Energy Update Week of June 16

Energy Update - June 16, 2016


Happy Father’s Day to all out there.  I hope it was a good day for you.  I spent my Father’s Day where else:  a lax tourney.  But yesterday, I was officiating rather than just watching Hannah.  I did make it home in time to watch Martin Kaymer cruise to his big victory at the US Open.   Wow, that Friday the 13th full moon did wonders for him as he delivered a second 65 that led him into the weekend with a nice cushion.  BTW, the last time a full moon on Friday the 13th hit together was in 2000 and it won’t occur again to 2049.

Not to be overshadowed, the LA Kings and San Antonio Spurs won the NHL and NBA championships in 5 games.   The NY Rangers battled hard but the Kings had just two much luck and skill taking 3 OT games.  Meanwhile, the Spurs, a Bracewell Giuliani client mind you, just hammered the two-champ Miami Heat, taking their last three victories by wide margins.  Congrats to my colleague Tullos Wells in San Antonio who gets his 5th NBA championship ring.   Kind of makes all the contract negotiating pains worth it.

This week starts to the run up to the summer solstice, which hits Saturday at 10:51 a.m.  The summer solstice day has the longest period of daylight of the year and is often a day to see how many rounds of golf you can get in in one day.  The week also marks 20 years ago tomorrow since the OJ Simpson slow speed chase occurred, setting off a media reality onslaught/celebrity trial like we have never seen before.

The first round of hearings on the Administration’s new GHG plan for existing power plants begins this week with the Senate Environment hosting former Republican Administration EPA leaders and State AGs, while the House Energy subpanel is hosting current EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe.  And thank goodness, the President mentioned climate change at his UC-Irvine commencement speech because that is want college graduates really want to hear.  Finally on Wednesday, Senate Energy gets to the controversial FERC nomination votes of Cheryl LaFleur and Norman Bay, as well as a vote on Landrieu’s Keystone XL  fast-track bill.

For those of you interested, the Firefly Festival is this weekend in Dover, DE.  Firefly is a 3-day/4-night music extravaganza that this year will feature Foo Fighters, Outkast, Jack Johnson, Imagine Dragons, Beck and many more.  My wife will be attending all 4 nights/3 days with her friends,  leaving me to get the three kids to their lax tourneys in Richmond, Bel Air, MD and Poolesville.  Is it possible they could be any further apart?  I will need to have a lot of the new Godsmack single 1000 Horsepower (just out this past week) to get everywhere I need to be.

Finally, there will likely be no update next week (at least on Monday/Tuesday) because I will be running around like a mad man over the weekend and then will head to Pittsburgh Monday morning early to attend the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Shale Energy Reporting Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.  It will be a great event that includes a great drilling process site tour on Tuesday.   Call with questions.

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

Poll Shows Concerns Over EPA Rule – As you know, I often say polls on climate issues really don’t mean much, especially as my friends In the environmental community have recently touted polls that show overwhelming support for the President’s plan.  Well, the National Mining Association also released a poll last week showing that most Americans (76%) are at least somewhat worried that new regulations proposed by EPA to remove coal-powered electricity from the nation’s energy mix will lead to higher prices for consumers.  The results are consistent with other findings that price increases are a significant driver of Americans’ sentiment about EPA regs and electricity.   I’m just sayin’…

CU Water Studies Look  at Needs, River Basin Impacts – The Colorado University Law School’s Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment (GWC) has released two new studies prepared by the GWC’s Colorado River Governance Initiative.  Restoring Sacred Waters: A Guide to Protecting Tribal Non-Consumptive Water Uses in the Colorado River Basin is a detailed review of strategies available to tribes seeking to protect non-consumptive uses of their federal reserved rights. It surveys potential legal and political hurdles that tribes may encounter when applying their rights to instream flows and offers practical strategies derived from case studies the advice of tribal officials on how to surmount these hurdles. Strategies outside of the application of Indian federal reserved rights are also explored, including how federal environmental laws and conservation easements have been used to create additional flows in reservation streams.  The second, Research Needs in the Colorado River Basin, is a synthesis of ideas gained from interviews and reports assessing the state of research post Basin Study, identifying those areas where additional progress is most needed to aid the policy discussions.  Embedded in this effort is an assessment of the role that the academic community can play going forward in addressing any shortcomings.

