Energy Update: Week of June 25

Energy Update - June 25, 2018


It has been a great FIFA World Cup so far. Last week, there was some really great games and some big surprises, including Poland out, Argentina on the brink of elimination and Germany barely surviving with a super late goal to sneak past Sweden.  More action this week, including Uruguay-Russia today, a huge games in Groups D (Nigeria/Argentina & Croatia/Iceland) tomorrow, an important Brazil-Serbia game on Wednesday and a heavyweight bout on Thursday featuring both undefeated  Belgium and England.

This week should be pretty busy as we run up to the July 4th holiday.  We may see the RFS RVOs today and there are several key nominees hitting Capitol Hill tomorrow including Daniel Simmons to head DOE’s EERE office.  The Senate also expects to vote later today on the FY19 energy-water development legislation and there will be an interesting oil/gas hearing at House Energy tomorrow featuring Dan Yergin, Harold Hamm and Sempra’s Dennis Arriola.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is slated to meet tomorrow with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, just days after Russia joined with OPEC to raise oil exports and he also meets with the Israeli Energy Minister today at an event sponsored by the Chamber’s U.S.-Israel Business Initiative.  He also headlines at the World Gas conference today and Thursday which Is at the Washington Convention Center all week.  Other keynoters include Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Sens. Bill Cassidy, Lisa Murkowski and Joe Manchin, AGA’s Dave McCurdy, Exxon CEO Darren Woods, Dan Yergin, Canada Energy Minister Jim Carr, Cheniere CEO Jack Fusco and our friend Frank Fannon at State.  There are a bunch of WGC events, including the Chamber hosting Algeria’s Energy Minister tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. See the full schedule here.

My biggest event his week is the Wednesday National Press Club event that features Delta CEO Ed Bastian on Thursday when he discusses the future of airline travel, and many other issues.  You should definitely try to attend.

Forgot to mention this last week in the out of town activities, But the Aspen Ideas Forum launched last Thursday.  Most of the energy action is this week though when panels look at AVs and hurricane response with FEMA’s Brock Long (hosted by our friend Andy Revkin) today; a natural disaster rebuilding panel focused with SoCo’s Chris Womack, our friend Jeff Goodell and PR Gov. Rossello and a cybersecurity discussion with Ash carter and SoCo’s Tom Fanning; a Wednesday panel on cities and technology with Audi President Scott Keough and the signature conversation event featuring former Sect Of State John Kerry; a Trade conversation with Trade Rep Bob Lighthizer on Thursday and a Friday afternoon panel with former EPA head Lisa Jackson on the Clean Energy revolution.   See the full agenda here.

Finally, drawing your attention to two multi-association letters that will be released today urging support for DOE’s Daniel Simmons to head EERE and Jeff Clark to be assistant AG in DOJ’s Environmental Division.  I will forward later today when they are finalized.

I suspect that we won’t have an update next week with July 4th, but will urge you to attend the Wednesday July 4th concert on the National Mall.  It is one of the special events that you have to attend in your lifetime.  We will report though as necessary.

Call with questions and see you at the Press Club on Wednesday for Delta CEO Ed Bastian…Best,


Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

c. (202) 997-5932



“Because of the technological prowess of American manufacturers, U.S. businesses stand to gain from this deal – ratification will open new markets at a time when demand for refrigeration, heating, and air-condition equipment is projected to grow.”

A letter from conservative tax group leaders of Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks and the American Council for Capital Formation on moving the Kigali amendment forward in the Senate. 



Bracewell Reloads Lobby Shop Podcast  – The latest episode of the Bracewell Lobby Shop is now live on Stitcher, iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  We’re debuting a new format this week.  We’ll cover the latest DC news from three angles: diving into legislation and policy, understanding their context and politics, and the success/failure of the involved parties’ communications tactics. Our featured guest interview this week is with PRG’s departing intern, Taryn Taylor Brown.


Regs Take a Hit in SCOTUS – Adam White, research fellow at the Hoover Institution and director of the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal’s opinion section that regulatory state had a bad Day in court last week.  White argued that while Conservatives long have questioned the administrative state, this past week Justices Elena Kagan and Anthony Kennedy each produced an opinion questioning longstanding features of the modern administrative state. Both opinions should encourage further reform and modernization of administrative law. Justice Kagan’s majority opinion in Lucia v. SEC raised concerns about administrative law judges, while Justice Kennedy joined an 8-1 ruling in Pereira v. Sessions but in a lone concurrence, he voiced doubts about “ Chevron deference,” the 1984 doctrine of judicial deference to agencies’ statutory interpretations.


