The Energy Bar Association Conference and Annual meeting is EBA's premier energy law and public policy conference. Join hundreds of energy industry attorneys, regulators from the the Department of Energy and other agencies, in-house energy attorneys, consultants and others. The conference offers two days of thought-provoking CLE programming and multiple networking opportunities. See the full conference agenda below. **Please note that session times and details are subject to change.**
Thursday, April 25
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM: Honorable Kevin J. McIntyre - General Session: Former FERC Commissioner Panel
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM: Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent 1A: Technological Evolution and Its Impact on Wholesale Electricity Markets
Several significant technological changes are occurring across the energy landscape. With increasing renewable energy on the supply side; and the adoption of electric vehicles, various types of energy storage, and growing interest in the production and use of zero or low-emission-based hydrogen on the demand side; the wholesale electricity markets will need to evolve with these changes. To manage such markets, grid operators and utilities are using advanced monitoring and data analytics to gain situational awareness to ensure reliability and resilience. In this session, the attendees will learn about (a) the policy and economic drivers of the technology changes, (b) the pace of those changes in various regions of the U.S., (c) the implications of these changes on the electricity markets and operations for grid operators, utilities, and customers.
Concurrent 1B: Retail 101 – Recent Developments in Competitive Energy Marketing
For over a quarter century, many state public utility commissions and legislatures have established retail customer choice programs for commercial, industrial and residential consumers of natural gas and electricity. With growing interest in providing renewable energy and related services both on the part of competitive suppliers and incumbent utilities, our panel of experts looks at the current state of the competitive marketplace.
12:15 PM - 2:00 PM: Lunch
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM: Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent 2A: Commercial and Regulatory Considerations in Public Utility Transactions
Public utility acquisitions, divestitures, and mergers have been under increased scrutiny from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In the last 18 months the Commission has denied an application involving the sale of large public utilities in the Midwest, issued deficiency letters and a tolling order in a proceeding with respect to the merger other large utilities; issued orders holding that investors with the ability to appoint a non-independent board member to a public utility will be deemed an affiliate of the utility, and issued a Notice of Inquiry regarding whether the Commission should revise its policy on blanket authorizations for investment companies under Section 203(a)(2) of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”). This panel will discuss the Commission’s role in reviewing public utility acquisitions, divestitures, and mergers under Section 203 of the FPA, the Commission’s points of emphasis in recent orders, and commercial and regulatory considerations that stakeholders and counsel should take into account when structuring public utility transactions. Attendees will learn the scope of Section 203 of the FPA, the Commission’s standard of review, and the impact certain transactional structures may have in obtaining authorization from the Commission under Section 203 of the FPA and exposing affiliates to the Commission’s jurisdiction.
Concurrent 2B: FERC Order on Panhandle Eastern Pipeline and/or Colonial Pipeline
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM: Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent 3A: The Data Challenge
Consumers may seldom consider the infrastructure needed to support streaming, internet, email, and gaming. Data centers, complete with a huge amount of servers run 24/7 and enough air conditioning to dissipate the heat such equipment generates, provide a unique and relatively new challenge to the grid. Some utilities now offer unique data center products and data center load has become part of RTO transmission planning. A second component of planning is where to locate these facilities. In light of the nature of the use, development of data centers on brownfields offer a unique set of advantages, including available infrastructure which can position such development as a “best use”. This panel will focus on challenges and perspectives related to development of Data Centers.
Concurrent 3B: Understanding the Pillars—The Implications of Treasury’s 45V Pillars for the U.S. Hydrogen Industry
Section 45V was part of the Inflation Reduction Act and provides an incentive for the production of clean hydrogen. In December of 2023, Treasury released proposed guidance adopting what amounts to a “book and claim” system to verify clean hydrogen production. However, the underlying electric energy must be sourced from renewables that are “incremental,” “deliverable,” and beginning in 2028 “temporal matched.” The panel will review the implications of the pillars for the electrical transmission system and discuss opportunities for refinement in the context of Treasury’s ongoing rulemaking.
