June 6 Energy Update: Summer MACT Heat, Hurricanes, Rock 'n Roll
Hard to believe that it is June already. Hurricane season is underway (see below) and the school year is ending. I guess time flies when the policy debates are hot… Speaking of hot, for all you rock'n rollers, here is some great summer concert news. The Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent, will be making the rounds this summer with my friend Derek St. Holmes, his long-time frontman, returning to the stage. I already have my tickets for the July 23 Rams Head Live show in Baltimore. Always a fixture in politics and Washington, Nugent is one of those figures that not only can rock, but also can rock the policy talk. The only thing better than hanging backstage with Nug at Rams Head would be going to the September 3rd show at the DTE Energy Music Center (formally Pine Knob for those of you like me who remember it from the 80s). Thank goodness a fine ERCC member is the sponsor now. It is appropriate as Uncle Tedly's show is always reliable, electric and high energy – especially with St. Holmes (long to be thought as the model for the rock character played by Michael McKean in the 1984 legendary spoof Spinal Tap).
In the alternating Congressional world, the House is back in their districts this week, while the Senate plays on in session. The Senate Energy Committee is most active with two legislative hearings (tomorrow/Thursday) that will focus on several more initiatives aimed at bolstering nuclear power, alternative fuels and NH Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's legislation to improve building efficiency. Unfortunately, still no sign of the more controversial drilling reform bills that many are interested in seeing move forward.
There also have been numerous reports about EPA considering delays for its GHG rule. As of Friday, there is nothing confirmed on this. However, we are hearing similar rumblings. My colleague Scott Segal did a short paper on why NSPS for GHGs is particularly bad for utilities and refineries. I also have a copy.
If you are looking for excitement on the Utility MACT issue (and who's not nowadays), tomorrow, the biggest MACT daddy battle of the year takes place when the Environmental Law Institute hosts a debate between CAA industry titans Scott Segal and Jeff Holmstead and CAA enviro heavy hitters John Walke of NRDC and Michael Bradley of the Clean Energy Group. While everybody really does like each other personally, this one will get heated – GUARANTEED.
Also tomorrow, I will join a few other smarter Washington Insiders (Kevin Book, Christy Tezak, Jim Lucier) in New York to discuss the energy agenda at an SNL (no I won't be saying 'Live From New York…') Financial event at the Union Club. A couple of blocks away at the Harvard Club around noon, the Manhattan Institute's Center for Energy Policy and the Environment will release a new report on the economic opportunities of shale energy development. Author Timothy Considine, a University of Wyoming professor, and former PA Gov. Ed Rendell will be featured in a discussion on Considine’s analysis, which reveals that the potential economic benefits of shale gas exploration greatly exceed the potential environmental impacts in New York State. You can get an embargoed copy by calling Matt Olsen at 646-839-3352 or emailing at [email protected].
Many of you know I recently hosted a Newsmaker with Jaws/Close Encounters actor and political/government activist Richard Dreyfuss. Dreyfuss, President and Founder of The Dreyfuss Initiative on civics, will announce major new program initiatives during a live broadcast on CBS Radio on Wednesday from 7:00-9:00 p.m. This live event will be hosted by Dom Giordano (1210 WPHT) at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Finally, this week, our friends at the Center for American Progress have launched a new Web Blog called "Think Progress Green." Check it out, but make sure you call us after…for your questions of course.
C. (202) 997-5932
IN THE NEWS
NHL To Make Stanley Cup Finals Water Neutral – For those of you that have driven Zambonis, you will know that enough water and the depth of your cut are essential to getting a great ice sheet. Now, the NHL said prior to the opening of the finals last week that 2011 Stanley Cup final will be the first water-neutral series in the history of the National Hockey League. The league has pledged to track the total water used at the two host venues, Vancouver’s Rogers Arena and Boston’s TD Garden, including everything from rinks to faucets. The NHL said it will replenish these through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s Water Restoration Certificates (WRCs), restoring at least one million gallons of water to Oregon’s Deschutes River. Water rights holders, individuals who have the legal right to remove river water for beneficial economic use, have diverted most of the Deschutes River as it passes by the city of Bend, Ore. These disruptions have degraded habitats, water quality and the overall health of the river.
