Energy Update Week of April 14

Energy Update - May 14, 2014


With the Passover/Easter/Spring Break week, Congress is out and it is slow, giving us a chance to see DC’s cherry blossoms in full bloom (this weekend was a madhouse around downtown).  I was most excited about the light traffic today though.  Still a few events on the radar though, including a USEA update on transmission tomorrow, an in-depth INGAA discussion on their recent infrastructure report Wednesday, an RFF forum on offshore drilling since the BP spill on Thursday and a JHU discussion with an exec from state-owned Italian oil co Eni on Europe/Russia’s energy challenges Friday.

As well, two exciting announcements from late last week below:  1) Cabot Oil & Gas a has given Lackawanna College $2.5 million to operate its School of Petroleum & Natural Gas in NE PA; and 2) former Daschle/Reid Resources/Energy expert Eric Washburn joined Bracewell & Giuliani’s Policy Resolution Group.

Also last week Thursday, the 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place in NYC at Barclays Center. The event will be televised on HBO on May 31.  This year honorees included KISS, completing a second straight year of righting Rock ’n Roll wrongs in the HoF (last year Rush was finally inducted as well).  Other inductees were Peter Gabriel, Daryl Hall/John Oates, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens now known as Yusuf.  Stevens drew surprised laughs after thanking Rock Hall voters for electing “someone who doesn’t drink, doesn’t do drugs… and only sleeps with his wife.”

Another exciting finish at the Masters on Sunday.  Bubba Watson showed his experience just before the turn and brought it home on the back 9 to win his second green jacket, outdistancing 20-year old Jordan Spieth, whom I’m sure we’ll be hearing about more in the future.  All-in-all, a Master-ful weekend of golf despite missing the two biggest names (Tiger Woods was out and Phil Mickelson missed cut) in golf.

Of course, with the 1230 and 1/3 games in the book (remember, the Columbus-Dallas game where Rich Peverley collapsed with a heart condition near the end of the 1st period was replayed in full, starting with a 1-0 lead for Columbus), NHL playoffs are here.  Boston seems to be the favorite, but will have to face Detroit, who made the playoffs for the 23rd straight time this year despite bunches of injuries to their star players.   Perhaps the two best series will be the NY Rangers-Philly series in the East (expect a nasty battle) and the LA-San Jose series out West.  If you haven’t stayed up to watch the Sharks, Kings or Anaheim Ducks, get ready to see some hardnosed hockey from non-traditional places.  Finally, if you missed the NCAA Frozen Four Final on Saturday in Philly, you missed an unbelievable game.  The Union College Dutchmen, led by Flyer draft choice Shayne Gostisbehere (who is actually from Florida and was +7 in the game) defeated hockey powerhouse Minnesota 7-4 (w/2 late empty netters) for its first National Championship in school history.

Before we leave sports, let me just say kudos to UConn who posted their second “double” of NCAA hoops titles at the beginning of last week.  Add to it the Fall women’s NCAA Field Hockey Championship the Huskies won and you have 3 titles already this year.   Should give them a boost in the all-sports Capital One Cup Race.

The 118th Boston Marathon is next Monday.  Of course, tomorrow is the one year since last year’s terrorist bombing at the marathon’s finish line, and there will be lots of emotions flowing…We’re around most of the week so call with questions.

