Energy Update: Week of November 26

Energy Update - November 26, 2018


Hope everyone had a chance to enjoy some family time over the Thanksgiving Week. Now with CyberMonday, I am sure you are back to working (or shopping).

Interesting reporting on the new climate assessment issued on Friday.  First, reports discuss its release date (Black Friday) and whether or not the Administration meddled with it (clearly not).  Secondly, the substance of the report again looks to be overly dramatic (the US economy will be ruined – the actual CNN ticker line, farmers will be irreversibly harmed and thousands will die).  Much of these dire warnings we have heard since 1997’s Kyoto debate.  Finally, none of the reporting seems very reflective of the actual state of the energy sector and its involvement in dramatically reducing emissions (down 28% since 2005).  That said, the report is another important discussion point that will likely create fodder for the new Democratic majority and House oversight action next year.  We are happy to discuss political and policy implications.

While the President jets off to Ole Miss today and the G20 later in the week (which should get some climate talk in spite of more interest regarding trade issues), Congress returns this week to finish some important budget business.  They include unfinished spending bills, a massive lands package and House leadership for the next Congress.  Current funding for many federal agencies expires December 8th so action is necessary.

This morning, the Senate Commerce Committee held a field hearing in Lawrence, MA regarding pipeline safety with PHMSA and Columbia Gas.  Tomorrow, the Senate Energy Committee takes up the nominations of FERC McNamee, DOE’s Baranwal and NPS’s Ray Vela from two weeks ago.  On Wednesday, Senate Enviro/Public Works has a hearing on addressing America's surface transportation infrastructure needs. Finally, Senate EPW also takes up Alexandra Dunn to be EPA chemical office head on Thursday. 

The most important event this week is a Washington Post Live one-on-one with Andy Wheeler and Juliet Eilperin on Wednesday morning.  Other events include a WRI forum today on upcoming COP 24; Global CCS Institute webinar tomorrow that releases its 2018 CCS Readiness Index and Indicator Report; a Wednesday “Atomic Wings Lunch & Learn” looking at Public-Private Partnerships in nuclear energy featuring Sen. Todd Young, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, DOE’s Shane Johnson, Georgia PSC Commissioner Tim Echols and ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell; a Thursday forum looking at the impacts of the historic 2013 Mexico energy reforms and a Friday Noon climate/energy forum featuring our reporter friends Amy Harder and Evan Lehman sponsored by RFF and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  

And speaking of Amy, check out the Axios Generate story from this morning on the new consumer cost study from advocates of the Kigali effort aimed at limited HFCs.  You can see the full report here.  Also today, Air Liquide is announcing its intention to build the first liquid hydrogen production plant in early 2019 in the Western U.S. The plant will produce nearly 30 tons of hydrogen per day — an amount that can fuel 35,000 Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs).

Finally Friday, we expect to see EPA’s volume obligations for the 2019 RFS.  The planned reset of the U.S. RFS will set up a fresh battle between ethanol advocates (wanting the highest possible target and refineries and other interest groups impacted by the higher costs of a broken ethanol program. Already, we saw last week a move by Reps. Flores and Shimkus to begin the conversation about RFS Reform. Congress has an opportunity to make meaningful changes to the RFS as we approach the end of mandatory ratchets in volume, but legislation like this is always difficult.  Perhaps, divided government could create the conditions for action on this controversial topics.  We shall see…Call with questions.


Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

C. (202) 997-5932



“Much has changed in the markets for vehicles and fuels since the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was established in 2005, and subsequently expanded in 2007. We have learned from robust stakeholder input through hearings, roundtables and meetings, that higher octane fuels can bring increased fuel economy and performance for next generation engines. Since ethanol is one of the lowest-cost sources of octane in many areas of the country, a transition from the RFS beginning in 2023 to a national octane specification creates new market opportunities for biofuel producers and gives certainty to refining stakeholders. Most importantly, the draft legislation preserves consumer choice and optimum fuel and vehicle costs for more efficient transportation for future decades.”

Rep. Bill Flores on the release of a discussion draft of the 21st Century Transportation Fuels Act.