Capitol Cup Support from Mass Reps. – Representatives Michael Capuano (MA-08) and Stephen Lynch (MA-09) celebrated the Boston Bruins participation in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final at the Samuel Adams statue in the Capitol Friday. Capuano and Lynch both represent the City of Boston and are founding members of the Congressional Hockey Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers who support youth hockey in America, particularly programs for disadvantaged and disabled youth who might not otherwise be able to afford to play hockey -- including support for the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone™ and NHL Street™ programs and USA Hockey’s youth hockey initiatives. Now if the Bruins can just get one tonight at home in TD Garden.
BOEMRE Hope to Improve Permit Process – BOEMRE said Friday that it is improving the oil and gas permit application process. The improvements include the publication of a permit application checklist to assist offshore oil and gas operators in submitting complete applications to drill; the implementation of completeness checks by BOEMRE personnel before significant staff time is spent reviewing the application; and the development of clear permit review priorities that will expedite agency reviews. Shallow Water Energy expert Jim Noe said industry takes heart in the fact that BOEMRE has finally acknowledged that fundamental parts of its permit review process need improvement. Noe: "The changes outlined today, while hardly innovative, are instrumental to making this process function more efficiently. We believe that BOEMRE would do well to take the additional initiative to prioritize permits for wells in the shallow waters of the Gulf, where there is a decreased risk of environmental impact given that industry has been working these formations since the Truman administration, using straightforward technology to drill mainly for natural gas." Noe says, on the whole, industry has learned the hard way that there is more to the permitting process than good intentions. He added the BOEMRE staff must have the full and unwavering support of the administration in its mission to facilitate the development of our country's natural resources. Noe: "Until that support is clear and unequivocal -- and explicit priority is given to processing permits for shallow-water wells -- our expectations that these steps will meaningfully improve the permitting process are limited at best."
CRS Reports Look at Energy Subsidies – Two Congressional Research Service reports this week look into the energy subsidies question. One report dated May 16 but not released publicly shows that subsidies for renewable energy (including electricity and fuels) constituted 76 percent of revenue loss in 2009, compared to just 13 percent revenue loss from fossil fuel subsidies, according to a copy of the report obtained by our friends at National Journal. On Sunday, another CRS report on energy tax policy was released, looking at the tax benefits and problems with energy subsidies. Our own great tax expert at B&G Mike Pate (202-828-5841) can discuss if you have questions.
NatGas In Better Shape with Hurricane Threats, Thanks to Shale – June 1st kicked off the hurricane season for this year and while NOAA predicts 12 to 18 named storms, questions always arise about oil and natural gas supplies. Our friend Ryan Dezember of WSJ/Dow Jones reports though that natural gas traders are much more comfortable this year do to the shale gas boom in the U.S. According to the most recent EIA data, the Gulf now only contributes 7.4% of U.S. natural gas production, compared to 16.5% in 2005. That number is also likely to go down as the full impacts of the Obama Administration's permit slow down takes its full effect. The slow down also means that traditional Gulf storm season will have a muted effect on gas markets. In the past, storm-related shutdowns would have had a "logarithmic" effect on natural gas prices, said Brian Habacivch of energy consultancy Fellon-McCord. "But now you're operating under a surplus and abundance, so that has really pulled the plug on hurricane-season fears."
Hurricane Season Underway – Speaking of hurricanes, legendary predictor Bill Gray is calling for 16 storms this season. His forecast issued last Tuesday expects another active six months for Atlantic Ocean storms with nine hurricanes forming and five of those becoming major storms with winds higher than 111 mph, Category 3 or larger. The June 1 outlook by Gray and fellow Colorado State University scientist Phil Klotzbach is based on water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic above normal and a reduction in winds high in the atmosphere that could disrupt storms. So, who's more right, Gray or NOAA? Last year, as well as in 2009, Gray and his team were right on the number, while NOAA, who offer a "less bold" range, was close. The following names for this year's list are the same as in the deadly 2005 year. Name lists rotate every six years with the exception of retirements. In the 2005 season list names Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan, and Wilma will be replaced with Don, Katia, Rina, Sean, and Whitney, respectively in 2011. Still wondering when Hurricanes Adam and Olivia will be retired since they are trashing my house nearly every day.
