NRI Committee 2015 Spring Webinar Series

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

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

NCSL’s NRI Committee is pleased to present a series of free webinars open to all interested!

The webinars will cover pressing state-federal issues in the areas of agriculture, energy, environment, and transportation. Join legislative colleagues and interested parties from around the country for a series of webinars throughout the spring on topics that cross a variety of NCSL Committee jurisdictions.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Mac®-based attendees required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer
Mobile attendees required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

The NCSL website does not utilize Flash technology, but our webinar provider does require the latest Flash plug-in. So if you would like to view the live webinar and have not updated your plug-in recently, visit the following URL:

Show System Requirements

Webinar Series

EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulations: States Options and Responses | April 30

Thursday, April 30, 2015 | 1 p.m. ET/ Noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT/ 10 a.m. PT

Addressing EPA’s proposed climate regulations will require significant and coordinated efforts among state legislatures, environmental commissioners, energy offices and utilities. What are states and utilities thinking regarding the feasibility of addressing potential reliability impacts and implementation challenges?  What do policymakers need to know and how might they get involved as their states work on the state implementation plans required by EPA? This webinar explores these challenges and how state officials are approaching the proposed rules.


  • Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, executive director and general counsel, the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) | Presentation
  • John Lyons, assistant secretary, Climate Policy, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet | Presentation

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View NCSL's web page on this topic for more information.

Pilots, Planes and Positives: General Aviation’s Effects Across the Economy | May 1

Friday, May 1, 2015 | 1 p.m. ET/ Noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT/ 10 a.m. PT

While commercial aviation undoubtedly has an impact on the nation’s economy and tourism, the often overlooked general aviation sector provides cross-platform benefits to a number of different entities including: the agriculture industry and farming; rural communities; firefighting and land management; disaster relief; medical care and more. General aviation (GA) contributes $150 billion to our economy and supports 1.2 million American jobs. We will explore the cross-sector benefits of general aviation and how local communities and states can better work with general aviation groups to the advantage of all. We will also discuss how the coming FAA reauthorization will affect GA.


  • Selena Shilad, executive Director, Alliance for Aviation Across America | Presentation
  • Assemblyman Jim Patterson, co-chair, California Aviation Caucus | (No slides)

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The State Impacts of Falling Oil Prices  | May 8

Friday, May 8, 2015 | 1 p.m. ET/ Noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT/ 10 a.m. PT

While cheaper gasoline may be a boost for consumers, the implications of falling oil prices on state budgets are significant.

Oil prices have dropped by more than 50 percent in six months, affecting states that depend on tax revenue from oil and gas development to help mitigate budgetary shortfalls. Many states generate revenue from the extraction of oil and gas resources, which helps the state fund infrastructure projects, education-related activities and other essential services. Alaska, for example, depends on oil revenue for more than 90 percent of the state budget. Falling oil prices has already increased the state’s budget deficit and could force a large cut in capital spending for infrastructure projects.

The increased production of U.S. shale resources has allowed the U.S. to become the world’s largest oil producer. Plummeting oil prices, however, could drastically affect the U.S. shale boom if producers are forced to scale back or cancel drilling operations. Oil-producing states rely not only on tax revenue from the industry, but also increased jobs and indirect economic benefits such as the buying of goods and services associated with production.

This webinar will explore why oil prices have dropped so rapidly, what falling oil prices mean for the U.S. oil and gas industry and the impact on state economies. Experts will also discuss state efforts to prepare for and mitigate budgetary impacts. 


  • Representative Dan Saddler, Alaska | (No slides)
  • Brian Sigritz, director, State Fiscal Studies, National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) | Presentation

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The Guests That Won't Leave: How States Are Dealing With Invasive Species | May 15

Friday, May 15, 2015 | 1 p.m. ET/ Noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT/ 10 a.m. PT

Invasive species have terrorized our lakes, oceans, wilderness, crops and ecosystems for decades. There is little disagreement that states and the federal government need to do something to stop these invaders from staying. However, most states and their agencies lack a coordinated strategic plan.  The webinar will look at the dangers of invasive species, which states have invasive species strategies, how they are implemented, what states who don’t have strategies can do to protect their ecosystems, and how states can work with the federal government as partners to fight the guests that won’t leave.


  • Hope Stockwell, research analyst, Montana Legislative Services | Presentation
  • Stas Burgiel, National Invasive Species Council | Presentation

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View NCSL's web page on this topic for more information.

What’s Coming Down the Pipe: The Fundamentals of Securing America’s Natural Gas Pipelines | May 21

Thursday, May 21, 2015 | 3 p.m. ET/ 2 p.m. CT/ 1 p.m. MT/ Noon PT

Natural gas pipelines are spread throughout the U.S., often through densely populated areas, delivering gas for electricity generation, transportation, and heating and cooling. The tremendous increase in U.S. natural gas supplies that new drilling technologies have uncovered is beginning to strain the capabilities of existing pipeline infrastructure. Much of this infrastructure is also meeting or exceeding its life expectancy, increasing concerns over potential leaks and accidents. What role do federal and state officials play in ensuring the safety of the nation’s pipeline infrastructure? What are natural gas utilities doing to address pipeline safety concerns while meeting growing demand? This session will answer these questions and examine efforts from state policymakers, federal agencies, and the natural gas industry to address challenges related to siting, permitting and financing upgrades to pipeline infrastructure.


