Energy Update Week of February 18

Friends,

I know you all had a rough week last week with more snow.  While I avoided the mess by heading to warmer climates, I still managed to hear a lot of complaints. It still is winter though.  And perhaps nobody had it as bad as NBC Olympic host Bob Costas, who finally returned the anchor chair after an eye infection put him on injured reserve. Speaking of the Winter Games, perhaps we can give Russia some of our snow as the warmer weather in Sochi unfortunately continues to be a bigger part of the story than the athletes themselves.  And you don’t have to be a hockey fan to like the Pool play games, including a number of exciting shootout/OT games.  The medal rounds are expected to be even more exciting, starting with USA-Canada on Thursday for the Women’s hockey gold. (Bad blood still exists after a pre-Olympic line brawl between the rivals)

And I know we are still a few months away from April at Augusta National, but the icy-snowy weather has claimed a course victim that players probably won’t be disappointed to see gone: the famed Eisenhower Tree on Augusta National’s 17th Hole.  It should make that tee shot coming out of the par 3 16th a little bit easier.

I noticed the President called for a giant new fund to pay for climate resiliency.  He’ll need lots of luck for that, especially with this Congress tightening the fiscal belt.  The fund was also a brief part of the climate discussion on Sunday’s Meet The Press.  Earlier this year, my enviro friends begged the Sunday Shows to devote more time to climate, and with Sunday’s lame borefest, it is likely to disappear again from the agenda to save their ratings.

This week, recess slows action on the Hill but Thursday, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead and Scott Segal will debate NRDC’s Dave Doniger and EDF’s Megan Ceronsky at the Environmental Law Institute.  Forget about USA-Russia hockey or the US-Canada ice dancing rivalry (did I really just say that), this will be a nerd, GHG policy battle royale. You won’t want to miss it.

Also mark your calendar for early next week as DOE’s ARPA-E holds its annual summit on Monday and Tuesday at the Gaylord at National Harbor.  It will feature Energy Secretary Moniz and our good friend Bill Caesar, who heads up Waste Management’s Recycle America campaign, among many others.  If you plan on attending the Summit, please let me know as I am trying to get a feel for who will be covering the event.

Finally, hope you stayed up to see the Jimmy Fallon Tonight Show debut.  I thought it was pretty good, but you can never go wrong with U2 and a Will Smith dance-off.

 

Call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Union Letter Raises Concerns About Key Power Plant Issues – Six labor unions wrote Senate Energy Committee leaders to register concerns about the short timeframe available for compliance with EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) rule, citing the devastating effects on jobs, especially good-paying middle-class employment in the coal-fired electricity generation sector. During the rulemaking process the unions stated for the record that MATS and its short compliance timeline would result in the closing of 56 Gigawatts of coal-fired generation and the loss of approximately 250,000 jobs. Despite assurances by EPA to the contrary, the unions’ prediction is now coming to pass.  In addition, the unions raised the concern that as key plants retire, sufficient generation assets to meet demand become questionable, as witnessed by the astronomical electric price spikes during the recent polar vortex. The group urged the Committee to hold a hearing on the effects of MATS on the regional transmission organization (RTO) markets and their preparedness for generation retirements in the 2015-2017 timeframe.  Unions signing the letter included the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, IBEW, Transportation Communications Union/IAM, SMART Transportation Division, United Mine Workers of America and Utility Workers Union of America.

Macchiarola Heads to ANGA – ANGA has named Frank J. Macchiarola its new Executive Vice President, Government Affairs. In this capacity, Macchiarola will strategically integrate ANGA’s federal and state government affairs activities with its broader advocacy resources – communications, market development and research/policy analysis.  His first day at ANGA will be March 17, 2014.  Macchiarola joins ANGA from the law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP where, as partner in the policy resolution group, he advised clients on energy legislation and policy along with healthcare, education and labor issues.  Prior to his time at Bracewell, Macchiarola was Minority Staff Director for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) under then-Ranking Member Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY). He also previously served as both Majority and Minority Staff Director and Counsel to Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-NM) in his role as Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Moniz, The Fray to Open Ivanpah Solar Project – NRG Energy, BrightSource, Google and Bechtel will hold a grand opening of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System on tomorrow and Wednesday  in Las Vegas.  Ivanpah, the world’s largest solar thermal project, which is located in the Mojave Desert near the California-Nevada border, uses 347,000 sunfacing mirrors to produce 392 Megawatts of electricity – enough clean energy to power more than 140,000 California homes.  The event will feature a first look at Ivanpah during the two-day event.  There will be a dinner on Wednesday followed by tour, ribbon cutting and lunch on Thursday.  U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz will be the keynote speaker and there will be an appearance by Grammy-nominated band The Fray. Images used in the lyric video for “Love Don’t Die,” the first song released from the Fray’s album, Helios, were shot at Ivanpah.

Markey Joins Senate Environment – Well, it didn’t take long for Freshman Sen. Ed Markey to join the Senate Environment Committee, adding another Northeastern liberal to the team.  He will fill retiring Sen. Max Baucus’s seat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, often a vote on the committee that was difficult for Chair. Boxer to control.  Not so much one with Markey.  The Massachusetts Democrat is one of the Senate’s most outspoken environmental advocates.

EPA Data Shows Emissions Leveled Off EPA has released new data that shows Power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides leveled out between 2012 and 2013, following years of significant and consistent reductions. The utilities emitted 3.2 million tons of sulfur dioxide in 2013, down from 3.3 million tons in 2012. By comparison, emissions were as high as 10.2 million tons in 2005 and 15.7 million tons in 1990.  Emissions of nitrogen oxides increased slightly in 2013, measuring at 1.8 million tons, compared with 1.7 million tons in 2012. Emissions in 2005 totaled 3.6 million tons and in 1990 totaled 6.4 million tons.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

GreenBiz Forum Set for AZ – The GreenBiz Forum 2014 continues today at the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Arizona.  Presented in partnership with The Sustainability Consortium and ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, the sixth annual GreenBiz Forum defines the trends, challenges and opportunities in sustainable business now. The Forum is framed by the annual State of Green Business report, the seventh annual edition of GreenBiz’s acclaimed accounting of key sustainability metrics and trends.

RFA Conference to Tackle Challenges to Ethanol – The Renewable Fuels Association will hold the 19th annual National Ethanol Conference at the JW Marriott in Orlando, Florida through Wednesday.  Among the number of issues panels and forum Led Zeppelin 2, a premier Led Zeppelin cover band, will play at the event tonight.

CSIS to Tackle NatGas Supply, Demand Issues – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a forum today offering a reassessment of gas supply and demand prospects as well as a discussion of the path forward. More efficient drilling, new technologies, and a deeper geological understanding have not only increased access to domestic gas resources but have also allowed for the development of an updated profile of the resource itself. The rapidly evolving nature of U.S. unconventional gas development has rendered resource estimates made only a few years ago already out of date. At the same time, opportunities for new demand growth have also increased. Yet challenges to realizing the full potential of this resource remain.

USEA to Discuss Smart Grid – The U.S. Energy Association will host a discussion today at 10:00 a.m. to familiarize participants with Smart Grid concepts and solutions, including Distribution Optimization, Transmission Optimization, Asset Optimization, Demand Optimization, Smart Meters and Communications, and Workforce and Engineering Design Optimization. Smart Grid industry standards efforts will be discussed, including SGIP 2.0, IEEE, CIGRE and IEC. The impact of policy on Smart Grid technology investment will be shown globally. An overview of recent Smart Grid deployments will be given, including the lessons learned.  GE Energy’s John McDonald will speak.

Forum to Focus on LNG. Exports – Rumi Forum will host a panel today at Noon on the unrestricted exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The panel features Charles Ebinger of Brookings Institution who will explain the current policy that is in place, and discuss the main findings of a major NERA study that was conducted for the Department of Energy to quantify the potential effects of allowing for unrestricted natural gas exports. He will discuss the potential benefits and downsides of the status quo and what effect these exports may have on American energy security.  Despite its indistinct policy, the US administration has adopted its abundant energy resources as a key tool in 21st century diplomacy, for instance confirmed by the establishment of the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources. To give an example, in 2010 the State Department launched the Unconventional Gas Technical Engagement Program (UGTEP) to help countries develop their unconventional natural gas resources safely and economically. Also, the US has actively mediated to find a solution for the disagreement between Lebanon and Israel about the demarcation of their offshore territories, an argument that intensified when large natural gas resources were found in the Eastern Mediterranean. Charles Ebinger will elaborate on the potential of energy resources as a diplomatic instrument for US authorities. Tim Boersma, a fellow in the Energy Security Initiative in the Foreign Policy program, will moderate the talk.

Discussion to Look at Political & Ethical Issues with Geo-Engineering – The George Washington University Climate and Water Security Initiatives the Elliot School will host a discussion today at 5:30 p.m. Elizabeth Chalecki, Visiting Research Fellow from the Stimson Center, will discuss this topic.

Panel to Look at China, Renewables – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars China Environment Forum (CEF) together with WWF will hold a panel on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. that delves into china role for coal in its economy and a transition to renewables. The discussion will be anchored by a new WWF and Energy Transition Research Institute (Entri) report China’s Future Generation: Assessing the Maximum Potential for Renewable Power Sources in China to 2050 that assesses the scenarios at which China can technically transition to majority renewable electricity over the next 36 years.  The analysis shows that with existing commercially available technology and aggressive policies shifting the country away from energy-intensive industries, around 80 percent of China’s electricity generation can be met by renewable sources by 2050. The report will be released the day of this meeting and available online. The panel of industry, research, and NGO representatives will reflect on the near-term opportunities for businesses and the gaps that NGOs and other stakeholders could fill to accelerate this transition.  Our friend Ethan Zindler, Global Head of Policy Analysis of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, will be among the speakers.

Moniz to Address Press Club Luncheon – U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will speak at the National Press Club Luncheon on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.  Moniz, the former MIT faculty member and this year’s designated SOTU “survivor” is wrestling with the challenges posed by unprecedented domestic supplies of energy and the demands in some quarters to push for more exports.  He will address that and many other topics.

ACORE Webinar to Focus on The State of Union, State of Renewable Energy Policy  ACORE will host a panel on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. to discuss the state of renewable energy policy for 2014 and beyond.  Traditionally, the State of the Union has launched the policy agenda.  The 2014 State of the Union speech addressed many points on energy and climate that are important to the renewable energy community, the nation and the world.  What did the President say? Can we turn words into policy and policy into actions?  Renewable energy has had a long history of bipartisan support, but we are entering an election year with the mid-term Congressional elections set for November.  Is there a way to get support from both sides of the aisle, or will the President have to go it alone?  The panel will include seasoned veterans of Congress and the regulatory arena to discuss how will all of this affect renewable energy policy and the market in 2014 and beyond.  Speakers will include ACORE’s Todd Foley and former SC Rep. Bob Inglis.

WCEE Forum to Look at Carbon Offsets – The Women’s Council on Energy and Environment (WCEE) will host a forum on Wednesday at12:00 p.m. at Washington Gas looking at carbon offsets.  Many businesses offer carbon offsets to negate emissions associated with business activities or products. Carbon offsets are frequently created by projects far away from the DC area.  WCEE will take an in-depth look at a program operated by Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) that instead uses offsets.  Laura Pagliarulo, Manager of Green Products at WGES will discuss this innovative carbon offset program that matches carbon offsets to commercial and residential natural gas usage, including the environmental benefits of a local carbon offset program and the unique public/private partnership.

Wilson Forum looks at Climate, Oceans Impacts On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold the first Managing Our Planet Panel of 2014 will focus on the impact of climate change on our oceans’ ecosystems.  The world’s oceans are under direct threat. The 5th Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has noted that as a direct result of increased carbon intake, acidification has increased, which has a direct correlation to the overall health and balance of oceanic ecosystems. Furthermore, sea levels are predicted to rise in 95 percent of ocean area. How then can societies and governments work together to bring clear and lasting policies to shift these trends? A panel will convene to discuss recent oceanic challenges.  Speakers will include Thomas Lovejoy of the John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, GMU’s Chris Parsons and Ocean Conservancy head Andreas Merkl.  The “Managing Our Planet” seminar series is developed jointly by George Mason University, the Brazil Institute and the Environmental Change and Security Program. It is based on the premise that the impacts of humanity on the environment (including natural resources) are at a planetary scale, requiring planetary-scale solutions.

BP Energy Outlook 2035 Released at JHU Forum – The Johns Hopkins University will host BP for the release of its annual BP Energy Outlook 2035 Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Mark Finley, general manager of Global Energy Markets and U.S. Economics at BP, and Wil Kohl, founding director and senior adviser of the Energy, Resources and Environment Program at SAIS, will discuss the report.

Segal, Holmstead Featured in ELI Debate on GHG Issues – The Environmental Law Institute will host a debate on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. regulating emissions outside the facility fenceline under Clean Air Act Section 111. Whether U.S. EPA and states can regulate emissions outside the facility fenceline is a critical factor in shaping the regulatory response to climate change using Clean Air Act Section 111. There has been much rhetoric about the ability of states and EPA to create regulatory tools such as an emissions trading of greenhouse gasses, but policy experts and professionals need a more definitive answer.  To address this topic, ELI announces its second seminar in a debate format. Loosely following an academic debate structure, two expert teams will argue the resolution, ask questions of the other side, and identify points of agreement and disagreement. Following the debate, the discussion will open to audience questions. We hope this format will help to crystallize issues and separate fact from rhetoric.  Debaters in the AFFIRMATIVE include Megan Ceronsky of EDF and NRDC’s David Doniger while debaters in the NEGATIVE will include Bracewell’s Jeffrey Holmstead and Scott Segal.

Chamber Sets Transpo Summit – On Thursday, the U.S. Chamber will gather leaders and experts from all sectors of transportation for the second annual Let’s Rebuild America Transportation Summit-Infrastructure Intersection-to examine the important role transportation infrastructure plays across major sectors of America’s economy. At the summit, presenters will explore five key infrastructure intersections-Energy, Manufacturing, Agriculture, Technology, and Healthcare-and how each sector requires well-functioning transportation infrastructure systems to realize its full potential.

Vilsack, Ag Economist Glauber, Trade Rep Froman to Headline USDA Forum – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will hold the 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum on Thursday and Friday at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Va.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will moderate two general session panels on the Future of Agriculture.  Speaking in the first panel will be Administrator of the U. S. Agency for International Development Rajiv Shah; President of the Produce Marketing Association Cathy Burns; and Kellee James, founder and CEO of Mercaris, a market trading platform for organic agricultural commodities.  The second panel focuses on young farmers and includes Executive Director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition Michael O’Gorman; Joanna Carraway, a young Kentucky farmer who won the 2013 Top Producer Horizon Award; Greg Wegis, who operates a 17,600-acre vegetable and nut farm in California; and the Interim Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition, Emily Oakley.  USDA’s Chief Economist Joseph Glauber will deliver the 2014 Agricultural & Foreign Trade Outlooks. The Forum’s dinner speaker will be U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.

Oil Book Author Featured at Georgetown Forum – On Thursday from 3:00pm – 4:00pm at Georgetown University’s Mortara Building, author Jeff Colgan will be featured in a talk about his recent book, “Petro-Aggression: When Oil Causes War.”

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Steyer to Speak at Climate Leadership Conference – Leaders from business, government, academia and nonprofits will share innovative ways to address climate change through policy and business solutions at the 2014 Climate Leadership Conference February 24th to the 26th in San Diego.  Climate philanthropist Tom Steyer, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Janet McCabe, California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols, and Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann will be among more than 75 speakers. For more information, contact press@climateleadershipconference.org.

Podesta, Moniz, WM’s Caesar to Headline ARPA-E Event  ARPA-E’s Energy Innovation Summit, will be held on Monday- Wednesday, February 24-26th at National Harbor, MD. Now in its fifth year, the Summit will attract influential thought leaders to discuss new and effective energy technology advancements to secure the nation’s global technology leadership.  The premier event dedicated to transformative energy solutions, the Summit will bring together a range of public and private sector leaders to discuss cutting-edge energy issues and build relationships to help move technologies into the marketplace. Additionally, the Technology Showcase includes several hundred carefully selected transformational technologies—many of which are demonstrated publicly for the first time during the Summit.  Speaker will include Waste Management Recycle America Bill Caesar, President, WM and WM Organic Growth, NRG Energy CEO David Crane, Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz and White House Policy guru  John Podesta, among others.

Forum to Focus on Energy Efficiency, Distributed Generation   On Monday, February 24th at noon, Johns Hopkins University MS Program in Energy Policy and Climate Program will present a forum next Monday at Noon featuring Bruce S. Schlein, Director of Corporate Sustainability at Citi.  Schlein will lead a discussion on aggregating and standardizing energy efficiency and distributed generation to get to scale.  Energy Efficiency and Distributed Generation (EE/DG) in the built environment hold significant promise for delivering energy savings, local jobs, and environmental benefits. Sufficient scale is needed for EE/DG to realize its full potential, and reaching scale vis-à-vis finance requires aggregation and standardization to bridge to the capital markets. This session reviews various finance and policy mechanisms, and their strengths and weaknesses by property asset class.

ELI, DC Bar to Host Court GHG Panel – Next Tuesday, February 25th at Noon, the environmental Law Institute and DC Bar Association will host a debrief of the Supreme Court’s Oral Argument on EPA’s GHG Rulemakings.  After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas rulemakings (Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, 684 F.3d 102 (D.C. Cir. 2012)), several states and industry groups appealed to the Supreme Court.  Depending on how the Court treats the breadth of this question, the Court’s decision could have little or significant effects on EPA’s requirement that certain stationary industrial sources obtain prevention of significant deterioration or Title V operating permits for greenhouse gas emissions.  ELI and distinguished panelists, many of whom participated in the case, will discuss and dissect the previous day’s oral argument and the implications of the potential outcomes for clients and policy moving forward.  Andy Oldham, the Deputy Solicitor General of Texas and Vickie Patton of the Environmental Defense Fund will be among the speakers.

Breitling CEO to Discuss NatGas Drilling at Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host its February luncheon panel at the University Club on Tuesday, February 25th at Noon featuring Chris Faulkner, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Breitling Energy Corporation.  Faulkner will discuss “The Fracking Truth – How to Safely Manage the Process and the Impact on the U.S. and the World.”

GWU Energy Security Policy Forum Set – GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs will host a Security Policy Forum on Tuesday, February 25th looking at energy security in the 21st Century.  The forum will feature David Goldwyn, former Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and GW Institute for Security and Conflict Studies Director Charles Glaser.

Marshall Forum to Look at Energy Policy – On Tuesday February 25, 2014, the George C. Marshall Institute will host a panel discussion at the Capitol Hill Club on policy priorities for U.S. energy policy.  The panel will feature Marshall CEO Bill O’Keefe, Manhattan Institute fellow Mark Mills and Chamber Energy expert Steve Eule.  Energy issues remain at the forefront of the U.S. policy agenda. President Obama credited his “all-of-the-above” energy strategy for moving the U.S. “closer to energy independence than we have been in decades” in his State of the Union address.  The continued expansion of domestic energy production raises environmental, economic, and international trade questions.  Other key energy decisions facing the nation will impact economic and environmental policy, including regulations on coal-fired power plants, the Keystone XL, Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), tax and other preferences to support renewables, nuclear, and fossil fuels, and leasing of federal lands for oil and gas exploration.  Recently, the Marshall Institute released a new report, A Framework for a New U.S. Energy Policy, detailing principles to guide the development of energy policy in the years to come.

Maisano Media Seminar Reset for February 25th – For those of you focused on media relations and policy communications, I am conducting a webinar Tuesday February 25th at 1:00 p.m. focused on creating a successful media strategies for the policy environment.  We will look at the nexus between policy communications and government affairs, as well as crisis management.  Finally, we will offer some of the tools of the trade.  We can also help you with a discount if you want to join in.

CSIS to look at China, Energy — The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum on Tuesday, February 25th at 1:00 p.m. featuring Xiaojie Xu, head of the World Energy Division at the Institute of World Economics and Politics, part of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, Xu will present the World Energy China Outlook. The outlook, an annual report, examines world energy trends from China’s perspective, addresses energy development in China (and the global repercussions thereof), and provides energy policy recommendations for the Chinese government. This year’s outlook addresses a variety of topics including unconventional gas production in China, renewable energy development, and the increasing need for a ‘social license’ for energy projects. Guy Caruso, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

Consumers to Rollout Auto Issue at WAPA Lunch – The Washington Automotive Press Association will hold a forum at The National Press Club on Tuesday, February 26th at noon, where Consumer Reports will announce their Top Picks for 2014 and offer their insights into today’s most pressing automotive consumer and industry questions. Each spring, consumers and auto industry insiders alike look to Consumer Reports’ Auto issue for its Top Picks in cars and trucks.  From best and worst in fuel economy, safety and overall value to special tips to get the most car for the money in this economy, the issue provides the ratings, recommendations, and advice that will influence consumer purchases.  Which manufacturers are making the best cars? Consumer Reports auto issue also features its annual car brand report card that take an in-depth look at which brands offer the most for consumers combining scoring for test performance, reliability and safety across their entire product line.

AWC Speakers to Address Offshore Wind Conference in Boston – The 5th annual Green Power Offshore Wind Conference will be held in Boston, Massachusetts on February 26th and 27th at the Hynes Conference Center.  Speakers will include AWC exec Bob Mitchell and AWC funder John Breckenridge of Bregal Energy.  Other speakers are Interior’s Tommy Beaudreau and DOE’s Dan Poneman and Peter Davidson, as well as Jim Gordon of Cape Wind, Jeff Grybowski of Deepwater and Abby Hopper of the Maryland Energy Administration.

CSIS to Discuss Unconventional Shale – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a forum on Thursday February 27th at 9:30a.m. to discuss the domestic economic implications of the U.S. oil and gas revolution.  CSIS will host Trevor Houser, Partner at the Rhodium Group, and Mohsen Bonakdarpour, Managing Director for Consulting Group of IHS Economics. As unconventionals production moves out of its nascence and our knowledge of the resource base improves, various impacts slowly begin to unfold. Perhaps most importantly, the economic story slowly comes to light–job growth, the effects on industry (both energy intensive and otherwise) and trade balances. Trevor Houser and Mohsen Bonakdarpour will discuss their respective reports on the topic followed by a period for Q&A. David Pumphrey, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

House Resources to look at Energy Jobs for Vets – On Wednesday, February 26th at 10:00 a.m., the House Committee on Natural Resources will convene an oversight hearing on American energy jobs and opportunities for veterans.

GWU Forum looks at Climate, Sustainability – George Washington University’s Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia (PISA) will hold a discussion on Thursday, February 27th at 12:00 p.m. climate and sustainable development in Myanmar.  The presentation will provide a review of the historical, an overview of contemporary and a preview of potential outcomes of the inextricable linkage of climate and social, economic and human development as well as some policy, technical, management and institutional response measures. It will make the case for temporal and spatial inter-connectedness as well as the need to go beyond sustainability and include resiliency. The challenge in Myanmar as well as in other ASEAN countries is the fierce urgency of how to be more sustainable and resilient in crafting development policies, strategies and actions. The opportunity for transformational institutional, capacity building, technology, economic instruments, and management response options will be discussed.  Nay Htun of Stony Brook University will speak.

Interior Sects, former WY Gov. Headline CO Law Forum – The University of Colorado Law School will host the inaugural Martz Winter Symposium on February 27th and 28th in Boulder.  People from different disciplines and backgrounds will discuss the specific challenges confronting efforts to operationalize sustainability in the context of natural resource industries. The symposium will discuss the idea of sustainability and how it is taking shape in particular places and sectors; rigorously explore current efforts to re-organize certain business practices under the rubric of sustainability; and endeavor to identify practical, meaningful actions to deepen ongoing efforts to make sustainability a central tenet of our economic, social, and environmental future.  Speakers will include Jeff Bingaman, former Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and U.S. Senator from New Mexico, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Designate Michael Connor, former Governor of Wyoming Dave Freudenthal, former Interior Secretaries Gale Norton and Ken Salazar.

CA Clean Energy Roundtable Set – The Environmental Markets Association and PG&E will hold the first Thought Leader Round Table of 2014 on Friday, February 28th in San Francisco at the offices of PG&E.  EMA’s Regional Round Tables are designed to promote open discussions between industry professionals and regulatory officials. With 30-50 attendees at each of the Round Tables, presenters and attendees come away with a new knowledge and understanding of issues and potential solutions.

Smart Grid Forum Set – On Friday February 28th, the U.S. Trade & Development Agency will hold the first in a series of sector-specific Trade Talks at its headquarters in Arlington, VA. Attendees will learn how to expand their business in the global electricity transmission and distribution market, which is forecast to reach nearly $500 billion over the next seven years. USTDA’s Trade Talk: Smart Grid will feature briefings from technical experts and U.S. Government officials, as well as industry case studies and an open forum discussion.

CERA Week Set – March 3-7th will be CERA week in Houston.  CERAWeek 2014, presented by IHS Energy, will focus on the accelerating pace of change in energy markets, technologies, and geopolitics—and the emerging competitive playing field. The competitive landscape is evolving rapidly, affecting countries, companies, sources of supply, fuels for end-use markets, investment, logistics, human capital, and technological innovation. Companies face considerable risk as they seek to invest to support long-term growth.  Again, CERAWeek has a crazy list of speakers including Valero CEO Bill Klesse, Duke CEO Lynn Good, EPA’s Gina McCarthy, Energy Sect Ernie Moniz, EIA’s Adam Sieminski, Sen Energy ranking member Lisa Murkowski, BHP Billiton CEO Andrew MacKenzie, Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler and many, many more.

WAPA to Host Gala – The Washington Automotive Press Assn will holds its annual gala on March 13th at the National Press Club.

Methanol Forum Set – The Methanol Institute, the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and the U.S. Energy Security Council will host the 2014 Methanol Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. on March 18th at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill.  The event will bring together industry leaders, energy policy experts, executive branch officials, Members of Congress, academics and the media to share information about methanol’s potential as a liquid transportation fuel against the backdrop of the shale gas revolution and a resurgence of domestic methanol production.  The event will kick-off with a panel of CEO’s representing the growing number of methanol producers opening plants in Louisiana, Texas and beyond. It will provide the most up-to-date information on methanol fuel blending around the globe, with experts from China, Israel, Australia and Europe. Officials from the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency will join with technology innovators to discuss how to unlock our vehicles to methanol. Plus, there will be a special luncheon discussion with members of the U.S. Energy Security Council — a “who’s who” of Washington policy leaders — on fuel choices. Speakers will include former Louisiana Sen. and Energy Committee Chair J. Bennett Johnston, former National Security Advisor, Robert McFarlane and former President of Shell John Hofmeister.

WCEE to Honor GE, Deloitte Energy Leaders – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment will hold its 33rd Annual Woman of the Year Reception and Dinner Gala on Wednesday, March 26th at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington DC. WCEE said that its members have voted to honor Deb Frodl, Global Executive Director at GE, ecomagination as WCEE’s 2014 Woman of the Year.  Frodl leads GE’s business strategy and commitment to “accelerate innovation and growth in a resource constrained world through efficient and resilient solutions.”  Committed to encouraging the success of women in her field, Frodl also serves as Executive Champion of the Minneapolis GE Women’s Network and is a member of the Executive Steering Committee for GE Commercial Women. WCEE is also honoring Greg Aliff, Vice Chairman and Senior Partner of Energy Resources at Deloitte LLP, is WCEE’s 2014 Champion.

 

Energy Update Week of January 13

Friends,

Last night, the Golden Globes were entertaining…And out just in time for the 11:00 news.  I thought the winners were a good mix that showed what a quality year it was for film and TV.  The funniest part of the excellent low-key hosting from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler was watching Poehler make out with Bono.  How great are the members of U2 to still be such important players on our cultural and political scene after all these years.  Pretty impressive.

Many people are focus on the chemical spill in West Virginia.  While some in the enviro community played their usual political theater, our friend David Biello at Scientific American has a terrific, matter-of-fact piece that discusses the issue and the potential hazards.

The Senate jumps back in this week with a hearing on the President’s Climate Plan on Thursday as a birthday gift to me.  While I love going to EPW to celebrate, unfortunately some of the expert witnesses are scientists like Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry, so who knows what they will be saying about the President’s Policy.  Usually, most scientists will steer clear of the policy game (in the past, Curry has tended not to be one of them).  Of course, that may be a bit of the plan for Chairwoman Boxer, if our past experience of these climate hearings bears out.

In town this week, we continue the 2014 preview events after last week’s Chamber of Commerce and API speeches.  On the docket, the US Chamber’s 21st Century Energy group will roll out Energy Works For US, its new plan to move the energy revolution forward on Wednesday.  That same day, ACCCE/Real Clear Politics holds a 2014 energy preview and Black & Veatch releases its Electricity Market Perspective in the evening.  The US Energy Assn’s State of the Energy Industry event will be at the Press Club on Thursday afternoon.   Finally, given the recent incidents, more people might be interested in the 8:30 a.m. Friday meeting hosted by DOT and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that will look at current and future research projects.

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit opens today with previews for press, government officials before public opening tomorrow. Earlier talk is focused on EVs and lighter weight material use, such as aluminum, in additional to the usual concept cars and product lines.  Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx attends today with Vice President Biden, Commerce’s Penny Pritzker, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy attending later in the week.  Of course, they will also play a bigger role later this month when the products move to DC for the Washington Auto show, which has become the auto policy version of the Detroit Product show.   Speaking of Auto Policy, keep your eyes peeled for a BGov even next Tuesday on the subject.

 

Finally, in case you missed it last week, I am re-sending the top 14 issues for 2014.  Call with questions.

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

 

Top 14 Issues for ‘14

As you know, each year for the first update of the year, I highlight a number of important issues for you to put on your agenda for the year.  So here we go with the Top 14 issues for 2014:

1) Politics, Politics, Politics – In 2014, the year will be impacted greatly by the politics of the mid-term election in November.  More so than usual, there is great uncertainty about who has the advantage heading into this key year.  Expect most of the air in the room to be taken up between health care politics and continued budget battles that will play out in 2014, but there will be energy issues that invade the limelight, especially regionally and when key decisions are made like the Keystone pipeline decision and the Supreme Court’s expected Spring ruling on power plant emissions.   Conventional wisdom reminds that that Democrats are defending the majority of the vulnerable Senate seats and the mid-term of a President’s second term are usual difficult for his party, but also Congress is at all-time low approvals.

