Energy Update: Week of July 2

Friends,

Wasn’t going to do an update today but decided to do a short one because of the crazy World Cup Games, the news about LeBron and – even more interesting – some policy news around the July 4th travel season, the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol on HFC reductions and Trump tweets over OPEC.

How could you not like those FIFA World Cup games yesterday. Two games to Penalty Kicks where host Russia’s Cinderella continued with a win over Spain after some brilliant saves by goalie Igor Akinfeev, who clinched the victory by stopping a shot with his foot.  The brilliant goalie play continued in the second game when Croatia outlasted Denmark in shootout, Croatia now faces Russia in the quarterfinals.  Brazil-Mexico now and Belgium-Japan this afternoon.

And apparently, LeBron James is headed to the Lakers for over $150M.  Now, the question is who may join him?  And don’t forget the MLB All-Star game is here at Nationals Park on Tuesday, July 17th. Our friend, former AP reporter and baseball author/historian Fred Frommer will be all over the run up to the game.  Frommer, author of You Gotta Have Heart, a history of DC baseball history, starts this Sunday at noon at The Farm, a rooftop building outside Nats Park, where former Washington Senators PA announcer Phil Hochberg chats about the four All-Star Games DC hosted in the 20th Century.  Then next Tuesday July 11th at 6:45 p.m., Fred will be at the Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center with Hochberg and Gregory McCarthy of the Nats, for a night of baseball history. Finally, the night before the All-Star Game July 16th, Fred will join fellow author David Rapp and documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner at East City Book Shop on Capitol Hill for an All-Star panel at 6:00 p.m. just before the Home Run Contest.

As we continue the July 4th travel season this week, I wanted to remind you of a note I sent on Friday highlighting the great work and important research of our friends at the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub on Pavement-Vehicle Interactions – research that can lower fuel consumption and vehicle emissions.  It is a perfect add-in to any stories you or your colleagues may be considering on the heavy travel week.  While this will be the busiest July 4th travel week ever, much of the traffic is likely to be spread out with the heaviest day to launch being tomorrow afternoon.

There is a new letter today from CEI and several other groups opposing the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The letter says the amendment would do “far more economic harm than environmental good,” adding that the environmental benefits are minimal.  But that is just not right.  A recent economic analysis for the White House showed significant jobs gains, 13 Republican Senators (mostly conservatives) urged the President to submit it to the Senate, 34 HVACR Manufacturing CEOs urged support and 3 conservative taxpayers groups (ACCF, Americans for Tax Reform and FreedomWorks) suggested Trump support Kigali because of global competitiveness advantages.  And all of this occurs after last week’s lawsuit by 11 states against EPA over implementing over HFC reductions.

If you are following recent tweets and comments from President Donald Trump about OPEC oil market manipulation, SAFE President/CEO Robbie Diamond weighed in saying Trump is right to point to OPEC as manipulating the market, but urged him to also turn his sights to “solutions that end oil dependence and the cartel that manipulates the market rather than having the U.S. come hat in hand to these foreign powers. Asking the cartel to increase output is like trying to put a Band-Aid on a broken system that shouldn’t even exist in the first place.”

Finally, the most grueling test of strength and endurance – the Tour de France – cycling’s crown jewel, starts on Saturday.  With one more Tour victory, Chris Froome can match the record of five shared by Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain. The start of the 105th edition will be at Noirmoutier-en-l’île.  The 2018 Tour route will include a total of 26 mountain climbs or hills, including  12 in the Alps, 4 in the Massif central and 10 in the Pyrenees.  Ouch!!! Riders arrive in Paris on July 29th.

Enjoy the holiday week…Stacey and kids headed to Imagine Dragons tonight.  I bet that’s a fun show.  Call with questions …Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Kigali gets us everything we want and everything we’ve been advocating for for a long time—a unified, negotiated decision on phasedowns [of HFCs] instead of prohibitions.  U.S. ratification of the global deal offers the greatest level of certainty for the market writ large. That process, rather than litigation, is where our industry will be focusing its efforts in the coming months.””

Caroline Davidson-Hood, general counsel for the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute regarding the lawsuit filed by 11 states challenging implementation of EPA HFC reductions

 

“Because of the technological prowess of American manufacturers, U.S. businesses stand to gain from this deal – ratification will open new markets at a time when demand for refrigeration, heating, and air-condition equipment is projected to grow.”

A letter from conservative tax group leaders of Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks and the American Council for Capital Formation on moving the Kigali amendment forward in the Senate. 

 

FUN OPINIONS

CEOs Say Kigali Essential for Global Competitiveness – ICYMI, following the letter from 13 Senators urging the White House to send them the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol, 34 HVACR Industry CEOs wrote a letter to President Trump urging his support for Kigali.  These are major manufacturers that include Honeywell, Lennox, Fujitsu, Johnson Controls, Rheem, Dow Chemical and many more.  The CEOs, who speak for more than 589,000 Americans currently employed in the industries, urged the President to send the Kigali Amendment to the Senate to secure a position of strength for American companies in a highly competitive global market for next generation air conditioning, refrigeration, thermal insulation, aerosols, medical uses, fire suppression, semiconductors and other technologies that utilize fluorocarbons.

IN THE NEWS

AGs Suit Spurs New Twist in Kigali Discussion – CEI will release a letter today opposing the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol but a legal challenge to EPA’s current regulations on HFC reductions by 11 states.  In its guidance, the EPA said revoking the rules would “dispel confusion and provide regulatory certainty” after a federal appellate court in July 2017 struck down large portions of the Obama-era regulation.  NRDC filed a similar suit earlier this week.  Another legal fight over the EPA guidance raises concerns about avenues for regulations to change, even as the industry continues to advocate for U.S. participation in a 2016 global deal to phase down HFCs called the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

Better Pavement Mean Better Fuel Econ, Less Emissions – As we begin the July 4th travel season, you or your colleagues should check out the important research by MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub on Pavement-Vehicle Interactions – studies about how we can lower fuel consumption and vehicle emissions by taking a new approach to building and maintaining our roadways.  It is a perfect add-in to any stories you or your colleagues may be considering on the heavy travel week this July 4th.

Wasted Energy in Travel – All vehicles, whether gasoline, diesel, or electric, use energy to move—but some of that energy is wasted. The quality of the roads we drive on every day impacts the amount of fuel we use, as well as the associated greenhouse gas emissions. On roads with poor surface conditions or inadequate structural properties (like many in our favorite District) vehicles consume additional fuel beyond what’s needed to move.  This wasted fuel is known as excess fuel consumption, and it has a significant impact on fuel economy and vehicle emissions.

Pavement Improvements Help Reduce Fuel Consumption – MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) researchers study pavement-vehicle interaction (PVI) in an effort to understand and quantify the impacts of excess fuel consumption. MIT’s research focuses on three key factors:

  1. ROUGHNESS: whether the road is bumpy or smooth. Roughness, commonly seen and felt as the presence of cracks and potholes, has a significant impact on passenger vehicles.
  2. TEXTURE: the abrasiveness of the road surface, which can be seen and heard when driving.
  3. DEFLECTION: the bending of a pavement under the weight of a vehicle. Deflection is present from the initial construction, and depends on pavement design. Think of the difference between walking or riding on sand versus a paved surface.

Road Solutions Can Improve Fuel Efficiency, Reduce Emissions – CSHub studies suggest that excess fuel consumption can be significantly reduced by building stiffer roads and maintaining smoother pavements—benefiting states and municipalities alike through reductions in emissions and fuel costs to drivers.  And it reduces road ware costs on vehicles and tires, while improving driving comfort.  There are two case studies that quantify fuel waste on US roadways.  The impacts of excess fuel consumption depend on a variety of factors, including location, traffic levels, pavement designs, and maintenance schedules. MIT has done case studies examining real roadway networks, including in California and Virginia:

  • California: Using data collected by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) through the use of GPS and ground-penetrating radar, MIT conducted an analysis of the state’s entire 50,000 lane-mile system and found excess fuel consumption of 1 billion gallons over a 5-year period. The collaboration showed that PVI, including roughness and deflection, accounts for 1 percent of overall fuel consumption on California highways.
  • Virginia: A study of the Commonwealth’s interstate highway system—some 5,000 lane miles in total—identified 1 million tons of CO2 associated with EFC emissions over a 7-year period. Researchers also determined that only 1.3 percent of the interstate network is responsible for 10 percent of its total greenhouse gas emissions, meaning rehabilitation of those few lane miles could result in significant environmental improvements.

Who Can Help – If you’re looking for a resource to discuss the impact of pavement interaction on fuel economy and emissions, MIT’s Jeremy Gregory (jgregory@mit.edu) is available to address the key issues, impacts and examples surrounding improved pavements and infrastructure … and how this affects American communities and drivers.  MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub [cshub.mit.edu] is pushing the frontier of academic research into building materials, with implications for policymakers, communities, the transportation industry, fleets and the millions of American drivers hitting the roads over July 4th and all summer.  For more info, drop me a note, reach out to Jeremey or connect with MIT communications person Anne Wilson Yu.  You can reach her at awwilson@mit.edu

ACCF: Proxy Advisory Have Minimal Oversight – The American Council for Capital Formation released a new report that says proxy advisory firms are operating with minimal oversight.  The firms, which advise shareholders on how to assess and vote on company plans, are moving toward an increasingly activist stance on issues relating to the environment, as well as social and political issues. The report, titled “The Conflicted Role of Proxy Advisors,” examines the impact such proxy firms have on major policies at most publicly traded companies.  Our friend Dave Banks is leading an effort at ACCF on this issue.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

JULY 4th HOLIDAY

Stanford to Look at Behavior, Enviro Change – Stanford holds an event on Thursday evening featuring PhD Candidate Jen Wang, who will discuss an even more fundamental condition and challenge to positive environmental change – getting humans to change their behaviors. From the everyday choices we make to our combined organizational behaviors, human behavior is at the core of the environmental issues we care about.

Event to Honor Tesla Birthday – On Friday evening, the International Club of DC and the Embassy of Croatia host a dinner reception of Croatian culture, music, wine, and cuisine on the occasion of the 162nd anniversary of the birth of Croatian-born scientist Nikola Tesla. During the event, Tesla will have a Model S and Model X on display. Tesla product experts will be on hand to answer questions and show you how electric vehicles can fit seamlessly into your lifestyle. Test rides will be offered on a first come, first serve basis.

IN THE FUTURE

 

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held tomorrow and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

BPC Forum to Examine Oil, Gas Issues – On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) convenes a panel of experts to examine the current state of the Environmental Social Governance (ESG) movement in the oil and gas sector and explore what’s coming next. This movement continues to gain traction in a time when the regulatory agenda has changed significantly under the Trump Administration. ESG is particularly significant for the energy sector, specifically as shareholder resolutions surrounding climate change continue to take center stage in the media and in the boardroom.

Duke CEO, CARB Chair, Others Headline POLITICO Summit – POLITICO is hosting its second Pro Summit on July 17th at the Renaissance Hotel. The Pro Summit brings together Pro subscribers, expert reporters, key decision-makers, and others who are shaping the policy landscape for a full day of incisive conversations. Summit speakers include Rep. Joe Crowley, Duke CEO Lynn Good, FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, Amy Myers Jaffe of the Council on Foreign Relations, Coal CEO Bob Murray, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols and many others.  Duke Energy is the main event sponsor.

Grid Forum Set for Iowa – The TransGrid-X 2030 Symposium will be held on July 26th in Ames, Iowa. The event will showcase the long-awaited NREL Seam Study—a concept featuring bi-directional high-voltage transmission; 600 GW of wind, solar and gas-fired generation; and a trillion-dollar economic event, if fully built.  Our friends Rob Gramlich and former FERC Chair Jim Hoecker will be among the speakers.

EPRI Hosts Electrification Conference – The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) hosts the inaugural Electrification 2018 International Conference and Exposition on August 20th to 23rd in Long Beach CA. Hosted by the and sponsored by more than 20 major utilities and organizations, this annual conference will bring together utility leaders, regulators, researchers, academia, vendors, economic development groups, and energy users from diverse manufacturing, transportation, industrial, and agriculture sectors around the globe.  SoCo CEO Tom Fanning is among the many speakers.

Energy Update: Week of June 4

Friends,

After a fun trip through SoCal (yes, my kids always love that we drive right past things like the San Onofre nuclear plant, San Gorgonio Wind Park and Andeavor’s LA Refineries), we are ready to get back to the action.  Before that though, it is exciting to see the energy in DC and Vegas around the Stanley Cup Finals.  Game 4 tonight…  Don’t think it is quite as exciting in Cleveland and Oakland for the NBA finals, but we should have winners in both NHL and NBA sometime next week.   Finally, get ready for the Belmont on June 16th where Justify will go for the Triple Crown.  Full breakdown next week.

Starting on a sad note today with the news of the passing of our friend Doug Goudie, who was Director of International Government Relations for Pfizer.  Doug passed away last night after a courageous battle with cancer.  Doug was a friend and colleague of many in the trade community. Doug, who also worked at NAM and the Auto Trade Policy Council, leaves behind his wife, Ann McCulloch, and his two young children, Will and Maggie.  If you would like to help Doug’s family, a website has been set up to support the education of Doug’s kids: https://www.gofundme.com/goudie-education-fund, and please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

The energy narrative this week will be impacted by Friday’s move by the Administration on using national security issues to preserve coal and nuclear plants.  Also, we have also heard the White House may be moving as soon as today on the biofuels agreement to resolve long-standing RFS issues.  More on each of these as necessary.  As you know, we are covering them closely. To that end, Platt’s hosts Joni Ernst tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. for its Energy Podium roundtable.

Outside DC, tomorrow is a big primary day in several states including California, New Jersey and Iowa.  And just flipping on the TV while eating In ‘n Out burgers last week in Cali, you could definitely tell the primary was right around the corner given the commercials.  Also, at the Vatican later this week, Pope Francis convenes a meeting with oil company CEOs, energy investors and former Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz.  Amy Harder had her take on it in Axios. Finally, tomorrow is the UN’s World Environment Day.

The full House will consider the Water Resources Development Act this week. Look for potential Congressional moves on last week’s action on coal/nukes. The House is also expected to take up its first “minibus” package of fiscal 2019 spending bills. A measure that funds the Energy Department and Army Corps of Engineers is being bundled with bills funding military construction, veterans affairs, and the legislative branch. On Wednesday, NM Gov. Susana Martinez appears at House Resources on oil/gas legislation.  Finally on Thursday, a House Energy panel examines ways to improve the hydropower licensing process. While in the afternoon House Science’s energy panel looks at the electric grid of the future in a hearing that features our friend Rob Gramlich.

The biggest event in town this week is today and tomorrow’s EIA Energy Forum on the many changes going on in the electric power and petroleum sectors.   The program will discuss natgas drilling, Appalachian energy industry development and exports of oil and LNG. There also will be talk about electric power system transitions and reliability issues which will lead into discussions around nuclear and coal-fired power plants.  Among the speakers ids will be FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, NERC reliability chief Mark Lauby and ISO New England CEO Gordon van Welie.

Remember to mark your calendars for NEXT WEDNESDAY when SAFE hold a forum to release a new groundbreaking study with original research on the magnitude of impacts from driverless cars at the Jack Morton Auditorium at the George Washington University.

Finally, while the hurricane season kicked off on Friday, many of you have focused on on-going recoveries in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. Let me remind you that our friends at MIT, who are focused on responding to more intense hurricanes through better building resilience and recovery, have a full array of research on these topics and are happy to discuss how they affect communities and policymakers response – especially after last year’s difficult hurricane season in the Southeast and Caribbean.

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

““I eagerly await the administration’s regulations protecting pagers, fax machines, and Blockbuster.”

Ex-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, reacting via tweet to the Trump administration’s plans to order grid operators to buy electricity from struggling coal and nuclear plants.

 

ON THE POD

MIT Experts Weigh in on Hurricane, Building Resiliency – The episode of PRG’s podcast The Lobby Shop this week features my interview with MIT resiliency expert Jeremy Gregory discussing the 2018 hurricane season and what vulnerable communities and their resident/policymakers can do to withstand and rebuild in more resilient ways.  Good stuff with the start of the hurricane season slated for June 1.  Check it out ln Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.

FUN OPINIONS

API: Tariffs Hinder Energy Growth –API’s Mark Green argued in an opinion piece in RealClearEnergy that Steel tariffs will create three huge problems for the energy industry that will hinder its growth.  Green said the tariffs will cause higher costs and project delays, questions whether steel manufacturers will increase production and says if steel shipments are delayed, then energy projects will be delayed.

IN THE NEWS

Administration Imposes Tariffs – Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced on a conference call last week Section 232 tariffs on imports of steel (25% tariff) and aluminum (10% tariff) will be applicable to imports from Canada, Mexico, and the EU. The White House followed shortly by posting new proclamations formally adjusting the tariffs for steel and aluminum.  In addition to removing the exceptions for Canada, Mexico and the EU, the proclamations also formalize the “hard” export quotas that Australia, Argentina, and Brazil have agreed to accept in lieu of 232 tariffs.  My trade expert colleague Josh Zive said this is a significant decision and the economic and diplomatic consequences of it are likely to be significant and complex.  EU and Canada have already promised retaliation against US exports—minutes after Ross’s announcement the EU released a statement outlining $3.3 billion in new tariffs on US products ranging from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to Kentucky Bourbon, and Mexico announced new tariffs on US pork, fruit, and flat steel products.  This retaliation will likely get worse before it gets better as diplomacy moves from bilateral discussions to WTO dispute resolution.  Additionally, it is likely that the prices and lead times for steel and aluminum, already climbing in the wake of the 232 tariffs, will increase at an accelerated pace.  Finally, the Department of Commerce will likely see thousands of new exclusion requests filed, adding to the thousands waiting for action from the agency.  Zive says the actions should be “viewed as a disappointment, but not a surprise.”  He adds the many details surrounding the tariffs require further elaboration, and it is essential that companies harmed by these policies redouble their efforts to educate policymakers and thought leaders about the consequences of this protectionism.

CCS Project hits Key Milestone – NET Power said last week that it has successfully achieved “first fire” of its landmark demonstration plant in La Porte, TX, that is intended to capture all of the carbon from new power plants that can use both coal and natural gas.  The milestone included the firing of a 50MW Toshiba commercial-scale combustor, which involved the integrated operation of the full NET Power process. The combustor will be integrated with the turbine and power will be generated after further testing, with the goal of global deployment of 300MW commercial-scale plants beginning as early as 2021. First fire is a critical milestone for the demonstration plant, as it validates the fundamental operability and technical foundation of NET Power’s new power system.

ClearPath’s Powell Praises NET – If successful, NET Power will greatly simplify the process and equipment needed to produce not just cleaner power, but emission-free power from coal and natural gas. It would emit no carbon and use no water. ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell explained the Allam Cycle in a recent video, the process used by NET Power, and how it could revolutionize clean energy in the U.S. and globally.

RINs Awarded to Small Refiners after Winning Case – After winning a case to force EPA to grant it a waiver from the RFS, last week EPA said it would grant Sinclair and Holly-Frontier, two refineries that sued over the waivers.  HollyFrontier will receive credits for this year to reverse a denial for a waiver for one of its Wyoming plants dating back to 2015, while Sinclair will receive them for two of its facilities in for 2014 and 2015.  Both companies had challenged EPA’s denials in a federal appellate court in Colorado in 2016. That court in August 2017 ruled EPA had erred in denying Sinclair’s applications for exemptions by being too strict in its definition of disproportionate economic hardship and remanded the case back to EPA to come up with a remedy.

REN21 Report Says Despite New Renewables, Emissions Increased – The latest edition of the Renewables Global Status Report says even as new power installations were dominated by renewables, energy-related carbon emissions rose in 2017.  REN21, a network of governments, nonprofits and academics focused on renewable energy released its annual report and said that renewable power made up 70% of net additions to global power generating capacity in 2017, but energy demand and energy-related CO2 emissions increased substantially for the first time in four years, mainly due to economic growth in emerging economies and population growth.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

FERC Chair Headlines EIA Annual Energy Conference – EIA holds its annual 2018 Energy Conference today and tomorrow at the Washington Hilton.  The program will discuss natgas drilling, Appalachian energy industry development and exports of oil and LNG. There also will be talk about electric power system transitions and reliability issues which will lead into discussions around nuclear and coal-fired power plants.  Among the speakers ids will be FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre, NERC reliability chief Mark Lauby and ISO New England CEO Gordon van Welie.

FERC Commissioners Headline Western PSC Forum – The Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners holds a conference in Boise, Idaho today through Wednesday.  WCPSC is a regional association within NARUC and the conference takes place at the Boise Centre, located in the heart of downtown Boise.  Speakers include Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur and Rich Glick, AGA Richard Myers and Montana PUC Chair Travis Kavulla, among many others.

TX Solar Conference SetSolar Power Texas 2018 will be held today and tomorrow in Cedar Creek, TX at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa.  The event looks policy drivers and leading businesses in the region.

New England Energy Conference Set – The New England Energy Conference runs today and tomorrow in N. Falmouth, Mass at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel.  The event brings together industry professionals including generation and transmission companies, project developers and operators, utility representatives, load aggregators and end-users, equipment suppliers, finance and legal experts, risk managers, environmental and engineering professionals, commodity traders and wholesalers, as well as government officials and industry regulators.

Perry Headlines DOE Cyber Conference – Today through Thursday, the Energy Department holds its annual Cyber Conference in Austin at the Renaissance.  The event features keynote speech today from Energy Secretary Rick Perry, a speech from Undersecretary Dan Brouillette tomorrow and many more Panels featuring DOE and industry security experts.

NAS to Look at Nuke Waste, Seismic Activity – Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., the National Academies host forum on seismic hazards in storing nuclear waste.

EEI Conference Set for SD – The Edison Electric Institute holds its annual convention in San Diego tomorrow through Thursday at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.  Speakers will include Tony Byers of Starbucks, ABC Shark Tank panelist Robert Herjavec and a panel of CEOs including Duke’s Lynn Good, Exelon’s Chris Crane and Berkshire-Hathaway Energy Chair Greg Abel.

Platts to Host Conversation With Ernst – Platts Energy Podium will host a conversation with Sen. Joni Ernst and the future of the US biofuel mandate tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. The Trump administration is preparing to make changes to the RFS that could have big impacts in the oil, biofuel and agriculture sectors. Ethanol credits have plunged 60% since the start of the year. Refinery workers have protested at the US Capitol.  Ernst has been at the negotiating table for several rounds of White House talks on the issue. She is one of Congress’ strongest advocates for farmers and biofuel makers. Ernst will share the latest on the White House deal that would expand sales of ethanol while allowing traders to get renewable fuel credits for ethanol exports.

ITIF to Host Forum on European Innovation Policy – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosts a panel of experts from Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom as they discuss how their countries are approaching innovation policy and regulation.  Europe has introduced new innovation policies or strategies, many tailored to boost competitiveness in advanced and emerging industries such as clean energy, AI, autonomous driving, advanced manufacturing, and innovative life sciences. Policymakers also are grappling with how to establish enabling regulatory environments to meet social needs such as safety or privacy while encouraging innovators to experiment and allowing new technologies to flourish.

Senate Energy to Look at Fire Outlook, Programs – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the 2018 Wildland Fire Outlook and Wildland Fire Management programs. Interim Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen and Jeff Rupert, director, Office of Wildland Fire, Department of the Interior testify.  On Thursday, Christiansen heads to House Resources on the same topic at 2:00 p.m.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Cooperation with Korea – The Global America Business Institute will host a presentation tomorrow at Noon on U.S.-Korea cooperation in new nuclear markets, looking at opportunities, challenges and imperatives.”

Forum to Look at Transatlantic Energy – The German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Polish Institute of International Affairs host a discussion on Transatlantic energy cooperation tomorrow. The one-day conference at GMF’s Washington, DC office brings together a group of political leaders, government officials, and experts and will provide a platform for debates on key policy issues.

Forum Tackles Iran Policy – The Washington Institute for Near East Policy holds a discussion tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. on the Gulf’s view on Washington’s Plan B for Iran.  The expert conversation and live webcast will look at Washington and its Arab partners’ favorable rhetoric on the new Iran policy, and what concrete actions will curb Tehran’s regional adventurism.

FERC Hosts Quarterly Users Report – The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold the 5th bi-annual Electric Quarterly Report Users Group meeting tomorrow afternoon starting at 1:00 p.m. This meeting provides a forum for dialogue between Commission staff and EQR users to discuss potential improvements to the EQR program and the EQR filing process. Recent meetings have focused on issues pertaining primarily to EQR filers. However, in the upcoming meeting, staff will also include sessions for those accessing and using EQR data.

