Energy Update: Week of March 12

Friends,

I always hate losing an hour of sleep when we spring forward.  Props our friend Andy Black who posted a lucid objection on Facebook to changing our clocks twice a year.  We need that extra hour of sleep for March Madness.

Yes, March Madness is here and with yesterday’s selection show now is the time to make your picks. Thursday at Noon is when ALL the action starts.  It is among my favorite times of the year because my office TV will be set for hoops on Thursday at noon.

The play-in games begin tomorrow with Radford taking on LIU-Brooklyn and UCLA playing St Bonaventure.  Wednesday’s play-ins feature Arizona State and Syracuse and NC Central and Texas Southern.  Top seeds are Virginia, Villanova, Kansas and Xavier.

There is real science to picking winners in the pool, but over the years I’ve realized that most of it is just good luck. If you’re looking for some sleepers, here are a few you may want to consider: Providence has been hot lately but is a 10-seed, as is Butler who has made deep runs in past years. San Diego State is solid 11-seed as is Loyola (IL) while a good 12-seed is New Mexico State. You also may want to look at Davidson another 12-seed who has plenty of tourney experience, gets a young/inconsistent Kentucky team and just beat Rhode Island for the A-10 title right here in Capital One Arena.  Also the Bobby Hurley-led Arizona State Sun Devils struggled of late but let off the season with early big wins over #1 seeds Kansas and Xavier and could be a factor.

Some mid-level seeds that you should keep an eye on include last year’s NIT champ Texas Tech, a very good West Virginia team, #7 seed Nevada, a Houston crew that battled for the American Conference title and sleepy but skilled URI crew led by Danny Hurley.

Purdue was on fire down the stretch and Is a #2 and Duke is as solid as ever.  Finally I’d say watch out for Hardy perennials like Arizona, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Michigan State and Michigan.

And don’t sleep on the women’s tourney which will have its selection show tonight. UConn, Baylor, So Carolina, Notre Dame and Mississippi State all in the running.  As well, NCAA Wrestling starts this week as well.  Penn State, Ohio State, Iowa, Missouri and Lehigh among the powerhouses.

Good luck and remember I’m always willing to share your winnings should my suggestions make good.

On to the action in DC.  It is a very busy week on Capitol Hill with a number of key hearings.  Let’s start with Infrastructure as tomorrow a Sen Commerce/Transpo panel hears from state/local highway and municipal officials Wednesday while the full Committee hosts Transpo Secretary Chao and Commerce Secretary Ross on Wednesday.  Also Wednesday, a House Ways & Means panel revisits impacts of the post-tax reform tax extenders and a House Energy panel will discuss legislation addressing cybersecurity and emergency response.  Finally, on Thursday, House Oversight’s energy panel will examine federal permitting processes.  Also several budget hearings this week with Interior Zinke at Senate Energy tomorrow and House Resources on Thursday.  Energy Secretary Perry at House E&W Approps on Thursday and at Senate Transpo Wednesday Afternoon.

The ARPA-E Innovation Summit is at National Harbor starting tomorrow and features the Chamber Global Energy Institute head Karen Harbert hosting a Wednesday Fireside Chat with Perry.  Meanwhile, the National League of Cities is in DC this week for its annual Meeting (infrastructure and environment are definitely on the schedule), as is the National Lt Governors Assn with my colleague Liam Donovan is talking infrastructure on Thursday there.  The Business Council for Sustainable Energy has its annual DC Clean Energy Forum tomorrow featuring FERC’s Rich Glick, EPA’s Bill Wehrum and DOE’s Dan Simmons.   And ACORE holds its renewable energy forum on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

Obviously, the steel tariffs remain a major issue for consuming Industries impacted by the president’s decision. Once again this week, the trade experts at Bracewell are hot on the case. Check out our podcast here on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music which breaks down the details and adds good background info.

As I said last week, the 10th Annual Congressional Hockey Challenge is set for the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Thursday May 15th.  I will be on the ice again this year officiating and I hope you all try to attend for this great cause.  Get Tickets here. If this helps get you there, you should also know that I will be singing Oh Canada.

Remember, Wednesday is Pi Day (for Our Math nerd readers) and Thursday is the Ides of March (for our history buffs).  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We are gravely concerned that significant cuts to, or the elimination of, key clean energy programs at DOE – and across the federal government – could undermine job creation and the goal to modernize the country’s aging energy infrastructure. Therefore, as Congress moves forward with appropriations legislation for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019, we request that you consider the value these programs provide to the reliability and security of the nation’s energy system and to American consumers.”

Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) head Lisa Jacobson in a letter to House Appropriators urging support for federal Clean Energy Programs.

ON THE POD

Bracewell Podcast Focuses on Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast is live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  My Colleague Liam Donovan takes the driver’s seat to interview Bracewell trade expert Josh Zive on the proclamations released by the Administration for steel and aluminum tariffs. We explore exactly what these proclamations say, what they mean for international relations and the American economy, and how they will impact domestic businesses.

STEEL, ALUMINUM TARIFFS Q&A

My colleagues Josh Zive (202-828-5838) and Paul Nathanson (202-828-1714) drafted this Steel/Aluminum tariffs Q&A that I wanted to forward.  Both have been working these issues for years and can be helpful should you have additional questions or need additional background.  President Trump issued formal proclamations announcing new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum late last week.  The tariffs – 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum – represent a significant change in U.S. trade policy. They will likely result in higher prices for all steel, and are expected to trigger a series of WTO complaints and retaliatory actions by U.S. trading partners.  The proclamations mark the start of the next phase of the fight over tariffs. Companies who use steel, regardless of the steel’s origin, need to prepare to engage in the debate.

BACKGROUND – On April 27, 2017, President Trump directed the Department of Commerce to undertake an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 in order to determine the national security implications of steel and aluminum imports.  In January, the Department of Commerce, submitted reports to President Trump detailing its findings that steel and aluminum imports threaten our national security. The steel report can be found here and the aluminum report here. Commerce recommended a global steel tariff of at least 24% and a global aluminum tariff of 7.7%. President Trump was given 90 days after receiving the reports to decide on “any potential action.”

On March 1, 2018, the President stated that the U.S. will impose a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum. This statement, which came during a press conference, was not accompanied by any documentation or guidance. The formal proclamation of the tariffs issued yesterday, March 8, 2018, is very important as it provides the first meaningful guidance of the details of the tariffs.

TARIFF PROCLAMATIONS Q&A – The two proclamations signed by President Trump include some important details for companies that are concerned about the impact of the tariffs on their business operations.

Q: What tariff rates did the President announce?

A: 25% on all imported steel and 10% on all imported aluminum.

Q: When do the tariffs take effect?

A: The tariffs will apply to all goods entered into the U.S. on or after 12:01 am eastern time on March 23, 2018.

Q: Does this rate apply to imported steel from all countries?

A: Yes, other than Canada and Mexico.

Q: Canada and Mexico are exempted from the tariff? Why and for how long?

A: Both countries are exempted because they present “a special case” and “the necessary and appropriate means to address the threat to the national security posed by imports of steel articles from Canada and Mexico is to continue ongoing discussions with these countries.”  The exemption is indefinite.

Q: Can other countries request exemptions?

A: Yes, the proclamations provide that other countries are invited to negotiate with the U.S. to craft alternative solutions, and if such a solution is agreed to, the President can lift the tariffs. However, the proclamations establish no process for such negotiations, and it is not clear how such negotiations will proceed.

Q: To what specific products do the new tariffs apply?

A: Steel: Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes 7206.10-7216.50, 7216.99-7301.10, 7302.10, 7302.40-7302.90, and 7304.10-7306.90. (Steel Chapter of HTS) Aluminum: (a) unwrought aluminum (HTS 7601); (b) aluminum bars, rods, and profiles (HTS 7604); (c) aluminum wire (HTS 7605); (d) aluminum plate, sheet, strip, and foil (flat rolled products) (HTS 7606 and 7607); (e) aluminum tubes and pipes and tube and pipe fitting (HTS 7608 and 7609); and (f) aluminum castings and forgings (HTS 7616.99.51.60 and 7616.99.51.70). (Aluminum Chapter of HTS).

Q: Can other products be excluded from the tariffs in the future?

A: Yes. The proclamations require the Secretary of Commerce to issue procedures for requests for product exclusions within the next 10 days. In order to be excluded, the proclamations state that the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Defense must determine, in coordination with White House officials, that a product is not produced in the U.S. in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or of a satisfactory quality. After making such a determination, which will typically include an opportunity for other stakeholders to comment, the exclusion is published in the Federal Register and takes effect.

This is a complex process that will require that applicants for exclusions engage in a mix of legal, policy, and public advocacy in order to successfully make their case.

Q: Are the tariffs subject to review by U.S. courts or the World Trade Organization (WTO)?

A: Yes. U.S. courts will surely hear challenges to the tariffs after they have been levied against imported steel and aluminum products. However, these challenges are likely to take years to make their way through the court system, and the President is normally given wide latitude to shape national security and foreign policy. The WTO is a different matter, however. While the WTO does not have the power to overturn and nullify the tariffs, if the WTO finds that the tariffs are not consistent with U.S. obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the President refuses to revise the tariffs, the WTO could allow complaining countries to levy costly retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. This was the outcome when the Bush Administration imposed tariffs on steel in 2002. The WTO complaint process can take years to become final, although the economic and diplomatic uncertainty surrounding the process often leads to early settlements between countries.

Q: This is bad for my company, what can I do?

A: Yes, and there is little time to waste. Concerned companies need to begin developing and executing an advocacy campaign that educates the public about the harms of these tariffs (specifically as related to employment or ongoing business operations) and making outreach to key Legislative and Executive branch officials who have a stake in the health of the companies.

Specifically, the exclusion process will provide opportunities for companies to have specific steel and aluminum products excluded from the tariffs. However, in order to effectively pursue such exclusions, companies need to begin building their cases now. This means:

    • Collecting data on the steel aluminum products the companies utilize, and the countries of origin of the products;
    • Analyzing the domestic availability and prices for replacement materials;
    • Developing arguments about the economic or national security harms that would occur if products were not available or affordable; and
    • Identifying the threat that the tariffs pose to a company’s ability to compete or survive.

IN THE NEWS

Powell Details Need for CleanTech “Moonshot” – China is way ahead in the race to commercialize and export clean energy technologies.  In his latest video, ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell explains why “moonshot” clean energy technology goals would allow the U.S. to catch up with China by focusing Department of Energy priorities and resources on the biggest breakthroughs in advanced nuclear, carbon capture, grid-scale storage, solar and other advanced technologies. Watch Rich – in less than four minutes – sum up his recent appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee with the help of ClearPath graphics wizard Mitch Kersey. The optimistic takeaway message: While the U.S. may not be able to compete with China in cranes and concrete, setting moonshot energy technology goals can help ensure U.S. leadership in innovation and deployment.

CRA Report Details RFS Change – The Fueling American Jobs Coalition released a Charles River Associates (CRA) study that concludes that a price containment mechanism, like a cap or a credit waiver, would not undermine the integrity of the RINs trading system nor would it depress blending rates of ethanol.  Instead, it would improve the performance of the RFS and better achieve its goals.  Unlike other recent reports, the CRA study is firmly grounded in recent historical evidence that shows no correlation between high RINs prices and any stimulus for increased blending.  Further, cost containment mechanisms are successfully used in Renewable Portfolio Standards, various carbon policies, and in California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard – without damage to trading integrity or reductions in desired outcome.  Only CRA evaluates RINs cost containment in comparison to other similar case studies in the same and other energy sectors.

BCSE Urges Support for Clean Energy Programs – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy released a letter to House Appropriators to support critical clean energy programs in the Department of Energy (DOE) Offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fossil Energy (FE), Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (EDER), Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and other essential DOE programs. These programs continue to provide value to American consumers and business. Continued investment in energy research development and deployment is needed to increase the efficiency of our energy generation and use, and to spur new innovations.

Senate Energy Approves Nuclear Legislation – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved a bill that would push the US to advance nuclear power. The committee forwarded to the full Senate the Advanced Nuclear Energy Technologies Act (S. 1457) from Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), which sets a goal by 2028 for demonstrating at least four new advanced reactor designs. The committee also approved House Science and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith’s bipartisan Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act (H.R. 589), a bill House lawmakers passed early last year that provides longer term certainty for the Office of Science’s energy innovation hubs and modernizes the national laboratory system and promotes the transfer of federal research to the private sector in order to bring innovative ideas to the commercial marketplace.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

AFPM Annual Meeting Set for New Orleans – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers will hold its 2018 annual meeting in New Orleans today and tomorrow at the Hilton Riverside.  The meeting is the world’s premier refining meeting, assembling key executives, decision-makers, and technical experts from refining businesses, technology providers, contracting and consulting firms, and equipment manufacturers around the world. It will address current issues of importance to the industry, including industry and community impacts of the 2017 hurricane season. The breakout sessions will feature presentations and panels on process safety, key regulatory issues, innovation, workforce development, economic/commercial issues, the use of big data and emerging technologies.  Speakers include former Tonight Show host Jay Leno, NFL CMO Dawn Hudson, political analyst Charlie Cook Koch CEO Brad Razook and GM’s Dan Nicholson.

Cities to Hear from Scott, Booker – The National League of Cities holds its annual Congressional City Conference at the Marriott Wardman Park today through Wednesday.   Numerous panels will discuss subjects from opioids to environment to infrastructure. On Wednesday Morning in CVC 217 on Capitol Hill, Pew Charitable Trusts will join NLC for a breakfast briefing to call attention to the need for Congress and the Administration to focus on flood-ready infrastructure. Local and federal elected officials will discuss how making communities more resilient to extreme weather will help protect people and property, reduce future risk, and save taxpayer dollars.  Elizabeth Esty and John Katko will be on the panel.

Forum to Look at Pipeline – The Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center and Global Energy Center will hold a debate today at 2:00 p.m. looking at the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and its potential implications for the United States and its European allies. Panels I and II will debate the different views on the pipeline from the United States and Europe and address the impact of Nord Stream 2 on European energy security, the political and economic questions associated with the pipeline, and the effects of the pipeline on transit countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

JHU to Host Discussion on Renewables – The Johns Hopkins University SAIS program holds a discussion today at 5:00 p.m. on the politics of a global energy transition to renewables. A new book — presented by Professor Johannes Urpelainen — will offer a comprehensive political analysis of the rapid growth in renewable wind and solar power, mapping an energy transition through theory, case studies, and policy analysis.

Perry, Harbert Headline ARPA-E Summit – The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit will be held tomorrow through Thursday at is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its ninth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute head Karen Harbert will conduct a Fireside Chat with Energy Secretary Perry on Wednesday.  Other main speakers include DOE’s Paul Dabbar, BPC’s Jason Grumet, SAFE’s autonomous vehicle expert Amitai Bin-Nun and Siemens Global Power CEO Tim Holt.

NRC to Host Reg Info Conference – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission holds its 30th annual Regulatory Information Conference on NRC HQ in North Bethesda, Md.

BSCE Holds Clean Energy Forum – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy holds its 2018 Clean Energy Forum tomorrow in the Capitol Visitor Center, Senate Rooms 208-209.  The event is closed to press but will include remarks from FERC’s Rich Glick, EPA’s Bill Wehrum and DOE’s Dan Simmons, among others.

Forum to Look at CCS – The Global CCS Institute holds its 7th Annual DC Forum on CCS tomorrow in the Ronald Reagan Building’s Polaris Room at 8:30 a.m.  The event is a lively discussion of the key questions that clean energy and CCS advocates are focused on, including 45Q impact, private sector investment, future government support and key audiences for advocacy efforts. Speakers include ClearPath’s Rich Powell, Global CCS Institute CEO Brad Page, WRI’s Andrew Steer, former Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy David Mohler, ADM’s Scott McDonald, Kurt Walzer of the Clean Air Task Force, House Energy Committee former Chief Counsel Tom Hassenboehler and former DOE official Daniel Richter.

Senate Energy Takes Up Interior Budget – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the president’s proposed fiscal 2019 budget for the Interior Department.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil – Next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and Global Energy Center for a timely conversation on the downfall of Venezuela’s oil sector and what may be in store in the future.  Speakers will include former State Dept official David Goldwyn, Atlantic Council Author Francisco Monaldi and Jason Marczak, Director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

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

Zinke to Discuss Budget – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources holds a hearing tomorrow on the administration’s FY 2019 budget request for Interior.  The hearing will feature Secretary Zinke.

Forum to Look at Self-Driving Cars – New America’s Future Tense, transportation planners from Phoenix and Pittsburgh, representatives from Waymo, Lyft, Intel, and Toyota, and leading academic researchers will hold a discussion tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to Look at the technological revolution of self-driving cars beginning to unfold on city streets.

WRI Stories to Watch Released – Tomorrow at 12:15 at JHU, experts from World Resources Institute look at trends, political dynamics, data and innovations that will shape environment, economy and international development for the coming year. Michael Oko will share insights into the big stories and global trends shaping the world. In this turbulent political time, he will explore issues related to climate change, energy markets, water, security issues, technology, and more.

Senate Panel to Look at Infrastructure – The Senate Commerce Committee’s Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security Subcommittee hearing is holding a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in 253 Russell on infrastructure.  Witnesses include Kyle Schneweis of the Nebraska Department of Transportation, Dan Gilmartin of the Michigan Municipal League, Jordan Kass of C.H. Robinson and Jo Strang of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.

RFF to Host NatGas Event – Resources for The Future holds a forum tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. to discuss a new study by RFF Senior Fellows Joshua Linn and Richard Morgenstern  that finds the dramatic decline in US shale gas prices increased employment in manufacturing and energy-intensive industries much less than previously thought.   RFF hosts a discussion of the study’s results, featuring comments from industry, environmental, and academic perspectives.

Algae, CCS Forum Set – Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., U.S. Energy Association hosts a presentation on algae’s role in successful CO2 mitigation campaign.   Heralded by proponents, dismissed by naysayers, algae may not cure our carbon conundrum but could be a key enabler for carbon capture and use (CCU). Algae Biomass Organization Executive Director Matt Carr addresses the topic.

Solar Operations Conference Set – The Solar Asset Management North America forum will be held in San Francisco tomorrow and Wednesday. The event is the leading conference focused on the operational phase of solar plants and portfolios. The recommendations on the Section 201 solar trade case as well as the new tax provisions will also affect the existing assets, budgets and O&M. The conference aims to fully assess and quantify the impact on the future of the solar industry.

NOAA Comms Director Heads EnvirorunEnvirorun hosts David Herring, director of communications and education at NOAA’s Climate Program Office tomorrow at 6:00 p.m.  Starting this month, the Speaker Series will be taking place at WeWork K Street and will feature a new route and the run starting at 6 p.m. and speaker at 7 p.m.  Envirorun will meet at WeWork K Street before going out on the fun run. There will be a place to store bags while runners are on the trails. After the run, we will return to the venue for networking and hear from the speaker at 7:00 pm. Non-runners welcome to join.

LGs Meet in DC – The National Lt. Governors Assn will hold its 2018 Federal-State Relations Meeting in Washington DC at the Palomar Hotel.  Among the speakers will be Second Lady Karen Pence, USDA’s Steve Censky, White House Infrastructure official DJ Gribbin and my Bracewell tax expert colleague Liam Donovan are among the speakers.

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

Senate to hear Cabinet Officials on Infrastructure – The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a full committee hearing on infrastructure Wednesday featuring Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue.

House Energy to Look at Cyber, Emergency Response – The House Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to explore DOE modernization legislation addressing cybersecurity and emergency response. Witnesses include DOE’s Mark Menezes and Patricia Hoffman, as well as EEI’s Scott Aaronson, Dominion’s Mark Engel, Tristan Vance of Indiana’s Office of Energy Development, Zachary Tudor of the Idaho National Lab and NEMA’s Kyle Pitsor.

House Tax Panel to Review Extenders – The House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the post-Tax Reform evaluation of recently expired tax provisions.  BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson will be among those testifying.

House Science to Look at National Labs – The House Science Committee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at national laboratories innovations in science.

