Energy Update: Week of September 18

Friends,

Our friend Sean Spicer was the hit of the 69th Emmy awards last night working with host Stephen Colbert to offer a great, light political moment, fresh with a moving podium in an event dripping with political intrigue.  The big winners were SNL, Hulu and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, whose win for best actress in a comedy for her “Veep,” performance tied Cloris Leachman’s record for eight prime-time acting Emmys.  See all the winners here.

Also, proud dad moment: this weekend we traveled to Wellesley to watch Hannah’s first NEWMAC field hockey game and she didn’t disappoint, getting a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick,” by scoring the game winning goal, setting up her team’s first goal and then getting a yellow card late in the second half.

This week, the UN launches its meetings so climate change events are all around.  First, let’s address the weekend dust up over the Paris agreement.  In case you missed it, the WSJ reported that the Administration was considering backing off its pledge to pull out of the Paris Agreement.  The Administration pushed back aggressively on that issue.  My take: I just don’t think there is anything different than we’ve heard before.  For now, it looks and sounds to me like they are still on the same page as back when he made announcement.  They only seem to be wiggling on is their strategy to approach discussions at the upcoming UN meeting. Substance seems the same.  Happy to discuss in more detail.

Climate Week events started with Gary Cohn this morning hosting a meeting on energy and climate change in New York before the United Nations General Assembly convenes and continues with Columbia Law School hosting an event tonight at 7:00 p.m. on offshore wind in NYC featuring our friends Amy Harder of Axios, Statoil’s Megan Kesier and Michael Gerrard of the Columbia Law School.  The Concordia Summit also is happening in NYC with speakers like Scott Pruitt (interviewed by Dana Perino), Laura Bush, a bunch of POLITICO moderators and many others.  Finally, Yale holds a Climate Conference today and tomorrow hosted by John Kerry featuring Ernie Moniz, Heather Zichal, James Baker, Sens. Graham and McCain, Govs. Brown and Inslee, Hank Paulson, GE’s Jeff Immelt and WAIT FOR IT… Leo DiCaprio, tomorrow to close the event!!! See the full Climate Week line up here.

So with another hurricane lingering in the Caribbean, it is important to report that as of 4:00 p.m. yesterday, more than 90% of customer outages have been restored.  Still, about 850,000 customers are without power in Florida and Georgia as a result of Hurricane Irma. At Irma’s peak on September 11, there were more than 7.8 million outages.  In Georgia alone, power has been restored to 99% of customers, or 990,000 customers, impacted by Hurricane Irma.  For those who are still without power, an army of more than 60,000 continues to work around the clock in support of one mission—to turn the lights back on as safely and as quickly as possible. This includes workers from affected companies, as well as mutual assistance crews, contractors, and other support personnel. See this mutual assistance in action in a social media recap.

Tomorrow, the Senate Energy Committee will vote on White House nominees for two open slots FERC, as well as picks for senior roles at the Interior and Energy Departments.  Then Wednesday, the Senate Environment Committee will hear from nominees for several senior positions at the Environmental Protection Agency, including Bill Wehrum to head the agency’s the air office.  EPA GC Matt Leopold, EPA chemical office head (and TSCA implementer) Mike Dourson, EPA Water office head Dave Ross and NRC’s Jan Baran also on the agenda.

Finally, on Friday the US International Trade Commission will vote on whether to move the Suniva 201 solar case forward by determining whether the petitioners were injured.  The company is seeking import duties of 40 cents per watt for solar cells that currently sell for 25-33 cents per watt, and a floor price of 78 cents per watt for panels.  The U.S. solar industry – as well as outside interests like utilities, contractors, co-ops, retailers, manufacturers and conservative groups have rallied to oppose the bid for protection, arguing it would undercut a thriving sector and harm employment in other areas, particularly installation.    Lots of action on the issue including the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board hammering the case, conservative groups sending a letter to ITC opposing the case and a new paper from Heritage trade experts on the case.

Today is National Cheeseburger Day!!!  Let’s celebrate…Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

“The reductions in solar costs — I did not foresee them, I also did not foresee the reductions in the cost of natural gas.  I did not foresee that we would have the price of oil around $50 a barrel or wherever it is today. I admit that I didn’t see the cost of solar and wind decreasing as fast as it has.” 

Daniel Simmons, Department of Energy staffer who helped draft the DOE Grid Reliability Report in an interview with PV Magazine.

IN THE NEWS

Wall Street Journal Ed Board Hits Trade Case – You might have missed it given the WSJ’s other story this weekend, but the editorial board called the Suniva case a “Solar Power Death Wish”.  The Journal says the marketplace is driving the potential harm for the petitioners, noting the “U.S. solar industry has discovered that its comparative advantage lies not in making panels, a basic product, but in adding value to imported cells and modules.”  They add the potential tariffs would be another “destructive exercise that benefits a handful of Suniva and SolarWorld investors at the expense of everyone else—including the rest of the solar industry. This is protectionism at its worst.”

Heritage Paper Details Group’s Concern About Solar Tariff – The Heritage Foundation released a paper that challenges the need for the solar trade petition filed by Suniva.  They say acquiescing to Suniva and SolarWorld Americas’ petition for more tariffs would do deep damage to the rest of the U.S. solar industry.

Conservative Groups Weigh in on Solar Tariff – Several conservative groups sent a letter last week urging members of the US International Trade Commission to reject the relief requested by Suniva and SolarWorld.  The groups wrote that the tariffs and minimum price floors requested would double the cost of solar products in the United States, lead to retaliation by our trading partners and face a challenge at the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Letter signatories include R Street, the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC Action, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum, the National Taxpayers Union and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

Energy Innovation Discussion Spurs Progress –  Clearpath’s Rich Powell and former Oak Ridge National Lab Director Thom Mason wrote in a new op-ed in the Chattanooga Times Free Press how clean energy innovation has been an essential part of Tennessee’s fabric for more than eight decades, including contributing to some of our nation’s most significant breakthroughs. But they also issue a word of caution ahead of the busy budget season on Capitol Hill: We must have sustained federal energy innovation investment or risk losing much of the promise being built in the Volunteer State and elsewhere.

Nuclear Plants Withstand Hurricanes – Nuclear plants were among the most resilient of energy infrastructure in the path of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.  Two reactors near Houston operated at full capacity despite wind gusts of 130 mph, which along with flooding, shut down refineries and disrupted wind and solar generation. And while several Florida reactors were preemptively shut down ahead of Irma, they suffered no damage and were powered back up this week.  Here is some of the coverage in Florida and additional coverage on Texas.

ALEC: State Nuclear Emerging Trends – Speaking of nuclear, our friend Sarah Hunt at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) released a new paper on the emerging trends in state nuclear power policy.  Research reveals several developments have combined encouraging states to take a fresh look at nuclear energy policy. The survey of the state policy landscape suggests that moving forward, state nuclear policy discussions will focus on policy interventions to preserve existing nuclear power plants instead of policies that promote new construction. Given the relevance of energy subsidies, mandates and federally regulated wholesale power markets to nuclear power, these policy conversations will hopefully encourage states and the federal government to take a fresh look at unraveling the “Gordian knot” of existing market distorting policies.

SAFE Brings in New Policy Expert – SAFE has brought in a new Senior VP of Policy and he’s a heavy hitter. Jonathan Chanis is an expert on oil markets and energy geopolitics and is available for comment on these topics, as well as the upcoming OPEC monitoring committee meeting on Wednesday.  Chanis is responsible for planning and directing the research, analysis, and writing of SAFE’s policy team. Before joining SAFE, Jonathan taught graduate students at Columbia University about energy security and scenario planning, and he consulted on petroleum and natural gas security, and supply and value chain management. For the 20 years prior to this, Jonathan traded and invested in energy and emerging market equities, and commodities and currencies as a Senior Trader at Caxton Associates, a Vice President at Goldman Sachs’s commodities division ( J. Aron & Co.), and a Managing Director at Tribeca Global Management (a division of Citigroup). Chanis has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1988, and an Associate Member of the Columbia University Seminar on the Middle East since 1997.

CAP Report Outlines State Offshore Wind Best Practices – The Center for American Progress has a new report today that examine state policies that helped launch offshore wind projects in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York. Among the items they recommend states consider for the policy toolkits: Strong renewable energy requirements, legislation guaranteeing demand for offshore wind power, comprehensive ocean planning, competitive and reasonable long-term power purchase agreements and infrastructure investments in areas like ports.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

POLITICO Reporters to Moderate Key Panels at Key Event – The Concordia Annual Summit will be held today and tomorrow prior to the UN meetings launch in New York City.  The event is the pre-eminent nonpartisan forum taking place alongside the UN General Assembly, and convenes more than 2,000 influencers and decision-makers through action-oriented programming that aims to build partnerships for social impact. The Summit will feature over 250 speakers, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt (interviewed by our friend Dana Perino), Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, former first lady Laura Bush, former State Department climate negotiator Paula Dobriansky, and United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes, of.  As the official media partner of this year’s summit, our friends at POLITICO – Anna Palmer, Nick Juliano, Matt Kaminski, Helena Bottemiller Evich and Ben White – will moderate discussions on major issues affecting the U.S. and global community.

Kerry Hosts Yale Climate Conference – Former Secretary of State John Kerry will host a climate conference today and tomorrow at Yale.  Speakers will include former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, State Dept climate negotiator Jonathan Pershing, Obama Energy Czar Heather Zichal, former Bush Secretary of State James Baker, Sens. Graham and McCain, Govs. Jerry Brown and Jay Inslee, former Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, GE’s Jeff Immelt and Leo DiCaprio, who will close the event tomorrow.

CSIS to Host Trade Discussion With Lighthizer – CSIS will host US Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer this morning at 10:30 a.m. to discuss US trade policy priorities.

Columbia to Host Offshore Wind Discussion – The Columbia Law School will host an event tonight at 7:00 p.m. in NYC as part of its Climate Week events on offshore wind in New York.  The Keynote presenter is Michael Gerrard of the Columbia Law School.  Then our friend Amy Harder of Axios will moderate a panel which includes Statoil’s Megan Kesier and others.

FERC Nominees to Get Energy Vote – Following last week’s delay, the Senate Energy Committee meets tomorrow to vote on Kevin McIntyre to be chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Richard Glick to be a member of the commission.  The committee will then lead into a hearing that will look at the vegetation requirements this week for electricity infrastructure on federal land. Witnesses include USDA’s Glenn Casamassa, BLM’s John Ruhs, Mark Hayden of the Missoula Electric Cooperative, Scott Miller of The Wilderness Society and Arizona Public Service Forestry Manager Andrew Rable.

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

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

Senate Environment to Consider Wehrum, Other Noms – The Senate Environment Committee hold a hearing on nominations Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. Nominees under consideration Michael Dourson to be assistant EPA administrator for the chemical office; Matthew Leopold to be General Counsel; David Ross to be assistant EPA administrator for water; William Wehrum to be assistant EPA administrator for air; and Jeffery Baran to be a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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

Napolitano to Discuss NAFTA, US-Mexico Relations – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m. , University of California President Janet Napolitano and Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Government at Tecnológico de Monterrey Alejandro Poiré will speak at a forum that will address the current state and prospective future of U.S.-Mexico trade relations in light of the current policy and political climate. Other speakers will include Sen. Mark Warner, California Senate President Kevin de León, Mexican Ambassador Gerónimo Gutiérrez and former Custom/Border Patrol Commissioner David Aguilar.

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

ITC Solar Trade Petition Injury Determination – FRIDAY

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

IN THE FUTURE

NATIONAL CLEAN ENERGY WEEKSeptember 25-29th.  Hosted by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, the American Council on Renewable Energy, Advanced Energy Economy, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, the Biomass Power Association, Clean Energy Business Network, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the National Hydropower Association, and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Sects. Perry and Zinke will launch event on Tuesday, September 26th at the Reserve Officers Association on Capitol Hill in a discussion moderated by former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

Wharton DC Hosts Innovation Summit – The Wharton DC Innovation Summit will be held on Monday September 25th at the Marriott Bethesda North Conference Center.  The Wharton DC Summit has a rich history of getting at key questions for venture capitalists, a seasoned entrepreneurs, an aspiring entrepreneurs or the intellectually-intrigued by innovation.  Interesting panels on transportation, (AVs), drones and many other topics.

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

Cato Forum to Look at Flood Insurance Program – The Cato Institute holds a forum next Monday at Noon in 122 Cannon looking at the National Flood Insurance Program, Zoning Regulations, and Hurricanes.  The event will look at lessons for lawmakers working to reauthorize the expiring National Flood Insurance Program (NFIB). A panel of experts will answer questions on hurricanes, floods, and their aftermath, as well as offer suggestions for what Congress should, and should not, do regarding future disaster mitigation efforts.

WCEE Event to Look at MD Offshore Wind – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a lunch forum next Tuesday at Dentons looking at the latest insights into the Maryland PSC’s work on offshore wind and energy efficiency, the political challenges faced and the businesses opportunities created. Marissa Gillett, Senior Advisor to the Public Service Commission’s Chairman, will be the speaker.

ELI to Look at Ocean Energy – Next Tuesday at Noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum on ocean energy technologies (wave, tidal, and current hydrokinetic energy) under development.  Wave and tidal energy developers claim that federal subsidies and tax cuts are insufficient to promote research and development, and some of the most successful ocean energy companies have moved overseas.  A panel of experts will look at key questions to improve development of the hydrokinetic technology sector in the U.S.  Among the panelists, Annie Jones, FERC Energy Projects advisor.

Gas Tech CEO to Address Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host that David Carroll, president of the International Gas Union at its next luncheon on Tuesday, September 26th.  Carroll is the President and CEO of the Gas Technology Institute. He oversees the company’s operations and directs its programs for developing technologies, products, and services for customers in the natural gas and related industries.  Carroll assumed the additional role of President of IGU for a three-year term in 2015.

Forum to Look at Future of Nuclear – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) is hosting a special workshop on Tuesday September 26th looking at the future of nuclear power globally, focusing on technological, security, and geopolitical considerations.  Achieving progress towards decarbonizing and reducing the environmental impact of energy generation is arguably impossible without a significant expansion of nuclear power internationally. However, improving and strengthening the global nuclear governance system and maintaining high international standards in nuclear safety, security, and nonproliferation are essential for nuclear power to become a more integral part of the world’s energy portfolio. Speakers will include Partnership for Global Security President Kenneth Luongo and NEI’s Everett Redmond.

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

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

Wilson to Hold Energy Forum – The Mexico and Canada Institutes will host the Wilson Center’s 2017 North America Energy Forum on Wednesday September 27th. The Forum is now in its fourth year and will focus on the major challenges and opportunities facing energy producers and consumers in the region, with a strong focus on innovation in the energy sector.  Chamber Energy President Karen Harbert and NOIA head Randy Luthi will be among the speakers.

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

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

Smart Mobility Forum Set – The C3 Group hosts the 3rd annual Smart Mobility Forum on Capitol Hill on September 27th at 2:30 p.m. in the Capitol Visitors Center.  The Forum will include presentations by experts on the deployment of autonomous vehicle technology and its impact on automotive, transportation, society and policy followed by an interactive Q&A.  Featured Speakers include C3 Group President and smart mobility expert Doug Newcomb, Autotrader Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs and Dushyant Wadivkar of Bosch Automated Vehicles.
CSIS, Fortune Smart Women Conference to Feature Ernst – On Friday September 29th at 9:00 a.m., the Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative holds a conversation with Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA).  The topics will include North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, and other global hotspots with Senator Ernst, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. She is the first female combat veteran elected to the U.S. Senate.  The event is – as always – moderated by Nina Easton of Fortune.

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

CCS Forum to Look at Norway Success Story – The Global CCS Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday, October 3rd at 9:00 p.m. in National Press Club’s Zenger Room on the Innovation and low-carbon policies that are driving the development of clean energy technologies around the world.  The discussion will explore how Norway has fostered the development of its carbon capture infrastructure, as well as the emerging business case for carbon capture in the U.S. and globally.  Featured speakers Gassnova CEO Trude Sundset, Rich Powell of ClearPath Foundation, Thina Saltvedt of Nordea Bank Norge and Statoil VP of New Energy Solutions Steinar Eikaas, who operates the world’s most successful carbon capture project in the North Sea.

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

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

CSIS to Look at Electricfication – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday October 5th at 9:30 a.m. looking at the future of electrification with Arshad Mansoor, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).  Mansoor will provide an overview of the recent EPRI report, The Integrated Energy Network: Connecting Customers with Reliable, Affordable and Cleaner Energy, which calls for a more interconnected and integrated energy system through greater electrification. Frank O’Sullivan, Director of Research and Analysis at the MIT Energy Initiative, and Ken Colburn, Principal and U.S. Program Director at the Regulatory Assistance Project, will follow with views on the opportunities and benefits, as well as obstacles and potential drawbacks of a path to a more electrified economy.  This event is part of CSIS’s ongoing work on Electricity in Transition, which surveys the current landscape of the U.S. and global electricity sector.

ACORE Finance Forum Set – The American Council on Renewable Energy will hold forum on the state of the renewable energy public policy, financial markets and corporate renewables strategy when they hold ACORE Finance West on October 12th at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco.  This annual conference convenes senior investors, industry executives, and other top transactional professionals to address market trends in the context of renewable investment opportunities in the Western U.S.

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

WAPA to Host Road Rally – The Washington Automotive Press Association holds its 2017 WAPA Rally on October 12th.  This year’s event will be a drive event on the roads just beyond the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the scenic Eastern Shore of Maryland. The event provides the opportunity to drive or ride in the latest and greatest cars, trucks and SUVs provided by WAPA’s automotive partners.

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of May 2

Friends,

What a great evening on Saturday at the WHCA Dinner.  The president was definitely on his game, both in the speech and in the awesome video featuring former House Speaker John Boehner.  I also have included President Bush’s final 2008 WHCA dinner which also was pretty awesome just for historical perspective.

For those of you I saw, it was great to see you.  For those of you I missed, sorry we couldn’t connect this time but we’ll have other opportunities.  I wish I would have hung around long enough to see the fight between Fox News and HuffPost at all places but the Institute of Peace (you just can’t make this stuff up).  Seems like maybe a scene from the Anchorman movies.

Rural Co-op execs are in DC this week today and tomorrow.  This morning they talk politics and 2016 with operative Charlie Black and tomorrow they will take to the Hill to discuss their efforts on expanding use of renewables, efforts to limit the GHG impacts on their members and their focus on cybersecurity.   Also in town in this week are advocates from the National Brain Tumor Association, whose CEO has just landed on the White House, Biden-led “Moonshot” Initiative.

This week, the signature event seems to be the Climate Action Summit 2016 on Thursday and Friday, although many have wondered aloud what this group of big names (or usual suspects) will be summiting that they already haven’t summited in the last 6 months.  Al Gore and Ban ki-Moon are on the agenda and many side events are centered around it.

Speaking of Thursday, USEA holds a more interesting Public Policy forum at the National Press Club.  That will feature ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, as well as NRC Chair Stephen Burns, FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable and DOE Energy office Director Melanie Kenderdine, among others.

Tomorrow, CSIS hosts Marie Therese Dominguez, the new PHMSA administrator to discuss what she’s doing to restore lawmakers’ and residents’ faith in the pipeline regulator.  Given the recent pipeline news, it should be a lively discussion.

Wednesday, WCEE hosts a discussion of waste fuels, while ELI features a discussion of Sage Grouse/ESA issues with our former Bracewell colleague Matt Haynie among the panel experts.

This evening, if you are not watching Game 3 of the entertaining, tight Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Caps series, you could go see the Marc Morano film Climate Hustle as it makes its one-night debut in theaters across the country.  It is sure to annoy activists in the environmental community but I think that is reason he does it.

Finally, Saturday is the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby.  Following last year’s record, streak-breaking Triple Crown run by American Pharoah, this year’s Run for the Roses may have trouble living up last year’s hype.  But for 2016, I am especially excited given the race favorite is named for Detroit Red Wings winger Gustav Nyquist.  Nyquist is owned by SoCal’s Paul Reddam, a rabid Red Wings fans.  In fact, they will have the Stanley Cup in his barn on Saturday morning for inspiration.  You know that link has former NHL star, current NBC commentator and horse expert Eddie Olczyk fired up.   The clear favorite this year, Nyquist has won all seven of his career races and is currently 10-3 to win, ahead of Gun Runner (Derby points leader), Mohaymen (who Nyquist thrashed in the Florida Derby) and Exaggerator (who is a serious threat because of his previous competition).  Race officials draw for post positions on Wednesday, with the Kentucky Oaks Race on Friday and Derby Post Time at 6:34 p.m. Saturday.  It still is the most exciting two minutes in sports.

Call with policy, political or betting questions and Happy Cinco de Mayo

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Groups Join Together for Carbon Research Center – NRECA joined with members of a public-private partnership in Gillette, WY last week to break ground on an industrial-scale laboratory that will test innovative methods for removing and utilizing carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. The center’s projected completion date is the summer of 2017. The Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC) will allow researchers to test the capture, utilization and sequestration of carbon. The center will use flue gas from the Dry Fork Station, a 422-megawatt generation facility owned by Basin Electric Power Cooperative. NRECA contributed $1 million to the project.  Joining NRECA and Basin Electric in the ITC partnership are Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE and the state of Wyoming, which contributed $15 million to the project. Tri-State contributed $5 million to the ITC.  XPRIZE will use the facility for the final phase of its $10 million carbon competition. It will award prize money to the developer of the most successful new technology for transforming coal based flue gas into a commercial product. Transforming carbon dioxide emissions into revenue-producing products could offset the high cost of carbon removal and go a long way toward solving the carbon challenge, while potentially keeping energy plants in operation, saving jobs and sparing local communities from economic hardship. Products made from waste carbon dioxide could include chemicals, fuels, building materials and graphene, an exotic allotrope of carbon that has extraordinary properties, such as being 100 times stronger than steel.  The XPRIZE competition will conclude in 2020.

Consumer Group Paper Cites Benefits of Community Solar Projects – A white paper prepared by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) last week lauded public power companies and rural electric co-ops for their leadership on community (or “shared”) solar. The paper,  Public Power and Rural Electric Leadership on Community Solar Initiatives, represents a third solar option to rooftop panels and utility-installed farms  While still in its infancy, these community solar blocks have provided key benefits to consumers, especially to the roughly 50% for whom rooftop solar is not available.  The white paper reports that a disproportionate share of the more than 100 community solar projects have been initiated by rural electric co-ops and public power companies.  This fact helps explain the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Guide to Community Solar” assessment that “in general, public owned utilities have taken the lead in deploying community solar projects.”  A recent article in PVTECH concurred:  “The push for community solar has largely been driven by cooperative and municipal utilities.”  Community solar involves customer investment in the purchase of power from solar panels in the same geographical area.  These customers receive a credit on their monthly bills reflecting the amount of electricity they use and the amount produced by their purchase.  In most cases, electric utilities or non-profit community organizations initiate community solar.  Participating consumers have the opportunity not only to invest in solar power but also, typically, to obtain long-term rate stability. Community solar offers several advantages compared to rooftop solar including:

  • It can be made available to everyone in a utility service area. Roughly 50 percent of all residences are not suitable for rooftop panels because of one or more factors, including insufficient sunlight.
  • Because of economies of scale, community solar can be produced much less expensively than rooftop solar.
  • Participating consumers are not directly responsible for the installation and maintenance of the solar panels.
  • There are fewer potential conflicts between customers with solar investments and those without a solar stake.

New EPIC Partnership With Forbes – The experts at the Energy Policy institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) has partnered with Forbes.com, where you can now access the latest energy insights.  EPIC’s posts will target policymakers, influencers and the public and offer a direct connection to its research findings and latest analysis on today’s energy issues. .  You can see the first few posts here.   And while we are on the EPIC subject, its director, our friend Sam Ori had another piece in the Wall St. Journal on how emerging nations can use data to curb pollution.

ACCCE Hits Clinton During Appalachia Tour – Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton is embarking on a two-day tour of Appalachia, making campaign stops in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio.  The former Secretary of State is a vocal supporter of President Obama’s costly power plan – a plan with a price tag approaching $300 billion that will raise electricity prices in 48 states including Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio yet does nothing to prevent global climate change.  “It’s a bold move to stand before the very communities that will be devastated by the policies Secretary Clinton supports continuing and ask that they put their trust in her,” said Laura Sheehan, senior vice president of communications for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.  “This isn’t even political misdirection; Sec. Clinton has made it very clear that she would be a virtual Obama 2.0, backing regulations that would stunt economic growth and hurt those who can least afford it the most.”  Clinton had previously boasted that coal miners would lose their jobs if she were elected President.  She has since backtracked after being chastised by a member of her own party, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D).  “We can only hope that as this election cycle continues and Secretary Clinton meets first hand with those she proposes to put of work, that she takes a step back and asks herself if the cost of Obama’s illegal carbon regulations, which will have no meaningful effect on global climate change, are worth the risk to everyday hardworking Americans struggling to make ends meet,” said Sheehan.

Buffet Group Rejects Climate Shareholder Resolution – Berkshire Hathaway shareholders reject a climate resolution despite testimony from James Hansen and others last week.   The AP reported that Buffett agrees that dealing with climate change is important for society, but he doesn’t think climate change creates serious risks for Berkshire’s insurance businesses.  Buffett said the fact that Berkshire generally writes insurance policies for one-year periods allows it to regularly re-evaluate risks, such as climate change.  The activists who proposed the motion tried to urge Buffett to take a public stance in favor of measures to reduce consumption of fossil fuels, but he resisted.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

Cato Host Forum on Critical Minerals – The Cato Institute is hosting a forum today at 4:00 p.m. on critical and strategic minerals. The forum will focus on our dependence despite federal land management policies have become increasingly restrictive. New efforts are needed to help increase domestic supply and limit our reliance on foreign imports of critical and strategic minerals that come from hostile or unstable nations. Speakers will address the renewed emphasis on exploration and distribution of critical mineral deposits; quantifying domestic and global supply and demand; path to responsible mining of critical minerals; and issues of stewardship on federal lands.  The event will feature Cato’s Ned Mamula and CRS Specialist in Mineral Policy Marc Humphries.

