Law Seminars International Presents: The Eighth Annual National Conference on Current Issues in Integrating Renewables in Challenging Economic Times

Electric Utility Rate Cases
Featuring Former FERC Commissioner Marc Spitzer

(For this past program, we offer two options for purchase: a Homestudy (DVD and written materials) or written materials alone.)

February 2 & 3, 2012
The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, NV

Who Should Order This Homestudy

Attorneys, utility rate department professionals and executives, industrial and commercial customer representatives, residential consumer advocates and governmental officials involved in ratemaking

Why You Should Order

The current ratemaking environment for regulated gas and electric companies is challenging for regulators, utilities, customer groups and those who represent them. Environmental requirements, aging infrastructure, volatile fuel prices, new generation and transmission projects, smart grid issues, new technologies to deal with greenhouse gas emissions, and other challenges, ensure a steady stream of new and complex utility rate case filings.

How are regulators, regulated utilities, their customers and environmental and other public interest advocates dealing with these challenges? In what ways is traditional rate regulation of utilities changing to reflect today's climate? How should ratemaking balance customers' interest in cost-management and sound utility investment, while providing appropriate financial returns to utilities? How are regulators adjusting ratemaking mechanisms with the kinds of incentives they want for utilities? Could today's decisions about resource choices become tomorrow's stranded investment? What should regulators and other parties consider when they attempt to reflect such uncertainties in decisions that can't wait? How do different ratemaking and rate design tools mitigate or exacerbate these issues?

So much is changing, so many challenges are ahead. This conference will help energy professionals understand how these issues are affecting cost recovery, rate setting, the rate case process and the presentation of evidence by witnesses and counsel. Join us as we explore the modern and ever changing utility rate case.

~ Katherine A. McDowell, Esq. and Frederick J. Schmidt, Esq., Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

What Attendees Said


Thursday, February 02, 2012

8:00 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Introduction and Overview

Katherine A. McDowell, Esq., Program Co-Chair
McDowell Rackner & Gibson PC / Portland, OR

Frederick J. Schmidt, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Holland & Hart LLP / Carson City, NV

8:45 am

Special Address: Order 1000 on Transmission and Other FERC Developments with an Impact on Ratemaking

Marc Spitzer, Esq.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP / Washington, DC

9:15 am

Transmission: Practical Challenges for Integrating Wind

Kamen Madjarov
The Brattle Group, Inc. / Cambridge, MA

Donald N. Furman, Senior Vice President, External Affairs
Iberdrola Renewables, Inc. / Portland, OR

10:15 am

Break: Coffee, Tea and Conversation

10:30 am

Transmission (con't): Regulatory and Ratemaking Issues

Rate making issues arising from the shift from utility ownership to third party ownership; financing and siting issues affecting project development; cost allocation and regulatory recovery of transmission costs in rates

Monica A. Schwebs, Esq.
Bingham McCutchen LLP / San Francisco, CA

Challenges in transmission line siting and the intersection of local, state, and federal authority; the potential impact of White House designation of pilot projects for the federal Rapid Response Team for Transmission (RRTT)

Alia S. Miles, Esq.
McDowell Rackner & Gibson PC / Portland, OR

Cost recovery issues from the service provider's perspective

Sarah E. Edmonds, Esq., Director of Transmission Regulation, Strategy and Policy
PacificCorp / Portland, OR

12:30 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:45 pm

Status Report on Renewable Energy Development

Laws and regulations: State RPS's, including California; related developments in REC markets; pace, nature and forecast for new renewable energy development, status of federal and state incentives, rate issues associated with the costs of RPS compliance

Bobby J. Hollis, II, Esq., Executive, Renewable Energy
NV Energy / Las Vegas, NV

Greg Patterson, Esq., CPA, Director
Arizona Competitive Power Alliance / Phoenix, AZ

2:45 pm

Rate Cases in Challenging Economic Times

Rate making challenges related to uncertain demand

Timothy E. Tatum, Manager, Cost of Service
Idaho Power Company / Boise, ID

3:15 pm

Break: Coffee, Tea and Conversation

3:30 pm

Implications of Continued Low Prices for Natural Gas

New Resource Acquisition: The future direction and stability of gas supplies and prices; evaluating long-term resource decisions in an era of low supply costs; what is and is not working around the country

Jeffrey Shaw, CPA, CEO
Southwest Gas Corporation / Las Vegas, NV

Hedging in a period of expected continued low gas prices: How much is it reasonable to spend? Optimal portion of total demand to hedge; regulatory approval of hedging plans; recent developments in state regulatory proceeding

Frank C. Graves, Principal
The Brattle Group, Inc. / Cambridge, MA

4:30 pm

Marginal Cost Pricing for Rate Design: Is It Still Reasonable When There is No New Generation Needed for a Period of Time?