Report Outlines Priorities to Boost Offshore Wind – The Center for American Progress released a report recent saying that offshore wind development will require a sustained and coordinated effort among government agencies and a range of financial incentives to boost the industry. The report urges the Interior and Energy departments to harmonize efforts to permit and support offshore wind projects, while engaging ocean stakeholders early and often in planning future lease sales. It provides an overview of offshore wind permitting and financing in the United States, updates the status of a few key projects, and ultimately make recommendations on how to clear a few of the remaining hurdles to promoting offshore wind development. The recommendations include 1) increase government investment in offshore wind to make it more financially palatable; 2) Shape transmission rules to allow for a robust offshore grid; 3) Ensure the federal “Smart from the Start” program, which is designed to expedite offshore wind, is smart through the finish; 4) Engage stakeholders early in the process of identifying wind energy areas in “Smart from the Start”. Our friends at Atlantic Wind Connection as well as industry advocate Jim Lanard would be happy to comment on various aspects of the report. Call me if you have questions.
Princeton's Happer Contemplates Climate Science in New Paper – George Marshall Institute Chairman and Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics at Princeton University Will Happer released a new paper about the current state of climate science and the debate over global warming policy in The Truth About Greenhouse Gases. Happer reviews arguments about rising rates of CO2, discusses the fundamental issue of causation and correlation as it applies to the climate debate, reflects on the uses of computer models, and reminds the reader that temperature and CO2 have varied widely in the Earth's long history. Even more compelling though are Happer's observations about "What has transformed climate science from a normal intellectual discipline to a matter of so much controversy?" Happer's answer is that "A major problem has been the co-opting of climate science by politics, ambition, greed, and what seems to be a hereditary human need for a righteous cause." No element of the scientific enterprise is immune -- the peer review process, scientific societies, government grant making, and scientific bureaucracies in the U.S. and elsewhere. In summation, Happer contends: "Life is about making decisions, and decisions are about trade-offs. We can choose to promote investment in technology that addresses real problems and scientific research that will let us cope with real problems more efficiently. Or we can be caught up in a crusade that seeks to suppress energy use, economic growth, and the benefits that come from the creation of national wealth."
VLS Starts Blog on VT Yankee – Our friends at the Vermont Law School (B&G NatGas expert Jason Hutt is a '98 alum) have launched a commentary blog where its faculty experts will provide ongoing analysis of the environmental, constitutional, political and other implications of the federal lawsuit over the troubled Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC et. al. v. Shumlin et. al. is being closely watched across the country because of its potential to affect nuclear power in the United States. Entergy Corp., which owns Vermont Yankee, is suing Vermont over whether the federal or state government has final approval in the reactor continuing to operate. VLS Adjunct Professor Peter Bradford is a former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Feel free to contact John Cramer (802-831-1106) if you have questions.
FirstWind Project Appeal Denied by VT Supreme Court – Speaking of the Green Mountain State, our friends at FirstWind won a VT Supreme Court case this week that will allow their Sheffield project to finally go forward. The company won approval from the Public Service Board in 2007 but have faced appeals over water quality permits. Opponents of Sheffield say they will continue their legal challenge, despite the loss.
Construction WV Wind Project Expected September… – Edison Mission said they plan to have construction started by September on a new wind project in Keyser, West Virginia. The Pinnacle Wind Project will put 23 turbines atop Green Mountain, generating 55 megawatts of electricity, enough power for over 14,000 households. The project represents a total investment of approximately $130 million and will become one of Mineral County's largest taxpayers with property tax payments of approximately $10.7 million over the next 25 years. Edison's Matt Hill told a community meeting in Keyser that turbines for the project will leave Galveston, Texas, and begin their journey to Mineral County today, with the first arriving by barge, then truck on June 27th.