Zinke to Headline Forum – Faegre Baker Daniels will host its 5th annual Energy and Environmental Symposium at the National Press Club on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. This year’s event will examine the relationship between the energy industry and infrastructure, including potential environmental issues.  Speakers will include Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Rep. Bill Shuster and CEQ’s Alex Herrgott.

CSIS to Talk Electricity Markets, Conflicts – On Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Dr. Brian Ó Gallachóir (University College Cork) and Dr. Morgan Brazilian (Colorado School of Mines) for a presentation on electricity market and infrastructure developments in conflict zones with particular focus on power sector development in the wake of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. Sarah Ladislaw (CSIS) will moderate the discussion.

FERC Monthly Meeting Target Tax Reform Legislation – On Thursday, FERC hold Its monthly meeting to consider the effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on rates subject to its oversight. The agency will also review its policy for the recovery of income tax costs.

Shimkus to Headline Oil Forum – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. on strategic oil product stockholding.  Speakers will include Rep. John Shimkus, AFPM’s Susan Grissom and former Energy Dept official Melanie Kenderdine.

House Approps Panel to Review DOE Budget – The House Appropriations Energy-Water Subcommittee holds a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. reviewing the fiscal 2019 Energy Department budget.  Sect Perry will testify.

Tillerson Heads to Senate FR – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the State Department budget is Thursday in 419 Dirksen.  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testifies.

House Resources Committee to Host Zinke – The House Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to review the fiscal 2019 Interior Department budget.  Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will testify.

House Oversight Energy Panel Looks at Permit Process – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment will convene a hearing Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to examine Federal permitting processes.

GW to Look at Public Trust Doctrine – The George Washington University Law School symposium Thursday and Friday on the role of Public Trust Doctrine including climate, water resources and state constitutions.  Our Bracewell colleague (also of the U of Houston Law School is among the presenters.

Forum on New Solar Book – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program hosts a discussion on ‘Taming the Sun,’ the new book by Dr. Varun Sivaram, Philip D. Reed fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Sivaram will discuss the financial, technological and systematic innovation required to maximize solar power utilization and highlight the need for a creative public policy framework, and comprehensive energy market restructuring, to create a more effective clean energy portfolio and establish solar energy as the cornerstone of the global energy revolution.

Forum Looks at Budget Impacts on Climate, Enviro Research – The Novim Group, in partnership with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, holds a briefing on Friday at 2:00 p.m. discussing a new report on the environmental and societal impacts of the Administration’s proposed climate and environmental research program cuts for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The briefing’s speakers, who helped author the Novim report, will give an overview of its findings and conclusions. Speakers for this forum are Michael Ditmore and Ari Patrinos of Novim as well as Kei Koizumi American Association for the Advancement of Science.

IN THE FUTURE

World Water Forum Set – The 8th World Water Forum will be in Brasilia, Brazil on March 18 to 23.

HVAC Industry to Hold Session at Canadian Forum – AHRI will host two educational sessions at the Canadian Mechanical & Plumbing Exposition (CMPX), taking place March 21-23 in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  On Wednesday, March 21st at 2:00 p.m., Associate Certification Engineer David Noyes will host a one-hour session on heating product certification programs. Certification Engineer Caroline M. Henley will follow for a session on AHRI’s variable refrigerant flow standard and certification program.

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

Forum to Look at China Energy Ambitions – On Thursday, March 22nd at 9:00 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum will be hosting speakers to discuss the trend lines of China’s coal and nuclear power domestically and along the Belt and Road. Thomas Rawski (University of Pittsburgh) will provide a snapshot of current efforts to reform domestic energy structures and electricity pricing, and how these changes may affect domestic and overseas investment in coal and nuclear power. Ravi Madhavan (University of Pittsburgh) will discuss the state-owned enterprise landscape that dominates nuclear power development in China and how they are making inroads into overseas markets, including Pakistan, Argentina, and the UK. Erica Downs, a senior research scientist in the China Studies division of the CNA Corporation will take us further along the Belt and Road, looking at some of the broader drivers of China’s financing and building of power plants abroad.

WCEE Forum to Look at AVs – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a brown bag lunch on Thursday March 22nd at Noon to hear from Ellen Partridge, Senior Law Fellow at the Environmental Law and Policy Center; Kelley Coyner, Senior Fellow at the Center for Regional Analysis and Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University; and Fred Wagner, partner at Venable, as they share with us their knowledge of AV’s and the impacts AV’s will have on the natural and human environment, energy consumption, and the transportation landscape generally.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of March 5

Friends,

Oscar Sunday went off without a big hitch. Big Winners included Guillermo del Toro, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Gary Oldmam.  More importantly, the Oscars ceremony signals that March Madness is upon us. Murray State was the first team to punch their ticket to the NCAA tourney with the Ohio Valley Conference Championship on Saturday. All this week teams will vie for their conference championships and a spot in the big dance. Start digging in the metrics now…pool advice comes next week after the NCAA selection show Sunday at 6 p.m.

It’s also March Madness in the energy industry this week with CERAWeek. Many of the energy industries biggest political and business titans convene on Houston to discuss the state of policy and the impact of politics on the energy biz.  Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan kicked off the action today, tomorrow morning PBF CEO Tom Nimbly joins OPIS expert Tom Kloza and Sheetz CEO Mike Lorenz to discuss refining and Wednesday Energy Secretary Rick Perry hosts his Mexican and Canadian counterparts in an energy discussion which is certain to touch tariffs and NAFTA.  You can check the full line up here.

Speaking of NAFTA and the Steel tariffs, I have included a new report on potential job losses.  As well, our Bracewell policy experts are covering this issues very closely and are available to speak on background and on the record. For a great primer on the topic, tune into Bracewell’s Podcast where Paul Nathanson and Josh Zive break down the context and history of the proposed tariffs and the President’s tweeted claims that trade wars are “easy to win.”  You can listen on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.

Back in Washington the action doesn’t stop. After last week’s White House meetings on the RFS, union refinery workers from 11 states will pour into the Capitol to urge Congress to help protect their jobs. They will discuss the urgent need for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) reform with legislators.

In other congressional action, energy bills to improve energy efficiency and block brick kiln regulations are expected on the House Floor.  Tomorrow, Senate Energy looks at USGS nominee James Reilly, House Oversight looks at the Army Corps and House Science takes on the future of fusion energy. On Wednesday, House Energy looks at the future of transportation fuels and vehicles and House Small Business looks at Reg Reform.

Off the Hill, Third Way hosts an advanced Nuclear forum tomorrow, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum hosts a grid resiliency policy roundtable Wednesday, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center hosts a conversation with Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes Thursday morning and on Friday, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and EESI hosts a lunch briefing focused on the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.

Finally, the 10th Annual Congressional Hockey Challenge is set for the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Thursday May 15th.  I will be on the ice again this year officiating and I hope you all try to attend for this great cause.  Get Tickets here.  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“I think it’s going to surprise people how quickly a lot of companies move. What we’ve announced is substantially higher than what the Clean Power Plan would have required, and I think you’re going to see numerous other companies end up in that same place.”

Gerry Anderson, DTE Energy’s chairman and CEO, discussing the swiftness with which power companies will cut carbon emissions.

ON THE POD

Bracewell Pod Focuses on Trade – The latest Bracewell podcast is live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  The podcast addresses the tumultuous past 24 hours of on-again-off-again steel and aluminum tariff announcements from the Administration. We break down the context and history of the proposed tariffs and the President’s tweeted claims that trade wars are “easy to win.

IN THE NEWS

Steel, Aluminum Tariffs Announced – During a meeting with Steel and Aluminum executive, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he will impose tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports into the US for an unlimited time frame.

User Groups Raise ConcernsRoy Hardy, President of the Precision Metalforming Association, and Dave Tilstone, President of the National Tooling and Machining Association said the steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imperils the U.S. manufacturing sector, and particularly downstream U.S. steel and aluminum consuming companies, who alone employ 6.5 million Americans compared to the 80,000 employed by the domestic steel industry.  “The tariffs will lead to the U.S. once again becoming an island of high steel prices resulting in our customers simply importing the finished part.  The lost business to overseas competitors will threaten thousands of jobs across the United States in the steel consuming manufacturing sector, similar to our experience in 2002 when the U.S. last imposed tariffs on steel imports.  Those “201” steel tariffs resulted in the loss of 200,000 American manufacturing jobs (more than employed by the entire domestic steel industry) because of high steel prices due in large part to the tariffs.  President Trump campaigned on the promise to protect manufacturing jobs but by ignoring warnings from a wide range of manufacturers, his plan to impose tariffs will cost manufacturing jobs across the country.  Our associations plan to work to end these tariffs as soon as possible so that he fulfills that commitment.”

HVAC Manufacturers Worry as Well – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), which represents manufacturers of heating, air conditioning, commercial refrigeration, and water heating products and equipment, said it was disappointed in the decision.  As it made clear in letters to the President and to Commerce Secretary Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer, AHRI does not support additional tariffs on steel and aluminum due to their impact on manufacturers and consumers.  “As major users of steel and aluminum, we have been proactive in explaining to the administration that the HVACR and water heating industry would be negatively impacted by an increase in tariffs, as would the consumers that rely on the products we manufacture,” said AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek.  “While we have been pleased with the Trump Administration’s enthusiastic support for manufacturing, we believe this step to be injurious, rather than helpful, to our efforts to increase American manufacturing and create jobs.”

Study:  Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Will cost 179,000 Jobs – A New Report by economists Laura Baughman and Joe Francois at The Trade Partnership.  We are working closely with them and our cooperation goes back to the 201 steel tariffs – they were authors of the 2003 study on 201 steel tariff jobs losses still cited to this day.  In brief, the new report  “Does Import Protection Save Jobs?” finds:

  • Short term, the tariffs would increase U.S. iron and steel and non-ferrous metals (primarily aluminum) employment by 33,464 jobs, but cost 179,334 jobs throughout the rest of the economy, for a net loss of nearly 146,000 jobs;
  • More than five jobs would be lost for every one gained;
  • Job losses in other manufacturing sectors  (-36,076) would cancel out the job gains in the steel- and aluminum producing sectors, with particularly large “hits” to workers in the fabricated metals sector (-12,800), motor vehicles and parts (-5,052), and other transportation equipment (-2,180);
  • Two thirds of the lost jobs affect workers in production and low-skill jobs.

The results are detailed in the report by sector.  The full report can be found here.

NOLA, NYT Join for Report on Gulf Coast – Last year, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune and The New York Times agreed to collaborate to bring attention to the impact of climate change on land loss in one of the country’s most vulnerable and vital regions.  The result was a collaboration released last week called “Our Drowning Coast,” a special report about the ecological crisis facing our vanishing coast and the people who live there, is the product of an unusual partnership between two news organizations, one local and one national. The approach made sense because the future of the state’s coast, which is critical to the energyseafood and shipping sectors, should be of great concern to those who live here as well as to those who merely benefit from its bounty. The result is this special project of articles, photos, videos and graphic illustrations, 10 months in the making, timed to coincide with this year’s tricentennial of New Orleans. The lead article tells the story of the intrepid mayor of Jean Lafitte, who is fighting to save his town from encroaching seas. Another examines the expenditure of billions of dollars to repair and improve the New Orleans levee system after Hurricane Katrina, and questions whether it is enough to protect the city through its next 100 years. A third looks at the latest threat to Louisiana’s coast, an aphid-like insect that, along with nutria and feral hogs, is destroying the vegetation essential to keeping the wetlands from dissolving.  Our friend Mark Schleifstein coordinated the reporting.

Report: Future Battery Costs Reduced by Components – A new report from GTM Research, “U.S. Front-of-the-Meter Energy Storage System Prices, 2018-2022” shows that while declines in battery prices between 2012 and 2016 helped to drive a 63% percent reduction in system costs, battery price declines will taper off and future changes in system prices will be driven by other component cost declines.  Standardization of system design and engineering, and competitive markets will all continue to bring down storage BOS hardware costs as well as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) expenses. New system architectures and inverter selections will also impact the final cost of energy storage systems in the future. This new GTM Research report touches on all these components and uses a bottom-up methodology to track, model and report on energy storage system prices. The full report, available to purchase here, includes both an in-depth analysis of the data and a cost model.

BPC Report Examines Power Sector Resilience in Wake of FERC Decision – Following the decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in January to end consideration of the proposed grid resiliency pricing rule, a new Bipartisan Policy Center primer seeks to provide a high-level introduction to the concept of power sector resilience.  The paper highlights what research has been done on the topic as well as key areas where more work is needed. This includes a discussion of how resilience is defined and measured; what threats the power system should be resilient to; how this term is related to, but distinct from, reliability; and what organizations are working to better define and measure resilience.  These issues and questions will be key ahead of FERC’s March 9 deadline for regional transmission organizations and independent system operators to answer questions about resilience in their geographic footprints.

Report on Russian Sanctions Impact on Energy – The Atlantic Council released its latest report: “Impact of Sanctions on Russia’s Energy Sector” late last week.  In this new report, Global Energy Center Non-Resident Senior Fellow Bud Coote addresses: the impact of US and European Union sanctions on Russia’s energy sector, Moscow’s strategy and actions to deal with energy-related sanctions, the geopolitical and other implications of Russia’s ability to cope with these sanctions.  Coote’s analysis highlights how Moscow has managed to successfully pursue its energy goals, despite the broader negative impact of sanctions on other areas of the Russian economy.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

CERAWEEK Set for Houston CERAWEEK’s 2018 conference will be held in Houston from March 5-9th at the Hilton Americas.  Speakers this year include Interior Secratery Zinke, Energy Secretary Perry (who will also host a discussion with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts), OPEC SG Mohammad Barkindo, GM’s Mary Berra, BP’s Bob Dudley, IAE’s Fatih Birol, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, Exelon’s Chris Crane, Energy Transfer’s Kelsey Warren, Paul Spencer of the Clean Energy Collective, Sunnova’s John Berger, and many, many more.

NAS to Look at Carbon Waste Streams – The National Academy of Sciences’ Division on Earth and Life Studies and Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences will host a three-day meeting today, tomorrow and Wednesday on developing a research agenda for utilization of gaseous carbon waste streams.

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

Wind Forum Set – The Business Network for Offshore Wind hold a forum tomorrow at the Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport Hotel.  The forum will look at the regional offshore wind market, discuss opportunities for US developers and Tier 1 and 2 supplier, and listen to available State resources.  Speakers include MEA’s Mary Beth Tung, BOEM’s Daryl Francois and our friends Clint Plummer of Deepwater Wind and Raul Rich of US Wind.

Steelworkers Headed to DC to Talk RFS – The United Steelworkers (USW) will bring 30 workers from over a dozen independent merchant oil refineries in 11 states to Washington, D.C., to save their jobs tomorrow and Wednesday. They will discuss the urgent need for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) reform with legislators.  Union members will meet with senators and representatives on Tuesday, March 6, and Wednesday, March 7, to raise awareness about how the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) use of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) to track RFS compliance threatens thousands of family-supporting, community-sustaining jobs across the country. USW National Oil Bargaining Chairman Kim Nibarger, who will be in Washington for the meetings, said that refiners currently are forced to purchase RINs at artificially inflated prices because they lack the size and infrastructure to blend ethanol into their gasoline. The fly-in will feature workers from the Philadelphia Energy Solutions and Monroe Energy refineries near Philadelphia, as well as PBF Energy refineries in Torrance, Calif.; Delaware City, Del.; Paulsboro, N.J.; Chalmette, La.; and Toledo, Ohio; HollyFrontier refineries in El Dorado, Kan.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; and Salt Lake City and Valero refineries in Meraux, La.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Dumas and Port Arthur, Texas.

Senate To Hear USGS Nominee – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the nomination of James Reilly to be director of the U.S. Geological Survey.

House Oversight Look at Corps – The House Oversight Interior-Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow on examining the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

House Science Look at Fusion Energy – The House Science Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow looking at the future of U.S. fusion energy research. Among those testifying includes Bernard Bigot, director-general, International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor; James Van Dam, DOE’s acting associate director of the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences; Mickey Wade, director of advanced fusion systems at General Atomics; and Mark Herrmann, director of the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Forum to Look at Great Lakes Water Issues – The U.S. Water Alliance and Northeast-Midwest Institute hold briefing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on water-related challenges in the Great Lakes region.  The event will showcase top utility, community, and philanthropic leaders discussing the latest innovations from the Great Lakes region that are forging progress in providing access to affordable and safe water and wastewater services, and how cross-sector partnerships are driving revitalization, job growth, and economic development.  Speakers will include SeMia Bray of Emerald Cities Cleveland, Elizabeth Cisar of the Joyce Foundation, Josina Morita of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and Kevin Shafer of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Forum to Look at Water Infrastructure – The World Water Council holds webinar at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow on water infrastructure and other water-related issues.

Forum to Look at Climate Risks – EESI and Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) hold a briefing tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. to explore the climate risks facing the U.S. real estate sector, as well as policy solutions and innovations to help protect this crucial piece of the American economy. Given the economic activity and investment tied to the buildings sector, its long-term health will depend on the capacity of public officials, insurance agencies, and property managers to adapt to climate change risks.  The discussion on ways the public and private sectors can collaborate to develop the policy tools necessary to safeguard America’s buildings and homes from future natural disasters.  Congressional Speakers include Reps. Charlie Crist and Lee Zeldin, with panel speakers St. Petersburg FL City Council Member And Realtor Brandi Gabbard, Ryan Colker of the National Institute of Building Sciences and John Miller of the New Jersey Association of Floodplain Management.

Transmission Forum Set – Infocast’s 21st annual Transmission Summit East will be held on Wednesday  through Friday to discuss the latest transmission business strategies and the changing policy landscape.  More than 20 interactive panels and presentations will address topics including the new FERC Commission’s impacts on Transmission, new FERC ROE frameworks affecting project economics and financing, resiliency, renewables growth and grid modernization needs and co-opting generation and transmission.  Speakers include Clean Line’s Michael Skelly, Southern Transmission’s John Lucas, PJM’s Paul McGlynn and many others.

Forum to Look at Grid Resiliency – The Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum hosts a grid resiliency policy roundtable on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m.

Forum to Look at Climate Conflict Issues – On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a forum on the long-term trends toward a warming climate, economic and social discontent.  In-depth research projects conducted by the Peace Research Institute Oslo identify how the effects of climate change interact with fragility to shape conflict trends.  The panel will discuss ways in which these climate-conflict insights could improve policies and programs in defense, diplomacy, and development.  Panelists include USAID’s Cynthia Brady, Joshua Busby of UT-Austin and former U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Environmental Security) Sherri Goodman.

House Energy Looks at Transportation Fuels, Vehicles – The House Energy & Commerce Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday looking at the future of transportation fuels and vehicles. Witnesses will include EIA’s John Maples, NREL’s John Farrell, RFF’s Joshua Linn, Jeremy Martin of the Union of Concerned Scientists and John Eichberger of the Fuels Institute.

House Small Biz Look at Reg Reform – The House Small Business Committee hold a hearing on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. to examine how regulatory reform efforts by President Trump and Congress affect small firms. Witnesses include NFIB’s Karen Harned, NAM’s Patrick Hedren, NAHB’s Randy Noel and former EPA official and Georgetown professor Lisa Heinzerling.

Energy Efficiency Day Set – On Wednesday afternoon, the Alliance to Save holds Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) on Capitol Hill at the American Trucking Assn. Each year the event draws stakeholders from business, industry, government and academia to offer their unique industry perspectives.  This year GEED will explore the revolution underway in the energy and transportation sectors and the foundational roles  of energy efficiency and public policy as change agents driving this new future.  Industry executives will kick GEED off with a look at the key technologies, policies, and stakeholders driving disruption in the automotive and utility sectors, with a focus on opportunities to advance energy efficiency. Two responsive roundtables will follow, diving deeper into the role of federal policy in adopting a systems approach to energy efficiency and addressing the evolving transportation sector.

