Law Seminars International Presents:

The 25th Annual Conference on Buying & Selling

Electric Power in the West

Strategies for adapting to an accelerated transition to clean power: Regulatory, legal, and market developments

Media Sponsor: Energy News Network a nationally recognized news publication featuring original state-based reporting, dedicated to keeping stakeholders, policymakers, and citizens informed about the important changes taking place within the transition to a clean energy economy.

More about the Location

January 23 & 24, 2020

Seattle, WA

Download PDF Brochure
Seminar Image

Program Overview

Who Should Order

Attorneys, industry executives, government officials, customer representatives, and anyone else involved with electric energy issues

Why You Should Order

Electric markets and utility business models in the West continue to be driven by state efforts to address climate change by reducing their carbon footprints. From the utility sector, we are very pleased to have the new CEO's for Puget Sound Energy and Seattle City Light, Mary Kipp and Debra Smith, speak on their priorities as they assume the reins of two of the region's major utilities. You'll also hear details of utility plans to reach 100% renewables targets from Portland General Electric and PacifiCorp. Elliot Mainzer, BPA's Administrator, will discuss the power agency's challenges and pirorities.

As we follow the major issues for western energy markets with this annual program, we have covered the evolution of the Western Energy Imbalance Market. It has gone from skepticism to broad IOU participation with the public utilities now considering joining. We are very pleased to have Mary Jensen from BPA to provide Bonneville's perspective on integration planning for new participants.

Against this backdrop will be detailed discussion of business, operational, and regulatory issues. This includes federal and state policy updates, market operations, and transmission and distribution operations.

Register now to reserve your seat. You won't want to miss an opportunity to interact with the fantastic faculty we have assembled.

~ Stanley A. Berman, Esq. of Berman and Todderud and Slade Gorton, Esq. of K&L Gates and Katherine A. McDowell, Esq. of McDowell Rackner & Gibson, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • Likely future direction of federal energy policy
  • FERC update
  • Replacement of the Clean Power Plan with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule
  • Pipelines as a newly contentious issue for FERC
  • FERC hydro project relicensing and dam removal
  • The transition to 100% renewables in the Pacific Coast states
  • Special CEO panel with the new CEO's for Puget Sound Energy and Seattle City Light
  • Market participation issues for IPPs
  • Continued evolution of the Western Energy Imbalance Market
  • Bonneville's administrator on its resource and infrastructure plans
  • State resource development and regulatory policies
  • Electrification of transportation
  • Reliability: Current operational risks and legal issues

What Attendees Said

  • "Renewables development issues were good and should continue"
  • "Very important to have the state commissioners panel"
  • "Fast, informative, and interesting"
  • "Well done, as usual"
  • "Overall excellent CLE"

Agenda Day 1

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Stanley A. Berman, Esq.
Berman and Todderud LLP / Seattle, WA

The Hon. Slade Gorton, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
K&L Gates / Seattle, WA

Katherine A. McDowell, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
McDowell Rackner & Gibson / Portland, OR

8:45 am

Federal Update

Recent FERC decisions; current policy debates at the primary federal energy regulatory agencies with the greatest impact on energy development

Douglas W. Smith, Esq.
Van Ness Feldman / Washington, DC

9:45 am


10:00 am

Case Studies of Noteworthy Issues Before the Federal Administrative Agencies

Replacement of the Clean Power Plan with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule: Changes, the resulting lay of the land, impact on ongoing and anticipated litigation, and the extent to which the relaxed federal rule will impact state energy policies

Craig Gannett, Esq.
Davis Wright Tremaine / Seattle, WA

Pipelines as a newly contentious issue for FERC: Current debates and legal issues in pipeline expansion and siting for domestic use and for exports

David W. DeBruin, Esq.
Jenner & Block / Washington, DC

FERC hydro project relicensing: Case study of the Klamath dam removal as an illustration of happens if the decision is to remove rather than relicense

Dustin Till, Esq. , Assistant General Counsel
PacifiCorp / Portland, OR

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

100% Renewable Targets (by 2035, 2040, 2050, etc.): What will be Required to Achieve the Goal? At What Cost to Ratepayers?

Overview of legislative and administrative policy developments

Melissa Powers, Esq. , Moderator, Director of the Green Energy Institute
Lewis & Clark Law School / Portland, OR

Economic analysis of the paths the three Pacific Coastal states are charting: Is there a consensus on customer cost impacts?

Avi Allison , Senior Associate
Synapse Energy Economics / Cambridge, MA

Update on Portland General Electric's plan for decarbonization

Elaine Hart, Ph.D. , Manager, Integrated Resource Planning
Portland General Electric / Portland, OR

Update on PacifiCorp's transition plan

Etta P. Lockey, Esq. , Vice-President of Regulation
PacifiCorp / Portland, OR

3:00 pm


3:15 pm

Special CEO's Panel

Katherine Anne McDowell, Esq. , Program Co-Chair, Moderator
McDowell Rackner & Gibson PC / Portland, OR

Investor owned utility

Mary Kipp , President
Puget Sound Energy / Bellevue, WA

Publicly owned utility

Debra Smith , General Manager
Seattle City Light / Seattle, WA

4:30 pm

Market Participation Issues for IPPs

Eric L. Christensen, Esq.
Beveridge & Diamond / Seattle, WA

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by McDowell Rackner & Gibson and Berman and Todderud

