Releases and Announcements


“Since FERC issued its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking several months ago, we have been working together on a set of common principles, believing that we can simultaneously plan transmission facilities that will integrate new renewable resources and improve grid reliability, flexibility and resilience, while doing so in a cost-conscious way.  We are reviewing the action FERC has taken today and anticipate that it will provide us the space to continue to move in this direction.”  John Di Stasio, President of the Large Power Council, and Rob Gramlich, Executive Director of Americans for a Clean Energy Grid.

Washington D.C. [March 9, 2022] – The Large Public Power Council (LPPC) is pleased to announce Jackie Sargent, General Manager of Austin Energy, and Tom Falcone, CEO of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), have been elected as the organization’s Chair and Vice-Chair, respectfully. Sargent and Falcone will join LPPC President John Di Stasio in advocating for policies that support America’s largest public power systems in Washington, D.C. 

Sargent has a 34-year history of electric utility experience and is a proven advocate for public power, serving as General Manager at Austin Energy since 2016. Sargent previously served as Senior Vice President of Power Supply and Market Operations at Austin Energy before joining Platte River Power Authority in Fort Collins, Colorado, as General Manager and CEO. She also served as the former Vice President of Power Supply and Renewables Integration for Black Hills Corporation in South Dakota. 

“I’m proud to begin my tenure as LPPC Chair and advocate on behalf of public power,” said Sargent. “Public power has been innovating and adapting to meet the needs of our communities for decades. But the challenges we face are increasingly complex, and utilities across the country are committing significant resources to address climate change and modernize our electric grid. Now, more than ever, we need the support of our federal policymakers. I’m looking forward to helping share the public power story with policymakers in Washington, D.C.”

Newly elected Vice-Chair, Tom Falcone has led LIPA, the third-largest publicly owned electric utility in the U.S., as CEO since 2015. 

“It is an honor to be elected as Vice-Chair of LPPC,” said Falcone. “I look forward to working with Jackie to advance the priorities of our nation’s largest public power systems.”

John Di Stasio, president of LPPC, looks forward to advocating for public power in Washington, D.C., alongside both Sargent and Falcone. 

“LPPC has been an instrumental voice for public power in Washington, D.C. since 1987, and I look forward to working with Jackie and Tom as we help to inform federal policy,” Di Stasio said. “As our industry undergoes transformational change and Washington continues to debate critical issues, Jackie and Tom will bring insightful perspective to the table. Jackie leads one of the country’s most innovative utilities, and Tom is a leading voice on tax policy, a crucial issue for public power as the industry looks to invest in new technologies to decarbonize and modernize the electric grid.”  

Sargent succeeds Dan Sullivan, President and CEO of Grand River Dam Authority, who served as LPPC Chair since 2020. Sullivan led LPPC through the Coronavirus pandemic, offering member utilities critical counsel and support as the pandemic impacted the nation. 

“It has been an honor to serve as chair of LPPC over the past two years,” said Sullivan. “I worked side-by-side with Jackie to lead LPPC through an unprecedented time in our country’s history. Her tenacity and dedication to public power are exemplary, and I look forward to watching her move the needle in Washington on behalf of our industry.”

 

LPPC is pleased to see the EPA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) that reaffirms the finding that rules for coal- and oil-fired steam generating units are appropriate and necessary. The rule would ensure that the existing emissions standards for MATS would remain in effect and unchanged. EPA finalized MATS in 2012 and required sources to meet emissions reduction standards by 2016. The rule, along with other changes in the power sector, has significantly reduced hazardous air pollutants from power plants – mercury emissions alone were reduced by more than 90% since 2010.

In response to a January 2021 executive order, the proposed rule also solicits information on the cost and performance of new or improved technologies that control hazardous air pollutants, improved methods of operation, and risk related information for EPA to re-evaluate the Residual Risk and Technology Review (RTR) for MATS. LPPC looks forward to working with the EPA in any reevaluation of the RTR determination that the agency may undertake.

