May 9 Energy Update: Running for Gasoline Roses
The first weekend in May can really only mean two things: Mint Juleps (click there for a great recipe) and the Kentucky Derby. I became an expert on the "most exciting two minutes in sports" when I was press secretary to Rep. Hal Rogers. In that job, not only do you have to handle the press duties for Kentucky's 5th and Chairman Rogers Approps activities, but most importantly, you are required to prepare the Kentucky Derby Pool for the House Republican Chowder and Marching Group. Since that time, I have developed a bit of an expertise. Drawing on all my skills, my pick this year was Nehro. Unfortunately, I was foiled by the 20-1 long shot Animal Kingdom, picked by my 8-year old because she likes the name. My picks have been a top three finisher five years running though. Now we look for the next race in Baltimore and hopes for a potential Triple Crown winner (trivia question 1: Who was the last TC winner and when?)
Back to the action…After dipping its toe into drilling/production legislation last week, Congress dives in again, this time with a full-fledge cannonball. And sure enough, oil prices plunged last week. (I knew some politician would take credit: trivia question 2: Who was it?) Had to be the Congressional action, right? We'll see as they return to the issue Wednesday with votes on part II (time-limiting permit delays at Interior) and III (reversing 5-year Plan delays and imposing a production goal). It is also expected the Senate will attempt to take up action on limiting the tax incentives/subsidies for major oil companies. Senate Finance launches with major oil company execs on Thursday. The Whitfield House Energy panel will also take up production issues on Friday focusing on delays in Alaska caused by EPA (BG's Holmstead and Alonso are topic experts).
Also, doing their best impression of dueling banjos today while they still can, oil companies, businesses (large and small) and tax reform groups met at the Press Club this morning luncheon to say why against ending oil incentives is a bad idea. Meanwhile, enviros held a call at the same time urging Obama to focus his energy message on ratcheting up auto-fuel standards. (Trivia question 3: who composed Dueling Banjos and what movie was it famously used in?)
After House Resources finishes on the floor, they will return to the hearing room for a Friday (originally planned for Wednesday) hearing on 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. (Trivia Question 4: Can you name the 19-turbine wind project that has been underdevelopment since 2001?)
Finally, NCAA men's and women's Lacrosse brackets are out…yet I haven't received any notes about pools. (trivia question 5: Can you name the coach of the #6 seeded Loyola U. Lady Greyhounds? Hint: She is regarded as the best women's lacrosse player of all time) The road to Baltimore starts now for horses on the track, as well as the lacrosse field.
If you can get all five questions right without Wiki or any other parts of the internets (satirical extra credit trivia question: invented by whom?), you might just win an energy update T-shirt… Our new marketing ploy. Call with questions.
C. (202) 997-5932
IN THE NEWS
Energy Taxes, Gas Prices Remain in Spotlight – There continues to be significant discussion surrounding gas prices and energy tax incentives/subsidies. There will be more votes in the House on increasing production, testimony in the Senate Finance Committee and perhaps action on the Senate Floor on tax issues, as well as more movement on oil prices. Here are a few things to keep in mind: 1) Even if Congress removed the incentives/subsidies, companies would still pass those 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, 4) production decreases due to the gulf spill moratoriums (actual/de facto) have definitely slowed domestic production causing a modest impact and finally, 5) gas prices are already likely to trend downward before the Memorial Day weekend and in futures contracts because of refinery capacity increases, a drop in the global oil price and the notion that the economic recovery is happening as fast as expected. While we are not out of the woods, most experts seem to think we may have hit the peak, with gasoline price guru Trilby Lundberg predicting an 8 to 12-cent drop in the works.
