Just a short note today with some follow up from late-breaking events on Friday, as well as an update from this morning’s SAFE event at the Newseum, which featured Presidential Economic Advisor Gene Sperling, Sens. Lamar Alexander and Roy Blount and military and business leaders. The event was live on C-SPAN. Fed Ex Chair Fred Smith and retired General P.X. Kelly also had a piece today in the National Review on the topic.
One additional note, as UN climate talks in Qatar continue, the US negotiators seem to be pressing hard to challenge developing countries like China to engage in any new efforts, rather than keep the “developing/developed” country divide. While some are saying this is a big development that will lead to future treaties, as one who has followed this for years, I wouldn’t hold my breathe that nations like China and India will follow though – especially in the months after everyone returns home. Our friend Kim Chipman has a story from Doha.
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IN THE NEWS
SAFE Releases Bipartisan Strategy to Support Domestic Production, Oil Displacement Technology – The national security and business leaders of the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) today proposed a detailed oil security plan to improve the U.S. economy, promote fiscal stability, and protect national security. The proposal – A National Strategy for Energy Security: Harnessing American Resources and Innovation – supports expanding domestic energy supplies and technology to address the dangers created by the near-total reliance of the nation’s transportation sector on petroleum-based fuels. The ESLC, co-chaired by former Marine Corps Commandant General P.X. Kelley (USMC, Ret.) and FedEx Chairman, President, & CEO Frederick W. Smith, includes entrepreneurs and former military leaders committed to improving U.S. energy security through reduced oil dependence. The ESLC is a project of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE). “As long as our nation remains dependent on oil, restoring economic growth and stabilizing our fiscal outlook will be undermined by the manipulated and volatile prices of a cartel-dominated global oil market. This report offers a framework for policymakers to leverage domestic energy abundance in support of mitigating the urgent and severe threat posed by oil dependence,” remarked General Kelley and Mr. Smith. Specific recommendations include:
-Responsible development of energy resources in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
-State participation in the State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Regulations (STRONGER) process, which should increase its scope to develop best practices for hydraulic fracturing.
-Fuel-neutral deployment communities for oil displacement technology like electric vehicles and natural gas trucks in small- to medium-sized cities, which will serve as R&D communities to identify effective approaches to deploying these oil-displacement technologies.
-Reinstated and reformed incentives for a fuel infrastructure to compete with oil-based liquid fuels.
-Reorient the Department of Energy’s R&D activities to catalyze those technologies most likely to improve U.S. energy security
-Improving the federal permitting process for major energy projects by streamlining authority, promoting transparency, and reducing frivolous litigation.
-Establishing an Energy Security Trust Fund seeded with revenue from new production.
House E/C “Big Five” Question HHS about NatGas Drilling Bias – Top House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans are questioning the objectivity of the Department of Health and Human Services on natural gas drilling, citing past comments in which the head of HHS’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has allegedly referred to shale gas development as “a disaster in some communities” and referred to “anecdotal evidence of environmental illness.” In a letter Friday to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, committee Chairman Fred Upton and other lawmakers questioned the department’s role in an interagency working group on shale gas development and the validity of pending studies by ATSDR. They requested a briefing between HHS staff and committee staff and called on Sebelius to ensure that the department “will adopt an approach based on sound scientific principles.” The letter was signed by Upton, former Chair Joe Barton, Energy subpanel Chair Ed Whitfield, Health subpanel Chair Joe Pitts and Environment Subpanel Chair John Shimkus.
Emerson to Move to Head Rural Co-Op Assn – Our friend Missouri Congresswoman Joanne Emerson said today that she will resign from Congress March 1st to become CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the trade association of cooperative and consumer-owned utilities. She will succeed Glenn English, who announced his intention to retire in December 2011 after 19 years. Emerson was elected to the House in 1996 from Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District to succeed her husband, the late Rep. Bill Emerson, and continued his leadership in food assistance policy in Congress. She chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Appropriations. NRECA, based in Arlington, Va., represents more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives and utilities, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states. Emerson will take over one of the most influential rural-based organizations, with a lobbying budget that has been greater than $5 million in some years (in 2008 and 2009, about $2 million this year) and a political action committee that spent $2.96 million during the 2012 campaign. She will be the fifth person and the fourth former Member of Congress to head the association. Its earliest president was Clyde T. Ellis, a House member from Arkansas. Others were former Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bergland, once a congressman from Minnesota, and English, the Oklahoma member who, like Emerson, resigned from the House shortly after re-election.
