The Skyrocketing Price of Oil

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 21 May 2008 14:00:00 GMT

Witnesses
  • Robert A. Malone, Chairman and President, BP America Inc.
  • John Hofmeister, President, Shell Oil Company
  • Peter J. Robertson, Vice Chairman of the Board, Chevron Corporation
  • John E. Lowe, Executive Vice President, ConocoPhillips Company
  • J. Stephen Simon, Senior Vice President, Exxon Mobil Corporation

FY 2009 Department of Energy Budget

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 16 Apr 2008 18:00:00 GMT

FY 2009 Department of Energy Budget

Posted by Wonk Room Wed, 02 Apr 2008 13:30:00 GMT

Witnesses
  • Raymond Orbach, Under Secretary for Science, Department of Energy
  • Alexander Karsner, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy
  • David Frantz, Director, Office of Loan Guarantees, Department of Energy

Ben Geman reports for E&E News:

DOE: Loan guarantee program advancing, official tells Senate panel (04/03/2008) Ben Geman, E&E Daily senior reporter

A high-level Energy Department official assured lawmakers yesterday that the department is making progress on a “clean energy” loan guarantee program and expects to begin receiving the first full applications this month.

David Frantz, who heads the loan guarantee office, also told a Senate Appropriations panel that DOE plans to issue the solicitation for the next round of projects within months.

Congress last year required DOE to provide House and Senate appropriators a loan guarantee implementation plan to define award levels and eligible technologies at least 45 days before a new solicitation. Lawmakers should receive this plan later this month, Franz told the Senate Energy and Water Subcommittee.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized federal loan guarantees for low-emissions energy facilities such as new nuclear plants, renewable energy projects, carbon sequestration and other technologies. But lawmakers - notably Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) - say the program has been slow getting off the ground.

Frantz said DOE is on the cusp of receiving full applications from some of the first 16 projects the department is considering and expects them to come in over the next several months. These projects include integrated gasification combined cycle power plants, solar energy projects, cellulosic ethanol plants, a hydrogen fuel cell project and others. DOE hopes to begin issuing the first guarantees this year.

Nuclear power plant developers are eager to receive the federal loan backing and see the program as a crucial way to get a much-anticipated wave of plants off the ground after a decades-long lull in new nuclear construction.

But loan guarantees for nuclear plants are on a longer time frame. Frantz told reporters it is not clear whether nuclear will be one of the technologies included in the next solicitation. “It is still very much in the planning stage, and we have not made a final determination,” he said after the hearing.

The omnibus fiscal 2008 appropriations bill provides DOE with authority to issue $38.5 billion worth of loan guarantees through the end of fiscal 2009, including $18.5 billion for nuclear power projects. The department already had an additional $4 billion in loan guarantee authority through prior legislation.

But DOE, as part of the current budget proposal, is asking lawmakers to extend this time frame through fiscal 2011 for nuclear power projects and fiscal 2010 for other projects. Franz called the extension “absolutely essential.”

“It takes us months and years on these larger projects to do our credit underwriting and due diligence process,” he told reporters.

Frantz said he envisioned the $18.5 billion in loan guarantee authority for nuclear plants would cover guarantees for three to four projects. The program allows the federal government to issue guarantees for loans that cover up to 80 percent of a project’s cost—a federal backstop that is designed to help energy project developers secure Wall Street financing.

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) urged Frantz to move quickly in implementing the loan program. “I hope that you have running shoes on,” he said.

Summit on America's Energy Future

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 13 Mar 2008 04:00:00 GMT

This event will feature presentations by leading thinkers on energy policy from the U.S. government (state and federal), universities, and the private sector, as well as international perspectives. It will take place in the main auditorium of the National Academy of Sciences building at 2100 C Street, NW, in Washington DC. This event will serve to develop information for the Academies’ ongoing study, America’s Energy Future: Technology Opportunities, Risks and Tradeoffs, and to stimulate discussion among leading thinkers with diverse points of view on energy issues as the 2008 U.S. elections approach.

The Summit will include presentations addressing three major energy themes: Energy Security; Energy and the Economy; and Energy and the Environment. During the sessions, the analyses and results of key recent energy studies will be presented by principals from:

  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • Electric Power Research Institute
  • InterAcademy Council
  • International Energy Agency
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • McKinsey Global Institute
  • National Commission on Energy Policy
  • National Petroleum Council
  • National Research Council
  • Rocky Mountain Institute
  • U.S. Climate Change Science and Technology Program
  • U.S. Department of Energy

In each session, there will also be time provided for participants to ask questions to a roundtable of speakers. The preliminary agenda will be posted by mid-January. This event is expected to be very full – please register early (free) if you’d like to attend. If you have any questions, please contact us at energysummit at nas.edu.

