• 11 Aug 2017 12:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NCAC Council Member and Managing Director of the Energy Future Coalition Institute

    Affiliation and years of experience in energy and/or environment:

    My first job in energy started in January, 1971, as the Assistant General Manager of the American Public Gas Association, helping argue in favor of Federal Power Commission regulations that would cap the wellhead ceiling price for natural gas at 18 cents per Mcf throughout the southern Louisiana Gulf Coast area. Much has changed since then, including the fact that today no one could credibly advocate such a policy. My current role as Managing Director of the Energy Future Coalition, a non-profit broad-based coalition trying to promote working solutions to energy policy dilemmas, follows the most recent of fourteen total years on the Hill (1972-1981, 2007-2011) as committee staff and as an energy specialist with the Congressional Research Service. I also spent twenty years practicing energy law on natural gas and efficiency matters before state and federal regulators (1987-2006), and four years with the International Energy Agency in Paris (1982-1985).

    Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

    I would mention here: a report to the Congressional Research Service of the U.S. Library of Congress on "Promoting Changes in Relative Fossil Fuel Prices to Achieve Strategic Energy Goals."; a series of 3 reports to the George C. Marshall Institute involving policy mechanisms to deal with climate change; chapters in two books published by LMI on climate change; and author contribution to 2008 Defense Science Board report on the Department of Defense energy strategy.

    I think the highlight of my career was "holding the pen" as Senior Counsel to Chairman Dingell of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the efficiency and smart grid provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and then serving Chairman Waxman in the next Congress as a number of those provisions were funded, with positive effect, in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

    In your opinion, what are important issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

    The central issue, in my view, is the conflict between the new abundance of fossil fuels from formerly marginal resources that advancing technology has made not only possible but economically compelling, on one hand, with the scientific consensus that producing and using those fuels would rapidly and irrevocably alter the global climate with catastrophic effects, on the other. Only altering the economics of energy markets, either by making renewable energy and efficiency even more compelling economically, or by effectively pricing greenhouse-gas externalities on a global basis, seems likely to keep a sustainable world for our grandchildren.

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

    I believe I started attending NCAC meetings in the late 1970s and have been an active member since returning from IEA in 1985, with a number of years on the Council and one as President. I have also served as pro-bono General Counsel to both the IAEE since 1989 and the USAEE since its founding. Of the many energy-oriented groups offering member services in Washington, I think NCAC offers the lowest net cost, the best multi-sector networking, the widest exposure to contrasting opinions in an analytical setting, and the greatest variety of presentations on timely energy topics. In these the vital role of economics is always recognized, but you don't have to be a licensed economist to understand and benefit. I've found that even a lawyer can do it.

  • 1 Nov 2013 12:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Affiliation and years of experience in energy and/or environment:

    I have more than 15 years experience in energy. Currently, as Energy Integration Manager for the Navy, my job is to integrate the various Navy and Marine Corps "shore" energy programs like renewable energy, energy efficiency, metering, training, and R&D.

    Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

    I'm very proud of the work projects I have completed, whether power plants investments or strategic plans. The project I'm most excited about right now though is making our home "net zero". I planned and carried out the energy upgrades needed to make our house net zero energy and carbon neutral. Upgrades included "small changes" like better insulation and new basement windows, and "large changes" like a geothermal heat system, solar hot water, and a 9.8 kw solar plant on our roof! As of October 2013, we had produced as much energy from our solar panels as we used over the previous 12 months. We think that we are the first house in DC to have accomplished this feat!

    In your opinion, what are important issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

    One of the biggest challenges in my opinion is how to meet rising energy needs in the developing world while decreasing global carbon emissions. A lack of a generally accepted carbon market and price makes the policy and investment decisions much more challenging to all players.

