Holiday Energy Update

Friends,

So it finally is the week of the Christmas Holiday.  I suspect that means it will slow down a little.  (I hope, although it hasn’t yet as of Noon today…)  In the meantime, we await the last major cabinet announcement from President-Elect Trump: USDA Secretary.  The leading candidate in the rumor mill is North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who has been in line with Trump positions and very strong on energy and ag issues.  Remember, the NRECA should be one of your primary calls when the USDA announcement is made.

As well, we are starting to see significant discussion about the Republican tax overhaul plan that features a border adjustment plan.  A  pair of new studies over the weekend from PIRA and the Brattle Group say the border adjustment would amount to a $10-a-barrel tax on imported crude oil, raising costs for drivers buying gasoline by 25 to 30 cents a gallon.  Our man in tax Havana, Curt Beaulieu is all over the issue and can be a huge help on the impacts.  You can reach Curt at 202-828-5806 or curtis.beaulieu@bracewelllaw.com.

As we move through the holidays, we fully expect to hear rumbles from opponents of the energy and environmental cabinet nominees.  We are happy to be your story sounding board, addressing your questions, providing background and offering assistance to get the full picture on these issues.

As for the holidays, we will be around and available should you need a comment or want to just catch up.  Please feel free to call.

Important news on the offshore wind front: Late Friday, our friends at Statoil were declared the provisional winner of the U.S. government’s wind lease sale of 79,350 acres offshore New York.  I have more details below.

Secondly, we know Metallica will be touring in 2017 with their new “kick-a–“ album Hardwired to Self-Destruct. But you may not have heard last week that “Live,” the soulful 90s band from York, PA, has resolved its legal conflicts and will reunite for new music and a 2017 tour.  More as we hear on both.

Special birthday wishes to our friend John Walke of NRDC, an avid update reader and Twitter/Facebook commenter.  I want to say 49, but that’s what we all say when we get there…

And finally, congrats to long-time White House and congressional advisor Richard Russell who was named today by new Senate EPW Chair John Barrasso to be Republican staff director of the Committee.

As you know, every year, before Christmas, I do a Christmas Note filled with holiday cheer and some good quips…so , here we go:

 

It is the week of Christmas and all through DC; we’ll have a new President, Congress and direction come January.

New appointees for Energy, State, Interior, EPA; enviros using same talking points for each, every day.

The energy boom will return under this new group, as the Obama (Enviros) agenda and policies fly the coop.

Who really knows where a President Trump will go, but thanks to pollsters and predictors, no of us thought we need to know.

One thing is clear, we are heading a new way.  New people, new politics, new tweets each and every day.

Oh yes, the President will continue to use 3 AM twitter, his social media craziness is making us all very bitter.

So as we wrap another crazy political and energy year, I hope you will take a few minutes to share…

Some fun, peace and joy… and more holiday cheer, mostly because it really is the best time of year.

We’re always working hard to be there for you; interviews, sources, background – something is always new.

So as you settle in for the holidays during this week and next; The Winter Classic, some football, some well-deserved rest.

From Our Bracewell family to yours, have a great holiday season; Can’t wait to make next year even better for whatever reason.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We are excited to have submitted the most competitive bid in a highly attractive project, Statoil’s first offshore wind lease in the United States. We now look forward to working with New York’s state agencies and contributing to New York meeting its future energy needs by applying our offshore experience and engineering expertise.”

Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil´s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions, following Statoil being named the winner of Friday’s NY Offshore Wind Auction

 

IN THE NEWS

Statoil Wins NY Offshore Wind Auction – Statoil has been declared the provisional winner of the U.S. government’s wind lease sale of 79,350 acres offshore New York. Statoil will now have the opportunity to explore the potential development of an offshore wind farm to provide New York City and Long Island with a significant, long-term source of renewable electricity.  Statoil submitted a winning bid of $42,469,725 during the online offshore wind auction concluded today by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).  The lease comprises an area that could potentially accommodate more than 1 GW of offshore wind, with a phased development expected to start with 400-600 MW. The New York Wind Energy Area is located 14-30 miles (30-60 km) offshore, spans 79,350 acres (321 km2), and covers water depths between 65 and 131 feet (20-40 meters).  Statoil will next conduct studies to better understand the seabed conditions, the grid connection options and wind resources involved in the lease site.

U.S. Energy Security Continues Marked Improvement According Chamber Analysis – The Chamber’s Energy Institute said America’s energy security is at its strongest point in two decades.  The U.S. Chamber Institute for 21st Century Energy’s Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk employs 37 different energy security metrics in four major areas of risk: geopolitical, economic, reliability, and environmental. A lower Index score indicates a lower level of risk. The 7th annual edition of the Index covers 1970-2040 and incorporates the latest historical data and forecast models. In 2015—the most recent year available—risk dropped 3 points, to 78.0, the lowest level since 1996. The biggest improvements within the Index were in areas related to measures of oil and natural gas sector, such as imports, import expenditures, and oil prices, and to energy efficiency. Despite slumping prices, domestic crude oil output still increased by over 7%, though that increase is off the pace of previous years. Natural gas production achieved a record high, with a 5% increase in 2015.  However, despite the overall good news, there were still some warning signs. Crude oil price volatility rose significantly, driven by the desire of some large producing countries  to capture greater market share by driving prices down sharply. Rapid shifts in prices in either direction—volatility—can create unstable market conditions that increase energy security risks. In addition, electricity capacity margins—the amount of unused power capacity—have declined, increasing the vulnerability of America’s electric grid in the event of a disruption. The Index and its companion, the International Energy Security Risk Index, are available at www.energyxxi.org/energysecurity. The U.S. Index is once again available in an online, interactive web tool format, which makes it easy to see how various metrics change from year to year.

Study Says Republican Border Tax Proposal Will Increase Gas Prices – A new study on an obscure Republican tax proposal to impose a border-adjustment to limit eliminate companies’ incentives to move their headquarters overseas would have costly impact on refinery operations.  By eliminating the tax deductibility of imports, the border adjustment would raise costs for refiners that import oil. In turn, that could raise prices for consumers. The border adjustment would amount to a $10-a-barrel tax on imported crude oil, raising costs for drivers buying gasoline by up to 25 cents a gallon, the energy analyst group PIRA Energy Group warned this week. The report warned of a “potential huge impact across the petroleum industry,” even while noting that the tax reform plan faces many obstacles to passage.  As mentioned earlier, my colleague and former Senate Finance Tax Counsel Curt Beaulieu Ii all over the details.

AGs Call for Plan to Withdraw from CPP – West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey and Texas AG Ken Paxton led a 24-state coalition urging President-elect Donald Trump and congressional leaders to withdraw President Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan and take the necessary steps to ensure similar or more extreme proposals never again take shape.  The bipartisan letter – addressed Wednesday to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Senate President Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan – suggests a four-point strategy that begins with President-elect Trump rescinding his predecessor’s Climate Action Plan on day one.  The coalition suggests President-elect Trump follow with formal administrative action to withdraw the Power Plan and related matters in court. Such action will properly effectuate the rule’s withdrawal, while negotiating an end to pending litigation.  Finally, the coalition recommends Congress take longer-term legislative action. The proposed legislative fix aims to prevent any future U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from drafting similarly unlawful and/or more extreme rules. The coalition suggests the new White House work with Congress to adopt such legislation.

Deepwater Wind Projects Starts Operation – The nation’s first offshore wind farm has opened off the coast of Rhode Island, producing energy for the grid. Deepwater Wind built five turbines 3 miles off Block Island to power about 17,000 homes, a project costing about $300 million. Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski calls the opening a momentous occasion that unlocks the code of how to do offshore wind in the U.S. at a crucial time when states are trying to figure out how to replace aging power plants.

EIA Report Says Reserves Declined – EIA said last week that U.S. crude oil proved reserves declined 4.7 billion barrels (11.8%) from their year-end 2014 level to 35.2 billion barrels at year-end 2015, according to U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, Year-end 2015. U.S. natural gas proved reserves decreased 64.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), a 16.6% decline, reducing the U.S. total to 324.3 Tcf at year-end 2015.  The significant reduction in the average price of both oil and natural gas between 2014 and 2015 resulted in more challenging economic and operating conditions, an important factor in determining proved reserves. These price developments, reflected in a nearly 50% decline in average West Texas Intermediate crude oil spot prices (from $95 per barrel in 2014 to $50 per barrel in 2015) and a more than 40% decline in the natural gas spot price at the Louisiana Henry Hub (from $4.55 per million Btu in 2014 to $2.62 per million Btu in 2015) led to reduced drilling activity and downward revisions in proved reserves across a broad range of U.S. producers in 2015.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Electoral College Vote – December 19th

Brookings Panel Looks Climate, Energy Security with Japan – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Center for East Asia Policy Studies and the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate will host a distinguished panel of climate policy experts from the United States and Japan to address critical issues for the future of the climate agenda and U.S.-Japan relations. What does the nature of the Paris commitments mean for the task of implementation? What kind of domestic transformation is required in each country, e.g., what are the choices to be made in energy policy? And how can Japan and the United States collaborate on innovation efforts to move away from carbon dependent-economies?  Panelists will include our friend David Victor and other Japanese and US climate and energy security experts, as well as Atsuyuki Oike, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in the United States of America.

 

IN THE FUTURE

SAFE to Roll Out AV Policies at CES Las Vegas – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will roll out its autonomous vehicle report recommendations on January 5th in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronic Show.

State of Oil, Gas Event Slated – API will host its annual State of the Oil & Gas industry event in early January.  More on this as it becomes available.

Detroit Auto Show Rolls Out – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will roll out from January 8th to 22nd at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.  Official press conferences begin with Disney Pixar on Sunday  January 8th as the 2017 NAIAS Press Preview will host a series of events until Tuesday January 10.  With over 300 exhibitors all under one roof, ranging from global automakers to suppliers to tech startups, NAIAS will truly be the mobility epicenter and will showcase the full automotive ecosystem. NAIAS expects to have over 5,000 credentialed journalists from 60+ different countries attend Press Preview, keeping NAIAS strongly in the lead among domestic shows in terms of global media coverage.

Donohue to Discuss State of Business – U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue will host his annual “State of American Business” address as well as the Chamber’s 2017 Open House on January 11th.  Donohue outline the top challenges and new opportunities facing the American business community and introduce the Chamber’s 2017 policy agenda.

Smart Cities Conference Set – The Smart Cities International Symposium, will be held on January 24-25 in Chicago.  The conference examines the latest technology advances and business models for the 21st Century connected city.

INAUGURATION DAY – January 20

POLITICO Sets Inauguration Hub – On January 20, POLITICO will transform the top floor of The W Hotel into its 2017 Inauguration Hub. With prime views of the Inauguration Parade route from our all-day networking lounge, the Inauguration Hub will be the premier destination for DC influencers to experience this historic moment. Live programming will include a full day of newsmaker interviews and discussions offering first-hand insights from new players in politics and policy, and an in-depth look at the changes ahead in the new Washington.   Full schedule of programming and speakers to be announced. Check out www.politico.com/inaugurationHub for updates.

Washington Auto Show Set – The Washington Auto Show will be held on January 27th to February 7th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  As the “Public Policy Show” on the auto show circuit, the 10-day public show is preceded by two Public Policy Preview Days of special events and announcements for officials in government, industry and the media on January 24th and 25th.  The events of the 25th will be on Capitol Hill in the Kennedy Caucus Room..  Speakers will include Michigan Senator Gary Peters and Rep Debbie Dingell, Our friend Joe White of Reuters and GMU’s Adam Thierer and the Chamber’s Matt Duggan. The Washington Auto Show is also the largest public show in Washington, D.C. Over the course of its many years this beloved and historic D.C. tradition has attracted Washingtonians of all stripes – and political affiliations. Along with the engineering prowess on display among the more than 600 new models from over 35 manufacturers, the 2017 show will feature VIP tours led by award-winning automotive writers and a special exhibit area for live painting of “art” cars.

Energy Update: Week of December 12

Friends,

Starting today with news about the Golden GlobesNominations are out and after seeing Manchester-by-the-Sea, I have to say it has got to be a frontrunner.  It is not a feel-good movie but it was so well acted.  And last night, 60 Minutes ran a an outstanding piece on the story behind Lion.  The 74th annual Golden Globes Awards is hosted by Jimmy Fallon on January 8th.

While this year we did not go, it is always exciting to see one of our country’s most tremendous events: the Army-Navy Football game, this year in Baltimore. Army broke a 15-year losing streak to claim the game with a late touchdown and an overpowering rushing offense that Navy just couldn’t slow down.  I don’t doubt there was a little bit of fatigue from Navy playing Temple in the AAC East Final the week prior, but it is Army-Navy and that should be enough.  Whatever the outcome, there is nothing in sports like watching the post-game festivities where both alma maters get sung by the entire stadium.   Not to be overshadowed (but it was), the MLS Soccer Champ was crowned Saturday when Seattle beat Toronto in penalty kicks. (Ouch, just broke the Champ Kind rule about “No Soccer”!!)

Last week in Transition was a blur, with sources seemingly confirming OK AG Scott Pruitt for EPA, Washington Rep. McMorris-Rodgers for Interior and Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for State.  And today, we are starting to hear sources talking about former Texas Gov. Rick Perry for Energy.  My colleague Salo Zelermyer, a former DOE Senior Counsel can address many of your questions about Perry.  I have included a few statements below.  I fully expect the official announcement on all of these appointments sometime this week.

Oil has risen to an 18-month high after OPEC and non-OPEC countries have reached separate, but related agreements to jointly reduce output to try to tackle global oversupply and boost prices.  Our friend Robbie Diamond at SAFE and his experts can discuss the details.  In fact, they already spoke with Capitol Crude on the topic.  CC’s Brian Scheid and Meghan Gordon talked to Diamond on President-elect Trump’s plans to take on OPEC, the fate of fuel efficiency standards and what energy independence means in today’s global oil market.  And tomorrow, CSIS hosts OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo to discuss its 2016 World Oil Outlook.

Finally, special congrats to Melisa Klem, who will be the Society of Environmental Journalists’ new executive director.  Klem has spent more than 13 years working in development for conservation and human health nonprofits, and is the group’s second leader, replacing founding executive director Beth Parke who is stepping aside after nearly 24 years of leadership.

We are monitoring all transition activities and especially the cabinet du jour issues, so don’t hesitate to call on this and any other issues.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“As Governor of the State of Texas for 15 years, Rick Perry led a state that has, for decades, been critical to our domestic energy policy.  During his time in office, Perry embodied the type of “all of the above” approach to U.S. energy production that many have advocated on both sides of the aisle.  Rick Perry’s Texas was not only a world leader in oil and gas production; it was also a global leader in wind power and renewable energy investment.  This approach is a big reason why Texas experienced such enormous job growth during Perry’s tenure.  This track record will serve Perry well not only in leading DOE but also in becoming a significant part of the new Administration’s approach to issues like regulatory reform and infrastructure investment.  As Texas has shown, it is indeed possible to successfully balance appropriate environmental regulations with domestic energy production and use.”

Salo Zelermyer, former DOE Senior Counsel and partner at Bracewell’s PRG on Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is being considered to head the Department of Energy

 

IN THE NEWS

Pruitt Named for EPA – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is said to named head of EPA.  Pruitt has a long record of opposing EPA actions that he deems a legal over reach.  He Is not alone in some of the major challenges of the Clean Power Plan and Clean Water Plan which both have more than 30 states joining him and were both stayed by Courts.  My colleague Scott Segal, said he has watched Scott Pruitt develop over his six years as Oklahoma attorney general and called him “a measured and articulate student of environmental law and policy.”  The office he headed was present and accounted for in the battle to keep EPA faithful to its statutory authority and respectful of the role of the states in our system of cooperative federalism.  Segal says these skills will serve him well not only in leading EPA but also in participating meaningfully in the legislative and regulatory reform efforts promised by the next Administration.  Segal added some have suggested that Pruitt’s hands might be tied because he participated in litigation against the Agency, but “when you add up all the states that have participated in litigation on the Clean Power Plan alone it amounts to almost the entire United States.” Segal added Gina McCarthy herself sued the EPA as a state official only to eventually lead the Agency.  There is no conflict in faithfully representing your state on litigation dealing with rules of general applicability and then serving your nation as a federal administrative official.

McMorris-Rodgers for Interior – Washington Rep. Cathy  McMorris-Rodgers is reportedly being named to head the Department of the Interior Mc.  My colleague Eric Washburn (202-412-5211), a former Senate staffer and westerner who works on many lands, species and other Interior, said President-elect Trump is following the tradition of naming an elected or former elected official from the West.  This tradition exists because most federal lands are located in the West its elected officials are continually faced with balancing the need for natural resources conservation with economic development, which essentially describes the job of Interior Secretary.  Washburn: “McMorris-Rodgers has had to grapple with these challenges regularly and so knows the laws, regulations, and issues that will now cross her desk every day on the job.  While it is a tough and often controversial job, if you come from the West and love the wide open spaces, and the outdoor recreational opportunities afforded by the federal lands estate like hunting, fishing, hiking, off-roading and are not afraid to mix it up from time to time, then it can be one of the best jobs in Washington DC.  Her plate will be full from the minute she takes office.  OPEC just got agreement on a supply cut that will raise oil and gas prices and likely lead to more demand to drill on federal lands.  Renewable energy projects, transmission lines, and pipelines will continue to be sited and built there.  And all this will need to be balanced with the need to conserve mule deer, elk, pronghorn, greater sage grouse, trout and hundreds of other species that rely on those lands, and which sportsmen spend billions of dollars each year chasing after.  She certainly knows all these interests and hopefully will be able to chart a course for the agency that allows for conservation and development to proceed hand in hand.”

Something about CMR – McMorris-Rodgers is known as a competent and respected legislator.  She also has been a long-standing member of the House Republican Leadership.  She was one of Trump’s 13 co-chairs.  Given her district in eastern Washington, she has stressed collaboration on forest management issues.  This is what she said on the occasion of passage of Interior approps back in July:  “Eastern Washington is home to some of the greatest natural resources in the world,” said McMorris Rodgers. “Our local communities and their leaders know how to manage their own land and the resources around them better than federal bureaucrats. This legislation includes key provisions that will help keep our communities safe from wildfires, protect farmers from overzealous EPA regulations, and maintain our beautiful, abundant public land as a recreational outlet for all walks of life.”

Tillerson for Secretary of State – Our friend Steve Mufson is among those reporting President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name as his secretary of state Rex Tillerson, the chief executive of ExxonMobil.  Tillerson has worked extensively around the globe and built relationships with such leaders as Russian President Vladimir Putin and for years has worked in Russia and the Middle East on behalf of the multinational petroleum company.  Tillerson is a very sophisticated international player and has been a leader in global discussion and negotiations.  Our friend former NSC advisor Robert McNally of the Rapidan Group said, “The closest thing we have to a secretary of state outside government is the CEO of Exxon.”  Tillerson started at EOM in 1975 and has spent his entire career there, going from Oklahoma and Texas to Yemen and Russia.  As CEO, Mufson reports he has cultivated relationships, meeting regularly with world leaders such as Putin, the Saudi oil minister, and the emir of Qatar.

Non-OPEC Countries Agree to Cuts Too – Recently, OPEC countries agreed to “limit” their production (by 1.2 MM bbl/d starting in January 1, 2017) and which also referenced that non-OPEC countries would contribute an additional 0.6 MM bbl/d of supply reductions.  On Saturday during OPEC’s joint ministerial level meeting with non-OPEC countries in Vienna, Austria, agreed to reduce output by 558,000 bpd, short of the target of 600,000 bpd but still the largest contribution by non-OPEC ever..  The joint meetings were the first since 2002.  Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan and South Sudan all also agreed to reduce their combined production by 0.558 MM bbl/d. Similar to OPEC’s November 30th agreement, these reductions will commence January 1, 2017 and have a duration of six months, extendable for another six months.  My friends at SAFE can address your questions about the deal and how it relates to OPEC’s original Nov 30 deal.   Please feel to call me or email Leslie Hayward should you have any questions or want to speak with SAFE President Robbie Diamond.

Report: Global Coal Use to See Slight Drop, Remain Significant – IEA new coal report today that coal demand growth will stall in the years to 2021 as other fuels become more popular.  At the same time, it added that coal will remain a significant International player.  Lower demand in the U.S. and China, fast renewables growth and greater energy savings will reduce the share of coal in the global power generation mix to 36% by 2021, down just 5% from 2014.  Emerging economies mainly in Asia are expected to drive future use.  Asia has become coal’s key market as Europe and the U.S. cut its use, a geographic shift that will accelerate, the IEA said. By 2015, Asia accounted for almost three-quarters of coal demand. China will “continue to be the largest coal consumer by far” by 2021, even if consumption has likely peaked.

Chamber Blog Posts Hit Energy Issues – The Chamber Energy Institute released blog posts from energy experts Steve Eule and Dan Byers last week.   Eule unloads on an NRDC report that says the groups sees tankers expanding in the Mississippi River to move Canadian oil sands.  Eule asked has it occurred to NRDC that maybe, just maybe, its opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline was a bit, ah, shortsighted? It’s not like these new transportation arrangements weren’t anticipated. The Department of State gets it. Its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for the pipeline concludes that approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project would be unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the U.S.  Meanwhile, Byers tackles the narrative in the media about coal’s demise no matter the results of the election.  Byers: “There is no question that President-elect Trump’s commitment to scrap the CPP and end the War on Coal will save millions of tons of coal production, and in doing so, save the jobs of many miners (while helping to keep electricity  affordable).  He adds a multitude of other job-killing rules are likely to be repealed or reformed as well, thereby providing an additional boost to coal’s prospects. And while more of a wild-card, Trump’s commitment to prioritizing economic growth, if successful, could also provide significant relief. If infrastructure, tax, regulatory, and other initiatives can help the U.S. economy escape this seemingly endless period of sub-two percent growth, demand for electricity—and coal—will also see a boost.

SEJ Brings on New Executive Director – The Society of Environmental Journalists, one of the nation’s leading associations of professional reporters, has hired Melisa Klem as its new executive director, effective January 3, 2017.  Klem has spent more than 13 years working in development for conservation and human health nonprofits, and raising millions of dollars. The SEJ Board of Directors selected Klem to serve as the group’s second leader, replacing founding executive director Beth Parke who last summer announced her plans to step aside after nearly 24 years of leadership.  “I hope to encourage others to pursue this critical professional calling through shining a light on the best journalists who are covering the environment and all it encompasses,” Klem said. She also said the work of SEJ’s 1,200 members – reporters, writers, academics, filmmakers, authors, photographers, and students in every state and dozens of countries — will take on even greater importance as America heads into a Trump presidency.  Klem previously served as the development director at the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, the national director of development at the Izaak Walton League of America, and senior director of development at the Potomac Conservancy.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

AGU Meeting to Focus on Climate – The Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union will be held today through Thursday at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.  It is the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, attracting more than 24,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and other leaders. Fall Meeting brings together the entire Earth and space science community from across the globe for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The technical program includes presentations on new and cutting-edge science, much of which has not yet been published.

State Official to Address Climate Agenda – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing today at 2:00 p.m. discussing the outcomes of the recently concluded international climate change summit (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco. The summit drew representatives from more than 190 countries to discuss the implementation of the historic Paris Climate Agreement, making it a vital discussion that will impact everything from global commerce and foreign relations to electricity generation and agriculture.  The speaker for this forum is Christo Artusio, the State Department Director of the office of Global Change.

Forum to Look at Latin American Energy – The Institute of the Americas and the Inter-American Dialogue will host a panel discussion tomorrow at the National Press Club looking at the energy relationship and evolving energy collaboration in the hemisphere, timed to coincide with the political transition in the United States.  Natural gas exports from the United States to Mexico have tripled over the last five years, while the first ever liquefied natural gas exports from the US Gulf Coast shipped to Brazil. Many countries, including Venezuela, have increased imports of US refined oil products. Meanwhile, the United States has engaged in multiple technical cooperation agreements in renewable energy development. There is ample evidence that Latin American countries and the United States can benefit greatly from boosting commercial energy ties and expanding bilateral energy cooperation.

Forum Looks at Climate Technologies – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., Information Technology & Innovation Foundation is hosting a forum to release a new report that assesses the Obama administration’s efforts and considers how this record might be extended and improved upon in the next administration.  Achieving the ambitious goals set in the Paris climate negotiations will require large-scale private investment in technologies that to date have only been shown to be feasible technologically, not economically. That will require overcoming the second “valley of death”: the lack of confidence among potential investors in the affordability, reliability, and practicality of these innovations. Public-private technology demonstration projects are one important means by which the second valley of death might be crossed. But such projects have frequently been plagued by cost overruns, schedule delays, and outright failure. The Obama administration, like its predecessors, has pursued such projects with mixed results.

OPEC Minister to Address CSIS – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., CSIS’s Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum featuring His Excellency Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to discuss OPEC’s World Oil Outlook 2016.   The event will begin with opening remarks by H.E. Barkindo, followed by a presentation of the World Oil Outlook 2016 by Dr. Jorge Leon Arellano, Energy Demand Specialist of the OPEC Research Division. The report addresses  OPEC’s outlook for medium and long-term oil supply, demand, and downstream out to 2040, including their view on the challenges and opportunities for the oil industry. This World Oil Outlook sees opportunities presented by a growing global population, and economic growth in developing countries leading to an increase in energy demand, but also comes at a time of continued uncertainty in the oil market.

