Generating Change for a Just Grid

  • Wednesday, July 13, 2022
  • 12:00pm–2:00pm ET
  • Online Event

WE ACT for Envi­ron­men­tal Jus­tice and the State Ener­gy & Envi­ron­men­tal Impact Cen­ter host­ed a dis­cus­sion of impor­tant changes under­way at the Fed­er­al Ener­gy Reg­u­la­to­ry Com­mis­sion on how the elec­tric trans­mis­sion sys­tem is planned and who pays. Hear from FERC Com­mis­sion­er Willie Phillips, fol­lowed by a pre­sen­ta­tion from FERC staff about what’s in FERC’s recent pro­posed rule that could result in a clean­er, more resilient, reli­able, and afford­able grid. Then, hear our expert pan­el talk about the role for states, equi­ty, and decar­boniza­tion in these trans­mis­sion changes, and how you can get involved. 

Resources from the Event

Open­ing Remarks

Commissioner Willie Phillips

Com­mis­sion­er Willie Phillips

Fed­er­al Ener­gy Reg­u­la­to­ry Commission

Com­mis­sion­er Willie L. Phillips was nom­i­nat­ed to the Fed­er­al Ener­gy Reg­u­la­to­ry Com­mis­sion by Pres­i­dent Biden. He was con­firmed to the post by the Unit­ed States Sen­ate on Novem­ber 162021.

He most recent­ly served as the Chair­man of the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion of the Dis­trict of Colum­bia, named to that role in 2018. He served on the Com­mis­sion since 2014. He is an expe­ri­enced reg­u­la­to­ry attor­ney com­bin­ing near­ly 20 years of legal exper­tise in pub­lic and pri­vate prac­tice. He has an exten­sive back­ground in the areas of pub­lic util­i­ty reg­u­la­tion, bulk pow­er sys­tem reli­a­bil­i­ty, and cor­po­rate gov­er­nance. Pri­or to being appoint­ed to the DCP­SC, Mr. Phillips served as Assis­tant Gen­er­al Coun­sel for the North Amer­i­can Elec­tric Reli­a­bil­i­ty Cor­po­ra­tion (NERC), in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Before join­ing NERC, he also worked for two law firms, where he advised clients on ener­gy reg­u­la­to­ry com­pli­ance and pol­i­cy matters.

Mr. Phillips has also served on the boards of sev­er­al orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing the board of direc­tors for the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Reg­u­la­to­ry Util­i­ty Com­mis­sion­ers (NARUC) and the Orga­ni­za­tion of PJM States (OPSI). He also has served as pres­i­dent of the Mid-Atlantic Con­fer­ence of Reg­u­la­to­ry Util­i­ty Com­mis­sion­ers (MACRUC), and he has held lead­er­ship roles on sev­er­al advi­so­ry coun­cils, includ­ing the Elec­tric Pow­er Research Insti­tute (EPRI) Advi­so­ry Council.

Mr. Phillips has a Juris Doc­tor from Howard Uni­ver­si­ty School of Law, and a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mon­te­val­lo. He lives in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., with his wife and two children.

Pan­el Discussion

Yewande Bayly

Yewande Bay­ly

Detailee, Office of Pub­lic Par­tic­i­pa­tion, Fed­er­al Ener­gy Reg­u­la­to­ry Commission

Yewande Bay­ly is a detailee in the Office of Pub­lic Par­tic­i­pa­tion at the Fed­er­al Ener­gy Reg­u­la­to­ry Com­mis­sion. Pre­vi­ous­ly, she worked in the tech­ni­cal divi­sion of the Office of Admin­is­tra­tive Lit­i­ga­tion. She holds an under­grad­u­ate degree in anthro­pol­o­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land and a grad­u­ate degree in nat­ur­al resources law stud­ies from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Denver. 