Helix Rolls Out Larger Stacking Cap – Helix Well Containment Group unveiled a second capping stack model, which promises to safely shut in flows of up to 15,000 psi at the annual Offshore Technology Conference in Houston last week. The capping stack is designed to handle extremely high pressure, deeper wells in the deepwaters of the Gulf of Mexico. This technology would be used in the unlikely event that a deepwater well’s blowout preventer fails to operate as designed. Importantly, the unique technical features of HWCG’s 15,000 psig intervention capping stack allow full access to the wellbore so an operator can repair the well or intervene in the mechanical condition of the well, in addition to allowing the capture and flow back of oil. Engineered by Trendsetter Engineering, Inc., the 156,000-pound capping stack features a full opening bore and dual rams. Trendsetter’s technical experts will continuously maintain the equipment at its facilities in North Houston, where it will remain on-call for immediate deployment. Like the 10,000 psi model that was unveiled in late February -- and led to the first new deepwater well permit approval a day later -- the new capping stack can be at the site of a blowout offshore in less than 48 hours.
Energy to Investigate Hydraulic Fracturing – The Energy Department launched a review of hydraulic fracturing last week when Energy Secretary Chu named a seven-member subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board. This makes Energy the third Cabinet agency to look into the controversial oil and gas drilling technique. The panel is to make recommendations within 90 days on any immediate steps that need to be taken to improve the safety and environmental impacts of fracturing. Already House Oversight Chairman Issa is complaining about the make up of the panel in a letter to Sect. Chu. Our friends at POLITICO Friday said Issa expressed concerns that members have close ties to environmental groups that would appear to indicate prejudices against hydraulic fracturing. I can see a little room for complaining but not that much looking at the panel. Yergin, Holditch, Zoback should fairly know the industry perspective. Most interesting will be the quandary some environmental leaders like Fred Krupp, Sue Tierney and Katie McGinty find themselves in. Nearly all have argued for natural gas as an important bridge fuel to reduce climate emissions.
Environmentalists to Sue in Every State Seeking Climate Action – In the face of a Supreme Court that seemed unlikely to agree, Oregon-based nonprofit Our Children’s Trust filed "common law" suits in every state and the District of Columbia to force government intervention on climate change. The group is trying to have the atmosphere declared a “public trust” deserving special protection. While it has been used to clean up polluted rivers and coastlines, legal experts questions the strategy, especially in the face of last week's SCOTUS arguments. State-level lawsuits were planned in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington. Most of the experts that we were working with on last week's case seem to think they'll have little luck with that if the court rules against using common law suits. We have a bunch of experts should you need them.
First Ever GHG Permit Protested by Enviros – Speaking of suing, the Sierra Club and the Louisiana Environmental Action Network have filed a legal challenge against the country’s first greenhouse gas (GHG) permit, issued in Louisiana in January. The environmental groups’ petition urges EPA to object to the permit for Nucor Corp’s direct reduced iron (DRI) plant, issued by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ). The groups argue that the permit should have also included a Nucor pig iron plant, raising the total emissions being regulated. It reminds me that with our friends in the environmental Community, no good deed ever goes unpunished.
UN Report Says Renewable Can Be Significant Player with Right Policies – A new report from the United Nations says that close to 80% of the world’s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies. The findings, from over 120 researchers working with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), also indicate that the rising penetration of renewable energies could lead to cumulative greenhouse gas savings equivalent to 220 to 560 Gigatons of carbon dioxide between 2010 and 2050. The upper end of the scenarios assessed, representing a cut of around a third in greenhouse gas emissions from business-as-usual projections, could assist in keeping concentrations of greenhouse gases at 450 parts per million. Sounds good on paper, but actually doing it is usually harder. Again, I refer to the difficulty the US has had trying to build many renewable projects in places that have been delayed by litigation, regulation and financial woes.
THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:
Forum to Look at Water, Climate – The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS) will host a forum today at 2:00 p.m. in 1324 Longworth to discuss the vulnerability of U.S. water resources to climate change. The event will focus on the Mississippi River floods to growing water shortages in the West. The speaker will be Peter Gleick, Ph.D., Co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute. He is also a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and an AAAS Fellow. This event is part of the AMS Climate Briefing Series (www.ametsoc.org/cb), which is made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Paleoclimate Program.
