Daily Agenda

Return to the Compiled Agenda

Monday, February 15

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
General Session
Ballroom South
Welcome and Introductions
Hon. Travis Kavulla, NARUC President, Montana


Q&A with Norman Bay, Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
President Kavulla will interview the FERC Chairman on the latest rulemakings as the regulator of wholesale markets, as well as survey Chairman Bay's thoughts on continuing regulatory debates on transmission planning, wholesale market design, and governance; the role of FERC vs. EPA; The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), and the hazy line separating the State and federal jurisdictions.

Moderator: Hon. Travis Kavulla, Montana


Grid Security: Three Perspectives
Panelists discuss what the security threat is, how the industry is informing itself, and what it is (and isn't) doing to counteract it.

Gen. Keith Alexander (Ret.), CEO and President, IronNet Cybersecurity
Nick Akins, Chairman, President, CEO, American Electric Power; Chairman, Edison Electric Institute
Marcus Sachs, Senior Vice President and Chief Security Officer, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)


10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Networking Break
Ballroom Foyer

10:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Staff Subcommittee on Law
MR 2
10:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Committee on Water
View Presentations 
Renaissance West A
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
“Smart” Ways to Manage Water: The Benefits of Cloud Computing
The water utility industry is increasingly exploring the deployment of advanced metering infrastructure to provide better customer service and increase operational efficiency. Advanced analytics enable water utilities to deliver important benefits such as eliminating leaks and inefficiencies, lowering operating costs, and improving water conservation. Recent developments in “cloud computing” enable water to utilities to bring together various information technology systems to leverage data sharing, analysis, and interoperability for the benefit of customers. Come learn about the cloud and how it can improve the water industry.

Moderator: Hon. Brien Sheahan, Illinois
Fred Butler, President and Chief Executive Officer, Butler Advisory Services
Jim Jenkins, Vice President, Regulatory and Public Policy, American Water
Jeffrey Katz, Chief Technology Officer for Energy and Utilities Industry, IBM
Cloud Provider, TBD


1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Is the Price Right?: Maintaining the Affordability of Water Service
Utilities face various factors that place upward pressure on rates. Whether it is replacing aging infrastructure, addressing storm preparedness and storm damage, instituting conservation measures, implementing government mandates, utilities and their economic regulators must balance such pressures and maintain the affordability of water service. The panelists will draw upon their diverse backgrounds to discuss the various factors placing upward pressure on rates and how those factors can be balanced with maintaining affordable rates for water service.

Moderator: Hon. Kenneth Hill, Tennessee
Jan Beecher, Director, Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University
Alan Roberson, Director of Federal Relations, American Water Works Association
Susan Satter, Public Utilities Counsel to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
Karla Teasley, Vice President, Customer Service, American Water


2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
EPA’s Waters of the United States Rule: What Effects Could it Have on Water Utilities?
The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule revised the definition of WOTUS for all Clean Water Act programs. How will the rule affect water utilities in the provision of affordable water services? The panel will discuss the rule and the ramifications for water utilities and the Commissions that regulate those utilities.

Moderator: Hon. Robert Powelson, Pennsylvania
Hon. Randy Randall, South Carolina
Jonathan Wood, Environmental Staff Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation
Brandyn Hancocks, Compliance Manager, Golden State Water Company
EPA Representative, TBD


4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Business Meeting
Items of Business of the Water Committee will be covered, including discussion and action on resolutions and approval of the minutes from the Annual Meeting. Additionally, updates from the various partners of the Water Committee will be given, including NAWC, NARUC, WRF, NRRI, and NARUC’s Rate School.


10:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Committee on Telecommunications
View Presentations 
Ballroom North
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Native American Telecommunications and Energy Access
This panel will discuss access to and the development of improved communications and electrical services and infrastructure in Native American communities, focusing on tribal lands. Many States, the federal government, and tribes have identified Native Americans as among the most underserved communities for broadband access and basic communication services. On some Native American reservations, electricity, dial tone, and 9-1-1 communication services are not universally available. We will explore how NARUC, in consultation with Tribal authorities, States, the federal government, and other sectors, can address this universal service gap.

Moderator: Hon. Catherine Sandoval, California
Sidney Dietz, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority & PGE Regulatory Relations Director
Forest James, CEO, EnerTribe, Oregon, Member of the Smith River Tribe
Paul Romero, IS Director, The Yurok Tribe
Tracy Stanhoff, President, American Indian Chamber of Commerce California, Former Tribal Chair, Prairie Band of Potowatomi Nation, Kansas


1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Enabling Competition in a Broadband World
This panel will examine the question of how we can (or should) ensure competitive choice after the transition to a broadband network. The panel will focus on the ways in which the States, the FCC, and others can assess, measure, and increase competition for broadband service, particularly in areas where networks are being funded through government investment, including CAF funds, USF monies, and other methods. Finally, the panel will explore how to increase competition among these networks, particularly in rural areas, and will look at the question of whether incenting competition should continue to be a key goal of telecommunications policy.

