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The Current

Author: We Stand For Energy

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We Stand For Energy, a project of the Edison Electric Institute, presents The Current, a podcast focused on providing policymakers with insights into the electric energy generation and distribution industry.
53 Episodes
EEI Executive Director of External Affairs Kristine Telford interviews Puget Sound Energy Director of Electric Operations Ryan Murphy on wildfire mitigation efforts and measures the company is taking this wildfire season. 
This week, Mark Quinlan, the Senior Vice President of Wildfire & Emergency Operations at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, joins The Current. Kristine and Mark discuss the upcoming peak of wildfire season and how the company is preparing for this through its proactive mitigation program.
This week, Mark Wolfe, the Executive Director National Energy Assistance Directors' Association and an expert on the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), joins The Current. Jeff and Mark discuss key issues facing the LIHEAP program and the recent action day in Washington, D.C.
This week, Ed Hirs an energy fellow at the University of Houston and a world renowned expert on deregulation joins The Current. Jeff and Ed explore the challenges and risks—including higher prices and less reliability—of deregulated electricity. 
This week on The Current, Phil Cox, a nationally renowned political operative, joins your host Kristine Telford to talk about the key takeaways from the midterm elections and what that means for upcoming policy debates at the state and federal level. 
This week on the Current, Kristine is joined by Eric Grey, Vice President of Government Relations at the Edison Electric Institute and Austin Keyser, Assistant to the International President of Government Affairs for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Eric and Austin provide expert analysis on the Inflation Reduction Act and its potential impact on the electric power industry. 
This week on the Current, Phillip May, President and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, and Deanna Rodriguez, President and CEO of Entergy New Orleans, join us to highlight the ways Entergy is supporting customers throughout Louisiana from bill assistance to resiliency investments.
This week on The Current,  join your host Kristine Telford as she deep dives into the new technologies the Department of Energy is utilizing to help mitigate against wildfires and other potential threats. To better explain these technologies and their capabilities Kristine is joined by this week's guest Stewart Cedres, Senior Technical Lead and Strategist of Electric Grid Resilience Capabilities at the Office of Electricity at the Department of Energy.
Join the conversation to learn more about summer reliability, wildfires and how the electric grid as a whole is being impacted. To help provide unique insights into these issues Brad is joined by John Moura, Director of Reliability Assessment and Performance Analysis at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and Scott Aaronson, Senior Vice President of Security and Preparedness at Edison Electric Institute and also part of the Secretariat at the Electric Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC).
This week on The Current, Matthew Jaramillo, Director of Government Affairs at PNM Resources, joins us to discuss the fire mitigation practices being used by the electric power industry as New Mexico faces its largest wildfire in state history. 
In recent years, Idaho has experienced a growing number of wildfires breaking out across the state. Jon Axtman, Senior Manager of Transmission and Distribution Engineering and Reliability at Idaho Power joins us to discuss the threat of wildfire outbreaks, their impact on the electric power industry, and the mitigation strategies Idaho has adopted to combat this issue.
Join the discussion this week to learn about energy transition, just transition and what the energy industry is doing as it adapts. Brad discusses what is currently happening within the industry and what is coming on the horizon. To provide expert industry insights Brad is joined by Mallory Huggins, a senior project director at the Keystone Policy center. 
This week, Brad dives into the world of crypto mining and how energy plays a critical role in the rise of this technology. To understand how blockchain and cryptocurrencies work, and their relationship with electricity use, Brad is joined by Thomas Mapes, Sr. Policy Analyst at the Chamber of Digital Commerce, and Fred Thiel, Chairman & CEO at Marathon Digital Holdings.
Over the course of the pandemic, we all became familiar with the saying “we're in this together.” Power companies stepped up in unexpected ways to support customers and invest in communities they serve. One company that stood out was DTE Energy. The Current highlighted DTE’s partnership with Detroit early in the pandemic to provide Detroit school students laptops and internet connections to support their virtual lessons. Brad revisits that and other initiatives by DTE to support communities across Michigan. Joining this week’s conversation is Lynette Dowler, Vice President of Public Affairs at DTE Energy and President and Chair of the DTE Energy Foundation. 
Transportation electrification is undergoing a revolution as demand increases for private and commercial EV options. However, expanding access to charging infrastructure will require untangling a web of regulatory hurdles spanning different states and different regulatory jurisdictions. In this episode of The Current, Brad unpacks how the electric power and transportation industries are collaborating to plan for rising demand for charging tools, the ways in which the industries educate regulators, and the challenges that must be overcome to accelerate EV adoption. Joining the discussion are Kellen Schefter, Director of Electric Transportation at the Edison Electric Institute, and Phil Jones, Executive Director of the Alliance for Transportation Electrification. 
LIHEAP, or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, has helped millions of Americans struggling to pay electricity bills, especially since the pandemic. Joining Brad to explain LIHEAP’s importance for struggling families and how the program has evolved is Katrina Metlzer, Executive Director of the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC), and Theresa Kullen, Manager of the Colorado Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP). As a note to our audience, Katrina, Theresa and We Stand For Energy are joining thousands of advocates on Feb. 23 for a virtual LIHEAP Action Day. You can get involved by signing our petition to #ProtectLIHEAP here. 
Can Democrats save the Build Back Better plan? Supreme Court politics and other legislative priorities are taking up precious time in the legislative calendar before the midterms, but President Biden and Democrats remain hopeful that components of BBB can pass. EEI’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Eric Grey, sits down with Brad to discuss what vehicles are available to pass the energy components of that bill. 
In our first episode of 2022, Brad talks about nuclear energy with Beverly Marshall, Vice President of Governmental Affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). Nuclear energy is at an inflection point, as policymakers and companies increasingly rely on its potential to decarbonize the economy and meet ESG goals. Bev talks about recent developments in nuclear and how federal and state action are poised to expand its role in America’s electricity market. 
This week, Brad sits down with Lon Huber, Vice President of Rate Design and Strategic Solutions at Duke Energy. Lon and Duke Energy recently entered into The South Carolina Solar Choice Settlement. The settlement – and the proceeding that led to the settlement’s outcome – was unique compared to others. Lon lays out how parties were able to put aside differences and formulate an innovative rate design for DERs.
We all grew up hearing “think globally, act locally” when it comes to environmental issues. Who is better positioned to do that than our own mayors and local officials? This week, we have the honor of being joined by the mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Melvin Carter, who has pushed building code updates and transportation electrification projects in his city. Mayor Carter discusses those and other ways that local leaders can fight climate change while protecting low-income residents. 
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