Forum to Look at Arctic Issues – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will host a forum on U.S. policy interests in the Arctic today at 4:30 p.m. featuring U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg. Admiral Thad Allen, former Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, will also provide remarks. Next week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will travel to Nuuk, Greenland, to co-lead the U.S. delegation to the Arctic Council Ministerial. Deputy Secretary Steinberg will join us to preview the ministerial meeting and provide an update on the Obama administration's Arctic policy objectives. Immediately following, Admiral Thad Allen will offer his comments and reflections on U.S. Arctic policy. This event is the culmination of a four month collaborative initiative of the World Wildlife Fund and CSIS to examine key issues and policy recommendations in the lead-up to the Nuuk Ministerial.
JHU Forum to Look at Austria Climate, Energy Policy – Johns Hopkins University's Energy, Resources and Environment Program will host a forum tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. in its Rome Building Auditorium on Austria and its energy and climate policy featuring Guenter Liebel, deputy minister for Environment at the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management.
Forum to Look at Renewable Development in Americas – The Americas Society, Council of the Americas and Inter-American Development Bank will host a discussion at its Enrique Iglesias Conference Center, Room CR-300 at 3:00 p.m. focused on the positive investment frameworks for renewable energy in the Americas. Speakers will review the outlook for renewable energy in Latin America and the Caribbean, highlight examples of countries that are taking steps to encourage investment in renewable energy sources, discuss challenges to investment in the sector, and make recommendations for attracting greater investment in renewable energy in the region. IABD President Luis Alberto Moreno will offer opening remarks and speakers include IADB Energy, Infrastructure and Environment Department chief Leandro Alves, GE International Energy Managing Director Tim Richards and AES Corporation's Carla Tully.
MD Gov to Address Green Building Summit – The US Green Building Council will hold its annual Government Summit 2011 tomorrow and Wednesday 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, as will CEQ's Nancy Sutley and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus among many others.
Wilson Forums to Look at Africa/Asia Climate Lessons, India Reduction Goals – Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum at its Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center office tomorrow 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. Then at 4:00 p.m. the Wilson Center will hold a discussion with Wilson Center FICCI Scholar Ajay Shankar focused on India's announced intention to lower carbon emissions by 20-25% from 2005 levels by 2020. Shankar had a long career in India’s civil service included the post of joint secretary/additional secretary in the Ministry of Power.
House Science to Tackle HF, NatGas Drilling – The House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to focus on hydraulic fracturing in natural gas drilling. Witnesses will include EPA's Office of Research and Development Administrator Paul Anastas, Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones, Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert Summers, Michigan State Geologist at DEQ and Ground Water Protection Council Board Member Harold Fitch, Apache's Cal Cooper, and Michael Economides of the University of Houston. As you know, natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing has been a hot topic lately and our friend and expert Matt Armstrong (202-828-1711) can give you a preview.
Mining Issues on House Transportation Agenda for Second Straight Week – House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee returns to EPA's new restrictions on mountaintop removal coal mining in a hearing on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. for the second week in a row. Witnesses will include EPA water office head Nancy Stoner. She should expect t get an earful from not only the majority, but also former House Resources Chair when Dems were in charge: Nick Rahall. Other witnesses will include Reed Hopper of the Pacific Legal Foundation, Michael Carey of the Ohio Coal Association and Steve Roberts of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
Green BRT to Look at Energy – The Green Business Roundtable and the Wharton Club of DC will host a discussion on the future of energy with John Mizroch Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in the National Press Club's McClendon Room. With rapidly changing markets for fossil fuels; the likelihood of long-term, low-cost natural gas supplies; and changes in renewable and carbon markets, it's a dynamic time to be in energy. John F. Mizroch specializes in providing regulatory counsel and legislative insight to clients in the areas of energy and environmental technology at the firm of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati. John served as Acting Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which manages the federal government's principal investments in clean technology and energy transformation.
