Energy Update: Week of February 13

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of September 26

Friends,

Today starts with sad news of the loss of golfing legend Arnold Palmer.  Palmer really brought golf to the common man and his legions of followers were the first steps of making golf the mainstream sport it is today.  He was a great person who always went out of his way to help others and promote his love for golf…he will be sorely missed.  And he also will be remembered for his classic and delicious ice tea/lemonade mix.

The presidential race is now all about today’s debate.  Our team has folks with decades of experience handling both policy debate and policymaking in Washington, DC and will be live tonight.  Scott Segal (scott.segal@bracewelllaw.com, 202-828-5864), Josh Zive (josh.zive@bracewelllaw.com, 202-828-5838, Follow: @jczive) and others are available to comment on the debates for your coverage.  While we will be discussing and “live tweeting” the general issues, we will also be targeting very specific energy, environmental and climate issues, as well as some law enforcement issues.  We are aggregating them at the @PolicyRez and @ERCC_Facts Twitter handles, so make sure you are following/tuning in.

The Really Big Event this week is tomorrow’s Clean Power Plan arguments at the DC Circuit.  While everybody has done a really nice job curtain-raising the arguments, special kudos to Emily Holden and crew at E&E News for stellar, in-depth preview coverage that you can see here and Mark Drajem and the Blomberg First Word Energy for its 3-days of previews.  More openers today including the New York Times.  Also today at 12:30, WV AG Pat Morrisey and TX AG Ken Paxton will headline a Texas Public Policy Foundation a panel discussion on the case.

The ERCC Twitter account will be very active over the next few days as we approach the oral arguments. For the CPP, the site is expected to feature a preview of the oral argument, identifying main arguments we will be watching as well as adding contact info for Scott and Jeff (jeff.holmstead@bracewelllaw.com, 202-294-8700), THE experts who are ready to help provide insight and analysis.  SO if you have a twitter account, you are going to want to follow @ERCC_Facts

Tomorrow may take on a bit of a circus atmosphere as protesters/activists are expected to descend onto the Courthouse.  After, both sides will respond in “spin areas.” Scott, Jeff and I will be available around the Courthouse and attorneys general challenging the rule and supporting members of Congress will host a presser for after oral arguments in the Senate Swamp outside of the U.S. Capitol.  NRECA CEO Jim Matheson is also talking about tomorrow’s arguments outlining what’s at stake for America’s electric co-ops.  He addresses the SCOTUS Stay, impacts on Co-ops, risks on low-income consumers and discussion of what co-ops are doing on coal and renewables.

Congress is trying to finish up on budget, WRDA and other issues.  House Rules meets today to set the table for the legislative debate.  Lots on the table including what will happen with Flint aid.

Staying focused on tomorrow’s big case.  See you at the week’s events.  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

White House, 100 Others Commit to HFC Reductions – Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday in New York at the UN that more than 100 nations and other entities are joining together to reduce emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).   The countries will declare their plans to limit HFCs in an effort to reduce global warming by up to half-a-degree Celsius. The event could create momentum behind negotiations to amend the Montreal Protocol to limit HFCs at an October meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. AHRI’s Steve Yurek, who has been a key player in this process, said by avoiding up to 0.5°C of warming by the end of the century, a Montreal Protocol hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phasedown amendment is one of the most significant steps the world can take now to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement. Yurek: “We call upon world leaders to adopt in October an ambitious amendment to the Montreal Protocol, including an early first reduction step.  We declare our intent to work to reduce the use and emissions of high-global-warming-potential HFCs and transition over time to more sustainable alternatives in a manner that maintains or increases energy efficiency‎.”

NHTSA Releases Rules for AVs – Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx rolled out new NHTSA rule for autonomous vehicles last week.  SAFE experts Gen James Conway and Dr. Henry Claypool, a disabilities advocate, joined Foxx on the stage at the announcement.  Conway, 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps and Co-Chair of SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council said “if deployed properly, driverless cars will significantly enhance quality of life for all Americans through improved safety and accessibility of transportation—and will also reduce our over-dependence on petroleum.”  SAFE applauded NHTSA’s effort to create a policy platform that encourages innovation. Much of NHTSA’s approach aligns with the philosophy put forward in SAFE’s National Strategy for Energy Security, released in May of this year.  SAFE will also be working with policymakers and regulators to ensure the rules are cemented in federal legislation in the coming months. Autonomous vehicles are a critical technology with the potential to spur one of the greatest changes in society since the industrial revolution. The status quo of our transportation system comes with unacceptably high costs and autonomous vehicles are an opportunity to transform that system for the better.

Chamber Rolls Out New Report – Continuing its Energy Accountability Series, the Chamber’s Energy Institute’s second report found that America’s economy would be much weaker today if certain politicians and special interest groups had gotten their way and oil and natural gas resources had not been developed. This report, titled “What if America’s Energy Renaissance Had Not Actually Happened?,” uses data from 2009 through 2015 to imagine what the American economy would look like had the energy revolution not occurred. The report found that, without the energy renaissance, America would have lost 4.3 million jobs and $548 billion in annual GDP.  Were it not for the growth and development of oil and natural gas, today’s electricity prices would be 31 percent higher, and motor fuels would cost 43 percent more. The report takes a closer look at four states that, in different ways, have realized some of the biggest benefits of expanded energy development.  It finds that Pennsylvania and Ohio would have lost $13 billion and nearly $10 billion in GDP, respectively. The report also includes an analysis of Texas, which would have lost over 675,000 jobs, and Wisconsin, which would have lost 46,000 jobs. The analysis also finds that very few jobs and very little growth would have been realized in other sectors had the renaissance not taken place.  In other words, it is thanks to a massive expansion in America’s oil and gas production that the U.S. has experienced job growth and economic expansion since 2009. The Energy Institute’s report examines the oil and gas value chain impact, as well as the economic impact that has been spurred by lower energy prices.  The report breaks down benefits for both the residential and industrial sectors, and provides an in-depth examination of the sources of jobs.

The Energy Institute’s 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.

USWF Wind Project To Continue Commitment To WV Community — US Wind Force Foundation is accepting grant applications from qualified nonprofit organizations for grants from its Community Benefit Fund.  The Community Benefit Fund was established as a way to provide locally-controlled financial resources for worthy “bricks and mortar” community projects in the communities immediately surrounding the Pinnacle Wind Farm.  The 55 megawatt, 23-turbine Pinnacle Wind Farm is located on Green Mountain near Keyser, West Virginia.  The foundation, through its Community Benefit Fund, has awarded more than $132,000 in grants to local community organizations since the wind farm was completed in January 2012.  Pinnacle voluntarily committed to donate $60,000 to the Community Benefit Fund at the start of commercial operations and $20,000 per year for the life of the project.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

AGA Food Truck Highlights NatGas Use – The American Gas Association (AGA) continue to keep its natural gas-fueled food truck on Capitol Hill this week serving free grilled cheese sandwiches around Capitol Hill today through next Friday. 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.

Transmission Forum to Look at Key Western Issues – Infocast’s 8th Transmission Summit West, will be Held on September today through Wednesday 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.

AGs Preview CPP Case at Forum – The Texas Public Policy Foundation is hosting a panel discussion today at 12:30 p.m., on the eve of oral argument in the D.C. Circuit. The discussion will provide lawyers, the media, policy analysts, academics, legislators, regulators, and the general public with a window on the key legal arguments that will be addressed before the en banc panel regarding EPA’s authority to regulate the nation’s power generating industry under the so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP). Participants in the discussion include the Attorneys General of the states of Texas and West Virginia, two of the lead petitioners in the consolidated cases, as well as private counsel representing a variety of intervenors and amici supporting the petitioners. The key issues to be addressed involve constitutional challenges striking at the heart of the CPP, focusing on EPA’s usurpation of state powers to regulate the use of in-state natural resources, as well as the extent to which EPA is permitted to rewrite the Clean Air Act to suit its overarching goal of regulating carbon dioxide emissions throughout the nation.

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.

Presidential Debate – Hofstra 9:00 p.m.

Post to Host Forum with Vilsack – The morning after the first presidential debate at 9:00 a.m., the Washington Post The Daily 202 host James Hohmann will talk one-on-one with Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. The former Iowa Governor will give his take on the debate, including how the candidates’ policies and personas are resonating with rural voters, share thoughts on how Democrats can make gains in rural Republican strongholds and discuss the pressing issues facing the next administration.  This is the first program in a new series tied to Hohmann’s Daily 202 newsletter, which has become a go-to for Beltway insights and analysis. Each month, Hohmann will interview D.C. power players and political operatives about the issues and news shaping Washington.

Forum to Look at Advanced Biofuels – The BioRenewable Deployment Consortium Symposium will be held tomorrow and Wednesday at the Embassy Suites Hotel in DC.  This special meeting will bring together BDC members, Agency Directors, House Biofuel and Paper Caucus Representatives, and Advanced Biofuels/Biochemicals Companies who are making great strides toward commercialization.

NTU Forum Looks at Puerto Rico Issues – The National Taxpayers Union will host a panel discussion tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. at the National Press Club’s Morrow Room to assess next Steps for Puerto Rico following the appointment of a federal Oversight Board and ahead of the Economic Task Force’s critical final report.  The event will offer a broad overview of PROMESA and an update on several key initiatives included in the bill. Additionally, discussion will focus on the Oversight Board appointees and specific policies that the Board as well as the Task Force should consider to restore Puerto Rico to economic growth. The panel will also address what Congress and the Administration must still do to help the Commonwealth prosper, including federal tax and regulations.

Clean Power Plan Hits DC Circuit – The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments tomorrow at 9:30 a.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.

USEA to Look at CCS, Paris – Tomorrow, 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 tomorrow 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.

Dicks, Perdue Headline BPC Nuclear Waste Forum – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Nuclear Waste Council will host a discussion tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. on the challenges and solutions to America’s nuclear waste management and the promise consent-based siting can have for future projects.  BPC will release a series of recommendations on the topic of consent-based siting as the culmination of the second phase of the council’s work. These will serve as a foundation for the upcoming national nuclear waste management conversation and are based on a year of intense research, surveys of state government officials, and visits to communities undergoing nuclear waste siting consideration.  Speakers will include former Washington Rep. Norm Dicks and former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, who both Co-Chair BPC’s Nuclear Waste Council.

BGov Hosts Forum on Latino Impacts, Climate – Bloomberg Government will host a forum on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. looking at issues weighing heavily on Latino voters, including the environment. According to a June 2016 Pew Research Center poll, roughly two-thirds of Hispanic voters consider the environment a very important issue—compared to only half of the overall voting population.  To mark Hispanic Heritage Month, BGov, in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund and the Hispanic Federation, will bring together policymakers, Latino leaders and health experts for a discussion on the impact of climate change on Latino communities, and how climate issues may factor into Hispanic Americans’ voting decisions during the upcoming elections.

Foxx, Moniz to Host Infrastructure Forum – The Center for American Progress and NextGen Climate America will host a half-day conference on Wednesday 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.

Georgetown to Host Post DC Circuit Round Up – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., the Georgetown Climate Center and the Georgetown Environmental Law program will host a forum with litigants in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals case challenging the Obama Administration’s signature climate change action, the day after oral argument before an en banc panel of judges at the D.C. Circuit.  The event will include West Virginia Solicitor General Elbert Lin (attorney for state petitioners), Thomas A. Lorenzen (attorney for industry petitioners), Sean Donahue (attorney for NGO intervenors supporting EPA), New York Assistant Attorney General Morgan Costello (attorney for state intervenors supporting EPA), and EPA Associate General Counsel Lorie Schmidt.

CSIS to Host Book Launch on LNG – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies Research Center and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies to launch their newly published book, LNG Markets in Transition: the Great Reconfiguration (editors: Ms. Anne-Sophie Corbeau, KAPSARC, and Mr. David Ledesma, OIES).  The book posits that dramatic changes are taking place on global liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets today and that this development is about to topple 50 years of practice in the LNG business. The speakers will explain the nature, drivers and extent of changes that are taking place in global LNG markets and illuminate how new and existing players are challenging the norms of the LNG business in relation to business structures, contracts, and price dynamics.

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.

Challenging AGs to Host Presser – Attorney General Patrick Morrisey will join partnering attorneys general and supporting members of Congress at a press conference set for after oral arguments in West Virginia v. EPA, the coalition’s challenge to President Obama’s Power Plan.  Morrisey, along with U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, will be joined by AGs Ken Paxton (TX), Leslie Rutledge (AR), Samuel Olens (GA), Jeff Landry (LA), Scott Pruitt (OK) and Peter Michael (WY).  U.S. Reps. David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Evan Jenkins of West Virginia, and U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia will also attend.

CSU Hosting Energy Transition Forum – The Colorado State University Energy Institute and School of Global Environmental Sustainability are hosting the 6th annual 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium (formerly known as the Natural Gas Symposium) on Wednesday and Thursday in Ft. Collins, CO to discuss complex energy issues while finding viable solutions.  Keynote Speakers will include DOE Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, U.S. Department of Energy, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn and ARPA-e Director Ellen Williams.

JHU to Host Saudi Oil Policy Discussion – On Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University ERE’s Global Leaders Forum and Middle East Studies will host Jean-François Seznec on “Oil Policy and Proposed Energy Reforms in Saudi Arabia.”  Faced with continuing low prices and oversupply in the world oil market, will Saudi Arabia and OPEC return to earlier policies of cutting oil production to stabilize or raise prices.  Meanwhile, important energy reforms have been proposed by the new leadership in Saudi Arabia to modernize the economy, reduce subsidies, privatize at least part of Saudi Aramco, and introduce a Value Added Tax.

Argus to Host Politics, Energy Webinar – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., Argus Washington bureau chief David Ivanovich will lead a Webinar to examine the role energy may play in the upcoming US presidential race and the battle for control of the US Senate.  The webinar will discuss how energy prices could affect voter sentiment this November, what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s energy policies say about them as candidates and whether energy issues could help tip the balance in some key Senate races.

Forum to Look at Climate Response in Asia, Pacific – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will host a forum on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. that will explore the market tools and financial instruments being deployed to respond to climate change in the Asia-Pacific. It will focus on the growing capital expenditures in sustainable development, and the emerging role of carbon pricing as a tool for reducing emissions in an efficient and cost-effective way. The event will also serve to launch the Asia Society Policy Institute report, Roadmap to a Northeast Asian Carbon Market, and discuss how growing regional cooperation is essential for achieving the goals laid out in the Paris climate change agreement.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

India to Sign Treaty on Sunday – Prime Minister Narendra Modi said yesterday India would ratify the Paris climate change agreement on Sunday October 2nd on Gandhi’s birthday.  India joining brings the   agreement closer still to formally taking effect this year. Once India signs, countries accounting for nearly 52% of global emissions will have joined the agreement.

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 next Sunday through Tuesday.  The event 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.

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.

RFF Seminar to Look at Past Energy Crisis – On October 5th 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.

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 – Next 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.

WRI to Launch Report – On Friday, October 7th 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.

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

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.

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.

Energy Update: Week of July 18

Friends,

Given all that is going on around the globe, I hope you were able to watch the final round of the British Open yesterday.  It was a riveting conclusion to a great golf championship where both Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson – both in their 40s – performed at their best.  And when it was over, the class and sportsmanship by each player was a testament to respect and honor.  One could only hope that kind of spirit could invade our political debate.

Speaking of the political debate, it’s showtime in Cleveland for the RNC.  I am heading up there later today.  Not a whole lot of energy action at the convention in Cleveland, but our friend Jay Faison will be on several panels that will look at energy issues.  Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., he and others will visit with Steve Mufson at the Washington Post’s Cleveland HQ.  On Wednesday, POLITICO hosts an energy talk with Faison and ND Rep. and early Trump supporter Kevin Cramer.   Finally, on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., BPC will host s a forum on priorities and policies at Heinen’s in Cleveland.  Though Trump has said little comprehensively on energy policy, experts seem to think that his administration energy policy would differ markedly from a renewables/climate-focused taken by a Clinton administration. One speaker on the schedule in Continental O&G CEO Harold Hamm, who hosted Trump in North Dakota earlier this year.

Another group there in full force is the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), who along with grabbing Jim Matheson as its new CEO, also recently launched a major initiative to enhance voter engagement with its “Co-ops Vote” campaign.  The effort is aimed at boosting voter turnout in areas served by cooperatives by encouraging electric co-op employees and their consumer members to exercise voting rights and support rural communities.  Meanwhile, our friend Debbie Wing is stepping up to a great new gig with the Farm Credit Council as their Executive Vice President for National Communications and Reputation Management.  Congrats Deb!!!

As a lead in to the Convention, Republican Candidate Donald Trump named Indiana Gov. (and former conservative Rep.) Mike Pence to be his running mate.  Pence is an Interesting guy and is well-liked in many political circles.  If you want the download on Pence, tune in to the best Pence expert in DC, CNN’s Tom Lobianco (@tomlobianco on Twitter).  Lobi covered Pence when he was in Indianapolis writing and covering politics for AP and the Indy Star.  You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who knows him better.

There is a really good event in DC tomorrow at CSIS when Pioneer Oil & Gas CEO Scott Sheffield discusses developments in the U.S. onshore oil and gas industry. On Thursday, USEA will host a forum on advanced fossil fuels featuring Neil Kern of Duke Energy, AWEA’s Peter Kelley addresses the National Economists Club and C2ES hosts a webinar looking at financing climate resilience.

Finally, overseas in Vienna this week, the big negotiating begins on efforts to limit the super-warming chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol.  The first phase of the nine-day negotiating session ended favorably in the early hours of Sunday morning with agreement on key “challenges and solutions.” This week, countries to focus on several key central issues:  ambitious schedules for freezing and phasing down HFC production and use in both developed and developing countries, and financial assistance to help developing countries achieve their phase-down commitments.  The HVAC industry has been a strong player in these negotiations and AHRI President Steve Yurek is there and happy to provide insights from Vienna.  Please let us know if you have questions.

Hope everyone travels and stays safe this week and next, as well as has some fun at the conventions.  Remember, our PRG team will be covering elections closely and offering our analysis running up to and following the November vote.  So stay in touch on the topic.

Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Producing syngas from Mississippi’s own abundant natural resource – lignite – should be encouraging to our customers, communities and energy companies around the world. This proves that Kemper’s technology can provide a way forward for coal and puts us a step closer to full plant operation.”

Mississippi Power President/CEO Anthony Wilson.

 

IN THE NEWS

HFC Talks Proceeding in Vienna – Nearly 40 ministers are in Vienna participating in the negotiations on cutting down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are the fastest growing greenhouse gases in many countries.  Used as replacements for ozone-depleting substances, HFCs are used in refrigeration, air conditioning, insulation, aerosols, solvents and fire protection products. Successful talks in Vienna could lead to an agreement when the Parties meet in Kigali, Rwanda, in October 2016. Such an agreement will help establish an early, clear and ambitious schedule to phase down HFCs, improve appliance energy efficiency and slow global warming.   NRDC’s Dave Doniger has a great synopsis of the first few days in HuffPost.   AHRI President Steve Yurek is also in Vienna on behalf of the HVAC industry which has played a strong role in the negotiations and supports the phase down.

Kemper Starts Producing Syngas – The Kemper County Energy Facility has begun producing syngas from lignite coal, developer Mississippi Power said Friday.  An integral aspect of the plant’s operations, syngas is created when locally mined lignite is heated at high temperatures in the plant’s gasifiers, converting the coal to gas. To produce electricity, the plant is designed to use syngas similarly to natural gas to power a turbine. The facility is designed to capture at least 65% of carbon dioxide, with resulting emissions better than a similarly sized natural gas plant.  The TRIG™ coal gasification technology deployed at the plant was jointly developed by Southern Company, KBR and the U.S. Department of Energy over the past two decades at the Power Systems Development Facility, an Alabama-based research facility operated by Southern Company. The successful production of syngas is an important step in the systematic process of achieving the facility’s full commercial operation. During the coming weeks, the Kemper project team also will be focused on starting up and integrating various systems needed to achieve the next major milestone – using syngas to produce electricity at the plant.  The plant, designed to be a new-build, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) coal-fired power plant, has been producing electricity with natural gas since August 2014.