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

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

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

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

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

Transport Forum Set – On Wednesday at the Mayflower Hotel, the World Bank, World Resources Institute and the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate (PPMC) are co-organizing a Transport Workday. This event, ahead of the Climate Action 2016 Summit, aims to inform the transport discussions at the Summit.  At this Transport Workday, leaders from government, business, cities, and civil society as they look into the future interaction of mobility and climate change. With the Paris Climate agreement as a backdrop, this meeting will discuss a global vision, a set of objectives, and a roadmap of action to transform the world’s mobility.

Moniz, EU Officials Headline Energy Forum – The Delegation of the European Union to the United States will host a climate action event on Wednesday at the Newseum to highlight and promote global clean energy transition as a formidable transatlantic opportunity for economic growth, innovation, and climate action.  The conference, organized on the eve of the Climate Action Summit, will bring together the public, private, and non-profit sectors from both sides of the Atlantic, highlighting the critical role played by the EU and the U.S. in both securing the Paris Agreement and the need for a strong transatlantic partnership to ensure its successful implementation.  The Going Green Conference will include Maros Sefcovic, Vice President of the European Commission for the Energy Union; Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz; Miguel Arias Canete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy and State Department Climate Envoy Official Jonathan Pershing.  Others will include WRI’s Andrew Steer, ACORE’s Greg Wetstone, Altanta Mayor Kasim Reed and former EPA official Bob Perciasepe of C2ES.

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

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

ELI to Host Sage Grouse Discussion – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a discussion Wednesday at Noon on “eco-pragmatism” and state conservation efforts related to the Endangered Species Act.   Speakers will include our former Bracewell colleague Matt Haynie, now a Counsel at API, as well as USFWS Assistant Director for Endangered Species Gary Frazer and the Center for Biological Diversity’s Brett Hartl.

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

Forum Looks at Light Water Reactors – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) regularly hosts roundtables on nuclear energy issues. These roundtables are intimate, off-the-record discussions on the various policy, technical, and commercial aspects of nuclear power.  On Wednesday at Noon, GABI is hosting a roundtable on the prospects for small modular reactors (SMRs) based on non light-water reactor (LWR) technologies. Next-generation non LWR concepts have the potential for enhanced passive safety, more manageable waste streams, non-electricity applications, and greater resource utilization and sustainability. In the U.S., nuclear regulators have paid greater attention towards light water SMRs, although it is recognized that many of the issues being examined may be applicable for non-LWR designs in the future. The roundtable seeks to spur discussion on the regulatory, R&D, and economic factors that currently impact the future outlook for non-LWR SMRs.

Forum to Discuss EU-US Energy Relations – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. looking at outcomes of the EU-U.S. Energy Council.  The event will feature Amos Hochstein, special envoy at the U.S. Department of State and Dominique Ristori, director general for energy at the European Commission.

Ban, Gore, Others to Headline DC Climate Summit – The Climate Action 2016 Summit will convene global leaders from government, business and civil society on Thursday and Friday in Washington, DC to showcase and discuss actions all sectors are taking regarding the Paris Climate Agreement.  Climate Action 2016 is co-hosted by a broad coalition of partners and will include dynamic plenary and working sessions with leaders and luminaries who have been at the forefront of the climate battle.  In addition to the co-hosts listed below, speakers include Ban Ki-moon, Sen. Ben Cardin, OMB Head Shaun Donovan, Al Gore, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, White House Office of Science & Technology head John Holdren, Bill Nye, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, and Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development and Energy, who also served as President of COP21. For the full list of speakers and the Summit agenda go to Climateaction2016.org/#program.

Wilson Forum Looks at Paris Agreement – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program holds a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Paris agreement and whether it can successfully address climate, conflict and development. The forum features Nick Mabey, founder and Chief Executive of E3G, will provide his analysis of these processes with commentary by Ken Conca, author of An Unfinished Foundation: The United Nations and Global Environmental Governance, and Sherri Goodman, former deputy undersecretary of defense for environmental security and current Wilson Center public policy fellow.

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

EPIC to Hold GHG Forum – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., the Energy Policy Center at the University of Chicago (EPIC) will hold a forum that will be an insider’s debate over the legal merits of the Clean Power Plan and its likely path through the courts with lawyers representing opposite sides of the case.  Environmental lawyer Sean Donahue and former Justice Department official Thomas Lorenzen will discuss the legal arguments and briefs have been flying in preparation for a hearing by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in early June. Lorenzen is representing rural co-operatives.

Forum Look at Climate Challenges – The International Bar Association is hosting a forum on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. looking at companies and climate change and its legal liability and human rights challenges.  It is an official side event of Climate Action 2016, a multi-stakeholder summit.  Summit co-hosts include the United Nations, World Bank, University of Maryland, and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development.  Speakers will include Chris Jochnick of Landsea and former EPA official and industry attorney Roger Martella.

NAS Host Social Cost of Carbon Meeting – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will host the 5th meeting of the Committee on Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. at the Keck Center.

Wilson Forum Looks at Climate Security Risks – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a forum on climate change, sustainable development, and peace-building. Where are the opportunities at the intersection of these processes to address climate security risks and build peace? What needs to happen in the next five years for these frameworks to achieve their long-term goals?  Nick Mabey, founder and Chief Executive of E3G, will provide his analysis of these processes with commentary by Ken Conca, author of An Unfinished Foundation: The United Nations and Global Environmental Governance, and Sherri Goodman, former deputy undersecretary of defense for environmental security and current Wilson Center public policy fellow.

QER Meeting Set for Iowa, Texas – The Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force will hold a public stakeholder on Friday in Des Moines, Iowa.  The will also be meetings next Monday, May 9th in Austin, Texas and next Tuesday, May 10th in Los Angeles.  There will be a final meeting in Atlanta on Tuesday, May 24th Atlanta.

Green Expo Set for DC – Starting Friday and running through the weekend, the Green Festival Expo will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  Green Festival is the largest and longest-running sustainability event in the United States, now in its 15th year. Its mission is to bring together the world’s most trusted companies, innovative speakers, national and local innovative businesses, conscious consumers and pioneering thinkers in one place to promote the best in sustainability and green living.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum to Discuss North American Manufacturing Issues –The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, Canada Institute, and the International Monetary Fund are launching a new the book Power Play: Energy and Manufacturing in North America. Despite the recent fall in energy prices, fuller development of energy resources in North America has potentially important implications for global energy markets and the competitiveness of North American manufacturing industries. The book “Power Play: Energy and Manufacturing in North America” describes the transformation of the energy landscape in North America due to the upsurge in unconventional energy production since the mid-2000s and tells the story of the energy-manufacturing nexus from the perspective of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and the region as a whole.  Based on the research done at the International Monetary Fund, the book discusses the energy boom and its macroeconomic implications for the three countries individually and for the region overall, exploring also how the changing energy landscape can affect the potential benefits of greater integration across the three North American economies.

Forum to Look at Mitigating Climate Risks – Next Tuesday at Noon, Climate Advisers and DC Net Impact will host a panel discussion about climate risk, how investors address these risks, and how firms present potential financial solutions which can mitigate climate risk. During the discussion, the panelists will discuss various case studies specific to palm oil and Southeast Asia. There will be breakout sessions with each of the panelists following the panel discussion. Sarah Conway, Lead Climate Finance Negotiator at the State Department will lead the discussion.

Event to Focus on Climate, Cities – Next Tuesday afternoon, Worldwatch Institute will launch a new forum/publication: “State of the World: Can a City Be Sustainable?”  Cities are the world’s future. Today, more than half of the global population– 3.7 billion people– are urban dwellers and that number is expected to double by 2050. Will the world invest in the physical and social infrastructure necessary for livable, equitable, and sustainable cities?  The discussion aims to discover the most pressing challenges facing cities and the most promising solutions currently being developed.

EIA to Present International Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday May 11th at 9:30 a.m. to present the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016).  The EO2016 includes projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source through 2040; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.  Among other topics, Sieminski will discuss EIA’s view on long-term petroleum and other liquids fuel supplies, prospects for global natural gas markets, energy demand growth among developing nations, and key uncertainties that may alter the long-term projections.

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

CSIS to host NatGas, Low Carbon Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a discussion on Wednesday May 11th at 4:00 p.m. with Doug Arent, Executive Director, Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA), on the potential role that natural gas may play in various low carbon pathways in the United States.  Earlier this spring, JISEA released analysis on natural gas and the electricity sector and explores the question of natural gas as a bridge to a more sustainable electricity sector. Arent will provide an overview of the JISEA work has underway and as well as present the findings from this recent report. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow, CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

USEA to Talk Smart Grid in Emerging Markets – The U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on Thursday, May 12th at 10:00 a.m. on smart grid infrastructure in emerging markets.  Utilities across the world are in the process of modernizing their assets, including significant investment in smart grid infrastructure. This includes smart metering, or advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), distribution automation and other advancements in transmission and distribution infrastructure that leverage two-way communications and sensors. To-date, the majority of smart grid deployments have taken place in North America and Western Europe. However, over the course of the next decade, investment is shifting to emerging market countries. By 2026, smart grid investment in emerging markets will exceed that of developed countries, with $226 billion in cumulative investment over the period 2016-2026. In this briefing, Northeast Group’s Ben Gardner will present the results from its 5th annual Emerging Markets Smart Grid: Outlook 2016 study and highlight some of the leading countries deploying smart grid infrastructure over the next decade.

NAS Looks at Fuel Transportation – The Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences’ Transportation Research Board at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will meet on Thursday, May 12th to discuss domestic transportation of petroleum, natgas and ethanol.

Enviros Rally Against Drilling – On Sunday, May 15th at 1:00 p.m., activists will return to the White House to rally for keeping all fossil fuels in the ground with a primary focus on all offshore drilling.  With a previous success On Keystone, the groups, which includes 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, CREDO, Environment America, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance, World Wildlife Fund and many others.  With the economic, revenue and energy independence benefits of established Gulf of Mexico drilling as well as many of the Shale drilling in the US readily apparent, it will be hard to imagine that will be covered by this group. Of course, we are happy to provide that perspective.

RFF, Duke Host Oil, Gas Impacts Forum – Resources for the Future (RFF) and Duke University will host a seminar on Wednesday May 18th at 12:30 p.m. to explore the key issues facing local governments in this new era of oil and gas development.  RFF’s Alan Krupnick will describe RFF’s Community Impacts Initiative. Richard Newell and Daniel Raimi from Duke University will present the results of their Shale Public Finance project, which examines the fiscal impacts of oil and gas development on local governments in every major producing region of the United States. The seminar will also feature comments by Aliza Wasserman of the National Governors Association and further discussion with the presenters and the audience on key findings and implications.

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

SAFE to Release Autonomous Car Strategy Report – John Krafcik, CEO of Google Self-Driving Cars, will join Securing America’s Future Energy on Thursday May 19th at 9:00 a.m. at The Newseum for the release of its National Strategy for Energy Security: The Innovation Revolution.  The United States’ near-total dependence on oil to power our mobility destabilizes our economy and weakens our national security. Fortunately, America is on the cusp of an innovation revolution, one in which increased fuel diversity in transportation improves our country’s energy security and the rapid emergence of driverless cars enhances safety and redefines mobility for millions.  FedEx CEO Fred Smith, General James T. Conway and members of the Energy Security Leadership Council will the launch of the report. The event will feature the country’s foremost experts across the spectrum of energy and transportation, from the founders of the American shale revolution to the innovators redefining transportation through self-driving cars.

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

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

Energy Update: Week of March 28

Friends,

Hope you enjoyed the incredible basketball over the weekend now with the Final Four set.  And there was some pretty good college hockey as well with the Frozen Four also locked in.  The only thing that remains is to lock down the final two spots in the Women’s Final Four.

This weekend was also a beautiful couple days for seeing DC’s famous “cherry blossoms” which are in full force.  The only problem with heading out to the Tidal Basin are the throngs of people who are doing the same sightseeing.  Hopefully today’s early rain won’t put a damper on the cherry blossoms stay.

Last week also found new songs headed in the National Archives, including a couple of my favorites: the Metallica Classic Master of Puppets, Billy Joel’s Piano Man and Bobby Darin’s Mack the KnifeMack is one of my karaoke favorites!!!

Seems like a slow week with yesterday’s Easter holiday and the Congressional Spring break.  I hope you all enjoyed your family for a few days break.  Regardless, there are still a few events that you may want to take a look at below, including PHMSA Chief Marie Therese Dominguez talking pipeline safety, the agency’s impending reorganization and what that means for its pipeline safety program at CSIS on Wednesday at 11 a.m.   DOE’s Paul a Gant also speaks to the NatGas Roundtable Thursday and The Nuclear Energy industry host a summit Wednesday through Friday at the Grand Hyatt.

Briefs are also due today for EPA responding to lawsuits seeking to block its new GHG rules.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead says the EPA has 42,000 words to explain itself and respond to charges that the rule is illegal or economically disastrous.  And tomorrow, states, utilities, green groups and clean energy interests supporting EPA file their briefs, and Friday is the deadline for EPA’s amicus supporters.  Briefing will wrap up April 22nd.  Also, for the first time ever, the U.S. Geological Survey is chronicling the potential hazards of human-induced earthquakes in a report being released today, perhaps my colleague Jason Hutt (202-255-2042) can help.

And for your radar screen:  OPEC and major non-OPEC producers are set to meet in Doha in less than three weeks to, possibly, freeze output at January levels.  On this week’s Platt’s Capitol Crude, Michael Cohen, head of energy commodities research at Barclays, talks about what impact this plan could have on global and US supply, prices and exports.

Finally today, the local newspaper in our area, the Annapolis Capital, ran a great piece on my daughter Hannah and her budding officiating career.  It is a very nice article and I’m proud of the work she has done to earn it.

Opening day just a week or so away…  Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

New LA Dem Gov Edwards Urges Review of BSEE Well Control Rule – The newly–elected Democratic Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards wrote a letter last week to the Obama administration urging them to revise its rule tightening standards for blowout prevention systems and other well controls for offshore drillers.  Edwards said the soon-to-be-released rule, could devastate Louisiana’s economy.  In a letter delivered to OIRA chief Howard Shelanski during their meeting, Edwards said the BSEE’s rule as proposed issues “highly prescriptive technical mandates” that won’t end up improving offshore safety. Instead, it will lead to less drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, draining both federal and state coffers.  “No state was hit harder by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy than Louisiana, and we are all deeply committed to preventing a similar disaster from happening again,” Edwards wrote. “It is essential today that regulators and industry participants alike take the most constructive path possible to improving the safety of offshore operations. I do not believe the current draft of the Well Control Rule is the best path forward.”

McConnell Urges States to Stand Down On GHG Rule – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote to the nation’s governors last week urging states to stand down because of the Supreme Court’s recent nationwide stay of the Obama Administration’s GHG rules.  McConnell called the plan a massive regulatory plan that will not have a meaningful impact on global emissions but will punish states’ most vulnerable citizens and ship middle-class jobs overseas.  The letter follows one he sent governors in March 2015, urging them to carefully review the consequences of this deeply-misguided plan and to reject submitting a state implementation plan to the Obama Administration until the courts rule on its legality.  In the letter, Senator McConnell wrote, “The court’s action in State of West Virginia et.al. v. EPA et.al. will likely extend well beyond this administration, providing a welcome reprieve to states while simultaneously underlining the serious legal and policy concerns I wrote you about last year. In that letter I advised you to carefully consider the significant economic and legal ramifications at stake before signing your states up to a plan that may well fall in court, given that it was unclear — in my view, unlikely — such a plan could survive legal scrutiny… This is precisely why I suggested a ‘wait-and-see’ approach with respect to the CPP last year… even if the CPP is ultimately upheld, the clock would start over and your states would have ample time to formulate and submit a plan; but if the court overturns the CPP as I predict, your citizens would not be left with unnecessary economic harm. Nor would your states be left with responsibility for billions in unnecessary investment obligations.”  The full text of Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s letter is HERE.

 

BrightSource Launches New Technologies Deployed at Israel’s Ashalim Solar Thermal Plant BrightSource Energy, a leading concentrating solar power technology (CSP) company rolled out several new, advanced solar field technologies currently being deployed at the 121 megawatt (MW) Ashalim Solar Thermal Power Station located in Israel’s Negev Desert. The fourth generation of BrightSource’s solar field technologies features improvements to the heliostats, solar field communications network and solar field control system. These technologies are designed to further optimize power production, reduce construction time and lower project costs.  The 392 MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, located in California’s Mojave Desert, is the world’s largest CSP tower project and is entering its third year of operation. The Ashalim project, which is now under construction, builds on the experience gained at Ivanpah. BrightSource’s technologies being deployed at Ashalim are designed to deliver performance improvements in all areas of solar field operations.

 

What Are They?  – The technologies will reduce cost and improve performance dramatically.  They include:

 

New Heliostat Design: With fewer components and an easier assembly, new heliostats cost less and can be installed much faster. Each heliostat consists of four flat, low-iron glass mirrors that provide maximum reflectivity for the life of the project. The new streamlined design maximizes the total reflective surface within the constraints of the mechanical drive systems and allowable wind load.

 

Dual-Axis Trackers Now Powered by the Sun: Each heliostat is individually controlled and features an integrated, dual-axis tracking system capable of 360 degree positioning. Movement is powered by a small photovoltaic panel and rechargeable lithium-ion battery power supply unit. This system significantly reduces electrical wiring and cabling in the solar field. Long-term reliability is also improved.

Industry First Wireless Solar Field Communications and Control: BrightSource’s solar field integrated control system (SFINCS) manages the distribution of energy across the solar receiver using real-time heliostat-aiming and closed-loop feedback. At Ashalim, each of the 50,600 heliostats positioned in the 3.15-square-kilometer solar field will communicate wirelessly with the SFINCS. The wireless system reduces cabling by as much as 85 percent in the solar field, further reducing costs and accelerating the construction schedule.

 

Ashalim Construction Update – With more than 1,000 construction workers on site, the construction of the Ashalim Solar Thermal Power Station is on track. To date, more than 22,000 pylons have been installed in the solar field and more than 6,000 heliostats have been assembled and installed onsite. Additionally, the power block is starting to take shape with the majority of the earthwork completed, and construction of the 250 meter tower has begun. The facility is scheduled to be completed in late 2017.  The project is the largest of its kind in Israel, and will contribute significantly to the government’s clean power goals when complete.  The Ashalim plant is being constructed by Megalim Solar Power, a Build, Operate, Transfer (B.O.T.) company owned by NOY Fund, BrightSource and General Electric (GE). GE is responsible for the engineering, the procurement and the construction (EPC) of the solar power station. The facility is located on Plot-B of the Ashalim solar complex, which includes two solar thermal projects and one photovoltaic project. In total, these facilities at Ashalim are expected to produce nearly 300 MW of power, about two percent of Israel’s electricity production capacity, supporting Israel’s commitment to reach 10% of the country’s electricity production from renewable sources by 2020.

 

Congress Urges Approps Limits – Rep. Garret Graves and Charles Boustany, Jr., along with led with 26 other members sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee leaders requesting that language be included in the Interior, Environment and Related Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 prohibiting the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) from using any funds for the implementation of the agency’s proposed well control rule.  The rule has come under criticism from stakeholders who say the rule imposes an impossible mandate on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, requiring technology that has not been developed and will not have a demonstrable benefit to safety. These stakeholders argue the rule could amount to a de facto drilling moratorium in the Gulf until new technology to meet the rule’s requirements is developed over the coming years. Experts at Wood Mackenzie concluded that if this rule went into effect, as many as 190,000 direct jobs would be lost due to a decrease in exploration and production. The well control rule is currently under review at the Office of Information and Regulatory affairs within the Office of Management and Budget.

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

 

Forum to Look at Health Consequence of Nuclear Terror Scenario – The CSIS Global Health Policy Center will host Timothy Jorgensen, Associate Professor and Director, Health Physics and Radiation Protection Program, Georgetown University, today at 4:00 p.m. to speak on the topic of “Predicting the Health Consequences of Nuclear Terrorism Scenarios,” drawing on the experiences of Hiroshima and Fukushima.  Tim’s talk occurs soon after Princeton University Press publishes his new book, “Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation.”

GP Bush Headlines TX Energy Conference – Bush Others Lead Texas Energy Conference – George P. Bush Texas Land Commissioner will lead efforts speaking tomorrow in Austin, Texas at the historic Paramount Theatre. ETS16 will debate the state and future of energy and a fascinating cross-section of established leaders and unsung heroes rewriting the next generation of energy.  As Texas Land Commissioner, Bush works to ensure Texas veterans get the benefits they’ve earned, oversees investments that earn billions of dollars for public education and manages state lands to produce the oil and gas that is helping make America energy independent.  Other speakers will include Google’s Vint Cerf, NRG’s Leah Seligman, NASA’s Tom Wagner, ERCOT’s Bill Magness, Luis Reyes of the Kit Carson Electric Coop and John Hewa of the Pedernales Electric Coop.

Forum to Preview Nuke Summit – In advance of the final Nuclear Security Summit, the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program hold a forum to bring together leaders from three Centers of Excellence to share how their centers have helped build nuclear security in East Asia as well as discuss what the future may hold for them in the post-summit environment.  Dr. Jongsook Kim, Director General of the Korea Institute of Nuclear Nonproliferation and Control International Nuclear Nonproliferation and Security Academy and Mr. Yosuke Naoi, Deputy Director of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Safety will brief on the current status of their centers.  They will be joined by Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, Chair of IAEA NSSC Network and Threat Reduction Programs at the State Department and Mr. David G. Huizenga, Principal Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration for a panel discussion on nuclear security efforts after the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, moderated by Ms. Sharon Squassoni, Director and Senior Fellow of the CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program.

Forum to Look at Africa Food Crisis – The CSIS Africa Program and the CSIS Global Food Security Project will hold a discussion on Tuesday March 29th at 2:00 p.m. on examining Africa’s latest food crisis.  The 2015-2016 El Niño weather pattern, among the strongest on record, has caused intense drought in Eastern and Southern Africa and has left up to 60 million people in the two regions in need of emergency food assistance. Ethiopia has called the current drought its worst in 30 years, South Africa its worst in over a century. As the resulting food and health emergency grows, experts on food security, resilience, and climate change in Africa will join us to discuss the scale and impact of the current crisis and evaluate the response to date, with an eye toward what the U.S. and broader international community can do to support resilience to mounting climate variability challenges.

Forum to Look at Solar Designs – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in 121 Cannon about a “solar secure” recreation center in Brooklyn and a “high performance” school in Kentucky that are benefiting their communities as well as those who use the buildings. The briefing will show how sustainable public buildings can collectively reduce emissions and clear the air, especially in disadvantaged communities where energy utilities are often sited. Case studies will feature buildings–both in urban and in rural areas–that are improving public health and driving economic growth, while protecting and serving their communities and neighborhoods even during emergencies.  It will feature a retrofit project in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City and a net-zero energy high school in rural Kentucky, as well as projects incorporating sustainability principles in Prince George’s County, Maryland. For vocational students near Lexington, Kentucky, the Locust Trace AgriScience Center embodies the principles of sustainability. With daylit classrooms and low-impact land development, the buildings and campus provide hands-on learning of new skills for today’s jobs with minimal energy/water use and low carbon emissions. The Redevelopment Authority (RDA) of Prince George’s County, MD, is developing mixed-income/mixed-use projects and affordable housing in urban communities near transit centers using sustainability principles that promote walkability, green design, and energy and water efficiency.

 

CAP hosts Transpo Sect Foxx – The Center for American Progress will host U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. as he outlines the history of transportation decision-making and its role in shaping society. He will lay out core principles for future inclusive design that will help ensure that transportation projects will work to connect –and reconnect — communities to opportunities and the American Dream. Throughout our nation’s history, transportation has connected the country, but transportation infrastructure decisions have also worked to divide us.

PHMSA Head to Address CSIS Forum – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a conversation with Marie Therese Dominguez, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) on Wednesday March 30th at 11:00 a.m.  As administrator, Dominguez is responsible for overseeing PHMSA’s development and enforcement of regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6 million miles of gas and liquid pipelines and nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.  Dominguez will provide an overview of PHMSA as well as her thoughts on the country’s main challenges and opportunities with regard to the transportation of energy and hazardous materials that are essential to daily life.

 

WCEE to Look at Solar Growth – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a brown bad lunch at Duane Morris on Wednesday, March 30th looking at the challenges and growth in solar.  The burgeoning solar industry presents a number of opportunities and challenges. The recent extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) provides a strong boost for the solar industry. At the same time, grid reliability and interconnection are of utmost important as increased solar capacity is added to the grid.  Anya Schoolman discusses solar programs and incentives, use of tax credits, and explores solar co-ops as a means to undertake solar PV projects. Kevin Lynn will then delve deeper into the issues of solar PV and grid integration through the lenses of technical, market, and regulatory challenges. Lastly, Erik Heinle will speak from his experience of working with various project owners, developers, and investors on issues surrounding facility construction and financing, power purchase agreements/net metering and interconnection issues as well as issues related to PURPA.