CSIS Honor Schlesinger with Energy Chair, Appoints Verrastro – CSIS has created a James R. Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics and will to appoint our friend Frank Verrastro as the inaugural chairholder. The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will now be led by David Pumphrey and Sarah Ladislaw, who will codirect the program and work in conjunction with the Schlesinger Chair. The nation’s first Energy Secretary, James Schlesinger served in both Republican and Democratic administrations at the highest levels, and his leadership on defense, intelligence, budgetary, and energy matters will benefit the United States far into the future. Verrastro has directed the CSIS Energy and National Security Program since 2003. He spent 30 years in energy policy and project management positions in the U.S. government and private sector. He has held positions in the White House and Departments of Interior and Energy, including as director of the Office of Producing Nations and deputy assistant secretary for international energy resources. In the private sector, he worked most recently as senior vice president for Pennzoil. In his new capacity, Verrastro will continue to serve as senior vice president at CSIS.
THIS WEEK’S GOINGS ON
Forum to Look at Growth – The Atlantic’s Forum on Conservation, Efficiency, and Growth, taking place tomorrow at The W Hotel in Washington, DC. The forum will feature expert discussions on corporate sustainability initiatives, and convene panels to explore how sustainable business practices influence our economy, our workforce, and America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace. Speakers will include Darryl Banks, Vice President of Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress; Beth Keck, Senior Director of Sustainability for Walmart; Kathy Loftus, Global Leader of Sustainable Engineering and Energy Management for Whole Foods; Jackie Roberts, Director of Sustainable Technologies, Climate & Air for the Environmental Defense Fund; Beth Shiroishi, Vice President, Sustainability & Philanthropy for AT&T and Michael Washburn, Vice President of Sustainability for Nestle Waters North America.
House Transportation, Senate Panels to Look at Sandy – The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on Hurricane Sandy tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in 2167 Rayburn. The hearing will review of the preparedness, response to and recovery from hurricane sandy” and will be webcast live. Witnesses will include FEMA’s Craig Fugate, Fred Tombar, Major General Michael Walsh, Robert R. Latham Jr, Kevin Davis and David Popoff. The next day at 10:00, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee (Chaired by Mary Landrieu) will convene a hearing on Sandy response and recovery as well. Fugate will be joined by HUD secretary Shaun Donovan. On Thursday, a Senate Commerce Panel headed by Frank Lautenberg will focus on the Sandy’s impact on transportation networks.
Forum to Look at 20 Years of Energy Policy Act of ’92 – The Compete Coalition will host a policy forum on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the Phoenix Park Hotel on the Energy Policy Act of 1992, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of a landmark statute. Key architects of the legislation and today’s electricity industry leaders will look back (and look ahead) at the ongoing impact of EPAct ’92 on competitive electricity markets and the benefits those markets are delivering for our nation’s electricity consumers. Speakers will include former Senators Bennett Johnston and Don Nickles, former FERC Chair and Deputy Secretary of Energy Betsy Moler, former FERC Commissioner Bill Massey, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Federico Peña and former Deputy Secretary of Energy Linda Stuntz, among others.
McAuliffe to Headline 2012 VA Renewable Meeting – Potential VA Governor candidate Terry McAuliffe will be joining the Virginia Renewable Energy Assn for its annual meeting in Richmond on December 5th. McAuliffe has been a leading voice and entrepreneur in the Renewable Energy Industry and has recently announced his intentions to run for Governor of Virginia in 2013.
NJ Set Clean Air Act Forum – The National Journal will hold a Clean Air Act Forum on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. at the Newseum to explore the promise of the Clean Air Act, its legacy after 40 years, and a look ahead to its future with the new Congress and Administration. Our friend Amy Harder will speak with former EPA Administrator and White House Climate Czar Carol Browner and former House Energy and Commerce Chairman Joe Barton on the CAA, as well as moderate a panel that includes David Markarian of NextEra Energy, Delaware Air Quality Director Ali Mirzakhalili, Jerome A. Paulson of the Child Health Advocacy Institute at Children’s National Medical Center, NRDC’s John Walke and ACCCE’s Paul Bailey.
