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September 2019

Top Story
Top Story
Powering the People and Drive Electric Week Advance Electric Transportation

​From EVs to public transit, commercial fleets, and more, electric transportation is transforming America’s communities while benefiting the environment. During two recent events—National Drive Electric Week (September 14-22) and the Institute for Electric Innovation's (IEI's) Powering the People (September 24)—EEI and our member companies highlighted the benefits of electric transportation for customers, communities, the economy, and the environment.

Here are some key facts to know about electric transportation: 

  • Domestically produced electricity, on average, can power plug-in EVs at the equivalent of $1.21 per gallon of gas.
  • Electric vehicles emit 54 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions per mile than the average new gasoline car.
  • By 2040, electric buses will account for more than 80 percent of estimated annual bus sales globally.
  • EEI’s member companies are investing more than $1.3 billion in customer programs and projects to deploy charging infrastructure and to accelerate electric transportation.​

"As electricity generation gets cleaner, electric transportation makes more and more sense," said Lisa Wood, EEI vice president of customer solutions and executive director of IEI, welcoming attendees to Powering the People. The event featured a lineup of senior executives from electric companies and technology firms, policymakers, and environmental experts who gave fascinating insights into the present and future of electric transportation.

"You are involved in companies that are leading the way," said U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). "The first tax credit policy, 100 years ago, was for oil and gas. So, for me, the next step is about leveling the playing field at a different time."

Learn more about the benefits of electric transportation on EEI’s website.

Photo: U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) delivers the keynote address at Powering the People and voices her support for expanding the EV tax credit.​

News From the Hill
News From the Hill
EEI Urges Congress to Expand the EV Tax Credit

Transportation electrification provides an opportunity to leverage the electric power sector’s dramatic reductions in emissions to achieve reductions in transportation sector emissions. 

In 2008, Congress created the EV tax credit, helping to drive investments in transportation electrification. Since then, the EV market has grown, with more than 1.3 million EVs currently on U.S. roads. Still, this is a small percentage of the more than 270 million vehicles registered in the United States. For electric transportation to achieve its full benefits, significantly more EV sales are needed, yet challenges remain to expanding this market.

Under current law, the $7,500 EV tax credit begins to phase out once an automaker sells 200,000 qualifying EVs. Today, some automakers are approaching and exceeding this cap. The Driving America Forward Act (S.1094 & H.R. 2256) supports electric transportation by increasing the per-manufacturer cap on qualifying EVs by an additional 400,000 vehicles for all EV manufacturers. Expanding the EV tax credit will continue to spur growth and innovation in domestic manufacturing; enhance our nation’s energy security; and reduce emissions and improve local air quality.

EEI and our member companies are advocating that Congress act now to pass the Driving America Forward Act to build a strong market for electric transportation.

Policy Perspectives
Policy Perspectives
Modernizing PURPA Will Help Reduce Costs for Electricity Customers

​On September 19, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) to revisit its rules and regulations implementing the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). Issuance of the NOPR opens a window of time for public comment.

“We applaud FERC Chairman Chatterjee for his leadership and for prioritizing PURPA reform,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “By initiating this important NOPR, Chairman Chatterjee has reaffirmed that there are concrete steps FERC can take to better protect electricity customers from unnecessary energy costs and drive additional investments in renewable energy, all while meeting the commission’s responsibilities under the Act.”

PURPA was enacted during a national oil crisis to promote increased energy conservation, efficiency, and the growth of renewable energy. Forty years later, and thanks in part to the influence of the original PURPA, renewable energy has grown dramatically, and the costs of those renewables continue to fall.

“The bottom line is that non-competitively priced PURPA projects continue to be built today, forcing electric companies to buy power they often don’t need at above-market prices and raising electricity prices for customers,” added Kuhn. “As the rulemaking process proceeds, we will remain engaged with FERC to achieve meaningful and timely PURPA reform for all customers.”

Read EEI’s joint press release​ with the American Public Power Association and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Delivering Transformation
Delivering Transformation
Celebrating National Clean Energy Week

​EEI’s member companies are leading a profound transformation of America’s energy that is delivering a smart, connected, and clean energy future for the customers and communities we serve. We are united in our commitment to get as clean as we can as fast as we can, while keeping customer reliability and affordability front and center as always. Collectively, we are on a path to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions 50 percent by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050, compared to peak 2005 levels.

EEI sponsored National Clean Energy Week to highlight our industry's leadership on providing increasingly clean energy to customers.