 

Forum to Look at Solar Book – The GW Sustainability Collaborative and the GW Solar Institute will host an event Wednesday at Noon with author Philip Warburg to discuss his new book Harness the Sun: America’s Quest for a Solar-Powered Future.  Solar power was once the domain of futurists and environmentally minded suburbanites. Today it is part of mainstream America. Scan the skyline of downtown neighborhoods, check out the rooftop of the nearest Walmart, and take a close look at your local sports arena. In Harness the Sun, Warburg takes readers on a far-flung journey that explores America’s solar revolution. Beginning with his solar-powered home in New England, he introduces readers to the pioneers who are spearheading our move toward a clean energy economy. We meet the CEOs who are propelling solar power to prominence and the intrepid construction workers who scale our rooftops installing panels. We encounter the engineers who are building giant utility-scale projects in prime solar states like Nevada, Arizona, and California, and the biologists who make sure wildlife is protected at those sites.

 

McGinn Featured at Roundtable – The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) will hold a new Defense & National Security Roundtable on Wednesday, March 30th at 4:00 p.m. featuring Dennis McGinn.  The event is part of a bi-monthly roundtable series featuring special guests from across sectors discussing critical climate change and national security initiatives in a town hall format.  McGinn, currently Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations & Environment), was the former director of ACORE.

 

Energy to Host QER Meetings Around Country – The Department of Energy has announced a series of public meetings around the country to seek input on the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER 1.2), which is a study the of the nation’s electricity system from generation to end-use. The stated purpose of the QER 1.2 is to develop a set of findings and policy recommendations to help guide the modernization of the nation’s electric grid and ensure its reliability, safety, security, affordability and environmental performance through 2040.  Meetings will include remarks from government officials, moderated panel discussions with public and private sector energy experts, and open microphone/public comment sessions. Meeting dates and locations will include Atlanta, GA (3/31), Boston, MA (4/15), Salt Lake City, UT (4/25), Des Moines, IA (5/6), Los Angeles, CA (5/10) and Austin, TX.

 

DOE Official to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Dr. Paula Gant, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of International Affairs at the Department of Energy for its monthly lunch Thursday at the University Club.  Previously, Gant served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas in the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy.  As Deputy Assistant Secretary, Dr. Gant administered domestic and international oil and gas programs, including policy analysis and liquefied natural gas import and export authorization.

 

Forum to Look at European Pipeline Project, Security – The Atlantic Council will host forum on Friday at 9:30 a.m. looking at the pipeline project Nord Stream 2 and whether it is a threat to Energy Security in Europe.  Amidst the Ukraine Crisis and continuing tensions between Russia and the European Union, the proposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline presents a strategic dilemma to the European Union. The project would increase shipments of gas directly to Gazprom’s core Western European markets by circumventing Ukraine deemed too risky a transit state by some member states. At the same time, it deeply divides member states and poses dilemmas in the context of the EU’s diversification and LNG strategies.

 

Vandy, ELI Host Annual Law Review – On Friday at 9:30 a.m. on 2168 Rayburn (The Gold Room), Vanderbilt University Law School and the Environmental Law Institute will hold their annual event to identify innovative environmental law and policy proposals in the academic literature. Please join leading professors, policymakers and practitioners to discuss the proposals selected this year.

 

Statoil Exec to Address Energy Issues, Climate – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a roundtable on Friday with Irene Rummelhoff, Executive Vice President for New Energy Solutions at Statoil to discuss what role energy companies may play in the transition to a global low carbon economy.  As the policies and economics evolve to address climate change, many energy companies are adjusting their long-term vision to ensure an active role in this transition to low carbon energy future. Statoil’s New Energy Solutions has a long term goal of reducing carbon emissions and exploring new low-carbon business opportunities, especially in ways that complement traditional oil and gas assets with profitable renewable energy and other low carbon energy solutions.

 

Skulnik to Speak on MD Solar Law – On Sunday, April 3rd at 2:15 p.m. in the Silver Spring, our friend Gary Skulnik will discuss the new Maryland community solar law.  Skulnik is the founder of a new social enterprise called Neighborhood Sun, www.neighborhoodsun.solar. As President of Clean Currents, Gary started the movement for clean power in Maryland and the region.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum to Discuss Ukraine Energy Security – Next Monday at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on Ukraine energy with its resident fellow Anders Åslund and Ukrainian Parliament Energy committee Member Olga Bielkova.  In his report on the strategic challenges facing Ukraine’s energy sector Dr. Åslund argues that energy sector reform is essential to the survival of Ukraine, as it will assist Ukraine’s fight against corruption, minimize its dependence on Russian gas, and improve Ukrainian national security. The simultaneous support of and pressure from the transatlantic community is critical for Ukraine to complete the reform process in due course to smooth the social costs of the transition, stabilize its energy market, create a favorable environment for indigenous energy production, and improve the country’s overall economic growth prospects. The panel of experts will discuss the findings and recommendations of Dr. Åslund’s report.

 

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

 

CSIS to Discuss China Energy Outlook – Next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and Freeman Chair in China Studies will host Xiaojie Xu, Chief Fellow at the Institute of World Economics and Politics, part of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, to present the World Energy China Outlook 2016. The annual outlook presents a Chinese perspective on world energy trends with a focus on domestic energy development and global implications. The 2016 edition compares the implications of a Current Policies Scenario (CPS), examining recently released government policies, as well as an Eco-friendly Energy Strategy (EES), an alternative set of policies emphasizing a new pattern of economic development with increasing quality of growth, an optimized energy system, higher efficiency and lower-carbon development. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

RFF to Launch Revesz/Lienke Book – Resources for the Future will hold a book launch on April 5th for the book, Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the “War on Coal” by Richard Revesz and Jack Lienke.   Pro EPA advocates Revesz and Lienke argue that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and the Clean Power Plan are the latest in a long line of efforts by presidential administrations of both parties to compensate for a tragic flaw in the Clean Air Act of 1970—the “grandfathering” that spared existing power plants from complying with the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions limits applicable to new plants. At this discussion, Revesz and Lienke will clarify their arguments and a panel of experts will weigh in on the inherent challenges of Clean Air Act regulations and the future of environmental policies such as the Clean Power Plan.  A panel of experts will discuss the issues.

 

Forum to Look at Transition in Coal Country – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) hosts a webinar next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. that will explore how traditionally coal-reliant communities can transition, diversify and strengthen their economies as the United States moves toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. The event will discuss the funding opportunities and work being done at the local, regional and federal levels to help these communities grow vibrant local economies. This webinar will highlight the range of actions being taken by various coal-reliant regions to diversify and develop new jobs and sources of revenue.

FERC’s Honorable to Headline Energy Times Forum – The Energy Times will hold a conference on California Renewables at the Fairmont San Francisco on April 6th.  Keynoters will in broad strokes paint a picture of what is happening in the world of electric utilities, energy infrastructure and the power grid today. They will suggest what will be needed in the future and they will begin our consideration of what it will take for us to get there.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable and Edison International’s Andrew Murphy, among many others.

 

Forum to Look at Arctic Energy Issues – The Institute of the North and The Wilson Center, in association with the Arctic Parliamentarians, Arctic Economic Council and Alaska Arctic Council Host Committee, will host a forum to consider ways in which northern governments and businesses can advance broadly beneficial and responsible economic development.  The day-long forum will address the potential for Arctic economic development, the barriers, and the paths toward greater economic prosperity. This Forum is dedicated to improving the business environment in the American Arctic, which clearly intersects with the economies of other Arctic nations, other regions of the United States, and multiple sectors of the economy. Panel discussions and presentations will focus on areas of mutual interest and concern, including trade, infrastructure, investment, risk mitigation, and improving the living and economic conditions of people of the north.  Confirmed speakers include Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Angus King, as well as Arctic Economic Council Chair Tara Sweeney, Icelandic Arctic Chamber of Commerce rep Haukur Óskarsson, Julie Gourley of the US State Department, Canada’s Susan Harper, Norway Parliament Member Eirik Sivertsen, Denmark Parliament Member Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, Russian Sen. Vladimir Torlopov and several other business officials.

 

Pickens, Allen to Discuss NatGas Future – The Hudson Institute hosts a forum on Wednesday April 6th to look at the future natgas economy.  America’s abundance of shale natural gas represents a historic opportunity for the United States to achieve a burst of clean economic growth—and gives American energy security and independence a new meaning.  Will natural gas serve as an essential bridge in the coming era of clean renewable energy sources? Four panels of experts will discuss how the transition to natural gas as a leading power source and industrial feedstock will impact key sectors of the American economy.  George Allen, former governor and U.S. senator from Virginia, will keynote the conference. Energy entrepreneur, financier, and philanthropist T. Boone Pickens will take part in a lunchtime dialogue on America’s natural gas future with Hudson Senior Fellow Arthur Herman.  Other speakers will include our friends David Montgomery of NERA, Michael Jackson of Fuel Freedom Foundation and ACC’s Owen Kean among others.

Senate Agriculture to Look at USDA Rural Development Programs – Next Wednesday, April 6th at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy will hold a hearing on USDA Rural Development Programs and their economic impact across America.  USDA’s Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary of Rural Development will testify along with Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill, our friend Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw and Cris Sommerville, President of Dakota Turbines in North Dakota.

 

Senate Enviro Hosts NRC Commissioners on Budget – The Senate Environment Committee will hold an oversight hearing next Wednesday April 6th on the President’s FY 2017 Budget Request for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. All NRC Commissioners will testify.

 

RFF to Look at Deforestation – Resources for the Future will hold its First Wednesday Seminar on April 6th at 12:45 p.m. that focused on the opportunities for and challenges of reducing supply chain deforestation using private and regulatory strategies, potential synergies among these strategies, and linkages with Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).  The event will feature leading companies, nongovernmental organizations, and multi-stakeholder initiatives using and promoting these approaches.

WCEE Lunch to Look at EE in Commercial Buildings – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunch on Wednesday April 6th at Noon  on new environmental policies, efficiency programs, climate change mitigation, and building codes.  These items have been crucial to the design of sustainable infrastructure and development of energy efficient products, services and practices for commercial buildings and industrial plants. The market offers a wide assortment of programs, services and products but…which are the most suitable for commercial buildings or industrial plants?  Panelists share their experience on energy efficiency programs implemented in different facilities. Smita Chandra Thomas will discuss how energy efficiency in commercial buildings can contribute to climate change mitigation and the eco-system that makes it possible.  Julie Hughes from IMT will present on building energy performance policies–discussing how local, state, and federal government are crucial for making the built environmental more energy efficient.  Alana Hutchinson will give an overview of ENERGY STAR best practices for establishing a comprehensive energy management program for buildings and plants. Corrine Figueredo will explain EDGE, an innovative tool developed by the IFC to help build a business case for Green buildings in more than a 100 countries.

 

EPA Sets Biomass Workshop – States and stakeholders have shown strong interest in the role biomass can play in state strategies to address carbon pollution. Many states have extensive expertise in the area of sound carbon- and GHG-beneficial forestry and land management practices, and exhibit approaches to biomass and bioenergy that are unique to each state’s economic, environmental and renewable energy goals.  To support efforts to further evaluate the role of biomass in stationary source carbon strategies, EPA is hosting this public workshop on Thursday April 7th to share their successes, experiences and approaches to deploying biomass in ways that have been, and can be, carbon beneficial.

 

HuffPost Podcast to Be Featured – Our friend Dana Yeganian, former Progress Energy PR person, is hosting a Happy Hour on Thursday, April 7th at NBCUniversal’s office at 300 NJ Ave featuring the new HuffPost podcast Candidate Confessional.  CC Hosts Sam Stein and Jason Chekis will provide an inside look at life on the losing side of the campaign trial.

 

Rogers Headlines Clean Energy Challenge Forum – The Clean Energy Challenge is hold a conference in Chicago on April 12th featuring capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives to recognize cleantech innovation.  The Clean Energy Trust Challenge is a nationally recognized accelerator for clean energy innovation. Run by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust, the Challenge has led to the development and growth of 60+ businesses throughout the Midwest.  Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and Ripple Foods CEO Adam Lowry.

 

USAEE Washington Energy Conference Set for Georgetown – The US Association for Energy Economics, National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC-USAEE) and the Georgetown Energy and Cleantech Club will host its 20th Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference on Wednesday, April 13th at Georgetown University.   The event will feature Keynote Speaker, Bill Hogan, of Harvard University and our friends Monica Trauzzi of E&E TV, former NYT reporter Matt Wald of NEI and GDF Suez exec Rob Minter.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Energy Update: Week of March 14

Friends,

After a couple weeks of preview, March Madness has finally arrived.  Top seeds are Kansas, UNC, Oregon and Virginia, who after losing the ACC final to UNC still managed to squeak by Big 10 Champion Michigan State.   Some key sleeper teams to watch include VCU, UNC-Wilmington (over Duke for you anti-Dukees), Gonzaga, Iowa and Hawaii. . Play-in games start tomorrow with Florida Gulf Coast/Fairleigh Dickinson and Vanderbilt/Wichita St.

Here are a couple of pool tips for you:

  1. Pay Attention to Current Form – Look for teams playing well in conference tourneys or down the stretch.
  2. Use Betting Odds to Your Advantage – Lines will often give you educated tips.
  3. Look For Unknown Stars – Star players can pull off major upsets when these stars catch fire on the right day. Look for those stars.
  4. Cream Rises to the Top – Pick occasional upsets in rounds 1&2, but strong teams to go deep.
  5. Home Cooking – Teams that land close to home (even at lower seeds) can be tough to beat.

Don’t sleep on the lower divisions as well.  DII is in the Elite 8 with two #1 seeds already knocked out, while DIII is already has a Final Four (Amherst MA, Benedictine IL, St. Thomas MN and Chris. Newport U VA).  The Women’s DI Bracket releases tonight.

Over the weekend, SXSW launched with its music and policy festival.  On Saturday, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Barbara Bennett (President/COO of Paul Allen’s Vulcan) and NXP Semiconductors CEO Rick Clemmer announced seven finalists for DOT’s Smart City Challenge.  DOT has pledged up to $40 million to one city to help it define what it means to be a “Smart City “and become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors – into their transportation network.   The finalists are: Austin, TX; Columbus, OH; Denver, CO; Kansas City, MO; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; and San Francisco, CA.  The rollout was at the C3 Connected Mobility Showcase at the South by Southwest conference (SXSW).

Also, it is rodeo week in Houston, which is the world’s largest rodeo.  Only the top cowboys and cowgirls are invited to compete at RodeoHouston competing for more than $2 million in seven events: bareback riding, barrel racing, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping and tie-down roping. Since the Show began in 1932, more than $400 million has been committed to Texas students.  The Show has presented more than 16,000 scholarships since the first scholarship was awarded in 1957.

In DC, Congress is running to the finish line for Easter/Spring break.  While the budget hearings roll on, there will be action on the GMO labeling legislation and there was some thought that the Senate Energy Bill may resurface on the Senate Floor toward the end of the week.  Unfortunately, the recent delays stem from offshore drilling questions from FL Sen. Bill Nelson.  Speaking of the offshore drilling, this may be the week (or maybe next) Interior’s most recent five-year drilling plan rolls out.  Look for a middle ground that stills allows drilling in most places (although at these prices probably won’t occur), but also restricts important/sensitive areas.  Other interesting hearings include a Sen. Commerce hearing tomorrow afternoon on autonomous (self-driving) vehicles, Senate Energy on natural resources controversies and Senate Enviro on WRDA.

It is the most busy week for the House Oversight Committee who will host two big hearings this week on the Flint, MI Water crisis with Flint officials tomorrow and MI Gov. Rick Snyder and EPA’s Gina McCarthy on Thursday.  Not to be outdone, other House Oversight panels will hold a Wednesday hearing investigating the RFS and tomorrow afternoon challenging OIRA Chief Howard Shelanski for a hearing to scrutinize his White House office, which is responsible for reviewing thousands of federal regulatory activities.

Also this week, both the HVAC industry and the ACORE will hold Policy Forums. AHRI’s Public Policy Symposium helps bring the HVACR industry together with key public officials to discuss important issues facing their industry.  ACORE forum will feature all parts of the renewable industry and will provide in-depth analyses of important policies and critical challenges the implementation of the Clean Power Plan, the achievement of the nation’s COP21 commitments, and the policy signals and business models needed to drive continued market evolution and expansion.

Super Tuesday Part III tomorrow is all about Florida and Ohio…  It is been a little crazy on the election front (I think that’s all I’ll say!!) Call with questions.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Proposes New Methane Rules for Existing Oil, Gas – EPA said last Thursday it propose regulations  for existing sources of methane from the oil and gas industry for the first time as part of the meeting between President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  Next month, EPA will begin a formal process to compel energy companies to provide information about the methane emissions produced along a series of oil and gas activities, including production, transmission, processing and storage.  The EPA is already finishing a rule that would require oil and gas companies to upgrade equipment and search out methane leaks at new and modified wells.   As with the previous proposals to address methane, the new regulations to address existing wells are really unnecessary window dressing as industry is already reducing methane dramatically.  The fact is, industry has been ahead of the curve on this for years, working diligently on its own to reduce methane emissions.  It’s both good environmental stewardship and makes sense from a business standpoint; since companies strive for efficiency, it makes sense to capture as much product as you can.

What the Best Industry Methane Expert Says – My Bracewell colleague and O/G methane expert Sandra Snyder (202-828-5810) can be a big help on the issue.  On Thursday, she said she would also emphasize that even if industry is already taking these steps to capture and sell more product, the manpower to carry out the regulatory burdens is not insignificant.  “When companies own tens of thousands of wells, documentation and recordkeeping becomes a real issue.  A system is required to manage all of that information and additional training is required to ensure that recordkeeping is conducted properly.  Regulation might also reduce the methods available to achieve the desired results – reducing leaks.  For example, industry may prefer leak detection methods that are cheaper than EPA may adopt in its regulations (e.g., using soap bubbles rather than expensive IR cameras to detect leaks).  All of this imposes an additional strain on an industry that is struggling under low oil and gas prices.”

Who’s Really Responsible for Methane – A new study in the Journal of Science says agriculture, not the oil and gas boom, is responsible for spiking methane levels.  The study says policymakers might make more progress on global warming if they focus on curbing emissions from agriculture or animal husbandry, primarily in the tropics.  Lead author Hinrich Schaefer, an atmospheric scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in Wellington, New Zealand, said “we have to find ways to reduce methane emissions from rice agriculture, beef and dairy farming while still feeding the world’s population if we want to mitigate climate change.” Scientists have been trying to identify the source of the methane, a challenging task because there are so many potential sources. Anaerobic bacteria in wetlands decompose vegetation and release methane. The gas also escapes from cows and manure lagoons on dairy farms, from submerged rice fields and finally, from coal and oil fields.

Arkansas Puts Pen Down on GHG Plan – Arkansas last week became the 19th state to halt planning activities related to potential compliance with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  According to our friends at E&E News, who are monitoring the action on the Power Plan Hub, that brings the tally to 19 states suspending, 19 states continuing and nine states assessing whether to move forward with the rule to curb emissions from power plants. See the full breakdown here.

DOT’s Foxx Announces 7 Finalist Cities for Smart City Challenge – Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, joined by Barbara Bennett, President and COO of Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. and Rick Clemmer CEO of NXP Semiconductors, announced seven finalists for the DOT’s Smart City Challenge.  DOT has pledged up to $40 million (funding subject to future appropriations) to one city to help it define what it means to be a “Smart City “and become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors – into their transportation network.  The finalists are: Austin, TX; Columbus, OH; Denver, CO; Kansas City, MO; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; and San Francisco, CA. Secretary Foxx was joined by representatives of the seven city finalists, including Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, Kansas City Mayor Sly James, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales for the announcement at the C3 Connected Mobility Showcase being held during the South by Southwest conference (SXSW). SAFE is Vulcan’s implementation partner in the project.

State Sends $500M to Green Climate Fund – The State Department announced that Obama administration has paid $500 million to the Green Climate Fund, the international entity that helps developing countries deal with the effects of climate change.  The payment is the first in a multi-year $3 billion pledge to the fund from solidified in the Paris Meeting last year.  The GCF has long been a scourge to Republicans, who did not include any money for the fund in last year’s omnibus spending bill.   Democrats did successfully beat back a Republican efforts that would have prevented State from contributing to the fund.

Barrasso Hammers State Move – Sen. John Barrasso said the State Department GCF funding action violates the law.  At the State Department budget hearing, Barrasso said “what the president is doing here in this misuse of taxpayer dollars in complete violation of the law.” Barrasso said State violated the Antideficiency Act, which prevents federal employees from making expenditures in excess of what has been appropriated by Congress. He added that violation of the law “comes with criminal and civil penalties and I think you’re going to deal with that.”  Committee Chairman Bob Corker also chided State, arguing that the department’s decision to transfer to the money for the GCF “really breaks down trust.” Also hammering the move, American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle said President Obama continues to prioritize his political interests over the interests of the American people. “The administration intends to funnel hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into the U.N.’s climate slush fund while pursuing a domestic agenda that will raise energy costs and leave all Americans poorer.  By diverting this money with little to no transparency or clear authorization, the Obama Administration implicitly ignores even more pressing demands, such as help for those grappling with the aftermath of the EPA’s Animas River spill. With no more campaigns to run, the president is no longer accountable to the American people. That makes it even more important that Congress holds him accountable. After all, they hold the power of the purse. Now they must show they can use it.”

Oil Rigs Fallen To Lowest Level in Years – The oil-field services company Baker Hughes reported the number of rigs drilling for oil and natural gas in the United States has fallen to the lowest level since at least the 1940s. Combined rigs in United States oil and gas fields fell by nine this week to 480, overwriting a previous record low of 488 in April 1999. Oil rigs alone fell for a 12th week in a row, and gas rigs fell to the lowest level since at least 1987.

AHRI Releases January 2016 U.S. Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipment Data –AHRI released its released its January U.S. Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipment Data.  The industry data is aggregated from the information supplied by AHRI member companies that participate in the statistics program and can be subject to revision. Published year-to-date data is inclusive of all revisions.  For previous monthly shipment releases and historical data, please see http://www.ahrinet.org/statistics.

Residential Storage Water Heaters
U.S. shipments of residential gas storage water heaters for January 2016 decreased 14.2 percent to 353,708 units, down from 412,410 units shipped in January 2015. Residential electric storage water heater shipments decreased 21.1 percent in January 2016 to 321,065 units, down from 406,853 units shipped in January 2015.

1

Commercial Storage Water Heaters

Commercial gas storage water heater shipments decreased 10.8 percent in January 2016 to 7,125 units, down from 7,991 units shipped in January 2015. Commercial electric storage water heater shipments increased 30.3 percent in January 2016 to 7,196 units, up from 5,524 units shipped in January 2015.

2

Warm Air Furnaces
U.S. shipments of gas warm air furnaces for January 2016 increased 0.7 percent to 195,348 units, up from 194,057 units shipped in January 2015. Oil warm air furnace shipments increased 18.2 percent to 3,344 units in January 2016, up from 2,828 units shipped in January 2015.

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Central Air Conditioners and Air-Source Heat Pumps
U.S. shipments of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps totaled 424,102 units in January 2016, down 11.6 percent from 479,484 units shipped in January 2015. U.S. shipments of air conditioners decreased 10.7 percent to 257,616 units, down from 288,361 units shipped in January 2015. U.S. shipments of air-source heat pumps decreased 12.9 percent to 166,486 units, down from 191,123 units shipped in January 2015.

5

Former Marshall Institute Starts New Coalition – Last year, the Marshall Institute was split into two parts. The work on space, defense and intelligence was transferred to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The work on climate has been taken over by a new non-profit, educational organization, the CO2 Coalition.  So they established the CO2 Coalition last year as a 501(c)(3) for the purpose of educating thought leaders, policy makers, and the public about the evidence showing that more CO2 in the atmosphere will be a net benefit to the world. Concerns about carbon dioxide being a “pollutant” are not valid. Climate change is proceeding very slowly and the likely increase in temperature for the 21st century is about 1 degree C or less.  The members of the CO2 Coalition include globally-recognized scientists, engineers and economists who are well informed about the technical and humanitarian details of climate science and its policy implications. The Coalition emphasizes two scientific reasons for its conclusions: (1) most climate models have predicted much more warming (a factor of 3 or more) than has been seen over the past decades; (2) current CO2 levels are far below optimum for the growth of many plants, including most trees, crops like wheat and soybeans, and many others. The views of the CO2 Coalition are summarized in the white paper, Carbon Dioxide Benefits the World, See for Yourself, available on our website www.CO2Coalition.org.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

CQ Forum to Look at Ethanol – CQ Roll Call will host a policy briefing tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. at the Newseum looking at ethanol politics and policy. The event will bring together members of Congress, agriculture and energy policy experts, political scientists and industry stakeholders to discuss where we go from here on ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard.  Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) will keynote with an panel discussion moderated by our friend Ed Felker featuring Drake professor Anthony Gaughan, Northern Iowa politics professor Christopher Larimer, Iowa State economics professor David Swenson and Democratic consultant Paul Tewes.

Low Income Solar Guide Launched – GRID Alternatives, Vote Solar and Center for Social Inclusion tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. in 2168 Rayburn will  launch a new Low-Income Solar Policy Guide, a comprehensive guide to proven policies and program models that are successfully expanding access to solar power and solar jobs around the country. Learn about this exciting new online tool for policymakers and community leaders, and engage with a panel of national, state and local leaders who are at the forefront of solar access.  Opening remarks will be offered by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), while a panel discussion will featured Reps. Tony Cárdenas and Barbara Lee, as well as Dan Utech, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.

