Energy Update: Week of July 16

Energy Update - July 16, 2018


I hope you had a chance to catch either/both the World Cup Final or Wimbledon.  The Friday semifinal between Jason Isner and Kevin Anderson was epic.  And then the Djokovic-Nadal Semi was just as crazy.  And Anderson knocked out Federer in similar fashion ibn the quarters.  In the end, all the extra play couldn’t get him past Djokovic who wins his 4th Wimbledon title.  On the Women’s side, Serena’s return to tennis’ top tier is slightly delayed because Angelique Kerber straight-setted her 6-3, 6-3.  And France capped an exciting FIFA World Cup by dominating Croatia, 4-2 in yesterday’s final game.

It’s All-Star week in DC with the Home Run Contest today and the game tomorrow.  There are lots of great Facebook/Instagram posts of people enjoying the MLB Fan Fest Weekend.  Check out WTOP’s list of events, road closures and deals, plus everything you need to know about the game itself. Read more.

This will be a busy week on Capitol Hill.  In addition to real work on energy Issues, the House Rules Committee will meet tomorrow move consideration of a resolution arguing a carbon tax would be “detrimental” to the U.S. economy and “not in the best interest” of the country.  On the hearing scene, House Science Energy and Enviro panels are hosting a joint hearing tomorrow on CCS Techs that will feature a discussion of the USA IT Act.   There is also a NSR reform hearing to discuss legislation.  On Wednesday, House Energy looks at energy storage and Mary Neumayr heads to Senate Environment on Thursday while Senate Energy looks at the proposed Energy and Interior reorganizations.  House Transpo also looks at hurricane response, resilience and preparedness so remember – if you are covering – our experts at MIT are happy to answer many of your key concerns about it.

Finally, on Wednesday in Ann Arbor, EPA holds a hearing on the 2019 RVOs for ethanol and biofuels.  Expect of full court press from both the ethanol activists and oil interests that think the program is in major need of reform.  We will be on guard so let me know if you need any insight.  We will have statements starting tomorrow.  Call with questions…Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932



“Both of these bills address critical lapses in the ability of the U.S. to stay on pace with China and Russia in the potentially trillion-dollar global advanced nuclear energy market.”

ClearPath executive Director Rich Powell commenting on two bipartisan bills passed in the House Energy Committee that would spur advanced nuclear development.



Bracewell Podcasts Looks at Trade, New EPA Head – The latest episode of the Bracewell Podcast, The Lobby Shop is now live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  We discuss the on-air discovery of Justice Kennedy’s retirement from SCOTUS in episode 55 and what has happened in the time since. We also dive into the way the President talks about tariff news to a lay-person audience vs. how that message is interpreted by the industries impacted by tariffs. Our special guests this week are Scott Segal and Anna Burhop, PRG team members who have worked with and for the new Acting Administrator of the EPA, Andrew Wheeler.



Adler Weighs In On Kavanaugh on Regs – Supreme Court watcher and former EPA official Jonathan Adler writes an op-ed in the New York Times that argues given President Trump’s concerns about the federal administrative state, his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is entirely fitting. For years, Judge Kavanaugh has toiled in the vineyards of administrative law, writing highly influential opinions on regulatory matters and demonstrating a willingness to discipline federal agencies when they go astray.  For the past 12 years, Judge Kavanaugh has sat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court (where I once clerked) hears many legal challenges to major federal regulations. As a consequence, it is the arguably the most influential court on matters of administrative law, and judges there are fed a steady diet of these often complex and demanding cases. Of Judge Kavanaugh’s nearly 300 opinions as a federal judge, over one-third concern administrative law — and they are quite revealing.

Climate Polls Show Both Parties Doubt Action – According to our friend Jackie Toth at Morning Energy writes despite differing over the impacts of climate change, Democrats and Republicans are in agreement on one thing: They don’t place much trust in governments to tackle the issue.  According to a new Bloomberg Global Business Forum survey conducted by Morning Consult, 63 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Republicans say they have little or no trust in governments to combat climate change.  See the full breakdown here.


ClearPath Endorses Upton – ClearPath Action Fund is endorsing Michigan Rep. Fred Upton for his re-election bid.  They will begin running digital ads backing the Michigan Republican as part of a six-figure effort. CPA founder Jay Faison says Upton has an accomplished record of shepherding many bills hitting every facet of clean energy innovation.

House Energy Committee Advances Legislation to Spur Advanced Nuclear – The House Energy Committee advanced two bills that would spur deployment of advanced nuclear technologies.  One  bipartisan bill led by Reps. Bill Flores (R-Texas) and Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) to direct DOE to establish a program supporting availability of high assay low enriched uranium (HA-LEU) via public-private partnerships to address regulatory and market challenges. The other, the bipartisan NUKE Act (H.R. 1320) from Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) , is a commonsense step to making further improvements at rightsizing NRC’s workforce and budget. It does this by establishing reasonable deadlines for major applications and other efforts to streamline licensing, and authorizes studies to reconsider outdated regulations of the Atomic Energy Act.  ClearPath Action advisor and former NRC Commissioner Jeffrey Merrifield co-authored a recent white paper sponsored by ClearPath and USNIC that urged lawmakers, policymakers and the NRC to take prompt steps to ensure adequate supply of HA-LEU or risk continued progress in deploying the next generation of U.S. nuclear power. Merrifield and URENCO USA President Melissa Mann testified in support of the House Committee measure on behalf of ClearPath and USNIC at a May 22 hearing.

