Gas

This agenda is subject to change.

Gas

Sunday, November 12

3:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Key 2
3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

History and Understanding of R&D Funding for Natural Gas in the United States

A history of U.S. Collaborative natural gas R&D from 1976 to today: benefits, costs, enabling decisions, challenges of the competitive marketplace, and prospects and needs for future R&D.

Moderator: 

Andreas Thanos, Chair, Staff Subcommittee on Gas

Presenter:

Ron Edelstein, Director, Regulatory and Government Relations, Gas Technology Institute

3:55 p.m. - 4:25 p.m.

Natural Gas Price Transparency in the Next Decade  

The U.S. natural gas market may be the most transparent in the world, but some are worried about declining levels of voluntary price reporting. An expert on the natural gas market with years of commercial experience and policy interpretation provides her perspective on price index reporting in the natural gas market and why participants may be reporting less.

Moderator:

Andreas Thanos, Chair, Staff Subcommittee on Gas

Presenter:

Jennifer Fordham, NACD Governance Fellow, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Natural Gas Supply Association 

4:25 p.m. - 4:55 p.m.
Update on Liquefied Natural Gas Export Permitting and Office of Oil and Natural Gas Research & Development
 
It has been almost two years since Asia Vision, the first LNG tanker filled with domestically produced LNG, left the Sabine Pass facility for Brazil.  A U.S. Department of Energy representative will provide an update on the LNG export permitting process and DOE supported natural gas R&D.
 

Moderator:

Andreas Thanos, Chair, Staff Subcommittee on Gas

Presenter:

Amy Sweeney, Director, Division of Natural Gas Regulation, DOE Office of Oil and Natural Gas

 

Monday, November 13

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Key 6
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Joint session with Task Force on Natural Gas Access and Expansion and Committee on Consumer Affairs

Uncovering the Opportunities for Natural Gas Access and Expansion Initiatives

The energy challenges facing the nation are enormous and the possible solutions are multifaceted. Many State energy regulators are actively looking at ways to smartly modernize and expand their natural gas infrastructure. In recognition of these regulatory efforts, in April 2017, NARUC established a Natural Gas Access and Expansion Taskforce with the goal of examining, during its eight-month tenure, the development of best practices and recommendations regarding natural gas service for underserved and unserved areas of the country, including, but not limited to rural communities. These regulatory decisions are generally centered on ensuring safety and reliability at just and reasonable rates for consumers. Such natural gas expansion opportunities, if successful, can help leverage necessary benefits such as energy security; economic growth; community development and sustainability; increased energy efficiency; environmental goals; and lower costs for consumers. This moderated discussion will explore the real-life examples from several successful ongoing initiatives and share the status of the Taskforce review. As such, it is an important discussion for State regulators who may be interested in spearheading their own natural gas expansion efforts.

Moderators: 

Hon. John Coleman, Pennsylvania

Hon. Julie Fedorchak, North Dakota

Hon. Brandon Presley, Mississippi

Panelists:

Hon. Nick Wagner, Iowa 

Robert Beard, President and Chief Executive Officer, UGI Utilities Inc.

Michael German, President and Chief Executive Officer, Corning Natural Gas Corporation

Bill Senter, Division VP Rates and Regulatory Affairs, Atmos Energy

David Terry, Executive Director, National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)

 

 10:30 a.m. - 10:55 a.m.

Business Meeting, Committee on Gas

Gas Leadership Team:
Hon. Stan WiseGeorgia

Hon. Diane X. BurmanNew York

Hon. Julie Fedorchak, N. Dakota

 

Agenda:

Hon. Robert F. Powelson, FERC Commissioner 

Vince Parisi, VP Finance and Regulatory Affairs, Columbia Gas of Ohio

Travis Fisher, Senior Advisor, Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability, US DOE

Gas Committee Updates Discussion

Other business as may come before the committee

 10: 55 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Methane Emissions Management and the Natural Gas System

Low-cost, abundant supplies of natural gas, along with highly-efficient NGCC plants, have enabled natural gas to become the largest U.S. fuel source for electricity generation in 2016.  While natural gas offers environmental benefits relative to other traditional sources of electricity generation, it is composed primarily of methane, a greenhouse gas; thus, these environmental benefits are predicated upon responsible management practices across the natural gas value chain.  This panel will consider methane emissions management practices undertaken by the oil and natural gas industry and will explore related environmental considerations.

Moderators: 

Hon. Stan Wise, Georgia

Hon. Diane X. Burman, New York

Panelists:

Susan Blevins, Climate Policy Planning Senior Advisor, ExxonMobil

Deanna Haines, Director, Gas Engineering, Southern California Gas Co

Ron Edelstein, Director, Regulatory and Government Relations, Gas Technology Institute

Mark Brownstein, Vice President, Climate and Energy, Environmental Defense Fund

 

 

Tuesday, November 14

8:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Location: Holiday Ballroom
8:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Mother Nature The Ultimate Disrupter!

