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Here are all the witnesses for the Waxman-Markey bill hearings this week — Al Gore is Friday

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"Here are all the witnesses for the Waxman-Markey bill hearings this week — Al Gore is Friday"

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House Energy and Commerce Chair Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chair Ed Markey (D-MA) are holding hearings the rest of this week on “The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009″ — A solid “B+” bill that boosts the economy, creates green jobs, and puts the country on a path to preserve a livable climate.

They have announced all of the witness lists (see here and below), so you can decide who, if anyone, you want to watch at their website (here).

I’d say that if you were going to tune in to any of these, the top priority would be Friday morning, where Gore and Former senator John Warner testify.  The next most interesting is probably the second panel Tuesday, just to hear fellow members of USCAP — Jim Rogers of Duke Energy and Frances Beinecke, NRDC — and look at their body language (see How does Duke CEO Jim Rogers sleep at night, generating so much coal-fired CO2: “Lunesta” and “NRDC and EDF endorse the weak, coal-friendly, rip-offset-heavy USCAP climate plan“).

Here is the full set of hearings:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009:  Day 1

Opening Statements

WHEN: 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building

You can definitely skip that one!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009:  Day 2

WHEN: 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building

Panel 1: Administration Views on “The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009″ Legislation

  • The Honorable Lisa Jackson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • The Honorable Steven Chu, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy
  • The Honorable Ray LaHood, Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation

Panel 2: United States Climate Action Partnership Views on “The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009″ Legislation

  • Charles Holliday, Jr., Chairman, DuPont
  • Red Cavaney, Senior Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, ConocoPhillips
  • Jim Rogers, Chairman, President, and CEO, Duke Energy Corp.
  • Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Meg McDonald, Director, Global Issues, Alcoa Inc.
  • David Crane, President and CEO, NRG Energy, Inc.

Panel 3: Green Jobs and Economic Benefits

  • The Honorable John Fetterman, Mayor, Braddock, Pennsylvania
  • Denise Bode, CEO, American Wind Energy Association
  • Dave Foster, Executive Director, Blue Green Alliance
  • Kate Gordon, Co-Director, Apollo Alliance
  • Kevin Knobloch, President, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • David Manning, Vice President, External Affairs, National Grid
  • Nathaniel Keohane, Director of Economic Policy and Analysis, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Frank Ackerman, Senior Economist, Stockholm Environment Institute, U.S. Center, Tufts University

Thursday, April 23, 2009:  Day 3

WHEN: 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building

Panel 1: Allocation Policies to Assist Consumers

  • Jeff Sterba, Chairman and CEO, PNM Resources Inc. (on behalf of the Edison Electric Institute)
  • Glenn English, CEO, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
  • Mark Crisson, President and CEO, American Public Power Association
  • John Somerhalder, II, Chairman, CEO, and President, AGL Resources (on behalf of the American Gas Association)
  • Richard Morgan, Commissioner, District of Columbia Public Service Commission (on behalf of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners)
  • Richard Cowart, Director, Regulatory Assistance Project
  • Robert Greenstein, Executive Director, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities

Panel 2: Ensuring U.S. Competitiveness and International Participation

  • Rich Wells, Vice President for Energy, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Tom Conway, International Vice President, United Steel Workers
  • Jack McMackin, Principal, Williams and Jensen, LLC (on behalf of the Energy Intensive Manufacturers Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Regulation)
  • Trevor Houser, Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Eliot Diringer, Vice President for International Strategies, Pew Center on Global Climate Change
  • Pastor Doug Smith, Virginia Interfaith Society for Public Policy

Panel 3: Low Carbon Electricity, Carbon Capture and Storage, Renewables, and Grid Modernization

  • Dr. Howard Gruenspect, Acting Deputy Administrator, U. S. Energy Information Agency
  • Dian Greunich, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Dan Reicher, Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives, Google, Inc.
  • Jim Robo, President and Chief Operating Officer, FPL Group
  • David Hawkins, Director of Climate Programs, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Dr. Gregory Kunkel, Vice President for Environment Affairs, Tenaska, Inc.
  • Jonathan Briggs, Regional Director of the Americas, Hydrogen Energy International
  • Eugene Trisko (on behalf of the United Mine Workers of America)

