Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications

9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. • Republic (2nd Floor)

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Closed Session

New Members Introduction

FCC Update

Legislative Update

NRRI Update

State Issues Roundtable

USAC Update

Planning for February

10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Networking Break
10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Panel I:  Mapping

The FCC recently issued a Notice on the issue of mapping.  Some parties have provided suggestions for what they think can work and be accomplished in a short time period, hopefully to be used with the upcoming RuDOF proposal.  Panelists will address the mapping issues and solutions. 


Joe Tiernan, Massachusetts DTE


NASUCA, Invited

Cost-Quest, Invited

Ross Lieberman, Brian Hurley, Esq., American Cable Association,

Brent Legg, Connected Nation

Louis Peraertz, Vice President of Policy, Wireless Internet Service Providers Association

12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Panel II:  Federal USF:  Contribution Reform 

The FCC has been urged for some time now to address the issue of supporting the federal USF.  Those calls have increased as the assessment on interstate telecommunications revenues has increased, now upwards of 20%.  The panelists will address the issue of funding the USF.   


Cary Hinton, DC Public Service Commission


Dr. Robert Loube, Vice President, Rolka Loube

Labros Pilalis, Pa. PUC, Joint Board Staff Member

Pamela Sherwood Hollick, Assistant General Counsel, CenturyLink

2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Panel III:   State USFs:  Transformation and Change

Many states have telecommunications and, increasingly, broadband universal service programs focused on availability (is it there) and affordability (are consumers able to purchase it).  The panel will discuss current state USF programs and, as appropriate, their relationship to the federal USF based on cooperative federalism. 


Sherry Lichtenberg, NRRI


Ben Aron, CTIA

Mike Ripperger, New Mexico PRC

Tim Kunkleman, Director, Government Affairs, CenturyLink

Weldon Gray, CEO, Texas Statewide Telephone Cooperative, Inc.

3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Networking Break
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Resolutions: Introduction, Discussion and Input

Subcommittee on Education and Research

12:00–3:00 p.m. • Bonham C (3rd Floor)

Closed 12 - 1:30



Taste of Texas Continental Breakfast

8:00–9:30 a.m. • 4th Floor Foyer

Registration Open

8:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m.

Staff Subcommittee on Telecommunications

9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. • Texas D (4th Floor)

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Next NARUC: Staff Discussion

9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Current Issues in Cooperative Federalism

The FCC issued a Forbearance Order at Docket 18-141 addressing competitor access to legacy telephone networks although that decision is under appeal (including an appeal by the State of California).  The USDC Court of Appeals just issued their long-awaited Net Neutrality Order and overturned preemption of state authority over Basic Internet Access Service (BIAS).  The panelists will address federalism’s future given these recent decisions, explain their importance to the states, and address what the next likely steps will be. 


Renardo Hicks, Esq., General Counsel, PA PUC


Chris Van De Verg Esq., Van De Verg Law Office LLC

Christopher J. Wright, Esq., Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP

J. Bradford Ramsey, Esq., General Counsel, NARUC

Michael Saperstein, Esq., Patrick Halley, Esq., US Telecom

Sana Sheikh. Senior Corporate Counsel, Granite Communications, Inc.

Scott McCollough, Esq., Cousel, Irregulators

10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Lifeline Database Demonstration

The FCC and USAC have been working on rolling out the Lifeline Database, a vehicle focused on addressing eligibility so as to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse.  At the July 2019 meeting in Indianapolis, the Consumers and the Public Interest (CPI) Committee conducted a Poverty Simulation, including how consumers access Lifeline although logistics precluded an in-depth demonstration of how the federal Lifeline Database will work.  This panel will discuss Lifeline developments and provide a live demonstration to the attendees showing how the Lifeline Database will operate in the real work in the states with help from the providers.   


Michelle Garber, USAC Lifeline Executive Vice President


Linnita Hosten, USAC

Gina Jasman, TracFone

Catherine Miller, USAC

Danielle Perry, TruConnect Communications

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Rural Broadband Auctions: from CAF-II to RDOF
This year in Docket 19-126, the FCC proposed to use a precedent-setting auction for the newly created Rural Development Opportunity Fund (RuDOF).  RuDOF will provide support so that voice and broadband services can be provided in high-cost areas of the nation from the current federal Universal Service Fund (USF).  Now that the formal Comment and Reply Comment period has closed, FCC staff will be examining the proceeding along with possible timelines for addressing the matter.  FCC staff will provide a brief overview explaining the relationship of this RuDOF to the reliance on auctions in general envisioned in the seminal Transformation Order of 2011, their experience with prior auctions, what issues arose in those auctions, what this auction seeks to do, and the timelines for addressing the issues raised in this proceeding compared to previous auctions. 


TBD/Joe Witmer, PA PUC                                 


Michael Janson, Director, Rural Broadband Auctions Taskforce, FCC

2:20 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Panel VII – RuDOF.  Issues in the Upcoming Auction

The FCC’s proposed Rural Development Opportunity Fund (RuDOF) filing period has closed.  The FCC will now decide how about $2.0B per year over the next 10 years will be provided to support broadband in high-cost areas using an auction format modeled on the recent 903 Auction.  This slightly longer panel contains a cross-section of possible bidders, using differing technologies, who will address the issues in this critical proceeding going forward, including their view on the best ways to make the auction work as intended. 


Joe Witmer, PA PUC


Mark Cooper/NASUCA, Director of Research, Consumer Federation of America (invited)

Joe Gillan, Gillan Consulting

Pamela Hollick, Esq., Assistant General Counsel, CenturyLink

David LaFuria, Esq., Lukas, LaFuria, Gutierrez & Sachs, LLP, US Cellular

Ross Lieberman, Esq., Brian Hurley, Esq., American Cable Association

Brian O’Hara, National Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives

Michael Saperstein, Esq., Patrick Halley, Esq., US Telecom

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Resolutions - Staff Disposition

Subcommittee on Supplier and Workforce Diversity

10:00–11:45 a.m. • Texas BC (4th Floor)

10:00-10:15 a.m.