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

Forum to Look at Argentine Energy Issues – Inter-American Dialogue will host a forum tomorrow on the energy environment In Argentina.  The election of Argentina’s new president Mauricio Macri promises to bring important changes to the investment landscape for the country’s oil and gas industry. Within weeks of taking office, Macri slashed energy subsidies by raising electricity tariffs and lifted capital controls. He has vowed to negotiate more transparently with oil companies and has already reached agreements with many of Argentina’s creditors to improve the country’s access to international capital markets.  This discussion will address these questions with opening remarks by Ambassador of Argentina to the United States Martín Lousteau, followed by a panel of experts. The Inter-American Dialogue will also present our forthcoming report on shale regulation in the United States and Latin America.

IMPA Panel to Look at US Diesel Passenger Vehicle Market – In the lead-up to the 2016 New York International Auto Show, Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, and Alan Baum of Baum and Associates, will use the latest data, including sales and registration information and product launch calendars to provide the most current projections for the future of diesel passenger vehicles at the International Motor Press Association meeting in New York City. The event will be tomorrow at Noon in the 3 West Club in NYC.  The panel will discuss how government regulations – especially fuel economy regulations – will help or hinder the U.S. diesel market, and the different strategies automakers will be employing to meet the upcoming fuel economy standards.   The role of diesels in the passenger car sector and the pickup truck and SUV sectors will also be explored.

House Oversight to Hear from Gov Snyder, EPA’s McCarthy – The House Oversight Committee will host two hearings on the lead-poisoned water of Flint, Mich., featuring some of the top stars of the Flint drama. Tomorrow, the panel will hear from Darnell Earley, Flint’s former emergency manager, former Flint Mayor Dwayne Walling, former EPA Region 5 head Susan Hedman, and VA Tech’s Marc Edwards, who helped uncover the lead poisoning.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and MI Gov. Snyder will testify before the committee on Thursday.

Senate Energy Tackles Presidential Memo on Resources – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 p.m. to conduct oversight on the Presidential Memorandum issued on November 3, 2015 entitled, “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment.”  Witnesses will include Michael Bean, Interior principal deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks; Brian Ferebee, Forest Service associate deputy chief for the National Forest System; Sara Longan, executive director of the Office of Project Management and Permitting at Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources; Shaun Sims, president of the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts; Laura Skaer, executive director of the American Exploration and Mining Association; Doug Lashley, managing member of GreenVest LLC; and Lynn Scarlett, the Nature Conservancy’s global managing director.

Approps Panel Looks at EM Budget – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, will hold a budget hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. on DOE’s Environmental Management Program.  Witness will be Dr. Monica Regalbuto, DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management.

House Science Looks at EPA Regulation – The House Science panel on Oversight hold a hearing tomorrow on EPA’s latest regulatory overreach on amateur car enthusiasts/drivers.  Trade association SEMA says that EPA would effectively prohibit the conversion of regular cars into racing vehicles through a provision in proposed regulations mainly intended to improve fuel efficiency and curb greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty trucks. Witnesses will include Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.); Christopher Kersting, CEO of the Specialty Equipment Market Association; Ralph Sheheen, National Speed Sports News president; and Brent Yacobucci, the Congressional Research Service’s energy and minerals research section manager.

House Oversight also Hosts OIRA Chief – The House Oversight Committee will also host OMB’s OIRA Chief Howard Shelanski tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. for a hearing to scrutinize the White House office responsible for reviewing thousands of federal regulatory activities.  Other witnesses include GAO’s Michelle Sager,  Richard Williams of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center and American Action Forum director of regulatory policy Sam Batkins.

Senate Commerce Look at Self-Driving Cars – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. looking at the future of self-driving cars.  The hearing will explore advancements in autonomous vehicle technology and its anticipated benefits for Americans. Witnesses have been asked to testify on their continued efforts to develop automated vehicles, their views on the appropriate role of government in promoting innovation including removing unnecessary hurdles, and their strategy to grow consumer adoption of this new technology.  Witnesses include Google X Director Chris Urmson, GM’s Mike Ableson, Delphi Automotive’s Glen DeVos, Lyft’s Joseph Okpaku and Duke University Robotics lab Director Dr. Missy Cummings.   My friend Ellen Carey at SAFE is a good resource on this issue.  SAFE has an autonomous driving Task Force.

Forum to Look at Transportation Sustainability – The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and EESI will host a briefing tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. exploring how shared mobility technology is transforming transportation services, and what impact this may have on public transportation. APTA sponsored a study examining who uses ride-sourcing services, when, and for what purposes. Research was conducted in seven U.S. cities (Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.). The study’s findings and recommendations will be presented at the briefing and discussed.   Speakers for this forum are Valarie McCall of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, APTA CEO Michael Melaniphy, Transportation Mobility Policy Manager Andrew Satzberg and Lyft Director of Transportation Emily Castor.

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

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

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

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

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

House Science Looks at NOAA Budget – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on the budget proposal for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for NOAA for FY2017. NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan will testify.

House Oversight to Look at Ethanol, RFS – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittees on Interior and on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules will hold a hearing Wednesday to examine the Renewable Fuel Standard.  Witnesses will include EPA’s Transportation and Air Quality Director Christopher Grundler, John DeCicco of the University of Michigan Energy Institute, ActionAid USA’s Kelly Stone, Purdue University’s Wally Tyner and heritage policy analysis Nick Loris.

NAS to Look at Fuel Consumption on Trucks – The National Academies of Science’s Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences – Transportation Research Board will host a meeting on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. at the Keck Center to assess technologies and approaches for reducing the fuel consumption of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.  Leading a discussion of new items in rulemaking docket will be James Tamm, Chief, Fuel Economy Division, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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

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

Speaker to Address Hawaii to Renewable Energy – On Thursday at 11:45 a.m. in the National Press Club’s McClendon Room, Wharton DC Green Business Forum will host Pete May, President & CEO, Green Biz Group and in charge of VERGE Hawaii.  May will discuss moving Hawaii to 100% renewable energy by 2045.  May is President and Co-Founder of GreenBiz Group, the leading media and events company at the intersection of business, technology and sustainability. GreenBiz Group is the publisher of GreenBiz.com, the leading website for the business of sustainability, as well as the producer of leading events such as GreenBiz 16 and VERGE. We are fortunate to be having him, a very prominent speaker in the Green Energy field, speak on a special visit to the DC area.  In his presentation, May will describe the journey of GreenBiz Group in energy and sustainability the last ten years, the focus of VERGE, and the mission of VERGE Hawaii in helping the State of Hawaii arrive at their legislated mandate of 100% of energy coming from renewable sources by 2045.

Discussion to Focus on Electricity Industry – The Institute for Electric Innovation holds a discussion Thursday at 12:00 p.m. at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on key trends driving change in transforming the electric power industry.  The event will bring together a group of electric utility and technology company executives; policymakers; regulators; and other thought leaders for an afternoon of dialogue and discussion on the transformation of the electric utility industry. Our friend Bill Loveless is among the speakers.

Forum to Look at Ethanol, Advanced Biofuels – The Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA) will host a panel discussion on Thursday at Noon exploring ideas to strengthen the RFS and speed the expansion of advanced and cellulosic biofuels.  Moderated by Harvard University’s Harold Hitchings Professor of Political Economy and a former member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, this forum will include diverse perspectives from the environmental and petroleum refining communities, plus representatives of advanced biofuel manufacturers.  Panelists will include the National Wildlife Federation’s Julie Sibbing, API’s Frank Macchiarola, Elizabeth Farina of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) and ABFA President Michael McAdams.

DC Bar Forum to Focus on Trade Deal Challenges – On Thursday at 12:00 p.m., the D.C. Bar hosts a forum trade deal challenges and related items.  The challenges to the denial of the Keystone XL pipeline simultaneously in both US federal court and through the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA) investment chapter raise issues as to how challenges to US regulatory actions might be handled in international arbitration and the future of new trade agreements. Our panel of experts will discuss the dual tracks chosen in the Keystone XL Pipeline context, and more generally the implications of such challenges under NAFTA and other trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Speakers will include Dan Magraw, School of Advanced International Studies, Center for Biological Diversity ‘s Bill Snape and Todd Weiler of the University of Western Ontario, London.

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

American to Host Panel on Woman, Climate – On Thursday at 7:00 p.m., American University hosts a forum on how women are disproportionately impacted by climate change. This panel will focus on this gender imbalance and the role women play in combating climate change. The panel will also discuss the impact of climate change on girls’ education.  The panelists are Maggie Roth, Anisa Baldwin Metzger, and Rebecca Lefton. Lefton, Director of Policy and Research at Climate Advisors, specializes in international sustainable development. Baldwin Metzger is the School District Sustainability Manager at the US Green Building Council and was heavily involved in revitalizing schools in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Roth is a Communications Officer at the International Union for Conservation’s Global Gender Office and is committed to engaging the public in climate issues.

Forum to Look at China, Climate – The Wilson Center will host a forum on Friday at 9:00 a.m.  China and climate issues after Paris.  At this meeting, speakers will discuss how the Paris Climate Agreement and China’s climate actions may be helping to put the brakes on carbon in China. Duncan Marsh (The Nature Conservancy) will examine the structure and nature of the Paris agreement and the role of the United States and China to help move it forward. Michael Davidson (MIT) will draw on his recent fieldwork examining grid operations in north China to discuss some of the obstacles in decarbonizing the country’s power sector. Joanna Lewis (Georgetown University) will discuss some options for China to improve its greenhouse gas MRV system to meet the country’s climate commitments.

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

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Forum Looks at PR Energy Concerns – Next Monday, the American Security Project  will host a discussion on energy, economy, and security in Puerto Rico and how understanding the ongoing debt crisis through these lenses will strengthen our response.  Puerto Rico, America’s largest Caribbean territory, has long been an important U.S. geopolitical outpost and now finds itself on the verge of catastrophe under the weight of massive debt and a costly, inefficient energy supply. The impacts have triggered a large-scale resettlement to the U.S. mainland where gridlock has turned the Island’s future into a political hot potato rather than an issue of long-term strategic importance for U.S. national security.  As Congress recommits itself to a resolution, understanding the issues plaguing Puerto Rico through the lens of energy security and risk management offers opportunities to reverse the current trends, gain political support and address the future of 3.3 million U.S. citizens on the island.

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

USEA to Look at Fossil Fuels – Next Monday, the US Energy Assn will host a forum on addressing fossil fuels. Scientists believe significant climate change is unavoidable without a drastic reduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases from the combustion of fossil fuels. However, few countries have implemented comprehensive policies that price this externality or devote serious resources to developing low-carbon energy sources. In many respects, the world is betting that we will greatly reduce the use of fossil fuels because we will run out of inexpensive fossil fuels (there will be decreases in supply) and/or technological advances will lead to the discovery of less-expensive low-carbon technologies (there will be decreases in demand). The historical record indicates that the supply of fossil fuels has consistently increased over time and that their relative price advantage over low-carbon energy sources has not declined substantially over time. Without robust efforts to correct the market failures around greenhouse gases, relying on supply and/or demand forces to limit greenhouse gas emissions is relying heavily on hope.  Thomas Covert, Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago will speak.

Hudson Conference Looking at Shale Revolution – Next Tuesday, the Hudson Institute will host a conference examining how U.S. oil and natural gas exports have reshaped the balance of global energy power. Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas, a senior member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, will discuss the geopolitics of energy and the outlook on Capitol Hill for expanding American global energy leadership through hydraulic fracturing. Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Mark P. Mills will keynote the conference, and four distinguished panels of experts will address the impact of the American shale revolution in different world regions.

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

EEI to Host Leaders in Energy – The Edison Electric Institute hosts a panel of experts next Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. who will discuss and explore interesting questions related to the evolving Smart Grid and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) deployments that utilize unlicensed spectrum and its impact on energy efficiency.  Thought leaders from the utility, federal Smart Grid program, and telecommunications sectors will be at Leaders in Energy educational and professional networking event to explore issues related to the use of the unlicensed spectrum, advanced metering infrastructure communication platforms, and related Smart Meter applications in Smart Grid deployments to improve energy performance, benefit the environment, and services for utilities and customers.

Forum to Look at Energy Politics – The Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program and Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy will host a special public panel discussion on Thursday March 24th to explore the politics of clean energy and climate action in this presidential election year. Specifically, can Republicans, Democrats and Independents find common ground on the role of the federal government on these issues? If so, what are the most promising areas for bipartisan agreement?  The bipartisan panel will feature former Rep. and Carbon tax advocate Bob Inglis, former CO Gov. Bill Ritter, Theodore Roosevelt IV of Barclays Capital Corporation and former White House Climate official Heather Zichal.

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

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

Rogers Headlines Clean Energy Challenge Forum – The Clean Energy Challenge is hold a conference in Chicago on April 12th featuring capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives to recognize cleantech innovation.  The Clean Energy Trust Challenge is a nationally recognized accelerator for clean energy innovation. Run by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust, the Challenge has led to the development and growth of 60+ businesses throughout the Midwest.  Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and Ripple Foods CEO Adam Lowry.

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of November 2

Friends,

 

Hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween.  We have crossed another threshold at our house as Hannah handed out candy, Adam was at Boarding School and Olivia went out trick-or-treating with her friends and wanted nothing to do with us…  A little sad, but at least I didn’t have to walk around the entire neighborhood.

 

Now that was a World Series weekend with the Royals closing out the Mets with two consecutive come-from-behind victories.  With the Baseball season officially in the books, pitchers and catchers report in 108 days…  And if you are looking for an interesting early NHL season test, watch tomorrow night as the Washington Capitals travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the NY Rangers.  Both are off to a hot start and this may be a matchup we’ll see in May.  In case you were wondering, I wasn’t at the Halloween night Tool show in Arizona.  But I heard from some friends that roadtripped that it was pretty awesome.   Hoping this means a tour is on Tool’s docket soon.

 

With Thanksgiving and UN Climate talks less than a month away now, Congress and the policy advocacy world are all focused on key events running up to Paris.   Almost every day you can find an event focused on UN Climate talks and one group or another positioning itself.   An overlay to this Paris focus are the controversies surrounding the EPA GHG rules for power plants.  In fact, starting tomorrow the House Energy Committee will mark up the Congressional Disapproval Petition of the rules.  The Senate has already launched their effort as well with ND Dem Heidi Hietkamp leading the charge.

 

This week in Congress, we will also see amendments to the House highway bill that would lift the crude oil export ban.  Meanwhile, tomorrow the Senate is scheduled to begin floor debate on efforts to overturn the controversial (and now court stayed) Waters of the United States rule.  Finally, OMB has started its investigation of the RFS rule which is expected later this month.  Last year, EPA reached a settlement agreement with the petroleum industry to release the RFS by November 30th.  House Science panels take up the topic tomorrow.

 

Finally, tomorrow is election day (don’t forget to vote for our favorite Louden County Supervisor Matt Letourneau), where Kentucky is holding key Governor’s race.  It also marks the one-year point to the 2016 Presidential.  The next 365 promise to be very interesting.   Speaking of that, API, moderated by our friend Elana Schor, will host an election briefing tomorrow morning at the W Hotel..    Call with questions…Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Iranian Dissidents Attacked in Iraq – In case any of you are focused on Iran-related issues, last week Iranian dissidents were attacked by Shi’ite Muslim militia aligned with the Iranian government, killing 23 people and injuring several dozen more.   The attack was widely condemned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary of State John Kerry, Armed Services Chair John McCain, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Foreign Affairs leaders Ed Royce and Eliot Engel and many more.   If you or your Colleagues are covering this, please let me know as we have a bunch of excellent resources.

 

UGI Energy completes Auburn Pipeline Project – The Auburn Loop is the latest expansion of the Auburn gathering system and consists of a new nine-mile, 24-inch pipeline running from Susquehanna County to UGI Energy Services’ Manning Compressor Station in Wyoming County. The Auburn Loop parallels the existing 12-inch Auburn pipeline, and is scheduled to start delivering locally developed, natural gas on November 1, 2015. Installation of the Auburn Loop, alongside the November 2014 installation of three additional compressor units at the Manning Compressor Station, completes the third phase of the expansion of the Auburn Gathering System. The new pipeline expands UGI Energy Services’ existing Auburn Gathering System by approximately 150,000 dekatherms per day, bringing the total capacity of the system to 470,000 dekatherms per day.  The Auburn Loop will transport low-cost natural gas produced primarily by Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, one of the leading northeast Pennsylvania natural gas producers.

 

Cabot’s Stark Says Pipeline Will Help Communities – George Stark, director of external affairs at Cabot Oil & Gas said Cabot is excited to celebrate the addition of the Auburn Loop.  “As we head into winter and the heating season, we’re excited and proud to know we will have a hand in helping local families and businesses — our friends and neighbors — have greater access to an environmentally-friendly, affordable, reliable source of homegrown fuel.”

 

Ads Target RFS – API and its allies opposing the RFS, launched a new advertising campaign targeting the renewable fuel standard as EPA finalizes new standards for refiners for 2014, 2015 and 2016.  The ads highlight criticism of corn ethanol by anti-hunger and environmental groups and RFS opposition from newspaper editorials and lawmakers from both parties.  The Washington, D.C., campaign comprises television, radio and online ads and will run through the next month.  The ads focus on the negative consequences that higher ethanol mandates EPA is considering could have on consumers, including unexpected repair bills and potentially broad harm to our nation’s economy.  Right now, the majority of gasoline contains 10% ethanol by volume. But EPA’s initial proposal for 2016, if finalized, would increase ethanol volume requirements and breach the blend wall– the point at which the mandate exceeds the safe level of 10% ethanol in the fuel supply.

 

Tennessee Study Underscores RFS ineffectiveness –  A new University of Tennessee report finds that the RFS and its ethanol mandates fall short on a number of environmental fronts, and that without mandated ethanol use the corn ethanol industry couldn’t survive commercially.  The report: Looking back over the last 10 years, the RFS and its resulting promotion of corn ethanol as a leading oxygenate supplement to conventional transportation fuels did not meet intended environmental goals. Corn ethanol’s environmental record has failed to meet expectations across a number of metrics that include air pollutants, water contamination, and soil erosion. Corn ethanol has resulted in a number of less favorable environmental outcomes when compared to a scenario in which the traditional transportation fuel market had been left unchanged. The report says corn ethanol production and use is associated with a number of major pollutants – including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter, sulfur dioxide (SOx) and ammonia – and notes University of Minnesota research showing that corn ethanol increases lifecycle emissions of those pollutants relative to gasoline: From the inception of the original RFS mandate, ethanol has been lauded as an environmentally-friendly oxygenate. Oxygenates are added to gasoline mainly to reduce carbon monoxide (CO). While ethanol has been shown to reduce CO, other major pollutants actually increase over the ethanol lifecycle.

 

AGA Looks Back at Hurricane Sandy – Three years ago last week, high winds, tidal surges and flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy put natural gas utilities throughout the country to the test. They passed – working in the bitter cold to restore gas service to thousands of homes and businesses within days after the storm ended and ahead of the threat of a quickly approaching nor’easter.  More than 300 utility workers left the comforts of their homes in the south, mid-west and Canada to assist in recovery efforts. The American Gas Association (AGA) has released a video to mark the anniversary of this extraordinary effort.  The video tells the stories of teams from Alliant Energy in Iowa and Wisconsin that drove to the affected area and New Jersey Natural Gas which provides safe, reliable natural gas to half a million customers in parts of New Jersey that saw massive devastation from Hurricane Sandy.

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Forum Looks at Global Energy Trends – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program held a discussion this morning looking at emerging market economic and energy trends and their implications for the near and longer term global energy outlook with Joyce Chang, Managing Director and Global Head of Research at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Catherine Wolfram, Faculty Director at the Energy Institute at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

 

Energy Summit Set for Houston – The Energy Summit Series which will take place today and tomorrow at the JW Marriott Houston. The event will be co-located Transmission & Distribution and Distribution Technology & Innovation Summits.

 

Resch to Headline Solar Conference – The U.S. Solar Market Insight 2015 conference is today Thursday Wednesday in San Diego, CA.  Among the panels, Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President of GTM Research will sit down with Rhone Resch, the President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the national trade organization for America’s solar energy industry.  Rhone and Shayle will discuss the “Prospects and Probabilities of ITC Extension”.

 

Forum Looks Nat’l Labs, Argonne – The GWU Center for International Science and Technology Policy will hold a discussion today led by Dr. Keith S. Bradley. Dr. Bradley is the Director of National & Global Security Programs at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). He is also currently serving as the Director of the Global Security Sciences Division. Dr. Bradley has over 30 years of experience in national security and advanced nuclear energy research and development. Bradley works with scientists, engineers, and managers across the laboratory to formulate and execute a strategic future in national and global security programs. Most of Bradley’s career has focused on national nuclear security, with particular emphasis on nuclear capabilities and threats.  Previously he worked at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories, studying inertial confinement fusion, nuclear weapons physics and design, technology development for nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear counterterrorism and research to advance and protect civilian nuclear fuel cycles. Prior to his current responsibilities, Dr. Bradley served as the National Technical Director of the Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling & Simulation Program for the DOE office of Nuclear Energy.

Company to Demonstrate Green Thermal Tech –Today at 2:00 p.m. in Rayburn’s Gold Room Brillouin Energy Corp will hold a demonstration for policymakers of breakthrough thermal energy technology from.  Brillouin is a clean-technology company located in Berkeley, CA, which is developing, in collaboration with the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, CA, an ultra-clean, low-cost, renewable energy technology that is capable of producing commercially useful amounts of thermal energy.  The Brillouin technology is based on low energy nuclear reactions (LENR). The result is ultra-clean, low-cost, and sustainable renewable energy that doesn’t rely on any type of fossil fuel, chemical, or nuclear fuel. This process produces zero emissions and solid wastes which pollute the environment.

 

Forum to Feature Cardinal Discussing Pope Encyclical – Today at 4:00 p.m., Georgetown University Law Center will host the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life for a Public Dialogue on Pope Francis’ Environmental Encyclical: Protecting the Planet and the Poor, a conversation with Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez.  Cardinal Rodriguez is Chair of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals, the first Cardinal from Honduras, and leads the Church’s efforts to protect the planet and the poor. The conversation will be moderated by John Carr, Director of the Initiative. Faculty from Georgetown Law Center will respond including Edith Brown Weiss, Francis Cabell Brown Professor of International Law; and John Podesta, Distinguished Visitor from Practice and former Counselor to President Barack Obama on climate change and energy policy.

 

Forum to Address UN Conference – Tonight at 6:15 p.m., the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History will hold a forum regarding the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference. The discussion around climate change, will feature best-selling author and world-renowned scientist and environmentalist Tim Flannery.

 

UN Official to Speak at CSM Event – Tomorrow morning, the Christian Science Monitor is hosting a conversation with Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC , the official charged with bringing 195 nations together to agree on a global climate plan at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C.  The theme of the talk will be the state of global energy and climate heading into the Paris climate talks. Where do we stand with less than a month until diplomats meet in Paris to finalize an international climate agreement? Executive Secretary Figueres will provide an update on the negotiations and share her perspectives on what needs to happen during and after the summit in early December.

 

API to Hold Political Briefing – American Petroleum Institute (API) President & CEO Jack Gerard will hold an exclusive briefing tomorrow at the W Hotel – one year out from the election – examining the opinions of the nation’s electorate on energy issues.   In addition, a panel featuring some of Washington’s top political and public opinion analysts will discuss the issues driving voter opinions during the 2016 election cycle.   Panelists will include Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies, Rob Engstrom of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pollster Keith Frederick and Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report.  POLITICO’s Elana Schor will moderate.

 

House Science Panels to Tackle RFS – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittees on Oversight and on Environment will hold a joint hearing tomorrow on the history of the Renewable Fuel Standard.  Witnesses will include  CBO’s Terry Dinan, WEN-GAP CEO Ed Anderson, University of Michigan Energy Institute expert John DeCicco, Brooke Coleman of the Advanced Biofuels Business Council and former refinery trade assn head Charlie Drevna.

 

House Energy Panel to Mark Up Disapproval Resolution – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee Energy and Power will markup two Congressional Disapproval resolutions.

JHU Forum to Look at National Oil Companies – The Johns Hopkins University – SAIS Program will hold a forum tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. where Andrew Cheon, an Assistant Professor of International Political Economy at SAIS, will address questions on expansions at national oil companies.

 

Forum to Look at Customers, Cities – The Energy Times is hosting an Empowering Customers & Cities Forum on Wednesday in Chicago.  Energy customers are demanding more reliable service and sustainable solutions to deliver on their ever-increasing demand for power. At the same time, deregulation and legislative policy is forcing utilities and energy providers to rethink their business models. Now, more than ever, collaboration is required around the future of energy delivery and consumption.

 

Sen. Lee Headline Climate Preview Forum – On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., the Heritage Foundation will hold a forum on the upcoming Paris climate negotiations. Senator Mike Lee provides his views on the President’s plan followed by a panel of leading experts who will address what will happen in Paris later this year and what Congress can do about it. Other speakers include the US Chamber’s Steve Eule and conservative FOIA gadfly Chris Horner, and former State Department  official Harlan Watson.

 

Brazilian Ambassador to Discuss COP-21 Issues – The World Affairs Council will host Brazilian Ambassador to the US Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado at the Reagan Center at 6:00 p.m.  Ambassador Machado will be discussing sustainability, climate change and the upcoming COP-21 meeting.  Also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, the COP-21 will seek to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement to stabilizing the climate.

 

Fall Wind Symposium Set – AWEA is hosting its annual Fall Symposium in Albuquerque, NM on Thursday  at the Tamaya Resort.  The event will feature a community engagement seminar among the many other panels.

 

Summit to Focus on RPS – The Clean Energy States Alliance with funding support from The Energy Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy will host the 2015 National Summit on RPS on Thursday and Friday at the Westin Crystal City.

