Energy Update Week of December 3

Friends,

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.

Please call with questions about this or other topics.

Frank Maisano
(202) 8282-5864
c. (202) 997-5932

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 GrowthThe 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.

FUTURE EVENTS

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.

Special Energy Update – November 30

Friends,

A special Friday note this week because we will not be available Monday as we (all of you and I) will all be at the Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) event at the Newseum at 10:30 a.m.  The event will feature Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council.  How often do you get to hear the President’s economic advisor tie energy security and fiscal issues together in the middle of the fiscal cliff negotiations with Congress?  Speaking of Congress, Senator Lamar Alexander and Roy Blount will also participate in the event which is focused on the impact of U.S. oil dependence on the nation’s economic, fiscal, and national security outlook.  SAFE will also release of its new report, “A National Strategy for Energy Security: Harnessing American Resources and Innovation” at the event which will include recommendation to the Congress and President to address the challenge.  Other speakers will include Fed Ex CEO Fred Smith, Marine Corps General P.X. Kelley, former NSC head Dennis Blair, Waste Management CEO David Steiner and several other military and business leaders.   

On Wednesday, The Financial Times recognized Bracewell & Giuliani among the most creative and forward-thinking law firms in the U.S., naming Bracewell a highly-commended firm in its U.S. Innovative Lawyers report.  Bracewell was fourth in the category of Most Innovative U.S. Law Firms: Business of Law 2012. The award to Bracewell focused on the launch of the Policy Resolution Group (PRG), a unit that many of you on this list know and work with daily and combines legal, government relations and communications advice.  The Financial Times’ U.S. Innovative Lawyers report includes unique rankings of law firms that bring fresh thinking and practices to solving business problems in America. More than 60 law firms submitted 320 entries to be included in the honors. 

Finally, with yesterday’s politician open mike on Sandy in the Senate Environment Committee, I wanted to pass along one important thing that seems to be getting lost in the Chairman’s effort to create a “public record of the storm.”  While it was a terrible tragedy for many in New Jersey/New York that were really impacted by it, those trying to gain political advantage on climate change (somewhat evident yesterday) seem to be forgetting an important fact: The storm and climate really aren’t related.  This originally didn’t come from climate skeptics, but one of the best, climate/science reporters covering the issues over the last 15 years, former NYTimes reporter Andy Revkin.  Revkin made some great points on NYT’s Dot Earth blog as the storm arrived in late October, focused on the complex connection to climate.  Revkin said while some climate scientists told him the event is precisely what you’d expect following a summer in which much of the Arctic Ocean was open water, “there remains far too much natural variability in the frequency and potency of rare and powerful storms — on time scales from decades to centuries — to go beyond pointing to this event being consistent with what’s projected on a human-heated planet.” He added that the storm’s “moniker can imply this is a human-created meteorological monster, it’s just not that simple.”

Please call with questions…  I look forward to seeing you at the Newseum on Monday morning.

Frank Maisano
(202) 8282-5864
c. (202) 997-5932 

IN THE NEWS 

Interior Announces First-Ever Renewable Energy Lease Sale – The Department of Interior just announced the first-ever competitive lease sales for renewable energy development in two wind energy areas (WEAs) in federal waters on the Outer Continental Shelf.  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is proposing to lease 278,000 Acres offshore just off Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Virginia for wind energy.   More details later today on a 4:00 p.m. call with Secretary Salazar, BOEM Director Tommy Beaudreau and David Hayes.

President Signs EU Airline Bill – Much to the Chagrin of the environmental community, President Obama signed legislation exempting U.S. airlines from the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme. Last month, the EU postponed enactment of its system by a year as talks go to the International Civil Aviation Organization on how to cut airline emissions on a global basis, but lawmakers still wanted to pass legislation opposing what they view as a unilateral imposition of fees by the EU. The bill, written by Sens. Claire McCaskill and John Thune, was passed overwhelmingly in both Houses of Congress. 

Solar Report Shows Decreasing Costs – A new report from the DOE Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found the average cost of installing new solar systems was 11-14% lower than last year, depending on the size of the project.  Even with the continued price declines, the report found, costs will have to decline even further if the solar industry is to continue to grow, especially as incentive programs begin to phase out. 

LAT Story Draws More Analysis – Remember the hubbub over the LA Times’ story by Julie Cart hammering the solar industry again on county costs and disenchantment.   The pushback from clean energy advocates called Cart out drew another analysis from EarthTechling analyst Pete Danko as well.    Danko highlighted criticisms from blogger RL Miller that says Cart is anti-solar and is leaving out key context and important facts that counter her regular storylines. Danko said Miller’s critique took Cart to task on a number of specific points, and scored some nice hits, including that the Riverside County supervisor Cart credulously gave a platform to has received a lot of campaign cash from fossil-fuel interests, among other issues.  Danko adds the problem with her work is that it is so relentlessly negative and so lacking in balance and context that the interesting and useful points she brings up are easily dismissed by solar advocates as the rantings of someone who is “anti-solar.”  

Lease Sale Produces Minimal Attention – Overshadowed by EPA’s BP announcement, Wednesday Gulf of Mexico lease sale at the Superdome (which interestingly did NOT feature an appearance from Interior Sect. Ken Salazar as the pre-election sale did) garnered $133.8 million in bids for 116 offshore blocks in the Western Gulf of Mexico.  The agency received a total of 131 bids from 13 companies worth $157.6 million. The highest bid was submitted by Chevron for $17.2 million. This was the first sale under the Administration’s new 5-year plan, offering 20 million acres.  The next Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale will offer 38 million acres in March.    Of course, NIOA’s Randi Luthi said the level of activity in this sale will be a good indicator of industry’s confidence not only in the remaining resources of the Western Gulf of Mexico, but also in the Administration’s willingness to allow those resources to be developed in a timely fashion.  Jim Noe of Hercules (713-301-6797) is a great contact to discuss the impacts of the sale.  And to be expected, enviros are annoyed at the Administration for following through on the sale, bashing the President even though he was endorsed by Sierra Club, LCV and NRDC.  My good Clean energy friend RL Miller was even funnier tweeting: “Black Friday, Cyber Monday, now All of the Above Wednesday.” 

Hanger to Run for PA Gov – Our friend and former PA DEP head John Hanger announced that he is running for Governor of Pennsylvania, taking on first-term Republican Tom Corbett.   Hanger has served Governors of both parties, joining Tom Ridge in 1993-98 as PUC Commissioner and Rendell’s environmental watchdog agency head in 2008.  Hanger also founded the Powerhouse environmental group PennFuture, and has recently brandished more expert energy credentials, playing a much more aggressive middle-of-the-road, objective stance with regard to energy development.  Other potential candidates include U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Rep. Joe Sestak, Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro, PA state Treasurer Rob McCord, former Rendell administration official Tom Wolf and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski. 

GAO Coal Report Says Coal to Be Part of Future Mix – A new GAO report says coal will remain a major source for domestic electricity for decades to come, but will also provide a smaller share of the national energy portfolio.  In a report to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, GAO said up to 18% of current coal-fired capacity could be retired by 2035 because of new environmental regulations and lower-priced natural gas. The GAO made no recommendations in the report on federal policy, however.  The GAO also said that coal generation as a share of U.S. electricity will decline from about 42% last year to 38% in 2035. My colleague Scott Segal said it shows that coal is going to remain a mainstay of the U.S. economy by acknowledging how significant a role coal plays in the domestic power sector.    Segal added industry has been clear that older plants with lesser pollution controls are most likely to be retired in the face of new pollution regulations and low-cost natural gas. Those plants are mostly used sporadically during peak demand periods, but play a role in keeping prices down during those spikes. 

Sierra Club Wants to Block LNG Exports – As part of its none-of-the-above energy strategy (including solar and wind mind you) the Sierra Club issued a new report demanding that the Energy Department to examine and disclose the health and environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing before considering whether to move forward with exporting liquefied natural gas.  Of course, there is much more to the story, including that DOE has long studied the issues and will soon release a highly-anticipated study by year’s end.  Most experts see the Sierra club effort as a pre-emptive strike at a report that will not like.  Our DOE and Energy export expert (say that fast three times), Salo Zelermyer can discuss (202-828-1718). 

THIS WEEK’S GOINGS ON

SAFE Report to Highlight Plan to Oil Independence – On Monday, December 3rd, members of Securing America’s Future Energy’s (SAFE) Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) will release a portfolio of policy recommendations intended to reduce U.S. dependence on oil, which the Council says is a paramount threat to the national, economic and fiscal security of America.  The Council will unveil its report, “National Strategy for Energy Security: Harnessing American Resources and Innovation,” at the Newseum in Washington, DC.   The Council’s recommendations will focus on three major goals:  Increasing domestic production by taking full advantage of American oil and natural gas resources; Reducing domestic oil consumption through innovation and the adoption of new technologies; Invigorating initiatives in both production and consumption by reforming and streamlining the regulatory process.  The report will also discuss more internationally-focused developments on the horizon which could significantly impact America’s energy security outlook.  Speakers will include FedEx CEO Fred Smith, Sen.  Lamar Alexander,  former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis C. Blair, Waste Management CEO David Steiner, former USMC Commandant General James Conway and former Goldman Sachs Asset Management Co-CEO Eric Schwartz. 

New NARUC President Hosts Media Briefing – New National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Philip Jones of Washington will be hosting a Media Briefing on Monday, December 3rd at NARUC’s Washington headquarters.  The event will start at 12 noon and run for approximately one hour. A light lunch will be provided on a first come, first serve basis.  This event will focus on energy issues.  Please RSVP to NARUC Director of Communications Rob Thormeyer by Friday, if you plan on attending so they can have an accurate headcount for lunch. 

Sachs to Address Sustainability GWU – George Washington University’s Institute for International Economic Policy will host Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs in its City View Room, 7th Floor, on Monday, December 3rd at 4:00 p.m.   Sustainable Development is emerging as the defining challenge of our generation, and it will critically require a new kind of interaction between policy and research. The Sustainable Development Forum is a series of talks by leaders in academia and in policy which will attempt to set the research agenda for sustainable development following the Rio +20 conference. What will sustainable development entail? What are the most crucial questions we need to be asking? How should academia go about searching for answers that will actually inform real action and policy changes? 

Forum to Look at GrowthThe Atlantic’s Forum on Conservation, Efficiency, and Growth, taking place Tuesday, December 4th 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. 

Forum to Look at 20 Years of Energy Policy Act of ’92 – The Compete Coalition will host a policy forum on Wednesday, December 5th 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 December 5th at 8:00 a.m. 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. , as well as moderate a panels 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, December 5th 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 December 5th 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 December 5th 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, December 5th 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 December 5th 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.  

Houston Conference to Look at Regional Wind Issues – AWEA holds its Southwest Regional Wind Energy Summit on December 5th and 6th 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. 

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, December 6th 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).

FUTURE EVENTS

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. 

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.

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.   

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.

Special Update – September 4

Friends,

Hope everyone enjoyed the Labor Day weekend and an extra day off.  No big intro today as we sit in between conventions with lots of great energy events getting under way in Charlotte. My colleagues Dee Martin, Paul Nathanson and Caitlin Andrews are on the ground in the Queen City if you need anything.  As for RNC, I discuss below more, but whether you really think climate change is a top tier issues or not, you have to appreciate the multiple meanings in Mitt Romney climate zinger in his RNC speech targeting the President’s grander view, but more out-of-touch view.  The evidence of its effectiveness: the hysterical, hair on-fire reaction of many of my enviro friends.   

I wanted to mention one other event tomorrow in DC when WCEE hosts Heather Zichal to talk energy issues at the Capitol Hilton. 

Finally, one little update on getting older…My daughter player her first High School field hockey game on Friday.  If that wasn’t bad enough, while that game was ongoing (actually, I wasn’t there, I was refereeing a high school football game), my son took a shot to the head during his 12U football game and made a (questionable in my mind) trip to the emergency room via ambulance.  He was fine, of course, but you can never be too sure, especially when they couldn’t get ahold of us.  I knew he was really okay when he told me that it was cool to ride in the ambulance and that he asked the driver to turn on the siren and run some red lights.  I guess he won’t be getting a license until he turns 20.

Happy to talk about the role of energy/environment in this race.  Call with questions.

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

IN THE NEWS 

Most Drilling Operation Back in Action Anyway – Most drilling operation, shut in by Isaac for a few days have started back up throughout the weekend.   Inspections were done Thursday and Friday and most are ready to get back to work.   My friend Jim Noe (713-301-6797) at Hercules Offshore can walk you through some of the particulars of the getting back up and running if you are interested. 

Energy Plays Role in Romney Speech – Mitt Romney in his convention speech dove into energy issues calling for greater production of fossil fuels one of the key elements of his plan to create jobs and restore the economy.  He made it all as part of a call to attain energy independence by 2020.  He also infuriated most enviros with his signature line of the speech saying: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”  In one line, he both hinted at the President being out-of-touch on real issues while also giving him a shot for soaring rhetoric and tendency toward self-aggrandizement.   Of course, the enviro blogosphere erupted with outrage, completely proving the point of how effective the line was and how self-flatulating they are.

Energy Events Make Splash at RNC – There were a several good energy events at the Republican National Convention in Tampa that outlined several interesting issues.  They included:

POLITICO Event with T. Boone, API’s Durbin, ASE’s Callahan – POLITICO held an energy policy luncheon Wednesday that feature Boone Pickens, API’s Marty Durbin and Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan.  Pickens said that natural gas vehicles will prosper even without his so-called Pickens Plan.  Durbin highlighted a number of challenges in the offshore oil/gas market while praising the effort to create jobs with shale production.  Callahan praised Mitt Romney for his energy efficient policies as governor of Massachusetts. She said he had a “record that is really good on energy efficiency” as governor, including support of a 50 miles per gallon fuel efficiency standard and investing in building efficiency. 

Bloomberg Forums Feature Gerard, Pickens – Pickens also held a one-on-one at Bloomberg’s Link (which had some of the best food by the way).  Pickens hit many of the same themes he discussed at the POLITICO forum highlighting natural gas vehicles, natgas prices and current efforts on wind.    The day prior, API’s Jack Gerard also visited the same forum and led a spirited discussion of offshore drilling, natgas/ shale issues and the job growth in the oil/gas industry.

National Journal Events with Southern, Capito, Others – Perhaps one of the best events was a panel discussion Tuesday lead by National Journal’s Coral Davenport featuring Cap Alpha’s Jim Lucier, CAP’s Richard Caperton, Jerry Taylor of Cato and EPRI’s Mike Howard.  The panel was an outstanding mix of policy and politics, with lots of energy, both in discussion and in temperament.   It followed a one-on-one with WV Rep. Shelly Moor Capito.  Southern Tom fanning led the discussion with comments about the current state of energy policy.  Any earlier event focused on green buildings and energy use and featured Lucier, AGA’s Larry Borgard, former Gainesville Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan and Green Building Council exec Roger Platt. 

Dems Will Host Energy Events – Many of the above events will also have a sister event in Charlotte this week at the Democratic National Convention.  In fact this morning, The Washington Post hosted a great panel discussion on energy issues with Reps. Ed Markey and Ben Lujan, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Paul Bledsoe of the Bipartisan Policy Center, Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations, Joshua Freed of Third Way and Margo Thorning of the American Council for Capital Formation at the Ritz-Carlton.  Mary Landrieu was supposed to be there but stayed home to tend to Hurricane Isaac issues.   Also this morning, National Journal and The Atlantic host a forum on America’s energy outlook.  Our friend Amy Harder interviewed Senate Energy Committee new top Democrat Ron Wyden, and then lead a panel discussion with NEI chief Marv Fertel, Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations, EPRI CEO Mike Howard (who also participated last week with Southern) and former EIA head Richard Newell, now a professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment.   Also today, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell will be on a panel of folks hosted by POLITICO discussing Jobs and the economy and it is certain that Markell will discuss offshore wind as a major opportunity for his state and the Mid-Atlantic region.  Finally, speaking of POLITICO, they and AWEA will reprise their energy event on Wednesday. 

Speakers Line Up – Finally to some of the speeches, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Speaks tonight, while Duke Energy CEO – and convention co-chair – Jim Rogers will discuss energy issues on Thursday prior to President Obama’s speech at Bank of America Stadium. 

Dems Release Energy Platform – Democrats released a platform focused On an “all-of the-above” strategy.   While it mentions fossil fuels slightly, it leans heavily on clean energy for job creation, as well as natural gas resources.  I’m sure that won’t go over well with the Josh Fox crowd.  It also spends a significant amount of time attacking Republicans.  See it here.   

Shell Gets Start in Alaska on Drilling – Shockingly, just before Romney’s speech that was to talk about energy independence and oil/gas jobs, the Interior Department announced that Shell received permission to perform “limited preparatory activities” in the Chukchi Sea. The permit allows Shell to begin work to create a mud-line cellar and install two segments of pipe — actions to help install and protect the blowout preventer during production — in non-oil-containing formations.  Salazar speaks tonight and my bet is he mentions this and other drilling items many times. 

EVENTS  

WCEE to Host Zichal – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a luncheon tomorrow at Noon featuring Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. The WCEE Women in Leadership series, sponsored by our friends at ClearView Energy and Southern Company, showcases successful women who are leaders in their fields, and Ms. Zichal is certainly outstanding.   The event is  at the Capitol Hilton (16th/K St., NW). 

RFF Forum to Look at International Climate Issues – Resources for the Future will host a panel tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. in its First Floor Conference Center to look at the role of border measures in the design of unilateral climate policy.  Issues of competitiveness and emissions leakage have been at the fore of the climate policy debate in all the major economies implementing or proposing to implement significant emissions cap-and-trade programs. While unilateral policy cannot directly impose emissions prices on foreign sources, it can complement domestic emissions pricing with border carbon adjustments to reduce leakage and increase global cost-effectiveness. Theory suggests that border adjustment measures constitute a second-best instrument to complement unilateral emissions pricing. Although border measures have a theoretical efficiency rationale, their practical implementation is subject to serious caveats.  Against this background, panelists at this RFF First Wednesday Seminar will highlight recent research on the efficiency and distributional impacts of border measures, offer design guidelines to ensure their environmental effectiveness while limiting the scope for protectionism, and discuss the implications of such measures for international climate policymaking and negotiations.  RFF’s Carolyn Fischer hosts panelists Thomas Rutherford of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Aaron Cosbey of the International Institute for Sustainable Development and Nigel Purvis of Climate Advisers. 

House Resource to Get Chu on Power Marketing Memo – The full House Committee on Natural Resources will convene an oversight hearing on entitled Tuesday, September 11th at 11:30 a.m. to discuss DOE Secretary Steven Chu’s Power Marketing Administration Memorandum directives and their potential impact on increasing electricity costs for over 40 million families and small businesses.  Chairman Doc Hastings sent a letter to Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu inviting him to testify at the Full Committee hearing on his Memorandum, which mandates new missions for the Power Marketing Administrations and could raise energy costs for over 40 million Americans. Secretary Chu was originally invited to testify at a hearing on April 26, 2012, but declined due to foreign travel. In June, over 160 House members and Senators sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary Chu expressing concerns with the missions outlined in his Memorandum. The House also passed bipartisan appropriations language prohibiting funding for any new activities in the document. 

O’Malley, Wellinghoff to Headline Retail Energy Event – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff are featured speakers at the Retail Energy Supply Association’s 2012 Energy Competition Symposium in Baltimore on Sept. 12. The half-day event will explore the state of play for retail energy competition nationally. Other featured speakers include Douglas Scott, chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, Douglas Nazarian, chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission, Todd Snitchler, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Rob Powelson, chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, William Massey, former FERC commissioner and counsel to the COMPETE Coalition, and Itron’s Daniel Pfeiffer.  The symposium will feature panel discussions on the value of customer choice in retail energy markets, the future outlook for customer choice in energy, and an overview of the innovative product and service offerings being developed in competitive retail energy markets. The afternoon event will close with a cocktail reception. 

Senate Energy Committee Hearing on Nuclear Waste Bill – The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing Wednesday, September 12 at 9:30 a.m. to receive testimony on S. 3469, the Nuclear Waste Administration Act of 2012. 

Ohio Shale Gas Conference to Look at Successes, Challenges – Infocast will host Black Gold Ohio, a conference focused on shale gas development in the Utica Shale region at the Westin Columbus on September 12-13th.  The conference will look at the revival of Ohio manufacturing with the Utica and Marcellus booms.  As a result, Ohio has seen a significant rise in demand for steel mills, surveyors, pipe makers, tankers for hauling water, trailers for transporting frac sand and other supporting manufacturing and development.  It’s predicated that by 2015, the Utica and Marcellus shale booms will have created 200,000 jobs, generated a $12 billion growth in overall wages in the State and increased $22 billion in economic output of the Ohio State.  Speakers will include the Ohio Oil & Gas Assn head Tom Stewart and Chesapeake Energy’s Scott Rotruck, among many others. 