Friday, April 24, 2009:  Day 4

WHEN: 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 24

WHERE: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building

Panel 1: Vice President Al Gore and Senator John Warner:  Bipartisan Leaders’ Views on the ACES Legislation

  • The Honorable Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States
  • The Honorable John Warner, former United States Senator

Panel 2:  Energy Efficiency, Transportation, Building Appliances, and Utilities

  • Ian Bowles, Secretary, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Dave McCurdy, President and CEO, Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers
  • Alan Reuther, Legislative Director, International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)
  • Dan Sperling, Director, Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California Davis
  • David Friedman, Research Director, Clean Vehicles Program, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • David Gardiner, President, David Gardiner & Associates, LLC (on behalf of the Energy Future Coalition)
  • Jeff Genzer, Counsel, National Association of State Energy Officials
  • Andrew Delaski, Executive Director, Appliance Standards Awareness Project

Panel 3: Carbon Market Assurance, State Roles, Clean Air Act, and Adaptation

  • Bill Becker, Executive Director National Association of Clean Air Agencies
  • Tia Nelson, Executive Secretary, Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, State of Wisconsin
  • Carl Royal, Counsel, LLP, formerly Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Chicago Mercantile Exchange
  • Jon Anda, Executive-in-Residence, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Visiting Fellow Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
  • David Doniger, Policy Director, Climate Center, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Patricia Mulroy, General Manager, Las Vegas Nevada Water District/Southern Nevada Water Authority
« »

17 Responses to Here are all the witnesses for the Waxman-Markey bill hearings this week — Al Gore is Friday

  1. James Newberry says:

    Quite a line up.

    What they need to know is the difference between an energy resource and a fossil resource. Coal and the associated hydrocarbons are chemical feedstocks, i.e. material resources. The sustainable energy efficiency of our present system is at or just above zero depending on one’s outlook, and the material product of fossil combustion is carbonic acid gas.

    It is time to (re)build an efficient national rail system and clean energy infrastructure by getting the public policy right and reducing governmental corruption. The planet, acting through natural laws, will not condone continuing perverse subsidies and corrupt corporatism. Our economy and worldwide public health will benefit from a great transition.

  2. Leland Palmer says:

    Checking mediatransparency.org:

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009: Day 2, Panel 3

    “Frank Ackerman, Senior Economist, Stockholm Environment Institute, U.S. Center, Tufts University”

    According to mediatransparency.org, Tufts University has received about 8.2 million from the conservative foundations on their database. This amount of funding from these far right foundations might color his testimony, I think. The donors are the real hardcore far right foundations like the Earhart, Scaife, and Bradley foundations, with most of the grants meant to support the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. There were no grants listed to the Stockholm Environment Institute at Tufts, though. It will be interesting to see what he has to say.

    Friday, April 24, 2009: Day 4, Panel 2
    “David Gardiner, President, David Gardiner & Associates, LLC (on behalf of the Energy Future Coalition)”

    From the mediatransparency website:

    In a related development in late-March, the Energy Future Coalition (website), a group made up of conservative energy and national security experts, sent a letter to President Bush calling for a change in energy strategy that would take into account conservation and alternative energy sources.

    Commenting on why he signed on to the letter Robert McFarlane told the San Francisco Chronicle that, “The implications [of continuing to rely on foreign oil supplies] are truly catastrophic. The good news is the solution to getting off oil is at hand.”

    Woolsey, who also signed the letter, somewhat indelicately pointed out that “Middle East turmoil could bring regimes to power that don’t want to sell oil to the rest of the world because they want to live in the seventh century.” In addition, Frank Gaffney, who helped organize the letter, is concerned about China, as is often his bent: “The Chinese are on the march trying to secure access to oil and choke points. This could be part of a medium-to long-term strategy to confront us or go to war with us.” (In June, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) announced an $18.5-billion bid for Unocal Corp., the California-based oil giant, the ninth-biggest oil company in the US.)