…Project Also Starts Looking for Community Grantees – Speaking of Pinnacle, US Wind Force Foundation announced Friday that it is accepting grant applications from qualified nonprofit organizations for grants from its Community Benefit Fund. The Community Benefit Fund was established by Pinnacle Wind Force, LLC as a way to provide locally-controlled financial resources for worthy community projects in the communities immediately surrounding the Pinnacle Wind Farm at NewPage. Above and beyond anticipated property tax payments (mentioned in the story above) that benefit the community, Pinnacle has voluntarily committed to donate $50,000 to the Community Benefit Fund at the start of commercial operations late this year and $20,000 per year for the life of the project. In addition, it has already contributed $10,000 to the fund to be used specifically for historic preservation projects. The grant applications will be subject to a review process by an Allocation Committee made up of nine Mineral County residents.
Vikings Landing in Minnesota – A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences recently found that beginning in the early 1400s, rapid changes in climate drove early Viking colonizers from Greenland as temperatures plummeted several degrees in just decades. Researchers collected core samples from two lakes near the Norse “Western Settlement” to reconstruct 5600 years of climate history where the Vikings lived. “We can say there is a definite cooling trend in the region right before the Norse disappear," said William D'Andrea, lead author of the study. According to researchers, a number of factors caused by the change in climate, including shorter crop-growing seasons, less available food for livestock, and more sea ice that may have blocked trade, may have contributed to the Vikings abandoning Greenland. No word on whether Brett Farve was part of the move from the frozen tundra at the time, but its seems they still couldn't win a Super Bowl, even back then.
Grumbles Discusses NatGas, Fracturing – Today's E&E News OnPoint, features Ben Grumbles, the former assistant administrator for water at U.S. EPA and current president of the Clean Water America Alliance, discussing water management challenges, infrastructure issues and reasons for the rising cost of water.
Refiners Ask State To Approve Keystone – NPRA today sent a letter to the U.S. State Department urging approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring oil from Western Canada to U.S. refineries. State Department approval is needed before the pipeline can be built because the pipeline begins outside the United States. “NPRA strongly supports any measure that would get the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline started,” NPRA President Charles T. Drevna wrote in the letter. “The importance of approving the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is critical for maintaining and strengthening America’s energy security and stimulating the American economy.”
THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK:
UN Climate Meetings Kick Off Today – The UN Summer Climate meetings kick off today through next week in Bonn, Germany. The meetings are the 34th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). All sessions are being held at the Maritim Hotel in Bonn. Speaking on the first day of the conference, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said governments have an unavoidable responsibility to make clear progress towards the 2011 climate objectives which they had agreed in Cancun. The Bonn meeting is designed to prepare for the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa at the end of the year (November 28th – December 9th). Webcasts, info, schedule and other conference documents are available at the UNFCCC Web site.
ELI to Host Utility MACT Debate Featuring Segal, Holmstead, Walke – The Environmental Law Institute will hold a forum tomorrow at High Noon 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.
MI Expert to Release Shale Gas Economic Cost Report – The Manhattan Institute Center for Energy Policy and the Environment will release a new report tomorrow at an event in New York City on the economic opportunities of shale energy development, highlighting the economic costs of not allowing drilling. University of Wyoming professor Timothy Considine is the author. Considine’s analysis reveals that the potential economic benefits of shale gas exploration greatly exceed the potential environmental impacts in New York State. He argues that developing the Marcellus shale could drive commercial activity in the Empire State for decades, leading to long-term increases in personal income and tax revenue. You can get an embargoed copy by call Matt Olsen at 646-839-3352 or by email at [email protected].
White House State Dinner with German Chancellor Merkel – Given the recent decision on nuclear power, tomorrow's State Dinner gets more interesting. According to analysts, Germany’s plan to shut all its nuclear power plants by 2022 will result in 40 million tons of added carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually as the country turns to fossil fuels to produce more electricity.
