Daily Agenda

Final Program  (Using agenda content available as of June 25, 2016) 

Return to the Compiled Agenda

This agenda is subject to change.

Monday, July 25:

National Regulatory Research Institute

Location: Bass                          
7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

National Regulatory Research Institute Colloquium (Breakfast)

Moderator: Rajnish Barua, PhD, Executive Director, NRRI


Accommodating Electric Service Customers:  Plain Vanilla or 31 Flavors? 

Presenter: Ken Costello, Principal Researcher-Energy & Enviroment, NRRI

The benefits from customer activism are a major motive for transformation of the U.S. electric industry. Utilities face the task of accommodating active customers while not jeopardizing the welfare of other (e.g., core) customers. The regulator’s challenge is to assure both active and other customers that their utility will treat them fairly.

View Presentation 


Telecommunications Update 2016 

Presenter: Sherry Lichtenberg, PhD, Principal Researcher-Telecommunications, NRRI

State legislators continued to modify telecommunications regulation in 2016, focusing on broadband and continuing changes to carrier of last resort and basic service requirements.  Legislators in California, Maine, and Minnesota proposed three key bills addressing telecommunications regulation, limiting regulation in two cases and maintaining commission oversight in the third.  These bills will have a significant impact on commissions, customers, and carriers.

View Presentation 


The Ecology of Community Solar Gardening: A ‘Companion Planting’ Guide for State Regulators

Presenter: Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher-Energy & Enviroment, NRRI

Community-shared solar projects are proliferating all over the country, in States with enabling legislation and commission rules and elsewhere. The U.S. DOE forecasts that, by 2020, shared solar could represent as much as half of all distributed solar.  Well over 1GW of projects are in various stages of planning, and more and more utilities want a piece of the action.  What qualities should commissions look for in good, better, or best community solar projects?  This research provides an update about actions throughout the States, plus ideas about regulatory considerations.

View Presentation 

Organization of PJM States, Inc.

Location: Acoustic
7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m..

OPSI Breakfast (invitees only)

General Session

Location: Legends Ballroom                          
8:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Q&A with Christopher M. Crane, President and CEO, Exelon Corp.

President Kavulla sits down with the leader of Exelon, which became the largest electric company in the United States this year. In addition, Exelon operates the nation’s largest clean energy generation fleet and has been an outspoken advocate on behalf of its customers for rationalizing environmental and energy policy. The company and EEI have focused for the past year on three areas: smarter energy infrastructure using new technology, expanding clean energy supplies, and creating energy solutions customers want. Mr. Crane will be asked probing questions about all three, and then some, in this fast-paced dialogue.

9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

The Role of States vs. Markets in Procuring Electric Generation

It is the hottest debate in electricity today. From resource adequacy to sustainability, rate stability to economic development, and of course old-fashioned pork-barrel politics: There are a lot of pure and not-so-pure motivations behind the State policy interventions that have forced this debate to the surface.

This panel will address two questions: Where is the dividing line between States and markets in electric generation, after three landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases and a multitude of FERC rulings and state legislative initiatives? And—perhaps more importantly—where should that line be drawn? Can markets deliver on the many things that consumers and policymakers are asking of them? Are States really capable of making efficient resource decisions? Our panelists tackle these controversial questions head on.

Allison Clements, Director, Sustainable FERC Project, Natural Resources Defense Council

Michael Haugh, Assistant Director of Analytics, Ohio Consumers’ Counsel

William Hogan, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School

Sarah Novosel, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs and Managing Counsel, Calpine

Jay Morrison, Vice President of Regulatory Issues, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association


Networking Break (10:30 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.)


Committee on Electricity

Location: Broadway E
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Hedging and Long-Term Contracting: What Does it All Mean? (Joint session with the Gas Committee.)

Price spikes can trigger howls of protests from customers. Long-term contracting for fuel supplies used to be the norm but has fallen out of favor in the last few decades. Hedging has become synonymous with the use of short-term market instruments to hedge short-term risk. Utilities have available a wide range of hedging instruments and strategies to keep price surprises at a minimum. This panel will discuss short-term hedging of market risk, long-term commodity supply contracts, and reserves investments (where the utility owns the resource-in-the-ground) and explore what State commissions might want to consider when evaluating prudent hedging and contracting standards.

Hon. Diane Burman, New York

Hon. Lamar Davis,  Arkansas

Hon. Eric Skrmetta, Louisiana

Dr. Craig Pirrong, University of Houston

Orlando Alvarez, President and CEO, BP Energy

Tim Sherwood, Vice President Gas Supply Operations, AGL

View Presentations 

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. 

