Energy Update: Week of March 27


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…



Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932



“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



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



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:

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.



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.



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


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

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.



Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932



“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



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 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.



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.



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.


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 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.

Energy Update: Week of December 5


Welcome to the holiday party season.   And of course, on Wednesday, Southern Company hosts its annual holiday party at Union Station which always launches the season in style.

And now at least we know who the best four college football teams are…or maybe not.  At some point it seems the hybrid playoff format that keeps in the place the lucrative bowl game scene, just isn’t workable.   Either way, on New Year’s Eve we will see Alabama play Washington and Clemson take on Ohio State.  Too bad I guess for Michigan, Penn State and many others, including the 13-0 Western Michigan Broncos.

Let’s also get one other big thing out of the way.  Late yesterday, the Army Corps of Engineers reversed itself and blocked a key section of the Dakota Access Pipeline. While our friends in the protest community are calling it a “historic” victory, it really seems to be nothing more than a “game-show parting gift.”  There is no doubt this will remain a rallying cry for fossil fuel opponents, but with the incoming administration focused on infrastructure and the jobs, economic benefits and reliability it creates, it is likely that we will finally be building many of these projects in the near future.

A lot going on this week both on the Hill and in the Trump transition. On transition, we are hearing officials may try to couple the energy/environmental cabinet appointments for an announcement as early as this week.  For timing and planning, keep in mind that on Thursday, Heritage and the Texas Public Policy Foundation are holding a forum featuring one rumored possible nominee, Karen Harnett-White.  White will speak along with Sen Jim Inhofe, House Science Chair Lamar Smith and House Energy committee member Pete Olson.  Of course, our friends at the WSJ weighed in over the weekend with an EPA-related story about Trump-supporter Carl Icahn.   Finally, while this will probably drive some inside the Trump Transition bonkers, Ivanka Trump (And also apparently the President-Elect) just met with former Vice President Al Gore to discuss climate change.  Should you have any questions about who what or when on any of this, we are happy to discuss.

On the Hill, it is “go time” for the CR, WRDA and/or the energy bill.  The pressure continues to increase on members regarding the expiring energy tax credits.  Last week, advocates were at the National Press Club pleading their case and when President-elect Trump went to Indiana to promote keeping Carrier’s jobs, geothermal heat pump industry advocates said not renewing the tax credit could cost Indiana thousands more jobs.  Legislative language is expected this week on the CR.  Expect WRDA language as soon as later today as they get to final agreement.  Finally, while energy is a long shot, we have heard they are scrambling to get a stripped-down conference report signed over the weekend.  Controversies still exist so keep your eyes open for a last push this week.

Already today, Gina McCarthy, Scott, Jason Grumet and Bob Perciasepe all spoke at the CSM Inhabit Forum and Jeff Speaks at an Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) EPA policy forum in Chicago.  Tomorrow,   House Transportation will hold a roundtable panel on self-driving cars and House Energy’s Oversight panel tackles the VW settlement with EPA officials; SEIA hosts its tax policy forum and CSIS hosts Jonathan Pershing on Wednesday; and Thursday the Heritage event goes off and BPC hosts a forum on Decarbonization.

Finally, on Friday, the President announced that he would act on the recommendation from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) and block the acquisition of the company Aixtron by a Chinese company.  The move may represent the beginning of a new era of the White House using CFIUS as both a security and economic weapon.  My colleague Josh Zive, a great expert on the topic, can discuss what this may mean for foreign investment in sectors such as energy.


Call with questions.



Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932



“Capture of CO2 from power plants for use in enhanced oil recovery can provide economic, environmental and national security benefits long into the future.”

Montana Democratic Governor Steve Bullock


“We have the resources in this country to become truly energy independent. I have advocated for an all-inclusive energy mix and believe that the responsible development of hydrocarbons is critically important.”

Wyoming Republican Governor Matt Mead



Chamber Blog: Coal Can Be Helped – Chamber Energy expert Dan Byers authored a blog post that tackles the ubiquitous but incorrect post-election narrative that President-elect Trump can’t help coal country. Byers writes Trump’s victory may not result in a comeback for coal, but his efforts to halt EPA’s crushing regulatory agenda should save countless coal jobs and ensure that coal continues to bolster the American economy with affordable, reliable energy.

OPEC Curbs Production – Last week in Vienna, OPEC members agreed to curb oil output for the first time since 2008 in a last-ditch bid to support prices.  The members agreed to cut its oil production from 33.8 million barrels a day (b/d) to 32.5 million b/d.

SAFE Says ‘Here We Go Again’ – SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond said “Again, we see the OPEC cartel engaging in blatant oil price and supply manipulation which would never be permitted by western companies. Today’s decision is just the latest move in a long line of destructive decisions that contribute to oil price volatility—which harms businesses and consumers—and undermines a fair, free, and transparent oil market.  Policymakers have sat idle for far too long, allowing the status quo in which a cartel and national oil companies can whip oil prices around through production cuts or even mere rhetoric. It is time for action that protects U.S. interests.”

SAFE Issue Brief Hits Saudi Market Influence – SAFE also released the latest in a series of Issue Briefs focusing on the future of the cartel. The paper addresses how OPEC’s strategy is influenced chiefly by Saudi Arabia, and how the country’s domestic changes affect the group’s policy.  The Issue Brief finds that Saudi Arabia’s strategy of maintaining production to hurt U.S. and other non-OPEC producers has not only caused rifts within OPEC members, but has also caused complications within the Kingdom. These problems, the paper adds, could be exacerbated by a range of domestic issues ranging from subsidy reform to Saudi royal disputes. The Issue Brief concludes that oil price volatility created by Saudi Arabian policies has created a highly uncertain investment environment, and has significantly affected American jobs. The best way for the United States to protect itself from this uncertainty is to reduce our near-total dependence on oil in the transportation sector, increase fuel efficiency and accelerate the development and deployment of advanced transportation fuels including electricity and natural gas.

Western Govs Call on Congress to Pass CCS Credit – The Western Governors’ Association sent a letter to congressional leaders on Wednesday urging them to attach legislation (S. 3179) expanding and extending a carbon capture and sequestration credit to end-of-year bills.  Montana Gov. Steve Bullock also sent his own letter to House and Senate Leaders urging their support for efforts to increase utilization of enhanced oil recovery.

Report Highlights CCS Opportunities – Speaker of Western Govs, Wyoming’s Matt Mead and Bullock, along with colleagues and officials in 12 other states, released a new report on Friday outlining growing opportunities for capturing carbon dioxide for use in enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) with geologic storage.  The new report – Putting the Puzzle Together:  State & Federal Policy Drivers for Growing America’s Carbon Capture & CO2-EOR Industry – includes detailed analyses and federal and state recommendations of the State CO2-EOR Deployment Work Group, which consists of representatives from 14 states, leading private sector stakeholders and CO2-EOR experts.  The report notes that market forces and federal and state policy are driving the energy industry to reduce carbon emissions and that carbon capture with CO2-EOR compares cost-effectively with other emissions reduction options.  States can also assist by optimizing existing taxes commonly levied by states to complement federal incentives in helping carbon capture projects achieve commercial viability, the Work Group says.  Analysis undertaken for the Work Group shows that an optimized approach to state taxes can add the equivalent of roughly $8 per barrel of oil to the economics of a carbon capture project.

Capital Crude Aims at RFSPlatts Capitol Crude looks at the Obama administration’s work on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Now, questions turn to President-elect Donald Trump’s plans. Will Trump move to lower the amount of biofuels in the US fuel supply? Might he look at moving RFS obligations away from refiners? Tim Cheung with ClearView Energy Partners walks us through the possible outcomes and Josh Pedrick, a Platts biofuels editor, talks RINs prices.

Ryan Targets Regulations on 60 Minutes – If you watched 60 Minutes yesterday, Speaker Paul Ryan said the new Republican-led Congress will go after a host of regulations that are “crushing jobs” from “day one” of the Trump presidency.  While he didn’t get to the specifics, Ryan mentioned “coal miners in the Rust Belt that are getting out of work” as suffering under Obama administration regulatory efforts.

Conservative Energy Group Set Energy Blueprint – The American Energy Alliance and the Institute for Energy Research released a list of energy policy recommendations for the Trump administration. The recommendations are their own blueprint which I think represents the most recent thinking of conservatives within the transition on the e/e issue space.  It’s short but definitely worth a look! You can view the full list of recommendations here.



Forum Launches USAID Climate Review – The Wilson Center launched USAID’s Climate Action Review this morning.  For many years, USAID has been a leader in assisting partner countries to pursue low-carbon economic growth and build their resilience to the impacts of a changing climate. Through investments in clean energy and adaptation and support for sustainable forestry and agriculture, and by integrating best practices across its development portfolio, USAID’s approach to building the capacity and confidence of partners has yielded major achievements as well as lessons learned. Please save the date for an exploration of the successes and lessons learned in a time of rapid technological innovation, policy evolution, and environmental change.

CSM Hosts McCarthy, Segal – The Christian Science Monitor held a breakfast briefing this Morning that will feature exiting EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and my Bracewell colleague Scott Segal at the St. Regis Hotel. She will be interviewed by Deputy Energy and Environment Editor, Zack Colman.  The discussion will be looking back on the current administration, and thoughts for the future of the EPA as we transition to a new administration in the coming months.

Rep. Blumenauer Addresses AVs at Brookings Forum – Also this morning, the new Brookings Institute Center on Regulation and Markets hosted an event releasing new research on the congestion reducing benefits of autonomous vehicles and the consumer surplus stemming from the sharing economy.   SAFE Amitai Bin-Nun attended and call provide Insights should you need them.  The panel discussion focused on the benefits, costs, and prospects for autonomous vehicles. Rep. Earl Blumenauer also delivered a keynote address focusing on what role Congress plays in transportation and how autonomous vehicles can fix the nation’s infrastructure.

Holmstead to Discuss Energy, Enviro Policy at Chicago Forum – My Bracewell colleague Jeff Holmstead will lead a panel of experts in Chicago today at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.  With Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, most observers are expecting a significant shift in U.S. energy and climate policy in the coming years. President-elect Donald J. Trump has promised a review and rollback of U.S. climate regulations and increased access to fossil fuel resources on public lands. He has also suggested he will renegotiate or withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. Yet, clean energy enjoys widespread support, and market forces increasingly favor lower carbon sources. Moreover, the two parties have worked together on common priorities such as reduced oil dependence and tax credits for renewable electricity in the recent past.  Holmstead will be joined by former CEQ head James Connaughton.

Forum to Help Climate Digital Media – The Connect4Climate DIgital Media Zone is holding a three day-long communication initiative today through Thursday at the World Bank. The event, complementary to the LJD Week 2016 and the Annual Meetings for the Climate Investment Funds annual meetings, will offer an interactive media hub and gathering space for conference attendees, students, NGOs and private sector representatives. The People’s Media Zone is designed to facilitate interaction and engagement between the high level policy sessions/discussions and relevant mainstream media and civil society. The overarching narrative for the People’s Media Zone will be climate action and implementing solutions, as viewed through a legal and youth lens.

Briefing to Focus District Energy, Micro Grids – Tomorrow, the International District Energy Association (IDEA), the Microgrid Resources Coalition (MRC), and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) are hosting a briefing in Dirksen G-50 providing policy guidance and showcasing proven technologies and exemplary cases that illuminate the potential for more robust U.S. investment in district energy microgrids.

House Panel to Look at AVs, Policy – The House Transportation Committee will host a roundtable tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on self-driving cars and how could impact the nation’s transportation system during a policy roundtable next week.  The Highways and Transit Subcommittee will hear from experts like Department of Transportation Undersecretary for Policy Blair Anderson and David Strickland, former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator who is Now with the group Self-driving Coalition for Safer Street.  Other Panelists include David Zuby of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and City of Pittsburgh chief development officer Kevin Acklin.

House Energy Panel to Look at VW Settlement – The House Energy Oversight subcommittee is holding a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. with regulators to discuss the $14.7 billion agreement.  EPA Enforcement chief Cynthia Giles and Air office head Janet McCabe will testify.  I care because I am waiting for my pay out for our 2013 VW Jetta Diesel.

SEIA Holds Tax, Empowerment Events – The Solar Energy Industry Assn continues its Empowerment Series on Wednesday with an panel focused on educating, connecting, and providing thought leadership in the solar industry. Speakers Include Hunton & Williams Laura Jones, Partner, Angelin Baskaran of  Morgan Stanley, Vickie Dalsanto of Morgan Capital Corporation and SolSystems Jessica Robbins.  This event is taking place the evening before SEIA’s Fall Finance & Tax Seminar which is on Wednesday and Thursday.

DOE’s SunShot to Outline 2030 Goals – Speaking of solar, also tomorrow at Noon, the SunShot Initiative will host a webinar to discuss the recently-announced 2030 goals, which set a target to halve the cost of solar from 2020 to 2030 to achieve a levelized cost of electricity of just $0.03 per kilowatt hour from utility-scale solar. The webinar will discuss the importance of moving solar energy into the next decade and the role SunShot plans to play. SunShot director Charlie Gay will lead the discussion as SunShot begins to focus on the next decade.  The webinar will provide more detail about how the 2030 goals were formulated and how they will impact future work.

Forum to Discuss Ocean Policy – The Center for American Progress will host a discussion Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. that will feature distinguished experts from government and the private sector for a discussion on the next chapter in U.S. ocean policy. Leaders will inherit a unique governance structure built to balance the needs of ocean industries as well as the priorities of state, local, federal, and tribal governments. The forum will discuss opportunities to enhance these developments in ocean governance and ensure the long-term health of marine ecosystems.  Speakers will include Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), U.S. Coast Guard Vice Commandant Adm. Charles Michel and Deepwater Wind official Aileen Kenney.

Pershing to Address COP-22 Results – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Dr. Jonathan Pershing, Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State, on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss the evolving risks of climate change, the outcomes of the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) recently concluded in Marrakech, and the future of international climate cooperation. Pershing previously served as the Senior Climate Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy and the Principal Deputy Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at the Department of Energy (DOE).

Mexico Energy Forum Set – The US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce is hosting the first U.S.-Mexico Energy Forum on Thursday and Friday at The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center in Texas.  Given the importance of the energy sector for economic growth and recent developments that have positioned the North American region in a path towards energy independence, we are presenting a unique opportunity to discuss the different factors that have contributed to this major shift in the energy industry.  Main speakers will be Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former PEMEX CEO and Mexican Ambassador to the US Jesús Reyes Heroles.

Conservative Groups to Host Climate Forum – The Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Heritage Foundation will host a forum on Thursday to discuss energy and climate policy issues.   “At the Crossroads III: Energy and Climate Policy Summit,” will feature national policymakers, leading energy experts, and the field’s most innovative minds to explore what’s next in energy policy, what’s coming in climate science, and how you may affect both. Keynote Speaker will be Jim Inhofe.  Among the other speakers will be Sen. Mike Lee, House Science Chair Lamar Smith, potential EPA administrator Kathleen Hartnett White and Rep. Pete Olson.

Webinar to Look at Energy Toolkit – The Worldwatch Institute will launch a webinar on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at the newly updated Energy Toolkit produced by the Low Emissions Development Strategies Energy Working Group (LEDS EWG) of the Global Partnership (LEDS GP). The LEDS Energy Toolkit is a collection of leading instruments and methodologies for sustainable energy planning. The Toolkit aims to provide energy practitioners, policymakers, and experts a quick reference guide to some of the best established energy planning instruments that are available at no or low cost.  The result is a compilation of 26 tools from agencies around the world. This webinar will present an overview of the newly updated publication of the toolkit and feature some of its leading tools: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)’s Jobs and Economic Development Impact Model (JEDI) and the Natural Resources Canada’s RETScreen Clean Energy Management Software.

BPC Forum to Look at Energy Transition – The Bipartisan Policy Center will host a forum on Thursday at the Marriott Marquis to bring together a broad range of stakeholders for a discussion on shared objectives and the best way to achieve our goals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The viability of pathways for “deep decarbonization” — generally defined as reaching at least an 80 percent reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from current levels by 2050 — are increasingly coming into focus as the key to managing this transition. But from the “keep it in the ground” movement to the “embrace energy abundance” viewpoint, energy and climate policy stakeholders across the spectrum have very different ideas on the policies, strategies, and tactics that will best chart the country on a course to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next several decades while also ensuring continued supplies of reliable and affordable energy.



AGU Meeting to Focus on Climate – The Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union will be held on December 12-15 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.  It is the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, attracting more than 24,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and other leaders. Fall Meeting brings together the entire Earth and space science community from across the globe for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The technical program includes presentations on new and cutting-edge science, much of which has not yet been published.

Forum to Look at Latin American Energy – The Institute of the Americas and the Inter-American Dialogue will host a panel discussion on Tuesday December 13th at the National Press Club looking at the energy relationship and evolving energy collaboration in the hemisphere, timed to coincide with the political transition in the United States.  Natural gas exports from the United States to Mexico have tripled over the last five years, while the first ever liquefied natural gas exports from the US Gulf Coast shipped to Brazil. Many countries, including Venezuela, have increased imports of US refined oil products. Meanwhile, the United States has engaged in multiple technical cooperation agreements in renewable energy development. There is ample evidence that Latin American countries and the United States can benefit greatly from boosting commercial energy ties and expanding bilateral energy cooperation.

Forum Looks at Climate Technologies – On Tuesday, December 13th at 9:00 a.m., Information Technology & Innovation Foundation is hosting a forum to release a new report that assesses the Obama administration’s efforts and considers how this record might be extended and improved upon in the next administration.  Achieving the ambitious goals set in the Paris climate negotiations will require large-scale private investment in technologies that to date have only been shown to be feasible technologically, not economically. That will require overcoming the second “valley of death”: the lack of confidence among potential investors in the affordability, reliability, and practicality of these innovations. Public-private technology demonstration projects are one important means by which the second valley of death might be crossed. But such projects have frequently been plagued by cost overruns, schedule delays, and outright failure. The Obama administration, like its predecessors, has pursued such projects with mixed results.

OPEC Minister to Address CSIS – Next Tuesday, CSIS’s Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum featuring His Excellency Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to discuss OPEC’s World Oil Outlook 2016.   The event will begin with opening remarks by H.E. Barkindo, followed by a presentation of the World Oil Outlook 2016 by Dr. Jorge Leon Arellano, Energy Demand Specialist of the OPEC Research Division. The report addresses  OPEC’s outlook for medium and long-term oil supply, demand, and downstream out to 2040, including their view on the challenges and opportunities for the oil industry. This World Oil Outlook sees opportunities presented by a growing global population, and economic growth in developing countries leading to an increase in energy demand, but also comes at a time of continued uncertainty in the oil market.

WCEE Forum to Look at Energy Communications – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum featuring Loretta Prencipe, to discuss insights from the report, “How Americans Make Energy Decisions” – and what that means for energy communications in the changing energy and policy landscape.  An attorney and former journalist, Prencipe serves as Group Vice President in Makovsky Communication’s DC office and has more than 15 years’ experience in media relations, marketing, communications and public affairs in energy, manufacturing and sustainability issues. She manages project deployment, workforce and employee engagement programs, crisis communications, public affairs and corporate risk and reputation issues for publicly traded companies.

Forum Looks at EV Infrastructure Challenges – On Tuesday, December 13th at 12:30 p.m., the Environmental Law Institute will host a forum at the D.C. Bar Conference Center looking at infrastructure challenges for Electric Vehicles.  The rise in popularity of electric vehicles is creating a need for increased charging infrastructure. The development of this infrastructure brings significant challenges. Come hear our panel discuss the ways in which these challenges are being solved.  The panel will discuss the legal issues facing the development of infrastructure for electric vehicles and the potential impacts these vehicles may have on our environment and energy security. Speakers will include DOE’s Kavita Patel, GM’s Alex Keros and Sierra Club’s Joe Halso.