Here are some key facts you should know about the clean energy transformation:

  • Today, more than one-third of our electricity comes from carbon-free sources, including nuclear energy and hydropower and other renewables. And, since 2005, the percentage of renewable sources in the energy mix has quadrupled—over the past five years, more than half of new electricity generation capacity was wind and solar.
  • At the end of 2018, the electric power sector’s CO2 emissions were 27 percent below a 2005 baseline, nearly the lowest level in three decades and lower than the transportation sector since 2016. 
  • Expanding the use of electricity in transportation saves money, improves the environment, and enhances quality of life for everyone. Since EVs have zero tailpipe emissions, they help reduce CO2 emissions and improve local air quality. 

EEI’s member companies are committed to continuing to reduce CO2 in our sector and helping other sectors transition to clean, efficient electric energy. And this is just the start. With investments in new technologies and with the right policies in place, we can do even more to build a cleaner, stronger economy together. Together, we are delivering America’s energy future.

See our clean energy infographic. Find more on EEI’s clean energy vision website​, including highlights of member companies’ clean energy initiatives, fact sheets, recent Electric Perspectives articles, and more.


Emergency Response
Emergency Response
Restoring Power After Hurricane Dorian

​Hurricane Dorian devastated parts of the Bahamas, impacted coastal regions in the southeastern United States, and damaged parts of Atlantic Canada. 

In advance of the storm, electric companies, public power utilities, and electric cooperatives activated crews from 36 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada to support storm restoration, thus ensuring that the industry was well-resourced and well-prepared to respond to the areas affected by Hurricane Dorian. After the storm hit, crews worked around the clock to restore power to customers.

Strong industry-government coordination and cross-sector collaboration are critical throughout major events like Dorian. EEI supported the industry’s response at the highest levels through the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC). We appreciate the ongoing leadership from the Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA in helping to support the industry's response to major events.

Learn how power is restored after a storm and about the industry's response and restoration process​.

Photo: Courtesy Dominion Energy.

In the News
In the News
Forum Highlights Energy Industry’s Support for Veterans

​EEI is a proud sponsor of Veterans in Energy, a national employee resource group that provides transition, retention, and professional development support to military veterans working in energy. The 2019 Veterans in Energy Forum, held earlier this month in Washington, explored how energy companies support the growing population of military veterans choosing careers in the field.

"I don’t think there’s a place any more exciting to work than the energy sector right now,” said keynote speaker U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. "It’s a great time to be an American, it’s a great time to be in the energy sector, and it’s a great time to be a veteran.’’

A panel of industry leaders moderated by EEI President Tom Kuhn​—himself a veteran of the U.S. Navy—focused on the deepening connections between the energy industry and the national security community. “Energy is a business that is doing such an incredibly vital service for our country,” said Kuhn. “When I got out of the military, I thought my role in national defense might be over. But everyone on this stage now has to have a security clearance to do their job.” 

John McAvoy, chairman, president, and CEO, Consolidated Edison, noted that the energy industry has always looked to veterans to fill many technician and lineworker positions, but “increasingly, we’re focused on IT. The next ten years will require leadership, people who are flexible, people who understand the mission and can complete it. What does that sound like? Sounds like a veteran to me.”

Berkshire Hathaway Energy President and CEO Bill Fehrman praised the industry’s efforts to get veterans “into succession planning, and the next wave of leadership. When you’re looking for the next person who’s going to become a front-line leader, having a veteran’s level of experience often puts you above other applicants.”

Military veterans make up approximately 11 percent of the industry's total workforce and 22.5 percent of its nuclear operations personnel, according to the most recent study from the Center for Energy Workforce Development. Electric companies work through Veterans in Energy, as well as through programs like Troops to Energy Jobs​, to attract, recruit, and retain veterans.

Inside EEI
Inside EEI
PNM Resources’ Pat Vincent-Collawn Receives Distinguished Leadership Award

During EEI’s fall CEO and board of directors meeting, held earlier this month in Colorado Springs, PNM Resources Chairman, President, and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award by her peers for her years of significant contributions and her ongoing commitment to the electric power industry. 

"Pat is an exceptional leader whose vision, expertise, and actions continually elevate our industry and help ensure we are meeting the changing needs of our customers, our communities, and our workforce,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "From leading on clean energy, to developing energy policy, to navigating the challenges and opportunities we face every day, I can always count on her to provide valuable leadership on the issues most important to our industry."

Vincent-Collawn served as EEI chairman from June 2017 until June 2018, the first woman to hold the position, and she remains a member of EEI’s executive committee. As EEI chairman, Vincent-Collawn focused on building a more inclusive workforce that more strongly embraces the unique diversity of the different communities EEI’s member companies serve.

“Recruiting and retaining a diverse, highly skilled workforce that reflects the communities we serve are critical to the ongoing success of our industry,” said EEI Chairman Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon Corporation. “Pat is a steadfast leader for our industry who has helped to ensure that best practices on diversity and inclusion are being documented and shared throughout the industry.” 