Forum to Look at Plastics Crisis – National Geographic hosts a Hill briefing tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. in 485 Russell to discuss its multiyear campaign to raise awareness of the “global plastic crisis.” The event will feature remarks from Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and NG CEO Gary Knell.

KPMG Energy Conference Set – KPMG’s 16th Annual Global Energy Conference will be held Wednesday and Thursday at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston, Texas. The event features senior energy executives and luminaries to share ideas and gain insights on the current issues and emerging challenges that are shaping the next generation of energy.  Speakers include broadcaster Soledad O’Brien and former Senate Leader George Mitchell, as well as our friends WSJ’s Erin Ailworth, Bloomberg’s Joe Carroll and Reuters’ Ernest Scheyder.

Wilson Forum Talk Transatlantic Energy Cooperation – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program holds a forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on Transatlantic research Cooperation to protect the Atlantic Ocean. This event will include a visit of the Ocean Plastics Lab which will be in Washington DC.

House Resources Looks at Interior Legislation – The House Natural Resources Committee marks up six bills, including four dealing with Utah focused on Department of Interior issues.  They also will tackle four other bills in the afternoon hearing will that are focused on oil and gas issues.  New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez and Interior’s deputy assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management Katharine MacGregor will testify.

FERC, NRC Hold Joint Meeting – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold a joint meeting on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. that will consist of discussions between the two sets of Commissioners following presentations by their respective staffs.

Forum, Report to Discuss Renewables – ACORE and the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will host a special event around the U.S. launch of the 2018 REN21 Renewables Global Status Report (GSR) on Thursday at 9:00 a.m.  The event will feature a highlight presentation of the GSR, the most comprehensive annual overview of the global state of renewable energy, followed by a panel discussion on the role of renewable energy, energy storage, and electric vehicles in modernizing the U.S. electric grid. Speakers include REN21 Executive Secretary Rana Adib, EDTA President Genevieve Cullen, AWEA’s Tom Kiernan and our friend Dan Whitten of SEIA.

House Transpo Looks at Arctic Maritime Action – The House Transportation and Infrastructure’s maritime transportation panel looks at the U.S. role in maritime transportation in the Arctic in a hearing at 11:00 a.m. Thursday.

House Energy Looks at Hydro Licensing – The House Energy and Commerce’s energy panel on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. examines ways to improve the hydropower licensing process.

Speakes-Backman to address Women in Energy Leadership – Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy will host a WRISE DC lunch and learn with Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the Energy Storage Association on Thursday at AWEA at 12:30 p.m.  Kelly is a former Commissioner of the Maryland Public Service Commission, who has spent more than 20 years working on energy and environmental issues in the public, NGO and private sectors.

House Science Panel Looks at Future Grid – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., the House Science Committee’s energy panel looks at the electric grid of the future in a hearing that features our friend Rob Gramlich, a former AWEA policy chief.  DOE’s Bruce Walker, John Sarro of the Los Alamos Nat Lab and Texas Tech’s Joe Heppert also testify.

Mexico Gas Forum Set for San Antonio – The 4th Mexico Gas Summit will be held in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday and Friday.  The event that brings together internationally recognized industry speakers, investors, government officials, and executives from the energy, infrastructure, and transportation industries. The geographic scope for the event will cover Mexico as a region with a strong focus on Gulf Coast onshore exploration and production, midstream infrastructure and development, natural gas commercialization and the evolving refined fuels market.

Offshore Wind Conference Features Interior, DOE, Industry Officials – New Energy Update holds a conference on U.S. offshore wind development on Thursday and Friday in Boston.  Speakers include Interior’s Walter Cruickshank, DOE’s Dan Simmons, Equinor (formerly Statoil)’s Mike Olsen, Deepwater’s Bryan Martin, Mass Energy/Enviro Affairs Sect Matt Beaton and many more.

USEA Hosts Kenyan Energy Official – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association hosts Charles Keter, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Energy and Mrs. Rebecca Miano, Managing Director/CEO of KenGen as they discuss the state of the Kenyan energy market and opportunities for expansion and international partnerships. They will also share some of the lessons learned earlier in the week while visiting The Geysers Geothermal Field and Coso Geothermal Field in California.

Forum to Look at Cyber Security – The Lexington Institute holds a forum on Friday at Noon looking at cybersecurity of the electric grid on Capitol Hill in CVC-201.  This forum will be a series of ten-minute back-to-back presentations delivered by subject matter experts. Here is a link to a similar event they held last year.

Forum to Discuss European Clean Energy – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Embassy of Germany host a forum on Friday at Noon in G50 Dirksen showcasing how Germany has been successfully integrating clean energy into its electrical grid. Representatives from the public and private sectors on both sides of the Atlantic will discuss parallels between the German and American economies and how the United States may benefit from energy development policies Germany has developed and implemented over the course of its nearly 20 year-long national Energiewende (“energy transition”) program.  Speakers include Thorsten Herdan, Director-General of Energy Policy with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, plus representatives of the energy and manufacturing sectors.

Energy Economists to Host Discussion of Bay Runoff – The NCAC of the US Energy Economists hosts its June luncheon on Friday to explore that reality of just how difficult finding a solution to a significant environmental problem might be. And this solution relates to nothing less than fouling Chesapeake Bay by run-off from chicken farms on the DELMARVA. The run-off comes from chicken waste – called “litter” in publications suitable for family reading.  CleanBay Renewables (CBR) was established in 2013 to find alternative uses for chicken litter. And there are lots of them, including jet fuel, facial creams and electricity.  There are lots of problems too. The speaker is Jason Levine, Chief Business Development Officer of CleanBay Renewables. Jason has lived through all of these problems and is ready to break ground on CBR’s first digester, located near Princess Anne, Maryland.

IN THE FUTURE

Forum to Look at Carbon Removal in Climate Efforts – Next Monday at 10:00 a.m., Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment hosts a forum on new research about the range of carbon removal options; especially ecosystem stewardship and approaches that combine bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (CCS). Stanford experts will discuss carbon removal technologies and opportunities for the United States and beyond.  Panelists will evaluate near-term opportunities for deployment across the US. Policy levers include tax credits just revised by Congress in the 2018 Budget Act. These incentives support sequestration of CO2 in geologic storage and make carbon capture from ethanol production facilities profitable. Overall, the discussion will right-size expectations for carbon removal in ambitious climate responses, spanning from constraints at large-scale through to opportunities that exist now.  Keynote Speaker for the event is Bob Perciasepe, former EPA deputy and current President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

Merrifield Headlines Nuclear Export Forum – Several groups are hosting forum in 2322 Rayburn next Monday, June 11th at 11:00 a.m. to discuss the importance of nuclear experts to the U.S.  Speakers will include former NRC Commissioner and ClearPath advisor Jeff Merrifield on industry/government collaboration, Westinghouse’s Graham Cable on understanding the export market, Nuclear Industry Council CEO David Blee on the export potential for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and several more.

Interior Official to Address Energy Policy – The Atlantic Council hosts a conversation on next Monday at Noon with Vincent DeVito, counselor to the secretary for energy policy at Interior. DeVito will focus on the advanced energy aspects of the Trump administration’s “energy dominance” agenda.

Wilson to Host Brazilian Biofuels Experts – Next Monday, the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a forum at 4:00 p.m. featuring a delegation from the Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy, charged with the new biofuels program implementation, and Brazil’s National Agency of Oil, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP).  The group comes to the Wilson Center for a public conversation on RenovaBio. The delegation will be in Washington for meetings with the U.S. government and the private sector to discuss lessons learned from the implementation of the RFS and the LCFS, in order to improve the development and implementation of the new policy in Brazil.  RFA’s Geoff Cooper and UC-Davis Institute of Transportation Studies Director Dan Sperling will also speak.

Hydrogen, Fuel Cell Forum Set for DC – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association will be hosting a full-day forum and showcase next Tuesday, June 12 in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with leading executives, experts, and policymakers on fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The forum will bring together key federal and state policymakers, including the Department of Energy and White House, as well as the broader environmental, transportation, and energy communities to raise awareness of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. This event will precede the Department of Energy’s 2018 Annual Merit Review.

Forum to Look at Buildings of the Future – As a part of High Performance Building Week 2018, there will be a Congressional briefing on Tuesday June 12th at Noon in 2322 Rayburn seeking recommendation for future buildings.  The National Institute of Building Sciences Consultative Council serves a unique role in the building industry, bringing together representatives from leading organizations that represent all aspects of design, construction, operation and regulation to examine important issues before the industry.  The forum will look at ways to explore how the building industry can and should evolve to meet the changing needs of society and how new technologies and practices can attract a 21st century workforce.  Speakers include Reps. David McKinley and Peter Welch who are Co-Chairs of the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus, as well as our friend Ryan Colker of the National Institute of Building Sciences and several others.  On Thursday in 2226 Rayburn, this same group will also hold an expert discussion focusing on how codes and standards play a significant role in supporting strong, practicable and resilient 21st century infrastructure solutions. These solutions include not only incorporating new technologies – such as 3D printing – into codes and standards, but also recognizing the value of hazard mitigation strategies in assuring that infrastructure and buildings are built to withstand future events.

USEA Forum to Look at USE IT Act – Next Tuesday, June 12th at 1:00 p.m., the U.S. Energy Association hosts a forum on the USE IT Act. In March, Sens. Barrasso, Capito, Whitehouse, and Heitkamp introduced the “USE IT” Act, which would support R&D for innovative carbon capture and use technologies. This workshop will explore the environmental and economic opportunities for innovative carbon technologies — including direct air capture and carbon utilization in building materials and fuels. The conversation will include a discussion of the policy landscape for these solutions, as well as the emerging industry and investment trends in the space.  Speakers will include USDA’s David Babson, C2ES’s Jeffrey Bobeck and Erin Burns of Third Way.

SAFE to Discuss Impact of Self-Driving Technology on Economy, Workforce – On Wednesday June 13th at 8:30 a.m., Securing America’s Future Energy will hold a forum and release a new groundbreaking study with original research on the magnitude of impacts from driverless cars at the Jack Morton Auditorium at the George Washington University.  The study done in collaboration with leading transportation and labor economists focuses on impacts from driverless cars and offers case-study analysis on the economic productivity gains.  It will also offer context on the history of network-scale innovations and the short and long-term impacts on the workforce.  Speakers include Report author J.D. Vance, former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, ep. Debbie Dingell, DOT’s Loren Smith ITIF’s Rob Atkinson and CBPP’s Jared Bernstein, all who are actively crafting AV Policy.  For further information, contact Leslie Hayward lhayward@secureenergy.org.

Forum to Look at Boosting Climate Resilience – On Thursday, June 14th at 3:00 p.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center holds a discussion with representatives from USAID projects in East Africa on how to build resiliency when facing uncertain future scenarios. Panelists will share tools, technologies, good practices and approaches that are applicable and relevant to ongoing and future USAID bilateral and regional programming.

Congressional Baseball Game – Thursday June 14th 7:05 p.m.

Forum to Look at Spent Fuel in Sweden – The Global America Business Institute will host a discussion on Friday, June 15th at 12:00 p.m. on the current status of spent fuel management in Sweden.  This forum will discuss progress and lessons learned.

DOE Science Heads to CSIS for Forum – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting a discussion with Paul Dabbar, DOE’s Under Secretary for Science on Friday June 15th at 11:00 a.m. Dabbar will discuss DOE’s priorities and the role of innovation in DOE’s mission and the U.S. energy sector broadly.

University Coalition Heads to CSIS – On Monday June 18th at 2:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Janet Napolitano (President, University of California), Kristina M. Johnson (Chancellor, The State University of New York) and Timothy Carter (President, Second Nature) for a discussion on the recent launch of the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), the role of research universities in the development of climate action plans, and their own imperatives for a more sustainable energy system.  This spring, UC3 was launched by 13 research university systems in the United States, Canada, and Mexico to mobilize their resources and expertise to inform and facilitate climate solutions in partnership with businesses, local communities, cities, and states.  The coalition will utilize its research base and multidisciplinary approaches to craft innovative climate action plans, develop new energy technologies, and advance climate science.  UC3 will work in partnership with Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Network, a group of hundreds of colleges and universities that have committed to take action on climate change and sustainability actions.  Climate Change and the National and Corporate Interest is a high-level speaker series showcasing a variety of country and corporate perspectives on plausible pathways for pursuing a climate change strategy and why those actions are in their national or commercial interest.

CSIS to Host BNEF Energy Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting the launch of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) New Energy Outlook 2018 on Wednesday, June 20th at 10:00 a.m.  NEO 2018 is BNEF’s annual economic forecast for the world’s power sector.  Built over nine months, it is the result of international collaboration between 65 market and technical experts from BNEF’s 11 offices.  For the first time, NEO projects out to 2050, offering 10 more years of data and new insights about the energy transition in the long-term.  Seb Henbest (NEO Lead Author and Head of Europe, Middle East & Africa; BNEF) will present the findings of the NEO 2018, followed by Q&A and discussion led by MIT’s Francis O’Sullivan.

GTM to Host Grid Forum – Greentech Media host Grid Edge Innovation Summit on June 20th and 21st in San Francisco.  The event is an energy conference that will examine the energy customer of tomorrow and how new innovative business models are quickly emerging.  GTM brings together forward thinking and prominent members of the energy ecosystem and as our research team explores the future of the market. Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff will speak along with many others, including our friends Shayle Kann, Julia Pyper and Stephen Lacey.

Duke’s Good to Speak at Women Conference – The Center for Strategic and International Studies is hosting a Smart Women, Smart Power conversation with Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good on Thursday, June 21st at 6:00 p.m.  She will discuss trends impacting the energy industry, the challenges it faces, and the efforts being made to create a cleaner, smarter energy future.  The conversation will be moderated by Fortune’s Nina Easton.

NERO to Honor Scalise, Heitkamp – The National Energy Resources Organization will hold its 2018 Awards dinner on Thursday, June 21st at the Capitol Hill Hyatt.  Awardees will be Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.  NERO is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to engage in dialogue on energy issues, recognize outstanding achievements, and promote public awareness.

World Gas Conference Features Perry, Industry Leaders – The International Gas Union (IGU) hosts the 27th World Gas Conference (WGC 2018) in Washington DC from June 25-29.  The triennial event aims to raise the voice of natural gas while offering timely updates on strategic, commercial and technical issues facing the entire gas value chain and offers the most comprehensive and diverse program to date for the natural gas industry. For the first time ever this includes topics for professionals working in sectors including finance, trading, law, sustainability/renewables, policy/government.  Energy Secretary Rick Perry headlines.

Young Professional Program for World Gas Forum Set – The Young Professionals Program (YPP) will hold a special forum during the World Gas Conference June 25-29 in Washington, DC.  YPP will provide a great opportunity for promising young professionals in the energy sector to learn from top leaders in the natural gas industry and network with their peers throughout the world.  More on this as we get closer.

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held on July 10th and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Energy Update: Week of May 14

Friends,

While I always love the NHL hockey playoffs, now, I’m really excited after last night’s Caps victory.  Still six wins to go though and that is a loooooong way!

This week is Preakness Week and the FULL Preview is below. You can take your winnings from listening to me before the Derby and double your money. It is hard to see how Justify doesn’t take this race, especially given the smaller 8-horse field and the fact the favorite wins this race more than 50% of the time.  It looks like it will be another wet one though which didn’t slow Justify at the Derby.  Our friend Scott Dance of the BaltSun has the forecast.  Wow… and only 5 days to the big wedding (and yes, NO CHANCE I am previewing it). I’m just glad it’s early enough to not impact Preakness.

So last week was Hurricane Preparedness Week and I just wanted to remind you with the 2018 Hurricane Season fast approaching (June 1), you should remember the experts at MIT have a significant amount of really interesting research pushing the frontier of building materials use, with implications for policymakers, building designers, communities, and the vulnerable residents of hazard-prone areas.  They have a cool, MIT-developed Break-Even Mitigation Percent (BEMP) tool which calculates the BEMP for eastern U.S. coastal communities prone to damage from hazards related to hurricanes. Along those lines, the American Institute of Architects hosts a discussion tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. to provide design and recovery insights from architects who served as responders following hurricanes last year.

This week is Infrastructure Week, and the action kicked off this morning at Union Station and carries on each day, while Axios hosts an event tomorrow morning with Sen. Inhofe.  In the MIT vein, I am reminding you about a recent study using data from the very same MIT research group that says incorporating a life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) provision into federal infrastructure legislation could save taxpayers $91 million for every $1 billion spent on projects.

On the Hill, it is Scott Pruitt week again.  A second great hearing this week on Wednesday includes EPA Air chief Bill Wehrum, former EPA air office head Jeff Holmstead, NAM’s Ross Eisneberg, NRECA’s Kirk Johnson and several others to discuss the NSR reforms being suggested by the EPA.

Finally, the Farm bill will likely see a vote this week.  The bill reauthorizes various commodity, trade, rural development, agricultural research, and food and nutrition programs and will likely get some attention given the current RFS battles.  Stay tuned…

Out on Friday… Going to pick up Hannah at Wellesley as SHE HAS FINISHED HER 2nd year.  OMG!! Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932

THE PREAKNESS

Now that the Kentucky Derby has come and gone, we have officially entered Triple Crown season. Justify put together a powerful showing despite ugly track conditions to win the Derby and emerge as the horse to beat at the 2018 Preakness Stakes.

Justify’s run firmly established him as the early/heavy favorite in Baltimore.  A field of 8 horses will take to the track on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.   The smaller field will make it a lot easier for Mike Smith to get Justify on the lead without traffic/trouble.

Quip and Sporting Chance will be new in the field, while Derby runner-up Good Magic, Bravazo and Lone Sailor return.  Magic was a strong second but could not close on Justify while fresh making it hard to imagine he could be stronger with only two weeks rest.  Bravazo definitely overachieved with his strong finish at the Derby and could also push, but don’t count on it.  Lone Sailor contended in Louisville but faded down the stretch so he seems to be unlikely to challenge.

The expectation that Justify would face a majority field of fresh, rested horses faded some with the small field.  Again it seems some are waiting for the longer Belmont to be a fresh spoiler. Even so, Justify is a likely to be a heavy favorite (right now he is 1-2).

Justify is 4-0 in his career and just the ninth undefeated Derby winner in history. He also became the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Derby after not competing as a two-year-old, breaking sports’ longest existing curse.  But even after his stellar performance at Churchill Downs, they still have to run it.

The shorter Preakness will probably still be muddy with rain expected here all week, but Justify conquered a very muddy and wet Churchill Downs track. Finally, the last four Baffert horses that have won the Derby, have also won the Preakness.

As for other challengers, Quip was the runner up in Arkansas and could hurt Justify with his speed, especially on a soggy track, but he is owned by the same group as JustifySporting Chance is a good long shot if you’re looking for that.  He ran the Pat Day Mile on Derby Day and looked strong despite his 4th–place finish.  Other horses in the field will include Diamond King, Tenfold and Pony Up.  Each of those will be fresh which makes them potentially dangerous, but a wet track tends to limit sleepers’ chance to surprise. King is a local winner here in Maryland; Tenfold comes from the pedigree of 2007 Preakness Champ Curlin, won a couple of minor races earlier this year, but finished a distant 5th to Magnum Moon and Quip in Arkansas.  Pony Up is in the Seattle Slew/AP Indy lineage and placed 3rd behind My Boy Jack at Keeneland in mid-April.

Some Good Preakness Facts

The Race: This is the 143rd Preakness Stakes. The Preakness is older than the Kentucky Derby but rarely gets credit for it. The Preakness was first run in 1873, two years before the first run for the roses. But since the Preakness wasn’t run from 1891-1893 this year is the 143rd Preakness and the 144th Derby.

Distance: 1  3/16 mile (the shortest of the Triple Crown Races) or 9½ furlongs.

The Track: The Pimlico Race Course first opened in Baltimore, Maryland on Oct. 25, 1870. It is the second oldest racetrack in the country, behind only Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, New York.  Pimlico was originally built so former Maryland Gov. Oden Bowie and his friends, horse racing enthusiasts, could race horses against one another. At a dinner party in 1868, Bowie and his friends agreed to hold a race in two years where the winner would host the losers for dinner. Despite both Saratoga and the America Jockey Club wanting to host the event, Bowie decided to build a brand new racetrack in his home state of Maryland for the occasion.

The Drink: In my Derby Preview, I slept on the Mint Julip and many of you reminded me of that important tradition.  Therefore, here is the recipe for the Black-Eyed Susan, the official drink of the Preakness. The official ingredients include:

  • 1½ ounce of Effen vodka
  • 1 ounce of Makers Mark Bourbon
  • 2 ounces of Orange Juice
  • 2 ounces of sour mix
  • Garnish with an orange and cherry

Post time: 6:18 p.m. EST

Weather: Rain all week with potentially 3 to 4 inches in Central Maryland.  Rain on race day.

Purse: $1.5 million with winners taking home 60% ($900,000). Top five get $$$. The Winner also receives a blanket of Black-Eyed Susans 18-inches wide and 90 inches long.  It takes 8 hours to make the blanket.

Posts: Positions #5 and #6 have each seen two horses win since 2008. Curlin won from the #4 post in ’07, but last year’s Derby winner Always Dreaming bombed from there despite 13 winners in the past 114 years. Somewhere in the middle has been consistently the best spot, but the lowest numbers have been kind of late. American Pharoah won from No. 1 on its way to the Triple Crown in ’15, following California Chrome from No. 3 in ’14. Last year Cloud Computing shocked everyone out of No. 2.  Again, the small size of the field and wet track may make this less important.

Odds:

  • Justify 1-2
  • Good Magic 3-1
  • Quip 12-1
  • Bravazo 18-1
  • Tenfold 20-1
  • Pony Up 25-1
  • Sporting Chance 28-1
  • Diamond King 28-1
  • Lone Sailor 30-1

Picks:                  WinJustify; PlaceQuip; ShowSporting Chance

Super Box:         Add – Good Magic

Sleeper Note:    Don’t be surprised if Bravazo once again sneaks into the mix.

Longshots:         Definitely lay the $2 on Sporting Chance

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

 

Terrific final decision from @POTUS meeting: E15, year-round plus RINs for all exports. This is a WIN-WIN for everyone. More corn will be sold (good for farmers), plus lower RINs (saves blue-collar refinery jobs), plus more ethanol exports (good for America).”

Sen. Ted Cruz on Twitter after a meeting at the White House with President Trump, EPA head Pruitt, Ag Sect Perdue and Sens. Toomey, Grassley and Ernst.

 

ON THE POD

Energy Gang Discussed New Tech Investments with Statoil –On a recent Energy Gang podcast, our friends at GTM talked with the executive in charge of Statoil’s new energy investments, Stephen Bull.  Statoil is the largest operator of oil and gas rigs around the world. Consequently, the company’s biggest low-carbon investments are offshore: floating wind farms and distributed carbon capture and storage. Bull chats with The Energy Gang about the performance of floating wind, the economics of CCS, and whether oil companies are investing enough in their new energy divisions.

FUN OPINIONS

Cruz Talks Iran, NK, Biofuels on Fox – Late last week, Senator Cruz addressed the White House meeting on the RFS on Fox News saying “the President is saving tens of thousands of jobs” by fixing the broken RINs program.  See it here: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5783087431001/?#sp=show-clips

IN THE NEWS

Chamber Energy Group Rolls out New Energy Innovation Initiative – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute has launched a new multi-platform initiative to highlight energy innovation efforts by industry. The EnergyInnovates tour kicks off with Alabama Power’s Smart Neighborhood, a partnership that includes Southern Company and Oak Ridge National Laboratory which employs a microgrid capable of reliably powering a community with solar, batteries or a backup natural gas generator.

Barclays Says Ethanol Exports Will be a Better Policy – Barclays Capital weighed in on ethanol exports saying in a report that the proposal export RINs would be a better solution to fix the Renewable Fuel Standard than year-round E15 gasoline.  Barclays note said the drop in ethanol RIN prices by more than 50% year to date was largely due to the series of 2016 and 2017 waivers provided by the EPA, which has functionally reduced RIN demand. However, retroactive waivers, while offering temporary price relief through balancing RIN supply/demand, are not a structural or sustainable solution.  They also added the “possibility of ethanol exports being counted toward the RIN requirement could potentially solve the RIN deficit issue and lead to a structurally much lower RIN price.”

