Politico Energy Summit: At a Crossroads

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 05 Jun 2024 15:15:00 GMT

The future of energy faces a crossroads in 2024 as policymakers and industry leaders shape new rules, investments and technologies. Join POLITICO’s Energy Summit as we convene top voices to examine the shifting global policy environment in a year of major elections in the U.S. and around the world. POLITICO will examine how governments are writing and rewriting new rules for the energy future and America’s own role as a major exporter.

We invite you to help us take a closer look at the impact and effectiveness of major public and private investments shaping the U.S. energy sector and our global competitiveness. We will delve into policy conversation around the most promising emerging technologies poised to transform our energy mix and carbon footprint.

The Schuyler

1001 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

Presenting Sponsor: Southern Company

Supporting Sponsor: Solar Energy Industries Association

Contributing Sponsors: Entergy and NextEra Energy

11:15 a.m. Doors Open
Upon entry, attendees will need to show a valid form of government issued ID and copy of confirmation email.
11:45 a.m. From the White House: A Conversation with Ali Zaidi
Ali Zaidi, Assistant to the President and White House National Climate Advisor

Moderated by: Eugene Daniels, Playbook Co-Author & White House Correspondent

Report Card on America’s Infrastructure: A Conversation with Tom Perez
Tom Perez, Senior Advisor & Assistant to the President & Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the White House

Moderated by: Scott Waldman, White House & Climate Politics Reporter, E&E News

Executive Conversation with Southern Company
Kim Greene, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Georgia Power

Moderated by: Heidi Sommer, Vice President, Client Partnerships, POLITICO

Look West: A Conversation with Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.)
Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Ranking Member, Fisheries, Water, & Wildlife Subcommittee, Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works

Moderated by: Josh Siegel, Energy Reporter & Host, POLITICO Energy Podcast

Writing the Rules: U.S. Leadership in Global Energy Security & Climate
Part One: A Conversation with Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), Chair, Clean Air, Climate, & Nuclear Safety Subcommittee, Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works

Moderated by: Ryan Lizza, Playbook Co-Author & Chief Washington Correspondent

Part Two: What is the Conservative Climate Agenda?

Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Co-Chair, Climate Solutions Caucus
Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Chair, Conservative Climate Caucus

Moderated by: Emma Dumain, Congressional Climate Reporter, E&E News

Part Three: Where Wall Street is Headed (And Why it Should Matter to Washington)

George Bilicic, Managing Director, Lazard

Sam Mar, Senior Advisor, Arnold Ventures

Regina Mayor, Global Head of Clients & Markets, KPMG

Moderated by: Manuel Quiñones, Congress Editor, E&E News

Elections and the Energy Landscape: Toward Renewables or a Rollback?
Betamia Coronel, Senior National Organizer for Climate Justice, Center for Popular Democracy

Jon Krosnick, Frederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences & Professor of Communication, Political Science, Psychology and Sustainability, Stanford University

Thomas J. Pyle, President, American Energy Alliance

Moderated by: Charlie Mahtesian, Senior Politics Editor

Executive Remarks from SEIA
Abigail Ross Hopper, President & CEO, SEIA
Cabinet Conversation: U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm
Secretary Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Department of Energy

Moderated by: Zack Colman, Climate & Energy Reporter

Racing Toward Discovery: How to Speed Up the New Tech Timeline
Daniel Cunningham, PhD, Deputy Director for Technology, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy

Sarah Kapnick, PhD, Chief Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

David Keith, Professor and Founding Faculty Director, Climate Systems Engineering Initiative, Department of the Geophysical Sciences, The University of Chicago

Moderated by: Corbin Hiar, Reporter, E&E News

The Watchdog: A Conversation with Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.)
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ranking Member, Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee, Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works

Moderated by: Kelsey Brugger, Congress Reporter, E&E News

POLITICO Energy Live Episode: The Electrification of Everything
Willie Phillips, Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Moderated by: Catherine Morehouse, Energy Reporter

The Global Balance Sheet: A Conversation with Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo
Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo, U.S. Department of Treasury

Moderated by: Gavin Bade, Trade & Economics Reporter

LIVE FROM TOKYO: A Virtual Conversation with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Ambassador to Japan

Moderated by: Kevin Baron, Editorial Director, POLITICO Live

5:15 p.m. Reception
Enjoy our end-of-day networking with some light refreshments.