NRECA, Energy to Improve Cyber Security – The Energy Department said last week it will spend $15 million to help the private sector improve its cybersecurity culture.  The funds, which Congress must approve, will help the American Public Power Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association train employees, produce documentation, and strengthen policies to reduce cyber risks, as well as site assessments and drills. NRECA said Cooperatives understand that no utility is immune from attack and that protecting the electric grid is a challenge the utility sector must solve. By collaborating with these partners, and giving the nation’s more than 900 co-ops access to advanced cybersecurity technology and training, all boats can be lifted.  Over the next three years, NRECA will use the $7.5 million award to develop security tools, educational resources, updated guidelines and training materials.  Continued investments in the people, processes and technology needed to secure critical infrastructure will strengthen the ability of NRECA’s members to meet rapidly changing cybersecurity threats.

SAFE Letter on Autonomous Vehicles Lands in NYT – SAFE had a letter in the NY Times on Sunday addressing a recent op-ed article regarding autonomous vehicle issues.  Robbie Diamond, CEO and founder of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) and SAFE Autonomous Vehicle Initiative director Amitai Bin-Nun said in the wake of the Tesla Autopilot fatality and continuing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation, Times Reporters Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle make the important, if perhaps self-evident, point that self-driving cars must be certified safe before public use. The real question for policy makers, however, is what constitutes an appropriately “safe” autonomous vehicle. Our current transportation system exacts a terrible toll: More than 35,000 people died on American roads in 2015, an almost 8% increase over 2014, and the system is almost completely dependent on petroleum, constraining American foreign policy and exposing our servicemen and women to conflict.  They say autonomous vehicles have the potential to reduce traffic fatalities, expand mobility access to millions, and enhance national and economic security by building a fuel-diverse transportation system. These benefits compel the deployment of autonomous vehicles once their safety matches today’s cars with all their flaws. Imposing excessive regulation and barriers to deployment runs contrary to the national interest.

Platts Capitol Crude Looks at Fracking – This week’s Capitol Crude podcast looks at natgas drilling and the impact of the recent efforts On “Keep it in the Ground” surrounding the Democratic Platform. Recent, the President’s top science advisor has called the movement unrealistic. Has the movement to stop the historic growth of US shale oil and gas lost its momentum? And how does a federal judge’s recent decision to overturn the administration’s regulations of fracking impact the movement’s path forward? Platts Brian Scheid gets perspective on the issue from Earthjustice’s Michael Freeman and Western Energy Alliance’s Kathleen Sgamma.  And its only Scheid this week because his partner in crime at Platts, Herman Wang has launched to London to cover OPEC for Platts.  Congrats to Herman and get some fish & chips, a Shepard’s pie or Chicken Tikka Masala for me…

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Republican Convention – Cleveland will host the Republican Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena starts today running through Thursday.  The Republican National Committee (RNC) says the convention will host approximately 2,470 delegates and 2,302 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories. Jeff Larson, CEO of the 2016 Republican National Convention released an updated program for the “Make America Great Again” convention that will include veterans, political outsiders, faith leaders and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s family members will lead an unconventional lineup of speakers who have real-world experience.  You can see the full line up for each night here.

BGov Holds Climate Forum at RNC –  Bloomberg Government and Defend Our Future holds a discussion today at Noon on the future of climate change in the Republican Party at the RNC in Cleveland.

Education, Energy Conference Set – The 2016 Energy Conference for Educators will continue today through Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.  The event brings together educators that are passionate about bringing energy education to their classrooms. In five interactive days in Washington, D.C., the conference provides teachers with the most up-to-date information on all aspects of energy including the science of energy, sources of energy, transportation, electricity, efficiency and environmental and economic impacts.  Participants receive the training and materials to implement innovative hands-on energy units in their classrooms, multi-disciplinary teams, and after-school programs. They also receive the materials, training and support to conduct in-services in their areas to introduce the NEED program to others. NEED leaders at the conference help participants develop specialized units that meet state standards and can be utilized with students of all learning styles.

WaPo to Host Faison Energy Conversation – The Washington Post will host an Energy Conversation with ClearPath Founder Jay Faison on Tuesday July 19th at the their GOP convention HQ in Cleveland.

Forum to Look at Bioenergy – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a forum tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in 1300 Longworth assessing the ability of the United States to sustainably produce 1 billion tons of renewable non-food biomass every year. This could potentially displace more than 30 percent of the country’s petroleum consumption. The briefing will focus on key findings from volume 1 of the 2016 Billion-Ton Update, which examines the technical feasibility of a billion-ton annual biomass supply chain by 2040. The 2016 report, to be released at the Bioenergy 2016 conference in mid-July, builds and expands on previous Billion-Ton studies, released in 2005 and 2011 by the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).  Speakers for this forum DOE’s Alison Goss Eng, USDA Bioenergy Chief Scientist Valerie Reed and USDA Energy Policy Director Harry Baumes.

Pioneer CEO to Discuss Industry at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Scott Sheffield, Chairman and CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. to discuss developments in the U.S. onshore oil and gas industry. Mr. Sheffield has held the position of CEO for Pioneer Natural Resources since August 1997 and assumed the position of chairman of the board in August 1999. In this position Sheffield heads one of the leading producers of unconventional oil and gas in the United States. Sheffield will share his views on recent market developments and regulatory changes in the oil and gas landscape, as well as Pioneer’s strategy for addressing the challenges and opportunities facing the industry today and in the future.

Wilson Forum to Look at Paris Climate Goals in Latin America – Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a forum looking at the Paris climate agreement and the role of Latin American countries. How are Latin American countries confronting climate change? What are the prospects for the implementation of the Paris Agreement in Latin America? What are the main factors which might speed up or undermine the transition to low-emission and resilient economies in the region? All questions to be addressed by experts in the region.

Faison, Cramer Headline POLITICO RNC Energy Forum – POLITICO will host an energy caucus live on Wednesday at 12:45 in its Hub in Cleveland.  The forum will be a deep dive discussion, featuring a variety of perspectives, about the energy policy issues facing the next president and how the candidates are resonating in battleground states.  Featured speakers will; include Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), ClearPath’s Jay Faison and Jai Chabria of Mercury, along with a few others.

BPC Hosts Energy Discussion in Cleveland – The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and Milken Institute are hosting a series of policy forums with business and political leaders at the Republican National Convention. On Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. at Heinen’s in Downtown Cleveland, they will host cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as they discuss entrepreneurship and economic growth, infrastructure and energy policy, global competitiveness and tax policy, and medical and health innovation.  Jay Faison will be speaking on the energy topics.

Webinar to explore financing climate resilience – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) hosts a webinar, Thursday at Noon looking at financing climate resilience. Extreme weather events and disasters are already impacting our infrastructure. The need to update infrastructure provides an opportunity to build in climate resilience. This webinar will explore options for financing resilience and will feature an interactive discussion with experts in the field about opportunities and potential challenges. Speakers will include HUD’s Bruce Ciallella, expert Shalini Vajjhala, C2ES expert Katy Maher and Fatima Maria Ahmad.  You can register here.

AWEA’s Kelley to Address Economists – The National Economists Club hosts AWEA’s Peter Kelley on Thursday at Noon at the Chinatown Garden Restaurant to discuss clean energy economics and the rapid change ahead.  Wind power is one of the biggest, fastest, cheapest ways to reduce carbon pollution and solve our climate challenge. Electricity generated from wind now costs two-thirds less than in 2009, so it’s already saving U.S. consumers billions of dollars a year on their energy bills. Wind is making enough electric power for 20 million homes today, and can be the largest source of electricity in America by mid-century.

Forum to Look at Climate and Private Sector Implications –On Thursday at Noon, the Global America Business Institute (GABI), in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Energy Research, will discuss and present information on “Inclusive Development & Climate Change: Implications for the Private Sector,” with Dr. Arun Kashyap as the guest speaker. As development and economic growth continue throughout the world, implications for the private sector become even greater, particularly with respect to climate change and clean energy innovation. Dr. Kashyap will present on how to integrate analysis and implement evidence based initiatives, create partnerships, and innovate to foster equity, strengthen welfare, and build resilience for marginalized households and communities in developing and middle-income countries within the confines of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, as the international community works to develop and deploy alternative, clean energy.

USEA to Host Duke Energy Exec on Advanced Fossil Fuels – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., USEA will host a forum on advanced fossil fuels.  Neil Kern of Duke Energy will review some of the factors impacting today’s utility business models and the resulting new demands being placed on central generation plants. As renewable energy deployment increases and movement towards lower carbon footprints continues, central station operating profiles are fundamentally changing. New technologies must be developed to maintain grid reliability and enable this transition. The presentation will discuss some of the advanced generation technologies, including supercritical CO2 and CCUS, being developed to address these new challenges while identifying their benefits, research gaps, and what  needs to be done to encourage adoption by industry.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Democratic Convention – A week later, the Democrats will head to Philadelphia for the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 25th – 28th.

AAAS Forum to Look at Human Rights, Climate – Next Monday, July 25th starting at 8:30 a.m., the American Association for the Advancement of Science will hold a day-long forum on the human rights implications of climate change and the contributions scientists, engineers, and health professionals can make towards addressing these concerns.  The sessions will highlight examples of scientific research that is contributing to human rights-based policies for climate change prevention, mitigation, adaptation, and community relocation. In addition, panelists will share models for collaborative climate research in partnership with vulnerable communities. Coalition meetings convene scientists, engineers, and health professionals with human rights leaders and policy makers to discuss emerging issues at the nexus of science and human rights. The Coalition serves as a catalyst for the increased involvement of scientific, engineering, and health associations and their members in human rights-related activities.   The main speaker will be Robert Bullard, Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University.

Heritage, CEI Look at Biofuel Programs – The Heritage Foundation hosts a panel discussion next Tuesday on repealing the Renewable Fuel Standard and other Biofuel Programs. U.S. biofuels policy is a case study in the unintended consequences of government intervention. In contrast to what politicians and special interest groups promised, biofuel policies have increased costs to taxpayers and drivers, had little-to-no impact on oil prices, hurt rural economies, and had unforeseen environmental costs. This panel will provide background on the RFS and other biofuels programs, analyzing the many harmful effects of these federal policies. Does the RFS reduce dependence on foreign oil? What impact does it have on food prices? What environmental harms are caused as a result of the RFS? Does the RFS actually hurt agricultural producers? The presenters will answer these questions and identify several critical solutions.  Speakers will include Heritage’s Nick Loris, CEI’s Marlo Lewis and Dan Simmons of the Institute for Energy Research.

Forum to Look at Emissions at Chinese Ports – The Wilson Center’s China Energy Foundation (CEF) will host a panel discussion next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. with Green Port experts as they assess how China’s new policies and on-the-ground efforts—such as port/vessel emissions inventories and emission control zones—are reducing pollution and climate emissions at major Chinese ports. Dr. Peng Chuansheng (China Waterborne Transport Research Institute) will lead the discussion in exploring how and why China is taking action on green ports. Ms. Freda Fung (Natural Resources Defense Council) will highlight Hong Kong’s successes in controlling port pollution and discuss needed incentives for green port/vessel technology development and emission compliance in China. Dr. Dan Rutherford (ICCT) will draw on a port study in Shenzhen produced for the China Environment Forum to discuss how shore power and fuel-switching offer critical solutions in reducing port emissions in China.   This meeting – part of CEF’s Choke Point: Port Cities initiative – is co-sponsored with the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) and the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States.

NatGas Roundtable Hosts BGE Exec – The Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Calvin Butler Jr., Chief Executive Officer of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), as its speaker at the next NatGas Roundtable luncheon at the University Club on Tuesday July 26th. Butler became chief executive officer of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company on March 1, 2014 after serving as BGE’s senior vice president, regulatory and external affairs.

USEA to Host Global Nuke Discussion – The US Energy Assn will host a forum on Tuesday, July 26th at 2:00 p.m. looking at the global nuclear landscape to 2040 and the US role will be.  Affordable baseload electricity is crucial for countries to sustain the high level of economic growth they have experienced during the last decade. Government support, via regulations and financing, has been pivotal to the accelerated growth of nuclear energy. In China and India, as well as most of Asia and Europe, government enterprises are responsible for the construction and operation of nuclear power plants. The US cannot idly let its leadership position wither away in the global nuclear energy landscape. In the nuclear arena, leadership cannot be simply “restored” based on the old “push” model of Supply-side dominance from the 20th Century. Urban demand-side factors outside Europe and North America now are pulling nuclear power construction forward in the 21st Century to satisfy burgeoning electric demand, primarily in Asian cities, and for growing populations and water needs in the Middle East and Africa. USA and allies must redefine leadership in nuclear energy via international partnerships and alliances that are unfolding now. Speaker Andrew Paterson of the Environmental Business International will address the topic.

DEM Convention Forum Set – The New Policy Institute and NDN will host a major event at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, on Tuesday, July 26th looking ahead at the future of America and American Politics.  This event will feature a dozen inspiring thought leaders who will offer their different perspectives on what is coming down the road for the US and our politics.  The event will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 204C, 200 Level Concourse, and run from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm If you would like to attend, please RSVP on our Eventbrite page today.  The event is free and open to the public.

ELI Forum Look at Distributed Solar Battles – On Wednesday, July 27th, ELI will host a forum on the recent changes in net metering policies and the future of distributed solar at the D.C. Bar Conference Center.  Thousands of Nevada consumers purchased solar arrays expecting to sell their electricity back to the grid at the same rates they pay for power – called “net-metering.” Solar companies expected to continue booming sales – and leasing – based on this high rate of return. That all changed last December when the Nevada Public Utility Commission significantly reduced net-metering rates. Existing customers were furious and sales of new systems basically ground to a halt. A few months later, after a similar fight, the California Public Utilities Commission reached a different result, maintaining full net-metering rates until 2019. And just this April, a coalition including Con Edison, Solar City, and Sunpower, Inc., submitted a net-metering proposal to the New York Public Service Commission billed as a breakthrough in utility-solar collaboration. The coalition claims their proposal will continue to incentivize residential solar while also providing utilities with protections necessary to insure that distributed solar will not cause the ever-dreaded Death Spiral for the utility industry.  These recent developments are only a sample of the debates raging before Public Utility Commissions across the country, where numerous proposals to change net-metering policies are pending, with important implications for the future of residential solar. Please join us for a panel discussion of these ongoing developments.

Fanning, Moniz, Daschle Headline DNC BPC Energy Event – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum at the Democratic National Convention in Phily. The discussion will feature some of our nation’s most influential leaders on energy innovation as we discuss the respective roles of the public and private sectors in realizing the full potential of this opportunity as well as growing congressional support for energy innovation.  The event will feature Southern’s Tom Fanning, former Senate leader Tom Daschle, and Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz.

Annual Enviro Superconference Set for Austin – The 28th annual Texas Environmental Superconference is set for August 4th and 5th at the Four Seasons in Austin, TX.  This year’s theme is Yogi Berra quotes and the conference is fittingly entitled “It’s like déjà vu all over again”; each topic has an appropriate quote assigned to it.   The event is co-sponsored by the State Bar of Texas Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, the Air & Waste Management Association – Southwest Section, the Water Environment Association of Texas, the Texas Association of Environmental Professionals, The Auditing Roundtable, and the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. Bracewell will be hosting an event on Thursday, August 4th during the superconference with cocktails, small bites and a live performance by Quiet Company.  Speakers will include Gary Jonesi of EPA’s Enforcement office and Bryan Shaw of TCEQ, as well as Bracewell enviro experts Tim Wilkins and Kevin Collins.  See more on the event here.

Power-Gen Forum Set for Columbus – Regardless of the Democratic Platform challenge of natgas, Pennwell will host Mark McCullough, Executive Vice President, American Electric Power to discuss the growing role in natural gas in power generation at the upcoming GenForum scheduled August 22nd in Columbus, Ohio. The half-day event is connected with PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas.

 

Energy Update: Week of July 11

Friends,

It has been a bizarre week and there are few words that I can connect to make sense of it.  I can’t say it any better than Dallas Police Chief David Brown did yesterday in a lengthy interview (here is link for Part II) with CNN’s Jake tapper.  I highly recommend you review it.  Not only were we impacted by the tragedy in Dallas, we in the DC policy community suffered our own tragic loss when RFF’s Molly Macauley was tragically lost to senseless violence late Friday.  We offer our sympathies to her family, our friends at RFF and all those who knew her as a colleague.  These times are difficult times.

Serena Williams and Andy Murray both rolled to straight set victories at Wimbledon and tomorrow, Major League Baseball hosts its 87th mid-summer All-Star Classic in San Diego.  Home Run Contest is tonight.

The Democratic Platform crossed another milestone over the weekend in Orlando.  Those following the energy-related aspects of the process featuring activist Bill McKibbon, Josh Fox and others over “keep it in the ground” and other climate-related issues should feel free to call. We have folks that can address the topic.  Democrats seemed have given in to the progressive wing on nearly all issues despite falling short of calling for a national moratorium on natgas drilling.

This week Congress continues to roll to its summer election-year recess.  It looks like we may see a vote to send energy legislation to a conference and finalize a few more environmental budget bills.   The Congressional Renewable Energy Expo will also start tomorrow and House Resources digs into Colorado shale tomorrow, renewable energy on public lands legislation on Wednesday and past renewable projects like Ivanpah on Thursday.

The main event this week is today and tomorrow’s EIA Annual Energy Conference, which will feature Tesoro CEO Greg Goff and several others.

One week until the GOP Convention in Cleveland…Two weeks to Democratic Convention Philadelphia. We will have teams at both events and are covering the action.  And only four weeks now until the launch of the Summer Olympics In Rio.   Finally, remember our PRG team will be covering elections closely and offering our analysis running up to and following the November vote.  So stay in touch on the topic.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We have produced by far the most progressive platform that this party has seen in multiple generations.”

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D), co-chairman of the Democratic platform committee.

 

IN THE NEWS

Cabot to Supply NatGas for New PA Power Plant – Cabot Oil & Gas will provide natural gas to a new gas-fired power plant in Pennsylvania under a 10-year agreement.   Cabot will supply Invenergy’s 1,500MW Lackawanna Energy Center power plant in Lackawanna county.  Billed as one of the most efficient power plants in the country, the Lackawanna Energy Center power plant will start full-scale operations by the end of 2018.  Dan Dinges, the company’s top executive, said the agreement is unique in that it will power a state-of-the-art facility from natural gas “directly in our backyard.”

Dems Finalization Uber Progressive Platform – The Washington Post reports from swelter Orlando that the Democratic Party shifted further to the left in one election than perhaps since 1972, embracing once-unthinkable stances on carbon pricing, police reform, abortion rights, the minimum wage and the war on drugs. It did so with very little ideological resistance and a lot of comity between the supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.  Dems approved language that while not outright banning natural gas drilling, it prioritized the building of solar and wind plants before natural-gas facilities. That change contradicted eight years of consensus that natural gas was a “bridge” to energy independence.

New Documents Show AGs Block Access – New responses from state Attorneys General offices (OAGs) obtained by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) and the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FME Law) confirm that the coalition of Democratic Attorneys General using racketeering laws to investigate universities, climate scientists, free market think tanks and energy companies are hiding behind a contract with each other — also apparently with outside activists helping the campaign — to avoid releasing public records relating to their pursuit of political opponents.  This confirms suggestions in prior emails, obtained under state open records laws, that the AGs had entered what they are calling a Common Interest Agreement (CIA), with green activists and other AGs, and are using this contract of nondisclosure among themselves to keep public records regarding their RICO push from the public.  CIAs are common instruments, but what the AGs and green groups have attempted is not; nor is keeping the pact itself from the public normal.  To be legitimate, parties to a common interest agreement must have imminent litigation, a clear scope and clearly shared interests.  Instead, documents obtained to date show that these AGs and their green-group colleagues with inherently disparate interests have entered not a legitimate CIA, but a pact of secrecy, covering broad topics, not specific matters, simply to avoid scrutiny of otherwise public records relating to their extraordinarily controversial abuse of political opponents’ First Amendment rights.

API: Oil Completions Drop in 2Q – The American Petroleum Institute (API) estimates in its 2016 Quarterly Well Completion Report that US oil well completions fell 69% in the second quarter compared with year-ago levels.  Estimated exploratory gas well completions in the second quarter decreased 84% year-over-year. So far this year, development well footage has declined 53% while exploratory well footage has declined 64%, the report indicates.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Tesoro, Kinder CEOs Headline EIA Conference – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will hold its 2016 Energy Conference today and tomorrow in Washington, DC. This two-day event provides the opportunity to meet and network with energy analysts, decision makers, and EIA staff.  Conference session topics that may be relevant to EIA stakeholders interested in information about greenhouse gasses include: 1) Clean Power Plan: EIA, EPA, and state and regional perspectives and 2) Climate—next steps: Perspectives from the United States, Europe, and China.  Keynoters are Tesoro’s Greg Goff, Kinder Morgan’s Steve Kean and Dan Gardiner, Advisor to the Canadian PM.  OSTP Director John Holdren, Sen. Jeff Flake and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson will also be on the agenda.  View the full list of speakers and sessions and register today.  Among the Panel speakers include our friends Andrew Gohn of AWEA, NREL’s Bryan Hannegan and EPA’s Joe Goffman.