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

    I joined NCAC about eight or nine years ago. I remember feeling very intimidated by all these experts. But their humility and dedication and the overall warmth of the NCAC gradually made me feel less nervous. The two field trips I went on to Pennsylvania are some of my favorite NCAC memories. Tasting oil from the first well to learn how "sweet" Pennsylvania crude is or walking in a coal mine brought all those dry excel spreadsheet analyses to life. For people just joining the energy field, it is a chance to learn from some of the greatest players in our country's energy policies and industries. For those more seasoned energy professionals, it is a chance to give back and to be exposed to the fresh thinking of people who haven't spent as many years contemplating the same issues - the collaboration might just spark a new way of considering an old problem.

  • 1 Oct 2013 12:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    I am the Director of Economic Analysis for the Natural Gas Supply Association. We represent the major integrated and independent domestic producers of natural gas. Our members' production accounts for about one-third of the U.S. natural gas supply. I've been in the energy industry for over 20 years.


    Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

    A favorite was the opportunity to lead the Natural Gas Council's econometric study that reevaluated the underlying assumptions of the impact of climate legislation on the natural gas industry and the U.S. economy. It was great to work with energy sector economists and analysts to develop a common understanding of the true impact of the contemplated U.S. climate legislation. Although climate legislation did not come to fruition, I believe the experience taught the natural gas industry and the government a lot about the importance of an accurate assessment of the economic assumptions in a climate analysis and that will be invaluable should the debate arise again.

    In your opinion, what are important issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

    Clearly the shale revolution is a game changer. I think it's safe to say that it's not business as usual anymore. With the change, our look at the market is also likely to change. For instance, instead of debating whether or not there is enough, the debate is about how much more there is. This opens a lot of opportunities for the economy that may not have been previously considered. To ensure that the full benefits of our energy resources are realized in the economy, I think our challenge now is to look beyond the "traditional" and begin thinking about competitive markets more broadly, looking to efficiency in capital formation and global markets that allow the economy to realize the benefits of our resources.

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

    I've been a member of the NCAC for about 10 years and a member of the council for about 6 years. A great memory was last year's opportunity to serve as NCAC president. The experience provided a unique opportunity to see energy issues from a variety of perspectives, but most importantly, I got an opportunity to work with many talented economists on the council and in the membership, whose friendships will undoubtedly last throughout my career. I'd encourage professionals and students to join the NCAC as it is the best energy networking group in town with a large range of programs for members.

  • 1 Sep 2013 12:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ben Schlesinger, founding president of BSA, LLC, is one of North America's leading independent energy consultants, specializing in gas and electricity marketing, pricing, infrastructure, trading practices, strategic planning, and power plant development worldwide.

    Years of experience in energy/environment:

    More years than I would like to admit - at least 4 decades!

    Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?

    First drive from Washington to Boston entirely on compressed natural gas - lately repeated route on electricity, using EV superchargers. (More details on my electric vehicle blog). Also honored to have been named USAEE Senior Fellow in 2012.

    I guess one of my major accomplishments was to more or less invent - along with about 20 other people (Arnold Safer, Bob Levin, Brad Leach, Jim Rogers, Al Levine, Lance Schneier, Joe Paul, Ken Lay, Doug John, Dennis Cornelson, John Gregory, David Doctor and a few others) - the US natural gas spot market trade as we know it today, and the NYMEX gas futures contract.

    In your opinion, what are important issues facing the energy industry nowadays?

    My biggest concern is the continued invisibility of natural gas - the crucial national economic benefits of long supplies, and its environmental and global warming benefits. Use of this fuel has saved countless lives in cleaning up London, Paris, the US, and (soon) Chinese cities - maybe it's time we count them.

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?

    I have been an IAEE/USAEE and NCAC member since inception of each organization. Sad to see Tony Finizza and some other founders pass away - these people were much more active than I was. Pre-IAEE, our greatest victory was passage of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 - what a battle, it won by one vote in the US House of Representatives! Under industry and FERC leadership, this was arguably the key energy law of the 20th Century - it freed the US gas industry from the shackles of long-term contracts, opened pipeline markets, gave us decades of long gas supplies, and green-lighted the shale gas revolution.

    As to the NCAC, my best memories are recent ones, from my totally enjoyable years as NCAC president, then USAEE president!

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