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


Lackawanna Announces $2.5M Gift from Cabot to Develop School of Petroleum & Natural Gas – Cabot Oil &Gas a has given Lackawanna College a $2.5 million gift to operate its School of Petroleum & Natural Gas located in New Milford, Pa. This marks the largest single private donation in the history of Lackawanna College.   The School of Petroleum & Natural Gas was established in 2009 at the beginning of Marcellus  Shale industry operations in the area and has developed its curriculum to meet the specific needs of the growing industry. The current job placement rate for graduating students is 90%.  “Lackawanna College saw an opportunity a few years ago and took a leap into education in support of the oil and natural gas industry,” said Lackawanna President Mark Volk. “Our partnership with Cabot enhances tremendously the ability of the School of Petroleum & Natural Gas to provide a world-class education designed to prepare a ready workforce that fits the needs of the multiple companies across the industry. Beyond just an investment in Lackawanna College, through this collaborative effort Cabot is making an investment in our students and our community.” The gift will assist the School of Petroleum & Natural Gas in its goal to become a nationally recognized, first in class program in the field of petroleum and natural gas technology. Funds will be directed toward creating a $1 million endowment that will provide continuing support for student scholarships and help meet the long term needs of the school. An additional $1.5 million will be used for state-of-the-art equipment, training, staff and faculty development, and student interactive experiences and internships.   The School of Petroleum & Natural Gas currently offers two associate degrees in Petroleum & Natural Gas Technology and Natural Gas  Compression Technology. Degree offerings will expand in the Fall 2014 semester with the addition of the Petroleum & Natural Gas Measurement and Petroleum & Natural Gas Business Administration degrees.

Former Top Daschle Policy Advisor to Join Bracewell’s PRG – In case you missed it Friday, we at the Bracewell & Giuliani PRG hired Eric Washburn as a partner in our Washington, D.C. office.  Washburn will provide federal legislative and regulatory advice to the firm’s industry and non-profit clients on a broad range of policy matters including natural resources and energy issues.  Washburn previously held senior positions at BlueWater Strategies and Baker, Donelson at which time he became the founding Executive Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, a coalition of dozens of leading nations hunting and fishing organizations.  He has worked on a number of Democratic presidential campaigns, assisting in outreach to sportsmen. Prior to joining the private sector, he was legislative director for Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.  He also served as a senior advisor to Majority Leader Harry Reid, including serving as Democratic Staff Director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Health Claims By President, EPA on Climate Reminds of House Docs Letter – This weekend, the President reiterated claims made earlier by EPA regarding the health benefits of limiting CO2.  This tactic was predicted a couple weeks ago by a group of House doctors.  In a  March 14th letter, 11 signed a letter to EPA on health benefits and the EPA power plant rules.  Essentially, the letter questions whether unilateral carbon rules will produce health benefits given the global nature of the emission and the tendency of EPA to double count conventional air pollution benefits in any event.  Further, the letter reflects upon the threats to public health created by the rules because of adverse impacts on the economy, energy prices, and electric reliability.  It asks for EPA to prove of its case to the doctors.  I can forward a copy of the letter should you want to see it.

Hercules CEO Rynd to Chair NOIA – The National Ocean Industries Association has selected John Rynd as its new chairman for 2014-2015. Rynd is president and CEO of the Houston-based Hercules Offshore, and was vice chairman for the previous term at NOIA.

Southern Co Annual Report Available – The Southern Company’s annual report 2013 Southern Company Annual Report is now available online.  Southern says it is building the nation’s only truly diversified generation portfolio that makes use of all available resources, including nuclear, coal with carbon capture, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency, all while still providing clean, safe, reliable, affordable energy to the millions of people.  Pages 9/10 provide pictures and an update on the nuclear build at Plant Vogtle.

Final UN IPCC Report on Mitigation Released – The final of the three UN IPCC reports was released yesterday focused on mitigation.  The report  says that countries take dramatic action to alter energy consumption and use of technology to avoid Climate change.  The report even says that people will need to change the way they live to address the issues adequately.  Good luck with that.  Finally, in typical fashion, the report’s summary for policymakers give the usual “time is running out” argument.

NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility is R&D Magazine’s 2014 Lab of the Year – Congrats to our friends at that National Renewable Energy Lab’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), who were named the 2014 Laboratory of the Year by the editors of R&D Magazine. Located on the campus of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., research at ESIF transforms how the nation generates, delivers and uses energy by modernizing the interplay between energy sources, infrastructure, and data.  ESIF received this prestigious international award for being a first-of-its-kind research user facility that uniquely merges three very specialized components: an ultra-energy efficient workplace that consumes 74% less energy than the national average for office buildings, one of the world’s most energy efficient high performance computing data centers, and sophisticated high-bay laboratory spaces with outdoor test areas. All of the labs in the 182,500-square-foot building are connected by a research electrical distribution bus (REDB), which functions as a power integration circuit capable of connecting multiple sources of energy with experiments.