Business Meeting Items

10:15-11:45 a.m.

Bringing SSWD NARUC Resolutions to Life

In July, NARUC adopted two historic resolutions, spearheaded by the Subcommittee on Supplier and Workforce Diversity, that expanded the encouragement for strategic partnerships to foster talented and diverse professionals in the utility industry and engagement of diverse financial and professional service providers by investor-owned utilities.  To bridge the retirement epidemic and need for greater inclusion in the industry, the first resolution calls for expansion on the support of long-term strategic partnerships between utilities, commissions, and other interested stakeholders and academic and professional institutions that serve underrepresented communities.  The second resolution expands upon an existing resolution that supported supplier diversity in financial services to include all professional services because the American economy improves when there is equitable access and participation by all industry participants. 

To maximize the power of these call-to-actions, a dynamic panel of subject matter experts will brainstorm ways that utilities and stakeholders alike can adopt these resolutions forward and change them from concepts written on paper to reality.


Hon. Sadzi M. Oliva, Commissioner, Illinois


  • Hon. Timothy Alan Simon, Commissioner Emeritus, California, TAS Strategies
  • Laurie Dowling, Executive Director, National Utilities Diversity Council
  • Nakhia Morrissette, Regulatory Counsel & Midwest Regional Director, Solar Energy Industries Association
  • Robert Powelson, President & CEO, National Association of Water Companies
  • Terri Oliva, Executive Director, Human Resources and Assistant Treasurer, Edison Electric Institute
  • AGA
  • HACU


Staff Subcommittee on Consumers and the Public Interest

9:00 - 11:45 am • Texas EF (4th Floor)

(Closed 9:00–10:15 a.m.)

10:15 - 10:30 a.m.

Networking Break


10:30 - 11:45 a.m.

Now that we have the data, what do we do with it?

While utility disconnection data is desired by NGO’s and other consumer assistance agencies and organizations, few state commissions require utilities to report this data. Through a series of four webinars with in-depth discussions, the Committee on Consumers and the Public Interest is developing recommendations about the value of disconnect data reporting.  In this session, we will explore Oregon’s recent experience in developing disconnect reporting rules and discuss the potential use and importance of collecting data.


Phil Boyle, Manager of Consumer Services, Oregon Public Utility Commission


Linda Gervais, Senior Manager, Regulatory Policy and Strategy, Avista Utilities

Bob Jenks, Executive Director, Citizens Utility Board of Oregon

Charlene Ketchum, Policy Advisor and Legal Counsel to Commissioner Maida Coleman, Missouri Public Service Commission

Bill Malcolm, Senior Legislative Representative - State Advocacy and Strategy Integration, AARP 



Staff Subcommittee on Information Services

9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. • Bonham C (3rd Floor)

9:00-10:15 a.m.

Cybersecurity Implementation Plan (Wisconsin PUC Model)

Presenter: Jeff Thomas, CIO- Wisconsin PSC

10:15-10:30 a.m. Networking Break
10:30- 12:00 p.m. Round Table Discussion
12:00-1:15 p.m. LUNCH
1:15-2:00 p.m. Round Table Discussion
2:00-4:00 p.m. Joint Meeting with Executive Management Subcommittee

Staff Subcommittee on Rate Design

9:00 – 11:45 a.m. • Texas A (4th Floor)

9:00 – 10:15 a.m.

Behind the meter Storage: What opportunities exist for customers to reduce their demand and energy charges?

With the cost of battery storage continuing to decline, both residential and commercial customers have opportunities to realize bill savings which help to reduce the payback time of their investment. Customers can benefit through reductions in demand changes and arbitrage opportunities exist for reduction in energy charges.  This panel will explore the savings opportunities that exist for customers, which for some customers energy savings could outweigh demand savings, and how the load profile of the customer makes that determination. This panel will also explore technologies and software that are available to assist the customer in achieving bill savings. 


Jamie Barber, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Manager, Georgia 


Galen Barbose, Electricity Markets and Policy Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Amy Heart, Director of Public Policy, Sunrun

Patrick Ryan, Director, Policy Analysis & Development, Exelon




10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Networking Break
10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Performance-Based Regulation: Helping to Enable a Customer-Centric Future

Performance-based regulation (PBR) is becoming one of the most important topics in utility regulation. This is because the traditional cost-of-service regulatory model has an implicit capital bias that presents a challenge to achieving some modern policy goals such as transitioning to cleaner energy resources, modernizing the grid and offering enhanced customer solutions. PBR is hard to do well and its survival depends on gaining trust and confidence that risks and rewards are appropriately shared between utilities and ratepayers. This panel will explore how PBR can drive economic efficiency and innovations that deliver greater value to ratepayers.

Tom Stanton, National Regulatory Research Institute, Principal Researcher for Energy and Environment


Commissioner Anthony, Rhode Island

Matthew McDonnell, Associate Director, Navigant

Susan Mora-Schrader, Director of Utility Initiatives, Exelon


Networking Break

10:15–10:45 a.m. • 2nd Floor Foyer

Staff Subcommittee on Energy Resources and the Environment

10:30–11:45 a.m. • Texas A (4th Floor)

(Joint with Staff Subcommittee on Rate Design)

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

Performance-Based Regulation: Helping to Enable a Customer-Centric Future

Performance-based regulation (PBR) is becoming one of the most important topics in utility regulation. This is because the traditional cost-of-service regulatory model has an implicit capital bias that presents a challenge to achieving some modern policy goals such as transitioning to cleaner energy resources, modernizing the grid and offering enhanced customer solutions. PBR is hard to do well and its survival depends on gaining trust and confidence that risks and rewards are appropriately shared between utilities and ratepayers. This panel will explore how PBR can drive economic efficiency and innovations that deliver greater value to ratepayers.