Trump Consider SPR Release – The Trump administration is considering tapping the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a means of combating rising gas prices, with options under consideration including test sales of 5 million barrels or a release of as much as 30 million barrels, according to two people familiar with the matter. A release from the oil reserve closer to November could lower prices ahead of midterm elections, though analysts disagree on whether and how much a release would impact the market.

OPEC Letter Says it will Stop Monitoring Quotas – The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee will stop tracking countries’ compliance with quotas following OPEC’s June 23 deal to transition to a collective production cap, according to a recent letter to OPEC members. The individual country data has never been publicly disclosed, and the letter adds that the committee will still track and report on OPEC’s compliance with the cap.  Our friends at SAFE are monitoring closely and can help discuss the subject.  Connect with Bridget Bartol ay 202-461-2361 or


NAS to Hold Truck Fuel Economy Meeting – The National Academies of Science’s Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences is hosting an event today in the afternoon assessing technologies for improving fuel economy of light-duty vehicles.  Speakers include NHTSA, EPA DOE, Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association and many others.

Forum to Look at Nuke Decommissioning – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) holds a briefing today at 2:00 p.m. on the urgent need to safely decommission nuclear power plants, which are increasingly shutting down. Leading scientists, policy experts, NGO advocates, and local elected officials with experience of decommissioning will speak at the briefing. It will cover the impacts of decommissioning, current decommissioning options, waste storage vs. transport, thorny unsolved problems and best practices, financing and liability, a just transition for communities and workers, how communities and states can and can’t weigh in on these issues, and how they should inform the fast-changing legislative and regulatory landscape.  Speakers for this forum are Zion Illinois Mayor Al Hill (home of the decommissioned Zion Nuclear Power Station), former Department of Energy Senior Policy Advisor Robert Alvarez, NRDC’s Geoffrey Fettus and Kevin Kamps, of Beyond Nuclear.

Forum to Look at Nuke Energy Trends – Today at 4:00 p.m., the Institute of World Politics hosts a lecture on the topic of “Energy Trends: Nuclear and Non-Nuclear” with Professor Henry D. Sokolski.  With the Trump administration’s proposed financial relief of the coal and nuclear industries in the name of national security, energy economics has re-emerged as a topic for national debate. So far, much of this discussion has been cast as a contest between market economics and national security.

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

Senate Enviro Looks at ESA – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. on the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018.

House Science to Look at CCS – The House Science Committee panels on Energy and Environment are hosting a joint hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  Witnesses for this hearing include Wyoming Infrastructure Authority executive director Jason Begger, Carbon Utilization Research Council executive director Shannon Angielski and LLNL senior scientist Roger Aines.  With the USE IT Act moving forward in the Senate and the Fossil Energy Research & Development Act gaining support in the House, this hearing should provide an excellent opportunity to examine these and other vital policies that will help advance carbon capture technologies.

Forum to Look at Disaster Prep, Resilience – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. focusing on disaster preparedness. FEMA Deputy Administrator for Resilience Dr. Daniel Kaniewski discusses FEMA’s effort to engage communities and individuals in preparing for and bouncing back from catastrophes.

Senate Energy Looks at Critical Minerals – The Senate Energy Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the Interior Department’s final list of critical minerals.  Witnesses will include USGS National Minerals Information Center Director Dr. Steven Fortier, Dr. Roderick Eggert of the Colorado School of Mines, Greg Gregory of Materion Natural Resources, Aaron Mintzes of Earthworks, Laurel Sayer of Midas Gold Idaho, and our friend Jim Sims of NioCorp.

EPA to Hold RVO Hearing – EPA is announcing a public hearing in Ypsilanti, MI on Wednesday at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti to look at the proposed rule “Renewable Fuel Standard Program Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020.

House Energy Looks at Storage – The House Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. looking at the role of energy storage in the nation’s electricity system.

House Transpo Looks at Disaster Recovery, Prep – The  House Transportation Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee holds a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on recovering from 2017 disasters and Preparing for the 2018 hurricane season.


