audience questions.

Forum to Look at Climate National Security – Next Tuesday, July 29th at 2:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Climate Change and national security.  The briefing will focus on the key recommendations and consensus points that emerged from June 4th discussion on the topic and highlight the next steps for action.  Speakers will include Craig Gannett of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, former White House official Alice Hill, Ian Kraucunas of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, King County, WA Council Chair Larry Phillips and Jonathan White, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy and Director of the Navy’s Task Force Climate Change.

Annual Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 17th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum  will be held Thursday,  July 31st (9:30 am – 4:30 pm) in the Cannon House Office building in cooperation with the House and Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses.

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update

Friends,

And I Feel Fine.  With yesterday’s final, the World Cup is complete with Germany breaking Europe’s streak of bad luck on American (Latin/South/North) soil with a spectacular goal in the 113th minute of extra time from substitute player Mario Gӧtze.  The game ends a great tournament with lots of excitement and lots of emotion.  Next up for Brazil, the 2016 summer games.  The World Cup heads to Russia in 2018.

Today, our friends at NARUC launch their summer meetings in Dallas with a full slate of discussions about all topics related to utility regulators, including many on the new GHG rules from EPA.  There are many different opinions at NARUC on the topic.  To that end, this morning, the pro-EPA rule “Analysis” Group, headed by Sue Tierney released a study saying electricity customers would benefit from the new GHG rule for existing power plants.  Funny how they often come to that conclusion when it would benefit their favorite position.  Most real analysis shows even with a lot of flexibility for states, there will still be significant economic costs on consumers, businesses and states, especially regionally.  My colleagues Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead can offer thoughts on the “analysis” from the Analysis Group.  FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, Duke’s Lynn Good, American Waterworks Susan Story and many others will also speak.

Back in DC today, the EIA also kicks off its annual energy conference with a full slate of very good speakers tackling the financial and energy implications of the current state of energy play.  In addition to Sect. Moniz and Adam Sieminski, IHS’s Dan Yergin and analyst Paul Sankey will speak along with many others. Also, Wednesday the Heritage Foundation will host Canadian auto magnate Frank Stronach for a conversation about politics and business.

The Congressional schedule heats up tomorrow starting with full Senate votes on FERC nominees Cheryl LaFleur to a second term (starting as chair) and Norman Bay.  Still lots of questions and bad blood on that issue, but the compromise seems to be sticking.  House Resources hones in on implementation of the Helium Act passed last fall (my colleague Salo Zelermyer [202-828-1718] is expert) and House Transportation looks at waters issues including permits, streams and waters of the US (my colleague Lowell Rothschild [202-828-5817] knows best).  Tomorrow, House Approps launches on EPA spending (riders on GHGs etc in tow) and Wednesday, the House Science Committee investigates an NRC report about EPA’s IRIS and the longstanding concerns of enviro groups and industry.

And remember, next week, EPA launches its series of public hearings in Atlanta, Denver, DC and Pittsburgh on the GHG rule for existing power plants.

Finally, our friend Jay Newton-Small, a recovering energy reporter who now covers politics for Time, has a great piece today on the Colorado Senate/Governors’ races and the potential impacts from an anti-natgas (not fracking) ballot initiative in the state sponsored by natgas opponent and Congressman, Jared Polis.  Jay says the “friendly fire” could cost Democrats the Senate.

Call if you have questions

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

 

IN THE NEWS

GW, AU, Duke Energy Join on Solar Project – The George Washington University, GW Hospital and American University are joining with Duke Energy Renewables to develop a groundbreaking solar energy project that will comprise a 450-acre, 52 MW farm in North Carolina. GW’s new solar power buy is the largest of its kind, an innovative 243,000-panel installation at three sites that will offset 50% of GW’s electricity for the next 20 years.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

NARUC Summer Meetings Set – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Summer Committee Meetings, one of three conferences NARUC holds each year, will take place at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas, today through Wednesday. The meeting will feature discussions on the top regulatory challenges across all utility sectors—water, electricity, natural gas, and telecommunications. Panels will tackle the latest developments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark greenhouse gas-emissions proposals, Liquefied Natural Gas exports, Internet neutrality and the transition from traditional telephone service to IP-based networks.  Featured speakers include Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur, FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, Federal Communications Commission Member Mignon Clyburn, Environmental Protection Agency Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Janet McCabe, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Administrator Cynthia Quarterman, Duke Energy President, CEO Lynn Good, Luminant CEO Mark McFarland, and many more.

EIA Energy Conference to Feature Upton – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will hold its 2014 EIA Energy Conference today and tomorrow.  The EIA Energy Conference has become a premier forum for addressing energy issues in the United States and around the world. This event will bring together thought leaders from industry, government, and academia to discuss current and future challenges facing domestic and international energy markets and policymakers. The conference will feature keynote speakers including House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton, IEA Director Maria van der Hoeven and IHS Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin, among many others.

House Approps Marks EPA Spending — The House Appropriations Committee marks up its 2015 Interior-EPA spending bill tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.  A number of key provisions passed in the subcommittee mark up for the $30 billion legislation despite opposition from Democrats on the panel, limiting EPA ability to spend on climate and other activities.   Among the most controversial are efforts to block EPA’s proposed rules for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants and increasing the number of streams and wetlands that get automatic protection under the Clean Water Act. Additional action may come on coal ash issues and the EPA/Administration’s social cost of carbon.

Transpo to Focus on EPA, Clean Water — The House Transportation Committee’s water panel holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on EPA’s permit veto authority under the Clean Water Act.  With several mine permit cases and the current waters of the US act as hot topics, the issue will be interesting.  My colleague Lowell Rothschild (202-828-5817) can answer many of your questions on the subject. Witnesses will include the US Chamber’s Bill Kovacs, NMA’s Hal Quinn, ARTBA’s Nick Ivanhoff, Leah Pilconis of the Associated General Contractors of America,  Richard Faulk of the George Mason University School of Law and Patrick Parenteau of the Vermont Law School.

House Resources to Look at Helium Act Implementation — The House Resources Committee’s mineral resources panel will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on implementing the 2013 Helium Stewardship Act. Witnesses will include Interior’s Linda Lance, who is deputy director of the Bureau of Land Management, and Anne-Marie Fennell, director of the Natural Resources and Environment Team of the U.S. Government Accountability Office.  Of course, my colleague Salo Zelermyer was instrumental in getting this passed and can give you many of the details, as well as connect you with key sources.

EPA to Host Clif Bar, Steelcase to Discuss Supply Chain Sustainability – EPA’s Green Power Partnership (GPP) will host a webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. on supply chain sustainability and green power use.  The session will focus on supply chain sustainability efforts, including ways to engage suppliers to use green power. Carbon management within the supply chain is becoming essential to an organization’s overall carbon reduction strategy, and encouraging suppliers to use green power for their own operations can lead to impressive results. For companies and organizations looking to take the next step in their green power strategies, supply chain engagement can be an excellent way to achieve substantial environmental benefits.  This webinar will feature EPA Green Power Partners Clif Bar & Company and Steelcase.  Speakers include EPA’s Mollie Lemon, Clif Bar’s Elysa Hammond and Steelcase’s John DeAngelis.  You also may recall our friend Keely Wachs who formerly worked with us at Brightsource Energy works at Clif Bar.

House Science to Look at EPA’s IRIS — The House Science Committee’s Environment and Oversight panels hold a hearing on reforms to EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System at  2:00 p.m.  The IRIS has long been under attack from both enviros and industry.  The report will focus on recent findings of a National Research Council report that evaluated changes made to EPA’s IRIS.  Witnesses will include NRC panel member David Dorman, EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment director Kenneth Olden, Maryland professor and enviro activist Rena Steinzor and Michael Walls, vice president of regulatory and technical affairs at the American Chemistry Council.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil – The Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center will host a discussion on Wednesday on Latin American energy and the future of Petrocaribe. The huge Venezuelan oil subsidy enters its 10th year, and continues to provide Caracas with political support from its closest neighbors – but at what cost to the region? Given Venezuela’s economic demise, will Petrocaribe continue delivering into the future?  Now is the moment to examine energy alternatives for the Caribbean and Central America.  This event will launch the Atlantic Council’s new report, “Uncertain Energy: The Caribbean’s Gamble with Venezuela,” authored by Arsht Center Senior Nonresident Energy Fellow David L. Goldwyn and his associate, Cory R. Gill.

SAFE Event to Address Geo political Flashpoints, Energy Security  –  On Wednesday, the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) and Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will hold a luncheon briefing on Capitol Hill in 2203 Rayburn to discuss geopolitical flashpoints in oil producing countries and the implications for U.S. national and energy security.  Speakers will include Admiral Michael Mullen and John Hannah in a panel discussion moderated by our friend Steve Mufson of the Washington Post.  Rep. Cory Gardner will begin the panel with opening remarks.  Events across the globe offer stark reminders that energy security and national security are inextricably linked, and that the global oil market is subject to economically-damaging instability. Sustained high oil prices are fueling an increasingly assertive Russian foreign policy and emboldening dangerous actors like Iran. Meanwhile, a series of oil production outages in Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and elsewhere have tightened global supplies, elevating the risk of a serious price spike in 2014. Although the United States is producing more oil domestically than it has since the 1980s, further progress on American and allied energy security is urgently needed.

Senate Environment to Discuss Climate Bills The Senate Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife will meet on Wednesday to consider a number of bills including S.1202, the SAFE Act, to establish an integrated Federal program to respond to ongoing and expected impacts of extreme weather and climate change by protecting, restoring, and conserving the natural resources of the United States, and to maximize government efficiency and reduce costs, in cooperation with state, local, and tribal governments and other entities.

Heritage to Host Discussion with Auto Parts, Magnate – The Heritage Foundation will host a discussion on Wednesday at noon with auto parts magnate Frank Stronach.  Stronach is a legendary, dynamic and outspoken business leader who holds strong views on business, leadership, and public policy, including manufacturing and tax policy issues. Stronach immigrated to Canada from Austria as a young man and built the largest auto supply company in the world out of his garage.  He also now owns horse racing and gaming operations across the country.  Last year, he funded a political campaign in his native Austria that garnered 12 victories in national political elections. Becky Dunlop Norton is hosting the event and Mark Tapscott Executive Editor, The Washington Examiner, will be interviewing Stronach.

WCEE To Discuss Electricity Market Status – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold a brown-bag Luncheon on Wednesday at noon focused on electricity markets.  The brown bag discussion will highlight the different perspectives on the constantly evolving wholesale electricity markets and the challenges that face market participants when the perceptions of what is “right” and “wrong” behavior change.  The discussion will cover what market operators tend to expect from market participants related to compliance with the market’s rules, interacting with market monitors, transparency in FERC’s Enforcement philosophy and processes, the role of trading companies in the wholesale power markets and the impact of unclear market rules and enforcement procedures on infrastructure investment and market participation.  Speakers will be Vince Duane, Vice President and General Counsel of PJM Interconnection and Kevin Gates of the Powhatan Energy Fund.

McCabe to Address ICF Energy Breakfast – ICF hosts its July Energy Breakfast on Thursday at the National Press Club featuring EPA Air Administrator Janet McCabe.  McCabe will discuss EPA’s newly released Existing Source Performance Standards (ESPS) regulations for power plants.  The discussion will focus on how the regulations affect states, regions, companies and customers as well as are the benefits worth the costs.

Forum to Look at SCOTUS Decisions on Air Rules – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) and Air and Waste Management Assn (AWMA) will hold a forum on Thursday to look at an industry view of recent Supreme Court Decisions on Air Rules.  The forum will look at the Supreme Court decisions on the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and the GHG PSD Rule.  CSAPR applies to air emissions from electric generation facilities that EPA determined has impact across state lines; the GHG PSD rule applies to all industry and if upheld, EPA can lower the trigger threshold to cover more facilities. EPA’s exercise of authority for both rules are likely to have broader implications for industry for other air pollution issues.   Roger Martella, former General Counsel of EPA and partner at Sidley Austin LLP, and Linda Kelly, Vice President and General Counsel for the National Association of Manufacturers, will share their views on the Supreme Court decisions and the implications for industry. Clara Maria Poffenberger will serve as moderator.

Forum to Look at Midwest Climate Impacts – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday in 406 Dirksen examining the current and projected impacts of climate change in the Midwest, as well as strategies being developed to mitigate the associated risks. The Midwest (defined in the National Climate Assessment as Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio) has about 20 percent of the nation’s population, and produces 19 percent of the nation’s GDP.  According to the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA), climate change has wide-reaching impacts in the region, affecting the agricultural industry, the Great Lakes, northern forests, the energy system, and public health, generally in detrimental ways. In addition, the Midwest’s economy is highly energy-intensive, releasing 22 percent more greenhouse gas emissions per capita than the U.S. average. Briefing speakers will discuss how reducing emissions and taking action to improve the resilience and adaptation of Midwest communities, businesses, and farms can help mitigate climate change-exacerbated economic and social stresses.  Speakers for this forum are U of M National Climate Assessment author Rosina Bierbaum, Carmel Mayor James Brainard, Cincinnati City Environment Director Larry Falkin and Jeremy Emmi of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

Group to Host Forum, Social – The Leaders in Energy and the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) will co-hosted professional networking Happy Hour on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the Bier Baron Tavern with a focus on new economic and energy paradigms.  The event will focus on steady state economics questioning how consumption and economic growth impact essential ecosystems and ecological limits and feature noted author and founder of CASSE, Dr. Brian Czech.  How sustainable are current economic policies which promote economic growth and consumption? Reports indicate that we currently consume the equivalent of 1.5 planets and, at current rates, this will increase to 2 planets by 2030.  The problem is…we only have one planet.   Some visionaries are calling for a new paradigm designated as  “Steady State Economics” that will promote policies and mechanisms for an economy that thrives within ecological bounds and is more equitable for all.  In his book, “Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution”, Dr. Brian Czech marries economics, biology, and political science in a brilliant account of why we need to rethink growth.

CSIS to Look at Nuclear Training –  The CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program will hold a day-long workshop on Friday that will cover: the accomplishments of the three Centers of Excellence established by the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit. The COEs are aimed at training professionals in nuclear security and improving physical protection of nuclear materials.  With growing demand for nuclear energy in Asia, these COEs have an increased stake in improving national nuclear governance and potentially providing venues for regional collaboration in nuclear security. It will focus on the perspectives of officials in these countries on the progress and goals for their facilities, and discussion among government officials and experts on the future of cooperation in these areas.  This event is co-sponsored by CSIS, the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

Forum to Focus on Nuclear Overview  – The Foundation for Nuclear Studies will hold a luncheon briefing on Friday in 2322 Rayburn to discuss nuclear energy. In pursuit of its mission, the Foundation sponsors a highly regarded Congressional Briefing Series with forums on a broad spectrum of issues related to nuclear technology, ranging from medical isotopes to the transportation of nuclear materials. The events attract high-quality speakers and seek to provide a balanced presentation of differing perspectives.  Speakers will include Craig Piercy of the American Nuclear Society and IBEW’s Dan Gardner, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

FUTURE EVENTS

Press Club to Host Transpo Sect Foxx – The National Press Club will hold a luncheon next Monday featuring Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  Foxx will discuss several items including many of the important issues on rail safety and crude issues.

DOE Looking for R&D Insights – Next Tuesday morning, the Office of Fossil Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy is seeking industry’s involvement in developing a R&D agenda on subsurface technology and engineering.  They will hold a forum at USEA led by Mark Ackiewicz, Program Manager for the Division of CCS Research at the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, this briefing will aim to facilitate a dialogue with industry on what they perceive as the key challenges and opportunities regarding adaptive control of fractures and fluid flow.

ELI Forum to Focus on Energy Performance – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday, July 22 at noon to look at improving energy performance at industrial facilities.  In the last decade, the U.S. Department of Energy and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have raised the bar for energy performance in industrial facilities.  Speakers will include General Dynamics Stephen Cannizzaro, Robert Bruce Lung of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and DOE’s Paul Scheihing.

BPC Forum to Focus on Innovation – On Wednesday July 23rd, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) will gather experts, business leaders, academics and policymakers to assess the state of American energy innovation and new approaches to drive more resources into it.  Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning will be the keynote speaker. Former Dow exec Chad Holliday, DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, DOE’s David Danielson, MIT Energy Initiative Director and many others will be among the other speakers.

WCEE to Hold Annual Legislative Roundtable – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold its Annual Legislative Roundtable next Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. at the American Gas Assn.  The event will highlight key issues facing the US Congress this fall.  The event will discuss highly contested legislative issues ranging from crude oil and LNG exports to renewable policies in the electricity and transportation sectors.   Senior congressional staff will share with us their predictions regarding the role these issues are playing in the midterm elections and how the outcome will likely impact the policies that shape the energy industry.  Speakers will include Senate Energy Committee directors Liz Craddock and Karen Billups, as well as reps from the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  Out friend Christi Tezak moderates.

WRI to Release Report – On Thursday morning at NPR, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Resources and Rights Initiative (RRI) unveil the report “Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change: How Strengthening Community Forest Rights Mitigates Climate Change.”  The analysis will offer the most comprehensive review to date linking legal recognition and government protection of community forest rights with healthier forests and reduced carbon pollution from deforestation. More than 11 percent of global emissions are due to deforestation and other land use, and this new analysis offers an exciting and largely untapped tool to help reduce global emissions.  As discussions head toward the next round of international climate negotiations in Lima, Peru and Paris in 2015, this report and discussion will offer a fresh perspective for how strengthening rights of local and indigenous communities can be an exceptionally powerful tool for climate action and forest protection. Armed with the report’s results, practitioners and policy makers should be convinced that safeguarding forest rights is as crucial of a climate solution as others like REDD+, renewable energy and low-carbon urban design.

USEA to Focus on China, CCS – On Thursday, July 24th at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum on coal issues in China. The presentation will review some of the most recent CCS developments in China, including an overview of the ongoing research, demonstration and deployment as well as an overview of recent policy actions taken.  Additionally, Jim Wood, Director for the US-China Clean Energy Research Center for Coal for West Virginia University,  will present on the US-China collaboration on CCS.

EPA Public Meetings Set – EPA will hold public meetings in Atlanta, Denver, Washington and Pittsburgh.  The Atlanta and Denver meeting will be on July 29th while DC will be July 30th and Pittsburgh on July 31st.

Annual Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 17th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum  will be held Thursday,  July 31st (9:30 am – 4:30 pm) in the Cannon House Office building in cooperation with the House and Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses.

Press Club to Host Nigerian President – The National Press Club will host Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan at a NPC luncheon on July 31st to talk about the prospects of Africa’s largest oil producer.   More here and as we get closer.

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

Energy Update Week of May 12

Friends,

I hope everybody had a great Mothers’ Day, giving special thanks to those moms/spouses that carted you/your kids around for years, support you and are always there for us all.  We celebrated by sending my wife with her friends on a “girls yoga trip” to Costa Rica. (sounds a bit shady since my wife has never really done much yoga, but whatever).  Meanwhile, I managed to hit every scheduled event (games, plays, practices, pickups, drop offs, etc.) this past weekend as well as a few non-scheduled, fed every animal in our house, kept it clean and got the laundry done…a significant, yet exhausting feat.

The playoff thrills continued this weekend the NBA, NHL and NCAA Lax rounds.  I was ready to write the Rangers off after dropping behind Pittsburgh 3-1, but strong goaltending and some timely scoring over the weekend sends the series to a Game 7 tomorrow.  And not that it matters that much since they are both in LA, but the road team has won each game in the Anaheim-LA Kings series.  As for hoops, after a promising start, the Washington Wizards have struggled dropping three straight to Indiana.  Perhaps it is not a coincident (#SIjinx) as the Wiz received its first lengthy feature in Sports Illustrated since Gilbert Arenas was wielding a gun in the locker room.  Once again, the (Bracewell Client) Spurs look pretty good up 3-0 and the Nets were able to come back after dropping the first two in Miami to win.  Some men’s lax surprises include Bryant topping #2 Syracuse and first-time tourney team Drexel bouncing Market Street, Ivy-league rival Penn, the #4 seed.  (The schools are blocks apart separated by Philly’s main East/West drag: Market Street).  No real surprises on the women’s side with top seeds Maryland, Florida, UNC, N’Western, Syracuse, BC and UVa all advancing.

