Energy Update: Week of 11/13

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932

 

THIS WEEK’S LOBBY SHOP

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

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN THE FUTURE

USTR Comment Deadline on Solar Trade Case – November 20th

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

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

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

THANKSGIVING – November 26th

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

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

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

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

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

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

Energy Update: Week of September 18

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

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

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

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ITC Solar Trade Petition Injury Determination – FRIDAY

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

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of May 1

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

KENTUCKY DERBY PREVIEW

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

So here we go:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy Update: Week of March 27

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call with questions…

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

COOL QUOTIENT

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holiday Energy Update

Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

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

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

 

IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Electoral College Vote – December 19th

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

 

IN THE FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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

INAUGURATION DAY – January 20

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

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

Energy Update: Week of December 5

Friends,

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.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“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

 

IN THE NEWS

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.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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.

 

IN THE FUTURE

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

Friends,

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.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“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.

 

IN THE NEWS

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.

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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 ben@renewpr.com 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.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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

Friends,

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.

 

Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932

 

FRANKLY SPOKEN

“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.

 

IN THE NEWS

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?

 

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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: http://www.energystreamcmg.com/

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

Friends,

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.

Best,

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

IN THE NEWS

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, rgifford@wbklaw.com) 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.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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.

FUTURE EVENTS

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, www.neighborhoodsun.solar. 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

Friends,

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!!!

Best,

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.

ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

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.

 

FUTURE EVENTS

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.