Forum to Look at Climate Opinion in US, Canada – The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Canada Institute will host a panel on Thursday, December 15th at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the results from national-level surveys on public attitudes toward climate change in the United States and Canada. Expert panelists will highlight key findings from the 2016 comparative study, draw analyses from the differences and similarities between Canada and U.S. public views, and provide insight into how this could affect existing climate change policy and potential future policy approaches on both sides of the border.

Expert to Look at Electricity Industry Change – The US Association for Energy Economists in the National Capital Area, will host its monthly luncheon on Friday, December 16th at Noon looking at change in the electric industry.  Through its 51st State Initiative, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) has been tackling these questions with utilities, trade associations, industry analysts, tech-start-up entrepreneurs and visionaries over the past two years.  Smart Electric Power Alliance CEO Julia Hamm will speak. Hamm has more than 15 years of experience advising and collaborating with utilities, manufacturers and government agencies on renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies and programs.

Energy Update: Week of September 12


I start off to today with exciting sports news…   Not just that the NFL season has launched, the NCAA football season (Central Michigan) has already featured some crazy games and Stan Wawrinka became the oldest US Open Champ in 46 years, but my daughter Hannah yesterday scored her first collegiate goal for the #9-ranked Wellesley College Blue…and it was a game winner over Wesleyan (CT).

Whoa, it sure feel like school is back in session with last week’s action.  Congress seems to have the hammer down, likely to get back to campaigning with the Presidential election tightening.  It is a busy week with Energy Conference negotiations ongoing and WRDA likely getting a vote today.  There are also a number of key hearings as Congress looks at budget issues.

On top of that list, Republican Clean Energy advocate Jay Faison joins Secretary Moniz and former Sen. Judd Gregg on Wednesday at the Senate Energy Approps panel to talk nuclear issues.  Also on the Hill Wednesday in Longworth, new NRECA head/former Utah Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson will host a pen and pad with reporters on NRECA’s priorities, rural economic development, new renewable initiatives and the upcoming Clean Power Plan arguments later this month.   On Thursday, SMU’s Bud Weinstein and API’s Erik Milito headline a House Science panel hearing on EPA’s methane regulations, while House Energy looks at energy security implications with Secretary Moniz.

Other events in town include a great forum today at 2:30 on nuclear red tape hosted by ClearPath and featuring former NRC Commissioner Jeff Merrifield.  Tomorrow, NRDC and NRECA will focus on Community Storage issues.  On Wednesday, Indiana’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs hosts a forum looking at manufacturing issues, and Thursday, the Keep it in the Ground folks are also back with a rally at the White House, although it seems the White House late Friday already has sided with them.

Out Of town today, SEIA launches solar’s biggest conference in Las Vegas while the Assn of Oil Pipelines (APOL) will hold its annual business conference in Chicago. Expect the latest twist on the Dakota Pipeline to be prominent in that discussion.

As for next week, keep your eye out for the AGA’s natural gas-fueled food truck which will be cooking with natural gas and serving free grilled cheese sandwiches around Capitol Hill September 19th-30th.  Also, the annual SEJ Conference is next week in Sacramento, starting Wednesday.  As usual, we will host our usual reception although this year we are stepping up our game so I hope you be able to attend.  There are a number of great panels with BrightSource’s Energy Joe Desmond, former CEQ chief Jim Connaughton, Cal EPA official Mary Nichols and former EPA #2 Bob Perciasepe among those on panels.

We are closing in on the Tuesday, September 27th  D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals oral arguments on West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency.  At issue before the court is not only the legality of EPA’s costly Power Plan, but the rights of states to determine their own energy policies. Check out ACCCE’s new video on the consequences of the EPA rules.

Finally, I am now on Instagram (fvmaisano) as well as Facebook and Twitter, so I’ve changed my Twitter handle to make it consistent (@fvmaisano).  If you’re on these social media platforms, I would encourage you to follow me and PRG (@PolicyRez) because we put a lot of cool stuff on all of these platforms.

Congress is back…Game on!  Call with questions.



Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932



“With a new Administration and a new Congress in 2017, I think it is a good time for ACCCE to move forward with new leadership.  I’m proud of what we have accomplished over the past four years, and look forward to taking on new challenges.”

ACCCE CEO Mike Duncan upon announcing his retirement from the group on Friday.



Report:” Multifamily Dwellings Should Lean On NatGas – The American Gas Foundation released a study published by ICF International titled, “Expanding Natural Gas Service to Multifamily Buildings,” focusing on ways in which state and local government, natural gas utilities, and other interest groups have worked to improve access to natural gas service in multi-family structures in their localities. The study assesses regulatory or policy barriers to providing natural gas service to multi-unit structures, and presents possible solutions to help bring the benefits of natural gas to the owners and occupants of these buildings.  In the past decade, multifamily construction has risen from less than 25 percent to one-third or more of newly-built residential dwelling units. Notably, if natural gas technologies were applied across all or part of the nation’s multifamily building stock, unit occupants could realize $2.2 billion in reduced annual energy bills, or about 6 percent of total energy expenditure for multifamily units in the U.S. Additionally, CO2 emissions would be reduced by more than 20 million tons nationwide.  The study also highlights utility-led initiatives that have demonstrated success, and describe lessons learned through these efforts to provide insight to other utilities with similar goals to serve these communities. You can view the report along with the case studies here.

HVAC Industry Awards More Rees Scholarships – AHRI President Steve Yurek said the scholarships are awarded to qualified and dedicated students and veterans that hope to eventually work in the HVAC industry.  Each year, the Foundation provides aid to an increasing number of recipients, helping to promote careers in the industry and fill good-paying jobs that cannot be outsourced.  ACCA President and CEO Paul Stalknecht added that developing quality workers is a critical initiative that everyone in our industry is working together to accomplish.  See the list of award winner, their home state and college here.

Duncan to Retire From ACCCE – ACCCE said Friday that CEO Mike Duncan has decided to step down at the end of the year and that Paul Bailey, Senior Vice President of Federal Affairs and Policy, will succeed Duncan as the organization’s president and CEO effective January 1, 2017.  Duncan has served as the head of ACCCE since 2012.  During his four years with ACCCE, Duncan steered the organization through a period of incredible challenges for the coal-based electricity industry.  Under Duncan’s leadership, ACCCE became a more collaborative organization enlisting allies and expanding its network of national and state-level groups.  Additionally, ACCCE built support for passing legislation to help states resist overreaching EPA regulations and worked closely with other litigants to challenge EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  Those challenges by the states and many others, including ACCCE, led to the Supreme Court’s unprecedented stay of the Clean Power Plan earlier this year.

Energy, Interior Detail Offshore Wind Effort – Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell released Friday a collaborative strategic plan to continue accelerating the development of offshore wind energy in the United States.  The National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States could help enable 86 gigawatts of offshore wind in the United States by 2050. The strategy details the current state of offshore wind in the United States, presents the actions and innovations needed to reduce deployment costs and timelines, and provides a roadmap to support the growth and success of the industry.



State of Solar Highlighted at Vegas Conference – Solar Power International 2016 (SPI 2016), the solar industry’s largest trade show and conference will be held in Las Vegas today through Friday.  SPI 2016 co-host Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) offers a slew of coverage opportunities. The topics and events will cover Net metering in Nevada, developing solar on federal land, elections 2016 and growth In the solar industry.  Our friend Ben Finzel has the detail at or 202-277-6286.

Brooking to Host CPP Discussion – The Global Economy and Development program at Brookings will host the University of Maryland’s Steven Kull today at 11:00 a.m. for a presentation of a new, in-depth survey of public support for policies ranging from the CPP and carbon pricing to U.S. commitments under the Paris Agreement. Following his remarks, discussants former EPA head Bill Reilly, Adele Morris of Brookings and Nathan Hultman, director of the Environmental Policy program and the University of Maryland School of Public Policy will join in a wider conversation on the future of U.S. clean energy initiatives and implications for climate action. Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate Co-Chair Bruce Jones will moderate the discussion and audience Q&A.

Atlantic Council to Host US, India Clean Energy Discussion – The Atlantic Council will host a forum today at Noon to discuss the implications of US-India cooperation on critical energy and climate issues and place these efforts in the context of the bilateral relationship. Speakers will address the challenges and opportunities surrounding clean energy deployment in India, evaluate the policy and financing mechanisms being used, assess the importance issue for U.S.-India bilateral relations, and highlight key priorities for ongoing collaboration between the United States and India.

Groups to Discuss CCS at Congressional Briefing – A coalition of organizations representing the broad diversity of interest in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies will host a congressional briefing on Monday, September 12, to provide updates on potential legislative action and highlight the critical need for financial incentives for CCUS technologies in a wide array of applications. The briefing, which is open to registered media, congressional staff and invited guests, is being held in conjunction with a labor community “fly-in.” Union representatives from 10 states will meet with congressional leaders to advocate for greater deployment of CCUS technologies and emphasize the jobs that are created as a result of CCUS expansion. In addition to industry, labor, and environmental advocates, two members of Congress are slated to make brief remarks at the outset of the briefing.

ClearPath, Heritage to Look at Nuclear Red Tape – Today at 2:30 p.m. in 2226 Rayburn, the Heritage Foundation and ClearPath Foundation will host a forum on reforming the government approval process for nuclear.  Nuclear energy provides affordable and abundant energy to American families and businesses across the country. The NRC regulates America’s commercial nuclear industry and its approach and continued inefficiencies are driving up operating costs without increasing safety. So, as the NRC grows, so does its burden on industry. Are these fees and costs from unnecessary and overly-conservative rules and regulations pushing some plants to the brink of closure? What should nuclear regulation look like?  Speakers include Clear Path board member and former NEC Commissioner Jeff Merrifield, as well as MIT’s Dennis Whyte and AAF reg guru Sam Batkins.

Storage Forum Set – The EnergyStorage Global Innovation Forum will be held today and tomorrow in Chicago bringing together top experts from ComEd, Oncor, PowerStream, PJM, Midwest ISO, ARPA-E, Argonne National Lab and many others to examine grid-level and behind-the-meter storage business models, technology innovations and opportunities. The Forum offers the latest updates on advanced storage technologies and systems for grid-level applications, as well as next-gen EV/smart transportation. These updates will be viewed through the lens of real-world deployments, business cases, and impacts on existing systems and operations.

CSIS to Host IEA Report – CSIS will host a forum tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. featuring IEA.  For the first time, IEA is focusing on this critical topic in Energy and Air Pollution, providing a global outlook for energy and air pollution as well as profiles of key countries. Based on new data for pollutant emissions in 2015 and projections to 2040, the new report proposes a pragmatic and attainable strategy to reconcile the world’s energy requirements with its need for cleaner air. Alongside the multiple benefits to human health, this strategy shows that resolving the world’s air pollution problem can go hand-in-hand with progress towards other environmental and development goals.  Kamel Ben Naceur, Director of Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks at IEA will present the findings and strategy of this new report, followed by a discussion moderated by for EIA Administrator Guy Caruso.

NGV American President To Headline NatGas RoundtableThe Natural Gas Roundtable will host Matthew Godlewski, President of Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica) at the next Natural Gas Roundtable luncheon tomorrow.  Godlewski is the president of NGVAmerica, the national trade association dedicated to the development of a growing and sustainable market for vehicles powered by natural gas.

Panel to Look at Clean Transportation Options – The International Council on Clean Transportation is hosting a half-day conference tomorrow afternoon on the state of the art in fuel-efficiency technologies and designs for passenger cars, with panels featuring experts from key automotive industry suppliers Eaton, Bosch, BorgWarner, Honeywell, Johnson Matthey, Continental, Corning, AVL, Umicore, FEV and others.  Admiral Dennis Blair is the keynote.

Moniz to Discuss Nuclear Issues – The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will host a discussion tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. with DOE Secretary Ernie Moniz, who will discuss future challenges and priorities in building a sustainable global nuclear order. Carnegie President William J. Burns will introduce, and George Perkovich will moderate.

NRECA, NRDC Lead Community Storage Discussion – The NRECA, NRDC and Great River Energy along with Senator Amy Klobuchar will host a Congressional briefing tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in SVC 203/202 on how the energy sector can use tried and true household technologies to help meet consumer energy needs in a new energy era.  The Community Storage Initiative was launched earlier this year by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Edison Electric Institute (EEI), American Public Power Association (APPA) and Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA).  It has been organized as a grassroots effort to develop a community-based energy storage marketplace that works for everyone, from electric utilities and technology providers to end-use customers and their communities.  Speakers will include the founders of the Community Storage Initiative (CSI), Gary Connett of Great River Energy, NRECA’s Keith Dennis and NRDC’s Robin Roy.

Forum to Look at Environment Policies, Investments in Electricity – The Bipartisan Policy Center, the Great Plains Institute and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions are hosting a workshop in Atlanta at the Hyatt Regency tomorrow.  The event will feature experts, state officials and stakeholders from across the Eastern Interconnect for a one-day workshop exploring recent modeling analyses that provide new insights into trends in the electricity sector. The event will explore what these trends mean for state energy and environmental policy choices. Experts will present their findings and stakeholders will have an opportunity to reflect on those findings. Howard Gruenspecht, Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Energy Information Administration, will be providing the morning keynote address. As previously announced, Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will be the luncheon keynote speaker.

RFF, Stanford to Set Shale Series – Resources for the Future (RFF) and Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment will hold a special webinar series this fall looking at new research on the science and economics of natural gas. The first event will be tomorrow looking at managing methane emissions.  At this webinar, Stanford’s Rob Jackson and Adam Brandt will present their work on methane leakage in natural gas distribution systems nationwide, while RFF’s Alan Krupnick will share highlights from RFF’s study of policy options for cost-effectively reducing methane emissions.  On October 18th the focus will be on Wastewater and on November 15th siting.  The series will explore some of the complex challenges and questions associated with the increasing reliance on unconventional gas in the United States. Topics include: technologies for detecting and preventing methane leakage; industry and policy options for mitigating emissions; wastewater disposal options and challenges; and optimal siting for new gas development.

AOPL to Hold Business Conference in Chicago – Tomorrow through Friday, the Association of Oil Pipe Lines will hold its annual business conference at the Chicago Hyatt Regency.  The Annual Business Conference focuses on topical issues and the latest developments in the oil pipeline industry.  Speakers will include Rusty Braziel of RBN Energy, a renowned analyst and speaker on oil and gas issues including pipeline transportation and retiring FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, who has shown a deep interest in oil transportation issues at FERC and previously at the North Dakota Public Service Commission.  The event will also feature an executives roundtable featuring leaders at several AOPL-member companies.

Manchin To Headline Hill Discussion – The Hill will host a forum on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. at The Newseum to hear from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to discuss the recent flooding in West Virginia, who will share his first-hand experience with the disaster recovery process and his insight on community resilience and preparedness efforts at the local, state, and national level.

IU Forum to Look at Manufacturing Jobs – Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (IU SPEA) will hold a day-long conference on Wednesday at the National Press Club looking at what the next President should do about U.S. manufacturing in the first 100 days.  Speakers will include former OIRA head and current SPEA Dean John Graham, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation head Rob Atkinson, Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing and former OMB official Paul Noe of AF&PA.

CHP Conference Set for National Park – The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Association will host its 2016 Combined Heat & Power Conference tomorrow through Friday. This year’s conference will focus on creating fruitful and interesting discussion within the conference panels and between attendees about current challenges and opportunities for CHP, especially within the utility model. The conference will be held at Nationals Park in Southeast DC, with the conference proceedings taking place in the park’s conference center and the networking event in the PNC Diamond Club.

Climate, Security Forum Set – The Center for Climate and Security, in partnership with the Center for the National Interest and the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, will be hosting the first annual Climate and National Security Forum on all day Wednesday. The Forum will be held in Washington, DC at the Reserve Officer’s Association Minuteman Memorial Building, The Climate and National Security Forum 2016 will feature panel discussions among leading senior retired military, defense and foreign policy experts, detailing both the significant risks and policy opportunities related to the climate change and national security nexus.

House Science to Dig in on AGs –The House Science Committee will hold a Wednesday hearing on its power to subpoena state attorneys general in a growing spat between Congress and states investigating ExxonMobil Corp.’s climate science.  The attorneys general — Democrats Eric Schneiderman (N.Y.) and Maura Healey (Mass.) — say Smith does not have the power to collect documents related to their Exxon investigations. Smith disagrees, and invited several legal experts to make the case.  Witnesses include Jonathan Turley of George Washington University Law School, Ronald Rotunda of Chapman University’s Dale Fowler School of Law, Elizabeth Price Foley of Florida International University College of Law and Charles Tiefer of the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Baker Institute to Present Science, Technology Recs for Next President – Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy will hold a news conference Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in the Bloomberg Room at the National Press Club to present recommendations on how science and technology policy is dealt with in the White House for the presidential campaigns and transition teams.  Neal Lane, the senior fellow in science and technology policy at the Baker Institute, will present the recommendations, which will include five main points for the next president and five points for the president’s next science adviser and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).  Lane, who previously served as OSTP director and science adviser to President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2001 and was the director of the National Science Foundation from 1993 to 1998, will be joined at the news conference by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) CEO Rush Holt, Deborah Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness and Norman Augustine, retired Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin.

Moniz, Faison at Senate Energy/Water Panel to Look at Nuclear – The Senate Energy and Water Approps panel will hold a hearing on nuclear issues on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m..   Witnesses include Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz, former Sen Judd Gregg and ClearPath Founder Jay Faison.

Matheson to Discuss Rural Agenda, Co-ops – New NRECA CEO Jim Matheson will hold a media availability on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the co-ops, energy issues, renewable development and the rural economy.  Immediately following the presser, Matheson will attend a NRECA Congressional reception that will include many of his former colleagues.  Both events will take place in the Longworth building on Capitol Hill.  Matheson, who took over NRECA in July, previously served seven terms as a U.S. Representative from Utah (2001-15), during which time he was Chief Deputy Whip for the House Democratic Caucus, co-chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition, and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Energy, Tech, Education Conference Set – STEM4US is hosting the 3rd Annual Energy, Tech, and Education Festival on Wednesday at the Washington Convention Center.  The theme for #ETE16 is “Mission Critical: Training the Cybersecurity Workforce of Today, Tomorrow.”  #ETE16 provides a unique opportunity for executives and professionals in the energy, technology, and venture capital sectors to network with government, academic, and nonprofit leaders.  Guests can expect to enjoy interactive workshops, networking, and receptions.

NASDAQ To Host Energy, Tech Discussions on Election – In the final weeks before the November 2016 elections, listen to a policy debate between representatives of leading Presidential campaigns.  The events start on Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m.  Candidates and advisors are invited representing the Democratic, Green, Independent, and Republican parties.  During the debate, enjoy refreshments at the DC offices of NASDAQ, the leading stock exchange for emerging energy, tech, and ed sector publically traded corporations.  Following a moderated discussion, members of the audience have the opportunity to pose questions to the panelists. To expand the audience, the event is expected to be live streamed and presented as a Google Hangout and Live Twitter Chat.

House Science Takes on EPA Methane Regs – The House Science Committee’s Environment panel will hold a hearing on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to look at EPA’s methane regulations.  Witnesses will include SMU’s Maguire Energy Institute expert Bud Weinstein, API’s Erik Milito, EDF’s Elgie Holstein and Anthony Ventello of Progress Authority.

House E&C to Look at Energy Security – The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. looking at DOE’s role in advancing the national, economic and energy security.

Enviros “Keep It in the Ground” White House Rally – Thursday at 10:00 a.m.

Wilson Center to Look at Climate Assessments – On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., the  Woodrow Wilson Center will host a forum on preparing the National Climate Assessment. Since 2000, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has produced three National Climate Assessments, a major Congressionally mandated report designed to inform the public about the current state of the climate, the nation’s preparedness, and future trends. Work on the fourth assessment has now begun. The event will feature a discussion with representatives from the USGCRP and White House about ways to engage in the production of the report and priorities, including the first chapter on international issues.

