May 2 Update: Stay Thirsty My Friends for More Energy News
Well, today I had intended to provide an entire summary of the Royal wedding's carbon footprint, as well as a "green" margarita recipe for Cinco de Mayo (Thursday), but last night's announcement about the death of Osama Bin Laden has absorbed the entire news hole. Completely incredible news…I can hear the Hollywood script writers already madly scrambling regarding this unbelievable turn of events.
While we wade through the play-by-play and reflect on the events related to OBL, Congress returns to session this week. Remembering that events from the weekend may impact originally-planned timing, look for action in the House as soon as Thursday on one and maybe two oil-and-gas drilling bills (VA/Gulf Lease sales and limiting permit approval time) that recently passed the Natural Resources Committee. The House also is expected to take up a third bill next week. While all three will easily pass in the House, Senate action is much more uncertain. In the Senate, many expect to see action on the legislation introduced by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus that would eliminate oil and gas incentives/subsidies for the largest companies. Majority Leader Reid has already said he would like to quickly have a vote on the topic to box Republicans into a tough vote, but unfortunately – just like with the recent climate vote – he will likely put pressure on a number of Democrats who opposed the very same measure in February. See more below.
For a great resource on the drilling bills, the current gas prices situation and our need for more production, please feel free to reach out to shallow water drilling expert Jim Noe (713-301-6797).
Finally, the much-discussed federal oil and gas price fraud watchdog group held its first meeting at 10 a.m. today. They'll be looking hard, but one suspects there will be little to find given the numerous investigations on this topic over the years.
Call with questions...and remember, as you celebrate the Mexican independence (I may return to Cancun to continue my search for the lost climate treaty), a gallon of Dos Equis still costs way more than a gallon of gas. And you don't have to recycle the bottles or use an opener. You know: the police often question me, just because they find me interesting. Stay thirsty my friends...Best,
C. (202) 997-5932
IN THE NEWS
More on Gas Prices, Profits – Last week, oil companies announced significant profits, but there is little connection between the gas price felt by consumers and the profits. The oil industry, especially big, vertically-integrated companies like the majors, will return huge profits when the global price of oil skyrockets. It is not, however, because of the gas price consumers pay at the pump. In fact, the downstream side of the industry – refining and retail – are hurt badly by high oil prices in psyche and economics. Higher prices reduce margins and make refining largely a loss leader. As well, consumer sales, through mostly independent small business owners that franchise gas stations, have their margins dramatically slimmed during these times. They also feel the wrath of the consumer as the front line of the market, symbolized by regular price increases on their signs. On the other hand, the upstream side of exploration and production sees huge profits when the global oil price rises. It also allows companies to invest more to get more oil because the marginal barrel at $50 now can be retrieved with a profit margin at $100. That said, as we have said many times, oil industry profits are not out of line with other industries overall. The latest published data for third quarter 2010 shows the oil and natural gas industry earned 6 cents for every dollar of sales in comparison with all manufacturing, which earned 8.6 cents for every dollar of sales. The roller coaster rise and fall in gasoline and diesel prices over the last couple of years tracks changes in the cost of crude oil. Those changes are determined in the global crude oil market by the worldwide demand for and supply of crude oil. Weak economic conditions in the U.S. and around the world in 2008 and into 2009 led to less demand which helped push prices down. Now, with the worldwide economic recovery underway, demand is on the rise again but unrest in the Mideast has put supplies at risk. This combination of rising demand and reduced supply is helping to push prices higher. On top of that, as discussed, the President has been bottling up domestic production for a year in the Gulf. It all has an impact.
President, Boehner, Bunk – We all know and have been hearing the political blow-by-blow in Washington regarding gas prices and oil and gas tax hike/subsidy issues. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Reid upped the ante by saying he would rush a vote to the floor to eliminate the production incentive subsidies despite the fact that they already voted on this in February (Funny how the schedule allows for quick movement of things that are perceived as politically beneficial). While much of what you hear is full-court press politics at play, here is what you probably won't hear: 1) That even if Congress removed the incentives/subsidies, companies would still pass that cost through to the consumer leading to higher gas prices; 2) it will likely have a debilitating effect on production of domestic oil/gas because of the increasing the cost of doing business, 3) it will impact jobs because independents and service companies will be impacted in greater proportion, even if it only targets large majors.