WCEE Forum to Look at Energy Communications – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum tomorrow featuring Loretta Prencipe, to discuss insights from the report, “How Americans Make Energy Decisions” – and what that means for energy communications in the changing energy and policy landscape.  An attorney and former journalist, Prencipe serves as Group Vice President in Makovsky Communication’s DC office and has more than 15 years’ experience in media relations, marketing, communications and public affairs in energy, manufacturing and sustainability issues. She manages project deployment, workforce and employee engagement programs, crisis communications, public affairs and corporate risk and reputation issues for publicly traded companies.

Forum Looks at EV Infrastructure Challenges – Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute will host a forum at the D.C. Bar Conference Center looking at infrastructure challenges for Electric Vehicles.  The rise in popularity of electric vehicles is creating a need for increased charging infrastructure. The development of this infrastructure brings significant challenges. Come hear our panel discuss the ways in which these challenges are being solved.  The panel will discuss the legal issues facing the development of infrastructure for electric vehicles and the potential impacts these vehicles may have on our environment and energy security. Speakers will include DOE’s Kavita Patel, GM’s Alex Keros and Sierra Club’s Joe Halso.

Moniz to Speak at Third Way Event – Third Way will host a town hall featuring U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. at the Glover Park Group.

Report to Look at Energy Security – On Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in B-369 Rayburn, the National Bureau of Asian Research will release its 12th annual Energy Security Report, “Asia’s Energy Security amid Global Market Change,” as well as recap findings from NBR’s seventh annual Pacific Energy Summit that NBR held in Singapore earlier this year.  This high-level event will examine how a range of factors – including market volatility, efforts to accelerate lower carbon transitions, regional geopolitics, and Paris Climate Accord commitments – will shape energy security outlooks in the Asia-Pacific. It will also feature timely discussion of the implications of the U.S. leadership transition for U.S.-Asia energy ties.

Forum to Look at Climate Opinion in US, Canada – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Canada Institute will host a panel on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the results from national-level surveys on public attitudes toward climate change in the United States and Canada. Expert panelists will highlight key findings from the 2016 comparative study, draw analyses from the differences and similarities between Canada and U.S. public views, and provide insight into how this could affect existing climate change policy and potential future policy approaches on both sides of the border.

Expert to Look at Electricity Industry Change – The US Association for Energy Economists in the National Capital Area, will host its monthly luncheon on Friday at Noon looking at change in the electric industry.  Through its 51st State Initiative, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) has been tackling these questions with utilities, trade associations, industry analysts, tech-start-up entrepreneurs and visionaries over the past two years.  Smart Electric Power Alliance CEO Julia Hamm will speak. Hamm has more than 15 years of experience advising and collaborating with utilities, manufacturers and government agencies on renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies and programs.

Energy Policy Lunch Set – Friday at Noon, the Ecologic Institute and ELEEP will host an Energy Policy Luncheon focused on the energy future ahead.  Questions will look at how the incoming new administration will impact the transformation of the US energy system; What – if any – impacts will we expect to see on electricity generation and grid, on transportation fuels, and on heating; and what future may lie ahead for coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewables.  Panelists include Julia De La Cruz of Bulletin Intelligence, R Street’s Catrina Rorke and ACORE’s Scott Clausen.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Electoral College Vote – December 19th

Brookings Panel Looks Climate, Energy Security with Japan – Next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., the Center for East Asia Policy Studies and the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate will host a distinguished panel of climate policy experts from the United States and Japan to address critical issues for the future of the climate agenda and U.S.-Japan relations. What does the nature of the Paris commitments mean for the task of implementation? What kind of domestic transformation is required in each country, e.g., what are the choices to be made in energy policy? And how can Japan and the United States collaborate on innovation efforts to move away from carbon dependent-economies?  Panelists will include our friend David Victor and other Japanese and US climate and energy security experts, as well as Atsuyuki Oike, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in the United States of America.

State of Oil, Gas Event Slated – API will host its annual State of the Oil & Gas industry event in early January.  More on this as it becomes available.

Energy Update: Week of December 5

Friends,

Welcome to the holiday party season.   And of course, on Wednesday, Southern Company hosts its annual holiday party at Union Station which always launches the season in style.

And now at least we know who the best four college football teams are…or maybe not.  At some point it seems the hybrid playoff format that keeps in the place the lucrative bowl game scene, just isn’t workable.   Either way, on New Year’s Eve we will see Alabama play Washington and Clemson take on Ohio State.  Too bad I guess for Michigan, Penn State and many others, including the 13-0 Western Michigan Broncos.

Let’s also get one other big thing out of the way.  Late yesterday, the Army Corps of Engineers reversed itself and blocked a key section of the Dakota Access Pipeline. While our friends in the protest community are calling it a “historic” victory, it really seems to be nothing more than a “game-show parting gift.”  There is no doubt this will remain a rallying cry for fossil fuel opponents, but with the incoming administration focused on infrastructure and the jobs, economic benefits and reliability it creates, it is likely that we will finally be building many of these projects in the near future.

A lot going on this week both on the Hill and in the Trump transition. On transition, we are hearing officials may try to couple the energy/environmental cabinet appointments for an announcement as early as this week.  For timing and planning, keep in mind that on Thursday, Heritage and the Texas Public Policy Foundation are holding a forum featuring one rumored possible nominee, Karen Harnett-White.  White will speak along with Sen Jim Inhofe, House Science Chair Lamar Smith and House Energy committee member Pete Olson.  Of course, our friends at the WSJ weighed in over the weekend with an EPA-related story about Trump-supporter Carl Icahn.   Finally, while this will probably drive some inside the Trump Transition bonkers, Ivanka Trump (And also apparently the President-Elect) just met with former Vice President Al Gore to discuss climate change.  Should you have any questions about who what or when on any of this, we are happy to discuss.

On the Hill, it is “go time” for the CR, WRDA and/or the energy bill.  The pressure continues to increase on members regarding the expiring energy tax credits.  Last week, advocates were at the National Press Club pleading their case and when President-elect Trump went to Indiana to promote keeping Carrier’s jobs, geothermal heat pump industry advocates said not renewing the tax credit could cost Indiana thousands more jobs.  Legislative language is expected this week on the CR.  Expect WRDA language as soon as later today as they get to final agreement.  Finally, while energy is a long shot, we have heard they are scrambling to get a stripped-down conference report signed over the weekend.  Controversies still exist so keep your eyes open for a last push this week.

Already today, Gina McCarthy, Scott, Jason Grumet and Bob Perciasepe all spoke at the CSM Inhabit Forum and Jeff Speaks at an Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) EPA policy forum in Chicago.  Tomorrow,   House Transportation will hold a roundtable panel on self-driving cars and House Energy’s Oversight panel tackles the VW settlement with EPA officials; SEIA hosts its tax policy forum and CSIS hosts Jonathan Pershing on Wednesday; and Thursday the Heritage event goes off and BPC hosts a forum on Decarbonization.

Finally, on Friday, the President announced that he would act on the recommendation from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) and block the acquisition of the company Aixtron by a Chinese company.  The move may represent the beginning of a new era of the White House using CFIUS as both a security and economic weapon.  My colleague Josh Zive, a great expert on the topic, can discuss what this may mean for foreign investment in sectors such as energy.

 

Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Capture of CO2 from power plants for use in enhanced oil recovery can provide economic, environmental and national security benefits long into the future.”

Montana Democratic Governor Steve Bullock

 

“We have the resources in this country to become truly energy independent. I have advocated for an all-inclusive energy mix and believe that the responsible development of hydrocarbons is critically important.”

Wyoming Republican Governor Matt Mead

 

IN THE NEWS

Chamber Blog: Coal Can Be Helped – Chamber Energy expert Dan Byers authored a blog post that tackles the ubiquitous but incorrect post-election narrative that President-elect Trump can’t help coal country. Byers writes Trump’s victory may not result in a comeback for coal, but his efforts to halt EPA’s crushing regulatory agenda should save countless coal jobs and ensure that coal continues to bolster the American economy with affordable, reliable energy.

OPEC Curbs Production – Last week in Vienna, OPEC members agreed to curb oil output for the first time since 2008 in a last-ditch bid to support prices.  The members agreed to cut its oil production from 33.8 million barrels a day (b/d) to 32.5 million b/d.

SAFE Says ‘Here We Go Again’ – SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond said “Again, we see the OPEC cartel engaging in blatant oil price and supply manipulation which would never be permitted by western companies. Today’s decision is just the latest move in a long line of destructive decisions that contribute to oil price volatility—which harms businesses and consumers—and undermines a fair, free, and transparent oil market.  Policymakers have sat idle for far too long, allowing the status quo in which a cartel and national oil companies can whip oil prices around through production cuts or even mere rhetoric. It is time for action that protects U.S. interests.”

SAFE Issue Brief Hits Saudi Market Influence – SAFE also released the latest in a series of Issue Briefs focusing on the future of the cartel. The paper addresses how OPEC’s strategy is influenced chiefly by Saudi Arabia, and how the country’s domestic changes affect the group’s policy.  The Issue Brief finds that Saudi Arabia’s strategy of maintaining production to hurt U.S. and other non-OPEC producers has not only caused rifts within OPEC members, but has also caused complications within the Kingdom. These problems, the paper adds, could be exacerbated by a range of domestic issues ranging from subsidy reform to Saudi royal disputes. The Issue Brief concludes that oil price volatility created by Saudi Arabian policies has created a highly uncertain investment environment, and has significantly affected American jobs. The best way for the United States to protect itself from this uncertainty is to reduce our near-total dependence on oil in the transportation sector, increase fuel efficiency and accelerate the development and deployment of advanced transportation fuels including electricity and natural gas.

Western Govs Call on Congress to Pass CCS Credit – The Western Governors’ Association sent a letter to congressional leaders on Wednesday urging them to attach legislation (S. 3179) expanding and extending a carbon capture and sequestration credit to end-of-year bills.  Montana Gov. Steve Bullock also sent his own letter to House and Senate Leaders urging their support for efforts to increase utilization of enhanced oil recovery.

Report Highlights CCS Opportunities – Speaker of Western Govs, Wyoming’s Matt Mead and Bullock, along with colleagues and officials in 12 other states, released a new report on Friday outlining growing opportunities for capturing carbon dioxide for use in enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) with geologic storage.  The new report – Putting the Puzzle Together:  State & Federal Policy Drivers for Growing America’s Carbon Capture & CO2-EOR Industry – includes detailed analyses and federal and state recommendations of the State CO2-EOR Deployment Work Group, which consists of representatives from 14 states, leading private sector stakeholders and CO2-EOR experts.  The report notes that market forces and federal and state policy are driving the energy industry to reduce carbon emissions and that carbon capture with CO2-EOR compares cost-effectively with other emissions reduction options.  States can also assist by optimizing existing taxes commonly levied by states to complement federal incentives in helping carbon capture projects achieve commercial viability, the Work Group says.  Analysis undertaken for the Work Group shows that an optimized approach to state taxes can add the equivalent of roughly $8 per barrel of oil to the economics of a carbon capture project.

Capital Crude Aims at RFSPlatts Capitol Crude looks at the Obama administration’s work on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Now, questions turn to President-elect Donald Trump’s plans. Will Trump move to lower the amount of biofuels in the US fuel supply? Might he look at moving RFS obligations away from refiners? Tim Cheung with ClearView Energy Partners walks us through the possible outcomes and Josh Pedrick, a Platts biofuels editor, talks RINs prices.

Ryan Targets Regulations on 60 Minutes – If you watched 60 Minutes yesterday, Speaker Paul Ryan said the new Republican-led Congress will go after a host of regulations that are “crushing jobs” from “day one” of the Trump presidency.  While he didn’t get to the specifics, Ryan mentioned “coal miners in the Rust Belt that are getting out of work” as suffering under Obama administration regulatory efforts.

Conservative Energy Group Set Energy Blueprint – The American Energy Alliance and the Institute for Energy Research released a list of energy policy recommendations for the Trump administration. The recommendations are their own blueprint which I think represents the most recent thinking of conservatives within the transition on the e/e issue space.  It’s short but definitely worth a look! You can view the full list of recommendations here.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum Launches USAID Climate Review – The Wilson Center launched USAID’s Climate Action Review this morning.  For many years, USAID has been a leader in assisting partner countries to pursue low-carbon economic growth and build their resilience to the impacts of a changing climate. Through investments in clean energy and adaptation and support for sustainable forestry and agriculture, and by integrating best practices across its development portfolio, USAID’s approach to building the capacity and confidence of partners has yielded major achievements as well as lessons learned. Please save the date for an exploration of the successes and lessons learned in a time of rapid technological innovation, policy evolution, and environmental change.

CSM Hosts McCarthy, Segal – The Christian Science Monitor held a breakfast briefing this Morning that will feature exiting EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and my Bracewell colleague Scott Segal at the St. Regis Hotel. She will be interviewed by Deputy Energy and Environment Editor, Zack Colman.  The discussion will be looking back on the current administration, and thoughts for the future of the EPA as we transition to a new administration in the coming months.

Rep. Blumenauer Addresses AVs at Brookings Forum – Also this morning, the new Brookings Institute Center on Regulation and Markets hosted an event releasing new research on the congestion reducing benefits of autonomous vehicles and the consumer surplus stemming from the sharing economy.   SAFE Amitai Bin-Nun attended and call provide Insights should you need them.  The panel discussion focused on the benefits, costs, and prospects for autonomous vehicles. Rep. Earl Blumenauer also delivered a keynote address focusing on what role Congress plays in transportation and how autonomous vehicles can fix the nation’s infrastructure.

Holmstead to Discuss Energy, Enviro Policy at Chicago Forum – My Bracewell colleague Jeff Holmstead will lead a panel of experts in Chicago today at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.  With Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, most observers are expecting a significant shift in U.S. energy and climate policy in the coming years. President-elect Donald J. Trump has promised a review and rollback of U.S. climate regulations and increased access to fossil fuel resources on public lands. He has also suggested he will renegotiate or withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. Yet, clean energy enjoys widespread support, and market forces increasingly favor lower carbon sources. Moreover, the two parties have worked together on common priorities such as reduced oil dependence and tax credits for renewable electricity in the recent past.  Holmstead will be joined by former CEQ head James Connaughton.

Forum to Help Climate Digital Media – The Connect4Climate DIgital Media Zone is holding a three day-long communication initiative today through Thursday at the World Bank. The event, complementary to the LJD Week 2016 and the Annual Meetings for the Climate Investment Funds annual meetings, will offer an interactive media hub and gathering space for conference attendees, students, NGOs and private sector representatives. The People’s Media Zone is designed to facilitate interaction and engagement between the high level policy sessions/discussions and relevant mainstream media and civil society. The overarching narrative for the People’s Media Zone will be climate action and implementing solutions, as viewed through a legal and youth lens.

Briefing to Focus District Energy, Micro Grids – Tomorrow, the International District Energy Association (IDEA), the Microgrid Resources Coalition (MRC), and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) are hosting a briefing in Dirksen G-50 providing policy guidance and showcasing proven technologies and exemplary cases that illuminate the potential for more robust U.S. investment in district energy microgrids.

House Panel to Look at AVs, Policy – The House Transportation Committee will host a roundtable tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on self-driving cars and how could impact the nation’s transportation system during a policy roundtable next week.  The Highways and Transit Subcommittee will hear from experts like Department of Transportation Undersecretary for Policy Blair Anderson and David Strickland, former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator who is Now with the group Self-driving Coalition for Safer Street.  Other Panelists include David Zuby of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and City of Pittsburgh chief development officer Kevin Acklin.

House Energy Panel to Look at VW Settlement – The House Energy Oversight subcommittee is holding a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. with regulators to discuss the $14.7 billion agreement.  EPA Enforcement chief Cynthia Giles and Air office head Janet McCabe will testify.  I care because I am waiting for my pay out for our 2013 VW Jetta Diesel.

SEIA Holds Tax, Empowerment Events – The Solar Energy Industry Assn continues its Empowerment Series on Wednesday with an panel focused on educating, connecting, and providing thought leadership in the solar industry. Speakers Include Hunton & Williams Laura Jones, Partner, Angelin Baskaran of  Morgan Stanley, Vickie Dalsanto of Morgan Capital Corporation and SolSystems Jessica Robbins.  This event is taking place the evening before SEIA’s Fall Finance & Tax Seminar which is on Wednesday and Thursday.

DOE’s SunShot to Outline 2030 Goals – Speaking of solar, also tomorrow at Noon, the SunShot Initiative will host a webinar to discuss the recently-announced 2030 goals, which set a target to halve the cost of solar from 2020 to 2030 to achieve a levelized cost of electricity of just $0.03 per kilowatt hour from utility-scale solar. The webinar will discuss the importance of moving solar energy into the next decade and the role SunShot plans to play. SunShot director Charlie Gay will lead the discussion as SunShot begins to focus on the next decade.  The webinar will provide more detail about how the 2030 goals were formulated and how they will impact future work.

Forum to Discuss Ocean Policy – The Center for American Progress will host a discussion Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. that will feature distinguished experts from government and the private sector for a discussion on the next chapter in U.S. ocean policy. Leaders will inherit a unique governance structure built to balance the needs of ocean industries as well as the priorities of state, local, federal, and tribal governments. The forum will discuss opportunities to enhance these developments in ocean governance and ensure the long-term health of marine ecosystems.  Speakers will include Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), U.S. Coast Guard Vice Commandant Adm. Charles Michel and Deepwater Wind official Aileen Kenney.

Pershing to Address COP-22 Results – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Dr. Jonathan Pershing, Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State, on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss the evolving risks of climate change, the outcomes of the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) recently concluded in Marrakech, and the future of international climate cooperation. Pershing previously served as the Senior Climate Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy and the Principal Deputy Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at the Department of Energy (DOE).

Mexico Energy Forum Set – The US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce is hosting the first U.S.-Mexico Energy Forum on Thursday and Friday at The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center in Texas.  Given the importance of the energy sector for economic growth and recent developments that have positioned the North American region in a path towards energy independence, we are presenting a unique opportunity to discuss the different factors that have contributed to this major shift in the energy industry.  Main speakers will be Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former PEMEX CEO and Mexican Ambassador to the US Jesús Reyes Heroles.

Conservative Groups to Host Climate Forum – The Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Heritage Foundation will host a forum on Thursday to discuss energy and climate policy issues.   “At the Crossroads III: Energy and Climate Policy Summit,” will feature national policymakers, leading energy experts, and the field’s most innovative minds to explore what’s next in energy policy, what’s coming in climate science, and how you may affect both. Keynote Speaker will be Jim Inhofe.  Among the other speakers will be Sen. Mike Lee, House Science Chair Lamar Smith, potential EPA administrator Kathleen Hartnett White and Rep. Pete Olson.

Webinar to Look at Energy Toolkit – The Worldwatch Institute will launch a webinar on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the newly updated Energy Toolkit produced by the Low Emissions Development Strategies Energy Working Group (LEDS EWG) of the Global Partnership (LEDS GP). The LEDS Energy Toolkit is a collection of leading instruments and methodologies for sustainable energy planning. The Toolkit aims to provide energy practitioners, policymakers, and experts a quick reference guide to some of the best established energy planning instruments that are available at no or low cost.  The result is a compilation of 26 tools from agencies around the world. This webinar will present an overview of the newly updated publication of the toolkit and feature some of its leading tools: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)’s Jobs and Economic Development Impact Model (JEDI) and the Natural Resources Canada’s RETScreen Clean Energy Management Software.

BPC Forum to Look at Energy Transition – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum on Thursday at the Marriott Marquis to bring together a broad range of stakeholders for a discussion on shared objectives and the best way to achieve our goals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The viability of pathways for “deep decarbonization” — generally defined as reaching at least an 80 percent reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from current levels by 2050 — are increasingly coming into focus as the key to managing this transition. But from the “keep it in the ground” movement to the “embrace energy abundance” viewpoint, energy and climate policy stakeholders across the spectrum have very different ideas on the policies, strategies, and tactics that will best chart the country on a course to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next several decades while also ensuring continued supplies of reliable and affordable energy.

 

IN THE FUTURE

AGU Meeting to Focus on Climate – The Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union will be held on December 12-15 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.  It is the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, attracting more than 24,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and other leaders. Fall Meeting brings together the entire Earth and space science community from across the globe for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The technical program includes presentations on new and cutting-edge science, much of which has not yet been published.

Forum to Look at Latin American Energy – The Institute of the Americas and the Inter-American Dialogue will host a panel discussion on Tuesday December 13th at the National Press Club looking at the energy relationship and evolving energy collaboration in the hemisphere, timed to coincide with the political transition in the United States.  Natural gas exports from the United States to Mexico have tripled over the last five years, while the first ever liquefied natural gas exports from the US Gulf Coast shipped to Brazil. Many countries, including Venezuela, have increased imports of US refined oil products. Meanwhile, the United States has engaged in multiple technical cooperation agreements in renewable energy development. There is ample evidence that Latin American countries and the United States can benefit greatly from boosting commercial energy ties and expanding bilateral energy cooperation.

Forum Looks at Climate Technologies – On Tuesday, December 13th at 9:00 a.m., Information Technology & Innovation Foundation is hosting a forum to release a new report that assesses the Obama administration’s efforts and considers how this record might be extended and improved upon in the next administration.  Achieving the ambitious goals set in the Paris climate negotiations will require large-scale private investment in technologies that to date have only been shown to be feasible technologically, not economically. That will require overcoming the second “valley of death”: the lack of confidence among potential investors in the affordability, reliability, and practicality of these innovations. Public-private technology demonstration projects are one important means by which the second valley of death might be crossed. But such projects have frequently been plagued by cost overruns, schedule delays, and outright failure. The Obama administration, like its predecessors, has pursued such projects with mixed results.

OPEC Minister to Address CSIS – Next Tuesday, CSIS’s Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum featuring His Excellency Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to discuss OPEC’s World Oil Outlook 2016.   The event will begin with opening remarks by H.E. Barkindo, followed by a presentation of the World Oil Outlook 2016 by Dr. Jorge Leon Arellano, Energy Demand Specialist of the OPEC Research Division. The report addresses  OPEC’s outlook for medium and long-term oil supply, demand, and downstream out to 2040, including their view on the challenges and opportunities for the oil industry. This World Oil Outlook sees opportunities presented by a growing global population, and economic growth in developing countries leading to an increase in energy demand, but also comes at a time of continued uncertainty in the oil market.

WCEE Forum to Look at Energy Communications – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum featuring Loretta Prencipe, to discuss insights from the report, “How Americans Make Energy Decisions” – and what that means for energy communications in the changing energy and policy landscape.  An attorney and former journalist, Prencipe serves as Group Vice President in Makovsky Communication’s DC office and has more than 15 years’ experience in media relations, marketing, communications and public affairs in energy, manufacturing and sustainability issues. She manages project deployment, workforce and employee engagement programs, crisis communications, public affairs and corporate risk and reputation issues for publicly traded companies.

Forum Looks at EV Infrastructure Challenges – On Tuesday, December 13th at 12:30 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute will host a forum at the D.C. Bar Conference Center looking at infrastructure challenges for Electric Vehicles.  The rise in popularity of electric vehicles is creating a need for increased charging infrastructure. The development of this infrastructure brings significant challenges. Come hear our panel discuss the ways in which these challenges are being solved.  The panel will discuss the legal issues facing the development of infrastructure for electric vehicles and the potential impacts these vehicles may have on our environment and energy security. Speakers will include DOE’s Kavita Patel, GM’s Alex Keros and Sierra Club’s Joe Halso.

Forum to Look at Climate Opinion in US, Canada – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Canada Institute will host a panel on Thursday, December 15th at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the results from national-level surveys on public attitudes toward climate change in the United States and Canada. Expert panelists will highlight key findings from the 2016 comparative study, draw analyses from the differences and similarities between Canada and U.S. public views, and provide insight into how this could affect existing climate change policy and potential future policy approaches on both sides of the border.

Expert to Look at Electricity Industry Change – The US Association for Energy Economists in the National Capital Area, will host its monthly luncheon on Friday, December 16th at Noon looking at change in the electric industry.  Through its 51st State Initiative, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) has been tackling these questions with utilities, trade associations, industry analysts, tech-start-up entrepreneurs and visionaries over the past two years.  Smart Electric Power Alliance CEO Julia Hamm will speak. Hamm has more than 15 years of experience advising and collaborating with utilities, manufacturers and government agencies on renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies and programs.

Energy Update: Week of November 28

Friends,

Hope you all enjoyed a little free time over the Thanksgiving holiday.  We were in West Palm Beach – not to meet with Trump – but to attend (umpire) USA Field Hockey’s National Festival Tournament over Thanksgiving.  We did see the “Trump Force One” plane (as my son Adam called it) every day though on the trip from and back to the umpire hotel each day.  I guarantee you that I would have loved to have the Trump Plane (or any other) get me back rather than engaging in the 18-hour drive on Thanksgiving Sunday…Ouch, we need improved infrastructure (3-lanes), especially in North Carolina on I-95.

