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(Includes content available as of November 2, 2016)

This agenda is subject to change.

Monday, November 14


OPSI Breakfast/Board Meeting (invitees only) (7:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.)

Location: Fiesta 13,14


NARUC Board of Directors Meeting (7:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.)

Location: Studio


Registration Open (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Location: La Cita


Committee on Telecommunications

Location: Flores 7 & 8
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

State Regulatory Process Considerations in National Lifeline Verification

The FCC Order, “Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization” adopts reforms to make the Lifeline program a key driver of the solution to our Nation’s broadband affordability challenge. Panelists will examine National verification challenges. USAC, the agent for the FCC’s Universal Service Programs, will give a briefing on the steps taken on the development of a national verifier model for Lifeline ETC designations and other implementation activities.  NARUC Commissioners and Telecommunications Industry representatives will review State regulatory oversight of Telephone, Wireless and Broadband and strategies for providing Human Services Data Information and established efforts to provide Lifeline verification.

Moderator: Hon. Johann Clendenin, Virgin Islands

Hon. Gregg Sayre, New York

Hon. Betty Ann Kane, District of Columbia

Catherine Sandoval, California 

Ryan Palmer, Division Chief, FCC Telecommunications Access Policy Division

Michelle Garber, Vice President, Lifeline division of USAC

Kevin G. Rupy, Vice President, Law & Policy, USTelecom

Tony Shepherd,  Chief Executive Officer, Choice Communications

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. FCC Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Chief Alison Kutler
11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Committee on Telecommunications Business Meeting

Chairman: Hon. Chris Nelson, South Dakota

Co-Vice Chairs:
Hon. Catherine Sandoval, California

Hon. Paul Kjellander, Idaho



Committee on Water

Location: Flores 6
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

The Challenges of Produced Water Storage and Disposal

Produced water, a byproduct of natural gas and oil exploration and production, presents challenges for storage and disposal.  The panel will discuss those challenges and the role that State regulators will have in the storage and disposal of produced water.

Moderator: TBA

Jill Cooper, Manager Reporting and Advocacy, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation

Panelist TBA

Panelist TBA

View Presentations 

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Irrigation and Large Volume Water Use:  Balancing Economic Interests, Conservation Efforts, and Rate Impact

Irrigation and other large volume water use sustain important economic interests including agriculture and recreational activities such as the golf course industry.  The panel will discuss what efforts are being undertaken to improve irrigation practices to sustain those interests while being engaging in conservation practices.  The panel will also discuss how State regulators and the water utilities they regulate can facilitate improved irrigation practices.

Moderator: Hon. Mary-Anna Holden, New Jersey

Brian Brady, General Manager, Fallbrook Public Utilities District

Don Distante, Director of Planning and Strategic Projects, SUEZ North America

Tracy Quinn, Policy Analyst, Water Program, Natural Resources Defense council

Jim Schmid, Director of Agronomy, The Lakes Country Club

William J. Steele, Area Manager, Southern California Area Office, United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation

View Presentations 

11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.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 Summer Meetings. Additionally, updates from the various partners of the Water Committee will be given, including NAWC, NARUC, WRF, NRRI, and NARUC's Rate School.  Members of the Committee will also have time to brief the Committee on activities of interest in their State.


Committee on Gas

Location: Flores 5
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Putting Pedal to the Metal—But Will Natural Gas Hit a Brick Wall?

Recent infrastructure projects have faced opposition from a wide and varied group of known and also previously unknown special interests.  Specifically, small but vocal groups have voiced opposition to projects ranging from LNG export terminals to new gas pipeline construction.  Regulators and legislators alike have discovered that this new environment requires careful navigation and an uptick in procedural elements before regulators and court challenges as well.   One such case study in New England saw the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court  denying the state PUC’s authorization for electric distribution companies to procure available gas capacity in an effort to  secure a low-cost, more reliable natural gas supply for electric generation.  The Court’s decision has wide ranging implications for Massachusetts and the region.  Given this dynamic, and the trend it seems to indicate, is it possible to develop, permit and construct major new natural gas infrastructure projects? What, if anything, can the pipeline industry, end-user utilities, state regulators, FERC, and other regional, state and federal stakeholders do to facilitate safe and reasonable development of critical industry in today's climate where even legally permitted projects are being successfully blocked from construction? Is additional pipeline capacity needed as a backstop for the development of renewable energy and to allow customers heating their homes with oil to shift to natural gas?

