Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee 2021 Spring Webinar Series

6/25/2021

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NCSL's Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee is pleased to present its annual Spring Webinar Series. This year, the committee will host five webinars beginning April 29 and concluding June 24.

NCSL Webinars allow attendees to participate in meetings taking place around the world from the comfort of their desks. They are collaborative, interactive and easy to use.

Most webinars will be recorded for those who are unable to attend the live meeting.

April 29 | Energy You Can Count On: State & Federal Efforts to Enhance Energy Resilience 

The past decade has been the most destructive in recent history for extreme weather events—from hurricanes and flooding to wildfires and heat waves. The total costs to recover from these events was eight times higher than it was during the 1980s. Federal officials, state policymakers and the private sector are all exploring ways to make the nation’s critical energy infrastructure more resilient to natural disasters and other events. This webinar will examine the key risks and challenges to ensuring energy resiliency, explore how utilities and grid operators are working to enhance system resilience, and offer state options for creating a more resilient energy grid.​

Moderator:

  • Daniel Shea, NCSL

Speakers:

  • Aram Benyamin, CEO, Colorado Springs Utilities
  • Peter Larsen, deputy leader of electricity markets and policy department, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Darlene Phillips, executive director-operations engineering support, PJM Interconnection

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May 20 | Agriculture Workforce: Challenges and State and Federal Responses

May 20

The security of the nation's food supply is dependent on maintaining a qualified farm workforce. Unfortunately, the shortage of farm labor across the nation has impacted nearly every sector–from fruit tree growers to vegetable farmers and dairy producers. The COVID-19 pandemic has only pointed out additional challenges for farmers and highlighted areas of concern within the farm labor workforce. Join us as we explore the labor challenges our nation's agriculture sector faces and solutions to the problem from workforce training and development to federal agricultural labor reform.

Moderator:

  • Kristen Hildreth, NCSL

Speakers:

  • Allison Crittenden, congressional director, American Farm Bureau Federation 
  • Sara Gligora, special assistant for workforce development and central regional director, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
  • Gloria Montaño Greene, deputy under secretary for farm production and conservation, U.S. Department of Agriculture

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May 27 | How Can Emerging Data and Technology Help Combat Distracted Driving?

May 27: 3 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. CT / 1 p.m. MT / Noon PT / 9 a.m. Hawaii

Driving while distracted by a mobile device is a major traffic safety issue. However, the limitations of data collection and reporting make it difficult to determine both its prevalence and effectiveness of laws to combat it. Using telematics to collect data can help inform policy and enforcement efforts. Join traffic safety experts to discuss distracted driving laws and the latest on how telematics can help reduce the problem. NCSL thanks Cambridge Mobile Telematics for their support of this webinar. ​

Moderator:

  • Samantha Bloch, policy associate, NCSL

Speaker:

  • Mike Hanson, director, Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety
  • Ryan McMahon, vice president of insurance and government affairs, Cambridge Mobile Telematics

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June 10 | State Outdoor Recreation: Climbing to New Heights

June 10

​Outdoor recreation is an economic force, generating $788 billion in consumer spending and five million jobs. Whether boating in Florida, hiking in West Virginia or skiing in Colorado, the outdoor industry is diverse and growing. This webinar will explore the many facets of the outdoor recreation economy and highlight state and federal policies to maximize opportunities for America's 144 million outdoor enthusiasts, including the creation of state offices, funding approaches, tools for land conservation and more. ​

Moderator:

  • Jennifer Schultz, program principal, NCSL 

Speaker:

  • Brian Bloodsworth, director of the Great American Outdoors Act program management office, DOI 
  • Representative Jamie Becker-Finn, Minnesota 
  • Pitt Grewe, director, Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation
  • Joel Lynch, chief, state and local assistance programs, National Park Service 
  • Jessica Turner, executive director, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable

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June 24 | Energy Security: Planning for Every Threat

June 24 

Energy systems in the U.S. are adapting to new operating paradigms as technological shifts open up new threat vectors and changing weather patterns unleash more destructive storms. These changes have forced energy companies—and electric and gas utilities, in particular—to become jacks-of-all-threats, with plans to respond to both cyber and physical attacks, weather-related disasters, pandemics and so much more. Given the critical services the energy sector supplies, federal and state governments play a vital role to help ensure these systems are insulated from the worst of these threats and prepared to respond when emergencies arise. This webinar will explore the most common threats to energy systems and ways in which federal and state governments, and the energy industry are responding.

Moderator:

  • Daniel Shea, NCSL

Speaker:

  • Senator Reuven Carlyle, Washington
  • Kimberly Denbrow, managing director of security and operations, American Gas Association
  • Kate Marks, deputy assistant secretary of infrastructure security and energy restoration, Department of Energy 

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