Moderator: Sherry Lichtenberg, PhD, National Regulatory Research Institute
Hon. Crystal Rhoades, Nebraska
Jonathan Banks, Senior Vice President, Law and Policy, US Telecom Association
Harold Feld, Vice President, Public Knowledge
John Jones, Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Relations, CenturyLink
Angie Kronenberg, Chief Advocate and General Counsel, Incompass
Chris Murphy, Associate General Counsel, Regulatory Affairs, ViaSat


2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
The ‘96 Act Turns 20: What Has It Helped; What Has It Hurt?
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was signed into law on February 8, 1996. It set up a new framework for competition including provisions dealing with resale, unbundled network elements, interconnection agreements subject to adoption and arbitration, reciprocal compensation, Customer Proprietary Network Information, universal service, regulatory forbearance, the promotion of advanced services, special restrictions on the Bell Operating Companies and many more. Twenty years down the road, the telecom world looks very different and the ‘96 Act certainly had something to do with how conditions developed. In this session, participants will discuss what worked, what didn’t, whether it’s currently helping or hindering competition, what are the burning issues in its interpretation, and how it could be improved.

Moderator: Hon. Gregg Sayre, New York
Hon. Elliott Elam, South Carolina
Nick Alexander, Associate General Counsel for Federal Affairs, Level 3
Jennie Chandra, Vice President Public Policy and Strategy, Windstream
Hank Hultquist, Vice President Federal Regulatory, AT&T
Olivia Wein, Staff Counsel, National Consumer Law Center


4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Committee on Telecommunications Business Meeting

Hon. Chris Nelson, South Dakota, Chair
Hon. Paul Kjellander, Idaho, Co-Vice Chair
Hon. Catherine Sandoval, California, Co-Vice Chair


10:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Committee on Electricity
Ballroom Central
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Realizing the Value of Solar
What strategies and technologies can we employ to wring the most value out of solar electric generating facilities?

Moderator: Hon. Libby Jacobs, Iowa
Dr. Deepak Divan, Varentec, Chief Scientist and Founder
Kevin Kushman, COO of Integral Analytics
Jeff Smith, Electric Power Research Institute


1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Subcommittee on Clean Coal and Carbon Management
View Presentations 
1:00 p.m. - 1:05 p.m.
Opening Remarks

Hon. Brian Kalk, Subcommittee Chair, North Dakota
Hon. Asim Haque, Subcommittee Vice Chair, Ohio


1:05 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.
Kemper County Reflections
An overview of the subcommittee’s recent trip.

Hon. John Quackenbush, Michigan
Ivy Wheeler, NARUC


1:20 p.m. - 1:40 p.m.
The Allam Cycle
A near-zero emissions technology that converts lignite to synthetic gas that combusts in a stream of oxygen. This technology is highly efficient because it replaces steam with high-pressure carbon dioxide as the working fluid that drives the generator.

Panelist: Wade Boeshans, President & General Manager, BNI Coal, Ltd.


1:40 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Chemical looping process for electricity

Panelist: Dr. Andrew Tong, Ohio State University


2:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Impacts of the Clean Power Plan

Panelist: Paul Bailey, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity


2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Technology Innovations in the Transforming Power System

EPRI will provide an overview of the technology innovations anticipated over the next decade, including the changing role of customers and an update on EPRI’s Integrated Grid analysis.

Moderator: Hon. Edward Finley, North Carolina
Panelists: Michael Howard, President & CEO, Electric Power Research Institute


4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
How and when will NERC and its regional entities assist States in developing Clean Power Plan compliance plans?
In developing the final rule of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the US Environmental Protection Agency incorporated additional measures that purportedly serve to ensure that reliability of the bulk power system is not compromised through CPP compliance. These additional measures were meant to allow for planning, implementation, and the integration of actions needed to address reliability while reducing emissions. Of particular interest to States is the new requirement that States demonstrate a consideration of reliability in plan construction through consultation with State reliability or planning agencies. The final rule also provides for a reliability safety valve, which is more to address unforeseen emergencies rather than the cumulative reliability impacts from State compliance plans.

Will these measures preserve reliability of the bulk power system through the CPP compliance period? What else could the US EPA have done to ensure that reliability is protected? How do States demonstrate that they have considered reliability when crafting a State plan? What guidance will planning authorities provide? Will the reliability safety valve work? What reliability analyses will/can be conducted to assist States going forward?