Energy to Host Transportation Summit – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), will hold its first ever Sustainable Transportation Summit today and tomorrow. The Summit will bring together transportation and mobility leaders to discuss the technology, policy and market innovations that hold the potential to shape the transportation system of the future. This year’s Summit will highlight progress and achievements in sustainable transportation R&D and efforts to bring new technologies to market, including the President’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge. It will also serve as a forum to share ideas and perspectives on opportunities to accelerate the commercialization and deployment of advanced transportation technologies and smart mobility systems over the next decade.

WCEE, Bracewell to Host NY PSC Chair – The Women’s Council on Energy and Environment and Bracewell are hosting a reception for NY State Public Service Commission Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman this evening at 5:30 p.m.  Zibelman leads the regulatory process redesigning the state’s electricity market, called Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). Facing a $30B cost to maintain NY’s electricity grid over the next 10 years, and keenly aware of the vulnerability of the grid after Superstorm Sandy crippled Long Island and southern portions of the state, NY sought alternatives to reduce the need for new infrastructure, maximize the utilization of existing assets and encourage clean energy, and created NY REV.

WFI Hosts Climate Film Screening – The Washington Film Institute invites you to a Special Screening Event hosted by Participant Media and Congressman Ted Lieu: “Merchants of Doubt.”  The movie takes audiences on a satirically comedic, yet illuminating ride into the heart of conjuring American spin on climate change and other public threats.   A panel discussion follows the movie with U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33), Dr. Naomi Oreskes, Bob Inglis – Executive Director of Republicen.org, Greg Dotson – VP of Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress, and remarks by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI).

EESI Holds Congressional Renewables Forum – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds its 19th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Expo and Policy Forum in the Cannon building.  The forum will bring together up to 50 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. In every state across the country, these technologies are having a significant impact in business development and job creation in the manufacturing, transmission, power, transportation, and building sectors. The bipartisan House Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus and the Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucus are honorary co-hosts of the Expo.

House Resources to Look at CO Shale – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow on the opportunities and challenges of developing Colorado’s Mancos Shale Resource.  Witnesses will include Gunnison Energy CEO Robert Downey, Carbondale, CO Rancher Bill Fales, USGS Energy Resource Director Walter Guidroz, Program Coordinator and Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese.

Bioenergy Forum Set – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) will host its ninth annual conference—Bioenergy 2016: Mobilizing the Bioeconomy through Innovation on Wednesday. Partnering with the Clean Energy Research and Education Foundation (CEREF), this year’s conference will focus on opportunities to grow future feedstock supplies and breakthrough technology barriers to achieve a stronger bioeconomy.  Each year, approximately 600 participants attend the conference, including key stakeholders from the bioenergy industry, Congress, national laboratories, academia, and the financial community.  For more information about the program and schedule for Bioenergy 2016, please contact the Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) at Bioenergy2016@ee.doe.gov.

Senate Energy to Look at Infrastructure Legislation – The Senate Energy Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing tomorrow to receive testimony on S. 3018, the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act, and to examine protections designed to guard against energy disruptions. Witnessed include DOE’s Patricia Hoffman,  NRECA Board Member and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation Duane Highley, EPRI’s Rob Manning and Brent Stacey of the Idaho National Laboratory.

CSIS Papers to Look at China, Global Energy Security – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Boston University’s Kevin Gallagher and Oklahoma’s Bo Kong on Wednesday to discuss the role of Chinese state financing in global energy development and to present findings from two of their recently published studies from the Global Economic Governance Initiative at BU. The first study authored by Dr. Gallagher, ‘Fueling Growth and Financing Risk’, examines the benefits and risks of China’s development finance in the global energy sector.  The other study led by Dr. Bo Kong, entitled ‘The Globalization of Chinese Energy Companies’, tracks the role that the Chinese state has played in helping domestic energy firms to become global household names in the industry. Edward Chow, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

House Resources to Look Renewables on Public Lands – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a Legislative Hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on H.R. 2663 (Rep. Paul Gosar), to promote the development of renewable energy on public land, and for other purposes.”

Former Petrobras Exec Discusses Brazil Energy – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council will host a forum with former Petrobras CEO Decio Oddone.  As Brazil continues down the path of political uncertainty, the promise of its energy sector has been thrown into question. With state-owned Petrobras still reeling from political scandal, is the country’s energy sector — once heralded as the key to its economic expansion — down for the count? Or, amid the downturn, does the oil and gas sector hold unprecedented opportunity? What does the interim Brazilian government need to achieve to ensure a light at the end of tunnel?

Shelk Headline Capacity Markets – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the future of capacity markets.  The event will feature EPSA CEO John Shelk, the Regulatory Assistance Project’s Michael Hogan and our friend Christi Tezak of ClearView Energy Partners.  Ensuring that there is adequate electric power generation to meet established reliability standards is an imperative task for regulators. In organized wholesale markets, however, how exactly to ensure medium- to long-term resource adequacy continues to be the subject of debate and experimentation. Different jurisdictions have adopted different responses, with several markets mandating the procurement of capacity through organized capacity markets. Although the existence and operation of the capacity markets varies across jurisdictions, persistent concerns remain about the functioning and adequacy of capacity markets to ensure long-term reliability—especially in light of a rapidly changing grid with higher penetration of variable renewables and distributed energy resources. This session is part of the Electricity in Transition series from the Energy and National Security Program and will cover the basic theory behind capacity markets, discuss the pathways different jurisdictions have pursued, as well as the challenges perceived by states and market participants.

House Resources will Look at Ivanpah, Other BLM Projects – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will convene an oversight hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on the status of Ivanpah and other Federal Loan-Guaranteed Solar Energy Projects on BLM management lands.

USEA to Host Alberta Energy Official – On Thursday at 11:00 a.m., US Energy Association will host a forum featuring a discussion about the Alberta Energy Regulator.  The AER operates within the province of Alberta, Canada, and is the single provincial regulator for oil, natural gas, oil sands, and coal development within Alberta.  The AER ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans.  Kirk Bailey, executive vice president of the Operations Division at AER, will speak to the AER’s transformation, highlighting critical initiatives under its purview.

ASE Forum to Look at Grid Modernization – The Alliance to Save Energy is hosting a Congressional Briefing on Thursday at Noon in the Capitol Visitors Center on the role of energy efficiency in a modernizing energy system.  The term ‘grid edge’ refers to the hardware, software and business innovations that are increasingly enabling smart, connected infrastructure to be installed at the ‘edge’ of the power grid. Depending on who you talk to, grid edge could either be the future of a modern and efficient energy system or fizzle out like so many other ambitious concepts.

USEA to Look at CCS Projects – Also on Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum on financing Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) demonstration projects.  Over two decades, more than a dozen other CCS demonstration projects came on-line.  However, there were many more projects that were announced that never came to fruition. By studying both the successful and unsuccessful projects, one can discern patterns and learn valuable lessons that can be applied to future efforts.  This presentation summarizes a study that analyzes the financing of large-scale CCS demonstration projects and reports the lessons learned.  Speaker will be MIT’s Howard Herzog.

Forum to Discuss Panama Canal Shipping Issues – The National Capital Area Chapter of the United States Association for Energy Economics will hold its next installment of its monthly lunch series on Friday at Noon in Carmines.  The forum will feature Basil Karatzas, CEO of Karatzas Maritime Advisors who will focus on the implications on energy shipping economics, including the significant effect on US LNG and petroleum shipments to Asia following the historic completion of the Panama Canal expansion and official unveiling last weekend.  Basil attended the official ceremony and recently spoke on the impact of the expansion on shipping economics at a conference in Panama.
FUTURE EVENTS

Education, Energy Conference Set – The 2016 Energy Conference for Educators will be held Sunday, July 17 to Thursday, July 21st at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.  The event brings together educators that are passionate about bringing energy education to their classrooms. In five interactive days in Washington, D.C., the conference provides teachers with the most up-to-date information on all aspects of energy including the science of energy, sources of energy, transportation, electricity, efficiency and environmental and economic impacts.  Participants receive the training and materials to implement innovative hands-on energy units in their classrooms, multi-disciplinary teams, and after-school programs. They also receive the materials, training and support to conduct in-services in their areas to introduce the NEED program to others. NEED leaders at the conference help participants develop specialized units that meet state standards and can be utilized with students of all learning styles.

Republican Convention – Cleveland will host the Republican Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena July 18-21st.  The Republican National Committee (RNC), the convention will host approximately 2,470 delegates and 2,302 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories.

WaPo to Host Faison Energy Conversation – The Washington Post will host an Energy Conversation with ClearPath Founder Jay Faison on Tuesday July 19th at the their GOP convention HQ in Cleveland.

Forum to Look at Bioenergy – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will host a forum on Tuesday July 19th at 1:30 p.m. in 1300 Longworth assessing the ability of the United States to sustainably produce 1 billion tons of renewable non-food biomass every year. This could potentially displace more than 30 percent of the country’s petroleum consumption. The briefing will focus on key findings from volume 1 of the 2016 Billion-Ton Update, which examines the technical feasibility of a billion-ton annual biomass supply chain by 2040. The 2016 report, to be released at the Bioenergy 2016 conference in mid-July, builds and expands on previous Billion-Ton studies, released in 2005 and 2011 by the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO).  Speakers for this forum DOE’s Alison Goss Eng, USDA Bioenergy Chief Scientist Valerie Reed and USDA Energy Policy Director Harry Baumes.

Pioneer CEO to Discuss Industry at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting Scott Sheffield, Chairman and CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources, on Tuesday July 19th at 1:30 p.m. to discuss developments in the U.S. onshore oil and gas industry. Mr. Sheffield has held the position of CEO for Pioneer Natural Resources since August 1997 and assumed the position of chairman of the board in August 1999. In this position Sheffield heads one of the leading producers of unconventional oil and gas in the United States. Sheffield will share his views on recent market developments and regulatory changes in the oil and gas landscape, as well as Pioneer’s strategy for addressing the challenges and opportunities facing the industry today and in the future.

Faison, Cramer Headline POLITICO RNC Energy Forum – POLITICO will host an energy caucus live on Wednesday July 20 at 12:45 in its Hub in Cleveland.  The forum will be a deep dive discussion, featuring a variety of perspectives, about the energy policy issues facing the next president and how the candidates are resonating in battleground states.  Featured speakers will; include Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), ClearPath’s Jay Faison and Jai Chabria of Mercury, along with a few others.

Webinar to explore financing climate resilience – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) hosts a webinar, Thursday, July 21st at Noon looking at financing climate resilience. Extreme weather events and disasters are already impacting our infrastructure. The need to update infrastructure provides an opportunity to build in climate resilience. This webinar will explore options for financing resilience and will feature an interactive discussion with experts in the field about opportunities and potential challenges. Speakers will include HUD’s Bruce Ciallella, expert Shalini Vajjhala, C2ES expert Katy Maher and Fatima Maria Ahmad.  You can register here.

USEA to Host Duke Energy Exec on Advanced Fossil Fuels – On Thursday July 21st at 2:00 p.m., USEA will host a forum on advanced fossil fuels.  Neil Kern of Duke Energy will review some of the factors impacting today’s utility business models and the resulting new demands being placed on central generation plants. As renewable energy deployment increases and movement towards lower carbon footprints continues, central station operating profiles are fundamentally changing. New technologies must be developed to maintain grid reliability and enable this transition. The presentation will discuss some of the advanced generation technologies, including supercritical CO2 and CCUS, being developed to address these new challenges while identifying their benefits, research gaps, and what  needs to be done to encourage adoption by industry.

Democratic Convention – A week later, the Democrats will head to Philadelphia for the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 25th – 28th.

DEM Convention Forum Set – The New Policy Institute and NDN will host a major event at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, on Tuesday, July 26th looking ahead at the future of America and American Politics.  This event will feature a dozen inspiring thought leaders who will offer their different perspectives on what is coming down the road for the US and our politics.  The event will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 204C, 200 Level Concourse, and run from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm If you would like to attend, please RSVP on our Eventbrite page today.  The event is free and open to the public.

Annual Enviro Superconference Set for Austin – The 28th annual Texas Environmental Superconference is set for August 4th and 5th at the Four Seasons in Austin, TX.  This year’s theme is Yogi Berra quotes and the conference is fittingly entitled “It’s like déjà vu all over again”; each topic has an appropriate quote assigned to it.   The event is co-sponsored by the State Bar of Texas Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, the Air & Waste Management Association – Southwest Section, the Water Environment Association of Texas, the Texas Association of Environmental Professionals, The Auditing Roundtable, and the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. Bracewell will be hosting an event on Thursday, August 4th during the superconference with cocktails, small bites and a live performance by Quiet Company.  Speakers will include Gary Jonesi of EPA’s Enforcement office and Bryan Shaw of TCEQ.  See more on the event here.

Power-Gen Forum Set for Columbus – Regardless of the Democratic Platform challenge of natgas, Pennwell will host Mark McCullough, Executive Vice President, American Electric Power to discuss the growing role in natural gas in power generation at the upcoming GenForum scheduled August 22nd in Columbus, Ohio. The half-day event is connected with PennWell’s POWER-GEN/Natural Gas.

 

Energy Update: Week of January 12

Friends,

 

Now that we have survived our first “storm” of the year, I feel like we can say that Washington is truly much more dysfunctional when trying to travel in snow than when legislating.  That may tell you how bad it was last Tuesday with only two inches of snow hitting during morning rush hour…   Three days later and numerous school closings, then delays and we are back on track.  Ughh!

 

Hope everyone is ready for the big College Football National Championship tonight.   #2 Oregon takes on #4 Ohio State from Dallas.   While I don’t completely like or accept the playoff format (I think it needs to be expanded), it is always exciting when everything is on the line.  And Hollywood was one its game last night as well with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey scoring big again while hosting the Golden Globes.  They opened with a satirical punch into Hollywood’s face and rolled on from there.  Big winners were Birdman, Fargo, Transparent, Boyhood (Richard Linklater’s great movie that followed actors over 13 years) and Showtimes’s The Affair.  Kevin Spacey, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael  Keaton, Patricia Arquette and Amy Adams were among the individual winners.

 

While college football and Hollywood are ready for prime time, it seems everything is on the line for Keystone XL this week as well.  While you know I don’t really like to buy into the hype over Keystone, it really does seem to be a big week for the issue following last week’s House action on Legislation and the Nebraska Supreme Court decision.  The week’s Senate action begins the true test for the new Republican Senate’s commitment to pursue regular order.  It seems like both sides are agreeing that it is just time for a decision from the President.

 

Also today, the North American International Auto Show opens in the Motor City and one of the big items out of Detroit is the new Chevy Volt, which is expected to increase battery duration by almost 30% to 50 miles, as well as improving the interior to seat five (although I kind of like the backseat counsel divider that prevents the “he/she’s on my side” fight).  While that added battery strength is great, I will tell you that I can already get 50 miles on a charge if isn’t so cold.  The cold weather is killing me.   Apparently, they are also introducing the Bolt for 2017, which will be a $30,000 all-electric vehicle which would be capable of driving 200 miles on a single charge.

 

Finally, our friends at the energy efficiency business group, Advanced Energy Economy, announced that four executives have joined its board of directors to support their efforts to spur the growth of secure, clean, affordable energy in the United States. The new directors are GE ecomagination Global Executive Director Deb Frodl; Prasanna Venkatesan, Americas President/CEO of Landis+Gyr; Kevin Self, VP Strategy & Corporate Development at Johnson Controls; and Howard Wenger of SunPower.  AEE’s Monique Hanis can help you if you have questions (202-391-0884)

 

Thanks for the all the feedback on the top five issues.  Today we move in to Part II on the Top 15 for ’15.  If you missed PART I of the Top 15 issues, it is below.

 

On to Part II of the 15 for ‘15…

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

Top 15 Issues for ’15  ( #6-10)

 

Last week, we shared our top 5 issues of 15 for 2015.  As you know, each year for the first update of the year, we highlight a number of important issues for you to put on your agenda for the year.  This year, we are spreading the cheer over the first three updates doing five at a time.  Here is PART II (Issues 6-10).  If you missed PART I of the Top 15 issues, it is below:

 

6) UN Climate: We’ll Always Have Paris – Among the biggest news we will face in the environmental space this year surrounds the December UN Climate meetings in Paris.  There are always pivotal meetings that are turning points in the UN discussion and it seems that Paris will be one of those meetings.   Already the administration is laying groundwork for negotiations with its power plant rules and individual clean energy and emissions agreements with China.  After initial resistance, look for India to settle on a similar “deal” with the US this Spring.  Another test for the Administration’s position will be regarding the funding requests for the $3 billion UN’s Green Climate Fund. While Congress has already hit the funding in a budget rider before it was even a line item, it will be another true test given the most of the developing world is looking to be “Shown the Money” before agreeing to anything.  Look for the climate hype to really pick up the pace this summer with a grand crescendo to the December meetings.

 

7) Changes to RFS Coming? – Around Thanksgiving, EPA completely dropped the ball on its 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard proposal.  The original law establishing the RFS set in place an increasing level of use for ethanol expressed in terms of actual volume numbers.  As time has gone by, however, the actual total gasoline fuel pool has declined due to more efficient autos, more mass transit, and even electric cars.  As a result, the volume number – if EPA fails to adjust it downward – will exceed 10% by volume of gasoline.  But above that level, autos have significant performance issues.  The ethanol folks want the continued higher growth; fuel makers and consumers are queasy about the higher numbers.  There is little environmental case for higher ethanol use any more.  Indeed, major enviro groups like EWG have produced studies showing the higher levels are actually worse for carbon emissions when the ethanol lifecycle is taken into account.  Last year’s morass also featured the added complication of a competitive Iowa Senate race.  There was little doubt among experts that the holdup in finalizing the reduced ethanol numbers were in part to assist IA Dem Senate Candidate Bruce Braley in arguing that he was keeping ethanol criticism at bay.  Obviously that gambit didn’t work as Republican Joni Ernst swept to victory.  So now, industries have been left with delay, market confusion, questionable legality, and just appearance of incompetence.  It is likely the RFS won’t be repealed, but a wholesale revision is closer to a reality that ever.  Now, Congress will be expected to once again roll up its sleeves on a bipartisan basis and amend the law to a more functioning workable approach.

 

8) Nuclear Over the Top – With Vermont Yankee closing down and Southern’s Vogtle springing to new life, the nuclear industry is definitely in a state of flux.  The brightest shining light continues to be Southern’s Vogtle Plant, which is fighting through the challenges, some increased costs, but keeps hitting key construction milestones.  This year the project crosses the point where we know it will happen.  Keep a close eye on Georgia, especially now that several older coal plants are also timelined to close in a few years, which makes Vogtle that much more important.  Southern has an ongoing photo timeline of activity that you can see here.

 

9) Crude Oil Exporting New Policy– With Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski speaking out regularly and strongly on the need to move crude oil export legislation, the issue is certain to get more serious investigation this year with Republicans in Congress of both Houses.   The coming year promises more studies, hearings, and proposals to change the regulations and legislation limiting the export of U.S. crude oil.  And, all discussions of crude exports are controversial because they implicate producers, refiners, consumers, and environmentalists.  With new market pressures calling into question a regulatory and legislative regime that was created in the 1970s, any action taken by legislators or the Department of Commerce can be easily misinterpreted .    My colleague Josh Zive is well-versed on the law and on the arguments surrounding the crude export debate and is always ready to help to folks wade through the complexities, but look for this issue to remain in the forefront.