Tom Stanton, National Regulatory Research Institute, Principal Researcher for Energy and Environment


Hon. Abigail Anthony, Rhode Island

Matthew McDonnell, Associate Director, Navigant

Susan Mora-Schrader, Director of Utility Initiatives, Exelon

Washington Action

10:30–11:45 a.m. • Bonham D (3rd Floor)

(Closed Meeting)



Staff Subcommittee on Critical Infrastructure

10:30–11:45 a.m. • Republic (4th Floor)

(Closed Meeting)

New Commissioner Forum

(New Commissioners Only)

11:00 a.m.–1:15 p.m. • Bowie (2nd Floor)

Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety

1:00–3:00 p.m. • Seguin (4th Floor)

(Closed Meeting)



Staff Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety

1:00–5:00 p.m. • Seguin (4th Floor)

(Closed Meeting)



Committee on Consumers and the Public Interest

1:30–5:00 p.m. • Texas EF (4th Floor)

1:30-2:30 p.m. 

Business Meeting (closed)

2:45-3:45 p.m.

Following a disaster, how can government agencies and utilities work together to make recovery less stressful and more efficient for customers?

When a disaster strikes, those affected are often left without power for days or weeks.   Or worse, their home is destroyed and they are left living in temporary housing indefinitely – often times on their own property.  How is power supplied to this temporary housing when the infrastructure is destroyed?  Federal, state, and local agencies, as well as utilities, have emergency disaster plans in place that work well. But, how can these entities work better together to ease the burden on residents who are already dealing with many, many challenges? 


Hon. Odogwu Obi Linton, Maryland


Christine Knepper, Manager of State Governmental Affairs, Florida Power & Light Company

Kate Murphy, Requirements Manager, Logistics Operations Division, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Jewel Smith, Principal, i3029 Liron Consulting, LLC

Kevin Wisely, Director Office of Resilience and Emergency Preparedness, New York State Department of Public Service


4:00-5:00 p.m.

Data Collection Deep Dive Highlights (Joint with NASUCA)

During this session, members from NASUCA, NARUC, and panelists from this year’s NRRI webinar series on data collection related to disconnections and delinquencies will:

  • Explain why standards and best practices related to data collection are necessary.
  • Discuss some of the major challenges, controversies, barriers, and solutions explored during the data collection webinar series.
  • Identify specific ways state commissions, consumer advocates and other stakeholders can implement the proposed data collection resolution’s objectives.


Hon. Marion S. Gold, Rhode Island



    Committee on Critical Infrastructure

    1:30–5:00 p.m. • Texas BC (4th Floor


    On October 5, 2018, the President signed the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 (DRRA) into law as part of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018. These reforms acknowledge the shared responsibility for disaster response and recovery, aim to reduce the complexity of FEMA, and build the nation’s capacity for the next catastrophic event. The law contains approximately 50 provisions that require FEMA policy or regulation changes for full implementation.

    Part of the reform includes Public Assistance 406 Codes and Standards (Section 1235b): This section authorizes FEMA to provide Public Assistance funding to replace and restore disaster damaged facilities to the latest published editions of relevant consensus-based codes ad standards to ensure that facilities are restored in a manner that allows them to be resilient.


    Panelist: Craig Zamuda, Senior Policy Advisor, DOE (invited)



    Protect Our Power Update

    The Institute for Energy and the Environment’s Phase 2 report presents tools and processes that states can use to improve their distribution utility cyber security. Phase 2 builds off the Phase 1 report which identified barriers to improving cyber security of electric grid.

    Phase 2 highlights how audits and reports can enhance information flows between regulators and utilities without compromising confidential information, how alternative rate mechanisms can be designed to incentivize investment while protecting the public interest, and how grid modernization efforts can integrate cyber security.


    Hon. Jay Balbalas, Washington


    Richard Mroz, Senior State Government Relations, Protect Our Power

    Mark James - Senior Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor at Vermont Law School’s Institute for Energy and the Environment


    3:00-3:15 Network Break  
    3:15-4:30 Business Meeting and Strategic Planning Session   

    Committee and Staff Subcommittee on International Relations

    1:30–3:15p.m. • Texas A (4th Floor)

    1:30-1:40 p.m.

    The Wide World of NARUC – Welcome and Introductions

    Hon. David Danner  Chair, IRC – Washington UTC

    1:40-1:45 p.m.

    Business meeting

    Approval of minutes

    Hon. David Danner – Chair, IRC – Washington UTC

    1:45-1:55 p.m.

    Report on NARUC International Programs 

    Erin Hammel - Director of International Programs, NARUC

    1:55-2:15 p.m.

    Terry Barnich Award
    The Terry Barnich Award is presented annually by the International Relations Committee to commissioners or staff in recognition of outstanding efforts to further international cooperation among utility regulators and to promote professional regulation. This year’s recipient will be introduced and will deliver remarks.

    Hon. David Danner, Washington

    2:15-3:15 p.m.

    Energy Reform in Mexico: Will It Survive?
    Since taking office late last year, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has made it clear that he will neither expand nor fully implement the energy reforms begun by his predecessors, and will instead reverse some reform measures. This panel 1:40 will examine that change of course and its implications for the US-Mexico energy relationship.

    Hon. David Morton – Co-Vice Chair, IRC – British Columbia UC


    José María Lujambio Irazábal - Partner, Cacheaux Cavazos & Newton, Austin; former general counsel, Energy Regulatory Commission of Mexico
    Peter Nance - Managing Director, Que Advisors, Austin


    Subcommittee on Clean Coal

    1:30–3:00 p.m. • Crockett D (4th Floor)


    Presentations on NARUC / U.S. Department of Energy Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage Partnership white papers on coal ash management and coal flexibility / reliability


    • Maria Seidler, Principal Seidler Consulting LLC
    • Ken Malloy, Executive Director, CRISIS & Energy Markets
    • Seth Schwartz, President, Energy Ventures Analysis
    • Phillip Graeter, Manager, Energy Ventures Analysis

    Showing and discussion of informational energy videos


    • Michael Nasi, Partner, Environmental & Legislative Practice Group, Jackson Walker LLP

    Staff Subcommittee on Executive Management

    (Joint with Staff Subcommittee on Information Services)

    2:00–4:00 p.m. • Bonham C (3rd Floor)



    Staff Subcommittee on Gas

    2:00–4:45 p.m. • Republic (4th Floor)

    2:00-2:20 p.m.