Clean Coal & Carbon Management Subcommittee (Joint session with the full Electricity Committee.)

Moderator: Hon. Brian Kalk, North Dakota

Fred Eames, Partner, Hunton & Williams: Policy parity for carbon capture and storage technologies.

David Malkin, Drax Biomass: Co-firing of pellets with coal to reduce CO2 and other emissions at existing coal-fired power plants.

Tom Clarke, President, Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund:  Offsetting CO2 emissions with reforestation.

Evan Granite, NETL: Recovering rare earth metals from coal and coal ash. Preview of September NARUC visit to NETL in Pittsburgh.

View Presentations 

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

The Plains & Eastern Line: What's in the Public Interest?

In March of 2016 the US DOE announced that it would directly participate by owning the Arkansas portion of the proposed Plains & Eastern high-voltage direct-current power line, and that it would use its eminent domain powers as necessary to ensure that the line gets built. This panel will tackle a host of issues that are raised by the Plains & Eastern project: How does the public interest get defined in such cases? When should a federal agency's definition of public interest trump that of an impacted State? What are the limits to DOE's authorities under Section 1222 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act? What has DOE done to make sure this line is needed and that State concerns are addressed? Will DOE play a similar role with other projects?

Moderator: Hon. Ted Thomas, Arkansas

Cary Kottler, General Counsel, Clean Line Energy Partners, LLC

Sam Walsh, Deputy General Counsel, US Department of Energy

Jordan Wimpy, Attorney, Gill Ragon Owen, PA

View Presentations 

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

State Regulation of Physical and Cybersecurity of Utility Distribution Systems (Joint session with the Water, Critical Infrastructure and Gas Committees.)

Hear about the actions that two States have taken to address the increasing threats against utility distribution systems. FERC Commissioner LaFleur will then provide a federal perspective on these State actions. The discussion will include how all parties may coordinate efforts and provide information sharing using, among things, the Cybersecurity Act of 2015.

Moderator: Hon. Philip Jones, Washington

Hon. Cheryl LaFleur, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Hon. Richard Mroz, New Jersey

Hon. Arthur House, Connecticut

Presentation Resources:

Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment

Location: Broadway G/H                                     

10:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment                  

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

Business Meeting

Hon. Nancy Lange, Minnesota

Hon. Donna Nelson, Texas

Hon. Jeanette Mills, Maryland

Research Updates:
Ron Edelstein, Gas Technology Institute

Tom Stanton, National Regulatory Research Institute

Barbara Tyran, Electric Power Research Institute


Molly Cripps, TN Department of Environment & Conservation, Office of Energy Programs

Six U.S. States, The Climate Registry and NASEO have secured a DOE award to develop a national energy efficiency registry (NEER). The registry will allow States to track initiatives within their own programs as well as demonstrate compliance with existing State and federal regulations.


Katrina McMurrian, Executive Director, Critical Consumer Issues Forum

CCIF will share information from its new report on “Consumer Solutions: Meeting Consumer Needs at All Levels,” a collaborative effort of state commissioners, consumer advocates, electric utility representatives, and large commercial customers.  The next CCIF Kickoff Forum in November will also be announced.

1:15p.m. - 2:30p.m.

Community Solar- Where Do We Go From Here?

Community solar is an increasingly popular option for deploying solar technology.  This panel continues the discussion we started at our Winter Meeting on this topic to discuss different ownership models, program design, best practices and lessons learned, including how to tailor programs to include low and mid-income customers.

Moderator: Hon. Ellen Nowak, Wisconsin

Jennifer Szaro, Senior Director, Programs, SEPA

Lynn E. Thompson, President & CEO, Eau Claire Energy Co-op

First Solar Representative

Utility Representative

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

Big Data and Energy Efficiency

Big data, analytics and cloud software are modernizing energy efficiency programs and providing new ways to measure and monitor energy savings. These changes have significant ramifications for regulators: the measurement of energy efficiency is how regulators determine the costs, benefits and value of demand-side management programs. Analytics tools are beginning to enable "Evaluation, Measurement and Verification (EM&V) 2.0" using large volumes of energy consumption data. EM&V 2.0 provides near real-time performance feedback and helps modernize and improve energy efficiency programs. Come hear from practitioners, thought leaders, and researchers to learn about recent experiences from across the country.

Moderator: Hon. Lorraine Akiba, Hawaii

Jordana Cammarata, Regulatory Affairs Manager, First Fuel

Jessica Granderson, Deputy Director of Building Technology and Urban Systems Division, LBNL

Julie Michals, Director, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership's Regional EM&V Forum

Taren O’Connor, Rate Specialist, Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel  

Jake Oster, Sr. Director of Regulatory Affairs, EnergySavvy,

4:00p.m. - 5:00p.m.