Spill Containment Conference Set for Caribbean Drilling – OPEN FORUM and the Energy Chamber of Trinidad will hold the first-ever regional conference on emergency response issues for offshore drilling in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Thursday, September 13th.   The event will focus on the critical issues related to emergency spill response procedures and protocols following the BP/Deepwater Horizon incident two years ago. Speakers will include former BOEMRE chief Michael Bromwich and John Slaughter of the U.S. Coast Guard.  Among other experts, our friends at Helix, former IADC head Lee Hunt and Bracewell’s very own Kevin Ewing.  Hunt, who joined with Helix to organize the conference said “While the international focus has been largely an effort by the United States to protect its shores, this conference will give Caribbean nations the opportunity to focus on how they can learn from each other and work together to build deepwater response capabilities.” 

WAPA to Feature KIA at September Lunch – The Washington Automotive Press Assn‘s September luncheon will be held on Friday at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room at 12:00pm.  Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, and Tom Loveless, executive vice president of sales of Kia Motors will tell the story of Kia’s brand transformation and share insights about the company’s commitment to world-class design and standout from the crowd marketing initiatives that have delivered unprecedented growth and momentum and turned Kia into the seventh largest auto brand in the U.S.  During the meeting members and guests also will have a first look at the new Soul Ad Campaign, new vehicles and future technologies from Kia Motors. 

Corbett, Koppel Headline NatGas Conference – Following last year’s inaugural success, the Marcellus Shale Coalition will return to Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center to host the SHALE GAS INSIGHT™ 2012 Conference on September 20-21 to offer insights on natural gas development in in the region.  Industry and policy experts from top producing, midstream, and supply chain firms; academia; government; and the NGO community will provide the latest insights and analysis on state and federal policies, technological advancements in the industry, and much more.  Speakers will include veteran newsman Ted Koppel, PA Gov. Tom Corbett, our WSJ friend Russell Gold and many more.

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

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

Energy Update Week of July 16

Friends, 

I hope everybody survived our third Friday 13th of the year.   This is the anomaly when we have three Friday the 13ths without having a Feb/March repeat (as it is a leap year).  It only happens every 28 years.  So it was an extra special Friday.

Just in case you want an update, Hannah closed out the National Club Lacrosse Championship losing in the Quarter Finals to their arch-rival, despite leading most of the game unfortunately.  As for Adam, his team took third place at Hershey.  He only allowed 7 goals in three games, but was suspended by me for disrespecting his mother on Sunday morning prior to leaving the hotel for the semi-final game, which is why his team had to play for third.  A good lesson for him though.   So done with lacrosse for now…at least until tryouts for next year in August.

In other action, the Tour de France closes this week after yesterday’s shocking act of sabotage on the race.  Someone threw tacks onto the road just before the peloton passed during the 14th stage which caused several riders to blow tires.  But leaders show the ultimate sportsmanship by slowing down until all riders who were disadvantaged could regroup.  BTW, USA Basketball (Women and Men) is at the Verizon Center Tonight in DC to play (more like beat down) Brazil.  This is the last tune up before the London Olympics which starts at the end of the month.

Speaking of the Olympics, Congress is pretty mad over Team USA gear being made in China.  I don’t care what the Olympic Committee’s rationale is, who made that decision and didn’t think it would be a big story?  I mean these are the guys who renamed “French” Fries, “Freedom” Fries after the France wouldn’t let us fly over their air space.   At least Congress finally agrees on something other than trying to make a bee-line for the August recess.  Three busy weeks to go though starting this week with action on the House Floor on spending bills and expanding drilling as well as a slate of hearings.

Our friends Jim Noe (713-301-6797) and Lori LeBlanc (985-448-4485) can address your questions about the new opportunities for drilling, while my colleague Ed Krenik (202-828-5877) is happy to discuss any spending legislation issues.

Tomorrow, Senate Energy looks at cybersecurity and the electric grid while House Energy continues its look at alternative fuels.  On Wednesday, bankrupt solar execs from Abound return (I say return because they were there in June but managed to avoid getting questions from the committee for some reason ) to discuss their troubles, or maybe not if they plead the 5th.  Thursday has Senate hearings on climate impacts on Native Americans and a tax hearing on manufacturing impacts.  Also, there will be another hearing on Friday in House Resources on Helium reserves for (not just because of clown balloons, but rather) health care and other industrial applications. 

We’ll also try to keep tabs on the reschedule of today’s Duke CEO Jim Rogers speech to the National Press Club.  I kind of expected this to be postponed after last week’s proceedings at the NC PUC regarding the recently closed Duke-Progress merger.

Call with questions…

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

IN THE NEWS

Chamber Report on EPA Haze Rule Hits Sue, Settle Strategy – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report Friday criticizing EPA’s regional haze program and the agency’s alleged attempt to usurp state authority through the courts (eg, “sue and settle” litigation), arguing its true motive is to put the coal industry out of business. The report says federally-imposed,  stricter emissions controls will 10 to 20 times more than the technology the states would otherwise have used.  Already, EPA has used this litigation approach to impose almost $375 million in annual costs on six coal-fired power plants in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and North Dakota. It has similarly proposed $24 million in annual costs on a coal-fired power plant in Nebraska. Earthjustice has already disputed the findings as “distorting” EPA’s use of litigation. 

Maryland Gov Visits Clean Currents – Maryland’s governor Martin O’Malley stopped by Clean Currents’ new Silver Spring headquarters last week heralding the company as “innovative” and a green industry success story.   The Governor took the opportunity to address issues with our regional power grid, following the devastating storm and subsequent widespread power outages.  He also discussed the pressing need to advance a vibrant clean energy economy in Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic region, and the U.S.  O’Malley has been a leading advocate for renewable energy since entering office in 2007, setting a goal of producing 20 percent of Maryland’s electricity from in-state renewable sources by 2022.  He has also embarked upon an ambitious green agenda, setting a target to create 100,000 new green jobs in Maryland by 2015, reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020, and reduce per capita energy consumption by 15 percent by 2015.  The Governor also congratulated Clean Currents on graduating from The Rockville Innovation Center, a small-business incubator, and moving into a much expanded office space in downtown Silver Spring.  “We’re honored that the Governor selected Clean Currents as the venue for his remarks on clean energy and the clean economy.  The Governor’s recognition of the work we have been doing in the Mid-Atlantic region validates our dedication to providing residents and businesses in the region with the highest quality affordable green energy options,” said Gary Skulnik, President and Co-Founder of Clean Currents.

Refiners Join With Wildlife Habitat Council – The Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes a strategic partnership between the two organizations. Through the agreement, the groups have agreed to seek joint projects that result in progress toward the mutual goals of the two organizations.  The agreement establishes a framework for cooperation between the two organizations, including engaging in and demonstrating corporate leadership, establishing a joint awards program, and encouraging industry managers’ participation and community involvement in restoration projects. It also provides opportunities for each group to participate and make presentations at the other’s workshops, conferences and meetings.   WHC and AFPM recognize the special and complementary capabilities and resources of their respective organizations, projects, and partners for addressing these concerns and recognize the importance of building a strong partnership in order to achieve the goals of this MOU. “WHC values our partnership with American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers. This agreement reinforces industry’s commitment to voluntary efforts that curb the global loss of wildlife habitat and biodiversity, including involvement through conservation education and community engagement,” said Robert Johnson, WHC President.

THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:

CSIS to Host IEA Technology Experts –The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Ambassador Richard H. Jones, Deputy Executive Director and Dr. Markus Wrake, Senior Energy Analyst and ETP Project Lead, International Energy Agency (IEA) to present the IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.  Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 (ETP 2012) looks at how technologies– from electric vehicles to smart grids– can make a decisive difference in achieving the objective of limiting the global temperature rise to 2°C and enhancing energy security.  ETP 2012 presents scenarios and strategies to 2050, with the aim of guiding decision makers on energy trends and what needs to be done to build a clean, secure and competitive energy future.

ACORE Transportation Conference Set – The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) will convene First Transportation and Renewable Energy Industry Forum tomorrow where business and industry leaders from across the energy spectrum and modes of transportation to discuss the challenges and opportunities to expanding the renewable transportation market. This is the first in a series of forums that will highlight the opportunities and challenges the country faces as it moves toward a 21st century transportation system sourced by renewable energy. Speakers will include Arun Banskota of NRG Energy, Toyota’s William Chernicoff, Doug Durante of the Clean Fuels Development Coalition and Catherine Dunwoody of California Fuel Cell, as well as out media friends  Warren Brown of the Washington Post, Keith Johnson of the Wall Street Journal and John Siciliano of Clean Energy Report.

Senate Energy to Tackle Cyber Attacks, Grid – The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to examine the status of action taken to ensure that the electric grid is protected from cyber attacks.  Witnessed will include FERC’s  Joseph McClelland, GAO’s Gregory Wilshusen, North American Electric Reliability Corporation CEO Gerry Cauley and Ohio PUC Chair Todd Snitchler. 

WAPA to Host Honda Exec – The Washington Automotive Press Assn  (WAPA) will hold its July luncheon tomorrow at Noon at the National Press Club featuring Honda Motors Rick Schostek.  Schostek, senior vice president of Honda of America Mfg will present on how the company bucked conventional wisdom and embarked on a dream that sparked significant innovations in American manufacturing. Schostek also will explain how Honda’s North American responsibilities have blossomed into global capabilities for manufacturing, research, development and engineering – with more than 20 million domestic vehicles built along the way. 

EPA to Hold PM Public Hearings – EPA will hold two public hearings on tomorrow in Philadelphia and Thursday in Sacramento to discuss the proposed updates to the national air quality standards for fine particle pollution (PM2.5). A federal court ruling required EPA to update the standards based on best available science. The proposed updates, which meet that requirement, build on steps already taken by EPA to reduce pollution in communities across the country.

House Energy Panel Continues Alternative Fuels Hearing with EIA, EPA, DOE – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power continues its American Energy Initiative hearing on federal government perspectives regarding alternative fuels and vehicles tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.  Last week, the committee had a food fight between industries over ethanol and other alternative fuels policy.  This week, the witness list include government officials including EIA’s Howard Gruenspecht, EPA’s Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality Margo Oge and DOE’s Kathleen Hogan. 

DOE Webinar to Look at Landfill Gas Projects – The Energy Department will present a live webinar tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. looking at community Renewable Energy success stories featuring landfill gas-to-energy projects. The session will highlight both the challenges and benefits of developing successful community landfill gas-to-energy projects at the Prairie View Recycling and Disposal Facility in Will County, Illinois, and the Perdido Landfill Gas-to-Electricity Project in Escambia County, Florida.

Abound Bankruptcy to be Discussed at Hearing – The House Government Oversight will hold a hearing featuring Abound executives on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the bankruptcy.  Abound filed bankruptcy recently, planned to shut down and lay off 125 employees.  Interestingly though, the Abound CEO was before the Committee in June, but received no questions from the Committee, who at the time was focused on others. Witnesses will include Abound CEO Craig Witsoe, Abound Chairman of the Board Tom Tiller, DOE Loan Program Office acting Executive Director David Frantz and former Loan Program Office Executive Director Jonathan Silver.

RFF Seminar to Look at Emissions Taxes – Resources for the Future will hold an RFF Academic Seminar on Wednesday at Noon featuring presents Jay Coggins of the University of Minnesota, looking at emissions taxes.  The function describing the benefits to abatement is dual to an underlying dose-response function that relates health outcomes to pollution levels. Recent articles by a few health scientists have found strictly concave dose-response functions for fine particulates. In these articles, the first unit of dose is the most damaging, the last unit of abatement (taking us to zero concentration) the most valuable. The dual benefit function must be strictly convex and so marginal benefits to abatement must be upward sloping. We compare quantity and price instruments in this setting, discovering that identifying the optimal price policy can be surprisingly difficult from a technical perspective. A quantity policy is never strictly preferred to a price policy. The level of uncertainty plays a central role that appears to have escaped notice until now, and the optimal emissions tax is sometimes discontinuous in the level of uncertainty.

Forum to Look at Grid Security – Energy Central holds a webinar, beginning at noon, on new approaches to Grid Security on the vulnerabilities of the power grid to computer viruses and cyber-attack.  Participants include Terry Jarrett, regulator with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Committee on Critical Infrastructure; Terry Boston, president and CEO of PJM Interconnections; and Gerry Cauley, president and CEO of North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

House Ways/Means to Look at Manufacturing Tax Issues – The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing in Thursday at 9:30 a.m. on business tax issues currently facing U.S. manufacturing companies, and will examine how comprehensive tax reform could improve the ability of manufacturers to contribute to job creation and economic growth, including U.S.-based public and closely held companies as well as foreign-owned U.S. manufacturers.  The hearing will examine how the current tax system affects U.S. manufacturers, including U.S.-based public and closely held companies as well as foreign-owned U.S. manufacturers, and how comprehensive tax reform might affect their ability to expand and create jobs.  Among the witnesses will be Air Liquide’s tax expert Hugh Spinks, as well as others from 3M, Ford and Corning.

Senate Indian Affairs to Look at Climate, Treaty Rights – The Senate Special Committee on Indian Affairs will hold an oversight hearing on Thursday at 2:15 p.m. to examine climate change, focusing on impacts on treaty rights, traditional lifestyles, and tribal homelands.

House Resources to Look at Helium Reserves –  The House Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Friday at 9:30 a.m. on a helium shortage that could soon intensify with the federal government’s underground stockpile near Amarillo, Texas.   Helium is used by wind turbine and semiconductor manufacturers, as well as in health applications.  Industry and government officials told the Senate Energy Committee last month that inaction could cause a shortage.  Our friend David Joyner of Air Liquide testified at the Senate and will be on-hand again Friday.

THE WEEKS AHEAD:

NARUC Summer Conference Set for Portland – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners returns to Portland, Ore., this summer with a loaded agenda and stellar keynote speakers. NARUC’s 2012 Summer Committee Meetings, July 22-25, will focus on the top challenges facing the utility sector, including smart-grid issues, universal service reform, hydraulic fracturing, new environmental rules, and much more.  Featured speakers at the meeting include University of Colorado School of Law Dean Philip J. Weiser, Environmental Defense Fund General Counsel Vickie Patton, QEP Resources President and CEO Charles Stanley, American Water President and CEO Jeff Sterba, FERC and EPA representatives.  Topics under discussion include: Bridging the Hydraulic Fracturing Divide; A Marriage of Convenience: Can Utilities and Wireless Companies Keep the Lights on; EPA Regulations: Are They Moving America Beyond Coal; Electricity and Gas Interpendencies; cyber security; gas pipeline safety; utility infrastructure costs; and much more.  The NARUC-Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Joint Forum on Reliability and the Environment will meet Wednesday, July 25, and the NARUC-FERC Collaborative on Smart Response will be meeting on Sunday.

Williams CEO to Speak at NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Alan Armstrong, President and Chief Executive Officer of Williams, as its next guest speaker Tuesday, July 24  at 12:30 p.m. at the University Club.        

Panel to Look at Defense Clean Tech – The New Democrat Network will hold a forum on Wednesday, July 25th at Noon to look at Department of Defense clean energy issues.  The Obama Administration’s push for next generation energy technology at the Department of Defense has ignited a congressional debate on the role of DOD in the promotion of clean technology. To take a more in-depth look at this ongoing debate,  Jon Powers, Federal Environmental Executive for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, will lead a panel from the government and the private sector in a spirited debate on the impact of the DOD’s investment in next generation energy technology.  Panelists include DOD’s Dr. Jeff Marqusee, Digital Sun’s Jeff Weiss and DOE’s Holmes Hummel.  

Senate Energy to Look at Water Use – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water and Power will hold a hearing on Wednesday, July 25 to examine the role of water use efficiency and its impact on energy use.

Chamber to Host Canadian Officials on Partnership Opportunities – The National Chamber Foundation of the US Chamber of Commerce is present the next installment of the Business Horizon Series on Tuesday July 31st at 9:00 a.m.  focused on Canada and partnership growth and opportunity.  Canada is a vital economic partner of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. From the Keystone XL pipeline to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, America’s relationship with its northern neighbor covers a number of today’s important issues. Canada is also advancing its economy thanks to key reforms made in prior years. Understanding the past decisions informing Canada’s competitiveness today is an important part of building a relationship for growth well into the future.  Speakers will include Rob Merrifield, Member of Parliament for Yellowhead and Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade and Perrin Beatty, CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Texas Superconference Set – The 24th edition of the annual Texas Environmental Superconference, one of the most entertaining and informative of environmental conferences, will be held on Thursday and Friday – August 2nd and 3rd in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel.   This year’s conference is entitled “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”   The August 1st Wednesday evening session, entitled “How the West Was Won!” will be a primer on Practical Aspects of Environmental Litigation and will be held at the San Jacinto Center, 98 San Jacinto Boulevard, adjacent to the Four Seasons.

Reid Clean Energy Summit Set for August Recess – The 5th annual National Clean Energy Summit will once again bring together clean energy visionaries and leaders, public officials, business executives and entrepreneurs, investors, students, and the media to discuss how to empower the public with tools to promote the clean energy economy; increasing jobs and our energy independence. The day-long clean energy summit will be hosted by Center for American Progress, Clean Energy Project, MGM Resorts International, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. National Clean Energy Summit 5.0: The Power of Choice will focus on empowering individuals, governments, and businesses with the ability to choose clean energy.  The conference will highlight energy options and how the freedom to make clean energy choices can improve the quality of life, save consumers money, and grow the economy.  The more the public, business, and government understand the immense benefits of clean energy, the more likely they are to support and adopt policies to bring that future here sooner.  There has never been a more important time for the nation to better enable investment in clean energy.  Bringing clean energy options in-line with a smarter electricity grid, while increasing the amount of solar, wind, and geothermal energy from projects in Nevada and the West, can give power to new industries and markets that will also simultaneously create new jobs and help rebuild our economy.  The Summit will also discuss why we must invest in the research, development, deployment, and commercialization of new clean tech products to make us competitive in the $7 trillion global clean energy market.  ONE FINAL NOTE:  The event in Las Vegas is only 40 minutes away from BrightSource’s Ivanpah Project, so there is the likelihood that there will be a site visit available.  More on this as we get closer.    

Geothermal Energy Group to Host Summit – The Geothermal Energy Assn will hold its second annual National Geothermal Summit on Tuesday, August 7th and Wednesday, August 8th in Sacramento, CA. This event brings together companies and individuals in the geothermal industry with experts, government officials and other key decision makers. Topics covered will include reducing the risks of geothermal exploration and drilling, utility experience with geothermal power, streamlining NEPA and project planning and permitting and improving incentives for geothermal power.  

 

Energy Update Week of July 9

Friends, 

What a great week away from the rough and tumble of the Congressional schedule…  With all the hot weather, I feel like I should have suffered more.  It was tough sledding from my new “Mike Scanlon” Memorial office in Dewey Beach.  (A beach chair, iPad, cell phone w/ear piece and some SPF 15)   But see, as I return to the area, I ordered temperatures to immediately drop to the 80s.

I always love having a holiday in the middle of the week, so I spent the entire time running/riding between the Dewey/Rehoboth/Ocean City and two lacrosse tournaments.  Only two more tournaments (one in Hershey, PA with a visit to the park, yeah) to go this weekend, then we’re on to fall sports.   Have some good pictures on Facebook if you care to look. 

Also, for those of you headed to tonight’s second Coldplay show at Verizon, you’re in for a treat.  My wife dragged me there last night to see the first show and it was very good.  It was no Iron Maiden show, but I definitely enjoyed it. 

Lots going on this week as Congress returns to the action, most of it politics, politics, politics.  Would you expect anything else?  Speaking of that, the BRT hosts a Presidential Energy preview Wednesday at the  Newseum on featuring our friends Dan Reicher (on behalf of The President) and Linda Stuntz (on behalf of Romney), while tomorrow WCEE hosts a 2012 election breakfast forum on energy featuring my colleagues Dee Martin and Lisa Jaeger.  Also, our friend Steve Levine  moderates an oil reserves forum on Thursday featuring EIA’s Adam Sieminski, Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations, former Shell CEO John Hofmeister, and PFC Energy’s Robin West, among others.

Key hearings this week include House Energy Commerce hearings on alternative vehicles, the EPA RINs Programs Fraud and loan guarantee failure legislation sponsored by Cliff Stearns, as well as a Senate Energy on remediation issues in the NPR-Alaska and House Oversight on overly burdensome regulations.

The Manhattan Institute’s Center for Energy Policy and the Environment launched its Power and Growth Initiative this morning with a new study that highlights U.S. potential to become the world’s energy export leader. My colleagues Scott Segal (202-828-5845) and Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718) are experts on the energy exports subject matter and would be happy to help.

Finally today, NARUC, the National Assn of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the National Assn of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) kick off a two-day forum at the Renaissance Washington to address state energy and clean air issues.  Speakers on the agenda include FERC’s Jon Wellinghoff, EPA’s Gina McCarthy, DOE’s Pat Hoffman and CEQ’s Nancy Sutley, among many other state officials.  

The Tour de France rolls on into week two after a quick, but mountainous 97-mile ride (the shortest stage of the tour) into Switzerland, and speaking of France, our friends at Alstom did a great job hosting the French Golf Open over the weekend.   Across the channel, the London Olympics are just weeks away, and we got a great London preview this week as Roger Federer closed out his 17th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon.  Serena Williams had a great Championship taking the Women’s singles title as well as joining sister Venus to capture the double’s title.  Finally, MLB Home Run Contest tonight and All-Star game tomorrow, with the National’s Bryce Harper now also on the team. 