Conservative Tax Groups Urge President to Support HFC Reduction Effort – Last week, 13 Republican Senators urged the White House to send them the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol while 34 HVACR Industry CEOs made the same request. Now, leaders of three conservative tax groups – Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks and the American Council for Capital Formation – are urging the President to submit the Amendment to the Senate for ratification on economic and global competitive grounds.  According to a study conducted by JMS Consulting and Inforum, ratifying the Kigali amendment will grow the U.S. share for these products by 25%. Failing to ratify the Kigali amendment will see American market share decline by 14%.  The letter adds that “ratifying the Kigali amendment will increase economic output by $12.5 billion, leading to 33,000 more manufacturing jobs over the next decade and 117,000 indirect jobs in manufacturing dependent industries. The amendment also has broad support in the U.S. business and manufacturing community.  Finally, the groups detail the risk for US manufacturers if we don’t ratify the policy saying the agreement currently has enough support amongst other nations to go into effect on January 1, 2019. However, if the U.S. fails to ratify the agreement, American manufacturers will be restricted in their ability to sell into foreign markets at the cost of jobs and wealth.

ClearPath: Clean Energy Meetings Highlight US, Canada, Japan Alliance – The recent 9th annual Clean Energy Ministerial, a multilateral meeting in Copenhagen of high-level energy officials spanning the globe, launched two significant efforts to better recognize carbon capture and advanced nuclear as clean energy tools. ClearPath’s policy triumvirate – Jeremy Harrell, Spencer Nelson and Justin Ong – were there and in a new blog map out why the efforts led by the U.S., Canada, Japan and others shouldn’t be overlooked. But despite a good conversation, less than 10 of the 120 events at last month’s Nordic Clean Energy Week (of which the ministerial was showcased) were focused on either nuclear or carbon capture. As these technologies will be a significant part of the future of the low-carbon energy mix, the ClearPath policy trio note there is still much work to do to elevate those issues on the global stage, including at next year’s ministerial hosted by Canada.

IRS Sets Beginning of Construction for Tax Credit – In a huge victory for solar developers, the Internal Revue Service (IRS) has established two new tests to guide taxpayers on solar energy property construction requirements for claiming a renewable energy tax incentive. Taxpayers may establish the beginning of construction either by through a “physical work test”—starting physical work of “a significant nature”—or by meeting a safe harbor based on having paid 5% or more of the total cost of the energy property.  Solar Energy Industries Association CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said “the IRS has taken an important step forward with this guidance and provided certainty that will help solar project sponsors finance and build more solar. Our members have been working hard to secure financing for projects and keep them on track to meet critical development and construction milestones.”

Senate Approves Advanced Nuclear Fuel Spending – The Senate approved an amendment to a FY19 spending bill from Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) granting $15 million for a demonstration project to ensure domestic supply of high assay low enriched uranium (HA-LEU), which will fuel many advanced nuclear reactors. There is a looming shortage in the domestic supply of HA-LEU, which is commercially produced in countries such as France, Russia and China, but not in the U.S. Former NRC Commissioner Jeffrey Merrifield and Pillsbury Law Firm Senior Associate Anne Leidich laid out 10 recommendations for lawmakers, policymakers and NRC to step up to this supply challenge in a recent white paper sponsored by ClearPath and the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council. A final Senate vote on their broader FY19 energy spending bill is scheduled for today.

DOE Grants $64M for Advanced Nuclear – The Department of Energy will award nearly $64 million in advanced nuclear awards to national labs, industry and 39 U.S. universities in 29 states. The 89 awards are allocated under the Nuclear Energy University Program ($47 million), Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies program ($5 million) and the Nuclear Science User Facilities program ($6.6 million).

