Energy Policy Summit Presentations | 2019 Legislative Summit

Aug. 5, 2019

NCSL logo for Legislative Summit.The 2019 Energy Policy Summit explored the technologies and policies that are transforming the energy landscape, with an emphasis on the rapid changes to the electricity sector.

This year’s summit examined efforts to address risks and vulnerabilities associated with these rapid changes and highlights how a number of large companies are reacting to and impacting energy developments. 

Energy Policies for Economic Growth

As states plan their energy futures, a major consideration is how these choices will affect economic development. In addition to seeking reliable and competitively priced electricity, many national and international companies are prioritizing access to clean energy. Presenters from some of the fastest-growing U.S. companies discussed their energy plans and the type of state energy offerings that drive their decisions when it comes to siting and growing operations.


  •  Representative Jeff Morris (D-Wash.)   


  • Bryn Baker, director of policy innovation, Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance | Presentation
  • Steve Chriss, director of energy and strategy analysis, Walmart | Presentation
  • Caroline Golin, senior regulatory policy lead, Google | No Presentation

Policies for a Modern Grid

States and utilities are confronting a multitude of decisions as they develop plans and policies for modernizing the electric grid. The rapidly changing energy landscape and the many available technology and policy options make these choices particularly challenging. Presenters discussed the significant forces that are transforming our grid and the importance of policy in guiding and responding to these changes. Speakers also explored how states can work with utilities to cost-effectively develop a modern and resilient grid.  


  • Senator Eric Koch (R-Ind.)   


  • Mike Bull, director of policy and external affairs, Center for Energy and Environment | Presentation
  • Jeff Lyash, chief executive officer, Tennessee Valley Authority | No Presentation
  • Charles Patton, executive vice president of external affairs, American Electric Power | No Presentation

Cybersecurity: Who is Protecting the Grid? 

New grid technologies offer a multitude of benefits, but the increasing connectedness of energy control systems has heightened the potential for damaging cyberattacks from actors both inside and outside U.S. borders. While the federal government is engaging states and utilities to protect the transmission portion of the grid, states are wholly responsible for protecting the distribution grid, which will require coordinated action and persistent effort to prevent potentially damaging attacks. Presenters discussed the risks and vulnerabilities posed by cyber threats, potential gaps in state cybersecurity efforts, and steps state decision-makers can take to help protect the electric grid.


  • Representative Don Parsons (R-Ga.)


  • Kate Marks, sector engagement lead, Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER), U.S. Department of Energy | Presentation
  • Jack Baxter, vice president for system operations, Nashville Electric Service | Presentation

Keynote and Lunch

As an energy customer with facilities across dozens of states, Amazon has committed to reducing its impact by announcing a long-term goal of using 100% renewable energy. To do this, the company is driving the development of several large wind and solar farms across the globe. Session attendees participated in a conversation to discuss Amazon's motivation for setting this target and how this effort complements the company’s economic development and sustainability plans. 


  • Senator Dave Koehler (D-Ill.)   


  • Nat Sahlstrom, director, Amazon Energy, Amazon Web Services | No Presentation