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

IN THE NEWS

Manhattan Institute Study Says US Can Become World Power With Energy Exports – The Manhattan Institute’s Center for Energy Policy and the Environment launched its Power and Growth Initiative today with a new study that highlights U.S. potential to become the world’s energy export leader. The report, Unleashing the North American Energy Colossus: Hydrocarbons Can Fuel Growth and Prosperity by Mark Mills, MI adjunct fellow and coauthor of The Bottomless Well, says that we can now move beyond the old goal of energy “independence” and embrace an energy export policy. Mills claims that hydrocarbon energy exports can spur economic recovery, a manufacturing revival, and even balanced budgets—if the United States adopts the right policies, and accelerates trends that have already started.  In the first of two new reports (the second to be released in the fall), Mills demonstrates how energy exports can be the key to economic recovery and a manufacturing revival—and even a balanced federal budget—if we only adopt regulatory policies that unleash the full potential of our hydrocarbon resources.  My colleagues Scott Segal (202-828-5845) and Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718) are experts on the energy exports subject matter and would be happy to help.

Corn Prices, Slow Demand Jamming Ethanol – Ethanol makers are cutting production, and some are temporarily idling plants in the Midwest, as corn prices skyrocket and demand for gasoline falls because people are driving less. Valero temporarily idled plants in Nebraska and Indiana because of costs issues.  Each ethanol plant buys corn from farms within a 50-mile radius, and when the local price of corn is too high because of increasing drought conditions, it caused the production was halted.   Our friend Bill Day told AP that he expects the slowdown to be temporary. Day said the Valero has the 60 employees at each plant doing maintenance projects and keeping the facilities in a state where they can be restarted quickly once market conditions improve.

Interior Says We’re Creating Jobs – A new report from the Department of the Interior released today says the activities of the agency contributed $385 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than two million jobs in 2011.  How convenient that it comes out now just before the election in which jobs are an important issue and one in which the President has been under constant attack because of the slow economy.  The report, The Department of the Interior’s Economic Contributions, highlights the impacts of the Department’s broad mission, including land and water management; energy and mineral development on public lands; encouraging tourism and outdoor recreation at national parks, monuments and refuges; wildlife conservation, hunting and fishing; support for American Indian tribal communities and Insular Areas; and scientific research and innovation.  It was prepared by Interior’s Office of Policy Analysis.  Our friend Lori LeBlanc (985-448-4485) of the Gulf Economic Survival Team can help give you a broader perspective of how much better we might have done if Interior would have issued permit faster.

PTC Concern Forces Gamesa Layoffs at Wind Facilities – Another negative result of the political inaction on the wind PTC, Gamesa  announced it is laying off 165 workers at its nacelle and blade manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania citing low demand.  The company furloughed 92 employees at its nacelle plant and 73 workers at its blade facility.  The furloughs are temporary because e it is expected that the lack of demand is temporary due to the PTC renewal, and they will last for 10 weeks from early September.  Shockingly, that puts it into mid-November when Congress is widely expected to renew the PTC in a year-end budget deal. 

THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:

State Agency Assns Hold Clean Air Conference – Today and Tomorrow, NARUC, the National Assn of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the national Assn of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) will hold a forum at the Renaissance Washington to look at state energy and clean air issues.  Speakers on the agenda include FERC’s Jon Wellinghoff, EPA’s Gina McCarthy, DOE’s Pat Hoffman and CEQ’s Nancy Sutley, among many other state officials.  

House Energy to Look at Alt Vehicles – The House Energy and Commerce Subpanel on Energy will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to look at the potential benefits and economic/technological obstacles of alternative transportation energy sources, including biofuels, electricity, natural gas and methanol. That will include discussion of not only what infrastructure and supply is needed to promote alternatives but also the impact on fuel costs and the economy.  Witnesses will include API’s Jack Gerard, RFA’s Bob Dinneen, Gulf CEO Joseph Petrowski, American Tradition Institute Executive Director Thomas Tanton, Advanced Biofuels Association President Michael McAdams, Truman National Security Project Vice President Michael Breen, Methanol Institute Executive Director Gregory Dolan, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers VP Shane Karr, Flex Fuel U.S. CEO Donald Althoff, ANGA’s Tom Hassenboehler and EDTA Chair MaryAnn Wright.

Brazil Infrastructure Challenges Discussed – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute and the Brazil-U.S. Business Council will hold a forum at 10:30 a.m. in its 6th Floor Boardroom looking at a private sector perspective on Brazil’s energy and infrastructure challenge.  The execution of ambitious state and federal plans to expand energy and infrastructure capacity is at the center of Brazil’s current challenge to achieve higher and sustainable rates of economic growth. The State of São Paulo, which is home to the bulk of the country’s private sector companies and produces a third of Brazil’s GDP is at the center of the effort.  The Roundtable Discussion will feature with Carlos Cavalcanti, director of energy and infrastructure at the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo.  Cavalcanti will provide an overview of energy and infrastructure markets and policy in Brazil, including infrastructure integration in South America, the impact of the sustainability agenda, and implications of these issues on Brazilian foreign policy. Carlos Cavalcanti is the director of FIESP’s infrastructure department, which includes FIESP’s energy portfolio. He is also the vice president of FIESP’s Councils on Infrastructure and International Trade.

BP Exec to Look at Alt Energy – The Atlantic Council’s Energy and Environment Program will host a discussion with BP Alternative Energy CEO Katrina Landis tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.  Future demand projections indicate that alternative energy sources will play an ever-growing role in the US and world energy mix. Recognizing the benefits of a diverse future energy mix, BP has made aggressive moves into the alternative energy sector, investing approximately $7 billion since 2005. However, renewable energy currently accounts for only 3.4 percent of US energy production (according to the International Energy Agency). As such, the future of renewable energy production and its role in the electric power portfolio remains an open question. As a leader of one of the world’s largest renewable energy investors, Katrina Landis is uniquely able to provide insight into industry thinking and future direction of the US energy mix.

WCEE’s OpinionShapers Roundtable Features B&G Expert – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will be hosting a roundtable discussion on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. looking at the 2012 Election Year and what women in energy and environment need to know.  The event will be featuring speakers Dee Martin, a Partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, (who will be posing as the Republican on the panel so please feel free to tease her about this) and Christine Warnke, Senior Government Affairs Advisor at Hogan Lovells LLP.  LATE News:  My colleague Lisa Jaeger former EPA General Counsel under Bush 43 will be joining Dee on the Republican side.

IEA to Roll Out Mid-Term Energy, Gas Report – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a forum on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. featuring Didier Houssin, Anne-Sophie Corbeau, and Michael Waldron of the International Energy Agency (IEA) to present the IEA’s Medium-Term Natural Gas Report 2012 along with its new annual publication, the Medium-Term Renewable Energy Report.   This new annual Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2012, provides a key benchmark in renewable energy markets. The first edition focuses on renewable electricity. It assesses the current state of play of renewable energy, identifies the main drivers and barriers to deployment and projects renewable electricity capacity and generation through 2017. Starting with an in-depth analysis of key country-level markets, the report examines the prospects for renewable energy finance and provides a global outlook for each renewable electricity technology. The report analyses enablers and barriers to renewable energy deployment in detail, examining larger electricity market issues that have implications for renewable development, including country-level demand projections, anticipated changes in conventional generating capacity and power system integration.  The Medium-Term Gas Market Report reviews how gas markets met the challenges of 2011, from the consequences of the Fukushima incident to the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa to a further deteriorating economy. It gives detailed gas supply, demand and trade forecasts up to 2017, by region as well as for key countries. Amid a fragile economy and widely diverging regional gas prices, the report provides an in-depth look at future changes in trade patterns as markets absorb a second wave of LNG supply. While investigating many of today’s crucial questions, the Medium-Term Gas Market Report tests the upper limit of gas demand in the United States, analyses European gas consumption’s struggle to recover, and assesses the potential of new suppliers.

House Energy Panel to Look at RINs Fraud Issue – The House Energy panel on Oversight will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., looking at the recent fraud cases in the EPA RINs program.   The program has been clouded by controversy for months and last week a federal jury found a Maryland man guilty of selling $9 million worth of fake renewable fuel credits. The program required oil and biofuels industries to buy the credits to satisfy requirements that they are blending a certain percentage of biofuels into the transportation fuel supply.  My Colleague Salo Zelermyer (202-828-1718) is expert in the matter and would be helpful if you have questions.

Business Roundtable To Host Presidential Campaign Debate on Energy Future – The Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of leading U.S. companies, will host an on-the-record energy debate on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. at the Newseum with representatives from President Obama’s and Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaigns. Debate topics will include hydraulic fracturing, LNG exports, nuclear power and the Keystone XL pipeline, among others pressing issues.  Experts will include update friends, former Clinton DOE official and Google exec Dan Reicher (now at Stanford) and former Bush DOE official Linda Gillespie Stuntz of Stuntz, Davis & Staffier.   The event will be moderated by Gerald Seib, Washington Editor of The Wall Street Journal

Forum to Discuss Future Oil Reserves, Policy – The New America Foundation will hold a forum on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. scrutinizing a potential new golden age of oil, and what it could mean for the next president.  Less than a year ago, industry experts were warning of a world of oil scarcity and the prospect of resource war among nations fighting for their share of a short global supply. Now, new projections have energy analysts heralding a future of cheap, abundant oil, with the possibility of energy independence for North America. If the new narrative turns out to be true, it could have a profound effect on the feasibility of alternative energy and how we view climate change; it could also fundamentally reshape the geopolitical landscape. Are the projections valid, or the product of aspiration? If we have entered a new golden age of fossil fuels, how will it influence politics at home and abroad?  Our friend, Steve Levine and Susan Glasser will lead a group of panels featuring  EIA’s Adam Sieminski, Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations, CSIS’s Edward Chow, former Shell CEO John Hofmeister, Citigroup’s Edward Morse and PFC Energy’s Robin West.

Wilson Forum to Look at Arctic Energy – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will host an event on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. focused on understanding the forces driving the increase in exploration. A panel of Arctic oil and gas industry professionals will reveal what new techniques and technologies are allowing this unprecedented activity. In addition, Arctic experts will examine what nations can do to protect the environment, increase production, and ensure international cooperation.  As ice continues to melt in the Arctic, previously inaccessible and undiscovered resources are becoming available to the world. Driven by ever increasing energy demands, exploration of the Arctic has exploded in recent years. As the competition for these resources has increased, new partnerships and rivalries have begun to emerge at the Northern Pole.  Speakers include Jim Slutz of the Canada Institute, Zachary Hamilla, of the Office of Naval Intelligence and PFC Energy’s  Julia Nanay, among others. 

Senate Energy to Look at Wells in Alaska –The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to discuss federal efforts to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.  Witnesses will include BLM leaders in Alaska and several others. 

House Energy to Look at Solyndra Legislation – The House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on Thursday to consider the “Smart Energy Act,” introduced by Reps. Charles Bass and Jim Matheson, as well as the “No More Solyndras Act,” from Rep. Cliff Stearns. 

Senate Environment to Look at Lead Impacts on Development – The Senate Environment will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the effects of lead poisoning on childhood development.

THE WEEKS AHEAD:

Duke CEO to Address Press Club – The National Press Club will host Jim Rogers, chief executive officer of Duke Energy on Monday, July 16th to look at the future of the electric-utility industry.  Rogers, of course has recently come under scrutiny over the recently closed Duke-Progress merger and the ousting of planned CEO Bill Johnson. 

CSIS to Host IEA Technology Experts –The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Ambassador Richard H. Jones, Deputy Executive Director and Dr. Markus Wrake, Senior Energy Analyst and ETP Project Lead, International Energy Agency (IEA) to present the IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 on Tuesday, July 17th at 9:30 a.m.  Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 (ETP 2012) looks at how technologies– from electric vehicles to smart grids– can make a decisive difference in achieving the objective of limiting the global temperature rise to 2°C and enhancing energy security.  ETP 2012 presents scenarios and strategies to 2050, with the aim of guiding decision makers on energy trends and what needs to be done to build a clean, secure and competitive energy future.

ACORE Transportation Conference Set – The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) will convene First Transportation and Renewable Energy Industry Forum on July 17th where business and industry leaders from across the energy spectrum and modes of transportation to discuss the challenges and opportunities to expanding the renewable transportation market. This is the first in a series of forums that will highlight the opportunities and challenges the country faces as it moves toward a 21st century transportation system sourced by renewable energy. Speakers will include Arun Banskota of NRG Energy, Toyota’s William Chernicoff, Doug Durante of the Clean Fuels Development Coalition and Catherine Dunwoody of California Fuel Cell, as well as out media friends  Warren Brown of the Washington Post, Keith Johnson of the Wall Street Journal and John Siciliano of Clean Energy Report.

WAPA to Host Honda Exec – The Washington Automotive Press Assn  (WAPA) will hold its July luncheon on Tuesday, July 17 at Noon at the National Press Club featuring Honda Motors Rick Schostek.  Schostek, senior vice president of Honda of America Mfg will present on how the company bucked conventional wisdom and embarked on a dream that sparked significant innovations in American manufacturing. Schostek also will explain how Honda’s North American responsibilities have blossomed into global capabilities for manufacturing, research, development and engineering – with more than 20 million domestic vehicles built along the way. 

EPA to Hold PM Public Hearings – EPA will hold two public hearings on Tuesday, July 17th in Philadelphia and Thursday, July 19th in Sacramento) to discuss the proposed updates to the national air quality standards for fine particle pollution (PM2.5). A federal court ruling required EPA to update the standards based on best available science. The proposed updates, which meet that requirement, build on steps already taken by EPA to reduce pollution in communities across the country.

DOE Webinar to Look at Landfill Gas Projects – The Energy Department will present a live webinar Tuesday, July 17th at 3:00 p.m. looking at community Renewable Energy success stories featuring landfill gas-to-energy projects. The session will highlight both the challenges and benefits of developing successful community landfill gas-to-energy projects at the Prairie View Recycling and Disposal Facility in Will County, Illinois, and the Perdido Landfill Gas-to-Electricity Project in Escambia County, Florida.

Abound Bankruptcy to be Discussed at Hearing – The House Government Oversight will hold a hearing featuring Abound executives on Wednesday July 18th to discuss the bankruptcy.  Abound filed bankruptcy recently, planned to shut down and lay off 125 employees.  Interestingly though, the Abound CEO was before the Committee in June, but received no questions from the Committee, who at the time was focused on others.

RFF Seminar to Look at Emissions Taxes – Resources for the Future will hold an RFF Academic Seminar on Wednesday, July 18th at Noon featuring presents Jay Coggins of the University of Minnesota, looking at emissions taxes.  The function describing the benefits to abatement is dual to an underlying dose-response function that relates health outcomes to pollution levels. Recent articles by a few health scientists have found strictly concave dose-response functions for fine particulates. In these articles, the first unit of dose is the most damaging, the last unit of abatement (taking us to zero concentration) the most valuable. The dual benefit function must be strictly convex and so marginal benefits to abatement must be upward sloping. We compare quantity and price instruments in this setting, discovering that identifying the optimal price policy can be surprisingly difficult from a technical perspective. A quantity policy is never strictly preferred to a price policy. The level of uncertainty plays a central role that appears to have escaped notice until now, and the optimal emissions tax is sometimes discontinuous in the level of uncertainty.

Senate Indian Affairs to Look at Climate, Treaty Rights – The Senate Special Committee on Indian Affairs will hold an oversight hearing on Thursday, July 19th at 2:15 p.m. to examine climate change, focusing on impacts on treaty rights, traditional lifestyles, and tribal homelands.      

NARUC Summer Conference Set for Portland – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners returns to Portland, Ore., this summer with a loaded agenda and stellar keynote speakers. NARUC’s 2012 Summer Committee Meetings, July 22-25, will focus on the top challenges facing the utility sector, including smart-grid issues, universal service reform, hydraulic fracturing, new environmental rules, and much more.  Featured speakers at the meeting include University of Colorado School of Law Dean Philip J. Weiser, Environmental Defense Fund General Counsel Vickie Patton, QEP Resources President and CEO Charles Stanley, American Water President and CEO Jeff Sterba, FERC and EPA representatives.  Topics under discussion include: Bridging the Hydraulic Fracturing Divide; A Marriage of Convenience: Can Utilities and Wireless Companies Keep the Lights on; EPA Regulations: Are They Moving America Beyond Coal; Electricity and Gas Interpendencies; cyber security; gas pipeline safety; utility infrastructure costs; and much more.  The NARUC-Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Joint Forum on Reliability and the Environment will meet Wednesday, July 25, and the NARUC-FERC Collaborative on Smart Response will be meeting on Sunday, July 22.

Texas Superconference Set – The 24th edition of the annual Texas Environmental Superconference, one of the most entertaining and informative of environmental conferences, will be held on Thursday and Friday – August 2nd and 3rd in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel.   This year’s conference is entitled “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”   The August 1st Wednesday evening session, entitled “How the West Was Won!” will be a primer on Practical Aspects of Environmental Litigation and will be held at the San Jacinto Center, 98 San Jacinto Boulevard, adjacent to the Four Seasons.

Reid Clean Energy Summit Set for August Recess – The 5th annual National Clean Energy Summit will once again bring together clean energy visionaries and leaders, public officials, business executives and entrepreneurs, investors, students, and the media to discuss how to empower the public with tools to promote the clean energy economy; increasing jobs and our energy independence. The day-long clean energy summit will be hosted by Center for American Progress, Clean Energy Project, MGM Resorts International, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. National Clean Energy Summit 5.0: The Power of Choice will focus on empowering individuals, governments, and businesses with the ability to choose clean energy.  The conference will highlight energy options and how the freedom to make clean energy choices can improve the quality of life, save consumers money, and grow the economy.  The more the public, business, and government understand the immense benefits of clean energy, the more likely they are to support and adopt policies to bring that future here sooner.  There has never been a more important time for the nation to better enable investment in clean energy.  Bringing clean energy options in-line with a smarter electricity grid, while increasing the amount of solar, wind, and geothermal energy from projects in Nevada and the West, can give power to new industries and markets that will also simultaneously create new jobs and help rebuild our economy.  The Summit will also discuss why we must invest in the research, development, deployment, and commercialization of new clean tech products to make us competitive in the $7 trillion global clean energy market.  ONE FINAL NOTE:  The event in Las Vegas is only 40 minutes away from BrightSource’s Ivanpah Project, so there is the likelihood that there will be a site visit available.  More on this as we get closer.    

 

Energy Update Week of May 14

Friends, 

A little shorter version of the usual Monday update because I was offsite yesterday, but certainly not enough to avoid Interior’s announcement about the Atlantic Wind Connection.  Interior declared there to be no competitive interest for the use of certain areas of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to construct an offshore transmission system which will speed permitting efforts.  Please feel free to follow up with Bob Mitchell (202-258-0960) if you have lingering questions. 

I tweeted (@FrankTalk19) a couple of the most excellent shots of the Hercules offshore rig with my friends at CBS Sunday.    They are doing a feature on islands this Sunday and always feature one “man-made” island which this year is the 173.  Looking forward to seeing the story as it captures day-to-day life on the working rig.  Incidentally, today the White House is releasing another report saying leases are going unused.  Funny how that works, because having been out there yesterday, I’d say that if there is oil or natural gas liquids in the ground, companies are trying to get it as fast as possible.  See more below, but our friend Jim Noe is happy to discuss (713-301-6797) 

Big hearing in Senate Energy Thursday on the Clean Energy Standard, perhaps the first of several as we understand it.  My colleagues Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead think it will be very different to do in an election year and still see a lot of homework to do.  They are happy to discuss the issue.  In addition, we’re keeping track of Lisa Jackson at Senate Approps, the House Oversight Committee and the Friday farm bill hearing.  Also, we may here more recommendations for tariffs in the solar dumping case against China by Thursday.  Already both sides are out in full force trying to apply last minute public pressure to shape the debate

NCAA lacrosse first rounds were awesome setting up a classic JHU-Maryland matchup on the men’s side at Navy Marine Corps Stadium Saturday at high noon.  Not to be outdone, the women’s side will feature a Maryland-Loyola matchup where former UMD great Jen Adams will coach against her alma mater (also at high noon).  Which way to go?  Oh the drama in my house…  Girls want to go to College Park, Adam is demanding heading to Annapolis.  Either way, it will be great.  The NY Rangers barely finished off the Caps (but give them credit that they did) and the LA Kings look unstoppable.  Hard to believe from a team that snuck into the playoffs on the last day of the season.  By the way, does the NBA even exist anymore?  Are they still in a lockout?  Seriously, can the NBA playoffs be any more boring compared to the NHL?  I would rather watch the action during a rain delay at Nationals Park than watch the first few rounds of the NBA playoffs.  I hope to finals can get a little better.

Call will questions.  You should also follow our Bracewell DC crew on Twitter @PolicyRez as well.

Best,

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

IN THE NEWS

White House Report Says Leases Going Unused – The White is releasing a new report today that says nearly 72% of the Outer Continental Shelf land leased for oil and gas development is “not producing or not subject to pending or approved exploration or development plans.” As for onshore leases, about 56% of federal land leased in the continental U.S. was idle as of the end of 2011.  This one again, underscores the fundamental misunderstanding this administration continues to show about the oil/gas industry.  And they don’t really care right now, because they are trying to inoculate themselves from a political weakness with misleading statistics and political rhetoric.  Apparently, according the energy “experts” in the White House’s definition of “idle” doesn’t include exploratory work and environmental reviews that must take place before drilling can begin.   My friend Jim Noe can discuss the issue (713-301-6797).