Who’s on First: the Clean Power Plan and Market Forces

As RTOs and others analyze the impacts of the Clean Power Plan, new modeling shows that sustained lower natural gas prices, dropping costs for renewable energy resources, and low growth in electricity consumption are driving utility carbon emissions down.  This panel will discuss the key drivers behind decarbonization of the electric sector, including regulation and market forces.  The panel will also tackle the challenging question: What is the role for the Clean Power Plan in an industry that is being reshaped by powerful market forces?

Moderator: Hon. Nancy Lange, Minnesota

Pam Kiely, Senior Director of Regulatory Strategy, Environmental Defense Fund

Jennifer Macedonia, Senior Advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center

Cathy Woollums, Senior VP Environmental & Chief Environmental Counsel, Berkshire Hathaway Energy

Committee on Gas

Location: Broadway E                                     

10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Hedging and Long Term Contracting -- What does it all mean?

Joint with the Committee on Electricity

Price spikes can trigger howls of protests from customers.  Long term contracting for fuel supplies used to be the norm but have fallen out of favor in the last few decades. Hedging has become synonymous with the use of short-term market instruments to hedge short-term risk. Utilities have available a wide range of hedging instruments and strategies to keep price surprises at a minimum.  Evolving supply-demand dynamics of the natural gas markets and its impact on the electric market are driving folks to look more at these options.  Ongoing efforts to enhance hedging options reflect the need to understand the long term supply contract structures.  Education is needed on the differences between short-term hedging of market risk, long-term commodity supply contracts, and the reserves investments where the utility actually owns the resource-in-the-ground. This panel will explore what state commissions may want to consider when evaluating prudent hedging and contracting standards that protect customers.

Moderator: Hon. Diane X. Burman, New York and Hon. Lamar Davis, Arkansas

Hon. Eric Skrmetta, Louisiana

Dr. Craig Pirrong, University of Houston

Orlando Alvarez, BP Energy President and CEO

Tim Sherwood, Vice President Gas Supply Operations for AGL

1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Presentation to the Gas Committee 

PresenterHon. Colette D. Honorable, FERC

1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

PHMSA Nuts and Bolts Part One - Broadway F

Increases in U.S. natural gas production, usage and commercialization of natural gas are changing the regulatory landscape for the U.S. natural gas industry and its customers.  The safe, reliable and cost effective operation of the natural gas pipeline infrastructure in critical to our economy and security.   The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline Hazardous Material and Safety Administration’s mission is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives. To do this, PHMSA’s stated mission is to establish national policy, set and enforce standards, educate, and conduct research to prevent incidents. PHMSA also prepares the public and first responders to reduce consequences if an incident does occur.  In this two part Nashville moderated series we will explore all that is happening at PHMSA specifically as it concerns the proposed regulations and rules surrounding the safety of natural gas distribution and transmission pipelines.  Attendees will be provided with the framework and tools necessary to explore and understand their respective roles and responsibilities in ensuring the delivery of natural gas to our communities safely, reliably, responsibly and affordably.  Part One will tee up the issues and lay the ground work for a deeper dive into the specific stakeholder viewpoints in Part Two on Tuesday July 26 2:45pm to 3:45 pm.

Facilitated Discussion with: 
Gas Committee Members PHMSA Working Group

Mr. Talmadge R. Centers, Jr. Vice President, Safety and Gas System Integrity, CenterPoint Energy

Lindsay Sander, Sander Resources

PHMSA Senior Staff Leadership Member

View Presentations 

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

Gas Crystal Ball

Natural gas prices are at an all-time low in the midst of unprecedented technological innovation and modernization, which, in turn, has led to increased customer engagement with respect to managing and participating in energy consumption.  While the “utility of the future” gets a lot of attention on the electric side of the industry, this panel will discuss the future of the natural gas industry.  Issues such as the recovery of gas prices, natural gas expansion global climate change issues, and regulatory uncertainty around the natural gas sector. We will look at forecasts and implications for the electricity, industrial and transportation sectors.  Also, what are the real positive implications of increasing the natural gas industries footprint for carbon emissions and providing the backstop to increase renewable power? Focus will be on looking forward and planning for the uncertain future.