Thursday, March 13, Auditorium, National Academy of Sciences Building

8:00-8:15 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
Ralph Cicerone, President, National Academy of Sciences (confirmed)
8:15-9:45 a.m. Current U.S. Energy Policy Context
Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Chair, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Senate (invited)

The Geopolitical Context of America’s Energy Future
James R. Schlesinger, Chairman, The MITRE Corporation and Senior Advisor, Lehman Brothers (confirmed)

Raymond L. Orbach, Undersecretary for Science, U.S. Department of Energy (invited)

The Geopolitics of Energy
Madeline Albright, Chair and Principal, The Albright Group, LLC (invited)

World Energy Outlook
Fatih Birol, Chief Economist, International Energy Agency (confirmed)
9:45-10:00 a.m. Question and Answer Forum
Moderator: Ralph Cicerone
10:30-10:45 a.m. Defining the Problems
Robert W. Fri, Senior Fellow Emeritus, Resources for the Future (confirmed)
10:45-11:15 a.m. Reference Global Energy and Environment Projections
Ged Davis, Managing Director, World Economic Forum Centre for Strategic Insight, and Co-Chair, Global Energy Assessment Council, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (confirmed)
1:15-11:45 a.m. Facing the Hard Truths about Energy
Lee F. Raymond, Chair, National Petroleum Council (invited)
11:45 a.m. – noon Question and Answer Forum
Moderator: Robert W. Fri
Session 1
1:30-1:45 p.m.
Introduction to Session 1
Harold T. Shapiro, President Emeritus, Princeton University and Chair, National Research Council Committee on America’s Energy Future (confirmed)
1:45-2:30 p.m. The Future of Coal and Nuclear Power
Ernest J. Moniz, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Co-Chair, MIT Interdisciplinary Study on the Future of Nuclear Power (confirmed)
2:30-3:00 Biofuels: How Much, How Fast, and How Difficult?
Jose Goldemberg, Secretary for the Environment, State of São Paulo, Brazil and Co-chair, Global Energy Assessment Council, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (confirmed)
3:30-4:00 p.m. Automotive Fuel Economy: How Far Should We Go?
Paul R. Portney, Dean, Eller College of Management, University of Arizona and Chair, National Research Council Committee on Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (confirmed)
4:00-4:30 p.m. Prospects of a Hydrogen Economy
Michael P. Ramage, Executive VP, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co. (Retired), and Chair, National Research Council Committee on Alternatives and Strategies for Future Hydrogen Production and Use (confirmed)
4:30-5:15 p.m. Closing Address
Samuel W. Bodman, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy (confirmed) Moderator: Harold Shapiro
5:15-6:30 p.m. Reception: Great Hall, National Academy of Sciences Building
Friday, March 14, Auditorium, National Academy of Sciences Building
Session 2
9:00-9:15 a.m.
Introduction to Session 2
Charles M. Vest, President, National Academy of Engineering (confirmed)
9:15-10:00 a.m. Ending the Energy Stalemate
John P. Holdren, Professor, Harvard University and Co-Chair, National Commission on Energy Policy (confirmed)
10:00-10:30 a.m. Google’s RechargeIT Program for Commercial Deployment of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles
Dan W. Reicher, Director, Climate Change and Energy Initiatives, Google.org (invited)
11:00-11:30 a.m. Electricity Innovation Pathways
Steven R. Specker, President, Electric Power Research Institute (confirmed)
11:30 a.m.-noon Session 2 Question and Answer Forum
Moderator: Charles M. Vest
Session 3
1:15-1:30 p.m.
Introduction to Session 3
Richard A. Meserve, President, Carnegie Institution for Science (confirmed)
1:30-2:00 p.m. Lighting the Way: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future
Steven Chu, Director, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and Co-Chair, Interacademy Council Study Panel on a Sustainable Energy Future (confirmed)
2:00-2:30 p.m. Global CO2 Reduction Supply Curve
Matt Rogers, Director, McKinsey and Co. (invited)
3:00-3:30 p.m. Winning the Oil End Game
Amory Lovins, CEO, Rocky Mountain Institute, and Principal Investigator, Winning the Oil End Game (confirmed)
3:30-4:00 p.m. Climate Change Technologies
Robert Marlay, Deputy Director, Climate Change Technology Program, U.S. Department of Energy (confirmed)
4:00-4:30 p.m. Session 3 Question and Answer Forum
Moderator: Richard Meserve
4:30 p.m. Closing Remarks and Adjourn
Robert Fri