David Borden

David Bor­den

Senior Ener­gy Indus­try Ana­lyst, Office of Ener­gy Pol­i­cy & Inno­va­tion, Fed­er­al Ener­gy Reg­u­la­to­ry Commission

David Bor­den is a Senior Ener­gy Indus­try Ana­lyst in the Office of Ener­gy Pol­i­cy and Inno­va­tion at the Fed­er­al Ener­gy Reg­u­la­to­ry Com­mis­sion in Wash­ing­ton, DC. Mr. Bor­den is the team leader of the Commission’s NOPR project, Build­ing for the Future, address­ing pro­posed reforms to region­al trans­mis­sion plan­ning and cost allo­ca­tion, and inter­con­nec­tion process­es. Mr. Bor­den has focused on a broad range of elec­tric trans­mis­sion issues since first join­ing the Com­mis­sion in 2010. Mr. Bor­den has an exten­sive career in util­i­ty reg­u­la­tion, start­ing with the Illi­nois Com­merce Com­mis­sion where he held a num­ber of posi­tions, includ­ing serv­ing as a Commissioner’s Advi­sor. Mr. Bor­den has also held posi­tions in reg­u­la­to­ry strat­e­gy & rates for mul­ti­ple util­i­ties. Mr. Bor­den is an Econ­o­mist, with a Mas­ter of Sci­ence degree from Texas A&M Uni­ver­si­ty, Col­lege Sta­tion, Texas.
Anastasia Gordon

Anas­ta­sia Gordon

Ener­gy and Trans­porta­tion Pol­i­cy Man­ag­er, WE ACT for Envi­ron­men­tal Justice

Anas­ta­sia Gor­don is the Ener­gy and Trans­porta­tion Pol­i­cy Man­ag­er at WE ACT for Envi­ron­men­tal Jus­tice. She leads fed­er­al advo­ca­cy, leg­isla­tive, and reg­u­la­to­ry work in the ener­gy and trans­porta­tion sec­tors. Anas­ta­sia joined from the Alliance for Clean Ener­gy New York, where she served as the Clean Ener­gy Pol­i­cy Fel­low track­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of New York’s cli­mate law and led advo­ca­cy to advance trans­porta­tion elec­tri­fi­ca­tion through­out the State. She also brings more than 5 years of expe­ri­ence in con­ser­va­tion and envi­ron­men­tal pol­i­cy with the Gov­ern­ment of Trinidad and Toba­go. Anas­ta­sia holds an MPA in Envi­ron­men­tal Sci­ence and Pol­i­cy from Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty, an MPhil in Con­ser­va­tion Lead­er­ship from Uni­ver­si­ty of Cam­bridge, and a BSc in Envi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Birm­ing­ham, UK.

Christine Powell

Chris­tine Powell

Deputy Man­ag­ing Attor­ney, Clean Ener­gy Pro­gram, Earthjustice

Chris­tine Pow­ell is a deputy man­ag­ing attor­ney in Earthjustice’s clean ener­gy pro­gram, where she leads a team of FERC prac­ti­tion­ers who advo­cate to reform the whole­sale elec­tric­i­ty mar­kets to sup­port a 100% clean, afford­able, and sus­tain­able grid. Pri­or to this role, Chris­tine served as the Chief of Staff to two com­mis­sion­ers and an Admin­is­tra­tive Law Judge at the Cal­i­for­nia Pub­lic Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion, where she focused on clean ener­gy poli­cies, includ­ing build­ing decar­boniza­tion and phas­ing out nat­ur­al gas usage. She also served as an attor­ney-advi­sor at FERC, where she advised the com­mis­sion on ener­gy mar­kets rate design issues and trans­mis­sion pro­ceed­ings. Chris­tine received her under­grad­u­ate degree from Howard Uni­ver­si­ty, her Mas­ters in admin­is­tra­tive stud­ies from Boston Col­lege, and her JD from San­ta Clara University.