 

10) SCOTUS Looking at Mercury Cost in Spring – In Spring, the Supreme Court of the US will hear arguments challenging EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. The rule is one of a number of key administration environmental regulations that have raised the hackles of many utilities and coal companies that claim they are being singled out.  Remember that compliance with MATS is required by April 2015, even though some plants can receive one-year extensions from state air regulators based on reliability needs.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA air office head who has lots of experience with this rule, noted that the Court seems troubled that EPA refused to consider that cost of the regulation when it made a formal determination that it was “appropriate” to regulate hazardous air pollutants from power plants under the Clean Air Act.  This is the sole issue that the justices will consider, but a ruling against EPA could invalidate MATS in its entirety.  Challenger briefs are due next week from industry groups and State AGs like Michigan’s Bill Schuette who have lead the charge against the mercury rule.  Holmstead is always ready and happy to discuss. A decision from the Supreme Court on the MATS rule is likely by the end of the Court’s term, in late June or early July 2015. Given the timing, it is possible the Court could stay implementation of the rule until a decision is reached.

 

Next week:

 

11) Tax Reform Finally?

12) Offshore Wire in Deepwater

13) DOE Rules A Plenty

14) LNG/Coal Exports

15) Transportation Bill/Oil Trains

 

Last Week’s TOP FIVE

 

1) Republicans in Control – In 2014, Republicans won big victories in the Midterm Elections, winning key gubernatorial and congressional races in what many are viewing as a “wave election.”   My colleague Scott Segal said in a video that several changes are anticipated in the new Congress, with both chambers set for Republican control.  He adds key factors include more oversight of key Administration initiatives, notably in energy, the environment, and immigration; a return to a more traditional appropriations process; and the prospects for negotiations between the White House and Congress on key policy initiatives.  Energy issues will be an important part of the in the 114th Congress, according to Segal. With Sen. Murkowski as Senate Energy chair and Sen. Inhofe as Senate Environment chair, both Committees will undoubtedly step up their oversight of EPA, with a particular focus on the President’s “Clean Power Plan.” Murkowski is a strong advocate of oil and natural gas development on federal lands, will work aggressively on reliability issues.

2) GHGs, Clean Power Plan – This epic battle began in full force in 2014.  So much to say…but in 2015, this battle will hit it high point as the Administration tries to jump through the legal and procedural morass to finalize the regulations for both new and existing power plants.  Most experts continue to say the challenges will be much more difficult, more costly and legally questionable.   They also expect the timelines to slip even more than they did this year, which turned out to be an especially tough political year for the President and Democrats.  A first test may be seen in in January when the Congress moves Keystone legislation, looking at what legislative amendments and/or riders may be advanced to curtail the scope and speed of the Clean Power Plan.  Points of focus for States and Republican legislators include: the interim targets for emissions reductions states must meet by 2020, the impact the Clean Power Plan is likely to have on electrical reliability, and the enforceability of the Clean Power Plan in light of widespread opposition from numerous governors.

 

3) Falling Oil, Gas Price Impacts – The most amazing change we’ve seen in 2014 was the rapid fall of the crude price toward the end of the year, and the requisite fall of the gasoline price.  While I haven’t put gas in my Volt for almost two months, my wife’s SUV has welcomed the change, saving us $30 a fill up, and the diesel price for our Jetta is also sunk to $2.70  That cost drop has had a positive impact for consumers, but it has hurt production, especially offshore drillers who have been hit not only by the price drop but by a long-term demand slide.  The implications for 2015 will be as dramatic, both from a domestic and foreign policy perspective.  Here at home, the boom has brought us closer to energy independence than we have ever been since the 1970s.  From an international perspective, our domestic boom and the international price drop has put significant pressure on many oil-producing countries like Iran, Venezuela, Russia and OPEC nations.

 

4) Ozone 2015 – One of the biggest political and policy fights of 2015 reared its head the day before Thanksgiving: the Ozone/NAAQS fight.  While the low end of the range in the proposed rule (65ppb) is very troubling for industry and states, as low as background levels of ozone in many parts of the country and pushing as much as 94% of the nation out of attainment, EPA is also taking comment on 60ppb, which would be devastating for manufacturing, oil and gas production and agriculture across the country.  The approach seems to be part of EPA’s typical proposing an unreasonable standard; take comment on a more unreasonable one; and claim the government is reasonable by comparison.  But the Administration only has so much political capital at its disposal and it has made clear that controlling greenhouse gases is its legacy issue.  It is unclear that the Administration has the bandwidth to sustain both rules.  There is no doubt that many in Congress and the states will demand that the proposed ozone NAAQS be placed on a more realistic course.  One thing to keep in mind with Ozone/NAAQS: Oil and gas production has been one of the only bright spots in the jobless recovery, and the range proposed for ozone may impose real, practical limitations on that production.  The expense associated with the rule could reverse what economic gains we have seen recently.

 

5) Keystone – Is it finally time?  Probably yes given the new makeup of Congress and the fact that is it one the agenda in the first week.  Many question why this has become such a flash point for some environmental activists and they will turn all their focus to lobbying the Administration to stop the pipeline and veto any legislation.  Last year, I expected the President to eventually accept the pipeline, but a year later and with the current Congressional change, now I’m not so sure.  He probably gets more political mileage by fighting the bipartisan Congressional effort (although somewhat less bipartisan that in the last Congress).  No matter the decision, it is vital to remember implementing the new GHG rules, will have a much more dramatic impact on the environment and the economy.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

 

Detroit Auto Show to Roll Out New Vehicles – The 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will open for Press Preview today and tomorrow at Cobo Center in Detroit.  Now in its 27th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.  On January  16th, rock legend Steve Miller Band will perform at the largest single night fundraiser in the world: the North American International Auto Show’s Charity Preview.

 

Public Hearings on Exelon-Pepco Merger Held in DC, MD – More hearings on the Exelon-Pepco Merger will be held tonight at 6:00 pm in the SW Library Community Room and tomorrow in Maryland.  The DC Public Service Commission is attempting to determine if the proposed Pepco Holding, Inc. and Exelon Corporation merger, transaction is in the public interest.  Tomorrow at PG Community College in Largo and at the Montgomery County Council Office Building Auditorium, the Maryland PSC will hold community hearings to receive comments from the public to determine if the proposed Pepco Holding, Inc. and Exelon Corporation merger, transaction is in the public interest.

 

Military Mobile Power Summit to Look at Energy, Power – Tomorrow and Wednesday at Alexandria’s Mary Gates Learning Center, DSI will hold its Military Mobile Power Summit.  The Summit is a senior level, educational “Town Hall” forum that will bring together selected technology, engineering, and requirements offices, along with thought leaders to key policy-makers across military and civilian offices in a forum for the discussion of current and future energy and power initiatives.  This year, the event will focus on enhancing military capability through effective and efficient operational energy.

 

HUD Sect Castro to Address Press Club – Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro will speak at a National Press Club news conference at noon tomorrow.  Castro will address the state of housing and HUD’s plans for the coming year.  Castro, a former mayor of San Antonio, is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. He delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and was the first Hispanic ever to give the keynote speech at a national political convention.

 

Expert to Address Cuba’s Energy Revolution – On Wednesday at 12:00 p.m., the Washington Office on Latin America will hold a forum that will focus on Cuba’s steps to transform its energy system, climate change adaptation measures, and what it takes for a culture to minimize energy consumption.  In 2005, in response to the loss of a dependable source of cheap oil, Cuba began a national campaign dubbed the “Energy Revolution” to revamp the country’s energy system through a five-part strategy. Among other measures, the government began to prioritize the improvement of energy efficiency in homes and businesses and the development of renewable energy sources. Now, nearly 10 years later, Cuba is recognized worldwide for its emphasis on sustainable and ecologically friendly development practices. What has Cuba learned in those 10 years, and what are its recommendations for other states?  Energy educator and author Mario Alberto Arrastía Avila was responsible for the energy educational campaign that encouraged Cubans to voluntarily choose the energy-efficiency measures of the 2005 Cuban Energy Revolution. Dr. Arrastía, who is touring the United States with Community Solutions, will speak.

 

CP Chair To Discuss Oil, Gas – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Ryan Lance, Chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips, to discuss the new North American oil and natural gas resource abundance and its U.S. energy policy implications. Burgeoning tight oil and shale gas development in the United States, oil sands development in Canada and underexplored conventional resources in Mexico combine to make North America one of the most dynamic oil and gas development plays in the world. The ability to continue developing these vast resources and benefiting from the resulting job creation and economic stimulation represents great opportunity, while also posing non-trivial challenges, particularly in the face of new price realities and impending surpluses. Mr. Lance will discuss these and other key issues. Frank Verrastro, Senior Vice President and James R. Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics at CSIS, will moderate.

 

Australian Leader to Speak at CSIS – The CSIS Pacific Partners Initiative and the Australian National University will hold the Banyan Tree Leadership Forum on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. featuring a speech by The Hon. Wayne Swan, former Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. He will discuss the need to promote global economic growth and tackle income inequality, and argue that “if we don’t grow together we will grow apart.”  Swan was Treasurer of Australia from December 2007 and deputy prime minister from June 2010 until June 2013.  During his time in Parliament, Swan was involved with reform of the tax and transfer payments system, labor market participation, climate change, and ageing and population policy.

 

Former Mexican Pres to Keynote World Bank Transportation Conference – On Thursday and Friday, the World Bank will hold its annual Transforming Transportation conference, co-hosted by EMBARQ, part of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, and the World Bank.  The event convenes leading transport and urban development experts from national and local governments, multilateral development banks, foundations, civil society, research institutions, and businesses from around the world. At Transforming Transportation, they share the latest experiences, information, and best practices around sustainable transport.  This year’s event will focus on “Smart Cities for Shared Prosperity,” and will examine how smart, connected urban mobility can improve quality of life in cities. Sessions will address how the upcoming United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will impact urban transport, with an emphasis on data and technology, governance, and international financial flows.  The Keynote Speaker will be former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, current Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.  See a full list of additional speakers and updated agenda at www.transformingtransportation.org.

 

USEA Forum to Look at Smart Grid Techs – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., USEA will hold a forum on advanced smart grids that feature Distribution System Operators. DSOs are key players in the energy transition and thanks to Advanced Smart Grids they will be able to better take advantage from existing distribution networks.  Energy transition is underway in many regions of the world. This a real challenge for electric systems and a paradigm shift for existing distribution networks. With the help of “advanced” smart technologies, DSOs will have a central role in the integration of renewable generation, electric and hybrid vehicles, and demand response programs. Smart Grids are a mean for DSOs to ensure the quality and security of power supply.  Marc Boillot, Senior Vice President for Regional Actions, Électricité de France (EDF) will speak on a singular approach based on practical experience from DSOs which will complement the generally academic focus of previous approaches. It is systematically illustrated with ongoing experimentations conducted worldwide.

 

IIHS President Adrian Lund to Look at Vehicle Safety – On Thursday, WAPA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) will hold a luncheon to discuss “Vehicle Safety Improvements and What’s Ahead.”  The Institute’s president, Adrian Lund, will be sharing research on how better vehicle crashworthiness is saving lives and how technology – both new and old – can improve safety in the future.

 

Forum to Feature UN Environment Program, Climate Change – On Thursday at 12:00 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute and the DC Bar will host Patricia Beneke, Director of UNEP’s Regional Office of North America, to discuss UNEP’s work on climate change. As time allows, Beneke will also address UNEP’s work to support governments in establishing, implementing and strengthening the necessary institutions, laws and policies to achieve sustainable development.  UNEP is the leading environmental authority in the United Nations system. Created in 1972, UNEP uses its expertise to strengthen environmental standards and practices while helping implement environmental obligations at the country, regional and global level.

 

DOE Webcast on Hurricane Metocean Environment – On Thursday at 3:00 p.m., the Energy Department will hold a live webcast on design conditions for the Hurricane Metocean Environment.  Joel Cline from the Energy Department will moderate speakers including NOAA’s Mark Powell, Peter Vickery of Applied Research Associates and George Hagerman of Virginia Tech.

 

Shout Out For Solar Day Set – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is sponsoring the 2nd annual National “Shout Out For Solar” Day on Friday, taking place on Facebook, Twitter and other social media venues.  Click here to download a handy factsheet on Shout Out For Solar Day.

 

GWU Forum to Look at Climate Mitigation in DC Metro – The George Washington University will host a seminar on Friday at 3:00 p.m. in the SMPA building to discuss adaptation, resilience and mitigation on climate issues. The Dutch city of Rotterdam is responding to the challenges of climate change by introducing innovative urban solutions to cope with flooding, sea-level rise and other threats, while reducing green-house gas emissions from the largest port operation in Europe and the growing coastal city. The Municipality of Rotterdam is leading this process of change, with the support of Dutch national climate programs and within the framework of European climate policies.  Metropolitan Washington, may face similar climate vulnerability as the region grows. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments is developing integrated strategies to address such issues in coordination with the responsible State and Local Governments, which are already implementing related programs.  Presenters will include Rotterdam Deputy Mayor Pex Langenberg and urban planning director Paula Verhoeven.  MWCOG’s Director of Environmental Programs Stephen Walz will also speak.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

 

SOTU Set – President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, January 20th.

 

USEA State of the Energy Industry Forum Set – On Wednesday January 21st at the National Press Club, USEA holds its 11th Annual State of the Energy Industry Forum.  The heads of the Five families…I mean all the DC energy trade associations will speak starting with AGA’s Dave McCurdy just after noon.  The full agenda and batter order is listed here.

 

DC Policy Auto Show Set – The 2015 Washington Auto Show Public Policy Days are set for Wednesday, January 21st in the Cannon House Office Building and Thursday, January 22nd at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.    The annual Sneak Peek Reception, the highly anticipated social and networking event held before Washington’s largest public show opens to attendees, offers automotive industry thought leaders and decision maker’s exclusive early access to the most impressive new models and technological innovations on display at the 2015 Washington Auto Show.  Set for Thursday, January 22, from 5-8 p.m. the Sneak Peek Reception marks the finale of the 2015 Public Policy days, which brings together executives and legislators who influence the automotive sector to address the key issues affecting the industry, its employees and customers, including energy conservation, the environment, and consumer safety technologies.  The Show opens on January 23rd and runs through February 1st.

 

NERC Expert to Discuss EPA Rules, Retirements, Reliability – On Thursday, January 22nd at the National Press Club, ICF International will hold its regular Energy and Environment Breakfast.  This event will feature the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) Tom Burgess, one of its top energy experts.  Burgess will provide an overview of NERC’s preliminary review and potential areas of reliability concern related to the newest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and the potential impacts to reliability. In November 2014, NERC’s preliminary review of the current draft assumptions and timelines called attention to potential reliability impacts resulting from implementation of CPP’s rule. Together with the Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule promulgated in late 2011, some say that 100 GW or more could decide to retire earlier based on these two regulations.

 

USEA to Look at CCS Collaboration Project – On Thursday, January 22nd at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Association will hold a forum on CCS collaboration projects.  The CCP is a partnership of several oil and gas companies working together to advance CCS technologies since 2000. The third phase of work, which operated between 2009-2014, helped deliver 3 significant demonstration projects, amongst numerous other component achievements. The fourth phase of work is planning to make further advances in CCS technology deployment and knowledge for the oil and gas industry. This presentation will summarize our achievements and seek input on our forward plans.  The Speaker will be Nigel Jenvey, Americas Resource & Projects Manager at BP Group Technology.

 

Forum to Revisit Lima Climate Negotiations – On Thursday, January 22nd at 1:00 p.m., a panel of experts will address the current status of international climate negotiations and recap the developments at the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) in Lima.  Also on the agenda will be prospects for a future treaty in Paris in 2015, and what it all means for businesses and governments. Our speakers will provide a balanced perspective from different countries (i.e., the US and China/developing nations), governments, NGOs, and the private sector. Speakers will include the State Department’s lead climate change lawyer for more than 20 years Sue Biniaz, former Chinese climate negotiator and former UNFCCC Secretariat lawyer Xueman Wang of the World Bank, EDF’s Annie Petsonk  and Norine Kennedy of the US Council for International Business.

 

USDA, Energy Host Webinar on Solar Program – The Energy Department and U.S. Department of Agriculture will present a live webinar on Thursday, January 22nd at 3:00 p.m. offering an overview of its solar program.  Solar experts will discuss the fundamentals of developing a solar power program in your community. This webinar will introduce a range of policy and program options that have been successfully field tested in cities and counties around the country, and highlight lessons learned and best practices.

 

SEJ, Enviro Reporters Look Ahead to Year in Environment, Energy – On Friday, January 23rd at 3:00 p.m., BNA, the Wilson Center and our friends at Society of Environmental Journalists will hold a forum looking at the year ahead in environment and energy. With the GOP now in control of Congress, President Obama forging ahead with his climate policies, environmental and energy issues will be grabbing lots of news headlines in 2015. The event is the 3rd annual forum third annual “Year Ahead in Environment and Energy” event, where leading reporters and editors will discuss the critical issues that will shape 2015. Larry Pearl, director of environmental news for Bloomberg BNA, will present Bloomberg’s Environmental Outlook 2015, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Daily Climate Editor Douglas Fischer.  A reception sponsored by Bloomberg BNA, Environmental Law Institute, Resource Media, Earthjustice, and the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute and Science and Technology Innovation Program will follow.  Speakers include our friends Neela Banerjee of InsideClimate (former LA Times), SEJ President and KOMO-TV Investigative Reporter Jeff Burnside, Lisa Friedman of ClimateWire, WSJ’s Amy Harder, Dallas Morning News Environmental Writer Randy Loftis and several others.

 

RFF Seminar to look at Climate, Food Supply – Resources for the Future will hold a seminar on Wednesday, January 28th at 12:45 on how climate change will affect our global food supply.  According to recent studies, climate change could reduce agricultural productivity, decreasing global food supplies and harming households that rely on crops, livestock, and fisheries for income. What types of policies can be developed today to help protect against the worst of these impacts? At this RFF seminar, experts will examine recent research on this important topic and discuss how the United States and other countries are addressing the challenge.

 

FCC Chair to Address NARUC Winter Meetings – The 2015 NARUC Winter Committee Meetings will be held on February 15-18th at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  The Winter Meetings is the first substantive utility-regulatory conference of the year. Discussions will focus on the new Congress’ outlook for energy and telecommunications priorities.  Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the  Federal Communications Commission will be among the keynote speakers.

 

Geothermal Event Set for February – The Geothermal Energy Association’s State of the Geothermal Energy Industry Briefing will be held on Tuesday, February 24th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.

 

 

Energy Update Week of August 4

Friends,

We finally made it to August.  Time to take a breath.  I will say that traffic in DC was feeling the major effects of August recess – even with the African Leaders Summit in town.  Coming into DC from Annapolis at normal peak rush hour this morning was a breeze.  Too bad it’s not like this all the time…On the home front, with the field hockey season imminent, my girls are training hard.  Adam on the other hand also seems to be only interested in the girls’ field hockey teams as well…I guess that is 14 for you.  Hannah has made recruiting trips to Maine (Bowdoin, Bates, Colby) and Connecticut (Wesleyan, ConnColl, Trinity, Quinnipiac), and she is now headed west to Colorado College for a visit and altitude training (and maybe a little work on the NatGas ballot initiatives out there which now may be up in the air).

I also can’t believe that it is already time for football with yesterday’s Hall of Fame game – and closer to home – the start of the high school/college season.  I have my new rule books out for both football and ice hockey getting ready for the season.  It was nice to see former NY Giant/current TV Star Michael Strahan inducted into Canton alongside Buffalo WR Andre Reed, Walter Jones, linebacker Derrick Brooks, defensive back Aeneas Williams, defensive end Claude Humphrey and Oakland Raider legend Ray Guy, who became the first full-time punter to be selected.  This week, we’ll also get to enjoy the PGA at Valhalla in Louisville, KY (boy, it might be nice to know some big names in Louisville, like a former member of Congress, to maybe get some tickets…) and the start of tennis’ US Open in NYC in the next couple weeks running up to September.

In case you missed the last crazy week because you were planning your August break, the EPA public meetings were very interesting.  Both rule opponents and advocates were using lots of rhetoric and “facts”. Our colleagues at ERCC covered all the hearings with Segal hitting Atlanta, Holmstead handling DC, Josh Zive manning the table in Denver and Chris Burk in Steel City (he was not arrested).  Holmstead also testified at the House Science Committee alongside former Obama DOE official Chuck McConnell who has been very critical of the GHG rules, the CCS provisions and the EPA collaborative process.  On substantive issues, the Highway Trust Fund WAS temporarily patched until next spring, but a deal on the border control issues remained elusive and very political.  I suspect we’ll being hearing a lot about immigration and border issues in August.  And you may have missed it late Friday when 12 states files a challenge over the EPA’s existing coal-fired power plants GHG rule.  NYT’s Coral Davenport reported on the issue over the weekend.