WCEE Forum to Look at Greenhouse Gas Protocols – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will hold a luncheon forum on Thursday  at Deloitte looking at Greenhouse Gas Protocols.  GHG Protocol sets the global standard for how to measure, manage, and report greenhouse gas emissions. Since its launching in 2001, more than 1000 organizations and governments have joined this initiative to be more efficient and resilient while benefitting the environment through climate change strategies. The 2010 GHG Workforce Survey reported that GHG Protocol is the second most important climate program after Kyoto Protocol in the successful measurement and management of climate change. The forum will feature WRI experts to discuss how the GHG Protocol is used as a decision-making tool when setting corporate sustainability targets and strategies; how corporate renewable energy purchasing can help reduce emission and how it supports corporate action.

Campaign Energy Policy Discussions Set – Leaders in Energy and Potential Energy DC present an “Un-Debate” on Thursday evening at NYU’s DC office to Look at Energy and Sustainability.  The events will examine key energy and sustainability issues that are being discussed in the upcoming election.  The event will feature representatives from each of the major parties, Democratic and Republican, along with the Green and Libertarian parties.  However instead of conducting a conventional debate forum with individuals  interrupting each other and not listening as everyone strives to top the other with their own view, we will seek to identify areas of consensus and common ground.

ICF Breakfast to Look at Nanotech – On Friday at the University Club, ICF will host an Energy Breakfast that brings together the heads of the two premier U.S. electricity and energy technology groups to discuss how new energy technologies and innovations are quickly reshaping the way we produce, transport, and utilize energy: “nanotechnology.

WRI Forum to Look at Sustainable Energy Future – The World Resources Institute (WRI) will host a forum Friday on how to produce, use and dispose of everyday products in a sustainable future.  In this presentation and panel discussion, European and American leaders in government and business will share their views on this emerging topic. In the spirit of the coinciding EU Climate Diplomacy Week, this event will include discussion of how a circular economy model can support global climate goals as outlined in the Paris Agreement on climate change.

RFF Forum to Look at Carbon Tax – Resources for the Future (RFF) will hold a forum on Friday looking at the latest updates on carbon pricing developments in Canada, where provinces have led but the federal government is seeking to develop its own policy; Mexico, where a carbon tax has been in place since 2014 but an emissions trading system has recently been announced; and the United States, where carbon markets exist in a few states (like California), where more markets might emerge under the Clean Power Plan, and where a federal carbon tax continues to be debated.

Japan Forum Looks at NatGas Hydrate – On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science will host a forum focus on natural gas hydrates.  Around 80% of energy is supplied by fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas.  This trend will continue at least 50 years although other energy supply, such as wind, solar, nuclear, so on due to most of .  Energy forecasts, such as IEA outlook 2015.  The natural gas is especially important because C/H ratio is low, which indicates that the impact to global warming is less.  The natural gas hydrate is one of important candidate to supply natural gas as similar to the shale gas which is developed and supplied in USA.  The natural gas hydrate spreads the pacific ocean including USA and Japan.

CSIS to Host Book Discussion on Sustainable Development – The Center for Strategic & International Studies will host a public roundtable on Friday at 1:30 p.m. to discuss Dr. Stephen Macekura’s book, “Of Limits and Growth: The Rise of Global Sustainable Development in the Twentieth Century,” as well as his career leading up to this publication. Macekura is Assistant Professor of International Studies at Indiana University’s School of Global and International Studies.  He is a historian of U.S. foreign policy, foreign aid, international development, and environmental politics and policy.  His first book Of Limits and Growth: The Rise of Global ‘Sustainable Development’ in the Twentieth Century, explores the role of environmental NGOs in attempting to reconcile the desire for economic growth with environmental protection after 1945. His second book will focus on the meaning and measurement of economic growth in the twentieth-century.

National Electric Drive Week Set – The National Electric Drive Week will begin on Sunday.  See more details here.



AGA Food Truck Highlights NatGas Use – The American Gas Association (AGA) said its natural gas-fueled food truck will be cooking with natural gas and serving free grilled cheese sandwiches around Capitol Hill on September 19-30. The modernized food truck will help to demonstrate the relationship between natural gas and daily American life by bringing the benefits of cooking with natural gas to the public during their lunch hour. In order to receive a free grilled cheese, all you have to do is tweet to eat. Follow AGA on Twitter at @aga_naturalgas to get the latest details on the location of the food truck. Show up during lunch, smart phone in hand, and tweet using the hashtag #NatGasFuelsUs. Step up to the window and show your tweet as part of the online dialogue about natural gas to the food truck team and you will receive a grilled cheese of your choice.

Groups to Launch Nuclear Report – Next Monday at Noon, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Union of Concerned Scientists will host the U.S. Launch of the 2016 World Nuclear Industry Status Report.  The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2016 offers valuable insights of the global state of the nuclear industry by providing a comprehensive overview of nuclear plant data, including information on operation, production and construction, as well as an assessment of the financial status of many of the biggest industrial players in the sector.

Event to Look at Paris Progress – Next Tuesday at 5:00 p.m., Climate Advisers CEO Nigel Purvis and E3G CEO Nick Mabey will host a discussion at the National Press Club with government leaders from the United States, Germany and Canada on the transatlantic vision for post-Paris climate ambition. These countries are playing a leadership role in defining the low carbon future, through mid-century strategies they plan to release this year.  The event will highlight the opportunity these groundbreaking strategies provide for setting a global standard for ambition over the long term, and in maintaining momentum on climate action post-COP21 and the Paris Agreement.

Atlantic Council to Host Inhofe, Whitehouse on Nuclear – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will host a discussion on next Wednesday at Noon on bipartisan legislative efforts to preserve and strengthen US leadership at the cutting edge of nuclear energy technology. Senators Jim Inhofe and Sheldon Whitehouse will address efforts to promote public-private partnerships on advanced nuclear energy technology, to modernize the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s functions, and to accelerate the development of advanced nuclear reactors in the United States.  Richard Morningstar, Founding Director and Chairman of the Global Energy Center, will deliver welcoming remarks and Ben Geman of the National Journal will moderate the discussion.

Air Regulators Hold Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ will hold its 2016 Fall Business Meeting on September 21st – 23rd in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel – Brownstone – University.  Experts from AAPCA Member agencies and U.S. EPA, including the Office of General Counsel, Air Quality Assessment Division, Air Quality Policy Division, and Health and Environmental Impact Division, will provide updates on topics like best practices, air quality modeling, Clean Air Act legal issues, NAAQS and many other issues.

Forum to Look at Southern Gas Corridor – On Wednesday at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will convene a panel of experts to discuss the current state of the Southern Corridor and the challenges it faces in the future.  The Southern Gas Corridor has been years in the planning and its proposed completion date (2018-2020 timeframe) is rapidly approaching. Real progress has been made in recent years: confirmation of the route in 2013 and groundbreaking for construction in Turkey and Greece 2016.  But challenges remain, including regional security issues, local opposition along parts of the route, stagnant gas demand in Western Europe, and the decreasing cost of imported liquefied natural gas.

SEJ Conference Set For Sacramento – The annual Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Conference will be September 21-25 in Sacramento.  Of course, Bracewell’s PRG will be hosting our annual big reception on Thursday Night to welcome everyone.  More on this as we get closer.

NY Ratification Event to Include World Leaders – Well if you thought the Paris Accord was not a treaty, you might not want to attend the event on September 21st in New York where UN head Ban ki-Moon is asking countries to celebrate the ratification of the Accord.  In a recent letter, Ban asked countries to accelerate your country’s domestic process for ratification of the Agreement this year.

Energy Engineering Congress Set – The 39th World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) will be held on September 21-23 at the Walter Washington Convention Center.  The WEEC looks at economic and market forces, new technologies, regulatory developments and industry trends.  Speakers include former Meet The Press host David Gregory, former Shell CEO John Hofmeister, Toyota Reg VP Tom Stricker and Tesla  Technology officer J.B. Straubel.  WCEE and Leaders in Energy will also host a reception on Thursday night of the event.

ASE to Host Efficiency Day on Hill – On Thursday, September 22nd on Capitol Hill, the ASE’s Great Energy Efficiency Day (GEED) will return to discuss the role of energy efficiency in an integrated grid.  For more than a decade, GEED has brought together hundreds of leaders from business, industry, academia and government for robust dialogues on energy efficiency’s most pressing issues.

North American Energy Summit Set – The Wilson Center’s Mexico and Canada Institutes are hosting their Third Annual North American Energy Forum on Thursday, September 22nd at the Wilson Center.

CSIS Forum Look at Energy Transition in Germany – On September 22nd, CSIS will host a discussion on energy transitions with perspectives on Germany and the United States with Rainer Baake, German State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs & Energy.  White House energy expert Dan Utech and NREL Director Martin Keller will also speak.

Forum to Launch NatGas Book – On Thursday, September 22nd at 12:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will hold a forum to launch the book, “The Future of Natural Gas Markets & Geopolitics.”  The role of natural gas in the global energy mix has witnessed a remarkable evolution in the past few decades. In this context of rapid changes in the energy market and shifts in geopolitical relationships, The Future of Natural Gas: Markets and Geopolitics provides a comprehensive and rigorous analysis on the role of natural gas in the future global energy mix.

WCEE Forum to Look at Residential Energy Efficiency – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunch forum on Thursday September 22nd at the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility to look at residential sector energy use. Introducing innovative energy efficiency technologies in new and existing homes as well as multifamily buildings will contribute to reduce consumers’ energy bills, help address climate change, benefit the environment, and enhance the nation’s energy security.  Implementing energy efficiency practices, performing home energy audits, improving insulation, replacing water heaters and appliances are the most common solutions.   Speakers will include DOE’s Joan Glickman and Megan Houston of the Institute for Marketing Transformation.

JHU Election Forum to Look at Energy Platforms – On Thursday, September 22nd at 4:00 p.m., Johns Hopkins University will host a forum at the Rome Auditorium that will feature a panel will discuss the energy policies of both political parties before the upcoming election.

SHALE INSIGHT Set for Pittsburgh – The Marcellus Shale Coalition will hold its 6th annual SHALE INSIGHT Conference at the Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA.  The focus of this year’s conference is the next phase of the shale revolution and will emphasize end use and connecting the market place through infrastructure. The conference will feature keynote presentations, an interactive and robust exhibit floor, tailored panel discussions, the Technology Showcase and a Natural Gas Use Marketplace, which all present networking opportunities for attendees.

BGov Forum to Look at Nuclear Power – On Friday, September 23rd at 8:00 a.m. Bloomberg BNA and Nuclear Matters will host a breakfast event exploring the clean energy benefits and value of nuclear power. Our distinguished speakers will discuss nuclear energy’s role in cutting emissions as federal and state policies to reduce existing power plant emissions go into effect, and as the Supreme Court considers the Clean Power Plan.

Coal Council CEO to Address Energy Group – The U.S. Association for Energy Economics (USAEE) National Capital Area will host its monthly lunch on Friday September 23rd featuring Janet Gellici of the National Coal Council.  Gellici will take a hard look at the current state of the coal industry and focus her remarks on market and policy hurdles confronting the coal industry.  She will also provide an overview of initiatives to overcome these challenges, including efforts to advance policy parity for low-carbon technology deployment and markets for CO2 utilization.

Transmission Forum to Look at Key Western Issues – Infocast’s 8th Transmission Summit West, will be Held on September 26-28 in San Diego, CA at the Marriott La Jolla.  The Summit brings together senior transmission industry owners, operators, generators, regulators, financiers and other key players to address the strategic, regulatory, investment and technology issues facing the industry, and explore strategies for maximizing the true value of their business.

Clean Power Plan Hits DC Circuit – On September 27th, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on September 27 in a case challenging the Clean Power Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation limiting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants. The hearing by the full court is the first time judges will hear arguments on the merits of the rule. Many expect the circuit court decision will be appealed to, and may ultimately be heard by, the U.S. Supreme Court. The Clean Power Plan is on hold while it makes its way through the legal system.

Holmstead to Lead BPC Panel on EPA Rule – The Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on Tuesday October 4th for a panel discussion with leading legal experts to unpack the arguments presented to the circuit court on September 27 in a case challenging EPA’s Clean Power Plan.  They will also be asked to read the tea leaves on the judges’ questions and reactions.  Speakers will include my Colleague Jeff Holmstead, Hunton’s Allison Wood, NRDC’s David Doniger and Chris Courchesne of the Massachusetts AG’s Office.

Rogers Headlines New Energy Summit – The 2016 New Energy Summit will be held in Washington at the House of Sweden on October 17-18, 2016 in Washington, DC. The 4th annual event will cover such topics as tax equity, community solar, net metering, and more. This year’s event will also feature a roster of pioneers, innovators and industry champions including Jigar Shah – Co-Founder of Generate Capital, Jim Rogers – Former CEO of Duke Energy, and Reed Hundt – Co-Founder of Coalition for Green Capital.

CIBO Meeting Set – The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO) will hold its annual meeting on October 18-19th In Woodstock, Vermont.  The meeting will consider the energy and environmental questions corporate and institutional CEO’s and Government legislative and regulatory leaders will be asking in the upcoming year as well as discuss the broader energy and environmental issues that could be impacting overall corporate operations and planning in the near term.

TransForum East Set for Nov – GenerationHub’s TransForum East is scheduled for November 15-16 at the Capital Hilton in DC. TransForum East brings together electric transmission executives who operate, plan, build, regulate and invest in electric power transmission systems in Eastern North America.

This regional forum provides two days of interaction and collaboration on the business of power transmission. You’ll gain insight from case studies of successful business models, regional planning strategies, financing trends and practical lessons learned from new construction and upgraded transmission projects occurring in the United States and Canada.

Memorial Day Energy Update


Unofficial Summer is off and running….  I hope everyone had a few moments to enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend.  Hannah and I were in Cali taking in some field hockey and a significant number of In ‘N Out Burgers (good thing I don’t live out there).

With the Stanley Cup Finals underway (Pittsburgh took Game 1 last night 3-2) and the NBA Finals set after last night’s impressive Game 7 win by Golden State (they now take on LeBron and Cleveland in a rematch of last year’s final), it is a pretty great sports time.  And how about the way North Carolina took it to Maryland in both the Women’s and Men’s lax finals over the weekend, with the Tar Heel men coming back from a three goal deficit to win in OT.  Both of those wins had to be considered upsets.

And I know this goes against my Champ Kind “No Soccer” pledge, but starting Friday, the United States will host one of international soccer’s most famous tournaments, Copa America. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, the crown jewel of South American futbol is venturing outside its continental borders for the first time. The first match will pit the U.S. and Colombia at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., and culminates June 26 with the championship game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.  The Wash Post has a great primer here.

First, awesome news breaking late last week that our friend and long-time DC Trade reporter Darren Goode will be leaving the confines of the press to work with conservative clean energy advocate Jay Faison.   We are all familiar with Darren’s body of work for POLITICO, National Journal, The Hill and Inside EPA over the years and know we will stay up with him.  Also in the new job department, our friend Ellen Carey of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is leaving for an exciting new opportunity in Audi’s Communications shop.  Ellen will help Audi with policy communications, working on autonomous vehicles and other key regulatory issues.  So congrats Darren and Ellen…

Slow week this week because of the holiday, but still a few events, including CSIS hosting Chevron’s Ali Moshiri and the State Dept’s Amos Hochstein to discuss Latin American energy issues on Thursday.  Also Thursday, CEI hosts its annual dinner featuring Steve Forbes.  Out of town, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and two dozen of his international counterparts will swap policy ideas in San Francisco this week (starting today) at the 7th Clean Energy Ministerial.

We’ll be around should you have questions, mostly doing our research for next Saturday’s final Triple Crown Jewell, the 148th Belmont Stakes.  Right now, I like the looks of a well-rested Suddenbreakingnews (with HoF Jockey Will Smith) to chase Exaggerator.  Late closers Cherry Wine and Creator, as well as the speedy Stradivari will all challenge at the longer mile-and-a-half distance.  More race updates here next week.  Call with questions.



Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932



“I couldn’t help but realize today that I have personally carried and birthed a child in the same amount of time in which Rand Paul could have raised objections to the few lines in this bill that he is now calling ‘rushed.’”

Senate EPW Spokesperson Donelle Harder

“Beth Parke has provided SEJ with an incredible level of dedication, service, vision and hard work. Her leadership has led SEJ to become widely admired and its members to become better journalists. I am thankful for all that Beth has done for the SEJ family. And I’m grateful she accepted our job offer almost a quarter century ago.”

Michigan State University Journalism Professor Jim Detjen, SEJ’s founding board president.



SEJ Leader to Step Down After 25 Years – The Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Board of Directors last week announced Beth Parke’s intent to step down from her role as executive director by early 2017, marking more than two decades of remarkable service. The organization is now launching a search for a new executive director to lead SEJ in its mission of informing and engaging the public on energy and environmental issues. Parke will continue in her role as executive director through the search and transition process.  As SEJ’s founding executive director, Parke has guided the organization through decades of programs designed to connect, support and educate colleagues and encourage newcomers to the beat.  SEJ’s work gained international recognition as thousands of journalists sharpened their skills, advanced their careers and raised public awareness of some of the world’s most challenging and fascinating environmental issues. Under Parke’s leadership, SEJ has become the world’s leading group of professional journalists, reporters, authors and academics who focus on issues of energy and the environment. On any given day, the journalism delivered by SEJ’s 1,300 members can engage tens of millions around North America and the globe.  Parke has been a creative, entrepreneurial leader and steadfast steward of SEJ’s mission, particularly during a period of significant change for both environmental issues and the media landscape. She drew together and retained a dedicated and talented staff and hundreds of volunteers supporting thousands of journalists, students and educators as environmental news coverage went from niche to essential mainstream.

TSCA Approved – The House quickly approved the reforms for TSCA that were held up in the Senate since last year.  The legislation was debated last week and the House approved the compromise 403-12 Tuesday evening.  The approval sends the Compromise back to Senate before it can go to the White House for the President’s signature.  Late Thursday Sen. Rand Paul delayed final Senate approval until after lawmakers return from a week-long Memorial Day break.

Energy Conferees Appointed – The House moved late last week to name their designees to the joint conference committee charged with marrying two relatively disparate Senate and House energy bills.  House Republicans named 24 conferees: Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (Mich.), Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (Utah), Science Chairman Lamar Smith (Texas), Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (Texas), and Reps. Joe Barton (Texas), Ed Whitfield (Ky.), John Shimkus (Ill.), Bob Latta (Ohio), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Pete Olson (Texas), David McKinley (W.Va.), Mike Pompeo (Kan.), Morgan Griffith (Va.), Bill Johnson (Ohio), Bill Flores (Texas), Markwayne Mullin (Okla.), Don Young (Alaska), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Bruce Westerman (Ark.), Randy Weber (Texas), Glenn Thompson (Pa.), Cresent Hardy (Nev.) and Lee Zeldin (N.Y.).  House Democrats named 16 conferees: Energy and Commerce ranking member Frank Pallone (N.J.), Natural Resources ranking member Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson (Minn.), Science ranking member Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas), Transportation ranking member Peter DeFazio (Ore.), and Reps. Bobby Rush (Ill.), Lois Capps (Calif.), Doris Matsui (Calif.), Kathy Castor (Fla.), Dave Loebsack (Iowa), John Sarbanes (Md.), Peter Welch (Vt.), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), Paul Tonko (N.Y.), Jared Huffman (Calif.) and Debbie Dingell (Mich.).

Trump Speech Strike Chord with Both Sides – The North Dakota Energy speech by Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump got the conversation going on energy last week.  What it really means who knows.  Both sides reacted with typical platitudes yet enviros were even more condescending than most.   It Is pretty clear though that Trump is likely to be more in line with industry on natural gas drilling and remain skeptical of the Paris climate Agreement and the US’s participation in any international climate agreement.

