Senator Stedman recently returned from the annual board meeting of The Energy Council held March 9th – 11th, 2022, in Washington, D.C. The Energy Council is a non-partisan legislative organization that facilitates conversations between legislative policymakers and education on energy issues and related environmental policies. Senator Stedman has been a member of The Energy Council for a decade and a half.
On the first afternoon, he met with Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska, along with four other U.S. senators, concerning the energy needs and challenges of America. Senator Stedman also had a meeting with Representative Don Young where he received an update on energy issues that face the nation.
Senator Stedman then spent two days in roundtable meetings discussing various energy issues. This included a meeting with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an independent agency that regulates interstate energy exports of electricity, natural gas, and oil, including regulation of the rates and practices of oil pipeline companies engaged in interstate transport.
He also had meetings with the Environmental Protection Agency regarding energy and environmental issues that pertain not only to Alaska, but to the Lower 48. Several meetings were held dealing with the production and distribution of natural gas and oil in America and the recent dynamic changes to the economic environment for those industries due to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Multiple meetings were held on the current challenges to the U.S. electrical grid, including discussions with the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) regarding the expansion of electrical utility grids throughout rural America including Alaska. The Rural Utilities Service’s Electric Program provides funding to maintain, expand, upgrade, and modernize America’s rural electric infrastructure. Alaska is continuing to work to extend the multiple small grid systems we have throughout the state.
Meetings concluded with a presentation from the Canadian Embassy which addressed Climate Change and environmental issues affecting Canada and the U.S.
Overall, it was a productive and informative board meeting.