Releases and Statements


LPPC Statement On Passage Of H.R. 1873

Washington, D.C., June 20, 2017

The Large Public Power Council (LPPC), which represents 26 of the nation’s largest public power systems, applauds the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 1873, the Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act.

The common-sense changes in H.R. 1873, which update the requirements for managing vegetation near our systems, are much needed.  The Act allows our utilities to more efficiently remove hazardous trees and other vegetation on transmission line rights of way and decrease safety risks. 

Most importantly, H.R. 1873 makes it easier for LPPC’s member utilities to continue to comply with the requirements of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, as well as with the applicable Reliability Standards established by NERC – while providing affordable, reliable electric energy to our customers.

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LPPC Statement On Technology Neutral Tax Reform

Washington, D.C., May 4, 2017

As the largest consumer-owned utilities in the United States, Large Public Power Council (LPPC) members are focused first and foremost on providing reliable and affordable electricity for the customers and communities we serve across the country. That is why LPPC generally supports federal policies that allow for regional differences and local governance, encourage innovation and flexible compliance, and promote a resource-neutral, balanced energy portfolio.

LPPC is encouraged by Senator Wyden’s efforts to develop tax legislation that creates performance-based energy tax incentives for investments in clean energy that are technology-neutral. We are also pleased to see that, as currently written, the Clean Energy for America Act includes a provision that would provide an incentive for public power similar to the tax incentives proposed for investor owned utilities and other developers of clean and renewable energy facilities. These incentives will positively affect LPPC members’ ability to ensure reliable service at affordable rates.

LPPC members seek out and utilize financial tools that allow them to provide electricity, fuel and supplies that keep energy prices at stable, customer-friendly levels. To that end, LPPC has worked for many years to obtain an effective incentive for clean energy facilities that is comparable to the tax credits available to investor-owned utilities and other owners of clean energy facilities. Senator Wyden’s proposal is a promising step forward. We look forward to working together with Senator Wyden and his colleagues as the legislative process unfolds. .

 

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LPPC Statement On Energy Independence Executive Order

March 28, 2017

Today, President Trump signed an executive order to reexamine our nation’s current climate change policies and positions.  This order provides an opportunity for the nation to develop new approaches, measures, and policies for advancing the climate change issues in a reasonable and balanced manner. 

As an organization of not-for-profit public power systems that are dedicated to serving our local communities and doing so in a manner that ensures the protection of the environment, the Large Public Power Council (LPPC) looks forward to working with the Trump Administration to review and revise those policies and positions in a thoughtful and effective way.  Most importantly, such replacement regulations should be closely linked to business principles that focus on accomplishing the desired environmental goal in the most cost-effective manner possible, while maintaining the reliability of the electricity grid.  Furthermore, LPPC believes climate and environmental policies should consider costs and technology; specifically, statutes and agency regulations controlling greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants for the power sector should be phased in, be technologically feasible, recognize regional differences and be cost-effective for consumers.  Key elements necessary for success include a clear definition of the results desired, as well as flexibility provided to the industry to define the best strategies to accomplish the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions nationally at the least cost to consumers.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2016
Contact: Lawrence Pacheco
lawrence.pacheco@fticonsulting.com
(202) 346-8855

 

Washington, D.C. — The Large Public Power Council (LPPC) Board of Directors has selected Mark B. Bonsall, General Manager and CEO of Salt River Project (SRP) in Phoenix, Arizona, as its next chairman. Bonsall will serve a two-year term as Chairman, and Pat Pope, President and CEO of Nebraska Public Power District, will serve as Vice Chairman.

 

Since joining SRP in 1977, Bonsall has spent his entire career serving one of the largest public power utilities in the U.S. For 38 years, he has gained extensive experience with power generation, delivery and customer service in the electric utility industry.

 

“I am honored to serve as the next chairman of LPPC. In the midst of great change, public power must continue to find innovative ways to achieve its number one priority: delivering reliable and affordable power to customers,” said Bonsall. “Maintaining reliability of the grid and meeting evolving customer expectations that lie ahead will require us to educate policymakers on how current and proposed policies impact these critical goals.”

 

“Mark Bonsall is a leader and seasoned executive with the institutional, economics and regulatory knowledge to lead LPPC in a changing policy landscape,” said John Di Stasio, President of LPPC. “As a CEO of a large system in the southwest, he has first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing a transitioning industry, and he will use his experience to help steer LPPC and advocate for policies that will allow public power systems to build utilities of the future while delivering reliable, affordable power.”

 

Bonsall brings a depth of experience to his role as chairman. As a current board member, he understands the needs of LPPC members who represent the 26 largest, non-profit public power systems that serve more than 30 million customers in some of the country’s largest metropolitan areas.