Final EPA Dimock Testing Shows No Impacts from Drilling – A final batch of EPA drilling tests said there was no water with unsafe levels of chemicals and that none of the levels that are there can be associated with drilling.  EPA has been testing water in Dimock, Pa. from January to March, and has been unveiling them in a series of late afternoon Friday releases.  As with the previous three sampling results, EPA found that Dimock drinking water meets all regulatory standards.  The EPA again did not indicate that those contaminants that were detected bore any relationship to gas development in the Dimock area.  These contaminants are more likely indicative of naturally-occurring background levels or other unrelated activities.  Cabot said it was pleased that EPA has now reached the same conclusion of Cabot and state and local authorities resulting from the collection of more than 10,000 pages of hard data — that the water in Dimock meets all regulatory standards.

Interior Moves Offshore Wind Transmission Project Forward – Continuing its significant momentum supporting offshore wind energy and transmission, the Department of Interior today declared there to be no competitive interest for the use of certain areas of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to construct an offshore transmission system being proposed by the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC).  After a year of intensive internal and public review, the decision allows the project to move forward in its permitting process.  AWC CEO Bob Mitchell praised the Administration’s effort on renewable energy, saying the decision is an important step to advancing what could be the world’s first integrated electric transmission superhighway for offshore wind.  Mitchell: “This milestone allows the AWC to proceed to intelligently plan for the backbone transmission system that is necessary for an entirely new robust offshore wind industry to develop in America. There is no reason for the United States to have to yield all of the factories and jobs to Europe and China.”  A Determination of No Competitive Interest (DNCI) has been made by Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), after soliciting input from other potential competitors and the public.  The DNCI issuance allows BOEM to grant the project a right-of-way (ROW) on the OCS once the environmental impact of the project is reviewed under NEPA, and with further public input.  The lack of competitive interest means that the delays associated with an auction are avoided.

Brattle Study Cites Concerns for Midwest in Mercury Rule – A new study for the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) by The Brattle Group found that compliance with the MATS rule poses significant challenges for generators in the Midwest.  The feasibility assessment took into account the historical level of actual retrofits and new generation construction, typical timelines to complete various types of projects, potential bottlenecks in specialized types of labor, and the required planned outages in coal plants to install and test the environment control equipment. The study finds that the projected amount of retrofits on coal units and the amount of new generation to replace retiring coal units in the MISO region will exceed the historical maximum achieved for simultaneous deployments of retrofits and new builds by 51% to 162%, based on MISO’s current projections of retrofit requirements and announced projects. For nationwide retrofits, the requirements imposed by MATS would be below historical maximums if the EPA’s projections are correct, or up to 93% above historical maximums if industry estimates are more accurate.  With respect to the timeline needed for retrofits, the study finds that some types of upgrades can be completed before 2015 without difficulty, including activated carbon injection (ACI) and dry sorbent injection (DSI), which can be implemented within approximately a year and a half. Most projects, however, have a longer lead time of approximately three to four years, including wet and dry scrubber, baghouse, electrostatic precipitator (ESP), and selective catalytic reduction (SCR), as well as new gas combustion turbines (CTs) and combined cycles (CCs). Some of these longer lead time projects may not be completed by the MATS compliance date (April 2015, with a potential one-year extension) to the extent they have not already started. 

Brattle Also Raises Concerns about Labor to Upgrade – The Brattle study also evaluated the potential for craft labor to become a bottleneck that could introduce project delays and increase costs. Comparing the projected labor needs against the current labor supply for each craft revealed that boilermakers are the most likely bottleneck. As many as 7,590 boilermakers (or 40% of boilermakers currently employed nationally) could be needed to complete the projected retrofits and new generation construction by 2015. This potential demand is more than four times the number of boilermakers currently employed in the Utility System Construction Industry. Therefore, meeting the projected demand for boilermakers will likely require a combination of adjustments on the supply side, including training new labor, relocation, extending work hours, and attracting craft labor from other industries.  With respect to the incremental outage periods necessary to implement the projected retrofits, the study estimates that some upgrades, such as dry scrubber, DSI, selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR), and ACI, require that the outage duration need only be extended a few days or a week, although some types of upgrades impose much longer outages. Wet FGD, baghouse, and SCR retrofits are likely to require that outages be extended by approximately three weeks. Considering the fleet-wide impacts of these outages, it appears that MISO may have to schedule approximately 45% more MW of coal outages per season for MATS compliance by fall 2015, assuming that many plants will gain a one-year compliance extension. These additional outage requirements appear to be feasible to implement under MISO’s low-retirement scenarios without causing system reliability concerns. The study notes, however, that implementing the incremental outages under scenarios with higher coal retirement scenarios (12 GW and 19 GW) would likely require a combination of extending the six-month outage season to nine months and requesting an additional one-year reliability extension to 2017 for MATS compliance.

Get the Study Here – The Brattle study, “Supply Chain and Outage Analysis of MISO Coal Retrofits for MATS,” was prepared by Brattle economists Metin Celebi, Kathleen Spees, and Quincy Liao, with assistance from Steve Eisenhart at the VATIC Associates. It is available for download at www.brattle.com.

RFA Says Ethanol Reduced Gas Price – The Renewable Fuels Association will release a report today that says ethanol reduced the price of gasoline in 2011 by an average of $1.09 per gallon – up from $0.89 per gallon in 2010.  The finding is in according to updated research conducted by economics professors at the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University.  Surprisingly, those economic found that three primary factors are responsible for “price benefit:”  higher oil and gasoline prices, higher ethanol inclusion and ethanol being priced at a larger-than-normal discount to gasoline.  Refiners said the study is flawed and is based on false assumptions and distorted statistics to reach the predetermined conclusion.  Charlie Drevna: “ Today’s study is just an update of an equally flawed 2009 study that even the authors conceded is not a reflection of reality. In their original 2009 report, the authors of the study wrote:  ‘…it would be wrong to extrapolate the results to today’s markets.’   AFPM says increased amounts of ethanol in gasoline will likely lead to consumers paying even more at the pump. According to the AAA daily fuel gauge report, fuel that is 85% ethanol, E85, significantly decreases fuel economy and is more expensive than gasoline on a miles-per-gallon basis due to its lower energy content, even at today’s prices. The AAA report notes that if consumers were to use E85 today, they would be paying nearly 60 cents per gallon more than if they filled up with regular gasoline.

THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:

API to Look at Politics, Energy – API will host a discussion at The National Press Club on Tuesday, May 15th at 8:30 a.m. to look at the importance of sound energy decisions for our nation.  At the event, API will release a report to the Democratic and Republican Platform Committees followed by a bipartisan panel discussion with energy advisors and experts.

CFTC Chairman to Address the National Press Club Luncheon – Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will address the National Press Club at a luncheon on Tuesday May 15th at 12:30 p.m. at a luncheon speech.  Gensler and his agency are at the center of implementing the sweeping – and controversial — Dodd-Frank financial reform law, enacted in 2010. Congress passed the law in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, which was triggered by liquidity problems in the U.S. banking system and collapse of the housing bubble.  The law contains the most comprehensive changes to financial-market regulation since the Great Depression. It has drawn withering criticism from many conservatives for its far-reaching efforts to impose enough rules to prevent another financial crisis. Opponents object in particular to its establishment of a new consumer protection agency, which supporters say is a vital reform.

MD to Hold Public Meetings on Climate Change – Maryland continues its public meetings today on its climate change law in Centreville in Queen Anne’s County.  In 2009, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act that requires the State to develop and implement a plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25% by 2020. Last week the meetings kicked off in Elkton, MD.  Other meetings will be in Fredrick on May 24th, Annapolis on May 31st and Baltimore on June 5th

Nebraska Hearings Set for new Pipeline Route – The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality will hold two more hearings Wednesday in Albion tomorrow and in Central City on Thursday to discuss the new path for the Keystone Pipeline.  The meetings will be one opportunity for the agency to meet with interested persons and discuss where the pipeline review process stands.  NDEQ says they will have detailed maps available, so that people can get a clearer idea of where the corridor is proposed. NDEQ  held meetings last week in O’Neill and in Neligh

CHP Spring Forum Set – The U.S. Clean Heat & Power Association will hold its Spring CHP Forum on Wednesday at the Washington Plaza Hotel in DC. 

Great Efficiency Day Set – The first installment of the 2012 Great Energy Efficiency Day Series, will be held on Wednesday morning at Union Station’s Columbus Club, as representatives from diverse industries convene a discussion on the business case for energy efficiency. Learn how and why all sectors of business – from automakers to utility providers to product manufacturers – are adopting energy-efficient practices to increase profitability, productivity, and security. And, gain insight into how the public sector is driving efficiency through keynote addresses from Congressional, Administration, and State officials.   Launched in 2004, Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) has quickly become a “must attend” public discussion on the need for, and benefits of, energy efficiency. In 2012, GEED is expanding to a twice-a-year series on Capitol Hill to provide more public opportunity for energy efficiency discourse.  GEED events draw more than 400 stakeholders from business, industry, government, academia, and media to discuss the most pressing issues and advances in energy efficiency.  Confirmed speakers include Sen. Mark Warner, Kateri Callahan of the Alliance to Save Energy, ACC’s Cal Dooley, BRT President and former MI Governor John Engler, EEI head Tom Kuhn, AGA President Dave McCurdy, DOE’s Maria Vargas and many more. 

House Oversight to Look at Clean Tech, Loan Guarantees – The House Oversight panel on Regulation chaired by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.    Witnesses will include Craig Witsoe of Abound Solar, Brian Fairbank of Nevada Geothermal Power Inc., BrightSource Energy CEO John Woolard, FirstSolar’s Michael Ahearn, and James Nelson of Solar 3D and Gregory Kats of Capital-E.

AEI to Look at Cuba Issues – While it isn’t only about energy, the American Enterprise Institute will hold an event tomorrow that will look at Cuba after Castro and I fully expect there will be some discussion on Cuba’s plan to drill for oil off its Northern coast.  The event will be at 10:00 a.m. and will feature

Senate Approps Panel to Host Jackson – EPA’s Lisa Jackson will be featured at a Senate Appropriations environmental panel hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. to discuss EPA budget issues.

Senate Environment to Highlight Role of Corporate Responsibility – The Senate Committee on Environment’s panel on Children’s Health and Environmental Responsibility will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. looking at corporate environmental responsibility and innovation.  Witnesses will include Intel’s Todd Brady, GE Power & Water’s , Len Sauers of Procter & Gamble, Eastman Chemical’s Parker Smith and Mitch Jackson of FedEx.

Blackburn, Shaheen Headline Women’s Energy Council Forum – The Women’s Energy Resource Council  will hold its 2nd Annual Leadership Forum  on Wednesday  at Noon at the Phoenix Park Hotel.  The forum will include a variety of speakers and panelists from Capitol Hill, the Administration, and the private sector.  Registration and lunch begin at 11:30am with Representative Marsha Blackburn starting the program at 12:00.  Some of the other speakers will include Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Politics Daily’s Patricia Murphy, and Pia Carusone, Chief of Staff to former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who will discuss crisis management during the Tucson shooting. 

WAPA to Discuss Mercedes Mobile Technology – The Washington Automotive Press Association will host its May luncheon on Wednesday at the National Press Club featuring Matthew Wiethoff, Manager of Business to Consumer Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.  Wiethoff will discuss the strategy behind the company’s mobile technology initiatives and what’s in the pipeline.  In October 2009, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services became the first captive auto finance company to introduce an app for customers with iPhones to enable them to make monthly payments.  Since introducing its iPhone app giving customers the convenience to make payments “anytime, anywhere,” Mercedes-Benz Financial Services (MBFS) has received over $68 million in payments via mobile channels through the first quarter of this year — and the number is growing.  Given the strong demand, MBFS continues to build capabilities in the mobile space, having recently enhanced the My MBFS app to include: request a quote from a dealer; payment reminders; and GPS dealer locator capability.

ELI Panel to Look at Litigation, Environmental Exposure – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a panel discussion on tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. focused on environmental litigation and the bar for injury in environmental exposure cases.  Panelists will include Carla Burke of Baron & Budd, John Guttmann of Beveridge & Diamond and Robert Percival of the Environmental Law Program of University of Maryland Carey School of Law.

Solar Expert Featured at ICF Energy Breakfast – ICF International will host its May Energy and Environment Breakfast on Thursday morning featuring Julia Hamm, president and CEO of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). The outlook for solar power and for specific projects is being buffeted by many factors, including sharp declines in the cost of photovoltaics, low prices for natural gas, state Renewable Portfolio Standards, and Federal tax credits and research programs (such as the SunShot Initiative). Hamm will discuss the role can solar electricity play in the future of the U.S. power mix and what issues need to be addressed for it to reach its full potential, as well as the best prospects and opportunities for development. 

Green Week Panels Cover Array of Issues — The Institute for Policy Analysis and Interpretation will hold DuPont Green Week activities on Thursday and Friday at Johns Hopkins University with panels on financing, carbon markets and many other topics. 

DOE to Headline Industrial Efficiency Forum – The Alliance to Save Energy’s honoring its 35th Anniversary, will hold an Industrial Energy Efficiency Forum on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. at EEI.  The event will include experts from a diverse set of industries who will discuss energy efficiency within the industrial sector – from their early efforts to current energy efficiency and management programs being implemented across U.S. industry.  Discover how manufacturers have improved energy efficiency at their plants and what types of mechanisms and technologies will be important in achieving additional gains in energy efficiency, industrial productivity, and energy security. Valuable insights into Superior Energy Performance and Better Buildings/Better Plants will be provided along with the recognition of several plants in the Southeast that have achieved Superior Energy Performance certification through ISO 50001 energy management and verified energy Speakers will include DOE’s Kathleen Hogan and many others. 

Senate Energy to hold Clean Energy Standard Hearing – The full Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing on Thursday to focus on the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 and receive testimony on S. 2146. Witnesses include DOE’s David Sandalow and EIA’s Howard Gruenspecht, as well as RFF’s Karen Palmer, Judy Greenwald from the former Pew Climate Group now named the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, DE DNREC Secretary Colin O’Mara, American Iron and Steel Institute CEO Tom Gibson, Duke Energy’s Keith Trent and Jacksonville Electric Authority CEO James Dickenson.  My colleague Scott Segal says a federal standard mandating certain energy investments is a difficult policy to get right.  He adds that supporters must take into account geographic differences and must incentivize a sensible mix of technologies, including both energy-generating and energy-saving approaches.  A CES must be based on realistic assumptions about the future of nuclear power and the real costs of certain renewables.  Segal: “In a down economy,  costs to consumers must be a paramount consideration.  Unfortunately, the whole range of final and proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations on the power sector have already ensured that energy costs will be increasing.  There is not a single study that evaluates the cost of a federal CES against the backdrop of these regulations.  There is a lot of homework yet to be done, and not much time to do it during this election year.”

SAFE Group to Unveil Report – On Thursday, the Diplomatic Council on Energy Security (DCES) will formally launch with its report on oil’s impact on the trade deficit, followed by a discussion energy security with DCES members at the Hay Adams Hotel at 10:00 a.m.  The DCES, a project of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), is a bipartisan coalition of former U.S. ambassadors who have come together to call attention to the diplomatic and foreign policy constraints posed by America’s dependence on oil.

Brookings Forum to Look at Clean tech Innovations – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., Global Economy and Development at Brookings will host a discussion on how international organizations can help fill capacity building and financing gaps in clean technology innovation in developing and least developed countries. Panelists will include Tim Richards, managing director for International Energy Policy at General Electric Company; Alfred Watkins, executive chairman of the Global Innovation Summit; Dr. Romain Murenzi, executive director of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World; and Brookings Nonresident Fellow Nathan Hultman, director of the Environmental Policy Program at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. Brookings Senior Fellow Katherine Sierra will moderate the discussion.

EPA Economists Discuss Electronic Reporting on Water – Resource for the Future will hold a forum on Thursday at Noon  in its 7th Floor Conference Room on electronic reporting of water discharge monitoring report data and whether it affects compliance behavior of regulated entities. Ron Shadbegian and Ann Wolverton of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics exam whether or not the adoption of an electronic reporting requirement increases on-time reporting of monthly discharge data and the probability that regulated entities are in compliance, and reduces their overall discharges relative to the permitted amount.

Reps. to Highlight Energy Storage Efforts – The Electricity Storage Association along with the Copper Development Association, National Electrical Manufacturers Association, National Hydropower Association, and NY-BEST will host an event on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in 1300 Longworth to look at energy storage technologies.  Reps. Chris Gibson and Mike Thompson are expected to attend.

Biofuels Roundtable Set – USDA, along with the Department of Energy and the Department of Navy, will co-host an Advanced Biofuels Industry Roundtable, Friday.  The Roundtable will focus on efforts to accelerate the production of bio-based fuels for military and commercial purposes. Last year, USDA, and the Departments of Energy and the Navy announced that – through the Defense Production Act – they will collaborate to accelerate the development of advanced, drop-in aviation and marine biofuels and marine diesel to help power our military. Participants in this roundtable will discuss next steps for those interested in pursuing the production of aviation biofuels and marine diesel. Topics will include production, distribution and contracting, and best practices. This roundtable follows a “match making” event hosted last week at USDA headquarters to promote connections between agricultural producers of energy feedstocks, and biorefineries.   In August 2011, the agencies announced plans to invest up to $510 million during the next three years to produce drop-in aviation and marine biofuels. 

In December, the Navy announced “the single largest purchase of advanced drop-in biofuel in government history by the Defense Logistics Agency,” for 450,000 gallons of fuel.   This roundtable follows a matchmaking event hosted on March 30 at USDA headquarters to promote connections between agricultural producers of energy feedstocks and biorefineries.

THE WEEKS AHEAD:

Forum Set to Discuss Science, Future Enterprise – The New American Foundation will hold a forum on Science issues on Monday afternoon, May 21st.  Science and technology in America have been guided by the same set of ideas for more than half a century. The conventional wisdom is that if we feed more money and more scientists into our existing “knowledge enterprise” complex, society will derive proportionately more benefits. In the face of the global economic downturn, political disarray at the national level, and protracted challenges to the nation’s public health, environmental quality, industrial base, and energy system, this simplistic assumption is long overdue for a reckoning.   Today’s challenges demand new ways of thinking about science and technology, and the government’s role in advancing them. The problem, any honest inquiry will suggest, isn’t always money, or the number of scientists, but the very way we do science.   Speakers will include our friend Andy Revkin, GWU President Emeritus Stephen Trachtenberg and many others.

Columbia U to Host EPA Regional Enviro Conference – EPA and Columbia University Law School will host its biennial conference on May 23rd in New York that examines key and emerging environmental issues in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 area, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Topics will include natgas extraction, as well as air and climate issues.  Speakers will include EPA’s Judith Enck, several state Environmental Commissioners and other experts. 

Geothermal Energy Conference Set – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will be holding the 4th annual GEA International Geothermal Energy Showcase on May 23rd at the Reagan Trade Center in Washington, DC to highlight international geothermal projects, policies, and development in top international markets.  Industry leaders, government officials, and other power sector representatives from the U.S. and around the world are expected to participate.   This year, the event will focus on success in the leading countries and geothermal markets. Participants from the countries which are showing the most dramatic growth will be asked to address the event. Discussion will highlight what measures are succeeding in expanding geothermal energy production, with special attention paid to U.S. geothermal exports and financing for international geothermal development.   GEA is inviting representatives from both government and business involved in key geothermal markets including the Caribbean, Central America, Chile, East Africa, Europe, Indonesia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines and Turkey. The program will encourage discussion and interaction about government policies, projects in development, market potential, and opportunities for U.S. companies. Attendees will also hear from U.S. Government agencies involved in export assistance for geothermal companies, and from U.S. companies developing projects overseas.

Brookings Forum to Look at Shipping Industry, Climate – On Thursday, May 24th, Global Economy and Development at Brookings, Oxfam America, World Wildlife Fund and ActionAid will host a discussion on how mechanisms in the shipping industry can be designed to mobilize new public resources to help developing countries confront the climate crisis while reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Panelists will include Ambassador Charles Rudolph Paul, Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the United States of America; Michael Keen, deputy director of the Fiscal Affairs Department at the International Monetary Fund; Nigel Purvis, president and CEO of Climate Advisers; and Heather Coleman, senior policy advisor at Oxfam America. Brookings Senior Fellow Katherine Sierra will moderate the discussion.

RFF to Host Economics Nobel Prize Winner for Lecture – In celebration of its 60th anniversary, Resources for the Future is presenting Resources 2020 on Friday, June 1st at 2:00 p.m. in National Geographic Museum’s  Grosvenor Auditorium and features  2009 Nobel Economic Sciences Laureate Elinor Ostrom.  Resources 2020 is a year-long distinguished lecture series featuring Nobel Laureates in Economics.  The inaugural event in the series will both honor the memory of Hans Landsberg, a pioneer in energy and mineral economics, and recognize Elinor Ostrom’s groundbreaking role as the first, and to date the only, woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Dr. Ostrom’s presentation will highlight the environmental and natural resource challenges facing the world through the end of this decade and the role that economic inquiry can play in helping decisionmakers address these issues.