Cleaning Institute Head to Step Down – Leaving with a clean slate, Ernie Rosenberg, who has led the American Cleaning Institute since 1999, has announced he washing his hands of work and cycling into retirement.  After giving it his all for 16 years, Rosenberg go against tide and the will step down as the association’s President and CEO once a successor has been dialed in, no later than February 2018. The ACI Board of Directors, who is already working on plans to choose Rosenberg’s successor, gave him one final Cheer.

Platts Crude Podcast Looks at Iran Oil Exports – The delicate future of the Iran nuclear deal is the focus of this week’s Platts Capitol Crude podcast. Worries from banks and companies about investing in Iran have put the deal on unstable footing even as Iranian oil exports climb to pre-sanctions levels. While the Obama administration works damage control, The Platts’ team discuss whether the deal be imperiled by November’s US elections and next year’s Iranian presidential election?



RFF to Look at Enviro Public Good – Resources for the Future will hold its June First Wednesday Seminar at 12:45 p.m. to focus on neuroeconomics, which is a new direction for valuing environmental public good.  For more than 60 years, experts at RFF and elsewhere have sought to understand people’s preferences and willingness to pay for environmental public goods in order to improve environmental regulations. One of the newest methods for understanding preferences and environmental valuation is neuroeconomics—the study of how the brain makes economic-related decisions. Experts at this seminar, hosted by RFF with New York University’s Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Decision Making, will examine new findings from the institute that bring neuroscience to bear on what was once largely an economics question: How do people value environmental goods? Panelists will discuss how these findings compare with traditional contingent valuation (one of the longest-standing, conventional approaches to environmental valuation) and the implications for public policy. Speakers will include NYU’s Paul Glimcher, Georgetown‘s Arik Levinson, Michael Livermore of the UVa School of Law and NOAA’s Juli Trtanj.

Forum to Look at TX Green Energy – The Bi-National Energy Committee along with the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy, the North American Development Bank (NADB) and other organizations will hold the Bi-National Green Energy Forum on Wednesday in San Antonio, TX.  Focusing on green energy projects: from renewable sources of energy to new technologies for energy efficiencies, the Forum is great opportunity to learn and discuss with experts and successful companies of Mexico and the US about cross-border opportunities in this vibrant growing bi-national market.

CSIS to Host Latin Energy Discussion – The Center for Strategic International Studies hosts a conversation on Thursday with State Department Resources envoy Amos Hochstein and Chevron’s Ali Moshiri, who will discuss the policy and commercial implications of the current oil market environment and the outlook for energy security in Latin America and Africa.

Forbes to Address CEI Annual Dinner – The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Annual Dinner and Reception will be held Thursday at the JW Marriott Washington.  The event brings together an audience of policy professionals, distinguished scholars, congressional staff, and supporters to celebrate CEI’s effective advocacy for freedom. The theme for this year’s event is “A Night in Casablanca”.  Steve Forbes will be the Keynote Speaker.



Heritage to Look at Obama War On Fossil Fuels – Next Monday, June 6th at 12:00 p.m., the Heritage Foundation hosts a forum on the Obama Administration’s efforts against fossil fuels. In only a few short years, the U.S. has become the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas; it has long been the Saudi Arabia of coal. America has more fossil fuels resources than any nation and can produce and utilize those resources with more environmental sensitivity and energy efficiency. Yet, highly politicized climate policies are pushing a grand-scale shift to unreliable, expensive renewable energy sources inherently incapable of replacing the vast energy services fossil fuels provide. Today, ‘fossil fuel’ has become such a dirty word that even fossil fuel companies feel compelled to apologize for their products. In Fueling Freedom, Kathleen Hartnett White and Stephen Moore make an unapologetic case for fossil fuels, turning around progressives’ protestations to prove that if fossil fuel energy is supplanted by ‘green’ alternatives for political reasons, humanity will take a giant step backwards and the planet will be less safe, less clean, and less free.

Energy, Education Forum Set – Next Tuesday, the National Council on Science and the Environment’s (NCSE) Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL) will host the 2nd annual National Energy Education Summit at American University. Energy literate leaders in politics, labor, business, and religion must help citizens and the workforce cope with the challenges and embrace the opportunities of change. Despite the needs for energy literacy, very few college and university students in the United States or elsewhere systematically learn about energy as part of their education. New forms of energy education must become a fundamental part of undergraduate education, in the United States and everywhere else in the world.

Forum to Look at Climate, Air Quality Connections – Next Tuesday, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts a half-day event on the connection between air quality and climate change and how it might be expected to shape the global energy innovation agenda in the years to come. Speakers will include : Deborah Gordon, Judi Greenwald, Daniel Horton, David Livingston, Varun Rai, Seth Shonkoff.

Brookings Forum to Look at Paris Climate Deal – Next Tuesday, June 7th at 4:00 p.m., Brookings will host a panel to assess the challenges as well as the opportunities in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.  The Paris agreement, recently signed onto by 196 countries, is a milestone in recognizing the threat posed by climate change and securing collective commitment to hold global temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius.” The task now is to translate this ambitious commitment into a concrete implementation agenda.  This high level panel, which will include eminent climate expert Lord Nicholas Stern, World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and University of Maryland Dean Public Policy and longtime climate advisor Robert Orr, as well as Vice President Kemal Dervis and Senior Fellow Amar Bhattacharya of Global Economy and Development program at Brookings.

WCEE Forum on Future Utility of Future – On Wednesday, June 8th at 12:00 noon in the swanky new office at Bracewell, the Women’s  Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum on the utility of the future.  Based on data published by EIA, US demand for electricity hit a plateau in 2006 for a variety reasons – the transition of our economy from manufacturing towards services, improvements in energy efficiency, and changing building codes.  There are also growing regional trends to shift towards clean energy, in some cases driven by legislative mandates or the Clean Power Plan, and an increase in the popularity of customer generated electricity.  But, at its simplest, the utility business model, forged at the turn of the 20th century, is based on a perpetual increasing demand for electricity.  The event features DC Public Service Commissioner Joanne Doddy Fort, former Maryland PSC Chair and current Alliance to Save Energy official Kelly Speakes-Backman, Katharine Bond of Dominion Virginia Power and Cheryl Roberto of  Twenty First Century Utilities.

JHU to Look at Living with Lower Oil Prices – Johns Hopkins SAIS, the International Monetary Fund, and the Middle East Institute will host a high level discussion on Wednesday, June 8th at 12:30 p.m. looking at living with cheaper oil and the policy adjustments necessary in Middle Eastern and Central Asian oil exporting countries.  The event features a presentation by Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and Martin Sommer, IMF’s Deputy Chief, Middle East and Central Asia Regional Studies Division.

USEA Forum to Look at Paris, Future of Energy – On Thursday June 9th, US EA will host a forum looking at all sectors of the energy industry and the pressure from a combination of ultra-low prices, dislike of big business, accusations of crony capitalism and, last but not least, what for many are existential threats from environmental concerns.  The speakers, respectively the former Chief Climate Counsel for Sierra Club and Head of Climate Policy at ExxonMobil, talk frankly about what the future holds: what the Paris agreement means (and does not mean) for the energy industry; why the 2016 election may make less difference than many think – or hope – and what the reality of a carbon-constrained policy world means for the fossil and renewable energy industries. Former Sierra Club Counsel David Bookbinder has litigated cases under all of the major environmental statutes as Sierra Club’s Chief Climate Counsel. He then represented environmental groups in both stationary- and mobile-source carbon matters, including California’s greenhouse gas vehicle standards. Bookbinder has helped lead efforts on both global warming legislation and Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulation, and has testified in front of House and Senate committees on these issues.  David Bailey has 35 years-experience in managing energy related issues around the world and has worked at literally every level of the coal and oil and gas industries, from the UK National Coal Board during the economic and labor upheavals under the Thatcher government to responsibility for ExxonMobil’s climate policy.

Oil, Gas Forum Set – US Energy Stream will hold a Washington Oil & Gas Forum on June 8th and 9th at the Cosmos Club in DC.  More on this as it gets closer, but you can go here:

REFF Wall Street Meeting Set for NYC – REFF-Wall Street 2016 will be held on June 11th and 12th at The Grand Hyatt, New York.  REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S. The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 decision makers, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists, and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.

Energy Update: Week of April 4


Opening Day is here, despite the weather in some places (the Yankees-Astros have been postponed).  Three games launched yesterday, but everybody else goes today including the O’s first pitch against the Twins at 3:05 p.m. at the Yard.  The Nationals open in Atlanta today at 4:05 p.m. and launch at home Thursday.  Get the full MLB Opening Day Schedule here.

Tonight, the College Basketball season ends, crowning either Villanova or North Carolina as champ after Saturday’s semi-final blowouts.  One week to go until the NHL hockey playoffs and this weekend is the NCAA Frozen Four.  And speaking of weeks, this is the 80th Masters Week.  The PGA’s first major of the year is ready to go and top players Jordan Spieth and Jason Day are smarting to become repeat winners of the famous “Green Jacket.”  Action launches today and tomorrow with practice rounds, Pro-Am/Par 3 contest on Wednesday and then Showtime Thursday.

With Congress returning this week, we can expect today to start off with some bluster (and that’s not just because it was windy in DC over the weekend).  It is because the White House will roll out a major report on climate change and health, an always dubious link despite what EPA’s Gina McCarthy, WH Science Advisor John Holdren, and the US Surgeon General will say during the presser.

House Remains out this week on Spring District Work Period as Wisconsin sets primary votes tomorrow.  As for the Senate, they’ll have hearings Wednesday in Senate Ag on Rural Development (or in other words: Renewable Fuels) and Senate Environment hosts NRC Commissioners.  Then Thursday, Senate Energy tackles the USGS (look for some discussion of earthquakes) and Senate Environment will discuss water infrastructure (expect a major discussion of Flint, MI).   In limbo on the schedule remains the energy legislation mired in Senate “holds” and controversy regarding Flint aid and offshore drilling issues.  Insiders seem to think the chances of moving it are narrowing.

Off the hill, there are a bunch of events detailed below with the headliner being a Hudson Institute forum on Wednesday to look at the future natgas economy that features T. Boone Pickens and former VA Rep/Sen/Gov George Allen.  Also, EPA chief Gina McCarthy does another Christian Science Monitor breakfast tomorrow morning at the St. Regis.  Also Lisa Murkowski and Angus King (and Others) talk Arctic Energy at the Wilson Institute Wednesday.  And up in NYC today and tomorrow, Bloomberg New Energy Finance is hosting its annual Energy Summit which features Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning and ClearPath Foundation’s Jay Faison among the speakers.  Later in the week, the Wall Street Journal hosts its annual ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara with Fanning, Duke CEO Lynn Good, Chris Brown of Vestas and BNSF CEO Matt Rose all speaking among many others.  Our WSJ friends Kim Strassel, Lynn Cook, Russ Gold, and Amy Harder will be among the interviewers.

Finally, speaking of NRC, after 12 years running the public affairs shop there, our friend and loyal update reader Eliot Brenner is retiring. Eliot was hoping to get the word out so we could all throw him a big party…oops, um, not that… (we will anyway) but because NRC has posted the job on USAJobs over the next month.  It is a career SES position, and they’re advertising to increase the likelihood of getting someone hired before he turns out the lights July 31st.   Congrats Eliot and if you’re interested check out the listing.

Call with questions.


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


Ivanpah Meeting Output Targets – Just after reports of its demise, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System solar project in California more than doubled its output last month, putting it on pace to meet its obligations to Pacific Gas and Electric Co.  Ivanpah, the world’s biggest solar-thermal power plant, generated 67,300 megawatt-hours electricity in February, up from about 30,300 a year earlier, according to NRG Energy Inc., which operates the faculty and co-owns it with BrightSource Energy Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.  Mitchell Samuelian, NRG’s vice president of operation for utility-scale renewable generation, said the improved performance shows the plant’s technology is viable and that the facility is on track to fulfil its contractual obligations. The release of the February output data comes 12 days after California regulators gave NRG and its partners more time to avoid defaulting on a contract with PG&E for failing to supply power they had guaranteed.  “The February numbers were well in excess of what we were targeting,” Samuelian said in an interview. The plant experienced a Normal ramp up that caused it to fall short of production targets for the first 24 months in operation. Last week, California regulators gave the project until Aug. 1 to avoid defaulting on its agreement with PG&E if it pays the utility for past shortfalls in generation and continues to meet future targets.  The facility is on pace to generate 102% of its target capacity for March.

EPA Moves on HFCs, But Rejects Enviro Industry Agreement – The White House Office of Management and Budget approved a proposed EPA rule that aims to phase out certain refrigerants and other hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that contribute significantly to climate change.  The EPA intends to solicit public comment on the regulation and finalize it by August.  EPA also is proposing to curtail usage of certain HFCs.  Various new limitations would be placed on the use of certain ozone-depleting substances in multiple industrial sectors. The EPA released the proposed rule under the Clean Air Act’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) and said it would particularly affect hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in the refrigeration and air conditioning, foam blowing, and fire suppression and explosion protection industries.  The HVAC industry, which has been a leader on this issue said AHRI and NRDC negotiated an agreement on this issue that would have set the date of implementation as January 1, 2025.  The EPA did not accept this agreement, stating in the NOPR that it needs additional analysis to justify that date.  While AHRI and other stakeholders will be working with member companies to supply the analysis EPA is asking for, it is nonetheless a disappointment to the HVAC industry because they and NRDC worked diligently to reach the compromise that was presented to EPA, with each side giving something along the way.  For the EPA to reject the agreement sets a bad precedent and could discourage further collaboration among stakeholders on these very important issues.

Colorado Gov Says Suspending Ozone Rule Great Idea – During a speech to the Colorado Petroleum Council late last week, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper said it would be a great idea for EPA to suspend its stricter new ozone rule.  The comments were captured in a video distributed by the Center for Regulatory Solutions. Several state in the region including Colorado will have trouble meeting the new tougher standards because g significant background emissions. “So I think it would be a great idea if they suspended the standard,” Hickenlooper told a panel in Denver.I mean, just with the background [ozone], if you’re not going to be able to conform to a standard like this, you are leaving the risk or the possibility that there will be penalties of one sort or another that come from your lack of compliance. … I think if they suspend the standards, it’s not going to slow us down from continuing to try and make our air cleaner.”

Key House Republicans Blast Interior Well Control Rule – A new letter from House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Ken Calvert late Friday blasted new design requirements for offshore oil and gas wells, saying it will “severely limit” energy development on the outer continental shelf.  The letter says the rule will have severe “negative unintended consequences.”  “Allowing for OCS development and promoting a safe operating environment are not mutually exclusive and it is vitally important to continue improvements and updates to existing safety regulations,” Bishop and Calvert wrote. “However, these rules must be done well and done right.”  As you know, our friends at GEST recently worked with Wood Mackenzie on a study that looked at the costs of the new proposed rule on drilling and its impact on economic activity, employment, energy supplies and federal offshore revenues.   As well, newly –elected Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards also weighed in with the White House challenging the rule.

Supporters Hit Docket with Brief in Favor of GHG Rules – Supporters of EPA GHG rule for power plants flooded the docket with “friend of the court” briefs on Friday.  The US Chamber’s Energy Institute has it all covered here with links to nearly every brief on both sides.  My colleague Scott Segal offered these comments for the record on the Congressional brief filed by 200 Members.  This group is countered by a larger group of 34 Senators and 171 members of the House that filed a brief pointing out the many legal and policy shortcomings of EPA’s rules on February 23, 2016:

  1. The environmentalist Congressional brief mirrors the EPA in confusing the alleged importance of CPP in achieving climate objectives with the actual structure and precedent of the Clean Air Act.  They begin with overheated rhetoric describing the Act as a declaration of war, allowing EPA essentially to do whatever it is it wants.  Of course, many of these same members rejected overbroad “war” rhetoric in virtually every other context.  The claim of necessity also stands in marked contrast to statements from senior EPA officials and even the White House itself that CPP was not necessary for the US to meet its national obligation to greenhouse gas reductions established through the Paris process.  The Administration and activists have both been emphatic in stating that reauthorization of tax credits coupled with market trends makes CPP unneeded to achieve US goals.
  1. The brief makes inappropriate comparisons between CPP and past rule makings found to be within EPA discretion.  The truth is that EPA has never proposed as radical a departure from the letter of the Clean Air Act or past precedent.  The Supreme Court reminded in the UARG case, EPA cannot simply discover vast reservoirs of new authority from long-extant obscure provisions without explicit authorization from Congress.  Filing a brief is at best post hoc rationalization of Congressional intent not supported by actual legislative history.

The more these member stress the importance of the subject matter of its rule, the stronger the case that Congress should use its actual legislative power to define any explicit authorization around which a national consensus can be built.

  1. Much like EPA, the environmentalist Congressional brief makes much of the Supreme Court’s finding in AEP v. Connecticut which found that federal common law was displaced by federal regulatory action on the subject of climate change.  The Court ruled that such tort claims are displaced when federal legislation authorizes EPA to regulate emissions.  But nothing in the AEP case created within Section 111(d) the type of authority EPA seeks here.  Nothing, for example, allowed the Agency to proposed a rule that goes beyond the fence line of the regulated source in contravention of 40 years of Clean Air Act precedent.   And of course the same decision, in footnote 7, also takes explicit notice of the fact that regulation under Section 112 preempts subsequent use of Section 111(d) under the Clean Air Act, meaning that the MATS rule prevents the use of authority cited for CPP.
  1. Bottom line:  CPP remains in serious legal trouble on statutory, constitutional, administrative and implementation grounds.  We think any fair panel of judges are likely to be deeply disturbed by EPA’s regulation, regardless of the subject matter it purports to address or the overheated rhetoric with which it is defended.

PUC Commissioners Brief Counters Pro-EPA Commissioners – Remember, with a brief mention of a few well-known pro-EPA former PUC Commissioners (Sue Tierney, Ron Binz, etc) filing a briefing, you should note that another bigger, more diverse group of PUC Commissioners weighed in against the EPA rules as an overreach.  The 18 former state public utility commissioners that represented the interests of consumers in over a dozen states said lost in the litigation of EPA’s Power Plan is its permanent and irreversible impact on state regulators and state institutions that will only leave state utility regulators to present customers with the bill for its implementation.   Former Colorado PUC Commissioner (who also has some good Binz stories) Ray Gifford (303- 626-2320, is a great resource.

New Web Page on GHG Rules Underscores Coal Impacts on Cost, Reliability – Speaking of CPP, Here is another great site to follow.  Over the past several years, the EPA has worked to remove coal-based electricity from our nation’s energy mix for what amounts to negligible environmental benefits. To counter the attack, our friends at ACCCE launched a web page – Coal Facts – that utilizes data that highlights reliable, affordable coal-based electricity. The page provides a handy resource for the full story.

Capitol Crude Looks at Trump Oil Import Ban – Looking for a little Oil politics? Even though Donald Trump’s proposal to ban US imports of Saudi Arabian crude appears unfeasible, but is the plan already chilling investment in the US energy sector and damaging fragile ties with the Saudis and other overseas allies?  On this week’s Capitol Crude podcast, Platts senior oil Brian Scheid talks with David Goldwyn, Tim Worstall, George David Banks and James Koehler on the impacts of Trump’s proposed Saudi import ban.


BNEF Energy Summit Features Kerry, SoCo Fanning – Bloomberg New Energy Finance is hosting at 8th annual Energy Summit today and tomorrow in New York City and will include among its speakers Secretary of State John Kerry, Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning, ClearPath Foundation founder Jay Faison and former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter among others.  See the full agenda and speakers here.

