Replay available from our video archive

The 26th Annual Seattle Conference on

Electric Power in the West

Featuring FERC Commissioner Richard Glick, CAISO CEO and former BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer, EEI Exec. VP and former FERC Chairman Philip Moeller and an exceptional faculty of renowned energy experts.

Presented on January 28 & 29, 2021

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Program Overview

Who Should Order

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

Why You will Benefit from the Replay

This is a tumultuous time in our country, and it is reflected in the fast-changing issues affecting the electric industry sector in the West. At the forefront are major changes in climate change and environmental policies expected in 2021 after the recent presidential election. In addition, the pandemic, rolling blackouts, extreme weather, and raging wildfires present pressing challenges.

To tackle these major developments, we have assembled a great group of speakers, including FERC Commissioner Richard Glick, previous BPA Administrator and CAISO President and CEO Elliot Mainzer, Edison Electric Institute Executive VP and former FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller, state utility commissioners from Washington, Oregon and Idaho, CEO's and general managers of the region's major utilities, and leading industry experts.

Our program begins with the impact of the election on national and regional energy policy. We will learn what to expect from FERC in the year ahead, and review emerging federal issues impacting the region, including the status of the Columbia River treaty. Utility CEOs will provide insight on how they are managing the pandemic and where they are finding opportunities to partner with customers and other stakeholders. We will hear from industry leaders how the region is managing reliability and resource adequacy issues. A panel of state commissioners will tell us what this all means on the local level, and other experts will highlight how equity and political considerations are continuing to inform energy policy development.

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 . You won't want to miss an opportunity to interact with the fantastic faculty we have assembled

~ Stan Berman, Esq. of Berman and Todderud and Katherine A. McDowell, Esq. of McDowell Rackner & Gibson, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • Special day 1 address: FERC Commissioner Richard Glick
  • Special day 2 address: CISO President & CEO Elliot Mainzer
  • CEO's panel: Lisa Grow, Maria Pope, and Debra Smith
  • Commissioner's panel: Megan Decker, Kristine Raper, and Ann E. Rendahl
  • The impact of the election on energy policy
  • Utility perspective on Canadian participation in western power markets
  • Allegheny Defense Project and the end of FERC tolling
  • QF court decisions and FERC's new PURPA rules
  • Adequacy of FERC's regulatory oversite of dams
  • Lessons from California's rolling supply-related blackouts
  • Lessons from wildfires in Oregon and Washington
  • Power planning and rescource adeqacy in the rest of the west
  • Climate justice and Portland's Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund
  • Political influence on utility regulation

What Participants Said

  • "FWIW, I thought this was the best Electric Power in the West conference I've ever participated in, and I've participated in at least 15 of the 25 conferences. Nice work!"
  • "Commissioner's panel was outstanding, a good mix of insight, candor, and humor."
  • "Overall excellent CLE"
  • "The active participation of attendees makes for a more interesting conference"

Agenda Day 1

9:00 am

Interactive Zoom Broadcast Starts: Introduction & Overview

Stan Berman, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Berman and Todderud / Seattle, WA

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

9:15 am

The Impact of the Election on Energy Policy

Industry perspective from the nation's capital: The most likely changes in federal policy and how they'll impact resource development, utility operations, and power markets

Philip D. Moeller , Executive VP, Business Operations Group and Regulatory Affairs
Edison Electric Institute / Washington, DC

A view from the trenches in the Pacific Northwest: What federal actions are likely to have the most impact in this region? How can we expect the states to respond?

Annette Price , Vice President of Government Affairs
Pacific Power / Portland, OR

10:30 am


10:45 am

The Impact of Climate Change Regulation and Corporate Climate Initiatives on the Future of Electricity

How are these two very different forces converging to transform the way we generate and manage electricity?

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

11:15 am

Update on Columbia River Management Negotiations

Observations from close observers of the process

Chris Robinson , General Manager & Superintendent
Tacoma Power / Tacoma, WA

Shane Bickford , Assistant Manager
Douglas County PUD / East Wenatchee, WA

11:45 am

Special Address: What to Expect from the FERC in the Coming Year

The Hon. Richard A. Glick, Esq. , Commissioner
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission / Washington, DC

12:15 pm

Lunch Break

1:30 pm

Noteworthy Issues Before the Federal Administrative Agencies

Allegheny Defense Project and the end of FERC tolling: The impact of failure to act now resulting in a deemed denial and the resulting end of a developer's ability to pursue construction during the tolling period