Interior, USDA Release National Fire Strategy – As the 2014 wildfire season approaches, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell released the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy. This strategy, developed by federal, state, tribal and local community partners, and public stakeholders, outlines new approaches to coordinate and integrate efforts to restore and maintain healthy landscapes, prepare communities for fire season, and better address the nation’s wildland fire threats. The Strategy includes both national strategic planning and regionally-specific assessment and risk analysis to address such factors as climate change, increasing community sprawl, and pests and disease affecting forest health across landscapes, regardless of ownership. Approaches include adopting preventive measures, such as fuels thinning and controlled burns; promoting effective municipal, county and state building and zoning codes and ordinances, ensuring that watersheds, transportation and utility corridors are part of future management plans and determining how organizations can best work together to reduce and manage human-caused ignitions.


Forum to Look at Fusion – Tomorrow at Noon, the American Security Project will hold a forum on fusion power and a new book on the subject.  Daniel Clery in his deeply researched and revelatory book, “A Piece of the Sun,” is focused on the fusion of 620 million tons of hydrogen every second generates an unfathomable amount of energy. By replicating even a tiny piece of the Sun’s power on Earth, we can secure all the heat and energy we would ever need.

WCEE to Look at Honey “Bee” Issues – The Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a brown bag lunch tomorrow at Noon at Cassidy & Associates for a look at what threatens and nurtures bee colonies .  Dr. Mary Purcell-Miramontes, National Program Leader for USDA-NIFA will provide an overview of colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive suddenly disappear.  She will discuss how the disappearance is threatening many commercial fruit crops in the US and what is known about the causes of the disorder.  Also joining us will be Larry Marling, a local beekeeper and provider of home and office beehives. He will discuss considerations with home beekeeping and the enjoyment you may get from having your own backyard hive.

USEA Forum to Update AWC Transmission Project – The US Energy Association will hold a forum on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. providing an update on the Atlantic Wind Connection.  The Atlantic Wind Connection is an offshore, undersea transmission line that will span the mid-Atlantic region, beginning in northern New Jersey and eventually extending to southern Virginia. The transmission line will connect wind farms that are built in the federally-designated “Wind Energy Areas,” at least ten miles off the coast. Bob Mitchell, CEO of the Atlantic Wind Connection and Trans-Elect, and Pierre Bernard, Managing Partner of Bernard Energy Advocacy, will provide an overview of the project and its significance for the future of East Coast electricity transmission.

DOE Webinar to Look at Wind Advances – The Energy Department will present a live webinar on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. looking at recent wind technology advances.  Owen Roberts, an engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will present on the current state of turbine technology, new methodology, and new state wind maps developed using these methods. Simon Mahan of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy will discuss the impact that modern and future turbines may have on the Southeast and lessons learned from ongoing projects. Aaron Barr from MAKE Consulting will discuss the future of low-wind-speed technology, current technology trends, and projections for the future.

JHU to Highlight Community Solar – The Johns Hopkins University’s Energy, Resources and Environment program will hold a forum on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. looking community solar power.  Anna Brockway, SunShot Fellow in the Solar Energy Technology Center at the U.S. Department of Energy; Becky Campbell, senior research manager at Solar Electric Power Associates; Katie Bolcar Rever, director of state affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association; Anya Schoolman, executive director of the DC Community Power Network; and Ron Wedeking, vice president of the Clean Energy Collective, will discuss the issues.

UC-Boulder Forum to Look at Climate, Extreme Weather – On Wednesday, the University of Colorado-Boulder will hold a forum on how scientists can forecast where extreme events will occur and their severity.   Kathleen Tierney, Director of the CU Boulder’s Natural Hazards Center and Kevin Trenberth from the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) will join facilitators Dr. Anne Gold of CIRES and Deb Morrison of University Colorado Boulder in an interactive panel discussion.  These experts will cover what communities and governments can do to increase resiliency to extreme weather events and how the scientific community can help prepare citizens and government.