EPA Looks to Build Economics Into NAAQS Decisions – Last Week, EPA said it will overhaul how it reviews national ozone limits by considering a range of adverse effects including economic and energy-related ones. Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a memorandum kicking off the agency’s review of the latest National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone, established in 2015 with the aim of finalizing a decision to reconsider, modify or maintain the NAAQS within the five-year window mandated by the Clean Air Act. The current ozone NAAQS stands at 70 parts per billion.  The Chamber’s Dan Byers said “EPA’s NAAQS process has long been in need of improvement. The announcement signals a new approach focused on key statutory duties and regulatory flexibility, which should lead to a better process that won’t impede economic growth.”

Chamber Blog Highlights Jobs Benefits of HFC Reduction – Remember last week’s announcement regarding economic impacts of the Kigali amendment to limit HFCs, the Chamber penned a blog.

UTC Members Elect SoCo’s Bryant as New Board Chair – Energy and water utility representatives across the U.S. approved a new slate of officers to lead the Utilities Technology Council (UTC).   At UTC’s Annual Telecom & Technology Meeting today in Palm Springs, Calif., UTC’s core members elected Roger Bryant, IT Project Manager, Telecom Services at Southern Company Services, as its new Chairman of the Board. Mr. Bryant succeeds Immediate Past Chair Kathy Nelson of Great River Energy.  UTC members also elected Greg Angst, Engineer in the Telecom Design Group at CenterPoint Energy, as its Vice Chair, and Kevin Huff, Telecommunications Operations Manager at Salt River Project, as its Secretary/Treasurer.

GTM Looks at Trends in Solar – A new report from GTM says – In the last five years – the cost of solar has fallen 48% and annual global solar installations are now total 100 gigawatts. In a presentation at Solar Summit earlier this month, GTM Research’s Scott Moskowitz highlighted current trends in solar PV technology like the rise of 1,500 volt systems and three-phase inverters overtaking central inverters. He also went on to provide an outlook on PV system prices.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at China Nuclear – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will host a forum and launch of “The Future of Nuclear Power in China” today at 2:30 p.m. The groundbreaking new report, “The Future of Nuclear Power in China,” identifies and analyzes the challenges facing Chinese decision makers in developing and deploying nuclear power technology through mid-century. Speakers will include Mark Hibbs and Jane Nakano will discuss. James Acton will moderate.

Citi Energy Conference Set – Today through Wednesday, the Citi Global Energy & Utilities Conference is held in Boston and Cambridge, Mass. Participants include executives from Hess Corp., Devon Energy and other companies.

Axios to Host Infrastructure Discussion – Axios’ Mike Allen will host conversations on the news of the day and how it relates to Infrastructure Week tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. at AJAX.  The event will feature Sen. Jim Inhofe, DC House Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who chairs the U.S. Conference of Mayors Subcommittee on Highways.

ITA Holds Enviro Tech Forum – The International Trade Administration holds a meeting of the Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee tomorrow.  The agenda includes optimizing the government’s trade promotion programs; identifying market access barriers; discussing pros and cons of existing trade agreements; discussing foreign procurement policy, including issues with financing mechanisms; discussing localization requirements and non-tariff barriers; and making recommendations to the secretary.

Women in Green Power Forum Set – The US Green Business Council- National Capital Region holds its 3rd annual Women in Green Power Breakfast at The Hamilton tomorrow morning.  The event celebrates women in local sustainability who are at the top of their game. Get inspired at this critical time for environmentalism and feminism. Through facilitated networking and a panel discussion featuring local Women in Green, the event will explore the complexities of women’s leadership and share proven leadership principles practiced by female green leaders at every stage of their career, who are changing the way we think and build in the National Capital Region.

SE Solar Power Forum Set – The Solar Power Southeast is tomorrow and Wednesday in Atlanta.  The focus of the event bring together those that are doing business in the region, or would like to conduct more business in the region to discuss strategies, market trends in the southeast, policy updates that impact businesses, and numerous networking opportunities to make more connections.  SEIA head Abby Hopper leads the discussion.

Forum to Look at Central American Power Market Design – The US Energy Association will host a forum tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. on using best practices to design power sector programs.  Juan Belt will look at case studies in Haiti & Central America  Belt will discuss a paper he wrote for the Copenhagen Consensus Center (CCC) that proposes measures to improve the power sector in Haiti and is based on best practices.  The CCC “eminent panel”, which included a Nobel Prize winner, selected this paper as the best among 85 proposed interventions, and the International Confederation of Energy Regulators (ICER) gave it the “Distinguished Scholar Award for 2018.”  Belt and UDAID’s Silvia Alvarado will also discuss a paper they are writing.  Silvia is a former USAID officer and regulator of Guatemala, on possible measures to improve the power sector of the six Central American countries as well as the regional power pool.  The paper will highlight the reasons why the reform in Guatemala succeeded, will describe USAID support, and will suggest what lessons could be applicable to other countries in the region and elsewhere.

Forum to Look at Saudi Nuclear Issues – Tomorrow at 12:00 p.m., the Global America Business Institute hosts a forum looking at commercial perspectives on Saudi Enrichment.  Speakers will include Andrea Jennetta of Fuel Cycle Week and Melissa Mann of URENCO USA Inc.

Cal Energy Summit Set – The 6th annual California Energy Summit 2018 launches tomorrow in Redondo Beach and will bring policy-makers together with utility, IPP, energy storage and finance executives to provide the latest information on the opportunities and threats in California, and discuss potential strategies for the future.  Our friends Dan Skopec off San Diego Gas & Electric and 8MinuteEnergy’s Arthur Haubenstock will speak along with CAISO’s Neil Millar, First Solar’s Mark Fillinger and others.

UDel to Host Biden, Moniz on Prospects for Energy Jobs, Innovation – The University of Delaware hosts former VP Joe Biden and former Secretary of Energy Ernie Moniz for a conversation about the future of energy jobs and innovation in the U.S. tomorrow in Newark, DE.  The event is a partnership between the Biden Institute and the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) at the University.  The event will also be streamed live. To view the live webcast, visit sites.udel.edu/udlive. The link will become active 10 minutes before the program begins at 12 p.m. A recording will be posted on the DENIN website following the event.

Wilson Forum Hosts AK LG Mallott – The Woodrow Wilson Center holds a forum tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. will host Alaska Lt. Gov Byron Mallott shaping Alaska’s climate policy. Mallott will speak to the State of Alaska’s response to climate change through the work of the Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team, established last October and charged with developing a recommended climate action plan and policy by September 2018. Follow the work of the CALT and preview the draft climate policy here.  An Alaska Native and clan leader of the Tlingit Raven Kwaash Kee Kwaan of Yakutat, Lt. Governor Mallott will also highlight work building partnerships with Pacific Island nations to create an indigenous, ocean-focused approach to climate solutions.

Coal Council Hosts Milloy to Discuss CCS – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., American Coal Council holds a Q&A webcast on innovative Carbon Capture and Sequestration solution with multiple environmental benefits.  The web event will feature Steve Milloy.  Interest in accelerating the development and deployment of technologies for CO2 emissions reduction is growing, as is the recognition that the cost of carbon capture and sequestration must be reduced to facilitate meaningful progress. Enhanced oil recovery is one strategy, and there are others such as direct air capture.

Aspen to Discuss Ocean Policy – The Aspen Institute holds a discussion on physical, chemical, and biological oceanography at 2:15 p.m.  Panelists include Dr. Sylvia Earle, Co-Chair, Aspen Institute High Seas Initiative; Dr. Fanny Douvere, Coordinator, Marine Program, World Heritage Centre UNESCO; Dr. Francesco Ferretti, Research Associate, Stanford Hopkins Marine Station; and Dr. Barb Block via the White Shark Café. This event is the first for the High Seas Initiative, a program of the Aspen Institute that will ignite global awareness of the need to explore, understand and protect the last unregulated global commons: the remote ocean. The Initiative will work to support the creation, expansion, and enforcement of marine reserves, as well as educating and engaging youth to become future leaders working on behalf of our oceans.

AIA hosts Discussion on Insights for Hurricane Design, Recovery – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is hosting an educational discussion at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow to provide design and recovery insights from architects who served as responders following hurricanes Maria, Harvey and Irma last year.  Architects offer a unique perspective—not only to design communities and buildings to withstand disaster—but to analyze structural performance during post-disaster relief work. The panel will cover crucial information for the Senate to understand, especially as they consider the House passed Disaster Recovery Reform Act.  In addition, the National Institute of Building Sciences will present relevant highlights from its Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report regarding the economic benefit of governments continuing to publicly fund disaster mitigation efforts.

Senate Approps to Host Pruitt – EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is scheduled to testify on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. before the Senate appropriations subcommittee that oversees his budget according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the panel.

House Approps Marks up Energy Funding – The House Appropriations Committee will mark up its fiscal 2019 energy and water title on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

House Science Look at Tech to Address Climate – The House Science Committee holds a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on using technology to address climate change. Witnesses will include Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute, Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute, Phil Duffy of the Woods Hole Research Center and Georgia Tech’s  Judith Curry.

House Energy to Look at NSR Program Reforms – The House Energy and Commerce Environment panel  will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. EPA Bill Wehrum, Bracewell’s Jeff Holmstead (himself a former EPA Air office head), NAM’s Ross Eisenberg and NRECA’s Kirk Johnson will be among those testifying.

Moniz to Introduce ‘18 U.S. Jobs Report – The Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), will publicly release the 2018 U.S. Energy & Employment Report (USEER) Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 212-10 Senate Visitors Center.  This is the third installment of the energy jobs survey established by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2016, which offers data on employment trends in four key energy sectors. Monix will be joined by NASEO head David Terry and author David Foster.

BPC to look at Private-Public Partnerships – The BPC’s Executive Council on Infrastructure is holding an event on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. highlighting the role of public-private partnerships, or P3s, in addressing America’s $2 trillion in unmet infrastructure needs. P3s can bring private sector innovation, expertise, and capital to projects, helping communities across the U.S. modernize their transportation, water, and other infrastructure systems. Keynote remarks by Australian Ambassador to US Joe Hockey and a panel featuring Bechtel’s Keith Hennessy and Lilliana Ortega of Parsons.

Forum to Look at Manufacturing – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation releases a new report that reviews the progress of DOE’s Manufacturing USA Institutes and looks ahead to their future. The report’s authors, ITIF Senior Fellow David M. Hart and Peter L. Singer, will present their findings and discuss policy options to guide their next stage of evolution with an expert panel.

ELI to Look at Deregulation – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum and panel on Wednesday at Noon to discuss obstacles to deregulation, including when, and how, an agency must consider costs and benefits of staying, repealing, and rewriting rules. Speakers will discuss the types of rules and guidelines to which these requirements do and do not apply; comment on current challenges to the Trump Administration’s deregulation agenda; and offer insights on the ways that administrative law is developing through interpretation of the APA and other relevant statutes.

Salazar Heads Press Club Dinner – The National Press Club Communicators Team hold its Legends Dinner on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. in the Winners’ Room.  The honored guest will be former Interior Secretary and Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar. The dinner conversation will focus on the important communications-based strategies that moved his agenda and built a strong communications team, touching on: due diligence, crisis management, gaining congressional and White House support, building consensus with business leaders and constituents and working with media and reporters.  Salazar will share practical lessons and challenges with that can bring value to contemporary communicators.

Forum to Look at PPPs – The Brookings Institution and the National Association of Counties hold a discussion on Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. looking at modernizing infrastructure policies to advance public-private partnerships.  Panelists will include NACo President and Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks and D.C. Office of Public-Private Partnerships Deputy Director Judah Gluckman.

Total CEO Hosted by CSIS – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. for a conversation on Total’s global gas, renewables, and power strategies and their implications for the company’s activities in the United States.  The discussion will encompass Total’s position in natural gas markets, the growth and impact of renewables, and Total’s investments in the renewables and power sectors.

Forum to Look at MI CCS Project – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum focused on the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP), a large-scale demonstration project recently achieved the net CO2 storage of 1,000,000 metric tons in the CO2-EOR fields in Northern Michigan. This briefing will discuss how lessons learned from this successful program can be used to move CCUS towards deployment in appropriate settings. In addition to providing key aspects of the program, the speakers will discuss how the MRCSP research is impacting new projects in the USA and globally to build technical capacity.  Speakers include Battelle’s Lydia Cumming and Neeraj Gupta.

FERC Open MeetingThursday at 10:00 a.m.

Wilson to Host Brazil Bioeconomy Forum – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts a discussion of the future challenges and opportunities for agricultural value chains in a bioeconomy era with leading experts.  Brazil, as one of the leading global agricultural producers and exporters, will play a significant role in building this new bioeconomy era. Led by Embrapa, the Ministry of Agriculture’s research arm, Brazilian scientists and policymakers are already engaged in cutting-edge research involving microbes, genetic engineering, and biomolecules: new technologies based in biology that have the potential to enhance agricultural productivity and the quality of food, while improving environmental sustainability.

Senate Environment to Look at Water Infrastructure – The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a legislative hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on S.2800, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.

ACORE Leads State of Industry Webinar – On Thursday at Noon, the State of the Industry Webinar, a quarterly series produced in partnership between ACORE and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), offers the latest intelligence and analysis on renewable energy markets, finance and policy.  This quarter’s webinar will reflect on the immense growth of community choice aggregation (CCA) in California as well as its emergence in other markets. Speakers will offer insights on the dynamics of CCA deals, and considerations in how to tackle and underwrite such projects.

AEE to Hold Cybersecurity, Grid Webinar – The Advanced Energy Economy will hold a webinar on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. on cybersecurity in a distributed energy future.  The webinar will address protecting an evolving grid from digital attack. The  panel of experts — all contributors to the AEE Institute white paper on cybersecurity — will discuss ways to make an increasingly complex, interactive, and distributed electricity system more resilient against cyber threats. Panelists include John Berdner of Enphase Energy, NYPA’s Ken Carnes, Navigant’s Ken Lotterhos and Todd Wiedman, Director, Security and Network, Landis+Gyr. Moderated by Lisa Frantzis, Senior Vice President, 21st Century Energy System, Advanced Energy Economy.

Moniz to Deliver Georgetown School Commencement – Former Energy Secretary Moniz delivers Georgetown University’s School of Public Policy commencement ceremony Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

House Panel to Look at Waste Disposal – The House Energy and Commerce’s environment panel discusses two reauthorization bills related to waste disposal in a legislative hearing on Friday at 9:00 a.m.  The hearing is focused on H.R. 2278, the Responsible Disposal Reauthorization Act of 2017, and H.R. 2389, to reauthorize the West Valley demonstration project and for other purposes.”

Forum to Talk Economic Methods –The US Assn of Energy Economists of the National Capital Area will hold its monthly lunch on Friday at the Chinatown Gardens restaurant featuring Powerhouse’s David Thompson and focused on collecting and analyzing supply & demand data in the energy sector. Technical analysis (TA) differs from fundamental research as it focuses on price action and how that affects market participants’ decision-making. While the two schools start from different perspectives, it’s a mischaracterization to suggest they are antagonistic to one another. Many analysts use technical tools in concert with fundamental research as they develop market forecasts.

IN THE FUTURE

NAS Hosts Small Business Meetings – The National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy will meet on next Monday and Tuesday to review the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs at the Department of Energy Review.

Fox to Address Trade, Immigration, Trump – The National Press Club will host a Headliners Luncheon on Tuesday, May 22nd featuring former Mexican President Vicente Fox.  Fox will deliver an address entitled “Democracy at the Crossroads: Globalization versus Nationalism”.  Fox, a right-wing populist representing the National Action Party (PAN), was elected as the 55th President of Mexico on December 1, 2000. Winning with 42% of the vote, Fox made history as the first presidential candidate in 71 years to defeat the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Fox’s administration focused chiefly on improving trade relations with the United States and maintaining Mexico’s growing economy. Fox left office in 2006, and in a break with his country’s cultural norms and traditions has remained in the public eye post-presidency and has not been shy about expressing his views and opinions.

Forum Spotlights Rural Co-Ops – The Partnership for Advancing an Inclusive Rural Energy Economy, a collaboration between the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a livecast on Tuesday May 22nd at 1:00 p.m. to look at how rural electric cooperatives are delivering cutting-edge inclusive energy efficiency programs for their members–saving them money while supporting local economic development.  This livecast will include information about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Services (RUS) loan program that co-ops can take advantage of to help deliver these benefits.  Livecast speakers include Doug O’Brien of the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA, Roanoke Electric Cooperative CEO Curtis Wynn and Mike Couick of the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina.  Roanoke Electric’s “Upgrade to $ave” program and the “Help My House” program available to South Carolina’s co-ops offer on-bill financing to help members afford cost-saving home energy upgrades. With on-bill financing, members repay their co-ops over time as part of their monthly electric bills, and the programs are designed so that members of all income levels can participate.

Forum to Look at Waste Energy – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the American Biogas Council (ABC) hold a briefing on Wednesday May 23rd looking at the numerous challenges posed by organic wastes-to human health, water and air quality, and to businesses that must manage these wastes-and how anaerobic digestion offers solutions to these pressing issues. Anaerobic digestion is the process of converting organic materials, typically viewed as wastes, into usable products, including biogas, renewable natural gas (RNG), as well as valuable organic fertilizer and compost. These biogas systems turn a waste management issue into a revenue opportunity for America’s farms, dairies, food processing, and wastewater treatment industries.  Speakers for this forum will discuss the tremendous opportunities for rural and urban communities alike to use anaerobic digestion to foster healthy communities and businesses.

CSIS, EPIC to Hold Nuclear Forum – CSIS and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) will hold a half-day public conference on Thursday afternoon May 24th to address pressing questions in an effort to better understand the potential future of U.S. nuclear power. Nuclear energy faces an uncertain future in the United States as the fuel is beset by fierce competition from natural gas and renewable energy in many markets. Coupled with failure to deliver new projects on time and at cost, along with a public sensitive to operational safety, existing and future nuclear power generation is at risk in the United States.

Press Club Hosts Fox News Anchor – Bret Baier, chief political anchor for Fox News Channel and the anchor and executive editor of “Special Report with Bret Baier,” will share his latest book, “Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire,” at a National Press Club Headliners Book Event on Tuesday, May 29th, at 7:30 p.m. in the Club’s conference rooms. In “Three Days in Moscow” Baier uses the 1988 Moscow Summit, Reagan’s pivotal final meeting with Communist Party Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, to examine the life and legacy of Reagan and his arduous battle with the Soviet Union through a new lens.

FERC Chair Headlines EIA Annual Energy Conference – EIA holds Its annual 2018 Energy Conference on June 4th and 5th at the Washington Hilton.  FERC Chair Kevin McIntyre will keynote the event.

Hydrogen, Fuel Cell Forum Set for DC – The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association will be hosting a full-day forum and exposition on Tuesday, June 12 in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center with leading executives, experts, and policymakers on fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The forum will bring together key federal and state policymakers, including the Department of Energy and White House, as well as the broader environmental, transportation, and energy communities to raise awareness of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. This event will precede the Department of Energy’s 2018 Annual Merit Review.

GTM to Host Grid Forum – Greentech Media host Grid Edge Innovation Summit on June 20th and 21st in San Francisco.  The event is an energy conference that will examine the energy customer of tomorrow and how new innovative business models are quickly emerging.  GTM brings together forward thinking and prominent members of the energy ecosystem and as our research team explores the future of the market. Former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff will speak along with many others, including our friends Shayle Kann, Julia Pyper and Stephen Lacey.

Young Professional Program for World Gas Forum Set – The Young Professionals Program (YPP) will hold a special forum during the World Gas Conference June 25-29 in Washington, DC.  YPP will provide a great opportunity for promising young professionals in the energy sector to learn from top leaders in the natural gas industry and network with their peers throughout the world.  More on this as we get closer.

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held on July 10th and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Energy Update: 1/2/18

Friends,

Welcome to 2018 and back to the action… ALMOST.  Don’t expect we’ll see much going on in this short week, but the Senate does return tomorrow to swear in new members Tina Smith and Doug Jones.

With it being the first week of the New Year, we are rolling out our top 10 Issues for 2018.   Issues include Ethanol, trade, taxes, regs, climate, legal challenges, HFCs, Infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, and electricity markets.

One issue that is important but I didn’t mention is rising crude prices. My friends at Platts did touch on that issue with former EIA head Adam Sieminski and others though in their weekly Podcast. These experts see prices ending 2018 as low as $52/b and as high as $70/b, but a number of factors could significantly alter their path, from OPEC compliance to oil demand in Asia to US trade policy.  My friends at SAFE are always focused on this issue (you can talk to Leslie Hayward) or Kevin Book at ClearView, has also weighed in on this topic.

Mark your calendar for events starting next week, including API holding its annual State of Energy Address and the NY City Clean Power Plan “hearing” next Tuesday, CSIS hosting former DOE Secretary Moniz on Thursday January 11th, the Detroit Auto Show starting January 14th and BPC hosts FERC’s Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur, while CSIS hosts launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017 on Jan 16th.  Speaking of the 16th, make sure you note that it is my 50th birthday.  Blatantly telling you now because I am accepting presents all month…

Finally, I hope you noticed the super cool super moon last night/this morning.  I knew it was out there but I really didn’t get the full impact until I was driving up Massachusetts Avenue this morning and saw it perched over Washington DC.  Pretty awesome.  Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

The Top Issues for 2018

  1. Ethanol and a “deal” – One of the biggest issue last year was the battle over the RFS, RINs and ethanol.  The issues reached the highest levels of the White House where they expressed an interest in finding a win-win resolution that solves compliance problems while preserving the biofuels program.  This may be one of the early issues to see action this year because it continues to impact volume obligations, confirmations and other items, as well as potential legislative action, which is always a heavy lift.
  2. Solar, Steel, other Tariff/Trade issues – The President has demanded tariffs and January will be a key moment for this discussion.   He faces deadline on steel and solar and continues to hear internal pulls from Economic Advisor Gary Cohn and others who see tariffs as a major concern.  On the Solar case, the solar industry and a broad group of opponents that includes retailers, contractors, utilities and conservatives have urged the President to reject tariffs that could harm the entire industry. As well, look for action on the administration’s efforts to rework NAFTA, whose negotiations have dragged into at least the first quarter of this year.  Congress also started to look at the NAFTA impacts on energy which is likely to remain a central topic.
  3. Taxes and more taxes – With the Tax bill passed and in motion, there will be many tax implications in place over 2018.  Some will be very political and some will be below the radar, but we are certain that you will hear about it.  What you will also hear about as we approach the next budget deadline on January 19th is the potential to have a long-promised tax extenders package that includes incentives for biodiesel blenders, fuel cells, small wind, Geothermal Heat Pumps, distributed wind, CHPs and many other small, but innovative technologies.  Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch unveiled a bill containing a smorgasbord of renewable energy credits just before the holidays, and House Chair Kevin Brady has vowed to move this year.
  4. Slowing regulations in all corners – The White House was most aggressive in 2017 pulling the current regulatory regime back from the previous Administration’s overreach.  This effort will remain a key priority in 2018 because it is one place where the Administration remain largely in control of the process.  Among the regulations in the crosshairs include the Clean Power Plan, WOTUS, offshore drilling issues, other climate action, ozone restrictions, well construction for natgas wells and a new approach to enforcing bird death restrictions.  We have experts on all topics so feel free to reach out.
  5. Climate ups and downs – While 2017 focused largely on the withdrawal from the voluntary Paris Accord, the Clean Power Plan repeal/replace, what climate websites were changed and other carping about the new Administration not caring enough about climate, 2018 promises to be focused on much of that and more state issues that form new ideas to reduce emissions.  While a lot of it will be couched in political clouds, these types of initiatives – along with expanded use of natural gas, and renewables in the regular power mix – will actually reduce our emissions.  Already we are beating many of our targets, while Germany and many other Paris signers are struggling to reduce emissions.  And don’t think that progress will stop political attacks or legal actions against the Trump Administration or companies.
  6. Lawsuit Central – Understanding #4 & #5, it seems like more legal battles is a hardy perennial, but in 2018 legal challenges on the climate, regulations will again play a prominent role.  Unlike previous years when Republican AGs like now EPA head Scott Pruitt and WV’s Pat Morrisey led the charge, this year Democrat AGs in Blue states – buoyed by environmental activists – will lead efforts to file suits against the Trump Administration. Lawyers will be busy, including those inside EPA who are already prepping for each fight by being very careful in how they write new rules.
  7. HFC issues and the Kigali Amendment – The Kigali amendment was signed in late 2016 as part of the Montreal Protocol. Its aim is to reduce the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in air conditioners and refrigerators.  Early in 2018, the big news will be whether the administration follows through on statements from late last year where they vowed to fund efforts to implement it and send the amendment to the Senate for a ratification vote.  The Treaty is binding and goes into effect in 2019 since many countries already have ratified it.  The agreement was supported by both industry, environmental and other sustainability groups, and holds China, India and others to binding limits as global AC and refrigerant use grows globally.
  8. Infrastructure – The most important word for 2018 is infrastructure.  Why? Because it is an election year and infrastructure sells in both parties.  The President is expected to unveil a long-awaited statement of infrastructure “principles” soon and some see the push as an opportunity to advance energy and water infrastructure investments. This means pipelines, transmission and other generation assets.  While the larger infrastructure debate will take on many shapes, energy will play a significant role in the form of new pipeline approvals to move new natural gas, export terminals to get it our resources to foreign markets and important generation assets like new nuclear projects, renewables and gas plants.
  9. Emerging Autonomous Vehicle Rules – Last year, autonomous vehicles began to emerge as a new, important issue.  As the technology and regulatory discussion continues and becomes more defined, there will be more details, innovations and exciting changes for 2018.  Our friends at SAFE have been among the leaders on this issue and have an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force with leading experts to help develop an action plan to facilitate the widespread deployment of this transformative technology.
  10. Electricity markets and the Perry plan – FERC faces an early January deadline (delayed from last month) to respond to the Energy Department’s request to propose a rule that would compensate nuclear and coal plants for resiliency. As our friends at Axios point out, it is a wonky, complex issue, but it remains a battle over nuclear and coal versus gas and renewables.  As natgas prices remain low (as expected for 2018), the market challenges for coal and nukes remain a potential problem.  With many political and energy sectors interests on both sides, it will be a key decision for going forward in 2018.

