OVERNIGHT ENERGY: FERC chief looks at power grid’s future

 STATE OF PLAY: The chief U.S. electric grid regulator will speak about energy efficiency, electric reliability and “smart” grid technology during a Thursday panel hosted by The Hill.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff headlines the 8:30 a.m. Capitol Hill event, which also will be webcast at thehill.com.

The discussion will delve into federal and state efforts to reduce electricity blackouts, and the technology advancements — ranging from renewable energy to “smart” electric meters — that make a more resilient system possible.

Other speakers include Patrick Currier, counsel for the House Energy and Commerce Committee; Terry Jarrett, commission for the Missouri State Public Utilities Commission and chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ critical infrastructure committee; and Allen Burchett, senior vice president of electric grid technology firm ABB.


Check out these stories that ran on E2-Wire Wednesday . . .

— Lawmakers launch bipartisan energy-savings caucus
— US worries Iran sanctions benefiting Russia energy sector
— Long-awaited study says gas exports would boost US economy
— Exxon calls ‘children’ ad campaign ‘offensive’
— Ex-climate czar to EPA chief Jackson: Please don’t go
— EPA taps new transportation emissions regulator
Rep.-elect from North Dakota placed on Natural Resources panel
— Ad claims Exxon ‘hates your children’


Carbon tax in focus

Carbon taxes are down — way down — but not out.

While political leaders from both parties keep ruling out the idea in fiscal talks, discussion of carbon taxes remains robust in policy circles.

The latest vetting will come Thursday afternoon. The School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University will host a forum called “Solutions to the ‘Fiscal Cliff’: How Putting a Price on Carbon Can Play a Role.”

Speakers include Adele Morris, policy director of Climate and Energy Economics Projects at the Brookings Institution, and other experts. Click here for more info.

Hurricane Sandy probes continue in Congress

A Senate Commerce Committee panel will gather Thursday to explore Hurricane Sandy’s “devastating impact on the nation’s largest transportation systems.”

“This hearing will examine the impact of Superstorm Sandy on the Northeast region’s transportation systems, including the extensive damage and operational disruptions to the region’s rail and port infrastructure, the response in the wake of the storm, and the need to reinvest in the region’s transportation networks,” an advisory states.


Forecast: The US oil-and-gas boom will roll on and on

Reuters reports on the latest projections from the Energy Department’s statistical arm. From their story:

U.S. oil and gas production over the next two decades will be higher than previously expected, the government said on Wednesday, underscoring the push toward greater energy self-sufficiency and more exports of natural gas.    

In its annual energy outlook, including the first round of forecasts through 2040, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that oil output from shale formations would drive the increase in domestic production.

Click here to read the whole story.

Climate negotiations in ‘doldrums’

The New York Times reports from Doha, Qatar, on the latest round of United Nations climate change talks.

“The United Nations climate conference here has settled into its typical doldrums, with most major questions unresolved as a Friday evening deadline for concluding the talks approaches. One of the thorniest issues is money, which has often bedeviled these affairs,” the paper reports.

Please send tips and comments to Ben Geman, ben.geman@thehill.com, and Zack Colman, zcolman@thehill.com.

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