Committee on Gas

This agenda is subject to change.


Monday, February 12

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. 
Location: Ballroom Central

Joint with Committees on Consumers and the Public Interest, Electricity, Energy Resources and the Environment, Gas, Telecom, and Water: General Session

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. 

Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival

Michael Webber, author of Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival, will sit down with NARUC President John Betkoski III, Hon. Mary- Anna Holden, Chair of the Committee on Water and Hon. Judy Jagdmann, Chair of the Committee on Electricity, for an insightful discussion of the water-energy nexus.  Dr. Webber is the deputy director of the Energy Institute, co-director of the Clean Energy Incubator at the Austin Technology Incubator, and associate professor of mechanical engineering and Josey Centennial Fellow in Energy Resources at the University of Texas.

Committee on Gas

10:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Congressional Ballroom
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 

PHMSA Administrator Howard “Skip” Elliott shares his vision and personal perspective at the Committee on Gas meeting.  

Following his keynote speech Mr. Elliott will help kickoff a brief educational session on today’s important regulatory and multi-industry issues regarding Pipeline Safety Management System (SMS).


Introductory Remarks:  Hon. Norm Saari, MI, Chair Pipeline Safety Subcommittee Chair


Howard "Skip" Elliott, PHMSA Administrator (Keynote Speaker) 

Steve Allen, Pipeline Safety Director, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission

Shawn Lyon, Vice President of Operations, Marathon Pipe Line LLC

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

All Gas, No Pipe

Some state utility commissions are doing their part to advance natural gas infrastructure as demand increases and new supplies are discovered, but will capacity constraints worsen as federal permitting of interstate pipelines crawls? Are state universal service programs moving fast enough to make gas more available?


Hon. Stan Wise, GA, Chair Committee on Gas 

Rebuttal panel :


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

21st Century Security: Preserving Trust and Promoting Innovation in the Utility Sector

As security breaches and digital threats grow in number and scope across business and government agencies, regulators and utilities are actively seeking solutions to protect their critical data while improving service delivery. An issue for regulators and utilities to consider is how new technologies like cloud computing are being used to strengthen cyber security and improve services, and how to modernize systems and regulatory frameworks to hasten the deployment of more secure services. This panel will engage a cross section of experts from various sectors to discuss cybersecurity and the delivery of public services with modern technology. Panelists will share models for how cloud solutions support cybersecurity goals in other industries and identify obstacles to improve cybersecurity for utilities and public utilities commissions, and how these issues can be addressed through best practices and policy.


Hon. Robert M. Pickett, AK

Hon. Richard S. Mroz, NJ


Kimberly Denbow, American Gas Association

William F Hederman, Senior Fellow, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, University of Pennsylvania

Alan Halachmi, Senior Manager of Solutions Architecture, Amazon Web Services 

Paul Kurtz, CEO and Founder, TruSTAR Technology

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

Demystifying Natural Gas Marketing and Trading

Natural gas markets have many moving parts and price formation is not always obvious to someone who does not live in the market every day. 

This session will try to dispel some preconceptions about trading in the US natural gas market.  It will shed some light into what is needed for a well-functioning market to operate, how various market participants complete their gas transactions, and the differing needs of various customer groups.  The discussion will touch upon the day to day operations of a marketing and trading organization and highlight the key price formation factors, including how global prices can impact US prices.  Finally, the panel will answer questions in a Q&A session from a real life trader’s perspective


Hon. Odogwu Obi Linton, MD


Dena Wiggins, President Natural Gas Supply Association

Orlando Alvarez, President and CEO, BP Energy Company

Kevin Maule, US Natural Gas Trading Manager, Statoil

Tuesday, February 13

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Joint with Committees on Consumers and the Public Interest, Electricity, Energy Resources and the Environment, Gas, Telecom, and Water: General Session

Location: Ballroom Central
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. 

Welcome by NARUC President, Hon. Jack Betkoski.

Remarks by The Hon. Kevin J. McIntyre, Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 


Implications and Complications of Tax Reform 

Moderator: Hon. Sadzi Oliva, Illinois


Hon. Tom Forese, Arizona

Ryan Wobbrock, Vice President - Senior Analyst, Moody's Investors Service

Danny Kermode, Assistant Director for Water and Transportation, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission

Marty Kropelnicki, President and Chief Executive Officer, California Water Service Group


Reading Materials:

Regulated Utilities – U.S. Tax Reform is Credit Negative for Sector, but Impact Varies by Company (January 24, 2018)

Rating Action: Moody's Changes Outlooks on 25 U.S. Regulated Utilities Primarily Impacted by Tax Reform (January 19, 2018)

Tax Reform – U.S. Corporate Tax Cut is Credit Positive, while Effects of Other Provisions Vary by Sector (December 21, 2017)

Utilities – U.S. Tax Reform Likely to Increase Credit Risk, Impact Dependent Regulatory Response (March 15, 2017)


Committee on Gas

10:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Congressional Ballroom
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. 