Boren Says President is Wrong on Oil – One Democrat had tough words for the President's position. Oklahoma Democrat Rep. Dan Boren says the President is uninformed when it comes to the oil and gas industry. Boren says the industry is not made up just of major companies but rather it is made up of small, independent firms like those in Oklahoma that produce a vast majority of the country's domestic production. Boren says for every CEO of a major company, there are literally thousands of blue-collar jobs that are affected by his administration's energy policy. Boren says Americans are tired of empty rhetoric on both sides and want a real plan. Boren added if the President doesn't want to stand up and be a leader, then his silence would be appreciated from people who are trying to find solutions. Some other Democrats in the Senate might be feeling the pinch as well. Seven Senate Democrats already voted against the president's approach in February when it was offered as an amendment.
Draft Legislation Aims to Limit EPA Regs – New draft legislation draft is being discussed that aims to exempt utilities from a host of air pollution rules if they agree to retire older coal-fired power plants by the end of 2020 or if they submit an alternative plan to EPA for reducing sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants. Many have said this type of approach could reduce emissions but also help reduce the threat to reliability of the power grid y the EPA rules. We have a copy of the draft if you need it and our experts would be happy to discuss.
FERC Commissioner Raises Questions About Reliability – Speaking of reliability, FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller said at the Platts Northeast Power Markets Forum in Arlington late last week that pending EPA regulations for the utility industry could collide with the need to maintain reliability. Moeller also added that FERC, not EPA that takes the heat from Congress if there is a major blackout. While he said he understands the need for environmental regulations, he said there is potential for an agency "to push too far, too fast," adding that the uncertainty over potential EPA regulations will add to the power industry's worries over the next few years.
EPA Disclosure Questions Pop Up On Nat Gas HF Issues In PA – The recent blow out of a Chesapeake well in Pennsylvania and new pressures on EPA underscore new action by EPA to issue formal guidance on how drillers can perform hydraulic fracturing with diesel fuel. Last month, Bob Perciasepe, told a Senate panel that companies were breaking the law if they didn't have a permit. Last week, Administrator Jackson confirmed EPA's position and promised that guidance would be issued by the Agency "very shortly" to companies seeking such permits and the administering agencies seeking to issue them. What that guidance will look like and what it will mean to drillers and service companies remains unknown, as the document itself is still shrouded in secrecy (or perhaps yet to be written). Our friend and expert Matt Armstrong is on the case (202-828-1711), so don’t hesitate to call.
Coal Ash Likely to be Delayed Until Next Year – Rumors last week said that EPA is likely to delay a politically painful decision on coal ash regulations until after the 2012 election. For nearly a year, the agency has been weighing two competing options for the first-ever federal rules on the disposal of coal ash and other leftovers from coal-fired power plants. But they have faced tremendous pressure from many groups that use coal ash to make items like wall board, cement and other important items. The agency had previously planned to finish the rules by early 2012, but top brass is now top brass is now thinking more towards the end of 2012 into 2013. Solves that potential political problem doesn't it.
Groups Call for MACT Delay – Already buoyed by EPA's move to reconsider its ill-fated MACT rule for boilers, a coalition of industry groups wants EPA to officially stall air toxics rules for industrial boilers and incinerators while it reconsiders the rules. Without a stay, the rules are slated to become effective next month. The groups say that given the certainty of reconsideration on a wide range of issues, they will suffer significant, irreparable harm unless a stay is granted. The groups that signed the petition include the AF&PA, the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO), NAM, American Chemistry Council, API, The US Chamber of Commerce, American Coke and Coal Chemicals Institute and the American Iron and Steel Institute. Speaking of MACTs, it is possible that we will soon see a bill from the House Energy and Commerce Committee that would overhaul the current process for setting Hazardous Air Pollution rules under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act.
Study: Emissions Transfer Undercuts Developed Countries Emissions Reductions – A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that cuts in carbon emissions by developed countries since 1990 have been cancelled out many times over by increases in imported goods from developing countries. Under the Kyoto Protocol, emissions released during the production of goods are assigned to the country where production takes place, rather than where goods are consumed. Data suggest that developed countries can claim to have reduced their carbon emissions by two percent from 1990 to 2008, but once the carbon emissions from imported goods are taken into account, their actual emissions increased seven percent. China exports more carbon-intensive goods than it imports and is seen as the world’s largest carbon emitter, but its footprint drops by almost one-fifth when its imports and exports are taken into account, putting it behind the United States in carbon emissions. China accounts for 75 percent of the developed world's offshore emissions. Leading the study was Glen Peters of Norway's Center for International Climate and Environmental Research–Oslo.