As EEI chairman, Vincent-Collawn also focused on promoting the benefits of smart communities and explaining how smarter energy infrastructure can leverage the power of data and technology to improve sustainability, spur economic development, help drive efficiencies, and enhance the overall quality of life for their citizens.

“I congratulate Pat on this well-deserved award,” said Dominion Energy Chairman, President, and CEO Tom Farrell. “During her time as EEI chairman, she led our industry’s outreach on the monumental tax reform legislation that has benefitted electricity customers across the country.” Farrell received EEI’s Distinguished Leadership Award in 2013.

Learn more in EEI’s press release.

Photo (L to R): Dominion Energy Chairman, President, and CEO Tom Farrell; Bob Collawn, husband of Pat Vincent-Collawn; PNM Resources Chairman, President, and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn; EEI Chairman and Exelon Corporation President and CEO Chris Crane; EEI President Tom Kuhn.

What We’re Reading
What We’re Reading
OGE Energy Corporation’s Sean Trauschke on Growing Sustainable Communities

​“Energy and economic development go hand in hand,” writes Sean Trauschke, chairman, president, and CEO, OGE Energy Corporation and OG&E, in Electric Perspectives​. “From the street lights that guide us home to the incubator that supports a struggling new life to technologies that serve as the backbone of the modern economy, the people of the electric power industry energize lives, and livelihoods.

“Our relationships with our communities are symbiotic, in that we are only as strong as those we serve. At OG&E, one of our key priorities is growing our communities through leadership in economic and workforce development.

“With nearly 117 years of service, we’ve seen our industry grow and change in ways our founders could never have imagined. But the change we saw in our first century is nothing like what the industry has experienced in the past decade. 

“From adopting smart technologies and working with distributed generation to embracing ever-cleaner sources of energy, electric companies are taking steps today to prepare for the energy future. That future is not just about technology. It also is about developing a workforce with the skills and desire to support a strong, sustainable industry here, and across the country.”

Read more.

Company Spotlight
Company Spotlight
Duke Energy Plans Nuclear Power Plant License Renewals

​Duke Energy has announced plans to pursue renewals of the operating licenses for the 11 reactors it operates at six nuclear power plants in the Carolinas. The renewals would permit the plants to continue operating for an additional 20 years.

Nuclear energy remains the largest source of emissions-free electricity in the United States: Currently, 96 reactors in 30 states supply more than half of America’s carbon-free electricity—and approximately 20 percent of all electricity. 

“Our nuclear power plants have safely and reliably provided electricity to our Carolinas customers for decades,” said Preston Gillespie, Duke Energy’s chief nuclear officer. “These plants generate clean and cost-effective power, provide thousands of well-paying jobs, and produce substantial economic benefits for the Carolinas. Renewing the licenses of these plants is important for our customers, communities and environment.”

Nuclear power plants in the United States are licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. License renewal requires a comprehensive analysis and evaluation to ensure the reactors can continue safe operation for the extended operation period. 

Regulatory Affairs
Regulatory Affairs
EEI Applauds EPA and Army Corps for Repeal of Problematic 2015 WOTUS Rule

​EEI President Tom Kuhn commented on the repeal of the problematic 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, announced September 12: “The 2015 WOTUS rule was so broadly written that it created substantial confusion and regulatory uncertainty, which caused customer costs to increase due to new operating requirements and delays for critical infrastructure projects.

“EEI applauds EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers for repealing the rule, which multiple courts already had found to be unlawful. 

“Today’s repeal is a key step toward providing long-overdue clarity for EEI’s member companies, which are making substantial investments to make the energy grid stronger, smarter, cleaner, more dynamic, and more secure for all customers. We look forward to working with EPA, the Army Corps, states, and other stakeholders as the agencies move forward with their efforts to finalize a new, clear WOTUS definition that will protect the integrity of our nation’s waters while offering more regulatory certainty for energy infrastructure permitting.”

ESG Reporting
ESG Reporting
EEI and AGA Launch Updated Template

​EEI and the American Gas Association (AGA) released an updated version of the jointly developed environmental, social, governance, and sustainability (ESG/sustainability) reporting template, which provides investors with uniform and consistent quantitative data and qualitative information. The updated template will be utilized by nearly all of EEI’s member companies and most of AGA’s member companies by the end of 2019.

“The newest version of the EEI and AGA ESG/sustainability reporting template will continue to allow electric and natural gas companies to deliver the most reliable and transparent ESG/sustainability data,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “This robust, stakeholder-driven process identified clear ways to enhance the reporting template, and we are pleased to continue our partnership with AGA as we work to ensure we are meeting the needs of the investor community.”

Version 2 of the ESG/sustainability reporting template integrates AGA's quantitative metrics for natural gas distribution companies into the spreadsheet, and qualitative reporting elements were added for cybersecurity governance and natural gas sustainability.

​Learn more in EEI's press release​.
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