Murkowski, Landrieu Headline Women Energy Leadership Summit – The 2011 National Women’s Leadership Summit will be held in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday in the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel. the fourth National Women’s Leadership Summit (NWLS) as organized by the Louisiana Center for Women and Government. The summit was established to strengthen women’s visibility and credibility as leaders, as well as to broaden their influence in public policy by facilitating a dialogue of women’s perspectives on policy important to all citizens. This year the event will focus on energy and environmental issues, convening leading women from across the nation that represent the traditional energy, green energy, and environmental sectors. This conference is the culmination of the three previous summits, which focused on developing a pragmatic approach to balancing our energy needs with economic and environmental concerns. As such, it will craft a final Energy and Environmental Compact. The Compact will lay the foundation for developing best practices, throughout all sectors, for Federal, state and local governments. Co-chairs include Mary Landrieu and Lisa Murkowski. Here's the agenda.
Senate Energy to Look at Upstream Oil/Gas Tech, CCS – The Senate Energy Committee will hear testimony tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. on new developments in upstream oil and gas technologies. Witnesses will include Dr. Thomas Davis of the Colorado School of Mines (Go Ore Diggers), Schlumberger's Andy Hendricks, engineer Steve Melzer, Lois Epstein of The Wilderness Society and several others. On Thursday, they will receive testimony on carbon capture and sequestration legislation, including S. 699 and S. 757. Witnesses will be National Energy Technology Laboratory's Scott Klara, EDF's Matt Watson, Illinois State Geological Survey assistant director Sallie Greenberg and Chiara Trabucchi, principal and chief financial officer, Industrial Economics.
Senate Environment to Address Diesel Issues – The Senate Environment Committee's panel on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing Thursday at 2:30 p.m. to highlight the impact the 2005 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) has had on reducing diesel emissions. Witnesses include our friend Allen Schaeffer of the Diesel Technology Forum, as well as Todd Parfitt of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, the Clean Air Task Force's Conrad Schneider, Robert O'Keefe of the Health Effects Institute and Robert Lanham of Williams Brothers Construction.
House Small Biz to Look at Enviro Reg Impacts – The House Small Business Committee's Investigations, Oversight and Regulations panel will hold a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. focused on the requirements of the Clean Air Act and the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act and its impacts on small business. Small business owners will testify that the agency has neglected to take into account the Regulatory Flexibility Act when promulgating regulations despite significant direct and indirect burdens experienced by small businesses. Witnesses will include Glenn Johnston, of Colorado-based chemical company Gevo Inc., as well as Citizens for Recycling First chair John Ward and several others.
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 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.
Senate Finance to Aim at Oil/Gas Tax Issues – The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss Chairman Baucus' recent plan to end some of the subsidies/incentives for the oil and gas industry. Witnesses will include executives from major oil companies. The focus of the hearing will likely be the Section 199 manufacturing deduction a proposed an excise tax on certain Gulf of Mexico leases and a tax credit for royalty payments to foreign governments.
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 Thursday 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.
Samuelsohn, Book Speak at EMA Spring Meeting – The Emission Marketing Assn will hold its 15th annual spring meeting at EEI on Thursday and Friday. Speakers will include Sen. Lamar Alexander, CFTC Commissioner Scott O’Malia, our friends Kevin Book, Darren Samuelsohn and many others. Also at the event, the groups will present William Reilly the 2011 John H. Dales Memorial Leadership in Environmental Markets Award.
LaHood, Donovan Headline Brookings Forum on Transit – Brookings will host a forum on Thursday morning in 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.
NRC Climate Report Released – The National Research Council will release the final report in the America's Climate Choices series on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. at the Marian Koshland Science Museum. The announcement will be followed by a conversation on America's climate choices featuring Climate Central's Heidi Cullen and several members of the report's authoring committee, including the Chair of the committee, Al Carnesale and Vice Chair Bill Chameides.
House Resources to Look at Project Siting Woes – On Wednesday, 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. BOEMRE Head Michael Bromwich and BLM director Bob Abbey will testify.
