Power Lines Blog

Six pieces of advice for women in energy and environment

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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.

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Golden rule applies to public servants

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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.

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Living the Wright Life in the Sonoran Desert

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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.

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Back to our roots for a new look

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I mentioned that the American Public Power Association was getting a new look — one which would not result from me dyeing my hair. That window of opportunity passed for me years ago — when I started to go gray and decided to just stay with the “natural look!” Going natural is what we’ve done with our new brand. We went back to our roots (pun intended) in the community.

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Lineworkers and lawyers, two honorable professions

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CFEBA took the opportunity to honor the contributions of lineworkers around the country. We at APPA were happy to host public power lineworkers at the Gala. I was kvelling to see our lineworkers up on stage getting their awards. It was very fitting for the energy lawyers of the CFEBA to acknowledge the crucial role that lineworkers play in keeping the lights on and the Chardonnay chilled.

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Homegrown makes a difference

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It’s not uncommon on restaurant menus today to see where the ingredients in your meal are coming from: beets dug from a family farm in Virginia, pork pastured on a green field in South Carolina, blueberries from wild bushes in Maine. That menu might even tell you how many miles your food traveled to your plate, and the growing trend seems to be the closer the better. “Buy Local” is the buzz phrase — and those who do are called “locavores.” Maybe buying local should also be considered when it comes to power.

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NatCon 2015: the annual gathering of public power

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APPA staff has just gotten back from our 2015 National Conference in Minneapolis, which went from June 5 through 10. Our annual gathering is an opportunity to meet and learn from each other, and to remember why we do what we do. In the end, it really is all about the retail customers — providing them with reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible electric service. The ways we do that are going to change, but the mission will not.

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