WINDPOWER heads to Atlanta – AWEA’s annual WINDPOWER conference will be held in  Atlanta on June 3rd through 6th.  WINDPOWER is being held in the Southeast for the first time this year in recognition of the fact that it has emerged as a hot spot for wind energy manufacturing. The theme of the overall conference is “Manufacturing the Future Today.” Factories in the wind supply chain now employ 30,000 Americans, out of 75,000 currently working in wind energy. But those jobs are now in jeopardy because of uncertainty over the Production Tax Credit, due to expire at the end of this year unless Congress extends it.  In a year of partisan politics, two leading partisans will seek common ground at the biggest annual gathering of the wind industry – which is counting on bipartisan support to continue its rapid growth in the United States.  Karl Rove and Robert Gibbs will address thousands of attendees together June 5 in Atlanta at WINDPOWER 2012.  Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush, and Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary and longtime senior advisor to President Barack Obama, will jointly keynote in the Tuesday morning General Session of the annual conference and exposition.  Their conversation will touch on many sides of the energy policy debate, and point out where party perspectives overlap — highlighting the opportunity for bipartisan agreement in support of wind power, one of the fastest-growing sources of manufacturing jobs in America, which draws over $15 billion a year of private investment in the U.S. economy.

Aspen Forum to look at Clean Energy Issues – Montreaux Energy’s 13th Aspen Clean Energy Roundtable will be held June 4-6th  at the historic Hotel Jerome in Aspen.  The Aspen Clean Energy Roundtable will convene 100 key industry partners and investors, along with leading government policy-makers and regulators. Our theme will be Clean Energy, Mobility, and Power Generation: Leadership in Energy Investment.  Confirmed Speakers include Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Shell natgas VP Dave Todd, Waste Management Organic Growth SVP Carl Rush,  GE Energy Renewable Energy Strategy & Analysis head Brandon Owens, EPA Region 8 Energy & Climate advisor Kate Fay, Toyota Environmental Vehicles Product Planning Manager Craig Scott and NASCAR Green Innovation Director Michael Lynch, as well as many more.

Mining Summit to Look at Future of Industry – The Mining Americas Summit 2012 will be held in Denver, Colorado on June 5th and 6th at the Denver Marriott City Centre.   Senior executive leadership will gather to discuss the capital management strategies, cutting edge technologies and operational investments that will drive the mining industry for years to come.  Issues will include adopting leading policies and techniques to improve access to capital and attract investment; assessing emerging technologies on cost and operational metrics; managing political risk in mine operations – both domestic and abroad; exploring the latest geographical hotspots and resource opportunities and incorporating sustainability and safety.

NJ to Hold Clean Air DebateNational Journal will host a debate Wednesday, June 6th at The Newseum looking at clean air standards and their broader impact on the nation’s public health, the environment, and the economy.  The event, moderated by our friend Coral Davenport, will feature Peter LaPuma, of George Washington University and NRDC’s John Walke.

Segal to Speak at ECOS meeting – The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) will host state environmental agency leaders on June 7-8th at the Hotel Monaco in Washington, DC for the State Environmental Protection in 2012 conference.  This is a critical time for state environmental programs as officials try to balance federal budget cuts with the need to address new, more complex pollution problems.  The meeting will provide a forum for state officials, business and industry, nonprofits, governmental agencies, and others to explore current challenges in meeting environmental and public health demands in an era of declining resources.  Panel topics will include implementation of federal rules and regulations, state innovation, air and energy, coal combustion residuals, green partnerships, nutrients and other water issues, toxics reform and more.  Speakers will include our colleague Scott Segal.

Nat Gas Vehicles Conference Set – Penn State-Lehigh will hold a natural gas vehicles forum on Monday June 11th hosting clean-air/clean-transportation advocates, industry stakeholders, fleet managers and policymakers.  They will discuss the fundamentals of using natural gas as a transportation fuel, network with other NGV stakeholders, and discuss opportunities and challenges to greater adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel. The conference will provide a comprehensive discussion on utilizing natural gas as a transportation fuel in Pennsylvania and the greater mid-Atlantic region.

Offshore Safety Summit Set for Houston – The Offshore Safety Summit 2012 will be held in Houston on June 11-13th. Since the GOM Deepwater Horizon incident, oil and gas companies have once again come under the spotlight. Issues such as preventing hydrocarbon releases, oil spill response, risk assessment and management, process and human safety and personnel training have surfaced as key priority items that require immediate attention.  To meet the heightened focus on safety, oil and gas companies are reassessing and reshaping their HSE strategies to balance profit with safety, while developing a plan that is both technically compliant to new standards and humanly ergonomic in its application.  This conference will address the latest insights and case studies on effectively managing offshore HSE risk and creating a rigorous system to pre-empt major and costly accidents. Through real-life, practical case studies, Offshore Safety Summit 2012 will help oil and gas operators and contractors understand the human and technical factors involved in process safety and ensure a solid hazard prevention framework.

Chamber Holds Jobs Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold its third annual Jobs Summit 2012 on Wednesday, June 13th at the Chamber in DC.  , The Summit will bring together governors and thought leaders from across the country to discuss the state of our nation’s job market, outline policies that are needed to generate jobs and accelerate economic growth, and highlight what policies are working in each participating governor’s state.   A central part of the Summit will be the release of an updated edition of Enterprising States, which will take a comprehensive look at how states are positioning themselves for economic growth and investing in the future.  The bipartisan Governors’ Roundtable will be moderated by Major Garrett, Congressional Correspondent for the National Journal, following remarks by Tom Donohue and a research presentation based on the data released in the Enterprising States study.

Washington Fuel Cell Summit to Look at Technologies – On June 19th, the Hydrogen Education Foundation is hosting a one-day summit in the nation’s capital featuring panel discussions, an expo and a Ride and Drive with fuel cell vehicles.  Government and industry will convene to discuss the latest advancements and keys to market successes for fuel cells, including open discussion around remaining challenges and obstacles.  Speakers will include CARB Chair Mary Nichols, Ballard CEO John Sheridan, Ed Cohen of Honda, Justin Ward of Toyota, National Fuel Cell Research Director Scott Samuelson and many others.

REFF-Wall Street to Look at Renewable Challenges – The 9th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street will be on June 19th and 20th in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria. With disappearing Federal support and several high-profile bankruptcies, there are challenges ahead for the sector.  On the agenda include panels on Solar finance, the interplay between renewables and other fuels, Federal support for renewables and new finance trends for renewables.  The keynote speakers include CT DEEP head Dan Esty , US Army Installations Asst Secretary Katherine Hammack and Dennis McGinn of ACORE.  Other speakers include NRG’s Steve Corneli, MidAmerican’s Jonathan Weisgall, SEIA’s Rhone Resch and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Michel DiCapua, among other.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set for Hill – On June 21st, the Sustainable Energy Coalition – in cooperation with Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses – will host the 15th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum on Capitol Hill.  This year’s EXPO will bring together over fifty businesses, sustainable energy industry trade associations, government agencies, and energy policy research organizations to showcase the status and near-term potential of the cross-section of renewable energy (biofuels/biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) and energy efficiency technologies.  The late morning program will feature Members of the U.S. Congress while speakers throughout the day will discuss the role sustainable energy technologies can play in meeting America’s energy needs.   As Congress, the Administration, the business community, environmental advocates, and American voters search for options to stimulate the economy and “green jobs,” as well as address issues of national security, higher energy costs, increased reliance on energy imports, and the environmental threats associated with energy consumption, the EXPO will help address the role that sustainable energy technologies might play.  This will include not only the technical aspects of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies but also related issues such as economics, jobs potential, environmental benefits, current and near-term market potential, model programs in the public and private sectors, and institutional, financial and legal barriers.

Energy Update Week of May 7

Friends,

It is another sad opening this week as Friday Rap/Rock revolutionary, “Cool” Jewish kid Adam Yauch (MCA of the Beastie Boys), lost his 3-year bout with cancer.  The BBs were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year and had the first hip-hop album to top the Billboard chart, License to Ill.  Introducing the group at the Rock Hall, Public Enemy rapper Chuck D said the Beastie Boys “broke the mold.”  “The Beastie Boys are indeed three bad brothers who made history,” Chuck D said. “They brought a whole new look to rap and hip-hop. They proved that rap could come from any street — not just a few.”  I love being able to quote Chuck D in an update since I think of myself as Harry Allen.  (You PE fans know what I mean)

Hope everybody has recovered from Cinco de Mayo.  If you were able to catch that Kentucky Derby on Saturday, you would have seen one of the more exciting finishes at Churchill Downs in years.  Next leg at Pimlico in Baltimore in two weeks.  Don’t know if you’ve ever been to either (I have), but let’s just say there is quite a difference in the crowds…and leave it at that. 

Speaking of Baltimore (home of the US lacrosse Hall of Fame), the NCAA brackets are out for Men’s and Women’s lacrosse.  For the Men, Baltimore’s Loyola University Greyhounds are the #1 seed with Johns Hopkins #2, Duke #3 and defending champ UVa #5.  Others include Maryland, Ivy leaguers Yale and Princeton, Notre Dame and 2011 final four qualifier Denver.  On the Women’s side,  upstart Florida gets the #1 seed while 6-time champion over seven years Northwestern is #2 and Maryland, the only team to beat Northwestern in that stretch, is #3.  Other notables include Big East Champ Syracuse at #4, Jen Adams-coached Loyola, Towson, Ivy League champ Dartmouth, UVa, Notre Dame and both Penn and Penn State.  Men head for Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass and Women’s Championships will be in Stony Brook, NY over Memorial Day Weekend.  (yes, Memorial Day and the official start of summer, the beach season and club lacrosse is just three weeks away…dust off the pastels linen pants ).

In case you missed it on Friday, The Washington Post Editorial Board had a scathing editorial blasting EPA for its handling of Region XI Admin. Dr. Al Armendariz and his view of enforcement.  They also said he made the right decision to resign while adding the agency “must have a clear sense when to deploy its mighty power and when to exercise discretion” for the sake of the economy and its mission.  Question is has The Post turned over a new leaf or is EPA action with Dr. Al really that bad…  Check out the Article.

The President made a splash this weekend when announced his bid for re-election.  And then the Vice President ruined the momentum the following day on “Meet the Press.”  Congress rolls back into town this week to start the fight over the Transportation legislation featuring the Keystone XL pipeline with the action starting in 216 Hart tomorrow afternoon.   Two good hearings as well: on Wednesday, the House Energy subpanel will look at FERC-EPA reliability rules (our friend Deb Raggio of GenOn will testify), while on Thursday, Senate Energy will look at the national helium reserve issues/legislation, providing free balloon animals to all attending reporters.

Next week, I won’t have an update on Monday because I will be parading around the Gulf of Mexico with a news crew visiting an offshore drilling rig.   I expect to have something short on Tuesday. 

If you have any questions about the natgas rule from Interior or the EPA diesel rules rolled out Friday, please don’t hesitate to call me or my colleague Jason Hutt directly (202-828-5850)

Best,

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

IN THE NEWS

Interior Rolls Out Rules on Nat Gas Drilling on Public Land – The Department of Interior unveiled its proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing on federal land, which would require oil and natural gas firms to disclose the chemicals used in the drilling technique, improve well integrity and address flowback-water-related concerns.  My colleague Jason Hutt says the structure and approach of BLM’s proposed rule marks a significant change in its approach to regulating the oil and gas industry.  He adds in the past, operators entrusted with extracting the resource navigated a regulatory framework that called for the use of approved methods and the submission of information sufficient for the Agency to track the activity being conducted.  Hutt: “The proposed rule shifts dramatically to a framework where the operator must first follow a prescriptive process for demonstrating in advance that it will do no harm, then later submit a record to the Agency detailing how the process was performed as well as a certifying that no harm was caused.”  You can call Jason (202-828-5850) if you have additional questions

EPA Releases HF Diesel Rules – Speaking of Natgas, EPA also decided on Friday that it was rolling out new rules for the use of diesel in hydraulic fracturing processes for natural gas drilling. EPA developed the draft guidance to clarify how companies can comply with a law passed by Congress in 2005, which exempted hydraulic fracturing operations from the requirement to obtain a UIC permit, except in cases where diesel fuel is used as a fracturing fluid.  The draft guidance outlines requirements for diesel fuels used for hydraulic fracturing wells, technical recommendations for permitting those wells, and a description of diesel fuels for EPA underground injection control permitting.  Most drilling don’t use diesel in HF operations anymore.  Again, my expert Colleague Jason Hutt says EPA’s proposed definition of diesel takes a broad stab at defining its permitting authority and will likely trigger substantial commentary from all sides.  Also Hutt adds, issuance of the draft permitting guidance further undermines the notion that failure to obtain a UIC permit for the historical use of diesel in hydraulic fracturing activities could have somehow constituted a violation of law.  How can the industry fail to obtain a permit that the Agency did not know how to issue?  You can call him at (202) 828-5850.

AP: Marcellus Has Generated Billions for PA, WV – An analysis by The Associated Press shows that Marcellus shale gas wells in Pennsylvania generated about $3.5 billion in gross revenues for drillers in 2011, along with about $1.2 billion in West Virginia.  But not all the news is good as experts say that a sharp drop in wholesale prices over the last year means that in the future much more money will be made — and more jobs created —by petrochemical companies that process the gas into other industrial and consumer compounds.  AP says in 2011, the formation produced just over 1 trillion cubic feet of gas in Pennsylvania, and about 350 billion cubic feet in West Virginia. Ohio expects similar numbers in its Utica Shale field. New York hasn’t allowed drilling.

AWEA 1Q Report Still Shows Strong Growth Despite PTC Pressures – The wind power industry posted one of its busiest first quarters ever as the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) released its first-quarter market report for 2012. The U.S. saw 1,695 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity installed in the first quarter, with 788 additional turbines—largely made in the USA—producing clean, affordable, power in 17 states. No other first quarter has been as strong for the American wind power industry, which has tapped the Production Tax Credit (PTC), the industry’s primary policy driver, to establish a strong and efficient—and still growing—manufacturing supply chain here in the U.S. The 1,695 MW installed brings the total installed wind power capacity in the U.S. to 48,611 MW.  But in spite of the success of the industry and the PTC, policy uncertainty threatens the very future of American wind power. The PTC, which keeps taxes low on one of the greatest sources of new American manufacturing jobs and has broad bipartisan support, is set to expire at the end of the year, and already the supply chain is feeling the effects of the uncertainty. A recent study found that extending the PTC will allow the industry to grow to 100,000 jobs in just four years, while an expiration will eliminate 37,000 jobs.

TransCanada files new Keystone XL application – TransCanada submitted a new application to the State Department Friday for its Keystone XL pipeline, and it includes a new route that steers clear of an environmentally sensitive area in Nebraska. The company is confident the department will give its final decision on the project early next year.  The company will ask the State Department for permission to build the pipeline to carry oil from tar sands in western Canada to a company hub in Steele City, Neb. From there, the project would link up with other pipelines operated by the company to carry oil to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Utilities NatGas Use on Record Increase – Our friends Naureen Malik and Julie Johnsson of Bloomberg have an excellent piece on increased natural gas use by utilities and the fact that it really hasn’t impacted prices yet.  The historic switch to gas is set to peak this year without fulfilling industry predictions that it would eat up inventory and drive up gas prices, according to the story.  They say it’s because of unparalleled output from new shale fields is oversupplying the U.S. gas market.   Some don’t expect that to hold though, feeling the price increase just may take a longer term to develop.  Of course, many gas producers would like to see a bit of an increase sooner.   

New Research Emphasizes Role of Global Economic Growth in Warming – It’s a message no one wants to hear.  To slow down global warming, we’ll either have to put the brakes on economic growth or transform the way the world’s economies work.  That’s the implication of an innovative University of Michigan study examining the evolution of atmospheric CO2, the most likely cause of climate change.  The study, conducted by José Tapia Granados and Edward Ionides of U-M and Óscar Carpintero of the University of Valladolid, Spain, was published online in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science and Policy. It is the first analysis to use measurable levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide to assess fluctuations in the gas, rather than estimates of CO2 emissions, which are less accurate.

E15 Study Highlights Infrastructure Worries – A collection of new studies show that EPA’s decision to allow the use and sale of blends of 85% gasoline and 15% ethanol will place the country’s fueling infrastructure at risk, according to API.  Third-party testing of E15 “shows this higher concentration would not be fully compatible with much of the dispensing and storage infrastructure at our nation’s gas stations,” said our friend Bob Greco in recent testimony to Congress. “EPA has not done its homework before introducing E15 to America.”  The analysis of work from GAO, Oak Ridge National Labs, EPA and NREL among others concludes very few sites will be able to sell E15 fuel with existing equipment because retailers are required by OSHA and fire codes to use listed equipment that must be proven compatible with E15.  Equipment modifications could be as little as new hanging hardware (i.e., hose, nozzle, etc.) or as much as an entirely new fuel dispensing system.  Additionally, selling E15 may increase the risk for staff and customer safety, and present environmental consequences. The possibility of customer misfueling and the adverse effects of E15 on vehicle engines are also issues that should be considered. The only alternative is to not store E15 at the facility.

Gamesa Suspends Efforts to Develop Offshore Wind Turbine – The market and regulatory conditions regarding offshore wind in the U.S. have prompted Gamesa to freeze installation of an offshore wind turbine prototype in the U.S.  Since September 2010, Gamesa has been working with its collaboration partner, Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, to design an offshore wind prototype, the G11X-5.0 MW, with plans to install a test turbine off the mid-Atlantic coast.  The collaborative effort has focused on turbine reliability, low maintenance and servicing requirements, civil engineering efficiencies in infrastructure development, and cost of energy. Now, Gamesa and Newport News Shipbuilding are approaching completion of the Critical Design Review (CDR). The 60 Hz version of the G11X-5.0 MW platform would enable them to build components for the wind turbine prototype.   In 2010, both companies saw the future of offshore wind as promising, with the commercial market just a few short years away.  However, an analysis of current conditions indicates that a viable commercial market in the United States is still farther out, as much as three or four years away, at the earliest.  While there have been improvements to siting in federal waters, regulatory issues still affect the level and speed at which projects can be approved. The pace of growth is further delayed by the lack of an offshore grid. In addition, uncertainty surrounding the Production Tax Credit, which will expire at the end of the year without congressional action, and the lack of a federal energy policy, hamper companies’ ability to secure financing for projects.

SAFE Study Highlights America Oil Boom, Challenges – A new report from business and former military leaders on the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a project of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) says the current oil boom is creating tremendous economic benefits for the nation, but unfortunately, it won’t shield the United States from the price volatility that is inherent in the global oil market.  The ESLC report, “The New American Oil Boom: Implications for Energy Security,” examines the notion of energy independence, which is typically defined as ending reliance on foreign oil, in light of the renaissance in domestic liquid fuel production, rising demand from developing nations, and increased geopolitical tensions in oil-rich regions of the world.  The report comes at a time when the American energy landscape is experiencing a tectonic shift—especially in the outlook for oil imports. The U.S. now imports less than 50% of its oil, which is down from more than 60% in 2005. This growth in domestic production will help reduce the trade deficit and be a source for job growth in the U.S. However, the report details how a dramatic increase in domestic oil production won’t shield consumers from the economic damages inflicted by high oil prices and price volatility.  As an example, countries that produce more oil than they consume, like Canada and Norway, meet the typical definition of being energy independent. Yet, because the oil market is global, these exporting nations still must pay the going price for oil—currently around $100 per barrel. This dependence on the global oil market demonstrates that the true measure of energy security is not how much oil a nation produces, but how much it consumes.

Bloomberg Report Focus on Coal Impacts of EPA Rules – Bloomberg Government has a new report on the future of coal-fired generation in light of NSPS for GHGs.  The essential findings are that 1) New coal plants would effectively be banned because their emission rate is almost double that of the proposed NSPS standard; 2) The new policy probably wouldn’t shift current investment patterns in the power sector. Natural-gas plants already have a compelling price advantage, AND 3) Although the rule makes room to build coal plants that incorporate carbon capture and storage technology, coal plants with CCS probably won’t be built unless Congress enacts new programs to subsidize them.  The report was done by Rob Barnett, an energy analyst at Bloomberg Government. He was an associate director of climate change and clean energy at IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates.  I have a pdf of the report should you want to see it.

EPA to Hold Public Hearings on NSPS – Speaking of NSPS for GHGs, EPA will hold two public hearings on the proposed Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants. The hearings will be May 24, 2012 in Washington DC and Chicago. EPA is also extending the comment period on this proposed rule until June 25, 2012 to provide for 30 days for the public to comment after the public hearing. Each public hearing will begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue until 4:30 p.m. (local time). The public may preregister to speak at the hearings at a specific time. People also may register in person on the day of the hearing, and will be accommodated as time allows.

Forum to Focus on Cuba Drilling – The Center for International Policy will host a discussion on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. to look at oil drilling off Cuba’s North Coast.  A panel will look at what the U.S. must do to forestall the impact of a major spill should one occur.  The panel will feature former co-chairman of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill and Offshore Drilling, and former EPA administrator Bill Reilly, former president of the International Association of Drilling Contractors Lee Hunt, EDF Cuba director Dan Whittle, Robert Muse (an Expert on laws and regulations governing the U.S. embargo against Cuba) and Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado of the University of Nebraska, a specialist in Cuban energy development.  Our friends Helix will also be in attendance, given they have developed a containment system to address any potential spill.

THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:

Kelliher to Headline NE Energy Conference – The Northeast Energy and Commerce Association and the Connecticut Power and Energy Society will host the 19th Annual New England Energy Conference and Exposition today and tomorrow in Boston at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel looking at energy policy at the crossroads.  The two-day conference will bring together public officials and energy industry leaders to discuss and debate the key issues facing the industry. With the economy remaining slow to recover and the end of incentive programs supporting certain types of resources, policy makers and industry participants are faced with some hard choices. More than ever, the need to balance long-term policy considerations against near-term economic consequences is driving much of the decision making in our industry. This conference will consider how these conditions are shaping the energy landscape in New England.  Joseph Kelliher, Executive Vice President for Federal Regulatory Affairs for NextEra Energy and a former FERC Chairman, will lead off the conference discussing federal regulatory issues and their impact on our region. Gordon van Welie, President and CEO of ISO New England Inc., will provide his outlook on issues affecting the wholesale power markets in the region.

Ban Ki-Moon to Speak at CSIS – The Center for Strategic and International Studies Program on Crisis, Conflict, and Cooperation held a Forum today at 11:00 a.m. with His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.  Ban Ki-moon will focus on the UN Role in post-conflict situations. 

House Science Panel to Look at Green Building Ratings—The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the science behind green building rating systems.  Witnesses will include DOE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan and GSA Director of the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings Kevin Kampschroer.  Others also testifying Include  U.S. Green Building Institute President Ward Hubbell, Roger Platt of the U.S. Green Building Council, Oberlin College Professor John Scofield, Victor Olgyay of the Rocky Mountain Institute and Tom Talbot, CEO of Glen Oak Lumber and Milling in Wisconsin.

Heritage Forum to Look at Implications of Middle East Oil Disruption – The Heritage Foundation will host a forum in its Lehrman Auditorium tomorrow at 12:00 Noon to look at the potential implications of oil disruption in Saudi Arabia.  If an “Arab Spring” uprising completely disrupted Saudi oil production, the U.S. and the global economy would face a massive economic and strategic crisis. A crisis in Saudi Arabia would have drastic implications for the United States, its economy, and the whole world.  The U.S. must plan ahead and develop pro-active, multi-layered preventive and responsive strategies to deal with political threats to the security of oil supply. These would combine intelligence, military, and diplomatic tools as well as outline domestic steps the United States should take in such a crisis. A distinguished panel of experts will discuss strategic threats to oil supply; policy options available to the United States and to the oil consuming and producing states; and examine lessons learned from other Heritage Foundation energy crisis simulation exercises.  Heritage’s energy expert David Kreutzer will Ariel Cohen of Heritage, Bruce Everett of the Tufts University Fletcher School and Simon Henderson of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Chamber to Discuss Economy, Data – The US Chamber will hold a first quarter report for its Quarterly Economic Roundtable Series on Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. to look at the first quarters economic data.   The briefings led by Martin Regalia, Ph.D., Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Will focus on GDP data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce from the previous quarter, before leading a panel of chief economists representing crucial sectors of the economy. The goal of these briefings will be to offer the business community better insight into the impact of policies on their industries as well as to offer solutions to potentially negative effects.  In addition to Regalia, speakers will include GM Chief Economist Mustafa Mohatarem and Dan Meckstroth, Chief Economist and Director of Economic Research at the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).

House Energy Panel to Look at Grid Reliability – The House Energy subpanel will hold a legislative hearing on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. looking at  H.R. 4273, the “Resolving Environmental and Grid Reliability Conflicts Act of 2012”, and a Discussion Draft of the “Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2012.”  The first bill introduced by Rep. Gene Green and others focuses on conflicts between DOE/FERC “must run” reliability orders and EPA enforcement.   Among those testifying include Deb Raggio of GenOn, whose company was put in this situation a few years ago with its Alexandria power station.   

Nebraska Hearings Set for new Pipeline Route – The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality will hold two hearings Wednesday in O’Neill, Nebraska and Thursday in Neligh to discuss the new path for the Keystone Pipeline.  The meetings will be one opportunity for the agency to meet with interested persons and discuss where the pipeline review process stands.  NDEQ says they will have detailed maps available, so that people can get a clearer idea of where the corridor is proposed. NDEQ  will also hold meeting on May 16th in Albion and May 17th in Central City.

House Resources to Host Beaudreau on Offshore Plan – The House Natural Resources Committee meets on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to go over the administration’s offshore drilling plan.  BOEM Director Tommy Beaudreau will testify.

Wilson Forum to Look at China, US Energy Issues – Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will host a forum on Wednesday at its Ronald Reagan Building offices to discuss the current state of US-China clean energy relations in the wake of recent trade investigations.  While significant progress has been made under the clean energy cooperation agreements signed by Presidents Hu Jintao and Barack Obama in the fall of 2009, The United States and China may be on the verge of a clean energy trade war.  The seven new bilateral clean energy initiatives launched in 2009 focused on many key technology areas and including renewable energy, advanced coal technology, energy efficiency and electric vehicles, and have propelled numerous other collaborations within the private sector. However, at the end of last year the United States initiated antidumping and countervailing duty investigations into China’s practices in the solar and wind sectors, and the Department of Commerce recently decided to impose duties on Chinese solar panels.   In the meantime, election year politics and a slow economic recovery are fueling competitive tensions. President Obama announced in his State of the Union address that he would establish a new trade enforcement unit to speed investigations of unfair trading practices by China. Beijing has (not surprisingly) responded with its own investigation into American clean energy support programs. This comes as the U.S. renewable energy industry is increasingly divided over China’s role. The event features leading experts from government, industry and academia including Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia Craig Allen, Georgetown University prof and Wilson Center Fellow Joanna Lewis and Jigar Shah of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy.

ASE to Hold Forum on Green Button Initiative – The Alliance to Save Energy will hold a forum on Wednesday at Noon to discuss the Green Button Initiative and how companies and consumers can get involved.  Speakers will include Monisha Shah, deputy associate director of the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality, and Arkadi Gerney, senior director of policy at Opower.  The Green Button Initiative gives energy users the ability to see and track their home energy usage with the click of a mouse. In March, President Obama introduced this exciting new resource to the American people as a way to motivate citizens to control home energy usage.  Companies across the country are joining this groundbreaking initiative and helping consumers learn about their energy usage. Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan has hailed the program, noting, “more people will be empowered to understand their energy use and take advantage of energy efficiency – which we see as the ‘first fuel’ and the key to managing our nation’s energy consumption.”

Small Biz to Look at Gasoline Price Impacts – The full House Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. to look at the effects of high gasoline prices on small businesses.  Persistently high gasoline prices are draining family budgets and putting increased stress on small businesses. According to a recent survey by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, 72% of small businesses report they are affected by high energy prices. Of these businesses, 41 percent report that they have altered hiring plans and another 22% report reducing employee hours. Small businesses are the historic source of new job creation in the economy, but are currently facing many challenges, including the burden of high fuel prices, that inhibit their ability to invest, grow and hire new workers. The hearing will study the relationship between high gasoline prices and small businesses.  Witnesses will include Jamie Smith of Mr. Rooter Plumbing in Baltimore, MD; Robert McNally of the Rapidan Group in Bethesda, MD and C. Cookie Driscoll of Fairfield, PA.

Forum to Look at Clean Energy – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy’s State of the Industry Series continues on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in the Gold Room looking at “Clean Energy Markets: Investment and Policy Trends.”  The BCSE forum is an educational briefing with the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus focused on market trends and policy drivers for commercially available clean energy technologies. The moderated panel discussion with Q&A will give attendees an overview of the investment and market trends in clean energy industries.  Panelists will discuss 1) Commercial dynamics impacting the energy sector, 2) New innovations in the power sector and the benefits to consumers, 3) Opportunities and challenges to more widespread deployment and job creation, and 4) How Congress can support the business community in creating jobs and increasing domestic competitiveness.   Speakers include Ethan Zindler of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, George Williams of Sempra Energy, Mark Wagner of Johnson Controls and Joe Allen of Solar Turbines.

MD to Hold Public Meetings on Climate Change – In 2009, Maryland Governor O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly passed the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act of 2009. The law requires the State to develop and implement a plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25 percent by 2020. The public comment period for Maryland’s climate change plan is now open.  In that spirit, the state is hosting a series of public meetings on the plan starting Wednesday in Elkton, MD.  Other meetings will be in Queen Anne’s County on May 15th, Fredrick on May 24th, Annapolis on May 31st and Baltimore on June 5th

House Science Panel to Look at Oil Sands – The House Science Committee’s panel on Energy and Environment will hold a hearing Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to look at challenges and opportunities of unconventional resources technology.  Witnesses will include DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Charles McConnell, Utah Office of Energy Development Director Samantha Mary Julian, U.S. Seismic Systems CEO Jim Andersen, U.S. Oil Sands CEO Cameron Todd, and several others

Senate Energy to Look at Legislation on Helium Reserves – On Thursday, the Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on S. 2374, the Helium Stewardship Act of 2012.  Witnesses include Timothy Spisak, deputy assistant director of Minerals and Realty Management, Bureau of Land Management; Walter Nelson, director of helium sourcing and supply chain, Air Products and Chemicals; David Joyner, Air Liquide Helium America, Inc.; and Tom Rauch, Global Sourcing Manager Services and Aftermarket Solutions, GE Healthcare.

RFF Academic Series to Look at Enviro Tax Reform – Resources for the Future will hold an academic forum on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. in its 7th Floor Conference Room to look at principles from theory and practice to date on environmental tax reform.  This paper produced by experts at Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund recommends a system of upstream taxes on fossil fuels, combined with refunds for downstream emissions capture, to reduce carbon and local pollution emissions. Motor fuel taxes should also account for congestion and other externalities associated with vehicle use, at least until mileage-based taxes are widely introduced. An examination of existing energy/environmental tax systems in Germany, Sweden, Turkey and Vietnam suggests there is substantial scope for policy reform. This includes harmonizing taxes for pollution content across different fuels and end-users, better aligning tax rates with (albeit crude) values for externalities, and scaling back taxes on vehicle ownership and electricity use that are redundant (on environmental grounds) in the presence of more targeted taxes.  Presenters include Dirk Heine and John Norregaard of IMF and RFF’s Ian Parry.

Detroit Good Jobs Conference will Tackle Clean Energy, Auto Jobs – Following their event in Philadelphia, the 2012 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Regional Conferences will continue in Detroit on Thursday and Friday.  The regional meetings reflect the character and uniqueness of their locations and will bring together thousands of labor, environmental, business, elected and community leaders working in their area and around the country to promote, preserve, and build coalitions that create good jobs and preserve our economic and environmental future. The Regional Conferences provide a renewed focus on networking opportunities and showcase the best and most innovative ideas and strategies in the public, private and non-profit sectors.  See the agenda and speakers here.

Pascual to Speak at Wilson Event on Mexico, Energy – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute and Latin American Program will hold a public discussion on “Energy in the Americas” on Friday at 9:00 a.m.  Ambassador Carlos Pascual will offer a keynote address on hemispheric energy affairs and the development of renewable energy in the Americas.  The Mexico Institute’s Senior Advisor for its Renewable Energy Initiative, Duncan Wood, will also launch a series of new reports, RE-Energizing the Border: Renewable Energy, Green Jobs and Border Infrastructure.

 THE WEEKS AHEAD:

ACC Dooley to Speak at Nat Gas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Calvin Dooley, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council as the guest speaker at the next luncheon on Monday May 14th in B-338/339 Rayburn. He will discuss the impact of increased natural gas production on the US chemical industry.  Dooley has been the President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), since September 2008. Prior to joining ACC, Mr. Dooley served as President and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and as a member of Congress representing the 20th District of California.    

API to Look at Politics, Energy – API will host a discussion at The National Press Club on Tuesday, May 15th at 8:30 a.m. to look at the importance of sound energy decisions for our nation.  At the event, API will release a report to the Democratic and Republican Platform Committees followed by a bipartisan panel discussion with energy advisors and experts.

CFTC Chairman to Address the National Press Club Luncheon – Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will address the National Press Club at a luncheon on Tuesday May 15th at 12:30 p.m. at a luncheon speech.  Gensler and his agency are at the center of implementing the sweeping – and controversial — Dodd-Frank financial reform law, enacted in 2010. Congress passed the law in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, which was triggered by liquidity problems in the U.S. banking system and collapse of the housing bubble.  The law contains the most comprehensive changes to financial-market regulation since the Great Depression. It has drawn withering criticism from many conservatives for its far-reaching efforts to impose enough rules to prevent another financial crisis. Opponents object in particular to its establishment of a new consumer protection agency, which supporters say is a vital reform.

CHP Spring Forum Set – The U.S. Clean Heat & Power Association will hold its Spring CHP Forum on Wednesday, May 16 at the Washington Plaza Hotel in DC. 

Great Efficiency Day Set – The first installment of the 2012 Great Energy Efficiency Day Series, will be held on Wednesday morning May 16th at Union Station’s Columbus Club, as representatives from diverse industries convene a discussion on the business case for energy efficiency. Learn how and why all sectors of business – from automakers to utility providers to product manufacturers – are adopting energy-efficient practices to increase profitability, productivity, and security. And, gain insight into how the public sector is driving efficiency through keynote addresses from Congressional, Administration, and State officials.   Launched in 2004, Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) has quickly become a “must attend” public discussion on the need for, and benefits of, energy efficiency. In 2012, GEED is expanding to a twice-a-year series on Capitol Hill to provide more public opportunity for energy efficiency discourse.  GEED events draw more than 400 stakeholders from business, industry, government, academia, and media to discuss the most pressing issues and advances in energy efficiency.  Confirmed speakers include Sen. Mark Warner, Kateri Callahan of the Alliance to Save Energy, ACC’s Cal Dooley, BRT President and former MI Governor John Engler, EEI head Tom Kuhn, AGA President Dave McCurdy, DOE’s Maria Vargas and many more. 

Blackburn, Shaheen Headline Women’s Energy Council Forum – The Women’s Energy Resource Council  will hold its 2nd Annual Leadership Forum  on May 16th at Noon at the Phoenix Park Hotel.  The forum will include a variety of speakers and panelists from Capitol Hill, the Administration, and the private sector.  Registration and lunch begin at 11:30am with Representative Marsha Blackburn starting the program at 12:00.  Some of the other speakers will include Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Politics Daily’s Patricia Murphy, and Pia Carusone, Chief of Staff to former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who will discuss crisis management during the Tucson shooting. 

WAPA to Discuss Mercedes Mobile Technology – The Washington Automotive Press Association will host its May luncheon on Wednesday May 16th at the National Press Club featuring Matthew Wiethoff, Manager of Business to Consumer Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.  Wiethoff will discuss the strategy behind the company’s mobile technology initiatives and what’s in the pipeline.  In October 2009, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services became the first captive auto finance company to introduce an app for customers with iPhones to enable them to make monthly payments.  Since introducing its iPhone app giving customers the convenience to make payments “anytime, anywhere,” Mercedes-Benz Financial Services (MBFS) has received over $68 million in payments via mobile channels through the first quarter of this year — and the number is growing.  Given the strong demand, MBFS continues to build capabilities in the mobile space, having recently enhanced the My MBFS app to include: request a quote from a dealer; payment reminders; and GPS dealer locator capability.

Solar Expert Featured at ICF Energy Breakfast – ICF International will host its May Energy and Environment Breakfast on Thursday morning May 17th featuring Julia Hamm, president and CEO of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). The outlook for solar power and for specific projects is being buffeted by many factors, including sharp declines in the cost of photovoltaics, low prices for natural gas, state Renewable Portfolio Standards, and Federal tax credits and research programs (such as the SunShot Initiative). Hamm will discuss the role can solar electricity play in the future of the U.S. power mix and what issues need to be addressed for it to reach its full potential, as well as the best prospects and opportunities for development. 

DOE to Headline Industrial Efficiency Forum – The Alliance to Save Energy’s honoring its 35th Anniversary, will hold an Industrial Energy Efficiency Forum on Thursday May 17th at 8:00 a.m. at EEI.  The event will include experts from a diverse set of industries who will discuss energy efficiency within the industrial sector – from their early efforts to current energy efficiency and management programs being implemented across U.S. industry.  Discover how manufacturers have improved energy efficiency at their plants and what types of mechanisms and technologies will be important in achieving additional gains in energy efficiency, industrial productivity, and energy security. Valuable insights into Superior Energy Performance and Better Buildings/Better Plants will be provided along with the recognition of several plants in the Southeast that have achieved Superior Energy Performance certification through ISO 50001 energy management and verified energy Speakers will include DOE’s Kathleen Hogan and many others. 

Senate Energy to hold Clean Energy Standard Hearing – The full Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources will hold a hearing on Thursday May 17th to focus on the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 and receive testimony on S. 2146.

Biofuels Roundtable Set – USDA, along with the Department of Energy and the Department of Navy, will co-host an Advanced Biofuels Industry Roundtable, Friday May 18th.  The Roundtable will focus on efforts to accelerate the production of bio-based fuels for military and commercial purposes. Last year, USDA, and the Departments of Energy and the Navy announced that – through the Defense Production Act – they will collaborate to accelerate the development of advanced, drop-in aviation and marine biofuels and marine diesel to help power our military. Participants in this roundtable will discuss next steps for those interested in pursuing the production of aviation biofuels and marine diesel. Topics will include production, distribution and contracting, and best practices. This roundtable follows a “match making” event hosted last week at USDA headquarters to promote connections between agricultural producers of energy feedstocks, and biorefineries.   In August 2011, the agencies announced plans to invest up to $510 million during the next three years to produce drop-in aviation and marine biofuels. 

In December, the Navy announced “the single largest purchase of advanced drop-in biofuel in government history by the Defense Logistics Agency,” for 450,000 gallons of fuel.   This roundtable follows a matchmaking event hosted on March 30 at USDA headquarters to promote connections between agricultural producers of energy feedstocks and biorefineries.

Columbia U to Host EPA Regional Enviro Conference – EPA and Columbia University Law School will host its biennial conference on May 23rd in New York that examines key and emerging environmental issues in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 area, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Topics will include natgas extraction, as well as air and climate issues.  Speakers will include EPA’s Judith Enck, several state Environmental Commissioners and other experts. 

Geothermal Energy Conference Set – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) will be holding the 4th annual GEA International Geothermal Energy Showcase on May 23rd at the Reagan Trade Center in Washington, DC to highlight international geothermal projects, policies, and development in top international markets.  Industry leaders, government officials, and other power sector representatives from the U.S. and around the world are expected to participate.   This year, the event will focus on success in the leading countries and geothermal markets. Participants from the countries which are showing the most dramatic growth will be asked to address the event. Discussion will highlight what measures are succeeding in expanding geothermal energy production, with special attention paid to U.S. geothermal exports and financing for international geothermal development.   GEA is inviting representatives from both government and business involved in key geothermal markets including the Caribbean, Central America, Chile, East Africa, Europe, Indonesia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines and Turkey. The program will encourage discussion and interaction about government policies, projects in development, market potential, and opportunities for U.S. companies. Attendees will also hear from U.S. Government agencies involved in export assistance for geothermal companies, and from U.S. companies developing projects overseas.

RFF to Host Economics Nobel Prize Winner for Lecture – In celebration of its 60th anniversary, Resources for the Future is presenting Resources 2020 on Friday, June 1st at 2:00 p.m. in National Geographic Museum’s  Grosvenor Auditorium and features  2009 Nobel Economic Sciences Laureate Elinor Ostrom.  Resources 2020 is a year-long distinguished lecture series featuring Nobel Laureates in Economics.  The inaugural event in the series will both honor the memory of Hans Landsberg, a pioneer in energy and mineral economics, and recognize Elinor Ostrom’s groundbreaking role as the first, and to date the only, woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Dr. Ostrom’s presentation will highlight the environmental and natural resource challenges facing the world through the end of this decade and the role that economic inquiry can play in helping decisionmakers address these issues.

WINDPOWER heads to Atlanta – AWEA’s annual WINDPOWER conference will be held in  Atlanta on June 3rd through 6th.  WINDPOWER is being held in the Southeast for the first time this year in recognition of the fact that it has emerged as a hot spot for wind energy manufacturing. The theme of the overall conference is “Manufacturing the Future Today.” Factories in the wind supply chain now employ 30,000 Americans, out of 75,000 currently working in wind energy. But those jobs are now in jeopardy because of uncertainty over the Production Tax Credit, due to expire at the end of this year unless Congress extends it.  In a year of partisan politics, two leading partisans will seek common ground at the biggest annual gathering of the wind industry – which is counting on bipartisan support to continue its rapid growth in the United States.  Karl Rove and Robert Gibbs will address thousands of attendees together June 5 in Atlanta at WINDPOWER 2012.  Rove, former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush, and Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary and longtime senior advisor to President Barack Obama, will jointly keynote in the Tuesday morning General Session of the annual conference and exposition.  Their conversation will touch on many sides of the energy policy debate, and point out where party perspectives overlap — highlighting the opportunity for bipartisan agreement in support of wind power, one of the fastest-growing sources of manufacturing jobs in America, which draws over $15 billion a year of private investment in the U.S. economy.