Oil Companies Help to Drive Offshore Wind –As states seek to rapidly escalate offshore wind, our Friend Elizabeth McGowan reports that there has been a ripple effect for logistics companies that are more accustomed to serving the oil and gas industry.  Our former Atlantic Wind Connection colleague, now at the University of Delaware, Stephanie McClellan has spent the last four years at guiding offshore wind from pie-in-the-sky blueprints to steel-in-the-water infrastructure that can deliver 8,000 megawatts of power to the Northeast by 2030.  McClellan says a linchpin to success has been developing buy-in from businesses 1,500 miles away in the Gulf Coast, where entrepreneurs are reshaping their expertise to meet the siting, construction, installation, and maintenance needs of a nascent, but promising, offshore wind industry.  One example of that union is the collaboration of Houston-based Zentech with Renewable Resources International in Virginia. Engineers have designed a marine vessel versatile enough to be used to install wind turbines and also decommission oil and gas rigs. Delivery of the modified ship is scheduled next year.


World Gas Conference Features Perry, Industry Leaders – The International Gas Union (IGU) hosts the 27th World Gas Conference (WGC 2018) in Washington DC from June this week.  The triennial event aims to raise the voice of natural gas while offering timely updates on strategic, commercial and technical issues facing the entire gas value chain and offers the most comprehensive and diverse program to date for the natural gas industry. For the first time ever this includes topics for professionals working in sectors including finance, trading, law, sustainability/renewables, policy/government.

Wehrum, McCabe Speak to Air/Waster Conference – The Air & Waste Management Association holds its annual conference in Hartford, Conn today through Thursday.  The event will feature a keynote address by EPA air chief Bill Wehrum and Janet McCabe, who served at the agency during the Obama administration.

Fanning, Audi CEO Address Aspen Ideas Festival – The 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival continues this week after starting last Thursday and will turn its focus to energy.  Aspen is the nation’s premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that shape our lives and challenge our times.   Panels include an AV panel and a hurricane response panel with FEMA’s Brock Long (hosted by our friend Andy Revkin) today; a natural disaster rebuilding panel focused with SoCo’s Chris Womack, our friend Jeff Goodell and PR Gov Rossello and a cybersecurity discussion with Ash carter and SoCo’s Tom Fanning; a Wednesday panel on cities and technology with Audi President Scott Keough and the signature conversation event featuring former Sect Of State John Kerry; a Trade conversation with Trade Rep Bob Lighthizer on Thursday and a Friday afternoon panel with former EPA head Lisa Jackson on the Clean Energy revolution.   See the full agenda here.

Forum to Talk Eastern Europe Energy – The Atlantic Council Global Energy Center and the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrád Group holds its “Towards 21st Century Energy Systems in Central & Eastern Europe” conference today.  The event will feature discussion and debate on the strategic and policy implications of the Trump Administration’s energy agenda and its impact on the transatlantic relationship, with special attention paid to the Central and Eastern European region.  The expert panels will discuss the impact of the US’ energy agenda on Central and Eastern Europe and innovation in Central and Eastern European energy systems.

Brookings Talking Global Markets With Experts – The Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy & Climate will host Fatih Birol in a discussion today facilitated by Initiative Co-Chair David G. Victor. Both renowned energy experts, they will discuss the latest updates in global energy, including recent evolutions in global markets and prices, and the intersections of climate change and energy policy.  Fatih Birol is executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), and has been named by Forbes Magazine as one of the most influential people in world energy, and “Energy personality of the year” in 2017 by the Financial Times. He is also chair of the World Economic Forum’s (Davos) Energy Advisory Board and serves on the U.N. Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Sustainable Energy for All.  After the session, panelists will take audience questions.

ACEEE Forum Set – Tomorrow at the National Press Club, the American Council for and Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) will convene a one-day symposium to highlight international energy efficiency best practices, with a particular focus on opportunities for improvement in the United States. Our research has shown that energy efficiency can be a low-cost, powerful tool for countries to meet their energy and environmental goals and to sustainably increase shared prosperity. At this event, ACEEE will release its biennial International Scorecard, which examines the energy efficiency policies and performance of the world’s 25 largest energy-consuming countries. The scorecard evaluates countries based on 35 metrics and shows how all can substantially improve their energy efficiency. The symposium will feature four panels that will explore: (1) scorecard findings, (2) lessons learned from high-performing countries, (3) opportunities for the United States, and (4) notable efforts and opportunities for global companies.