Youth Nuclear Issues Discussion – The Department of Energy (Office of Nuclear Energy) and the Nuclear Energy Institute will hold another Millennial Nuclear Caucus on Wednesday evening.  The forum encourages all young people interested in nuclear energy, advanced science and technology solutions, or the future of clean energy to attend and join in the conversation. We all have a stake in the future of nuclear.

Norway Ambassador to Talk Energy – On Thursday  morning at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and the Norwegian Embassy will hold a wide-ranging conversation with Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes about current trends in the Norwegian oil and gas sector. Norway is a major offshore oil and gas producer, producing about 2 million barrels of oil per day and exporting a record 122 billion cubic meters of natural gas during 2017.

Conservative Groups Look at Clean Energy – On Thursday at Noon, the R Street Institute, Texas Clean Energy Coalition (TCEC) and The American Conservative will host a forum in 2045 Rayburn at Noon for a discussion of how these trends are playing out in the Texas electric market, how conservative leaders are embracing the economic benefits of clean energy, and what the “Texas story” can teach us about current energy debates in Washington and around the country. Panelists include Georgetown, Texas Mayor Dale Ross, ERCOT COO Cheryl Mele, Texas Clean Energy Coalition head Elizabeth Lippincott and former Public Utility Commission of Texas commissioner (PUCT) Ken Anderson.

Heritage hosts Forum on European Initiative – The Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on Thursday to discuss The Three Seas Initiative, an effort by 12 European nations situated between the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black Seas to develop energy and infrastructure ties between their countries.  Krzysztof Szczerski, a chief architect of the Three Seas Initiative, presents a Polish perspective on what the Initiative means for Europe and the United States, and how it will strengthen the transatlantic alliance.

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

Press Club to Host Climate Insurance Event – On Friday at 10:00 a.m. in the Press Club’s Murrow Room,  the CO 2 Coalition will host Dr. Bruce Everett to discuss climate insurance and other climate issues.  Everett will discuss several assertions he says are false, sucsh as, carbon dioxide controls the climate, renewable energy sources are free, fossil fuels seem cheaper because of subsidies and many more Conservative views on the issue.

Australian Sen to Address Energy Markets – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Center for Strategic & International Studies-Pertamina Banyan Tree Leadership Forum will host Senator Matthew Canavan of the Australian Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia. Minister Canavan will discuss the state of Australia’s resources and energy market, opportunities for engagement between Australia and the U.S., and Australia’s role as a net energy exporter in the Indo-Pacific.

Tulane Enviro Forum Set – The Environmental and Energy Society of Tulane University Law School proudly hosts the 23rd annual Summit on Friday and Saturday to bring together professionals and the public on current and pressing environmental and legal policy issues. This year, the conference will include 21 panels on a wide range of environmental issues with 75 speakers and moderators participating in the event. Our local, national, and international speakers represent strong voices from business, legal, and scientific backgrounds.  Jean-Michel Cousteau is Friday Keynote.

IN THE FUTURE

AFPM Annual Meeting Set for New Orleans – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers will hold its 2018 annual meeting in New Orleans on March 11 -13th at the Hilton Riverside.  The meeting is the world’s premier refining meeting, assembling key executives, decision-makers, and technical experts from refining businesses, technology providers, contracting and consulting firms, and equipment manufacturers around the world. It will address current issues of importance to the industry, including industry and community impacts of the 2017 hurricane season. The breakout sessions will feature presentations and panels on process safety, key regulatory issues, innovation, workforce development, economic/commercial issues, the use of big data and emerging technologies.  Speakers include former Tonight Show host Jay Leno, NFL CMO Dawn Hudson, political analyst Charlie Cook Koch CEO Brad Razook and GM’s Dan Nicholson.

Forum to Look at CCS – The Global CCS Institute holds its 7th Annual DC Forum on CCS on Tuesday, March 13th in the Ronald Reagan Building’s Polaris Room at 8:30 a.m.  The event is a lively discussion of the key questions that clean energy and CCS advocates are focused on, including 45Q impact, private sector investment, future government support and key audiences for advocacy efforts. Speakers include ClearPath’s Rich Powell, Global CCS Institute CEO Brad Page,, WRI’s Andrew Steer, former Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy David Mohler, ADM’s Scott McDonald, Kurt Walzer of the Clean Air Task Force, House Energy Committee former Chief Counsel Tom Hassenboehler and former DOE official Daniel Richter.

Forum to Look at Pipeline – The Atlantic Council’s Eurasia  Center and Global Energy Center will hold a debate next Monday at 2:00 p.m. looking at the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and its potential implications for the United States and its European allies. Panels I and II will debate the different views on the pipeline from the United States and Europe and address the impact of Nord Stream 2 on European energy security, the political and economic questions associated with the pipeline, and the effects of the pipeline on transit countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

JHU Forum to Look at Global Solar, Wind – Next Monday at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS will look at the role of wind and solar in the global power sector. A new book — presented by Professor Johannes Urpelainen — will offer a comprehensive political analysis of the rapid growth in renewable wind and solar power, mapping an energy transition through theory, case studies, and policy analysis.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil – Next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and Global Energy Center for a timely conversation on the downfall of Venezuela’s oil sector and what may be in store in the future.  Speakers will include former State Dept official David Goldwyn, Atlantic Council Author Francisco Monaldi and Jason Marczak, Director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

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

Algae, CCS Forum Set – Next Tuesday, March 13th at 1:30 p.m., U.S. Energy Association hosts a presentation on algae’s role in successful CO2 mitigation campaign.   Heralded by proponents, dismissed by naysayers, algae may not cure our carbon conundrum but could be a key enabler for carbon capture and use (CCU). Algae Biomass Organization Executive Director Matt Carr addresses the topic.

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

NOAA COmms Director Heads EnvirorunEnvirorun hosts David Herring, director of communications and education at NOAA’s Climate Program Office next Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.  Starting this month, the Speaker Series will be taking place at WeWork K Street and will feature a new route and the run starting at 6 p.m. and speaker at 7 p.m.  Envirorun will meet at WeWork K Street before going out on the fun run. There will be a place to store bags while runners are on the trails. After the run, we will return to the venue for networking and hear from the speaker at 7:00 pm. Non-runners welcome to join.

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

CSIS to Talk Electricity Markets, Conflicts – On Wednesday , March 14th at 3:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Dr. Brian Ó Gallachóir (University College Cork) and Dr. Morgan Bazilian (Colorado School of Mines) for a presentation on electricity market and infrastructure developments in conflict zones with particular focus on power sector development in the wake of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. Sarah Ladislaw (CSIS) will moderate the discussion.

Forum on New Solar Book – On Friday, March 16th at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program hosts a discussion on ‘Taming the Sun,’ the new book by Dr. Varun Sivaram, Philip D. Reed fellow for Science and Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Sivaram will discuss the financial, technological and systematic innovation required to maximize solar power utilization and highlight the need for a creative public policy framework, and comprehensive energy market restructuring, to create a more effective clean energy portfolio and establish solar energy as the cornerstone of the global energy revolution.

Forum Looks At Budget Impacts on Climate, Enviro Research – The Novim Group, in partnership with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, holds a briefing on Friday March 16th at 2:00 p.m. discussing a new report on the environmental and societal impacts of the Administration’s proposed climate and environmental research program cuts for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The briefing’s speakers, who helped author the Novim report, will give an overview of its findings and conclusions. Speakers for this forum are Michael Ditmore and Ari Patrinos of Novim as well as Kei Koizumi American Association for the Advancement of Science.

World Water Forum Set – The 8th World Water Forum will be in Brasilia, Brazil on March 18 to 23.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update: Week of February 26

Friends,

I cannot start today without a mention of the Winter Olympics. I just love all the personal stories and herculean efforts. While there were many ups (X Games-type events) and downs (men’s hockey, figure skating), my top three US moments were 1) Women’s Hockey Gold; 2) Jessie Diggins epic gold medal final sprint in the X-country Sprint relay and 3) the surprise US Men’s Curling Gold.  And overall, how amazing is Norway’s almost 38-year old cross country skier/mom Marit Bjoergen who won five medals, including two golds, becoming the most decorated career Winter Olympian ever with 15 medals.  And how about Czech skier/snowboarder Ester Ledecka, who is the first competitor to win Golds on each.

Congress returns today with focus on gun control issues, infrastructure and budget/dreamers (underscored by this morning’s SCOTUS decision).  No votes on Wednesday and Thursday as Rev. Billy Graham – who passed away last week – will lie in The Capitol for a public viewing.

On the environment/energy front, tomorrow morning House Energy handles energy infrastructure and House Oversight hears from Govs Hebert, Martinez and Otter on Federalism, while in the afternoon, House Resources looks at LNG exports with our friend Chris Smith of Cheniere.  On Wednesday, the House Energy Committee’s oversight panel will examine the state of Puerto Rico’s electric grid rebuilding after Hurricane Maria, while Senate Energy digs into energy legislation including one that promotes smaller hydropower projects supported by Clearpath’s Rich Powell who cited the “enormous potential in these projects to provide clean and reliable power.”  Finally, Thursday the Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing on rebuilding infrastructure featuring Transportation Sect Chao, while Senate energy looks at cybersecurity on energy infrastructure.

And if you are headed to the Senate side any way Thursday, you should come to the other big infrastructure event: the Bracewell infrastructure symposium in 902 Hart which starts at 8:30 a.m.  Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Will Hurd will lead off the discussion, followed by panels of experts including the White House’s Paul Teller, CEQ’s Alex Hergott, INGAA’s Don Santa, House T&I staff Chris Vieson and DOT’s Jim Wray.

Today is the deadline for comments to be filed on repeal of the Clean Power Plan, so keep your eyes peeled for that.  Meanwhile, Wednesday the CPP repeal gets its second additional hearing in San Francisco. I expect that our friends in the enviro community will go all out for this one.

Finally, if you have been watching the ethanol debate lately, you’ll have noticed a lot of action.  And again, the temp ramps up tomorrow when Sens. Ted Cruz, Pat Toomey, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst head to the White House to meet with President Trump, EPA’s Scott Pruitt and USDA’s Sonny Perdue. They are trying to solve tensions over the RFS’s RINs program. Reports say Pruitt/Perdue will propose capping the price of biofuel credits, a year-round waiver for the sale of 15% ethanol, the creation of credits for exported ethanol and new transparency measures hoping to reduce speculators trading in the program.

 

We are all over it. See you on Thursday and call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Rep. Curbelo and Sen. Heller have really put their shoulders to the wheel for clean energy, for the good of their constituents and for the country.  We need them on Capitol Hill and remain leading Republican voices in Congress for responsible ways to reduce carbon emissions, while strengthening our economy.”

ClearPath Action Fund Founder Jay Faison endorsing Curbelo and Heller.

ON THE POD

Yours Truly on Press Pool – This week On the Pod, I am sharing my recent visit to Sirius XM’s The Press Pool with my Friend Julie Mason.  Julie and I talk Olympics, Infrastructure, Trump, gas prices, energy and environment.  Check it out here on SoundCloud.

IN THE NEWS

Clearpath to Push Curbelo, Heller –ClearPath Action Fund is endorsing Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), pledging to make major investments to help their re-election campaigns.  Curbelo is a foremost congressional advocate for the need to accelerate carbon capture technology, and broadly has championed innovation for clean energy technology.  He is also the original co-sponsor of the Carbon Capture Act, which would expand a crucial tax incentive for carbon capture that was signed into law in the recent budget deal and co-founded the growing bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus.  Heller has been an indisputable clean energy champion. His lengthy legislative history includes sponsoring a bipartisan bill streamlining permitting for clean energy projects on public lands and a separate Senate-approved plan quickening environmental reviews for geothermal projects. His crowning achievement may have been a five-year extension of the renewable energy tax credit signed into law in 2015. He has also been a major advocate of energy storage legislation, including as a top GOP cosponsor of two bipartisan bills authorizing investment tax credits for businesses and homes and coordinating R&D efforts at the Department of Energy. A Public Opinion Strategies survey last year showed an overwhelming 88% of Nevada voters support clean energy and that Republican candidates can win on the issue. After messaging on clean energy issues, the ballot moved 32 points toward a generic Republican candidate in Nevada.

Carbon Capture Coalition Launches – A diverse, non-partisan national coalition dedicated to fostering widespread adoption of carbon capture technologies launched on Friday. Building on growing momentum and political support that culminated in passage of landmark legislation in Congress earlier this month, the Carbon Capture Coalition becomes the new brand for the six-year-old National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI). The Coalition will now undertake a more expansive agenda following accomplishment of NEORI’s signature priority, the reform and extension of the federal Section 45Q tax credit for carbon dioxide (CO2) storage. The Carbon Capture Coalition was announced at a press briefing at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C. that featured speakers and participants from a broad cross-section of energy, environmental, technology, industrial and agricultural interests who advocate for carbon capture technologies.  Speakers included Coalition participants Tom Trotter of the AFL-CIO, BPC’s Jason Grumet, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson, and several others. The new Coalition participants are: Bipartisan Policy Center, Carbon Wrangler, LLC, ClearPath Foundation, EnergyBlue Project, LanzaTech, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, National Farmers Union, NET Power, New Steel International, Renewable Fuels Association, Shell and Third Way.

Rig Count Up – Baker Hughes Rig Count says the number of US oil and natural gas rigs rose by three to 978 last week as drillers added two gas rigs and one oil rig. The Permian Basin in Texas as well as other oilfields in Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota, New Mexico and Ohio posted gains.

Cabot Moving NatGas in PA – Cabot Oil & Gas plans to drill 85 net wells and complete 95 net wells in the Marcellus Shale in 2018 at a cost per well of $8.3 million for drilling, completion and facilities. Cabot has about 179,000 net acres in the dry gas window of the Marcellus shale, primarily in Susquehanna County, Pa., with two rigs running. The average lateral length for the 2018 Marcellus shale drilling program is 8,300 ft and the expected average well cost is $8.3 million for drilling, completion, and facilities.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

ERCOT Market Forum Set – The ERCOT Market Summit will be held tomorrow to Thursday. The forum will look at perspectives on ERCOT Market Reform, end-use customers, Plant Retirements, Resource Adequacy and Reliability and dealing with the Impacts of Wholesale Price Volatility in ERCOT.

Forum to Look at Coal Issues – Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., New York University Washington, DC Center marks the release of the Winter 2018 Issues in Science and Technology with comments from Charles Herrick and Ana Unruh Cohen.  Herrick and Cohen will discuss how US greenhouse gas regulations affect the coal industry and other energy sectors. They will look at what other factors have led to a decline in the country’s coal use, and how these forces might shape US energy production in the future.

House Energy to Look at Energy Infrastructure – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. featuring a broad discussion of pipelines, transmission lines, hydropower and more.  The focus will be what Congress should do to improve the infrastructure. Witnesses will include ITC’s Brian Slocum, IBEW’s Jim Ross, Director, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, San Jacinto College Chancellor Brenda Hellyer, HDR’s John Devine, NRDC’s Jennifer Chen and Schenectady NY Mayor Gary McCarthy.

House Oversight to Explore Federalism – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the roles of states in the federal decision-making process.  Witnesses will be Utah Gov Gary Herbert, NM Gov Susana Martinez and Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.

ANS Head to Address Nuke Issues – Tomorrow at Noon, Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington hosts a speech by Dr. John E. Kelly, Vice-President/President-Elect of the American Nuclear Society.  Kelly recently retired from the U.S. Department of Energy as the Chief Technology and was responsible for establishing the strategic technical direction for the Office of Nuclear Energy’s research, development, demonstration, and deployment portfolios.

House Resources to Focus on LNG Exports – The House Natural Resources Committee’s energy and mineral resources subpanel will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. to discuss liquefied natural gas exports and their impact on geopolitics.  Witnesses will include Peter Doran of the Center for European Policy Analysis, Tellurian CEO Meg Gentle, David Livingston of the Atlantic Council and Cheniere’s Christopher Smith, a former Obama DOE official.

House Energy to Update PR Electricity Situation – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy Committee’s oversight panel will examine the state of Puerto Rico’s electric grid rebuilding after Hurricane Maria.

House Transpo to Look at Water Infrastructure projects – The House Transportation Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at America’s water resources infrastructure projects and policies.

Chemical Conference Set – American Chemistry Council holds its Global Chemical Regulations conference starting Wednesday and running through Friday at the Omni Shoreham.  GlobalChem has been the chemical industry’s policy and regulatory conference. Each year, this annual gathering of industry professionals offers a valuable opportunity to review key developments in the global chemicals management arena while looking ahead to some of the most pressing issues the industry faces.

DTE CEO, McCarthy, Canadian Climate Leader to Address Denver Conference – The 2018 Climate Leadership Conference is set for Denver, CO starting Wednesday. DTE CEO Gerry Anderson, Canadian Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper are among the speakers. Others speakers at the annual gathering include Energy Department Senior Policy Adviser Craig Zamuda, former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and California EPA Secretary Matthew Rodriquez. Topics include state efforts to meet climate-change goals and local economies’ collaborations on resilience planning.

EPA Hosts CPP Repeal Hearing – EPA holds its second Clean Power plan repeal listening session on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan on Wednesday in San Francisco. The session will run from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. PST. At the San Francisco Main Public Library.  I say get some video in this meeting, that’s for sure…

Bracewell to Host Infrastructure Event – Bracewell will hold an infrastructure symposium on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in 902 Hart. The event will feature Sen. Ted Cruz, CEQ Infrastructure lead Alex Hergott and many other Bracewell experts.

Wilson to Look at Climate, Women – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a discussion of how climate displacement is changing the role of women in their communities and how women are leading their communities to overcome its impacts. With panelists from the development sector, academia, and journalism, we will look at this issue globally and dive into individual stories of resilience and leadership.

Senate Enviro Tackles Key Energy Infrastructure – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on rebuilding infrastructure.  Elaine Chao will testify.

Sen Energy to Address Cybersecurity, Energy Infrastructure – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking into the state of cybersecurity in the nation’s critical energy infrastructure.  Dragos CEO Robert Lee will testify.

RFF, Stanford Experts Launch Climate, Policy Book – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment hold the public launch of Confronting the Climate Challenge: US Policy Options, a new book that presents a unique framework for evaluating the impacts of a range of US climate-policy options, both for the economy overall and for particular household groups, industries, and regions.  Authors Marc Hafstead and Lawrence Goulder will discuss the book, followed by a moderated Q&A session.

Forum to Look at Resilient Buildings – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) hold a briefing on Friday at Noon looking at the public/private drive toward resilient buildings.  These are structures that are located, designed and built (or renovated) to withstand extreme weather, cyberterrorism, and other hazards now and for years to come. This briefing will explore what makes buildings resilient; why resilience is important for multiple policy challenges, including infrastructure modernization, emergency preparedness, disaster response, and research funding; and how public-private sector collaboration in research, worker training and investment partnerships benefit society now and well into the future.  Speakers will include National Roofing Contractors Association head and former Rep. Reid Ribble, Debra Ballen of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) and Paul Totten of WSP USA.

WCEE to Discuss Western Energy Imbalance – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a lunch and learn forum on Friday at Noon to get an overview of the Western Energy Imbalance Market from FERC staff Elisabeth Olson who worked in the California electricity market during EIM implementation.

IN THE FUTURE

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

Wilson to Look at Green Finance – On Monday, March 6th at 9:30 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center ‘s China Environment Forum hosts a discussion of China’s rapid rise as a green finance champion.  CEF is bringing in three experts to delve into the financial and environmental opportunities and risks as China moves into this new era of green financing. Derek Ip, a Senior Analyst at Trucost, will discuss the findings of a recently published report on the financial and water risks in China’s coal-to-chemical sector in western China, and how this risk approach could spur better environmental performance from other pollution- and energy-intense industries in China. Alan Xiangrui Meng, a market analyst in Climate Bonds Initiative’s London office will explore the expanding green bond market in China, which is spurring new environmental protection and clean energy industries, as well as some greyer industries. Carolyn Szum, who heads the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center Building Energy Efficiency (CERC-BEE) Integrated Team on Systems, Economic Analysis, and Modeling, will explain how CERC-BEE is working with U.S. and Chinese financial institutions to develop and pilot innovative financing mechanisms to scale up energy efficiency in China.

