Energy Update: 1/2/18

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

The Top Issues for 2018

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

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

Rep. Kevin Cramer talking Infrastructure to POLITICO.

 

IN THE NEWS

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of 12/18

Friends,

HAPPY HOLIDAYS…. Not quite there yet, but getting close!!!  We won’t have a regular update next week but will keep you updated of actions if necessary.  Will likely return for Tuesday January 2nd with our first update of 2018…  Can you believe 2018 already?

With taxes right at the finish line, we are happy to discuss energy aspects.  Looks like the renewable tax provisions (PTC, BEAT, AMT) all survived pretty well, as did oil-related ANWR and SPR provisions.  Less fortunate were the “orphan” tax credits for things like small wind, fuel cells and geothermal, who were in the House bill but not included in the final package.  Our super savvy, yet tax nerdy colleague Liam Donovan is right in the action and is happy to discuss details either on or off record.  Final votes expected either tomorrow or Wednesday.  We also continue to focus on additional government funding with another deadline looming Friday.

With OMB completing its work on the ANPR for the Clean Power Plan Replacement rule late last week, we expect it may be released as soon as tomorrow.  We are monitoring the action and both Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead are familiar with what to expect and are ready to assist. Also, we are still following the on-going RFS discussions going on between Corn-state and refiner-state Senators and Administration.

Even though the schedule is light this week, there are a couple of interesting events, including an EESI forum tomorrow on COP23 outcomes featuring BCSE head Lisa Jacobson.  And later today at 3:30 p.m., CSIS hosts the International Energy Agency for the US launch of the IEA’s Coal 2017: Analysis and Forecasts to 2022.  Senate Environment looks at freight movement in a hearing on Wednesday and Thursday, the Georgia PSC votes on whether to complete two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle.

The update wishes well to our friend Devin Henry, who has finally had enough of me emailing him all the time and is leaving The Hill to return to his home state of Minnesota.  Dev, I know Golden Gophers’ hockey is in-season, but the temp in Shakopee, MN will be 2⁰/-10⁰ this weekend???

Finally, Congrats to our great Bracewell colleague Kevin Ewing – who many of you know as one of the smartest oil/gas/environment lawyers in DC – for being named an Environmental Law 360 MVP. Law360’s MVPs are attorneys who have distinguished themselves from their peers over the past year through high-stakes litigation, record-breaking deals and complex global matters.

Boy, it has been an interesting year hasn’t it!!!  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

THE LOBBY SHOP

A new episode of The Lobby Shop features new Bracewell DC partner Angela Styles and a discussion of the world of government contracts.  You can get it live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  Styles, who recently joined Bracewell from Crowell Moring, is a prominent DC government contracts attorney and will discuss the world of federal contracts and the complex legal work behind it.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“One of the things that I want people to understand is that North Carolina is good for solar, but that solar is also very good for North Carolina.”

John Morrison of NC-based Strata Solar in the Duke University GVC Center report on NC solar impacts. 

 

IN THE NEWS

MEMO: White House Prepping for Tariffs – Supporters of tariffs on solar clearly leaked an White House memo on Friday as reported by our friend Emily Holden in POLITICO saying the administration appears to be preparing its messaging ahead of setting punitive tariffs on imported solar equipment. The tariffs would increase the cost of solar power in the US and could slow expansion of solar and eliminate installation/construction jobs.  We continue to follow, but most utilities, contractors, retailers and conservative groups have urged President Trump to oppose tariffs.

Duke Study Highlight NC Solar Impact – Speaking of solar tariff impacts and what is at risk in the industry, the Duke Global Value Chains Center has released a report detailing the solar “value chain” in North Carolina and the Potential impacts to investors, solar developers, construction contractors and solar panel and component manufacturers comprising more than 450 companies. Together, these companies support some 4,300 jobs and represent a $2 billion investment. In addition to jobs, solar industry-related businesses provide income for landowners and tax revenue for N.C. towns.  The report conducts an assessment of three major issues related to North Carolina’s utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar investments: 1) The state of the solar market: the industry, marketplace and technology trends affecting the cost and feasibility of additional investments in utility-scale solar in the world generally and in the United States and North Carolina in particular; 2) The amount of utility-scale solar resources in North Carolina relative to other places in the United States and the world; and 3) The economic footprint of utility-scale solar in North Carolina.