NREL: Clean Energy Buoyed by State Policies – The National Renewable Energy Labs says states' policies are important to wind and solar energy development and in reducing energy use. Building on an emerging body of literature identifying connections between state policy and renewable energy, the "State of the States 2010: The Role of Policy in Clean Energy Market Transformation" report quantifies the connection between state clean energy policies, renewable energy development and actual reductions in energy use. Even though state policies might apply to a wide variety of renewable energy resources, the analysis shows that most often there is a relationship between policy and wind and solar development.
EIA: Coal Still Weill Play Lead Role in Generation – The Energy Information Administration released its Annual Energy Outlook 2011, which includes 57 sensitivity cases that show how different assumptions regarding market, policy, and technology drivers affect the previously released Reference case projections of energy production, consumption, technology, and market trends and the direction they may take in the future. One key piece of the report says that despite the rise of natural gas and a host of new regulations, coal will remain the dominant energy producer over the 25 years. The EIA says coal will supply 43 percent of U.S. electricity in 2035, down only about 2 points from current levels. It still says Shale gas production will continue to increase strongly through 2035, growing almost fourfold from 2009 to 2035. While total domestic natural gas production grows from 21.0 trillion cubic feet in 2009 to 26.3 trillion cubic feet in 2035, shale gas production grows to 12.2 trillion cubic feet in 2035, when it makes up 47 percent of total U.S. production—up considerably from the 16-percent share in 2009. Finally, EIA says U.S. reliance on imported liquid fuels will fall due to increased domestic production—including biofuels—and greater fuel efficiency. Although U.S. consumption of liquid fuels continues to grow through 2035, reliance on petroleum imports as a share of total liquids consumption decreases. Total U.S. consumption of liquid fuels, including both fossil fuels and biofuels, rises from about 18.8 million barrels per day in 2009 to 21.9 million barrels per day in 2035. The import share, which reached 60% in 2005 and 2006 before falling to 51% in 2009, falls to 42% in 2035.
Ethanol Costs More Due to Subsidies – The Energy Policy Research Foundation has released a new study that says ethanol is more expensive than gasoline. It says ethanol has seen its feedstock costs more than double over the past 10 months, an increase considerably greater than the rise in crude prices over the same period. It also finds that the $6 billion worth of subsidies the ethanol industry gets, and the renewable fuel standard, are costly and ineffective. I'm certain my friends in the ethanol industry feel differently about the study, so I expect I'll hear from them and report their response next week.
THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:
Public Citizen to Host NRC Chair – Public Citizen will host a forum on nuclear power with NRC Chair Gregory Jaczko at 12:30 p.m. Jaczko will talk about the NRC’s response to the continuing crisis in Japan and safety concerns about America’s fleet of aging nuclear plants. The discussion, moderated by Public Citizen President Robert Weissman.
Senate Energy to Look at Clean Energy Agency, Grid Security – The Senate Energy committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on the Clean Energy Deployment Administration as contained in Title I, Subtitle A of the American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009 (S. 1462 of the 111th Congress). A summary description of that legislative proposal can be found starting on page six of this Senate report. Witnesses will include DOE's Jonathan Silver, our friend Dan Reicher of Stanford's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Kassia Yanosek of Tana Energy Capital and Chamber 21st Century Energy Institute expert Christopher Guith. Then on Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the committee will meet to receive testimony on a joint staff Discussion Draft pertaining to cyber security of the bulk-power system and electric infrastructure and for other purposes. Joseph McClelland, director of FERC's Office of Electric Reliability will testify among others.
JHU Forum to Focus on Gas Policies in US, EU – The Johns Hopkins University's SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations will host a forum tomorrow in its Nitze Building's Kenney Auditorium focused on Transatlantic natural gas supply issues. The forum will look at energy politics, market transformation and new technologies. Featured speakers at this daylong conference hosted by the SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations include Jonathan Elkind, principal deputy assistant secretary of Energy for Policy and International Energy, who will deliver the morning keynote address and Gordon Bajnai, former prime minister of Hungary, who will deliver the luncheon keynote address.
Summit to Look at Climate, Renewables – The Earth Day Network; the Carbon War Room; and the American Council on Renewable Energy will hold a two-day summit starting tomorrow at the Washington Nationals Stadium on creating climate wealth. Highlights for tomorrow will include, an opening address from Jigar Shah, CEO of the Carbon War Room, a working session entitled, categorize and prioritize solutions and a gala with special guests, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson; former Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M.; Los Angeles, California Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; actress and activist Bo Derek; and actors John Corbett and Ed Begley Jr. The gala will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Highlights for Wednesday include remarks on "Carbon War Room Shipping Operations: Insight from the Field" from Peter Boyd, COO of the Carbon War Room and remarks from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus at noon.