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

Wind Forum Set – The Business Network for Offshore Wind hold a forum on March 6th at the Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport Hotel.  The forum will look at the regional offshore wind market, discuss opportunities for US developers and Tier 1 and 2 supplier, and listen to available State resources.  Speakers include MEA’s Mary Beth Tung, BOEM’s Daryl Francois and our friends Clint Plummer of Deepwater Wind and Raul Rich of US Wind.

Transmission Forum Set – Infocast’s 21st annual Transmission Summit East will be held on March 7th through 9th to discuss the latest transmission business strategies and the changing policy landscape.  More than 20 interactive panels and presentations will address topics including the new FERC Commission’s impacts on Transmission, new FERC ROE frameworks affecting project economics and financing, resiliency, renewables growth and grid modernization needs and co-opting generation and transmission.  Speakers include Clean Line’s Michael Skelly, Southern Transmission’s John Lucas, PJM’s Paul McGlynn and many others.

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

AFPM Annual Meeting Set for New Orleans – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers will hold its 2018 annual meeting in New Orleans on March 11 -13th at the Hilton Riverside.  The meeting is the world’s premier refining meeting, assembling key executives, decision-makers, and technical experts from refining businesses, technology providers, contracting and consulting firms, and equipment manufacturers around the world. It will address current issues of importance to the industry, including industry and community impacts of the 2017 hurricane season. The breakout sessions will feature presentations and panels on process safety, key regulatory issues, innovation, workforce development, economic/commercial issues, the use of big data and emerging technologies.  Speakers include former Tonight Show host Jay Leno, NFL CMO Dawn Hudson, political analyst Charlie Cook Koch CEO Brad Razook and GM’s Dan Nicholson.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update: Week of 2/20

Friends,

Hope you enjoyed an extra day in honor of our Presidents.  It offered us a chance to watch a little more of the Winter Olympics. While there has been lots of great action, tomorrow’s Women’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal game may be the most significant event of the entire two-plus weeks.  While men’s ice hockey has taken a ratings hit because the NHL players didn’t play (thanks Gary Bettman), the game between the US-Canada should be spectacular.  In a pre-medal round game, the teams played to a hard-fought, very physical 2-1 Canada victory.  The final will likely pick up where that game left off.  And this is not new: remember in Sochi in 2014, Canada scrapped back from a two–goal deficit to win the Gold in OT.  Stay up late and watch…I suspect it will be worth it.

Congress is out this week, but there are still a few important things going on…  The National League of Cities hosts an infrastructure briefing this afternoon, while an advanced nuclear summit starts in College Station, TX today and runs through Thursday.  As well, EPA holds the first of its additional Clean Power plan repeal hearing tomorrow in KC while the Interior Department’s public hearings continue Thursday in DC.  Finally on Thursday, the Washington auto press hosts Consumer Reports to roll out their Top Picks for 2018.  The Conservative PAC also holds its annual meeting this week at the Gaylord just outside DC and in addition to the usual suspects, heads of EPA Scott Pruitt, DOE’s Rick Perry and Interior Ryan Zinke will speak as well.

Some interesting stories over the weekend.  Our friend Steve Mufson of the WaPo had a great piece on the bankruptcy of the Charleston Gazette and its often contentious relationship with the state’s coal industry.  Our good friend and long-time CG reporter Ken Ward featured prominently.  Also on Sunday, USS Cole Commander Kirk Lippold authored a piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the national security implications of a strong refining sector and how it is undercut by the complications surrounding excessive RIN costs pushing Philadelphia Energy Solutions into bankruptcy.

With Dave Banks departing, the Mexichem court case, previous State Dept comments and new legislation on HFC, there’s a lot of action surrounding HFC reductions and the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol.  We can help with these stories so let me know if you are interested.

Finally, the American Council on Capital Formation (ACCF) has released a new paper just now that includes research from MIT and others on how to shape to shape infrastructure projects. And speaking of infrastructure, make your calendar for NEXT Thursday, March 1st when Bracewell hosts an infrastructure symposium featuring Sen. Ted Cruz, CEQ’s Alex Hergott and a number of other experts.

BTW, Spring training is under way…  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

1 (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Enhancing U.S. technological leadership and supporting U.S. industry and the jobs it creates and sustains are key components of our support for the Kigali Amendment, and this bill will create a certain pathway for implementation of Kigali if, as we hope, it is submitted to and ratified by the Senate.”

Stephen Yurek, president of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute commenting on the new legislation introduced by Sen. Kennedy.

“America deserves world-class infrastructure, and to get there we need to change our thinking to include not just how best to fund it, but also how best to spend it. This report highlights the importance of life cycle cost analysis and competition in paving – something that over the years has faded from infrastructure policy discussions. If federal and state decision makers took this report as a playbook, America would see tremendous taxpayer cost savings and stronger infrastructure built to last long into the future.”

Portland Cement Association President and CEO Michael Ireland on the new ACCF Infrastructure report.

 

IN THE NEWS

ACCF Releases Paper on Shaping Infrastructure – The American Council on Capital Formation (ACCF) has released a new paper that includes research from MIT and others on how to shape to shape infrastructure projects. ACCF’s Pınar Cebi Wilber researched how new infrastructure projects could be more efficient and effective.  This special report first looks at the reasons for infrastructure investment and then sets the stage for steps that are crucial for successful infrastructure projects. Particular attention is paid to ways to use existing funds more effectively and to increase participation by the private sector. The paper concludes with alternative methods for financing and funding the country’s much needed infrastructure. One of the key recommendations Is increase use of the life cycle project analysis/assessment, taking a long-run view while evaluating infrastructure projects could save significant sums of money both at the federal and local levels during the life of a project. See the Report

Senators Introduce New Legislation to Implement HFC Amendment – U.S. Senators John Kennedy (R-LA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, bipartisan legislation that would support the worldwide transition towards next generation coolants pioneered by what were described as “innovative companies in Louisiana and other states.” At issue are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are used as coolants in refrigerators and air conditioners. The HFC industry employs nearly 600,000 workers in the U.S. and generates annual sales of $206 billion. Because of changing global policy, countries are moving away from using HFCs. This legislation will allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure a smooth phasedown of HFCs in the U.S., boosting the manufacturers producing next generation technologies. The bill would:

  • Clarify the authority of EPA in regulating HFC refrigerants and provide a market-friendly approach to rulemaking that will help facilitate a cost-effective transition to alternative refrigerants while maintaining or enhancing the performance of the equipment that uses the new refrigerants.
  • Enable the EPA to establish an HFC phase down mechanism using a cap-and-allocation system that encourages innovation and the commercialization of alternative refrigerants, preserving American technology leadership.
  • Provide the predictability needed for American private sector investment in HFC replacements.

AHRI Voices Support for Kennedy HFC Legislation – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute strongly supports the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2018. As the trade association representing both producers and users of refrigerants, AHRI has a keen interest in ensuring that the coming global phase down of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants is accomplished in a smooth, orderly manner with as little impact on manufacturers and consumers as possible. AHRI said will help accomplish that goal by establishing a pathway for U.S. implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol that establishes a framework for the global phase down.

Factbook Highlights State of Energy Economy – Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) released a comprehensive review of energy statistics in the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. The report says rapid deployment of energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy in 2017 generated economic benefits without requiring increases in energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions. Looking over the year, the growth of sustainable energy industries contributed to greater economic competitiveness, job creation, and the expansion of the American economy. The 2018 Factbook is the sixth edition of an annual resource that outlines key energy trends contributing to American economic competitiveness.

Energy Sector is Transforming – The transformation of the energy sector escalated in 2017, as evidenced by continuing trends:

  • Natural gas remained the primary source of power generation in the U.S., and wind and solar build, combined with increased hydropower generation, drove renewable generation up from 15% to 18% of the total electricity mix in one year.
  • Energy productivity, which is the amount of GDP produced by a unit of energy, climbed 2.5% in 2017.
  • Costs remained low: consumers devoted only 1.3% of their spending towards electricity, smaller than at any time ever recorded. This offset a rise in the share of spending devoted to gasoline and motor fuels (up to 2.1% in 2017 from 1.9% in 2016), allowing the total percent of household expenses dedicated to energy costs to hover under 4%, near an all-time low.
  • Emissions from the electricity sector plummeted again, falling 4.2% year-on-year to the lowest level in more than 27 years.

Competitive Energy Sector – The U.S. remains globally competitive for energy-intensive industries, thanks to low industrial power prices, and U.S. players continue to invest in clean energy:

  • Historically, industrial power prices in the U.S. have been among the most affordable in the world (averaging 6.76¢/kWh in 2016). The U.S. had the second lowest prices of the G-7 countries in 2016; Canada was number one.
  • Corporations are playing a stronger role in the energy transformation, increasingly demanding cleaner energy and seeking to capture gains from energy efficiency. In 2017, corporations signed new deals for 2.9 GW worth of offsite renewable capacity.
  • Global clean energy investment rose to $333 billion, the second-highest amount on record. U.S. investments tracked 2016 levels, at $57 billion, but saw a shift in capital deployment towards wind and energy smart technologies.

New Energy Sector Developments – there were several new developments in the energy sector in 2017 that continue to change our energy dynamics.

  • The U.S. is solidifying its role as a global liquefied natural gas exporter, and for the first time was a net exporter of natural gas for every month of the year.
  • New sales of battery, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid vehicles accelerated, driven by longer-range versions of existing models, long-range affordable BEVs, and the electrification of new car segments. Significantly, the price of lithium-ion battery packs, a key cost component for battery electric vehicles, plummeted 23% year-on-year and have fallen 65% in five years (between 2013 and year end 2017).
  • Greater climate commitments from sub-national and private sector actors emerged in response to federal government climate policy back-tracking. Federal-level actions ranging from trade cases to tax reform also caused uncertainty in the market for clean technologies.

The U.S. energy transformation is impacting the economy – These include successes on grid resilience, job creation and economic opportunites.

  • The renewable energy, energy efficiency and natural gas sectors employed approximately three million Americans in 2016. Energy efficiency, with nearly 2.2 million jobs, was the largest single employer within the sustainable energy sectors.
  • American economic growth is picking up steam, without a parallel jump in energy consumption. Since 2008, primary energy usage has shrunk 1.7% even as GDP has accelerated by 15.3%.
  • Utilities and independent developers continue to invest in infrastructure to improve grid operations and support the growth of clean energy. Investor-owned utilities and independent developers spent an estimated $22.9 billion on electric transmission in 2017, a 10% rise year-on-year and a 91% increase since 2011. Investment in midstream natural gas infrastructure (e.g., transmission, distribution and storage) climbed 19% from 2015 to 2016, with distribution accounting for nearly half of the escalation in spending. Total investment in distribution hit its highest level yet at $13.4bn, a 16% expansion from 2015 levels.

Where Can You Read It – The 2018 Factbook includes a comprehensive overview and detailed charts, graphs and sources for a wide range of information that defines the U.S. sustainable energy landscape.

The 2018 Factbook is offered in PDF format available electronically (download from the BCSE website here: http://www.bcse.org/sustainableenergyfactbook) and in a hard copy format directly from the BCSE. The Factbook is intended to serve as a reference guide of sustainable energy statistics throughout the year for media, policymakers, business and industry.

ClearPath to Support Costello in PA – ClearPath Action Fund is kicking off its 2018 cycle by endorsing Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) and pledging $1 million to help re-elect him in a swing Southeastern Pennsylvania district. The effort will begin with a six-figure, targeted TV and digital ad buy this spring to highlight Costello’s record advocating policies that expand clean and reliable energy.  “Ryan Costello is one of the most committed clean energy champions in Congress and we’re proud to make him our first 2018 endorsement,” ClearPath Action Fund Founder Jay Faison said.  A Public Opinion Strategies survey conducted last summer of GOP and swing voters in several districts and states key to the 2018 congressional election showed Republicans considerably gaining after focused messaging on clean energy. That included a 23-point boost in Costello’s 6th congressional district for a generic Republican candidate who espouses pro-clean energy messaging.

Cramer to Run for ND Senate Seat – North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer said he will challenge Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp at an announcement rally for Friday afternoon.  Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable Democrats facing reelection in 2018 in a state President Trump won by more than 30 percentage points in 2016.

FERC Approves Storage Rule – Late Last week, FERC unanimously approved a final rule that would remove long-standing regulatory barriers in bringing batteries and other energy storage to the electric grid. FERC is ordering regional transmission and other grid operators to revise pricing to recognize the benefits of energy storage and allow the technology to compete with generators on the wholesale market. Energy storage is key to improving the reliability of intermittent renewable power sources and even helping constant-running nuclear become better utilized during peak times on the grid.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Advanced Nuke Conference Headlined by Current, Former NRC, Energy Officials – The Advanced Reactors Summit V and Showcase will run today through Thursday at Texas A&M in College Station, sponsored by the US Nuclear infrastructure Council.  Energy Under Secretary Mark Menezes, NRC Commissioner Stephen Burns, former NRC Commissioner and now OECD’s Director-General of the Nuclear Energy Agency Bill Magwood, top nuclear company representatives, former NRC Commissioner Jeff Merrifield, EIRP’s Irfan Ali and ClearPath Policy Director Jeremy Harrell are among those speaking.

DOE to Hold Electricity Committee Meeting – The Energy Department’s Electricity Advisory Committee will meet today at 1:00 p.m. at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in Arlington.

Forum to Discuss Fukushima Research – The Embassy of Japan’s Information and Culture Center holds a discussion today at 6:30 p.m. on Fukushima.  For seven years, a research group from Fukushima University has been examining not only the damage from the disaster, but various aspects of its effects on the region, including food safety, community rebuilding, disaster prevention policies, and more. JICC will hold a video presentation and panel discussion with four professors from the Fukushima Research Group, who will discuss their research and views on the current situation of recovery in the damaged areas as well as reports from those who are on the “front lines” of community recovery. The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A.

EPA Clean Power Plan Repeal Hearing Hits KC – EPA’s additional listening sessions for its proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan start on Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo.    The two remaining sessions will be in San Francisco next Wednesday and Gillette, Wyoming on March 27.  The EPA had already held one two-day meeting in West Virginia in late 2017.

CSIS to Hosts Forum on China, New Vehicles – The Center for Strategic & International Studies holds a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on China’s high-tech drive is its push to develop new-generation cars. To understand these trends and their implications, the Freeman Chair’s Scott Kennedy will first provide an overview of recent developments in Chinese policies and its auto sector. He will then moderate a panel discussion with leading experts from industry and academia on a range of issues about China and the industry more generally.  The speakers will include Zachary Kahn of BYD Heavy Energies, Wall Street Journal Detroit Bureau Chief John Stoll, Anand Shah of the Albright Stonebridge Group and JHU’s Jonas Nahm.

EPA Hosts CPP Repeal Hearing – EPA holds the first of its additional Clean Power plan repeal hearing tomorrow in Kansas City at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Beacon Complex. The listening session will begin at 10:00 a.m. with opening remarks followed by oral testimony from those wishing to speak.

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

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

Offshore Drilling Meeting Set to Hit DC – The Interior Department’s public hearings continue this week in DC with a hearing on Thursday to discuss the interior Department’s expanded five-year drilling plan.  Already, Interior has held meetings today in Annapolis MD, Jackson MS, Richmond VA, Dover DE, Augusta ME, Baton Rouge LA, Anchorage AK, Concord NH, Boston MA, Montgomery AL, Providence RI, Tacoma WA, Austin TX, Salem OR, Tallahassee FL, Sacramento CA, Hartford CT, Columbia SC, Hamilton NJ and Albany NY.  After Washington, DC Thursday, only Raleigh, NC (Feb 26) and Atlanta, GA (Feb 28) remain.

Consumers to Reveal Annual Auto Issue – The Washington Automotive Press Association hosts Consumer Reports at the National Press Club on Thursday at Noon for lunch, and then at 12:45 p.m. for the official release of their Top Picks for 2018. Jake Fisher and Patrick Olsen of Consumer Reports will give an inside look at how Consumer Reports ranks and rates vehicles. Consumers and auto-industry insiders alike look to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue and website for CR’s Top Picks in cars and trucks. From best and worst in fuel economy, reliability and safety to tips on how to get the best deal, CR provides consumers unbiased ratings, recommendations, and advice that help consumers make informed decisions with their next car purchase.

Forum to Look at Coastal Communities – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) hold a briefing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss climate/weather risks to America’s coastal communities and the types of resilience plans local governments and regional partnerships are developing to safeguard their residents, built assets, and economies. The briefing will explore current and future infrastructure challenges facing public officials and how the federal government fits into the pursuit of these shared development goals.

Speakers for this forum are Miami-Dade County Chief Resilience Officer Jim Murley, Charleston, SC Chief Resilience Officer Mark Wilbert, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Steve Walz.

Offshore Drilling Forum Set – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will host a public meeting on its Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Leasing Program on Thursday at the Hilton Garden Inn in DC.  It will use an open-house format, so participants can arrive any time during the scheduled meeting time. At the meetings, participants can ask questions, share information, talk with our team members one-on-one, and learn more about the National OCS Program.

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

EPA to Discuss CT Petition – EPA will hold a public hearing on Friday at its D.C. headquarters regarding a 2016 petition filed by Connecticut asking the agency to order stronger pollution controls at a Pennsylvania power plant whose emissions Connecticut says harm its downwind air quality.

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

Forum to Look at Reforming Jones Act – The Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project holds a discussion on Friday at Noon on whether it is time to reform the Jones Act.  SMU’s James Coleman and former member of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission Rob Quartel will be among the speaker.

Finland Chamber to Discuss Company – The Finnish America Chamber of Commerce will hold a lunch with Neste representatives on Friday at Noon.  Neste was listed as the second most sustainable company in the world on the Global 100 List.  Neste’s jump was enabled particularly by the company’s continued good overall performance, especially in Clean Air Productivity, measuring the air emissions of the company.  Neste’s Johan Lunabba, Adrian Suharto and Dayne Delahoussaye will speak.

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

Forum to Look at Coal Issues – Next Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., New York University Washington, DC Center marks the release of the Winter 2018 Issues in Science and Technology with comments from Charles Herrick and Ana Unruh Cohen.  Herrick and Cohen will discuss how US greenhouse gas regulations affect the coal industry and other energy sectors. They will look at what other factors have led to a decline in the country’s coal use, and how these forces might shape US energy production in the future.

ANS Head to Address Nuke Issues – Next Tuesday, February 27th at Noon, Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington hosts a speech by Dr. John E. Kelly, Vice-President/President-Elect of the American Nuclear Society.  Kelly recently retired from the U.S. Department of Energy as the Chief Technology and was responsible for establishing the strategic technical direction for the Office of Nuclear Energy’s research, development, demonstration, and deployment portfolios.

Bracewell to Host Infrastructure Event – Bracewell will hold an infrastructure symposium on Thursday March 1st at 9:00 a.m. in 902 Hart. The event will feature Sen. Ted Cruz, CEQ Infrastructure lead Alex Hergott and many other Bracewell experts.

Wilson to Look at Climate, Women – On Thursday, March 1st at 9:30 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a discussion of how climate displacement is changing the role of women in their communities and how women are leading their communities to overcome its impacts. With panelists from the development sector, academia, and journalism, we will look at this issue globally and dive into individual stories of resilience and leadership.

RFF, Stanford Experts Launch Climate, Policy Book – On Friday March 2nd at 9:00 a.m., Resources for the Future (RFF) and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment hold the public launch of Confronting the Climate Challenge: US Policy Options, a new book that presents a unique framework for evaluating the impacts of a range of US climate-policy options, both for the economy overall and for particular household groups, industries, and regions.  Authors Marc Hafstead and Lawrence Goulder will discuss the book, followed by a moderated Q&A session.

Forum to Look at Resilient Buildings – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) hold a briefing on Friday March 2nd at Noon looking at the public/private drive toward resilient buildings.  These are structures that are located, designed and built (or renovated) to withstand extreme weather, cyberterrorism, and other hazards now and for years to come. This briefing will explore what makes buildings resilient; why resilience is important for multiple policy challenges, including infrastructure modernization, emergency preparedness, disaster response, and research funding; and how public-private sector collaboration in research, worker training and investment partnerships benefit society now and well into the future.  Speakers will include National Roofing Contractors Association head and former Rep. Reid Ribble, Debra Ballen of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) and Paul Totten of WSP USA.