In DC, the House is out of town but, the House Resources Committee will hold a field hearing on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. in Batesville, AR looking at ESA reforms.  My colleague Eric Washburn (202-828-1711) is an expert on this topic should you need a resource.   Meanwhile the Senate likely kills any chance to move the Shaheen-Portman energy legislation today or tomorrow.  It also looks like the tax extenders may be in trouble as well as Republicans protest that Majority Leader Reid continues to not allow any amendments. Only six months to election day as of tomorrow…  Also less than a month to the self–imposed Administration deadline to produce a new GHG rule for existing power plants.  Friday was the deadline for comments on the rule for new power plants and my colleague Scott Segal found a gem of an inconsistency on CCS technology between the rule and the recently released National Climate Assessment (SEE BELOW).  Speaking of CCS, Atlantic Council hosts a forum Thursday morning on the topic featuring ND Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. Today at 2:00, the Partnership for a Better Energy Future holds a conference call briefing on its coordination of comments.

In case you missed it on Sunday, after speaking on a Press Club newsmaker panel in Washington last week on the growing education skills gap facing the oil/gas/manufacturing sectors, Lackawanna College President Mark Volk visited Platts Energy Week to discuss the need for developing new oil and gas workers with host veteran energy man Bill Loveless.  It is a very good interview that discusses how they are building a new workforce for PA’s expanding gas industry.

Finally, after last week’s major shale rally in Harrisburg, there are two interesting items taking shape this week.  Today and tomorrow, the Nemacolin Energy Institute is holding its 5th annual Shale Energy Conference at the PA resort.  Speakers will include Tom Ridge and many others.  Bracewell is a sponsor.  As well, on Friday, Cabot O&G CEO Dan Dinges and ANGA President Marty Durbin will be leading a natgas rig tour in NE PA.  Both will be very informative events and should you want more info on either, let me know.

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

IN THE NEWS

ERCC Comments on GHG – The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, filed comments on Friday regarding the EPA proposed new source performance standards for carbon emissions from new power plants. Here is a link to the ERCC comments. My colleague Scott Segal highlights ERCC’s concerns that EPA is seeking to use the new source performance standards (NSPS) program to impose an effective ban on new coal-fired power plants in the US.  Segal adds that ERCC is also concerned that, absent sufficient clarity, the proposed rule could even discourage technology innovation and energy-efficiency projects at existing facilities. This combination of results would result in severe threats to the reliability of the US electricity supply, higher electricity prices for consumers, and would set back the continuing technology and efficiency gains in the power sector. Segal can be reached at (202) 828-5845 and former EPA Air chief Jeff Holmstead can be reached at (202) 828-5850.

Climate Assessment, GHG Rule at Odds – As part of the comments, Segal also outlines an interesting contradiction between the EPA rule and the recent National Climate Assessment regarding CCS technology.  The proposed EPA rule sets a standard for new plants based upon the assumption that carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology is already ‘adequately demonstrated’ for the power sector – a key legal hurdle EPA must overcome in order for the rule to be legal under the Clean Air Act.  Industry has long contended that while CCS technology is promising, it cannot be the basis for a rule because multiple obstacles lie in the path to demonstration without substantial governmental assistance.  Last Tuesday, the Administration released the third National Climate Assessment (NCA), White House special advisor John Podesta described as ‘the most authoritative and comprehensive source of scientific information ever produced’ that is ‘about presenting actionable science’ for policy makers.  Podesta further stated that the report contains ‘a huge amount of practical, useable knowledge’.  But at page 271 of the NCA report, the ‘hundreds of the best climate scientists from across the U.S.’ that wrote it flatly contradict the position taken by EPA in defense of the current rule.  EPA must prove that CCS is ready for application to the power sector now, but the NCA states as follows:

‘CCS facilities for electric power plants are currently operating at pilot scale, and a commercial scale demonstration project is under construction. Although the potential opportunities are large, many uncertainties remain, including cost, demonstration at scale, environmental impacts, and what constitutes a safe, long-term geologic repository for sequestering carbon dioxide.’   At page 280, the NCA states, ‘It is difficult to forecast success in this regard for technologies such as CCS that are still in early phases of development.’  The NCA finding stands in stark contrast to the statement made by EPA Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe when she testified before the House Committee on Science and Technology on March 12, 2014.  She observed that there is ‘adequate and robust data’ proving that CCS technology was ‘in use and will be ready’ for implementation of the proposed rule.

The Bottom Line on NCA, EPA’s GHG Rule – It always makes sense to examine the fine print of government reports, especially those dealing with climate change.  But in this case, the fine print of the National Climate Assessment yields a big problem for the legality of the pending EPA carbon rule for new power plants, according to Segal.

Newsmaker Focuses on Education, Skills Gap in Energy, Manufacturing – The U.S. manufacturing and energy sectors said you have to get workers started young and it has to be a community effort at a National Press Club Newsmakers event last week, emphasizing the importance of young people in addressing the growing skills gap in the two industries.  America’s manufacturing sector alone is looking to fill some 600,000 skilled positions at a time when jobs are badly needed. Yet, few workers have the necessary skills to fill the jobs, even though manufacturing is rebounding and starting salaries are rising.  The general public has “a vision of manufacturing as a dark, dirty, dangerous and dumb industry,” and that’s one of the biggest hurdles to overcome, said Ted Toth, CEO of Rosenberger-Toth in Pennsauken, N.J., also chair of the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA).  Toth explained that as high schools drop their vocational training and apprenticeship programs, young people no longer understand what a manufacturing job looks like or why they should pursue one. “Due to the upgrade in technology, we now define our workers as ‘blue-tech’ workers,” rather than the traditional “blue collar” employees, said Toth. “Blue techs work with their hands, they work with their heads, they utilize technology such as computerized machines and robotics — at three to four times the minimum wage,” he said.

Partnerships are the Key to Addressing Skills Gap – Each panelist said partnerships between schools and local businesses must play a key role.  Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) chair Jody Fledderman said parents have to be convinced that there are good opportunities in manufacturing.  A willing school administrator, he added, is also crucial in developing a technical curriculum based on recommendations from local businesses.  Fledderman, who is also the CEO of Batesville Tool & Die in Batesville, Ind., described the partnership with one of the schools in the city to conduct co-op programs. “Kids are trained to operate machines and do meaningful things” starting in junior high school, he explained. By the time they’re in senior year, they’re being paid, he said, and they graduate just one semester short of an associate degree “that didn’t cost them anything.”  Businesses are then prepared to hire these skilled graduates and pay for their last semester.

Lackawanna Already Starting to Fill Education/Energy Gap – Lackawanna College president Mark Volk added that colleges can play a big role, describing the petroleum and natural gas curriculum he launched at the two-year college in 2009. He said the value of an associate degree is often “downplayed” because people don’t know they can earn “well beyond family sustainable wages,” and go all the way to six-figures.  Volk said a vocational education is a “life-changing opportunity” for young people, especially when they are retained locally and can stay close to their families.  Volk, who hosted President Obama last year to talk about jobs and the economy, has develop an Associate’s Degree programs in cooperation with the natural gas industry designed to prepare students for a career in the operations segment of the industry, a flourishing source of regional job growth.  The current job placement rate for graduating students is 95% and those not placed directly into jobs have moved on to pursue full engineering degrees at place like Penn State.

Lackawanna President Discusses Education, Energy on Platts Sunday Show – Speaking of the newsmaker and Lackawanna College, President Mark Volk also visited Platts Energy Week to discuss the need for developing new oil and gas workers with host veteran energy man Bill Loveless.

Groups Push for Efficiency Inclusion in EPA Rule – The Nat’l Assn of Regulatory Utility Commissioners NARUC), the Nat’l Assn of State Energy Officers (NASEO)  and the Nat’l Assn of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) all signed on to principles that they say will help EPA establish a “flexible framework” for energy efficiency as part of states’ compliance plans for the proposed rule.  NARUC President Colette D. Honorable  said states are leaders in developing and implementing energy efficiency programs and the early action has provided the tools to further reduce emissions and promote more efficient electricity usage.  Honorable noted that NARUC “remains neutral” on the EPA rulemaking, but said they encourage the agency to “recognize each state’s diverse generation fuel mix and provide flexibility so electricity consumers are not overburdened.”

EPA Proposes Rule on Chemical Disclosure for Natgas – Also Friday, EPA announced it is seeking input on what information should be disclosed about the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing and how it should be obtained.  In an ANPR released Friday, the agency said the public input will help the agency decide whether a rule is the best way to obtain the information.   My colleague and natgas expert Jason Hutt said predicted energy firms would respond cautiously. “I don’t know that industry would voice significant opposition at this early stage,” he said, adding that some companies are posting fracking chemical lists online.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Ridge Headlines Nemacolin Energy Institute Shale Forum – Today and tomorrow, the Nemacolin Energy Institute is holding its 5th annual Shale Energy Conference at the PA resort  Speaker will include former PA Gov. and first Homeland Security Sect. Tom Ridge, OH EPA head Craig Butler, Reps. Bill Johnson (R-OH), Tim Murphy (R-PA), Bill Shuster (R-PA), WV DEP’s James Martin and many others.  Bracewell is a sponsor.

ACEEE to Host Energy Efficiency Forum – The 8th annual 2014 ACEEE Energy Efficiency Finance Forum will take place on today and tomorrow at Capital Hilton Hotels designed specifically for investors, financiers, utilities, and policymakers, the Energy Efficiency Finance Forum will explore the latest opportunities in financing and investing in energy efficiency. Over the past seven years, the conference has grown to become one of the premier venues for discussions of energy efficiency financing policies, and an important networking opportunity.

EPA’s McCarthy Headlines Climate Officers Forum – The Association of Climate Change Officers holds Its Climate Strategies Forum today through Wednesday at the Washington Marriott.  Speakers will include EPA head Gina McCarthy (tomorrow), former Dow chief Chad Holliday and many more.

GU Forum to Look at Oil, Persian Gulf – Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies will hold presents the annual MAAS lecture “Energy and America’s Long War in the Middle East” featuring Toby Jones of Rutgers University.  Jones has lived and worked extensively in the Middle East, including several years in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.  He will discuss the distinction between energy and war were erased, collapsed in a new material order of militarized-energy networks with its epicenter in the Persian Gulf.

Forum to Discuss LNG Exports, Impacts – The U.S. Energy Association will host a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at the LNG exports and the impact on the world gas market.  Nexant’s proprietary World Gas Model  will be used to analyze the impact on the world gas market of LNG exports from North America.  How much will be exported, which markets will it go to and what are the implications for gas pricing in different markets, especially Europe and Asia Pacific.  The impact of differing levels of LNG exports on the North American.

Deloitte Energy Conference to Look at Local Impacts, Global Issues – The 2014 Deloitte Energy Conference will be held in Washington, DC tomorrow and Wednesday.  For two days, energy executives, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, and regulators from around the globe will join Deloitte’s energy professionals for an in-depth analysis of key developments and challenges facing today’s global and domestic energy markets. Speakers represent a cross-section of the world’s energy industry, and the conference topics are of keen interest to energy company management, boards of directors, investors, and all other industry professionals.  The first day of this conference features plenary sessions focusing on macro industry issues, such as the global and domestic energy outlook, the globalization of gas markets, the future of coal, the energy investment environment, and responding to water scarcity. The second day offers a mix of plenary and elective sessions which bring together specialists from across disciplines to share knowledge, experiences, and perspectives about the latest trends in the energy industry. Join industry colleagues and Deloitte’s energy specialists for two days of sharing points of view in an interactive setting.

Senate Environment to Look at Stormwater Runoff – The Senate Environment Committee’s water panel holds a hearing tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. on stormwater runoff.  Those testifying will include former Virginia Gov. Ken Cuccinelli, our friend Greg Cohen of the Highway Users Alliance, Kim Coble of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and several others.

POLITICO to Host Energy Forum – The POLITICO Pro Energy team will host a for a dynamic conversation at the Mayflower Hotel tomorrow at Noon focused on the role of energy issues in the 2014 midterm elections and future policy implications.  Speaker will include Karen Harbert at the Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, Sen. John Hoeven, LCV head Gene Karpinski and Sen. Joe Manchin.

RFF Forum to Host Exelon CEO – Resources for the Future will host an RFF Policy Leadership Forum tomorrow featuring a conversation with Exelon CEO Christopher Crane.  Crane, will be featured in a one-on-one conversation with RFF President Phil Sharp about the massive shifts affecting the energy industry and how they will shape the economy in years to come. From the changing generation mix to new consumer behaviors to emerging technologies, Crane will share his thoughts on the future of energy.

Forum to Look at Internet of Things – The Center for Data Innovation, Microsoft, ITIC and DESSC will host a breakfast and a panel discussion Wednesday to learn how public and private partnerships are building 21st century campuses and cities by connecting systems to the Internet of Things (IoT). Cities face a number of challenges from providing adequate transportation to improving energy efficiency to conserving water. From the smart grid to smart parking, the emergence of the IoT-smart, Internet-connected devices-has created new opportunities for cities to leverage technology to offer new services to their citizens, optimize the efficiency of existing services, and improve the overall sustainability of their communities.

Senate Environment to Tackle Nuclear Decommissioning – The Senate Committee on Environment will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on nuclear reactor decommissioning. Witnesses will include NRC’s Deputy Executive Director for Operations, Materials, Waste, Research, State, Tribal, and Compliance Programs Michael Weber, Del Mar, CA Council Member Don Mosier, Vermont PSC Commissioner Chris Recchia, NRDC’s Geoffrey Fettus and NEI’s Marv Fertel.

Resources Holds ESA Field Hearing – The House Resources Committee holds a field hearing on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. in Batesville, AR looking at ESA reforms, federal critical habitat designations and the rights of property owners.  Witnesses will likely include the Association of Arkansas Counties, the Arkansas Environmental Federation, the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts and the Arkansas Farm Bureau.   My colleague Eric Washburn is an expert on this topic should you need a resource.

DOE to Focus on Solar Tools – The Energy Department will present a live webinar Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. looking at solar tools and how they help policymakers.  As part of the Solar Technical Assistance Team’s Do-It-Yourself Solar Market Analysis summer series, this webinar will give an overview of the basics behind some of the most popular solar energy tools available to policymakers. Attendees will learn the optimal approaches for using energy calculators such as PVWatts, financial estimators like JEDI, and solar data aggregators such as OpenPV.

Forum to Look at Climate, Africa – On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will host a discussion with leading researchers to identify the critical questions and gaps in understanding what needs to be addressed, and how a population perspective can contribute to the development of effective adaptation strategies in Africa.  A strong call for action has been issued with the newly released 5th IPCC report, which illustrates the high environmental and security risks imposed by climate change. This call for action extends to the role of demographers in anticipating how climate change will interact with demographic factors such as population growth, women’s empowerment, age-structure, migration, and urbanization. At the same time, it’s important to address the population, environment, and security implications of extreme weather events and climate variability.

Forum to focus on Critical Infrastructure – The Institute of World Politics (IWP) will host a lecture on the topic of securing critical infrastructure, looking at public-private partnerships.  The event will feature Scott Aaronson of Edison Electric Institute.  Aaronson will discuss how government and private industry are working together to strengthen the electric grid.  He will comment on how the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, housed at EEI, links senior government and industry officials and provides a forum to discuss the most critical issues of the industry. Aaronson will review the threat profile, including an overview of the Metcalf substation shooting that took place last year in San Jose. He will discuss worst case scenarios and what we are doing to protect the grid.

EIA’s Gruenspecht to Discuss Outlook at ICF Forum – On Thursday, ICF International will host EIA’s Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht at the National Press Club to discuss EIA’s latest forecasts and the sensitivity of that outlook to key changes. With nearly every facet of energy markets in considerable flux, the EIA’s authoritative take explains how the pieces fit together and the kinds of transitions we will soon undergo.  Every year, EIA issues an Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) that serves as the touchstone for those trying to look over the horizon and improve their perspective on what future energy markets hold. With its impressive set of experts and analytics capabilities, EIA pulls together trends in fuel dynamics (e.g., shale gas and oil), electricity markets, environmental regulations, international developments, the economy, and much more.

Heitkamp to Headline CCS Forum – The Atlantic Council is hosting an event on Thursday morning looking at CCS Facts, legislative leadership and the need for incentives, featuring Senator Heidi Heitkamp and Paula Dobriansky.  Fossil fuels will remain the major source of energy for decades.  The ability to meet climate change targets at affordable cost requires a portfolio of low carbon technologies including hydroelectric, solar, wind, next generation nuclear, and fossil and biomass with carbon capture and storage (CCS).  While CCS offers significant large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and some economic opportunities such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR), key questions persist.  The CCS Facts and Policy Forum will address these questions, showcase legislative leadership on CCS and give participants the opportunity to be a part of the discussion.  Panel speakers will include DOE’s Julio Friedmann, Kurt Waltzer of the Clean Air Task Force and Patrick Falwell of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

Senate Panel Starts Look at Transportation Legislation –The Senate Environment Committee is holding a mark-up and a hearing on Surface Transportation Reauthorization (MAP-21) on Thursday. The Committee has finished writing their part of the Senate’s reauthorization of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (“MAP-21” or “Surface Transportation Reauthorization”) and the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure will be holding a mark-up.   The legislation, which is scheduled to be released later today, is expected to be a long-term, bipartisan measure to fund and improve the nation’s Federal-aid highway programs for six years at current funding plus inflation.

Forum to Look at Media, Climate Coverage – The American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University Society, Culture & Politics Program will host a seminar on Thursday at Noon looking at how journalism shapes public debates on climate change.  The event will be a roundtable with DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow Michael Brüggemann, who will discuss the role of journalism in the public debate on climate change. The event will be moderated by Dr. Lily Gardner Feldman, Director of the AICGS Society, Culture & Politics Program.

Senate Commerce Moves on Transportation – As Well, the Senate Commerce’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, and Merchant Marine Infrastructure will hold a hearing Thursday at 2:30 p.m. to hear from local officials the surface transportation reauthorization.  The witnesses for the hearing have not yet been announced and according to the Subcommittee, the hearing will focus on the reauthorization of surface transportation programs; explore the impacts of transportation investments on states, local communities, and users of the transportation system; and highlight how transportation investments help drive the economy and create jobs.

Hurricane Forum To Discuss Forecasting – On Thursday at the Stafford Centre in Stafford, Texas (South Houston), the 25th Annual Hurricane Symposium will be held looking at the latest forecasting technologies, incident management tactics and risk mitigation programs.  Speakers will include National Hurricane Center former Director Bill Read, KPRC Local 2 Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley, Port of Houston’s Captain Marcus Woodring, Hospital Corporation of America Executive Director of Emergency Services Allen Johnson, our friend and Houston Chronicle SciGuy Blogger Eric Berger, University of Miami’s Dr. Sharan Majumdar, Houston Airport System Safety and Emergency Management Manager Steve Runge and Spectra Energy’s Thomas McNulty.

CNA Military Board to Update Climate, Security Report – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., the Wilson Center and CNA Corporation will the launch of an update to the seminal 2007 report, National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, from CNA’s Military Advisory Board.  The nature and pace of climate changes being observed today and the consequences projected by  consensus scientific opinion are serious and pose severe risks for our national security. The CNA Military Advisory Board (MAB), a group of more than a dozen admirals and generals from all four branches of the U.S. military, first published a report on these threats in 2007. After nearly a decade of advances in scientific understanding and slow, or in many cases non-existent, reactions to projected changes, the MAB felt compelled to provide an update.  A panel of MAB members and report authors will hold a discussion on what has changed and why the national security implications of climate change are still important. During their decades of experience in the U.S. military, the members of the MAB have addressed many national security challenges, from containment and deterrence of the Soviet nuclear threat during the Cold War to terrorism and extremism in recent years. The national security risks of the changing climate, they contend, are as serious as any of these.

