Mar 7 Energy Update: Mardi Gras Parade of Hill Hearings
Strap your boots on for this week…Let the March Madness begin. And I'm not talking just NCAA basketball, the race to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Grapefruit/Cactus baseball or the beginning of lacrosse season. While Tuesday may be Fat Tuesday – and the party is currently still raging in New Orleans, Congress is packing the schedule chalk full of events.
House Energy and Science, I mean, House Energy and Commerce will hold a big showdown tomorrow that materialized after Democratic Leaders complained about not having a science hearing. Despite this big hearing, our friends at POLITICO and several others are saying that Chairman Upton may add to the packed schedule by hoping to mark up the legislation to block EPA's efforts to regulate greenhouse gases. I suspect probably not until next week at earliest though.
Oil prices continue to rise given the uncertainty in the Middle East and that couldn't be better for the debate and discussion in Houston at this week's CERA Energy Conference. With the President now considering tapping the SPR, the debate moves to a higher level and the conference will be filled with great experts on the topic. Shallow water expert Jim Noe will be there speaking tomorrow on permits and production (or lack thereof).
Finally, if we didn't talk about it enough last week with the series of New York Times articles, natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing stays in the news this week with the EPA Science Advisory Board meeting today in Alexandria to review the agency's Hydraulic Fracturing Study Plan. Our man in Havana is expert Matt Armstrong (202-828-1718), who can report on the action. By the way, our friends at energyNow did a feature on this issue on Sunday that had an interview with NYT reporter Ian Urbina, a discussion with pro/con Congressional members and an expert panel.
Late in the week, I will be heading to Cancun for a few days to look for the UN climate agreement that apparently was lost in December. But don't fret, I will still be available with a Wi-Fi hook up, my iPad and office space at the Señor Frogs Conference Center. Call with questions.
C. (202) 997-5932
IN THE NEWS
Inhofe, Upton Introduce EPA GHG Ban – Sen. Jim Inhofe and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton finally officially introduced legislation to limit EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The Energy Tax Prevention Act attracted 41 additional Senate Republican co-sponsors, but no Democrats. The House version by Upton and Ed Whitfield had three Democratic co-sponsors: Reps. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, and Nick Rahall of West Virginia. The bill seeks to leave the Clean Air Act untouched other than remove EPA greenhouse gas regulations and its ability to draw up next-generation auto fuel mileage standards starting in 2017.
Sides Fighting Over Production, Permits Numbers – One of the outcomes of last week's Senate and House hearings is a new fight over the production and permit numbers and who is gaming the numbers. In testimony and questions, Secretary Salazar matter-of-factly said the Agency has issued 37 of 47 shallow water permits and that product numbers remained at their all-time highs even after the spill, trying to combat questions about the slow pace of permitting and its impact ion ever-increasing gas prices. Unfortunately, the numbers can be tricky. Jim Noe said the Secretary appears to be counting only permits the Interior Department has deemed 'pending' – a subjective standard that discards the scores of permits that have been submitted but have not met the Department's ever-changing criteria for consideration. Already many operators have thrown up their hands in frustration rather than try to navigate the Kafkaesque permitting process in place at the Interior Department today. Then at House Resources the following day, Salazar said oil production actually has increased since the Macondo spill under pressure from members about production slowdowns and the resulting higher gas prices. In reality, production was at an all-time high but has steadily declined since Macondo. Of course, forecasts based on natural decline rates experienced in oil and gas wells and the fact that new wells are not drilled, production will continue to decrease dramatically. In Mexico's Cantarell Field (which is a large field shared by the U.S.), Pemex has seen annual decline rates in the 20-30% range. BP reported last week in its annual report that its world-wide production was down 15% in 2010 due mostly to a decline in deepwater production in the Gulf of Mexico (and Angola). If you also look at EIA numbers, they are also showing declines. The point is: The real production declines we will see and feel in the future as no new wells are available to replace ones that are completed.