INGAA Head Santa to Discuss Report – ICF International will host our friend Don Santa, President and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), on Thursday for its April Energy Breakfast.  Santa will discuss the INGAA Foundation’s new report on dynamics and issues affecting midstream infrastructure development. The report discusses the needs for midstream pipeline infrastructure in North America through 2035 to meet the booming production of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGL), and petroleum.

DOE to Look at Fuels, NASCAR – The Energy Department will present a live webinar on Thursday at Noon on Fuel Cells at NASCAR.  Presented by NASCAR and Acumentrics, this webinar will focus on the use of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) generators for powering broadcast cameras for NASCAR. Recently, Acumentrics Corporation completed a field test program with NASCAR to replace small portable gasoline generators with SOFC units that use commercial propane. These generators demonstrated considerable fuel savings and emission reductions compared with the standard solution, while providing reduced noise and vibration. With these attributes, the units have proven to be a viable power alternative for broadcasting needs for a host of different applications. During the webinar, presenters will compare this latest-generation power solution with conventional generators and explore lessons learned and potential paths forward.

RFF to Host Deepwater Drilling, Restoration Discussion – Resources for the Future will hold a forum on Thursday at 12:45 p.m. to discuss the current state of offshore Oil and gas drilling.  Almost four years have passed since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.  RFF will host a discussion of lessons learned about restoration in the Gulf of Mexico region and whether these lessons can be applied to the development of oil and gas resources in the Arctic and other offshore areas. The discussion will take place on two panels—coastal restoration and Arctic development—and include experts from government, NGOs, and industry.  Speakers will include Don Boesch, government officials from NOAA and BSEE and many more.

DOE Wind Program to Focus on Incubators – The Energy Department EREE Wind Program will present a live webinar on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. on technology incubators for wind technologies. The webinar will provide information to potential applicants interested in the recently released funding opportunity announcement, which supports the development of novel and non-incremental technology approaches with significant potential to advance the mission of the Wind Program.

Forum to Focus Western Grid – Americans for a Clean Energy Grid is continuing its series of regionally-focused webinars on what’s going on in the world of transmission running from Fall 2013 to Winter 2014. Each webinar will span one hour, featuring presentations by transmission experts from the region in question and a discussion of environmental, economic, and political issues including planning, siting, and cost allocation.  The next webinar in the series is Thursday and is focused on the West.  The two presenters will include Carl Zichella, Director of Western Transmission for NRDC and Xcel’s Stephen Beuning.

Eni Exec to Address Europe Energy Challenges – The Johns Hopkins University’s Energy, Resources and Environment will hold a forum on Friday at 12:30 p.m. on Europe’s energy future with a focus on Russia and Ukraine.  The speaker will be Leonardo Bellodi, executive vice president for government affairs at Eni.



Advanced Biofuels Conference Set – The Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, the Advanced Biofuels Association, and key industry stakeholders will hold the 2014 Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference next Monday through Wednesday at Gaylord National Resort.  The event will feature dozens of industry CEO, association head and government agency leadership presentations including interactive leadership dialogues and workshops on next industry policy, finance, R&D prioritization, and commercialization.

BPC Forum to Look at Tight Oil Boom – The Bipartisan Policy Center is holding the final session in the New Geopolitics of Petroleum and Natural Gas series on next Monday morning at the Washington Court Hotel.  The first panel will discuss whether the market needs “frontier oil,” given the boom in lower-cost unconventional oil production, and will explore the infrastructure, technical, safety and access issues associated with Arctic and ultra-deepwater oil production. In addition, the panelists will consider the geopolitical ramifications of frontier oil development.  On the second panel, participants will consider the science and safety concerns associated with operating in ultra-deepwater areas and in the Arctic. Panelists will consider the specific challenges associated with the Arctic’s unique geology and environment, and how these challenges will be impacted by climate change adaptation. This panel will also discuss the current state of disaster response and spill cleanup in both Arctic and ultra-deepwater oil production areas, while examining potential combinations of methods and practices that might safely overcome technical and environmental challenges in all frontier areas.