    Staff and Other Regulatory Updates

    Subcommittee members and audience provide relevant regulatory updates

    2:20-2:35 p.m.

    NRRI Introduction/Discussion

    NRRI is in the process of developing a new Regulatory Training Initiative.  Jeff Loiter will introduce the project to attendees, direct  attendees to relevant resources and answer any questions that may arise.   

    Presenter:  Jeff Loiter, Principal Researcher, NRRI

    2:40-3:15 p.m.

    Renewable Natural Gas

    A presentation by NW Natural on the company's efforts in regards to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) and Oregon's new RNG legislation.

    Presenter: Zach Kravitz, Director, Rates & Regulatory Affairs, NW Natural

    3:20-3:55 p.m.

    Safety Management Systems (SMS)

    Effective communications between pipeline safety officials and operators is of critical importance.  The presenters will discuss the importance and implementation of Safety Management Systems (SMS).

    Presenter: TBD

    4:00-4:35 p.m.

    Natural Gas Bans & their Impacts

    Certain parts of the country are seeing increasing demand for natural gas at a time when pipeline capacity additions are limited by state actions.  The presenter will address how this situation has led to moratoria on new customer additions and their impacts -- economic and otherwise.   

    Presenter: Daniel Lapato, Senior Director, State Affairs, AGA


    Networking Break

    2:15–3:30 p.m. • 2nd Floor Foyer

    Staff Subcommittee on Water

    3:00–5:00 p.m. • Mission A (closed meeting)



    Subcommittee and Staff Subcommittee on Nuclear Issues-Waste Disposal

    3:30–5:00 p.m. • Crockett D (4th Floor)

    (Closed Meeting)



    Welcome Reception

    (Tickets Required)

    5:00–6:30 p.m. • 2nd Floor Foyer


    NARUC Board of Directors Meeting

    7:30–8:45 a.m. • Bowie (2nd Floor)

    OPSI Breakfast Meeting

    7:00–8:45 a.m. • Lone Star C (2nd Floor)



    Taste of Texas Continental Breakfast

    8:00–9:00 a.m. • 2nd Floor Foyer

    Registration Open

    8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

    Committee on Electricity

    9:00–11:45 a.m. • Texas BC (4th Floor)

    9:00-10:00 a.m.

    Competitive Markets at a Crossroads?

    Competitive energy markets have been operating in the US for over 20 years. Competitive markets were originally born out of customer frustration with the high cost of coal and nuclear generation and later reinvigorated by the cost savings potential of pooled resources. Markets have often been a vehicle for delivering new services and options to customers in the electric industry. Now, as we stand on the verge of the next generation revolution with utility scale renewables costs quickly approaching the levelized cost of natural gas, it is time to reflect on the cost and realized benefits of electricity restructuring and market development in the United States. This panel will focus on growing pains and lessons learned from the last two decades of electricity restructuring and how we can leverage these learnings to maximize customer benefits as we look to transition to a low-carbon future.  


    Hon. DeAnn Walker, Texas 

    Hon. Beth Trombold, Ohio


    Alison Silverstein, Independent Consultant, Alison Silverstein Consulting

    Mike Jacobs, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

    Mason Emnett, Vice President of Competitive Markets, Exelon

    10:15-11:00 a.m.

    Business Meeting

    The business meeting will include an update from Vermont Law. Richard Mroz will speak to the law school’s partnership with Protect Our Power, an organization conducting research on grid security and resilience. Mark James will also present the key findings of the Phase 2 report on State regulatory issues and cybersecurity

    11:00-11:45 a.m. 

    Energy and Regulatory Transitions: State Updates

    States across the country are seeing changes in technology and the energy resource mix. This panel will provide a glimpse into the efforts of four States responding to these changes and transforming their states’ generation portfolios through regulatory initiatives that include both traditional and innovative tools. Commissioners from different regions will present their views on how these changes are occurring, regulatory policies that support them and impacts on ratepayers from an affordability and reliability perspective


    Hon. Judith Williams Jagdmann, Virginia


    Hon. Anthony O’Donnell, Maryland

    Hon. Charlotte Mitchell, North Carolina

    Hon. Richard Lozier, Jr., Iowa 

    Hon. Kara Fornstrom, Wyoming 

    Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment

    9:00–11:45 a.m. • Texas A (4th Floor)

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

    Are Pilot Programs Going the Way of the Dodo?

    Pilot programs are a common way for utilities to test new ideas, but all too often “pilot” becomes a synonym for “small” which interferes with the utilization of good statistical design protocols. As a result, the pilot program fails to yield statistically meaningful results. Any failure to adhere to accepted research methods interjects concerns about objectivity, reduces the confidence in applying the results, renders the transferability of outcomes to other utilities highly unlikely, and raises questions about other potential biases in the research. A prudently designed pilot program that serves the public interest should spur innovation and be positively viewed for purposes of cost recovery.


    Hon. Sarah Freeman, Indiana


    Hon. Dan Lipschultz, Minnesota

    Tom Ashley, Vice President, Policy, Greenlots

    Julia Friedman, Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs and Market Development, Oracle

    Lon Huber

    10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Break
    10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

    What Commissions Should Know About Environmental, Social and Governance Issues in the Industry

    (Joint with the Committee on Consumers and the Public Interest)

    Environmental, Social and Governance issues (ESG) have become a catalyst in the transition of investor-owned electric and gas companies.  Recognizing the rising importance of ESG to major investors, customers and stakeholders, EEI developed the first-of-its-kind, sector-specific ESG reporting template, resulting in clarity, consistency and comparability of ESG information desired by these important constituencies.  Initially, the primary focus of the EEI ESG template was on “E” issues (specifically carbon), but recently the dialog has moved to “S” issues, such as community workforce development, and to “G” issues, such as cybersecurity governance.  As activists are playing a bigger role in the energy sector, companies are proactively engaging with key constituents to address ESG issues, which will enable continued access to capital markets at affordable rates. Panelists will share their perspectives on ESG issues impacting the sector, company disclosures, and the implications of their industry assessments.  