“In this Congress – through three stakeholder roundtables, five subcommittee hearings, and countless other meetings and conversations – my goal was to look beyond just the Renewable Fuel Standard to comprehensively reshape federal transportation fuel policies in a way that could provide more value to consumers and more certainty to industry stakeholders."

Rep. John Shimkus, whose district includes significant corn and soybean producers as well as major ethanol and oil refiners.


Nevada Politics Expert Ralston Weighs Election Results – Bracewell’s Lobby Shop podcast returns to election results with Nevada elections’ expert Jon Ralston, founder and editor of The Nevada Independent.  Podcast hosts and PRG colleagues chat with Jon about NV politics, the 116th Congress and more. The episode is live on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google Play Music.


Former CO Sen. Wayne Allard: E15 Will Harm Consumers – Former conservative Colorado Senator Wayne Allard said in an opinion piece in the Washington Examiner that blending 15% ethanol into gasoline will harm American consumers both financially and environmentally unless there are major reforms to the program. Allard, now with the American Motorcyclist Association, said it’s time for Washington to rethink and reform this mandate. The program's track record during the past decade should make it abundantly clear that the Renewable Fuel Standard needs to be rethought and revamped. Allard: “E15 is unhealthy for the engines that power motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, lawn mowers, and powered equipment, not to mention cars manufactured in 2000 and earlier. None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs currently in operation is approved by the EPA to use E15.”


Report: Consumer Will Benefit From HFC Policy – A new report on the Consumer Cost Impacts of U.S. Ratification of the Kigali Amendment from In Forum and JMS Consulting on behalf of the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy (the Alliance) says that even with a new equipment cost increases, consumers should realize cost savings over the lifetime of the system as energy efficiency improvements and other manufacturing efficiencies are implemented. In this report AHRI and the Alliance have assessed historic experiences and projected cost impacts of two key user categories as a basis for predicting consumer costs of the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol if it were ratified and implemented in the United States. Stephen Yurek, President & CEO of AHRI said the report should assuage any fears that the transition to lower-GWP refrigerants will in any way harm consumers.  Yurek: “Refrigerants are a miniscule part of the overall cost of HVACR equipment, and the billions of dollars already invested by our industry has ensured that suitable replacements will be available when HFC refrigerants begin to be phased down.  If we have done our jobs correctly – and we have – this transition will be seamless for, and unnoticed by, consumers, which has been our goal through this entire process.”

Air Liquide to Build First World Scale Liquid Hydrogen Production Plant in Western US – Air Liquide will build the first world scale liquid hydrogen production unit dedicated to the hydrogen energy markets, located in the Western U.S., and has signed a long-term agreement with FirstElement Fuel (FEF), a leader in retail hydrogen infrastructure in the U.S., to supply hydrogen to FEF’s retail liquid hydrogen fueling stations in California. These new commitments will serve the growing needs of the hydrogen mobility market in California and help enable and complement the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and support the hydrogen merchant market across the state. Air Liquide expects to invest over 150 million US dollars to build a liquid hydrogen plant in the western United States, with construction to begin in early 2019. The plant will have a capacity of nearly 30 tons of hydrogen per day — an amount that can fuel 35,000 Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs). Through this investment, Air Liquide will enable the large-scale deployment of hydrogen mobility on the west coast, providing a reliable supply solution to fuel the 40,000 FCEVs expected to be deployed in the state of California by 2022. The plant will also support other fuel cell vehicle and transportation markets in the region, such as material handling and forklifts and heavy duty trucks.  The new plant is the first large scale investment into the supply chain infrastructure needed to support hydrogen energy solutions for the energy transition, starting with transport and mobility. The pace of FCEV deployment has now reached a level requiring a growing scale of investment and is paving the way for the growth of zero emission mobility in other geographies.