Arguments and decisional trends on whether we should use embedded cost or energy only models that do not impute a demand component for future generation

Kurt Strunk, Senior Consultant
National Economic Research Associates, Inc. / New York, NY

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Holland & Hart LLP and McDowell Rackner & Gibson PC


Friday, February 03, 2012

8:00 am

Continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Introduction and Overview

Katherine A. McDowell, Esq., Program Co-Chair
McDowell Rackner & Gibson PC / Portland, OR

Frederick J. Schmidt, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Holland & Hart LLP / Carson City, NV

8:45 am

Key Players on Effectively Delivering Your Message to the Decision Makers

Hear from current and former Public Utility Commissioners and Consumer Advocates on how to present your rate case to achieve success

Frederick J. Schmidt, Esq., Program Co-Chair, Moderator
Holland & Hart LLP / Carson City, NV

The Hon. Susan Ackerman, Esq., Commissioner
Oregon Public Utility Commission / Salem, OR

The Hon. Alaina C. Burtenshaw, Esq., Chairman
Public Utilities Commission of Nevada / Las Vegas, NV

The Hon. Jason A. Marks, Esq., Commissioner
New Mexico Public Regulation Commission / Santa Fe, NM

10:30 am

Break: Coffee, Tea and Conversation

10:45 am

Air Quality Regulation: What Are the Prospects for New EPA Rules? What are the Ratemaking Implications?

Recently resolved and currently pending issues in rulemaking and enforcement appeals; decisional trends and the extent they provide guidance for utility planners and regulators; legislative developments

Vicki M. Baldwin, Esq.
Parsons Behle & Latimer / Salt Lake City, UT

How the issues are likely to play out in rate cases

James Arnold Holtkamp, Esq.
Holland & Hart LLP / Salt Lake City, UT

David Harrison, Jr., Ph.D., Sr. Vice President
National Economic Research Associates, Inc. / Boston, MA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Innovative Approaches for Retiring Coal and Hydro Resources That Don't Meet Current Environmental Standards

Case studies of recent agreements to allow continued use of the resource for a period of time, with faster amortization for cost recovery, in return for early retirement

Andrea L. Kelly, Vice President, Regulation
PacifiCorp / Portland, OR

Dave Robertson, Vice President, Public Policy
Portland General Electric Company / Portland, OR

2:30 pm

Wrap Up Discussion: Rate Cases in Challenging Economic Times

Strategies for avoiding rate shock and rate case fatigue; deferring infrastructure investment and other cost-cutting strategies; new challenges to added "public purpose" fees in utility rates

Simon J. ffitch, Esq., Section Chief and Senior Assistant Attorney General
Washington State Office of the Attorney General / Seattle, WA

Thorvald A. Nelson, Esq.
Holland & Hart LLP / Greenwood Village, CO

3:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn



Regular tuition for this program is $1245 with a group rate of $935 each for two or more registrants from the same firm. For government employees, we offer a special rate of $830. For students and people in their job for less than a year, our rate is $622.50. All rates include admission to all seminar sessions, food and beverages at breaks, and all course materials. Make checks payable to Law Seminars International.


There is a $25 cancellation fee for Course Materials orders and $50 for Homestudy orders

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 11.5 NV CLE; 11.75 AZ CLE; 12.25 CA MCLE; ID 11.75 CLE; NM 11.7 CLE; 12.5 OR CLE; 11.5 UT CLE; 11.75 WA CLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

Faculty Bios

Katherine A. McDowell, Program Co-Chair, partner in McDowell Rackner & Gibson PC, a law firm serving energy and telecommunications clients. She advises and represents utilities and other energy companies on a range of regulatory issues. She has been recognized as an energy lawyer in the Best Lawyers of America for more than 10 years.

Frederick J. Schmidt, Program Co-Chair, partner at Holland & Hart LLP, focuses on regulatory and administrative law with emphasis on public utility matters. Previously, he was a Commissioner on the Nevada Public Service Commission and the State's Consumer Advocate.
Full bio and contact info for Frederick J. Schmidt at Holland & Hart LLP

Marc Spitzer, Special Address, partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Former Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), focuses on supplies of electricity and natural gas, wholesale energy markets and transmission systems. Previously, he was Chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission.

The Hon. Susan K. Ackerman, Commissioner, Oregon Public Utility Commission, was a practicing attorney and manager in the energy industry. She represented natural gas utilities; public power interests in BPA rate, power sales contract, transmission issues, and independent power producers.

Vicki M. Baldwin, shareholder, Parsons Behle & Latimer, focuses on environmental & commercial litigation, public utility and energy law. Recently, she co-authored "Prudence Review and Traditional Revenue Requirement Regulation: Some Thoughts with J. Robert Malko", published in The Electricity Journal. She has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers.
Full bio and contact info for Vicki M. Baldwin at Parsons Behle & Latimer

The Hon. Alaina C. Burtenshaw, Chairman, Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, previously was staff counsel for the Commission where she focused on rural water companies and the energy industry.