Mayors Support Solar – More than 70 mayors from 25 states signed a letter in support of solar energy. The full text of the letter is available here, and we have included an article about the letter in Solar Industry. An excerpt from the letter: “Expanding solar power helps residents and businesses benefit from lower energy costs while providing more local control of energy and improving our communities’ resilience.”

GTM Report Shows Solar Slippage – Speaking of more solar, GTM Research’s latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report says 2,031 megawatts of PV were installed in the U.S. in Q3 2017. That’s the nation’s lowest quarterly total since Q3 2015.  Two of the three market segments tracked by GTM Research were down on the quarter and on the year; however, the non-residential segment was the lone standout. The U.S. installed 481 megawatts of non-residential PV in the third quarter, representing growth of 22% year-over-year. However, looming over the outlook for U.S. solar are two macro-level risks: Corporate tax reform could reduce tax equity demand and the final outcome of a Section 201 trade dispute could impact cost and demand.

DOE to Help Fund Offshore Wind – The DOE announced $18.5 million in competitive funding for a research and development consortium meant to bring down the cost of offshore wind power. The private-public partnership will explore wind plant technology advancement, resource and physical site characterization, installation, operations and maintenance, and supply chain technology solutions. Offshore wind companies will contribute funds to the project, and DOE labs will also get $2 million to support the consortium.

Platts Podcast Looks at Methane – On this week’s Platts’ podcast, Brian Schied talks with IPAA’s Dan Naatz about the impact of methane rules on US drillers; API’s Erik Milito about a new voluntary industry effort to combat methane emissions, and EDF’s Matt Watson about why API’s effort will not be enough to address the issue.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Resource Management – The World Resources Institute hosts a panel today at Noon to look at conflicts and natural resource management.  WRI, Conservation International and other environmental organizations have adopted distinct approaches to environmental peacebuilding in response to local-level dynamics. Through a discussion of these efforts, the links between peace, conflict and the environment are directly manifest, offering support for organizational efforts to integrate conflict-sensitive and peacebuilding perspectives across conservation activities in all contexts.

CSIS to Host World Coal Report – Today at 3:30 p.m., CSIS will host the launch of the IEA’s new report analyzing coal’s recent trends and forecasting its demand, supply, and trade through 2022.  Coal remains world’s dominant fuel. Under pressure from decarbonization, cheaper alternatives, and geopolitical shifts in demand, coal continues to be one of the most pressing questions in energy. Peter Fraser, Head of Division for Gas, Coal, and Power Markets at the International Energy Agency, will present the IEA’s report.

Forum to Look at Bonn Climate Meeting Results – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in 562 Dirksen looking at the takeaways from the latest global climate talks, which concluded in Bonn, Germany, on November 18th. The COP23 focused on the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement, which is slated to start in 2020. Speakers for this forum are Fiji Ambassador H.E. Solo Mara, German First Secretary for Climate Anton Hufnagl, Sam Ricketts of Governor Jay Inslee’s DC Office and BCSE President Lisa Jacobson.

Senate Environment to Look at Freight Movement – The Senate Environment Committee panel on Transportation & Infrastructure will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. on freight movement.  The hearing will assess where we are now and where we need to go.

DOE STEM Fair Is Set – The Department of Energy’s 4th annual Interagency STEM Volunteer Fair will be held on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.  The event will feature STEM organizations, government agencies, and schools in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area that need help as well as upcoming needs for volunteers, events, and areas of focus.  The volunteer fair is geared towards federal employees, but others are welcome to attend this public event. The event is located in the rear of the Department of Energy’s cafeteria, which is open to the general public and accepts cash and credit. You will need to check in at the Department of Energy Main Lobby and show valid ID before advancing through security.

IN THE FUTURE

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – On January 9th, API holds its annual State of Energy Address.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of 11/20

Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving Week!!!!  So, as usual, you can expect some announcements – perhaps like the RVOs which are due at the end of the month, but always seem to find their way into pre-Thanksgiving roll out.

First off, special congrats to Jeff Holmstead’s son Eli, whose BYU Soccer team won the National Club Championship over the weekend by beating Cal-Poly 4-1 in Phoenix. Eli had 3 goals as the Cougars rolled through Michigan State, Penn, UNC, NC State and Wisconsin before blasting Cal-Poly.

