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New Chair Announcements, Key Resolutions Passed at NARUC’s Summer Policy Summit
WASHINGTON (July 26, 2019) — New activities, appointments and resolutions were highlights of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Summer Policy Summit held in Indianapolis, Indiana, July 21-24.
Under the ‘Leading the Way’ theme, NARUC President Nick Wagner opened Monday’s General Session with an overview of NARUC’s key advocacy and education objectives. Two priorities noted include the pipeline reauthorization currently under review by Congress and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s recent order on energy storage resources. He also used the famous ‘Who’s On First?’ analogy to describe and clarify NARUC’s election process for its leadership.
Outgoing FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, who steps down next month after serving for nine years with FERC, joined Wagner on the stage, after he concluded his press conference remarks. She noted the various challenges affecting the federal and state relationship, such as advances in technology, and added that NARUC and regional meetings are an opportunity to enhance the working relationship between state and federal officials and to possibly create a more formalized role for FERC participation.
Lynn Good, CEO and President of Duke Energy, engaged in a one-on-one dialogue with Wagner. Good described Duke’s three-pronged approach as a ‘no regrets’ attitude toward making strategic investments, which focuses on the customer experience, investment in the delivery system (gas and electric) and clean energy, which are all “built on a foundation of operational excellence, safety…and increasingly, stakeholder engagement,” she said.
Tuesday’s General Session focused on regulatory reform and understanding the challenges and innovations associated with different sectors, which included participation from policy, regulatory and consumer experts.
NARUC’s Subcommittee on Supplier and Workforce Diversity led Wednesday’s discussion on advancing more diverse, inclusive utility companies, public utility commissions and suppliers. This marked the first time this topic was covered during a general session, which was well-attended.
New Electricity and Pipeline Safety Chairs
Wagner also announced the appointments of Commissioner Ann Rendahl as the new chair of the Committee on Electricity and Commissioner Jay Balasbas as the chair of the Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety. Both serve at the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.
Poverty Simulation, Black Sky Exercise
Another first was a poverty simulation, held on Sunday morning, which provided an eye-opening opportunity for participants—regulators, industry and others—to get a sense of the difficulties encountered on a daily basis by individuals living in poverty. Participants navigated a range of social services, employment, financial, legal and domestic life issues through real-life scenarios. The event was organized by NARUC’s Committee on Consumers and the Public Interest, and chair Commissioner Maida Coleman of Missouri and vice chair Commissioner Obi Linton of Maryland provide their insights on the activity in this interview: http://bit.ly/2YkM7yu.
Sunday afternoon featured an interactive Black Sky Exercise. The activity was intended to introduce participants to the scale and scope of coordination and collaboration required across federal, state and local governments; relief agencies; and private-sector organizations to plan for and recover from large-scale, multi-sector disruptions.
Agenda items for the 900-plus attendees included panels focused on telecommunications, water, electricity, gas, energy resources and the environment, pipeline safety, clean coal and more. NARUC strives to provide a valuable educational experience for attendees through relevant discussions presented across a variety of formats. See other videos on NARUC’s YouTube channel at http://bit.ly/NARUCYouTube.
After the conclusion of Wednesday’s general session, the NARUC Board of Directors passed the following substantive resolutions:
NARUC will hold its Annual Meeting November 17-20 in San Antonio, Texas, which will include the election of officers.
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.