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So You Want a Low Carbon Future?

1200 New York Ave NW, Washington,

Here's What You Need to Know About Our Energy Economy!

Many people advocating for reducing the carbon emissions from our energy usage do not fundamentally understand our current energy system and the challenges and potential economic levers that could be deployed to foster change. The goal of this symposium is to enable informed dialogue on transitioning to a clean and sustainable energy future by giving an overview of our current energy system, including economic factors, market structures, regulation, and policies at federal, state, and local levels.

The morning will consist of panels and interactive sessions that cover market structures and considerations for transitioning to a low-carbon energy mix in the electric and transportation sectors. The afternoon will give an overview of the federal, state, and local policies that are currently in place or in process. Breakout sessions in the afternoon allow the audience to build on the information they learned throughout the day by actively brainstorming next steps and potential future policies. The concluding reception is an opportunity for exchanging ideas and dreaming big about the U.S. transition to a low carbon energy future.

This information-packed day is for anyone interested in understanding key energy market and policy considerations for transitioning to a low carbon future.


Draft Agenda (Updated Tuesday, March 1)

8:30 - 9:00am

Registration and Check-In

9:00 - 10:30am

Electricity Sector

Richard Caperton, Director, National Policy and Partnerships, Opower
Craig Glazer, Vice President, Federal Government Policy, PJM
Barney Rush, Member of the Board, ISO New England
Lisa Wood, Executive Director, Institute for Electric Innovation; and Vice President, The Edison Foundation

After attending this session, participants will be able to describe the key factors that affect electricity supply, including how electricity is dispatched, how utilities ensure sufficient capacity in both near- and long-term, the entities that regulate the electricity supply (FERC, RTO/ISO, State PUCs), and consumer behavior (adoption of energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed generation).

10:30 - 10:45am


10:45 - 12:15pm

Transportation Sector
Jeremy Martin, Senior Scientist and Fuels Lead, Clean Vehicles Program, Union of Concerned Scientists
Rachael Nealer, Vehicle Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy
Gabe Pacyniak, Climate Change Mitigation Program Manager, Georgetown Climate Center; and Adjunct Professor, Georgetown Law

This session will introduce participants to the key attributes in the current transportation sector and the challenges faced in transitioning to a low-carbon future. The panel will discuss why we love petroleum and how transitioning to low carbon transportation will require an integrated approach that overcomes the barriers of existing infrastructure, vehicle limitations, and consumer behavior to enable full-scale market adoption.

12:15 - 1:15pm

Debrief Lunch (provided) with Optional Discussion Questions

1:15 - 2:30pm

Policy I (Federal)
Kathleen Barrón, Senior Vice President, Federal Regulatory Affairs & Wholesale Market Policy, Exelon Corporation
Michael Burger, Executive Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
Ben Longstreth, Senior Attorney, Climate & Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council

The power to regulate aspects of the energy system falls under both the legislative and executive branches. In this session we will discuss the regulatory authority of Congress, the President, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) along with some examples of current or attempted policies. Attendees will leave with a framework for understanding federal energy policy by hearing about the federal regulatory structure and mandates with example policies.

2:30 - 2:45pm


2:45 - 4:00pm

Policy II (Regional, State, Local)
Irina Feygina, Director of Behavior Science and Assessment, ClimateCentral
Rachel Gold, Senior Associate, Electricity and Buildings Practices, Rocky Mountain Institute
Edward Yim, Associate Director, Policy and Compliance Division, D.C. Department of Energy and Environment

Given the limited power of the federal government over energy regulation and policy, state and local governments have the freedom to experiment with legislation to meet their needs. After this session, participants will be able to describe and understand successful energy policy case studies from different parts of the country that integrate multiple strategies and interests highlighted in the morning sessions.

4:00 - 5:00pm

Debrief and Dream Big (Breakouts)

5:00 - 6:30pm





Organized by the STPF Energy/Climate and Biofuels Affinity Groups


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