House Energy to Look at Offshore Drilling Production – The House Energy panel on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. to discuss offshore drilling. The hearing will focus on a draft bill from Rep. Cory Gardner that would tweak the Clean Air Act to spare oil and gas companies from procedural steps that have snagged Royal Dutch Shell PLC's plan to drill off Alaska's northern coast. For months, our friends Rich Alonso (202-828-5861) and Jeff Holmstead (202-828-5852) have detailed the EPA web that has ensnared "air" permits for drilling off Alaska coasts, through the Environmental Appeals Board process.
House Science Panels Look at Nuclear Risk Issues – Two House Science panels will hold a joint hearing on Friday at 10:00 a.m. to look at nuclear energy risk management. Brian Sheron of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's research office will testify as will former Bush DOE waste office head Lake Barrett, International Epidemiology Institute Scientific Director Dr. John Boice and Union of Concerned Scientists' expert Dave Lochbaum.
Forum to Look at Diesel Issues – Following Thursday's Senate Environment testimony, Diesel Technology Forum will host a briefing Friday at Noon in 122 Cannon to discuss diesel fuel demand and prices, the growing use of biodiesel, and the commercial availability of next generation, drop-in renewable diesel fuel. Over the last several years, petroleum diesel fuel has become increasingly cleaner as sulfur levels were reduced, similar to taking the lead out of gasoline. It is also becoming more expensive, making the switch to renewable fuels one which will provide both environmental and economic benefits.
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 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.
THE WEEKS AHEAD:
Reilly to Discuss Deepwater Drilling at RFF – Resources for the Future will host a Policy Leadership Forum on Monday , May 16th at Noon with Bill Reilly. Reilly recently served as co-Chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling and will discuss the path to safe offshore drilling one year after the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. Reilly also was EPA administrator from 1989 to 1993, president of the World Wildlife Fund (1985-1989) and head of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Earth Summit at Rio in 1992.
Wilson Forum to Look at China, Climate – Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum at its Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center office on Monday, May 16th at 10:00 a.m. to discuss trends in building energy efficiency in China and introduce successful U.S.-China partnerships that are helping China adopt greener building standards, benchmarks and policies. With an average GDP rate of 10 percent for the past thirty years, China’s economic boom has brought millions out of poverty and fueled a rate of urbanization that is faster than any country in human history. Between 1980 and 2008, China’s urbanization rate rose from 20 to 44.9 percent, with the current urban population reaching slightly over 600 million. Buildings consume one-quarter of the China’s total energy, and this fraction will expand considerably as the government pushes forward policies to urbanize another 350 million over the next twenty years. Today, China’s buildings consume more energy than the country’s three largest heavy industries-iron, steel, and cement-combined. Expanding the energy analysis to include the materials used to construct these buildings highlights how the energy and CO2 footprint of the China’s buildings sector is enormous and growing.
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.
Forum to Look at Climate Adaptation – George Washington University will host a two-day conference on Wednesday, May 18th and Thursday, May 19th to look at adapting to climate change. Climate models indicate that the impacts of climate change will be greatest in low-income and lower-middle income regions where most of the world's poor live. Most of the limited research and planning conducted to date has focused on adaptation in advanced countries. But as is generally acknowledged, conditions in low-income countries differ markedly, calling for research and policy tailored to these countries. Focusing on adaptation in low-income countries can yield a larger benefit in terms of social welfare: the poorest of the world have limited individual, and social, flexibility and capability to cope with climate change. The conference focuses primarily on understanding what households, firms, and local communities can be expected to do "autonomously" to adapt to climate change. In addition, the conference focuses on identifying and developing frameworks to improve policymaking toward adaptation given "deep uncertainty" about the types and magnitudes of climate-induced changes. Limited systematic and focused attention has been given to either issue until now. The event is sponsored by the Institute for International Economic Policy, Department of Economics, the Center for International Science and Technology Policy, the World Bank Development Research Group, and the UNDP Environment and Energy Group
Cantwell, Others Headline Brookings Energy Forum – The Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project will Hold a day-long forum on Wednesday at the Washington Court Hotel Ballroom looking at our energy future and new solutions to fuel economic growth and prosperity. The forum will look at strategies to give all energy sources equal footing in the marketplace and expand America’s opportunities to utilize cleaner, low-cost sources of energy. A panel of economic experts, moderated by Hamilton Project Director and Brookings Senior Fellow Michael Greenstone, will present three new proposals to improve the regulations governing energy consumption and environmental quality, create a new clean energy standard and improve the federal government’s efforts to deploy new energy technologies. The Hamilton Project will also release a new paper outlining principles to help level the playing field for all energy sources—moving away from a system that favors energy sources with low prices at the pump but higher costs to society through health impacts and our ongoing reliance on foreign oil. A second panel, moderated by former Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, will discuss the future of energy and climate change policy in the United States. Participants include Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers; Farallon Capital Management Founder Tom Steyer, co-chair of Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs; The Nature Conservancy President and CEO Mark Tercek; and former U.S. Senator John Warner, currently an adviser to the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate. Following each panel, the participants will take questions from the audience. The forum will conclude with keynote remarks by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell on "Bipartisan Solutions to America’s Energy Challenges."