Hon. Dianne Solomon, New Jersey and Hon. Stan Wise, Georgia

Pam Witmer, Vice President of Government Affairs, UGI Energy Services

Julian Dumoulin-Smith, Executive Director, US Electric Utilities, Alt Energy and IPPs Group, UBS Investment Research

Paul DeCotis, Senior Director, Energy and Utilities Practice, WestMonroe Partners, LLC

Andy Weissman, CEO of EBW AnalyticsGroup

View Presentations 

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

State Regulation of Physical and Cybersecurity of Utility Distribution Systems (Joint session with the Electricity,Critical Infrastructure and Water Committees.)

Hear about the actions that two States have taken to address the increasing threats against utility distribution systems. FERC Commissioner LaFleur will then provide a federal perspective on these State actions. The discussion will include how all parties may coordinate efforts and provide information sharing using, among things, the Cybersecurity Act of 2015.

Moderator: Hon. Philip Jones, Washington

Hon. Cheryl LaFleur, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Hon. Richard Mroz, New Jersey

Hon. Arthur House, Connecticut

Committee on Telecommunications

Location: Brodway A/B                                      
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II Auction

The primary goal for the next phase of CAF 2 funding is to use a competitive bidding process to ensure widespread participation from multiple providers that can deliver a high-quality service including non-traditional providers, increase competition between providers, and ensure the best use of the universal service funding.  This panel will focus on how to use the CAF II auction funds to provide broadband to the greatest number of unserved households, businesses, and farms in rural high cost America.  These funds will be distributed via a reverse auction to service areas where the first round of funding was declined by the incumbent telephone providers.

Moderator: Hon. Paul Kjellander, Idaho

Robert Debroux, Director – Federal Affairs & Public Policy, TDS Telecom

Michael Saperstein, VP Federal Regulatory Affairs, Frontier Telecom

Chuck Keller, Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP.

Christopher Murphy, Associate General Counsel, Regulatory Affairs,  ViaSat

Bob Hance, CEO, MidWest Energy

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

5G Wireless – Unleashing Possibilities and Avoiding Pitfalls

Fifth generation wireless service – 5G – offers nearly unlimited possibilities in the areas of speed, capacity, and performance.  This timely panel will explore where we are in the 5G transition, the capabilities of a 5G system, and the opportunities 5G offers to consumers.  Importantly the panelists will also address infrastructure challenges in both the technical and regulatory arenas caused by increased need for spectrum, towers, small cells, and fiber backhaul.  Come and explore the world of 5G with us!

Moderator: Hon. Chris Nelson, South Dakota

Brian Daly, AT&T - Director – Core Network & Government/Regulatory Standards

Dr. Eshwar Pittampalli, CTIA –Director Wireless Technology

John Kuzin, Qualcomm Incorporated - Vice President and Regulatory Counsel

James Assey, National Cable & Telecommunications Association - Executive Vice President

Paul Vasington, Verizon – Director of State Public Policy

View Presentations 

2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Perspectives on Chevron Deference: To what extent are courts applying this doctrine, has it been abused and does it provide value as a tool for judicial review of FCC decisions?

Chevron deference is a principle of administrative law requiring courts to defer to interpretations of statutes made by those government agencies charged with enforcing them, unless such interpretations are unreasonable. The principle is named for the 1984 Supreme Court case Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., which involved a dispute over the Environmental Protection Agency’s interpretation of a provision of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977. Under Chevron, even if a court finds that another interpretation is reasonable, or even better than the agency’s interpretation, it must defer to the agency’s reasonable interpretation. 

Panelists will discuss the modern application, relevance and merits of Chevron deference in the context of recent FCC decisions, including the Open Internet Order. They will address the pros and cons of proposals to change this review standard, including recently proposed legislation seeking to amend federal administrative law to require de novo review of agency decisions.

Moderator: Hon. Dan Lipshultz, Minnesota

Jeffrey Lamken, Esquire, MoloLamken LLP

Hank Kelly, Esquire, Managing Partner, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, Chicago Office

Randolph May, President, The Free State Foundation

Other panelists invited but not confirmed

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.


The panel will explore federal and state NG911 progress and report on the progress of the FCC’s Task Force on Optimal Public Safety Answering Point Architecture (TFOPA) to expand on its first report. We will also discuss Text to 911 deployment and progress towards meeting the new 2017 caller location accuracy standards. In summary this panel will continue the discussion of where stakeholders are in implementing NG911 and what issues they are facing.

Moderator: Hon. Tim Schram, Nebraska

David Furth, Deputy Bureau Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, FCC

Jim Goerke, CEO, Texas 911 Alliance

Daryl Branson, Senior 911 Telecom Analyst, Colorado Public Utilities Commission

Jamison Peevyhousey, ENP Weakley County Tennessee Emergency Communications District

View Presentations 

Committee on Water

Location: Broadway C/D
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Conserving a Precious Resource

Various jurisdictions have taken unique approaches to conserving water resources. Regional drought has amplified efforts to conserve water as well. The panelists will discuss some approaches to water conservation and addressing drought situations.