TX LNG Facility No Impact – FERC said in a draft review on Friday that Cheniere Energy’s proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, will not cause widespread environmental impact. Public comments on the review will be accepted until August 4th.   The Corpus Christi project will result in a permanent loss of 25 acres of wetlands, but FERC said measures Cheniere plans to take will minimize any further disturbance on wetlands.

State Dept Official to Head to Columbia U – The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) said Ambassador Carlos Pascual will be joining the Center in the Fall as a Fellow and Senior Research Scholar.  As a Fellow during the upcoming Fall semester, Pascual will teach a course to students in Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs as well as generate original research on the geopolitics of energy, including the implications of the recent increased US energy production. He will also help maximize the Center’s policy impact, which in its first year has emerged as a key resource for policymakers, industry, NGOs, and the wider public seeking to get beyond the polarization that often threatens to overwhelm energy debates. Pascual joins Columbia from his most recent position as Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the US Department of State. Prior to his appointment by US Secretary of State Clinton, Pascual served as the US Ambassador to Mexico.


EIA Head to Keynote International Energy Conference in NYC – Tonight in New York, Adam Sieminski, administrator of the Energy Information Administration will address the international implications of the U.S. energy renaissance at the 37th annual International Association for Energy Economics conference at the New Yorker Hotel.  The conference goes through Wednesday and also features thought leaders across business, government and academia including representatives from Statoil, National Renewable Energy Labs, IMF, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, UC Davis, Baker Hughes, Citi Research, SunEdison and many more. See the Detailed conference schedule here.

Energy to Hold Hydrogen, Fuel Cells Program Merit Review – All this week, the U.S. Department of Energy holds its 2014 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meetings (AMR) for the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and the Vehicle Technologies Office at the Marriott Wardman Park.

Public Power Conference Set – The American public Power Assn hold its annual Conference in Denver through Wednesday.  The program features leading political, economic, business and public policy thinkers and public power leaders addressing the critical issues, including the new GHG rules for existing power plants.  ABC News White House correspondent Jon Karl, former Steeler Merril Hoge and former White House CIO Theresa Payton will speak.

Forum to Look at Renewable NatGas Use – Tomorrow, the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition and Energy Vision will hold an all-day forum discussing extracting value and vehicle fuel from waste using natural gas.

Forum to Look at OAS Climate Issues – The Worldwatch Institute will hold a policy roundtable event tomorrow focused climate change: challenges and opportunities for the Americas.   WWI’s 59th OAS Policy Roundtable will encourage the exchange of experiences to address various issues related to climate change adaptation strategies and its mitigation.

Senate Ag to Highlight Bio-based Products – The Senate Ag Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to showcase companies leading the way in manufacturing plastics, chemicals and other materials from plants. The hearing will be followed by an event at which more than 30 companies will showcase technologies that turn biomass into usable materials.  Witnesses will include Scott Vitters of Coca-Cola, Lear’s Ashford Galbreath , Cargill’s Kurtis Miller and Adam Monroe of Novozymes North America among others.

ELI Forum to Discuss US GHG Efforts, Paris – Tomorrow at Noon, the Environmental Law Institute will hold a discussion that will look at likely greenhouse gas reduction efforts for the United States to propose at the 2015 Paris Climate Summit. The expert panel will identify where the United States is in progress towards our current target and how that target might be adjusted in the lead up to the 2015 Paris negotiations. Our panel will also examine the process by which the EU reached its target and ask whether it might be illustrative for the White House and Congress.  Panelists will include former EPA official Bob Sussman, NAM’s Ross Eisenberg, UN Environment Program’s Hilary French, Ned Helme of the Center for Clean Air Policy and WRI’s David Waskow.