EPA's Risk Management Program Rules

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 07 May 2024 14:00:00 GMT

The Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials will hold a hearing on May 7, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. (ET) in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building. The title of the hearing is “EPA’s RMP Rule: Failures to Protect the American People and American Manufacturing.”

Hearing memo

Witnesses:
  • Gentner Drummond, Attorney General, State of Oklahoma, testifying the rules are “openly hostile to America’s oil and gas industry”
  • Jatin Shah, Senior Principal Consultant, BakerRisk
  • Richard Erstad, Vice President and General Counsel, Hawkins, Inc. on behalf of the Alliance of Chemical Distributors
  • James “Jim” Savage, Legislative Representative, United Steelworkers International Union

In the Clean Air Act (CAA) Amendments of 1990, Congress consciously separated responsibilities at a plant using certain chemicals for activities before an accident and after an accident occurred, as well as those activities inside a plant fence line and outside of it. Section 304 of the CAA Amendments of 1990 directed Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to take the lead on protecting workers within a facility’s fence line, thinking OSHA was best equipped to handle these issues. By contrast, Congress, in section 301 of the CAA Amendments of 1990, gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to protect the environment and human health beyond the fence-line.

Section 301 of the CAA Amendment of 1990, which created CAA section 112®, was intended to prevent the “unanticipated emission of a regulated substance or other extremely hazardous substance into the ambient air from a stationary source” and to minimize the consequences of those releases. Paragraph (7) of CAA section 112® grants the EPA the authority to issue accidental release prevention, detection, and correction requirements and guidance that has manufacturers prevent and manage those accidental risks through manufacturers’ risk management program (RMP) plans.

The EPA originally issued the RMP regulations in two stages: the list of hazardous substances and quantities in 1994 and the risk management requirements in 1996.10 Subsequently, and until 2017, the EPA modified the original RMP rules five times (twice in 1999, twice in 2000, and once in 2004).

On January 13, 2017, the EPA published amendments to the RMP rule (82 FR 4594). The 2017 amendments rule was prompted by E.O. 13650, “Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security,” which directed the EPA (and several other Federal agencies) to, among other things, modernize policies, regulations, and standards to enhance safety and security in chemical facilities. The 2017 amendments rule contained various new provisions applicable to RMP-regulated facilities. The 2017 amendments rule addressed prevention program elements for natural hazards, incident investigation root cause analysis, and third-party compliance audits; emergency response coordination with local responders (including emergency response exercises); and availability of information to the public. The EPA received three petitions for reconsideration of the 2017 amendments rule under CAA section 307(d)(7)(B). In December 2019, the EPA finalized revisions to the RMP regulations to reconsider the rule changes made in January 2017 (“2019 reconsideration rule”). The 2019 reconsideration rule rescinded certain information disclosure provisions of the 2017 amendments rule, removed safer technologies and alternative analysis (STAA) requirements added by the 2017 amendments rule, and modified some other provisions of the 2017 amendments rule. The rule changes made by the 2019 are the current RMP regulations until May 10, 2024. There are petitions for judicial review of both the 2017 amendments rule and the 2019 reconsideration rule. The 2019 reconsideration rule challenges are being held in abeyance. EPA has requested that the Court allow this to occur until the resolution of any legal challenges to 2024 RMP rule amendments or 30 days after the deadline to file such challenges if no challenges are filed. The case against the 2017 amendments rule is in abeyance pending resolution of the 2019 reconsideration rule case. As a result of the EPA review, on March 11, 2024, the EPA promulgated final regulations amending its RMP regulations. The revisions, which are scheduled to become effective on May 10, 2024, include several changes to the accident prevention program requirements for natural hazards, power loss, and STAA, as well as enhancements to the emergency response requirements, expansion of public availability of chemical hazard information, third-party audit and record-keeping requirements, and mandatory employee rights and participation.

Hydrogen Hype's Physics Problem

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 18 Oct 2023 13:59:00 GMT

Hydrogen The Biden administration is spending billions on the National Clean Hydrogen Strategy, even recently celebrating Hydrogen Day on October 8 (because hydrogen’s atomic weight is 1.008) to “mark a symbolic opportunity to celebrate hydrogen—clean hydrogen, specifically—and the crucial role this element plays in supporting a robust, equitable clean energy future for all Americans.”