Moderator: Hon. Alaina Burtenshaw, Nevada

Hon. John W. Betkoski, Connecticut

Hon. Catherine J.K. Sandoval, California

Eric Sabolsice, Director of Operations, California American Water

View Presentations 

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Failing Flint:  an Overview and Analysis of the Water Crisis

In 2014 and 2015, thousands of families in the distressed community of Flint, Michigan were exposed to lead and other contaminants in their drinking water subsequent to switching water sources. The public health, fiscal, and governance consequences are staggering and ongoing. This session will provide an overview and analysis of the crisis with a focus on regulatory issues.

Moderator: Hon. Alaina Burtenshaw, Nevada

Panelist: Janice A. Beecher, Director of the Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University

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

Flint Fallout:  Is Mandatory Lead Pipe Replacement on the Horizon?

(Joint Panel with Consumer Affairs)

Is it likely that water utility lead pipe replacement will be mandated as a result of the recent events in Flint, Michigan?  What are the challenges involved with lead pipe replacement?  What operational, liability, and rate issues should be considered? 

Moderator: Hon. Randy Randall, South Carolina

Hon. Mary-Anna Holden, New Jersey

Michael Deane, Executive Director, National Association of Water Companies

Denise Schmidt, Water Policy Advisor, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

Lisa Sparrow, President and Chief Executive Officer, Utilities, Inc.

Walter Lynch, Chief Operating Officer, American Water

View Presentations 

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Joint Panel with Electricity, Critical Infrastructure, and Gas - Broadway E

Staff Subcommittee on Information Services

Location: Cumberland 1      

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


The Progress of Information Technologies at State Commissions 

Roundtable discussions of projects, plans, challenges and experiences.

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Cyber Security Landscape 2016: An FBI Perspective

FBI Supervisory Special Agent: Casper Cromwell

Nashville, TN. Office Cyber Branch

2:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Accelerating Digital Transformation through Electronic Signatures and Protecting Documents, Inside & Outside the Firewall, with Data-Centric Security

Federal and State & local governments are continually looking for service improvements, process efficiencies and ways to increase data protection and security. Yet processes that require signatures and form approvals continue to delay government businesses, consuming gratuitous resources and introducing unnecessary compliance risk. Electronic signatures (e-signatures) have been legal and enforceable since the passage of the E-Sign Act in 2000. With today’s tight budgetary and regulatory constraints, governmental agencies of all sizes are looking to e-signatures and digital forms automation as a way to complete transactions faster and easier. Electronic signatures are becoming the preferred way governments can transform the resource-intensive, manual paper-based process of securing signatures and approvals.

In addition, as sensitive information continues to increase in volume, so do potential threats. Government organizations must be on guard for data breaches and leaks by taking measures to protect valuable data before an incident, malicious or accidental, occurs.  This year, the President implemented a Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP) calling for agencies to take a multi-layered data protection approach. While protection at the network level remains essential, adding protection at the data and document level is critical to achieving in depth defense.

During this presentation overview, Adobe will discuss how government agencies today are taking advantage of digital and electronic signatures to streamline business processes, legally send, sign, collaborate and manage documents electronically, which meet rigorous security standards, including SOC2 Type 1 and Type 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA and PCI DSS v3.0.  In addition, you will hear how Federal and State & Local are leveraging Adobe’s Document Rights Management solution to protect and audit agency documents inside or outside the firewall, across devices, anywhere in the world with powerful, device and network independent content protection.

Derek Neal, Manager, Adobe National Government Solutions

Michael Glanton, Solutions Consultant, Adobe Public Sector

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The Progress of Information Technologies at State Commissions 

( Continued)

Staff Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety

Location: Music Row 6                               
10:45 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Staff Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety (Closed Meeting)

Staff Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety (closed)

Location: Music Row 6                               
10:45 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Staff Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety (Closed Meeting)


Lunch Break - On Own (11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)


Networking Break (2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.)


Networking Break (3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.)


MACRUC - Invitees Only

Location: Electric                               
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

MACRUC Meeting (Invitees Only)

MARC - Invitees Only

Location: Mockingbird 2                            
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

MARC Meeting (Invitees Only)

Western - Invitees Only

Location: Bass
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Western Meeting (Invitees Only)

SEARUC - Invitees Only

Location: Acoustic                                 
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

SEARUC (Invitees Only)

NECPUC - Invitees Only

Location: Music Row 6                                
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

NECPUC Meeting (Invitees Only)