Forum to Look at Digitalization in Energy – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program and the Technology Policy Program host a discussion on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. featuring Timothy Lieuwen (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Barbara Humpton (Siemens USA) about the new services and opportunities created for companies and regions as the energy industry continues its trend toward digitalization.  The session will begin with a presentation by Dr. Lieuwen, who will explain the findings of Georgia Tech’s recent study, Industrial Data in Power Generation.  The study is the first phase of an ongoing study of industrial data and regional economic development.  Following the presentation, Barbara Humpton will join Dr. Lieuwen to provide perspective on the ecosystem emerging around the digitalization of the energy industry, examining digitalization’s potential to simultaneously help increase reliability, decrease cost, and reduce environmental impacts. Speakers will also explain the behavioral standards for those firms handling data from the industrial sector, the role policy plays in the regulation of data transparency/ownership, and which actors have the most influence to establish and define values in this emerging sector.

Forum to Look at Iran Oil Issues – The Atlantic Council hosts a panel discussion on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. focused on a goal of drastically reduce Iran’s oil exports is realistic and the impact the US campaign is having on global production and prices as well as on Iran. This event is jointly sponsored by the South Asia Center’s Future of Iran Initiative, the Global Energy Center and the Global Business & Economics Center.

Forum Looks European Energy Security – The Atlantic Council holds a discussion on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. looking at Finnish perspectives on energy security in Europe.  Finland’s Minister of the Environment, Energy, and Housing, Kimmo Tiilikainen. Europe has been at the forefront of people’s minds lately, will discuss the NATO Summit, Nord Stream 2, and the upcoming meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki dominating the news cycle. In his remarks and a moderated discussion with Atlantic Council Global Energy Center’s David Livingston, Mr. Tiilikainen will touch on topics such as how renewables factor into the conversation about energy security, the role of gas and nuclear power, relations with Russia and Nord Stream 2, and activities in the Arctic. He will also discuss the agenda for US-European cooperation.

Senate Enviro Hosts CEQ Nominee – The Senate Environment Committee holds a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on nomination of Mary Neumayr to be a head of the Council on Environmental Quality.

Senate Energy Looks at Energy, Interior Re-Org – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to conduct oversight of the administration’s proposals to reorganize and modernize the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior.

Forum to Look at China Low Carbon Issues – The Wilson Center’s China Environmental Forum holds a panel discussion Thursday at 1:00 p.m. looking at tools that could help guide urban low-carbon initiatives and other sustainability actions. Hu Min from the Beijing-based energy policy incubator Innovative Green Development Program (iGDP) will introduce the recently launched China’s Low-carbon and Green Index for Cities (LOGIC). This index, created together with LBNL and Energy Foundation China, will track low-carbon and green development in 115 Chinese cities to inform future green development models. Roger Platt will talk about US-Green Building Council’s LEED for Cities rating system that empowers global cities and communities to assess, verify, and improve urban sustainability performance and quality of life, including low-carbon developments. A speaker from ACEEE will discuss how their city energy efficiency scorecard has spurred building, utility, and transportation policies to decrease energy use in major U.S. cities.

Health in Buildings Forum Set – The Department of Environment at the National Institutes of Health will gather government leaders and experts on Friday across the health and buildings sectors to discuss new developments in research about health in buildings in our HiBR 2018, Health in Building for Today and Tomorrow conference.  Speakers and attendees will examine the many developments in this sector through lively conversations about buildings including innovation, energy, policies, building practices, community solutions and emerging technologies.



CSIS To Host EIA Outlook – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program is hosting EIA Administrator Linda Capuano on Tuesday July 24th for a presentation and discussion of the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2018 (IEO2018). The IEO2018 builds on the IEO2017 reference case, which presented long-term projections of world energy demand by region and primary energy source; electricity generation by energy source; and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. In particular, this year’s outlook offers a macroeconomic perspective regarding the uncertainty in economic growth in India, China, and Africa.

USEA To Discuss Africa Energy – The US Energy Assn will host a forum on Tuesday July 24th at 10:00 a.m. discuss specific generation and transmission projects currently underway and in the pipeline for development within the region. Please join us in a discussion regarding investment opportunities in various hydropower and wind power projects, as well as a transmission line and interconnection project. N Representatives of West African Power Pool (WAPP) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) will speak.

Forum to Look at Taiwan Energy – The Global Taiwan Institute and co-sponsor, The Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University, will hold a forum on Tuesday July 24th at 12:30 p.m. to explore the future of Taiwan’s energy. This event is the third installment of the Civil Society and Democracy Series, which is partially funded by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. The panelists will discuss Taiwan’s policy and opportunities in sustainable energy, how it will impact the Asia-Pacific region, and what it means for US interests.

Forum to Look at NET CCS Plant – The US Energy Assn Hosts a discussion on Thursday, July 26th at 10:00 a.m. to look at NET Power’s 50-MW demonstration emissions-free natural gas power plant.  NET Power is commercializing a novel power system that produces emissions-free electricity from natural gas for the same cost as conventional power plants. The system, which uses the supercritical CO2 Allam Cycle, is currently being demonstrated at a 50MWth power plant in La Porte, Texas, that is now in operation. A review of the technology will be provided, and an update will be given on the status of demonstration plant testing and operations, as well as commercial facility development.

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

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