There’s a lot to like about hydrogen as a fuel source, climate journalists such as David Gelles gush.

The only problem is that “clean hydrogen,” also known as “green hydrogen”—that is, hydrogen gas generated using renewable electricity—isn’t particularly “clean” or “green,” although it’s less polluting than “gray” and “blue” hydrogen, produced from natural gas.

Unfortunately, even “green” hydrogen is a powerful greenhouse pollutant.

As an important paper from Environmental Defense Fund scientists Ilissa Ocko and Steven Hamburg explains, hydrogen is unavoidably leaky, because it’s such a small molecule, and like methane, has a high short-term warming effect. In fact, one of hydrogen’s main warming effects is to increase the atmospheric lifetime of methane. Methane breaks down in contact with the hydroxyl (OH) radical formed when ultraviolet light interacts with ozone (O₃) and water vapor (H₂O). Hydroxyl also reacts with hydrogen molecules (H₂), so significant hydrogen pollution means atmospheric methane doesn’t break down. Thus, Ocko and Hamburg find:

Hydrogen’s 100-year greenhouse warming potential (GWP) is twice as high as previously thought, and its 20-year GWP is 3 times higher than its 100-year GWP. Hydrogen’s maximum GWP occurs around 7 years after the initial pulse of emissions, with a range of 25 to 60 based on uncertainties, and a central estimate of 40.

In short, “green” hydrogen isn’t.

Regulating Small Offshore Energy Producers

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 28 Sep 2023 14:00:00 GMT

Subcommittee on Rural Development, Energy, and Supply Chains hearing: “Energy Independence: How Burdensome Regulations are Crushing Small Offshore Energy Producers”

Chair: Wesley Hunt (R-Texas)

Witnesses:
  • Mike Minarovic, Chief Executive Officer, Arena Energy, LLC
  • Paul Danos, Chairman of the Board, National Ocean Industries Association
  • Alex Epstein, President, Center for Industrial Progress
  • Kathleen Nisbet Moncy, Chief Operating Officer, Goose Point Oyster

July Open Meeting

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 27 Jul 2023 14:00:00 GMT

Open Meeting

Commission meeting are held in Commission Meeting Room (Room 2C) at FERC Headquarters, 888 First St. N.E., Washington, D.C. 20426

Meeting agenda
Item No. Docket No. Company
ADMINISTRATIVE
A-1AD23-1-000Agency Administrative Matters
A-2AD23-2-000Customer Matters, Reliability, Security and Market Operations
ELECTRIC
E-1RM22-14-000Improvements to Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements
E-2RM22-19-001Incentives for AdvancedCybersecurity Investment
E-3ER22-2355-000GridLiance Heartland LLC
E-4ER22-2354-000GridLiance High Plains LLC
E-5ER22-2353-000Florida Power & Light Company
E-6ER22-2466-000Cube Yadkin Transmission LLC
E-7ER22-2358-001Versant Power
E-8ER22-2304-000Nevada Power Company
E-9ER22-2307-000Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power Company
E-10ER21-2592-000Pacific Gas and Electric Company
ER21-2592-001
EL23-24-000 (not consolidated)CXA La Paloma, LLC v. California Independent System Operator Corporation
E-11EL23-69-000Secure-the-Grid Coalition
E-12EL23-43-000arGo Partners GP LLC
E-13EL23-41-000arGo Partners GP LLC
E-14ER23-729-001PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.
EL23-19-001
HYDRO
H-1P-2290-124Southern California Edison Company
H-2P-14634-007New England Hydropower Company, LLC
CERTIFICATES
C-1CP22-25-000Venture Global Calcasieu Pass, LLC
C-2CP20-55-000Port Arthur LNG Phase II, LLC and PALNG Common Facilities Company, LLC
C-3CP22-2-000Gas Transmission Northwest LLC
C-4CP22-494-000Boardwalk Storage Company, LLC
C-5CP22-15-000Texas Eastern Transmission, LP
C-6CP22-466-000WBI Energy Transmission, Inc.
C-7CP22-138-000Northern Natural Gas Company
C-8CP22-461-000Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC

Public Hearing on EPA's Proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Plants, Day One

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 13 Jun 2023 15:00:00 GMT

EPA will hold a virtual public hearing on June 13, 14 and 15, 2023, to provide the public the opportunity to present comments and information regarding the Agency’s proposal for carbon pollution standards for fossil fuel-fired power plants.