Forum to Look at Public Transportation – On Thursday at 12:30 p.m., the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the National League of Cities (NLC) and the U.S. Travel Association will host a briefing in Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) 212-210 (Senate side) as part of Infrastructure Week 2014.  The event will focus on public transportation’s impacts on local economies and why further investment in new and existing public transit systems has a fundamental impact on the nation’s economic vitality. The briefing will explore real-world examples backed up by a research report from APTA that investigates the connection between public transit and local economic development, productivity, and job creation.   Speakers for this forum are Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker (of National League of Cities), American Public Transportation Association   President Michael Melaniphy and a speaker from the U.S. Travel Association.

CSIS Forum to Look at US Energy Role – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Fereidun Fesharaki, Chairman of FACTS Global Energy, to discuss the changing U.S. role in the energy landscape and the implications for global markets and Asia, the Middle East, Russia, and Europe. The emergence of the U.S. as a growing oil and gas producer has surprised the energy world.  The backdrop of changes in supply from other regions, persistent supply disruptions, growing demand for natural gas and oil, raises the question of the future role of the U.S. in global markets  and the implications for other major producers and consumers.  Fesharaki, a leading expert on global oil and gas markets, will discuss these dynamics as well as other oil and gas  market developments. David Pumphrey, Senior Adviser in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

Forum to Discuss Hydrogen Fuel Cells – On Friday at Noon in the Senate Visitor Center Room 208, the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, in cooperation with the Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus will host a presentation looking at resiliency and efficiency with hydrogen fuel cells.  Speakers will include DOE’s Deputy Asst. Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar, Scott Gerke of Honda, Gwen Bluemich of Daimler, Frank Wolak of FuelCell Energy and Proton’s Steve Szymanski.

FUTURE EVENTS

Building Week Set – Next week, May 19-23  is High Performance Building Week, an annual celebration of high performing buildings organized by the coalition of building industry stakeholders that support the HPB Congressional Caucus.  The High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition (HPBCCC) is a private sector coalition providing guidance and support to the High-Performance Buildings Caucus of the U.S. Congress.   The High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition will work with the Congressional Caucus to promote and showcase best practices in building design and focus on issues reflecting all aspects of high-performance buildings

Smart Grid Town Hall Meeting Set – Next Monday through Wednesday, the National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid will hold its 11th forum looking at of the demand response and smart grid community in Washington, DC.  It is unique in that it devotes an entire day to roundtable discussions featuring CEOs and heads of government agencies having discussions with each other, and with the audience, on the latest trends, issues, and business developments. The National Town Meeting also features two tracks of breakout sessions, with detailed presentations on case studies, the latest research and technology demonstrations. Approximately 400 attendees are expected this year. In 2014, 50 different utilities sent at least one representative to the National Town Meeting.

DOE Methane Meetings Continue – On May 20th, DOE will hold another methane roundtable featuring academics, non-governmental organizations, and environmental groups.  Previous meetings included Labor and manufacturing groups.  There will also be one more meeting on June 11th with natural gas companies.

PBF, Valero Speaker to Headline Platts Conference – Platts will hold its 3rd Annual North American Refined Products conference in Houston at the Marriott West Loop on May 20th and 21st.  The event explores supply and demand for refined products from the North American PADD regions and the opportunities and challenges in those markets.  Keynote speaker will be Todd O’Malley of PBF Energy.  Other speakers will include Valero’s Richard Grissom.

Distributed Solar Forum Set – Infocast will hold its Distributed Solar East Forum on Tuesday through Thursday, May 20 – 22 at the DoubleTree Crystal City.  Solar project developers and integrators, utilities, regulators, investors, lenders, panel suppliers, contractors, installers, EPCs and other industry players will gather at Distributed Solar East 2014 to explore how to move distributed solar forward. The Summit has developed into a major networking event for the entire distributed solar community— where people connect, build relationships and get valuable new insights into the distributed solar markets in the East and strategies for financing distributed solar projects.

Bay, LeFleur Hearing Set for FERC – The Senate Energy Committee will meet on Tuesday, May 20th to consider the pending nominations of Cheryl LaFleur and Norman Bay, to be Members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Should be Interesting…

Forum to Look at Climate, Historic Landmarks – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) will hold a forum on Tuesday May 20th at 1:30 p.m. in 902 Hart highlighting the risks climate change poses to landmark historic sites around the United States. This briefing will unveil a new report from UCS which highlights climate threats to the nation’s iconic landmarks and historic sites, and details steps being taken to protect these national treasures. The report includes 30 at-risk sites, including places where the “first Americans” lived, the Spaniards ruled, English colonists landed, slavery rose and fell, and gold prospectors struck it rich. Some of the sites also commemorate more modern “firsts,” such as the race to put the first man on the moon.  Speakers for this forum are  NM Sen. Martin Heinrich, Alan Spears of the National Parks Conservation Association  and several more.

House Veterans Panel to Look at Jobs, Energy for Veterans – The House Veterans Affairs Committee panel will hold a hearing on Tuesday May 20th at 2:00 p.m. exploring jobs for veterans in the energy sector.  Last week, Steve Nowlan, Executive Director of American Jobs for American Heroes, was featured at a press club newsmaker that addresses the skills gap in manufacturing and energy.  AJAH is a program that focuses on addressing the skills gap by connecting manufacturers with members of the military.

Kasparov to Speak at Cato Dinner – The Cato Institute will announce its Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty at its 2014 Biennial Dinner on May 21st at the Waldorf–Astoria Hotel in New York City.  The keynote address will be presented by Garry Kasparov, former Chess champion, Russian Pro-Democracy leader and Global Human-Rights activist.  The Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, named in honor of perhaps the greatest champion of liberty in the 20th century, is presented every other year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to advance human freedom. The prize carries a cash award of $250,000.

Groups to Focus On GHG Target Setting – The WWF, World Resources Institute and CDP will hold a  one day workshop on Thursday May 22nd to learn about and provide input on a new method to develop science-based corporate GHG reduction targets. This workshop is part of a larger public consultation process we are opening for companies to share useful insights for the improvement of this method.  Workshop objectives include creating an understanding of approaches to science-based corporate target setting and the need for increased ambition in achieving GHG emission reductions, getting input on a new sector-specific methodology to science-based target setting and getting input on proposed guidance for companies on how to implement science-based target setting.

Green BRT to Look at Business Model Innovation – The Green Business Roundtable will host JP Leous to discuss Business Model Innovation on the environment on Thursday, May 22nd at 11:30 a.m.  at Elizabeth’s on L.  The idea of business model innovation captivates business leaders and sustainability advocates alike. The inner workings of a business model—its products and processes, its interactions with stakeholders, what and how it measures, the transactions it requires—influence a company’s ability to thrive in the future, and shape its impacts on people and planet.   As global trends — environmental, social, political, technological — continue to shift the foundations of our current business models, incremental innovation will become less effective in enabling companies, industries and whole economies to adapt and succeed. There is an urgent need for fundamentally different approaches to value creation.  Innovative thinker, JP Leous (Senior Manager, SustainAbility), drives client-focused solutions on brand positioning and performance through innovative projects, corporate sustainability strategy, materiality and trends analysis, business case development and external stakeholder engagement.  Prior to joining SustainAbility JP worked on and off Capitol Hill with civil society organizations focused on a number of climate-related legislative campaigns. JP also serves as a Lecturer at The George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services.

RFF Seminar to Look at Ecology – Resources for the Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar on May 28th at 12:45 p.m. focused on natural resources, ecology and public policy. Demographers emphasize that the population growth rate has steadily declined over the last four decades and is expected to continue declining at a rapid rate. What does this demographic phenomenon signify for demands on natural resources and ecological systems? What other factors may concurrently come into play? This moderated panel discussion will draw on the emerging insight that humankind may be in the era of the “Anthropocene,” prompting us to reconsider interrelationships among people, resources, ecology, and the way public policies shape these linkages. Jack Bobo will discuss some of the key demographic trends. Erle Ellis, who has developed the still more recent concept of the “anthrome,” will discuss implications for ecological systems, including whether the potential to conserve biodiversity may, paradoxically, be increased by rapid urbanization and more intensive use of agricultural land. Roger Sedjo and Joel Darmstadter will emphasize the joint influence of markets and policy intervention, particularly in the cases of forests, agriculture, and energy.

Forbes Exec to Keynote Energy Capital Conference – The 7th annual Energy Capital Conference will be held June 9-10th at the Omni Houston Hotel.  The event addresses effective strategies for oil and gas executives interested in expanding their knowledge of how to successfully access and deploy capital.  The keynote speaker will be entrepreneur-turned-publisher, columnist, television commentator, private investor and board director, Rich Karlgaard.  Karlgaard has a unique vantage point on the trends driving the business and investment climates. His insights help audiences see the global marketplace with new eyes.

EIA Head to Keynote International Energy Conference in NYC – Adam Sieminski, administrator of the Energy Information Administration will address the international implications of the U.S. energy renaissance at the 37th annual International Association for Energy Economics conference at the New Yorker Hotel in the big apple on June 16th.  The conference goes through June 18 and also features thought leaders across business, government and academia including representatives from Statoil, National Renewable Energy Labs, IMF, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, UC Davis, Baker Hughes, Citi Research, SunEdison and many more. See the Detailed conference schedule here.

FERC Commissioners to Address Regional Regulators Conference – The Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners (MACRUC) will hold its 19th  Annual Education Conference on June 22nd through 25th at the Hotel Hershey.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioners John Norris and Phil Moeller, as well as NARUC head Colette Honorable, New Jersey Natural Gas CEO Laurence Downes, Bill Colton of ExxonMobil, Walter Lynch of American Water and Exelon Utilities CEO Denis O’Brien.

Summit to Target Crude By Rail Issues – American Business Conferences will hold a Crude By Rail summit on June 24-25 in Houston to focus specifically on how each stakeholder can cost effectively optimize safety in their operations to restore confidence and promote reliability.  As the only crude by rail event specifically focused on optimizing safety, the Crude By Rail Safety Initiative 2014 host speakers from every key stakeholder group, including regulators, shippers, railroad operators, transloaders and refiners to quantify the cost-impacts of improving the safety of crude by rail operations.  Expert speakers will breakdown railroad strategies for improving safety and shipper strategies for crude testing, classification and transloading, provide a cost-analysis of railcar upgrades, clarify how the emerging regulatory landscape will impact each stakeholder and examine best practice emergency response and hazmat training.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update Week of January 27

Friends,

“Super Bowl in NY” Week starts strong with some great hockey yesterday at Yankee Stadium.  I always love watching outdoor hockey games and was even more fascinated by Saturday night’s game at Dodger Stadium between the Ducks and Kings in 70-degree weather.  Nice work by the NHL’s ice crew to get that set.  How cool was it to see palm trees in the picture as a real NHL game, where the points mattered, raged on.

So despite the cold, get your Super Bowl pool/grids ready and line up the Super menu for Sunday’s big game.  Perhaps the NFL assumed global warming would have taken a stronger hold by now when they awarded NY/NJ (have to add Jersey in there so they don’t feel slighted) the game back in 2010.  But, looks like if you’re going, you’ll have to dress for frigid weather.

And, is it just me, or was there not that much music that actually was rewarded last night?  It seems the better musicians/singers were left out of the winners’ circle in lieu of helmet-dressed clowns and more fake/pop rappers.   And while Arby’s got a good laugh with a tweet asking for its hat back, I also think Dudley Do-Right may be making the same request.   Even the Rock category winners were won by older overdone celebrations of poor shells of Led Zeppelin and Ozzy Osbourne, whom I both love, but readily admit that their best days are long passed.

Lots of events this week in DC, mostly centering around tomorrow’s State of the Union Address by the President.  Our friend Josh Hicks at the Washington Post dropped some fun facts about the SOTU that are worth the read.  We expect some discussion of energy issues, but it will likely take a back seat to other issues such as health care, economic opportunities, education and jobs.  We also will be tweeting/watching/reacting/laughing/harrumphing (click on this one and laugh) as speech rolls on.

As for Congress, House Energy moves the bipartisan GHG emissions delay legislation tomorrow while Senate Energy tackles crude exports for the first hearing on the subject Thursday.

Finally, if you’re looking for some warmer weather, Waste Management will host its Executive Sustainability Forum on Thursday alongside it sponsorship of the PGA’s Phoenix Open.   Play starts Thursday, but of course, actions are already rolling at the TPC Scottsdale, home of the most awesome fan hole in golf.  In its forum, WM will bring together environmental experts and industry pioneers to look at recent innovations that can open new avenues for sustainability in your own environment.  GreenBiz will be streaming the event live.

Call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Reconsiders RFS Rule – The EPA said late last week that it will revisit its 2013 volume requirements for cellulosic biofuels in response to industry production that fell below forecasts.  EPA notified the American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers granted their petitions for reconsideration.  Refiner trade assn head Charlie Drevna said “the agency’s optimism for cellulosic biofuel appears to have been tempered by reality.” API’s Bob Greco added that, “It’s refreshing that EPA has finally agreed to reconsider bad public policy, mandating biofuels that do not exist,” and he asked that the mandate be predicated on “actual production rather than projections that — year after year — have fallen far short of reality.”

Green Biz Releases Annual Report – Green Biz released its 7th annual State of Green Business report.  Like the six reports that came before, the report looks at key trends and metrics that assess how, and how well, companies are doing in addressing sustainability challenges. Green Biz partnered with Trucost, the UK firm that has been at the cutting edge of developing performance metrics on natural capital.  This year’s report shows that despite the increase of corporate sustainability achievements and commitments, progress is elusive. Put together, the 2,000 or so companies aren’t moving the needle on greenhouse gas emissions, water efficiency, waste reduction, air pollution and other metrics.  The report is also the basis for the annual GreenBiz Forum, coming up in February. In preparation for the forum, Waste Management will host its Executive Sustainability Forum.  WM will bring together environmental experts and industry pioneers to look at recent innovations that can open new avenues for sustainability in your own environment.  GreenBiz will be streaming the event live, Thursday from 10 am to 5:30 pm Eastern Time.

Energy Guardian Source: EPA Won’t Impose Toughest Regs on Coal Ash – Our good friend Ed Felker of Energy Guardian reported late last week that the Obama Administration will continue to treat the power plant waste as a non-hazardous substance.  Felker reports that the decision, which could come as early as next week, would be a victory for recyclers and utilities and a setback for environmentalists who have pressed to regulate coal ash more stringently as a hazardous waste following the TVA coal ash incident in 2010.  The head of the nation’s largest recycler of coal fly ash Kirk Benson, chief executive of Utah-based Headwaters, told Felker that EPA plans to comply with a federal judge’s order to set a date to finalize new ash disposal regulations under Section D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which covers non-hazardous wastes.

Former MD Gov to Release New Book – Former Maryland Gov. and Rep. Bob Ehrlich recently released his second book on the future of the political system in America.   The book takes aim at what the former MD Governor calls a “venomous progressivism” commanding national politics.  Ehrlich highlights flaws in the Affordable Care Act, and covers the Obamacare debate and key controversial issues like the contraception mandate.  Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an Ehrlich friend and a political ally did the foreword for the book. Ehrlich will be featured at a book event in DC on Tuesday February 11th at Liberty Place, (325 7th St. NW) at 4:00 p.m.

E&E’s Energy Wire Increases Scope, Hires Key Reporters – Our friends at Environment & Energy Publishing LLC have recently announced a major expansion of EnergyWire’s scope of coverage, adding the various forces reshaping the electric utility industry to its longstanding coverage of unconventional energy — from environmental concerns to energy security to the infrastructure necessary to support this massive new resource.  Among the major consequences stemming from unconventional energy development is the huge increase in domestic natural gas production, an event that is dramatically reshaping the electric utility industry as gas becomes the go-to fuel for base-load power, displacing other sources. Other factors, from expanded solar energy utilization to “smart grids,” are also changing the traditional electric utility model, and the expansion of EnergyWire will bring all these elements together in one premier daily service, staffed with some of the best reporters in the business.  EnergyWire has recently added a bunch of our media friends including former Bloomberg Houston reporter Ed Klump, new technologies and alternative energy development expert and former NYT, Forbes and Guardian reporter David Ferris, former Atlanta J-C and Palm Beach Post Business/utilities reporter Kristi Swartz, former St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Bloomberg News Midwest energy/industry expert Jeffrey Tomich, longtime editor-in-chief of Platts’ electric power group Rod Kuckro and veteran Bloomberg/Ft. Worth Star-Telegram veteran Mike Lee.

Report: Solar Creating Significant Job Growth – The nonprofit Solar Foundation released a jobs census report from bw Research Partners and the George Washington University’s Solar Institute saying the solar industry added 23,682 jobs in 2013, increasing its employment to 142,698 people, a 19.9% year-over-year increase.  Solar employers expect to add 22,000 in 2014, according to the survey.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Energy Summit Set – The 2014 American Energy Summit will be held today and tomorrow in Arlington, Virginia and will focus on the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on new energy projects by the federal government, state and local governments, and by private industry.

House GHG Emission Bill Markup Set – The full House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a markup of the Whitfield-Manchin bill targeting EPA greenhouse gas regulations and a building efficiency bill tomorrow staring at 10:00 a.m.  Recently, the Energy and Power Subcommittee approved the legislation.  Opening statements begin today around 5:00 p.m.

STATE OF THE UNION, January 28th – President Obama will deliver his State of the Union Address to Congress tomorrow.  While healthcare and job creation are expected to get top billing, Energy is expected to play a prominent role.

Alt Fuels Workshops Set for Next Week at DC Auto Show – The Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition and the Washington Auto Show are partnering tomorrow through Thursday to provide alternative fuels training, workshops, and panels during this year’s show. This represents the first time that the Coalition is partnering with the Auto Show in this way, and we will be providing alternative fuels training, panels, and workshops relevant to the needs of fleets and organizations in our region.

The agenda is available here.

Conference to Look at Science, Climate Solutions – The 14th National Conference & Global Forum on Science, Policy & the Environment will be held on Tuesday-Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport.  Over 1,200 key individuals from many fields of sciences and engineering, government and policy, business and civil society to advance solutions to climate change.  The conference will be organized around two areas: [1] The Built Environment; and, [2] Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Forum to Look at 2014 Energy Choices – The American Security Project will host a forum tomorrow to look at America’s Energy Choices for 2014.  The way America uses and produces energy remains a hotly debated issue in Washington and around the country. We will discuss the various energy choices available to the United States currently and in the years to come.  A range of speakers from across multiple energy producing industries will be announced shortly.

Krosnick, Sharp to Discuss Climate Public Attitudes – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in 2325 Rayburn discussing American perceptions of climate change following a new in-depth survey conducted in December by Resources for the Future, Stanford University, and USA Today. For the first time, the survey explored in detail the public’s attitudes toward generating electricity from various sources and its attitude toward fracking in particular.  Speakers will include Stanford’s Jon Krosnick and RFF President Phil Sharp.  Initial results from the survey were featured in the December 20 issue of USA Today, but Dr. Krosnick will present a wide array of additional results, including whether the public believes climate change has been happening, what should and should not be done about it, whether the public supports or opposes specific government policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and more. RFF President Phil Sharp will discuss the poll results in the context of the current U.S. climate and energy policy landscape.

SNL Conference On Energy M&A Set for NYC – SNL Energy’s 27th Annual Exnet Power and Gas M&A Symposium – a national energy conference will be held on tomorrow and Wednesday at the Ritz-Carlton in New York.  The Symposium is the annual go-to event for industry executives, as well as financial and legal advisors who are concerned with strategic planning, business development and the economics of the sector. The speakers and audience are comprised of industry decision-makers, plus heads of power and utility practices at leading investment banks, law firms and consultancies.

Energy Happy Hour Set – The Leaders in Energy LinkedIn and CSRinDC (Corporate Social Responsibility) Meetup group will be co-hosting their professional networking Happy Hour on tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. at the Banana Cafe & Piano Bar.  The mission of the Leaders in Energy group is to gather people together who delight in thinking about, discussing, and collaborating on energy, environmental and sustainability topics.

