Speakers

Speakers 2018

Policy Dialogue: How Can We Best Reduce Carbon Emissions?


Travis Kavulla

Commissioner, Montana Public Service Commission
Helena, MT

Travis Kavulla represents the Montana Public Service Commission’s geographically largest district. In November 2010, he was elected by a 28-point margin, the largest of anyone facing an election contested by both major parties since the modern commission’s inception in 1974. He was re-elected in 2014 in an uncontested race.

Additionally, Kavulla is the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Electric Power Research Institute Kavulla also serves as co-chairman of the Northern Tier Transmission Group (NTTG) Steering Committee and is a member of the California ISO’s Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) Transitional Committee.

He previously led Western state utility regulators’ efforts on the creation of efficient wholesale markets, emissions allowance trading, and the reliability of the bulk electric system.

Previous to his election to the commission, Kavulla worked as a journalist, writing on political economy, culture, and development. His by-line has appeared in publications as diverse as the Wall Street Journal, Catholic World Report, the Dallas Morning News, and the Journal of Eastern African Studies, among many others.

Kavulla has also served as associate editor for National Review, the biweekly magazine founded by William F. Buckley, Jr., and has worked as a professional editor of media ranging from blogs to books.

Kavulla has received a number of honors, including being awarded a year-long, full-time writing fellowship in 2008 from the Phillips Foundation.

Kavulla received his bachelor’s in History at Harvard University, and holds a graduate degree from the University of Cambridge, England, where he was a Gates Scholar.


Ralph Cavanagh

Co-Director, Energy Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
San Francisco, CA

Since joining NRDC in 1979, Ralph Cavanagh has focused on removing barriers to cost-effective energy efficiency and on the role that electric and natural gas utilities can play in leading a clean energy transition. From 1993 to 2003, he served on the U.S. secretary of energy’s advisory board.

He has taught energy law and policy at Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, the UC Berkeley Law School, and the University of Idaho. Currently he is a board member of the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Alliance to Save Energy, the Northwest Energy Coalition, Renewable Northwest, and the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies; he also chairs the advisory board for the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center.

Cavanagh has received many awards, including the Heinz Award for Public Policy, the Bonneville Power Administration’s Award for Exceptional Public Service, the University of Missouri’s Crystal Award, and the Lifetime Achievement in Energy Efficiency Award from California’s Flex Your Power campaign. He is a graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School.


John Shelk

President & CEO, Electric Power Supply Association 
Washington, DC
(moderator)

John Shelk is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA). EPSA is the national trade association representing leading independent power producers and marketers. Shelk is responsible for the overall management of the association and its strategic direction, including programs in the areas of legislative affairs, regulatory policy development and public affairs.

Shelk has had a long and distinguished career in public service and in the private sector with an emphasis on energy and environmental issues. Prior to joining EPSA, he was the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Mining Association, where he directed a federal legislative advocacy team on behalf of the nation’s coal and hard rock mining sectors.

Shelk’s government career was capped with service as Republican Counsel to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he worked on matters before the Subcommittee on Energy and Power and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. These matters included major responsibilities associated with the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Following his government service, Shelk assumed a series of positions with increasing responsibility in a variety of business sectors: Federal Affairs Counsel for The Harford Financial Services Group; Assistant General Counsel for ITT Corporation; Vice President of the American Gaming Association; and Director of Federal Relations for Calpine Corporation. He also worked in the private practice of law for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Shelk earned his J.D. degree with honors from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. degree in American Government from Georgetown’s College of Arts & Sciences, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and selected as a George F. Baker Scholar.


Major Address

Andrew Ott

President & CEO, PJM Interconnection
Audubon, PA

Andrew Ott is the president and CEO of PJM Interconnection, the largest power grid in North America and the largest electricity market in the world. Ott, who has been with PJM for more than 18 years, was previously responsible for executive oversight of PJM Market Operations, Market Strategy, Member Training, State Relations, Customer Relations and Performance Compliance. In that role, he was responsible for implementation of the PJM wholesale electricity markets including Locational Marginal Pricing, Financial Transmission Rights, Day-Ahead Energy Market and Capacity Market systems. He also serves as a board member for PJM Technologies and PJM Environmental Information Services.