The utilities industry has been facing disruptors coming from within the industry for many years now. We have talked about new business models and ways to increase demand and create new customers/revenue streams, but are we prepared for the disruptions to the industry from a force indifferent to the very existence of the industry? Recently, three major hurricanes have had severe impacts on the energy, water, gas, and telecommunications sectors. Some areas with total destruction are looking at starting from scratch. This session will feature a Regulator, Consumer Advocate and high level representatives from the electricity, gas, water, and telecommunications industries.

During this timely session, attendees will:

  • Understand how utilities were prepared for this kind of disruption.
  • Learn how utilities will change their preparation for future natural disasters.
  • Identify the role of the regulator in these circumstances—before, during, and after.
  • Discuss expectations of consumers.

Moderator: Hon. Ron Brise, Florida

Participants:

Hon. Jeremy Oden, Alabama

Stephanie Brand, Director, NJ Division of Rate Counsel

Calvin Butler,Jr., CEO, Baltimore Gas & Electric

Joy Ditto, President and CEO, Utilities Technology Council

Christopher Franklin, President and CEO, Aqua America and NAWC Chairman

Pierce Norton, CEO of OneGas and AGA Board chairman

 

Remarks by:

M. Granger Morganthe Hamerschlag University Professor of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.  He holds appointments in three academic units: the Department of Engineering and Public Policy; the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and the H. John Heinz III College. 

He currently chairs the Committee on Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electric Power Transmission and Distribution System. 

Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System

 

9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Networking Break : Holiday Foyer
9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Mother Nature The Ultimate Disrupter! Continued

(See the description above.)

Location: Key 2
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A3

Weathering the Storm: Communications Network Resilience

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Superstorm Sandy, and the Derecho taught us many lessons. Changes in response time, resilience measures to the network, and mutual assistance procedures were just a few measures examined in some regions.  During this session, regulators will discuss how measures implemented from previous experiences impacted recent restoration efforts and timelines and what lessons were learned this time around.  

 

Moderator: Hon. Julie Brown, Florida

Participants:

Hon. John Clendenin, Virgin Islands

Hon. Mary-Anna Holden, New Jersey

Hon. Gregg Sayre, New York

Hon. DeAnn Walker, Texas

Hon. Stan Wise, Georgia

Location: Key 7
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A4

The Battle for Peak Capacity: Batteries vs. Gas

The United States electric grid is expected to need more peaking capacity resources, both to replace retiring units and to integrate higher levels of variable generation. Natural gas-fired power plants are the dominant technology providing peaking capacity. But for how long? Rapid and significant cost declines in battery energy storage have some proponents arguing that it can substitute for the gas peaking equipment. This session will debate whether battery storage can really compete with gas peakers.

Through an interactive Jeopardy-style experience, attendees will:

  • Learn innovative ways regulators are approaching planning and procurement of new peaking capacity.
  • Learn what the benefits are (if any) to consumers.

 

Moderator: Hon. Ted Thomas, Arkansas

Participants:

Mikael Backman, Regional Director, North America, Energy Solutions, Wartsila Corporation

Praveen Kathpal, Vice President, AES Energy Storage

Chris Villarreal, President, Plugged-In Strategies

Wednesday, November 15

10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Holiday Ballroom
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Happy First Anniversary! and NARUC Business Meeting

The General Session will begin with the NARUC Annual Business Meeting. Commissioners are requested to take seats in the front of the meeting room. 

The U.S. House of Representatives has designated the third Wednesday in November as Utility Scam Awareness Day. This year, we recognize it on November 15. Today, or on any given day, utility customers are receiving calls from people falsely asserting they represent a utility company. Callers are threatening to disconnect electric, water, or gas service, if immediate payment isn’t made. These villains target vulnerable populations, including senior citizens and non-native English speakers. They use sophisticated tactics, including caller identification spoofing technology and recordings of the utility company’s telephone menu messages. Utilities United against Scams (UUAS) is comprised of more than 100 (and growing) electric, water, and gas utilities, along with their respective trade associations in North America. The aim of UUAS is to educate customers about scam tactics in the hopes of ultimately putting an end to these types of crimes.

Attendees will:

  • Learn how these scams have a negative financial, fear-inducing effect of fraud on utility customers.
  • Learn the vital role that regulators play in working with utilities to protect consumers from scams.
  • Learn the types of phone, in-person, and Internet scams utility customers are currently experiencing.
  • Learn tips to share with constituents/consumers to avoid falling for utility impostor scams.
  • Explore solutions adapted for websites, social media, and in-person outreach events/town halls.
  • Hear about steps utilities and their partners have taken to educate consumers on these scams.

Moderator: Hon. Jack Betkoski, NARUC President, Connecticut

Participants:

Bryan Batson, SVP, Southern Operations, Southern Company Gas

Sheri Givens, Author,  Consumer Scam Awareness Guide & Executive Director, Utilities United Against Scams 

Kristin Keckeisen, Director, AARP Campaigns

Elin Swanson Katz, Consumer Counsel, State of Connecticut

Maureen Westbrook, VP Customer & Regulatory, Connecticut Water Company

Session Materials

AARP's Fraud Watch Network