BLM Begins Re-Scoping on Oil Shale Issues – The Bureau of Land Management continues its public hearings on its new plan for Western shale oil development. Last week, BLM held three meetings in Utah and one in Rock Springs, Wyoming. This week, BLM will host meetings in Rifle, Colorado tomorrow at Colorado Mountain College, Wednesday in Denver at the Denver West Marriott and Thursday in Cheyenne, Wyoming. In 2008, the BLM published a Final PEIS that, in addition to expanding the acreage potentially available for commercial tar-sands leasing, amended 8 resource management plans (RMPs) in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming to make approximately 1.9 million acres of public lands potentially available for commercial oil shale development and 431,224 acres for tar sands leasing and development. With commercial development of oil shale at least several years away, the new planning process will allow the BLM to take a fresh look at what public lands are best suited for oil shale and tar sands development. Final land-use decisions will be made in light of any new information about potential resource needs and impacts, and technological innovations.
House Ag, Resources Angel on Pesticide Rules – The House Natural Resources and Agriculture panels hold a joint hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to look at EPA's pesticide regulations. Republicans and many ag groups call the rules redundant and overly burdensome. USDA chief economist Joseph Glauber will testify, as will EPA pesticide program director Steven Bradbury and Fish and Wildlife Service acting head Rowan Gould. Expect enviro groups to push back aggressively. Other witnesses include National Marine Fisheries Service Administrator Eric Schwab, Washington Department of Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse, former EPA Office of Pesticide Programs Director Debra Edwards, Washington State Horticultural Association Board President West Mathison, Angela Beehler of the American Mosquito Control Association, Oregon Farm Bureau President Barry Bushue and Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman executive director Zeke Grader.
GW Forum to Look at Climate, Oil – The George Washington University Department of Economics and the Institute for International Economic Policy, will sponsor a forum tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. in GW's Monroe Hall to discuss overcoming oil addiction to prevent climate change. GW Professor of International Affairs and Economics Steve Suranovic will discuss this topic.
Senate Commerce to Look at Natural Disaster Issues – The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. examining how prepared the United States is to cope with a range of natural disasters. Several Southern states are reeling from last week's string of tornadoes. Witnesses will include American Meteorological Society fellow William Hooke, ABC7/WJLA-TV senior meteorologist Bob Ryan, Stanford University Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Anne Kiremidjian and Clint Dawson, professor in the University of Texas at Austin's Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences.
GEA To Hold Technology Forum – The Geothermal Energy Association will hold a one-day geothermal energy technology and international development forum” in Washington, DC on Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The program will showcase geothermal projects, trends, and governmental policies in the U.S. and around the world. Topics covered will include; the geothermal market today, projects under development in the U.S. and internationally, outlook for the future of the geothermal market , jobs and money, new technologies, and federal agency support at home and abroad. There will also be a small exhibition area featuring leading companies in the geothermal energy industry. Exhibitors to date include; Emabond Solutions, Bowman Geothermal Consulting, Atlas Copco Mafi-Trench Company, LLC, Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO), U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA). The event has been developed in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Commerce and is open to the geothermal industry. Over two-hundred industry leaders, foreign diplomats, financiers and government officials are expected to participate.
GW Forum Looks at Japanese Earthquake – The George Washington University will host a panel discussion tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. in GW's Jack Morton Auditorium focused on the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and the resulting situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Sponsored by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, and the Nuclear Policy Talks. The panel discussion is composed of internationally recognized and respected experts that will present technical aspects of the situation at the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant. The panelists will each give a 15-20 min presentation; the panel discussion will conclude with a 20-30min Q&A session with the audience. David Dolling, Dean of GW's School of Engineering and Applied Science will give opening remarks. Other speakers will include GW Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Majid Manzari who will discuss the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, Containment issues with Margaret Harding of 4Factor Consulting, the sequence of events from Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization GM Hidehiko Yamachika and GW Medical Center Rebecca Bittner who will look at the effects of radiation on human health.