Joint with Washington Action

Commissioners’ Roundtable on Hot Legislative Issues Impacting Natural Gas

A Real Time View from the Hill which will help kickoff a Commissioner roundtable discussion on legislative issues facilitated by the NARUC Washington Action Co-Chairs the Honorable Brown-Bland, North Carolina and the Honorable Wagner, Iowa.


Congressman, Bill Johnson, Ohio (invited)

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

Committee on Gas Business Meeting

  • Fireside Chat

Fire Side Chat with FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee (Introduced by the Honorable Talina Mathews, Kentucky) and Kimberly J. Harris, President and CEO of Puget Sound Energy, American Gas Association Chair of the Board of Directors (Introduced by the Honorable Jay Balasbas, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission).

Moderator: Hon. Diane X. Burman, N.Y. 

  • Resolutions
2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Natural Gas Reliability: Understanding Fact from Fiction

Natural gas has been a long-term power generation fuel source and with technological advances combined with the low cost of natural gas has been considered a fuel of choice in many parts of the United States. However, natural gas has drawn its share of opponents.  The DOE NOPR brought renewed attention to natural gas’s reliability and resiliency as a generation source. Naysayers  asserted that gas is unreliable and doesn’t actually contribute to grid resilience in the same way as other fuels. Proponents of natural gas adamantly claim the evidence supports that natural gas has the most wide ranging reliability and resilience attributes of all the major fuel sources. Further adding to the complexities, FERC 1. terminated the DOE NOPR proceeding and initiated a new proceeding on grid resilience, and separately 2. is now reconsidering its 1999 Policy Statement on Pipeline Certification. This moderated discussion will seek to get through the noise and tease out a dynamic discussion separating out fact from fiction.


Hon. Kara Brighton Fornstrom, WY


Dave Souder, Director of Operations Planning, PJM

Sam Newell, Principal, The Brattle Group

Paul Bailey, President and CEO, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity 

Michael Moses, Director, Gas Control & Planning West, TransCanada U.S. Pipelines

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

Joint with Committee on Consumers and the Public Interest

Creating a Win/Win for Consumers on Natural Gas Distribution Energy Efficiency Programs, Conservation and other Innovative Consumer Focused Oriented Strategies in Today’s World

Energy efficiency and conservation programs are a key component in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping consumers manage their energy bills. Proper regulatory incentives for utilities to promote energy efficiency, conservation, demand response and innovation are important.  Imperative is delivering savings to consumers through programs that actively promote cost-effective and prudent approaches to such efficiencies and consumer focused innovations.  This dynamic discussion will showcase the current energy efficiencies, conservation, demand response and innovative gas consumer focused technologies that are helping to drive major advancements in the natural gas arena.  It will examine the regulatory policies that help support consumer choices, increased energy efficiency, conservation, demand response and these innovations.


Hon. Dianne Solomon, NJ

Hon. Brandon Presley, MS


Steven Nadel, Executive Director, ACEEE

Carlos Nouel, Vice President, New Energy Solutions, National Grid

Holly Pearen, Senior Attorney, EDF 

Tanya J. McCloskey, Acting Consumer Advocate, Pennsylvania

Daniel LeFevers, Director, State and Consumer Programs, Gas Technology Institute

Wednesday, February 14

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. 

Joint with Committees on Consumers and the Public Interest, Electricity, Energy Resources and the Environment, Gas, Telecom, and Water: General Session

Location: Ballroom Central

Remarks by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Alaska


Remarks by The Hon. Mignon Clyburn, Federal Communications Commission


The Great Debate: All of the Above? 

Sometimes adversarial, occasionally cooperative, and always dynamic, the relationship between the electric industry’s leading trade association and the nation’s foremost environmental advocates has again been tested in recent years. In their fourth appearance before NARUC’s general session, representatives of the Edison Electric Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council return to a topic at the center of their first debate, in 2002: the appropriate role for utility regulators in guiding the selection of the resources we use to generate electricity.

Making a debut appearance for EEI is Phil Moeller, executive vice president for the association and a former FERC commission. For NRDC, an old hand makes a return to NARUC’s main stage: Ralph Cavanagh, the co-director of the organization’s energy program.

Taking the affirmative and negative sides, respectively, they will debate the following proposition:

Resolved: As a guiding principle for oversight of utilities’ planning and investment, NARUC’s membership should embrace an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy.

Moderator: Hon. Travis Kavulla, Montana

Panelists: Ralph Cavanagh, NRDC 

                  Phil Moeller, EEI

  Concluding Remarks by NARUC President, The Hon. Jack Betkoski