Hearing dates
  • Tuesday, June 13, 2023, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM Eastern Time
  • Wednesday, June 14, 2023, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM Eastern Time
  • Thursday, June 15, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM Eastern Time

Register to speak by visiting this link

Registration closes June 6, 2023. Each speaker will have 4 minutes to speak.

Those who wish to listen but not speak at the hearing do not need to register. A link to view the hearing will be available here before the hearing begins.

EPA considers all comments equally, whether submitted in writing to the docket, or given orally at a public hearing. EPA will take written comment on the proposal until July 24, 2023.

Background:

EPA is proposing Clean Air Act standards and guidelines to limit emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel-fired power plants based on cost-effective and available control technologies. The proposals would set limits for new gas-fired combustion turbines, existing coal, oil and gas-fired steam generating units, and certain existing gas-fired combustion turbines.

Consistent with EPA’s traditional approach to establishing pollution standards for power plants under section 111 of the Clean Air Act, the proposed standards are based on technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration/storage, low-GHG hydrogen co-firing, and natural gas co-firing, which can be applied directly to power plants that use fossil fuels to generate electricity.

As laid out in section 111 of the Clean Air Act, the proposed new source performance standards and emission guidelines reflect the application of the best system of emission reduction that, taking into account costs, energy requirements, and other statutory factors, is adequately demonstrated for the purpose of improving the emissions performance of the covered electric generating units.

Proposal and fact sheets

The Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program: FEMA’s Perspective

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 28 Apr 2023 13:00:00 GMT

Hearing on the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Witness:
  • David Maurstad, Assistant Administrator, Federal Insurance Directorate, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Hearing memo

Floods are the most common, most expensive, and most deadly natural disaster that communities across the United States experience. Reports reveal approximately 90 percent of all U.S. natural disasters also involve flooding from any number of sources, including inland flooding, flash floods, and flooding from seasonal storms.

While such events have long been a concern, recent experiences have shown that flooding has become both more frequent and severe. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 50+ year old National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is by far the nation’s leading provider of flood insurance coverage, has experienced two of its top five, four of its top ten, and ten of its top 20 costliest flood events all in the last decade alone.

Previously, the NFIP dealt with only two $1+ billion flood events prior to its most costly flood, which was Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Since then, the NFIP has experienced eight $1+ billion flood events.

The NFIP’s last formal 5-year reauthorization expired at the end of September 2017. Since then, the NFIP has been subject to three brief lapses and 25 short-term extensions, nearly all of which have been enacted as a part of the congressional appropriations process and not through legislation initiated by the Financial Services Committee.

Plastics and Human Health: Understanding the Risks

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 27 Apr 2023 18:00:00 GMT

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) presents findings of the new report from the Mindaroo-Monaco Commission on Plastics and Public Health.

Please join for a briefing to review the findings of the new report on the impacts of plastics on human health. The authors of the report will describe the health and environmental implications of plastic at every stage of its lifecycle, including recommendations for the United Nations Global Plastics Treaty.

Thursday, April 27th, 2:00pm ET 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building

RSVP

Legislative Field Hearing on H.R. 215 "WATER for California Act" and H.R. 872 "FISH Act"

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 11 Apr 2023 21:00:00 GMT

On Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. PDT, at the World Ag Expo, 4500 S Laspina St # 214, Tulare, CA 93274, the Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries will hold a legislative field hearing on the following bills:

  • H.R. 215 (Rep. Valadao) “Working to Advance Tangible and Effective Reforms for California Act” or the “WATER for California Act”.
  • H.R. 872 (Rep. Calvert) “Federally Integrated Species Health Act” or the “FISH Act”.

