Summer Policy Summit logo

July 21-24, 2019
JW Marriott Indianapolis
Indianapolis, Indiana

International Relations


Committee on International Relations

12:30-5:00 p.m. • Grand Ballroom 3 & 4

12:30-1:00 p.m.


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

Business Meeting

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

  • Introductions
  • Approval of winter meeting minutes
  • Resolutions
  • Call for nominations – Terry Barnich Award

Report on NARUC International Activities

Erin Hammel – Director, International Department, NARUC

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Carbon Capture on the Global Stage 

(joint session with Staff Subcommittee on Clean Coal & Carbon Management)

Carbon capture and sequestration may represent the only way forward for coal in a carbon-limited world. CCS faces formidable constraints in both economics and technology. This session will examine how the United Kingdom and others are working to address those challenges.


Hon. Kara Fornstrom, Wyoming 

Hon. Brian Kroshus, North Dakota 


Patricia Loria, Senior Client Engagement Lead, Global CCS Institute

Frank Morton, Director, Technology Development, National Carbon Capture Center

2:00-3:00 p.m.

The Japanese Energy Picture – A U.S. Perspective

With an advanced industrial economy and a population of almost 130 million, Japan faces considerable challenges in meeting its energy needs. Severely limited with few energy resources of its own, it depends largely on nuclear energy and coal and natural gas imports. However, the public’s appetite for nuclear has sharply declined following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant accident, hampering the country’s ability to restart much of its current fleet. It remains committed to meeting its carbon reduction pledges under the Paris agreement, but its recently approved Strategic Energy Plan calls for reliance on nuclear for a quarter of its needs, and coal and natural gas for half, by 2030. Last March, the U.S. Department of Energy sponsored a delegation of state commissioners and federal officials to meet with U.S. and Japanese government officials, industry representatives, and energy policy experts to understand the Japanese energy picture, its energy strategy, the technology advances in reducing carbon emissions from coal, and the role of U.S. trade, investment, and policy in helping Japan meet its energy goals. At this panel, delegation members will share their insights from the trip and present an overview of the Japanese energy landscape, with emphasis on the U.S.’s role. 

Moderator: Hon. James Huston – Indiana URC


Hon. Nick Wagner – NARUC President – Iowa UB

Louis Hrkman - Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Clean Coal and Carbon Management, US DOE

Robert Gee - President, Gee Strategies Group, LLC 

3:00-3:20 p.m.

Networking Break

3:20-4:20 p.m.

Another Nexus: Electricity and Public Health Sub-Saharan Africa

Electrification is commonly thought of in terms of economic development. But access to electricity, or a lack of access, has other profound societal impacts. Not the least of those is public health. Professor Abigail Mechtenberg’s research has included an examination of how unreliable electric service affects public health in African nations and the potential of microgrids to alleviate the problem. She will discuss that work and the larger question of what type of electrification is most effective in addressing public health needs.

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

Panelist: Abigail Mechtenberg, Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame

4:20- 5:00 p.m.

Open discussion