Speaking of the August agenda, what other things will likely be on the minds of voters while Congress is at home for the August District Work period.  Because 2014 is a mid-term election year, the campaigns will hit full stride in August, especially since many vulnerable Senate members will be painting the air waves early to remind voters how great they are.   We are sure the GHG rules will remain a high priority for both sides as they take their respective cases to the public.

FLASHBACK to 2010:  Remember the 2010’s Midterms and global warming legislation that was approved in the Democratic-led House and sitting in the Senate?   While approval was already a steep climb, the August recess and the opponents hard push in town halls and in member’s states/districts really cemented its failure in the Senate.   One suspects you see a similar push from industry, free-market and conservative groups, while advocates for the rule will likely be more prepared to respond this August.  Only time will tell which side will have the better of the debate or if it will matter at all.  One thing you may remember from 2010 is that it wasn’t a very good November from Democrats.  While there were many factors beyond climate legislation, some campaign experts are suggesting similar dynamics for this fall with the foreign policy challenges, healthcare arguments and immigration concerns (on top of the GHG rule issues).  Other items might include weather/drought/fire issues in the west and the newly emerging water/agricultural runoff  issues in the Midwest.

So that is what I’ll be watching as we head toward September.  Finally, with August in place, we won’t have a regular update over the next few weeks.  We will have updates as needed.  Without updates though, it is important to remember the big SEJ event in the first week of September in New Orleans.  It will be a great event, excellent policy/political discussions and good fun, of course centered around the big Bracewell reception on Thursday night.  I hope you’ll consider attending.

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

IN THE NEWS

Miss Power to Repower Plants, Sierra to Drop Challenges – Southern Company’s Mississippi Power is planning to repower, convert to natural gas, or retire several units at plants Watson, Sweatt and Greene County to most economically comply with new federal environmental standards and meet obligations under a settlement with the Sierra Club.  Mississippi Power will no longer use coal at Plant Watson, converting its two remaining coal-fired units to natural gas no later than April 16, 2015. The plant already has three units that operate on natural gas.  At Plant Sweatt, the company commits to retire two of the existing natural gas units, repower with more advanced technology or convert to an alternative non fossil-fuel source, no later than Dec. 31, 2018.  And at Plant Greene County, Mississippi Power will cease coal operations and convert two units to natural gas no later than April 16, 2016.  As a part of the settlement agreement, the Sierra Club agrees to dismiss and withdraw all pending legal and regulatory challenges against the Kemper project and Plant Daniel while also refraining from formally intervening in all existing and anticipated regulatory proceedings at the plants for three years.

12 States File Suit to Block EPA GHG Rules for Existing Power Plants – Already, a groups of Attorneys General have raised hackles about the EPA’s sue and settle approach for moving forward regulations.  Now, 12 states are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to declare illegal a settlement agreement in which EPA promised to issue its now-pending rule concerning existing coal-fired power plants.  Entered into in 2011, the settlement agreement committed EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.  The lawsuit contends that the agreement is illegal because coal-fired power plants already are regulated under a separate section of the Clean Air Act and the law expressly prohibits the double regulation of such plants.  The group of states are challenging the settlement agreement now that EPA has chosen to follow through with its illegal promise.  A ruling that EPA made an unlawful commitment could force EPA to abandon its currently pending rule. Other states include Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming.  NYT’s Coral Davenport reports.

Murray Says Budget Issues, Climate Connected – Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray held a hearing late last week and released a memo urging Senate colleagues to start talking about how climate change impacts the federal budget.   The memo reports on four key sectors that climate change will Impact national security, Infrastructure, disaster relief and agriculture.  Our friend Juliet Eilperin reports in The Washington Post. My colleague Scott Segal challenged Murray’s approach saying the new EPA rules will do little to impact climate change.  Segal added though there is no doubt that the proposed EPA rules will significantly raise the price of electricity in the United States.  Segal: “This will directly impact the cost of operating the military, which accounts for more that 93 percent of US government energy consumption and is the single largest consumer of energy in the United States.  Because energy consumed by active-duty military and civilian personnel is some 35 percent higher than per capita energy consumption of the general US population, raising energy costs can be expected to have a disproportionate impact on military spending.”

NAM Ozone Study Says Rule Will Be Most Expensive Ever – With much of the environmental world focused on the President’s Climate plan and GHG rules, it may be overshadowed a more difficult fight coming later this year or early next:  new Ozone rules that if the President follows an EPA committee recommendation, could be nearly the entire country out of compliance.  Now, a new study by NERA Economic Consulting for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) says that a more stringent ozone standard from the Obama Administration could reduce GDP by $270 billion per year and carry a compliance price tag of $2.2 trillion from 2017 to 2040.  Those economic impacts would increase energy costs dramatically and place millions of jobs at risk.  At this price, the NAM estimates that it would be the most expensive regulation the U.S. government has ever issued.  In total, the study finds that revising the ozone standard from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 60 ppb could: 1) Reduce U.S. GDP by $270 billion per year and $3.4 trillion from 2017 to 2040; 2) Result in 2.9 million fewer job equivalents per year on average through 2040; 3) Cost the average U.S. household $1,570 per year in the form of lost consumption; and 4) Increase natural gas and electricity costs for manufacturers and households across the country.

EPA Delays Renewable Rule – EPA is extending reporting deadlines for the 2013 compliance period under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program again.  The current deadline has already been extended to September 30 (one-month before the election), and the new move signals that the agency may be taking even longer than expected to finalize its 2014 RFS volume mandates.  The annual compliance reports and attest engagement reports for the 2013 RFS compliance period will not be due until 30 days and 90 days, respectively, following publication of the final rule establishing the 2014 renewable fuel percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel in the Federal Register.  Our friend Mark Drajem of Bloomberg reports some experts say the White House is looking to raise the requirements in part to boost the prospects of those on the ballot in November, including Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley, who is in a tight race for the Senate in Iowa.

Kemper CCS Project Hits Milestones – The Kemper County energy facility has made significant progress, successfully achieving two major testing milestones: the testing of the combined-cycle unit and pressure testing of the plant’s two gasifiers.  Testing of the combined-cycle unit included fueling it with natural gas to validate the unit’s ability to make electricity.  Pneumatic pressure testing is necessary before the Kemper gasifiers can be placed into service to ensure the safety of the equipment’s assembled parts, check for leaks and confirm the gasifiers can handle the air and gas pressure associated with startup. Weighing 6.5 million pounds each, the gasifiers are the core of the integrated gasification process, which will convert Mississippi-native lignite into synthesis gas (syngas) to make electricity. They are so large that they had to be manufactured in multiple sections, shipped to the site and then welded together.  Both gasifiers were tested successfully in May and June by SCS engineering and construction services, which has been instrumental in helping Kemper County reach its milestones. A combined-cycle unit is among the most efficient forms of generating electricity for large-scale power production.  The innovative clean-coal technology at Kemper County is designed to deliver clean, safe, reliable, affordable electricity to Mississippi Power customers. The 582-megawatt generating facility is scheduled to begin operation in 2015.  The project has received attention from industry groups, public officials and media outlets from the U.S. and around the world.

Survey Shows Growth in Gas Industry – A new Marcellus Shale Coalition survey says more skilled workers are being employed by natural gas operators in the Marcellus Shale that ever before.  This year, companies intend to add 2,000 more employees, of which the largest group will be in engineering and construction. The findings – based on 2013 data – were provided by a large majority of MSC member companies, representing nearly 95% of Pennsylvania’s shale production.  Key survey highlights include 1) 26.5% of new hires work in engineering and construction, 23% of new hires work in equipment operations, 15.2% in operations and maintenance,  8% in administration, 7% in land and 5% in environmental, health & safety; 2) 83% of new hires came from Marcellus Shale [Pa., Oh., W.Va., N.Y., Md.] states; 3) Positions most difficult to fill; 4) Workforce diversity; and 5) Recruitment methods and challenges, including educational and professional training needs.  According to the survey data, MSC member companies expect to hire more than 2,000 new employees in 2014. The survey also indicates that the majority of new hires are in three sub-sectors and are weighted more so in southwestern Pennsylvania: engineering and construction; midstream and pipeline; and operations and maintenance.

New PA Gas Plants to Be Built – IMG Midstream, funded primarily by our private equity friends at Bregal Energy, plans to build 12 small, 25-MW generating stations in northeastern Pennsylvania that will burn Marcellus Shale gas.  The company is planning two in Wyoming County, two in Susquehanna County and three in Bradford County.  Each facility will use five Jenbacher J624 engines, a GE product, according to applications filed with the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Air Quality. Each engine can produce about 4.4 Megawatts of electrical output.

ON THE SCHEDULE DURING RECESS

Africa Leaders Summit Set – President Obama, Members of Congress and other U.S. Government officials will welcome African heads of state and government leaders for the first-ever Africa Leaders Summit today through Wednesday.  This historic summit, the first of its kind, will bring leaders from across the African continent to the nation’s capital and further strengthen U.S. ties with one of the world’s most dynamic and fast-growing regions.  The theme of the summit is “Investing in the Next Generation.”  The Summit will advance the focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and elevate the ideas of young people.  At the same time, it will highlight the depth and breadth of the United States’ commitment to the African continent, advance our shared priorities and enable discussion of concrete ideas to deepen the partnership.  At its core, this Summit is about fostering stronger ties between the United States and Africa.

Forum to Look at Solar, Role in Energy – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Sol Systems CEO Yuri Horwitz, acting Team Lead for DOE’s SunShot Solar Energy Technologies Program Elaine Ulrich to discuss innovation and its effects on the adoption of solar energy. The session, part of the Energy Program’s Frontier Energy Series, will focus on recent technological developments in the sector as well as changes in the market and policy environments that may together determine its market potential in the coming years. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.   Solar energy is frequently lauded as a potential game changer in the energy landscape and with good reason: it is the fastest growing source of renewable electricity globally (albeit from a small base), and its average cost is quickly falling, with the cost per watt installed having declined over 17 percent in 2011 alone. Solar is now cost competitive without subsidy in a number of places throughout the world.  Yet challenges still remain. Obstacles in areas ranging from financing to installation to grid integration to cost all indicate solar energy’s persistent dependence on innovation to launch it to its prospective more prominent role in the energy landscape.

USEA to Look at Carbon Scrubbing – The United States Energy Association will hold a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. looking at technology options for scrubbing carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere.  The forum will feature a discussion of the technical and economic hurdles that need to be overcome,  Dr. Klaus Lackner will consider the policy implications of air capture in the current climate change debate. Capture of carbon dioxide from ambient air renders emissions from any source reversible and it defines the cost of unauthorized emissions.  Rather than dwelling on the possibility that air capture could motivate a delay in action, the presentation will focus on the ability of air capture to create negative emissions, which the recent IPCC report considers necessary.  Finally, Dr. Lackner will outline different pathways for development and implementation of air capture technologies.

DOE to Host Webinar on “National Energy Literacy” – Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m., the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy respectfully invites you to join a virtual town hall featuring ongoing national, local and new media efforts from across the country in utilizing the Department of Energy’s Energy Literacy Framework to address one of our nations’ biggest national challenges, “Energy Illiteracy. The purpose of the webinar is to share ongoing energy educational materials and literacy efforts from across the country and how to engage diverse learners in energy. The webinar will include rapid fire sessions to showcase energy literacy efforts and resources for teachers and STEM professionals.

ELI to Look at Peru Mining Regs – On Wednesday at Noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum on a recent decision by the government of Peru to ease environmental protections on mining and energy activities. A law passed earlier this month by the Peruvian Congress has raised key questions about environmental implications of the reforms, including within the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector. ASGM activities in Peru and globally raise a host of complex environmental and social challenges, and formalization of the sector is viewed as a critical step to addressing such challenges.   Monica Nuñez Salas with the Peruvian Agency for Assessment and Environmental Control and Hannah Stutzman with the Amazon Conservation Association will address 1) the implications of the new law for biodiversity and protected areas, 2) the effects of the law on the ASGM sector, including strategies to promote formalization and voluntary compliance with environmental measures and 3) the future of environmental institutions in Peru

SNL to Hold Webinar on Coal-Fired Generation Issues – Trade Media group SNL Financial will hold a webinar on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. focused on finding a path for coal in the current regulatory climate.  It’s no secret that coal has been under fire for some time. To say that the regulatory environment for coal-fired generation has become challenging over the past few years, would be a drastic understatement.  Starting with CSAPR and MATS, plus the EPA’s proposed new rules on carbon, coal has had a very hard time indeed. Add to that the recent, high-profile problems with coal ash and potential increases in regulation and it’s hard to imagine anyone that sees owning coal generation in a positive light.  The event will explore the issues surrounding this beleaguered fuel source and discuss how the future of coal-fired generation may unfold.  Panelists will include energy attorney Steve Farkas, TVA’s Joe Hoagland,  John Ward of the American Coal Ash Association and SNL Energy’s Steve Piper, who will moderate.

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

Forum to Discuss Utility Sector Report –Next Tuesday, August 12th at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on the US electricity industry and technological change.  Traditional electric utility operations are transforming to address rapid changes in market dynamics and technology. Factors from aging infrastructure, regulation and resiliency concerns to the natural gas revolution and growth in renewable energy are among the issues forcing market participants to adapt. The 2014 Black & Veatch Strategic Directions: Electric Report offers critical insight and analysis of these key issues and more as industry leaders seek pathways to greater growth and efficiency.  Speakers will include Black & Veatch Energy Business CEO Dean Oskvig and John Chevrette, President of Black & Veatch’s Management Consulting Business.

SEIA Webinar to Focus on CA ISO Energy Imbalance Market – Next Tuesday, August 12th at 4:00 p.m. EST, the Solar Energy Industry Assn will host a webinar on the California Independent System Operator (ISO) real-time market to include other balancing authorities in the West in its implementation of the Energy Imbalance Market.  EIM is the automated system that balances electricity supply and demand every five minutes by choosing the least-cost resource to meet the needs of the grid.  The webinar will provide an overview of the EIM, the current status of its implementation and a look to the future – including anticipated work following the October start date and an overview of the Transitional Committee which is an advisory body to the ISO Board on EIM issues.  Speakers will include Cal ISO’s Stacey Crowley, Mark Rothleder and Don Fuller.

CNG Station to Open in VA – Next Wednesday August 13th at 11:00 a.m., the Clean Energy Fuels will host a grand opening for a new Dulles Virginia public Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station in Sterling. This fast-fill public station will enable Northern Virginia area fleets and the local community to take advantage of America’s cleaner alternative fuel at a fraction of the cost of gasoline and diesel. Refreshments will be provided.

WCEE to Look at Gas Pipeline Project, Issues – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) continues its Brown-bag Luncheon Series on Monday August 18th at Noon looking at energy extraction and the environment with an in-depth look at the Camisea Gas Pipeline Project.  The event will feature  Elizabeth Brito, Lead Environment Specialist on the Camisea Project.  The Camisea Gas pipelines carry natural gas from the Camisea gas fields near the Urubamba River in central Peru, through the Andes, and across the Peruvian Amazon. The project was built through fragile environments that are also home to indigenous tribes. Nevertheless, the project was lauded in the April 26 issue of The Economist as a success story for how energy extraction projects can coexist with people and the environment. A portion of the Camisea project was developed with a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which set rigorous environmental safeguards for the project. This event will provide a closer look at the project from IDB’s perspective, including IDB’s role in ensuring that the environment and people are protected, the challenges, and key takeaways that other projects should consider and implement to limit social and environmental impacts.

FUTURE EVENTS AFTER RECESS

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

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

Giuliani, Segal Headline Shale Law Conference – The Institute for Energy Law and the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF) the 5th Law of Shale Plays Conference on September 4 – 5th in Pittsburgh at the Omni Hotel.  My colleagues Jason Hutt and Lowell Rothschild are among the speakers.  The event will also feature a keynote conversation with former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, hosted by PRG’s Scott Segal.  Other speakers include Cabot’s Kevin Cunningham, Baker Hughes’ Will Marsh and SW Energy’s Mark Boling.

Women Energy Leaders to Discussion Issues, Challenges – The WCEE Women in Leadership Committee will hold a forum on September 9th at Clyde’s Gallery Place at Noon to discuss women in Washington Leadership on energy issues.  Panelists will include Tasha Parker, Senior Vice President and Digital Energy Lead at Edelman; Liz Sidoti, Head of U.S. Communications at BP; Elizabeth Thompson, Vice President of US Climate & Political Affairs, and President at Environmental Defense Action Fund; and Heidi VanGenderen, Director of Public Engagement at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Richardson, Perino, Ridge to Headline Shale Insight Conference – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold SHALE INSIGHT 2014 on September 23 – 25 in Pittsburgh focusing on shale development, featuring some of the most prominent industry and government leaders. The event will feature three days of pre-conference workshops, technical and public affairs insight sessions, major keynote addresses, and a dynamic exhibit hall featuring all the major shale players.  Speakers will include former Energy Secretary and NM Governor Bill Richardson, former PA Gov and first Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former White House Press Secretary and Fox News Personality Dana Perino, XTO President Randy Cleveland and many more.

Inglis to Headline  Midwest Energy Conference – The Midwest Energy Policy Conference will be held in St. Louis on September 30th and October 1st.  The event will address the 2014 environmental and energy rulings of the SCOTUS, the path forward following the EPA greenhouse gas 111(d) ruling and what makes successful state energy plan programs relevant and successful in several key focus areas (economic development, education, research, regulations, portfolio mix, biofuels, and more)  The Keynote speaker will be former SC Rep. Bob Inglis.

USEA Forum Set – The US Energy Assn will host its 7th annual Energy Supply Forum at the National Press Club on October 2nd.

Shale Water Expo Set – On October 14 and 15, Shale Water Expo 2014 will be held in Houston at the  Stafford Convention Centre.  The event is focused on shale play water management is the only national fluids-specific event for the oil and gas industry.  It will present timely, in-depth insight from industry leaders sharing their expertise on water management, logistics, sourcing, recycling, market forecasting and industry trends.

Energy Update Week of July 21

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Energy Update

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call if you have questions

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update Week of June 9

Friends,

After gorgeous weekend of amusement parks (my final 5th-grade trip to Hershey Park) and lacrosse (Beach Lax in OC, MD), I start today with the disappointment in Elmont, NY where California Chrome fell short to Tonalist in the third leg of the Triple Crown.  It was sad to hear Chrome’s owner make comments following the race that made him seem like sore losers.  It really ruins what was a fairy tale story.  Good matches at the French Open as well where Maria Sharapova took the women’s title on Saturday and Rafa Nadal won his record 9th French title, outlasting Novak Djokovic in four sets. (Not quite the five-set classic in last year’s semi, but still great)  The win ties Nadal for second on the major wins list with Pete Sampras at 14, only three behind Roger Federer.

This week, we continue the NHL and NBA finals after the LA Kings won two come-from-behind victories over the Rangers and the Heat and Bracewell-client San Antonio Spurs split at one game apiece.  Hockey tonight and Wednesday from Broadway and hoops tomorrow and Thursday from South Beach.  As well, Thursday starts the 114th U.S. Open, golf’s second major.  Please get your GHG media questions in prior to Thursday mid-morning.  Finally, the FIFA World Cup starts Thursday as well in Brazil regardless of reports of traffic woes, unfinished stadiums and major concerns about costs.   The US is in Pool G or the “Pool of Death” with tough opponents Germany, Portugal and Ghana (who defeated the US in 2010) and starts play next Monday.

This week in DC will seem much slower after last week’s parade of issues led by Monday’s GHG roll out, the GM recall report and the CSB’s Macondo report both Thursday.  On the docket in Congress, there could be some focus this week on the FERC nominations of Cheryl LeFleur and Norman Bay.  While there have been many back and forth discussions, seems like Senate Leader Harry Reid is once again undercutting any potential progress (because those type of heavy handing tactics worked last time).  Tomorrow, Senate Environment look at Superfund and House Approps marks up energy/water funding.  On Wednesday, former HUD Sect and current OMB nominee Shaun Donovan heads to Senate HSGA and Budget Committees for his confirmation hearing, while House Transportation look at the new “waters of the US” rule. (Remember, my colleague Lowell Rothschild, 202-828-5817, is the best expert on the topic)

Two other good events this week include a Hill forum on offshore wind featuring Sen. Tom Carper on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. sponsored by the U of Delaware’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind and a GHG EPA forum on Wednesday featuring our friends Mike Ball and Elizabeth Roberts.   More below.