Sarah Edmonds oversees the development of transmission strategy and policy recommendations for PacifiCorp, including policies relating to emerging regional and national transmission initiatives well as strategic support for PacifiCorp's Energy Gateway transmission expansion project.

Simon J. ffitch, Division Chief, Public Counsel Division, Washington State Attorney General's Office, is the Consumer Advocate Member of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, an Advisory Committee to the Federal Communications Commission. He is a past member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA).

Donald N. Furman, Senior Vice President, External Affairs, Iberdrola Renewables, Inc., is responsible for transmission, communications and marketing, and regulation and policy efforts. He was previously with PacifiCorp, most recently as Senior Vice President of Regulation and External Affairs.

Frank C. Graves, Principal, The Brattle Group, Inc., specializes in finance and regulatory economics. He focuses on electric power, assisting utilities in capacity expansion, network modeling, investment and contract prudence reviews, financial simulation and asset and contract valuation.
Full bio and contact info for Frank C. Graves at The Brattle Group, Inc.

David Harrison, Jr., Ph.D., Sr. Vice President, National Economic Research Associates, Inc., Economic Consulting, heads its global Environment Group and is an expert in climate change and related policy options and use of market-based approaches such as cap-and-trade.
Full bio and contact info for David Harrison Jr. at National Economic Research Associates, Inc.

Bobby J. Hollis, II, Esq., Executive of Renewable Energy, NV Energy, oversees renewable energy programs; regulatory and compliance efforts. Through its two regulated utilities, NV Energy is the leading electric service provider in Nevada, serving a 45,592-square-mile service territory and 2.4 million customers.

James A. Holtkamp, Leader of the Global Climate Change Practice Team at Holland & Hart LLP, focuses on energy, environmental and climate change, energy project development including carbon credit trading, and carbon capture and sequestration.
Full bio and contact info for James Arnold Holtkamp at Holland & Hart LLP

Andrea L. Kelly, Vice President, Regulation, PacifiCorp, where she is responsible for regulatory activities in Oregon, Washington and California, for PacifiCorp's overall regulatory strategy, which includes Utah, Wyoming and Idaho, and for pricing and cost of service for all six states.

Kamen Madjarov, The Brattle Group, Inc.'s Cambridge, MA office, is experienced in energy market modeling, integrating renewable energy resources, antitrust and competitive analysis of power markets and quantitative energy market analysis. His recent work includes quantifying the impacts of integrating renewable generation onto the power grid.
Full bio and contact info for Kamen Madjarov at The Brattle Group, Inc.

The Hon. Jason A. Marks, Commissioner of New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, has led the Commission through several major litigated rate cases. He is known for his advocacy for renewable energy.

Alia S. Miles, McDowell Rackner & Gibson PC, represents electric and gas utilities involved in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of power in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, with a current focus on linear energy facility permitting and compliance.

Thorvald A. Nelson, partner at Holland & Hart LLP, practices public utility regulatory law including telecommunications, energy, antitrust, trade regulation and litigation.
Full bio and contact info for Thorvald A. Nelson at Holland & Hart LLP

Greg Patterson is an attorney and CPA. He is currently the Director, Arizona Competitive Power Alliance, and was a member of the Arizona House of Representatives and Director of the Residential Utility Consumer Office.

Dave Robertson, Vice President of Public Policy, oversees Portland General Electric Company's Corporate Communications, Government Relations, Environmental Policy, Community Affairs and Research & Development Departments.

Monica A. Schwebs, Of Counsel, Bingham McCutchen LLP, represents clients in transmission matters before the FERC, the California Independent System Operator and state agencies. She also advises clients on federal and state energy and environmental laws relating to renewable energy, power plant licensing, and climate change. Previously, she was staff counsel for the California Energy Commission.
Full bio and contact info for Monica A. Schwebs at Bingham McCutchen LLP

Jeffrey Shaw, CPA, Chief Executive Officer of the Southwest Gas Corporation, was Senior Vice President of Gas Resources and Pricing. He is on the boards of the American Gas Association and the Western Energy Institute.

Kurt Strunk, Senior Consultant, National Economic Research Associates, Inc., advises utilities on sector restructuring, contract and asset valuation, origination, hedging and risk management, regulatory strategy, prudence, cost of capital, affiliate transactions and retail market issues.
Full bio and contact info for Kurt Strunk at National Economic Research Associates, Inc.

Timothy E. Tatum, Cost of Service Manager, Regulatory Affairs, Idaho Power Company, oversees revenue requirement determinations, power supply modeling, jurisdictional separation studies, class cost of service studies, and marginal cost studies.