Energy Update: Week of February 27

Friends,

I wasn’t watching, because I‘m deep into Homeland and Billions, but apparently there was a “Steve Harvey-moment” at last night’s Oscars when presenters read the wrong card and said La La Land won best picture at the Academy Awards rather than Moonlight, the real winner.  Warren Beatty says he paused so long before the name was read because the envelope read Emma Stone, La La Land. Actress Faye Dunaway read the name La La Land after chiding Beatty for taking so long to read the winner.  PricewaterhouseCoopers – not the Russians – issued a statement early Monday taking the blame and apologizing for card mix-up.  I was very glad to see Casey Affleck get the best actor award for his role in Manchester by the Sea, which I thought was gripping.  Vanity Fair has the full list of correct winners.

We start Mardi Gras week (Fat Tuesday is tomorrow) with the nation’s Governors in town, visiting with the President, EPA’s Scott Pruitt and others.  This morning, we see the roll out of the new top-line budget and the President speaks to a Joint Session of Congress tomorrow.  On the budget, just a reminder it is expected that agencies across the board will see proposed cuts.  But just like any budget, the President’s budget is often a visionary statement that outlines the direction of the Administration.   As always, Congress will thank the President for his approach and get to work on it themselves.  All this is to say while it is nice to see what the President will propose in his budget, it will change – probably dramatically.  On specifics EPA and DOE spending will likely include large cuts initially, including climate change programs.   More as this as it develops.

As for the President’s speech tomorrow, I would expect much focus energy and environmental issues other than to accent his focus on creating jobs.  Trump is expected to tout his efforts to broadly curtail government rules and the work his administration has already done to roll back some of the Obama administration’s energy policies.

Following the speech, we return to the confirmation game with Rep. Ryan Zinke’s long-delayed nomination to run the Interior Department.  The Senate is expected to take another key procedural vote late today in which tees up a final vote on his nomination in the early morning hours of Wednesday (if Democrats elect to run through the entire 30 hours of debate). Ben Carson’s confirmation to HUD is next then Rick Perry’s nomination to run DOE.  The House will be busy on more reg legislative action, while we also expect to see the long-awaited, much-reported enviro executive orders focused on EPA’s Clean Power Plan, the Waters of the U.S. regulation and Interior’s federal moratorium on new coal leases.  E&E’s Emily Holden has a good explainer on CPP here.

Last week, conservatives roamed the Gaylord convention center (wonder how many headed over to the new casino) hearing President Trump, Pruitt, Bannon, Preibus, KAC and others. Today though launches DOE’s ARPA-E summit which focuses on energy innovation and will feature presentations from companies big and small.  Other events include tomorrow’s WAPA and Consumer Reports luncheon at the Press Club that announcing its 2017 Top Picks and Brand Reports Cards; an ACCF event tomorrow on FERC and Women’s Energy Network hosts a “Lunch and Learn” on Friday with Bloomberg energy reporter Jennifer and congressional reporter Elana Schor of Politico.  Also on Friday, BNEF and the Business Council on Sustainable Energy (BCSE) will roll out Its Factbook again for a regional audience in St. Thomas College in Minnesota.  Also all this week, NRECA celebrates 75 years of advocacy and service to America’s electric cooperatives with its annual meeting in San Diego.

So I know I mentioned this last week with our friend Ben Geman heading over to Axios to lead its energy coverage, its 5th vertical. But now the VandeHei-helmed startup will launch coverage of the energy sector in March with our friend Amy Harder from the Wall Street Journal as well.  Harder’s departure was announced via an internal memo at the Journal this morning.

Finally, on Thursday evening, the most important event of the week will take place at the Kettler Ice Arena in Arlington when Congressional Hockey Challenge – the annual battle between lobbyists and lawmakers – will face off for charity.  The game will feature former Caps players, USA Warriors players, Congressional Reps. Paulson, Emmer, Meehan, Bucshon and Katko and members of the Canadian Parliament.  For the 4th year in a row, I will be among the officiating crew.  In addition, some of you may remember my rendition of Oh Canada, last year when the singer was ill and did not make it.  I will reprise that role as well so I’ve been practicing when commuting in the car each day.  Please come as it is for a great cause.

Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The future ain’t what it used to be at the EPA, because maybe for the first time ever – or at least in a long time – that agency…is going to do business as it should.  People across the country look at the EPA much like they look at the IRS. And I hope to be able to change that.  The previous administration was so focused on climate change and so focused on CO2, some of those other priorities were left behind.”

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt addressing CPAC on Saturday.

 

IN THE NEWS

More Members Weigh In on FERC Quorum – If we haven’t talked about FERC and its lack of a quorum enough, there continues to be more momentum to address it.  Already regulators at FERC, Stakeholders with business before FERC and Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski have all urged the President to get Moving on appointed new FERC Commissioners.  Now, 92 House members led by MI Rep. Tim Walberg (not related to Marky Mark) urged Trump in a letter to “prioritize the nomination and confirmation” of new FERC commissioners.  The lawmakers write the ongoing lack of a quorum at FERC leaves it “unable to serve its essential functions and effectively [halts] critical infrastructure investments in our nation’s energy infrastructure.”  Other bipartisan signers include Steve Scalise, Fred Upton, John Shimkus, Joe Barton, Gene Green, Cedric Richmond, Peter Welch and many more.

Ryan Jackson To Be EPA Chief – You may have seen the photo of Administrator Pruitt meeting with Governors yesterday morning.  Morning Energy and several others like us who know recognized a key face in the background.  Ryan Jackson, Sen. Jim Inhofe’s former chief-of-staff, has formally joined EPA as chief-of-staff.  We have also heard through reports that long-time Pruitt Advisor Samantha Dravis may be also taking an important policy position at EPA.

New Moves for Lefebvre – Our friend Ben Lefebvre has moved from the Wall Street Journal in Houston to POLITICO to cover pipelines, oil and gas issues.  And speaking of Ben, he has a good story today discussing concerns about the Border tax proposal from refiners like Tesoro.

Study Reveals Tradeoffs in Cost. Performance for HFC Replacements – A new study in Nature Communications discovered challenges for 27 “pure liquid” candidates to replace hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), chemicals currently used in refrigerators and air conditioners. Researchers spent years looking at millions of liquid candidates to replace the current HFCs, while accounting for various aspects, such as their “global warming potential (GWP), toxicity, energy efficiency, and flammability.” According to Mark McLinden, the study’s primary author at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, “There are no perfect options for low GWP refrigerants. There are tradeoffs and the biggest tradeoff is [between] GWP and flammability.” Chemical blends represent an additional option, but are more complicated and expensive than the pure liquid HFCs they are designed to replace, causing concern for less developed countries that may not be able to afford the transition. Under the recently approved Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, HFCs will be largely phased out by 2050, helping to avoid half a degree of global warming by 2100.  Of course, our experts at AHRI who are Involved in these issues we are happy to discuss.

Clearpath Takes on LCV Scorecard – The League of Conservation Voters’ National Environmental Scorecard for 2016, was released last week.  Clearpath’s Jay Faison blasted it for undervaluing or undermining realistic and meaningful clean energy policies.  “LCV is not an objective methodology premised on key votes,” Faison said. “The cherry picking is clearly designed to produce starkly partisan results, reflecting a bias against many of the most effective clean energy strategies available to pragmatic policymakers.”  Faison pointed to the absence of votes on widely-backed Republican-led proposals bolstering advanced nuclear power, clean coal technologies and hydropower.  Many votes scored were largely extraneous party-line exercises, including an amendment to the Senate energy bill from Sen. Al Franken to enact a national energy efficiency resource standard on top of the strong bipartisan efficiency language led by Sens. Portman and Shaheen that was already included in the measure.   And while Portman’s LCV score was negatively impacted for voting against Franken’s amendment, he received zero credit for leading the long and hard-fought effort with Shaheen to include the bill’s robust efficiency language. The scorecard also omits final passage of that Senate bill, which also bolstered advanced nuclear and hydropower and was an example of exactly the type of pragmatic compromise that is needed more on Capitol Hill.

NYT Looks at Clean Coal Project in Policy Agenda – Our friend Cliff Krauss has a good story in the New York Times looking at coal companies voicing greater concern about greenhouse gas emissions and frame clean Coal as a contributor, not an obstacle, to a clean-energy future — an image intended to foster their legislative agenda.

Cato Policy Handbook Ready – The Cato Instituted releases its 8th edition of the Cato Handbook for Policymakers — with 80 chapters of in-depth analysis and concrete recommendations – sets the standard in Washington for reducing the power of the federal government and expanding freedom.  From chapters on reviving growth, health care reform and the war on drugs, to education, foreign policy and the military budget, Cato’s Handbook is an invaluable resource for policymakers and for anyone interested in securing liberty and limiting government.

E&E Legal Sues State for Records – The Energy & Environment Legal Institute and the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FME Law) filed suit against the Trump Administration Department of State (State). This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit seeks specific records to, from or discussing green-group lobbyist Jennifer Morgan of the World Resources Institute. The requests at issue followed up information obtained by E&E Legal about a coordinated effort, with State’s assistance, between green pressure groups and China to keep the climate gravy train chugging in the post-Obama world.  E&E Legal also sought copies of all electronic correspondence sent to or from six State officials sent to or from or referencing four parties involved in arranging a collaborative effort on the climate issue at China’s request.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

NRECA Annual Meeting Rolls in San Diego – More than 5,500 representatives from electric co-ops across the nation are attending NRECA’s Annual Meeting celebrating its 75th  Anniversary this week in San Diego at the Convention Center. The meeting’s keynote speakers include historian Michael Beschloss and tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner. The broad array of breakout sessions includes the potential impact of the Trump Administration, rate design, rural broadband and cybersecurity.

TechAdvantage Expo Brings Energy Innovation – Alongside NRECA, TechAdvantage 2017 Conference and Expo kicked off today in San Diego. TechAdvantage is the leading technology conference designed exclusively for electric cooperative professionals engaged in C-level, engineering, operations, IT, purchasing and supply, and marketing decision-making.  This year’s conference will highlight technologies that are changing the electric grid. From distributed energy, cybersecurity and unmanned aerial systems to energy storage, big data, system optimization and government regulation, there’s something for everyone.

AWEA to Roll Out Jobs Info in Webinar – Today at 1:00 p.m., American Wind Energy Association holds webinar to release new analysis on job creation from Navigant forecasting wind power’s economic benefits.  Sign up here.

BGov Panel to Look at Climate, Environmental Policy – Bloomberg Government holds a discussion tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. on the next generation of climate conversations focusing on “the future of climate and environmental policy” with young leaders from across the political spectrum.

House Science Panel Look at Social Cost of Carbon – The House Science Committee’s Environment and Oversight panels will hold a joint hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. examining the Social Cost of Carbon.,  Witnesses will include Brookings Ted Gayer, Heritage’s Kevin Dayaratna, Michael Greenstone of the University of Chicago’s Interdisciplinary Energy Policy Institute and Cato’s Patrick Michaels.

Forum to look at DERs – Tomorrow at 10:0 a.m., the US Energy Assn will hold a forum on how Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) are impacting the U.S. electric sector. DERs which include solar, storage, energy efficiency, demand response, and CHP technologies, are disrupting the way electricity has traditionally been generated, transmitted and distributed for the last 100 plus years.  Continuing technological innovation and cost declines, together with customer demand, regulatory initiatives, and increasingly sophisticated third party participants, are causing utilities and their regulators to fundamentally rethink traditional business models and regulatory and rate structures.  ICF’s Steve Fine and Phil Mihlmester have been at the forefront of helping utilities in CA, NY and elsewhere, navigated many of these ongoing changes, and will be sharing their views on these industry-changing topics.

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

Drilling Contractors Hold Onshore Drilling Forum – Tomorrow at Noon in 406 Dirksen, the International Association of Drilling Contractors hosts a lunch and learn on onshore drilling rigs and well construction.

Discussion Looks at Middle East Energy – The Middle East Institute holds a discussion tomorrow at Noon on geopolitical dynamics and Middle East energy.  MEI will host Justin Dargin (Univ. of Oxford), Rauf Mammadov (MEI), Jean-Francois Seznec (MEI), and Brenda Shaffer (Georgetown Univ.) for a discussion of how Middle Eastern states are navigating change in the global energy market and in relations between the players.

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

UNFCCC Leader to Address Georgetown Forum – The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace & Security, the School of Foreign Service, and the Georgetown Environment Initiative will host a lecture and discussion tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. featuring Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and a distinguished panel including Lorena Aguilar of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Georgetown’s Joanna Lewis and Georgetown Climate Center Executive Director Vicki Arroyo.

Trump Speech to Congress – Tomorrow at 9:00 p.m., President Trump will make his first address to Congress.

Resources to Look at Water/Power Infrastructure – The House Resources Committee’s Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking modernizing western water and power infrastructure in the 21st Century.

BNEF, BCSE to Do Minnesota Rollout – On Friday, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) will be in Minnesota at St. Thomas College to do a local release their 5th annual edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook featuring local Minnesota businesses. The Factbook provides insight into key U.S. energy statistics related to energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy and outlines key factors influencing America’s energy infrastructure, economy and environment.

Forum to Look at Carbon Capture Future – On Friday at Noon, the American Energy Society hosts the next event in its series, Carbon Capture, Tomorrow Just Happened by holding a Congressional Briefing that provides scientific and technical overviews; offer first-mover insights suitable for any region in the country; emphasize potential business development and job creation opportunities, as well as environmental impacts.  Panelists include Stanford’s Sally Benson, Howard Herzog of the MIT Energy Initiative, UT-Austin’s Gary Rochelle and Nicholas Flanders, Co-Founder and CEO at Opus 12 and a member of Forbes’ 30 Under 30.

WEN Lunch to Feature Dlouhy, Schor – The Women’s Energy Network hosts a “Lunch and Learn” on Friday with Bloomberg energy reporter Jennifer and congressional reporter Elana Schor of Politico. WEN DC is an organization that prides itself on supporting the professional development and advancement of women in the energy industry through relationships and networking. Enjoy lunch provided at Forbes Tate as you hear from Jennifer and Elana about current topics in the energy industry and government and a Q&A with attendees.

 

IN THE FUTURE

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

Cato to Host Transportation Infrastructure – Next Monday at Noon, the Cato Institute hold a forum on setting transportation infrastructure priorities.  The event will focus on how we should decide what projects are funded, how much should we spend on new infrastructure and how much on reconstruction, as well as funding and finance priorities.  Finally, it will look at goals to create short-term jobs, long-term economic growth, or simply new transportation alternatives? Join four leading transportation experts in a discussion of highways, transit, intercity rail, airports and air traffic control, transportation finance, and regulation.

Forum to Look at Urban Planning, Climate – The Wilson Center will hold a forum next Monday at 2:00 p.m. for a discussion about the latest research from the field on innovative urban approaches to climate change, accommodating refugees in urban areas, and inclusive city planning. Winning authors of the 2016 Graduate Student Reducing Urban Poverty Paper Competition will present their solutions-oriented research, with commentary offered by experienced professionals working in the urban sector.

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

GEA to Host DC Meeting – On next Tuesday, March 7th, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will hold its International Geothermal Forum in Washington, DC. GEA has annually provided leadership within the geothermal energy community and a platform for constructive dialogue and in-depth discussion on issues ranging from finance, market development, and policy to GHG emissions, new technology driving change and key markets to look out for. In light of the latest developments, the Association’s International Geothermal Forum is a recent spinoff from the traditional US & International Showcase.  For one day, the Forum will gather roughly sixty (60) top energy, finance, policy, government, ministry, and engineering experts to provide in-depth discussion and insight into the future of the geothermal market in the US and abroad.