Finally, in case you missed it (and you probably did), the White House snuck out a report late Friday linking public health and climate change despite their endangerment finding which says there is no link.  More below.  As well, my colleague Jeff Holmstead visited with Platts Energy Week’s Chris Newkumet for Sunday’s show.  Call with questions.

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

IN THE NEWS

White House Releases Public Health, Climate Link – Late Friday, the White House said climate change “threatens the health and well-being of Americans.  The report says climate change will increase ground-level ozone and particle pollution, which could worsen respiratory illnesses like asthma. It also makes the case that climate change will contribute to more extreme heat, increase instances of infectious disease, lead to higher pollen counts and raise the frequency of rainfall and flooding.

Sounds Familiar – We mentioned this last week, but interestingly, it was the White House itself that undercut this claim in its Endangerment Finding, which the whole regulatory edifice is built upon.  “To be clear, ambient concentrations of carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases, whether at current levels or at projected ambient levels under scenarios of high emissions growth over time, do not cause direct adverse health effects such as respiratory or toxic effects. All public health risks and impacts described here as a result of elevated atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases occur via climate change.”  That is Washington DC Political irony at its best.

Segal: Public Health/Climate Link is Uncertain – Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC), said the report purporting to link global warming to health effects is another attempt to defend its expensive carbon regulations for existing power plants.  That warming has adverse consequences is hardly controversial anymore; that the new EPA carbon rules will do anything to address those consequences is highly controversial.  The fact is that the new proposal will not address climate change in any meaningful way, and raising energy prices as the new EPA rules represents a serious threat to public health.  Segal added “unilateral US regulations will not reduce the threat of global warming, which is an international phenomenon.”  US carbon emissions have been stable or declined over the last decade. By contrast, Chinese emissions have increased over 170% while India’s emissions have increased over 90%. There is little evidence that our trade competitors will “follow our lead” on carbon regulation when the competitive advantage of their industries hang in the balance. Indeed, as manufacturing moves overseas in search of more optimal regulatory conditions, even more carbon will be released as less efficient factories churn out goods that must then be transported thousands of miles back to US customers. Our trading partners with measurably worse environmental records may be the real winners when the US goes it alone with unilateral carbon regulations.  For more, see the answers to Questions 4 and 5 of the ERCC report, as well as the recent report from American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

House Doctors Letter Predicted this Effort, Raised Concerns – Earlier this year, 11 House doctors already predicted the White House would attempt to make this link.  They wrote to the EPA Administrator in March 2014 asking her to take this significant health effects into account as she formulated the carbon rule.  So far, the Agency failed to do so.  The letter says by increasing energy costs, the proposed rule could actually make public health worse 1) by increasing the cost of medical care and treatment; and 2) by imposing real threats on human health by suppressing economic growth and the improved health it brings.

State Oil-Rail Report Raises Concerns about Deaths – In case you missed it on Friday as well, the State Department published a 300-page list of corrections to the Keystone Environmental Impact Statement.  On page one, State has used an updated incident analysis method to significantly increase its estimate of the human health impacts of failing to build the pipeline.   In the original EIS, State had estimated that failing to build Keystone would result in increased crude-by-rail traffic causing 6 more deaths and 49 more injuries annually.   State says the revised data results in an estimate of 28 additional fatalities and 189 injuries.  This may have effects outside of the Keystone debate, given the estimates of significantly more injuries and deaths from crude-by-rail v. pipelines.  The updated numbers appear to strengthen the case for approving Keystone (as well as other pipelines) by reinforcing the notion that rail is not as safe as carrying oil by pipeline.

WSJ Reid Influence Causing Rift at FERC – Today, our friend Amy Harder at the Wall Street Journal highlights the role Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been playing in shaping FERC to benefit his home state of Nevada.  Unfortunately, the efforts have undercut not only the agency, but also the process of finding a new member and potential Chair.  Already, Reid was publicly called out by Democratic Commissioner John Norris during the previous failed Ron Binz nomination.  Now a rift with current acting chair and Democratic-appointed Cheryl LeFleur is openly discussed in Harder’s article.  With a number of ongoing discussions regarding the current nominations of LeFleur and Norman Bay, one wonders how this one gets resolved.

UBS Report Questions PJM Action Process – UBS Securities just issued a report focused on issues related to rigging supply in the recent PJM capacity auction.  UBS identifies at least four companies that deliberately withheld capacity from the auction to create tighter supply and raise prices for all of their plants that did clear the auction.  UBS lists Exelon, NRG and Dynegy. They key takeaway is that all the incumbent generators in PJM benefit from what these companies did.  From UBS report: “But who wins? Mostly EXC, NRG and DYN, but whole sector should benefit Despite the lower MWs committed through the use of portfolio bidding, all four companies are among the biggest beneficiaries of the auction results. We suspect the entire sector will continue to benefit from the trade, however, more Eastern-oriented MAAC names could still be more muted in upside given the substantial announcement of new and converted gas-fired capacity.”

Former NYT Reporter Calls out PJM Auctions – Speaking of the topic, law professor David Cay Johnson, offers additional details of how incumbent generators in PJM like Exelon rigged the recent PJM capacity auction to rake in lots of profit for itself, at the expense of ratepayers across the whole PJM footprint.   Johnson only points to Exelon in the article, using them as the example/case study. He also argues that consumers end up paying the price for higher rates.  Johnston, an investigative reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize while at The New York Times, teaches business, tax and property law of the ancient world at the Syracuse University College of Law. He is the best-selling author of “Perfectly Legal“, “Free Lunch” and “The Fine Print” and editor of the new anthology “Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality.”

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

EEI Hold Annual Meeting – The Edison Electric Institute holds its annual convention this week in Las Vegas at the Aria Resort.  Main speakers include CIA Director Mike Morrell, Warren Buffet, EPA’s Gina McCarthy and former Defense Sect Bob Gates.

McCarthy, Jewell Address Western Govs –  The Western Governors Association meets today through Wednesday at the Broadmoor in in Colorado Springs.  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell speaks today while EPA Head Gina McCarthy addresses the group tomorrow.  Of course the GHG rule, fire issues, natgas drilling, resource management and land use will all be on the agenda.  By the way, dress code for meeting is western casual for all events (jeans or slacks, no coats or ties required for men).  How about that?  I wonder if Gina will be there in boots, western shirt and hat.

Brookings Forum to Focus on Natural Resource Transparency – Today at 4:00 p.m., the Development Assistance and Governance Initiative at Brookings, Natural Resource Governance Institute (formerly the Revenue Watch Institute), and Global Witness will co-host a discussion on international developments in natural resource transparency. The discussion will consider how transparency of payments to governments can improve the governance of natural resource wealth and combat corruption, and the business case for consistent disclosure across jurisdictions. Senator Ben Cardin will deliver a keynote address. A panel discussion will follow, including Stephen Comstock, Director, Tax & Accounting Policy, American Petroleum Institute; Michelle Kosmidis, European Commission and EU Fellow at the Fletcher School; Bennett Freeman, Senior Vice President, Sustainability Research and Policy, Calvert Investments, Inc.; Simon Taylor, Founding Director, Global Witness; and Nigerian anti-corruption campaigner Dotun Oloko. Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow and Natural Resource Governance Institute President Daniel Kaufmann will moderate the discussion.

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

House Approps Panel to Mark Up Funding Bill – Tomorrow morning, the House Appropriations Committee’s panel on Energy and Water Development will meet to mark up the FY 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.  The committee released its draft $34 billion this morning.  The bill is $50 million less than the fiscal 2014 enacted level but $327 million above the president’s fiscal 2015 request, according to our friends at POLITICO.

USEA to Look at Role of CCS, Offshore Storage – Following its previous event on the USGS’s assessment of carbon storage potential, the U.S. Energy Association will hold a second forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.  The presentation will provide a high-level perspective on the role of CCS in a variety of energy chains that are critical for future global energy markets. In addition to typical coal-fired electric utilities, topics covered include heavy oil refining, LNG, hydrogen, enhanced oil recovery, and (un)conventional gas. The second part of the presentation will cover subsurface storage and monitoring technologies, with an emphasis on the importance of developing offshore geologic storage for successful national and international deployment of CCS.  Tip Meckel, Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin will speak.

Forum to Look at Environment in 21st Century – Center for International Environmental Law will hold a forum tomorrow at Noon to Look at environmental issues in the 21st Century.  Dan Magraw will discuss how the Magna Carta, which turns 800 in 2015, has become an iconic symbol of liberty and rule of law even though it is essentially a myth.  He will also discuss contemporary issues in law and human rights as they relate to that myth, including the contradiction between Magna Carta’s promise that no one is above the law and current US sovereign immunity law that protects various levels of government from being sued. Finally, he will speak about Magna Carta’s lesser known offspring, the 1217 Carta de Foresta — the Charter of the Forest — one of the world’s first environmental laws.  Dan Magraw is a Professorial Lecturer and Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

Forum to Focus on Grid Resilience, Gas-Electric Coordination – WIRES and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in 210 Cannon about the key challenges and opportunities facing electric transmission infrastructure development. In light of Super Storm Sandy, the attack on the Metcalf Substation in California, and growing cyber threats to the grid, transmission owners, planners, and operators are devising new approaches to ensure high levels of reliability and grid security.  Second, the magnitude of the current need to ensure efficient power markets and access to diverse energy resources makes development of robust transmission infrastructure a national priority. The shale gas revolution provides an additional reason to strategically plan the expansion and modernization of the grid while addressing pipeline constraints and access to renewable resources.  Finally, these developments are being dealt with in a more competitive bulk power environment, including competition to own, build, and construct important new transmission facilities. New entities and joint ventures are emerging to augment the historical role of incumbent load-serving entities with respect to strengthening the grid regionally and inter-regionally.  Speakers will include NERC’s Charles Berardesco and FERC’s Director of the Office of Energy Infrastructure Security Joe McClelland, among others.

CSIS Crude Export Forum to Feature Yergin, Book – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)will hold a forum and release a new IHS report tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in the impacts of lifting the crude oil ban.  Over the last 5 years, the dramatic increase in U.S. oil production, especially light, tight oil from unconventional plays, has caused U.S. imports of foreign oil to plummet.  As domestic production continues to grow, however, there is a growing concern about a possible mismatch between the U.S. refining capability and the lighter quality characteristics of these unconventional plays. This has led to a revisiting of the U.S. policy which prohibits export of crude oil (with some exceptions). As the export debate sharpens, a number of studies have been commissioned to explore the implications of retaining, relaxing, or removing the existing barriers to crude oil exports. CSIS convened a session exploring the infrastructure and regulatory barriers to exports and an additional session on the crude oil export issue specifically.  The session will feature recent analysis completed by IHS Global, assessing the impact of the export ban and free trade on the U.S. economy.  Presenting the findings of the IHS analysis will be Dr. Daniel Yergin and Kurt Barrow. Following the presentation, Frank Verrastro and Kevin Book will provide commentary on the report and discuss the policy implications of the export decision. The session will conclude with a Q/A session. Guy Caruso will moderate the discussion.

Senate Committees to Hear OMB Nominee – The Senate Homeland Security Committee and Senate Budget Committee will hold hearings on Wednesday to discuss new Office of Management and Budget Nominee Shaun Donovan.  Donovan is replacing Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who was just sent over the Health and Human Services.  Senate HSGA at 10:00 a.m. and Senate Budget at 2:00 p.m.

House Transportation Panel to Look at “Waters” Rule – A House Transportation panel will hold a hearing  Wednesday on the new “waters of the US” rule, which is aimed at increasing the number of streams and wetlands that currently receive automatic protection under the Clean Water Act.  Witnesses will include  Deputy EPA administrator Bob Perciasepe, Assistant Secretary of the Army for civil works Jo-Ellen Darcy; Oklahoma Water Resources Board director J.D. Strong, Mark Pifher of Colorado Springs Water Utilities, ; Riverside County, CA Flood Control & Water Conservation District chief engineer Dusty Williams, Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman and National Association of Home Builders board chair Kevin Kelly.

House Foreign Affairs to Discuss Energy in Middle East, North Africa — The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. assessing energy priorities in the Middle East and North Africa.  Amos J. Hochstein, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy in State’s Bureau of Energy Resources will testify.

CSIS Panel to Discuss Energy with Past Administration Experts – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the evolution of the nation’s energy policy, particularly as it relates to the new energy reality and the reconciling of economic, energy security, foreign policy and environmental objectives.   The event will feature a great panel of experts – each with unique and insightful perspectives – as we put some of the key issues of the day in context, review where we’ve come from, and suggest constructive pathways forward. We have specifically designed this event as a participatory roundtable and look forward to an engaging and instructive conversation.  Panelists include former Senate Energy Committee Chair Bennett Johnston, former FERC Chair Charles Curtis, former Bush 41 Deputy Energy Secretary Linda Stuntz, former Bush 43 Energy official Kevin Kolevar, former Obama energy/climate Advisor Heather Zichal, for Obama NEC advisor Joe Aldy and former Senate Energy staffer and Romney Energy advisor Rebecca Rosen.

Argus Media Staff to Discuss GHG Rule – On Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., Argus will hold a webinar on EPA’s new GHG rule.  Discussion will look at prospects for increased emissions and REC trading, expected impacts on coal-fired power use, the likelihood of expanded renewable and energy efficiency standards in some states, which states will find it hardest to meet compliance and impacts on other industries.  Our friends Mike Ball and Elizabeth Fox will speak.

DOE to Address Solar Mapping – The Energy Department will present a live webinar on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. focused on solar resources and their technical potential.  As part of Solar Technical Assistance Team’s Do-It-Yourself Solar Market Analysis summer series, this webinar will explain how to make your own location-specific solar resource maps from information such as real-time irradiance and meteorological data. Attendees will also learn how to effectively determine the technical, economic, and market potential in your locality using tools such as MapSearch and RE Atlas.

RFF to Host Climate Book Launch – On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. , Resources for the Future will host an evening with Yoram Bauman, Author of “The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change.  The event will be the Washington, DC, book release of Yoram Bauman’s The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change, published by Island Press.  Using information from the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Yoram Bauman, “the world’s first and only stand-up economist,” will provide a unique and entertaining overview of climate science, predictions, and policy. He’ll cover everything from Milankovitch cycles to carbon taxes and will break down complex science and economics with accessible comparisons—-not to mention some good jokes—-to convey a practical understanding of climate change.

WAPA to Hold Chrysler Ride, Drive – The Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA)and Chrysler will host a ride and drive Thursday to drive the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 at River Farm. Simple elegance, an exhilarating driving experience, state-of-the-art technology and beautifully crafted, the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 charts a new course for mid-size sedan customers who have earned a little luxury in their life, but demand value for their money.  The Chrysler 200 team will share key information on the Chrysler 200 and answer questions.

UDel Offshore Wind Forum to Look at Europe Example – The University of Delaware’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind will host a briefing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at the Capitol Visitor Center SVC 215 on offshore wind looking specifically at lessons learned from Europe that reduce costs and create jobs.  Enough offshore wind capacity to power six million homes—6.5 gigawatts—has been installed in Europe. Most of that capacity has been installed over the past decade. The forum will look at what Europe has learned that is applicable to a U.S. effort to deploy offshore wind off its coasts. Specifically addressing cost reduction and job creation, this congressional briefing includes panelists who will share the primary lessons learned to date, and what those lessons mean for another country looking to develop offshore wind and build an industry. U.S. stakeholders will speak to what these lessons mean for the U.S.  Sen. Tom Carper will speak as well execs from Alstom Power, MD Energy Administration head Abby Hopper and several others.  Our friend Stephanie McClellan will moderate the panel.

Sens. to Address NatGas in Caucus Lunch – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Barrasso at the Natural Gas Roundtable and Senate Natural Gas Caucus Luncheon on Thursday at Noon in 902 Hart.  Sen Energy Chair Mary Landrieu and Saxby Chambliss will also speak.  They formed the bipartisan Senate Natural Gas Caucus in 2009 to better understand the role of natural gas in producing clean, affordable and secure American energy and to raise awareness of the benefits of natural gas.

USEA Hosts Annual EE Forum – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., USEA holds its 25th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum at the National Press Club.  Many observers believe energy efficiency is at a tipping point. Most states have energy efficiency standards and many utilities include energy efficiency and demand response in their integrated resource management plans. At the same time, the cost to deploy new renewable and distributed energy sources may soon reach parity with the cost to develop central station power plants. Utilities are facing reduced base load energy demand, intermittent supplies of renewable power, and difficulty recovering costs for an increasingly expensive modern grid. These challenges may trip up some traditional market players, and they raise serious questions about the future of our century-old electrical grid. Consumers, regulators, technology suppliers and utilities are all seeking ways to make a smooth transition to a more efficient, resilient and distributed electrical power system while assuring reliable power at competitive prices. Come hear about the issues from the movers and shakers as they debate the role of energy efficiency in future energy systems.

Brookings to Discuss Japanese Energy – On Thursday, the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will host an event looking at the future of Japanese energy policy. Toshikazu Okuya, director for the Energy Supply and Demand Policy Office at METI will present the Fourth Strategic Energy Plan of Japan. After his remarks, Mr. Okuya will join Scott Campbell, managing director at Baker Donelson and director of the Howard Baker Forum, which convenes the U.S.-Japan Roundtable; ESI Director Charles Ebinger; Isaac Edwards, senior counsel at the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; and Adam Sieminski, administrator for the U.S. Energy Information Administration, for a panel discussion on Japan’s energy outlook. Mireya Solis, senior fellow with the Center for East Asia Policy Studies and the Philip Knight chair in Japan studies, will moderate.

House Resource to Address American Energy Jobs – On Thursday, the House Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on “American energy jobs looking at opportunities for innovation. Witnesses will include Cary Ralston of Alliant Techsystems and Matthew Stepp, director of the Center for Clean Energy Innovation at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, among others.

RFF Panel in SF to Discuss Public Attitudes About Climate – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. in San Francisco at the Hyatt Regency at Embarcadero Center to discuss a survey of US public attitudes about climate change and clean energy.   Despite the fact that the nation’s leaders continue to debate the existence of global warming, the American public appears to be nearly united on the topic, and has been for quite some time. According to a survey conducted by RFF, Stanford University, and USA Today, 73% of Americans say that the world’s temperature has been going up over the past 100 years.   Survey co-author Jon Krosnick of Stanford will present additional results from the survey and provide an in-depth discussion on what they could mean for climate and clean energy policy in the United States with RFF President and former Congressman Phil Sharp.

FUTURE EVENTS

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

Energy to Hold Hydrogen, Fuel Cells Program Merit Review – Next week, the U.S. Department of Energy holds its 2014 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meetings (AMR) for the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and the Vehicle Technologies Office at the Marriott Wardman Park

Forum to Look at Renewable NatGas Use – Next Tuesday, June 17th, the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition and Energy Vision will hold an all-day forum discussing extracting value and vehicle fuel from waste using natural gas.

ELI Forum to Discuss US GHG Efforts, Paris Next Tuesday at Noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a discussion that will look at likely greenhouse gas reduction efforts for the United States to propose at the 2015 Paris Climate Summit. The expert panel will identify where the United States is in progress towards our current target and how that target might be adjusted in the lead up to the 2015 Paris negotiations. Our panel will also examine the process by which the EU reached its target and ask whether it might be illustrative for the White House and Congress.  Panelists will include former EPA official Bob Sussman, NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, UN Environment Program’s Hilary French, Ned Helme of the Center for Clean Air Policy and WRI’s David Waskow.

Holmstead, Tierney to Address GHG Rule at BPC Forum – On Wednesday, June 18th at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on the new EPA rule on GHGs for existing power plants.  The panel, hosted by our friend and WSJ reporter Amy Harder, will feature my colleague Jeff Holmstead, former Assistant Administrator for Air at EPA, and Sue Tierney, former Assistant Secretary for Policy at DOE.

ACORE to Look at Middle Market Renewables – ACORE will hold a teleconference on Wednesday, June 18th  at Noon to discuss investor plans to take advantage of such rapid growth in the renewable energy middle market growth sector.   The renewable energy market is intensifying in 2014 with much of the project development expected in the $10-$100 million middle market range. Investors recognizing the attractive risk and return profile of renewables in this asset class are increasingly deploying infrastructure capital. The webinar will focus not only on percentage returns but will critically detail the fine print; the terms and conditions these investors tie to their capital for renewable projects. The presentation will include recent equity, tax equity and debt pricing and will further describe how all these types of capital are successfully deployed.