CSIS Hosts Climate Investments Head – Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., the CSIS Energy & National Security Program will host Pratima Rangarajan, CEO of Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) Climate Investments, for a conversation on OGCI Climate Investments within the context of the OGCI, why the fund was founded last year, and how and why Climate Investments differentiates itself from other funds. OGCI Climate Investments intends to invest $1 billion over the next ten years to develop and demonstrate innovative technologies which could significantly curb global greenhouse gas emissions.

Senate Energy Hosts DOE Nominees – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on pending DOE nominations, including Daniel Simmons to head the Renewable Energy office; Karen Evans to be an assistant secretary of Energy for Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response; Teri Donaldson to be Energy General Counsel and Dr. Chris Fall to head the DOE Science office.

House Resources Panel to Look at Offshore Wind – The House Natural Resources panel on Energy will hold a legislative hearing on three bipartisan offshore wind energy proposals tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  The hearing will cover H.R. 5291, would create a new federal grant program to educate and train offshore wind workers as they transition from other industries. It would give priority to community colleges and organizations that aid minority populations.  The second bill would require the federal government to devise a schedule and plan for offshore leases, while the third bill would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to apply to U.S. territories such as Guam.  BOEM’s James Bennett and NOIA’s Randall Luthi testify.

Opponents of Gas Compressor Hold Event – Opponents of a gas compressor station in Maryland will hold an event at George Washington’s Mount Vernon tomorrow at noon to outline a new campaign to oppose the construction.  I doubt Dominion will take the opposition sitting down given this has been underway for more than two years and there has been no opposition until now.

House Energy Panel Looks at Oil, Gas Geopolitics – The House Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. on the shifting geopolitics of oil and gas.  Witnesses include Daniel Yergin, Harold Hamm and Sempra’s Dennis Arriola.

House Oversight Panel Looks at Forest Service Roads – The House Oversight and Government Reform Interior, Energy and Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on access to public lands and the effects of forest service road closures.

Indonesian Energy Minster to Address CSIS – The CSIS Southeast Asia Program and CSIS-Pertamina Banyan Tree Leadership Forum will host a forum tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. featuring Ignasius Jonan, Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia. Minister Jonan’s speech will be preceded by opening remarks from Ms. Nicke Widyawati, acting Chief Executive Officer of PT Pertamina.  Jonan spoke to the US Chamber of Commerce today at WGC.

Forum to Look at Iran Enviro Challenges – The Atlantic Council Global Energy Center holds a discussion tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. on Iran’s Environmental Challenges.  Environmental degradation has become a major issue in Iran and is a source of economic hardship, ill health, social disruption and recent political protests. The Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative will launch a new paper, Environmental and Wildlife Degradation in Iran, by David Laylin, an ecologist with extensive personal ties and experience in rural Iran.

Hydro Conference SetHydroVision International will be held in Charlotte, NC tomorrow through Thursday at the Charlotte Convention Center.  HydroVision is the largest gathering of hydro professionals worldwide. The event highlights perspectives on the role of hydropower, explores issues affecting hydro resources, and helps participants develop a vision to meet challenges and ensure the future sustainability of hydro.

FERC Holds Grid Conference – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission holds technical conference tomorrow through Thursday on boosting grid resilience through improved software.

PLAYBOOK Breakfast to Feature McConnell – POLITICO Playbook holds a Breakfast interview with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday morning at 8:00 a.m. at Ajax.  POLITICO Playbook Co-Authors Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman hold the in-depth conversation to provide intelligence and insight on the Republican congressional agenda, along with policy, politics and news of the day.

Hearing to Look at Re-Org Plan – The House Oversight Committee holds a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday examining the Administration’s Government-wide Reorganization Plan.

Forum to Look at National Lab Ideas – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation holds a forum on Wednesday at noon in 2325 Rayburn to look at new ideas for strengthening partnerships at DOE’s National Labs.  Two promising ideas for providing such connections are the proposed Impact for Energy Foundation and the pilot small business voucher program. The former would make it easier for companies and philanthropists to work collaboratively with intramural teams at DOE labs. The latter provides small businesses that need sophisticated insights with no-cost access to lab experts who can accelerate their innovations.  Speakers will include Reps. Randy Hultgren and Ben Ray Luján, as well as Rita Baranwal, Director of (GAIN) Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear at the Idaho National Laboratory.