    Hon. Michael Richard, Maryland


    Devin James, Manager, Investor Relations & ESG, Edison Electric Institute

    Elin Katz, Managing Director of Energy Consulting and Associate General Counsel, Tilson Technology Management

    Jim Kerr, Chief Legal Officer, Southern Company

    Jeffrey Kotkin, Vice President Investor Relations, Eversource Energy

    Melissa Lavinson, SVP Governmental & External Affairs, Pepco Holdings

    11:20 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

    Business Meeting


    Mary Kilmarx Award announcement

    FERC PURPA NOPR overview


    NRRI Regulation Training Initiative overview

    This initiative is a remote platform for providing training on key regulatory issues for Commissioners, staff, industry and other stakeholders.  

    Building Energy Efficiency: Technology, Policy, and Finance on-line course preview.

    This on-line course examines the complexities, progress, and opportunities for energy efficiency in buildings (BEE) through the lenses of technology, policy, and finance. Participants will learn the fundamentals of the various kinds of BEE policy programs, their goals and their evaluation, with a special focus on utility customer programs and key policy tools for them.  The course explores the potential energy cost savings and non-energy benefits of BEE interventions as well as motivations and barriers for BEE from a multidisciplinary perspective.  Mini cases are used to explain key developments in BEE technology, policy and finance. Importantly, the course explores the leading edge of BEE including “data-driven” intelligent efficiency, the value of BEE in today’s changing grid, building decarbonization and BEE’s role in international climate efforts.

    Committee on Gas

    9:00–11:45 a.m. • Texas EF (4th Floor)

    9:00-11:45 a.m.

    At times, we tend to present regulatory panels on a topic-by-topic basis. Rates, safety, supply, demand, innovation & research, integration between gas and renewables, energy efficiency, employment, costs and infrastructure, are often looked at in “silo mode.”  

    However, as we discuss the individual pieces or topics, we must not overlook the fact that many of them are interrelated and at times they should be looked at "holistically." 

    This Committee on Gas meeting will be a dedicated discussion seeking to properly engage in as many of these topics as practically possible and look at how actions in one area may affect another.  To that end, representatives from state and federal agencies, the natural gas industry, former and current commissioners, will gather to discuss with the committee membership and audience a variety of timely topics that we all encounter as regulators and practitioners. 


    Hon. Diane X. Burman, New York

    Hon. Brandon Presley, Mississippi

    Hon. Julie Fedorchak, North Dakota

    Hon. Jay Balasbas, Washington


    Hon. Tricia Pridemore, Georgia 

    Emeritus Committee on Gas Chairs

    Gas Technology Institute Leadership Team

    PHMSA Leadership Team

    Erin Hutson, Laborers' International Union of North America

    Subcommittee on Supplier and Workforce Diversity Leadership Team

    Jim Jerozal, Managing Director, Energy Efficiency at Nicor Gas

    Jeff Loiter, Principal Researcher, NRRI

    Jeff Petrash, VP & General Counsel, National Propane Gas Association

    Tuesday 11/19

    10:45-11:45 a.m.


     The Future of Natural Gas in Decarbonization Focused States


    Dr. Roger Aines, Energy Program Chief Scientist, LLNL Global Security E Program

    Dawn Constantin, SVP, Marketing & Regulatory Affairs, BP Energy Company

    Richard Meyer, Managing Director, Energy Analysis, American Gas Association

    Dena E. Wiggins, President, Natural Gas Supply Association

    Thomas P. Meissner, Jr., Chairman, President and CEO, Unitil

    Committee on Telecommunications

    9:00–11:45 a.m. • Texas D (4th Floor)

    9:00 - 9:30 a.m.

    Business Meeting

    9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

    Joint Panel with Critical Infrastructure

    Lessons Learned From a Cyber Attack - What Companies and Regulators Need to Know

    Cyber-attacks are on the rise and lack of cybersecurity poses one of the biggest economic threats of today. Companies, government agencies and municipalities are targeted on a daily basis and if they are not prepared they often suffer devastating results. A specific cyber-attack will be covered, as well as a discussion of other types of cyber-attacks and best practices. 


    Hon. Michael Caron, Connecticut


    Greg Lowe, President and CEO, Syringa Networks

    Kathryn Condello, Senior Director National Security, CenturyLink

    Craig Harber, Chief Technology Officer, Fidelis Cybersecurity

    10:30 - 10:45 a.m.

    Networking Break

    10:45 - 11:45 a.m.

    The Mozilla Decision: What's Next for States?


    Hon. Sally Talberg, Michigan


    Matthew Murchison, Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP

    Brad Ramsay, General Counsel, NARUC

    Committee on Water

    9:00–11:45 a.m. • Republic (4th Floor)

    9:00-9:30 a.m.

    Business Meeting

    9:30-10:30 a.m.

    Get the Lead (and Copper) Out

    In October of this year, the EPA announced the signing of the proposed Lead and Copper Revision (LCR).

    Committee members will discuss comparisons between the Pre publication version of the Rule and the current Rule including sampling, risk communication, and strengthening drinking water treatment requirements-- notably the protection of children in schools.


    Moderator: Hon. Maria Bocanegra, Illinois


    Suzanne Chiavari, Engineering Director Treatment and Resiliency, American Water

    Megan Glover, Co-founder and CEO, 120WaterAudit

    Mike McGill, President, Water PIO

    10:30-10:45 a.m.  Networking Break 
    10:45-11:45 a.m.

    Can I Drink It?

    Recycled water is beneficial because it is allegedly less expensive than potable water.  Water reuse is critical to conservation and preservation of aquifer integrity at all times, and not solely during droughts. The Committee will learn about basic physical, biological, and chemical principles to remove contaminants from water -- from primary treatment through advanced treatment.



    Hon. Eric Anderson, Idaho


    David Spacht, CFO Artesian Water and President Artesian Wastewater Management

    Richard Svindland, President of California American Water and Hawaii American Water

    Mr. Robert Puente, San Antonio Water System President and CEO


    Staff Subcommittee on Information Services

    9:00–11:45 a.m. • Bonham C (3rd Floor)

    9:00-10:15 a.m.