FY 2009 Department of Energy Budget

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 07 Feb 2008 15:00:00 GMT

FY 2009 Department of Energy Budget

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 06 Feb 2008 15:00:00 GMT

Polluters Believe This May Be the Best Year for Climate Legislation

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 17 Jan 2008 16:35:00 GMT

Representatives of the coal, oil, and gas lobby met yesterday at the United States Energy Association’s “State of the Energy Industry” conference at the National Press Club in Washington. They agreed that Lieberman-Warner may be the best legislation they can hope for, especially if issues like polar bear habitat set the standard for legislation.

Katherine Ling reports for E&E Daily that David Parker, president and CEO of the American Gas Association, said “Who would you rather have writing a bill in the Senate? I might guess it may set a tone for business to fully work with the Senate this year.” He continued that “the polar bear habitat is going to really drive this [climate change] debate. We all have a big education job to do and I think we need to do it collectively.”

Bill Scher has further commentary at Blog for Our Future.

E&E Daily:

While most panelists agreed it was not likely that a full bill capping greenhouse gas emissions would pass this session, they said a great deal could be accomplished in laying the groundwork this year.

Tom Kuhn, president and CEO of Edison Electric Institute, predicted there will be a floor vote in the Senate this year on a climate bill. “No matter what happens on those votes, that will set the marker for what we do in the future,” he said, especially if there is White House involvement.

David Parker, president and CEO of the American Gas Association, agreed with Kuhn. Despite a general disagreement the energy industries have with the climate bill sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.), he said, future legislation could be even harder on the industry.

“Warner is retiring this year, and then the question is, ‘Who comes into play?’” Parker said. Potentially, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) – who both favor greater emission limits than those in the Lieberman-Warner bill – could lead the next attempt to pass climate change legislation under a Democratic president, he said.

“Who would you rather have writing a bill in the Senate? I might guess it may set a tone for business to fully work with the Senate this year,” he said.

Achieving workable legislation will require educating policymakers and the public a great deal more on energy markets, panelists said.

Parker said he was worried that “the polar bear habitat is going to really drive this [climate change] debate. We all have a big education job to do and I think we need to do it collectively.”

Science and Society Grand Challenges: Meeting global energy demand

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 12 Nov 2007 23:00:00 GMT

The events in the Science and Society: Grand Challenges series will be held every Monday night in November from 6pm to 7:30pm in the AAAS Auditorium at 1200 New York Avenue. A reception will start at 5pm.

November 12th’s discussion will be about “Meeting the Global Energy Demand”

Speakers
  • John Holdren, Director of the Science, Technology & Public Policy Program at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government
  • Lori Ryerkerk, General Manager of Government Relations at the ExxonMobil Corporation.

The first discussion was on “Climate Change”, and future discussions will be on “Managing a Pandemic” and “Containing the Spread of WMDs” and will feature experts from the White House, and the Center for American Progress.

RSVP.

The efficacy of the domestic energy industry, focusing on its available workforce to meet our nation's growing needs

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 06 Nov 2007 15:00:00 GMT

The purpose of the hearing is to receive testimony on whether domestic energy industry will have the available workforce – crafts and professional – to meet our nation’s growing energy needs and if gaps exist, what policies the Congress should take to address these gaps.

Panel 1
  • Ms. Emily DeRocco, Department of Labor
  • Ms. Patricia Hoffman, Department of Energy
  • Ms. Andra Cornelius, Workforce Florida
Panel 2
  • Mr. Norm Szydlowski, Colonial Pipeline
  • Mr. Paul Bowers, Southern Company
  • Dr. Ray Stults, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Ms. Carol Berrigan, Nuclear Energy Institute
  • Mr. Jim Hunter, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Effects of Climate Change on Energy Production and Use in the United States (House briefing)

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 18 Oct 2007 19:00:00 GMT

On Thursday, October 18, 2007, the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) will hold a House briefing on the release of the third in a series of 21 reports to advance climate science research. Coordinated by the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), this Synthesis and Assessment Product report, numbered 4.5 and titled “Effects of Climate Change on Energy Production and Use in the United States,” summarizes what is known about potential effects of climate change on energy production and use in the United States.

  • Dr. William J. Brennan, Acting Director of the Climate Change Science Program
  • Dr. Jeffrey S. Amthor, DOE Office of Science, Coordinator of CCSP Report 4.5
  • Dr. Thomas J. Wilbanks, CCSP 4.5 Report Lead Author, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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