Energy Update: Week of 11/20

Energy Update - November 20, 2017


Happy Thanksgiving Week!!!!  So, as usual, you can expect some announcements – perhaps like the RVOs which are due at the end of the month, but always seem to find their way into pre-Thanksgiving roll out.

First off, special congrats to Jeff Holmstead’s son Eli, whose BYU Soccer team won the National Club Championship over the weekend by beating Cal-Poly 4-1 in Phoenix. Eli had 3 goals as the Cougars rolled through Michigan State, Penn, UNC, NC State and Wisconsin before blasting Cal-Poly.

Breaking this late this morning, the Nebraska Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to approve the Keystone pipeline route through the state to transport up to 830,000 barrels per day of crude from Canada’s oil sands and North Dakota’s shale fields to oil refineries on the Gulf Coast.  It is the last key approval. Head of the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute Karen Harbert said: “the Keystone XL pipeline project has unfortunately become the poster child for the need to reform our permitting process so that we may fully realize North America’s energy potential. After years of government delays, the decision as to whether to move forward with the pipeline now rests with the company that will be making the investment.”  Connect with Matt Letourneau for more at 202-463-5945.

The Bonn climate conference has ended and one of the few items that garnered attention was the Friday announcement by 19 countries and six states and provinces that they were forming an international alliance to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2030. Key nations in the alliance, such as Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Italy, Austria, Mexico and the Netherlands, aren’t using very much coal anyway. In fact, members account for less than 3% of global coal use as my friends Brad Plumer and Lisa Friedman point out in the New York Times.  Notably missing in the groups are some of the world’s biggest coal-consuming countries, including Germany (who got significant heat on the topic during Bonn), China, India and the United States.

Perhaps more significant on Friday in Bonn was that Sweden became the 20th country to ratify the Kigali amendment, an agreement to phase down emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that will allow the plan to go into effect in 2019.  Given this move, we expect to see potential US action on the agreement that was forged in partnership and requires developing/developed country reductions, unlike Paris.    With the world using more and more refrigerants, and heating and cooling equipment, the move is expected to hold down climate change by 0.5° C [0.9° F] by 2100.  Francis Dietz (703-600-0355) at AHRI can connect you with its President Steve Yurek, who was one of the key stakeholder negotiators.

Finally from Bonn, scientists actually remain skeptical that political leaders can reduce emission increase to 1.5-degree, according to our friend Eric Roston of Bloomberg (who by the way is heading back to the policy team…Welcome Back Eric!)

Despite it being Thanksgiving week, there are a few events on the table including a NAFTA field hearing in Texas today at 10:30e/9:30c featuring Texas trade and industry leaders and the annual release of the American Coal Ash Assn’s Coal Ash Production & Use Survey at the National Press Club at 9:30 tomorrow.  Finally, tonight at Midnight, the first comment period for the US Trade Representatives public comment period will close.  Reply comments are due November 29th and the public hearing will be on December 6th.  The Energy Trade Action Coalition, a group of utilities, contractors, retailers and Conservative groups, filed comments to add their voices to the opposition. You can see the ETAC comments here.

Enjoy the week to relax, watch some football and eat some turkey and the fixins’ because next week we go right back to the grind with Clean Power Plan hearings in Charleston,WV, a SAFE Oil discussion with former EIA Head Adam Sieminski and much more…. Stay tuned…Call with questions.  Best,

Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

  1. (202) 997-5932


The new episode of The Lobby Shop is live on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play Music.  This week’s episode features my colleagues Scott Segal and Dee Martin, The Hill’s 2017 Top Lobbyists and explores the world of Washington lobbying, what it takes to be an effective lobbyist, and how they got into the field.  Remember our address for listeners to reach out with topic suggestions, feedback, etc. –


“There are many examples of a country switching from being a net energy exporter to a net importer: it is very rare to see the opposite, especially when the country in question is one of the world’s largest importers of oil.  Yet this is precisely what is happening as a result of the U.S. shale revolution — both for oil and for natural gas.  A remarkable ability to unlock new resources cost-effectively pushes combined United States oil and gas output to a level 50% higher than any other country has ever managed. ”

The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its World Energy Outlook.

