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March 18, 2020

Experts, Policy Makers Discuss Carbon Pricing in Wholesale Energy Markets

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Experts, Policy Makers Discuss Carbon Pricing in Wholesale Energy Markets

As states advance their climate policies with ambitious clean energy targets, wholesale market operators are grappling with questions about if and how electricity markets should evolve as a response. Several Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs) are looking to change their market rules to include carbon pricing, but there is a diversity in approaches.

Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and New York University's Institute for Policy Integrity co-hosted a conference in Washington, D.C., on March 3 that focused on the different approaches for carbon pricing in wholesale energy markets. Experts from around the country discussed current initiatives, legal issues, and stakeholder perspectives in panel discussions led by Jennifer Chen, senior counsel for federal energy policy at the Nicholas Institute; Avi Zevin, senior attorney of the Institute for Policy Integrity; and Burcin Unel, energy policy director at the Institute for Policy Integrity. Kate Konschnik, director of the Nicholas Institute's Climate and Energy Program, summarized key takeaways at the end of the conference and was among the speakers on the legal issues panel.

The conference featured opening remarks from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Commissioner Richard Glick about policy areas where FERC has had an impact on greenhouse gases emissions and the agency's potential role in state and regional carbon pricing. During a lunchtime discussion, former FERC Commissioner Suedeen Kelly, who serves on the Nicholas Institute's Board of Directors, spoke with E&E News reporter Rod Kuckro about why the time is right for carbon pricing in energy markets and how it could be implemented.

Tim Profeta introduces a conversation between Suedeen Kelly and Rod Kuckro

Videos

Opening remarks by FERC Commissioner Richard Glick

Panel: ISO/RTO Carbon Pricing Initiatives

  • Dr. Nicole Bouchez, NYISO (slides)
  • Gary Helm, PJM (slides)
  • Don Tretheway, CAISO (slides)
  • Moderator: Jennifer Chen, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Panel: Legal Issues

  • Dr. Danny Cullenward, Stanford University (slides)
  • Bethany Davis Noll, Institute for Policy Integrity (slides)
  • Kate Konschnik, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
  • Romany Webb, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
  • Moderator: Avi Zevin, Institute for Policy Integrity

Lunch Conversation

  • Suedeen Kelly, Jenner & Block | Former Commissioner, FERC
  • Rod Kuckro, E&E News

Panel: Stakeholder Dialogue

  • Jeff Dennis, Advanced Energy Economy
  • Travis Kavulla, NRG
  • Casey Roberts, Sierra Club
  • Abe Silverman, New Jersey BPU (slides)
  • Moderator: Dr. Burcin Unel, Institute for Policy Integrity

Takeaways and Closing Remarks

  • Kate Konschnik, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Conference Summary

Adobe PDF icon Conference Brief