Legal & Regulatory Conference

Legal & Regulatory Conference Sessions—Monday P.M.

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.

Back to Legal & Regulatory Conference Agenda

Monday, October 21

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • Clearing the Air on Regional Haze 
    The Clean Air Act’s “regional haze” program seeks to reduce visual impairment of scenic vistas in national parks and wilderness areas caused by emissions from sources such as natural gas and coal-combusting facilities. The program’s next phase includes a 2021 deadline for states to submit implementation plans to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Learn about key issues that generators and states face as they prepare and the impact on your utility.         

    Norman Fichthorn, Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, Washington, D.C.
  • Managing Utility Liability in Health Claims
    Electric utilities often confront health claims about electric and magnetic fields from power lines and radio frequency fields from smart meters. Customers, homeowners, and activist groups continue to raise claims about alleged health risks, interference with property use, and damage to property values.   Addressing these claims (however meritless) can take considerable utility time and resources. Get an overview of EMF/RF trends — scientific research, regulatory policy, and litigation. Evaluate how to manage your exposure to liability from these claims.

    Curtis S. Renner, Partner, Watson & Renner, Washington, D.C. 

2:30 - 2:45 p.m.

2:45 - 3:45 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • Changing Perspectives on Federalism: Protecting State Environmental-Energy Policy 
    29 states and the District of Columbia have implemented renewable portfolio standards in an effort to decarbonize their electric generation. Some state policies sustain nuclear units that would otherwise retire, and foster new quasi-baseload offshore wind farms. Review the legal challenges — federal preemption litigation, dormant commerce clause challenges, and regulatory action before FERC. See how New York defended its Zero Emissions Credit program. Preview what’s in store as state and local governments step up environmental regulation.  

    Peter Hopkins, Partner, Spiegel & McDiarmid, LLP, Washington, D.C.; and Jonathan D. Schneider, Partner, Stinson LLP, Washington, D.C. 
  • Managing the Impact of the #MeToo Movement
    Examine the impact of one of the most prominent campaigns against sexual harassment on workplaces everywhere. Recognize that the perception of impropriety is not easily avoided in an ever-evolving work setting. Witness and discuss the live presentation of trial testimony. Explore best practices to avoid issues and claims at your utility. Understand what works and what doesn’t. Discuss how to build a safe and comfortable environment for all.

    John R. Bode, Member, Miller & Martin PLLC, Chattanooga, Tennessee

3:45 - 4p.m.

4 - 4:45 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • California Wildfires: Feeling the Heat
    With an increase in the frequency and severity of wildfires in California and other parts of the country, electric utilities must deal with greater regulation and scrutiny to prevent and mitigate the risks. Liability exposures challenge the economic outlook of utilities and the communities they serve. Explore the critical legal, regulatory, and economic issues the industry faces in this new normal and see how other public power utilities are responding.

    Tara Kaushik, Partner, Holland & Knight, San Francisco, California; Laura Manz, Director Energy, Navigant, Folsom, California; Joy Mastache, Senior Attorney, SMUD, Sacramento, California; Anne Selting, Analytical Manager & Head of North American P3 and Project Ratings, Standard & Poors Global Infrastructure Ratings, San Francisco, California; and Justin Wynne, Attorney, Braun Blaising Smith Wynne, Sacramento, California
  • Renewables Projects: Structures and Issues to Consider
    What’s the best model for expanding your utility’s renewables portfolio — ownership or long-term power purchase agreements?  Examine the legal considerations of both models and possible contract structures to be considered with respect to each. Dive into project development, funding, tax credits, and other incentives. Assess the legal, regulatory, market, and performance risks that drive decision-making.

    Tammie Ptacek, Partner and Guy Smith, Partner, Stinson LLP, Minneapolis, Minnesota    

5 - 6:30 p.m.