Breaking this late this morning, the Nebraska Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to approve the Keystone pipeline route through the state to transport up to 830,000 barrels per day of crude from Canada’s oil sands and North Dakota’s shale fields to oil refineries on the Gulf Coast.  It is the last key approval. Head of the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute Karen Harbert said: “the Keystone XL pipeline project has unfortunately become the poster child for the need to reform our permitting process so that we may fully realize North America’s energy potential. After years of government delays, the decision as to whether to move forward with the pipeline now rests with the company that will be making the investment.”  Connect with Matt Letourneau for more at 202-463-5945.

The Bonn climate conference has ended and one of the few items that garnered attention was the Friday announcement by 19 countries and six states and provinces that they were forming an international alliance to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2030. Key nations in the alliance, such as Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Italy, Austria, Mexico and the Netherlands, aren’t using very much coal anyway. In fact, members account for less than 3% of global coal use as my friends Brad Plumer and Lisa Friedman point out in the New York Times.  Notably missing in the groups are some of the world’s biggest coal-consuming countries, including Germany (who got significant heat on the topic during Bonn), China, India and the United States.

Perhaps more significant on Friday in Bonn was that Sweden became the 20th country to ratify the Kigali amendment, an agreement to phase down emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that will allow the plan to go into effect in 2019.  Given this move, we expect to see potential US action on the agreement that was forged in partnership and requires developing/developed country reductions, unlike Paris.    With the world using more and more refrigerants, and heating and cooling equipment, the move is expected to hold down climate change by 0.5° C [0.9° F] by 2100.  Francis Dietz (703-600-0355) at AHRI can connect you with its President Steve Yurek, who was one of the key stakeholder negotiators.

Finally from Bonn, scientists actually remain skeptical that political leaders can reduce emission increase to 1.5-degree, according to our friend Eric Roston of Bloomberg (who by the way is heading back to the policy team…Welcome Back Eric!)

Despite it being Thanksgiving week, there are a few events on the table including a NAFTA field hearing in Texas today at 10:30e/9:30c featuring Texas trade and industry leaders and the annual release of the American Coal Ash Assn’s Coal Ash Production & Use Survey at the National Press Club at 9:30 tomorrow.  Finally, tonight at Midnight, the first comment period for the US Trade Representatives public comment period will close.  Reply comments are due November 29th and the public hearing will be on December 6th.  The Energy Trade Action Coalition, a group of utilities, contractors, retailers and Conservative groups, filed comments to add their voices to the opposition. You can see the ETAC comments here.

Enjoy the week to relax, watch some football and eat some turkey and the fixins’ because next week we go right back to the grind with Clean Power Plan hearings in Charleston,WV, a SAFE Oil discussion with former EIA Head Adam Sieminski and much more…. Stay tuned…Call with questions.  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 week’s episode features my colleagues Scott Segal and Dee Martin, The Hill’s 2017 Top Lobbyists and explores the world of Washington lobbying, what it takes to be an effective lobbyist, and how they got into the field.  Remember our address for listeners to reach out with topic suggestions, feedback, etc. – thelobbyshop@policyres.com.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“There are many examples of a country switching from being a net energy exporter to a net importer: it is very rare to see the opposite, especially when the country in question is one of the world’s largest importers of oil.  Yet this is precisely what is happening as a result of the U.S. shale revolution — both for oil and for natural gas.  A remarkable ability to unlock new resources cost-effectively pushes combined United States oil and gas output to a level 50% higher than any other country has ever managed. ”

The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its World Energy Outlook.

We would need an incredibly dramatic reduction in emissions in the very near future. The 1.5-degree target is a little ridiculous and implausible.”

Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist with Berkeley Earth in a Bloomberg story on climate change and science

IN THE NEWS

House Passes Tax Legislation – The House passed a bill to significantly change taxation, including $1.5 trillion in cuts for individuals and companies. The overhaul, backed by President Trump, heads to the Senate, which is developing a bill that has major differences from the House measure.  My colleague Liam Donovan has been in the nitty-gritty details – as well as the politics of it all – and can answer all your questions.  Liam.donovan@bracewell.com or (202-828-5847)

Wind Urges Senate to Stand Firm on PTC Deal – Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said the House missed an opportunity to stand up for 60,000 American workers and preserve $50 billion in private infrastructure investment. The tax reform bill passed by the House retroactively changes how businesses can qualify for wind energy’s primary investment tools, the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which are already on a path to phase out by 2019.  The House bill undermines wind development by implementing a retroactive change to qualification rules for wind energy tax credits. Because businesses can’t go back in time to requalify for the credits after ordering wind turbines and inking construction contracts, tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment could be lost, and new business has stalled. The House bill would also terminate an inflation adjustment, significantly cutting the value of the PTC.  The Senate tax proposal that passed the Finance committee last night does not retroactively alter the wind energy PTC or ITC, leaving in place the phase out terms set in the bi-partisan PATH Act of 2015, keeping American workers on the job.