Forum to Discuss Ukraine Energy Security – This afternoon at 4:00 p.m., the Atlantic Council will host a discussion on Ukraine energy with its resident fellow Anders Åslund and Ukrainian Parliament Energy committee Member Olga Bielkova.  In his report on the strategic challenges facing Ukraine’s energy sector Dr. Åslund argues that energy sector reform is essential to the survival of Ukraine, as it will assist Ukraine’s fight against corruption, minimize its dependence on Russian gas, and improve Ukrainian national security. The simultaneous support of and pressure from the transatlantic community is critical for Ukraine to complete the reform process in due course to smooth the social costs of the transition, stabilize its energy market, create a favorable environment for indigenous energy production, and improve the country’s overall economic growth prospects. The panel of experts will discuss the findings and recommendations of Dr. Åslund’s report.

Energy Conference Set – The Energy Smart Conference will be held at the Gaylord today through Wednesday.  The event features top enterprises, energy service providers, and technology leaders to rethink the industry and refine energy management.  Main speakers will be Colin Powell, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth of What Motivates Us Daniel Pink and Green to Gold Author Andrew Winston.

McCarthy to Address CSM Breakfast – EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will again revisit the Christian Science Monitor breakfast series at the St. Regis Hotel at 9:00 a.m.  You know what to expect, but this time with a heavy dose of health impact issues given today’s White House Health-Climate Report.

CSIS to Discuss China Energy Outlook – Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and Freeman Chair in China Studies will host Xiaojie Xu, Chief Fellow at the Institute of World Economics and Politics, part of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, to present the World Energy China Outlook 2016. The annual outlook presents a Chinese perspective on world energy trends with a focus on domestic energy development and global implications. The 2016 edition compares the implications of a Current Policies Scenario (CPS), examining recently released government policies, as well as an Eco-friendly Energy Strategy (EES), an alternative set of policies emphasizing a new pattern of economic development with increasing quality of growth, an optimized energy system, higher efficiency and lower-carbon development. Jane Nakano, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will moderate.

RFF to Launch Revesz/Lienke Book – Resources for the Future will hold a book launch tomorrow for the book, Struggling for Air: Power Plants and the “War on Coal” by Richard Revesz and Jack Lienke.   Pro EPA advocates Revesz and Lienke argue that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and the Clean Power Plan are the latest in a long line of efforts by presidential administrations of both parties to compensate for a tragic flaw in the Clean Air Act of 1970—the “grandfathering” that spared existing power plants from complying with the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions limits applicable to new plants. At this discussion, Revesz and Lienke will clarify their arguments and a panel of experts will weigh in on the inherent challenges of Clean Air Act regulations and the future of environmental policies such as the Clean Power Plan.  A panel of experts will discuss the issues.

Forum to Look at Transition in Coal Country – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) hosts a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. that will explore how traditionally coal-reliant communities can transition, diversify and strengthen their economies as the United States moves toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. The event will discuss the funding opportunities and work being done at the local, regional and federal levels to help these communities grow vibrant local economies. This webinar will highlight the range of actions being taken by various coal-reliant regions to diversify and develop new jobs and sources of revenue.

FERC’s Honorable to Headline Energy Times Forum – The Energy Times will hold a conference on California Renewables at the Fairmont San Francisco on Wednesday.  Keynoters will in broad strokes paint a picture of what is happening in the world of electric utilities, energy infrastructure and the power grid today. They will suggest what will be needed in the future and they will begin our consideration of what it will take for us to get there.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable and Edison International’s Andrew Murphy, among many others.

Forum to Look at Arctic Energy Issues – The Institute of the North and The Wilson Center, in association with the Arctic Parliamentarians, Arctic Economic Council and Alaska Arctic Council Host Committee, will host a forum on Wednesday to consider ways in which northern governments and businesses can advance broadly beneficial and responsible economic development.  The day-long forum will address the potential for Arctic economic development, the barriers, and the paths toward greater economic prosperity. This Forum is dedicated to improving the business environment in the American Arctic, which clearly intersects with the economies of other Arctic nations, other regions of the United States, and multiple sectors of the economy. Panel discussions and presentations will focus on areas of mutual interest and concern, including trade, infrastructure, investment, risk mitigation, and improving the living and economic conditions of people of the north.  Confirmed speakers include Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Angus King, as well as Arctic Economic Council Chair Tara Sweeney, Icelandic Arctic Chamber of Commerce rep Haukur Óskarsson, Julie Gourley of the US State Department, Canada’s Susan Harper, Norway Parliament Member Eirik Sivertsen, Denmark Parliament Member Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, Russian Sen. Vladimir Torlopov and several other business officials.

Pickens, Allen to Discuss NatGas Future – The Hudson Institute hosts a forum on Wednesday to look at the future natgas economy.  America’s abundance of shale natural gas represents a historic opportunity for the United States to achieve a burst of clean economic growth—and gives American energy security and independence a new meaning.  Will natural gas serve as an essential bridge in the coming era of clean renewable energy sources? Four panels of experts will discuss how the transition to natural gas as a leading power source and industrial feedstock will impact key sectors of the American economy.  George Allen, former governor and U.S. senator from Virginia, will keynote the conference. Energy entrepreneur, financier, and philanthropist T. Boone Pickens will take part in a lunchtime dialogue on America’s natural gas future with Hudson Senior Fellow Arthur Herman.  Other speakers will include our friends David Montgomery of NERA, Michael Jackson of Fuel Freedom Foundation and ACC’s Owen Kean among others.

Senate Agriculture to Look at USDA Rural Development Programs – Next Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy will hold a hearing on USDA Rural Development Programs and their economic impact across America.  USDA’s Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary of Rural Development will testify along with Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill, our friend Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw and Cris Sommerville, President of Dakota Turbines in North Dakota.

Senate Enviro Hosts NRC Commissioners on Budget – The Senate Environment Committee will hold an oversight hearing next Wednesday on the President’s FY 2017 Budget Request for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. All NRC Commissioners will testify.

RFF to Look at Deforestation – Resources for the Future will hold its First Wednesday Seminar at 12:45 p.m. that focused on the opportunities for and challenges of reducing supply chain deforestation using private and regulatory strategies, potential synergies among these strategies, and linkages with Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).  The event will feature leading companies, nongovernmental organizations, and multi-stakeholder initiatives using and promoting these approaches.

WCEE Lunch to Look at EE in Commercial Buildings – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a lunch on Wednesday at Noon  on new environmental policies, efficiency programs, climate change mitigation, and building codes.  These items have been crucial to the design of sustainable infrastructure and development of energy efficient products, services and practices for commercial buildings and industrial plants. The market offers a wide assortment of programs, services and products but…which are the most suitable for commercial buildings or industrial plants?  Panelists share their experience on energy efficiency programs implemented in different facilities. Smita Chandra Thomas will discuss how energy efficiency in commercial buildings can contribute to climate change mitigation and the eco-system that makes it possible.  Julie Hughes from IMT will present on building energy performance policies–discussing how local, state, and federal government are crucial for making the built environmental more energy efficient.  Alana Hutchinson will give an overview of ENERGY STAR best practices for establishing a comprehensive energy management program for buildings and plants. Corrine Figueredo will explain EDGE, an innovative tool developed by the IFC to help build a business case for Green buildings in more than a 100 countries.

SoCo’s Fanning, Duke’s Good, UN Sect, Others Headline WSJ ECO:nomics Forum – The Wall Street Journal hosts its annual ECO:nomics Conference in Santa Barbara on Wednesday evening, Thursday and Friday.  The event brings together a diverse group of global CEOs, top entrepreneurs, environmental experts and policy makers for ECO:nomics 2016 in Santa Barbara. This year’s conference will give attendees the opportunity to join the national debate over energy policy, sustainability and climate. Speakers for the annual big shindig include Southern’s Tom Fanning, Duke’s Lynn Good, former UN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Ford’s Mark Fields.

Green Symposium Set for DC – On Thursday and Friday at UDC, the 8th annual World Green Energy Symposium (WGES) will hold an educational and informational exchange platform featuring top decision makers and thought leaders who are seeking energy usage savings solutions and/or to increase economic development through the use of sustainable technologies and products. The WGES is a rare opportunity to meet firsthand some of the most innovative and advanced technologies to meet those demands, whether an innovator, investor, purchaser, or decision maker in new energy.

EPA Sets Biomass Workshop – States and stakeholders have shown strong interest in the role biomass can play in state strategies to address carbon pollution. Many states have extensive expertise in the area of sound carbon- and GHG-beneficial forestry and land management practices, and exhibit approaches to biomass and bioenergy that are unique to each state’s economic, environmental and renewable energy goals.  To support efforts to further evaluate the role of biomass in stationary source carbon strategies, EPA is hosting this public workshop on Thursday to share their successes, experiences and approaches to deploying biomass in ways that have been, and can be, carbon beneficial.

Senate Energy to Look at USGS – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday to conduct oversight of the U.S. Geological Survey.  Expect a strong dose of earthquake discussions following last week’s release on new reports looking at man-made earthquakes in place like Oklahoma.

Forum to Discuss Energy with Presidential Advisors – The STEM Capitol Hill Power Lunch Series returns on Thursday at Noon in B-338 featuring a debate with energy, tech, and education advisors to Presidential candidates. The event features a debate with education, tech, and/or energy policy advisors to leading presidential candidates. You’re invited to enjoy a lively conversation about substantive policy issues affecting the growth of our innovation economy while networking with congressional staff and officials from federal and local government agencies along with tech and energy sector executives, other STEM professionals, policy advocates, educators, and students.

NAS Report to Look at Extreme Weather Issues – On Thursday evening at the Marian Koshland Science Museum the NAS will hold a forum on a new report on extreme weather that examines the current state of the science of attribution of extreme weather events to human-caused climate change and natural variability. The report considers different attribution approaches and different extreme event types, and identifies future research priorities.  Report Chair David Titley of the Penn State and committee member Adam Sobel of Columbia University. Remarks will be followed by open audience Q&A, moderated by our friends Heidi Cullen of Climate Central and AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein.

HuffPost Podcast to Be Featured – Our friend Dana Yeganian, former Progress Energy PR person, is hosting a Happy Hour on Thursday at NBCUniversal’s office at 300 NJ Ave featuring the new HuffPost podcast Candidate Confessional.  CC Hosts Sam Stein and Jason Chekis will provide an inside look at life on the losing side of the campaign trial.


Forum to Discuss Enviro Book – The CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development will host a forum on Next Monday at 10:30 a.m. for an armchair conversation with Antoine van Agtmael and Fred Bakker, authors of The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts Are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation. In their new book, the authors argue that manufacturing rustbelts in Europe and the United States are transforming as universities, large corporations, and policymakers collaborate to foster innovation ecosystems and empower visionary entrepreneurs.  As these regions become new centers of economic dynamism there are lessons to be learned for any country or region seeking modern economic competitiveness.

JHU Energy Program to Discuss Energy in Eastern Mediterranean – The Johns Hopkins University will host a forum next Monday at 5:00 p.m. featuring Sir Michael Leigh is a senior fellow with the German Marshall Fund and runs GMF’s program on Eastern Mediterranean Energy. He was formerly director-general for enlargement with the European Commission and has held other senior positions at EU institutions for more than 30 years. He has taught at John Hopkins SAIS Europe in Bologna, Italy, as well as the University of Sussex and Wellesley College.  Leigh will focus on energy and geopolitics in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Forum to Look at Energy Innovation in Defense Sector – The Atlantic Council and The Fuse, a group within the think Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), will host a panel discussion next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. on energy technology and innovation in the U.S. defense sector. The demand for energy security and evolving geopolitical risks have already impacted the strategic approach of defense institutions, which are actively developing technology and policy alternatives to respond to these challenges. By integrating expertise in both security and energy issues, institutions such as the United States Navy provide a critical perspective in efforts to secure a reliable and sustainable energy supply. Speakers will include Dennis McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy – Energy, Installations, & Environment, Pew’s Clean Energy Initiative Director Phyllis Cuttino and the Atlantic Council’s Dan Chiu,

CSIS Forum to Look at Energy Developments in Brazil, Venezuela – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a panel discussion next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. on regional energy developments in Latin America, with a focus on Brazil and Venezuela. Our expert panel will examine the political dynamics and economic outlook, highlighting analyses of political issues impacting the oil sector, including production profiles and the outlook for investment.  Following the initial presentations, the panelists will engage in an informal conversation focusing on the latest developments in both countries, and the impact on domestic policy as well as oil markets more generally.

Rogers Headlines Clean Energy Challenge Forum
– The Clean Energy Challenge is hold a conference in Chicago on April 12th featuring capitalists, civic leaders, and industry executives to recognize cleantech innovation.  The Clean Energy Trust Challenge is a nationally recognized accelerator for clean energy innovation. Run by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust, the Challenge has led to the development and growth of 60+ businesses throughout the Midwest.  Speakers will include former Duke CEO Jim Rogers and Ripple Foods CEO Adam Lowry.

Gates to Receive Honor – CSIS and the Brzezinski Institute on Geostrategy will host the Inaugural Zbigniew Brzezinski Annual Prize and Lecture next Tuesday, April 12th at 5:00 p.m.  The Zbigniew Brzezinski Annual Prize honors the legacy of Dr. Brzezinski by recognizing and promoting the importance of geostrategic thinking with a transcending moral purpose.  This year’s inaugural Prize Recipient is former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. The mission of the Brzezinski Institute on Geostrategy is to examine the unique interaction of history, geography, and strategy, with a goal of developing policy-relevant analysis and recommendations. The Institute seeks to further the study of geostrategy and to develop a new generation of strategic policy thinkers in the United States and abroad.

USAEE Washington Energy Conference Set for Georgetown – The US Association for Energy Economics, National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC-USAEE) and the Georgetown Energy and Cleantech Club will host its 20th Annual Washington Energy Policy Conference on Wednesday, April 13th at Georgetown University.   The event will feature Keynote Speaker, Bill Hogan, of Harvard University and our friends Monica Trauzzi of E&E TV, former NYT reporter Matt Wald of NEI and GDF Suez exec Rob Minter.

API Head to Look at Energy Policy Recommendations – American Petroleum Institute (API) President & CEO Jack Gerard will make a presentation of the 2016 Platform Committee Report on Wednesday, April 13th at the W Hotel at 8:30 a.m.  The morning’s briefing will reveal API’s energy policy recommendations to the platform committees of the Democratic and Republican parties and set the stage for the corresponding panel discussions to follow.

Ethanol Supporters to Hold Washington Fly-In – The American Coalition for Ethanol is organizing a series of briefings and meetings on Wednesday and Thursday with congressional offices to advocate for continued support of ethanol fuel. The meetings will take place at the Washington Court Hotel and on Capitol Hill.

Forum Looks at Renewables in EU – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Wednesday, April 13th at 10:00 a.m. on renewables deployment in the EU.  The European Union has decided an ambitious program to transform its energy system. A binding target of at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 has been endorsed – compared with 1990 emission levels. Further targets include doubling the share of renewable energy in total consumption and increasing energy efficiency. Due to strong governmental support, the share of renewables in total EU power demand has doubled within the last ten years, from 15% in 2005 to 30% in 2015. But this strong development has a price. Net subsidy paid by the customers to plant operators reached, alone in Germany, which has one of the most ambitious programs in favor of renewables, $23 billion in 2015 and $140 billion in total for the period 2000 to 2015. This has led to power prices in the EU, which are twice as high as the U.S. average. Power producers, too, have to face new challenges.

CSIS Forum Looks at Infrastructure – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold an expert panel discussion on meeting infrastructure demands around the world. According to the World Bank’s Global Infrastructure Facility, the unmet demand for infrastructure around the world is estimated to be above $1 trillion per year. Meeting the financing need for bankable and sustainable projects must be a priority, for both governments and the private sector, in the coming decades. In addition to financing needs, donors and the private sector must work together to build capacity and provide technical assistance that will ensure continued success long after the individual projects have been completed. Panelists will discuss ways in which infrastructure can become a driver of development and stability, and how targeted investments in smart projects and capacity building can produce measurable results to pave the way for sustainable economic growth in low and middle-income countries.

Forum Looks at Philanthropy, Climate – On Wednesday, April 13th at 5:00 p.m., the German Marshall Fund of the United States will hold a forum that will explore the ways philanthropy and government can link the equity and climate policy agendas at the city, national, and global level. The dialogue will feature speakers working on this issue in the United States and Europe and build a discussion led by GMF as part of the Paris Climate Summit for Local Leaders.

Ocean Film Screening Set – George Mason University will host a special screening of “Ocean Frontiers II” Wednesday, April 13th 5:45 p.m. in the Founders Hall Auditorium, followed by a Q & A on ocean planning with a panel of regional and international experts. In a region steeped in old maritime tradition, the film tells the story of a modern wave of big ships, offshore wind energy and a changing climate, and how people are coming together to plan for a healthy ocean off their coast.  The interactive panel discussion with regional and international experts includes Beth Kerttula of the National Ocean Council, John T. Kennedy of DOT’s Maritime Administration, GMU’s Chris Parsons and Amy Trice of Ocean Conservancy.

House Transpo Look at Grid Security – On Thursday, April 14th, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management will hold a hearing on Blackout preparation and managing the aftermath of a cyber-attack or any other failure of the electrical grid.

More 350K Celebrate Science Expo – The 4th USA Science & Engineering Festival, the largest and only national science festival, will be held next Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Washington Convention Center in DC.  The event features nationwide contests and school programs, including the popular ‘Nifty 50’ science speaker program and X-STEM Symposium. The Festival will culminate in a Grand Finale Expo with Sneak Peek Friday kicking off the weekend on April 15th.  More than 350,000 attendees will celebrate science at the Expo, and engage in activities with some of the biggest names in STEM, hear stories of inspiration and courage, and rock out to science during our incredible stage show performances.  See full agenda here.

Skulnik to Speak on MD Solar Law – On Sunday, April 17th at 2:15 p.m. in the Aspen Hill Library, our friend Gary Skulnik will discuss the new Maryland community solar law.  Skulnik is the founder of a new social enterprise called Neighborhood Sun, As President of Clean Currents, Gary started the movement for clean power in Maryland and the region.  Last week, Skulnik spoke at a similar event in Silver Spring.

Group to Host Nuclear Week Activities – The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability is hosting its 27th annual DC Days Sunday April 17th through Wednesday April 20th to voice concerns about nuclear weapons, power, and waste.  Of course, you can always get that info with our friends at NEI.

Conference to Look at PA Drilling – Shale Directories will host Upstream 2016 on April 19th at the Penn Stater in State College, PA to look at action in PA.  Despite cutbacks in budgets, there are still opportunities for this and next year and Cabot, Seneca and others will be there to discuss when Drilling may ramp up again, what you can do to help the industry and how to prepare for the growth. As well, Faouizi Aloulou, Senior Economist with the Energy Information Agency, will give a presentation on the uncertainties of shale resource development under low price environment.

Water Power Conferences Set for DC – The all-new Waterpower Week in Washington will present three events in one, showcasing the entire world of waterpower.  The National Hydropower Association Annual Conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference and Marine Energy Technology Symposium will all take place at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., April 25-27.

Pollution Agencies to Host Spring Meeting – The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies’ will hold its 2016 Spring Meeting on April 28th and 29th at the Columbia Marriott in Columbia, South Carolina. The event will feature panels and presentations related to multipollutant planning, NOx controls, the Clean Power Plan, NAAQS implementation, Clean Air Act cost-benefit analysis, and legal updates.

Solar Summit Set For AZ – On May 11 and 12 in Scottsdale, Arizona, the 9th annual Solar Summit will dive deep into a unique blend of research and economic market analysis from the GTM Research team and industry experts. This year’s agenda will feature themes from Latin America to BOS to the Global Solar Market.   DOE’s Lidija Sekaric and ERCOT’s Bill Magness lead a large group of speakers.