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“It’s a good context to revisit things like siting, permitting, certainly some of the export terminal issues.”

Rep. Kevin Cramer talking Infrastructure to POLITICO.

 

IN THE NEWS

EIA talking Year-end Oil – Last week,  the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that after decreasing nearly 20% in the first half of 2017, the spot energy index in the Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) ended 2017 16% higher than the beginning of the year. Higher crude oil and petroleum product prices in the second half of 2017 were responsible for the increase in the S&P GSCI energy index.  EIA also reported that total U.S. production was slightly over 9.75 million barrels per day in the week ending December 22nd.  Our friends at Axios point out that this is actually 35,000 barrels per day less than the prior-week average, signaling the first weekly dip since Hurricane Nate took a bunch of Gulf of Mexico production temporarily offline in mid-October.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Senate Returns, Jones, Smith Sworn in – The Senate returns for the second session of the 115th Congress on Wednesday when they will swear in new Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and Minnesota LG Tina Smith. Smith is replacing Sen. Franken who resigns today and Jones defeated Roy Moore to give Democrats a win to replace AG Jeff Sessions.  The House returns next Monday.

IN THE FUTURE

75th Annual Global Globes – Can’t wait for Seth Myers to host this one from January 7th from Hollywood.

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – On January 9th, API holds its annual State of Energy Address in the Atrium Ballroom of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  The luncheon starts at 12:00 Noon with a CEO Jack Gerard’s speech at 12:30 p.m. and a reporter briefing at 1:15 p.m.

NY to Host CPP Meeting for EPA Comments – On January 9th, New York AG Eric Schneiderman holds a meeting to provide public comments to EPA on repealing the Clean Power Plan at The New School in NYC.  Schneiderman is calling it a “people’s hearing” 1) as if the residents and miners of WV are not people and 2) certainly most New Yorkers are just regular folks Like everyone else.  My guess it will be very entertaining but not all that valuable to EPA.

Wilson Forum to Look at Taiwan Energy Issues – The Woodrow Wilson Center holds a discussion on next Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the political and social, as well as economic ramifications of the options Taipei has to meet its expansive energy needs, and how its decisions may impact Taiwan’s foreign policy.

Hopper, Honorable to Headline WCEE Event – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a reception at Dentons on Tuesday January 9th at 6:00 p.m. to discuss lessons learned from political appointees.  The event features a lively discussion about the political appointment process in the energy and environmental fields and will feature a panel of former state and federal political appointees about how they started down the path towards political appointment and navigated the process.  Panelists will share their experiences and candid views about the challenges and rewards of a political appointment, as well as lessons they have learned while in these highly visible roles.  Speakers include SEIA’s Abby Hopper, former director of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; former FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable and Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Katz, who is President of the National Association of State Utility Advocates.

WRI Outlines Stories to Watch – On Wednesday, January 10th at 9:00 a.m., the World Resources Institute hosts in 15th annual Stories to Watch event.  The event is for policymakers, business leaders and media in Washington, DC, and around the world.  Dr. Andrew Steer, WRI President & CEO, will share his insights on the big stories in the environment and international development in the coming year. In this turbulent time, he will explore global trends and emerging issues related to economics, climate change, energy markets, forests, water, security issues and more.

CSIS to Host Moniz – On Thursday, January 11th at 4:00 p.m., CSIS holds a discussion with Ernest J. Moniz, the co-chair and CEO of NTI and former U.S. Secretary of Energy. He will provide remarks on the role of nuclear weapons in today’s increasingly dangerous global security environment, which will be followed by a discussion with John Hamre, president and CEO of CSIS.

Detroit Auto Show Launches – The North American International Auto Show runs from January 13th to 28th and serves as the global stage for companies to debut brand-defining vehicles and industry-shaping announcements.  Press Days start on January 14th where the world’s automotive and mobility leaders gather for three days of worldwide product and technology debuts.  Last January, the 2017 NAIAS featured 71 vehicle introductions, including 46 worldwide debuts. News coming out of NAIAS is heard across the globe as more than 5,100 journalists from 61 different countries annually attend to cover the latest and greatest happenings our industry has to offer.

BPC to Host LaFleur, Chatterjee – On Tuesday, January 16th at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts FERC Commissioners Neil Chatterjee and Cheryl LaFleur to discuss the proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule. This proposal, drafted by the Department of Energy, calls for an expedited rulemaking to support generators that provide specific reliability and resiliency attributes. FERC is expected to take action on the proposal by January 10.

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – On January 16th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

WCEE to Look at 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds its  6th Annual WCEE Lunch & Learn Brainstorming Event on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon kicking off its Lunch & Learn planning, as well as deciding what topics to cover in 2018.

CSIS to Host Canada Energy Discussion – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a presentation on January 23rd at 9:30 a.m. featuring the National Energy Board’s (NEB) Canada’s Energy Future 2017: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2040. This report, part of NEB’s annual Energy Future series, features long-term projections of Canadian energy supply and demand.  The 2017 edition examines how recent energy developments, especially in climate policy, have affected Canada’s energy outlook. The study also includes additional scenarios focusing on long-term climate policy and technology trends. Similar in structure to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook, the report is the only public, long-term Canadian energy outlook that includes all energy commodities in all provinces and territories.

Pruitt, Snyder, Others Headline Washington Auto Show – The Washington Auto Show launches on January 23rd and runs through February 4th.  The Washington Auto Show is the Public Policy Show, where the auto industry intersects with the government officials who write and enforce the laws and rules that affect the field. This coming year, one of the focuses of the show will be on connected and autonomous vehicle technology, and the ways pending legislation could impact its development.  Major speakers include EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Sen. Gary Peters, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and many others, including representatives from the U.K., South Korea, Japan, China, and the U.A.E. Press Day is January 25th and will feature a sneak peek of the more than 600 cars on the floor of the consumer show.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31st making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

National Ethanol Conference Set – The Renewable Fuels Association holds its 23rd annual National Ethanol Conference on February 12-14 in San Antonio.  Former Presidential Advisor Mary Matalin and veteran Democratic Political Strategist Donna Brazile are scheduled to speak together at the event on Washington Politics.

Energy Update: Week of 12/18

Friends,

HAPPY HOLIDAYS…. Not quite there yet, but getting close!!!  We won’t have a regular update next week but will keep you updated of actions if necessary.  Will likely return for Tuesday January 2nd with our first update of 2018…  Can you believe 2018 already?

With taxes right at the finish line, we are happy to discuss energy aspects.  Looks like the renewable tax provisions (PTC, BEAT, AMT) all survived pretty well, as did oil-related ANWR and SPR provisions.  Less fortunate were the “orphan” tax credits for things like small wind, fuel cells and geothermal, who were in the House bill but not included in the final package.  Our super savvy, yet tax nerdy colleague Liam Donovan is right in the action and is happy to discuss details either on or off record.  Final votes expected either tomorrow or Wednesday.  We also continue to focus on additional government funding with another deadline looming Friday.

With OMB completing its work on the ANPR for the Clean Power Plan Replacement rule late last week, we expect it may be released as soon as tomorrow.  We are monitoring the action and both Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead are familiar with what to expect and are ready to assist. Also, we are still following the on-going RFS discussions going on between Corn-state and refiner-state Senators and Administration.

Even though the schedule is light this week, there are a couple of interesting events, including an EESI forum tomorrow on COP23 outcomes featuring BCSE head Lisa Jacobson.  And later today at 3:30 p.m., CSIS hosts the International Energy Agency for the US launch of the IEA’s Coal 2017: Analysis and Forecasts to 2022.  Senate Environment looks at freight movement in a hearing on Wednesday and Thursday, the Georgia PSC votes on whether to complete two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle.

The update wishes well to our friend Devin Henry, who has finally had enough of me emailing him all the time and is leaving The Hill to return to his home state of Minnesota.  Dev, I know Golden Gophers’ hockey is in-season, but the temp in Shakopee, MN will be 2⁰/-10⁰ this weekend???

Finally, Congrats to our great Bracewell colleague Kevin Ewing – who many of you know as one of the smartest oil/gas/environment lawyers in DC – for being named an Environmental Law 360 MVP. Law360’s MVPs are attorneys who have distinguished themselves from their peers over the past year through high-stakes litigation, record-breaking deals and complex global matters.

Boy, it has been an interesting year hasn’t it!!!  Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

THE LOBBY SHOP

A new episode of The Lobby Shop features new Bracewell DC partner Angela Styles and a discussion of the world of government contracts.  You can get it live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  Styles, who recently joined Bracewell from Crowell Moring, is a prominent DC government contracts attorney and will discuss the world of federal contracts and the complex legal work behind it.

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“One of the things that I want people to understand is that North Carolina is good for solar, but that solar is also very good for North Carolina.”

John Morrison of NC-based Strata Solar in the Duke University GVC Center report on NC solar impacts. 

 

IN THE NEWS

MEMO: White House Prepping for Tariffs – Supporters of tariffs on solar clearly leaked an White House memo on Friday as reported by our friend Emily Holden in POLITICO saying the administration appears to be preparing its messaging ahead of setting punitive tariffs on imported solar equipment. The tariffs would increase the cost of solar power in the US and could slow expansion of solar and eliminate installation/construction jobs.  We continue to follow, but most utilities, contractors, retailers and conservative groups have urged President Trump to oppose tariffs.

Duke Study Highlight NC Solar Impact – Speaking of solar tariff impacts and what is at risk in the industry, the Duke Global Value Chains Center has released a report detailing the solar “value chain” in North Carolina and the Potential impacts to investors, solar developers, construction contractors and solar panel and component manufacturers comprising more than 450 companies. Together, these companies support some 4,300 jobs and represent a $2 billion investment. In addition to jobs, solar industry-related businesses provide income for landowners and tax revenue for N.C. towns.  The report conducts an assessment of three major issues related to North Carolina’s utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar investments: 1) The state of the solar market: the industry, marketplace and technology trends affecting the cost and feasibility of additional investments in utility-scale solar in the world generally and in the United States and North Carolina in particular; 2) The amount of utility-scale solar resources in North Carolina relative to other places in the United States and the world; and 3) The economic footprint of utility-scale solar in North Carolina.

Mayors Support Solar – More than 70 mayors from 25 states signed a letter in support of solar energy. The full text of the letter is available here, and we have included an article about the letter in Solar Industry. An excerpt from the letter: “Expanding solar power helps residents and businesses benefit from lower energy costs while providing more local control of energy and improving our communities’ resilience.”

GTM Report Shows Solar Slippage – Speaking of more solar, GTM Research’s latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report says 2,031 megawatts of PV were installed in the U.S. in Q3 2017. That’s the nation’s lowest quarterly total since Q3 2015.  Two of the three market segments tracked by GTM Research were down on the quarter and on the year; however, the non-residential segment was the lone standout. The U.S. installed 481 megawatts of non-residential PV in the third quarter, representing growth of 22% year-over-year. However, looming over the outlook for U.S. solar are two macro-level risks: Corporate tax reform could reduce tax equity demand and the final outcome of a Section 201 trade dispute could impact cost and demand.

DOE to Help Fund Offshore Wind – The DOE announced $18.5 million in competitive funding for a research and development consortium meant to bring down the cost of offshore wind power. The private-public partnership will explore wind plant technology advancement, resource and physical site characterization, installation, operations and maintenance, and supply chain technology solutions. Offshore wind companies will contribute funds to the project, and DOE labs will also get $2 million to support the consortium.

Platts Podcast Looks at Methane – On this week’s Platts’ podcast, Brian Schied talks with IPAA’s Dan Naatz about the impact of methane rules on US drillers; API’s Erik Milito about a new voluntary industry effort to combat methane emissions, and EDF’s Matt Watson about why API’s effort will not be enough to address the issue.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Forum to Look at Resource Management – The World Resources Institute hosts a panel today at Noon to look at conflicts and natural resource management.  WRI, Conservation International and other environmental organizations have adopted distinct approaches to environmental peacebuilding in response to local-level dynamics. Through a discussion of these efforts, the links between peace, conflict and the environment are directly manifest, offering support for organizational efforts to integrate conflict-sensitive and peacebuilding perspectives across conservation activities in all contexts.

CSIS to Host World Coal Report – Today at 3:30 p.m., CSIS will host the launch of the IEA’s new report analyzing coal’s recent trends and forecasting its demand, supply, and trade through 2022.  Coal remains world’s dominant fuel. Under pressure from decarbonization, cheaper alternatives, and geopolitical shifts in demand, coal continues to be one of the most pressing questions in energy. Peter Fraser, Head of Division for Gas, Coal, and Power Markets at the International Energy Agency, will present the IEA’s report.

Forum to Look at Bonn Climate Meeting Results – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in 562 Dirksen looking at the takeaways from the latest global climate talks, which concluded in Bonn, Germany, on November 18th. The COP23 focused on the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement, which is slated to start in 2020. Speakers for this forum are Fiji Ambassador H.E. Solo Mara, German First Secretary for Climate Anton Hufnagl, Sam Ricketts of Governor Jay Inslee’s DC Office and BCSE President Lisa Jacobson.

Senate Environment to Look at Freight Movement – The Senate Environment Committee panel on Transportation & Infrastructure will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. on freight movement.  The hearing will assess where we are now and where we need to go.

DOE STEM Fair Is Set – The Department of Energy’s 4th annual Interagency STEM Volunteer Fair will be held on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.  The event will feature STEM organizations, government agencies, and schools in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area that need help as well as upcoming needs for volunteers, events, and areas of focus.  The volunteer fair is geared towards federal employees, but others are welcome to attend this public event. The event is located in the rear of the Department of Energy’s cafeteria, which is open to the general public and accepts cash and credit. You will need to check in at the Department of Energy Main Lobby and show valid ID before advancing through security.

IN THE FUTURE

API’s Annual State of Energy Address – On January 9th, API holds its annual State of Energy Address.

Hopper, Honorable to Headline WCEE Event – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a reception at Dentons on Tuesday January 9th at 6:00 p.m. to discuss lessons learned from political appointees.  The event features a lively discussion about the political appointment process in the energy and environmental fields and will feature a panel of former state and federal political appointees about how they started down the path towards political appointment and navigated the process.  Panelists will share their experiences and candid views about the challenges and rewards of a political appointment, as well as lessons they have learned while in these highly visible roles.  Speakers include SEIA’s Abby Hopper, former director of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; former FERC Commissioner Collette Honorable and Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Katz, who is President of the National Association of State Utility Advocates.

75th Annual Global Globes – Can’t wait for Seth Myers to host this one from January 7th from Hollywood.

Detroit Auto Show Launches – The North American International Auto Show runs from January 13th to 28th and serves as the global stage for companies to debut brand-defining vehicles and industry-shaping announcements.  Press Days start on January 14th where the world’s automotive and mobility leaders gather for three days of worldwide product and technology debuts.  Last January, the 2017 NAIAS featured 71 vehicle introductions, including 46 worldwide debuts. News coming out of NAIAS is heard across the globe as more than 5,100 journalists from 61 different countries annually attend to cover the latest and greatest happenings our industry has to offer.

World Energy Outlook Set For Launch – On January 16th at 1:30 p.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum and the U.S. launch of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, will present the findings from the report.

WCEE to Look at 2018 Agenda – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) holds its  6th Annual WCEE Lunch & Learn Brainstorming Event on Tuesday January 23rd at Noon kicking off its Lunch & Learn planning, as well as deciding what topics to cover in 2018.

Pruitt, Snyder, Others Headline Washington Auto Show – The Washington Auto Show launches on January 23rd and runs through February 4th.  The Washington Auto Show is the Public Policy Show, where the auto industry intersects with the government officials who write and enforce the laws and rules that affect the field. This coming year, one of the focuses of the show will be on connected and autonomous vehicle technology, and the ways pending legislation could impact its development.  Major speakers include EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Sen. Gary Peters, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and many others, including representatives from the U.K., South Korea, Japan, China, and the U.A.E. Press Day is January 25th and will feature a sneak peek of the more than 600 cars on the floor of the consumer show.

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31st making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation.

Energy Update: Week of 11/13

Friends,

The Holiday season is now just around the corner and that means playoffs for Fall sports. High school seasons are closing, and this past weekend, I umpired a MD HS field hockey state final.  We also saw the NCAA Final Fours for field hockey lock with Maryland, UNC, UConn and Michigan in DI.  In DIII, its Middlebury, TCNJ, Franklin & Marshall and defending champ Messiah.  In DII, matchups include LIU-Post/Millersville and Shippensburg/East Stroudsburg.  All the action is in Louisville starting Friday.  And good luck to our friend Jeff Holmstead’s son Eli who will play with his BYU Soccer team for the NIRSA National Soccer Championship this weekend in Arizona.  BYU doesn’t have an NCAA team for various reasons, but their Club team is better than most Varsity programs.

Bonn rolls on this week with key US players arriving today, including White House advisor David Banks.  For those of you following the action, I have been getting great insights from three sources:

  • Chamber Global Energy Institute expert Steve Eule, who has been blogging updates here;
  • Meg Darby (e-mail Meg at md@climatehome.org to subscribe) of ClimateHome who is producing an information-packed daily newsletter, Bonn Bulletin.
  • Info from the Business Council for Sustainable Energy’s Laura Tierney, who is also producing regular updates which you can get by contacting her at ltierney@bcse.org or cell: 202-489-3436.

Speaking of BCSE, they holding a presser tomorrow at 12:30 Central European Time or 6:30 a.m. EST that will focus on a position paper on Powering Ambition at COP 23, which articulates how the falling costs of clean energy technologies makes it more affordable for countries to power ambition toward strong climate action.  Here is a Bonn CET clock translator in case you are trying to call over there.  It is great that Gov. Brown is over in Bonn making noise, but, FYI, he still only speaks for California and cannot conduct foreign policy whether or not he agrees with the White House.  Finally, another interesting Bonn twist is the backlash that Germany is feeling as they expand their coal power plants yet push for emissions reductions and closing nuclear plants.

On Capitol Hill, it seems like things are mostly about either the Alabama Special Election or tax reform.  That being said, after approvals on EPA and DOE nominees (like Bill Wehrum) last week, there may be action on other nominees including CEQ’s Kathleen Harnett-White and EPA #2 Andy Wheeler.  Tomorrow, the House and Senate Energy Committees, as well as House Resources, will tackle the hurricane season and response.  On Wednesday, Senate Environment looks at energy innovation technologies and Senate Energy is back on ANWR with a budget recon markup.

Today, we expect ITC recommendations on the solar trade case to be sent to the President with a detailed staff report that will be available on Wednesday.  Next Monday, the first US Trade Rep public comment deadline hits with a public hearing set for Dec 6.  Meantime, there is a great WashPost Perspective piece from retired USAF Lt Gen. Norman Seip that says cracking down on foreign-made solar panels would make US less secure.  Other events Include a Wednesday Morning Roll Call forum on energy called Energy Decoded at the Newseum featuring Clearpath’s Rich Powell and former ND Sen. Byron Dorgan, an Thursday infrastructure forum with CEQ’s Alex Hergott and Resources Chair Rob Bishop at the ROA and the USAEE November luncheon Friday with former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark.

Outside DC, NARUC has launched in Baltimore today with its annual winter meetings.  The conference always tackles key on energy policy, telecommunications, and other utility topics. Key speakers include Montana PUC Commissioner Travis Kavulla, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, former Commissioners Marc Spitzer and Tony Clark, DOE’s Travis Fisher and many others.

Next week is Thanksgiving Week!!!!  So, as usual, you can expect some announcements – perhaps like the RVOs which are due at the end of the month, but always seem to find their way into pre-Thanksgiving roll out…  Stay tuned…Call with questions.  Best,

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

THIS WEEK’S LOBBY SHOP

The new episode of The Lobby Shop is live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This week’s episode features our great tax expert Liam Donovan (liam.donovan@bracewell.com) explores what’s coming up for tax reform in light of this week’s Senate tax plan and its differences and similarities compared to last week’s House bill.  Remember our address for listeners to reach out with topic suggestions, feedback, etc. – thelobbyshop@policyres.com.

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

““It has been estimated that 95 percent of all gasoline supply outlets in the United States cannot legally store or dispense ethanol blends higher than 10 percent. EPA, OSHA and state fire regulations have essentially drawn a line in the sand by requiring all facilities storing and dispensing gasoline blends greater than E10 to prove underground storage tank (UST) system compatibility with higher ethanol content fuels. The often-impossible task of demonstrating compatibility with E15 for UST equipment currently in the ground has put the clear majority of PMAA members, the consuming public and the nation’s gasoline supply and distribution chain in a precarious situation.”

PMAA Head Rob Underwood in a letter to Senate EPW Chair John Barrasso regarding issues surrounding the Renewable Fuels Standard. 

Germany’s ambitious vision for “energiewende,” or energy transformation, has proved far more difficult to execute than it was to plan: “It’s not just a technical shift. It’s a societal shift.  There are so many vested interests in keeping the old structures, and people will cling to them as long as they can.”

Rebecca Bertram, an energy expert with the Greens party-aligned Heinrich Böll Foundation in a Washington Post Story on concerns about Germany’s use of coal. 

 

IN THE NEWS

Military Expert Says Solar Trade Case Makes U.S. Less Secure – Retired USAF Lt. Gen. Norman Seip penned on “Perspective” in the Washington Post today that says cracking down on foreign-made solar panels would make U.S. less secure.  Seip says the U.S. military depends on a diverse set of energy resources, and increasingly that includes solar energy. Over the past seven years, the price of solar has dropped by 70%, giving our military a cost-effective, reliable, flexible source of electricity for its operations.  Seip: “The tariffs proposed would significantly raise the cost of solar energy, jeopardizing the financial viability of solar projects at U.S. military bases across the globe and threatening our long-term security interests.” Seip finally said that if the President wants to put America first, he should reject tariffs that would endanger our troops and harm national security, and instead support our military and veterans by giving them the diversity of energy resources and jobs they need.

Platts Podcast Talks to Former EIA Head on Shale – On this week’s Platts’ podcast, Richard Newell, the former head of the US Energy Information Administration and current president of Resources for the Future, talks about his new study on the responsiveness of US shale operators. Brian Schied and Newell address market changes turning the US into a global swing producer and need of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  See it here.

Wehrum Approved by Full Senate – The Senate approved Bill Wehrum to be assistant administrator for air and radiation at EPA, filling a top vacancy in Administrator Scott Pruitt staff.  Wehrum was approved on a vote of 49-47.   Former EPA Air Office Head and my Bracewell colleague Jeff Holmstead said: “As someone who has been the head of the Air Office, I am particularly happy that Bill Wehrum is one step closer to taking over that job.  Bill will be a huge help at the Agency and is the ideal person to shepherd Administrator Pruitt’s reforms through the regulatory process.  He has the trust and respect of both the political leadership and the career staff and will make sure that that all the reforms are done thoughtfully and in accordance with the law.”

