Bracewell PRG Energy Update

Jan 23 Bracewell Energy Update: Congress Back in Action, USEA State of Energy Forum Thurs

Frank Maisano, Senior Principal, Policy Resolution Group. Bracewell LLC

Happy Lunar New Year. 2023 is the year of the rabbit, except in Vietnam where it is the year of the cat.

The SCOTUS has just released Its first decisions of the term this morning and Congress returns this week with the real work of the 118th Congress set to begin. The Senate will vote tonight, while the House is in tomorrow. The House will spend most of the week considering legislation that limits the Biden administration’s ability to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, despite Energy Secretary Granholm letter last week that says it will cause “more oil supply shortages in times of crisis and higher gasoline prices for Americans.” Not exactly…Not much chance of the senate talking this one up though. Finally, President Biden has a new chief of staff with Jeff Zients replacing Ron Klain.

Tomorrow evening in Houston, OurEnergyPolicy is hosting a forum at the University of Houston Hilton on the road ahead for oil and gas. My colleague Jeff Holmstead moderates a panel with API’s Dean Foreman, Shell’s Aura Cuellar and CITI’s Michael Jamison. BP’s Starlee Sykes will keynote.

In some great DC event news, the US Energy Assn holds its 19th annual State of the Energy Industry Forum on Thursday LIVE at the National Press Club. The event kicks off with Tom Kuhn, Mike Sommers, Maria Korsnick and Karen Harbert. Other great speakers include our friend Dan Whitten of SEIA, NRECA’s Jim Matheson, ACORE’s Greg Wetstone, EPRI’s Arshad Mansoor, NHA’s Malcolm Woolf, INGAA’s Amy Andryszak and LEPA’s Andy Black, among others.

Other events include tomorrow when the Brattle Group will present the results of a new analysis commissioned by the ACP, ACORE, the Clean Air Task Force, GridLab, and NRDC, which finds that efficient and proactively-planned transmission solutions could significantly lower the cost of reaching 2050 offshore wind goals.  Finally on Friday, SAFE’s Center for Critical Minerals Strategy and Trout Unlimited hold a webinar examining the role of abandoned mines across the country that could potentially contain previously overlooked quantities of critical minerals desperately needed, such as cobalt and nickel.  And next Monday at 10:00 a.m., the National Press Club hosts House Oversight Chair James Comer for its first major NPC NEWSMAKER.

Quick news this morning highlighted in WaPo’s Climate 202 that – shockingly – Evergreen Action has a new “report” that says tough EPA climate rules put in place over the next two years will get Biden to his aggressive goal to reduce emissions from the utility sector. Unfortunately, they are an advocacy group that misses the court challenges that have limited EPA’s reach, real political challenges and regional differences. It also once again highlights what is certainly likely to be a better way: bipartisan legislation similar to that introduced last year by former Reps. McKinley and Schrader that incentivizes the utility industry to reduce emissions and advance technology while backing it up with a cap. It is likely to be more successful than just continuously pounding our head against the EPA regs wall which has been happening since the late 1990s without success. More on this tomorrow as Evergreen Action and NRDC roll it out with Sen Tina Smith and others.

Finally, for those of you that haven’t heard or missed it, congrats to our friend Jake Rubin has moved over to Siemens DC office! And Siemens rolled out some cool news today with its new the Energy Transition Readiness Index, which rates each region of the world on its progress toward net-zero energy production. North America was the best at 34%, closely followed by EU at 33%. Finally, sad (for us), but happy (for him) to hear our friend Greg Wetstone of ACORE is soon stepping back from his leadership of the organization. He has been a champion for the business case for clean energy and his efforts made the ACORE significant, respected player.

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