THE ENERGY EXCHANGE PODCAST
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Welcome to The Energy Exchange podcast by the Energy Bar Association
The Energy Exchange podcasts are conversations with luminaries across the energy industry. The interviewees are thought leaders, CEOs, attorneys, cutting edge entrepreneurs, and experts who have a deep understanding of energy issues and are working to shape our energy future.
Why The Energy Exchange?
In 2021, to celebrate the Energy Bar Association’s 75th Anniversary, we are pleased to introduce EBA Energy Exchange. The podcast offers a consistent show with strong guests and unexpected insights. A unique perspective on the individuals interviewed and their particular arc. A strong and growing audience – 1,000 listeners. To make a difference in energy policies and our discourse around energy policy and help expand the EBA’s presence throughout the country and beyond.
Who is the audience?
Energy Attorneys, Energy Professionals, law and graduate students and undergraduates, and anyone who wants an evidenced based, real-world discussion about some of the challenges we face in generating, distributing, and using energy.
Why should you listen to The Energy Exchange?
To join the conversation and ultimately to fashion better energy policies, strategies, and regulations.
Episodes Available on:
About our Host:
Mosby lives in Houston, Texas, and counsels and consults for energy companies. He has represented a range of energy stakeholders throughout his career, including electric utilities, interstate pipelines, renewable project developers, private equity and energy startups. He began his career with the federal government as an attorney/advisor to FERC’s Office of General Counsel, practiced law with Jones Day in DC and Houston, and recently served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Kinder Morgan, an energy infrastructure company based in Houston. Mosby is the President of the Energy Bar Association and is excited to be hosting the inaugural season of EBA’s Energy Exchange.
New Episode Coming Soon!
Max Minzner is General Counsel at Arcadia Power. He previously served as General Counsel of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and was a partner at Jenner & Block. Minzner also spent over a decade teaching law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University and the University of New Mexico School of Law, where he also served as Associate Dean.
In this episode, Max describes his experience in New York as a prosecutor and what he learned trying criminal cases in the nation’s largest metropolis. Max explains some of the research and writing he did during his as a law professor and how real-world experience and math informed his theories. Mosby asks Max about his time as General Counsel for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, what it was like leading the legal team at a relatively young age, and key cases that were appealed during his tenure. Max talks about the start-up he now works for and what it is like to be part of a growing company working on climatetech. He reveals what he now looks for in his outside attorneys, how his team has coped with remote work, his company’s focus on technology and management as leverage.
Donna Attanasio is the Senior Advisor for Energy Law Programs at George Washington University Law School. She was previously a partner at White & Case LLP, in its Energy, Infrastructure, Project and Asset Finance practice, serving as chair of its renewable energy task force and co-chair of the DC Office’s Women’s Initiative. Prior to that, Donna was with the firms of Dewey Ballantine LLP and Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan. Before attending law school, she supervised load management programs and worked on conservation and customer service projects at Potomac Electric Power Company.
In this conversation, Mosby and Donna discuss transmission, microgrids, free markets and regulations. Donna explains the challenge of having a transmission system designed for reliability and low costs evolving into a system that must also support a new generation mixed aimed at lowering emissions. We talk about energy as a holistic problem cutting across disciplines and we define and discuss energy equity – who gets to decide who decides? Donna walks through some of the great work her program at GW Law School is doing with communities and energy, we talk about the book Cadillac Desert and gifts from your kids, and Donna shares insights from her many decades of practicing law at high powered firms in DC.
Juliana Garaizar is the Head of Houston Incubator and VP of Innovation for Greentown Labs. A Board Member of the Angel Capital Association, Juliana is a Lead Investor of the Portfolia Rising America Fund that invests in BIPOC and LGTBQ founders, as well as the Portfolia Consumer and Rising Tide Funds. She is also an Advisory Board Member of the University of Houston Cougar Venture Fund, the Houston Diversity Fund, the Investors of Color network and Impulse4women. Juliana is a Kauffman Fellow, and received MBAs from the London Business School and Haas School of Business in Berkeley, specializing in Entrepreneurship.
In this conversation, Mosby and Juliana do a deep dive into entrepreneurship, climate tech, the energy transition, and Houston’s place at the intersection of these threads. Juliana talks about being from the Basque Region in Spain, her father’s adventures travelling around the world, her early studies in France, and how those experiences have informed her life. Juliana discusses her time in Singapore working first as an International Trade Consultant for the Trade Commission of Spain and then for Citigroup where she started thinking about going to business school. Mosby asks Juliana about her mission in Houston, what Greentown Labs—an incubator for climatetech start-up companies—offers the city, and what the city offers the world. They discuss why entrepreneurs might be the most important key in navigating climate change.