LPPC, jointly with other electricity trade associations, labor unions, and business groups, has long supported this outcome for the reconsideration of the MATS rule. 

The Large Public Power Council (LPPC) today urged Congress to prioritize measures that encouraged investment in public sector infrastructure in upcoming recovery and relief legislation. As the economic toll of the pandemic continues to impact the nation, infrastructure investment will help to stimulate economic recovery by boosting local jobs & revitalizing communities both large and small.

LPPC called on Congress to:

  • Restore advance refunding for municipal bonds
  • Authorize the issuance of new Build America Bonds and repeal sequestration payments for existing bonds
  • Provide public power entities the opportunity to directly monetize renewable energy credits through comparable incentives
  • Support funding for projects that improve the resiliency, performance, and efficiency of the electricity grid
  • Support the construction of EV infrastructure

Through these measures, Congress can empower local public power utilities and the communities they serve by reducing costs, easing the burden of existing debt, freeing up funding for public infrastructure projects.

Read the letter to Congress here.

LPPC Statement on Clean Energy Innovation and Deployment Act of 2020

Washington D.C., July 9, 2020

Environmental stewardship, including the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, is an important responsibility of public power. Federal environmental laws and regulations should ensure that rules are cost-effective, rely on demonstrated technology, do not undermine electric system reliability, account for regional differences including the diversity of generation sources, and provide workable implementation schedules.

The Large Public Power Council (LPPC) is encouraged by the efforts of Representative DeGette to establish a federal framework for the electric sector, which could be included in an economy-wide strategy, which strives to achieve these objectives in facilitating a transition to a clean energy economy.  We are especially encouraged by the fact that Representative DeGette’s Clean Energy Innovation and Deployment Act of 2020 calls for achieving net carbon dioxide reductions through the accelerated deployment of all types of low- or zero-emitting generation sources (not just renewable energy), provides credit for the carbon dioxide reductions achieved from natural gas generation, and includes substantive federal financial support, accessible to public power, for the accelerated demonstration and deployment of wide-range of emerging and innovative clean energy technologies. 

LPPC appreciates the efforts of Representative DeGette and her staff in getting input from all interested stakeholders, including LPPC, and we look forward to continuing our efforts in the crafting of effective legislation for facilitating a transition to a clean energy economy.

GRDA’s Dan Sullivan and Austin Energy’s Jackie Sargent Newly Elected to LPPC Leadership

WASHINGTON (May 27, 2020) – Recently elected as the Large Public Power Council’s newest Chair and Vice-Chair, Dan Sullivan, President and CEO of Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA), and Jackie Sargent, General Manager of Austin Energy, offer their expertise and insight on how utilities have kept the nation’s lights on through the coronavirus pandemic as well as how public power is at the forefront of supporting America’s reopening plans. 

Sullivan has served as President and CEO of GRDA since 2011. Under his leadership, GRDA operates a diverse portfolio of assets to generate, transmit and sell electricity to Oklahoma municipalities, electric cooperatives and industrial customers across a four-state footprint. Before joining GRDA, Sullivan served as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives for seven years and practiced law in Tulsa for 23 years. 

“LPPC has been advocating for public power for over 30 years, and I’m honored to serve as the organization’s newest Chairman,” said Sullivan. “As we look to reopen America and stimulate our economy, advancing issues critical to the electric power industry has never been more important. I’m excited to work with LPPC to ensure public power has the tools we need to continue delivering reliable power to communities across our nation.” 

A 32-year veteran of the utility industry, Sargent also joins the LPPC leadership team as Vice-Chair. Prior to serving Austin Energy as General Manager, Sargent was the General Manager and CEO of Platte River Power Authority in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

 “I’m thrilled to join LPPC’s leadership team alongside Dan and John,” said Sargent. “I’ve always been a passionate advocate for public power, and I’m ready to progress the issues that matter most to our industry as LPPC’s new Vice-Chair.”