House Resources to Look at American Energy Jobs On Wednesday, June 18th  at 2:00 p.m., the House Resources Committee’s panel on energy will convene an oversight hearing focused on opportunities for states and localities in creating energy jobs.  America’s surge in energy production is fueling an employment boom that’s creating much-needed economic growth in states and local communities. In the past decade, 30 states have experienced a 50 percent surge in jobs indirectly relating to oil and natural gas production and it’s estimated that by 2035 unconventional oil and natural gas production will bring in $2.5 trillion in combined state and federal revenue. For example, revenues from North Dakota’s oil and natural gas production gave the state a $1.6 billion budget surplus in 2012.

SEJ to Host Shale Reporting Seminar – The Society of Environmental Journalists in partnership with Carnegie Mellon will host a shale reporting education seminar at CMU June 22-24th.  The goal of the whole event is to provide a focused group of journalists who cover shale issues with the latest/balanced info. on shale issues.  On Monday, the conference will here from academics, environmental advocates and industrial folks to discuss the many details of the current Shale boom.  The following day they will head out on a rig tour of drilling, production and compressing sites.  See more here.

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

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

July 4th Holiday

NARUC Summer Meetings Set – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Summer Committee Meetings, one of three conferences NARUC holds each year, will take place at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas, from July 13-16. The meeting will feature discussions on the top regulatory challenges across all utility sectors—water, electricity, natural gas, and telecommunications. Panels will tackle the latest developments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark greenhouse gas-emissions proposals, Liquefied Natural Gas exports, Internet neutrality and the transition from traditional telephone service to IP-based networks.  Featured speakers include Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur, FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, Federal Communications Commission Member Mignon Clyburn, Environmental Protection Agency Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Janet McCabe, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Administrator Cynthia Quarterman, Duke Energy President, CEO Lynn Good, Luminant CEO Mark McFarland, and many more.

Energy Update Week of June 2

Friends,

Today and this week is all about the EPA GHG rule for existing power plants.  While there are many things to discuss, let me just say below I have a EPA GHG primer like no other.  Scott Segal (202-828-5845) and Jeff Holmstead (202-828-5852) will be available throughout the day to comment.

Segal says EPA’s proposed rule on carbon emissions from existing power plants is expensive, controversial, and intrusive for households and small businesses.  It will not decrease global warming, and may even worsen public health and electric reliability.  He offers a full-throated, detailed discussion of the rule here.

Just a few thoughts on other on things going on:  1) Sad that the only “maid” in my childhood, Alice (San Antonio resident Ann B. Davis) passed away last night; 2) HBO debuted its telecast of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert (we discussed in an earlier update) and is worth watching; 3) Broadway meets Hollywood for Lord Stanley’s Cup as the Kings finished the defending champ Chicago Blackhawks with a Game & OT winner last night and will now face the New York Rangers (Game 1 is Wednesday); and finally 4) next week starts the World Cup of Soccer in Brazil (we will discuss more next week).

Also for your calendar, on Thursday of this week, the Chemical Safety Board is scheduled to announce at least part of its Macondo report.  CSB’s findings are expected to focus substantively on deficiencies in organizational behavior and culture.  If you’d like to learn more in anticipation of the report or discuss its findings, please reach out to the Bracewell team working on these issues — Kevin Ewing, Jason Hutt and Lowell Rothschild.

Lots of event on GHGs this week so make sure you scroll down to the week’s events below.  Call with questions..  and tell EPA: Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!!!

 

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

 

THE BIG NEWS

EPA Rolls Out Rule for Existing Power Plants –EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy unveiled EPA’s proposal for new source performance standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power plants.  The plan hopes cut GHGs from power plants by 30 % by 2030. The rule, which is expected to be final next year, will set the first-ever national limits on carbon dioxide.

President Not There, but In Spirit – On Friday, the Administration locked up an earlier soft back track that the President would attend the announcement.  Two weeks ago, McCarthy told an audience the President would attend the roll out and make the announcement because the issue was so important to him.   Even as they rolled back for sure on Friday, departing Press sect Jay Carney said we own this and he’s proud to own it,” Carney said during his daily White House briefing.  While the president didn’t appear, he still discussed it in his Saturday radio address and joins public health groups on a conference call this afternoon to tout the rule.

The Details – The rule would allow states up to three years to submit plans to meet the goal and will be finalized by next year.  Initial compliance plans will be due June 30, 2016, but states could get a one-year or two-year extensions .  For a two-year extension, states would have to join a multi-state plans.  EPA will allow existing plans to count toward reductions and will have to set a state carbon intensity goal by 2020. Key elements will be aimed 1) Making fossil fuel power pants more efficient, 2) Using low-emitting power sources more frequently; 3) Expanding zero- and low-carbon power sources, such as wind, solar and nuclear and 4) Using electricity more efficiently.

President Visits Asthmatic Children, But… – While the President visited children with asthma over the weekend during his Weekly radio address, the White House calculated that a focus on sick children will play better politically.  Interestingly, it was the White House itself that undercut this claim in its Endangerment Finding, which the whole regulatory edifice is built upon.  “To be clear, ambient concentrations of carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases, whether at current levels or at projected ambient levels under scenarios of high emissions growth over time, do not cause direct adverse health effects such as respiratory or toxic effects. All public health risks and impacts described here as a result of elevated atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases occur via climate change.”  That is Washington DC Political irony at its best.

Who Is Covered? – EPA says there 1,000 fossil fuel fired power plants with 3,000 units covered by the rule, EPA said.  Vermont and DC are left out because they have no fossil Power plants.

Pages – The rule runs 645 pages.

The Link – You can see the actual proposed rule here:  http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-05/documents/20140602proposal-cleanpowerplan.pdf

Segal React – Having undertaken an initial review of the rule, we are still deeply troubled by its potential to raise bills for families, small businesses, schools and hospitals without providing any real benefit in reducing global warming or public health concerns.  The energy rationing assumed by implementation of the rule will make US manufacturing less competitive, costing jobs and harming economic recovery.  Some have suggested that the 30 percent target is more reasonable than anticipated.  But the truth is that the most cost-effective reductions since 2005 (perhaps the first 10 percent) have already been undertaken.  What is left on the road to 2030 is increasingly more expensive and less tested alternatives.  Further, we are certain that EPA will be looking for particular benchmarks in anticipation of 2030 as it goes through the process of reviewing state implementation plans.  They always do – and have even been known to reject state plans sight unseen.  Further,  If the economy does grow as the Administration certainly would hope, so will energy demand, which will complicate the glide path the EPA anticipates.  We were pleased to see that EPA has opted for a 120 day comment period, particularly given the complexities of the proposal.  But much depends on implementation, and the recent EPA track record hasn’t been very good on working cooperatively with the states or the regulated community.  More on that in question one of Scott’s ERCC document again.

Holmstead React – Former EPA Air chief Jeff Holmstead said the EPA rule as a practical matter would require all states to impose a cap-and-trade program or a carbon tax on power producers.  Holmstead: “It is striking that the Administration justifies the rule based on concerns about temperature increases and sea level rise and “climate and weather disasters” but doesn’t say anything about what the rule would do to reduce temperature or sea level or weather-related disasters.  That’s because it will do essentially nothing.”   On cost, Holmstead said If we want to reduce carbon emissions, the cost of energy will increase and there will be adverse economic consequences.  It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t reduce carbon emissions, but we should be honest about what this effort will mean for families and businesses.  There is no way around the fact that increasing the cost of electricity will make us less competitive internationally.

ERCC Response Points

ERCC on Flexibility – Flexibility needs to be demonstrated in practice, not just in promises, and it is definitely in the eye of the beholder. However, EPA can be a little inconsistent when it comes to flexibility in implementing rules or working with states.  Recently, EPA has rejected state proposals on regional haze even before those proposals were submitted to the Agency for review, disrupted a flexible air permit program it had previously approved, forcing industrial facilities to coin a whole new word to describe EPA’s behavior – to “deflex” and went  all the way to the Supreme Court to defend the Agency’s right to superimpose a federal program in place of state controls.  In each of these cases, EPA has shown to not be very flexible.   But it is also fair to ask what EPA means when it claims to be flexible in this case. The Agency may attempt to use its alleged authority to create a cap and trade system without legislative authorization. It may attempt to force states to adopt policies that restrict energy use for households, from when you can run the air conditioner to when you can wash your clothes. It may force small businesses and factories to agree to temporary shutdowns or rationing in order to facilitate energy savings or intermittent renewable sources. It has even been suggested that EPA might use Section 111(d) to establish new taxes on energy. While Section 111(d) might be used to pursue a broad variety of goals, that is not the kind of flexibility most Americans are likely expecting or want.

ERCC on Reducing Global Warming Impacts – Based on EPA’s approach for analyzing the temperature and sea level effects of reducing CO2 emissions, a complete shutdown of U.S. coal-fired power plants is projected to reduce the average global temperature by about 1/20th of a degree F; and to reduce sea level by about 1/25th of an inch. This assumes that any power generation built to replace these plants would be carbon free – an assumption that is obviously unrealistic.  If the Administration’s proposal is to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 25%, the effects on temperature and sea level would obviously be much less – perhaps 1/80th of a degree F and 1/100th of an inch. It will be interesting to see whether EPA provides any of these estimates on Monday when it releases the proposal.  But, even this almost undetectable reduction in global warming is unlikely to occur given that other nations are unlikely to follow our lead in reducing carbon emissions. US carbon emissions have been stable or declined over the last decade. By contrast, Chinese emissions have increased over 170% while Indian emissions have increased over 90%. There is little evidence that our trade competitors will “follow our lead” on carbon regulation when the competitive advantage of their industries hang in the balance. Indeed, as manufacturing moves overseas in search of more optimal regulatory conditions, even more carbon will be released as less efficient factories churn out goods that must then be transported thousands of miles back to US customers. Our trading partners with measurably worse environmental records may be the real winners when the US goes it alone with unilateral carbon regulations.

ERCC on EPA/WH Public Health Claims – Because the rule produces little if any benefits, the Administration appears to be confusing the rule with one designed to address conventional air pollution. The fact is that EPA admits that conventional air pollution has been on decline for years and the Agency has adopted a number of recent rules to address the very sort of emissions it now claims to be reducing with the carbon rule. Put another way, the Agency continues to pile on new costs but claims the same old benefits it has used before to justify other costly rules. This is called double accounting, and frankly it got some folks in serious trouble a few years ago at Enron and in the home mortgage industry.

ERCC: Rule Could Actually Make Public Health Worse –  In fact, by increasing energy costs, the proposed rule could make public health worse. This is true in two ways: by increasing the cost of medical care and treatment; and by imposing real threats on human health by suppressing economic growth and the improved health it brings. With respect to treatment costs, U.S. hospitals spend $8.5 billion annually on energy, often equaling between one and three percent of a hospital’s operating budget. Furthermore, EPA estimates, in the U.S., the health sector is the second most energy-intensive commercial sector overall. Hospital administrators will have no choice but to pay attention to the cost of energy as surging energy costs will squeeze hospital budgets like never before. Without an adequate supply of affordable power, the healthcare sector and the American public can expect increasing costs that consumers can ill-afford.

ERCC on Reliability Impacts – As a result of the combination of EPA’s regulations, including the proposed rule for new and existing power plants, the country may experience a shortage of electricity, and electric reliability will face substantial risks. The loss of future coal-fired generation, investment in current coal-fired generation, and closures of existing coal- fired generation capacity that may result from the combination of the proposed rule and other EPA regulatory actions risk a variety of reliability problems. In most cases, coal-fired plants cannot be replaced overnight by natural gas plants, as the time it takes to install pipeline and other infrastructure necessary even to begin conversion of an old plant or construction of a new one is considerable.

This Winter’s Cold Snap Exposed Reliability Weakness – The cold weather this winter made it clear that coal-fired  generation, much of which is currently scheduled to be retired as a result of EPA rules, is vital to the reliability of our electricity supply. In some areas, coal-fired plants thought to be obsolete were discovered to be essential to reliability, and one of the nation’s largest electricity generators reported that 89 percent of the coal-fired generation slated for retirement by 2015 as a result of EPA rules was needed to supply electricity during the cold weather. These events were not isolated, as electricity generators in Texas and the Southeast faced extreme demands and had to take measures to ensure that coal-fired generation was available, even as those plants faced retirement in the coming years. EPA’s estimates of plant closures in the context of other recent power-plant rules has proven unreliable and its consultation with reliability experts elsewhere in the federal government has been spotty at best. EPA needs to carefully consider the consequences of polices that may not allow for a flexible and reliable supply of electricity, because the impacts of reliability problems can be devastating. The downside impacts of reduced electric reliability are substantial and must be taken into account in any responsible analysis of the proposed rule.

Schedule Next

Congress is Next – Without hesitation, the House Energy and Commerce Committee said it will hold a hearing in its Energy & Power Panel for the week of June 16 on the new GHG rule.  I don’t think I need to tell you they don’t like it.

Then Public Hearings – The EPA will hold four public hearings on the proposed rule to cut power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions, according to the text of the proposed rule.  The hearings will begin in Denver and Atlanta July 29, with a hearing in Pittsburgh on July 31.  There will also be a hearing that week (of July 28th) in Washington, D.C. The details will be announced in the Federal Register.

Some Outside Media Analysis – My friends Zack Colman and Brad Plumer have two good pieces I wanted to forward: 1) Zack Colman in the Washington Examiner: 7 things to know about the coming EPA rule. And 2) Brad Plumer in VOX: 6 charts that show the broader context behind the EPA rule.

Former W.H. Press Sect Weighs In – Fox News personality and former Bush White House Press Sect (and B&G Friend) Dana Perino tweeted yesterday to her 504,000 followers:  “Be wise: New EPA rule is $$$$, illegal, intrusive. Plus, fails global warming & health concerns. Scott Segal writes: tinyurl.com/jwe6227

Brookings on the Road to Cap, Trade – Interestingly, Brookings raised concerns about this approach leading from a 111(d) rule to cap and trade and new taxes.

Costs

Chamber Says Rule Will Be Costly – A new  report from IHS for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy says EPA plans to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants will cost America’s economy over $50 billion a year between now and 2030. The report, Assessing the Impact of Potential New Carbon Regulations in the United States, estimates the economic impacts associated with an EPA regulatory regime imposed under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act and based on the Obama Administration’s emissions reduction goals.  The analysis found that EPA’s potential new carbon regulations would also lead to 224,000 fewer U.S. jobs, force U.S. consumers to pay $289 billion more for electricity and lower total disposable income for U.S. households by $586 billion.  Finally, the analysis found that EPA regulations would reduce overall emissions level by just 1.8%.

NRDC Says Rule will provide Benefits – The Natural Resources Defense Council says the administration’s pending rules on carbon standards for power plants will create thousands of jobs and reduce electricity bills by $37.4 billion by the end of the decade if they give states the flexibility to reduce emissions through energy efficiency.  Its analysis said the standards have the potential to create 274,364 jobs  in the United States and save each household an average of $103 on their electricity bills in 2020. The group said that if EPA’s proposed rules for power plants — slated for release on Monday — look anything like an NRDC suggestion to increase energy efficiency to cut carbon pollution by 531 million tons annually, the savings could mean real benefits for states.

Segal Counters Unrealistic NRDC Report – Of course, my colleague Scott Segal says the NRDC approach is based on unrealistic energy efficiency goals.  NRDC concedes that carbon rules for the existing power-plant fleet will in fact increase electric rates significantly.  With 30,000 megawatts of additional retirements, some 14 million households will face higher bills.  Unfortunately, studies show that the lowest 10% are most impacted by these increases.  Segal adds the NRDC conclusion will only pan out if, and only if, the carbon rules achieve substantial energy efficiency.  The annual figure NRDC assumes is beyond what any state, no matter how green, has achieved and is wholly unrealistic.  Further, the economy remains in doldrums, with growth stunted over the last five years. If economic recovery picks up – which the Administration believes is likely – counting on appreciably less energy use is a recipe for perpetual decline and is inconsistent with other Administration goals.  And if you can’t achieve the energy efficiency targets, it will lead to energy rationing.

Other Reacts

Georgia PSC Commissioner Hammers Rule – So much for State cooperation…  Georgia PSC Commissioner Stan Wise blasted the proposal, saying these overreaching rules trump state authority, put energy users at risk to future price swings, ignores the investments and progress Georgians have made to improve the environment, and are a backdoor attempt to force federal renewable energy mandates.  The Administration is placing all of the state’s energy consumers at risk of escalating prices and energy interruptions, with only slight reductions in carbon emissions to show for it.   When natural gas commodity rates spike again, as they did over a decade ago, this fragile economic recovery could return to a downward spiral.    Wise Continued “The Administration is also going beyond the authority given under the Clean Air Act in order to devise a back door attempt to federally-mandate renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, without regard to the cost on consumers.  The Clean Air Act specifically reserves flexible implementation options to the states where the best overall balance can and has been struck.  Although the Administration claims to offer states a wide menu of options to achieve reductions, you can only choose from two entrées – cap and trade, which translates to higher electric rates when we southerners use our air conditioners, or more renewables like solar, which is not a substitute for the base load generation that coal provides. “

Enviros are For Rule – Our friend Darren Goode had the best update on the POLITICO Whiteboard:  Environmental groups hail EPA. While that is not shocking news, a coalition of environmental groups said EPA has issued a “bold” proposed greenhouse gas standard for existing power plants, said.  “This bold step will help protect public health and our communities from the impacts of climate change and further spark clean energy innovation that will drive the next generation of economic growth,” said a joint statement from the Center for American Progress, Earthjustice, Environment America, Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club.  The heavyweights of the environmental movement descended on the EPA for the official announcement of the agency’s proposed climate change regulation for existing power plants.  Those in attendance included: Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke, League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski and many more.

Political Fallout – Speaking of Goode, he also has some good insights on the political implications of the rule for some Democrats this fall.

WaPo Analysis of Tim Kaine’s Reponses to the RuleThe Washington Post’s Aaron Blake looked at VA Sen. Tim Kaine’s bland statement and translated into political speak.  It is quite entertaining.

Coal Group Opposed – The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) blasted the EPA following initial review of today’s proposed rule on GHGs from existing power plants.  They said the rule will spur devastating economic impacts including job losses and energy costs.  “If these rules are allowed to go into effect, the administration for all intents and purposes is creating America’s next energy crisis,” said Mike Duncan, president and CEO of ACCCE.  “As we predicted, the administration chose political expediency over practical reality as it unveiled energy standards devoid of commonsense and flexibility.  These guidelines represent a complete disregard for our country’s most vital fuel sources, like American coal, which provides nearly 40 percent of America’s power, reliably and affordably.”

ANGA: Rule Will Boost Gas Use – ANGA says the new rules could boost gas demand for electricity by as much as 45% between 3 billion cubic feet per day up to 10 billion from the rule.  While the rule would help boost that demand, ANGA said because nation’s large natgas reserves, there would likely be very little impact on price.   ANGA President Marty Durbin said the industry can easily produce the additional gas needed by shifting into shale plays where it can recover dry gas.  Durbin also says that natgas is really becoming a “foundation fuel” for the economy beyond what the Administration and some enviro groups have call a transitional fuel.

AWEA:  States Already Aggressive With Wind – A new report from the American Wind Energy Assn says wind energy reduced power sector emissions by more than 5% last year, saving the same amount of CO2 as taking 20 million cars off the road.  The report found that wind energy production in 2013 resulted in carbon emissions reductions of 126.8 million tons. Some states achieved larger reductions than the national average, with 11 states reducing carbon emissions by 10% compared to 2011 levels through wind energy. Texas — a state which broke its record for highest wind generation ever in March — had the highest volume of carbon reductions, followed by Illinois, California, and Colorado.

Conservative Groups Outlines Top 10 – The National Center for Public Policy Research says the rules are unnecessary in a new paper.  The paper, “Top Ten Reasons Washington Should Not Impose New Global Warming Laws or Regulations,” explains, among other things 1) new global warming laws and regulations harm people, and harm lower-income and minorities disproportionately; 2) U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions already fell 12.6% between 2005 and 2012, while worldwide emissions went up 17.7% during the same period; and 3) the climate models upon which President Obama’s belief in human-caused catastrophic global warming is based do not work – since 1979, over 96% of climate models predicted more warming by now than has taken place.  And yes, there are a couple of other points that complain about the scientific consensus and warming to date.