WCEE to Discuss Western Energy Imbalance – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a lunch and learn forum on Friday, March 2nd to get an overview of the Western Energy Imbalance Market from FERC staff Elisabeth Olson who worked in the California electricity market during EIM implementation.

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

Wilson to Look at Green Finance – On Monday, March 6th at 9:30 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center‘s China Environment Forum hosts a discussion of China’s rapid rise as a green finance champion.  CEF is bringing in three experts to delve into the financial and environmental opportunities and risks as China moves into this new era of green financing. Derek Ip, a Senior Analyst at Trucost, will discuss the findings of a recently published report on the financial and water risks in China’s coal-to-chemical sector in western China, and how this risk approach could spur better environmental performance from other pollution- and energy-intense industries in China. Alan Xiangrui Meng, a market analyst in Climate Bonds Initiative’s London office will explore the expanding green bond market in China, which is spurring new environmental protection and clean energy industries, as well as some greyer industries. Carolyn Szum, who heads the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center Building Energy Efficiency (CERC-BEE) Integrated Team on Systems, Economic Analysis, and Modeling, will explain how CERC-BEE is working with U.S. and Chinese financial institutions to develop and pilot innovative financing mechanisms to scale up energy efficiency in China.

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

Wind Forum Set – The Business Network for Offshore Wind hold a forum on March 6th at the Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport Hotel.  The forum will look at the regional offshore wind market, discuss opportunities for US developers and Tier 1 and 2 supplier, and listen to available State resources.  Speakers include MEA’s Mary Beth Tung, BOEM’s Daryl Francois and our friends Clint Plummer of Deepwater Wind and Raul Rich of US Wind.
EESI, BSCE to Host Staff Brief on FactBook – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute hosts a lunch briefing on Friday March 9th In 2168 Rayburn focused on the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. A panel of executives from BCSE member companies and analysts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance will discuss.

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of February 12

Friends,

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

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

1) Infrastructure Permitting

2) Public Finance/Appropriations

3) Public/Private Partnerships

4) Innovation

5) Life Cycle Analysis 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

INFRASTRUCTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE BUDGET DEAL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE FUTURE

FEBRUARY 19 – President’s Day Holiday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update: Week of February 5

Friends,

I have to say that was a great Super Bowl.  So much offense and so much back and forth.  Wow…and Punxsutawney Phil still says six more weeks of winter.  It is the first Super Bowl and as well as first NFL Championship for the Eagles since 1960.  While so many Eagles fans are relieved to finally have a Super Bowl, it now leaves just Browns (1964) and Lions (1957) fans still out in the cold with the longest drought and no Super Bowl appearances.  While teams like Arizona (Cardinals franchise hasn’t won since 1947 through Chicago & St. Louis), Minnesota (1961), Tennessee (Houston Oilers 1961, Chargers (1963) and Atlanta (1965) all have had at least Super Bowl sniffs.  Special props to avid update readers, die-hard Philly sports Phanatics and longtime friends: Brian Sansoni, Comms VP at American Cleaning Institute and Paul Copleman of Avangrid.

Speaking of the Super Bowl and energy, props also to FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson who won a bet over fellow Commissioner and Patriots fan Cheryl LaFleur.  Powelson, who offered up some Kobi Chessesteaks (with Cheez Whiz, I hope) while LeFleur, of course, offered Lobsters.  Looks like they upped the ante with Sam Adams and Victory IPA

It seems like we have seen this movie before, but this week will likely be consumed by budget funding discussions and a new CR.  There are a number of energy-related committee hearings this week starting to move legislation.  Other key events include a House Energy hearing tomorrow on nuclear Infrastructure; Wednesday’s Senate EPW will finally look to move EPA Deputy Administrator (now that Kathleen Harnett-White has withdrawn her CEQ nomination) then look at ag impacts of WOTUS; and Senate Energy hearing Thursday looking at energy infrastructure.

Off the Hill, the National Association of State Energy Officials holds its Energy Policy Outlook Conference tomorrow.  WCEE hosts Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of Energy Storage Association on Wednesday to discuss battery storage and the impact it will have on the evolving energy markets.  On Friday, the energy economists hosts Wood MacKenzie Research Director for Natural Gas Liquids Anne Keller for its February lunch.

Opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics is on Friday, with three weeks of skiing, hockey, bobsledding, ski jumping, et al to follow!  Here is the link to NBC’s coverage schedule portal.

 

Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The Kigali Amendment is a rare agreement that has the support of everyone from industry to environmentalists.  It supports human health, it supports the environment, and it supports industry.”

Steve Forbes at a Hudson Institute Event on the HFC issues and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

 

IN THE NEWS

 Hudson Forum to Look at HFC Issues – The Hudson Institute this morning to discuss the current status of HFC issues and the Kigali Treaty.  Keynote speaker Steve Forbes said the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is one of those rare environmental policies that offers almost everyone something they can like – liberal, conservative, businessperson, environmentalist, politician. For the United States, it is an opportunity to grow our economy and create jobs while doing something good for the planet.  AHRI’s Steve Yurek added Kigali is a perfect example of industry, environmental groups, and governments finding common ground in a way that is good for business and good for the environment.  He added the U.S. HVACR Industry supports Kigali because it is committed to reducing its environmental impact, while creating a predicable business environment and advancing US technological leadership.  With all the talk of Paris, the global efforts to reduce the heat-trapping gases from refrigerants used in air conditioning and cooling is an interesting story.  Other speakers included White House official David Banks, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead, NRDC’s Dave Doniger and Ingersoll Rand’s Paul Camuti.

House Ag Members Call for 45Q – House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway and 42 signatories sent a letter to Speaker Ryan and the leadership of House Ways and Means urging enactment of legislation to amend Section 45Q of the tax code. Conaway is sponsor of the Carbon Capture Act, legislation which would extend and revise Section 45Q to enable new investments in carbon capture technologies.   This letter, signed by the majority of House cosponsors of the Carbon Capture Act follows an earlier letter of support from the the four main Senate sponsors of 45Q legislation to Senate and Finance Committee leadership. This ongoing momentum signals the strong and growing support for action now on carbon capture legislation.

CEQ Nominee Out – Kathleen Hartnett White has withdrawn her name to Be the head of White House’s Council on Environmental Quality. A controversial and conservative nominee, Hartnett White had faced considerable backlash for her previous comments on carbon dioxide, climate science and anti-pollution regulations.  CEQ has been effectively operating already though without a head because of its great staff team headed by former House Energy staffer Mary Neumayr.  The withdrawal of White frees up the Senate controversy over other EPA nominees including Andy Wheeler to be EPA’s #2.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Federalist Society to Look at Regulations – The Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project will hold a day-long symposium at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University today looking at regulations and regulatory reform. Boyden Gray will be among the speakers.

NASEO 2018 Energy Policy Outlook Conference Set – Tomorrow through Friday at The Fairmont in Washington, DC, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold its 2018 Energy Policy Outlook conference.  This conference presents the work of NASEO’s members, the 56 governor designated State and Territory Energy Offices. The conference will feature a wide array of federal and private sector partners that state-level energy offices work with on a day-to-day basis, such as Federal and congressional offices; state and local planners, developers, and regulators working in energy, housing, transportation, climate, and resilience; grid operators and transmission organizations; and businesses and investors interested in clean energy economic development.  Our friends Lisa Jacobson of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Schneider Electric’s Anna Pavlova will be among the presenters.

EV Workshop Set in NoVa –Tomorrow morning, Virginia Clean Cities, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Greater Washington Region Clean Cities and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments host an informative workshop on electric vehicles and EV charging stations.  This workshop will provide an overview of the benefits of EVs for fleets, and infrastructure considerations for selecting and installing EV charging equipment. Northern Virginia fleet managers, business leaders and government officials will be able to test drive the newly redesigned, longer-range 2018 Nissan LEAF, the 2018 Chevy Bolt, SmartForTwo, Vantage and other EVs. Participants will also get information on charging options for their fleet, workplace and much more.

House Energy to Look at Nuclear – The House Energy Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at DOE modernization, advancing the economic and national security benefits of America’s nuclear infrastructure.  Witnesses include NNSA’s Art Akins, NRC’s Victor McCree, DOE’s Ed McGinnis and James Owendoff, NEI’s Maria Korsnick, former NRC Commissioner Bill Ostendorff, Idaho National Lab director Mark Peters and GAO’s David Trimble.

EIA to Present Energy Outlook – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., Johns Hopkins University will host EIA Director Linda Capuano at its Kenney Herter Auditorium to present EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018). AEO2018 includes projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices. The discussion will consider results across AEO2018 cases that vary assumptions regarding U.S. economic growth rates, domestic resources and technology, and world oil prices.

RFF to Look at Drilling, Earthquakes – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. where RFF Senior Research Associate Daniel Raimi will interview study co-author Willy Aspinall and discuss what its findings mean for reducing induced earthquake risk in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has experienced a roughly 900-fold increase in seismic activity since 2009, and is now the most earthquake-prone region in the contiguous United States. Increased oil and gas activity, particularly wastewater from drilling for oil and gas, has been identified as a major cause of this rise. A new paper in Science by RFF’s Roger Cooke and coauthors Thea Hincks, Willy Aspinall, and Thomas Gernon provides a clearer picture of the causal relationship between wastewater disposal and the state’s increased seismic activity.

Senate Enviro to Vote on Wheeler, Discuss WOTUS – The Sneate Environment Committee will hold a business meeting to consider the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to be deputy administrator and Holly Greaves to be chief financial officer.   Following the vote, the committee will turn to WOTUS and its impacts on agriculture.  American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvall, National Cattleman’s Beef Association Public Lands Council Niels Hansen, National Pork Producers Council president Howard Hill, Delaware agriculture secretary Michael Scuse, and Donn Teske, vice president of the National Farmers Union.

WCEE to Host Battery Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Lunch and Learn on Wednesday at Noon to hear from Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of Energy Storage Association.  Speakes-Backman will share her knowledge of battery storage and the impact it will have on the evolving energy markets.

Senate Energy to Tackle Energy Infrastructure – The Senate Energy Committee will hold hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to look at  the history and future opportunities for energy infrastructure.

WoodMac Researcher to Discuss Shale for Energy Economists – The National Capital Chapter of the US Energy Economists hosts its February lunch on Friday at Noon at Carmines.  Wood MacKenzie Research Director for Natural Gas Liquids Anne Keller will address the often overlooked and usually unheralded bounty of the shale revolution which has led to a huge increase in natural gas liquids production. These chameleons of the hydrocarbon chain, which begin their trip to market as gas and end up transformed into liquids along the way, are providing emerging economies with clean burning fuel and US chemical producers with a potential cost advantage that they are betting billions of dollars will continue.

JHU to Feature Indian Expert to Discuss Climate – On Friday, Johns Hopkins University hosts its fifth annual research workshop for DC area faculty members focusing on energy and climate change issues. The workshop aims to promote collaboration among local scholars and provide an opportunity for feedback on current research projects and work-in progress.  Papers will be circulated to registered participants in advance in order to facilitate an active and informed discussion.

IN THE FUTURE

SEIA, ESA to Host Discussion on Distributed Energy – The Solar Energy Industries Association and the Energy Storage Association will host a breakfast panel discussion Monday February 12th in Washington on Distributed Energy Resource (DER) valuation, interconnection, and benefits to the local grid. The forum will look at the ways in which the location of a DER can provide various grid benefits and may lead to changes in DER compensation.  Speakers include ESA CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman, SEIA’s David Gahl, Douglas Staker of Demand Energy and Sara Baldwin Auck of Regulatory Program.

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

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

Forum to Look at Transmission – WIRES and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a briefing on Tuesday February 13th at 11:00 a.m. on the widespread, substantial, and long-lasting benefits of investment in electric transmission. The briefing will showcase two London Economics International studies – one study quantifies the future benefits of transmission investment based on two hypothetical projects, the second dispels many of the myths that deter and delay transmission investment.  This panel will discuss why transmission should be a major component of the infrastructure conversation and how the economic and societal benefits from a robust high-voltage grid are so important. Speakers study author Julia Frayer of London Economics International, ITC’s Nina Plaushin and former FERC Chair James Hoecker.

Forum to Look at Iraq, Energy – On Tuesday, February 13th at Noon, the Atlantic Council will hold a conversation with a panel of experts to discuss Iraq’s energy potential, export opportunities, and the influence of political dynamics on reforming the energy sector.  Speakers will include Luay Al-Khatteeb of the Iraq Energy Institute, Harith Hasan Al-Qarawee of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Atlantic Council Global Energy Center director Ellen Scholl.

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

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability ReportBloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will release of the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook in Washington, DC, on February 15th.  In its 6th year, the Factbook provides new industry information and trends for the U.S. energy economy, with an in-depth look at the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors as well as emerging areas such as battery storage and sustainable transportation.  A panel of executives from BCSE members and BNEF analysts look at the cost of energy for consumers and businesses, and how has this changed over time; U.S. ranking for energy prices and clean energy investment; Clean energy contributions to American jobs and other items.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of January 29

Friends,

Well, that was an exciting beginning to the 60th Grammys. It was a nice surprise appearance by U2, although I didn’t really know what that opening number was by Kendrick Lamar. I guess I’m just too old as he managed to nab 5 Grammy wins. And how does Metallica not win Best Rock Album for Hardwired To Self Destruct?  And really, how is it nearly every rock category was announced in the pre-TV portion?

One person that did win: the brother of our former Bracewell colleague and now Valero Government Relations head Salo Zelermyer. What????  Yes, Salo’s brother, Gideon Zelermyer won the Grammy for Best Rock Performance.  Gideon is the cantor at the largest synagogue in Montreal who – beyond his congregation – may be best known for his riveting renditions of the both the Canadian and US national anthems at pro sporting events.  Gideon joined with the late Leonard Cohen and the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue choir to win the Grammy for their collaboration on You Want It Darker. The Zelermyer crew beat out far more traditional rockers for the Grammy:  the late Chris Cornell (The Promise), Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters (Run), Kaleo (No Good) and Nothing More (Go to War).

On the sports side, how about that NHL All-Star Game? I just love that 3-on-3 format w/the $1M prize to the winners. Tennis’ first major is over in Australia with Caroline Wozniacki taking the Women’s title for her first Grand Slam title, while the incredible, ageless Roger Federer won the Men’s side for his 20th Grand Slam victory.  Just unreal…

Before we get going, you may have already received info regarding tonight’s 5:30 p.m. welcoming at Charlie Palmer Steak (101 Constitution Avenue N.W.) celebrating the newest members of the PRG team: Anna Burhop, Stoney Burke, Liam Donovan, and Christine Wyman.  And if you haven’t heard, please let me know if you can join us.  We hope to see you tonight.

Exciting times in DC this week with the State of the Union set for tomorrow night. There is a lot of speculation about the tone the president will take. I suspect we will hear discussions of energy dominance, infrastructure, regulatory relief and a lot of boasting about the new tax law.   We are on it, so call with questions.

Of course, the week also starts out strong in Senate EPW, where EPA administrator Scott Pruitt returns to the Senate for the first time since his confirmation hearing.  Maybe a little less interesting tomorrow, Senate Energy votes on DOE/Interior nominees and discusses natural hazards like fire, while House Science tackles DOE management.  Maybe a little more fireworks at a House Resources mark up on Bears Ears legislation tomorrow at 10:30.

On Wednesday, Pruitt speaks to State Ag Directors and Thursday in NYC, my colleague Scott Segal hosts Neil Chatterjee and others at the S&P Power and Gas M&A Symposium.

For next week, in additional to the infrastructure roll out expected Monday, mark your calendars for a Hudson Institute forum where Steve Forbes, the HVAC industry, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead and NRDC’s Dave Doniger all address the important issues surrounding HFCs and the Kigali Amendment.

Congrats (maybe) to our friend and long-time Bloomberg reporter/editor Mark Drajem who today joined the federal communications team at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Super Bowl Sunday is all set…Eagles or Patriots? Regardless of who wins, it better end up on my quarter numbers so I can win something.  We will be live tweeting the Pruitt EPW hearing and the SOTU.  Follow us at @PolicyRez  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We thought President Trump was going to protect manufacturing jobs, and that’s what a refinery does. The renewable fuel standards are like a lead weight around the company.  We want the President to live up to his word.”

Ryan O’Callaghan, president of United Steelworkers Local 10-1, which represents hundreds of Philadelphia Energy Solutions workers.

 

IN THE NEWS

NY Releases Plan for Offshore Wind – New York State on this morning released an exhaustive master plan for offshore wind energy that projects 5,000 people employed in and around a $6 billion industry by 2028. Gov. Cuomo’s plan also makes clear that while offshore wind representing 2,400 megawatts and hundreds of turbines will be in the waters south of Long Island and not visible from shore. The state expects more than 1.2 million homes could be powered by offshore wind. The 60-page report is accompanied by 20 supplemental studies representing more than two years of work and thousands of pages of analysis. The studies examine everything from viable ports to turbine manufacturing and wind-farm construction and staging to the need for cables, pipelines and other infrastructure, as well as the impact on birds, bats and fish.  Our friend Mark Harrington of Newsday has the story. Statoil is among the leading developers of offshore wind in the growing industry along the Atlantic Coast after being granting New York’s first leases last year.

Letter: Energy Trades Says Pass Extenders – More that 60 trade association, most that deal with energy issues wrote to Congress last week urging the passage of a “a seamless multi-year extension of the ‘tax extenders’ as soon as possible.”  Among the groups were Advanced Biofuels Business Council, Advanced Energy Economy, American Gas Assn, AHRI, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, CHP, the Energy Recovery Council, GEO, Nat’l Electrical Contractors Assn, NRECA, Nat’l Propane Gas, and many others. Read the letter here.

DC Court Rejects Appeal of HFC Rule – Speaking of HVAC, the DC Circuit Friday denied a request by manufacturers to rehear a case on overturning the agency’s regulation to limit use of hydrofluorocarbons. The court in August rejected EPA’s initial rule phasing down the use of the global-warming inducing coolant. The world is pushing forward on the Kigali amendment though – a binding part of the Montreal Protocol that aims to phase out HFCs globally. Over Thanksgiving, a State Department official announced it would support the treaty at the 30th anniversary of the Protocol.  The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) said it was not surprised by this decision because the bar for en banc appeals is high.  AHRI’s Francis Dietz said the ruling does not in any way diminish our industry’s commitment to the phase down of HFC refrigerants under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

EPA Ends “Once-in, Always-in” Clean Air Policy – EPA issued notice Thursday it is withdrawing the “once-in, always-in” policy under the Clean Air Act.  The policy dictated how major sources of hazardous air pollutants are regulated. Under the EPA’s new interpretation, such “major sources” can be reclassified as “area sources” when their emissions fall below mandated limits, subjecting them to differing standards.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead is a significant expert on the topic and said “the withdrawal of the “once-in-always-in” was long overdue.  There was no legal basis for it, and it was at odds with other EPA programs.  This policy change does not apply to power plants and it won’t affect large industrial facilities like refineries and chemical plants, but it will give smaller facilities more operational flexibility and reduce unnecessary red tape.” He would be happy to discuss specific details further should you have questions.  You can reach him at 202-294-8700 or jeff.holmstead@bracewell.com

Chamber Weighs in on Energy Policy Successes Through Energy Tracker – Chamber Global Energy Institute expert Dan Byers weighed into the energy policy discussion yesterday in an op-ed in The Hill that says energy policy under Trump will be a boon for Americans and business.  Byers says the Chamber GEI’s Energy Tracker highlights high-profile actions and the collective impact from scores of other measures that illustrate the President’s consistent emphasis on advancing U.S. energy for economic growth.  The tracker provides a unique and detailed look at these individual actions that are an easily-forgotten part of the bigger picture.

