Infrastructure Spending: Pennies From Heaven or Green Stress?
The U.S. electric utilities, from big IOUs to distribution-only rural electric cooperatives, are waiting to see how the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which President Biden signed into law on November 15, will affect them. The best estimate is that about $73 billion will make its way directly to the electric utility industry.
There is a growing consensus in the industry that transmission is a national priority, and that broadband will get a needed boost. But some fear that remnants of the Green New Deal will emerge in the administration of the funds, forcing utilities into actions which they believe to be detrimental. Friction is possible.
The Department of Energy, the principal disbursing agent, is holding meetings, requesting information, and beginning to establish procedures and priorities. How vocal should utilities be? Will they all be heard?
DOE won’t be the only agency concerned with grid upgrading and other projects. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Interior, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will be involved too.
USEA has assembled a panel of utility experts to talk about when and how the funds will be disbursed. They will be questioned by a panel of knowledgeable reporters. USEA Acting Executive Director Sheila Hollis will give opening remarks, and Llewellyn King, who organized this briefing, will moderate.
Justin Driscoll, Interim President & CEO, New York Power Authority
Andrew Shaw, Partner, Dentons
Katie Jereza, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, EPRI
Peter Londa, President & CEO, Tantalus
Robert Walton, Utility Dive
Ellie Potter, S&P Global
Jeff Beattie, The Energy Daily
Ken Silverstein, Forbes