Also, I hope you to watched that Michigan-Ohio State game.  Wow, that was an instant classic.  And even as a Michigan guy, I am certain the Head Linesman was right on that 4th down spot that gave J.T. Barrett the first down in OT.  I am hopeful it is the start of a good playoff/bowl season.

OPEC meetings begin Wednesday in Vienna.  SAFE’s Leslie Hayward is on the ground in Austria and SAFE President Robbie Diamond is available to comment on the latest developments and sentiment on the ground before, during and after the meeting.  SAFE also released a new brief that provides an analysis of Saudi market power and its impacts.  The paper addresses how OPEC’s strategy is influenced chiefly by Saudi Arabia, and how the country’s domestic changes affect the group’s policy.  Also, this week’s Capitol Crude from Platts discusses the best and worst possible outcomes of this week’s OPEC meeting and what they will all mean for future production, geopolitics and prices.

This week, Congress returns to the post–election legislative session, which is expected to wrap up a budget so lawmakers can end early. The current CR expires on December 9th, and the text of the legislation is unlikely to be filed until next week according to reports. That leaves time for discussion about a couple things: 1) expiring energy tax credits and 2) the House/Senate energy bill negotiations.

Speaking of expiring tax credits, tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. at the National Press Club, current Congressional tax staff and former Hatch Sen Finance counsel Curt Beaulieu will discuss the issue and its possible inclusion in the Budget package.  They will be joined by industry leaders whose tax provisions were mistakenly left out of the 2015 wind and solar tax extension.  Panelists will include Doug Dougherty of the Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP) industry, Billie Kaumaya of the National Association of Home Builders, Lloyd Ritter of the Distributed Wind Energy Association and Dale Louda of the Combined Heat & Power Association.

Finally, there is still a lot of movement with Transition issues, especially with today’s rumored focus on EPA/Energy.  Over the weekend, the New York Times had a nice piece on President-elect Trump’s options on the Obama climate agenda.  We are happy to discuss what we know.

 

Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Through its vast ethanol plant footprint in the United States, Valero provides countless benefits to consumers by helping to clean the air, increase energy independence and boost local economies.”

RFA Board Chairman and Commonwealth Agri-Energy General Manager Mick Henderson.

 

“Saudi Arabia’s strategy of maintaining production to hurt U.S. and other non-OPEC producers has not only caused rifts within OPEC members, but has also caused complications within the Kingdom.”

SAFE Issue Brief, Saudi Arabia: The Power Behind OPEC

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Announces 2017 RVOs – The EPA released its final rule to set 2017 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the renewable fuel standard (RFS), along with 2018 RVOs for biomass-based diesel. The RVO for conventional fuel has been increased to meet the 15 billion gallon congressional target for conventional fuels. Overall renewable fuel volumes grow by 1.2 billion gallons from 2016 to 2017, a 6% increase. The rule finalizes RVOs proposed in May.  The final nested volume for total renewable fuel has been set at 19.28 billion gallons, up from a proposed volume of 18.8 billion gallons. On a percentage basis, the final standard for total renewable fuel has been set at 10.7% of the total transportation fuel pool, up from a proposed 10.44%. In 2016, the renewable fuel RVO was set at 18.11 billion gallons, or 10.10%.

Valero Joins RFA – RFA announced that Valero Renewable Fuels Company LLC, a subsidiary of Valero Energy Corporation, has joined the group.  Valero is one of the largest biofuels producers in the United States. Valero owns and operates 11 corn ethanol plants throughout   Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  Valero is the third largest ethanol producer in the United States with a total annual production capacity of 1.4 billion gallons per year, in addition, it is the largest renewable biodiesel producer in the U.S, and the world’s largest independent refiner.

SAFE Brief Focuses on Saudi Arabia: The Power Behind OPEC – In light of this week’s OPEC meeting in Vienna on Wednesday, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is releasing the latest in a series of Issue Briefs focusing on the future of the cartel. The paper addresses how OPEC’s strategy is influenced chiefly by Saudi Arabia, and how the country’s domestic changes affect the group’s policy.  The Issue Brief finds that Saudi Arabia’s strategy of maintaining production to hurt U.S. and other non-OPEC producers has not only caused rifts within OPEC members, but has also caused complications within the Kingdom. These problems, the paper adds, could be exacerbated by a range of domestic issues ranging from subsidy reform to Saudi royal disputes. The Issue Brief concludes that oil price volatility created by Saudi Arabian policies has created a highly uncertain investment environment, and has significantly affected American jobs. The best way for the United States to protect itself from this uncertainty is to reduce our near-total dependence on oil in the transportation sector, increase fuel efficiency and accelerate the development and deployment of advanced transportation fuels including electricity and natural gas.

DOE Program to Improve Electric Motors – DOE today announced nearly $25 million for 13 projects aimed at advancing technologies for energy-efficient electric motors through applied research and development. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Next Generation Electric Machines projects will address the limitations of traditional materials and designs used in electric motor components by cost-effectively enhancing their efficiency, improving their performance, and reducing weight. This effort will support innovative approaches that will significantly improve the technology in industrial electric motors, which use approximately 70 percent of the electricity consumed by U.S. manufacturers and nearly a quarter of all electricity consumed nationally.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

RFF to Look at Natural Disaster Issues – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a forum today looking at disaster losses and climate change.  At this event, Robert Muir-Wood, chief research officer of Risk Management Solutions and author of The Cure for Catastrophe: How We Can Stop Manufacturing Natural Disasters, will explore the human causes of disaster and the new technologies and policy tools available to minimize their impact. In the book, he examines how decisions made today—about how homes are built, where people choose to live, how society prepares, and how leadership communicates warnings—determine whether a disaster can be withstood tomorrow.

McCarthy to Address Issues at Post Live Session – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., Washington Post national political correspondent and creator of The Daily 202 James Hohmann will go live with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. The California Republican will discuss top policy priorities for the Republican-led 115th Congress and how GOP leadership hopes to work with President-elect Trump.  This is the third program in a live interview series tied to Hohmann’s Daily 202 newsletter, which has become a go-to for Beltway insights and analysis. Each month, Hohmann interviews D.C. power players and political operatives about the issues and news shaping Washington.

NatGas Roundtable to Host Resources Staff DirectorThe Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Bill Cooper, staff director for the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources and the Senior Policy Advisor on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon tomorrow.

WCEE to Host Discussion on Energy Storage – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunch panel tomorrow at the Solar Foundation on energy storage and its role for the solar and energy industries. As solar costs continue to decline, increased emphasis is placed on energy storage. Get a primer on different types of energy storage applications and which ones are economically viable now, why energy storage is critical in the long-term and lessons learned from real projects that are currently operational. Kerinia Cusick from Distributed Energy Innovation will give an overview of the storage activities around the globe and Chris Cook from Solar Grid Storage will talk about solar and storage integration.

NPC Newmakers to Host Forum Energy Tax Credits – The National Press Club’s Newsmakers Committee will host a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in the Zenger Room to discuss extending energy tax credits provisions.  The panel will feature current Congressional tax staff and former Hatch Sen Finance counsel Curt Beaulieu will discuss the issue and its possible inclusion in the Budget package.  They will be joined by industry leaders whose tax provisions were mistakenly left out of the 2015 wind and solar tax extension.  Panelists will include Doug Dougherty of the Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP) industry, Billie Kaumaya of the National Association of Home Builders, Lloyd Ritter of the Distributed Wind Energy Association and Dale Louda of the Combined Heat & Power Association.

JHU Forum to Look at Energy, Climate Plans for New President – JHU’s SAIS will hold a forum tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. looking at energy and climate policy proposals for the next Administration.  Speakers will include former State Department Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs David Goldwyn, RFF expert Roberton Williams and NRDC’s Ben Longstreth.

Senators Headline Rachel Carson 75th Celebration – EESI will host a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s historic arrival on the American environmental and literary scene on Wednesday.   Leading authors, environmental leaders, and members of Congress will all speak at the Rachel Carson Council’s all-day, one-of-a-kind event. Participants include Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich and Reps. Chris Van Hollen, John Tierney and several newly-elected environmental champions. They will be joined by environmental leaders including Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV); Carol Werner, Executive Director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI); Linda Pentz Gunter, Beyond Nuclear; Mae Wu, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); Amanda Hitt, Food Integrity Campaign; Zoe Ackerman, Rachel Carson Council; and others.  Confirmed award-winning authors include Sandra Steingraber, Living Downstream; Jennifer Ackerman, The Genius of Birds; Deborah Cramer, The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, An Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey; Kristen Iversen, Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Shadow of Rocky Flats; Melanie Choukas-Bradley, A Year in Rock Creek Park; Susan Cohen, Shorewords, and Bob Musil, Rachel Carson and Her Sisters and Washington in Spring. Their books will be available for purchase and personal signing.

Forum Looks at State RPS Implementation – The 2016 National Summit on Renewable Portfolio Standards will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the Dupont Circle Hotel. The forum focuses on developments and trends related to state RPSs and to network with many of the people from across the country who are most engaged in implementing and analyzing state RPSs.  The annual Summit is hosted by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), with funding support from the Energy Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

PPI to Host Climate Forum – The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) will hold a forum Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at the Willard InterContinental in Washington featuring Harvard economist Joseph Aldy, author of a new report, Long-Term Carbon Pricing: The Great Swap. The report proposes an economy-wide carbon tax as the most effective and efficient way to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, while also encouraging investment in clean fuels and technologies. It also explores the intriguing possibility of a “great swap”- a carbon tax and regulatory streamlining as part of the tax reform- that could create the basis for bipartisan negotiating and compromise to break the current impasse in climate and energy policy.  The conversation will also feature a cross-partisan roundtable moderated by Hannah Hess of E&E News and panelists including John Larsen, Director of the Rhodium Group, Jerry Taylor, President of the Niskanen Center, Catrina Rorke, Director of energy policy at R Street and Todd Wooten, Senior Counsel on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

ITIF to Host Energy Manufacturing Forum – On Wednesday at noon, ITIF will host a forum to discuss how smart manufacturing will shape the future of U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and what policies are needed to keep the United States at the global forefront of this emerging manufacturing revolution. ITIF will also release a new report on the importance of smart manufacturing in the future of U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.  Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) will deliver opening remarks.

Forum to Look at Climate Legal Issues – The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) the Center for American Progress Action Fund holds a discussion on Wednesday at Noon looking at the battle for climate change accountability.  Panelists will discuss the legal foundations for seeking accountability from fossil fuel companies, as well as the importance of state attorney general investigations in the face of federal opposition or inaction.  Climate Wire’s Ben Hulac will moderate a panel of experts and Keynote speaker will be former Maryland AG Doug Gansler.

CSIS to Look at Renewable Energy – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting a discussion on the outlook for the electric power sector and the future role of renewables. The U.S. electric power sector is in the midst of a transition. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) both produce annual outlooks that asses long-term trends in renewable energy, which help understand the changes to this sector. Doug Arent and Wesley Cole will outline the scenarios developed by NREL Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Ethan Zindler will summarize the key findings of the BNEF study published earlier this year.

USEA to hot Coal Council Head on Carbon Capture – The United States Energy Association will host a forum on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. featuring National Coal Council CEO Janet Gellucci.  At the event, Gellucci will present the findings and recommendations from the Council’s recently released report in response to the Secretary’s request – “CO2 Building Blocks:  Assessing CO2 Utilization Options.”

WRI Hosts Book Launch of Bangladesh Confronts Climate Change – On Thursday at 12:30 p.m., the World Resources Institute will host a book event looking at climate change and its impacts on Bangladesh.  Like most developing nations, Bangladesh emits a fraction of the world’s greenhouse gases. Yet it is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world, facing increasingly severe flooding, droughts and cyclones. Climate scientists estimate that rising sea levels alone will displace 18 million people by 2050.  David Hulme will launch his co-authored book, Bangladesh Confronts Climate Change: Keeping Our Heads above Water, and discuss the findings of the book with a participants and a panel of experts.

Energy, Water Infrastructure Conference Set – Today Water 2.0 will host a discussion of public policy changes as it relates to energy, water and manufacturing industries as they prepare for the most significant changes since 2008 with the election of President-elect Trump.  President-elect Trump has made a call for an ambitious $1 Trillion infrastructure program – “highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals” – a key part of his acceptance remarks on Wednesday, November 9th.

Brookings to Host Forum on Sustainability, Internet – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings will host a panel to discuss the future of intelligent and data-driven cities. A panel of experts will examine the potential for technology to create sustainable urban environments through data from billions of sensors, the intelligent management of advanced networks, and sophisticated learning using real-time data analytics.

Wilson to Launch Report Launch on Climate, Migration, Conflict – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Wilson Center the launch of a new report with USAID called “Navigating Complexity: Climate, Migration, and Conflict in a Changing World,” which goes beyond the headlines to explore these connections. A panel of experts from across the lanes of climate, migration, and conflict will discuss practical advice for policymakers and how to think about these interlinked dynamics. Climate change and migration present major challenges to societies that policymakers have a responsibility to grapple with, but their relationship is rarely direct, conflict is not a common outcome, and migration is not always evidence of failure.

AGA to Host NatGas Roundtable with New Board Chair – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the American Gas Association (AGA) will host a media roundtable for Pierce H. Norton II, President and Chief Executive Officer of ONE Gas, Inc. and AGA’s Chair of its Board of Directors for 2017.  Norton will Be joined by AGA head Dave McCurdy.  Norton became the first president and CEO of ONE Gas, Inc. after it separated from ONEOK Inc., in January 2014. Prior to ONE Gas becoming a stand-alone publically traded company, he served as executive vice president, commercial, of ONEOK and ONEOK Partners.

Forum to Look at Drones in Energy Sector – The Atlantic Council will host a forum on Friday at 9:00 a.m. to look at drones in the energy sector. The Council’s Global Energy Center will hold a conversation with key stakeholders to explore the intersection of national security, safety, and privacy issues with energy-related drone use, and the role of regulatory frameworks to help realize the economic and environmental potential of drones.  Speakers will include FAA Special Rules Coordinator for Unmanned Aircraft integration Robert Pappas, Chevron’s John O’Brien and Southern Company’s Dexter Lewis.

Saudi Oil Minister to Address CSIS Forum – On Friday, CSIS is hosting His Excellency Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to reflect on a career that spanned more than six decades in the Kingdom’s energy work, including 21 years (1995-2016) as Minister of Petroleum.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Forum to Launch USAID Climate Review – Next Monday at 9:30 a.m., the Wilson Center will launch USAID’s Climate Action Review.  For many years, USAID has been a leader in assisting partner countries to pursue low-carbon economic growth and build their resilience to the impacts of a changing climate. Through investments in clean energy and adaptation and support for sustainable forestry and agriculture, and by integrating best practices across its development portfolio, USAID’s approach to building the capacity and confidence of partners has yielded major achievements as well as lessons learned. Please save the date for an exploration of the successes and lessons learned in a time of rapid technological innovation, policy evolution, and environmental change.

Rep Blumenauer to Address AVs at Brookings Forum –Next Monday at 10:00 a.m., the new Brookings Institute Center on Regulation and Markets will host an event releasing new research on the congestion reducing benefits of autonomous vehicles and the consumer surplus stemming from the sharing economy. Following the presentations, the authors will participate in a panel discussion with other experts on the benefits, costs, and prospects for autonomous vehicles. After the panel, Rep. Earl Blumenauer will deliver a keynote address focusing on what role Congress plays in transportation and how autonomous vehicles can fix the nation’s infrastructure.

Holmstead to Discuss CPP Status at Chicago Forum – My Bracewell colleague Jeff Holmstead will lead a panel of experts in Chicago next Monday at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.

Briefing to Focus District Energy, Micro Grids – On Tuesday, December 6th, the International District Energy Association (IDEA), the Microgrid Resources Coalition (MRC), and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) are hosting a briefing in Dirksen G-50 providing policy guidance and showcasing proven technologies and exemplary cases that illuminate the potential for more robust U.S. investment in district energy microgrids.

SEIA Holds Tax, Empowerment Events – continues its Empowerment Series on December 7th with an panel focused on educating, connecting, and providing thought leadership in the solar industry. Speakers Include Hunton & Williams Laura Jones, Partner, Angelin Baskaran of  Morgan Stanley, Vickie Dalsanto of Morgan Capital Corporation and SolSystems Jessica Robbins.  This event is taking place the evening before SEIA’s Fall Finance & Tax Seminar which is on Wednesday and Thursday, December 7th and 8th.

Mexico Energy Forum Set – The US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce is hosting the first U.S.-Mexico Energy Forum on December 8th and 9th at The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center in Texas.  Given the importance of the energy sector for economic growth and recent developments that have positioned the North American region in a path towards energy independence, we are presenting a unique opportunity to discuss the different factors that have contributed to this major shift in the energy industry.  Main speakers will be Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former PEMEX CEO and Mexican Ambassador to the US Jesús Reyes Heroles.

Conservative Groups to Host Climate Forum – The Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Heritage Foundation will host a forum on Thursday December 8th to discuss energy and climate policy issues.   “At the Crossroads III: Energy and Climate Policy Summit,” will feature national policymakers, leading energy experts, and the field’s most innovative minds to explore what’s next in energy policy, what’s coming in climate science, and how you may affect both. Keynote Speaker will be Jim Inhofe.  Among the other speakers will be Sen. Mike Lee, House Science Chair Lamar Smith, potential EPA administrator Kathleen Hartnett White and Rep. Pete Olson.

BPC Forum to Look at Energy Transition – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum on Thursday, December 8th at 9:30 a.m. at the Marriott Marquis to bring together a broad range of stakeholders for a discussion on shared objectives and the best way to achieve our goals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The viability of pathways for “deep decarbonization” — generally defined as reaching at least an 80 percent reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from current levels by 2050 — are increasingly coming into focus as the key to managing this transition. But from the “keep it in the ground” movement to the “embrace energy abundance” viewpoint, energy and climate policy stakeholders across the spectrum have very different ideas on the policies, strategies, and tactics that will best chart the country on a course to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next several decades while also ensuring continued supplies of reliable and affordable energy.

AGU Meeting to Focus on Climate – The Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union will be held on December 12-15 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.  It is the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, attracting more than 24,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and other leaders. Fall Meeting brings together the entire Earth and space science community from across the globe for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The technical program includes presentations on new and cutting-edge science, much of which has not yet been published.

Thanksgiving Energy Update

Friends,

This week is Thanksgiving week, so after last week’s madhouse of transition and congressional issues, I am ready for a break.  While many people think Thanksgiving was first started by Ben Franklin and George Washington in 1789, a formal “Day of Thanksgiving” in November was first declared by John Hanson, Maryland Statesman and first President of the United States in Congress Assembled” under the Articles of Confederation, in 1781, eight years prior to Washington’s proclamation.  While there were several days of thank giving and fasting issued by earlier leaders like John Hancock, Henry Laurens, John Jay and Samuel Huntington, none of them resembled the last Thursday in November proclamation made by Hanson as the Treaty of Paris negotiations were being finalized.

A few other reasons for giving thanks: My son Adam is currently learning huge life lessons during a service trip in Haiti with a few classmates from his school.  The reports we are getting from the ground are amazing and humbling.  He has his camera (and as some of you may know, he has a great eye) so I hope he is using it to take some great pictures.

Sports thanks: Delaware won 19 straight games to win its first NCAA Field Hockey Championship.  And Messiah College (PA), defeated both Babson and Tufts over the weekend to win the D III title.  Both Babson and Tufts snuck by Hannah’s team earlier this year in close hard-fought battles.  And Jimmy Johnson is celebrating again and giving thanks after winning his 7th NASCAR championship last night.

Finally, one more “Big League” giving of thanks to Metallica, who on Friday released it 10th studio album Hardwired to Self-Destruct.  And having heard it all, it is ridiculous.  I cannot wait for the tour!

Activities are limited this week, but today Gina McCarthy speaks at the National Press Club and look for ethanol RVOs for 2017 perhaps tomorrow.

Last week, my colleague Bracewell LLP’s Jeff Holmstead and NAM’s Ross Eisenberg sat down for an in-depth discussion with E&E TV’s Monica Trauzzi on the impact President-elect Trump could have on U.S. EPA, climate regulations, the Obama administration’s new methane rule and the future of the electric power grid.  With all the transition talk, I also included our Bracewell PRG election analysis one more time in case you missed it last week.

And special kudos to my colleagues Dee Martin and Salo Zelermyer, who last week were 2016 Hero Award Honorees at the annual Recognizing Heroes Awards Dinner & Gala. Martin and Zelermyer were honored for helping young women who had been abducted by terrorists abroad and escaped from their captors make it to the United States safely and legally.

See you shortly at the National Press Club where Gina McCarthy will give her final address as EPA Administrator.  We still have a couple extra tickets at our Bracewell tables with Holmstead and Segal if you are interested in attending… Let me know quickly.  And if you need a preview, E&E News veteran Rod Kuckro has an in-depth interview with Gina that is detailed and Interesting.

Have a great Thanksgiving and travel safely… Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

Master of Puppets, to me, is the greatest modern heavy metal album ever made.  Pound for pound, song-wise, musically, sonically, production – it’s just fantastic…that is the template for every great heavy metal album.”

Corey Taylor of Slipknot interviewing Metallica

 

PRG ELECTION ANALYSIS

Bracewell PRG Election Update – The 2016 election results have significant implications for companies across a wide range of industry sectors. From environmental policy to financial services to tax reform, President-elect Trump has committed to sweeping action on a variety of fronts, and will have a Republican-controlled House and Senate to work with on priority issues. Nevertheless, the GOP-led Senate is not filibuster-proof, and many of the finer points of Trump’s agenda remain unclear. Accordingly, it is important for interested stakeholders to begin thinking through how their own priorities will track with the next President and Congress. The Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP (PRG) has prepared this post-election report to identify some of the key issues slated for action in Washington next term. Our team of lobbyists, lawyers and strategic communications professionals combines decades of experience working on these issues in the private sector, on Capitol Hill and at federal agencies—and stands ready to help our clients make sure their voices are heard by policymakers and the public. For further details on the election results, click here.

Bracewell Webinar Sees Massive Attendance – Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group experts held an election wrap up on Wednesday with more than 500 participants.  Here is the audio file from Wednesday’s Bracewell PRG Election Analysis webinar:  https://bgllp.sharefile.com/d-sdf9ccd676b94f6f9  Here is a list of the speakers:

    • Host/Intro: Dee Martin
    • Scott Segal
    • Jeff Holmstead
    • Salo Zelermyer
    • Josh Zive
    • Curt Beaulieu
    • Paul Nathanson
    • Ed Krenik
    • Former TX Sen Kay Baily Hutchinson

The slides from the presentation are available here.

VIDEO: Election Day Takeaways and What to Expect in the Trump Presidency – Dee Martin and Scott Segal, co-heads of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, discuss their reactions to the surprising results of the 2016 elections and what to expect during the first 100 days of a Trump administration. view video…

VIDEO: Outlook for the Clean Power Plan and Other Environmental Issues – Scott Segal, co-head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, and Jeff Holmstead, head of the Environmental Strategies Group at Bracewell and former EPA Air Office head, discuss how the next President and Congress will confront issues such as climate change, the Clean Power Plan, and other environmental regulations. view video…

VIDEO: Outlook for Energy Policy – Dee Martin, co-head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, and former DOE Counsel Salo Zelermyer discuss what the results of the election may mean for oil and gas, renewable energy, and fuels. view video…

Detailed Policy Papers for PRG Here – There are also written policy analysis papers on the PRG site that details impacts of the election on a number of key issues, including Environment, Energy, Trade, Tax Issues, and Appropriations/Budget.

 

IN THE NEWS

Interior Rolls out Tougher 5-year Plan – The Obama Administration’s finalized five-year offshore oil and natural gas leasing program, which sets the lease sale schedule for 2017-2022.  Release of the Proposed Final Program, along with the accompanying Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, is one of the final steps in a multi-year process that was initiated in June 2014 to develop a final offshore leasing program for 2017-2022.  The plan for offshore oil and gas drilling schedules 10 region-wide leases in the Gulf of Mexico from 2017 through 2022 and another in Alaska’s Cook Inlet in 2021. But the agency dropped its March draft proposal to offer leases in the Arctic’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas in 2020 and 2022.  The OCS Lands Act requires the Secretary of the Interior to prepare a Five-Year Program that includes a schedule of potential oil and gas lease sales and indicates the size, timing and location of proposed leasing determined to best meet national energy needs, while addressing a range of economic, environmental and social considerations.  For more information on the 2017-2022 Five Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, including maps, please visit: http://www.boem.gov/Five-Year-Program/.

You Need Experts? – If you have additional questions, my colleagues Kevin Ewing (202-828-7638, kevin.ewing@bracewelllaw.com) and Jason Hutt (202-828-5850, jason.hutt@bracewelllaw.com) are great experts and can help you navigate the ins and outs of the decision, as well as how this decision might be impacted by the new Trump Administration.