House Resources to Discuss Hydro Stakeholder Issues – The House Natural Resources committee's Subcommittee on Water and Power will hold an oversight hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 1324 Longworth to look at protecting Federal hydropower investments in the West. The committee will here from different stakeholders on the issue. Witnesses include Scott Corwin, executive director, Public Power Council, Portland, Ore.; Andrew Fahlund, senior vice president of conservation, American Rivers, Washington, D.C.; Roman Gillen, president of the board of directors, Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Salem, Ore.; Bruce Measure (or designee), chairman, Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Portland, Ore.; Chris Morgan, Colorado REA president and board president of Gunnison County Electric Association, Gunnison, Colo.; Vic Simmons, general manager, Rushmore Electric Cooperative, Rapid City, S.D.; and Grant Ward, water and power consultant, Maricopa-Stansfield Irrigation District, Maricopa, Ariz.
Forum to Look at Nuclear Issues – Ukrainian National Information Service will hold a conference Wednesday to discuss 25 Years of Tragedy in Chernobyl and the continuing consequences of the nuclear disaster. The conference will have two segments, one in the Russell Caucus Room starting at 9:00 a.m. and one in 210 Cannon at 11:00. The formal proceedings begin with various dignitaries and remarks, followed by a second roundtable panel discussion component. All panel discussions will end with a Q&A session. Speakers will include Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States Oleksandr Motsyk, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to the United States Zygimantas Pavilionis, Ambassador of Japan to the United States of America Ichiro Fujisaki, Representative Marcy Kaptur (Congressional Ukrainian Caucus co-chair), Acting Assistant Secretary of State Vann H. Van Diepen and Ukraine Parliament member Volodymyr Skubenko. A Keynote Address will be delivered by Viktor Baloha, Minister of Emergency Situations in Ukraine.
NRC Focus of House Energy Hearing – The House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a joint hearing Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. with the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy on the role of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in America's energy future. NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko and Commissioners Kristine Svinicki, William Magwood and William Ostendorff are expected to testify.
Holdren to Go to House Approps Panel – The House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies will hold a budget hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in H-309 Capitol on the Office of Science & Technology Policy. The witness will be Dr. John P. Holdren, Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Series to Look ay Nuclear Impacts – The Global Green USA Security and Sustainability Program is launching a Seminar Series titled “Energy Futures: Nuclear Power, Global Warming, and Nonproliferation.” The first will be on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. to discuss the economic of nuclear power. As lobbying by the nuclear industry increases in the United States and Washington DC and the press posits a “nuclear renaissance” for commercial nuclear power, it is important that the environmental, economic, and security aspects of nuclear power be closely and objectively examined and more fully understood. The upcoming roundtables will focus on the nuclear fuel cycle from uranium mining, to uranium enrichment and nuclear fuel production, and finally spent fuel storage and the reprocessing of fuel rods. In addition, we will explore the economics and terrorist risks of nuclear power. Throughout these topics, we will consider the implications for global warming and for nuclear proliferation.
Forum to Focus on Watergy Program – Alliance to Save Energy will hold a forum on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. to look at water treatment efficiencies. In the U.S., the energy required to extract, treat, and convey water accounts for an estimated 3% of the country’s total energy consumption, accounting for approximately 290 million metric tons of carbon emissions per year. In some municipalities, drinking water and wastewater treatment can account for up to 35 percent of annual energy use. Some studies have estimated that the total U.S. savings potential in the water utility sector can be as much as 31 billion kWh annually. As water becomes scarcer due to drought conditions in some parts of the United States and as electric power rates become more variable, improving efficiency in water and energy use will become a critical tool for utility managers and end use customers across a variety of economic sectors. This EE Noon seminar will provide valuable insights into the potential for energy and water savings by addressing the nexus between water and energy use. This can have significant implications for water and wastewater utilities, as well as industrial, commercial and residential end users. Drawing from the Alliance to Save Energy’s Watergy program, which was successfully implemented in more than 100 cities and 16 developing countries and has now been launched domestically, participants can learn how pursuing water and energy efficiency opportunities can achieve significant energy and water savings in the U.S. The Watergy approach can help water/wastewater utilities assess their energy use and provide insight into performing long-needed investments in energy efficiency. Speakers will be Jonathan Gledhill, President of Policy Navigation Group, and Lee Ferrell, Vice Chairman of ASE's Energy Management Committee.
Chu, Salazar, Jackson to Hold Tribal Summit – On Wednesday and Thursday beginning at 9:00 a.m., the Energy Department will hold a tribal summit with American Indian and Alaska Native leaders Crystal City Gateway Marriott. Highlights for Thursday include remarks from Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, White House Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, Heather Zichal, and White House Special Adviser on Native American Affairs, Kimberly Teehee.