 

Solar Forum to Look at Distributed Energy Issues in Mid-Atlantic – On Thursday, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) will host a roundtable discussion regarding new developments in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and Delaware that are creating investment opportunities for renewable and distributed energy projects. Industry and governmental leaders will discuss these ongoing changes and emerging strategies for taking advantage of these opportunities.

 

Women, Money, Power Summit Set for Press Club – On Thursday, the Feminist Majority is hosting its annual Women, Money, Power Summit in DC at the National Press Club at noon.  Speakers will include Congresswomen Barbara Lee, Louise Slaughter and Donna Edwards, among others.

 

Forum to Look at Climate Issues – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion on Thursday looking at the immediate impacts of climate change on US economic and national security. As the COP21 talks in Paris approach, the attention of the international community is fixated more than ever on climate. Still, much of today’s climate discourse focuses on the long-term impacts rather than the immediate ramifications of climate change. This panel of climate experts seeks to highlight the urgency of these issues from the perspective of both the public and the private sector. Joining us for this session are Judge Alice Hill, Senior Director for Resilience Policy at the National Security Council, The Hon. Sherri Goodman, President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and Alex Kaplan, Vice President of Global Partnerships at Swiss Re.

 

REFF West to Focus on Key Renewable Financing Issues – The 8th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West (REFF-West) 2015 will be held at the Four Seasons in San Francisco, CA on Thursday and Friday.  With a focus on renewable energy development in the Western U.S., REFF-West will highlight financing trends in renewable power, energy storage, system integration, and transportation; review important developments in Western power market expansion and in the role of the emerging corporate customer market segment; and discuss renewable energy’s role in smarter resource use and response to the Western water crisis.

 

Congressional Security Forum with EU Leaders Set – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a Congressional Energy Security Roundtable.  Chairman Fred Upton has invited European members of the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue to engage with members of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power. The event will be co-chaired by Chairman Jerzy Buzek of the European Parliament.  The Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue (TLD) is the formal exchange between Congress and the European Parliament, with semi-annual meetings that began in 1972. Subcommittee members will host members of the European Parliament next week to discuss a broad range of energy issues that collectively impact the energy security of the United States and our European allies.  Earlier this year, bipartisan members of the committee traveled to key energy and policy hubs across Europe where they received an outpouring of appreciation from allies who were optimistic about a future where we can partner together. This forum seeks to build on the work and relationships formed during that trip and the committee’s work examining opportunities to strengthen energy security, lower energy prices, and improve economic competitiveness.

 

Forum to Look at Renewables – On Thursday, the Embassy of Italy, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and Enel Green Power North America for an evening discussion on the state of the renewable energy industry in the United States. As shared in the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, renewable energy  is a prominent part of many US states’ capacity mix, with 205GW installed across the country.  Among the speakers will be our friend Ethan Zindler of Bloomberg New Energy Finance and OK Secretary of Energy & Environment Michael Teague, among the others.

 

Cato Hill Forum to Focus on UN Climate Meeting – Following Last week’s forum, the Cato Institute will hold a Capitol Hill briefing on Friday at Noon in B354 Rayburn featuring Pat Michaels and Joseph Verruni. In this special event presented by Cato, they will answer questions as the world prepares for December’s 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which intends to create a legal framework for governments to regulate carbon emissions and create a $100 billion climate finance fund to redistribute wealth from developed states to least developed countries.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

IPAA Hosts 86th Annual Meeting in New Orleans – On November 8-10th, the Independent Petroleum Association of America will host its 86th annual meeting at The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans, La. Speakers will include The Honorable Edward Djerejian, Alex Epstein, David Wasserman with The Cook Political Report, and John England, among others.

 

AEI to Host UK Foreign Secretary on Climate Innovation – The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host as the UK’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. to discuss conservative beliefs in innovation and free markets — and how they shape his approach to the risks and opportunities of a changing climate.

USEA to Host Forum On Crude Exports – Next Tuesday, November 10th at Noon, the U.S. Energy Association will host Brookings expert Charles Ebinger to speak on the potential for U.S. crude oil exports.  Ebinger will discuss the economic advantages of lifting the crude oil export ban as well as Keystone XL, falling oil prices, and drilling in Alaska.

 

Georgetown Forum Looks at Arctic, Climate – The Mortara Center for International Studies host the next meeting of the Energy and Climate Policy Research Seminar next Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. at Georgetown looking at the impacts and effects of climate change in the Arctic.  The energy and climate policy research seminar aims to enhance intellectual exchange among faculty and students by providing a forum to discuss research and policy topics related to the international and domestic dimensions of energy and climate change policy. Speakers will include members of the Georgetown community as well as invited faculty and practitioners from the Washington area and beyond.

 

AU Symposium to Look at UN Paris Meeting – The American University Sustainable Development Law & Policy publication will hold its annual symposium on Wednesday November 11th looking at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties in Paris taking place in December of this year. This conference will be of ultimate importance in determining how to move the world forward in addressing climate change. The 195 countries that are parties to the UNFCCC committed to create a new international climate agreement by the end of COP-21. The symposium will include panels featuring leading experts on climate change, domestic environmental law, and international environmental law who will discuss various issues surrounding the negotiations. The topics will include particular focus on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, economic implications of the negotiations, the 2- degree goal and whether it is feasible, and the means for reaching the goals and purposes of the UNFCCC.

 

JHU to Look at Climate in Caucuses – Next Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. in the Rome Building, the Johns Hopkins University will host a forum that will discuss climate change in the Caucasus.

 

Forum Looking at Energy Project Finance Set – The Women’s Council on Energy & the Environment (WCEE), AE2C and Johns Hopkins’ SAIS program will host a lunchtime seminar on next Thursday featuring Jenny Hou, a General Partner at SunEnergi Capital.  Hou will provide an overview of the energy project finance decision-making process and offers insight as to why some energy projects are successful while others are not.

 

Goodell to Address AU Forum – The Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, the Global Environmental Politics Program at American University’s School of International Service, American University, and Eco-Sense, American University’s student run environmental organization, is hosting a forum with Jeff Goodell on Thursday, November 12th.  Goodell will join Professor Paul Wapner to talk about his conversation with the President, the prospects for a climate agreement in Paris and what comes next, and his thoughts on the world’s options for avoiding catastrophic climate change.

 

NAS Social Carbon Cost Board to Meet – On Friday, November 13th at noon, the National Academies of Science’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education – Board on Environmental Change and Society is convening the third meeting of its Committee on Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon.  More on this next week.

CSIS Global Forum Set – CSIS’s International Security Program will hold its flagship annual Global Security Forum 2015 on Monday, November 16th.

 

Former EPA Official to Address Climate Issues – ICF will host an Energy Breakfast on November 19th at the National Press Club to look at the Paris Climate Meeting.  Starting in late November, the 21st  meeting of the Council of Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will gather in Paris to deliberate on how countries can individually and collectively mitigate global climate change.  Former EPA #2 Bob Perciasepe, a regular participant in these negotiations, as he handicaps the negotiations and informs us about what will be the “make or break” issues in Paris this time.

 

THANKSGIVING – November 26

 

PARIS UN COP 21 Meeting –  November 30th to December 11th

 

Transmission Forum Set – The 5th  annual TransForum East, will be held December 1st and 2nd in Washington, D.C. at the Westin Georgetown.  As in previous Forum events, our presenters and panelists have been hand selected by the TransmissionHub editorial team to address the most important issues facing stakeholders in the Eastern Interconnection. You can view the agenda and speaker lineup here.

 

Energy Update: Week of October 19

Friends,

I hope you are enjoying the baseball playoffs, mid-season football and the launch of the hockey season.  While I know you all tune in for the energy news, I also know you REALLY tune in for the family sports issues and Concerts.  On that front, I am excited to report that all the years of blood, sweat and tears for my daughter Hannah has finally paid off.  She has committed to play field hockey and lacrosse at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.  Both academics and sports are strong at Wellesley (they are a highly-ranked D III field hockey program) so it will be a challenging and exciting opportunity for her.

As I mentioned last week, we remain on-guard for the publishing of the Administration’s GHG rule for power plants in the Federal Register — which when live — will begin the long-anticipated legal wrangling over rule.  We continue to have it covered from end to end and will be available the moment things break.

To that end, today there is a summit at the White House focused on climate issues that featured a CEO meeting with President Obama and comments by VP Biden, DOE Secretary Moniz, John Holdren and Brian Deese that is all part of the Administrations’ campaign to create momentum for Paris negotiations.  Tomorrow, the discussions move over to Foggy Bottom when Secretary of State Kerry hosts his climate and clean energy forum.

Congress is returning this week and it will be busy.  There are several really good hearings you should have on your agenda.  Tomorrow, State Climate Envoy Todd Stern heads to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to talk Paris Climate discussions which should generate some heat given the recent letter from Chairman Corker.  On Wednesday, Senate Environment Hosts a hearing on EPA regulatory analysis featuring the U.S. Chamber’s Bill Kovacs and reg expert Sam Batkins of American Action Forum.  Also on Wednesday, Senate Agriculture will feature a discussion of GMOs and other biotech foods with Stonyfield Farms’ CEO Gary Hirshberg and USDA, EPA and FDA experts.  Finally, on Thursday, my colleague Jeff Holmstead will be testifying at House Science on the new Ozone rule, and House E&C’s Energy and Power panel  will continue its examination of the two final rules and a third proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new and existing fossil fuel-fired power plants.

Off the Hill, tomorrow, ELI hosts its annual dinner at the Marriott Wardman Park, which features its annual afternoon policy panel which this year is focused on climate issues approaching Paris.  Wednesday includes an afternoon RFF forum on real outcomes of federal regulations, featuring GWU’s Susan Dudley.  And, there is also a great event Thursday at Johns Hopkins SAIS program featuring a conversation with EU Energy Commissioner Maros Sefcovic.

Finally, with discussions ongoing this week in Bonn, Germany on the four corners of the upcoming climate talks, see the important announcement below from Southern Company late last week that outlined  an MOU with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to jointly explore the deployment of clean coal power generation and carbon capture and storage technologies.  It is the same as type of agreement they already have with China, underscoring a key missing discussion point in many UN climate discussions: technology transfer issues.  We’ll be talking more about this in the upcoming weeks.

Call with questions…

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

IN THE NEWS

Korea, Southern Sign Clean Coal MOUs – Southern Company signed an MOU with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to jointly explore the deployment of clean coal power generation and carbon capture and storage technologies. Through the agreement, the companies will jointly explore opportunities for these and other technologies in the U.S., the Republic of Korea and in developing nations where the environmentally acceptable utilization of coal could strengthen energy security.   Among the technologies to be evaluated is Transport Integrated Gasification (TRIG™), the 21st century coal technology at the center of subsidiary Mississippi Power’s Kemper County energy facility that Southern Company and KBR are jointly marketing to energy companies around the world. The Kemper facility is designed to generate electricity using low-rank coal with resulting carbon emissions better than a similarly sized natural gas plant. At least 65 percent of the plant’s carbon emissions are expected to be captured and repurposed through enhanced oil recovery.   The agreement also provides for the testing of KEPCO’s carbon capture technologies at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Alabama, which is operated by Southern Company Services. Aligned with efforts by the U.S. and Korea to cost-effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the NCCC conducts research and development (R&D) to evaluate and advance emerging carbon capture technologies through integration with a coal-fired power plant and a pilot gasification facility.   The MOU with KEPCO is the Southern Company system’s fifth such agreement with a leading international energy company. Last year Southern Company announced similar agreements with Shenhua Group Corporation Limited and China Huaneng Group – two of China’s largest energy companies – as well as with Huaneng Clean Energy Research Institute. Earlier this year, Southern Company Services entered into a research agreement with the Korea Institute of Energy Research, a Korean government-funded research institute which collaborates with KEPCO in the development of advanced green energy technologies.

AHRI Reinforces Refrigerant R&D Commitment at White House Event – At a White House Industry Leader Roundtable, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) offered a progress report on its 2014 pledge to invest $5 billion in research over the next 10 years for new refrigerants and heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) equipment to support energy efficiency.  During the White House event, AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek reported that the industry spent more than $255 million in 2015 toward a 10-year, $5 billion commitment in research and development and capital expenditures to develop and commercialize low-global warming potential (GWP) technologies, demonstrating the industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship.  He noted that the $5 billion pledge is in addition to the nearly $2 billion that was spent on such research in the previous five years. The yearly totals are expected to grow as spending moves from research into development and testing of equipment using the new refrigerants. For more information on AHRI’s refrigerant research, visit www.ahrinet.org/arep.

SAFE Forms Autonomous Vehicle Task Force – SAFE is forming an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force, a group of leading experts who will guide SAFE as it develops an action plan to facilitate the widespread deployment of this transformative technology. Taking full advantage of the safety, economic and national security benefits of driverless cars and trucks will require a concerted effort on the part of the public and policymakers to allow the technology to flourish, avoiding excessive regulation and creating policy only if necessary. As with all new products, autonomous vehicles will experience constant evolution, and it is important to get them on the road as soon as possible.  The Autonomous Vehicle Task Force was announced at a Newsmaker event hosted by the National Press Club. Advisor to Google and former Corporate Vice President for Research and Development at General Motors Larry Burns hailed the creation of a new “Automotive DNA,” through which cars are connected and driverless, offering consumers and businesses an entirely new and improved value proposition. Burns was joined by Lynn Liddle, Executive Vice President at Domino’s Pizza, and Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of SAFE, who respectively spoke to the implications of driverless cars for the business community and the opportunity to reduce America’s dependence on oil.  Driverless cars present a compelling case for consumers and businesses, affecting nearly every industry. For Domino’s Pizza, the global leader in pizza delivery, the implications are enormous, as autonomous vehicles would transform the model on which it and its competitors operate. The lure of newly liberated free time, lower fuel costs, and reduced or eliminated operations and maintenance expenses—as well as the unparalleled benefits to U.S. energy security—illustrate the importance of getting these vehicles to market.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

BPC to Hold Little Rock GHG Workshop – The Bipartisan Policy Center and Great Plains Institute will hold another one-day workshop today in Little Rock Arkansas to discuss implementation options for EPA’s GHG rules for power plants in the Midcontinent region.  The workshop will feature a keynote address by Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Colette D. Honorable.  Other confirmed speakers include WPPI Energy’s Andy Kellen, Scott Weaver of American Electric Power, EDF’s Nicholas Bianco, PJM’s Paul Sotkiewicz, Roxanne Brown of the United Steelworkers and  Nathaniel Baer of the Iowa Environmental Council.   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, with support from experts at the Bipartisan Policy Center and Great Plains Institute. In addition, the Midwestern Power Sector Collaborative, convened by the Great Plains Institute, brings a subset of states and stakeholders together to explore and engage on these policy issues.  This workshop will gather states, stakeholders, and experts, including those participating in MSEER and the Power Sector Collaborative, to explore policy pathways for achieving compliance under the final Clean Power Plan as well as opportunities and challenges for multi-state collaboration.

Goffman to Headline GHG Conference – Infocast is hosting the 2nd EPA Clean Power Plan Implementation Summit today through Wednesday at the Renaissance Hotel in Dupont.   Joseph Goffman, Associate Administrator and Senior Counsel of the EPA will deliver the keynote address and will discuss the implications of the final rule, and the challenges ahead on the road to compliance.  Participants will include environmental and state regulators, ISOs and RTOs, utilities, local distribution companies, IPPs, renewable energy providers, environmental engineering firms, legal experts and environmental consultants to discuss the final 111(d) rule and its direct impacts on power prices, system reliability, natural gas markets and infrastructure.

Senate FR Hosts Stern on Climate – Following a recent letter raising serious questions about approaching climate negotiations in Paris, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee panel will host Todd Stern, the State Department’s top global warming negotiator tomorrow at 2:45 p.m. for a hearing on the Obama administration’s efforts to reach an international climate change deal later this year.

Rogers, Goffman Headline New Energy Summit – The 2015 New Energy Summit will be held today and tomorrow looking at the growth of the renewable energy marketplace.  The agenda includes keynote guests, presentations and thought-provoking, informative discussions about the latest trends in deal origination and finance, risk evaluation, regulatory developments and common practices.  Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and EPA’s Joe Goffman.

CSIS to Look at China Summit – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will Host its Schieffer Series Dialogues tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. assessing US-China relations after the Obama-Xi Summit.  Former CBS newsman Bob Schieffer hosts panelists former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and our friend from the Financial Times, Demetri Sevastopulo.

ELI Dinner, Policy Forum Set – The annual Environmental Law Institute Dinner is tomorrow night and as usual, ELI will host the 2015 ELI-Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum at 4:00 p.m. at the Marriot Wardman Park hotel.  This year, the topic will be “Dangerous Intersection: Climate Change and National Security” and feature DoD’s John Conger and Security, NSC’s Alice Hill, as well as several others.

Woolard to Headline Discussion of Energy, Technologies – The Atlantic Council hosts a discussion tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. on innovative work that non-energy technology companies are doing at the cutting edge of today’s most pressing energy and climate issues. In this installment of the “Road to Paris Climate Series,” John Woolard, Vice President of Energy at Google, will assess the ways in which technology, data, and innovative financing are changing the global energy landscape. In particular, the discussion will center on Google’s efforts, which include more than $2 billion in investment, to make clean energy more accessible, scalable, and affordable across the world.   You may recall that Woolard was the former CEO of BrightSource Energy, developer of the Ivanpah Solar Project in California.

Whitman Featured in WCEE Clean Energy Forum – On Wednesday at 8:30 a.m., the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a breakfast with Governor Christine Todd Whitman, co-chair of The Clean and Safe Energy (CASEnergy) Coalition, and former governor of New Jersey and EPA administrator.  The discussion will surround the future of clean energy, including nuclear energy.   As the co-chair of The CASEnergy Coalition, Gov. Whitman is keenly attuned to the growing role that nuclear energy will play in our nation’s energy portfolio, especially in light of the finalized Clean Power Plan (CPP). As states create their plans to meet the CPP’s targets, they will increasingly rely upon clean sources of electricity like the power generated from nuclear facilities. As America’s leading source of emission-free energy, nuclear power must be a part of America’s – and the world’s – to tackle climate change.

Brattle to Release Colorado Solar Report – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at Paul Hastings, Peter Fox-Penner, Principal of The Brattle Group, will host a breakfast presentation to review the key findings of a recent Brattle study, “Comparative Generation Costs of Utility-Scale and Residential-Scale PV in Xcel Energy Colorado’s Service Area.”  The event will provide an opportunity to review and discuss the report’s findings.

Panel to Look at EPA Reg Analysis – The Senate Environment Committee Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking at oversight of regulatory impact analyses for EPA.  Witnesses include Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, the US Chamber’s Bill Kovacs, Sam Batkins of American Action Forum (who recently released a great report on DOE Regs). Mary Rice of the Harvard Medical School and Rena Steinzor of Maryland’s Carey Law School.

Senate Ag to Talk GMOs – The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking at the federal regulation of agriculture biotechnology with perspectives from producers and consumers.  USDA’s Michael Gregoire, EPA’s William Jordan and FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Director Susan Mayne will testify along with Stonyfield Farms’ CEO Gary Hirshberg and several others.

NAS Forum to Look at Extreme Weather – The National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Atmospheric Sciences & Climate will host a workshop on Wednesday and Thursday focused on extreme weather events and climate change attribution.

RFF Forum to Look at Reg Impacts – Resources for the Future holds an afternoon forum on real outcomes of federal regulations.   Before federal environmental regulations are issued, they are subject to extensive analysis to estimate the costs, benefits, and other outcomes. However, remarkably little is known about the actual performance of such regulations after the final rules are announced. Experts at this forum will present the results of RFF’s Regulatory Performance Initiative, a multi-year effort to analyze the actual impacts of a series of regulations issued by EPA, Energy, Interior and FDA.  Speakers will Include GW’s Susan Dudley, former OIRA head, as well as other experts like MIT’s Richard Schmalensee, RFF’s Art Fraas and NRDC’s David Hawkins, among many others.

CSIS to Look at Asian Urbanization – The CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a forum on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. on driving sustainable urbanization in Asia.  Rapid urbanization in Asia has created an unprecedented challenge for the development community. From 2000 to 2010, nearly 200 million people moved into East Asian cities, according to the World Bank. Through this panel discussion, we hope to determine ways in which urbanization can become a driver of development and stability, through targeted investments from donors, host country governments, civil society, and the private sector, with a special focus on infrastructure, technology, and financial services.

Forum to Look at Climate, Security Issues – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the Wilson Center a discussion of the lessons learned from this Climate Security Dialogue, and presentations on the latest MAB research on emerging threats to homeland and national security and the resulting impact on our military’s readiness and potential missions. Joining two highly regarded U.S. generals will be EU Ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan to put U.S. leadership in perspective before the pivotal UN climate summit this December.  Climate change is a complex, multi-decade challenge with implications for U.S. national security as well as transatlantic and global security. Yet comprehensive climate and energy security policy remains a political “third rail” in the United States.  In 2014 and 2015, members of the CNA Military Advisory Board (MAB) traveled throughout the United States to engage state and local governments, business leaders, and industry on the threats that climate change poses to U.S. national security, and to learn what local actors are doing in their communities to address energy and climate challenges.

EU Energy Commissioner Making First DC Visit at JHU Forum – On Thursday at 9:45 a.m., Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission Vice-President for Energy will be making his first ever official visit to Washington and Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Transatlantic Relations will be hosting him at a public forum.  JHU is co-hosting the public event with the Peterson Institute.  Building the Energy Union is one of the highest priorities of the European Commission. Last February, the Commission set out its vision of an Energy Union which will allow citizens and businesses access to reliable, competitive, affordable and sustainable energy, with ambitious climate targets at its core. The Energy Union means a new European energy governance, free flow of energy across borders and a secure supply in every EU country in gas and electricity. The development of a new European energy diplomacy will allow the EU to speak with one voice on the international stage. Developing regional cooperation is essential, but transatlantic energy relations and cooperation have a special and important role to play in reaching the Union’s objective.

IEA Report Featured at Brookings Forum – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Energy Security and Climate Initiative (ESCI) at Brookings will host the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s Heymi Bahar and Michael Waldron for the U.S. launch of the IEA’s “Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015.” This report assesses the trends in the electricity, transportation, and heat sectors, identifying drivers and challenges to deployment of renewable energy. It also assesses the potential impacts of enhanced policy actions under an accelerated case for renewable power, which would put the world more firmly on a path to a more sustainable and secure energy system.

House Science Reschedules Ozone Hearing – On Wednesday Thursday, the House Science Committee will hold its rescheduled hearing on the EPA’s Ozone Rule.  The committee will look at concerns regarding science and implementation with my colleague Jeff Holmstead as a witness, as well as Michael Honeycutt of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Seyed Sadredin of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

House Energy Panel to Look at GHG Rule – On Thursday, the Energy and Power Subcommittee will continue its examination of the two final rules and a third proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new and existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. The hearing is entitled, “EPA’s CO2 Regulations for New and Existing Power Plants: Legal Perspectives.” More information can be found online here as it becomes available.

McCarthy to Talk Methane at CAP – The Center for American Progress will host a conversation on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to discuss how the proposed limits on methane pollution from the oil and gas sector can benefit the climate, human health, and worker safety.  In August, EPA proposed the first-ever methane pollution standards that will require new and modified oil and gas facilities to use readily available technology to curb these harmful and wasteful leaks.  Fortunately, most companies are already implementing the rules and most find EPA intrusion unnecessary.

Forum to Look at Ocean Technologies – The Marine Technology Society and the House Ocean Caucus are holing a briefing on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in 2168 Rayburn looking at the five areas most commonly identified with ocean technology: Robotic/Unmanned Underwater Vehicles, Ocean Observing, Offshore Renewables, Offshore O&G and STEM Issues.  Our friend ken Satterlee of Shell will be among the speakers.

USEA Forum Look at NatGas to Methanol – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will look at Shale gas to Methanol Possibilities.  Thanks to shale gas, cheap and plentiful natural gas has led to new attention and interest in various natural gas monetization options. One promising option is the production of methanol using small-scale plants, which offer many advantages. The first advantage is that methanol prices track those of oil thereby providing a significant arbitrage to exploit if the natural gas feedstock is available as cheaply as it is in the U.S. Second, small-scale methanol plants have lower capital costs in comparison to traditional large plants making them attractive to a wider range of investors. Third, methanol is a liquid chemical product that can be transported easily and cost-effectively offering the ability to monetize natural gas from fields that are remote, have limited pipeline connectivity, or have relatively poor production or economics. Finally, methanol is a versatile chemical with multiple applications and end-uses.  This presentation will explore the potential of small-scale methanol plants in North America.

Webinar to Look at Demand Response Issues – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., our friend James Downing of Utility Markets Today will host a timely, relevant webinar looking at the Supreme Court’s EPSA v FERC case.  Speakers will include independent energy expert Robert Borlick, New England Power Generators Association President Dan Dolan, California Public Utilities Commission Principal Counsel Elizabeth Dorman and CPower Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Market Strategy Frank Lacey.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Solar Workshops Set – The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will host the first of 2 upcoming workshops on solar energy for the DMV local and regional businesses on Monday at 10:00 a.m. . The goal of these sessions is to convene stakeholders to discuss resources, opportunities, and barriers for commercial projects in the solar market. Invited participants include local government clean energy program representatives, experts from the DOE SunShot Initiative, building owners and commercial business leaders.