AHRI Weighs In – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the trade association representing HVACR and water heating manufacturers, applauded House tax package passage. “Our member manufacturers strongly support Congress’s efforts to simplify the tax code and reduce rates,” said AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek. “AHRI applauds the inclusion in H.R. 1 of full and immediate expensing, a permanent reduction in the corporate rate to 20 percent rate, a reduced rate for pass-through entities, repeal of the estate tax, and extension of the tax credit for geothermal HVAC equipment – all of which will serve to make the U.S. a more competitive place to do business,” he added. AHRI believes these provisions are all crucial to the continued growth of manufacturing in the United States, and we urge the Senate to follow the lead of the House to enact substantive reforms that will allow our industry and others to continue to innovate and create jobs.

Chamber, Partners Launch Gas Export Infrastructure Initiative – The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute hosted the U.S. Trade Development Authority (USTDA), LNG Allies and others at U.S. Chamber Headquarters for the launch of the U.S. Gas Infrastructure Exports Initiative Friday.  The goal of the initiative is to connect American companies to new export opportunities, with a particular focus on emerging economies.  USTDA acting director Thomas Hardy focused on the goal of using American technology and innovation to advance gas infrastructure in partner countries, while providing new opportunities for U.S. companies. As part of the Initiative, USTDA announced a call for gas-related project proposals for U.S. companies that have identified project sponsors in high growth emerging markets.  The Agency will be conducting gas sector reverse trade missions to bring prospective LNG buyers to the U.S. for site visits and meetings.  Delegates from Senegal, China and others are already slated to participate.  GEI is a natural partner for the Exports Initiative.  We are strong advocates for policies and activities that strengthen America’s global energy leadership, which is good for both our economy and for global security.  The continued export of American natural gas creates opportunities at home and contributes to stability abroad.  For more information on the Initiative, visit www.ustda.gov/program/us-gas-infrastructure-exports-initative

IEA Says Shale Gas Boom Will Last – The International Energy Agency says the shale gas boom has positioned the US to become the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas by the middle of the next decade in its 2017 World Energy Outlook. By the late 2020s, the U.S. — which only lifted its ban on oil exports in 2015 — will ship more oil to foreign markets than it imports. IEA predicts that US shale oil producers will boost their output by 8 million barrels a day between 2010 and 2025, an increase that “would match the highest sustained period of oil output growth by a single country in the history of oil markets” — rivaling even the massive increase posted by Saudi Arabia between 1966 and 1981. The expected U.S. surge will account for 80% of the increase in global supply over the time period.

Powell in WSJ Debate: Nuclear is Essential – ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell argued this week in the Wall Street Journal that the future of U.S. nuclear power is not only bright— it’s non-negotiable.  A robust civilian nuclear sector is mandatory for the U.S. to remain a major geopolitical, economic, military and environmental leader, Rich wrote. After decades of policy neglect, Washington is finally addressing what is both a national and global necessity and a tremendous opportunity.  That includes growing bipartisan support to reform new reactor licensing and improve tax incentives for new nuclear facilities, led in Congress by clean-energy advocates as well as national-security and energy-reliability hawks.

Henkel, Novozymes, P&G, Sasol Execs Named to ACI Board of Directors – Four executives from leading companies across the cleaning product supply chain were elected to the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) Board of Directors:  Mike Clark, Vice President, Organics – Sasol Performance Chemicals; Charles Crawford, Ph.D., Head of R&D, Laundry and Home Care, North America – Henkel Consumer Goods Inc.;  Rene Garza, Vice President, Household Care, Americas – Novozymes and Sundar Raman, Vice President, North America Fabric Care – Procter & Gamble.  At its meeting in Washington, D.C., the ACI Board elected the new Directors to fill existing vacancies.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

USTR Comment Deadline on Solar Trade Case – November 20th

USEA Forum to Look at Carbon IRA – The US Energy Assn will held a forum today at 10:00 a.m. focused on a new idea that rewards reductions in Carbon footprint with funds deposited into a retirement account.   Guest Speaker, Jason Makansi, President of consulting firm Pearl Street, will introduce the concept, describe the four broad steps required and provide simple examples of how to implement the concept.