Chamber Blasts Interior Plan – Chamber Energy Institute Karen Harbert said today’s announcement limiting offshore energy production is “one of the final nails in the coffin of the Obama administration’s anti-growth energy agenda. With this plan, the administration keeps as much as 90% of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf off limits for exploration, including all areas of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. In doing so, the administration is ignoring the will of the American people  who understand that offshore energy production is good for American jobs, economic growth, and energy security. In particular, this plan is an affront to the people of Alaska and the Gulf States, whose concerns have been ignored by this administration.  We call on the incoming Trump administration and the new Congress to immediately rescind and replace this plan and put America back on a path to fully utilizing its offshore energy resources, while continuing with already planned lease sales.”

SAFE Raises Questions about Viability – Securing America’s Future Energy President Robbie Diamond is also concerned about the Impacts it will have on future production.  Leslie Heyward can:

IPAA Says Plan Writes off 80% of Federal Lands – Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) President and CEO Barry Russell said the offshore plan “places more than 80 percent of offshore federal lands, including the already-planned Atlantic waters, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and even Alaska’s energy-rich waters, off limits for future development. The United States needs more energy, specifically oil and natural gas, to meet its future demands, according to the Obama Administration’s own energy data agency. Instead, this administration is abandoning America’s energy potential and is threatening our role as a global energy superpower. This final offshore program raises serious questions as to why this administration, at the 11th hour, chose to ignore recommendations by its own energy data agency.

“Make no mistake, taking American offshore energy resources off the table for the next five years will eliminate well-paying jobs and reduce the billions of dollars in much-needed revenues that go to fund schools and road repair projects in local communities. Most importantly, locking up our offshore energy supplies will cause U.S. energy prices to rise, limiting the amount of hard-earned wages American families get to keep each month.

“The administration should allow more access to our vast energy resources, not less. It’s disappointing that this administration, with just two months left in office, has chosen to take the low, politically-motivated path and dictate the nation’s offshore program for the entirety of President-elect Trump’s four-year term.”

Methane Rule Released – The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management said it has finalized its Methane Waste Prevention Rule. Read a fact sheet from BLM here.

Challenge BLM’s Venting and Flaring Rule – Western Energy Alliance and the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) immediately challenged BLM’s final rule regulating venting and flaring from oil and natural gas operations on federal and tribal lands. In its claim filed before the U.S. District Court in Wyoming, the trade associations call BLM’s rule a broad new air quality regime that goes beyond authority granted by Congress. The trades are represented by Eric Waeckerlin and Kathleen Schroder of Davis Graham & Stubbs.   When operating on public lands, businesses already comply with air quality regulations mandated by EPA. BLM’s venting and flaring rule creates duplicative regulation that conflicts with EPA requirements. Authority to regulate air quality was designated to the EPA under the Clean Air Act, yet, BLM has tried to assume this role under the guise of reducing waste from oil and natural gas production.

Global CCS Institute: Global CO₂ Storage Resource Exceeds Need – The Global CCS Institute said global carbon capture and storage resources exceeds what is required to meet future climate change temperature targets at a presentation last week.  Presenting at the 13th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, Global CCS Institute Senior Storage Adviser, Dr. Chris Consoli, said almost every high emitting nation of the world had substantial storage resources.  “A great deal of the world’s CO₂ storage resource has now been assessed. For example, the US Department of Energy (DOE)11 published an atlas last year that estimated between 2,000 and 20,000 billion tons of storage resource in North America alone.”  “The International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that approximately 90 billion tons of storage capacity is needed if carbon capture and storage (CCS) is to contribute its targeted 12 per cent of emissions reductions. In 2050, this equates to about 6 billion tons per year.  In addition to China, other countries which have been assessed and boast large storage resources are Canada, the United States, Norway, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

API Tags Voters on Energy – API released an election night survey of actual voters across the country, and the findings reveal that more than 80% of voters agree that U.S. oil and natural gas production can help achieve each of their most important priorities: job creation (86%), economic growth (87%), lower energy costs (82%), and energy security (85%).  With drivers saving more than $550 in fuel costs and household budgets growing by $1337 due to utility and other energy-related savings in 2015, it should come as no surprise that voters appreciate the positive economic impact of U.S. energy. Americans not only recognize the benefits of the U.S. energy renaissance but they also support actions that would build on our position as the world’s leading oil and natural gas producer.

Study: No Widespread Impacts on Drinking Water – Speaking of API, they also released a new study of hydraulic fracturing which shows finding of no “widespread, systemic” impacts on drinking water from hydraulic fracturing. Report, authored by Catalyst Environmental Solutions, shows that the EPA’s finding of no widespread effects to drinking water quality is supported by state and federal regulatory reviews, and dozens of recent peer-reviewed case studies.  EPA’s six-year, multi-million dollar, national study, was released as a draft Assessment report in 2015 and determined that fracking has not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water as it lifted economic fortunes for millions of Americans. The new report by Catalyst, “Quantitative Support For EPA’s Finding of No Widespread, Systemic Effects to Drinking Water Resources from Hydraulic Fracturing,” concludes that: “If there was a significant correlation between impaired drinking water resources and hydraulic fracturing, that connection would be manifested in the areas that EPA evaluated. This finding is corroborated by a large, credible body of case studies and scientific literature.”

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

McCarthy to Address Press Club – EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will address the National Press Club on next Monday November 21st at Noon.  McCarthy plans to focus on the environmental and public health legacy of the Obama Administration, with an emphasis on efforts to combat the global effects of climate change.

Thanksgiving – November 24

 

IN THE FUTURE

RFF to Look at Natural Disaster Issues – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a forum on Monday November 28th looking at disaster losses and climate change.  At this event, Robert Muir-Wood, chief research officer of Risk Management Solutions and author of The Cure for Catastrophe: How We Can Stop Manufacturing Natural Disasters, will explore the human causes of disaster and the new technologies and policy tools available to minimize their impact. In the book, he examines how decisions made today—about how homes are built, where people choose to live, how society prepares, and how leadership communicates warnings—determine whether a disaster can be withstood tomorrow.

NatGas Roundtable to Host Resources Staff DirectorThe Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Bill Cooper, staff director for the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources and the Senior Policy Advisor on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon tomorrow.

WCEE to Host Discussion on Energy Storage – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunch panel next Tuesday, November 29th at the Solar Foundation on energy storage and its role for the solar and energy industries. As solar costs continue to decline, increased emphasis is placed on energy storage. Get a primer on different types of energy storage applications and which ones are economically viable now, why energy storage is critical in the long-term and lessons learned from real projects that are currently operational. Kerinia Cusick from Distributed Energy Innovation will give an overview of the storage activities around the globe and Chris Cook from Solar Grid Storage will talk about solar and storage integration.

NPC Newsmakers to Host Forum Energy Tax Credits – The National Press Club’s Newsmakers Committee will host a forum Tuesday, November 29th at 2:00 p.m. in the Zenger Room to discuss extending energy tax credits provisions.  More on this next week when panelists are finalized.

Senators Headline Rachel Carson 75th Celebration – EESI will host a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s historic arrival on the American environmental and literary scene on November 30th.   Leading authors, environmental leaders, and members of Congress will all speak at the Rachel Carson Council’s all-day, one-of-a-kind event. Participants include Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich and Reps. Chris Van Hollen, John Tierney and several newly-elected environmental champions. They will be joined by environmental leaders including Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV); Carol Werner, Executive Director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI); Linda Pentz Gunter, Beyond Nuclear; Mae Wu, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); Amanda Hitt, Food Integrity Campaign; Zoe Ackerman, Rachel Carson Council; and others.  Confirmed award-winning authors include Sandra Steingraber, Living Downstream; Jennifer Ackerman, The Genius of Birds; Deborah Cramer, The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, An Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey; Kristen Iversen, Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Shadow of Rocky Flats; Melanie Choukas-Bradley, A Year in Rock Creek Park; Susan Cohen, Shorewords, and Bob Musil, Rachel Carson and Her Sisters and Washington in Spring. Their books will be available for purchase and personal signing.

Forum Looks at State RPS Implementation – The 2016 National Summit on Renewable Portfolio Standards will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the Dupont Circle Hotel. The forum focuses on developments and trends related to state RPSs and to network with many of the people from across the country who are most engaged in implementing and analyzing state RPSs.  The annual Summit is hosted by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), with funding support from the Energy Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

CSIS to Look at Renewable Energy – On Wednesday, November 30th at 2:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting a discussion on the outlook for the electric power sector and the future role of renewables. The U.S. electric power sector is in the midst of a transition. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) both produce annual outlooks that asses long-term trends in renewable energy, which help understand the changes to this sector. Doug Arent and Wesley Cole will outline the scenarios developed by NREL Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Ethan Zindler will summarize the key findings of the BNEF study published earlier this year.

USEA to hot Coal Council Head on Carbon Capture – The United States Energy Association will host a forum on Wednesday, November 30th at 2:00 p.m. featuring National Coal Council CEO Janet Gellucci.  At the event, Gellucci will present the findings and recommendations from the Council’s recently released report in response to the Secretary’s request – “CO2 Building Blocks:  Assessing CO2 Utilization Options.”

WRI Hosts Book Launch of Bangladesh Confronts Climate Change – On Thursday, December 1st at 12:30 p.m., the World Resources Institute will host a book event looking at climate change and its impacts on Bangladesh.  Like most developing nations, Bangladesh emits a fraction of the world’s greenhouse gases. Yet it is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world, facing increasingly severe flooding, droughts and cyclones. Climate scientists estimate that rising sea levels alone will displace 18 million people by 2050.  David Hulme will launch his co-authored book, Bangladesh Confronts Climate Change: Keeping Our Heads above Water, and discuss the findings of the book with a participants and a panel of experts.

Wilson to Launch Report Launch on Climate, Migration, Conflict – On Friday, December 2nd at 10:00 a.m., the Wilson Center the launch of a new report with USAID called “Navigating Complexity: Climate, Migration, and Conflict in a Changing World,” which goes beyond the headlines to explore these connections. A panel of experts from across the lanes of climate, migration, and conflict will discuss practical advice for policymakers and how to think about these interlinked dynamics. Climate change and migration present major challenges to societies that policymakers have a responsibility to grapple with, but their relationship is rarely direct, conflict is not a common outcome, and migration is not always evidence of failure.

AGA to Host NatGas Roundtable with New Board Chair – On December 2nd at 9:00 a.m., the American Gas Association (AGA) will host a media roundtable for Pierce H. Norton II, President and Chief Executive Officer of ONE Gas, Inc. and AGA’s Chair of its Board of Directors for 2017.  Norton will Be joined by AGA head Dave McCurdy.  Norton became the first president and CEO of ONE Gas, Inc. after it separated from ONEOK Inc., in January 2014. Prior to ONE Gas becoming a stand-alone publically traded company, he served as executive vice president, commercial, of ONEOK and ONEOK Partners.

Saudi Oil Minister to Address CSIS Forum – On Friday, December 2nd, CSIS is hosting His Excellency Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to reflect on a career that spanned more than six decades in the Kingdom’s energy work, including 21 years (1995-2016) as Minister of Petroleum.

Mexico Energy Forum Set – The US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce is hosting the first U.S.-Mexico Energy Forum on December 8th and 9th at The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center in Texas.  Given the importance of the energy sector for economic growth and recent developments that have positioned the North American region in a path towards energy independence, we are presenting a unique opportunity to discuss the different factors that have contributed to this major shift in the energy industry.  Main speakers will be Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former PEMEX CEO and Mexican Ambassador to the US Jesús Reyes Heroles.

AGU Meeting to Focus on Climate – The Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union will be held on December 12-15 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.  It is the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, attracting more than 24,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and other leaders. Fall Meeting brings together the entire Earth and space science community from across the globe for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The technical program includes presentations on new and cutting-edge science, much of which has not yet been published.

 

Energy Update: Week of November 14

Friends,

In case you haven’t noticed, the last few nights, the Moon has been crazy bright.  Now that I have to walk our new puppy every night, the Supermoon has been really awesome to see.  A “supermoon” occurs when the moon becomes full on the same day as its perigee, the point in the moon’s orbit when it is closest to Earth.  Supermoons generally appear to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons. The Supermoon tonight will be the closest a Full Moon has been to Earth since January 26, 1948 and is the last night to really catch it until 2034 when it will even be closer and brighter.  Live Science offers a viewing guide here.

What a crazy finish to this crazy election.  Boy, do the results change things around DC especially in the environment and energy arena.  We are offering our insights and policy analysis.  We had a HUGE turnout for our election impacts webinar last week and we will continue to keep you updated on activities related to the transition.  We have already been chatting with many of you and are happy to continue answering your questions regarding transition, First 100 Days agenda, Congress and other information.   Also, if you are looking for more analysis, E&E TV hosts our friend and energy analyst Kevin Book to discuss the energy and environment landscape on the heels of Trump’s election.

With the election in the past and the transition beginning, we are quickly turning to the post-election legislative session, which has certainly lost a lot of its momentum.  That being said, there are several items that need to be completed.  Tomorrow Congress hits “go” with just a few weeks left in the 114th Congress and some unfinished business has been dramatically shortened.  Rumors around suggest that Republicans would rather deal with incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rather that the retiring Harry Reid.  So it seems like dramatic tax, budget and energy changes might just get wrapped up into a small CR, pushing everything to early next year.

Also this week ministers arrive in Marrakesh for week two of COP 22 to a much different political tone. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is participating today and tomorrow in sessions on carbon capture, innovation and clean energy, while Climate negotiator Jonathan Pershing arrived over the weekend.  There are also rumblings about a new Trump Administration trying to get out of Paris which actually is kind of silly since the agreement doesn’t really require us to do anything more than we are already doing in terms of mandatory GHG reporting.   More on this as we go forward.

Other events start tomorrow with a GenerationHub forum that will feature Holmstead and me, a enviros anti-pipeline rally at the White House, RFF-Stanford’s NatGas forum and USEA hosting Coal Council CEO Janet Gellicci.  On Wednesday, Senate Approps looks at the future of Nuclear.  And Friday, CSIS hosts IEA to release its World Energy Outlook and RealClearPoltics hosts an energy summit featuring AGA’s Kathryn Clay, SEIA’s Chris Mansour, AWEA’s Rob Gramlich and NEI’s Revis James, among others.

Finally, next Monday at the National Press Club, Gina McCarthy will give her final address.  Bracewell is sponsoring table so we will be there to hear her take as she departs after 8 years at the EPA.

We are on it… Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The last thing in the world any newly-elected president wants to do is go into complicated issues with blinders on.  As a result, they look to people as advisors and implementers that have a full understanding of the subject matter they are supposed to address.”

Scott Segal, head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group

 

PRG ELECTION ANALYSIS

Bracewell PRG Election Update – The 2016 election results have significant implications for companies across a wide range of industry sectors. From environmental policy to financial services to tax reform, President-elect Trump has committed to sweeping action on a variety of fronts, and will have a Republican-controlled House and Senate to work with on priority issues. Nevertheless, the GOP-led Senate is not filibuster-proof, and many of the finer points of Trump’s agenda remain unclear. Accordingly, it is important for interested stakeholders to begin thinking through how their own priorities will track with the next President and Congress. The Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP (PRG) has prepared this post-election report to identify some of the key issues slated for action in Washington next term. Our team of lobbyists, lawyers and strategic communications professionals combines decades of experience working on these issues in the private sector, on Capitol Hill and at federal agencies—and stands ready to help our clients make sure their voices are heard by policymakers and the public. For further details on the election results, click here.

Bracewell Webinar Sees Massive Attendance – Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group experts held an election wrap up on Wednesday with more than 500 participants.  Here is the audio file from Wednesday’s Bracewell PRG Election Analysis webinar:  https://bgllp.sharefile.com/d-sdf9ccd676b94f6f9  Here is a list of the speakers:

    • Host/Intro: Dee Martin
    • Scott Segal
    • Jeff Holmstead
    • Salo Zelermyer
    • Josh Zive
    • Curt Beaulieu
    • Paul Nathanson
    • Ed Krenik
    • Former TX Sen Kay Baily Hutchinson

 

The slides from the presentation are available here.

VIDEO: Election Day Takeaways and What to Expect in the Trump Presidency – Dee Martin and Scott Segal, co-heads of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, discuss their reactions to the surprising results of the 2016 elections and what to expect during the first 100 days of a Trump administration. view video…

VIDEO: Outlook for the Clean Power Plan and Other Environmental Issues – Scott Segal, co-head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, and Jeff Holmstead, head of the Environmental Strategies Group at Bracewell and former EPA Air Office head, discuss how the next President and Congress will confront issues such as climate change, the Clean Power Plan, and other environmental regulations. view video…

VIDEO: Outlook for Energy Policy – Dee Martin, co-head of Bracewell’s Policy Resolution Group, and former DOE Counsel Salo Zelermyer discuss what the results of the election may mean for oil and gas, renewable energy, and fuels. view video…

Detailed Policy Papers for PRG Here – There are also written policy analysis papers on the PRG site that details impacts of the election on a number of key issues, including Environment, Energy, Trade, Tax Issues, and Appropriations/Budget.

 

POST-ELECTION LEGISLATIVE SESSION PRIMER

Post-Election Legislative Session – Tomorrow, lawmakers will return to the Capitol for necessary post-election legislative session.  With just a few weeks left in the 114th Congress, the long list of unfinished business has been dramatically shortened.  Rumors around suggest that Republicans would rather deal with incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rather that the retiring Harry Reid.  SO it seems like dramatic tax, budget and energy changes might just get wrapped up into a small CR.

The Deadline – Lawmakers face a Dec. 9 deadline for the keeping the government running, but senior leaders plan to move a continuing resolution in the lame duck that will fund the government into early next year.

A Clean CR? – The election has made significant changes to the tone of the post-election legislative session.  More sources and media outlets are reporting that House and Senate GOP leaders plan to move legislation that funds the government at current levels into early next year.  This effort will split up showdowns over a government shutdown and a debt ceiling hike.  Pushing the issues to when Trump and a Republican Congress handle government funding is easier politically and gives the GOP more control over final budget outcomes.  Expect a CR to go to the March/April time frame.

The Tax Issues – One of the biggest issues to hit the agenda is whether Congress considers energy tax extenders as part of must-pass budget legislation.  Last year’s omnibus deal included a 5-year phased down extension of tax credits under Sec 45(commercial), Sec 48(commercial), and Sec 25D(residential) for wind and solar.  Already both House and Senate leaders have said they plan to have tax extenders that were inadvertently left out of the deal, at the top of the agenda when the post-election legislative session gets underway.  CEQ chair and energy advisor to President Obama Brian Deese also said these energy tax extenders must be renewed in a post-election session of Congress.  These seem to be part of any Democratic ask, but there are also a lot of other Republican-led extenders that may balance that out.

CCS Tax Credit – Speaking of the post-election legislative session, our friends at the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) have just posted their presidential transition memos on carbon capture, utilization and storage. With the lame duck session now just days away, action on 45Q and related policy priorities is building. NEORI expects new cosponsors on the Senate and House 45Q bills once Congress returns and are confident that this bipartisan, common-sense energy and climate legislation will pass this year.

Energy Legislation – While Sens. Murkowski and Cantwell continue discussions with House energy Conferees, most experts think it may be unlikely that enough progress will be made to have significant energy legislation face a vote.  Senate conferees last month sent the House a compromise proposal, and discussions are expected to step up once members return next week.  Now most think, the current discussions will be the primer to start discussions early next year.

LNG Permits Expedited In NADA – Our friends at Bloomberg First Energy are reporting that the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, is saying that Congress may pass legislation to expedite DOE approval for liquefied natural gas exports.  One reason they are optimistic is its inclusion of language speeding of the process in the House’s 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, currently undergoing conference with the Senate.

WRDA Still Possible – One thing that seems to have some momentum is the Water Resource Development Act reform legislation that was overwhelmingly approved by both Houses earlier this year.   The legislation includes resources for Flint’s water crisis.

What’s Out For Sure – There are a number of things that are definitely out, like any thought that Merrick Garland’s nomination will be considered.

 

IN THE NEWS

NRECA Aim to Hire Vets – Faced with the challenge of filling 15,000 jobs over the next five to seven years, America’s electric cooperatives want to do more than simply thank veterans for their service this Veterans Day—they want to offer them a job.  To achieve this goal, NRECA launched Serve Our Co-ops; Serve Our Country, a nationwide program to provide veterans, service members and military spouses with the opportunity to continue their mission of service by joining the ranks of America’s electric co-ops. The program provides participating co-ops with resources and training to help them implement nationally-recognized best practices in attracting, hiring, onboarding and retaining veterans.  50 co-ops have signed on to the initiative since its launch earlier this year. In July, Jonesboro, Ark.-based Craighead Electric Cooperative hired the first veteran under the program when it welcomed aboard Air Force Capt. Jeremiah Sloan as an electrical engineer. “He is a totally professional young man,” Craighead CEO Brian Duncan said. “Not only did we get a quality candidate to serve our members, we got a local guy who wanted to get back home and a veteran who has served our country well.”  Click here to view a brief video about the program, including interviews with Sloan and Duncan on why vets are a good fit for electric co-ops.  For more information on Serve Our Co-ops; Serve Our Country, contact Dan Riedinger, NRECA Media Relations, at (202) 403-7517 or dan.riedinger@nreca.coop.

AGA Leads Effort Aimed at Scammers – The American Gas Association, in coordination with a number of natural gas utilities and industry trade associations, will launch this week an inaugural campaign, titled “Utilities United Against Scams.” This collaborative effort is geared toward promoting awareness and prevention of the increasing number of scamming incidents targeting utility customers across North America. As a result of this effort, the third Wednesday in November every year will be designated as Utilities United Against Scams Day.  This national campaign aims to address the wide-range of utility scams including telephone, mail, email, door-to-door and other scams that involve criminals posing as utility company representatives and demanding immediate payment or personal information from customers. AGA member companies across the nation will continue to work alongside law enforcement, industry stakeholders and political leaders at the local and national level to denounce these disruptive scams.

Georgetown Report Says Clean Energy Booming – A new report from the Georgetown Climate Center shows that a dramatic shift to clean energy is taking place across the U.S.  Between 2011 and 2014, installed wind energy capacity grew by more than 40 percent nationally, for example, while solar capacity grew by 577 percent nationally. The Georgetown Climate Center works with states and cities to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, and to help communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. Its new report focuses on actions in 19 states that are leading a shift to cleaner energy. These actions have contributed to a 6 percent drop in overall United States greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector between 2012 and 2015.

REPORT: Global Emission Flat Despite Economic Growth – The Global Carbon Project says in a new report the global CO2 emissions stayed flat for the third year in a row despite  modest economic growth around the globe.  The report said the expanded natural gas use and lower coal use in China is driving the trend.  While the global economy grew by over 3%, emissions growth remained relatively flat.  Emissions are projected to rise by only 0.2% this year, marking a “clear break” from growing 2.3% in the decade to 2013. Emissions grew 0.7% in 2014.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

COP 22 Marrakesh – The 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) continues this week as ministers arrive in Marrakesh, Morocco to focus on action items in order to achieve the priorities of The Paris Agreement, especially related to adaptation, transparency, technology transfer, mitigation, capacity building and loss and damages.  It will also look at many of the difficult conflicts that were disregarded during last year’s negotiations.

JHU Forum Looks at Energy, Climate Policies – Today at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins SAIS will host a forum on energy and climate policy proposals for the next Administration.  The discussion features former State Department Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs David Goldwyn, former NSC energy advisor Bob McNally, RFF’s Roberton Williams and NRDC’s Ben Longstreth.

Hoover to Discuss Conservative Environmentalism – The Hoover Institution hosts a discussion on “Conservative Environmentalism” tomorrow at 8:45 a.m.  Philosopher and renowned author Sir Roger Scruton agrees that the environment is one of the most important political problems of our age, but argues in How to Think Seriously About the Planet that conservatism is far better suited to tackle environmental problems than either liberalism or socialism. Sir Roger will lay out his framework for thinking about the environment in a keynote address to be followed by an audience Q&A. This will be followed by a roundtable discussion on both the philosophical and practical dimensions of a conservative environmental policy, touching on issues ranging from the ethical precepts behind conservative environmentalism to the policy ideas that could be put forward in a conservative environmental agenda.  Steve Hayward moderates a panel with Stanford’s Jeremy Carl and GMU’s Mark Sagoff.

House Resources to Look at Energy Independence Legislation – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing tomorrow  at 11:30 a.m. on legislation to move toward domestic energy independence.  The legislation empowers States to control the development and production of all forms of energy on all available Federal land.

API Holds Cybersecurity Conference – The 11th annual API Cybersecurity Conference & Expo will be held in Houston at the Westin Houston Memorial City tomorrow and Wednesday.  The forum will focus on methods for thwarting the bad guys, what the scene looks like over the horizon and how the latest technologies can help you counter cyber espionage, address cyber warfare, and make your cyber efforts secure.  Cybersecurity is critical to the infrastructure of the oil and natural gas industry. The energy industry, including oil and natural gas, is ranked 2nd highest of all industries most likely to suffer a cyberattack. This conference is organized by API to provide an opportunity to network with cybersecurity professionals, and to candidly discuss challenges and share solutions. These sessions, essential to cybersecurity, are chosen and presented by recognized experts in the field.