IEA Coal Report to be Released at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will release the IEA’s Medium-Term Coal Market Report from 2013 in Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.  The event will feature Keisuke Sadamori, Director for Energy Markets and Security at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present IEA’s Report. The report, part of the IEA’s Medium-Term Reports series, provides IEA forecasts on coal markets for the coming five years as well as an in-depth analysis of recent developments in global coal demand, supply, and trade.  This third annual report shows that while coal continues to be a growing source of primary energy worldwide, its future is increasingly tied to developments in non-OECD countries, led by China. The current low prices for coal add a new challenge to the sector, which is facing uncertainty due to increasing environmental legislation and competition from other fuels, like US shale gas or European renewables. The report addresses significant questions including whether depressed prices for coal will boost the fuel’s consumption; if other developing countries will follow in China’s footsteps by increasingly relying on coal to fuel economic growth; and, above all, whether the strong growth of coal in China will continue between now and 2018. Jane Nakano, Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

Fusion Power to Be Focus of Forum – The American Security Project will host a forum on Wednesday at Noon in 2325 Rayburn (House Energy/Commerce) focused on fusion power.  Sustainable and controlled fusion power has been a dream for the scientific community for decades. However, recent advances in research and technology have raised hopes that fusion could become a new source of electricity. U.S. ITER Project Office Director Ned Sauthoff will discuss the topic with a panel.

RFF Event to Look at Forest, GHG Management – Resources for the Future will host an event on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. in its First Floor Conference Center on the contributions of forest on GHG management. Responsible management of temperate forests in the United States can play an important and ongoing role in climate change mitigation at a national and international scale. This RFF Seminar, co-sponsored by Resources for the Future and the Society of American Foresters, will delve into some of the questions that surround carbon accounting and forest management. The event, moderated by RFF Senior Fellow Roger Sedjo, will feature presentations by David Cleaves, explaining the integral role of the US Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis Program in determining carbon stocks; William Stewart, describing the results of new research comparing best practices and regulators’ assumptions about the carbon profiles of managed forests and the harvested products from such forests in northern California; and Robert Malmsheimer, discussing the recent work of the SAF’s Carbon Accounting Team to dissect the latest science underlying these discussions.

Forum, Report to Look at Arctic Energy – The Canada Institute, the Kennan Institute, and the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program will launch of “In Search of Arctic Energy” on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.  The program will discuss the findings of the new paper and delve into the implications that arctic energy exploration will have for the region and the globe’s energy economy.  Speakers will include Mikkal Herberg of the National Bureau of Asian Research, Chevron’s Bill Scott, RFF’s Joel Darmstadter and State of Alaska State-Federal Relations Director Kip Knudson, among others.

Wind Guideline Discussion Set – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hosting a training broadcast series Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to cover the voluntary Land-based Wind Energy Guidelines (WEG) and how it applies to distributed wind.  Host Christy Johnson-Hughes will be joined by Kathy Boydston (Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies), Charles Newcomb (Endurance Wind Power), and Jennifer Norris (Ohio Department of Natural Resources). The broadcast will focus on how the WEG apply to distributed wind energy projects; coordination with State agencies; and the identification of “species of habitat fragmentation concern” as defined in the WEG.

Panel to Look at Geothermal – The American Geosciences Institute will host an event on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in 1334 Longworth looking at geothermal resources and value chains.  According to the U.S. Geological Survey, heat from the Earth’s interior could fuel more than 10 percent of the nation’s current electrical generating capacity.  The United States is already the world leader, accounting for 28 percent of the global installed geothermal capacity.  Nevada, California, Utah, and Oregon have the greatest amount of current geothermal development, but other states have significant potential, particularly as new technologies are developed.  Innovative processes, such as enhanced geothermal systems, extracting strategic materials from geothermal brines, and large-scale direct-use applications are just some of the new developments happening in the industry.  West Virginia’s Brian Anderson, Patrick Dobson of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Chad Augustine of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will join the panel moderated by DOE’s Director of Geothermal Technologies.

Forum to Discuss Energy Security Book – Georgetown University will host a book launch Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. in the Mortara Building Boardroom to celebrate the recent publication of Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition (co-editors Jan Kalicki and David Goldwyn) by Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press.  Goldwyn, Kalicki, Dr. Raad Alkadiri and Dr. Brenda Shaffer will also join in a panel discussion.

USDA Industry Day to Focus on Biofuels – The USDA will host an industry day on Thursday for the newly established Farm to Fleet program. Under the Navy Biofuels program established through the Defense Production Act Title III, the USDA is required to support one-third of the total $510 million program. Through the Farm to Fleet program, the USDA will commit Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds to purchase 70 million gallons of JP-5 or F-76 fuel for the Navy from biofuel blends ranging up to 50 percent. If biofuels meeting these specifications have a higher cost than the bulk fuel purchase made by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), CCC funds will be used to offset this price difference and result in an overall price-equivalent biofuel portion of the total 700 million gallons of JP-5 and F-76 to be purchased in this round of contracts.  The Industry Day will include discussions on which feedstocks are eligible or preferred, as well as partnerships between experienced biofuel developers who have worked with the Navy, Air Force, or DLA and traditional suppliers of bulk fuel contracts. Sample contracts may become available as soon as this month.

EEI, ELI to Host GHG Emissions Conference – The Edison Electric Institute and the Environmental Law Institute will hold a day-long conference on Thursday to look at GHG regulations. As you know, the President aims at reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 by using Section 111 of the Clean Air Act to reduce both new and existing power plant greenhouse gas emissions with a goal of implementing regulations before the end of his term in office.  The legal issues inherent in undertaking this task are extremely complex with significant economic, environmental, and social implications. And the timetable laid out by the President is extremely ambitious.  This conference brings together top experts in the field of energy and environmental law to discuss the legal hurdles and possibilities as well as the real-world ramifications of using Section 111 to address power plant greenhouse gas emissions.  Discussion leaders will focus on the legal uncertainties EPA and power producers will face as well as the day-to-day implications these regulations and the regulatory uncertainty will have for power producers, users, and state regulators as this new regulatory regime is constructed.  In a wrap up session, panelists will discuss relevant legislative history and review likely legal arguments to be made in response to and in support of proposed GHG rules for the power sector.

Senate to Tackle Crude Exports – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Thursday to examine opportunities and challenges associated with lifting the ban on United States crude oil exports.  Already, Senator Murkowski has made several important speeches on the topic, which is fast becoming an issue of importance.  Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, will testify, as well as CAP’s Daniel Weiss, University of California-Davis energy and sustainability executive director Amy Myers Jaffe and Delta Air Lines’ Graeme Burnett.

Senate Environment to Hear from NRC – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday featuring all five NRC commissioners.  The hearing will focus on implementation of Fukushima near-term task force recommendations and other safety issues.

Forum to Address Oil, Gas, Asian Markets – The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) will hold an on-the-record panel discussion on Thursday at 9:15 a.m. at the Army-Navy Club in DC looking at the role of North American unconventional oil and natural gas production in a dynamic Asia-Pacific energy sector, and key security issues for Asian energy markets. Panelists will include Fluor’s William Bodie, former Daewoo Shipbuilding VP JungHan Lee, Harvard University’s Holly Morrow and Kanji Yamanouchi from the Embassy of Japan.

Forum to Look at Energy in Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania – The George Washington University’s IERES Petrach Program on Ukraine will hold a forum on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. to look at the politics of energy in Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania.  Recent events in Ukraine again bring up the question of countries’ energy policy choices and the role of powerful domestic groups in relation to Russia and the EU. The Politics of Energy Dependency looks at these issues from the perspective of post-independence energy politics in three post-Soviet states: Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. It compares these three states’ reactions to the serious external shock of their sudden transformation from constituents of a single energy-rich state to separate energy-poor entities heavily dependent on Russia, as well as politically-independent transit states. Using extensive field research and until now untapped local sources in Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian, and Lithuanian, the book analyzes how these states’ unique location, powerful domestic economic actors often making a profit of their situation of energy dependency (oligarchs), and Russian power, has affected Russia’s ability to use energy as a foreign policy tool in the region, and these states’ own political development.  Seton Hall University’s Margarita M. Balmaceda will address the topic.

Waste Management to Host Forum – Waste Management will host its Executive Sustainability Forum on Thursday alongside it sponsorship of the PGA’s Phoenix Open.   WM will bring together environmental experts and industry pioneers to look at recent innovations that can open new avenues for sustainability in your own environment.  GreenBiz will be streaming the event live.

Levi to address JHU Forum – Johns Hopkins University’s African Studies program will host a speech on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. from Michael Levi, the David M. Rubenstein senior fellow for Energy and Environment at the Council on Foreign Relations.  Levi will discuss the international consequences of the U.S. oil and gas boom.

Green BRT to Look at Forestry – The January Green Business Roundtable will be held on Friday at 11:30 a.m. at the National Wildlife Federation National Advocacy Center to look at sustaining forests and improving supply chains via credible certifications.  Forest products for industrial and personal consumption are some of the most freely traded commodities in today’s global marketplace. But the trade in these products have also been implicated in the increasingly historic loss of forest cover worldwide, contributing 15-20 % of the CO2 emissions attributed to the global climate change challenge.  Forestry economics expert Bruce Cabarle will speak to his efforts during his 20 year tenure with the World Wildlife Fund and the Forest Stewardship Council to promote sustainable supply chains via public-private partnerships to promote environmentally, socially and economically sound solutions to this challenge.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Maisano to Headline Media Seminar – For those of you focused on media relations and policy communications, I will be participating in a webinar on February 4th focused on creating a successful media strategies for the policy environment.  We will look at the nexus between policy communications and government affairs, as well as crisis management.  Finally, we will offer some of the tools of the trade.  We can also help you with a discount if you want to join in.

BGov Transportation Forum to Feature LaHood, Rendell – Bloomberg Government and Building America’s Future will hold a conversation on Tuesday, February 4th at 8:00 a.m. about the transportation challenges in Washington and across the country.  Speakers will include Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Chairman, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Victor Mendez, Acting Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation.  Panelists will include former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, former PA Gov. Ed Rendell and former VA DOT Secretary Sean Connaughton.

Rogers, Binz Headline Brookings Utility Forum – The Brookings Energy Security Initiative will host Brookings Trustee and former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and ESI Nonresident Senior Fellows Mike Chesser and Ron Binz to discuss the future of the electric utility industry, including regulatory challenges, implications for customers and impact on utility strategy.   The existing utility business model is under threat globally. Major transformative trends in the U.S., Europe, Australia and elsewhere are affecting the relationship between utilities and customers, creating opportunities for a wide array of new, non-utility players. Some call this “disintermediation” or “edge power,” where services such as data analytics, distributed generation, storage, demand response, energy efficiency, and financing are provided by non-utility entities along the value chain from generation to customer end-use. How are utilities reacting and what future utility business models could emerge?

ELI Panel to Look at 2014 Enviro Agenda – The Environmental Law Institute will hold an ELI Research Seminar on February 5th to discuss of what effects the next Obama Administration will have on environmental law, policy, and practice in 2014. Four expert practitioners will have an “inside-baseball” discussion about upcoming policies and regulatory agendas at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Interior, among other regulatory agencies.  Panelists will include former EPA GC Scott Fulton, former White House CEQ expert Gary Guzy, former FERC enforcement expert Sheila Slocum Hollis and Bill Meadows of the Wilderness Society.

NASEO Policy Outlook Conference Set for DC – The National Assn of state Energy Officials will hold its 2014 Energy Policy Outlook Conference at the Fairmont on February 4th through 7th.   The conference will focus on the energy and economic opportunity in modernizing the nation’s energy infrastructure—electric grid, pipelines, buildings, and transportation—to achieve a more resilient, sustainable, and energy efficient future.   The need to modernize our aging energy infrastructure is among the most important global competitive challenges facing the United States.  Our energy system is being stressed in order to meet complex operational demands, such as grid integration, shifts in resources and energy flows, cybersecurity, and an infusion of digital technologies across every sector of the economy.

Press Club Congressional Dinner Set – The Washington Press Club Foundation holds its 70th Annual Congressional Dinner on Wednesday February 5th in the evening at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s Grand Ballroom Concourse.

RFF to Discuss Unconventional Ideas For Resources – Resources For the Future (RFF) will hold its February First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday February 5th at 12:45 p.m.  Demographers emphasize that the population growth rate has steadily declined over the last four decades and is expected to continue declining at a rapid rate. What does this demographic phenomenon signify for demands on natural resources and ecological systems? What other factors may concurrently come into play? This moderated panel discussion will draw on the emerging insight that humankind may be in the era of the “Anthropocene,” prompting us to reconsider interrelationships among people, resources, ecology, and the way public policies shape these linkages. The State Department’s Jack Bobo will discuss some of the key demographic trends. UMBC Professor Erle Ellis, who has developed the still more recent concept of the “anthrome,” will discuss implications for ecological systems, including whether the potential to conserve biodiversity may, paradoxically, be increased by rapid urbanization and more intensive use of agricultural land. Roger Sedjo and Joel Darmstadter will emphasize the joint influence of markets and policy intervention, particularly in the cases of forests, agriculture, and energy.

POLITICO Forum to Discuss 2014 Energy Issues – POLITICO will host an in-depth look at the landscape for energy policy in 2014 and the implications for Congress and the administration on Thursday, February 6th at 8:00 am at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.  Special Guests will include Sens. John Barrasso and Sheldon Whitehouse as well as Reps. Joe Barton, Diana DeGette, Gene Green and John Shimkus.

Sustainable Energy Factbook Released – Bloomberg New Energy Finance & the Business Council for Sustainable Energy will release the 2014 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook on Thursday, February 6th at Noon.   Over the past five years, the US economy has continued its shift to the increased production and consumption of lower-carbon energy. Join Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy for the release of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook to find out more about what happened in this complex US energy transformation in 2013 and the reasons why.  In 2013, some clean energy technologies solidified their market shares and gained traction while others were stymied by stalled policy activity that could have propelled further growth. The second edition of the Factbook will detail this and other trends while offering fresh analysis of the “state of sustainable energy” in the United States.  The Factbook includes new data on 1) Clean energy investment and deployment levels in the states; 2) Energy efficiency, biomass, biogas, and waste-to-energy industries ; 3) Smart technologies that aim to improve productivity and lower costs for consumers and businesses; and 4) Emerging trends such as “resilient” energy infrastructure and distributed generation.  The Factbook is an objective and quantitative report that provides up-to-date (through year-end 2013), accurate market intelligence about the broad range of industries – energy efficiency, renewable energy and natural gas – that are contributing to the country’s rapid shifts in energy production, distribution and use.  These sectors are no longer sources of “alternative” energy, but are quickly embedding themselves into the mainstream fabric of the US energy economy.

Segal, Holmstead Featured in ELI Debate on GHG Issues – The Environmental Law Institute will host a debate on Thursday, February 6th at 12:00 p.m. regulating emissions outside the facility fenceline under Clean Air Act Section 111. Whether U.S. EPA and states can regulate emissions outside the facility fenceline is a critical factor in shaping the regulatory response to climate change using Clean Air Act Section 111. There has been much rhetoric about the ability of states and EPA to create regulatory tools such as a emissions trading of greenhouse gasses, but policy experts and professionals need a more definitive answer.  To address this topic, ELI announces its second seminar in a debate format. Loosely following an academic debate structure, two expert teams will argue the resolution, ask questions of the other side, and identify points of agreement and disagreement. Following the debate, the discussion will open to audience questions. We hope this format will help to crystallize issues and separate fact from rhetoric.  Debaters in the AFFIRMATIVE include Megan Ceronsky of EDF and NRDC’s David Doniger while debaters in the NEGATIVE will include Bracewell’s Jeffrey Holmstead and Scott Segal.

NARUC Winter Meetings Set – The National Assn of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) will host its Winter Meetings on February 9th through 12th at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  Five U.S. senators and two cabinet secretaries will address a gathering of State utility regulators.  Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas will speak during the morning general session on Tuesday, February 11th. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will deliver a keynote address at the Opening General Session Monday, February 10th.  Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will speak at the closing session on Wednesday, February 12th. Dan Utech, director for Energy and Climate Change at the White House, will join Secretary Moniz. Also, EPA Air office head Janet McCabe will participate in a panel discussion on Tuesday.  Other speakers include EPRI CEO Mike Howard, Edison Electric Institute Executive Vice President of Business Operations David Owens, NRDC Energy Program Co-Director Ralph Cavanagh, and many more.  The cross-cutting agenda will feature discussions on net-neutrality, climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy development, gas pipeline safety, telecommunications legislative policy, and distributed generation and the smart grid, among other topics.

NARUC, FERC to Discuss Resources – In addition to the NARUC Winter meeting, the NARUC and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Sunday Morning Collaborative will discuss resource adequacy issues on Sunday, February 9th. FERC commissioners will also join the NARUC Committees on Electricity and Energy Resources and the Environment for a joint meeting Tuesday, February 11th.

Market Experts to Tackle Crude Exports Question – CSIS’s North American Oil and Gas Infrastructure Working Group will hold a forum on Monday, February 10th at 9:30 a.m. looking at crude oil export market drivers and near-term implications.  This session will examine the impact of surging domestic crude oil production on the potential for changing current policy restricting crude oil exports. As the price differential between domestic and international crudes remains wide, producers have become more vocal about their desire for a less restrictive export system. Recently, leading producer appeals have been joined by calls for reform from Washington, including from Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Lisa Murkowski, and Senate Democratic ENR Committee member Mary Landrieu.  As the debate about crude oil exports heats up, many questions remain. Why have crude exports become an issue, and what are the consequences of inaction? The panelists will present their assessments of the market impact restricting or allowing crude exports. A discussion will follow with speakers Roger Diwan of IHS Energy Insight, Citi Research’s Ed Morse, Kevin Book of ClearView Energy Partners and Michael Cohen of Barclays.

Bracewell to Host Environmental Symposium in Houston – On February 11th, Bracewell & Giuliani will host a forum on environment issues in Houston.  More on this in the upcoming weeks.  While it will not be open to the media, it will feature B&G experts in a series of briefings and discussions about the most challenging environmental legal issues facing the energy and heavy industries today.

Moniz, The Fray to Open Ivanpah Solar Project – NRG Energy, BrightSource, Google and Bechtel will hold a grand opening of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System on February 12th and February 13th in Las Vegas.  Ivanpah, the world’s largest solar thermal project, which is located in the Mojave Desert near the California-Nevada border, uses 347,000 sunfacing mirrors to produce 392 Megawatts of electricity – enough clean energy to power more than 140,000 California homes.  The event will feature a first look at Ivanpah during the two-day event.  There will be a dinner on Wednesday followed by tour, ribbon cutting and lunch on Thursday.  U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz will be the keynote speaker and there will be an appearance by Grammy-nominated band The Fray. Images used in the lyric video for “Love Don’t Die,” the first song released from the Fray’s album, Helios, were shot at Ivanpah.

GreenBiz Forum Set for AZ – The GreenBiz Forum 2014 will be held on February 18-20th at the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Arizona.  Presented in partnership with The Sustainability Consortium and ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, the sixth annual GreenBiz Forum defines the trends, challenges and opportunities in sustainable business now. The Forum is framed by the annual State of Green Business report, the seventh annual edition of GreenBiz’s acclaimed accounting of key sustainability metrics and trends.

RFA Conference to Tackle Challenges to Ethanol – The Renewable Fuels Association will hold the 19th annual National Ethanol Conference at the JW Marriott in Orlando, Florida on February 17th through 19th.  Among the number of issues panels and forum, on Tuesday, February 18th, Led Zeppelin 2, a premier Led Zeppelin cover band, will play at the event.

Chamber Sets Transpo Summit – On February 20th, the U.S. Chamber will gather leaders and experts from all sectors of transportation for the second annual Let’s Rebuild America Transportation Summit-Infrastructure Intersection-to examine the important role transportation infrastructure plays across major sectors of America’s economy. At the summit, presenters will explore five key infrastructure intersections-Energy, Manufacturing, Agriculture, Technology, and Healthcare-and how each sector requires well-functioning transportation infrastructure systems to realize its full potential.

