Key Resolutions Passed at NARUC Policy Summit, Focus on Innovation
WASHINGTON—The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners concluded four days of focused discussions on energy, telecommunications and other utility issues at its Summer Policy Summit held in San Diego, California, July 16-19. The NARUC board of directors passed three substantive resolutions and several honorary resolutions.
President Robert F. Powelson, of Pennsylvania, presided over the event and served as moderator for the opening general session, which focused on innovative technologies across energy sectors. Representatives from American Water, the Nuclear Energy Institute, PG&E Corporation and Sunrun offered various sector-focused perspectives.
Other general sessions underscored the importance of innovation, the state of America’s infrastructure and bringing veterans into the utility work space.
At Tuesday’s general session, Illinois Commission Chairman Brien Sheahan unveiled a new innovation award program. Categories include innovators in regulatory policy and the utility industry. The award winners will be announced at NARUC’s Annual Meeting in Baltimore in November. Details on the program are available at www.naruc.org/committees/innovation.
Former NARUC President Colette Honorable, who recently resigned from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, was recognized by President Powelson for her work and dedication as a utility regulator. The NARUC board also passed an honorary resolution noting her extensive contributions in the energy sector.
Three draft resolutions were finalized and approved at the meeting as follows:
Resolution strongly urges Congress to adequately fund the National Laboratories to promote advancements in deployable technological solutions while ensuring the nation’s energy security.
Resolution “joins the most recent bipartisan calls by 57 [U.S. Senators] and 102 [U.S. Representatives] urging the FCC to address the effects of [a] lack of sufficient USF resources on availability and affordability of voice and broadband services in rural America.”
Resolution urges the FCC to work together with the States/local governments to identify existing barriers and to develop best practices for granting access at all levels to improve broadband deployment and to increase the number of State/local government entities on the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee to balance representation by industry representatives.
A fourth resolution (EL-1 Resolution Supporting the Nuclear Waste Program) submitted previously as a draft, was withdrawn. Along with Honorable, nine other honorary resolutions were passed, which are available at http://bit.ly/honorarysummer17.
The Summer Policy Summit (previously known as committee meetings) represents the second of three national meetings hosted each year by the association.
“NARUC is unparalleled in its ability to facilitate meaningful conversations among regulators and stakeholders, as well as provide exceptional utility and telecom educational opportunities,” said Powelson.
The next meeting will be held November 12-15 in Baltimore.