Forum to Look at Advanced Energy – Microsoft and the Advanced Energy Economy Institute will host a conversation on Tuesday March 7th at 11:30 a.m. looking at advanced energy as an economic driver.  The discussion will bring together stakeholders from industry, utilities, energy consumers, and state business organizations to discuss how advanced energy is driving economic development and job growth in states across the U.S.  The U.S. energy system is going through a transformational change—consumer preferences, dynamic new technologies, and new threats are causing the energy system, as we have known it for the past century, to evolve.  Speakers will include our friend AEE’s Malcolm Wolff, EEI’s Emily Fisher, Microsoft’s Michelle Patron, and many others.

JHU Forum Looks at Deep Decarbonization Strategies – Johns Hopkins University hosts a forum next Tuesday, March 7th at 5:00 p.m. to review the US’ mid-century strategy to deeply decarbonize the US economy by 2050, released in November by the Obama Administration. A second recent study developed by the Risky Business Project, “From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy,” will also be presented and discussed.

CSIS to Host IEA Oil Market Report – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Keisuke Sadamori, Director of Energy Markets and Security at the International Energy Agency, on March 8th to present the IEA’s Oil Market Report 2017.  In late 2016, leading oil producers put together the most comprehensive agreement to limit oil output seen since 2009 to ensure the stabilization of oil prices and avoid economic dislocation in producing countries. Underscored by well-supplied oil markets, and this new period of production management, the Oil Market Report projects the following trends through 2022 that oil demand is expected to grow strongly at least to 2022, with main developing economies leading the way; the need for more production capacity becomes apparent by the end of the decade, even if supply appears plentiful today; it is not clear that upstream projects will be completed in time due to the unprecedented two-year fall in investment in 2015 and 2016, although major reductions in costs will help and there is a  risk of prices rising more sharply by 2022 as the spare production cushion is eroded.  A discussion moderated by Kevin Book will follow.

Microgrid Forum Set – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), George Washington University and state, business and city leaders will join together on Wednesday, March 8th at 9:00 a.m. to examine the opportunities and challenges of successful microgrid deployment. Microgrids are an innovative solution to reduce emissions, improve electricity system reliability and resilience, and tighten grid security. But financial, legal and technological barriers can slow their deployment.

ELI to Host Forum on Climate Justice – On Friday, March 10th at 12:00 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute hosts a forum on Climate Justice.  Climate justice can be defined generally as addressing the disproportionate burden of climate change impacts on poor and marginalized communities. It seeks to promote more equitable allocation of the burdens of these impacts at the local, national, and global levels through proactive regulatory initiatives and reactive judicial remedies that draw on international human rights and domestic environmental justice theories. Yet, efforts to define climate justice as a field of inquiry can be elusive and underinclusive because the concept is so vast in scope.  This seminar will begin with discussions of recent atmospheric trust litigation in the U.S., and the Urgenda case in the Netherlands, as examples of the advantages and limitations of using domestic courts to promote climate justice objectives. It will then address topics outside the litigation context by exploring the climate justice implications of the new differentiation model between developed and developing nations as reflected in the Paris Agreement and the human rights dimensions of global deployment of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Join the editor and three contributing authors of Climate Justice: Case Studies in Global and Regional Governance Challenges to learn about important and timely topics addressed in this recent publication.

ACORE Policy Forum Set – ACORE holds its annual national renewable policy forum on March 16th at the W Hotel in Washington D.C.  Industry leaders and senior officials offer a pragmatic perspective on challenges and opportunities for the renewable energy industry in the new political alignment. Key topics include renewable energy’s importance to the American economy, the timing and outlook of the upcoming push for comprehensive federal tax reform, the prospects for a large-scale infrastructure initiative and the benefits of increased investment in renewables, grid expansion, resiliency, and modernization and the important role of state policy in the energy sector, and the potential for new and innovative state initiatives that promote renewable energy investment and deployment.  Speakers include Brightsource Energy’s Joe Desmond BNEF’s Ethan Zindler, AWEA’s Jim Reilly, SEIA’s Tom Kimbis and several others.

Heartland Climate Conference Set – The 12th International Conference on Climate Change, taking place on Thursday and Friday, March 23–24 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC.  ICCC-12 is hosted by The Heartland Institute.  See the speakers, including Myron Ebell, here.

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

 

Energy Update Week of June 2

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

THE BIG NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

Pages – The rule runs 645 pages.

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

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

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

ERCC Response Points

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schedule Next

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

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

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

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

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

Costs

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

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

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

Other Reacts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Interesting Items

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

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

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

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FUTURE EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update Week of May 27

Friends,

How about that for an acronym-heavy Subject Line…Hope you enjoyed the Memorial Day Holiday.  I have launched my summer wear in full force, sporting the pink, seersucker-striped pants today (and there is more where that came from).  What a glorious weekend:  Fabulous weather, great sports, an extra day off and lots of “honey-do” (planting, weeding, changing broken doors, etc).  Congrats to the Maryland women and Duke men laxers who brought home championships in Baltimore.  Now the NCAA turns to the men’s and women’s College World Series.

First the most important news from last week:  Following the announcement that Hess Corporation is selling its retail business to Marathon, Hess confirmed that it will STILL produce a 2014 Hess Toy Truck that it sells during the holiday season.  This year is the 50th anniversary edition.

The other big news of the weekend was in the rock ‘n roll world.  You all know I like my music pretty heavier (currently I’m enjoying the 20-year, re-release of Soundgarden’s Superunknown), but I am a product of the 80s and always listened to the bands like Foreigner, REO and Journey.  (okay, yes, even Loverboy)  Anyway, you may know that Journey’s Steve Perry has been absent from the stage for more than 20 years.  But on Sunday, Perry re-emerged in St. Paul, Minnesota at the Fitzgerald Theater.  He joined the alternative rock band, The Eels, during an encore of their show. After a brief introduction, Perry sang one of the band’s songs, but then went on to sing the Journey classics, Open Arms and Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’. The YouTube video of the full performance is here.

As for the GHG rule for Existing Power plants, Don’t Stop Believin’ that my colleagues Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead are Faithfully your Wheel In The Sky regarding the Lights of the EPA rule, so if you’re Feeling that Way, feel free to reach out with Open Arms.  They will offer their insights Anyway Way You Want It.

The GHG curtain raisers are turning into curtain calls for media stories.  POLITICO started it all last Monday, with the Washington Post and Bloomberg reporting last week and the Wall Street Journal today.  Our friend Coral Davenport had another angle in the NYT yesterday looking at foreign governments’ interest in next week’s announcement.   Not a lot new in the early reports, with talks of state flexibility, use of cap and trade efficiency and renewable energy plans.  Later this week, the US Chamber is expected to unveil a new study that will start to associate costs with the wide-ranging rule.  Countdown six days to the release with the expected involvement of the President.

Today in New Orleans, the DOE continues its Quadrennial Energy Review with a focus on oil and gas issues.  The event will include Secretary Moniz, who also attended previous meetings in Rhode Island/Connecticut.  Our friend Lori LeBlanc, who directs offshore programs for Louisiana’s oil/gas trade assn will be testifying at the event saying as implementation of strict new safety and environmental standards continues, Gulf of Mexico energy production is getting stronger and stronger.   For a full copy of LeBlanc’s testimony, visit LMOGA’s website at www.LMOGA.com.

While the Senate stays out during the short week, the House returns with several important hearings.  On Thursday, House Science will discuss the IPCC review process, hearing from scientists involved in the process, while House Foreign Affairs look at LNG exports and Asia and Small Business tackles EPA’s “Waters of the US” Rule.  My colleague Lowell Rothschild (202-828-5817) is an expert on the topic should you need a good resource.  Finally, on Friday, E&C’s oversight panel returns to DOE’s loan programs.

Remember to keep your eyes peeled later this week for an analysis of the economic impacts of the GHG rule.   Call with Q’s…

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

IN THE NEWS

LA Oil, Gas Offshore Head LeBlanc Discusses Gulf Energy Future at DOE QER Meeting –  Louisiana oil trade executive Lori LeBlanc said as implementation of strict new safety and environmental standards continues, Gulf of Mexico energy production is getting stronger and stronger at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) meeting in New Orleans.  LeBlanc served as one of four panelists discussing “Gulf Coast Energy Transmission, Storage and Distribution Infrastructure.”  DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz lead off the forum, the third in a series of meetings examining different aspects of today’s U.S. energy picture, focused on offshore energy development and regional conservation efforts.  LeBlanc said “between 2014 and 2019, output from the Gulf is expected to rise another 26%, from around 1.5 million bpd to 1.9 million bpd.  There have been nine new discoveries of oil formations in the Central Gulf since June 2012, spurring significant bids in the most recent lease sale that garnered over $850 million for the Department of the Interior and signaled strong continued business interest in the offshore. Federal revenue from offshore energy production from 2003 to 2012 totaled more than $47 Billion in lease sales and royalties – a major source of revenue for the U.S. Treasury.”

And What About Oil’s Economic Impacts – LeBlanc also focused on the Economic impacts of the drilling and production.  “The total economic impact of Gulf energy is immense.  It creates jobs in every state in the U.S., with some 430,000 jobs nationwide estimated to link to Gulf energy activity, along with tens of thousands here in Louisiana alone.  The offshore oil and gas industry has a $44 billion annual impact to Louisiana per year and a $70 billion annual impact when you factor in the related pipeline and refining industries.”

PJM Auction Double Electricity Prices for Future, NJ Still Highest – The PJM Interconnection said  the results of the 2017-18 auction will result in higher prices over the 2016 auction, with prices doubling.  The result of the annual auction were posted Friday and will have PJM garner 167,004 megawatts of capacity resources to serve the region from June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018, a reserve margin of 19.7%. Interestingly, much like last year’s auction, there was price separation in northern New Jersey, actually throughout PSEG’s zone.  The price separation in PSEG is caused by transmission constraints and therefore must run higher priced generators to meet capacity. This year – prices levelized across all regions of PJM, except for PSEG. PSEG cleared at $215 MW-day, while all other PJM regions cleared at $120 MW-day.  There are two main ways to fix this problem – build new local gas-fired generation or build new transmission.   New Jersey  already tried to fix the price problem by incentivizing the creation of new, in-state gas-fired generation with their LCAPP program, but that was met with stiff opposition by incumbent generators (and PJM) and the courts ultimately blocked the State’s program.   The PJM region covers 61 million people over 13 states and D.C. that features a transmission grid of more than 62,500 miles.

Marcellus Drillers Innovate Ways To Benefit From Field-Gas-Powered Operations – A good article by Alex Benedetto at SNL Energy said that although many producers in the Marcellus Shale can source natural gas to fuel their operations, infrastructure limitations have made it hard for them to use field gas on a large scale and transport it to the rig from the source. Driven by low cost, producers have thought of alternative ways to shift to field gas in powering their rigs. “We’ve been drilling for five years, which has allowed us to stretch the pipeline system in such a way that we are able to find locations to drill in our acreage where field gas is available, or the drilling rig is out there drilling on tube trailer gas and at the same time a pipeline is being constructed to it,” said George Stark, spokesman for Cabot Oil and Gas.

Fracking Hits Websters – The annual addition of new words to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and the company’s free online database was hit energy this year.  Fracking and cap and trade were among 150 new words announced Monday by the Springfield, Massachusetts, company.  Many of the other new words and terms stem from digital life and social media — spoiler alert, hashtag, selfie and tweep — while others are food driven, including pho and turducken, a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey.  Of course, as a Michigan native, my favorite new word is Yooper, the moniker for native or longtime residents of the Lake Superior region known for a distinctive manner of speaking.

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

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

GA Power to Bring Wind to State – The Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) has granted unanimous approval for utility Georgia Power to purchase power from two wind farms in Oklahoma.  Starting in 2016, the utility will buy a total 250 MW of wind energy from EDP Renewables North America’s Blue Canyon Phase II and VI wind farms. The contracts were initially announced in April 2013 but required PSC approval.  According to Georgia Power, these wind purchases are cheaper than other forms of electric generation already on the grid and will put downward pressure on rates. Utility spokesperson John Kraft says, “It is significant anytime we can diversify our generation resources by adding cost effective renewables. This is an exciting time to add wind generation to our portfolio.”  The Sierra Club, an environmental organization, has also welcomed the PSC approval.

Poll Shows Americas Energy Knowledge Low – Americans have taken a wide range of energy saving behaviors in the past six months, and overall energy knowledge is relatively low, according to a recent national poll by Morning Consult Energy.  The poll was conducted from April 24-27, 2014, among a national sample of 2,045 registered voters. The interviews were conducted online and the data was weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, region, annual household income, home ownership status, and marital status. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.  Overall, 11% of Americans say they feel they know ‘a lot’ about energy issues and problems, 48% say they know ‘a fair amount, 36% say they know ‘only a little, and 5% say they know ‘practically nothing’ about energy issues. Two in 10 tea party supporters, and nearly two in 10 self-described environmentalists say they feel they know ‘a lot’ about energy issues.

Podcast Look at Energy Issues – In case you missed it last week, our friends at the Energy Gang are doing a fresh pod cast each week on Greentech Media that features three current stories on clean energy. Stephen Lacey, Jigar Shah and Katherine Hamilton engage in lively discussion of technologies, policies and market forces driving energy and environmental issues. The Gang often brings on guests who contribute to the conversation.  See: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheEnergyGang..  You can also find The Energy Gang on Greentech Media (http://www.greentechmedia.com).

API: US Crude Output, Refining Growth Strong in April – API said U.S. crude oil production in April rose 12.6% year-on-year, reaching nearly 8.3 million barrels per day, the highest seen in that month since 1988. Refined oil product gross inputs and exports also reached 16.1 million barrels per day, a 5.1% increase from April of last year.  API said April brought strong year-over-year growth in both the production and refining sectors, adding that the oil and natural gas industry continues to provide a solid base for growth in the larger economy.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Brooking Forum to Discuss Russian Gas Matrix – The Brookings Energy Security Initiative (ESI) and the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) at Brookings will host a discussion this morning to launch the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies’ (OIES) new book on The Russian Gas Matrix: How Markets are Driving Change. This study looks at the shifting relationship between supply and demand for Russian gas and Russia’s influence in the European and Asian energy sectors. James Henderson, co-editor of the study, will present OIES’s findings along with Jonathan Stern, one of the book’s contributors and chairman of the Natural Gas Research Program at OIES. After their remarks, Edward C. Chow, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, will serve as a discussant and Charles K. Ebinger, senior fellow and director of ESI, will moderate the discussion.

Forum to Look at Second Gen Biofuel Risks – The George Washington University Environmental Law Studies Program, the Society for Risk Analysis National Capital Area Chapter, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE); Risk, Policy and Law Specialty Group, Society for Risk Analysis (SRA RPLSG); and USDA Office of Risk Assessment and Cost Benefit Analysis (ORACBA) will host an event tonight at 6:00 p.m. at Burns Hall Room 505 on the risk regarding increasing demand for sustainable bioenergy feedstocks (other than corn) to meet U.S. renewable fuel mandates.   Practitioners will discuss the challenges of navigating the need for ecological protection while also fostering the development of renewable bio-based sources of energy and chemicals, and what role risk analysis can play in the process.

