2011 Recipient of the Vito Stagliano Excellence in Electricity Policy Award
The Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition (NIPPC) announced that Ray Baum, former member and Chair of the Oregon Public Utility Commission, is this year’s recipient of the group’s Vito Stagliano Excellence in Electricity Policy Award.
Each year NIPPC awards “The Vito” to an individual who has tangibly advanced the quality of electric power policy making in the West.
“In his tenure at the OPUC,” NIPPC’s Executive Director Robert Kahn explained, “Ray patented a formula for encouraging innovation while protecting ratepayers from unnecessary risk.” Kahn noted the Commission’s adoption of its competitive procurement guidelines in 2006 as an example of the measured progressive policies that secured Oregon’s national reputation policy leadership among state regulators during Ray Baum’s tenure on the Commission.
Baum, a native of La Grande, Oregon and former state legislator, now serves as a senior policy advisor to Representative Greg Walden in his role as Chair of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Technology in U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee.
NIPPC’s award is named in honor of Vito Stagliano, the former Calpine and Commonwealth Edison executive whose lengthy career in federal service concluded as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy Analysis under George H.W. Bush. Among other assignments, Stagliano led the Administration’s effort that eventually resulted in passage of the Energy Policy Act in 1992.
“The Coalition,” Kahn said, “is delighted to be able to acknowledge Ray Baum’s contribution to building a cleaner, cost-effective future for the Northwest.”
Who Was Vito Stagliano?
Vito Alexander Stagliano; Expert on Energy Policy
Vito Stagliano, 65, whose career included consequential service at the Department of Energy, national advocacy as Calpine’s VP of transmission strategy, and an instrumental role in guiding NIPPC, died unexpectedly in January 2008.
The first recipient of the award named in his honor, Stagliano epitomized the qualities of leadership in electric policy innovation: incisive intelligence, firm advocacy, coalition building, and persistence. Vito Stagliano, always the gentleman, left an indelible mark on all those who knew him.
When he passed away, Vito Stagliano served as Director of Research for the Washington DC-based Commission on Energy Policy, where he originally joined staff in March 2006. Formerly a Federal executive, Stagliano served most of his public service career in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), initially as Special Assistant to the Secretary, subsequently as head of the Policy Integration Office, and finally as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Analysis, the career service’s highest rank. He assisted in the analyses and design of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. He oversaw the analyses conducted by the DOE national laboratories that led to the promulgation of the first Federal climate change policy. Stagliano oversaw the first drawdown of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve that coincided with the start of the first Gulf war and in collaboration with Resources for the Future and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory; he directed the landmark U.S.-European Study of the Cost and Benefits of Fuel Cycles.
While Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy in the Administration of George H.W. Bush, Stagliano led the government-wide effort that resulted in the National Energy Strategy promulgated by the President in 1991, and legislated by Congress in 1992 as the Energy Policy Act. For his public service between 1989 and 1992, He was awarded a bronze and silver medal for exceptional service by Secretary of Energy James D. Watkins, and a meritorious service medal by President Bush.
Stagliano was a Visiting Scholar at Resources for the Future (RFF) from 1993 to 1996, where he co-authored “A Shock to the System: The Restructuring of America’s Electric Utility Industry,” and “Energy Security in the Twenty-first Century,” the latter in collaboration with the National Defense University. He is also the author of “A Policy of Discontent: The Making of a National Energy Strategy.”
Stagliano was appointed a vice president of Commonwealth Edison Co. of Chicago, in 1998, responsible for transmission policy and bulk power operations, where, in collaboration with several other Midwest electric utilities, he developed the so-called Binary Model of a for-profit transmission business operating within the framework of a non-profit regional transmission organization. While also at Commonwealth Edison, Stagliano managed the regulatory approval processes, at the FERC, the FTC and the SEC, for the merger with PECO Energy, which resulted in the present-day Exelon Corporation. The merger was approved unconditionally on the prescribed 120-day calendar.
Stagliano subsequently held the position of vice president for transmission strategy at the Calpine Corporation. At Calpine, Stagliano directed the company’s participation in emerging ISOs and RTOs, provided strategic advice on Federal and State regulatory proceedings, oversaw filings and interventions in support of competitive wholesale power procurement processes by native utilities, and testified before the FERC and State Commissions on regional power markets development. He was instrumental in the redesign of RTO-West, which, as the latter Grid West provided a platform for a substantial consensus on the Pacific Northwest’s transmission system problems and opportunities.
Stagliano also advocated more competitive and market-driven behavior on the part of the Federal Power Marketing Administrations (BPA and WAPA), whether or not they were members of ISOs/RTOs.
Stagliano is the author of “A Policy of Discontent: The Making of a National Energy Strategy,” and has contributed numerous articles and research papers to the Electricity Journal, Public Utilities Fortnightly, RFF’s RESOURCES, and DIALOGUE, the journal of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics. He has lectured at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government, Tufts University, Virginia Military Institute, Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and the Ecole Nationale Superieure of France.
Stagliano was a member of the U.S. and International Associations for Energy Economics, the Gridwise Architecture Council, the Theodore Thomas Society of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Poetry Society. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, served on the staff of the Peace Corps in Ghana and Washington, DC, and on the staff of the Agency for International Development in Senegal and Bourkina Faso. He served for two years as Executive Director of the Palau, Micronesia, Community Action Agency in the former U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific.
Mr. Stagliano was survived by the former Julie Ann Werth, and their two children, Jason and Carlos.