RFF, Stanford Looking at NatGas Siting – Resources for the Future (RFF), Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Stanford Natural Gas Initiative Webinar are hosting another webinar in the series on New Research on the Science and Economics of Natural Gas tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. looking at optimal siting of shale gas and oil development.  This is the third event in a joint RFF/Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment/Stanford Natural Gas Initiative.  The siting of shale gas and oil development—everything from well pads to pipelines—is based on a complex network of factors, including resource availability, lease ownership, environmental concerns, local zoning, and community preference. Experts at Stanford University and Resources for the Future are considering ways in which these various factors come into play in siting decisions, including what “optimal siting” might look like in a variety of contexts. Stanford’s Anthony Kovscek will open the webinar by looking at optimal siting of shale development from a technical perspective, considering the geologic characteristics of formations that drive companies’ drilling decisions. RFF’s Juha Siikamäki will then present a new model considering optimal siting of shale gas and oil infrastructure from the perspective of minimizing habitat fragmentation and other landscape-level impacts. Finally, Tisha Schuller from the Stanford Natural Gas Initiative will discuss optimal siting of shale gas and oil infrastructure from the perspective of community and industry interactions.

USEA to Host Coal Council Head –The US Energy Assn will host National Coal Council CEO Janet Gellici tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.  Gellici will present the findings and recommendations from the Council’s recently released report in response to the Secretary Moniz’s request – “CO2 Building Blocks:  Assessing CO2 Utilization Options.”  Moniz had tasked the National Coal Council with preparing a white paper assessing market opportunities for CO2 utilization.

TransForum East Set for Nov – GenerationHub’s TransForum East is scheduled for tomorrow And Wednesday at the Capital Hilton in DC. TransForum East brings together electric transmission executives who operate, plan, build, regulate and invest in electric power transmission systems in Eastern North America.  Both Jeff Holmstead and I will be presenting; Jeff on CPP while I will focus on election impacts.  This regional forum provides two days of interaction and collaboration on the business of power transmission. You’ll gain insight from case studies of successful business models, regional planning strategies, financing trends and practical lessons learned from new construction and upgraded transmission projects occurring in the United States and Canada.

AWEA Fall Symposium Set – AWEA will host its Fall Symposium tomorrow through Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, TX.  The wind energy industry has a powerful vision to take us to 10% U.S. wind energy by 2020 and 20% by 2030.  Reaching these ambitious goals brings different challenges for different segments of the industry.  But how does that take shape in each step from development to distribution?  Participants in this year’s Fall Symposium will work together to identify those concrete steps that can be taken to keep our industry on target. Sessions will focus on the collaborative approach needed to reach industry goals bringing together strategic thinkers of developers, OEMs, suppliers, corporate purchasers of wind energy, and utilities.

CCS Forum Set – The Global CCS Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. to look at the future of carbon capture.  The Institute will be launching The Global Status of CCS: 2016 at a dedicated event at the 22nd conference of the parties (COP 22) in Marrakech on Tuesday, 15 November.   The report is an essential reference for industry, government, research bodies, and the broader community, providing a comprehensive overview of global and regional CCS developments. Following the report launch, we will run a number of webinars commencing in November 2016, through to early 2017.  A Summary of the Global Status of CCS: 2016 will be accessible on our website from 15 November, and includes updates on key CCS facilities.  Speakers will include Jeff Erikson of the Global CCS Institute, Armond Cohen of the Clean Air Task Force, Brookings’ expert Adele Morris and former Rep Bob Inglis.

AU to Host Energy Lecture – Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., American University will host a lecture by Professor Imre Szeman (University of Alberta) on the way interdisciplinary perspectives can inform our understanding of energy uses and forms. Drawing from his work in the field of Energy Humanities, Professor Szeman will explore the social, cultural, and political changes needed to make possible a full-scale transition from fossil fuels to new forms of energy.

Hearing to Focus on Nuclear Pollution – The Helsinki Commission will hold a hearing tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in 2325 Rayburn on nuclear pollution in the Arctic.  This briefing will examine the policy of the United States, the Russian Federation, and other Arctic Council nations toward the Arctic. Experts will present a general overview of U.S. and international policy in the Arctic, the broader geopolitics of the region, and the imminent threat posed by nuclear pollution.

Enviros to Rally at White House – Environmental groups will hold anti-pipeline rallies tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. including one at the White House.  It should be fun times.

Forum to DOE, National Intelligence – Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m., the Institute of World Politics will hold a special presentation on the role DOE’s plays in national intelligence with Mr. Jesse Reisman, DOE’s Technical Principal in the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.  Reisman has been working in the federal government since 2002, primarily in the cyber-related areas of counterterrorism, intelligence and inside threat.  Reisman’s presentation will focus on the role DOE plays in national intelligence, and will also provide a high-level discussion about the IC (mission, components, etc.) and the security clearance process.

Wilson to Host Petrobras President – The Wilson Center will host Petrobras President Pedro Parente on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  Parente will address the challenges and opportunities facing Brazil’s largest enterprise in today’s tough energy market. After his presentation, he will engage in dialogue with members of the audience interested in learning about the outlook for Petrobras and energy in Brazil. Petrobras has a key role to play in the national effort to overcome Brazil’s current economic downturn, regain trust and confidence from domestic and foreign investors, and put Brazil back on the path of sustainable and equitable economic growth.

Forum to Look at China Environment Reforms – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the International Fund for China’s Environment (IFCE) will host a briefing on Wednesday at discussing China’s ongoing efforts to implement environmental reforms and take action against climate change. Three environmental professionals from China will discuss the challenges and progress associated with setting emission reduction policies, implementing national climate targets at the local level, incentivizing supply chain sustainability, and more.

Heritage to Host Coal Film – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. , the Heritage Foundation will host the public premiere of “Collateral Damage: Forgotten Casualties of the Left’s War on Coal” in its Lehrman Auditorium.  “Collateral Damage” is an MRC TV investigative journalism project that documents and exposes the trials of West Virginia families and communities who have been hurt by Environmental Protection Agency regulations targeting the coal industry.

Sen Approps Panel to Look at Nuclear – On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in 138 Dirksen, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will convene a hearing looking at the future of nuclear power.  The witnesses will include former CIA director and current MIT Professor John Deutch, Oak Ridge Lab Nuclear and Engineering Lab Associate director Alan Icenhour and NRDC nuclear expert Matthew McKinzie.

Solar Focus Conference SetSolar Focus 2016 will be held Wednesday and Thursday at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel looking at East Coast solar policy. This year’s theme is “Cracking the Code on East Coast Solar” and will feature sessions from energy storage to fixing oversupplied SREC markets.

Ag Biomass R&D Group to Meet – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee will be meeting Thursday and Friday at the Hamilton Crown Plaza in DC to develop advice and guidance that promotes research and development leading to the production of bio-based fuels and bio-based products.

Economists Look At Carbon Tax Questions – The National Economists Club will host a discussion on Thursday at Noon to discuss low–income households and carbon tax.  Chad Stone, Chief Economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will speak.

Webinar to Look at Solar Issues, Regulation – Our friends at Power Markets Today will be hosting a webinar on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. on what solar means for retail power regulation.  The webinar will offer a high-level, comprehensive view of how the growth of solar is changing the industry’s regulatory landscape.  The event will feature Inger Goodman of Just Energy Group, SolarCity’s Sanjay Ranchod, CC Song of Marin Clean Energy and SoCal Ed’s director of energy policy Gary Stern.  Our fiend James Downing will moderate.  Call 301-769-6812 (1-888-637-7776 toll-free in the US and Canada) to register.

Columbia Law School to Look at Post-Election Policy – The Columbia Law School Executive Education will hold a seminar on Friday in New York that will look at what to expect after the election.  The forum will gathers professors who are experts in environmental law, immigration issues, regulatory matters, national security concerns, health care, and tax rules to discuss how they predict the next presidency and a new Congress will affect the business and legal landscape.  After a long and brutal battle, no matter who wins in November, there will certainly be fallout. Benefit from the wisdom of this Columbia Law School brain trust to anticipate what will change, and how, so that you can be well-prepared to advise your clients and implement effective strategy.

CSIS to Host IEA’s World Energy Outlook – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA’s “World Energy Outlook 2016.” This year’s projections for different scenarios to 2040, based on the latest data and market developments, cover all fuels, regions, and technologies. WEO 2016 gives particular attention to the impact of Paris, renewables, the road ahead for fossil fuels, Mexico’s energy outlook and energy and water issues.

RCP Energy Summit Set – RealClearPolitics will host a unique energy summit on Friday at Noon at the Newseum following the pivotal 2016 election. Prominent energy policy experts will discuss this transition phase and where we go from here. Each speaker will present a brief overview of their industry, along with the challenges they face, the opportunities ahead, and their outlook for the future.  RealClearPolitics Washington Bureau Chief Carl Cannon will moderate the event that will feature LIUNA President Terry O’Sullivan, Kevin Avery of ConocoPhillips, AGA’s Kathryn Clay, SEIA’s Chris Mansour, AWEA’s Rob Gramlich and NEI’s Revis James.

Grid Expert to Address Cybersecurity – The National Capital Area Chapter of the US Assn of Energy Economists (USAEE) will host its monthly luncheon on Friday at Carmines Restaurant at Noon.  Paul Feldman, former Chairman of the Midwest ISO, will focus on the clear and present danger associated with cyber-attacks, what we are doing about it, and what needs to be done better. He will differentiate between IT and OT systems, and how to relate the two into an integrated whole – and protect against attacks like the successful Ukraine attack.

CSIS to Launch India Urban Initiative – CSIS will launch of the U.S.-India State and Urban Initiative on Friday at 2:00 p.m.  The Initiative is a unique effort, backed by the U.S. government, to engage directly with Indian states on energy-related issues, and to form partnerships that can help India extend the benefits of electrification to all its citizens while achieving its goal of quadrupling renewable energy use by 2022. The Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies, with support from the Energy and National Security Program at CSIS, will act as Initiative secretariat. Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, and Amos J. Hochstein, Special Envoy, Bureau of Energy Resources from the U.S. Department of State will discuss the potential at the subnational level in the U.S.-India relationship, India’s energy picture, and the future of the Initiative.

 

IN THE FUTURE

McCarthy to Address Press Club – EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will address the National Press Club on next Monday November 21st at Noon.  McCarthy plans to focus on the environmental and public health legacy of the Obama Administration, with an emphasis on efforts to combat the global effects of climate change.

Thanksgiving – November 24

RFF to Look at Natural Disaster Issues – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a forum on Monday November 28th looking at disaster losses and climate change.  At this event, Robert Muir-Wood, chief research officer of Risk Management Solutions and author of The Cure for Catastrophe: How We Can Stop Manufacturing Natural Disasters, will explore the human causes of disaster and the new technologies and policy tools available to minimize their impact. In the book, he examines how decisions made today—about how homes are built, where people choose to live, how society prepares, and how leadership communicates warnings—determine whether a disaster can be withstood tomorrow.

Senators Headline Rachel Carson 75th Celebration – EESI will host a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s historic arrival on the American environmental and literary scene on November 30th.   Leading authors, environmental leaders, and members of Congress will all speak at the Rachel Carson Council’s all-day, one-of-a-kind event. Participants include Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich and Reps. Chris Van Hollen, John Tierney and several newly-elected environmental champions. They will be joined by environmental leaders including Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV); Carol Werner, Executive Director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI); Linda Pentz Gunter, Beyond Nuclear; Mae Wu, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); Amanda Hitt, Food Integrity Campaign; Zoe Ackerman, Rachel Carson Council; and others.  Confirmed award-winning authors include Sandra Steingraber, Living Downstream; Jennifer Ackerman, The Genius of Birds; Deborah Cramer, The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, An Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey; Kristen Iversen, Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Shadow of Rocky Flats; Melanie Choukas-Bradley, A Year in Rock Creek Park; Susan Cohen, Shorewords, and Bob Musil, Rachel Carson and Her Sisters and Washington in Spring. Their books will be available for purchase and personal signing.

EPA RVO Deadline for Ethanol – November 30

AGU Meeting to Focus on Climate – The Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union will be held on December 12-15 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.  It is the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, attracting more than 24,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and other leaders. Fall Meeting brings together the entire Earth and space science community from across the globe for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The technical program includes presentations on new and cutting-edge science, much of which has not yet been published.

Energy Update: Week of October 24

Friends,

It is World Series time and isn’t this exciting: the Cubs are in the World Series for the first time in 71 years and are trying to break a 108-year WS drought.  The Indians haven’t won the World Series since 1948, and haven’t been to the dance since 1997.  And with Cleveland’s NBA Championship and more importantly, it Calder Cup Championship for the Lake Erie (now the Cleveland) Monsters, it may be starting to challenge as the latest Championship City.   And certainly between the Bulls and Blackhawks championships, Chicago can also make its claim to Championship City.

And I know this may sound like it’s getting old, but Hannah scored ANOTHER OT Gamer winner on Saturday as her Wellesley field Hockey team closed out their conference play with a 3-2 victory over Clark University of Mass.  It is her third OT GWG this fall!!!  Must be something in the Lake Waban water up there…

While Washington remains a little slower because of the political focus, there is no doubt that talk of transitions has become significant, especially among a few Clinton campaign insiders.  There is also a steady build for the post-election legislative session that is expected to address tax and budget issues.  While there must be some action, it is still uncertain how much action will be taken as much still depends on the election results.   As you know, we are watching all the details and will have a full report running up to and after Election Day.

One important event this week that should definitely be on your radar screen is the SAFE event on Capitol Hill looking at autonomous vehicles policy and Washington’s regulatory impacts/possibilities.  The event on Wednesday in 2167 Rayburn and features auto trade assn head Mitch Bainwol, American Trucking CEO Chris Spear and auto author and journalist Steve Levine.  It will be moderated by SAFE’s Robbie Diamond.  Tomorrow is also the Environmental Law Institute Dinner and the preceding policy panels at the Omni.  Bracewell is a sponsor and my colleagues Jason Hutt, Ed Krenik and others will attend.

Out of town, AWEA hosts its annual Offshore WINDPOWER event in Rhode Island tomorrow and Wednesday.  It is significant because it is the first conference as the first U.S. wind farm connects to the grid.  Speakers will include Sen Sheldon Whitehouse, RI Gov. Gina Raimondo, BOEM Director Abby Hopper and DOE’s Jose Zayas, among many others.

 

We are on it…Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Saying that the U.S. should become more like Europe when it comes to energy policies has become a common refrain in some circles, so our report takes these politicians and interest groups at their word and presents the facts about what that would actually mean for our economy.  The types of policies being advocated by leading candidates, such as restricting energy production and imposing new mandates, would drive up energy prices and reduce America’s global competitiveness.”

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.

 

IN THE NEWS

Chamber Energy Institute Looks at EU-Type Energy Price Impacts – With some politicians and interest groups heralding Europe’s energy policies as a model to follow, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy examined what would happen if the U.S. was forced to pay EU energy prices.  In this report, the Institute examined the policies and regulations which have led to much higher prices for energy in the Europe Union. The report found that European energy policies and prices would impose a $676 billion drag on the U.S. residential sector, with the average American household seeing price increases of $4,800 per year for their energy. This increase in prices would lead to the elimination of 7.7 million jobs in the United States.  The Energy Institute’s report identifies four key factors that make energy more costly in the European Union: 1) restrictions that inhibit access to low-cost, existing electricity supply and oil and natural gas supplies; 2) more generous subsidies provided by EU members for uneconomic technologies; 3) EU policies that place a tax on carbon emissions and 4) much higher taxes on energy consumption. These factors have driven EU prices over the past several years to rates that are 1.6 to 2.4 times greater than U.S. prices per unit of energy consumed.

Report also Looks at State Impacts – The Energy Institute’s report also provides state-level analyses of seven key states. Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin would all see state GDP loses and less employment with EU energy prices. Florida would see the highest number of job losses (377,400) and annual GDP reduction ($28.5 billion), while Indiana households would see the biggest annual increases in energy prices ($5,450 per household.)  The report utilizes publically available data on jobs and production levels and the IMPLAN macro-economic model. A Technical Appendix to the report explains the methodology and sources of data.

HFC Agreement Will Likely Head to Senate for Approval – Last week we highlighted the historic Kigali UN agreement on limited HFCs, and today, our friends at POLITICO are reporting that a State Department official said they are reviewing whether the amendment requires approval as a treaty.  State is saying the deal is an amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and not an “adjustment.” Under the terms of the treaty, adjustments are small technical changes that automatically go into effect, while amendments require ratification by each country. The previous four amendments that were set at international meetings in the 1990s in London, Copenhagen, Montreal and Beijing were all approved by the Senate, the latter two by voice vote.  It seems unlikely that the deal won’t get bipartisan support to win the approval of at least 67 senators since the announcement of the deal in Kigali drew little criticism from Republican senators, unlike the Paris climate agreement.   As we mentioned, both industry (AHRI) and environmental groups (NRDC) all supported the effort.  AHRI CEO Stephen Yurek said the goals are ambitious, but says his industry “is confident we can meet them and continue to provide quality, innovative, energy efficient products and equipment for the benefit of the world’s citizens.”

AGA Releases 2017 Winter Outlook The direct use of natural gas continues to be the most affordable energy option for home heating and offers lower greenhouse gas emissions than other home energy sources. The American Gas Association (AGA) held its annual winter outlook event today where the Association explored expectations for the 2016-17 winter heating season. After an extraordinarily warm winter last year, normal conditions would mean that residential customers this year would use more gas on average and therefore, see slightly higher bills. AGA consumers could experience a nine to eleven percent increase in overall heating bills this winter compared to the 2015-16 winter heating season.  Increased use of natural gas can achieve significant efficiency improvements and carbon emissions reductions. The production of natural gas through its delivery into buildings is more efficient than grid-delivered electricity, propane, or oil. Even as more renewable sources are added to our nation’s electric generation mix, the direct use of natural gas will remain an efficient, affordable and low-carbon option for consumers. Encouraging direct use is therefore a valuable way to meet efficiency and emissions goals.  According to AGA’s Chris McGill, the price of natural gas this winter is largely due to stable production and a strong underground storage position. Utilities work all year to prepare for the possibility of extreme temperatures and employ a portfolio approach to help ensure they can meet the needs of their customers at affordable prices on the coldest days of the year. Natural gas storage levels in the U.S. are nearing four trillion cubic feet and storage can provide as much as 20 percent of all gas consumed during a five-month winter heating season. You can view the entire presentation here.

Furnace Rule Challenged – The U. S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) held a hearing on its Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces.   The American Gas Association (AGA) has said the rule will place an undue burden on far too many low income consumers. AGA said a threshold of 70 kbtu rather than the proposed 55 kbtu – that would provide a superior balance between the goals of achieving energy efficiency nationally and the need to protect vulnerable consumers from unnecessary economic harm.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Engineers Conference Set for OK –The 34th USAEE/IAEE Conference will be held in Tulsa, OK today through Wednesday. So the U.S. Presidential election will be only two weeks away and the election will be followed by many months of transition, with uncertainty as who will be in charge of what; how policies, spending, and contracting might change; and what expectations for those already working in government agencies will be.  Seasoned policy experts from both sides of the political aisle will offer their perspective on what lies ahead after Election Day.  The full program can be found online here.

Moniz to Headline CSIS Nuclear Conference – CSIS will host Nuclear Energy at a Crossroads conference this afternoon to examine different aspects of the economics of nuclear power generation. Speakers will discuss the characteristics of domestic and global markets where nuclear power is flourishing as well as the relative advantages and disadvantages of nuclear as an electricity generation technology. Where nuclear reactors are being shut down, what are the implications of decommissioning on a national economy. The discussion will also focus on how the rise of new suppliers and emerging global partnerships affect the viability of nuclear power generation and whether there are potential energy security implications. Finally, speakers will explore what low carbon pathways look like with and without nuclear energy.  Energy Secretary Moniz keynotes the lunch session while former NRC commissioner Allison Macfarlane will be among the other speakers.

Book Discussion to Look at Germany Renewables – The Goethe-Institut Washington will hold a book discussion today at 6:30 p.m. on energy democracy and Germany’s Energiewende to Renewables.  Arne Jungjohann, author and political scientist, will discuss the origins of the Energiewende movement in Germany from the Power Rebels of Schönau to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s shutdown of eight nuclear power plants following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. He will provide insights into how Germans convinced their politicians to pass laws allowing citizens to make their own energy, even though it hurt utility companies to do so. Jungjohann will offer evidence that the transition to renewables is a one-time opportunity to strengthen communities and democratize the energy sector – in Germany and around the world.

IEA to Release Investment Report at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host the release of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) inaugural World Energy Investment 2016 report tomorrow.  The report looks at the level of investment in the global energy system in 2015 and will feature Laszlo Varro, Chief Economist at the IEA.  Varro leads the newly-created Economics and Investments Office, which aims to provide sound and consistent energy economics and methodological support for the Agency’s work. Varro also served as IEA Head of Gas, Coal and Power Markets.

Deepwater Project Connection Headline AWEA Offshore Conference – AWEA hosts its annual Offshore WINDPOWER Conference Crown Plaza Hotel Providence-Warwick in Warwick, Rhode Island tomorrow and Wednesday.  It is a historic time as the first U.S. wind farm connects finally to the grid.  Speakers will include Sen Sheldon Whitehouse, RI Gov. Gina Raimondo, BOEM Director Abby Hopper and DOE’s Jose Zayas.  Industry leaders will also speak including Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski and Dr. Carolyn Heeps of RES.

ELI Annual Dinner Honors Paulson – The Environmental Law Institute will hold its annual dinner tomorrow where they will honor former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson at the Omni Shoreham.  As usual, the event will launch in the afternoon at 1:30 p.m. with the Business of Water forum.  ELI and an expert panel of business leaders, legal minds, academics, and nongovernmental advocates for an in-depth discussion about the law, policies, and private initiatives that will play important roles in the future of water resource governance.  Then at 3:30, ELI will host a multidisciplinary panel to discuss some of the complementary mechanisms that will facilitate the transition to a climate sensitive future. With special emphasis on implications and opportunities for law and policy, this discussion promises to add value to the emerging dialogue about what implementing and satisfying the Paris Agreement will mean for private actors and civil society. Experts will participate in a moderated discussion and field questions from the audience.

Atlantic Council to Host Climate Envoy Pershing – The Atlantic Council will host a discussion tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. featuring US Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing.  Pershing will attend this historic conference to help set the agenda for implementation of the goals set by the signatories. Prior to his departure to Marrakech, he will join AC for a discussion on US climate policy priorities at COP22.  Our friend Coral Davenport will moderate the discussion.

Heritage to Host Energy Policy Forum – The Heritage Foundation will host a forum tomorrow at Noon that will look at what an aggressively pro-energy policy would look like.  Recent developments in smart-drilling technologies have led to a dramatic reappraisal of our energy resources. Instead of declining domestic production and ever-increasing dependency on unfriendly petroleum suppliers, the U.S. has the potential to be an energy powerhouse. Speakers will include Dan Simmons of the Institute for Energy Research, Energy In Depth spokesperson Katie Brown and heritage data specialist Kevin Dayaratna.

Forum to Look at Arctic Energy Issus – The Atlantic Council will convene a leading group of officials and experts tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. to address these challenges and take forward the debate on how the opening Arctic region impacts US national security.  Speakers will include White House Arctic Executive Steering Committee member and National Security Council Staff advisor Amy Pope, State’s Special Representative for the Arctic Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Sherri Goodman and several others.

McGinn to Address Energy Forum – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a Policy Perspectives Breakfast Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at AGA featuring Dennis V. McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, who has been a leader in the energy and efficiency industry throughout his career. Prior to his appointment by President Obama, Mr. McGinn served as the president of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), where he led efforts to communicate the significant economic, security and environmental benefits of renewable energy.

Solar Insight Conference Set – GTM will host the U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference tomorrow and Wednesday at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, CA.  The event will provide industry thought leaders and insights into the U.S. solar industry.  NARUC’s Travis Kavulla will speak along with a number of others.

SAFE Panel to Look at AV Policy – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is convening leading thinkers for a panel discussion on Capitol Hill Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. to review the sweeping impacts of driverless mobility, explore the emerging policy challenges, and discuss the advantages of a hands-off regulatory approach that prioritizes innovation and prosperity.  Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of SAFE, will moderate a conversation that delves into the unique policy challenges that this technology creates. He will be joined by panelists AAM’s Mitch Bainwol, Disability advocate Henry Claypool, American Trucking CEO Chris Spear and Steve LeVine, Author of The Powerhouse and Washington Correspondent for Quartz.

ELI to Host DOI Asst Secretary – Wednesday at Noon, ELI will host a discussion with DOI’s Assistant Secretary for Land & Minerals Management Janice Schneider. In recent months as the Obama Administration reaches its close, the Department of the Interior has launched several regulatory initiatives relating to the public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf. What has the DOI achieved and what remains to be done to cross the finish line?

GW to Host Electricity System Forum – On Wednesday, George Washington University Law School will convene top policy-makers and industry leaders for a one-day conference on the interface of state and federal initiatives addressing the way in which electricity in the U.S. will be produced, delivered and used in the future. The learning sessions will examine the work occurring in Minnesota, California and the Southeast and at FERC, NERC and U.S. DOE. Additional learning sessions will include remarks from a leading consumer advocate and a newer market entrant, plus a lunchtime presentation on grid architecture for the future grid. The facilitated discussion session, in which all are encouraged to participate, will address how federal, state, and local efforts complement or conflict, and seek ideas from the discussion panel and the audience for additional means for coordination across jurisdictions and regions.