Holmstead, Tierney to Address GHG Rule at BPC Forum – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center will hold a forum on the new EPA rule on GHGs for existing power plants.  The panel, hosted by our friend and WSJ reporter Amy Harder, will feature my colleague Jeff Holmstead, former Assistant Administrator for Air at EPA, and Sue Tierney, former Assistant Secretary for Policy at DOE.

Forum to Tackle Grid Innovation – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) will hold a briefing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 428 Russell looking at innovation in electric grid technologies and the opportunity being provided by the Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). The QER was launched this January to advance a 21st century energy policy that, among other things, seeks to improve electric grid resilience. The electric grid faces unprecedented threats in the United States, including extreme weather, cyberattack, and physical vulnerabilities which urgently need to be addressed.  Speakers from the Department of Energy (DOE), G&W Electric, Siemens, and Commonwealth Edison will discuss the concept and purpose of the QER and the need to reform our energy policy to strengthen the nation’s electric transmission and distribution grid, as well as the technologies available today that are making it happen.  Speakers for the forum include Rep. Jerry McNerney and DOE’s Karen Wayland, of Energy, among others.

ACORE to Look at Middle Market Renewables – ACORE will hold a teleconference on Wednesday at Noon to discuss investor plans to take advantage of such rapid growth in the renewable energy middle market growth sector.   The renewable energy market is intensifying in 2014 with much of the project development expected in the $10-$100 million middle market range. Investors recognizing the attractive risk and return profile of renewables in this asset class are increasingly deploying infrastructure capital. The webinar will focus not only on percentage returns but will critically detail the fine print; the terms and conditions these investors tie to their capital for renewable projects. The presentation will include recent equity, tax equity and debt pricing and will further describe how all these types of capital are successfully deployed.

Senate Enviro Panel to Host Former EPA Heads, AL AG – The Senate Environment panel  on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hear from former EPA chiefs, two academics and Alabama’s attorney general on climate change and the new GHG rules for existing power plants.  Former EPA Administrators Bill Ruckelshaus, Bill Reilly, Lee Thomas and Christine Todd Whitman will join Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, UCSB Professor Dan Botkin and LSU economist Joe Mason.

House Resources to Look at American Energy Jobs – On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the House Resources Committee’s panel on energy will convene an oversight hearing focused on opportunities for states and localities in creating energy jobs.  America’s surge in energy production is fueling an employment boom that’s creating much-needed economic growth in states and local communities. In the past decade, 30 states have experienced a 50 percent surge in jobs indirectly relating to oil and natural gas production and it’s estimated that by 2035 unconventional oil and natural gas production will bring in $2.5 trillion in combined state and federal revenue. For example, revenues from North Dakota’s oil and natural gas production gave the state a $1.6 billion budget surplus in 2012. Witnesses include DeSoto Parish, La. sheriff Rodney Arbuckle, Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration director Kevin Carter,  Lea County, NM vice chairman Commission Ron Black and Phil Hopkins, director of economic and country risk consulting at IHS Global.

House Energy Panel to Look at New GHG Rule – The House Energy and Commerce subpanel on Energy will hold a hearing on President Obama’s new GHG standards for existing power plants on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.  EPA Air Chief Janet McCabe will testify.

Senate Energy Looks at NatGas – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. on natural gas and how to harness the resource for export, domestic consumption, and transportation fuel.    The hearing will address issues surrounding natural gas and would likely feature a mix of government and private-sector witnesses.

API Expert to Discuss Crude Exports – ICF hosts its June Energy Breakfast on Thursday morning at the National Press Club featuring API’s Kyle Isakower, who will address the future of petroleum imports and exports. The discussion will focus on the oil production boom in areas such as the Eagle Ford and Bakken plays, and the potential for increasing U.S. exports and decreasing imports.