SNL to Host Power Policy Forum – The SNL Power Policy Forum will be held tomorrow 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, my colleague Rich Alonso and our friends Kevin Book of ClearView Energy Partners, Jim Lucier of Capital Alpha Partners and Christine Tezak of R.W. Baird. Others speakers include Senate Energy Republican Staff Director McKie Campbell, PJM's Craig Glazer and FERC Commissioner Phil Moeller.
Senate Energy Expected to Continue Energy Legislation Focus – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow to examine S.512, to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to require the Secretary of Energy to carry out programs to develop and demonstrate 2 small modular nuclear reactor designs, and S.937, to repeal certain barriers to domestic fuel production. Witnesses include DOE deputy assistant secretary for nuclear reactor technologies John Kelly, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy Steven Chalk, Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists, , American Nuclear Society president Joe Colvin, RAND's James Bartis and NRDC's Brian Siu. On Thursday, the committee will hold a hearing to examine S.963, to reduce energy costs, improve energy efficiency, and expand the use of renewable energy by Federal agencies, S.1000, to promote energy savings in residential and commercial buildings and industry, and S.1001, to reduce oil consumption and improve energy security. Witnesses include DOE's Kathleen Hogan, Kateri Callahan of the Alliance to Save Energy, Tony Crasi, Shane Karr of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, GAO's Frank Rusco and DOE's Jonathan Silver, executive director of the loan program office. Also Thursday afternoon, the Subcommittee reviews legislation to bolster domestic supplies of rare metals and minerals at 2:30 p.m.
Kerry, Hutchison Headline Forum on Infrastructure Bank – The Atlantic and the New America Foundation will hold a forum on a national infrastructure bank at 9:30 a.m. in 106 Dirksen. The event will feature comments from Sens. John Kerry and Kay Bailey Hutchison, as well as Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Carlyle Group Managing Director Bob Dove, international finance expert Heidi Crebo-Rediker, Sherle Schwenninger of the New America Foundation's Economic Growth Program and Steve Clemons, founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation.
Blair to Headline SAFE Fuel Economy Report – Our friends at Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) will host a conference call on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to release their analysis showing the potential to save millions of barrels of oil per day from the proposed 2017-2025 fuel economy standards. Former Director of National Intelligence and member of SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council, Admiral Dennis Blair will join the call to discuss the national security implications of reduced oil dependence. Here is the dial-in Number: (888) 567-1602
CSIS Forum to Look at Global Energy Security – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a Global Security Forum 2011 Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. featuring a discussion of the top challenges facing U.S. and global security. This panel will discuss how security, environmental, and economic interests react to and drive changes in energy markets, policy, and technology. Panelists will include Hess International CEO John Hess, RFF President Phil Sharp and Michael Froman, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs and Development.
Forum to Look at China Investment Overseas – The World Resources Institute and the Global Environmental Institute host a book launch and discussion on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to encourage a dialogue among Chinese, U.S. and international policymakers and stakeholders on China’s green credit policy. The Global Environmental Institute’s new book entitled Environmental Policies on China’s Investment Overseas examines the political and economic contexts in which China’s overseas investments operate. The publication also proposes guidelines on responsible overseas investments for Chinese enterprises. Speakers will include Manish Bapna and Jacob Werksman of the World Resources Institute, as well as Jiaman Jin and Peng Ren of the Global Environment Institute.
Senate Environment to Look at Asthma, Health, Climate – Two Senate Environment and Public Works panels will hold a joint hearing on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to look at on air quality and children's health. This always makes for good rhetoric when Committee Chair Barbara Boxer gets going on this topic. The Panels include the Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee and the Children's Health and Environmental Responsibility Subcommittee. Witnesses will include Kent Hospital's James Ginda, Julie Goodman of Gradient, Patty Resnik of the Christiana (DE) Care Health System, ACCF economist Margo Thorning and Dona Upson of the American Lung Association of New Mexico.