Forum to Look at Arctic Policy – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a discussion Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on Arctic policy challenges and opportunities. A distinguished group of Arctic policy leaders and the inaugural cohort of scholars from the Fulbright Arctic Initiative to discuss pressing Arctic policy challenges.

AAAS Enviro Lecture to Feature Lubchenco – The American Association for the Advancement of Science holds the 16th annual Barnard Lecture on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. looking at current environmental issues. The 2016 lecture is presented by the Honorable Dr. Jane Lubchenco, University Distinguished Professor and Advisor in Marine Studies, Oregon State University, and U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean, Department of State.

Forum to Look at Paris Commitments – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will host a forum on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. to look at the present and future clean energy plans that will help meet the Paris commitments.  ITIF to discuss what the United States has been doing to keep this promise and what may be on the horizon for federal clean energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) in the next four years. ITIF will also release a new report on the need for an aggressive, smart energy innovation policy at the event.

CSIS to Host Forum on Energy Security issues – On Thursday at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program holds a discussion on global refining with Fereidun Fesharaki.  The global refining sector is in a period of adjustment that has far reaching implications for investment, regional and global trade, market developments, prices, and security considerations. Today refining assets provide businesses and countries with particular opportunities and advantages but also face challenges. U.S. refineries, among the most complex in the world, export to Latin America and Europe and will soon be exporting large volumes to Asia, which accounts for some two-thirds of the global oil demand growth.

USEA Look at CCS LegislationThe US Energy Assn will host a forum on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss the Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Act (S. 3179), introduced by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). This act would remove the cap currently on the Section 45Q federal tax credit. In addition, it would increase the value for each ton of CO2 captured and stored from power plants and industrial facilities. Lawmakers from both parties have endorsed this major legislation as it promotes domestic energy security and reduces carbon emissions. The panelists will explain why they support this bill and its significance in accelerating commercial deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies. Panelists include J with Sen. Capito, Sen. Whitehouse energy advisor Aaron Goldner, Shannon Angielski of the Coal Utilization Research Council, DOE’s David Mohler and Judi Greenwald.  , Deputy Director for Climate, Environment, and Energy Efficiency at DOE.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Brookings to Look at Post Paris Clean Energy Issues –Next Monday, the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate will host the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s “Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2016.” This annual study examines how renewable energy in the power, heat, and transportation sectors will evolve over the next five years and explores recent renewable deployment and policy trends across different regions and countries.  IEA’s Heymi Bahar will present the findings of the report, after which Energy Security and Climate Initiative Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger will moderate a panel discussion and audience Q&A.

Former SEC Chief to Look at Climate Disclosure Issues – The Atlantic Council will host a forum next Monday at Noon to discuss two complimentary efforts to encourage the disclosure of climate-related risk information to stakeholders and increase transparency across sectors. These disclosures will allow the public and private sectors to be better equipped to measure and respond to climate-related risk and play an important role in a smoother transition to a lower-carbon economy.   The event will feature a conversation with former SEC Chair Mary Schapiro and White House OMB advisor for natural resources, energy and science Ali Zaidi.

Forum to Look at Party Energy Platforms – The Environmental Law Institute will host a forum next Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. that features a panel discussion on the environmental and energy priorities of the major political parties, their potential implications post-election, as well as areas for potential coalition-building. As the 2016 Presidential and Congressional elections near, the two major parties have outlined positions on key energy and environmental issues in their respective platforms. Unsurprisingly, there is stark contrast between the Republican and Democratic positions. Despite substantial differences, there are some aspects of the platforms that suggest opportunities for consensus-building. The Republicans cite conservation as being inherent to conservatism. Both parties mention the need to modernize the electrical grid, support increasing access to public lands, and recognize the important role of farmers to the country’s conservation efforts.  Speakers will include Cato’s Pat Michaels and LCV’s Tiernan Sittenfeld.

Conference to Focus on Consumers, Cities – On November 1st and 2nd, The Energy Times 2nd annual Empowering Customers and Cities conference will be held in Chicago.  The conference we will feature Jeremy Rifkin, bestselling author of 20 books on science, technology and the economy, society and the environment. Rifkin will kick off our conference and lay out his entire vision for the coming global transformation and how it will transform electric power production and consumption.  Anne Pramaggiore, President and CEO of ComEd, will discuss ComEd’s vision of what its customers will want and need in coming years, and the steps they are taking to provide those services. Thomas Birr, Chief Strategy Officer of RWE, Germany’s second largest utility, will discuss what RWE is doing to become the utility of the future and the steps they are taking to secure the most innovative and potent technologies to help build a 21st century energy enterprise.

CSIS to Look at GHG Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting an expert discussion on November 2nd at 9:00 a.m. looking at some of the regulatory, legislative, international and subnational efforts that may be pursued to reduce future emissions. Kyle Danish from Van Ness Feldman will discuss the regulatory options; Adele Morris from the Brookings Institution will discuss the notion of a carbon tax or other market based mechanisms; and Bob Perciasepe from C2ES will focus on the feasibility of these approaches as well as how important local, state, and international actions are to achieving these emissions reduction goals. Each speaker will address the feasibility and merits of these approaches as well as the challenges they are likely to face.

USEA Forum to Look at CCS Future – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum on Thursday, November 3rd at 2:00 p.m. to address the high fidelity modeling of carbon capture systems on fossil fueled power plants, and what can be gained via an accurate simulation of an existing or proposed plant.  TRAX has provided high fidelity, dynamic simulation models of both pre-combustion and post-combustion CO2 capture systems for plants in Korea and Canada.  These models provide unique tools for process design, control system design and optimization, examination of fault scenarios, and development of operating procedures.  Speakers will include TRAX, LLC expert John Coleman, John Kenney and Greg Kosowski.

COP 22 Marrakesh – November 7-21

ELECTION DAY – November 8th

TransForum East Set for Nov – GenerationHub’s TransForum East is scheduled for November 15-16 at the Capital Hilton in DC. TransForum East brings together electric transmission executives who operate, plan, build, regulate and invest in electric power transmission systems in Eastern North America.

This regional forum provides two days of interaction and collaboration on the business of power transmission. You’ll gain insight from case studies of successful business models, regional planning strategies, financing trends and practical lessons learned from new construction and upgraded transmission projects occurring in the United States and Canada.

Energy Update: Week of October 17

Friends,

Hockey is finally underway with the NHL launching this past week and baseball is holding its collective breath to see if the Cubs can break a 108-year World Series jinx.

You know I have talked about Hannah’s success on the field hockey pitch at Wellesley (and she scored another OT game winner this weekend), but my son Adam scored a big victory last week, winning his first major X-C race by blasting away from the competition to take first in the STAB Invitational in Charlottesville.  And that’s not all for the Bracewell kids’ sports page.  In DC, Jeff Holmstead is not the only Holmstead burning up the pages of the Washington Post.  All fall, Jeff’s son Eli, a soccer star at Quince Orchard High School, is actually getting more press than his dad, including a great picture in the Post last Wednesday.  He also had a couple of good quotes in the accompanying article and clearly has a better sense of messaging than dad.

Back to the action. It was also a historic week in Kigali which culminated Saturday with the global agreement where negotiators from nearly 200 countries reached a legally-binding accord to cut the worldwide use of a powerful planet-warming chemical used in air-conditioners and refrigerators.  The success will likely have a far greater impact on efforts to slow climate change than anything to date (including Paris).  We Have a full summary below and our friend Coral Davenport has a great synopsis in the NYT from Kigali.  Chris Mooney in The Washington Post also has a good political story and The Wall Street Journal looks at impacts and opportunities facing industry.

With the election rounding out, it is still a slow week in Washington.  The action starts today when the Center for a New American Security releases a report that offers suggestions on Energy to the next President, with speakers like Kevin Book, Elgie Holstein, and Bob McNally.  Other events include a couple of very good RFF Seminars (one with Stanford on NatGas and one on Carbon pricing with IMF) and AGA releases its Winter Outlook on Wednesday.  Also, EIA’s Adam Sieminski addresses the NatGas Roundtable tomorrow.  Finally, the Senate Energy Committee Heads to Hawaii for a field hearing on Wednesday…tough assignment there. I think all of you covering Senate Energy should go for the hearing!

BTW, our friend Zach Colman, who many of you know has returned from the ivy halls of a Harvard/MIT reporting fellowship has written his first major byline/cover story in this week’s Christian Science Monitor weekly magazine. It’s on an innovative water deal that the feds think could prove a model for contentious struggles over shrinking supplies in the drought-stricken West.  The story is housed in the new energy/enviro/climate vertical that he and others are starting at CSM, called Inhabit.  You can sign up for weekly updates here.  I already have signed up and encourage you to do it as well.

Finally, our Bracewell PRG colleague Dee Martin was named a finalist for the Professional Women in Advocacy Conference’s “Excellence in Advocacy” Awards, one of the top awards in Washington.  Dee is in the “Women Serving Women” category.  Other finalists include Dana Singiser of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Lyric Thompson of the International Center for Research on Women.  Winner will be announced November 10th.

On duty…Call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The agreement is just the first step in a multistep process. Our industry is hard at work doing the research on the HFC alternatives that will be used in the world’s air conditioners, heat pumps, and refrigeration equipment, and getting that right is certainly as important as reaching agreement.”

Steve Yurek, head of the Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute from the UN HFC negotiations in Kigali after 200 Nations agreed to limit Question from Missouri voter Ken Bone, the second to last question in the debate

 

“Alongside nearly every country on Earth, have taken another historic step in carrying out that mission by cutting down on the use of damaging hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs.”

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on the Kigali agreement

 

“The plan provides financing to countries in need, so that new air conditioning and refrigeration technology can be available for their citizens. It shows that we can take action to protect our planet in a way that helps all countries improve the lives and livelihoods of their citizens.”

President Obama in a White House Statement on the HFC agreement.

 

IN THE NEWS

Countries Finalize Limits for HFCs – Leaders from nearly 200 nations approved an agreement in Kigali, Rwanda by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MP) to include hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants in the treaty’s purview. Acknowledging the success of the MP in phasing out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).

HVAC Industry Praises Deal – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) applauded the agreement and has long supported including HFCs in a global phasedown plan under the treaty.

“While the freeze dates and step down levels are ambitious, the HVACR industry is confident we can meet them and continue to provide quality, innovative, energy efficient products and equipment for the benefit of the world’s citizens,” said AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek, who attended the Kigali meeting.

“The agreement is just the first step in a multi-step process,” Yurek said.  “Our industry is hard at work doing the research on the HFC alternatives that will be used in the world’s air conditioners, heat pumps, and refrigeration equipment, and getting that right is certainly as important as reaching agreement.  Also very important are the education and training initiatives that will have to occur to ensure safe, efficient installation of the equipment that will contain these new refrigerants.  Some of this is already being undertaken by AHRI in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Program and other global organizations,” he added.

Groups All Worked Together – AHRI, U.S. government agencies, and energy efficiency advocacy groups have all worked diligently for many years to ensure a phasedown of these chemicals. In 2011, AHRI initiated a global refrigerant research program, known as the Low-Global Warming Potential Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (Low-GWP AREP), to identify the most promising HFC alternatives. After two phases of research, the most promising alternatives are currently classified as mildly flammable or flammable, so additional field research is being undertaken to determine their suitability in different applications. That research is being sponsored by AHRI, ASHRAE, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the state of California.

Deadline, Timetables – Here is aa chart of the deadline and percentages in the agreement:

  A5 Group 1 A5 Group 2 A2
Baseline 2020-2022 2024-2026 2011-2013
Formula Average HFC consumption Average HFC consumption Average HFC consumption
HCFC 65% baseline 65% baseline 15% baseline*
Freeze 2024 2028
1st step 2029 – 10% 2032 – 10% 2019 – 10%
2nd step 2035 – 30% 2037 – 20% 2024 – 40%
3rd step 2040 – 50% 2042 – 30% 2029 – 70%
4th step     2034 – 80%
Plateau 2045 – 80% 2047 – 85% 2036 – 85%

* For Belarus, Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan 25% HCFC component of baseline and different initial two steps (1) 5% reduction in 2020 and (2) 35% reduction in 2025.

 

Notes:

  1. Group 1: Article 5 parties not part of Group 2
  2. Group 2: GCC, India, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan
  3. Technology review in 2022 and every 5 years
  4. Technology review 4-5 years before 2028 to consider the compliance deferral of 2 years from the freeze of 2028 of Article 5 Group 2 to address growth in relevant sectors above certain threshold.

President Obama Praises Nations for Coming Together – President Obama hailed the deal in a statement on Saturday.  “Through the Montreal Protocol, a proven forum for solving environmental challenges like protecting the ozone layer, the world community has agreed to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs and avoid up to 0.5°C of warming by the end of the century – making a significant contribution towards achieving the goals we set in Paris. The plan provides financing to countries in need, so that new air conditioning and refrigeration technology can be available for their citizens. It shows that we can take action to protect our planet in a way that helps all countries improve the lives and livelihoods of their citizens.”

White House Fact Sheet: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/10/15/fact-sheet-nearly-200-countries-reach-global-deal-phase-down-potent

EPA Hails Climate Victory – EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy headed the US delegation and said in a blog post protecting the air we breathe and slowing the effects of climate change are a core part of EPA’s mission. McCarthy: “Alongside nearly every country on Earth, have taken another historic step in carrying out that mission by cutting down on the use of damaging hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs.

Countries, including the United States, have long used HFCs to meet their refrigeration and air conditioning needs. These greenhouse gases can have warming impacts hundreds to thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide. World leaders took a giant leap forward by agreeing to a global phase-down of these harmful gases.

Moniz Praise Deal on Twitter – Energy Secretary Moniz took to Twitter to praise the success, tweeting out the statement from the White House and adding “Another win for climate! This Montreal Protocol agreement will cut heat-trapping HFCs equivalent to 80 billion metric tons of CO2 thru 2050.”

SoCo Kemper Plant Producing Electricity – Southern’s Kemper coal plant in Mississippi has produced electricity from synthetic gas, a significant step toward the plant becoming fully operational, set for November 30th.  Kemper has hit a series of milestones in the past several months. These include producing synthetic gas from lignite coal. Mississippi Power has been testing the plant’s ability to produce electricity on syngas, natural gas or a combination of both, which is what happened this week.

EIA Says Carbon Emissions Down in 2016 – The Energy Information Administration said carbon dioxide emissions from energy use in the U.S. for the first half of 2016 were the lowest for that period since 1991.  The agency said three major factors contributed to the drop in emissions: Mild weather for the first six months of the year that drove down demand for heating fuels; a large decrease in coal use and a small decrease in natural gas use; and increased use of wind, solar and hydropower.

Coal Ash Recycling Topped 50% Last Year – The American Coal Ash Association released a new report that says more than 50% of all coal ash produced last year was recycled into concrete, roofing shingles and other products.  It marks the first time industry has recycled more than half of its output. According to ACAA’s “Production and Use Survey,” 61.1 million tons of coal combustion products were beneficially used in 2015 out of 117.3 million tons that were produced. Although the rate of ash utilization increased from 48% to 52%, the total volume of material produced and utilized declined. Coal ash production volume declined 10% from 2014 levels as coal’s share of the electricity generation mix shrank in response to environmental regulations and competition from other energy sources.

ClearPath Endorses Upton – ClearPath Action Fund is endorsing Rep. Fred Upton, the veteran Michigan Republican who has chaired the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee for the past six years. The House last year approved the Upton-sponsored North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act, which would help clean energy sources such as hydropower by streamlining onerous permitting to enable critical investments in our environment and the nation’s energy security. It also requires the Department of Energy to lay the groundwork for the next generation of nuclear technologies by planning a critical testbed for advanced reactors here in the U.S. Upton has backed bills aimed at supporting carbon capture and storage technologies. Michigan is a leader in carbon-capture research, from Western Michigan University to the University of Michigan, and Upton has helped secure funding for their efforts.

NAM Reports Outlines Infrastructure Reforms – The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), released a new report “Building to Win,” an ambitious, new initiative to revitalize our nation’s failing infrastructure.  Both major party presidential candidates have indicated their desire to address our infrastructure needs in 2017. As plans move forward, the NAM will work collaboratively to encourage the next president and lawmakers to address our most pressing infrastructure priorities and to ensure that investments not only strengthen manufacturing in the United States but also deliver world-class infrastructure for the American people. “Building to Win” identifies many of the most serious infrastructure challenges in America, offers solutions to our problems and provides a menu of possible funding options to consider to pay for the more than $1 trillion investment that is needed.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Next Admin Energy Policy – The Center for a New American Security holds a discussion this morning on Energy and the Next U.S. Presidential Administration. The event will coincide with the release of a CNAS report entitled, “Increasing Prosperity, Resource Stewardship, and National Security: An Energy Policy Strategy for the Next President,” part of the CNAS Papers for the Next President series. The report co-authors, David Goldwyn, Chairman of the Atlantic Council’s Energy Advisory Group, Robert McNally, a nonresident Senior Fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, and Elizabeth Rosenberg, Senior Fellow and Director of the Energy, Economics, and Security program at CNAS, will provide a short briefing on the report’s main findings.  Speakers on the following panel will also include ClearView Energy’s Kevin Book and former DOE chief of staff Elgie Holstein. Here is the Livestream.

Atlantic Council Looks at Arctic Chairmanship – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion at Noon looking at the US Arctic Council Chairmanship focusing on the US’s achievements and remaining priorities.  Ambassador Mark Brzezinski, the Executive Director of the US Government Arctic Executive Steering Committee, and State’s Melanie Nakagawa will speak.

Rogers Headlines New Energy Summit – The 2016 New Energy Summit will be held in Washington at the House of Sweden today and tomorrow in Washington, DC. The 4th annual event will cover such topics as tax equity, community solar, net metering, and more. This year’s event will also feature a roster of pioneers, innovators and industry champions including Jigar Shah – Co-Founder of Generate Capital, Jim Rogers – Former CEO of Duke Energy, and Reed Hundt – Co-Founder of Coalition for Green Capital.

CSIS to Host Fukushima Governor – The CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program will host Governor Masao Uchibori today to discuss the present situation of Fukushima Prefecture 2047 days after the Great East Japan Earthquake, as well as his efforts aimed at revitalization.  Governor Uchibori was elected as Governor of Fukushima in October 2014 and assumed office as Governor in November 2014. Uchibori’s mission is to ‘take back the Fukushima known for beauty and calm’. In accomplishing this mission, Governor Uchibori has visited all over the Prefecture and listened to the voices of the people of Fukushima to develop his bottom-up approach.

AMS to Hold Resilience Workshop – The American Meteorological Society holds a workshop tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. on “Opportunities and Needs in Integrated Water Prediction, Risk Assessment, and Management for Coastal Resilience,” focusing on the West Coast and Gulf Coast.

CAP to Look at Dams – The Center for American Progress holds a discussion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on assessing the condition of America’s dams and rivers.  He event features a panel discussion to highlight the progress that has already been made and explore the future of policymaking that aims to modernize the management of dam infrastructure, remove unneeded dams, and restore the health of American rivers.  Interior’s Mike Connor heads the panel moderated by our friend Annie Snider of POLITICO.

Roundtable Hosts EIA Director – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Adam Sieminski, administrator at the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon tomorrow at Noon.  Sieminski has served as administrator of EIA since June 4, 2012.

RFF-Stanford Hold Second NatGas Seminar – Resources for the Future Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Stanford Natural Gas Initiative will host a Webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the shale gas and oil wastewater disposal cycle.  This is the Second seminar in the series and will look at managing earthquake and other environmental risks.  At this webinar, experts at RFF and Stanford University will address some of these questions. RFF’s Yusuke Kuwayama will review the risks associated with shale gas and oil wastewater storage, the unknowns regarding these risks, and policy and technology options for addressing the risks. RFF’s Alan Krupnick will describe a new framework that could be used for making decisions about water and wastewater management options and infrastructure investments, while considering environmental impacts. Finally, Stanford’s Mark Zoback will focus on wastewater disposal via underground injection, discussing the aspects of shale gas and oil development that cause earthquakes and explaining the science behind recent earthquakes in Oklahoma.

House Energy to Look at Hawaii Water Issues – The full House Energy and Commerce Committee holds a field hearing tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. on opportunities for federal and non-federal partnerships in integrated water management and efforts to improve water security in Hawaii.

Wilson Book Forum Looks at 70s Gas Panic – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s (WWC) History and Public Policy Program holds a book discussion tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. looking at “Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s.”   MIT & Princeton expert and author Meg Jacobs shows how a succession of crises beginning with the 1973 Arab oil embargo prompted American politicians to seek energy independence, and how their failure to do so shaped the world we live in.

CIBO Meeting Set – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO) will hold its annual meeting on tomorrow and Wednesday in Woodstock, Vermont.  The meeting will consider the energy and environmental questions corporate and institutional CEO’s and Government legislative and regulatory leaders will be asking in the upcoming year as well as discuss the broader energy and environmental issues that could be impacting overall corporate operations and planning in the near term.

AGA Look at Winter Outlook – The American Gas Association (AGA) will host a media briefing on Wednesday to present expectations for peak month natural gas supply and demand as we move into the 2016-17 winter heating season. Experts from AGA will discuss the winter outlook for the natural gas market including market stability, natural gas bills for consumers, U.S. natural gas imports and exports, the global LNG market as well as energy efficiency and the benefits of the direct use of natural gas. An open question and answer session will follow the presentation.

World Energy Forum Set for NYC – More than 2,000 world leaders, corporate executives and trade delegates are expected to attend the World Energy Forum 2016 in New York City on Wednesday at  multiple venues including the U.N. and the Harvard Club of New York. Heads of state, government ministers and ambassadors from more than 150 countries will join corporate leaders, associations, academics, and financiers to discuss the roles of business and government in providing universal energy access – part of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The event will bring the areas of policy, technology, and finance together to enhance the global economy, create a sustainable future, and deliver the hopes and aspirations of all nations and peoples.

RFF to Look at Carbon Pricing – Resources of the future and International Monetary Fund will hold a seminar on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. that will provide perspectives on how to move carbon pricing forward at both domestic and international levels.  Many experts believe that carbon pricing can play a critical role in meeting these commitments, for advanced and developing countries alike. To move forward, however, governments need country-specific information on appropriate emissions price trajectories as well as the environmental, fiscal, distributional, and other impacts of emissions pricing. They also need a strategy to overcome practical obstacles, such as burdens on vulnerable groups.

This panel will include experts and representatives from international organizations, including the IMF’s Vitor Gaspar, former EIA head and current RFF CEO Richard Newell and Andrew Steer of the World Resources Institute.

Atlantic Council Looks at Power in Developing Countries – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on Friday at 9:00 a.m. looking at a new report, “Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries.” To achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a fundamental transformation of the energy sector toward more efficient, more urgency and ambition to shift to lower-carbon systems is needed. Electricity is the fastest growing energy subsector and developing countries are expected to account for the majority of global electricity demand growth over the next twenty-five years.  AC’s Ichord will lead an effort to address the challenges to creating a conducive environment for augmenting investment in sustainable energy.  The event is the launch Ichord’s strategy and a discussion with leading experts and policy makers, including State’s Melanie Nakagawa and WCEE veteran Branko Terzic.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Engineers Conference Set for OK –The 34th USAEE/IAEE Conference will be held in Tulsa, OK on October 23-26. So the U.S. Presidential election will be only two weeks away and the election will be followed by many months of transition, with uncertainty as who will be in charge of what; how policies, spending, and contracting might change; and what expectations for those already working in government agencies will be.  Seasoned policy experts from both sides of the political aisle will offer their perspective on what lies ahead after election day.  The full program can be found online here.

IEA to Release Investment Report at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host the release of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) inaugural World Energy Investment 2016 report on Tuesday October 25th.  The report looks at the level of investment in the global energy system in 2015 and will feature Laszlo Varro, Chief Economist at the IEA.  Varro leads the newly-created Economics and Investments Office, which aims to provide sound and consistent energy economics and methodological support for the Agency’s work. Varro also served as IEA Head of Gas, Coal and Power Markets.

ELI Annual Dinner Honors Paulson – The Environmental Law Institute will hold its annual dinner on Tuesday October 25th  where they will honor former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson at the Omni Shoreham.  As usual, the event will launch in the afternoon at 1:30 p.m. with the Business of Water forum.  ELI and an expert panel of business leaders, legal minds, academics, and nongovernmental advocates for an in-depth discussion about the law, policies, and private initiatives that will play important roles in the future of water resource governance.

Solar Insight Conference Set – GTM will host the U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference on October 25th and 26th at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, CA.  The event will provide industry thought leaders and insights into the U.S. solar industry.  NARUC’s Travis Kavulla will speak along with a number of others.