Forum to Look at Russian NatGas Issues – The American Foreign Policy Council discussion on Wednesday at Noon in 902 Hart on Russian Revanchism and Nord Stream II pipeline Project.  The event features a discussion with the heads of parliaments of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and Lithuania. Representing countries that are in the zone of direct military threat from revanchist Russia, the speakers will discuss the complex security situation in Central and Eastern Europe as a result of the Russian Federation’s long-term aggressive policies.

Senate Hearing to Look at Infrastructure Permitting – The Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee holds a hearing Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to look at ways of streamlining the permitting process for large infrastructure projects.  Witnesses will include CEQ’s Alex Herrgott, former Senate Energy Chair Mary Landrieu, acting executive director of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council Angela Colamaria, Joseph Johnson of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Christy Goldfuss of the Center for American Progress, North America’s Building Trades Unions head Sean McGarvey and Jolene Thompson, executive vice president of member services and external affairs at American Municipal Power.

Forum to Look at Energy Policy In Brazil – On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the Inter-American Dialogue will hold a forum to look at energy policy in Brazil.  The event features a panel discussion on the recent oil licensing rounds, opportunities for private investment in the oil, gas and power sectors, and the outlook for energy policy next year.

Forum to Look at Fossil Fuels in Sustain Energy Future – The U.S. Energy Association holds a forum on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to look access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy services while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of the energy sector.  This briefing seeks to discuss the following within the context of the 2030 Agenda including recommendations on Carbon Capture Use and Storage; financing investment in fossil energy; transformation of the Energy System, among other things.  The speaker will be Scott Foster, the Director of the Sustainable Energy Division with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

Chatterjee Headlines Grid Forum – Icons of Infrastructure hold a forum at the National Press Club on June 28th afternoon looking at the transformation of the energy grid.  The forum will look at how needed research and development efforts gets funded and what are the stakes for consumers, the energy sector and policymakers.  In one packed day of headline speakers, panel debates, creative networking opportunities, open discussions, and an in-depth analysis, you’ll learn about exciting developments in domestic energy markets, and hear insider perspective on the challenges we face.  Speakers include FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, NREL’s Peter Green, DOE’s Eric Lightner and many more.

Forum to Look at Climate Risk – At the June Adaptation Community Meeting, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and the Inter-American Development Bank will come together on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. At the World Bank to discuss each organization’s current and emerging approaches to climate risk management. The discussion will highlight each organization’s approach, initiatives to track and assess the effectiveness of climate risk management, lessons learned, and ideas for the future.

Mulvaney Headlines Annual CEI Dinner – On Thursday June 28th, the Competitive Enterprise Institute holds its annual dinner and reception at the Marriott Marquis.  National Review’s Jonah Goldberg will be master of ceremonies and keynoter is OMB chief Mick Mulvaney.

Wilson Forum to Look at Arctic – The Wilson Center holds forum on Friday focused on how the National Guard is contributing to the advancement of Arctic and cold weather capabilities within U.S. defense institutions. Senior leaders representing the National Guard Arctic Interest Council will discuss how the National Guard is contributing to the advancement of Arctic and cold weather capabilities within U.S. defense institutions.




Event to Honor Tesla Birthday – On Friday evening July 6th, the International Club of DC and the Embassy of Croatia host a dinner reception and delightful evening of Croatian culture, music, wine, and cuisine on the occasion of the 162nd anniversary of the birth of Croatian-born scientist Nikola Tesla. During the event, Tesla will have a Model S and Model X on display. Tesla product experts will be on hand to answer questions and show you how electric vehicles can fit seamlessly into your lifestyle. Test rides will be offered on a first come, first serve basis.

Clean Energy Forum on Schedule – The 2018 Congressional Clean Energy Expo and Policy Forum will be held on July 10th and brings together up to 45-55 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

BPC Forum to Examine Oil, Gas Issues – On Thursday July 12th at 10:30 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) convenes a panel of experts to examine the current state of the Environmental Social Governance (ESG) movement in the oil and gas sector and explore what’s coming next. This movement continues to gain traction in a time when the regulatory agenda has changed significantly under the Trump Administration. ESG is particularly significant for the energy sector, specifically as shareholder resolutions surrounding climate change continue to take center stage in the media and in the boardroom.

Duke CEO, CARB Chair, Others Headline POLITICO Summit – POLITICO is hosting its second Pro Summit on July 17th 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.

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.