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.
Wilson Forum to Look at Biofuels, Brazil – Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will hold a forum at its Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center office on Thursday, May 19th at 10:00 a.m. to look at sustainability for global biofuels through tools, models, policies, and frameworks. Woodrow Wilson Center Brazil Institute Director Paulo Sotero will moderate a Panel of experts including DOE's Alison Goss Eng and experts from Conservation International, including Christine Dragisic, Lisa Famolare and Manuel Oliva.
ASE Forum to Look at Fed Gov Energy Efficiency – The Alliance to Save Energy continues its EE Noon Seminars on Thursday, May 19th at Noon in its offices featuring an interactive panel moderated by Alliance President Kateri Callahan that will discuss the administration's evolving policies on energy efficiency and what agencies may anticipate in the future. Federal agencies are making great strides towards in response to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, OMB Sustainability Scorecard and Executive Orders. Jeff Eagan, Electronics Stewardship Coordinator for the Department of Energy, and Jerry Rutkowski, IT Efficiency expert from 1E will share how agencies are utilizing strategies like power management to tackle their energy problems and free budget to boot. EE Noon is a regular series of seminars designed to share best practices and information from industry leaders in key areas of energy efficiency, hosted by the Alliance to Save Energy.
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.
Newsmaker on Natural Gas Drilling – The National Press Club's Newsmaker's Committee will hold a Newsmaker at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday May 24th with anti-drilling activist Adrian Kuzminski and RFF expert Alan Krupnick. Kuzminski argues the cumulative evidence on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas shows it is bad public policy. The risks, harms, and costs of that practice so far outweigh its benefits that it should not be allowed to go forward. Krupnick, who runs RFF's energy center, has done research on the economic and environmental implications of newly accessible shale reserves. Interestingly, one of his findings is that, absent other policy like a carbon price or CES, more shale raises total U.S. carbon emissions because it will end up displacing high cost renewables and nuclear rather than coal.
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).
ELI to Host Utility MACT Debate Featuring Segal, Holmstead, Walke – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum on June 7th to present a debate among expert practitioners at the forefront of EPA Utility MACT Standards discussion, following their presentations in the May/June issue of The Environmental Forum. On March 16, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for coal- and oil-burning power plants under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act. EPA indicates that these standards are based on levels currently achieved by the best-performing existing power plants, and that bringing all power plants into compliance will level the playing field. Supporters point to EPA’s obligation under the Act to enact such standards, anticipated massive improvements to air quality and human health, and increased demand for jobs, materials and equipment that will benefit the economy. Others, however, question the legal basis for these standards. They predict that the rules will negatively impact almost half of U.S. electricity generation, since many coal-fired utilities will need to install new equipment or cease operations, leading to an energy crisis affecting millions of Americans in a down economy. The debate will feature Bracewell expert Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead who will square off with NRDC's John Walke and Michael Bradley of the Clean Energy Group.
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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