Vilsack, Ag Economist Glauber, Trade Rep Froman to Headline USDA Forum – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will hold the 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum on February 20th and 21st at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Va.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will moderate two general session panels on the Future of Agriculture.  Speaking in the first panel will be Administrator of the U. S. Agency for International Development Rajiv Shah; President of the Produce Marketing Association Cathy Burns; and Kellee James, founder and CEO of Mercaris, a market trading platform for organic agricultural commodities.  The second panel focuses on young farmers and includes Executive Director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition Michael O’Gorman; Joanna Carraway, a young Kentucky farmer who won the 2013 Top Producer Horizon Award; Greg Wegis, who operates a 17,600-acre vegetable and nut farm in California; and the Interim Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition, Emily Oakley.  USDA’s Chief Economist Joseph Glauber will deliver the 2014 Agricultural & Foreign Trade Outlooks. The Forum’s dinner speaker will be U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.

Interior Sects, former WY Gov Headline CO Law Forum – The University of Colorado Law School will host the inaugural Martz Winter Symposium on February 27th and 28th in Boulder.  People from different disciplines and backgrounds will discuss the specific challenges confronting efforts to operationalize sustainability in the context of natural resource industries. The symposium will discuss the idea of sustainability and how it is taking shape in particular places and sectors; rigorously explore current efforts to re-organize certain business practices under the rubric of sustainability; and endeavor to identify practical, meaningful actions to deepen ongoing efforts to make sustainability a central tenet of our economic, social, and environmental future.  Speakers will include Jeff Bingaman, former Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and U.S. Senator from New Mexico, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Designate Michael Connor, former Governor of Wyoming Dave Freudenthal, former Interior Secretaries Gale Norton and Ken Salazar.

Methanol Forum Set – The Methanol Institute, the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and the U.S. Energy Security Council will host the 2014 Methanol Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. on March 18th at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill.  The event will bring together industry leaders, energy policy experts, executive branch officials, Members of Congress, academics and the media to share information about methanol’s potential as a liquid transportation fuel. Against the backdrop of the shale gas revolution and a resurgence of domestic methanol production.  The event will kick-off with a panel of CEO’s representing the growing number of methanol producers opening plants in Louisiana, Texas and beyond. It will provide the most up-to-date information on methanol fuel blending around the globe, with experts from China, Israel, Australia and Europe. Officials from the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency will join with technology innovators to discuss how to unlock our vehicles to methanol. Plus, there will be a special luncheon discussion with members of the U.S. Energy Security Council — a “who’s who” of Washington policy leaders — on fuel choices.

Energy Update Week of January 13

Friends,

Last night, the Golden Globes were entertaining…And out just in time for the 11:00 news.  I thought the winners were a good mix that showed what a quality year it was for film and TV.  The funniest part of the excellent low-key hosting from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler was watching Poehler make out with Bono.  How great are the members of U2 to still be such important players on our cultural and political scene after all these years.  Pretty impressive.

Many people are focus on the chemical spill in West Virginia.  While some in the enviro community played their usual political theater, our friend David Biello at Scientific American has a terrific, matter-of-fact piece that discusses the issue and the potential hazards.

The Senate jumps back in this week with a hearing on the President’s Climate Plan on Thursday as a birthday gift to me.  While I love going to EPW to celebrate, unfortunately some of the expert witnesses are scientists like Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry, so who knows what they will be saying about the President’s Policy.  Usually, most scientists will steer clear of the policy game (in the past, Curry has tended not to be one of them).  Of course, that may be a bit of the plan for Chairwoman Boxer, if our past experience of these climate hearings bears out.

In town this week, we continue the 2014 preview events after last week’s Chamber of Commerce and API speeches.  On the docket, the US Chamber’s 21st Century Energy group will roll out Energy Works For US, its new plan to move the energy revolution forward on Wednesday.  That same day, ACCCE/Real Clear Politics holds a 2014 energy preview and Black & Veatch releases its Electricity Market Perspective in the evening.  The US Energy Assn’s State of the Energy Industry event will be at the Press Club on Thursday afternoon.   Finally, given the recent incidents, more people might be interested in the 8:30 a.m. Friday meeting hosted by DOT and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that will look at current and future research projects.

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit opens today with previews for press, government officials before public opening tomorrow. Earlier talk is focused on EVs and lighter weight material use, such as aluminum, in additional to the usual concept cars and product lines.  Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx attends today with Vice President Biden, Commerce’s Penny Pritzker, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy attending later in the week.  Of course, they will also play a bigger role later this month when the products move to DC for the Washington Auto show, which has become the auto policy version of the Detroit Product show.   Speaking of Auto Policy, keep your eyes peeled for a BGov even next Tuesday on the subject.

 

Finally, in case you missed it last week, I am re-sending the top 14 issues for 2014.  Call with questions.

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

 

Top 14 Issues for ‘14

As you know, each year for the first update of the year, I highlight a number of important issues for you to put on your agenda for the year.  So here we go with the Top 14 issues for 2014:

1) Politics, Politics, Politics – In 2014, the year will be impacted greatly by the politics of the mid-term election in November.  More so than usual, there is great uncertainty about who has the advantage heading into this key year.  Expect most of the air in the room to be taken up between health care politics and continued budget battles that will play out in 2014, but there will be energy issues that invade the limelight, especially regionally and when key decisions are made like the Keystone pipeline decision and the Supreme Court’s expected Spring ruling on power plant emissions.   Conventional wisdom reminds that that Democrats are defending the majority of the vulnerable Senate seats and the mid-term of a President’s second term are usual difficult for his party, but also Congress is at all-time low approvals.

2) New Personnel Might Changes Some Minds, Approach –  1) Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu: Speaking of vulnerable Senate seats, Landrieu is among them, but the appointment on Max Baucus to be ambassador to China and Ron Wyden’s expected move to Finance might give Landrieu an early gift as chair of the Senate’s Energy Committee.   2) John Podesta: Podesta’s move to the White House to head the President’s Energy team will create some credibility that this Administration has not had to date.  While Podesta is definitely in line with the enviro community and will be their advocate, he also has significant political and process knowledge that will make him a much more powerful force than either Heather Zichal or Carol Browner.   3) FERC Chair:  With Wellinghoff out and Bins sacked, who steps up next will be another interesting question for 2014.  Look for NARUC power broker Collette Honorable of Arkansas to be at the front of the line.

3) NatGas 2014 – One of the biggest issues on the energy front this year will be the continued role of natural gas in the energy sector.  Its availability will remain the most important question, but other issues including state/federal regulations, political battles and legal fights will create additional potential problems. EIA says in a new report that Shale energy production will “continue to lift domestic supply and reshape the U.S. energy economy” and will result in near-historic levels of domestic crude oil production, higher levels of natural gas production, and dramatically reduce our reliance on imported energy.  All the more reason why we are in a better position that even just a few short years ago.

4) Key LNG Decisions – The chipping away of application approvals continues to be a steady drip despite some strong internal industry competition and opposition.  The key won’t be whether more applications are approved though.  The key for 2014 will be whether one of those already approved beats litigation and opposition to finally makes it to the finish line and starts exporting.

5) RFS: To Cut or Not to Cut – Expect this to remain an interesting talking point this year after the EPA issued a proposal to reduce the amount of ethanol.  While both sides have hammered each other for years, there are two key players to watch: environmental groups and Valero.  Valero is the largest independent refiner in the US, but also one of the largest ethanol manufacturers so they carry extra credibility.  As for enviros have never been enamored with the RFS.  For years they really looked the other way and hoped that second gen biofuels and cellulosic industries would emerge, but they haven’t.  Adding to the challenge for ethanol, the industry has lost much of its clout, both in politics and in the marketplace.  It has been some years in the making, but combined with the lack of development of the 2nd gen/cellulosic, they have lost a lot of credibility.  The politics just aren’t as favorable as they used to be for ethanol, especially since this election year doesn’t run through Iowa.

6) Keystone – Is it finally time?  That is the question.  Why this has become such a flash point for some environmental activists may be an even more important question.  Most expect the President to approve the pipeline, but look for a good cop/bad cop approach with Secretary John Kerry and a heavy dose of focus on implementing the new GHG rules, which would have a much more dramatic impact on the environment and the economy.

7) Focus on Crude Transportation – Speaking of transporting crude, given a number of incidents, expect a wider, more detailed focus on the infrastructure issues surrounding transportation of oil.  Enviro activists who have at times struggled to rally support against Keystone may be able to mainstream themselves with other enviros who have stayed in the background on the Keystone fight.  The first shot in this battle was the recent revelation from PHMSA saying that Bakken oil may be more flammable than traditional crude. (that won’t move to the top of the activists’ key talking points…oh it already has?)

8) Crude Oil Exports? – Speaking of Keystone, there is a growing debate over whether we should be exporting crude oil.  The fire was stoked by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz when he suggested revisiting the ban on almost all oil exports.  Expect this to be a key point for the oil industry and I expect it to come up tomorrow at API’s State of the industry event.   Don’t kid yourself though: this one doesn’t break down along the typical party lines and politics 2014 (and the usual gas price increases in the summer) may ice this issue to another future time.

9) Vogtle Nuclear Success – Last year, we pegged action on some nuclear projects as a key for the future of expanding nuclear power.  While others have fallen off the radar screen, the brightest shining light continues to be Southern’s Vogtle Plant, which is currently fighting through the challenges, crossing significant milestones and will soon be at the point where we know it will happen.  Keep a close eye on Georgia, especially now that several older coal plants are also timelined to close in a few years, which makes Vogtle that much more important.

10) Loan Guarantee Successes – As I mentioned in the blurb about 60 Minutes, the DOE Loan Guarantee program will be seen in a different light after 2014.  Already, several important projects are just going on-line and will generate some real-world successes for the program.  They start with Tesla and several solar projects in California like Ivanpah.

11) PTC Deal in Larger Tax Reform – While the Production Tax Credit (PTC) expired quietly on January 1st, not much noise was made given the change in status that allows the trigger point to be “commence construction”  rather than “in-service. “  That change gave developers another year or so to finish projects already started.  But this leads to a larger question:  Will it be renewed again?  I suspect the answer is yes in the long-time tax extenders package that is expected to run along with the mandatory debt ceiling legislation which is required sometime in the first quarter of 2014 (depending on whom you ask).   Most experts think it may take the form of a longer-term phase out, maybe 4 or 5 years.  A key player to watch is Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.

12) Impacts of Mexican Energy Reforms – Energy is the most contentious and challenging reform for the Mexican government. With declining oil revenues and increasing dependence upon imports of refined oil and gas from the United States, the Mexican government will need to significantly reform its national oil company PEMEX, as well as modify the role played by international oil and service companies. While constitutional reforms approved in December 2013 are a necessary precondition, forthcoming enabling legislation and its implementation will determine the shape and success of Mexico’s energy reforms.  And it will have an important impact on what we do here, especially in the Gulf of Mexico. The reform will open investment opportunities for American energy and service infrastructure companies seeking new energy markets as well as access to Mexico.

13) Offshore Wind Will Blow in This Year – We have been saying to watch this for a couple years now, but this IS the year for offshore wind.   With the litigation, delays and construction challenges finally getting resolved, most experts really expect that we will see our first offshore wind projects finally completed. There is no doubt that 2013 saw significant progress for the fledgling industry. With strong government leadership at the state and federal levels working together with the innovators on the front lines of the economic and technical development, we are closer than ever to really starting an entirely new industry that promises revenue, jobs and clean energy, all in one.  This year will finally be time to get a project in Rhode Island, Delaware or New Jersey or Massachusetts in the water and operating.

14) The Biggest and Most Important: GHG regulations – This will be the epic battle of 2014.  So much to say…  This will not be resolved this year, but nearly every fight starts with this issue.  This year will feature the released draft rule, the comment period and more EPA hearings.  It is also expected to have the release of rules for existing plants (one year from the President’s Summer 2013 Georgetown Speech).  Most experts say the challenges will be much more difficult, more costly and legally questionable.   They also say the timelines may have to slip, especially in a tough political year.  Finally, as stated earlier, the SCOTUS decision on the Cross State pollution rule will also have an impact.

 

IN THE NEWS

Rockefeller, Wyden Look for Rail Investigation on Oil Incidents – In the wake of a series of explosive train derailments containing crude oil – including two in the last two weeks – Chairman Rockefeller (Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation) and Chairman Wyden (Senate Committee on Energy) wrote a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz urging prompt and decisive action on crude oil transportation.  In the letter, Rockefeller and Wyden request the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Energy (DOE) begin an investigation to thoroughly understand the current and future volumes of crude oil that will be shipped on railroads; evaluate the crudes to understand whether they require special precautions and handling; evaluate and update safety requirements to ensure they adequately address the risks of carrying crude oil and finalize DOT’s rule implementing the rail risk reduction program that was signed into law in 2008.

Vogtle Plant Video on Mother Nature Network – I mentioned Vogtle above in the Top 14 in ’14 as being essential to the future of nuclear power.  That being said, Southern Company and Mother Nature Network have collaborated on a video highlighting the size and scope of the Vogtle 3 and 4 project.  When completed, the Vogtle complex will be the largest nuclear generating station in the US. Walking across it will be equivalent to walking from the Washington monument to the Lincoln Memorial.  It runs for about two minutes and has a really great narrator…

UK Looking to NatGas Drilling –The French oil giant Total is on the verge of becoming the first major oil company to explore for natural gas and oil in shale rock in Britain. Under the deal, which may be announced as soon as today, Total would commit about $50 million for a roughly 40% stake in licenses held by a group of companies.  I know this won’t surprise you, but the Bracewell London Office has some of the best natgas experts in the region who are very familiar with what is happening in Britain.  I can connect you if you are interested or look here for Jason Fox, Olivia Caddy and several others.

Solar Glass Half Full, Half Empty – The LA Times’ Julie Cart has another piece today hitting the solar industry this time over the pace of utility project development.  Citing the uncertainty of the future of federal tax credits and the cost of solar power, Cart says development of big solar projects have slowed to a standstill.  While acknowledging several major projects coming on-line this year (including the innovative CSP Ivanpah project) she still strings together a number of separate facts to fit her thesis.  But while the LA Times highlights supposed woes, the business network CNBC has a very different take saying  even as the U.S. churns out more fossil fuels, evidence abounds that alternative energy in general—and solar in particular—is staging a comeback of sorts.  CNBC: “Observers credit an increase in solar capacity, falling photovoltaic (PV) costs and the extension of tax credits for renewable energy for the sector’s revival.  Rather than mounting a competitive threat to oil and gas, solar energy is instead carving a niche in creating electricity, experts say.”   The story goes on to highlight how the solar revival is sending solar stocks on a tear.  It even uses some of the same Cart stats about utility use of solar slowing.  But just shows whether you are looking at the glass half full or half empty, it matters in how you view the larger picture.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

PA NatGas Public Hearings to Look at Court Ruling, Regs – On the heels of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s recent decision that struck down key portions of the state’s oil and gas law, the PA Environmental Quality Board is holding public hearings throughout the state to accept public comment on proposed new regulations for oil and gas development in Pennsylvania. The new regulations will significantly shape PA DEP’s actions on oil and gas activities. The first hearing was last Thursday in West Chester, and tonight, there will be a hearing in Williamsport, with two others on Wednesday and Thursday in Crawford County and Cumberland County respectively.  A complete listing of hearing dates and locations, as well as other information, can be found here.

Detroit Auto Show Rolls Again after New Year – Just like the sun rising, a New Year means important college football games and the roll out of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit launches Monday through January 26th.  Now in its 26th 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.

House Committee to Focus on Transpo Bill – The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow to look at building the foundation for surface transportation reauthorization.

Whitfield, Manchin GHG Legislation Gets to House Energy Mark Up – The Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee will mark up legislation from Chairman Whitfield and Sen. Joe Manchin that targets EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations.

NSF Meeting to Focus on Science, Math – National Science Foundation will hold a meeting tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. of the Advisory Committee for Mathematical and Physical Sciences to study data, programs, policies, and other information pertinent to the National Science Foundation and to provide advice and recommendations concerning research in mathematics and physical sciences.

BPC Forum to Look at Ukraine – The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) will hold a discussion tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on Ukraine democracy, geopolitics, economics and energy.  Our friend and former Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky will speak along with Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the United States Ryszard Schnepf and Angela Stent, director of the Center for Eurasian Russian & East European Studies at Georgetown University.

Brookings Event to Look at US, Japan Energy – The Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will host a discussion tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the overall energy security implications for Japan resulting from the hydrocarbon “renaissance” in the U.S. Panelists will include Mikkal Herberg, research director in the Energy Security Program of the National Bureau of Asian Research; James Jensen, principal of Jensen Associates, Inc.; Hidehiro Muramatsu, general manager of the Washington Office of Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation; and Shoichi Itoh, senior researcher of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan. Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative, will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.

MIT Grid Series Continues – The MIT Club of Washington will continue its US electric grid series tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. featuring Western Electricity Coordinating Council Synchrophasor Program Manager Vickie VanZandt.  A modernized grid enables the use of renewables, which are part of the strategy to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint. The discussion will focus on how the grid will incorporate the diversity of sources that may arise from our research into distributed production techniques and renewable energy possibilities.

Chamber Energy Group to Roll out Agenda – The US Chamber’s 21st Century Energy Institute will roll out its 2014 agenda on Wednesday morning.

ACCCE, RCP to Host Energy Policy Event – The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) and Real Clear Politics will host an event on Wednesday at Noon at the Newseum looking the road ahead on U.S. Energy Policy.  The event features a keynote by Senator Joe Manchin, and a panel discussion moderated by Carl Cannon of Real Clear Politics. Panelists will be Ross Eisenberg of the National Association of Manufacturers, Daniel Kish of the Institute for Energy Research, Peter Ogden of the Center for American Progress and William Yeatman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Webinar to Tackle Key Energy Issues for 2035 – Energy Outlook 2035 webinar will be held Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. The Energy Outlook 2035 examines the wider debate on global energy issues by asking key questions.

UN Climate Chief to Address Investor Action – Global financial leaders gather in New York at the United Nations to discuss climate change and investor actions that are needed to mitigate economic risks Wednesday.  At 1:00, they will hold a news conference to discuss the agenda.  Among those speaking will be UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and Bloomberg New Energy Finance President Michael Liebreich.

B&V to Release 2014 Energy Market Perspective – Black & Veatch holds a briefing on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. at the National Press Club to preview the 2014 Energy Market Perspective. The report provides an integrated long term outlook of the U.S. energy market.  Dean Oskvig, CEO of Black & Veatch, will speak.

World Bank to Hold Transportation Conference – The World Bank and EMBARQ, the sustainable transport program of the World Resources Institute, will co-host the 11th annual Transforming Transportation conference at the World Bank in Washington, DC on Thursday and Friday.  The event provides a unique opportunity for the global transport community to discuss how to achieve large-scale and widespread adoption of sustainable solutions.  This year’s conference will look at opportunities for business to help advance the sustainable transport agenda for cities.

AGA to Release New NatGas Study – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the American Gas Association will release a new IHS CERA study on the availability of domestic natural gas and its impact on consumers, businesses and industries.   AGA President Dave McCurdy, Chris Johns of Pacific Gas & Electric and IHS CERA gas/coal/renewables expert Tim Gardner.    The event will be held at 101 Constitution Ave.

Senate Environment to Look at Climate Plan – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 9:15 a.m. looking at the President’s Climate Action Plan.  Panel one witnesses will include EPA’s Gina McCarthy, CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley, GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini and Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  On panel two, witnesses include former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (who directs Colorado State’s Center for the New Economy, Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M, NRDC’s Dan Lashof, Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry and Kathleen Hartnett White of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Senate Banking to Look at MAP 21, Pubic Transportation – The Senate Banking Committee will meet in open session to hold a hearing on Thursday at January 16th at 10:00 a.m., providing a progress report on public transportation under MAP-21.  Witnesses will include Federal Transit Administration Administrator Peter Rogoff and GAO’s Director of the Physical Infrastructure Team, David Wise.

USEA to Host State of Energy – On Thursday starting at Noon, the US Energy Association will host its 10th Annual State of the Energy Industry Forum at the National Press Club.  Distinguished leaders from the most influential and active energy trade associations will present the priorities, issues, trends, and challenges affecting the industry in 2014.  See more here.