2) New Personnel Might Changes Some Minds, Approach –  1) Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu: Speaking of vulnerable Senate seats, Landrieu is among them, but the appointment on Max Baucus to be ambassador to China and Ron Wyden’s expected move to Finance might give Landrieu an early gift as chair of the Senate’s Energy Committee.   2) John Podesta: Podesta’s move to the White House to head the President’s Energy team will create some credibility that this Administration has not had to date.  While Podesta is definitely in line with the enviro community and will be their advocate, he also has significant political and process knowledge that will make him a much more powerful force than either Heather Zichal or Carol Browner.   3) FERC Chair:  With Wellinghoff out and Bins sacked, who steps up next will be another interesting question for 2014.  Look for NARUC power broker Collette Honorable of Arkansas to be at the front of the line.

3) NatGas 2014 – One of the biggest issues on the energy front this year will be the continued role of natural gas in the energy sector.  Its availability will remain the most important question, but other issues including state/federal regulations, political battles and legal fights will create additional potential problems. EIA says in a new report that Shale energy production will “continue to lift domestic supply and reshape the U.S. energy economy” and will result in near-historic levels of domestic crude oil production, higher levels of natural gas production, and dramatically reduce our reliance on imported energy.  All the more reason why we are in a better position that even just a few short years ago.

4) Key LNG Decisions – The chipping away of application approvals continues to be a steady drip despite some strong internal industry competition and opposition.  The key won’t be whether more applications are approved though.  The key for 2014 will be whether one of those already approved beats litigation and opposition to finally makes it to the finish line and starts exporting.

5) RFS: To Cut or Not to Cut – Expect this to remain an interesting talking point this year after the EPA issued a proposal to reduce the amount of ethanol.  While both sides have hammered each other for years, there are two key players to watch: environmental groups and Valero.  Valero is the largest independent refiner in the US, but also one of the largest ethanol manufacturers so they carry extra credibility.  As for enviros have never been enamored with the RFS.  For years they really looked the other way and hoped that second gen biofuels and cellulosic industries would emerge, but they haven’t.  Adding to the challenge for ethanol, the industry has lost much of its clout, both in politics and in the marketplace.  It has been some years in the making, but combined with the lack of development of the 2nd gen/cellulosic, they have lost a lot of credibility.  The politics just aren’t as favorable as they used to be for ethanol, especially since this election year doesn’t run through Iowa.

6) Keystone – Is it finally time?  That is the question.  Why this has become such a flash point for some environmental activists may be an even more important question.  Most expect the President to approve the pipeline, but look for a good cop/bad cop approach with Secretary John Kerry and a heavy dose of focus on implementing the new GHG rules, which would have a much more dramatic impact on the environment and the economy.

7) Focus on Crude Transportation – Speaking of transporting crude, given a number of incidents, expect a wider, more detailed focus on the infrastructure issues surrounding transportation of oil.  Enviro activists who have at times struggled to rally support against Keystone may be able to mainstream themselves with other enviros who have stayed in the background on the Keystone fight.  The first shot in this battle was the recent revelation from PHMSA saying that Bakken oil may be more flammable than traditional crude. (that won’t move to the top of the activists’ key talking points…oh it already has?)

8) Crude Oil Exports? – Speaking of Keystone, there is a growing debate over whether we should be exporting crude oil.  The fire was stoked by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz when he suggested revisiting the ban on almost all oil exports.  Expect this to be a key point for the oil industry and I expect it to come up tomorrow at API’s State of the industry event.   Don’t kid yourself though: this one doesn’t break down along the typical party lines and politics 2014 (and the usual gas price increases in the summer) may ice this issue to another future time.

9) Vogtle Nuclear Success – Last year, we pegged action on some nuclear projects as a key for the future of expanding nuclear power.  While others have fallen off the radar screen, the brightest shining light continues to be Southern’s Vogtle Plant, which is currently fighting through the challenges, crossing significant milestones and will soon be at 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.

10) Loan Guarantee Successes – As I mentioned in the blurb about 60 Minutes, the DOE Loan Guarantee program will be seen in a different light after 2014.  Already, several important projects are just going on-line and will generate some real-world successes for the program.  They start with Tesla and several solar projects in California like Ivanpah.

11) PTC Deal in Larger Tax Reform – While the Production Tax Credit (PTC) expired quietly on January 1st, not much noise was made given the change in status that allows the trigger point to be “commence construction”  rather than “in-service. “  That change gave developers another year or so to finish projects already started.  But this leads to a larger question:  Will it be renewed again?  I suspect the answer is yes in the long-time tax extenders package that is expected to run along with the mandatory debt ceiling legislation which is required sometime in the first quarter of 2014 (depending on whom you ask).   Most experts think it may take the form of a longer-term phase out, maybe 4 or 5 years.  A key player to watch is Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.

12) Impacts of Mexican Energy Reforms – Energy is the most contentious and challenging reform for the Mexican government. With declining oil revenues and increasing dependence upon imports of refined oil and gas from the United States, the Mexican government will need to significantly reform its national oil company PEMEX, as well as modify the role played by international oil and service companies. While constitutional reforms approved in December 2013 are a necessary precondition, forthcoming enabling legislation and its implementation will determine the shape and success of Mexico’s energy reforms.  And it will have an important impact on what we do here, especially in the Gulf of Mexico. The reform will open investment opportunities for American energy and service infrastructure companies seeking new energy markets as well as access to Mexico.

13) Offshore Wind Will Blow in This Year – We have been saying to watch this for a couple years now, but this IS the year for offshore wind.   With the litigation, delays and construction challenges finally getting resolved, most experts really expect that we will see our first offshore wind projects finally completed. There is no doubt that 2013 saw significant progress for the fledgling industry. With strong government leadership at the state and federal levels working together with the innovators on the front lines of the economic and technical development, we are closer than ever to really starting an entirely new industry that promises revenue, jobs and clean energy, all in one.  This year will finally be time to get a project in Rhode Island, Delaware or New Jersey or Massachusetts in the water and operating.

14) The Biggest and Most Important: GHG regulations – This will be the epic battle of 2014.  So much to say…  This will not be resolved this year, but nearly every fight starts with this issue.  This year will feature the released draft rule, the comment period and more EPA hearings.  It is also expected to have the release of rules for existing plants (one year from the President’s Summer 2013 Georgetown Speech).  Most experts say the challenges will be much more difficult, more costly and legally questionable.   They also say the timelines may have to slip, especially in a tough political year.  Finally, as stated earlier, the SCOTUS decision on the Cross State pollution rule will also have an impact.

 

IN THE NEWS

Rockefeller, Wyden Look for Rail Investigation on Oil Incidents – In the wake of a series of explosive train derailments containing crude oil – including two in the last two weeks – Chairman Rockefeller (Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation) and Chairman Wyden (Senate Committee on Energy) wrote a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz urging prompt and decisive action on crude oil transportation.  In the letter, Rockefeller and Wyden request the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Energy (DOE) begin an investigation to thoroughly understand the current and future volumes of crude oil that will be shipped on railroads; evaluate the crudes to understand whether they require special precautions and handling; evaluate and update safety requirements to ensure they adequately address the risks of carrying crude oil and finalize DOT’s rule implementing the rail risk reduction program that was signed into law in 2008.

Vogtle Plant Video on Mother Nature Network – I mentioned Vogtle above in the Top 14 in ’14 as being essential to the future of nuclear power.  That being said, Southern Company and Mother Nature Network have collaborated on a video highlighting the size and scope of the Vogtle 3 and 4 project.  When completed, the Vogtle complex will be the largest nuclear generating station in the US. Walking across it will be equivalent to walking from the Washington monument to the Lincoln Memorial.  It runs for about two minutes and has a really great narrator…

UK Looking to NatGas Drilling –The French oil giant Total is on the verge of becoming the first major oil company to explore for natural gas and oil in shale rock in Britain. Under the deal, which may be announced as soon as today, Total would commit about $50 million for a roughly 40% stake in licenses held by a group of companies.  I know this won’t surprise you, but the Bracewell London Office has some of the best natgas experts in the region who are very familiar with what is happening in Britain.  I can connect you if you are interested or look here for Jason Fox, Olivia Caddy and several others.

Solar Glass Half Full, Half Empty – The LA Times’ Julie Cart has another piece today hitting the solar industry this time over the pace of utility project development.  Citing the uncertainty of the future of federal tax credits and the cost of solar power, Cart says development of big solar projects have slowed to a standstill.  While acknowledging several major projects coming on-line this year (including the innovative CSP Ivanpah project) she still strings together a number of separate facts to fit her thesis.  But while the LA Times highlights supposed woes, the business network CNBC has a very different take saying  even as the U.S. churns out more fossil fuels, evidence abounds that alternative energy in general—and solar in particular—is staging a comeback of sorts.  CNBC: “Observers credit an increase in solar capacity, falling photovoltaic (PV) costs and the extension of tax credits for renewable energy for the sector’s revival.  Rather than mounting a competitive threat to oil and gas, solar energy is instead carving a niche in creating electricity, experts say.”   The story goes on to highlight how the solar revival is sending solar stocks on a tear.  It even uses some of the same Cart stats about utility use of solar slowing.  But just shows whether you are looking at the glass half full or half empty, it matters in how you view the larger picture.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

PA NatGas Public Hearings to Look at Court Ruling, Regs – On the heels of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s recent decision that struck down key portions of the state’s oil and gas law, the PA Environmental Quality Board is holding public hearings throughout the state to accept public comment on proposed new regulations for oil and gas development in Pennsylvania. The new regulations will significantly shape PA DEP’s actions on oil and gas activities. The first hearing was last Thursday in West Chester, and tonight, there will be a hearing in Williamsport, with two others on Wednesday and Thursday in Crawford County and Cumberland County respectively.  A complete listing of hearing dates and locations, as well as other information, can be found here.

Detroit Auto Show Rolls Again after New Year – Just like the sun rising, a New Year means important college football games and the roll out of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit launches Monday through January 26th.  Now in its 26th 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.

House Committee to Focus on Transpo Bill – The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow to look at building the foundation for surface transportation reauthorization.

Whitfield, Manchin GHG Legislation Gets to House Energy Mark Up – The Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee will mark up legislation from Chairman Whitfield and Sen. Joe Manchin that targets EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations.

NSF Meeting to Focus on Science, Math – National Science Foundation will hold a meeting tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. of the Advisory Committee for Mathematical and Physical Sciences to study data, programs, policies, and other information pertinent to the National Science Foundation and to provide advice and recommendations concerning research in mathematics and physical sciences.

BPC Forum to Look at Ukraine – The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) will hold a discussion tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on Ukraine democracy, geopolitics, economics and energy.  Our friend and former Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky will speak along with Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the United States Ryszard Schnepf and Angela Stent, director of the Center for Eurasian Russian & East European Studies at Georgetown University.

Brookings Event to Look at US, Japan Energy – The Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will host a discussion tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on the overall energy security implications for Japan resulting from the hydrocarbon “renaissance” in the U.S. Panelists will include Mikkal Herberg, research director in the Energy Security Program of the National Bureau of Asian Research; James Jensen, principal of Jensen Associates, Inc.; Hidehiro Muramatsu, general manager of the Washington Office of Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation; and Shoichi Itoh, senior researcher of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan. Senior Fellow Charles Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative, will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.

MIT Grid Series Continues – The MIT Club of Washington will continue its US electric grid series tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. featuring Western Electricity Coordinating Council Synchrophasor Program Manager Vickie VanZandt.  A modernized grid enables the use of renewables, which are part of the strategy to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint. The discussion will focus on how the grid will incorporate the diversity of sources that may arise from our research into distributed production techniques and renewable energy possibilities.

Chamber Energy Group to Roll out Agenda – The US Chamber’s 21st Century Energy Institute will roll out its 2014 agenda on Wednesday morning.

ACCCE, RCP to Host Energy Policy Event – The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) and Real Clear Politics will host an event on Wednesday at Noon at the Newseum looking the road ahead on U.S. Energy Policy.  The event features a keynote by Senator Joe Manchin, and a panel discussion moderated by Carl Cannon of Real Clear Politics. Panelists will be Ross Eisenberg of the National Association of Manufacturers, Daniel Kish of the Institute for Energy Research, Peter Ogden of the Center for American Progress and William Yeatman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Webinar to Tackle Key Energy Issues for 2035 – Energy Outlook 2035 webinar will be held Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. The Energy Outlook 2035 examines the wider debate on global energy issues by asking key questions.

UN Climate Chief to Address Investor Action – Global financial leaders gather in New York at the United Nations to discuss climate change and investor actions that are needed to mitigate economic risks Wednesday.  At 1:00, they will hold a news conference to discuss the agenda.  Among those speaking will be UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and Bloomberg New Energy Finance President Michael Liebreich.

B&V to Release 2014 Energy Market Perspective – Black & Veatch holds a briefing on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. at the National Press Club to preview the 2014 Energy Market Perspective. The report provides an integrated long term outlook of the U.S. energy market.  Dean Oskvig, CEO of Black & Veatch, will speak.

World Bank to Hold Transportation Conference – The World Bank and EMBARQ, the sustainable transport program of the World Resources Institute, will co-host the 11th annual Transforming Transportation conference at the World Bank in Washington, DC on Thursday and Friday.  The event provides a unique opportunity for the global transport community to discuss how to achieve large-scale and widespread adoption of sustainable solutions.  This year’s conference will look at opportunities for business to help advance the sustainable transport agenda for cities.

AGA to Release New NatGas Study – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the American Gas Association will release a new IHS CERA study on the availability of domestic natural gas and its impact on consumers, businesses and industries.   AGA President Dave McCurdy, Chris Johns of Pacific Gas & Electric and IHS CERA gas/coal/renewables expert Tim Gardner.    The event will be held at 101 Constitution Ave.

Senate Environment to Look at Climate Plan – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 9:15 a.m. looking at the President’s Climate Action Plan.  Panel one witnesses will include EPA’s Gina McCarthy, CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley, GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini and Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  On panel two, witnesses include former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (who directs Colorado State’s Center for the New Economy, Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M, NRDC’s Dan Lashof, Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry and Kathleen Hartnett White of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Senate Banking to Look at MAP 21, Pubic Transportation – The Senate Banking Committee will meet in open session to hold a hearing on Thursday at January 16th at 10:00 a.m., providing a progress report on public transportation under MAP-21.  Witnesses will include Federal Transit Administration Administrator Peter Rogoff and GAO’s Director of the Physical Infrastructure Team, David Wise.

USEA to Host State of Energy – On Thursday starting at Noon, the US Energy Association will host its 10th Annual State of the Energy Industry Forum at the National Press Club.  Distinguished leaders from the most influential and active energy trade associations will present the priorities, issues, trends, and challenges affecting the industry in 2014.  See more here.

Brookings to Look at Mexico Energy Reform – The Brookings Institution will host a forum on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the Falk Auditorium to look at the future of energy reform in Mexico.  Energy is the most contentious and challenging reform for the Mexican government.  Accordingly, the Latin America Initiative and the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will host Dr. Fluvio Ruiz Alarcón, professional counselor (independent director) on the executive board of PEMEX, for a discussion on the opportunities and challenges facing the Mexican government as it moves towards introducing future reforms. Dr. Ruiz Alarcón will be joined by Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican ambassador to the U.S. and distinguished affiliate at Brookings. LAI Director and Senior Fellow Harold Trinkunas will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.

McGinn to Focus on Powering Navy Energy Future – On Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at the U.S. Naval Heritage Center, Dennis McGinn will discuss what steps can be taken to enhance the department’s energy posture and improve operational effectiveness.  McGinn was recently confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and the Environment.

Transportation, PHMSA Meeting Set to Look at Future Research – Given the recent incidents, more people might be interested in the 8:30 Friday meeting hosted by the Transportation Department (DOT); Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that will present the results of recently completed and current research projects and to solicit comments relative to potential new research projects which may be considered for inclusion in its future work.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

WCEE Forum to Look at Stakeholder Involvement – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment and the National Capital Area Chapter of the Society for Risk Analysis will hold a forum on Monday, January 20th at 5:30 p.m. on stakeholder’s involvement through scientific reasoning.  José Palma-Oliveira, Ph.D., University of Lisbon will be the speaker.  Palma-Oliveira will focus on ways to help stakeholders without using risk communications.  The way risk communication is usually conceptualized and implemented has stakeholder persuasion as its main focus. This has failed in many cases resulting in significant stakeholder unease and stress. This talk will focus on alternative approaches of bringing stakeholders on board in projects where risk is a significant driver for decision.

EPA Science Committee Meeting Set to Discuss GHG Concerns – EPA’s Science Advisory Board will hold a teleconference on Tuesday January 21st from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to conclude its discussion about questions board members had about the science backing EPA’s proposed greenhouse regulations for new power plants.  Late last year, the SAB raised concerns about whether EPA appropriately reviewed the issue before deciding that carbon capture and sequestration is commercially available for new coal-fired power plants.  House Science Chair Lamar Smith and other committee members highlighted the problems in a recent letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy.  Specifically, the Committee members pointed out that any EPA rule requiring the capture of carbon must address where the carbon is stored.

BGov to Hold Auto Policy Briefing – Bloomberg Government will hold Its 2014 Auto Policy Briefing on Tuesday, January 21st at 8:00 a.m.  American auto sales last year were the highest since 2007, but 2014 will bring new challenges and opportunities, especially on the regulatory front. From fuel-economy standards and infrastructure spending to the prospect of improved export opportunities through new trade deals, policymakers in Washington will have a major impact on the course of the U.S. auto industry.  BGov analysts will offer a detailed look at the policy and regulatory issues facing this important industry in 2014.

Early Stage Tech Webinar Set – ARPA-E will hold a webinar on Tuesday January 21st at 1:00 p.m. that will identify path to market for early-stage technologies.  In early 2013, ARPA-E partnered with NSF for a pilot program that put several ARPA-E project teams through the rigorous I-Corps program curriculum. I-Corps guides applied research teams through an iterative customer and business model discovery process aimed at identifying a path to market for early-stage technologies. Join us for an informative discussion about the i-Corps process and its value to researchers.  ARPA-E Program Director and Senior Commercialization Advisor Dr. Ilan Gur will moderate a session featuring first-hand accounts by Dr. Anita LaSalle, NSF I-Corps Program Officer, and Sri Narayan, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Southern California and recent I-Corps graduate.

Policy Auto Show Locked In, Ford COO to Keynote – Following Detroit, the Washington Auto Show, the automotive industry’s annual public policy show and the largest public show held in Washington, D.C., will be held on January 22nd through February 2nd.  This year, Mark Fields, chief operating officer of Ford Motor Company, will deliver the keynote address at the Newsmaker Breakfast on Wednesday to launch the event.  The Newsmaker Breakfast – co-sponsored by Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) and the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) – is part of the show’s Public Policy Days. The breakfast follows the Policy Days’ kickoff event on Capitol Hill. For more information about The Washington Auto Show, please visit www.washingtonautoshow.com

DOE’s Kenderdine Addresses ICF Breakfast Series – ICF International’s Energy Breakfast Series continues on Thursday, January 23rd at 8:00 a.m. when it hosts DOE’s Melanie A. Kenderdine as the keynote speaker.

Iowa to Hold Public Session on EPA Ethanol Regs – Gov. Terry Branstad is hosting a public hearing on Thursday, January 23rd in Des Moines to give Iowa citizens a chance to comment on the EPA proposal that would reduce the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply.  Wonder what they’ll say?

BPC to Look at Arctic Oil Issues – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on Thursday, January 23rd at the Washington Court Hotel focused on navigating the oil frontier that will focus on the implications of the tight oil boom on Arctic and ultra-deepwater oil development. The topics include disaster response and spill cleanup, Arctic climate change adaptation, and the specific challenges of the Arctic’s unique geology and environment.

WRI to Look ay On-Grid Renewable Resources – The World Resources Institute will launch the first publication in the 10 Questions to Ask series on Thursday January 23rd at 4:30 p.m. The “10 Questions to Ask About Scaling On-Grid Renewable Energy” is a framework designed to facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement for improving renewable energy policy. The authors will present the framework, and WRI partners from India, Brazil, South Africa and Kyrgyzstan will discuss its relevance to their respective countries. A wine reception will follow.  By the end of 2012, 138 countries worldwide had introduced renewable energy (RE) targets, and investments in new RE capacity totaled US$244 billion that year. Globally, RE is gaining momentum, with over 480 gigawatts (GW) of installed renewable power capacity. RE is now at the forefront of many national energy development plans.  The progress made in many countries has also highlighted the complexities of increasing the rate of RE deployment at the national level. Deploying renewable energy on an economy-wide scale requires solutions to a range of short- medium- and long-term challenges. These include resolving economic questions about how the costs of new RE generation will be distributed among electricity consumers, investors, taxpayers, and other stakeholders, and technological challenges such as accommodating intermittent supply, upgrading or adding transmission and distribution grids, and addressing knowledge gaps.  Speakers will include report authors Davida Wood and Sarah Martin of WRI and Shantanu Dixit of Prayas Energy Group, India.

SEJ to Host Forum to Look at Year Ahead in Energy, Environment – The Society of Environmental Journalists, the Wilson Center and the Global Sustainability and Resilience Program will host a panel on Friday, January 24th at 3:00 p.m. at the Wilson Center to look at the year ahead in environmental and energy issues. A panel of veteran journalists will offer their thoughts on what will be the biggest environment and energy stories in the U.S. and around the world. Bloomberg BNA’s Larry Pearl will kick off the discussion with an overview of the key legislative, regulatory, and legal developments expected in 2014, followed by a roundtable with six top journalists covering local, national, and international environmental issues.  Others panelists will include Douglas Fischer of The Daily Climate, NYT’s Coral Davenport, Dennis Dimick of National Geographic Magazine, The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg, Cheryl Hogue of Chemical & Engineering News and Andy Revkin, New York Times Environmental Blogger (Dot Earth) and Pace University Journalism professor.

Energy Summit Set – The 2014 American Energy Summit will be held on January 27 – 28, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia and will focus on the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on new energy projects by the federal government, state and local governments, and by private industry.

STATE OF THE UNION, January 28th – President Obama will deliver his State of the Union Address to Congress on Tuesday, January 28th.  While healthcare and job creation are expected to get top billing, Energy is expected to play a prominent role.

SNL Conference On Energy M&A Set for NYC – SNL Energy’s 27th Annual Exnet Power and Gas M&A Symposium – an national energy conference will be held on January 28th and 29th  at the Ritz-Carlton in New York.  The Symposium is the annual go-to event for industry executives, as well as financial and legal advisors who are concerned with strategic planning, business development and the economics of the sector. The speakers and audience are comprised of industry decision-makers, plus heads of power and utility practices at leading investment banks, law firms and consultancies.

Maisano to Headline Media Seminar – For those of you focused on media relations and policy communications, I will be participating in a webinar on February 4th focused on creating a successful media strategies for the policy environment.  We will look at the nexus between policy communications and government affairs, as well as crisis management.  Finally, we will offer some of the tools of the trade.  We can also help you with a discount if you want to join in.

Bracewell to Host Environmental Symposium in Houston – On February 11th, Bracewell & Giuliani will host a forum on environment issues in Houston.  More on this in the upcoming weeks.  While it will not be open to the media, it will feature B&G experts in a series of briefings and discussions about the most challenging environmental legal issues facing the energy and heavy industries today.

Chamber Sets Transpo Summit – On February 20, the U.S. Chamber will gather leaders and experts from all sectors of transportation for the second annual Let’s Rebuild America Transportation Summit-Infrastructure Intersection-to examine the important role transportation infrastructure plays across major sectors of America’s economy. At the summit, presenters will explore five key infrastructure intersections-Energy, Manufacturing, Agriculture, Technology, and Healthcare-and how each sector requires well-functioning transportation infrastructure systems to realize its full potential.

Vilsack, Ag Economist Glauber, Trade Rep Froman to Headline USDA Forum – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will hold the 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum on February 20th and 21st at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Va.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will moderate two general session panels on the Future of Agriculture.  Speaking in the first panel will be Administrator of the U. S. Agency for International Development Rajiv Shah; President of the Produce Marketing Association Cathy Burns; and Kellee James, founder and CEO of Mercaris, a market trading platform for organic agricultural commodities.  The second panel focuses on young farmers and includes Executive Director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition Michael O’Gorman; Joanna Carraway, a young Kentucky farmer who won the 2013 Top Producer Horizon Award; Greg Wegis, who operates a 17,600-acre vegetable and nut farm in California; and the Interim Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition, Emily Oakley.  USDA’s Chief Economist Joseph Glauber will deliver the 2014 Agricultural & Foreign Trade Outlooks. The Forum’s dinner speaker will be U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.

Methanol Forum Set – The Methanol Institute, the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and the U.S. Energy Security Council will host the 2014 Methanol Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. on March 18th at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill.  The event will bring together industry leaders, energy policy experts, executive branch officials, Members of Congress, academics and the media to share information about methanol’s potential as a liquid transportation fuel. Against the backdrop of the shale gas revolution and a resurgence of domestic methanol production.  The event will kick-off with a panel of CEO’s representing the growing number of methanol producers opening plants in Louisiana, Texas and beyond. It will provide the most up-to-date information on methanol fuel blending around the globe, with experts from China, Israel, Australia and Europe. Officials from the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency will join with technology innovators to discuss how to unlock our vehicles to methanol. Plus, there will be a special luncheon discussion with members of the U.S. Energy Security Council — a “who’s who” of Washington policy leaders — on fuel choices.

Energy Update Week of January 6

Friends,

Just a short intro today because 1) I want to get to the Top 14 for ‘14 and 2) I am completely overloaded with sports.  From the Winter Classic at the Big House (105K-plus) to the football playoffs, the firing of a bunch of NFL coaches and the end of the College Bowl season with tonight’s Florida State-Auburn game, there is just so much going on.  And this doesn’t even contemplate the upcoming 2014 winter Olympics which begin next month.  (can’t wait for the Olympic Hockey and the Curling competitions.)

The other story of 2014 so far seems to be the cold weather…  While I know some of you thought I was going to make a global warming comment, but really, I just remind you that it is winter…  Have you ever been ice fishing on Green Bay in the middle of January?  I can tell you that it is pretty cold.

As regular as the ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, this week starts the “State of the (Fill in the Blank)” events that go on in Washington every January.  Tomorrow at Noon will be the first and often most widely-attended hosted by API’s Jack Gerard at the Newseum.

Also a regular staple of January are AUTO SHOWS…Yes, the world-famous North American International Auto Show launches next week in Detroit followed closely by the Washington Auto show, which has recently become a great, policy-focused follow up to the big Detroit product car show.

Finally, last night the respected news magazine 60 Minutes did a significant and serious piece on Clean Tech issues.  Unfortunately, its title “Clean Tech Crash” and its over focus on the few high-profile failures tends to undermine the true state and significant successes of the industry.   More on this below.

BTW, Stop hording the incandescent light bulbs… They are not as good as the newer, improved (and much more efficient) light bulbs.  On to the Top 14…

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

 

Top 14  Issues for ‘14

As you know, each year for the first update of the year, I highlight a number of important issues for you to put on your agenda for the year.  So here we go with the Top 14 issues for 2014:

1) Politics, Politics, Politics – In 2014, the year will be impacted greatly by the politics of the mid-term election in November.  More so than usual, there is great uncertainty about who has the advantage heading into this key year.  Expect most of the air in the room to be taken up between health care politics and continued budget battles that will play out in 2014, but there will be energy issues that invade the limelight, especially regionally and when key decisions are made like the Keystone pipeline decision and the Supreme Court’s expected Spring ruling on power plant emissions.   Conventional wisdom reminds that that Democrats are defending the majority of the vulnerable Senate seats and the mid-term of a President’s second term are usual difficult for his party, but also Congress is at all-time low approvals.

2) New Personnel Might Changes Some Minds, Approach –  1) Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu: Speaking of vulnerable Senate seats, Landrieu is among them, but the appointment on Max Baucus to be ambassador to China and Ron Wyden’s expected move to Finance might give Landrieu an early gift as chair of the Senate’s Energy Committee.   2) John Podesta: Podesta’s move to the White House to head the President’s Energy team will create some credibility that this Administration has not had to date.  While Podesta is definitely in line with the enviro community and will be their advocate, he also has significant political and process knowledge that will make him a much more powerful force than either Heather Zichal or Carol Browner.   3) FERC Chair:  With Wellinghoff out and Bins sacked, who steps up next will be another interesting question for 2014.  Look for NARUC power broker Collette Honorable of Arkansas to be at the front of the line.

3) NatGas 2014 – One of the biggest issues on the energy front this year will be the continued role of natural gas in the energy sector.  It’s availability will remain the most important question, but other issues including state/federal regulations, political battles and legal fights will create additional potential problems. EIA says in a new report that Shale energy production will “continue to lift domestic supply and reshape the U.S. energy economy” and will result in near-historic levels of domestic crude oil production, higher levels of natural gas production, and dramatically reduce our reliance on imported energy.  All the more reason why we are in a better position that even just a few short years ago.

4) Key LNG Decisions – The chipping away of application approvals continues to be a steady drip despite some strong internal industry competition and opposition.  The key won’t be whether more applications are approved though.  The key for 2014 will be whether one of those already approved beats litigation and opposition to finally makes it to the finish line and starts exporting.

5) RFS: To Cut or Not to Cut – Expect this to remain an interesting talking point this year after the EPA issued a proposal to reduce the amount of ethanol.  While both sides have hammered each other for years, there are two key players to watch: environmental groups and Valero.  Valero is the largest independent refiner in the US, but also one of the largest ethanol manufacturers so they carry extra credibility.  As for enviros have never been enamored with the RFS.  For years they really looked the other way and hoped that second gen biofuels and cellulosic industries would emerge, but they haven’t.  Adding to the challenge for ethanol, the industry has lost much of its clout, both in politics and in the marketplace.  It has been some years in the making, but combined with the lack of development of the 2nd gen/cellulosic, they have lost a lot of credibility.  The politics just aren’t as favorable as they used to be for ethanol, especially since this election year doesn’t run through Iowa.

6) Keystone – Is it finally time?  That is the question.  Why this has become such a flash point for some environmental activists may be an even more important question.  Most expect the President to approve the pipeline, but look for a good cop/bad cop approach with Secretary John Kerry and a heavy dose of focus on implementing the new GHG rules, which would have a much more dramatic impact on the environment and the economy.