Flores, Shimkus Release RFS Reform Draft – Reps. Tom Flores and John Shimkus floated draft legislation before Thanksgiving that would create a national standard to boost the octane rating of fuel in order to promote ethanol while phasing out EPA's RFS program.   My colleague Scott Segal said there is an emerging consensus that the demand for clean sources of octane will keep ethanol demand robust regardless of the renewable volume obligation under the RFS.  At the same time, Congress has seen first-hand that the structure of RFS implementation continues to create uncertainty and impose unacceptable costs.

GM to Lay Off Workers – General Motors will lay off 14,700 factory and white-collar workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure as it restructures to cut costs and focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles.  The reduction includes 8,100 white-collar workers, some of whom will take buyouts and others who will be laid off. Most of the affected factories build cars that won’t be sold in the U.S. after next year. They could close or they could get different vehicles to build. They will be part of contract talks with the United Auto Workers union next year.  Plants without products include assembly plants in Detroit; Lordstown, Ohio; and Oshawa, Ontario. Also affected are transmission factories in Warren, Michigan, as well as Baltimore.  About 6,000 factory workers could lose jobs in the U.S. and Canada, although some could transfer to truck plants.

VA Approves Offshore Wind Project – Virginia’s State Corporation Commission approved a project to construct wind turbines near Virginia Beach this month. The plan calls for construction of turbines 27 miles off the coast, to begin operation by the end of 2020. Virginia electricity ratepayers will pay the exorbitant costs of this project. The project, named Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind, will be the first offshore wind project in the mid-Atlantic. Dominion Energy and Orsted A/S of Denmark will erect two six-megawatt wind turbines supplied by Siemens Gamesa of Spain.

French Protesting Higher Gas Prices – French police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse violent demonstrators in Paris on Saturday, as thousands gathered in the capital and beyond and staged road blockades to vent anger against rising fuel taxes. Thousands of police were deployed nationwide to contain the eighth day of deadly demonstrations that started as protests against tax but morphed into a rebuke of President Emmanuel Macron and the perceived elitism of France’s ruling class...The leader, who swept to power only last year, is the focus of rage for the 'yellow jacket' demonstrators who accuse the pro-business centrist of elitism and indifference to the struggles of ordinary French. Macron has so far held strong and insisted the fuel tax rises are a necessary pain to reduce France’s dependence on fossil fuels and fund renewable energy investments — a cornerstone of his reforms of the nation.


WRI to Discuss Climate Meeting – Just a week before countries meet once again to discuss efforts to address global climate change, the World Resources Institute hosts a discussion today at 4:00 P.M. on the importance of and expectations from COP24.  At this year’s meeting, countries need to come to agreement on the implementing guidelines (or colloquially, the “Paris Rulebook”) necessary to operationalize the landmark 2015 agreement, signal their intention to enhance their national climate plans by 2020, and make progress on questions around finance.   . This event will focus on  and why all three are essential to the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement and why COP24 is such a pivotal moment in the global efforts to address climate change.  Former negotiator Todd Stern and other will speak.

Forum to Look at Government Climate Help – The World Bank, the USAID-funded Learning Agenda on Climate Services, and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) are collaborating to identify these commonalities and create a forum for sharing information to help move climate services forward.   They will hold a presentation and discussions tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. looking at common components of the climate services system that create the opportunity to share lessons and identify common principles that can be tailored to local, national, and regional circumstances.  Topics Include positioning user perspectives at the center of climate services design, delivery, and feedback; the role of the private sector in climate services; assessment of government capacity to deliver climate services and of the effectiveness of climate services on the ground; and donor coordination around country-led codesign of climate services, and tracking progress of climate service use and delivery goals.

Forum to Look at Infrastructure Partnerships – Tomorrow and Wednesday, PlanGrid holds the 2018 Public-Private Partnerships Federal Conference in DC.  The program provides detailed, technical P3 training; while reviewing new initiatives, best practices, and upcoming P3 projects nationwide.  Keynotes include former Administration Infrastructure Official DJ Gribben, Maryland DOT Secretary Pete Rahn, Australian Ambassador the US Joe Hockey and many more.  