USEA Forum to Feature Norwegian CO2 Tech Center – U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on Monday morning to discuss the world’s largest CO2 technology test center in Norway.  The center employs two near industrial scale CO2 capture plants that can each be tested against two separate, live flue gas sources. The center is a joint venture between the Norwegian Government and international energy companies Statoil, Shell and Sasol. 4000 on line measuring points provide data to verify post combustion CO2 capture performance in a wide operational window. Test results provide enhanced confidence in CCUS technology and will greatly help drive these technologies down the cost curve.  Speakers will include Gassnova SF CEO Tore Amundsen and VP Bjørn-Erik Haugan.

GEA Event Set – The Geothermal Energy Association holds its International Geothermal Showcase on April 22nd at the Ronald Reagan Building. The Showcase will bring together the key government and industry leaders who will be making decisions about building thousands of new megawatts of geothermal power around the world.  has currently confirmed attendance from government and industry leaders representing 20 countries.  It will serve as an opportunity to explore and learn from each other about the best policies and approaches to expand the use of geothermal power domestically and abroad.  In addition, GEA will be releasing its “2014 U.S. & Global Geothermal Power Production” report at the International Geothermal Showcase.

Energy Policy Conference to Feature Book, Silver, Fox-Penner – Next Tuesday, the CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the National Capital Area Chapter of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics will host the 18th  Annual NCAC-USAEE Energy Policy Conference, Disruptive Technologies Shock All Energy Sectors. The all-day conference, highlighting break-throughs in technology in everything from the electricity sector to energy efficiency, will address the significance of technological development in the energy sector.  Confirmed Speakers include Toyota Energy & Environmental Research manager Bill Chernicoff, Breitling CEO Chris Faulkner, GE’s David Malkin, NREL’s Doug Arent, ClearView Energy Partners Kevin Book, former DOE Jonathan Silver and Peter Fox-Penner of the Brattle Group.

Heritage to Look at Earth Myths, Truths – The Heritage Foundation will host an Earth Day forum next Tuesday at noon in its Lehrman Auditorium to look at dispelling myths and achievements.  The panel will highlight environmental trends, dispel environmental myths, and demonstrate how human progress is critical to the well-being of humans and the environment.  Speakers will include CEI’s Myron Ebell, Steve Milloy of Murray Energy and David Schnare of the Energy & Environment Legal Institute.

EESI to Look at Recycling – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold an Earth Day briefing on Tuesday, April 22nd at 1:30 p.m. about recycling at the local level, with an emphasis on four types of recycling: curbside, compost/organics, building deconstruction/reuse, and electronic waste. Members of the panel will discuss the environmental and economic benefits of recycling and ways in which to increase recycling in our homes, businesses, and communities.  Speakers for this forum are Chaz Miller of the National Waste & Recycling Association, Nelson Widell of the Peninsula Compost Group , Bradley Guy of the Catholic University of America and Walter Alcorn of the Consumer Electronics Association.  Recycling is an easy way for individuals to protect the Earth and help the economy. America’s recycling industry accounted for more than one million jobs and over $236 billion in annual revenue in 2001, when the last extensive study was carried out. In 2010, the U.S. recycling industry sold 44 million metric tons of recycled materials valued at almost $30 billion to over 154 countries around the world. In addition to generating income, recycling saves money by reducing spending on landfills (which charge tipping fees and require significant amounts of land). Recycling also produces substantial energy savings of up to 87 percent for mixed plastics and 92 percent for aluminum cans. And, recycling has important environmental benefits: it limits the need to extract new resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. In 2012 alone, recycling prevented the equivalent of 168 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is comparable to taking 33 million passenger vehicles off the road.

Moniz, Moeller, MacFarlane to Headline USEA Forum – The USEA will hold its 91st  Annual Membership Meeting and Public Policy Forum on Wednesday April 23rd starting at 11:00 a.m. at The National Press Club.  Speakers will include DOE Secretary Moniz, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller, NRC  Chair Allison Macfarlane, NARUC’s Colette Honorable and Exelon Exec Bill Von Hoene.