FERC NRC to Discuss Reliability of Grid – Commissioners and staff from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a joint meeting tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in Rockville. The meeting is the seventh time the two commissions have met to discuss issues of mutual concern to their respective agencies and underscores the commitment of these two agencies to the safe and reliable operation of the bulk power system. The public meeting will focus on grid reliability, nuclear power plant license renewals and dam safety. It will include presentations by FERC and NRC staff, as well as participation by staff of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

RFF Seminar to Look at Ecology – Resources for the Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. focused on natural resources, ecology and public policy. Demographers emphasize that the population growth rate has steadily declined over the last four decades and is expected to continue declining at a rapid rate. What does this demographic phenomenon signify for demands on natural resources and ecological systems? What other factors may concurrently come into play? This moderated panel discussion will draw on the emerging insight that humankind may be in the era of the “Anthropocene,” prompting us to reconsider interrelationships among people, resources, ecology, and the way public policies shape these linkages. Jack Bobo will discuss some of the key demographic trends. Erle Ellis, who has developed the still more recent concept of the “anthrome,” will discuss implications for ecological systems, including whether the potential to conserve biodiversity may, paradoxically, be increased by rapid urbanization and more intensive use of agricultural land. Roger Sedjo and Joel Darmstadter will emphasize the joint influence of markets and policy intervention, particularly in the cases of forests, agriculture, and energy.

Forum to Look at Financing the Green Economy – The Johns Hopkins University will host a forum tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. with Nick Robins, director of the Climate Change Centre of Excellence at HSBC, and Simon Zadek, visiting scholar at Tsinghua School of Economics and Management and a senior fellow at the Global Green Growth Institute.  Both will discuss financing the green economy and changing the rules of the game.

Green to Headline Hudson Energy Infrastructure Forum – The Hudson Institute will host Rep Gene Green of Texas on Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. to discuss energy infrastructure.  In the last few years, North America has experienced an energy renaissance as advances in technology and techniques have spurred major increases in oil and natural gas production. However, these abundant energy resources will only substantially benefit the North American economy and consumers in the long run if necessary infrastructure is planned, permitted, and built to integrate supply and demand in an efficient and expeditious manner. The recent rail accidents involving petroleum tank cars have focused more concern on the issue of energy infrastructure, particularly in the United States. Moreover, without expanding energy logistics capacity North American competitiveness may suffer as energy markets in Asia and Europe advance.  Green is principal co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act (H.R. 3301), which aims to modernize the current permitting process for the construction of natural gas and petroleum pipelines and electrical power lines that would cross the boundaries of the United States. Rep. Green will join Senior Fellow Christopher Sands to discuss the status of North American energy infrastructure and prospects for congressional action this year related to U.S. energy policy.

House Approps to Move AG Funding – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the full House Appropriations Committee will meet to mark up the FY 2015 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.

House Science Looks at UN IPCC Report, Process – On Thursday at 11:00 a.m., the House Science Committee will hold a hearing to examine the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process.  Witnesses will include Richard Tol of the University of Sussex, Princeton’s Michael Oppenheimer, UCSB’s Dan Botkin and Roger Pielke Sr. of Colorado State University.

NOIA’s Luthi, Others Featured on Oil Pollution Act Update Panel – On Thursday at 12:00 p.m., a panel of experts will the Oil Pollution Act and attempts to update it given recent spill activity.  In 1990, following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, President George H.W. Bush signed the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) into law to strengthen the federal government’s ability to prevent and respond to oil spills, establish financial resources to aid response, and raise standards for contingency planning.  In 2010, in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order to establish the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. This bipartisan presidential commission “tasked with providing recommendations on how the United States can prevent and mitigate the impact of any future spills that result from offshore drilling.” Three years after the Commission’s 2011 report, much has happened in the area of oil pollution law, though only one aspect of OPA has been amended.  An expert panel will discuss developments in oil pollution law, including discussions on developments in the Houston Ship Channel oil spill, the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the pending civil penalty action, the oil transport disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment, and the status of claims made under the BP compensation Fund.  Panelists will include DOJ’s Assistant Chief of Environmental Enforcement William Brighton, NOIA’s Randy Luthi and Cynthia Sarthou of the Gulf Restoration Network.

House Small Biz Look at EPA’s “Waters of US” Rule – The Small Business Committee holds a hearing on Thursday looking at the small business impact of EPA’s new Waters of the United States rule on Clean Water Act jurisdiction.  My colleague Lowell Rothschild (202-828-5817) is an expert on the topic should you need a good resource.

House FA Panel to Look at Asia, LNG – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific will hold a hearing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. on LNG and energy needs in Asia.  Witnesses will include Mikkal Herberg of the National Bureau of Asian Research, CSIS’s Jane Nakano and Diane Leopold of Dominion Energy.

House Energy Panel Takes on DOE Loan Program – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on Friday morning looking at the Department of Energy’s loan programs.

Green Festival Set of DC Convention Center – The Washington, DC Green Festival will celebrate its 10th year on Saturday and Sunday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  The event features the widest selection of products and services to work green, play green and live green – from food, fashion and health, to energy, construction and design. Enjoy vegan and vegetarian cooking demos, educational activities for kids and families, panels featuring inspirational speakers, and live music and entertainment. Shop in our unique marketplace of more than 300 eco-friendly businesses – everything from all-natural body care products and organic clothing to Fair Trade gifts, beautiful home renovations made from renewable resources, plus vegan and vegetarian offerings based on organic, non-GMO or local, artisanal foods.

FERC to Hold Cove Point LNG Public Meeting – FERC will hold a public meeting on the Dominion LNG project on Saturday at Patuxent High School in Lusby, Md.  Last week FERC approved the project saying it would have virtually no impact on the environment.  A contingent of environmental activists oppose the project and will likely organize in full force for the public meeting.

FUTURE EVENTS

GHG Existing Power Plants Rule Roll Out – June 2.  Last week, POLITICO reported that EPA Head Gina McCarthy has been told by the President that he will make next week’s announcement.

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

Brookings Study Looks at Economic Impacts of Delays in Climate Policy – Next Tuesday, June 3rd at 1:30 p.m., Economic Studies at Brookings will host an event to present the results of a new study on the economic effects of delaying implementation of US climate policy. Non-Resident Senior Fellows Warwick McKibbin and Peter Wilcoxen and Fellow and Policy Director Adele Morris will present the new research, which will be followed by a panel discussion.  A delay in the implementation of U.S. climate policy, whether the policy is an EPA regulation or a carbon tax, could mean more stringent policies are necessary later. Brookings scholars have conducted this new economic modeling to compare the economic outcomes of modest climate policy action now with the potential consequences of more stringent policies later, including effects on consumption, investment, and labor markets.

Conference to Focus on Energy Storage – The Energy Storage Association will hold its 24th Annual Conference on June 4-6th at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  They will launch the conference with a reception on Tuesday, June 3rd in Union Station’s Columbus Club the industry, allies, and supporters will discuss energy storage advances in policy and commercialization.

RFF to Look at Insurance – Resources for the Future will hold a seminar on Wednesday, June 4th  at 12:45 p.m. looking at the future of insurance.  Insurance is a fundamental tool for managing risks, improving resiliency after disaster events, and opening up economic opportunities that otherwise may not be possible.  Yet, not all risks are insurable. Society has struggled in the past with risks that are highly correlated among insureds, as is the case with natural disaster events, or where losses could be so severe as to be unmanageable by the private insurance market because they could threaten the solvency of companies, as would be the case with a nuclear accident.  Recently, the twin forces of climate change, altering weather patterns around the globe, and globalization, in terms of increased migration, interconnected supply chains, and rapidly changing technologies, have raised the question as to whether disaster events are becoming increasingly uninsurable.  Exposure is concentrating as development in risky areas continues, and systems previously thought independent are becoming linked, whether due to relationships in the climate system, deployment of the same vulnerable technology, or reliance on a single supplier.  These trends are leading to ever-increasing disaster losses worldwide.

Forum to Look at Geothermal in Developing World – The Society for International Development’s Energy & Infrastructure Workgroup will hold a workshop on Wednesday, June 5th  at 12:00 p.m., looking at geothermal energy opportunities and challenges in the developing world.  Geothermal energy production is heating up around the world, with great potential to meet growing energy needs both here and abroad. A panel of industry leaders will discuss this potential, the trends in geothermal production and the benefits it has over other energy sources. Because much of this energy is being produced in the developing world, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities of working in areas where we must adapt to often complex social, political, and economic contexts.

AAAS to Focus Summit on Governance – American Association for the Advancement of Science will hold a summit on climate change resilience in its Auditorium, Thursday-Friday, June 5-6th.  This two-day summit is for government officials and staff, civil society, community, corporate, and thought leaders, journalists, and others interested in the governance issues raised by climate change resilience. Come if you work on climate issues and want to engage more on governance. Come if you work on and want to better understand the tensions climate change may increase.  Issues of governance—how collective decisions are made, interpreted, implemented, and challenged—will enable or impede activities to increase resilience.

SEIA to Hold Webinar on Q1 2014 Solar Market Insight Report Overview – The Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research will hold a webinar on Thursday, June 5th at 1:00 p.m. covering the highlights of the “U.S. Solar Market Insight: Q1 2014 Report. The U.S. solar market has burst out of the gate in 2014 by recording the second-largest quarter in history.  This growth was led by the strong performance of the utility segment- both in the PV and CSP markets.  The webinar will highlight emerging trends in Q1, at the national level and in some of the top state markets. The discussion will also include detailed PV and CSP market forecasts for the rest of 2014 and beyond.  Speakers will include SEIA’s Shawn Rumery and Cory Honeyman of GTM Research.

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update Week of March 10

Friends,

I hope you all managed to get your clocks adjusted to “Spring Forward.”  While there are many theories about Daylight Savings Time’s origin from Ben Franklin to New Zealand,  the first approach to moving our clocks was mainly credited in 1905 to British inventor William Willett (FUN FACT: Willett was the great-great grandfather of Coldplay singer and Gwyneth Paltrow-husband Chris Martin).  Willett came up with the idea of moving the clocks forward in the summer to take advantage of the daylight in the mornings and the lighter evenings.   Willett’s plan caught the attention of Member of Parliament Robert Pearce who introduced the first legislation in Britain’s House of Commons in 1908. The modern-day changeover, started in 1974 to save energy following the 1973 oil embargo, used to occur later in the Spring and sooner in Fall from 1987 to 2007.  In 2007, it was altered by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, championed in the debate by now Chair Fred Upton and current Sen. Ed Markey claiming it would save “the equivalent of” 10,000 barrels of oil per day.  The Upton-Markey proposal, which were received with some skepticism (especially in Indiana where they never changed clocks until 2006), extended the period by about one month, moving DST to the second Sunday in March and ending on the first Sunday in November.  Now only Arizona and Hawaii do not change their clocks.

South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin hits high speed this week after launching this past weekend.  While originally known as a small, quirky music festival, it has grown into a music, movie, comedy, environmental, political, technology and business behemoth.   SXSW this week hosts a conversation with NSA leaker Edward Snowden today, a speech from HBO star and Saturday’s SNL host Lena Dunham and many panels on technology innovations.  The broad array of music acts, SXSW’s specialty, include Soundgarden (on the 20th anniversary of its breakout Superunknown album), G-Love, 50-Cent, Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Lady Gaga, Blondie, Willie Nelson, Green Day, The Whigs, Foster the People, punk  veterans “X” and many, many more.

Finally, get your hoops picks lined up because Next Monday in the update, we’ll be making some suggestions for your Final Four.  And after their Ivy League conference win over the weekend, maybe you’ll pick Harvard.  And don’t sleep on the Frozen Four which is slated for Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on April 11/12, with the tournament brackets being selected on March 23.

Congress gets back into action again this week before the Spring work period starts next week.  House Science addresses CCS technologies on Wednesday with our friends from Alstom and others testifying.  Senate Foreign Relations hosts former Administration official James Jones, activist James Hansen, Chamber Energy official Karen Harbert and Sierra’s Michael Brune at a hearing on Keystone pipeline Thursday and OMB Regulatory Czar Howard Shelanski heads to Senate Homeland Security to discuss reg reform tomorrow.  As well, with the President’s Budget finally submitted, the parade of officials headed to Capitol Hill will begin Friday with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Tonight, Senate Democrats interested in pushing more aggressive climate policy will hold an overnighter to address climate change and its importance.   While stunts and gimmicks, like this continue to gather some attention, they continue to fail to bridge key policy/political divides in the debate…most notably many of the Democrats that continue have significant concerns about stronger climate regulations.

As well, with many questions bouncing about over new tax proposals from House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp and a potential mark up from new Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, our excellent tax experts are following the issue closely and could be a helpful resource for those of you interested in it.

Finally, on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. our friends at Politico will host a POLITICO Pro Energy Happy Hour featuring specialty canned beers, appetizers and conversations about the energy policy news of the day.  The event is presented by AHRI, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute.

 

Call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Segal Highlights Polar Vortex, Power Plant Concerns in Video – Scott Segal, head of Bracewell & Giuliani’s DC-based Policy Resolution Group, and executive director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC) says the “Polar Vortex” of 2014 was almost a morality play about what happens when we have an unexpected, significant spike in energy demand. In a video interview, Segal discusses the impact of low-cost shale gas resources on energy supply and demand, the key role that coal-fired facilities played in electric generation during the severe cold spells this winter, and the lessons policymakers and industry should learn from the Polar Vortex of 2014.

NARUC Hits 125 Years – Congrats to our friends at NARUC, who last week hit its 125th anniversary as a trade groups representing utility commissioners.  In its original incarnation, NARUC was called the National Association of Railway Commissioners, reflecting its focus on the inter- and intrastate regulation of the freight railroad industry. Over time, as the railroad industry deregulated, the focus of the Association shifted to the essential utility systems of today.  For 125 years, NARUC has brought State regulators all across the country together to share best practices and learn from each other. The utility sector has undergone tremendous change since 1889. NARUC President Collette Honorable said “NARUC brings all of us together—federal and State policymakers, consumer advocates, industry stakeholders, academics, environmental groups, and the list goes on. We understand how decisions in one State impact its neighbors, just as we understand how federal laws, court decisions, and regulations affect our important work at home. But make no mistake—we are all on the same stage. We may have different roles to play, but we all have the public interest in our sights.”

Kerry Orders Ambassadors to Focus on Climate – In his first policy directive at State, John Kerry has ordered his fleet of Ambassadors and the agency’s 50,000 employees globally to make the climate issue a “top tier” diplomatic priority.  The document encourages the United States to “lead by example” by attacking climate change domestically; to work more closely with other countries both in bilateral and multilateral partnerships, and to help mobilize “billions of dollars” to enable low-carbon energy development worldwide.  Kerry has been heavily criticized by a number of foreign policy experts and politicos for his placement of climate change above more pressing issues like the Ukraine, Syria and security at our consulates based of the recent attacks in Benghazi.

Pentagon Focuses On Climate in QDR – Apparently, climate is not just news at State, the Pentagon has also called climate change is a “threat multiplier” and a critical component of future defense strategy in its Quadrennial Defense Review 2014.  The Pentagon is developing strategies to address climate threats through operational provisions, including expanded investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency to improve climate resilience. The report notes that climate change may undermine the ability of the military’s domestic installations to support training activities, as well as increase the frequency and difficulty of future missions.