AP: Wind Supplier Aims to Open Mid–Atlantic's First Manufacturing Facility – Our friend Tom Lobianco, now with the AP in Annapolis reports today that AC~Wind, a wind turbine supply company is announcing it plans to spend at least $10 million retrofitting a plant in Salisbury to construct the 130-foot blades. This effort would make it the first manufacturer of wind turbine components in the state, according to Lobianco. Company executives estimate the plant could hire more than 200 people to build the blades. Although no deals have been signed yet, the fiberglass blades could be used for wind turbine projects planned along the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, including one area 12 miles east of Ocean City, Md. MD Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, is pushing a plan that would mandate state utilities enter into 25-year contracts to buy offshore wind energy. Last week he testified before the state legislature promoting the effort. Coupled with the transmission backbone being proposed by the Atlantic Wind Connection, the combined efforts show the first real steps to developing a broader, sustainable offshore wind industry for the region.
EPA Holds Refiners Meeting, NPRA Warns Regarding GHGs – EPA held its final EPA meeting, this time focused on the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by U.S. petroleum refineries. Just like previous meetings, they were many discussions about impact of EPA’s proposal to issue a New Source Performance Standard for greenhouse gas emissions from America’s domestic refineries. Refiners said the new regs could drive many refineries out of business, depriving hundreds of thousands of American workers of their jobs and weakening America’s economic and national security. In a letter delivered to EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Gina McCarthy, NPRA said “the unilateral regulation of GHGs (greenhouse gases) by the United States…will place domestic fuel manufacturers at an almost insurmountable competitive disadvantage to the foreign companies and countries that want to ship foreign gasoline, foreign diesel fuel and foreign jet fuel to the United States,” The letter was submitted to accompany oral testimony by NPRA at the “listening session.” NPRA pointed out that millions of American workers who once supported their families by manufacturing autos, steel, textiles, shoes and other products lost their jobs over the past four decades as more and more U.S. manufacturing plants closed and imports of foreign products into the United States soared.
Trans-Alta, Washington, Enviros Agree to Limit Coal Plant – Our friends at TransAlta have reached agreement with Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and environmental groups to reduce emissions from the company’s coal-fired power plant in the Centralia area. The agreement ensures a transition to cleaner power while allowing the necessary time to provide economic stability to Southwest Washington. In 2009, Gregoire signed an executive order directing the Department of Ecology to work with TransAlta to establish an agreed order that would apply the greenhouse gas emissions performance standards by no later than December 31, 2025. This agreement moves up the performance standards for one of two boilers to Dec. 31, 2020 and the other boiler on Dec. 31, 2025. We have a few folks that can be helpful if you need background info.
Noble Moves Oil Drilling Rig to Brazil – Following through on a promise to move rigs, Noble Corporation announced they are moving the Clyde Boudreaux, an ultra-deepwater semisubmersible, 5,000 miles to Brazil where it has a contract with Shell. Despite getting the first deepwater permit since the Macondo spill last year, Noble said the new contract, starting in April, will last for a year and is $290,000 per day, which is less than the previous Gulf lease.
Pew Environment Launches New Group – Our friends at the Pew Environment Group have launched a new website at PewEnvironment.org. The site highlights our core focus areas - Oceans, Land and Energy— through features, including 1) full information about each of their our current campaigns and ocean research programs, interactive info-graphics, map tools and image galleries, a video library and a full list of Pew experts as well as the communications officer in charge of each issue. I have suggested to them that they develop a counterbalanced Bracewell expert section, too, but until that is up and running, you can just call me. If you have any questions, you can always contact Brandon MacGillis at 202-887-8830.
BUDGET HEARING THIS WEEK
There is a parade of budget hearings this week that will include a number of cabinet officials:
Salazar at House, Senate Appropriations – After hosting EPA's Lisa Jackson last week, the Interior panel will hear from Ken Salazar on drilling, wild lands and many other issues. Of course, last week, Salazar visited Senate Energy and House Natural Resources. Action starts 1:00 p.m. tomorrow, while the Senate Interior Approps panel goes Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.