Friday, January 24, 2020

8:30 am

Continued Evolution of the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM)

Overview: The journey from skepticism to broad IOU participation and publics considering joining; current proposals for an Expanded Day Ahead Market (EDAM)

Randall W. Hardy , Principal and Founder, Moderator
Hardy Energy Consulting / Seattle, WA

Developments in California

Don Fuller , Director, Strategic Alliances
California ISO / Folsom, CA

Participation as an increasingly attractive proposition: Integration planning for new participants

Mary K. Jensen , Executive Vice President, General Counsel
Bonneville Power Administration / Portland, OR

10:00 am


10:15 am

Special Address: Bonneville Power Administration's Resource and Infrastructure Plans

The broad range of issues on BPA's priority list

Elliot Mainzer , Administrator
Bonneville Power Administration / Portland, OR

10:45 am

Special State Resource Development and Regulatory Panel


Janine Benner , Director
Oregon Department of Energy / Salem, OR


The Hon. Kristine Raper, Esq. , Commissioner
Idaho Public Utilities Commission / Boise, ID


The Hon. Ann E. Rendahl, Esq. , Commissioner
Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission / Olympia, WA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Electrification of Transportation

Update on Portland General Electric's pilot project

Joe Colett , Emerging Technologies Product Manager
Portland General Electric / Portland, OR

2:15 pm

Reliability: Current Major Operational Risks and Associated Legal Issues

Gas supplies: Lessons for the Pacific Northwest region from the October 2018 Enbridge Gas Pipeline Rupture in British Columbia, its impact on western electric markets, and implications for response planning

Dan Kirschner , Executive Director
Northwest Gas Association / West Linn, OR

Wildfires: PG&E bankruptcy status and next steps including issues that are being decided that will affect the entire industry, including whether FERC or the bankruptcy court governs rejection of power contracts

Tara S. Kaushik, Esq.
Holland & Knight / San Francisco, CA

3:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Stanley A. Berman, Stanley A. Berman, Program Co-Chair, is a prtner at Berman and Todderud. He represents electric utilities and other electric industry participants in complex high-stakes litigation and appeals at FERC, state regulatory commissions, and in the courts.

The Hon. Slade Gorton, The Hon. Slade Gorton, Program Co-Chair, is of counsel at K&L Gates. He joined K&L Gates as of counsel after spending 18 years representing Washington state in the United States Senate.

Katherine A. McDowell, Katherine A. McDowell, Program Co-Chair, of McDowell Rackner & Gibson, advises and represents utilities and energy companies on a range of regulatory and administrative law issues.

Mary Kipp Mary Kipp was named President of Puget Sound Energy after serving as CEO of El Paso Electric.

Elliot Mainzer Elliot Mainzer is Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration.

1-21 probab 1-21 probab ly no to lunch ph hj;Debra Smith is the General Manager at Seattle City Light. She previously served as CEO and general manager of the Central Lincoln People's Utility District.

Randall W. Hardy, Randall W. Hardy, Moderator, is the Founder of Hardy Energy Consulting. He is the former CEO of Seattle City Light and BPA Administrator.

Melissa Powers, Melissa Powers, Moderator, is Director of the Green Energy Institute at Lewis & Clark Law School.

Avi Allison Avi Allison is a Senior Associate at Synapse Energy Economics. He focuses on economic impacts of energy resource policies.

Janie Benner Janie Benner is Director of the Oregon Department of Energy. She came to ODOE from the U.S. Department of Energy, where she served as Associate Assistant Secretary in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Eric L. Christensen Eric L. Christensen is of counsel to Beveridge & Diamond. He assists renewable energy companies in navigating the regulatory systems governing the nation's energy industry.

David W. DeBruin David W. DeBruin is a partner at Jenner & Block. He has been involved in natural gas disputes at FERC, among other matters.

Don Fuller Don Fuller is Director, Strategic Alliances for the California ISO. He leads the effort to develop the successful Western Energy Imbalance Market for utilities and customers in the west.

Craig Gannett Craig Gannett is a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine. He focuses his practice in the fields of electric utility regulation, renewable energy development, and climate change-related regulation.

Elaine Hart, Ph.D., Elaine Hart, Ph.D., is Manager of Integrated Resource Planning for Portland General Electric.

Mary K. Jensen Mary K. Jensen is Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Bonneville Power Administration.

Tara S. Kaushik Tara S. Kaushik is a partner at Holland & Knight. She has represented energy companies, local governments, Alaska Native Corporations and tribal entities on energy issues.

Dan Kirschner Dan Kirschner has been the Executive Director of the Northwest Gas Association since 2002.

Etta P. Lockey Etta P. Lockey is Vice-President of Regulation at PacifiCorp.

The Hon. Kristine Raper The Hon. Kristine Raper is a Commissioner at the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.

The Hon. Ann E. Rendahl The Hon. Ann E. Rendahl is a Commissioner at the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.

Douglas W. Smith Douglas W. Smith is a partner at Van Ness Feldman. He formerly served as General Counsel of the FERC and as Deputy General Counsel for Energy Policy at DOE.

Dustin Till Dustin Till is Assistant General Counsel at PacifiCorp. He advises PacifiCorp's government affairs team on legislative issues.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 12.0 WA, 12.25 CA, 12.0 OR (Pending), and 12.0 ID (Pending) MCLE credits. It also qualifies for 12.0 ABCEP environmental professional credits. Upon request, we will help you apply for CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.