Ott has extensive experience in energy market restructuring, including electricity market design and implementation issues, and in power-system engineering applications. Ott serves on the board of directors of the Association of Power Exchanges. He serves as Chair
of CIGRE (International Council on Large Electric Systems) Study Committee C5, on Electricity Markets and Regulation.

Prior to joining PJM, Ott was employed by GPU, Inc. for 13 years in transmission planning and operations.

Ott received a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Pennsylvania State  University and a Master of Science in applied statistics from Villanova University. Ott is
an IEEE Fellow.


Panel 1

Transmission Planning: Are We “There” Yet?


Mark Rothleder

Vice President, Market Quality and Renewable Integration, California ISO
Folsom, CA

Mark Rothleder is Vice President, Market Quality and Renewable Integration at the California Independent System Operator Corporation and is leading the ISO’s renewable integration work. Rothleder has held several critical positions at the ISO after joining the grid operator as one of its first employees in 1997. He is now the longest serving ISO employee. Before being named vice president, he was Executive Director of Market Analysis and Development. His previous positions included Principal Market Developer and Director of Market Operations.

In spring 2009, Rothleder led a multifunctional team in designing and implementing market rules and software modifications related to the ISO’s Market Redesign and Technology Upgrade (MRTU). Since joining the ISO over fifteen years ago, he has worked extensively on implementing and integrating the approved market rules for California’s competitive wholesale energy and reserves markets.

Prior to joining the ISO, Rothleder worked for eight years in the electric transmission department of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, where his responsibilities included operations engineering, transmission planning and substation design.

Rothleder is a registered Professional Electrical Engineer in the state of California and holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the California State University, Sacramento. He has taken post-graduate coursework in Power System Engineering from Santa Clara University and earned an M.S. in Information Systems from the University of Phoenix.


John Prescott

Member, Board of Governors EIM
Stevenson, WA

John Prescott currently serves as a Member of the recently formed Governing Body of the Western Energy Imbalance Market (WEIM). The WEIM is an organized market that utilizes a five-minute energy trading platform to enhance grid reliability and generate economic benefits for participating electric utilities in eight western states and the province of British Columbia.  He is also on the Advisory Board of HM3 Energy, a start-up energy technology business based in Gresham, Oregon and he currently serves as a Planning Commissioner for Skamania County, WA.

Prescott retired in March of 2016 as President and CEO of the Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative.  He is known as a leader in the utility industry for power supply planning and associated policy and operating activities. Prior to PNGC, he was the Power Supply and Environmental Affairs Officer for Seattle City Light and the Vice President of Power Supply at Idaho Power Company.

Prescott has served on numerous regional and national boards and committees in support of the electricity industry. He also served as the board chair for the American Red Cross, Oregon Trail Chapter and is currently active in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service which provides radio communications support to Skamania County during emergency conditions.

Prescott received his Bachelor of Science degree in General Engineering from Idaho State University and earned his Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Idaho.  He completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program in Boston and did post graduate work in Energy Studies and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wales in Cardiff, UK.  He is a Registered Professional Engineer.


Randy Hardy

Principal, Hardy Energy Associates
Seattle, WA

Randy Hardy provides strategic advice to utilities, wind/renewable generators, and other organizations in the current rapidly changing electricity environment.  His experience has covered regulatory, legislative and transactional work, including thirteen years as CEO managing two large electric utilities – Seattle City Light and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).  He has dealt with the full range of challenges companies face in today’s electricity markets, from dramatically downsizing formerly large workforces to developing flexible, innovative marketing strategies to resolving complex integration problems.

As CEO of BPA from 1991 -1997, Hardy managed a $2.4 billion public corporation which supplies 40 percent of all electricity and over 75 percent of the high voltage transmission in the Northwest.  Hardy made significant cost and marketing changes to stabilize the agency’s financial position during fierce wholesale competition.  He also managed BPA’s recovery from the August 1996 West Coast power outage.  At Seattle City Light from 1984 to 1991, Hardy instituted a comprehensive productivity improvement program, negotiated natural resource issues for the successful relicensing of three major dams on the Skagit River, and arranged for an ownership interest in the third AC transmission line between the Northwest and California.

More recently, Hardy has assisted several Northwest wind generators with their transmission and marketing arrangements in the Pacific Northwest, as well as resolving their integration challenges with BPA and other transmission providers.