We would need an incredibly dramatic reduction in emissions in the very near future. The 1.5-degree target is a little ridiculous and implausible.”

Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist with Berkeley Earth in a Bloomberg story on climate change and science


House Passes Tax Legislation – The House passed a bill to significantly change taxation, including $1.5 trillion in cuts for individuals and companies. The overhaul, backed by President Trump, heads to the Senate, which is developing a bill that has major differences from the House measure.  My colleague Liam Donovan has been in the nitty-gritty details – as well as the politics of it all – and can answer all your questions. or (202-828-5847)

Wind Urges Senate to Stand Firm on PTC Deal – Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said the House missed an opportunity to stand up for 60,000 American workers and preserve $50 billion in private infrastructure investment. The tax reform bill passed by the House retroactively changes how businesses can qualify for wind energy’s primary investment tools, the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which are already on a path to phase out by 2019.  The House bill undermines wind development by implementing a retroactive change to qualification rules for wind energy tax credits. Because businesses can’t go back in time to requalify for the credits after ordering wind turbines and inking construction contracts, tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment could be lost, and new business has stalled. The House bill would also terminate an inflation adjustment, significantly cutting the value of the PTC.  The Senate tax proposal that passed the Finance committee last night does not retroactively alter the wind energy PTC or ITC, leaving in place the phase out terms set in the bi-partisan PATH Act of 2015, keeping American workers on the job.

AHRI Weighs In – The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the trade association representing HVACR and water heating manufacturers, applauded House tax package passage. “Our member manufacturers strongly support Congress’s efforts to simplify the tax code and reduce rates,” said AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek. “AHRI applauds the inclusion in H.R. 1 of full and immediate expensing, a permanent reduction in the corporate rate to 20 percent rate, a reduced rate for pass-through entities, repeal of the estate tax, and extension of the tax credit for geothermal HVAC equipment – all of which will serve to make the U.S. a more competitive place to do business,” he added. AHRI believes these provisions are all crucial to the continued growth of manufacturing in the United States, and we urge the Senate to follow the lead of the House to enact substantive reforms that will allow our industry and others to continue to innovate and create jobs.

Chamber, Partners Launch Gas Export Infrastructure Initiative – The Chamber’s Global Energy Institute hosted the U.S. Trade Development Authority (USTDA), LNG Allies and others at U.S. Chamber Headquarters for the launch of the U.S. Gas Infrastructure Exports Initiative Friday.  The goal of the initiative is to connect American companies to new export opportunities, with a particular focus on emerging economies.  USTDA acting director Thomas Hardy focused on the goal of using American technology and innovation to advance gas infrastructure in partner countries, while providing new opportunities for U.S. companies. As part of the Initiative, USTDA announced a call for gas-related project proposals for U.S. companies that have identified project sponsors in high growth emerging markets.  The Agency will be conducting gas sector reverse trade missions to bring prospective LNG buyers to the U.S. for site visits and meetings.  Delegates from Senegal, China and others are already slated to participate.  GEI is a natural partner for the Exports Initiative.  We are strong advocates for policies and activities that strengthen America’s global energy leadership, which is good for both our economy and for global security.  The continued export of American natural gas creates opportunities at home and contributes to stability abroad.  For more information on the Initiative, visit

IEA Says Shale Gas Boom Will Last – The International Energy Agency says the shale gas boom has positioned the US to become the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas by the middle of the next decade in its 2017 World Energy Outlook. By the late 2020s, the U.S. — which only lifted its ban on oil exports in 2015 — will ship more oil to foreign markets than it imports. IEA predicts that US shale oil producers will boost their output by 8 million barrels a day between 2010 and 2025, an increase that “would match the highest sustained period of oil output growth by a single country in the history of oil markets” — rivaling even the massive increase posted by Saudi Arabia between 1966 and 1981. The expected U.S. surge will account for 80% of the increase in global supply over the time period.