USAEE/IAEE North American Energy Conference – On October 25-28 in Pittsburgh, the US Association for Energy Economics will hold a conference  featuring high-level business, government and academic opinion shapers exploring today’s dynamic energy landscape. Speakers include Don Santa, President and CEO, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, US Energy Information Administrator Adam Sieminski, Guy Caruso, Senior Advisor, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS and Edward Morse Managing Director, Citigroup. John Kingston, President of the McGraw-Hill Financial Global Institute and former director of news for Platts  to receive IAEE Journalism Award.  For full conference details check @usenergyecon or #USAEE2015

Wilson Forum to Look at Renewables in Developing World – Next Tuesday, October 27th at 9:30 a.m., the Wilson Center is hosting a forum on scaling up renewables in the developing world.  The forum will be a day-long exploration of the innovative tools being harnessed by the public and private sectors to scale up renewable energy in the developing world.  Speakers will also explore how renewable energy will help countries meet the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and support their climate change commitments.  They include Sen. Ed Markey, US AID’s Eric Postel, EEI’s David Owens and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Ethan Zindler.

Spectra Exec to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host William Yardley, president of Spectra Energy’s U.S. transmission business, as guest speaker at the Tuesday, October 27 luncheon.  Yardley will speak about the benefits of natural gas, and the important role of pipelines and related infrastructure in addressing energy security, economic and environmental policy challenges facing our nation.  He leads the business development, project execution, operations and environment, health and safety efforts associated with Spectra Energy’s U.S. portfolio of natural gas transmission and storage businesses.

Gibson to Headline Climate Focus – The Friends Committee on National Legislation, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, RepublicEN and the American Security Project hosts a briefing next Tuesday, October 27th at 12:00 noon in B340 Rayburn that highlights solutions to mitigate climate change and adapt to its consequences  which are already being implemented by members of the business, national security, and faith communities.  The briefing will create awareness of the risks and opportunities that climate change offers to business, national security, and faith communities, and hopes to inspire bipartisan cooperation in Congress to catalyze solutions.  Among the speakers will be Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY).

Pew Forum to Look at Industrial EE – The Pew Charitable Trusts, Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, Heat is Power Association, and the CHP Association will host a forum next Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. on the impact of the Power Efficiency and Resiliency (POWER) Act on the deployment of combined heat and power (CHP) and waste heat to power (WHP) systems. CHP and WHP, which capture waste heat to produce electricity and/or heat or cool buildings, are distributed generation technologies that help achieve national economic, environmental, and energy goals.   A new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Clean Energy Initiative, Distributed Generation: Cleaner, Cheaper, Stronger – Industrial Efficiency in the Changing Utility Landscape details how an array of technological, competitive, and market forces are changing how the U.S. generates power and the ways that Americans interact with the electric grid. As part of their research, Pew commissioned ICF International Inc. to analyze the POWER Act’s impact on future market deployment of CHP and WHP, key distributed technologies used in industrial, institutional or manufacturing facilities. The results of this study will be presented at this event.  Speakers for this event include NY Rep. Tom Reed, among others.

BPC to Host CEO Forum on Sustainable Food, Climate – The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) will launches a new CEO Council on Sustainability and Innovation on Thursday October 29th and will hold a panel at 2:00 p.m. to hear leading food and agriculture CEOs discuss the rationale behind their innovative approaches to a achieving a sustainable future.  Companies all along the food supply chain are on the front lines of addressing the challenges associated with a changing climate, a growing population and other threats to a stable food supply. Many companies are already dealing with the impacts of weather variability and supply chain disruptions, while also tackling higher and more volatile costs and an increasingly global customer base.  Speakers will include Land O’ Lakes CEO Chris Policinski, Kellogg CEO John Bryant and Elanco President Jeff Simmons.

Cato to Hold UN Climate Conference Forum – The Cato Institute will hold a day-long forum on October 30th in its Hayek Auditorium to hear distinguished climate scientists and legal experts assess the issues sure to drive the debate before, during, and after the Paris UN Climate meeting.  Speakers will include John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry and Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon on a panel about science.  MIT professor and prominent climate skeptic Richard Lindzen will be the luncheon speaker.  In the afternoon, there will be a legal panel featuring Peter Glaser and Andrew Grossman and a policy panel that will include Harlan Watson, Former Chief Climate Negotiator in the George W. Bush administration and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger, who is Assistant Director, Center for the Study of Science at Cato.

Energy Summit Set for Houston – The Energy Summit Series which will take place on November 1-3 at the JW Marriott Houston. The event will be co-located Transmission & Distribution and Distribution Technology & Innovation Summits.

Fall Wind Symposium Set – AWEA is hosting its annual Fall Symposium in Albuquerque, NM on November 5th at the Tamaya Resort.  The event will feature a community engagement seminar among the many other panels.

Women, Money, Power Summit Set for Press Club – On November 5th, the Feminist Majority is hosting its annual Women, Money, Power Summit in DC at the National Press Club at noon.  Speakers will include Congresswomen Barbara Lee, Louise Slaughter and Donna Edwards, among others.

REFF West to Focus on Key Renewable Financing Issues – The 8th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West (REFF-West) 2015 will be held at the Four Seasons in San Francisco, CA on November 5th and 6th.  With a focus on renewable energy development in the Western U.S., REFF-West will highlight financing trends in renewable power, energy storage, system integration, and transportation; review important developments in Western power market expansion and in the role of the emerging corporate customer market segment; and discuss renewable energy’s role in smarter resource use and response to the Western water crisis.

CSIS Global Forum Set – CSIS’s International Security Program will hold its flagship annual Global Security Forum 2015 on Monday, November 16th.

 

Energy Update: Week of October 5

Friends,

 

Last week was a very busy week with all the EPA and Energy action.  Perhaps Kyle Feldsher of the Washington Examiner captured it best in this story.

 

While we start the Baseball playoffs tomorrow as discussed last week, I want to call you attention to another prediction where Back to the Future 2 seems to be on target.  You may recall in the 1989 sequel classic, Marty McFly returns to 2015 on October 21st only to see  one of the newsflashing screens (a correct prediction in itself) reporting “Cubs Win the World Series” which causes McFly to scoff.  Of course, the big news in Chicago this week is that Tom Wilson, aka Biff Tannen from “Back to the Future,” drove the  DeLorean to Wrigleyville last Friday morning to deliver the news in person: The Chicago Cubs are going to win the 2015 World Series.  The Back to the Future Day arrives in just two weeks…

 

Speaking of the Cubs, my long baseball-suffering colleague Paul Nathanson (don’t feel so bad about his Blackhawks though we’ll get the that next) tells me that the national nonprofit organization focused on outdoor recreation, stewardship and education – Tread Lightly! – is hosting a special event Wednesday evening in 2168 Rayburn to celebrate its 25th anniversary. House Resources Chairman Rob Bishop will keynote.

 

On to Hockey Season…Wednesday the NHL season launches with two classic “Original Six” openers with Montreal taking on Toronto and the aforementioned, defending Stanley Cup Champ Chicago Blackhawks taking on the NY Rangers.  Herein begins the journey through 1,230 games that will take us to the playoffs next spring.  Favorites include the Hawks, Anaheim Ducks, LA Kings (who missed the playoffs last year) and the Rangers.  I will add that the perennial playoff-bound Detroit Red Wings (23 straight years) have looked very good in the preseason.  I also love what the Caps have done in DC, dumping the defensive-lapses of Mike Green, added scoring punch with T.J. Oshe, and more grit with former LAKing Justin Williams and Sabre veteran Derek Roy.

 

It will be another busy week in DC with an expected House vote on the ban on crude exports.  On the Hill, Congress continues its investigation of VW, while Janet McCabe jumps over to the House Energy panel Wednesday to talk about the GHG rule.  She didn’t say much of anything at Senate Environment last week even when pressured so my bet is you’ll get a major dose of the same.   There will also be a good panel at Senate Energy tomorrow on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, featuring SAFE energy Co-chair and former National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair who will say it would be foolhardy to draw down the single immediate weapon we have to counteract oil supply disruptions and price spikes.  Others testifying include Secretary Moniz, ClearView’s Kevin Book, CSIS’s Sarah Ladislaw and Columbia’s Jason Bordoff.  Also Wednesday, House Science catches up to last week’s ozone decision looking at concerns regarding science and implementation with my colleague Jeff Holmstead as a witness.

 

Off the Hill in DC, EIA holds its 2015 Winter Energy Outlook Conference  tomorrow at the National Press Club where they will present the outlook for heating fuel costs with the release of its October 2015 Short-Term Energy Outlook.  USEA will hold its 8th Annual Energy Supply Forum on Wednesday and Thursday at the National Press Club which will highlight a range of policy and technological developments affecting U.S. energy supplies. And finally on Thursday, our friends at the American Gas Association (AGA) will unveil its winter outlook, outlining their take on the nation’s supply/demand picture and storage position; identify expectations for residential natural gas bills this winter compared to last year; and discuss a new analysis of consumer savings comparing natural gas to other fuel sources.

 

Thursday is National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day when fuel cell and hydrogen energy technology/ industry advocates are raising awareness of a clean energy technologies.  Our friends at Air Liquide are leading producers of Hydrogen and are closely involved with a couple of projects that DOE is expected to announce.   More on this later in the week.

 

Finally, I launch for Oklahoma on Wednesday night for SEJ’s annual conference in Sooner Nation.  Of course, Thursday, we are holding our annual Bracewell reception so I look forward to seeing you if you are going to be in OK.  Call with any questions.

 

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

Corker Letter Raise State Dept Questions about Paris Climate Negotiations –Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker sent a letter on September 22nd to Secretary of State John Kerry in which he asks “whether the administration plans to treat the hoped for accord as a formal treaty that would be submitted to the Senate for approval—and for the reasoning if the answer is no.” “The Sept 22 letter also asks a series of questions about the legal obligations that the pact may or may not create.” please see a copy of the letter here:  “Sen­ate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee Chair­man Bob Cork­er is pressing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion to re­veal its plans for the in­ter­na­tion­al cli­mate-change ac­cord that nations hope to reach in Par­is late this year. ‘Long­stand­ing Con­sti­tu­tion­al pre­ced­ent as well as cur­rent law re­quires the Ex­ec­ut­ive branch to en­gage in mean­ing­ful con­sulta­tions with the Sen­ate on the form that a sig­ni­fic­ant and far-reach­ing in­ter­na­tion­al agree­ment such as the Par­is Agree­ment will take,’ Corker says in a let­ter to Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry. In the let­ter ob­tained by Na­tion­al Journ­al, Cork­er asks wheth­er the ad­min­is­tra­tion plans to treat the hoped-for ac­cord as a form­al treaty that would be sub­mit­ted to the Sen­ate for ap­prov­al—and for the reas­on­ing if the an­swer is no. The Sept. 22 let­ter also asks a series of ques­tions about the leg­al ob­lig­a­tions that the pact may or may not cre­ate. For in­stance, Cork­er asks: ‘The Par­is agree­ment may con­tain both leg­al and polit­ic­al com­mit­ments, but it is my understand­ing that the core of the agree­ment will es­tab­lish leg­al ob­lig­a­tions. Does the Ad­min­is­tra­tion con­sider the ex­pec­ted Par­is agree­ment to be an agree­ment that leg­ally binds the U.S. un­der international law or a non-bind­ing polit­ic­al doc­u­ment?’

 

Ozone Rule Released – The EPA lowered the national ozone emissions standard to 70 parts per billion on Thursday.  The decision upset environmental groups that said a lower standard would better protect human health, as well as industry groups concerned about high compliance costs.  Our friends at CIBO said: “The current ozone standard of 75 ppb is working even while it is still being implemented.  Lowering the standards to 70 ppb as EPA is doing in the proposal could threaten American jobs by stalling progress and raising the cost of energy.   Some communities are still struggling to attain the current standard.  In addition, a lower standard puts unnecessary strain on smaller communities and captures a number of additional counties that will hamper manufacturing and economic opportunities, slow an already sluggish economic recovery and increase the cost of electricity disproportionately impacting the poor, less fortunate and elderly on fixed incomes, as well as small businesses struggling in a weak economy.  EPA’s own data in its Air Quality Trends document shows that since 2000, CIBO members and others in industry  have helped decrease ozone levels by 18%, with future projections showing the rate continuing to fall.  You can see Other comments here from API, the US Chamber, NAM and AFPM.

 

Water Effluent Rules Set –  EPA finalized its rule limiting metals emitted into waterways from steam power plants.  The highly complex and technical final Effluent Limitation Guidelines and Standards for the Steam Electric Power Generating Point Source Category (ELGs) sets strict technology-based effluent limitations that will force technological and operational changes at existing facilities.  The power industry’s Quin Shea said “throughout the rulemaking process, EEI and its members urged EPA to set technologically feasible and cost-effective achievable limits that apply nationally to a broad range of facilities. Despite some very limited changes EPA made to the ELGs, significant implementation challenges remain that have the potential to create compliance challenges and increase customer costs. We also recommended that EPA provide reasonable compliance schedules for the ELGs that are aligned with the compliance timelines for other rulemakings, such as the recently finalized Clean Power Plan, and it appears that EPA has done so.

 

NRECA Says Water Rule Another Hit on Rural Energy –  America’s not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperatives are deeply disappointed by new standards for handling the by-products from electric steam power plants.  As local, member-owned businesses, electric co-ops and their member-owners value and deserve a healthy environment. However, the economic challenges many of our rural member-owners face underscore the importance of cost-effective regulations.  NRECA and others had identified significant errors in the data the EPA used to support the proposed rule, yet the Agency appears wedded to the initial proposal.  We are dismayed by the lack of rigor and by the lack of consideration given to cost, a burden that will ultimately be felt by co-op consumer-members.

 

Whitfield to Retire – Ed Whitfield has announced he will not run for re-lection in 2016.  My colleague Scott Segal said from an energy policy perspective, Chairman Whitfield has been “a true workhorse, producing bill after bill that addressed key regulatory issues”  Segal praised Whitfield for his keen understanding of the challenges in providing affordable and reliable power, and developed carefully drafted bills to promote sensible environmental policy.  “He asked the tough questions of officials at the US EPA and other federal agencies,” Segal added.  “By so doing, he has helped established an important record that will be of use in demonstrating the legal shortcomings of the Clean Power Plan.  Segal said Whitfield has much to be proud of over his 20-plus years in Congress.  Segal:  “He has had an aggressive agenda, but has kept an open mind and the demeanor of a gentleman.”

HVAC Industry on Energy Legislation Approved by House Committee – The House Energy & Commerce Committee approved an overhaul of the nation’s energy laws on Wednesday.  AHRI praised the Committee for moving the legislation.  Prior to the mark up, the HVAC industry sent a letter to Chairman Upton and ranking member Pallone outlining their strong support for the legislation.  The Letter: “The legislation goes a long way toward modernizing and protecting our energy infrastructure, while making strong advances in the use of energy efficient technology. Specifically, we are encouraged by language that would provide sensible technical corrections to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA).  These corrections would serve as a way to achieve our energy security goals in an equally sensible and environmentally friendly manner.  The letter was signed by AHRI President Stephen Yurek , NEMA’s Kyle Pitsor, Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Assn Director of Public Affairs Ryan Carroll and Rob McArver, VP of Government Relations for AHAM.

 

Farm Workers File Suit Against Monsanto – A farm worker and a horticultural assistant who both developed cancer after being exposed to Monsanto’s glyphosate weed killer have filed separate lawsuits against the company.  In March, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate – the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide – as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”   In a statement, renowned labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers, said of the lawsuits: “Farmers, farm workers, and other agricultural laborers have always been on the front lines of exposure to dangerous chemicals like weed killers. The recent news that glyphosate, an herbicide that has been around for decades, is a probable human carcinogen is alarming, but unfortunately not surprising.”  Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs, commented that, “The use of Monsanto’s weed killer has exploded over the past two decades in conjunction with its application on glyphosate-resistant GMO crops.  It’s time for the federal government to better protect the health of those exposed to harmful agricultural chemicals, specifically glyphosate. And it’s time we require mandatory GMO labeling to protect consumers’ right to know whether their food choices are contributing to the increased use of glyphosate.”

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Rep. Green FERC Clark, Other Headline Gas Forum – The North American Gas Forum  will be held  today, tomorrow and Wednesday in Washington  at the Park Hyatt.   Speakers will include FERC’s Tony Clark, Sen Heidi Heidkamp,  Rep. Gene Green and More.  As well, the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas will launch a report on “LNG and Coal Life Cycle Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions” today at 3:00 p.m. at the conference.

 

AU Forum Looks at Climate Governance – The American University will hold a conference this afternoon looking at climate change governance as Paris approaches.  The conference aims to highlight the role of subnational initiatives, such as the Quebec-California carbon market, in global climate change governance in anticipation of the upcoming UN negotiations in Paris.

 

TIDES Conference to Look at New Energy, Defense Techs – The 9th annual TIDES technology demonstration on tomorrow through Friday at the National Defense University.  The TIDES Technology Field Demonstration features low-cost technology solutions across eight key infrastructure areas 1) Water, 2) Power, 3)Shelter, 4) Heating/Cooling, 5) Sanitation, 6) Lighting, 7) Integrated and Combustion Cooking and 8)Information Communication Technology.  This free demonstration is widely attended by the Department of Defense officials, government agencies active in domestic and international disaster response, and in post-conflict, post disaster, and impoverished situations – DHS, FEMA, State Department, Red Cross and National Defense University students from around the world.  A wide array of private, for-profit and non-profit organizations attend each year. The demonstration is outside (rain or shine), independent of the power grid, and communications will be live.  The theme of this year’s demo is “Building Resilience: Preparing for Natural and Man-Made Disasters.”

 

Winter Energy Outlook to Look at Heating Fuel Costs – EIA will hold its 2015 Winter Energy Outlook Conference  tomorrow at the National Press Club.  EIA will present its outlook for heating fuel costs with the release of its October 2015 Short-Term Energy Outlook. EIA Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht will present the case.  The WEO Conference is an annual event sponsored by EIA and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and hosted by the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO).  The agenda for the entire Winter Energy Outlook Conference can be found here.

Sen Energy to Look at SPR – Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to examine the potential modernization of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and related energy security issues. Witnesses include DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz, former Director of National Intelligence  & SAFE Commission on Energy co-chair Admiral Dennis C. Blair, Columbia’s Jason Bordoff, ClearView’s  Kevin Book and CSIS National Security Program Director Sarah Ladislaw.

 

Forum to Look at Carbon Recycling – The U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum tomorrow at noon on carbon dioxide recycling.  The forum describes progress toward CO2 recycling as a defense for global climate change and will provide an overview of the present technology, and describe a roadmap to make CO2 recycling a reality.  Speakers will include Richard Masel, CEO of Dioxide Materials and 3M’s Laura Nereng.

 

Energy Supply Forum Set – USEA will hold its 8th Annual Energy Supply Forum on Wednesday and Thursday at the National Press Club which will highlight a range of policy and technological developments affecting U.S. energy supplies. The forum will conclude the two-day event in which USEA will partner with the World Energy Council.

 

Senate Environment to Look at NRC – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking at oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Chairman Burns and Commissioners Svinicki, Ostendorff and Baran will testify.

 

House Energy to Host McCabe – The House Energy & Commerce’s Energy and Power panel will host EPA’s Janet McCabe on Wednesday looking at the EPA’s CO2 Regulations for New and Existing Plants.  This follows last week’s hearing featuring McCabe at the Senate Environment Committee.

 

RFF to Look at Arctic Energy/Climate Issues – Resources for The Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. in collaboration with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment to focus on Arctic shipping and its impacts.   President Obama’s recent trip to Alaska and the State Department’s GLACIER conference put a spotlight on climate change issues in the Arctic. This RFF First Wednesday Seminar will focus on understanding the science behind increased shipping and the related impacts on marine life, ecosystems, and the communities that depend on them. Speakers will include RFF’s Alan Krupnick, Lawson Brigham of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Stanford’s Jeremy Goldbogen, Nome Mayor Denise Michels and Scott Smith of the US Coast Guard.

 

House Armed Services Panel Focuses on Plutonium Issues – The House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Strategic Forces will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. on plutonium and the MOX Project.  Witnesses includes NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz, DOE’s John MacWilliams and Oak Ridge’s Thom Mason.

 

Resources Chair Bishop to Headline Outdoor Sportsman CelebrationTread Lightly! is hosting a special event Wednesday evening in the Rayburn Gold Room (2168) to celebrate its 25th anniversary as a national nonprofit organization focused on outdoor recreation, stewardship and education. Rep. Rob Bishop, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Natural Resources will keynote, and other speakers will discuss Tread Lightly!’s history and future — including announcing an all new program to fund 25 projects in celebration of the 25th anniversary.  Founded in 1990 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, Tread Lightly! promotes responsible outdoor recreation through ethics education and stewardship programs.

 

DOE’s Solar Decathlon Set – The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon—America’s premier collegiate competition that challenges students from around the world to design, build and operate highly energy-efficient, solar-powered houses—will open Thursday in Irvine, California and run through Sunday in DC.  Sixteen collegiate teams involving more than 2,000 students from 27 schools are deep into construction, assembling their innovative houses on or near their campuses. In less than three months, the students will transport and open those houses to the public in the Solar Decathlon village, where they’ll demonstrate just how affordable, attractive and comfortable these zero-energy homes—homes that are so efficient that a solar energy system can offset all or most of their energy consumption—have become.

 

Hydrogen Fuel Day Set for Oct 8 – In recognition of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen energy technology, industry advocates are celebrating National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day Thursday to help raise awareness of a clean energy technology that is here now. October 8th was chosen as a reference to the of the atomic weight of Hydrogen, 1.008.  Our friends at Air Liquide will be joining with DOE in several projects that Are expected to be announced.  More on this later in the week.

 

AGA to Discuss Winter Outlook for Gas – On Thursday morning, our friends at the American Gas Association will unveil its winter outlook. AGA experts will outline the nation’s supply/demand picture and storage position; identify expectations for residential natural gas bills this winter compared to last year; and discuss a new analysis of consumer savings comparing natural gas to other fuel sources. Direct use of natural gas in homes and businesses, and how it may influence actions taken within the EPA Clean Power Plan and proposed regulations by the U.S. Department of Energy will also be discussed.

 

House Energy Panel Continues VW Investigation – As part of its ongoing investigation into Volkswagen’s emissions issues, the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold has a hearing Thursday looking at initial key questions. Volkswagen Group of America President and CEO Michael Horn and the Environmental Protection Agency are scheduled to testify as the subcommittee investigates Volkswagen’s alleged efforts to circumvent emissions requirements for certain models of diesel engine passenger vehicles. Members are working to understand the facts and circumstances surrounding Volkswagen’s reported Clean Air Act violations and what they mean for consumers and the general public.

 

AU Hosting Forum On Climate Engineering – On Thursday at 3:30 p.m. American University’s School of International Studies Global Environmental Politics will be hosting a lecture on climate engineering research and why we should not be doing it.

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Forum to Look at Climate Views in Canada, US – The Canada Institute and Wilson Center will host a discussion on Tuesday October 13th to look at Canadian and American attitudes toward climate change, featuring findings from the Fall 2015 round of ongoing survey work in both nations. Key themes will include public views on whether climate change is occurring, response to a range of possible policy options across levels of government, and reaction to Pope Francis’ recent engagement on the issue. The U.S. side of this work will include an early look at how Americans want their states to respond to the new Clean Power Plan.

 

CSIS to Host IEA Enviro Head – On Wednesday October 14th , the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is host Philippe Benoit, Head of the Energy Efficiency and Environment Division at the International Energy Agency to present the IEA’s Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015. The annual report, now in its third year, confirms the position of energy efficiency as the “first fuel” in the IEA’s largest economies. It also evaluates the global energy efficiency market to understand the role of energy efficiency in the energy system. This year’s report provides insights into energy efficiency investments and impacts, which, as the main driver to decarbonize the energy sector, have taken on increased importance in the lead-up to COP-21. The 2015 report includes an update on market outlooks for energy efficiency and is published alongside IEA medium-term reports forecasting market trends and developments concerning primary energy sources for global markets: oil, coal, gas and renewables.

 

Holmstead, Others Experts to Discuss GHG Rule at DC Bar Event – On October 14th at 12:30 p.m., the D.C. Bar will hold a forum in its Conference Center looking the EPA’s GHG Rule.  The brown bag was rescheduled due to the Papal visit in September. It is sponsored by the Air Quality Committee of the D.C. Bar Environment and will feature a panel of experts will offer perspectives on the final rule, including state compliance options and the nature and timing of legal challenges.  The panelists will be: David Doniger, Director, Climate & Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, Lisa Heinzerling, Professor of Law at Georgetown University, and Jeff Holmstead, Partner, Bracewell & Giuliani. All three of our speakers have previously served in high-level posts at EPA and have spent most of their careers shaping carbon pollution policy.

 

Smart Grid Conference Set – On October 14th and 15th, the 2nd Annual National Summit on Smart Grid & Climate Change will bring together policymakers, utilities, technology companies, and a wide variety of environmental and energy stakeholders to address the role of smart grid technologies and practices in mitigating and adapting to climate change.  The Summit will establish an understanding as to how smart grid can be an essential part of any climate action planning, whether in response to government emission restrictions like EPA’s Clean Power Plan or efforts to increase resiliency to prepare for various climate change events and scenarios.  Speakers will include Energy Secretary Moniz, OMB’s Ali Zaidi, Arizona Public Service SVP Jeff Guldner and NREL’s Bryan Hannegan.

 

Newsmaker to Look at Automated Driving – The National Press Club will hold a Newsmaker on October 14th at 10:00 a.m. in the Bloomberg Room to present an analytical look at the reasons for developing an autonomous transportation economy—laying out the status of the technology today, the policies needed to develop autonomous transportation so that we achieve a safer, more convenient, more efficient, and a more affordable mobility system, and how transportation as we know it will be revolutionized over the coming decade.  Executives from Domino’s, GM and security experts are all expected to be part of the panel.