Jackson to Revisit Energy Panel – The House Energy and Commerce Energy panel will host EPA's Lisa Jackson on Friday for the second time this year (Using a solid defensive effort in the first meeting, Jackson leads the series 1-0) to talk about the 2012 budget request. Bookmakers won't even take a bet that anything else like Hydraulic Fracturing or EPA GHG regulation debate come up – those bets are off the board.
LaHood to Defend Transportation Budget – Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will visit the Senate Commerce Committee tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. for a hearing that was rescheduled from March 1. He will field questions on the FY 2012 proposed budget for the US Department of Transportation. On the following morning, Wednesday, March 9, at 9:30 a.m., he will return to the Hill to testify in front of the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, also on his department's FY 2012 budget. Finally, on Thursday, March 10 at 9:30 a.m., LaHood will join the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies as they take a crack at the Transportation budget.
House Science Committee to Tackle EPA, NOAA R& D Budgets – The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to examine the FY2012 Research and Development Budget Proposals for NOAA and the EPA. They will look at each budget separately, with Dr. Jane Lubchenco the NOAA Administrator first, being followed by Paul Anastas, the Assistant Administrator in the Office of Research and Development at EPA.
Science Budget on Agenda – The climate science budget is likely to see more scrutiny this week that is has in four years. The Appropriations Committee's CJSJ panel will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in H-309 featuring Subra Suresh, director of the National Science Foundation. Then Friday, the Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing Friday at 10:00 a.m. in 2318 Rayburn. Witnesses there will include Suresh and Patrick Gallagher, undersecretary of Commerce for standards and technology and director of NIST.
Forest, Land Policies Under Review – House lawmakers will dig into the Obama administration's budget request for land management agencies, including proposed boosts for land acquisition and cuts to construction projects this week in a number of hearings. Tomorrow, BLM director Bob Abbey and Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell, will be before the Natural Resources Committee at 10:00 a.m. On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. in B-308 Rayburn, the National Park Service will face an approps panel with NPS director Jon Jarvis. The panel's will switch witnesses on Thursday with BLM's Abbey going to Appropriations on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in B-308 Rayburn and Jarvis going to Natural Resources at 10:00 a.m. Finally, Forest Service management will face an approps panel on Thursday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Witnesses in the afternoon include GAO's Anu Mittal and USDA IG Phyllis Fong.
Mining Budget, Policies on Grill – The House Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations panel is expected to grill officials from the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. in B-308 Rayburn over budget and the President's focus on limiting coal use and mountain top mining. Witnesses include OSM Director Joseph Pizarchik and Deputy Director Glenda Owens. The president's request for fiscal 2012 cuts OSM spending by $17 million. At the same time, it proposes an increase in funding for state oversight and stream protection.
House Ag Subcommittee Reviews Ag Department Budget – The House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies will meet on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to question USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Edward Avalos on the FY 2012 proposed budget for the US Department of Agriculture.
THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:
Bush 41, Clinton to Headline CERA Week – The 30th annual CERAWeek 2011 will be held this week starting tomorrow at the Hilton Americas in Houston, Texas. This year's theme is energy strategies for a world of change and will focus on how the energy system reshaped to meet the needs of a growing world and the resulting multiple demands, risks and opportunities. CERAWeek is the world's leading energy conference bringing together senior executives and officials, leading experts across the energy spectrum and members of the financial community for highly interactive discussions and presentations on the energy future. Featured speakers include former Presidents George HW Bush (41) and Bill Clinton , as well as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Many of our friends will be speaking on panels including Jim Noe of Hercules who speaks tomorrow on offshore drilling and executives at Alstom Power, who will be discussing worldwide efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions--including renewables and CCS for both coal and natural gas. Click here to learn more about Alstom's plans. You can see a full agenda here.
Rural Coops Host Meeting – The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is holding its 69th annual conference in Orlando today through Thursday. Environmental issues, EPA regulations and climate change will be very much on the agenda. Speakers for the event included USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and 60 Minutes reporter Scott Pelle. In other news, last week our friend Kirk Johnson was named head of NRECA's Government Relations team beginning March 14. Johnson currently serves as Vice President of Energy and Environmental Policy.