LPPC President John Di Stasio has high praise for LPPC’s new leaders. 

“Dan and Jackie are CEOs of the highest caliber and strong advocates for public power,” said Di Stasio. “As leaders of major public power systems, serving wholesale customers and public consumers across both urban and rural communities, Dan and Jackie bring unparalleled expertise to the table. They understand how important public policy is to the delivery of affordable and reliable electricity, and I look forward to working with them as we continue to advocate for our industry in Washington, D.C.” 

Sullivan succeeds Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) President and CEO Pat Pope, who has served as LPPC’s Chair since 2017. 
“Pat Pope has been a tremendous Chair, contributing significantly to LPPC by strengthening our policy positions and advocacy. I thank him for his service, not only to our organization but to the greater public power industry,” Di Stasio added. 

To learn more about LPPC’s policy priorities, visit http://www.lppc.org/policy.

LPPC represents 27 of the largest locally governed and operated not-for-profit electric systems in the United States. Our member utilities are headquartered in 13 states and Puerto Rico, and own and operate more than 72,000 megawatts of generation capacity and more than 30,000 circuit miles of high voltage transmission lines. LPPC member utilities supply electricity to 21 states and some of the largest cities in the country including Los Angeles, Seattle, Omaha, Phoenix, Sacramento, Jacksonville, San Antonio, Orlando and Austin.

COVID-19: LPPC Urges Congress to Support Public Power Communities

April 20, 2020

In a letter to Congressional leadership, the Large Public Power Council (LPPC) appealed for greater federal support as members continue to provide reliable electricity to American homes and support their communities through the pandemic.

Reliable power is now more important than ever. It’s the common thread keeping Americans connected to family, friends, and work. While LPPC members have policies and procedures in place to ensure reliable power, they now must take additional steps to protect their workforce and assets, as well as support their communities for an undetermined period of time under constantly changing and challenging circumstances.

It’s crucial that LPPC members have access to the tools, flexibility, and liquidity to meet the challenges of this unprecedented time.

Specifically, LPPC urges additional support to low-income customers, assistance to ensure the costs for keeping essential employees on the job are not borne solely by customers, updates to the tax code to ensure public power’s access to financing, and support for continued infrastructure development.

Public power plays a key role in the response to COVID-19, and LPPC strongly urges Congress to ensure that support for our members is included in any future legislation considered in response to the pandemic.

Read the letter to Congress here. 

LPPC Urges Congress to Consider Public Financing Tools in any COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Bill

March 19, 2020

The Large Public Power Council (LPPC) co-signed a letter to Congress on March 12 calling on lawmakers to include temporary extension and permanent restoration of proven, financing tools as they draft legislation to provide our nation with economic relief during this time of crisis.

Specifically, LPPC urges Congress to restore advance refund tax-exempt municipal bonds which will free up billions of dollars that public power- as well as many other public entities such as state and local governments, hospitals, and schools - can spend on largescale projects in communities across America.

LPPC also calls on Congress to restore and expand the use of direct pay bonds and end their exposure to sequestration. This would immediately create an attractive investment option for thousands of local projects.

While the full impact the COVID-19 virus will have on the economy remains uncertain at this time, a major infrastructure plan could certainly create a stimulating effect in the near term. As operators of critical infrastructure, LPPC members will be on the frontlines of rebuilding our local economies and we would support action taken by the federal government to enable public power entities with access to these financing tools.

 

Read the letter to Congress here. 

Pat Pope Stepping Down as NPPD President, CEO
The Second Longest Serving NPPD President and CEO

Columbus, Neb., February 13, 2020
With a career of more than 40 years with Nebraska Public Power District, including the past nine as President and Chief Executive Officer, Pat Pope announced during Thursday’s Board of Directors meeting he plans to step down as President and CEO.

He expects to remain available to assist with transition and continue working on the District’s generation options for the future and rural e-connectivity initiatives.