Boston Journos to Discuss State of Investigative Journalism – On Thursday, Boston NPR station and WGBH and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting will hold a forum in Boston looking at the role of investigative journalism in today’s rapidly changing media landscape.  A distinguished panel of award-winning journalists will discuss the importance of investigative journalism for our democracy, the lessons learned from Watergate, the role journalists played in exposing the sex abuse scandal in the local Catholic Church, and more.  The panel includes Frontline’s Raney Aronson-Rath, New England Center for Investigative Reporting executive director and managing editor Joe Bergantino, Boston Globe Spotlight Team editor Thomas Farragher and WGBH investigative reporter Phillip Martin.



SEJ to Host Shale Reporting Seminar – The Society of Environmental Journalists in partnership with Carnegie Mellon will host a shale reporting education seminar at CMU June 22-24th.  The goal of the whole event is to provide a focused group of journalists who cover shale issues with the latest/balanced info. on shale issues.  On Monday, the conference will here from academics, environmental advocates and industrial folks to discuss the many details of the current Shale boom.  The following day they will head out on a rig tour of drilling, production and compressing sites.  See more here.

FERC Commissioners to Address Regional Regulators Conference – The Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners (MACRUC) will hold its 19th  Annual Education Conference on June 22nd through 25th at the Hotel Hershey.  Speakers will include FERC Commissioners John Norris and Phil Moeller, as well as NARUC head Colette Honorable, New Jersey Natural Gas CEO Laurence Downes, Bill Colton of ExxonMobil, Walter Lynch of American Water and Exelon Utilities CEO Denis O’Brien.

Summit to Target Crude By Rail Issues – American Business Conferences will hold a Crude By Rail summit on June 24-25 in Houston to focus specifically on how each stakeholder can cost effectively optimize safety in their operations to restore confidence and promote reliability.  As the only crude by rail event specifically focused on optimizing safety, the Crude By Rail Safety Initiative 2014 host speakers from every key stakeholder group, including regulators, shippers, railroad operators, transloaders and refiners to quantify the cost-impacts of improving the safety of crude by rail operations.  Expert speakers will breakdown railroad strategies for improving safety and shipper strategies for crude testing, classification and transloading, provide a cost-analysis of railcar upgrades, clarify how the emerging regulatory landscape will impact each stakeholder and examine best practice emergency response and hazmat training.

Dingell to Address Press Club Luncheon – The National Press Club will host Rep. John Dingell, the Michigan Democrat who holds the record as the longest-serving U.S. House member ever, for his farewell address on Friday. Dingell announced he will retire at the end of his current term, having been a member of the U.S. House for 58 years, serving alongside 11 presidents. He served as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and helped pass legislation including Medicare, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act.

July 4th Holiday

NARUC Summer Meetings Set – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Summer Committee Meetings, one of three conferences NARUC holds each year, will take place at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas, from July 13-16. The meeting will feature discussions on the top regulatory challenges across all utility sectors—water, electricity, natural gas, and telecommunications. Panels will tackle the latest developments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark greenhouse gas-emissions proposals, Liquefied Natural Gas exports, Internet neutrality and the transition from traditional telephone service to IP-based networks.  Featured speakers include Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur, FERC Commissioner Tony Clark, Federal Communications Commission Member Mignon Clyburn, Environmental Protection Agency Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Janet McCabe, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Administrator Cynthia Quarterman, Duke Energy President, CEO Lynn Good, Luminant CEO Mark McFarland, and many more.

EIA Energy Conference to Feature Upton – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will hold its 2014 EIA Energy Conference on July 14th and 15th.  The EIA Energy Conference has become a premier forum for addressing energy issues in the United States and around the world. This event will bring together thought leaders from industry, government, and academia to discuss current and future challenges facing domestic and international energy markets and policymakers. The conference will feature keynote speakers including House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton, IEA Director Maria van der Hoeven and IHS Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin, among many others.

McCabe to Address ICF Energy Breakfast –ICF hosts its July Energy Breakfast on Thursday July 17th at the National Press Club featuring EPA Air Administrator Janet McCabe.  McCabe will discuss EPA’s newly released Existing Source Performance Standards (ESPS) regulations for power plants.  The discussion will focus on how the regulations affect states, regions, companies and customers as well as are the benefits worth the costs.