    For neoconservatives, it is all about reducing “the flow of American dollars to oil-rich Islamic theocracies, Saudi Arabia in particular,” Bryce wrote. The neo-cons are ”going green for geopolitical reasons, not environmental ones,” he concluded.

    Friday, April 24, 2009: Day 4, Panel 3
    “David Doniger, Policy Director, Climate Center, Natural Resources Defense Council”

    Mediatransparency lists $210,025 for the Natural Resources Defense Council, mostly from the Shelby Cullom Davis and Walton Family (WalMart) Foundations. This doesn’t seem like very much money, and I don’t think these are the real hardcore conservative foundations, but this may bear monitoring anyway.

    Friday, April 24, 2009: Day 4, Panel 3
    “Jon Anda, Executive-in-Residence, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Visiting Fellow Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions”

    From mediatransparency – Duke University has received about 5.4 million from the Earhart Foundation, the Olin Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Bradley Foundation, given as fellowships, mostly, mostly in the area of public policy, and none that I could see to the Fuqua School of Business. Jon Anda has a paper listed on the Nicholas site about the design of carbon markets.

    http://www.nicholas.duke.edu/ccpp/ccpp_pdfs/carbon_market_primer.pdf

  3. Paula Swedeen says:

    To Leland Palmer: I would not cast such a wide net over Tufts. Frank Ackerman is a progressive economist who has written alternative text books to mainstream neo-classical works, in addition to insightful analyses on how the economics profession generally gets the environment wrong. He is high quality and most definitely not in the pocket of hard right conservative think tanks. Check out the Global Development and Environment Institute: http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/

  4. CTF says:

    That is quite a lineup!

  5. I nominate our Governor of California.

    See his expertise in action where he welcomes the “100MPG” plug-in Hummer.

    I kid you not. It is here. See
    http://blog.wired.com/cars/2009/04/hybrid-hummer-c.html?cid=152252185#comment-152252185

  6. Leland Palmer says:

    Hi Jim Bullis-

    I guess Schwarzenegger is not actually testifying, but it might not be a bad idea if he did.

    I have been really mad at the Governator for quite a while now, but he almost made up for all of his shortcomings with his courageous stand on global warming. “Wiv global warming, ve knoww haf fire season all year ’round” he said. He has also been hosting global warming conferences and so on.

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2008/11/17/schwarzenegger-always-wildfires/

    So, he is apparently dumb as a rock when it comes to MPG calculations, but he has taken a courageous stand on global warming, splitting off from the Republican deniers, and taken a political hit from the right for it. He has a certain amount of credibility with the right, and has a certain amount of credibility on global warming because he has to include huge increases in firefighting costs in the state budget.

    Plug in hybrid SUVs are certainly better than regular SUVs, and we could have such things if we went massively for carbon negative energy schemes and figured out a cheap way to sequester CO2 as a carbonate, I think. In California, we do get some of our electricity from hydropower, which makes the deceptive calculations from the manufacturer a little less deceptive.

    Hummers are just ugly symbols of testosterone poisoned frivolous consumption, of course, and I cringe every time I see one.

    A well designed plug in hybrid SUV run off of carbon negative electricity might be another matter, especially if it were something similar to Lovin’s carbon fiber car.

  7. Now that we know that King Hummer is on the throne his sister, Princess Fisker Karma can be introduced. (Princess Fisker has the same engine as King Hummer.) Read below how Princess Fisker calculates her fuel needs.

    “The Karma uses Q-DRIVE plug-in hybrid technology, developed exclusively for Fisker Automotive by Quantum Technologies. A fully-charged Karma burns no fuel for the first 50 miles. Venture further and the gasoline engine turns a generator to charge the lithium ion battery. Once the 50-mile electric range has been exceeded, the car operates as a normal hybrid vehicle. This balance of electric and gas range makes it entirely possible that Karma drivers who charge their car overnight and commute less than 50 miles a day will achieve an average fuel economy of 100 mpg (2.4L/100km) per year. ” (quote by pasting from Fisker site)

    The main point is they do not even count the electric energy in making the 100 mpg claim. So much for getting climate progress through plug-in technology, huh?