 

Bonsall has served SRP in a variety of capacities including Treasurer, Associate General Manager and Chief Financial Executive before being tapped as General Manager and CEO in April 2011. He has also served as a member of the Task Force on Electric System Reliability, by invitation of the U.S. Secretary of Energy. Bonsall is also a former board member and chairman of the Western Systems Coordinating Council, and former member of the Board of Trustees of the North American Electric Reliability Council. He has sat on the Issuer Advisory Committee to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board and on the Board of the American Public Power Association.

 

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LPPC represents 26 of the largest locally governed and operated not-for-profit electric systems in the United States. Our member utilities are located in 13 states and Puerto Rico and own and operate more than 71,000 megawatts of generation capacity and more than 30,000 circuit miles of high voltage transmission lines. LPPC member utilities supply electricity to some of the largest cities in the country including Los Angeles, Seattle, Omaha, Phoenix, Sacramento, Jacksonville, San Antonio, Orlando and Austin.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2015
Contact: Lawrence Pacheco
lawrence.pacheco@fticonsulting.com
(202) 346-8855

 

Washington, D.C. — The Large Public Power Council (LPPC) released the following statement from President John Di Stasio today regarding the final rule on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan:

 

“The final rule for the Clean Power Plan released by EPA today is expected to result in a 32 percent reduction of carbon dioxide from existing coal, oil, and gas electric generating units by 2030 compared to 2005 emissions. Power sector emissions are already 15 percent lower than in 2005. During this transition and implementation process, we urge the EPA to ensure that reliability and affordability are not compromised. We are encouraged by the two-year extension for the start of mandatory reductions; it is essential that states and utilities have enough time and flexibility to comply with the rule. Additionally, we are pleased EPA removed under-construction nuclear from state target calculations.

 

“During the rulemaking process, LPPC advocated for the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to review the State Implementation Plans (SIPs) with respect to potential impacts to grid reliability and report on their findings to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  This would allow any areas of concern to be highlighted and for the EPA to allow additional time for compliance. Maintaining reliability of the electric grid and allowing for the most cost-effective implementation of the rule are our highest priorities. We are disappointed the final rule does not include this assurance mechanism, but encouraged that EPA recognized the importance of this issue with its release of the EPA-DOE-FERC Coordination on Implementation of the Clean Power Plan document.

 

“The nation is managing an increasingly diverse generation resource portfolio. It is essential for federal agencies and utilities to work together to protect the security and reliability of the electric grid. LPPC members continue to work to provide clean energy at a reasonable cost to our customers. We hope we can work together with the EPA to find paths to ensure that investments in clean-energy infrastructure don’t sacrifice the affordable and reliable electricity we currently provide to customers. As states develop their plans to implement emission reduction requirements, the EPA should continue to work closely with FERC and NERC to provide the necessary reliability review. LPPC is continuing to evaluate the rule and its implications.”

 

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LPPC represents 25 of the largest locally governed and operated not-for-profit electric systems in the United States. Our member utilities are located in 13 states and Puerto Rico and own and operate more than 71,000 megawatts of generation capacity and more than 30,000 circuit miles of high voltage transmission lines. LPPC member utilities supply electricity to some of the largest cities in the country including Los Angeles, Seattle, Omaha, Phoenix, Sacramento, Jacksonville, San Antonio, Orlando and Austin.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2015
Contact: Lawrence Pacheco
lawrence.pacheco@fticonsulting.com
(202) 346-8855

 

Washington, D.C. —Steve Wright, General Manager of Chelan County Public Utility District No. 1 and Large Public Power Council (LPPC) board member, testified today before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) compliance reform and on the need for reliability assessments in advance of new federal or state energy regulations. Wright also addressed the state of reliability standards, security challenges and Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Version 5 implementation and compliance challenges. His comments were heard at a FERC reliability technical conference on policy issues related to the reliability of the bulk-power system.

 

Wright told FERC that NERC’s current “steady-state” in respect to its FERC-approved mandatory and enforceable reliability standards has been a welcome change from past years and that achieving stability will enable industry subject matter experts to focus their attention on responding to existing standards more effectively and efficiently.

 

“NERC and stakeholders should collectively address remaining reliability gaps but the highest priority now is the completion of a risk-based approach to reliability compliance and enforcement.” Wright stated.

 

In his testimony Wright stated that NERC’s Risk-Based Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program appears to be sound.

 

“The program should not be one-size-fits-all. By starting with a risk assessment at the Regional Entity level and then working down to individualized assessments for registered entities, NERC appears to be taking actions that will lead to an approach tailored to individual registered entities.” He also suggested that the extension of audit cycles for appropriate entities would result in significant savings without compromising reliability.

