July found me back in San Antonio (site of the Association’s Lineworkers Rodeo back in May) for the Annual Meeting of the Texas Public Power Association. TPPA is one of the state public power associations that do many of the same things for their member utilities at the state level that the American Public Power Association does at the federal level. TPPA lobbies, educates, and serves as a strong platform for collaboration.Read More
The threat of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure is a hot topic in the news right now, but cybersecurity has been on the radar of the American Public Power Association for several years.
We recently conducted a series of “table top” exercises with public power utilities across the country to jump start discussions among members on cybersecurity issues. The consistent feedback we heard from these workshops is the need for more guidance, more training, and for additional resources to help address the evolving threats.
Sue Kelly’s speech at the 2017 National Conference in Orlando lays out the important work ahead for public power utilities in advocating for key issues, providing innovative services to keep up with customer expectations, and building relationships within their communities.Read More
A recent trip to Southern Illinois led me to reflect on the regional differences in our membership and the communities they serve. Part of what I love about this job is getting a chance to see up close and personal the various parts of our country and their different traditions and cultures.Read More
Sue Kelly on her visit to Alabama and to the Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo and Engineering & Operations Technical Conference in San Antonio. Events like this show public power at its best — pulling together to share our knowledge and help train those coming up.Read More
As the Administration pivots to tax reform, we are on high alert about maintaining the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds. Bonds are the primary tool our public power utility members use to finance new infrastructure. Eliminating or undercutting the tax-exempt status of these bonds would increase our borrowing costs, and that will be reflected in electric rates. In effect, it is a regressive tax. Public power has the ability to bring local policymakers to the Hill to personally lobby on this issue. We need to be able to do that, and on short notice.Read More
At the Annual Gala held by the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment, I reconnected with old friends, and had the opportunity to meet many women who I did not know. I shared six pieces of advice I have learned during my 37 years in DC, to help them avoid making the same mistakes I did! My deep thanks to WCEE for the honor of being named its 2017 Woman of the Year.Read More
It has now become necessary to remind the public that FERC commissioners, state public utility commissioners and local governing bodies that regulate utilities have demanding jobs and deserve our respect. To contribute constructively to the processes of these regulatory bodies, individuals need to follow a few simple rules. Focus on the issues rather than the person(s); engage in a serious and thoughtful exchange of views via the appropriate forums; and avoid physical, verbal or emotional violence. Demonizing or implicitly threatening a public servant should have no place in public discourse.Read More
The preservation of tax-exempt financing is the Association’s top legislative priority in 2017. We will actively engage on tax reform legislation, working to preserve the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds, which are key for public power infrastructure development. We will emphasize this and other priorities as our members visit elected officials during our 2017 Legislative Rally.Read More
It can be easy for CEOs to get so caught up in the day-to-day management issues that you forget the big issues or why you really do what you do. Having the chance to step back and see the larger picture — or even to see how a really creative mind can tackle design issues created by an austere desert environment — can recharge the brain and give you a fresh perspective.Read More