    Social Media & Digital Risks

    Presenter: Dr. Sam Small, CSO- ZeroFOX


    10:15-10:30 a.m.

    Networking Break

    10:30-11:45 a.m.

    Ransomware & Cloud Application Security

    Presenter: Chris Richmond, -proofpoint

    Staff Subcommittee on Law

    9:00–11:45 a.m. • Seguin A (4th Floor)



    Staff Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety

    9:00–11:45 a.m. • Seguin B (4th Floor)



    Commissioner Emeritus Business Meeting

    11:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m. • Bowie (2nd Floor)



    Regulators Luncheon

    (Tickets Required)

    11:45 a.m.–1:30 p.m. • Lone Star ABC (2nd Floor)




    Opening General Session

    2:00–3:00 p.m. • Lone Star DEF (2nd Floor)

    2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

    NARUC 132nd Annual Meeting and Education Conference

    Welcome by NARUC President Nick Wagner of Iowa

    Presentation of the Colors by Marine Corps Support Battalion Company H.

    Singing of our National Anthem by Andrea Howard, Contract Specialist for Dept of Air Force, 502 Contracting Squadron.


    Election of Officers for 2019 - 2020

    Nomination for President: Hon. ToNola Brown-Bland

    Second for President: Hon. Jack Betkoski

    Nomination for First Vice President: Hon. Butch Howard

    Second for First Vice President: Hon. Kristine Raper

    Nomination for Second Vice President: Hon. Willie Phillips

    Second for Second Vice President: Hon Ann Rendahl


    In Memoriam 2018-2019


    Networking Break

    3:00–3:15 p.m. • 2nd Floor Foyer

    General Session

    3:15–4:15 p.m. • Lone Star DEF

    The Great Debate: Energy Resource Options

    Every electricity resource has various attributes that can or do support a well-functioning grid. However, how those resources and their benefits are defined, valued, and compensated is a subject of some controversy. Join representatives of coal, natural gas, nuclear, renewables, battery storage, and demand-side management industries as they take center stage to debate the attributes they think should be valued and compensated at the state and regional levels.

    Facilitator: Hon. Nick Wagner, NARUC President


    Michelle Bloodworth, CEO, America's Power

    Katherine Hamilton, Executive Director, Advanced Energy Management Alliance

    Karen Harbert, CEO, American Gas Association

    Maria Korsnick, President and CEO, Nuclear Energy Institute

    Nat Kreamer, CEO, Advanced Energy Economy and AEE Institute

    Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO, Energy Storage Association


    (Invitees Only)

    4:30–5:30 p.m. • Republic A (4th Floor)


    (Invitees Only)

    4:30–5:30 p.m. • Seguin B (4th Floor)


    (Invitees Only)

    4:30–5:30 p.m. • Republic C (4th Floor)


    (Invitees Only)

    4:30–5:30 p.m. • Seguin A (4th Floor)


    (Invitees Only)

    4:30–5:30 p.m. • Republic B (4th Floor)

    NARUC Board of Directors Dinner

    (Board Members Only)

    7:00 p.m.


    NRRI Board of Directors Breakfast

    7:30–8:45 a.m. • Crockett AB

    Taste of Texas Continental Breakfast

    8:00–9:00 a.m. • 2nd Floor Foyer

    Registration Open

    8:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m. • 2nd Floor Foyer

    General Session

    9:00–10:15 a.m. • Lone Star DEF (2nd Floor)

    9:00 - 9:40 a.m.

    Who wants to be a Regulator?












    9:40 - 10:15 a.m.

    Commissioners Nick & Glick

    Hot Topic Talk

    Who wants to be a Regulator? 

                                        It’s much more than a game!


    This interactive general session will kick off with NARUC representatives squaring off against FERC staff in an adaptation of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Participants will answer questions about the history, members, and work of the other organization. 



    Hon. Talina Mathews, Kentucky

    Hon. Jordan White, Utah



    Christy Walsh, Office of Energy Policy and Innovation

    Anna Cochrane, Director of the Office of Energy Market Regulation
    Elizabeth Salerno, Advisor to Commissioner Glick

    Commissioners Nick and Glick: Hot Topic Talk


     NARUC President Nick Wagner and FERC Commissioner Richard Glick will discuss current issues and challenges of state and federal commissions. 


    Networking Break

    10:15–10:45 a.m. • 2nd Floor Foyer

    Concurrent Sessions Section A

    10:45–11:45 a.m.

    Texas A (4th Floor)

    A1 FERC’s PURPA Reforms - What does it mean for consumers, commissions, and clean energy?

     At long last, it is finally here – the PURPA NOPR!  Come hear what regulators and other stakeholders are saying about the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on changes to the implementing regulations associated with the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, before comments are filed in December.  Participants will discuss the important aspects of FERC’s proposed changes, especially on rate-setting and which markets qualify for an exemption from PURPA’s “mandatory purchase obligation.” 


    Moderator:  Travis Kavulla, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, NRG


    Hon. Megan Decker, Oregon

    Hon. Kristine Raper, Idaho

    Hon. Daniel Scripps, Michigan 

    Katherine Gensler, Vice President, Solar Energy Industries Association

    Philip Moeller, Executive Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, EEI


    Texas C (4th Floor)

    A2 The Future of Natural Gas in Decarbonization Focused States

    Natural gas demand has grown as a key energy source over the last decade and demand is expected to continue to grow. Issues surrounding the decarbonization of our energy delivered by utilities is a growing topic in the United States. It is important to understand the policy implications for the energy of the future. Such issues include conversations around the importance of fuel diversity, decreasing even more GHG emissions, increasing investment in current and new infrastructure and improving reliability of electricity transmission grid as natural gas power generation may be called upon to provide backup support to renewable generation as well as dependable baseload generation. This panel will discuss the details, benefits and roadblocks to delivering lower carbon energy to consumers.