    The venture firm Kleiner Perkins is a major funding source for the Fisker. KP partner John Doerr and Associate Al Gore are testifying about global warming today.

    So I guess our governor is qualified as well.

  8. Leland Palmer says:

    Well, if you get your electricity from solar cells, wind, hydropower, or even better biocarbon/sequestration, and commute less than fifty miles a day, these plug in hybrids could have a big impact, IMO, depending of course on the carbon neutrality of the electrical sources themselves.

    So, it’s a deceptive claim, which might get less deceptive as time goes on. It kind of underscores the need to shut down or transform the coal fired power plants to something else, ASAP.

  9. Hi Leland Palmer,

    Lovin’s hypercar looks like a Hummer compared to the Miastrada concept. Be prepared to be frightened, but click on my name to see a real answer for some future time. Lovins has been trying but he is lacking in courage when it comes to really changing the basic car to get good aerodynamics. His “hypercar” would compete well with the Miastrada at speeds less than about 25 mph where aerodynamics does not really count for much.

    While you are at the Miastrada site, click on the references page and then click on the NRDC/EPRI report (One is a summary, the other is the full thing.) The key figure 5-1 shows that it would be better for CO2 to leave a good hybrid alone, so you can skip spending $10,000 on the conversion.

    As for our governor, the law he is so proud of that limits use of coal fired power generation is also not quite what it might seem. (This world is full of that kind of stuff.) Obviously we are all in this CO2 thing together, so at best, setting California apart has to be limited in value as far as global CO2. And the law limits conditions under which national power generation capacities can be tapped. OK, that sounds like a strong start.

    But Oops. We are also tied in to the same natural gas supply system as the rest of the country. So when we buy more of that, what will happen? Answer: The rest of the country senses the price of natural gas rising and immediately shifts to buying more coal. The net CO2 effect is zero. It does not hurt us much in California because the price of natural gas is held down by the National actions. So maybe it is just “greenwashing.”

    But I am entirely with you on the need to run really efficient cars from really clean power sources. In my judgment, we will get there best by starting with really efficient cars. Even if they draw from coal fired power sources, if they simply use a small fraction as much as our usual guzzlers, we are way ahead.

    As you might see from my previous mild mannered comments, we need to clear some of the false promises out of the way.

  10. Hi Leland,

    We are skipping messages, but I agree with your 1:17 in principle, but am burdened with skepticism about how we will accomplish that clean power world.

    I get even more concerned when I see a trend shaping up where it looks like the efficiency question will be ignored because we can simply draw from coal as a fuel instead of oil. If we have widespread adaption of plug-in cars, any move to cap the use of coal will be met with intense political opposition from the all powerful American motoring public. Even now the public outcry is beginning, and it will get a lot worse when more people figure out that their electric bills will be connected to such cap and trade actions.

  11. Hi Leland again,

    I add the following with more basis for my concern;

    I have been campaigning for some time to point out that there are strong forces forming to shift from foreign oil as the source of energy for driving cars to electricity using the plug-in vehicle approach. The marginal response by the electric system to such plug-in vehicles is burning of more coal. The well done study by NRDC/EPRI showed that hybrid vehicles were actually degraded by conversion to plug-in operation, and NRDC concurred that under such conditions conversion to plug-in was not recommended.

    A danger then appeared in the possibility that vehicles might be converted to plug-in operation while skipping the step of making that vehicle an efficient hybrid first.

    Leading advocates of this include:

    past President of Intel, Andy Grove,
    (see: http://whatmatters.mckinseydigital.com/energy/an-electric-plan-for-energy-resilience)

    along with GM (see: http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/PDF/presentation-sm.pdf)

    our California Governor, perhaps inadvertently, (see:
    http://blog.wired.com/cars/2009/04/hybrid-hummer-c.html

    and leading venture firm Kleiner Perkins by virtue of sponsoring the Fisker which is the Queen to the Hummer King, having even the same engine (see
    http://blog.wired.com/cars/2009/04/behold-americas.html)

    These extreme examples add to other powerful forces getting set for a coal powered future.
    Warren Buffet has effectively endorsed this trend by invstment in US railroads and the leading Chinese electric car company.