Brookings to Look at Mexico Energy Reform – The Brookings Institution will host a forum on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the Falk Auditorium to look at the future of energy reform in Mexico.  Energy is the most contentious and challenging reform for the Mexican government.  Accordingly, the Latin America Initiative and the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will host Dr. Fluvio Ruiz Alarcón, professional counselor (independent director) on the executive board of PEMEX, for a discussion on the opportunities and challenges facing the Mexican government as it moves towards introducing future reforms. Dr. Ruiz Alarcón will be joined by Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican ambassador to the U.S. and distinguished affiliate at Brookings. LAI Director and Senior Fellow Harold Trinkunas will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.

McGinn to Focus on Powering Navy Energy Future – On Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at the U.S. Naval Heritage Center, Dennis McGinn will discuss what steps can be taken to enhance the department’s energy posture and improve operational effectiveness.  McGinn was recently confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and the Environment.

Transportation, PHMSA Meeting Set to Look at Future Research – Given the recent incidents, more people might be interested in the 8:30 Friday meeting hosted by the Transportation Department (DOT); Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that will present the results of recently completed and current research projects and to solicit comments relative to potential new research projects which may be considered for inclusion in its future work.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

WCEE Forum to Look at Stakeholder Involvement – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment and the National Capital Area Chapter of the Society for Risk Analysis will hold a forum on Monday, January 20th at 5:30 p.m. on stakeholder’s involvement through scientific reasoning.  José Palma-Oliveira, Ph.D., University of Lisbon will be the speaker.  Palma-Oliveira will focus on ways to help stakeholders without using risk communications.  The way risk communication is usually conceptualized and implemented has stakeholder persuasion as its main focus. This has failed in many cases resulting in significant stakeholder unease and stress. This talk will focus on alternative approaches of bringing stakeholders on board in projects where risk is a significant driver for decision.

EPA Science Committee Meeting Set to Discuss GHG Concerns – EPA’s Science Advisory Board will hold a teleconference on Tuesday January 21st from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to conclude its discussion about questions board members had about the science backing EPA’s proposed greenhouse regulations for new power plants.  Late last year, the SAB raised concerns about whether EPA appropriately reviewed the issue before deciding that carbon capture and sequestration is commercially available for new coal-fired power plants.  House Science Chair Lamar Smith and other committee members highlighted the problems in a recent letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy.  Specifically, the Committee members pointed out that any EPA rule requiring the capture of carbon must address where the carbon is stored.

BGov to Hold Auto Policy Briefing – Bloomberg Government will hold Its 2014 Auto Policy Briefing on Tuesday, January 21st at 8:00 a.m.  American auto sales last year were the highest since 2007, but 2014 will bring new challenges and opportunities, especially on the regulatory front. From fuel-economy standards and infrastructure spending to the prospect of improved export opportunities through new trade deals, policymakers in Washington will have a major impact on the course of the U.S. auto industry.  BGov analysts will offer a detailed look at the policy and regulatory issues facing this important industry in 2014.

Early Stage Tech Webinar Set – ARPA-E will hold a webinar on Tuesday January 21st at 1:00 p.m. that will identify path to market for early-stage technologies.  In early 2013, ARPA-E partnered with NSF for a pilot program that put several ARPA-E project teams through the rigorous I-Corps program curriculum. I-Corps guides applied research teams through an iterative customer and business model discovery process aimed at identifying a path to market for early-stage technologies. Join us for an informative discussion about the i-Corps process and its value to researchers.  ARPA-E Program Director and Senior Commercialization Advisor Dr. Ilan Gur will moderate a session featuring first-hand accounts by Dr. Anita LaSalle, NSF I-Corps Program Officer, and Sri Narayan, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Southern California and recent I-Corps graduate.

Policy Auto Show Locked In, Ford COO to Keynote – Following Detroit, the Washington Auto Show, the automotive industry’s annual public policy show and the largest public show held in Washington, D.C., will be held on January 22nd through February 2nd.  This year, Mark Fields, chief operating officer of Ford Motor Company, will deliver the keynote address at the Newsmaker Breakfast on Wednesday to launch the event.  The Newsmaker Breakfast – co-sponsored by Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) and the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) – is part of the show’s Public Policy Days. The breakfast follows the Policy Days’ kickoff event on Capitol Hill. For more information about The Washington Auto Show, please visit www.washingtonautoshow.com

DOE’s Kenderdine Addresses ICF Breakfast Series – ICF International’s Energy Breakfast Series continues on Thursday, January 23rd at 8:00 a.m. when it hosts DOE’s Melanie A. Kenderdine as the keynote speaker.

Iowa to Hold Public Session on EPA Ethanol Regs – Gov. Terry Branstad is hosting a public hearing on Thursday, January 23rd in Des Moines to give Iowa citizens a chance to comment on the EPA proposal that would reduce the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply.  Wonder what they’ll say?

BPC to Look at Arctic Oil Issues – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on Thursday, January 23rd at the Washington Court Hotel focused on navigating the oil frontier that will focus on the implications of the tight oil boom on Arctic and ultra-deepwater oil development. The topics include disaster response and spill cleanup, Arctic climate change adaptation, and the specific challenges of the Arctic’s unique geology and environment.

WRI to Look ay On-Grid Renewable Resources – The World Resources Institute will launch the first publication in the 10 Questions to Ask series on Thursday January 23rd at 4:30 p.m. The “10 Questions to Ask About Scaling On-Grid Renewable Energy” is a framework designed to facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement for improving renewable energy policy. The authors will present the framework, and WRI partners from India, Brazil, South Africa and Kyrgyzstan will discuss its relevance to their respective countries. A wine reception will follow.  By the end of 2012, 138 countries worldwide had introduced renewable energy (RE) targets, and investments in new RE capacity totaled US$244 billion that year. Globally, RE is gaining momentum, with over 480 gigawatts (GW) of installed renewable power capacity. RE is now at the forefront of many national energy development plans.  The progress made in many countries has also highlighted the complexities of increasing the rate of RE deployment at the national level. Deploying renewable energy on an economy-wide scale requires solutions to a range of short- medium- and long-term challenges. These include resolving economic questions about how the costs of new RE generation will be distributed among electricity consumers, investors, taxpayers, and other stakeholders, and technological challenges such as accommodating intermittent supply, upgrading or adding transmission and distribution grids, and addressing knowledge gaps.  Speakers will include report authors Davida Wood and Sarah Martin of WRI and Shantanu Dixit of Prayas Energy Group, India.

SEJ to Host Forum to Look at Year Ahead in Energy, Environment – The Society of Environmental Journalists, the Wilson Center and the Global Sustainability and Resilience Program will host a panel on Friday, January 24th at 3:00 p.m. at the Wilson Center to look at the year ahead in environmental and energy issues. A panel of veteran journalists will offer their thoughts on what will be the biggest environment and energy stories in the U.S. and around the world. Bloomberg BNA’s Larry Pearl will kick off the discussion with an overview of the key legislative, regulatory, and legal developments expected in 2014, followed by a roundtable with six top journalists covering local, national, and international environmental issues.  Others panelists will include Douglas Fischer of The Daily Climate, NYT’s Coral Davenport, Dennis Dimick of National Geographic Magazine, The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg, Cheryl Hogue of Chemical & Engineering News and Andy Revkin, New York Times Environmental Blogger (Dot Earth) and Pace University Journalism professor.

Energy Summit Set – The 2014 American Energy Summit will be held on January 27 – 28, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia and will focus on the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on new energy projects by the federal government, state and local governments, and by private industry.

STATE OF THE UNION, January 28th – President Obama will deliver his State of the Union Address to Congress on Tuesday, January 28th.  While healthcare and job creation are expected to get top billing, Energy is expected to play a prominent role.

SNL Conference On Energy M&A Set for NYC – SNL Energy’s 27th Annual Exnet Power and Gas M&A Symposium – an national energy conference will be held on January 28th and 29th  at the Ritz-Carlton in New York.  The Symposium is the annual go-to event for industry executives, as well as financial and legal advisors who are concerned with strategic planning, business development and the economics of the sector. The speakers and audience are comprised of industry decision-makers, plus heads of power and utility practices at leading investment banks, law firms and consultancies.

Maisano to Headline Media Seminar – For those of you focused on media relations and policy communications, I will be participating in a webinar on February 4th focused on creating a successful media strategies for the policy environment.  We will look at the nexus between policy communications and government affairs, as well as crisis management.  Finally, we will offer some of the tools of the trade.  We can also help you with a discount if you want to join in.

Bracewell to Host Environmental Symposium in Houston – On February 11th, Bracewell & Giuliani will host a forum on environment issues in Houston.  More on this in the upcoming weeks.  While it will not be open to the media, it will feature B&G experts in a series of briefings and discussions about the most challenging environmental legal issues facing the energy and heavy industries today.

Chamber Sets Transpo Summit – On February 20, the U.S. Chamber will gather leaders and experts from all sectors of transportation for the second annual Let’s Rebuild America Transportation Summit-Infrastructure Intersection-to examine the important role transportation infrastructure plays across major sectors of America’s economy. At the summit, presenters will explore five key infrastructure intersections-Energy, Manufacturing, Agriculture, Technology, and Healthcare-and how each sector requires well-functioning transportation infrastructure systems to realize its full potential.

Vilsack, Ag Economist Glauber, Trade Rep Froman to Headline USDA Forum – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will hold the 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum on February 20th and 21st at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Va.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will moderate two general session panels on the Future of Agriculture.  Speaking in the first panel will be Administrator of the U. S. Agency for International Development Rajiv Shah; President of the Produce Marketing Association Cathy Burns; and Kellee James, founder and CEO of Mercaris, a market trading platform for organic agricultural commodities.  The second panel focuses on young farmers and includes Executive Director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition Michael O’Gorman; Joanna Carraway, a young Kentucky farmer who won the 2013 Top Producer Horizon Award; Greg Wegis, who operates a 17,600-acre vegetable and nut farm in California; and the Interim Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition, Emily Oakley.  USDA’s Chief Economist Joseph Glauber will deliver the 2014 Agricultural & Foreign Trade Outlooks. The Forum’s dinner speaker will be U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.

Methanol Forum Set – The Methanol Institute, the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and the U.S. Energy Security Council will host the 2014 Methanol Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. on March 18th at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill.  The event will bring together industry leaders, energy policy experts, executive branch officials, Members of Congress, academics and the media to share information about methanol’s potential as a liquid transportation fuel. Against the backdrop of the shale gas revolution and a resurgence of domestic methanol production.  The event will kick-off with a panel of CEO’s representing the growing number of methanol producers opening plants in Louisiana, Texas and beyond. It will provide the most up-to-date information on methanol fuel blending around the globe, with experts from China, Israel, Australia and Europe. Officials from the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency will join with technology innovators to discuss how to unlock our vehicles to methanol. Plus, there will be a special luncheon discussion with members of the U.S. Energy Security Council — a “who’s who” of Washington policy leaders — on fuel choices.

Energy Update Week of December 9

Friends,

I don’t know if any of you enjoyed the snowy football games in Philly, Baltimore, DC, Cincy and several other places yesterday, but it made for some pretty entertaining TV.   It was almost as thrilling as Sunday’s penultimate episode of Homeland, which is getting really interesting right now with the season finale next Sunday (won’t mention anything for those of you DVR’ing).   The holiday season always brings our fair share of TV specials, many are gong shows.  (insert Carrie Underwood/ Sound of Music jokes here)  But I’m a fan of the classics.

So now I’m waiting for the Congressional version of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special which features John Boehner trying to find a Christmas tree that both Tea Partiers and Democrats will find interesting.  Or maybe Harry Reid in the land of Misfit Healthcare Toys trying to find some better options for his staff.    In any event, Congress continues its slow slide to the Christmas holiday with this being the last major week for real action.  That’s why on Friday, it is expected we will hear the outlines of a budget deal that will continue to operate the government.   As well, expect to hear more about China this week as EPA’s Gina McCarthy heads over to Beijing for a series of events.  Finally, don’t hold your breath on Keystone decisions.  Experts think that may appear sometime much slower.

The urgency means that several key Congressional hearings will be on the docket as well.  On Thursday, the House Resources Committee will explore a controversial agreement designed to streamline implementation of the Endangered Species.  As well Thursday, NRC Commissioners will be at House Energy on nuclear waste issues.  Senate EPW returns to the ethanol hearty perennial on Wednesday and the House Science Committee looks at the national labs, even as new news breaks about EPA Science Advisory Board raising questions about the new GHG rule.   Finally, the Senate Energy Committee has nominees on the plate this week with testimony and votes.

Over in the Courts, it is a key week with the Supreme Court taking up EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule tomorrow.  A split appeals court panel in 2012 struck down the rule, saying that the agency had overstepped the authority under the Clean Air Act.  As well tomorrow, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear two consolidated cases concerning EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants.   We can help with sources.  Along the same lines, CT Gov. Dannel Malloy, DE Gov. Jack Markell, NH Gov. Margaret Hassan and VT Gov. Peter Shumlin, as well as state environmental commissioners from the East said this morning that nine Midwestern and Southern states must clean up their air pollution.

Finally, tomorrow, the National Press Club will host a luncheon with Houston mayor Annise Parker tomorrow at Noon.  Parker will talk about the renaissance of American oil and gas energy industry, among other items.  While I will be at NYU with my friend Dan Fagin, my colleagues Scott Segal and Dee Martin will have a table for Mayor Parker’s speech if you are interested.

 

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Science Advisors Raise Concerns about EPA’s GHG Rule – EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations for new power plants are facing a new obstacle: the agency’s own science advisers. The Science Advisory Board — a group of academic and industry scientists who review the agency’s decisions — is raising serious concerns about whether EPA appropriately reviewed the issue before deciding that carbon capture and sequestration is commercially available for new coal-fired power plants. While EPA said the standards are not reliant on new science, the SAB disagreed, saying the action involves precedential and novel issues that rely on new technologies and science for carbon capture and storage (CCS).  “The Work Group finds that the scientific and technical basis for carbon storage provisions is new science and the rulemaking would benefit from additional review.”  Sounds like we might need some hearings…

Cabot Marcellus Production Numbers – Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation today reported results from the Company’s first 10-well pad in the Marcellus Shale. Additionally, they provided an update on its share repurchase program and announced the sale of legacy conventional Mid-Continent properties.  Cabot recently turned-in-line its first 10-well pad in the Marcellus, which included eight Lower Marcellus wells and two Upper Marcellus wells. The 10-well pad was completed with 170 fracture stimulation (frac) stages with a combined peak production rate of 201 million cubic feet (Mmcf) per day and a combined average 30-day production rate of 168 Mmcf per day. The production rates exceeded the Company typical performance, further reiterating the consistency of results across Cabot’s operations in the region.  “This represents the new standard for operational efficiencies and technological advancement in our Marcellus operations,” Cabot CEO Dan O. Dinges said.  “Our achievements on this pad showcase the innovation and ingenuity our team continues to demonstrate day-in and day-out.” See the full release here.

Oil/Gas Employment Continues to Rise – Speaking of production numbers, on Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the oil and gas industry employed  199,200 in November, up 4.8 percent from a year before and 0.3 percent from October.

More Jobs From Atlantic Drilling – A new API/NOIA report found that oil and natural gas development in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf would create 280,000 direct new jobs over 18 years and bring up to $23.5 billion per year to the U.S. economy.   The study, conducted by Quest Offshore, shows that offshore oil and natural gas development in the Atlantic OCS could spur an additional $195 billion in new private investment, generate $51 billion in new revenue for the government and add 1.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day to domestic energy production, between 2017 and 2035.  These jobs are in addition to any jobs and revenue generated by offshore wind or wave energy projects that might take place.

Mirtchev: Energy is Best Foreign Policy Tool – International energy expert Alexander Mirtchev had a recent column on the Web site RealClearEnergy that focused on energy as an effective foreign policy tool.  Mirtchev argues that to now, the extensive policy debate over production of non-traditional fossil fuels, such as shale gas, has not adequately focused on the geo-economic and foreign policy implications and advantages to the United States, its allies, and global economic security overall.  He adds the geopolitical opportunities presented by the shale revolution and the prospect of LNG exports cannot be underestimated and will prevent gas exporters from using natural gas supply as geopolitical leverage.

Book Details Bloomberg Focus on Climate, NYC – Our Friends at Inside Climate News have just released an ebook on Mayor Bloomberg tenure on in New York City and his intense focus on climate and environmental Issues.  The book, Bloomberg’s Hidden Legacy: Climate Change and the Future of New York City and details Bloomberg’s efforts to protect the city from climate change. It’s available through Amazon for Kindle readers. You can also get it at: http://insideclimatenews.org/

Tezak Talks Renewables, NSPS on E&E TV – Our friend Christi Tezak, managing director of research at ClearView Energy Partners, discussed the changing dynamics of the renewable energy tax policy debate and the impact master limited partnerships could have on clean energy projects on today’s E&E TV OnPoint.  Tezak also explains how U.S. EPA’s New Source Performance Standards for power plants could affect state renewable portfolio standards.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

DOE Loan Program to Headline USEA Program – U.S. Energy Association will host an event today at 2:00 p.m. providing an overview of the DOE Loan Program.  Deploying critical projects at utility scale, Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) is a financing force for the clean energy economy and is one of the largest project finance teams in the world managing the largest innovative energy and transportation portfolio in the world. Supporting more than 30 projects across the United States and representing more than $30 billion in loans and loan guarantees, LPO has accelerated clean energy deployment in the U.S., cut emissions, and enhanced American global competitiveness. With tens of billions of dollars in remaining loan authority and a draft Advanced Fossil Energy Solicitation, LPO continues to accept new applications for its existing programs covering renewable energy, advanced nuclear, fossil energy, and advanced vehicles.  Peter Davidson, Executive Director of the Loan Programs Office, will speak.

Forum to Look at Clean Energy – Young Professionals in Energy and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy will host a discussion at the French Embassy today at 6:30 p.m. on the transition to a renewable energy future.  French Embassy Energy Councilor Vincente Deporte will speak about the policies in France aimed at reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy independence.  German Embassy Climate and Energy Policy First Secretary Georg Maue will discuss the transformation of the German energy system through renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Panel to Discuss Energy Innovation, Labs – The House Technology Transfer Caucus, ITIF, Innovation Associates, and a panel of leading experts tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in 121 Cannon to discuss the role of national labs as part of a three-part series on innovation policy reform. Department of Energy’s National Laboratories are a key driver of energy innovation and represent over $14 billion in annual federally-funded research investment. Yet, as ITIF found in a nonpartisan study with the Heritage Foundation and the Center for American Progress, the links between the National Labs and industry are weak, technology transfer remains a low priority, commercialization programs are underfunded, and the Labs are disconnected from regional economic development. Reforms are critical to enhancing the long-term impact National Lab research can have on addressing key national challenges.

Houston Mayor to Address Press Club –The National Press Club will host a luncheon with Houston mayor Annise Parker tomorrow at Noon.  Parker, one of the first openly gay mayors in the U.S. and the head of the “energy capital of America” will talk about her political future and past, the renaissance of American oil and gas energy industry, Texas’s thriving economy and the challenges of managing city finances.

Arctic Energy Report to Be Released – Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars European Studies Program, the Canada Institute and the Kennan Institute will release the publication launch of “In Search of Arctic Energy” tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.  The program will discuss the findings of the new paper and delve into the implications that arctic energy exploration will have for the region and the globe’s energy economy.  Speakers will include Jim Slutz of the Canada Institute; Bill Scott, General Manager of the Chevron Arctic Center, RFF’s Joel Darmstadter and Alaska Director of State-Federal Relations Kip Knudson, among others.

EEI Exec to Address MIT DC Club – The MIT Club of Washington will host David Owens of EEI on modernizing the Grid tomorrow evening at the Kenwood Country Club.  This session presents a utility industry perspective on how emerging technologies and environmental or regulatory pressures might change the plans of this regulated industry. Issues to be faced include distributed solar/wind, efficient operations, state/federal legislative initiatives, and financing mechanisms.

