Energy Update: Week of July 17

Energy Update - July 17, 2017


How about a cheer for the old folks as Roger Federer continues to amaze with another Wimbledon title, his record breaking 8th victory.  And while Venus Williams came up just short in her 20th Wimbledon at age 37, they both deserve kudos for another great Grand Slam performance.   While I was working on the update last night, my house was abuzz with talk of the season premiere of Game of Thrones.  It sounded in the post-show discussion like the season opener didn’t disappoint.

This week, we will probably finally see the DOE Grid Study.  On Friday, our friends at Bloomberg got a draft which says renewables are not risking the grid.  The DOE and others say just wait for the report.  Sect. Perry is slated for a NPC event tomorrow morning, so that may be it.

Also in case you missed it on Sunday, with potential action soon in the Senate on incentives for nuclear power on the agenda, former Constellation nuclear executive Mike Wallace had an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun over the weekend urging focus on the nation’s nuclear current and future nuclear fleet and the important role It will play in providing reliable power, improving National Security and reducing emissions.

Capitol Hill this week is abuzz with budget items.  Senate Approps marks up Interior, AG and Energy/Water budgets.  Tomorrow, a House Energy Panel looks at the state of the electricity industry  and Senate Energy will discuss North American energy and security issues.  House Resources looks at Alaska oil and gas while on Wednesday, House Science looks at energy innovation.  Finally, on Thursday, the Senate Energy Committee takes up Interior and DOE Nominations, including our friend Mark Menezes at DOE.

A number of good other energy events also this week in DC led by Wednesday’s CSIS event on the RFS featuring our friend Kevin Book and Friday’s USEEE event with BP’s Mark Finley to discuss their 2017 Energy Outlook.

Congrats to our friend Bill Murray, who joined R Street Institute as federal energy policy manager after editing the RealClearEnergy website for two years.

Finally, on Thursday evening, Bracewell will host the Women’s Energy Network Summer Networking Happy Hour at 5:30 p.m. WEN DC is an organization that prides itself on supporting the professional development and advancement of women in the energy industry through relationships and networking. Come enjoy great food, networking, and policing wonkery with folks from across the energy industry.

Call with questions.



Frank Maisano

(202) 828-5864

(202) 997-5932



“I think there has been way too much build up (regarding the DOE Study). The study has been built up the point no matter what it says it is likely to disappoint everybody.”

Tom Pyle, head of the American Energy Alliance commenting in a Bloomberg news after obtaining a draft of the long-awaited, upcoming DOE Grid Study.



Bloomberg: Grid Study Says Not Much Impact From Renewable – Bloomberg reports that the new DOE Grid Study will say wind and solar power don’t pose a significant threat to the reliability of the U.S. power grid according to Energy Department staff members.  “The power system is more reliable today due to better planning, market discipline, and better operating rules and standards,” according to a July draft of the study obtained by Bloomberg.  The findings are still under review by the department’s leadership.

Advanced Nuclear Highlighted in Op-Ed – Over the weekend, former Constellation exec and nuclear Power expert at CSIS Mike Wallace penned an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun extolling the importance of protecting our current nuclear fleet while expanding opportunities to develop new plants.  In the piece, Wallace argues that “an integrated nuclear energy infrastructure is necessary for geo-political relevance for any meaningful country in the 21st century. It is a fundamental strategic national asset, and just like the Pentagon, or the Interstate Highway System, it provides broad-based benefits to the whole country, including domestic energy, grid reliability, support for advanced academic physics and engineering programs, manufacturing, training programs for skilled labor, and providing geo-political influence on global standards for safety, security, operations, emergency response and nonproliferation.”

Groups Asks for Expedited Review of Projects – The Center for LNG and the Natural Gas Supply Association is asking DOE to speed up reviews for LNG applications.  The groups submitted comments to DOE, who is reviewing regulations. “Regulatory certainty is essential for the U.S. LNG industry and we are thankful that DOE is looking at the regulatory process. Our recommendations provide a framework for a more certain future for American LNG and the billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs it entails,” they wrote.



Forum to Discuss Self-Driving Cars – The R Street Institute will host an afternoon panel today at 2:00 p.m. featuring a discussion of policy questions surrounding self-driving technologies Self-driving vehicles have yet to be deployed en masse on America’s streets. But their potential to reduce auto fatalities drastically and free our morning commutes makes expediting this process and providing a permissive regulatory framework a top priority. In the halls of Congress, members of both the House and Senate are actively grappling with what enabling legislation is needed to deliver our autonomous future safely and securely. Panelists will include Paul Brubaker of ATI21, Paul Lewis of the Eno Center for Transportation, Daimler’s Jessica Nigro and David Strickland of the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets.

Perry to Discuss Global Security, Grid Study – Tomorrow morning at 8:45 a.m., DOE Secretary Rick Perry and Dr. Fatih Birol will participate in a news conference on global security in the National Press Club’s Murrow Room.

