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January 2021

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EEI President Tom Kuhn Outlines Industry's 2021 Policy Priorities
On January 28, EEI President Tom Kuhn joined other energy industry trade association leaders at the United States Energy Association’s 17th annual State of the Energy Industry forum. During the virtual event, Kuhn outlined EEI’s 2021 policy priorities, focusing on the opportunities he sees to advance the clean energy transition. He also highlighted the achievements of EEI’s member companies—America’s investor-owned electric companies—throughout the challenges of 2020 and reinforced their commitment to deliver a clean energy future. 
 
“EEI’s member companies are leading a clean energy transformation that no one would have predicted five or 10 years ago,” Kuhn said. “Our industry’s record is amazing: nearly 40 percent of U.S. electricity is generated from carbon-free sources today. We are leading the world in carbon reductions, which are at their lowest level in more than three decades.”
 
Kuhn outlined key industry policy priorities for 2021, including advancing research, design, development, and deployment of advanced clean energy technologies; the importance of maintaining nuclear and natural gas in the energy mix; and the need for policies to support electrification, especially of transportation. He also emphasized EEI member companies’ focus on continuing to invest in energy grid resilience and cybersecurity and the importance of investing in middle-mile broadband infrastructure.
 
“EEI’s member companies are well-positioned to be part of the solution to climate change…. There are big things ahead, and big things to accomplish, but we are up to the task,” Kuhn concluded.
 
Read on for more about EEI member companies’ clean energy leadership. Learn more about Kuhn’s 2021 outlook for the electric power industry in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives.

Policy Perspectives
Policy Perspectives
Electric Companies Are #Committed2Clean
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office on January 20 at the U.S. Capitol. Since Inauguration Day, President Biden has issued a series of clean energy-related executive orders to address climate change. 

EEI has weighed in with support for the actions to rejoin the Paris Agreement; regulate methane emissions from new and existing sources; impose new CAFE standards, restore the California waiver, and electrify the federal fleet; increase offshore wind deployment; and recognize the vital role infrastructure plays in supporting the clean energy transition. Read EEI's statements here and here.

In an op-ed published this week in Utility Dive, EEI President Tom Kuhn highlighted our industry’s clean energy leadership and reinforced our commitment to a clean energy future. Kuhn wrote:

“EEI and the investor-owned electric companies we represent are committed to getting the energy we provide as clean as we can as fast as we can, without compromising on the affordability or reliability that our customers value. That’s not new. What is new is that we are joining the growing call for a 100-percent clean energy future.

“Today, nearly 40 percent of the nation's electricity comes from carbon-free sources, and carbon emissions from the U.S. power sector are at their lowest level in more than 30 years—and continue to fall.

“Collectively, EEI’s member companies are on a path to reduce their carbon emissions at least 80 percent by 2050, compared with 2005 levels, with many of our member companies pledging to reduce their emissions even further and even faster. With the right policies and the right technologies, a 100-percent clean energy future can be more than a goal. It can be a reality.”

The best policy is bipartisan policy that has lasting results, and we are committed to working with the Administration, Congress, and all stakeholders to help develop sound public policies that benefit the customers and communities we serve. For us, the path forward is clear, and the path forward is clean. We are #Committed2Clean.
What We're Watching
Our Clean Energy Vision: #Committed2Clean
What We're Watching

What We're Reading
What We're Reading
Leading Positive Change in Turbulent Times
In the latest issue of Electric Perspectives, EEI Chairman Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO, Xcel Energy, surveys the electric power industry’s top priorities as we enter 2021:
 
“Collectively, the world-changing events of 2020 helped to shape my focus as chairman of EEI and required that I adopt three key priorities for my tenure. First, we must continue to address our industry’s response to the pandemic; its impact on our customers, communities, and companies; and our role in our nation’s recovery. Next, it is vital that we remain focused on the clean energy transition and the innovation needed to help achieve the goal of delivering 100-percent carbon-free electricity. Finally, I took the unique step of adding a third key initiative to my platform—a focus on advancing racial justice and reconciliation.
 
“This is an ambitious agenda, but, I believe, one that is required for our industry.”

Read more in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives.

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Regulatory Affairs
Regulatory Affairs
EEI Congratulates Newly Appointed FERC Chairman Richard Glick
This month, EEI congratulated Richard Glick on his appointment as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Glick, who replaces former FERC Chairman James Danly, is serving a commission term that will end in June 2022.
 
“EEI and our member companies congratulate Rich Glick on his appointment as FERC chairman,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Chairman Glick has a deep understanding of the federal regulatory process, and his experience makes him very qualified to lead FERC. We look forward to working with him and the Commission to advance key regulatory policies that impact our industry and our customers.”
 