Unions Weigh in Heavily on Refinery Bankruptcy – A number of key unions say the recent bankruptcy of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions will hurt unions members in PA that were key to President’s election victory in PA.  The United Steelworkers, the United Association Pipefitters and Boilermakers have issued statement raising concerns about the bankruptcy on their members.  Steelworkers: “Continued indifference by the administration and EPA will only drive more East Coast refineries into bankruptcy while thousands of good jobs that allow highly skilled workers to support their families and sustain their communities are at stake.”  The Pipefitters wrote to Trump: “you made a promise to protect every American manufacturing job. In light of the previously mentioned circumstances, we are urged you to keep that promise and take immediate action to control skyrocketing ring cost. Union jobs in Pennsylvania and across the country depend on it.”

WSJ Addresses PES As Well – Finally, the Wall Street Journal editorial board highlighted the PES bankruptcy putting the blame with the federal government’s biofuels policies.  The Journal quoted Ryan O’Callaghan, president of United Steelworkers Local 10-1, which represents hundreds of Philadelphia Energy Solutions workers. “We thought President Trump was going to protect manufacturing jobs, and that’s what a refinery does,” he said. The renewable fuel standards are “like a lead weight around the company,” he added, and “we want the President to live up to his word.”

Study Says Wind Neighbors Like Wind – A 3-year national lab study published today found that of the 1.3 million homes in America that are within five miles of a wind turbine, a majority of the neighbors have a positive attitude towards the turbines. The survey, led by the Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab, found that inside that range, only 8 percent of respondents had a “negative” or “very negative” opinion of the turbine. For those within half a mile of a large turbine, that percentage grew to 25 percent. The study also asked respondents whether they heard noises from nearby turbines, if they were “annoyed” by any sounds they did hear, and if they perceived the turbine planning process to be fair. A summary and results of the study can be found here.

DOE Starts Solar Manufacturing Effort – Following Last week’s tariff decision, the Department of Energy announced a $3 million prize competition to reenergize innovation in U.S. solar manufacturing. The American Made Solar Prize will incentivize the nation’s entrepreneurs to develop new processes and products that will reassert American leadership in the solar marketplace. This prize is in addition to total DOE funding of up to $400 million for solar projects and technologies in 2017. It will lower barriers American innovators face in reaching manufacturing scale by accelerating the cycles of learning, while helping to create partnerships that connect entrepreneurs to the private sector and the network of DOE’s national laboratories.

US Wind to Surpass Hydro – EIA reports that Wind power is forecast to surpass hydroelectricity for the first time as the nation’s top source of renewable electricity sometime in the next year.  Wind is expected to produce 6.4% of utility-scale electricity in 2018, and 6.9% in 2019, propelled by a construction boom of new turbines across the country.  Few new hydropower plants are in the works, so new electricity generation depends on how much rainfall and water runoff pools in existing dams and reservoirs. Hydropower provided 7.4% of utility-scale generation in 2017 ― a particularly wet year ― but that figure is projected to fall to about 6.5% in 2018 and 6.6% in 2019.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Ag Directors Head to DC – The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture will hold its annual winter policy conference today through Wednesday at the Grand Hyatt.  The event will feature remarks from FDA Director Scott Gottlieb and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who addresses the Group Wednesday.

NAS Panel to Look at Natural Disasters – The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS) will host a workshop tomorrow on deploying sustainable energy after human caused and natural disasters.  Workshop participants will discuss specialized social, economic and engineering challenges and opportunities to deploying sustainable energy in areas that are rebuilding, after major disasters, including California, Puerto Rico, and other areas. The workshop will also explore how regions are building renewable energy into their longer-term planning in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment Committee will host EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

House Science to Look at Energy Department – The House Science Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at the Department of Energy and its management and priorities.  Witnesses include DOE science undersecretary Paul Dabbar and DOE undersecretary Mark Menezes.

Senate Energy to Hold Nominee, Vote Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a business meeting tomorrow to consider the nominations of Melissa Burnison to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs), Susan Combs to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Douglas Nelson to be Solicitor of the Department of the Interior, Anne Marie White to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Environmental Management). Following the vote, it will hold an oversight hearing to examine the role of the Geological Survey and the Forest Service in preparing for and responding to natural hazard events, as well as the current status of mapping and monitoring systems.

House Resources to Look at Bears Ears – The House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Federal Lands holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. to focus on legislation to codify Trump’s presidential proclamation last month shrinking the Bears Ears monument’s footprint by 85%.  Witnesses will include Utah AG Sean Reyes, former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Interior principal deputy assistant secretary for Indian affairs John Tahsuda, Interior’s deputy assistant secretary, land and minerals management Casey Hammond, former Ute Mountain Tribe councilwoman Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee official Tony Small, Zuni, NM councilman Carleton Bowekaty, Hopi Tribal Council’s Clark Tenakhongva, Navajo Nation president Russell Begaye and San Juan County Commission vice chair Rebecca Benally.

WRI to Discuss Energy Access, Policy Innovation – Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., the World Resources Institute will host leading experts from around the world for a discussion on the political economy of energy access and innovative policy solutions.  Together, they will profile innovative reforms that policymakers around the world can adopt to accelerate progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7.

House Energy Panel to Mark Up Ceiling Fan Legislation – The House Energy and Commerce Energy panel will mark up bipartisan legislation tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. that align compliance dates for new ceiling fan standards with those for ceiling fan light kits. Two current standards have compliance dates that are about a year apart, which has created unnecessary challenges for companies. The bill would harmonize compliance dates for both appliances to Jan. 21, 2020.

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

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

Yergin to Discuss 2018 Outlook – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., IHS Markit hosts a webinar conversation with Dr. Daniel Yergin, IHS Markit Vice Chairman, to discuss the critical issues facing the energy industry in 2018.  While the mood in the industry is upbeat, the energy industry is in the midst of a major transformation driven by geopolitical, economic and environmental forces.  In this webinar, Yergin will preview some of the major themes that will be discussed at our CERAWeek 2018.

CSIS to Look at India Energy Policy – On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., CSIS’s Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies and Energy & National Security Program host Dr. Arunabha Ghosh and Abhishek Jain, who will present evidence using on-ground primary data and policy analysis undertaken at the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, South Asia’s leading policy research institution, to answer address these questions. Dr. Kartikeya Singh will moderate a discussion following the presentation. India is undergoing several energy transitions, each of which will matter for its human development and global sustainability. It must undertake programs at scales and within timelines not witnessed anywhere else, create appropriate market conditions to give direction and confidence to technology innovators and investors, and ensure energy security within a rapidly shrinking carbon constraint.

Forum to Look at Climate Path Forward – The Goethe-Institut of Washington and the Sustainability Collaborative of The George Washington University will host an evening of reflections on Wednesday focused on the climate meetings in Paris and Bonn, the next steps forward, and the role of college students in taking those steps.

WEN Set to Launch 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Energy Network holds a reception to kick off our 2018 event series at 6:00 p.m. at Vinson & Elkins. WEN DC is an organization that prides itself on supporting the professional development and advancement of women in the energy industry through relationships and networking.

Climate Activists Groups Meet at GWU – On Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. at GW’s Lisner Auditorium, the activist group Climate Hawks Vote will host Fossil Free Fast: The Climate Resistance.  FFF will feature organizers who’ve led successful campaigns for 100% renewables in their cities, activists who are fighting fossil fuel projects like pipelines, and elected leaders who are pushing for climate action. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben of 350.org, Varshini Prakash of the Sunrise Movement, Rev. Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, Jacqueline Patterson of the NAACP and many more will deliver the state of the climate movement.

French Embassy to Address Climate Policy – The French Embassy is hosting another French Series panel discussion event Thursday at 6:00 p.m. looking at climate change policy issues.  The event will be moderated by our friend Dean Scott, Senior climate change and Capitol Hill environment reporter for Bloomberg Environment.  Panelists include Brookings climate experts David Levaï and Adèle Morris, as well as WRI’s Jennifer Layke.

JHU to Feature Indian Expert to Discuss Coal – On Friday at 12:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University hosts a discussion of energy policy in India and the role of coal, featuring Harvard Kennedy School doctoral student Rohit Chandra, who is studying energy policy and economic history. Like many other countries, India’s industrial base and electricity system has been built largely on the back of coal-based power generation. Both financially, and politically, the Indian state is deeply invested in coal and coal-based power generation. This is likely to make the transition to renewable energy gradual, not precipitous, as many have been predicting. In this talk, Rohit will give a brief historical sketch of the Indian coal industry, and then discuss some of the reasons why coal and its downstream use in power and other industries is likely to persist in India for the foreseeable future.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Hudson Forum to Look at HFC Issues – The Hudson Institute will hold a forum on February 5th to discuss the current status of HFC issues and the Kigali Treaty.  The keynote speaker will be Steve Forbes.  With all the talk of Paris, this just seems like a good NPR story: global efforts to reduce the heat-trapping gases from refrigerants used in air conditioning and cooling.  Other speakers will include White House official David Banks, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, AHRI head Steve Yurek and Ingersoll Rand’s Paul Camuti.

NASEO 2018 Energy Policy Outlook Conference Set – On February 6-9th at The Fairmont in Washington, DC, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold its 2018 Energy Policy Outlook conference.  This conference presents the work of NASEO’s members, the 56 governor designated State and Territory Energy Offices. The conference will feature a wide array of federal and private sector partners that state-level energy offices work with on a day-to-day basis, such as Federal and congressional offices; state and local planners, developers, and regulators working in energy, housing, transportation, climate, and resilience; grid operators and transmission organizations; and businesses and investors interested in clean energy economic development.  Our friends Lisa Jacobson of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Schneider Electric’s Anna Pavlova will be among the presenters.

EV Workshop Set in NoVa – Next Tuesday morning February 6th, Virginia Clean Cities, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Greater Washington Region Clean Cities and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments host an informative workshop on electric vehicles and EV charging stations.  This workshop will provide an overview of the benefits of EVs for fleets, and infrastructure considerations for selecting and installing EV charging equipment. Northern Virginia fleet managers, business leaders and government officials will be able to test drive the newly redesigned, longer-range 2018 Nissan LEAF, the 2018 Chevy Bolt, SmartForTwo, Vantage and other EVs. Participants will also get information on charging options for their fleet, workplace and much more.

EIA to Present Energy Outlook – Next Tuesday February 6th at 10:00 a.m., Johns Hopkins University will host EIA Director Linda Capuano at its Kenney Herter Auditorium to present EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018). AEO2018 includes projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, and prices. The discussion will consider results across AEO2018 cases that vary assumptions regarding U.S. economic growth rates, domestic resources and technology, and world oil prices.

WCEE to Host Battery Discussion – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a Lunch and Learn on Wednesday February 7th at Noon to hear from Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of Energy Storage Association.  Speakes-Backman will share her knowledge of battery storage and the impact it will have on the evolving energy markets.

WoodMac Researcher to Discuss Shale for Energy Economists – The National Capital Chapter of the US Energy Economists hosts its February lunch on Friday February 9th at Noon at Carmines.  Wood MacKenzie Research Director for Natural Gas Liquids Anne Keller will address the often overlooked and usually unheralded bounty of the shale revolution which has led to a huge increase in natural gas liquids production. These chameleons of the hydrocarbon chain, which begin their trip to market as gas and end up transformed into liquids along the way, are providing emerging economies with clean burning fuel and US chemical producers with a potential cost advantage that they are betting billions of dollars will continue.

SEIA, ESA to Host Discussion on Distributed Energy – The Solar Energy Industries Association and the Energy Storage Association will host a breakfast panel discussion Monday February 12th in Washington on Distributed Energy Resource (DER) valuation, interconnection, and benefits to the local grid. The forum will look at the ways in which the location of a DER can provide various grid benefits and may lead to changes in DER compensation.  Speakers include ESA CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman, SEIA’s David Gahl, Douglas Staker of Demand Energy and Sara Baldwin Auck of Regulatory Program.

BCSE to Release Annual Sustainability ReportBloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will release of the 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook in Washington, DC, on February 15th.  In its 6th year, the Factbook provides new industry information and trends for the U.S. energy economy, with an in-depth look at the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors as well as emerging areas such as battery storage and sustainable transportation.  A panel of executives from BCSE members and BNEF analysts look at the cost of energy for consumers and businesses, and how has this changed over time; U.S. ranking for energy prices and clean energy investment; Clean energy contributions to American jobs and other items.

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

Forum to Look at Transmission – WIRES and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a briefing on Tuesday February 13th at 11:00 a.m. on the widespread, substantial, and long-lasting benefits of investment in electric transmission. The briefing will showcase two London Economics International studies – one study quantifies the future benefits of transmission investment based on two hypothetical projects, the second dispels many of the myths that deter and delay transmission investment.  This panel will discuss why transmission should be a major component of the infrastructure conversation and how the economic and societal benefits from a robust high-voltage grid are so important. Speakers study author Julia Frayer of London Economics International, ITC’s Nina Plaushin and former FERC Chair James Hoecker.

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of 1/22

Friends,

Thanks for all the great birthday wishes last week. I’m truly thankful to have so many of you take time from your busy days to wish me well. It is very much appreciated. Special thanks to Stacey, Olivia, Adam and Hannah — as well as my Bracewell colleagues — for making the day extra special. Looking forward to moving through year 50 with gusto!!!

Today, we are overrun by the government shutdown, but it looks like things may be heading towards resolution at least until February 8th with the Senate vote that just occurred.  Still unclear how this will finally play out, but we will continue to follow closely.  Already impacted are DOE and EPA travel, potential focus on the impending solar tariff decisions and the President’s visit to Davos.  AP has a good primer on the overall impacts of the agencies affected.

Despite losing some DOE folks to the shutdown this morning, AHRI’s Expo starts rolls out today in Chicago, while the Washington Auto Show – the industry’s public policy show – starts in earnest Wednesday with events, including two separate Senate Field hearings, through the remainder of the week.  Our friends at SAFE are again on point and you can reach them through Bridget Bartol.  Speakers include EPA’s Scott Pruitt, MI Gov. Rick Snyder, Rep Debbie Dingell and many others.

Speaking of solar and that impending decision which may happen soon, the Heritage Foundation wrote a new blog on the solar tariff issues today and will hold a forum tomorrow at Noon at Heritage.  The blog post says Trump should pull the plug on solar tariffs for three reasons: Innovation, Competitiveness and a Health Job Market.  The event will feature conservative experts like Heritage’s Tori Whiting and R Street’s Clark Parkard, LG’s John Taylor and ETAC’s Paul Nathanson. ETAC is a group of contractors, retailers and utilities that will be impacted by higher tariffs.  And BTW, ETAC sent a letter to President Trump Friday to remind him and his trade team that this issue is an important issue to people who are end users of the solar industry while underscoring that many solar manufacturers who are facing challenges are not facing them because of imports.

Good news here at Bracewell: In addition to the great folks we’ve hired over the last year (former AGA attorney Christine Wyman, former Senate EPW staffer Anna Burhop & tax expert Liam Donovan), our friend Stoney Burke is joining the Policy Resolution Group team.  Burke is a former CoS to TX Rep. Will Hurd and prior to that worked for Southern Company and Rep Chet Edwards.  More on this later…

Patriots – Eagles in two weeks for Super Bowl LII.  Winter Olympics in 3.  And remember, NHL all-stars hit the ice in Tampa this weekend, as well as the NFL’s Pro Bowl playing in Orlando next Sunday (with activities all week).

Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

 

“Trump has spoken unapologetically about unleashing the competitiveness of the entire energy sector. The best way to get there is to remove barriers, rather than create them. ”

Heritage Foundation Trade expert Katie Tubb writing about the impending solar tariff decision expected from the White House. 

 

“Absent RINs, we’re competitive with anyone in the world.”

PES CEO Gregory Gatta said in telephone interview Monday.

 

IN THE NEWS

ETAC Letter Offers Evidence of Impacts of Imports – The Energy Trade Action Coalition (ETAC) sent a letter to President Trump Friday.  The effort was another attempt to remind the Administration and President Trump that this issue is an important issue to people who are end users of the solar industry.  It also underscores that many solar manufacturers who are facing challenges are not facing them because of imports.  The letter says only 3 companies have failed due to imports, while more than 40 have failed because of manufacturing or management failures and include a series of charts that provide the evidence.

Heritage Says Trade Case Need Plug Pulled – In a blog post from yesterday, the Heritage Foundation’s trade expert says President Trump should pull the plug on solar tariffs for three reasons: Innovation, Competitiveness and a Healthy Job Market.  Heritage’s Katie Tubb said there is almost no better way to fossilize an industry than by guaranteeing prices and knocking out the competitors of a select few companies. The only innovation that this spurs is creative ways to lobby the government for new ways to interfere in energy markets. Such intervention would also punish competitive American solar companies in order to keep two failing ones afloat. Refusing new tariffs on solar imports allows the best parts of the solar industry to rise to the top.  Tubb adds Trump should protect competition, not specific competitors. The solar industry in America can provide customers the best, most affordable service to Americans when it is able to access components from the most competitive companies around the globe.  Finally, Tubb adds that there will be negative implications for the rest of the industry and the indirect jobs it creates if the administration bends over backward to shore up two failing companies.

Refiner Reported to File For Bankruptcy – Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC, the owner of the largest U.S. East Coast oil refining complex, announced to its employees on Sunday that it plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as reported by Reuters.  Part of the refiner’s financial troubles stem from a costly biofuels law called the Renewable Fuels Standard, which is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and requires refiners to blend biofuels into the nation’s fuel supply every year, or buy credits from those who do.  Since 2012, Philadelphia Energy Solutions has spent more than $800 million on credits to comply with the law, making it the refiner’s biggest expense after the purchase of crude.

Coalition Says “This is What We’ve Been Warning About’ – The Fueling American Jobs Coalition, a group that includes Steelworkers, small retailers and refiners, including Holly Frontier, PBF, Delta, Valero and others said “what we’re seeing happen at PES is exactly what we’ve been warning about for many months.” The group says the RFS program forces many independent refiners to pay sky-high prices for compliance credits that they simply cannot earn themselves. “Refiners are captive buyers in the lucrative market for these RINs. Those who profit in this situation—Wall Street speculators, large integrated oil companies and large fuel retailers—consistently oppose reasonable changes to the RFS that would diminish their profit stream, even if those profits come at the price of economic pain for refiners and their workers.”  The Coalition said President Trump understands the “havoc” that poorly-designed Washington regulations can wreak on the real economy. “PES is experiencing that pain right before our eyes, and others will follow. Hard-working manufacturing workers in Pennsylvania refineries and elsewhere voted for President Trump with the understanding that he would stand up to special interests and fight for their jobs.”  The group continues to call for the President to “broker a deal among all stakeholders that will help put an end to the crisis that high RINs prices have created for the U.S. refining sector.”

Sen Toomey Calls RFS Job-Killer –U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (Pa.) responded to the news that Philadelphia Energy Solutions is filing for bankruptcy protection by saying the filing is a result of the “counterproductive, job-killing, EPA-imposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that requires an excessive amount of biofuel be blended into the nation’s fuel supply.”  He added while he is pleased PES is able to remain operational during this process and retain its workforce for now, “the mechanism for enforcing the RFS is the primary cause for this bankruptcy filing and it must be fixed. I’ve had extensive conversations with PES management, senior EPA officials, my Senate colleagues, and directly with President Trump in an effort to resolve this situation. I will remain engaged until we find an acceptable solution.”

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

HVAC Expo Set – The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) opens today in Chicago.  The event started 86 years ago as a heating and ventilation show and is the largest HVAC event of the year for the industry.  The 2018 Show hosts more than 2,000 exhibitors and attracting crowds of 65,000 industry professionals from every state in America and 165 countries worldwide.  The Show provides a unique forum for the entire HVACR industry to come together and share new products, technologies, and ideas.  The AHR Expo is co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI, and is held concurrently with ASHRAE’s Winter Conference.

