Aclara has added a panel to this year’s AclaraConnect conference, taking aim at the topic of “The Future of U.S. Energy Policy and Infrastructure.” The panel, which will be held at 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 12 at the New Orleans Marriott, brings together two experts whose highly divergent and strongly held viewpoints are likely to spark provocative and heated debate during the session.
The panelists are:
- Elgie Holstein, who led President Obama’s Department of Energy 2009 Transition Team. Holstein is senior director for strategic planning at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in Washington, D.C. He also held government service positions under the Clinton Administration, including associate director for natural resources, energy and science at the White House Office of Management and Budget; special assistant to the president for economic policy, White House National Economic Council; deputy undersecretary and assistant secretary of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and chief of staff, U.S. Department of Energy. Holstein also worked as an advisor to local governments on water and energy matters. He also has served as Energy and Environment Staff Director for the National Conference of State Legislatures, and worked as a congressional staff member specializing in environment and energy policy.
- Thomas J. Pyle, who recently led President Trump's Department of Energy Transition Team. Pyle is president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations and government regulations of global energy markets. Pyle is also president and founder of the American Energy Alliance (AEA), the advocacy arm of IER. He develops IER’s free-market policy positions and implements educational and advocacy efforts at both the state and national levels. He also held numerous positions on Capitol Hill including serving as an energy and environmental policy analyst for the Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives and as staff director for the Congressional Western Caucus.
The panel will be moderated by Kara Saul Rinaldi, presidentand CEO of AnnDyl Policy Group, and a Washington, D.C.-based policy strategy firm focused on clean energy industries including technology companies, energy trade associations and nonprofit organizations.
“The discussion will be framed around the future of U.S. energy policy at a time when the new administration is curbing proposed regulations to carbon and methane emissions as well as recommending cuts to programs that support increased energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy—areas that President Obama made a priority for his administration,” Rinaldi said. “We will explore such questions as, ‘What is the direction of this country’s energy policy? Is it the right direction? What are the risks? What benefits do we stand to gain from this change in direction? What infrastructure improvements can we expect to see?”
“We are grateful that both Mr. Holstein and Mr. Pyle will join us at AclaraConnect for this thought-provoking discussion. The future of our energy policy and infrastructure is a timely and central topic for utilities that are charting a course to navigate the disruptive and highly challenging changes that are impacting their industry. Regardless of one’s point of view, one thing is certain: it is imperative that they embrace the power of new, smart technologies that equip them with the intelligence they need to manage their networks, today and in the future,” said Allan Connolly, president and CEO of Aclara.
AclaraConnect will take place April 10 to 14 at the New Orleans Marriott. Executives and key personnel representing gas, electric and water utilities around the world are expected to attend. With its theme of Be A Game-Changer, the conference AclaraConnect will explore how leading-edge technologies can help utilities plan ahead and thrive in a landscape of disruptive change.