Powell in WSJ Debate: Nuclear is Essential – ClearPath Executive Director Rich Powell argued this week in the Wall Street Journal that the future of U.S. nuclear power is not only bright— it’s non-negotiable.  A robust civilian nuclear sector is mandatory for the U.S. to remain a major geopolitical, economic, military and environmental leader, Rich wrote. After decades of policy neglect, Washington is finally addressing what is both a national and global necessity and a tremendous opportunity.  That includes growing bipartisan support to reform new reactor licensing and improve tax incentives for new nuclear facilities, led in Congress by clean-energy advocates as well as national-security and energy-reliability hawks.

Henkel, Novozymes, P&G, Sasol Execs Named to ACI Board of Directors – Four executives from leading companies across the cleaning product supply chain were elected to the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) Board of Directors:  Mike Clark, Vice President, Organics – Sasol Performance Chemicals; Charles Crawford, Ph.D., Head of R&D, Laundry and Home Care, North America – Henkel Consumer Goods Inc.;  Rene Garza, Vice President, Household Care, Americas – Novozymes and Sundar Raman, Vice President, North America Fabric Care – Procter & Gamble.  At its meeting in Washington, D.C., the ACI Board elected the new Directors to fill existing vacancies.


USTR Comment Deadline on Solar Trade Case – November 20th

USEA Forum to Look at Carbon IRA – The US Energy Assn will held a forum today at 10:00 a.m. focused on a new idea that rewards reductions in Carbon footprint with funds deposited into a retirement account.   Guest Speaker, Jason Makansi, President of consulting firm Pearl Street, will introduce the concept, describe the four broad steps required and provide simple examples of how to implement the concept.

Forum to Look at Puerto Power Situation – Power 4 Puerto Rico will held a briefing today at 10:00 a.m. at the National Press Club’s Zenger Room to discuss the ongoing effort to restore power on the hurricane-ravaged island.

Senate Finance to Hold NAFTA Field Hearing – The Senate Finance Committee holds a field hearing today at 9:30 a.m. Central Time in San Antonio at the Marriott Plaza Hotel’s Cavalier Room looking at modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Witnesses will include USTR’s Stephen Vaugh, Auto Alliance head Mitch Bainwol, Paola Avila of The Border Trade Alliance, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce CEO Richard Perez, Texas Association of Business head Jeff Moseley, Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening and Todd Staples of the Texas Oil and Gas Association.

WRI to Host Forum on Energy Access – The World Resources Institute will hold a forum today at Noon on how energy access for all benefits the economy and the environment.  Michael Westphal will present his paper on energy access – another chapter of the “World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City.” Millions of residents in some of the fastest growing cities in the world don’t have access to clean, reliable energy, and the challenge of reaching them is not getting easier. In 2012, only 58 percent of the urban population had access to electricity in low-income countries, and nearly 500 million urban residents worldwide used dirty and harmful cooking fuels like charcoal and wood.

Coal Ash Annual Production and Use Survey Results – Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club, the American Coal Ash Association will release its annual Coal Ash Production & Use Survey results. Conducted since the early 1960s, the survey provides the most complete data available on the volume of coal ash materials that are produced and beneficially used in a variety of applications. ACAA officials will also discuss impacts of environmental regulation and changing electric utility markets on coal ash production and use.  Tom Adams and John Ward of ACCA roll out the report.

THANKSGIVING – November 26th



EPA to Hold CPP Public Hearing in WV – EPA will hold a public hearing regarding the withdrawal of the Clean Power Plan in West Virginia on Nov. 28th and 29th.  EPA said it will convene two daylong sessions at the state capitol in Charleston. The agency said it “may also hold an additional hearing to be announced at a later date.”  EPA also extended the comment period on the proposal to Jan. 16, 2018.

CCS Report to be Released – The Global CCS Institute will release its annual Global Status of CCS: 2017 report launch on November 28th at 9:30 a.m. This year, the Institute is partnering with one of the top think tanks in the city, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to promote and discuss the release of the Institute’s signature report, the globally recognized annual guide to the current progress and prospects for carbon capture and storage.  Speakers will include Global CCS’s Jeff Erikson and IEA’s Samantha McCulloch.

Forum to Look at Asia-Pacific Security – The Center for Climate and Security (CCS) hosts a high-level discussion on the security risks of climate change in the Asia-Pacific on Tuesday November 28th at 10:00 a.m. This discussion will explore these risks, how US military installations, operations, and strategies in the region may be shaped by them, and their influence on US bilateral and multilateral relationships.

