EPA and the Energy Industry

EPA and the Energy Industry
March 29, 2011

Time: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Pyle Center

Webcast from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm,

Chatham House Rule* Panel Discussion for On-Site Attendees Only 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Webcast Program:  1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

The EPA and the Energy Industry program begins with a public webcast discussion of potential impacts of EPA regulation on the energy industry.  Various perspectives will be explored by our panel of experts:

Vincenzo Frano of Van Ness Feldman will facilite the webcast.

Vincenzo Franco’s practice focuses primarily on the area of electric power. He represents electric utilities, independent power producers, power and gas marketers, financial institutions, and investors on transactional, regulatory, and compliance matters involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Mr. Franco regularly counsels clients on issues related to power contracts, market-based rates, mergers, sales and acquisitions of power projects, participation in organized markets, and import/export of electricity and natural gas.  Mr. Franco advises clients on their compliance with the requirements of the Federal Power Act, the Public Utility Holding Company Act, and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)’s mandatory reliability standards.

He has represented clients in FERC proceedings, audits, and investigations, and in proceedings before the federal courts of appeals.  Mr. Franco’s pro bono activities include representation of asylum seekers and aliens before the Department of Justice’s Board of Immigration Appeals.

At Van Ness Feldman, Kyle Danish advises a range of clients on environmental and energy matters, with a special focus on corporate climate strategy, emissions trading-related transactions, and regulation under the Clean Air Act.  His clients include electric generation, oil and gas, and mineral exploration companies, financial institutions, offset providers, manufacturers, industry coalitions, and think tanks.  Kyle is an adjunct faculty member at American University School of Law and George Washington University Law School.

Steve Fine is a Vice President with ICF International Environmental Markets Group.  At ICF, his work has concentrated on evaluating the economics of conventional and renewable energy resources within the context of developing environmental regulations.  This includes a number of multi-pollutant compliance planning, asset valuation, and environmental positioning assignments for electric generating companies in the US, with a focus on evaluating the impact of air, ash and water regulatory policies, and renewable portfolio standards on unit and fleet compliance, environmental capex, asset valuation, and deployment.

Kris McKinney has over thirty-three years experience as an environmental professional working in the electric utility industry and as a consultant and regulator. He has been with We Energies since 1994 and works on a variety of environmental issues as manager of environmental strategy. Kris currently is involved in developing company strategy to address environmental regulations facing electric and natural gas utilities. He also manages the company’s technology transfer activities with the Electric Power Research Institute. Kris served as the environmental lead for adding emission controls at an existing coal power plant and renewing the license of a nuclear power plant, was responsible for environmental permitting of 145 megawatts of new wind power, and supported public outreach activities for licensing two new coal power plants..

On-site Panel Discussion: 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Following the webcast, Wisconsin-based experts (below) will lead an on-site panel discussion responding to the issues presented in the Webcast.  The on-site discussion will be held under the Chatham House Rule*.

The on-site discussion is also available via a webcast.  Connection information will be sent on March 25 to registered participants

On-site Panelists (from left):

  • Facilitator - Merlin Raab, Renewable & Alternatives Policy Senior Consultant, Wisconsin Public Service Corporation
  • Peter Tagliaenvironmental perspective
  • Dave Benforado, Executive Director at Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin (MEUW) – municipally-owned perspective
  • Brian Rude, Director, External Relations, Dairyland Power Cooperative – cooperative perspective with a large transmission and generation responsibility

*When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

The rule allows people to speak as individuals and to express views that may not be those of their organizations, and therefore, encourages free discussion. Speakers are free to voice their own opinions, without concern for their personal reputation or their official duties and affiliations. The Chatham House Rule resolves a boundary problem faced by many communities of practice, in that it permits acknowledgment of the community or conversation, while protecting the freedom of interaction that is necessary for the community to carry out its conversations.

Nuclear Power and Baseload

Meeting Base Load Needs in the Face of Carbon Constraints
Session Three: Nuclear—Status in the Midwest

July 31, 2009
Tong Auditorium, Engineering Centers Building

In an effort to replace greenhouse gas emitting fuels as well as enhance energy supply diversity, attention has increasingly turned to renewable portfolio standards and the addition of a price on carbon. At the same time, projections for base load demand over the mid to long term show that new generation capacity will have to be added. What strategies can utilities adopt to meet base load demand while satisfying constraints on carbon?

While a complete attempt to answer this question will necessitate an examination of all the alternatives, this program will specifically assess the role of nuclear power. After a hiatus of three decades, more than twenty new nuclear reactors are undergoing licensing in the U.S. Meanwhile, over thirty are currently being built worldwide, and countries that have previously rejected nuclear, most notably Sweden, have again begun to consider the nuclear option.

At the same time, the development of new nuclear plants raises a number of questions. With large capital requirements, storage of spent fuel, and concerns for accidents, and non-proliferation, the addition of new nuclear capacity is far from certain.

What is the role of nuclear power in the future energy portfolio of the region?

This is the third in a series of workshops designed to explore base load options—workshop one will examine the role of renewables and workshop two, fossil based options. Continue reading

Renewables and Baseload

Meeting Base Load Needs In the Face of Carbon Constraints:
Session One:  Renewables and Base Load in the Midwest

June 5, 2009
Tong Auditorium, Engineering Centers Building
1550 Engineering Drive, Madison, WI 53706

This is the first in a series of workshops designed to explore base load options.  The second event (June 26) will explore fossil options.  The final event, July 31 will look at nuclear power.

The role for renewables in the future base load energy portfolio Continue reading

Carbon, Fossil Fuels and Baseload

Meeting Base Load Needs in the Face of Carbon Constraints
Session Two:  Carbon—Status in the Midwest

June 26th
1610 Engineering Hall, Engineering Centers Building

This is the second in a series of workshops designed to explore base load options. Workshop one explored renewables, workshop three will explore nuclear.

This Seminar will feature a presentation by Steven Stoft, consultant and author of “Carbonomics—How to Fix the Climate and Charge it to OPEC”

Fossil fuel use is the single largest contributor to anthropogenic carbon emissions with 41% of U.S. carbon emissions coming from power and heat generation. Much of the public debate about our energy future has been focused on non-emitting and carbon-neutral renewable sources while “clean coal” and other fossil based strategies are often after-thoughts.

To most, restrictions on carbon emissions are inevitable. Equally as unavoidable is the reality that fossil fuel reliant investments will play an important role in energy production for the foreseeable future. Given our assumptions about the road that lies ahead, what strategies exist for utilizing fossil fuels in a responsible way? Continue reading