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 7 and concluding June 9.
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.
Orphaned No More: Federal Oil and Gas Well Reclamation
States across the country face a backlog of orphaned oil and gas wells, which can continue to emit methane and other pollutants if left unaddressed or improperly sealed. However, the costs of plugging and reclaiming oil and gas well sites often exceeds the amount available for reclamation. Further, many older wells have long been abandoned, and their owners no longer exist. It is often unclear who can or should be responsible for paying the plugging and reclamation costs. Recognizing these challenges, Congress included $4.7 billion for orphaned well plugging, remediation and restoration in the federal infrastructure bill. This webinar will educate state legislators on this new program, how their states can obtain funding and their options for directing these funds to meet their states’ needs and reclamation priorities.
- Aaron Ray, associate director,National Conference of State Legislatiures
- Dave Andrews, orphan well program manager, Colorado Department of Natural Resources - Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
- Sarah Solomon, senior program associate, AAAS Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues
- Steve Tryon, director, office of environmental policy and compliance, Department of the Interior
- Steve Feldgus, deputy assistant secretary, land and minerals management, Department of the Interior
Microgrids: State and Utility Efforts to Enhance Energy Resilience
As states work to enhance energy resilience in the face of human and natural threats, microgrids are a growing topic of interest due to their ability to serve customers with power even when grid outages occur. However, the unique nature of microgrids—which are designed to operate in tandem with the electric grid during normal conditions—often leaves them in regulatory and financial limbo in many states. This webinar will look at how certain states have developed policies to provide certainty to utilities and developers to promote and encourage microgrid development and enhance resilience.
- Daniel Shea, program principal - energy, National Conference of State Legislatiures
- Sam Cramer, senior program director, National Association of State Energy Officials
- Leuwam Tesfai, chef of staff and legal advisor to Commissioner Genevieve Shiroma, California Public Utilities Commission
- Donald Wingate, vice president sales - Microgrid Solutions and Strategic Partners, Schneider Electric
Safe Roads for Everyone: State Efforts to Protect Vulnerable Road Users
Vulnerable road users are at higher risk for serious injury or death in the event of a crash. According to NHTSA, pedestrians and bicyclists comprised around 20% of all traffic fatalities in 2019, a significant jump from 15% of fatalities in 2010. States continue to pass laws aimed at improving pedestrian and cyclist safety. Traffic safety experts are also exploring strategies such as the Safe Systems approach to enhance roadway safety for people on a bicycle, scooter or on foot. Join us to learn more about notable state efforts to protect vulnerable road users and new provisions and funding in the federal infrastructure act to improve nonmotorized safety.
- Douglas Shinkle, transportation program director, National Conference of State Legislatures
- Ken McLeod, policy director, League of American Bicyclists
- Barb Chamberlin, director, active transportation division, Washington Department of Transportation
School Bus Electrification: State Policy Options
The United States’ 480,000 school buses account for 80% of all buses nationwide. Only 1% of school buses are electrified. According to the World Resources Institute, electrifying the entire fleet of U.S. school buses would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 8 megatons per year and reduce emissions from all U.S. buses by 35% per year. The IIJA provided $2.5 billion in funding specifically for zero-emission electric school buses and an additional $2.5 billion for all types of low-emission buses. This webinar for state legislators and legislative staff will focus on policy options and funding opportunities for school bus electrification.
- Aaron Ray, associate director - energy, National Conference of State Legislatures (moderator)
- Abby Brown, transportation research project leader, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Sen. Julie Gonzales, Colorado
- Karl Simon, director – transportation and climate division, office of transportation air and quality, Environmental Protection Agency
Room to Roam: The Benefits of Wildlife Infrastructure
The migration of wildlife has occurred for thousands of years, yet it’s only recently that we have the data to fully understand these seasonal movements. As large mammals, such as deer and elk, make these journeys, they encounter an ever-growing network of highways and development that can provide tragic consequences to both wildlife and humans. As many as 2 million collisions between motor vehicles and wildlife occur annually in the U.S., costing more than $8 billion. This webinar will explore the use of wildlife corridors and other tools available to policymakers to reduce habitat fragmentation, wildlife-vehicle collisions and associated costs.
- Jennifer Schultz, National Conference of State Legislatures
- Cidney Bowman, wildlife passage program coordinator, Oregon Department of Transportation
- Matt Skroch, project director, U.S. public lands and rivers conservation, The Pew Charitable Trusts
- Senator Mimi Stewart, New Mexico