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Emphasizes State Regulators Leading the Way for Reliability and Announces Plan for Gas-Electric Initiative
LA QUINTA, California (November 16, 2023) — Regulators from across the country convened this week for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners 135th Annual Meeting and Education Conference, to participate in informative sessions, elect officers, pass resolutions and engage with stakeholders.
Commissioner Michael A. Caron, of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, presided over the four-day event, which attracted more than 1,000 attendees. Caron’s term concluded a three-year theme, Connecting the Dots: Innovative/Disruptive Technology and Regulation.
North Dakota Commissioner Julie Fedorchak, who was elected as the new president, laid out her vision for the coming year under the theme, Focused on the Future: State Regulators Leading the Way.
“The electricity sector is undergoing a top-to-bottom revolution that will generate unprecedented demand for and dependence on electricity and will result in an American society that has far less tolerance for electricity outages,” she said. “This transition stresses the gas sector both by significantly increasing demand for gas and creating uncertainty about the long-term investments needed to supply it.”
Fedorchak also announced a new gas-electric initiative, described as a joint NARUC-industry effort on gas electric alignment for reliability, known as GEAR, “which will bring together regulators, utilities, grid and pipeline operators, producers and suppliers to better coordinate these systems and ensure they are up to the tasks expected of them,” she explained. A detailed press release on the initiative is forthcoming.
Along with Fedorchak, Georgia PSC Commissioner Tricia Pridemore and Washington UTC Commissioner Ann Rendahl were elected as first and second vice president, respectively.
Also noteworthy during the meeting was the release of NARUC’s Resource Adequacy for State Utility Regulators: Current Practices and Emerging Reforms, which focuses on the evolving role of state utility regulators in maintaining reliability amid the energy transition (available online here).
National Experts and Topics
Representatives from federal government participated in the Annual Meeting, including Department of Energy Undersecretary for Infrastructure David Crane; Commissioner James Danly, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and Commissioner Allison Clements, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Leading main-stage topics included discussions on how regulators can partner with the government during the clean energy transition; integrated resource planning; operational challenges in our bulk power system; and gas-electric coordination.
Recognitions and Awards
This year’s In Memoriam slideshow included a tribute to former NARC Executive Director Charles ‘Chuck’ Gray, who passed away earlier this year.
Two awards were presented:
The Ray Baum Memorial Leadership Award, given to a member of the NARUC Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications that best reflects initiative and drive toward public service. Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission Infrastructure Manager Rebecca Beaton was this year’s winner.
The Terry Barnich Award for Promoting International Cooperation Among Utility Regulators and Development of Professional Regulation was presented to Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission Chairman Dave Danner. Read the press release here.
Honorary resolutions were passed recognizing former commissioners and staff, which are available at bit.ly/3SFwK3y.
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC’s member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of state public utility commissions before the three branches of the federal government.