Energy Update: Week of January 4


Welcome to 2016!!!!  I hope you were able to enjoy a few days over the holidays to relax.  It sure seemed like it as the traffic was non-existent over the past two weeks.

2016 Looks to be a promising year for political banter so I will just mention it and remind you that we will be on top of it for you.  To that end, as usual, I am forwarding a few of the top issues we expect to see in 2016 in our energy and environment arena.  As you may recall last year, I had the top 15 for 15, but this year, I am just returning to a David Letterman-like Top 10 now that he has retired.

Looking forward, the 50th Super Bowl (Super Bowl L) plays on February 7th in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and Coldplay will be on the halftime docket.   This year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs should be entertaining and as a hockey fan generally who happened to live in the Washington area, I am excited and intrigued by the Washington Capitals this year.  I know, it is only January and I still will take the Red Wings, but I am excited about the possibility of a long DC playoff run.

2016 also brings the Summer Olympics in Rio.  Already we’ve heard about the environmental problems, traffic woes and many other challenges to pulling this off – especially a developing economy country, but it is important to mark on the Calendar as there is always so much great fanfare and human interest at the Olympic Games.

In the concert scene, 2016 appears to see more resurgence from long-time hard rock acts as AC/DC, Tool, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard (w Styx), Megadeth (w Suicidal Tendencies) and Disturbed all will be on the road in the first half of this year.  We’ll keep you posted.

And as you review key 2015 energy, don’t overlook two important sleeper successes that will have lasting impacts:

Hot Water Heater Victory – In April Congress passed legislation to stop rules that would have blocked the use of grid-enabled water heaters. These are crucial to demand-response levers, loved by both utilities and energy conservation advocates. However, DOE’s planned new standards would have  banned their manufacture. Rather than an another top-down mandate, this legislation showed progress can be made when Congress, the president, industry and environmental groups work together.
Global HFC Deal – Before Paris, nations across the globe came together to limit hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, a greenhouse gas several times more potent than carbon dioxide. The agreement builds on the successful legacy of the Montreal Protocol, which has resulted in a 97% reduction in the production of ozone-depleting substances. The signatories have now agreed to work in 2016 to include HFC refrigerants under the purview of the treaty, and set a schedule to phase down the worldwide use of these refrigerants. The HFC reductions could have far more impact that the UN’s Paris climate agreement on cutting the release of compounds blamed for the Earth’s warming.

There are a few great event this week starting tomorrow when WCEE hosts Gina McCarthy for a breakfast chat at the Cosmos Club and API holds its annual State of the Energy Industry event featuring CEO Jack Gerard at the Reagan Trade Center.  Finally, mark next week’s launch of the world-renowned Detroit Auto Show, a Monday afternoon National Press Club discussion on the impact of the Paris accord on Electric Utilities with NYT Columnist Tom Friedman, EEI’s Tom Kuhn and SAFE’s Robbie Diamond and next Tuesday’s State of the Union Address as key events.

As usual, call with questions…and on to the Top 10!!!


Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932
Top 10 Issues In 2016

  • We’ll Always Have Paris – In December, nations agreed to a next step climate approach.  While hailed as a breakthrough, it is clearly not the historic agreement many advocates had hoped for.  In fact, it appears to be another incremental step that is much less bold and demanding than they would ever have found remotely acceptable.  Nobody is really bound to anything other than to keep trying and reviewing their progress every five years, with no prescribed penalties for missing them.   How this plays out this year globally will determine whether this is a turning point or the same old, same old.  Another test for the Administration’s position will be regarding the funding requests for the UN’s Green Climate Fund. While Congress has already hit the funding several times, it remains controversial especially as the developing world waits to be “Shown the Money” following Paris.
  • Legal Eagles for CPP Year – The linchpin to meeting Paris and addressing climate change for the Administration is centered around its Clean Power Plan, which regulates GHGs and requires existing power plants to slash their carbon emissions by 2030. Almost 30 states and a wide array of industry groups have challenged the rule, claiming EPA doesn’t have the legal authority to enact it.  Arguments will center around the contention that Congress never gave EPA the authority to encourage emission control methods outside the fence line of a power plant, such as forcing increased renewables.  They will also challenge regulating power plants under Section 111(d) after they already regulated them under Section 112, which covers hazardous air pollutants.  Also look for Rural Co-ops to weigh heavily in to the legal battle as they have a very strong case for being aggrieved the most by the rules.  Lots to do on this with key dates set for early this year and folks like my colleague Jeff Holmstead ready to discuss at any point.
  • Politics All The Time – As we progress through 2016, we will be under a full slate of political action starting this month in Iowa where the first-in-the-nation votes are well underway.  This year-long sweep will keep a target on the back of candidates, parties, Congress and President Obama for every little political move and its meaning.  It also will likely clear the Congressional schedule some time around mid-March or April to focus on theme legislating and political campaigning – always a dangerous time for both Congress and the Administration.    Who is standing at the end of the day on November 2nd remains a mystery, today but the road will be loud, twisting and bumpy.
  • Regs, Regs and More Regs – It is 2016…the last year of President Obama’s time in office.  And like with any end of a second-term President, expect a full regulatory dump.  While most are looking at gun safety, e-cigarettes and other social regs, the energy and enviro side will see the same barrage.  Already, DOE is pounding the pavement to rush out over 20-plus efficiency regulations that will tie appliance and HVAC industries in knots trying to comply.  Other key regulations like Methane from gas drilling, Federal land fracturing regs, tougher Ozone rules, a battle of EPA Water of the US rules and more individual climate rules will all be a part of the year-long sweep.   Many industry and regulatory watchdogs are on guard, but the sheer volume of the effort masked in the President election may allow some to side through.
  • Expanding the Innovation Agenda – Last year was a great year for the innovation agenda.  It picked up extra steam not only in our national labs but also with private companies investing millions in the effort.  Southern Company was the prime example promoting several bold and innovative individual  technologies like carbon capture, large-scale biomass and new generation nuclear.  They also started an innovation center to house the creative outcomes of its workforce.  We also saw its emergence on the global scene in the Breakthrough Coalition led by Bill Gates and the govt-to-govt “Mission Innovation” initiative.  Only a bold private-public innovation/technology partnership process like this by world and business leaders can achieve success.
  • Ozon‘ing Out – The Ozone/NAAQS instantly become one of the biggest political and policy fights of 2015 when the White House/EPA announced it would roll out a standard at 70 ppb.  Last year we predicted that the  Administration had only so much political capital at its disposal and it made clear that controlling greenhouse gases is its legacy issue.  Given the state and industry pushback and the symbolic Keystone victory the White House gave to enviros, the Administration clearly didn’t have the bandwidth to sustain a tougher ozone rule, especially as we venture into an election year.  There is no doubt that many in Congress and the states will still say the current EPA plan is unrealistic and enviros have already filed suited calling for 60 ppb.  Just before Christmas both sides hammered EPA with lawsuits.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and NAM are the loudest industry voices complaining that imposing new standards make no sense when many communities haven’t even complied with previous ozone reduction levels.  This battle will play out in the election year where state and local officials end up playing an oversized role since  they are impacted the most.
  • RFS, Ethanol: Same Old Sad Song – The disaster known as the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) continued last year with EPA finalizing its long-awaited rule in early December.  The original law establishing the RFS set in place an increasing level of use for ethanol expressed in terms of actual volume numbers.  As time has gone by, however, the actual total gasoline fuel pool has declined due to more efficient autos, more mass transit, and even electric cars.  As a result, the volume number – if EPA fails to adjust it downward – will exceed 10% by volume of gasoline.  But above that level, autos have significant performance issues.  The ethanol folks want the continued higher growth; fuel makers and consumers are queasy about the higher numbers.  There is little environmental case for higher ethanol use any more, especially as commercial   second-gen biofuels remain elusive.  Indeed, major enviro groups like EWG have produced studies showing the higher levels are actually worse for carbon emissions when the ethanol lifecycle is taken into account. It is likely the RFS won’t be repealed, but a wholesale revision is closer to a reality that ever.  Now, Congress will be expected to once again roll up its sleeves on a bipartisan basis and amend the law to a more functioning workable approach.
  • Crude exports, Iran: Catching the Garbage Truck? – The year–end budget deal achieved a goal of many in the oil industry and Congress to remove the decades-old ban of crude exports.  Going forward with market prices low and the world supply broad, there is some question as to how this policy will impact the markets going forward.  2016 will be a key year to see how this plays out.  Another warning sign is the role Iran will play as it comes off sanctions and moves to place it oil into the marketplace.
  • Renewable Reset – The year-end tax/budget deal also renewed the PTC/ITC for five years even though it will eventually phaseout.  The move was a long-standing wish for the renewable industry which has struggled to survive the boom and bust cycles of Congressional budget battles holding the tax credit hostage over the years.  One need only look at AWEA’s graphs charting the installation numbers to understand why the long-term approach will help Installation despite stiff competition from low natgas prices.  2016 looks to be a strong year for renewables especially in light of the Administration efforts to push utility switches with its GHG regs.  It remains an uncertain question though as to whether folks will build more renewables though because of other factors like costs, local NIMBY opposition, state regulatory woes or infrastructure challenges.   Certainly, the technologies are bursting onto the scene in the developing world where China and India (and many others) are already building a number of projects with infrastructure and without opponents at every turn.
  • Build It…Infrastructure – Our continued failure to seriously invest in our transportation and energy infrastructure is costing us jobs and putting our global competitiveness at risk.  Today, we are producing more oil, natural gas and renewable energy than ever before, yet we cannot get that energy efficiently to where it is needed because of we lack the transmission lines, pipelines, roads, rail, trucks, and ships that can move it .  Not investing in our outdated infrastructure will stifle our energy growth, leave us vulnerable to supply disruptions, and weaken our energy security.   Industry trade associations and DOE’s Quadrennial Energy Review underscored this challenge.  Yet at the same time, the Keystone opponents were handed a symbolic, but important victory on the most high-profile infrastructure project in 2015.  Expect a reinvigorated attack in 2016 on energy projects and infrastructure, using Keystone as the template.


WCEE to Host EPA’s McCarthy – Tomorrow morning, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a Leadership Breakfast with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy at the Cosmos Club.  McCarthy will share her insights about her path to leadership and remark on recent policy events in the field of energy and the environment including the Clean Power Plan and COP21.

API State of Energy Set – API will host its annual State of Energy event tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building Atrium Ballroom featuring API head Jack Gerard.  The event will kick off America’s energy policy discussion ahead of the critical 2016 elections.   In order to take best advantage of America’s tremendous energy potential, API will continue to keep the national energy conversation focused on the facts for the public and for lawmakers, both current and prospective.

WCEE To Host Planning Session for Event Agenda – On Wednesday at Noon, WCEE will holds its 4th annual “Brainstorming” event at Exponent (1150 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 1100).  As the new year kicks off, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment would also like to kick off planning for 2016, brainstorming about the topics for WCEE’s coming year’s “Lunch & Learn” (brown-bag) events.

CSIS To Look at Paris
Agreement – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a discussion on Thursday looking at the Paris Agreement reached at the 21st Conference of Parties meeting under the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (COP21). To help understand what the new climate agreement means for future U.S. and international efforts to combat climate change, Paul Bodnar, Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change at the White House’s National Security Council will discuss what the agreement entails and what actions the U.S. government and the international community are likely to focus on in the coming years.



Detroit Auto Show Set to Go – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) run from January 11th to 24th in the Motor City.  The official press conference schedule for the 2016 NAIAS begins with Press Preview, Jan. 11-12. With more than 5,000 credentialed journalists from 60+ countries expected to attend the upcoming show, automakers and suppliers exhibiting at NAIAS garner considerably greater global visibility and impact when compared to other domestic shows.  The 2016 NAIAS Press Conference Schedule is available on the NAIAS website under the main Press tab.  In its 28th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.

Press Club to Host Forum on Paris Utility Impacts – Next Monday at 2:30 p.m., the National Press Club will host a discussion on the impact of the Paris accord on Electric Utilities with NYT Columnist Tom Friedman in the First Amendment Lounge.   Friedman will lead a panel discussion on the impact of the recent UN Climate Conference in Paris and what it will mean for the U.S. Electric Utility industry and their customers. The panel will includes EEI’s Tom Kuhn, Larry Kellerman of 21st Century Utilities LLC,  former Florida PSC Chair Joe Garcia and Robbie Diamond, the founder of an energy non-profit SAFE.

BPC to Host Allowance Forum on GHG Rules – The Bipartisan Policy Center
will host a discussion next Monday looking at the allowance allocations in the Administration’s GHG rules.   BPC will introduce some of the key issues related to allocation. Through moderated discussion, panelists will explore options for distributing allowances, lessons learned from past policy experience, the implications of electricity market structure, and the expected impacts on companies and customers. Panelists will weigh the benefits of a simple allocation approach versus a more complex design, including how allocation might attempt to address leakage of emissions to non-covered sources and the potential for disproportionate impacts on communities, companies, and/or industries.  Participants will be announced.

State Of The Union Address – Next Tuesday, January 12th at 9:00 p.m., President Obama will hold his final State of the Union Address before Congress.

Stories to Watch 2016 – On Wednesday, January 13th at 9:00 a.m. at the National Press Club,
the World Resources Institute will present the big stories that will shape the world in 2016.
WRI President Andrew Steer will look at the Paris Agreement, major trends in energy, finance, business, food and cities and many other items.

Cato Forum Look at Book on Oil –
On Wednesday, January 13th at Noon, the Cato Institute
will host a Book Forum in its Hayek Auditorium
on “Blood Oil” featuring the author Leif Wenar of King’s College London, Bruce W. Jentleson of Duke University and Cato’s Ian Vásquez. The benefits from development and global connectedness — in which we are all inescapably complicit — have been huge. However, the natural resources that enabled that development also benefited people who systematically made the lives of others desperate and miserable, fueled violent conflicts, and funded many of the world’s autocracies.

This cycle continues today, but there is hope. In his book, Blood Oil, Leif Wenar explores this great moral challenge of our time, and “shows how citizens, consumers, and leaders can act today to avert tomorrow’s crises — and how we can together create a more united human future.”

Wenar, the chair of philosophy and law at King’s College London, has written a timely and provocative book.

WCEE to Continue at NatGas Drilling Series – On Wednesday, January 13th at 12:00 p.m., the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host its third in a series of Lunch & Learn seminars looking at the topic of hydraulic fracturing. Part 3 of the series will focus on induced seismicity, which are the earthquakes associated with energy development, particularly in the states of Kansas and Oklahoma. 

This event will have an in-person option; and for those unable to attend, a webinar option.  Speakers will include Julie Shemeta, President and Founder of MEQ Geo, an independent micro-seismic consulting company based in Denver, Co. She has experience with conventional and unconventional oil development, geothermal energy and mining and has worked on projects in North America, Australia, India, Argentina, Columbia, Germany and Mexico. Julie was one of eleven authors of the National Academies National Research Council’s 2012 Study, Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies. 

Also speaking will be Rex Buchannan, Interim Director of the Kansas Geological Survey. He was appointed Interim Director in 2010 and has been with the Survey since 1978. In this role, he also chairs the Kansas Taskforce on Induced Seismicity. In addition, Mr. Buchannan serves as Secretary of the American Association of State Geologists and has been a past Chair of the Geology and Public Policy Committee of the Geological Society of America.

NAS to Host Arctic Sessions – On Thursday, January 14th, National Academy of Sciences Polar Research Board will host a series of lively, public-friendly presentations from top scientists and other experts who study the connections between Arctic-region changes and impacts that can affect people and places around the globe. Attendees can also explore a series of interactive exhibits and displays.  The event is free and open to the public. Some of the topics/speakers at this event will include:
 Permafrost carbon: a climate change amplifier
by Max Holmes of  Woods Hole Research Center; The Polar vortex: Impacts of arctic warming on the weather where we live with
Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University; Plants and animals: How arctic warming can affect global ecological dynamics
by Natalie Boelman of the  Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Sea level rise from the loss of polar ice
 featuring  Penn State’s Richard Alley; the Arctic Ocean implications of the shrinking polar ice cap
by US Navy Admiral Jonathan White and Arctic as a new frontier for sustainable development
by Gwen Holdmann of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power.

ASE to Host Congressional Briefing on Cutting Edge Technologies, Businesses – On Thursday, January 14th at Noon, the Alliance to Save Energy will host a Congressional Briefing on Cutting Edge Technologies and Businesses: Opening the Door for Energy Efficiency Deployment at Scale. This event will focus on technologies, systems efficiency, and the keys to bringing energy efficiency to scale in the built environment.  The purpose of the briefing is to educate and engage congressional staff and energy efficiency professionals on the work and progress being done in this area, while also discussing solutions and best practices that can help further advance energy efficiency in the built environment.

Forum to Look at G20, Green Finance – On Friday, January 15th at 10:00 a.m., the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
will look at public policy and private institutional innovations for a more sustainable global financial system. A new report from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), The Financial System We Need, captures this momentum to harness the world’s financial system for the transition to a low-carbon, green economy.  Following the launch in 2015 of the Sustainable Development Goals, along with the successful Paris climate agreement, 2016 looks set to be the ‘year of green finance,’ focusing on the operational measures needed to mobilize the trillions of dollars required for the transition. Spearheading this movement, China intends to place a special focus on green finance in 2016 under its G20 presidency. The United States now has an historic opportunity to advance leadership on green finance internationally, as well as to scale-up domestic innovations already in place.  Participants will include former IMF director John Lipsky, Carnegie’s David Livingston, former Obama NSC official Michelle Patron and Jay Shambaugh, current member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Washington Auto Show Sets Policy Bar Green Car Journal has announced finalists for the 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ and 2016 Connected Green Car of the Year™ awards that will be presented at the 2016 Washington Auto Show on January 21. Focused on aspirational vehicles with exceptional green credentials, nominees for 2016 Luxury Green Car of the Year™ include the BMW X5 xDrive40e, Lexus RX 450h, Mercedes-Benz C350e, Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, and Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV. Vying for the all-new 2016 Connected Green Car of the Year™ award are the Audi A3 e-tron, BMW 330e, Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Toyota Prius, and Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV.  Finalists previously announced for the 2016 Green SUV of the Year™ award that will also be presented at The Washington Auto Show® are the BMW X1 xDrive 28i, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-3 and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.  The 2016 Green Car Awards recognize vehicles that exhibit laudable environmental achievement. Along with improved environmental performance, traditional buyer touchstones like functionality, safety, quality, value, and performance are also considered. Affordability and availability are important to ensure honored models are accessible to a wide range of buyers. Honoring continual environmental improvement places emphasis on new vehicles and those in the very early stages of their model lifecycle. The Connected Green Car of the Year™ award considers these elements plus the integration of connected technologies that enhance efficiency, safety, and the driving experience.

Energy Update: Week of December 14


That was a very busy weekend — way more busy than it should be around the middle of December…  At least the weather was beautiful for Mid-December.

Anyway, the Paris Climate deal is done although we really don’t know what it will really “should” or “shall”  do.  It certainly isn’t clear that the agreement is as historic as the initial coverage has portrayed.   Full details and links below.

The second major issue comes to a head today when the budget discussions surrounding crude oil exports, refiner credits and tax incentives for renewables hit a deadline.  The Senate and House are both in session this week primarily working to complete a $1.1 trillion spending measure to fund the government. Members have until midnight Wednesday to agree to and pass the omnibus spending bill.   We are happy to offer the latest thoughts, perspective and timing.

This is really the last week for events around town as before the holidays roll in.  Tomorrow, CSIS will host a panel discussion looking at electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including the role that utilities could play in financing, owning, and operating this infrastructure.   On Wednesday the Energy Times will interview Perdernales Electric Cooperative CEO John Hewa and discuss his co-op’s innovations in a webcast on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.   Perdernales is one of the nation’s largest rural electric co-ops and emerging as the vanguard of innovators when it comes to engaging and partnering with its member-consumers  in supporting their energy goals.  also Wednesday, the Wilson Center gets into the just-approved UN Climate plan.  Finally, on Friday, former EIA head and current CSIS energy expert Guy Caruso will discuss the current energy state of the play.