In making the announcement to the Board Pope said, “I didn’t know how long I would stay with NPPD when I began working here.  As the years went by. the opportunities kept coming. I stayed with the District and learned to appreciate what public power really means to our customers and the state.” He acknowledged that 20 years into his 40 year journey he was fortunate enough to be promoted to Vice President, and the electric industry began to deregulate and decarbonization became an issue. His tenure as President and CEO is the second longest in the 50 year history of NPPD, with Durwood ‘Woody’ Hill serving 12 years from 1970 to 1982.

“It has been a pleasure working with Pat and I wish him and his wife Jackie the best in the coming years,” said Board Chair Barry DeKay. “Some may be surprised with this announcement but Pat has been talking to the executive committee of the Board for the past few months to ensure a smooth leadership transition.”

DeKay explained that as a result of those conversations, Tom Kent, currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer has been in discussions with the executive committee of the Board to replace Pope.  It is expected that the executive committee of the Board will recommend hiring Kent at  the March Board of Directors meeting.

“Today the District enjoys a strong financial position, wholesale and retail rates are stable and very competitive, and our operations are running well,” he commented.  In looking at key developments in recent years under his leadership he pointed out that retail rates have remained stable going into a seventh consecutive year and wholesale rates for the past three years, Cooper Nuclear Station has earned excellence ratings from the Institute of Nuclear Plant Operators two of the past three evaluation cycles, a conversion project to burn hydrogen rather than coal as a fuel at Sheldon Station is currently in the design phase, and Gerald Gentleman Station continues to be one of the most cost effective power plants in the country. Additionally, NPPD’s carbon free energy mix for Nebraska customers has averaged roughly 60 percent over the past five years, reaching 68 percent in 2019.

“And while I know the future will be different, a solid foundation has been laid to help ensure the District’s ongoing success,” he added  “After nine years as president and chief executive officer, now seems like a good time for me move on to the next chapter in my life. Tomorrow is promised to no one, and Jackie and I have lots bucket list items to begin checking off.”

“I want to thank the Board and the entire NPPD team for giving me one of the best experiences an old Nebraska farm boy could have hoped for. NPPD is a great organization made up of wonderful people and I have no doubt it will serve the residents of Nebraska well for many years to come.”

Pope graduated  from the University of Nebraska in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and earned a master’s degree in Business Administration in 1995. He joined NPPD in December 1979 as an Electrical Engineer and has also held the positions of Distribution Planning Engineer, District Operations Superintendent, Regional Operations Superintendent, Regional Manager, Energy Control Center Manager and Vice President of Transmission Services.

He was appointed Vice President of Energy Delivery in October of 2003 followed in November of 2004 being named Vice President of Energy Supply. In January of 2008 he was appointed Vice President & Chief Operating Officer and in April of 2011 he was appointed President & CEO.

LPPC is proud to be an official supporter of the Electrification 2020 International Conference & Exposition to be held April 6-9, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

It’s a “can’t-miss” event that will bring together stakeholders across industry sectors for vital conversations on accelerating the use of electrification technologies – from transportation, to industrial processes, to smart home applications and many more.

At LPPC, we are proud to be an official Supporting Organization of the Electrification 2020 International Conference & Exposition, hosted by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) on April 6-9, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Sponsored by leading utilities and industry players, the event will build on the energy of the inaugural conference in 2018 by addressing the very latest questions on end-use electrification, and exploring the answers to help advance organizations’ initiatives and create sustainable solutions.

Electrification 2020 will offer you the opportunity to:

  • Develop partnerships by connecting and sharing ideas with leaders from multiple industry segments.
  • Participate in the agenda sessions, featuring compelling content on all aspects of end-use electrification.
  • Explore a diverse Exhibit Hall showcasing a wide array of electrification programs, products and services.
  • Enjoy multiple evening networking functions, including the Closing Party at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

We encourage you to register at the Early Bird rate, available only through September 30.

For full conference details, including exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.electrification2020.com.

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