 

In regards to security challenges, Wright told FERC that LPPC strongly supports the Electric Sub-Sector Coordinating Council process. Though, he noted that one area of improvement would be greater speed in sharing actionable information.

 

Wright commended NERC’s CIP Version 5, stating that the key to the new approach lies in giving registered entities flexibility in evaluating the risks they face and needed responses, enabling them to take into account their unique circumstances. He noted that LPPC has concerns regarding the transition from Version 3 to Version 5 and warned that forceful NERC compliance guidance may be altering the meaning of approved standards.

 

Finally, Wright spoke on the importance of reliability reviews in future federal and state regulatory proposals in order to maintain security of the electric grid and affordable power prices. Because of NERC’s unparalleled core competence on electric reliability matters and its unbiased approach, he stressed the importance of involvement from FERC and NERC as future regulations are considered.

 

Click here for Wright’s full testimony from today’s hearing.

 

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LPPC represents 25 of the largest locally governed and operated not-for-profit electric systems in the United States. Our member utilities are located in 13 states and Puerto Rico and own and operate more than 71,000 megawatts of generation capacity and more than 30,000 circuit miles of high voltage transmission lines. LPPC member utilities supply electricity to some of the largest cities in the country including Los Angeles, Seattle, Omaha, Phoenix, Sacramento, Jacksonville, San Antonio, Orlando and Austin.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2015
Contact: Lawrence Pacheco
lawrence.pacheco@fticonsulting.com
(202) 346-8855

 

Washington, D.C. — Large Public Power Council (LPPC) President John Di Stasio testified on Capitol Hill this morning on the importance of raising the standing of reliability reviews in future federal regulatory proposals in order to maintain security of the electric grid, incorporate new energy sources into the electric system, and control costs for consumers. Di Stasio was a witness at today’s Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, “Discussion Draft Addressing Energy Reliability and Security,” where he spoke to the necessity of an upfront reliability assurance mechanism as the grid faces new challenges and opportunities.

 

“The electric grid is in the midst of a transition to a cleaner energy supply mix and a more dynamic electric system. Today, roughly 36 percent of LPPC member-owned generation is carbon-free, and this number will continue to increase in upcoming years,” said Di Stasio. “Yet as utilities work to reduce their environmental footprint, they are also looking to ensure reliable and affordable electricity for their consumers. An appropriate upfront reliability assurance mechanism will serve to meet this balance of reliability, affordability and environmental stewardship.”

 

Di Stasio also said raising the standing of reliability reviews in future federal regulatory proposals will help support the future and changing bulk electric system.

 

“By developing a reliability assurance mechanism and approaching reliability concerns prospectively and periodically, federal agencies can help ensure the future security, cost, and environmental performance of the electric grid. We have the option to do this now, ensuring the grid continues to operate with minimal disruption and at a reasonable cost to the consumer, or we will be forced to rely on after the fact corrective measures that will cost time, money, and energy down the road. The choice is clear,” he concluded.

 

Click here for Di Stasio’s full testimony from this morning’s hearing.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2015
Contact: Lawrence Pacheco
lawrence.pacheco@fticonsulting.com
(202) 346-8855

 

Washington, D.C. — Large Public Power Council (LPPC) President John Di Stasio today asserted that State Implementation Plans (SIPs) for the EPA’s clean power plan (CPP) should be reviewed by both the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) before they are finalized in order to maintain reliability of the electric grid.  DiStasio was a speaker at FERC’s conference in Washington, D.C. addressing the reliability impact of the proposed EPA rule.

 

Di Stasio advocated bringing NERC’s expertise to bear in evaluating the CPP. He commented that NERC has an obligation to undertake reliability assessments under the law and FERC has an important role in reviewing this work, yet currently, neither NERC nor FERC have identified roles under EPA’s proposed regulation in connection with the development or implementation of the CPP.

 

“NERC and FERC must have a central role in evaluating SIPs, or any EPA-devised plans governing state-based activity, before they are finalized and approved by the EPA. I strongly believe that NERC should have ‘first chair’ responsibility. NERC is uniquely situated to perform a comprehensive analysis of these issues and is best positioned to do so from an unbiased perspective, without promoting a specific agenda. We ask FERC to endorse this role,” said Di Stasio.

 

Di Stasio acknowledged that FERC’s role is also critical. It will be important for FERC to review and express its judgment with respect to NERC’s work, and to the extent it agrees with NERC’s assessment, “the Commission’s sign-off will carry a good deal of weight as the EPA considers any necessary adjustments to assure reliability.”

 

Following approval of the state plans, LPPC supports ongoing evaluation of the plans as they evolve so that they reflect the study of interregional reliability impacts.