7) Focus on Crude Transportation – Speaking of transporting crude, given a number of incidents, expect a wider, more detailed focus on the infrastructure issues surrounding transportation of oil.  Enviro activists who have at times struggled to rally support against Keystone may be able to mainstream themselves with other enviros who have stayed in the background on the Keystone fight.  The first shot in this battle was the recent revelation from PHMSA saying that Bakken oil may be more flammable than traditional crude. (that won’t move to the top of the activists’ key talking points…oh it already has?)

8) Crude Oil Exports? – Speaking of Keystone, there is a growing debate over whether we should be exporting crude oil.  The fire was stoked by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz when he suggested revisiting the ban on almost all oil exports.  Expect this to be a key point for the oil industry and I expect it to come up tomorrow at API’s State of the industry event.   Don’t kid yourself though: this one doesn’t break down along the typical party lines and politics 2014 (and the usual gas price increases in the summer) may ice this issue to another future time.

9) Vogtle Nuclear Success – Last year, we pegged action on some nuclear projects as a key for the future of expanding nuclear power.  While others have fallen off the radar screen, the brightest shining light continues to be Southern’s Vogtle Plant, which is currently fighting through the challenges, crossing significant milestones and will soon be at 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.

10) Loan Guarantee Successes – As I mentioned in the blurb about 60 Minutes, the DOE Loan Guarantee program will be seen in a different light after 2014.  Already, several important projects are just going on-line and will generate some real-world successes for the program.  They start with Tesla and several solar projects in California like Ivanpah.

11) PTC Deal in Larger Tax Reform – While the Production Tax Credit (PTC) expired quietly on January 1st, not much noise was made given the change in status that allows the trigger point to be “commence construction”  rather than “in-service. “  That change gave developers another year or so to finish projects already started.  But this leads to a larger question:  Will it be renewed again?  I suspect the answer is yes in the long-time tax extenders package that is expected to run along with the mandatory debt ceiling legislation which is required sometime in the first quarter of 2014 (depending on whom you ask).   Most experts think it may take the form of a longer-term phase out, maybe 4 or 5 years.  A key player to watch is Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.

12) Impacts of Mexican Energy Reforms – Energy is the most contentious and challenging reform for the Mexican government. With declining oil revenues and increasing dependence upon imports of refined oil and gas from the United States, the Mexican government will need to significantly reform its national oil company PEMEX, as well as modify the role played by international oil and service companies. While constitutional reforms approved in December 2013 are a necessary precondition, forthcoming enabling legislation and its implementation will determine the shape and success of Mexico’s energy reforms.  And it will have an important impact on what we do here, especially in the Gulf of Mexico. The reform will open investment opportunities for American energy and service infrastructure companies seeking new energy markets as well as access to Mexico.

13) Offshore Wind Will Blow in This Year – We have been saying to watch this for a couple years now, but this IS the year for offshore wind.   With the litigation, delays and construction challenges finally getting resolved, most experts really expect that we will see our first offshore wind projects finally completed. There is no doubt that 2013 saw significant progress for the fledgling industry. With strong government leadership at the state and federal levels working together with the innovators on the front lines of the economic and technical development, we are closer than ever to really starting an entirely new industry that promises revenue, jobs and clean energy, all in one.  This year will finally be time to get a project in Rhode Island, Delaware or New Jersey or Massachusetts in the water and operating.

14) The Biggest and Most Important: GHG regulations – This will be the epic battle of 2014.  So much to say…  This will not be resolved this year, but nearly every fight starts with this issue.  This year will feature the released draft rule, the comment period and more EPA hearings.  It is also expected to have the release of rules for existing plants (one year from the President’s Summer 2013 Georgetown Speech).  Most experts say the challenges will be much more difficult, more costly and legally questionable.   They also say the timelines may have to slip, especially in a tough political year.  Finally, as stated earlier, the SCOTUS decision on the Cross State pollution rule will also have an impact.

 

IN THE NEWS

60 Minutes Focuses On CleanTech Challenges – The news magazine 60 Minutes released its long-expected story on Sunday that said tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer support for green-technology companies were wasted.  The unfortunately titled, “Cleantech Crash,” set off a furious battle over the true story surrounding clean tech issues.   While the 60 Minutes segment underscores some hard to argue facts about failures at Solyndra, A123 and Fisker, among others, it really only acknowledges successes of the program which we are just starting to see.  This one line in the 15 Minute report:  “The stimulus investment wasn’t a total bust. It helped create the successful electric car company Tesla.  A few of other companies are starting to show promise, and loans are being repaid.”  This makes the CBS timing fortunate for their story’s approach, but not reflective of the successes that will really start to be evident this year.  Our friends on both sides mention the story.  At ACORE, they pushed back during the segment on social media with their Energy Fact Check web site.  Others added that the DOE Loan Program has a 97% success rate. In July 2012, the former head of the loan guarantee program testified to Congress that funds that went to bankrupt companies represented less than 3 percent of the total Department of Energy portfolio, a far better success than the venture capitalists.  As well, solar and wind continue to play a significant role in energy generation and job creation in the US.  All fair and important points…and ones missed by 60 Minutes.   Also our friend Katie Fehrenbacher has a fair piece that looks at what 60 Minutes may have gotten right and where they went astray.

NYT:  Wall Street on Solar Craze – As I mentioned earlier on the timing of the 60 Minutes story, the timing seems to be everything…In fact, over the weekend, the New York Times focused on Solar City and its exploding interest on Wall Street.

WSJ’s Gold Releases New NatGas Book – Award-winning journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist Russell Gold offers an insightful, no-holds-barred exploration of natural gas drilling practices in his new book that will be released this month.  Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of injecting fluid into the ground at extremely high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks and release the oil and natural gas inside. It has been the subject of three major films, countless news articles, and has become a hotly contested topic both for its environmental impact and its positive effect on the economy and job creation. In The Boom, Gold examines both sides of the arguments and illuminates the truth of this frequently misunderstood technology. It is a thrilling journey filled with memorable and colorful characters: a green-minded Texas oilman who created the first modern frack; an Oklahoman natural gas empire–builder who gave the world an enormous new supply of energy but was brought down by his own success; and a cast of many. Gold melds his natural gift for engaging, in-depth storytelling and reportage with his insight into the energy industry to bring to life the fascinating history of how this major new source is changing the way we use energy. The Boom is not simply the story of fracking: It is the compelling and thought-provoking story of the modern global economy and how the United States—and the world—have been forever changed.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Future Energy Trade – The Brookings Institution’s Energy Security Initiative will host Senate Energy Committee ranking member Lisa Murkowski tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. to discuss the future of U.S. energy trade and its implications on the domestic economy and national security.  The boom in American oil and gas production over recent years has generated widespread discourse on U.S. energy security and policy moving forward. In its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts domestic crude oil production to nearly double from 2008 levels to 9.6 million barrels per day by 2019. The report also projects the U.S. will become a net natural gas exporter by 2018. This boom in domestic energy production has raised calls for a fresh look at existing U.S. strategies surrounding its resources.  William Antholis, managing director at Brookings, will provide introductory remarks. He will be joined by Charles Ebinger, senior fellow and director of the Brookings Energy Security Initiative, for a moderated discussion and audience Q&A following the senator’s speech.

Oil Trade Group to Discuss State of Energy – API will host its 2014 State of American Energy luncheon tomorrow at the Newseum.

US Chamber Sets Business Speech – On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue will give his annual State of American Business Address to outline the business community’s top policy priorities for the year.

WRI to Look at Stories to Watch – The World Resources Institute CEO Andrew Steer will offer his perspectives on the major global developments in economics, business, natural resources and sustainability in the coming year on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at the National Press Club’s Holeman Lounge.  Steer will look at what stories will impact people and the planet in 2014, who are the influential people and what policy decisions will take place.  Now in its 11th year, WRI’s “Stories to Watch” at the National Press Club is a go-to event for D.C.’s media, policymakers, business leaders, and consultants.

Author To Discuss Storm, Grid Resilience – The CSIS Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program will hold a discussion on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. focused on strengthening homeland security and disaster management to achieve resilience featuring Dr. Dane S. Egli, Author and Senior Advisor, National Security Strategies.  In the face of natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy and man-made disasters like the Boston Marathon attacks, some have argued that there is a growing need to shift towards a posture that emphasizes resilience across all elements of the homeland security enterprise. A career Coast Guard officer and former White House National Security Council staffer, Dr. Dane Egli makes the case in “Beyond the Storms” that the nation needs to expand its focus beyond prevention and protection to a more systemic analysis of mitigation, response, and recovery.

House Resources to Look at Coal Policies – The House Resources The House Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to look at the recent report by the Interior’s office of the Inspector General that focuses on the Administration’s coal policies.

Forum to Look at US-Japan Economic Issues – The East-West Center in Washington will host a forum on Thursday afternoon to look at innovation and growth in US-Japan economic relations in an Asia-Pacific Political Economy Seminar featuring Sean Connell.  Innovation is a key characteristic and comparative advantage of the US and Japanese economies, and it is widely recognized by policy makers, business leaders, and the broader public in both countries as essential for future growth and competitiveness. The two governments increasingly recognize innovation as an area with good potential for expanding bilateral cooperation, and in recent years this topic has risen to the fore within several joint initiatives and policy dialogues.  With Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic revitalization initiatives and Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations bringing new momentum to US-Japan economic ties, increased focus on innovation offers a potentially valuable framework for identifying new opportunities to collaborate in advancing shared goals, while addressing challenges both countries face in a competitive global environment.  In his presentation, Connell will offer views on these themes, examine ongoing bilateral initiatives including related to energy technology, and explore potential areas for new engagement.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Detroit Auto Show Rolls Again after New Year – Just like the sun rising, a New Year means important college football games and the roll out of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit launches January 13th through the 26th.  Now in its 26th 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.

House Committee to Focus on Transpo Bill – The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday, January 14th to look at building the foundation for surface transportation reauthorization.

MIT Grid Series Continues – The MIT Club of Washington will continue its US electric grid series on Tuesday January 14th at 7:00 p.m. featuring Western Electricity Coordinating Council Synchrophasor Program Manager Vickie VanZandt.  A modernized grid enables the use of renewables, which are part of the strategy to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint. The discussion will focus on how will the grid incorporate the diversity of sources that may arise from our research into distributed production techniques and renewable energy possibilities.

World Bank to Hold Transportation Conference – The World Bank and EMBARQ, the sustainable transport program of the World Resources Institute, will co-host the 11th annual Transforming Transportation conference at the World Bank in Washington, DC on Thursday and Friday, January 16th and 17th.  The event provides a unique opportunity for the global transport community to discuss how to achieve large-scale and widespread adoption of sustainable solutions.  This year’s conference will look at opportunities for business to help advance the sustainable transport agenda for cities.

USEA to Host State of Energy – On Thursday, January 16th, the US Energy Association will host its 10th Annual State of the Energy Industry Forum at the National Press Club.  Distinguished leaders from the most influential and active energy trade associations will present the priorities, issues, trends, and challenges affecting the industry in 2014.  See more here.

Brookings to Look at Mexico Energy Reform – The Brookings Institution will host a forum on Thursday, January 16th at 3:30 p.m. in the Falk Auditorium to look at the future of energy reform in Mexico.  Energy is the most contentious and challenging reform for the Mexican government.  Accordingly, the Latin America Initiative and the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will host Dr. Fluvio Ruiz Alarcón, professional counselor (independent director) on the executive board of PEMEX, for a discussion on the opportunities and challenges facing the Mexican government as it moves towards introducing future reforms. Dr. Ruiz Alarcón will be joined by Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican ambassador to the U.S. and distinguished affiliate at Brookings. LAI Director and Senior Fellow Harold Trinkunas will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.

WCEE Forum to Look at Stakeholder Involvement – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment and the National Capital Area Chapter of the Society for Risk Analysis will hold a forum on Monday, January 20th at 5:30 p.m. on stakeholder’s involvement through scientific reasoning.  José Palma-Oliveira, Ph.D., University of Lisbon will be the speaker.  Palma-Oliveira will focus on ways to help stakeholders without using risk communications.  The way risk communication is usually conceptualized and implemented has stakeholder persuasion as its main focus. This has failed in many cases resulting in significant stakeholder unease and stress. This talk will focus on alternative approaches of bringing stakeholders on board in projects where risk is a significant driver for decision.

Policy Auto Show Locked In, Ford COO to Keynote – Following Detroit, the Washington Auto Show, the automotive industry’s annual public policy show and the largest public show held in Washington, D.C., will be held on January 22, 2014 through February 2nd.  This year, Mark Fields, chief operating officer of Ford Motor Company, will deliver the keynote address at the Newsmaker Breakfast on Wednesday to launch the event.  The Newsmaker Breakfast – co-sponsored by Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) and the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) – is part of the show’s Public Policy Days. The breakfast follows the Policy Days’ kickoff event on Capitol Hill. For more information about The Washington Auto Show, please visit www.washingtonautoshow.com

Energy Summit Set – The 2014 American Energy Summit will be held on January 27 – 28, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia and will focus on the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on new energy projects by the federal government, state and local governments, and by private industry.

SNL Conference On Energy M&A Set for NYC – SNL Energy’s 27th Annual Exnet Power and Gas M&A Symposium – an national energy conference will be held on January 28th and 29th  at the Ritz-Carlton in New York.  The Symposium is the annual go-to event for industry executives, as well as financial and legal advisors who are concerned with strategic planning, business development and the economics of the sector. The speakers and audience are comprised of industry decision-makers, plus heads of power and utility practices at leading investment banks, law firms and consultancies.

Bracewell to Host Environmental Symposium in Houston – On February 11th, Bracewell & Giuliani will host a forum on environment issues in Houston.  More on this in the upcoming weeks.  While it will not be open to the media, it will feature B&G experts in a series of briefings and discussions about the most challenging environmental legal issues facing the energy and heavy industries today.

Chamber Sets Transpo Summit – On February 20, the U.S. Chamber will gather leaders and experts from all sectors of transportation for the second annual Let’s Rebuild America Transportation Summit-Infrastructure Intersection-to examine the important role transportation infrastructure plays across major sectors of America’s economy. At the summit, presenters will explore five key infrastructure intersections-Energy, Manufacturing, Agriculture, Technology, and Healthcare-and how each sector requires well-functioning transportation infrastructure systems to realize its full potential.

 

Energy Update Week of November 11

Friends,

Today is Veterans Day…A special day to say thanks to our living veterans.  While we say thanks today, we should be saying thanks every day.

By the way, I meant to report this last week, but it really struck me hard later last Monday after I received the notice of his e-mail bouncing back.  My friend, Scott Harper, 51, the longtime environmental reporter for the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot, died after a long battle of pancreatic cancer on October 26th. He had been a reporter at the Virginian-Pilot for 17 years covering the environment as good as anyone.  More importantly, he was an all-around genuine guy.  He leaves behind his wife of 22 years and three children, the oldest of whom is in his first year of college at Cornell.

Former Balt Sun reporter Rona Kobell may have captured my thoughts better than I could when she wrote that: “Scott was a tough reporter, but he never stopped being likable, even to the people he covered. It is the mark of someone truly good at what they do that, when they expose truths you would rather not be known, you still like them.”  I hope you are interested in helping Scott’s family in this time of need.  You prayers, well wishes and generosity would be appreciated.  I can forward you the information should you want it.

Last week was super busy with the EPA hearings across the country and Energy Secretary Moniz’s visit to Kemper after the CCS ministerial meeting.   This week, the schedule presses on both at the UN climate meetings, which kick off today in Poland amidst the response to the typhoon in the Philippines, and here in DC with Thursday hearings featuring EPA’s Gina McCarthy at House Science and bipartisan legislation to undo the GHG rules in the House Energy Committee.

This also looks to be a busy ethanol week.  Not only is EPA expected to make its RFS announcements any time now, the Associated Press is releasing a hard-hitting, detailed analysis of ethanol’s environmental and land-use impacts.  Of course, the RFA says it is a “smear campaign” but that seems like the same old tired argument.

Finally, congrats to our friend Dan Utech, who takes over today at the White House for the just-departed Heather Zichal as climate and energy policy advisor to the President.   Call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Moniz Heads to Kemper – The Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz went to Southern Co.’s Kemper County, Miss., carbon capture project last Friday to further a discussion of the technology started earlier in the week at energy Ministerial meetings on the topic.  The project also has received heighted attention because of its significant mentions in EPA’s proposal to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants.  The event followed the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) Ministerial Meeting in Washington, D.C., where the Kemper project was endorsed by the CSLF and added to its portfolio of pioneering activities

International Leaders Joined Moniz – Moniz led an international delegation of government and industry leaders on a tour of Kemper to see firsthand the innovative 21stcentury coal technology under construction in southeast Mississippi. During the visit, international energy ministry officials representing more than a half dozen countries discussed opportunities to leverage the facility’s technology to cleanly and efficiently meet their nations’ energy needs.

Who Was There – Joining Secretary Moniz at the Kemper facility were Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning, Mississippi Power President and CEO Ed Holland and energy ministry officials from around the world, including Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

The Moni-Money Quote – Following the visit, Secretary Moniz praised the SoCo effort: “Southern Company is, in many ways, leading all towards a 21st century generation portfolio.”

Kemper Worker, On-line Vitals –There are currently 6,000 workers onsite and more than 480 Mississippi companies involved in the Kemper project. Most recently the project met major milestones by testing the power generation portion of the plant and connection of its largest electric transmission lines. The facility is scheduled to begin operation in the fourth quarter of 2014.

DOE To Roll Out Fossil Loan Guarantees – Just prior to rolling to Kemper, the DOE announced 18 projects across the country to research innovative, second-generation technologies that will help improve the efficiency and drive down costs of carbon capture processes for new and existing coal-fired power plants.  With nearly $84 million in investments from the Energy Department – and additional cost-share from industry, universities, and other research institutions – the projects will support the development of advanced technologies that will help enable efficient, cost-effective application of carbon capture and storage (CCS) processes for new and existing coal-fired power plants.  Projects will conduct carbon capture research for two different fossil power generation processes. For traditional, combustion-based power plants – like most coal-fired plants today – research will focus on more efficiently capturing carbon emissions post combustion. More advanced, gasification-based electric power plants break down coal – or almost any carbon-based feedstock – into its chemical constituents before any combustion takes place. Research into this technology will improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of pre-combustion carbon capture.

SoCo Adds Another CA Solar Project to Portfolio – Speaking of Southern Company, its subsidiary Southern Power acquired the company’s second solar photovoltaic (PV) installation in California – the 20-megawatt (MW) Adobe Solar Facility – in partnership with Turner Renewable Energy. The Southern Power-Turner Renewable Energy partnership’s sixth solar project acquisition is expected to close upon the successful completion of construction, which is anticipated in spring 2014. The Adobe Solar Facility will be built, operated and maintained by SunEdison, a leading global solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar technology and solar energy services. Construction of the project began this fall.   Ted Turner, owner of Turner Renewable Energy, teamed with Southern Company through a subsidiary in January 2010 to form a strategic alliance to pursue development of renewable energy projects in the United States. The partnership has primarily focused on developing and investing in solar PV projects where solar resources are most favorable.   The Adobe Solar Facility will be located on a 160-acre site in Kern County, Calif. Electricity generated by the plant will serve a 20-year power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison, a subsidiary of Edison International. Headquartered in Rosemead, Calif., Edison International, through its subsidiaries, is a generator and distributor of electric power and an investor in infrastructure and energy assets, including renewable energy.

Industry Testifies at EPA Hearings – So last week, there were hearings across the country at EPA offices on the new GHG rules.  My colleague Scott Segal testified at the DC hearings, saying “EPA regulations that hamper or stifle innovation in the coal-powered sector represent a significant challenge to energy security, electric reliability, and job creation in the United States.”    Segal added that industrials and power plants are already in transition as a result of numerous EPA rules, and GHG requirements must not penalize the investments companies have already made to reduce environmental impact.  Segal says additional benefits to an ill-considered rule for existing power plants may be few and far between.  Segal: “Carbon-emission rules are not designed to produce local air quality benefits.  The fact that these potential rules are being advanced on a unilateral basis means that continued and expanding coal use from Asia to Europe will result in no real impact on global warming.  Further, as energy costs increase in the US, and manufacturing assets move overseas to areas less sensitive to energy efficiency, carbon emissions might even go up as a result of the rules.  Certainly, if we have to import more goods back to the United States as we lose manufacturing capacity, carbon emissions will increase.”

In-depth AP Story Hits Ethanol – Speaking of the RFS, for years, ethanol has been a centerpiece of America’s political and green energy strategy. It has been described as homegrown fuel that can reduce greenhouse gases and to wean the country off foreign sources of oil. But an Associated Press investigation just out highlights the environmental impact of ethanol production.   As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they touched off a cascade of unintended consequences, including the elimination of many acres of conservation land.  A months-long reporting effort into the hidden cost of this green energy source was led by Washington bureau reporters Dina Cappiello and Matt Apuzzo, but represents the efforts of dozens of AP journalists, photographers, video producers, data experts, editors and others across the country. AP used its footprint in the 50 states to interview farmers, politicians, environmentalists, scientists and many others. AP’s data experts also burrowed deep into statistics to tell a comprehensive story.

Ethanol Industry Pushes Back – The ethanol industry is doing what you might expect: Calling the ethanol exposé a misleading lie and blaming ethanol’s woes on others.  I don’t think the oil industry own the AP last time I checked though…  RFA says the AP story “uses disproven myths, skewed data, and outright fabrications to suggest biofuels and the Renewable Fuel Standard have not lived up to their promise.”  Last time I checked, most folks think it really hasn’t.   RFA goes on to counter many of the claims about land issues and impacts in a detailed fact sheet, as well as provided reports and scientists that have found ethanol significantly reduces GHG emissions relative to gasoline and looked at the full range of ethanol’s impacts on air, land, and water compared to gasoline.

Study Show Developing Countries to Pass Developed Countries in Emissions – A new recent study of global emission trends by the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, research group Ecofys and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, found that developing countries will soon be responsible for the greatest world share of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The study predicted that developing countries will account for 51 percent of world cumulative CO2 emissions by 2020, marginally surpassing emissions from developed nations. Developing countries accounted for 48 percent of cumulative emissions from 1850 to 2010. November 11, nearly 200 governments will meet in Warsaw, Poland to discuss a global deal for fighting climate change to be agreed on by 2015, and put into action starting 2020. The study notes that discussions at UN climate negotiations tend to focus on the biggest climate change contributors – putting developing nations at the focus of the talks, along with the long-standing large CO2 emitters United States, the European Union, and Russia. Separately, the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency noted a remarkable slowdown in worldwide CO2 emissions despite substantial economic growth.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

UN Climate Meetings Set for Next Week – The 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) for the UN Climate negotiations will be held this week and next in Warsaw, Poland.  This meetings is expected to be low-key foundation building for the 2015 Meetings slated for Paris next year.  In Paris, negotiators are trying to forge an extension of the Kyoto Treaty.

Local Solar Conference Set – MDV-SEIA will hold its 7th annual Solar Focus Conference today and tomorrow at the Marriott at Metro Center.  To mark the milestone, they will have an exciting lineup of speakers and panels.  This year’s theme is “The Sun Rises in the East: The Growth of East Coast Distributed Solar.” It will highlight the unprecedented, exponential growth of distributed solar in markets such as Connecticut, D.C., Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. The event begins with a Kickoff Reception, Opening Dinner, and Keynote Address and then leads into a full day of educational panels on the 12th.  Panels will cover the federal policy outlook and federal opportunities, state by state market opportunities, solutions for managing SREC volatility, energy storage & its potential to transform the solar sector, tax equity, overcoming development barriers in Maryland and D.C., and many others.   FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff will address the group tomorrow.

USEA to Host Afghan Power Execs – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the United States Energy Association will host representatives from Afghanistan’s national power utility and respective government ministries to present on the status of the Afghanistan power sector. The delegation includes senior executives from  Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) and the Ministries of Economy, Finance, Energy and Water, and Mines and Petroleum.

JHU to Discuss Solar, Utilities – The Johns Hopkins University Energy, Resources and Environment Program will host a forum tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. on expanding rooftop solar among traditional electric utilities.  Speakers will include SEIA’s Bob Gibson, Dominion’s Bill Murray, former D.C. PSC Commissioner Rick Morgan and NREL’s Robert Margolis will speak.

Manchin to Headline NJ Innovation ForumNational Journal LIVE will host a forum on innovation, technology and our energy future on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m.  in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center’s Pavilion Room.  Recent energy debates in Washington have focused mostly on government policies, including climate and clean energy standards, that could help increase the use of American resources, shift to cleaner sources of energy and help reduce air emissions.  Buried in these debates is the importance of research and development of new energy technologies for both fossil fuels and renewables.  National Journal will explore the importance of R&D in America’s new energy landscape and what the right role for the federal government will be to trigger new energy technologies.  Our friend Amy Harder moderates a panel featuring Sen. Joe Manchin, BPC expert Margot Anderson and Janet Peace of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

Cadillac, WAPA to Hold Ride/Drive – The Washington Auto  Press Assn (WAPA) will hold the November luncheon for a luncheon Cadillac and its luxury brand’s sedans at the  Mandarin Oriental in Washington D.C. Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.  Drives available starting at 11:00am, followed by lunch at 12:00pm and more driving.  Vurpillat, Cadillac’s Global Director of Marketing will discuss the CTS (including Vsport), XTS (including Vsport) and the award-winning ATS.   Under Vurpillat, Cadillac has successfully launched a number of new vehicles in the past eight years starting with the CTS and SRX, and now the new XTS luxury sedan and ATS luxury sports sedan. In addition to his work in the U.S., Jim is focused on Cadillac’s growth emerging markets like China, Russia and the Middle East. Prior to his current role, Jim held a number of positions at General Motors ranging from managing major brand partnerships and sponsorships; to advertising campaigns; to market research.

RFF Paper to Discuss Shale Revolution –Resources for The Future (RFF) will hold its November First Wednesday Seminar at 3:45 p.m. to discuss shale gas.  The Shale revolution in the United States has dropped the price of natural gas significantly. Combined with new fuel and vehicle technologies, an opportunity exists to expand the use of natural gas throughout the economy, including in the light-duty fleet of cars and trucks. This expansion could involve the direct combustion of the gas in the form of compressed natural gas or liquid petroleum gas or, alternatively, the use of natural gas–based liquid fuels such as ethanol or methanol. In a new paper, “Cheaper Fuels for the Light Duty Fleet: Opportunities and Barriers,” RFF researchers Arthur Fraas, Winston Harrington, and Richard Morgenstern examine the potential economic, environmental, and national security gains from replacing a portion of the gasoline used in the domestic light-duty fleet with these various natural gas–based fuels. They also look at the regulatory barriers to the expanded use of the fuels.  At the event, the research team shares key findings, including how using these fuels could yield fuel cost savings relative to conventional gasoline—along with gains to national security and, possibly, some environmental benefits. Panelists will also comment on the costs and benefits of these fuels, as well as regulatory and political challenges to their broader adoption.

Lindzen to Discuss Science at Forum – The Cato Institute will hold a forum on science progress on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. featuring Richard S. Lindzen, Emeritus Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  The discussion will be moderated by Patrick Michaels, Director, Center for the Study of Science at Cato.  For many fields of science, there is little doubt that the period 1830-1965 was a golden age. There is also little doubt that changes in the support structure for science since the late 60’s have powerful elements that serve to inhibit major developments. Dr. Lindzen will discuss these changes from the personal perspective of a climate scientist, and place them in the historical perspective of other areas of study.

Forum to Look at Shale, Asia – Asian Americans in Energy, the Environment and Commerce (AE2C) will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday to look at growing abundance of domestic shale gas and Its impacts on Asia. This opportunity presents new questions for policymakers, business leaders, and citizens such as the cost and business factors that make U.S. LNG competitive in global markets and the potential geostrategic consequences of this resource for the economies and countries across Asia.  Bill Loveless, Editorial Director for U.S. Energy Policy at Platts and host of Platts Energy Week TV will moderate the panel including Dominion’s Bill Allen, Jane Nakano of CSIS, API’s Robin Rorick and Kate Williams of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s office.

Reporters to Discuss Climate Coverage at Forum – As the UN meeting continue this week, Georgetown University’s climate center will host a briefing Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. in GU’s Mortara Building to discuss media coverage of climate change issues.  Georgetown Climate Center’s  Vicki Arroyo hosts our friends Richard Harris of NPR, USA Today’s Wendy Koch and former Bloomberg BusinessWeek reporter John Carey.

Senate Energy to Discuss Energy, Interior Nominations – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Energy Committee will hold a nominations convene a hearing.  DOE General Counsel Nominee Steven P. Croley, Chris Smith, nominated to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy and Esther Kia’aina (Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas) will each testify.

House Energy to Take Up Legislation on GHG Rules – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s energy and power panel holds a hearing on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. focused on EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas emissions rule for new power plants and the Whitfield-Manchin bill that would repeal such rules and give Congress more authority over upcoming regulations.

McCarthy to Headline House Science Hearing – House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday that will feature EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy focusing on strengthening transparency and accountability.  On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. the committee’s research panel holds a hearing on federal investments in science and technology research.

CSIS to Look at Energy Picture – The Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy and National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. looking at the changing North American energy markets and implications for policies and regulations. North American oil and gas production is growing at rates unforeseen a decade ago. With this new production comes the realization the traditional framework of energy scarcity no longer applies. Are the current policies flexible enough to manage these new energy dynamics? How do policymakers, regulators, and industry manage the new circumstances to safely and prudently allow for the continued development of these resources? Frank Verrastro and David Manning of the Government of Alberta will present.

NRC to Take Comment on Waste – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., NRC will provide an opportunity for interested parties to provide comments on the Waste Confidence Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement and proposed rule.

EIA’s Sieminski to Headline Georgetown Cleantech Conference – Georgetown University’s annual conference on energy and Cleantech issues will begin on Friday.  The conference is for students, energy industry professionals, government officials and business leaders to discuss the latest developments in the energy industry. This year’s conference will feature keynote remarks by Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as well as panels on regulation of oil shale and gas production, renewable energy financing, innovative business strategies to procure energy, and a discussion of whether or not the U.S. should grant additional export permits for domestic natural gas.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

World Coal Meeting Held in Poland As Well – As I Mentioned last week, Poland gets 88% of its power from coal, so while it hosts the UN Climate meetings this week, Next week it is also hosting the World Coal meeting.  UN chief Christine Figures is expected to speak and is getting significant grief from enviro activists for doing so.