Sharon Segner

Sharon Seg­n­er

Vice Pres­i­dent, LS Pow­er Devel­op­ment, LLC

Sharon Seg­n­er is Vice Pres­i­dent at LS Pow­er Devel­op­ment, LLC. Sharon has exe­cut­ed the company’s nation­al goals relat­ed to open­ing up a new sec­tor of the ener­gy busi­ness for inde­pen­dent trans­mis­sion com­pa­nies. Specif­i­cal­ly, she has led the company’s nation­al efforts relat­ed to FERC Order No. 1000 trans­mis­sion pol­i­cy and the removal of incum­bent trans­mis­sion own­ers’ right of first refusal. LS Pow­er is a lead­ing advo­cate in the Unit­ed States for com­pet­i­tive trans­mis­sion markets.

Pri­or to her tenure at LS Pow­er, she devel­oped for Com­pet­i­tive Pow­er Ven­tures two large nat­ur­al gas projects in the Wash­ing­ton, DC area – CPV War­ren (now owned by Domin­ion Vir­ginia Pow­er) in Front Roy­al, VA and CPV Mary­land in Charles Coun­ty, Mary­land. For­mer­ly, she was the lead devel­op­er at PG&E Nation­al Ener­gy Group on the 650-MW Otay Mesa Project in San Diego Coun­ty, California. 

Sharon is no stranger to ener­gy pol­i­cy issues. She left the devel­op­ment world for four years from 2002 to 2006. Dur­ing that time, she was the Prin­ci­pal Advi­sor to the Chair­man of the Sen­ate Ener­gy Sub­com­mit­tee on Ener­gy, the Hon­or­able Lamar Alexan­der (R‑TN) dur­ing the pas­sage of the Ener­gy Pol­i­cy Act of 2005. Sharon nego­ti­at­ed the draft­ing of the nat­ur­al gas pro­vi­sions of the Ener­gy Pol­i­cy Act of 2005. Sharon lat­er served in the White House / Exec­u­tive Office of the President’s Office of Man­age­ment and Bud­get focused on ener­gy issues and BPA, WAPA, and all fed­er­al­ly owned hydro­elec­tric facilities.

Sharon has a MBA from Rice Uni­ver­si­ty and a BA from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at Austin.

Ted Thomas

Ted Thomas

Chair­man, Arkansas Pub­lic Ser­vice Commission

Ted J. Thomas of Con­way was appoint­ed Chair­man of the Arkansas Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion by Gov­er­nor Asa Hutchin­son in Jan­u­ary 2015.

He has served as Chief Deputy Pros­e­cut­ing Attor­ney for the 20th Judi­cial Dis­trict, Admin­is­tra­tive Law Judge at the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, Bud­get Direc­tor for Gov­er­nor Mike Huck­abee and in the Arkansas House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, where he served as Chair­man of the State Agen­cies and Gov­ern­men­tal Affairs Com­mit­tee dur­ing his final term.

Chair­man Thomas received a Bach­e­lor of Arts with High Hon­ors in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Arkansas in 1986 and a Juris Doc­tor­ate from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Arkansas School of Law in 1988. He is licensed to prac­tice law before the Unit­ed States Supreme Court, the Arkansas Supreme Court, the Unit­ed States Courts of Appeal for the Dis­trict of Colum­bia Cir­cuit and the Eighth Cir­cuit, and the Unit­ed States Dis­trict Courts for the East­ern and West­ern Dis­tricts of Arkansas.

Chair­man Thomas pre­vi­ous­ly served as pres­i­dent of the Orga­ni­za­tion of MISO states and cur­rent­ly serves on the Region­al State Com­mit­tee of the South­west Pow­er Pool. He also serves on the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Reg­u­la­to­ry Util­i­ty Com­mis­sion­ers (NARUC) Com­mit­tee on Elec­tric­i­ty. Chair­man Thomas was appoint­ed to the Joint Fed­er­al-State Task Force on Elec­tric Trans­mis­sion estab­lished by the Fed­er­al Ener­gy Reg­u­la­to­ry Com­mis­sion (FERC).

In 2021, Chair­man Thomas was award­ed the Ron Bell Advanced Ener­gy Lead­er­ship Award by AAEA in recog­ni­tion of out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to the renew­able pow­er, effi­cien­cy and ener­gy con­tract­ing industry.

