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New videos give overview of energy policy making in California and the West

June 28, 2019
Precourt Institute

By Mark Golden

Looking for a clear overview of how California makes energy policies, and coordinates them with other western states and Canadian provinces? Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy has created a six-part, public video series delivering that synopsis.

“These agencies are critical to California's success as a national and global leader on climate and clean energy, as well as to maintaining the backbone of the western U.S. economy,” said Dian Grueneich, Precourt Energy Scholar and former California utilities commissioner. “The public, new policymakers and other stakeholders can now go to one place to understand California and western energy agencies—what they do, and how they operate and cooperate. Nothing like this was available until now.”

Head shot of Dian Grueneich
Dian Grueneich (Image credit: Mark Golden)

The topics include not only California government agencies, but energy markets in the western U.S. and Canada, utilities and other companies, and the two main Western energy organizations. Grueneich starts with a three-minute introduction video and a 50-minute overview. In the remaining four videos:

  • Steven Greenlee, senior public information officer (retired) of the California Independent System Operator, explains how the state grid is kept up and running, (35 minutes).
  • Maury Galbraith, executive director of the Western Interstate Energy Board, summarizes the coordination of all energy policies—including those on nuclear waste—among 11 states and three Canadian provinces, (45 minutes).
  • Matthew Elkins describes the work of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, where he manages performance analysis. One focus of his talk is managing risks, (30 minutes).
  • Grueneich analyzes California’s intertwined climate and energy policies, including achievements, challenges, and opportunities for new business models and products, (50 minutes).

“These videos are a must-see for anyone who wants to understand the energy landscape in California and the West,” said David Hochschild, chair of the California Energy Commission. “This governance and policymaking are driving this region and the world toward a clean energy future.”

Each lecture, which consists of audio and slides, is divided into sections that can be watched individually or in one setting.

“The western states are blessed with profound energy opportunities and commensurate challenges, said Jeffrey Ackermann, chair of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. “The California and Western Energy Lecture Series offers a great set of resources to all who are dedicated to addressing these unprecedented challenges.”

The Precourt Institute for Energy sponsors the Stanford Energy Internships in California & the West program for Stanford students with the help of its supporters. This video series emerged from classes the students take in the spring term prior to their paid internships.