EPA Meets to Discuss HF Study – Given all the hullabaloo over natural gas and hydraulic fracturing with last week's montage of articles in the New York Times, EPA continues the discussion today as its Science Advisory Board meets in Alexandria to review the agency's Hydraulic Fracturing Study Plan. The main goal of the study is to better understand the relationship between fracking and drinking water resources. Our own HF expert, Matt Armstrong is in the building in Alexandria and can report should need an update. This issue came up last week in several articles and hearing with lots of complaints and finger pointing. The bottom line is that the study is following the path that the original legislators wanted (they were opponents), despite complaints today that it is not broad enough (the Markey letters from last week). Our friends at energyNow did a feature on this issue on Sunday that featured an interview with NYT reporter Ian Urbina, a discussion with pro/con Congressional members and an expert panel.
Interior to Solar Meetings Move to AZ, NM – The Department of Interior holds its final public meetings to discuss a draft programmatic plan to accelerate the development of solar power on public lands in the West in Utah and Colorado. The final meetings will be in Alamosa CO today and in Cedar City, Utah Wednesday and Salt Lake City Thursday. The 1,000-page draft plan hopes to encourage solar development on 22 million acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The agency's 24 solar energy zones (SEZs) in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah would provide landscape-level planning for future solar projects and allow for a more streamlined permitting and siting process. Interior has also proposed a similar plan for creating offshore wind zones in the Atlantic to spur offshore wind development.
NJ Forum to Look at Energy, Environment – National Journal will host a discussion tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. in the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel's Metropolitan Ballroom to discuss top energy and environment issues, including energy efficiency, the carbon footprint of homes and businesses, and the push for a clean energy standard. As the 112th Congress gets underway, policymakers in Washington continue to debate the essential next steps in addressing America's pressing energy needs. With a divided Congress, the Obama administration and lawmakers must find compromises, and decide what energy policy goals are achievable. NJ's awesome energy/environment correspondent Coral Davenport will host a panel of experts that includes our friend Kevin Book of ClearView Energy, NRDC's Robin Roy, Al Stayman of the Senate Energy Committee staff, Dan Stone of Newsweek/Daily Beast and Daniel LeFevers of the Gas Technology Institute. North Dakota Senator and former Gov. John Hoeven will keynote.
House Energy to Hold Science Hearing – As if we didn't have enough of these hearing in the last Congress, the House Energy and Commerce relented to Democratic complaints and will host a showdown over the scientific underpinnings of Obama's climate agenda tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Despite the fact that it is the Energy Committee and not the Science Committee, the witness list is very solid – if you follow this issue. It includes the University of Colorado's Roger Pielke, NASA and University of Alabama-Huntsville expert John Christy, University of Victoria's Francis Zwiers, Stanford University's Chris Field, University of Michigan's Knute Nadelhoffer, University of California-San Diego's Richard Somerville and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences' Donald Roberts.
Bracewell, Perino Honored for Minute Mentoring – "Bracewell & Giuliani Presents Minute Mentoring® with Dana Perino & Company" has been selected as a winner in PR News’ Legal Awards program in the category of Community Relations - for Law Firms. The competition was fierce and to be named a winner is a major accomplishment. In recognition of this achievement, B&G will receive an award during the PR News CSR & Legal PR Awards Luncheon tomorrow at Noon at the National Press Club. Minute Mentoring® is a unique, round robin-style forum in which accomplished female professionals share their experiences with their young professional counterparts during the rapid-fire meetings. To date, we have hosted very successful Minute Mentoring® events in cities coast-to-coast, from New York City to San Diego. The Minute Mentoring® program consists of five, 10-minute mentoring sessions akin to speed dating followed by a network reception. For more information on the program you can call my colleague Dee Martin (202) 828-5818.