“I have worked with Rich for many years, and I know he will lead FERC and serve the nation well as chairman,” said EEI Executive Vice President Phil Moeller. “We congratulate him and encourage the Commission to address the many key issues impacting EEI member companies and our customers, including making necessary reforms in wholesale electricity markets; enabling the development of the transmission infrastructure needed to deliver more clean energy to customers; and continuing to focus on reliability and energy grid security.”
 

Delivering the Future
Photo courtesy Southern Company.
Delivering the Future
Southern Company and Apple Partner for HBCU Learning Hub
Southern Company and Apple Inc. recently announced their partnership to launch the Propel Center, a digital learning hub, business incubator, and global innovation headquarters in Atlanta for students of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). As the founding partners, Southern Company and Apple each contributed $25 million to the initiative. 

“We know inequities exist in our society, and it's up to each of us to be more intentional in our efforts to make a difference and bridge the gap,” said Tom Fanning, chairman, president, and CEO of Southern Company. “We know more must be done, and the establishment of the Propel Center is another important demonstration of Southern Company fulfilling our commitment to move our communities to a more equitable future. Partnering with Apple in this initiative is an exciting way to connect future leaders with these critical resources.”

“We're proud to partner with Southern Company on this groundbreaking new project to build a global hub for innovation and learning for the entire HBCU community,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives.

The $25-million investment from the Southern Company Foundation will help grow Black entrepreneurship and provide much-needed technology resources to the workforce of the future. This commitment is part of the $50-million, multi-year initiative Southern Company and its subsidiaries announced in 2020 to provide resources and opportunities and to support career readiness for students attending select HBCUs within Southern Company’s service territory.
 
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In the News
In the News
Duke Energy’s Lynn Good Receives EEI’s Distinguished Leadership Award
Lynn J. Good, chair, president, and CEO of Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy, has been awarded EEI’s Distinguished Leadership Award, which recognizes the commitments, contributions, and individual achievements of investor-owned electric company leaders. Recipients are chosen by their peers. 
 
“Lynn is an extraordinary leader and visionary for the electric power industry. She has repeatedly demonstrated her unwavering commitment to the customers and communities Duke Energy serves, while also helping to position our industry for the future,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Lynn’s advocacy on key policy issues has helped shape our industry’s transition to a clean energy future, and it is a privilege and an honor to present her with this award.”
 
Good served as EEI chairman from June 2018 to June 2019. Before becoming CEO of Duke Energy in 2013, Good served as Duke Energy’s chief financial officer, and earlier led the company’s commercial energy business during its initial development of renewable energy projects. She began her career in the electric power industry in 2003 with Cincinnati-based Cinergy, which merged with Duke Energy in 2006. Prior to 2003, Good was a partner at two international accounting firms, including a long career with Arthur Anderson.
 

In Electric Perspectives
In Electric Perspectives
Meeting the Challenge of Rapid, Radical Change
Barbara Leary, a change management expert who teaches at Georgetown University and advises companies on leading transformation, writes in Electric Perspectives: “In these unprecedented times, the electric power industry—like many others—seems to exist in a state of perpetual change. Much of it is intentional and planned, coming from electric companies’ determination to seize opportunities afforded by advances in technology, to meet customer expectations, and to lead rather than to lag; some comes from external threats like extreme weather events and, of course, the global pandemic.
 
“No matter the drivers, the pace and volume of change and transformation are putting more pressure on electric company executives to cultivate change-nimble organizations.”
 
Read more in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives.

Inside EEI
Inside EEI
Todd Manuel Joins EEI As Loaned Executive Focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
EEI and its Board of Directors welcomed a loaned leader from Entergy who will work with EEI and our member companies to advance our industry’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative. Todd Manuel will serve as EEI’s vice president, diversity, equity, and inclusion transformation.

At Entergy, Manuel is director of organizational health and diversity, and his responsibilities include developing and leading the company’s strategy for improving organizational health, diversity, and inclusion, in addition to ensuring the company’s compliance with all requirements of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He joined the company in 2012 and previously served as assistant general counsel within the legal services department’s litigation group.

Manuel holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Louisiana State University, and a juris doctor from Southern University in Baton Rouge. Manuel also holds an executive certification in diversity, equity, and inclusion from Georgetown University.

“I am excited to welcome Todd to this new role at EEI,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Todd’s experience and leadership will be incredibly valuable to our EEI team and to our member companies as we work to advance our industry’s DEI initiative, increasing workforce diversity and helping to shape our industry’s long-term strategy for sustained DEI commitment. Todd also will serve as an internal resource as we work to foster a more diverse and inclusive environment across EEI.”
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