WAPA, Buick to Hold Ride, Drive – The Washington Automotive Press Assn (WAPA) and Buick will hold a Holiday Buick Encore ride-and-drive and happy hour on Wednesday at Indigo Landing in Alexandria, VA. Buick is on pace for its best retail sales year since 2006, thanks to a product line-up that features the style, performance and technology luxury buyers expect and demand. For the 2013 model year, along with a redesigned Enclave and a new high-performing, turbo-charged model for Verano, the all-new Buick Encore luxury crossover will begin arriving in dealerships soon and we’d like you to be among the first to drive it. In addition to the ride-and-drive, Buick marketing and engineering executives including Roger McCormack, Director Buick Global Marketing will be on-hand to provide perspective on the Encore. Buick Encore is the second of four new or significantly revised Buick vehicles to be introduced in the next 12 months, and is a beautiful, quiet, comfortable 5-passenger crossover with the right balance of performance and purposeful technology. Encore also continues to expand the Buick portfolio by appealing to a whole new audience of luxury buyers as we expect the segment to grow more than a half million units by 2015.
RFF Panel to Look at Markets, Enviro Regs – Resources for the Future will hold its December First Wednesday Seminar on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. looking at markets for environmental regulations. Over the past 60 years, environmental economists have pioneered the idea of market-based approaches to solving environmental problems. Regulators have implemented market-based programs for air pollution, water pollution, land management, and other environmental policy problems at local, state, federal, and—in the case of greenhouse gas regulation—international levels. Some applications hew more closely than others to ideal market-based policy design, as defined by economic theory, and programs have met with varying degrees of success. As part of RFF’s Resources 2020 lecture series—our 60th anniversary exploration of how economic inquiry can address future environmental challenges—panelists at this seminar will discuss what we can learn from successful and unsuccessful applications of market-based policy and its desirability, feasibility, and design in the future. The panel includes RFF experts on environmental markets for air, water, and land, as well as leaders in the policy community with diverse experience on these issues, including former Clinton OMB Director Sally Katzen, NRDC’s David Doniger, former Bush 41 White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray and RFF experts Dallas Burtraw, Art Fraas, Margaret Walls and Leonard Shabman.
German Chamber Sets Wind Energy Conference – For the 5th time since 2007, the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest is bringing a delegation of German wind energy companies to Chicago for the German American Wind Energy Business Conference. This conference on Wednesday will provide attendees with the chance to learn about the wind technology innovations and supply chain and service practices that German manufacturers use to stay competitive. Current wind energy opportunities and programs in Illinois will also be addressed. Attending the conference provides an excellent opportunity to connect with the German wind energy delegation companies to discuss business and partnership opportunities.
Forum to Look at Iranian Oil – The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center will host a discussion on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. entitled “Can the World Live Without Iranian Oil,” with Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International; and Denise Natali, Minerva Chair, Institute of National Strategic Studies, National Defense University. Over the past year, Iranian oil production and exports have declined drastically to levels last seen at the end of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Yet the price of oil has remained relatively constant at around $100 per barrel or lower. Increasing oil production in neighboring Iraq and new discoveries in the United States and elsewhere, coupled with sluggish demand, raise the question of whether the world can live without Iranian oil and what that means for Iran’s ability to pursue a provocative nuclear program. The Iran Task Force, co-chaired by Atlantic Council Chairman Senator Chuck Hagel and Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, seeks to perform a comprehensive analysis of Iran’s internal political landscape, its role in the region and globally, and any basis for an improved relationship with the West.
Transmission Conference to Look at New Year, Agenda – Energy Central and TransmissionHub will host a symposium on Wednesday in Washington, DC to Look at Transmission policy in the new year. TransForum East is the second of three regional gatherings of key industry decision makers that Energy Central kicked off in April 2012 with TransForum Texas. It is an event focused just on the Eastern Interconnection. I will speak on the “Implications of the 2012 Presidential Election on Electric Power Policy,” at 2:00 p.m. Other speakers include Trans-Elect/AWC CEO Bob Mitchell, Michael Skelly of Clean Line Energy and many others.
EIA to Present Outlook at JHU – Johns Hopkins University’s Energy, Resources and Environment Program and the Global Leaders Forum on Energy and Environment will host Adam Sieminski, administrator at the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. Sieminski will present the agency’s projections of U.S. energy supply, demand and prices to 2040 with the early release of the reference case projections from the “Annual Energy Outlook 2013.” A link to a webcast of the press conference will be available by 1:00 PM on Wednesday, December 5 at: http://www.sais-jhu.edu/pressroom/live.html
Houston Conference to Look at Regional Wind Issues – AWEA holds its Southwest Regional Wind Energy Summit on Wednesday and Thursday in Houston at the Hyatt Regency. The conference will provide a comprehensive view of all critical aspects of wind energy in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) regions of the United States, and delve deep into the most important present and forecasted issues facing wind energy development in these regions. Former Bush Administration official Jimmy Glotfelty will chair the event and speakers include former FERC Chair Pat Wood, SPP’s Carl Monroe and EDF Renewables CEO Gabriel Alonso.