    Then add the list of plug-in enthusiasts, misguided by a premature lure of electric power.

    I do note however, that electric power is a redeemable system when coal burning is no longer the marginal response.

    (Note that I say “premature lure” since electric power will eventually have to come. The question is how we can make it come out right.)

  12. Leland Palmer says:

    On a related note (but I fear we have wandered from the subject of the original article) Oak Ridge National Labs has looked at producing carbon fibers more cheaply, using lignin from biomass as the raw material:

    http://www.ornl.gov/~webworks/cppr/y2001/pres/120145.pdf

    So carbon fiber for automotive uses might get cheaper, if we keep funding this sort of research. ORNL had a goal of seven dollars a kilogram, I think.

  13. Jay Alt says:

    GOP requests more hearings, minority comments on ‘shallow’ hearing & ‘minimized knowledge’
    are painfully ironic.

    http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/News/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=6938

  14. Jay Alt, ironic yes, but there are details that need to be considered if the whole thing is to work.

    For example, John Doerr said in his presentation to the committee, “I want you to know that I favor a cap and trade system AND a 100% refundable carbon tax. A cap and trade system could be “plug compatible” with the carbon commitments and trading systems of other nations. And a carbon tax which is 100% refunded to taxpayers, which is simple and swiftly implemented. Though I understand the political difficulties with the latter.”

    I find it perplexing as to how a refunded carbon tax will motivate any change of use, though I guess if the tax is steep enough it will cause the power market to choose natural gas. This might appear to work with the price of natural gas down to $3.51 but the tax would have to follow the natural gas price to make this work. So in December when the price (contracted now) is $5.54 the tax would need to double. The pain will set in when natural gas goes to over $12 which it has frequently done in recent years.

  15. Leland Palmer says:

    I just watched the opening statements, and they were not as boring as usual. The committee seems to have come to a consensus that global warming is real. There were surprisingly no dissenters on this viewpoint – the deniers have been vanquished! It was all about haggling about the details. I don’t know what changed the deniers’ minds. Perhaps it is just a change in strategy by the GOP, to get as much as possible from a bill that looks like it may very well pass.

    There was no discussion of biocarbon/CCS to my disappointment, although the guy from Oregon and a couple of other guys did want inclusion of biomass as a renewable energy technology, and wanted the language changed to allow biomass production off of federal land. He mentioned the large stands of insect killed trees in Oregon, and noted that in trying to save the old growth forests there, what had resulted with climate change was a free lunch for the insects. He mentioned the huge wildfires in the region.

    About half of the gentlepeople mentioned CCS and “clean coal”. All of them seemed to want CCS. This is disturbing to me because CCS alone is just business as usual. Only when CCS is combined with biocarbon does CCS have the sort of synergistic impacts that Read and Biopact mention. Only when CCS is combined with biomass and reforestation does true carbon negative energy production result.

    Anyway, it was nice to see Congress functioning again, after the dark Bush years, as it was intended to function.

    But none of the solutions I heard there were quantitatively sufficient to stop runaway global warming, IMO. Perhaps all of them together were, but I would guess not.

    I believe that Read and Biopact were right all along, and the best and quickest strategy to prevent runaway global warming is carbon negative energy production.

    http://news.mongabay.com/bioenergy/2007/10/carbon-negative-bioenergy-recognized-as.html

  16. Hi Leland,

    I am not quite with you on the carbon negative stuff, since it seems to require growth of biomass on a scale that seems unlikely. The accounting does not work if old growth biomass is used as the feedstock.

    However, the site you linked to discussed CO2 capture by chemical means in existing power plant stacks, which would be at least the right place to really be effective. Will it work?

    It seems conceivable at least, since most of the worlds sea shells are some form of calcium carbonate (if I remember right), which seems like an ideal way to lock up carbon dioxide. If this could be produced in the stack, we (I mean they) might have the problem fixed.