We’ve collected a panel of experts to answer these questions and provide guidance. NERC will provide an update on a soon-to-be published guidance document for States titled Reliability Considerations for Clean Power Plan Development; NERC regional entities representing SERC, WECC, and RF will provide regional perspectives on assistance to States in developing a reliability assessment; and two RTO’s - representing a region of predominantly traditionally regulated states (MISO) and deregulated States (PJM), will share their modeling efforts and how States can use this information.

Moderator: Hon. Asim Haque, Ohio
Gerry Cauley, President and CEO, North American Electric Reliability Corporation
Mike Kormos, Ex. VP and COO, PJM
Tim Gallagher, President and CEO, RF
Scott Henry, President and CEO, SERC
Clair Moeller, Ex. VP of Transmission and Technology, Midcontinent Independent System Operator
Jim Robb, CEO, Western Electricity Coordinating Council
10:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Committee on Gas
View Presentations 
Congressional Ballroom
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Can You Dig It?
America's natural gas pipeline network consists of 320,000 miles of gas transmission pipelines and more than two million miles of gas distribution lines. In today's market, the vast majority of pipeline construction work is contracted out, highlighting the increasingly important role played by gas utility contractors across the country. Recognizing that excavation damage continues to be the largest single cause of gas pipeline incidents, the importance of participation in the one-call and damage prevention process cannot be overstated. Do exemptions to this process compromise safety? Should ALL stakeholders have a responsibility for effective damage prevention? This panel will look at the issue of damage prevention from the perspective of the nation’s gas pipeline contractors. The discussion will focus on the training of personnel working in the field; post-construction inspections; horizontal/directional drilling and other trenchless excavation methods; and how ongoing threats to underground gas utilities are addressed in the field.

Moderator: Hon. Paul Roberti, Rhode Island
Daryl Bouwkamp, Senior Director Int’l Business Development & Gov’t Affairs, Vermeer Corporation
Steve Canestrini, Operator Qualifications Manager, INTREN, Inc.
Brad Heck, Director of Compliance, Miller Pipeline


1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Maintaining Natural Gas System Safety and Integrity
Natural gas utilities and transmission pipeline operators are continually working to improve safety and enhance the integrity and reliability of their systems. They are doing this by using state-of-the art technology as well as accelerating the replacement of pipelines no longer fit for service. This session will feature an interactive demonstration of Columbia Pipeline Group’s innovative “Intelligent Pipeline Solution” developed by GE and Accenture and a report on the current pipeline replacement efforts and trends across the country. We will discuss the appropriate management required for accelerated pipeline replacement programs. We will listen to the gas producer perspective on best management practices in the upstream arena. We will learn about how innovative technologies can provide pipeline safety and integrity opportunities.

Hon. Stan Wise, Georgia
Hon. Diane X. Burman, New York
Eduardo Balbis, Managing Director, Accenture Strategy
Cheryl Campbell, Senior V.P. Gas Xcel Energy
Daphne D'Zurko, Executive Director, NYSEARCH and VP RD&D, Northeast Gas Association
Hon. Sherina Maye Edwards, Illinois
Erik Milto, Group Director, Upstream & Industry Operations at API


2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Natural Gas CEO Wellhead to Burner Tip Panel
A frank discussion with natural gas company CEOs, delving into the important and challenging issues that the natural gas industry is facing today.

Hon. Stan Wise, Georgia
Ralph LaRossa, President & COO, Public Service Electric and Gas and Chairman of the AGA Board
Steve Mueller, Chairman of the Board, Southwestern
Donald Santa, President and CEO, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America


4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Natural Gas Pipeline Siting-Easy, Right?
(JOINT MEETING with the Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment)

The volume of natural gas that is being produced in the United States has increased exponentially from a previous record of 22,647,549 Mcf in 1973 to 27,336,644 Mcf in 2014. At the same time, consumption of natural gas by various sectors, including the energy sector, has also increased to 26,698,068 Mcf in 2014 and will likely continue to increase with implementation of the CPP. While consumption increases, there is a growing recognition that there is insufficient pipeline infrastructure to move the resource to areas of need. The pipeline siting process, regardless of whether the pipe is intrastate subject to State Commission jurisdiction or interstate under FERC jurisdiction, often becomes contentious, drawing concerns from a variety of fronts on issues ranging from property rights to impacts to sensitive environmental areas to emissions from pipeline activities.