PMAA Send Letter on RFS Storage Tank Concerns – The Petroleum Marketers Assn of American (PMAA) sent a letter to Senate Environment Chair John Barrasso underscoring challenges that retailers and marketers face if they are forced to use ethanol blends higher that 10% either through higher RVOs or new legislation.  The problems are both corrosion and volatility. PMAA Rob Underwood writes the inability of marketers to legally certify their equipment to be compatible with E15 would cause severe economic harm through significant disruption of the gasoline supply and distribution network below the terminal rack. It has been estimated that 95% of all gasoline supply outlets in the United States cannot legally store or dispense ethanol blends higher than 10%. EPA, OSHA and state fire regulations have essentially drawn a line in the sand by requiring all facilities storing and dispensing gasoline blends greater than E10 to prove underground storage tank (UST) system compatibility with higher ethanol content fuels. The often-impossible task of demonstrating compatibility with E15 for UST equipment currently in the ground has put the clear majority of PMAA members, the consuming public and the nation’s gasoline supply and distribution chain in a precarious situation. The number of UST systems that are unable to meet legal compatibility certification requirements is significant. For those sites, the only option is to upgrade components or potentially the entire system to those that are of known compatibility.”  Can forward the letter if you need it.

4th Grid Modernization Index Finds CA, IL, TX, MD, OR as Leaders – The GridWise Alliance, in collaboration with Clean Edge, Inc., today announced the release of its fourth Grid Modernization Index (GMI-4). The Index ranks and assesses all 50 states and the District of Columbia based upon the degree to which they are moving toward a modernized electric grid. The Grid Modernization Index report is available for download at www.gridwise.org and www.cleanedge.com.  For the second consecutive edition, California ranks highest overall, and places first in each of the three GMI categories (state support, customer engagement, and grid operations). California has a nine-point lead over second-place Illinois, while Texas ranks third. Maryland and Oregon rank fourth and fifth respectively. Rounding out the top ten are Arizona, Washington, DC, New York, Nevada, and Delaware. The Index offers Seven Key Takeaways, providing lessons and best practices for a rapidly modernizing grid, including the pace of grid modernization efforts has accelerated, focus on recent hurricanes and other extreme weather events – as well as human-caused cybersecurity and physical security threats, continuing progress toward comprehensive grid modernization, effort are just getting under way, utilities are prioritizing efforts to address customer demands for greater choice and the capability to manage their own energy usage and clean energy targets by states, cities, and corporations are driving utility efforts to accommodate growth.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Climate Change Meeting Set for Bonn – The UN climate change conference rolls on this week in Bonn, Germany with key US players arriving today, including White House advisor David Banks.  The Business Council for Sustainable Energy holds a presser tomorrow at 12:30 Central European Time or 6:30 a.m. EST that will focus on a position paper on Powering Ambition at COP 23, which articulates how the falling costs of clean energy technologies makes it more affordable for countries to power ambition toward strong climate action.  Here is a Bonn CET clock translator in case you are trying to call over there.  It is great that Gov. Brown is over in Bonn making noise, but he still only speaks for California and cannot conduct foreign policy whether or not he agrees with the White House.  Finally, another interesting Bonn twist is the backlash that Germany is feeling as they expand their coal power plants yet push for emissions reductions and closing nuclear plants.

NARUC Annual Meeting to Dig Into Issues – The National Assn of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) holds its 129th annual meeting at the Hilton Baltimore today through Wednesday and will feature panels on energy policy, telecommunications, and other utility topics are issues at the forefront of trade and mainstream news. The event will feature stakeholders, informed experts, representatives from industry, federal policymakers, and dedicated state regulators for robust, timely discussions.  Key speakers include Montana PUC Commissioner Travis Kavulla, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson, former Commissioners Marc Spitzer and Tony Clark, DOE’s Travis Fisher and many others.

Solar Trade Breakfast at NARUC – The Solar Energy Industries Association and Cypress Creek Renewables held a breakfast panel discussion next Monday morning on the Solar Section 201 trade petition on imported solar components.  The event discussed the effect of the ITC ruling on the $23 billion U.S. solar industry, which employs 260,000 American workers in good-paying jobs including manufacturers, is unmistakable. It would decimate one of the least expensive energy sources in America by doubling the price of solar panels in the U.S., thereby crippling demand, diminishing local investment and costing up to 88,000 jobs across the country.   The panel includes SEIA’s Abby Hopper,  GA PSC Chair Lauren “Bubba” McDonald and AEE’s Malcolm Wolff, who is working with large companies that use solar.

Forum to Look at CAFE, High Octane Fuels – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing in 106 Dirksen today at Noon examining how high-octane, low-carbon fuel can enable CAFE compliance. Research suggests that high-octane, low-carbon fuel is the lowest-cost compliance option for both consumers and the automotive industry.  Speakers for this forum are NREL’s Robert McCormick, Oak Ridge National Lab’s Brian West, Dean Drake of the Defour Group and Andrew Varcoe of Boyden Gray & Associates.  Higher-octane, low-carbon fuels enable greater engine efficiencies, thereby lowering GHG and toxic emissions and improving fuel economy. Automotive engineers have expressed interest in raising the octane level of gasoline, which would enable the design and sale of these more efficient engines, but the administration must act to enable a viable pathway for these fuels to enter the marketplace.

USEA Forum to Discuss CURC Study – Today at 2:00 p.m., the US Energy Association and the Carbon Utilization Research Council (CURC) hold a forum on CURC’s recent CCS study analyzing options to overcome barriers to large-pilot projects for power plants equipped with CCS.  The purpose of the report was to study innovative options for governments and industry to fund projects that test coal-based power generation and carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies at the large-pilot scale. The panel discussion will provide an overview of the key findings of the report and an illustration of current case study examples of international collaboration by industry stakeholders and governments.  Panelists include CURC’s Shannon Angielski, DOE’s John Litynski, Frank Morton of the National Carbon Capture Center, Chris Romans of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America and Don Stevenson of the Gas Technology Institute.

Forum to Look at Venezuela Oil – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and Global Energy Center holds a timely conversation on Venezuela’s declining oil industry, the increasing presence of Russia and China in the country, and what lies ahead. Keynote remarks will be offered by House Energy & Commerce member Jeff Duncan.

Minority Groups to Release Oil, Gas Report— The NAACP, Clean Air Task Force and National Medical Association hold briefing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club to unveil a report on impacts of oil and gas development on African-American communities.

Senate, House Energy, House Resources to Look at Hurricanes – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. on hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The hearing will hear from Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, DOE’s Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Asst Sect., Bruce Walker, Army Corps deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations Donald Jackson and PREPA head Ricardo Ramos, among others. They will hold a second panel that will feature mostly representatives from authorities in Puerto Rico.  As well, at 10:00 a.m., the House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing on response and recovery to environmental concerns from the 2017 hurricane season.  Finally, House Resources will hold a third hearing at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow that will examine accountability in disaster recovery financial matters.

JHU to Discuss Nuclear – The Johns Hopkins University holds a forum tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. looking at the status and prospects for U.S. Nuclear Power. Westinghouse, a leader in the industry, entered bankruptcy and two reactors that were under construction in South Carolina have been abandoned because of cost overruns. The US still has not solved the problem of long term storage of high level nuclear waste. An interesting possibility for the future is the development of advanced nuclear reactors that would be smaller, safer and cheaper to build. These and other issues will be discussed by speaker, NEI’s Matthew Crozat.

Forum to Look at Energy – On Wednesday Morning, Roll Call will host a forum on energy called Energy Decoded at the Newseum. Roll Call Live, in partnership with CQ News hosts a packed morning of expert analysis and bipartisan discussion to examine the many questions that energy stakeholders and policymakers will face in the new administration.   Topics will include the future of climate policy, energy tax reform, coal and domestic oil production and renewable energy initiatives.  Speakers will include FERC Chair Neal Chatterjee, Sen. Joe Manchin and our friend Jeanette Pablo, Clearpath’s Rich Powell, former ND Sen. Byron Dorgan and several others.

Senate Energy Looks at ANWR Again –The Senate Energy Committee returns ANWR on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. when it will hold a business meeting to consider, pursuant to H.Con.Res.71, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2018, reconciliation legislation to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to establish and administer a competitive oil and gas program in the non-wilderness portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, known as the “1002 Area” or Coastal Plain.

Senate to Look at Emissions Reductions Through Innovation – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. promoting American leadership in reducing air emissions through innovation. Witnesses include NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources Carbon Management Institute director Kipp Coddington and Zoe Lipman, director of the Vehicles and Advanced Transportation Program at the BlueGreen Alliance.

ITIF to Look at ARPA-E – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) holds a discussion on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at ARPA-E’s versatile role in clean energy innovation featuring a new study on the topic.  Authors David Hart and Michael Kearney, along with an expert panel of energy innovators and thought leaders discuss.

WRI to Discuss Powering Cities – On Wednesday at Noon, the World Resources Institute hosts Michael Westphal to present his paper on energy access – another chapter of the World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City. Millions of residents in some of the fastest growing cities in the world don’t have access to clean, reliable energy, and the challenge of reaching them is not getting easier. In 2012, only 58 percent of the urban population had access to electricity in low-income countries, and nearly 500 million urban residents worldwide used dirty and harmful cooking fuels like charcoal and wood.

Forum on European Gas Projects Set – On Wednesday afternoon, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts the Jamestown conference on “Nord Stream and European Energy Security.” It will provide a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the Russian objectives, European responses, and American policies related to this large project.

Forum to Discuss Rebuilding America – The Progressive Policy Institute and Common Good host a Capitol Hill forum on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at the Reserve Officers Association looking at rebuilding America.  The discussion is intended to rekindle a sense of political urgency around modernizing America’s run-down infrastructure, and figuring out how to pay for it.  Speakers include CEQ’s Alex Herrgott, House Resources Chairman Rob Bishop, Rep. John Delaney, Association of American Railroads CEO Edward Hamberger and ACC’s Anne Kolton, as well as many others.

Forum to Discuss Brazil Oil, Gas – The Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute hosts a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at pre-salt auctions in Brazil’s oil and gas industry.  The Director-General of ANP, Decio Fabrício Oddone da Costa, will discuss the objectives of Brazil’s new regulatory framework for the oil & gas policy.

Forum to Look at Grid-Interactive Buildings – The Alliance to Save Energy will host a forum on Thursday at Noon in 2045 Rayburn to Look grid interactive efficient buildings. The influx in smart technologies and internet-connected devices creates a unique opportunity for energy efficiency: these devices can enable American business owners and families to save energy and money, while also providing valuable new services to utilities and increasing building responsiveness to the grid. The discussion will feature the building technology sector’s top energy efficiency experts in conversation on the latest efforts by the U.S. Department of Energy and others to help grow connectedness across the entire building sector, from commercial to residential, by creating more grid-interactive, efficient buildings.  Rep. Paul Tonko makes opening remarks.

Webinar to Look at EVs – National Journal holds webinar on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. on the rise of electric vehicles.  The webinar will examine the industry’s history, development and future, and address the major players and policymakers and what policies have fostered the industry’s growth so far, and which state and federal actions could help—or hinder—its development.  It will also look at how the Trump administration’s deregulatory drive impact the development of EVs in the US, as well as the feasibility of the ambitious goals laid out by countries like France and India.

Hill Honors Top LobbyistsThe Hill holds a reception at 13U on Thursday night to honor Washington’s elite policy influencers at The Hill’s Top Lobbyists Reception.  Following the release of our annual list, we are recognizing Capitol Hill’s most distinguished lobbyists for their leadership in shaping policy across all fields.  My colleagues Dee Martin and Scott Segal were among the Top Lobbyists and many of our friends in industry, firms and NGOs are in there as well.

Pruitt to Address Federalist Group – The Federalist Society’s National Lawyer Convention hosts EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for an address on his agenda.

Clark to Headline USAEE Lunch – On Friday, the NCAC of the US Assn of Energy Economists host its November lunch with former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark at Chinatown Gardens.  Clark will discuss the forces that are shaping electricity markets today, with an emphasis on the implications of the regulatory crossroads of federal jurisdiction and state public policy choices.

IN THE FUTURE

USTR Comment Deadline on Solar Trade Case – November 20th

USEA Forum to Look at Carbon IRA – The US Energy Assn will hold a forum next Monday at 10:00 a.m. focused on a new idea that rewards reductions in Carbon footprint with funds deposited into a retirement account.   Guest Speaker, Jason Makansi, President of consulting firm Pearl Street, will introduce the concept, describe the four broad steps required and provide simple examples of how to implement the concept.

WRI to Host Forum on Energy Access – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum next Monday at Noon on how energy access for all benefits the economy and the environment.  Michael Westphal will present his paper on energy access – another chapter of the “World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City.” Millions of residents in some of the fastest growing cities in the world don’t have access to clean, reliable energy, and the challenge of reaching them is not getting easier. In 2012, only 58 percent of the urban population had access to electricity in low-income countries, and nearly 500 million urban residents worldwide used dirty and harmful cooking fuels like charcoal and wood.

Coal Ash Annual Production and Use Survey Results – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club, the American Coal Ash Association will release its annual Coal Ash Production & Use Survey results. Conducted since the early 1960s, the survey provides the most complete data available on the volume of coal ash materials that are produced and beneficially used in a variety of applications. ACAA officials will also discuss impacts of environmental regulation and changing electric utility markets on coal ash production and use.  Tom Adams and John Ward of ACCA roll out the report.

THANKSGIVING – November 26th

EPA to Hold CPP Public Hearing in WV – EPA will hold a public hearing regarding the withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan in West Virginia on Nov. 28th and 29th.  EPA said it will convene two daylong sessions at the state capitol in Charleston. The agency said it “may also hold an additional hearing to be announced at a later date.”  EPA also extended the comment period on the proposal to Jan. 16, 2018.

CCS Report to be Released – The Global CCS Institute will release its annual Global Status of CCS: 2017 report launch on November 28th, 2017. This year, the Institute is partnering with one of the top think tanks in the city, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to promote and discuss the release of the Institute’s signature report, the globally recognized annual guide to the current progress and prospects for carbon capture and storage.

NYT to host Climate Summit – On November 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Metreon, The New York Times will hold ClimateTECH, a groundbreaking summit that brings together influential leaders from key industries to assess bold, cutting-edge technologies that could help keep global warming below the two-degree threshold.  Hosted by top Times journalists, ClimateTECH’s focus on innovation will also encompass the dramatic changes downstream (in finance, policy, consumer behavior, infrastructure) that are vital for these new technologies to gain adoption and succeed.  The program will feature on-stage interviews with celebrated entrepreneurs and inventors along with policy makers, economists and subject-matter experts. Designed for an audience of decision-makers, ClimateTECH will also include an early-stage technology showcase of the newest innovations, along with other experiential activities.  The Speaker list is long, but it includes California Gov. Jerry Brown, Statoil’s Irene Rummelhoff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tom Steyer and many others.

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

Clean Edge, GridWise Alliance Host gridCONNEXT – GridWise Alliance and Clean Edge will host gridCONNEXT on December 4th through 6th in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of regulators, utility executives, corporations, and other industry stakeholders to explore the many grid modernization.

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

Energy Update: Week of September 18

Friends,

Our friend Sean Spicer was the hit of the 69th Emmy awards last night working with host Stephen Colbert to offer a great, light political moment, fresh with a moving podium in an event dripping with political intrigue.  The big winners were SNL, Hulu and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, whose win for best actress in a comedy for her “Veep,” performance tied Cloris Leachman’s record for eight prime-time acting Emmys.  See all the winners here.

Also, proud dad moment: this weekend we traveled to Wellesley to watch Hannah’s first NEWMAC field hockey game and she didn’t disappoint, getting a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick,” by scoring the game winning goal, setting up her team’s first goal and then getting a yellow card late in the second half.

This week, the UN launches its meetings so climate change events are all around.  First, let’s address the weekend dust up over the Paris agreement.  In case you missed it, the WSJ reported that the Administration was considering backing off its pledge to pull out of the Paris Agreement.  The Administration pushed back aggressively on that issue.  My take: I just don’t think there is anything different than we’ve heard before.  For now, it looks and sounds to me like they are still on the same page as back when he made announcement.  They only seem to be wiggling on is their strategy to approach discussions at the upcoming UN meeting. Substance seems the same.  Happy to discuss in more detail.

Climate Week events started with Gary Cohn this morning hosting a meeting on energy and climate change in New York before the United Nations General Assembly convenes and continues with Columbia Law School hosting an event tonight at 7:00 p.m. on offshore wind in NYC featuring our friends Amy Harder of Axios, Statoil’s Megan Kesier and Michael Gerrard of the Columbia Law School.  The Concordia Summit also is happening in NYC with speakers like Scott Pruitt (interviewed by Dana Perino), Laura Bush, a bunch of POLITICO moderators and many others.  Finally, Yale holds a Climate Conference today and tomorrow hosted by John Kerry featuring Ernie Moniz, Heather Zichal, James Baker, Sens. Graham and McCain, Govs. Brown and Inslee, Hank Paulson, GE’s Jeff Immelt and WAIT FOR IT… Leo DiCaprio, tomorrow to close the event!!! See the full Climate Week line up here.

So with another hurricane lingering in the Caribbean, it is important to report that as of 4:00 p.m. yesterday, more than 90% of customer outages have been restored.  Still, about 850,000 customers are without power in Florida and Georgia as a result of Hurricane Irma. At Irma’s peak on September 11, there were more than 7.8 million outages.  In Georgia alone, power has been restored to 99% of customers, or 990,000 customers, impacted by Hurricane Irma.  For those who are still without power, an army of more than 60,000 continues to work around the clock in support of one mission—to turn the lights back on as safely and as quickly as possible. This includes workers from affected companies, as well as mutual assistance crews, contractors, and other support personnel. See this mutual assistance in action in a social media recap.

Tomorrow, the Senate Energy Committee will vote on White House nominees for two open slots FERC, as well as picks for senior roles at the Interior and Energy Departments.  Then Wednesday, the Senate Environment Committee will hear from nominees for several senior positions at the Environmental Protection Agency, including Bill Wehrum to head the agency’s the air office.  EPA GC Matt Leopold, EPA chemical office head (and TSCA implementer) Mike Dourson, EPA Water office head Dave Ross and NRC’s Jan Baran also on the agenda.

Finally, on Friday the US International Trade Commission will vote on whether to move the Suniva 201 solar case forward by determining whether the petitioners were injured.  The company is seeking import duties of 40 cents per watt for solar cells that currently sell for 25-33 cents per watt, and a floor price of 78 cents per watt for panels.  The U.S. solar industry – as well as outside interests like utilities, contractors, co-ops, retailers, manufacturers and conservative groups have rallied to oppose the bid for protection, arguing it would undercut a thriving sector and harm employment in other areas, particularly installation.    Lots of action on the issue including the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board hammering the case, conservative groups sending a letter to ITC opposing the case and a new paper from Heritage trade experts on the case.

Today is National Cheeseburger Day!!!  Let’s celebrate…Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“Bill is well-respected and well-liked by the career staff at EPA – and by anyone who has ever worked with him. During his almost 6 years at EPA, he worked closely with career staff on a wide range of issues and was known for rolling up his sleeves and getting involved in the details of the Agency’s regulations and permitting programs. From his work as an environmental engineer, his time at the Agency, and his many years of counseling clients, he has a comprehensive understanding of EPA’s regulatory programs and the many technical issues involved in implementing the Clean Air Act.”

Former EPA Air Administrator and Bracewell partner Jeff Holmstead in a letter to Senate Environment Committee Chair John Barrasso and Ranking Member Tom Carper supporting Bill Wehrum to be EPA Air Administrator.

“The reductions in solar costs — I did not foresee them, I also did not foresee the reductions in the cost of natural gas.  I did not foresee that we would have the price of oil around $50 a barrel or wherever it is today. I admit that I didn’t see the cost of solar and wind decreasing as fast as it has.” 

Daniel Simmons, Department of Energy staffer who helped draft the DOE Grid Reliability Report in an interview with PV Magazine.

IN THE NEWS

Wall Street Journal Ed Board Hits Trade Case – You might have missed it given the WSJ’s other story this weekend, but the editorial board called the Suniva case a “Solar Power Death Wish”.  The Journal says the marketplace is driving the potential harm for the petitioners, noting the “U.S. solar industry has discovered that its comparative advantage lies not in making panels, a basic product, but in adding value to imported cells and modules.”  They add the potential tariffs would be another “destructive exercise that benefits a handful of Suniva and SolarWorld investors at the expense of everyone else—including the rest of the solar industry. This is protectionism at its worst.”

Heritage Paper Details Group’s Concern About Solar Tariff – The Heritage Foundation released a paper that challenges the need for the solar trade petition filed by Suniva.  They say acquiescing to Suniva and SolarWorld Americas’ petition for more tariffs would do deep damage to the rest of the U.S. solar industry.

Conservative Groups Weigh in on Solar Tariff – Several conservative groups sent a letter last week urging members of the US International Trade Commission to reject the relief requested by Suniva and SolarWorld.  The groups wrote that the tariffs and minimum price floors requested would double the cost of solar products in the United States, lead to retaliation by our trading partners and face a challenge at the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Letter signatories include R Street, the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC Action, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum, the National Taxpayers Union and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

Energy Innovation Discussion Spurs Progress –  Clearpath’s Rich Powell and former Oak Ridge National Lab Director Thom Mason wrote in a new op-ed in the Chattanooga Times Free Press how clean energy innovation has been an essential part of Tennessee’s fabric for more than eight decades, including contributing to some of our nation’s most significant breakthroughs. But they also issue a word of caution ahead of the busy budget season on Capitol Hill: We must have sustained federal energy innovation investment or risk losing much of the promise being built in the Volunteer State and elsewhere.

Nuclear Plants Withstand Hurricanes – Nuclear plants were among the most resilient of energy infrastructure in the path of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.  Two reactors near Houston operated at full capacity despite wind gusts of 130 mph, which along with flooding, shut down refineries and disrupted wind and solar generation. And while several Florida reactors were preemptively shut down ahead of Irma, they suffered no damage and were powered back up this week.  Here is some of the coverage in Florida and additional coverage on Texas.

ALEC: State Nuclear Emerging Trends – Speaking of nuclear, our friend Sarah Hunt at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) released a new paper on the emerging trends in state nuclear power policy.  Research reveals several developments have combined encouraging states to take a fresh look at nuclear energy policy. The survey of the state policy landscape suggests that moving forward, state nuclear policy discussions will focus on policy interventions to preserve existing nuclear power plants instead of policies that promote new construction. Given the relevance of energy subsidies, mandates and federally regulated wholesale power markets to nuclear power, these policy conversations will hopefully encourage states and the federal government to take a fresh look at unraveling the “Gordian knot” of existing market distorting policies.

SAFE Brings in New Policy Expert – SAFE has brought in a new Senior VP of Policy and he’s a heavy hitter. Jonathan Chanis is an expert on oil markets and energy geopolitics and is available for comment on these topics, as well as the upcoming OPEC monitoring committee meeting on Wednesday.  Chanis is responsible for planning and directing the research, analysis, and writing of SAFE’s policy team. Before joining SAFE, Jonathan taught graduate students at Columbia University about energy security and scenario planning, and he consulted on petroleum and natural gas security, and supply and value chain management. For the 20 years prior to this, Jonathan traded and invested in energy and emerging market equities, and commodities and currencies as a Senior Trader at Caxton Associates, a Vice President at Goldman Sachs’s commodities division ( J. Aron & Co.), and a Managing Director at Tribeca Global Management (a division of Citigroup). Chanis has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1988, and an Associate Member of the Columbia University Seminar on the Middle East since 1997.

CAP Report Outlines State Offshore Wind Best Practices – The Center for American Progress has a new report today that examine state policies that helped launch offshore wind projects in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York. Among the items they recommend states consider for the policy toolkits: Strong renewable energy requirements, legislation guaranteeing demand for offshore wind power, comprehensive ocean planning, competitive and reasonable long-term power purchase agreements and infrastructure investments in areas like ports.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

TX Renewable Summit Set – The Texas Renewable Energy Summit will be held today and tomorrow in Austin at Omni Southpark.  The summit will offer the latest insights into the market and hear from key players about the key trends impacting renewable energy project development, finance and investment in Texas.  The falling price of solar panels is driving a surge in interest by public utilities and corporate customers in contracting for solar power, while a huge queue of wind projects is forming. As much as 16 GW of new wind and solar projects could come to fruition in Texas.  However, development and financing challenges must be surmounted to assure project success and bankability. Large quantities of solar may drive the dispatch curve and market prices in unpredictable directions.