Joel Eisen has been a Professor of Law at University of Richmond School of Law for almost 30 years. He previously served as Counsel to U.S. House of Representatives and Associate Attorney at McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen. He has authored numerous books, book chapters, treatises, and law review articles on electric utility regulation and clean and renewable energy topics; he is a co-author of a widely adopted textbook on energy law, Energy, Economics and the Environment, and the author of a comprehensive book on Advanced Introduction to Renewable Energy.
In this episode of The Energy Exchange, Mosby and Joel talk about the new book as well as several important articles that Eisen authored over the years. They do a deep dive on start-up culture for energy, the differences between environmental justice and energy justice, and how progress on reducing energy insecurity will shape the next 25 years. Joel shares his insights on how to become a law professor, what writing laws on Capitol Hill can teach you about statutory interpretation, and the benefits of hacking on a Les Paul Studio electric guitar during a global pandemic.
Regina Speed-Bost is Founder and Managing Partner of SB Law, PLLC;, an Adjunct Lecturer at The George Washington University Law School and Member/Partner/Leader, Events Deapartment Head at Soteria Christian Center. She was a former Partner at law firms such as Reed Smith LLP, Schiff Hardin LLP and Sullivan & Worcester LLP and held senior positions at Vermer Liipfert Brard McPherson and Hand and Duane Morris LLP and previously worked for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
In this episode, Regina talks about leadership, diversity, courage, and moving from big firm work to a small boutique private practice in the midst of a global pandemic. She provides insight on how to navigate private practice, and what young attorneys should look for in a law firm. Regina discusses race, why it can be difficult to talk about race, and why it is important to have those discussions. The conversation also revolves around Energy, and what large firm work taught Regina about the law and about herself.
This episode features a roundtable discussion by leaders in Clean Energy initiatives. Diversity in Clean Energy (DiCE) is a coalition sponsored by Duke Energy’s Strategic Account Management Organization working collaboratively with Duke Energy’s supplier engagement arm, three strategic accounts and three representatives of diverse suppliers in clean energy. Its visionary outcome is to “advocate, utilize, drive visibility and open doors of opportunity for diverse suppliers in clean energy through collaboration.”
Guests on this Roundtable episode include:
Amy Bond, Energy and Sustainability Program Manager at T-Mobile. Amy was formerly Sprint’s Manager of Energy and Sustainability before its merger with T-Mobile. She worked previously as an executive assistant for Marcus & Millichap, a marketing assistant with Reece and Nichols, and as a publisher.
Cheryl Comer, Strategic Account Manager in the Sales and Relationship Management organization at Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions. Cheryl previously taught middle school and high school student’s music theory, solfeggio, string, symphony orchestra and music history, and served as a high school principal of an alternative school in Phoenix, Arizona. She is also a licensed attorney in North Carolina and Louisiana and practiced law at a mid-size, litigation boutique in downtown New Orleans before joining Duke Energy in 2018. Cheryl continues to practice law in the capacity of a pro bono attorney with Legal Aid of North Carolina.
Denis George, Manager of Energy and Legal, Kroger. Denis has over forty years' experience in energy procurement, utility rate and regulatory matters, renewable energy, energy management and contracting. Also previously worked as an attorney for DPL. He serves on the Smart Energy Decisions Customer Advisory Board, and previously served on Green Retail Decisions, Customer Advisory Board, Public Benefits Advisory Board, State of Ohio, Southern California Edison Company Customer Advisory Board, and the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee.
Scott Harden, Chief Technology Officer, Energy at Microsoft. Prior to Microsoft, Scott held several technology leadership positions (including at OSI Digital and Bit Stew Systems) providing advisory and delivery services to architect and deploy advanced technology solutions for the power utility industry including advanced analytics, edge computing, machine learning / artificial intelligence and industrial data platforms. Previously Founder and CEO of Vertebrae.
Dana Redden, Founder, Solar Stewards, a social enterprise connecting corporate social responsibility initiatives with marginalized communities, and Founder and CEO of DCR Group LLC. Celebrating over a decade in the solar industry, Dana is a passionate solar professional dedicated to the development of distributed generation solar globally. She is among GRIST Magazine’s 50 Fixers, a two-time judge at the DOE/NREL Solar District Cup, and an ACORE Accelerate member.
