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  • 7 Nov 2019 2:09 PM | Anonymous

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

    I had a great time during my summer 2019 internship with the U.S. Energy Association in Washington. I learned a lot from the energy-related hearings and briefings I attended on Capitol Hill and around town, and from the interesting speakers that USEA hosted at its panel events.  When it comes to my interests in the energy industry, natural gas is definitely at the top of my list. Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, which is why I think developing the technology for more environmentally-friendly and efficient ways of extracting gas, as well as expanding the uses for natural gas, such as for more electricity generation, are paramount. Attending a college in the Appalachian region, the topic of hydraulic fracturing is something I hear about a lot. About once a month, an organization will host some sort of fracking debate on campus and occasionally there are rallies held either for or against fracking (usually the latter).

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

    Climate change is a major issue facing the energy industry. While many debate how far reaching the effects are, when you look at the numbers and research, there is no denying that human activities have had a negative effect on our planet’s climate. It’s hard to find a solution to this problem that doesn’t impact some part of the energy industry. We can’t ignore climate change, hoping it will resolve itself or do something as drastic as going completely renewable, which isn’t feasible. We have to find something in the middle and we have to do it fast. We’re beyond reversing the damage, but we can mitigate climate change by investing in renewables. Fossil fuels will still have a strong presence in our future, but we can invest in technologies such as carbon capture or expand the use of cleaner-burning natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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

    I joined the NCAC at the beginning of 2019, so I don’t have a large inventory of memories associated with the group yet. One event that does stand out was seeing a class project of mine highlighted in one of the NCAC’s monthly newsletters (May 2019?). For the final project in my cartography map-making class, I had to create a map reflecting data I researched on any topic. I chose to make a map based on EIA data showing the percentage of each state’s electricity generation in 2018 that came from renewable resources. It was very gratifying as a sophomore undergrad to open that email with the NCAC newsletter and see that my work was out there in the real world.

  • 20 May 2019 10:01 AM | Anonymous member

    Director, State Energy and Regulatory Policy, EEI

    Affiliation and years of experience in the energy/environmental field: I’m the Senior Director of State Energy & Regulatory Policy at the Edison Electric Institute, the trade association for the nation’s investor-owned electric companies. I’ve worked at EEI for three years, but I’ve worked on energy and environmental issues for nearly 15 years.

    Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention? My greatest accomplishment in the energy/environment field isn’t a title or an accolade, but rather an ability to evaluate energy issues holistically. I started my career in DC working on environment and natural resources, moved on to focus on energy and climate issues broadly, then spent some time focused on oil and gas before making my way to EEI, where I focus exclusively on electric utilities. In that time, I worked for think tanks, in government and consulting, and now at a trade association. The diversity of issues I’ve worked on, as well as the breadth of organizations I’ve had the pleasure of working at, has taught me to seek out connections across issues. I do this by asking questions. How, for example, will a shift in environmental policy impact another seemingly unrelated aspect of the energy industry? Or how might a shift in natural gas markets ripple through the utility sector in five, ten or more years out? Nothing is simple in this field. And nothing happens in a vacuum. I am best at my job when I try to understand the far-reaching and often undiscussed impacts of energy issues. Almost without fail, my attempt to learn more makes me realize how much I have yet to learn -- and that is a good thing.

    In your opinion, what are important issues facing the energy industry nowadays? In grad school, I had a professor who provided some words of caution before I went to work for the Department of Energy: “Prepare yourself to have zero impact for at least ten years.” And then the Recovery Act passed and DOE found itself busier than it had been in many years. I think of this advice often because I have yet to experience it. We are truly living in a period of radical change for the energy industry. On an individual level, our relationship with energy is wildly different than it was just a few years ago. We have new energy technologies and devices. New energy services and service providers. New ways of interacting with our own energy data. Unquestionably, these changes are good! Choice is good! But we must not forget to balance change in the electric industry against other, equally important priorities such as electric reliability, resiliency, and – importantly – equity.

    How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us? I have been a member of NCAC for more than a decade. I still remember the first lunch I attended with the amazing and brilliant Shirley Neff, who introduced me to NCAC. I remember sitting upstairs at the old Chinatown Garden and being overwhelmed by the incredible intelligence in the room. I still feel that way, of course, but now I know many of the people around the tables. Attending the lunches always feels a bit like a class reunion.

  • 11 Apr 2019 1:37 AM | Anonymous member

    Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field.

    I am currently an undergraduate senior at George Washington University, and I will be graduating in May. I took my first class on energy during fall of my junior year; it was Global Energy Security. It was my professor for the class who first suggested that I join NCAC, and since then I have continued to take coursework on the energy industry.

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

    I am particularly interested in energy as it relates to geopolitics; that is a very important factor in how countries interreact with one another. To further this interest, I am helping a student organization I am involved in host an event on April 10th about the geopolitical and economic implications of the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline between Germany and Russia.

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

    As the negative effects of climate change continue to impact the planet, it is undeniable that profound changes will need to take place in how companies that rely on and produce hydrocarbons do business. For example, Shell’s recent decision to withdraw from AFPM due to disagreements on climate related policy may be a sign of things to come.

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

    I joined NCAC in the fall of 2017. My best memory with NCAC so far was the Annual Dinner in February at the Canadian Embassy. It was a great venue, an interesting discussion, and I met many amazing NCAC members from all around the DC area.

