Winter Policy Summit logo

February 10-13, 2019 • Renaissance Washington Hotel • Washington, D.C.

Winter Policy Summit logo

February 10-13, 2019
Renaissance Washington Hotel
Washington, D.C.

Consumers and the Public Interest


Staff Subcommittee on Consumers and the Public Interest

9:00-11:45 a.m. • Renaissance West A / Renaissance East

9:00-10:15 a.m.

Renaissance West A

Closed Session

10:15-10:45 a.m. Networking Break

10:45 - 12:00 p.m.

Renaissance East 

Lifeline Assistance: What Exactly does Modernization Mean?

For decades, the federal Lifeline Assistance program has offered a lifeline to qualifying low-income consumers to ensure they have basic phone service to connect to job opportunities, community emergency and health services, as well as family and friends.  As the program expanded to include wireless phones, public utility commissions across the country found renewed consumer interest in Lifeline.  Now, the program is being modernized to include broadband and streamline eligibility and recertification processes. Learn what modernization means for carriers, commissions, and most importantly, consumers.

Moderator: Phil Boyle, Consumer Services Manager, Oregon PUC


Michelle Garber, Vice President of Lifeline, USAC

Ryan B. Palmer, Chief, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, FCC



Committee on Consumers and the Public Interest

1:30- 5:00 p.m. • Renaissance West A / Ballroom North

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Renaissance West A

Business Meeting

2:30-4:00 p.m. Networking Break

4:00-5:00 p.m.

Ballroom North

Consumers and Catastrophes: A Guide on Preparation and Recovery

When disasters threaten, consumers need information on what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.  The CPI Committee, with support from NARUC’s Executive Board, is bridging the information gap that often occurs during disasters.  Their just released (hot off the website!), Consumers & Catastrophes Guide, is a consumer resource on how to prepare and recover from disasters!  This interactive, audience included, roundtable discussion will cover the Guide’s need and purpose. Hear how utilities, commissions, consumer advocates, and local governments are ensuring that--be it a volcano eruption or a hurricane--consumers will know how to work with their utilities in preparation and restoration. 

Moderators: Hon. Maida Colman, Missouri, and Hon. Odogwu Obi Linton, Maryland


Hon. Larry Friedeman, Ohio

J.R. Kelly, Public Council, Florida Office of Public Counsel

Northwest Natural Gas representative 


General Session

9:00-10:15 a.m. • Ballroom Central


Welcome Remarks: Hon. Nick Wagner, Iowa

EPA Update: Andrew Wheeler, Acting Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency

Data and Analysis Initiatives: Dr. Linda Capuano, Administrator, US Energy Information Administration

The Journey to Self-Reliance and the Challenges of the Twenty First Century:  Brock Bierman, Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, US Agency for International Development

Committee on Consumers and the Public Interest

10:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m. • Congressional Ballroom

10:45-11:45 a.m.

Congressional Ballroom

Pipeline Safety –Emerging Issues for 2019 and Beyond

(joint with Committee on Gas, Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety [and Staff Subcommittee], and Washington Action)

Engaging discussion on federal and state regulatory issues impacting and affecting pipeline safety. Such topics may include, among others, updates on Safety Management Systems, upcoming pipeline reauthorization planning, cybersecurity issues, operator qualifications, pending PHMSA regulations, workforce development, over pressurization and other timely issues.

Moderators: Hon. Norm Saari, Michigan  

                      Hon. Kara Brighton Fornstrom, Wyoming


Susan A. Olenchuk, Partner, Van Ness Feldman 

Lori Traweek, COO, American Gas Association

PHMSA Representative TBA

Urbint Representative TBA


General Session

9:00-10:15 a.m. • Ballroom Central

9:00-10:15 a.m.

Winter Welcome by Hon. Jason Stanek, Maryland


A Session with Stuart Rothenberg -

Senior Editor, Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales
Former Editor and Publisher, Rothenberg Political Report
Political Analyst/Contributor, Roll Call

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Resilience and Investment in the Grid: Bruce J. Walker, Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity, U.S. Department of Energy

Committee on Consumers and the Public Interest

10:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m. • Congressional Ballroom

10:45-11:45 a.m.

Environmental, Social, Governance and Sustainability Reporting (joint with the Committee on Gas & the Subcommittee on Supplier and Workforce Diversity)

This is a timely cutting-edge topic. Environmental, social, governance, and sustainability (ESG/sustainability) factors are becoming important attributes to consider in investments. ESG/sustainability assessment and reporting are now of growing interest in the energy market investment community.  This panel will look at the joint partnership between Edison Electric Institute and American Gas Association on a voluntary initiative and how it may affect the regulatory framework and long-term investment strategies.

Moderators: Hon. Dwight D. Keen, Kansas

                      Hon. Maida Coleman, Missouri


Marisa Buchanan, Executive Director, Sustainable Finance, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Kimberly Harris, CEO, Puget Sound Energy

Jerry Norcia, President and Chief Operating Officer, DTE Energy




General Session

9:00-11:45 a.m. • Ballroom Central

9:00 a.m.

The Hon. Lisa Murkowski, Senator, Alaska

    9:30 a.m.

    Critical Infrastructure Interdependencies:

    Sectors Intertwined Part 2

    Spurred by rapid digitalization and the extensive adoption of new technologies, our nation’s critical infrastructures are becoming increasingly interdependent. Electric utilities depend on water, gas, and telecommunications, and vice versa. A threat to one is a threat to all. Yet consumers’ expectations for uninterrupted service remains high. This session continues the dialogue we had last November in Orlando. Experts will dig deeper into the risks that interdependencies pose to resilient operations. They will also examine efforts underway to identify and implement collaborative solutions across critical infrastructure sectors. The role of regulation in utilities’ pursuit of innovative, cost-effective risk mitigation strategies will be highlighted.

    Facilitator: Hon. Gladys Brown, Pennsylvania


    • Colleen M. Arnold, Vice President/Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Aqua America, Inc.
    • Scott Carter, President, Spire Energy
    • Kathryn Condello, Senior Director, National Security / Emergency Preparedness, CenturyLink
    • Joy Ditto,  President & CEO, Utilities Technology Council
    • Suzanne Lemieux, Manager, Midstream and Industry Operations, American Petroleum Institute
    • Paul Stockton, Managing Director, Sonecon, LLC

    10:45 a.m.

    Remarks by FERC Chair, The Hon. Neil Chatterjee 

    11:15 a.m.

    Remarks by DOE Under Secretary of Energy, The Hon. Mark Menezes