ABC7's Ryan, Lindzen to Discuss Cato Climate Book – The Cato Institute will host a forum on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. to discuss the newly published book Climate Coup. Despite consistent evidence that climate change does not portend an apocalyptic future, global-warming alarmism is invading nearly every aspect of our lives. The Book is an antidote to this, confronting the exaggerations, opportunism, and myths about global warming that are altering the shapes of our lives and deeply impacting decisions about health, education, law, national defense, international development, trade, and academic publishing. Speakers for the event include well-known MIT skeptic Richard Lindzen and popular DC meteorologist Bob Ryan, a past president of the American Meteorological Society.
House Transportation Panels to Tackle Mountaintop Mining Policies – This week on Wednesday and Thursday the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is scheduled to begin a series of hearings looking at mountaintop mining policies and other EPA rules that are risking on Appalachian Jobs.
AAAS to Hold Annual Science, Tech Policy Forum – The American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will hold its 36th Annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy on Thursday and Friday at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. The annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy is the conference for people interested in public policy issues facing the science, engineering, and higher education communities. Since 1976, it has been the place where insiders go to learn what is happening and what is likely to happen in the coming year on the federal budget and the growing number of policy issues that affect researchers and their institutions.
Ryan to Speak at ACCF Forum – The American Council for Capitol Formation (ACCF) will host a special ACCF Capital Formation Forum on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. with Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee, will speak at the Phoenix Park Hotel. Chairman Ryan will share his perspective on policy and politics, including upcoming negotiations on the 2012 budget and the debate on raising the nation's debt ceiling.
Forum to Look at Canadian Oil to China – The Canada Institute and the Wilson Center's China Environment Forum will hold a program on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. exploring the prospects for new pipelines that would enable Canada to export large quantities of its oil to the Asian market. Also discussed will be completing these projects, regulatory challenges, environmental concerns, and examination of what this might mean for North American energy security. In addition, the program will assess China’s need and desire to import heavy crude from Canada. Panelists for the event include Nathan Lemphers, Oilsands policy analyst, Pembina Institute; Robert Johnston, director of global energy and natural resources, Eurasia Group; Norm Rinne, senior director, business development, Kinder Morgan Canada; and Kang Wu, Senior Fellow, East-West Center.
House Energy to Look at Alt Vehicles – The House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the American Energy Initiative's focus on the challenges and opportunities for alternative transportation fuels and vehicles.
Holdren to Headline Memorial Lecture for Science Legend – On Thursday, George Washington University, the Center for International Science and Technology Policy and the University of Ottawa will host John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, to give the annual Alan Bromley Memorial Lecture on science and technology policy challenges and opportunities in the Obama Administration. Since 2005 the University of Ottawa in cooperation with GWU has carried the annual Lecture in memory of Dr. D. Allan Bromley, a native of Westmeath, Ontario, who played a critical role in Science and Technology Policy in the United States in both the Regan and Bush Administrations. The memorial lectures offer an opportunity for graduate students focused on science and technology policy to meet with senior science and policy advisers in United States and Canada. One of the world's leading nuclear physicists, D. Allan Bromley, died on February 11, 2005. He was born in Westmeath, Ontario in 1926. Dr. Bromley was the first person to hold the Cabinet-level rank of Assistant to the President for Science and Technology from 1989 to 1993 during the first Bush administration. Prior to this Dr. Bromley sat on former President Reagan's White House Science Council. Dr. Bromley was a former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of the National Medal of Science, the highest scientific distinction in the United States. MIT's William Bonvillian will offer introductory remarks.
President to Return to Hybrid Plant in Indiana – After it was delayed last month by other events, the President is scheduled return to Indianapolis on Friday to tour a hybrid car parts manufacturer and speak on his plan to cut oil imports through electric and alternative-fuel vehicles, renewable energy and efficiency.
House Oversight Field Hearing to Look at HF in Natgas Drilling – The House Oversight and Reform Committee heads to Bakersfield, Calif., for a Noon hearing on hydraulic fracturing's role in addressing gas supplies in California.
JHU Forum to Talk Austria Energy Policy – The Johns Hopkins University's Energy, Resources and Environment Program will host a forum on Thursday at 12:45 p.m. in its Rome Building Auditorium featuring Guenter Liebel, deputy minister for Environment at the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management. Liebel will discuss "Energy and Climate Policy in Austria."
THE WEEKS AHEAD:
MD Gov to Address Green Building Summit – The US Green Building Council will hold its annual Government Summit 2011 on May 10-11 in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. There will be many panels and speakers on energy efficient buildings and new green technologies. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley will be a featured Keynote Speaker among many others.
