In this episode of “Our American States,” we talk with one of the federal government’s top energy officials.
It’s easy to take energy for granted. From turning on the first light in the morning to fixing a meal, taking a hot shower and working on a computer—we generally accept that the energy we need is going to be there. And we become upset when it’s not.
For policymakers, though, the regulation and oversight of energy is a series of complex issues, and it’s often difficult for states to make decisions on changes and consider new choices.
Our guest is Neil Chatterjee, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an independent agency created by Congress in 1920, whose responsibilities include regulating retail electricity and approving all interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, electricity and pipeline projects.
A common theme you will hear from him: the security of the nation’s energy sources. He’s a strong proponent of the rights of states in the federal system, but recognizes that with energy grids crossing state lines it’s going to take some coordination and cooperation to keep our energy secure.
We started by asking Chatterjee about the biggest opportunity in the energy field today—he says it’s technology. But it might also be the nation’s biggest challenge.