House Energy to Discuss State of Electricity Industry – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will convene a hearing tomorrow examining the state of the electric industry through market participant perspectives.  Witnesses will include Duke’s Alex Glenn, NextEra’s Joe Kelliher, PSEG’s Tamara Linde, Lisa McAlister of American Municipal Power, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative head Jackson Reasor, Ken Schisler of EnerNOC and Steven Schleimer of Calpine.

Senate Energy Looks at Energy, Security Issues – The full Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will convene a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. to examine the status and outlook for U.S. and North American energy and resource security.

House Appropriations Committee Marks Interior Budget – Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., the Full House Appropriations Committee will markup the FY2018 Interior Appropriations Bill.

RFF to host Webinar On Cali Cap/Trade – Resources for the Future and other experts will hold an interactive online panel discussion tomorrow looking at the proposed changes to California’s cap-and-trade program, potential implications for the state’s carbon market, and the potential effects on linkage with the programs in Quebec, Ontario, and other jurisdictions that might consider linkage in the future.  Speakers include RFF’s Dallas Burtraw, James Bushnell of UCal-Davis, Stewart Elgie of the uOttawa Institute of the Environment, Jan Mazurek of the ClimateWorks Foundation Duke Nicholas Institute expert Brian Murray and Dave Sawyer of EnviroEconomics.

WCEE to Host Sustainable City Event – Tomorrow at Noon, the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host a forum with National Geographic’s Senior Manager of Sustainability, Susan Kolodziejczyk. Kolodziejczyk will present an interactive exploration of the intersection of urbanization and sustainability, what that means in terms of society’s choices and priorities, and examples of successful, innovative city solutions around the world.

House Resources to Look at Alaska Oil, Gas Issues – The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold an oversight hearing tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. on: promoting oil and gas development in Alaska.  Witnesses will Include Gary Dixon of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 959 Alaska, Richard Glenn of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Scott Jepsen.

Senate Approps Panel Marks Energy/Water Budget Bill – The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will meet to markup the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018 tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.

Webinar to Focus on NJ Solar Issues – Utility Dive is hosting a webinar tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. focused on the PSE&G approach to proactively studying and accommodating the impacts of DER on the PSE&G system.  NJ is experiencing some of the strongest solar PV growth in the U.S. NJ-based Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) takes an active role in understanding feeder and substation capacity to accommodate solar PV, and to avoid negative impacts to grid reliability, voltages, thermal capacity, flicker and more. The webinar will cover PSE&G’s method to study and accommodate the impacts of DER, in collaboration with Siemens PTI. An overview of the study and its methodologies and the distribution system at PSE&G, available DERs, challenges, the need for the study and the results.  Speakers include PSE&G’s Ahmed Mousa and Siemens PTI’s Hugo Bashualdo.

AGA to Discuss NatGas Supply – The American Gas Association (AGA) and the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) will hold a press conference on Wednesday at 9:30 AM EDT, to release the major findings of the PGC’s year-end 2016 biennial report: Potential Supply of Natural Gas in the United. The report is expected to reveal that domestic estimates of undiscovered natural gas resources continue to grow, due largely to the existence of technologies that continue to unlock energy resources from shale and other producing formations.  Alexei V. Milkov, director of the Potential Gas Agency, Colorado School of Mines and AGA’s Chris McGill will speak.

Forum to Look at RFS – CSIS will host an update on the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.  The event will feature Harvard’s James Stock and our friend Kevin Book of ClearView, a Senior Associate of the CSIS Energy & National Security Program.

Cramer to Headline Forum on Innovation – Microsoft and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) will hold a conversation on Wednesday looking at clean innovation and why it makes business sense. The discussion will bring together stakeholders from industry, government and civil society to discuss the business drivers for innovation in clean energy and low-carbon technologies across a broad range of industries.  Keynoter will be Rep Kevin Cramer, while a panel lead by Bob Perciasepe, will explore the business drivers and challenges associated with clean innovation across multiple sectors and geographies.  These issues include growing customer demand, competitiveness concerns, cost pressures, efficiency gains and enhanced performance.

House Science to Look at Energy Innovation – The House Committee on Science will convene a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. looking at energy innovation and letting technology lead.  Witnesses will include Jacob DeWitte of Oklo, UCLA’s Gaurav Sant, Harvard’s Venky Narayanamurti and Kiran Kumaraswamy of AES Energy Storage.

Atlantic Forum to Look at Russia Sanctions – The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center will hold a conversation about the recently Senate-passed legislation on Russia sanctions on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. The ongoing discussions in Congress provide an opportunity to take stock of existing sanctions policy, discussed the proposed legislative changes, and assess the current and future impact of sanctions on Russia’s energy sector.    Speakers will include the Atlantic Council Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center’s Ambassador Daniel Fried, Atlantic Council Global Energy Center Senior Fellow David Mortlock,and Jeffrey Turner of Squire Patton Boggs.