Motor Equipment Manufacturers to Weigh-in on Fuel Economy – The Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association holds a news conference tomorrow morning on Fuel Efficiency Standards and the risk it creates to jobs.  In recent In detailed comments to NHTSA, MEMA asserted that freezing progress in the fuel efficiency and vehicle emissions standards will impact American jobs and strand significant U.S. investments in technology development. MEMA also emphasizes supplier’s need for a One National Program negotiated with California that provides long-term regulatory certainty.

Forum to Look at CCS – The Global CCS Institute releases its 2018 CCS Readiness Index and Indicator Report in a webinar tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. The webinar will include a brief discussion of the history of CCS deployment and identify if previous deployment reflects future CCS investment.  Right now, there are 18 large-scale CCS facilities operating around the world. However, a key question remains: is the world ready to deploy CCS at the scale required? And if so, how does each country rank in their “readiness” to achieve this?  The complexity of these questions is explored in the Global CCS Institute’s most recent Thought Leadership reports; a series consisting of three CCS Indicator Reports and the CCS Readiness Index.  Chris Consoli, Senior Consultant – Storage and Ian Havercroft, Senior Consultant – Legal & Regulatory will discuss and provide insights into the key findings of these three Indicator reports as well as the 2018 CCS Readiness Index. 

Senate Energy to Vote on Nominees – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will vote on nominations for FERC, DOE and the Park Service that were discussed two weeks ago. 

BOEM to Hold Wind Meeting in NYC – The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management convenes a meeting in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday to talk about the agency’s draft Wind Energy Areas.

WRI, RFF to Host Workshop – World Resources Institute and Resources for the Future will co-host a follow-up workshop Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. looking at aimed at deepening stakeholder understanding of how non-utility generation is and will be financed, and exploring the implications for wholesale market design and operations.  Rapid expansion of zero- and low-carbon generating capacity requires effective policy frameworks for both vertically integrated utilities and organized (restructured) electricity markets. In July, WRI convened a workshop to discuss potential frameworks for market design reform and identify areas of stakeholder interest. Resources for the Future and the National Renewable Energy Lab convened an earlier workshop in September 2017 that considered a range of options for organizing electricity transactions in the face of rapid technological change and related areas for new research. The event will include presentations and discussions to illuminate the variety of financial instruments that developers use to de-risk their projects and secure financing (a world that is often less than transparent to policymakers). The discussion will also explore how market designs can and should reflect the changing nature of market risks and the instruments available for managing those risks.  Our friends Rob Gramlich and Dan Reicher are among the speakers.

Post to Talk With Wheeler – On Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m., the Washington Post’s Energy 202 Live series holds one-on-one interview with EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler will sit down for a live, National Affairs Correspondent Juliet Eilperin to talk about his first five months at the helm of the EPA and what’s next for the agency. Other speakers, including California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as well as leading industry experts, will provide insight into America’s energy needs and the balance between economic opportunity and environmental protection.

Forum to Address RD&D – On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation holds an expert panel discussion on the limits of current technologies and “gaps” in the clean energy innovation agenda. ITIF senior policy analyst Colin Cunliff will present a new analysis of hard-to-decarbonize sectors, potential technology solutions, and policy steps to get there.

Wilson to Look at Global Water Issues – On Wednesday, the Wilson Center along with US AID and the World Wildlife Federation will host a forum taking stock on the 1st year of the 1st U.S. Global Water Strategy.  The forum will explore new research and practice on water, peace, and conflict; and highlight the centrality of water to global prosperity.  Speakers will include Sen. Chris Coons and many more.

Forum to Talk Private-Public Nuclear Partnerships – DOE and X-Energy are hosting am “Atomic Wings Lunch & Learn” on Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. looking at Public-Private Partnerships in Nuclear Energy. Speakers include Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), Office of Nuclear Energy Deputy Assistant Sec. Shane Johnson, Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols and ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell.