FWS to Hold Final Wind, Wildlife Training – On April 23rd at 2:00 p.m., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host its final bimonthly training broadcast covering emerging issues and providing direction for wind energy facility planning, development, and operations to avoid impacts to wildlife and their habitat.  The final broadcast of the series will focus on the latest and greatest in research. Host Christy Johnson-Hughes will be joined by Cris Hein of Bat Conservation International and Chad Le Beau and Wally Erickson of WEST, Inc. to share research results and conclusions related to bats, grassland birds, and sage grouse.

Wilson Forum to Look at Climate Resilience – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum on Wednesday, April 23rd at 3:00 p.m. on increasing resilience to climate change.  Meeting the climate challenge requires increasing the resilience of both natural and human systems to absorb shocks and adjust to changing realities. A panel of experts will discuss state, national, and international efforts to improve our ability to prepare for–and bounce back from—climate-related disruptions. This discussion is part of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s “Managing the Planet” series, co-sponsored by George Mason University, and is the concluding session of a climate change seminar for journalists co-sponsored by the Metcalf Institute on Marine & Environmental Reporting.  Speakers will in former Gulf Spill Commissioner Donald Boesch of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Wilson’s Roger-Mark De Souza, Sunshine Menezes of the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting and Dann Sklarew of George Mason’s Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center.

Discussion to Look at Climate, Role of Nuclear – The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) releases a new brief and hosts a discussion Monday, April 28th at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club. Government, industry, and policy leaders will talk about the emerging risk that nuclear plant closures could make it tougher to meet U.S. climate goals. Speakers will include C2ES President Eileen Claussen, former EPA Administrator and White House Climate Czar Carol Browner, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Peter Lyons and former DOE official Susan Tierney.

FERC’s Clark, Congressional Members Address Hydro Conference – The National Hydropower Association will hold its annual conference in Washington, DC on April 28th through 30th at the Capital Hilton.  The event provides a forum for industry, legislative and regulatory agency staff to exchange knowledge and expertise pertinent to the hydroelectric industry.  FERC Commissioner Tony Clark will be a keynote speaker.  Others will include Reps. Diana DeGette, Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Ron Wyden.

WCEE Lunch to Focus on Energy Dependency in Ukraine, Others – The WCEE Brown-bag Luncheon Series will hold a forum on Friday, May 2nd at Noon on the politics of energy dependency, with specific focus on Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania.  The event will feature Margarita M. Balmaceda, Professor of diplomacy and international relations at Seton Hall.  Recent events in Ukraine again bring up the question of countries’ energy policy choices and the role of powerful domestic groups in relation to Russia and the EU. The event looks at these issues from the perspective of post-independence energy politics in three post-Soviet states: Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. It compared these three states’ reactions to the serious external shock of their sudden transformation from constituents of a single energy-rich state to separate energy-poor entities heavily dependence on Russia, as well as politically independent transit states.  Using extensive field research and until now untapped local sources in Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian, and Lithuanian, the book analyzes how these states’ unique location, powerful domestic economic actors often making a profit of their situation of energy dependency (“oligarchs”), and Russian power, has affected Russia’s ability to use energy as a foreign policy took in the region – and these states’ own political development.

WINDPOWER Set for Vegas – AWEA will hold its annual WINDPOWER conference in Las Vegas on May 5th through 8th at the Mandalay Bay.   Keynoter will be Seth Goldman of HonesTea.