NARUC Set for Orlando – The 125th annual NARUC meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida at the Hilton Bonnet Creek, November 17th through 20th.  Speakers include NIST Director Patrick Gallagher, FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn and AWEA Tom Kiernan, among many others. On Tuesday, there will be a discussion of the bad actors who wish to cause harm to our regulated utility system from Kyle Wilhoit, Threat Researcher with Trend Micro. And on Wednesday morning a number of State commissioners and consumer advocates will discuss the about the future of utility regulation.  Throughout the week, there will be numerous concurrent sessions on issues like rebuilding the water infrastructure after emergencies, methane emissions from gas production, energy market oversight, and much more. On the day prior to the conference, the FERC-NARUC Forum Reliability and the Environment will feature EPA Acting Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe and North American Electric Reliability Corporation President and CEO Gerry Cauley.

Forum to Look at Persian Gulf, Oil Security – George Washington University’s Institute for Security and Conflict Studies will hold a forum on Monday November 18th in the Linder Family Commons, Room 602 oil security and U.S. Military commitment to the Persian Gulf.  The U.S. strategic objective of protecting Persian Gulf oil has generated little controversy since the Gulf became a focus of U.S. military deployments over three decades ago. This may seem unsurprising given the widely-appreciated importance of oil to the global economy. Nevertheless, quite dramatic changes have occurred in the regional balance of power, the nature of security threats, and the global oil market since the U.S. made its commitment  raising the possibility that the U.S. role should be revisited.  The conference panels examine the key rationales driving current U.S. policies, the costs and benefits of alternative approaches, and options for revising the U.S. military stance in the region.

Energy Security, Military Issues Focus on Conference – The U.S. Army War College will gather experts from the policymaking community, academia, think tanks, the private sector, and the military services at the Reserve Officers Association headquarters in Washington, DC on Tuesday and Wednesday November 19th and 20th at the Reserve Officers Association’s Minuteman Memorial Building to address first the major ‘new realities’ both geographically and technologically and then the specific military implications.  Following the conclusion of the conference, the U.S. Army War College will produce an edited volume consisting of contributor comments/papers, as well as a series of two-page decision-maker executive summaries that will be designed to shape U.S. national security policy and the American response to the ‘new realities.’

House Transpo Panel to Look at Autonomous Vehicles – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit will hold a hearing on Tuesday, November 19th at 10:00 a.m. looking at autonomous vehicles and how they may shape the future of surface transportation.

Forum to Look at Data Centers, Energy  – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the Information Technology Industry Council and the Digital Energy and Sustainability Solutions Campaign will hold a panel of leading industry and academic experts on Wednesday, November 20th at 9:00 a.m.  at 122 Cannon to discuss the nature and importance of next-gen data center technologies and the role government can play as an early adopter.  Increasingly stringent budget constraints are pushing federal agencies to investigate ways to reduce costs and increase productivity. At the same time, new Executive Orders and Congressional actions have mandated increased energy efficiency for government. These two forces have come together to create new opportunities for next-generation ICT technologies, particularly innovative data centers. In an effort to keep government at the leading edge of ICT innovation, Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Mike Rogers (R-MI) have introduced the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act (H.R. 540) to advance public-private partnerships to increase the energy efficiency of federal data centers.   Rep. Anna Eshoo will speak, as well as HP’s Colin Coyle, ITIC President Dean Garfield, Northwestern U’s Eric Masanet, Cathy Snyder of Lockheed Martin and EMC’s Kathrin Winkler.

NAM, SoCo Speakers Headline Energy Efficiency Forum – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute in coordination with the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus will hold a forum on Wednesday, November 20th at 11:30 a.m. in B-338 Rayburn to focus on energy efficiency. The United States is already much more efficient than it was 40 years ago, when the first oil crisis hit. It takes about 52 percent less energy to produce the same amount of GDP than it took in 1973. And we can do even better. In a 2012 study, ACEEE ranked the world’s 12 major economies (including Brazil, China and Germany) based on how energy efficient they were. The United States came in ninth.  Speakers will discuss some of the innovative solutions businesses have developed to cut their energy usage, and to design highly energy efficient products and services for our buildings and industrial sectors. They will also consider what policymakers can do to further promote energy efficiency gains.   They include NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, Paul Hamilton of Schneider Electric and Southern Energy Management Company Co-founder and CEO Maria Kingery.

DOE to Host Webinar on Offshore Wind Jobs – The Energy Department’s EERE Wind and Water Power Technologies Office will present a live webinar on Wednesday, November 20th at 3:00 p.m. looking at the job and economic development impacts of offshore wind.  More than a year ago, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) initiated work to expand the Jobs and Economic Development Impacts (JEDI) model to include fixed-bottom offshore wind technology. Following the model’s completion (and in partnership with the Energy Department’s Wind Program, Illinois State University, and James Madison University), NREL supported the analysis of the regional jobs and economic impacts of offshore wind for the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Gulf Coast regions. This webinar will provide an overview of the new offshore wind JEDI model and review the four completed assessments.

Portman, Shaheen to Headline 2013 Energy Efficiency Day – The Alliance to Save Energy will hold its annual Great Energy Efficiency Day on Wednesday, November 20th at 1:30 p.m. in the House Cannon Caucus Room to discuss doubling U.S. energy productivity by 2030 through efforts at the local, state, and federal levels.  Speakers will include Sens. Rob Portman and Jeanne Shaheen, Rep. Michael Burgess, DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan, and many others.

Annual SoCo Washington DC Holiday Event – December 4th

BPC, NARUC to Hold 2nd Clean Air Act Workshop – On December 6th, BPC’s Energy Project – along with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) – will host the second workshop on section 111(d), which will focus on the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts of GHG power plant regulation.  Stay tuned for more details in the coming days on the BPC/NARUC websites.

Court to Hear Mercury Cases in December – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has scheduled oral arguments on December 10th on two consolidated cases concerning EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants.  Both rules were finalized in 2012.  The Oral arguments for both White Stallion Energy Center LLC v. EPA and Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA will be held at 9:30 a.m. in DC before Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Circuit Judges Judith Rogers and Brett Kavanaugh.

Experts to Discuss Court Cases – Following the court arguments, the DC Bar’s Air and Water Quality Committee of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section and the Environmental Law Institute will host a discussion with the litigants of the major issues and possible outcomes in these seminal cases.  EPA’s attempts to regulate pollutants that cross state lines have been struck down twice by the D.C. Circuit. Now the Supreme Court will have its chance to opine on EPA’s authority under the “good neighbor” provisions of the Clean Air Act. On the same day, the D.C. Circuit will test the MATS rule, which EPA says is necessary to protect public health but which industry casts as burdensome and ineffective.

Energy Update Week of November 4

Friends,

Congrats to the Red Sox for the huge World Series victory last week and fun parade on Saturday.  And also a shout out to the 48,000 runners in yesterday’s ING NYC marathon, which was cancelled last year because of Hurricane Sandy.  Now that the fall sports season (field hockey, soccer and most football, outside playoffs) is now over, this week we launch in the Fall lacrosse season here which will keep us hopping… Each of my kids has two lax tournaments this weekend.  Still wondering how I’m going to get to all those places.

And the same goes for EPA, who has an action-packed week this week with public listening meetings to solicit ideas and input about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants.  EPA has a full week starting today in in Lexana, KS and Boston.  Tomorrow, EPA will be in San Francisco, Thursday at EPA HQ in DC, as well as Dallas and Seattle and finally, Chicago and Philadelphia on Friday.  Of course, Boston and Philly were added to this week after their original dates were delayed by the government shutdown.   We have resources that can (and will) be commenting at many of these sites.  Headlining will be my colleague Scott Segal, who takes his 3 minutes at the DC session.

Second major agenda item this week is the energy ministerial meeting in Washington on Carbon Capture and Storage technologies hosted by Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz.  See more specifics below, but expect a significant discussion of the Kemper project in Mississippi and I wouldn’t be surprised if they somehow ended up down there.  For background on Kemper, look here.

In Congress, the House is out until after Veteran’s Day next week, while the Senate is in session and has a hearing tomorrow on methane emissions in Senate Environment featuring EPA and industry experts.

Also tomorrow, voters hit the polls in New Jersey, NYC and Virginia.  Gov. Christie seems to be headed to a solid victory, while the Virginia Governor’s race…  well after being flooded with ads in the DC TV markets for months, let’s just say I can’t wait for tomorrow.  But my enviro friends are excited because former UVa climate scientist Michael Mann is a mainstay of McAuliffe ads.

For you C-SPAN junkies, keep your eyes peeled on Thursday morning at 9:30 when Joe Desmond of BrightSource will be on Washington Journal to discuss solar energy policies as well as some of the exciting projects reaching the finish line, including BSE’s Ivanpah project.

Finally, keep on the lookout for decisions on Keystone and the RFS, both of which should see action before the end of the year and as soon as next week.  As well, in advance of upcoming UN Climate meetings which start next week in Poland, continue to look for the type of news/advocacy banter on climate issues like yesterday’s IPCC “leak”, which seems to seems to show “widespread and consequential” impacts.  Of course there is much more to the story that often gets left in the footnotes according to my friend and respected science writer Andy Revkin.  Moral of Story:  Just don’t believe most of the stuff you hear about climate change as we get close to a UN meeting.  BTW, Poland gets 88% of Its electricity from coal, nearly 2/3 of it from Russia.  Call with questions.

 

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Coal Ash Decision Tells EPA to Set Date for Decision – A Federal district court ruled late last week that EPA has 60 days to propose a deadline for finishing its long-suffering coal ash rules.  EPA has to submit a proposed schedule to review and revise Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Subtitle D regulations on coal ash, along with a legal justification.  Environmentalists and public health groups that sued the agency over its delay in finishing a rule proposed in 2010.  The rule has been stuck in limbo because of the sticky wicket that regulating coal ash would cause among the many consumer and industrial re-uses and the legal morass that changing its status could cause.  My colleague Lisa Jaeger, a former EPA GC, says this is a split decision though and that it will be likely be a focus of attention in the future

GSA Offers Path for SFI-Certified Wood in Federal Construction – Late last week, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) issued a recommendation to the U.S. Department of Energy that federal agencies have the option to use either the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating tools or Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes when choosing a third-party green building certification system.  The recommendation is a very positive outcome, putting Green Globes on par with LEED in federal use of green building rating systems. GSA policy for many years had been to use only LEED, which awards its certified wood credit only for products certified to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Green Globes, on the other hand, recognizes Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), American Tree Farm System (ATFS), Canadian Sustainable Forest Management Standard (CSA), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and FSC standards in awarding points for certified wood. This opens the door to greater use of SFI-certified wood in federal building construction and renovation.  SFI supports policies that expand adoption of green building and consider use of other globally accepted, credible certification standards like SFI. This GSA announcement was triggered by a requirement in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that GSA issue a recommendation to DOE every five years on how the federal government can best use certification systems to measure the design and performance of the federal government’s construction and major renovation projects.

EIA: Drilling Efficiency Key Driver of Oil, NatGas – I have seen this chart before, but EIA just released a new one that I thought would be valuable.  The Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) analyzes drilling efficiency using the average number of wells a rig can drill over a period of time as well as a measure of how productive each new well is expected to be. (See Charts)  Increases in drilling efficiency have contributed to the breakdown of traditional methods that seek to estimate oil and natural gas production based principally on rig counts.   The DPR focuses on the expected values for all rigs and wells in a play allows for a useful and relevant analysis of how the rig count seen today contributes to the overall change in oil and natural gas production.  EIA estimates drilling efficiency (the number of wells drilled per rig each month) by tracking the number of rigs in a play as well as the number of new wells started each month. Using an appropriate lag for each region based on changes in the rig count relative to changes in new-well counts, this measure of drilling efficiency can be used to estimate how many new wells were started and should start producing in the coming months.

Deepwater Focuses on Completing RI Project – In what will likely be the first offshore wind project to complete construction, Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski says the offshore wind developer has moved well beyond the early stages of development and is now squarely focusing on completing the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm, located off the coast of Block Island, R.I.  He says construction activities will begin in late 2014, beginning with the “transmission piece of the project,” which includes a 21-mile, medium-voltage submarine cable connecting the offshore wind farm to the mainland. Although details have yet to be finalized, Deepwater says the subcable will make landfall in Narragansett, R.I.  The jacket foundations will begin arriving in spring 2015, with Siemens delivering five 6 MW direct-drive turbines that summer, with grid completion expected in the fall. That time frame would make Deepwater’s Block Island Wind Farm among the first, if not the first, offshore wind farm in the U.S.   National Grid has agreed to buy the project’s output, making Deepwater one of two U.S. offshore wind developers to secure a power purchase agreement.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

EPA GHG Listening Sessions– EPA continues its 11 public listening sessions across the country this week with meetings everyday, starting today in in Lexana, KS and Boston.  Tomorrow, EPA will be in San Francisco, Thursday in DC, Dallas and Seattle and finally, Chicago and Philadelphia on Friday.  For more information on these sessions and to register online, go to EPA’s Site.

World Energy Ministers to Meet on Carbon Capture, Storage – Energy ministers from 22 nations and the European Commission are expected to attend the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum’s (CSLF) Fifth Ministerial Meeting in Washington, D.C., today through Thursday at the Four Seasons Hotel.  This 5th Ministerial Conference, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the founding of the CSLF,  will reaffirm that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a critically important low-carbon technology with application beyond coal power generation, and will call upon CSLF Ministers to support more coordinated near-term global actions to further develop and deploy CCS.  The Ministerial Meeting provides an opportunity for decision-makers from industry and governments to discuss the key challenges facing CCS and to agree on a strategy and action plan for closer collaboration on the commercialization of CCS technology.  The Ministerial meeting on Thursday will include keynote addresses from the International Energy Agency on future energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and the state of the CCS industry by the Global CCS Institute.  The highlight will be a CEO roundtable, where industrial participants in major CCS projects around the world will discuss their experiences. U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will attend and be conferring with energy ministers from the other CSLF member countries.

Panel to Discussion Geoengineering – From 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. today, the Civil Society Meeting on Geoengineering will convene a half-day of moderated discussion on the fast evolving topic of geoengineering. This invite-only meeting will be open to a range of civil society actors in Washington, DC. The goal is to prompt an open conversation that fosters a broad and ongoing dialogue about this important emerging issue. AU and JHU are sponsors and will host at JHU’s SAIS Nitze building.  Joe Romm and our friend Kate Sheppard will sit on a panel with Wil Burns of JHU and Simon Nicholson Of AU.

Eni CEO to Address Impacts of Energy Revolution – Johns Hopkins University will hold a forum today at 5:30 p.m. featuring Paolo Scaroni, CEO of the Italian multinational oil and gas company Eni.  Scaroni will focus on geopolitical impacts of the new energy issues in countries around the world.

Senate Energy Panel to Look at Methane for Oil, Gas Operations – The Senate Environment Committee panel on Oversight will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on fugitive methane emissions from oil and gas operations.  Witnesses will include EPA’s Sarah Durham, UT-Austin’s David Allen, Texas A&M’s Daniel Hill, Southwestern Energy‘s Mark Boling, Devon’s Darren Smith and NRDC’s  Vignesh Gowrishankar.

JHU to host NRDC Expert on Social Cost of Carbon Change – JHU will also host NRDC’s Laurie Johnson for a forum next Tuesday at Noon looking at the social costs of carbon and President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.  The event will be an enviro group’s focus a new study of metrics for quantifying the social costs of carbon and the implications for policymaking.  Johnson will discuss her new article in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, “The social cost of carbon: implications for modernizing our electricity system,” covering the results in the paper and how they relate to the President’s Climate Action Plan.

CSIS to Hold Global Security Forum – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a Global Security Forum 2013 tomorrow at 1:15 p.m. looking at energy and geopolitics.  Speakers will Include Ivan Sandrea of Ernst and Young London, ARC Financial Corp Chief Energy Economist & Managing Director Peter Tertzakian and J. Robinson West of IHS-Energy Insight.

WCEE to Host Canadian Minister – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will continue it Brown-Bag Luncheon Series will a forum tomorrow at Noon featuring Sheila Riordan, Minister Political from the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC. Ms. Riordan will provide an overview of Canada’s current energy agenda and also discuss opportunities and challenges for US-Canada energy coordination.   Prior to her assignment at the Canadian Embassy, she served as Director General of Canada’s Energy, Climate and Circumpolar Affairs Bureau and was also Canada’s Senior Arctic Official in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. She has also held positions with Canada’s Departments of Finance, Natural Resources, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.  The event will be at Exelon at 101 Constitution Ave.

AU Forum to Look at Energy, Enviro Health – The American University Washington College of Law will hold a symposium on Wednesday that will explore the balance between effectively meeting the demands of a growing population and the importance of promoting sustainable and environmentally compatible measures to protect the health of future generations.  The first panel (9:30 – 10:30 am) is entitled “Big Energy: Costs and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracking.” It will be moderated by our friend Amanda Leiter.

Groups to Open E85 Flex Fuel Station – The Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition, Maryland Clean Cities Coalition, and Mid-Atlantic Petroleum Properties, LLC will hold the Grand Opening of W Express’s Potomac Sunoco’s 11th Flex Fuel (E85) Station Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  Festivities will begin with a press event, speakers, and ribbon-cutting, followed by a retailer educational question and answer session. This exciting and well-publicized event will feature E85 fuel-fuel sold to drivers of FlexFuel vehicles at a reduced price on November 6. Invited speakers include several senior level Federal and State officials. Moderated by the Maryland Energy Administration’s Abby Hopper, invited speakers include representatives from the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the state Assembly, the Montgomery County Council, and other Government and Industry Officials.  MAPP, as the distributor of E85, has partnered with the Maryland Clean Cities Program; GWRCCC; Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board; FlexFuel Awareness Campaign; Growth Energy; Sustainable Energy Strategies, Inc.; the Clean Fuels Development Coalition; Protec Fuels; and local auto dealers to celebrate the opening of this station.

RESCHEDULED: Senate Energy to Look Columbia River Treaty – On Thursday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on recommendations for the Columbia River Treaty.  The hearing, originally rescheduled because of the government shutdown, will be held at 9:30 a.m. and webcast live on the committee’s website.

CSIS to Host IEA Energy Efficiency Expert – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum on Thursday featuring Phillipe Benoit, Head of the Energy Efficiency and Environment Division at the IEA.  Benoit will discuss the IEA’s recently released inaugural Energy Efficiency Market Report 2013. The report provides a practical basis for understanding energy efficiency market activities, a review of the methodological and practical challenges associated with measuring the market and its components, and statistical analysis of energy efficiency and its impact on energy demand. It also highlights a specific technology sector in which there is significant energy efficiency market activity, in this instance appliances and ICT.  The energy efficiency market is diffuse, varied and involves all energy-consuming sectors of the economy. A comprehensive overview of market activity is complicated by the challenges associated with quantifying the components of the market and the paucity of comparable reported data. This report underscores how vital high-quality and timely energy efficiency data is to understanding this market. Guy Caruso, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

GU Forum to Look at Hydropower Impacts – Georgetown University will host a seminar on Thursday on campus in the Reiss Science Building, Room 112, looking at fish, hydropower, the Columbia, and The Mekong’ with guest speaker Mark Giordano, PhD from STIA, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.   GU Professor Anne Rosenwald hosts the event.

Webinar to Look at Solar Integration – DOE will host a Webinar on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. on a new initiative on grid integration for solar power.  Grid integration is fast becoming one of the most critical areas of focus for the continued development of the U.S. solar market.  The industry, including SEIA, has been active in overcoming barriers to grid integration for years, but the issues are becoming increasingly complex as additional capacity is added to the grid at the utility scale, wholesale distributed generation, rooftop, commercial, and utility scales. This webinar will focus on the policy and technical issues that present both challenges and opportunities for solar as it plays an increasingly important role for utilities and distributed solar users alike. Kevin Lynn, who heads the new crosscutting DOE energy systems integration effort of the U.S. Department of Energy to identify and address these issues, how the government plans to work with industry and the public on resolving them, and what the path forward looks like.  SEIA’s Tom Kimbis also participates as well.

Forum to Discuss Russia, NatGas – On Thursday at 4:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University’s Bernard L. Schwartz Globalization Initiative will host Rawi Abdelal, the Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management at Harvard Business School.  Abdelal will discuss Russia, Europe and the gas revolution, looking at firms and geopolitics in the age of shale.

FUTURE EVENTS 

UN Climate Meetings Set for Next Week – The 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) for the UN Climate negotiations will be held from November 11 – 22 2013 in Warsaw, Poland.

Local Solar Conference Set – MDV-SEIA will hold its 7th annual Solar Focus Conference on Monday-Tuesday, November 11-12th at the Marriott at Metro Center.  To mark the milestone, they will have an exciting lineup of speakers and panels.  This year’s theme is “The Sun Rises in the East: The Growth of East Coast Distributed Solar.” It will highlight the unprecedented, exponential growth of distributed solar in markets such as Connecticut, D.C., Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. The event begins with a Kickoff Reception, Opening Dinner, and Keynote Address and then leads into a full day of educational panels on the 12th.  Panels will cover the federal policy outlook and federal opportunities, state by state market opportunities, solutions for managing SREC volatility, energy storage & its potential to transform the solar sector, tax equity, overcoming development barriers in Maryland and D.C., and many others.

USEA to Host Afghan Power Execs – On Tuesday, November 12th at 2:00 p.m., the United States Energy Association will host representatives from Afghanistan’s national power utility and respective government ministries to present on the status of the Afghanistan power sector. The delegation includes senior executives from  Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) and the Ministries of Economy, Finance, Energy and Water, and Mines and Petroleum.

Manchin to Headline NJ Innovation ForumNational Journal LIVE will host a forum on innovation, technology and our energy future on Wednesday, November 13th at 8:00 a.m.  in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center’s Pavilion Room.  Recent energy debates in Washington have focused mostly on government policies, including climate and clean energy standards, that could help increase the use of American resources, shift to cleaner sources of energy and help reduce air emissions.  Buried in these debates is the importance of research and development of new energy technologies for both fossil fuels and renewables.  National Journal will explore the importance of R&D in America’s new energy landscape and what the right role for the federal government will be to trigger new energy technologies.  Our friend Amy Harder moderates a panel featuring Sen. Joe Manchin, BPC expert Margot Anderson and Janet Peace of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

Cadillac, WAPA to Hold Ride/Drive – The Washington Auto  Press Assn (WAPA) will hold the November luncheon for a luncheon Cadillac and its luxury brand’s sedans at the  Mandarin Oriental in Washington D.C. Wednesday, November 13th at 11:00 a.m.  Drives available starting at 11:00am, followed by lunch at 12:00pm and more driving.  Vurpillat, Cadillac’s Global Director of Marketing will discuss the CTS (including Vsport), XTS (including Vsport) and the award-winning ATS.   Under Vurpillat, Cadillac has successfully launched a number of new vehicles in the past eight years starting with the CTS and SRX, and now the new XTS luxury sedan and ATS luxury sports sedan. In addition to his work in the U.S., Jim is focused on Cadillac’s growth emerging markets like China, Russia and the Middle East. Prior to his current role, Jim held a number of positions at General Motors ranging from managing major brand partnerships and sponsorships; to advertising campaigns; to market research.

RFF Paper to Discuss Shale Revolution –Resources for The Future (RFF) will hold its November First Wednesday Seminar on November 13th at 3:45 p.m. to discuss shale gas.  The Shale revolution in the United States has dropped the price of natural gas significantly. Combined with new fuel and vehicle technologies, an opportunity exists to expand the use of natural gas throughout the economy, including in the light-duty fleet of cars and trucks. This expansion could involve the direct combustion of the gas in the form of compressed natural gas or liquid petroleum gas or, alternatively, the use of natural gas–based liquid fuels such as ethanol or methanol. In a new paper, “Cheaper Fuels for the Light Duty Fleet: Opportunities and Barriers,” RFF researchers Arthur Fraas, Winston Harrington, and Richard Morgenstern examine the potential economic, environmental, and national security gains from replacing a portion of the gasoline used in the domestic light-duty fleet with these various natural gas–based fuels. They also look at the regulatory barriers to the expanded use of the fuels.  At the event, the research team shares key findings, including how using these fuels could yield fuel cost savings relative to conventional gasoline—along with gains to national security and, possibly, some environmental benefits. Panelists will also comment on the costs and benefits of these fuels, as well as regulatory and political challenges to their broader adoption.

Lindzen to Discuss Science at Forum – The Cato Institute will hold a forum on science progress on Wednesday November 13 at 4:00 p.m. featuring Richard S. Lindzen, Emeritus Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  The discussion will be moderated by Patrick Michaels, Director, Center for the Study of Science at Cato.  For many fields of science, there is little doubt that the period 1830-1965 was a golden age. There is also little doubt that changes in the support structure for science since the late 60’s have powerful elements that serve to inhibit major developments. Dr. Lindzen will discuss these changes from the personal perspective of a climate scientist, and place them in the historical perspective of other areas of study.

Forum to Look at Shale, Asia – Asian Americans in Energy, the Environment and Commerce (AE2C) will host a roundtable discussion on Wednesday November 13th to look at growing abundance of domestic shale gas and Its impacts on Asia. This opportunity presents new questions for policymakers, business leaders, and citizens such as the cost and business factors that make U.S. LNG competitive in global markets and the potential geostrategic consequences of this resource for the economies and countries across Asia.  Bill Loveless, Editorial Director for U.S. Energy Policy at Platts and host of Platts Energy Week TV will moderate the panel including Dominion’s Bill Allen, Jane Nakano of CSIS, API’s Robin Rorick and Kate Williams of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s office.

CSIS to Look at Energy Picture – The Center for Strategic and International Studies Energy and National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday, November 14th at 1:30 p.m. looking at the changing North American energy markets and implications for policies and regulations. North American oil and gas production is growing at rates unforeseen a decade ago. With this new production comes the realization the traditional framework of energy scarcity no longer applies. Are the current policies flexible enough to manage these new energy dynamics? How do policymakers, regulators, and industry manage the new circumstances to safely and prudently allow for the continued development of these resources? Frank Verrastro and David Manning of the Government of Alberta will present.

NRC to Take Comment on Waste – On Thursday, November 14th at 2:00 p.m., NRC will provide an opportunity for interested parties to provide comments on the Waste Confidence Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement and proposed rule.

NARUC Set for Orlando – The 125th annual NARUC meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida at the Hilton Bonnet Creek, November 17th through 20th.  Speakers include NIST Director Patrick Gallagher, FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn and AWEA Tom Kiernan, among many others. On Tuesday, there will be a discussion of the bad actors who wish to cause harm to our regulated utility system from Kyle Wilhoit, Threat Researcher with Trend Micro. And on Wednesday morning a number of State commissioners and consumer advocates will discuss the about the future of utility regulation.  Throughout the week, there will be numerous concurrent sessions on issues like rebuilding the water infrastructure after emergencies, methane emissions from gas production, energy market oversight, and much more. On the day prior to the conference, the FERC-NARUC Forum Reliability and the Environment will feature EPA Acting Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe and North American Electric Reliability Corporation President and CEO Gerry Cauley.

BPC, NARUC to Hold 2nd Clean Air Act Workshop – On December 6th, BPC’s Energy Project – along with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) – will host the second workshop on section 111(d), which will focus on the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts of GHG power plant regulation.  Stay tuned for more details in the coming days on the BPC/NARUC websites.

Court to Hear Mercury Cases in December – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has scheduled oral arguments on December 10th on two consolidated cases concerning EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants.  Both rules were finalized in 2012.  The Oral arguments for both White Stallion Energy Center LLC v. EPA and Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA will be held at 9:30 a.m. in DC before Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Circuit Judges Judith Rogers and Brett Kavanaugh.

 

Energy Update Week of July 29

Friends,

Just finished the last lacrosse trip of the summer this weekend up in Long Island.  Thank goodness that is over.  Tryouts for next year start mid-August and field hockey and football are already underway.  Someday it will slow down.

We now are one-week out from the August work period and the energy news/activity is buzzing.  Let’s start with last week, including major activities on the RFS, a natural gas blowout in the Gulf, the President’s comments on Keystone, a giant lawsuit over pipeline environmental issues, claims of “new” EPA reports about natgas drilling and another result in the Deepwater Horizon case.  We have resources on nearly all of these subjects should you need them.

This upcoming week, the business rolls on: in the House, a series of votes will occur on energy legislation this week including the REINS Act, which would require major regulations get Congress’s approval and the Energy Consumers Relief Act, which would require DOE to review EPA rules costing more than $1 billion.  While in the Senate, they may take up the energy efficiency legislation, Shaheen-Portman, before leaving later this week.  It is not clear that it will make though with other items on the agenda in front of it and a litany of amendments ready to clog up the works.  Also this week on Thursday and Friday, the Texas EnviroSuperconference kicks off in Austin and is usually packed with good info.  The big hearings this week include DOE Secretary Moniz hitting the House and Senate on Nuclear Waste plans and Senate Finance looking at Energy Tax issues.

Finally, if you are looking for a fine mix of politics and food during this week’s run up to August, slide over to the National Press Club on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. when the Newsmakers Committee will host 20 chefs to heads of state from around the world.  After meeting with President Obama at the White House on Thursday morning, the group will also visit with the State Department Chef Corps to discuss the confluence of culinary diplomacy, a mixture of cuisine and diplomacy.  They also will meet U.N. Secretary General Ban ki-Moon in New York City.  The chefs are members of the Club des Chefs des Chefs (CCC), the world’s most exclusive gastronomic society. It was founded in 1977 by Gilles Bragard, who will be at the Newsmaker.  White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford hosts her international counterparts from Germany, Sweden, Canada, China, Finland, France, India, Israel, Italy, Poland and Great Britain, among others.