Rowe to Discuss Energy Policy at AEI – The American Enterprise Institute will host John Rowe, Exelon’s chairman and CEO, in for a speech on energy policy tomorrow in its Wohlstetter Conference Room at 10:30 a.m. Rowe says that modern energy policy should focus on long-term, economically rational solutions. Congress must allow market forces to work and embrace our country's abundant supply of domestic natural gas. This will allow the United States to transition to a clean-energy future--minimizing the burden on consumers, taxpayers, and the federal budget--and will position America to better compete in the world. At this AEI event, Rowe will deliver a keynote address describing an economic approach to energy policy for the 112th Congress.
House Approps Subcommittee Reviews DOI Budget – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will be testifying tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies hearing to review the Interior Departments FY2012 budget request.
Debate to Look at Clean Energy Economy – Intelligence Squared is hosting a national debate on energy policy at NYU's Skirball Center tomorrow at 6:45 p.m. The theme will be whether investment in the clean energy sector can lead us into economic recovery or is a myth. Arguing "for" will be Dan Reicher of Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance and Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. Arguing against will be green jobs gadfly Robert Bryce of the Manhattan Institute and AEI's Steven Hayward
House Government Oversight to Discuss Regulations, Jobs – A House Government Oversight Committee panel will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. continue the Committee's dialogue with private-sector job creators and assess the cumulative impact that regulation has had on American manufacturing. Witnesses will include Michael Kamnikar, the incoming president of the Forging Industry Association; Donna Harman, CEO of the American Forest and Paper Association; American Chemistry Council's Michael Wells and our friend Aris Papadopolous, chairman of the Portland Cement Association and CEO of Titan America.
Green Development in an Increasingly Crowded World – Johns Hopkins University will play host to a forum on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. entitled "Growing Green in a Crowded, Carbon-Constrained World." The discussion will be moderated by David Jhirad, with panelists Achim Steiner, executive director of UNEP; Kate Gordon, vice president of energy policy at the Center for American Progress; and Richenda Van Leeuwen, senior director of energy access at UNF.
Briefing Looks at Canadian Boreal Forests – The Embassy of Canada, with support from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), will host a briefing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in G-50 Dirksen focused on the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, one of the largest conservation agreements in history. The Agreement brings together the forest industry and conservation groups to work toward a common goal of economic prosperity and resource protection. The collaboration that led to the Agreement may be a useful model for managing environmental conflicts in other countries and sectors. The fate of the boreal forest also has huge impacts for the rest of the world as it serves as a vital carbon sink, storing nearly twice as much carbon per acre as tropical forests, as well as a pristine wilderness that provides habitat for woodland caribou and other species. Speakers for this event include Canadian Ambassador to the US Gary Doer, Avrim Lazar of the Forest Products Association of Canada, Greenpeace's Richard Brooks, Steven Kallick of the Pew Environment Group and Ronnie Drever of the Nature Conservancy's Canada Program.
WCEE Gala to Honor Hawaiian Electric CEO – The Women's Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE) will host its annual Woman of the Year Gala on Wednesday where they will honor Constance Lau, President & CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries. Under Ms. Lau's leadership, Hawaiian Electric is undertaking a massive repowering of its utility companies to help the company move away from imported oil to renewable energy, including biodiesel. In addition to her role at Hawaiian Electric Industries, Ms. Lau is also chair of the board of Hawaiian Electric's electric utility, Hawaiian Electric Company, which provides electric service to 95% of the state's residents; and Chair, President and CEO of American Savings Bank, Hawaii's third largest bank.
Senate to Look at Efficiency Legislation, Light Bulb Ban – The Senate Energy Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in 366 Dirksen to discuss energy efficiency legislation aimed at prohibit Congress from phasing out the use of incandescent light bulbs. Witnesses will include DOE's Kathleen Hogan, ACEEE's Steve Nadel, Joseph McGuire of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, Kyle Pitsor of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, our friend Stephen Yurek of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute and Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America. Also tomorrow, the full committee will hold consider the nomination of Peter B. Lyons, to be assistant secretary of energy for nuclear energy.