GW to Host Electricity System Forum – On October 27th, George Washington University Law School will convene top policy-makers and industry leaders for a one-day conference on the interface of state and federal initiatives addressing the way in which electricity in the U.S. will be produced, delivered and used in the future. The learning sessions will examine the work occurring in Minnesota, California and the Southeast and at FERC, NERC and U.S. DOE. Additional learning sessions will include remarks from a leading consumer advocate and a newer market entrant, plus a lunchtime presentation on grid architecture for the future grid. The facilitated discussion session, in which all are encouraged to participate, will address how federal, state, and local efforts complement or conflict, and seek ideas from the discussion panel and the audience for additional means for coordination across jurisdictions and regions.

Conference to Focus on Consumers, Cities – On November 1st and 2nd, The Energy Times 2nd annual Empowering Customers and Cities conference will be held in Chicago.  The conference we will feature Jeremy Rifkin, bestselling author of 20 books on science, technology and the economy, society and the environment. Rifkin will kick off our conference and lay out his entire vision for the coming global transformation and how it will transform electric power production and consumption.  Anne Pramaggiore, President and CEO of ComEd, will discuss ComEd’s vision of what its customers will want and need in coming years, and the steps they are taking to provide those services. Thomas Birr, Chief Strategy Officer of RWE, Germany’s second largest utility, will discuss what RWE is doing to become the utility of the future and the steps they are taking to secure the most innovative and potent technologies to help build a 21st century energy enterprise.

COP 22 Marrakesh – November 7-21

TransForum East Set for Nov – GenerationHub’s TransForum East is scheduled for November 15-16 at the Capital Hilton in DC. TransForum East brings together electric transmission executives who operate, plan, build, regulate and invest in electric power transmission systems in Eastern North America.

This regional forum provides two days of interaction and collaboration on the business of power transmission. You’ll gain insight from case studies of successful business models, regional planning strategies, financing trends and practical lessons learned from new construction and upgraded transmission projects occurring in the United States and Canada.

Energy Update: Week of October 2

Friends,

La’shana tova…Happy new year to everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah…  Welcome the year 5777.

It was a riveting Sunday at the Ryder Cup in Minnesota which ended with the US taking the 17-11 victory.   It was incredible to watch Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia battle birdie-for-birdie in what was really outstanding golf.  And if we’re talking sports, you can’t look at the last few days of the 2016 baseball season without thinking of both Vin Scully and Dick Enberg, who are both ending long careers behind the microphone.  Speaking of baseball, the playoffs are set with Orioles/Blue Jays playing the AL Wild Card tomorrow and Giants/Mets in the NL Wild Card Wednesday.  On Thursday, the Red Sox-Indians will play in the ALDS and the Rangers will get the Wildcard winner.  Friday, the Dodgers take on the Nationals and Cubs get the NL Wild Card winner.  We always tease/hope but maybe this is the Cubs year…  We’ll see.

Despite Congress being gone for elections, action still continues behind the scenes on tax extenders which got an interesting push from Majority Leader McConnell last week who said he was interested in potential extending tax extenders that expire for energy technologies that were out of the 2015 deal that extending wind/solar tax credits.  My colleague Curt Beaulieu, a former Senate Finance Counsel, is all over the issue and monitoring closely. He is happy to address your questions.  As far as the energy bill, talks continue with the hope that something maybe available in the post-election session but there is still a long way to go. Our experts are monitoring.

Last week, we had the Clean Power Plan oral arguments and tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., my colleague Jeff Holmstead joins a great panel at the Bipartisan Policy Center to look at arguments and what to expect going forward.  Also, the NatGas Supply Assn will release its Winter Outlook on Wednesday morning at the National Press Club.

With India signing the Paris agreement yesterday, it looks like the EU will push the agreement over the top toward overall ratification. Interestingly, while a number of EU countries are still concerned over the details of how it will impact them, the French enviro minister downplayed that concern saying “We wanted to show that the climate emergency does not allow us to wait for complicated procedures.”  Oh, right…  Wouldn’t want to let those complicated implementation procedures get in the way of the ratification celebration at the next COP in Marrakesh, which begins on November 7th.

Instead of the symbolic Paris celebrations, next week, the international negotiators will make the most significant gain against GHGs this year when they finalize an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that will eliminate HFCs in Kigali.  An HFC pact is the biggest step we can take this year to significantly reduce human impact on the environment.  Pound for pound, these chemicals trap thousands of times more heat than carbon dioxide and are especially important because the world-wide demand for air conditioning and refrigeration is skyrocketing.  AHRI President Steve Yurek will be in Rwanda as part of the industry effort to support the HFC reductions.  We’ll provide a preview later this week and offer reports from the UN meetings next week.

The Supreme Court starts its fall term today (but won’t hearing anything until Wednesday because of Rosh Hashanah) but the docket remains light because Justice Scalia’s seat remains unfilled.  Just over a month to go and we’ll finally be free of the elections. Call for questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“America’s electric co-ops have a lot riding on how the Clean Power Plan litigation plays out, because the rule hits not-for-profit, consumer-owned electricity providers and their members especially hard. Instead of crafting sensible regulations to address power plant carbon emissions, EPA issued a rule that would significantly restructure the power sector, far exceeding its legal authority and burdening electric co-ops with a disproportionate share of the costs.

“The rule would force many co-ops to prematurely shutter coal-fired power plants on which they’re still repaying loans. Members of those co-ops would be charged twice for their electricity—once to continue paying down the loans on assets that are no longer generating revenue, and again for the cost of purchasing replacement power from somewhere else.”

NRECA CEO and former House Energy & Commerce Rep. Jim Matheson on impact of tomorrow’s Clean Power Plan arguments.

 

IN THE NEWS

BrightSource Technology Deployed in China’s Solar Pilot Program – BrightSource Energy announced its technology will be deployed as part of China’s 1.35 gigawatt (GW) CSP Commercial Demonstration Pilot Program. The Huanghe Qinghai Delingha Solar Thermal Power Generation Project (Delingha) was one of 20 projects chosen by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) from 109 applications. The Delingha project will be the first of the BrightSource-Shanghai Electric Group Co., Ltd (SEC) Joint Venture. The announcement follows the National Development and Reform Committee’s (NDRC) publication of the CSP pilot program feed-in-tariff (FIT) of 1.15 Yuan/kWh ($0.17/kWh) on September 1. The Delingha project will be the first of the BrightSource-Shanghai Electric Group Co., Ltd (SEC) Joint Venture, and will feature BrightSource’s proven solar field technology with thermal energy storage to produce clean, reliable solar electricity on demand. The joint venture leverages both partners’ contributions to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services and technology for the project.

India to Signs Paris Treaty – Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed and ratified the Paris climate change agreement on Sunday, Ghandi’s 147th birthday.  India joining brings the agreement closer still to formally taking effect this year. India moves the country global emissions total to nearly 52%.

EU Should Put Paris Over Top – With India’s approval, the EU will likely push the Paris deal over the top towards final ratification despite internal EU disagreements over how to impose restrictions On individual EU members.  POLITICO quoted France’s environment and energy minister Ségolène Royal saying “We wanted to show that the climate emergency does not allow us to wait for complicated procedures.” Oh right…let’s not worry about those complicated procedures like trying to figure out how much it will cost, how it impacts the poor and what will its impacts be on energy reliability and security.  Yeah, let’s not worry about that…nothing to see here.  Clearly, it underscores the symbolic nature of the Paris agreement and suggests that the real details aren’t really that important.

NYT: Autonomous Vehicles Steps are Important The New York Times editorial board weighed in on autonomous vehicles today in an editorial saying that if regulators and carmakers get it right, driverless cars have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives every year.  The theme echoes one from an op-ed earlier this summer from NIH Director of Emergency Medicine Dr. Jeremy Brown.

OPEC Announces Production Cuts – OPEC said last week it will cut oil output levels to 32.5-33.0 million barrels per day, with details to be finalized at the next official meeting at the end of November. That production number is as much as one mbd below the group’s current total output levels of 33.5 mbd, and represents the closest thing to an official production cut that the group has announced in almost 8 years. SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond said, “Western business leaders would be put in the penitentiary if they behaved the way that OPEC has today and over the past 40 years—by both colluding on production levels, and maintaining secrecy in their agreement. Of course, the burden of this market manipulation falls on the world’s oil consumers including American families and businesses. It proves, yet again, that there’s no free market for oil, and relatively low oil prices are no reason to lose perspective on the critical need to end our dependence on this highly volatile commodity.”

State Pollution Control Agencies Assn Elects New Leaders – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) held its 2016 Fall Business Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina last week.  The meeting included 130 participants from more than 20 state and local environmental agencies as well as senior staff from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). During the meeting, AAPCA’s Board of Directors, which includes senior air officials from twenty state environmental agencies, elected its 2017 Officers including President: Sean Alteri, Kentucky Division for Air Quality; Vice President: Stuart Spencer, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality; Secretary/Treasurer: Vivian Aucoin, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and Past President: Sheila Holman, North Carolina Division of Air Quality.

Moniz Joining the SAG? – And thanks to POLITICO for noticing that DOE’s Ernest Moniz is in LA today to film an episode of Chelsea Handler’s Netflix show looking at climate change and sustainability.  It starts streaming Wednesday.  Perhaps he’ll need to join the Screen Actors Guild.  Certainly, a Number of Ben Franklin Rolls would be a perfect fit…

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Offshore Wind Forum Set for RI – The Business Network for Offshore Wind is hosting an International Offshore Wind Conference at the Hotel Viking in Newport, Rhode Island.  The event today and tomorrow will feature an array of governmental, international and national development and energy leaders.  The event will wrap up with a tour of the Block Island Wind Farm, the first offshore windfarm in the U.S. on Wednesday.

NatGas Forum Set – The North American Gas Forum will be held today and tomorrow in Washington at the Park Hyatt.  There will be a session tomorrow on this year’s election, challenges at FERC and the Clean Power Plan.  There is a great line up of speakers including DOE’s Paula Gant, NGSA’s Dena Wiggins, Senate Leader McConnell’s Energy aide Neil Chatterjee and API’s Marty Durbin.

Stanford to Host Energy Forums Looking at Key Issues for Next President – Today at Noon at the National Press Club, Stanford University’s environmental and energy research institutes, the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy, are convening a series of panel sessions to highlight pressing environmental and energy challenges and risks that the next Administration will need to confront.  The first event will focus on food, energy and water and the implications for national security.

Wilson to Look at Mexico, Energy – The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute will host a forum today at 2:00 p.m. featuring a conversation with Carlos de Regules, Executive Director  of ASEA, to discuss the regulatory environment in Mexico, the capacity of the ASEA to provide for efficient and effective regulation and the agency’s cooperation with other bodies in Mexico and here in the United States.

Holmstead to Lead BPC Panel on EPA Rule – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum tomorrow  with a panel discussion featuring leading legal experts to unpack the arguments presented to the circuit court last week in a case challenging EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  They will also be asked to read the tea leaves on the judges’ questions and reactions.  Speakers will include my Colleague Jeff Holmstead, Hunton’s Allison Wood, NRDC’s David Doniger and Chris Courchesne of the Massachusetts AG’s Office.

NGSA to Release Winter Outlook – On Wednesday morning the Natural Gas Supply Assn will release its winter natural gas outlook at the National Press Club’s Bloomberg Room.  The NGSA’s 16th annual Winter Outlook summarizes the association’s view of existing natural gas market conditions and fundamentals. The analysis covers the key points that can affect supply and demand dynamics, which ultimately impact all consumers of natural gas. Bill Green, Chairman of NGSA and Vice President, Downstream Marketing for Devon Energy, will discuss the upcoming winter natural gas market, looking at current and emerging trends in production, demand, storage, the economy, weather and what those may mean for consumers this winter.

RFF Seminar to Look at Past Energy Crisis – On Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. Resources for the Future will host a seminar looking at the history and politics of energy policy in the 1970s., Meg Jacobs, Princeton historian and author of Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s, will examine how the twin oil shocks of that decade—the 1973–1974 Arab oil embargo followed by the Iranian revolution five years later—caught American policymakers by surprise and discusses why they encountered so many challenges in devising effective solutions. Even as the crisis gave momentum to the creation of the US Department of Energy, the lines for gasoline undermined public confidence in Washington’s ability to resolve the crisis. President Carter made some progress with the passage of his National Energy Act of 1978, but the political divisions made enduring reforms of energy production and use challenging. The result was a stalemate rather than a new framework for national energy policy. By the time of the 1991 Gulf War, Americans had continued to be substantially reliant on oil from abroad, including from the Middle East. Meg Jacobs analyzes these issues in her history of the energy crisis, providing a cautionary tale for today. The seminar will also feature remarks from former RFF President Phil Sharp.

Senate Enviro Committee Hold MD Field Hearing – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a field hearing on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. in Logan, MD to examining the local impacts of EPA’s climate regulations.

Forum to Look at Climate Resilience – On Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., the Wilson Center will hold a session to explore crucial aspects of island resilience in two panels: how islands can serve as resilience “incubators,” and what other states can learn from islands as they adapt to their own climate risks. It will bring together policymakers, scientists, donors, practitioners, and members of the diplomatic community with the goal of exploring island resilience initiatives and how they may be applied elsewhere.

USEA to Host Energy Supply Forum – The US Energy Assn will host its 9th Annual Energy Supply Forum on Thursday at the National Press Club.  The event is one of USEA’s premier events, bringing together over 150 key policymakers, government officials, senior corporate officers, and industry professionals to discuss the latest in innovation, technology, policy and trends facing the energy supply sector.  Topics for discussion will include:  Challenges to the next Secretary of Energy; Global Gas Markets; The Global Nuclear Picture; Integrated Energy Network; Outlook for Carbon Capture & Storage Utilization; and more.

Forum to Look at Food Waste, Recycling – On Thursday at 12:00 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute will look at food waste and recycling issues.  In 2015, the U.S. announced its first ever domestic goal to cut food loss and waste in half by 2030. In the hierarchy of food waste recovery options, a key objective is to divert waste to composting facilities or anaerobic digesters, rather than landfills and incinerators. In the second panel in ELI’s food waste series, we will discuss innovations in the food waste processing sector, potential municipal and state best practices in waste reduction, and opportunities to convert waste into renewable energy.

VLS Energy Forum Set For Bracewell – The 2016 Vermont Law School Alumni in Energy Symposium will held at Bracewell on the Thursday at Noon.  The event will explore the current critical technological and regulatory policy designs that are helping—and hindering—a decentralized grid structure, both in the U.S. and internationally. The speakers will examine models of where and how decentralization has been (and can be) optimized, proactive responses to specific barriers, the roles of the public and private sectors, and timeframes for implementation.  Bracewell Associate Steve Hug will moderate and my colleague Jason Hutt is a VLS alum and board member.

Forum to Look at Korea, Nukes – In collaboration with the Global America Business Institute, the Korea Economic Institute is hosting a forum on Thursday on Capitol Hill looking at improving the economics of nuclear power.  It will Look at the lessons learned from the Korean experience.  A growing number of nuclear power plants throughout the United States face the prospect of premature shutdown and decommissioning, leading many to dismiss nuclear power as expensive and economically uncompetitive. However, many of the recent reactor shutdowns in the U.S. have been the result of market failures in deregulated electricity markets, and the rising costs of nuclear in the U.S. have largely been attributable to an uncertain regulatory environment, a failure to maximize on fixed costs, and other factors.

Forum to Look at Climate, Public Opinions – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a briefing on Thursday discussing American perceptions of climate change as awareness and concern for its impacts continues to rise among the electorate. The speaker for this forum is Edward Maibach, Director, Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University.  Maibach will conduct a national survey this fall to assess public support for existing and proposed federal climate policies.  Briefing attendees will be invited to suggest policies they would like to see included in the survey.  The presentation will delve into recent work from the polling sector, including what Americans really think about climate change policy, how mainstream reporting has adapted its coverage of climate issues over the years, and how voter attitudes towards climate change and clean energy may influence the 2016 election cycle. Polling trends at both the national and state level will be discussed, as Maibach explores the gap between the data and real-world experiences in measuring public opinion.

WRI to Launch Report – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., World Resources Institute will host a high-level panel discussion, chaired by Andrew Steer, in conjunction with the launch of the report – Climate Benefits, Tenure Costs: The Economic Case for Securing Indigenous Land Rights in the Amazon. This major new research report finds that securing land rights for local forest dwellers in Brazil, Colombia and Bolivia is a low cost investment that would generate substantial returns at the global and local levels.  The report will be launched in Washington, DC, at a side event of the World Bank Group Annual Meetings. WRI’s event will feature a panel of leading economists and finance ministers. The WRI report focuses on Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia, provides original matching analysis on deforestation rates, emphasizes climate mitigation but incorporates an array of ecosystem services into the Benefit-Cost Analysis, and includes a set of policy options and recommendations.  Lord Nicholas Stern is among the speakers.

USEA Forum to Look at Tanzania, NatGas, Energy – The U.S. Energy Assn will host a forum on Friday at 1:00 p.m. to Look at the role of natural gas in Tanzania.  Juma Mkobya, Assistant Commissioner for Energy Development in Tanzania’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals will speak.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Day Set – The 2nd Annual National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day will be held on Saturday to highlight the advances on hydrogen fuel cell advances.  The event focuses in recognition of the atomic mass of hydrogen, 1.008 (October 8th).

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Kigali Montreal Protocol Talks Start – The UN MOP 28 on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer convenes in October 10-14 in Kigali, Rwanda. The meeting agenda encompasses the negotiations on a hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) amendment, nominations for critical-use and essential-use exemptions, and other decisions from the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG).

NOAA Official to Be Featured at RFF Event – Next Tuesday, October 11th at 11:30 a.m., Resources for the Future will host a conversation between RFF President Richard G. Newell and Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, as they discuss how environmental intelligence can preserve and improve human and environmental health as well as promote growth.  Dr. Kathryn Sullivan was confirmed by the Senate as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on March 6, 2014, having served as acting NOAA administrator since February 28, 2013. She is a distinguished scientist, renowned astronaut, and intrepid explorer.

Forum to look at AVs – The R Street Institute is hosting at Capitol Hill forum next Tuesday on Autonomous Vehicles and the new government requirements posted last week.  Former NHTSA head David Strickland of the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, Consumer Technology Association President Gary Shapiro, GMU’s Adam Thierer and CEI’s Marc Scribner will all speak.

BPC Forum to Look at Food Supply – The Bipartisan Policy Center and Kansas State University will hold a forum on Thursday, October 13th for panel discussions on the threat of bio/agroterrorism, highlighting the importance of agriculture in biosecurity, as well as potential strategies, tactics, and policy solutions for the next administration.  The 2015 bipartisan report of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Biodefense reported that, despite progress on many fronts, the nation remains highly vulnerable to biological threats. A critical consideration in the national dialogue on biodefense includes the need to protect American’s food supply and agriculture economy. A biological attack on the $1 trillion agriculture sector would have devastating economic, social, and political fallout, and it is critical to promote engagement and awareness in the biosecurity debate.

CEQ’s Goldfuss Featured in Women’s Event – The Women’s Energy Network will host a lunch on Thursday October 8th with Christy Goldfuss, Managing Director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Borenstein, Holt, Mann Headline Penn State Science Forum – Penn State University will hold a forum on October 13th at 7:00 p.m. to discuss Science, climate and energy policy.  The panel will feature former Rep. and Princeton Physicist Rush Holt, controversial climate scientist Michael Mann, AP Science report Seth Borenstein and Penn State energy center director Peter Hudson.

Rogers Headlines New Energy Summit – The 2016 New Energy Summit will be held in Washington at the House of Sweden on October 17-18, 2016 in Washington, DC. The 4th annual event will cover such topics as tax equity, community solar, net metering, and more. This year’s event will also feature a roster of pioneers, innovators and industry champions including Jigar Shah – Co-Founder of Generate Capital, Jim Rogers – Former CEO of Duke Energy, and Reed Hundt – Co-Founder of Coalition for Green Capital.

CSIS to Host Fukushima Governor – The CSIS Proliferation Prevention Program will host Governor Masao Uchibori discuss the present situation of Fukushima Prefecture 2047 days after the Great East Japan Earthquake, as well as his efforts aimed at revitalization.  Governor Uchibori was elected as Governor of Fukushima in October 2014 and assumed office as Governor in November 2014. Uchibori’s mission is to ‘take back the Fukushima known for beauty and calm’. In accomplishing this mission, Governor Uchibori has visited all over the Prefecture and listened to the voices of the people of Fukushima to develop his bottom-up approach.

CIBO Meeting Set – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO) will hold its annual meeting on October 18-19th In Woodstock, Vermont.  The meeting will consider the energy and environmental questions corporate and institutional CEO’s and Government legislative and regulatory leaders will be asking in the upcoming year as well as discuss the broader energy and environmental issues that could be impacting overall corporate operations and planning in the near term.

Engineers Conference Set for OK – The 34th USAEE/IAEE Conference will be held in Tulsa, OK on October 23-26.  The conference will provide an extensive debate and discussion, based on solid research and evidence, to facilitate deeper and broader understanding of the energy transformation for North America and the rest of the world.  The Tulsa conference will bring together business, government, academic and other professionals to explore these themes through a series of plenary, concurrent, and poster sessions. Speakers will address current issues and offer ideas for improved policies taking full account of the evolution of the North American energy sector and its implications for the rest of the world. There also will be offsite tours to provide a direct and close-up perspective on Oklahoma’s dynamic energy landscape.

Solar Insight Conference Set – GTM will host the U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference on October 25th and 26th at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, CA.  The event will provide industry thought leaders and insights into the U.S. solar industry.  NARUC’s Travis Kavulla will speak along with a number of others.

GW to Host Electricity System Forum – On October 27th, George Washington University Law School will convene top policy-makers and industry leaders for a one-day conference on the interface of state and federal initiatives addressing the way in which electricity in the U.S. will be produced, delivered and used in the future. The learning sessions will examine the work occurring in Minnesota, California and the Southeast and at FERC, NERC and U.S. DOE. Additional learning sessions will include remarks from a leading consumer advocate and a newer market entrant, plus a lunchtime presentation on grid architecture for the future grid. The facilitated discussion session, in which all are encouraged to participate, will address how federal, state, and local efforts complement or conflict, and seek ideas from the discussion panel and the audience for additional means for coordination across jurisdictions and regions.

Conference to Focus on Consumers, Cities – On November 1st and 2nd, The Energy Times 2nd annual Empowering Customers and Cities conference will be held in Chicago.  The conference we will feature Jeremy Rifkin, bestselling author of 20 books on science, technology and the economy, society and the environment. Rifkin will kick off our conference and lay out his entire vision for the coming global transformation and how it will transform electric power production and consumption.  Anne Pramaggiore, President and CEO of ComEd, will discuss ComEd’s vision of what its customers will want and need in coming years, and the steps they are taking to provide those services. Thomas Birr, Chief Strategy Officer of RWE, Germany’s second largest utility, will discuss what RWE is doing to become the utility of the future and the steps they are taking to secure the most innovative and potent technologies to help build a 21st century energy enterprise.

COP 22 Marrakesh – November 7-21

TransForum East Set for Nov – GenerationHub’s TransForum East is scheduled for November 15-16 at the Capital Hilton in DC. TransForum East brings together electric transmission executives who operate, plan, build, regulate and invest in electric power transmission systems in Eastern North America.

This regional forum provides two days of interaction and collaboration on the business of power transmission. You’ll gain insight from case studies of successful business models, regional planning strategies, financing trends and practical lessons learned from new construction and upgraded transmission projects occurring in the United States and Canada.

 

Energy Update: Week of September 19

Friends,

With yesterday’s successes at the Emmys, it looks like the OJ Simpson case has returned to the spotlight.  Veep and Game of Thrones also scored big victories.  Jimmy Kimmel’s joke about OJ having a jailhouse watch party was the best of the night with the Matt Damon “apples” line a close second (one of my favorite lines from Good Will Hunting – especially now since Hannah seems to be hanging out in Cambridge on Saturday evenings nowadays).  On the sports front, it was pretty exciting to see hockey back with the opening weekend for the World Cup of Hockey.  I just love the look of the Under 23 North American Team.

The busy times continue this week on Capitol Hill with Congress racing through budgets and energy bill conference discussions, trying to get to an elections sprint (less than 50 days to Election Day).  Also, groups representing rural co-ops, distributed wind developers, air conditioning contractors, Geothermal Heat Pump manufacturers, home builders and others will be on Capitol Hill later in the week to push for extending expiring tax credits for renewables like geothermal heat pumps because they deserve tax parity with the solar/wind tax incentives extended in late-2015.

We expect to see new regulations this week on Autonomous Vehicles from NHTSA.  We are getting to an interesting point where the regulations will impact the way AVs are developed.  Last week, SAFE announced its new commission on the subject with a number of great experts including former NTSB Chair Mark Rosenker, NIH’s Director of Emergency Medicine Dr. Jeremy Brown, former GM exec Bob Lange and Admiral Dennis Blair, among others. The Commission will study and recommend best practices for industry and other parties for testing and early deployment of autonomous vehicles in real-world conditions.  As the rules roll out, let me know if you need resources on the topic.

We also expect the Chamber will release another piece of its new Energy Accountability series this week.  Chamber President Tom Donohue penned a recent op-ed on the “keep it in the ground” movement, pointing to the Energy Institute’s recent Federal lands report. Another report is expected later this week so stay tuned.