House Moves Legislation to Limit GHG Rules – The House voted 229-183 to pass H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act, a bill which would prevent EPA from limiting carbon emissions from new coal-fired power plants. The bill also directs EPA to set an effective date for upcoming regulations on carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.  No word on when the Senate will move the bill, sponsored by WV Sen. Joe Manchin.  The White House has issued a veto threat against the bill.

EDF Study Shows Methane Emissions Could Be Lower – EDF and ICF International released a report saying the oil and gas industry could cut methane emissions by 40% below 2018 projections. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG), and emissions are expected to increase 4.5% between 2011 and 2018, primarily due to the venting of co-produced gas in favor of collecting the more valuable oil. A dozen emission reduction strategies are listed in the report, including using lower-emitting valves and improved leak detection repairs. The cheapest methods, according to the report, could save the industry over $164 million a year, and overall, would cost $0.66 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) of natural gas produced.

Article Focuses On Canada CCS Project – A good article in New Scientist focuses on Canada’s Boundary Dam power plant in Saskatchewan.  Later this year, it will be the first commercial plant first CCS project built on a commercial-scale power station. It is not a new process as several projects to capture and store carbon are already up and running in 12 industrial installations like fertilizer factories and natural gas processing plants. Also, for some time the oil and gas industry has been injecting flue gas into old oil and gas seams to push out the last drops of fuel. But power stations are yet to emerge and are the largest source of greenhouse gases.  In additional to Boundary Dam (Canada’s largest Coal plant), the Kemper County power station in Mississippi will become the second CCS power station. It is a coal gasification plant, testing the technology on a different energy source.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Climate Meetings Start in Bonn – In preparation for important Paris negotiations in November 2015, mid-year climate talks launch this week in Bonn to work on preparations for a major new climate change agreement. Negotiators are hoping to have most of a draft agreement ready to go for December’s UN meeting set for Peru.

McCarthy to Address Cities Conference – The National League of Cities holds its 2014 Congressional City Conference at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel today and tomorrow.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will address the crowd this afternoon.

RFF to Look at Stanford Public Climate Polling – Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., RFF and Stanford will present additional results from the survey and provide an in-depth discussion on what this could mean for climate policy in the United States. This event will not only offer information on American’s views as a whole but, equally important, it will also explain how these issues are viewed on a state-by-state basis. Read more about the poll here.  A recent poll by Resources for the Future (RFF), Stanford University, and USA Today reveals American’s attitudes on climate change and issues such as clean energy, power plant emissions, and energy subsidies, to name a few. Some of the survey results were previously released by USA Today regarding climate change and the Keystone pipeline. Jon Krosnick, RFF University Fellow and Frederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences at Stanford University will join RFF President Phil Sharp to discuss the study.

Forum to Feature TVA Case Book on Snail Darter, Dam – American Rivers and the Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at Noon on a new book, The Snail Darter & the Dam, by TVA v. Hill plaintiff and law professor Zygmunt Plater.  Plater will offer a recounting of the history and characters behind the case and how environmental law was made.  The case is one of the seminal cases in federal environmental law.  The Supreme Court enjoined completion of the almost-finished Tellico Dam under the Endangered Species Act because of impacts to the snail darter, an endangered fish. The case brought national attention, caused the Endangered Species Act to be revised, resulted in the formation of the “God Squad” of cabinet-level officials to review similar cases, and ultimately resulted in President Carter yielding to pork-barrel pressure, signing an appropriations rider waiving the law and mandating completion of the dam.

Forum to Look at Population, Climate Adaption – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a discussion tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. with Monica Das Gupta and Kathleen Mogelgaard as they explore these co-benefits and strategies to integrate them into climate change responses.  Often lacking from high-level discussions on climate change adaptation and mitigation is the inevitable role that rapid population growth plays in exacerbating vulnerability in developing countries. As Monica Das Gupta noted in her recent report, Population, Poverty, and Climate Change, “it is estimated that the effect of a 40 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per capita in developed countries between 2000 and 2050 would be entirely offset by the increase in emissions attributable to expected population growth in poorer countries over this period.” As communities grapple with the effects of climate change, there is a growing movement pointing to the multiple co-benefits that could emerge from policy interventions targeted at reducing fertility through voluntary access to family planning.

NJ to Host Global Nuclear Security SummitNational Journal will hold a summit on Wednesday to look at the future of global nuclear security at the Newseum.  National Journal’s James Kitfield will moderate panels that will  Norwegian Ambassador Kåre Aas, Netherlands Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Renée Jones-Bos, Harvard University’s Matthew Bunn, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, former House member Jane Harman and former Sen. Sam Nunn.  White House Coordinator for Defense Policy, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Arms Control at the National Security Council Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall will keynote the summit.  The 2014 Summit is being held at a time of both progress and peril in the international effort to secure the materials that could be used to build a nuclear bomb. Since 2012, seven countries have removed all or most of these dangerous materials from their territories, bringing the number of countries now storing weapons-usable materials down to 25, according to a new report out by the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Despite this progress, there is much work to be done. Terrorist organizations continue to seek weapons of mass destruction, materials are still stored at hundreds of sites with varying levels of security, and the International Atomic Energy Agency each year receives reports of more than a hundred incidents of theft and other unauthorized active involving nuclear and radiological material.

Forum to Look at China Renewables – Wilson will also hold a forum on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. to discuss the rapid development of wind and solar energy in China.  While development of renewables has happened, it has occurred within the context of an even larger trend: China’s enormous build-out of new coal-fired power plants over the past decade. Current trends indicate that by 2030, roughly two-thirds of China’s power will still come from fossil fuels, mainly coal.  Significantly reducing China’s emissions of greenhouse gas and other pollutants will therefore require carbon capture at coal- and gas-fired power plants, in conjunction with the development of advanced nuclear and renewable generation. Speakers on this panel will discuss successful and emerging “biz-to-biz” and U.S.-China bilateral partnerships to develop cleaner energy technologies in China. The discussion will highlight some drivers and obstacles to clean energy innovation in China’s economy.

House Science to Look at CCS – The House Committee on Science and its Environment panel will hold a joint hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the science of capture and storage and its relation to understanding EPA’s carbon rules.  EPA’s Janet McCabe will testify as well as Bob Hilton of Alstom Power, EPRI’s Robert Trautz, Springfield Missouri City Utilities GM/CEO Scott Miller (on behalf of American Public Power Association) and NRDC’s David Hawkins.

Forum to Look at Brazil’s Nuclear Policy – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will hold a lunch on Wednesday at Noon focused on understanding Brazil’s nuclear policy.  For a country whose importance in the global nuclear order is of potentially great significance, remarkably little is understood about the domestic drivers behind Brazil’s nuclear policy decision making. Brazil is moving toward industrializing a full nuclear fuel cycle. It operates nuclear power plants and plans to build more. It is the only non-nuclear-weapon state to work on a nuclear-powered submarine. And it does not shy away from being a confident voice on the matters of global nuclear politics.  Based on numerous conversations over two years with Brazilian policy experts, academics, former and current officials, and representatives of the nuclear industry, Togzhan Kassenova will reflect on how Brazilians think about and explain their country’s nuclear policy. The discussion will mark the release of Kassenova’s new report Brazil’s Nuclear Kaleidoscope: An Evolving Identity. Copies of the report will be available. George Perkovich will moderate.

House Approps Subpanel to Look at Installations, Environment Budget – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in 2359 Rayburn discussing the budget for the Department of Defense’s Installations, Environment, Energy and BRAC.  Witnesses will be Installations and Environment heads at the four branches: John Conger of DoD, Dennis McGinn at Navy, Katherine Hammack of Army and Kathleen Ferguson of the Air Force.

WAPA to Host Gala – The Washington Automotive Press Assn will hold its annual gala on Thursday at the National Press Club.

CRS Tax Expert to Discuss Renewables – ACORE, the Global America Business Institute, and the Korea Institute of Energy Research will hold a lunch discussion on Thursday featuring a presentation by Phillip Brown, Specialist in Energy Policy at the Congressional Research Service that will look at Federal renewable electricity deployment incentives.  In support of the U.S. Congress, Mr. Brown provides objective and fact-based research and analysis of existing and proposed federal energy policies. Mr. Brown’s current portfolio of work is focused on U.S. crude oil exports, clean energy policies, renewable electric power, and financial mechanisms that may be used to incentivize renewable electricity project development. Mr. Brown also actively monitors world energy markets in order to provide congressional clients with a global perspective on the effectiveness of various clean energy policy mechanisms.

EPA to Look at Green Power Procurement – The EPA’s Green Power Partnership will host a webinar on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. focused on long-term green power procurements from wind projects.  In today’s green power market, many forward-thinking organizations are looking to long-term procurements from wind power projects to meet their renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals. This webinar will examine various procurement options, the steps involved in making a long-term commitment, challenges, and other considerations. We’ll also hear from Renewable Choice Energy, a renewable energy provider, on what’s involved in making long-term procurements a reality.  Speakers will include EPA’s Blaine Collison, Sprint’s Amy Hargroves, Erin Decker of Salesforce.com and Quayle Hodek of Renewable Choice Energy.

SoCo Expert to Speak at Forum on Transmission in SE Region – The Energy Future Coalition will be hosting a webinar for its Americans for a Clean Energy Grid initiative, on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. The webinar topic will be Transmission in the Southeast. The event will feature John Lucas, GM of Transmission Policy and Services, Southern Company; and Frank Rambo, Senior Attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. The driver behind the webinars is to follow-up/update to our in-person Regional Transmission Summits that we’ve been hosting around the country for the last few years, and the content of them will be discussion of hot-button transmission issues in the region, whether that be landowner compensation, siting, cost allocation, planning, or many other ones.

Brookings to Discuss Japan Electricity Sector – On Thursday at 3:30 p.m., the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings will host a discussion on the restructuring of the electricity sector in Japan and compare it to the experience of deregulation in the United States. Panelists will discuss how increasing oil and gas costs affect competition in various markets and the degree to which proposed reforms in Japan are contingent on domestic nuclear policy. The panelists will closely consider circumstances that are unique to Japan’s electricity sector in this discussion.   Senior Fellow and Director of ESI, Charles Ebinger, will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.  Panelists will include Yoshiharu Tachibana of the University of Tokyo, Michael Chesser of the Energy Security Initiative, CSIS’s Jane Nakano, and Harvard expert William Hogan.

Energy Forum Continues – On Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Embassy of Canada, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) and Young Professionals in Energy (YPE) will host its second event in the ongoing series “The Future of Energy.”  Please join us for an in-depth discussion of Canadian federal and provincial level energy and climate change policy and the U.S.-Canada relationship that underpins these vital issues.  Sheila Reirdon, Minister of Political Affairs at the Embassy, as well as a panel of provincial representatives from the provincial governments of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec will speak.

Finley to Present BP Outlook at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Mark Finley, General Manager for Global Energy Markets and U.S. Economics at BP, on Friday at 9:30 a.m. to present BP’s Energy Outlook 2035. The outlook, seeking to describe the ‘most likely’ trajectory of the world’s energy system, contributes to the wider debate on global energy issues by addressing key questions such as: What will the world’s energy mix look like in 2035? Where is the growth in demand and supply going to come from? How and at what pace will renewables continue to grow? What are the implications for transport? Mr. Finley will review and discuss the projections as well as examine some of the key assumptions behind the data. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

Vilsack to testify on Ag Budget – The US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will begin the annual Administration parade to Congress to testify Friday on the USDA budget in front of the House Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee.

Brookings to Discuss Japan Nuclear Policy – On Friday at 1:30 p.m., the Brookings Institution, the Stanley Foundation and the Center for Public Integrity will host a panel to discuss Japan’s nuclear policy issues. Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Einhorn, former special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will serve as moderator. Panelists include Douglas Birch, senior national security reporter for the Center for Public Integrity; R. Jeffrey Smith, managing editor for national security at the Center for Public Integrity; Matthew Bunn, a principal investigator at the Kennedy School’s Project on Managing the Atom, Harvard University; and Ambassador Nobuyasu Abe, director for the Center for the Promotion of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation and former U.N. undersecretary-general for disarmament affairs.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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, former President of Shell John Hofmeister and former EPA official and current Fuel Freedom Foundation head Joe Cannon.

Fuel Cell Forum to Look at Resiliency, Security – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, and the Senate Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Caucus will sponsor a forum next Monday, March 17th at Noon in Senate Visitor Center Room 200 on the resiliency and efficiency  of fuel cells and hydrogen and there impacts on energy security.  Speakers to include Ed Cohen of Honda, Daimler’s Gwen Bluemich, Katrina Fritz of ClearEdge Power and DoE Deputy Asst. Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar, among others.

Forum to Look at Renewables For Poverty Reduction – The Society for International Development – Washington will hold a forum on Tuesday, March 18th at 12:30 p.m. on the promise of solar-powered irrigation pumps for poverty reduction.  When people have access to water and energy, poverty is reduced and life chances are significantly improved.  In its focus on the water-energy nexus for UN World Water Day on March 22, 2014, the World Water Report examines how the water and energy sectors are working together to increase energy services that will lead to major improvements in sanitation, agriculture, and economic growth in developing countries.  Called a ‘game changer’ for agricultural economies since first introduced in the mid-2000s, solar-powered pumps for irrigation are an application at the water-energy nexus that is contributing to food security, empowerment of women farmers, and poverty reduction.  Solar-powered pumps are also at the nexus of the development community, with donors, NGOs, financial institutions, and the private sector committed to developing technologies, best practices, and business models to make them a success.  Speakers will include UNEP’s Carla Friedrich, Richard Colback of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), USAID’s Renewable Energy Advisor Dr. Jeff Haeni and Bikash Pandy of Winrock International

AWEA Announces Siting Seminar – Following a weather postponement, the AWEA Project Siting Seminar has been rescheduled for March 19 and 20th in New Orleans at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.  The program will be a dedicated siting program that hones in on the latest strategies and information to effectively minimize siting and permitting risks while maximizing energy output.  Keynote Speaker will be USFWS Director Dan Ashe.

MD PSC Commissioner to Address Energy Breakfast – ICF International will hold its March Morning Energy Breakfast on March 20th at the National Press Club, featuring Maryland Public Service Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman.  Backman will address the multiplicity of challenges confronting state regulators—and Maryland in particular—in the face of a changing utility sector. Discussion topics also include today’s critical issues affecting the electricity and gas industry that state regulators need to approve before key changes can take place.

RFF to Feature Expert on Financial, Environmental Risk – Resources for the Future will host a seminar series conversation on Tuesday, March 18th at 12:45 p.m. looking at a financial approach to environmental risk featuring Robert Engle.  Engle, 2003 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, is an expert in analyzing the movements of financial market prices and interest rates. His insights and methodologies are well known as indispensable tools for researchers and financial analysts alike. In recognition of his pioneering work, in 2003, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on the concept of autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (ARCH). He developed this method for statistical modeling of time-varying volatility and demonstrated that these techniques accurately capture the properties of many time series. Professor Engle shared the prize with Clive W.J. Granger of the University of California, San Diego.  Many of these methods are now featured on the innovative public web site, V-LAB, where daily estimates of volatilities and correlations for more than a thousand assets are available to assist in evaluating portfolio risk, asset allocation, derivative pricing, and systemic risk measures now incorporated in the NYU Stern Systemic Risk Rankings. His research has produced such innovative statistical methods as co-integration, common features, autoregressive conditional duration (ACD), CAViaR, and DCC models.