House Ag to Grill EPA on Regs – The House Agriculture Committee will host EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. to discuss the regulatory burden on the agency on the Agricultural community. Of course, the Ag committee's top Democrat and former chair is Collin Peterson, who during the last Congress singlehandedly slowed the Waxman-Markey drive to passage, and this year is the first D to break to support Upton-Whitfield's EPA blocking bill.
Forum to Look Rare Earth – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) will hold a briefing on Friday at 2:00 p.m. in HVC 201 Capitol Visitor Center that will look at critical materials, including rare earth elements and strategic metals. These materials are essential for technologies used in a variety of applications such as cell phones, computers, cars, airplanes, batteries, and renewable energy systems - and therefore critical to our national security and economy. The United States is not self-sufficient in most of these critical materials, and for many of them we are reliant on foreign sources prone to disruption. For example, more than 97 percent of the U.S. and world supply of elements comes from China, and this supply has been restricted recently for several reasons, including political pressure. This briefing will address the current supply of critical materials, including the newest developments from China, and policy opportunities to strengthen American expertise in the occurrence, discovery, extraction, processing, and recycling of these commodities. Speakers for this event include Mark Johnson of DOE's ARPA-E, USGS's Kate Johnson, our friend Andy Davis of Molycorp Minerals (our friend Jim Sims formerly of the Western BRT also works there) and Dudley Kingsnorth of the Industrial Minerals Company of Australia (IMCOA)
Forest Service Sets Public Hearings on Forest Planning Rule – The US Forest Service (USFS) released its proposed re-write of the Forest Planning Rule on February 14, 2011. Now, the Service is moving forward with public meetings on the proposed rule. USFS says purpose for the forums includes increasing public understanding about the draft rule and explaining how input gathered from the public during the scoping process is incorporated into the design of the rule. The first hearing will be in Washington, DC on Thursday. The Rocky Mountain Regional Forest Service Office will host five other forums, including: March 16th in Rapid City, SD (6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Ramkota Best Western Hotel), March 21st in Lakewood, CO (1:00-4:00 p.m. and 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Forest Service Regional Office) (740 Simms Street), March 24th in Cheyenne, WY (6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Kiwanis Community House) and April 6th in Delta, CO (4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the GMUG Forest Supervisor’s Office)
House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee to Examine Rising Oil Prices – The House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, chaired by Rep. Connie Mack will convene a hearing Friday at 9:30 a.m. on rising oil prices and looking to Canada more. The hearing will be the first Congressional hearing to address the recent spike in oil and gas prices.
BP to Offer Future Energy Outlook – The Women's Council on Energy and Environment will host a brown bag lunch at Noon on Friday featuring Joseph Giljum, of BP's Economics team for a discussion on BP's Energy Outlook to the year 2030. A highlight of the discussion will be BP's take on China's role as the world’s largest energy consumer.
THE WEEKS AHEAD:
NPC Luncheon with Harry Shearer, Comedian – For those of you who are fans of Spinal Tap, the Simpsons and many other great Christopher Guest/Harry Shearer/Eugene Levy Cult classics, Comedic personality Harry Shearer will shine his satirical light on the media at a National Press Club Luncheon next Monday, March 14th. In a speech titled, "Media Myths - The need for proper focus in journalism," Shearer will discuss how persistent myths become embedded in the minds of editor and producers.
Lieberman, Others Headline Carbon Forum – The International Emissions Trading Association will hold its annual carbon forum, North America’s 2011 Cornerstone Carbon event in Washington DC on March 14th and 15th. Speakers for the event will include US Sen. Joe Lieberman, House Ag Committee Chair Colin Peterson, RFF's Phil Sharp, NRDC's David Hawkins, BPC's Jason Grumet, CARB's Mary Nichols and many others.
Teleconference on Upcoming Implementation of EPA's Tailoring Rule – The Environmental Law Institute and Reed Smith LLP are hosting a teleconference featuring a panel of speakers from the EPA, industry and the NGO community to discuss the implementation of the Tailoring Rule, permitting guidance for GHG sources, and other developments since the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected a request to delay implementation of the rule. The call will be on Monday, March 14 from 12-1:30 pm. Confirmed panelists include David Hacker a Law Department Attorney at U.S. Steel Corporation (moderator); Lawrence Demase a Partner at Reed Smith; Joe Osborne the Legal Director at Group Against Smog & Pollution; and Anna Wood a Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of Air and Radiation at the EPA.