    Moderator: Hon. Diane Burman, New York


    Dr. Roger Aines, Energy Program Chief Scientist, LLNL Global Security E Program

    Dawn Constantin, SVP, Marketing & Regulatory Affairs, BP Energy Company

    Thomas P. Meissner, Jr., Chairman, President and CEO, Unitil Corporation

    Richard Meyer, Managing Director, Energy Analysis, American Gas Association

    Dena E. Wiggins, President, Natural Gas Supply Association



    Texas D (4th Floor)

    A3 Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF): Will it be Effective?

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently proposed the $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), which it has called its “biggest single step to date” to help close the rural digital divide by expanding broadband in unserved rural areas. The FCC believes the RDOF will “raise the bar” for rural broadband deployment by “making more areas eligible for support and requiring faster service than last year’s Connect America Fund (CAF).”

    This panel will take a critical look at the RDOF and also discuss its potential impact.

    Learning Objectives

    • Provide information regarding the RDOF Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and discuss what prompted its issuance by the FCC.
    • Examine what makes the RDOF different than the CAF II Auction (e.g., eligibility changes/service speeds requirement - minimum 25 Mbps/3 Mbps).
    • Discuss the potential impact of the RDOF and whether it can complement State broadband deployment initiatives.

    Moderator: Hon. Brandon Presley, Mississippi


    Hon. Chris Nelson, South Dakota

    Joseph Gillan, Economist, Gillan Associates

    Brian O’Hara: Senior Director Regulatory Issues – Telecom & Broadband, NRECA

    Carol Mattey, Principal, Mattey Consulting, LLC





    Annual Officer Installation Ceremony and Celebration Luncheon

    (Tickets Required)

    12:00–1:15 p.m. • Lone Star Ballrooms



    Concurrent Sessions Section B

    1:45–2:45 p.m.

    Texas C (4th Floor)

    B1 The Texas Way: Energy Innovation in the Lone Star State

    Texas is home to vast fossil and renewable resources, coming in at #1 among all states in oil and gas production and wind capacity and #5 in solar capacity. Massive investments in transmission infrastructure deliver these resources to market. Texas also hosts a number of cutting-edge energy pilot projects that illustrate the future of low-emission, high-efficiency electric power generation. With ERCOT, Texas utilities operate in a uniquely competitive energy market that provides some of the lowest retail rates in the country. What is it about Texas that attracts innovation, and what can other states learn from the successes and shortcomings of Texas's approach?

    Attendees will:

    • Learn about the challenges Texas regulators and utilities face
    • Understand the pros and cons of ERCOT's market design and how it differs from other markets
    • Discuss how Texas has capitalized on its natural resources to provide affordable, reliable, and clean energy

    Moderator: Hon. DeAnn Walker, Texas


    Scott Burns, Head of Innovation/Customer Experience, and GM, Home Services/Security, Reliant Energy  

    Russell Gold, Investigative Journalist, Wall Street Journal

    Mike McGroddy, Principal, 8 Rivers Capital

    Susan Williams Sloan, VP State Affairs, American Wind Energy Association

    Texas D (4th Floor)

    B2 Leading the Way to Smarter Systems

    Energy markets and systems are transforming. Energy companies are integrating more technologies on the grid to meet customer expectations. Distributed energy resources and electrification allows for the two-way flow of energy on the distribution grid, requiring additional sensors and controls to maintain a secure and reliable system. Communities are using technologies, such as advanced metering infrastructure and smart electric vehicle chargers, and data analysis to make their communities smarter. Advanced communications networks can carry data from sensors and remote cameras that monitor the impacts of natural disasters; like storms and wildfires, on facilities, and take preventative measures to mitigate adverse impacts.

    This session will:

    • Explain technologies that are rapidly and efficiently modernizing the grid;
    • Review possible investment incentives and targets;
    • Discuss how energy companies, customers, technology providers, and regulators are leading the way to a dynamic and secure energy future. 

    Moderator: Hon. Ted Thomas, Arkansas

    Hon. Carrie Zalewski, Illinois

    David Kolata, Consumer Advocate, Citizens Utility Board

    Chuck Kosak, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Transmission Permitting & Technical Assistance Division Office of Electricity, DOE
    Jess Melanson, COO, Utilidata

    Rob Schwartz, President & COO, Anterix, Inc.

    Paula Gold-Williams, President & CEO, CPS Energy


    Texas A (4th Floor)

    B3 New Transmission Investments & FERC Order 1000


    FERC Order 1000 outlines the transmission planning process for new transmission investment, in certain instances, removes a transmission owner's federal right of first refusal, and allows for a competitive bidding process for new projects. The jury is out on whether the competitive bidding process has been beneficial for end-use customers or not. This panel will explore the following questions: How is FERC Order 1000 performing to date? How much potential savings do transmission solicitations offer customers? Where are there room for improvements in planning procedures? Is expansion of competitive solicitation the answer to our transmission woes or are there other underlying obstacles to building the grid of the future? 

    Moderator: Hon. Sally Talberg, Michigan

    Hon. Talina Mathews, Kentucky

    Judy Chang, Principal, The Brattle Group

    Dr. Emma Nicholson, Senior Project Manager, Concentric Energy Advisors

    Neil Millar, Executive Director of Infrastructure Development, California ISO

    Ed Tatum, VP RTO and Regulatory Affairs, American Municipal Power




    Board of Directors Meeting

    3:15–4:15 p.m. • Bowie

    Commissioner Bonus Session

    (Commissioners Only)

    3:15–4:30 p.m. • Crockett CD (4th Floor)



    NRRI Symposium—The Regulatory Training Initiative

    3:15–4:15 p.m. • Crockett AB


    NRRI will host an open session to present an overview of the initiative, a remote platform for providing training on key regulatory issues for Commissioners, staff, industry, and other stakeholders. The session will seek feedback and input on the development of the initiative and plans for its deployment.

    Performance-Based Regulation Working Group Kickoff

    (Closed Meeting. Commissioners and Staff Only. Preregistration Required. Email Kerry at to register.)

    3:15–5:00 p.m. • Republic (4th Floor)


    Taste of Texas Continental Breakfast

    8:00–9:00 a.m. • 2nd Floor Foyer

    Registration Open

    8:30–11:30 a.m. • 2nd Floor Foyer

    Concurrent Sessions Section C

    9:00–10:00 a.m.