Forum to Look at Fate of Arctic – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Wednesday, March 19th at 3:00 p.m. on the fate of the Arctic.  The Arctic is a sentinel of global warming where scientists predict and have observed the largest warming, melting and change, yet a region with planetary impact.   Join us for a discussion of the Arctic’s many changes and their implications: Environmental changes in the form of melting sea ice, greening of the Arctic tundra, migrations of species; Challenges facing indigenous people and how they are responding and coping with this changing world; and how feedbacks in the climate system may mean that the Arctic becomes more than an indicator of climate change and perhaps a source of even more greenhouse gasses.  Our panel will help sort out the science from the speculation, and guide effective decisions for the future.  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.  Speakers will include Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk expert David Titley, National Museum of Natural History Arctic curator Igor Krupnik, USGS Research Geologist Miriam Jones and , , Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center U.S. Geological Survey and George Mason University Professor of Oceanography Paul Schopf.

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.

Group to Release Report on 2013-2014 State of the Future – On Thursday, March 20th at Noon, 17th State of the Future report produced by The Millennium Project – a global participatory think tank with over 50 Nodes and about 5,000 participants around the world will be released at the Wilson Center.  The Millennium Project CEO Jerome Glenn, NASA Langley Research Center Chief Scientist Dennis Bushnell and National Science Foundation Program Director Paul Werbos will explore global strategic prospects and strategies drawn from the 2013-14 State of the Future report and the online Global Futures Intelligence System.  2013-14 State of the Future’s executive summary gives an unparalleled overview of our current situation, prospects, and suggestions to build a better future, plus an annual World Report Card of where we are winning and losing, and the 2013 State of the Future Index. Chapter 1 on 15 Global Challenges provides a framework for understanding global change. Other chapters share international assessments of the causes of and solutions to the increasing problem of hidden hunger; vulnerable natural infrastructure in urban coastal zones; lone wolves and individuals making and deploying weapons of mass destruction; a presentation of the Global Futures Intelligence System, and some concluding thoughts.

Wharton Green Biz Roundtable to Highlight Army Energy Issues – The Wharton Green Business Forum will hold a lunch at the National Press Club on Friday, March 21st at 12:00 p.m.  featuring Richard Kidd.  Kidd, a graduate of the Yale School of Management, will summarize for the audience key aspects of the Army’s approach to energy and sustainability. He will do this first by highlighting the organization change techniques used to alter the way the Army values energy at the corporate, installation (stateside bases) and operational (combat) levels.  Also, he will provide a business operations overview of the Army’s Renewable Energy Task Force, which has created the largest renewable energy project pipeline in America by applying private sector approaches to a public sector entity. The Wharton DC Green Business Forum meets regularly with speakers in varied facets of the cleantech. energy and sustainability fields to learn about new developments and business opportunities. Sponsored by the Wharton School Club of DC, announcements of upcoming events reach over 3,000 Washington area alums of Wharton, Harvard, Columbia and other top business schools, entrepreneurs and executives. Attendance at the programs is open to anyone interested in business and the environment, with advance signup recommended.

McCarthy, Wellinghoff, Trade Assn Heads Headline ACORE Forum – The ACORE National Renewable Energy Policy Forum will be held on Friday March 28th in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Building.  After an opening reception Thursday night at Union Station, the event will feature keynote remarks from EPA’s Gina McCarthy, discussions about policy innovations with Rep. Sander Levin and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and outlooks from trade association heads including our friends Michael McAdams of the Advance Biofuels Coalition, Ted Michaels of the Energy Recovery Council, SEIA’s Rhone Resch, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan and several others.   Finally, our friend Joe Desmond of BrightSource Energy will moderate the afternoon keynote session featuring former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff, Sen. Mazie Hirano and NV Energy CEO Michael Yackira.

Chamber Women in Business Summit to Look at Challenges, Leadership – The US Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Women in Business will hold its 3rd annual summit on March 27th at the Chamber to celebrate the successes of businesswomen around the country while also discussing their unique challenges.  The summit will address the importance of finding supportive and reliable networks necessary for success, as well the common roadblocks that women face in accessing and using capital—one of the most common reasons why women’s business dreams lag in comparison to men’s.   Speakers will include Schnitzer Steel CEO Tamara Lundgren, Barnard College President Debora Spar and Kat Cole of Cinnabon, among many others.

Energy Bar Conference to Focus on Secure Energy – The Energy Bar Association will hold Its Annual Meeting & Conference on April 8th and 9th in Washington.  The conference will focus on the challenges of generating and delivering energy securely.

Center for Offshore Safety Holds Forum – On April 9th and 10th, the Center for Offshore Safety will hold its 2nd annual safety forum in Houston at the Westin Memorial City.  The Center is focused on promoting the highest levels of safety and environmental protection for offshore drilling, completions and production operations in deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The forum’s agenda has been created to provide an update on progress made by the Center and its cross-industry work groups. The agenda is complemented by interactive panel sessions regarding SEMS implementation and industry, auditor and regulator experiences with the recent SEMS audits. Additionally, senior leadership from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and U.S. Coast Guard will provide keynote presentations. The forum is an excellent opportunity to gain an insight and understanding of SEMS, SEMS implementation, SEMS auditing and the work being undertaken by the COS.

PBF, Valero Speaker to Headline Platts Conference – Platts will hold its 3rd Annual North American Refined Products conference in Houston at the Marriott West Loop on May 20th and 21st.  The event explores supply and demand for refined products from the North American PADD regions and the opportunities and challenges in those markets.  Keynote speaker will be Todd O’Malley of PBF Energy.  Other speakers will include Valero’s Richard Grissom.

Energy Update Week of March 3

Friends,

The glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards went off last night with just about the same results as the Golden Globes earlier this year.  The wealth was spread among the many good movies we saw this year with Dallas Buyers’ Club holding a slight edge.  Given the terrific performances of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, its honors were well deserved.  As they were for Ellen’s performance as host…She was once again subtle, creative and hilarious.  I loved the pizza stunt.  It was a great way for my daughter to end her 16th birthday, staying up late with school cancelled the next day because of the snow, dinner at Ra, and starting it off by refereeing a game on the Verizon Center Ice prior to the Caps game.

Get your hoops on.  Conference tournaments start this week to set up the NCAA March Madness tourney will be determined in just two weeks.  Shocker that Wichita State made it through the regular season undefeated at 31-0. It is the best start since UNLV began 34-0 in 1991 (but lost in national title game to Duke) and another Missouri Valley team, the Larry Bird-led Indiana State sycamores, won its first 33 games  in 1979 (but lost to Magic Johnson and Michigan State in the title game).  It should be no surprise that WSU is that good though as their last loss came in last year’s Final Four to eventual champion, Louisville.  As well. keep your eye peeled for NHL trade this week with the trade deadline Wednesday.  Already, my Buffalo friends are weeping with the trade of Ryan Miller to St. Louis (and maybe Blackhawks fans as well.)

This week is also Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday. With Senator Landrieu taking the helm of the Senate Energy Committee, I am pleased to report that our colleague Scott Segal has been deployed strategically for the next few days to again assume his position riding “krewe” in one of the largest parades in New Orleans’ Mardi Gras.  With over 40 floats and 20 marching bands, there is no doubt he will be picking valuable intelligence.  It is alleged that New Orleans founders first reach the spot on the river upon which the city was founded on Fat Tuesday in 1699 – naming their camp Point du Mardi Gras, and the rest his history.  We expect a full report from Scott upon his return.  Or at least some beads…despite last week’s enviro groups reports that they are made from hazardous chemicals.

In case you missed it yesterday morning or were still hung over from the Eagles concert at Verizon on Saturday, Platts Energy Week focused a segment of its show on BrightSource Energy’s recently unveiled Ivanpah project.  My friend Joseph Desmond discussed the competitiveness of utility-scale solar energy.  Other segments featured AAR’s Ed Hamberger discussing the recent DOT rail safety agreement and Norway CCS experts.

This week is 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.

In Washington, besides another spat of snow that closed the government, votes in the House on legislation aimed at streamlining environmental regulations on EPA rules for greenhouse gas emissions, environmental reviews under NEPA and permitting for coalmines, as well as legislation aimed at addressing severe propane shortages in the Midwest.  Also, there is a slate of hearings on Transportation issues this week including MAP-21 and shipping regs, as well as a redo of the postponed Senate Commerce hearing on regulatory questions on the transportation of crude oil, Thursday. And speaking of mining, natural gas and energy, BHP’s MacKenzie will also address CSIS on Thursday.

Finally, get your low flow toilets ready because humorist/author/columnist Dave Barry will be at the National Press Club on Thursday at 1:00 hawking his new book “You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About.” I worked closely with Dave on one of his signature issues, the battle over low-flow toilets when I was working for Michigan Rep. Joe Knollenberg in the mid-1990s.

Speaking of books and spring training, our friend and AP reporter Fred Frommer, who in his spare time is an expert baseball historian, will be signing copies of his newest book “You Gotta Have Heart” tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the MLK Library on 9th and G Streets, NW.  The book is a history of baseball in Washington from 1859 to 2012.

 

Call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

EPA Issues Tier 3 Fuel Rule – EPA released its final “Tier 3” rule setting new emission standards for sulfur in gasoline and vehicles. Refiners will have to cut sulfur in gasoline from 30 parts per million to 10 ppm in 2017, which will allow vehicle emission controls to work more efficiently.  EPA projects health-related benefits will be $6.7 billion to $19 billion annually by 2030, and the standards will provide $13 in benefits for every dollar spent meeting them.

On the Call – Along with EPA’s Gina McCarthy, the usual suspects joined her in praise of the rule.  The American Lung Assn President Harold Wimmer praised the rule, but also issued a warning they would not accept any more backsliding, especially on the implementation timeline.  NACAA Co-President Tad Aburn also praised the rule and states’ ability to implement it.  Finally, one interesting guest was GM’s Mike Robinson, who praised the rules saying EPA has harmonized state/federal emission requirements for new vehicles, a key cost efficiency.  He added that provisions for lower sulfur with help the auto industry meet lower emissions standards with the new technologies they are adding to new vehicles and well as allowing them to optimize these technologies through current in-use fuels.  Funny how the auto companies like rules where the bulk of the cost is on the fuel.

Refiners Respond – Refiners responded saying EPA’s decision to move forward on Tier 3 is yet the most recent example of the agency’s propensity for illogical and counterproductive rulemaking. AFPM’s Charlie Drevna said Tier 3 rules “not only lacks scientific justification, but in fact will lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions due to the greater energy-intense refining process required to reduce sulfur in gasoline.”  He said to date, refiners have achieved a 90% reduction in sulfur levels and the nation’s energy-related emissions are at their lowest level since 1994 according to EPA data.  Drevna: “Tier 3 will provide little, if any, benefit, while increasing fuel manufacturing costs on the backs of American consumers.  API’s Bob Greco echoed Drevnas’s comments and added they are also concerned about the timeline of EPA’s new rule. Greco: “The rushed timeframe leaves little opportunity for refiners to design, engineer, permit, construct, start up, and integrate the new machinery required. This accelerated implementation only adds costs and potentially limits our industry’s ability to supply gasoline to consumers.”

Enviros Praise Rule – Enviro groups universally praised the rule including NRDC, Sierra Club and several others.  My friend Frank O’Donnell, President of Clean Air Watch this is a great day for the breathing public.  “This could prove to be the signature clean-air accomplishment of the entire Obama second term,” he said.

Klesse to Retire at Valero, Gorder to Take CEO Spot – Speaking of refiners, Valero said CEO Bill Klesse will step down effective May 1. Klesse will remain a Valero director and Chairman of the Board.  Joe Gorder, 56, who was named Valero’s President and Chief Operating Officer in 2012, was elected to the role of CEO effective May 1 and has also been elected a director by the Board of Directors. Gorder will join Valero’s Board of Directors immediately.  Klesse became CEO in 2005 and was named Chairman of the Board in 2007. He has spent his entire 45-year career with Valero and its predecessor companies.  In addition to his current position, Gorder previously held positions at Valero including Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer and President of Valero Europe; Executive Vice President-Marketing and Supply; and Senior Vice President for Corporate Development and Strategic Planning. Joe has been with Valero and its predecessors for 27 years.

NuStar Asphalt Becomes Axeon – Axeon Specialty Products LLC launched last week as a new petroleum products company serving the entire East Coast.  Formerly known as NuStar Asphalt LLC, the San Antonio-based company has a proven track record of making high-performance, cost-effective modified asphalts and warm mix products.  Axeon SP provides an array of petroleum-related specialty products through its refineries and network of company-owned and leased terminals, along with robust and comprehensive technical support services.  Axeon SP intends to make new, substantial investments in the future of its operations in Paulsboro, NJ, where the company provides more than 100 high-skilled, quality jobs.  The Paulsboro facility consists of two petroleum refining units, a liquid storage terminal for petroleum and chemical products, three marine docks, rail offloading capacity, a polymer modified asphalt (PMA) production facility and a testing laboratory.  The storage facility has a capacity of 4.1 million barrels.   Axeon SP also owns and operates a terminal facility in Savannah, GA, which currently provides an additional 24 jobs and has rail offloading capacity and a 1.2 million barrel storage capacity.  Additionally, the Savannah facility houses a fully functional refinery.  Axeon SP is wholly owned by New York-based private investment firm, Lindsay Goldberg, which previously owned a 50 percent stake in the company with NuStar Energy LP.  Originally part of the CITGO Asphalt Refining Company, Axeon SP has a proud industry lineage.

UD Rolls Out New Offshore Wind Center – The University of Delaware will steer the way toward making offshore wind turbines a reality in the United States through a new initiative it announced last week at a major offshore wind industry conference. The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind, housed at the University’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, will serve as an independent catalyst for offshore wind development and add momentum to a promising industry that is at a critical juncture.  The independent, objective and non-commercial offshore wind program, supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is designed to advance the U.S. offshore wind industry, drawing together critical information on cutting-edge technologies, financing and collaboration opportunities. The University of Delaware is uniquely positioned to take on such as role given its long history of advancing offshore wind through policy analysis, research, public testimony and industrial partnerships.  For example, in 2010 UD and Gamesa Technology Corporation joined forces to install a utilityscale 2-megawatt coastal wind turbine at the University’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del., allowing the company to test the turbine in a coastal environment and students to conduct training and research on an industrial-scale turbine.  The Initiative will connect states with international experts, especially in Europe where more than 2,000 wind turbines are now installed and grid connected in eleven countries. The resource will provide technological, financial and strategic advice to all states exploring offshore wind and help advance customized policy models.  The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind received seed funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which has been a significant proponent of offshore wind efforts. The program will work with national and international experts in offshore wind, industry participants, NGOs and state and federal policy-makers. While housed at the University of Delaware, the Initiative is national in scope and already is playing a key role in major projects to harness the vast East Coast and Great Lakes wind resources.

EIA launches Coal Data Browser – The EIA launched an interactive, online Coal Data Browser  that brings together in a single tool comprehensive government information, statistics, and visualizations about the U.S. coal sector.  The Coal Data Browser gives users easy access to a vast array of coal information from EIA’s electricity and coal surveys. The browser also allows users to dig through data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration and through coal trade information from the U.S. Census Bureau.