And one side note, last week Monday was a little crazy because I was trying to get the update out while also participating in NuStar Asphalt Paulsboro Refinery’s 23rd Annual MDA Golf Tournament in Atlantic City.   Despite those few bumps and a conference call, we managed a 58, tying for first (we ended up 3rd after matching cards).   More importantly, the event raised more than $240,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  Over the life of the tournament, Paulsboro Refinery employees, with support from their loyal customers, vendors, industrial neighbors and MDA staff, have raised over $1.6 million to help MDA provide lifesaving research, maintain medical clinics, and provide accessible summer camp experiences to local individuals and families affected by neuromuscular diseases.   Congrats for the all the great work.

 

Please call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

WM Blog Highlights Trash to Gas For Vehicles – Recently, Waste Management’s Dan LeFevers participated on a panel at the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, an annual conference that showcases the latest alternative fuel vehicles and fueling technologies.  Our of his discussion at the Conference, LeFevers penned a blog, Running on Rubbish, on  using renewable natural gas to fuel compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles or capturing gas from landfills, food waste digesters and other similar sources to ultimately fuel vehicles.   LeFevers highlighted WM’s Altamont facility, the world’s largest plant to convert landfill gas to ultra low-carbon liquefied natural gas.  He also pointed to CEO David Steiner’s leadership with the Energy Security Leadership Council of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), a non-profit organization that seeks to reduce America’s dependency on oil and advocates for federal policies that can help large companies and fleet owners transition towards alternative fuels.

Report Says EVs Will be Most Affordable Vehicles With Decade – A new Electrification Coalition (EC) PricewaterhouseCoopers report says sales of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are strong, with combined purchases of models like the Nissan LEAF, GM Volt and Tesla Model S during their first 30 months on the market more than doubling the pace set by conventional hybrids when those vehicles made their U.S. debut in 2000.  The study, “State of the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Market,” also finds that certain PEV models are already capturing a high percentage of market share in their respective classes, including the Tesla Model S, which has registered an 8.4% stake in the luxury market in the first six months of 2013.  Additionally, the paper highlights consumer satisfaction surveys indicating that PEVs are outperforming their marketplace competitors on almost all counts, and expects that battery prices will fall about 50 percent to an industry average of $300-325 per kilowatt hour by 2020. The report is the first in the “EV Market Outlook” series that will provide new analysis on battery costs, sales, infrastructure, and other topics. Key findings of the paper include 1) More than 110,000 plug-in electric vehicles have been sold in the US since January 2011; 2) Compared to hybrids’ first years on the U.S. market, twice as many plug-in electric vehicles have been sold; 3) The uptake rate of plug-in electric vehicles is nearly three times what it was for hybrids over their first three years on the market and 4) Battery costs should drop by about half by 2020, an industry average price of $300-325 per kilowatt hour.

Brattle Points to All Benefits of Building Transmission – A new study commissioned by WIRES and authored by economists at The Brattle Group finds that new high voltage transmission investments offer numerous potential benefits that have too often been disregarded as remote, intangible, or hard to estimate. The report, released today, urges planners and policy makers to consider the full range of potential economic, reliability, environmental, and public policy benefits of new and upgraded transmission when evaluating which projects will serve customers and the economy best.  For the first time, transmission planners and policy makers now have a catalogue of benefits and techniques for evaluation that they can employ in devising optimal regional development plans.  The study, The Benefits of Electric Transmission: Identifying and Analyzing the Value of Investments, is a comprehensive analysis that documents all potential economic, reliability, operational, and public policy benefits from expanding or upgrading the high voltage grid, the evolving experience and existing practices of planners in RTO and non-RTO regions when determining those benefits and the beneficiaries of new transmission capacity and how planners and policy makers can employ more systematic procedures and analysis to arrive at better transmission (and non-transmission) solutions.

Klaber to Leave MSC – After nearly four years of leading the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), CEO Kathryn Klaber, is leaving the group.  Klaber will stay on to further engage MSC member companies and their employees on key policy issues for the industry, to evaluate the need for public outreach and education in the northeastern states without shale development, to advise on key benchmarks to complement the MSC’s robust Recommended Practices, and to continue to serve as a recognized industry leader and spokesperson. Ms. Klaber will be representing the MSC in key forums in Australia and London in the coming months as well as hosting the MSC’s third annual Shale Insight conference in Philadelphia on September 25-26.

 

GOING ON THIS WEEK

USEA to Look at Cybersecurity Issues – U.S. Energy Association will host a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. featuring senior representatives from Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, who will provide an overview of cybersecurity protection trends for energy delivery systems and the current legislative and regulatory landscape.  Topics will include DOE’s Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) program, Cybersecurity standards for electric utilities and insight into what the future of cybersecurity looks like for critical infrastructure, including upcoming trends, projects, and standards development work.

Enviros to Discuss Climate, Jobs – Green For All, NRDC and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies will hold an event tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in 441 Cannon to look at climate change and jobs.  As the nation grapples with the effects of climate change through local severe weather events such as wildfires, “superstorms”, droughts, floods, and extreme heat, this briefing will discuss the job creation potential and economic opportunities that reducing climate pollution creates for American workers and businesses. The economic benefits are not often a centerpiece of the climate change debate. However, climate actions such as implementing limits on carbon pollution from power plants, expanding clean energy projects, or building resilient infrastructure presents huge opportunities to boost our nation’s economy, while preventing illness and protecting public health.  Speakers will include Shamar Bibbins of Green For All, NRDC’s Dan Lashof and Danielle Deane of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Senate Energy to Tackle Nuclear Waste Issue – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will meet tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. to receive testimony on S. 1240, the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2013.  I’m sure that will go over well with the Majority Leader. The main witness is Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.  A second panel will feature NCSL’s Sally Young Jameson of Maryland, Southwest Area National Congress of American Indians VP Joe Garcia, NARUC electricity Committee Chair David Boyd, Chuck Smith of the Energy Communities Alliance, NEI’s Marvin Fertel, NRDC’s Geoffrey Fettus and UCS Nuclear Safety Project Director David Lochbaum.

USEA to Present on CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery, Geologic Storage in Midwest – Also tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association will host Neeraj Gupta, Senior Research Leader, Energy and Environment, Battelle, will provide a briefing on CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery and Geologic Storage in the Midwestern USA.  Significant work is being done in the Midwestern US to develop carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies – a key option for managing CO2 emissions to mitigate climate challenge in this fossil fuel dependent region. Several small-scale projects across the region along with geologic characterization and mapping have validated the potential for wide-spread deployment of these technologies. However, much remains to be done on demonstrating the viability of commercial-scale operations needed to address emissions from large point sources in a cost effective and safe manner. A key milestone was recently achieved when the Midwestern Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (www.mrcsp.org) team led by Battelle initiated its large-scale CO2 injection program in Michigan with the overall goal of injecting, monitoring, and modeling at least 1 million tons of CO2 in multiple oil-bearing fields operated by Core Energy, LLC.  Dr. Gupta will present an overview of this effort, with emphasis on project development, geologic setup, monitoring, and infrastructure aspects.

Energy Happy Hour Set – OurEnergyPolicy.org will partner with DC Energy Drinks to sponsor this month’s Energy Professionals Happy Hour at Top of the Hill (near the Capitol South Metro Station) tomorrow from 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  The entire top floor has been reserved for the group and will provide appetizers for the group to enjoy. $5 happy hour specials will run until 9pm. Feel free to bring your colleagues and share this invitation with other interested energy folk.  D.C. Energy Drinks is an informal gathering of energy professionals in the D.C. metro area.

BioTech Conference Set – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and Advanced Biofuels USA will co-host the Office’s sixth annual conference, “Biomass 2013: How the Advanced Bioindustry is Reshaping American Energy” at the Washington, DC Convention Center on Wednesday and Thursday.  Biomass 2013 will bring together hundreds of diverse stakeholders involved with various steps throughout the bioenergy supply chain to promote new partnerships, acknowledge recent progress and achievements, and explore new opportunities and challenges on the horizon. This year’s conference will also focus on initiatives in sustainability, exciting new trends in bioenergy, new directions for BETO, and possible future funding opportunities, with a forum for stakeholder input.

Resources to Vote on Energy Legislation – The House Committee on Natural Resources will meet on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to vote on legislation to authorize the development of non-Federal hydropower and issuance of leases of power privileges at projects constructed pursuant to the authority of the Water Conservation and Utilization Act, as well as legislation to regulate oil and gas operations and promote American energy security, development, and job creation.

House Approps to Mark up Interior, EPA Spending – The full House Appropriations Committee will meet to markup the FY 2014 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. in 2359 Rayburn.

WAPA to Host Chevy Leaders – The Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA) will host Chevrolet Impala Marketing Director Russ Clark and other Chevrolet leaders Wednesday at Noon in the Press Club to discuss some of the exciting new products from Chevrolet, including the all-new 2014 Impala, the Chevy Cruze Diesel and the 2014 Chevy Silverado.

Forum to Look at Private-Public Partnerships at National Labs – The U.S. House Science and National Laboratories Caucus will host a panel of experts on Wednesday at Noon in B-340 Rayburn to discuss the interaction between the private sector and the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories. The National Labs are federally funded research and development centers with the unique mission of working to advance science and technology for the benefit of the country. To this end, the National Laboratories often partner with private sector companies to help with the innovation, testing, and scaling process.  In this presentation, representatives from Argonne National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Underwriters Laboratories will discuss the ways in which these groups work together, highlighting examples of effective utilization of these partnerships in the areas of renewable fuels and electric vehicle technologies.

Moniz to Detail Nuclear Waste Strategy – Following the Senate action tomorrow, the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. looking at oversight on DOE’s strategy for the management and disposal of used nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.  The hearing will provide members an opportunity to hear directly from Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on the DOE’s new strategy for nuclear waste management and disposal. Following the Obama administration’s effort to terminate the Yucca Mountain repository, DOE has proposed a different direction for the nation’s nuclear waste. The proposal is a product of the findings of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, on which Moniz served. The commission’s recommendations included interim storage until a new geologic repository can be built which DOE now estimates opening in 2048.

Senate Finance to Discuss Energy Tax Reform – The Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to examine principles for energy tax reform.  Witnesses will include Pew Group’s Phyllis Cuttino, former DOE official Dan Reicher of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy at Stanford, Will Coleman of OnRamp Capital and ACCF’s Margo Thorning.

Hastings, Energy Experts to Discuss Energy Policy – Arent Fox LLP and the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute will hold a Public Policy Forum 2013 on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. featuring House Resources Chairman Doc Hastings where he will discuss the outlook for energy policy changes in the 113th Congress. Chairman Hastings will be followed by an energy policy panel discussion composed of key congressional energy staff.  Former Sen. Robert Bennett and former Rep. Philip S. English, both Arent Fox Government Relations practice members, will provide opening remarks. There will also be a welcome from Edward Montgomery, Dean of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. Chairman Hastings will provide a 30-minute overview of the country’s energy policies and insight into potential legislative action, and he will answer questions from the audience for another 30 minutes.  Following Chairman Hastings’ presentation, Arent Fox counsel Jack Coleman will moderate an hour-long discussion on energy policy by a panel composed of key congressional energy staff. The panel will answer questions from the audience. Members of the panel will be announced at a later date.

Wellinghoff to Address Texas Enviro Superconference – The 25th edition of the annual Texas Environmental Superconference will be held on Thursday and Friday in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel.  The Wednesday evening session will be a power primer, featuring FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff.  Co-presented 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, the conference routinely draws in excess of 500 attendees from both the public and private sectors.  Because the conference consistently sells out, we encourage you to register early.  There will be no walk-in registration.  Other speakers include EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry, TCEQ Chairman Bryan Shaw, and Environmental Law Institute President John Cruden, as well as other distinguished representatives from the public and private sectors.

House Resources to Look at Surface Mining – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on Friday at 9:00 a.m. on efforts to amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to stop the ongoing waste by the Department of the Interior of taxpayer resources and implement the final rule on excess spoil, mining waste, and buffers for perennial and intermittent streams, and for other purposes.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Energy Forum Set for August – The American Energy Security Summit in Washington, D.C. on August 5-7th and will focus on federal energy priorities, funding, programs, and contracts.

BPC Forum to Look at CyberSecurity – The Bipartisan Policy Center – along with the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) – will host a workshop on August 6th in the Grand Hyatt Washington to educate stakeholders, the media, and the public on the nature of cyber security challenges facing the electric sector; to highlight initiatives by industry and federal and state governments to address these challenges; and to identify additional efforts needed to protect the grid.  Recently, BPC convened the Electric Grid Cyber Security Initiative, a joint effort of BPC’s Energy and Homeland Security Projects, to develop recommendations for how government and industry can protect the North American electric grid from cyberattacks.  Speakers will include former CIA Director Michael Hayden, Ed Goetz of Exelon, DOE’s Senior Cyber Policy Advisor Michael E. Smith and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs Paul Stockton.

World Bank Expert Release Africa Climate Report – Johns Hopkins University will host World Bank experts on Wednesday, August 7th at Noon in its Washington DC Center to issue a report on regional climate impacts. The report focuses on the risks of climate change to development in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia, and South Asia. Building on the 2012 report, “Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4 Degree C Warmer World Must be Avoided,” this new scientific analysis examines the likely impacts of present day, 2 degrees C and 4 degrees C warming on agricultural production, water resources, and coastal vulnerability for affected populations. It finds many significant climate and development impacts are already being felt in some regions, and in some cases multiple threats of increasing extreme heat waves, sea-level rise, more severe storms, droughts and floods are expected to have further negative implications for the poorest.  Speakers will include World Bank Climate policy experts Jane Ebinger and Kanta Kmari Rigaud.

DOE Solar Seminar Continues – The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, in coordination with the Solar Outreach Partnership, will host the final webinar in the Solar Action Webinar Series on Wednesday August 7th at 2:00 p.m. on the successes from the rooftop solar challenge. he webinar will showcase the latest developments in solar net metering and interconnection.  The discussion will include an overview of recent successes in efforts to streamline interconnection and net metering application processes and several case studies and lessons learned.

NRDC’s Lashoff to Address Climate Regs for Power Plants – ICF International will hold an Energy Breakfast on August 8th featuring NRDC’s Dan Lashoff discussing NSPS for power plants.

CoalGen, Generation Hub Conferences Set for Charlotte – Pennwell’s GenerationHub hosts its first conference (GenForum) on August 11-12th at the Charlotte Convention Center in North Carolina.  Genforum comes right before Pennwell’s much larger CoalGen conference Aug.13-15, also at the convention center.  Genforum will feature discussions on everything from coal, natural gas, nuclear power to renewable energy.  There are 14 speakers lined up – including my B&G colleague Jeff Holmstead.

NY Official Will Address Wind Finance Forum – The American Wind Energy Assn (AWEA) will hold its Wind Energy Finance & Investment Seminar will be held on September 9th and 10th in New York City.  NYSERDA chairman Richard L. Kauffman, chairman of energy and finance for New York and recently confirmed chairman of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, will be a keynote speaker for the Kauffman will share his insights on the current state of U.S. energy, and reveal his vision for state-level energy solutions.

Transmission Summit Set – Infocast hold its 5th Annual Transmission Summit on September 23-25th in San Diego, CA. This timely annual Summit will once again gather leading utility executives, regulators, independent transmission developers, financiers and thought leaders to provide their insights and the clearest window into leading utility merchant transmission executives’ plans for new projects, partnerships and business strategies. Speakers will include FERC Shiv Mani, DOE’s Lauren Azar, Texas PUC Chair Donna Nelson and Arizona Corporate Commissioner Gary Pierce, among others.

Industry execs, Venture Caps Head to REFF-West – The 6th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum – West (REFF-West) will be held on September 16-17th at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco, CA.  The event will feature leaders in the industry, as well as the investment bankers, venture capitalists, renewable energy developers and manufacturers, and policy leaders who are leading the deployment of renewable energy in the Western U.S.  Speakers will include SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive and Stanford University Global Climate and Energy Project Director Sally Benson and many others.

 

Energy Update Week of May 28

Friends,

I hope everyone enjoyed the long Memorial Day Weekend.  It is always special to honor those heroes who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.  It must always be honored with our highest regard.  At the same time, while we honor our fallen heroes with the day, it is also a great time to thank those are still fighting every day to protect us.

The weather has been a little crazy for our friends in the middle of the country, and you are in our thoughts.  While we try to help however we can, it is also important to note that the hurricane season starts on Saturday.

Fortunately, the weather in our area was absolutely beautiful this past weekend, leading to great relaxing, parade watching, barbequing and lacrosse watching.  By the way, in case you missed it, the NCAA Women’s lacrosse final at Villanova featuring North Carolina and Maryland was a genuine classic.  The Tar Heels won the epic 3-OT battle, 13-12, bringing UNC its first national title ever.  It was every bit as exciting to watch as well.  You can see the replay here.  On the men’s side, Duke hammered Syracuse in a much less thrilling game (other than if you were a Dukey).  College Baseball and Softball championships and NCAA Track & Field Championships are next on the agenda.

For those of you that are footballers, the power shifts continued in the Champions League with the first ever all-German final on Saturday.  Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley to become champions of Europe. Arjen Robben, who missed a penalty in last year’s final, scored the winning goal in the 88th minute.

No Congress means catching our breath in the hopes of getting ready for the next battle, which will feature a schedule that will likely have energy efficiency legislation and Gina McCarthy’s EPA nomination on it.  Interestingly, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin last week said he didn’t know if there were 60 votes for McCarthy, but that seems like an early assessment.  We’ll see more as EPA/McCarthy address more concerns and time moves us closer to the next session.  In the meantime, EPA also extended its Tier 3 sulfur rule comment period after industry complained that they were limiting the comment period for the rule to just 23 days.  It is now extended to July 1st.

Finally, our friend Chris Frates at National Journal has a great piece on Marty Baron, the new executive editor at the Washington Post today.  It is a quality look at his M.O. and where he hopes to take the paper.

We’re trying to catch up on lunches, new business/marketing and old e-mails this week.  Call with questions…

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

 

IN THE NEWS

House Approves Grid Reliability Legislation – The House approved legislation from Pete Olson late last week to ensure that electric generating facilities can comply with Energy Department emergency orders that require companies to maintain grid reliability without opening themselves up to potential lawsuits for violating environmental laws.

 

GOING ON THIS WEEK

Webinar to Look at Military Biofuel Use – DOE will present a live webcast titled “Biomass and the Military” tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.  The Energy Department’s Bioenergy Technologies Office staff members will discuss the joint efforts between the Energy Department and U.S. Navy to use biopower and biofuels in military vehicles. The webinar will provide an overview and recent updates on the plans and goals laid out by the Defense Production Act and the Innovative Pilot- and Demonstration-Scale funding opportunity. Both funding projects will develop novel processes and provide extensive opportunities to prepare for eventual commercialization, helping the Energy Department meet its goals of creating reliable, sustainable, domestic biofuels to increase U.S. energy independence.

EPA to Feature SC Johnson, Coke Experts on Renewable Use – EPA’s Green Power Partnership will host a free webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. looking at on-site renewables and lessons learned from idea to implementation.  Organizations across the country continue to make direct investments in on-site renewable energy generation, indicating a long-term commitment to using renewable energy and securing the benefits of reduced electricity price volatility. This webinar will feature two EPA Green Power Partners, SC Johnson and Coca-Cola Refreshments, that have invested in on-site projects powered by landfill gas and wind, respectively, and highlight the companies’ experiences from initial investigation of on-site systems to the results obtained once the projects were brought online.  Speakers will include EPA’s Blaine Collison, SC Johnson Chief Sustainability Officer Kelly Semrau, and Richard Crowther, Manager of Sustainable Energy at Coca-Cola Refreshments.

AEI to Release Paper on Solar Radiation Issues – AEI will host a forum and paper discussion on tomorrow at 4:30 looking at solar radiation policy issues.  As hopes for curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions wane, interest in solar radiation management (SRM) continues to rise. A number of experts speculate that SRM might offset some of the harm from climate change by slightly enhancing the reflectiveness of Earth’s atmosphere. As the controversy over climate policy has grown, it has been said that GHG control is too hard but SRM is too easy.  A new paper by Lee Lane of the Hudson Institute and J. Eric Bickel of the University of Texas at Austin probes the truth of these propositions. The paper shows the potential economic benefits of SRM but also explores its risks. It argues that effective GHG control is likely to remain elusive but that barriers in international governance will probably impede hasty action on SRM, leading to hard bargaining and gridlock.  AEI’s discussion of this new research will include the authors and Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling.

ANGA Head to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable is hosting Marty Durbin, President and CEO of America’s Natural Gas Alliance, as the guest speaker at the next luncheon at the University Club on Thursday at Noon.  Durbin recently took over as head of ANGA, overseeing ANGA’s work with industry, governmental and consumer stakeholders to promote the increased use of America’s natural gas resources for a cleaner and more secure energy future.

Better Buildings Summit Set – This year’s Better Buildings Summit for State and Local Communities will be held on Thursday and Friday at the Renaissance Hotel and will feature state, local, K-12 education leaders, and other decision-makers on effective actions and policies to build a clean energy economy in states and local communities. Participants will learn innovative strategies, policies, and models for adopting and implementing clean energy solutions in their communities that save money, create jobs, increase energy security and protect the environment.   The U.S. Department of Energy will also be recognizing the achievements of Better Buildings Challenge Partners and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program grantees and creating a forum for peer exchange and networking. Our 2012 conference was a great success, hosting nearly 300 participants with presentations and discussions featuring former Colorado Governor William Ritter, and EERE Assistant Secretary Dr. David Danielson. The annual conference attracts attendees from the federal, state, local, non-profit, and private sectors as well as representatives from K-12 school districts.

Cato Forum to Look at Enviro Costs of Farm Bill – The Cato Institute will hold a forum on Thursday at Noon in B-340 Rayburn looking at the 2013 Farm Bill and ways to reduce its economic and environmental costs.  Congress may pass a major farm bill reauthorization this year for the first time since 2008.  Farm bill supporters claim that draft bills in the House and Senate would save taxpayers billions of dollars, but that isn’t the case. The bills would eliminate so-called direct payments to farmers, but the savings would be plowed into new subsidy programs and higher guaranteed prices for certain crops  A panel of speakers will discuss the impact of farm programs on taxpayers and the environment and suggest possible reform steps.  Speakers include Cato’s Chris Edwards, Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group, R Street Institute’s Andrew Moylan and Josh Sewell of Taxpayers for Common Sense.

USEA to Host Forum on Philippines Emissions Strategies – The U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on Friday looking at low emission development strategies in the Philippines.  The Philippines is partnering with the U.S. government to better integrate low-carbon growth into long-term planning as part of the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies program.  The key to success has been the work of the Philippines Climate Change Commission. This commission has served as a coordinating body for departments involved in low-carbon planning and deployment of clean technologies. This partnership is supporting climate-smart development planning in the Philippines by improving the quality of the GHG emissions inventory, the quality of the data and analysis used as a basis of low-emission planning, and supporting the deployment of clean energy technologies and the reduction of GHG emissions from deforestation and land-use change.  Speakers will include USAID’s Eric Postel and Gregory Beck,  Philippines Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and Secretary Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering, Vice Chairperson and Executive Director of the Climate Change Commission in the Philippines.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Schneider to Host Efficiency Forum – Schneider Electric will host its ‘Xperience Efficiency 2013’ EXPO on Tuesday-Thursday, June 4-6th at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center.  “Experience Efficiency” is a free, unique interactive event engaging local business leaders, organizations and the U.S. federal government in highlighting our nation’s energy dilemma and the immediate opportunities we have to develop effective solutions. Designed to bring together customers and partners to collaborate and educate on energy management issues, Schneider Electric will also showcase the latest developments in systems, solutions and technology in an interactive marketplace.

Forum, Report to Look at Reducing GHGs With NatGas – The Center For Climate and Energy Solutions and the University of Texas will host a forum on a new report that addresses leveraging natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on Tuesday, June 4th at 9:00 a.m. at 101 Constitution Ave, NW, 9th Floor Rotunda.  The event will begin with a conversation featuring C2ES President Eileen Claussen, Darryl Banks of the Center For American Progress, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, and AGA President Dave McCurdy.  A second panel exploring sector-level recommendations will feature UT Energy Institute’s Michael Webber, Bruce Hedman of the Institute For Industrial Productivity, Thomas Massaro of New Jersey Natural Gas, Waste Management’s Susan Robinson and Branko Terzic of Deloitte’s Center For Energy Solutions.

Senate Energy Tackles Wildfires, Interior Activity – The Senate Energy Committee will hold hearings on Tuesday June 4th at 10:00 a.m. on to explore ways to improve federal wildland fire management.  On Thursday, June 6th at 9:30 a.m., they will host Secretary Sally Jewell to review programs and activities of the Department of the Interior.

Solar Trends Report Set for Release – The Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s (IREC) will release its highly anticipated annual report, “U.S. Solar Market and Installation Trends 2013,” on Tuesday, June 4th at 2:00 p.m..  The report compiles and analyzes public data on U.S. solar installations by technology, state and market sector for 2012. Now in its sixth year, IREC’s 2013 Solar Market Trends Report covers solar technologies that produce electricity, including photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP).  The release will be in a webinar that will feature information about PV installations in 2012, including growth trends by sector and state rankings for installations. If you’re involved in the solar industry, or wish to become involved, this webinar will provide valuable information about the rapidly changing solar market in the U.S.

Forum to Highlight State Clean Energy Programs – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the Clean Energy States Alliance will host a briefing Tuesday, June 4th at 3:00 p.m. in 562 Dirksen about energy innovations at the state level. The briefing will investigate the significant role states are playing by implementing novel policies and effective approaches that reduce the cost of generating clean energy. Many state governments view clean energy as a foundation of their environmental and economic development strategies and have taken leadership roles in demonstrating the business case for renewable energy initiatives.  The briefing will discuss the role and value of federal-state partnerships on innovative clean energy investments and provide state-specific examples. This is a chance to hear first-hand from officials implementing new approaches for clean energy projects across the county.  Speakers for the forum include Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Sarah Fisher-Goad of the Alaska Energy Authority, CEC’s Andrew McAllister,  Janet Joseph of NYSERDA, Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority CEO Bryan Garcia, Andy Brydges of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Anne Eisele of the Maryland Energy Administration and Clean Energy Group President Lewis Milford.

Forum to Look at Defense, Climate Challenges –The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will host a forum on Thursday, June 6th at 9:00 a.m. looking at the challenges and opportunities for Transatlantic security.  North America and Europe’s continued reliance on imported oil makes these regions vulnerable to volatile global prices, risky supply lines, and unpredictable foreign governments. At the same time, consumption of oil and other fossil fuels contributes to climate change, which poses growing serious risks to infrastructure, livelihoods, and national security on both sides of the Atlantic. Join us in a discussion of the key findings and recommendations from “The Energy and Climate Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities for Transatlantic Security” a policy report jointly written by CNA and the Royal United Services Institute.  Speakers will include Christian Burgsmüller of EU’s Delegation to the United States, DoD’s Daniel Chiu, Ralph Espach of the CNA Center for Strategic Studies, UK’s Special Representative for Climate Change Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti and CNA’s Sherri Goodman.

AWC Expert to Address EnergyOcean Conference – The 10th Annual EnergyOcean International Conference and Exhibition will be held on June 10th to 12th in Providence/Warwick , RI.  Hundreds of industry stakeholders representing every aspect of the offshore renewable energy industry will unite for EnergyOcean International’s technical program which offers the latest in offshore ocean energy technological advances, updates on what is happening in the industry, along with regulatory issues and policy.  Among the speakers will be our friend Kris Ohleth of the Atlantic Wind Connection, who will address challenges to permitting offshore transmission systems.

RFF to Focus on Ice Sheets on the Move – While it will actually be the second Wednesday, Resources for the Future will hold its First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday, June 12th at 12:45 p.m.  on ice sheets.  The ice sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland pose both the largest risk and uncertainty for sea level rise, which is considered to be one of the greatest hazards from future climate change. Together, the two regions contain enough ice to increase sea level by over 60 meters. Predicting the effect of climate change on the ice sheets is challenging because of poorly understood processes and multiple, complex feedbacks among the ice sheets and the rest of the climate system. Policymakers urgently need numbers for future sea level rise and, in particular, an understanding of the uncertainties that come with such predictions. Recently, new initiatives for science-based uncertainty quantification have been launched, revealing mounting concern for ice sheet instability. Panelists at this First Wednesday Seminar will characterize the state of the science, methods for quantifying uncertainty, and the potential consequences of abrupt sea level rise.  RFF’s Roger Cooke will moderate a panel that includes Willy Aspinall and Jonathan Bamber of the University of Bristol, RFF’s Carolyn Kousky and Princeton’s Christopher Little.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 16th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum will be held on Wednesday – June 12th from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm in the Cannon Caucus Room.  Speakers will be announced as we get closer.

BPC to Discuss Global Oil, Gas Politics – The Bipartisan Policy Commission will hold the first in series of four events starting on June 12th to discuss the new geopolitics of petroleum and natural gas.  The forum will focus on the geopolitical impacts of the U.S. tight oil boom, the implications for OPEC and the U.S. strategic posture.  Only a short number of years ago, it was projected that the United States would be increasingly dependent on foreign sources of oil, as domestic production appeared to be in permanent decline.  Dramatically, this trend has reversed since horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies have been applied to the production of both natural gas and oil from shale formations.   Recent reports by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and others have estimated that the United States, given its newfound tight oil wealth, will surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer by the end of this decade.  This session will explore the realistic implications of what the tight oil boom means for the country in both economic and geopolitical terms, with David Goldwyn of Goldwyn Global Strategies, LLC, former State Department Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs moderating.   Other speakers will include Sen. Lisa Murkowski, our friend Paul Sankey of Deutsche Bank, former Sen. Bennett Johnston and EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski.

Women Leaders Discuss Burning Fossil-Fuel Environmental Issues – WCEE will host a lunch on Thursday, June 13th to look at the environmental challenges in the fossil-fuel industry.  It  has always been the target of environmental agencies and environmental public interest groups.   At this WCEE lunch, hosted by Bingham McCutchen, three women charged with managing environmental issues in the fossil-fuel industry will highlight the pressing issues for the industry as they see it on a daily basis.   Speakers include CONSOL’s  Katharine Fredriksen, Marie McGowan of ExxonMobil  and ANGA’s Amy Farrell.