    Lone Star A

    C1 Ex Parte Communications: the Rules of the Game and Pitfalls to Avoid

    This session has been submitted for CLE Ethics credits. A separate sign-in form and certificate will be located inside the room if needed.

    This panel discussion will highlight various state ex parte statutes and rules, and compare state ex parte requirements or limitations to those at the federal level. The presenters will provide anecdotal information as to how ex parte problems have arisen in various states. Additionally, presenters will highlight pitfalls to avoid when practicing before or with a state PUC, including the potential hazards of inadvertent ex parte communications.


    Rosemary Chiavetta, Esq. Secretary, Pennsylvania

    Debrea M. Terwilliger, Assistant General Counsel, Nevada

    Lone Star B

    C2 The Dynamic Role of Commissions in Addressing Infrastructure Resilience

    The role of state commissions in the discussion about resilience for energy, water, and communications infrastructure is often limited to the scope of their authority in defining, measuring, and regulating resilience. However, commissions play an important role as a convening entity, ensuring utilities and asset owners are working closely with state government partners to maximize their ability to anticipate, absorb, adapt to, and rapidly recover from major disruptions. Given new technologies and services as well as evolving threats like cyberattacks, hurricanes and floods, wildfires, and extreme heat, the commission's role in aligning utility regulation and resource planning, energy assurance, and emergency operations is essential to ensuring grid resilience. This panel will explore how commissions can lead productive collaboration among multiple stakeholders to improve resilience at least cost to ratepayers.

    Attendees will

    • Gain an understanding of how commissions approach energy and water resilience
    • Learn about the role of commissions, utilities, and other state entities in resilience planning.
    • Understand how changing technology, threats, and customer demands influence resilience.

    Moderator: Hon. Jay Balasbas, Washington


    Frank Almaraz, Chief Administrative & Business Development Officer, CPS Energy

    Jonathon Monken, Senior Director, Electricity Infrastructure Policy, PJM Interconnection, LLC

    Jay Morrison, VP of Regulatory Affairs, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

    Paul Stockton, Managing Director, Sonecon, LLC

    Lone Star C

    C3 Advances, Challenges, and Opportunities with Comprehensive Electricity Planning

    The NARUC-NASEO Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning (, announced one year ago, is a multi-year initiative envisioning how to better align distribution, resource, and transmission planning processes. Sixteen pairs of state utility commissions and energy offices have met twice in robust working sessions to iterate on opportunities to improve planning. During this session, attendees will hear about progress made to date, plans for the coming year, and key issues Task Force members are discussing as they develop roadmaps that could serve as starting points for any state.

    As planning moves from process design to implementation, identifying needs, setting criteria for solutions, and prioritizing investments become paramount. Panelists will discuss emerging thinking on applying energy optimization approaches to planning as planners weigh numerous distributed and centralized options for meeting grid needs. The discussion will also include an overview of modeling tools that can be useful to aide in these efforts and of new investments being made to support planning-related decision making.


    Moderator: Hon. Jeff Ackermann, Colorado


    Carl Linvill, Principal, Regulatory Assistance Project

    Samir Succar, Director, ICF

    Johanna Zetterberg, SEE Action Network, U.S. Department of Energy





    Networking Break

    10:00–10:15 a.m. • Room TBD

    Closing General Session

    10:15–11:30 a.m. • Lone Star DEF (2nd Floor)

    AI....It's a Thing!

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) are cutting-edge technologies that are quickly transforming industries around the world. These technologies present several opportunities for utilities to achieve efficient operations and cost savings.  However, the proliferation of these technologies raises concerns about the viability of the human workforce, safety, privacy & ethics, among other considerations.

    Attendees will:

    • Learn what AI and AR are; including types and uses
    • Learn how AI and AR are transforming the utility industry;
    • Hear about benefits, if any, to consumers; 
    • Hear why commissions need to know about this technology as it relates usage by utility companies;
    • Learn about challenges with AI and AR: including workforce, safety, and privacy concerns

    Facilitator: Hon. Willie Phillips, District of Columbia


    Mark Holtermann, Vice President, Technology, American Water

    Suzanne Russo, CEO, PecanStreet

    Jordana Temlock, Director, Regulatory Affairs, Bidgely

    Harshal Upadhye, Program Manager for Artificial Intelligence, EPRI

    NARUC/DOE Resilience Workshop

    1:00–5:00 p.m. • Republic BC

    Regulating for Resilience

    As states, utilities, and other stakeholders seek to reduce the consequences of disruptions to the electric power sector from threats such as severe weather, cyber-attacks, and accidents, the need for regulators to consider how resilience can be properly internalized is coming into sharp focus. States, utilities, municipalities, and customers are increasingly taking steps to improve our communities’ resilience, yet are doing so without the benefit of an established, clear and comprehensive set of planning considerations for grid resilience.

    The goal for this facilitated workshop is twofold:

    1. To present and discuss work to date on overcoming critical barriers to development of a structured resilience framework, including:
      1. Developing a concise and accepted definition of resilience as it pertains to the grid
      2. Quantifying resilience in a way that works within various planning frameworks
      3. Balancing resilience benefits against other goals and requirements
      4. Threat-informed vs. threat-agnostic resilience frameworks
    2. To explore commission experience and needs related to important resilience topics, including:
      1. Setting grid resilience objectives
      2. Coordinating roles and responsibilities among policymakers, regulators, utilities, and other stakeholders
      3. Understanding the line between resilience investment and “gold plating”
      4. Performance-focused versus technology or program-focused regulation (e.g. resilience performance vs. microgrids)
      5. Strategy implementation considerations

    Insights captured during this workshop will inform the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity in addressing commission needs related to electric distribution system resilience.

    NARUC Supercritical CO2 Tour at Southwest Research

    12:15–3:00 p.m.

    Limited to 25 commissioners and commission staff.

    There is no fee to attend. Look for an email with details on how to sign up.

    Supported through the DOE-NARUC Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage Partnership