Hon. Stan Wise, Georgia

Hon. Diane X. Burman, New York

Hon. Mark Vannoy, Chairman Maine PUC 

Richard Kruse, V.P. Regulatory and FERC Compliance Officer, Spectra Energy 

Dena Wiggins, President, Natural Gas Supply Association 

Julien Dumoulin-Smith, Executive Director, Electric Utilities, UBS Investment Research, UBS Securities LLC

Kevin Reilly,  LIUNA International, Construction Department

Tony Clark, Former FERC Commissioner


10:30 a.m. - 10:55 a.m.

Business Meeting, Committee on Gas

Hon. Stan WIse, Georgia

Hon. DIane X. Burman, New York

Hon. Julie Fedorchak, N. Dakota


  • Approval of minutes of the July 2016 Meeting
  • Discussion on possible honorary resolutions
  • Other business as may come before the committee
10:55 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

The Future of Gas: Synergies Between Natural Gas and Renewable Generation

While the “utility of the future” gets a lot of attention on the electric side of the industry, the gas sector nationwide represents several possibilities in terms of distribution, retail services, and customer choice. Grid operators are seeing a significant increase in variable renewable energy resources, reaching 30 to 40% of demand at times in some regions (ERCOT for example). This variability can cause reliability issues and grid stability problems. Natural gas generation is a good complement to variable energy as NG generation is flexible and can quickly cycle up and down. More renewable, variable energy on the grid will lead to the need for more gas generation to maintain stability.This panel will discuss the unique perspective of the gas industry as it relates to the future of the utility and how synergies exist between natural gas and renewable generation and how to work to coordinate the two.

Hon. Julie Fedorchak, N. Dakota

Hon. Sherina Maye Edwards, Illinois

Larry Godlasky, Director, Government Affairs, UGI Energy Services, LLC

Dr. Ira H. Shavel, Principal, The Brattle Group

Paul DeCotis, West Monroe

Ralph LaRossa, President and COO, Public Service Electric & Gas

William Siderewicz, Clean Energy Future (invited)

Kenan Ogelman, VP Commercial Operations, Electric Reliability Council of Texas


Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment

Location: Flores 1 - 3

View Presentations 

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Business Meeting

Hon. Nancy Lange, MN, Chair

Hon. Donna Nelson, TX, Co-Vice Chair

Hon. Jeannette Mills, MD, Co-Vice Chair

Consideration of Resolutions

Commissioner Roundtable

Clean Power Plan Discussion:
Commissioner Emeritus Doug Scott

10:30 a.m. - 11;45 a.m.

Distributed Resources for Disaster Response and Grid Resiliency

Federal agencies like the Department of Defense, and state and local governments are designing and building distributed energy systems, often in combination with energy storage, to support the continued operation of critical infrastructure during grid outages, natural disasters, and other emergencies. Unlike individual backup generators, these resources also provide value to consumers and to the grid during periods of normal (non-emergency) operation.  This panel will explore the costs and benefits of using distributed resources for resiliency and the operational characteristics of projects underway in various locations.