Atlantic Forum to Look at Ukraine Energy – The Atlantic Council will host Razumkov Centre expert, Mr. Volodymyr Omelchenko, Director of the Energy Programs, on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. to present a publication on the role of Ukraine’s energy sector in global energy processes. This will be followed by panel discussions which will explore the current state of energy in Ukraine, immediate and long-term strategies for reform and development, and Ukraine’s place in the global energy sector. Reforming Ukraine’s energy sector is critical to its national security and development. In recent years, the country has undertaken significant efforts to reform aspects of the energy sector, including the electricity and gas markets and regulatory and tariff systems. Prospects for renewable energy sources continue to be explored, along with international investment opportunities in the Ukrainian energy market.

Book Event to Look Human History of Energy – The Institute of World Politics hosts a book lecture on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. with Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author for his book "ENERGY: A Human History."  The book is a rich look at energy transitions over time, with a thorough examination of the current challenges presented by global warming, a surging world population, and renewable energy. As the author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb and numerous other books, Richard Rhodes is well-equipped to write this epic history of transformation, from wood to coal to oil to electricity and beyond, ripe with human stories.

JHU Forum to Discuss Climate Forum – The Johns Hopkins University ERE’s Global Leaders Forum will hold as presentation at 5:00 p.m. on the new IPCC Report on 1.5°C and climate negotiations with UCS’s Alden Meyer.  In the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations agreed to hold the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degree C above pre-industrial levels. The IPCC was asked to study the implications of these temperature limits, as well as the actions that would be needed to meet them. Meyer will address how the report can help drive greater climate ambition, starting with next month's climate summit in Katowice, Poland.

Women in Energy Forum Set – The 2nd annual "Women in Energy and Infrastructure - Powering the Future" conference will be held on Thursday. This event will provide a forum for women thought leaders from government, industry and non-governmental organizations to discuss a host of issues impacting energy and infrastructure in the United States.  Sessions will include senior government and private sector perspectives on federal reforms, trends and projections across the sectors, state vs. federal roles in policy and regulation, internal investigations and compliance improvements, and insights from the C-suite.  Panel sessions include policies, permitting, and projects on energy and infrastructure regulatory reform; projections for the next decades in energy and State roles in energy and infrastructure policy.  Our friends Maryam Brown of Sempra, SEIA’s Abby Hopper and AWEA’s Amy Farrell re among the speakers.

Energy Storage Conference Set – K&L Gates, the Energy Storage Association and the Edison Electric Institute host discussions on Thursday with other leading energy storage professionals on energy storage. Discussion topics will range from evolving market trends and ongoing developments in policy and finance to advancements in the global industry and how market participants can take advantage of these developments to successfully bring new projects online.  Agenda topics will include lessons learned from energy storage development, implementation of FERC rules, solar plus storage development and finance.

Senate Environment to Hear EPA Appointee – The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing Thursday at 10:30 a.m. on the nomination of Alexandra Dunn to be Assistant Administrator of EPA.

NAS Forum to Look at Climate Interactions – The National Academy of Sciences Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and Water Science and Technology Board holds a joint session on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. connecting climate, weather and water.  The event will focus on the status, challenges and needs for subseasonal-to-seasonal forecasting for water use and management. 

Forum to Look at Mexico Energy Reforms – The Mexican Cultural Institute and the Embassy of Mexico in the United States host a forum at 3:30 Thursday looking at the impacts of the historic 2013 Mexico energy reforms.  On December 1 Andrés Manuel López Obrador will assume the Mexican presidency with a new energy agenda. What are the opportunities for ongoing investment in electricity generation, transmission, and distribution? How can Mexico maintain its progress in expanding renewable energy sources? What will Pemex’s role be?  The conversation with high-level officials and experts will discuss the achievements, challenges, and path ahead for the energy sector in Mexico. Speakers include César Hernández, Former Mexican Deputy Secretary of Electricity in the Ministry of Energy (SENER) and Héctor Castro Vizcarra, Minister-Representative, Ministry of Energy (SENER), Embassy of Mexico, among others.

Forum to Look at Southern Africa Agriculture – At the November Adaptation Community Meeting on Thursday at 4:00 p.m., the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) will present on the state of evidence about the uptake, use and impact of climate services for farming in sub-Saharan Africa. Access to relevant climate services for farmers in sub-Saharan Africa has increased substantially over the years, yet uptake and integration in decision making remains highly variable. Many crop farmers, but fewer livestock farmers and pastoralists, with access to climate services act on the information. While estimates of the economic benefits of agricultural climate services are generally positive, uncertainty remains due largely to methodological challenges and evidence gaps between available services and what we know about farmers’ needs.