  • 4 Mar 2019 7:56 PM | Anonymous member

    Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field

    I’m relatively “green” to the energy and environmental space, having only been in it for about five years. I like to say I followed a non-traditional path. In graduate school, I studied urban policy with an eye on nonprofit advocacy. Soon after graduation, I accepted a research position at Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), which is working to reduce America’s dependence on oil for economic and national security reasons. The position at SAFE ended up being a great match! It combined my interests in transportation and advocacy, and let me learn a lot about energy in ways my urban affairs background did not fully contextualize.

    I am currently a Senior Policy Analyst at SAFE where I conduct research, write and edit publications, and follow developments in vehicle technology economics, oil and gas spending and trade, and autonomous vehicles (AVs). I support SAFE’s geopolitical analysis of the global oil market and transportation work around fleet electrification. It’s a broad portfolio of issues, but the breadth of it also makes the work exciting at the same time.

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

    Last fall, my colleague and I published a white paper exploring the U.S.’ fully burdened costs of defending global oil supplies. We interviewed top Defense Department officials and senior military leaders who agreed that national security costs are frequently left out of the federal government’s fuel cost calculations.

    At the time, the Trump Administration was soliciting comments on its newly proposed fuel economy program, which identified annual defense costs at zero. A review of the literature and conversations with military officials led us to estimate that the U.S. spends at least $81 billion per year defending global oil supplies.

    The white paper’s publication prompted a wider discussion on social media and among the public about important topics in energy economics – implicit subsidies, public goods, and resource economics. Vox’s David Roberts wrote a whole explanatory piece. Importantly, we were also able to use this work in SAFE’s comments to the administration.

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

    There is a big question mark over how we manage the coming energy transitions. I’m not necessarily talking about big “Green New Deal”-like programs; I’m thinking more about the mobility decisions of governments that find themselves amid several fast-changing industries.

    When I first joined SAFE, it was April 2014, and the United States was producing 4.8 million barrels per day of crude oil from shale deposits. Self-driving cars were largely theoretical. And lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles (EVs) cost around $400 per kilowatt hour. That was almost five years ago.

    Since then, shale has helped propel the United States to become the world’s top liquids producer. Companies have deployed AVs in cities and on highways. And EVs are both less expensive and more energy dense.

    I think AVs will be the next big energy transition. Self-driving cars may fundamentally reshape the built environment and restructure urban and suburban travel patterns. Because of their widespread deployment, urban planners and policymakers will be challenged to make investments in mass transit and roads today that will have big implications for our nation’s transportation fuel demand tomorrow.

    I don’t have the answers, but as a community we should be thinking about how these advanced technologies be deployed, how they will influence vehicle miles traveled, and whether people will use advanced driver assistance technologies in conjunction with ridesharing? All of this, in addition to new forms of micro mobility could profoundly influence future transit modes and by extension, fuel demand.

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

    I’ve been with NCAC for a couple of years. I always appreciate connecting with other colleagues in this space. And I love learning and hearing new perspectives. My favorite part of NCAC is meeting new and different people who are working on cool and interesting projects.

  • 30 Jan 2019 3:36 PM | Anonymous member

    Please note your affiliation and years of experience in the energy and/or environmental field

    I like to think that I’ve been interested in the energy/environmental field for nearly a decade. I dove straight into the environmental science realm while completing my undergraduate work at UC Santa Barbara, and have been hooked ever since. But it wasn’t until recently (over the last 5 years) that I shifted my professional focus over to the energy sector – and I can thank Johns Hopkins SAIS for that.

    Currently, I serve as the Director of Energy and Environment at International Technology and Trade Associates, where I consult for electric utilities, R&D organizations, and international trading houses on clean energy topics and environmental policies.

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

    I felt incredibly honored to present at the Hellenic Association for Energy Economics (HAEE) annual energy conference in Athens, Greece in May 2017. In addition to the main plenary sessions, the conference held a number of concurrent academic- and industry-oriented sessions to facilitate the exchange of best practices, lessons learned, and innovative research.

    Along with a fellow colleague, I presented the research findings of our recently published paper entitled “Experience Curve for Natural Gas Production by Hydraulic Fracturing.” We gave an overview of our findings, published in Energy Policy, which prescribed an experience curve for U.S. shale gas production and relevant considerations for policymaking and investment decisions.

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

    I see a number of different challenges facing the energy industry today: decarbonization, distributed resource management, cybersecurity, etc. However, the biggest challenge I see is not how the energy system is trending, rather it is the ability of the system itself to adapt to these trends.

    Our current energy system was designed to address scarcity problems, maximize infrastructure build-out, plan according to peak demand, and drive prices down through competition. Our policies and regulations have likewise been crafted to follow this structure. However, we are now well-beyond the post-oil embargo era – yet our energy system still largely reflects the needs from that time. The result is a complex web of capacity market rules, early plant retirement concerns, out-of-market subsidies, and a backlog of infrastructure O&M investments.

    The challenge, in my opinion, is to craft flexible policies and regulation that allow our antiquated energy system to accommodate the trends of today (and hopefully) tomorrow.

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

    I have been a member of the NCAC since 2016. I continually enjoy the topical conversations over lunch and look forward to the annual conferences. These are always great opportunities to meet fellow energy wonks and gain new perspectives.

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