Energy Policy Forum | 2016 Capitol Forum


NCSL's Energy Program hosted a half-day Energy Policy Forum on Dec. 6 in conjunction with the NCSL Capitol Forum in Washington, D.C., at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. The meeting brought together top national experts to discuss a number of important policy topics of interest to state legislators.

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016

Searching for Solutions: Update on U.S. Nuclear Waste Policy

NCSL Capitol Forum logo.The federal government and the private sector are taking action to develop solutions for the long-term, sustainable management of our nation’s spent nuclear fuel. The Department of Energy has been seeking public input for the last year to develop a consent-based approach for siting nuclear waste storage and disposal facilities. In addition, there are other proposals and two private partnerships that are attempting to develop interim storage facilities in New Mexico and Texas. This session examined recent federal action, how industry is answering the call for solutions, and what this means for the future of U.S. nuclear waste storage and disposal.

  • Rodney McCullum, senior director, Used Fuel & Decommissioning, Nuclear Energy Institute | Presentation
  • Sam Brinton, senior policy analyst, Bipartisan Policy Institute | No Presentation

Protecting the Grid: Reducing Cyber Threats

Although grid technologies can increase reliability and efficiency, the increasing connectedness of energy control systems poses the real risks of damaging cyberattacks. Identifying these threats and increasing the resiliency of the electric system is essential to ensuring the security and reliability of the nation’s grid. This session examined the risks and vulnerabilities of cyberthreats, activities to address them, and steps state decision makers can take to help protect the electric grid.

  • Scott Aaronson, managing director, Cyber & Critical Infrastructure Security, Edison Electric Institute (moderator)
  • Janet Sena, senior vice president and director of policy and external affairs, North American Electric Reliability Corporation | No Presentation
  • Adam Rosenberg, staff director, Subcommittee on Energy, Committee on Science, Space and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives | No Presentation

Electricity Market Restructuring: Where Are We Now?

Restructuring, implemented by many states in the 1990s in an effort to control electricity prices, faced a host of implementation challenges. While there were successes, initial problems halted—and even reversed—many state efforts to create competition in their wholesale electricity markets. With more than half of states having more than a decade of experience with restructuring, some are now revisiting the issue.  What lessons can be learned from the state restructuring experience and what options might policymakers wish to consider? Panelists explored these questions along with recent state trends and developments.

  • William Hogan, Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy, Harvard Kennedy School | Presentation
  • Johannes Pfeifenberger, principal, The Brattle Group | Presentation
  • Joel Mickey, director, Wholesale Market Design & Operations, Energy Reliability Council of Texas | Presentation

Energy Storage: A Game-Changer?

Rapid advances in energy storage technology, along with falling costs, are quickly making energy storage a player in the electricity market. With its potential to increase grid stability, reliability and efficiency, while easing the integration of wind and solar energy, some consider it to be the ‘holy grail’ of energy technologies. Although current prices still make it uneconomical for many uses, states and utilities are piloting a broad array of projects to assess its value and determine where it can be deployed as prices drop. This session investigated the value proposition of energy storage, trends in technology and state policies on the issue.

  • Todd Olinsky-Paul, project director, Clean Energy States Alliance | Presentation
  • Jason Burwen, policy director, Energy Storage Association | Presentation