From 1982 to 1984, Hardy served as the Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee (PNUCC), a long-range planning group for Northwest electric utilities and major industries.  He held various positions with the Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Administration (FEA), and BPA from 1975 to 1982.  In 1975-76, he was selected as a White house Fellow and served as a Special Assistant  to the FEA Administrator.

Hardy is a 1966 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.  From 1966 to 1976, he was a naval officer, performing various shipboard and staff assignments worldwide.  He received his Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Washington in 1972.  Hardy is a former Chairman of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), past President of the American Public Power Association (APPA), and previous Board Member of the Large Public Power Council (LPPC) and Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS).

 

Malcolm McLellan

Partner, Van Ness Feldman
Seattle, WA
(moderator)

Malcolm McLellan’s practice focuses on the transmission, generation, marketing, and distribution of electric energy. McLellan has an intricate knowledge of the technical, legal, and business considerations facing electric utilities. His counseling includes electric transmission and ancillary services, rates, reliability standards, enforcement actions and investigations, market based rate authority, and hydroelectric licenses. His transactional experience includes power purchases and sales, interconnection and transmission access, and asset sales.

McLellan has a B.A. from the University of Washington and earned his J.D. cum laude from Gonzaga University School of Law.


Luncheon Address

Richard Glick

Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC

Commissioner Richard Glick was nominated to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by President Donald J. Trump in August 2017 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 2, 2017.

Before joining the Commission, Glick was general counsel for the Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, serving as a senior policy advisor on numerous issues including electricity and renewable energy.

Prior to that, Glick was vice president of government affairs for Iberdrola’s renewable energy, electric and gas utility, and natural gas storage businesses in the United States. He ran the company’s Washington, DC, office and was responsible for developing and implementing the U.S. businesses’ federal legislative and regulatory policy advocacy strategies.

Glick previously served as a director of government affairs for PPM Energy and before that was director of government affairs for PacifiCorp. He served as a senior policy advisor to U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, and before that was legislative director and chief counsel to U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers of Arkansas. From 1988-1992 Glick was an associate with the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand.

He is a graduate of George Washington University and Georgetown Law.

Megan Decker

Chair, Public Utility Commission of Oregon
Salem, OR

Megan Decker was appointed to the Oregon Public Utility Commission by Governor Kate Brown in April 2017 and was promoted to Commission Chair in May 2018.  Chair Decker represents Oregon on the Energy Resources and the Environment Committee for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

Prior to her appointment, Decker honed her expertise in energy policy and regulation, through her work managing utility commission advocacy in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana as Chief Counsel for Renewable Northwest. Additionally, Decker served as Board Chair of the Northwest Energy Coalition, and worked as Assistant General Counsel with the Port of Portland, a land use lawyer in private practice, and a judicial clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Decker earned her law degree from the University of Washington, where she graduated with high honors.  She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with honors in Latin American Studies, from Stanford University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was the recipient of the Firestone Medal for Excellence in Research.


Panel 2

The Future of Public Power


Brian Skeahan

Managing Director, Community Renewable Energy Association 
The Dalles, OR

Brian Skeahan has an extensive background in public utilities management, energy policies processes, and renewable energy development. While working as General Manager of Cowlitz County Public Utility District in Longview, Washington for nearly 10 years, Skeahan oversaw the development of two large scale wind projects (White Creek Wind and Harvest Wind), as well as the reconstruction and re-licensing of the Swift #2 Hydroelectric project (fully owned by the PUD). As General Manager of Klickitat County Public Utility District, Skeahan partnered with Northern Wasco PUD to oversee construction of a fish-friendly addition to McNary Dam and the construction and marketing of a 10.5 MW landfill gas power plant.

Skeahan has served on the Executive Committee of the Public Power Council, on both the Wind Integration Steering Committee and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Taskforce (convened by Bonneville Power Administration, Northwest Power Planning Council and PacifiCorp), on the boards of directors for Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and Utility Wind Integration Group (national organization), alongside several other energy conservation and awareness groups in Oregon, Washington and Nebraska.