So while, the UN climate deal and the Congressional budget deal might seem like big news to us today, we might expect it to be off the radar by Thursday when the new Stars Wars movie rolls out.  While there are three world premieres tonight, it will be in already sold-out theaters on Thursday.  Speaking of Star Wars, perhaps my favorite Bill Murray song as Saturday Night Live’s Nick Winters:

Call with questions…And May the Force Be With You



Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

The Deal – 196 nations agreed to combat climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future in Paris over the weekend.  For the first time, the accord brings all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities.  The universal agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Here is the text:

The Word “Shall” – As you may have seen, there has been wide-spread reporting of the one-word change that was essential to getting an agreement.  US negotiators discovered in the final draft text in Article 4 a line declaring that wealthier countries “shall” set economy-wide targets for cutting their greenhouse gas pollution.  But the word shall Implied a legal obligation and the as you know, that would force the hand of the President to submit the agreement to Congress.

French Negotiator Rams in Through as Technical Correction –French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius worked the words into the technical changes where the wording was read aloud by a delegate in the plenary hall and lost in a package of other technical revisions.   Prior to that Fabius had worked the room on several key negotiating teams and already received approval (or at least no objection to) the change and the deal was inked.  Minutes later, French banged his gavel and the most significant international climate change deal in history won the resounding approval of 196 governments, representing nearly every country on the planet.

President Obama Speaks form Oval Office – While this speech was as bold and important as his speech to the nation on terrorism issues last week, President Barack Obama made a statement Saturday Night from the Oval Office.  “We came together around the strong agreement the world needed,” Obama said from the White House. “We met the moment.  He added “the American people can be proud — because this historic agreement is a tribute to American leadership.”

Chamber Expert in Paris Offers Comment – Stephen Eule, vice president for climate and technology at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy:   “The Paris climate conference delivered more of the same—lots of promises and lots of issues still left unresolved.  While we are reviewing the final agreement, it’s clear that implementation still faces the same obstacles that we’ve been warning about for years.  None of the commitments made, including those by the U.S., are binding, and many aren’t even complete. Moreover, Congress must appropriate any funds that the Obama administration has pledged.  The White House’s overall domestic strategy of making energy more expensive and less abundant to satisfy international constituencies, many of whom compete against the United States, should worry the business community, American workers, and consumers. We will continue our efforts to understand how this deal affects the U.S. jobs and growth.”

Not Every Enviro is On Board – While most enviro groups swallowed hard, put on a happy face and supported the agreement, some wouldn’t go so quietly.  In response to the final agreement reached, Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute unloaded: “The plain truth is that Paris didn’t produce the strong, just and binding treaty we need to protect the planet’s most climate-vulnerable people and our very web of life from climate chaos. But the summit did highlight the growing power of a global movement for true climate justice.”  You can see the full extent of their complaints here.


With the climate agreement, here is some initial analysis.  

Historic? No So Much – It is impressive to get 195 nations to agree on anything and clearly a positive to have them all at a table talking about the issue of climate change.  I remain skeptical that this is a historic agreement but yet another incremental step that is much less bold and demanding than many advocates would ever have found remotely acceptable.  It is clear that nobody is really bound to anything other than to keep trying and reviewing their progress every five years, with no prescribed penalties for missing them.

Signal to Business – Secretary of State Kerry said the deal didn’t need to be mandatory because it still sends a strong signal to business that clean energy is only future.  “The result will be a very clear signal to the marketplace of the world, that people are moving into low-carbon, no-carbon, alternative, renewable energy, and I think it’s going to create millions of jobs, enormous investments into R&D, and that R&D is going to create the solutions, not government,” Kerry said.  Given the broad and always-changing nature of our energy picture, there may be some truth to his statement, but it is clear not as clear as Kerry says given the volatility of energy pricing, the key questions of infrastructure and reliability and the nature of regional differences in our energy mix.

Temperatures – As for the temperature goal, the vague wording remains as aspirational as ever with little hope of achieving the target through this agreement or any ensuing actions, especially since nobody will be bound to them.  Maybe emissions reductions, new technologies or increased political will can meet these goals, but it is unlikely and nearly every one participating in the UN process knows that.

Process is Flawed – This agreement underscores what I have argued since Kyoto in 1997.  Only small incremental steps can be achieved in this flawed UN Climate process, unless there is a new global dedication to innovation and technology advancement that is moved to the front and center.  Only a bold private-public innovation/technology partnership process like the one detailed at the beginning the Paris conference by world and business leaders can achieve success.

I find the following section intriguing, not to mention the parts in bold seem like great quotes:

1.    17. Notes with concern that the estimated aggregate greenhouse gas emission levels in 2025 and 2030 resulting from the intended nationally determined contributions do not fall within least-cost 2 ˚C scenarios but rather lead to a projected level of 55 gigatonnes in 2030, and also notes that much greater emission reduction efforts will be required than those associated with the intended nationally determined contributions in order to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2 ˚C above pre-industrial levels by reducing emissions to 40 gigatonnes or to 1.5 ˚C above pre-industrial levels by reducing to a level to be identified in the special report referred to in paragraph 21 below;

2. The terms “invites” and “requests,” among others point to the degree to which this agreement lacks teeth.

3. ABC reprinted a summary that provides some interesting information>

Here are some of the key elements of the deal:

—LONG-TERM GOAL: The long-term objective of the agreement is to make sure global warming stays “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and to “pursue efforts” to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). Temperatures have already increased by about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times. To achieve that goal, governments pledged to stop the rise in heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions “as soon as possible.” By some point after 2050, the agreement says, man-made emissions should be reduced to a level that forests and oceans can absorb.

—EMISSIONS TARGETS: In order to reach the long-term goal, countries agreed to set national targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions every five years. More than 180 countries have already submitted targets for the first cycle beginning in 2020. Only developed countries are expected to slash their emissions in absolute terms; developing nations are “encouraged” to do so as their capabilities evolve over time. Until then, they are expected only to rein in the growth of emissions as their economies develop. The Paris deal doesn’t make national emissions reduction targets legally binding, so its success will largely depend on the effectiveness of a new system to revisit each country’s progress and raise targets every five years.

—REVIEWING TARGETS: The initial targets won’t be enough to put the world on a path to meet the long-term temperature goal. So the agreement asks governments to review their targets in the next four years and see if they can “update” them. That doesn’t require governments to deepen their cuts. But the hope is that it will be possible for them to do so if renewable energy sources become more affordable and effective. The Paris agreement attempts to lay down new rules to make sure all countries calculate and publicly report their emissions reductions in the same way after 2020, making it possible to keep track of global progress.  The US already has a sophisticated GHG tracking inventory and reports annually.  But developing countries are still new to international reporting on climate policies as evidenced by reports recently that large and sophisticated developing countries like China have been already underreporting emissions.

—TRANSPARENCY: There is no penalty for countries that miss their emissions targets. But the agreement has transparency rules to help encourage countries to actually do what they say they will do. That was one of the most difficult pieces to agree on, with China asking for softer requirements for developing countries. The agreement says all countries must report on their emissions and their efforts the reduce them. But it allows for some “flexibility” for developing countries that “need it.”

—MONEY: The agreement says wealthy countries should continue to offer financial support to help poor countries reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change. It also encourages other countries to pitch in on a voluntary basis. That paves the way for emerging economies such as China to contribute, even though it doesn’t require them to do so. Actual dollar amounts were kept out of the agreement itself, but wealthy nations had previously pledged to provide $100 billion annually in climate finance by 2020.

—LOSS AND DAMAGE: In a victory for small island nations threatened by rising seas, the agreement includes a section recognizing “loss and damage” associated with climate-related disasters. The U.S. long objected to addressing the issue in the agreement, worried that it would lead to claims of compensation for damage caused by extreme weather events. In the end, the issue was included, but a footnote specifically stated that loss and damage does not involve liability or compensation.

—INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY:  The business community won on IP issues when direct references to IPR have been banished from the text. But that pleasure is tempered by the language that found its way into the text: “Accelerating, encouraging and enabling innovation is critical for an effective, long-term global response to climate change and promoting economic growth and sustainable development. Such effort shall be, as appropriate, supported, including through financial means by the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, for collaborative approaches to research and development, and facilitating access to technology, in particular for early stages of the technology cycle, to developing countries.”  Translation: We would like for developed countries to give us more money to buy down IPR and, who knows, maybe even provide compulsory licensing.


Enhanced Action Prior to 2020 – The whole section either “urges” or “recognizes.” For example, it “Urges host and purchasing Parties to report transparently on internationally transferred mitigation outcomes, including outcomes used to meet international pledges, and emission units issued under the Kyoto Protocol with a view to promoting environmental integrity and avoiding double counting;”

Can I have a strongly urges? –  Resolves to enhance the provision of urgent and adequate finance, technology and capacity-building support by developed country Parties in order to enhance the level of ambition of pre-2020 action by Parties, and in this regard strongly urges developed country Parties to scale up their level of financial support, with a concrete roadmap to achieve the goal of jointly providing USD 100 billion annually by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation while significantly increasing adaptation finance from current levels and to further provide appropriate technology and capacity-building support;

Asks for Another High Level Meeting before 2020 – “121. Agrees to convene, pursuant to decision 1/CP.20, paragraph 21, building on the Lima-Paris Action Agenda and in conjunction with each session of the Conference of the Parties during the period 2016–2020, a high-level event that:”… “Provides an opportunity for announcing new or strengthened voluntary efforts, initiatives and coalitions.”

What Comes Next – First, there will be a signature ceremony on April 22, 2016 that lays out the basic template for “ratification, acceptance, approval or accession,” and sets up a template for future dialogue.  Negotiators will meet again in Morocco next year in early November 7, 2016 in Marrakesh.  It will be the second time they have been to Marrakesh where the COP was held in 2001.  Many delegates never attended the Morocco meeting following the terrorists attacks in U.S. in September of that year.  Next year they will focus on innovation and adaption while continuing efforts to limit emissions.

One Significant Success on HFCs, Short-Lived Climate Pollutants – One great success that will probably achieve more than the entire Paris agreement was reached midway through the two week session.   Governments and industry leaders in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition committed to further essential advances in reducing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) that have a global warming potential many times that of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. At the Focus Event on SCLPs Action Agenda at COP21, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), whose Secretariat is hosted by the United Nations Environment Program, committed to double their membership in two key initiatives to reduce these pollutants – in freight and landfills – as well as detailing advances in the critical area of refrigeration.  They pushed forward a proposal for hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to phase down under Montreal Protocol, jointly with many ministers. The Protocol signed in 1987 aimed at suppressing gas harming the ozone layer (CFCs) which have been mainly replaced by hydrofluorocarbon gas (HFCs).  Reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants – HFCs, methane, black carbon, and tropospheric ozone – is essential to keep the global temperature rise below 2°C and to improve air quality. Action in this area contributes to meet the main international climate change objective, improves public health, saves massive costs on medical care and avoids severe pollution damage to the environment, all at the same time.

AHRI Knows the Value of HFCs, Montreal Protocol – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, the trade association representing refrigerant producers and air conditioning and refrigeration equipment manufacturers, commented on the topic recently when nations reached agreement on HFCs at 27th Meeting of the Parties of the Montreal Protocol in Dubai earlier in November.

“AHRI is very pleased that the signatories to the Montreal Protocol have agreed to work toward adoption of an amendment in 2016 to include hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants under the purview of the treaty and to work toward setting a schedule to phase down the worldwide use of these refrigerants,” Yurek said  “AHRI has supported including HFCs in the Montreal Protocol for many years. Even as other MP signatories have debated the original North American Proposal to do so, AHRI’s member companies — including refrigerant producers and original equipment manufacturers —  have proactively been researching potential alternative refrigerants to ensure that the world’s air conditioning and refrigeration equipment manufacturers will have access to appropriate refrigerants.  AHRI, U.S. government agencies, and energy efficiency advocacy groups have all worked diligently for many years to ensure a phase-down of these chemicals.   This collaboration is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when all parties work together in good faith to achieve a common goal,” Yurek added.

 The AHRI research program, known as the Low-Global Warming Potential Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (Low-GWP AREP) has been underway since 2011 and is now in its second phase.



Forum to Look at Health Impacts, Octane – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing today at 1:00 p.m. examining the health impacts of current octane sources and the need for cleaner, cost-effective octane providers. Octane is necessary for vehicle performance and increasing octane volumes would enable highly efficient engines. At the same time, octane-boosters in use today have historically been highly toxic compounds. But cleaner alternatives are available–namely biofuels.  Speakers for this forum are DOE’s Reuben Sarkar, Carol Kwiatkowski of the Endocrine Disruption Exchange and former GM engineer Dean Drake.

US AID Head Addresses Climate, Asia Developing Countries – The Stimson Center will hold a forum tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. looking at climate change and developing countries in Asia.  USAID Assistant Administrator for Asia Jonathan Stivers will discuss the challenges that climate change and environmental protection pose for developing countries in Asia and the cooperative and leadership opportunities that it creates for the US Rebalance. Stimson’s Brian Eyler will provide regional context and moderate questions.

CSIS to Look at EV Charging Infrastructure – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host a panel discussion tomorrow looking at electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including the role that utilities could play in financing, owning, and operating this infrastructure. Sarah Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow with the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, will provide introductory remarks.

Forum Focused on Fusion – The American Security Project will host a panel discussion tomorrow at Noon on Fusion Energy. The event will focus on leaders in fusion energy from the private sector and research labs to discuss the significant progress made in advancing fusion and what this clean, safe, and abundant energy source means for America’s national security and energy future.  Leading experts in fusion from the public and private sector will discuss the new developments that have been featured over the last several months in major media outlets like Time Magazine, the New York Times, Science and Nature. ASP is the leading think tank detailing a plan for the future of fusion.

TX Co-Op CEO Feature in Energy times Webinar – The Energy Times will interview Perdernales Electric Cooperative CEO John Hewa and discuss his co-op’s innovations in a webcast on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.   Perdernales is one of the nation’s largest rural electric co-ops and emerging as the vanguard of innovators when it comes to engaging and partnering with its member-consumers  in supporting their energy goals.  In a recent interview, Hewa laid out his vision for crafting effective strategies to achieve advancements in demand response, energy efficiency and increased renewable partnerships in its central Texas territory, including fast-growing regions outside of Austin and San Antonio.  You can register here.

Forum to Look at COP21 Results – The Wilson Center, George Mason University, and World Resources Institute will host a forum on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. to look at the results of the Paris Climate Conference.  A panel of experts will discuss how COP21 unfolded and what was accomplished. Speakers will also discuss how the outcomes of negotiations will affect efforts to tackle climate change in the United States and abroad, what was left on table for future discussions, and how any agreement plays out in the continuing evolution of climate change policy. The event is part of the ongoing “Managing Our Planet” series, jointly developed by George Mason University and the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute and its Environmental Change and Security Program.  Speakers include WRI’s Andrew Steer, GMU’s Andrew Light, White NSC advisor Paul Bodnar and Wilson’s Roger-Mark De Souza.

STEM Reception to Honor Efforts – STEM4US! will host a Talk & Congressional Reception om Thursday evening in B-369 Rayburn on investing in STEM.   The event will feature executives from some of the most well-known brands in energy, technology/telecom, and health sciences along with Members of Congress and other leaders for a conversation about the impact of their investments in STEM and growing the pipeline of diverse workers in the energy, tech, and telecom fields.  Particular focus will be given to initiatives in exciting and inspiring youth about good-paying, sustainable STEM jobs as a way of stemming the spike in violence sweeping the nation.  STEM4US! is an advocacy organization formed to provide universities, schools, and parents with the tools to excite and prepare young people for careers in energy, technology, and other STEM fields.

Caruso to Address Energy Economists – The US Assn of Energy Economics will host Guy Caruso, former EIA Administrator (2002-2008) and current senior adviser in the Energy and National Security Program at CSIS, on Friday at Noon for a reflective one-on-one conversation about what he’s seen during his career in energy and what the world of tomorrow will look like.

Thanksgiving Energy Update



It is a slow week with the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday.  But the opening of the Paris Climate meeting and the impending RFS roll out will take the majority of the upcoming attention.

Below I am offering a few quick points on the Paris Climate Meetings to set up the November 30th  launch.  We will have more next week as the meetings kick off.  Most importantly, please let me know if you will be in Paris at any point over the next two weeks so I can add you to my list of reporters on-site and stay in touch on activities.

As for the RFS, sources are reporting the latest rumor is that the rule will be released next week on its due date, November 30th.  There were some rumors that it may be released Wednesday or even Friday, but that was tamped down last week.  With the President arriving in Paris on the same day and speaking December 1st on his negotiating priorities, there are some thoughts that White House will want any political indigestion from the RFS under cover from the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Just in case it rolls, I have included a quick primer with contacts for you to reach over the holiday.

Finally, enjoy your family over Thanksgiving.  Enjoy some football and remember, the first American “President” to call for a national day of thanksgiving was Maryland native (eastcoast beach Route 50 namesake) John Hanson in 1782, seven years before Geo Washington’s first proclamation.

Call with questions…Best,


Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

Who’s Going – The U.N. expects the COP-21 to draw some 10,000 government representatives to the Le Bourget conference center in a northeastern Parisian suburb, plus 7,000 observers per week and 3,000 journalists.  Just Last week, more than 1,000 other reporters were cut from the list of accredited media.  We will be in contact with several industry people on the ground in Paris and will be happy to provide you their thoughts and posit your questions to them.

Side Events Will Go On – Despite French officials canceling an outdoor climate march due to security concerns in the aftermath of the terror attacks, French and UN officials announced that indoor events organized by civil society during international global warming negotiations in Paris can proceed. One of those events will be NEXT Thursday, December 10th 3:00 p.m.  Business Side Event in Room 5 which will offer business perspectives on INDCs.  Business groups in Europe, the U.S. and developing nations will discuss implications for domestic and global outcomes from policy, as well as market changes in trade & investment.  They will also present experiences with business engagement in developing INDCs and recommend ways to involve business in assessment and /improvement.

Leaders to Arrive Early – This year, world leaders will arrive at the beginning of the event with leaders like French President Francois Hollande and President Obama making kick off speeches.  Most will conduct ministerial meetings, like the one held with Obama and India Prime Minister Modi.  Most of the opening will be ceremonial with key negotiations and draft text due heading into the second week.

Some Key Points – There are several key points to keep on your agenda:


  • Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) – The Paris agreement is anticipated to be a bottom-up treaty, with each country setting goals based on their unique national circumstances. These Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs, will form the basis of the country-specific commitments under the new UN climate treaty. It is also expected that periodic review of these commitments will be instituted along with measuring, reporting, and verification to ensure the integrity and ambition of the commitments.  While may seem to be making INDCs, there are many questions as to whether countries will live up to these commitments.  Even the US commitment is being questions by experts as not adding up to the 26-28% reduction.


  • Green Climate Fund – Financing issues are among the most controversial in Paris, and they could easily derail any agreement. Many developing country INDCs are conditioned on financial support and technology transfer.  The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was proposed at COP-15 in Copenhagen in 2009, refined in subsequent meetings, and became operational in 2014. GCF aims to provide support to developing country efforts to reduce their GHG emissions and to adapt climate change.  However, this breaks down, it is clear that a significant portion of the expected funds—certainly tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars over many years—would be coming from public sources and would have to be appropriated by Congress.