Public Power Conference Set for Nashville – The 2013 APPA National Conference, public power’s largest annual gathering, will be held in Nashville, TN, June 14th through 19th.  At conference, utility leaders and policymakers explore innovative ideas, developing trends and new technologies; learn about the national issues influencing our industry; and connect with hundreds of utility board and city council members, mayors, utility executives, senior managers, and industry partners.  The program features leading political, economic, business and public policy thinkers and public power leaders addressing the critical issues shaping our industry’s future, to help you think strategically about your utility’s future.

EIA Conference Set For DC – The 2013 EIA Energy Conference will be held on June 17-18th at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC.  The conference has become a premier forum for addressing energy issues in the United States and around the world.  The conference will explore current and future challenges facing domestic and international energy markets and policymakers.  Session topics include a global natural gas outlook; renewable, storage, and grid integration; and many other topics.

Aspen Clean Energy Conference Set – The Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Program is hosting its 4th annual Aspen Institute Clean Energy Forum in Aspen, CO on June 20-23rd.  The co-chairs for the Forum are Roger Ballentine, President, Green Strategies, and Andy Karsner, CEO, Manifest Energy.  The objective of this Forum is to highlight and further develop new ideas that merge the collective desire for a clean energy future with current systemic political, technical and economic realities.

Reid, Wellinghoff to Address Geothermal Summit – The National Geothermal Summit will be held on June 26-27th at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV.  The event will feature Keynote remarks by Ashley Carrigan, State Director, Senator Dean Heller’s Office, Karen Edson of California ISO and FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff.  There will also be a video Keynote Address by Senator Harry Reid.

NARUC Summer Meetings Focus on Cyber, Broadband, Climate, Safety Policies – Cyber security, broadband adoption, climate policy, pipeline safety, and much more will take center stage during the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Summer Committee Meetings July 21-24 in Denver.  The meetings will bring in federal and State policymakers, industry officials, consumer advocates, and many critical stakeholders to the Denver Sheraton Downtown. The agenda, still under development, is available online.  Topics under discussion include: measuring cybersecurity; national broadband policies; integration of renewable energy; addressing climate mitigation and adaption; electricity and gas interdependencies; and much more.  Featured speakers include Federal Communications Commission member Jessica Rosenworcel, National Telecommunications and Information Administration Administrator Larry Strickling, Xcel Energy Chairman, President, and CEO Ben Fowke, and Questar Chairman, President, and CEO Ron Jibson. A complete list of speakers confirmed to date is available online.

AGU Science Conference Set – The American Geophysical Union will hold its second annual Science Policy Conference on Monday, June 24th to Wednesday, June 26th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D. C.  the event will host hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals as they discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers’ decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic.

Energy Update Week of October 1

Friends,

Short note today because I’m just speechless over yesterday’s final Ryder Cup meltdown.  That and the fact that there is a lot going on regarding party preparation for the first Presidential Debate in Denver Wednesday night.  I’ll be serving chicken wings for my event since on that day 38 years earlier at Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, the first “Buffalo wings” were made and served to patrons who were probably getting ready for the Goldwater-Johnson Debate, or maybe a Bills Game from the old AFL days (they defeated the San Diego Chargers that year for the AFL Championship behind the play of future pol Jack Kemp).

The week of October 1st not only means the it’s the start of the fourth quarter, but that it’s been 50 years since James Meredith integrated the University of Mississippi and that it has been 26 years since original Metallica Bassist Cliff Burton was killed in the “black ice” bus crash in Sweden.  Also, the Boston American’s played the first modern World Series game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1903.  And while we’re in PA, in 1940, the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened (I think I’ve hit a few potholes from the original road).  And for those of you in DC, you may remember that 10 years ago this week (tomorrow actually), the DC sniper incidents began, wreaking havoc in the region for more than 3 weeks.

October also means the Supreme Court kicks off its fall term.  The session kicks off with a bang this week with a landmark case to decide whether survivors of human rights violations in foreign countries can bring lawsuits against corporations in US courts. The case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, centers on a lawsuit that accuses the oil giant of complicity in the murder and torture of Nigerian activists.

A couple things I do want to mention though:  tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., SEIA and Hart Research will release the latest poll showing voter perceptions (expect good news!!) about solar energy and their views on the government’s role in developing solar.  Speaking of solar, our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy is one of the key speakers at the US Energy Association annual energy supply conference at the National Press Club on Thursday.  The following day, Friday evening at MIT, E&E TV’s Monica Trauzzi hosts the only real Presidential energy debate in Boston featuring campaign energy surrogates, Joe Aldy (Obama) and Oren Cass (Romney).  And don’t forget this week is GridWeek, while next week is AWEA’s Offshore Wind conference in Virginia Beach.

So stay tuned on Wednesday, remember to drink when you hear the word “jobs” and call with questions.  Special thanks to my friends in the enviro community, who’s spamming of Jim Lehrer just about assures the words “climate” and “change” won’t be mentioned together.  We’ll be tracking it all…36 days to the election.

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

IN THE NEWS

President Blocks Chinese Wind Farm Purchase – Are there politics in them there hills? Blasted by his opponent’s ads that say he is soft on China, President Obama issued an order using a trade provision to block a Chinese company’s purchase of four wind farm projects in Oregon in the vicinity of a U.S. naval facility’s restricted airspace.   The President is demanding that Ralls Corporation divest its interest in the wind farms it purchased earlier this year.  My colleague Josh Zive (202-828-5838), a great resource on CIFUS and other trade issues, said there are many reasons why the White House would take a swipe at China, but even if it wasn’t politically motivated, it will have political implications, especially internationally where the politics are far more complicated.   Feel free to call Josh, as he is happy to discuss in great detail.

New Job Recovery Plan for Out-of-Work Power Plant Workers – Washington TV Station WJLA unknowingly has unveiled the President’s second-term plan for all those coal and power plant jobs that EPA is eliminating:  The DC Lottery.  James Brown, a husband and father of three daughters in college, will lose his job of 27 years at Alexandria’s GenOn Power plant on October 12 due to its shut down after a long battled with environmentalist over the plant.  But here’s the Prez’s plan kicking in on this unlucky tale: He won $102,500 in the DC-5 Lottery last week.  Yes, this is the famous plant that the Energy Department and FERC ordered to run for grid reliability of the Nation’s Capital while EPA and the Commonwealth of Virginia fined them for operating.  It spurred legislation to fix such situations from Pete Olsen that was able to get support from both Henry Waxman and Ed Markey.  The legislation awaits action in the Senate, and may see action in the post-election Congressional Session.

Bipartisan Letter Expresses Concern with EPA Overreach in HF Diesel Fuel Guidance – A bipartisan groups of Senators sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson expressing concern that EPA is expanding its definition of diesel fuels in its draft permitting guidance for oil and natural gas hydraulic fracturing activities in an effort to gain more federal control over the hydraulic fracturing process.  Senators signing the letter include Jim Inhofe, Lisa Murkowski and North Dakota’s John Hoeven, along with Democrats  Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Joe Manchin  of West Virginia.  Hydraulic fracturing is excluded from EPA regulation under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), except when diesel fuel is used. Even then, under Energy Policy Act, Congress gave EPA very narrow optional authority to regulate ‘diesel fuel’ under UIC program if the Agency deems it necessary. Through its draft guidance, EPA is attempting to broaden the definition of diesel fuel in order to increase the chance that the federal government can step in to stifle hydraulic fracturing.  Last December, Inhofe, Murkowski, Hoeven and Landrieu sent a bipartisan letter to the EPA expressing concern about the approach the agency was taking with its draft guidance. The Senators said that EPA’s plan could have serious effects on states’ primacy as well as create burdensome permitting requirements that could have widespread implications for oil and gas development across the country.

Finzel Joins Waggener – Our friend Ben Finzel, former Energy media strategist and energy PR firm expert is moving over to Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, one of the world’s largest independent communications agencies, as General Manager of the Washington, DC office and Senior Vice President and head of the Public Affairs practice.  Finzel brings more than 20 years of communications and public affairs experience to the agency, including a presidential appointment during the Clinton administration and nearly six years as a press and legislative staffer for two members of Congress.   He joins WE from Widmeyer Communications, where he managed the public affairs practice and focused on key issues including the economy, energy and the environment. Finzel worked with clients including the American Energy Innovation Council, the National Association for the Self-Employed and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.   In previous in-house communications roles at two global communications firms, Finzel led media relations teams on the launch of a worldwide conservation program for the Worldwide Fund for Nature, on the release of the “Combat Climate Change” report in Washington, D.C., and on the opening of the first publicly accessible hydrogen refueling station in the United States with Shell Hydrogen and General Motors. As a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) during the Clinton administration, Finzel managed communications for the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, developing and promoting the “Clean Energy for the 21st Century” brand the DOE used to highlight innovations resulting from government leadership.

THIS WEEK’S GOINGS ON

Geothermal Energy Forum Set for Reno – The GEA Geothermal Energy Expo will be held today and tomorrow at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, NV.  The event is the world’s largest gathering of vendors providing support for geothermal resource exploration, characterization, development, production and management.

Jackson Hole Forum to Look at CO2 Solutions – The University of Wyoming’s Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy (CEEPP) and the School of Energy Resources (SER) will host a forum today and tomorrow focused on power generation and the environment in Jackson Hole’s Teton Village.  This symposium will focus on solutions to CO2 emissions from coal-generated electricity, the economic implications of alternative control options, and the costs of alternatives to coal-fired generation.  The event will convene scholars and experts in economics, engineering, policy, and science to evaluate the technological and economic viability of various solutions to CO2 emissions. The keynote speaker for the symposium is Samuel Fankhauser, Co-Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, member of the UK Committee on Climate Change, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy. A handful of other academics will also speak including Joe Aldy of Harvard and RFF’s Josh Linn.

Forum to Look Emission Trading Issues – The International Emissions Trading Assn will hold its Carbon Forum today and tomorrow in Washington, DC at the Marriott at Metro Center.  Speakers will include UN climate chief Christine Figueres, Eileen Claussen, Dirk Forrister, Alstom’s Bob Hilton, NREA’s Anne Smith, Shell’s David Hone former DOE official Victor Der, former EPA air official Bill Wehrum, ELI President John Cruden, CARB Chair Mary Nichols and our friend at Argus Media Bill Peters and E&E TV’s Monica Trauzzi.

SEIA to Release Solar Poll Numbers at Briefing – Tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., SEIA and Hart Research will release the latest poll showing voter perceptions about solar energy and their views on the government’s role in developing solar.  This is the fifth consecutive year SEIA has released public opinion research, which has remained consistent and strongly favorable toward solar energy and its adoption in the US.  Rhone Resch, CEO and President, Solar Energy Industries Association, Tom Kimbis, VP for Strategy and External Affairs, SEIA and Molly O’Rourke of Hart Research Associates will discuss the findings. The poll was conducted online among 1,206 likely voters Sept. 4 to 9.  Experts say the results are very strong, showing overwhelming support for solar and the role of government incentives for solar, despite the year’s political attacks on solar and renewables.

Bromwich, Watson, Statoil Headline Drilling Forum at CSIS – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS )will hold an energy and security forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to discuss advancing offshore safety by sharing research, information and best practices on safety and environmental protection.  Speakers will include Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director James Watson, Charlie Williams of the Center for Offshore Safety, Statoil’s Svein Erik Eide, EDF’s Elgie Holstein and former BOEMRE  head Michael Bromwich.

Navy Sect Headlines Aviation Biofuels Conference – The Aviation Biofuels Development Conference will be held at Embassy Row Hotel tomorrow and Wednesday and will look at the specific challenges faced in the alternative aviation fuel market.  The key issues in Washington DC will include long-term partnerships and alliances, policy, understanding feedstock and technology options, infrastructure and supply chain development, and scale up and Commercialization. Speakers will include Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, among others.

GridWeek Set for DCGridWeek 2012 is set for the Washington DC Convention Center tomorrow through Thursday and will tackle the challenge of deriving value from this complexity — gathering utility, policy, regulatory and consumer experts to approach the topic head-on. As grid-modernization and smart grid efforts provide the energy industry with more information, a broader system view, and more efficiency and control, we are faced with increasing complexity. The challenge lies in deriving value from that complexity — for all stakeholders.  Providing a mix of in-depth panel discussions, value-focused case studies, and a forward look at how the ever-changing energy landscape will impact the electrical grid, GridWeek will explore three key themes:  1) Stakeholder value, 2) Managing complexity and 3) Smart energy policy.  Speakers will include DOE’s David Sandalow, NIST’s Patrick Gallagher, EEI’s Ton Kuhn and many others.

Forum to Look at Electric Vehicles – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in 121 Cannon on the growth of plug-in electric vehicles in the United States and efforts to spur greater transport electrification. The briefing will discuss how communities, utilities, private companies, the government and others are leading efforts to put more PEVs on the nation’s roads by capitalizing on new technologies and working to overcome market barriers. The briefing will explore ways to foster more rapid PEV adoption across multiple sectors and the different rationales for doing so. Speakers will also discuss the various benefits of increased PEV market share; how utilities, communities and other businesses are developing more PEV-friendly areas; and the growing electrification of vehicle fleets.  The speakers for this event are Rep. Janice Hahn’s (D-CA) Communications Director Henry Connelly, DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program Manager Patrick Davis, EDTA’s Genevieve Cullen, Edward Kjaer of SoCal Edison and UPS’s Jim Bruce.

Encana’s Hock to Headline Energy Communications Conference – The 3rd annual Energy Crisis Communications Forum will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the Royal Sonesta Houston and will focus on navigating current media trends and regulatory policies to achieve effective communications plans.  Our friends Doug Hock of Encana, Buddy Eller of STP Nuclear and many others.  This conference will focus on adapting and implementing an effective crisis communications plan in order to enhance, maintain, or rebuild organizations’ bottom line, reputation, and brand.

NJ to Host Energy Job Policy ForumNational Journal will host a Live Policy Summit on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. at the Newseum’s Knight Conference Center to discuss powering America’s future by empowering workers.  While everyone agrees creating more jobs is America’s top priority, many U.S. companies, including in the energy industry, have been unable to find workers with the skills they need to compete and innovate.  A panel of experts – including voices from key federal agencies, companies that actively invest in skill-building, leading academics, workforce development experts, and others – will explore what steps can be taken to better prepare these workers for jobs in the energy industry and continue to put Americans back to work.  U.S. Department of Labor Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training Administration Jane Oates will keynote while NJ’s Managing Editor for Domestic Policy Caren Bohan will moderate a panel that includes NV Energy Human Resources SVP Alice Cobb, Clay Goodman of Estrella Mountain Community College, Nicole Smith of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, Tom Tarantino of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal.

NPC to Look at Future Transpo Technologies – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host the National Petroleum Council on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. for a discussion of its recent study examining future opportunities and challenges for transportation fuels and vehicle technologies.  Advancing Technology for America’s Transportation Future is the NPC’s response to a request from Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu. This two-year study involved more than 300 participants from the oil and gas industry, U.S. and international vehicle manufactures, transportation services end-users, non-governmental organizations, financial institutions, consultancies, academia, and research groups.  The study found that transportation in the United States could evolve at an accelerated rate, depending on the speed of technology advancements and the economic viability of alternative fuels and vehicles. Nonetheless, sustained and focused efforts by industry and government are essential for progress to continue and accelerate.  In order to examine the potential impacts of accelerated technology development, this study assumes that aggressive improvements in alternative fuels and vehicles can be achieved and substantial transition hurdles can be overcome.  Through modeling and qualitative analysis, this approach provides insights about the possible futures of the U.S. transportation system that are associated with significant advances in vehicles powered by biofuels, electricity, hydrocarbon liquids, hydrogen, and natural gas. Speakers include Linda Capuano of Marathon, Stephen Brand of Welltec and Chevron’s Puneet Verma.

NGSA to Unveil Winter Outlook – The Natural Gas Supply Association will roll out its 2012-13 Winter Outlook, an assessment and analysis of market conditions for the upcoming winter heating season, will be released on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room.

NY Shale Gas Conference Set – West Legal EdCenter will hold a Shale Gas Drilling operations conference on Wednesday in New York City.  The Conference is chaired by litigation lawyer who has attacked companies over the years, Marc Bern of Napoli, Bern, Ripka, Sholnick.  Despite this fact, many of the panels look to be balanced including one on Parker County and Dimock.  Of course, in each of those cases, the facts have proven that drilling operations were wrongly targeted by opponents and money-hungry trial lawyers.

Wellinghoff, DOE’s Hogan Headline CHP Meeting – The U.S. Clean Heat and Power Association will hold its annual conference on Wednesday and Thursday at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel.  The USCHPA brings together diverse market interests to promote the growth of clean, efficient local energy generation in the United States.  Topics to be addressed include the role for CHP in national security, federal energy policy, greater building efficiency, utility perspectives on CHP and  new products for waste heat recovery, among other topics.

RFF to Look at Climate Risk – Resources for the Future will hold its academic seminar series on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. hosting Geoffrey Heal, Professor of Finance & Economics at the Columbia Business School to discuss risk, ambiguity and climate change.  The selection of climate policies should be an exercise in risk management, reflecting the many relevant sources of uncertainty.  There are important uncertainties not only in projections of climate change for any development pathway but also in the development pathway itself, its consequences for exposure and vulnerability, and the way that these factors interact to produce impacts. Successful risk management requires information on the range of possible outcomes and, ideally, on their likelihoods. Increasingly, studies of climate change and climate-change impacts place a priority on characterizing uncertainty, but this rarely extends to consensus on the distribution of exposure, vulnerability, or possible outcomes.  This paucity of probabilistic information greatly reduces the scope for policy analysis based on expected utility theory and benefit-cost analysis. It highlights the value of robust decision making tools designed for situations where generally-agreed probability distributions are not available and stakeholders differ in their degree of risk tolerance.

Energy Efficiency Reports to Be Released – The Alliance for Great Energy Efficiency Day as members of the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy (EE Commission) will unveil a highly-anticipated series of reports on Wednesday in G-50 Dirksen documenting the current state of energy efficiency in the U.S. economy and best local, state, national, and international practices. The EE Commission, a diverse, bipartisan group, aims to reach consensus on a set of federal policies and other actionable recommendations to double energy productivity by 2030 to make the United States one of the world’s most energy-efficient economies.   Report topics to be discussed include community planning and mobility, residential and commercial buildings, industry products and processes, power generation and smart grid and systems integration.

USEA to Host Energy Supply Forum – The US Energy Assn will hold its 5th Annual Energy Supply Forum on Thursday at the National Press Club.   Representatives from both the public and private sector will gather to discuss topics ranging from unconventional energy supply resources to onshore exploration and production to technologic advances in the supply sector.   One of those speakers is our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy, solar developer of the Ivanpah project in California, which currently is more than 50% complete and expected to be operational next year.  Issues will include domestic production, energy policy-post election, energy efficiency-demand response, energy exports and new policy initiatives.  Speakers will include FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff, DOE’s Kathleen Hogan and Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett.

Clean Energy Economy Topics at Pew Conference – The Pew Charitable Trusts will convene a group of business leaders from across the country at Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on Friday to discuss how clean energy can be an essential part of reinvigorating the U.S. manufacturing base and enhancing the country’s competitiveness.   At the “Innovate, Manufacture, Compete: A Clean Energy Action Plan” conference, presenters from the private and public sectors will offer perspectives on the current state of the U.S. clean energy industry and strategies for strengthening policy. These discussions build on a series of roundtable meetings with key stakeholders that Pew has convened across the United States this year. Based on input from industry, academic, and policy experts, Pew is working to highlight the most promising policy initiatives that the United States can pursue for enhanced clean energy competitiveness.   Speakers include our friends Joe Desmond (boy is he having a busy week), as well as NREL’s Dana Christensen, Dow Chemical’s Doug Parks, ARPA-E’s Peder Maarbjerg, Ex-Im Bank chairman Fred Hochberg, DoD’s Joseph Sikes, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls Bloomberg New Energy Finance policy ace Ethan Zindler  and Senate ENR majority staff director Bob Simon.   David Danielson, assistant secretary of energy efficiency and renewable energy at DOE and former VA Sen. and secretary of the U.S. Navy John Warner will offer concluding remarks.

MIT Debate on Energy Set for Boston – The MIT Energy Initiative will be hosting a presidential energy debate on Friday morning.  The debate will feature campaign surrogates, Joe Aldy (Obama) and Oren Cass (Romney).  Questioners during the debate include CNNMoney.com’s Steve Hargreaves, Bill Loveless of Platts Energy Week and E&ETV Host Monica Trauzzi. E&ETV has the exclusive video coverage of the event and will be airing the debate in its entirety on Monday, October 8th.

Forum to Look at Japan’s Energy Future – The Brookings Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies and the Energy Security Initiative will host a discussion on Friday at 1:00 p.m. on Japan’s energy future, including the shifts in Japan’s energy policymaking, the different energy scenarios for Japan and the challenges of developing alternative sources of renewable energy. Following a summer of protests over the safety of nuclear power—prompted by last year’s Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis—the Japanese government recently released a much-awaited energy strategy. The new plan from the governmental Council on Energy and the Environment called for a “zero-nuclear” Japan, phasing out all nuclear power by the year 2040. However, the Japanese Cabinet abstained from fully endorsing the zero-nuclear option, and a small number of new nuclear reactors remain under construction. Obscured by an array of competing priorities and economic, political, and energy security considerations, Japan’s energy future seems unclear. Panelists will also address the implications of a nuclear phase-out for Japan’s export industries, global energy markets, climate change goals, and trade in liquid natural gas.  They include Howard Baker Forum Director Scott Campbell, Charles Ebinger of Brookings’ Energy Security Initiative, GWU’s Llewelyn Hughes and Toshikazu Okuya, Special Advisor to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

RFF to Host Lecture on Environment Policy – Resources for The Future will hold an event celebrating its 60th anniversary with the Resources 2020 lecture series on Friday at 2:00 p.m. at the National Association of Home Builders featuring Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, discussing inequality and environmental policy.  Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University, the winner of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2001, and a lead author of the 1995 IPCC report, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was chairman of the US Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton, and chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank during 1997-2000. Stiglitz received the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded biennially to the American economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the subject. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University, held the Drummond Professorship at All Souls College at the University of Oxford, and has also taught at MIT, Yale, Stanford, and Princeton. Stiglitz helped create a new branch of economics, “the economics of information,” exploring the consequences of information asymmetries and pioneering such pivotal concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now become standard tools not only of theorists, but also of policy analysts. His work has helped explain the circumstances in which markets do not work well and how selective government intervention can improve their performance.

DC Solar Homes Tour Set for Weekend – The American Solar Energy Society will hold its 22nd annual metro Washington, D.C. Tour of Solar and Green Homes on  Saturday and Sunday.  The National Solar Tour is the world’s largest grassroots solar event with more than 165,000 participants visiting some 5,500 buildings in 3,200 communities across the U.S.   Now in its 17th year, the annual showcase allows participants the opportunity to see innovative green homes and buildings that use solar energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable technologies. Over 70 solar and green homes are on the D.C. Tour of Solar and Green Homes, including our friend and SEIA media person Monique Hanis, whose house is #6 on the Saturday tour.

FUTURE EVENTS

Bingaman to Speak at Colorado Law School on Energy – As part of the  Energy Innovation Series and the Big Energy Seminar Series, the University of Colorado Law School, NREL’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), Silicon Flatirons, CEES and the NRLC are hosting the 5th Annual Schultz Lecture featuring  retiring New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman, the Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.  The lecture will be in the Colorado’s Wolf Law Building in the Wittemyer Courtroom on Monday October 8th.   The Schultz Lectureship Series on oil and gas, energy, and natural resources provides valuable information to policymakers, practitioners, business executives, and the academic community on emerging issues in the field.

Renewable Groups Forum to Look at Market Barriers, Trends, Overview – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy, the American Wind Energy Association, the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, the National Hydropower Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association, in cooperation with the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, is hosting an educational briefing on Tuesday, October 9 at 2:00 p.m. in 2168 Rayburn  to focus on market trends and policy drivers for commercially available renewable energy technologies.  A moderated panel discussion with Q&A will follow.  Panel I will provide an overview of U.S. and Global market trends and feature Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.  The second panel will feature a discussion of trends and barriers to increased deployment and investment and feature Austin Energy’s Solar program head Patricia Alofsin, (our friend and) Calpine’s Yvonne McIntyre to talk geothermal, wind expert Jack Thirolf of Enel Green Power and a speaker from Voith Hydro.

EIA, DOE, NASEO to Host Winter Fuels Outlook – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Energy Information Administration, and the National Association of State Energy Officials will hold the 2012 – 2013 Winter Fuels Outlook Conference Wednesday, October 10 at the National Press Club.   This important supply and demand forecast event will address global oil supply uncertainty, and the effects of projected winter weather on the demand for heating and key transportation fuels.  A range of market factors that may impact the supply, distribution and prices of petroleum, natural gas and electricity this winter will be discussed in great detail by some the nation’s leading energy data and forecasting experts.  This important annual event helps to inform the entire energy policy and business community, trade associations, federal and state agencies, policy makers, and consumer groups about the current and anticipated energy supply and demand balances and outlook for prices.  This year’s conference includes a presentation on EIA’s Winter Fuels Outlook, as well as presentations from well-known industry representatives and energy experts who will provide their views on factors that will affect energy markets this winter in the United States and globally.  Key speakers include DOE’s Pat Hoffman, EIA’s Adam Sieminski and NASEO’s David Terry.  Among the speakers will be our friend John Kneiss, of Hart Energy, who will discuss ethanol.

Yale to Start Shale Gas Policy Seminar Series – The Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy will hold its second annual policy workshop webinar series on Wednesday, October 10th focusing on emerging issues in shale gas development.   Natural gas extraction generally, and shale gas extraction in particular, has become a highly charged issue as stakeholders debate its effects on environmental and public health and its role in our future energy mix. This webinar series seeks to answer important questions about extraction, the environment, and the future of energy by grounding that debate with expert speakers from a variety of disciplines.   Dr. Jim Saiers, Professor of Hydrology at Yale University, will launch the series with an overview of the environmental implications of shale gas development.

AWEA Offshore Conference Set for VA Beach – AWEA will host its annual offshore wind conference in Virginia Beach on October 11-13th.  Stay tuned for more details, but  BOEM’s Tommy Beaudreau will kick off the event and AWC President Bob Mitchell will speak on Thursday morning, providing a development update on the project and its implications for accelerating offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic.

CIBO Conference to Discuss EPA Uncertainty – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO) will hold its 34th annual meeting on October 10-12th at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, California.  Never, in CIBO existence, has there been a time of greater uncertainty regarding industrial energy. This October could be CIBO’s most important meeting to assess the reality of the situation and the potential implication for our members and facilities within the United States.   Speakers include EPA Air Administrator Gina McCarthy, former EPA General Counsel and Bracewell & Giuliani partner Lisa Jaeger, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, ALSTOM Power’s Carl Bozzutto, ACCF’s Margo Thorning, GOP pollster Rich Galen and of course, CIBO President Bob Bessette.

Georgetown U Cleantech Conference Set – The Annual 2012 Georgetown Energy and Cleantech Conference is set for Friday, October 12th and is a hallmark campus event and a premiere gathering of students and professionals in the Capital Region.  The world faces a range of critical energy challenges and significant investment is necessary to help ensure the future availability of affordable, low carbon energy. Innovation throughout the energy supply chain can enable private and public sectors to move closer to achieving this goal. Understanding current practices and anticipating future trends will be a key differentiator for companies and governments everywhere.  The event will be held at Georgetown University’s Rafik B. Hariri Building.  Speakers include Green Mountain Energy CEO James Steffes, NREL’s Matt Ringer and USEC’s Pat Sullivan, among others.

Cato Institute will hold a lunch forum on Friday, October 12th featuring Robert Bradley Jr., Founder and CEO of the Institute for Energy Research.  Bradley will look at industry and its call for regulations sometimes.  Milton Friedman once said, “The two greatest enemies of free enterprise in the United States… have been, on the one hand, my fellow intellectuals and, on the other hand, the business corporations of this country.” The history of public-utility regulation and environmental regulation in the electricity industry is an example of Friedman’s point, with Insull (Commonwealth Edison) fathering public-utility regulation a century ago and Rogers (Duke Energy) sponsoring CO2 regulation today.  Why did these industry leaders — and so many others — forsake free-market competition given the perils of relying on politics? And what are the public policy implications today for one of America’s most regulated industries?  This discussion draws upon Bradley’s most recent book, Edison to Enron: Energy Markets and Political Strategies, the second volume in his trilogy on political capitalism in the energy industry.

Utility, Fuel, Renewables to Address RETECH Forum – RETECH 2012 is set for Washington DC on October 16th-19th at the Omni Shoreham.  RETECH is the premier business, policy and technology conference and exhibition for the entire renewable energy industry and will host renewable energy leaders from government, utility, finance and technology.   RETECH 2012 is the only event dedicated to delivering coverage on EVERY discipline of renewable energy technology.  RETECH’s conference sessions will focus on current trends, the newest technologies and important up-to-date information on the changing legislative and regulatory landscapes.  Among the speakers will be EIA’s Adam Siemanski, as well as our friends Yvonne McIntyre of Calpine Corporation, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, former DOE energy advisor Larisa Dobriansky, Drive NatGas Executive Director Kathryn Clay, DTF’s Allen Schaeffer and EPRI’s Bryan Hannegan.

SEJ Ready for Lubbock – SEJ Kicks off at Texas Tech in Lubbock on October 17 through the 22nd.  Bracewell will of course be sponsoring its Thursday night event, so we hope to see you there.

Forum to Look at Energy Storage – ICF International’s October Energy and Environment Breakfast will be held on October 18th and feature energy experts discuss the future of energy storage in the United States. ICF welcomes energy experts Dr. Imre Gyuk, an energy storage program manager in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, and Chris Shelton, president of AES Energy Storage.

Book, Maisano Headline OPIS Fuels Conference in Vegas (Yeah!!!) – The Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) will hold its 14th annual National Supply Summit on October 22nd  to 24th at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas’ City Center.  Just a few weeks before the election, Kevin Book and I will host a panel on elections, the next Congress and fuels which will definitely be the highlight of the event.  Other speaker s will include Delta’s Jon Ruggles, ConocoPhillips’ Greg Garland and Chad Martin of Eco-Energy.