Hearing memo

Invited witnesses:
  • Debra Haaland, Secretary, Department of the Interior (or their designees from the Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
  • Gina Raimondo, Secretary, Department of Commerce (or their designee from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
  • Charlton Bonham, Director, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Tony DeGroot, Farmer, DG Bar Ranches, Hanford, California
  • Aaron Fukuda, General Manager, Tulare Irrigation District, Tulare, California
  • Jason Phillips, Chief Executive Officer, Friant Water Authority, Lindsay, California
  • Jeff Sutton, General Manager, Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority, Willows, California
  • Chris White, Executive Director, San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority, Los Banos, California
  • Additional witnesses TBA

H.R. 215, sponsored by the entire House California Republican delegation, extends West-wide water storage provisions such as Section 4007 of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act (Subtitle J of Public Law 114-322) through December 31, 2028. Some of the projects authorized under these provisions include: Shasta Dam and Reservoir Enlargement Project in California (additional 634,000 AF of storage), Sites Reservoir Storage Project in California (1.5 million AF of storage), Los Vaqueros Reservoir Phase 2 Expansion in California (additional 115,000 AF of storage), Cle Elum Pool Raise in Washington state (additional 14,600 AF of storage) and Anderson Ranch Dam Raise in Idaho (additional 29,000 AF of storage). The WIIN provision allows a non-governmental entity to request and be the non-federal partner for federally owned surface storage projects.

In addition, the bill would require the CVP and SWP to be operated consistent with the 2019 BiOps and Preferred Alternative, set during the Trump administration. The bill would allow for modification of CVP and SWP operations based on any agreement that is reached on a voluntary basis with CVP and SWP water contractors. It would also prohibit any water supply costs from being imposed on any entity due to agreements with other parties unless voluntarily agreed to.

In addition, the bill would require the federal government to provide the maximum amount of water practicable to CVP and SWP water contractors consistent with the 2019 BiOps. The bill includes safeguards for SWP water contractors. Specifically, if California reduces water supplies to SWP water contractors as a result of actions directed by H.R. 215, then any increase of water supplies received by CVP water contractors must be divided between the two projects. H.R. 215 would amend the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, P.L. 117-58) to make the Shasta Dam Raise eligible to receive water storage project funding in that law. IIJA included $1.15 billion for storage projects but made the Shasta Project ineligible. Lastly, it would direct the Secretary of the Interior to complete the fish, wildlife, and habitat restoration programs required under the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA or P.L. 102-575) within 2 years of enactment of this Act.

H.R. 872, authored by Representative Calvert (R-CA), has six cosponsors: Reps. Jim Costa (DCA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), Mike Simpson (RID) and Michelle Steele (R-CA). H.R. 872 would consolidate the ESA functions of NOAA and the Department of the Interior (Interior) relating to the conservation of anadromous and catadromous fish, making Interior solely responsible for managing these species. This legislation will allow one wildlife management agency (USFWS) to evaluate impacts on species interacting in a shared ecosystem and determine a holistic management approach.

Webinar: Green motoring means more than going electric

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 05 Apr 2023 13:00:00 GMT

Webinar: Green motoring means more than going electric

Mighty Earth and The Sunrise Project host a media webinar which will explain the importance of addressing the climate and human rights impacts across auto supply chains and the likely impact the industry could have on curbing emissions.

Many of the big manufacturers are heavily promoting their electric vehicles (EVs), but green motoring means more than just going electric. New analysis for the industry evaluates 18 of the world’s leading automakers on their efforts to eliminate emissions, environmental harm, and human rights violations from their supply chains. It found that although several big brands are sourcing fossil-free aluminum and steel, over half have shown no progress on steel, the biggest industrial metal climate culprit. Worryingly, two thirds have no commitment to Indigenous or First Nation rights in their supply chains for aluminum, steel and lithium for electric batteries.

This timely online media event will explain the importance of addressing the climate and human rights impacts across auto supply chains and the likely impact the industry could have in curbing emissions. The webinar is geared towards both specialist and non-specialist media; panelists will explain the broader impact the auto industry could have on driving down global emissions if all components in the auto supply chain were sourced and manufactured sustainably.

In the second half of the session, panelists will take questions from the media. All discussions will be on the record.

Panelists:
  • Jim Wormington, Human Rights Watch
  • Kate R. Finn, First Peoples Worldwide
  • Glenn Hurowitz, Mighty Earth
  • Chris Alford, The Sunrise Project
  • Laura Murphy, Sheffield Hallam University

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