Moderator: Hon. Jeannette Mills, Maryland

Sarah Wright, Executive Director, Utah Clean Energy

Cal Broomfield, Climate and Energy Strategic Program Development, Department of Environment

Department of Defense (invited)


Committee on Electricity

Location: Flores 4
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Location, Location, Location, and the Value of Distributed Energy Resources

Electric utilities are changing how they plan and operate their facilities as a result of policy incentives, technological improvements, and consumer choices that promote the increased use of distributed energy resources (DER). DER integration policies in California, New York and elsewhere will require utilities to more inclusively account for distributed resources and to identify where DER can be best integrated to provide the greatest benefit to the entire electric system. This panel will discuss the technical and policy implications of a landmark study with Consolidated Edison of New York and Southern California Edison that demonstrated methods for valuing the temporal and spatial impacts of DER on both radial and network distribution systems.

Hon. Edward Finley, North Carolina


Bruce Rogers, Technical Executive, Power Systems Analysis, EPRI

Susan Tierney, Senior Advisor, Analysis Group, Inc.

View Presentation — Time and Locational Value of DER: Methods & Applications

View Presentation — Value of D to DER

10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Repercussions from the Loss of the Aliso Canyon Gas Storage Facility

Hon. Catherine Sandoval, California

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Earthquake Impacts from Waste Water Injection from Oil and Gas Production

Hon. Dana Murphy, Oklahoma

View Presentation 

11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

DOE-Sponsored 2016 Mission to China: Major Lessons

Hon. Libby Jacobs, Iowa

Joseph Giove, Director of Business Operations of the Clean Coal Office, US DOE

11:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Business Meeting


Regulatory Update:
Jennifer Murphy, NARUC Assistant General Counsel


Staff Subcommittee on Law

Location: Diego Rivera
9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Agenda TBA


Networking Break (10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.)

Location: Flores Foyer


Regulators Luncheon (Commissioners, Staff and Commissioners Emeritus) (11:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.)

Location: Waterfall Lawn


Opening General Session

Location: Fiesta Ballroom
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Welcome to the NARUC 128th Annual Meeting!

National Anthem by the La Quinta High School Band

Reflection on 2015-2016 Year as President: Hon. Travis Kavulla, Montana


Presentation of the Terry Barnich Award

The Terry Barnich Award recognizes the ongoing commitment of NARUC members to furthering regulatory best practices around the globe. 


Election of 2016 - 2017 Officers and Confirmation of Board Members

Nomination of NARUC President: Hon. Gladys Brown, Pennsylvania

Second Nomination of NARUC President: Hon. Doug Little, Arizona

Nomination of NARUC 1st Vice President: Hon. Phil Jones, Washington

Second Nomination of NARUC 1st Vice President: Hon. David Ziegner, Indiana

Nomination of NARUC 2nd Vice President: Hon. Lisa Edgar, Florida

Second Nomination of NARUC 2nd Vice President: Hon. Donna Nelson, Texas


Reflections on Public Service: Tony Clark

With more than 20 years of public service, former FERC Commissioner Tony Clark will provide an interesting, thoughtful retrospective of his roles in State and federal government, which include:

  • FERC Commissioner, 2012-2016
  • NARUC President, November 2010-November 2011
  • North Dakota Public Service Commission, 2000-2012
  • North Dakota House of Representatives, 1994-1997

View Presentations 


Networking Break (3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.)


Section A (3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.)

Location: Flores 6
3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. A1

The Architecture of Modern Telecommunications & What It Says About Competition

What is regulated (or not) in the world of communications depends on whether there is sufficient competition for the service in question. Some services (long-distance) are obviously competitive; others (special access on which business data service relies) perhaps less so. This informative tutorial walks through the architecture of the modern telecom world and identifies the places that are wide open for competition and those which are bottlenecks.

Moderator: Hon. Upendra Chivukula, New Jersey

Hon. Sarah Hofmann, Vermont

Hon. Chris Nelson, South Dakota

Earl Comstock, Principal, Fish-Net Consulting, PLLC

Marvin Sirbu, Professor, Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

View Presentations 

Location: Flores 7-8
3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. A2

A Wholesale Market for Water: Do we need an ISO?