Andrea Wolfman, Esq.
Davis Wright Tremaine / Washington, DC

FERC's new PURPA rules and recent decisions relating to Qualifying Facilities (QFs); interconnection between FERC and the states; resulting impact on what is happening at the state level in the region

Eric R. Todderud, Esq.
Berman and Todderud / Seattle, WA

Another year, another dam failure: Lessons from the major dam collapse in Michigan; FERC regulatory oversight; the extent to which the problem of regulatory capture is at play; and the implications for problematic dams in the Pacific Northwest

Julia Scarpino Wood, Esq.
Van Ness Feldman / Washington, DC

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Special CEO's Panel: Covid-19 and Electric Utilities

The impact on customers and how changes in their living and work patterns affect loads and utility operations; working through regulatory processes in an age of social distancing

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

Lisa A. Grow , President & CEO
IdaCorp & Idaho Power Company / Boise, ID

Maria Pope , President and CEO
Portland General Electric / Portland, OR

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

5:00 pm

Adjourn Day 1

Friday, January 29, 2021

9:00 am

Special Day 2 Opening Address: Strengthening Regional Coordination and Technology Innovation in the West

Insights from the former BPA Administrator as he works to build on the success of the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) to enable California to reliably and safely achieve its ambitious clean energy and climate goals

Elliot Mainzer , President & CEO
California ISO / Folsom, CA

9:30 am

California's Rolling Supply-Related Blackouts: Now that We Have Had Time for Thoughtful Analysis, What Happened? How Do We Fix It?

The structural "preexisting conditions" that need to be addressed before developing solutions to prevent it from happening again: What have we found now that the dust has cleared? What solutions do they point to?

Frank C. Graves , Principal
The Brattle Group, Inc. / Cambridge, MA

John Tsoukalis , Senior Associate
The Brattle Group / Washington, DC

10:30 am


10:45 am

Power Planning and Resource Adequacy

Perspectives on the lessons from California and how we can strengthen resilience while meeting our climate change response goals

Lisa D. Hardie, Esq.
McDowell Rackner Gibson / Portland, OR

Frank Afranji , President
Northwest Power Pool / Portland, OR

Sarah E. Edmonds, Esq. , Director of Transmission and Market Services
Portland General Electric / Portland, OR

12:15 pm

Lunch Break

1:30 pm

Report from the States: How do Key Government Officials See the Primary Challenges and Issues?

The Hon. Megan Decker, Esq. , Chair
Oregon Public Utility Commission / 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

3:00 pm


3:15 pm

Environmental and Climate Justice Solutions for Climate Response Plan Implementation

Case study of the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF), which is now in its implementation phase

Cady Lister , Staff Member
Portland Clean Energy Fund / Portland, OR

3:45 pm

Regulatory Capture: A Cautionary Note for Public Policy Development

Political Influence on Utility Regulation: Has it Gone Too Far? What Damage Has It Done? What Now?

Scott Hempling
Law Offices of Scott Hempling / Silver Spring, MD

4:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

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

Katherine A. McDowell, Katherine A. McDowell, Program Co-Chair, McDowell Rackner Gibson, has advised and represented utilities and energy companies on a full range of regulatory and administrative law issues for more than 25 years. Her work focuses on ratemaking issues, resource development and acquisition, compliance with environmental mandates, industry restructuring, utility mergers and acquisitions, and appeals from administrative orders. She has appeared at state regulatory commissions throughout the West.

The Hon. Richard A. Glick, The Hon. Richard A. Glick, Special Address, is a Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Before joining the Commission, Commissioner Glick was general counsel for the Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, serving as a senior policy advisor on numerous issues including electricity and renewable energy, and Vice President of Government Affairs for Iberdrola.

Elliot Mainzer, Elliot Mainzer, Special Address, is President & CEO of the California ISO. He previously served as the Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration.

Frank Afranji Frank Afranji is President of the Northwest Power Pool. Prior to joining PNPP, he was Director, Transmission & Reliability Services for Portland General Electric.

Shane Bickford is Assistant Manager of Douglas County PUD. He formerly served as the PUD's Natural Resources Supervisor and responsible for implementation of the fish, wildlife, and water quality requirements for the PUD' FERC hydro license.

The Hon. Megan Decker The Hon. Megan Decker is Chair of the Oregon Public Utility Commission. She represents Oregon as Co-Chair of the Committee on Regional Electric Power Cooperation (CREPC), as well as a member of the Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Body (WIRAB) and the Enrolled Parties and States Committee of NorthernGrid.