EESI Selected as Non-Profit Partner by Juice Co – Congrats to our friends at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) which was selected by Suja Juice Co. as one of the 12 nonprofit partners featured in the Suja Elements Cause Collective™ program. The Elements Cause Collective program seeks to raise $1 million annually for nonprofit organizations whose goals strongly appeal to Suja’s core values. The funds will be raised through the sale of Suja Juice’s ‘Elements’ line of juices and smoothies, with each of the designated nonprofits paired to a particular flavor. Among the 11 other nonprofits benefiting from the program are Healthy Child Healthy World, International Rescue Committee, and Oceana.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Shale Gas in Azerbaijan – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host tomorrow featuring Vitaliy Baylarbayov, Deputy Vice-President for Investment and Marketing of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), to discuss the development of the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea. Stage 2 of the development, agreed upon by the project consortium in December 2013, forms the foundation for plans to develop and expand pipeline capacity through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and Italy, establishing what many are calling a new Southern Gas Corridor in Europe. Dr. Baylarbayov, who played an integral role in concluding the final investment decision on the next stage of development and the pipeline discussions, will discuss the future of Azerbaijani gas and the significance of the Southern Gas Corridor. Elizabeth Urbanas, Director of the Office of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy, and Robin West, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will provide comments. Edward Chow, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

House Tranpo Panel to Look at Shipping Fleet Emissions – A panel of the House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to look at the impact that recent environmental regulatory actions may have on the country’s shipping fleets.  Witnesses will include Rear Adm. Joseph Servidio, assistant commandant for prevention policy for the U.S. Coast Guard; Michael Shapiro, principal deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Water at EPA; Chris Grundler, director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality in the Office of Air and Radiation at EPA; Thomas Allegretti, president of the American Waterways Operators; Kathy Metcalf, director of maritime affairs for the Chamber of Shipping of America; James Roussos, vice president of boat operations for LaMonica Fine Food LLC; Rod Jones, CEO of the CSL Group and Bill Terry, CEO of Eagle Rock Aggregates.

Solar Webinar to Address DOE Facilities – The Solar Energy Industries Association and DOE will hold a webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. using DOE’s newest facilities. This webinar will examine six new facilities that specialize in photovoltaic validation, testing and monitoring. Energy Department participants include Steve Chalk, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy, and Lidija Sekaric, Program Manager for the SunShot Initiative.

DOE Solar Seminar to Look at Installations – At 3:00 p.m. the same day, the DOE will present a live webinar titled “Adding Solar to Your Building Portfolio.”  Several Better Buildings Challenge partners are incorporating solar power into their portfolio energy strategy as the technology becomes more efficient and affordable. The Dysart Unified School District in Arizona is nearing its goal of powering its buildings entirely by solar energy. MGM Resorts International is installing solar at the famous Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The Denver Housing Authority is adding solar to multifamily housing such as apartments and condominiums.  Join these partners as they share lessons learned and best practices on going solar.

Symposium Looks at Global Implications of Enhanced Oil Recovery – On Wednesday, Mississippi will welcome state and national leaders to discuss enhanced oil recovery through carbon capture and utilization.  Hosts include the Institute for 21st Century Energy, Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, Southern States Energy Board, North American Carbon Capture & Storage Association and the Mississippi Energy Institute.  The Symposium will be at the Jackson Marriott Hotel.  Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant will provide welcoming remarks to be followed by several guest speakers and panelists throughout the day.

Forum to Look at Future Electric Power Systems – The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), in collaboration with the Energy Future Coalition and the Enel Group, will be holding a panel discussion on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. looking at the future of electric power systems. Electricity systems in the United States and Europe are facing unprecedented challenges. Flattening demand for electricity, rapid adoption of energy efficiency measures, and significant expansions of renewable energy generation are fundamentally altering traditional dynamics. Consumers are beginning to demand new relationships with their utilities, and technological advances are empowering smarter energy use. Simultaneously, utilities are set to become the largest consumers of information technology services.  On both sides of the Atlantic, these trends are already sparking considerable innovation. Europe is quickly becoming a hotbed for renewable energy support policies and collaborative regional approaches to new network investments. In the United States, there has been particular success in developing regional markets for reserve capacity and ancillary services in which demand-side management could also actively participate. While significant advancements are being made, further collaborative engagement amongst utilities, regulators, policymakers, investors, and consumers will be necessary for maintaining reliability, security, and affordability during this transition.

House Transpo Panel to Start MAP-21 Review – A House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee panel will hold a hearing on Wednesday looking at the role public-private partnerships can play in transportation projects. Witnesses will include CBO’s Joseph Kile, Texas DOT head James Bass, Phillip Washington of the Regional Transportation District and Fluor’s Richard Fierce on behalf of the Associated General Contractors of America.

House Energy to Continue Hearing Series on Energy – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m. the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold part two of the hearing series started last week on energy issues and improving fuel supple and infrastructure.  Witnesses will include Association of American Railroads President Edward Hamberger; National Propane Gas Association President Richard Roldan; Interstate Natural Gas Association of America President Donald Santa; Energy Information Administration chief Adam Sieminski; Association of Oil Pipe Lines President Andrew Black; Shorty Whittington, representing the American Trucking Associations and the National Tank Truck Carriers; Andrew Logan, director of oil and gas at CERES; and World Resources Institute Senior Associate Michael Obeiter.

BHP CEO to Discuss Future Energy Needs – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a conversation on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. with Andrew Mackenzie, CEO of BHP Billiton, to discuss how the world can meet the demand for resources as 1.7 billion people gain access to electricity over the next 20 years and energy demand grows by 30%. With a portfolio spanning steel making materials, metals, energy and fertilizer BHP Billiton is the world’s largest diversified resources company and the only firm to produce oil, gas, coal and uranium as well as the metals used in renewables like copper. Headquartered in Australia, the company has operations in 26 countries and a workforce of approximately 128,000 people.  Andrew Mackenzie was appointed Chief Executive Officer of BHP Billiton in May 2013. He has had over 30 years’ experience in oil and gas, petrochemicals and minerals and has held a number of senior roles at BP and Rio Tinto.

Senate Banking to Hear from Transpo Unions – The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Thursday will take up transportation reauthorization on Thursday. The hearing will focus on public transportation and hear from union and transit leaders. Witnesses will include Utah House Majority Whip Gregory Hughes, Michael Melaniphy of the American Public Transportation Association, Community Transportation Association of America Board President Barbara Cline and Larry Hanley, international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

Senate Panel to Look at Crude Transport – A Senate Commerce subpanel will hold a hearing Thursday on regulatory questions surrounding the successful transportation of both people and crude oil.  The hearing in the surface transport subpanel was postponed from its original date by previous snowy weather in the capital.  The hearing will include will include representatives from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Association of America Railroads, as well as the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

Dave Barry to Speak at Press Club – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., my friend and Pulitzer Prize winner/New York Times–bestselling author Dave Barry will be at the National Press Club to discuss his new book “You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About.” A book signing will follow the discussion.  In uproarious, brand-new pieces, Barry tackles everything from family trips, bat mitzvah parties and dating (he’s serious about that title: “When my daughter can legally commence dating—February 24, 2040—I intend to monitor her closely, even if I am deceased”) to funeral instructions (“I would like my eulogy to be given by William Shatner”), the differences between male and female friendships, the deeper meaning of Fifty Shades of Grey, and a father’s ultimate sacrifice: accompanying his daughter to a Justin Bieber concert (“It turns out that the noise teenaged girls make to express happiness is the same noise they would make if their feet were being gnawed off by badgers”).   I worked closely with Dave on one of his signature issues, the battle over low-flow toilets.

Enviro Attorneys to Discuss GHG Case – EESI will hold a briefing on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in SVC 209 looking at last week’s Supreme Court case, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is considering whether the EPA’s authority to regulate the greenhouse gas emissions of new motor vehicles also extends to stationary sources, such as existing power plants. The case is the result of six separate challenges to EPA authority from industry groups and 12 states. On February 24, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the consolidated case.  This briefing will examine the arguments brought forth on February 24 and what can be derived from the line of questioning by the Justices. What is and is not at stake in this case, and what are the potential outcomes of the Court’s decision? What does the relatively narrow focus of the case, despite a much broader challenge, mean for future judicial challenges to EPA’s regulatory authority concerning greenhouse gases?  Speakers for this forum are Michael B. Gerrard of the Columbia Law School’s Center for Climate Change Law and former NRDC attorney Amanda Leiter of American University’s Washington College of Law.

DOT Rail Meeting Expected to Touch New Agreement – The Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC) will hold its semi- annual public meeting on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Established by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) of the Department of Transportation in 2007, RETAC serves as a forum for government, industry and others to discuss emerging issues in the transportation by rail of biofuels, conventional hydrocarbons and coal. Its 25 voting members span across large and small railroads, coal producers, electric utilities, the biofuels industry, the petroleum industry and the private railcar industry.  Following last week announcement by AAR and DOT, there will likely be more interest in this meeting.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

RFF to Look at Stanford Public Climate Polling – On Tuesday, March 11th at 10:30 a.m., RFF and Stanford will present additional results from the survey and provide an in-depth discussion on what this could mean for climate policy in the United States. This event will not only offer information on American’s views as a whole but, equally important, it will also explain how these issues are viewed on a state-by-state basis. Read more about the poll here.  A recent poll by Resources for the Future (RFF), Stanford University, and USA Today reveals American’s attitudes on climate change and issues such as clean energy, power plant emissions, and energy subsidies, to name a few. Some of the survey results were previously released by USA Today regarding climate change and the Keystone pipeline. Jon Krosnick, RFF University Fellow and Frederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences at Stanford University will join RFF President Phil Sharp to discuss the study.

Forum to Look at Population, Climate Adaption – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a discussion on Tuesday, March 11th at 12:00 p.m. with Monica Das Gupta and Kathleen Mogelgaard as they explore these co-benefits and strategies to integrate them into climate change responses.  Often lacking from high-level discussions on climate change adaptation and mitigation is the inevitable role that rapid population growth plays in exacerbating vulnerability in developing countries. As Monica Das Gupta noted in her recent report, Population, Poverty, and Climate Change, “it is estimated that the effect of a 40 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per capita in developed countries between 2000 and 2050 would be entirely offset by the increase in emissions attributable to expected population growth in poorer countries over this period.” As communities grapple with the effects of climate change, there is a growing movement pointing to the multiple co-benefits that could emerge from policy interventions targeted at reducing fertility through voluntary access to family planning.

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

SoCo Expert to Speak at Forum on Transmission in SE Region – The Energy Future Coalition will be hosting a webinar for its Americans for a Clean Energy Grid initiative, on Thursday, March 13th at 3:00 p.m. The webinar topic will be Transmission in the Southeast. The event will feature John Lucas, GM of Transmission Policy and Services, Southern Company; and Frank Rambo, Senior Attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. The driver behind the webinars is to follow-up/update to our in-person Regional Transmission Summits that we’ve been hosting around the country for the last few years, and the content of them will be discussion of hot-button transmission issues in the region, whether that be landowner compensation, siting, cost allocation, planning, or many other ones.

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.

AWEA Announces Siting Seminar – Following a weather postponement, the AWEA Project Siting Seminar has been rescheduled for March 19 and 20th in New Orleans at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.  The program will be a dedicated siting program that hones in on the latest strategies and information to effectively minimize siting and permitting risks while maximizing energy output.  Keynote Speaker will be USFWS Director Dan Ashe.

MD PSC Head to Address Energy Breakfast – ICF International will hold its March Morning Energy Breakfast on March 20th at the National Press Club , featuring Maryland Public Service Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman.  Backman will address the multiplicity of challenges confronting state regulators—and Maryland in particular—in the face of a changing utility sector. Discussion topics also include today’s critical issues affecting the electricity and gas industry that state regulators need to approve before key changes can take place.

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.

Chamber Women in Business Summit to Look at Challenges, Leadership – The US Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Women in Business will hold its 3rd annual summit on March 27th at the Chamber to celebrate the successes of businesswomen around the country while also discussing their unique challenges.  The summit will address the importance of finding supportive and reliable networks necessary for success, as well the common roadblocks that women face in accessing and using capital—one of the most common reasons why women’s business dreams lag in comparison to men’s.   Speakers will include Schnitzer Steel CEO Tamara Lundgren, Barnard College President Debora Spar and Kat Cole of Cinnabon, among many others.

Energy Bar Conference to Focus on Secure Energy – The Energy Bar Association will hold Its Annual Meeting & Conference on April 8th and 9th in Washington.  The conference will focus on the challenges of generating and delivering energy securely.

Center for Offshore Safety Holds Forum – On April 9th and 10th, the Center for Offshore Safety will hold its 2nd annual safety forum in Houston at the Westin Memorial City.  The Center is focused on promoting the highest levels of safety and environmental protection for offshore drilling, completions and production operations in deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The forum’s agenda has been created to provide an update on progress made by the Center and its cross-industry work groups. The agenda is complemented by interactive panel sessions regarding SEMS implementation and industry, auditor and regulator experiences with the recent SEMS audits. Additionally, senior leadership from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and U.S. Coast Guard will provide keynote presentations. The forum is an excellent opportunity to gain an insight and understanding of SEMS, SEMS implementation, SEMS auditing and the work being undertaken by the COS.

Energy Update Week of February 24

Friends,

The Olympics ended yesterday with a flurry, and the games were a success.  The games delivered many excellent moments without many of the problems that critics expected or worried about.  The US won lots of gold medals in many of the non-traditional Winter Olympic events (the new “X” Games- type events), but we also still won several medals in the Bobsled/luge/skeleton events and several great downhill skiing medals.

Other than the US Speedskating performance (which is usually a strong suit of USA, perhaps most disappointing were the final play of the Olympic hockey tournament.  While the preliminary rounds were fabulous, the medal games were pretty boring, grinding games.  Nothing against the Canadians, who smothered both the US in the semi and Sweden in the final, but it just wasn’t very exciting hockey.  In fact, it reminded me a lot of a late Stanley Cup Final game, with four lines of the best players, the league’s best “shut-down” defensemen and great goaltending.  A definite recipe for success.  Another big item note to be overlooked in the final was Sweden’s loss of great puck-possession centers Henrik Zetterberg and Henrik Sendin, as well big body presence of Johan Franzen.  As well, the IOC once again stuck it foot in its mouth by preventing  Caps star center Nicklas Backstrom from playing because of a game day allergy-medicine drug-test failure.    Something has to be done about this continued overreach, which cost Backstrom his Silver medal.   Anyway, now back to the NHL reality and a two-month run to the playoffs starting tomorrow.  2016 Summer games are next in Rio de Janeiro and 23rd Winter games in 2018 will be in PyeongChang, South Korea.

While it still is getting colder again in most of the country, remember that players are reporting to spring training and games start this weekend.  Finally, I hope you watched the World Golf Championship Accenture Matchplay tournament.  In the final, which went into extra holes, there was some of the most unbelievable shotmaking from terrible lies ever by French unknown Victor Dubuisson.  Even the commentators, former professional golf ears themselves had never seen such incredible play under pressure.  Jason Day eventually won on the 23rd hole.

Following on last week’s rumors, long-time Michigan Democratic Rep. John Dingell will not seek reelection.  Dingell is the longest serving lawmaker in congressional history and was one of the most powerful members of Congress ever.  Dingell replaced his father in the House some 58 years ago and served 29 terms helping to pass — if not write — the most iconic pieces of legislation of the last six decades, from the Civil Rights Act and Medicare to the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act and, in 2010, the Affordable Care Act.  See the local, excellent coverage from our friends at the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News.

Today, besides the nation’s governors being in town for a conference, the Supreme Court tackles oral arguments regarding EPA’s first-ever greenhouse gas regulations for the biggest polluting facilities.  The case focuses on a 3-year-old requirement that companies get permits anytime they construct new plants or modify existing ones that will emit a lot of greenhouse gases.  My colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA Air Administrator, says the case is narrow and wont much of an impact ability to regulate carbon emissions.