Hon. Pamela Witmer, Pennsylvania
Hon. Tony Clark, FERC
Hon. Dianne Solomon, New Jersey
Sharon Buccino, Director, Land and Wildlife Program, NRDC
Allen Fore, Vice President, Public Affairs, Kinder Morgan


10:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Committee on Energy Resources and Environment
View Presentations 
Renaissance East/Congressional
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Driving Decisions via Deep Data-Diving & Dashboards: How big data can lead to better decisions for utilities, customers, and regulators.
Rapid advances in grid modernization, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), computer automation, and large-scale data analytics – so called “big data” – are converging to change what is possible for achieving least cost utility planning and operations, blending increasing amounts of variable renewable resources and storage technologies, and achieving greater efficiency in both utility operations and consumer usage. For the utility, AMI, distribution automation, and large-scale data analytics are converging to offer new possibilities for optimizing grid operations. On the customer side of the meter, many thousands of customers are already benefiting from products like intelligent thermostats and services available from control software and analytic tools, and new opportunities are emerging all the time. There are potential roles for all kinds of communications and controls, business to business, business to consumer, and even machine to machine. At the same time, there could be lost opportunity costs if such innovations face too many hurdles in reaching their market potential. This panel reviews some of the most important early applications, providing current information to help commissioners think about emerging standards utilities might be directed to achieve.

Moderator: Hon. Beth Trombold, Ohio
Paul Alvarez, President, the Wired Group
Cameron Brooks, President, Tolerable Planet Enterprises
Jeff Steffes, EVP External Affairs, Direct Energy


1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Energy Storage: Coming Soon to Theaters Near You
Already, a baker’s dozen States have ongoing dockets, working groups and other agency activities addressing how to open up utility planning, markets, and rates to enable energy storage to participate in as many as a dozen or more grid-supporting roles, as long as storage can prove that it is cost effective or that it can take on the appropriate technology-performance risk. At a time during which energy storage installations are increasing and prices of energy storage systems are decreasing, economic regulators must decide whether and how to facilitate the deployment of these resources in their States. The panel aims to explore what role energy storage technology could serve in meeting the simultaneous reliability, affordability and sustainability demands on the energy system, as well as the different types of regulatory barriers encountered by grid-scale versus customer-sited energy storage applications.

Moderator: Hon. Jeannette Mills, Maryland
Hon. Lorraine Akiba, Hawaii
Hon. Dave Danner, Washington
Hon. Carla Peterman, California


2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Electric Rate Design: Moving Beyond Net Energy Metering
(JOINT MEETING with the Staff Subcommittee on Rate Design)

Advances in technology, including distributed generation, electric vehicles, and “smart” appliances, combined with advanced metering infrastructure and more sophisticated utility monitoring systems may call for a more refined method of designing the rates charged to customers. A traditional $/kWh structure may no longer be the most effective basis for rate design. Panelists will discuss how rate designs can affect choices made by customers, utilities, and other electric market participants. They will explain how rate designs can balance all major interests, provide a framework for stable regulation of utilities, and enable utilities to meet electricity requirements.

Moderator: Hon. Donna Nelson, Texas
Paul Gastineau, VP of Regulatory Affairs, CenterPoint Energy
Rick Gilliam, Program Director DG Regulatory Policy, Vote Solar
Lon Huber, Director, Strategen
Debbie Kimberly, VP for Customer Energy Solutions, Austin Energy


4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Natural Gas Pipeline Siting - Easy, right?
(JOINT MEETING with the Committee on Gas)

The volume of natural gas that is being produced in the United States has increased exponentially from a previous record of 22,647,549 Mcf in 1973 to 27,336,644 Mcf in 2014. At the same time, consumption of natural gas by various sectors, including the energy sector, has also increased to 26,698,068 Mcf in 2014 and will likely continue to increase with implementation of the CPP. While consumption increases, there is a growing recognition that there is insufficient pipeline infrastructure to move the resource to areas of need. The pipeline siting process, regardless of whether the pipe is intrastate subject to state commission jurisdiction or interstate under FERC jurisdiction, often becomes contentious drawing concerns from a variety of fronts on issues ranging from property rights, to impacts to sensitive environmental areas to emissions from pipeline activities.

Moderator: Hon. Pam Witmer, Pennsylvania
Hon. Tony Clark, FERC
Hon. Dianne Solomon, New Jersey
Sharon Buccino, Director, Land and Wildlife Program, NRDC
The Williams Companies (invited)


11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Committee Chairs Meeting (Invitees only)
MR 3
11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Staff Subcommittee Chairs and NARUC Staff Meeting (Invitees only)
Renaissance West B
2:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Networking Break
Ballroom Foyer
3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Networking Break
Ballroom Foyer
4:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
Staff Subcommittee on Rate Design (closed)
MR 15
5:15 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
MACRUC Region Meeting (Invitees Only)
MR 4
5:15 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
NECPUC Region Meeting (Invitees Only)
MR 5
5:15 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
MARC Region Meeting (Invitees Only)
MR 2
5:15 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Western Region Meeting (Invitees Only)
MR 3
5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
SEARUC Region Meeting (Invitees Only)
MR 12 - 14