Faustina Vincent, a socially conscious entrepreneur who recognizes the time-critical opportunity to limit our impact on the environment and seize new market opportunities in renewable energy. As Co-founder of VGI Energy Solutions, LLC., a clean energy company working with portfolio owners, utilities, colleges, churches, and purchasers of REC’s, Faustina brings thought leadership, practical knowhow, and technical expertise to deliver energy solutions that enhance climate security and promote community resilience, primarily in underserved communities. She works with policy makers, equipment manufacturers, utility companies, environmental groups, investors, and government agencies to transform how communities meet their energy needs.
Van L. Vincent, President and CEO of VLV Development and a Partner of VGI Energy Solutions. Van is a climate change visionary and urban developer who works with community and elected leaders, housing portfolio owners, utilities, educational institutions, and purchasers of renewable energy credits to bring resilience and economic benefit to low-income communities. He previously led the affordable housing practice for the Chicago office of Virchow-Krause now Baker Tilly). He also served at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development's Office of Affordable Housing Preservation and is a U.S. Navy veteran.
Catherine J.K. Sandoval is a tenured Law Professor at Santa Clara University who teaches and conducts research on Energy, Communications, Antitrust, and Contract law. Her scholarship analyzes legal and policy drivers of energy, communications, and water infrastructure safety, reliability, and access gaps. She served a six-year term as a Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission, appointed by Governor Brown. Professor Sandoval serves as Director of Santa Clara University’s Oxford University Summer Law Program, and Co-Director of SCU Law’s High-Tech Law Institute and The Broadband Institute of California. She hails from a trailer park in East Los Angeles and communities facing environmental justice issues. She is the first Latinx CPUC Commissioner, first Latina Rhodes Scholar, and first in her family to earn a B.A. degree. She earned a B.A. from Yale University, a Master of Letters from Oxford University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. Her book chapter, Energy Access is Energy Justice, The Yurok Tribe’s Trailblazing Work to Close the Native American Reservation Electricity Gap, was published in ENERGY JUSTICE, US AND INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES (2018).
In this episode, Catherine discusses her journey from a trailer park in East Los Angeles to studying at Yale, Oxford, and Stanford Law. Catherine tells Mosby about her first winter in New Haven and being the first Latina Rhode Scholar. They dig into net neutrality and its implications for energy policy, Catherine’s experience with the Yurok tribe in Northern California on access to energy issues, and climate justice. Catherine shares stories from her time as a Commissioner on the California Public Service Commission and some recommendations on books and productive habits.
Robert H. Solomon, Solicitor, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of General Counsel, Member US Senior Executive Service, Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University Law School, Adjunct Professor of Law, American University George Washington College of Law
In this episode, Bob shares his insights from decades of experience defending the FERC on appeal before Federal Appellate Courts including landmark decisions before the DC Circuit and the Fourth Circuit. Mosby and Bob also discuss pop music, Bob’s collection of presidential campaign buttons, and the restorative benefits of multi-day hiking and biking. Bob explains why FERC’s Office of General Counsel is the best energy law firm in the country and two of the best gifts he ever received.
Suzanne Russo is chief executive officer for Pecan Street, having previously served as its chief of staff and chief operating officer. During her time at Pecan Street, Forbes named her one of five women ‘Using Technology to Blow Up Social Change.’ Suzanne also worked for New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. An urban planner with a masters degree in community and regional planning from the University of Texas at Austin, Suzanne has worked in Africa, China, India and the USA on community-based sustainable development.
In this conversation Suzanne talks about her time in New York at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the skills she learned working on energy efficiency projects there. We discuss her time in Kenya and how that shifted her focus to the human environment as she worked on solving issues related to energy conservation. We touch on the Texas blackout, systems level thinking, and her vision for a data utility regulator to ensure we get the most out of our smart grids, meters, and other sensors that we are going to need if we want to get to net zero.
Cheryl A. LaFleur is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy. She a nationally-recognized energy leader and a member of the Board of Directors of the Independent System Operator of New England (ISO-NE). LaFleur was one of the longest-serving commissioners on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). nominated by President Obama. LaFleur served as Chairman and as Acting Chairman of FERC.
Marc L. Spitzer is a former member of the Arizona State Senate and former Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Spitzer is a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he represents utilities and energy companies before FERC and state utility commissions.