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

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

Senate to Look at NE Storm Impacts – The Senate Energy Committee will convene an oversight hearing tomorrow to examine the performance of the electric power system in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic during recent winter weather events, including the bomb cyclone. Witnesses include FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, Chairman, DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability head Bruce Walker, , North American Electric Reliability Corporation Interim CEO Charles Berardesco, Allison Clement of Goodgrid, PJM CEO Andrew Ott and New England ISO head Gordon van Welie.

Heritage to Look at Solar Trade Case – Heritage will hold a forum on solar tariff issues on tomorrow at Noon.  The event will feature conservative experts like Heritage’s Tori Whiting and R Street’s Clark Parkard, LG’s John Taylor and ETAC’s Paul Nathanson. ETAC is a group of contractors, retailers and utilities that will be impacted by higher tariffs.

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

WCEE to Hold Planning Session – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment is holding its “Come Dream with Us!” Lunch & Learn planning session tomorrow at Noon.  WCEE uses the event to decide what topics to cover in 2018.

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

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

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

Senate Energy Heads to Washington Auto Show for Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee also holds a field hearing at the Washington Auto Show on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in the West Salon Room of the Washington Convention Center.  The hearing will look at energy innovation in automotive technologies and examine the opportunities and challenges facing vehicle technologies, especially energy-relevant technologies.

Forum to Look at Future Mobility – At the 2018 Washington Auto Show, the Global Energy and Innovation Institute (Ei2) will host a lively discussion about electric transportation and the future, addressing such questions as: When will we reach the mass adoption “tipping point” for electric vehicles? How will electric + shared mobility impact community design (roads, charging, commuting)? What new business models will emerge for ownership and fueling?  Panelists include Lyft’s Corey Ershow, David Owens of Xcel Energy, Audi’s Brad Stertz, EVgo’s Marcy Bauer, Dominion’s William Murray and Kevin Miller of ChargePoint.

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

IN THE FUTURE

Senate Energy to Hold Nominee, Vote Hearing – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a business meeting next Tuesday to consider the nominations of Melissa Burnison to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs), Susan Combs to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Douglas Nelson to be Solicitor of the Department of the Interior, Anne Marie White to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Environmental Management). Following the vote, it will hold an oversight hearing to examine the role of the Geological Survey and the Forest Service in preparing for and responding to natural hazard events, as well as the current status of mapping and monitoring systems.

WRI to Discuss Energy Access, Policy Innovation – Next Tuesday at 12:30 p.m., the World Resources Institute will host leading experts from around the world for a discussion on the political economy of energy access and innovative policy solutions.  Together, they will profile innovative reforms that policymakers around the world can adopt to accelerate progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7.

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

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

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

Yergin to Discuss 2018 Outlook – On Wednesday, January 31st at 9:00 a.m., IHS Markit hosts a webinar conversation with Dr. Daniel Yergin, IHS Markit Vice Chairman, to discuss the critical issues facing the energy industry in 2018.  While the mood in the industry is upbeat, the energy industry is in the midst of a major transformation driven by geopolitical, economic and environmental forces.  In this webinar, Yergin will preview some of the major themes that will be discussed at our CERAWeek 2018.

Forum to Look at Climate Path Forward – The Goethe-Institut of Washington and the Sustainability Collaborative of The George Washington University will host an evening of reflections on Wednesday January 31st focused on the climate meetings in Paris and Bonn, the next steps forward, and the role of college students in taking those steps.

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

NASEO 2018 Energy Policy Outlook Conference Set – On February 6-9th at The Fairmont in Washington, DC, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold its 2018 Energy Policy Outlook conference.  This conference presents the work of NASEO’s members, the 56 governor designated State and Territory Energy Offices. The conference will feature a wide array of federal and private sector partners that state-level energy offices work with on a day-to-day basis, such as Federal and congressional offices; state and local planners, developers, and regulators working in energy, housing, transportation, climate, and resilience; grid operators and transmission organizations; and businesses and investors interested in clean energy economic development.  Our friends Lisa Jacobson of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Schneider Electric’s Anna Pavlova will be among the presenters.

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of 11/13

Friends,

The Holiday season is now just around the corner and that means playoffs for Fall sports. High school seasons are closing, and this past weekend, I umpired a MD HS field hockey state final.  We also saw the NCAA Final Fours for field hockey lock with Maryland, UNC, UConn and Michigan in DI.  In DIII, its Middlebury, TCNJ, Franklin & Marshall and defending champ Messiah.  In DII, matchups include LIU-Post/Millersville and Shippensburg/East Stroudsburg.  All the action is in Louisville starting Friday.  And good luck to our friend Jeff Holmstead’s son Eli who will play with his BYU Soccer team for the NIRSA National Soccer Championship this weekend in Arizona.  BYU doesn’t have an NCAA team for various reasons, but their Club team is better than most Varsity programs.

Bonn rolls on this week with key US players arriving today, including White House advisor David Banks.  For those of you following the action, I have been getting great insights from three sources:

  • Chamber Global Energy Institute expert Steve Eule, who has been blogging updates here;
  • Meg Darby (e-mail Meg at md@climatehome.org to subscribe) of ClimateHome who is producing an information-packed daily newsletter, Bonn Bulletin.
  • Info from the Business Council for Sustainable Energy’s Laura Tierney, who is also producing regular updates which you can get by contacting her at ltierney@bcse.org or cell: 202-489-3436.

Speaking of BCSE, they holding a presser tomorrow at 12:30 Central European Time or 6:30 a.m. EST that will focus on a position paper on Powering Ambition at COP 23, which articulates how the falling costs of clean energy technologies makes it more affordable for countries to power ambition toward strong climate action.  Here is a Bonn CET clock translator in case you are trying to call over there.  It is great that Gov. Brown is over in Bonn making noise, but, FYI, he still only speaks for California and cannot conduct foreign policy whether or not he agrees with the White House.  Finally, another interesting Bonn twist is the backlash that Germany is feeling as they expand their coal power plants yet push for emissions reductions and closing nuclear plants.

On Capitol Hill, it seems like things are mostly about either the Alabama Special Election or tax reform.  That being said, after approvals on EPA and DOE nominees (like Bill Wehrum) last week, there may be action on other nominees including CEQ’s Kathleen Harnett-White and EPA #2 Andy Wheeler.  Tomorrow, the House and Senate Energy Committees, as well as House Resources, will tackle the hurricane season and response.  On Wednesday, Senate Environment looks at energy innovation technologies and Senate Energy is back on ANWR with a budget recon markup.

Today, we expect ITC recommendations on the solar trade case to be sent to the President with a detailed staff report that will be available on Wednesday.  Next Monday, the first US Trade Rep public comment deadline hits with a public hearing set for Dec 6.  Meantime, there is a great WashPost Perspective piece from retired USAF Lt Gen. Norman Seip that says cracking down on foreign-made solar panels would make US less secure.  Other events Include a Wednesday Morning Roll Call forum on energy called Energy Decoded at the Newseum featuring Clearpath’s Rich Powell and former ND Sen. Byron Dorgan, an Thursday infrastructure forum with CEQ’s Alex Hergott and Resources Chair Rob Bishop at the ROA and the USAEE November luncheon Friday with former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark.

Outside DC, NARUC has launched in Baltimore today with its annual winter meetings.  The conference always tackles key on energy policy, telecommunications, and other utility topics. Key speakers include Montana PUC Commissioner Travis Kavulla, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, former Commissioners Marc Spitzer and Tony Clark, DOE’s Travis Fisher and many others.

Next week is Thanksgiving Week!!!!  So, as usual, you can expect some announcements – perhaps like the RVOs which are due at the end of the month, but always seem to find their way into pre-Thanksgiving roll out…  Stay tuned…Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

THIS WEEK’S LOBBY SHOP

The new episode of The Lobby Shop is live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This week’s episode features our great tax expert Liam Donovan (liam.donovan@bracewell.com) explores what’s coming up for tax reform in light of this week’s Senate tax plan and its differences and similarities compared to last week’s House bill.  Remember our address for listeners to reach out with topic suggestions, feedback, etc. – thelobbyshop@policyres.com.

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

““It has been estimated that 95 percent of all gasoline supply outlets in the United States cannot legally store or dispense ethanol blends higher than 10 percent. EPA, OSHA and state fire regulations have essentially drawn a line in the sand by requiring all facilities storing and dispensing gasoline blends greater than E10 to prove underground storage tank (UST) system compatibility with higher ethanol content fuels. The often-impossible task of demonstrating compatibility with E15 for UST equipment currently in the ground has put the clear majority of PMAA members, the consuming public and the nation’s gasoline supply and distribution chain in a precarious situation.”

PMAA Head Rob Underwood in a letter to Senate EPW Chair John Barrasso regarding issues surrounding the Renewable Fuels Standard. 

Germany’s ambitious vision for “energiewende,” or energy transformation, has proved far more difficult to execute than it was to plan: “It’s not just a technical shift. It’s a societal shift.  There are so many vested interests in keeping the old structures, and people will cling to them as long as they can.”

Rebecca Bertram, an energy expert with the Greens party-aligned Heinrich Böll Foundation in a Washington Post Story on concerns about Germany’s use of coal. 

 

IN THE NEWS

Military Expert Says Solar Trade Case Makes U.S. Less Secure – Retired USAF Lt. Gen. Norman Seip penned on “Perspective” in the Washington Post today that says cracking down on foreign-made solar panels would make U.S. less secure.  Seip says the U.S. military depends on a diverse set of energy resources, and increasingly that includes solar energy. Over the past seven years, the price of solar has dropped by 70%, giving our military a cost-effective, reliable, flexible source of electricity for its operations.  Seip: “The tariffs proposed would significantly raise the cost of solar energy, jeopardizing the financial viability of solar projects at U.S. military bases across the globe and threatening our long-term security interests.” Seip finally said that if the President wants to put America first, he should reject tariffs that would endanger our troops and harm national security, and instead support our military and veterans by giving them the diversity of energy resources and jobs they need.

Platts Podcast Talks to Former EIA Head on Shale – On this week’s Platts’ podcast, Richard Newell, the former head of the US Energy Information Administration and current president of Resources for the Future, talks about his new study on the responsiveness of US shale operators. Brian Schied and Newell address market changes turning the US into a global swing producer and need of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  See it here.

Wehrum Approved by Full Senate – The Senate approved Bill Wehrum to be assistant administrator for air and radiation at EPA, filling a top vacancy in Administrator Scott Pruitt staff.  Wehrum was approved on a vote of 49-47.   Former EPA Air Office Head and my Bracewell colleague Jeff Holmstead said: “As someone who has been the head of the Air Office, I am particularly happy that Bill Wehrum is one step closer to taking over that job.  Bill will be a huge help at the Agency and is the ideal person to shepherd Administrator Pruitt’s reforms through the regulatory process.  He has the trust and respect of both the political leadership and the career staff and will make sure that that all the reforms are done thoughtfully and in accordance with the law.”

PMAA Send Letter on RFS Storage Tank Concerns – The Petroleum Marketers Assn of American (PMAA) sent a letter to Senate Environment Chair John Barrasso underscoring challenges that retailers and marketers face if they are forced to use ethanol blends higher that 10% either through higher RVOs or new legislation.  The problems are both corrosion and volatility. PMAA Rob Underwood writes the inability of marketers to legally certify their equipment to be compatible with E15 would cause severe economic harm through significant disruption of the gasoline supply and distribution network below the terminal rack. It has been estimated that 95% of all gasoline supply outlets in the United States cannot legally store or dispense ethanol blends higher than 10%. EPA, OSHA and state fire regulations have essentially drawn a line in the sand by requiring all facilities storing and dispensing gasoline blends greater than E10 to prove underground storage tank (UST) system compatibility with higher ethanol content fuels. The often-impossible task of demonstrating compatibility with E15 for UST equipment currently in the ground has put the clear majority of PMAA members, the consuming public and the nation’s gasoline supply and distribution chain in a precarious situation. The number of UST systems that are unable to meet legal compatibility certification requirements is significant. For those sites, the only option is to upgrade components or potentially the entire system to those that are of known compatibility.”  Can forward the letter if you need it.

4th Grid Modernization Index Finds CA, IL, TX, MD, OR as Leaders – The GridWise Alliance, in collaboration with Clean Edge, Inc., today announced the release of its fourth Grid Modernization Index (GMI-4). The Index ranks and assesses all 50 states and the District of Columbia based upon the degree to which they are moving toward a modernized electric grid. The Grid Modernization Index report is available for download at www.gridwise.org and www.cleanedge.com.  For the second consecutive edition, California ranks highest overall, and places first in each of the three GMI categories (state support, customer engagement, and grid operations). California has a nine-point lead over second-place Illinois, while Texas ranks third. Maryland and Oregon rank fourth and fifth respectively. Rounding out the top ten are Arizona, Washington, DC, New York, Nevada, and Delaware. The Index offers Seven Key Takeaways, providing lessons and best practices for a rapidly modernizing grid, including the pace of grid modernization efforts has accelerated, focus on recent hurricanes and other extreme weather events – as well as human-caused cybersecurity and physical security threats, continuing progress toward comprehensive grid modernization, effort are just getting under way, utilities are prioritizing efforts to address customer demands for greater choice and the capability to manage their own energy usage and clean energy targets by states, cities, and corporations are driving utility efforts to accommodate growth.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Climate Change Meeting Set for Bonn – The UN climate change conference rolls on this week in Bonn, Germany with key US players arriving today, including White House advisor David Banks.  The Business Council for Sustainable Energy holds a presser tomorrow at 12:30 Central European Time or 6:30 a.m. EST that will focus on a position paper on Powering Ambition at COP 23, which articulates how the falling costs of clean energy technologies makes it more affordable for countries to power ambition toward strong climate action.  Here is a Bonn CET clock translator in case you are trying to call over there.  It is great that Gov. Brown is over in Bonn making noise, but he still only speaks for California and cannot conduct foreign policy whether or not he agrees with the White House.  Finally, another interesting Bonn twist is the backlash that Germany is feeling as they expand their coal power plants yet push for emissions reductions and closing nuclear plants.

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

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

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

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

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

Minority Groups to Release Oil, Gas Report— The NAACP, Clean Air Task Force and National Medical Association hold briefing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club to unveil a report on impacts of oil and gas development on African-American communities.

Senate, House Energy, House Resources to Look at Hurricanes – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The hearing will hear from Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, DOE’s Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Asst Sect., Bruce Walker, Army Corps deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations Donald Jackson and PREPA head Ricardo Ramos, among others. They will hold a second panel that will feature mostly representatives from authorities in Puerto Rico.  As well, at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing on response and recovery to environmental concerns from the 2017 hurricane season.  Finally, House Resources will hold a third hearing at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow that will examine accountability in disaster recovery financial matters.

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

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

Senate Energy Looks at ANWR Again –The Senate Energy Committee returns ANWR on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. when it will hold a business meeting to consider, pursuant to H.Con.Res.71, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2018, reconciliation legislation to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to establish and administer a competitive oil and gas program in the non-wilderness portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, known as the “1002 Area” or Coastal Plain.

Senate to Look at Emissions Reductions Through Innovation – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. promoting American leadership in reducing air emissions through innovation. Witnesses include NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources Carbon Management Institute director Kipp Coddington and Zoe Lipman, director of the Vehicles and Advanced Transportation Program at the BlueGreen Alliance.

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

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

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

Forum to Discuss Rebuilding America – The Progressive Policy Institute and Common Good host a Capitol Hill forum on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at the Reserve Officers Association looking at rebuilding America.  The discussion is intended to rekindle a sense of political urgency around modernizing America’s run-down infrastructure, and figuring out how to pay for it.  Speakers include CEQ’s Alex Herrgott, House Resources Chairman Rob Bishop, Rep. John Delaney, Association of American Railroads CEO Edward Hamberger and ACC’s Anne Kolton, as well as many others.

Forum to Discuss Brazil Oil, Gas – The Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute hosts a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at pre-salt auctions in Brazil’s oil and gas industry.  The Director-General of ANP, Decio Fabrício Oddone da Costa, will discuss the objectives of Brazil’s new regulatory framework for the oil & gas policy.

Forum to Look at Grid-Interactive Buildings – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a forum on Thursday at Noon in 2045 Rayburn to Look grid interactive efficient buildings. The influx in smart technologies and internet-connected devices creates a unique opportunity for energy efficiency: these devices can enable American business owners and families to save energy and money, while also providing valuable new services to utilities and increasing building responsiveness to the grid. The discussion will feature the building technology sector’s top energy efficiency experts in conversation on the latest efforts by the U.S. Department of Energy and others to help grow connectedness across the entire building sector, from commercial to residential, by creating more grid-interactive, efficient buildings.  Rep. Paul Tonko makes opening remarks.

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

Hill Honors Top LobbyistsThe Hill holds a reception at 13U on Thursday night to honor Washington’s elite policy influencers at The Hill’s Top Lobbyists Reception.  Following the release of our annual list, we are recognizing Capitol Hill’s most distinguished lobbyists for their leadership in shaping policy across all fields.  My colleagues Dee Martin and Scott Segal were among the Top Lobbyists and many of our friends in industry, firms and NGOs are in there as well.

Pruitt to Address Federalist Group – The Federalist Society’s National Lawyer Convention hosts EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for an address on his agenda.

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

IN THE FUTURE

USTR Comment Deadline on Solar Trade Case – November 20th

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

WRI to Host Forum on Energy Access – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum next Monday at Noon on how energy access for all benefits the economy and the environment.  Michael Westphal will present his paper on energy access – another chapter of the “World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City.” Millions of residents in some of the fastest growing cities in the world don’t have access to clean, reliable energy, and the challenge of reaching them is not getting easier. In 2012, only 58 percent of the urban population had access to electricity in low-income countries, and nearly 500 million urban residents worldwide used dirty and harmful cooking fuels like charcoal and wood.

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

THANKSGIVING – November 26th

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

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

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

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

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

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

Energy Update: Week of February 13

Friends,

Hope you are ready for Valentine’s Day.   You should hurry up if you haven’t made plans yet…time is a-tickin’.

Last night’s Grammys went off without much of a hitch and Adele was the big winner.   James Corden was good, but he exposed perhaps my biggest takeaway:  How is it that these music stars (at least we know Neil Diamond knew) don’t know the words to Sweet Caroline.  I mean every person in Boston, my kids and millions of others know every word to this classic.  I, of course, thought the best part of the show was the Metallica-Lady GaGA’ duet on Moth Into Flame, even with the mic failure.  Speaking of Metallica, the US tour for Hardwired was announced today with Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat warming up.  It is a similar line up from the 2012 Orion Festival in Atlantic City — which we attended and was AWESOME!   I am looking at May 10 in Baltimore, May 19 in Boston and possibly July 12 in Detroit.

It is a busy week in the run up to President’s Day recess on Capitol Hill with Senate nomination votes expected on up to 8 candidates.  While it is not totally clear because the Majority Leader is holding it close, expected on the plate are Treasury Secretary Mnuchin tonight and Linda McMahon’s nomination to lead the Small Business Administration tomorrow.  Timing remains unclear after that but we are hearing that EPA nominee Scott Pruitt may be next, with the expected floor battle to be drawn out.  While not in jeopardy, the only real question that remains is how many Democrats facing tough re-elections in Red States will support Pruitt.  In addition, timing of the nominations of Rick Perry for Energy and Ryan Zinke at Interior remain in flux despite being relatively non-controversial.  Also look out for the reintroduction of Shaheen-Portman this week, expected Wednesday.  Also we expect some discussion of the Methane CRA this week in the Senate and more interior-related CRAs in the House.  Chamber Energy Institute experts are monitoring closely and can discuss should you need details.

On the hearing calendar this week the schedule cranks up with several interesting hearings.  Tomorrow, House Energy looks at self-driving car technology (our friends at SAFE can help).  On Wednesday, House Science looks at the DOE Loan Guarantee program, House Energy tackles energy infrastructure and Senate Environment looks at modernizing the Endangered Species Act and Thursday the House Energy Committee will focus on the Clean Air Act and potential reforms.