Skeahan holds a MS in Political Administration from University of Oregon and a BA in Political Science/Public Administration from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Scott Corwin

Executive Director, Public Power Council
Portland. OR

Scott Corwin came to the Public Power Council (PPC) as Executive Director in 2007.  Prior to joining PPC, he was a vice president at Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative.  Previously, Corwin worked for Portland General Electric, the Speaker’s Office of the Oregon House of Representatives, and in various positions with the United States Senate in Washington, D.C., including Legal Counsel to Senator Mark O. Hatfield and staff to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. He also worked for a law firm specializing in tax and pension legislation.

Corwin has been a frequent expert witness before Congress, and has been on numerous industry task forces, and charitable and community boards.  In addition, he serves on national advisory committees to the American Public Power Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Corwin graduated from Dartmouth College, and has a law degree from the University of Washington School of Law.  He is a member of the Oregon Bar Association and the District of Columbia Bar Association.


Jessica Matlock

Director, Government & External Affairs, Strategic Accounts and New Energy Initiatives, Snohomish PUD
Everett, WA

Jessica Matlock joined Snohomish County PUD in August 2006 as the Director of Government & External Affairs. Matlock also leads the PUD’s efforts to develop and operate solar energy, electrification of transportation, and demand response programs.

She previously worked as an energy and natural resources fellow for U.S. Senator Larry E. Craig (Idaho). Prior to that, Matlock held a number of positions with the Bonneville Power Administration, including that of power marketing specialist (in Washington, DC), constituent account executive for the State of Idaho, and fish and wildlife project manager. Matlock serves and has served on various boards/Councils related to hydro power, energy efficiency/conservation, cybersecurity, and fish and wildlife.

Matlock holds an MPA from Portland State University and a bachelor’s of science degree in chemical oceanography from the University of Washington.

 

Joel Cook

Senior Vice President, Power Services, Bonneville Power Administration
Portland, OR
Joel Cook is the Senior Vice President, Power Services, at Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), as of June 2017.   He oversees a multifaceted organization that is responsible for the acquisition and sales of wholesale and bulk power, generation asset management of the federal hydro system and one nuclear plant, energy efficiency, management of wholesale power contracts and rates, as well as business relationships with 142 retail utility customers, producing $3 billion in annual revenues, and management of an annual capital budget of over $200 million.              

Prior to June 2017, Cook was the Vice President of Retail Marketing & Western Trading at Talen Energy, one of the largest independent power producers in the United States.  At Talen he oversaw western marketing and trading operations, competitive retail electric and natural gas marketing as well as the oversite of 13 mechanical engineering and construction companies.

Cook has over 25 years’ experience in the wide range of wholesale and retail energy commodity sales, marketing, trading, supply, operations, and risk management. Commodity expertise includes electric, natural gas, coal, renewable energy, oil, petroleum products, and nuclear fuel.  He is skilled in interacting with diverse stakeholder groups at all levels to forge consensus on complex, often politically sensitive issues.  He has a solid grasp of the intricate and complex concepts required to provide an uninterrupted, cost-effective supply of power at both the retail and wholesale levels.

Cook has a Masters in Business Administration, concentration in finance, from the University of Montana Graduate School of Business and Bachelor of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering from the Montana College of Mineral Science & Technology.


Ty Johnson

Partner, Bracewell Law
Seattle, WA
(moderator)

Ty Johnson counsels domestic and international participants in the energy industry on regulatory matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Department of Energy, the Bonneville Power Administration, and other federal agencies.

As a former naval officer serving aboard a United States Navy submarine where he operated a nuclear power plant and conducted ship-board operations, Johnson brings a technical experience to the federal regulation of the transportation and transmission of energy. He leverages his naval managerial experience to lead clients through complex regulatory proceedings. In particular, he advises both marketers and transmission owners in matters involving FERC’s electric market based rate program and compliance with the Federal Power Act. Johnson advises clients participating in the electric energy markets and clients with renewable power projects.

Johnson has experience with regulatory proceedings involving the Bonneville Power Administration, including rate cases. He also counsels clients involved in regulatory litigation before FERC and in related appellate litigation. In addition, he counsels clients regarding FERC’s natural gas transportation regulations, including representing shippers and pipelines in FERC regulatory and transactional matters, such as tariff and certificate proceedings, compliance audits and enforcement proceedings. Johnson advises clients on numerous aspects of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports and exports, such as Department of Energy licensing and FERC proceedings, and he advises crude pipeline companies on compliance with the Interstate Commerce Act and related regulations.