Sarah E. Edmonds Sarah E. Edmonds is Director of Transmission and Market Services at Portland General Electric. She oversees the development of strategy and policy recommendations relating to market expansion and development, emerging regional and national marketplace initiatives, and transmission rates.

Craig Gannett Craig Gannett is a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine. As a former Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, he advises on the Federal Power Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Endangered Species Act, as well as EPA climate change regulations.

Frank C. Graves Frank C. Graves is a Principal at the The Brattle Group, Inc. He assists utilities in forecasting, valuation, and risk analysis of many kinds of long-range planning and service design decisions, such as generation and network capacity expansion, supply procurement and cost recovery mechanisms, network flow modeling, renewable asset selection and contracting, and hedging strategies.

Lisa A. Grow Lisa A. Grow is President & CEO of IdaCorp & Idaho Power Company. She currently serves or has served on various committees and boards associated with the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, Northwest Power Pool, National Hydropower Association, Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee and the Department of Energy Electricity Advisory Committee.

Lisa D. Hardie Lisa D. Hardie is a partner at McDowell Rackner Gibson. She is a former Chair of the Oregon Public Utility Commission and served as Oregon's Representative on the California Independent System Operator's Board of State Regulators and on the Norther Tier Transmission Group.

Scott Hempling, Scott Hempling, Law Offices of Scott Hempling, focuses on energy and environmental issues. He is the author of Regulating Public Utility Performance: The Law of Market Structure, Pricing and Jurisdiction published by the American Bar Association.

Cady Lister Cady Lister is one of three Staff Members for the Portland Clean Energy Fund. Her experience is in renewable energy advocacy, community engagement, and project management. This includes running programs that have delivered more than $100 million in grants, loans, and training.

Philip D. Moeller Philip D. Moeller is Executive VP for the Business Operations Group and Regulatory Affairs at Edison Electric Institute. He previously was the second-longest serving member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Earlier in his career, he served as a Senior Legislative Assistant for Energy Policy to U.S. Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA).

Maria Pope Maria Pope is President and CEO of Portland General Electric. Before becoming CEO, she served as PGE's senior vice president of Power Supply, Operations and Resource Strategy. In that role, she oversaw PGE's transition to the Western Energy Imbalance Market.

Annette Price Annette Price is Vice President of Government Affairs at Pacific Power.

The Hon. Kristine Raper The Hon. Kristine Raper is a Commissioner at the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. She currently serves on NARUC's Electricity Committee and is a member of the Body of State Regulators (BOSR) for the Energy Imbalance Market.

The Hon. Ann E. Rendahl The Hon. Ann E. Rendahl is a Commissioner at the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. She currently serves as chair of the Electricity Committee and a member of the Critical Infrastructure Committee for NARUC, as a member of the Body of State Regulators for the California ISO's Energy Imbalance Market, and as the chair of the Western Electric Coordinating Council's Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System Committee.

Chris Robinson is General Manager & Superintendent of Tacoma Power. Prior to Tacoma Public Utilities, he worked as a consultant with multiple electrical utilities.

Debra Smith Debra Smith is CEO and General Manager of Seattle City Light. The utility is undergoing a transition to offering more products and services that support evolving customer environmental and social values.

Eric R. Todderud, Eric R. Todderud, Berman and Todderud, represents utilities, independent power producers, and industrial consumers of electricity and natural gas. Representing suppliers as well as purchasers, He negotiates agreements for power sales and purchases, transmission services, power plant development, interconnections, and natural gas supplies.

John Tsoukalis John Tsoukalis is a Senior Associate at The Brattle Group. He has expertise in electric market modeling, analyzing the benefits of regional market participation, transmission rate design, transmission investment strategy, market design, detection of market manipulation and damages analyses, and electric sector strategic planning.

Andrea Wolfman Andrea Wolfman is of counsel to Davis Wright Tremaine. Before entering private practice, she spent 24 years at FERC where she was a longtime senior executive and participated in policymaking for the restructuring of the natural gas and electric industries.

Julia Scarpino Wood Julia Scarpino Wood is a partner at Van Ness Feldman. She advises clients on issues involving the Federal Power Act (FPA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), and other federal statutes affecting energy and water development.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 11.75 WA MCLE and 11.75 ABCEP environmental professional credits. Upon request, we will help you apply for CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

I appreciate LSI's seamless segue from registration, an informative seminar, to end result.