USAEE President's Message

Lori Smith Schell

Founder and President

Empowered Energy

(Durango, CO)


Happy New Year!  2013 promises to be an exciting year for USAEE and I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to serve as your President this year.  As a long-time member of USAEE, I look forward to increasing my investment of time and energy in an Association that has provided me with many new friends and colleagues over the years.  It has been a real pleasure working with my predecessor, Peter Hartley, over the past several years on the USAEE Council and I want to take this opportunity to thank him for his leadership as last year’s USAEE President.Thanks to a concerted effort by many volunteers over the past few years, USAEE membership now exceeds 1,100 members.

Read more: USAEE President's Message

From the Editor


Robert Eric Borgström

Advisor on Energy Regulatory Policy and Management

(Washington, DC)


Happy New Year, Dear Colleagues!

It's with great pleasure that Dialogue welcomes the new year with an issue that reflects upon the great success of our USAEE/IAEE North American Conference that was held in Austin, Texas, last November, while focusing attention upon plans in the making for our 32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference to be held July 27-31, 2013, in Anchorage, Alaska.

Read more: From the Editor

U.S. Economic Benefits of LNG Exports


Angelique Mercurio


Energy Solutions Forum (New York, NY)


Abdiel Santiago

Senior Research Advisor,

Energy Solutions Forum (New York, NY)



Over the past decade, the global gas market has witnessed a dramatic transformation in the outlook for liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets.  North America’s shale formations have played a notable role, driving gas producers to seize profitable export opportunities.  With an estimated 100-year supply of natural gas and ongoing discovery of new shale resources, the U.S. is poised to supply clean-burning natural gas to global markets, apart from meeting domestic requirements. The dramatic growth in the U.S. natural gas industry and the prospects of LNG exports suggest a long-term economic stimulus to the country.

Read more: U.S. Economic Benefits of LNG Exports

2012 Washington, DC, Area Storm Electricity Outage Duration



Mark Lively

Utility Economic Engineer

(Gaithersburg, MD)


The Washington, DC, area was hit by two storms in 2012, each of which cause widespread electrical outages.  A derecho hit the evening of June 29.  Hurricane Sandy hit four months later on the evening of October 29.  I sent surveys to people on the mailing list of the National Capital Area Chapter of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics (NCAC-USAEE) for both storms asking for a reply about the number of hours they were without power.  (I experienced nine hours for the derecho and two hours for Hurrican Sandy.)  My “Derecho Outage Survey” was included in USAEE Dialogue, Volume 20, Number 3 – 2012.  Here I report on the outages related to Hurricane Sandy and compare the results to the outages related to the Derecho.

Read more: 2012 Washington, DC, Area Storm Electricity Outage Duration

Invited Article: The Economic Challenges for a Natural Gas Pipeline in Alaska

As background for our 32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference in Anchorage,

Alaska (July 27-31, 2013), USAEE Dialogue is pleased to present this invited paper.

Larry Persily

Federal Coordinator

Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects

(Anchorage, AK)


(Photo: Associated Press)

So close, yet so far away. Alaska’s North Slope storehouse of natural gas is less than two hours away from the state’s population center by jet. But it’s billions of dollars away from reaching the burner tip. This is a story of economics, markets, competition — and the Alaska public’s unrelenting desire to overcome all of the above.

Read more: Invited Article: The Economic Challenges for a Natural Gas Pipeline in Alaska

From the 31st USAEE/IAEE North American Conference - Austin, Texas: Nov. 4-7, 2012

Our 31st USAEE/IAEE North American Conference, held November 4-7 in Austin, Texas, was a great success, one of our largest conferences to date.  358 participants, including 98 students, attended from 28 US states and 29 foreign countries.  Very significantly, 145 participants were attending their first USAEE conference, definitely an encouraging sign for the future of our organization!

In addition to 8 plenary sessions, a competitive poster session and a first-ever first-ever student case study competiton, the concurrent sessions program featured 167 speakers in 44 panels covering a broad spectrum of energy economics' topics and interests.  Of these presentations, 53 were student presentations and 25 were in a newly-created category of "case studies", specifically designed to highlight the activities and achievements of of members who work in industry, government and consulting.

Selection of the presentations was the result of a competitive peer review.  315 abstracts were submitted for consideration, by far the largest number of submissions for our North American conferences.  Each proposal was reviewed by 3 USAEE/IAEE members with experience in the respective topic area.  Sincere appreciation is extended to reviewers, panel chairmen and, of course, the presenters, without whose efforts we would not have had as successful a program as was enjoyed by the participants in Austin.

To further share the success of our Concurrent Sessions program, ten participants have provided summaries of their presentations in the following sections of this issue of Dialogue.