Also launching today, the ARPA-E’s Energy Innovation Summit launches with comments from Waste Management Recycle America head Bill Caesar today.  Tomorrow, NRG Energy CEO David Crane, Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz and White House Policy guru John Podesta are on the agenda.

Also tomorrow at 3:30, the University of Delaware and Rockefeller Brothers will announce a major initiative at an offshore wind conference in Boston.   The project is expected to push offshore wind throughout the east coast, connecting critical information on cutting-edge technologies, financing and collaboration opportunities.  More on this tomorrow.

Next week is CERA Week in Houston, so get ready for that big event.  Call with questions.

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Southern Plant Signs Loan Guarantee for Nukes – Following a speech at the National Press Club last week, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz then traveled to Georgia to join Southern Company leaders in a ceremony that announced Georgia Power has secured approximately $3.46 billion in loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE.  The ceremony was at the site of the Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4, the nuclear expansion project. The nuclear loan guarantees are expected to provide Georgia Power customers approximately $225 million to $250 million of present-value benefits.  The two new nuclear units are under construction at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Ga., where two existing nuclear units have been in operation since the late 1980s.

What is Southern Building at Vogtle – The new units will use state-of-the-art AP1000 technology and are among the first new nuclear units being built in the U.S. in 30 years. The addition of the new units will make Plant Vogtle the only four-unit nuclear facility in the country.   Under the terms of the agreement, total guaranteed borrowings will be the lesser of 70% of the company’s eligible projected costs or approximately $3.46 billion and will be funded by the Federal Financing Bank. Georgia Power received an initial draw of $1 billion and future draws may occur as often as quarterly. The loan guarantees apply to borrowings related to the construction of Vogtle units 3 and 4, and any guaranteed borrowings will be full recourse to Georgia Power and secured by a first priority lien on the company’s 45.7% ownership interest in the two new units.  Along with Georgia Power’s portion of the two 1,100-megawatt reactors, the remaining ownership is split among Oglethorpe Power Corporation, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power) and Dalton Utilities. Georgia Power’s share of costs is currently projected at approximately $6.8 billion, which includes approximately $2 billion of financing costs to be collected during construction.

What the Construction Means to Georgia – The construction of Vogtle units 3 and 4 represents a multi-billion dollar capital investment in Georgia. It is the largest job-producing project in the state, employing approximately 5,000 people during peak construction and creating 800 permanent jobs when the plant begins operating. Georgia Power is in a position to provide customers approximately $2 billion in potential benefits in the form of savings related to recovery of financing costs during construction, DOE loan guarantees, production tax credits, lower-than-forecast interest rates and lower-than-forecast commodity costs. Once complete, the new facility will produce enough clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity to power 500,000 Georgia homes and businesses.

When Will Vogtle Be Done – Vogtle units 3 and 4 are expected to begin commercial operation in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Positive progress continues on the facility and major milestones are being met. Procurement of all major components is complete and fabrication and delivery of these components are on track to meet project needs.

Study: Wind Turbines Effective For 25 Years – A new study by the Imperial College Business School in the U.K. says that wind turbines can last about 25 years before requiring an upgrade, going against a common claim that wind turbines have short life spans. Based on an examination of wind turbines in the U.K., researchers carried out a comprehensive nationwide analysis of the UK fleet of wind turbines, using local wind speed data from NASA. They showed that the turbines will last their full life of about 25 years before they need to be upgraded. The team found that the UK’s earliest turbines, built in the 1990s, are still producing three-quarters of their original output after 19 years of operation, nearly twice the amount previously claimed, and will operate effectively up to 25 years. This is comparable to the performance of gas turbines used in power stations.

Freight Railroads, DOT Announce Rail Safety Initiative – The nation’s major freight railroads U.S. Department of Transportation rolled out a rail operations safety initiative that will institute new voluntary operating practices for moving crude oil by rail.  The announcement follows consultations between railroads represented by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), including the leadership of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).  The announcement today covers steps related to crude by rail operations. Additional issues relating to the safe transport of crude oil, such as tank car standards and proper shipper classification of crude oil, are being addressed separately.

Railroads will Take Key Steps – Under the industry’s voluntary efforts, railroads will take the following steps: 1) Increased Track Inspections – Effective March 25, railroads will perform at least one additional internal-rail inspection each year above those required by new FRA regulations on main line routes over which trains moving 20 or more carloads of crude oil travel.  Railroads will also conduct at least two high-tech track geometry inspections each year on main line routes over which trains with 20 or more loaded cars of crude oil are moving.  Current federal regulations do not require comprehensive track geometry inspections.  2) Braking Systems – No later than April 1, railroads will equip all trains with 20 or more carloads of crude oil with either distributed power or two-way telemetry end-of-train devices. These technologies allow train crews to apply emergency brakes from both ends of the train in order to stop the train faster. 3) Use of Rail Traffic Routing Technology – No later than July 1, railroads will begin using the Rail Corridor Risk Management System (RCRMS) to aid in the determination of the safest and most secure rail routes for trains with 20 or more cars of crude oil. 4) Lower Speeds – No later than July 1, railroads will operate trains with 20 or more tank cars carrying crude oil that include at least one older DOT-111 car no faster than 40 miles-per-hour in the federally designated 46 high-threat-urban areas (HTUA) as established by DHS regulations.  In the meantime, railroads will continue to operate trains with 20 or more carloads of hazardous materials, including crude oil, at the industry self-imposed speed limit of 50 miles per hour.  5) Community Relations – Railroads will continue to work with communities through which crude oil trains move to address location-specific concerns that communities may have.  6) Increased Trackside Safety Technology – No later than July 1, railroads will begin installing additional wayside wheel bearing detectors if they are not already in place every 40 miles along tracks with trains carrying 20 or more crude oil cars, as other safety factors allow.  7) Increased Emergency Response Training and Tuition Assistance – Railroads have committed by July 1 to provide $5 million to develop specialized crude by rail training and tuition assistance program for local first responders.  8) Emergency Response Capability Planning – Railroads will by July 1 develop an inventory of emergency response resources for responding to the release of large amounts of crude oil along routes over which trains with 20 or more cars of crude oil operate.  This inventory will include locations for the staging of emergency response equipment and, where appropriate, contacts for the notification of communities.  When the inventory is completed, railroads will provide DOT with information on the deployment of the resources and make the information available upon request to appropriate emergency responders.

API Says Import Crude Lowest in 17 Years – Late last week, API said the United States imported less crude oil in January than at any time since the late 1990s, among many other things as it released it January statistics.  They said crude oil imports of 7.5 million barrels per day marked a 5.2% decline year-on-year and the lowest level in 17 years, attributing the decline to higher domestic crude oil production.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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 today through Wednesday 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 today through Wednesday 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   Today 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 –Following today arguments, the environmental Law Institute and DC Bar Association will host a debrief of the Supreme Court’s Oral Argument on EPA’s GHG Rulemakings at noon.  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 tomorrow 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 – The George C. Marshall Institute will host a panel discussion tomorrow 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.

CSIS to look at China, Energy — The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum tomorrow 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 tomorrow  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.

Offshore Wind Conference in Boston Set – The 5th annual Green Power Offshore Wind Conference will be held in Boston, Massachusetts Wednesday and Thursday at the Hynes Conference Center.  Speakers will include AWC technical expert Bill Wall, as well as 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.   The University of Delaware is also expected to make a major announcement about a new center on Tuesday afternoon.

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

CSIS to Discuss Unconventional Shale – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will hold a forum on Thursday 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.

GWU Forum looks at Climate, Sustainability George Washington University’s Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia (PISA) will hold a discussion on Thursday 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.

Forum to Address Building Resilience – EESI will host a briefing on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. I the Senate Visitor Center Room 203 looking at the emerging public-policy issue of resiliency. There is a growing, bipartisan call for urgent action to improve the resiliency of cities, communities and critical systems. Thousands of homes, buildings and other infrastructure have been damaged or completely destroyed by powerful hurricanes, tornadoes and floods in recent years. The severe drought in the Southwest is wreaking havoc in other ways and prompting widespread restrictions on water use.  Is it possible to have “strong” and “green” buildings that withstand hurricane-force winds, conserve energy and water, and remain operational during a power outage? If model building codes help ensure minimum levels of quality, health, safety and energy efficiency in new homes and buildings, why are there so many communities without basic building codes? How can we improve our existing buildings? In this briefing, experts in architecture and building science, risk management, and energy policy will address these and other questions as well as related pending legislation, community initiatives, and tangible strategies and solutions for improving the resilience of our buildings. Speakers will include Debra Ballen of Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), Cooper Martin of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Ryan Meres of the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and Jake Oster, Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for VT Rep. Peter Welch.

Interior Sects, former WY Gov. Headline CO Law Forum – The University of Colorado Law School will host the inaugural Martz Winter Symposium on Thursday and Friday 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 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, 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.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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.

Forum to Look at Shale Gas in Azerbaijan – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host on Tuesday March 4th featuring Vitaliy Baylarbayov, Deputy Vice-President for Investment and Marketing of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), to discuss the development of the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea. Stage 2 of the development, agreed upon by the project consortium in December 2013, forms the foundation for plans to develop and expand pipeline capacity through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and Italy, establishing what many are calling a new Southern Gas Corridor in Europe. Dr. Baylarbayov, who played an integral role in concluding the final investment decision on the next stage of development and the pipeline discussions, will discuss the future of Azerbaijani gas and the significance of the Southern Gas Corridor. Elizabeth Urbanas, Director of the Office of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy, and Robin West, Senior Adviser with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will provide comments. Edward Chow, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

BHP CEO to Discuss Future Energy Needs – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a conversation on Thursday March 6th at 10:00 a.m. with Andrew Mackenzie, CEO of BHP Billiton, to discuss how the world can meet the demand for resources as 1.7 billion people gain access to electricity over the next 20 years and energy demand grows by 30%. With a portfolio spanning steel making materials, metals, energy and fertilizer BHP Billiton is the world’s largest diversified resources company and the only firm to produce oil, gas, coal and uranium as well as the metals used in renewables like copper. Headquartered in Australia, the company has operations in 26 countries and a workforce of approximately 128,000 people.  Andrew Mackenzie was appointed Chief Executive Officer of BHP Billiton in May 2013. He has had over 30 years’ experience in oil and gas, petrochemicals and minerals and has held a number of senior roles at BP and Rio Tinto.

DOT Rail Meeting Expected to Touch New Agreement – The Rail Energy Transportation Advisory Committee (RETAC) will hold its semi- annual public meeting on March 6 in Washington, D.C. Established by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) of the Department of Transportation in 2007, RETAC serves as a forum for government, industry and others to discuss emerging issues in the transportation by rail of biofuels, conventional hydrocarbons and coal. Its 25 voting members span across large and small railroads, coal producers, electric utilities, the biofuels industry, the petroleum industry and the private railcar industry.  Following last week announcement by AAR and DOT, there will Likely be more interest in this meeting.

WAPA to Host Gala – The Washington Automotive Press Assn will hold 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.

AWEA Announces Siting Seminar – Following a weather postponement, the AWEA Project Siting Seminar has been rescheduled for March 19 and 20th in New Orleans at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.  The program will be a dedicated siting program that hones in on the latest strategies and information to effectively minimize siting and permitting risks while maximizing energy output.  Keynote Speaker will be USFWS Director Dan Ashe.

MD PSC Head to Address Energy Breakfast – ICF International will hold its March Morning Energy Breakfast on March 20th at the National Press Club , featuring Maryland Public Service Commissioner Kelly Speakes-Backman.  Backman will address the multiplicity of challenges confronting state regulators—and Maryland in particular—in the face of a changing utility sector. Discussion topics also include today’s critical issues affecting the electricity and gas industry that state regulators need to approve before key changes can take place.

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.

Center for Offshore Safety Holds Forum – On April 9th and 10th, the Center for Offshore Safety will hold its 2nd annual safety forum in Houston at the Westin Memorial City.  The Center is focused on promoting the highest levels of safety and environmental protection for offshore drilling, completions and production operations in deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The forum’s agenda has been created to provide an update on progress made by the Center and its cross-industry work groups. The agenda is complemented by interactive panel sessions regarding SEMS implementation and industry, auditor and regulator experiences with the recent SEMS audits. Additionally, senior leadership from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and U.S. Coast Guard will provide keynote presentations. The forum is an excellent opportunity to gain an insight and understanding of SEMS, SEMS implementation, SEMS auditing and the work being undertaken by the COS.

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 December 2

Friends,

I hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving/Hanukkah Holiday.  I came out of a turkey coma just in time to see some great football on Friday and Saturday.  On Friday night, I was on the field for the Maryland State 4A Semifinal as the game’s back judge and while it was cold, I stayed warm by running nonstop.  The score of the game was 35-30 and that was just halftime.  We ended up two 93-yd TD runs and 13 more plays of over 50 yards with both teams effectively running spread offenses  (and tiring me out as the only guy back there.)

My game Friday was clearly outdone by the two Saturday classics at the Big House and in the Iron Bowl.  Michigan and Ohio State’s epic battle came down to M Coach Brady Hoke’s call to unsuccessfully go for two and the win in the final seconds, setting up an instant Big 10/M-OSU classic.  And boy are the Buckeyes glad they hung on to win after watching the evening Auburn-‘Bama game.  Wow!!!  Probably the most exciting end to a college football game EVER.

Then, I topped the weekend off with a full Sunday of lacrosse as my 10-year-old Olivia’s Crofton 5th/6th grade team smoked the entire field at the Fairfax Fall Brawl winning all six games comfortably en route to free “Champions” T-shirts and their picture on the Web and Facebook.

We slowly start back this week to begin the four-week roll to Christmas/New Years.  Not much Congressional action other than a few mark ups and a House Energy panel hearing on FERC’s role in the energy landscape on Thursday, but definitely some other good events to think about.

Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., CSIS will host IEA’s Fatih Birol to present the IEA’s 2013 World Energy Outlook 2013.  On Wednesday morning, WCEE will host a Women in Leadership Holiday breakfast featuring new FERC Acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur.

Also Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., I will host a Press Club Newsmaker with FBI agents that will discuss how sequestration’s mandated budget cuts are affecting daily FBI operations and hampering criminal and national security investigations.

Thursday, BPC’s Energy Project – along with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) – will host the second workshop on GHG power plant regulations focusing on the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts.   Finally, after opening its 60-day comment period Black Friday on its latest, controversial RFS proposal, EPA will hold a public hearing Thursday on the topic at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.  Look for the usual suspects.

And more on this next week, but for you energy geeks, next Tuesday, December 10th, Houston Mayor Annise Parker will make a luncheon speech at the National Press Club and the city’s energy renaissance will be among the items she will be discussing.  Bracewell’s PRG is hosting a table at the event.

Finally, today is three months to my daughter Hannah’s 16th Birthday.  Now, in Maryland at least, you know what that means.  Yes, I am getting the update out a little early today in order to pick her up from school and attempt to negotiate the Maryland DMV’s new driver/permit process.   Stay tuned for the details on this and other items at @FrankTalk19 and stay off the roads in the Annapolis area!!!!