CHP Conference Set – The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Association will hold its annual conference in Washington DC tomorrow and Wednesday. This year’s theme is “Making the Business Case for Combined Heat & Power”. The conference will bring together different leaders within the CHP industry to discuss access to financing, a major barrier to CHP deployment. The conference will also focus on demonstrating the business benefits of CHP for different sectors. Representatives from Coca Cola, Procter and Gamble, Schneider Electric, American Gas Association, Edison Electric Institute, Veolia Energy, General Electric, Caterpillar, Cargill, and many others working on the issue of combined heat and power will be on the agenda.  Topics will include financing, electric utilities finding value in CHP, environmental issues, debt financing for small to medium projects and natural gas among many other items.

SCOTUS to Hear Cross State Challenge – The Supreme Court takes up EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule tomorrow in case that industry has won in the lower courts.  A split appeals court panel in 2012 struck down the rule, saying that the agency had overstepped the authority under the Clean Air Act.

Court to Hear Mercury Cases in December – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has scheduled oral arguments tomorrow on two consolidated cases concerning EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants.  Both rules were finalized in 2012.  The Oral arguments for both White Stallion Energy Center LLC v. EPA and Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA will be held at 9:30 a.m. in DC before Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Circuit Judges Judith Rogers and Brett Kavanaugh.

Experts to Discuss Court Cases – Following the court arguments, the DC Bar’s Air and Water Quality Committee of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section and the Environmental Law Institute will host a discussion with the litigants of the major issues and possible outcomes in these seminal cases.  EPA’s attempts to regulate pollutants that cross state lines have been struck down twice by the D.C. Circuit. Now the Supreme Court will have its chance to opine on EPA’s authority under the “good neighbor” provisions of the Clean Air Act. On the same day, the D.C. Circuit will test the MATS rule, which EPA says is necessary to protect public health but which industry casts as burdensome and ineffective.

BG’s Holmstead Headlines D.C. Bar Event on SCOTUS Case – Another event that will follow the DC Circuit case takes place at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday when the Air and Water Quality Committee of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section, in co-sponsorship with the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Section and the Environmental Law Institute will hold a discussion on the Supreme Court will hear oral argument on challenges to the Cross State Air Pollution Rule.  My Colleague Jeff Holmstead, former EPA Air office head that works on the original CAIR rule will be among the discussants.  Others include EPA folks and Mike Myers of the New York State Attorney General’s office.

Workshop to Look Defense, Climate Issues – The Association of Climate Change Officers will hold its 3rd annual workshop at GWU’s Marvin Center Wednesday and Thursday and will focus upon the growing efforts of U.S. defense, intelligence and national security communities on assessing and responding to climate change. With the recent publication of Federal agency adaptation plans and the impacts of Hurricane Sandy, this year’s program will specifically address transportation, water and energy infrastructure, as well as critical risks in the supply chain. Hear insights from senior Federal officials in the Department of Defense, intelligence organizations and other Federal agencies on existing mandates, operational strategies and opportunities for collaboration.

Senate Environment to Tackle Ethanol, RFS Rule – Following last week’s EPA public Hearing on the topic, the Senate Environment Committee and its Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at domestic renewable fuels.  Witnesses will include EPA’s Chris Trundler and DOE’s Steven Chalk.  Others include Growth Energy Co-Chairman General Wesley K. Clark, Jim Collins of Dupont, refining assn AFPM head Charlie Drevna, farm operator Jon Holzfaster, EWG’s Scott Faber and Brooke Coleman of the Advanced Ethanol Council.

House Science to Look at Climate, Weather – Also on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Science, Space & Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing the relationship between climate and weather.

AEI to Look at Public-Private Roads – The American Enterprise Institute will hold a discussion on Wednesday at Noon on two new policy proposals that address the use of road pricing and public-private partnerships, as well as state efforts to enhance infrastructure and economic competitiveness. Panelists will also discuss how these proposals intersect with the federal transportation authorization bill, due to expire in less than a year.  America’s network of roads, bridges, and tunnels needs $1.7 trillion in investment by 2020, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. Traditional methods of funding these needs, such as fossil fuel taxes, fall short: Americans are driving fewer miles, and inflation is eroding fuel tax revenues. Meanwhile, congressional gridlock and fiscal constraints have prevented large federal investments.  Many policy analysts agree that road pricing – charging motorists a variable per-mile rate based on congestion levels – can address many of these concerns. Yet the concept faces local, state, and federal hurdles.  Speaker will include Jack Bass of Parsons Brinckerhoff, Richard Geddes of AEI and Cornell University, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials exec Joung Lee and Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation.

NAS Nuclear Panel to Hold First Meeting – A National Academy of Sciences Committee has scheduled its first public meeting for a pilot study on cancer risks around U.S. nuclear facilities on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in the National Academy of Sciences Building.  The planning this study will investigate just seven of many facilities licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but the results of this study will most likely affect all U.S. nuclear facilities.

Aspen Book Event to Feature Weisman – The Aspen Institute’s Global Health and Development program will hold a conversation on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. with journalist and author Alan Weisman, moderated by Jackie Judd.  In his latest book, Countdown: Our Last Best Hope for a Future on Earth, Alan Weisman considers the impact of adding another 3.6 billion people to the planet by the end of the century. He finds rivers running dry, coral reefs without fish, forests stripped of trees, and increasingly bizarre weather. But Weisman also offers hope. We are not doomed to grow beyond our planet’s carrying capacity. Weisman considers various means to slow population growth—including draconian measures, such as China’s one-child policy. He rejects those in favor of a solution that is simple, effective, ethical, and beneficial in its own right: empower women, through education and contraception, to make their own decisions about childbearing.

Forum to Look at Energy Infrastructure The Atlantic will hold an Energy and Infrastructure Super Summit on the morning of Thursday in Washington, D.C.  The event will include a select group of senior leaders from a diversity of sectors, this year’s summit will cover topics including innovative water conservation efforts, evolving green building standards, and the future of energy policy and infrastructure investment. We will feature one-on-one interviews and panel discussions exploring these topics from all angles and make time for audience engagement through Q&A.  Speakers will include Brendan FitzSimons of EDF, AT&T’s John Schultz and Lee McIntire of CH2M HILL.

CAP Forum Looks at Mayors, Local Climate Issues – The Center for American Progress will hold a forum on Thursday morning at the Newseum to discuss the Local perspective on climate change issues.  The battle over climate change, carbon pollution, and America’s energy future is not confined to Congress. In fact, considerable progress is happening at the state and local level with 31 states, and DC, setting targets for renewable energy and over 1,000 mayors signing on to the US Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement.  The panel will look at how this move will impact the national debate.

Senate Energy to Hold Nominations Meeting, Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee will convene a business meeting Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to consider the nominations of Steven Croley to be the General Counsel of the Department of Energy, Chris Smith to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy, Esther P. Kia’aina to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas.  Last month the committee held a confirmation hearing where each testified without much concern.  At the same time they will address new nominees, including MIT’s Franklin Orr to be Under Secretary for Science at DOE, Jonathan Elkind to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs, Rhea S. Suh to be Assistant Secretary of Fish and Wildlife and Parks at Interior and current BOEM head Tommy Beaudreau to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management and Budget.

NRC Commissioner at House Energy on Nuclear Waste – On Thursday at 10:15 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittees on Energy & Power and Environment & the Economy will hold an oversight hearing on NRC Management and the need for legislative reform.  Obviously, major focus will be on Yucca Mountain and waste issues.  Chair Allison Macfarlane and Commissioners George Apostolakis, Bill Magwood, Kristine Svinicki and William Ostendorff will testify.

EPA Webinar to Look at Green Power, Sports Teams – If you a looking for a good sports/environment crossover, EPA’s Green Power Partnership and the Stadium Managers Association will host a webinar on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. looking at Green Power use and opportunities for sports teams and venues. Sports stadiums and venues typically use a great deal of electricity, and thus can play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by using renewable energy. This webinar will examine how and why sports teams and venues use green power, including a review of available product options, benefits of and best practices for procuring renewable energy, and the positive role teams and venues can play in encouraging green power use by fans, peers and the public.  The Webinar will look at green power product and procurement options, and associated costs and benefits, how EPA’s Green Power Partnership can help teams and venue managers leverage their green power use to bring positive attention to an organization and Lessons learned from the Philadelphia Phillies on incorporating renewable energy use into their operations, and advice for organizations interested in doing the same.  Speakers include EPA’s Green Power Partnership Director Blaine Collison, Stadium Managers Association President and VP of Stadium Operations for the St. Louis Cardinals Joe Abernathy, Brian Mahoney of the Philadelphia Phillies and Bram Reynolds, General Manager of Facility Services at Citizens Bank Park

SEIA Webinar on Solar, EPA Repowering America’s Land Initiative – The Solar Energy Industry Assn will hold a webinar Thursday at 1:00 p.m. EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Lands initiative.  The program offers developers a very unique value proposition for installing solar energy.   The event will discuss leveraging existing infrastructure, improve project economics with reduced land costs and tax incentives, reduce project cycle times through streamlined permitting and zoning, and build a sustainable land development strategy by using contaminated lands.  Speakers will include EPA’s Adam Klinger and SEIA’s John Smirnow.

DOE Nuclear Experts to Discuss Industry at Atlantic Council Forum – The Atlantic Council will host a roundtable discussion on Thursday afternoon at 2:45 p.m. looking at key policy issues for ensuring a safe, secure, competitive US and Global nuclear industry.  This event, part of the Council’s Nuclear Energy Initiative, will convene senior thought leaders from government, academia, industry, and stakeholder groups to address the current US government policy course.  Speakers will include DOE’s Rose Gottemoeller and Dan Poneman, as well as CSIS expert Thomas Moore, Mary Beth Nikitin of the Congressional Research Service and several others.

CSIS to Look at Nuclear Issues – The Center for Strategic and International Studies with partners in India, South Korea, and China, explored the contours of responsible nuclear supply with key technical, official, and industry experts.  On Friday at 9:00 a.m., their experts will hold a forum that will discuss their findings, and the results of our workshops in Delhi, Seoul and Beijing.  Speakers will include Bloomberg New Energy Finance Head of Nuclear Research Chris Gadomski, MIT’s Alan Hanson and Gretchen Hund of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

JHU to Host EIA, 2040 Energy Outlook – Energy, Resources and Environment Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) will host EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski on Monday, December 16th at 9:30 a.m. in SAIS’s Kenney Auditorium.  EIA will present the reference case from Annual Energy Outlook 2014 Early Release Overview with projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices to 2040.

SEIA to Release 3Q Report – On Tuesday, December 17th at 1:00 p.m., the Solar Energy Industry Administration and GTM Research will hold a webinar to discuss the highlights of the soon-to-be-released “U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q3 2013.”  The U.S. solar market continued to show robust growth in Q3 2013, driven in part by a record level of residential installations and a strong quarter in the utility segment.  The webinar will highlight emerging deployment, system pricing and ownership structure trends and dive into detailed market forecasts for the fourth quarter and beyond.

Forum to Look at Iran, Oil Issues – The Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Wednesday, December 18th at 9:30 a.m. on Iran, oil and Changing the ‘Great Satan’ Narrative. With the signing of an interim accord providing limited sanctions relief in return for restraints on Iran’s nuclear program, attention has focused on whether Iran will be able to increase its currently depressed exports of oil and natural gas and whether multinational oil companies will again be willing to invest in Iran’s energy sector. The first panel will discuss the impact of these changes on Iran’s economy and on world oil supplies and prices. In the second panel, speakers will discuss how the United States and European can help weaken the anti-Western narrative of Iranian hardliners by challenging their core tenet: the West is inherently opposed to Iran’s technological advancement. They will launch a report proposing seven areas of scientific collaboration between Iran and the West that have no proliferation risk but can help strengthen and consolidate the positive-sum outlook of the Rouhani government.  AC’s Iran Task Force, co-chaired by Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, performs comprehensive analyses of Iran’s internal political landscape, its role in the region and the world, and any basis for an improved relationship with the West.  Panel one speakers include Sara Vakshouri of SVB Energy International, CSIS’s Guy Caruso and Bijan Khajehpour of Atieh International while Panel two features Trita Parsi and Reza Marashi of the National Iranian American Council.

Oil Trade Group to Discuss State of Energy – API will host its 2014 State of American Energy luncheon on Tuesday, January 7th at the Newseum.

Detroit Auto Show Rolls Again after New Year – Just like the sun rising, a New Year means important college football games and the roll out of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit launches January 13th through the 26th.  Now in its 26th 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.

Policy Auto Show Locked In, Ford COO to Keynote – Following Detroit, the Washington Auto Show, the automotive industry’s annual public policy show and the largest public show held in Washington, D.C., will be held on January 22, 2014 through February 2nd.  This year, Mark Fields, chief operating officer of Ford Motor Company, will deliver the keynote address at the Newsmaker Breakfast on Wednesday to launch the event.  The Newsmaker Breakfast – co-sponsored by Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) and the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) – is part of the show’s Public Policy Days. The breakfast follows the Policy Days’ kickoff event on Capitol Hill. For more information about The Washington Auto Show, please visit www.washingtonautoshow.com

Energy Summit Set – The 2014 American Energy Summit will be held on January 27 – 28, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia and will focus on the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on new energy projects by the federal government, state and local governments, and by private industry.

Energy Update Week of September 30

Friends,

With all the talk in Washington about the government shutdown drama, I have to start off with super good news.  My son Adam read/chanted all his Hebrew passages from the Torah in front of a big crowd and actually completed his Bar Mitzvah on Saturday.  Then, he and his friends had gorgeous late September weather (probably because the IPCC’s report global warming report on Friday) for an outdoor kayaking/water sports fest down on the Eastern Shore of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay.  Definitely a fun day and a very proud moment for him and us, although really only the 6’10” Rabbi Goldstein and my Bracewell Colleague Salo Zelermyer (whose father is a Rabbi) actually probably knew what he was saying as he read.

DC is atwitter this week over the impending potential government shutdown which kicks in tonight unless some quick and unlikely action prevents it.  Tomorrow, most agencies have already made plans, although I actually think it might do wonders for the usual TERRIBLE DC traffic.  But it does affect a lot of things we might not think about.  To that end, the FBI Agents Association released a report that provides agents’ first-hand accounts of the impact of budget cuts on daily operations and investigations.  The accounts include how budget cuts are affecting FBI Agents’ daily operations, hampering criminal and national security investigations, as well as the risks associated with any additional budget cuts and furloughs.  It is definitely worth a read.  The Washington Post also covered the report and outlines new FBI Director James Comey’s reaction in his first week on the job.

Despite the government shutdown talk, tomorrow is also the start of something special.  With the hope and promise for every team thinking they have a shot at Lord Stanley’s Cup, the NHL kicks off a full season tomorrow with newly realigned divisions and some spunk after last year’s lockout-shortened giveaway to the Blackhawks (just kidding Chicagoans).  Speaking of the Hawks, the Capitals kick off tomorrow in Chicago aGAINst the defending Stanley Cup Champion.  Also Toronto/Montreal and Edmonton/Winnipeg are on the docket.   Most everyone else opens Wednesday.

In addition to the aforementioned battle over the budget and the opening of the hockey season, the week also is exciting for Wednesday’s start of our favorite environmental journalist event.   The Society of Environmental Journalists launches its annual conference in Chattanooga featuring many interesting panels and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell speaking.  As usual, Bracewell will hold its annual Thursday night reception which will feature excellent food/drink (yes, our usual carving station and top shelf open bar) as well as excellent policy discussion on recycling, CCS, the RFS, natural gas drilling and renewable energy.  If you are going to be in Chattanooga, the reception is a “must attend” event.

If you are not heading to SEJ, the US Energy Assn holds a great event on Thursday at the National Press Club with its 6th annual Energy Supply Forum.  There will be numerous industry speakers, including my friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy who will be there to discuss last week’s major development at the Ivanpah Solar Project, among other things.  BSE, Google and NRG synched unit 1 to the California Grid and are delivering solar power.

We’re still on top of the new GHG rule, CCS and other developments including the recent IPCC climate report (remember the first one in 1990, and I have to tell you, it still pretty much sounds the same only with more violent hand-wringing).  Also, start marking you calendars for Mid-October when several events – including a major Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) forum – will focus on the 40th anniversary of the oil embargo.  Call with questions.

 

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Ivanpah Connects Phase I to CA Grid – The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System produced its first output of energy when the Unit 1 station was synchronized to the power grid for the first time. Achieving this critical “first sync” is a major milestone for the project, which is jointly-owned by NRG Energy, Inc., BrightSource Energy, Inc. and Google.  This successful test demonstrates the effectiveness of the station’s power tower technology, which includes large heliostats that track the sun throughout the day, solar field integration software and a solar receiver steam generator.  Power generated from Ivanpah’s initial sync testing will go to Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), which has a power purchase agreement (PPA) for energy produced out of the plant’s Unit 1 station. Power generated from Ivanpah’s Unit 3 station is also sold under a PPA with PG&E, while Unit 2 is under a PPA with Southern California Edison. Proof-of-concept testing will also be conducted at Unit 2 and 3 in the coming months.

Valero CEO to EPA on RFS, RINs: You can Fix This – Valero CEO Bill Klesse told EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy that Congress, with the Administration, should develop an alternate RFS that encourages the development of the renewable fuels, but also represents the real world.  Klesse said EPA has the flexibility to establish waiver volumes which will lower the price of Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs now, which will lower consumer costs and make the marketplace fair.  Klesse added the high price of RINs is causing an unfair wholesale and retail market, all-the-while picking winners and losers based on existing assets and luck. Valero, the largest independent petroleum refiner, is very unique in the RFS debate.  They are also the third largest U.S. ethanol producer, owning 10 ethanol plants that make 1.1 billion gallons per year of corn-based ethanol.   I can send a copy of the letter if you would like to see it.

IPCC Issues 5-Year Climate Assessment – On Friday, the UNFCCC’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published Working Group I’s (WRI) Summary for Policy Makers (SPM), a document that assesses climate change science, with the full WRI report being released this week.  The SPM reflects the work of 209 climate scientists, with input from thousands of additional government officials and experts, and draws on 9,200 peer-reviewed studies and publications regarding climate change. Two additional sections of the report, Working Group II (WRII) and Working Group III (WRIII), will be published at a later date. WRI is primarily concerned with the physical science of climate change and contains detailed information on projections and changes to the atmosphere, lithosphere, oceans and the poles due to climate change. Later portions of the report (WRII and WRIII) will contain information on climate change impacts, adaptation, vulnerability, and mitigation.

EIA:  Solar, Wind Growth Highest – The EIA’s Monthly Energy Review says renewable energy sources (i.e., biofuels, biomass, hydropower, geothermal, solar, and wind) provided 9.81% of U.S. energy consumption and 11.82% of domestic energy production for the first half of 2013.  Compared to the same time frame in 2012, overall renewable energy production, including conventional hydropower, was 2.00% higher while production from non-hydro renewables grew by 4.13%. Specifically, solar grew by 32.46% in 2013 and wind by 20.14%. Hydropower slipped by 2.59% and biofuels by 5.92%.  Among the renewable energy sources, hydropower’s share during the first half of 2013 was 30.18%, biomass 25.26%, biofuels 20.18%, wind 18.80%, solar 3.19%, and geothermal 2.39%.  Production from all renewable energy sources, including conventional hydropower, is about 60% higher in 2013 than it was in 2003 while production from non-hydro renewable energy sources has more than doubled.  Over the past decade, domestic energy production from wind has increased by a factor of nearly 16 while output from both biofuels and solar is now about five times higher than in 2003.

Frates Heads to CNN – Our National Journal Influence reporter friend Chris Frates will join CNN as a correspondent. Frates will be part of the CNN Investigations unit. The Investigations unit produces exclusive, in-depth reports for all CNN platforms and programs.  Frates served as a national correspondent at the National Journal, where he covered congressional leadership and the intersection of money, politics and policy. While at NJ, Frates founded and managed Influence Alley, a blog that covered the ties between Congress and K Street.