Education Leaders to Discuss Energy, Manufacturing Skills Gap – The Newsmakers Committee of the National Press Club will host a Newsmaker forum on May 6th at 2:00 P.m.  to discuss the “skills gap” challenge facing the U.S. energy and manufacturing sectors today.  U.S. manufacturing employs more than 11,000,000 U.S. workers  directly and creates almost 7,000,000 more jobs in related industries.  There are an estimated 600,000 skilled manufacturing jobs that are currently unfilled and 2.7  million manufacturing employees are expected to retire in the next decade. In a recent survey of its members,  the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) and the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) stated that 74% reported they currently have skilled job openings. Further underscoring the problem, 90% of respondents said they are having severe or moderate challenges recruiting qualified employees.  Manufacturing technology continues to advance as does the need for  highly skilled workers. With many manufacturing technology  programs at secondary and post-secondary schools having closed in  recent years, there are not enough skilled people to fill these essential  roles.  Speakers will include Lackawanna College President Mark Volk, who hosted President Obama last year to talk about jobs and the economy.  Volk has launched a curriculum in the study of petroleum and natural gas in 2009 at the two-year college situated in the heart of Pennsylvania’s bountiful Marcellus Shale.  PMA President William Gaskin and NTMA President Dave Tilstone or CEOs from two of their member manufacturing companies will discuss their training initiatives and other programs to attract young workers to manufacturing, as well as ways in which the federal government and U.S. Congress can help close the skills gap in manufacturing. Finally,  Brig Gen. (retired) Marianne Watson of American Jobs for American Heroes (AJAH), which focuses on connecting manufacturers with members of the military, will also be on the panel.

Deloitte Energy Conference to Look at Local Impacts, Global Issues – The 2014 Deloitte Energy Conference will be held in Washington, DC on May 13-14th.  For two days, energy executives, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, and regulators from around the globe will join Deloitte’s energy professionals for an in-depth analysis of key developments and challenges facing today’s global and domestic energy markets. Speakers represent a cross-section of the world’s energy industry, and the conference topics are of keen interest to energy company management, boards of directors, investors, and all other industry professionals.  The first day of this conference features plenary sessions focusing on macro industry issues, such as the global and domestic energy outlook, the globalization of gas markets, the future of coal, the energy investment environment, and responding to water scarcity. The second day offers a mix of plenary and elective sessions which bring together specialists from across disciplines to share knowledge, experiences, and perspectives about the latest trends in the energy industry. Join industry colleagues and Deloitte’s energy specialists for two days of sharing points of view in an interactive setting.

EIA’s Gruenspecht to Discuss Outlook at ICF Forum – On Wednesday, May 15th, ICF International will host EIA’s Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht at the National Press Club to discuss EIA’s latest forecasts and the sensitivity of that outlook to key changes. With nearly every facet of energy markets in considerable flux, the EIA’s authoritative take explains how the pieces fit together and the kinds of transitions we will soon undergo.  Every year, EIA issues an Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) that serves as the touchstone for those trying to look over the horizon and improve their perspective on what future energy markets hold. With its impressive set of experts and analytics capabilities, EIA pulls together trends in fuel dynamics (e.g., shale gas and oil), electricity markets, environmental regulations, international developments, the economy, and much more.

Hurricane Forum To Discuss Forecasting – On May 15th at the Stafford Centre in Stafford, Texas (South Houston), the 25th Annual Hurricane Symposium will be held looking at the latest forecasting technologies, incident management tactics and risk mitigation programs.  Speakers will include National Hurricane Center former Director Bill Read, KPRC Local 2 Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley, Port of Houston’s Captain Marcus Woodring, Hospital Corporation of America Executive Director of Emergency Services Allen Johnson, our friend and Houston Chronicle SciGuy Blogger Eric Berger, University of Miami’s Dr. Sharan Majumdar, Houston Airport System Safety and Emergency Management Manager Steve Runge and Spectra Energy’s Thomas McNulty.

PBF, Valero Speaker to Headline Platts Conference – Platts will hold its 3rd Annual North American Refined Products conference in Houston at the Marriott West Loop on May 20th and 21st.  The event explores supply and demand for refined products from the North American PADD regions and the opportunities and challenges in those markets.  Keynote speaker will be Todd O’Malley of PBF Energy.  Other speakers will include Valero’s Richard Grissom.

Kasparov to Speak at Cato Dinner – The Cato Institute will announce its Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty at its 2014 Biennial Dinner on May 21st at the Waldorf–Astoria Hotel in New York City.  The keynote address will be presented by Garry Kasparov, former Chess champion, Russian Pro-Democracy leader and Global Human-Rights activist.  The Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, named in honor of perhaps the greatest champion of liberty in the 20th century, is presented every other year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to advance human freedom. The prize carries a cash award of $250,000.