Giuliani to Headline Chamber Legal Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold its 13th Annual Legal Reform Summit on Wednesday, October 24th in Washington, DC featuring Keynote speaker NYC Mayor and B&G partner Rudy Giuliani.  The summit, which is recognized as the nation’s paramount comprehensive legal reform symposium, will feature a keynote address by former Giuliani and remarks by Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Additionally, the Summit agenda will feature a variety of timely panel discussions on developments and trends in litigation impacting securities and mergers & acquisitions, the political landscape and the 2012 elections and many other topics.  Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Scott Rasmussen, Founder and President of Rasmussen Reports will also speak.

MD to Hold Water Technologies Conference – The Maryland Department of the Environment will hold its Second Annual Clean Water Innovations Trade Show on Wednesday, October 24th in Annapolis.  Professionals and stakeholders from around the State will display innovative stormwater management and water quality management techniques, exchange information and promote the protection of Maryland’s resources. The event is free and refreshments will be provided.  Government agencies, consultants, developers, environmental advocates and the building industry can learn more about the latest best management practices in stormwater management, wetland creation and restoration and other green technologies.  Additionally, during the event, MDE will recognize the winners of the 2012 Smart, Green & Growing Award for Infrastructure and Innovations in Stormwater Management.  The trade show promises to be informative for both those with ideas and products to offer and those faced with the challenge of improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Krancer to Headline PA NatGas Water Conference – Michael Krancer, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, will be one of the keynote speakers at Infocast’s 3rd Water Management for Shale Plays meeting, slated for October 29-31 in Pittsburgh, PA.   Secretary Krancer will kick off the Briefing, Assessing Specific Shale Plays, on Monday, October 29th providing Pennsylvania DEP’s perspective on Water Management in the Marcellus and Utica.  Topics on the agenda include the economics of good water management systems, integrating treatments and new technologies and determining what’s required in terms of the necessary supporting water infrastructure for the current drilling boom.

November 6th – Election Day

Washington Ideas Forum Set – The Atlantic, the Aspen Institute, and the Newseum, with support from the Harvard Institute of Politics, will host the 4th annual Washington Ideas Forum on November 14th and 15th, DC’s premier gathering of journalists and newsmakers for two days of idea-sharing and creative thinking on the biggest issues facing the country – and the world.  Confirmed speakers include Bill Gates, Nancy Pelosi, Mylan Labs’ Heather Bresch, Margaret Carlson, FDA Commissioner Peggy Hamburg, Jon Huntsman, David Leonhardt, Michele Norris, Norah O’Donnell, and David Rubenstein.

 

Energy Update Week of September 24

Friends,

Okay, let me just open up by saying it right here and now:  Stop talking about the replacement refs in the NFL and deal with it.  They are not missing as nearly many calls as the announcers and sportscasters (very few who know the rules) are saying they are and the players are the ones who need to control themselves more.  There were plenty of flags on the field at M&T Bank stadium last night.  My bet is the league really cracks down on player/coach stupidity, and that has very little with the referees’ calls (which they will never like anyway). 

Brandt Snedeker won golf’s FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus (total payout of $11.44 million) by capturing the season-ending Tour Championship yesterday in thrilling fashion, outdistancing Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and several others in what was a great few weeks of top players playing great golf.  Now, they all turn to Medinah Country Club in Illinois this week for the Ryder Cup and another week of exciting play.    

Finally, I am really started to get worried about the NHL season and the contact woes that currently face the league.  Late last week, the NHL cancelled all September pre-season games which were to begin this week, including Wednesday’s Baltimore Hockey Classic at 1st Mariner Arena where the Caps were to play Columbus.  Already many of the players are scattering across Europe to earn a paycheck playing hockey.  More important than the election results, we will keep you posted on breaking news here, especially you Ranger Fans who thought this might be the year (like you haven’t said that before) after acquiring Rick Nash in the offseason. 

So we’re finally off to the election races…Congress’ departure finally sets up a push to the 2012 election where energy continues to play a supporting role especially in some key states.  We’ll return after November 6th to finish the rest of the business in a lame duck session, but for now, let’s get election crazy. 

On Friday, the House passed its “Stop the War On Coal” legislation, a package of bills aimed at undercutting the Administration’s push to limit coal use.  Of course, both sides are pushing the issue to regions where coal is important and advocacy groups on each side that is using it for its political value.  There is a full report below. 

Also Friday, EPA surprisingly replaced the acting Region 6 administrator, who was filling-in for “resigned” previous head Dr. Al Armendeniz, with former New Mexico DEC Commissioner Ron Curry.  Most thought the decision would wait until after the election, but my guess is that the pick is a bow to enviros who are spending millions in New Mexico Senate race to get Martin Heinrich elected over former Rep. Heather Wilson to replace retiring long-time Senate Energy expert Jeff Bingaman.  Curry has long been an enviro friend and as my colleague Scott Segal said quoting the famous Who song “We Won’t Get Fooled Again,” he seems “same as the old boss.”  I have a long track history of dealing with Curry in New Mexico while I worked on behalf of the Navajo Nation’s effort to build a new power plant, so I will be happy to discuss.

Finally, with Congress out, I noticed that there are a number of October events that you need to keep up with, starting with Thursday/Friday’s REFF-West Conference in SanFran.  Next week, events include GRID Week and the USEA Energy Supply Forum (featuring our friend Joe Desmond of solar developer BrightSource) in DC.  The following week sees AWEA’s Offshore wind Conference in Virginia Beach and CIBO in San Diego (which of course in German means a whale’s va…).  SEJ is in Lubbock, Texas the next week, while RETECH 2012 is in DC.  Finally, the last full week of October features an OPIS Fuels Conference in Vegas where Kevin Book and I will be predicting election results/policy fallout and a U.S. Chamber Legal forum featuring Mayor Rudy Giuliani. 

So stay tuned and call with questions.  We’ll be tracking it all…43 days to the election.  And just in case you were wondering, I thought you might like this new commercial that is running from a group of undecided voters aimed at the candidates.   

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

IN THE NEWS

House Moves Legislation to Slow Attack on Coal – In a political move aimed at highlighting the Administration’s attack on coal, the House passed the Stop the War on Coal Act on a 233-175 vote Friday.  The bill included four measures previously passed by the House and was billed as a show of support for coal jobs in Appalachian states. The House also approved seven amendments that undercut the administration’s new CAFE rule, limit new federal scientific studies, remove EPA’s retroactive veto authority on mine permits and give states power to override EPA’s new haze rules.  The issues have been subject to weeks of hearings, and the effort has been bipartisan. They address calls for a cumulative economic analysis of EPA’s incredibly-expensive rules before they can be implemented.  Given the recent findings of yet another abysmal jobs report, knowing the cumulative impact these rules will have on our economy seems like the least we can do.  Regulations like those EPA has targeted at coal are designed to increase energy costs.  These fixed costs – costs you have to pay to keep your lights on – harm small businesses, consumers living at/near the poverty level, the elderly and manufacturers.  It is now well established that EPA consistently overestimates benefits from its rules, so it seems prudent that we ask and answer tough questions before we regulate, rather than continuing the current, “shoot-first” approach. 

Groups also Raise Reliability Concerns – The issue is not only about jobs.  There is also a question – and a large debate – about the impacts this coal slowdown will have on electric reliability. A new study from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity says more than 200 coal-fired generating units are scheduled to shut down due, at least in part, to regulations issued by EPA. The plants, which are spread out across 25 states, represent 31,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity.  The concern has been previously mentioned by grid operators, state utility commissioners and federal regulators alike. 

Curry Named Armendariz Replacement – On Friday, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson appointed Ron Curry to serve as the new EPA Region 6 administrator. Curry served as Cabinet secretary of the Environment Department for former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.  He is currently at the University of New Mexico and was discussed as a possible Region 6 Administrator in 2009.  In one case, Curry supported EPA’s attack on the Texas permitting process from his perch in New Mexico, going as far as visibly cc’ing environmental activists on his letter.  We have many stories in our dealing with Sect. Curry, but I will leave you with one from George Hardeen, former communications director for the Navajo Nation Office of the President/Vice President.  Hardeen blasted Curry for his lack of consultation with Navajo Nation on issues of their our energy development: “It’s farcical that just weeks after Governor Richardson signed the New Mexico State-Tribal Consultation Act that Secretary Curry still ignores the Navajo Nation regarding the most important project it has ever undertaken.  His insistence to issue press statements and consult with others except for the Navajo Nation about Desert Rock now disrespects the New Mexico Legislature, Governor Richardson, to say nothing of the Navajo Nation Council and the Navajo Nation president. But it says a lot about the New Mexico Environment Department’s utter failure to complete the tribal consultation it began with the Navajo Nation regarding Desert Rock.  To paraphrase Samuel Mayer, Secretary Curry’s handshake is not worth the paper it’s printed on.” 

New RINs Fraud Legislation Introduced – Reps. Pete Olsen and Gene Green have introduced the “Stop RIN Fraud Act” — H.R. 6444 — that would require EPA to verify the identification numbers used to help companies comply with the renewable fuels mandate. There were tens of millions of fake biodiesel RINs unknowingly sold to refiners and EPA is trying to hold companies responsible for complying with the law.  Lawmakers have urged EPA to get moving to address the issue.  Refiners support the effort saying it is a solution that would not absolve industry of its responsibility to exercise due diligence or place unwarranted burdens on EPA. They say it represents a practical and workable solution to a problem that EPA should have addressed long ago.  Of course, a great background resource on the issue is Tesoro’s Stephen Brown (202-744-5578) 

Report: Carbon Tax Would Generate $90 Billion – The Congressional Research Service said a carbon tax of $20 per metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions would generate as much as $90 billion for the federal government in the first year.  In Carbon Tax: Deficit Reduction and Other Considerations, researchers said revenue estimates are difficult to make, based on the rate and scope of the tax as well as multiple market factors.  Revenues of $90 billion a year could have an impact on projected budget deficits, CRS reported, but the effect depends on which budget baselines are used for the analysis. One study suggested revenue could climb to $144 billion annually by 2020.  A carbon tax could apply directly to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, or to fossil fuels that produce them.  Lawmakers would also face a decision about how to apply the revenue—such as using it to offset lower taxes in other areas such as labor, income, and investment, which could have the greatest benefit to the economy, researchers reported. 

MD Company Converts Commercial Properties to 100% Wind Power – Our friends at the Brick Companies,  a privately held company based in Edgewater, MD that owns, develops and manages commercial, residential and recreational properties, recently announced that all of its properties in Maryland are now powered by 100% CleanSteps® WindPower from Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES).  The purchase of approximately 11.6 million kWh of WGES wind power will help reduce greenhouse gases and is equivalent to taking more than 1,568 cars off the road for one year.  The assets include Queenstown Harbor Golf Course on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Golf Club at South River in Edgewater, the Atlantic Marina Resort on the Patapsco and Atlantic Marina on the Magothy in Pasadena, as well as nearly one million square feet of commercial buildings in Maryland and Virginia. By purchasing WGES CleanSteps® WindPower, The Brick Companies and their tenants and customers are helping the environment and supporting an alternative energy source.  Through the end of last year, total customer purchases of WGES CleanSteps® WindPower have helped prevent 1.2 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the environment, equivalent to taking more than 105,000 cars off the road for one year.   Under Maryland law, businesses and residents can shop for electricity and natural gas commodities from competing energy suppliers.  As of June 2012, more than 534,000 residential and business consumers combined in Maryland are taking competitive electric supply and exercising their right to energy choice. 

MN Researchers Clean NatGas Process Water With Bacteria – University of Minnesota researchers have found a way to clean water from hydraulic fracturing using bacteria. The solution comes in the form of centimeter-sized silicon beads that have chemical-degrading bacteria trapped inside of them. They are extremely porous, so the holes are big enough for the fracking chemicals to come in but not big enough for the bacteria to leave. While significant progress has been made, the research team still needs to figure out how long the beads can degrade the chemicals before they need to be replaced, what to do with them once they’ve been used and what bacteria to use to degrade all of the different chemicals.

First Ocean Energy Delivered to U.S. Grid – The first grid-connected tidal power project in the United States project is now delivering electricity to the utility grid from an underwater power system in Cobscook Bay, Maine. Bangor Hydro Electric Company verified on September 13 that electricity generated by an underwater turbine generator is flowing to their power grid from Ocean Renewable Power Company’s (ORPC) Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project. The project is funded by a $10 million investment from the Energy Department, as well as the Maine Technology Institute and private investors.  The device, called a TidGen, is designed to operate in shallow tidal or deep river sites at depths of 50 to 100 feet , and has a peak output of 180 kilowatts. That amount is enough electricity to power 25 to 30 homes annually. In April, the Maine Public Utilities Commission approved a 20-year power purchase agreement for ORPC’s Maine Tidal Energy Project (which includes the Cobscook Bay Project) with three utilities: Central Maine Power, Bangor Hydro Electric, and Maine Public Service. Two additional TidGen devices will be installed at ORPC’s Cobscook Bay Project site in the fall of 2013, and together, the three-device power system will generate enough energy to power 75 to 100 homes. 

THIS WEEK’S GOINGS ON  

Holmstead, Conservatives Discuss Environmental Vision, Future – The Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Nicholas School for the Environment, Duke Federalist Society, Duke College Republicans and the Energy & Enterprise Initiative held a forum today at Duke University in Durham looking at conservative visions of our environmental future.  One of the speakers this morning was our colleague, former EPA Air Administrator Jeff Holmstead , who opened the conference with a look at climate, energy and a path forward.  Other speakers include our friend Jonathan Alder of Case Western University and former SC Rep. Bob Inglis.  You can see the event or the replay here

Burcat, Miles Speak at WV Wind Forum – Marshall University and the WV Wind Working Group will host a West Virginia Wind Forum tomorrow in Davis, WV at Canaan Valley.  There will be a pre-conference site tour on this afternoon of the AES Laurel Mountain wind and energy storage facility. This annual wind forum is held to examine the barriers to wind energy development and potential solutions for reducing these barriers. Updates on wind energy-related issues around the state are on the agenda.   Our friends Bruce Burcat of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition and Jonathan Miles of JMU will speak among others.  Updates from PJM on integration and Invenergy on Beech Ridge will also be on the agenda. 

Lubchenco, Markey, Others Headline Science Forum – The Union of Concerned Scientists Center for Science and Democracy and the First Amendment Center will hold a symposium tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. at The Newseum focusing on identifying and removing barriers to citizen access to governmental scientific information.   Speakers will include former Illinois Rep. and current Research!America Chair John Porter, Rep. Ed Markey, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, USA Today Reporter Dan Vergano, CPSC Chair Inez Tenenbaum and our friend Curtis Brainard of the Columbia Journalism Review.  The symposium will be preceded by a conference call today at 7:00 p.m. where UCS will introduce Dr. Andrew Rosenberg, the new director of the UCS Center for Science and Democracy, and provide insight as to how the new center plans to address the challenge of access to government data. 

KS Energy Conference Set – The Kansas Department of Commerce will hold an energy conference tomorrow and Wednesday in Manhattan, KS Conference Center.  Items on the agenda include transmission, biofuels, wind development and supply chains, solar power and transportation.   NASEO’s Dave terry and BP Wind CEO John Graham will be among the speakers.    

Great Lakes Wind Issues Highlighted at Forum – The Great Lakes Wind Collaborative’ s (GLWC’s) 5th Annual Meeting will be held tomorrow in Erie, PA and will bring together representatives of U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, state/provincial and local governments, the wind industry, electric utilities, nonprofit organizations, academia, and other interested stakeholders to discuss and address issues regarding the sustainable development of wind energy in the binational Great Lakes region. 

Brookings to Host UN Experts for Climate Displacement Forum – Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement and the Georgetown University Institute for the Study of International Migration will host leading climate change and human mobility researchers for a discussion of their recent research on climate change migration and displacement. Panelists include: Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Walter Kälin, professor at the University of Bern and former Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons; Koko Warner with United Nations University; and Roger Zetter with the Refugee Studies Center at the University of Oxford. Senior Fellow Elizabeth Ferris, co-director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion. 

Google’s Needham, Others to Address REFF-West Conference – Renewable Energy Finance Forum West (REFF-West) returns to San Francisco on Thursday and Friday for its fifth edition.  The event will discuss the latest trends in renewable energy financing as well as practical takeaway advice on how to move projects forward. Covering a range of renewable and clean energy technologies, with a particular focus on developments in the Western US, topics covered at REFF-West include project financing, venture capital, renewable power generation, emerging commercial technologies, financing smaller projects, equity financing and established technologies. The conference also offers an unparalleled networking opportunity, allowing you to meet senior representatives from both the energy and financial sectors who are focusing on renewables and clean technologies.  Speakers will include former ARPA-E head Arun Majumdar, ACORE President Dennis McGinn, CEQ’s Jonathan Powers and our friends Rick Needham of Google and Dan Reicher of Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Energy Center, among others.   

Forum Looks Weatherization Successes – EESI will host a forum on Friday at 11:00 a.m.  in the Congressional Meeting Room North – Capitol Visitor Center looking at weatherization success stories.  One million low-income households will have benefited from the federal Weatherization Assistance Program’s (WAP) Recovery Act funding by the time October rolls in, with a total of 7.4 million homes weatherized since the program’s inception 35 years ago. The benefits from this federal investment have been both immediate and long-lasting: housing made more affordable and more comfortable, as well as lessening of the carbon footprint through energy retrofits and the creation of new skilled jobs. The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) invite you to a briefing co-sponsored by the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition that will discuss what has made this program such a success story, and what policies will ensure that WAP can continue to help low-income families save money, improve America’s energy security, and create skilled jobs that cannot be outsourced. Speakers for this forum including Brad Penney of the Advocates for The Other America,  New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority Green Initiatives Specialist Michael Furze, John Joseph of Thomas College and CAP’s Richard Caperton.  CAP will release a new issue brief on the weatherization supply chain at the briefing. 

Washington DC Green Festival Set for Convention Center – Green Festival, the nation’s largest and most diverse sustainability event will return to Washington DC on Saturday and Sunday at Walter E. Washington Convention Center.   DC Green Festival will offer not only an incredible sense of community but also the largest, most diverse and most trusted place for learning, shopping and having fun!  The weekend-long show will host leaders in the social justice and environmental community, an organic beer and wine pavilion, a Good Food Stage featuring delicious vegetarian cuisine as well as a dedicated kids’ area for learning about easy and fun ways to incorporate green at a young age.  Featuring more than 300 eco-friendly businesses, the Green Festival marketplace is a great resource for seeking out new and innovative green products. Green Festival will also feature influential speakers such as Ralph Nader and Amy Goodman and provide informational and exciting workshops, designed to empower and educate the public on living an eco-friendly life.  In addition, attendees will be able to participate in the Community Green Grant sponsored by Ford Motor Company and Green Festivals. A grant of $5,000 will be awarded to the proposed project that receives the most votes.  Tickets are $10 for a one day pass and $20 for a full weekend pass when purchased online at www.greenfestivals.org, or $15 and $25 at the door. Free admission for anyone who rides a bike to the event and parks with the bike valet.

FUTURE EVENTS 

Geothermal Energy Forum Set for Reno – The GEA Geothermal Energy Expo will be held on September 30th through October 3 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, NV.  The event is the world’s largest gathering of vendors providing support for geothermal resource exploration, characterization, development, production and management.  

Jackson Hole Forum to Look at CO2 Solutions – The University of Wyoming’s Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy (CEEPP) and the School of Energy Resources (SER) will host a forum on October 1st and 2nd focused on power generation and the environment in Jackson Hole’s Teton Village.  This symposium will focus on solutions to CO2 emissions from coal-generated electricity, the economic implications of alternative control options, and the costs of alternatives to coal-fired generation.  The event will convene scholars and experts in economics, engineering, policy, and science to evaluate the technological and economic viability of various solutions to CO2 emissions. The keynote speaker for the symposium is Samuel Fankhauser, Co-Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, member of the UK Committee on Climate Change, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy. A handful of other academics will also speak including Joe Aldy of Harvard and RFF’s Josh Linn.  

Forum to Look Emission Trading Issues – The International Emissions Trading Assn will hold its Carbon Forum on October 1st and 2nd in Washington, DC at the Marriott at Metro Center.  Speakers will include UN climate chief Christine Figueres, Eileen Claussen, Dirk Forrister, Alstom’s Bob Hilton, NREA’s Anne Smith, Shell’s David Hone former DOE official Victor Der, former EPA air official Bill Wehrum, ELI President John Cruden, CARB Chair Mary Nichols and our friend at Argus Media Bill Peters and E&E TV’s Monica Trauzzi.  

Bromwich, Watson, Statoil Headline Drilling Forum at CSIS – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS )will hold an energy and security forum on Tuesday, October 2nd at 10:00 a.m. to discuss advancing offshore safety by sharing research, information and best practices on safety and environmental protection.  Speakers will include Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director James Watson, Charlie Williams of the Center for Offshore Safety, Statoil’s Svein Erik Eide, EDF’s Elgie Holstein and former BOEMRE  head Michael Bromwich.

Navy Sect Headlines Aviation Biofuels Conference – The Aviation Biofuels Development Conference will be held at Embassy Row Hotel Tuesday, October 2nd and Wednesday October 3rd  and will look at the specific challenges faced in the alternative aviation fuel market.  The key issues in Washington DC will include long-term partnerships and alliances, policy, understanding feedstock and technology options, infrastructure and supply chain development, and scale up and Commercialization. Speakers will include Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, among others. 

GridWeek Set for DCGridWeek 2012 is set for the Washington DC Convention Center on October 2nd through the 4th and will tackle the challenge of deriving value from this complexity — gathering utility, policy, regulatory and consumer experts to approach the topic head-on. As grid-modernization and smart grid efforts provide the energy industry with more information, a broader system view, and more efficiency and control, we are faced with increasing complexity. The challenge lies in deriving value from that complexity — for all stakeholders.  Providing a mix of in-depth panel discussions, value-focused case studies, and a forward look at how the ever-changing energy landscape will impact the electrical grid, GridWeek will explore three key themes:  1) Stakeholder value, 2) Managing complexity and 3) Smart energy policy.  Speakers will include DOE’s David Sandalow, NIST’s Patrick Gallagher, EEI’s Ton Kuhn and many others. 

Encana’s Hock to Headline Energy Communications Conference – The 3rd annual Energy Crisis Communications Forum will be held on October 3rd and 4th at the Royal Sonesta Houston and will focus on navigating current media trends and regulatory policies to achieve effective communications plans.  Our friends Doug Hock of Encana, Buddy Eller of STP Nuclear and many others.  This conference will focus on adapting and implementing an effective crisis communications plan in order to enhance, maintain, or rebuild organizations’ bottom line, reputation, and brand.

NPC to Look at Future Transpo Technologies – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host the National Petroleum Council on Wednesday, October 3rd at 9:30 a.m. for a discussion of its recent study examining future opportunities and challenges for transportation fuels and vehicle technologies.  Advancing Technology for America’s Transportation Future is the NPC’s response to a request from Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu. This two-year study involved more than 300 participants from the oil and gas industry, U.S. and international vehicle manufactures, transportation services end-users, non-governmental organizations, financial institutions, consultancies, academia, and research groups.  The study found that transportation in the United States could evolve at an accelerated rate, depending on the speed of technology advancements and the economic viability of alternative fuels and vehicles. Nonetheless, sustained and focused efforts by industry and government are essential for progress to continue and accelerate.  In order to examine the potential impacts of accelerated technology development, this study assumes that aggressive improvements in alternative fuels and vehicles can be achieved and substantial transition hurdles can be overcome.  Through modeling and qualitative analysis, this approach provides insights about the possible futures of the U.S. transportation system that are associated with significant advances in vehicles powered by biofuels, electricity, hydrocarbon liquids, hydrogen, and natural gas. Speakers include Linda Capuano of Marathon, Stephen Brand of Welltec and Chevron’s Puneet Verma.

NY Shale Gas Conference Set – West Legal EdCenter will hold a Shale Gas Drilling operations conference on October 3rd in New York City.  The Conference is chaired by litigation lawyer who has attacked companies over the years, Marc Bern of Napoli, Bern, Ripka, Sholnick.  Despite this fact, many of the panels look to be balanced including one on Parker County and Dimock.  Of course, in each of those cases, the facts have proven that drilling operations were wrongly targeted by opponents and money-hungry trial lawyers. 

Wellinghoff, DOE’s Hogan Headline CHP Meeting – The U.S. Clean Heat and Power Association will hold its annual conference on Wednesday and Thursday, October 3rd and 4th at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel.  The USCHPA brings together diverse market interests to promote the growth of clean, efficient local energy generation in the United States.  Topics to be addressed include the role for CHP in national security, federal energy policy, greater building efficiency, utility perspectives on CHP and  new products for waste heat recovery, among other topics. 

Energy Efficiency Reports to Be Released – The Alliance for Great Energy Efficiency Day as members of the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy (EE Commission) will unveil a highly-anticipated series of reports on Wednesday, October 3ed in G-50 Dirksen documenting the current state of energy efficiency in the U.S. economy and best local, state, national, and international practices. The EE Commission, a diverse, bipartisan group, aims to reach consensus on a set of federal policies and other actionable recommendations to double energy productivity by 2030 to make the United States one of the world’s most energy-efficient economies.   Report topics to be discussed include community planning and mobility, residential and commercial buildings, industry products and processes, power generation and smart grid and systems integration.

USEA to Host Energy Supply Forum – The US Energy Assn will hold its 5th Annual Energy Supply Forum on Thursday October 4th at the National Press Club.   Representatives from both the public and private sector will gather to discuss topics ranging from unconventional energy supply resources to onshore exploration and production to technologic advances in the supply sector.   Issues will include domestic production, energy policy-post election, energy efficiency-demand response, energy exports and new policy initiatives.  Speakers will include FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff, DOE’s Kathleen Hogan and Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett.

RFF to Host Lecture on Environment Policy – Resources for The Future will hold an event celebrating its 60th anniversary with the Resources 2020 lecture series on Friday, October 5th at 2:00 p.m. at the National Association of Home Builders featuring Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, discussing inequality and environmental policy.  Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University, the winner of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2001, and a lead author of the 1995 IPCC report, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was chairman of the US Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton, and chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank during 1997-2000. Stiglitz received the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded biennially to the American economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the subject. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University, held the Drummond Professorship at All Souls College at the University of Oxford, and has also taught at MIT, Yale, Stanford, and Princeton. Stiglitz helped create a new branch of economics, “the economics of information,” exploring the consequences of information asymmetries and pioneering such pivotal concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now become standard tools not only of theorists, but also of policy analysts. His work has helped explain the circumstances in which markets do not work well and how selective government intervention can improve their performance.

AWEA Offshore Conference Set for VA Beach – AWEA will host its annual offshore wind conference in Virginia Beach on October 11-13th.  Stay tuned for more details, but  BOEM’s Tommy Beaudreau will kick off the event and AWC President Bob Mitchell will speak on Thursday morning, providing a development update on the project and its implications for accelerating offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic.

CIBO Conference to Discuss EPA Uncertainty – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO) will hold its 34th annual meeting on October 10-12th at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, California.  Never, in CIBO existence, has there been a time of greater uncertainty regarding industrial energy. This October could be CIBO’s most important meeting to assess the reality of the situation and the potential implication for our members and facilities within the United States.   Speakers include EPA Air Administrator Gina McCarthy, former EPA General Counsel and Bracewell & Giuliani partner Lisa Jaeger, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, ALSTOM Power’s Carl Bozzutto, ACCF’s Margo Thorning, GOP pollster Rich Galen and of course, CIBO President Bob Bessette. 

Utility, Fuel, Renewables to Address RETECH Forum – RETECH 2012 is set for Washington DC on October 16th-19th at the Omni Shoreham.  RETECH is the premier business, policy and technology conference and exhibition for the entire renewable energy industry and will host renewable energy leaders from government, utility, finance and technology.   RETECH 2012 is the only event dedicated to delivering coverage on EVERY discipline of renewable energy technology.  RETECH’s conference sessions will focus on current trends, the newest technologies and important up-to-date information on the changing legislative and regulatory landscapes.  Among the speakers will be EIA’s Adam Siemanski, as well as our friends Yvonne McIntyre of Calpine Corporation, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, former DOE energy advisor Larisa Dobriansky, Drive NatGas Executive Director Kathryn Clay, DTF’s Allen Schaeffer and EPRI’s Bryan Hannegan. 

SEJ Ready for Lubbock – SEJ Kicks off at Texas Tech in Lubbock on October 17 through the 22nd.  Bracewell will of course be sponsoring its Thursday night event, so we hope to see you there. 

Book, Maisano Headline OPIS Fuels Conference in Vegas (Yeah!!!) – The Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) will hold its 14th annual National Supply Summit on October 22nd  to 24th at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas’ City Center.  Just a few weeks before the election, Kevin Book and I will host a panel on elections, the next Congress and fuels which will definitely be the highlight of the event.  Other speaker s will include Delta’s Jon Ruggles, ConocoPhillips’ Greg Garland and Chad Martin of Eco-Energy. 

Giuliani to Headline Chamber Legal Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold its 13th Annual Legal Reform Summit on Wednesday, October 24th in Washington, DC featuring Keynote speaker NYC Mayor and B&G partner Rudy Giuliani.  The summit, which is recognized as the nation’s paramount comprehensive legal reform symposium, will feature a keynote address by former Giuliani and remarks by Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Additionally, the Summit agenda will feature a variety of timely panel discussions on developments and trends in litigation impacting securities and mergers & acquisitions, the political landscape and the 2012 elections and many other topics.  Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Scott Rasmussen, Founder and President of Rasmussen Reports will also speak.

MD to Hold Water Technologies Conference – The Maryland Department of the Environment will hold its Second Annual Clean Water Innovations Trade Show on Wednesday, October 24th in Annapolis.  Professionals and stakeholders from around the State will display innovative stormwater management and water quality management techniques, exchange information and promote the protection of Maryland’s resources. The event is free and refreshments will be provided.  Government agencies, consultants, developers, environmental advocates and the building industry can learn more about the latest best management practices in stormwater management, wetland creation and restoration and other green technologies.  Additionally, during the event, MDE will recognize the winners of the 2012 Smart, Green & Growing Award for Infrastructure and Innovations in Stormwater Management.  The trade show promises to be informative for both those with ideas and products to offer and those faced with the challenge of improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

November 6th – Election Day

Washington Ideas Forum Set – The Atlantic, the Aspen Institute, and the Newseum, with support from the Harvard Institute of Politics, will host the 4th annual Washington Ideas Forum on November 14th and 15th, DC’s premier gathering of journalists and newsmakers for two days of idea-sharing and creative thinking on the biggest issues facing the country – and the world.  Confirmed speakers include Bill Gates, Nancy Pelosi, Mylan Labs’ Heather Bresch, Margaret Carlson, FDA Commissioner Peggy Hamburg, Jon Huntsman, David Leonhardt, Michele Norris, Norah O’Donnell, and David Rubenstein.