Panel Presentation on the US-Mexico Transborder Hydrocarbon Agreement







George Baker


Energia.Com & Mexico Energy Intelligence

(Houston, TX)


A panel session on the U.S.-Mexico Transborder Hydrocarbon Agreement of 2012 was conducted at the 31st USAEE/IAEE North American Conference.  The presenters were: Juan Carlos Zepeda, president of Mexico's National Hydrocarbon Commission (CNH); Lourdes Melgar, a specialist on international energy policy with a long involvement in issues related to cross-border negotiations - in Dec. 2012, Dr. Melgar was appointed Undersecretary of the electricity sector in Mexico's Energy Ministry (SENER); and George Baker, the moderator, who has written on the gaps in the text of the agreement, and the impediments to be overcome for a timely and effective implementation.

Read more: Panel Presentation on the US-Mexico Transborder Hydrocarbon Agreement

Fossil Fuel Taxation in the President’s 2013 Budget







Andre J. Barbe

Ph.D. Candidate, Rice University

(Houston, TX)



President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget proposes significant changes to the taxation of fossil fuels. These changes include increasing tax rates, reinstating expired taxes, and eliminating deductions. This presentation discussed the ten most important tax changes contained in the proposed budget.

Read more: Fossil Fuel Taxation in the President’s 2013 Budget

Managing Military Energy for Greater Cost Effectiveness







Michael E. Canes
Distinguished Fellow


(McLean, VA)

The energy economy within which the U.S. military operates is different from that of the civilian sector. The military, when asked to act, consumes at the point of conflict, in a theater of operations.  In such circumstances, the supply of fuels can be subject to enemy action, increasing its cost.  As we shall see, that increased cost can be many times that of fuel consumed in the civilian economy.

In this paper we present estimates of what it costs the military to supply fuel to troops engaged in action abroad.  We then describe recent actions on the part of the Department of Defense (DoD) to deal with this cost, and which of these appear the most promising.  Finally, we offer a few conclusions.

Read more: Managing Military Energy for Greater Cost Effectiveness

Forecasting Distributed Generation Adoption With Decision-based Feedback Loops




Mark Chew

Principal - Distributed Generation, PG&E (San Francisco, CA)


Matt Heling, PG&E; Colin Kerrigan, PG&E; Dié (Sarah) Jin, PG&E; Abigail Tinker, UC Berkeley; Marc Kolb, PG&E;

Susan Buller, PG&E; and Liang Huang, PG&E.


In the past decade, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) has experienced an unprecedented rate of distributed generation (DG) adoption, and this trend is expected to continue into the foreseeable future.  In this work, DG is defined as electrical generation on the customer side of the meter – primarily rooftop solar.  PG&E has 27% of US rooftop systems within its service territory[1], while serving only 5% of the US population.  Extrapolating from current trends, DG capacity is expected to be over 70,000 units and over 700 MW by the end of 2012, compared to a system peak demand of approximately 20 GW.

Read more: Forecasting Distributed Generation Adoption With Decision-based Feedback Loops

Driving Smart Growth: Electric Vehicle Adoption and Off-Peak Electricity Rates


Peter E. Gunther

Senior Research Fellow

Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis

University of Connecticut

(Nepean, Ontario, Canada)


Fred V. Carstensen, Marcello Graziano and Jill Coghlan

Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis,, University of Connecticut


Gradual adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) allows consumers to substitute cleaner and lower cost transportation fuel with fewer repair costs for vehicles powered by internal combustion engines (ICEs).  This paper examines the economic impacts of that transition on the Connecticut economy at the zip code level out to 2030 by applying savings in gasoline expenditures realized by EV owners in Connecticut to re-charging with electricity and allocating consumer net savings to other consumption.  An earlier paper demonstrated that with the long-term rising gasoline costs that EVs have become more cost-competitive against a growing variety of new medium and full-sized light vehicles powered by ICEs. Current trends continuing, EVs are likely to become increasingly competitive with design improvements.

Read more: Driving Smart Growth: Electric Vehicle Adoption and Off-Peak Electricity Rates

Are the Macroeconomic Effects Greater from an Oil Price Shock or a Global Demand for Oil Shock?







Vance Ginn


Dept. of Economics & International Business

Sam Houston State University

(Huntsville, TX)


A higher oil price has preceded most economic recessions since World War II, leading Hamilton (2011) to consider the price of oil to be a forward-looking indicator of economic activity. Although the real oil price appears to be correlated with business cycles, the significance of an oil price shock on macroeconomic aggregates has declined (Kilian & Lewis, 2011). Thus, instead of examining the macroeconomic impacts of an oil price shock, the underlying causes (i.e. oil supply, global aggregate demand, precautionary demand) of this shock and their effects are what should concern policymakers (Kilian, 2009; Baumeister & Peersman, 2009). Furthermore, since the 1980s, the underlying cause of fluctuations in the oil price appears to be primarily from global demand for oil. Therefore, the question I ask in this paper is whether an oil price shock or a global demand for oil shock has greater impacts on the unemployment rate, output, and inflation.

Read more: Are the Macroeconomic Effects Greater from an Oil Price Shock or a Global Demand for Oil Shock?

U.S. Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption and Intensity Trends: A Decomposition Approach



Behjat Hojjati


U.S. Energy Information Agency (Washington, DC)


Steven H. Wade


U.S. Energy Information Administration (Washington, D.C.)