House Nat Resource Panel to Examine Power Administrations –the House Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Water and Power will hold a hearing on Tuesday, March 15 at 10:00 a.m., to examine the spending, priorities and the missions of the Bonneville Power Administration, the Western Area Power Administration, the Southwestern Power Administration and the Southeastern Power Administration.
Cement Industry Execs to Discuss Reg Burden – A number of cement executives will hold a small briefing on Tuesday to discuss a new economic analysis of several regulation crashing down on the industry at the same time. PCA President Brian McCarthy and member President Aris Papadopoulos are expected to attend. For more on this, please give me a call and I will make sure you can be invited.
House Jobs Forum Set – The House Republican Leadership in partnership with the Government Oversight Committee will host Jobs Forum for March 16th. Expect focus on a number of regulations and their impact on jobs and the economy. Speaker Boehner, Whip Cantor and other House Republican Leadership will all participate. Several business leaders will also testify including our friends from the cement industry. More detail to come.
House Resources Hearing to Focus on Drilling Permit Impacts – On March 16th, the House Natural Resources Committee will hear testimony from states, communities, and local businesses affected by a lack of permits in the Gulf of Mexico. More details on this as we know it…
NJ One-on-One with House Approps Chair Rogers – National Journal will host a one-on-one discussion on Wednesday, March 16th at 8:30 a.m. in the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel's Metropolitan Ballroom to get a first hand look at Republican efforts to cut domestic discretionary spending in fiscal 2011. NJ Congressional Correspondent Major Garrett will chat with the newly selected Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Hal Rogers (R-KY). Rogers will discuss his policy goals for the next two years, and how he plans to accomplish them.
ARPA-E Featured at ICF Breakfast – ICF will host another breakfast on march 17th at 8:00 a.m. discussing the government’s role in initiating the innovations that are critical to our energy future. The speaker is Dr. Arun Majumdar, the Director of Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) part of DOE, who has formed a team of experts that focus on transformational energy technologies that could fundamentally alter the way we produce and consume energy. ARPA-E is the entity responsible for helping to make a reality out of the President’s call to “spark the creativity, and imagination of our people.”
PA Wind Project Needs Line Connect in MD – Our friends at Everpower Wind, who are developing a wind project in Somerset, PA is asking the city of Frostburg for an easement to build a generator lead line underneath the streets of the city. They have held initial meetings with the city and with several of the neighbors who live along the proposed route have been very supportive and encouraging. A public hearing on the project will be scheduled as part of the council’s March 17 meeting. The 1.5-mile line would connect the proposed 150-megawatt wind project located on Big Savage Mountain in Somerset County, Pa., to a substation in Maryland. The Twin Ridges Wind Farm will have an expected $200 million economic impact on the region. During construction, approximately 200 full- and part-time workers, mostly drawn from western Maryland’s labor pool, will be required to build access roads and construct turbines. Approximately, $5 million will be spent locally on construction materials such as steel rebar, crushed aggregate, concrete and fencing.
NPRA to Host Annual Meeting – The National Petrochemical and Refiners Assn will hold its 109th annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The meeting is the world's premier refining meeting, assembling key executives, decision-makers, and technical experts from refining businesses, technology providers, contracting and consulting firms, and equipment manufacturers around the world. The general session features high profile speakers who will address current issues of importance to the industry. Leading industry experts will share valuable insights on major issues, including energy and environmental initiatives and the latest technical developments impacting the refining and petrochemical industry communities.
