Policy Initiative Convenes Experts to Discuss Future of Electricity Regulation

The Policy Initiative's Power Shift Meeting in Nashville on July 25, 2016

On July 25, the Harvard Environmental Policy Initiative convened a stellar cast of energy law faculty, current and former public utility commissioners, and other industry experts to discuss the legal framework for tomorrow’s electricity sector. EPI co-hosted the Nashville workshop with Duke University’s Nicholas Institute and the University of North Carolina’s Center for Climate, Energy, Environment, and Economics (CE3). The workshop is the third run by PowerShift, a project conceived by EPI and the Nicholas Institute, and the second to coincide with a major conference of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).

FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur provided the keynote during the workshop lunch. Other speakers included former FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff; Professor Shelley Welton from the University of South Carolina; State Commissioners Ann Rendahl (WA), ToNola Brown-Bland (NC), and Anne Hoskins (MD); Michigan Agency For Energy Executive Director Valerie Brader; Carrie Jenks, Senior VP at the consulting firm MJ Bradley & Associates; and Greg Dotson, Vice President for Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress.

EPI staff Ari Peskoe and Kate Konschnik worked with Nicholas Institute’s Jonas Monast to design the workshop, which featured discussions about utility rate design, the federal-state interplay in electricity regulation, and the sector issues facing the next President of the United States.

EPI Director Kate Konschnik said there were many opinions about what tomorrow’s grid should look like and how to get there. “It’s vital for the legal community to engage in these discussions because the decisions being made – from generation choices to transmission investments – are influenced by the regulatory rules of the road, whether those are statutes, utility commission decisions, or electricity market rules.”

PowerShift engages academics and practitioners in discussions about the market rules and regulations needed to create a reliable, affordable, equitable, and cleaner grid.

The photo features former New York Public Service Commission Chair Garry Brown, Professor Joshua Fershee (University of West Virginia), Denise Grab (NYU Institute of Policy Integrity), Carrie Jenks (MJ Bradley), and former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff.

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