On Wednesday, November 18, WGL teamed up with Bloomberg Politics to welcome some of the most influential energy industry thought leaders to a discussion on energy policy, including the potential impact of the 2016 elections. The discussion, led by Bloomberg Politics' managing editors, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, covered topics ranging from the future of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the rejection of the Keystone Pipeline.
WGL Senior Vice President and CFO Vince Ammann opened the event by noting that WGL had just concluded FY2015 – with record earnings for the company reported just last week – and how WGL and its shareholders are seeing the benefits of a shale gas revolution, a renewable energy revolution and a technology revolution that are converging to form a new energy marketplace.
Ammann spoke about the power of a question and touched upon the energy challenges facing our nation – an aging infrastructure and the national security implications that brings, along with the need to reduce emissions and increase clean, efficient and sustainable energy resources. He emphasized how energy answers and innovative solutions like Distributed Impact – the convergence of multiple energy resources, combined with the capability to generate energy at or near the site of consumption – are key to a successful energy future and a healthy marketplace.
Following Ammann’s remarks, Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the EPA, spoke candidly with Halperin and Heilemann about President Barack Obama’s climate policy, the Clean Power Plan and attempts in the Senate to block it.
McCarthy began by talking about where things stand today and what she hopes to accomplish at the EPA between now and January 2017. She noted how the Clean Power Plan has changed the mood of the international community and hailed it as a significant step forward in the global effort to address climate change. Click here to view McCarthy's full interview on the Bloomberg website.
Addressing the potential impact of a Republican White House win in 2016, McCarthy said, “There is a history of us moving forward under the Clean Air Act, and there is a history of us winning time and time again, and you’re not seeing large initiatives go down because a Republican has gone into the presidency or because Congress has decided to take it up...and it’s going to be the same with the Clean Power Plan.”
After Administrator McCarthy's interview, Halperin and Heilemann invited Harvard Kennedy School Professor David Keith, former South Carolina congressman Bob Inglis, and Bloomberg Intelligence’s Rob Barnett to discuss energy policy. The discussion covered the future market for solar power, the efficacy of new nuclear plant construction and the role of the Gates Foundation in funding renewable energy.
The panel also answered questions from the audience, including one from our CRO, Lou Hutchinson, on how the energy market affected the post-2008 recovery. Click here to view the panel's discussion on the Bloomberg website.
The morning concluded with an active Q&A session with the audience.