 

Di Stasio also detailed several LPPC member concerns associated with CPP implementation including shortcomings in natural gas pipeline capacity sufficient to serve expected demand during the compliance period; concern regarding the vulnerability of off-shore electric transmission that would be needed to accommodate the development of offshore wind to satisfy requirements; and concern regarding the lead time for these and other needed transmission facilities.

 

Click here for Di Stasio’s full testimony.​

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2014
Contact: Lawrence Pacheco
lawrence.pacheco@fticonsulting.com
(202) 346-8855

 

Petition for en banc rehearing says consumers should pay only for new transmission from developers from whom they take service

 

Washington, D.C. — The Large Public Power Council (LPPC) today petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to reconsider an earlier decision by a three-judge panel that upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Order 1000, which mandates changes in the way regions and utilities plan and pay for new transmission projects.

 

The petition for an en banc rehearing focuses on the portions of the court decision that address the allocation of costs for new transmission facilities. LPPC argues that Order 1000 will require its members’ customers to pay for the costs of new transmission projects from which they receive no service. This will likely raise power prices for millions of Americans.

 

The petition states that the Court’s opinion “endorses FERC’s unprecedented determination that it has the authority to provide transmission developers…funding for their projects from entities…with whom they have no business relationship and to whom they do not provide service.”

 

“The FERC Order 1000 case is all about protecting end-use consumers, specifically from paying the cost of transmission service that they do not use,” said LPPC President John DiStasio. “LPPC has no objection to FERC’s determination that utilities should participate in regional planning. In fact, large public power systems have a long history of participating in planning activities and have every interest in working with FERC to ensure systems continue to be planned adequately.”

 

LPPC is one of the 45 petitioners that challenged the commission’s Order 1000 in South Carolina Public Service Authority vs. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

 

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LPPC represents 26 of the largest locally owned and operated not-for-profit electric systems in the United States. Our member utilities are located in 12 states and Puerto Rico and own and operate more than 86,000 megawatts of generation capacity and more than 35,000 circuit miles of high voltage transmission lines. LPPC member utilities supply electricity to some of the largest cities in the country including Los Angeles, Seattle, Omaha, Phoenix, Sacramento, Jacksonville, San Antonio, Orlando and Austin.

 

To view the petition click here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2014
Contact: Lawrence Pacheco
lawrence.pacheco@fticonsulting.com
(202) 346-8855

 

Washington, D.C. — The Large Public Power Council (LPPC) has selected Sue Sheridan as General Counsel and Policy Advisor for the organization. Sheridan, an independent senior policy consultant at Van Ness Feldman law firm, has more than 30 years of experience in energy and environmental law, with an extensive background in legislative and regulatory work in government. She will succeed Robert Nordhaus, who will step down from his current position at the end of 2014.

 

LPPC Chairman Bill Gaines stated: “Sue’s strong legal and public policy expertise and political sophistication have earned her the respect of policymakers and our peers in the electric utility industry. We have confidence that Sue will be a great advocate for public power customers and will seek policies that allow us to build needed infrastructure and provide reliable service at affordable rates.”

 

“I am honored to be selected for this important role at a moment of transformational change in the industry. I look forward to working with LPPC as it navigates the various policy and regulatory issues that it faces and to advocating for the interests of public power customers,” said Sheridan, who will continue her affiliation with Van Ness Feldman in Washington, DC.

 

Sheridan has counseled a wide variety of clients from Fortune 500 companies to environmental organizations. She is the President and Chief Counsel of the Coalition for Fair Transmission Policy.

 

In addition, she served as Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality, Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983-2008. During her time with the committee, Sheridan developed expertise in electricity regulation, nuclear energy and waste disposal issues, natural gas, and environmental matters.

 

Prior to her work with the Energy and Commerce Committee, Sheridan worked on the staff of the White House Domestic Policy Council and as a staff attorney at the U.S. Department of Energy.

 

Sheridan is a second strategic hire that LPPC has made in the last two months as it steps up efforts to enhance its presence in Washington, DC and engage on federal energy policy. In June, LPPC selected John Di Stasio, former chief executive officer of Sacramento Municipal Utility District, as its new president.

 

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LPPC represents 26 of the largest locally owned and operated not-for-profit electric systems in the United States. Our member utilities are located in 12 states and Puerto Rico and own and operate more than 86,000 megawatts of generation capacity and more than 35,000 circuit miles of high voltage transmission lines. LPPC member utilities supply electricity to some of the largest cities in the country including Los Angeles, Seattle, Omaha, Phoenix, Sacramento, Jacksonville, San Antonio, Orlando and Austin.