Forum to Look at Puerto Power Situation – Power 4 Puerto Rico will held a briefing today at 10:00 a.m. at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room to discuss the ongoing effort to restore power on the hurricane-ravaged island.

Senate Finance to Hold NAFTA Field Hearing – The Senate Finance Committee holds a field hearing today at 9:30 a.m. Central Time in San Antonio at the Marriott Plaza Hotel’s Cavalier Room looking at modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Witnesses will include USTR’s Stephen Vaugh, Auto Alliance head Mitch Bainwol, Paola Avila of The Border Trade Alliance, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce CEO Richard Perez, Texas Association of Business head Jeff Moseley, Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening and Todd Staples of the Texas Oil and Gas Association.

WRI to Host Forum on Energy Access – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum today at Noon on how energy access for all benefits the economy and the environment.  Michael Westphal will 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.

Coal Ash Annual Production and Use Survey Results – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club, the American Coal Ash Association will release its annual Coal Ash Production & Use Survey results. Conducted since the early 1960s, the survey provides the most complete data available on the volume of coal ash materials that are produced and beneficially used in a variety of applications. ACAA officials will also discuss impacts of environmental regulation and changing electric utility markets on coal ash production and use.  Tom Adams and John Ward of ACCA roll out the report.

THANKSGIVING – November 26th

 

IN THE FUTURE

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 at 9:30 a.m. 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.  Speakers will include Global CCS’s Jeff Erikson and IEA’s Samantha McCulloch.

Forum to Look at Asia-Pacific Security – The Center for Climate and Security (CCS) hosts a high-level discussion on the security risks of climate change in the Asia-Pacific on Tuesday November 28th at 10:00 a.m. This discussion will explore these risks, how US military installations, operations, and strategies in the region may be shaped by them, and their influence on US bilateral and multilateral relationships.

Tillerson to Speak at Wilson Center – The Wilson Center will host US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson next Tuesday, November 28th at 11:00 a.m. for an address on the future of U.S. relations with Europe by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, followed by a conversation with Wilson Center President and CEO Jane Harman.

Heritage Hosts Climate Discussion – The Heritage Foundation hosts a discussion next Tuesday at Noon on the long history and politics of climate activism. Speaker Rupert Darwell will address the topic.

CSIS to Release New Energy Report – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will hold a presentation of its latest report, Energy and Development: Providing Access and Growth on Next Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.  Based on findings from several workshops conducted by CSIS over the last two years, Energy and Development explores several of the most important shifts underpinning the energy access issue. By exploring the role of emerging economies as the primary drivers of future energy demand, the influence of sustainability and climate change concerns in crafting development strategies, and changes to how energy access and growth are measured, the report provides a unique survey of energy and economic growth in the developing world.  Sarah Ladislaw (CSIS) will present the report, followed by a panel discussion with Morgan Bazilian (World Bank; CSIS), Morgan Landy (International Finance Corporation), and Philippe Benoit (GIAS2050; CSIS). CSIS’s Erol Yayboke, co-author of the report, will moderate.

Forum on Tax Reform to Discuss Carbon Tax – The Brookings Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday November 28th at 2:00 p.m. regarding tax reform that will discuss a possible carbon tax. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the Cross Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate, congressional leaders, and top experts for a discussion on the prospects for tax reform and the potential to include a carbon tax in a broader bipartisan bill.   The event will feature a keynote address by Rep. John Larson and panelists include Niskanen’s Jerry Taylor and our friend Amy Harder of Axios.

SAFE Event to Feature Oil Discussion with Former EIA Head – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will host a panel discussion on next Tuesday, November 28th at 4:30 p.m. at the National Union Building exploring how market uncertainty, underinvestment, geopolitical risk, OPEC intervention, rising global demand, and other market forces undermine oil market stability. The panel will discuss the likelihood of a return to high and volatile oil prices, implications for American economic and national security, and domestic policy solutions.  Moderated by our friend Ben Geman of Axios, the panel will feature former EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski – now at CSIS – and Jonathan Chanis, SAFE’s Senior Vice President of Policy.

USTR Reply Comments Deadline – November 29th

National Academies Review Climate Assessment – On Wednesday afternoon, the National Academies will review the 4th draft of the National Climate Assessment in an open meeting at the NAS building.

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.