  • Intellectual property – Developing countries have used this provision deftly to justify their attempts to weaken intellectual property rights (IPR) protections, ostensibly to remove the supposed “barriers” to technology transfer raised by IPR. Compulsory licensing and a fund supported by developed countries to buy down IP are two of many proposals being bruited. IPR serve as a fundamental catalyst of innovation, and study after study has shown that it is not a barrier to technology transfer. A weakened IPR regime such as that being proposed above would provide precious little incentive for companies to invest in advanced technologies if after years of research and development and millions or even billions of dollars invested, their inventions could be expropriated outright by companies in developing countries and manufactured and sold around the world at reduced cost. Under such a circumstance, some of the most innovative companies in the developed world would simply abandon the development of advanced energy technologies.


  • Technology Transfer – Tied to INDCs and the Green Fund, Technology Transfer is one fundamental issue that could bridge the gap.  It frankly is a better way to move toward a positive goal transforming our energy economy:  engage developing countries with advanced technology transfer to help them grow their economies more efficiently and cleanly.  Rather than going to Paris and trying to shame everyone into doing, this approach could be an important way to move forward.  In fact, we are already doing in many ways.  Look at the Clean Coal, Solar and offshore wind technologies that have struggled to catch on here in the US.  While we have struggled, developing nations, specifically China, have looked for these opportunities even without the promise of billions in funds (that will likely not ever come).


  • Verification – An issue that does not receive the attention it deserves is measuring, reporting, and verification of climate policies. As things stand now, the system of MRV that is likely to come out of Paris will focus not on whether a country meets its emissions goal, but on whether it implements the policies and measures designed to meet its goal. In other words, MRV is more about process than results. MRV will be especially challenging in developing countries. Transparency is a key to open markets and planning, and businesses will be reticent to invest in developing economies without assurances that its investments in emission reduction and offset projects are real and that government activities in support of INDCs have integrity.


  • Binding Legal Commitments Or Non-binding Political Agreement – In a recently interview, Secretary of State John Kerry said recently the Paris agreement is “definitively not going to be a treaty.” While it has not been finalized, we can already say that the Paris Agreement will be a multilateral international agreement that will include almost every country in the world. In testimony last week, Hofstra Constitutional Law Professor Julian Ku said If the outcome of the Paris Conference is to make these promises to reduce emissions legally binding, it is my view that the Paris Agreement must be submitted to the Senate for approval as a treaty under Article II.  This will continue to be a contentious point of negotiating among parties and one that US Senators will be watching Closely.  Last week, Senator Barrasso and Inhofe said the any funding for climate initiatives would be tied to Senate review.

Staying in Touch – I will be monitoring activities and providing resources for those in Paris as well as those covering from Afar.  Again, IF YOU WILL BE IN PARIS , please let me know so I can add you to my list of resources in Paris.  Please feel free to stay in touch.





EPA’s RFS rules must be finalized by November 30th, per a court-approved consent decree. The rules will set final mandates for the entire program for 2014 and 2015 (retroactively) through 2016, and set final biodiesel mandates through 2017. We expect the release on Monday the 30th but it is possible EPA rolls out the rule around the Thanksgiving holiday this week.   It is important to remember that Paris climate negotiations begin on the November 30 RFS deadline. In case EPA moves this week, keep this primer handy for contacts and background on EPA’s RFS move.


1) Talk to Scott Segal, one of the best and most savvy RFS experts in town: 202-262-5845;


2) Have a conversation with Environmental Working Group expert Scott Faber or one of the experts on his team.  You can reach Faber at (202) 939-9127 (direct); (202) 384-4280 (cell) or


3) Talk to Stephen Brown of Tesoro, also one of the best and most savvy industry RFS experts in town: 202-744-5578;


4) Another great resource for comments are energy analysts like Jim Lucier: 202-548-0072;, and Kevin Book: 202-506-5744;, who have previewed the decision and I am certain will have pieces out after EPA’s final move.



Air Liquide will buy US-based Airgas – Air Liquide announced an agreement under which it will acquire Airgas. Combining Air Liquide and Airgas will bring together two highly complementary businesses to deliver greater value, service and innovation to customers in North America and around the world. In the U.S., Airgas’ leadership in the packaged gases business and associated products and services and Air Liquide’s strong footprint in complementary activities will increase the scope and competitiveness of the combined companies’ product offering.  This acquisition gives Air Liquide a greater presence in the U.S. market, the largest for industrial gases  worldwide, and will ideally position Air Liquide for future growth. In addition, there is potential for further growth using Airgas’ footprint to accelerate the deployment of Air Liquide’s technologies.  The combination builds on Air Liquide’s longstanding track record of successfully operating in the U.S. and will benefit from Airgas’ unmatched national presence and its more than 1 million customers in the U.S., as well as from its leading customer-facing platform including e-commerce and telesales capabilities. The combined entity will be able to better serve customers with the most advanced multi-distribution networks in the U.S. and more competitive product offerings thanks to an integrated upstream-downstream model.


EIA: China , India Drive Recent Changes in World Coal Trade – DOE’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that Global trade of coal grew dramatically from 2008 to 2013, but in 2014, it declined for the first time in 21 years. Interestingly though, EIA said China and India accounted for 98% of the increase in world coal trade from 2008 to 2013, but declines in China’s import demand have led to declines in total world coal trade in 2014 and, based on preliminary data, in 2015 as well.  Some experts suggest that the slowdownis in part credited to slower growth in China and protections for its domestic coal industry.  One thing is clear:  there is no slowdown regarding the fact they will continue using coal.


Second Study This Month Projects Significant Costs, Few Benefits of GHG Rule – Another new analysis of the Obama administration’s GHG rule for power plants shows the policy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s power sector will raise electricity costs significantly for families and businesses throughout the nation.   The study, by Energy Ventures Analysis (EVA), finds consumers will pay an additional $214 billion by 2030, with 45 states facing double digit increases in wholesale electricity costs and 16 states saddled with a 25 percent increase or more. Added to this total will be a projected $64 billion bill to replace an estimated 41,000 MW of power plant capacity that will be forced to close, enough to power 24 million homes.  The analysis, commissioned by the National Mining Association (NMA), identifies the flaws in the CPP that ignore actual costs likely to result from replacing existing power plants using affordable fuel with plants using costlier fuel sources.  The findings demonstrate EPA has substantially understated the plan’s costs to consumers in at least three ways: 1) by failing to acknowledge the higher cost of natural gas required to replace the coal generation displaced in base load power; 2) by failing to recognize the cost impact on industrial and other natural gas customers who are outside the power sector and 3) by failing to fully account for the costs that consumers will pay for new power generation and transmission infrastructure necessary to replace coal generation that will be prematurely retired by the rule.


Dartmouth Study: Regional NatGas Impact Significant – A new National Bureau of Economic Research study led by Dartmouth College experts examines the economic and job-creating impact of shale development, enabled by fracking, within 100 miles of active drilling locations.  Commenting on the study’s findings, Dartmouth economics professor Bruce Sacerdote notes that “It’s surprising just how much of the revenue, how large the benefits are in the county and within 100 miles of the county.” Key study takeaways include 1) over a third of fracking revenue stays within the regional economy; 2)  between 2005 to 2012 within 100 miles of new production, $1 million of extracted oil and gas generates $243,000 in wages, $117,000 in royalties and 2.49 jobs; and 3) impact on jobs and income at the state level was approximately five times larger than the county impact; 4) within the county, every $1 million generates $66,000 in wage income, $61,000 in royalty payments and 0.78 jobs within the county and 5) with the creation of 725,000 jobs associated with the new oil and gas extraction between 2005 and 2012, the study findings indicate that U.S. unemployment was lowered by 0.5 percent during the significant economic downturn.






Moniz to Address Energy Technology – 1776 will hold a special afternoon event today at 3:00 p.m. with the Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz where he will announce a significant Department of Energy investment in cutting-edge energy technologies. The Secretary will also discuss the Department’s role in driving technological solutions that will allow ambitious commitments to help achieve our climate goals ahead of global climate negotiations at COP21 in Paris. The Secretary’s remarks will be followed by a distinguished panel talking about energy innovation and how startup companies and government R&D can transform the industry.


Cheniere Exec to Discuss LNG at NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host Cheniere’s vice president of finance, Tarek Souki to be the guest speaker at tomorrow’s natgas luncheon.  He will discuss the outlook for natural gas exports from the US and the dynamics of the global LNG market including supply, demand and pricing linkages to Henry Hub.


UCS to Hold Paris Webinar – Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., the Union of Concerned Scientists will hold a webinar on the U.S. role in international climate negotiations.


Georgetown Report to Look at Transpo Issues – The Georgetown Climate Center will release a new report tomorrow at Noon on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, looking opportunities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.


THANKSGIVING – November 26





PARIS UN COP 21 Meeting –  November 30th  to December 11th


IEA Outlook Discussed at CSIS – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program will host Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director at the International Energy Agency to present the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2015 on Monday November 30th at 1:00 p.m. The presentation will include updated projections for the evolution of the global energy system to 2040, based on the latest data and market developments, as well as detailed insights on the prospects for fossil fuels, renewables, the power sector and energy efficiency and analysis on trends in CO2 emissions and fossil-fuel and renewable energy subsidies.   In addition, the WEO 2015 includes in-depth analysis on several key issues including the implications of a lower oil price future, India’s energy sector, on the competitive position of fast-growing renewable energy technologies in different markets, new analysis of energy efficiency policies, and unconventional gas with a particular focus on China.


Bank Report to Look at Latin America Infrastructure – Next Monday at 2:00 p.m., the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, CAF-Development Bank of Latin America, China Development Bank, and others will discuss ways to provide billions in finance for much-needed transportation, energy, water, sanitation, and other projects throughout the region in recent years.  In their newest report, Fei Yuan and Kevin Gallagher of Boston University’s Global Economic Governance Initiative’s (GEGI) compare development bank commitments to “green” finance in Latin America. Although some institutions have made great strides in promoting sustainable development in Latin America, much more will need to be done to scale up green finance and to adequately safeguard both green and conventional development projects.


Forum to Look at Indonesia, Energy – Next Tuesday, December 1st at 8:30 a.m. in B-338 Rayburn, the National Bureau of Asia Research will hold a forum on Indonesia and its energy issues. Indonesia’s successful democratic transition and strong economy have made the country a major political and economic power in both Southeast Asia and the broader region. Indonesia is now a key strategic and economic partner for the United States, as well as Japan and other countries in Asia, and has played an increasingly important role in shaping the future of the Asia-Pacific.


Senate Energy to Look at Well Control Rule – The Senate Energy Committee  will hold an oversight hearing on the Well Control Rule and other regulations related to offshore oil and gas production on Tuesday, December 1st.

DC Bar Panel to Look at Fracking Rule  Case – Next Tuesday, December 1st at 1:00 p.m., the D.C. Bar will hold a forum on the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming decision to prevent enforcement of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) recently issued hydraulic fracturing rule. BLM issued the rule in March, attempting to exert jurisdiction over hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The district court’s decision prohibits the BLM from implementing the new rule while litigation over the rule’s legality is pending. The lawsuit, filed shortly after BLM issued the hydraulic fracturing rule, was originally brought by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance. The lawsuit now includes challenges from four states—Wyoming, North Dakota, Colorado, and Utah—and the Ute Indian Tribe.  This panel will discuss the impact of the court’s decision and their thoughts regarding future developments in the case.

Senate Foreign Relations to Hold Hearing on Energy Nominee – The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will meet next Tuesday to consider several nominations including Amos Hochstein appointment to be an Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources.

Transmission Forum Set – The 5th  annual TransForum East, will be held December 1st and 2nd in Washington, D.C. at the Westin Georgetown.  As in previous Forum events, our presenters and panelists have been hand selected by the TransmissionHub editorial team to address the most important issues facing stakeholders in the Eastern Interconnection. You can view the agenda and speaker lineup here.

Panel to Look at Offshore Wind in the U.S.  – The Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) will hold a panel discussion on Tuesday, December 1st at 6:30 p.m. looking at offshore wind in the U.S.  CELI and panelists from the U.S. Department of the Interior, EDF Renewable Energy, and the American Wind Energy Association, will hold a discussion on the potential benefits of and challenges facing offshore wind.  The panel will feature Interior’s Joshua Kaplowitz, EDF Renewable’s Doug Copeland and AWEA’s  Hannah Hunt.


Atlantic Council CEO Series Continues with GDF Suez’s Smati – The Atlantic Council will continue its CEO Series with a discussion on Wednesday, December 2nd at 1:30 p.m. on the future of power markets and energy technology with Zin Smati, the President and CEO of GDF SUEZ Energy North America. As Chief Executive of GDF SUEZ Energy North America, Zin Smati is tasked with navigating his company through an era of profound change in the world of energy. He brings his perspective to the Atlantic Council to discuss the sweeping energy transition now underway and to assess the future of power markets and energy technology.


NASA’s Chief Scientist Helping Countries Build Climate Resilience – Next Wednesday, December 2nd at 2:00 p.m. Georgetown University will host NASA scientist Ellen Stofan, who will discuss NASA’s International Programs and how they are using data to help countries develop climate resilience. Stofan was appointed NASA chief scientist on August 25, 2013, serving as principal advisor to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the agency’s science programs and science-related strategic planning and investments.


RFF to Look at Vehicle Fleet, Regs – Resources for the Future will hold a First Wednesday Seminar on December 2nd where panelists will analyze some of the emerging information, including consumer demand for fuel economy and how lower gasoline prices can affect future fuel savings from the regulations. Manufacturer responses will also be discussed, including how the production of different vehicle sizes and types can affect regulatory compliance strategies, and how the new markets for emissions and fuel economy credits are developing.  Speakers will include RFF fellows Virginia McConnell and Joshua Linn, as well as Chris Knittel of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at MIT and Gopal Duleep of H-D Systems.


Southern Company Holiday Party – Wednesday, December 2nd Union Station.


Hill Hosts Policy Discussion on Microgrid Technology – On Thursday, December 3rd 8:00 a.m. at The Newseum, The Hill hosts a discussion on the future of energy delivery. Policymakers, researchers, and technology and energy industry experts will discuss the value of microgrids in the event of a natural disaster or homeland security threat, how microgrids allow for integration of alternative energy sources, and what policy and regulatory reforms are necessary to facilitate the integration of microgrids into the larger power supply system.  Speakers will include Sens. Martin Heinrich and Lisa Murkowski, as well as Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy & Environment Katherine Hammack and others.


Forum to Look at Barriers to Renewables – On Thursday, December 3rd at 2:00 p.m. in 334 Cannon, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) will host a briefing discussing how all levels of governments in the European Union and United States can expand collaboration on renewable electricity market penetration to meet energy, economic, and environmental needs. The briefing will feature an upcoming report by CCS, funded by the European Union Delegation to the United States, which examines high-priority common challenges and opportunities in the renewable energy sector that are prime candidates for new or enhanced forms of transatlantic collaboration at the regional and Member State/U.S. state levels. Attendees will be invited to provide comments and input for the report; join us to discuss how enhanced transatlantic cooperation can help set the stage for new investments and technologies through greater thought leadership, information sharing, technical assistance, and collaboration.


Mercury Case Arguments Set – The DC Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments to determine the future of EPA’s mercury rule on Friday, December 4th at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse.  Judges Garland, Judith Rogers and Kavanaugh will hear the case, the same panel of judges who initially upheld the mercury rule 2-1.  EPA has suggested remanding the rule without vacating it so it can fix the problem identified by the Supreme Court that it should have considered the cost of regulating when issuing an initial “appropriate and necessary” finding.  Late last week, EPA proposed a fix using data collected during the implementation of the rule, and says it can finalize the new finding by next spring.  Opponents say the court should make EPA start from scratch, arguing that if the initial “appropriate and necessary” finding was improper then the entire rule must be trashed.


Clean Energy Leaders Honored – On Friday evening at Bier Baron, Leaders in Energy will honor Four Generations of leadership in clean energy and sustainability.  They will recognize leaders from World War II (1927-1945), Baby Boomer (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1980), and Millennial (1981-2000) generations who exemplify leadership in the energy and sustainability arena. Leaders from each generation will discuss “Leading Through Adversity,” our theme. .  Shira Harrington, Founder and CEO, Purposeful HireFounder and President, Purposeful Hire, is the keynote speaker for this event. She will explore the changing world of work and the impact multigenerations are having on the workforce. Building on the understanding of what makes each generation unique, Shira will highlight how the four generations can embrace what they have in common to work together to create a more sustainable world.


NJ Event to Look at Grid – National Journal LIVE will hold a forum on December 8th on powering the 21st Century and making the grid work for all consumers.    The event will explore Washington’s role in encouraging energy innovation, the future of the grid and how best to ensure the benefits of new power generation methods are sustainable and extended to all communities.  The nation’s policy makers, innovators, stakeholders and thought leaders will conduct a robust conversation about grid modernization and the future of American energy.  Speakers will include North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer, Opower’s  Jim Kapsis, RFF’s Phil Sharp DOE’s Karen Wayland and several more.

Utility Execs Looking at Storage – The 2015 U.S. Energy Storage Summit will be Held in December 8th and 9th in San Francisco.  Utility speakers will offer presentations, case studies, and panel sessions on the status and technology of energy storage.  Our friend Stephen Lacey will be among those leading the discussion.


Bloomberg Reception Honors Hess Book – Bloomberg will host a reception on Wednesday, December 9th at 6:00 p.m. congratulating our friends Tina Davis and Jessica Resnick-Ault on the publication of their new book, Hess: The Last Oil Baron, published by Bloomberg Press and John Wiley & Sons.  It will Be at the Bloomberg offices in NYC on Lexington Avenue.


FERC’S Clark to Address ICF Breakfast – ICF will host FERC Commissioner Tony Clark at its December 10th Energy Breakfast at the National Press Club.   Clark will discuss FERC’s cutting-edge energy agenda.

Energy Update: Columbus Day 2015



Thank goodness it is Columbus Day, the holiday to celebrate Italian-Americans, because those of us that end in a vowel really do need more celebrating.  I don’t even know why I’m working today, because a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.  But I decided that I would take advantage of the light traffic…and besides, I already watched both Godfather movies last night, so I’m smart, not dumb like everybody thinks.  When I went to bed around 1:00 a.m. (it is a 6+ hour marathon), my wife told me, “sure ‘cause like you haven’t seen that before.”  Not the point though… You must always watch the Godfather or Godfather II, especially if it is the Columbus Day Holiday, because this is the business we have chosen.  I didn’t ask who gave the order.


Since business is business, let’s get back to it because we’re all part of the same hypocrisy.   Late last week, we held our annual event at the Society of Environmental Journalists and it was a great success.  It makes no difference to me what a man does for a living, understand, but our friends in the environmental media enjoyed good fun and fellowship with a special thanks to our many sponsors.  We left a good time and took the cannoliBut I’m a superstitious man, so I think we may have jinxed Sooner Nation as they were shockingly upset by Texas Saturday in the Red River Classic.


Here in Washington it will be an interesting week with Congress out.  The most exciting event happens Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. when the Newsmakers Committee will host executives from GM and Domino’s Pizza on autonomous vehicles.  It’s an offer you can’t refuse.


There is rumor in the land that Wednesday may also be the day that the Administration’s GHG rule may publish in the Federal Register. Someday, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this as a gift:  Should that occur, there are a series of events that will unfold regarding the legal challenges and we will be ready to be front and center.


Also Wednesday, the D.C. Bar will hold a forum in its Conference Center looking at the EPA’s GHG Rule with my colleague Jeff Holmstead and other experts trying to decide if the Rule is a masculine child or should sleep with the fishes.


Finally, approaching the one-year anniversary of a landmark agreement on reducing refrigerants use, including our friends at AHRI, the White House is holding a follow up event for stakeholders that participated in the agreement on Thursday.   I understand. You found paradise in America, you had a good trade, you made a good living.


Oh, and on Wednesday Chris Cornell is in town to play an acoustic show at the Strathmore.  That’s it…Call with questions.  I guess I’m getting too old for my job. Too grouchy. Can’t stand the aggravation.