He graduated from Yale University in 2000 and received his J.D, from Washington College of Law in 2010.


Observations


Ruchi Sadhir

Associate Director for Strategic Engagement & Development, Oregon Department of Energy
Salem, OR

Ruchi Sadhir is the Associate Director for Strategic Engagement & Development at the Oregon Department of Energy.  She most recently served as Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s energy and climate change policy advisor, where she participated in UN Climate Change Conferences in Paris and Bonn and several clean energy legislative accomplishments during the 2015, 2016, and 2017 sessions such as coal-to-clean, clean fuels, and an electric vehicle rebate.

Sadhir also served as senior policy advisor at the Oregon Public Utility Commission, working on a range of matters related to the energy industry, transition to cleaner sources of energy, and climate change.  Before her work in Oregon, Sadhir lived in Washington, D.C. where she helped lead development of renewable energy and electric transmission siting and permitting policy in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Interior, staffed the Obama Administration’s “Rapid Response Team for Transmission,” and was a law clerk at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Sadhir holds an L.L.M. in Environmental Law from the George Washington University Law School, a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and a B.S. from the University of Michigan College of Engineering.

 

Panel 3

When Will Storage Be A Difference Maker?


Gene Larson

Vice President, Energy Storage, SNC-Lavalin Clean Power
Bothell, WA

Gene Larson has 30+ years of experience in the Power Generation Industry including senior positions in engineering, project management, sales and project development. He currently leads SNCL’s deployment of utility scale energy storage technologies.

Larson has worked with SNCL Capital supporting early stage investment decisions in renewable and fossil fueled power projects. He reviews new technology development related to the Power Industry with the Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) of SNCL’s power sector business units looking for those technologies where SNCL can assist them on the path to commercial products.

 

Michael Manwaring

Executive Vice President, McMillen Jacobs Associates
Seattle, WA

Michael Manwaring is an Executive Vice President for McMillen Jacobs Associates, where he oversees the Water Resources Program, focusing on hydropower, water resources, and regulatory projects.   He has nearly 20 years of business development, project management and technical experience working for public and private clients at various locations throughout North America.

Manwaring is a passionate advocate for hydropower, pumped storage and energy storage technologies to integrate variable renewable energy sources to support clean, green energy development.  He currently serves as the Chair of the National Hydropower Association’s Pumped Storage Development Council (PSDC), as a Washington Director for the Northwest Hydroelectric Association (NWHA), and as a Board Member for the Hydropower Research Foundation (HRF).

 


Russ Weed

VP of Business Development and Marketing, UniEnergy Technologies
Mukilteo, WA

Russ Weed is a seasoned business executive and corporate lawyer with a track record of accomplishment at UET, GE, Labtec, and AV-rated Seattle and Portland law firms. Weed leads UET‘s business development and strategic activities in North America, Europe, and globally. In that role, he is responsible for strategic alliances with channel, product, and other partners; optimizing product management; negotiations and contracting; mergers and acquisitions; fundraising efforts; and media activities. Weed is general counsel for UET as well.

With 12 years of experience as the VP of Business Development and company counsel at technology and industrial companies, as well as 10 years as a corporate attorney at law firms, Weed has led and been part of the team in the strategizing, preparation, negotiation, closing, and execution of a wide range of deals and business matters, including mergers and acquisitions, licensing, corporate financing, formations and funding, intellectual property, and commercial contracts. With broad international experience, particularly in Asia and Europe, Weed also has expertise in government relations, employment, compliance, trade regulation, and risk management. He has managed corporate teams and cross-functional processes. Weed is personally committed to identify and accomplish the strategic and legal objectives of the business and its people, and to make large-scale clean energy a reality.


William Holmes

Partner, K&L Gates
Portland, OR
(moderator)

William Holmes is a partner in the firm’s Portland office. He focuses his practice in the area of energy and infrastructure projects and transactions with an emphasis on wind energy, solar energy, hydroelectric power, geothermal, biomass, natural gas, carbon offsets, and energy storage. His experience extends into corporate transactions, water law, and real estate law. Holmes also advises clients in negotiating major power purchase agreements, acquisition and sale of energy projects, EPC agreements, O&M agreements, fuel supply, and energy project development agreements.