EPA RFS Standard on Track for Nov 30 – The EPA is expected to release its 2019 biofuel blending mandate for the Renewable Fuel Standard by Friday.  EPA recently sent the RVOs to the White House for review.

EEI to Host EV Forum – The Edison Electric Institute holds a forum to celebrate 1 million Electric Vehicles on U.S. Roads on Friday at 9:00 a.m.

Reporters, RFF to Discuss  Energy, Climate Policies – On Friday at Noon, Resources for the Future and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will host the closing session of the Energy Research Insights for Decisionmaking conference, in which a panel of distinguished energy and climate journalists will share their deep experience in tracking energy and climate policy developments. Given transitions in both the federal and state governments, what insights will a new crop of decisionmakers need.  Speakers include our friends Amy Harder of Axios, Climatewire Editor Evan Lehmann and Atlantic staff writer Robinson Meyer.

Leaders In Energy Host Gala – On Friday evening, Leaders in Energy host its 5th annual Four Generations of Leaders in Clean Energy & Sustainable Solutions Awards and Holiday celebration.   They are recognizing four women and men, across multiple generations, who boldly empower themselves and others to create a better and greener world.  The awardees’ diverse initiatives include broad-based vision, and empowering action at the local, state, and international levels ─ and spans the fields of energy storage technology, environmental justice, energy education, and ecological and steady-state economics.


COP 24 Headed to Poland – The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will be held in Katowice, Poland in December 3rd to the 14th

Utility Dive to Release Awards – Last year, Utility Dive published the 2017 Dive Awards, which highlighted the executives, companies and innovations — or disruptions — that played an outsized role in shaping the utility industry. Since then, the electric utility sector has continued to see a flurry of developments in advancing rate design and accommodating a shift toward cleaner emissions.  Next Monday, December 3rd, our friends Gavin Bade and Iulia Gheorghiu will publish the 2018 Utility Dive Awards, spotlighting a new set of industry leaders we believe stood out this year.  Some of the biggest stories of the year have featured utilities that have been key to the pivotal transitions in the industry away from a centralized, baseload-focused past. The Utility Dive Awards give them the opportunity to chart the extent of these changes.

WAPA, Carvana to Highlight New Model – The Washington Auto Press Assn and Carvana hosts a behind-the-scenes tour of its DC-area Car Vending Machine on Tuesday, December 4th at 11:30 a.m. at the Gaithersburg Maryland Carvana location. The event will feature how the business of selling vehicles is changing.  Carvana representatives will discuss how this auto retailer is disrupting the way consumers buy a car: completely online, in as little as 10 minutes.

Harvard Congressional Orientation Set – Harvard Institute of Politics' hosts it bipartisan Congressional Orientation program on December 4th to 6th on Harvard's campus. Speakers include Gary Cohn, who served as the President’s economic adviser; Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; former Defense Secretary Ash Carter; GM CEO Mary Barra; Johnson and Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky; former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu; AEI president Arthur Brooks; David Gergen; Danielle Allen; and Doug Elmendorf.

CSIS to Look at Sustainability Goals – On Tuesday December 4th, CSIS hosts a Chevron Forum focused on how the international development community, governments, and the private sector can work together to help developing countries provide affordable and clean energy (Sustainable Development Goal#7). In September 2015, the 193-member states of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Development Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are not an official treaty, but a global call to action to eliminate extreme poverty, build partnerships, and spur economic growth around the world. SDG#7 specifically aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.  IFC’s Milagros Rivas Saiz and Chevron economist Robert Schwiers will speak. 

Women’s Conference Set – The 4th annual Birdsall Conference on Women will be Held on December 5th to discuss how the future of technology will impact women’s economic empowerment and the opportunities and challenges they could face.

Southern Holiday Party Set – The Southern Company will host its annual holiday party on December 5th at Union Station. 