POLITICO Reporters to Moderate Key Panels at Key Event – The Concordia Annual Summit will be held today and tomorrow prior to the UN meetings launch in New York City.  The event is the pre-eminent nonpartisan forum taking place alongside the UN General Assembly, and convenes more than 2,000 influencers and decision-makers through action-oriented programming that aims to build partnerships for social impact. The Summit will feature over 250 speakers, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt (interviewed by our friend Dana Perino), Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, former first lady Laura Bush, former State Department climate negotiator Paula Dobriansky, and United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes, of.  As the official media partner of this year’s summit, our friends at POLITICO – Anna Palmer, Nick Juliano, Matt Kaminski, Helena Bottemiller Evich and Ben White – will moderate discussions on major issues affecting the U.S. and global community.

Kerry Hosts Yale Climate Conference – Former Secretary of State John Kerry will host a climate conference today and tomorrow at Yale.  Speakers will include former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, State Dept climate negotiator Jonathan Pershing, Obama Energy Czar Heather Zichal, former Bush Secretary of State James Baker, Sens. Graham and McCain, Govs. Jerry Brown and Jay Inslee, former Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, GE’s Jeff Immelt and Leo DiCaprio, who will close the event tomorrow.

CSIS to Host Trade Discussion With Lighthizer – CSIS will host US Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer this morning at 10:30 a.m. to discuss US trade policy priorities.

Columbia to Host Offshore Wind Discussion – The Columbia Law School will host an event tonight at 7:00 p.m. in NYC as part of its Climate Week events on offshore wind in New York.  The Keynote presenter is Michael Gerrard of the Columbia Law School.  Then our friend Amy Harder of Axios will moderate a panel which includes Statoil’s Megan Kesier and others.

FERC Nominees to Get Energy Vote – Following last week’s delay, the Senate Energy Committee meets tomorrow to vote on Kevin McIntyre to be chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Richard Glick to be a member of the commission.  The committee will then lead into a hearing that will look at the vegetation requirements this week for electricity infrastructure on federal land. Witnesses include USDA’s Glenn Casamassa, BLM’s John Ruhs, Mark Hayden of the Missoula Electric Cooperative, Scott Miller of The Wilderness Society and Arizona Public Service Forestry Manager Andrew Rable.

IEA World Energy Report to be Detailed – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Laszlo Varro, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA), tomorrow to discuss the IEA’s World Energy Investment 2017. Energy investment in 2016 totaled 1.7 trillion dollars, around 2.2 percent of the global economy. The report covers critical details about energy investment across various energy sectors, sources, and regions. It also includes a special focus on a wide array of topics, including how digitization is impacting investment and employment, global investment in innovation, and the impact of emerging business models. The report assesses the importance of energy policy driving investment into energy efficiency and into facilities that ensure adequate levels of energy security.

WCEE Event to Feature Marriott Leader – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment’s Women in Leadership (WIL) Committee will hold a reception tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. At the Brattle Group featuring Dominica Groom, Senior Director, Global Sustainability and Supplier Diversity at Marriott International, the world’s largest global lodging company.  Dominica provides global leadership through strategic direction, planning and execution for these important operational platforms. In 2016, she was recognized as one of the top “Leading Women”, under the age of 40, in the state of Maryland for her tremendous professional accomplishments, community involvement and commitment to inspiring change. Additionally, she was also recognized as a “Top Influential Leader in Diversity” by the National Association for Minority Companies for her unwavering commitment to diversity & inclusion. Domenica will share her insights on her path to leadership, and some of the “lessons learned” for women in the sustainability and supplier diversity sector.

Senate Environment to Consider Wehrum, Other Noms – The Senate Environment Committee hold a hearing on nominations Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. Nominees under consideration Michael Dourson to be assistant EPA administrator for the chemical office; Matthew Leopold to be General Counsel; David Ross to be assistant EPA administrator for water; William Wehrum to be assistant EPA administrator for air; and Jeffery Baran to be a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Forum to Look at Shale, Energy Security – On Wednesday at 4:00 p.m., the Institute of World Politics will host a lecture on the topic of “Energy Security: New Market Realities” with Sara Vakhshouri of SVB Energy International.  The rise of North America’s shale oil and gas production has changed the market dynamics, energy trade flow, and the elements of energy security.  In this talk, Vakhshouri will cover the changes in market fundamentals, energy trade flows, energy prices and policies, and their broader impact upon global and regional energy security. We will also touch upon the current political risks treating the oil and gas supply from countries such as Qatar, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Napolitano to Discuss NAFTA, US-Mexico Relations – On Thursday at 10:00 a.m. , University of California President Janet Napolitano and Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Government at Tecnológico de Monterrey Alejandro Poiré will speak at a forum that will address the current state and prospective future of U.S.-Mexico trade relations in light of the current policy and political climate. Other speakers will include Sen. Mark Warner, California Senate President Kevin de León, Mexican Ambassador Gerónimo Gutiérrez and former Custom/Border Patrol Commissioner David Aguilar.

WAPA to Feature Ford Product at September Event – The Washington Automotive Press Assn and the staff of Ford’s Washington, D.C. offices will hold a networking event that highlights Ford’s best-selling vehicle on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.at Ford’s offices are located at 801 Pennsylvania Avenue in Suite 400.

ITC Solar Trade Petition Injury Determination – FRIDAY

Statoil to Focus on Climate Roadmap – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, Senior Vice President for Sustainability at Statoil, to present Statoil’s Climate Roadmap. The roadmap explains how Statoil will develop its business in support of the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement. Statoil believes the needed energy transition to a low-carbon society represents business opportunities, and Sverdrup will discuss how the company is reducing emissions, growing in renewables, and developing the portfolio and strategy to ensure a competitive advantage in a low-carbon world.

IN THE FUTURE

NATIONAL CLEAN ENERGY WEEKSeptember 25-29th.  Hosted by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, the American Council on Renewable Energy, Advanced Energy Economy, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, the Biomass Power Association, Clean Energy Business Network, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the National Hydropower Association, and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Sects. Perry and Zinke will launch event on Tuesday, September 26th at the Reserve Officers Association on Capitol Hill in a discussion moderated by former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

Wharton DC Hosts Innovation Summit – The Wharton DC Innovation Summit will be held on Monday September 25th at the Marriott Bethesda North Conference Center.  The Wharton DC Summit has a rich history of getting at key questions for venture capitalists, a seasoned entrepreneurs, an aspiring entrepreneurs or the intellectually-intrigued by innovation.  Interesting panels on transportation, (AVs), drones and many other topics.

AEE Holds Michigan Energy Future Conference – The Advance Energy Economy will hold its 4th Annual Michigan Energy Future Conference on September 25th College for Creative Studies in downtown Detroit.  The global market for mobility solutions is growing rapidly, building on innovation, information technology, and new transportation business models. Focusing on this convergence, the event, sponsored by our friends at DTE Energy, will dive deep into the intersection of energy, telecommunications, and transportation. While other conferences have explored these issues independently, the Michigan Energy Future Conference will be the first comprehensive look at the synergies between sectors, exploring opportunities for the U.S. to benefit as the pace of convergence between these sectors accelerates.

Cato Forum to Look at Flood Insurance Program – The Cato Institute holds a forum next Monday at Noon in 122 Cannon looking at the National Flood Insurance Program, Zoning Regulations, and Hurricanes.  The event will look at lessons for lawmakers working to reauthorize the expiring National Flood Insurance Program (NFIB). A panel of experts will answer questions on hurricanes, floods, and their aftermath, as well as offer suggestions for what Congress should, and should not, do regarding future disaster mitigation efforts.

WCEE Event to Look at MD Offshore Wind – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a lunch forum next Tuesday at Dentons looking at the latest insights into the Maryland PSC’s work on offshore wind and energy efficiency, the political challenges faced and the businesses opportunities created. Marissa Gillett, Senior Advisor to the Public Service Commission’s Chairman, will be the speaker.

ELI to Look at Ocean Energy – Next Tuesday at Noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum on ocean energy technologies (wave, tidal, and current hydrokinetic energy) under development.  Wave and tidal energy developers claim that federal subsidies and tax cuts are insufficient to promote research and development, and some of the most successful ocean energy companies have moved overseas.  A panel of experts will look at key questions to improve development of the hydrokinetic technology sector in the U.S.  Among the panelists, Annie Jones, FERC Energy Projects advisor.

Gas Tech CEO to Address Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host that David Carroll, president of the International Gas Union at its next luncheon on Tuesday, September 26th.  Carroll is the President and CEO of the Gas Technology Institute. He oversees the company’s operations and directs its programs for developing technologies, products, and services for customers in the natural gas and related industries.  Carroll assumed the additional role of President of IGU for a three-year term in 2015.

Forum to Look at Future of Nuclear – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) is hosting a special workshop on Tuesday September 26th looking at the future of nuclear power globally, focusing on technological, security, and geopolitical considerations.  Achieving progress towards decarbonizing and reducing the environmental impact of energy generation is arguably impossible without a significant expansion of nuclear power internationally. However, improving and strengthening the global nuclear governance system and maintaining high international standards in nuclear safety, security, and nonproliferation are essential for nuclear power to become a more integral part of the world’s energy portfolio. Speakers will include Partnership for Global Security President Kenneth Luongo and NEI’s Everett Redmond.

Coal Event to Hear from Alpha CEO – The 40th annual Coal Marketing Days forum will be held on September 26-27 at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh.  The event hosts a variety of coal suppliers and buyers, coal transport companies, and industry-wide analysts who exchange in-depth knowledge on the current state of the global and domestic coal-producing markets and focuses on the current trends and challenges shaping the business. Alpha Natural Resources CEO David Stetson is the keynote.

Ideas Conference Set – The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute holds its 9th annual Washington Ideas conference on September 26-28.  “Washington Ideas” convenes the nation’s leaders in politics, business, health, science, technology, arts, culture and journalism for three days of can’t miss conversation and connections. In the heart of the nation’s capital, we will tackle the most consequential issues facing the country and the world.

Wilson to Hold Energy Forum – The Mexico and Canada Institutes will host the Wilson Center’s 2017 North America Energy Forum on Wednesday September 27th. The Forum is now in its fourth year and will focus on the major challenges and opportunities facing energy producers and consumers in the region, with a strong focus on innovation in the energy sector.  Chamber Energy President Karen Harbert and NOIA head Randy Luthi will be among the speakers.

EMA Sets Annual Forum – The Environmental Markets Association holds its 21st Annual Meeting on September 27-29 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.  The event focuses on trading, legislation and regulation of environmental markets. The agenda includes panel sessions covering Carbon / RGGI, what’s next after the Clean Power Plan, update on current developments and trends in other existing environmental markets such as the SO2 and Nox programs and a general REC Market Overview that provides an update on supply and demand as well as estimates on potential growth as the market faces pricing pressure.

PA Shale Conference Set SHALE INSIGHT 2017 will be held on September 27th and 28th at the Pittsburgh Convention Center.  The event holds the most important discussions on shale development, featuring some of the most prominent industry and government leaders. Influential industry executives and innovative thought leaders will work through two days of technical and public affairs insight sessions, major keynote addresses, and a dynamic exhibit hall featuring all the major shale players.

Smart Mobility Forum Set – The C3 Group hosts the 3rd annual Smart Mobility Forum on Capitol Hill on September 27th at 2:30 p.m. in the Capitol Visitors Center.  The Forum will include presentations by experts on the deployment of autonomous vehicle technology and its impact on automotive, transportation, society and policy followed by an interactive Q&A.  Featured Speakers include C3 Group President and smart mobility expert Doug Newcomb, Autotrader Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs and Dushyant Wadivkar of Bosch Automated Vehicles.
CSIS, Fortune Smart Women Conference to Feature Ernst – On Friday September 29th at 9:00 a.m., the Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative holds a conversation with Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA).  The topics will include North Korea, Syria, Afghanistan, and other global hotspots with Senator Ernst, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. She is the first female combat veteran elected to the U.S. Senate.  The event is – as always – moderated by Nina Easton of Fortune.

Geothermal Conference Set for Utah – The Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) is holding GEOEXPO+ on October 1-4th at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, UT.  The meeting will be held in conjunction with the GRC Annual Meeting.

CCS Forum to Look at Norway Success Story – The Global CCS Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday, October 3rd at 9:00 p.m. in National Press Club’s Zenger Room on the Innovation and low-carbon policies that are driving the development of clean energy technologies around the world.  The discussion will explore how Norway has fostered the development of its carbon capture infrastructure, as well as the emerging business case for carbon capture in the U.S. and globally.  Featured speakers Gassnova CEO Trude Sundset, Rich Powell of ClearPath Foundation, Thina Saltvedt of Nordea Bank Norge and Statoil VP of New Energy Solutions Steinar Eikaas, who operates the world’s most successful carbon capture project in the North Sea.

SEJ Set for Pittsburgh – Speaking of Pittsburgh, SEJ’s 27th annual conference is set for October 4-8 in Steel City.

Vets in Energy Forum Set – Veterans In Energy will hold a forum on October 5th through 7th at NRECA in Arlington. VIE provide transition, retention and professional development support to the growing population of military veterans who have chosen energy careers.  Speakers will include Chris Hale of GI Jobs and Gen. John Allen, former Dep Commander of US Central Command.

CSIS to Look at Electricfication – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday October 5th at 9:30 a.m. looking at the future of electrification with Arshad Mansoor, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).  Mansoor will provide an overview of the recent EPRI report, The Integrated Energy Network: Connecting Customers with Reliable, Affordable and Cleaner Energy, which calls for a more interconnected and integrated energy system through greater electrification. Frank O’Sullivan, Director of Research and Analysis at the MIT Energy Initiative, and Ken Colburn, Principal and U.S. Program Director at the Regulatory Assistance Project, will follow with views on the opportunities and benefits, as well as obstacles and potential drawbacks of a path to a more electrified economy.  This event is part of CSIS’s ongoing work on Electricity in Transition, which surveys the current landscape of the U.S. and global electricity sector.

ACORE Finance Forum Set – The American Council on Renewable Energy will hold forum on the state of the renewable energy public policy, financial markets and corporate renewables strategy when they hold ACORE Finance West on October 12th at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco.  This annual conference convenes senior investors, industry executives, and other top transactional professionals to address market trends in the context of renewable investment opportunities in the Western U.S.

Bloomberg Hosts Sustainability Forum – Bloomberg holds its 3rd annual Sustainable Business Summit on October 12-13th in its New York offices to discuss how companies are yielding positive returns for investors, creating sustainably valuable products and processes, and developing innovative sustainable business models.  Uniquely positioned at the intersection of sustainable business and sustainable investing, the summit will explore the challenges and even greater opportunities emerging across industries.

WAPA to Host Road Rally – The Washington Automotive Press Association holds its 2017 WAPA Rally on October 12th.  This year’s event will be a drive event on the roads just beyond the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the scenic Eastern Shore of Maryland. The event provides the opportunity to drive or ride in the latest and greatest cars, trucks and SUVs provided by WAPA’s automotive partners.

Renewable Tour Set for October Shenandoah Fall – JMU’s Center for Wind Energy joins the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and hundreds of solar-savvy installers and grassroots organizations throughout America to showcase thousands of solar-powered homes, schools and businesses in Virginia and across North America — for the 22nd Annual National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event. The ASES National Solar Tour shows families and businesses real-life examples of how their neighbors are harnessing free energy from the sun to generate electricity, warm and cool their homes, heat water and slash monthly utility bills.

Green Bonds Conference Set for NYC – Environmental Finance will host Green Bonds 2017 at 10 on the Park in New York City on October 23rd.  According to the Green Bonds Database, the American green bonds market has continued its rapid growth with over 17$ billion issued in the last twelve months.

At the conference this year we will look at the drivers behind this boom and how to ensure sustainable growth as the market matures.

Energy Update: Week of May 1

Friends,

Can you believe it is May 1st already!  Less than four weeks to the unofficial beginning of summer.  Although it kind of felt like summer this weekend, which worked out great for climate marchers on Saturday and my weekend sports activities.

There was a lot of sports and policy action this weekend in addition to the march.  We have a longer-term budget deal to get us to the end of the Fiscal year (October 1).  The Caps are struggling against the defending Cup champs Pittsburgh and, despite last night’s home loss, Edmonton with their young stars, looks great.   And in the Nats game yesterday, Anthony Rendon had a box score line for the ages, going 6-for-6 with 3 homers and 10 RBIs as the Nationals hammered the Mets 23-5.

All morning/afternoon we were in Delaware watching Olivia play field hockey, sprinkled in between watching Hannah’s NEWMAC lax playoff victory online.  But the big event was Saturday evening when I returned to attend the WH Correspondents Dinner thanks to my friends at the Dallas Morning News who were kind to invite me.  It was a fun evening despite the President not being there.  Hasan Minhaj was a little biting at times, but very funny overall.  It was good to see many of you there, including a bunch of my GWU SMPA students who were able to attend because of former CNN personality and current SMPA head Frank Sesno.  As usual, it was very crowded, so I’m sorry for those of who were there that I missed.

This week, the Senate tackles the budget deal.  There is still a lot of discussion in the White House regarding the Paris Climate Agreement and today a new analysis from former State legal advisor Susan Biniaz says the provisions of the Paris framework preserve national discretion over both a Party’s international target and its domestic policymaking. (I can send PDF if interested)  In the House, hearings Wednesday is the busy day with House Energy dealing with legislation including some good hydro legislation by Rep. Hudson making long-sought reforms to permitting of small conduit hydro projects.  House Transpo Tackles marine reforms and House Science looks at oil & gas technology innovation.  There has also be rumor floating around that we may see RFS RVOs this week, but that remains to be seen.

Finally, Friday is Cinco de Mayo, always a fun celebration commemorating the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.  Then, on Saturday late afternoon, we return for the “most exciting two minutes in sports’ in the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby.  As many of you know, I may have some interest in the track and I am providing the Kentucky Derby Preview below.  Call me if you need to place any bets.  I might know a guy…

Remember, don’t mix the cerveza and Mint Juleps.  After Friday and Saturday, we’ll need Sunday to recover. Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

KENTUCKY DERBY PREVIEW

This year, the 143rd Kentucky Derby should be wide open.  A number of big players have suffered injuries that have taken them off the track, including highly-touted Syndergaard, Klimt and Not This Time.  So expect big odds and the potential for a big payout.  Also this year, Bob Baffert will have no horses in the race for only second time since 2005, and it is likely that the winner will not be a California horse – which took the last four run for the roses.

So here we go:

I like McCraken.  He has been the steadiest of the favorites and seems healthy and strong.  He was second in Derby qualifying points and is well-rested with only two races in this year.  His home track is Churchill and he has won three races there.

Classic Empire is the clear favorite at 4-1, but he has been erratic and tends to struggle in a big pack that may do something crazy. He has an impressive resume as last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and champion 2-year-old.  He has missed a few weeks of training and has had minor injuries, but his willingness to train has been a red flag.

Hold off on points leader Girvin.  The Louisiana Derby winner has been struggling lately and may be not be fully-recovered from an earlier injury. Hence was an impressive winner of the important Grade III Sunland Derby on March 26th and is trained by Steve Asmussen.

Irap won the stacked Bluegrass Stakes on April 8th at 33-1 and is a stalker with good finishing speed.  Wood Memorial winner Irish War Cry is a New Jersey-bred horse won his first three races, including the Holy Bull Stakes Feb 4 at Gulfstream Park, leading from gate to wire in defeating Gunnevera and Classic Empire.

Tapwrit is good sleeper.  He’s a son of Tapit and he’s trained by legendary Todd Pletcher.  Another Pletcher sleeper with solid top 3 potential is Always Dreaming, who won the Florida Derby and likes to run from the front.   He should be perfect for your box bets.

Finally, Gunnevera should be on your radar.  He was second in the Florida Derby (from an outside post spot), won the Saratoga special in August last year, has a great jockey and is the son of Dialled In, who was a leading sire last year.  If you are looking at foreign horses, UAE Derby winner Thunder Snow is coming to Churchill and is in pretty good form. Sonneteer is the only maiden in the race which hasn’t seen a maiden win since Brokers Tip in 1933.

The Derby field will likely change some until Wednesday, when the post draw occurs. Here is the Full Field.  Post time: 6:34 Saturday.  This year, Harry Connick Jr sings the National Anthem and leads “My Old Kentucky Home.

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“The Paris Agreement has no bearing on whether domestic law allows the President to scrap the Clean Power Plan. Under the Charming Betsy doctrine, courts are supposed to interpret domestic law, wherever possible, to be consistent with international law. But since neither downward revision of the U.S. NDC nor withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan would violate international law, the Charming Betsy doctrine would be inapplicable.

Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Issue Brief written by former U.S. State Department Deputy Legal Adviser Susan Biniaz and Arizona State University Law Professor Daniel Bodansky.

 

IN THE NEWS

Bracewell Podcast Addresses Tax Issues, NAFTA – With the new Trump tax proposals being rolled out last week and discussions regarding NAFTA continuing to swirl, my colleagues Curt Beaulieu and Josh Zive have recorded a short podcast discussing key questions/issues surrounding the tax proposal and the NAFTA rumors.   Beaulieu is a former Senate Finance tax counsel for Chairman Hatch and Zive is one of Washington DC’s foremost trade law experts.  The podcast is new Bracewell feature and will occur weekly as well as on special issues.  They are on the record…Please feel free to call if you have additional questions.

CPP Case Delayed – The Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has halted the Clean Power Plan case for 60 days while EPA works through the process of repealing the CPP.  My Bracewell colleague Jeff Holmstead, a former EPA Air Administrator said: “This is obviously important but not terribly surprising. I don’t think the DC Circuit has ever gone ahead and decided on the legality of a rule when a new administration says it plans to rescind or revise it. The only question now is whether the case will be held in abeyance or remanded back to EPA.  If the Court had upheld the rule, it wouldn’t have prevented the new Administration from revoking it, but it might have made this effort harder.  At the very least, today’s ruling means that it will not take as long for the Administration to undo the Clean Power Plan.

Memo from Legal Scholars Detail Paris Issues – Both my colleague Scott Segal and former NRC commissioner Jeff Merrifield have detailed issues surrounding the Paris commitment and its relationship to domestic policies like the Clean Power Plan.  Then, late yesterday, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions released an analysis from former State Department legal advisor Susan Biniaz and Arizona State law prof Dan Bodansky that explains in detail why the US can stay in Paris without restriction to the domestic agenda.  First the memo argues that while downward adjustments to a country’s NDC are likely to “draw criticism, it is a legally available option.”  It also argues that the Paris Agreement would likely be held non-self-executing, which means it has no domestic force of law, and therefore imposes no domestic legal obligations.  Even if the Paris Agreement were found by a court to be self-executing, the agreement does not require that a party achieve its NDC, or put in place any particular implementing measures.  I have a PDF and can send if you need it.

Trump Changes Offshore Drilling Plans – On Friday, President Trump signed an order asking the Interior Department to open the Arctic waters for offshore oil and gas drilling and review the five-year offshore leasing plan the Obama administration passed in its final days.  The order also tells Interior to review areas along the Pacific and Atlantic outer continental shelves that the previous administration put off limits for oil and gas development.  The Chamber Energy Institute’s Karen Harbert said the Trump administration’s actions today “will lead to greater development of our energy resources, which is good for our economy and for our security.”  The Chamber release can be found here on EI’s website.  My colleague Jason Hutt (202-828-5850) is also a good resource on this topic should you have additional questions on the legal issues.

Bernhardt Nominated to Interior Deputy – Speaking of Interior, President Trump nominated lobbyist and former George W. Bush administration official David Bernhardt to be deputy secretary of the Interior. Bernhardt worked as solicitor, Interior’s third-highest position, for the full eight years under Bush.

Hergott Added to CEQ as Infrastructure Lead – Alex Herrgott, another long-time aide to Sen. Jim Inhofe will move over to the White House Council on Environmental Quality to be the associate director for infrastructure.   Herrgott served as deputy staff director for the Senate Environment Committee.

DOE Approves LNG Terminal – The Department of Energy has signed an order authorizing Golden Pass Products LLC (Golden Pass) to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States.  Golden Pass is authorized to export LNG up to the equivalent of 2.21 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas to any non-FTA country not prohibited by U.S. law or policy from the Golden Pass Terminal near Sabine Pass, in Jefferson County, Texas.  With the dramatic increase in domestic natural gas production, the United States is transitioning to become a net exporter of natural gas.  The Department of Energy has authorized a total of 19.2 Bcf/d of natural gas exports to non-FTA countries from planned facilities in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and Maryland. Golden Pass estimates the construction of its facility will provide 45,000 direct and indirect jobs over five years, and the project will provide 3,800 direct and indirect permanent jobs over the next 25 years of operational activity. Golden Pass also estimates the cumulative impact of construction and 25 years of operation will provide up to $2.4 billion in federal tax revenues and $1.2 billion in state tax revenues.

