Utility Dive Brief: Secretary Moniz Weighs in on DOE NOPR

Secretary Moniz discusses the recent FERC ruling on the DOE NOPR with Utility Dive. In particular, he notes that the DOE NOPR did not present sufficient information, nor did it necessarily provide a public good. Secretary Moniz goes on to discuss the importance of state and federal energy policies that are technology-neutral and aim for particular public goods, such as zero-emissions. 

Kenderdine, Hezir: LNG to Change Global Markets

HOUSTON — The world is moving toward a global natural gas market, one that will materialize relatively quickly, according to two former Department of Energy officials.

Melanie Kenderdine and Joseph Hezir, who worked at DOE under the Obama administration, are now with the think tank Energy Futures Initiative. They see the U.S. shale gas revolution as upending world natural gas trading, but caution that the rise of gas could be cut short by the growing popularity of renewable energy generation.

The two experts yesterday mused about the future of the natural gas market in the United States and abroad to an audience of mostly private-equity energy investors, gathered here for the annual year-end Privcap Game Change: Energy conference.

"By 2020, LNG volumes will exceed pipeline volumes of gas for the first time in the history of gas," Kenderdine said. U.S. LNG exports with no fixed destination are "contributing to the development of a global gas market," she said.

Read full story from E & E News (subscription required) here.


NASEO, Energy Futures Initiative Team Up to Produce the 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report

Washington, D.C. (December 1, 2017): The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) which represents the 56 governor-designated State and Territory energy officials, and the Energy Futures Initiative, Inc. (EFI), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to driving innovation in energy technology, policy and business models, today announced that they will jointly produce the 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER).

                Supplementing existing data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), The USEER offers exclusive information not previously available on employment trends by energy source. Past editions were published in 2016 and 2017 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).          

NASEO will produce the survey in partnership with EFI. The 2018 USEER project will be guided by David Foster, who directed the first two editions of the USEER and now serves as a Distinguished Associate with EFI. The data will be collected by BW Research Partnership, a research consultancy with offices in Carlsbad, California and Wrentham, Massachusetts. BW Research conducted the employer surveys for the first two editions produced by DOE.

                ‘’I’m very pleased that the U.S. Energy and Employment Report will be issued in 2018,’’ said Foster. ``Without the USEER, we couldn’t tell how many people are employed by new technologies that cut across current BLS occupational codes, nor how many people are actually employed by our traditional utilities as their business models evolve.’’

                David Terry, Executive Director of NASEO, said: ``We are pleased to lead, with EFI’s analytical support, the development of the 2018 report and ensure that state-level energy jobs data continue to be available to the public, our 56 State and Territory members, federal agencies, and private sector organizations. The USEER has proven to be an important tool for state energy officials, who will use this unique set of `all of the above’ energy jobs data to inform policy development and planning.’’

                Data are being collected by BW Research during the crucial autumn employment season, mirroring the methodology of the first two reports, ensuring that policymakers and businesses can make year-to-year analysis of employment trends. EFI will issue the report in the spring of 2018, and plans an expanded offering of data in the years ahead.

                ``We’re grateful to NASEO and a number of other organizations, foundations and future donors who will help us keep the USEER in production for many years to come,’’ said Foster.

Read the full release here


Is Individual Apathy the Primary Barrier to Combating Climate Change? An Oxford Union Debate.

Ernest Moniz joined other global thought leaders at the Oxford Union Society for a debate on the proposition that "This House Believes Individual Apathy is the Greatest Threat to Our Climate." He argued that the primary barrier to combating climate change is not apathy, but rather the imperative to address the different needs and challenges faced by people, workers, communities, and regions so they can all participate in and benefit from a low carbon future.

A Discussion on Nuclear Energy and the Threat of Nuclear War

In an interview with WBEZ Chicago, Secretary Ernest Moniz discussed the future role of nuclear energy:

"'I believe there’s little doubt that we will be heading towards a very low carbon future. Most especially, we will see the energy sector largely de-carbonizing. Nuclear has to be viewed in that context as one of the options along with wind and solar, other renewables, possibly even using coal with carbon capture and sequester.'"

In his interview, Secretary Moniz also emphasized the risk of nuclear war:

"'The risk of a nuclear weapon being used somewhere in the world in these next years is probably higher than it’s been since the Cuban missile crisis,' said Ernest Moniz, the former U.S. secretary of energy, on WBEZ’s Worldview."

Listen to the full interview here. 

Moniz on White House Chronicle

Llewellyn King interviews former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and other experts on climate change and issues impacting the global energy sector that the Dentons Global Energy Forum in Washington. Sec. Moniz appears at 17 minutes into this video. 

Guests include Gen. James L. Jones, USMC (Ret.), Jones Group International; Dr. Ernest Moniz, Energy Futures Initiative; Newt Gingrich, Dentons; Clinton A. Vince, Dentons; and Karl V. Hopkins, Dentons.

Moniz: Harvey’s Destruction Demonstrates Value of Strategic Petroleum Reserve

The nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, with its supplies of crude oil and gasoline, was created by statute to protect the U.S. economy from “severe energy supply interruption.” This authority, exercised by a presidential declaration, can be used in the event of a disruption of either domestic or imported petroleum products.