As water scarcity becomes an increasing issue, especially in the western states, new and creative ideas to address the cost of water resources. Wholesale rates for water can differ widely especially between urban drinking water and rural agricultural uses. In the electric industry RTO/ISOs create a market for pricing the commodity. Participants will discuss the applicability of locational marginal pricing to the water industry to ensure that increasing water scarcity can be managed at least cost, for the benefit of all customers. Attendees will learn what adaptations from electricity market design would be necessary to model the hydrological, environmental and legal constraints of water supply.

Moderator: Hon. Doug Little, Arizona

Hon. Catherine Sandoval, California

Frank A. Wolak, Director, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, Professor, Department of Economics, Stanford University

Thomas Smegal, Vice President, CFO & Treasurer, California Water Service Group

Disque Deane, Jr., CIO and Co-Founder, Water Asset Management

View Presentations 

Location: Flores 1-2
3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. A3

Market Darlings: Understanding the Appeal of Regulated Utilities in Today’s Capital Markets

Utilities are trending hard on Wall Street and are red hot for investors seeking to mobilize capital. Just how sweet of a deal are utilities getting? Debt has never been cheaper, but utilities resist the opportunity to debt-finance big investments, maintaining a capital structure that is still heavier on equity than their peers in Canada. Meanwhile, authorized returns on equity have fallen only slightly, and not as much as treasury rates have. Participants will learn what the underlying economics are and hear why financial players are responding with such interest.

Moderator: Hon. David Ziegner, Indiana


Hon. Ron Brise, Florida

Hon. Moin Yahya, Alberta Utilities Commission

James Coyne, Senior Vice President, Concentric Energy Advsors

Randy Woolridge, Professor of Finance, The Goldman, Sachs and Frank P. Smeal Endowed University Fellow in Business Administration, President, Nittany Lion Fund, LLC, The Pennsylvania State University

View Presentations 

Location: Flores 4
3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. A4

Charging Ahead: Rate Design & Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are on the street and charging all around us, so what are the rules of the road? This session will review the role of the commission, utilities, and the stakeholders when it comes to electric vehicle rate design. State Commissioners will highlight proceedings which have discussed the appropriate role of the utility in investing in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and whether it will be rate based, or ‘below the line’ as an unregulated enterprise. Attendees will hear about the year-long investigation the State of Oregon initiated as well as pilot projects California has underway. Attendees will learn about 6 factors the State or Oregon used for consideration when determining whether to grant cost recovery.

Moderator: Hon. Jeannette Mills, Maryland

Hon. Carla Peterman, California

Hon. Norm Saari, Michigan

Bob Jenks, Oregon CUB

View Presentations 

Location: Flores 5
3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. A5

Into Darkness: The Use of Interactive Exercises to Reduce Unknowns for Commissions

Many infrastructure challenges come from preparing for events that have never happened before. These “unknown unknowns” may be impossible to predict until after they’ve happened. A number of State Commissions have used tabletop exercises to help prepare for unpredictable events like earthquakes, cyber-attacks, terrorism, and even more mundane threats like rapid changes in technology and markets or renewable energy adoption. Commissions will learn how other states have learned from the interactive approach of using tabletop exercises. Commissions will hear about success stories and how they can replicate this preparedness. Stakeholders will learn how interactive exercises can contribute to building strong partnerships between public and private sectors, which is an essential precursor for effective communication in emergencies. A mini-interactive demonstration will be produced to illustrate some of the ways this approach can help your Commission navigate the unknown.

Moderator: Hon. Rick Mroz, New Jersey

Hon. Gladys Brown, Pennsylvania

Hon. Phil Jones, Washington

View Presentations 


MACRUC Regional Meeting (invitees only) (5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.)

Location: Fiesta 14


NECPUC Regional Meeting (invitees only) (5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.)

Location: Studio


MARC Regional Meeting (invitees only) (5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.)

Location: Fiesta 13


SEARUC Regional Meeting (invitees only) (5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.)

Location: Fiesta 10


Western Regional Meeting (invitees only) (5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.)

Location: Diego Rivera