Goldston Heads to MIT DC office – The NRDC’s director of government David Goldston will head the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Washington office.  Goldston also was the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Science and Policy Project head, as well as working for the House Science Committee under Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY).

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Water Power Conference Set for May – Waterpower week in Washington will be today through Wednesday, providing three great conferences into one when IMREC, METS and NHA’s Annual Conference are held at the Capital Hilton.  The event will discuss policy changes in the hydro and marine industry in an all-in-one event. The event highlights perspectives on the role of hydro, explores issues affecting hydro and marine resources, and helps participants develop a future game plan to meet challenges and ensure the future sustainability of the hydro and marine industry.

FERC to Host Power Conference – FERC will host a two-day conference today and tomorrow look at eastern power markets and challenges those are posing.  Our friend Christi Tezak, of ClearView Energy Partners told POLITICO she expects “two days of weeping, moaning and the gnashing of teeth from all sides.” The play by play is on the webcast here.

JHU Hosts Canadian Energy Forum –The Johns Hopkins SAIS will host the first annual Johns Hopkins SAIS Canadian Energy Conference today sponsored by the Canadian Gas Association.

Forum to Look at Energy in Ghana – The U.S. Energy Association will hold a forum tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. in the USEA Executive Conference Room on the current status and future plans for the energy sector in Ghana. The speakers will be Benjamin Kwame Ahunu, Principal Engineer of GridCo and ICF’s Bernard Modey.

Resources to Look at Antiquities Act, Land Issues – The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow on the Antiquities Act that will feature Maine Gov. Paul LePage.  Just last week, President Trump ordered the Interior Department to review the status of dozens of national monuments created by his White House predecessors, including controversial designations at Bears Ears in Utah and Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine.  In addition to LePage, Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office Director Kathleen Clarke, Elliotsville Plantation President Lucas St. Clair and Murphy Timber Investments Vice President of Resources Knox Marshall.

Nuclear Report Released Tomorrow – Tomorrow at Noon, the Nuclear Energy Institute and Partnership for Global Security will host a forum on nuclear for the next generation at the National Press Club.  The groups will release the release GNI’s final report, Nuclear for the Next Generation and will feature NEI CEO Maria Korsnick, as well as GNI Working Group members Kenneth Luongo and Richard Rosenzweig.

WRI to Look at Environmental Policy Challenges – The World Resources Institute hosts a tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. to discuss Earth Day and American environmental policy, and how we can replicate transformational change to curb global warming and environmental degradation.  It will also look at Paris and other EPA policy actions.  Speakers include Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development Robert Repetto, who will examine past tipping points in environmental policy. He will outline the political, institutional and legal factors that contribute to unprecedented policy breakthroughs.  Neelam Singh, a Senior Associate from WRI’s Climate Program, will join Repetto on the panel to share her work on transformational change in the context of climate change mitigation and sustainable development policies. Together, they will discuss the application of this approach to understanding tipping points and identifying opportunities for protecting the global commons.

Senate Energy to Look at PILTs, EMPs – The Senate Energy Committee will hold two hearings this week. The first hearing tomorrow will focus on the Secure Rural Schools program and the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program. The second on Thursday will examine the threat to energy infrastructure from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and policy options to improve system restoration. More information on the hearings can be found at the links below or by visiting the committee’s website.

Murkowski, Cantwell Headline New CSIS Energy Speaker Series – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a new speaker series, Energy in America on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.  The launch of this series feature Senate Energy Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski and Committee ranking member Maria Cantwell. As Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senators Murkowski and Cantwell are uniquely positioned to provide a view from their states and of U.S. energy policy.  This series will feature congressional and state-level perspectives on the energy issues that matter most in various regions across the country. Additionally, Energy in America will highlight the social and economic impacts of energy and the challenges facing policymakers as they attempt to harness U.S. energy resources to create and foster economic opportunities.

House Energy to Tackle Energy Legislative Effort – The House Energy and Commerce Energy panel will hold a legislative hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn. The hearing will focus on four bills and six legislative drafts, including one that takes the State Department out of oversight decisions regarding pipelines or electric transmission lines seeking to cross into Canada or Mexico.

House Transpo to Look at Marine Reg Programs – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to question witnesses on dozens of topics, including shipping, offshore liability, dockside safety exams and towing vessel inspections. Witnesses will include Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, acting chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission Michael Khouri, Todd Schauer of the American Salvage Association, former president of the National Response Corp Steven Candito, the Rapid Ocean Response Corp CEO Nicholas Nedeau, Norman “Buddy” Custard of the Alaska Maritime Prevention and Response Network, Thomas Allegretti, American Waterways Operators, Peter Ford of Ports America and World Shipping Council president John Butler.

House Science to Look at Oil, Gas Tech – The House Science Committee will examine the Department of Energy’s role in fostering innovation in the oil and gas sector in a Wednesday hearing at 10:00 a.m.   The hearing will focus on technology development led by private industry and consider the “appropriate” role for DOE in partnering with oil and gas companies on applied research.  Witnesses will include Edward Johnston of the Gas Technology Institute, Astro Tech founder David Brower, Walker Dimmig of 8 Rivers Capital and Ramanan Krishnamoorti, interim vice president and interim vice chancellor for research and technology transfer at the University of Houston.

House Resources Looks at Hydro – The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to discuss the challenges facing the hydropower industry. Witnesses will include Voith Hydro CEO Bob Gallo, Randy Howard of the Northern California Power Agency, National Hydropower Association president Herbie Johnson and David Montagne of the Sabine River Authority of Texas.

CMU Hosts Energy, Transportation Briefing – On Wednesday at 11:00 a.m., Carnegie Mellon University will host a policy briefing on several studies that provide guidance to policymakers for decisions they make related to energy and transportation in the Cannon House Office Building.

Forum to Look at Energy Partnerships – The United States Energy Association (USEA) will hold a forum on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss energy partnerships to improve global security.  USEA implements the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Energy Partnership Program (EPP), which brings U.S. and non-U.S. utilities and energy companies together to promote energy security, improve access to renewable energy and increase financial viability of utilities and energy related institutions.  USAID takes a holistic approach to supporting the development of energy sectors in emerging markets, by creating a more secure regulatory and financial investment environment to attract private capital for long-term economic development.  Investors seek stable legal and regulatory environments, competitive markets, credit-worthy utilities, fair and transparent procurement processes and reliable financial institutions that can invest and lend in these emerging markets.

Nebraska Keystone Hearings Launch – On Wednesday, the State of Nebraska will hold a 10-hour, short speech open mic public meeting focused on the Keystone Pipeline.

House Approps Panel Hears from Public on Budget – The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies will convene a public witness hearing on Wednesday to look at issues related to the energy budget.

SEJ Member Palmer to Launch Book at Wilson Event – Wednesday at the Wilson Center, our SEJ friend Lisa Palmer will launch of her new book, Hot, Hungry Planet, where she shares what she has learned from her research and reporting. She focuses on three key concepts that support food security and resilience in a changing world: social, educational, and agricultural advances; land use and technical actions by farmers; and policy nudges that have the greatest potential for reducing adverse environmental impacts of agriculture while providing more food.  Palmer will be joined by experts on global food security for a panel discussion and will take questions from the audience.

USEA Annual Meeting Set – US Energy Assn hosts its annual meeting on Thursday from 11:00 am to 5:30 p.m. in the National Press Club Ballroom. This meeting will bring together USEA members and distinguished guests to discuss energy policy developments, share industry updates and celebrate the achievements of the 2017 U.S. Energy Award and Volunteer Award recipients.

Panel to Look at Brazil Oil/Gas Issues – On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the Inter-American Dialogue hosts a panel on Brazil and its oil and gas reserves.  Despite resources, the energy sector has been plagued in recent years by low oil prices, stagnant production and mounting debts at state company Petrobras. The Temer government has sought to boost oil production by eliminating barriers to private investment and introducing reforms at Petrobras, but with presidential elections on the horizon, the political scenario is uncertain. The forum will look at what the outlook is for Brazil’s oil and gas sector and how recent reforms affect upstream bid rounds planned for this year.  Speakers include Jorge Camargo, President of Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute (IBP) and Jed Bailey of the Energy Narrative.

 

IN THE FUTURE

DC Green Biz Council to Honor Women Leaders – Next Monday, US Green Business Council National Capital Region will host a breakfast for the 2nd annual Women in Green. Panelists will discuss what it means to be a woman working to advance green building in the DC metro area and celebrate women in local sustainability. The panel discussion and facilitated sessions will focus on the complexities of women’s leadership and proven leadership principles practiced by female executives who are changing the way we think and build in the national capital region.

CSIS to Host EU Climate/Energy Head – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, on Thursday May 11th at 11:00 a.m. for a discussion on the main opportunities and challenges for energy and climate change policy facing Europe in the coming decade.  The European Union (EU) remains one of the largest producers and consumers of energy in the world and thus a central voice in the global discourse on climate change. Climate action continues to be a fundamental piece of the EU’s policy agenda, which over the last few years has consistently championed ambitious greenhouse gas emissions targets via renewables, energy efficiency, and sustainable development.

WAPA to Host Jeep Presentation – On May 16th, at Osteria Morini (near Nationials Park),  the Washington Automotive Press Association will host Jeep® for the introduction of its latest and highly anticipated compact-SUV:  the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass. Compass expands the Jeep brand’s global vehicle lineup as it will be built in four countries for consumers around the world. As the most capable compact-SUV ever, the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass features legendary Jeep 4×4 capability, a sophisticated design that evokes the premium side of the Jeep family, outstanding on-road dynamics, fuel-efficient powertrains, and a host of advanced safety and technology features.

Faison, Murkowski Featured in ACCF Forum – The American Council on Council Formation will hold a forum on May 17th at the Newseum on energy policy in the 115th Congress.  Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski, ClearPath’s Jay Faison and Alaska coop exec Meera Kohler will discuss energy strategies aimed at innovation and production, rather than regulation.  The panel will be moderated by POLITICO Deputy Energy Editor Nick Juliano.

WINDPOWER Set for Anaheim – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the national trade association that represents the interests of America’s wind energy industry, will hold its annual WINDPOWER 2017 Forum in Anaheim on May 22nd to 25th.   Cali Senate President Kevin de León, the California Senate’s most powerful member and legislative champion of the state’s hallmark 50% renewable energy standard law passed in 2015, will provide a keynote address at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, directly preceding AWEA’s Industry Leaders Panel – the marquee General Session panel at WINDPOWER. The discussion will feature Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy and incoming Board Chair of AWEA; Pete McCabe, Vice President, Onshore Wind, GE Renewable Energy; Karen Lane, CFO, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Onshore Americas; and Greg Wolf, CEO of Leeward Renewable Energy. This year’s panel will cover implementation of wind energy into the 2020s, opportunities in tax reform, emerging political issues, and more.

Security Experts to Address Methanol Policy Forum – The Methanol Institute will hold its Methanol Policy Forum on June 13th at the National Press Club.  The Forum will include a special luncheon discussion:  Energy Security through Fuel Choice, which features a conversation with the U.S. Energy Security Council experts like former National Security Advisor Robert C. McFarlane, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former President of Shell Oil Company John Hofmeister, former White House Counsel and Ambassador to the EU C. Boyden Gray and former Louisiana Senator and Senate Energy Bennett Johnston.  Our friend Joe Cannon and other will speak on panels as well.

Congressional Renewable Expo Set – The 20th annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum will be held on Tuesday, July 11th from at 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In Rayburn.

Energy Update: Week of March 27

Friends,

Now that was a great weekend of basketball and hockey. Closed by the unbelievable (and clutch) ending to the North Carolina-Kentucky game, we are left with the hoops Final Four set for Phoenix next weekend with South Carolina, North Carolina, Oregon, and Gonzaga. Not to be outdone, we had an unbelievable NCAA hockey weekend to get us the Frozen Four with Harvard, Notre Dame, Minnesota-Duluth, and Denver heading to Chicago. Half of the women’s hoop bracket is complete with two big upsets: Mississippi St upended Baylor, and Stanford toppled Notre Dame. Undefeated top seed UConn takes on Oregon (who upset University of Maryland) and #1 seed South Carolina takes on Florida State tonight.

Well is this really the week?  It seems that we may finally get the White House’s climate executive order. Now, we have heard this before, but it seems more likely since EPA head Scott Pruitt said it would be released tomorrow on This Week with George Stephanopoulos yesterday. So, please call if you have questions as Jeff and Scott will be happy to discuss. I already have a statement which I will be sharing with you individually.  The Chamber, rural coops and others will also be available.  We are also hearing that FERC nominees may be moving up in line at the White House, with the expected nominees (Powelson, Chatterjee, and McIntyre) perhaps being rolled out in the very near future. And our friends at Bloomberg hear Scott Angelle, the Louisiana Public Service Commission member and the state’s former interim lieutenant governor, is being vetted to lead the Interior Department’s agency in charge of offshore oil and gas development — the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

On the Hill, tomorrow, a House Energy panel takes up self-driving car technology while Senate Energy takes up foreign minerals and the energy supply chain. Wednesday will feature the closest thing you find in the Science community to an MMA fight: House Science will hear from scientists Michael Mann, Judy Curry, Roger Pielke Jr and John Christy about climate change. Also, Wednesday, House Energy looks at energy tax issues.

Off the Hill, there are two great events today when WCEE hosts its annual look at the BCSE-Bloomberg NEF Sustainable Energy Factbook at Noon; and at 1:30 p.m., the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution and the Energy Policy Institute at University of Chicago (EPIC) will co-host a forum to explore the best approaches to address energy issues in the new Congress featuring our friend Jim Connaughton, Cass Sunstein, Brad Plumer and others. Tomorrow, the NatGas Roundtable hosts their monthly lunch featuring DOE Fossil Office official Robert Smith.  Also early in the week, the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ holds its 2017 Spring Meeting in Tucson, Arizona featuring Jeff Holmstead.  Finally Friday, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt delivers remarks to the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

One side note/issue to keep on your radar: Today, security expert and former USS Cole Commander Kirk Lippold urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to urge the Japanese government to keep Toshiba from declaring bankruptcy or risk the intellectual property of nuclear power giant Westinghouse going to China.  Something to watch…I can send the letter if you are interested in checking it out.

Congrats to our great friend Rosemarie Calabro-Tully, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s longtime Democratic spokeswoman, who is leaving to be the National Biodiesel Board’s director of public affairs and federal communications.  They’ll need her help as they try to impose tariffs on Argentina and Indonesia.

Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“There are 18-months to focus on keeping a national program that promotes medium- and longer term stringency while updating the system to integrate new technology and business models that offer the promise of a stronger economy, more jobs, and an improved environment. The parties will realize that a deal can get done when they sit down and work together to balance the short and long term needs of the companies, the states, and the country.”

Robbie Diamond, CEO of SAFE discussing questions about California fuel economy waivers

 

COOL QUOTIENT

The Chamber’s Energy Institute can tell you have much you electricity prices are and how they rank.  Here is the chart that details how your rates compare to consumers in neighboring states

 

IN THE NEWS

Keystone Approved – Trump administration approved the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, recommending the pipeline is in U.S. interests, clearing the way for the White House to grant a presidential permit to TransCanada to build the $8 billion pipeline.  The pipeline is permitted in Montana and South Dakota and now needs to be permitted in Nebraska.

Chamber Weighs in – U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said after many years of unfortunate delays and partisan posturing, Keystone XL pipeline finally got the green light it has long deserved.  “We applaud President Trump’s decision to approve the project and prove to the world that America is capable of tackling the major infrastructure improvements necessary for a modern economy. This pipeline, and countless other projects around the nation, will improve America’s energy security, create jobs, and help get the economy back on track.  The Obama administration’s action to delay and deny Keystone had a negative impact far beyond just this pipeline. It sent a message outside our borders that the United States was no longer open to investment, and that the long-established process for reviewing these kinds of projects could be thrown out the window when it is politically convenient. Today’s action should send a clear message to investors, and important strategic partners like Canada, that things have changed in Washington. This decision is another step toward regaining that confidence, re-establishing the rule of law, and rebuilding trust that America will act in the best interests of consumers and our allies.”

Chamber Electricity Map Shows Shale Impacts – Speaking of the Chamber, they also released their updated electricity price map. The overall good news is that the national average electricity price is trending down. This is in large part due to the shale revolution that has made the U.S. an energy super power. The national average of 10.28 cents per KW.  Higher rates can place states and their businesses at a competitive disadvantage, especially against the states that enjoy lower electricity prices.  If this Administration enhances access to shale and the many other abundant sources of energy found in the U.S., the next few years have the potential to continue 2016’s trend toward lower retail electricity prices for consumers.

Fuel Econ Issues Bouncing Around – Late last week, 10 states and D.C. sent a letter to Scott Pruitt asking EPA to maintain GHG vehicle standards pushed by the Obama EPA in January.  The letter also urges Pruitt to respect California’s Clean Air Act waiver because he has often spoken of the importance of states’ rights.  But while California does have a case on some pollutants from autos, they really don’t have special circumstances related to GHGs. I have the pdf if you need it.

Auto Alliance Sets a Marker as Well – At the same time, the Auto Alliance sent the White House a letter Thursday asking the administration to begin the process of reconsidering its midterm review of fuel emissions standards “as soon as possible.” It said a coordinated national program, including California, is “critical to smart, coherent regulation.” Mitch Bainwol, the automaker group’s president, added “there will be an appropriate opportunity to inform the final determination with updated relevant data that more closely approximates a ‘mid-term’ in the truest sense of the word” after Trump’s action last week.   I can send a pdf of the letter if you need it.

SAFE Weighs In – Securing America’s Future Energy head Robbie Diamond called for affected parties to meet soon to discuss next steps for the midterm review. “Now that the midterm review has been put back on the original timeline, the clock is ticking for a positive outcome so it is time for the stakeholders meet without delay. There are 18-months to focus on keeping a national program that promotes medium- and longer term stringency while updating the system to integrate new technology and business models that offer the promise of a stronger economy, more jobs, and an improved environment. The parties will realize that a deal can get done when they sit down and work together to balance the short and long term needs of the companies, the states, and the country.”  SAFE’s proposal that reconciles all interests is here: http://secureenergy.org/reforming-and-strengthening-fuel-economy-standards-2/

CA Nuke Plants Closure Hurts Environmental Justice Cause – A new report by Environmental Hope and Justice Founder Norris McDonald and Environmental Progress closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and the planned closure of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant represent an environmental injustice because these actions will increase air pollution in vulnerable communities and nonattainment areas. McDonalds says Environmental justice groups and other environmental groups throughout California and the nation should support the continued operation of the San Onofre and Diablo Canyon because they represent the largest clean air assets in terms of environmental justice in California. The plants are largely emission free and do not contribute smog forming gases or greenhouse gases in California.

Bailey Letter Raises Reliability, Valuation Concerns – In a letter to PJM CEP Andrew Ott, Paul Bailey of ACCCE wrote an important letter that highlighted three issues 1) avoiding the retirement of a large number of coal-fired electric generating units (EGUs); 2) consider likely changes in Federal environmental policies; and 3) market rules that do not properly value baseload coal-fired generation.  Overall, the letter urges PJM re-evaluate its policies in order to ensure that the reliability attributes of coal-fired generation — during all seasons of the year — are properly valued relative to other less reliable sources of generating capacity.

Evidence of the Need for it: Dominion’s Yorktown – With a month to go before it has to pull the plug on the two coal-burning units at its Yorktown plant, reports in the Newport News Daily Press say Dominion Virginia Power was under orders this week to run them to make sure that its Peninsula high voltage lines weren’t at risk of the kind of failure that could spark widespread blackouts. Those aging units can’t meet tough new federal standards limiting emissions of mercury and toxic acidic gases, and special permission from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to run them if necessary to avoid the risk of blackouts expires April 15.  But this week’s unseasonably cold weather prompted the manager of the electric grid serving 13 mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states, PJM Interconnection, to worry about overloading the high voltage transmission lines feeding power into the Peninsula. PJM ordered Dominion to fire up the units on Sunday and run them through the week, spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson said. They’ll remain ready to operate, or in operation, until EPA’s April 15 deadline, she added.  “PJM makes the decision based on reliability needs as to when we run the units,” Anderson said. “Our role is to ensure that through April 15, the units are maintained so they can operate and that we have sufficient fuel.”

Moniz Named New CEO of NTI – The Nuclear Threat Initiative, a non-profit group that works to prevent attacks and accidents from weapons of mass destruction, has named former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to be CEO.  The announcement was made current CEO and Co-Chairman Sam Nunn and Co-Chairman Ted Turner, both of whom will remain as co-chairmen of the Board alongside Moniz.  Founded in 2001 by Nunn and Turner, NTI works to protect our lives, livelihoods, environment, and quality of life now and for future generations from the growing risk of catastrophic attacks with weapons of mass destruction and disruption (WMDD)—nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical, and cyber.

BSCE Celebrates 25 Years of Advocacy, Market Growth – The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) kicked off a year-long celebration of its 25th anniversary at its annual Clean Energy Forum late last week. The event concluded with a reception on Capitol Hill that featured special remarks by Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski.  The BCSE was founded in 1992 by executives of the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors who had a vision of a diverse, sustainable energy portfolio for America.  Guided by that vision, the Council has spent the past two and a half decades advocating for policies at the state and regional, national and international levels that advance the deployment of commercially-available clean energy technologies, products and services.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

WCEE Event to Discuss Energy Factbook – The WCEE event featuring the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and BNEF Factbook has been rescheduled for today at Noon.  The Speaker panel includes BCSE’s Lisa Jacobson, Calpine’s Yvonne McIntyre, Johnson Control’s Elizabeth Tate and Katherine Gensler of SEIA.

Murkowski to Headline Arctic Forum – Today at 1:00 p.m. the Wilson Center will hold a forum on the North American Arctic and the energy issues surrounding it.  Mike Sfraga of the Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative and John Higginbotham of the Centre for International Governance Innovation’s Arctic Program will discuss the economic development opportunities, infrastructure needs and investment strategies.  Senate Energy Chair Lisa Murkowski will keynote the speech.

Chicago-Hamilton to Look at Energy, New Congress – Today at 1:30 p.m., the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution and the Energy Policy Institute at University of Chicago (EPIC) will co-host a forum to explore the best approaches to address energy challenges in the new Congress. The forum will begin with opening remarks by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin. A fireside chat and three roundtable discussions will follow featuring panelists including: Ted Halstead (Climate Leadership Council), Mindy Lubber (CERES), James L. Connaughton (Nautilus Data Technologies), David Schwietert (Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers), Cass Sunstein (Harvard University), John Deutch (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Trevor Houser (Rhodium Group), Ellen D. Williams (University of Maryland), Steven H. Strongin (Goldman Sachs), Alice Hill (Hoover Institution), and Brad Plumer (Vox).

Pollution Control Agencies Set Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ 2017 Spring Meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona today through Wednesday at the Hilton Tucson East Hotel.  Our friend Jeff Holmstead will be there.

JHU to Host East Africa Energy Forum – Johns Hopkins will host an all-day event tomorrow that will focus on recent political and economic changes in East Africa and its implications on oil and gas development. By bringing together representatives from government, private sector, civil society, media and the international donor community, it seeks to review what progress has been achieved in the last few years and what governance challenges lay ahead.

House Energy Looks at Self–Driving Cars – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection will hold the hearing tomorrow on self-driving cars looking at the levels of automation and new technological developments.  Witnesses will include SAE’s Bill Grouse, Continental’s Jeff Klei, Bosch’s Kay Stepper and IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby.

Senate Energy Look sat Minerals Supply Chain – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing tomorrow to examine the US’s increasing dependence on foreign sources of minerals and opportunities to rebuild and improve the supply chain. With the administration focused on infrastructure, the hearing will examine how to make sure the iron, copper and other minerals needed to build those roads, bridges and rails come from the United States — not overseas.  Witnesses include USGS’s Murray Hitzman, Rio Tinto Aluminum CEO, Ucore Rare Metals VP Randy MacGillivray, National Electrical Manufacturers Association CEO Kevin Cosgriff and Roderick Eggert of the Colorado School of Mines.

House Resources Looks at ESA Consultations – The House Natural Resources Committee’s oversight and investigations subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow on ESA consultation impediments to economic and infrastructure development. American Public Works Association president Ron Calkins, Hecla Mining’s Doug Stiles, Jonathan Wood of the Pacific Legal Foundation and Defenders of Wildlife expert Ya-Wei Li.