 

JHU Forum Look s at EPA GHG Rule – On Wednesday, October 14th at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS will hold a forum on the EPA’s GHG Rule.

 

Energy Forum Looks at GHG Rule – ICF holds another Energy and Environment breakfast on October 15th at 8:00 a.m. at the National Press Club.  Bill Bumpers of Baker Botts and Kyle Danish of Van Ness Feldman will present the pros and cons, and handicap whether the EPA’s GHG Rue for Power plants needs to be modified or revamped at its core to pass legal muster.

 

White House to Hold Refrigerants Meeting – Approaching the one-year anniversary of a landmark agreement on reducing refrigerants use, the White House will hold a follow up event for stakeholders that participated in the agreement on October 15th.   At a White House event last September AHRI head Steve Yurek announced the nation’s HVACR industry will invest $5 billion in research and development funds over the next decade to develop the next generation of refrigerants and the air conditioning and refrigeration equipment in which they will be used. Next week’s event, sponsored by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, will highlight the private sector progress in developing alternatives to high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants.

 

GP Bush, Fox to Headline Border Energy Forum – The Border Energy Forum will be held on October 14 – 16th in San Diego, California and will feature Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush as its Keynote Speaker.  For more than 20 years, the Border Energy Forum has worked to increase regional development of clean energy projects, promote cross-border energy trade, and advance technologies and innovative solutions for sustainable resource management. Other speakers will include former Mexican President Vicente Fox.

 

Forum Addresses Japan Electricity Markets – On Thursday morning October 15th, there will be a breakfast seminar in the Reagan Center’s Polaris Room focused on existing opportunities for U.S. companies interested in participating in the electricity market reforms in Japan.  Japan is liberalizing its $60 billion electrical power market, giving new entrants access to the power grid. Liberalization of the retail market will begin in April 2016, spurring demand for new technologies and solutions.

 

RFF Discussion Features Nordhaus – On Thursday, October 15th at 9:00 a.m., Resources for the Future will host a Policy Leadership Forum  featuring a conversation with Bob Nordhaus.  Nordhaus is one of the most respected figures in US energy policy circles. He played a central role in drafting two of the pillars of current US climate efforts: Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the legal underpinning of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.  RFF’s conversation will feature Nordhaus and RFF President Phil Sharp, also a key figure in the creation of these two legislative cornerstones, as they discuss the evolution of US climate policy and its future prospects.

 

Panel to Focus on 10 years of RFS – On Friday at 10:30 a.m., the Economic Studies program at Brookings will convene an expert panel to discuss the effect of the RFS on prices for both fuels and food, whether the RFS is having an impact on greenhouse gas emissions, and if the statutory levels for future years are realistic or if they need to be revised further.  Speakers will include CBO’s Terry Dinan, MIT’s Chris Knittel, Princeton’s Tim Searchinger and Iowa State’s Bruce Babcock.

 

EIA Administrator to Discuss Winter Fuels Outlook – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Assn for Energy Economics will host Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Friday at October 16th at Noon at Carmine’s Restaurant.  Sieminski will be discussing EIA’s annual Winter Fuels Outlook and sharing insights into EIA’s updated data collection and analysis.

 

BPC to Hold Little Rock GHG Workshop – The Bipartisan Policy Center and Great Plains Institute will hold another one-day workshop on October 19th in Little Rock Arkansas to discuss implementation options for EPA’s GHG rules for power plants in the Midcontinent region.  The workshop will feature a keynote address by Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Colette D. Honorable.  Other confirmed speakers include WPPI Energy’s Andy Kellen, Scott Weaver of American Electric Power, EDF’s Nicholas Bianco, PJM’s Paul Sotkiewicz, Roxanne Brown of the United Steelworkers and  Nathaniel Baer of the Iowa Environmental Council.   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, with support from experts at the Bipartisan Policy Center and Great Plains Institute. In addition, the Midwestern Power Sector Collaborative, convened by the Great Plains Institute, brings a subset of states and stakeholders together to explore and engage on these policy issues.  This workshop will gather states, stakeholders, and experts, including those participating in MSEER and the Power Sector Collaborative, to explore policy pathways for achieving compliance under the final Clean Power Plan as well as opportunities and challenges for multi-state collaboration.

 

Rogers, Goffman Headline New Energy Summit – The 2015 New Energy Summit will be held on October 19th and 20th looking at the growth of the renewable energy marketplace.  The agenda includes keynote guests, presentations and thought-provoking, informative discussions about the latest trends in deal origination and finance, risk evaluation, regulatory developments and common practices.  Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and EPA’s Joe Goffman.

 

Cato to Hold UN Climate Conference Forum – The Cato Institute will hold a day-long forum on October 30th in its Hayek Auditorium to hear distinguished climate scientists and legal experts assess the issues sure to drive the debate before, during, and after the Paris UN Climate meeting.  Speakers will include John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry and Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon on a panel about science.  MIT professor and prominent climate skeptic Richard Lindzen will be the luncheon speaker.  In the afternoon, there will be a legal panel featuring Peter Glaser and Andrew Grossman and a policy panel that will include Harlan Watson, Former Chief Climate Negotiator in the George W. Bush administration and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger, who is Assistant Director, Center for the Study of Science at Cato.

 

Energy Summit Set for Houston – The Energy Summit Series which will take place on November 1-3 at the JW Marriott Houston. The event will be co-located Transmission & Distribution and Distribution Technology & Innovation Summits.

 

REFF West to Focus on Key Renewable Financing Issues – The 8th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West (REFF-West) 2015 will be held at the Four Seasons in San Francisco, CA on November 5th and 6th.  With a focus on renewable energy development in the Western U.S., REFF-West will highlight financing trends in renewable power, energy storage, system integration, and transportation; review important developments in Western power market expansion and in the role of the emerging corporate customer market segment; and discuss renewable energy’s role in smarter resource use and response to the Western water crisis.

 

Energy Update: Week of September 28

Friends,

 

Following last week’s  craziness with the Pope’s visit to D.C. and the autumnal equinox, we have officially made it to fall and there is Something in the Air. Not to mention, wasn’t last night’s super lunar eclipse, a rare celestial event that last occurred in 1982 and will next occur in 2033, exciting?

 

Fall means the baseball season is wrapping up this week, and I have to commend the Cubs for making the playoffs in hopes of ending the longest active championship drought in sports.   While they won’t win their division, they will play either the Cards or Pirates in the first round.  The Mets surprised everyone with great pitching and timely hitting to outdistance the disappointing Nationals (who appear to be fighting themselves).  One Dodger win this week against the Giants clinches the NL West.  In the AL, the Blue Jays and the Royals are locked while the Rangers are nearly clinched in the West.  The Yankees seem like a lock for one wildcard while the surprising Astros and the Angels are battling for the last spot.  By the way, the NHL season starts next Wednesday (more on that next week).

 

After last week’s papal slow down (literally and figuratively), the action picks back up in Washington this week.   Perhaps the most interesting event will be a BPC forum on Thursday featuring Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning, who will address energy innovation issues, new EPA rules and the AGL Merger. Other events include a Hill Newspaper Methane Forum and an EESI forum with state energy officials on the GHG rules, as well as the annual AWEA offshore wind conference in Baltimore taking place tomorrow and Wednesday. Wednesday also features a forum with the Lithuanian Minister of Energy and  Thursday has a POLITICO Energy forum featuring FERC’s Tony Clark, ANGA’s Marty Durbin, Senator John Hoeven and many more.

 

On the Hill, Senate Environment has a full plate with EPA’s Janet McCabe for an air hearing tomorrow morning and two Western governors and FWS Director Ashe in the afternoon to discuss ESA issues, as well as a Wednesday hearing on the EPA’s Waters rule with Army Corps.  Also Tuesday, Senate Commerce hits its second pipeline safety hearing featuring NTSB, AGA and INGAA. House Resources hosts four Western Governors on Wednesday regarding energy development and the sage grouse.   House Energy marks up its energy bill on Wednesday and Rules will get a look at crude exports legislation.  Finally, on Thursday, Senate Banking marks up the exports legislation while a House Energy panel tackles nuclear waste transportation issues.

 

It is also a big week at EPA where on Thursday, EPA is expected to unveil its final rule to set new limits on ground-level ozone to meet  the Court-set October 1st deadline.   NAM, API and the Chamber have been hammering the issues while enviro groups are demanding lower standards.  EPA also has two other court-ordered Wednesday deadlines to meet on emissions from the nation’s oil refineries and effluent discharges from power plants.   The first proposal would require refiners to cut back on emissions from storage tanks, flares and coking units, and requires air quality monitoring at facility fence lines to help protect nearby communities. The second proposal regarding effluent limitations guidelines (316B Rule for power plants) would require controls on all power plant emissions of wastewater.  Obviously, we have great resources to help on each of these.

 

Today, EPA is announcing revisions to its worker protection standard to protect the nation’s two million farm workers and their families from pesticide exposure. Each year, thousands of potentially preventable pesticide exposure incidents are reported that lead to sick days, lost wages, and medical bills. The changes being announced today can reduce the risk of injury or illness resulting from contact with pesticides on farms and in forests, nurseries and greenhouses.  Our friend Scott Faber of EWG can be helpful on the topic.

 

Finally, next week is the annual Society of Environmental Journalist (SEJ) conference, being held this year in Norman, Oklahoma.  It is a great event that has outstanding panels on environment and energy topics.  With Oklahoma as the locale, natural gas, wind, infrastructure and tornadoes/weather are central themes.  Bracewell’s PRG will also hold its signature annual reception for the conference on Thursday, where each year for the last 14 years, more than 400 conference attendees gather for food, drinks, and the opportunity to network. We still have sponsorship available if you want to be a part of this great opportunity.

 

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

 

China Makes Climate Pledges During State Visit – Rather than talk about trade or cyber piracy, Chinese leaders announced that they are launching a national cap-and-trade system by 2017, prioritizing renewable energy on its grid and making a “substantial” financial contribution to the fight against climate change.  My colleague Scott Segal said an undefined financial commitment and vague statements about a carbon market are no substitute for actual commitments to reduce carbon emissions.  To date, we haven’t seen that kind of commitment.

 

China Climate Background – Some additional items to keep in mind when considering China’s Commitments:

 

  • The previously discussed target for 2030 is misleading and simply amounts to no more than “business as usual.” It fails to move beyond current gains or to set an ambitious target and it does not address non-carbon greenhouse gas emissions. Put simply, China is not doing its “fair share” or substantively contributing to averting  ‘climate change’ beyond 2° C  See more on this (here).

 

  • Almost all of the actions China has proposed are already being implemented and the political will for future action appears almost non-existent.

 

  • The tepid climate numerical commitment simply results in free-riding, with China reaping the ‘benefits,’ yet avoiding the onerous costs imposed by a stronger commitment. China’s weak rules may cause U.S. businesses to shift overseas, diminishing the overall competitiveness and vitality of the U.S. economy. This shift also subjects these businesses to looser environmental regulations negating the supposed environmental benefits.

 

  • China’s statistical system does not reflect environmental and market realities warranting strong skepticism. In fact, the Chinese Statistical Bureau had to revise upwards China’s energy consumption upwards by a whopping 15%, resulting in an extra Gt of C02 emissions (see here).

 

  • Even if China’s intentions are noble, its actual pledge drastically underestimates many substantial logistical barriers. For example, the government in Beijing cannot compel Chinese localities to act. In fact, local officials often turn a blind eye to entities that shirk regulations, thereby diminishing the effectiveness of any central mandates. Other barrier abound, including: a gross overestimation of available non-coal natural resources, the substantial role that rapid urbanization and development will play in rising emissions, a failure to recognize transportation as a site of rising emissions, technological deficiencies coupled with poor R&D capabilities and a lack of will to implement regulations (here and here).

 

Countries Can’t Meet Targets…And It Still Won’t Be Enough – New analysis from the research firm Climate Interactive says global temperatures would increase by as much as 6.3° F, or 3.5° C , by the end of the century based on the domestic climate change pledges made by world leaders so far.   The estimate underscores the fact that the upcoming United Nations climate change talks in Paris are unlikely to be able to Bridge the gap between the political and economic realities of dealing with climate change.  And in fact, these are the claims that countries are making, which with history as Our guide will largely be overestimated.  For example, most experts have raised significant concerns as to whether any of the major emitting nations will meet suggested targets.

 

USPS Could Save $2B Replacing Aging Vehicle Fleet – SAFE released an Issue Brief in response to the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) plans to replace its fleet of Grumman Long Life Vehicles (LLVs) with up to 180,000 “Next Generation Delivery Vehicles” (NGDVs)— developed and manufactured exclusively for the USPS with a service life of 20 years—at a cost of up to $6.3 billion. SAFE’s analysis finds that an alternative approach, using modified, off-the-shelf mass-market vehicles and upgrading the fleet at least once in the next 20-25 years, is not only industry best practice but would save the Service as much as $1.9 billion over the life of the fleet while allowing it to adopt new safety and fuel-saving technologies along the way.  As the operator of one of the world’s largest civilian vehicle fleets, reducing USPS’s oil consumption through greater fuel efficiency would generate national and economic security benefits for the country as a whole, offering the Service insulation from the volatility inherent to the unpredictable global oil market. Making a one-time bulk purchase of NGDVs condemns USPS to a fleet that cannot incorporate new technologies over time, has little flexibility to adjust to changes in market dynamics over the next two decades and retains very little resale value.   SAFE commissioned economic policy research firm Keybridge LLC to conduct this analysis. Keybridge is headed by Dr. Robert Wescott, former Chief Economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisors. In the brief, Keybridge and SAFE find that the total cost of ownership of a fleet composed of a variety of off-the-shelf vehicles would be significantly less than one based around a single, custom-built vehicle manufactured exclusively for USPS.

 

Shell Won’t Drill in Arctic – Shell said today it would be suspending its plan to drill in the Alaskan Arctic “for the foreseeable future,” after not finding enough oil and gas in a test well it drilled over the summer.   They said the high drilling costs in the Chukchi Sea as well as the “challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.”   Funny how that works in the one area the President “caved” according to the enviro community.

 

Marshall Report Connects Climate National Security – The George C. Marshall Institute announced the publication a new study Connecting Climate and National Security.  This study examines the validity of the belief that a changing climate is intrinsically an issue of national security:  “The Obama Administration has proclaimed climate change to be a present and future threat to the security of the United States. Two different National Security Strategies articulate the case for environmental forces creating security challenges domestically in the U.S. and around the world and two successive Quadrennial Defense Reviews show that the U.S. military is shifting its strategic thinking as well as resource allocations to accommodate these new threats. Together, they demonstrate that the institutionalization of environmentally-induced conflict as a U.S. security concern is complete. Anthropogenic climate change, characterized by a rise in global temperature and projected effects thereof, is expected to lead to all sorts of calamities here and abroad.  “But is it true? These government documents and the bevy of think tank reports that echo this theme would leave one with the impression that the answer to this question is “yes.” And, by saying yes, one is left with little choice but to accept changes in strategies, programs, and budgets to respond or reflect those challenges as well as likely agreeing to policies that demand the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in order to respond to the principal root of the problem.”  The present study advances ideas and arguments made by the Marshall Institute in our 2012 report, Climate and National Security: Exploring the Connection, which concluded: “In summary, efforts to link climate change to the deterioration of U.S. national security rely on improbable scenarios, imprecise and speculative methods, and scant empirical support.”

 

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

UN General Assembly – TODAY

 

AU to Host Forum on Religion, Environment – American University will hold a forum this afternoon featuring panelists from The Washington Post, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and AU faculty to consider the journalistic and media treatment of the Pope’s recent encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, as a means to better understand the role of religion in public debate and activism on climate change.

 

Forum to Look at Offshore Wind – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing this afternoon in 406 Dirksen examining the role of offshore wind domestically and internationally. The first U.S. offshore wind project is expected to come online in summer 2016 at Block Island, 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. Deepwater Wind is leading the Block Island project, which will generate 50 megawatts (MW) of power, enough to run 17,000 homes. U.S. Wind is working on a much larger project off the coast of Maryland, where it plans to have 500 MW of offshore wind operating by 2020. Speakers for this forum are Sens. Tom Carper (DE) and Jack Reed (RI), AWEA’s Fatima Maria Ahmad, Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski, Paul Rich of U.S. Wind (Maryland), Dr. Georg Maue of the Embassy of Germany and Tom Simchak, Policy Advisor at the British Embassy.

 

AWEA to Host Annual Offshore Wind Conference in Baltimore – Speaking of offshore wind, AWEA holds its annual offshore wind event in Baltimore tomorrow and Wednesday.

 

The Hill to Host Methane ForumThe Hill will host a forum tomorrow morning at the Newseum to consider how policymakers and industry can come together to effectively regulate methane emissions. What steps can industry take to innovate and lead on adopting existing technologies and practices to reduce emissions? With methane leaks in the oil and gas system costing industry $1.8 billion per year in lost revenues, how can new regulations be implemented in a cost effective way that reduces both climate impacts and domestic energy waste? And what impact might implementing these regulations have on investors and the larger American economy?  Featured speakers include Brent Lammert of FLIR, Brian Rice of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, Martha Rudolph of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.  Our friends Tim Cama and Devin Henry will moderate.

 

Clean Power Conference Set – The Clean Power for All National Forum will be held tomorrow morning at the National Press Club and will bring together prominent figures from the business and political worlds. Attendees will hear from experts on how to advance the Clean Power Plan on a national level. Further focus is being placed on work, wealth and health opportunities possible through the implementation of the Clean Power Plan.

 

Senate Enviro to Host McCabe on Air Act, Ashe, Govs on ESA – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearings tomorrow on the economy-wide implications of President Obama’s air agenda and ESA policies. The hearing at 9:30 a.m. will feature EPA air administrator Janet McCabe., while The 2:00 p.m. afternoon Hearing will focus on ESA issues and have Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, Western Governors’ Association Chairman Matt Mead (R-Wyo.) and Western Governors’ Association Vice Chairman Steve Bullock (D-Mont.) testifying.

 

EU Enviro Commissioner to Address Energy Future – The World Resources Institute (WRI), EPA and the European Environment Agency (EEA) will host a forum tomorrow on sustainable energy future on the occasion of the first official visit to Washington of European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella.

 

Forum to Look at Nuclear Energy in China – The Atlantic Council is holding a panel discussion tomorrow on the future of nuclear energy in China. The panel includes nuclear energy experts from government, academia, and the private sector, who each bring unique perspectives on Chinese energy issues. Speakers will include DOE’s Jon Elkind, NuScale CEO John Hopkins, former Harvard Business School professor Joe Lassiter and Czech Ambassador Václav Bartuška.

 

Diesel Tech Forum Hosts Grid Readiness Webinar – As part of National Preparedness Month, the Diesel Technology Forum will host a free webinar tomorrow at Noon to provide an update on state plans to keep the lights on during severe weather events. Mobile and stationary diesel generators have long provided emergency backup power to critical facilities. Many states susceptible to severe weather are now requiring or encouraging retail fuel locations to install emergency backup power capabilities to keep motorists along evacuation routes and also allow first responders to refuel in the event of a widespread power outage.  Mike Jones, a senior administrator with the Maryland Energy Administration will speak about the state’s program to provide incentives for retail fuel locations to either install the necessary switchgear to accept a mobile generator or install a stationary generator through the Maryland Energy Resiliency Grant Program.  Results of the program and lessons learned in its implementation will be discussed as the state expanded eligibility to emergency shelters including firehouses.  In addition, Jeff Pillon of the National Association of State Energy Officials will also provide an overview on an array of state energy assurance strategies across the country, including incentives and other innovative approaches to help ensure public health and safety in times of natural disaster or loss of electrical grid power.

Forum to Look at China, Clean Cities – The Woodrow Wilson Center will host a forum tomorrow focused on China’s power sector and a move to cleaner cities.  At the US-China Climate Smart/Low Carbon City Summit held September last week in Los Angeles, 11 Chinese cities and 3 provinces committed to taking steps to reduce carbon emissions and reach “peak coal” earlier than China’s national 2030 target. Continued expansion of renewables, gas, nuclear power and energy efficient buildings in China’s cities will depend heavily on efforts to decarbonize the country’s power grid. Speakers at this meeting will discuss emerging reforms and clean energy investments (including nuclear power) investments at both national and municipal levels to decrease coal-fired electricity.

 

Forum to Look at Japan Plutonium Issues – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a forum tomorrow on Japan’s plans to start producing plutonium—intended for use in its nuclear energy reactors. However, in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in 2011, all but one of Japan’s reactors still remain offline, and the process to restart the others will be long, slow, and controversial. As a result, it is likely that plutonium production will soon exceed demand, causing a risky and potentially destabilizing plutonium build-up in Japan.  Carnegie’s James Acton will launch his new report, Wagging the Plutonium Dog, and explore why Japan finds itself in this predicament and what can be done.

 

EESI Forum to Look at States, GHG Regs – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing tomorrow in 334 Cannon  discussing how states are planning to comply with the Clean Power Plan, which limits carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants. Under the authority of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Power Plan represents the first time the United States has placed limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, currently the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution. Now that the final version has been released, what are the best compliance strategies for states to meet the emission reduction goals, and what kind of assistance will EPA be able to provide?  Speakers for this forum are EPA’s Joe Goffman, NACAA’s Bill Becker, NARUC’s Charles Gray and NASEO’s David Terry.

 

Senate Commerce to Look at Pipeline Safety – A Senate Commerce panel  is holding its second hearing on pipeline safety tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to look at issues related to pipeline safety.  The first field hearing was held in Billings, Montana featuring PHMSA head Marie Therese Dominguez earlier this month, where the focus was the summer oil spill in the Yellowstone River.  Witnesses with include GAO’s Susan Fleming, NTSB’s Chris Hart, INGAA’s Don Santa and WGL’s Terry McCallister on behalf of the American Gas Association.

 

Senate Panel Looks at WOTUS – The Senate Environment’s Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water will hold a hearing Wednesday delving into the corps’ “participation” in the process around the new Waters of the U.S. regulation.

 

Western Governors to Testify at House Resources – The House Natural Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday looking at state authority on energy issues.   Four Western governors — Steve Bullock (D) of Montana, Dennis Daugaard (R) of South Dakota, Gary Herbert (R) of Utah and Matt Mead (R) of Wyoming — are scheduled to testify.

 

WCEE Series Continues NatGas Drilling – On Wednesday, the Women’s Council on Energy & the Environment will continue its Lunch & Learn series to explore different perspectives of hydraulic fracturing. The dialogue on our energy future is tied to the state of hydraulic fracturing and the event is the second in that series.  The event will feature Energy in Depth’s Katie Brown and William Goodfellow of BCES.  Goodfellow is a Board-Certified Environmental Scientist with more than 35 years of experience in environmental toxicology and causal effect assessments.

 

Forum to Feature Lithuania Energy Minister – On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies will host the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania, Rokas Masiulis.  Masiulis will deliver remarks regarding Lithuania’s current efforts to help address energy security issues throughout Europe.

 

Forum to Look at Algae, Climate – On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., the Wilson Center will host a discussion of Algae and its impacts on climate change.  The event will feature Brian Walsh, who will discuss his new paper, New Feed Sources Key to Ambitious Climate Targets, which finds replacing microalgae as animal feed could free up significant land currently used for pasture and feed crops, while meeting 50 percent of our annual energy needs and potentially reducing global atmospheric carbon concentrations to preindustrial levels by the end of the century.  After a presentation by Walsh, a panel of experts will discuss the technical realities of the research, land-use and animal feed stock issues and whether algae can really impact global climate change.

 

JHU to Host Latin Energy Forum – The Johns Hopkins University will hold an LASP Samuel Z. Stone Seminar panel event on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. the energy shock in Latin America.  The event will feature Francisco Gonzalez, LASP Senior Associate Professor at JHU SAIS and Alejandro Werner, Director of the Western Hemisphere Department at the International Monetary Fund.

 

POLITICO Energy Event Set – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., POLITICO will host an America’s Energy Agenda event which will feature a conversation assessing the market aftermath of Obama’s sweeping climate change rules and energy policies. How does America keep the lights on and remain the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas while aspiring to lead the world in climate action? What is the future for energy infrastructure as pipelines become a target of the modern environmental movement?  Featured speakers include FERC’s Tony Clark, Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.), ANGA’s Marty Durbin, Keystone opponent Jane Kleeb, Sierra’s Lena Moffitt and former EPA official Bob Perciasepe, now at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

 

Fanning to Address Innovation at BPC Forum – On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Commission  will host a discussion on energy innovation with Tom Fanning, Southern Company Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.  Fanning will highlight Southern Company’s leadership in shaping America’s energy future by developing the full portfolio of energy resources: nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency.  He will also discuss Southern Company’s Energy Innovation Center, which develops new products and services to improve the lives of customers and communities, and its recent agreement to acquire natural gas company AGL Resources.

 

House Energy to Look at Nuclear Transportation – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing on Thursday on transporting nuclear materials, focusing on design, logistics, and shipment.  There are approximately three million shipments of nuclear material across the United States every year. For example, low-level radioactive waste is shipped to Texas and New Mexico for disposal, research reactor fuel is transported to universities across the country, and spent nuclear fuel from naval vessels is shipped to Idaho for storage. Members will examine current efforts to transport nuclear material, including regulatory requirements and weigh recommendations to the Department of Energy plan for shipment of high-level radioactive waste and commercial spent nuclear fuel.