NPC to Host Former Interior Sect. Babbitt – The National Press Club's Newsmakers Committee will host an newsmaker on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. in the Club's Zenger Room with former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt on the threats to the U.S. conservation legacy. Babbitt plans to illuminate what he views as the urgent threats facing the United States’ lands, water, wildlife and air. Babbitt will argue that Congress and the executive branch have prohibited land managers from offering protections to wilderness quality lands and rolled back protections for threatened species. He will provide a critical take on what he says are many recent policy decisions and missed opportunities, and challenge U.S. government leaders in Congress and the Obama administration to advance protections for natural resources. Reporters from outside the event may call in by dialing 1-888-227-5896, and use the pass code of 2470807. Call by 12:45 p.m. EST on the day of the Newsmaker. A webcast can be heard here.
NJ Offshore Wind Impacts to Be Discussed – The U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative and Clean Energy States Alliance will host a webinar Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. to brief participants on the recent comprehensive offshore wind ecological studies project, conducted by the New Jersey Department of the Environment. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) led a 2-year research project to fill major data gaps regarding birds, sea turtles, marine mammals, and other natural resources and their environments in a 1,300-square-mile ocean study area off the New Jersey coast. The study, completed in 2010, assessed the environmental impacts at sites proposed for several wind energy projects in waters adjacent to the state. Gary Buchanan, NJ DEP's Office of Science manager, will provide an overview of the study and its key findings.
Enviros to Discuss Nukes – The Global Green USA Security and Sustainability Program is continuing the Seminar Series titled “Energy Futures: Nuclear Power, Global Warming, and Nonproliferation” with a roundtable exploring the economics of nuclear power on Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. 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. Speakers will include Ben Schreiber, Climate and Energy Tax Analyst at Friends of the Earth and Michele Boyd of the Physicians for Social Responsibility.
IEA to Talk NatGas at Forum – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Energy and National Security Program will host the International Energy Agency (IEA) to present a forum Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on natural gas entitled “Are we Entering a Golden Age of Gas?” It is a special report in the World Energy Outlook 2011 series. This report examines the key factors that could secure for natural gas a more prominent role in the global energy mix, and the implications for other fuels and climate change. It features a high-gas scenario, examining how natural gas supply and demand could respond to new impetus stemming from both market forces and government policies. Speakers will be IEA's Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka and Senior Economist John Corben.
Wilson to Forum to Discuss Climate Public Debate – The Wilson Center will hold a forum on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. to discuss recent social science research has shown that American adults (and children) have low levels of climate literacy. Speakers will highlight public engagement in the issue may be insufficient to sustain the serious public dialogue needed to make thoughtful decisions about how our communities, states, and nation should respond to the threat. Speaking will be the 2011 Climate Change Communicators of the Year -- UCSD Professor Naomi Oreskes, and the Alliance for Climate Education’s Executive Director Pic Walker. They will share their thoughts about how public engagement in climate change can be enhanced. Our friend Eric Roston (Author of The Carbon Age; and Sustainability Editor of Bloomberg BusinessWeek) and Ed Maibach (Professor at George Mason University; and Director of the Center for Climate Change Communication) will moderate the event.
Forum to Look at Water Quality – The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and Water Environment Federation (WEF) will hold a briefing on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in SVC 203/202 Capitol Visitor Center looking at innovative, market-based approaches to controlling nutrient pollution in the nation's waters from agriculture. Fertilizer and manure applications can release excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus into local watersheds. These can degrade water quality, potentially causing human illness and harming aquatic ecosystems. This briefing will focus on innovative agricultural solutions to these issues, including trading programs such as those used for the Long Island Sound and Ohio River Basin, "safe harbor agreements", and current on-the-ground nutrient management programs. A representative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture will discuss the agency's development of solutions for controlling nutrients, including collaborations with farmers, ranchers and state and local partners to provide landowners with incentives to manage their lands in ways that help support clean water. Speakers for this event include USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment Ann Mills, EPRI's Tina Taylor and Jimmy Daukas of the American Farmland Trust.