 

Energy Update Week of September 17

Friends,

L’Shana Tova…Yesterday at sundown, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year 5773, began. It is the first of the High Holy Days.  Since my wife is Jewish and my kids are half, I took off half the day and atoned for half of my sins (of course, half of zero, is zero).  I’ll get the rest at confession, if there are any.  

I can’t believe I forgot mention this last week, but I hope somebody managed to get to the Bruce Springsteen show at Nationals Park on Friday night.  Through the grapevine, I heard the show was most excellent.  Of course, I was teetering between my DeMatha/Loyola football game that I was officiating (a 47-0 blowout for the Stags) and my son’s Crofton 12U game, of which I caught the 4th quarter thanks to the running clock in my game.  Either way, I wasn’t able to see The Boss so I’m relying on your updates. 

With the passage of the CR to get past election day in the House, it now looks as if the Senate will act on the legislation to close out the pre-election session with a whimper.   As I mentioned to many of you last week, it is increasingly unlikely that the Senate will take up tax extenders package, which includes the wind production tax credit. House Republicans made it clear they’re not considering any tax extenders package until after the election.  It is funny how the “divided” Congress can come together in order to get home to run for re-election.  The House did manage to squeeze in the No More Solyndras Act Friday thank Goodness… and it looks as if the legislation is working already, before Harry Reid has even rejected it.  Several current loan guarantee projects like some I know (hmmmm can you guess?) are actually successful: employing workers, getting ready to generate clean energy and soon then returning money to the taxpayer.  Can’t wait for Wednesday while they ping-pong final action on the CR:  that’s when the House will likely vote on the Stop the War on Coal Act.  Pretty sure you can guess where that one is going and also pretty sure Reid will rush that one through as well. 

There are lots of events this week so look below for a full listing.  As for the future, GRID WEEK hits and CSIS looks at offshore drilling in the first week of October, AWEA hosts its Offshore Wind Conference in VA Beach the following week and then the Society of Enviro Journalists meet in Lubbock at Texas Tech in the 3rd week of October.  All those events, plus Halloween, football weekends, field hockey, fall lacrosse…and all of a sudden, its Election Day. 

Finally, after a couple of setbacks, the National Zoo looks like has a winner with a new panda cub, setting off panda-monium (I know I’m not the first on to use that term) in DC, threatening to derail the Romney campaign (oh, Stuart Stevens already did that) and the President’s Jobs recovery (which still seems to be missing despite all the rosy advertisements and talking-point spouting surrogates).

We’ll be tracking it all…  50 days to the election.  Call with questions.

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

IN THE NEWS

Holmstead Hits Platts Energy Week on Campaign Energy Segment – Continuing his torrid pace on energy TV, Bracewell expert and former EPA Air Administrator Jeff Holmstead was featured on Sunday’s Platts Energy Week, an independent all energy news and talk program aired weekly in Washington D.C., and Houston that reaches industry executives, lawmakers, policymakers, traders and investors, regulators and other stakeholders in energy.  Holmstead and EDF’s Elgie Holstein, energy adviser for the Obama campaign, discussed each candidates energy policy.

House Approves No More Solyndras – The House approved the ‘No More Solyndras Act’ in a 245-161 largely party-line vote. The legislation is the culmination of a yearlong investigation launched by House Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  While they have finished, the House Oversight Committee keeps moving forward with its investigation.  Of course, as stated above, there is no chance anything will happen on this in the Senate.  

OMB Looks at Sequestration Impacts – The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its report on the effects of sequestration on Friday and it isn’t going to be pretty.  Overall, the cuts will have dramatic impacts on many programs.  For energy and environment, the cuts will be difficult, but not as bad compared to some others.  The report was both a political and accounting document,  so it should be viewed through both lenses.  However, it provides specific details of how the Administration would cuts every budget category to satisfy the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 (STA).  Specifically on energy and environment, EPA sees 8.2% cuts (total amount of cuts).  Some details include State and Tribal assistance grants ($293 million), science and technology spending ($65 million), environmental programs and management ($200 million, $44 million is exempt), buildings and facilities ($3 million), the Office of Inspector General ($3 million, $11 million is exempt), pesticide registration fund ($1 million), spending by the hazardous substance superfund ($119 million, $10 million is exempt), leaking underground storage tank trust fund ($9 million), inland oil spill programs ($1 million, $41 million is exempt).  One thing that is entirely exempt: payment to hazardous substance superfund payments, working capital fund.  The DOE also sees 8.2% cuts (total amount of cuts).  They are in the Title 17 innovative technology loan guarantee program ($3 million), FERC ($24 million), fossil energy research and development ($44 million, $8 million is exempt), EIA ($9 million), SPR ($16 million), electricity delivery and energy reliability ($11 million from nondefense, $2 million from defense), nuclear energy ($63 million), energy efficiency and renewable energy ($148 million, $276 million is exempt). 

GAO: DOE Nuke Report Costs Increase – A new GAO report Friday afternoon says DOE has increased its estimate for how much the federal government will owe for future nuclear waste liabilities by 24%.  Taxpayers have already paid $1.6 billion to utilities because the federal government failed to begin collecting commercial nuclear waste in 1998, but new estimate says that another $19.1 billion — up from $15.4 billion — will be paid by 2020. GAO also expects that the amount of stranded nuclear waste will double to 140,000 metric tons without a solution to store the waste.    Last week, nuclear industry officials told Congress that new legislation requires a more comprehensive framework to successfully fix the federal government’s moribund program for managing used nuclear fuel.  As well, our friends at NARUC have been bitter about this issue and can happily address it.

Marshall Institute Report Looks at Climate, National Security – The George C. Marshall Institute releases a new report today discussing the linkage between anthropogenic climate change and U.S. national security.  Driven by dire predictions derived from the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, concerns about the impacts of anticipated climatic changes have burst onto the national security agenda. Climate and National Security: Exploring the Connection considers the evidence for the assertion that changing environmental conditions brought on by human emissions of greenhouse gases will negatively impact U.S. national security.   In summary, efforts to link climate change to the deterioration of U.S. national security rely on improbable scenarios, imprecise and speculative methods, and scant empirical support. Accepting the connection can lead to the dangerous expansion of U.S. security concerns, inappropriately applied resources, and diversion of attention from more effective responses to known environmental challenges. The danger of this approach is that it offers a sense of urgency which may not be warranted, given the gaps in the current state of knowledge about climate, the known flaws in the methods used to construct the scenarios on which these security scenarios are based, and confusion over the underlying causes of those security concerns.

THIS WEEK’S GOINGS ON

LeVine to Speak at GWU Group – Our Friend Steve LeVine of the New America Foundation, Contributing Editor at Foreign Affairs and Author of “The Oil and the Glory” will speak at George Washington University tonight at 6:00 p.m. in Lindner Family Commons, Room 602 on the geopolitics of energy.  Looking at geopolitics through the lens of energy, author Steve LeVine will offer insight on the shifts in geopolitical power in the 21st century as it relates to previously untapped sources of existing fossil fuels, advancements in new energy technology, and the countries and corporations competing to dominate these markets.

Maryland to Hold Clean Energy Summit – Maryland will hold its 2012 Clean Energy Summit tomorrow and Wednesday at The BWI Airport Marriott.   The program over the two day conference covers our theme topic from the perspective of big corporate giants to small star- up ventures. Speakers from within and outside of the state bring best practice models and present case studies to more broadly inform Maryland energy industry stakeholders.  The list of speakers includes MD Comptroller Peter Franchot, O’Malley Energy Advisor Abby Hopper and White House Energy advisor Dan Utech, among many others.

Carper, Svinicki Headline CSIS/BPC Nuke Forum – The Bipartisan Policy Center and the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold an expert discussion of the key challenges facing nuclear power in the United States tomorrow morning starting at 8:30 am at CSIS.  The forum will also discuss policy options to maintain U.S. global leadership in nuclear energy. During the past year, CSIS, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Third Way have each undertaken bipartisan studies of nuclear energy policy. This event will highlight the recommendations of the Third Way and Idaho National Lab New Millennium Nuclear Energy Partnership, discuss the findings of the BPC Nuclear Initiative, and explore the ongoing work of the CSIS Commission on Nuclear Energy Policy.  Speakers for the event include NRC Commissioner Kristine Svinicki and Sen. Tom Carper.  Others include Blue Ribbon Commission Co-Chair Brent Scowcroft, NEI President Marvin Fertel, Idaho Nation Lab Director John Grossenbacher, former DOE nuclear official Pete Miller and former Constellation Nuclear CEO Mike Wallace.

NASA Head to Talk Future of Space – NASA Director Charles Bolden will address the World Affairs Council tomorrow at Noon at the National Press Cub’s Holman Lounge to discuss the future of US space exploration and international cooperation surrounding it.  Brian Kelly, editor of U.S. News and World Reports, will moderate the discussion and questions following Bolden’s presentation.

Forum to Look at Cybersecurity Issues – NDN is hosting a panel discussion with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners tomorrow to look at how to develop a cybersecurity expertise that both protects our national security and provides reliable electric service.  In today’s world, the electric power industry is increasingly incorporating information technology (IT) systems and networks into its existing infrastructure. These IT systems need to be  implemented securely or our electric grid  could be extremely vulnerable to attacks which could jeopardize our national security. Miles Keogh, Director of Grants and Research for NARUC and  author of the recently released report, ‘Cybersecurity for State Regulators’ will lead the discussion.  This panel on the national grid and cybersecurity is the 13th in our “Clean Energy Solution Series” to showcase the leaders, companies, ideas and policies who are hastening our transition to a cleaner, safer and more distributed energy paradigm of the 21st Century.

Gerard, Dorgan, Davenport to Look at Energy Independence – The Week Magazine will present a forum on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. at Acadiana Restaurant on  what energy independence would mean and what it would take.  The event will feature API head Jack Gerard, former ND Sen. Byron Dorgan (now co-chair of BPC’s Energy Project), John Lyman of the Atlantic Council and our friend Coral Davenport of National Journal.  West Wing Report founder and columnist for TheWeek.com Paul Brandus will moderate.

UCS to Look at Access to Government Science Data – The Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy will hold a forum series tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. focused on barriers to citizen access to governmental scientific information—such as data about air quality around Ground Zero, the location of coal ash dumps, or the prevalence of toxic chemicals in the FEMA trailers provided to Hurricane Katrina victims. To kick off the series, UCS will host a webinar to highlight the consequences of inadequate information and recent attempts to restrict access.

Bracewell to Hold Texas Air Discussion – Bracewell & Giuliani’s environmental team will hold a morning briefing in the Houston office’s conference center Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. to address a number of issues that face industrial project developers.  B&G experts Jeff Holmstead, Rich Alonso, John Riley Tim Wilkins and Chris Thiele will all provide expertise on topics from TCEQ permits to national GHG issues. 

EPA to look at CA Clean Vehicle Program – EPA is holding a hearing Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. in Washington, DC on the state of California’s request to proceed with the latest iteration of its landmark advanced clean-car program.  According to my alter-ego, CleanAirFrank (which I often to refer to myself as nowadays) O’Donnell, the hearing should be pretty much a formality.  Health and environmental groups will turn out to support California’s request, while auto dealers will protest.

RFF Seminar Look at Forest Health – At its October First Wednesday Seminar on October 3, Resources for the Future will look at the Forest Health Initiative (FHI)—a broad endeavor sponsored by the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the US Forest Service, and Duke Energy to explore new tools to address forest health challenges in the 21st century.  Does modern biotechnology have a role to play in forest health? Are there situations for which genetic modification should be considered to protect US forests? These and related questions will be highlighted at this seminar, where panelists will consider forests and the FHI, as it seeks to determine whether biotechnology could be used to address forest health issues related to climate change, insects, and diseases. The goal of the three-year initiative, which culminates at the end of this year, is to develop a plantable tree, resistant to blight, that is socially acceptable, economically feasible, and meets regulatory muster. A diverse group of scientists, environmentalists, policymakers, professional organizations, social groups, and industry have participated in the process.  RFF expert Roger Sedjo will moderate a panel of experts that includes Institute of Forest Biotechnology President Adam Costanza, Carlton Owen of the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities and US Forest Service R&D Deputy Chief Jim Reaves.

Forum to Look at Renewables in Indonesia – The US-ASEAN Business Council will host a briefing and roundtable discussion on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. at Citi’s DC offices on renewable energy opportunities in Indonesia.  Officials from the U.S. Embassy Jakarta, USAID, MCC, USTDA, and DOE will brief companies, take questions, and engage in discussion on the market opportunities, policy developments, and challenges in Indonesia’s renewable energy sector today, as well U.S. government investments in the sector which may create commercial opportunities for your company.

EPA to Host Webinar on Renewable Energy Procurement – EPA’s Green Power Partnership (GPP) will host a webinar on Wednesday addressing barriers to renewable energy procurement. The use of clean energy is a key component of many organizations’ sustainability goals. However, the process of procuring clean energy at a meaningful scale has proven to be difficult for corporations.  This webinar will examine some of the common challenges including market access, deal terms, and risk management requirements that companies have encountered when trying to source clean energy for facilities or power portfolios, and present solutions that Fortune 100® companies have followed to overcome these barriers in a meaningful and cost effective way.  Speakers include EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program Director Blaine Collison and Charles Esdaile and Chris Hayes, Co-Founders and Managing Partners at Altenex.

DOE’s Hoffman to Headline Energy Breakfast – ICF International continues its Energy and Environment Breakfast Series on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. with Pat Hoffman, one of the most senior officials at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE),   Hoffman will discuss the energy world to come—and what it will take to get there, as well as the prominent role DOE is playing in fostering a cleaner energy future and in meeting long-term energy challenges and near-term energy needs.

Corbett, Koppel Headline NatGas Conference – Following last year’s inaugural success, the Marcellus Shale Coalition will return to Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center to host the SHALE GAS INSIGHT™ 2012 Conference on Thursday and Friday to offer insights on natural gas development in in the region.  Industry and policy experts from top producing, midstream, and supply chain firms; academia; government; and the NGO community will provide the latest insights and analysis on state and federal policies, technological advancements in the industry, and much more.  Speakers will include veteran newsman Ted Koppel, PA Gov. Tom Corbett, our WSJ friend Russell Gold and many more.

Groups Launch New Climate Report – On the occasion of the 42nd Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change, and Ecotrust will host a panel discussion on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. The event will also launch a new report: Cooling the Planet, Clearing the Air: Should Climate Policies Give Extra Credit for Maximizing Short-term Health Benefits? It will be presented by its authors, James Boyce, Ph.D. of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Manuel Pastor, Ph.D. of the University of Southern California. Opening remarks will be given by special guest South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn.

RFF to Host Academic on Air Quality Costs – Resources for the Future will hold an academic seminar on Thursday at Noon on Uncertainty and Variability in Social Costs for Air Quality featuring Presenter Elisabeth Gilmore, Assistant Professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland-College Park.  Gilmore will argue that choosing between alternative products, processes and policies requires credible information on both their private and social costs. For air quality, an impact pathway approach, which traces the emissions through to the monetization of the associated effects, is frequently employed to estimate this social cost. An important step in this process is transforming the emissions to their equivalent ambient concentrations. The assumptions in the air quality models, however, are rarely evaluated and may introduce error into the reduced form literature values. Here, we develop new estimates of the social cost for air emissions in $/ton for generic area and point sources in US urban and rural locations. We use a ‘state of science’ 3-D chemical transport model, the Particulate Matter Comprehensive Air Quality Model with extensions (PMCAMx). By using this model, we attempt to better account for variability and inherent uncertainties in the effects of emissions as it relates to precursor species, season, location and source type in the model to better constrain the value of particulate matter control in terms of social cost. We calculate social costs that differ from other literature values by a factor of two to more than ten for both reactive and non-reactive compounds. This suggests that model variability in transport and chemistry can have an important influence on the estimates. Our results recommend caution in the use of literature values for the social cost of air quality emissions for benefit-cost analysis and externality pricing.

Cato Book Forum Looks New Book Critical of Rachel Carsen — The Cato Institute will host a Book Forum at Noon on Thursday on the upcoming CATO Book Silent Spring at 50: The False Crises of Rachel Carson.  The event will feature co-editor Andrew Morriss of the University of Alabama.  Cato’s Jerry Taylor will host and moderate questions.  Widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement when published 50 years ago, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring had a profound impact on our society. While Carson was not the first to write about the dangers of pesticides or to sound environmental alarms, her book captured and retained the attention of the public. As an iconic work, the book has received little critical inquiry, but this landmark anniversary provides an opportunity to reassess its legacy and influence. In Silent Spring at 50: The False Crises of Rachel Carson, experts explore the book’s historical context, the science it was built on, and the policy consequences of its core ideas. The conclusions reached by the authors make it clear that the legacy of Silent Spring is highly problematic. Carson made little effort to provide a balanced perspective and consistently ignored key evidence that would have contradicted her work. Thus, while the book provided a range of notable ideas, a number of Carson’s major arguments rested on what can only be described as deliberate ignorance. Silent Spring at 50 reveals the dangers of substituting sensationalism for fact, and apocalyptic pronouncements for genuine knowledge. 

Briefing to Discuss Nuclear Opposition – The Coalition Against Nukes is hosting a Congressional Briefing Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in 121 on the medical effects of nuclear power. This briefing will include medical testimony on the effects of radiation from Dr. Catherine Thomasson of Physicians for Social Responsibility, testimony from Alice Slater of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation on the relationship of nuclear weapons to nuclear power, testimony on the state of our decrepit nuclear fleet in the United States from Michael Mariotte of NIRS and testimony from Beyond Nuclear‘ s Paul Gunter on the Freeze Our Fukushima’s campaign and why it is imperative that we immediately close all of our dangerous GE Mark 1 and Mark 2 boiling water reactors in the United States.  Arne Gundersen will give testimony on the Fukushima catastrophe and reactor #4.

Forum, Report to Look at Geopolitical Implications of Asia’s Rising Oil, Gas Demand – The National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will launch NBR’s 2012 Energy Security Report, “Oil and Gas for Asia: Geopolitical Implications of Asia’s Rising Demand,” on Thursday at the Reserve Officers Association in Washington, D.C.  The event will convene senior policy and industry leaders, and Asia energy specialists, for a discussion of how Asia’s rising energy demand, coupled with angst over prices and the reliability of future oil and LNG supplies, is shaping the strategic and economic agendas of Asia’s major powers.  The 2012 Energy Security Report launch will feature remarks from Congressman Charles W. Boustany Jr. (co-chair of the U.S.-China Working Group and member of the House Ways and Means Committee) and U.S. Under Secretary Robert D. Hormats (Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment). The event will also include a panel discussion of the NBR report by Edward Chow (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Erica Downs(Brookings Institution), S. Chander (Asian Development Bank), and Mikkal Herberg (The National Bureau of Asian Research).

Conference to Look at Opportunities in Green Economy – The Institute for Policy Analysis will hold a for on Thursday and Friday at Hillyer in the Dupont Circle area looking at entrepreneurs in the green economy.  The event will raise awareness about market opportunities for profit-driven solutions to climate change.  Speakers will include NRDC’s Ed Chen, Cold Cool Cash Climate author Jon Koomey of Stanford’s Steyer Center, Joe Sibilia of CSRWire, Information Technology and Innovation President Robert Atkinson and Jim Conlon of Elysian Energy.  

Gingrich, Noble, Conway on Energy from Federal Lands – In a forum at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room on Friday at 9:30 a.m., former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will address how North American energy independence is possible thanks to new innovations in oil and gas development — meaning millions of new jobs, lower energy prices and greater national security for every American — and the danger the agenda of President Obama poses to that vision.  He will be joined by Scott Noble, owner of one of the largest royalties management companies in the country and Chairman of the New American Energy Opportunity Foundation, who will discuss their study of what poor management of federal lands is costing US taxpayers. In addition, pollster Kellyanne Conway, President of the Polling Company, Inc., will discuss new polling data that sheds light on what the American people want from US energy policy.

FUTURE EVENTS

Burcat, Miles Speak at WV Wind Forum – Marshall University and the WV Wind Working Group will host a West Virginia Wind Forum on September 25th in Davis, WV at Canaan Valley.  There will be a pre-conference site tour on the afternoon of Sept 24th of the AES Laurel Mountain wind and energy storage facility. This annual wind forum is held to examine the barriers to wind energy development and potential solutions for reducing these barriers. Updates on wind energy-related issues around the state are on the agenda.   Our friends Bruce Burcat of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition and Jonathan Miles of JMU will speak among others.  Updates from PJM on integration and Invenergy on Beech Ridge will also be on the agenda.

KS Energy Conference Set – The Kansas Department of Commerce will hold an energy conference on September 25-26th in Manhattan, KS Conference Center.  Items on the agenda include transmission, biofuels, wind development and supply chains, solar power and transportation.   NASEO’s Dave terry and BP Wind CEO John Graham will be among the speakers.   

Great Lakes Wind Issues Highlighted at Forum – The Great Lakes Wind Collaborative’ s (GLWC’s) 5th Annual Meeting will be held on September 25th in Erie, PA and will bring together representatives of U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, state/provincial and local governments, the wind industry, electric utilities, nonprofit organizations, academia, and other interested stakeholders to discuss and address issues regarding the sustainable development of wind energy in the binational Great Lakes region.

Google’s Needham, Others to Address REFF-West Conference – Renewable Energy Finance Forum West (REFF-West) returns to San Francisco on September 27-28th for its fifth edition.  The event will discuss the latest trends in renewable energy financing as well as practical takeaway advice on how to move projects forward. Covering a range of renewable and clean energy technologies, with a particular focus on developments in the Western US, topics covered at REFF-West include project financing, venture capital, renewable power generation, emerging commercial technologies, financing smaller projects, equity financing and established technologies. The conference also offers an unparalleled networking opportunity, allowing you to meet senior representatives from both the energy and financial sectors who are focusing on renewables and clean technologies.  Speakers will include former ARPA-E head Arun Majumdar, ACORE President Dennis McGinn, CEQ’s Jonathan Powers and our friends Rick Needham of Google and Dan Reicher of Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Energy Center, among others.  

Geothermal Energy Forum Set for Reno – The GEA Geothermal Energy Expo will be held on September 30th through October 3 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, NV.  The event is the world’s largest gathering of vendors providing support for geothermal resource exploration, characterization, development, production and management. 

Jackson Hole Forum to Look at CO2 Solutions – The University of Wyoming’s Center for Energy Economics and Public Policy (CEEPP) and the School of Energy Resources (SER) will host a forum on October 1st and 2nd focused on power generation and the environment in Jackson Hole’s Teton Village.  This symposium will focus on solutions to CO2 emissions from coal-generated electricity, the economic implications of alternative control options, and the costs of alternatives to coal-fired generation.  The event will convene scholars and experts in economics, engineering, policy, and science to evaluate the technological and economic viability of various solutions to CO2 emissions. The keynote speaker for the symposium is Samuel Fankhauser, Co-Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, member of the UK Committee on Climate Change, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy. A handful of other academics will also speak including Joe Aldy of Harvard and RFF’s Josh Linn. 

Forum to Look Emission Trading Issues – The International Emissions Trading Assn will hold its Carbon Forum on October 1st and 2nd in Washington, DC at the Marriott at Metro Center.  Speakers will include UN climate chief Christine Figueres, Eileen Claussen, Dirk Forrister, Alstom’s Bob Hilton, NREA’s Anne Smith, Shell’s David Hone former DOE official Victor Der, former EPA air official Bill Wehrum, ELI President John Cruden, CARB Chair Mary Nichols and our friend at Argus Media Bill Peters and E&E TV’s Monica Trauzzi. 

Bromwich, Watson, Statoil Headline Drilling Forum at CSIS – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS )will hold an energy and security forum on Tuesday, October 2nd at 10:00 a.m. to discuss advancing offshore safety by sharing research, information and best practices on safety and environmental protection.  Speakers will include Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director James Watson, Charlie Williams of the Center for Offshore Safety, Statoil’s Svein Erik Eide, EDF’s Elgie Holstein and former BOEMRE  head Michael Bromwich.

GridWeek Set for DCGridWeek 2012 is set for the Washington DC Convention Center on October 2nd through the 4th and will tackle the challenge of deriving value from this complexity — gathering utility, policy, regulatory and consumer experts to approach the topic head-on. As grid-modernization and smart grid efforts provide the energy industry with more information, a broader system view, and more efficiency and control, we are faced with increasing complexity. The challenge lies in deriving value from that complexity — for all stakeholders.  Providing a mix of in-depth panel discussions, value-focused case studies, and a forward look at how the ever-changing energy landscape will impact the electrical grid, GridWeek will explore three key themes:  1) Stakeholder value, 2) Managing complexity and 3) Smart energy policy.  Speakers will include DOE’s David Sandalow, NIST’s Patrick Gallagher, EEI’s Ton Kuhn and many others. 

Encana’s Hock to Headline Energy Communications Conference – The 3rd annual Energy Crisis Communications Forum will be held on October 3rd and 4th at the Royal Sonesta Houston and will focus on navigating current media trends and regulatory policies to achieve effective communications plans.  Our friends Doug Hock of Encana, Buddy Eller of STP Nuclear and many others.  This conference will focus on adapting and implementing an effective crisis communications plan in order to enhance, maintain, or rebuild organizations’ bottom line, reputation, and brand.

NY Shale Gas Conference Set – West Legal EdCenter will hold a Shale Gas Drilling operations conference on October 3rd in New York City.  The Conference is chaired by litigation lawyer who has attacked companies over the years, Marc Bern of Napoli, Bern, Ripka, Sholnick.  Despite this fact, many of the panels look to be balanced including one on Parker County and Dimock.  Of course, in each of those cases, the facts have proven that drilling operations were wrongly targeted by opponents and money-hungry trial lawyers. 

USEA to Host Energy Supply Forum – The US Energy Assn will hold its 5th annual Energy Supply Forum on Thursday October 4th at the National Press Club.   Representatives from both the public and private sector will gather to discuss topics ranging from unconventional energy supply resources to onshore exploration and production to technologic advances in the supply sector.   Issues will include domestic production, energy policy-post election, energy efficiency-demand response, energy exports and new policy initiatives.

RFF to Host Lecture on Environment Policy – Resources for The Future will hold an event celebrating its 60th anniversary with the Resources 2020 lecture series on Friday, October 5th at 2:00 p.m. at the National Association of Home Builders featuring Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, discussing inequality and environmental policy.  Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University, the winner of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2001, and a lead author of the 1995 IPCC report, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was chairman of the US Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton, and chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank during 1997-2000. Stiglitz received the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded biennially to the American economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the subject. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University, held the Drummond Professorship at All Souls College at the University of Oxford, and has also taught at MIT, Yale, Stanford, and Princeton. Stiglitz helped create a new branch of economics, “the economics of information,” exploring the consequences of information asymmetries and pioneering such pivotal concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now become standard tools not only of theorists, but also of policy analysts. His work has helped explain the circumstances in which markets do not work well and how selective government intervention can improve their performance.

AWEA Offshore Conference Set for VA Beach – AWEA will host its annual offshore wind conference in Virginia Beach on October 11-13th.  Stay tuned for more details, but  BOEM’s Tommy Beaudreau will kick off the event and AWC President Bob Mitchell will speak on Thursday morning, providing a development update on the project and its implications for accelerating offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic.

Utility, Fuel, Renewables to Address RETECH Forum – RETECH 2012 is set for Washington DC on October 16th-19th at the Omni Shoreham.  RETECH is the premier business, policy and technology conference and exhibition for the entire renewable energy industry and will host renewable energy leaders from government, utility, finance and technology.   RETECH 2012 is the only event dedicated to delivering coverage on EVERY discipline of renewable energy technology.  RETECH’s conference sessions will focus on current trends, the newest technologies and important up-to-date information on the changing legislative and regulatory landscapes.  Among the speakers will be EIA’s Adam Siemanski, as well as our friends Yvonne McIntyre of Calpine Corporation, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, former DOE energy advisor Larisa Dobriansky, Drive NatGas Executive Director Kathryn Clay, DTF’s Allen Schaeffer and EPRI’s Bryan Hannegan. 

SEJ Ready for Lubbock – SEJ Kicks off at Texas Tech in Lubbock on October 17 through the 22nd.  Bracewell will of course be sponsoring its Thursday night event, so we hope to see you there. 

Book, Maisano Headline OPIS Fuels Conference in Vegas (Yeah!!!) – The Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) will hold its 14th annual National Supply Summit on October 22nd  to 24th at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas’ City Center.  Just a few weeks before the election, Kevin Book and I will host a panel on elections, the next Congress and fuels which will definitely be the highlight of the event.  Other speaker s will include Delta’s Jon Ruggles, ConocoPhillips’ Greg Garland and Chad Martin of Eco-Energy. 

Giuliani to Headline Chamber Legal Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold its 13th Annual Legal Reform Summit on Wednesday, October 24th in Washington, DC featuring Keynote speaker NYC Mayor and B&G partner Rudy Giuliani.  The summit, which is recognized as the nation’s paramount comprehensive legal reform symposium, will feature a keynote address by former Giuliani and remarks by Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Additionally, the Summit agenda will feature a variety of timely panel discussions on developments and trends in litigation impacting securities and mergers & acquisitions, the political landscape and the 2012 elections and many other topics. 

MD to Hold Water Technologies Conference – The Maryland Department of the Environment will hold its Second Annual Clean Water Innovations Trade Show on Wednesday, October 24th in Annapolis.  Professionals and stakeholders from around the State will display innovative stormwater management and water quality management techniques, exchange information and promote the protection of Maryland’s resources. The event is free and refreshments will be provided.  Government agencies, consultants, developers, environmental advocates and the building industry can learn more about the latest best management practices in stormwater management, wetland creation and restoration and other green technologies.  Additionally, during the event, MDE will recognize the winners of the 2012 Smart, Green & Growing Award for Infrastructure and Innovations in Stormwater Management.  The trade show promises to be informative for both those with ideas and products to offer and those faced with the challenge of improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.