Wilson Forum to Look at Africa, Asia Climate Lessons – Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum at its Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center office on Tuesday, May 10th at 3:00 p.m. to focus on connections between climate and stability, drawing lessons from Asia and Africa. Speakers will include Jeffrey Stark, Director of Research and Studies, Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability and Janani Vivekananda, Senior Climate Policy Officer, Peacebuilding Program, International Alert
House Resources to Look at Project Siting Woes – On May 11th, the House Resources Committee will hold a hearing that will examine policies and actions, such as permitting delays, that have blocked or hindered development of renewable energy sources. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has documented energy projects around the country, including renewable energy ones in its “Project No Project” initiative that have been stalled because of permitting and regulations.
WM Expert on Panel at Wilson Forum on Waste Issues – Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum at its Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center office on Wednesday, May 11th at Noon looking at emissions, ecology, and the economy of waste management from the U.S. and European perspectives. Ecological waste management has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Germany has already proven that significant energy and costs can be saved by replacing the practice of landfilling untreated municipal waste with energy efficient treatment techniques and by separating the collection and use of recyclable materials. Speakers include: Christian Egenhofer of the Centre for European Policy (Brussels), Jochen Flasbarth of the Federal Environment Agency (Germany), EPA's Suzanne Rudzinski, Lori Scozzafava of Solid Waste Association of North America and Waste Management's Karen Stiles. This event is part of the "Transatlantic Climate Bridge", an initiative launched by the German government in 2008 to foster transatlantic cooperation and partnerships between Germany and the U.S. in the climate and energy area at the local, state and federal level.
WCEE to Host Nuclear Future Event – The Women's Council on Energy and the Environment and the Women in Nuclear (WIN) will hold a brown-bag luncheon on May 12th at Noon at Quinn Gillespie looking at possible future scenarios for nuclear power in the United States and around the world in the wake of the nuclear accident in Japan. This brown-bag luncheon is the first meeting of a 3-part series on the future of nuclear power. Presenters include Senate Environment Committee staffer Annie Caputo, NEI's Leslie Kass and Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
LaHood, Donovan Headline Brookings Forum on Transit – Brookings will host a forum on Thursday morning, May 12th at its Falk Auditorium to introduce the report and an accompanying new interactive tool, based on Brookings’ extensive analysis of transit routes and schedules, demographic data and employment information from the nation's 100 largest metro regions. The report reveals how well transit in each of these metro areas serves cities and suburbs and lower- and higher-income neighborhoods, as well as how effective transit is in helping workers in these communities reach jobs within their regions. Against the backdrop of rising gas prices, growing suburban poverty, continued sprawl and uneven transit availability in cities and suburbs, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings will release a first-of-its-kind analysis that shows how transit systems link workers to jobs in metropolitan America. The analysis informs critical policy and investment decisions at a time of scarce public and private resources. Vice President and Director of Metropolitan Policy Bruce Katz will moderate a dialogue with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Puentes will give an overview of the study, which will be followed by a panel of policymakers and practitioners to discuss the implications of its findings, which will feature The Washington Post's Robert Thomson, also known as "Dr. Gridlock". Vice President and Director of Metropolitan Policy Bruce Katz will moderate a dialogue on federal responses with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Maryland to Host Energy Forum – Governor Martin O'Malley will hold a discussion on the future of energy in Maryland for key energy stakeholders on Friday May 13th at 9:30 a.m. at the Maryland State Fair Grounds in Timonium. The forum will have a special focus on energy efficiency, new power generation, including renewables, greenhouse gas emissions and energy-related jobs and the economy. The event will precede the Maryland Solar & Wind Expo 2011. Our friends at the Atlantic Wind Connection, AC Wind and the wind developers in western Maryland will all play a role.
NJ to Host Nuclear Discussion – Two months following the Japanese nuclear crisis, National Journal will convene a panel of experts on May 17th at 8:30 at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel to discuss the latest on the tragedy. The discussion will focus on public health and economic implications of the disaster and what it means for U.S. consumers and businesses. Speakers will include Robert Alvarez of the Institute for Public Studies, Caroline Smith DeWaal of the Center for Science and the Public Interest, Brian Markwalter of the Consumer Electronics Assn and Marianne Rowden of the American Assn of Exporters and Importers.
