Two champions for smart energy policy, FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff and Karen Harbert, President/CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Energy Institute, will offer keynote presentations at the 2013 NECA Energy Forum on Oct. 12.
Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Jon Wellinghoff was appointed Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) was by President Barack Obama in 2009 after serving as a FERC Commissioner since 2006. The independent agency oversees wholesale electric transactions and interstate electric transmission and gas transportation in the United States.
Wellinghoff is an energy law specialist with more than 35 years of experience. Before joining FERC, he led a private law practice in Nevada, where he focused on cases pertaining to renewable energy and energy efficiency, causes he continues to promote as FERC Chairman. He was the primary author of Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), one of two state RPS programs to receive an “A” rating from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Wellinghoff’s priorities at FERC were the integration of renewable energy sources into the electric grid; the implementation of advanced technologies aimed at making the use and distribution of energy more efficient; and the promotion of demand-side energy practices, including real-time electricity pricing and the use of electric cars. These priorities emphasize improvements to the overall efficiency of the nation’s energy infrastructure. Wellinghoff has pursued his priorities through the implementation of regulatory practices that ensure a fair and competitive energy market, pointing out that it is through competitive energy markets that consumers will reap the full benefits of new technology.
As Chairman he created FERC’s Office of Energy Policy and Innovation (OEPI), which is responsible for investigating and promoting new efficient technologies and practices in the energy sectors under FERC’s jurisdiction. Wellinghoff is co-chair of the Smart Response Collaborative launched jointly by FERC and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and is a member of NARUC’s Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment.
Although Wellinghoff submitted his resignation as FERC Chairman to President Obama on May 5, he will continue to serve in the post until a new chairman is appointed.
Karen Alderman Harbert, President and Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy
As President and CEO for the U.S. Chapter of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, Karen Alderman Harbert leads the Institute’s efforts to build support for meaningful energy action nationally and internationally through policy development, education, and advocacy.
The Institute’s mission is to unify policymakers, regulators, business leaders, and the American public behind a common sense energy strategy to help keep our country secure, prosperous and clean.
Under Harbert’s leadership, the Energy Institute has evolved into a premier national and increasingly international organization truly dedicated to advancing a constructive energy agenda and transforming the energy and environmental debate into a widely supported plan of action. Harbert frequently testifies in front of Congress and provides analysis to the media, policymakers and industry leaders.
Harbert is the former assistant secretary for policy and international affairs at the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE). She was the primary policy advisor to the Secretary and to the department on domestic and international energy issues, including climate change, fossil, nuclear, and renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Harbert was also a member of DOE’s Executive Board as well as the Credit Review Board. She negotiated and managed bilateral and multilateral agreements with other countries and international agencies to further the nation’s energy security and research and development objectives.
In the private sector, Harbert worked for a developer of international infrastructure and power projects valued at more than $9 billion in countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. Harbert gained experience on issues associated with economic reform and privatization through earlier positions at the USAID, the Organization of American States, and the International Republican Institute.