Transforming the U.S. Electric System: Where Federal and State Initiatives Meet

About the Conference

On October 27, 2016, GW Law’s Sustainable Energy Initiative convened a gathering of top policy makers and industry leaders to discuss the way in which electricity in the U.S. will be produced, delivered and used in the future. The event was hosted by Dentons US LLP and funded by the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro fund. The learning sessions examined the work occurring in Minnesota, California and the Southeast; FERC, NERC and U.S. DOE; and through state and city regulatory bodies. Additional learning sessions included remarks from a leading consumer advocate and newer market entrants, plus a lunchtime presentation on grid architecture for the future grid. The learning sessions were followed by a facilitated discussion session.

The agenda and the available presentations are below. A conference summary will follow. 


8 am: Registration 

8:30—8:45: Welcome

  • Emma Hand | Partner, Dentons US LLP
  • LeRoy (“Lee”) Paddock | Associate Dean for Environmental Studies, Professorial Lecturer in Law, GW Law

8:45 am—3:30 pm: Learning Sessions

8:45—8:55 am: Introduction & Overview

  • Donna M. Attanasio | Conference Moderator; Senior Advisor for Energy Law Programs, Professorial Lecturer in Law, GW Law

8:55—9:55 am: Minnesota's e21 Project

  • Rolf Nordstrom | Moderator & Presenter; President and CEO, The Great Plains Institute; Chief facilitator, e21 Initiative
  • Amy Fredregill | Resource Planning and Strategy Manager, Xcel Energy 
  • Will Kaul | Vice President, Transmission, Great River Energy
  • Hon. Dan Lipschultz | Commissioner, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

9:55—10:10 am: Break

10:10—11 am: California Utility Programs

  • Zori G. Ferkin | Moderator; Of Counsel, Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • John Sowers | Vice President, Electric Distribution, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
  • Arlen Orchard | Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, SMUD
  • Amy Pressler | Director, Public Affairs, Edison International

11—11:30 am: A View from the Southeast

  • Noel Black | Vice President, Federal Regulatory Affairs, Southern Company
  • Emma Hand | Partner, Dentons US LLP, Legal Advisor to the City Council of the City of New Orleans for Utility Matters

11:30—Noon: Energy Product Supplier Perspective I

Noon—1:30 pmLunch & Luncheon Speaker

1:30—1:45 pm: Energy Product Supplier Perspective II

1:45—3 pm: Federal Initiatives

  • George (“Chip”) Cannon, Jr. | Moderator; Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Gerry W. Cauley | President & CEO, North American Electric Reliability Corp.
  • J. Arnold Quinn | Director, Office of Energy Policy & Innovation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Karen G. Wayland | Deputy Director For State And Local Cooperation, Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, U.S. Department of Energy

3—3:15 pm: A Consumer Perspective

  • John Howat | Senior Energy Analyst, National Consumer Law Center

3:15—3:30 pm: Break

3:30—5:30 pm: Discussion

Audience participation strongly encouraged

3:30—5:15 pm: Reactions, Insights and Conclusions - Panel-Led Audience Discussion

  • Donna M. Attanasio | Co-moderator; Senior Advisor for Energy Law Programs, Professorial Lecturer in Law, GW Law
  • Gregory K. Lawrence | Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Diane Munns | Senior Director, External Affairs, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Daniel J. Oginsky | EVP and Chief Administrative Officer, ITC Holdings
  • Chris Villarreal | Director of Policy, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

5:15—5:30 pm: Wrap-up

  • Donna M. Attanasio | Conference Moderator