Increasing energy efficiency is a subject widely referred to as a potential, important contributor to national energy policy goals.  In this context, historical efficiency gains are also of interest, but in practice bottoms-up efficiency estimates are too data intensive to develop. Thus, aggregate energy intensity, defined as total energy use per building or square foot is often used inappropriately as a proxy for energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is the ratio of service provided to energy input. Thus, efficiency gains occur when either energy use is reduced for a given level of service or there are increased services provided from a given amount of energy input. Aggregate energy intensity encompasses all factors affecting energy consumption and includes the effects of efficiency in addition to other non-efficiency components, like conservation changes (reduced energy due to reduced services) and structural changes. Structural changes quantified in our analysis include changes in the distribution of buildings across building types,[1] changes in the regional distribution of buildings, and changes in the average size of buildings.[2]

Read more: U.S. Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption and Intensity Trends: A Decomposition Approach

The Costs and Benefits of Transition to a Green Economy in the Context of Energy and Climate Change






Jinmi Kim, Ph.D. Candidate

Center for Energy and Environmental Policy

University of Delaware

(Newark, DE)



Green economy has become one of the main topics that the world community deliberated in the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development(UNCSD). The concept of green economy appeared first in the UNEP report in 2012 as a tool for operationalizing sustainable development which has been in existence more than two decades. It was presented as a vehicle for a new engine for growth, employment and poverty eradication. OECD in 2011 released a similar report which highlights the role of green growth as instrument of opening up new sources of growth and reducing risks of shocks from imbalances of natural systems. UNEP identified further positive aspects of green economy which included safeguarding natural capital and social equity and improving opportunities for jobs, energy and mobility. Notwithstanding these assertions, developing countries are concerned that transition to a green economy will require additional costs to them and as such they demand measures to reduce such risks. There is no reason to expect that transition costs would be limited to developing countries.

Read more: The Costs and Benefits of Transition to a Green Economy in the Context of Energy and Climate Change

Controllable Demand For Electricity Systems With High Wind Penetrations


Alberto J. Lamadrid

Asst. Prof. Economics

Lehigh University

(Bethlehem, PA)

with Tim Mount, Ray Zimmerman and Daniel Munoz-Alvarez


The electricity industry landscape in the 1980s was in what can be categorized as the calm before the storm: the changes seen in other industries, most notably airlines, were still making ripples across the regulatory spectrum, and what could be considered a mature industry after close to 100 years since the Pearl Street Station, was the object of study and intense. It is from this time that the conceptual re-imagining of the way this industry operates dates, integration engineering and economic solutions to suggest changes in the way in which system operators and regulators balance supply availability and electricity demand for planning purposes [Schweppe et al.(1989)], [Gellings and Smith(1989)]. It is now hard to conceive a situation in which the planning of the bulk electricity system does not consider some form of demand response, and both researchers and practitioners have dedicated some attention to this topic (see e.g. [Braithwait(2010)], and the full issue of the Power and Energy Magazine dedicated to Demand Response).

Read more: Controllable Demand For Electricity Systems With High Wind Penetrations

An Examination of Energy Intensity in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector



Gavin Pickenpaugh


National Energy Technology Laboratory (Morgantown, WV)


Peter Balash

Senior Economist

National Energy Technology Laboratory (Pittsburgh, PA)



United States energy intensity, measured as primary energy consumption per dollar of real gross domestic product (GDP), fell approximately 45 percent from 1980 to 2009 (EIA, n.d.). Research concerning the driving forces of improvements in energy intensity dates back to the late 1970s, and a lot of the research attempts to tease out the contributions of efficiency and structural change (Myers and Nakamura, 1978).

Read more: An Examination of Energy Intensity in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector

32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference - Anchorage, Alaska: July 28-31, 2013




Roger Marks

General Program Co-Chair

(Anchorage, AK)

(Photo courtesy Northern Gas Pipelines)

The summer of 2013 will be an extraordinary opportunity for USAEE members. Our 32nd North American Conference will be held in Anchorage Alaska, July 28-31, 2013 at the Hotel Captain Cook.  This year's conference will provide for many what may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit not only one of the great energy producing areas in North America, but one of the most beautiful places on earth!The theme of the conference is Industry Meets Government: Impact on Energy Use and Development.

Read more: 32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference - Anchorage, Alaska: July 28-31, 2013

32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference - Technical Tours

Gregory S. McDuffie

Commercial Activities Supervisor

ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc.

(Anchorage, AK)

As you plan your trip to Alaska, please take note of the four technical tours that are being planned to enhance your participation at the 32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference.


1) Prudhoe Bay (North Slope of Alaska) - Kuparuk Oil Field Tour

Saturday, July 27, 2013 (All Day)


2) Valdez Marine Terminal - Trans-Alaska Pipeline

Thursday/Friday, August 1-2, 2013 (Overnight)

3) Bio-gas plant at the Anchorage Landfill (Dates TBD)


4) State-of-the-Art Natural Gas Power Plant - Anchorage (Dates TBD)


Read more: 32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference - Technical Tours

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