Harvard Business Review to Host Doha Webinar – The Harvard Business Review will hold an interactive webinar on Thursday at 10:30 a.m., broadcast live from Doha, in partnership with Future Influencers, an exclusive think tank working group enabling high-level discussions and collaborations on sustainability topics. Leaders gathering in Doha to address the world’s energy challenges at the 18th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 18) face formidable challenges. Policy recommendations that ignore the larger interdependencies in the global energy supply chain are unlikely to make headway. Economists since the 1960s, for example, have said that if we just get energy prices right, the market will work its magic. But getting the prices right depends on getting the policies right. Policy, in turn, is constrained by the social and political realities of each national jurisdiction. Participants include Barbara Kux ,Chief Sustainability Officer of Siemens AG; WRI’s Jennifer Morgan; Gregory Unruh of the Thunderbird School of Global Management and Future influencers: Gatien Bon, Anna Leidereiter, and Kali Taylor.
Commerce to Host Webinar on Exporting Renewable Technology – The Department of Commerce/Commercial Service is holding a webinar on Thursday December 6th looking at export finance for Renewable Energy Technologies. This webinar will feature an update of USG export finance programs (Ex-Im, OPIC,TDA) for renewable energy technologies as well as export finance best practices from a private-sector perspective. Speakers include Craig O’Connor of the , Ex-Im Bank of the United States, Brian O’Hanlon of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Andrea Lupo of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and Ed Sappin of the Willowbrook Company.
Panel to Look at Carbon Tax, Fiscal Cliff – Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies will hold a Panel on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. in its Rome Auditorium, #806 looking at Carbon prices and the fiscal cliff. With the looming threat of the ‘fiscal cliff,’ and effects of super-storm Sandy, there is renewed talk in policy circles of the benefits of putting a price on carbon, as a means of dealing with the federal deficit while tackling climate change. Leading experts about the viability of carbon market mechanisms throughout North America, like the Western Climate Initiative involving Québec and California will discuss the realities of a federal clean energy standard and the application of a national carbon tax in the context of simultaneously addressing emissions reductions and fiscal constraints. Panelists include Brookings Adele Morris, Richard Caperton of the Center for American Progress and Manik Roy of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. This event will be held in collaboration with the Québec Government Office in Washington, the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Québec in Montréal (Chair Raoul-Dandurand).
EPA Webinar to Focus on Global Warming Polling – EPA’s Green Power Partnership will host a free webinar on Friday at 1:00 p.m. on “Global Warming’s Six Americas: Understanding and Communicating with a Diverse Public.” Americans differ in their beliefs and concern about climate change. Understanding the differences is vital to effective engagement and to bring about positive behavioral change. Insight into stakeholders’ views can help organizations communicate the importance of using green power and saving energy. The webinar will feature a presentation from Dr. Edward Maibach, Professor and Director of George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication. Dr. Maibach will provide a summary of recent findings from the “Climate Change in the American Mind” and “Global Warming’s Six Americas” audience research studies conducted by George Mason University and Yale University. He will address a range of topics including recent increases in public engagement in climate change, perceptions about extreme weather and its relationship to climate change, and public policy preferences.
Panel to Look at National Security, Election Coverage – The National Security and New Media Journalism Project will present its National Security and New Media Conference panel and Mightier Pen Award Luncheon on Tuesday, December 11th at the Union League Club in New York. The Project was established to provide professional development for the next generation of national security journalists in an objective environment informed by the burgeoning opportunities of the new Media. It will honor Monica Crowley of FOX News. Panels prior to lunch will discuss new media, national security and the election. Panelists will include Rich Miniter of Forbes Magazine, former Washington Times security expert Bill Gertz and NRO Columnists Andrew McCarthy, among others.
Chamber Foundation to Look at Fiscal Challenges, States Efforts – The National Chamber Foundation will hold a forum on the tough decisions of our fiscal challenge on December 11th at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This event will highlight a report by the State Budget Crisis Task Force, co-chaired by Richard Ravitch, former lieutenant governor of New York, and Paul Volcker, former Federal Reserve Board chair. The report examines six major fiscal threats to states across the nation: Medicaid, federal deficit reduction, underfunded retirement, taxes, local government fiscal stress, and state budget laws and practices. In addition, gubernatorial chiefs of staff from WI, CO, OK and VA will discuss how their states are balancing the need for fiscal responsibility while investing in a strong economic future. A federal panel featuring Joseph A. Califano and Chamber President Tom Donohue will then facilitate a robust discussion on the challenges facing our country and answer the looming question of what we can do to avoid the fiscal cliff.