  • Jeff Wiese, associate administrator, Pipeline Safety, U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration | Presentation
  • Kyle Rogers, vice president, Government Relations, American Gas Association | Presentation

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States' Role in Updating Pool Safety Codes | May 22

Friday, May 22, 2015 | 1 p.m. ET/ Noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT/ 10 a.m. PT

Americans will take more than 300 million visits to swimming pools, waterparks, public hot tubs, and splash pads this year, making swimming one of the most popular recreational activities. These activities also can spread water-borne diseases, lead to injuries and drowning, or cause chemical poisonings that harm swimmers. Most state laws that govern these facilities are out of date with the latest science and industry advances, posing unnecessary risk to users. In response, members of the aquatic industry and state and local health officials worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC). The MAHC provides science-based  guidance to state programs overseeing public swimming pools and other aquatic facilities, to help state programs make swimming and other water activities healthier and safer in their state. This webinar discusses the state role in recreational swimming and the value the MAHC may have for these programs.


  • Jasen Kunz, lieutenant commander, USPHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Presentation
  • Doug Sackett, Conference for the Model Aquatic Health Code; assistant director (retired), Bureau of Community Environmental Health & Food Protection, New York State Department of Health | Presentation
  • Franceen Gonzalez, vice president, Whitewater West Industries | Presentation

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Fill'er up?: An Update on State and Federal Actions in 2015 to Fund Surface Transportation | May 29

Friday, May 29, 2015 | 1 p.m. ET/ Noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT/ 10 a.m. PT

2015 offers the possibility of a watershed moment in how the United States funds and finances its transportation investments. From the drastic drop in the price of gasoline, to the start of a new Congress that faces a transportation fiscal cliff on May 31 as well as the six states that have already introduced legislation to increase funding, join NCSL’s NRI Committee for a discussion on all the funding and financing changes being implemented to our surface transportation system.


  • Representative Terry England, Georgia | (no slides)
  • Kevin Pula, policy associate, NCSL's Transportation Program | Presentation
  • Ben Husch, committee director, NCSL's Natural Resources & Infrastructure Committee | Presentation

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EPA Regulations: What Are They and What Do They Mean for Your State? | June 5

Friday, June 5, 2015 | 1 p.m. ET/ Noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT/ 10 a.m. PT

Ozone, methane, air quality standards—the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a number of significant environmental regulations since the 1970s that affect environmental and energy policy today. Furthermore, a number of regulations have been amended or challenged legally, affecting compliance deadlines and implementation. The impact of these regulations on states is significant, as states are responsible for developing implementation plans that have to account for multiple regulations. This webinar will provide an overview of notable EPA regulations and timelines, as well as address what legislators and legislative staff should know about the impact of EPA regulations on states.


  • Jack Bowles, director of State and Local Relations, EPA | Presentration
  • Bill Becker, executive director, National Association of Clean Air Agencies | Presentation

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Saving Lives and Preventing Injuries: How to Calculate the Costs of Traffic Safety Interventions | June 12

Friday, June 12, 2015 | 1 p.m. ET/ Noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT/ 10 a.m. PT

Have you ever wondered if there was a way to calculate the cost of saving lives and preventing injury from motor vehicle crashes? A new tool developed by The Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention (CDC) does just that. The Motor Vehicle Prioritizing Interventions and  Cost Calculator for States (MV PICCS) is an interactive calculator with a suite of 12 interventions. The tool is designed to calculate the expected number of injuries prevented and lives saved at the state level, as well as the costs of implementation, while taking into account the state’s available resources. Join this webinar to see how MV PICCS works and if it can be used in your state.


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What's Next for the Renewable Fuel Standard | June 19

Friday, June 19, 2015 | 1 p.m. ET/ Noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT/ 10 a.m. PT

Originally created as part of the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005, the RFS established the first renewable fuel volume mandate in the United States with requirements expanding on an annual basis. However, in 2014 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed reducing the requirement below the level required by law. This was followed in November by an announcement that EPA would not order a 2014 level until mid 2015 when it would issue requirements for 2014-2016. With the uncertainty surrounding EPA and the price of gas falling by more than half in the last months what is the future for the RFS and how should legislators value the costs and benefits associated with it?


  • Paul Argyropoulos, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Presentation
  • Bruce Babcock, chair of Energy Economics, Iowa State University | Presentation

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States and the Food Safety Modernization Act | June 26

Friday, June 26, 2015 | 1 p.m. ET/ Noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT/ 10 a.m. PT

Which of the following bacteria are responsible for causing the greatest number of foodborne illnesses? Salmonella, Campylobacter, or E. coli? The answer is campylobacter. The U.S. has very safe food. About 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  This is a significant public health burden that is largely preventable.

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), enables the FDA to better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system. Tracking food outbreaks and illnesses requires state, local and federal officials to work together to identify the sources of foodborne diseases Congress enacted the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in part to assist states in their efforts to make food safer. Will FSMA be enough? Should the states do more? Join us for this webinar to discuss the implications of FSMA, and how states can prepare themselves for this modernization of the food safety system.


  • Jim Gorny, vice president, Food Safety and Technology, Produce Marketing Association | Presentation
  • Michael R. Taylor, deputy commissioner, Foods and Veterinary Medicine, U.S. Food and Drug Administration | (no slides)

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