Tillerson to Speak at Wilson Center – The Wilson Center will host US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson next Tuesday, November 28th at 11:00 a.m. for an address on the future of U.S. relations with Europe by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, followed by a conversation with Wilson Center President and CEO Jane Harman.

Heritage Hosts Climate Discussion – The Heritage Foundation hosts a discussion next Tuesday at Noon on the long history and politics of climate activism. Speaker Rupert Darwell will address the topic.

CSIS to Release New Energy Report – The CSIS Energy & National Security Program will hold a presentation of its latest report, Energy and Development: Providing Access and Growth on Next Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.  Based on findings from several workshops conducted by CSIS over the last two years, Energy and Development explores several of the most important shifts underpinning the energy access issue. By exploring the role of emerging economies as the primary drivers of future energy demand, the influence of sustainability and climate change concerns in crafting development strategies, and changes to how energy access and growth are measured, the report provides a unique survey of energy and economic growth in the developing world.  Sarah Ladislaw (CSIS) will present the report, followed by a panel discussion with Morgan Bazilian (World Bank; CSIS), Morgan Landy (International Finance Corporation), and Philippe Benoit (GIAS2050; CSIS). CSIS’s Erol Yayboke, co-author of the report, will moderate.

Forum on Tax Reform to Discuss Carbon Tax – The Brookings Institute will hold a forum on Tuesday November 28th at 2:00 p.m. regarding tax reform that will discuss a possible carbon tax. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the Cross Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate, congressional leaders, and top experts for a discussion on the prospects for tax reform and the potential to include a carbon tax in a broader bipartisan bill.   The event will feature a keynote address by Rep. John Larson and panelists include Niskanen’s Jerry Taylor and our friend Amy Harder of Axios.

SAFE Event to Feature Oil Discussion with Former EIA Head – Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will host a panel discussion on next Tuesday, November 28th at 4:30 p.m. at the National Union Building exploring how market uncertainty, underinvestment, geopolitical risk, OPEC intervention, rising global demand, and other market forces undermine oil market stability. The panel will discuss the likelihood of a return to high and volatile oil prices, implications for American economic and national security, and domestic policy solutions.  Moderated by our friend Ben Geman of Axios, the panel will feature former EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski – now at CSIS – and Jonathan Chanis, SAFE’s Senior Vice President of Policy.

USTR Reply Comments Deadline – November 29th

National Academies Review Climate Assessment – On Wednesday afternoon, the National Academies will review the 4th draft of the National Climate Assessment in an open meeting at the NAS building.

NYT to host Climate Summit – On November 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Metreon, The New York Times will hold ClimateTECH, a groundbreaking summit that brings together influential leaders from key industries to assess bold, cutting-edge technologies that could help keep global warming below the two-degree threshold.  Hosted by top Times journalists, ClimateTECH’s focus on innovation will also encompass the dramatic changes downstream (in finance, policy, consumer behavior, infrastructure) that are vital for these new technologies to gain adoption and succeed.  The program will feature on-stage interviews with celebrated entrepreneurs and inventors along with policy makers, economists and subject-matter experts. Designed for an audience of decision-makers, ClimateTECH will also include an early-stage technology showcase of the newest innovations, along with other experiential activities.  The Speaker list is long, but it includes California Gov. Jerry Brown, Statoil’s Irene Rummelhoff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tom Steyer and many others.

Solar Festival Set for Austin – The 2nd annual Solar Business Festival will be held on November 29th and 30th in Austin, Texas at the Thompson Conference Center. The two-day conference segment features a wide variety of sessions on, components of doing a solar and storage business in Texas, microgrids and energy storage, distributed grid, project financing, sustainable buildings, smart grids, solar initiatives and innovations, utility integration, community solar projects, policies, incentives and goals, market growth opportunities, regulatory framework, international solar market opportunities/challenges, sustainable farming and more.