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

 

IN THE NEWS

Congrats to Friends Making Media Moves – In case you hadn’t heard, major Congrats to our friends on the move in the press.  Coral Davenport, Ben Geman and Keith Johnson are all making moves to new outlets.  Coral is headed to fill the spot of John Broder at The New York Times, while Ben, who has been at The Hill what seems like forever, will take Coral’s place at National Journal.  Ben move comes on the heels of Zac Colman’s move from The Hill to The Washington Examiner.    Finally, longtime Wall Street Journal vet Johnson is moving over to Foreign Policy to cover geopolitics of energy.

Top Oil Companies Ranked, Shale Gains – Our friends at Energy Intelligence, the publishers of scribes like Oil Daily and Petroleum Intelligence Weekly have just released this year’s rankings of the world’s 50 largest oil companies. The ranking sees Russia’s Gazprom moving ahead of international majors Chevron and Total to eighth place, while Rosneft climbed three places and is poised to enter the top 10 following its acquisition of TNK-BP earlier this year. Saudi Aramco remains in the top spot, followed by Iran’s NIOC and Exxon Mobil.   This year’s rankings also demonstrate the impact of the US shale revolution for the first time, with a number of large US independents doing especially well due to their shale exposure. Anadarko jumped two spots to #44 and Apache rose one spot to #40. Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy broke into the Top 50 for the first time, ranking #47 and Devon Energy rose three places to #41. These companies have all managed to improve their performance despite low natural gas prices, write-downs of gas reserves and sales of assets as they refocused investment on higher-value liquids plays.   By contrast to the dynamic performance of some key national oil companies and US independents, the international majors are not keeping up. While Chevron and Total declined in the rankings, Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell stood still.  EI has produced an infographic of the report, which highlights some of news stories from the ranking.  The PIW Top 50 ranking has an unrivaled pedigree, having been executed annually for the last 25 years. The ranking is based on six operational criteria and, unlike other corporate ranking systems in this industry, it allows for comparisons of both national oil companies and private sector firms. These Top 50 companies represent over 70% of global oil production and fully two-thirds of global refined product sales, making these rankings truly comprehensive and global. The rankings are based on 2012 data, the latest annual figures available.

Report Cites Importance of “Loophole” in Shale Revolution – Speaking of Energy Intelligence, our friend Bill Murray has a new report out with his colleague Lauren Craft on the legislative genesis of the shale revolution.  The special report is focused on ‘Halliburton Loophole’ and its key role in spawning the current Shale Boom.  Murray and Craft argue that the technologies such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that are largely credited with clearing the path for the US unconventional gas revolution find their origins in language buried within a 551-page energy bill enacted in 2005 that limited EPA from regulating hydraulic fracturing under its underground injection control program.  This move spared oil and gas firms from red tape and litigation that would have likely occurred – even on private land – where shale gas has blossomed in recent years.  Craft and Murray say the provision would be very difficult to scrap now given the powerful role of shale in the forefront of our energy picture.  For copies or more info, Please feel free to contact Bill at bmurray@energyintel.com

IER Hits Wind PTC Issue – The Conservative anti-wind crusaders from the Institute for Energy Research said today in a new study that that 30 states and the District of Columbia are marking up net losses to fund the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and pour millions of their taxpayer dollars into the pockets of wind producers.   According to IER researchers, five U.S. states were net payers of more than $100 million in 2012, meaning that the burden of these states to pay for the wind Production Tax Credit surpassed the subsidy benefit received by producers in those states. Meanwhile, producers in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Iowa are being paid hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidy transfers from poorer states. On a regional basis, the Northeast and Southeast were the biggest net payers, subsidizing other areas with net losses of $591.8 million and $559.3 million, respectively.

Wind: Study Overlooks Manufacturing Benefit – The wind industry says the study is too narrow and doesn’t account for the broader positive impact of wind energy on the economy and the environment.   Wind is one of the most broadly dispersed energy sources, with manufacturing in 44 states now and turbines installed in 39 states plus Puerto Rico.  The wind industry currently employs 80,000 people across construction, development, engineering, operations with tens of thousands employed at 550 U.S. manufacturing facilities. A Navigant study said that extending the PTC will create an additional 17,000 new American jobs, boosting the manufacturing sector by one-third. In addition, U.S. wind investment will grow to $16.3 billion in 2016, and annual wind installations will be 8-10 GW through 2016.  On the environmental side, in 2012, the roughly 140 million MWh generated by wind energy avoided 79.9 million metric tons of CO2 – the equivalent of reducing power-sector CO2 emissions by 3.6%, or taking over 14 million cars off the road.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

DOE, NASEO to Discuss Energy Systems at Workshop – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and National Association of State Energy Officials, will host the 2013 Energy Assurance and Interdependency Workshop today at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC.  The purpose of the one and a half day workshop is to inform and educate participants on interconnected energy systems and their cascading impacts on other critical infrastructure and essential public services.    The workshop will feature a variety of scenarios and their immediate and long-term effects. The interactive workshop will also feature presentations and perspectives from industry owners and operators as well as public officials who are responsible for restoring life-line services after a catastrophic event.  State and local governments will have the opportunity to evaluate their energy emergency preparedness and energy assurance plans against potential energy emergency conditions.  Speakers will include ERCOT’s John Adams, DOE’s Pat Hoffman, and Judi Greenwald, CITGO’s Jack McCrossin and NASEO Executive Director David Terry.

NAS to Look at Markets, Clean Energy – The National Academy of Sciences will host a meeting on today at the Keck Center on market adoption of advanced energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.

IEA Head to Speak at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency to present the IEA’s 2013 World Energy tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.  The outlook presents a full update of energy projects through to 2035 and insights into what they mean for energy security, climate change, economic development, and universal access to modern energy services. Oil, coal, natural gas, renewables, and nuclear power are all covered, along with an update on developments for fossil fuels and renewable energy. This year, the World Energy Outlook also gives a special focus to topical energy sector issues including the implications for economic competitiveness of the changing energy map, oil supply, demand, and trade, and energy in Brazil. Sarah Ladislaw, Co-Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

NAS to Hold Seminar on EVs – The National Academies of Science will hold a forum tomorrow and Wednesday at its Keck Center on overcoming barriers to electric vehicle deployment.   Speakers will include MIT’s John Kassakian, NRC’s John Holmes, Russ Musgrove of FedEx and several auto dealers.

Heritage to Host Hillsdale College Author – The Heritage Foundation will hold a Book Event tomorrow at Noon for Hillsdale College author David J. Bobb on his new book, Humility An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue.  In our current age of arrogance, humility is associated with wimps and wallflowers not success. A culture of narcissism and a society of self-promoters has obscured our past, blinding us to the hidden strength of humility.  not success. A culture of narcissism and a society of self-promoters has obscured our past, blinding us to the hidden strength of humility.  David Bobb is Executive Director of Citizen Education for Hillsdale College and lecturer in politics. He is the Founding Director of two national centers for Hillsdale, the Washington, D.C.-based Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship and the Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence.

Forum to Look at German Move to Renewables – The Wharton Green Business Forum will hold at event tomorrow at the National Press Club’s McClendon Room at 12:30 p.m. to discuss Germany’s transition from traditional to renewable sources of energy this program, its costs, benefits and prospects, plus lessons for the U.S. and other nations.  Dr. Georg Maue, German First Secretary for Climate and Energy Policy, will speak.

LaFleur Headlines WCEE Breakfast – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. at the Cosmos Club for a Women in Leadership Holiday breakfast featuring FERC Commissioner Cheryl A. LaFleur.   LaFleur has an impressive resume and may be the next FERC Chair.  She will speak on a number of important energy issues over which FERC has authority as well as her career and offer insight on how she came to the important role she now plays.

Press Club to Host FBI Agents on Sequestration Impacts on Law Enforcement – The National Press Club’s Newsmakers Committee will host FBI agents on Wednesday to discuss how sequestration’s mandated budget cuts are affecting daily FBI operations and hampering criminal and national security investigations, as well as the risks associated with additional budget cuts and furloughs expected early next year.  Leaders of the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) will also update the group’s recent report Voices from the Field: FBI Agent Accounts of the Real Consequences of Budget Cuts. The report contains field reports from FBI Special Agents illustrating the impact of budget cuts on their work.  Speaking at the Newsmaker news conference will be FBIAA President Reynaldo Tariche and several active duty FBI agents from around the country.

RFF Seminar to Look at ESA, Species ConservationOn Wednesday at 12:45 p.m., Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold its December First Wednesday Seminar looking at the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) and species conservation.  ESA has provided a critical safety net for conserving the nation’s species in the 40 years since it was passed. However, effective implementation of the ESA remains a challenge in light of increasing threats to species; uncertainties about the pace, scope, and extent of environmental changes and their impacts on species; and limited resources for implementing species protection. Furthermore, the ESA traditionally has taken a species-by-species approach that constrains the ability to focus on the health of ecosystems and address complex threats that often unfold at the landscape scale. This RFF First Wednesday Seminar brings together diverse panelists to discuss strategies and opportunities for overcoming these challenges. Panelists will draw on examples of success and new strategies to suggest paths for increasing the effectiveness of ESA implementation going forward.  Panelists will include US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, Brad Gruver of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, EDF’s David Festa and Terry Fankhauser of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association.  National Wildlife Federation VP John Kostyack and former Interior official Lynn Scarlett of The Nature Conservancy will also provide comments.

JHU Forum To Hear From WRI Expert on Climate Risk – The Johns Hopkins Washington, DC Center will hold a forum on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. featuring Mark Trexler from the World Resources Institute.  Trexler will address climate risk management issues. Trexler joined the World Resources Institute’s nascent Climate, Energy and Pollution Program in 1988, and focused for many years on climate change mitigation options and strategies. He was a Lead Author for the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report, is widely published across mitigation and adaptation topics, and has worked with companies around the world on climate risk management efforts. He was Director of Climate Risk for the global risk management firm of Det Norske Veritas (DNV) from 2009 through 2012. His current work focuses on the application of knowledge management tools to the communication and management of climate risk. More information is available at his website.

Buick, WAPA to Host Ride, Drive – The Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA) and Buick will hold an end-of-the-year drive opportunity and the 2013 WAPA Holiday Reception at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown on Wednesday, starting at 2:00 p.m.  Vehicles include the Buick Regal, Regal GS, LaCrosse and Verano.

Annual SoCo Washington DC Holiday Event – Wednesday Night

EPA to Hold RFS Public Hearing – EPA will hold a public hearing Thursday on its proposed 2014 mandate for the renewable fuel standard program at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington. EPA announced recently that it plans to cut the amount of ethanol required to be blended into fuel.

CSIS to Host Clean Report Release – On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the CSIS Americas Program will host Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and Carrie McKellogg, Chief of Access to Basic Services & Green Growth at the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. The two will present Climatescope 2013, a new report, online tool, and data resource profiling clean energy market and investment conditions in 26 Latin American and Caribbean nations. Sarah Ladislaw, Co-Director and Senior Fellow at the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate the discussion.  Sponsored by the MIF and researched by BNEF, Climatescope assesses low-carbon energy markets from Mexico south within the western hemisphere. First released in 2012, it scores nations on their local conditions for attracting capital in support of clean energy development. Climatescope takes into account 39 data points encompassing a country’s enabling framework for clean energy investment, its history of clean energy investment and climate financing, its availability of low-carbon business and clean energy value chain segments, and its greenhouse gas management efforts. Zindler and McKellogg will discuss which countries scored highest in the Climatescope, which lagged behind, and why.

SEIA Webinar to Discuss Solar Integration – SEIA will hold a webinar on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. for a timely discussion on the recent regulatory changes for energy storage and how these changes will affect grid integration, solar energy expansion, and improvements to grid reliability. Both the FERC and CPUC have adopted new rules and procurement requirements to encourage energy storage as a resource, enhance power system operations, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.  FERC adopted these rule changes with the intent of fostering opportunities for energy storage technologies such as compressed air energy storage, regenerative fuel cells, batteries, superconducting magnetic energy storage, flywheels and thermal energy storage systems to participate in electricity markets and supply ancillary services to wholesale electric market participants and electric transmission providers.  CPUC adopted energy storage procurement requirements for the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities, retail electric suppliers and its community aggregators. The state’s investor-owned utilities will begin procuring energy storage assets or services in 2014.  The expert speakers will discuss these regulatory changes and implications from the regulatory, company, and technology perspective, including Joel Meister of Solar Grid Storage and Carrie Cullen Hitt of SEIA, among others.

BPC, NARUC to Hold 2nd Clean Air Act Workshop –Thursday, 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.  The event will also explore the use of economic modeling to understand the potential impacts of GHG regulations.  The three panels will focus on: 1) state considerations and policy design issues; 2) important drivers that could impact carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector and 3) modeling impacts of different proposals under section 111(d). BPC will include participants from state organizations, industry and environmental organizations. Former EPA Administrator Bill Reilly, a BPC’s Energy Project Co-chair, will keynote.   Other speakers will include ACCCE’s Paul Bailey, Exelon’s Kathleen Barron, AEP’s Bruce Braine, RFF’s Dallas Burtraw, NRDC’s Dan Lashoff and Jason Grumet.

Forum to Look at Renewable Investments – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy will host a congressional briefing on Friday in B-369 Rayburn looking at renewable energy market investments and policy trends.  This event is being put on in cooperation with the United States House of Representatives Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

Houston Mayor to Address Press Club –The National Press Club will host a luncheon with Houston mayor Annise Parker on Tuesday, December 10th at Noon.  Parker, one of the first openly gay mayors in the U.S. and the head of the “energy capital of America” will talk about her political future and past, the renaissance of American oil and gas energy industry, Texas’s thriving economy and the challenges of managing city finances.

CHP Conference Set – The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Association will hold its annual conference in Washington DC on December 10th and 11th. This year’s theme is “Making the Business Case for Combined Heat & Power”. The conference will bring together different leaders within the CHP industry to discuss access to financing, a major barrier to CHP deployment. The conference will also focus on demonstrating the business benefits of CHP for different sectors. Representatives from Coca Cola, Procter and Gamble, Schneider Electric, American Gas Association, Edison Electric Institute, Veolia Energy, General Electric, Caterpillar, Cargill, and many others working on the issue of combined heat and power will be on the agenda.  Topics will include financing, electric utilities finding value in CHP, environmental issues, debt financing for small to medium projects and natural gas among many other items.

Forum to Look at IPCC Document – George Washington University’s IERES program will host a presentation on Friday, December 6th at 4:00 p.m. featuring Oleg Anisimov, Professor of Physical Geography at the Hydrological Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia.  His presentation will start with a brief discussion of the Fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report, where he served as a coordinating author. The report is almost ready, and will be officially released at the end of March 2014. The discussion will focus on the impacts of the changing climate in the polar regions, including the socio-economical dimension in the Arctic. It will then provide two examples of impacts that escaped the IPCC s attention. The first is the potential impact on the Arctic urban population (the current emphasis is on indigenous peoples). The second is related to the drivers of climate change associated with the potential release of methane, with implications for environmental policy making, particularly the post-Kyoto negotiation process.

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.

Forum to Look at Energy InfrastructureThe Atlantic will hold an Energy and Infrastructure Super Summit on the morning of Thursday, December 12th in Washington, D.C.  The event will include a select group of senior leaders from a diversity of sectors, this year’s summit will cover topics including innovative water conservation efforts, evolving green building standards, and the future of energy policy and infrastructure investment. We will feature one-on-one interviews and panel discussions exploring these topics from all angles and make time for audience engagement through Q&A.  Speakers will include Brendan FitzSimons of EDF, AT&T’s John Schultz and Lee McIntire of CH2M HILL.

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.

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.

 

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.