For Immediate Release: February 16, 2017
Contact: Regina L. Davis, 202-898-9382, firstname.lastname@example.org
Record Attendance and Policy Talks Highlight NARUC Winter Meeting
Policymakers Addressed Members; Key Resolutions Passed
WASHINGTON—The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners concluded its Winter Committee Meetings with record attendance of more than 1,600 registrants. NARUC President Robert F. Powelson of Pennsylvania led the four-day conference, covering utility issues in energy, telecommunications, water and consumer affairs.
Notable panels included a kickoff general session on February 13, featuring Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who rolled out his agenda for the coming year. Also, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Acting Chair Cheryl LaFleur engaged in a Q&A session with President Powelson on February 14, preceded by a talk from Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, who outlined priorities for addressing infrastructure issues and transportation matters.
President Powelson’s theme for the year, Infrastructure, Innovation, and Investment, was reflected in the discussion topics of many sessions. In particular, the Presidential Task Force on Innovation and the Presidential Task Force on Veterans’ Workforce committees were two popular panels, with standing-room-only attendance.
The effect of the new Presidential Administration on energy and telecommunications policies attracted much attention to this year’s meeting. Relevant issues concerning resiliency, innovation and cybersecurity were other subjects covered during the meeting.
“The influence and credibility of NARUC was quite evident during the meetings,” said Powelson. “We were able to attract political leaders and national experts to our panels and provide the type of meaningful information that our state regulators and stakeholders expect.”
The meeting concluded with two general session panels. The first, moderated by Commissioner Judy Jagdmann of Virginia, examined the U.S. Department of Defense’s increased focus on ensuring that resiliency measures are in place to protect the nation’s power grid. Representatives from the Air Force, Army and Navy participated in the discussion. The final panel, moderated by NARUC First Vice President John Betkoski of Connecticut, provided insights for regulators on consumer utility scams. Utility, commission and consumer advocacy perspectives were shared.
Several substantive and honorary resolutions were passed by the Board of Directors at the close of the meeting on February 15, which include the following:
Energy Resources and the Environment
Resolution Supporting EPA’s WaterSense “Fix-a-Leak Week in March 2017
Resolution on Pipeline Safety Collaborative
Resolution on Natural Gas Pipeline Siting Review, Member Information Sharing and Tool Kit Initiative
Resolution on Federalism and the Connect America Fund Phase II
Resolution on Interconnection and Competition Policy
Resolution on Federalism and the Mobilitie Petition
Resolution Supporting EPA’s WaterSense “Fix-a-Leak Week” in March 2017
The resolutions are available on NARUC’s website at http://bit.ly/2lnwGG4.
Transportation Report and Name Change for Meetings Approved
A comprehensive report from NARUC’s Transportation Task Force was approved by the board at the conclusion of the meeting. The Report of the NARUC Task Force on Transportation includes a review and assessment of the role of state commissions in regulating transportation network companies and railroad safety. The full report is available at http://bit.ly/2lWAz1G.
During the meeting, members approved new logos for future committee meetings, which have been renamed to reflect the policy focus of the meetings. July 16-19, NARUC will convene its Summer Policy Summit in San Diego, California.
Presentations from the meeting will be available at http://bit.ly/2lSJQsk on February 21, 2017, and the agenda can be found at http://bit.ly/2k80KGt. Social media perspectives on the meeting can be tracked by searching on the #NARUCWinter17 hashtag, which was a top trending topic briefly during the meeting.
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.