Mining Summit to Look at Future of Industry – The Mining Americas Summit 2012 will be held in Denver, Colorado on June 5th and 6th at the Denver Marriott City Centre.   Senior executive leadership will gather to discuss the capital management strategies, cutting edge technologies and operational investments that will drive the mining industry for years to come.  Issues will include adopting leading policies and techniques to improve access to capital and attract investment; assessing emerging technologies on cost and operational metrics; managing political risk in mine operations – both domestic and abroad; exploring the latest geographical hotspots and resource opportunities and incorporating sustainability and safety.

Segal to Speak at ECOS meeting – The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) will host state environmental agency leaders on June 7-8th at the Hotel Monaco in Washington, DC for the State Environmental Protection in 2012 conference.  This is a critical time for state environmental programs as officials try to balance federal budget cuts with the need to address new, more complex pollution problems.  The meeting will provide a forum for state officials, business and industry, nonprofits, governmental agencies, and others to explore current challenges in meeting environmental and public health demands in an era of declining resources.  Panel topics will include implementation of federal rules and regulations, state innovation, air and energy, coal combustion residuals, green partnerships, nutrients and other water issues, toxics reform and more.  Speakers will include our colleague Scott Segal.

Nat Gas Vehicles Conference Set – Penn State-Lehigh will hold a natural gas vehicles forum on Monday June 11th hosting clean-air/clean-transportation advocates, industry stakeholders, fleet managers and policymakers.  They will discuss the fundamentals of using natural gas as a transportation fuel, network with other NGV stakeholders, and discuss opportunities and challenges to greater adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel. The conference will provide a comprehensive discussion on utilizing natural gas as a transportation fuel in Pennsylvania and the greater mid-Atlantic region.

Offshore Safety Summit Set for Houston – The Offshore Safety Summit 2012 will be held in Houston on June 11-13th. Since the GOM Deepwater Horizon incident, oil and gas companies have once again come under the spotlight. Issues such as preventing hydrocarbon releases, oil spill response, risk assessment and management, process and human safety and personnel training have surfaced as key priority items that require immediate attention.  To meet the heightened focus on safety, oil and gas companies are reassessing and reshaping their HSE strategies to balance profit with safety, while developing a plan that is both technically compliant to new standards and humanly ergonomic in its application.  This conference will address the latest insights and case studies on effectively managing offshore HSE risk and creating a rigorous system to pre-empt major and costly accidents. Through real-life, practical case studies, Offshore Safety Summit 2012 will help oil and gas operators and contractors understand the human and technical factors involved in process safety and ensure a solid hazard prevention framework.

Chamber Holds Jobs Summit – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will hold its third annual Jobs Summit 2012 on Wednesday, June 13th at the Chamber in DC.  , The Summit will bring together governors and thought leaders from across the country to discuss the state of our nation’s job market, outline policies that are needed to generate jobs and accelerate economic growth, and highlight what policies are working in each participating governor’s state.   A central part of the Summit will be the release of an updated edition of Enterprising States, which will take a comprehensive look at how states are positioning themselves for economic growth and investing in the future.  The bipartisan Governors’ Roundtable will be moderated by Major Garrett, Congressional Correspondent for the National Journal, following remarks by Tom Donohue and a research presentation based on the data released in the Enterprising States study.

Washington Fuel Cell Summit to Look at Technologies – On June 19th, the Hydrogen Education Foundation is hosting a one-day summit in the nation’s capital featuring panel discussions, an expo and a Ride and Drive with fuel cell vehicles.  Government and industry will convene to discuss the latest advancements and keys to market successes for fuel cells, including open discussion around remaining challenges and obstacles.  Speakers will include CARB Chair Mary Nichols, Ballard CEO John Sheridan, Ed Cohen of Honda, Justin Ward of Toyota, National Fuel Cell Research Director Scott Samuelson and many others.

REFF-Wall Street to Look at Renewable Challenges – The 9th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street will be on June 19th and 20th in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria. With disappearing Federal support and several high-profile bankruptcies, there are challenges ahead for the sector.  On the agenda include panels on Solar finance, the interplay between renewables and other fuels, Federal support for renewables and new finance trends for renewables.  The keynote speaker is Dennis McGinn of ACORE.  Other speakers include NRG’s Steve Corneli, MidAmerican’s Jonathan Weisgall, SEIA’s Rhone Resch and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Michel DiCapua, among other.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set for Hill – On June 21st, the Sustainable Energy Coalition – in cooperation with Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses – will host the 15th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum on Capitol Hill.  This year’s EXPO will bring together over fifty businesses, sustainable energy industry trade associations, government agencies, and energy policy research organizations to showcase the status and near-term potential of the cross-section of renewable energy (biofuels/biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) and energy efficiency technologies.  The late morning program will feature Members of the U.S. Congress while speakers throughout the day will discuss the role sustainable energy technologies can play in meeting America’s energy needs.   As Congress, the Administration, the business community, environmental advocates, and American voters search for options to stimulate the economy and “green jobs,” as well as address issues of national security, higher energy costs, increased reliance on energy imports, and the environmental threats associated with energy consumption, the EXPO will help address the role that sustainable energy technologies might play.  This will include not only the technical aspects of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies but also related issues such as economics, jobs potential, environmental benefits, current and near-term market potential, model programs in the public and private sectors, and institutional, financial and legal barriers.

Energy Update: Week of June 13, 2011

Friends,

After spending another entire weekend at lacrosse tournaments, I look forward to getting a big break this weekend for golf’s second major, the US Open, hosted right here at Congressional Country Club in the Washington suburbs.  It promises to be a great tournament as the course is reportedly in unbelievable shape and will pose a significant challenge for the world’s best golfers, except Tiger Woods who withdrew last week because of an injury.  (Some experts suggest the winning score could be above par)

And kudos to our friends in Dallas (our Dallas office was buzzing during this morning’s firm-wide meeting), who put the vice down on the Miami power trio last night to lock up the NBA Championship with a Game 6 road victory.  In case he decides to run for President, TX Gov. Rick Perry, who put up a case of TX BBQ sauce, will be able to collect a Florida Key Lime pie from FL Gov. Rick Scott as the spoils of victory (a pretty weak bet for both, but not surprising given the conservatives are unlikely bettors).  The Vancouver Canucks look to do the same on the road tonight in Boston for Lord Stanley’s Cup, where already in this series the Bruins have unloaded on the Canucks at the Garden 12-1.  Vancouver has managed to win all three one-goal nailbiters on the West Coast.  Perhaps it’s the time zone.  Game 7 back out west if needed.

EPA’s Lisa Jackson shows up on Capitol Hill again this week for another special on the Clean Air Act and public health.  As many of you know, Senator Inhofe wrote Senate Environment Committee Chair Boxer recently demanding EPW begin holding oversight hearings on expensive new CAA rules.  A surprise to some, Boxer agreed with the premise and the first of the hearings will be Wednesday. Jackson will be joined by public health witnesses, a utility witness from MidAmerican, and noted epidemiologist Harvey Brenner of Johns Hopkins and University of North Texas.  Brenner is perhaps best known for his studies that show that tamping down economic growth and job creation actually results in substantial increases in mortality.  Therefore, EPA’s expensive rules can ironically endanger more lives than they actually save.  A recent Brenner study shows that if coal were removed from the energy mix, the adverse economic impact would result in approximately 170,000 to 370,000 premature deaths in the US within three years.   Expect Jackson to get some tough questions about both the costs and benefits of Clean Air rules proposed for the power sector.  There also was a great Wall Street Journal Editorial on the subject today.  In addition last week, a new analysis by NERA said two of the proposed regulations would be among the most expensive ever imposed by EPA on coal-fueled power plants, dramatically increasing electricity rates and natural gas prices and leading to substantial job losses.

Also on Tuesday, the first of maybe a number of showdowns on ethanol subsidies may occur to great fanfare and explosive lobbying from both sides.  Sen. Tom Coburn said he is expecting to get a vote on bipartisan legislation repealing $5 billion in ethanol subsidies.  Coburn offered the measure that eliminates the 45 cents-per-gallon blender’s tax credit and the corresponding 54-cent tariff on imported ethanol.  The fight rages with pro-ethanol senators and their supporters rallying troops, while taxpayer groups, deficit hawks and long-time ethanol opponents rally as well.  (see more below).

Tonight, the Department of Energy’s Natural Gas advisory panel will hold its first public meeting at Washington Jefferson College in Washington, PA at 7:00 p.m.  The meeting has become a bit of a gong show as industry groups have been called out for employing a long-time enviro tactic of sponsoring the trip for supporters.  Of course, enviros are “shocked, shocked, shocked that there’s gambling going on” even though they do this all the time to get opponents to similar public meetings.

Finally, it appears that the rumored brief, two-month EPA delay on the GHG rule is now happening, although they are not sliding back the final rule date of May 26, 2012.  So in essence, they are giving themselves more time, but compressing the schedule for everyone else in the comment period.  Jeff and Scott are happy to comment.

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads on Sunday.  Call with questions

IN THE NEWS

New Analysis Finds EPA’s Regs Would Increase Electricity Costs, Lose Jobs – A new analysis by National Economic Research Associates (NERA) says two of the EPA’s proposed regulations would be among the most expensive ever imposed by the agency on coal-fueled power plants, dramatically increasing electricity rates and natural gas prices and leading to substantial job losses.  The analysis was sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), but relies on government data for almost all of its assumptions. NERA projects that EPA’s proposals would result in employment losses of over 1.4 million job-years by 2020 and increase electricity rates by over 23 percent in some areas of the United States. A job-year is one job for one year. In addition, consumers will be paying over $8 billion per year in higher natural gas prices because of the proposed rules.  NERA analyzed the combined economic impacts of the EPA’s proposed Transport Rule and its Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) requirements for power plants. The analysis projects that the two regulations alone would cost the American electric sector nearly $18 billion per year, making them some of the most expensive EPA regulations ever imposed on power plants and leading to higher electricity rates and lost jobs.  If enacted, the regulations would lead to nationwide employment losses totaling 1.44 million job-years by 2020 and increase Americans’ average electricity bills by 11.5 percent. In some parts of the United States, rates would climb by almost 24 percent.  Earlier this year, ACCCE released a report showing electricity has experienced relatively low price increases since 2001, compared to other energy sources used by American households. Coal currently provides nearly one-half of America’s electricity supply, and has contributed to the relative stability of consumer electricity prices.

NJ Offshore Wind Interest Strong… – Demonstrating continued interest in offshore wind in New Jersey, 11 companies have expressed an interest in developing wind turbine projects off its coast as part of a federal process that will ultimately determine the development of offshore leases for these projects.  The U.S. Department of Interior’s BOEMRE issued a federal notice, known as a Call for Information and Nominations (CIN), to gauge developers’ interest in leasing portions of the outer continental shelf off New Jersey for wind turbine projects.  The firms submitting project nominations are: Offshore MW, Neptune Wind, Garden State Offshore Wind, Bluewater Wind, TCI Renewables, Mainstream Renewable Power, enXco, US Wind, New Jersey Offshore Wind, Fishermen’s Energy and Iberdrola Rewewables.  Ranging in size from 350 megawatts to as much as 3,000 megawatts, the proposed projects represent approximately 12,500 total megawatts of green energy capacity.

…AWC Provides Developers Opportunities, Cost Reductions – Given the call for wind in NJ, offshore transmission backbone developers are telling wind companies they will benefit dramatically while seeing their costs reduced if they work with the Atlantic Wind Connection.  In a recent series of meetings with offshore wind developers, AWC President Markian Melnyk outlined significant benefits while also addressing some of the initial concerns of developers.   Melnyk said the AWC system can reduce wind project transmission costs by significantly decreasing connection length, expensive land-based grid upgrades and multiple, duplicative approvals.  Recently, a study of the AWC by the Brattle Group concluded that the offshore wind generation interconnected through the project will reduce system-wide production costs from fossil-fuel fired generation by $1.1 billion per year. In addition, the development of the AWC Project and associated offshore wind generation will reduce CO2 emissions by 16 million tons annually, the equivalent of taking 3 million cars off the road.  The project has already filed for approval with the Interior Department’s BOEMRE, which has told Congress the project is on the fast-track.

Shale Gas Report Cite Big Economic Benefits – The Manhattan Institute Center for Energy Policy and the Environment released a new report, “The Economic Opportunities of Shale Energy Development,” by Dr. Timothy Considine. Considine’s analysis reveals that the potential economic benefit of shale gas exploration exceeds the potential environmental impacts in New York State.  The event featured a presentation of Dr. Considine’s key findings, and a discussion of the impact of shale gas development on the Pennsylvania economy with former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell. On lifting the moratorium in New York, Gov. Rendell said, “If Gov. Cuomo asked me my advice about lifting the moratorium I would tell him the moratorium should be lifted. There’s too much of an upside for New York State and too much of an upside for America.” Watch the video

Exxon Mobil Lands Major Oil Find in Gulf – ExxonMobil said it struck oil and natural gas from three deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico. About 700 million barrels of oil equivalent could be generated making it one of the largest discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico in the last decade. Exxon has not finished its development plan yet, and more drilling will be needed to further appraise how much oil is in the reservoir. Production could be years away.  The wells are located in the Keathley Canyon at a water depth of about 7,000 feet, 250 miles southwest of New Orleans.

China to Drop Wind Subsidies – U.S. Trade Rep Ron Kirk said last week that China ended certain wind power equipment subsidies following an investigation initiated in response to a petition filed by the United Steelworkers (USW). The subsidies took the form of grants to Chinese wind turbine manufacturers that agreed to use key parts and components made in China rather than purchasing imports. The United States estimated that the grants provided to Chinese companies since 2008 could have totaled several hundred million dollars. The size of the individual grants ranged between $6.7 million and $22.5 million.  This is the third successful WTO challenge that the United States has brought against Chinese government subsidies. In each of these cases, following formal consultations at the WTO, China agreed to eliminate the subsidies that the United States had challenged.  USW President Leo Gerard said the Steelworkers Union was pleased its petition brought the Chinese to the table with a commitment to end its program.  He also said it needs to be followed up with continued vigilance, to ensure the Chinese keep their commitments.

WIPP’n Up a Yucca Replacement – With all the recent battling over Yucca Mountain for nuclear waste, a new favorite seems to be moving into place in southeastern New Mexico.  As you may remember, our friend Jim Conca, a waste expert at Waste Isolation Pilot Program, or WIPP, where they will receive their 10,000th shipment of radioactive waste left over from the country’s efforts to build nuclear bombs that are sealed in steel casks.  They arrive on flatbed trucks from one of 10 government nuclear development sites around the country.  Conca was in Washington talking about WIPP as a model and there are some rumors that the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission may be looking closely.  Last week, the Commission’s interim report, which examines the history of efforts to build a nuclear waste repository in the U.S., highlights WIPP as a “notable exception” to a long list of failures.  Good sources include Conca (575-706-0214), who now is managing the Hanford nuclear site and our friend and former DOE Asst Sect for Environment John Shaw (202-255-8910).

B&V Survey Says Water, Costs Top Issues in Utility Sector – Black & Veatch released the results of its 5th annual Strategic Directions in the Electric Utility Industry survey in which more than 700 U.S. utility leaders took part. The annual survey provides insights and analysis into traditional utility-focused questions regarding operations and regulations. Among the top findings in this year’s results, participants believe that energy and commodity prices will rise significantly in the next five years, and water has become the top environmental and business issue.  More than 70% of survey participants agreed or strongly agreed that energy and commodity prices would rise significantly in the next five years.  The report adds for the first time, water supply has become the top environmental concern among all survey participants and water management was rated as the business issue that could have the greatest impact on the utility industry.

THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:

UN Climate Meetings Continues – The UN Summer Climate meetings in Bonn, Germany continue this week following five days of talks last week.  The meetings are the 34th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).  All sessions are being held at the Maritim Hotel in Bonn.  The Bonn meeting is designed to prepare for the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa at the end of the year (November 28th – December 9th).  Webcasts, info, schedule and other conference documents are available at the UNFCCC Web site.

Bush, Ridge to Speak at EEI Conference – The Edison Electric Institute will host the electric industry’s top event, today through Wednesday at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO.  Former President George W. Bush will address the Closing General Session on Wednesday morning, while today’s Opening General Session featured Tom Ridge, who offered his thoughts on managing corporate risks in light of recent global developments.  Other panel speakers include FERC’s Jon Wellinghoff, White House Advisor Heather Zichal, DTE’s Tony Early, Ameren’s Tom Moss, Southern’s Tom Fanning, Progress Energy’s Bill Johnson and many more.  The Expo will be filled with the latest technologies, products and services.  The Convention this year features ten interactive Critical Issue panel discussions on timely subjects that are transforming our energy future.  More than 50 CEOs and senior executives will speak at these Critical Issue Forums.  Subjects to be addressed include solar business models, emergency response, electric transportation, unconventional gas, new rate regulatory models, the smart grid, nuclear generation, wholesale markets, technology investments, and customer engagement.  There will also be a special session on Tuesday morning on environmental issues and the generation fleet transition.   These sessions always provide outstanding insight into emerging industry trends and company responses.

ASE Event to Look at Consumer Perceptions on Green Products – The Alliance to Save Energy will host another EE Noon brown bag lunch today to look at the consumer response to the green and energy efficiency industry.  Adam Kustin, VP of Client Consultation at Shelton Group, will discuss his reflections on Shelton Group’s consumer research findings, presenting the latest insights on consumer’s perceptions and interactions with green products and energy efficiency programs.

DOE Panel Holds Natural Gas Panel Meeting – The Department of Energy’s Natural Gas panel on hydraulic fracturing will hold its first public meeting tonight at Washington Jefferson College in Washington, PA from at 7:00 p.m.   The meeting has become a bit of a gong show as industry groups have a employed a long-time enviro tactic of sponsoring the trip for supporters.  Of course, enviros are “shocked, shocked, shocked that there’s gambling going on” even though they do this all the time to get opponents to similar public meetings.

House Energy to Look at Uranium – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing today at 1:30 p.m. in 2123 Rayburn on H.R. 2054, the “Energy and Revenue Enrichment Act of 2011.”  This is a proposal by Energy panel Chair Ed Whitfield that provide for the reenrichment of certain depleted uranium owned by the Department of Energy, and for the sale or barter of the resulting reenriched uranium  Of course, Whitfield represents on of the largest facilities in the game in Paducah.

House Energy Panel to Hear from NRC IG Team on Yucca Report – With all the recent scuttle over the Yucca Mountain issue and a recent NRC Inspector General Report, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn on report on the NRC Chairman’s unilateral decision to terminate NRC’s review of the Yucca Mountain Repository license application.  Witnesses will include NRC IG Hubert Bell, Joseph McMillan (Assistant Inspector General for Investigations) and Rossana Raspa (Senior Level Assistant for Investigative Operations)

Senate May Vote on Repealing Ethanol Subsidies – Tomorrow, the Senate could vote on bipartisan legislation from Sens. Tom Coburn and Diane Feinstein to repeal $5 billion in ethanol subsidies.  The measure that eliminates the 45 cents-per-gallon blender’s tax credit and the corresponding 54-cent tariff on imported ethanol.  It will likely be the first of a number of showdowns on ethanol subsidies.  Both sides are going to town on lobbying.  Pro-ethanol Senators Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley are leading the fight thinking they have enough votes to prevent 60.  Meanwhile, opponents are pushing hard because they think they may have the votes for the first time.  Last week, taxpayer group Taxpayers for Common Sense released a new study on the largest subsidy to corn ethanol, the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), which they say costs taxpayers nearly $6 billion a year, alone.  Sensing weakness, other supporters like Sens. John Thune and Amy Klobuchar are expected to offer fence-sitters an alternative bill that would more slowly decrease the subsidies. Our friends at National Journal report the White House doesn’t support eliminating the subsidies outright, suggesting there is a chance Democratic leadership could pull the underlying bill before the vote occurs.  Regardless, the politics of ethanol from the Presidential positioning to the subsidy support are changing it political position.

Senate Energy to Look at Wildfire Strategy – With a wildfire raging in Arizona, the Senate Energy Committee will review preparations for the 2011 wildfire season and the wildfire management programs of the Federal land management agencies.  Witnesses include Tom Tidwell, chief of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Kim Thorsen, deputy assistant secretary for law enforcement, security, emergency management and wildland fire at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Coons to Headline ACS Innovation Forum – The American Chemical Society’s Science will hold a briefing tomorrow at noon in 325 Russell on clean energy perspectives on innovation in conjunction with the Congress Project in conjunction with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.  Participants in the briefing will be DE Sen. Chris Coons, Dale Keairns of Booz Allen Hamilton, Josh Freed of ThirdWay, Megan Reichert-Kral of the University of Michigan, William Provine of DuPont Central Research and Development, and William Lese of Braemar Energy Ventures.

House Science to Look at Critical Mineral Strategy – The House Science & Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. looking at Federal perspective on a national critical materials strategy.  Witnesses will include White House OSTP Director John Holdren, DOE Assistant Secretary David Sandalow and USGS Program Coordinator for Mineral Resources Jeff Doebrich, Program, U.S. Geological Survey.  Of course, our friends at Molycorp are also expert in the matter.