 

 

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

Clean Tech Leadership Forum Set – Next Monday at 9:30 a.m., the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will host national experts and local leaders to examine the state of the clean tech economy and the road ahead. Sessions will explore best practices in advancing market transformation with public policy and leveraging existing programs to enhance private investment and innovation. Work with peer communities to identify challenges and strategies for supporting your local clean tech economy.

 

AU Forum Looks at Climate Governance – The American University will hold a conference next Monday afternoon looking at climate change governance as Paris approaches.  The conference aims to highlight the role of subnational initiatives, such as the Quebec-California carbon market, in global climate change governance in anticipation of the upcoming UN negotiations in Paris.

 

TIDES Conference to Look at New Energy, Defense Techs – The 9th annual TIDES technology demonstration on October 6th through 9th at the National Defense University.  The TIDES Technology Field Demonstration features low-cost technology solutions across eight key infrastructure areas 1) Water, 2) Power, 3)Shelter, 4) Heating/Cooling, 5) Sanitation, 6) Lighting, 7) Integrated and Combustion Cooking and 8)Information Communication Technology.  This free demonstration is widely attended by the Department of Defense officials, government agencies active in domestic and international disaster response, and in post-conflict, post disaster, and impoverished situations – DHS, FEMA, State Department, Red Cross and National Defense University students from around the world.  A wide array of private, for-profit and non-profit organizations attend each year. The demonstration is outside (rain or shine), independent of the power grid, and communications will be live.  The theme of this year’s demo is “Building Resilience: Preparing for Natural and Man-Made Disasters.”

Sen Energy to Look at SPR – Next Tuesday, October 6th at 10:30 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to examine the potential modernization of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and related energy security issues.

 

RFF to Look at Arctic Energy/Climate Issues – Resources for The Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar on October 7th at 12:30 p.m. in collaboration with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment to focus on Arctic shipping and its impacts.   President Obama’s recent trip to Alaska and the State Department’s GLACIER conference put a spotlight on climate change issues in the Arctic. This RFF First Wednesday Seminar will focus on understanding the science behind increased shipping and the related impacts on marine life, ecosystems, and the communities that depend on them. Speakers will include RFF’s Alan Krupnick, Lawson Brigham of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Stanford’s Jeremy Goldbogen, Nome Mayor Denise Michels and Scott Smith of the US Coast Guard.

 

DOE’s Solar Decathlon Set – The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon—America’s premier collegiate competition that challenges students from around the world to design, build and operate highly energy-efficient, solar-powered houses—will open October 8 in Irvine, California.  Sixteen collegiate teams involving more than 2,000 students from 27 schools are deep into construction, assembling their innovative houses on or near their campuses. In less than three months, the students will transport and open those houses to the public in the Solar Decathlon village, where they’ll demonstrate just how affordable, attractive and comfortable these zero-energy homes—homes that are so efficient that a solar energy system can offset all or most of their energy consumption—have become.

 

Hydrogen Fuel Day Set for Oct 8 – In recognition of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen energy technology, industry advocates are celebrating National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day on October 8th to help raise awareness of a clean energy technology that is here now. October 8th was chosen as a reference to the of the atomic weight of Hydrogen, 1.008.

 

Holmstead, Others Experts to Discuss GHG Rule at DC Bar Event – On October 14th at 12:30 p.m., the D.C. Bar will hold a forum in its Conference Center looking the EPA’s GHG Rule.  The brown bag was rescheduled due to the Papal visit in September. It is sponsored by the Air Quality Committee of the D.C. Bar Environment and will feature a panel of experts will offer perspectives on the final rule, including state compliance options and the nature and timing of legal challenges.  The panelists will be: David Doniger, Director, Climate & Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, Lisa Heinzerling, Professor of Law at Georgetown University, and Jeff Holmstead, Partner, Bracewell & Giuliani. All three of our speakers have previously served in high-level posts at EPA and have spent most of their careers shaping carbon pollution policy.

 

Smart Grid Conference Set – On October 14th and 15th, the 2nd Annual National Summit on Smart Grid & Climate Change will bring together policymakers, utilities, technology companies, and a wide variety of environmental and energy stakeholders to address the role of smart grid technologies and practices in mitigating and adapting to climate change.  The Summit will establish an understanding as to how smart grid can be an essential part of any climate action planning, whether in response to government emission restrictions like EPA’s Clean Power Plan or efforts to increase resiliency to prepare for various climate change events and scenarios.  Speakers will include Energy Secretary Moniz, OMB’s Ali Zaidi, Arizona Public Service SVP Jeff Guldner and NREL’s Bryan Hannegan.

 

Newsmaker to Look at Automated Driving – The National Press Club will hold a Newsmaker on October 14th at 10:00 a.m. in the Bloomberg Room to present an analytical look at the reasons for developing an autonomous transportation economy—laying out the status of the technology today, the policies needed to develop autonomous transportation so that we achieve a safer, more convenient, more efficient, and a more affordable mobility system, and how transportation as we know it will be revolutionized over the coming decade.  Executives from Domino’s, GM and security experts are all expected to be part of the panel.

 

GP Bush, Fox to Headline Border Energy Forum – The Border Energy Forum will be held on October 14 – 16th in San Diego, California and will feature Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush as its Keynote Speaker.  For more than 20 years, the Border Energy Forum has worked to increase regional development of clean energy projects, promote cross-border energy trade, and advance technologies and innovative solutions for sustainable resource management. Other speakers will include former Mexican President Vicente Fox.

 

BPC to Hold Little Rock GHG Workshop – The Bipartisan Policy Center and Great Plains Institute will hold another one-day workshop on October 19th in Little Rock Arkansas to discuss implementation options for EPA’s GHG rules for power plants in the Midcontinent region.  The workshop will feature a keynote address by Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Colette D. Honorable.  Other confirmed speakers include WPPI Energy’s Andy Kellen, Scott Weaver of American Electric Power, EDF’s Nicholas Bianco, PJM’s Paul Sotkiewicz, Roxanne Brown of the United Steelworkers and  Nathaniel Baer of the Iowa Environmental Council.   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, with support from experts at the Bipartisan Policy Center and Great Plains Institute. In addition, the Midwestern Power Sector Collaborative, convened by the Great Plains Institute, brings a subset of states and stakeholders together to explore and engage on these policy issues.  This workshop will gather states, stakeholders, and experts, including those participating in MSEER and the Power Sector Collaborative, to explore policy pathways for achieving compliance under the final Clean Power Plan as well as opportunities and challenges for multi-state collaboration.

 

Rogers, Goffman Headline New Energy Summit – The 2015 New Energy Summit will be held on October 19th and 20th looking at the growth of the renewable energy marketplace.  The agenda includes keynote guests, presentations and thought-provoking, informative discussions about the latest trends in deal origination and finance, risk evaluation, regulatory developments and common practices.  Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and EPA’s Joe Goffman.

 

Cato to Hold UN Climate Conference Forum – The Cato Institute will hold a day-long forum on October 30th in its Hayek Auditorium to hear distinguished climate scientists and legal experts assess the issues sure to drive the debate before, during, and after the Paris UN Climate meeting.  Speakers will include John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry and Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon on a panel about science.  MIT professor and prominent climate skeptic Richard Lindzen will be the luncheon speaker.  In the afternoon, there will be a legal panel featuring Peter Glaser and Andrew Grossman and a policy panel that will include Harlan Watson, Former Chief Climate Negotiator in the George W. Bush administration and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger, who is Assistant Director, Center for the Study of Science at Cato.

Energy Update: Week of July 13

Friends,

Last week was pretty bizarre on Capitol Hill, marked by the pulling of the EPA-Interior funding bill.  We’ll see if it returns, but most experts expect to see it only when the Senate takes it up.

This week and last have been European Sports weeks.  Last weekend, the Tour d’ France launched only to get a massive crash in Stage 4, which knocked out the leader.  Stages roll through July 26th with the run into Paris.  Secondly, Wimbledon wrapped up this past weekend with Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic both adding to their world tennis domination.  Williams has now won the last four majors and is currently holding the title Grand Slam.  She goes for the Calendar Grand Slam in September at the US Open.  This upcoming Thursday, the British Open kicks off from the historic St. Andrews, so I may not be paying attention much on Thursday and Friday morning.  Oh and don’t forget the trip to Spain for the running of the bulls.. it really gores me when people forget about that historic event.

Despite the delays in the Iran Nuclear Talks, this week is still about what happens with Iran.  We have excellent resources on the topic that can discuss politics, policy, implications, and Iran’s negotiating tactics.  If its not you, please let your colleagues covering know that we can help.

Also important this week is for you to exercise your voting rights… for the SAFE Energy Prize, which will award a total of $175,000 to companies whose innovations are poised to advance American energy security by helping to end the United States’ dependence on oil.  Vote for your favorite technology here.

Secondly, the comment period for the infamous DOE Furnace Rule ends on Friday, so I have responses and information from AHRI, AGA, and many more “hot furnace” items.

Several important hearings this week, including a House Energy grilling of PHMSA over pipeline issues tomorrow.  That feature new, interim Admin Stacy Cummings and our friend Andy Black of AOPL.  Also tomorrow, the House Resources Committee will host BOEM Director Abby Hopper and others to look at the use of seismic testing to explore for oil and gas deposits in the Outer Continental Shelf.

The House Agriculture Committee will vote tomorrow to advance a controversial bill to block state initiatives to label foods made with genetically modified organisms.  To that end, advocates for national, mandatory labeling including Stonyfield Farms Gary Hirshberg, will host a press call tomorrow at 1:30 PM ET to discuss the latest developments and next steps.  The latest version of this bill would overturn state GMO labeling laws, prevent local government from regulating the production of GMO crops, keep FDA from ever creating a mandatory GMO labeling standard, and create even more consumer confusion around the word “natural” on a food label.  EWG’s Scott Faber is great resource on this topic (202-939-9127).  They have a number of resources and experts who can address both the state labeling issues and other pesticide issues.

Wednesday will also feature a Resources Committee hearing on natgas drilling plans on public land while the Judiciary Committee will host OIRA’s Howard Shelanksi. On Thursday, Shelankski heads to the Senate Govt Affairs/Homeland Security panel on to improve the regulatory process, while two Foreign Affairs subcommittees will review renewal of the U.S.-China civil nuclear agreement.

Finally, start getting your GHG rule things together as there are only four weeks until August recess and we expect they will roll it out before.  And one bit of history:  Yesterday in 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr shot and killed former  Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in one of the most famous duels in American history.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

 

IN THE NEWS

Excising your Right to Vote…for Energy Tech Prize — Voting is underway for the SAFE 2015  Energy Security Prize, which will award a total of $175,000 to companies whose innovations are poised to advance American energy security by helping to end the United States’ dependence on oil. The winner of the 2015 Prize will receive $125,000, the first runner up $35,000 and the second runner up $15,000.  SAFE is imploring the public to cast their votes for one of four semifinalists–FreeWire Technologies, Momentum Dynamics, Peloton Technology, and SeaChange Group—to determine the winners. Vote for your favorite technology here.

AHRI Says Furnace Run Impractical – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) late Friday filed comments in response to the DOE’s rule for Residential FurnacesFor many reasons, AHRI cannot support the proposed revised minimum 92% AFUE standard for non-weatherized and mobile home gas furnaces.  AHRI says the NOPR and associated Technical Support Document has identified significant errors and invalid assumptions that lead us to conclude the proposed standard is not economically justified.  They point to 1) DOE’s decision to use randomly assigned variables rather than actual market conditions to determine potential energy savings will result in 40 percent less energy saved, in our estimation; 2) DOE underestimating projected shipments of condensing furnaces in the absence of a new standard by 10%, while overestimating the percentage of the population that would be positively affected by the proposed new standard; 3) DOE’s estimate of the life-cycle costs to consumers for purchase and installation of these products is 2-3 times lower than what those costs would actually be, based on real-world cost data; 4) DOE’s estimate of the increase in manufacturer costs to comply with the proposed rule is too low by approximately 35%; and 5) In 15-20% of situations nationally, there will be installation issues that make it impractical and even impossible to install units that comply with the proposed standard.

AHRI President Says – “Since the passage of the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987, our furnace manufacturer members have worked continuously to include models at the highest levels of efficiency as part of expanded product lines that provide cost effective choices to meet the diverse heating needs of American consumers,” said AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek.  “Even though the federal minimum efficiency standard for residential furnaces has been essentially unchanged since 1992, today one out of every two residential furnaces shipped by our members is a condensing model utilizing the most efficient technology currently available. It is apparent that consumers are making energy efficient choices, based on their own economic situations, rather than responding to a federal mandate,” he added.

AGA Hits Furnace Rule in Comments – AGA filed comments on DOE’s Furnace rule. The proposed rule would mandate that natural gas furnaces meet a 92 percent or higher specification for energy efficiency. At first glance, the rule appears to be a positive step forward for energy efficiency. In reality, DOE’s proposal would create a number of counterproductive and unintended consequences that could increase energy use.  “Natural gas utilities support energy conservation standards that are technologically feasible, economically justified, based on reasoned analysis and will result in significant conservation of energy as laid out in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act,” said Kathryn Clay, vice president, Policy Strategy for the American Gas Association. “This rule does not meet those standards. Due to flawed analysis and a raft of unintended consequences, this rule, if implemented, would place an undue burden on low-income customers and lead to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions. We have laid out this analysis in detail in our comments submitted today and we urge the Department of Energy to rethink this rulemaking.”  Most furnaces in the U.S. are non-condensing and generally vent through the roof or chimney of a home. Furnaces that meet the 92 percent annual fuel utilization (AFUE) efficiency requirement are condensing furnaces and cannot be connected to the existing venting in a home. They require a new venting system and possible relocation of the equipment. In some homes this is impossible and in others it greatly increases the installation cost of the more energy efficient natural gas heating system options. On average, condensing furnaces cost about $350 more than non-condensing furnaces, along with an additional $1,500 to $2,200 in installation costs.

Complaints About DOE’s Economic Analysis in Rule – Both AGA, APGA and AHRI have complained loudly economic justification and energy savings has significant methodological and data flaws. A corrected analysis shows that a 92 percent AFUE standard is not economically justified and would impose significant costs on American consumers.  DOE’s analysis underestimates the number of consumers that are likely to switch away from natural gas heat and misidentifies which consumers are likely to switch due to the Proposed Rule. These methodological flaws have led DOE to overestimate the benefits, and underestimate the costs, of the proposed standard. Their analysis estimates that its proposed 92 percent AFUE standard would drive 16.3 percent of affected consumers that would otherwise purchase natural a non-condensing gas furnaces to shift to electric heat.  Such fuel switching increases primary energy consumption.  Under DOE’s analysis, the direct energy savings and emission benefits of increased furnace efficiency requirements are offset in very significant part by increased electricity usage from fuel switching caused by the rule.  Moreover, after correcting for DOE’s analytical errors, the proposed standard results in increased source energy use and increased carbon dioxide emissions.  According to DOE’s life-cycle cost analysis, many consumers are worse off under the proposed standard.  DOE projects that the “middle” 41 percent of American consumers would receive no benefit from the proposed standard while 20 percent of households would face higher costs.  In the replacement market, fully one quarter of all households would see a net cost increase. Low-income families and consumers in the Southern U.S. would be the hardest hit, with 39 percent of low-income households in the South bearing higher costs as a direct result of the proposed rule.

The Evidence – A recent study by the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) that provides strong technical analysis and demonstrates that DOE’s economic and energy impact analyses use a materially flawed methodology to estimate the costs and benefits of the proposed standard.  These methodological flaws lead DOE to overestimate benefits, and underestimate the costs, of the proposed standard. GTI also conducted a study in June 2014 to evaluate the potential impact of fuel switching if new minimum efficiency standards for natural gas furnaces were to require condensing equipment in the replacement and new construction markets.

White House Praises Community Solar in Larger Rural Pitch – The White House announced a new initiative to increase solar access for rural America, highlighting a number of state, community and private efforts to expand solar.  One of the items highlighted in the White House materials addressed the more than 30 member-owned, not-for-profit rural electric cooperatives in 17 states across the country are committing to install community solar projects by the end of 2016.  This builds on the nearly 20 co-ops nationally that have already brought online community solar projects in the last year.  One of those key places where community solar is having an impact is in Roanoke County, NC where the co-op lead by Curtis Wynne has been a leader in developing solar options for local members.  See more here.

Senators Introduce Offshore Wind Legislation – Sens. Tom Carper and Susan Collins introduced legislation late last week to provide critical financial incentives to encourage investment in offshore wind energy. This legislation would create an investment tax credit that is redeemable for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind facilities placed into service, amounting to approximately 600 wind turbines.  In the past, Congress has offered a temporary credit for investments in wind power, the last extension of this credit expired December 31, 2014. This credit has been a lifeline to the nascent offshore wind industry, but it has only been extended by periods of one and two years at a time. This leaves the offshore wind industry without the predictability it needs to fully take advantage of the incentive. The Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act would give the industry the certainty needed to plan investments and maximize deployment of this clean power technology.  The legislation defines offshore facilities as any facility located in the inland navigable waters of the United States, including the Great Lakes, or in the coastal waters of the United States, including the territorial seas of the United States, the exclusive economic zone of United States, and the outer Continental Shelf of the United States.

Groups Urges State Commissions to Protect Consumers – The Institute for Energy Research is sending letters to public utility commissions in all 50 states urging them to protect American families from the imprudent costs of the EPA’s so-called “Clean Power Plan.” The letter highlights the findings of IER’s new report on electricity costs. Using data from EIA and FERC, the report finds that existing sources of electricity generation are more affordable than new sources. Electricity from even the least expensive new sources is nearly double the cost of that from existing coal power.  Public utility commissions, which have a responsibility to keep electricity rates affordable, should protect the American people from unnecessary electricity hikes by rejecting policies like the Clean Power Plan.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Senate Energy Discusses on Islanded Energy Systems – The full Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow to receive testimony on islanded energy systems, as well as energy and infrastructure challenges and opportunities in Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. Territories.

Forum to Look at Global Oil Issues – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a forum tomorrow morning global oil issues. The sharp drop in oil prices is one of the most important global economic developments over the past year. While oil’s long term price outlook remains highly uncertain, a substantial part of its decline is expected to persist into the medium term. IMF’s Aasim M. Husain will discuss implications of these developments for the global economy and financial markets, as well as recommended policy responses for key country groups. He will be joined by BP’s Mark Finley and Carnegie’s Uri Dadush to discuss market trends as well as their economic and political implications for oil-exporting and oil-importing countries.

House Energy to Hear PHMSA Chief – The House Energy & Commerce panel on Energy will host Stacy Cummings, the interim head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, at a hearing tomorrow.  The hearing will explore PHMSA’s progress in implementing mandates included in a 2011 pipeline safety law.  Other witnesses will include Carl Weimer of the Pipeline Safety Trust, Santa Barbara planning director Dianne Black and AOPL head Andy Black.

House Resources to Look at Drilling – The House Resources Committee will host BOEM Director Abby Hopper and others tomorrow to look at the use of seismic testing to explore for oil and gas deposits in the Outer Continental Shelf.  The witnesses include BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper and Robert Gisiner, director of marine environment for the International Association of Geophysical Contractors.  Jim White, the president of Houston’s ARKeX Inc., which provides geospatial subsurface data, will also testify, along with Richie Miller, president of Spectrum Geo Inc., another seismic firm servicing the oil and gas industry from Houston.  Douglas Nowacek, a marine conservation professor from Duke University’s schools of engineering and the environment, will round out the panel.

DOE’s Kenderdine to Discuss QER – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host DOE’s Melanie Kenderdine tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to discuss energy security in the first installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER).  The QER focuses on energy infrastructure and identifies the threats, risks, and opportunities for U.S. energy and climate security, enabling the federal government to translate policy goals into a set of integrated actions. This discussion will highlight energy security in the QER, while examining ongoing work in the next installment.

Senate Small Biz to Look at Energy, Manufacturing – The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on the challenges and opportunities for small businesses engaged in energy development and energy intensive manufacturing.  Witnesses will include SOWELA Technical Community College Chancellor Neil Aspinwall, ASE’s Kateri Callahan, Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance CEO Toby Mack and Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen’s Energy Program

EWG’s Faber, Others to Discuss RFS – The DC Bar and the Environmental Law Institute will host a forum tomorrow at Noon looking at the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program.  A panel of distinguished government, private sector and non-profit experts will explore recent developments in RFS. Topics will include an overview of the RFS program, the impact of EPA’s recently proposed 2014 and 2015 RFS production targets, the impact of fraud in the renewables fuel market, the so-called blend wall and legislative developments.  Speakers will Include EWG’s Scott Faber, API’s Erik Baptist and several others.

Forum to Look at China Climate Moves – EESI and the ChinaFAQs Project of the World Resources Institute will hold a briefing tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. looking at China’s actions on climate change and clean energy and U.S.-China cooperation. Now the largest greenhouse gas emitter, and with a fast-growing economy and the world’s largest population, China will play a unique and vital role in the effort to address climate change.  University, government, and business experts will discuss the results of the recent U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, as well as current actions and future prospects for China’s shift to low-carbon energy-including China’s recently announced contribution (“INDC”) to the international climate agreement in Paris this December.  Among the speakers for forum will be the State Department’s David Vance Wagner, China Counsellor at State’s Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change.

USEA Forum Looks at CO2 Storage – The US Energy Association will host a forum on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. looking at recent achievements of monitoring onshore CO2 Storage, as well as the prospects of offshore CCUS in U.S. & China.  The Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC) at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin has been a leader in CCUS research for over a decade.  The GCCC gained extensive experiences in site characterization, project design and execution, and monitoring from several CO2 injection and EOR projects in the Gulf Coast Region. The GCCC has also been studying the prospects of CO2 sequestration and EOR in Texas offshore and recently completed a characterization project for site characterization in Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, a proposal of integrated carbon capture and storage in the offshore Pearl River Mouth Basin in China is recently selected under the framework of US-China Climate Change Working Group. The GCCC, as one of the partners of the project, will provide technical support to the Chinese colleagues. This presentation reports the recent developments on these fronts.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

WCEE Event to Look at Mexico Energy Reforms – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will continue their Lunch & Learn Series on Wednesday July 22nd at Noon looking at Mexico’s energy reforms.  These reforms provide an historic opportunity to revitalize its state-owned energy sector and bolster the overall economy. No Mexican assets will be privatized, but the nation’s vast oil resources, including offshore and unconventional fields, will open to international players. Offshore deep-water areas have generated excitement in the investor community, as has the potential for unconventional development. The electricity sector is also poised for major change, new investment and expansion. The essential elements of the reform will be discussed at this event.

EPA, CHP Groups Hold Webinar – On Wednesday, July 22nd at 2:00 p.m., the EPA CHP Partnership (CHPP) and the CHP Association (CHPA) will co-host a webinar about the LEED® point impact CHP can have on buildings seeking LEED® certification.  CHP, also known as cogeneration, has a long record of providing buildings with reliable electricity, steam, hot water, and cooling with lower cost and emissions than grid-supplied electricity and an on-site boiler. New modular CHP units, absorption chiller improvements, and 3rd party ownership models have also made CHP more viable for a wider array of applications. And, because of its superior energy efficiency and lower energy cost, CHP can earn buildings seeking LEED® certification significant LEED® points.

White House to Hold Rural Council Meeting –The White House Rural Council and USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will hold a meeting on July 24th  focused on advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in rural economies.  The discussion will include a broad range of federal resources that can potentially be leveraged by rural electric cooperatives for energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment as they consider important investment decisions about their generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure.

NatGas Roundtable to Host FERC Chair – Next Tuesday, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host FERC Chairman Norman C. Bay will be the guest speaker at its next luncheon at the University Club

Senate Energy to Look at Nuclear Issues – On August 4th the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle and related legislation.

Forum to Look at Middle East Energy – Atlantic Council will hold a forum on Wednesday, April 22nd at 10:00 a.m. looking at Energy markets in the Middle East.  The event will feature a discussion with Majid Jafar, Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Petroleum, as part of the Global Energy Center’s CEO Series. Mr. Jafar will discuss how conflict and security issues in the Middle East coupled with the low oil price environment have impacted hydrocarbon producing countries in the region.  He will also address the steps that countries like Iraq should take in improving energy infrastructure, tackling subsidies, and reforming oil laws and regulations to improve investment in the oil and gas sector and bolster domestic stability.

Texas EnviroSuperconference Set – The 27th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference will be held on Thursday and Friday – August 6th and 7th  in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel. This year’s theme is clichés and the conference is fittingly entitled “The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread”; each topic has an appropriate cliché assigned to it.   Speakers include, from the federal government, U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General John Cruden, EPA Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg, EPA Principal Deputy Administrator Larry Starfield, and EPA Region 6 Regional Administrator Ron Curry, and, from the state, Bureau of Economic Geology Director Scott Tinker, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Chairman Bryan Shaw and Commissioner Toby Baker, Texas Parks & Wildlife Executive Director Carter Smith, and the Governor’s Senior Legislative Advisor, Ashley Morgan, as well as other distinguished representatives from the public and private sectors, including Ross Ramsey from the Texas Tribune.

CSIS Forum Looks at Russian Gas Exports – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a program to discuss the future of Russian gas exports.  Speakers will include Isabel Gorst, Moscow-based Foreign Correspondent and CSIS expert Ed Chow.

August Recess

GenForum Set For Columbus – ICF International Natural Gas VP Leonard Crook will kick-off the one-day GenForum/POWER-GEN event August 18th on natural gas generation in Columbus, Ohio.  Crook will offer an overview of the recent rise of natural gas-fueled power generation over the years at the expense of coal-fired power plants.  GenForum is organized by PennWell’s GenerationHub. The event is scheduled at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. GenForum leads into PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas conference, scheduled for Aug. 18-to-20 at the same convention center.

 

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.