Forum to Look at Energy, Transportation Systems – The Johns Hopkins University SAIS will hold a day-long conference on Thursday looking at the Atlantic Basin’s four ‘continental’ energy and transportation systems. This conference seeks to explore the drivers, dynamics and limits of this Atlantic Basin energy and transportation world, and to map its contemporary technical, economic, social and political contours. Current status quo configurations (geographical, technical, market, policy) and business-as-usual trajectories of these five transportation regimes – four ‘continental’ terrestrial systems and one pan-Atlantic Basin maritime transportation system which links them together – will be examined, along with the new types of energy policy and transportation infrastructure requirements (and new transnational and pan-Atlantic collaboration mechanisms) that could be demanded by any future Atlantic Basin pathways consistent with the Paris Accord’s objective to defend the 2-degree guardrail.

Senate Energy Holds Hearing on Energy Nominees – On Thursday, Senate Energy Committee will convene a hearing to consider new energy nominations.  They include Brenda Burman of Arizona to be Commissioner of Reclamation of the Department of the Interior; Susan Combs of Texas to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Policy, Management and Budget); Paul Dabbar of New York to be Under Secretary for Science of the Department of Energy; Doug Domenech of Virginia to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Insular Affairs); David Jonas of Pennsylvania to be General Counsel of the Department of Energy; and Mark Menezes of Virginia to be Under Secretary of the Department of Energy.

Senate Approps to Mark up Budgets – On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., the full Senate Committee on Appropriations will meet to markup the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018 as well as the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Act, 2018.

Forum to Feature BP’s Finley on Energy Report – The US Association for Energy Economics, National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC-USAEE) will host BP’s Mark Finley for its July luncheon on Friday at the Chinatown Garden.  Finley will present the just-released 2017 BP Statistical Review of World Energy.



Grid Evolution Summit Set – The Grid Evolution Summit is set for July 25th through 27th at the Washington Hilton.  The event, sponsored by the Smart Electric Power Alliance, will be a conversation of industry stakeholders that will determine how the electric sector evolves, modernizes the grid and better integrates distributed energy resources.  Speakers will include Rep Paul Tonko, House Energy Committee Counsels Rick Kessler and Tom Hassenboehler, PSE&G Renewable VP Courtney McCormick, Xcel’s Doug Benvento DOE’s Eric Lightner, Maryland PSC Chair Kevin Hughes, Kit Carson Electric Co-op CEO Luis Reyes and Utility Dive Editor Gavin Bade.

Forum to Look at Clean Energy Innovation – On Wednesday, July 26th at 10:00 a.m., the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will release a new report assessing recent federal efforts to overcome Clean Energy Development challenges and consider how this record might be extended and improved upon in the future.  Transformational clean-energy innovations are required to achieve the nation’s economic, environmental, and national security goals. Smart grids that can integrate massive distributed resources, power plants that can capture and sequester carbon emissions, and other advanced technologies must be demonstrated at scale before they can be fully commercialized. Public-private partnerships are needed to cross this “valley of death” between prototype and commercialization and strengthen investor confidence in the affordability, reliability, and practicality of such innovations. Speakers will include William Bonvillian, Former Director of the MIT Washington Office; Joseph Hezir of the Energy Futures Initiative, Rice University Baker Institute’s Christopher Smith and our friend Sam Thernstrom, Founder and Executive Director of the Energy Innovation Reform Project.

CSIS to Look at NAFTA Energy Issues – On Wednesday July 26th at 10:00 a.m., CSIS will hold a forum on renegotiating NAFTA, looking at energy challenges and opportunities.  The event will feature CSIS experts Dave Pumphrey and Scott Miller.

Community Solar Forum Set for Denver – The Coalition for Community Solar Access will host the first annual National Community Solar Summit in Denver on July 26 – 28.  A few highlights for Denver include energy company CEOs including Tom Matzzie of CleanChoice Energy, Jesse Grossman of Soltage, Zaid Ashai of Nexamp, Rick Hunter of Microgrid Energy and Steph Spiers of Solstice.  Other speakers include energy company leaders Hannah Masterjohn of Clean Energy Collective, Dan Hendrick of NRG Energy, Adam Altenhofen of US Bank, Adam Capage of 3 Degrees and Lori Singleton of Salt River Project.

USEA Energy Supply Forum Set – On Thursday, July 27th, USEA will hold its 10th Annual Energy Supply Forum in the Ballroom of the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  This annual gathering brings together the country’s top energy industry and policy leaders to examine the current state of energy exploration and production, electricity generation, and global and domestic fuel supply. Detailed agenda coming soon.

INGAA Chair to Address NatGas Roundtable – The Natural Gas Roundtable will host INGAA Chair Diane Leopold as the guest speaker at its next luncheon on Thursday July 27th at Noon. Leopold is an executive vice president of Richmond, Virginia-based Dominion Energy, and is the president and chief executive officer of the company’s Gas Infrastructure Group.

Texas EnviroSuperConference Set – The 29th annual edition of the always educational and entertaining Texas Environmental Superconference will be held on Thursday and Friday, August 3rd and 4th in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel.  The Superconference will cover an engaging array of practice areas and topics including air and water quality, endangered species, and environmental aspects of infrastructure projects and legal issues associated with oil and gas activities. Timely presentations from current and former government officials will give key insights on latest developments and priorities at state and federal agencies, and compelling ethics topics will include internal investigations and climate change.