Esty Headlines Climate Finance Event – Former Yale Climate expert Dan Esty will headline the 2011 Climate Finance North America Forum in New York tomorrow and Wednesday.  California’s plans to introduce a state-wide carbon trading program next year will have economic as well as environmental implications. This conference will examine the likely cost of carbon in this new cap-and-trade regime, attempt to identify the likely winners and losers, and consider the impact on other states and nations. The panel of expert speakers will also review developments in the voluntary carbon markets, international funding of climate action and new sources of finance such as climate bonds.  Panelists and speakers from industry and government will include former State Deputy Secretary for Climate Change and Energy for Governor Schwarzenegger Anthony Brunello and Keynote speaker Daniel Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

DOE’s Hart Headlines EnergyOcean Conference – The 8th Annual EnergyOcean International Conference & Exhibition will be in Portland, Maine at the Holiday inn by the Bay tomorrow through Thursday.  Hundreds of industry stakeholders representing every aspect of the Offshore Renewable Energy Industry will unite for EnergyOcean International’s technical program which is established as the primary educational platform and networking forum for the industry. Conference Delegates will learn of the latest technological advances, investment opportunities, regulatory issues, and planned and implemented projects around the world. 2011 Keynote Address speaker will be Chris Hart, Offshore Wind Manager for the U.S. Department of Energy.

McDonnell to Sign Renewable Energy Legislation at VA Forum – The Virginia Alternative & Renewable Energy Association will host its annual Summer Networking Event on Wednesday beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the Commonwealth Club in Richmond, VA.  The event will be followed by a 2011 Renewable Energy legislation bill signing ceremony at the VCU School of Business with Governor Bob McDonnell commencing at 11:45 a.m.  Registration details for the VA-AREA Summer Networking Event may be found here.  The bill signing ceremony with Governor McDonnell is free and open to the public and all attendees of the VA-AREA event are invited and encouraged to attend as well.  Keynote speakers at the VA-AREA forum will include Atlantic Wind’s Markian Melnyk and Virginia State Senate Energy Chair Frank Wagner.

Local Clean Energy Groups Hold Leadership Summit – Local Clean energy leaders will host a summit Wednesday through Friday at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.  Local government leaders from across the country will discuss the success of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, share best practices and highlight the need for additional federal investment in local clean energy and sustainability initiatives.  For years, local governments have served as laboratories for innovation, developing new approaches to create livable communities, reduce energy use and curb greenhouse gas emissions. Cities and counties are leading efforts to improve energy  efficiency in homes, schools and businesses; develop community-scale renewable energy; reduce vehicle miles traveled; convert municipal fleets and buses to hybrid vehicles; integrate land use, transportation, housing and economic development planning; and install green infrastructure technologies.

Senate Environment to Look at Air Rule, Health – As many of you know, Senator Inhofe wrote Chairman Boxer a letter a few weeks back demanding that the Environmental and Public Works Committee begin to hold oversight hearings on the expensive new suite of Clean Air Act rules.  A surprise to some, Boxer agreed with the premise and the first of the hearings will be Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. It will feature EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, along with public health witnesses, a utility witness from MidAmerican, and noted epidemiologist Harvey Brenner of Johns Hopkins and University of North Texas.  Brenner is perhaps best known for his studies that show that tamping down economic growth and job creation actually results in substantial increases in mortality.  Therefore, EPA’s expensive rules can ironically endanger more lives than they actually save.  A recent Brenner study shows that if coal were removed from the energy mix, the adverse economic impact would result in approximately 170,000 to 370,000 premature deaths in the United States within three years.   Expect Jackson to get some tough questions about both the costs and benefits of Clean Air rules proposed for the power sector.  For a sampling of positions, look at what labor is saying and Scott Segal’s recent testimony on the topic.  Southern CEO Tom Fanning and DTE CEO Tony Early also discussed the subject at a recent House Energy Hearing.

House Science to Look at DOE Clean Technology Programs – The House Science & Technology Committee’s Energy and Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on DOE’s Clean Technology Programs.  Witnesses will include APRA-E Director Arun Majumdar, DOE EERE head Henry Kelly, DOE Loan Guarantee Program Office director David Frantz, among others.

WAPA, KIA to Feature new Hybrid – The Washington Automotive Press Assn will hold its June lunch on Wednesday at the Indigo Landing Restaurant in Alexandria, VA and feature Kia Motors America (KMA) Washington D.C.-debut of the all-new 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid.  Adam Perlow, director, sales, KMA will be providing a business update on the brand, including KMA’s third consecutive month of record sales, while Steve Kosowski, national manager, product planning, KMA responsible for hybrid technology will be available for walk-arounds during the event.

WCEE Continues Look at Nukes with Southern, Areva Experts – The Women’s Council on Energy and Environment will host its second brown bag luncheon on Wednesday at Noon at Winston Strawn to discuss the future of the nuclear power industry.  For the past several years, the term “nuclear renaissance” has been used to refer to a revival of the nuclear power industry. China has 27 new reactors under construction and new reactors are also being built in South Korea, India, and Russia.  In the US, sites for 4 new plants are being prepared for construction.  Other countries, however, are reassessing their commitment to nuclear power.  We’ll look at the reasons why different countries are making different decisions about nuclear power.  Speakers will include Mary Alice Hayward, Vice President Strategy, North America at AREVA Inc. and Cheri Collins, General Manager of External Alliances at Southern Nuclear.  Our friend John Fialka, Editor of ClimateWire will moderate the panel.

RFF to Host Polar Explorer – Resources for the Future will host polar explorer and internationally renowned sustainability leader Sir Robert Swan on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. as he tells his extraordinary life story of how he experienced first-hand the life-threatening effects of climate change.  Swan was the first person to walk to both the North and South Poles. Sir Robert has dedicated his life to the preservation of Antarctica through the promotion of renewable energy and sustainability and has inspired countless others to join him in his quest to protect this fragile continent.  In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the South Pole, Swan will discuss how he has galvanized people around the planet to take small steps to reduce carbon footprints and generate demand for renewable energy. He will also preview his upcoming expedition where he will again make history by walking from the South Pole using only renewable energy.

Bingaman Headlines USEA Energy Efficiency Forum – Johnson Controls and the U.S. Energy Association will host the 22nd annual Energy Efficiency Forum on Wednesday and Thursday looking at energy efficiency and its role in energy security and economic growth. Wednesday’s events will take place at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, while the Thursday forum will continue at the National Press Club and feature remarks from Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman.  Others delivering remarks will be, Bank of America Chairman Charles Holliday Jr., Rep. Charles Bass, Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.   Thursday’s events will be webcast here.

EPA’s Brenner to Address Coal Plants at ICF Forum – ICF International will continue its Breakfast series with a forum on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. featuring EPA’s Rob Benner.  Brenner, who has directed EPA’s Air Policy office since shortly before the passage of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, will discuss EPA’s efforts to implement a power plant pollution control strategy that will both protect public health and help support the nation’s economic recovery.  EPA is undertaking a set of Clean Air Act initiatives that will address power plant pollution such as toxics, greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides and fine particles. These programs pose significant challenges for the power industry, which must develop strategies to meet new environmental requirements while continuing to provide the public with reliable and affordable energy.

Renewable Expo Set – The 14th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum is set for Thursday at 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Cannon Caucus Room in the House of Representatives.  This year’s EXPO will bring together over 50 businesses, sustainable energy industry trade associations, government agencies, and energy policy research organizations to showcase the status and near-term potential of the cross-section of renewable energy (biofuels/biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) and energy efficiency technologies. The morning program will feature Members of the U.S. Congress while afternoon speakers will discuss the role sustainable energy technologies can play in meeting America’s energy needs.

House Energy to Explore Pipeline Safety Issues – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold the tenth day of its hearing on “The American Energy Initiative” on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to focus on pipeline safety oversight.  Witnesses will include Cynthia Quarterman, the Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Others will include our friend Andy Black, head of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, as well as Charles Dippo of AGA member South Jersey Gas, Chris Helms of NiSource Gas Transmission and Storage (for INGAA), Carl Weimar of the Pipeline Safety Trust and NRDC’s Anthony Swift.

NRC Chair, Commissioners Head to Senate Environment – In response to Tuesday’s IG hearing in the House, expect the NRC team to defend itself as the full Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works and its Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a joint hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.  While the oversight hearing will explore the NRC’s preliminary results of its safety review of US reactors following the emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, expect a full-throated defense on Yucca as well. Witnesses include the NRC team: Chairman Jaczko and Kristine Svinicki, George Apostolakis, Bill Magwood and William Ostendorff.

Forum to Look at Wireless Impacts on Grid, Clean Energy – The New Democratic Network and New Policy Institute will host a forum on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. for what will be a powerful look at new wireless technologies and the electric grid.  This lunchtime discussion will highlight how wireless communications are creating new innovation opportunities for clean energy technologies and the smart grid.  NDN will also release new national polling which shows public support for new approaches on energy outside the scope of the current debate. Dan Carol, Senior Fellow for Innovation and Clean Economy and Michael Moynihan, Chair of NDN’s Clean Energy Initiative, will lead a discussion of expert panelists, including Nick Sinai, Senior Advisor to the CTO of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  Others will include Full Spectrum CEO Stewart Kantor, Kurt Yeager of the Galvin Electricity Initiative and Verizon’s Ann Shaub.

DTF Forum to Look at Hybrid Trucks – On Friday at noon, the Diesel Technology Forum will hold a seminar on reducing petroleum use on the road and at the jobsite in B-338 Rayburn. Today’s heavy-duty trucks are 98% cleaner than those made 10 years ago and this same technology is being phased in across all diesel applications, but more is being done.  Industry is working with DOE’s SuperTruck program to increase heavy-duty vehicle efficiency through improved aerodynamics and a suite of engine technology improvements.  High fuel economy gains are driving demand for diesel hybrid buses, making them the technology of choice for many of the country’s top transit districts.  Even many work trucks found in communities across the country are integrating hybrid technologies to reduce fuel consumption.  On Friday, four speakers who will explain how R&D investments are bringing more efficient technologies to market for use in truck fleets.  They include Wayne Eckerle of Cummins, Volvo’s Anthony Greszler, Beltway International’s Jack Saum and EDF’s Jason Mathers.

APPA National Conference Set – The American Public Power Association is hosting its national conference Friday through next Wednesday at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC.  The event attracts mayors, city council members, elected and appointed utility board members, and senior utility executives. Over 1,000 individuals active in the public power industry attend this event held each year in June.  Speakers will include Columnist Eugene Robinson and economist, consultant and educator Dr. Barry Asmus.  The conference features sessions on the topics facing the electric utility industry and public power, covering all facets of utility governance and operations. It’s a great tool for those in the industry to learn about trends, changes, and new ideas, as well as ways to develop practical programs to benefit customers.  APPA’s National Conference is also the Association’s annual major policy-setting meeting, where the APPA Board of Directors and Legislative and Resolutions Committee convene to approve policy objectives for the coming year.

THE WEEKS AHEAD:

Michaels to Speak at Dallas Climate Event — The National Center for Policy Analysis will hold a forum on Monday, June 20th at Noon with climatologist Dr. Patrick Michaels at the Pavilion at Belo Mansion in Dallas.  Michaels will paint a realistic yet alarming portrait of how exaggerations, opportunism and myths about global warming are all too pervasively altering the shape of our lives, as detailed in his book Climate Coup: Global Warming’s Invasion of Our Government and Our Lives.

FERC’s Norris to Head NGRT Forum – The Natural Gas Roundtable and Wartsila will host a forum on Tuesday June 21st at 8:30 a.m. in the University Club to discuss natural gas markets of the future such as smart generation and marine propulsion.  FERC Commissioner John Norris will be its guest speaker at lunch.

IEA Experts to Discuss 2011 Oil, Gas Markets – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Energy and National Security Program will host a forum with the International Energy Agency on Tuesday Jun 21st at 9:00 a.m. to present the medium-term oil and gas markets 2011.  the event will feature IEA experts Didier Houssin, Director of Energy Markets and Security; David Fyfe, Head of the Oil Industry and Market Division; and Anne-Sophie Corbeau, Senior Gas Analyst. The IEA panel will be moderate by former EIA Administrator Guy Caruso, now a senior adviser in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program.  From the upstream implications of the Arab Spring to the macroeconomic consequences of the eurozone crisis, energy markets are experiencing one of the most uncertain periods in decades. Rapid demand growth in emerging markets eclipsed sluggish supply growth to push prices higher even before the conflict in Libya further tightened supplies. In natural gas markets, demand has recovered to well above pre-financial-crisis levels in most major regions. Gas markets have tightened in Europe and Asia, where prices are about twice the level seen in the United States, as the unconventional gas revolution is in full swing. This oil market analysis covers demand developments on a product-by-product and key-sector basis, as well as a detailed bottom-up assessment of upstream and refinery investments, trade flows, oil products supply and OPEC spare capacity. The gas market analysis offers a region-by-region assessment of demand and production, infrastructure investment, price developments, prospects for unconventional gas, and the globalizing of the LNG trade.

Forum to Look at Climate Preparedness – The Wilson Center will host a forum on Tuesday June 21st at 9:30 a.m. on preparing for the impact of a changing climate on U.S. humanitarian and disaster response.  The U.S. will face increasing demands on its international humanitarian response systems due to a changing climate. This panel discussion will address the impacts of slow-onset and rapid-onset climate-related disasters on the U.S. government’s international humanitarian and disaster response systems, including both civilian and military capacity. To lead off the event, Oxfam America and CNA will release their new report, “An Ounce of Prevention: Preparing for the Impact of a Changing Climate on U.S. Humanitarian and Disaster Response.” The report finds that responding to these climate-induced challenges will require a more effective and smarter approach to disaster and humanitarian assistance. Most important, a coherent, whole-of-government approach to humanitarian assistance is needed, with clear leadership, objectives, and implementation, and strategies with a long-term perspective, especially for disaster prevention and risk reduction, should be brought to center stage.  Speakers will include Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, USN (Ret.), President of CNA’s Institute for Public Research and Vice Chairman of the CNA Military Advisory Board and Major General Richard Engel, USAF (Ret.), Director of the Climate Change and State Stability Program of the National Intelligence Council and Julie Kunen of US Agency for International Development.  To discuss the report, speakers will include researchers E.D. McGrady of CAN and Marc Cohen of Oxfam America.

Finance Conference Set for NY – The 8th annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF–Wall Street) will return June 21-22 on the Waldorf Astoria in New York.  At the 7th REFF-Wall Street in June 2010, over 700 attendees from 23 countries and over 480 companies assembled, defying continued economic difficulties and an uncertain legislative outlook, to debate the key challenges facing the renewable energy sector, and identify lucrative future business prospects going forward.  REFF-Wall Street brings together the crème de la crème of the USA’s renewable energy industry, drawing attendees from the entire value chain, including financiers, manufacturers and developers.   Speakers will include our friends Dan Reicher at Stanford and Katie McGinty, among many others.

Alonso to Speak at Air, Waste Conference – The Air & Waste Management Association will hold its 2011 Conference & Exposition in Orlando June 21 to 24. The conference will focus on how environmental challenges often stretch beyond political, regional and cultural lines, and involve diverse communities in working out solutions. Topics will include the Gulf of Mexico oil spill; air quality modeling; carbon dioxide; environmental management of ports, marinas and shipyards; waste disposal on the Gulf Coast; and environmental issues related to transportation. B&G’s Rich Alonso will speak on climate change and air quality issues affecting various industrial sectors.

Newsmaker to Look at Cyber Security, Piracy Issues – The National Press Club’s Newsmakers Committee will host a newsmaker on Thursday, June 23rd at 10:00 a.m. on the growing threat that counterfeit products pose to public health and safety as well as the U.S. economy. The panel will feature experts from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Eaton Corporation and Pfizer Inc. and will raise awareness of explore how government and industry can collaborate to combat this critical problem.  According to DHS, in 2009 customs officials confiscated nearly $261 million worth of counterfeit products in almost 15,000 seizures. June is National Safety Month and the panel discussion will focus on specific threats posed by counterfeit pharmaceuticals and electrical products, which DHS classifies as “safety and security items.” Safety and security items accounted for $32.4 million, or 13 percent, of the dollar value of DHS-seized property in that category.   Speakers will include U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Bill Ross who heads the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  Ross will be joined by industry experts Patrick Ford of Pfizer Inc. and Tom Grace and Kevin McLean of Eaton Corporation.  Grace manages Eaton’s Anti-Counterfeiting and Brand Protection, while McLean is Senior Vice President of Global Marketing in the Electrical Sector.

Forum to Look at Solar Progress – The New Democratic Network and New Policy Institute will host a forum on Monday, June 27 at 12:00 pm for an insider discussion of the ascent and maturation of solar technology. The event will provide a review of the tremendous progress solar power has made in America.  This lunchtime discussion will highlight this growth and feature Danny Kennedy, founder of Sungevity, the fastest growing solar company in the US; Andrea Luecke, Executive Director of The Solar Foundation; and Rachel Tronstein, Clean Energy Advisor in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Brats/Beer for Wind in Texas – The Third German American Wind Energy Conference 2011, hosted by the German American Chamber of Commerce will be in Houston, Texas on June 28th.  The event will explore the market potential for wind energy in Texas as well as identify challenges for an ongoing wind boom in Texas such as grid integration. Several German wind energy companies will be in attendance to establish business contacts with the Texas wind industry and share their experience of the European wind energy market

NPC to Host Trade Rep. Kirk – The Newsmakers Committee will host US Trade Rep. Ron Kirk for a newsmaker speech and Q&A on July 7th at 10:00 a.m. at the National Press Club.  More details to come on this.

DTF Forum to Look at Diesel Sales – On Friday, July 8th, the Diesel Technology Forum will hold a seminar on diesel car sales.  Growth in diesel car sales are expected to continue in the years ahead as consumers look for ways to cut down on fuel use without sacrificing performance or convenience.  As EPA & NHTSA establish new fuel economy standards for passenger cars in 2017-2025, a greater number of diesel vehicles are expected to become available to meet the challenge.  This session will look at the prospects for greater diesel penetration in the U.S. and how growing use of renewable diesel fuel can bring fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions on a par with other advanced technology vehicles.

SAFE to Hold Energy Security Summit – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will hold a National Summit on Energy Security on July 12th and 13th at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC.  The event will bring together military leaders, CEOs and policymakers to address the threats posed by US dependence on oil.  Event will include a welcome dinner to kick off the event and feature a discussion on the national security and economic threats posed by our dependence on oil; an executive crisis simulation call Oil ShockWave, a fast-paced wargame simulation featuring a cutting-edge graphics package and sophisticated modeling delivered in a life-like environment, including participation from Admiral Dennis Blair, USN (Ret.), former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, Cheney National Security Advisor John Hannah, former Shell CEO John Hofmeister, past US Trade Rep Susan Schwab and General Charles F. Wald, USAF (Ret.), former Deputy Commander, U.S. European Command; a CEO Forum Luncheon featuring Fred Smith of FedEx and Andrew C. Taylor of Enterprise Holdings; Moderated panel discussions on specific aspects of the energy security issue spectrum and formulate paths forward; and a Capitol Hill reception featuring members of Congress who are leaders on energy security and electrification issues.

Woodruff to Headline NACo Meeting – NACo’s 76th Annual Conference and Exposition held July 15-19 will be in Multnomah County, (Portland) Oregon. The Annual Conference’s keynote speaker will be ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff and Aron Ralston, the inspiration for the film 127 Hours.  The meeting provides county officials with a great opportunity to vote on NACo’s policies related to federal legislation and regulation; elect officers; network with colleagues; learn about innovative county programs; find out about issues impacting counties across the country; and view products and services from participating companies and exhibitors.

AT&T’s Stephenson, ARPA-E’s Majumdar at July NARUC Meeting – Top federal officials, CEOs from major telecommunications firms, energy producers, and renewable developers will address the nation’s State public service commissioners during the July 17-20, 2011, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Summer Committee Meetings.  The meetings, held at the JW Marriott at the new LA Live! complex in Los Angeles, will feature keynote addresses and panel discussions on meeting global energy supply, building out the nation’s utility infrastructure, and the state of the U.S. telecommunications sector.  Confirmed speakers for the Summer Committee Meetings include AT&T Chairman, President, and CEO Randall Stephenson, Chesapeake Energy Chairman, CEO Aubrey McClendon, Peabody Energy Chairman, CEO Gregory Boyce, American Water Works CEO Jeff Sterba, Comcast Corp. Executive Vice President David Cohen, American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode, Solar Alliance President Carrie Cullen Hitt, American Electric Power President Nick Akins, and many more.  Dr. Arum Majumdar, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy and Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, will deliver keynote remarks as well.  The Summer Meetings will feature three crucial general sessions:

1) Monday, July 18: Global Energy Supply: How Will We Meet what the World Needs in a Time of Uncertainty? 2) Tuesday, July 19: The State of Telecommunications, 2011 and 3) Wednesday, July 20: The Money Pit: How do you Finance the Future, and Who Pays for It?  In addition, NARUC’s committees will conduct business meetings, consider policy resolutions, and hold a number of additional panel discussions. For a complete list, please visit the NARUC Meetings Webpage.  Please note committee agendas are subject to change.