The policy issues clash with the campaign trail in Pittsburgh Thursday when Donald Trump speaks at Shale Insight. Trump is scheduled to speak before almost 2,000 attendees, where insiders say he’s likely to delve deeper into a strategy that he first outlined in North Dakota earlier this year.

Finally, the annual SEJ Conference starts Wednesday in Sacramento.  Of course, Bracewell’s PRG will be hosting our annual big reception on Thursday Night to welcome everyone.

CPP Arguments are next Tuesday at the DC Circuit.  Jeff Holmstead and Scott Segal are available to preview the key arguments for you this week.  We can probably also help you find others representing the Chamber and NRECA, so feel free to call with questions.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The technology being deployed at the Kemper County energy facility is tremendously important and highlights the benefits of 21st century coal as part of the full portfolio of energy resources.”

Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning.

 

IN THE NEWS

POLITICO Story Highlights Rural Co-op Renewable Efforts – A story in POLITICO this morning details ways that some rural electric cooperatives are looking to expand their renewable energy portfolios. Esther Whieldon reports that environmental regulations and the falling cost of renewable power are increasing pressure for cooperatives to add more wind, solar, electricity storage and hydropower to their systems. The cooperatives are trying to keep up with a changing customer base as the rural areas they brought electricity to become more urbanized. But many find their hands tied by supply contracts that typically last 40 years or more, as well as an institutional resistance to policies that can be seen as anti-coal.   NRECA CEO & former Utah Rep. Jim Matheson said “We have a number of our members who are in a number of different circumstances. It’s not our job to prefer one technology over another… It’s our job to make sure our members have the ability to make the best possible decisions, provide the best possible information to their consumers.”

Kemper Project Closes in on Commercial Operation – Southern Company said it has started producing syngas using the second gasifier at the Kemper County energy facility – continuing progress toward the project’s commercial operation.  Syngas is created when the locally-mined lignite is heated at high temperatures in the plant’s gasifiers, converting the coal to gas. The syngas, which is used similarly to natural gas, will produce electricity through the plant’s combustion turbines.  The company announced on July 15 that the project had produced its first syngas, demonstrating the viability of the Transport Integrated Gasification (TRIG™) technology which is being used for the first time at commercial scale at the facility. TRIG™ was developed by Southern Company, KBR and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Wilsonville, Ala. over the past two decades at the Power Systems Development Facility, a research facility operated in partnership between the DOE and Southern Company.  During the coming weeks, the Kemper team will be focused on proceeding toward operation at sustained capacity levels necessary for completion of the activities for the initial operations and testing of the syngas clean-up systems and the production of electricity using syngas. Ahead of using the syngas as fuel, it will be burned off using the plant’s flare stacks.

DTF to Look at Near-Zero Emissions at SEJ – The Diesel Technology Forum will be hosting an exhibition of advanced clean diesel technology and renewable diesel fuel at the Society of Environmental Journalist’s 26th Annual Conference in Sacramento, CA, on Thursday and Friday to showcase the most advanced near-zero emissions technology available in the transportation and off-road industries.  The Forum’s “Meeting the Climate and Clean Air Challenge for the Future” Learning Center brings together the largest and most diverse display of fuel-efficient commercial trucks, top-selling diesel pickup trucks, construction and agricultural machinery, and even a locomotive engine in California – the national leader in advancing clean air and climate protection policies.

CSU Study to Look at Well Emissions – A groundbreaking new study on air pollution from oil and gas wells along Colorado’s Front Range indicates that pollution levels are higher during relatively short periods of time before wells go into production than they are in the years that follow.  Jeffrey Collett, professor and head of Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science, on Thursday presented the results of the study to the Air Quality Control Commission, part of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

GM to Hopes to Power Facilities With Renewables – General Motors said it is committing to power all of its global operations completely by renewable energy by 2050.  GM said its goal is to generate or source electrical power for 350 facilities in 59 countries with renewable wind, sun and landfill gas energy during the next three-plus decades. This year, GM expects to have 3.8 % of electricity use come from renewable resources.

AHRI Releases July 2016 U.S. Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipment Data – AHRI released data from July 2016 regarding shipments of Residential Storage Water Heaters, Commercial Storage Water Heaters, Warm Air Furnaces and Central Air Conditioners and Air-Source Heat Pumps.   U.S. shipments of residential gas storage water heaters for July 2016 increased 3% to 339,690 units, up from 329,896 units shipped in July 2015. Residential electric storage water heater shipments increased 17.4% in July 2016 to 313,191 units, up from 266,777 units shipped in July 2015.   For the year-to-date, U.S. shipments of residential gas storage water heaters decreased 10.5 percent to 2,492,545, compared to 2,783,727 units shipped during the same period in 2015. Residential electric storage water heater shipments decreased 9.9 percent year-to-date to 2,325,314 units, compared to 2,579,986 units shipped during the same period in 2015.  Commercial gas storage water heater shipments increased 10.2% in July 2016 to 7,874 units, up from 7,143 units shipped in July 2015. Commercial electric storage water heater shipments increased 47.6 percent in July 2016 to 10,328 units, up from 6,999 units shipped in July 2015.  Year-to-date U.S. shipments of commercial gas storage water heaters decreased 1.5% to 59,176 units, compared with 60,071 units shipped during the same period in 2015. Year-to-date commercial electric storage water heater shipments increased 47.0 percent to 73,103 units, up from 49,732 units shipped during the same period in 2015.  U.S. shipments of gas warm air furnaces for July 2016 increased 4% to 230,486 units, up from 221,563 units shipped in July 2015. Oil warm air furnace shipments increased 11.2% to 2,111 units in July 2016, up from 1,899 units shipped in July 2015.   Year-to-date U.S. shipments of gas warm air furnaces increased 5.3% to 1,519,632 units, compared with 1,442,979 units shipped during the same period in 2015. Year-to-date U.S. shipments of oil warm air furnaces decreased 4.5% to 15,282, compared with 16,007 units shipped during the same period in 2015.   U.S. shipments of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps totaled 785,255 units in July 2016, up 8.1% from 726,607 units shipped in July 2015. U.S. shipments of air conditioners increased 8.7 percent to 551,121 units, up from 506,914 units shipped in July 2015. U.S. shipments of air-source heat pumps increased 6.6 percent to 234,134 units, up from 219,693 units shipped in July 2015. Year-to-date combined shipments of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps increased 2.7% to 4,774,720 units, up from 4,647,370 units shipped in July 2015. Year-to-date shipments of central air conditioners increased 4.4% to 3,232,815 units, up from 3,095,315 units shipped during the same period in 2015. The year-to-date total for heat pump shipments decreased 0.7% to 1,541,905 units, down from 1,552,055 units shipped during the same period in 2015.

US Solar Installments Grow – Growing 43% year-over-year, the U.S. saw 2,051 MW of solar photovoltaics installed in Q2 2016. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report, this marks the eleventh consecutive quarter in which more than 1 GW of PV was installed.  Click here to download the rest of the key findings from the Q3 2016 report.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

AGA Food Truck Highlights NatGas Use – The American Gas Association (AGA) said its natural gas-fueled food truck will be cooking with natural gas and serving free grilled cheese sandwiches around Capitol Hill today through next Friday, September 30th. The modernized food truck will help to demonstrate the relationship between natural gas and daily American life by bringing the benefits of cooking with natural gas to the public during their lunch hour. In order to receive a free grilled cheese, all you have to do is tweet to eat. Follow AGA on Twitter at @aga_naturalgas to get the latest details on the location of the food truck. Show up during lunch, smart phone in hand, and tweet using the hashtag #NatGasFuelsUs. Step up to the window and show your tweet as part of the online dialogue about natural gas to the food truck team and you will receive a grilled cheese of your choice.

Georgetown Nuke Summit Set – The Georgetown University School of Medicine and Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service ‘s Science, Technology & International Affairs (STIA) will host its 2016 Nuclear Security Summit today. The summit focuses on four topics: (1) Nuclear policy & international collaborations; (2) Nuclear security (weapons control); (3) Nuclear security (nuclear power plant safeties); (4) Tools to assess ionizing radiation and its impacts.  Ambassador Robert Gallucci, who served as the Dean of the School of Foreign Service for 13 years until 2009, kindly agreed to present a keynote address for this year’s summit.

SAFE, ATA to Host NatGas Fleet Webinar – Today at Noon, the American Trucking Association and SAFE will host a special Transport Topics LiveOnWeb program on the topic of natural gas technology and the use of natural gas as an alternative transportation fuel for America’s fleets.  The conversation will be headlined by Frederick W. Smith, President and CEO of FedEx Corporation and co-Chair of SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council, and T. Boone Pickens, business magnate and financier, as well as Matt Godlewski, President of Natural Gas Vehicles for America.

Groups to Launch Nuclear Report –Today at Noon, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Union of Concerned Scientists will host the U.S. Launch of the 2016 World Nuclear Industry Status Report.  The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2016 offers valuable insights of the global state of the nuclear industry by providing a comprehensive overview of nuclear plant data, including information on operation, production and construction, as well as an assessment of the financial status of many of the biggest industrial players in the sector.

Conference, Panel to Look at Lower Oil Prices, Impacts – Tonight at 5:00 p.m., the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington will host a conference on the impact of the protracted period of dramatically lower oil prices on the Gulf Arab states and oil producing countries around the world. This panel concludes the conference, “Petro Diplomacy: Challenges in the New Energy World,” which will focus on key drivers of the oil price outlook, upstream oil investment strategies, economic and energy policy reforms in the GCC, and the impact of lower prices on foreign policy agendas at the regional and global levels. Speakers will present highlights and recommendations from the day’s discussion.

Forum to Look at Energy Storage – YPE, Energy Storage Association, PJM Interconnection and others will host a discussion tonight at 6:00 p.m. focused on the rapidly developing world of energy storage. We will cover the major factors in technology and policy that have influenced the development of the energy storage market to date, and then explore potential drivers of future growth.

Drillers to Host Offshore 101 Forum – The International Association of Drilling Contractors will hold a discussion tomorrow at Noon in 406 Dirksen on Offshore Drilling Rigs 101.

BPC to Host Infrastructure Model Forum in CO – Tomorrow at Noon in Denver, the Bipartisan Policy Center holds a discussion to both explore how Colorado can continue to push the envelope and assess ways to systematically incentivize and implement new infrastructure investment models around the country.  Executive Council on Infrastructure recently released the report Bridging the Gap Together: A New Model to Modernize U.S. Infrastructure, which proposes a framework to unite projects that need funding with private capital that is ready to invest. Colorado has been a national leader in innovative infrastructure delivery, with a number of projects – both in development and completed – that demonstrate the value of partnering with the private sector.  Speakers will include former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and several others.

Hudson to Look at Nuclear Treaty – Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., Hudson Institute will host a panel to discuss the administration’s circumvention of the Senate on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, including the rationale and implications of such action. Former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl and former Asst Secretary of State Stephen Rademaker will also review some of the reasons the Senate rejected the treaty in 1999 and why those concerns remain valid in the contemporary global environment. Hudson Fellow Rebeccah Heinrichs will moderate the discussion.

Event to Look at Paris Progress – Tomorrow at 5:00 p.m., Climate Advisers CEO Nigel Purvis and E3G CEO Nick Mabey will host a discussion at the National Press Club with government leaders from the United States, Germany and Canada on the transatlantic vision for post-Paris climate ambition. These countries are playing a leadership role in defining the low carbon future, through mid-century strategies they plan to release this year.  The event will highlight the opportunity these groundbreaking strategies provide for setting a global standard for ambition over the long term, and in maintaining momentum on climate action post-COP21 and the Paris Agreement.

Wolf Blitzer Honored at 4th Estate Dinner – Tomorrow night, the National Press Club’s Journalism Institute will host the 44th annual Fourth Estate Award Dinner.  The event will honor longtime CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.  CNN President Jeff Zucker and many others will toast/roast Blitzer’s career.

House Resource to Look at CEQ GHG Guidance – The House Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on the impacts of the Obama CEQ’s Final Guidance for GHG emissions and the effects of climate change.  Witnesses will include CEQ’s Mike Boots.

House Science Look at DOE Intimidation of Scientists – The House Science Committee’s Subcommittees on Oversight and Energy will hold a joint hearing Wednesday examining misconduct and Intimidation of scientists by DOE officials.  Witnesses will include two DOE scientist who are raising concerns, Dr. Sharlene Weatherwax and Dr. Noelle Metting. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will also hold a hearing Thursday on “misconduct and mismanagement” at the National Park Service.  The hearing is part of the panel’s recent scrutiny of the agency and how it handles sexual harassment.

Atlantic Council to Host Inhofe, Whitehouse on Nuclear – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will host a discussion on Wednesday at Noon on bipartisan legislative efforts to preserve and strengthen US leadership at the cutting edge of nuclear energy technology. Senators Jim Inhofe and Sheldon Whitehouse will address efforts to promote public-private partnerships on advanced nuclear energy technology, to modernize the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s functions, and to accelerate the development of advanced nuclear reactors in the United States.  Richard Morningstar, Founding Director and Chairman of the Global Energy Center, will deliver welcoming remarks and Ben Geman of the National Journal will moderate the discussion.

Air Regulators Hold Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ will hold its 2016 Fall Business Meeting on Wednesday to Friday in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel – Brownstone – University.  Experts from AAPCA Member agencies and U.S. EPA, including the Office of General Counsel, Air Quality Assessment Division, Air Quality Policy Division, and Health and Environmental Impact Division, will provide updates on topics like best practices, air quality modeling, Clean Air Act legal issues, NAAQS and many other issues.

Forum to Look at Southern Gas Corridor – On Wednesday at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will convene a panel of experts to discuss the current state of the Southern Corridor and the challenges it faces in the future.  The Southern Gas Corridor has been years in the planning and its proposed completion date (2018-2020 timeframe) is rapidly approaching. Real progress has been made in recent years: confirmation of the route in 2013 and groundbreaking for construction in Turkey and Greece 2016.  But challenges remain, including regional security issues, local opposition along parts of the route, stagnant gas demand in Western Europe, and the decreasing cost of imported liquefied natural gas.

Conservatives to Hold Clean Energy Summit – On Wednesday evening and Thursday, the Christian Coalition and the Young Conservatives for Energy Reform is co-sponsoring an event at the Capitol Hill Hyatt that will bring together grassroots leaders and activists from across the country to hear key leaders from the legislative, military and business communities speak on energy reform and the effects it has on our economy, our national security and our environment.

SEJ Conference Set For Sacramento – The annual Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Conference will be Wednesday to Sunday in Sacramento.  Of course, Bracewell’s PRG will be hosting our annual big reception on Thursday Night to welcome everyone.  There are a number of great panels with BrightSource’s Energy Joe Desmond, former CEQ chief Jim Connaughton, Cal EPA official Mary Nichols and former EPA #2 Bob Perciasepe among those on panels.

NY Ratification Event to Include World Leaders – Well if you thought the Paris Accord was not a treaty, you might not want to attend the event on Wednesday in New York where UN head Ban ki-Moon is asking countries to celebrate the ratification of the Accord.  In a recent letter, Ban asked countries to accelerate your country’s domestic process for ratification of the Agreement this year.  At least 20 countries have indicated they will formally join the Paris Agreement on Wednesday at a United Nations event in New York.

Energy Engineering Congress Set – The 39th World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) will be held on Wednesday to Friday at the Walter Washington Convention Center.  The WEEC looks at economic and market forces, new technologies, regulatory developments and industry trends.  Speakers include former Meet The Press host David Gregory, former Shell CEO John Hofmeister, Toyota Reg VP Tom Stricker and Tesla  Technology officer J.B. Straubel.  WCEE and Leaders in Energy will also host a reception on Thursday night of the event.

ASE to Host Efficiency Day on Hill – On Thursday on Capitol Hill, the ASE’s Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) will return to discuss the role of energy efficiency in an integrated grid.  For more than a decade, GEED has brought together hundreds of leaders from business, industry, academia and government for robust dialogues on energy efficiency’s most pressing issues.

North American Energy Summit Set – The Wilson Center’s Mexico and Canada Institutes are hosting their Third Annual North American Energy Forum on Thursday at the Wilson Center.  Keynote speaker is Cesar Hernández Ochoa, Mexican Undersecretary of Energy for Electricity in the Ministry of Energy.

House Energy to Look at CAFE Rules – The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on US fuel efficiency rules to discuss whether the 2022 through 2025 model year requirements are reasonable or require changes.   The committee will review if next generation standards are impacting vehicle choices, raising prices, and most importantly whether they are pushing low-income consumers out of the car-buying market altogether.  Witnesses include EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe, NHTSA Counsel Paul Hemmersbaugh, Global Automakers CEO John Bozzella, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers CEO Mitch Bainwol, NADA CEO Peter Welch, former OIRA Head and current IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs dean John Graham, John German of the International Council on Clean Transportation and Consumer Federation of America’s Mark Cooper.

CSIS Forum Look at Energy Transition in Germany – On Thursday, CSIS will host a discussion on energy transitions with perspectives on Germany and the United States with Rainer Baake, German State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs & Energy.  White House energy expert Dan Utech and NREL Director Martin Keller will also speak.

Forum to Launch NatGas Book – On Thursday at 12:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will hold a forum to launch the book, “The Future of Natural Gas Markets & Geopolitics.”  The role of natural gas in the global energy mix has witnessed a remarkable evolution in the past few decades. In this context of rapid changes in the energy market and shifts in geopolitical relationships, The Future of Natural Gas: Markets and Geopolitics provides a comprehensive and rigorous analysis on the role of natural gas in the future global energy mix.

WCEE Forum to Look at Residential Energy Efficiency – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunch forum on Thursday at the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility to look at residential sector energy use. Introducing innovative energy efficiency technologies in new and existing homes as well as multifamily buildings will contribute to reduce consumers’ energy bills, help address climate change, benefit the environment, and enhance the nation’s energy security.  Implementing energy efficiency practices, performing home energy audits, improving insulation, replacing water heaters and appliances are the most common solutions.   Speakers will include DOE’s Joan Glickman and Megan Houston of the Institute for Marketing Transformation.

JHU Election Forum to Look at Energy Platforms – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University will host a forum at the Rome Auditorium that will feature a panel will discuss the energy policies of both political parties before the upcoming election.

SHALE INSIGHT Set for Pittsburgh – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold its 6th annual SHALE INSIGHT Conference at the Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA.  The focus of this year’s conference is the next phase of the shale revolution and will emphasize end use and connecting the market place through infrastructure. The conference will feature keynote presentations, an interactive and robust exhibit floor, tailored panel discussions, the Technology Showcase and a Natural Gas Use Marketplace, which all present networking opportunities for attendees.

BGov Forum to Look at Nuclear Power – On Friday at 8:00 a.m. Bloomberg BNA and Nuclear Matters will host a breakfast event exploring the clean energy benefits and value of nuclear power. Our distinguished speakers will discuss nuclear energy’s role in cutting emissions as federal and state policies to reduce existing power plant emissions go into effect, and as the Supreme Court considers the Clean Power Plan.

Coal Council CEO to Address Energy Group – The U.S. Association for Energy Economics (USAEE) National Capital Area will host its monthly lunch on Friday featuring Janet Gellici of the National Coal Council.  Gellici will take a hard look at the current state of the coal industry and focus her remarks on market and policy hurdles confronting the coal industry.  She will also provide an overview of initiatives to overcome these challenges, including efforts to advance policy parity for low-carbon technology deployment and markets for CO2 utilization.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Transmission Forum to Look at Key Western Issues – Infocast’s 8th Transmission Summit West, will be Held on September 26-28 in San Diego, CA at the Marriott La Jolla.  The Summit brings together senior transmission industry owners, operators, generators, regulators, financiers and other key players to address the strategic, regulatory, investment and technology issues facing the industry, and explore strategies for maximizing the true value of their business.

Wilson to Host Climate Conflict Forum – Next Monday at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center will host a forum as part of an ongoing effort by ECSP to investigate the conflict and peace-building potential of climate change, including two reports: “Backdraft: The Conflict Potential of Climate Change Adaptation and Migration” and A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks.  The event will feature a roundtable discussion on current efforts to understand the potential “backdraft” effect of responses to climate change.

USEA to Look at CCS, Paris – Next Tuesday, USEA will host a forum featuring John Gale of IEA.  Gale will make presentations that will review the outcomes of the Paris Agreement with regard to mitigation needs and the role of CCS in any future mitigation strategies both short term and post 2030. The presentation will assess the research and policy needs to position CCS in future mitigation strategies that countries will provide to the UNFCCC as their Intended National Contributions.  It will examine the role that the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Program can play in  meeting those future research/policy needs to ensure that CCS technologies can be deployed effectively to meet both short term and long term climate strategies.

WCEE Forum to Look at Energy Security – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a Brown Bag lunch next Tuesday looking at security of the energy industry.  The advance of new technologies and the introduction of new players and new potential interactions on the grid have made the industry very aware of threats and potential game changers. Cyber security and physical security are just two of the constant concerns of those who manage the industry’s assets.  Speakers will be former DOE Officials Jeff Lane and Peter Tseronis, the former Chief Tech Officer.

Clean Power Plan Hits DC Circuit – The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments next Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. in a case challenging the Clean Power Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation limiting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants. The hearing by the full court is the first time judges will hear arguments on the merits of the rule. Many expect the circuit court decision will be appealed to, and may ultimately be heard by, the U.S. Supreme Court. The Clean Power Plan is on hold while it makes its way through the legal system.

Foxx, Moniz to Host Infrastructure Forum – The Center for American Progress and NextGen Climate America will host a half-day conference on Wednesday September 28th featuring three-panel discussions centered on energy, water, and transportation infrastructure. Our distinguished speakers and experts will discuss how federal policymakers can update America’s infrastructure to create jobs, protect public health, and respond to the intensifying challenges of climate change.  Keynote speakers will include Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Forum to Review CPP Oral Arguments – The DC Bar and the Environmental Law Institute will host a forum on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. at Beveridge & Diamond to discuss the oral arguments from the Clean Power plan.  Speakers will include NRDC’s Dave Doniger, Peabody’s Tristan Duncan, WV Solicitor Elbert Lin, and EPA’s Ethan Shenkman.

CSIS to Host Maritime Security Discussion – The Maritime Security Dialogue will be held on October 3rd at 10:00 a.m. and will bring together CSIS and USNI, two of the nation’s most respected non-partisan institutions. The series is intended to highlight the particular challenges facing the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, from national level maritime policy to naval concept development and program design. Given budgetary challenges, technological opportunities, and ongoing strategic adjustments, the nature and employment of U.S. maritime forces are likely to undergo significant change over the next ten to fifteen years. The Maritime Security Dialogue provides an unmatched forum for discussion of these issues with the nation’s maritime leaders.  Admiral John M. Richardson, USN Chief of Naval Operations will be the speaker.

Holmstead to Lead BPC Panel on EPA Rule – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on Tuesday October 4th for a panel discussion with leading legal experts to unpack the arguments presented to the circuit court on September 27 in a case challenging EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  They will also be asked to read the tea leaves on the judges’ questions and reactions.  Speakers will include my Colleague Jeff Holmstead, Hunton’s Allison Wood, NRDC’s David Doniger and Chris Courchesne of the Massachusetts AG’s Office.

Rogers Headlines New Energy Summit – The 2016 New Energy Summit will be held in Washington at the House of Sweden on October 17-18, 2016 in Washington, DC. The 4th annual event will cover such topics as tax equity, community solar, net metering, and more. This year’s event will also feature a roster of pioneers, innovators and industry champions including Jigar Shah – Co-Founder of Generate Capital, Jim Rogers – Former CEO of Duke Energy, and Reed Hundt – Co-Founder of Coalition for Green Capital.

CIBO Meeting Set – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO) will hold its annual meeting on October 18-19th In Woodstock, Vermont.  The meeting will consider the energy and environmental questions corporate and institutional CEO’s and Government legislative and regulatory leaders will be asking in the upcoming year as well as discuss the broader energy and environmental issues that could be impacting overall corporate operations and planning in the near term.

Conference to Focus on Consumers, Cities – On November 1st and 2nd, The Energy Times 2nd annual Empowering Customers and Cities conference will be held in Chicago.  The conference we will feature Jeremy Rifkin, bestselling author of 20 books on science, technology and the economy, society and the environment. Rifkin will kick off our conference and lay out his entire vision for the coming global transformation and how it will transform electric power production and consumption.  Anne Pramaggiore, President and CEO of ComEd, will discuss ComEd’s vision of what its customers will want and need in coming years, and the steps they are taking to provide those services. Thomas Birr, Chief Strategy Officer of RWE, Germany’s second largest utility, will discuss what RWE is doing to become the utility of the future and the steps they are taking to secure the most innovative and potent technologies to help build a 21st century energy enterprise.

TransForum East Set for Nov – GenerationHub’s TransForum East is scheduled for November 15-16 at the Capital Hilton in DC. TransForum East brings together electric transmission executives who operate, plan, build, regulate and invest in electric power transmission systems in Eastern North America.

This regional forum provides two days of interaction and collaboration on the business of power transmission. You’ll gain insight from case studies of successful business models, regional planning strategies, financing trends and practical lessons learned from new construction and upgraded transmission projects occurring in the United States and Canada.