Off the Hill, NARUC meets in Washington at its Winter Meetings, ACCF hosts Kevin Brady to talk taxes, my colleague Jeff Holmstead headlines a panel at the Duke’s Nicholas School Wednesday, Heritage looks at Climate models on Thursday and Friday the USEA hosts the World Coal Assn.

Finally, tonight, college hockey’s most important bragging rights will be decided when Harvard takes on BU in the finals in Boston’s Beanpot tournament at TD Gah-Den.  Game on – despite a wicked 18 inches of snow yesterday (as reported live by Hannah from Wellesley).  Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The trend lines in the 2017 Factbook are clear: energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy are benefitting American consumers, American businesses and American manufacturers. And that adds up to one conclusion: clean energy wins for America.” 

Lisa Jacobson, head of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy at the release of the BNEF/BCSE 2017 Sustainable Energy FactBook.

 

IN THE NEWS

Energy Factbook Rolls Out – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released their 5th annual edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook last week providing valued insight into key U.S. energy statistics related to energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy and outlines key factors influencing America’s energy infrastructure, economy and environment. American consumers spent less than 4% of their total annual household spending on energy in 2016, the smallest share ever recorded by the U.S. government, a new study finds. Falling costs for electricity, gasoline and natural gas along with energy efficiency measures have contributed to a dramatic drop in consumer spending on energy. This finding, from the 2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, is supported by U.S. energy statistics highlighting improvements in energy efficiency, natural gas production and use and renewable energy deployment. The 2017 Factbook, compiled by research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), is the fifth edition of this annual resource. The Factbook outlines key trends influencing America’s investment and economics, energy supply and energy demand.

SAFE 4Q Fact Pack Hit OPEC, Looks at Oil Impacts – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released its Energy Security Fact Pack for the 4th quarter of 2016.  The Fact Pack gives readers a data-driven overview of the latest trends in energy security, including domestic and global oil production and consumption, oil market dynamics and prices, and up-to-date information on fuel efficiency and alternative fuel vehicles.  The Energy Security Fact Pack for 4Q 2016 examines the slow pace of the oil market’s rebalancing, continued price volatility, record electric vehicle sales, and more.

Chamber, Biz Groups Raise Reg Concerns – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter along with 616 groups to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanding action on the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) of 2017.  The letter says now is the time for Congress to reclaim its constitutional legislative authority by ensuring agencies implement congressional intent, not the intent of the agency. “With both the new presidential administration and the U.S. House of Representatives agreeing on the urgent need for regulatory reform, the Senate is presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass much-needed modernization of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), whose rulemaking provisions have remained virtually unchanged since it was enacted in 1946.  The Senate has a unique chance to bring real structural reform to the way agencies adopt the most costly rules that fundamentally change our nation.”  RAA would ensure that our regulatory environment is stabilized with a long term solution instead of a short term fix. By designing a process that achieves the maximum public benefit through the implementation of the most cost-effective rules, the executive branch would have a framework of accountability to pursue rules that actually make sense and avoid rules that one president’s administration may think is right and another may think is wrong. The legislative and executive branches have a unique opportunity to accomplish regulatory reform once and for all.  Here’s the full list of organizations who have signed on to the letter.

Former EPA Enforcement Official Looks at Trump EPA – The former head of EPA’s criminal investigation division Doug Parker, now President of Earth & Water Strategies, has a piece in this week’s BNA Daily Environment Report that offers perspective on the future of federal civil and criminal environmental enforcement in a Trump Administration.  Parker says the EPA administrator has minimal day-to-day impact on civil enforcement and no practical influence when it comes to what criminal cases to investigate and how to investigate them. He adds that innovation and market-based opportunities to advance environmental compliance will most likely find a receptive audience with both groups. You can read it here.

High-Profile Carbon Tax Plan Gets Focus – A group of prominent Republicans – including two former secretaries of state, James A. Baker III and George P. Shultz; two former chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers, Martin S. Feldstein and N. Gregory Mankiw; and former treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. – were talking carbon taxes last week and created quite a splash.

Report: Community Solar Driving Market – GTM Research has released it latest solar report saying the community solar segment is on the cusp of becoming a mainstream driver of U.S. solar market growth. Starting in 2017, community solar is expected to consistently drive 20% – 25% of the annual non-residential PV market and become a half-gigawatt annual market by 2019. The report explores the primary drivers, risks and markets shaping how community solar will achieve scale, both in the complex policy landscape for third party-led community solar and with the emergence of megawatt-scale utility-led programs. Developers, financiers, installers and suppliers should read this report to learn more about the nearly 3 GW of community solar in development across 29 states.

Lincoln Group Lands Former Valero DC Office Head Felner – Lincoln Policy Group Founder, Former U.S. Senator Blanche L. Lincoln announced today that veteran Republican lobbyist and former Valero DC office head Craig Felner will join the Lincoln Policy Group effective February 13th.   Felner will add significant value to the team according to Lincoln.  “Craig is well known and highly respected within House and Senate Republican circles and offers a unique understanding of corporate dynamics that will add tremendous value to our current and future clients,” said former U.S. Senator Blanche L. Lincoln.  Prior to joining LPG, Craig ran the Washington, DC office of Valero Energy Corporation, a Fortune-50 energy company based in San Antonio, TX. In that capacity, Craig oversaw all in-house staff and ran a robust team of outside consultants.  Felner arrived in Washington in 1995 as an intern for former Energy and Commerce Chair Joe Barton before moving across Capitol Hill to work for former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas as a Legislative Assistant for 6 years. Craig was later appointed by President George W. Bush to a high-ranking position in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

NARUC Conference Set – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners hosts its yearly Winter Committee Meetings in Washington, D.C. today through Wednesday at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  As usual, the groups has assembled an array of speakers and sessions that continue to advance the priorities and issues facing state utility regulators. Next Monday, PA PUC Commissioner Robert Powelson hosts a discussion on infrastructure with Exelon CEO Chris Crane, API’s Jack Gerard and others.  Other speakers include FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, Chamber Energy CEO Karen Harbert, Paul Cicio of the Industrial Consumers of America, NRDC’s Dave Doniger, former EPA GC Roger Martella and many others.

ACCF to Host Brady for Tax Discussion – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will host a discussion tomorrow with House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady.  This follows a recent panel on Border Tax issues slated for this Wednesday.

House Energy Looks at Committee Self-Driving Cars – The House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittees on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will convene a hearing tomorrow at 10:15 looking at self-driving cars and the road to deployment.  Witnesses will include GM’s Mike Abelson, Dr. Nidhi Kalra of the RAND Center for Decision Making Under Uncertainty, Volvo’s Anders Karrberg, Joseph Okpaku of Lyft and Gill Pratt, Executive Technical Advisor and CEO of the Toyota Research Institute.

Former FERC Chair Bay to Address Energy Storage Forum – On Wednesday, the 3rd Annual Energy Storage Policy Forum will be held at the National Press Club.   The new Administration and Congress bring with it a new focus and new opportunities. Impending transitions at FERC, DOE, and other agencies have significant ramifications for the continued growth of energy storage.  Speakers will include retired FERC Commissioner Norman Bay, Mass Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson and Cal PUC Commissioner Carla Peterman.

House Energy Looks at Energy, Electricity Infrastructure – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on modernizing energy and electricity delivery systems.  The hearing will focus on the challenges and opportunities to promote infrastructure improvement and expansion.  Witnesses will include IBEW’s Lonnie Stephenson, GE’s Ganesh Bell, EPRI’s Michael Howard, GridWise Alliance CEO Steve Hauser, LIUNA President Terry O’Sullivan, Rex Ferry on behalf of the National Electrical Contractors Association, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe councilman at large Chad Harrison and Joey Mahmoud of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

House Science to Look at Loan Guarantee Program – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking the DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program.  Witnesses will include Heritage’s Diane Katz, Cato’s Chris Edwards, Dan Reicher of the Stanford University Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance and Ryan Yonk of the Utah State University.

Senate Environment Launches ESA Discussion – The Senate Environment Committee will take a fresh look at reforming the Endangered Species Act in a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  While it is unclear how this will play out, the witnesses are a serious list of folks with great expertise.  Witnesses include former Wyoming Gov. David Freudenthal (D), former Clinton/Obama Interior official Jamie Rappaport Clark, now CEO of Defenders of Wildlife; Former Obama Fish & Wildlife Head Dan Ashe, now CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums; Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation president James Holte and Gordon Myers, executive director of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and president of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Brookings to Look at Global Risks – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Governance Studies at Brookings will host an event to discuss the management of global catastrophic risk. For decades, international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank have helped national, regional, and global leaders tackle these challenges. However, many believe that new approaches and fresh thinking are needed in the global governance arena. What are these different perspectives? Are the UN, IMF, World Bank, and other supranational organizations equipped to meet the new challenges of the modern era? Are there different organizations or institutions that are better suited for the problem-solving needed today?

Forum Look at Strategies for Power Sector Transition in US, Germany – The Atlantic Council hosts a conversation on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. with power sector experts from the United States and Germany to discuss the drivers of this transformation, to compare the challenges these innovative countries are facing, what approaches are being taken, and explore the emerging future of this critical part of our societies.

Holmstead, Others Address Southeast Power Challenges – Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, will hold an event on Wednesday at Noon focused on the energy and environmental policy challenges facing the Southeast power sector as the next administration takes office. The event will gather stakeholders from across the region in Washington, D.C., to discuss the state of the electricity sector and key issues facing state and federal policymakers, including how market factors and federal policy will affect electricity sector planning in 2017 and beyond. Invitees include representatives from electric utilities, environmental NGOs, energy companies, and state agencies.  Speakers include my colleague Jeff Holmstead, Clearpath’s Zack Baig, Georgia PSC Commissions Lauren McDonald, Entergy’s Rick Johnson, former Senate Staffer and Nicholas Institute expert Tim Profeta, among others.

Senate Commerce Panel Looks at Freight Rail Efficiency, Safety – The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation panel on Surface Transportation will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in Russell 253 looking at  how to increase the efficiency and safety of our nation’s multimodal transportation system.  Witnesses will include BNSF Railway Chair Matt Rose, Schneider National CEO Chris Lofgren, Dow Chemical’s Tom Gurd and Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman.

House Energy Panel Looks Clean Air Act – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment will start hearings Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on reforms to the Clean Air Act.  The panel is taking advantage of new authority to look at updating major environmental statutes, with an eye toward pruning any perceived barriers to economic growth. Among the witnesses will be NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, the Chamber’s Thomas Sullivan, Kevin Sunday of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and New Bedford, Mass Mayor Jon Mitchell.

CSIS Forum to Look at Oil Markets – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program holds a discussion on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. with President of RBN Energy Rusty Braziel, ESAI Energy’s Managing Principal of Petroleum & Alternative Fuels Sarah Emerson, and IHS Energy’s VP of Oil Markets (Midstream and Downstream) Kurt Barrow on where U.S. domestic and global oil and gas markets are heading in 2017. We enter the new year with higher oil prices, but also the continued questions around the implementation of and compliance with announced OPEC and non-OPEC supply cutbacks, resurgent U.S. production, enormous stocks, potential increases from Nigeria, Libya, and elsewhere, still-enormous stocks, and various forecasts of new demand growth.

Panel Looks at African Americans in Energy – On Thursday at 11:00 a.m. in 121 Cannon, Rep. Marc Veasey hosts a panel discussion in observation of Black History Month looking at African Americans leaders in energy.  The panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities for African Americans in the energy sector. Moreover, the discussion seeks to educate Members, staffers, stakeholders and students pursuing STEM degrees or jobs in the energy industry, examine current energy policy issues and offer an outlook for the 115th Congress.  Panelists Include FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable, Volt Energy CEO Gilbert Campbell, Ray Dempsey of BP America, American Association of Blacks in Energy President Paula Glover and Chevron’s Telisa Toliver.

Heritage Forum to Look at Science, Modeling – The Heritage Foundation will host a forum on Thursday at Noon on climate modeling, science, and economics behind climate change.  The event will feature Heritage’s Nick Loris and their in-house statistician Kevin Dayaratna, University of Guelph scientist Ross McKitrick and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger of Cato’s Center for the Study of Science.

RTOs Speak at Grid Forum – WIRES, the House Grid Innovation Caucus, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. looking at the modernization of the nation’s critical network of high-voltage transmission. Designed and built well before the digital age to serve more localized customer loads, the “grid” is struggling to support active and increasingly competitive wholesale power markets that now operate regionally. It is often congested or inadequate to deliver domestic energy resources that are not close to customers. Its aging facilities have acknowledged weather and cyber vulnerabilities. Speakers include Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), as well as Midcontinent ISO’s Clair Moeller, Southwest Power Pool’s Mike Ross and Craig Glazer of PJM Interconnection.

Forum to Look at Climate Threats – In the February USAID Adaptation meeting on Thursday at 4:00 p.m., Cardno principal Michael Bilney, MBA will discuss Cardno’s collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a risk-based method to screen hundreds of NOAA facilities and evaluate the most at-risk facilities’ vulnerability to potential climate change threats.  The approach combined qualitative risk assessment, and asset management facility condition and engineering assessments to identify site-specific vulnerabilities and related adaptation and resilience improvement actions. Bilney will summarize the phases of the analysis and provide key lessons learned, adaptation and resilience improvement measures and strategies developed during the recently completed project.  He will also summarize critical activities in the recommended process developed to guide future NOAA facility climate change vulnerability assessments.

RBN CEO to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists will hold its February luncheon on Friday at Noon at Carmines featuring RBN CEO Rusty Braziel. Braziel is President and CEO of RBN Energy, a leading energy market analysis and advisory firm and is the author of The Domino Effect, bestseller book about understanding energy markets. Braziel will address the economics of new drilling and the recovery.

USEA to Host World Coal CEO – On Friday at 2:00 p.m., USEA hosts Benjamin Sporton, Chief Executive of the World Coal Association.  Sporton will look at how the global coal market is changing and what happens to the Paris Agreement under the new Trump administration.

 

IN THE FUTURE

RFA Ethanol Conference Set of San Diego – The Renewable Fuels Association hold its 2017 National Ethanol Conference on February 20-22 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The forum will address policy and market issues and what industry can do to develop both domestic and foreign markets, including expanding infrastructure, blends above E10, high octane fuels and exports.  At a key Panel on the first day, AFPM President Chet Thompson will join RFA CEO Bob Dinneen for a future of fuels policy discussion.  Our friend Rachel Gantz will also host a panel of journalists including WSJ’s Amy Harder to discuss media coverage of the policy issues.

Faison, Crane, Browner Headline Nuclear Summit – Third Way will host an Advanced Nuclear Summit on Tuesday, February 21st starting at 8:00 a.m. at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  The event will examine the massive opportunities that advanced nuclear offers the U.S., and the need for quick action in Washington to capture those opportunities. We’ll explore benefits like economic growth and competitiveness, job creation, and global leadership on issues like climate change, security, and poverty with a wide variety of leaders in this space.  Speakers will include ClearPath Foundation Jay Faison,  CEO Exelon CEO Chris Crane, NuScale CEO John Hopkins, Nobel-Prize winning physicist Burton Richter, the AFL-CIO’s Liz Shuler and former EPA Administrator and Obama climate advisor Carol Browner.

SAFE, CTA to Discuss AV Benefits – The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), in partnership with Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), will hold a lunchtime briefing on Wednesday February 22nd at 12:30 p.m. in 2167 Rayburn on the benefits self-driving vehicles will have on improving everyday life.  The panel discussion features CTA CEO Gary Shapiro, SAFE AV Safety Commission member and former GM exec Bob Lange and Toyota’s Hilary Cain.  SAFE CEO Robbie Diamond will moderate.

USEA Looks At Distributed Energy Valuation – On Wednesday February 22nd at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Association hosts a briefing the various dimensions of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) valuation (with a particular focus on locational value), current efforts to employ these valuation methodologies, and the implications for utilities and regulators. The speaker will be Vazken Kassakhian, Research Analyst at the Smart Electric Power Alliance.

Webinar Looks at Capacity Market Reforms – On Wednesday, February 22nd at 2:00 p.m., Power Markets Today hosts a timely and insightful webinar looking at new capacity reforms.  Speakers will include PJM Independent Market Monitor and Monitoring Analytics President Dr. Joseph Bowring, New England Power Generators Association President Dan Dolan, NEPOOL Representative and Energy Market Advisors Principal Brian Forshaw and Advanced Energy Management Alliance Representative and Achieving Equilibrium Founder Tom Rutigliano.  Our friend James Downing hosts.

Panel Looks at Trump Energy Policy – The Cato Institute will host a lively look at energy policy in the new administration on Wednesday, February 22nd at 4:00 p.m.  The event will feature IER Founder Robert L. Bradley, Institute for Energy Research; Adele Morris of Brookings and Catrina Rorke, of the R Street Institute.

WCEE to Look at Wholesale Capacity Markets – On Friday, February 24th, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) hosts a lunch discussion with Emma Nicholson, Ph.D., an economist at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, and a WCEE member. Nicholson will provide an overview of capacity markets in the FERC-jurisdictional RTOs/ISOs that have them (Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO)/Independent System Operators (ISO)). This overview will also explain the general concept of capacity as a product and explain recent changes to the design of FERC-jurisdictional capacity markets.  The event will be held at FERC.

WAPA, CR to Announce Top 2017 Picks – WAPA and Consumer Reports will holds its February luncheon at the National Press Club on February 28th at Noon to announce the organization’s 2017 Top Picks and Brand Reports Cards. The event is one of the highlights of the year for WAPA. Each spring, consumers and auto-industry insiders alike look to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue and website for its Top Picks in cars and trucks. From best and worst in fuel economy, reliability and safety to tips on how to get the best deal, CR provides consumers unbiased ratings, recommendations, and advice that help consumers make informed decisions with their next car purchase.

ARPA-E Forum Set – The annual ARPA-E Innovation Forum will be held on February 27th through March 1st at the Gaylord at National Harbor. Summit is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its eighth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market.  Among the speakers will be Duke’s Lynn Good (who will be interviewed by our friend Bill Loveless), Sen. Cory Gardner and Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs, as well as somebody from the new Trump Administration.

ACCF Panel Hosts former Commissioners to Look at FERC Challenges – The American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research will moderate a discussion on Tuesday, February 28th at 12:30 p.m. in 485 Russell.  The event will feature former FERC Commissioners Philip Moeller and James Hoecker on a wide range of policy issues facing FERC.   The discussion comes at a particularly interesting time for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which entered the new year with a full plate of issues, including the challenge of ensuring electric reliability in the face of increasing environmental pressures from outside advocacy groups. And the Commission does so without its full complement of commissioners, having now just two of its five seats filled after the sudden resignation of Norman Bay.  Our friend Glen Boshart will moderate.

CERAWeek Set for Houston – The 36th CERAWeek by IHS Markit will be held on March 6th through 10th in Houston at the Hilton Americas.  CERAWeek is the premier annual international gathering of energy industry leaders, experts, government officials and policymakers, leaders from the technology, financial, and industrial communities – and energy technology innovators. Midst the turbulence and uncertainty in energy markets this year, CERAWeek 2017 will provide new insights and critically-important dialogue – and a very cost efficient way to engage on the most urgent questions with decision-makers from around the world.  A laundry list of other key energy speakers/CEOs will speak.  See the list here.

Southern NextEra Execs Address Transmission Summit – The 20th Transmission Summit will be held March 6-8th at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  The event brings together policy makers with transmission industry leaders to develop strategies that will take advantage of opportunities created by emerging policy, regulatory and technological changes.  Topics will include post-election policy shifts and potential new opportunities for transmission infrastructure investment, dealing with the impacts of revisions to FERC’s Order 1000 processes on regional planning and competitive projects, integrating and interconnecting ever more renewable energy assets and using non-transmission alternatives and storage to defer new builds and replace aging infrastructure.  Key speakers include former FERC Chair Joe Kelliher of NextEra, Southern’s Bruce Edelston, and Georgia PSC Commissioner Tim Echols, among others.

GEA to Host DC Meeting – On March 7th, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will hold its International Geothermal Forum in Washington, DC.

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona from March 27 – 29 at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  More on this in the future.