Solar Festival Set for Austin – The 2nd annual Solar Business Festival will be held on November 29th and 30th in Austin, Texas at the Thompson Conference Center. The two-day conference segment features a wide variety of sessions on, components of doing a solar and storage business in Texas, microgrids and energy storage, distributed grid, project financing, sustainable buildings, smart grids, solar initiatives and innovations, utility integration, community solar projects, policies, incentives and goals, market growth opportunities, regulatory framework, international solar market opportunities/challenges, sustainable farming and more.

CSIS Look at Zero-Emissions Fuels – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum on Thursday November 30th at 8:00 a.m. onhydrogen, green shipping and zero-emission fuel in the maritime sector. The discussion will center on the development and implementation of hydrogen fuel technology, the important role it could play for shipping in the transition to a low-carbon future, and ongoing U.S.-Norwegian cooperation in the area.  Shipping accounts for more than 2% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions today and is set to increase up to 17% by 2050. This session will explore the concrete cooperation and projects being pursued in Norway and the United States.  Norwegian Ambassador Kåre R. Aas will give introductory remarks, followed by a discussion with Elisabet Bøe (Sogn og Fjordane), Joseph Pratt (Sandia National Lab), Lars Endre Gimmestad (Brodrene Aa), and Martin Grimnes (Arcadia Alliance) on the present and future of hydrogen technology and what a low-carbon future for maritime transport may look like.

Forum to Look at Energy Crossroads – The Texas Public Policy Foundation and The Heritage Foundation host the “At the Crossroads IV: Energy and Climate Policy Summit” on Thursday.  The conversation will feature the world’s leading scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and energy experts, who will gather to explore this turning point in energy history and the long-lasting potential it holds for America and beyond. Speakers include Sens. Jim Inhofe, Mike Lee, House Science Chair Lamar Smith and many others.

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

Chatterjee to Address NatGas Roundtable – On Thursday at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee as the guest speaker at the next luncheon.

R Street Hosts Clean Energy Event on Capitol Hill – R Street hosts a forum on Thursday, November 30th in 122 Cannon featuring a discussion on clean energy with panelists from Microsoft, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers (ACCES) and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions  Across the country, clean energy is growing rapidly in states that allow customers to choose their electricity supplier. This system of ‘retail choice’ grants customers more options and allows them to generate their own energy on-site. Importantly, large corporations have been leading the charge for distributed energy generation, marking a refreshing intersection of conservative and green agendas.

RFF to Look at Energy Security – Resources for the Future (RFF) will host a forum on Thursday November 30th focused on the new realities on energy security given our shale resources.  This RFF seminar will open with a presentation from former Department of Energy official Howard Gruenspecht on the economic and political factors that have led to a very different oil security picture than the country faced decades ago. RFF President Richard Newell will present new research on how the shale oil boom has altered the flexibility of the US supply, as well as how price and inventory dynamics can inform Strategic Petroleum Reserve policy. RFF University Fellow Stephen Brown will then discuss an RFF project that produced new estimates for the value of the oil security premium—a key metric used in benefit–cost analyses of related regulations. RFF Senior Fellow Alan Krupnick will wrap up with a discussion of the new energy security paradigm, which broadens the definition of US energy security beyond oil to include natural gas, electricity, and other energy systems.

Clean Edge, GridWise Alliance Host gridCONNEXT – GridWise Alliance and Clean Edge will host gridCONNEXT on December 4th through 6th in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of regulators, utility executives, corporations, and other industry stakeholders to explore the many grid modernization.

Solar Tariff Opponents to Weigh-in at Press Club – Opponents of tariffs on solar imports will hold a briefing on Tuesday December 5th at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club.  The event will feature solar industry advocates, as well as members of the Energy Trade Action Coalition like the National Electrical Contractors Association, utilities, retailers and Conservative free-trade groups. More next week.

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

Pruitt to Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on December 7th with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifying.  The appearance will be Pruitt’s first before the Energy and Commerce Committee.

IPAA Exec to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area members of the US Assn of Energy Economist will host Fred Lawrence for their December 8th lunch.  Lawrence, VP at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, will discuss the outlook for U.S. oil and natural gas, including shale export trends over the past two years, focus on the Independents in a Sector and demand and geopolitical reality vs. ideology.

Paris Forum to Focus on Anniversary – Forum to French President Macron will host the One Planet Summit on December 12 in Paris, on the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The Summit will focus specifically on climate finance. Heads of State will be invited to attend this meeting.

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31, 2018, making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation

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.