Symposium to Look at Building Efficiencies, Economics – Danfoss will host its 15th EnVisioneering Symposium on Friday in the Russell Senate Office Building. The program will feature strategies for driving energy efficiency in commercial buildings face a landscape transformed in just a few short years. Aspirations for technological transformation were built on a new consensus for enhanced energy and climate security, renewed legislative focus, strong capitalization, and a dynamic marketplace. While the path to higher efficiency looks difficult, the need for it has grown only stronger. The need for better efficiency has grown stronger even while the conditions for it have weakened -- and the HVAC industry is facing the squeeze, despite having technologies to drive transformation. The 15th Danfoss EnVisioneering Symposium, E3: Energy, Efficiency, and Economy, will explore the new dynamics of the energy efficiency marketplace, “first cost” obstacles, and vitalizing options for the future. Speakers will include AHRI CEO Stephen Yurek, Penn State's Greg Dobbs (who directs its Distributed Generation Research and Education), Karen Penafiel of BOMA International, Energy Future Coalition head Reid Detchon and Lane Burt of the US Green Building Council.
THE WEEKS AHEAD:
Bush, Ridge to Speak at EEI Conference – The Edison Electric Institute will host the electric industry’s top event, June 12th though 15th at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO. Former President George W. Bush will address the Closing General Session on Wednesday morning, while Monday's Opening General Session will feature Tom Ridge who will provide his thoughts on managing corporate risks in light of recent global developments. Other panel speakers include FERC's Jon Wellinghoff, White House Advisor Heather Zichal, DTE's Tony Early, Ameren's Tom Moss, Southern's Tom Fanning, Progress Energy's Bill Johnson and many more. The Expo will be filled with the latest technologies, products and services. The Convention this year features ten interactive Critical Issue panel discussions on timely subjects that are transforming our energy future. More than 50 CEOs and senior executives will speak at these Critical Issue Forums. Subjects to be addressed include solar business models, emergency response, electric transportation, unconventional gas, new rate regulatory models, the smart grid, nuclear generation, wholesale markets, technology investments, and customer engagement. There will also be a special session on Tuesday morning on environmental issues and the generation fleet transition. These sessions always provide outstanding insight into emerging industry trends and company responses.
ASE Event to Look at Consumer Perceptions on Green Products – The Alliance to Save Energy will host another EE Noon brown bag lunch on Monday, June 13th at Noon to look at the consumer response to the green and energy efficiency industry. Adam Kustin, VP of Client Consultation at Shelton Group, will discuss his reflections on Shelton Group’s consumer research findings, presenting the latest insights on consumer's perceptions and interactions with green products and energy efficiency programs.
House Energy to Look at Uranium – The House Energy & Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing Monday, June 13th at 1:30 p.m. in 2123 Rayburn on H.R. 2054, the “Energy and Revenue Enrichment Act of 2011.” This is a proposal by Energy panel Chair Ed Whitfield that provide for the reenrichment of certain depleted uranium owned by the Department of Energy, and for the sale or barter of the resulting reenriched uranium Of course, Whitfield represents on of the largest facilities in the game In Paducah
House Science to Look at Critical Mineral Strategy – The House Science & Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight will hold a hearing Tuesday, June 14th at 2:00 p.m. looking at Federal perspective on a national critical materials strategy. Witnesses will include White House OSTP Director John Holdren, DOE Assistant Secretary David Sandalow, and USGS Program Coordinator for Mineral Resources Jeff Doebrich, Program, U.S. Geological Survey. Of course, our friends at Molycorp are also expert in the matter.
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.