In this episode, Marc and Cheryl talk about shaping energy policy and how important communication, compromise and leadership are in government, especially at a time like now where the country emerges from the pandemic and renews its focus on climate change and the economy. Cheryl and Marc hail from different backgrounds, philosophical leanings, and political parties, but over the years and at FERC, they have managed to find common ground on a number of important issues. They have genuine respect for each other and both enjoy the power and beauty of truly engaging with people who disagree with you. Not only do we go deep on electricity markets, climate change, environmental justice, and politics, but Commissioners LaFleur and Spitzer share personal stories and anecdotes, from navigating social norms at Princeton to writing a spy novel to perceived setbacks that end up opening new horizons.
Executive Director of WIRES, former Chief of Federal Regulatory Policy at Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG), held various senior leadership positions in a long career at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, worked as an Attorney for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and clerked for the Honorable Edwin M. Kosik in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
In this episode, Mosby talks with Larry Gasteiger about his start working for a federal district court judge in Scranton, Pennsylvania before The Office was a thing. They cover Larry’s early days at the Commodities Futures Trade Commission and discuss futures contracts, domestic terrorism, and a close encounter with a famous performer. Larry shares secrets on preparing for oral argument and putting together a strong case on appeal from his long tenure as a solicitor at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Larry shares WIRES’ vision for a more robust high voltage transmission system and responds to questions about alternatives, who pays, and nationalizing the grid.
Attorney for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Former Director of the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources.
In this conversation, Mosby speaks with Bidtah about growing up in New Mexico as a member of the Navajo Nation, her experience as a student at Georgetown University, a mission trip to the Rama Peninsula in Nicaragua just after its Civil War and how that shifted her focus back home. Bidtah discusses the incredible history of the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority and the intricate web of regulations, treaties, history, culture, and negotiation that have shaped energy and water rights and policies in Indian Country, and how those norms are changing with the rise of a new generation of Native American professionals. Bidtah explains how we are in an inflection point in history where we can rethink our approaches and reconsider the value of life and the intrinsic value of natural resources to our human lives, and find more equitable paths forward.
Chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission, Former Senior Counsel to the Energy Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce, former senior positions at Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), National Fuel Gas Company, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Member of Committee on Electricity and Committee on International Relations for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), serves on the Board of Directors for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), Center for Public Utilities Advisory Council and the Critical Consumer Issues Forum (CCIF) Advisory Committee.
In this episode of the Energy Exchange, Mosby talks to Jason about time travel through visiting hydroelectric facilities and Jason's front row seat as Chairman Pat Wood's legal advisor in the wake of the Western Energy Crisis of 2000-2001. Jason discusses the Maryland PSC's efforts to regulate utilities during a time of great change, including the challenges posed by capacity markets, getting offshore wind to market, and rolling out electric vehicles charging infrastructure. Mosby and Jason discuss equitable access to energy and some solutions Maryland is considering. Jason sheds light on the origins of Maryland's own Chesapeake Bay Retriever, his current interest in architecture, the importance of mentors, and strength from diversity.
Board of Trustees North American Electric Reliability Corporation, Retired President and CEO of the American Public Power Association, former Attorney Miller, Balis & O'Neil, Former Attorney with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Past President of EBA and served on the U.S. Department of Energy's Electricity Advisory Committee under two Presidents from different parties.
In this episode of the Energy Exchange, Mosby asks Sue Kelly about her time representing Coops against the backdrop of looming bankruptcies in the wake of the Texas Blackout of 2021. Sue shares her thoughts on making choices and being confident that life is not linear and one can always make another choice. Mosby asks Sue to discuss electric reliability, what the blackouts in Texas may teach us, and how we might prepare the grid of the future for even more renewable resources. Sue reveals what she learned moving from being general counsel of a trade association to becoming its President and CEO. Sue gives a life lesson she learned from Willy Nelson, explains a gift of knitting, and tells why she joins a massive chorus to sing Handel's The Messiah every year.
Partner Kirkland & Ellis, former General Counsel Baltimore Gas and Electric, former Editor-in-Chief of Energy Law Journal, Past President of EBA and recipient of Paul E. Nordstrom Service Award for exceptional service
In this episode of the Energy Exchange, Mosby sits down with Bob Fleishman, long-time energy attorney and former President of the Energy Bar Association, to talk about Bob's journey from government service to in-house counsel to private practice. Bob explains what a PUS was at FERC and why he was proud to be one. He talks about his experiences growing up with martial arts and how taking lawyers to laser tag skirmishes helped him lead his legal team during electric restructuring. Mosby asks Bob about his different transitions, and Bob reveals that when he left BG&E, he thought about becoming a Rabbi. Bob shares stories about his many years with EBA and doing pro bono work, and they discuss what receiving the Paul E. Nordstrom Service Award in 2016 meant for him.