- 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
- NOPR Overview Presentation (overview presentation on FERC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing transmission planning & cost allocation) — presented by David Borden
- WorkshOPP on Filing Comments — mentioned by Yewande Bayly
- WE ACT’s Environmental Justice Leadership Forum — mentioned by Anastasia Gordon
- Technical Conference on Transmission Planning and Cost Management — mentioned by David Borden
- Tracking Transmission Reform (for general information on what’s happening on transmission reform) — The State Energy & Environmental Impact Center
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 16, 2021.
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.
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.
Senior Energy Industry Analyst, Office of Energy Policy & Innovation, Federal Energy Regulatory CommissionDavid 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.