House Transpo Panel Looks at Brownfields – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will look at brownfield issues in a hearing tomorrow.  Local officials will testify on the Needs of the program.  Witnesses include   Christian Bollwage, mayor of Elizabeth, N.J.; Matt Zone, councilman, city of Cleveland; John Dailey, commissioner, Leon County, Fla.; Amanda LeFevre, Kentucky Brownfield Redevelopment Program; Jonathan Philips, managing director, Anka Funds LLC; and Deborah Robertson, mayor of Rialto, Calif.

DOE Oil, Gas Office Expert to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable is pleased to announce that Robert J. Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, will be the featured guest speaker at the Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon tomorrow at the University Club.  Smith administers oil and gas programs, including research and development, analysis and natural gas regulation. Most recently, Smith was the Chief of Staff for the Office of Fossil Energy. In this capacity, Smith helped the Assistant Secretary with policy and management issues across the office’s research and development, energy security and regulatory missions.

Senate Energy to Look at Grid Security – The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing tomorrow that will examine the cybersecurity threats to the U.S. electric grid and technology advancements to minimize such threats, and to receive testimony on S. 79, the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act.  Witnesses FERC Office of Electric Reliability Director Michael Bardee, John DiStasio of the Large Public Power Council, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Thomas Zacharia and Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke.

Senate Environment Looks at Water Infrastructure – The Senate Environment Committee panel on water will hold a legislative hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. on legislation to help cities update their water infrastructure. Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer’s “Water Infrastructure Flexibility Act” codifies EPA policies on integrated planning and financial capability in an effort to make compliance easier for cash-strapped jurisdictions.  The U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties and National League of Cities endorsed the legislation in a letter to its backers.

Forum to Look at Canada, US Infrastructure – The Hill and the Competitive Enterprise Institute will hold a forum at the Newseum on Wednesday morning looking at infrastructure modernization. As American leaders turn their attention to infrastructure issues, the forum will discuss what lessons can be drawn from the experiences of Canada.  Key officials from the United States and Canada, infrastructure experts, and industry leaders for a policy briefing on infrastructure reform and finding solutions that will work for all communities.  Speakers include Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Building America’s Future President Marcia Hale and Marc Scribner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Scientists Head to House Committee for Climate Battle – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to challenge consensus climate science. The hearing is set to feature some of the field’s most vocal critics and one of climate science’s most controversial defenders: Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University known for his iconic “hockey stick” analysis of global warming trends, retired Georgia Tech expert Judith Curry, John Christy of Alabama-Huntsville and Roger Pielke, Jr. of Colorado-Boulder.

House Energy Panel to Look at Tax Issues – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. on Federal energy related tax policy and its effects on markets, prices and consumers.  The hearing will focus on how the federal government uses the tax code to provide support for energy development, production, and use of fuels and energy technologies.

Forum to Focus on Oil Market Movers – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host a forum on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. for an in-depth discussion on how investor and corporate flows are impacting oil production, inventory disposition, and investment decisions going forward.  Significant challenges remain – from both a fundamentals and policy perspective. Just as the industry emerged buoyant from its week-long gathering in Houston, concerns over the extension of the OPEC/non-OPEC reductions and large stock builds in the U.S. caused investors to rebalance their positions, driving oil prices to their lowest levels in 3 months. To frame this timely discussion, we are pleased to have Ed Morse, Global Head of Commodities Research at Citigroup, Albert Helmig, CEO of Grey House LLC and former Vice Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange, and Kevin Book, founding partner of ClearView Energy and a Senior Associate at CSIS.

Forum to Look at Defense Energy Needs – Booz Allen Hamilton holds its 2017 Directed Energy Summit which focuses on the potential impact of direct energy issues on the Department of Defense and emerging defense Needs.  The two-day event will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

FERC to Hydropower Conference – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission holds a workshop Thursday at Noon on the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013.

Forum to Look at Report on Developing County Power Sectors – The Atlantic Council will hold a discussion Thursday at Noon on a new report, “Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries.” The discussion will discuss policy directions for advancing China’s power transformation, regional and global aspects of Chinese energy policies, and the implications for the Trump Administration’s approach to China. The event features for a conversation about Robert Ichord’s new report on the critical role of China in post-Paris implementation, the latest in the Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries series. Ichord will be joined by experts Jon Elkind, former DOE assistant secretary for international affairs and Clara Gillispie, senior director of trade, economic and energy affairs for the National Bureau of Asian Research.

Friedman to Discuss Climate at GW Planet Forward Event – On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., NY Times Columnist Tom Friedman will join GWU School of Media and Public Affairs Director Frank Sesno for a conversation on the current state of politics, the news media and climate change under the Trump Administration. The event will include a screening of Friedman’s new National Geographic documentary on climate change and the migrant crisis. His latest book, Thank You for Being Late, will be available for purchase and signing following the event.

GW to Host Risk Forum Report – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m. at the Marvin Center, the GW Environmental Resource Policy Program and the GW Sustainability Collaborative will host Karl Hausker, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Climate Program, World Resources Institute, and leader of the analytic and writing team for the latest study by the Risky Business Project: From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy.  The project is Co-chaired Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson and Thomas Steyer.  They tasked WRI with conducting an assessment of technically and economically feasible pathways that the U.S. could follow to achieve an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.  Hausker will present the results of the study and draw some comparisons to the US Mid Century Strategy report submitted to the UNFCCC.

Senate Energy to Look at Alaska Energy Issues – On Thursday at 2:30 p.m., the full Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing to examine the potential for infrastructure improvements to create jobs and reduce the cost of living through all-of-the-above energy and mineral production in Alaska. Witnesses include Alaska State Geologist Steve Masterman, Sitka Alaska Deputy Mayor Bob Potrzuski, Port of Nome Executive Director Joy Baker, Alaska Oil and Gas Association head Kara Moriarty, Chris Rose of the Renewable Energy for Alaska Project and Della Trumble of the King Cove Native Corporation.

ELI Conference will Focus on Climate – The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and Vanderbilt University Law School are convening a special conference on Friday looking at innovative ideas from the academic literature on climate change law and policy.  The articles and comments discussed at the conference will be published this summer in the Environmental Law & Policy Annual Review (ELPAR), a joint publication of ELI and Vanderbilt University Law School. ELPAR presents and discusses the best ideas on environmental law and policy from the academic literature each year.

Pruitt to Address Federalist Law Group – On Friday at noon, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies hosts EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for remarks at Tony Cheng’s restaurant in Chinatown.

 

IN THE FUTURE

Grid Forum Set for Chicago – The 2nd  Grid Modernization Forum will be held on April 3rd– 5th in Chicago, examines key lessons from top utilities including Eversource, Alliant Energy, Con Edison, National Grid, Ameren and many others. Key technology innovators and executives will come together to share perspectives on how best to leverage AMI investment, engage the customer, and take the smart grid to the next level. Case studies of improved network performance, resiliency, outage restoration, and distributed energy resource (DER) integration will be examined with an eye toward determining best practices and technology advances for today’s energy ecosystem.

Forum to Look at Nuclear Energy – The Global America Business Institute (GABI) will hold the next event of its nuclear energy roundtable series on Tuesday April 4th at Noon. Although the predominant use of nuclear energy worldwide is electricity generation, nuclear can be utilized for a broad range of applications, including but not limited to: district heating, water desalination, hydrogen production, and industrial heat. Given present trends and future uncertainties in global electricity markets, there has been growing interest in exploring non-electricity uses for nuclear. Development of advanced nuclear designs, many pushing the envelope on passive safety and temperature output, may further expand the horizon of possibilities.  The speaker will be Jeff Harper of X-energy.  Harper is Vice President for Strategy and Business Development at X-energy, where he directs long-term business plans specifically focused on customers, partners, and markets.

Press Club to Host AFL-CIO Head – Richard Trumka, Head of the AFL-CIO will speak at a National Press Club Luncheon on Tuesday April 4th at 12:30 p.m. Trumka will assess opportunities around trade and infrastructure that could create jobs, as well as possible threats to workers’ rights. He will also talk about the labor movement’s strategy to create a unifying agenda for workers and their families, as well as collective bargaining right for all workers to achieve better wages and working conditions.  Since 2009, Trumka has served as president of the 12.5 million-member American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the largest organization of labor unions in the country.

BPC Forum to Focus on Innovation – On Wednesday, April 5th at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on the power of innovation.  With smart federal support for research, advanced energy technologies represent another potentially transformative moment for the American economy.  BPC’s American Energy Innovation Council will host leading experts to discuss how to make the most of this opportunity.  The forum will feature a conversation with Norm Augustine, the retired chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, who also served as the Undersecretary of the Army.  Our friend Mark Drajem of Bloomberg will also moderate a panel with NRECA CEO Jim Matheson, former MIT Washington Office Director William Bonvillian, Ames Laboratory Critical Materials Institute Director Alex King and GE Energy Financial Services investment expert Alta Yen.

WCEE to Host Energy Journalists Panel – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a panel of energy journalists from E&E News, S&P Global Platts and Politico on Wednesday April 5th to discuss the trends in the energy sector today and for the next four years. Some of the trends that will be discussed are NAFTA and oil and gas pipelines in North America, FERC enforcement and the changing political outlook for CFTC, the fate of the Clean Power Plan, rollback of regulatory efforts by the Trump Administration in the energy sector, future of renewables, and energy industry and Department of Interior’s public land use management debate.  Speakers will include E&E News Jenny Mandel, Platts’ Jasmin Melvin and Maya Weber and POLITICO’s Esther Whieldon.

GW to Host Timor-Leste Diplomat – Wednesday, April 5th at 12:30 p.m., the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs will host Natercia Coelho, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Timor-Leste, the smallest country in East or Southeast Asia.  Timor-Leste is already subject to numerous extreme weather events every year, including cyclones and typhoons that result in intense flooding. Climate change is exacerbating these issues, with rising sea levels speeding up soil erosion, damaging crops, and leading to food shortages in a country which still ranks 120 out of 169 in the U.N.’s Human Development Index. This talk will cover the Timor-Leste’s Government Plan for Development and its legal framework for addressing climate change.

Calpine CEO to Headline Energy Conference – On Thursday April 6th, the NCAC and George Mason University will host its 21st Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference at GMU’s Founders Hall.  The conference will focus on conflicting forces in the energy space.  Former EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski will moderate the event and keynote speaker will be Calpine CEO Thad Hill.  Other speakers will include our friends Tom Pyle of IER, ClearView’s Christine Tezak, former Bush NSC official Bob McNally, FERC Energy Project s Director Terry Turpin and BNEF expert Steve Munro, among others.

SEIA Forum to Look at Women in Solar – On Thursday, April 6th SEIA’s Women’s Empowerment committee will hold a summit that focuses on educating, connecting, and providing thought leadership in the solar industry. Key industry leaders will cover topics including Women Leading Solar- Executives Spearheading the Industry (led by our friend Abby Hopper), Women Running for Office & Careers in Public Service; Diversity – The Bottom Line ; Making Solar a Story – Energy Journalists Shaping the Industry; Interactive Speed Networking and Regional Policy Update – What’s Happening in Capitol Hill.

GW to Host Planet Forward Summit – The George Washington University will holds its Planet Forward Summit at GW on April 6-7th that will focus on how we can communicate to inform, inspire, and act.  The summit will look at how we tell the story of our planet and how we communicate to inspire action.  Speakers will include SMPA Director Frank Sesno, my friend Andy Revkin and many more.

ECOS to Hold Spring Meeting – The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) will hold their spring meeting at The Mayflower Hotel on April 6th through 8th. ECOS meeting will focus on budget questions and its impact on state environmental agencies and their leaders. ECOS is the national non-profit, non-partisan association of state and territorial environmental agency leaders.

Electric Power Conference Set for Chicago – The 19th annual Electric Power Conference will be held In Chicago on April 10-13th at McCormick Place.  Sponsored by POWER magazine, the event provides a platform for power generation professionals to meet, network, and address the critical issues facing the power industry.

Energy Storage Conference Set for Denver – The 27th Energy Storage Association annual conference and expo will be held on April 18-20 in Denver, Colorado.  Keynote speakers and expert panelists on the program include Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, RES CEO Ivor Catto, former CO Gov Bill Ritter and NextEra Energy exec Michael O’Sullivan.

Bloomberg New Energy Summit Set – The annual Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit will be held on April 24th and 25th in New York. The Future of Energy Summit is the premier invitation-only forum at the nexus of energy markets, industry, finance, and policy. It is a year-round, global experience powered by Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s cutting edge research team, as it explores the shifting forces in the energy system and defines the implications for the energy community.

Water Power Conference Set for May – Waterpower week in Washington will be May 1st through 3rd, providing three great conferences into one when IMREC, METS and NHA’s Annual Conference are held at the Capital Hilton.  The event will discuss policy changes in the hydro and marine industry in an all-in-one event. The event highlights perspectives on the role of hydro, explores issues affecting hydro and marine resources, and helps participants develop a future game plan to meet challenges and ensure the future sustainability of the hydro and marine industry.

Holiday Energy Update

Friends,

So it finally is the week of the Christmas Holiday.  I suspect that means it will slow down a little.  (I hope, although it hasn’t yet as of Noon today…)  In the meantime, we await the last major cabinet announcement from President-Elect Trump: USDA Secretary.  The leading candidate in the rumor mill is North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who has been in line with Trump positions and very strong on energy and ag issues.  Remember, the NRECA should be one of your primary calls when the USDA announcement is made.

As well, we are starting to see significant discussion about the Republican tax overhaul plan that features a border adjustment plan.  A  pair of new studies over the weekend from PIRA and the Brattle Group say the border adjustment would amount to a $10-a-barrel tax on imported crude oil, raising costs for drivers buying gasoline by 25 to 30 cents a gallon.  Our man in tax Havana, Curt Beaulieu is all over the issue and can be a huge help on the impacts.  You can reach Curt at 202-828-5806 or curtis.beaulieu@bracewelllaw.com.

As we move through the holidays, we fully expect to hear rumbles from opponents of the energy and environmental cabinet nominees.  We are happy to be your story sounding board, addressing your questions, providing background and offering assistance to get the full picture on these issues.

As for the holidays, we will be around and available should you need a comment or want to just catch up.  Please feel free to call.

Important news on the offshore wind front: Late Friday, our friends at Statoil were declared the provisional winner of the U.S. government’s wind lease sale of 79,350 acres offshore New York.  I have more details below.

Secondly, we know Metallica will be touring in 2017 with their new “kick-a–“ album Hardwired to Self-Destruct. But you may not have heard last week that “Live,” the soulful 90s band from York, PA, has resolved its legal conflicts and will reunite for new music and a 2017 tour.  More as we hear on both.

Special birthday wishes to our friend John Walke of NRDC, an avid update reader and Twitter/Facebook commenter.  I want to say 49, but that’s what we all say when we get there…

And finally, congrats to long-time White House and congressional advisor Richard Russell who was named today by new Senate EPW Chair John Barrasso to be Republican staff director of the Committee.

As you know, every year, before Christmas, I do a Christmas Note filled with holiday cheer and some good quips…so , here we go:

 

It is the week of Christmas and all through DC; we’ll have a new President, Congress and direction come January.

New appointees for Energy, State, Interior, EPA; enviros using same talking points for each, every day.

The energy boom will return under this new group, as the Obama (Enviros) agenda and policies fly the coop.

Who really knows where a President Trump will go, but thanks to pollsters and predictors, no of us thought we need to know.

One thing is clear, we are heading a new way.  New people, new politics, new tweets each and every day.

Oh yes, the President will continue to use 3 AM twitter, his social media craziness is making us all very bitter.

So as we wrap another crazy political and energy year, I hope you will take a few minutes to share…

Some fun, peace and joy… and more holiday cheer, mostly because it really is the best time of year.

We’re always working hard to be there for you; interviews, sources, background – something is always new.

So as you settle in for the holidays during this week and next; The Winter Classic, some football, some well-deserved rest.

From Our Bracewell family to yours, have a great holiday season; Can’t wait to make next year even better for whatever reason.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“We are excited to have submitted the most competitive bid in a highly attractive project, Statoil’s first offshore wind lease in the United States. We now look forward to working with New York’s state agencies and contributing to New York meeting its future energy needs by applying our offshore experience and engineering expertise.”

Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil´s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions, following Statoil being named the winner of Friday’s NY Offshore Wind Auction

 

IN THE NEWS

Statoil Wins NY Offshore Wind Auction – Statoil has been declared the provisional winner of the U.S. government’s wind lease sale of 79,350 acres offshore New York. Statoil will now have the opportunity to explore the potential development of an offshore wind farm to provide New York City and Long Island with a significant, long-term source of renewable electricity.  Statoil submitted a winning bid of $42,469,725 during the online offshore wind auction concluded today by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).  The lease comprises an area that could potentially accommodate more than 1 GW of offshore wind, with a phased development expected to start with 400-600 MW. The New York Wind Energy Area is located 14-30 miles (30-60 km) offshore, spans 79,350 acres (321 km2), and covers water depths between 65 and 131 feet (20-40 meters).  Statoil will next conduct studies to better understand the seabed conditions, the grid connection options and wind resources involved in the lease site.

U.S. Energy Security Continues Marked Improvement According Chamber Analysis – The Chamber’s Energy Institute said America’s energy security is at its strongest point in two decades.  The U.S. Chamber Institute for 21st Century Energy’s Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk employs 37 different energy security metrics in four major areas of risk: geopolitical, economic, reliability, and environmental. A lower Index score indicates a lower level of risk. The 7th annual edition of the Index covers 1970-2040 and incorporates the latest historical data and forecast models. In 2015—the most recent year available—risk dropped 3 points, to 78.0, the lowest level since 1996. The biggest improvements within the Index were in areas related to measures of oil and natural gas sector, such as imports, import expenditures, and oil prices, and to energy efficiency. Despite slumping prices, domestic crude oil output still increased by over 7%, though that increase is off the pace of previous years. Natural gas production achieved a record high, with a 5% increase in 2015.  However, despite the overall good news, there were still some warning signs. Crude oil price volatility rose significantly, driven by the desire of some large producing countries  to capture greater market share by driving prices down sharply. Rapid shifts in prices in either direction—volatility—can create unstable market conditions that increase energy security risks. In addition, electricity capacity margins—the amount of unused power capacity—have declined, increasing the vulnerability of America’s electric grid in the event of a disruption. The Index and its companion, the International Energy Security Risk Index, are available at www.energyxxi.org/energysecurity. The U.S. Index is once again available in an online, interactive web tool format, which makes it easy to see how various metrics change from year to year.

Study Says Republican Border Tax Proposal Will Increase Gas Prices – A new study on an obscure Republican tax proposal to impose a border-adjustment to limit eliminate companies’ incentives to move their headquarters overseas would have costly impact on refinery operations.  By eliminating the tax deductibility of imports, the border adjustment would raise costs for refiners that import oil. In turn, that could raise prices for consumers. The border adjustment would amount to a $10-a-barrel tax on imported crude oil, raising costs for drivers buying gasoline by up to 25 cents a gallon, the energy analyst group PIRA Energy Group warned this week. The report warned of a “potential huge impact across the petroleum industry,” even while noting that the tax reform plan faces many obstacles to passage.  As mentioned earlier, my colleague and former Senate Finance Tax Counsel Curt Beaulieu Ii all over the details.

AGs Call for Plan to Withdraw from CPP – West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey and Texas AG Ken Paxton led a 24-state coalition urging President-elect Donald Trump and congressional leaders to withdraw President Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan and take the necessary steps to ensure similar or more extreme proposals never again take shape.  The bipartisan letter – addressed Wednesday to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Senate President Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan – suggests a four-point strategy that begins with President-elect Trump rescinding his predecessor’s Climate Action Plan on day one.  The coalition suggests President-elect Trump follow with formal administrative action to withdraw the Power Plan and related matters in court. Such action will properly effectuate the rule’s withdrawal, while negotiating an end to pending litigation.  Finally, the coalition recommends Congress take longer-term legislative action. The proposed legislative fix aims to prevent any future U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from drafting similarly unlawful and/or more extreme rules. The coalition suggests the new White House work with Congress to adopt such legislation.

Deepwater Wind Projects Starts Operation – The nation’s first offshore wind farm has opened off the coast of Rhode Island, producing energy for the grid. Deepwater Wind built five turbines 3 miles off Block Island to power about 17,000 homes, a project costing about $300 million. Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski calls the opening a momentous occasion that unlocks the code of how to do offshore wind in the U.S. at a crucial time when states are trying to figure out how to replace aging power plants.

EIA Report Says Reserves Declined – EIA said last week that U.S. crude oil proved reserves declined 4.7 billion barrels (11.8%) from their year-end 2014 level to 35.2 billion barrels at year-end 2015, according to U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, Year-end 2015. U.S. natural gas proved reserves decreased 64.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), a 16.6% decline, reducing the U.S. total to 324.3 Tcf at year-end 2015.  The significant reduction in the average price of both oil and natural gas between 2014 and 2015 resulted in more challenging economic and operating conditions, an important factor in determining proved reserves. These price developments, reflected in a nearly 50% decline in average West Texas Intermediate crude oil spot prices (from $95 per barrel in 2014 to $50 per barrel in 2015) and a more than 40% decline in the natural gas spot price at the Louisiana Henry Hub (from $4.55 per million Btu in 2014 to $2.62 per million Btu in 2015) led to reduced drilling activity and downward revisions in proved reserves across a broad range of U.S. producers in 2015.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Electoral College Vote – December 19th

Brookings Panel Looks Climate, Energy Security with Japan – Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., the Center for East Asia Policy Studies and the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate will host a distinguished panel of climate policy experts from the United States and Japan to address critical issues for the future of the climate agenda and U.S.-Japan relations. What does the nature of the Paris commitments mean for the task of implementation? What kind of domestic transformation is required in each country, e.g., what are the choices to be made in energy policy? And how can Japan and the United States collaborate on innovation efforts to move away from carbon dependent-economies?  Panelists will include our friend David Victor and other Japanese and US climate and energy security experts, as well as Atsuyuki Oike, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in the United States of America.

 

IN THE FUTURE

SAFE to Roll Out AV Policies at CES Las Vegas – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will roll out its autonomous vehicle report recommendations on January 5th in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronic Show.

State of Oil, Gas Event Slated – API will host its annual State of the Oil & Gas industry event in early January.  More on this as it becomes available.

Detroit Auto Show Rolls Out – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will roll out from January 8th to 22nd at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.  Official press conferences begin with Disney Pixar on Sunday  January 8th as the 2017 NAIAS Press Preview will host a series of events until Tuesday January 10.  With over 300 exhibitors all under one roof, ranging from global automakers to suppliers to tech startups, NAIAS will truly be the mobility epicenter and will showcase the full automotive ecosystem. NAIAS expects to have over 5,000 credentialed journalists from 60+ different countries attend Press Preview, keeping NAIAS strongly in the lead among domestic shows in terms of global media coverage.

Donohue to Discuss State of Business – U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue will host his annual “State of American Business” address as well as the Chamber’s 2017 Open House on January 11th.  Donohue outline the top challenges and new opportunities facing the American business community and introduce the Chamber’s 2017 policy agenda.

Smart Cities Conference Set – The Smart Cities International Symposium, will be held on January 24-25 in Chicago.  The conference examines the latest technology advances and business models for the 21st Century connected city.

INAUGURATION DAY – January 20

POLITICO Sets Inauguration Hub – On January 20, POLITICO will transform the top floor of The W Hotel into its 2017 Inauguration Hub. With prime views of the Inauguration Parade route from our all-day networking lounge, the Inauguration Hub will be the premier destination for DC influencers to experience this historic moment. Live programming will include a full day of newsmaker interviews and discussions offering first-hand insights from new players in politics and policy, and an in-depth look at the changes ahead in the new Washington.   Full schedule of programming and speakers to be announced. Check out www.politico.com/inaugurationHub for updates.

Washington Auto Show Set – The Washington Auto Show will be held on January 27th to February 7th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  As the “Public Policy Show” on the auto show circuit, the 10-day public show is preceded by two Public Policy Preview Days of special events and announcements for officials in government, industry and the media on January 24th and 25th.  The events of the 25th will be on Capitol Hill in the Kennedy Caucus Room..  Speakers will include Michigan Senator Gary Peters and Rep Debbie Dingell, Our friend Joe White of Reuters and GMU’s Adam Thierer and the Chamber’s Matt Duggan. The Washington Auto Show is also the largest public show in Washington, D.C. Over the course of its many years this beloved and historic D.C. tradition has attracted Washingtonians of all stripes – and political affiliations. Along with the engineering prowess on display among the more than 600 new models from over 35 manufacturers, the 2017 show will feature VIP tours led by award-winning automotive writers and a special exhibit area for live painting of “art” cars.