Other Interesting Items

GAO: CRA Review Not Allowed – One thing we know won’t happen is a Congressional Review Petition before election day on the either the rule for new plants (already proposed in January) or today’s rule.  Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the middle of a high-profile re-election effort, has be adamant about fighting the Administration rule and it “War on Coal,” obviously significant in the Bluegrass State.  While the politics are so blatant, especially as one who knows a bit of KY politics, McConnell wanted to push for a vote to block the regs using the CRA.  Unfortunately, the GAO told Him since the regs will not be final, there can be no CRA vote until they are.  And that will be too late for the McConnell re-election fight which will be decided in November.

Dems Oppose GHG Rule, Questions CCS Viability – Seven red-state Democrats sent EPA a letter last week saying its proposed rule for new power plants is “not based on technology that has been adequately demonstrated on a commercial scale.  Senators, led by ND’s Heidi  Hietkamp and IN’s Joe Donnelly  said they “strongly recommend that you evaluate more appropriate ways to regulate emissions in order to truly support the development of CCS and other clean coal technologies. Long-term thinking is essential to ensure that every U.S. citizen will have access to affordable and reliable energy while encouraging energy solutions that lower our carbon footprint.”  Others signing the Letter include Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Warner of Virginia.

45 Sens Ask for Comment Period Delay – Meanwhile, 45 Senators including a number of key Democrats are asking EPA to extend the comment period for the GHG rule for new power plants.  The letter says EPA should grant the request because of the “significant impact this rule could have on our nation’s electricity providers and consumers, on jobs in communities that have existing coal-based power plants, and on the economy as a whole.”

IN THE NEWS

EPA Winning Streak Takes Hit – The vaunted legal winning streak that was touted to my friends in the media by EPA lawyers and enviros seems to be taking a hit.  On Friday, EPA was on the losing end of a case that EPA cannot treat pollution sources in one region differently from those in others because of an adversarial court ruling.  The ruling impacts an interpretation EPA was implementing for at least 25 years and for the first time was stuck down by a court.   While the decision was beneficial to a wide variety of industrial sectors, this was a big win for the oil and gas industry since it could be argued that the entire industry is interdependent because it is mostly connected by pipelines.  In December 2012 after the Summit decision was final, EPA issued a memo that said the Agency would only apply the 6th Circuit’s Summit decision in the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Michigan.  The memo was challenged by an industry trade association.  The D.C. Circuit concluded this uneven application of the law would be inconsistent with EPA’s regulations which require the Clean Air Act to be applied in a fair and uniform manner, vacating EPA’s memo.  In doing so, the court applied the Summit decision nationwide.  One of the main findings of the D.C. Cir. was that to limit the ruling to only the states in the 6th  Cir. would create a competitive disadvantage to operations in other States.   The practical impact of this decision is that if sources are not contiguous and adjacent, their emissions cannot be aggregated in determining whether a permit is necessary.  Additionally, the decision may provide an opportunity for sources that were aggregated using the faulty interrelatedness test to call that determination into question.  We would expect that EPA would seek reconsideration of the decision as it has broad implications on how the Agency works.  EPA runs the risk this loss could create a national rule.  Whether EPA or the Solicitor General would take this decision to the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) remains to be seen, but my colleagues’ initial impressions are that the government will not appeal this decision to SCOTUS, but try to limit the impact of this case through guidance or its practices, such as not issuing these type of memos any more.   My colleague Rich Alonso (202-828-5861) can address the issue for you.

White House Energy Report Touts NatGas, Energy Independence – In case you missed in all the GHG hub bub last week, the White House released a report that said significant increases in the domestic production of natural gas and reductions in oil consumption have better positioned the United States to advance its economic and environmental goals. While there are no new conclusions, the report sees aimed at providing cover fire for the Administration as it advance new, costly regulation on existing Power plants, all-the-while taking credit for the oil and gas boom that has occurred on their watch.

FERC Revamps Approvals Process – DOE announced today that it will change its process for approving LNG export licenses to non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries. In the new process, applicants must get complete their NEPA reviews at FERC and effectively get FERC approval before getting their DOE export license. DOE also announced plans to initiate a new study of the economic impacts of LNG exports up to 20 Bcf/d. This reexamination will include an update of the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) January 2012 analysis and a new economic study The text of the DOE announcement is here.

DOE Blogs it Out – DOE Fossil Asst Sect Christopher Smith blogged about the proposed change on the DOE Website, saying DOE is committed to conducting a public interest determination process that is “expeditious, judicious and fair.”

API Urges Rapid Approval For LNG Export Applications ─ API Erik Milito urged faster action: “Bipartisan support for natural gas exports is stronger than ever, and the Department of Energy’s latest efforts are an important signal that those voices are being heard,” said Milito. “It remains to be seen whether the new guidelines will improve the current process, but there’s no doubt that the system today is too slow. The economic and environmental benefits of LNG exports are well-established by numerous studies and reports, and the time for review is past. We’ll continue to work with the administration and Congress to move the process forward and lock down America’s trade advantage as the world’s leading producer of natural gas.”

Oil, Gas Jobs Growing Globally – Our friends at the Houston Chronicle’s Fuel Fix report on the Hays Oil & Gas Job Index for the first quarter which says that hiring in the oil and gas industry rose globally in the first quarter of 2014 led by Africa, Russia and North America.  The quarterly job index is based on the number of open positions posted on nine oil and gas job portals worldwide. Hays did not report those job counts, but folded them into a single index number that was set at 1 in October 2010 and rose to 1.65 in the first quarter of 2014.  The report came with a caveat though: A shortage of key skills in the general workforce continues to threaten the industry’s growth, as new projects and business investments demand higher headcounts.  Obviously, that topic was the subject of a recent National Press Club Newsmaker that looked at addressing the problem in the manufacturing and energy sectors.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

WCEE Panel to Look at Energy Priorities – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will host a panel of thought-leaders in policy, non-profit, and industry next Monday at Noon, who will share ideas and priorities for U.S. energy policy.  They will provide insight into their respective organization’s energy policy perspectives, and opportunities and expectations for the future.  The event is not structured as a debate but rather as the opportunity to hear the speakers’ varying perspectives and to ask questions of the three energy policy experts.  Speakers will include PG&E’s Melissa Lavinson, Janet Peace of Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and Veronika Rabl of IEEE-USA

Senate Environment Committee to Look at Farming, Forestry, Climate – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Environment Committee’s panel on Green Jobs and the New Economy will hold a hearing farming, fishing, forestry and hunting in an era of changing climate.  Witnesses will include USFWS Director Dan Ashe, Director, James Walls of the Lake County Resources Initiative, Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts head Clay Pope, Daniel Cohen of Atlantic Capes Fisheries, U of Delaware climate expert David Legates and Auburn forestry professor David South.

Forum to Look at GHG Rules – Sidley Austin, FTI Consulting Inc. and Green Strategies, Inc. will Hosta  forum tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. to discuss the impact of today’s GHG rule for existing utilities.  The NSPS is the most important element of the President’s Climate Action Plan and the keystone of the environmental legacy of his Administration. The President has announced that EPA will finalize regulations of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new and existing coal fired, natural gas, and petcoke power plants before the end of the Administration. EPA already has proposed standards for new utilities that have fundamentally impacted the utility sector by effectively banning any new coal fired and petcoke facilities from being constructed. The June 2 announcement will propose the first ever requirements for states to control GHG emissions from the nation’s existing utility fleet. The proposal is likely to be the most significant regulatory development for the energy sector of the Obama Administration, and could fundamentally impact the ongoing operation, cost, and reliability of the nation’s energy infrastructure.  The speakers will include Roger Ballentine, former Boehner and Bush White House Staffer Mike Catanzaro, and former EPA officials Roger Martella and Catherine Karen.

Brookings Study Looks at Economic Impacts of Delays in Climate Policy – Tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., Economic Studies at Brookings will host an event to present the results of a new study on the economic effects of delaying implementation of US climate policy. Non-Resident Senior Fellows Warwick McKibbin and Peter Wilcoxen and Fellow and Policy Director Adele Morris will present the new research, which will be followed by a panel discussion.  A delay in the implementation of U.S. climate policy, whether the policy is an EPA regulation or a carbon tax, could mean more stringent policies are necessary later. Brookings scholars have conducted this new economic modeling to compare the economic outcomes of modest climate policy action now with the potential consequences of more stringent policies later, including effects on consumption, investment, and labor markets.

Conference to Focus on Energy Storage – The Energy Storage Association will hold its 24th Annual Conference Wednesday and Thursday at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  They will launch the conference with a reception tomorrow in Union Station’s Columbus Club the industry, allies, and supporters will discuss energy storage advances in policy and commercialization.

Senate Environment Hosts NRC to Discuss Fukushima Task Force Recommendations – The full Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. featuring NRC Commissioners to look at its implementation of the Fukushima Near-Term Task Force Recommendations and other actions to enhance and maintain nuclear safety. All five Commissioners will testify.

RFF to Look at Insurance – Resources for the Future will hold a seminar on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. looking at the future of insurance.  Insurance is a fundamental tool for managing risks, improving resiliency after disaster events, and opening up economic opportunities that otherwise may not be possible.  Yet, not all risks are insurable. Society has struggled in the past with risks that are highly correlated among insureds, as is the case with natural disaster events, or where losses could be so severe as to be unmanageable by the private insurance market because they could threaten the solvency of companies, as would be the case with a nuclear accident.  Recently, the twin forces of climate change, altering weather patterns around the globe, and globalization, in terms of increased migration, interconnected supply chains, and rapidly changing technologies, have raised the question as to whether disaster events are becoming increasingly uninsurable.  Exposure is concentrating as development in risky areas continues, and systems previously thought independent are becoming linked, whether due to relationships in the climate system, deployment of the same vulnerable technology, or reliance on a single supplier.  These trends are leading to ever-increasing disaster losses worldwide.

Forum to Look at Geothermal in Developing World – The Society for International Development’s Energy & Infrastructure Workgroup will hold a workshop on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m., looking at geothermal energy opportunities and challenges in the developing world.  Geothermal energy production is heating up around the world, with great potential to meet growing energy needs both here and abroad. A panel of industry leaders will discuss this potential, the trends in geothermal production and the benefits it has over other energy sources. Because much of this energy is being produced in the developing world, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities of working in areas where we must adapt to often complex social, political, and economic contexts.

WCEE to Host Event with NRECA’s Emerson – WCEE ‘s Women in Leadership group will host a wine & cheese reception on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at the Capitol Hill Club featuring Jo Ann Emerson.  Emerson, a former Member of Congress who served eight-plus terms, is the CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the national organization serving the needs of the nation’s 900-plus electric cooperatives.  Emerson will share her insights and some of the “lessons learned” during her long and varied career. Come hear her thoughts about the highs, lows and “in-betweens” of Congressional life, and her transition to being the “frequent flyer” CEO of a national trade association with members in 47 states.

AAAS to Focus Summit on Governance – American Association for the Advancement of Science will hold a summit on climate change resilience in its Auditorium, Thursday-Friday.  This two-day summit is for government officials and staff, civil society, community, corporate, and thought leaders, journalists, and others interested in the governance issues raised by climate change resilience. Come if you work on climate issues and want to engage more on governance. Come if you work on and want to better understand the tensions climate change may increase.  Issues of governance—how collective decisions are made, interpreted, implemented, and challenged—will enable or impede activities to increase resilience.

Forum to Look at Energy, Afghanistan – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a forum on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. on the energy situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and TAPI pipeline.  For nearly three decades, the availability of secure energy supplies in Afghanistan was significantly disrupted by conflict. Pakistan’s energy sector is in crisis, with endemic load shedding and governance, efficiency, and competitiveness problems. Regionally, there are significant opportunities and challenges facing cross-border energy trading throughout Central and South Asia.  The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has played a key role in addressing energy issues in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region, helping to bring electricity to the Afghan people and supporting reforms and investments in Pakistan’s power and energy infrastructure sector. ADB is committed to having a long-term presence and impact in the region beyond the post-transition period in Afghanistan and the energy sector is the largest component of its overall portfolio. ADB is also engaged in several regional energy projects, with benefits for Afghanistan and Pakistan beyond solely the area of energy. Experts will discuss ADB’s activities in the region, including the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline.

Forum to Look at Carbon Storage Assessment, Potential – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the national assessment of the geological carbon storage resources.  USGS’s Geologic Carbon Dioxide Storage Resources Assessment Team recently completed an evaluation of the technically accessible storage resource for carbon dioxide (CO2) for 36 sedimentary basins in the onshore areas and State waters of the United States.  The USGS obtained a mean estimate of approximately 3,000 metric gigatons (Gt) of subsurface CO2 storage capacity that is technically accessible below onshore areas and State waters by using a geology-based probabilistic assessment methodology.  The presentation will provide the results of the national assessment and a review of ongoing USGS geologic carbon storage research.

Holmstead to Join RFF GHG Forum – Bracewell partner and former EPA Air chief Jeff Holmstead will join a panel at Resources for the future on Thursday to discuss today’s EPA GHG rule for existing power plants.  Analysis by RFF researchers has shown that these forthcoming EPA regulations could be cost-effective, depending on how they are implemented. A variety of options are available to the states and EPA to help meet these new standards for greenhouse gas emissions while also meeting the needs of each state’s constituents.  Speakers in addition to Jeff will include RFF President Phil Sharp and RFF climate experts Dallas Burtraw and Nathan Richardson, as well as Ben Longstreth of NRDC.

SEIA to Hold Webinar on Q1 2014 Solar Market Insight Report Overview – The Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research will hold a webinar on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. covering the highlights of the “U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q1 2014 Report. The U.S. solar market has burst out of the gate in 2014 by recording the second-largest quarter in history.  This growth was led by the strong performance of the utility segment- both in the PV and CSP markets.  The webinar will highlight emerging trends in Q1, at the national level and in some of the top state markets. The discussion will also include detailed PV and CSP market forecasts for the rest of 2014 and beyond.  Speakers will include SEIA’s Shawn Rumery and Cory Honeyman of GTM Research.

FUTURE EVENTS

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

USEA to Look at Role of CCS, Offshore Storage – Following its previous event on the USGS’s assessment of carbon storage potential, the U.S. Energy Association will hold a second forum on Tuesday, June 10th at 2:00 p.m.  The presentation will provide a high-level perspective on the role of CCS in a variety of energy chains that are critical for future global energy markets. In addition to typical coal-fired electric utilities, topics covered include heavy oil refining, LNG, hydrogen, enhanced oil recovery, and (un)conventional gas. The second part of the presentation will cover subsurface storage and monitoring technologies, with an emphasis on the importance of developing offshore geologic storage for successful national and international deployment of CCS.  Tip Meckel, Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin will speak.

Forum to Focus on Grid Resilience, Gas-Electric Coordination – WIRES and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Tuesday, June 10th at 2:30 p.m. in 210 Cannon about the key challenges and opportunities facing electric transmission infrastructure development. In light of Super Storm Sandy, the attack on the Metcalf Substation in California, and growing cyber threats to the grid, transmission owners, planners, and operators are devising new approaches to ensure high levels of reliability and grid security.  Second, the magnitude of the current need to ensure efficient power markets and access to diverse energy resources makes development of robust transmission infrastructure a national priority. The shale gas revolution provides an additional reason to strategically plan the expansion and modernization of the grid while addressing pipeline constraints and access to renewable resources.  Finally, these developments are being dealt with in a more competitive bulk power environment, including competition to own, build, and construct important new transmission facilities. New entities and joint ventures are emerging to augment the historical role of incumbent load-serving entities with respect to strengthening the grid regionally and inter-regionally.  Speakers will include NERC’s Charles Berardesco and FERC’s Director of the Office of Energy Infrastructure Security Joe McClelland, among others.

CSIS Crude Export Forum to Feature Yergin, Book – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)will hold a forum and release a new IHS report on Tuesday June 10th at 3:00 p.m. in the impacts of lifting the crude oil ban.  Over the last 5 years, the dramatic increase in U.S. oil production, especially light, tight oil from unconventional plays, has caused U.S. imports of foreign oil to plummet.  As domestic production continues to grow, however, there is a growing concern about a possible mismatch between the U.S. refining capability and the lighter quality characteristics of these unconventional plays. This has led to a revisiting of the U.S. policy which prohibits export of crude oil (with some exceptions). As the export debate sharpens, a number of studies have been commissioned to explore the implications of retaining, relaxing, or removing the existing barriers to crude oil exports. CSIS convened a session exploring the infrastructure and regulatory barriers to exports and an additional session on the crude oil export issue specifically.  The session will feature recent analysis completed by IHS Global, assessing the impact of the export ban and free trade on the U.S. economy.  Presenting the findings of the IHS analysis will be Dr. Daniel Yergin and Kurt Barrow. Following the presentation, Frank Verrastro and Kevin Book will provide commentary on the report and discuss the policy implications of the export decision. The session will conclude with a Q/A session. Guy Caruso will moderate the discussion.

CSIS Panel to Discuss Energy with Past Administration Experts – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday, June 11th at 10:00 a.m. looking at the evolution of the nation’s energy policy, particularly as it relates to the new energy reality and the reconciling of economic, energy security, foreign policy and environmental objectives.   The event will feature a great panel of experts – each with unique and insightful perspectives – as we put some of the key issues of the day in context, review where we’ve come from, and suggest constructive pathways forward. We have specifically designed this event as a participatory roundtable and look forward to an engaging and instructive conversation.  Panelists include former Senate Energy Committee Chair Bennett Johnston, former FERC Chair Charles Curtis, former Bush 41 Deputy Energy Secretary Linda Stuntz, former Bush 43 Energy official Kevin Kolevar, former Obama energy/climate Advisor Heather Zichal, for Obama NEC advisor Joe Aldy and former Senate Energy staffer and Romney Energy advisor Rebecca Rosen.

DOE to Address Solar Mapping – The Energy Department will present a live webinar on Wednesday, June 11th at 2:00 p.m. focused on solar resources and their technical potential.  As part of Solar Technical Assistance Team’s Do-It-Yourself Solar Market Analysis summer series, this webinar will explain how to make your own location-specific solar resource maps from information such as real-time irradiance and meteorological data. Attendees will also learn how to effectively determine the technical, economic, and market potential in your locality using tools such as MapSearch and RE Atlas.

RFF to Host Climate Book Launch – On Wednesday, June 11th at 5:30 p.m. , Resources for the Future will host an evening with Yoram Bauman, Author of “The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change.  The event will be the Washington, DC, book release of Yoram Bauman’s The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change, published by Island Press.  Using information from the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Yoram Bauman, “the world’s first and only stand-up economist,” will provide a unique and entertaining overview of climate science, predictions, and policy. He’ll cover everything from Milankovitch cycles to carbon taxes and will break down complex science and economics with accessible comparisons—-not to mention some good jokes—-to convey a practical understanding of climate change.

WAPA to Hold Chrysler Ride, Drive – The Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA)and Chrysler will host a ride and drive on June 12th to drive the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 at River Farm. Simple elegance, an exhilarating driving experience, state-of-the-art technology and beautifully crafted, the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 charts a new course for mid-size sedan customers who have earned a little luxury in their life, but demand value for their money.  The Chrysler 200 team will share key information on the Chrysler 200 and answer questions.

USEA Hosts Annual EE Forum – On Thursday, June 12th at 1:00 p.m., USEA holds its 25th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum at the National Press Club.  Many observers believe energy efficiency is at a tipping point. Most states have energy efficiency standards and many utilities include energy efficiency and demand response in their integrated resource management plans. At the same time, the cost to deploy new renewable and distributed energy sources may soon reach parity with the cost to develop central station power plants. Utilities are facing reduced base load energy demand, intermittent supplies of renewable power, and difficulty recovering costs for an increasingly expensive modern grid. These challenges may trip up some traditional market players, and they raise serious questions about the future of our century-old electrical grid. Consumers, regulators, technology suppliers and utilities are all seeking ways to make a smooth transition to a more efficient, resilient and distributed electrical power system while assuring reliable power at competitive prices. Come hear about the issues from the movers and shakers as they debate the role of energy efficiency in future energy systems.

House Resource to Address American Energy Jobs – On Thursday, June 12th, the House Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing on “American energy jobs looking at opportunities for innovation.

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

Holmstead, Tierney to Address GHG Rule at BPC Forum – On Wednesday, June 18th at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on the new EPA rule on GHGs for existing power plants.  The panel, hosted by our friend and WSJ reporter Amy Harder, will feature my colleague Jeff Holmstead, former Assistant Administrator for Air at EPA, and Sue Tierney, former Assistant Secretary for Policy at DOE.

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

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