Conca Energy Outline Featured at Forums – On Monday March 28, the Progressive Policy Institute together with the Foundation for Nuclear Studies is holding an event to highlight their long-term energy plan for America based upon our friend Jim Conca's "third-third-third" approach to energy policy. You may recall Conca was the subject of a Newsmaker where he detailed an energy strategy to reliably meet our power needs on a technology curve that is reasonable. The meeting is expected to be on Capitol Hill, but the exact time and place is not set yet, so more details when we have them. The "third-third-third" policy paper can be seen on the Progressive Fix website. The next day at 11:00 a.m. in the Forrestal Building, Energy Secretary Chu has arranged for Conca to do an energy seminar for staff on the topic.
House Resources to Host Bromwich – Michael Bromwich, head of the regulatory agency BOERME that oversees offshore drilling, will testify before the House Natural Resources Committee on March 30th. While the topic is budget, expect lots of other questions on permits, the permitting process and the regional impacts.
Bloomberg Summit Focused on Clean Energy, Carbon – In its fourth year, the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit will be held on April 4-7th on New York and will focus on clean energy and carbon markets. Hosted for the first time in New York, the Summit will bring together around 400 industry leaders from across the world. The 2011 Summit now includes a supplementary Roundtable Day on Energy Access and Climate Finance in Association with UN-Energy.
Forum to Look at Retail Energy Market – The energy consulting firm KEMA will hold its 22nd Executive Forum on April 7-8th at the JW Marriott in San Antonio, Texas to discus the retail energy industry. As the leading event in the US retail energy industry, KEMA’s Executive Forum will gather senior executives, regulators, energy buyers, investors and other stakeholders from across North America to discuss the key business and policy issues facing retail energy markets.
Yale Conference to Feature Wellinghoff – The Yale Climate & Energy Institute will hold its Annual Conference for 2011 in New Haven on April 8th and 9th in New Haven focusing on technological innovation for an energy-secure future. Speakers include FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff, former CIA Director James Woolsey and former IPCC Chair Dr. Rajendar Pachauri, who now directs Yale's CEI. Other speakers include DOE's Arun Majumdar, who directs ARPA-E and former DOE official Ernest Moniz, who now heads MIT's Energy Initiative.
Mass Gov. Deval Patrick to Hit Press Club – The National Press Club will host a luncheon with Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick on Thursday, April 14th to discuss his memoirs. Expected discussion topic will include Cape Wind and the nasty fight over the project that the Governor supported.
Trans-Elect's Mitchell to Headline Offshore Wind Conference – The 4th annual North American Offshore Wind Development & Finance Summit will be held in Washington, DC at the Almas Temple Club on April 11th -14th. The event will focus on the emergence of technologies that will enable wind farms in the deeper waters prevalent in many regions of North America, as well as the tangible progress being made in testing and commercializing designs. The Summit will once again bring leading developers together with the policymakers, equipment vendors, vessel providers, engineering firms and utility customers needed to complete offshore wind projects. Trans-Elect's Bob Mitchell will make a special address and lead a list of more than 60 speakers. Mitchell is leading Trans-Elect's effort to develop the Atlantic Wind Connection, a visionary and transformative subsea transmission backbone designed to enable offshore wind energy development in the Mid-Atlantic region. Recently, Trans-Elect was named EnergyBiz's 2011 Energy Company of the Year."
Turner, T. Boone Debate Energy at Press Club – The National Press Club will host a luncheon debate on Tuesday, April 19 focusing on American energy policy. It will feature Ted Turner, chairman of Ted Turner Enterprises and CNN founder, and T. Boone Pickens, founder of BP Capitol, to debate. Pickens will outline his “Pickens Plan” to reduce America’s dependence on Middle East oil through alternate energy sources, such as wind, solar power, and natural gas. Turner will discuss renewable solar energy, including his recent solar projects in New Mexico and Atlanta, as well as nuclear disarmament and global politics. As usual, lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. with the speeches beginning at 1 p.m.
Last Wednesday was a big milestone for people who care about public health and a livable climate. Two utilities announced the planned closure of nine coal plants.Read more ...
Today, in the UK, the world's oldest nuclear power plant shut down.Read more ...
The U.S. led the world in clean energy investment in 2011, but China retained the top spot in the latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index from Ernst & Young.Read more ...
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