Shelley Welton

Shel­ley Welton

Pres­i­den­tial Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor of Law and Ener­gy Pol­i­cy, Klein­man Cen­ter Penn Carey Law

Shel­ley Wel­ton is the incom­ing Pres­i­den­tial Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor of Ener­gy Law and Pol­i­cy at Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia Carey Law School and the Klein­man Cen­ter for Ener­gy Pol­i­cy. She pre­vi­ous­ly taught at the Uni­ver­si­ty of South Car­oli­na School of Law for six years. Her research focus­es on how cli­mate change is trans­form­ing ener­gy and envi­ron­men­tal law and gov­er­nance. Recent pub­li­ca­tions include Rethink­ing Grid Gov­er­nance for the Cli­mate Change Era, 109 Cal­i­for­nia Law Review 209 (2021), a piece that focus­es on the struc­ture of region­al trans­mis­sion orga­ni­za­tions, and Grid Reli­a­bil­i­ty through Clean Ener­gy, 74 Stan­ford Law Review 929 (2022) (with Alex Klass, Josh Macey, and Han­nah Wise­man), which argues that much of the per­ceived ten­sion between clean ener­gy and reli­a­bil­i­ty is a fail­ure of law and gov­er­nance result­ing from a siloed approach to reg­u­lat­ing the elec­tric grid.

Anjali Patel (Moderator)

Anjali Patel (Mod­er­a­tor)

Vice Pres­i­dent for Clean Ener­gy, David Gar­diner and Associates

Anjali Patel is the Vice Pres­i­dent for Clean Ener­gy with David Gar­diner and Asso­ciates (DGA). Her work focus­es on pro­vid­ing com­pa­nies, orga­ni­za­tions, and gov­ern­ments with strate­gic guid­ance on poli­cies that are need­ed to sup­port their cli­mate goals. Anjali’s work includes serv­ing as the Pol­i­cy Direc­tor for Amer­i­cans for a Clean Ener­gy Grid (ACEG), a not-for-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that brings togeth­er a diverse coali­tion of spon­sors and sup­port­ers inter­est­ed in expand­ing long-dis­tance trans­mis­sion to achieve wide­spread con­sumer ben­e­fits (e.g. decar­boniza­tion, eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment, and improv­ing afford­abil­i­ty, resilien­cy, and reli­a­bil­i­ty). Before join­ing DGA, Anjali served as the Lit­i­ga­tion Super­vi­sor at the Office of the People’s Coun­sel for the Dis­trict of Colum­bia where she rep­re­sent­ed con­sumers before PJM and in fed­er­al and state pro­ceed­ings. Anjali earned a J.D. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan, an M.S. in Envi­ron­men­tal Pol­i­cy from Drex­el Uni­ver­si­ty, and a B.A. in Biol­o­gy and Envi­ron­men­tal Stud­ies from Case West­ern Reserve University.

Recommended Reading

  • State Ener­gy & Envi­ron­men­tal Impact Cen­ter, Track­ing Trans­mis­sion Reform, avail­able here.

  • FERC’s Notice of Pro­posed Rule­mak­ing, Build­ing for the Future Through Elec­tric Region­al Trans­mis­sion Plan­ning and Cost Allo­ca­tion and Gen­er­a­tor Inter­con­nec­tion, Dock­et No. RM21-17, avail­able here. FERC pre­sen­ta­tion avail­able here.

  • What’s in FERC’s 500-Page Trans­mis­sion NOPR? A (Rel­a­tive­ly) Quick Guide from the Insti­tute for Pol­i­cy Integri­ty, avail­able here.

  • Ener­gy Jus­tice and the Ener­gy Tran­si­tion from the Nation­al Con­fer­ence of State Leg­is­la­tures, avail­able here.

  • Advanc­ing Equi­ty in Util­i­ty Reg­u­la­tion from the Future Elec­tric Util­i­ty Reg­u­la­tion Series, avail­able here

  • Depart­ment of Ener­gy, Queued Up…But in Need of Trans­mis­sion, avail­able here.