CSIS Moves to Rhode Island…Ave That Is – After more than 35 years in it K Street location, the Center for Strategic and International Studies has packed up and moved into a new state-of-the-art headquarters at 1616 Rhode Island Avenue.  Constructed to establish a landmark destination for the development of bipartisan policy solutions, CSIS will continue its long tradition of thoughtful policy events – many in the energy and environment arena – in its new permanent home.  Check out the tour of the new CSIS HQ here.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

WH Official to Discuss Climate at ELI Forum – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a brown-bag lunch event today to look at President Obama’s climate initiative.  The event will feature an Administration official, a representative from a non-governmental environmental organization, and an industry representative discussing the President’s priorities and upcoming benchmarks related to climate issues. They will provide their reaction to the Climate Action Plan and identify possible shortcomings and suggest areas to emphasize, including implementation concerns as well as business opportunities and risks.  Panelists will include Deputy Director for Energy and Climate Change in the White House’s Domestic Policy Council Dan Utech and C2ES expert and former Clinton Administration climate official Elliot Diringer.

OMB Official Returns to House Judiciary – The House Judiciary Committee’s regulatory panel will hold a hearing today at 4:00 p.m. in 2141 Rayburn on federal regulations featuring OMB’s OIRA chief Howard Shelanski.  Other witnesses include former Bush 41 White House aide C. Boyden Gray, former Clinton OIRA Administrator Sally Katzen, Mercatus Center Scholar John Morrall, III and Virginia NFIB State Director Nicole Riley.

Senate Environment, House Oversight to Discuss EPA IG Report on Beale – The Senate Environment Committee is holding a briefing at 4:00 p.m. on the EPA inspector general’s investigation of EPA official John Beale.  Last week, Beale plead guilty to stealing nearly $900,000 from the agency over multiple years.   Tomorrow, House Government Oversight will also hold a hearing on the investigation at 9:30 a.m.  At the House hearing, EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins, EPA Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Patrick Sullivan and former EPA air official Rob Brenner will testify.

Senate Energy to Discuss US –Mexico Offshore Drilling Plan – The Senate Energy Committee will discuss the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement in a hearing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.  The agreement clarifies American and Mexican drilling rights along the maritime border and would promote development, improve safety and ensure regulatory certainty.  Speakers will include State Department official Carlos Pascual, BOEM’s Tommy Beaudreau, API’s Erik Milito and Jackie Savitz of Oceana.

Zichal, Congressmen Address Carbon Forum – Carbon Forum North America 2013 will be held tomorrow and Wednesday at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel.  Now in its third year, Carbon Forum North America offers the latest thinking and developments in the North American carbon space for policy insiders and market-players.  Speakers will include policy-makers, leading analysts, and practitioners for an in-depth look at some of the most critical topics in climate and energy – from forthcoming California-Quebec linking, the interaction between state programs and EPA action, progress on public private partnerships and climate finance, voluntary efforts among corporations, and the development of emissions trading systems around the world.  Among the speakers will be Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal, Reps Ben Ray Luján and Paul Tonko and former DuPont exec and current  Bank of America Chair Chad Holliday.

WCEE, NOAA Expect Discuss Blue Carbon – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) continues its Brown-bag Luncheon Series with a forum tomorrow at Noon at Cassidy to look at Blue Carbon, featuring NOAA Program Analyst Ariana Sutton-Grier.  Coastal, estuarine and marine ecosystems play a substantial role in sequestration and storage of so-called “blue” carbon.  Coastal wetlands are net carbon sinks storing up to 3-5 times more carbon than tropical forests by area.  This means these ecosystems play an important role in climate mitigation and adaptation.  However, these ecosystems are some of the most threatened on Earth with loss rates ranging from 1-7% of global area per year. And because these habitats are important sinks for carbon, when they are disturbed or destroyed by coastal development (such as shrimp farming or hotel development) they become significant carbon sources.  This discussion will introduce participants to blue carbon science and policy and will focus on recent advances and opportunities for a “win-win” for conservation and climate.

House Energy to Look at Energy Legislation – The House Energy and Commerce panel on Energy and Power holds a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on the North American Energy Infrastructure Act, which would speed approval of pipeline and energy transmission projects, including waiving certain environmental reviews.  Witnesses will include Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute, Canadian Electricity Association president Jim Burpee, John Kyles of Plains All American Pipeline, Marty Cobenais of the Indigenous Environmental Network and David Mears, commissioner of the Vermont DEC.

House Oversight to Look at Wind Tax Credit – The House Government Oversight Committee’s energy panel will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. looking at details of the wind production tax credit.

RFF Seminar to Look at Water Supply—Resources for the Future will hold its October First Wednesday Seminar at 12:45 p.m. looking at the future of US water supplies.  Two significant agency reports were released in the past year evaluating US water supplies moving forward and the potential of both growth patterns and climatic changes to increase the risk of water shortages. The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) released the Colorado River Basin Supply and Demand Study, and The Vulnerability of US Water Supply to Shortage, released by The US Forest Service, suggest that the US water supply will be more susceptible to shortages due to changes in supply rather than demand. Although these reports have some limitations (clearly identified in the reports themselves), they provide significant insights into water availability issues over the next 50 to 100 years. Additionally, a collaborative study was released by the American Meteorological Society—Understanding Uncertainties in Future Colorado River Streamflow—that examines and explains the wide range of projected reductions in Colorado River streamflows due to climate change.  Resources for the Future’s Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth is hosting a dialogue to discuss these findings and explore the potential for economic mechanisms (water pricing, trading, and ecosystem service valuation, for example) to help reduce future gaps between supply and demand.  Panelists will include US Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station Economist Thomas Brown, US Bureau of Reclamation Hydrologic Engineer Ken Nowak, University of Colorado Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources Director Brad Udall and RFF experts Yusuke Kuwayama and Len Shabman.

NGSA to Release Supply Outlook – The Natural Gas Supply Assn will release its Natural Gas Outlook on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. in the National Press Club’s Zenger Room.

Energy Efficiency Issues Take Center Stage – Wednesday is also Great Energy Efficiency Day 2013 in Congress.  Events will be held in the Russell Caucus Room starting at 8:30 a.m.  Speakers will discuss doubling U.S. energy productivity through efforts at the local, state and federal levels.  They will include Sen. Mark Warner, Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor, New York State Research and Development Authority President Frank Murray and DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan.

SEJ Set for Chattanooga – The Society of Environmental Journalists will hold its 23rd annual conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Wednesday through Saturday.   The central location — with the Appalachian Mountains and the Tennessee Valley Authority headquarters nearby – will allow trips to a nuclear plant, hydroelectric dam and a landscape analysis lab on the Cumberland Plateau that is helping to save the keystone tree of the Appalachians.  As well, on Thursday Night, Bracewell will again sponsor its legendary reception.  See you there.

Forum to Look at Energy, Environment, Security Landscape – Tufts Fletcher School of Diplomacy will hold the 2013 Fletcher Triplomacy Seminar on Wednesday through Friday at the Loews Madison.  The event will focus on the changing landscape on energy, environment and security, addressing shifts in energy use and their implications. Using a Triplomacy approach, the event will bring together leaders from three sectors—public, private, and NGO—to discuss interconnected issues across three industries—energy, environment, and security. Position yourself to lead in the changing energy landscape.

FERC to Hold Hydro Workshop – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will convene a workshop Wednesday at Noon to begin investigating the feasibility of a two-year process for issuing a license for hydropower development at non-powered dams and closed-loop pumped storage projects in compliance with section 6 of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013.  Participants will  present ideas on the details of a two-year licensing process, discuss potential criteria for identifying projects that may be appropriate for a two-year licensing process, and recommend potential pilot projects to test a two-year licensing process.

JHU Forum to Look at NatGas, Russian/US – The Johns Hopkins University will hold a discussion in its Rome Building Room 535 on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. featuring Thane Gustafson, professor of government at Georgetown University and senior director of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates.  Gustafson will discuss the global revolution in natural gas and what it means for Russia and the United States.

Desmond, Other Execs to Address USEA Forum – The US Energy Assn will hold 6th Annual Energy Supply Forum on Thursday in the National Press Club’s Ballroom to discuss topics ranging from unconventional energy supply resources to onshore exploration and production to technological advances in the supply sector. Speakers include my friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers Association Board Chair David Lamp of HollyFrontier Corporation, Peabody Energy exec Fred Palmer, Shell Oil Exploration EVP Mark Schuster and Chevron Gas Supply VP Greg Vesey, among others.

Senate Ag Look at Advanced Biofuels – The Senate Agriculture Committee holds a hearing on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. on advanced biofuels.  USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack will testify as well as NASCAR’s Mike Lynch, Brooke Coleman of the Advanced Ethanol Coalition, Jim Collins of DuPont Polymers & Industrial Biosciences, Sapphire Energy’s Tim Zenk and Sumesh Aurora of Innovate Mississippi & Director of Strategic Biomass Solutions.

Forum to Look at China Energy Issues – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Thursday focused on emissions and energy efficiency in China.  In 2007, the Chinese government answered the call by the Global Environment Facility to begin banning all inefficient light bulbs. According to a 2008 study by China’s Energy Research Institute, if China pursues a LED-heavy switchover by 2020 (which now appears likely), approximately 85 TWh of energy could be saved, roughly equivalent to the Three Gorges Dam’s annual output.  The speakers at this CEF meeting will go well beyond light bulbs in discussing China’s sweeping, comprehensive and aggressive measures to improve air quality by capping coal consumption and better regulating pollution emissions from coal-fired power plants. These measures build upon China’s recent adoption of PM2.5 standards and requirements for cities to publish PM2.5 data in real time.   At this meeting, Christopher James (Regulatory Assistance Project) will address these and other new comprehensive and stringent air quality measures targeting the energy sector. Jeremy Schreifels (U.S. EPA) will focus on emission trends in NOx, a key precursor of PM2.5, and China’s 12th Five-Year Plan reduction targets for NOx emissions from power generation.  Finally, Darrin Magee (Hobart and William Smith Colleges) will briefly explore radical end-use efficiency and large-scale hydropower as two options for addressing electricity production and carbon reduction needs in China.

RFF Forum to Discuss Reliability Impacts on NIMBY – Resources for the Future will hold an Academic Series forum on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. looking at energy reliability featuring Virginia Tech’s Klaus Moeltner.  Existing studies on the acceptability of energy-related infrastructure have centered around how to overcome the Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) phenomenon amongst local stakeholders, focusing primarily on drivers such as community participation, provision of information, and direct economic benefits to impacted communities. Most of this work is based on international case studies, qualitative comparisons, and stated choice experiments that offer respondents a variety of implementation bundles. To date, none of these contributions have related the acceptability question to the value of power provision to the same stakeholders. We fill this gap by combining an analysis of outage vulnerability with an examination of infrastructure acceptability using a unique, EU-15 data set with household-level information on both aspects of power provision. Local residents’ sensitivity to outages can significantly boost acceptability of new energy infrastructure projects. This stresses the importance of creating awareness amongst stakeholders on how planned infrastructure expansions relate to energy security at the individual level.

McCarthy to Headline Forum to Discuss Energy, Climate Leadership – The Atlantic Council and Ecologic Institute will host a conference on Thursday at 12:45 p.m. to discuss Transatlantic Cooperation on Energy Security and Climate.  The event will connect exceptional rising energy and environmental leaders with senior policymakers and business experts in Washington, DC. The event will feature keynote presentations, two dynamic panel discussions on the  Transatlantic Cooperation on Energy Security and Climate Change conference is an initiative of the Emerging Leaders in Energy and Environmental Policy (ELEEP) Network that aims to connect a new generation of decision-makers in the Euro-Atlantic region with senior policymakers in these fields and inject new voices into the transatlantic policy discourse.  EPS’s Gina McCarthy will provide remarks at the end of the event.  Our friends Steve Mufson of the Washington Post and Mark Drajem of Bloomberg News will be featured on panels, as well as Senate Energy staff director Karen Billups, among others.

Solar Webinar to Look at Distributed Generation – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) will present the second of two educational webinars focusing on distributed generation (DG) solar for the utility, regulatory, electric power, and solar industries – “New Utility Business Models: Distributed Solar as a Business Opportunity.” The first webinar offered an introduction to third-party-financed DG solar. This second webinar will delve into more specific implications for utilities, and propose specific business models that utilities could incorporate to profit from third-party-financed DG solar.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

BPC to Discuss NatGas, Climate Mitigation Issues – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum on October 8th at 8:30 a.m. in the Washington Court Hotel to look at how expanded natural gas production affect climate change mitigation.  The development of abundant, low-cost natural gas supplies in the United States has facilitated a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.  But there are concerns that natural gas will crowd out investments in other low carbon energy technologies, such as renewables, carbon capture and storage and nuclear energy.  Debate ensues as to whether natural gas is a transition or a destination fuel, largely based on estimates of the cost of incentives to develop and commercialize the next generation of low carbon energy technologies.  BPC senior fellow and former Senator Pete Domenici will examine whether natural gas and low carbon energy technologies can play complementary roles in transitioning the global economy to a cleaner, more sustainable trajectory. We will consider the scientific and technological prospects for natural gas and other low carbon energy technologies, their respective near- and long-term impacts on greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, the economic (and politically practical) alternatives for deploying them, and policy lessons from abroad. David Goldwyn of Goldwyn Global Strategies, LLC, former State Department Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, will moderate the event.

RFF to Update Carbon Tax Initiative – On Tuesday, October 8 at 9:00 a.m., Resources for the Future will provide an update on ongoing carbon tax research.  Over the past six months, researchers at Resources for the Future (RFF) have completed a new round of work related to the role that a federal tax on carbon dioxide (CO2) could play in the context of fiscal policy and tax reform. This new research covers three themes: 1) options for revenue recycling; 2) mechanisms for addressing the concerns of energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries; and 3) scaling CO2 tax rates to recent estimates of the social cost of carbon.

Forum to Address Grid Modernization – The MIT Club of Washington will start a seminar series on modernizing the U.S. Electric Grid on Tuesday, October 8th running through March 2014 at the Kenwood Country Club in Bethesda, MD.  Six monthly dinner seminars with presentations by speakers will look at grid modernization.  The monthly speaker for October is Anjan Bose of Washington State University.  Others will include November 12 – Ralph Masiello, KEMA, Inc., December 10 – David K. Owens, Edison Electric Institute, January 14 – Vickie A. VanZandt, Western Electricity Coordinating Council, February 11 – Michael Chertoff, The Chertoff Group and March 11 – Richard Schmalensee, Sloan School, MIT

EIA Winter Fuel Outlook Event Set – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the National Association of State Energy Officials will host the 2013–2014 Winter Fuels Outlook Conference on Tuesday, October 8th at the National Press Club.   The conference will address global oil supply uncertainty, and the effects of projected winter weather on the demand for heating and key transportation fuels.  A range of market factors that may impact the supply, distribution and prices of petroleum, natural gas and electricity this winter will be discussed in great detail by some the nation’s leading energy data and forecasting experts.

NJ Summit to Tackle Biofuel Mandate – The National Journal will hold a policy summit on biofuels on Wednesday October 9th at 8:00 a.m. at The Newseum.  Our friend Amy Harder will moderate a discussion of members of Congress and experts to explore whether the mandate should be revised, eliminated or remain in place.  Speakers include Paul Beckwith of Butamax Advanced Biofuels, Michael Brower of ACORE and Kris Kiser of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.

SNL Conference to Look at Electric Generation – SNL Energy is hosting the 2nd Annual Electric Generation Landscape Conference in Houston on October 10th and 11th at the Houstonian.  The event is specifically created for generation executives, investors and regulators to discuss and solve the myriad issues of the industry.

WAPA Road Rally Set – The Washington Automotive Press Association will host its annual Road Rally Ride & Drive event on Friday, October 11th at Rockwood Manor just outside Washington, DC. The event will feature a number of new products to drive.

SAFE Oil Embargo Forum Set – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will hold a major national energy conference, OPEC Oil Embargo +40: A National Summit on Energy Security, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. on October 16th.  At the event, it will also award its inaugural Energy Security Prize, which aims to reward companies whose ingenuity, leadership, and perseverance are poised to advance American energy security by helping bring an end to U.S. oil dependence.   The SAFE Energy Security Prize will be divided into two categories including 1) Emerging Innovation Award (EIA), which will recognize up to three technologies not currently in the marketplace that are expected to be available for sale within five years that have the potential to meaningfully reduce long-term U.S. oil consumption; and 2) the Advanced Technology Award (ATA) will recognize up to three groundbreaking technologies already established in the marketplace today that reduce the amount of oil consumed in the United States.

Wellinghoff to Speak at MD Clean Energy Summit – Maryland will host its Clean Energy Summit on Tuesday and Wednesday October 15th and 16th and will focus on distributed energy.  Former FERC Chair John Wellinghoff will speak among others.

Webinar to Focus 40 Years Since Oil Embargo – The U.S. is approaching the 40th anniversary of the 1973 OPEC Oil Embargo — an event that launched an on-going search for a comprehensive national energy policy.  The date of the anniversary is roughly October 16 so on that Wednesday, the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) is hosting a webinar to discuss the significance of the anniversary and to provide an overview of changes in the nation’s energy situation during the past four decades.   Speakers will include former CIA head James Woolsey, Scott Sklar, and others.  Details about the webinar are on ACORE’s web page: www.acore.org.

RINs/RFS 2 Forum to Discuss Ethanol Issues – The 5th Annual Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) RFS2, RINs & Biodiesel Forum will be held on October 17-18th at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.

ELI Dinner to Honor Steyer, Shultz – The Environmental Law Institute will hold its annual dinner on October 22nd at The Omni Shoreham Hotel, honoring political energy gadfly Tom Steyer and former Secretary of State George Shultz.  Of course, the annual event will lead off with the Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum at 4:00 p.m., which will focus on the environmental and human effects of modern agriculture. This year’s Keare Forum will not only consider the potential environmental costs and benefits of the legislation, but also the effects on consumers and the 47 million Americans who depend on food assistance.

Offshore Wind Conference Moves to Providence – AWEA’s 7th annual Offshore Wind Conference will be held in Providence, RI on October 22nd through 24th.  Topics will include the Federal PTC/ITC extension, DOE demonstration project funding and new state off-take mechanisms. Each day of the conference will include powerful General Sessions featuring high-level government officials, visionaries for the offshore wind industry, a panel of leading OEM companies active in the offshore market, and another panel of U.S. offshore wind developers giving the latest insights into their projects.

Shelanski to Headline Cost-Benefit Forum – The NYU School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity will hold a forum on October 28th in NYU’s Vanderbilt Hall to discuss cost-benefit analysis.  The event will feature leading practitioners, government officials, and academics for NYU’s 5th annual practitioners’ workshop on the federal regulatory process.  The workshop will be an introduction to economic analysis and its role in the regulatory process, as well as a nuanced look at how the technique is used by federal administrative agencies. This year’s workshop will also mark the 20th anniversary of Executive Order 12,866. Howard Shelanski, Administrator of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will keynote.

Argus Carbon Summit Set for Cali – Argus will hold its California Carbon Summit on October 28-30 in San Francisco, California.

OPIS Event to Look at Oil Market Dynamics – The 15th annual OPIS National Supply Summit will be held in Las Vegas on October 28-30 at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental.  Speakers will include PBF Energy Executive Chairman Thomas O’Malley, Tesoro Corporation Operations VP Dan Romasko, and expert Phil Verleger, among many others.  Topics will include “re-wiring” of the North American distribution system, the architectural shifts in North American and world crude oil prices, and the inter-market and intra-market refined products price volatility.

Ex-Officials, Hofmeister to Address Energy Conference – The NATO Energy Security Center of Excellence and the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) will host the Target Energy 2013 Conference on October 31st and November 1st at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference will address the latest issues facing energy operations and security across NATO Member and Partner nations.   Target Energy 2013 will address energy issues ranging from how best to protect on-and-offshore infrastructure to preventing the increasingly frequent millisecond cyber-attacks against network systems and infrastructure.   The objectives are to actively stimulate civil-military co-operation and exchange on shared energy concerns, further public outreach between NATO bodies and private industry technology and solutions’ providers.  Speakers will include former EU Ambassador Boyden Gray, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former NSA head Robert McFarlane and former Shell CEO John Hofmeister, among many others.