Banquet Program

Rep. Jeff Morris

Member, Washington State House of Representatives
Olympia, WA

Rep. Jeff Morris is recognized as a preeminent source of critical thought on policy issues in the public and private sectors in the areas of energy, critical infrastructure, technology and commercialization.

He’s been named one of the 13 most Tech Savvy Legislators in the United States by Governing Magazine, selected by his North American peers to lead two bi-partisan policy organizations, currently Co-Chairs the NCSL National Energy Task Force, co-founded Northwest Energy Angels (now Element 8) and created the Legislative Energy Horizon Institute.

Morris owns his own business, Energy Horizon Corporation, where his private sector work specializes in consulting with cleantech companies in commercializing their intellectual property as well as consulting on general energy projects.

Morris, a fourth-generation native of the San Juan Islands, represents Washington State’s 40th Legislative District.  He has served on the legislature since 1997.

Morris received NIPPC’s Vito Stagliano Award for Excellence in Electricity Power in 2008.


View from FERC

Steve Rodgers

Director, Division of Electric Power Regulation – West, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC

The OEMR-West Division Steve Rodgers leads is responsible for processing and addressing the technical aspects of all FERC-jurisdictional electric rate filings for the Western U.S. In addition, the Division is responsible for processing a host of filings for all regions of the U.S. including electric market issues.

Rodgers, a member of the Federal government’s Senior Executive Service, has been at FERC for over 20 years, working on both the commission’s litigation and advisory staff. He has extensive experience in the areas of corporate regulation (including mergers), market-based rates, qualifying facilities, and electric tariff and rate policy.

Rodgers has a B.A. in Economics from Washington & Lee University and an M.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia.


State Of The Industry Address

Robert Kahn

Executive Director, NIPPC
Seattle, WA

Robert Kahn, Ed.D. serves as the Executive Director of the Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition (NIPPC). He is also a Principal of Robert D. Kahn & Company LLC, a strategic communications agency specializing in securing public acceptance of new, often controversial technology.

Since its incorporation in 2002, NIPPC, under Kahn’s leadership, has championed the competitive paradigm in the Northwest’s electric power industry. The Coalition advocates for independent power producers, marketers and transcos in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. It regularly intervenes before the three states’ regulatory commissions and engages with elected leadership in each capital. NIPPC represents its members’ interests before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Bonneville Power Administration.

In leading NIPPC, Kahn manages all of its regulatory advocacy. In addition, he organizes NIPPC’s acclaimed annual conference at Alderbrook Resort in Union, Washington. He produced and directed “The Risk Takers: Powering Our Future,” a short, compelling documentary on independent power and he edits JUICE, NIPPC’s e-newsletter. Kahn is a “go to” resource for the national trade press and Northwest’s largest daily newspapers.

After completing a B.A. at Colgate University, Kahn began his career as a staff member for the architect/philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller. He later joined the Program for the Study of the Future at the University of Massachusetts School of Education where he completed a doctorate in 1982. He served two years in California Governor Jerry Brown’s Administration as Public Information Officer for the Office of Appropriate Technology.

He has edited two books and authored numerous articles for such publications as: Electricity Journal; New Energy; Technology Review; Windpower Monthly; The Futurist; Water Environment & Technology; Independent Energy.



David Danner

Chairman, Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission
Olympia, WA

Governor Jay Inslee appointed David W. Danner chairman of the Utilities and Transportation Commission in February 2013.

Danner had been the agency’s executive director since 2005 and secretary since 2008. Before that, he served as executive policy advisor to Washington Gov. Gary Locke on energy, telecommunications, finance and elections issues. In 2004, Gov. Locke named Danner to the state Pollution Control Hearings Board and Shoreline Hearings Board, where he served before moving to the commission.

Danner has also been a telecommunications attorney in private practice, counsel to the Washington Senate Energy and Utilities Committee, and senior policy advisor at the Washington State Department of Information Services.

Danner currently serves on the Energy Resources and Environment (ERE) and International Committees of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). He is a member of the State Technology Services Board, the Board of Directors of the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI), and the Advisory Council of the Center for Public Utilities at the New Mexico State University College of Business.

Danner has a B.A. from Columbia University, an M.A. in communications from the University of Washington, and a law degree from George Washington University.