This course is designed for intermediate & advanced lawyers in the energy field, along with other energy professionals whose work requires an awareness & understanding of energy law. Continuing legal education credit is being sought in both South and North Carolina.
8:45 am Opening Remarks
- Welcome & Overview of Platform & Agenda: Bonnie Loomis, Managing Director South Carolinas, E4 Carolinas
- Partner Comments: Sue Berkowitz, Director, Appleseed Legal Justice
- Seminar Sponsor Remarks: Taylor Speer, Shareholder, Turner Padget P.A.
9:00 am Carolinas’ Legislative & Regulatory Highlights
Despite COVID-related impacts, energy-related legislative activity in both states continued in 2020. And, in South Carolina, legislative pre-filing for the 2021 session has wrapped up, and energy-related bills are among those facing action in 2021. Likewise, the Commission dockets in both states continue to proceed. This session will provide a high-level overview of the primary bills and dockets the Carolinas energy bar needs to keep an eye on in the coming year.
- Bonnie Loomis, Managing Director South Carolinas, E4 Carolinas
- Ben Smith, Regulatory Counsel, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association
9:30 am Carolinas Energy Market Reform
In early 2020, legislators in both South Carolina and North Carolina introduced bills to commission studies of electric market reform measures. South Carolina adopted House bill 4940 in September, while the North Carolina legislation remains pending. Reform measures might include the formation of a regional transmission organization (RTO) for the Carolinas or the formation of an energy imbalance market, among other options. As an alternative to these reforms, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy have explored the concept of a voluntary southeastern energy exchange market (SEEM). This session will provide an update on the market reform study efforts in both states, an explanation of what the studies will address, a discussion of the potential statutory and regulatory changes that might be included in any ultimate reforms, and the policy merits of each side of the reform debate.
- Session moderator: Weston Adams, Partner & Co-chair Energy Practice Group, Nelson Mullins L.L.P.
- Alex Glenn, Senior Vice President, Legal - Federal and State Regulatory, Duke Energy (invited)
- Jamey Goldin, Energy Regulatory Counsel, Global Energy Markets and Policy, Google
- Steve Levitas, Senior Vice President – Strategic Initiatives, Pine Gate Renewables
10:45 am Break with virtual networking opportunities
11:00 am Integrating IOU Climate Goals with Existing Regulatory Processes
Many of the largest electric utilities in the country announced carbon emission reduction goals in late 2019, with both Duke Energy and Dominion Energy committing to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. But do existing laws and regulations applicable to electric utilities in the Carolinas support or hinder these climate-related ambitions? This panel will explore the cross-cutting implications of utility climate goals on a range of proceedings before the Public Service Commission of South Carolina and North Carolina Utilities Commission, including general rate cases, integrated resource plans, CPCN applications, and grid modernization.
- Session moderator: Thad Culley, Esquire, Vote Solar
- Heather Smith, Deputy General Counsel, Duke Energy South Carolina
- Belton Zeigler, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson
- Eddie Moore, Energy & Climate Program Director, Coastal Conservation League
12:15 pm Break
12:30 pm Lunch & Learn Session: More Lawyer Practice “Lessons Learned” through a Child’s Addiction Recovery Journey – Bonnie Loomis, E4 Carolinas
In 2019, Ms. Loomis shared the story of her son, Robert’s, journey through recreational drug use to routine drug abuse and, ultimately, complete & debilitating heroin addiction. She walked us through his early recovery and the corollaries she saw between the very basic truths addicts must come to accept and live by and the basic ethical obligations of legal practice. Ms. Loomis will expand on these “lessons learned” this year through an update on her son’s journey, including a relapse, and the daily need of lawyers to “check themselves” or risk “wrecking themselves,” professionally and personally.
1:30 pm Break
1:45 pm Carolinas Impact of Recent & Upcoming FERC Activity
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued multiple orders recently with direct consequences for the Carolinas, particularly as it relates to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) and qualifying facility (QF) ratings. This session will provide an overview of those FERC decisions and their impact on the Carolinas in both the current and possible alternate regulatory structures.
- Session Moderator: Taylor Speer, Shareholder, Turner Padget P.A.
- Ashley Cooper, Partner, Parker Poe L.L.P
- Ben Snowden, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton L.L.P
- Heather Curlee, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, P.C.
- Rebecca Dulin, Associate General Counsel, Duke Energy
3:00 pm Break with virtual networking opportunities
3:15 pm Commission Ex Parte Rules – Normally and during the COVID 19 #NewNormal
Ex parte rules exist to protect the integrity of the regulatory process by limiting or prohibiting party communications with decision-makers on the substance of any matter that can reasonably be expected to come before them. South Carolina and North Carolina both strictly prohibit most ex parte communications between parties and commissioners. This panel will discuss the states’ approaches to ex parte communications and how they are affected by the pandemic.
- Session moderator: Charlie Terreni, Terreni Law Firm
- Frank Ellerbe, Robinson Gray Stepp & Lafitte, LLC
- Sam Watson, General Counsel NC Utility Commission
- Lib Fleming, former member, SC Public Service Commission
- Senator Brad Hutto, SC Public Utilities Review Committee member (invited)
4:30 pm Concluding Comments
4:35 pm Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Virtual Beer Tasting w/ Q&A
- Amy Ebling, Tour Supervisor, Sierra Nevada Mills River, NC
- CJ Boone, Tour Support Lead, Sierra Nevada Mills River, NC
- Jordan Alm, Senior Beer Adventurer, Sierra Nevada Chico, CA
5:30 pm Virtual Small Group Networking
6:00 pm Raffle & Platform Closes