Sessions - Monday Morning


The following timeline is tentative; session times and titles may change as the program is finalized. Some session descriptions are still being finalized. Additional speaker names will be added as they are confirmed.

Monday, October 9

7 - 8:15 a.m.
Women in Public Power Networking Breakfast

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
Networking Breakfast

8:30 - 9 a.m.
Welcome & APPA Board Chair Address

9 - 9:15 a.m.
Break

9:15 - 10:45 a.m.
General Session
Lessons Learned from a Deadly Gas Pipeline Explosion: Record Fines, Felony Convictions, Corporate Misconduct and Regulatory Overhaul

In September 2010, a natural gas pipeline ruptured and the resulting fire and explosion killed eight people, injured 66 others, destroyed 38 homes and damaged dozens more in the City of San Bruno near San Francisco, California. Federal and State investigations revealed serious internal and external auditing flaws as well as risk management and record keeping failures at the utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), its regulating agency, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and the Federal agencies charged with oversight of pipeline safety. These failures led to a record $1.6 billion penalty against PG&E, the largest fine ever levied against a utility in the U.S., and a federal court jury in August 2016 convicted PG&E of one felony count of obstructing the federal probe of the blast and five felony counts of knowingly violating pipeline safety laws before and after the disaster. The final accounting for all damages, fines, settlements, liabilities and remedial costs could exceed $10 billion.

Hear from San Bruno city officials and the special counsel who represented them in the extensive legal, regulatory and crisis management matters relating to the catastrophic fire and explosion. Their work has helped to establish new benchmarks for how utilities and their internal processes will be judged, prosecuted and fined for safety failures, and how government regulatory agencies will be scrutinized and held to the highest standards of transparency, accountability and compliance. Discover the comprehensive range of lessons learned and gain valuable insight regarding the myriad of intertwined legal, media and regulatory issues that arose in this case, as well as the practical legal and community relations issues faced by the City and the investor-owned utility (PG&E).  

Connie Jackson, City Manager, City of San Bruno, Califronia; and Britt Strottman, Principal and Chair of Public Utilities and Crisis Management Practice Groups, Meyers Nave, Oakland, California 

10:45 - 11 a.m.
Break

11 a.m. - Noon
Breakout Sessions

  • Public Power Participation in Western Power Markets
    Municipal utilities have been participants in the CAISO for a number of years. But most public power entities operate outside the CAISO organized market. Many have recently begun exploring opportunities to expand their participation in regional markets, giving special consideration to the issues such participation might raise for public power. This panel will review market developments in the west, including Platte River's participation a joint dispatch agreement with several IOUs, public power participation in a possible Mountain West organized market, and the decisions by the BANC, Seattle City Light and Salt River Power Project to participate in the energy imbalance market (EIM) run by CAISO.

    • Harvey Reiter, Partner, Stinson Leonard Street, Washington, D.C.
    • Craig Johnson, Deputy General Counsel, Platte River Power Authority, Fort Collins, Colorado
    • Jim Shetler, Director, Balancing Authority of Northern California, Sacramento, California
    • Rob Taylor, Senior Director, Regulatory Policy & Public Involvement, Salt River Project, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Cybersecurity Preparedness and Supply Chain Risk Management in the Electric Sector 
    Cybersecurity challenges in the electricity sub-sector are here to stay, and there are no silver bullets that will make them go away. Power outages, service disruptions, ransomware, denial of service attacks, destructive malware, theft of sensitive operational and business information, and breaches of employee or customer personal information are a growing concern to electric utility companies.  Get an update on best practices for pre-incident cybersecurity preparedness, including engaging the Board and C-Suite on cybersecurity, updating information security policies, improving access to cyber threat and vulnerability information through information sharing programs, reducing financial exposure through insurance and the SAFETY Act, updating your incident response plan, and doing table top exercises.  The panel will devote special attention to managing risks associated with third party vendors, and the 2017 FERC Order on supply chain. 
    • Kevin Jones, Partner, Hunton & Williams, Washington, D.C.
    • Randall Parks, Partner, Hunton & Williams, Washington, D.C.
    • Paul Tiao, Partner, Hunton & Williams, Washington, D.C.