CSIS Look at Zero-Emissions Fuels – The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is hosting a forum on Thursday November 30th at 8:00 a.m. onhydrogen, green shipping and zero-emission fuel in the maritime sector. The discussion will center on the development and implementation of hydrogen fuel technology, the important role it could play for shipping in the transition to a low-carbon future, and ongoing U.S.-Norwegian cooperation in the area.  Shipping accounts for more than 2% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions today and is set to increase up to 17% by 2050. This session will explore the concrete cooperation and projects being pursued in Norway and the United States.  Norwegian Ambassador Kåre R. Aas will give introductory remarks, followed by a discussion with Elisabet Bøe (Sogn og Fjordane), Joseph Pratt (Sandia National Lab), Lars Endre Gimmestad (Brodrene Aa), and Martin Grimnes (Arcadia Alliance) on the present and future of hydrogen technology and what a low-carbon future for maritime transport may look like.

Forum to Look at Energy Crossroads – The Texas Public Policy Foundation and The Heritage Foundation host the “At the Crossroads IV: Energy and Climate Policy Summit” on Thursday.  The conversation will feature the world’s leading scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and energy experts, who will gather to explore this turning point in energy history and the long-lasting potential it holds for America and beyond. Speakers include Sens. Jim Inhofe, Mike Lee, House Science Chair Lamar Smith and many others.

RFS RVO Deadline – November 30th

Chatterjee to Address NatGas Roundtable – On Thursday at Noon, the Natural Gas Roundtable will host FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee as the guest speaker at the next luncheon.

R Street Hosts Clean Energy Event on Capitol Hill – R Street hosts a forum on Thursday, November 30th in 122 Cannon featuring a discussion on clean energy with panelists from Microsoft, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers (ACCES) and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions  Across the country, clean energy is growing rapidly in states that allow customers to choose their electricity supplier. This system of ‘retail choice’ grants customers more options and allows them to generate their own energy on-site. Importantly, large corporations have been leading the charge for distributed energy generation, marking a refreshing intersection of conservative and green agendas.

RFF to Look at Energy Security – Resources for the Future (RFF) will host a forum on Thursday November 30th focused on the new realities on energy security given our shale resources.  This RFF seminar will open with a presentation from former Department of Energy official Howard Gruenspecht on the economic and political factors that have led to a very different oil security picture than the country faced decades ago. RFF President Richard Newell will present new research on how the shale oil boom has altered the flexibility of the US supply, as well as how price and inventory dynamics can inform Strategic Petroleum Reserve policy. RFF University Fellow Stephen Brown will then discuss an RFF project that produced new estimates for the value of the oil security premium—a key metric used in benefit–cost analyses of related regulations. RFF Senior Fellow Alan Krupnick will wrap up with a discussion of the new energy security paradigm, which broadens the definition of US energy security beyond oil to include natural gas, electricity, and other energy systems.

Clean Edge, GridWise Alliance Host gridCONNEXT – GridWise Alliance and Clean Edge will host gridCONNEXT on December 4th through 6th in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of regulators, utility executives, corporations, and other industry stakeholders to explore the many grid modernization.

Solar Tariff Opponents to Weigh-in at Press Club – Opponents of tariffs on solar imports will hold a briefing on Tuesday December 5th at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club.  The event will feature solar industry advocates, as well as members of the Energy Trade Action Coalition like the National Electrical Contractors Association, utilities, retailers and Conservative free-trade groups. More next week.

USTR Hearing on Solar Trade Tariff – December 6th

Pruitt to Head to House Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on December 7th with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt testifying.  The appearance will be Pruitt’s first before the Energy and Commerce Committee.

IPAA Exec to Address Energy Economists – The National Capital Area members of the US Assn of Energy Economist will host Fred Lawrence for their December 8th lunch.  Lawrence, VP at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, will discuss the outlook for U.S. oil and natural gas, including shale export trends over the past two years, focus on the Independents in a Sector and demand and geopolitical reality vs. ideology.

Paris Forum to Focus on Anniversary – Forum to French President Macron will host the One Planet Summit on December 12 in Paris, on the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The Summit will focus specifically on climate finance. Heads of State will be invited to attend this meeting.

The Last Jedi Hits Theaters – DECEMBER 15th

Pruitt to Head to Senate Environment – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the Committee on Jan. 31, 2018, making his first return to the panel nearly a year after his confirmation