NEI's Peterson to Headline Breakfast Forum – ICF International will hold another breakfast on Thursday, May 19th at 8:00 a.m. as part of its Energy and Environment Series that will address nuclear power issues featuring NEI's Scott Peterson. Nuclear power was going strong worldwide, but in the wake of Fukushima, the situation is somewhat precarious. Global responses to the situation have varied; Germany has shut down a number of reactors, China has slowed its nuclear program, while Russia has redoubled its commitment. Peterson will address what are the prospects here in the U.S., the long term prognosis for new reactors for companies are building four reactors in Georgia and South Carolina, new small modular designs, how existing plants be affected with regard to safety and reactor fuel storage and questions regarding the President’s commission on nuclear fuel disposal (due to report this fall).
ELI to Host NatGas Fracturing Forum – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum on May 19th to discuss natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing issues. Natural gas is at the forefront of the debate about the energy future of the U.S. It is a topic of repeated calls for America’s energy independence, and it is touted as a cleaner fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Despite these benefits, the public has become increasingly concerned about the detrimental effects of natural gas drilling on local communities and the environment. This panel discussion will address current legislative and policy developments occurring at federal and state levels, potential changes to the regulatory framework, and the overall implications for balancing energy needs with environmental protection in the future. Speaker will include NRDC's Amy Mall, Barbara Klieforth of Senator Robert P. Casey's office, and ANGA's Peter Robertson.
Deloitte to Hold Energy Conference – Deloitte will host its 2011 Energy Conference in Washington, D.C. on May 19-20 to focus on entering a new era for energy, the environment and prosperity. The forum together energy executives, investors and regulators from around the globe for an in-depth analysis of key developments and challenges facing today's global and domestic energy markets at its annual Energy Conference. Speakers come from a cross-section of the world's energy industry, and the conference topics are of keen interest to executives, boards of directors, investors and regulators from energy and other industries significantly affected by energy developments and policy. Speakers will include former FERC commissioners Joe Kelliher and Suedeen G. Kelly, as well as Duke Power CEO Jim Rogers. Our friends Christine Tezak of RW Baird and Robbie Diamond of Securing America’s Future Energy and the Electrification Coalition will also be speaking.
WINDPOWER 2011 Set for Anaheim – WINDPOWER 2011 Conference & Exhibition is set for Anaheim, CA on May 22-25 in the Convention Center. Speakers will include Ted Turner, Jay Leno and many more. Stay tuned for more information as this gets closer.
EPA to Hold Boiler MACT Hearings on Reconsideration – EPA will hold three public hearings to be held for its proposed rule to address National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal and Oil-fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units and Standards of Performance for Fossil-Fuel-Fired Electric Utility, Industrial-Commercial-Institutional, and Small Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Steam Generating Units. The public hearings will be held on May 24th in Philadelphia and Chicago and May 26th in Atlanta. The Chicago, IL, hearing will be held at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro in Ballroom D. The Philadelphia, PA, hearing will be held at the Westin Philadelphia in the Georgian Room. The May 26, hearing will be held in the EPA Region IV offices at the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center (AFC) in Atlanta, GA. The three public hearings will convene at 9:00 a.m. and continue until 8:00 p.m. (local time).
SNL to Host Power Policy Forum – The SNL Power Policy Forum will be held on June 7th at New York's Union League Club. It will bring together panels of Washington insiders to New York to clarify and opine on Federal action in the energy sector and its impact on power companies and their investors. Key topics include the impact of primacy decisions and cost allocation on the expansion of America's transmission infrastructure; Dodd-Frank, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and energy trading; the effect on utilities and the energy chain of proposed EPA revisions to the Clean Air Act; and the congressional legislative agenda under the current political regime. Speakers will include me and our friends Kevin Book of ClearView Energy Partners, Jim Lucier of Capital Alpha Partners and Christine Tezak of R.W. Baird, as well as Senate Energy Republican Staff Director McKie Campbell, PJM's Craig Glazer and FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller and others.
Esty Headlines Climate Finance Event – Former Yale Climate expert Dan Esty will headline the 2011 Climate Finance North America Forum in New York On June 14th and 15th. California’s plans to introduce a state-wide carbon trading program next year will have economic as well as environmental implications. This conference will examine the likely cost of carbon in this new cap-and-trade regime, attempt to identify the likely winners and losers, and consider the impact on other states and nations. The panel of expert speakers will also review developments in the voluntary carbon markets, international funding of climate action and new sources of finance such as climate bonds. Panelists and speakers from industry and government will include former State Deputy Secretary for Climate Change and Energy for Governor Schwarzenegger Anthony Brunello and Keynote speaker Daniel Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.
Renewable Expo Set – The 14th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency EXPO + Forum is set for Thursday, June 16th, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Cannon Caucus Room in the House of Representatives. More on this as it gets closer.
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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