BRT to Hold Innovation Summit – The Business Roundtable will host a CEO Innovation Summit on Thursday December 6th at the Anthem in DC.  BRT’s CEO Innovation Summit will feature wide-ranging discussions between America’s top CEOs, government leaders and industry experts on bold ideas and policy solutions to ensure America remains a global leader in innovation.

Cato to Look at Jones Act –The Cato Institute is holding a conference on the Jones Act on Thursday, December 6th.  The event will try to charting a new course after a century of failure.  For nearly 100 years the Jones Act has restricted the transportation of cargo between two points in the United States to ships that are U.S.-built, crewed, owned, and flagged. While failing to provide its promised benefits, the law has imposed a huge economic burden that manifests itself in various ways, ranging from higher transportation costs to increased traffic and pollution. This full-day conference examines these costs in greater detail, discusses the validity of the Jones Act’s national security argument, and evaluates options for reform.

AGU Fall Meeting Set for DC – For the first time, the American Geophysical Union will hold its 100th Fall Meeting in Washington DC on December 10th through 14th.  This year’s meeting serves as the launch of AGU’s Centennial, with special events, sessions, and engagement opportunities for all attendees.  The forum is always filled with a series of climate-related stories.  Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Amazon’s Kara Hurst and USGS Director Jim Reilly will all offer keynotes.

Wilson Forum to Look at Water Security – The Wilson Center will host a discussion on December 12th at 2:00 p.m. with USAID-funded researchers, international scientists, water program managers, and policymakers about the implications of changing snow and ice resources for water security in High Asia. An expert panel of international scientists will summarize recent findings about High Asia’s snow and ice-dominated water supplies. We will then hear from NGO and government officials working on water security in Asia regarding operational use of hydrologic research, and where the programmatic priorities lie within their respective institutions.

SAFE to Discuss NatGas Book – SAFE and Bethany McLean will hold a book discussion at the National Press Club on Thursday, December 13th at 4:00 p.m.  SAFE President/CEO Robbie Diamond will discuss her book in a fireside chat with, before the floor is opened to questions from the audience. In her new book Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It’s Changing the World, journalist Bethany McLean digs into the boom-bust cycles that have plagued the U.S. oil industry over the last 10 years, exploring the inner workings of a business reliant on ever-growing amounts of capital investment and returns that have yet to bear out.

Low Carbon Fuels Workshop Set for SF – The Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) holds its Low Carbon Fuels and Carbon Markets Workshop next month on December 12-14 in San Francisco.

BPC to Host Occidental CEO – The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Bob and Elizabeth Dole Leadership Series will host Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub on December 14th at 10:00 a.m. 

NSR Comments Due – The EPA is also taking comment through Dec. 17 on its proposed amendments to new source performance standards for oil and natural gas emissions from new, reconstructed and modified sources.

State of the Energy Industry Event Set – Mark your calendars for January 3rd when API will conduct its annual State of the Energy Industry event at the Reagan International Trade Center.   

Forum to Focus on Infrastructure, Resilience – The National Council for Science and the Environment will convene their 19th Annual Conference from January 7-10, 2019 in Washington, D.C. The NCSE Annual Conference brings together a diverse community of experts for an enriching opportunity to collaborate on exciting projects, share research and best practices, and build professional relationships. Attendees include national and international leaders in education, government, civil society, and business. The conference is recognized for its notable presenters and innovative programming.  NCSE 2019 will focus on Sustainable Infrastructure & Resilience. 

Detroit Auto Show Ready – The 2019 North American International Auto Show will begjn in Detroit on January 14th and runs through January 27th at Cobo Hall in the Motor City. With the largest concentration of the world’s top automotive and technology executives, designers, engineers and thought leaders, the North American International Auto Show serves as the global stage for companies to debut brand-defining vehicles and industry-shaping announcements.  Events start with the 13th annual ultra-luxury automotive event, The Gallery. The event has now become the official kick-off to the North American International Auto Show at the MGM Detroit.  Press days start on January 14th with public show launching January 19th