DOE's Hart Headlines EnergyOcean Conference – The 8th Annual EnergyOcean International Conference & Exhibition will be in Portland, Maine at the Holiday inn by the Bay on June 14th – 16th. Hundreds of industry stakeholders representing every aspect of the Offshore Renewable Energy Industry will unite for EnergyOcean International’s technical program which is established as the primary educational platform and networking forum for the industry. Conference Delegates will learn of the latest technological advances, investment opportunities, regulatory issues, and planned and implemented projects around the world. 2011 Keynote Address speaker will be Chris Hart, Offshore Wind Manager for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Local Clean Energy Groups Hold Leadership Summit – Local Clean energy leaders will host a summit Wednesday through Friday, June 15-17 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Local government leaders from across the country will discuss the success of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, share best practices and highlight the need for additional federal investment in local clean energy and sustainability initiatives. For years, local governments have served as laboratories for innovation, developing new approaches to create livable communities, reduce energy use and curb greenhouse gas emissions. Cities and counties are leading efforts to improve energy efficiency in homes, schools and businesses; develop community-scale renewable energy; reduce vehicle miles traveled; convert municipal fleets and buses to hybrid vehicles; integrate land use, transportation, housing and economic development planning; and install green infrastructure technologies.
House Science to Look at DOE Clean Technology Programs – The House Science & Technology Committee's Energy and Environment Subcommittee will hold a hearing Wednesday, June 15th at 2:00 p.m. on DOE's Clean Technology Programs. Witnesses will include APRA-E Director Arun Majumdar, DOE EERE head Henry Kelly, DOE Loan Guarantee Program Office director David Frantz, among others.
WCEE Continues Look at Nukes with Southern, Areva Experts – The Women's Council on Energy and Environment will host its second brown bag luncheon on June 15th at Noon at Winston Strawn to discuss the future of the nuclear power industry. For the past several years, the term "nuclear renaissance” has been used to refer to a revival of the nuclear power industry. China has 27 new reactors under construction and new reactors are also being built in South Korea, India, and Russia. In the US, sites for 4 new plants are being prepared for construction. Other countries, however, are reassessing their commitment to nuclear power. We’ll look at the reasons why different countries are making different decisions about nuclear power. Speakers will include Mary Alice Hayward, Vice President Strategy, North America at AREVA Inc. and Cheri Collins, General Manager of External Alliances at Southern Nuclear.
McDonnell to Sign Renewable Energy Legislation at VA Forum – The Virginia Alternative & Renewable Energy Association will host its annual Summer Networking Event on Wednesday, June 15th beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the Commonwealth Club in Richmond, VA. The event will be followed by a 2011 Renewable Energy legislation bill signing ceremony at the VCU School of Business with Governor Bob McDonnell commencing at 11:45 a.m. Registration details for the VA-AREA Summer Networking Event may be found here. The bill signing ceremony with Governor McDonnell is free and open to the public and all attendees of the VA-AREA event are invited and encouraged to attend as well. Keynote speakers at the VA-AREA forum will include Atlantic Wind's Markian Melnyk and Virginia State Senate Energy Chair Frank Wagner.
RFF to Host Polar Explorer – Resources for the Future will host polar explorer and internationally renowned sustainability leader Sir Robert Swan on Wednesday, June 15th at 5:30 p.m. as he tells his extraordinary life story of how he experienced first-hand the life-threatening effects of climate change. Swan was the first person to walk to both the North and South Poles. Sir Robert has dedicated his life to the preservation of Antarctica through the promotion of renewable energy and sustainability and has inspired countless others to join him in his quest to protect this fragile continent. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the South Pole, Swan will discuss how he has galvanized people around the planet to take small steps to reduce carbon footprints and generate demand for renewable energy. He will also preview his upcoming expedition where he will again make history by walking from the South Pole using only renewable energy.
EPA's Brenner to Address Coal Plants at ICF Forum – ICF International will continue its Breakfast series with a forum on June 16th at 8:00 a.m. featuring EPA's Rob Benner. Brenner, who has directed EPA’s Air Policy office since shortly before the passage of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, will discuss EPA’s efforts to implement a power plant pollution control strategy that will both protect public health and help support the nation’s economic recovery. EPA is undertaking a set of Clean Air Act initiatives that will address power plant pollution such as toxics, greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides and fine particles. These programs pose significant challenges for the power industry, which must develop strategies to meet new environmental requirements while continuing to provide the public with reliable and affordable energy.
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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