The unprecedented rainfall, flooding and destruction from Hurricane Harvey this week has struck the energy nerve center of the nation and is exactly the kind of event of “significant scope and duration, and of an emergency nature” that the SPR was created to address.

Read full article


EFI Publishes Major Study on the U.S. Nuclear Energy Enterprise

Washington, D.C. (August 15, 2017): The Energy Futures Initiative, Inc. (EFI) a new not-for-profit dedicated to driving innovation in energy technology, policy and business models, today released its first major report entitled ``The U.S. Nuclear Energy Enterprise: A Key National Security Enabler.’’

The report examines the key role the U.S. nuclear energy enterprise plays in meeting national security imperatives, and notes the important role the domestic nuclear energy industry plays in supplying the nation’s electricity system and maintaining a robust supply chain (equipment, services, and skilled personnel) that is necessary for U.S. leadership in global nuclear nonproliferation policy. EFI outlines immediate actions that the government should take to ensure the viability of the U.S. nuclear enterprise.

Among the key points of the report:

More than 700 companies located in 44 states provide products or services in direct support of the U.S. nuclear energy industry.  The top five states for nuclear supply chain companies are Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Illinois and Ohio.

The dominant Russian presence in the Mideast nuclear power market does not augur well for U.S. national security objectives.

The Navy will eventually need additional highly enriched uranium (HEU) to fuel its reactors for long intervals between refueling, and the entire supply chain from uranium feed to the enrichment technology must be of U.S. origin. There is currently no such domestic capability in the supply chain.

The U.S. faces the threat of a diminished workforce in the nuclear energy sector. Domestic university programs are likely to tip more towards international students coming from countries with expanding nuclear prospects, which will further dilute the pool of American nationals who can fill national security roles.  Retirements are also a significant concern, as the nuclear power sector will soon lose 25,000 skilled workers to retirement.

The EFI report calls on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to place a greater emphasis on the national security importance of nuclear power and its associated supply chain. EFI’s report recommends that the government make maximum flexible use of its existing resources and capabilities, including credit support, tax incentives and federal siting and/or purchase power agreements, to bolster support for current new builds and to encourage additional new builds.

About EFI:

The Energy Futures Initiative, Inc. (EFI) was established in June 2017 by former Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz as a thought-leadership organization to provide policymakers, industry executives, NGOs and other leaders options on how to advance a cleaner, safer, more affordable and secure energy future.

Read the full report.



EFI Names Jeanette Pablo General Counsel and Senior Associate

Washington, D.C. (August 14, 2017): The Energy Futures Initiative, Inc. (EFI) a new not-for-profit dedicated to driving innovation in energy technology, policy and business models, today announced that Jeanette Pablo has joined the organization as General Counsel and Senior Associate.

In her new role, which begins today, Ms. Pablo will advise on a variety of legal issues for EFI, as well as help drive strategic planning as a member of the senior management team.

The Energy Futures Initiative was established in June by former Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz as a thought-leadership organization to provide policymakers, industry executives, NGOs and other leaders options on how to advance a cleaner, safer, more affordable and secure energy future. 

``Jeanette was an essential part of the senior management team at DOE, and I’m delighted she’s joining us at the Energy Futures Initiative,’’ said Melanie Kenderdine, Principal of EFI. ``She has a substantial legal and analytical background on energy issues and will provide EFI clients with top-level strategic and technical advice.’’ 

Ms. Pablo comes to EFI from the U.S. Department of Energy, where she served as Acting Deputy Director for Energy Systems within the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis. In that role, she oversaw technical analysis, analytic support, and policy advice relating to the nation’s energy systems and infrastructures – as well as a variety of threats and risks to that system – including non-fuel related energy, supply chains, shared transportation, electricity, North American energy system integration, and the energy-water nexus, energy systems modeling and economics.

‘’It is an honor to join Professor Moniz, Melanie, and Joe in this exciting new venture.  We face enormous challenges and opportunities in the rapidly-evolving energy sector.  Addressing these issues at DOE has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.  I look forward to continuing to develop and implement strategies for a cleaner, safer, energy future at EFI,’’ said Ms. Pablo.

Ms. Pablo is an attorney with over 20 years of experience analyzing federal policy trends and providing technical and strategic advice to electric, gas, and water utilities, including PNM Resources, the American Water Company, and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

She joins a team led by Principals Melanie Kenderdine and Joseph Hezir, who both have a highly successful track record in government and academia of bringing together solution-based coalitions on energy issues.

Ms. Kenderdine served at the Department of Energy from 2013-2017 as the Energy Counselor to the Secretary and concurrently as the Director of DOE’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis. Mr. Hezir served as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy from 2013-2017, leading a 200-person organization responsible for the $30 billion Department of Energy budget.

Earlier in June, David Ellis, the former Chief Content Officer of CQ Roll Call and a journalist with 30 years of experience covering public policy, joined EFI as Senior Associate for Communications and Policy Strategy. Cyrecie Stehle, a former administrator in the Energy Department’s office of the Chief Financial Officer, has also joined EFI as an Associate for Business Operations.

PDF version of press release.