Friday, April 26
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM: Keynote Remarks by The Honorable Mark C. Christie, FERC Commissioner
9:30 AM - 10:00 AM: General Session 2 - The State of LNG Markets and the Future of U.S. Gas and Export Facility Development
The last couple years saw a tightening of the global LNG market due to increased demand from Europe to offset the decline in Russian pipeline imports. The U.S. Energy Information Administration anticipates that greater output from existing facilities in the United States will help balance and ease global market demand in the next year. However, many of the European utilities are not subscribed to long-term contracts which creates market uncertainty. Demand in east Asia also presents uncertainty because China—which was typically actively in the LNG spot market—has actually increased pipeline imports from Russia. In addition, the Biden Administration’s decision in January to pause export authorizations to nations without free-trade agreements created further uncertainty in the market for both project developers and potential offtakers. This panel will analyze the state of the global LNG market with an eye towards the 2024-2025 winter season, the current status of LNG export capacity in the United States including export facilities that have recently come online or are expected to be commercially operational in the near future, and the market and regulatory risks facing new or proposed projects. The regulatory risk discussion will touch on the authorization process and key issues at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy.
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM: Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent 4A: The Matter of RTO Governance
The governance of RTOs matters. It matters to the RTO members who provide transmission services; it matters to their customers who buy transmission services; it matters to the land and ecosystems that RTOs use and to the people that depend upon electrical systems for reliable power. And RTO governance matters to those seeking a fair price signal for today’s and tomorrow’s electric power, including emerging sources of renewable generation, and it matters to those considering alternatives, such as end-use efficiency. Borrowing a page out of the Special Edition of the Energy Law Journal on RTO Governance, this panel will feature a lively discussion outside the Ivory Tower on what RTO Governance processes mean to stakeholders reliability, prices, processes and fuel mixes.
Concurrent 4B: Raising Awareness of Real Estate Issues in Energy Project Development
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM: Lunch and EBA Annual Meeting, Keynote Remarks by The Honorable David A. Wright, Commissioner, Nuclear Regulatory Commission
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM: Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent 5B: Ethics and Wellness: Do it Solo (or Small)
Join this panel of experienced legal professionals as they discuss the ins and outs of law firm formation, including reasons to go solo or small; risks and rewards; legal and ethical obligations of small and solo practices; how to maintain health, wealth, and life balance as a small or solo practice; and much, much more. Ethics and Wellness CLE credits will be sought for this panel.
3:45 PM - 5:15 PM: Is Deference Dead? Executive Branch Power Post-Chevron
This panel will tap the expertise of the current legal leadership of FERC, the Department of Energy, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and the Environmental Protection Agency, to explore the possible outcomes from the Supreme Court's reconsideration of Chevron doctrine, including what a possible majority opinion might do and how the Court's decision will affect the work of the energy and environmental regulators like FERC. With oral arguments concluded in Loper Bright Enterprises and Relentless and an opinion expected to issue this summer, this closing session panel is best positioned to discuss the impacts of the Court's decision, in light of their collective experience and leadership in defending agency action in federal court.
This program is eligible for 10.75 hours of CLE credit in 60-minute states, and 12.75 hours of CLE credit, in 50-minute states. Credit hours are estimated and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules.
To Receive CLE Credit:
If you have met the participation requirements, you will receive a personalized CLE affidavit from firstname.lastname@example.org for the program at which you attended at least one session to completion. Please check your spam or junk folders as these emails often end up there. Please note you will fill out one affidavit for the full event. Once you complete the affidavit, you will be able to download your certificate(s) of attendance and they will be emailed to you as well from email@example.com
EBA offers eligible student, government, and academic members discounts on the rates for most EBA programs which carry CLE credits, including EBA's Annual and Mid-Year Meetings. EBA will, on a case-by-case basis, consider requests from members to attend EBA programs at a discounted rate. Discount requests must be made to EBA's office at least fifteen days prior to the close of regular registration for the program in question. Requests will be considered by EBA if timely and complete. Discount requests must demonstrate a substantial financial hardship. Please submit your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.