Forum to Look at EU Trading System – The Ministry of the Brussels-Capital Region, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, and the Environmental Law Institute will host a forward-looking examination of Europe’s leading role in establishing and operating a greenhouse gas trading system on Tuesday, December 11th ar 3:45 p.m. With the international agreement to reach a new GHG protocol by 2020, where will the EU Emission Trading System go? How does it affect international transport, both by air and sea? What does this system mean for multinational businesses operating in or passing through Europe. Panelists include GE’s Ann Condon, EU Enviro Rep in the United States Guenter Hoermandiger, Alcoa’s Sylvain Lhote and Nancy Young of Airlines for America.
Annual POWER-GEN Conference Tackles Key Issues – The annual POWER-GEN Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida on December 11-13 at the Orange County Convention Center. Nearly 200 industry experts will present new solutions and innovations for the future in 36 conference sessions broken up in 12 tracks. Click here to download the Conference-at-a-Glance PDF. The conference sessions are organized into multiple concurrent session tracks including industry trends / competitive power generation, environmental issues, emissions control, fossil technologies, gas turbine technologies, on-site power and plant performance. There will also be separate Tracks on Nuclear, Renewable and Geothermal power.
DOE Grid Expert to Headline ICF Breakfast – ICF International continues its Energy and Environment Breakfast Series on Wednesday, December 12th with Jay Caspary, senior policy advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and member of DOE’s Grid Tech Team, who will explore challenging issues facing the electric grid and potential solutions to these problems.
Inglis to Discuss Climate/Energy Taxes – The Johns Hopkins Washington, DC Center will host a forum on Wednesday, December 12th at Noon on Climate and energy taxes. Former U.S. Representative Bob Inglis’ presentation will focus on U.S. climate/energy politics and make the case for prudent action from a conservative perspective. Inglis’ think tank at the George Mason University, the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, focuses on three key components to a prudent energy-and-climate policy. First, the policy should be strictly revenue-neutral to prevent the growth of government. Second, the policy should get government out of the business of ‘picking winners’ by ending all subsidies for all sources of energy. Third, the policy should, over time, fix the market distortion caused by negative externalities by attaching all costs to all sources of energy. A climate policy with these key attributes would level the playing field for energy production and poise the free-enterprise system to deliver the fuels of the future.
RFF to Host Geoengineering Lecture – Resources for the Future will continue its 60th anniversary Resources 2020 Nobel Laureate lecture series on Thursday, December 13th featuring Thomas Schelling, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, who will discuss Geoengineering and some gentle experimentation.
Energy Forum Features Jones, Connaughton, Wirth – OurEnergyPolicy.org will host a forum at the National Press Club on Friday, December 14th where leading energy and government experts will share their ideas, expectations and predictions for the future of U.S. energy policy. The panel, moderated by Jim Angle, Chief National Correspondent with Fox News Channel, will feature former CEQ Chair Jim Connaughton of Exelon, Former National Security Advisor General James Jones, and former Colorado Senator and United Nations Foundation leader Tim Wirth. These panelists will offer insights into how the winners of the 2012 elections will and should approach energy and national security, climate and the environment, the economy, and other emerging issues.
Forum to Look at Disaster Preparedness – The Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation will hold a session of the CSIS-Pennington Family Foundation Series on Community Resilience Toward More Effective Disaster Philanthropy on Thursday, December 13th at 5:30 p.m. that will be an on-the-record panel discussion exploring how to move toward more effective disaster philanthropy. Following a natural disaster, philanthropy plays a vital role in aiding affected communities and can have an equally critical role in building long term community resilience. As private entities, philanthropists can operate with flexibility across sectors and creativity that generates unique contributions across the lifecycle of disasters—from preparedness to recovery. The panel will feature Dr. David Abramson of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Wal-Mart’s Steve Dozier, Bob Ottenhoff of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, USAID’s Tony Pipa and Joe Ruiz of the UPS Foundation Humanitarian Relief Program.
Chamber to Host Farm Innovation Forum – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation will co-host a program on Wednesday, December 19th highlighting the innovations and emerging opportunities that today’s agriculture industry are presenting. This program will identify many of the latest innovations and advances in agriculture and show how America’s agriculture community continues to feed an ever growing global population while at the same time supporting American job creation and competitiveness. Speakers include USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Secretary, Chamber President Tom Donohue, former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings (current President of the National Chamber Foundation), Peter Klein of the University of Missouri, AEI’s Nick Schulz, John Deere FarmSight Director Jerry Roell and Blake Hurst of the Missouri Farm Bureau.